No Post today…

So.

Yeah.

I’m supposed to be posting today, right?

But.

I’m still reeling from last nights Summer Finale of Pretty Little Liars (HOMG), and then I had some other stuff going on.

So.

No post today.

Maybe tomorrow.

Or Friday.

Yeah.

Published in: on August 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Monday Blues

It’s a non writing group Monday…though I didn’t have one last week, either, due to my in law’s 40th anniversary party, and the mod was sick (or so the text message I got said…Facebook implied otherwise.  :D)

I’m not quite ready to start my serial spoof just–I thought I was, but then I realized I might actually want to stockpile a few posts before I went live with it, as life with the husband home 7 days a week is…different, and not as conducive to writing.  I like to do a lot of my writing in the early evenings, and with him home, that means I spend my early evenings cooking and cuddling on the couch instead.  I just need to see if I can reset my internal writing clock to early afternoon, instead.

I’ve been thinking about how fun the “seat of your pants” style writing is, but how bad it is for actual novel content.  I remember for my first NaNo novel, I wanted to write a mystery novel.  My mom used to give me the books she had read, and she read a lot of mystery novels.  So, I figured I’d try my hand at one of those.

I crafted a story about Jolene Manning, who was a secretary at a small printing firm.  She comes in early to work one morning to find her boss murdered, sitting in her office chair.  I had no idea who the murderer was, so planting red herrings was…easy, I guess, as I’d write their part of the novel as if they were the actual killer.  Then, I’d realize that no, this is NOT the killer…and I’d fix it so they couldn’t be the murderer and move on to the next person.

Tell you what, when I finally discovered who the murderer was, I was as surprised as Jolene was.

However, I’m sure if I went back and reread that novel today, it would be full of plot holes so big you could drive an 18 wheeler through them.  Oops.

The next year I was a bit more prepared.  I was writing about Jolene again, but I put her in a setting I was more familiar with, picked an unusual murder weapon, and actually knew who the killer would be this time.  In case you’re wondering (and I can say this because this novel is trapped on a dead harddrive in my basement, never to see the light of day again), it was the dirty controller with the pepper grinder on the back dock of the country club where she worked.  At the time, I worked at a country club, and we used to have these…ENORMOUS pepper grinders, and I figured the 2 feet of heavy carved wood would make an excellent murder weapon…not that I ever contemplated bludgeoning someone to death with one…no, never, not at all.

Seriously, a pepper grinder would make an excellent murder weapon.

While I seat of my pantsed a great deal of that novel, I still had a plan, which made crossing the 50k finish line with almost a week to spare plus a couple thousand extra words a lot easier than the previous year, when I’m pretty sure I finished at 11:30 on November 30th.  I always seem to forget a plan is a good thing and just barrel full tilt into the novel with very little preparation.  Those are the years I just barely squeak out 50k words right before the deadline.  In comparison, Wolf Girl ended at around 57,000 words with a couple of days to spare.  I actually had an outline for Wolf girl!  This year, I’m determined to learn that lesson and actually be prepared for NaNo with some sort of outline.  Yes, yes, even if I have to tatoo “have an outline” backwards across my forehead so I read it in the mirror every time I brush my teeth!

What’s your style?  Seat of the pants?  Outline to the nth degree?  Some combination of both?  And do you stick to your outline?

Wolf Girl Wednesday: Uhhhh

It’s been a busy week here at Wolf Girl Central, and none of it involves writing.  Oops!  I totally missed Monday’s post, and the only reason I posted anything yesterday is because it was pre-written and scheduled.  I’ve got a friend in town from out-of-state (who keeps changing when we’re getting together), and it’s the..uh…male members of my family’s annual golf outing, so I have an uncle in town.  That means lots of dinners out and family get togethers, as my uncles only come in town 1-2 times a year.  I ate out Sunday, then went to a picnic on Monday, then ate out *again* last night…and all of this comes after last week’s busy week, where we had a picnic on Thursday, had dinner with my husband’s cousin and his family on Friday, and went to the Rhythm and Blues Festival my town puts on every year on Saturday (Happy 200th Birthday to my town, as well!).

It’s just been GOGOGOGOGOGOGO around here.  While it’s been fun, I think I need a vacation from everyone else’s vacations…and I still have a few things left on the calendar before it’s over–today is hopefully lunch or dinner with the friend in town, then tomorrow I have a local author panel to attend at a local library to support some friends, and then finally my in-laws are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday, so we’re heading down to the farm either late Saturday or early Sunday for that.  AND I have to make some sort of pie for my father in law.  *FLAIL*

I should make this post sort of Wolf Girl-y, shouldn’t I?  I’ve started to get some feedback on Wolf Girl from the various people who have read the book.  It’s all positive so far…but these are my friends and family, I think they’re a bit biased.  Okay, a lot biased.

From my Aunt:
Just wanted to let you know I finished you book. It only took me a couple of days to read it. I really enjoyed it. Cannot wait for the next one.”

From my cousin’s daughter (she’s 12, I made a O.o face when I learned she’d read it…but 99% of it is 12 year old safe, it’s just the scene where Ansley catches Kemp in flagrante delecto that is a bit NSFK, but even *that* isn’t too bad)
“hey i just finished ur book yesterday and i love it”
(Oh, gotta love being 12, right?)

