Sunday, December 27, 2009
You probably know that the screenwriter was Diablo Cody, the chick who wrote "Juno" as well as a memoir about being a stripper. "Juno" was all right - entertaining, kind of cheesy, with a very unique female protagonist whose name alluded to the Classical world. On the other hand, "Jennifer's Body" struck me the wrong way almost immediately.
The story began with promise - interesting, entertaining, and funny. The story began in a literary fashion, beginning in medias res before quickly shifting to the earliest point in time that the movie was going to cover.
It was at the shift that I began to notice the dialogue.
The quirky, funny dialogue that characterized "Juno" so well appears to have been attempted again - and it isn't executed as well by the character who utilizes it most (*cough, cough* Fox *cough, cough*), and it feels false.
"Jennifer's Body" features a girl who becomes different, of course - I don't think I'm spoiling the movie for anyone when I say that Jennifer becomes a succubus. Yet, it seems quite clear that Jennifer is supposed to be an ordinary girl, on the pretty side, who is far more ordinary than she would like. Jennifer would like to be effortlessly gorgeous and self-assured, and not small town. Nothing about her character, however, indicates that she modifies language for the sake of whimsy.
Juno's interesting manner of speaking suited her; Jennifer's does not.
So watching this movie really makes me think about dialogue.
Dialogue, when utilized correctly, can do so much for a story. Hemingway wrote an entire story in dialogue ("Hills Like White Elephants"). Diablo Cody obviously likes writing dialogue, and has fun with it, which is great. In order to create something that other people are going to enjoy, however, a writer needs to use dialogue that suits the character. Ultimately, this means knowing your characters well enough to know exactly how that character speaks. Sometimes, this might involve doing research. And, of course, if you're too lazy to do research, then don't write about characters who will seem inauthentic without research.
To be fair, I feel like part of Cody's problem is one that many YA authors face: authentic TEEN dialogue. When you're not a teenager anymore, how do you know that your slang is up to date? Cody's solution is to create slang of her own - cheesy slang that not many teenagers would say (certainly not cheerleaders with a reputation to uphold).
Yet we've all read those YA stories that have outdated dialogue, or in which the character talks like a goody-two-shoes, and it feels like the only reason is because the author feels uncomfortable with a teenager saying "dirty" words. Teen dialogue is a legitimate problem, as is dialogue, in general.
I don't think that making up slang, clever and interesting though it may be, should be a writer's automatic response. I'm not exactly sure what I think the general response should be, however - or even if there should be a "general" response.
And no writer wants generic dialogue.
Thoughts? (I love comments!)
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
At the end of NaNo, I had written 44,153 words.
Best NaNo yet, though I still didn't "win."
I might just sketch out where I was thinking of going, and set it away for awhile.
I have a new goal for December: losing some weight. I know this is usually a New Year's resolution, but for personal reasons, I find it imperative to do so now.
I will still be writing, but not nearly as much, particularly as I'm trying to catch up on my sleep and not get sick (everyone seems to be getting ill lately).
All of this, of course, is to provide an excuse for the fact that I probably won't be posting much for awhile.
Monday, November 30, 2009
I have to get ready for work soon, after which I will probably be too tired to type.
I worked hard, and will struggle to get the words count to 45,000, but cannot realistically expect anything above that.
I have written more this NaNo than any of the previous ones, and am currently resenting my "middle-of-the-month whiny bitch" session. I mean, who do I think I am - Bella Swan? (The real answer is no, by the way. I'm not quite that crazy. Yet. I also haven't met a vampire, let alone some weird, "vegetarian" family of good-looking creepiness.)
Okay, I'm off, to write! Running to meet my deadline, with pen in hand, and held out before me, like a rapier. En guarde!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
That's right - I have over 25,000 words (and only a few days to finish about 25,000 more, but trying to think positive).
To celebrate, I came up with the following idea: the Snippet of the Day.
On my NaNo page (username: shellyquade), I will be posting a snippet of my novel which has been written THAT DAY.
Obviously, this is a ploy to attempt to motivate myself to write more every day, so that I have more to choose from. But, if you're bored, or like my writing style on this blog, or bored, you're welcome to check it out.
