Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NaNo Time

It's almost that time again. Yep, the mad month of November when all those crazy and optimistic writers attempt the not-so-impossilbe task of writing a novel in 30 days. 

I'm gearing up for the challenge. There are a lot of reasons why I get excited about NaNoWriMo, but here are just a few of them:

1. Word Count Widgets- I know it seems silly and a tad trivial, but I sure love to enter my word count and see those stats rise. I haven't found any other word count meter that I love as much as the NaNo meter.

2. Community- We all know how solitary the act of writing is, and even though I'll still be alone pounding out my words, it's nice to know that so many others will be at it with me.

3. Be a Winner- Who doesn't love winning? It might not be a million dollars, but I love being able to say I've won something. And that cute little web badge is almost as awesome as the finished manuscript I'll end up with.

4. A book- Oh yeah, that's a pretty great reason to do it too. After thirty days of torment, I'll have about two hundred pages to show for it. 

So what's the verdict? Are you going to attempt NaNoWriMo this year? If so, let's make sure that we're writing buddies.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Morning Pages

I'm sure morning pages aren't new to a lot of you. Maybe you've tried them yourself. Maybe you do them every day religiously. Or maybe, like me, they're something you've been meaning to try, but have never gotten around to.

For years I've been meaning to buy The Artist's Way, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago, as I was helping my sister-in-law pack up for a move across the country, that I finally got my grubby little hands on it. 

So this past weekend, while on vacation in St. George, I finally got around to reading the first chapter and made the commitment to try morning pages for myself for the next twelve weeks. As a rule, I try not to self edit too much as I write a first draft, but the idea of trying morning pages seems like much more than just letting my writing follow its natural course. Normally when I set out to write, I have a specific goal in mind, whether it be to complete a scene that I've been working on for a book, or to write a blog post, or a poem, or an essay. I have a beginning and middle and end that I'm trying to get to. I'm moving from point A to point B. So what strikes me as the most exciting part of writing these morning pages, is the fact that I'm not trying to end up anywhere in particular. My thoughts can ebb and flow as they want and I might end up somewhere magical or I might not end up anywhere at all. But that's the beauty. It's about putting in the time, not about expecting to get something out of it. This is very contrary to how I normally go about writing and I'm excited by the prospect of it, because I don't have any clear expectations of where I'm going to end up. It's wide open.

Have you ever written morning pages?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

21 Jump Street

I finally got around to watching 21 Jump Street last night and was pleasantly surprised by how much screen time my paintings actually had. Doesn't Channing Tatum look particularly dashing with them behind his head? The prints were used to decorate the hotel room in the final shoot-'em-up scene at the end of the movie. All in all, I think my paintings had more screen time than Johnny Depp who was also in the same scene.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Feeling Mousy

Yep, it's all about the illustrations lately. I just started working on another project- a middle grade novel that will be packed full of illustrations. Here's a little sample of what I'm envisioning.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Picture This

It isn't easy being an impatient person. Sure, you can take up biting your nails or cleaning, but even then you'll probably need something else to get you through the day. 

Recently, I've been waiting to hear back from my agent about some ideas for projects that I'm thinking of writing. One of the ideas is for a picture book. As an aside, I should mention that I've always wanted to write and illustrate (and although I've gotten to illustrate one nonfiction book and shelved one early attempt at a picture book, I've not thought about it much during the past few years). 

Last week I finished writing the manuscript to said picture book, which has been simmering in my imagination for years. Of course, I promptly sent it off to my agent to read, telling her that I wouldn't even think about starting any illustrations until I heard back that she liked the story. Yeah, that didn't exactly happen. 

I've realized that I'm just not content unless I'm creating something that excites me and, at the moment, the pictures for this little book were just the ticket to help me with my terrible impatience while I'm waiting to hear back about everything else.