Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Month's Resolutions

Doh! This week we missed our Monday blog post for the first time ever. Oops. Lots was going on: traveling, a big holiday, finishing up assignments for school (W00t!), job stuff--basically a lot of distractions. Suffice to say, some of us didn't get our new pages done last week. So, we could moan and groan and feel guilty that distractions got in our way. But, after many years of writing seriously I realize guilt is not productive.

Instead, let's move on! Today is a new day! The rest of this week is available for writing new pages and tackling new challenges, as is the rest of this year. In fact, forget New Year's Resolutions, I'm making some New Month's Resolutions.
This December I will:

  • write a few new pages every day
  • make a plan consisting of:
  • one small achievable goal every day (like write the first draft of half a new story)
  • put said goal on my calendar and check it off when done
  • not feel guilty if I don't reach my goal(s)

Obviously, your New Month's Resolutions will differ. :)

Good luck with them!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Give a book!

As we head into the holiday season, I can't help thinking that the ideal gift is a book! So, buy books for your friends and neighbors and family. And consider buying locally at that last surviving bricks-and-mortar store in your town.

I've been trying to come up with a cool name, like All Hallow's Read...

How about Winter Soul-stice? Because books lift your spirits and make your soul soar? Okay, it needs work. :) But, the idea is sound! I'm off to the bookstore...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


This is admittedly too on-the-nose, but I feel like this time of year it's nice to pause and remember what we're thankful for. So, trying to keep a writerly orientation, I'm thankful for words and sentences and paragraphs and all the rest of our literal tools. And I'm very thankful for computers with word processors! Yes, I do remember typewriter days. I'm even a little thankful for blogs--they let us connect with other readers and writers.

But, I'm most thankful for awesome authors and their wonderful books. So many marvelous books have changed my life, transported me to other worlds or other consciousnesses. Ooh. And I'm also very thankful for libraries. Libraries rock!

How about you? What are you thankful for?

Monday, November 21, 2011


I know many writer folks are deep in the throes of NaNaWriMo, but I know of another project that's frankly easier, NaNoWriWee. Yes, you guessed it. Instead of National Novel Writing Month, it's National Novel Writing Week, and it occurs this week. Basically, it's the same idea in that you write furiously, trying to get the max number of words down that you can. I've done this in previous years and it is really liberating. It kills off the internal editor that can stymie writing progress.

For those of you who want to try NaNoWriWee, or those doing NaNoWriMo, or those just trying to meet their usual word goals, author James Preston has some good writing advice over at Writers in the Storm Blog: One Appproach to Genre Fiction, or "This Way to 'The End'". Check it out.

Good luck with your writing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

author opens bookstore

We've all be bemoaning the demise of bricks-and-mortar bookstores. Well, one author has done something about it: Ann Patchett has opened a bookstore in Nashville. Read all about it in The New York Times: "Novelist fights the Tide by Opening a Bookstore". Good luck, Ms. Patchett! This holiday season I'm going to have to buy some gifts at my local bookstore. How about you?

In the meantime, how's the writing going? I did get some pages done this week. I better go do some more. Good luck with your writing!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Back in June I talked about crowdfunding, of which, is considered a leader. Apparently some authors are having a lot of success with it. For example, author C.E. Murphy just concluded a very successful campaign. I recommend you go read about this if you are all interested. If you've tried it, I'd love to hear about it.

In other news, how's NaNoWriMo going? I'm not participating, but I've been trying to keep up my usual words-per-day and words-per-week goals, and honestly...I've been failing miserably. :( One reason is one of my critique group meetings got cancelled, so I don't have anything due. Okay, I know that's a lame excuse. I also had a lot of other writing-related obligations--also lame. So, that's it, no more excuses! I'm going to catch up on words this week! Yes, sirree! That is going to happen! Totally!

Did I convince you? :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

midlist publishers?

As many of you know, Publishers Weekly had a big article earlier this month: Whither the Midlist Publisher? that caused quite a stir. Did you read it? Basically it says there are the big 6 publishers in New York and a bunch of small publishers, but nothing in the middle for midlist authors. Check it out if you haven't read it yet.

No one ever said being a writer was easy...

Those e-book options are looking better and better.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

falling back

Our recent time change, falling back, is coinciding with a time of transitions for me. I finished a novel. I finished a degree. My day job is in a transition period. Everything is changing! It's rather disconcerting. One of our last tasks at school is to create one year and five year plans. This is surprisingly difficult.

What will I be doing in one year? What will I have accomplished? Hhm... How about in five years? That's even harder to imagine...

How about you? How do you deal with transitions? Do you have a one year plan? A five year plan? If so, how did you come up with them?

Monday, November 7, 2011

what's in store?

One of my teachers asked us what was in store for popular fiction.
I had to ponder that one for a while. Finally, I concluded popular fiction is in for more melding and fusing together of so-called genres. I've heard about many new and recent books that do this.

Thus, the genre conventions that have always been somewhat fluid are flowing more than ever and will continue to do so in the future. Yes, the typical settings, roles and events of a particular genre will occur but they will be coupled with those of other genres.

I think the demise of bricks and mortar bookstores will contribute to this, because genre distinctions were primarily a marketing tool enabling booksellers to identify shelves for p-books. As electronic bookstores rise in popularity, authors can post their e-books in every 'genre' that applies--thus leading to more potential sales.

All these opportunities and combinations will meld into an entertaining and powerful literary amalgam, taking our imaginations to new heights.
Readers are in for a treat!

What do you think is in store?

Friday, November 4, 2011

word count maximas

Okay, here's a new one. This week I've been struggling with a maximum word count. My piece is too long! And not by a little; it's three times too long! Doh! So, I had to take the delete key firmly in hand and go to work. I basically had to decide what points I absolutely needed to make and cut the rest. Phew. It was painful but ended up being a valuable exercise.

How about you? Have you ever had this problem? If not, how do you avoid it? If so, what did you do?

In other writing news, I haven't gotten my required new pages of fiction done this week. And, yes, I know it's ironic considering it's NaNoWriMo month. :(

I'm going to try to go get it done... BICHOK!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

writing by hand

Some writer friends and I were discussing e-books and e-book readers recently and it turned out a couple of them didn't have a e-book reader. Shock! Amazement!
So, you can imagine when one author said, 'Yeah, and I write my books by hand.' More shock! More amazement! :) He had several reasons why including, writing by hand worked at about the same speed as his imagination, and paper notebooks are more portable. He made some good points!

I only hit the paper when I have writer's block and/or just can't stare at the computer any more. Apparently, I also hit the paper when the power is out for many hours--as I discovered last week. But, honestly, a change of pace/scene does help when the writing is coming very slowly.

How about you? Do you ever write by hand?