Monday, January 27, 2014

1,000 Words in 48 Hours

A couple of years ago, when I was having my sophomore or junior year high school evaluation, my evaluator mention something called NaNoWriMo when she saw my penchant for long fantasy tales. I can't remember all the details, but I think it's this writing program where you commit to writing a book by a very short deadline and do so by penning something like a thousand words a day. I probably have those numbers messed up, but basically you are writing a lot everyday so you can get your book finished. I know people who go through this program and they have written trilogies in about three years. I bring up NaNoWriMo because doing this collaborative project with other sci-fi writers has us committing to something similar. We each had two days to contribute a thousand words to the "origin story." I submitted my thousand words a little bit ago and my mind feels like it just finished a sprint. It's exciting writing with other people, mixing your ideas into one huge melting pot but at the same time, it's terrifying. You are not just answerable to your publisher, to yourself, but to all these other writers. They are just as big a part of the story as you are, and they have just as much a right critique you as you do them. I feel like I have something to prove. I feel like a punk kid in a room full of executives. I guess I'm just worried they won't like my writing. That's what it always comes down to, isn't it? Will they like the story, the characters, the diction, the pace? Is it obvious this is my first time working on a project like this? One thing I am sure of: I will make sure to enjoy this experience, no matter what turns it takes. Easier said than done, I know, but I don't want to be in a constant state of anxiety for the next five months and only afterward realizing how gratifying the experience was. Yeah, not gonna happen. No matter where the story takes me, I want to remember to find light in the dark places. And if the darkness is overwhelming, then all the more reason to find the light.


Friday, January 17, 2014

"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

It never ceases to astound me how a book, whether it's thirteen pages or over a thousand, can resonate within you and leave you with one word on your lips: "Wow."
That was my reaction after reading "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. My next thoughts were of handing the book to my dad with that wide-eyed look of conviction and simply saying, "Read this." Coming just under seven hundred pages, Mr. Zusak has woven together a tale of sorrow, friendship, and discovery, and it is these elements combined with the incredible characters and haunting imagery that make this book a masterpiece. Even the most proficient reader will find themselves needing to just sit back and reflect on what they just read. Although it was a bit difficult to wrap my head around the first few pages, once I got into the rhythm it was easy to see things the way the author wanted you to see them: characters, expressions, colors.
Read "The Book Thief." Read it and don't look back, because once you begin this journey, the only way you will want to go is forward.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons

Some exciting manifestations have just recently gone down. Got a minute? Cool.
Trestle Press has certainly been busy. They are going to be launching several different series in the very near future, hitting genres all across the board. And guess what? I'm a part of it!
I don't know how much I'm technically allowed to disclose, but the gist of it is this: about six writers, including myself, are putting our heads together to create this futuristic, sci-fi world that is not what you would expect. We are all contributing to the "origin story" and then each of us claims a character and writes three chapters about them: a story, a prequel, and a climax. I know, I know, what kind of blanket-sweep is that? But I am actually getting excited, although of course I am nervous. I have never been a part of a collaboration of authors and this... this just feels right. I think it's going to work. It is all in the Lord's hands but... I just have a feeling.
I will keep you updated as much as I can.
And stay-tuned for "Ursula's Tale, Part 3." Can't wait!