NaNoWriMo 2009 is upon us. I will do it, but I can tell you I will not finish. I have too much going on this month between moving (new apartment, yea!), a short trip back home, and other fun stuff, I won’t have much time for that kind of writing. Just getting back in the habit of writing will be accomplisment enough this NaNoWriMo. Have a great time, WriMos!

This is good news. Isn’t that feeling of accomplishment wonderful? I hope to feel some of that in regard to my own book soon.

 

Guarded Optimism

  • Jun. 22nd, 2009 at 11:55 PM
ireland

I almost hate to say anything here, for fear of jinxing it… but for what it’s worth, the last six weeks or so have been the most productive period I’ve had on A DANCE WITH DRAGONS in… well… a year at least, maybe several. In the last three days I’ve completed three new chapters. Not from scratch, mind you, these were all chapters that had been partially written, and in some cases rewritten, for months if not years. But they’re finally done, and I’ve just reread them, and I’m almost convinced that they’re Not Crap.

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

(more…)

Hello stalkers,

I write all the time, but never hear from you. I’m sure you’ve all seen this sort of thing circulating the internet in some form or another. Here are 25 Things about me. Now let me know 25 Things about you. No, I won’t force you to come up with 25 New Things if you’ve already done this elsewhere. I’m OK with you cutting and pasting.

1. I’m a gamer. I like to play at Game Depot especially. It’s my Happy Place.

2. I have a green spot in my right eye that comes and goes.

3. I have a green spot on my right ankle that’s not going anywhere–my shamrock tattoo.

4. I recently discovered blogging. It’s more fun than I thought it would be.

5. Movies! I love movies! I’ll see anything but horror, and if the story looks good enough I’ll probably see horror too.

6. Reading is my favorite alone time activity. I’m a sci-fi/fantasy kind of girl, but I like a lot of New Age stuff too.

7. I really dislike job hunting.

8. Pizza is my default food. If I don’t want to make a decision pepperoni pizza it is.

9. Watching TV is almost a full time job for me.

10. If I can’t be a Jedi or a wizard/witch, I want to be a vampire.

11. I decided just now to send my resume to someone in Forks WA.

12. You know when you are just falling asleep and you suddenly have that spasm and wake up? I hear most people were dreaming of falling. I was dreaming of spiders. I’m phobic about them.

13. I love dark chocolate. Always have. I have a love/hate relationship with South Beach. On one hand I love that there is a dark chocolate alternative to nearly every candy bar because they told the world dark chocolate is good for you. On the other hand I was really enjoying being the only one in the office who ate dark chocolate when vendors brought it in and everyone automatically brought me their share. No one’s sharing anymore!

14. I’m the person shuffling cards behind Sarah on the plane. Ok, so that never happened but Bobby and I usually play Cribbage when we go out to dinner.

15. My license plate says PADAWAN.

16. There are people in the world that only know me as Duff, my college nickname.

17. I love pears. There is a pear gelato at Arlecchino Gelateria in Phoenix that makes my knees buckle.

18. John Williams is my hero. He pretty much wrote the soundtrack to my life.

19. Borders is my favorite book store.

20. I have three cats: Guinness, Sam Adams, and Zima. I know what you’re thinking, but Sam was named after a football player. If I were that big of a lush he would have been named Captain Morgan.

21. I apparently don’t have issues with self-disclosure.

22. I want to be a foster Mom.

23. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 22.

24. My three favorite TV shows right now are Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, and Chuck.

25. I’m writing a book. I’m very excited about the ideas I came up with yesterday.

    

I don’t know how many versions of this I have on this site now. Consider this the final draft until I write my next one. These wishes are really in no particular order.

There may be some SPOILERS here. I’m not moving this to my Twilight page because at this particular moment I am thinking that if you’re surfing for Twilight stuff, specifically stuff on New Moon, you don’t mind spoilers so much. If you do, surf elsewhere for now. But do come back later.

Dear Summit Entertainment, Chris Weitz, et al,

I’m happy to hear that New Moon will be filming in Vancouver AND Italy. If you can’t film in Forks, Vancouver seems ideal. Not only is it one of my favorite places I’ve been, but they are used to the film and television industry up there. From what I heard, Portland was a little overwhelmed. It’s strange but I’m not terribly concerned about the continuity of having the same high school or the same Cullen house, or even Bella’s same house. In all likelihood you would have chosen different shots, and it would have seemed like different places anyway. Who knows, maybe you can even shoot in such a way that it feels like the same places even though they aren’t the same places. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.

So, Wish #1 is already taken care of. I was really concerned that you were going to fake Italy. I hope if you don’t shoot in Volterra that you pick an Etruscan town at least. I’ll be able to tell if you don’t. It will bother me and “take me out” of the movie. I don’t like these kinds of distractions. While I’m on the subject of Italy, Alice really needs to steal a yellow Porsche.

