Monday, October 27, 2008

Strange day

I spent the day in bed today. Not because I was sick. I was sick a few days ago and finally shook whatever it was on yesterday. I spent the day in bed because I didn't know what else to do. After I got the children off to school and cleaned a few things in my room, I got into bed.

The funny thing is a big project that I've been working on has just been rejected. It was rejected for a valid reason and the reason is so good that I don't think I'll have much success anywhere else. The problem is this project ruled my life for the last two months. My schedule was planned around devoting two hours a day to this project. And now, in the opening of one simple envelope, it's gone and I've found myself with lots of free time.

What will I do with all this time? Here are some things that comes to mind:
1. Shred all my old bills and give myself the biggest allergy attack of the century. Not.
2. Organize my shoes by color. Trust me, that will take two hours a day.
3. Read the telephone book.
4. Organize all my families DVD's by genre and year. That will take a minute.

Ok, you get the point. I have this huge gap in my life that I feel like I need to fill but I don't know with what. I want to write but I have NaNoWriMo starting in only five days. I guess I can really do something productive, like update my website, wash laundry and other miscellaneous mom stuff. Or I could just relax. What a novel idea!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Writing Surprises

It's fall and yesterday I experienced my first sign of colder days to come. I got sick.
I haven't been sick all summer so of course this stomach flu caught me off guard. I spent the night and today in bed. Since I was too weak to be up and around, I decided to do some research for my NaNoWriMo novel. I thought I had a clear direction of where I wanted the story to go, even started on my main character's background sketch.

And then it happened. I was answering a important question about my character: why does my MC love history so much? And surprise, idea totally shifted. I went from writing a novel about an adult historian to a novel about a 12 year old girl.

This is one of the thing about writing. It's full of surprises. I am a bonafide seat of the pants (SOP) writer, so most of my ideas are like lightening strike in a storm. The storm clouds tell me that something is happening in the atmosphere, but I have no idea where the lightening is going to strike.

I've met people who outline their novels down to the last detail (T1). I guess I don't work that way. I just get in the storm and wait.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reminiscing about Beaufort, NC

Today, I was thinking about a setting for the story I'm going to write for NaNoWriMo. I'm one of those writers who prefer to write about places I've visited. I think it's less research to do. And with NaNoWriMo, you really don't have time to stop in the middle of your 1668 daily word count to look up somewhere to set your story.

The places that are fresh in my memory are: DC Metro/Maryland area (I live here), Meadeville, PA, Eerie, PA and Beaufort, NC. This story I'm considering has a historic element to it, but out of them all the best fit is Beaufort.

I visited a Bed and Breakfast in Beaufort the first week of October and completely fell in love with the town. Well, some of my love come from the fact that there is a beach about 10 minutes away from Beaufort called Atlantic Beach. Interesting enough, I can't swim and I get horribly seasick on every boat I get on, but I love the beach.

Beaufort is a quaint little town, a tourist town for sure. Front Street, the waterfront, is lined with shops and boutiques. It was something out of a TV show. There is an island with wild horses just a ferry ride away. My husband and I went and it was quite romantic, walking the streets, holding hands.

I took lots of pictures and videos while I was there so it won't be hard to remember. I'm not the biggest fan of North Carolina. Maybe it was because all the hot summers I spent at my grandmother's house. But Beaufort stole my heart. Best of all, I got a library card while I was there. Now all I need is somewhere to live!

NaNoWriMo, here I come!

It's almost November and I'm getting ready for NaNoWriMo. For those who don't know about this wonders of all wonders, it's when writers all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Last year's NaNoWriMo was a life changing event for me. I decided to sit down and write a novel from beginning to end. It was one of the most labor-intensive things I've ever done. I had a cramp in my right hand by the time I was done.

I'm doing it again this year. (mainly because I like pain. Not.) The funny thing is I had all these grand plans to have my character sketches done and outline my scenes. Of course that didn't happen. Many are the plans of a man... As a matter of fact, I decided today what I am going to write about. I've had two story lines in my head and one seems more interesting and more salable than the other right now.

But I've figured out something very important in this: the life of a novelist is revising one novel while you write another. Good thing I can multi-task. I've always had more than one story going in my head but never thought that was normal. I still don't know if that's normal, but it must be my normal because I can't get it to stop. It should be an interesting month.