Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Fiver

And it's our favorite Friday Fiver!

1. Workload is still so heavy. I'm tired, but thankfully the three-day weekend will help restore me. :)

2. Valentine's Day was really fun. Todd is so excited about his gift: he gets to try out several Wii games and then I'll buy him the one he wants. He'll do that tonight with A while I'm off with friends.

3. The writing will continue today. Need to get to the next draft of the essay. Also need to finish my MFA work.

4. My prayers go out to the NIU students, staff, and families of those who were hurt. A tragedy.

5. The new Indiana Jones movie trailer is out: Indy Jones trailer for May 2008

Currently reading: Web Copy That Sells (Maria Veloso)
Currently listening to: San Francisco (Global Djs)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours

The weather is getting warmer even for Seattle and yesterday we had glorious sunshine and I got so excited because this means spring is coming soon! Woohoo!

Today is another day of finishing projects. I am buried with day job work, so that's a priority. I did make it to the gym yesterday and am cooking hubby's favorite meal for Valentine's Day tonight. He's SOOOO happy. He left me an adorable gift basket full of gift cards, a teddy bear, candy, and a cd. Such a sweetheart. I LOVE YOU, GTL!

Got feedback on my essay yesterday. Fantastic time with Andrea. She's the shiznit, truly. A wonderful lady and her advice is so good. I'm really excited to rework this piece into something better. Then advice on my business writing from a new professional friend. He gave me great tips! I am really excited about that too. Lots going on. I am really pumped up for 2008.

This week I had a downer day (Tuesday). I wasn't sure where it came from, but it was sure there. Nothing seemed like it would work out, nothing seemed bright and sunny. Isn't it amazing how quickly those moods come on? I think it was waiting for feedback, too much work, and the weather. I don't have SAD, but I was sad.

Thank goodness things are moving again and looking up. I love it.

Here's to a wonderful Valentine's Day to everyone! Spread the love!

Currently reading: Don't Make Me Think (Steve Krug)
Currently listening to: The Helio Sequence (cool new rock album)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Post-Writer's Strike

The writers are back to work--today even--and of course, the question everyone has is not "how are the writers and their families doing?" but "when are my shows coming back?" We are so hooked on tv!

I am not too concerned about shows coming back because the hiatus has left me with plenty of time to read, but I did check on LOST. Yes, I'm as short-sighted as anyone. Damon Lindelof told CNN that they are going to try and add 8 more episodes this season (which means we would get a complete season after all; praise be for late starts) and this news has spread like wildfire across the LOST fan base. Fingers crossed!

I'm proud of the WGA. The contract is a good one, furthering pay farther than ever before and firmly planting the tv industry into Web 2.0. Of course, concessions on both sides, but that's what a strike is. You win some, you lose some.

On the phone most of this morning, day job work is slowly catching up, and then I'm still finishing a freelance project. Another finishes tomorrow, and then it's back to a dull roar. February is certainly my catch-up month. Textbooks are slow (my bread and butter), but I think March will bring a wave, and then you'll hear me whining about my schedule once again.

Brainstorming book topics for a project I want to launch this year or early 2009. It's intriguing, but we'll see how it goes.

Currently reading: Telling True Stories (Mark Kramer, Wendy Call)
Currently listening to: San Francisco (Global DJs)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Essays All the Time

So essays and memoir are two different entities, did ya know?

I wasn't exactly sure. Essays take the voice of someone speaking about an isolated incident that may soften or lessen as the essay progresses. Memoirs may use a similar voice, but the voice changes in accordance with the wisdom imparted. Instead of a voice, it's more important that the reader see the arc of a journey of that voice.

Hopefully that's as clear as mud.

Vivian Gornick's book (Situation and Story) is terrific for outlining the differences and I'll let her explain it better:

...[A]n essay rather than a memoir because the writer is using her persona to explore a subject other than herself: in this case, marriage.

If it had been a memoir, the focus would have been reversed.[The author] would have been using marriage precisely to explore--illuminate, define--herself. A memoir is a work of sustained narrative prose controlled by an idea of the self under obligation to lift from the raw material of life a tale that will shape experience, transform event, deliver wisdom.

Truth in a memoir is not through a recital of actual events; it is achieved when the reader comes to believe that the writer is working hard to engage with the experience at hand. What happened to the writer is not what matters; what matters is the large sense that the writer is able to make of what happened. For that the power of a writing imagination is required.

Incredible, right?

I sure think so.

Lots of work for the day job today, finishing two freelance projects, and ready for spring now.

Currently reading: Bootstrapper's Guide to Business (Seth Godin)
Currently listening to: Gothica (Sarah Brightman)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Five O'Clock World

Yes, I'm grooving to the Vogues again this morning. Love this song!

A very nice relaxing (and productive) weekend. I outlined a short story, brainstormed a revision on the essay, and organized my to-read piles. We hid from the world this weekend, after a fun Wii party with friends on Friday that left us wiped out. We caught up on laundry and vacuuming and dishes and tried to move TiVo stuff to a VCR to no avail.

I'm amazed at the advice I'm getting from experienced writers to just trust myself while writing. They insist that's half the battle and it's very liberating. It's true that if you are uneasy or timid, this will come through in your writing voice, diluting the power of your narrator, for both nonfiction and fiction.

The most important thing for an essay is a strong narrative voice that knows itself--doesn't matter if the essayist doesn't know themselves, but as a writer, if you want an essay to work, the voice must be consistent and stay within the essay's boundaries.

Thus my revision for this week. Extending the word count past 800 words and making sure the narrative voice is solid. A good project.

I'm also beginning the short story that I've had simmering for a month. It's probably flash fiction, but the premise comes from a recent movie/very old book and because I love the biblical story of the Exodus, the situation just resonates with me.

Happy Monday!

Currently reading: Ron Carlson Writes A Story (Ron Carlson)
Currently listening to: San Francisco (Global DJs)