Which leads me to Wish #2: More Cullens! I was pretty disappointed that we didn’t get to know the Cullens much in Twilight. I think the script could have been much tighter to include these wonderful characters. They are truly a family, and I didn’t get that feeling from them in the movie. Also, Jasper’s gift was never even discussed. There is some catching up to do in this regard, now, if we are to fully feel the emotional impact of Bella’s birthday. I’m happy to help in any way I can. Have your people call…well, me. I don’t have people yet.

Wish #3 is better dialogue. Please don’t fail the actors again. They’ve had a rough couple months if they are reading the endless flaming in the blogosphere about their “wooden” acting. They can only do so much with the words you are putting in their mouths. Yes, I’m aware that most of what is said in the books is actually being said in Bella’s head, but you’ve chosen to adapt the Twilight Saga to the screen so you really need to figure out a way to translate what’s in Bella’s head into dialogue and stage direction. And please, enough with the voice overs. Remember, show, don’t tell.

Wish #4. Like Edward, I’m wishing for more time. What’s your rush? I know you want either a holiday or summer release. I know you don’t want to go up against Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in July. I know you don’t want to wait another whole year. Why not a May 2010 release? You could be the Memorial Day/Early Summer blockbuster and not compete so heavily with Harry Potter for the summer box office. It would give you another six months. Would six months be so bad? I think it would really help. We’ve all been pretty forgiving about Twilight because we understand that it was originally this little indie film and that the fan base exploded during filming. We won’t be so forgiving this time. This time you knew in advance what kind of film this was going to be. If it’s not budgeted, scripted, and filmed accordingly you will not get the return on your New Moon investment that you did with Twilight. I’ll see it twice, tops, if you mess it up. I’ve seen Twilight 7 times, and you can check my blog for what I thought of that one to begin with.

Oh boy. Here I go. Wish #5 is better direction. Catherine Hardwicke, again, we disagree on what the basics of story are. I have to say once again that I appreciate your willingness to step back when you didn’t get the time you wanted for pre-production. I’m with you on  this one. I just hope that Chris Weitz is up to the task. I watched The Golden Compass, which I think is one of the worst adaptations of a novel to screen that I’ve ever seen. I was highly entertained, don’t get me wrong, but I could tell there was something missing. When I read the books immediately after seeing the movie I understood just how much was cut away. It was almost unrecognizable. New Moon won’t have a completely fantastic setting to awe the audience into submission, and the fans are a bit more rabid than your average His Dark Materials fan. One thing I did think was good about The Golden Compass was the acting. I found all the characters believable and engaging. There was some big talent there, sure, but I’m certain that some of the credit goes to Chris Weitz. There were some pretty young actors, including the star of the film, Dakota Blue Richards, who I see has no other credits before this film listed in IMDB. I have high hopes for Chris Weitz’s handling of actors here. To tell the truth, I was hoping for David Fincher. He directed Panic Room…and Kristen Stewart.

Wish #6 is for KStew herself. I like you. I have been working on a blog post just about you for some time now. I’ve been catching up on your movies since Twilight came out. I’ve been one of your biggest supporters. I just can’t take the stammering. Did you just not learn your lines properly? Where you encouraged to ad lib? Please get this under control. It’s very distracting. I don’t see you doing this in other films, but I do see you doing this in interviews. Please, get more into Bella. You have a very emotional performance coming up. If you do it right, we’ll all be crying with you. If not, we’ll just be crying.

Wish #7 is a faithful script. I am one of the few who did not like the whole treetop thing in Twilight. Visually dynamic, blah, blah, blah. It was out of character for Edward to allow Bella to go climbing around in treetops. He can’t fly. If she were to fall, there is no Superman/Lois Lane “you’ve got me?!? Who’s got you?!?” scenario. There is so much to this wonderful story. At over 500 pages, you should not be lacking to the point of needing to create new scenes.

We all know what happens for 379 or so of those pages. Wish #8 is a faithful script. Yes, I’m wishing this twice. Do not diminish Bella and Jacob’s relationship by having Edward hanging around over much, if you know what I mean. If you are too nervous about a lack of Heart ThRob, then give us a few cut scenes to show us how miserable he is. Don’t over do, though. We want to feel this pain. It’s the heart of the story. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

As I sit here listening to the Twilight Soundtrack, I am reminded how terribly important music is to a film. Wish #9 is, and I cringe to say this, no soundtrack. Sure I’d love another killer CD like this one, but Bella just really doesn’t like music during this particular phase of her life. I really want a soundtrack though. So, if you could, just give us a few snippets, maybe while Jacob is learning about Bella’s aversion to music, that would be great. I vote for Kristen Stewart covering Radiohead’s Creep, as I’ve stated in a previous post. Other than these few snippets, and some mood music, I really think this film should be pretty quiet. I think an absence of music would go a long way toward the mood, as much as I’d like another Supermassive Black Hole moment. Hey, maybe the whole soundtrack can come from before Bella’s birthday and after Volterra. The dark spot inbetween would be pretty powerful, I’d bet.

