Sunday, September 30, 2012

Disillusionment- A Nicer Word for Being Lazy

This whiny post, much like the amount of people actually interested in this blog, comes to you in two parts:





This is always the time I become disinterested in writing: at the actual writing stage. After all of the fun, and brainstorming, and oh-my-gosh-this-is-the-best-novel-ever-ing, I sit down, Word open, pumped, listening to my thought-provoking Simon and Garfunkel playlist... and divert my attention to League of Legends. Or the TV. Or banging my head against the wall.

"I hate my sidebuuuuurns!"

For some reason this always happens to me. I always get the greatest sparks of inspiration, but once that new-project sheen wears off I can't bear to look at Word without feeling immense stress and fear. Either that, or I just can't be bothered to allot writing time into my busy (read: League of Legends) life.
Maybe it's a sign that I shouldn't go into writing, but I'm not into signs much. Instead, I plan to force myself to write this ************* (child-friendly!) novel or perish by my own pencil trying. That's where this whole senior project comes in. That's where this blog comes in.

That's where NaNoWriMo comes in.


NaNoWriMo is the tongue-friendly acronym for National Novel Writing Month, which is the best way to raise your blood pressure since deep fried foods. The goal is to write 50,000 words for an original novel in a month, which happens to be November, which happens to be the deadline for most of my college applications.

People always misinterpret what I mean by "headbanging".

Moving on!

To add to the number of stress factors associated with this novel, I've decided to participate in NaNo. And, keeping with the spirit of NaNo, I've decided not to write a word of my novel until November 1st.

Insanity? Maybe. Laziness? Definitely.

There are three reasons for this*: 1) I don't want to start the novel right now, when I'm likely to write poorly and get frustrated, 2) I work much better under pressure, and 3) this gives me time to finish my college applications as much as possible in October so that I don't have to worry about them later.

However, don't fret, my sweet little duckling(s)!This doesn't mean that you're going to have to wait till November to read any of my writing.

Remember the thirty question survey? I'll be writing those throughout October, since I probably won't use any of them directly in my novel, and it will help me find my characters.

October starts tomorrow, so I better get a move on...

Tiredly yours,


* Like the number of crime dramas I have patience for, zero of these excuses are true. I'm just lazy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Page and Taxidermy

This blog post, like outfits that are too complicated for me, comes in three parts*:

Part one: I fear I am becoming too invested in this blog already. Yes, I spend an embarrassing amount of time checking how many pageviews I've garnered. Yes, I plan on comparing the success of this blog with the blog from Julie/Julia. Yes, I will start shamelessly promoting this on my Facebook. Don't make me start shamelessly promoting this on my Facebook. I have a reputation for being cool on there. People will talk.

This is exactly what my two clones and I look like when we're on Facebook.

Which leads me to part two: because I am already so obsessed with this blog, I've started messing around with the layout already in an attempt to make it fancier. Hence, the addition of the Thirty Questions Character Survey page, which also resulted from a renewed interest in the NaNoWriMo forums. God, I love writing.

Anyway, this page, because apparently on Blogger the only pages you can make are static and can't contain more than one text block without heavy HTML-ing (something I haven't been able to do since 7th grade), will hold a link to the character prompts I will be posting sporadically over the next month as I prepare for NaNoWriMo and the beginning of this gosh darn novel. They'll still show up here, on the home page, but in case you ever feel the need to go and read a specific prompt- more likely, if I need to go read a specific prompt- that page is the place to go.

The character prompts will probably be short, in character, first person responses to the questions in the survey. They'll be creative and, hopefully, fun to read. If they aren't fun to read, you should let me know and I'll start looking for a different dream career. Maybe a taxidermist.

                                                      "My, what big teeth you have!... I am so unhappy with my life."

Part three: This is starting to look like but less witty and reeking of desperation. Which is an accomplishment, if you ask me. I'm the reigning champion of desperation reeking. They don't make deodorant strong enough for this. 

Malodorously yours (this is doing wonders for my self-confidence),


*In case you didn't get it, I meant that I wear a lot of dresses because I'm incapable of picking matching clothes. Not onesies. I only wear onesies maybe twice month.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ms. Mid-Thirties Female Narrator

I come to you live from theatre rehearsal where, having run out of things to put in Virtual Stage Manager and exhausted my capacity for listening to discussion of Iphigenia 2.0 (self-sacrifice! valor! Amanda Bynes' latest celebrity crush!), I have decided to run some characterization exercises*.

The dead eyes and boisterous smile just scream "The secret ingredient is arsenic!"

After intense research, or at least an intense reading of one very interesting article called What Happened to Rosie? that can claim the honor of inspiring this plot, I've boiled down the characteristics of the typical 1950's housewife to these:
  • Pressured to be cheerful, helpful, and eternally submissive wives to their more powerful husbands.
  • At the same time, must be motherly and caring towards her children, yet matronly in her control of the household; at least until the Ultimate Authority, her husband, comes home.
  • Feels isolated in her home and assumes that no other housewives she knows, friend or foe, feel the same way; instead, imagines that she is alone in questioning if there is something more to life than what she has.
  • Occasionally is able to convince herself that the most important duty is being a mother and a runner of a household when things are going well, but there is always a pervasive doubt.
  • Feels an almost automatic disgust for 'free' women who get to do whatever they want, but this is ingrained by society and strengthened by jealousy; secretly she knows that is something she desires.
  • When not working around the house, she immerses herself in TV and radio in order to distract herself from the inane nature of the tasks she is completing.
 The problem, now, is bringing this into a modern context. Luckily for me and the rest of my uterus-possessing and female-identifying cohorts, many of the societal pressures that existed in the 1950's have been phased out or identified as taboo. But in some cases the pressures merely morphed into something else; but I won't get into a feminist rant here. I want to keep at least some readers.