From a friend:
Okay, so. I’ve been sort of going back and forth between Wolf Girl and my other book, but I couldn’t sleep earlier and I don’t want to finish Casket too fast because I’ll be out of Nightrunner, so I was reading some Wolf Girl. And man, I gotta tell you… at first I didn’t really think it’d be my cup of tea, but suddenly I couldn’t stop reading. :D”
(
she also pointed out some flaws, as I described a horse coloring wrong /facepalm and I apparently keep changing the spelling of Rawlins to Rollins and Rawlings.  Easy to fix and re-upload the corrected copies to CreateSpace and Smashwords.  The horse thing…well, if you don’t know much about horses, you wouldn’t catch it.  I think I had one color scheme in mind–chestnut–and just misdescribed it as bay.  But hey, very helpful, as I somewhat skipped the beta reader phase because the CreateSpace 5 free copy deal was going to be running out soon…)

I’m really interested to see what non-relative non-friends think, so I think at some point I’ll organize a giveaway here on the blog and through Goodreads.com. Now, if I could just remember to order myself some extra copies…Would giving away e-reader copies be considered tacky?  Hmmm, I think I may have to flex my Google-fu on that one…

So far on the calendar, next week is completely free, so hopefully I’ll be able to crack down and get some writing done.  I still have several half-finished stories that need to get finished and corral me a reader or two so I can polish them up and maybe send them out to magazines.

Published in: on August 15, 2012 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

When it’s hot, I don’t have much to say apparently

It’s hot out there.  Pretty much anywhere, it’s hot.  Today it’s around 100 degrees outside, so it’s too hot to do anything outdoor related (and the dog is *really* missing her walks…it doesn’t even really cool down enough at night, either!), and the husband is out getting his hair cut and a hand saw…so you get a blog post!

The picture above, I hope it makes you feel cooler.  It was taken a few years ago at a plantation near Charleston, SC.  It was hot on that vacation, too, but the plantation with all of its big trees was degrees cooler than the surrounding areas.

Wow, I am not profound at all when my brain has been marinating in high temperatures.

I picked up 4 brand spanking never been used before notebooks at Target this afternoon–17 cents each!  One will be for N0vel Ideas, including the Wolf Girl 2 outline.  One will be for writing prompts for the writing group–I’ve just about filled up the notebook I was using, which wasn’t originally a writing notebook.  I think it was the notebook I used either for Chemistry or Anatomy and Physiology.  They both had plenty of back pages in the back, so I figured…why waste those?  However…they’re really not writing notebooks, and now I have plenty of space!  70 fresh college ruled pages, full of potential.

Just so this entry has some substance to it…I’ll leave you with a poem I wrote for an online creative writing class I took during the winter.

What can I do in Five minutes?

What can I do in five minutes?

Read a newspaper article

…as long as it’s a short one

Run a mile

…as long as I run fast

Make some macaroni and cheese

…as long as it’s the microwave kind

Wash the dishes

…as long as I live alone

Boil water for tea

…well, it’s faster if I have an electric kettle

Run the vacuum

…as long as I just do one room

Write a poem

…as long as I have the inspiration

What can you do in five minutes?

Published in: on July 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Hello, my name is Shelley, and I’m a writer

I’ve been writing for a long time–since at least third grade. The first thing I remember writing was an assignment for my third grade teacher. We had to write and illustrate a story. I don’t remember if it had to be an original story or one we already knew, but I based it on The Last Unicorn. My friend Gail’s grandmother traced pictures out of a Last Unicorn coloring book and wrote down what I told her.

The next thing I remember writing was supposed to be a full-length novel. It was called “Wonder the Wonder Horse”. What can I say? I was in 4th grade and loved horses. I really don’t remember exactly what the story was supposed to be about, but I also know I didn’t get very far.

I took some creative writing enrichment courses during school, and wrote stories for English classes. I wrote stories outside of class, as well, but…they probably would be considered some sort of Mary Sue fan fiction? I used to write stories about my friends and the boys they liked, where they ended up getting the boy blah blah blah. Nothing too creative, I guess. I kept a paper journal throughout high school, and looking back and reading it…really embarrassing.

I didn’t really write much after high school until I signed up for LiveJournal in 2002 (that means my journal is now TEN YEARS OLD! Happy Birthday journal!) Soon after that, several of my LiveJournal friends started talking about this thing called National Novel Writing Month. I didn’t participate that year, but I was intrigued–people actually sat down and wrote a novel in a MONTH? Crazy! The next year, I signed up. And I won. Exciting! The third year of NaNoWriMo, I actually got up the courage to start going to the local write-ins. What a blast! I met a lot of good people and writers through that group. I’m still doing NaNo, and so far, I’ve only failed one year–I was in a different state away from my usual writing buddies, and there was some drama going on, and I just wasn’t feeling my concept–either of them. I had wanted to do some sort of anti-superhero novel, but it just…sounded flat and bad. So I switched up and went with a post-apocalyptic teens developing super powers idea, which was fantastic, but I just couldn’t get into it. I have that idea tucked away; I plan on revisiting it, and the superhero novel, in the future.

This year, I joined a writing group. It meets every other week on Sunday nights at local area restaurants and bars–we have yet to repeat a location, and have gone to places like McDonalds, Panera, and even had a meeting in a Wal-Mart (which deserves its own entry)! I’ve never written so much in my life (other than the mad dash that is November), and I love it!

Also this year, I did something I think I swore I’d never do–but that was back when a huge stigma was placed on it: I self-published a book. CreateSpace offered anyone who won NaNo ’11 5 free copies of their book–all you had to do was format and upload it to their site. You could have made it so that no one could see it and just get your free copies, but I had friends who decided to go ahead and let the world know about their novels. That inspired me to do the same thing, and I tidied up Wolf Girl, my NaNoWriMo ’11 project up and submitted it. It does have a pretty glaring page error (seriously, MY document? The page numbers are perfect), but it’s still my novel. My first one! I’ve only sold like 5 copies, but I SOLD FIVE COPIES! That’s not counting the five copies I got for free, by the way.

Published in: on June 25, 2012 at 8:33 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,