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Another one from lazigyrl

Comment on this post. I will choose seven interests from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along.

edward rutherfurd: Author of the books Sarum, London, The Forest, Russka, The Princes of Ireland, The Rebels of Ireland. I love his books. They are well-researched and well-written. He brings history to life for the average person.

jericho: TV show that dramatizes post-nuclear blast small town life. Show was canceled until an outpouring of fan support forced the network to renew it. I wasn't sure how they would keep it going after 3-4 episodes; but I'm hooked.

knitting: A craft involving two (or more) needles and yarn. I did this for relaxation before getting hooked on cross stitch.

sewing: The art of cutting fabric and reattaching it in such a way to create something else. As a larger woman with long legs (34" inseam), I had to make my own pants/trousers when I was growing up. It is easy to find tall or wide; but rarely both. I enjoy creating things and this is one way to do that.

star trek enterprise: Prequel to the original Star Trek. I love the fact Captain Archer has his beagle with him. I always had a beagle (or two) when I was growing up; but none were named Porthos. I think Doctor Phlox was my favourite character (next to Porthos, of course).

wine: Nectar of the gods! Fermented fruit (usually grapes) beverage. Comes in so many varieties that it is hard to get tired of trying them. Very tasty

writing: The art of putting words down on paper or computer in a somewhat coherent fashion. This is something I have done since I learned to read and write. I have always had a very active imagination and stories are an outlet. Sometimes my active imagination keeps me awake (I lay awake all but two hours Monday night creating a story in my head). I need to write things down so I can move on and do other things.
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I'm not sure when I'll have the chance to try this meme out on my own LJ, but I'll happily comment on your interests.

The only Edward Rutherford book I've had a chance to read is Sarum, though I'm hoping to get to the others eventually. My uncle thinks that London is the best one he's read.

I guess opposites must attract because I'm absolutely hopeless at sewing and never learned how to knit. It's pretty ironic because my mom excels at sewing, knitting, and pretty much any kind of needlework.

Ooooh! Enterprise! Enterprise was my obsession before SGA turned my head. I was a huge fan. That isn't to say that I still don't like it, but I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth after that pathetic excuse for a series finale. Anyway, my favourite character is Reed, though I understand why you'd pick Porthos. I mean, we all know he was the real hero of the show. *g*

In case you hadn't noticed, writing is a big passion of mine. In fact, you might say that it's the passion. I love your description of the writing process and I can totally relate to the active imagination and the need to write these ideas down. If a certain idea nags at me long enough that's usually a sign that I'll have to write the story. Otherwise, like you, I'll find I can't move on to other things.

Writing is All Consuming

I think my favourite Rutherfurd book was Russka; but that could be because my ancestry includes a little bit of Latvian.

As for sewing etc., I learned most things from my Mom. She did everything except tatting and a few other crafts we hadn't heard of (mumble, mumble) years ago. At 77, she is knitting bed jackets for shut-ins.

There was a time Reed would have been my favourite. I used to have a thing for small Brits (like Dudley Moore) until I dated one and got it out of my system. I think "getting out of my system" applied to most of my exes, LOL. Thankfully, my hubby is still in my system. Of course, that's probably because he doesn't fit a "type" and he challenges me intellectually more than any of the others did (even the university professor). Anyway, back to Enterprise. I know what you mean about the crappy ending. They did a lousy job on it. Still, Phlox and Porthos keep me going back for reruns. I especially like Trip's reaction to Phlox's wife. I liked that episode.

Ah, yes, writing is definitely a passion. I convinced lazigyrl to take part in NaNoWriMo in 2005. She figured she wouldn't get past 500 words. Not only did she outdo me, she is the one writing and posting all kinds of fanfic. I might be at a bit of a disadvantage because I don't write (or generally read) fanfic. (Yours is a definitely exception. Please keep going on it.) I like to create my own characters. That way, I have more leeway with them; but it also takes longer to develop them.

