Where Do I Go ?


I finished my first draft and I was filled with the feeling of ” oh my… Yeah, yeah” with music and beauty floating around my head and then something happened.

All the things that I would read said the same thing. It said  let your book ruminate and give it time to become something that you can then successfully read and revise without that oh so helpful thing where your mind just adds the missing words that you meant to write , so that your words make no sense to anyone else.

This phase is all about adding and subtracting and fighting the increasing feeling that you are an idiot that wrote the worse book ever written.  That your book will make people run screaming into the streets and cry and weep and scream, they will pull out their eyes and deny the fact that they ever read anything, ever. Somehow your book will actually make other books you love less good. That authors you love will read the book and say ” No, never” to your requests to write a forward.  This is probably not going to happen. This has not happened to the various dubious novels that have been written in the world, both recent and long ago. There are people that count novels that I myself view as painfully bad among their favorites. So what are the odds that no one would read my book and at the very least say it was interesting, or entertaining? And I will not bring about the end of the world. I do not have that power.

But I do have this feeling that is completely and utterly fear-based.  I am afraid of my book. Just a little but the more that I think about what it would mean if this is terrible. The fear of what would happen if I am not a writer worth reading.  I am also thinking of what might happen if I am a writer worth reading. If I write a book that is worth the notice of people that matter, people like me that love books and reading to the point that they can invest years in the lives of people and places that never were. So I am in revisions and now I am realizing that either way fear must not be the thing that stops me. If it is, then I will be a failure of epic proportions.

So if you are having issues like mine there are a few quick and dirty tips that can help to make the experience a little less terror making .

Revision Tips

  1. Start revising as soon as you can 

Figure out what is your best timing but don’t wait too long. Often Procrastination will start pretending to be something cleaner, like reflection or research.

  1. Don’t spend ages making your first draft look pretty

This is just wasting time, include all the details you need to learn, but don’t try to produce a work of art. This is a ROUGH draft. It is just that, ROUGH.

  1. Take short breaks

— Every hour, not every 10 minutes. I enjoy using the pomodoro timers to help me myself on task.

  1. Use revision guidelines 

Cathy Yardley has great tips on her blog. I add also that you should treat the revisions just like you would treat your writing , have a plan and have a schedule on what you will finish each day .

  1. Get yourself drinks and snacks

So you don’t make excuses to stop every 10 minutes…

  1. Sit at a proper desk
  2. Don’t turn yourself into a revision zombie 

There is nothing that you can do all day every day without burning out. It’s really important that you keep time to do things you enjoy… like movies, shopping, sports, Frisbee, rock-climbing, making model planes ,porn, whatever tickles your fancy… When you’re doing these try to relax and totally forget about revision.Meat_Grinder_zombie_7265759848_1

.

  1. Read the book aloud when you can 

—hearing it really does help. If you can, record yourself.

  1. Find the right environment to revise

NOT in front of the TV. NOT listening to the radio. Music can sometimes be OK, but you need to find the right kind. It’s got to be something that’s just there in the background that you’re not thinking about at all. Music without singing is better as you won’t be tempted to dance around your bedroom like a big fool.

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Here and There and back again , the road to revisions


I completed my first full novel draft. I am beyond happy over finishing it , I am joyous. I am less than happy over the idea of doing revisions I am , what’s the word, scared shitless. The problem is that whilst I do believe that I have the ability to write  I  fear  after having poured a few tens of thousands words into a book that I will look at in and find that it is not only no good but that it is actively awful. I mean no redeeming factors , I am going to show it to an agent or publisher and I am going to be laughed at in an ugly fashion , told that I am the worst this to happen to the written word since reality TV and banned forever from all writing groups, societies and  unions that have been or ever will be , even if I start said group, society or union.

That will most likely not happen . I mean the odds are that it will not happen. I may not make any money. I may not find the wherewithal to complete the 3 books that will complete the story but I will likely not die of anything, be shunned, be shamed or feel the need to commit anything, suicide , myself , to a weird hair color. Most likely I will simply fill in the plot holes and deadly boring spots, do a second revision for length or content and be good. I am not saying that this is my magnum opus but I think that It at the very least , ok. and brings me to the point of today.

