xerinmichellex: (stock: snowing downtown)
Some randomness updates, I guess:

1. We can downgrade from Level Green to Level Yellow because I didn't have to go into jury duty!



#blessed

Relatedly: I'm in Level High Purple because I have to miss the Homeland finale due to the family's Christmas get together on December 21st. One thing people should know about me: Don't fuck with my television schedule. Ever. Secretly, I'm hoping I can flounce out of there before 8pm; but my mom only wants to take one car up to my uncle's house; and while I could leave her and my brother behind, I don't think she'd appreciate that.

Also: Gracepoint Speculation, Christmas shopping, and a podcast in a pear tree )
xerinmichellex: (stock vintage girl (curly hair))
Health Update: Read more... )

Writing Nonsense: I'm thisclose to starting. I've notecard-ed out the first three chapters and am mentally preparing myself (and bribing myself) to start in the next couple of days. (Eek!) I had a sudden boost of "okay, I can do this" after a talk with one of my mom's friends. Now, here's the thing: I hardly ever talk about my writing in my real life. Whenever someone asks what I'm up to, I mumble about "hanging out" or "reading" or "watching TV". I say nothing about "oh, I'm writing." So, it was a complete shock, in the middle of talking with one of my mom's friends that she asked if I was still writing. Which (*dons my Sherlock deerstalker*) means that my mom told her that I was writing, which. . .I was touched by it.

You see, the thing about my mom and whenever I've tried explaining the publishing business, I don't think she gets it. She (and my dad) is a professional: she's a Registered Nurse. She went to college and got a nursing degree. So, whenever I brought up how long it takes to get into the writing profession, her immediate response is to say "Go to college and get a degree for your writing." Like a "writing degree" is this magical thing that'll open up doors and SUDDENLY no matter what I write, it's going to get published. (Her other thing is that maybe if I went to college for writing "doors would open for me and I'd meet people". Which. . .those kinds of "doors" and "people" are probably not the ones who will help a writer who wants to write commercial fiction or, gasp!, YA novels.) It's conversations like that that've kept me from divulging to anyone in real life that I'm writing a novel because, as any writer would know, it's extremely frustrating to hear "Well, why don't you do this" or "Why don't you write about [inset newest trend here] because it's really popular" or "Aren't you too young to be a writer?", etc.

But with my mom's friend asking if I was still writing, it didn't feel. . .invasive. It felt like support. It felt like I should sit my butt at the computer and continuing writing. Because I had been writing pretty steadily from 2006 - 2010; but then for various reasons I stopped. That "if" bolstered my confidence that I have done this before. That I can do it again.

(My mom's friend also asked if I was going to get something published and I laughed and said, "Well first I have to write something in order to publish something.")

Though, apparently, if it's late at night I let my guard down and talk about The Book much easier. Because a post came on [livejournal.com profile] ohnotheydidnt about a major YA deal and we were all commiserating on our own manuscripts that are taking a lifetime to complete, and. . .I got some nice responses when I explained (painfully) what mine was. (My thread is here, where I give a bit more detail on what it is.) Not-so shamelessly I've mem'd the post so when I am feeling down or feeling OMG I'M NEVER GOING TO GET THIS FINISHED, I can pull it up and bask in the positive feedback.

(Also: I may or may not trout it out if I sell the thing and a similar post of UGH THAT SOUNDS TERRIBLE shows up on ONTD. Because then I can say, "You bitches were all rooting for me 5 years ago!")

Now, time to snuggle with a nice cup of hot cocoa and Gaslight.
xerinmichellex: (stock: key and lips)
First: Cut for health stuff again )

Now this year's resolutions, quick and to the point:

1. Don't be afraid to ask for help

Between putting off my health issues and, in general, bottling up my feelings, I want to try and be better about asking for help or voicing my feelings when something isn't going right. I want to get to a point where asking for help isn't because I'm a failure or not smart or not capable of doing things for myself. I want to reach out and accept the help of others. Because I feel like I'm good at giving advice and willing to help; and yet, I don't like accepting help or assistance for myself. So I want to break that and whatever stigma I have against asking for help when I truly need it.

