Bon voyage, November

Monday, November 30, 2009

I don't know about you, but I'm trying hard to remember where 2009 went. Just the other day it seemed so bright and shiny in front of me, like a new Diet Coke can. Le sigh.

And those goals of mine are now covered with dust. Okay, some of them aren't, but a few are looking a bit on the rusty side. I blame all the rain we've been having.

Of course, I have a choice to make. I can beat myself up for the next month for not making the absolute most of every single moment I had or I can enjoy the ride and celebrate the small victories. You know, like finding the missing socks or discovering how to upload files onto my iPod shuffle.

Hey, technically adept, I'm not.

There have been a number of sitchiashuns (say it with a New York accent for full effect) that have made me feel a wee bit cranky. Hotmail server issues. People offering suggestions months after the request for ideas and the plans set in motion. Public transit fare hikes. Ugh, it's just Cranky Pants Central over here!

Shoot, I promised myself I'd stick to being positive and not portray a fine Canadian whine. ;)

I think it's best if I let Heather Small do the talking for me:

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:02 PM 0 comments

What Michael Jackson has taught me about writing

Friday, November 27, 2009

My girlfriend and I headed out to see The Blind Side the other day. Trouble was, I misread the playing time and we got there about three hours too early.

We stared at the list of other films and spotted This Is It. Turns out neither one of us had seen it yet, and we were there just in time to catch it like a good beat.

And yeah, I got a little sad. Especially when you saw the footage of the dancers who made it into the show. To be part of the Michael Jackson tour was huge. No, bigger than huge. Their careers were totally made, if they weren't made already. Too bad the tour never made it past rehearsals.

But this post isn't about them, it's about MJ.

Even in rehearsals, he knew what he wanted. He brought it and expected everyone involved with the show to bring it. Over and over and over again.

At one point, MJ was discussing with the band on how one number should be played. He said, "This is how the audience expects to hear it." And that really resonated with me.

Why? Because he got it, brought it and made sure everyone around him lived it. This tour was his thank-you to the fans who supported him.

And sometimes, well, a lot of the time, I find myself saying "this is **it" instead of "this is it." Sure, it's part of the process, but am I doing myself any favours putting my work down?

Probably not. I think there are enough naysayers and critical types out there to tell me how hard it is to succeed and how difficult things will become when I get published.

All I can do right now is sing, er, write my heart out. And maybe put on sparkly socks...

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 12:11 AM 0 comments


Sunday, November 22, 2009

There's a lot of stuff happening. Too much, actually. And I've been trying my darndest to keep up, I really have, but what I have left with at the end of the day is "I guess I'll work on the novel tomorrow."

And you know what? That really sucks.

Trouble is, it's no one's fault but my own. I could have adjusted my schedule to get some quality writing time in. Surely I didn't need to see those CSI reruns, did I? Surely I didn't have to spend that hour or so playing online games?

But I did. And I know exactly why: I'm preparing for Draft Two -- the big honkin' revision round.

This is the round where some characters die or develop a new personality. Where plot points get polished or eliminated. Where foreshadowing and perhaps a description or two see the light of day.

Yeah, and I thought Draft One was bad. Huh, that part seems easy now.

So instead of staring at the Word doc until my forehead bleeds, I'm doing anything else. Like raking leaves, reading junk mail and watching a little trash TV. It's not like I meant to put off the writing, it just kind of happened.

Oddly enough, it appears that most books sold today didn't just happen -- they had authors who actually COMPLETED them. Le sigh.

That's my cue to get my butt in the chair again and get those words happening. Hopefully in a way that works for me, an agent, an editor and a whole bunch of readers.

But I'm still going to watch The Biggest Loser. That's a must-do. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:38 PM 0 comments

Motivation can creep up on you

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Okay, I have to admit that I really wasn't looking forward to today. For the past two weeks I've been working on site for a client (meaning no naps or pajama-wearing during business hours) and doing a lot of freelance projects evenings and weekends. And some beta-reading and contest-entry judging. Mucho biz-ay.

So part of me was sorely tempted to not attend my RWA chapter's meeting today. I mean, I could have slept in, caught up my coupon clipping and had some quality time with DH and the evil kitten. But I had to go; it felt like I hadn't been there in ages.

And I'm so glad I went. C.J. Lyons did a great workshop on getting to the bones of your story and mapping out the pivotal points to bring up the emotional volume of a novel. Okay, I'm totally paraphrasing, but it made some things really click for me.

Of course, I also jumped at the opportunity to be a guinea pig and got the entire room to help me get a basic plot for my next WIP done. Thanks everyone! Now I just have to hold off on that one until I get the current WIP complete. Ah, the lure of a shiny new idea is too tempting...

It was also great to see other crazy people, er, I mean writers. People who get how frustrating things can be, people who understand how writing can be awesome and the exact opposite at the exact same time. I felt refreshed, encouraged and, perhaps after taking a wee nap, ready to tackle the next batch of pages on the current novel.

And I couldn't have gotten that from staying at home with the coupons. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 8:56 PM 4 comments

It's not me, it's just that I own a cat

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's been a rough week over here at Casa Staring.

First, I went away on a wee trip to NYC with my mom for educational purposes (we studied shopping, bargain-hunting and how to ride the subway without ending up in Jersey). Then, while I was away, DH took Zaphod, the kitten of mass destruction, to the VET.

And he had to get a shot.

So, I returned home to find a twitching, hiding cat instead of our usual escape artist. He spent the entire weekend under the bed, stepping out from the darkness only to eat or use the litter box.

I felt so freaking guilty. I tried lying on the floor and talking to him.

He hissed.

I tried playing him the Fame soundtrack.

He growled.

Then, taking DH's advice, I ignored him.

It took four days for the ice around his feline heart to thaw. Of course, he's still giving me the stink eye when he thinks I'm not looking. But at least he's talking again. Really, really loud.

Of course, my becoming a crazy cat lady isn't really a significant event. Not when we've got H1N1 vaccine issues, politicians dancing and leftover Halloween candy everywhere. Le sigh.

And it's times like this, when the nights get dark in about twenty seconds, that I realize I live in a city where winter involves freezing temperatures and that other four-letter word, snow.

I wonder how Zaphod feels about wintering in Bermuda... I know DH is into it. ;)

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:46 PM 2 comments