Monday, July 20, 2009

MadLib Winner and other Miscellany

Well, I didn't get nearly as much participation in the MadLibs as I had hoped, but thanks to those who did participate! All of your lists were fun and clever, but I chose "Sink" as the winner because I like the whimsy of Mr. McGregor's garden as a lair! This was a fun way to brainstorm ideas with multiple people. If you'll e-mail me your mailing address, Sink, I'll send you your prize (

Now, on to the miscellany. I will be heading off for my MFA residency in less than two weeks. I've signed up for a variety of workshops, the instructors of which have already sent out piles of reading material that needs to be completed before the workshop, as well as a couple of writing assignments that need to be done ahead of time. Needless to say, I'm going to be spending a lot of time from now until then reading and writing. But I'm very excited about beginning the program so, as least for now, I can draw on some of that excitement to keep my enthusiasm up! I'm sure once I'm slogging through reading the enthusiasm will ebb somewhat though. I've always been somewhat of a slacker when it comes to completing reading assignments, but I'm going to try to turn over a new leaf and actually do (most) of this reading.

Miscellany part 2: I'd been doing a lot of hand-wringing over my WIP because I knew the front end of it stunk and needed to be rewritten. I had basically decided to just write it out to the end then loop back and make the changes. Well, I sat down and did a "story board," basically outlining characters and storyline/action starting from the beginning and going all the way through the end of the WIP. The beginning changed so much I couldn't ignore it and just keep writing, so now I've put the story on pause and gone back to the beginning to rewrite the front end. It didn't make sense to keep writing when I was deleting characters and making my main character several years older. In my mind it called for a complete rewrite.

Some of you writer types out there are probably rolling your eyes and shaking your heads at my naivete. I don't know, maybe you're nodding your heads in sympathy. All I know is that there's really no convention for writing a novel so I'm just going to go for it and do what works for me. I just hate the idea of finishing a draft and then having to rewrite the whole darn thing when I could just rewrite half of it then go forward from there.

Miscellany part 3: I recently got ideas for future projects. I need to write them down so I won't forget them. I don't know about any other writer types, but do you ever have this problem? You're working on your current WIP then suddenly, out of the blue, you're struck with another brilliant idea which immediately seems more attractive than the WIP you're currently struggling and fighting with? Are you tempted to dump your current WIP because you find yourself lusting for the new shiny idea? I'm finding myself turning the new ideas over in my mind, fleshing out characters, etc instead of concentrating on my WIP. Bad me! I need to finish my WIP first. The other stories will wait!

Miscellany part 4: Yesterday my daughter burned her fingers on the iron my husband forgot to unplug when he left for work. The iron was plugged in and stayed there all day and nobody noticed it until my daughter went into the laundry room to do some laundry and was moving the iron. I was in the living room reading and heard a strangled scream then she started bawling. I freaked out because I didn't know what was going on, then instantly jammed her hand under a cold faucet. Turns out she has blisters on all five fingers in a line where she grabbed the iron. Needless to day, both Hubby and daughter learned important lessons yesterday: remember to unplug the iron, and check to see if the iron is plugged in before you grab it. Daughter told her daddy that his punishment is he has to wash her dishes for her until her hand heals.

Okay, that's all the miscellany for today. I have to go finish an essay for one of my residency workshops, then do some reading. *sigh*


Angie Ledbetter said...

Congrats on all the progress! As to M3: when the ideas and fodder prod me hard, I turn to poetry for an outlet.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the new ideas:

Don't hesitate to stop what you are doing and write them down. The most vivid, fresh ideas come when you're inspired, and if a clear scene for anything (even if the story isn't written yet) floods into your brain, write down everything while you have the enthusiasm. When you've written everything that comes easily, make a folder called "Idea Box" if you don't already have one, and save it there. Then go back to your current WIP.

Later when you have writer's block, or you want something new to work on, you can go back and that enthusiasm will still be there to catch you on fire once more.

Also if you have to cut whole scenes from your story, or a story you were writing dead ends and can no longer be used don't delete it. Save it in that box. You may not be able to use it right away, but I promise you sometime down the road you'll get stuck in a story, and there will be a perfect paragraph to slide into that trouble spot.

there is no shame in cannibalizing your own writing. Promise. ;-)


Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Hey, whatever works! You should get a punching bag. It always helps to get the blood and ideas flowing and it feels nice to beat something that won't cry.