Wednesday, October 24, 2012

NanoWriMo Anyone?

So it's almost November again.
For most that means falling leaves, pumpkin flavored everything and Thanksgiving. For some though, it means NanoWriMo is here again!

I participate every year. I have never won.

I want to win.

This year, I'm not sure I will participate. I have so much going on. Moving. Therapy practically every day for middle kiddo. Legal work, and writing with my writing partner.

But, I'm dying to rewrite my first novel into something saleable. I love the story. But honestly, I didn't do it justice the first time round. I didn't have the craft of writing down then. I think if I rewrote it entirely--not just moved bits around, I could do the story justice. And I'm so, so tempted to do it for Nanowrimo.

The whole bit--replotting the story arc, the character arcs, and then beginning it all over again.

I want to do it so much. But I'm a bit intimidated by everything else going on. NanoWriMo is hard. And it never seems like my life is quite empty enough to have the necessary time. Don't get me wrong--I love that my life is full.

I guess what Im getting at is I didn't have enough time last year, or the year before and I won't have enough time this year or the year after.

What counts is sitting down and doing what you can. Even if it makes you a loser.

So, NanoWrimo anyone?

I think I'll do it, and will post my progress here on my blog.

Why not?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reading Kicks

Does anyone else go on reading kicks--you know, where you read lots and lots of one particular genre of book in a short period of time?

I do, and right now I'm on a Regency Romance kick. Perhaps its because I'm currently enmeshed in writing a contemporary romance, editing another,  just finished a post apocalyptic piece and am working on an urban fantasy that's definitely modern in scope. Or perhaps its because I cut my teeth on Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer.

Regardless, I do love a good regency romp.

And a friend (Anna Campbell) who writes historical noir romance (not something I'd ever come across before but man, she rocks it) was celebrating having not one, but two of her books on amazon's bestsellers for Regency Romance. Of course, I went to check it out, and ended up leaving with 6--count them 6 books on my kindle that were not there before. Happily  most of them were on sale, so I could justify picking that many up.

I know, you're welcome. I had to share the wealth.

So the latest Regency I read was Secrets of a Wedding Night by Valerie Bowman. It was cute, funny, and had quite a few of the traditional tropes in there that the author riffed on. I enjoyed it--enough that I'll be getting the next one when it comes out.

But picking my favorite regency is impossible. I cannot even pick my favorite regency author--there are just too many amazing ones to pick just one. Or ten. Seriously. I couldn't narrow it down to ten, which makes me think I might be ripe for an intervention.

In which case, I'll move the focus over to you. What is your favorite regency? Or are you like me, where you couldn't possibly pick just one?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cheating on your WIP

I don't know about other writers out there (perhaps I should do a poll) but sometimes I feel like I'm cheating on my work in progress.

It goes like this:

I begin with an idea. Its a fun idea, an exciting idea, an idea that makes me smile, that makes my heart go thump. I love the idea, so much, that I commit.

I sit down with the idea, and plan. I improve the idea, I try turning it into something more. A story.

I commit further, actually putting time in, and writing an opening scene. By now, i'm in love. I think I've never had a better idea.

So I write another scene and another. But sooner or later, somewhere down the road, I lose that obsession. I still love the idea, but not with a burning passion. I'm aware of its flaws by now. Its no longer this shining ideal of a thing I place on a pedestal at the beginning of the process.

I keep working at it, plugging along. I love it, but I'm not In Love with it.

And then another idea comes along. And this one, well, it really is the ideal I think it is--I'm sure of it. So I cheat. I don't abandon my first idea. I still work with it, advancing the story, continuing to commit to it with every new scene.

But--I have a story on the side. One I'm In Love with--at least for the time being.

This happens over and over until...I end up where I am right now, working on 4 stories actively, and have one story set aside for the time being.

I do think that its helpful to me, to have several stories going at once. It gives me a break when necessary. And lets face it--thinking of your story as a shining ideal when you first write it is a bad choice. Because it's going to need lots or rewriting and edits before it shines. That's the nature of writing, and having multiple projects allows me to give the WIP the time it needs to sit, so I can look at it objectively.

Does anyone else cheat on their WIPs?
Does it help or hinder your story telling?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reading for a Great Cause

Whenever I see a way to help raise awareness for Autism and acceptance for people on the spectrum, I help if I can. Having a child with Autism, I see the necessity for raising awareness on a daily basis, in people's reactions to my son, in the lack of accommodations available to allow him to participate in many of the activities available to normally developing kids, in the sheer financial cost of meeting his basic medical and social needs.

Its a big undertaking.
Our family is lucky enough to be in a better financial position than some, and for many people out there, they simply cannot get their children the therapies they need.

Parents of kids with Autism struggle.

Families with autistic members struggle.

We struggle with the depth of emotional courage you have to have to just keep at it when nothing you do seems to help your struggling child.

We hurt when people are unkind to our kids, when they don't understand or care to understand that this is a person, trying to connect the only way they know how.

We struggle when our kids become overwhelmed because of their sensory issues and strike out, or melt down sobbing, sometimes for hours and sometimes multiple times a day. We struggle with the symptoms of the other frequent co-morbidity diagnoses stemming from being on the spectrum--ADD, OCD, Anxiety, Sensory Processing Disorder.

Loving a person with Autism is overwhelmingly easy to do.
But helping them navigate their world is difficult and takes an immense amount of love, patience, support and knowledge.

That's where Autism Speaks comes in. They provide support in the form of information, advocacy, resource guides and a multitude of other things. This is a good organization, doing good work helping families cope with the demands of Autism.

So when I saw this anthology, I just had to pick it up, and then to share.
Three stories from Entangled Publishing, for sale for $2.99 on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. All profits go to Autism Speaks.

What a wonderful excuse to add to my library.
And if you want to help, and love to read, consider picking one up.
It's reading for a great cause--what could be better?