NaNoWriMo Begins!!!!!!!

NaNo, people, NaNo!  NaNo has begun!!!

Half the writers squealed for joy…

And the other half shrieked in terror.

I am in the latter half. :p

See, none of my stories are in any decent shape.  Guardian is in little more than partially glued-together shambles, a story set in Starwater has all of a single vague character in it, and a new contemporary WIP I’ve got is still in development phases.

So what am I doing instead?  Have I got some other genius novel idea that’s going to pop out of this?

Not exactly.

This NaNo isn’t about any novel in particular.  It’s vaguely about all of them, and about none of them at all.  I’ll write a little bit about them, maybe do some short stories and whatnot.  One way or the other, there’s going to be chaos.

Chaos in the form of blog posts.

Yup.  I am writing blog posts for NaNoWriMo.

Those of you that actually like this blog are probably jumping for joy right now, going “Yaay, more blog posts from this obscure aspiring writer almost no one has heard of!!!”  Those of you that don’t…  Well, you’re probably just gonna ignore this post for the most part anyway.  And that’s okay.

Mind you, I’m not expecting to actually succeed with this NaNoWriMo.  Sounds pessimistic, but it’s true.  I’ve been pretty swamped with college recently, and NaNo comes second to that, so I don’t intend to put myself 100% in the madhouse just because it’s NaNo.  I’ve been close enough to that a few times already, so I don’t need to get any closer.  Right now NaNo is just the motivation to get some writing done, and to see how well I actually can do with limited time.  All I expect of myself is to write as much as I can so you, my peeps, are not as dreadfully neglected as you have been in the past month or so.

That being said, I’m not going to be posting my posts as soon as I finish writing them.  I’m going to keep them at their usual times, the Wanderings on Friday, and any stories I do will be posted on Tuesdays.  Who knows, there might even be some book reviews in there!  Because I haven’t done a single one of those since I started this blog…   And let’s face it, you all are glad I’m going to be doing it like that, because if I didn’t you might be getting post a couple times a day or every couple days (if I’m feeling optimistic).  Last I checked, that’s generally along the lines of spamming.  And spamming isn’t cool.

So I mentioned a couple things I might be doing in the coming month, but what else?  What specifically can you look forward to or dread?  Well, I have a few ideas.

annabel-lee-by-edgar-allan-poe

Oh yeah.  That’s right.  Already agonizing tale of mine, meet the last work Poe completed in his lifetime.  Any potential readers, prepare to kiss your pretty hearts goodbye.  This is gonna be torturous awesome.

Really, though, it will be.  I had to read it for Intro to Lit, and it was amazing.  I had been struggling so much with figuring things out for Guardian, but when I read “Annabel Lee,” the first traces of ideas started to fall into place.  I’m really excited to share with you some of the tidbits I’ve accumulated that will help move Guardian into a place where I can turn it into a workable draft.

In the meanwhile, if you want to read “Annabel Lee,” it’s a short ballad.  It doesn’t take up even an entire page, but it’s still hauntingly beautiful.  You can easily find it just by googling it, since it’s public domain.  If you read it, be sure to tell me what you think, and any theories you have that might connect into what you know of Guardian!

new-story-pages

That’s right!  Soon I’ll have new pages up and running, talking about my new (tentative) WIPs.  So we’ll have Guardian, the Starwater storyworld, and a new WIP I’m calling… House of Gold. (And to all you TOP fans, it is based off that song.  It’s where I got the original inspiration for the story. 🙂 )

playlists

I’ll be honest, guys, I’ve turned into a little bit of a YouTube addict.  I’ll play songs pretty much all day while I work on my various school projects, occasionally get distracted by them, find a song that makes me go, “Hey, this works for one of my stories!” and add it to one of my playlists.  So I’ll end up making a post with the links in them so you can hear my playlists for my precious little WIPs.

teatime-with-proteus-and-the-fates

And all of you that aren’t familiar with the mythology scratched your heads and went, “Huh??”