I think 10 wishes is enough, for now. Wish #10 is better wardrobe for the Cullens. The character quirks in the Twilight Saga are what really make if for me. Jasper’s inner struggle to satisfy his physical and emotional cravings. Emmett’s love of both Rosalie and irritible grizzlies. Rosalie’s love of Emmett and auto mechanics. Carlisle and Esme’s love for each other and their work. And Alice’s love of couture. She is the personal shopper for seven very wealthy vampires. We are forever seeing French tags on clothes. Please, pay more attention to the clothing, or Alice will be very put out. I’m going to throw Jacob’s wig into this category. You can do better.

All right, so I’m turning it up to 11. Wish #11 is that everything not be blue. I love blue. Twilight has long been my favorite time of day because everything turns blue. But Forks doesn’t exist in eternal twilight. It’s not in Alaska. It’s in Washington. If I go to Forks and find that every building I visit does indeed have a blue interior, I will recant this wish, but until then, please, give us some natural light.

Let’s just make it an even dozen and talk about effects. Wish #12 is for better special effects. You have a bigger budget this time, but I know a chunk of that is going toward locations and higher salaries for the actors. I know you are already thinking in terms of effects, but please, if you can’t improve on Edward’s sparkle, don’t feel compelled to make him sparkle at all. And for heaven’s sake, no more cheesy wire work for running through the forest. Just keep it real, and save the effects budget for fur-sploding werewolves.

What’s on your Wish List?

This post is very late. I apologize to my Sketching in Stereo friends. Your December 5, 2008 show was amazing. I knew you were good. I’d heard you on your MySpace page, but I didn’t not expect the stage presence. Well done! I look forward to more shows and more CDs. Remind me again why you weren’t on the Twilight Soundtrack.

PS Technicolor Dreams has become the playlist for my novel.

Nope, I didn’t finish. Nor did I quit. I ended the my first NaNoWriMo with 25,753 words, just a little over half way to the goal. I am not discouraged though. I did most of that in a few good nights, so I know what I am capable of now. Actually, it is amazing that I even signed up. It’s more amazing that not only did I start writing, but I continued throughout the month. This was a very outside-my-comfort-zone thing to do.

What I’m happiest about was everything I learned about writing, especially my method. I never really thought about having a method before, but guess what–I have one. It’s sloppy and emotional, but it’s a method, and I can work with that.

Over the years I’ve read interviews with my favorite authors in which they described their characters demanding certain things or going off on their own or getting mad and giving them the silent treatment. I thought this was quirky and fun, but I can’t say I really got it. I get it now. I found myself cringing when my main character did something that wasn’t really smart for a young, cute high school girl to do. But I’m writing it. Am I liable for child endangerment? You know what it’s like? Imagine a kid playing with GI Joes. He’s making them wrestle around. He’s saying, “Oh no! AHHHHH!” and making gun noises. What he’s not doing is making them sit quietly and enjoy life. That’s what writing is like–playing GI Joes. Ok, so sometimes it’s like playing Barbies, too. It’s about creating people you love and throwing them in harm’s way, or in drama’s way anyway.

The Macy’s Parade is over. The cheeseball is chilling in the fridge. The turkey is in the oven. The Holidays are officially upon us. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I for one have much to be thankful for. Highest on the list is my Uncle J. He made it through his surgery beautifully yesterday and is on the mend. They will have him up and walking around today–amazing!

I am thankful for my friends and family. They are fun, loving, and best of all supportive. I know I can count on you, and I hope you know you can count on me. I love you all.

I am thankful for my job. Sure, I complain a lot about it, but it’s hard work, so I suppose that is to be expected. I really am thankful to have a job, especially with today’s economy being what it is.

I am thankful for my hobbies. Gaming, writing, reading, and movies, have done their best to keep me sane, especially the last couple of years. That leads me to thank a few authors in particular, who have given me the means to escape when needed in the last few years: JK Rowling, the writers of such recent Star Wars novel series as the New Jedi Order Era and the Legacy of the Force Era, Andrew Davidson, and of course Stephenie Meyer. A special Thank You to the folks at The Game Depot, Arizona, my FLGS. If anyone has kept me sane (Yes, I know. I use the term lightly.) these last few years, it has been you. Thanks for keeping my hands busy and my mind occupied.

I know I have a lot more to be thankful for, but time is running short. There is dinner to be made. I’ll close with Old Man Bobby. I cannot say Thank You enough, for everything. For more Date Nights than I can count. For dealing with my many neuroses and putting up with my crap in general. For backrubs I never have to ask for. For endless games of Ask Me About My Book. For doing my bidding. And of course for all the stuff I shouldn’t mention in polite company. Thank you. I’m a lucky woman to have a “boyfiend” like you. Don’t tell anyone I said that though.