(I will not be cross-posting snippets to this blog, because I'm paranoid, and don't like the idea of leaving a trail of rough first draft material unless it's a contest entry. Plus, I'm lazy.)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
At the second write-in today, I hit a wall. I felt incredibly tired, went home, took a nap, and got an okay word count today. Not stellar or anything, but...okay.
I will continue to try.
Yesterday's word count: Abysmal
Today's word count: 1,994
Friday, November 6, 2009
This is partly because I'm lazy, and partly because I didn't get a dinner break like I presumed, and in which I planned to write.
BUT...I hate it when people make excuses, which is exactly what that is. Dinner break or not, I should have gotten 1,667 words.
Instead, yesterday's word count was: 1,550
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
This means, of course, no coffee, which makes for a very grumpy Shelly Quade. (You might want to just leave now, before my wrath is transferred to you...)
Yesterday's word count: 1,816 words
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Enough talking! I have work to do.
Yesterday's word count: 1973
Monday, November 2, 2009
By busy, of course, I mean slowly reading Stephen King's It and occasionally opening a word document when you're not working and staring at the screen as the story has halted.
Then again, it's November, which means working on an entirely new story!
I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty tired right now. So let me just report on yesterday and work on the NaNo story.
Yesterday, I woke up about 10:30ish, got my Starbucks, discovered that both Starbucks & Borders were pretty full at the moment, went to Purdue's union and got a little over 600 words done.
Then, I went to my first write-in EVER, regretted not having brought my headphones (while hearing other people talking can be distracting, it creeps me out not to have any sound around me), and wrote over 3,000 words more. So, yeah. Creepy or not, I've gotta recommend attending write-ins, if at all possible.
Yesterday's total word count: 3,801
P.S. If you feel like further procrastinating, Maureen Johnson wrote a blog post about NaNo.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Any NaNo participants who want to follow my journey, or share their own, are encouraged to leave a comment. (I love comments, considering them to be much like Edward Cullen - sexy, sparkly, creepy little things, strung together to become perfection itself.)
To introduce my work, of which I now have an outline, and character names, I *think* it's chick lit. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure of the genre. It follows a couple of the relationships of a young female protagonist, neither of which was complementary to her, and how she begins to heal from both of these relationships (or at least, one).
How about you? What is your book summary this year? Or vague ideas floating in your head? Or anything else you feel like sharing?
Friday, October 9, 2009
She remained motionless for several moments, debating the necessity of going to the restroom as opposed to causing bladder damage, and then thought to herself, This is ridiculous. You're not five - get out of bed and go to the bathroom. A light breeze fluttered through the window she didn't remember having opened, and Sarah shivered. And grab a robe so you don't freeze on the way.
Lowering her hand to the floor beside the bed, Sarah's fingers grasped the warm fleece of her blue bathrobe. Before she had time to pull the robe up, however, a charred hand abruptly reached out from beneath her bed and gripped her arm, searing her flesh...
Sarah gasped and sat straight up in bed. Like many of her dreams, she could not retain this one. The image of a blue bathrobe she didn't own was prominent in her mind, goosebumps littered her arms, she didn't want to move, and she had to pee. Badly.
She remained motionless for several moments, debating the necessity of going to the restroom as opposed to causing bladder damage, and then said, "What, do you think the Bogeyman's going to grab you or something if you step off of the bed?" Her voice was loud and harsh in the dark silence of the house.
Swinging her legs off of the bed, Sarah was walking towards the door when the trunk she had forgotten about moving to the foot of her bed attacked her shin. "Ow!" she cried, and then bit her lip. She didn't want to wake her family. So she suffered in silence as she hobbled through her bedroom door, down the hallway, and into the bathroom.
The next morning, as she sat at the table eating toast, her mother came into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. "What," she asked, pointing at Sarah's right leg, "is that?"
On Sarah's shin, a large, raised purple and blue bruise was prominent and painful to touch. "That," Sarah replied, "is my bump in the night."
Her mother didn't seem to think her pun funny.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
"Well, you know that guy I like?"
"Yeah. I want to lure him to me, so I'm setting my trap."
"Elaine, he's not a mouse."
"I know - though he does that thing with his nose."
