Sunday, November 30, 2008

100 posts of pure, unfettered genius

Yes, folks, it has finally come. The 100th post.

100 posts of joy, sadness, angst, frustration, confusion, giddiness, rage, insecurity, hubris, enthusiasm, and (let's face it) quite a bit on nonsense. (Note: I didn't include pure, unfettered genius in this list because, we all know that I was being sarcastic in the post title. :)

Thanks to all of you who come and visit. I really appreciate you, more than you know. You have all helped me through some of my tough times. You are the best!! Now, as for the whole 100th post gala, well, I know I built it up a bit, but the truth is I haven't anything too fantastic planned. Just a little party. *big grin* And what party would be complete without . . .


Chocolate cake!!!

And OF COURSE . . .

DP *angelic choirs singing*


Since we are all a bunch of writers, and our stories are SO much a part of us, I decided to invite EVERYONE to the party. That's right. I am now hosting, in the comments section, the first annual Midnight Meditations Cast Party. And YOUR main character (or any character really,) from whatever story or novel you choose, is cordially invited to come!

So send him or her in. Have them introduce themselves, and if they feel like it, they can answer one of the following questions:

1. What will you be doing at this party?
2. See anybody you like? Anyone you want to avoid?
3. What's up with you? Why are you acting so weird? (heh heh)

Hope to see you all there!

Friday, November 28, 2008

a pointless, filler post

I am just writing this post because the next one is # 100. Nothing really to see here. However I have an idea for the big 100th. It should be fun for everyone. *grin*

Well, since I am wasting space anyway, I might as well post another Farside. Hope this didn't happen at any of your Thanksgiving dinners.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What the . . . ?

So, I just noticed that my Dashboard says that this is post 102. And yet, my archives listed to the right claims this is post 98. ??? I'm not sure which one's right, or what to believe in this crazy world!

And here I was planning a huge gala for my 100th post, the likes of which would make Kiersten's 200th post party blush with shame.

Oh well.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving! I tried to find a good, festive picture to put up, but I came across this and found it much more amusing.

For those of you who will be cooking today:

And this one, just because it made me laugh out loud:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Renewed hope (aka. sisters are the best!)

This week and especially weekend, my mind has been engulfed with thoughts. Page after page of my Moleskine have been filled with frantic scribbling. I've basically been obsessed with figuring out the plot to this new idea (mentioned a few posts ago.)

Without going into the long (kinda humiliating) details, I had the setting and the characters, but I needed a plot. Bear in mind, I have been feeling a little, let's say shaky about my prospects of getting an agent. "So," I said to myself. "If I'm starting from scratch with this plot anyway, why don't I make it a *insert current YA trend* story? Ah, how much more marketable it would be! How the agents would clamor for it!"

So I tried. I tried and I tried and I tried to make it work, but surprise, surprise, IT DIDN'T. Of course, I had to have my two sisters (especially Becca, who is the bomb) gently slap some sense into me.

LESSON LEARNED: You really have to write the story you love. Even if it might not seem as marketable. Even if you are scared. Even if you are not sure you can pull it off.

If I had tried to add the *current YA trend* plotline, I would have ruined the very setting and characters that I fell in love with when I came up with the idea.

So, now I proceed forward with renewed hope. Seriously, my heart feels as light as a feather! I love my sisters, Becca and Diana! They are the best. Oh, and Ben helped too. When I told him about the *current YA trend* plotline he said (direct quote) "It's not awful." :) You gotta appreciate his honesty.

***I can't wait to get started on my new idea!! Woo hoo!!****

Friday, November 21, 2008


So, last night I went with this big group to go see the midnight premier of Twilight. It was great--a bunch of moms, with our kids at home, standing in line at midnight and squealing with excitement. (Oh yes, we squealed. You gotta get into the spirit of it all, right?)

As for the movie itself, pretty good. In fact, I think it was an improvement on the book. Edward came off as less jerkish and they wove in the James/rouge coven plot line better. It actually felt related to the whole story, not just tagged on at the end. Also, we didn't have to see the endless grimaces, crooked smiles, and we didn't have to feel Bella's heart stop every time she even looked at Edward.

I thought the acting was surprisingly good and the music was awesome. Overall, I actually rather enjoyed myself. I'd recommend it for those who have read the book, especially if you weren't all that impressed with the books. You'll probably like the movie better.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A case of the Rejection Blues

Rejections make me think.

