Monday, November 29, 2010

Strike Out

I think it is very important for me to admit that my first attempts to have my book published have all been rejected.

Don't get me wrong. I still know that my story or a future story will get published, but my initial attempts were not as strong as they could have been. The early chapters lacked something, my query letter wasn't good enough and my mindset about revisions needed to improve.

I have become a much better writer in the past few years, and I now know that the stuff I banged out in 2007 just isn't going to cut it anymore, for me or anyone else.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is Something Missing Here?



Norwich won the National Championship last season. This is a picture from the newspaper of the banner raising. I see the coach, the school president, the athletic director, two deep-pocketed alums...

WHERE ARE THE PLAYERS !!!!!!!?????

This is a perfect example of why I have such a love/hate relationship with athletics. Sports are supposed to be just one part of a well-rounded school experience. They are about building character, learning to work with others and living out dreams. They are not supposed to be about a group of old men trying to win one last time.

Well, congrats old guys! You did it. I'm sorry if I forgot to notice. I guess I was too busy cheering on your student-athletes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Harry Snoozer and the Sleeping Teddy Bear Part 1/4

I'm sorry. I wish I was on the other side of the fence - and I even slept on it after seeing HP7 Part 1 yesterday - but I feel ripped off. Splitting the final movie in two was a money making scheme, nothing more. They could have easily made it a bit longer and crammed in the action. I can't remember the last time I watched a movie with so many awkward lulls.

On a bright note, It's snowing outside my window. That always makes me happy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanks to everyone who has been checking this thing out. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Voice

Voice is such an important part of the writing process. A strong or distinct voice can make or break the believability of a character.

Interestingly enough, to me at least, reading voice is also important. I tend to have very specific voices in my head when reading dialogue. For example, I recently read the first two books by Will Adams, The Alexander Cipher and The Exodus Quest. His stories center around the adventures of British archeologist Daniel Knox. When Knox speaks, I hear a very refined and brave Orlando Bloom in my head. Think Legolas or Balian rather than Paris. Weird? Maybe. But I could give hundreds of more examples of other characters, too.

I was just wondering if most people have a similar experience, or if they simply hear variations of their own voice?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pandora is Great!

And I don't mean the planet from Avatar.

Pandora Radio is tremendous. It has saved me a lot recently.

I like to write in public places like libraries and cafes because they allow me to take breaks for walking around, eating, people watching, etc., but I absolutely loathe having to listen to the inevitable loud person that strolls in and wants everyone within four miles to hear their conversation. That's when I put the headphones on.

I will admit that music distracts me at times, but it isn't even remotely as bad as Jane and John Smith's discussion about their daughter's incompetent math teacher, or the two old guys that tell Jewish jokes in the library on rainy days. UGH!

Thank you Pandora.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eureka

I finally have a name for my character that I have been struggling with.

This is huge news. Now I can really get some things going.

That didn't take long


Well, my slightly joyous/reflective/somber post about not skating was a waste of time. I ended up playing in the Norwich Alumni Game on Saturday morning. I actually did pretty well, but my legs are still sore.

This kid to the left was our ref! Absolutely priceless. His father was my D partner and told me that all the little guy wants to do is ref. It reminds me of a scene in Mighty Ducks 2 when Bombay is trying to convince people to create an Air Loafer for kids that want to coach.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It may not look like much, but...



This little microfilm station, in a tiny corner of the Rutland Free Library next to the audiobooks, is the most productive writing habitat I have ever come across.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Choosing a Name

What goes into choosing a name?
A name can be a very large part of an identity, so I think that names should be chosen with care and purpose. Whether it's a person, a pet, or a character, I take naming very seriously.
Although I don't have any children, I have been part of naming people. Nicknames can be fun and fitting, but they can also be very cruel and inappropriate. Think twice before giving someone a nickname.
I have named many pets, and I find that my first instinct usually fits the pet nicely. Animals deserve names chosen with some thought too. One of our cats has a long-lost sister that was named Scurvy by the guy that bought her (Yes, he even told the humane society that he was buying the cat to be a frat house mascot, and they sold her to him anyway).
The story I'm writing at the moment is part political conspiracy part dystopian adventure, and it features a character that I haven't named yet. I just can't think of a name that fits him. He is one of two main characters and the story won't get moving until I have something to call him. I hope it comes to me soon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ice?

An observation: I think that this is the longest I have gone without putting on skates since I was 3 years old, and I have no idea when I will put them on again.

Typing

I have been getting a slew of emails from VCFA, and I am really starting to get excited. A large part of the first residency is a workshop group that I will be part of. Each group has 2 faculty members and 10-12 students. We submit a draft of a story or novel excerpt the first week of December, and the program directors make groups based on similarity of submission. We then read each other's work and offer critiques, suggestions, etc. My writing has been so solitary up to this point that I'm eager to go through this process. Hopefully my ego allows me to be a willing participant.

For those that are interested, check out the school website: Vermont College of Fine Arts

Friday, November 12, 2010

Here goes nothing

I fully understand that this blog may have very few followers for quite a while. I'm ok with that. This space is really just a place for me to live on the internet since I dislike most social media. This is much more introspective.
I have just been accepted into the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, so this will also be a place for me to reflect on my studies, the writing craft, and my quest to be published.
That's all for a first post. I don't want to go crazy.