Friday, November 27, 2009

late night ramblings

I’m feeling surprising nostalgic tonight. I’m not sure what brought it on. Was it my joking facebook status?

"9:30 on a Friday night, I’m on facebook and reading... 10 years ago I used to go to parties... ok not really, 10 years ago I was on the internet and reading on my Friday nights. sigh"

Was it reading a book that is written about a thousand times better then I could ever write? Or is it the fact that the main character’s life mirrored my own to a freakish amount?

Save one fact, the character in the book is WAY smarter then me. And cooler too. Seriously.

Annoying because the author has to be smarter then their characters otherwise it’s just a superficial statement, of my character is smart, but I’m not going to back it up with any support other then the fact that I have other characters saying she/he is smart.

Was it reading a book that is written about a thousand times better then I could ever write? Or is it the fact that the main character’s life mirrored my own to a freakish amount?

Save one fact, the character in the book is WAY smarter then me. And cooler too. Seriously.

Annoying because the author has to be smarter then their characters otherwise it’s just a superficial statement, of my character is smart, but I’m not going to back it up with any support other then the fact that I have other characters saying she/he is smart.

John Green reminds me three times a week what a smarty pants he is. And now Megan McCafferty is showing off her brain power too.

On an unrelated note, I remember my dreams.

I remember some dreams better then I remember my actually memories.

I remember talking about Confucius in my middle school gym class, which is NOT something that happened in real life at all.

I don’t remember much of college through.

Get your minds out of the gutter, it has nothing to do with drinking or illegal or immoral activities- It didn’t do any of that stuff, hence why I don’t think I have any memories.

I have a great life. I really do. I’ve been it amazing places, Hawaii, St Thomas, Italy, various places in Mexico and the Caribbean different parts of the US and to Canada <--- that one is nothing to brag about. Still my point is, all the places I’ve gone, and all the things I’ve seen and my favorite place is my bed.

My bed.

I have 1200 thread count sheets, a wooden black 4 post bed that didn’t fit up the stairs and the most comfy comforter in the world. My favorite thing to do is to plop Zoey on it, watch her bounce, read to her and play with her. Prior to Zoey’s birth my bed was still my favorite place.

So did I miss out on opportunities? Nope. I don’t think so.

Am I a little envious of people who go out and play with their friends every weekend. Sure.

But right now, I’m lying in bed, I just beat Peggle and I’m feeling nostalgic and I thought I’d share.

Sort of a mish mosh of random thoughts .

Congrats to Mo and Alicia who reached the NaNoWriMo goals of 50K.

Good night all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkey Air

The air smells like turkey.

This could mean only a few thing.
1) Someone is doing a practice turkey, meaning their house will be overloaded with Turkey.
2) I've got my days wrong and I'm late for Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws
3) Someone is deep frying a turkey.
For the record and I might be making this up, but Thanksgiving is the most active day for the fire department. Apparently, people are placing frozen turkeys into a vat of oil and when the ice melts problems occur. You know because water and oil bitch slap one another. Another problem comes from people fill up the vat with oil BEFORE putting the turkey in and then science takes over and oil overflows and a fire is born.

So far no firetrucks have been deployed into my hood.

But the day is early.

Shameless self promotion:
A week ago I sent an e-mail to an agent about a question I had about when would be a good time to send a query letter.
She answered it today.

Happy Early Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

two days of stupidity

I was doing some on-line shopping for my parents (Mom if you're reading this, I still haven't decided what to get you. But for a good 10 minutes this was pretty high up on the list)

Please note what this item is missing... Yep that's right, it doesn't come with PLANTS. $80.00 and NO PLANTS.

Then there's poor Paula Dean who got it in the face with a ham. There's too many jokes, so I'll let you fill in your own here____________________________________.

Finally, to make everyone smile. I was in a group interaction with a stranger and during a silent part of the encounter,

I farted.

My friend whispered, "Was it Gary?" The only male in the room.

I said, "Sure, we'll blame him."

On a side note December starts be nice to a stranger(or someone I love) month.
I will be starting a new blog. I hope everyone follows it who reads this.

