Monday, July 22, 2013

A Problem Emerges

Guess what?

If you guessed, "Abby has officially gone off the deep end," you would be partially correct. If you guessed, "Abby has downloaded more MMORPGs than are humanely possible to play," you would be completely correct. If you guessed, "Abby is right now wearing a red Motion City t-shirt and playing Pixel People," I'm calling the police.


I made another blog!

Don't worry, it's not going to replace this one. This is not my midlife-crisis of blogging (I already had that, anyway). When I'm being generous, I like to think that The Litterateur's Journal is either something to put on a writing resume or at least a good way to practice writing semi-polished material on a regular basis. When I'm not being generous, it might be a midlife-crisis. But we're all allowed those, okay?

Old people these days. Sheesh. Glad I'm still 53 and young.

I digress. Anyway, this new blog is supposed to be "professional," which means I don't post pictures and instead I talk about stuff that no one really cares about and posit my opinion all over the place*. There's no cute asterisk'd asides, either. Honestly, who would want to read that?

Despite it's myriad faults, I hope that the blog will get even a fraction of success, simply because I'm going to try to commit really hard to it. We'll see what happens. Right now I have to log onto one of my many MMORPGs so I can grind dungeons on my level 28 Kali.

See ya nerds.

Warmest nerdy regards,


*That sounds dirty.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Introverts and Irish Literature

The closer college looms in the fall and the more I am forced to think about leaving this comfortable, known life, the sweeter the siren song of escape seems. And maybe that's why, instead of picking up my next-in-the-line The Exorcist, I wanted to read The Granta Book of the Irish Short Story. It's a compilation of prominent short stories by Irish authors, put together by Anne Enright, and it's the first thing I picked up when I learned I'd be living in a triple this year.

Now, in case you hadn't surmised by my gaming and writing predilections, along with the fact that I still run a regular blog in the age of Tumblr (tried it, sucked up my whole life and wasn't even as fun as gaming), I'm not an especially social person. That's not to say I'm some kind of Emily Dickinson misanthrope who actively runs away from people; in fact, I like to think that I have quite the average amount of friends and I usually love to hang out with them.

What I mean is that I get tired of people quicker than the average extrovert. To avoid making this post a really long explanation of my personality, I like this definition of an introvert (though I don't really get what the 'gifted population' is supposed to be about- ignore that).

That's why college is so scary to me. I'm going to have to be around people- not even people I already like, though I'm sure I'll make friends- 24/7. I was really hoping I would get a single, but I resigned myself to the freshman double- and now I find out it's actually a triple.

I'm sure I'll cope, my introversion has never seriously hindered my life before, and the roommate I have met seems nice enough. I've already made a few friends from orientation and the Facebook group. But it is sure to be a drastic change from my quiet, only-child life. I will likely hide in my computer or in books when I need to be alone, and I can only hope that the people I meet respect that decision (if not, I have a friend with a huge single who has offered their figurative couch).

And if I really get lonely (not usually a problem for me), I'll always have this blog to rant to, especially since I always express myself clearer and easier through the written word.

Quietly yours,


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Immature Mind

Suffice to say, I am no closer today to finishing a novel than I was the last time I posted, which was an embarrassingly long time ago.

Honestly, I've already called to attention a couple factors in my decision not to commit myself to Camp NaNo this year, and yes, they are mostly excuses. But upon thinking further about why I really was so loathe to finish this novel, there was one recurring obstruction: I had no idea where I was going with it.

You see, the whole premise that I started off with, I discarded around the second week of NaNo. That's healthy, I was told; explore! However, I never picked a replacement premise. I dabbled around in 90+ pages with several different ones. The 90+ pages I have are winding, aimless, and mostly drabble.

That's not to say that I wrote 90+ pages in November of flowery imagery. What I have for this novel is heading (meandering) in some direction, but it's not the direction I want it to go in, and because I have written myself into a very deep hole, it will be incredibly hard to guide it in the right one.

Here's where I make another excuse for not finishing this novel (at least, right now): I set about practicing the wrong thing. NaNo is all about no holds barred, quick and dirty writing without a plan (or at least it was for me). I thought my problem was getting rid of my inner editor. Wrong!

NaNo helped in a sense, when I had to get up every day and write or face consequences, and for that reason I will still endeavor to participate in the coming years*. It is still immeasurably useful in teaching the importance of carving out a chunk of time every single day and writing.

But what I don't need to practice is heedless writing. I don't need to practice writing without a plan or a purpose for the sake of getting words on a paper. I am a wholehearted advocate of that if you are new to writing, or are writing for fun, etc. I, however, plan on being a professional author. I take that plan extremely seriously, and, let's face it: writing as a hobby and writing as a profession are incredibly different worlds.

