Sunday 27 February 2011

NaNoEdMo - It's Only One Day Away

About a minute ago I realised that in just over a day NaNoEdMo starts. I have no idea how I'm going to find time to finish it, but I sure will try. I'll just have to stop sleeping, and cut down on all the time I spend breathing. It's just a luxury, anyway.

If you aren't familiar with NaNoEdMo, it's a sort of spin-off of NaNoWriMo. You're supposed to spend 50 hours editing a novel during the month of March. I joined in a weak moment about two months ago when March seemed an age away. Now it's almost here, and I'm buried in work. Still. It just never ends.

Anyway, editing a novel. Right. So... How do we do that? I've written a post on editing before with a checklist on what to do when editing. It's easier said than done though. I imagine that for each edit it becomes easier and easier to see your work with a critical eye, but so far I can only see how crappy it is. I can't even imagine how to fix it. I guess I will have to figure it out, and soon.

I'll keep you posted, and good luck if you're participating in EdMo as well!

Saturday 26 February 2011

Word of the Week #30

Note: This is going to be the last Word of the Week for a while. I have to cut back on my blogging even more, and simply don't have the time to look up interesting words. I'll focus on writing some more useful posts instead. When I have less to do I will reinstate this weekly feature. Until then: take care (and come by and read my other posts!)

Shylock (noun)
A (heartless) loan shark. Named after the Shakespeare character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.


Sunday 20 February 2011

Word of the Week #29

Dolt (noun)
A stupid person. An idiot. E.g. "I can't believe I didn't see it immediately. I am truly a dolt!"


Saturday 19 February 2011

The Importance of a Good Place to Write

I'm still being drowned in school work and thus will write only a short post this week. I have been contemplating on the importance of a good tool for writing. Less than a month ago I purchased a wonderful little laptop which has, surprisingly (for I didn't this it was possible), made me more eager to write. I can sit anywhere with it in my lap for it doesn't get warm, and the battery seems to last an eternity. I can start it up at an instance, and write away at my heart's desire. It's my tiny, little miracle.

Now, the purpose of this narrative is to stress the importance of having something to write with that is just right for you. Some use pen and paper, others sit by a desk. I sit pretty much anywhere that isn't a desk, or a table, which is why mobility is so important for me. My point is that even though you might not think that you need to improve your writing-tool department, and even if you have all the software you could ever want for planning and writing it will be much easier to write if you're comfortable with you computer, pen, type-writer, smoke signal fire etc. (By the way, how does one write with smoke signals - I mean, how does one save what one has written? It seems rather tricky to me...) I had no idea that my laptop would motivate me. So I urge you to try and mix it up - don't get caught up in your routines. Do you always write by your desk? Move to the living room.  Always by your computer? Pick up a pen and some paper. Whatever it is, do it differently. You might not even know that you need change, and there's no harm in trying, is there?

Sunday 13 February 2011

Word of the Week #28

Heebie-jeebies (noun)
Feelings of fear, of extreme nervousness or worry. E.g. "I hate yellow M&M's, they give me the heebie-jeebies."


Friday 11 February 2011

How to Know You're a Writer

There are some people who seem to be born knowing exactly who and what they are, while others spend a whole lifetime trying to find out. I belong to the second category I'm afraid. I can't say that I am absolutely certain that I'm a writer. Honestly, if someone else told me they wrote as little as I do, and called themselves writers, I would laugh. I barely write at all, and I only come up with occasional story ideas that never turn into anything. Once a year, during NaNoWriMo, I burst into writing and hopefully this year during NaNoEdMo I will burst into editing, but that's pretty much it. So... Am I a writer?

I heard the other day when you are passionate about something it is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and you can't wait to get started. If those are the standards I'm judged by I'm not remotely a writer. I wake up thinking about all the schoolwork I have to do, or other daily occurrences I have to remember. In fact, it is what keeps me awake at night. I might think of a story before going to sleep, but that's mostly to fall asleep faster.

I have discussed many times the attitude one is supposed to have towards one's job. Some people say that most important is to like your job and want to go to work in the morning. You should do something that you love. But how easy is that to find? I don't always like writing. It is that I want to do for a living (good luck to me, right?) yet sometimes I couldn't think of anything worse that to sit down and write. Even squeezing out one word is painful; let alone a reasonably decent sentence. I ask myself why on Earth I want to be a writer. All I can say is that I do. I just do. Against my own inclination and all better judgement, I want to be a writer. I am a writer. I just haven't written anything worthwhile yet. Does that make sense? Didn't think so. Well, I'm not too worried about that. The conclusion of all this is that you are a writer if you decide that you are one. It isn't more complicated than that.

I'm a writer. Are you?

Sunday 6 February 2011

Word of the Week #27

Subterfuge (noun)
Something used to escape consequences, a trick for evading something unpleasant.
E.g. "That's just a subterfuge! Take responsibility for once."


Friday 4 February 2011

The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers

The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear is, to my knowledge, a slightly obscure and not very well-known novel. It is, however, one of the funniest I've ever read. The novel details 13.5 of Bluebear's lives. Bluebear is a bear with blue fur, who tends to end up in awkward situations which his various skills can (or sometimes can't) get him out of. For example, he spends quite some time directing dreams inside the head of a giant, which he turns out to be very apt at.

Bluebear is apparently classified as a fantasy novel, but I wouldn't classify it as anything at all, except a funny novel. It's not in any way classic fantasy, but becomes fantasy only because is it nothing else. It's not light-weight, but so amusing that reading it is a breeze. It was originally written in German but I found the English translation excellent. I haven't come across any other novels by Walter Moers, but if I do I won't hesitate a second before buying and devouring them.