I am a crazy sick writer person , like many of you , I write and then I rewrite and then if you let me I will rewrite and research until what I have is a 60000 word polished turd. Not that it is my plan but if you are too precious about your writing , second and third and tenth guessing every single word and phrase choice you will eventually have something that no one , including you , want to read for pleasure. writing is a very private thing, and it is very personal but if you want to make a living at it  you have to be willing to have a good enough point . your beta readers will help with that . people who have the honor of reading your first polished draft , people who like your writing , and love or at least like you and are willing to be honest about the quality of your writing whilst ( I am using whilst today) refraining from saying things like ” don’t you think the dog could be a corgi , I had a corgi when I was a kid” kind of things.

when I started writing my novel and read all the books that I could about writing and they all said ” wait” X ” time before you start revisions” and I thought , I can’t wait I have to do it now. and now I have to revisit those said same books to hear ” but don’t wait too long because ”  basically you lose your story mojo. and having done three chapters of revisions so far with the help of “Rock Your Revisions” and a few tips from other people I have managed to do the first pass , make some notes and low and behold , I am not dead and my writing while not perfect is , at the very least , okay  . and for a first novel , a solid dose of okay is , at least, okay.

How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com


The advantages of e-books are clear. E-books are immediate. Sitting at home in Pakistan, I can read an intriguing review of a book, one not yet in stores here, and with the click of a button be reading that book in an instant. E-books are also incorporeal. While traveling, which I do frequently, I can bring along several volumes, weightless and indeed without volume, thereby enabling me to pack only a carry-on bag.

And yet the experience of reading e-books is not always satisfactory. Yes, it is possible to vary the size of the font, newly important to me at age 42, as I begin to perceive my eye muscles weakening. Yes, e-books can be read in the dark, self-illuminated, a reassuring feature when my wife is asleep and I am too lazy to leave our bed, or when electricity outages in Lahore have persisted for so long that our backup batteries are depleted. And yes, they offer more frequent indicators of progress, their click-forwards arriving at a rapidity that far exceeds that of paper-flipping, because pixelated screens tend to hold less data than printed pages and furthermore advance singly, not in two-sided pairs.

Nonetheless, often I prefer reading to e-reading. Or rather, given that the dominance of paper can no longer be assumed, p-reading to e-.

I think my reasons are related to the fact that I have disabled the browser on my mobile phone. I haven’t deleted it. Instead, I’ve used the restrictions feature in my phone’s operating system to hide the browser, requiring me to enter a code to expose and enable it. I can use the browser when I find it necessary to browse. But, for the most part, this setting serves as a reminder to question manufactured desires, to resist unless I have good cause.

Similarly, I have switched my email account from the attention- and battery-consuming “push” setting to the less frenzied manual one. Emails are fetched when I want them to be, which is not all that often. And the browser on my slender fruit-knife of a laptop now contains a readout that reminds (or is it warns?) me how much time I have spent online.

Time is our most precious currency. So it’s significant that we are being encouraged, wherever possible, to think of our attention not as expenditure but as consumption. This blurring of labor and entertainment forms the basis, for example, of the financial alchemy that conjures deca-billion-dollar valuations for social-networking companies.

I crave technology, connectivity. But I crave solitude too. As we enter the cyborg era, as we begin the physical shift to human-machine hybrid, there will be those who embrace this epochal change, happily swapping cranial space for built-in processors. There will be others who reject the new ways entirely, perhaps even waging holy war against them, with little chance — in the face of drones that operate autonomously while unconcerned shareholding populations post selfies and status updates — of success. And there will be people like me, with our powered exoskeletons left often in the closet, able to leap over buildings when the mood strikes us, but also prone to wandering naked and feeling the sand of a beach between our puny toes.

via How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com.

20 ways how to get more comments on your blog – Fairy Blog Mother


English: WordPress Logo

English: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20 ways how to get more comments on your blog

Posted on Thursday 3 October 2013 by Alice Elliott • 16 Comments

I’ve been writing a lot about comments lately, and that’s because they are so important to blogs and their interactiveness, which is why they exist in the first place!

