Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Secondary Careers

My husband has recently launched his career in the film industry, reminding me of the days (wow, now ten years ago!) when I took a screenwriting class at college and thought the silver screen was my ticket to success.

My dismal ability to write compelling dialog combined with my love of prose soon turned me back to novels, and I've been happily writing stories (and learning a lot) since.

However, in light of my husband's changing career path, I wanted to learn a bit about what he was getting into. Thus, I borrowed What I Really Want to do on Set in Hollywood from him and started reading.

The idea was to gain insight into the positions that appeal to my husband, but instead I found myself imagining myself in each role. While he was fond of the technical positions, as well as director and producer, I found myself leaning toward two very distinct and different jobs.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why I Must Be an Egyptian Ticking Clock

I have spent three weeks trying to fall in love with Jane Lindskold's The Buried Pyramid. It has everything I want in a novel: a spunky heroine, an interesting hero, adventure, exotic local, and a different time period. Throw in a little Egyptian magic, some pyramids, some treasures and curses and superstitions, and it should be everything I enjoy.

Should be. And yet, in three weeks, I made it less than fifty pages into the book. Every time I sat down with it, I was ready to like it, ready to fall into the story and get lost. Only to find my mind wandering and the story drifting from my thoughts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Writing Stats of 2011

Last year was a strange year for me in writing. The story that was supposed to be finished in 2010 bled over seven months into 2011. Afterward, I wrote a novella, a first for me. Then I started the world-building of the novel I'm currently working on. But somewhere along the way, I'd burnt out a little. My momentum staggered, and it shows in my numbers.

I believe in weekends when I'm not writing—when I'm doing all those other parts of a book, like research, character development, world development, editing, and querying. If I didn't, I'd be beyond burnt out to blackened, charred ash by now. When I write, I like to do it in the vein of NaNo WriMo: 1,667 words a day, nonstop, until the novel is done (weekends and holidays included). When the book takes one month (or even three), this is doable. When it takes eight, not so much. So just to orient myself, that means that I should be working on writing-related things 261 days of the year.

This year, I measured in at 192 days spent working on writing-related tasks, and 116 days on actual writing.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan

In a quest to refresh myself to the Wheel of Time series before reading the last three novels in the series, I checked out the audio version of the only book in The Wheel of Time series my library had (book two, The Great Hunt). After it was finished, I assumed I would skip ahead to book ten or eleven and read on from there.

And I did. I got over 100 pages into book ten, Crossroads of Twilight, then realized that I was disappointed by how much I missed. Rather than power through or read the summaries (short or long), I went back to my bookshelf and pulled out The Dragon Reborn for the first time since 1991.

I have carted this book along with the entire series published to date (in both hardback and paperback, because I'm obsessed that way) from my parents' house and through three subsequent moves, each time wrapping them with love, and unpackaging and shelving them with care. The books made a huge impression on my teenage self—as a writer and a reader—and it was as much that memory I was honoring as the books themselves. Every Christmas for eight years, I got a brand-new Jordan to add to my collection...and then I would hole myself away for my winter break, reading late into the night, losing myself in the novels.