Friday, November 27, 2009

Day After Thanksgiving - Whew!

New Orleans & Hot Sauce! Photo by Denny

Well, I had quite the harrowing pre-Thanksgiving experience - which may not be over yet. I ended up in the hospital after a very scary incident, which left me in pretty bad straights. But I'm home now, and hopefully, won't be back in the hospital anytime soon, but we're playing it by ear.

Enough of the scary though.

Except as it relates to my finishing NaNoWriMo. Not happening at all! I will get 30,000 words completed, and that's really good since it is all about the middle of my current manuscript. So I've got to be happy about it, right? I wish I'd stayed focused earlier in the month, but as I've learned in the past few days, the best laid plans...

So to keep it simple and short today, happy day after Thanksgiving, and enjoy the shopping frenzy. I'm going to miss it:). Staying curled up on the sofa with my laptop in my lap, chilling, baby.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My New Writing Hangout: The Library of Congress

A little messy, but here's a peek at the home office.

I have six different topics in my head I wanted to blog about, but now that I'm finally at the computer and ready to blog, I'm struggling to remember what had my brain in a such a tizzy.

Oh yeah.

The other day, I had to find a new place to write. Of course, I'm comfortable curled up on the living room sofa with the laptop, or grabbing a cup of black coffee and sitting in the home office in front of the desktop. But since those are two spots where I also do my other job (yes, da job) I tend to need a break from those writing locations. So, I have a few places I like to escape to...

There's a cool little restaurant called 'Busboys and Poets" on K Street, and then there's a very spacious Starbucks in Georgetown that's cozy and another place called "Tryst", a fancy coffeehouse and bar in Adam's Morgan. But the other day, I discovered the Library of Congress (and don't laugh out loud or screech, duh!).

I live about six blocks from the Library of Congress and have been there a number of times for tours, meetings, events, but not to sit, read, or write.  So the other day, I decided, I'm going to go work on NaNoWriMo at a nice, quiet library. And hell's bells there's a seriously (I'm watching way too much Grey's Anatomy, I think:) nice library right up the street.

And you may know this, but you can't go into the Library of Congress to hang out and work unless you have a researcher's ID. It's easy enough to get with the proper government issued ID, but still, it's more time consuming to get then, let's say, a library card. So I did some searching in the LOC online catalog, and set out for a couple hours of writing, reading and research - and yes, you can research vampire stories. I ended up amazed by the space and the books and all the information, and didn't get any writing done. That was two days ago.

Today, I'm giving it another shot. I've got NaNoWriMo to catch up on, and I've also got to get new chapters to my critique group today - so it's writing Friday, and I'm psyched!

In other news, I missed Shemar Moore Wednesday because I had a 10-hour meeting, followed by a dinner meeting, and not even Shemar could get me to look at my computer Wednesday night.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Reading and Writing and Mondays

Today I got my nails done. Why blog about nails? I'm not. I'm blogging about what it takes to keep focused. A lot of distractions. Seriously. The more you plug into a day - as long as it doesn't become too random - the better. Here's how it works. Establish a ritual. Stick to it, and whoa -- you're writing 2000 words a day.

Or not.

I'm recommending a book - J. D. Robb's first book in the 'Death" series. Believe me. I know how far behind I am (published in 1995), but I'm enjoying the shit out of Ms. Eve Dallas. I also am still figuring out the difference between series (length?) and single title (longer?). I think there's more to it, and I'll have to nail it down before my next trip to RWA Nationals. Why? Because by then I'll finally be in the PAN group (is that the one that has been rejected?)

Still waiting to hear from the agent and the the end of this month, it will be three months since I submitted...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yes, It's Shemar Day!

Yes. It's time for the pointless Wednesday post - it's all about Shemar.

There is nothing more fun then relaxing on a Wednesday by writing my semi-monthly Shemar Moore Post! Ah. Glorious. After a long two days of travel (went to Baltimore for 'da job') and numerous meetings all about 'da job' related stuff, I am now reclining in the home, getting ready for three days of NaNoWriMo writing and further polishing of 'The Manuscript'(this should be uttered in reverence and with creepy deep voice for effect).

But tomorrow, I will also get in some spa time. I'll start by working out - but then I intend to indulge in at least two  hours of sauna, whirlpool and steam - and not in that order. Writing is lovely, but there are times when you have to kick back and relax. For me, that time will be tomorrow.

As for my helpful tip for today - there's just so much information out there I don't know where to begin for us pre-published guys and gals (and yeah, there was a recent uproar about the word 'pre-published'. I don't really care - bottom line is no one has written me a check yet saying - your writing/storytelling/whatever - on the fiction front -  just put a few dollars in your pocket. Hoo-rah!

Frankly, I've added a few new blogs I'll be following that I suggest you check out.  I'm gravitating lately toward those writers who are in my boat - writing away but not getting paid...okay, they haven't been published yet, but are on course to getting it done!

The point? Today's rec is Patricia Woodside's blog. She's unpublished and has a great blog - so check her out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo, Critique Group and Daylight Savings

Taken by me, Denny S. Bryce,  during a recent trip to New Orleans. A very cool street vendor.

I'm in a writing frenzy people. I got out 1800 words for NaNoWriMo, and am about to finish up the stories I'm judging for a contest. Then I'm going to go back and write a new scene for my current manuscript. My critique group was unanimous in their recommendation that I need a new scene. It's actually something I've been thinking about - but hadn't really formulated in my mind - or should I say came to the decision to just do it.

All in all writing is getting better and better - or I should say my approach to writing is improving. I literally wrote without editing today. Stayed within a certain area of story and just let it flow. We'll see how I feel after a day or so, when no matter how much flow I've got I can't get a word out:)!

Great article I must recommend about books and publishing. It's called, Good Books Don't Have to Be Hard. It's an article in the Wall Street Journal.

I'm also reading Nora Roberts, or J.D. Robb's Naked in the Death. The first of the Eve Dallas books. I really like the economy of her storytelling. It clips along, smart, while providing the right bangs for your buck so to speak when they should arrive. I like that style.

Lastly, learned something I didn't know (okay, lots I don't know, but I enjoyed learning this tidbit from my critique partner about MICE.  It's from a book by Orson Scott Card.

M = Millieu -- about the world (including Alice in Wondeland and Gullivers Travels); beginnig of the story should be as close to the new place as possible; pov character is often not from this world and the story will end the character returns home

I = Idea -- story about the bits of information disovered in the process of the story by the characters who did not previously know the information (e.g., most mysteries); the question (e.g., whodunit?) shapes the action of the story

C = character -- something is wrong in the character's role in life and the story goes on until the character changes or accepts the way they are. In a character story, we need to see the character before so we know why they want to change.

E = Event -- something is wrong in the fabric of the universe; story ends when order is restored or a new order is stablished; story ends when the struggle ends; most SF/F are event stories

E stories don't have prologs, but begin where the charcter who will bring about the change first becomes involved (think Frodo or Luke Skywalker); OSC especially recommends avoiding prologs that show the 'world situation' -- readers won't care until they have a hero (again, think Luke); he recommends showing the hero first in a small setting and gradually pulling back to show the world situation.

And finally, I took some medicine for my aching hip, and viola! It feels better. I guess I should just take the pill when I supposed to take the pill:). My only problem here is now is time.  I didn't remember how much I dislike time changes. If I'm traveling someplace it's one thing, but just because? It's going to take me a week to feel like I'm over what time is it anyway? Okay, being a complainer for no reason...



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