Sunday, 24 July 2016

I Love Librarians, Shakespeare, Kate McKinnon, and You

This post serves two purposes:

  1. It allows me to brag about the progress I’ve made on the next novel
  2. It allows me to procrastinate on making any further progress in said novel

As I wrote about previously, I’m a masochist who decided to hand-write her next book. It’s been painful but I do think the work is more quality. This morning, I completely filled up my princess notebook!
Look at all these pages full of words. Now it’s a matter of hoping they aren’t all nonsense. And don’t be too impressed, my handwriting is MASSIVE.

And to support my writing process, I went out right when that was finished and bought this swanky new notebook on the right.

As you can see I’m fond of pink.
The next book is either going to be middle grade or young adult Magical Realism and is about fairies. I have been writing in #nature to get the forest vibes and have had an unfair amount of insects crawl on me because of this. So far I have been drawing inspiration from A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as various other sources.

The most important one being the library.

Let me tell you how fantastic librarians are. I went to my library with the mission of finding everything to do with fairies and learn how to write about such a creature/society. I was hopeless. The only thing I managed to get my hands on were some Disney picture books about Tinker Bell. There was this one librarian in the Teen Zone who seemed desperate to help out, though, and by telling her I was doing research on fairy lore she hooked me up with massive amounts of books to take out, read there, as well as online resources and documentaries.

Librarians are stars.

Honestly this entire post feels like I’m just rewording Neil Gaiman’s main pieces of advice, which generally revolve around handwriting when laptops become too difficult and worshipping libraries. Soon I’ll be giving my own Make Good Art speech.

Something strange I’ve learned about fairies because of librarians:
People used to genuinely believe that fairies would come and replace children with one of their own kind. Parents would think that their children were swapped with “changelings” if they were diseased or deformed or just ate too much. This could have some nasty results.

I’ll report back with more fairy fun facts, I’m sure. If not a finished novel on the topic.

Allow me to now enlighten you with the other exciting things I’ve been getting up to:
  • Reading shit tons of Shakespeare in preparation for uni.
  • Screaming over the line “Villain, I have done thy mother” in Titus Andronicus.
  • Screaming over the trailer for American Gods.
  • Internally screaming at Ghostbusters because I wouldn’t dare shout over that fantastic film. Kate McKinnon is a gift to this universe.
  • Pretending to write a lot more than I have.

Also there’s been some great fanart and booktube videos for We Awaken and I’m so grateful and thrilled that they now exist in the world.
Stay stellar!

Friday, 15 July 2016

I’m A Published Author… Now What?

The day finally came and passed! July 14 was the release day for We Awaken and now I’m officially a published author.

It’s a bit bizarre.

So how did I celebrate? Well, being the poor planner that I am, I went to the dentist in the morning (got two cavities but that’s beside the point) and when they asked me what my plans for the day were I just went “uhhh… I’m going to an arcade later”. I’m still clinging to the belief that my pseudonym is hiding the fact I’m a writer although I’m the least discreet person in this country.

And so I went to an arcade and spent $20 to win a rubber turtle and a shit ton of stickers. I will accept all recommendations on where to stick them. Also I caught some Pokemon in the area and ate an unholy amount of seafood. So, all in all, I think I celebrated quite well. Not to mention my mother agreed to watch Moulin Rouge with me and she only complained for about half the movie, which is pretty good.

I feel like everything has been leading up to the book actually being out and now that it is I’m a bit “now what?” about everything. I’m hoping that the coming days bring good reactions from people who have already ordered the book and word spreading that it even exists. Mainly, though, I’m looking ahead at this point.

Because I live in London most of the year, I am used to long plane flights to get back to America. On my last one in June, I was struck with an awesome idea for a novel- which has nothing to do with airplanes- so I put the book I was working on to the side and am currently writing my new idea. It involves fairies and time bending and is all sorts of fun. What’s odd about this one, though, is that I’m handwriting the entire first draft.


The book I gave up on to write this one, I had typed the first two drafts and it just didn’t seem like the best I could do. It was a contemporary romance and just not me, so hopefully this new fantastical plot suits my style better. I’ve already filled half of a Disney princess notebook which is a great start. Even if using a pen takes ages.

Now it’s just a matter of not losing that notebook and all my work…

So, writers, can’t decide whether to type or handwrite?

Pros of typing:
  • Spell check
  • Word count
  • Expedience
  • Not having to read your own handwriting

Cons of typing:
  • The internet is distracting
  • It’s faster so you think about the words less
  • Staring at a screen is distressing

I believe in using all resources available, and I only hand wrote one or two scenes from my first novel, so I validate your typing, but the next novel just feels to earthy to stare at a laptop the entire time I create the world these characters will live in.

Interested in what other shenanigans I've been getting up to? I went to Ham4Ham at Hamilton on Broadway and tragically did not win tickets. Visited a llama themed shop and a house shaped like an elephant. Basically, I've been screwing around and need to get to writing.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The World Thinks I'm British

Strange edits I received on my novel

It’s summer in the suburbs. I have been trying to occupy myself with anything other than working on my next novel. Because I’m the worst.

Most of the year I live in London and just go lurk around the Tate Modern when I’m bored but now I’m back in the good ol’ USA. Happy late Fourth of July and all that.

My favorite piece at the Tate Modern. I will defend it to the grave. Yes, that's a urinal.

This living in the UK has confused some of my editors in the past, though, and I’d like to share some strange comments I’ve received on my novel because of it. One person thought I was stealing from George R. R. Martin by using the phrase “you know nothing” (I’ve never watched or read Game of Thrones before and I’m starting to feel like I should considering the actors like to come to the theatre I work at). Apparently I pull readers out of the story by making that reference, and I was almost impressed with myself.

Pro tip: if Mr. Martin has ever strung three words together before, avoid them.

My other favorite comments were the ones describing to me how the American schooling system works because no one knew I grew up in America. I fought for the accuracy of the air conditioning not working in school buildings. In the High School I went to, we boiled half the year. And also defended a three-point turn in a car being referred to as a K Turn.

The greatest edit I ever got, and it won’t be topped, is “This doesn’t sound like a girl from New Jersey.”

Oh the irony. I’m writing this on my bed in New Jersey.

Being edited is really great though! I feel like I grew so much as a writer and definitely understand comma splices more. It just gets funny at times.

Now I should go write more novels instead of blog posts and tweets and all that. But I am the procrastination queen and will most likely end up partying with a Neil Gaiman book for the rest of the day.

Proof I'm in New Jersey. My book with a funnel cake.

Stay stellar!