- Skim milk
- Cheez-Its (when I can get me some)
- Soy sauce
- Cheese (all kinds)
- Cupcakes (all kinds)
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
- Charlotte and Miranda admitting that motherhood isn't enough. And that it is hard. And recognized all the women who do it alone, unlike them with their full-time nannies.
- Carrie having issues with her identity within marriage, and having to deal with others judging her for deciding to have the type of marriage that she does.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
- Phoenix (my first home)
- New York City (the love of my life)
- Costa Rica (a kick ass place I have always wanted to go)
- Roma (the back-up love of my life)
Monday, June 14, 2010
- Work. Trying to do things proactively so that I can guilt-free step away for two months to go to Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in the Fall. Work is the one thing that has taken up a LOT of my time. About 90% of it, I'd guess.
- Red's Wedding. This has been something which kept me a little busy in the very recent weeks.
- Dialogue Study. In the little free time I have, I've been trying to get some of the dialogue memorization begun.
- Nesting. The Husband and I have had a lot to do around the house lately. Decorating has eaten up a bit of time on the weekends. And then cleaning the house is always a huge project. It is a big house. Thinking about hiring a cleaning person. Thinking about it.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
- Writing out each pose, verbatim, over and over again.
- Recording myself saying the dialogue over and over again.
- Listening to that recording of the dialogue when I sleep, bathe, walk to work, sit at my desk at work... You get the idea.
Monday, June 07, 2010
1. In my experience, the hardest part of writing is coming up with the idea. Where did you get the idea for STAY?
The idea for STAY evolved over time. It started as a writing exercise in a college class. Something about the character, Van, who developed from that exercise, kept me going back. I liked her. I wanted to spend time with her, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. That’s what kept me going through the story.
I also get a lot of ideas from songs. When I listen to music, I tend to think about the lyrics and what could have inspired those lyrics or the overall all tone, and sometimes the little spark of an idea shows up in those thoughts.
2. Did your love of dogs influence you?
Absolutely. Like Van, I’d always wanted a dog as a child. Argo changed my life. Having his constant unconditional love and friendship around has made me a better person and given me so much strength and confidence. When I was working on the story and got stuck, I realized that Van needed that kind of grounding relationship, and by getting a dog, her life would start to change.
3. What about Argo? Is Argo's demeanor and personality what is flavoring the character of Joe? (And he IS a character, even though he is a dog!) Is Stella's personality anywhere in there?
In earlier versions of STAY, Joe was all Argo. But Argo is a ridiculously good dog. He chewed a shoe once, and that was the extent of his adolescent dog damages. He’s exuberant, the way Joe is, but we had a pretty smooth adjustment process when we first brought him home (and he’s not from Slovakia or an internet purchase, by the way). Writing about Joe completely as if he were Argo seemed oddly unrealistic. I think as much as it would be shocking for a person to accidentally order a dog, it would also be pretty shocking for the dog, and that needed to be reflected in Joe’s behavior. Stella, gave us some extra challenges when we adopted her. I was able to draw from that, and some of her spirit and personality made its way into the story. She’s also the model for Alex’s dog, Tinsel. I do, someday, hope to write more about this crew of characters, and think if Tinsel makes a larger appearance, it will be a lot of fun.
4. Other than being a dog lover, do you share any characteristics with any of the characters?
I think if my eating and drinking habits were anywhere near Van’s, I’d be a complete and total wreck! Van’s not me, and there are many differences, but we do have similarities. I think my feelings bubble close to the surface the way hers do. I usually have a certain amount of dog hair on my clothes, there are a few too many four-letter words in my vocabulary, and no one who knows me would ever describe me as graceful. I unabashedly love listening to Boston (although that’s something that also grew a lot from writing about a character who loves Boston so much). And I totally talk to my dogs like they might answer back.
5. Did you come up with the plot first, or the characters?
Van, Janie, and Peter all showed up in the first few drafts of the story I wrote from the original writing exercise. The other characters came along as the plot developed. I really like reading character driven stories, and that’s the way I like to write as well. I think everything that happens plot-wise is more interesting if there’s a strong connection to the characters.
6. What is your writing process? Are you able to sit down each day and write? Do you need to drink before writing? Are you easily distracted?
I don’t write every day. I know lots of people say you should, but if I did, I’d spend a lot of time writing nonsense. I live in my head a lot, so much of the process takes place while I’m doing other things. Yard work and hiking have proved to be an important part in my writing routine – I think it’s the act of being occupied, but still having the headspace to let my thoughts wander. I think things out for a long time, and then when I sit down to write, everything starts to come together. Sometimes I’ll write in short spurts for several days in a row, and sometimes I’ll almost go into hibernation and realize 8 hours later that I’m really hungry and thirsty and I haven’t gotten up from my chair in a long time.
If I try to sit down and work before I’m ready to, I am very easily distracted, but if I have worked out what I need to write, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t notice if a spaceship landed in my living room. The trick is to make sure to do the sitting down part, and not let it all stay in my head once things are worked out. Small deadlines from my writing group, and my amazing agent do wonders for keeping me on task in that capacity.
If I drank before I wrote, I don’t think any of my work would much sense to anyone. The drinking comes AFTER the writing. J
7. Any advice for aspiring writers?
Let go of the kind of writer you think you want to be, and be the writer you are. Think about the books you love to read when no one is there to see the cover, and start from there to work to find your voice. Writing a novel is way too much work to carry any sort of affectation or unreal expectations of yourself along through the process.
Expect rejection and learn see it as a chance to grow. Take time to learn how the business works before you start submitting work. And make sure you can always find joy in the process.