Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm a Nano Winner and Showing Some Book Love

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful; WIP/Nano WordCount; Luddite Loser (but I'll learn!), and Nano-Writers Unite!

I am on track with my WIP (still no title...but maybe looking for something about/with the word "moment(s)"), I am closing in on 40,000 and should go over that today. I will work on it all day Friday and Sat., the goal to be over the 50G mark by Sat. night. I am sure my writing will get sloppier as each hour passes. I found myself turning contractions back into the 2 words today. How you like them apples? (are there shades of grey in cheating?)

Once this month is over, I'd love to stay in touch w/ our Nano/writers group through our blogs. We should all link together and subscribe to each other. (I'm still brand new to this blogging thing, so I dont really know how to do all that...what is RSS feed??) I am fairly analog/old school/Luddite when it comes to doing more than writing an email or writing in Word.

My Thankful (for) List:

1) Kindness and love in all its forms.
2) My gorgeous, smart, healthy kid
3) Our health/wonderful life
4) My puppy, she makes me so happy
5) Our lovely home
6) Books! Well, talented authors, rather. I am so in love and grateful for well written books that make me feel, time travel, world travel, think and see. But I love the actual, tangible books too. I'll never be an e-reader. I love seeing books lined up on my shelves. I love penciling in notes in my margins. I love borrowing and loaning good books. I love reading in the bathtub.
7) As much as I am feeble with technology (luddite = me, remember), I am grateful for the web/net--it makes research so much easier, info at my fingertips is awesome. I also am grateful for so many wonderful blogs out there, people willing to share so much of their lives with us. YOU.

I'm grateful and thankful for so many, many things, and for that, I am thankful.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, I hope you have much to be thankful for...and I am thankful for you.

Peace out,
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stuck, Ugly Plot Snags and my famous Procrastinating Techniques

Have you ever noticed how tasks you usually loathe doing, suddenly become rather appealing when there is something you really, REALLY don't want to do?
For example, I made a real dinner last night complete with homemade mashed potatoes (granted, the gravy still came from a jar, and the cranberry sauce came from a can, but still...). For that to happen I had to grocery shop. Hate grocery shopping. It's evil. This morning cleaning the tracks to the sliding door felt critically important, so I did a thorough job. Mt. Washmore is gone; washed and dried and even put way.
I watched a dreadful 80's 'B' action/thriller last night on a movie channel with not one recognizable actor.
Anything, ANYTHING to get out of dealing with my writing snag. I have never attempted a mystery/thriller before, as most of you know, nor did I intend to...the characters just took it there. Now I hit this place where the pacing slowed and a plot hole big enough to drive a semi through live, and to move it forward I have to solve the plot snag I hadnt seen coming. So, not finding a good solution without a major re-write, I have avoided it entirely.

I have been at the 35,000 word count spot for 2 full days, today would make a third.

Today, I am facing the challenge. I came up with a few semi-solutions. One, I have to, no avoiding it, do a small rip-out and re-write: the best friend that was killed has to be killed in a different way and in a different place. That will lose me @ 1-2,000 words, and then gain some back. Yes, a minor change, and I know not the Nano way. But I cant move ahead without it. So I will lose a little time and word count but be semi-able to move forward.
The bigger snag, the big plot hole, I'm still not sure how to fix yet, but CAN move forward to the 50,000 mark without it. For now. I think. I hope. I will just "cheat" and do a drop down, and fill in that spot later. I have a few other drop downs from previous sections to fill in after research. I couldnt really write the scenes w/out the research, so I just blurbed a paragraph about the basics so I wouldnt forget. I have to research lots of political and technical stuff like the Patriot Act and other such issues that will prove time consuming, but must be done to make the scene(s) and story believable.

So, I want to thank Valerie for the "permission" to cheat and allow myself this particular drop down. This drop down will have no blurb, 'cause i dont have me so much as a bitty clue how I'll fill 'er in right now. I need to move forward and this unsticks me. For now. Hopefully it wont really back me into a corner later. It might. Bridge...later.

Note to self: when attempting this type of story, a detailed outline and some prior research would be very helpful indeed. (granted, I didnt know I was writing this genre, or even that political legalese would come up.)
Like I always say (even in this book I'm writing): Fate is a fickle BITCH. So me and Fate are having a little tiff right now. She was winning. But now I'm off to pound out a few thousand pages and show her wazzup. She'll prolly kick my arse in the end anyway, but I will hit the 50,000 mark by Nov. 30th. It will have a beginning, a middle and an end, and be coherent. I will not just type "the the the..." for word count. I will not just do any crazy thing for word count. It has to be organic and true to this story. I really love these characters, and I know I have a few pearls and gems in this story; pieces that I am proud of. I also know I will be spending months in re-writes to fix this baby up.
I want my Nano winner t-shirt. Even though they dont ever have any cute scoop neck "girl' t-shirts.

