Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Fiver

1. Finishing up job stuff (the massive backlog of style docs and feedback docs are headed to done!) as I am determined to leave for London with everything in tip-top shape. Finishing up all the freelance that has straggled in over the past six months. Great feeling!

2. Unpacking the boxes I packed in preparation to move over the summer. If I can find my web site mapping docs for my business writer website, I will be doubly thrilled.

3. Got hold of the new Ann Packer novel last night. Cannot wait to read this one. She's a master and one of my favorites.

4. Bought London Moleskine notebooks for me and my travel buddy. They are so cute! This will be great fun. Heard from the C.S. Lewis house, the Kilns, and we have an appointment for a tour on October 2 in Oxford. I cannot wait. Gotta take the number 9 bus from Gloucester Green. :)

5. I love fall. It is my favorite time of year. I was married in the fall and every time it nears October 1, I can feel it in my bones. I think my soul gets all happy to be settling in for the winter too. Each year in the fall, I've been able to see amazing places and this year is no exception. London, baby!

Playing on the iPod: Once soundtrack

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Anti-Resistance Thursday

I'm getting severe Resistance this week (I am going to London/Oxford next week, so can you blame me?) and writing a pitiful amount of words. Some of my writing buddies finished their drafts yesterday. Argh.

Oh well. This is a trip I've dreamed about for a long time and I just cannot wait.

But I'll leave you with some good thoughts on Resistance.

Resistance is directly proportional to love. If you're feeling massive Resistance, the good news is, it means there's tremendous love there too. If you didn't love the project that is terrifying you, you wouldn't feel anything. The opposite of love isn't hate; it's indifference.

The more Resistance you experience, the more important your unmanifested art/project/enterprise is to you--and the more gratification you will feel when you finally do it.

Playing on the iPod: Stranded (Plumb)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Writing Inspiration Wednesday

For those I know who are stressed out writing their next books under intense deadline (with ft jobs, kids, and other pressures), here's a great one to get your mind wheel turning:

Complication versus Situation: A Primer

I once spent four miserable years on a version of a novel that had a great situation: a murder-suicide that left an orphaned child who was taken in by her aunts. My problem? I mistook situation for complication. A situation, however complicated, is self-contained. A complication, however simple, opens up, affording a path out. Excellent complications afford several paths and, in a short story, you take one path; in a novel you might take five.

So how does one turn a situation into a complication, one that will engender the story's rising action and lead to a climax and a denouement that satisfies both writer and reader? One starts adding, is what one does. Pile it on, baby, until something cracks. What if the depressed person holding a gun to his head gets a phone call--a wrong number? Who might this wrong number be? What might this wrong number say? What if the wrong number is herself a person in trouble? What if the wrong number demands something of the depressed person? How does the depressed person solve this problem?

Bingo, we're writing again.

A good complication illuminates, thwarts, or alters the character's desire. A good complication forces the character to act. A good complication offers the story a point of departure. A good complication raises the stakes. A good complication thickens the plot.

This pushed me back to my writing today. Go for it!

Playing on the iPod: Smile (Lily Allen)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Gadget Girl Tuesday

I can't draw worth a toot, but a Wacom tablet was a very smart purchase in 2006 (actually a birthday gift) because of the fun I can have playing doodle on my Mac. Plus, on that Mac are Curio and Scrivener, which thanks to the Wacom tablet is like a giant corkboard ready for brainstorming.

I saw Jenny Crusie's office-cleaning series yesterday and loved how she unburied her Wacom tablet as a result and how she uses it just like I do (with the same programs; it's Jenny's fault I am a Curio/Scrivener addict).

Jenny's The Twelve Days of My Office . . .

Her pictures were instant gratification for me. I have a much bigger office, with much less stuff (how did that happen?), but the longing to organize it better, even to sort through the piles of paper, is never far from my heart.


Playing on the iPod: Love Story (Sara Bareilles)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fiction Pick Monday

So while talking over a leisurely breakfast with my beloved great aunt S this past weekend, we got onto the subject of books and what we've read.

Now I read everything, so take that with a grain of salt. What I like may just horrify you, but "all's fair in love and [book choices]."

So I'm going to give some recommendations for fiction. Ignore me, or read and then hate me. At this point, I have very thick skin and will not be hurt by scourges. Truthfully, if you hate it, please don't tell me, because I really don't care. I'd rather hear what you do like.

Yes, I'm all about the power of positive reading.

And . . . I frequently have to read a half-dozen lemons to find the true gem. It's just the nature of publishing, that beast. I am blessed to get advance copies of a lot of novels for my job as content editor at, so that's something. At least I only have to buy 45% of the novels I do read. :)

First book up is Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale (can't imbed a link from Amazon because their site is wonky right now) and this book is fantastic. Much more tawdry and morbid than Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, but still so deliciously good. I love creepy old houses and legends and back story. My own novels are full of that kind of thing.

Setterfield gets great reviews on this book and I agree. Well worth the read.

Playing on the iPod: Back to Black (Amy Winehouse)