"He still doesn't look like a mouse - his face is the wrong shape. He looks more like a chipmunk, with those chubby cheeks. So, what's with the cheese?"
"What? Chipmunks don't like cheese?"
"Elaine, he's not a chipmunk! And I think they eat acorns or something."
"Those are squirrels. And I know he's not a chipmunk. But everyone likes cheese."
"I'm still not seeing how this trap is supposed to work."
"Oh, I invited him over for a 'study break.'"
"Did you use those air quotes when you asked him over?"
"No. He's going to be here in about fifteen minutes, though, so you should probably go."
"Elaine, do you really think presenting a plate of cheese and crackers is going to make some guy fall head over heels for you?"
"I didn't say anything about crackers."
"And I didn't say what he was going to eat the cheese off of."
"Okay, I admit it, that trap might work."
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Blue-green, aquamarine water
sifts and coils
in its’ own intricate dance
that I have no choice but to follow,
my tail entranced and constantly moving.
of the incessant journey,
and my voice often warbles
as it drifts in the air,
luring sailors to lean over the sides
of those small wooden vessels
in which they expect to safely traverse the ocean,
all too often falling over,
into the water they realize
they don’t want to be a part of.
I don’t pity them.
They had a choice,
and they chose to make the ocean
a large part of their life,
rather than using spindly legs
to run from the life-sucking water
as quickly as they can,
breathing in gulps
of thin, largely salt-less oxygen.
My weariness remains –
I have no options –
yet I am strengthened –
through anger –
who have the chance to do almost anything,
and far too often,
do nothing at all.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Of what, pray tell, did this epiphany consist?
In case that succinct reply was not definitive enough, I will go into a bit more detail.
As some know, I recently entered ktliterary's "prompt contest." (My entry is a bit further down this page.) Not surprisingly, I was not the winner of a coveted free book, but that's okay. I didn't really EXPECT to win. I just thought, "What the hell?"
One of the best feelings, to me, when writing is that rush I get when I've finished a piece of writing. It's like the world becomes a better place, and I will be set for life because I've finished a crappy first draft.
With contests which a person chooses to enter, comes a deadline, comes pushing oneself to finish a piece of writing, rather than lolly-gagging (I have no idea how to spell that word; corrections are welcome) and saying, "I've written five words...that's good for today...where's my beer?"
I'm exaggerating, of course - I don't drink beer.
To conclude this blog entry, I come to a resolution: enter more contests. More writing means, hopefully, that the writing will get better. I think I'm going to write a contest entry every two weeks.
Now, on to working on this difficult short story. I think...I think my characters HATE me. ;)
Saturday, July 4, 2009
So here I am, seventeen, the only one of my friends to retain the purity valued in women and scorned in men.
I guess my problem is that I don't have females figured out yet. I'm a nice guy. Or, at least, I'm not an asshole. Yet when I work up the courage to ask a girl out, she tends to be busy. A smile and a half-hearted apology should lessen the blow of rejection though, right?
I'm too old to be a virgin. So, since I'm not charming/asshole/nice/Robert Pattinson clone enough to seduce my peers, it is time for more drastic measures.
"Relax, kid,"Trixie says, fidgeting with her shiny gold top. With a name like Trixie, which she assures me is her real name, no matter how many times I ask, a person has to wonder if her parents foresaw what her career would be. "It's just a room. It doesn't mean anything."
I have to wonder, for a second, if Trixie maliciously picked room 13 to screw with me because I'm just a kid. Then I realize I'm paying her to screw with me, so if she does it in the figurative sense as well, I'm probably getting double my money's worth. We walk to room 13.
It's not really that different from the more expensive hotel rooms I've shared in the past with my parents and younger sister. The carpet's a little more worn, the television's a little older, the bedspread's a weird brownish-purple color.
Trixie leans forward to kiss me, and I feel nervous, suddenly - even though this is what I want. "So, how did you lose your virginity?" I ask her.
She raises her eyebrows. "You do realize you're paying me by the hour, right?"
"Well, yeah. But it's just - too weird, to lose 'it' to some chick I don't even know."
"Okay. If you must know - I was raped. Under a stairwell during a school assembly. Other students were cheering while a guy I knew took advantage of the fact that they wouldn't notice my screams."