Once again, that nasty writing passion caused me to get very little sleep last night because I lay awake thinking about story lines for NaNoWriMo. I can't believe it is only a little over a month away. Okay, panic is starting to set in now. Ack!

Do you take part in NaNo? If not, you might want to consider it. Check out www.nanowrimo.org.

Re: Writing is All Consuming

Sorry I'm only responding to your comment now. I know I sound like a broken record, but it's been another busy few days. *g*

I've also heard good things about Russka, so it might be a toss up between that and London when it comes to choosing which Rutherford book I'll read next.

I think it's great that your mom is knitting bed jackets for shut-ins. As my mom sometimes knits things for different charitable causes, she and your mom would probably get along really well!

As far as the Reed crush goes, I have to confess that I have a thing for British guys. Period. I just have to hear a British accent and I go a little weak in the knees. As Reed was the Brit on Enterprise, I was doomed from the start! *g* Well, considering your past experience with smaller Brits, I can see how you got it out of your system. Despite the crappy ending of the show, I'm glad Phlox and Porthos keep you coming back for reruns. I haven't seen that episode with Phlox's wife in ages. It was pretty good.

I can understand why you prefer writing original fiction as opposed to fan fiction. In my case, all of my ideas lately seem to revolve around fandom obsessions, like SGA. I'll find certain ideas popping into my head and next thing I know I'm weaving a story. Not that every idea turns into a fic, but it might develop into a story if it's something that just won't leave me alone. In any case, I'm hoping to get back to writing original fiction at some point, like when I have some ideas for it! *g*

If NaNo got lazigyrl to start writing (and resulted in What the World Needs Now) then it's obviously a worthwhile endeavour! I've never participated myself, but I'll definitely keep it in mind for the future. I wouldn't be able to enter this year (because I'm the slowest writer who ever lived), but maybe I can submit something next year.

Good luck with your own NaNo submission! While deadlines can be useful as far as motivation goes, they can also be pretty stressful. Try not to panic if you can. If you're losing sleep due to ideas that's probably a good sign!



Re: Writing is All Consuming

I have decided on my next project, so I'm not losing sleep over NaNo anymore. Yeah!

NaNo is a lot of fun. I don't find it all that stressful. In the past two years I set a goal of 1,667 words per day (to reach 50,000 in 30 days). I post a chart on my door so my hubby can encourage me or congratulate me. The extra feedback is really important. This year, I'm going to set a 2,000 words per day target so I have extra leeway if I get behind. (I got sick last year and fell behind.)

The idea behind NaNo is to write crap. Well, not completely. The idea is to just get something down on paper that can be edited later. From my own experience, I know that going back and editing keeps me from finishing the story itself, so NaNo works wonders for me.

As for slow writers, I spent fifteen years on a novel and managed to write about 35 pages. I finally gave up. For NaNo this year, I'm taking only the story idea from that attempt and starting over. Not being able to edit while writing is very freeing.

I highly recommend Russka; but London comes in a very close second. I was a little disappointed with Rebels of Ireland. Not because of the story; but because of typos. I counted three typos through most of the book and then 12 in the last few pages. Typos really irritate me because I was a proposal editor for two of the high tech companies I used to work for. Typos and grammatical errors scream at me. I write them anyway; but they still scream.

Re: Writing is All Consuming

I like the idea behind NaNo. It's much easier to write quickly if you're not worried about the editing and revision as well. I have this nasty habit of trying to get things perfect on the first draft and I have to keep reminding myself that it's better to get something down and worry about how everything sounds during the revision stage. I think that's one reason why I'm so slow.

I didn't realize that you used to be an editor! I'm an editor too, though I don't get to do copy-editing per say in my current job. In any case, I find typos and grammatical errors annoying too. In fact, it appears to be hereditary because for a while my mom would actually correct any errors she found in the books she was reading. I think she only stopped when she crossed out a typo in a book that didn't belong to her! *g* Although the lender thought it was hilarious, I think my mom's afraid of making the same mistake again!