Am I rambling? Avoiding? Procrastinating? Okay, yeah, bye. Lola out.
Sunday, November 15, 2009

Closing in on 35,000 words

 I know several of you mentioned that you are behind in word count. I hope you found some time this weekend to catch up. You can always use my no-showering system. And, taking your laptop to the toilet with you is yet another way to get in another few words.  ( of course then your laptop is flagged like Costanza's book.)
Make it a great night.
Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nano No-No's and What-If

Todays Word Count ( so far, it is only 2:30 pm here): 31,000
I always look at the 25,000-30,000 mark as being the "half-way to half-way there" point in writing a full sized novel. (the average published novel is roughly 100,000 words)

Many joining in the Nano fun do it to challenge themselves, much like running a marathon, or jumping from a plane, or climbing a mountain; to prove to themselves they can. Others, perhaps those who have long fantasized about being a writer and living the writer's life, give it a whirl to see how they like writing in a routined and disciplined way; to see if they have what it takes to be a writer. Some do it to get back to writing after a long hiatus. Still others do it to help energize their writing momentum, to increase their daily word count and/or force themselves out of any writing rut. Writing can be a solitary life, and this can also prove to be a fun way of networking with other writers. There are many reasons people join in this wild ride, and I applaud them all.

I challenge you to make it across the finish line with me.

For those that started out serious but fell behind (it's not too late!), I offer little gems:

In the words of Yoda:

There is no try, only do.

Or as a dear friend used to say:

You dont gotta like it, you just gotta DO it.

If you are serious about being a writer, this is the month to shit or get off the pot, as they say. A month to practice the sensation, the pressure of being on a deadline.

The beauty of Nano, is that it gives you the freedom to write for speed, without getting hung up on quality or great plot structure. For many that freedom allows them to tap into their storytelling mind and not fret about grammar, lush literary prose, pacing or pesky plots and just write. That alone can be an excellent exercise for those of us who have writing talent and/or no shortage of ideas, but merely need the discipline nudge to write daily, specifically the motivation to hold themselves accountable to 2,000 words/day.

Now as for me, in truth, I don't Nano (using this in verb form) for speed. That freedom doesn't work for me. In fact that very idea gives me cold sweats. Someone mentioned turning off spell check, so they don't get caught in that time-suck of editing (and to rightfully save that editing for next month), so they can hit that word count. It's an awesome tip. I wish I could do that.  I would go in to convulsions and foam at the mouth. I am anal about editing at least a bit, as I go, on myWIP's. (Which is why I am slow and have to work twice as long.) Re-reading, editing, and mini-rewrites as I go along is part of my process. It helps me see where I am, and to see where I am going. I'm a one-step-back-two-steps-forward kind of writer, even during November. It works for me. (plus I know it will save me time later).

Whatever your reason(s), and whatever your process, I challenge you to catch up on your word count this weekend. 

Think how good you will feel if you "win" and have your 50,000 word bones of a novel at the end of this month.

*By the way, I clearly am NOT anal about my blog posts, I never edit these posts. I go for speed here. Isnt that odd that it doesnt bother me that they are loaded with sloppy errors, but yet I cant do that while writing novels?? I told you I have issues.

xo Lola
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In A Groove; 25,000 Words and Bathed!

I think that said it all.
 Must sleep now.
xo Lola
Sunday, November 8, 2009

No Neil, Ostriches, Frye Pod-People, and Closing in on 17,000

Happy Sunday. I'm taking a quick breather from my story writing to write here instead.

We spent a perfect autumn day in NYC yesterday. We just did SoHo and the Village, did our part to help the economy. Ate, shopped, and strolled. The kid got a few designer pieces.

I took pictures in the soho/village Anthropologie (where I could just live...this one is so much better than the others I have been in. The one in Philly, Rittenhouse Sq., is also nice, but nowhere near as yummy as the one down in the village) of the most awesome art/statuary EVER. (maybe yours has one too?) It is two HUGE ( life size) ostriches made out of pages of books. Each piece of a page is a feather. I will download and share some time this week. if they came out. I only had my little crappy camera with me. Anyway, they always do great displays, but since it was made from books, or pages of books rather, I really fancied it.

