I need some people! A specific brand of people, that is. People who can read my manuscript who are not related to me or who are not a close friend. People who can give me a solid “yea” or “nay” on the thing and I’ll feel like I can really trust that they aren’t just being nice.
Not that I have anything against nice people.
(Side note: I want to make it clear that I am infinitely grateful to those people who have, so far, read my WIP and given me feedback. Even though they are all nice and some of them are family members. You know who you are.)
But, I get “people envy” when I read some of my favorite authors’ blogs and they talk about their writing group that meets to discuss a few pages of each other’s current WIPs, have scintillating conversations about what makes a character tick, and – I suspect – maybe toss back a few margaritas and have some laughs together.
How ‘bout you folks out there? Do you have a writing group you meet with on a regular basis? How did you originally connect with them? Part of my problem is that I live in a small town - the nearest larger town is half an hour away. It’s a college town and, judging by the message boards on the last Nanowrimo, many of the writer-types I would find there would be college kids and I’m afraid I would feel like the old lady in the crowd, which would just fuel my impending mid-life crisis.
I’m about an hour and a half from the Twin Cities which would not be an insurmountable distance to drive once a month. But how do I find the people?
Any suggestions? Anyone? Bueller?
Stuff I did in November:
- Taught myself to play “Father & Son” on the guitar by way of an instructional YouTube video (True story! And a testament to my impressive powers of procrastination).
- Watched all of Dr. Who Season 6 in about two days.
- Read “The Maze Runner” trilogy by James Dashner (totally worth it).
- Had a brief but memorable bout with stomach flu.
- Wrote about 30,000 words for Nanowrimo – and that’s rounding up.
Stuff I did not do in November:
- Reach the Nanowrimo goal of 50,000 words in one month.
So, I didn’t “win” Nanowrimo. Bummer. But, at least I made it further than I did last year when I crashed and burned at 9,000 words. I’m 30,000 words further on book three than I would have been than if I hadn’t done it at all. So, I’m going with “win” anyhow! Until next November…
I was going along smoothly with my Nanowrimo the other day when suddenly, almost out of nowhere, a strange new beast showed up. My story is set on another planet so, of course, there has to be animals and plants and beings that we’ve never seen before. But so far, I’ve mostly stayed away from getting into detailed descriptions of weird flora and fauna or animals that are a cross between this-that-and-the-other. I mean, after Napolean Dynamite’s Liger, there is really no topping that coolness level, right?
I like to think that my story focuses more on the relationships between the people in it, rather than trying to grasp at straws with wow-factor animals and plants. But my story was dragging so I decided there had to be some kind of animal. I really want it to be a flying animal because I have a feeling that some day, my main character may need to make a quick get away and a really dramatic, enormous flying animal would be just the ticket. So I’m writing about this huge eagle-like bird with near-human intelligence and suddenly I realize that I have just re-created the giant eagles from the Lord of the Rings books. *sigh* Back to the drawing board.
Alright, it’s just a draft, right? I’ve got time to re-work this animal and make it my own. And I fear that trying to be that creative while also trying to pump out 50,000 words in a month, and keep on top of all the other things in the world that regularly demand my attention – I may just be asking for too much.
Anybody out there come up with some fun, creative new species for their manuscript? How do you make sure it is creative but not too wacky to be believable?
Here it is Saturday already and I haven’t posted! I’ve been trying to be consistent with Thursday or Friday. Here are my excuses: it’s been a hella busy week at work, I’m gearing up for a birthday party full of 8-and-9-year-old girls later this afternoon, and … there’s Nanowrimo.
My Nanowrimo work is moving right along, although at this point I’m behind on my word count. And truthfully, I’m getting a little bored with my characters. This is the third book in this series that I’m writing and I think it’s time to introduce another new character or two. I introduced a few new ones in the second book and killed off one of them. So, definitely in need of a new character or two… or a cataclysm… or a wedding. Or something.
So I find myself today thinking about simple joys in life, after a stressful week. I just sat on the back step and threw the ball for the dog for a long, long time (I didn’t think he was ever going to get tired). Was it a waste of time when there’s so many other things I should be doing? Maybe. Was it a good stress reliever? Oh yes. I mean, look at this face. Who couldn’t be cheered by this face?
What kind of simple joys do you find yourself turning to when you are stressed? (Other than the always-comforting bowl of chocolate ice cream.)
The answer is yes… yes it does.
Oooh, I was doing so well! Two years ago I started running, thanks to a local moms-and-daughters couch to 5k program that I coerced my oldest daughter into with me. Since then I’ve run a bunch of 5ks, two half marathons and even this one crazy 24-hour running relay called Ragnar. (Oi! That was the longest day, overnight and half of the next day of my life!)
Then one of the hottest summers that I can remember here in Minnesota hit. And I started slacking a little bit. Just a little… at first. Then a lot. Then I started doing this blog. And, friends, I’m here to tell you (as if you haven’t already figured this out) blogging takes a lot of work! It’s not just writing the blog itself, but the going out to find other blogs you like to connect with folks. Don’t get me wrong – I’m loving it. But there’s a whole lot of sit-your-butt-in-the-chair time involved. And the imprint on my chair is starting to look suspiciously just like the outline of my butt.
I’m not going to make some sort of proclamation here, like “Hence forth, I will run five miles a day – 10 on weekends – and eat only whole grains and fruits and vegetables.” Some people do really well with that whole concept of making your plans public to hold you accountable. Not me. There’s no quicker way to kill my motivation. The stress of that public accountability will inevitably find me curled up in a darkened room with a bucket of chocolate ice cream and a marathon of Firefly or Doctor Who.
But tips from fellow bloggers who’ve been at this longer than I, and who are probably better at balancing it with the rest of their lives would be more than welcome!
In other sit-your-butt-in-the-chair news – the first few days of Nanowrimo have gone well, in that I have completed the necessary word count each day. Not spectacularly – but just by the hair of my teeth. Sunday will be a completely unscheduled day and I am hoping to get a word-count cushion built up!