Tag Archives: novel

Day 24: Only ONE SPOT LEFT!!!

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 10.44.42 AMApril 24

Oh NOOOOO!!!!! I have ONE MORE WEEK to raise my funds, but there’s ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!

Will I make it??? Gosh I hope so! I’m trying to keep my sunshiney optimism but it’s looking more and more like this whole crowdfunding for writing thing is NOT going to be a success this time around…awwww poop!!!!

I’m not giving up, just feeling the pressure that I HAVE to find a way to make this work!!!!!

What MORE can I do???

-Blog!

-Promote on Facebook and Twitter!

-Have a garage sale?

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Day 17: Birthday card crowdfunding

April 17

Today is my last day of being 32. I guess I’m okay with that. I mean, what other choice do I have? 33 is still okay. As a matter of fact, I think 33 will be my golden year. I mean, I already got the shoes, the rest is just awaiting the Midas touch.

I’m stepping outside of my comfort zones, my little safety bubble. When you’re uncomfortable, it means you are growing (which is true for both jeans and for the more metaphorical personal growth one experiences with age).

I really feel so very awkward to meet new people but I FINALLY got myself to a local fiction writers meet-up, it was at Starbucks so I mean how could I say no when at least I would get to drink coffee. Of course it was awkward , and yet it was great too. Since there were several others who were there for their “first time” too, it was nice to not be the only new face!

I also launched this IndieGogo crowdfunding for writing campaign. And that’s weird for me too! I don’t really like to ask for help. But sometimes it’s a matter of knowing what you want and going for it even when it feels impossible or when the timing is (financially) just not right, but the will and the creativity and time are all aligning…what would YOU do?

Will I stop writing my novel if I don’t make it? Hell no! I’ll get this thing done, but I feel like this could be really helpful for me to get back into editing gear and really figure out the rest of my plot and strategy for these characters who are speaking to me. They have more to say, I just need to tease it out of them.

Day 13: “Yikes! Bikes!”

April 13

biodadandbabySure, this may be my biological father’s birthday today, but that actually is not why I’m celebrating (spoiler alert: I never celebrate his bday, even though he is turning, eeks, I don’t even know, 70??). Okay, maybe not a spoiler, but still, worth mentioning. I am celebrating because my crowdfunding for writing efforts are finally passing $100 today! That means, mathematically speaking, I am 14% of the way to my goal of raising $725 to go see the fiction crime writer Tod Goldberg spew genius advice out of his pursed little lips, hopefully I won’t be in the “splash zone”. But it’s a risk I’m willing to take!

Okay, so what’s with the dumb quote, “Yikes! Bikes!”???

OMGEEEE, if you don’t know, then I’m not going to tell you! Okay, I will. It’s from Drew Barrymore’s cute movie “Never Been Kissed” which is (like, omgee) only one of the best Drew Barrymore rom-com’s EVER made (second only to “Wedding Singer”, amiright???)!

Why does this carry so much weight for me? Well, because I like it. It rhymes. And it’s funny (in that awkward, elementary school humor sort of way)https://www.pinterest.com/pin/529735974893362076/. Because for some reason, I feel inclined to rhyme even when it makes little to NO sense to do so. And so, this is like right there in my heart. She’s my girl. Even though sure, Josie Grossie is fictional, she’s ME!

“WORDS ARE MY LIFE!”

And that my friends is why I need your help! I know I can write the SHIT out of this book. I can edit the CRAP out of it. I can make it SPARKLE!* But…I could really really use a little help with my fine tuning. It’s been a few years since I graduated college and I feel like I can really use a refresher to kick me in the pants and push me off that cliff to take the next bold steps in my writing and really get out there! Out into the writing world, and dare I say…get published???

I need help! I need a community of writers, a writerly family, who can help me when I need advice. Someone who’s been through it and can tell me what has worked for them and then I can maybe make something work for me! But yea, my book is like Josie Grossie, she’s never gonna get kissed if I don’t let her shine for the world to see. And that’s why I need Tod Goldberg. So he can make my novel shiny, all the while still helping me tell the story my characters are bugging me to tell for them. It’s like they are trapped inside my body wielding tiny little swords and pricking me whenever I’m not writing because they want me to tell their stories! And then sometimes they fight with each other over who’s story gets to come out first, and I’m like “calm down peeps, one at a time, you will all get a turn” only I’m lying because they won’t all get a turn, only the best, the really persistent and really strange ones. Yes, those are the good ones.