What I need to learn is technique- not writing technique, but noveling technique. NaNo is about honing the art of writing, but I need to start learning the art of putting my writing into a cohesive being. I need to learn about pacing, about planning out acts and scenes; I need to hone the skill of ratcheting up tension at just the right moment; I need to learn how to keep a theme running like an undercurrent throughout the novel, tying everything together.

How am I going to do this?

I'm going to read.

And then I am going to write.

As an exercise, and because I still do want to spend most of my summer hanging out with my friends, I will return to my previous habit of reading everything I can get my hands on. Then, when college starts in the fall**, I will apply my newly-formed skills of time management and self-reliance, and start writing every. Single. Day.

Whether that will be towards a novel or just random short stories or projects, I've yet to determine (after all, I've also got to keep a 3.8 to get into the honors college), but as long as I can teach myself the habit of writing every day without an incentive like NaNo, I'll have one more valuable skill to launch myself into the world of authordom.

Sorry for the long post***. In other news, I have finished Broken Verses, Catch-22, and Ocean at the End of the Lane. I am currently reading World War Z. As a reminder, this is all on my Goodreads.

Carpal-tunnel-syndrome-y yours,


*Also, it's tons of fun, and I have a great dream of, one day, making it to the Night of Writing Dangerously.
** After giving myself a grace period to get used to it, because holy shit, college is terrifying.
***Not that anyone's reading. /disgruntled blog owner

Friday, July 5, 2013

Missed by a Mile

It is currently 3 AM and it is giving me a massive headache to follow the progress of words on this line because for the last hour I have been merely zoning out and waiting for the messages of my friends so I could brainlessly reply.


I am updating because I said I would update on Thursdays. Technically, it is now Friday, but fuck the system, etc.

It was the Fourth of July yesterday and therefore I take vacation leave and excuse my absence of posting in the last three hours.

I have not gotten past my mental block. Instead, I hung out with friends until midnight, whereupon I came back home and hung out with friends online until approximately ten minutes ago, when I felt sufficiently shamed enough to come back and post something- even if the quality of that post is appallingly sub-par.

So I apologize that the trek of my July novel-writing course is uninteresting so far, but to be fair I don't believe there is anyone around on this blog to be bored.

On the upside, though, my reading has definitely increased. Even if I get no writing done for Camp NaNo (and no, I have not given up yet and I will still try to force creative juice from my dry fingers- ew metaphor) I will at least endeavor to keep up with my 52 book promise and read a book a week, which gives me until Sunday to finish Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie. It's entertainingly witty and well-written so far and I am enjoying myself immensely, even if it makes for poor blogging.

Next week, it's finishing off Catch-22 for the second time and then off to the library.

Thoroughly quotidian post, especially for three in the morning.

Apologetically yours,


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Race Against Time?

Yes, this is Abby, reporting live from a home she has never appreciated so much with a headache that was probably caused by exhaustion but exacerbated by Skittles, and I have not written a single word for Camp NaNoWriMo yet*.

I could blame this on laziness or lack of inspiration, but it's actually due to terror. You see, I had college orientation yesterday and the day before. And I was not impressed.

I won't go into the gory details because it was mostly just a lot of presentations and icebreaking games and things like that, but I can tell you that I was nervous before the orientation about leaving for college and now I'm petrified. It is such a different atmosphere from my small, diverse high school. It was loud and full of people that weren't as openminded or easy to talk as I'd hoped and the independence they threw at you- from paying off your interest on your loans, to picking your schedule for the next FOUR YEARS, to filling out a work employment form- was difficult to take in.

Also, they don't offer Latin. And the beds were akin to mortician's slabs. And the dorms had no air conditioning. And they've refused to place me in a residence hall so far

Whining aside, I did make a few new friends and the English department actually seemed both really capable and inclusive, which gave me hope for the coming years. Mostly, though, it has sent me in a tailspin of a rather harmful variety.

Because it now seems like at the end of the summer there is a giant monster waiting to devour me with loneliness and anxiety, I can't find the heart to ignore my friends and get into a positive writing mood. Instead, I want to plan every second of the rest of my summer with my boyfriend and my best friends that I will all be leaving behind, since no one I know is attending my school with me.

I know I will have to shake this mindset for both the well-being of my writing and also myself, but it's way easier said than done.

Hopefully I will get a couple hundred words in before bed.

Anxiously yours,


*Tomorrow doesn't look great either. Hey, it's Independence Day!