If I saw one woman wearing Frye boots yesterday in NYC, I saw a thousand. No, more than a thousand. Seriously, every single woman was wearing skinny jeans tucked into boots, and at least 80% wore brown Frye boots. ( another 15-19% were black and heeled boots, with the remaining boot stragglers in Uggs, Fuggs, and only one pair of the village!) And everyone had their pashmina scarves looped through and tucked just so. It was a little pod-people for the village and even soho. Very little, zero perhaps, unique attire was seen by me, except a couple models in the middle of a photo shoot wearing odd colored lipstick =  yellow and blue. (will try and post those pix too)

Neil got bumped, due to the sad Fort Hood shooting rampage.
Hopefully nothing more tragic will happen, it is so upsetting.
And hopefully he will be on next week.

Lastly, the word count is going well today, in spite of company (sacred football day) and the cleaning one must do to have said company. But since I've only had the last hour to write, I've cranked out over a 1,000 words and it aint bedtime yet. I'm pleased with the way the characters are having their wicked way with me. They are keeping my fingers typing at a nice clip. I'm sure somewhere around 30,000 I'll hit a burnout point, hope not, but just keepin' it real. When/if it happens, I'll just shove through it. I'll make them do something and they'll have to wake up and talk if they dont want me killing them off.

Let me know how you are doing on your story.

Peace out,
Friday, November 6, 2009

10,000 words...raise the roof!! (And Neil News)

Good morning my fellow writing masochists, how art thou?

Yesterday (Thursday) I went over the 10,000 word mark! Huzzah! Can I get a woot woot!

I celebrated by taking a Silkwood shower.  (Thought you might wonder why the air quality suddenly improved last night.)

Today (friday) I will churn out as much as I possibly can; it will be a non-stop writing flight from now until bedtime. There will be mental self-flogging, actual coffee injecting and much candy eating involved. But no shower. I'm good for a few days now, right? (Apple needs to invent a waterproof macbook!)

Tomorrow (saturday) we will be doing a day trip to Manhattan to shop and eat-- and so the child knows I do walk among the living. Anyway, I wont be able to do any writing tomorrow, so I must "bank" word count today to offset tomorrow's void.

Sunday Awesomeness (at least for the States...): Neil Gaiman will be on CBS Sunday Morning show. (Love me some Neil.) My Tivo is set. Go set yours.

I'll try to Polyvore with you all on Sunday, K?

I still need to put the handy-dandy-word-o-matic-o-meter-thingy on here.
And update my word count on Nano.
But first, I'm going to go crank out 5,000 words.

Pardon all typos in these posts...I'm just going for speed here folks. Brain cells are long gone.

Write on, friends, write on.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Word Count, Personal Hygiene, and Other Disasters

Just thought I'd share some gory details on the road to hell writing an entire novel (rough draft) in 30 days. First, 50,000 words is not an entire novel, so insane woman-beast that I am, I have challenged myself to try and average 3,000 words per day. This will give me a solid rough draft to fill and and edit after the month is over. My goal is to have it polished and spit-shined by the end of January (we have those pesky holidays in the midst), a nice clean 100,000 word manuscript complete and ready to sail by the end of January.

Let's recap:
 I didn't have a single idea/blurb/clue/thought about what I was going to write about as late at 6:30 pm. on Sunday Nov. 1st.

The story that has evolved is not a genre I have ever attempted before, nor what I started out attempting in the first place. My literary fiction has turned into a bit of a suspenseful murder mystery, with some political thriller-ness to it. That couldn't be more distant from my comfort zone or knowledge base. There will be lots of research to do after Nov. is over; many pieces of the story to fill in and repair with more plausible details. I am having a great deal of fun and angst with it.

I am currently over 6,000 words, have a decent idea of where it is all going to end, and how it will get there. A mental outline, if you will. I am in love with my characters, the story is keeping me interested and typing, typing, typing. But, as is my habit, there is some editing as I go, which slows me down. I know that is not the nano-way, but it is the only way my little pea brain will let me move forward. It (brain) only moves me forward after moving backwards bunches of times. It likes to re-read, re-word, re-phrase, re-think.

I'm a couple baths/showers short of smelling or looking fresh.

I am several thousand words short of MY goal, but by tonight I will be right on target for nano's daily word count goal. By the end of Nov., I will have reached MY goal, of this I am confident.

We are living off pizza delivery.
I am existing by day on coffee and leftover Halloween candy.

Write on.

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

About Me

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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Create the MAGIC

Create the MAGIC

"Our imagination flies — we are its shadow on the earth."

~Vladimir Nabokov

Pure Imagination

Pure Imagination

not all who wander are lost

not all who wander are lost

drink the wild air!

drink the wild air!



coffee & doodle art love

coffee & doodle art love

Real Beauty

Real Beauty

Badass Ms. Parker

Badass Ms. Parker

my zen

my zen

I write therefore I am

I write therefore I am



Nano '12 Winner

Nano '12 Winner

music inspires me

music inspires me

Depeche Mode Inspires

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