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2) I was an actress in junior high and high school and in one musical I played a French maid. Because my solo song was written for a soprano and I'm an alto, I spoke the song instead of singing it.
3) Liverwurst on rye with mustard is one of my favorite sandwiches.
4) I have incredibly ticklish forearms.
5) I've had deliberately short hair only two times in my life: when I was in kindergarten through first grade and right after college.
6) I was a backup singer in a "big hair" heavy metal band for six months in the '80s.
7) In 6th grade, I believed in magic and divination and would try to predict the outcome of kickball games by watching which way the wind blew a tree. Usually worked, too!
8) If I don't eat on a regular schedule, I get really cranky.
About tagging: If you've been tagged, you need to blog eight things your friends may not know about you and then tag eight other people. No tag backs!
For the record, I tagged Fairuza, Rom, Brenda, Aisha, Dalm, Heidi, Marni, and Lirys!
2) Less dreaming, more writing.
3) Less sitting on the couch, more yoga/exercise.
4) Less TV, more talking to family and friends.
To be continued....
I feel like I just graduated from NaNoWriMo College!
While I hit the word count just a few minutes ago, I still have to wrap up the story. I have five days more to go. I want to hit THE END before Wednesday at midnight. Somehow, that seems like it's going to be easy.
Wow. What a crazy ride this has been. Just proves that slow and steady wins the race. Who knew?!?
That's how it's been with me and writing. I was going to get around to it someday, but that "someday" just wasn't happening.
Also, I was terrified of spending years working on a novel only to find out that I'd written complete crap!
But, as I've chronicled here on Tribe, I took the challenge: write a 50,000 word novel in one month. Just write. Banish your inner critic. All first drafts are crap, which is reassuring for me, I can tell you!
I took a very logical approach to determining whether I, the busiest woman on earth sometimes, could fit in time to write.
First, I gauged how many words I could bang out in 15 minutes. Turns out, with pure stream-of-consciousness writing, I could pound out about 400-500 words in that time span. That meant if I devoted just over an hour each day (while banishing that pesky internal editor) I could write the 1,667 words necessary to reach 50,000 in 30 days.
While I hope my husband has not suffered too many pangs from missing me, I believe the only people who should be upset are television producers, who lost a couch potato viewer for almost the entire month of November.
I've only taken off three days this month so far and have written around 45,400 words -- that means I've averaged about 2,161 words per day. And, I've looked forward to writing almost every time. Doesn't mean the writing has come easily -- it hasn't. I was despairing two days ago about writing the end, but now I'm more confident that I'll be able to. May not be the BEST ending, but that's not what matters. Writing "The End" with some semblance of a logical if not dramatic ending is the goal.
What's great about the word count thing is that I have to make stuff happen to wrack up that word count. I can't just repeat a line over and over again.
As I add words and scenes, I find myself getting bored with the prospect of writing the next "logical" scene and have to shake things up. To save my sanity and interest in the project, I move the plot in another direction, add a character, mix in red herrings, or even "throw in penguins" -- e.g., add the unexpected -- to get the excitement for myself back up again. (FYI, that's a "Muppets" technique for getting you out of the corner you've written yourself into. Other Muppets techniques include "blow something up" and "eat something." Works for me!)
My lesson: I have strength inside of me to reach a personal goal and, as long as I'm using that power for good and not evil, I can succeed on my own terms.
Not a bad lesson to learn at my age.
PS: My progress meter can be seen at the following page:
I've sat down each day and put fingers to keyboard and pounded out word after word, page after page, scene after scene. It feels good. After my writing sessions, I feel exhausted, glassy-eyed, and exhilarated.
I'm not reading what I've written because I just want to plow on, without editing. So far, I've managed to do just that. I don't expect that it is good, but that's what first drafts are for.
It qualifies as "write what you know" and builds on the type of stories I've written before.
Who knew? This morning at 7 a.m. I read a passage from Jerome Stern's book "Shapely Fiction" about "writing what you know." It started me thinking, in the back of my head. What DO I know? Hmmm...
Then, at 11:50 a.m., I got a call from someone from the past and she said mentioned something from more than 20 years ago that I forgot about... and it spurred me thinking.
By 12:05, I knew it was the right path to take.
It's all about a... wait a minute! I can't share that with ya'll (yet!). Stay tuned.
Have a Happy Halloween!
I've tried to work on novels in the past, but haven't had much success. Perhaps I lacked an essential driving force: A deadline. I'd write 2,000 words, even as many as 10,000 words, and my interest would peter out. Gone. Inspiration out the window. The novel's no good, the characters are terrible, there's no plot, etc. All the bad thoughts about my writing would engulf me, depleting me of the energy to continue.
So, I'm committed to write a novel of 50,000 words in 30 days. It's gonna be bad, but I'm gonna finish it.
Why? Because I have to prove to myself that I can stick to a longer-term project like a novel and complete it. I'm great at short-term projects. I've written over a dozen short stories and learned lots in the process. Now, I'm ready for a longer project. A novel fits the bill.
Luckily, excellence is not an expectation for this project. Volume is the point. Exhuberant imperfection is the goal -- because writing on a regular basis is the point. The more you write, the better you get.
So I'm climbing on board for a month of spending nights and weekends glued to my computer, pounding out my novel. My wonderful husband is supporting my crazy idea too. Ah, love.
I'm counting down to the starting line with... no characters, no plot, no location, no notes, no outline, no clue, and...loving it.
Of course, I'm scared to death. What if I don't make the finish line? Well, at least I'll know if I tried hard enough.
Wish me luck!
To learn more about this insane project, visit www.nanowrimo.org. Who knows? You might be inspired to write a novel in November too.
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