Friday, November 30, 2007

The great title search

Beth asked in comments on my last post if I'd discuss the process of finding a title. So I'll attempt to explain as best I can.

First, let me say, that ultimately, one's editor (when one sells a book) has a say so. As I've yet to work with an editor and only an agent, I'm not fully sure of all the ins and outs of that. But I know they probably have final say.

That being said, I think titles come from many places. The essence of the story, a phrase from the story... it could be any of these. My current agented novel got its title from a word that is crucial to the action of the story and is really a metaphor for what occurs in the book.

Current WIP is a harder nut to crack for me. I'm looking for a title that connects two concepts that aren't normally connected. (would say more but then I'd have to make you eat this post!) So it's been rough going. Think I'm almost there.

Okay, gotta run to holiday party and to get Robitussin for ailing husband!

Til next time...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Random stuff

Stuff that's floating in my brain:

  • My delight at the addition of the "She Pratt" to The Hills
  • Justin Bobby's headdress on this week's episode of the above
  • Whether or not the colleague whose retirement party I just attended really wanted a rocking chair as a gift
  • How thankful I am for the people in my life who've become my "friend-amily" - you know - the family you make when you move away from yours. They all rock.
  • How I wish I could find a title that works for my WIP. It's like naming a baby. And folks, I am coming up empty. Ack!
  • How happy I am that I took Michelle's suggestion and discovered Gossip Girls and how addicting it has become after only two episodes.
  • How I need to get back to work or this darn book won't be done by the end of the year. Onward, Macduff!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A blast from Thanksgiving past

So... when I was seven and in 2nd grade, I wrote my very first play. And since it is a Turkey Day extravaganza, I present it for your reading pleasure. Can't you see the great career for which I was destined? Such fantastic dramatic tension. Especially about the clothes. In case you're curious, I played Julie. My two best pals played the other roles. And how Holland got in there is anyone's guess. Or that thing about the clothes.

Scene 1

Mary: Oh, we hardly have enough food to last us on the whole trip to Virginia, Sue.
Sue: I know it, Mary, but we will soon be there. We will have good crops and maybe the people there will show us how to make our homes snug inside.
Julie: Sue, we are near to shore now.
Sue: But Julie, all I see is trees and grass and how cold it is out.

Scene 2

Sue: The men are going down on the new land now, Mary.
Mary: But look, what is on the land, Sue?
Sue: Maybe the Indians are going to welcome us.
Julie: I certainly hope they're not angry at us, Sue.
Mary: Julie, listen to what the Captain is saying. All women go to shore.

Scene 3

Julie: Now we are on land, Mary and we must wash our clothes.
Joe: Hey, Jack!
Jack: Yes, Joe, those Indians are pretty friendly!
Joe: Well, let's start building and cutting down trees, Jack. Jack! I've made friends with some Indians.

Scene 4

Sue: We're certainly having a cold winter, Mary.
Mary: And a hard time finding food, too.
Julie: We are having so much snow this winter.

Scene 5

Mary: Now that the winter is over we shall have to thank God by having a feast.
Julie: We shall invite some Indians to share it with us.
Mary; When we are done, some of us shall go back home.
Sue: now we shall start our feast. The turkey is good and the cranberries are delicious.
Julie: Now that we are done, we shall say goodbye to some of us.
Mary: They shall go back to Holland.

All: Good bye. Good bye.

Til next time...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bbbbbb...Beowulf... plus previews

Okay, so the digital 3D glasses thing simply rocked. There is nothing like having giant strands of monster spit lingering over your head. Or ooshy gooshy monster blood squishing around you. Or previews in 3D, too, which seriously was fantastic - there's a new Journey to the Center of the Earth coming out next summer that has my name written all over a seat in the multiplex.

But the rest of Beowulf was a mixed bag. If you've read the story, well, Neil Gaiman (truly a god of literature) takes some liberties with the story. Anyone who's seen the Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother previews knows that. Cause hey, Grendel's mother in the original - more like Sasquatch lady, less sexy sea beast with high heels and really huge breasts -albeit -oddly - minus nipples and minus well, the other thing one would see in full frontal nudity. And Beowulf fighting Grendel naked? Uh??? Without weapons, yeah. Starkers? Not so much in the poem. Got to be kind of Austin Powers-esque each time they used something 3D to hide the male stuff... But the plasticized looking heinie - lots o' shots of that.

