9.22.2011

what life turns into

When writing a novel, that’s pretty much entirely what life turns into:

‘House burned down.

Car stolen.

Cat exploded.

Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.’

NEIL GAIMAN

9.20.2011

yes, and yes












(I created/composed this as part of literary agent Janet Reid's most recent contest.  If you don't follow her blog, you should!)

9.18.2011

the most beautiful thing i keep


I think I understand why people compare their novels to children.  You cradle this thing inside of you and you nourish it and you ache and you help it grow and you love it while it's yours and you worry about it when you give it to the world.  It requires your time, and it simply cannot be without you.  It exists because you created it.

But I don't have children, and maybe that's why that isn't the way I think about my writing, not really.  Instead, I think of my work as something precious and shining and secret that I get to carry around and pull out to look at whenever I want.  And I don't mean the manuscript, I don't mean pulling the words up and re-reading them, though of course that's something I often do.  I mean the idea.  I mean that I am never bored because I always have some plot point to work through, some twist in the journey to map.  I mean that I am never lonely because I always have access to any number of characters, and it is infinitely interesting to spend time with them.  I mean that I have something for which I am exceedingly grateful: something that feels like a calling.

There are days and weeks and sometimes months when it drives me crazy, but right now I am madly in love with my story.  (This is a very self-indulgent post, but I have to write it down now so that I can remember it later, when we're all fighting and the words won't come and I'm pretty sure the plot makes no sense.)

Note to self: you have something beautiful that you get to hold inside your heart.  Don't underestimate how happy that should make you.

Revel, rinse, repeat.

9.16.2011

today is made of awesome

And I will tell you why:

1. It's Friday.
2. It's payday.
3. I wore a scarf today because IT FEELS LIKE FALL OUTSIDE!
4. I ran 5k at the gym yesterday and slept like a baby last night.
5. I have exceeded my writing goal for the week.

Let's just say that there's a little bit of THIS happening right now:




I hope you, too, are having a day worthy of a Liz Lemon dance party.  Happy Friday, friends!

9.13.2011

things you need to say out loud

I am a really wonderful goal-setter.  It's one of my greatest talents, really, identifying big exciting things I'd like to do and then writing them down somewhere.  Generally I make checklists and purchase fancy equipment to help aid me in achieving them, because yup, I am just that dedicated.

But you know where this is going.  Even with my fancy equipment and my checklists and all my good intentions, I have a pretty lousy track record with following through on my goals.  It's partly because I set so many of them, and partly because they're often unrealistic.  For some reason, whenever I decide I'm going to do something, I get this... rush.  I feel like I'm Wonder Woman for a few minutes.  (Actually, I'm not that into comics, so I feel more like Buffy, but you know what I'm saying.)  I forget that I have a job, and a life, and that I tend toward sleepiness and snugliness and Grey's Anatomy marathons in my free time.  So I fail, over and over.  Which is, uh, not my favorite thing to do. 

But!  Every day is another day.  So right now, my goal is to set three achievable goals, and then actually... do them.  Whatever it takes.  I just want to do what I say I'm going to do.

I read a quote once that really stuck with me (alas, the name of the person who said it did not, but whoever it was, they have my thanks):

There is power in doing what you say you're going to do.  You become a prophet in your own life.

Uh huh.  THAT.  Yes.  I want THAT.

So. 

GOALS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR:
(yup, giving myself a couple months)


  • I want to run a 5k by the end of October, and an 8k by the end of November.
This one shouldn't be too hard.  My running buddy friends and I are planning on doing a 5k in October, and I'm already signed up to run an 8k in November.  But again: do what I say I'm going to do.  Time to start training in earnest.



  • I want to write 2,000 words per week.
Actually, I want to write at least 3,000 words per week, but in the past that hasn't proved to be realistic in the long term.  Things get busy, my word count goes down, and there goes my goal.  I know there are people who dash off 2,000 words a day, but I'm not one of those.  I'm slow.  Hitting 2,000 a week shouldn't be hard, but for me it is.  That said, if I dedicate myself to setting aside the time, it should be managable.  And if I hit 3,000+, well, more dance parties for me!



  • I want to call at least one of my siblings at least once a week.
I have two younger brothers and a younger sister, and I love them all like mad.  We're incredibly close and loving when we're together, but unfortunately we're not together very often.  I think about them all the time, but we don't talk that much.  So I want to start reaching out more, and making it a habit to be a part of their lives even when we're apart.


So those are my goals.  I'm saying them here because I mean them, and I want to be held accountable for them. 

If you have any you'd like to share with me, feel free.  Putting them out there is a powerful thing, and I am happy to hold, as well as be held, accountable for the things we say out loud.

9.08.2011

trying so hard to be

Writers aren’t people 
exactly. 

Or, if they’re any good, 
they’re a whole lot of people 
trying so hard to be one person.

It’s like actors, 
who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors.

Who lean backward trying – 
only to see their faces 
in the reflecting chandeliers.


F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

9.06.2011

paranoid parrot

So.  A whole bunch of people from my past - people I haven't spoken to in years - have randomly contacted me within the last two weeks.  Don't get me wrong, this is awesome.  I love hearing from old friends, and it's always great to find out how they're doing, and to let them know what I've been up to. 

When my first old friend got in touch, I bounced up and down in my chair.  "Ooh!" I squealed.  "Yay!  Old friend!"

When my second friend got in touch, my eyebrows went up.  "How funny!  Weird coincidence.  But awesome!"

When my third friend got in touch, I turned to my girlfriend.  "Um, do you think I might be dying?"

"What?"

"Me.  Dying.  I just had three old friends get in touch with me in less than 2 weeks.  Do you think the universe might be telling me that I'm dying and I need to be reaching out to old friends?"

(I should note that she is used to these bizarro questions from me, so she didn't immediately try to have me committed.) 

"No," she said, shaking her head.  "I do not think the universe is telling you that you're dying.  And why would that be your first thought??"

I just stared at her blankly.  "Have you MET me????"






 All photos from here

C'mon, I am Paranoid Parrot.  What did she expect?