?

Log in

No account? Create an account

It's Friday in Kalamazoo

« previous entry | next entry »
Nov. 9th, 2012 | 02:08 pm

I’m home! Which is rare, but also awesome. Writing at my hometown independent, Water Street Coffee, where I have figured out that wedging my purse behind my lower back cuts down on the stabbing muscular aches when I’ve procrastinated for eight hours before writing for two enjoyed a productive evening after a leisurely afternoon. Great coffee, terrible lumbar support.

National Novel Writing Month is kicking my ass, and I actually did a writing exercise—all on my own! Outside of class!—today to get back in gear and on track with words. Sure enough, it worked. And the “Focus” view in Word is super awesome, too—blacks out the rest of the screen so I can write without my email icon doing its seductive little undulations. Those pesky tools, always helping out when you need them… If you’re a NaNo, too, I’d love to buddy up. I’m whipchick over there, too, and I’m always up for an online writing date/dare/competition/shamefest, so hit me up if you need a helping hand.


REJECTED!
Definitely Not The Opera hasn’t caught on yet that I’m just going to keep pitching stories until they take one. And you know what? Being rejected still sucks, but not as hard. The first one was a punch in the gut, the second was bad but not unexpected, the third discouraging, like, can’t I get it right? But after the fourth time, it starts to be more funny, like, oh yeah, THAT again, instead of horrible. Is this how serial killers get started?


SCORED!
Got a nice interview on the Theatrefolk (a Canadian play publisher) podcast—I talk about winning LJ Idol and the process of writing every day. Check it out here.


OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
Hey, why not upload a story submission to The Moth? The radio show is all personal, true, first-person stories. They do live stage shows and studio tapings, and a lot of the storytellers are chosen from submissions to their website. Find out how to record your own two-minute pitch here. And if you’re not ready yet, read or listen to their Storytelling Tips--so useful for personal essayists and fiction, too!


ME ME ME ME ME: THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSION(S)
This week and last week, I pitched five things:

A version of “The Power of Can’t” to Common Ground magazine, a metaphysical/eco-conscious/healthy lifestyle magazine based in Canada.

For Definitely Not The Opera’s weekly topic, “Hair”, a story pitch about getting my hair cut in Dubai in a women-only salon. I taught an impromptu yoga class and we discovered together that white hair cuts differently than Middle Eastern hair. There were one-inch bangs for four months afterward.

Also for Definitely Not The Opera, last week’s topic, “In The Spotlight”, a version of my essay “Reality” about being on a TV talent show.

To Lucky Peach, the new McSweeney’s food magazine, a query to write an essay with photos about street food in Mumbai, where I’m going next.

Pilgrims Book House in Varanasi, India, says that they welcome reading events from visiting authors, so I asked whether they’d have me while I’m there next month.

Why?
I’m shotgunning this bad boy of a submission process. As Anne Lamott put it, “As long as you have something else out on submission, you’re not going to walk in front of a bus when the rejection letter comes.”

How?
Reading past issues, getting a feel for what they publish, and checking thoroughly for submission guidelines. Lucky Peach is new, so they don’t have guidelines yet, and I did a combination “request for guidelines hey this is also a pitch” email. For the reading, I attached an audio of me at a previous event and a photo.

What?
See above.

And then I hit Send. WHICH IS LIKE PASSING AN INTRICATELY FOLDED PIECE OF NOTEBOOK PAPER ACROSS YOUR FIFTH GRADE CLASSROOM AND HOPING IT COMES BACK CHECKED “YES”.

Fingers crossed!


LINK OF THE WEEK
In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, Aimee Bender writes for Oprah’s magazine about how laying down some rules can aid your creative productivity.
____________________________________________
What are your writing rules?



Link | Leave a comment |

Comments {14}

SuperCAILEfragilistic

(no subject)

from: caile
date: Nov. 9th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC)
Link

I eagerly await your DNTO pitch about serial killing the staff of DNTO!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 11th, 2012 07:53 am (UTC)
Link

They'll LOVE it. No, really, THEY. WILL. LOVE. IT.


:)

Reply | Parent | Thread

Andrea Blythe

(no subject)

from: blythe025
date: Nov. 9th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
Link

I don't have any rules right now. I need some, probably, but, well, hrm.

Anyway, good luck with your ongoing submissions!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 11th, 2012 07:54 am (UTC)
Link

Thanks!

I find the challenge with rules is that if I don't have another person who has the same rules, or a parallel set where we're tracking each other, I can't keep to them on my own.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Andrea Blythe

(no subject)

from: blythe025
date: Nov. 12th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Link

Agreed. Having someone to help hold you accountable is a very good thing. That's a part of why I joined LJ Idol, to keep me writing (note that I haven't written any Fay Fairburn stuff since I got voted off). It's also why I enjoy the writing group I'm a part of, as I feel the need to submit something new every meeting.

You and I could try setting up some goals and checking in with each other once a week by private message or email or livejournal post or whatever...

Reply | Parent | Thread

unmowngrass

I need a helping hand!

from: unmowngrass
date: Nov. 10th, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
Link

Whilst I haven't written every day so far this month, I have made a serious attempt at tackling this NaNo mountain, and not getting very far tbh. I have mostly written in a notebook, and later typed it all up.