"Really?" I ask.
"Nah. I lifted that story from a movie," she says, smiling. "Do you mind if I smoke?" I shake my head. She lifts a slender white cigarette to her mouth, lights, and inhales deeply. "What does it matter where I lost my virginity, or who I am? You know where I end up, so it's not a happy story."
"No you're not. If I didn't have an unhappy story, you wouldn't be about to get laid."
I nod my head. She's right.
"So - are we done with this 'getting to know you' shit?" she asks, placing her purse on a square table to the left of the door.
I take a deep breath. "Yeah. I'm ready."
She kisses me, with firm pressure, with her soft mouth, and I taste the smoke that lingers in her mouth.
"I'm not a kid," I answer.
"Sex doesn't make you a man," Trixie says, lighting another cigarette.
"I know." I find my pants on the floor, and retrieve my wallet. As I count out the proper number of bills, I say, "I do feel different. Not grown up, but...okay with myself."
"That's good, kid. Let's hope it's not just afterglow." She takes the money from my outstretched hand and walks out of the motel room.
The room's still paid for a half-hour. I turn on the television, and sit against the headrest of the bed.
*This story is a piece written in response to the kt literary blog. I hope you enjoyed it.
I, personally, think that it is the sign of an intelligent person to ask questions if you need to gain knowledge. I also, however, contend that there IS such a thing as stupid questions.
I was asked one the other day. One of the stupidest questions I've ever heard, in the most condescending manner.
At the moment, one of my jobs is at Coldstone Creamery. For those who have never been there, let me say that the point in going to Coldstone is to get your ice cream with toppings mixed-in. You can watch us mix the toppings in on this cold slab, and you get toppings in every bite, etc.
So this girl got some ice cream the other day, and one of the toppings in it was whipped cream. Whipped cream is one of those finicky items - so I asked her if she wanted the whipped cream mixed in, or on top. She chose on top.
Then: "Why would anyone want whipped cream inside?"
To begin with, this is a poorly phrased question. Inside what? Inside the store? Inside the universe? Inside your mouth? Presumably, she meant inside of the ice cream. Still, a poorly worded question is a poorly worded question.
I will admit, my response to her was less intelligent than could be desired. "Um...(shrug) some people like it mixed in their ice cream, and some like it on top. (Pause) It's just a matter of preference. (Longer pause) The whipped cream makes the ice cream fluffy."
All factual statements, and I was slightly thrown off by the question, which seemed idiotic to me, but not one of my strongest moments.
I restated something which was obvious. I indicated that the preference might somehow be connected to texture.
Overall, I could not be rude to the girl who asked me this question - but really, the obvious, smart ass replies to her question would be the most correct.
"Why do YOU like whipped cream on top?"
"Does it matter? Do people always desire things that make sense?"
What thinking over this matter really leads me to think of, however, is dialogue.
In writing, stupid questions can help the story, effectively portray character, etc. And the answers are just as important - and hopefully, better than mine was the other day.
Do YOU have a funny, stupid question? Share it in the comments.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Since I can't know, for certain, what Mr. Jackson's status was, I prefer to dismiss the issue from hereon out, and think of a simpler time. A time when the brat pack dominated the teen movie market, the yuppie society which American Psycho would later satirize was in full force, and Vincent Price did some voice over work on what would become one of the best selling music records of all time.
I was born in '85, and I adored "Michael Jacks," as I called him. Most likely, because he habitually grabbed his groin for his adoring public, thereby giving me something else with which to horrify my parents by imitating.
Michael Jacks, despite his emotional problems, which would become well known later on, was a great performer. He sang, he danced, he smiled, he wore jackets with huge shoulder pads. He gave us music that is still worth listening to, twenty years later.
I really hope that more people are stunned, and remembering the good things that Michael Jackson did, rather than judging him for being screwed up (as a lot of us are, in our own way).
Now that Michael Jacks is dead, "Darkness falls across the land..."
Rest in peace, Michael Jacks.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Anyway, I will amend my shortcoming slightly by posting today.
