Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Chieti Lives!

I had to resort to bribery to get Linda to finish a chapter today. I agreed to clean the ceiling fan in her bedroom. Hey - whatever it takes.

When we're not writing Chick Lit, we're reading it. Linda's favorites are by Lee Nichols: Hand Me Down and Tales of a Drama Queen. I'm enjoying Valerie Frankel's books. So far I've read The Girlfriend Curse and The Accidental Virgin. I just got The Not-So-Perfect Man from amazon.

I even went so far as to send VF an e-mail gushing about her genius, and she wrote back saying she could instantly tell that I was destined for greatness. Ok, that might be a slight embellishment... but we did exchange e-mail.

I think I will go do the latte/notebook thing this evening. I'm tired of this computer desk. Need some Jordi Labanda time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Linda is on the Ledge

My collaborator and sister with the majority of the writing talent (no, really!) is ready to jump ship. I convinced her to wait until we meet and review on Friday, but she refuses to back away from the ledge.

This has happened before. When we decided to ditch the stalker idea, I was on the ledge and she talked me down. It's just too bad we're never in synch. While one of us is happily writing away the other is miserable and distraught. Maybe we have a psychic sister connection where we have to timeshare creativity and confidence. As long as we don't both end up in the abyss at the same time we should be ok. Otherwise she'll be Thelma and I'll be Louise...

Does a ship have a ledge? Seee - I NEED her on board.

We discussed the possibility of starting a monkey farm together. It would probably be easier.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Welcome Fellow Demon Fighters

Wow! 2 comments from people I don't know. Hello, Barbara and Gretchen. I checked your blogs quickly - can't spend too much time not moving towards deadline completion, but meeting fellow demon fighters is always a good thing.

I copied these "7 things" headings from Gretchen's Blog, but the things are mine.

7 Things you plan to do before you die:

1. Publish a novel
2. Be a size 8 for more than one season
3. Spend a summer cycling in Italy
4. Go scuba diving
5. Read all the books on my shelves
6. Be able to relax and enjoy dinner parties that I host
7. Read the instructions for my digital camera

7 Things you can do:

1. Write marketing headlines
2. Swim, bike and run
3. Have fun doing something I'm terrible at
4. Order takeout food in French
5. Find something to laugh about
6. Exist without cable TV
7. Quit my job with no real plan

7 Things you can't do:

1. Have straight, humidity-proof hair
2. Give up coffee
3. Appreciate subtleties in the French language
4. Stop worrying
5. Be petite
6. Stay stuck in a rut
7. Keep my living space de-cluttered

7 Things that attract you to the opposite sex:

1. Voice - I know this is odd. I have a voice "thing"
2. Sense of humor + smile + laugh. These 3 go together.
3. Brains. Essential for #2 to appeal to me.
4. Body that gets worked out regularly
5. Interesting interests. Not a cable tv fanatic
6. Eyes. No specific shades, but nothing shifty.
7. Appreciates and accepts the good, bad, pretty and ugly in me

7 Things you say most:

1. The book is going ok
2. I really have to get my desk organized
3. Has anyone seen my shoes?
4. Where's your mom?
5. Are we out of milk again?
6. Ah, crap
7. See ya

7 Celebrity crushes:

1. Damian Lewis
2. Jean Reno
3. Karl Urban (Eomer)
4. Russel Crowe
5. Brad Pitt
6. Julian McMahon (primarily as Cole, then as Dr. Troy)
7. Antonio Banderas

7 Songs I'm currently digging

1. Gwen Stefani "Hollaback Girl"
2. PJ Harvey "To Bring You My Love"
3. Kid Rock "F**ck That"
4. Dave Matthews Band "Crash"
5. Alanis Morrisette "So-Called Chaos"
6. Nickelback "Feelin' Way Too Damn Good"
7. Zero 7 "Destiny"

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Finding my Inner Buffy

I'm on a deadline. Not from an agent or a publisher - I wish - but a self-imposed deadline to keep the book moving along. Well, things happen, paying freelance jobs come up, sunny afternoons call me outside, etc., etc. and before you know it my self-imposed deadline is looming. This week. OK. I will not panic. I can do this - it's just like final exam time for a class that I attended sporadically. I can still manage an A with a few Super Big Gulps and a study carrel.

I gave myself that pep talk with big plans for today to be a day of intense focus and accomplishment. Unfortunately I woke up with my head full of evil YOU CAN'T DO IT demons. Oh no - not those guys. I keep vanquishing them and they keep coming back. I packed everything I needed in a backpack and ran off to Panera Bread, but the demons followed. Fortified with a half-sandwich and salad plus an iced green tea, I put pen to notebook and forced them out of my head. They were replaced by a band of EVERYTHING YOU WRITE IS CRAP demons, but I've been fighting those guys for years, so I just let them buzz around while I wrote until they got tired and went away.