This story feels like it has been wrested from me, I feel like I really have tried very hard with it so far and have fought and conquered:
1) the procrastination monster (I didn't win ~every~ time, but I have won some of them)
2) a boring storyline I didn't want to carry on writing, but I have persevered with it until it became interesting again (to me)
3) finding the balance between dull-as-ditchwater-minutiae and totally ludicrous and/or straight-out-the-clear-blue-sky plotlines. Still an ongoing lesson, but I definitely felt like I had improved in this area.

We are almost a third of the way through NaNo now, and for the first time this evening since the first day, I checked the wordcount. 2961. No, there isn't a digit missing there! Even writing sentences in the longest way I could, and avoiding hyphenating words that should be hyphenated [editing is for December, right?? ;-) ], and I still haven't broken three thousand words.

I feel SO discouraged right now!! Any help or challenge you can give me will be greatly appreciated, please!

Reply | Thread

whipchick

Re: I need a helping hand!

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 10th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Link

I'm glad your storyline got interesting again!!

CHALLENGE!!

Here's the exercise:

Start with a letter of the alphabet. I did A first, but you don't have to.

"A is for..." and write about something that starts with A that has to do with your book. A paragraph or two, doesn't have to be huge. When you're done with A, move on to B. You can do it any way you want - it could be parts of the plot, something a character is talking about, or even your thoughts as the author on part of the story you need to tackle.

I ended up doing A-B-C-M-F-G and then when I started on G I got into one of the characters and all of a sudden Aurora and Trevor were picking up her Grampa at the police station and taking him home which is a scene that will belong later in the book, but hey, I wrote ahead. And now I know I need to get him arrested, which gives me another scene to write.

The letters that didn't lead up to anything specific are still useful - some of it's backstory and it helped me practice the voice.

So, I Officially Challenge You! Write six letters' worth :) Deadline is 10PM EST Saturday.


Reply | Parent | Thread

unmowngrass

Re: I need a helping hand!

from: unmowngrass
date: Nov. 11th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC)
Link

DONE!! :-D

In order, I did A-G-S-I-J-M, and it yielded some frutiful results! Most significantly, A spawned that writing urge and I got 1042 words out of it! And it almost wrote itself!

The other five have given me much to think about and start from next time. I now have several character profiles (some of them overlapped), a number of scenes I can pick up to start writing, what is basically a blurb for the finished article, AND, amazingly, an actual over-arching plot! Yaay!

I don't know if I'm honestly too far behind to realistically catch up or not. I don't want to kill myself over this thing. My goal now is to write every day for the rest of November, and if I manage that, then I'm calling that a win for this season. Thankyou! I'll dedicate the book to you, especially if you keep giving me these kicks in the pants! :-)

Reply | Parent | Thread

whipchick

Re: I need a helping hand!

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 11th, 2012 07:56 am (UTC)
Link

Excellent!!! And I'm honored :)

I'm having a bitch of a time writing - my BF came into town and he's a major night owl--like, went to bed at 9AM today night owl--and it's hard for me to keep to my own schedule when he's around. I need to put some serious thought into how to write around him, because so far whenever I'm around him it doesn't go well. Which is odd, because he's totally supportive. Maybe it's just having another human in my space?

I'm with you--if i get even a substantial amount of words, or write most days, I'm winning :)

Reply | Parent | Thread

unmowngrass

Re: I need a helping hand!

from: unmowngrass
date: Nov. 11th, 2012 07:09 pm (UTC)
Link

Well, I think boyfriends > writing time, generally, but if you can get another schedule for when he's there then everybody wins!

Reply | Parent | Thread

Ellakite

Rules are made to be broken.

from: ellakite
date: Nov. 10th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
Link

What are your writing rules?

I don't have any... and that may be for the best.

Every time I've made "A Contract With Myself" in the past, I ended up violating every significant clause in the thing within a few weeks... and then I would start emotionally beating myself up over the fact that I couldn't keep a promise to myself.

For example: I feel bad enough that I haven't written anything new in the past few weeks. Granted, lately I've either been living in a disaster zone or been trying to recover from the stress that comes with living in a disaster zone... but the upshot is that I've been in no physical, mental or emotional shape to write anything other than my posts here. Still, I feel bad about the fact that I couldn't put "ass in chair", much less produce anything of substance.

Now, if I had a "Contract With Myself" during the past month, I'd *REALLY* be feeling like shit right now...

Reply | Thread

writerdoc

(no subject)

from: writerdoc
date: Nov. 10th, 2012 01:53 am (UTC)
Link

Good luck with your submission! :D

Reply | Thread

tigrkittn

(no subject)

from: tigrkittn
date: Nov. 10th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Link

Added you on NaNo.

I was about 8000 words behind - due to quitting for most of the past week - and then I broke my NaNo rule #1 and edited (to mesh with a fairly radical change in the plot) and lost 500 words. So there's that. At this point I'll consider it a huge win if I can get to 6K tonight (which will be hard to do if I don't get off the internet...)

Reply | Thread

Rowan

(no subject)

from: mzrowan
date: Nov. 12th, 2012 08:27 pm (UTC)
Link

Maybe another place to submit stuff? http://yareview.net/how-to-submit/ (unpaid, though)

Reply | Thread