I have lately been rather infatuated with YouTube. Particularly make-up tutorials and reviews. Partly because I wear make-up, when I'm not too lazy to apply it, and I learn nifty little tips and tricks. Partly because I marvel at the amount of money a lot of "make-up gurus" spend each month on new make-up. Partly because a lot of the gurus aforementioned are really enthusiastic about what they do, and have a nice voice to provide background noise as I work on my writing, and ramble in an adorable manner.
Yet I found myself unsubscribing from one of these gurus recently, because of her stance on words, and the manner in which she sometimes spoke to her viewers.
I'm not going to mention this person's username - I do not want to be petty and mean, and for the sake of this blog entry, it's not really necessary for anyone to know it.
This person was one of the cute ramblers, and frequently posted reviews. Recently, however, she made a video putting some restrictions on what she would review (mostly having to do with monetary limitations, which I completely understand), and regarding the disclaimer she inserted in the beginning of every video.
A lot of make-up gurus have disclaimers in the side bar, or in little yellow pop-up balloons, or on their profile, etc. This user had it in the beginning of her videos, and apparently people had been complaining about it.
Some of this complaining was the usual bitch and moan because it "annoys" a person, rather than because it has no merit. (Which it did (have merit); I understood why the disclaimer was there, and personally had no qualms with it.) Some of this complaining had to do with the manner in which the YouTube user had phrased the disclaimer, however; some people thought that it was a bit mean. (And I could understand how it could be construed that way.)
To the latter people, the YT user replied that words do not "emote," and that they should stop complaining, and if they had a problem with it, that was their problem, and things along that line. In the comments, someone wrote what part of the disclaimer could be seen as a bit rude and off-putting, to which the YT user wrote a text comment along the same lines as what she had said.
Now, technically, this YT user was correct. Words do not emote. Not being living beings, words are incapable of actually emoting.
I think, however, the YT user was a bit too dismissive of the complaint. If the YTU didn't mean any offense, she could have simply said so, and possibly that people were reading things into her words that weren't intended to be in those words.
I am a living being, however, and I suspect you are, too. People are capable of emoting, and people read words with emotion. People are supposed to read words with emotion. When a person writes a poem, that person intends for his or her reader to feel something as a result.
Words have connotations to them. Words have emotions associated with them.
If they didn't, there would be no fun in writing. There would be no fun in doing a vlog. It is through words that a person tends to express emotion. So please, do not sit in your chair before your camera, using words to tell me that words are much more sparse things than they really are. It is narrow minded and ignorant to think that people should not, sometimes, be offended by words.
Don't you agree?
Friday, May 29, 2009
"Adults often talk about their childhood or adolescent dreams and aspirations, the things they wanted more than anything but were too afraid to go after. They'll talk your ear off about all the regrets in their own lives, all of their past mistakes, and when you're a child they even tell you not to make the same mistakes. They tell you to follow your dreams, or you'll regret it for the rest of your life."
Pensive Tuesday (sorry, P.T., to talk about you in the third person if you're currently reading this) then goes on to talk about how parents talk about college.
Which brings up the ultimate dilemma: realism v. dreams.
Honestly, I don't remember getting talks about how I needed to follow my dreams, lest I awake with regrets later in life. I guess that's because I was such a dreamer when I was a child. What I heard while growing up, as I dreamed about my future career as a prima ballerina in New York City, was "Well, you better go to college and have a back-up plan." Which is sound advice, of course, but did not exactly convey the connotation of confidence in me that I might have wished to receive.
Not surprisingly, I gave up on the dream of being a dancer - when I was 14, in ninth grade of high school. I decided I wasn't good enough, I didn't know how to get good enough, and that since my parents didn't support me, I should just give up on the idea.
And I do regret it, of course. (Especially as I would be in better shape if I was currently a professional dancer.) But that's not really what this blog is about. It's not the regret that I want to focus on - it's that I allowed myself, my aspirations, to be quashed by the unkind words of others. It's that now I don't know what I want.
I've come to realize something recently. Being a dreamer, being ridiculous and having large dreams, is a large part of who I am, as a person. When I let the "realistic" advice of my parents, my teachers, and my peers override my innate feelings, I gave up on myself. A lot.
Dreams are important - as Michael Shurtleff writes in his book Audition, dreams are what people live for. Perhaps we can't all actually achieve the things we want most in life, but it's not healthy to just give up when you're in the middle of the race and nothing's physically wrong with you.