Uh oh, I’ve said too much. Now I must go and work (and by that I mean go on Facebook).

*Ugh, flashbacks of working at a “small town” grocery store where the corporate dudes would come in and walk the sales floor and tell us how the displays needed more “pop” and “wow”! Yea, make that happen with corn chips and a chalkboard and YOU can be the next Regional Manager telling other yahoos how to do what they do, only better! But yea, basically what I need is a yahoo to help tell me in more descriptive jargon how to make my story have more “pop” and “wow”, and in my own words “sparkle and shine” (which CAN be a thing, even with violence and sex and magical fairytale happenings, oh yes).

Day 6: Counting the days and the ways…

April 6, 2015

Less than a week in and 10% of the way to my crowd-funding goal Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 1.41.21 PMto fund my attendance at the upcoming 2-day Fiction Writing Seminar with Tod Goldberg in Palm Desert, Ca.

So far I have three amazing supporters who are backing me and REALLY want to see me make it to this fantastic opportunity to work on my first novel and get the feedback I need to make it a “real” novel. Yes, someday I would like for my crazy ramblings to actually grow up and move out and get their own place in the real world (whether it’s finding a home on an actual real-life bookshelf in a real book store, or online, or through means of psychic communications and telepathy, in which case I miiiiight need to do some additional research and meditation to accomplish, but I’m willing to try!).

I even posted an update to the IndieGogo page with a small blurb from my novel-in-progress to give you a sneak peek into the world of Annie, a twenty-something gal looking to get ahead in the competitive field of grocery store management for a fun-loving hawaiian-shirt-wearing small-town store which she “loves”.

So why does Annie “love” her work? Let’s count the ways (in old school poetic fashion):

  1. To be paid or not to be paid, that is the question Annie faces and she chooses a paycheck over not receiving a paycheck (unlike her brother, Topher).
  2. Oh to go to college, but alas that costs money, and working pays money whilst attending college costs (insert ridiculous guess here, and then triple that!).
  3. ‘Tis easier to allow other people to make decisions for you and blame them for the consequences of an unhappy life, than to make your own decisions and only have yourself to blame for failure.
  4. Wearing ugly hawaiian shirts is a great way to retain one’s virginity!
  5. An entire aisle of chocolate. And a bizarre assortment of chocolate-covered food items!!!

Want to find out more about Annie and her grocery store antics? Pitch in $5 for good karma and the chance to read this novel when it’s ready! $10 gets you a sweet hand-written thank you note. For $25 you can receive an even sweeter hand-crafted bookmark! Want to be even more involved? You can donate $50 for a personal thanks in the actual novel, or $100 to get a character named after you!

Day 2: Crowdfunding for Writing Seminar! (Why the fuck not?)

April 2

Maybe it was a mistake to launch my inaugural crowd-funding efforts yesterday, on April 1 (oopsies, now no one will ever take me seriously). But as it turns out, the timing was just right. I was in the “mood”. You know the one. Yes, that one. That “Why The Fuck Not?” sort of attitude when you are sick of hearing your sorry self talk inside your head about the endless opportunities you fail to reach out for.  Well not this time, sucker (she says to herself, which happens a lot, and then wonders do other writers live deeply inside their own thoughts in this way?).

And so, lo and behold, a crowd-funding campaign is born for “Fiction Novel Writing Seminar with Tod Goldberg.” What the wahhht, you say? It’s exactly as it sounds. A chance to have my novel in progress given new life with some additional guidance, support, feedback, and time it deserves.