About 2 stars on the Joy o meter, I'd say, and most of those were for the funky special effects and yet another opporunity to see John Malkovich in a creepy role. If you know the poem, he's Unferth, the guy who taunts Beowulf when he first arrives to save Herot. But other than that, and a lot of digitized cartoon folks talking dirty ... well, not so thrilling, I'd have to say. I mean, how many times can you repeat the theme of guy can't keep it (not they would show it in this version - everyone is very Ken doll esque) in his pants? I get it. Move on.

However... the preview of Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd!!!! Oh my!!! I am sooooo there. Seriously. There. Johnny. Depp. Ahhhhh.

Til next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Say it isn't so!

It simply can't be. But it is. Serendipity 3 in NYC, home of the famous frozen hot chocolate, setting for lots of my favorite movies - closed because of roach, rat, and mice infestation. But only, so I see as I read the story, temporarily.

Clean up your act, Serendipity. I once made my family hike from the Natural History Museum across Central Park and down 5th Avenue, threading our way through the Salute to Israel parade and numerous falafel stands in order to have that frozen hot chocolate. We got turned around in the park, my husband pulled out his boy scout compass, son and I cringed in embarrassment. All for that frozen hot chocolate.

Til next time...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

fast tracking

Just eased past the 11,000 word mark on the WIP. Not quite as fast-tracky as I'd like to be, but not as bad as I'd feared, either. Part of me likes this whole spill it out method; part of me feels a little cranky. But one thing's for sure, these characters are wedged into my brain and not leaving anytime soon. And when I get like that, NaNoWriMo or not, I write. And that's a good thing.

But for now, I'm off to grade papers. Ack!

Til next time...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Why didn't I see this sooner?

Finally got to rent Transformers. Now I must own it. How did I not make time for this even though I really, really wanted to?Autobots rule! Your dad buys you your first car - a falling apart piece of crap yellow Camaro and it turns out to be a heroic Autobot? Yes!

I'm never going to be able to walk by my car without wondering if it's a Transformer hiding in plain sight again.

And sadly, I've now approved husband's plan for the purchase of the new ginormous flat screen. Cause then I can watch it all again... I am a sick, sick person. But smiling.

til next time...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

NaNoWriMo update

Current NaNoWriMo word count: 8,000 words and climbing. Actually probably have more like 15,000, but the other scenes aren't ready to attach yet. That's the problem with getting inspiration while you're outlining and smacking a piece of a scene into said outline. You have to go fish it out later on. Hopefully this is working for me. Or not...

My beloved critique partners, minus Bob who had business to attend to, seem to feel I'm headed in a good direction. As usual, Suz found ways for me to be more concise, Dede pointed out where I'd gone a little over the top and Kim poked around at certain other stuff I might want to consider.

Obviously fast tracking like this precludes too much critique. Theoretically, by the time we meet again after Thanksgiving, I'll be a LOT farther. (further? I'm endlessly confused on that one)

But they all agree - fast or not, my heart's really tangled up in this one. Bunches of very imperfect characters trying to find their way. Just like imperfect old me.

And I swear, I simply cannot keep running into our plumber's wife in the grocery store once every six months or so and telling her the same thing: "I still have to get back to you about that new water heater we need." Eventually she's gonna catch on that I've been saying this for the past two years. Or else the darn thing really will just go splat.

Til next time...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

favorite day of the year

It's my favorite day of the year. Finally. The day we turn the clocks back. Only 7 AM and the sun is shining - at least more or less. I'm awake, cheery, focused, and an entire day is still spread out in front of me. Yay! And I'm pushing toward 10,000 words in my own version of my NaNoWriMo committment which is to finish my current WIP this month. Double yay!

Hope it's a good one for every one, however you choose to spend it.

Til next time...