Now, since this is a blog about writing, (see, I was going somewhere with all of this), I'm sure any aspiring writer can see how my topic applies to his or her future. Writing is an arduous journey. Each work is difficult to perfect, and demands a lot of time and effort. Writing is setting dreams down on paper, whether they actually happened or not, whether it's a fairy tale or a nightmare. Writers are, perhaps, the biggest dreamers of anyone.
The key to writing, it seems to me, is persistence and not losing that dream - that this idea is worth putting down on paper, that you will finish the story, that you will publish the story, that you might even get PAID for the story, etc.
You shouldn't do it for fame and money, though every writer, of course, would love to become famous and get paid plenty of money for his or her work.
You need to have a dream. And you need to be strong enough not to lose it.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Saturday, February 28, 2009
I was a bit perplexed. I didn't think my story had a bit of romance. There's a guy who gets road-head from a hooker, and a girl who gets jumped by her bisexual friend, with no indication that she's into it. When I put it that way, my boyfriend replied, "Well, maybe you will like Tim Dorsey's books."
I guess this situation makes me curious about what people think of romance. I think of it with regard to the time period referred to as Romantic - full of ideals and passion. I also think of romance as an intimate connection, a nice, old-fashioned way a guy treats a girl. Or a new, inventive way a person makes his or her significant other's heart flutter.
But is that what the word means?
My boyfriend seemed to think it just meant physical intimacy. Or perhaps he's naive, and doesn't think people have sex unless they are in love.
The bookstores seem to think it means a book with a predictable plot and detailed sex scenes. (I guess I'm kind of a book snob, but my favorite romances are found in the classics or the literary fiction sections.)
Dictionary.com has many definitions of it, many of them pertaining to creative works.
Is that the secret, then? Maybe romance isn't real. Perhaps it's something which artistic people have invented - a way of looking at relationships, but not really seeing what that relationship is, and instead seeing the relationship as what you wish it is, or want it to be.
What are YOUR thoughts on romance?
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Today I began a story about a girl named Kate Prattle. She's a bitch, and I have no idea what's going to happen to her. But I'm having fun. And I wrote 2009 words! That's a huge deal for me; I'm a notoriously slow writer.
Tomorrow, I'm going to finish the story. Period. And I have all day to do it, because I should be free after 1:00 or so in the afternoon.
I don't know if I'm going to post it here, though.
Too much time to think. As if I don't already think too much. Anyone who's a philosopher on purpose probably has to see a therapist non-stop. Of course, this therapist probably just sits in her chair and repeatedly says, "You need to CHILL. Do yoga or something. Geesh."
Anyway, what have I been thinking about? Mortality - which, I'm not going to lie, I was kind of hoping would soon end when I couldn't breathe, and I didn't want to blow my nose because the enraged, raw nasal passages were giving me pain for incessantly placing a tissue against them. I mean, the fact is, we don't live very long. I want to do things I enjoy, because those things probably have the greatest chance of living on. Plus, it would be really cool to write and discover there are people who enjoy my writing.
When I was in high school, my creative writing teacher forced us kids in the class to submit pieces of writing. So I did. Even though pretty much every assignment I ever did for the class was half-assed, because - well, because it was high school, I guess. Yet I still won second place for a "one-act play," and some money from it. I also got published in Kaleidoscope - some poem. I don't know. Like, I'll write poetry if you make me, but it's basically me being a smartass. I don't care for poetry much, and there's enough of the bad stuff out there that I'm not going to terrorize people by adding mine to the garbage heap.
I guess the point I'm trying to make in this meandering blog entry is that I feel like I used to write well. Yes, I did use past tense for a reason. Because, while I feel pretty confident in my essay-writing skills (even if Writer's Digest isn't particularly fond of it), I feel like my talent for writing fiction has significantly decreased.
I want to get better. When I write something I like, I have this feeling of accomplishment. And the only way to get better is to write. Which is hard, when I feel like everything I write is dreck. That's right - dreck.
