Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check In #3 (and Star Wars Celebration)

Word Count Update
This was our third week of All The Things! However, I did manage to get a good start to my word count. I drafted three different scenes, and am working on another right now. When I said last week about needing a fixed point in time for my novel, this little revelation helped move things along. My newest challenge? I keep flipping between first and third person narrative. I haven't decided on which one works best and I've decided to wait until this weekend to sit down with my words to get a feel on how to move forward. I can fix those other pages later and I don't want to interrupt where I'm going so far.




YA Buccaneers challenge this week
Our goal is to write at least 100 words a day. I did skip Monday since I needed a "day off" after our long weekend. I have managed to squeeze in about 1500 words this week, so not too bad so far!

Star Wars Celebration
Eight years ago was the last time that I attended Star Wars Celebration. Since the announcement of the new movies, and that the books I grew up reading were non-canon, my mood about Star Wars took a turn. I didn't know what to expect. 

Some of you might not know, but Star Wars changed my life. It's how I connected with my mentor and my husband. The second Star Wars Celebration was the first time that I flew-- by myself-- to hang out with 20,000 strangers. However, what I found were people with the same common connection. I've bonded with many wonderful people and it's one of the reasons why I'm sitting here right now. When Celebration was announced for Anaheim, I bought my tickets instantly. That was over a year in advance. 


BB-8!

It wasn't until I was sitting in front of my computer Thursday to watch The Force Awakens panel (we were leaving the next morning for Celebration) that I realized how much it meant to me. My husband and I were chatting back and forth about our reactions. With each one, I was growing excited with each revelation, and then there was a trailer. This was the trailer that I was waiting for! My heart soared, and I was so happy we had our tickets. I couldn't wait to see familiar faces, and meet new ones. 



And that's exactly what happened. When standing in line with Star Wars fans, you always have something to talk about. While waiting to see Mark Hamill, we were in line for four hours. With a scan of the people,  we decided to sit next to a mother and son who we even sat with during the panel. And we got to see Mark Hamill, who was the only of the main cast (and George Lucas) we hadn't seen before. We watched the trailer they made for Rogue One three times and cheered with everyone each time The Force Awakens trailer was shown. I bought a shirt with glowing lightsabers spelling out STAR WARS and lightsaber earrings. I wore my Corellian costume (my Jedi costume is now too big due to weight loss). It was like coming home again.

Artoo!
When I sat down Tuesday in the cafe, there was a new confidence growing inside of me. I wrote my words in two sessions with Write or Die and I was ready to jump back in. In a way, Star Wars saved me once again.

Natasha

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check In #2 (and YALLWEST)

Word Count Update
Over the past week, I have gotten a small start to my word count (about 1500 words). This is my first experience writing a contemporary. I'm coming to realize it will come with its own bit of challenges that I haven't anticipated while writing genre fiction. It wasn't until I was writing to a friend that I knew I needed to focus on a specific time period. Geek culture is a major part of the plot so I need a fixed point in time to move that plot along. 

Now that I have this figured out, let's see how this word count will progress. 


YA Buccaneers challenge this week
Share random facts about your main character (MC). 

1) Her favorite part of her retail job is taping up packages of socks so she can avoid customers. She doesn't question why people tear open packages to look at them (all the time). 
2) She draws fan art and it too afraid to post it online.
3) People never suspect her of anything. 

YALLWEST
My husband Joey and I drove up to Santa Monica on Saturday to kick-off the event. One of the best parts of these events isn't just the panels and authors, but the people. I met up with my Pitch Wars team at the Avatar: The Last Airbender/The Legend of Korra panel with the two co-creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, and comic artist, Gene Luen Yang. Afterwards, we went to their signing. 

A few hours later, Joey went to grab lunch for us at a local vegan place within walking distance of the high school. While he was there, Bryan Konietzko recognized Joey and they had lunch together. When Joey told me, I was so excited since their show was such a huge influence for my Pitch Wars book.

