Monthly Archives: October 2014

Writing Wisdom from a Published Author, Kate DiCamillo

I was going through my NaNoWriMo messages today, and I came across a message from a few years ago from the published author, Kate DiCamillo who is known for her novel, “The Tale of Despereaux,” and a few other well known works like “Because of Winn-Dixie” and “The Tiger Rising.” She had a note of inspiration for those writers who wanted to take on the challenge that is NaNoWriMo. Here’s what she wrote:

“Dear Writer,

When I was 30 years old, I moved to Minneapolis and got a job in a book warehouse. My official job title was “Picker.” This meant that I went around the third floor of the warehouse holding a computerized print order in one hand and pulling books off the shelf with the other hand. I put all the books into a grocery cart and I took the grocery cart and wheeled it into an ancient, crabby freight elevator and went downstairs to deliver the order to the shipping department. Then I took the stairs back up to the third floor and started over again.

It wasn’t a challenging job. It didn’t pay much. I was on my feet all day long. My back hurt. My hands hurt. But I was happy. I was surrounded by books and by people who loved to read them. Also, for the first time in my life, I was writing.

I got up every morning before work (the alarm was set for 4:30) and wrote two pages before I went into the warehouse. And then, when I arrived at work at 7:00 to punch the time clock, I received my daily so-you-want-to-be-a-writer pep talk from a coworker.

Let’s call him Bob. (Even though his real name is Gary).

Bob wanted to be a writer, too. But he wasn’t writing. Every morning we had the same exchange.

Bob: “How did the writing go?”

Me: “Fine.”

Bob: “How many pages did you write?”

Me: “Two.”

Bob: “Do you think Dickens wrote two pages a day?”

Me: “I don’t know how many pages Dickens wrote a day.”

Bob: “Yeah, well let me tell you something, you’re no Dickens. So what’s Plan B, babe? What’s Plan B for when the writing doesn’t work out?”

For this question, I had no answer.

I turned my back on Bob, pulse pounding, fists clenched, and climbed the stairs to the third floor and started picking books.

When the alarm went off at 4:30 the next morning, I thought about Bob and that is part of the reason I got out of bed.

It is a truly excellent to have someone to believe in you and your ability to write.

But I think it is just as helpful to have people who don’t believe in you, people who mock you, people who doubt you, people who enrage you. Fortunately, there is never a shortage of this type of person in the world.

So as you enter this month of writing, write for yourself. Write for the story. And write, also, for all of the people who doubt you. Write for all of those people who are not brave enough to try to do this grand and wondrous thing themselves. Let them motivate you.

In other words, do it for Bob!

Your friend in writing,
Kate DiCamillo

I think she’s completely right. And I think it applies to more than writing; don’t let the naysayers get to you, but let their discouragement give you a chance to surprise them with what you can really do.

And I just want to take this time to send out a challenge to all my writer friends. Even if you’re not doing NaNoWriMo this year, I would encourage you to use this month as a tool to try writing at least a little bit every day. Once you get the ball rolling, I think it’s hard to stop (ahhh fudge. That’s the only analogy I can think of, and it was extremely cheesy… alright, aaaannd cut.). But try pushing yourself; let’s see what we can do!

Even if you don’t like this whole writing thing, try reading instead. Because I would admit, sometimes I’d rather just sit and read rather than write. It’s so much easier, and much less thinking involved (unless you’re reading Critical Theory or anything to that note, then that would require A LOT of thinking. That is, if you’ve ever been down that road- don’t, unless you want a headache).

Nevertheless, writer or not, try to challenge yourself this coming month of November to see what you can accomplish. Should be fun!

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NanoWriMo FeedohFidoh

Welllll hi there fellow reader friends! So, I’m deciding that, since I’m not seeming to be getting anywhere with this thing called job-searching and interviews and all that jazz, I decided to do something completely crazy, and something I haven’t tried in years. I’m going to do NanoWriMo, which is code for meaning that I’m going to dedicate most of the down time that I have in November to writing a whole freakin novel. YEAH!

Should be fun fun fun and all (I’m actually really excited about it). Haven’t really actually completed it the last time I tried, but it’s worth a shot this time, right? Since I don’t have a crazy amount of school assignments like I did the last time around, and everyone knows I still don’t have a job, so why not? Imma do it!! (or try, at least! Because yes! The world DOES need my novel. Like HECK it does!)

Alright, I’m gonna stop there, because I’m getting a little excited, but I can’t help it! I’m gonna do eet like it’s 2014 (because it is, but only for a few more months. Man! I’ve gotta stop with these parentheses)()()(and ellipses….)

But yeah! I’m hoping to try this to be somewhat productive in my writing, since well, I haven’t had much success with my stories (I’m currently working on at least three right now… well, kinda working. Dang, parentheses, I can’t stoooop using youuu!!), let alone posting on this here wonderful blog. Maybe it will help me to be more active with writing, because it’s forcing me to do it.