But in spite of this, I have omitted to give you some tips on how to get more comments on your blog, so here they are:

1. Make it easy

WordPress provide a lovely, easy-to-use comment box at the bottom of their posts, just waiting for a response. Encourage your readers by indicating above it you’d love a comment, and adapt the settings so they don’t have to register to do so. Leave instructions for commenting if you like, but not so that it undermines your readers.

via 20 ways how to get more comments on your blog – Fairy Blog Mother.

Successful


 

I am a Creative with deep roots. Its not what people see that counts, its whats buried deep that counts.If you are particularly sensitive, you may want to get an “updated” copy of Napoleon Hill’s masterwork “Think and Grow Rich” , but if not it is available in PDF or E-reader for for free download all over the internet. I say that “if you are particularly sensitive” part because I began reading the original for the first time yesterday and I realize that over the years, some of the language has been cleaned up and some stories have been edited for content. I am not particularly sensitive but I did take slight umbrage with the use of “Deaf and Dumb” in reference to Helen Keller, Calling a black child “ignorant, illiterate” in a story .words that did not really add to the story in my opinion. The almost constant use of the word “Normal” in relation to Blair Hill, the author’s son, that was born with no ears but who was forced to learn how to hear because of the overwhelming need for him to be “normal” by his father. I find that story both amazing and horrible.

Nevertheless, the other parts of the book are filled with merit. The book has been revamped and this is my third or fourth time reading it, although my first with the original text, and I think that it is something that everyone should read, at least once. Like the bible. Moreover, like the bible, you will get out of it what you get out of it. I can see it going forward in some people’s lives as simply new age ( the book is rounding on 100 years I think but still people will call it that) bull. Which for them, it will be. Some people will, as I did, read it and not really understand it. It rings a faint bell but I do not know that I really know the tune kind of thing. You have to keep reading it as your paradigm changes to get the true scope of the thing.

Then some of you, the Chloë Grace Moretz, the Bill Gates, the Zuckerbergs, among you will read it and have a kind of ping and duh moment at the same time. I think that the “secret” that lives in the pages of the book is something that comes natural to some people in this world. They wake up every day with the knowledge that they are going to make it. I am both awed by and terrified of these people. Not those as they are now but I suspect that Hitler was one of these people just turned inside out. When I meet them, always a part of me hopes they are one the side of good. Because I do not think that, I would be great in the apocalypse, except the Zombie Apocalypse because I have plans together.

I am reading this book again, and what I am getting out of it this time is, I can do it. In actuality, I am getting a full picture of my successes and failures of the past year. I tend to lose faith when I am close to the end because I believe that I fear (or have feared, as I am conquering that now) the near win-miss. The honest to god truth is that, without failure you cannot win; or should I say constructive failure. You cannot win the grand prize, if you do not lose the second prize. So many times in my life, I have been unwittingly leaving the game because I lost at second when the first prize had yet to be awarded. Real life example of that is when I won my 60-Inch TV, I had wanted to win the TV, which was the last prize. In the process, I gloomily sulked over not winning the laptop, the vacation package, the PS3 (they had just come out) and I was literally putting my coat on when I won the TV. The thing that I had actually stated that I wanted! My single raffle ticket, if it had won something else, could not bring me the TV that I wanted but I was ready to give up when I had not won everything. Something that would have been impossible anyway!

Therefore, again in my reaffirming the goal mindset, I state that while I am blessed and lucky to have been given my fantastic brain, I am also at odds with said brain. Sometimes I have to shut it off and let my heart take the wheel. I know what I want. I am learning how to get it and nothing will stand in my way. Not even me

Everyday I’m hustling…


Flickr friends

Flickr friends (Photo credit: Meer)

 

I’m carving a very strange little life for myself. I am living extremely nomadic. I have no roots at the moment and the lack there of is getting to me. I have more Friends then I have had in two decades but have less care in my life then in those two decades. I guess the thing that upsets me is that I am used to being slightly princess… Cared for… I don’t feel cared for.