What is the big deal? This seminar is by a local writer who I became familiar with when he visited my “Satire and Irony” class, he’s a friend of this incredible writing teacher who has continued to inspire me to this day. And so, when Stephanie Hammer tells me someone is amazing and invites them to speak to her class, you better know she’s not lying. She turned me onto Aimee Bender, who not only shares my NAME (Whhhaaatt???? Yes, we’re part of an elite Aimee club) but I drool over her work and it makes me feel like, “Wow, I can still be weird even when I’m all grown up and supposed to be a (making a very grave expression) serious writer”. Yea, like that. Ahhh, refreshing. For me that feeling was (like totally) better than any other feeling in the (whole wide wide) world (yes, I just fangirled out for AB, and I gotta give a shout out to my other inspirational wonder woman Goldberry Long who’s right in there too in continuing to inspire me to keep being a writer and to show me that yes, moms with littles CAN be writers too!). So yes, Stephanie just published her  new novel and Aimee wrote a blurb for her, and Tod wrote a blurb for her and all I could think was “Omgee Omgee maybe someday they will all write blurbs for ME!!!” (you too, Goldberry, wink wink, pretty pretty please with sugar on top, and whipped cream, and a cherry!).

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.57.52 PM

To summarize, it was an oddly optimistic day when I just said “Why the fuck not?” I want to go to this writing seminar and get this novel all the way out! Out I say! And off to IndieGogo and social media I went! (And then, hour by hour, it set in: the incredible dread of self-doubt and fear and anxiety that this might actually work or not work, ahhhh! It’s all too much! In a good way!)

If you’ve enjoyed any of this craziness I call writing, check out my IndieGogo page and consider donating or sharing just for kicks (and good karma)! YOU could be the proud recipient of a hand-crafted bookmark, or I’ll even name a character in my novel after YOU! For reals!

*And sorry to those I may have offended with the F-word. I’m a mom, so I rarely get to cuss, and I just really like to cuss when I’m really excited and/or nervous! It just feels right sometimes, you know?

Day 30: And Then NaNoWriMo Was Over.

Saturday, Nov. 30 (or Sunday, Dec. 1, but who’s counting?)

2013-Winner-Vertical-Banner

Well, I did it (patting myself on the back), and to begin celebrating I did absolutely nothing. I mean, sure I changed my Facebook banner to “NaNoWriMo Winner”, and bragged about the success of it all. But really, it was so nice to call it “done” (even though you and I BOTH know that it is FAR from “done”, if it EVER even achieves the status of being “done” enough to be viewed by the outside world). I didn’t blog. I didn’t eat cake. Or even drink champagne. I fell asleep on the couch maybe fifteen minutes after getting the kids to  bed.

So, how does it feel to be a “WINNER”? Pretty darn good, actually (until Facebook friends get TOO excited about your status update of “NaNoWriMo Winner” and think that you, like, wrote the best novel out of ALL the other people writing novels this month and you don’t want to correct them but feel obligated (after half a day or so goes by) and let them know you are a “Winner” because you finished, which is still a hefty accomplishment but not, like, as good as they assumed, you know?). 2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

Do I think my novel is amazing? Meh. But I think it has the potential to be there if I keep at it. Maybe. Hopefully. It was entertaining for me, at least. And they say, write for yourself not for your audience. So…there (sticking my tongue out because I’m real mature like that).

Okay. So there. That’s it? Feeling relieved that it’s done, but also a little deflated. The excitement. The uncertainty. Would I or wouldn’t I finish? It’s all over. Kids go back to school tomorrow. Life goes on.

Except for my characters. They are stuck in the last moment of the first-draft novel wondering if their Creator will come back someday and bring them back to life. Wondering, is this it? Really? Or is She going to come back and change things around? Some might even be wondering, What is my purpose? Is she going to just cut me completely out of existence? Um, yes to both I’m sure.

Even if I feel like it’s impossible to find the time to work on my writing, completing this NaNoWriMo challenge proves to myself that I can do it, if I really want to. If I make the choice to sit and do something (like write!), I will do it. Of course, this also means there are sacrifices to be made and obsessive behaviors to either let go or adopt (as in let go of the idea of a clean house, and adopting the habit of writing as much (or little) as often as physically possible).day 30

And maybe sprinting is okay in writing. Sure, there should be some regular writing habits (i.e. this blog?), but it’s also okay to just give yourself a deadline and work towards a writing goal in an obsessive sprint to the finish. And then take a little breather.

