Monday, May 31, 2010

Under the Influence

I've been back in Canada almost three days and already I'm being bombarded with ideas and memories. I've posted before about how the small details of my life have made their way into my writing, but now I'm struggling with controlling just where those ideas are taking me.

Unfortunately, it's not to the end or even the middle of one of my current or pending projects. No, I keep finding inspiration for new pieces. I drove down the street I grew up on and all of a sudden these small memories came back. The girl at the end of the road with a pirate ship in her back yard, or the club house my best friend, Kelly's dad built or even the way we drove Micky nuts by singing "Hey Mickey, you're so fine" when we all knew he wasn't. 

So, where has it taken me? Well, I'm not sure yet, but nothing is fitting with any of my current plans. I have a series of snapshots in my head, pictures of characters and events but no solid leads yet. I'm not exactly sure where I want them to go. I know that I can't focus on a new novel but maybe a short story, or perhaps I need to take a look into a book I thought I was going to put to rest.

Today I Die, was about a young woman named Olivia and all I knew was that she woke up convinced she was going to die. I never knew if she did. I never got that far because I didn't know what motivated her character to act the way she did. But the way all of these childhood memories are flittering through my mind, I might just be able to find something for her.

In addition to a stroll down memory lane, I've been reading a series on the tNBW website and the author uses song lyrics at the start of each chapter. She puts her own twist on each, and while I don't want to copy it has given me an idea. I've begun thinking of creating a series of connected short stories around songs from either a band or artist. I have no plans on using lyrics or song titles or even mentioning the name of the band but I wonder at the legalities of it.

So many ideas, so many words to write. Now if only I could finish something completely!

On my iPod:

Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Renaming of a Novel

I hate google. I really do...sometimes. It's erratic, inaccurate, in-something. I've read books about writing, about creating a title for your novel. Google it, first. You don't want a book of the same title and neither does an agent or publisher. So I googled it. The Evolution of Janie. Nothing, except a description of a differently titled novel. No problem, right? WRONG! I guess I was just too specific with my search, because a search on the Barnes and Noble site turned up The Evolution of Jane.

Crap. Crap, crap, crap. I had it all laid out.

Book 1: The Evolution of Janie

Book 2: The Reconstruction of Janie

Book 3: The Fragmentation of Janie (possibly The Illumination of Janie)

So, I'm now left having to not just rename my first book, but also the other two books :( Well, if they ever happen!) I've already considered just calling it Evolution but I don't think that really gets the theme of the book across. I sit here now, desperate for ideas.

Any suggestions??

On my iPod:

Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back on the Horse

Motivation. I never even realize dI had it until suddenly I had none. It's been almost a year and a half since I first seriously considered writing as a career and until the last two months I never had a problem sitting down to write. Regardless of if my work was crap or the best I've ever produced, it just flowed. I wrote The Evolution of Janie in less than a year, Songbird was almost 80% finished within a month (Thank you NaNoWriMo!) And even though it took me another two months to finish that one I was writing every day. Whether I was editing, revision or producing new material it just came to me. Then I got sick and some other unforseen incident happened that caused me to not write for almost two weeks. What's really sad about that is I can't even remember what happened!

I know it's normal to take breaks, to feel completely de-motivated and I've been reading a lot of posts on the tNBW forum about how people stay focused. Once I would have gladly posted that it wasn't a problem for me, now I look at each of those and realize that's where I am, or was (hopefully).

Over the past five days my mojo has slowly resurfaced. I know, I know the point to that Austin Power's moving was that no one can take you mojo, but I get what he felt like when Fat Bastard sucked his mojo out. Lifeless, empty of creative thought and powerless to bring it back. I really think part of it was the rejection. I've never been a glutton for it, and after reject upon reject I just didn't want to do it anymore. I couldn't see the point. If the agents I thought were perfect for my novel didn't even want to read past the first ten pages then why was I subjecting myself to the barrage of disappointment? 

But back to five days ago :)  I'd slowly been editing and revising Janie, and working on Liar but not consistently. But these past few days have been different. I'm not sitting down at my desk like a stranger. I'm not typing with a forced hand, only to delete the garbage that spews forth. I'm feeling confident and purposeful. Welcome back, Me!!

On my iPod:

Push by Moist

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Wow. I'm not sure what else to say. Wow, this is a classic? Wow, this actually got published? I in no way, consider myself a literary connoisseur, but seriously? How could I have gone three decades not knowing what a mess this book is? The story rambles endlessly in areas and those moments that are synonymous with Alice in Wonderland are barely there. As I read this aloud to my students I was floored to realize how boring it truly is. Oh, I understand that story was probably never meant to be read by children (what with all of the drug references - which by the way I did skim over for the sake of my students and my job) but if I had been reading it on my own I probably would have closed it long before I reached the Mad Hatter.

Perhaps my expectations were to high, based not on the work as a literary masterpiece but on the cartoon movie I watched countless times as a child, or on the brilliantly designed trailers for the Johnny Depp version. But as I turned the last page I couldn't help be feel that the children's theatre version I watched last week was more enjoyable than the book.

My verdict:

A for concept, D for excecution