Anyway, I've made a new goal for myself. I want to write something complete every day - a short story, or a character sketch, or SOMETHING, so long as that something is complete. Maybe even a poem. A really bad poem that I'll never let you see.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
That's right. Valentine's Day draws near, and Eros readies his poison-tipped arrows to torture us poor mortals (and, most likely, his mother (again)). Whether you're sappy, or of a more cynical nature, you can surely write something concerning Valentine's Day in poem, letter, or essay form.
And, to get you in the mood, here's a bit of the movie Mansfield Park. (I seriously have a crush on Henry Crawford...)
Monday, February 2, 2009
So here's a video of Joyce Carol Oates talking about writing, particularly focusing on characters.
There is one part in the video where she looks like she's fidgeting with/fixing her bra, but I really liked listening to her, especially her talk about how she hates writing her novel for the first six weeks.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I'm actually working on it for more than a day or two this year.
In fact, I've just submitted something to be published - the Barbie anthology thing. It was exactly 150 words, and it made my boyfriend laugh (which I'll take as a compliment, even though he kind of has to...).
It's kind of uplifting. Even if it doesn't get picked (and I'm sure a lot of people are submitting, so it very well may not), at least I tried.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Now, I must admit, I was definitely one of those girls who loved Barbie. But whether you loved her or hated her, chances are, at least if you're a girl, you have a Barbie anecdote.
If so, check out the website of Tanya Lee Stone. She's writing a book about Barbie, and she wants anecdotes of, at most, 150 words. So polish your skill with succinctness, and take a stab at getting published.
And, to give credit where credit is due, I heard about this opportunity from the livejournal of Sarah Dessen.
I'm going to try. I even think I kind of know what I want to do... The hard part is keeping it to a mere 150 words. Eesh. Why am I so wordy?
Oh, and to get you in the mood, here's the first Barbie commercial. Ever! (Courtesy of YouTube)
Saturday, January 3, 2009
This is something I whipped up as application to a writing position. I'm not surprised I didn't hear back - the writing sucks. But, still, it's something I wrote, and therefore feel a compulsion to save somewhere before deleting it from my computer. And it's not all bad. It's not executed great, but the scene is there, and might inspire someone with greater writing talent than I possess. So read on - at your peril. ;)
Setting: A college classroom, with a chalkboard on one wall. In front of the chalkboard is a long table, behind which are two chairs. There are various student desks facing opposite the long table. About twelve students are seated.
Graduate Student Instructor (GSI): (walks into the room and sits at a chair behind the long table): Hello, everybody. (Removes a copy of the Aeneid and a legal pad covered with notes.) Now that we’ve finished Vergil’s work, we should be able to hold an interesting discussion.
Meg: Who’s Vergil?
Tiffany: (disdainful) The author of the Aeneid.
Meg: Oh, right.
GSI: Anyway, what are everyone’s thoughts on the end of the poem?
Tiffany: I hope you don’t pass this class after making it so obvious you don’t do the reading.
Meg: (pouting) Well, that’s not very nice.
GSI: Now that we’ve covered the fact that the Aeneid is an epic poem written by a guy named Vergil, why don’t we begin analysis of the piece?
Tiffany: I thought the end of the poem was perfect. I mean, there’s a reason this poem has withstood the test of time – Vergil was a great writer.
Andrea: Well, Vergil was a fairly good writer, but I didn’t really like the ending. It was so abrupt.
GSI: It does seem abrupt, but that may not have been the way Vergil planned on ending it.
Tiffany: (haughty) That’s right. Vergil died before he considered the poem finished; he actually asked them to burn the manuscript entirely. Thank God they didn’t.
Andrea: You know, as much fun as it is to hear you sucking up to the GSI, I have SparkNotes, too. Why don’t you shut up and allow those of us who actually did the reading have the discussion?
GSI: (wearily) Did anyone literally hold their copy of the Aeneid open and read the words contained therein?
(Andrea raises her hand)
Meg: (sighs) I wish you wouldn’t use such big words; we already know you’re smart.
GSI: (raises her eyebrows for a second, then lowers them) Well, it seems pointless to hold a conversation about something only a couple of people have read. If anyone actually does the reading, and wants to talk about it, come to my office hours. Next week, we’re having a quiz on the reading – one you can’t pass by glancing at SparkNotes. (picks up her bag and storms out of the room)
(Students glare at Andrea, who giggles nervously.)