But the funny thing is, I don’t want a breather. Now it’s like I’m addicted to writing again. And I am ready to jump in and give the manuscript a decent once-over and coordinating to-do list of how to make it better. And in the meantime, without the pressure to write the novel every free second, I can go back to some poetry revisions and submissions.  My poetry manuscript is active again, after rejection from a chapbook contest, and since they wouldn’t allow simultaneous submissions I’d put all those poems on hold. Now, maybe they will find homes while I let my novel breathe (after I obsessively go over it at least once!).

What will my next challenges be? Learning “Flowers in December”, by Mazzy Star, on acoustic guitar? Breaking out the pencils and paper (and typewriter and paints and glue and photography) to do some long-put-aside art projects…mixed media anyone (oh I’ve always wanted to do this!)? Let you know after I take a breather (or obsessively revise my novel for the next couple of weeks, wink wink)…

Day 29: A Novel Story.

Friday, Nov. 29

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to write a novel, so she signed up for this thing called NaNoWriMo, where people from all over come together to support each other’s efforts to not just write a novel, but to write one in 30 days. She took to writing. Making slow, but steady progress.

And then, all of a sudden…there was ONE DAY LEFT!

And this writer (or wannabe) is blogging instead of writing her novel.

baby novelThe novel crawls out from under the couch.

The mean, overly tired writer just sits at her computer. Sipping coffee (really bad coffee because this stupid writer forgot to fill the water reserve in the coffee maker all the way before brewing). Checking Facebook updates (gratuitous pics of food and family). And searching the internet tirelessly for Monster High ornaments that are either sold out everywhere or available on Amazon and Ebay for basically five times the retail price (sigh).“Help me!” the novel says.

“Help me!” the novel says again, trying to crawl over to it’s writer.

“Go away!” the writer shouts. Sipping crappy coffee.

baby novel 2

“But please, you need to finish me…you only have one more day. And you still have 5,616 words to go. Don’t give up now.”

“Bah! I don’t know how to finish you.” The writer looks down, refusing to make eye contact with the novel.

The writer can’t admit that, deep down inside, she doesn’t want to finish the novel. She knows she will miss it when it’s done. Even if she will spend the next several years re-reading it, revising it, cutting and adding scenes. She knows the thrill of the shitty first draft will be over. If she finishes it now.

“Please, mama,” the novel begs, now at her feet as she sits at her desk, typing on the very thing that she used to create this little novel.

And because this writer is a mom, she takes pity on the pathetic little thing lying at her feet, groveling for attention. She pets it’s bald little head, looks at it with sympathetic eyes, considers wrapping it up in a blankie and putting it down for a nap. But then the novel starts screaming. Crying so loud that snot runs down it’s sad little type-face.

“Ohhhh,” the writer says, feeling bad, but unable to tear herself away from the evil internet, full of distractions and pulling her from this living, breathing novel, away from the reality that if she doesn’t finish this thing, no one will.

baby novel 3“Okay little guy, get up here,” she says, pulling the novel onto her lap.

“Yay!” the novel squeals, waving it’s paper-thin little arms up in the air with glee.

The writer, novel in lap, begins typing away. Only time will tell if she’s able to fulfill her destiny and help this novel to live happily ever after…

Stay tuned for updates from the future!

In the meantime, your guess is as good as mine…will she FINISH in time? (And spoiler alert: probably won’t end with a good ol’ Happily Ever After, sorry!)

day 29

Day 14: Oh Poop! Halfway Through NaNoWriMo…

Thursday, Nov. 14

And then, all of a sudden, NaNoWriMo is halfway over! Oh @#$%!

I made better progress yesterday, upping my word count to 16,304 by adding 2,024 words in one day. Yes, one day. Now if only I can make that happen EVERY day, I will be set! Trophy in hand (metaphorically).

But instead of working on my novel, I’m blogging about working (or not working) on my novel. And while yes, I do LOVE blogging, I feel torn at times about what to focus on. But rather than decide, I just stretch myself like Stretch Armstrong (come on, you know who I’m talking about) and try to do it all. Is this a blessing or a curse? I sometimes think if I could just focus on ONE thing, I would totally rock at it, and be the best most amazing person at that ONE thing.

But who really does that? And by focusing on only ONE thing, what would I be losing? Well, besides custody of my children because well, kids need attention. Lots and lots. And then there’s me. I need to give myself attention too. And not the fun kind like that which writing provides, but the general maintenance kind. As in showering, eating, sleeping, pooping. Wait, no. I never poop. Seriously. I’m a girl. Girls don’t do that.

