In Search of Hours and other stories

JuNoWriMo wrapped up last night—for me, with two and a half hours of happy storytelling. I got a thousand words down in that time, which is pretty good for me. I am slow.

The final tally:

Week 1 hours: 10
Week 2 hours: 5.5
Week 3 hours: Vacation, but 45 minutes
Week 4 hours: 11
Extra day: 2 1/2 hours

Which leaves me just fifteen minutes shy of my goal (3 weeks of 10 hours, since I had vacation). Maybe I can make that up in July.

Congratulations to all my JuNoWriMo comrades, many of whom experienced a good deal of success themselves! And thanks again to Shallee MacArthur for hosting.

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As noted a couple of weeks ago, I'm kind of done with the big Wall Street Journal vs. Young Adult Fiction war. When @AndrewPeterson tweeted a link to a related piece by YA author Sara Zarr, then, I almost didn't read it. But I did, and I'm glad. She makes the point that drives me to YA and kid lit in the first place:
The fun-house mirrors in the most talked-about literary fiction show me that existential despair, marital misery, adultery, addiction, suburban malaise, and basic careless cruelty between people are inevitable and ubiquitous. That especially between midlife and death, life is one big flaming ball of self- and other-destruction that is temporarily escaped, here and there, via soulless sex and lots of cocktails.

Isn't that a hideous distortion, too?...We don't stop needing stories of hope and redemption and reconciliation and joy and beauty as adults.

* * *

This week has been catch-up and the thrill of accomplishment. I finished a critique, cleared over 500 items from my Google Reader with two clicks so I could stop being afraid to open it, and got eleven hours in on JuNoWriMo. I feel so much better.

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Writers' link of the week: Fantasy fans and writers, come one, come all to Mythic Scribes! George sent me a link to one of their articles this week (thanks, George!), and before I knew it I was registered on the forums, posting my little heart away.

So much of the publishing industry information I read is focused on the mainstream sellers: contemporary, paranormal, crime fiction, urban fantasy, etc. Sci-fi and high fantasy are a different beast, and I'm more than excited to have found a community of these writers.

One reason to love them: they actually request that their users attempt to use proper grammar and spelling. :D

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Music of the week: I've linked a fair number of Mike Lombardo's friends; it's about time I linked the guy himself. Some of his stuff, especially his classic Hey Molly, reminds me of vintage John van Deusen, which I loved of course. This is off his new CD.

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Funny of the week: Want to match your cocktail to your favorite reading material? Forever Young Adult has done this for you. I got a kick out of the quiz.

Luckily for me, mead is actually available in Bellingham. Good stuff.

* * *

Though JuNoWriMo has ended, I plan to keep up a goal of ten hours per week on novel-writing. With the intention of doubling that eventually. That's feasible in my life... it's just difficult.

What with a whole party of girls coming over tonight to help assemble a friend's wedding programs... if I want to write, I'd better get started.

Happy weekend!


  1. If you're interested in making your own mead, there are directions for a simple batch here: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/fast-cheap-mead-making.htm I've made two or three gallons of it, and have since branched out into wine and beer, too.

    Happy weekend to you, too!

  2. Thanks, David... I ought to tap your brain for fantasy-fiction-related instructions! This is brilliant. I'm very tempted to try it out. :D

  3. Way to go on your JuNoWriMo progress! You did so awesome. I'm planning on keeping up my goals, too. Good luck with your continued progress.

  4. I just came across what looks like an inspirational book on writing that might be of some interest for riding the wave of your JuNoWriMo progress, in case you haven't seen it yet. It's called First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process, by Robert Richardson. Here's the blurb on it from Amazon:

    "Emerson advised that “the way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent.” First We Read, Then We Write contains numerous such surprises—from “every word we speak is million-faced” to “talent alone cannot make a writer”—but it is no mere collection of aphorisms and exhortations. Instead, in Robert Richardson’s hands, the biographical and historical context in which Emerson worked becomes clear. Emerson’s advice grew from his personal experience; in practically every moment of his adult life he was either preparing to write, trying to write, or writing. Richardson shows us an Emerson who is no granite bust but instead is a fully fleshed, creative person disarmingly willing to confront his own failures. Emerson urges his readers to try anything—strategies, tricks, makeshifts—speaking not only of the nuts and bolts of writing but also of the grain and sinew of his determination. Whether a writer by trade or a novice, every reader will find something to treasure in this volume. Fearlessly wrestling with “the birthing stage of art,” Emerson’s counsel on being a reader and writer will be read and reread for years to come."

    I've just ordered a copy, and look forward to delving in when it arrives. Happy Independence Day!

  5. Thank you, Shallee! Best of luck to you, too!

    Carrie-Ann, I love the statement that "the way to write is to throw your body at the mark when your arrows are spent." That feels very true. You'll have to let me know how the book is when you've read it!


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