Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm Up To My Ankles In Crap And You Think This Is A Good Thing Because?

First drafts are not pretty. I've heard this said many times. It's only now as I go through my own work that I can see so clearly why - all the muck. 

I can make due with grammatical errors, illegible words, run on sentences and purple passages but what really irks me is when it all begins to feel like I've lost hold of that luminous gold thread, the whole reason I even began. I can still see peeks of it but the excavation is so slow. Some days it just feels like I am standing in SHIT!

Is this all that I am capable of?

Thanks to Jane Friedman I know the answer is both YES and NO. She wrote an article post on Writer Unboxed that talks about this writer pitfall and breaks down why moments like this can be regarded as a good thing. 

Read article here. 

Thanks Jane, I'm feeling better now. Excuse me while I rock some wellies and get back to work.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your writing? What irks you most about first drafts?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Go On, You Can Tell It To Me Straight

Last September I began work on my first novel. 3 months, a stint of Nanowrimo and I had in my hands 77,000 beautiful words. I can still remember the feeling of typing the very last word, pure rush.

Then came January, the bearer of fresh starts. I followed my plan to re-write and edit my way through my manuscript. It would be easy now, until it wasn't. That's when you learn the meaning of STUCK, over and over again, bogged down in your own dreck. The spring passes like a blur with little sense of movement foward. 77,000, so many words.

Come summer I hide away reading, best sellers, cult classics, tales big and small. It would all be a study in craft, seeing what works and what doesn't. Each read, the good and the oh-so-lovely bad sharpen my critical eye. They also gets me thinking about my own neglected alphabet soup, words that I've let linger and sit, now bitter to my own tongue.

September. Has it really been a year since I began? The thought leaves me hot and cold all at once. This is where I stand now. It isn't as clear cut as the banner titles, "Winner" or "Loser". It's neither good or bad, just a place that I know I don't want to stay anymore.

And so I begin again.

Have you completed a novel? What helped you to get through the first round of revisions?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hello Again

Hello to the first day of Fall!!

The summer has been quiet here at Calendar Gal but I'm looking to start things up again and get back on the writing track.

Fall feels like a good time for a fresh start, a new beginning. Keep an eye out for some tweaks and changes around here.

Change is they tell me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lucky 7, Lucky You!

So I've been tagged by Jenn from Much to My Delight to share my Top 7 Posts.  I haven't been blogging much these days but this game of tag was the perfect opportunity to jump back into the mix. I have to admit, it was fun to take a look back again.

What is this about: To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

1) Blogger is nominated to take part

2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.

So without further adieu, here we go for a walk down memory lane...

My Most Beautiful Post is a tie between SNAPSHOT and PILLOW TALK. To me, the "picture" is worth a thousand words.
My Most Popular Post is HEMINGWAY's GREAT WHITE BULL. The homage and tag to Hemingway brings readers in, the funky paper art gets them looking around and coming back.

I don't really have a controversial side but if I had to pick My Most Controversial Post it would be my first post, OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS WRITING I WILL GO. It's my longest post and in some respects, the most revealing about myself. Sharing my "lost year" might have seemed a bit much for my first foray into blogging but I don't regret the choice at all. There was something very liberating in writing it.

My Most Helpful Post would be during the month of April when I spotlighted National Poetry Month. It was a fun endeavor to explore the many sides of poetry in words, music and photographs. It also started a lot of dialogue and gave me an introducation with other bloggers who wanted to share their favorite poems too.

The Post Whose Success Surprised Me The Most would have to be KTCHEN CONFESSIONAL. I began this post with the intention of sharing some recipes but wound up discovering a little something more about how I fill my kitchen space. Personally, this was a fun post to discover but it's also been nice to see how much it resonated with readers.

The Post Who Didn't Get The Attention It Deserved would have to be the GIRL MEETS WORLD series. These posts totally amuse, maybe not so much.
The Post I Am Most Proud Of is YOU ARE HERE PT 1 and PT2. Again, this was one of those writing experiences where you begin in one place, admittedly lost and discover a happy surprise in the took a bit of writing but well worth the effort!

3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.

4) These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers

5) And so it goes on!

6) The site Trip Base be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on their blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

Now to pass along the baton I nominate the following bloggers...

Maryanne at A Writer's Notepad
Melissa at Inspiration and Rough Drafts

Keep this train chuggin!