Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Through the dead days.

These days between Christmas and New Year always feel a bit dead to me, maybe it's the fact the holiday spirit from Christmas has gone and I'm just counting down till New Year is over and things start back up again. So I figured now is a good time to look back over the year and see what's happened.

Basically, I trunked one idea and started work on another.
I took a break from writing and came back to it with a fresh idea that I put a lot of work into. I did quite a bit of planning and then wrote most of the first draft during NaNoWriMo which was a lot of fun this year. I also started posting to this blog more regularly and brought in a video blog.
Oh, and I got married.

It doesn't seem like much, does it? I'm hoping next year will be better writing wise not that I'm more into the swing of it and am so close to the editing stage. Plus I'm reading a lot more now so that should hopefully help push me to improve as well. I'll post at the start of January about my writerly plans for the year.

Speaking of reading, I was given 4 books for Christmas this year then blew most of my Christmas money on another 16 from Amazon. Would you like to see the list? Yes? Okay then.

For Christmas my awesome husband bought me Zombies vs Unicorns which is a collection of short stories on the subject of each and has some awesome writing in it from some amazing YA writers. My brother took a different book and bought me two Lolcats books (I Can Haz Cheeseburger and How to Take Over Teh Wurld) as well as the Lolcats Bible, while I'm amused by them, I think this is an odd progression from the Manga Shakespeare of last year.

I then sat a few days ago and went through my wish list (150+ books) and selected a few to buy with Christmas money, so arriving over the next few weeks I have:

Matched by Allie Condie
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Bridge To Terabithia by Kathrine Paterson
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

As you can possibly tell, I'm not just trying to get the latest and greatest books, I'm trying to build up my library as well. So if I fail at everything else you can at the very least expect book reviews from me for a while in the new year as I work my way through my pile. I'm going to be aiming at a book a week for next year so my list above should keep me going for a few months.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

This Star Won't Go Out

Today in the mail I got to bright green silicone wrist bands, each printed with the words "This Star Won't Go Out". I've put them at the top of our Christmas tree where most people put a fairy or a star.

"This Star Won't Go Out" refers to a foundation set up by parent's of Esther Earl, a 16 year old who lost her 4 year battle with thyroid cancer in August this year. This year, as I'm preparing for my first Christmas with my in-laws, Esther's family and friend's are preaping for thier first Christmas without her and so I would like to take a few moments to introduce you to Esther.

I never knew Esther; I knew of her, I knew of her reputation, but I didn't know her personally. And yet, she is still a huge inspiration to me.

I tried writing more after this but failed so here is a selection of videos and links:

Esther's YouTube
Something Esther inspired
John Green announcing her death.
Esther tribute 1
Esther tribute 2
Esther tribute 3
P4A "This Star Won't Go Out"
This Star Won't Go Out Foundation web site

Normal blogs and hopefully videos will resume after New Year

Friday, 3 December 2010

Oh we who are at the mercy of the voices in our heads.

Standing in the shower yesterday and I got hit by a wave of inspiration, what followed was 10 minutes of me arguing with my brain. I shall relay that conversation for you here.

Sensible Brain in bold
Silly Brain in itallics

"My mom always said that there were only 3 things to be afraid of; idiots who think they're smart, people with too much power and zombies. I always thought she wa joking about the last part."
"Sounds good but I have a project just now."
"But this one has zombies. Oh and where there is zombies there must be unicorns!"
"No... this sounds very middle-grade. I refuse to do it."
"But it'll be cool. It's fantasy, you like fantasy."
"It's middle grade! I already gave you chick-lit, I will not give you middle-grade too."
"But...Look. You get one MC who's got to find the unicorn horn to defeat the zombie hoard and one MC who's got to find the zombie brain to defeat the unicorn hoard."
"That does sound cool...."
"NO! I refuse to do this! It's not going to work. I can't do multiple points of view and... and..."
*Puppy-dog eyes*
*Sighs* "This will not end well."

Ah my brain, a wonderful place... some of the time.
I'm thinking this will live forever in the folder marked 'brain farts'.

The end of NaNo

First let me say that while I should have not only a repaired tablet but also my desktop pc back by now, I'm still on J's old laptop. It's been snowing and my parents can't to drive to my brother's house in the snow so it'll be after Christmas before I get my stuff back and there is no point in me kicking up a fuss because they're is no alternative.
Moving on..

NaNoWriMo finished a few days ago. It was a particularly eventful November for me, I had my honeymoon, I got mild hypothermia and I settled properly into the new flat. I failed to write 50,000 words but we knew that was more likely than me succeeding anyway. I got about 30,000 done. I think I'm about 3 quarter of the way there with The List so will be trying to finish the first draft over the course of this month ready to start edits in January.
If you were following how I planned for NaNo you'll know that I wrote out a list of plot points that I felt needed to be covered. this was everything from the big scenes to little bits of foreshadowing and character building. I then organised this into a timeline and have been working my way through all 76 points. I haven't done them in order, I just picked starting places and worked from there. As a result I have the end of the book written but not the start, I have most of the middle done but it doesn't join on to anything. It's a bit of a mess spread across 6 different files. It's slowly forming a book though.
I'm going to admit, some parts I hated even as I was writing them and some parts I'll be sad to cut to ribbons later but that's for editing and that's for January. Right now I just need to get more words down.