But yes, this is exactly what it sounds like.  Proteus (the Old Man of the Sea who shepherds seals and knows everything) and the Fates (the three ladies that determine where, when, and how a person will be born, live, and die) sitting down and having tea together.

Because I’m a mythology nerd, and I read a Wordsworth poem that brought Proteus to my attention, and my Intro to Lit class again spawned plotbunnies for me.  (My professor’s probably gonna need a thank-you note for all the plotbunnies she’s helped me find…)

So yeah, you’ll have a Greek-mythology-laden short story coming soon.  If you aren’t already familiar with the mythology, again, you can google it and find it easily.  I’ll still explain it before the post itself, though.

review-of-the-out-of-time-series

(Because Out of Time needs more epic lettering than aaaallllllll the rest.)

Woot woot!!!  I love Out of Time.  I’m gonna finish reading A Time to Rise, and then I’m gonna write a review for the ENTIRE SERIES!!!!!!!!!!  Or maybe three consecutive weeks of reviewing and a couple extra weeks of fangirling, because otherwise it’s gonna be a reeeaaally long post.  So yes, this blog might turn into an Out of Time shrine at some point in the future.


Aaanyway, there’s five things I just gave you.  Now no more spoilers!  Let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular you’re looking forward to, and if you have any ideas/things you would like to hear in a blog post, let me know!

Tally ho! ~Natasha.

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Confessions of a Writer

It is time to confess my myriad writerly foibles.

Hoping you lot will laugh and confess with me instead of hurling books and pencils and things at my head.

If you do…  Well, at least I’m sitting behind a computer screen, probably in another time zone, so I doubt you can reach me.

So here it goes

Confession #1: I have read very little of late.

*appalled gasps*

It’s true.  I haven’t.  Between keeping up with working in a camp kitchen, living in a construction zone, spending time with friends, doing Camp NaNoWriMo, and writing blog posts, I have done very little reading.  I am a shame to the writerly world, I know.  But that brings me to my next confession…

Confession #2: I am a chronic squirrel reader.

I think I may have written a post about this on my old blog, Memoirs of a Taleweaver. Uncertain.  When I do actually get past my “reader’s block,” as some  call it, I’ll pick up a book and devour the first part of it, then another book will catch my eye and I’ll start reading, thinking, “I’ll read both at the same time!” In a few weeks, when I’ve finished neither book, my thought pattern is more to the effect of, “You thought you’d finish both at once?? That’s funny. Now go find another book.”

Confession #3:  I have very poor balance.

I’m not talking about walking (though that can definitely apply).  I’m talking about balancing writerly endeavors and all that entails, and life and all that entails.  More often than not, one or the other suffers.  Something I’m working on.

Confession #4: I am not actually supposed to have an “Uncategorized” category on my blog.

“But… You do,” you say. Or do you? I’m not sure at the moment. I have a tendency to forget to categorize my posts, resulting in the existence of an uncategorized category. Every so often I’ll remember to go back and make sure there aren’t any uncategorized posts, but that doesn’t always happen.

In like manner…

Confession #5:  I have a tendency to forget to attach tags to my posts.

Enough said.

Confession #6: I’m never really sure how to handle a book review.

I know I managed it on my old blog, but I seem to have lost the knack for it between then and now. I keep vacillating between being a total fangirl and gushing over it if I liked it, doing an in-depth literary dissection, talking about the characters, or just talking about the overall experience and impression of it. I figure there should be a balance of all those things. But again, balance isn’t my strong suit.

Confession #7:  I am very bad at sticking to projects.

If you read my last post, you know what I’m talking about.  It’s not just novels, though.  It’s other things, too.  Like blog posts.  I have to periodically clear out my “drafts” folder.  That and counted cross stitch.  It’s fun to do, but it takes me years to finish one, I work on them so sporadically.

Confession #8:  All the WIPs I have ever had have been jumbled messes.

Once again, if you read my last blog post, this will come as no shock to you. Lack of developing characters, plots, and worlds beforehand has maimed and murdered many a WIP. All the stages of novel-writing are monsters for me, especially the development phases. (Not that I’ve ever made it much past those. 😑)

Confession #9:  I tend to make my characters a little too perfect.