I have 10 ideas and 3 pretty standard ideas.
I need 31.
I could use a little help coming up with some.
The idea is I would do something nice for someone I don't know and make their day. It's amazing how much one little thing can improve someone's day and maybe they will be nice to a stranger too.

So I planned on keeping everything cheap or free. No more then $5.00 per day. Free is better. Not because I'm cheap, but because I"m a little cheap. These things should be huge epic sort of things, but easy things that anyone could do.

Any ideas?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crappy First Drafts

The writing process sucks.

No, wrong. Writing, creating, playing God to your keyboard and your characters, that's awesome. Playing with my imaginary friends and making them a little bit more real, that's incredible.

But reality, that sucks.

Writing = being alone,(expect for your friends in your head)
Worst of all, Writing = REVISING.

Now revising SUCKS.

There are several stages of revising:
Global and line. Those are not really things, that's just what I call them.

I am now on draft 10 of my novel No System At All.

I started it when I was 16 weeks pregnant. Zoey is now 22 months old.

How and why I created this novel is an interesting side story.

I wrote a 535 page CHICK LIT. Yeah you read that right. It was 135K words.
For those of you who don't know, industry standard is 60K. Then I had the balls to SEND IT OUT TO AGENTS.
I got four requests for pages and four rejections. Do you know why? BECAUSE IT SUCKED. Seriously it was 135K.
So I sent it off to an editor for an MS review- maybe something I should have done before hand?
The editor said, "it sucked."
No, really she gave me EXCELLENT feedback. And she was right about a lot of it. But I didn't like it. Of course I was 15 weeks pregnant, uncertain of my life and sort of in the worst mental state I could be in. So instead of revising I opted to... TURN THE BOOK INTO A SERIES.

Welcome to the birth of my insanity.

Draft 1 of the story was originally 4 parts spanning a total of 4 years, telling the story of Bryce and Colin, two bothers who were in a rock band. Colin was destined to be a musical genius, Bryce was going to be a screw up. Colin has a girlfriend, who he loves and Bryce steals her. Oh and they stay in the band together and ultimately get a record contract.

Draft 1 included a 50 story arc with Bryce selling drugs, and being in love with his English teacher. He had Lizzy also have an affair behind Colin's back for a year. And there was a rape scene. Oh and Colin and Bryce find out their mom has cancer.

Draft 2 I ran it through spell check. <-- Seriously that was a full draft

Draft 3 I cut the rape scene and trim back the affair to a month and Lizzy leaves Colin for Bryce. (Why does Lizzy leave Colin for Bryce? I don't know-- I'm the Author, the GOD of this world, and I have no friggn' clue why) I wrote twenty pages that never even made it into the draft, Bryce was helping his teacher plan a wedding (What?!?!) you can see why it never made it in.

Draft 4
I vaguely remember draft 4 not sucking too much. I think this is when I sent it out my friend Alicia. <-- although after reading it, I'm not sure why she's still my friend.
Another important side note Alicia has an awesome blog. It's about writing, and waffles and on Thursdays she write about Zombies. If you're reading this, you should click over and go follow her blog too.

Draft 5
Took all of Alicia's suggestions, cut, trimmed, added. BTW Mom gets to live in this draft.

Draft 6
Took all of Danielle's suggestions, she's Alicia's friend.

Draft 7
Cut 30K and added 30K. Changed from 4 years down to 3. Bryce's entire back story is now being told through e-mails to his teacher. Including e-mails, IM's and other interesting format goodies.

Draft 8
Reread Danielle's and Alica's comments. New fixes, new content, old stuff trimmed.

Draft 9
Repeat process from draft 8

Draft 10
Novel is 2 parts.
Takes place over two and a half years.
NO LIZZY and BRYCE love story at all, cutting close to 30K.
A character who was introduced and cut and introduced again back in draft 7 returns to play a HUGE part in the story.
Lizzy is a bitch, which is fine, since no one liked her anyway. I never did, either.
A whole new back half of the book.

The total number of pages which are the same from first draft to last: 20. A grand total of 3 scenes.

