Thursday, July 24, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo Update + What Else I've Been Up To

My current word count for Camp NaNoWriMo is 7,748 so I'm about three days behind. I'm not worried, however, because, since my goal is so low, that means I only need to write about 900 words to catch up. It should take less than an hour. I plan to be at or over the Day Twenty-Four goal of 8,665 words by the end of today.

I've fallen into a pattern this month. Several days will go by where I don't write and then I'll catch up in one big spurt. It's been working pretty well so far, but I only need 3,445 more words so I might decide to power through to the end in the next couple of days.

There's exactly one week left until Camp is over and I can't wait. Not only because I'll finally have a finished draft of OBJECTION (which is awesome), but I'll also be announcing the big news I've been hinting at for some time. I'm anxious to see what y'all think.

I slipped my author release form for ACCOLADES into the mail box today. I had to wait because the release doubled as an order form and it took some time for my family to decide how many books we wanted. Now, we wait. I'll be sharing any news as soon as I have it.

Besides OBJECTION and my author release form, my past week has been focused on books. I completely reorganized my bookshelves. I still have knick knacks to place, but the majority of the work is done. With the clean out I did during the process, I now own 584 books with an unread percentage of 27.6%. I have yet to decide whether I will post pictures here or on my Tumblr.

On top of that, I've been watching lots of booktube vlogs. Last week was an event called BookTubeAThon. Participants in the Thon aimed to read as many books as they could in a week while trying to fulfill certain reading and vlogging challenges. I'm finding the resulting videos quite enjoyable and kind of wish I had had time to take part myself. Perhaps next year.

So, that's what I've been up to since my last post. I will be back with news of my Camp NaNoWriMo victory soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Editorial Staff at The America Library of Poetry Would Like to Publish MY Poem

While I was away visiting my family, I received a letter from The America Library of Poetry. I entered their annual poetry contest in April so, as you can imagine, I was very excited to hear from them. However, the winners of the contest will not be selected until the end of September. So why did they send me a letter?
In the meantime Brooke, I have even more exciting news for you. The editorial staff at The America Library of Poetry would like to publish your poem "Fishing For A Living" in a special book of student poetry entitled Accolades. Scheduled for release in the fall, this particular compilation is generating a lot of interest as it will feature only a very select cross-section of this year's submissions. Again, I congratulate you on an outstanding accomplishment. You should be very proud, especially when you consider the many talented authors who may never be discovered or have the opportunity to see their work in print.
They want to publish my submission. Isn't that awesome?! Even if I don't win, I feel as if this contest has been a great success for me. This will be my first publication where they picked me. Two of my prior publications were blogosphere volunteer projects and the third was a collection put together by my OSAI class. ACCOLADES feels different. It feels like validation.

I'll keep you all updated, both on the contest and ACCOLADES. Until then, I've got an author release form (squee!) to fill out and Camp NaNoWriMo to win.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

An Update on Camp NaNoWriMo Before I Go

In a little under three hours, I'll be in a car headed for the airport. Our flight is scheduled to leave at 7:05 AM, but we live about an hour and a half away so we're leaving the house at 4 AM. At the moment, I'm supposed to be putting the last things in my suitcase. However, I decided to take a minute to fill you in on where I'm at with Camp NaNoWriMo.

Currently, my word count is 3,716 words. The goal for Day Ten is 3,610. I get back from New York on Day Twelve. Not only did I get caught up, but I pushed enough ahead that I'll only be behind a few hundred words when I get back. This was what I was aiming for and it feels awesome to have achieved it.

The end of OBJECTION is close enough I can taste it. When I return, I vow to be a writing machine. I will finally finish this draft. Huzzah!

I'm excited. What are you excited about?

Friday, July 04, 2014

I'm Back! Well, Until Tuesday

Originally, I said I would be home the second week of July. That was when I thought my visit to my family would run straight into my trip to New York City. However, due to various factors, I'm home a few days before we go to New York.

I have yet to write anything for Camp NaNoWriMo, but I plan on adding that "big chunk of words" to OBJECTION during these few days while I'm home. I want to I will get caught up, but I'd really like to push further than that. Writing in NYC is not ideal, both because of time and a desire to fully enjoy my vacation. Having that extra padding would ease my mind while I'm gone and help alleviate stress levels when I return.

