Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Nano Classmo" in August 2010


Just in case you missed my other announcements, here is a link to the NaNoWriMo class I'm teaching this August/September (2010). I am pregnant and due to have a baby in November, so I sincerely doubt I'll be able to write 50K at that time.

Instead, I'm teaching the class in August and September. Just think of this as a opportunity to write TWO novels this year: one now and one in November for regular NaNo. :) This just re-enforces the point that you could write 50K of a novel during ANY span of 30 days. :)

Even if you can't physically make the class, keep following me, and we'll all write 50K next month!


Novel "finished!"

I did it! I wrote "The End" on the novel I started November 2009 for NaNoWriMo! This is great news because I have an appointment in 2 1/2 weeks to pitch it to an editor from Tor at the Willamette Writers' Conference. That gives me time to clean up the manuscript and write a pitch and a one-sheet for it.

Oh, and this whole "pitching" process scares the pee-diddle out of me. It took me 36 years to get over the pain of rejection via snail mail and email, but now I've signed up for a crash-course in face-to-face rejection. This may sound overly pessimistic, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm considering these pitch sessions as practice, and as another writer friend put it, a chance to write "I met you at the 2010 WWC. Here's some new writing of mine" in a future query letter.

I am going to pitch my 2009 novel Liz A. Stratton Closes the Store at this conference, too. It's much more "done" than Something, but the pitching is going to be no less scary for me.

But none of this takes away from the good news that I have now finished two entire novels! Something weighs in at 95K, which makes it my longest work yet, and I think it's a fun read. It's a complete departure from LSCTS. Something is a story about a dragon that shows up in rural Oregon (in fact, the county I live in). I think I'm going to pitch it as a cross between the movie Outbreak and the Pern books by Anne McCaffrey. The story includes a medical mystery, a veterinary mystery, a May/December romance and, of course, a dragon.

Now I get to edit the book, which I find fun. Not as fun as crafting the story, but fun in a different way. It's a different hat, which I like well enough, especially when I'm not wearing it to correct student papers.

That's it for now. ta

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back in the saddle in July!

Summer is finally here! I am finally feeling good! It's time for the summer super-productivity fest!

In case you didn't know, I am 5 months pregnant. I am blaming the first three months of this pregnancy and its associated morning sickness and exhaustion for my appalling lack of productivity this winter and spring. But I am now in the bliss of the second trimester when the hormones have settled and I am not yet so big and uncomfortable that I don't want to work. Hooray months 5, 6, and 7!

June was mostly a bust for me because not only did we have final exams (and pregnancy exhaustion), but the next weekend I was running an alpaca show. Then I slept for a week. But I am back in the saddle for the summer with these ambitious goals:

  1. Finish the novel I started in November by August 6...I think it has about 10-20K left in the story
  2. The August 6 deadline is because I am going to the Willamette Writers' conference that weekend in PDX
  3. Polish the set of scripts I have written for a planned online video series for the college library...it is clandestine-ly educational, but really, it's a Scooby Doo farce. It will be filmed in August.
  4. I am going to teach the "Nanowrimo" class again, this time in Aug/Sept. I want to do the 50K in 30 day challenge again, but since I'll have a newborn in November, I don't think I'll make 50K that month. I'm not sure I'll write a word that month, actually. Anyone want to join me in my August Nano challenge?
  5. Catch up with short story re-submissions
Does anyone have any advice for the writers' conference? I've never been to one before. I should have two finished novels, plus a finished screenplay or two to market, but I didn't sign up for any one-on-one meetings with editors or agents (though I think there may be an opportunity to do so later). I'd be happy to just waddle around and go to seminars, but I'd be happier if someone were introduced to my writing and took an interest in it. I'll be there on Friday and Saturday.

I have no news on the submission front. The novel is either languishing in slush piles or someone is eagerly trying to get it sold to their marketing team; either way, no news is good news. I haven't caught up with the short story submissions yet...that's another to do for July.

I wrote almost 2,000 words on the novel and 20 pages of script in June, most of that in the last week. I'm taking any little victory at this point.

That's all for now.