As an idealist and a perfectionist, this is only to be expected.  I like to make my characters superhumans that are brilliant at everything from medicine to history to botany to swordsmanship to literature to empathy to… Basically everything. *cough*Frake*cough*  Thing is, I know what my characters should do to make the situation come out right for them.  “Don’t say that– you’ll hurt her feelings.”  “Don’t go there– it’s obviously a trap.”  “DON’T DRIVE OFF THAT CLIFF– YOU WILL DIE!!!”  For their own good, they should listen to me.  For the good of the plot and being actual people, they should do the exact opposite.

Confession #10:  I don’t fight writer’s block as hard as I should.

This is another sad truth.  When I should be writing until my fingers bleed, I am instead giving into the little voice that says, “Eh, I don’t really feel like it today.  I’ll just do it tomorrow.”

Three weeks later: WHAT?!!?!  I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN THREE WEEKS?!???  HOW CAN THIS HAVE HAPPENED???  I AM A TERRIBLE, AWFUL, LOUSY WRITER, AND I WILL NEVER GET ANYTHING FINISHED!!!  *goes and weeks when she should be writing*

Ahem.  Aaanyway.  That’s it for my confessions.  There’s probably a lot more stuff I could be confessing that I’m not thinking of, but that’s what you get for now.  So please don’t leave me alone with my worst writerly sins bared to you.  Do please join in my humiliation.  See you soon!

Why I Love Classics

There was a day when getting me to read a classic was like having my teeth ripped out without anesthesia, like asking me to sit still while piranhas nibbled on my toes, like asking me to watch ten hours straight of the “Pepperona” commercial… Ahem.  You get the idea.  I hated classics.  To me, they were drab, musty stories full of people who spoke with words so flowery that I wanted to vomit, and with narration that would go off on a ten-page long description just to tell me how an old woman got up in the morning.  Back then, my knee-jerk reaction to that was, “Please, kill me now!”

Many people wonder why we bother to keep them around.  Admittedly, I used to, but I don’t anymore.  In recent years, I’ve acquired a different perspective on the classics.  To me, they aren’t mounds of literary dust — they’re works of art.  They’re the works of men and women who possessed a rare breed of genius.  They saw the world and its people in a way that most people do not.  They had the ability to take flawed characters and turn their lives into magnificent stories.  They made their characters feel so real that you think you could meet them out on the street or in your coffee shop. (Well…  Most of them.  Personally, I’d just as soon not bump into a fully-armored, vengeful Achilles in my local Starbucks…  Or anywhere else, for that matter.)

Another thing I love about classics is that it’s like looking though a window to the past.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love history.  I love looking at old cultures, long-gone or no, and understanding why they thought and believed what they did.  The classics allow me a unique perspective on the time periods they were written in.  When I break them down, I look at their beliefs, their loves, their fears, their way of life.  Coupled with a grasp of the events happening at the time of the writing, it casts each individual classic in a new light, enabling me to more fully understand it.

Reading classic literature is not for the faint of heart.  It’s not easy, but it is rewarding.  If you’re a writer, it’s an enormous opportunity for you to read and examine stories that have withstood the test of time, to see why they worked.  To use the classics as a resource and inspiration for your own writing, if done right, will be more than beneficial to your writing.

For those of you that aren’t writers, I still highly recommend the classics.  In my own life, they have been a wonderful way to challenge my mind and develop who I am as a person.  They offered me a unique, intriguing lens through which to view the world I live in.  True, they were written decades, centuries, or even millennia ago, but the concepts and themes in them are still as relevant today as they were when they were written.  I think some of you may think the same if you were to dig into them.

All that being said, I understand that not all of you will enjoy the classics.  If they simply aren’t your thing, I respect that.  I won’t pester you about it.  But I would request this: don’t write the classics off without giving them a chance.  If you removed the lens of popular opinion from your eyes, you may find that you actually enjoy

What is your opinion on the classics?  Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments; I love to hear from you!

Tally ho! ~Natasha.