Though, the first thing I should figure out before I jump on this whole novel writing thing is figuring out what I want to write about. Should I write about this thriller sort of mystery thing I started this summer? Or should I do another thriller sort of mystery thing that I was going to do this summer, but I stopped because it’s kinda already been written? Who knows… but the second one is actually about actual happenings, so that’s actually kinda cool. Actually.

So for now, I’m going to go through my list of story ideas that I keep on my iPhone and that I update regularly with things that I think would be so cool to do, but never get used. Ahhh, life.

So, if you guys would have any recommendations of things I should write about, feel free to comment below! I start on November 1, so let’s keep them ideas flowing like rivers through houses!!! Well, let’s hope they’re not flowing through houses, but where they’re supposed to flow- on riverbanks.

Anyways, feel free to comment as you wish! But please, no cheesy, sappy, teeny-bopper romance ideas. I just won’t write them. ‘K thanks.

Mis bellezas trenzas de oro

Hooooolllaaaa!!!

Pues, no he escrito algo en español desde hace una semana, y que buena oportuna a hacerlo en las horas mas tarde de la noche??!! Y ha sido mucho tiempo que he escrito algo en la noche muy tarde (o la mañana muy temprano… cual que quieres decir). Pues, ahora es la hora a hacerlo!

La única cosa, es que estoy evitando a escribir otra cosa ahora. Que no lo digas el cuento corto, eh? Es algo muuuuyyy especial, y tiene emociones muy inestables, como un bebe nuevo…. que escribo?

De todos modos, he decido a escribir otra vez en español, y mira a como va!! Pues, no lo va bien porque ahora estoy a punto de dormir (solo he quedado despierto para acabar el te, pero, allí esta. Estoy acabado! Pero, todavía estoy escribiendo… y porque? Pues no lo se, no me preguntes!! No soy una experta!! Ay, gente…).

Vamos a ver, que mas a escribir para parecer lista, que mas… pues no se! Me voy a dormir, pero antes voy a leer todo de la novela de “les miserables” antes de dormir!!! TOOOODDDOOOOO!!!!!

Ahhhh que bromas que digo… pues no. Voy a leer un novelita que se llama “Quidditch entre los anos” escrito por Kennilworthy Whisp. Y voy a decirte algo… una secreto pequeño, si quieres… esta escrito por J.K. Rowling, en serio. AHHH!! QUE MENTIRAS!!!!

Pues me voy. Tengo que cepillar mis trenzas de oro, y luego, me duermo. Buenas noches!!

Pero, en realidad, no puedo. Todavía no. Tengo que traducirla a ingles, lo recuerda? Bueno, el español se va, pero yo no. Adiós español!!

Now… here comes the English part!!! (ensue drum roll please for effect… or affect? shoot, I should know this, I’m an English major!… Ah!! I’m right the first time! It’s effect! Hope you weren’t effected… shoot! Ah, forget it.)

Heeeelllloooooooooooooooo!!! (I could have counted out the actual letters to make the translation exact, but hey. It’s 2:38 am. I got things to do. Ain’t nobody got time for it.)

Well, I haven’t written anything in Spanish for a week, and what a good opportunity to do it in really late hours of the night? And it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything late at night (or the really early morning… whichever you prefer). Well, now is the time to do it!

The only thing, is that I’m avoiding writing something right now. Don’t tell my short story anything, ok? It’s veerrry special, and it has very unstable emotions, like a new baby… what am I writing?

Anyways, I decided to write once more in Spanish, and look how it’s going!! Well, it’s not going too well, because I’m about to go to sleep soon (I only stayed up to finish my tea, but here I am. All finished! But I’m still writing… and why? Well, I don’t know, don’t ask me! I’m no expert!! Gosh people…).

Let’s see… what else can I write to sound smart, what else… well I don’t know! I’m going to sleep, but before, I’m going to read the whole “les miserables” novel before I sleep!! Allllll oooofff ittttt!!!

Ahh how I joke, how I joke… well no. I’m going to read a little book that’s called “Quidditch through the Ages” by Kennilworthy Whisp. And I’m going to tell you something… a little secret if you will… it’s actually by J.K. Rowling, for real. AHHHH HAHAHA what liessss!!! (but no, for real. It’s really written by her. I didn’t know what else to say. My Spanish is only so good for so long… and then it’s not.)

Well, I’m going to go. I have to brush my lovely golden flowing locks and then go to sleep. Good night!!

But in reality, I can’t really. Not yet. I have to translate this to English, remember? Well, the Spanish is going, but I’m not. Goodbye Spanish!!

Well, there you have it. All things bad and gruesome, yet another attempt at the Spanish language that I have yet to master after, oh, maybe 7 years or so of study. It’s no big deal though, I’ll learn it soon enough.. if 10 years is soon.

Now on to brushing my lovely golden flowing locks and my pearly whites.