So, I've written one novel, and am still trying to finish the one I got 50,537 words into during the month of November while participating in NaNoWriMo. For 2010 I have two new years resolutions when it comes to writing:
Finish My NaNoWriMo novel.
Edit my first novel to the point where it's ready to podcast.
Hopefully next year will see me podcasting my first novel. I already have much of the outline to the sequel written, and I'll be writing the second book in the series for NaNoWriMo next year.
This is my second year listening to an audiobook that fits the season well. It is by one of my favorite authors of all time. While searching the web for free audiobooks, as I'm always found to do, I came across a wonderful sight. They have recorded many classics, and put them out for free! The narrators they have are quite good, which can make or break an audiobook, and I highly recommend to you on this day before Christmas Eve, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. If you're not a fan of audiobooks, Lit2Go also has two ebook versions, an online and .pdf version. Enjoy, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
My Great Grandma Asta Ruby Brown passed away at the age of 99, just a couple months short of turning 100. She was a brilliant writer, and I just got to borrow three books full of her poems yesterday from my mom. Even in her 90s she would write us hand written letters on our birthdays, in perfect cursive script, and you could really hear her youthful spirit in those letters, as her voice had grown shaky and slower with age. I'm currently digitizing all of her work, and intend to publish them on a website once they're finished. For now I will share my favorite poem of the ones I've been able to read through so far.
The Old Farm
The old buildings are sagging and swaying tonight
And ghosts are abroad in the pale gold moonlight
The soft feet of destruction are sure but so slow
The farmhouse and the barn in their painful death throe
Still remain but are willing and sighing to go
The outside snowball trees can but partly obscure
The poor broken-down home that once held such allure
Tho' the view 'cross the water is just as before
With the lights from the town flickering as of yore
And the air--the clean air penetrating each pore
A lone bird on the tree in a song of lament
Seems to grieve over how all the past glories went
While the pink hawthorns bloom in memoriam tonight
With the snowballs so round and so purely white
Oh! The ghosts are abroad in the pale gold moonlight
Today I printed and framed my NaNoWriMo winner's certificate. Its really just ink on a plain white piece of paper, held behind glass by plastic that I bought at the dollar store. Still, it means something to me. Now I know that I'm probably still years away from my first published piece of fiction, short story or novel; but that little piece of plain vanilla white paper with ink on it in the dollar store frame is a reminder that I did something I didn't think I could do. A friend asked me if I was doing NaNoWriMo, didn't really encourage me to do it, just a simple question, are you doing NaNoWriMo? I had heard about it in podcasts, and watched some of my favorite author's word count graphs go up last November on their NaNo profile pages, but I said, no. I can't do NaNo this year, I'm just too busy. I have an awesome wife and 1 1/2 year old son, I just wouldn't have time to do NaNoWriMo. But his simple question sparked my interest just enough. I thought, I've been wanting to write short stories next, maybe I'll write a whole bunch of short stories, but realized that I'd have to come up with a lot of short stories. I'd had a novel that I wanted to write soon because it had to do with the current economy, except in the future on a different planet. It was a YA Sci-Fi novel, I thought I've got quite a bit of notes on it, I'll write an outline and 50K will be a good length for a YA novel, after all my first novel only turned out to be 48K. I thought I probably would get to 30K if I was lucky, but hey, I would have half of a novel written in a month, that wouldn't be too bad! Well I did NaNoWriMo and to my surprise, I got to 50K words in 28 days. The other thing that surprised me was that my book wasn't near being finished, its still in act II actually. It will end up being around 90K I think, a proper sized novel by today's standards. So now I just have to finish it.
Doing NaNoWriMo was the most fun I've ever had writing, I highly recommend it if you've ever wanted to try writing a novel. It gave me a strong sense of community with the other thousands of writers doing the event during November. I didn't even meet anyone in person, but just knowing there were literally thousands of other people out there all around the planet, and even a large group in my home town, was very inspirational to get me to those 50K words. I was writing alone, but I wasn't really writing alone. With people tweeting their wordcount updates on Twitter, and having writing buddys on the NaNo site who's wordcount graphs I could see going up, it felt like I was in a community, it was awesome. I had a blast. Next November, give it a try, you won't regret it. Even if you don't make it to 50K, you'll have fun and hey you'll write more than you would have in the month of november. Check out their awesome site: NaNoWriMo
I'm going to have a small segment on episode 20 of Michell Plested's writing podcast Get Published! It's a review of a great website for writers to go and get their work critiqued called critters.org. If you're a writer, you should go and check it out, but more importantly you should listen to Mike's great podcast, he has great interviews with published authors, and a lot of great advice for those of us out there writing away with dreams of being published someday. Go and click on the link for Get Published above and download episode 20 when it comes out, better yet subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, or your preferred podcatcher, and listen to all of his other episodes, because they're awesome.