As for my other goals, I did start on the THINKING OF YOU revisions, though I'm far from significant progress. I began the rewrite for one scene. In total, I need to rewrite twenty scenes and write eight more. I've still got quite a way to go, but at least I'm on my way. Finally.

To top it all off, I finished my poem edits! There is one poem that I deemed unfinished because I want to add on to it. Excluding that poem, I now have another two hundred lines of poetry to my name. (And when I say two hundred, I mean exactly two hundred. Without trying. Because I have magical powers.)

There's a quick update for you and, also, Happy Fourth of July! Talk to y'all soon.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Does Writing Make You a Better Person?

As writers and as people, we constantly work to better ourselves. We develop our craft. We try to be nicer. Usually, these are two different goals that must be achieved separately. However, sometimes we can improve both areas of our lives at once.

Learning patience is essential to staying a "sane" writer. Everything about the book business is slow. You have to wait to hear back from beta readers, critique partners, agents, editors, publishers, reviewers. It takes months for a book to be published even after it's been sold.

But patience is a good thing to have for non-writing related interactions as well. It makes you a better business negotiator and customer service representative. Your own personal relationships will benefit from better communication and less frustration.

The ability to listen also helps in the examples above. Writers learn to listen in an attempt to garner experiences for their writing. Many writers have mastered the art of eavesdropping. In this way, they study realistic dialogue and displays of emotion.

Beyond outward people skills, writers foster a better general understanding of people. It's easy for us to put ourselves in someone else's shoes. If it wasn't, it'd be impossible for us to write our stories. Writers know that everyone thinks and reacts differently. That everyone has a reason for doing what they do. It's a small switch from utilizing this way of thinking in their work to exercising it in their day-to-day confrontations.

Writers also know that no one is perfect. Everyone has flaws. And writers have learned to see the beauty in those flaws. A perfect character is boring. It's one of the first things a writer learns. It's a rule that applies to real people just as well. Our blemishes shape us into who we are. A writer recognizes that.

I'm in no way saying that writers are superior human beings who trail rainbows in their wake. I myself can be rather moody and I'm not always the most fun to be around. But I'm still growing, still "trying to be nicer," as we all are, and I think writing urges that along.

What about you? Does writing make you a better person?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

I'm Taking a Trip!

I'm going to be on vacation, visiting my family, until the second week of July. I'm not telling you this because I'm going to be gone. Quite the opposite, I hope to have a lot to report to you in the coming weeks.

This trip means lots of free time. My parents work during the day and sleep at night, meaning I only get to spend time with them from five to ten. I figured that I should probably use the rest of my day (errr, night) to get some much needed writing done.

So I've set myself three tasks:
  1. Make significant progress on THINKING OF YOU revisions.
  2. Add a big chunk of words to OBJECTION during the first week of July/Camp NaNoWriMo.
  3. Read through and edit the NaPoWriMo 2014 poems.
As you can see, I've decided to use Camp NaNoWriMo's July session to finish OBJECTION. I want to fulfill my original April 18k goal, meaning I'm aiming for 11,193 words for July. If I pass that, and I'm not finished with the draft, I plan to continue with OBJECTION. If I finish the draft, I plan to move on to the untitled lucky genes story draft.

I'll have more up about my plans for THINKING OF YOU soon. Keep your eyes open for something big. ;)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Time to Read < Books to Read

I own too many books that I haven't read. 183. 30.6% of my book collection. Right now, I'm working toward 30% or 179 unread books. I'm not allowing myself to buy any new books until I achieve that goal. Based on my recent reading pace, this will be in about a month. And I can't wait.

As I've been working toward 30%, I've also been compiling a list of books I want. This list hasn't been a major focus, but I've definitely thought about it when reading book blogs and the like. One day, however, instead of happy future-book-buying thoughts, browsing a book blog sent me into a panic. Looking at tons of books that sounded great, I realized I was never going to have time to read them all.

If it takes me about a month to read four books, it'll take me forty-six months just to read the books I already own. That's almost four years! O.O Then there are all the books I want, but don't own yet. An immeasurable amount. After that, there's all the books that will be written and published in my lifetime that I'll want to read. I can't even fathom how many that will be.

I am literally going to die before I can read them all. And that is one depressing fact I will never be able to change. So I guess I'll just read as often as I can and enjoy the stories I do have time for.

Unless you have a better idea? I'd love to hear it.