Any readers, really.

So I won't continue my analysis here, at least not yet. I do have to figure out what balance of wittiness and actual studiousness the blogosphere (still a word? am I aging myself? seventeen is the new thirty) will tolerate before a riot. I'm thinking pictures. I should probably add more pictures of crazy-eyed housewives on the brink of creating a live-action reenactment of The Shining.


I'm going to go play League of Legends and contemplate why writing blog posts like this one take precedence over the three essays I should be working on. And I'm going to try not to think about why League of Legends usurps them all.

Nerdily yours,


*I'm still not sure what type of entries this blog will have in store for you readers. Reader. I think there's about one of you. You can expect excerpts of my writing, anecdotes about my day, and writing mishaps I run into. I think the most fraught month will be November, as I will try, once again, to complete National Novel Writing Month; I will probably use this space as a place to tear apart the art of writing and lament my sanity**.

** I have decided upon asterisks. I like the look. It just screams 'whimsy'.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Introducing the Next American Classic

Now that you've met the cynical, desperately witty and extremely good looking author (oh yes, all true, would I lie to you), it's time to pitch the plot. I'm not one for 98 mile an hour confidence, despite my good looks, so I'm just going to lob it at you. Got your catcher's mitt? Ready for this baseball metaphor to end?

The. Modern. Housewife.

Whew. Mind-blowing, I know.

Luckily for all of my devoted readers, and the future of this blog, and my senior year transcript, the plot goes beyond the banal* title. I'm actually quite excited about this one, which means if I don't end up making it I'll be pretty embarrassed about this post.

In theory, The Modern Housewife will be told from the perspective of a mid-thirties female narrator. Usually I hate first person, but since I'm inexperienced in characterization of third person narrators and it's easier to develop a voice in the first person, I'm probably going to give it a whirl. 

In theory, it will explore the similarities between the overwhelmingly sexist messages pervasive in the fifties that forced women who had just broken into the workforce during WWII to become housewives and the bias against working moms and successful women that exists now; not quite so overtly in the overall media, but definitely in the Republican party and moderate crowd. 

In theory, because a treatise on that subject would be extremely dull and no one would ever want to read it, the novel will explore that theme by following Ms. Mid-Thirties Female Narrator as she struggles to get out of a terrible relationship, quit her job as a nanny/baby-sitter or whatever the politically correct term is, and realize her dreams of... something. Her dreams are a work in progress to me. Maybe work for a magazine. Maybe become a stripper. There's an ocean of exciting possibilities to fish in. And I've always wanted to write a stripper. 

Now that the annoying exposition is over, we can get down to the real fun. The late-night angst posts. The real-time liveblogging at school. The long existential crises I expect to arise as the deadline draws closer and my sanity dwindles.

It's going to be a fun ride. Get in the car.

Threateningly yours and with a shoutout to Zoe,


*But good as far as my titles go. I still shudder to think of "The Murder of John- or was it Jake?" Thank god that rots away harmlessly in my Stories folder**. 

** Do you prefer parentheses or asterisks? I always feel like too many parentheticals remove you from the reading experience but asterisks might be just as distracting and harder to follow. I just have too many tangentials to explore and not enough room. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No Turning Back Now

I've always had horrible timing. Many a time my frustrated piano teacher would force hours of practice with a metronome upon me to correct my out-of-step and wildly accelerating Easy Piano Classics. There's a joke among my friends about "Abby Time"; they all know that a text saying "I'm leaving now!" means they still have a good ten minutes before my foot steps out the door.

But all these domestic timing incidents merely served to distract me as I blundered into the worst timing mistake of my life: committing to finish a novel during my senior year of high school.

Historically, novels are meant to be written in the twilight of a well-lived life, or in the chaotic alcohol-infused twenties when schedules are flexible and nights are long (a la Fitzgerald; you'll be hearing a lot about him), or on the sly as a relief from a steady but boring job. I think there is a reason novels are rarely written in the stressful, confusing, and often panic-attack inducing days of high school.

I've begun a streak of taking reason out back and beating it with an oversized pencil. I can't think of any logical reason, for example, that I couldn't have put off writing a novel until college, or after college, or any other time in my life.

I really can't think of a logical reason I decided to commit so fully to this idea that a grade now rests upon its successful completion.

Despite much whining and wringing of hands, though, what's done is done. Despite never completing anything over ten pages, for my senior project in high school, I am going to write a novel of at least 50,000 words, design a cover for it, and try not to scrap the whole thing during the editing process (as I am wont to do). And I'm going to get an A on it.

And, in a masochistic twist that I think befits Fitzgerald in a fashion that pleases me, I'm going to add to my writing load by blogging about it- in full sentences and proper spelling and everything (gone are the Tumblr days)!

Hopefully yours,