Monday, April 26, 2010

Let's Debrief

My mini-writing retreat with myself went so well! As stated last week, I had TSH drive me up to Park City Friday after school. I stayed at the hotel that night and ate dinner at the Bar/Grille before going back to my room and writing. By 8:00 PM, I was halfway through my word goal.

The next morning, I woke up early, thanks to waking up early every other day of the week, so I got up and started writing some more. I walked several blocks to a bagel shop where I had some breakfast, walked back to the hotel, and finished writing before 11 o'clock, so I had p.l.e.n.t.y. of time to learn how to use the bus, go shopping, eat lunch, and go shopping some more.

In all, I wrote 4858 words, 2010 on my novel with the working title of The Quest and the remaining words were in the other book I've been writing, Robinella.

It's amazing how much you can get done when you don't have one or more of the following things to distract you:
  • Your children
  • Your husband
  • Your children and your husband arguing about bedtime
  • The kitchen floor which is calling out to be mopped
  • The curriculum for the art journaling class you're teaching in May
  • The books that are piled up in your bedroom which: a. need to be put away and/or b. need to be read
  • The cat who seems to think that your writing time is when she should be biting your face off

It brought me to this conclusion:

When I get to the point that I'm writing full-time, I really need a place to write that is not in my home. So, does anyone have a room they'd like to rent me? You know, when I'm famous?

Maybe There Is Enough

A few months ago, I wrote this post as I was wondering if there were enough blessings in the Universe for everyone who asked for them (and, selfishly, for myself in particular). Today, I received this newsletter in my email, which I think answers my question for me. If you all have had a similar thought, please take a minute or two to read it. It certainly gave me hope.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mini-Writing Retreat. Participants: 1

Yep, just 1 person will be at this mini-writing retreat: moi! I told TSH before he came home (he's home now; did I ever tell you all that?) that I would need a weekend off to just go and write by myself. He agreed, so I'm taking off tomorrow after work for Park City for my retreat with myself. Actually, TSH is driving me up there so he can have the car and so I won't be tempted to go to the factory stores and buy me a fabulous new Coach handbag. I may go down to historic Main Street if I get my words done and browse the stores (I don't ever buy much when I'm up there because a lot of the stores require you to mortgage your house to come away with something worthwhile) or find someplace fabulous to eat. Mmm....Thai food....Ahhhh....*drool*

I'm also going to give myself a goal so I don't just go up there and spend 48 hours vegging in front of the TV or reading fluffy romance novels (which I'm not taking in the first place). 4000+ words is what I am writing this weekend. I'll probably go back and forth between the two novels I'm working on, but I can't wait to see what gets accomplished.

Enjoy your weekend, my friends! I'll see you next week.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Story First Liners and a Giveaway

About two weeks ago, I had my creative writing class (okay, shameless plug: My next class starts in 2 weeks. If you live in the Salt Lake area and you're interested, please see the link on the right side of my blog) write interesting first lines for stories, and I did the same. I just read through these again tonight and I really *heart* some of them and others, I'm not so in love with. But I started wondering which one really hooks you. Here they are (in no particular order of hearting):
  • Mary Louise wasn't quite sure how she ended up stranded on a deserted highway in the middle of known zombie territory, but she did know she didn't want to become someone's meal.
  • "Why do you think it's okay to call me up at 3 AM, Julie?"
  • The stink from the lake made my stomach turn, and I wished that I hadn't caved in when Pepper offered me that fourth corndog at the fair.
  • "There!" he shouted, pointing to an insignificant dot on the world map.
  • "I didn't say, 'Liberian.' I said, 'Librarian!'" (An homage to this blog post.)
  • She stood between the two teenaged boys, one dark like molasses, the other with honey skin, and pretended she wasn't afraid of either one of them.
  • Peter had crazy Einstein hair and Carrie had the feeling he was channeling more than the scientist's 'do.
  • Her hands flitted through the air, butterflies on the wrist of the flamenco dancer. (Yet another homage to another blog post.)
  • The monkey stood on his stump, hooting and hollering, and Jane had the strangest feeling that she was watching C-Span.
  • The Skittles-colored map lay in front of her as she planned her journey home.

So, which one of these first lines would you like to see, or read, as a longer piece? Vote on one (you can just put the first two words of the post in your comment). Who knows, your vote might influence my next novel (you know, when I finish the other two I'm currently writing).

Here's the giveaway. Tonight I made little "writer's kits" for my last creative writing class. They're not really fancy, but they're a little funny and they have some chocolate in them. I'll post one next week when I announce the winner of the giveaway.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blog Tour

And now, if you'll please direct your attention to the right-hand side of the blog, you will see two new "WIP" (or Work in Progress) widgets. These widgets will show you the progress Andria has recently made on two novels she's currently working on. Yes, you, in the back, with the red shirt and flip-flops?

Um, yeah, can you tell us anything about these novels she's working on?

Well, Andria's pretty private about what she writes. Whether this is from her fear that someone will steal her ideas and then go off and make millions of dollars or whether it's from her fear that if she tells someone about what she's writing it will jinx it and she won't be able to complete it, we're unsure. We can tell you these two tidbits about what she's working on: both have strong female protagonists and both of these women have evil stepmothers. Oh, I didn't see your hand raised. You have a question?

Do you know when she'll be finished?

Your guess is as good as mine. And probably just as good as Andria's. Okay, we have time for one more question. Ah, yes, the girl in the Twilight t-shirt. Yes, you.

Do you know who will play Andria in the Lifetime bio-flick?

Rumors have been flying around that Jessica Alba and Meryl Streep have both been vying for the part. The only thing I know for sure is that Andria has threatened to sue the network if they get Dakota Fanning to play her teenager self.

Thank you. That will conclude our tour for the day.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Washington 2010 Trip: Artfest

Woohoo! I'm going to post about Artfest this year before June! I've decided to break the trip into 3 blogposts. This first one will be all about Artfest. The second post will be about our trip to Forks. And the last one will be about our day in Seattle.

Our dorm, #225:

My home-sweet-prison cell for four nights:

Yeah, it actually was kind of worse than last year, but my mom and I got to share a room and it was about two steps from my first class, so it really wasn't that bad.

I was greeted by my many wonderful friends...

...none of whom I took pictures of this year. Hello, Andria! Get your camera out, would you? I guess I'll just have to go back next year.

My first class was Tins Charming with Liesel Lund, a lovely, lovely person who I actually met last year and spent an evening together in the impromptu dance. We made fun jewelry pieces and other objet d'arts from cookie tins! I've collected so many cookie tins now that I'm ready to trip over them, so I better start working on some more fun things. Below is the necklace I made with just a few of the pieces I made on Thursday.

My second class, on Friday, was with Sunny Carvalho. We painted these lovely ladies with Genesis heat set oil paints, which I now have to have for myself.

artfest 2010

My mom put it very succinctly just a couple of days into Artfest when she said that Artfest was so expensive because, after the money it costs to get to Port Townsend and pay for all of the supplies, you then leave wanting to buy more art supplies! So true. Sunny is a truly radiant person and I'm so glad I took her class. I knew, as soon as I looked at the classes available last August, that I was going to take Liesel and Sunny's classes and they did not disappoint. Here I am with Sunny wearing the hat that I bought from her. (I actually kind of tracked her down the evening after vendor night to buy it. Love it!)

artfest 2010

The last class was with Karen Michel, and we painted and collaged and hammered and embellished these awesome house totems. The green one is my retirement home in Port Townsend. I only need about a million to buy it, so if you know anyone wanting to throw money at me...

And then it was adios! to Artfest 2010. I'll see you again next year!