Now it's time to transfer all those ideas from notebook to computer. First edit stage. How much truly is crap, and how much will make it into Word? Time to fill in all those awkward parts I left "for later." Later is now. A quick blog is my break, gets me typing, spelling (I looked up carrel by the way), getting my butt stuck in the chair, finding a comfortable position. OK I'm here. Time to get it done. I can do this.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Wicked Witch of Starbucks

Linda and I had a writer's confence at Starbucks today to prevent a freak-out on Emma's 1st day of kindergarden. We ordered our drinks and sat down in the best seats - big, comfy chairs with a table between them. I started to read my latest scene out loud, but a Starbucks employee decided to grind a 50 lb sack of beans for the next 20 minutes, making it impossible to talk. We laughed and sipped our drinks. Then we both got soooo sleeepyyy. It was like the poppy fields scene from Wizard of Oz. I had a grande latte - there's no way I should have been sleepy. Do they pipe some sort of snooze dust into the air to make you think you need more coffee like the way bars serve salty snacks to make you more thirsty? It didn't work on us - we left and went to Dominicks where we were hit by a brainstorm while waiting in the checkout line. Our pen name: Chieti Nickerson. Genius. From now on all writer's conferences will be held while shopping at Dominicks.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Flexible hours

I'm adjusting to this whole "no schedule" thing. It's great because I can go to workout classes when I want, run errands at off-peak hours, and go running when the weather is perfect, but I don't have a cutoff time. No whistle blows, no sliding down the dinosaur tail.

If I *feel* like I didn't get enough done in a day I have a vague uneasy feeling that prevents me from enjoying the evening. I've also been working on weekends. I read about this when I was researching freelancing, but I didn't really understand it until now. Still - if I have to choose, I choose flex hours. For me, there are many more pros than cons. It just takes a little getting used to. If I don't have anything major planned for the weekend, why not get some work done?

I've been revising my personal freelance flyer so I can try to drum up some local business. I did some web research looking at other people's taglines. Here are my favourites:

"We work good for small sums of money"

"Creative, talented writer needs work"

The second one applies to me, but I don't think I'll use it.

Sugar update: had some yogurt and some lemonade today, but the crazed non-stop ice cream cravings are gone, so I'm calling the detox a success. I am not worried about trace amounts in ketchup, pasta sauce etc. Ice cream and cookies were causing me much more trouble!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Officially Crabby

Not crazy crabby, but edgy, so yes, I am 24+ hours sugar free now. Sipping a Lady Jane tea with milk. mmmm. Got some writing done. Seems boring, but 1st draft is meant to be fixed up, riiiight?

Finished reading my 2nd Valerie Frankel book, The Accidental Virgin. Liked it, but not as much as the Girlfriend Curse. Linda is reading Tales of a Drama Queen by Lee Nichols. She says it's laugh out loud funny. I'll try to pry it out of her hands tonight.

Thank you, AD/KJ for reading this blog and sending me e-mail. :)

Nice day today. My window is open. Wonderful to have actual fresh air instead of recirculated a/c. ahhhh. Blog break is over. Back to writing next scene.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Back to Blogging

Since I am too crazed to write the book, I will blog. It's supposed to at least get your butt glued to the chair and get you started writing. Maybe if I feel like I should be blogging, I will want to write the book instead.

Cover article in the Tribune today was about sugar addiction being like drug addiction. Not new information, but the image of lab rats next to a kid reaching for Oreos has made me decide to go cold turkey on sugar. I'm officially starting sugar detox, so I should be really crabby for the next couple of days. If I'm nice it means I'm cheating and fully toxed.

Freelance work continues to trickle in. This is a good thing. Pays much better than part-time work at Starbucks or Kohl's or even the freakin' library that never called me. Snubbed by the library? Not avid enough of a reader for them? I'm going to go with "overqualified" so I don't have to scrape my ego off the ground - it's taken enough hits this summer.

How is the book going? We're on our 3rd version of the outline. I am moving forward. I don't know what to tell you. I don't even pretend to know what I'm doing. I glance at the Help Wanted ads in the paper at corporate marketing jobs in the area and my stomach clenches into knots and I am miraculously inspired to get back in my chair and get back to the book. How are so many people cranking books out? Is all of their stuff unreadable shite? Are we setting our bar so high that we're paralyzed? Yes - let's go with that explanation. Actually we're trying to set the bar high enough that we won't be embarassed to have our names on this thing, but not so high that we want to vomit every time we re-read the shite we've written. Actually Linda's stuff is really honest and funny. Mine is insane babble and I've had to kill 90% of the characters I've created. My greatest fear: I am nothing but a marketing hack. Please, please let this not be true...

Must stop blogging and work on my sugar-free, novel-full existence. Wish me luck.