Okay, maybe I had my little brother fooled into believing that until age (way too old to still believe that). And yes, I probably shouldn’t mention it because now you all have a gross mental picture of me pooping. But, truth is, I’m a mom. And so much of my life does revolve around poop and therefore conversations about poop. Usually not my own, no I’m way too proper and mature for that (wink wink), but the baby’s!

And now, inadvertently, this blog post will be tagged with “poop”. What is wrong with me?

Oh yea, I’m a mom. And a writer. So I’m in double trouble in the weird zone (no offense to fellow moms and/or writers).

So what the Hell was I even writing about before I got side-tracked with poop? Oh yea, multi-tasking. And focusing. Ha ha. Yea, I guess maybe I should learn to focus more on individual tasks. And then I could check them off my to-do list (yes I have one of those, or actually many of those, buried under the mess on my desk somewhere).messy desk

Which brings me to another point: should I clean my desk? What? You agree that I don’t have time for that? Okay good. I’ll just keep writing then. And I know that since I muscled out 2,000+ words yesterday, I can totally do it today! I can do it. I can do it. Okay, pep talk over. Mirror put away.

And so, with NaNoWriMo nearly half-way over, I have definitely gotten loopier and more desperate for writing time and more delirious from the pressure to keep writing, and by that I mean forcing my characters to do stuff even when they just want to go to bed (and by “they” I mean “I”).

But never fear! I will win this thing! This @#$%^& novel will be completed by midnight of November 30. Oh you just wait and see. Because, really, that’s all you can do. I’m the one who has to keep doing the heavy lifting (and by that I mean obsessive compulsive typing).

Day 9: Suck It, Writer’s Block!

Saturday, Nov. 9

I doubled my word count today! Woo hoo! 10,661. Suck it, writer’s block! (Sorry, but it’s quite exciting to get in a good writing sesh like that.) Ah! Invigorating! (Yes, I’m corny. Yes, I’m weird. Yes, you may not (most likely) find me nearly as humorous as I find myself.)

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And so, the tale of my novel begins. I mean, really begins. Because, well, I haven’t really felt the whole thing flowing until now. Now, I have so many questions for myself. What will happen to Billie and Annie? How can I torture these two friends? And do I let the bad guy win or do I punish him? Do the parents get hurt? (Spoiler alert, they do! Sorry Mom and Dad, no offense. This is fiction, remember?)

As daunting as the task of writing can seem (task, mission, unrelenting need), once you discover characters, you can start imagining their world. And that’s when the magic happens. Disclaimer: I am in no way saying that my story is even good yet. I still stand by it feeling like it’s all word vomit and amateur and bleh. However, it’s going places. And I’ve come to accept (kicking and screaming) that nobody writes a perfect first draft and it’s totes okay to hate it. And it’s also okay to hate that I wrote ‘totes’…because I feel questionable myself about using it. But that makes me even more compelled to do it.

I still have so far to go. So far. But at least my word count is in the double digits. Whew. And I still have a ways to go in figuring out what the point of this story even is (should I have it figured out by now? Probably.). But I think my subconscious is helping me out. To think: all this time of looking for a muse, when maybe one is lurking in my own brain. Woh. Sh*t just got weird. All third dimension and stuff.

It’s days like today that empower me to keep going. That make me feel like the little blue engine. I think I can I think I can…I know I can I know I can.

I feel excited to discover where this story goes. It’s like watching a movie in your imagination. You just look in your head, and see it play out, and then it’s your job as the chosen one (the one with the gift, the writer) to transcribe these scenes and edit as needed to make sense of it all. So I’m sure (quite so) that all good creative worlds began as such ideas that need to be SO thought out to the point of making sense to people outside of the creator’s head. Yea, I know. that was a total run-on. Don’t judge.

And so, good people, I bid you adou (?), and farewell, and alfviedersein (?), goodnight (I’m going for a Sound of Music vibe, but my spelling is killing it). I’m off to push my luck and see if I can add even more to that word count before the day is officially over (which for me isn’t technically until sunrise, just FYI).