Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cookie Failure

Today I attempted to make some cookies. Everyone knows that baking is just not my thing. Even no-bakes are a problem for me. 

But I decided maybe sugar cookies would be different. 

I mixed the sugar with the butter and the flour. I threw in some vanilla as per the very, very, foolproof recipe. 

“Mix the dough,” the recipe said. 

“I’m mixing the dough,” I said, “But, that shit isn’t working out.” 

No matter, I pushed through. I thought, maybe this is supposed to be a bit crumbly... 

Step three: roll the dough and cut into shapes. I rolled and rolled. The dough cracked, crumbled, and stuck to the pin no matter how much flour I used to prevent it. 

I got five cookies successfully circular before I said screw it and threw the rest of the dough out. 

The dough may have beaten my patience level, but I was going to make those five cookies.

Is that not the saddest sugar cookie you’ve ever seen?

After I had tried my creations--visually they were lack luster, but the taste wasn’t half bad--I questioned why in the hell I was trying to bake anyways. 

The answer: Procrastination.

I would rather bake horribly, shitty cookies than sit down and write. I was mid-bite through the second cookie when this epiphany hit me. instead of doing the dishes and finishing the laundry that I was also supposed to be doing, I got a cup of tea, went to my horribly messy office in my pajamas that I was still wearing at noon, and sat down to write. 

Vintage Santa mug--hell yes!

If I can let horrible cookie making take an hour out of my day, dammit, I can sit down and write something. 

And then I did.

NaNo Update: My novel has taken over my life. I really only allowed myself this post because I'm 2,000 words away from 50k. ONLY 2000 TO GO. Although the novel won't be finished at 50k; I'm feeling 60K. I fell off the writing wagon in week 2 by taking two days off, so I've been in constant catch up mode since. I had a goal of being finished before Thanksgiving, and I'm going to do it!  

What are your procrastination habits? Anybody else do things they’re intentionally bad at to waste time? How are your NaNos coming fellow writers?? 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Books of Influence

Since NaNoWrimo started on Friday, my creative well is focused on that. But writing and reading go hand-in-hand; so, as I endeavor to get to 50,000 words, I’ve also been reading like a mad woman. Look forward to book reviews come December. 

I like to read in the genre I’m writing in. Referencing other writers helps when I get stuck.

As I devour books in the YA genre to help with my own, I got to thinking about the books I’ve read in the past that really influenced me as a writer. 

So, every Sunday of November, I’m going to post an influential book that shaped my writing life. Up first:

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

I read this book in high school initially. It didn’t really leave any indelible mark on me, but then again anything I was forced to read in K-12 immediately made it onto the hate list out of principal.

It was my second run in with this book that really solidified it as my favorite book of all time. 

It was the first novel I ever analyzed critically and really the first glimpse of what goes on in books beyond the words on the page. I was reading with a concentration on what language was doing to Frankenstein’s monster and what other pieces of literature, such as Paradise Lost, was doing to the monster’s psyche, and I kind of fell in love with Shelley after that. Books became more than books. Reading became a challenge to see what they authors were really trying to get across on the page. And then of course, I wanted to be that kind of writer. I wanted to write the stuff that makes people think, question morals, all that good stuff. So now that this paragraph sounds like a poorly articulated love letter, I will leave it at: I just really really love this book. 

NaNoWrimo Update: I am over 5,000 words in. I don’t hate it yet, so that’s a plus. My inner editor is locked up and twitching in the corner over all my long winded exposition, tense shifts, that entire first page where I just threw convention to the wind and wrote in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person to try an feel out where I wanted to go. It’s been an interesting ride so far. 

What book influenced you?And if you’re NaNoing with me, how’s it going?