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Showing posts from January, 2014

A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder & Other Points

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Point the first: Pete Seeger died yesterday, at age 94. He was a folk singer, performing all the way back from the 1930s, was a friend of Woody Guthrie's, wrote tons of songs, including "Turn Turn Turn." He adapted "We Shall Overcome" into the civil rights anthem we know today. In addition, Seeger sang and supported many causes throughout his long life, including unions, civil rights, took a anti-war stance during Vietnam, and environmental causes. As far as any real-life heroes I may have, Pete Seeger was definitely one of mine. 
Point the second: It's as cold as the damn Arctic here in New York City. Well, it's not sub-zero, exactly, but it's quite cold.
Point the third: I tried writing in a Starbucks today. That is, I sat in Starbucks waiting for my friend and had my outline notebook in my bag and proceeded to jot down about half a page. I've determined that I don't like writing in public. I feel paranoid that someone will read over my s…

30 Books a Year

One of my college friends, Jess, has been posting on Facebook about her reading challenge for 2014: a book a week. She keeps track on Goodreads. Now, I'm pretty good at remembering what I read, but I've never kept track of what I read through a year. I tend to start books, put them down for two months, finish them, start another book and race through that, etc.

Well, Jess kind of inspired me to challenge myself to read 30 books this year (I can't do a book a week with my erratic work schedule, plus looming revisions). I'm sure that I haven't read 30 books a year in the past couple of  years...I've been busy writing books.

But this year, I'd like to try to read more and to read more widely, too. So, here's my 2014 reading page. I've finished two books in 2014 so far.

I am setting a couple of parameters. Books I'm reading specifically as research for the novel will not be counted in the 30.

Let's see how well I keep up once I start writing aga…

My Little Notebook Outline

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This week, in addition to joining Goodreads and getting four episodes into Orphan Black (Tatiana Maslany is amazing, playing all those clones) and...oh yeah, turning 23 for the sixth time...I thought I'd give you guys a little peek into the outlining process I'm using for the draft four.

I don't need characters sheets. I don't want to draw charts and large circles and stuff. The outline I did for the 2013 NaNo project was pretty simple, I guess--I kind of just summarized scenes and the plot in normal paragraph format. It was the first time I felt compelled and able to do that with a writing project. Normally, I say that my first drafts are my outlines. The fact that I was able to get so detailed--writing down dialogue, for instance--but it still felt fresh to me as I wrote the scenes during November was pretty incredible. Plus, I mostly stuck to the outline, too.
I felt an urge to write in a notebook, in pen. I don't know why, but I figured I'd go with it, so..…

The Frustration of Small Feet

My college roommate is getting married in June (yay!) and I'm a bridesmaid (double yay). The bride has decided what to do for bridesmaids' attire (we get to pick our own dresses, within parameters, of course. So exciting!). And though I have time to choose a dress--and more of that type will come out as the weather warms up, the shoe hunt has begun pretty much now.

This isn't because I like shoes. In fact, I prefer to pad about barefoot. It's more comfortable for my pigeon-toed feet and my bum right ankle. Also, my feet are a size four and a half. That's right. 4.5, US size. Up until a couple of years ago, I was buying sandals in the kids department. I still could, probably.

Sneakers aren't usually a problem to find, but dress shoes? Whew. Nearly impossible. And I say "nearly," because there is a speciality shoe store where I procured a couple of pairs of "grown up shoes" that I wear to work and whenever I want to look taller.

Which, when yo…

12 Years a Slave

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It's inventory time for those of us who work retail. I've done one inventory overnight and later today will be doing overnight number two into Sunday morning--me, wielding a merchandise gun. Boop, boop, boop. Beep. No tag on that shirt. Ticket! Tap foot impatiently. Realize that you're not getting out of work until 6 am, no matter what.

Anyway, in the meantime, I found some time to progress on my outline. I'll show you my little notebook in a future post; it's a little ridiculous how happy I feel simply writing out a very summarized version of scenes in pen.

Yokohama Yankee

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This is my 499th blog post. Also, come February, this blog will be five years old. What? When did that happen?!

In the midst of snowstorms, moodiness, a migraine, raging insomnia, watching World Without End on Netflix (next up: Copper. And then after that, Orphan Black) taking notes and writing outlines (more Pearl!), I've been reading a lot. I finished Bristol and the Atlantic Trade, still uncertain as to whether I've learned how merchants organized their businesses in the late eighteenth century, and I'm almost halfway through a novel I learned about on Historical Novel Review called Ice King, which takes place in the early 19th century about a Liverpool ex-Royal Navy officer turned ship captain dealing with the contemporary issues of trade, war, and slavery. It's very different to my book, though. :-)