Re: Writing is All Consuming

I won't actually write in a book. I treat them as something that is almost sacred. I never, ever turn down the corner of the page. I tend to use sticky notes for bookmarks because they don't damage the page and they don't fall out. I also don't lay down an open book with the spine up. I am definitely a bibliophile.

I never trained as an editor and my editing was more on the technical writing side of things than on fiction. I fell into it because I was better at it than others in the company. (The main other being the history major who always mixed up "then" and "than" but was brilliant on the technical issues. You'd think a history major would have written enough papers to know the difference.) Primarily, I could proofread a 400 page technical document in two days, including corrections. I got the official task of proofreading added to my other work when the government refused one of our proposals because of the grammar and spelling mistakes. I was always trying to make the company look better. That included picking lint of the sales guys' jackets as they left the office. I'm a *bit* anal. ;)

Writing and editing are very different and it is difficult to turn off the editing side of the brain. I find the tight deadline for NaNo helps me a lot. As recommended in the book for NaNo, I send my inner editor on a month-long holiday away from phones, fax machines, Internet access, etc. so she can't bug me while I'm writing. It seems silly; but it works. I tried not to send her away; but I have to do it or she sticks around and makes trouble.

While working on NaNo, I don't go back and read anything I've written. Before November, I write a one sentence description for what has to happen in each chapter. These sentences form my plot and I rely on them to tell me what to write next so I don't have to read the last chapter or even paragraph. I also never stop writing in the middle of a chapter, so I don't have to figure out what I've done and haven't done. I also prepare a basic profile of each main character. Sometimes I interview my characters to get more information from them. Most of the information rarely ends up in the books; but it makes my characters a little more interesting. Little things like Elizabeth's initials consist of all the vowels (AEIOU) and her sister's initials are QRSTU. That came out in the interviews. I think Elizabeth's interview ended up about 16 typed pages.

Sorry, I got kind of long winded there.

Re: Writing is All Consuming

It's interesting how you fell into editing. You obviously had the right qualifications for the job -- and I'm not just talking about you being a bit anal. *g*

Yes, writing and editing are very different and it can be a real struggle to turn off that inner editor. Still, it sounds like the tight deadline does help. Well, that and sending your inner editor on vacation.

The NaNo writing process sounds quite fascinating. I'm not sure if I'd be strong enough to submit something I hadn't read through. However, I suppose it isn't quite as scary when you know everyone is in the same boat. I like the idea of interviewing your characters. It's a good way to get to know them better and to cement certain details in your mind.

BTW I don't think your post was long-winded at all. In fact, I found it really interesting!

Re: NaNo Submissions

Of course I was long-winded. You are just too kind to say so. Thank you for that.

NaNo submissions are automated. You upload a text file. The application counts the words and deletes the file. Nobody sees it. People who want to ensure nobody reads it often do one or more global search and replace operations on specific letters (i.e. replace all "a" with "b") to render the manuscript unreadable. Of course, I've heard a couple of horror stories about people doing this without saving the file under a new name.

As it is already the 4th of October, I should probably start interviewing my characters. (For some reason, I just can't get psyched for NaNo this year.) The interview idea blossomed from the character sketches I'd learned about in a couple of writing seminars and books. I didn't find them very useful because they were too bland. The interview allows the characters' "voices" to emerge. It is much more than listing that they have blue eyes and blonde hair. You probably noticed that I didn't describe the characters in What the World Needs Now. I did that on purpose because every reader gets an impression and I don't want to dictate anything unless it is central to the plot. Instead, I let the characters' voices come through to create an individual impression for each reader.

Two years ago, I sent my inner editor on safari in Africa. Last year, I just let her lounge on a beach in the south of France; but she came back early because airports were too conveniently located. I think I'm going to send her on a trek to the South Pole this year. Or, maybe I'll just have her kidnapped for a month with a ransom of 50,000 words.

Lazigyrl and I are writing buddies for NaNo. We egg each other on and give encouraagement when needed. I don't think I could do it without the friendly competition.
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