I think about my story. I think about my query letter. And as I suppose one would expect, I start to question every little dream that I had built over the course of writing my book, revising it, and getting ready for submission.

I know what you're going to say. Don't give up! Never give up! etc. etc. However, when do you think, maybe I do need to give up? Maybe this book just isn't it. I mean, not all books get published, so some books, no matter how resilient and determined the author was, will never get there. It's just simple mathematics.

So, how do you know when to give up?

(sorry about the sad, emo girl post)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Ideas

The other day, as I was out driving, an story idea struck me. It was just the kernal of an idea really, a shell. I saw the cast of characters and I saw the setting. But, as I kept chewing it over, I realized that the whole story would revolve around one sinister plot.

And . . . what that plot is, I have no clue.

So, I've been thinking a lot about ideas and how they develop into plots. Because, let's face it, you can have a premise or a theme or a main character in mind and go ahead and start writing, but if you don't have at least the skeleton of a plot, you'll run aground pretty fast. That, or you'll kind of wander for fifty pages until a plot presents itself.

The trouble is, it's not easy to just think up a plot. Unfortunately, I can't just wiggle my nose and have a workable story idea pop out of thin air. I'm no Samantha Stephens. (I've actually tried to wiggle my nose at a sink full of dirty dishes, but much to my disappointment, they just sat there.)

So, I've been curious to ask all of you. Please feel free to share in the comments section. How do you develop your early shreds of an idea into the plot for a novel?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In which Renee admits her many failings.

1. I'm no good at turning off the inner editor.

2. I constantly second guess my choices because I'm obsessed with making sure that they're not "cliche."

3. Sometimes I wonder why I am in such an all-fired rush. I mean, what's the hurry? They'll still be publishing books in a year.

4. Okay, I'll admit it. I love adverbs, alright? AND adjectives!

5. I drink too much Dr. Pepper.

Well that was fun. I'm sensing a new MeMe here! I tag all of you!

. . . kidding.

Feel free to ignore this entire post. I'm just in a weird mood tonight.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shout out!!

I want to offer a huge congrats to my fellow writer friend and MoMo, Kiersten. SHE SIGNED WITH AN AGENT TODAY!!! How awesome is that?

Kiersten, I am so happy for you, and I am excited to vicariously experience all the awesome things you are going to experience. :)


Saturday, November 8, 2008

So, maybe I'm not cut out for this NaNoWriMo thing . . .

As many of you know, I decided to take the NaNoWriMo challenge and write 50000 words of my current story in a month. Well, as I stated in the title, I am starting to think that this simply isn't compatible with my writing style.

Maybe it is the fact that I am writing the beginning of my book. Maybe I could do it if I were halfway in. However, the beginnings are my biggest challenge in writing. I feel like they have to be spot on, or the whole story will go awry. When I write, I almost always have a rough I idea of what is going to happen in the scene. However, very often--almost always, actually--as I write, new ideas pop into my head and the scene changes a bit. Sometimes these changes play a part in the rest of the story. So, in my mind, if I start off a story wrong, the rest of the book will be wrong too.

I guess I just can't plow forward with a first draft, thinking I'll change that the second go around. Now, I want to make clear that I am not saying that this is a bad way to write at all. On the contrary, I think everyone has a style that works for them. That said, I don't think that my writing style is right for NaNo. Of course, maybe that is the point of NaNo, to work outside your comfort zone.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rage, rage against the dying of the file

(I thought I'd better quote classy poetry in my title rather than put the very unclassy string of words I wanted to say)

So today, I happend to be given a windfall of two hours to write in the middle of the day. It was great. I made real progress. And then, out of the blue, my computer just ate the almost 2000 WORDS I had just written. Gone. Lost. Destroyed. Don't ask me how it happened, cause I sure don't know. This little screen popped up and it was all over. And this is NOT the first time this has happened. I am so mad right now I'm seriously considering putting a hammer to the thing.

*tries to take a deep breath*

Sorry, I just had to vent. You know, it's time's like these when I think it's a good idea to go back to the old quill and parchment days.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I watched History being made

Normally, I try to keep this blog strictly about my writing journey, but I just have to acknowledge the historic event that have taken place to day in America.

I say, no matter who you wanted to win the Presidential election, this an exciting night for us all. History has been made. If you think about it, not long ago African Americans were given the rank of second class citizens. And now, in just a few decades, we have elected our first black President. It's really very inspiring to me.