Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why I Decided on a Smaller Word Count

I am on Day 15 of the 250 word/day challenge. I have reached almost 5000 out of my 6500 total goal for the month.  I am really happy with the progress that I have made so far. I only have a few more days to go!

What are the reasons why I decided on writing a smaller word count this November?

The need to write
I’ve been working on the same novel for quite some time. I want to try out something new. Yes, I have short stories written. I think it is just time to do something longer.

NaNoWriMo
I haven’t participated since I started KIN. This year, I wanted to join in. I knew that there was no way that I could meet the 1,667 words/day. So I decided I wanted to do something different this year.

A simple blog post.
I follow author Diana Peterfreund’s blog and there was a blog post from a reader asking how she finds time to write. Her point is to even write in smaller increments (such as a page a day) can add up to something in the end. So I found a writing challenge that fit that from over at InkyGirl where you can pick how much you can accomplish.

Motivation
I wanted to try a new way to write. I’m a seat by the pants writer, but I want to outline a bit more. I felt that if I wrote just a little bit and take what I have to form an outline. I think it is worth experimenting.

Sometimes life does get in the way, but there is no reason to let it every day. If you have the passion or drive, you have to invest time in your craft. It might take some experimenting, but you will find your groove. Now go out there and find your ambition!

Natasha

Friday, November 11, 2011

West Coast Side Trip

My husband Joey and I decided that we wanted to visit San Diego and our good friend (and artist) Sue Dawe this year. I really wanted to attend the Halloween Party at Disneyland so we decided on going in October. Here are my favorite highlights of the trip.

I heard a lot about this bookstore online. I actually bought books from them when I went to author signings at San Diego Comic Con back in 2009. When we went to the store, I didn't realize how much more amazing it is when you go there in person. They describe themselves as "genre store specializing in science fiction, mystery, fantasy, and horror" and they have a list of different authors that stop by every month to sign books. The night we went, Neal Stephenson was stopping into promote his new book, Reamde. The author also happens to be one of the favorite authors of our good friend and catsitter, Brandon. We ended up coming back to the store to get our catsitter a signed book. One of the other thing we learned at the store is that if you buy e-books through the Google Books, Mysterious Galazy can earn a percentage of the sale. I was so deeply impressed. I have totally decided that this is the best independent bookstore I have ever visited.
Kermit, Miss Piggy, a pirate, a Jedi, and
a Starfleet officer go to Disneyland...

Joey and I attended the Christmas party at DisneyWorld last year and fell completely in love with it. I am not one for the holiday, but it helped my spirit (we went to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary). When I found out about the Halloween party, I knew that we had to attend. It worked out really, really well. Our friends have been going to Disneyland all of their lives and never before were able to go into the park in costume. Our friends are big into dressing up, and so they were acting like little kids that they were finally going to be breaking one of the rules so it was great to see the joy they were getting from it. Joey and I picked out easy costumes for travel and ended up going as Kermit and Miss Piggy. I shouldn't go on too much about Disneyland, but really, it is worth every penny to go to these holiday events. There are fewer people and it really gets you into the spirit.

Sue took us to Seaport Village and I completely fell in love with it. I am not a shopper, but these little places all have their own charm and specialties. You never know what you are going to find in the next place you step into and there is another bookstore that I really enjoy there called Upstart Crow. We ate supper at one of the places along the water as the sun set and took a walk along the paths under the full moon. Very lovely.

We visited La Jolla the last time we were in San Diego and I really wanted to go again. There is just something peaceful about the different walking paths and watching the sea life. It feels a bit less part of the city to me and almost exotic (remember, I am from the Midwest). I love it there! 

San Diego really impressed me this time on our trip and I can't wait to go there again. We didn't make it again to the zoo, the Japanese Friendship Garden, or Balboa Park, but I am sure we will get to those places again in the future. 

That is the first part of our trip. My next blog post will be about our first visit to New York City. Yes, we went from our home in the Midwest to the West Coast and then over to the East Coast. We just asked ourselves, "Why not?" 

Natasha


Related Posts:
East Coast Side Trip

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Taking a Different Approach to Writing

Without risking failure, maybe even running headlong into it, there’s no chance for discovering something new and beautiful. –Sara Zarr

I’m not just in the first week of a writing challenge, but in the first week of writing discovery. It is the start of a new way of writing for me and it could change the way I do writing.
Sophie decided that I needed to take a
break from editing.

KIN is nearing three years of work. I am in the revision portion of the novel and balancing it with this new project. Looking back, I decided that writing was the easiest part of Kin. The struggle that I am having with is with revisions. When it comes to revision, readers are one of the most important resources and I found amazing critique partners. However, I am still in the part where I am holding it close to myself and scared to let it go. I am almost there to give the full manuscript to read, but not quite yet.

This new novel, I wanted to approach it differently from the lessons that I have learned about my writing style. I decided I want more of an outline, but I also provide the freedom of exploration. I have a small idea, but decided to go with it during NaNoWriMo month. I am letting ideas flow and writing in 250-500 word spurts to get to know my characters, the setting, and the conflicts. When I have about 6,000-10, 000 words, I am going to sit down and form that outline.  What I have learned in just the first 3,000 words will really help in forming this into a fun middle grade book and possibly help with my future revision process.

I recognize the failures in my writing process. I can actually see the ways that I have grown and that gives me the strength to keep moving. Everything I write isn’t the best thing ever, but that doesn’t matter. It is proof that I am a daredevil in my own way.

Make sure to visit the link where I snagged my quote. Bookmark it for when you feel down or you want something different from the Ira Glass video.

And that, people, is my NaNoWriMo pep talk.

Natasha