Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Procrastination Part Two

Smoking Status:
Total cigarettes yesterday - 7
I tend to have 2 with my coffee in the morning and two when I get home in the evening, so I've decided to commit to not having two in a row any longer. Let's see if that brings down my average. I'm going on a field trip HERE tomorrow, so perhaps I'll end up quitting after viewing a cross-section of a smoker's lung.

Novel Status:
41,820 words
I'm really not adding to the plot at all. I've printed out a copy and edited it by hand. There are just a few better word choices to make and I noticed a few places where I was telling instead of showing. Some additional description here and there. But in general, I love it! I'm days away from sending my queries out.

Today's procrastination technique is a more recent one: blogs.

I was at first skeptical of the whole idea of blogs. Mind you, my first exposure to blogs was the rantings of a few crazy poets. But now, I see not only the usefullness in them, but the fun, too. I swore to someone about a month ago that I was not going to start blogging. I resisted. I just thought I didn't have the time. But then I thought I could use it as a way to focus myself before I write each night. Or at least that's what I told myself.

There are only a few blogs I visit on a regular basis. One could spend their entire day reading blogs.
I'm as selective about my blogs as I am about the television shows I watch. I'm not really looking for any new places to go, but wouldn't mind hearing about where others visit, especially if they pertain to the film, tv, publishing industries, because that's practical procrastination.

Of course I visit my hubby's blog. For those of you who don't know, he's studying for his Master's degree in Music Business Management at the University of Westminster in Harrow, England. He'll be back some time late next spring. It's the wise-ass ramblings of a mature student as he battles the forces of the British govenrment, the British culture, and drunken underclassmen.

Since I've been investigating the publishing world, I've found Kristin Nelson's (of Nelson Literary Agency) blog very useful. She gives good solid advice and she's a very nice person.

For sinfully snarky advice, I visit Miss Snark. Another agent. Not as nice. But oh, so snarky.

Then, for kicks and giggles, it's Evil Editor. He posts queries and quotes from sample pages and makes fun of them in his blog. A guilty pleasure.

Some of the other folks here have blogs as well. Angelica has one on "metaphysical musings" and another on a 30 day prosperity consciousness program. Erin has started one about her personal journey from the pit of hell to a more conscious way of living. Erin, btw, is one of the most amazing manifestors I've ever met.

Of course, then there are the variosu blogs coming out of the Middle East. There isn't one I visit regularly, but friends have directed me to various sites for particular posts.

Well, that's enough procrastination for one day. I'm off to visit the White Forest.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Procrastination Part One

Smoking Status:
Since Ken left for England I have been smoking about 8 cigarettes per day. I have finally succumbed to the fact that I am a smoker. I've been in denial for years. No one has to comment about it being bad for me and that my father died of cancer. There's nothing logical about being a smoker. But now that I recognize myself as a smoker, I can work on quitting, if that makes sense. I have committed to never smoking while I'm traveling/walking. Never liked that much anyway. Cigarettes count today: 4 (but it's only 6:30pm)

Novel Status:
41,464 words (my guess has always been that it would come in around 42,000 words, which is just about right for a first middle-grade novel (4th - 7th graders)). Working on the final draft before I send my first query! Just finished hand-editing a hard copy. After that, I will do my final rewrite of the screenplay because it's been requested by someone at Imagine Entertainment. Yay!

Okay... procrastination... I'm all for it. But if you're going to procrastinate, you might as well make it something related to what you do (like writing a blog about it, heh-heh). One of my favourites is reading books. And not just books on writing, but those get bonus points.

Currently on the procrastination reading rotation are:

On Writing - by Steven King
It's a dark memoir and it's a lesson. Makes no difference whether or not you've even read a novel by King. I have only read one or two of his and that was many years ago. It's got reading lists, writing assignments, a corrected story, advice on plot and character, and literary models. But truly my favourite parts are the autobiographical stories in it.

The Tools of Screenwriting:
A writer's guide to the craft and elements of a screenplay

David Howard and Edward Mably
This book was a gift from my friend Mickey (who also sent me a box of brownies from the Fat Witch Bakery - yum!). I love this book. And I've read a lot of books on screenwriting. It's hard to find one that gives me something new. It's a required text for USC's screenwriting program and David Howard was the founding director of their graduate program in screenwriting. Really comprehensive and talks about how the 3-act structure can be dangerous in the hands of executives.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind - T. Harv Ecker
On rotation again because I'm taking the Millionaire Mind Intensive in 2 weeks and I can't wait! I read this book once and got a whole lot out of it. I've even put some of his theories into practice and they absolutely work. Now I'm reading it again and doing every single exercise in it (which is taking a while), even the ones that my mind says I don't need to do. I trust this guy.

On the consideration pile:

In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
My new house-mate has a copy and I've wanted to read it ever since I saw the film Capote a few months ago.

Reading for a Living - T.L. Katahn
Picked this up at the FTX Film and Television Expo. It's about being paid to be a professional reader in either the screenwriting or publishing world. Not that I want to work as a reader doing coverage for a production company, but I am interested in improving my skills in the consulting arena and becoming a story analyst and/or story editor (which is a slightly different occupation in
Canada than in the U.S).

The Writer's Journey - Christopher Vogler
Just because I haven't read it yet and it comes highly recommended.

Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama
- David Mamet
Read a selection from this and liked it so I ordered it from Amazon. I love snobby writers and snobby literary critics. I love that kind of confidence. In the end... what do any of us really know?

Busting Loose from the Money Game - Robert Sheinfeld
My housemate Bruce is reading this right now. It was recommended by T. Harv Ecker. Bruce says it's excellent and he's the one who got me into the whole Millionaire Mind thing to begin with.


BOOKS ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST (hint-hint):

Reading Like a Writer (Francine Prose) - recommended by a friend

The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery (
Robert Ray and Jack Remick) - goes without saying. love The Weekend Novelist and I refer to it constantly when I'm teaching

Tythe: a modern faerie tale
(Holly Black) - because I want to see what other modern day faerie talers are writing

And whatever the next Harry Potter book is.... I have no idea if it's going to be out in time for xmas.

Next year at this time Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore will be on a lot of people's xmas wish list. You can count on it.