I really did enjoy the panels since there was a lot of variety of topics. At cons, they usually focus on YA/MG with general topics like "What is YA?". It was awesome seeing actual discussions about female characters, author struggles like depression in real life or in books, and cosplay. My favorite part of the Smackdown event later on was the author's reading their works when they were teenagers.

I walked away from this week with a lot to figure out in my mind, but mostly in a good way. I have another busy weekend ahead and looking forward to putting more energy into my work. Let's do this! 

Natasha

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check In #1 (and WonderCon)

April is a crazy month for me on the weekend for a lot of fun reasons. I'm not sure how this will help my progress over the next three weeks, but we shall see!

This past weekend we attended WonderCon in Anaheim, California. We went last year and it has become one of my new favorites. My husband Joey and I have been preparing my Spider-Gwen costume for the past month so it was really fun to finally premiere it.


The first thing we did when arriving at the con was volunteer for the (future) Hollywood Sci Fi Museum, that hopes to open in 2016. We donated to their Kickstarter and attended a fan event with them. We dressed up as Spider-Gwen and Spider-Man to help attract people in stopping by. While volunteering, I was asked to assist at the table for Billy West, the voice actor (Futurama!). It was surreal experience having my picture taken at times while helping out with his fans and hearing his stories.

Above, there's a video of us in costume at the two minute mark that was a bit of surprise and my friend ended up finding it on YouTube by chance. One thing I loved about con, you always knew when Star-Lord was around!

Other than dressing up, we bought a few pieces of Spiderverse (and Captain Marvel) art from many talented artists. The panels we attended were for iZombie and The Flash. People, if you're not watching these shows, you're missing out on a lot of fun!


As you read this, you can see why my goals this week might seem not like very much. My biggest goal was to work on more plotting using the book Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict by Cheryl St. John. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you need a bit of guidance with the plotting side. I jump into my books and write by the seat of my pants, but this time I attempting something different. This book has been the best resource I've come across so far since it can ask some really tough questions, which is exactly what I needed!


My goal this week is to continue plotting and write 2,000 words. I'm halfway there, thanks to the YA Buccaneers YA Sprints on Twitter. I always feel like I could be doing more, but that's the woe of writers!

This weekend, I'll be attending one day of YALLWEST in Santa Monica, which will be a lot of fun. It's been a while since I attended a bookish event like this so I know it will be a blast. I've met so many wonderful people since we moved to San Diego three years ago, so it will be fun to catch up with familiar faces and meet new ones!

There's my weekly check-in! Next week, I'll have an update on YALLWEST and my amazing accountability team!

Natasha

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spring Writing Bootcamp 2015: The Goals

I had a great time earlier this year doing the Writer Recharge. April has many fun things ahead, but I didn't want to get too distracted from my writing tasks. This year, I'm writing three month goals and after going through my January through March goals, I wondered how can I jumpstart my writing?

First, better daily habits.
Second, doing another fun challenge.

This morning, on Twitter, I saw tweets on the YA Buccaneers 2015 Spring Writing Boot Camp that will run from April 1st to May 31st. I set my goals and join in the fun with the others who signed up. And the best part? There will be a schedule of writing sprints, weekly challenges, and hanging out with other cool writers. 



I'm doing my best to not use social media as much over the next month so that's the hardest part for me. Except, it's a good test in using Twitter in ways that's helpful for my writing. 

I'm a little nervous about writing my goals since I tend to give myself more than I expect. If I want to create better habits and see this as a challenge, the goals can't be too easy! 

Goals
1) Write 50,000 words in my current WIP, Prairie Dust.
2) Write synopsis for my three completed manuscripts. Decide on next the next big revision project.
3) Rework the revision project outline. 

Here's to kicking butt in the next two months! I will do updates every Wednesday to keep myself accountable and include other fun things from the week (like WonderCon or pictures from my weekly hike). 

Good luck to all the fellow Bootcampers, NaNo Campers, and all the other writers getting by!

Natasha