 

Send in the Clowns


This song means a lot to me as I grow up and grow older . So many things  in my life , not just men but jobs, friends, thoughts, actions  , feel like they fall in this category . This why didn’t I realize at the time what I had .  Only to realize that the recapture of that thing , place , person or action is outside of your ability. You can not get the one that got away.

There are a lot of these for me , some because I truly didn’t see the merit on them and for those I can only sigh and move on but the ones that hurt are the ones that I missed out on because I was too  chickenshit it make a move . I am never proud of myself when I  miss out on something because  I decided to be a chickenshit . I would rather fail miserably  in trying than be in fear. I would like to try and fail beautifully.

In the spirit of that I have decided to sing today. You are free to listen or not to listen ( like you didn’t know that , right?) but understand that I am singing accapella and I did not do another take . I am a little pitchy at times I think but I am also woman enough today to sing one of my favorite songs to you and free of change .

http://youtu.be/TU8d7SBwswI

This year has not been easy and it is only May , but then again this year has not been easy and it is already May . I am not going to wallow in the many yesterdays, the could have beens , the should have beens. I am going to sing. and I am going to dance . I am going to move forward and laugh . Topple , roll , squeak my red nose and freak some people out . In short I am going to embrace the fact that I may be a clown. But after I go forward I will never let fear make me a clown again .

Clumsy


There are times when you find your self flat on the ground, having smashed your face into the pavement and all you can do it get  up, dust yourself off , pray you didn’t irrevocably damage yourself ,  ignore the laughter of strangers and just keep going with your day . This is not a metaphor, I literally fell on my ass today ,  or more accurately my face. I scrapped my face on the pavement .  I am feeling very poised and graceful today , I can tell you . 

The funny thing is , well first of all I do this at least once a year so this isn’t new , it really does redefine your day when you bust your ass. I mean no matter how cute you think you are a good fall with reboot the hell out of you . Yes you are still cute but you can also suddenly and without warning look like a complete idiot . And that’s okay . We all look ridiculous sometimes . You do not die ( hopefully) , and you will not be permantly damaged by most of them, you may be a little banged up ( I scrapped my chin…my lord I am sexy today!) but at the end of it you can probably laugh at it. 

I am reminded that one of my girl crushes , Jennifer Lawrence ( if you don’t know her , shame on you because she is awesome!) ,  had the wonderful  honor of winning an Oscar and on her way up the stairs she fell. She sat for a second and then recommenced and started back up the stairs to thunderous applause and a standing ovation  from her fellow actors and those lucky enough to get a ticket. Her response  was ” “You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell.”  Now , she can be that cool after flubbing a once in a lifetime moment, the I can not even being to be all butt-hurt over my falling in front of a bunch of strangers , and neither should you , if you ever do so. 

 

It’s been one week…


“Sex Life of Robots” | Michael Sullivan

“Sex Life of Robots” | Michael Sullivan (Photo credit: ceslava.com)

 

There is a book, perhaps you’ve
heard of it, that says if you are having trouble in your marriage
You should have sex everyday for 30 days. Without exception. You can’t be to busy, or to tired or to I’m thinking of divorcing this scumbag so I don’t want to fuck him…none of those things is an excuse. Everyday. Thirty days.
Now in those 30 days of sex bootcamp, there has to be some days where the sex is phenomenal; quivering , undulating flesh, orgasms that make you forget your own middle name, and that remind you why you married this person.
Contradictory to that are other days. Days when sex with this man or woman make you feel like…well like you are being forced to have sex everyday. Days when all you want to do is watch Himym and finally ,for the love of God ,know who this woman is!  And the sex is , kind of, blah.
I said that, and I’m apologizing in advance, because that is what I’m doing with my blog. Follow through is NOT my strong suit. If it were, you would hear people say things like ” did you read Brie Stoll’s last book?” Because that’s what I was born to do.
So for 30 days I’ll write. Sick, well, hung over, sad, happy, busy ,broke or whatever , I will write.
Some days you may read and think, that was good. Somedays you may read and think that’s awesome. Somedays you may read and think, not even close. That’s what the apology earlier was for.
I promise to try to bring you to a literary orgasm everyday . There will be days when you are already looking for the remote and wondering if there’s a nice juicy nurse Betty on somewhere. But I promise to do my level best to have as many days possible of “yes, yes, right there, oh, oh…I love you”… In the literary sense.