(I also want to start keeping a writing journal again. I did a good job of it years ago, when I was balancing work and writing [mostly the journal was to bitch about work, tbh]. I think that'll help with my feelings of hopelessness and hashing out why I find myself procrastinating with writing.)

2. Cook one, new recipe/meal every other week

Again with my health being what it is, I've been trying to eat better and not be afraid to try new things. I'm a very picky eater; but instead of turning up my nose before I've had something, I'm going to actually put it in my mouth and eat it before I say, "No, I don't like it." I've been flipping through my mother's cookbooks and marking recipes I want to try. So it's about time I try them instead of staring at their picture and imagining myself eating it...some day.

3. Complete The Book and have it in querying order by the end of the year

Pretty self explanatory. If all things go well, I should start the first (terrible) draft of The Book on Monday; and even if I only write two paragraphs THAT'S OKAY. A FULL 80K BOOK ISN'T GOING TO MAGICALLY FALL INTO MY COMPUTER IN TWO WEEKS! Ahem. This year I really want to focus on finishing the thing and not even worry about querying until the new year. (Unless, of course, that 80K book magically falls into place before the end of the year.) It's been, hmm, about 4 years since I've done any querying. Basically, I'm starting over and re-learning everything and I want time to do that and not muck it up right out of the gate.

No reading resolutions this year; I didn't read a whole lot in 2013. I'm really trying to focus on getting myself healthy--physically and mentally--and focus on one "superficial" thing this year than freak out over hitting a magical books-read number. Although the TBR piles--yes, piles--next to my bed may disagree.
xerinmichellex: (film: Jane Eyre - Jane)
I've wanted to post more frequently because it was the holiday season and it's my favorite time of the year. But because of personal reasons I haven't. (Incidentally, I was much more active on my Tumblr this past month because it's easier to just click a re-blog link than it is to type up an entire post.) I've kept mum on the subject, only because I thought it would go away. It isn't anything super-serious (*fingers crossed*), but I did want to share what's been going on.

Cut for personal health stuff )

Needless to say, that during these bouts of pain I haven't been in the best of moods. I've tried to temper my real-life irritability on the internet; but if I have come off as unnecessarily short or ill-tempered, I'm sorry. My irritation isn't directed at any of you; it's at myself and whatever is causing my discomfort.

On the writing front: I'm in the process of combining all the various pages of research and loose papers of notes into one notebook to make my life easier. Still plotting away; but I think I'm at the point where I could feasible start writing the first (terrible) draft beginning next week. There's a huge chunk of plot I haven't quite figured out. However, I do have a good idea of the first five or six chapters that, even if I don't have a major element down, I shouldn't let it prevent me from starting something. Otherwise it'll be another year of waiting for this over-arcing plot to appear.

I'm also comfortable enough to share what exactly I've been grueling over the past year (two years?): Cut for story babble and inspiration )

The thing that has been tripping me up the most isn't the world building (I'm very proud of it, actually. I just hope it holds up.) but all the moving pieces and stuff that is happening behind the scenes that the MC isn't aware of. It's stuff like planning people's motives and making sure they make sense and don't totally negate future plots. (I have mentioned that this would be the first of four books in a series, no? Because I like to count my chickens before they hatch.) I'm also trying to recreate the atmosphere that I see in my mind for this story as words on paper. Not an easy task when you feel very uncreative.

So that's pretty much the jist of what's been going on: an alternating cycle of health problems and trying to work on The Book during these bouts of pain. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year! See you all in 2014.
xerinmichellex: (film: Sherlock Holmes - Irene Adler)
My mom must've done some spring cleaning, because an "autobiography" I typed up in 3rd grade made its way on my desk. I vividly remember this assignment; it was part of computer class, to help us learn how to type on the computer. (I'm guessing kids today don't need computer class. But back in '98 we had a whole class devoted to computers.)

Anyway, for your enjoyment:
You're about to read some Nobel Prize in Literature stuff under here... )

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