Thursday, July 29, 2010

screw writers block!

Don't panic! Forget your brain and all of the fear and just put words on the page. Words surprise you - always. So just write and feel and do not think. You'll be just fine! I believe in you!

Writer's block

I have it! I am on page 12 of my manuscript... only page 12... and I have writers block. I am a slow writer so page 12 is like major progress for me, but I need to write page 13, but I don't know where to go. I feel like I take too much control of my work and I should just let go and write what my fingers manage to punch out.

How do you guys do it??


Monday, July 26, 2010

thought of the day (courtesy Ursula K LeGuin)

"The unread story is not a story:
it is little black marks on wood pulp.
The reader, reading it, makes it live:
a live thing,
a story."

Say it like it is, Ms LeGuin!

Happy Monday to y'all!
and Happy Writing!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

PS - WD40

I just read this somewhere and I thought it was hysterical...

Monday, July 19: "Inspired by WD-40"
In 1953 a fledgling business called Rocket Chemical Company set out to create a rust-prevention solvent for use in the aerospace industry. It took them 40 attempts to get the formula right. Voila! *WD-40*, which stands for Water Displacement, 40th attempt. I find that inspiring! What if they'd given up on number 39? [Think about your manuscript submissions - don't give up before 40 failures!] 
I thought it was a funny correlation - how our writing is like WD40 - sounds like a critical essay topic almost! :-)
Write on!

Guilt and All

Anne, you should absolutely not feel guilty EVER about writing.

I saw the movie Golden Compass and heard the author speak at the Chicago Humanities Festival a few years back when the theme was green. He seems like a talented guy with a good heart.

I'm still trying to finish my reflections, but I've spent some time working on scenes for the middle of my novel and I'm excited because it has a lot of energy. Seems like it was a good idea to put it aside for awhile and work on picture books. Can't wait to write my way through to the end so I'll have a draft to work with.

Also started researching sociopaths and victims. This should be interesting...

Reading, Semester Plan and Mommy Guilt

I'm reading Golden Compass (like you Jill!) :-) and I feel almost guilty doing it because I love this book!
I'm supposed to be finishing the Count of Monte Cristo for my teenagers movie/book club (we are getting together to watch a movie version of it on Friday) but when I look at the two books, i choose Golden Compass every time...Go figure :-)
I just emailed Marsha with a new plan for my semester body of work and I think I'm being waaaay too ambitious but I'm excited to see what she thinks of my madness -- it'll involve a ton of work and it'll be hard in August but I think I can do it once the kids are back at school but only if I do NO VOLUNTEERING at the kids's schools...
Is that selfish of me?!?!?!?!?!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A post from Jill

Hi guys!

I just posted on my own blog, so I am feeling both tired and like something of a windbag. The blog is called extrabloggage. Easy to find.

As for my writing: I think I just took a week off. I still have so many books to read on our list, and every time I try, I fall asleep. I started The Golden Compass. Page six, asleep. I begin reading Feed. I just kept cracking up because it seems futuristic and dated at the same time! And kind of slow, and again--I was asleep in moments! I need to be reading books about families and ghosts. Are there any books on the list that fit that description? Help me!

So I typed up my workshop notes and I have to revise 50 pages for my first packet. So why haven't I begun? Because I am bust blogging! That's why! How will I get any work done if I have blogging assignments?

It already seems like a million years ago, doesn't it? My hint for anyone having trouble: Start a writing journal on your computer and write in it about why you don't feel like writing. It will get you ready to write.

love Jill

Livescribe Pen

Am i writing on here too much?

Just wondering.

Anyway... I got the livescribe smart pen. More as a recording device since I don't write my stuff longhand. Thanks Anne for the recommendation. I'm excited to use it.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thank you all for the sympathy card.
Next Residency (for me) won't be so hard.
Sorry to have missed your cheer,
But I certainly won't next year!

Hope you are all of to a good start writing....
I'm teaching summer school, but I'm trying to write before
and when I come home at night!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One day down....

It's day two in the writing game for the semester and I am trying to stay on top of it all like a super hero. I even turn off my internet now when I write and I am doing an exercise before every session to get my writer juices (don't think dirty mel) flowing. I am doing morning walks at 6 30 am and writing in my head. I am going to buy a recorder today so I am record my thoughts when I have an idea. What do you all think about that? Is that just too cliche? How is everything going for everyone else? Is it weird being back home? Does your pet remember you? Does your significant other love you more because they missed you? Do you dread going to work as much as i do? I just want to stay home and write. Also, I started reading "Writing the Breakout Novel" by Donald Maass. AMAZING! I am just eating this craft book up and I am only 70 pages in. It's pretty cheap so I recommend it. =)

Love and miss you all,


P.S. When is everyone's first packet due? Mine is September 1

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Verse by Mell...take one...

We hid in the basement for some tornado fun
Now we're writing the pages for Packet One
We drank and laughed and drank some more
The writing life rocks though our butts are SORE!

...We're Thirteen Below and we're here to say:

We're WRITERS, we're AWESOME, and we won't go AWAY!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Anne! Thank you for creating this blog and figuring out how to have everyone a part of it!

I got page one started today
So my packet 1 is on it's way.
I know that this will be a tough month,
but with your support i'll get it done!


Love you all. Safe travels.

Goodbye and Good Luck!

What a grrrrrrrreat residency!  From the lard ass prose to gravitas, the aboutness of this summer residency was a feeling of friendship and support and the best writing community on the planet!

I look forward to keeping in touch with all of you (hint hint, that means POST here and POST often!) and I wish you well as you dive into our second Semester o' fun!

To get y'all started, here's a writing assignment for the week:

Our class chant says a lot about who we are, the energy we have and the excitement we feel about this program and about our writing - compose a verse to go with the chorus and post it for us all to recite as we settle into the packet one preparation that awaits!

We’re 13 Below and we’re here to say:  

Happy Writing,