 

 

I love being a girl


Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon

Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I really do … I know , please , my feminist sisters don’t jump down my throat , yes I am a woman but I am sorry I love being a girl. Not a female. Not a woman. A girl. I love the feminine loveliness, the soft, the sweet. I love being a female , yes , but when I get ready  and have the makeup and the hair , cutsie poo and the sexy sensual beautiful things that I have and look in the mirror and I am truly feeling myself , I think , I love being a girl.

 

My proclamation is just that. I want to be allowed to be happy that I am a girl. I have a male friend that tries to throw lugs about women because of his own insecurities, about not having to do his hair, or not having to wear makeup. For the record, there are many men that are girls as well, and I am not just talking about being gay. Usher, the metro-sexual, and just your plain old pretty boys. And there are women that just don’t wear makeup and girlie clothes. SO… rude statement naturalized … but for those of us , like myself, who enjoy it , I also counter that I am not stuck with the woman I wake up to . I can sometimes suffer insomnia. When you go to sleep at 4 to wake up at 6, the women in the mirror at 6 looks like … how do I say this … death warmed over, twice.  When I walk out to people saying “you look rested”, ha-ha, I win!

 

I am a woman, smart, articulate, funny… umm…modest. I am also a girl, bubbly, and silly, unbearably cute …ummm…modest. Both are sides to me. They are parts that make me, me. They are the things that captivate those who know me into believing that the insecure pile of jello that I can be is this confidant grown up finally, and giving up my girl would not help, but hinder that.  If I had to stop having a crush on Tom Hardy, if I had to never go see another  Comic book movie alone ( yes I said alone ) , If I had to stop squealing when something made me really happy I would be diminished , my I would be smaller.

 

I think sometimes we are so quick to cast off out child self, not childish but child self, that we forget how to play, how to fun, how to dance like no one is watching, how to love a celebrity like we know them (not the crazy fanatic thing where we carve their names into our body, that is a sick child self and needs riddelin) just because they are awesome, and we lose the joy that was once inherent to our very nature. I realize that my girl and I are codependent as hell, we need each other. She lets me write and I let her scream for joy in the middle of the store  when she finds out Kelsey Grammar is playing Beast , my favorite X men character of all, in the middle of a store ( true story) .

 

I leave this long rambling prose with the following. Find your inner girl, or boy. I suggest Lego’s, they freaking LOVE Lego’s.

 

 

 

Free Fallin’


There are people in this world that have jumped from an airplane only to find mid-fall that the parachute didn’t open. While generally this spells death  for the person plummeting to the earth there are , on occasions, a person that lands and is found broken, bruised and badly shaken but nonetheless alive .

That person while recovering from the usually significant injuries has to , despite everything , feel like the luckiest son of a bitch in the world. You go into a free-fall , a jump from much higher than people die from and you live . You didn’t walk away . How could you? But the survival… the survival is all you could hope for and more.

Coming to Houston was me in free fall. I had little choice about what else I could do but I was definitely moving fast towards the ground and simply now , still in mid fall I have realized that I  can’t do anything to change the end of this fall.  now I am not saying that I am a victim of my fate I am saying that the choices that i made before now have shaped the movement  I am in  now . I jumped and while I couldn’t have predicted the lack of a parachute I had the choice to never jump.

I wonder if the people who are falling feel like I do now. In those moments , the beauty and splendor the earth all around them while they scream , prey or wet  themselves , do they also feel like this might be what I had to have happen. Would they choose to be at  home in whatever life made them feel like this was a good idea? I doubt that. I doubt that they would prefer to have never had the jump to avoid the fall.  I know that I would not .