Total page count 300, word count 75K.

Is there a point?
First Drafts are bad.
VERY bad.
You shouldn't show them to anyone.
So anyone doing NANOWRIMO, it's great your doing it, but don't rush out to query it. take your time.
Your characters aren't going anywhere and they will love you and respect you more in the morning if give them time to grow and not make them do retarded things.

Here's proof if you want it: Listen to John Green prove my point in a funnier way.

So how many more drafts before I can query?

One more.
I'm waiting on feedback from people from this last draft. Maybe draft number 11 will do it.

Until it's time to line edit. Insert ominous music here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sleep verse being a good parent.

I have a hard time sleeping. I can't shut my brain off, and relax. Maybe you could tell this by the Writer's OCD post earlier.

Last night I went to bed at 9:30, I was asleep when my hubby came in to watch RAW.
So I woke up.
Couldn't sleep until 11:30 when I was in the half wake half sleepy state, not dreaming but not thinking.
Zoey started to cry. Not that whimper, I'm awake and uncomfortable, but I'm fraking scared cry.
She had a nightmare.
At midnight she came to bed with us. She kept saying "Map." Translation- I want to watch Dora.
"No, Zoey, you're not watching Dora."
This went on until 12:45 when Hubby finally put her to bed and stayed there with her.
I might have fallen asleep.
At 1:30ish she starts sobbing again.
I went into her room, (I"m not proud of this) and slept on her floor. No, correction, I didn't sleep, I laid there and her baby fingers and hands would hit me in the head.
By 2:30 I gave up. I changed her (Because that was probably a reason why she was still awake) and gave her some benadryl.
Yep at 2:30 in the morning I opted for sleep instead of being a good parent.

Here's the thing about the grown up world. No matter how much sleep you get the night before, life still goes on. You still have to wake up, get dressed, brush your teeth, slather on deodorant, walk the dog, get lunch and breakfast together, get your kid up for daycare and go to work. Life doesn't stop because you need a nap.

For Zoey, if she needs a nap she can just go take one.


Oh to be a kid again.

So dear readers, I ask you this, what's the one thing you wish you could still do from your childhood that you can't do anymore as an adult?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dear Owl City

Dear Owl City,

I would like to state for the record I like your song "Fireflies" the first time I heard it over two months ago.
However after watching your video, (click the link to watch it) I feel that I should inform you that electricity is not magical.
Maybe if you were born in the 17th century, it's magic. Black magic even. He's a witch, throw him in a lake.

Yet, according to your video you like vintage toys. Awesome. I like that stuff too.

But I would like to point out to you that all the toys you show in the video made after the 17th century. In fact all of those things were invented with the use of electricity.

So yeah.

Just to recap- I like your music, but electricity is not magic.

Oh and Muse, are we supposed to rise up against the Evil Teddy Bears or we supposed to use the Evil Vampire Teddy Bears in our uprising? I just need a little clarification.

Thank you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Writer's OCD

So I've finished draft 10 of my novel No System At All. I've been working on it for three years now. I started while I was pregnant with my daughter Zoey. Between draft 1 and 10, about 20 pages have remained the same. So Anna Lamott was completely right, it really is a shitty first draft. In another post I'll fill you in on what was cut and added then cut again.

Anyway, I'm not nuts, I don't finish a draft and instantly start the next draft. No, I put it down for a month or six depending on my mood and how much I miss the characters.

Between drafts of No System At All, I started writing New York Karma, a novel that will not take ten drafts to get right. Why did I start New York Karma? Beside the fact that plot bunnies had overtaken my mind? No, it was because I had finished the sixth draft of NSAA and I needed something big on my plate.

Apparently it's not enough to be a wife.
It's not enough to be a mom of a toddler.
It's not enough to be a teacher and teaching a brand new content.
It's not enough to be a healthy individual.
No, I need to have a giant ass project on my metaphoric plate.

I feel uneasy and guilty when I'm not stressing myself out about writing. If I don't have a never ending do to list I feel like I'm wasting the very little time I have on the planet.

