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Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Writing Links!

The New York Times has a good little essay about abandoned novels. Being an author who has an abandoned novel sitting on his hard drive shivering in the cold and wondering what it did wrong, I can fully understand the need to address this issue. The reason I abandoned my novel is simple, I'd spent waaaaaay too long on it, and it got shoved aside by a new, shinier novel which suited my 30-year-old self a whole lot better than the one I started when I was 25. Is that fair? Probably not, but in the cutthroat world of the Crow's brain, only the newest, sexiest ideas get through the door.

The New York Times also had a very small blurb about the need for the novella to stay sexy and interesting and not get a lot of attention so it can stay sexy and interesting. There's definitely something about this blurb that smacks of insider complaining, but I still found it interesting. You might too.

Obligatory DFW link: The New York Review has a cool article on the David Foster Wallace industry.

Also, the coolest thing ever! A hand-drawn poster detailing the history of Science Fiction from "Fear" and "Wonder" to modern Space Operas. Just awesome. (via Gerry Canavan)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Planting Time

The time has finally come to put my newly cleaned out greenhouse to good use. I decided to go with six veggies in order to get a good idea of what I'm good at and what I'm not good at. I'm going with broccoli, green beans, peas, iceberg lettuce, carrots, and summer squash. The squash, peas, and carrots have to be planted directly into the ground a week after the chance of ground freeze has passed, so I'll wait until the greenhouse plants are ready to be planted and then plant all six in the garden together. This is probably for the best since it means I only have to focus on three plants while I finish cleaning out the backyard. I'm probably super over-killing here, but I planted about 18 seeds of each veggie (lettuce, beans, and broccoli) assuming I will find a way to kill at least half the plants. Right now my main paranoia is that I will drown the seeds with all the water I poured over them, but everything I read called for a good, solid soaking at the outset, so hopefully my paranoia is unfounded. I think there will probably be a lot of unfounded paranoia throughout this process. I think I'm just beginning to realize what farming means: waiting a long time for less-than-obvious results. If there is a better physical embodiment of patience, I don't know what it is.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Year of the Novel: Everybody's Working for the Weekend

This was the first difficult week of the YotN project. I managed to finish only 850 words. Ouch. This was partly due to the fact that I only managed to carve out a few hours to write because of my work schedule and sick children and various other distractions. It's also partly to do with the chapter I'm working on.

This is a keystone chapter, in which a lot of important information needs to be doled out, but it needs to be given in such a manner that I don't give away the whole farm. I need to tread lightly. I need to be coy. I don't do coy very well, so this chapter is taking me a little longer than normal. Also, the whole thing is told from the perspective of an angel, and I'm still having a little trouble resolving their relationship to Earth and God and all that. I can feel what it's like to be an angel when I close my eyes, but for some reason I'm having a tough time putting it into words satisfactorily right now.

In a version of this post I just removed about three seconds ago I told ya'll all about the cosmological workings of this novel, but then I re-read the post and got extraordinarily paranoid about saying so much when I have at least a year left before submitting this work to agents and publishers. Not that I don't trust you, but when you spend this much time on something you get a little paranoid about anything spoiling it. And the internet is just so vast.

So, let's just say that writing all this down really helped clear my mind and that I think it'll help with the writing of this chapter. Thanks for listening, even if you didn't really get a chance know...actually listen.