Today, a hodge-podge because I’m distracted by various thoughts, some pertaining to writing and some not. I share my distractions with you, lucky readers.
Check it out. She gave herself a shiner last Thursday. Running about the apartment in her most fetching and playful manner and — BAM — with a yelp, she clocked her empty eye socket against a chair leg. The swelling hasn’t gone down yet, so I’m worried. I’ve never had a shiner. How long does it take for swelling to retreat?
2. Dennis Lehane, novelist. Good news for us non-outliners.
Caught an online interview with Lehane, and I like what he had to say about his process. To start writing, he has to have a strong macro-sense of the story, which consists, he said, of only a couple of must-include plot points. Other than that, he feels his way through his stories. And his stories are complex, wouldn’t you say? This is kind of amazing. He said he may write a little list, jot a few notes, about what he’d like to happen, and even then, apparently, his end product probably won’t match the list. I like this. I like this alot. And you?
3. Goal-setting (maybe this should have been number one).
I need deadlines, yep. I got to thinking about this because over the weekend a guy I’m crushing on mentioned the term “self-starters” in conjunction with us writers. It’s so true! I’d never thought about it this way, and I stood up a little taller when he said this. I’m a self-starter(!). And, let’s be honest, those of us currently without publishing contracts need to be, don’t we?
The truth is, I used to be a better self-starter. I didn’t need to light a flame under my tookis with self-imposed deadlines. These days, I work better when I make contracts with myself. Sometimes the constant self-vigilance is exhausting, but what else to do? I’m still a self-starter!
4. PUBWEST Conference: On pretending I’m someone I’m not and fantasizing about the future.
Over the weekend I attended the Publishers Association of the West’s annual conference. My goal was to get the inside scoop on Internet marketing and publicity. I managed to absorb some knowledge and meet a couple of interesting potential contacts.
Mainly, though, I found myself relishing my “Presenter” status. This was a great joke. Someone in the back office had attached a “Presenter” ribbon to my name tag. I caught people flicking glances at my chest (not lasciviously) and then smiling at me. Not that this doesn’t occur in general, but I’m telling you, it was a different kind of vibe coming my way. Like I was Someone. Most strange, really, but fun. I like to think it was a dress rehearsal for the real thing!
The name tag makes a great cat toy.