So right now I have two works in progress, and I'm in a weird limbo.

Maybe it's because everyone is doing NaNoWriMo and I feel like a slacker.

But I think I need to start to write again. Otherwise I will shrivel up and become a very boring person. You know, because writer's are known to be the life of the party.

My current writing to do list:
Write Query letters for New York Karma. (Check started that yesterday)
Write Query letters for No System at All

* Please note these are shitty first drafts of these letters and neither work is ready to be published, I just have FREE time and I thought I should get a head start on these. UGH I'm SO OCD

Write synopsis for New York Karma and No System At All (I'm a little hesitant to do this because NSAA's plot has changed SO much, it might end up to be about vampires by the time I'm ready to send it out, sparkly vampires)

Write a sequel to NSAA<-- Do you see this? Are you kidding me? WHAT?!? Even as I write this I know it's fraking insane. But the OCD part of me really wants to do it.

The simple fact is, I like my characters, I've known them for a very long time. I want to see where they will take me and where I can take them.

So dear readers and friends, who wants to take bets? How long before I start the sequel? This weekend? Next weekend? What do you think? Any other writers out there know what I"m feeling?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ugh brainfart!

I had SO many funny things to say on the blog tonight but now I can't think of them.

So I guess I'll talk about time travel.

If I did have a time machine I would do the following things.

1) Go see The Beatles

2) Have Courtney Love not meet her husband, or at least make sure there wasn't a shot gun in the house. Bad parenting dude and your death gave birth to the Spice Girls. For shame.

3) Get Hitler into Art School.

4) Watch a taping of Doctor Who with David Tennent. I heart him

5) See what humanity evolves into.

6) Watch the creation of the solar system- hey it's my time machine, if I want to watch dust and gas for a while I will. Who are you to judge?

7) Stop assissination of various important leaders, the good ones, not the mean crappy ones. (you know what, I should move that one to number 2--- it's a little bit better for humanity as a whole)

8) Visit myself in high school and tell my high school self not to be such a bitter bitch, life gets better.

9) Take a nap. Like a really good power nap. Again it's my time machine stop judging me.

10) Write Twilight, because come on who wouldn't want some Twilight money.

11) peek into Zoey's future and then feel REALLY guilty about it.

Night all, have a good one.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Resume and children's programing

Ok I get it, you're a struggling actor, you've been on a thousand auditions, you live in LA and you're constantly on the search for your "big break". So you see an ad, or your agent sends you out on a audition for a musical. That's great. You can sing. You can dance, all be it, neither can you do very well. But that won't matter.

Congrats! You get the gig. YAY you. Here's the catch, it's on Nick Jr. The name of the show is call The Fresh Beat Band. It's about 4 people in a band and they sing to small children.

Click on the link to see a clip

Ok. So you're not one of the leads. Nope, you're a background dancer, more then an extra, but not quite worthy of being in the credits.

So here is my question to you, do you write this on your resume? Do you tell your friends? Yes, it's a paying gig. And it's not as shameful as doing porn. But is this the moment when you give up on your dreams of winning an Oscar? Do you ponder if your life took a wrong turn somewhere? Or are you grateful for the chance to do what you love and get a paycheck for it?

We've all had crap jobs, jobs that make you question everything you thought you knew about the world.

I spent two years working in a comic book store, where I met a Zombie, someone I think might have been Kevin Smith and an assassin. And that wasn't even the worst job I've ever had.

The worst was what I called "death camp". I was the camp director for 3-5 years old. I taught them about nature and took them on hikes during the highest summer on record. It sucked ass. That's one of many reasons why I waited until I was in my late twenties to have a kid. That job scared me sterile.

So my friends, tell me, what was your worst job? How much of your dignity did you sacrifice for a dollar?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

WTF Facebook?

Ok, so I created a secondary Facebook account for one of the characters in the novel's I write. The profile says he's in a band and he's from New Jersey. He's a little geeky and loves music. I sort of assume he sounded white.

Along the side there are advertisements based off of your profile.

This was the ad along Colin's:

Apparently Facebook thinks Colin is black or has a black child.