Free-For-All Friday: Fun Bookish Meme

I like the idea of writing a fun Friday post, possibly one that’s interactive, or maybe one that contains random stuff or a weekly round-up (which were Friday memes that went around at some point). I did this for awhile. Maybe I’ll do a Friday-something again for awhile (but probably only for awhile because I’m no good with routines).

I’ll call these my Free-For-All Fridays so as not to confuse them with other memes (not that this is a meme — but it can be, I suppose — anything goes).

Saw a meme on One Word, One Rung, One Day. Goes like this: What’s the closest book on hand — no thinking about it! If there are many, choose one at random. Turn to page 56 and cite two to five lines. Tag people if you want. Cool way to get to know my readers!

My book was sitting under a paper pile on my desk. I’d scribbled Irish-slang notes all over the inside covers. From Tana French’s The Likeness:

I was having a hard time breathing; the air felt too thick, almost solid. One of the flourescents was on the fritz and it gave the room a shimmery, epileptic look, something out of a fever dream. A couple of the big binders lined up on the filing cabinets still had my handwriting down the spines. Sam pulled up his chair to his desk and glanced at me with a faint furrow between his eyebrows, but he didn’t say anything, and I was grateful for that.

Friday ‘Fess Up + Four = Friday Five #6

(What is this? A combination of two Friday memes: the literate kitten’s invitation to ‘fess up to our crimes and misdemeanors against our writing efforts and a “friday five,” in which we list five random things about our week…)

1. ‘Fessing up: I’ve got my 25 pages. Character arcs are circling around from the beginning of the novel, which is great. It’s happening naturally, with no undue pressure from me. Also, this morning, I choked myself up! This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I feel excited and foolish at the same time. My stoic character is falling in love! (Though he doesn’t realize it in so many words, and I’m not going to delve into it deeply because it wasn’t the purpose of scene, but its subtext.)

2. Case in point for writing what we’d like to read: On July 8th, Joelle commented: Write what you want to read. Her comment spurred a memory:

Awhile back Deanna Raybourn toured with her debut novel. She’d spent years writing romances of the Harlequin variety that, one after another, went unsold. Her agent finally told her to take a break, read for a year. At the end of that year, Raybourn realized that she most enjoyed reading historicals, more mysterious than romantic. Low and behold, she wrote in that vein, and the novel sold! (And now there’s movie talk, too.)

3. This morning I received an email from a writer friend here in Portland. She’s a literary novelist who’s trucking along on the same bumpy road toward publication as I am. She’s read my stuff, so her support is a true feel-good balm. Here’s an excerpt; she’s the best.

As for your writing, you know you can write, you know your stuff is worth publishing. I think this phase is just another jump through fire to see if you’re sincere, if you have the grit to be a writer, and deserve being published as much as your writing does. So there.

4. Why do I keep buying nonfiction? This week I bought The Island of Lost Maps, A True Story of Cartographic Crime. Here’s approximately what went through my head: Cool, maps; man, I’ve loved maps since I was a girl trying to memorize the world capitols; how nerdy was I?; and very cool, a mystery too; maybe there’s fodder here; maybe I can write a novel that somehow includes maps; maybe antique maps; maybe rare, antique maps; maybe I ought to buy this book.

Hope I read it soon. That’s the plan anyhow.

5. Photo of the week: Vancouver, B.C. Just another sunset shot, this one with a tragically declining horizon line. Seems like I have to snap a sunset at each new destination. What is it about a beautiful sunset? I never tire of them; my reaction must be primordial: I’ve survived another day and can now retreat to the safety of my cave.

Friday ‘Fess Up + Four = Friday Five #5

(What is this? A combination of two Friday memes: the literate kitten’s invitation to ‘fess up to our crimes and misdemeanors against our writing efforts and a “friday five,” in which we list five random things about our week…)

1. ‘Fessing up: Considering the bad news about my manuscript (previous post), I did all right this week. Wrote 26 pages, and here’s the thing: I’m galvanized. I’m eager to finish this puppy, maybe even this weekend. There’s plenty going on in this head of mine, and I’m eager to set the first draft aside for a cooling-off period and work on other projects in the meanwhile. Nothing like bummer news to clear my head.

2. Fourth of July already? A writing buddy and I got together, she to give me reader feedback. We made plans to meet again in about two weeks (per usual) and she said, July 17th. Talk about dizzy and disoriented; I couldn’t get my head around the date: July 17th? Yes, she said, today is July 1st. July 1st? How did I not realize that I was two weeks behind the rest of the world? How does that happen?

3. Starbucks confession: I’m an anti-Starbucks kind of girl. Only a desperation move on behalf of the writing would get me to linger in that place. This week, oddly hot weather forced me out of my apartment. I rejected my favorite locally owned spot because I could tell I was on the verge of not writing at all — too much comfort would have sunk me into a sweaty, lethargic blob. So, off I drove to the nearest Starbucks because the place irks me so much I knew I’d lay down the pages pronto, the sooner to beat a vaguely shamefaced retreat. Perverse, right? But it worked.

4. Firefly, not the bug, the television show: Anyone out there seen “Firefly,” the Joss-Whedon-of-Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-fame creation? I borrowed the DVDs from a friend, and I’m digging it. It’s about wild-west cowboy marauders with hearts of gold — in space. It’s rather brilliant, but maybe you’ve got to be eccentric to like it. Unfortunately, it got pulled after only 14 episodes; the good news is that the movie “Serendity” ties up the dangling plotlines.

5. Photo of the week: Quick snapshot lest someone took me for a stalker. This dog-training obstacle course and pasture, corral, stable (not visible) exists a mere block from my place. In seven years, I’d never noticed this backyard Eden in the midst of urban suburbia — and how many thousands of times had I driven past? I finally noticed the pastoral scene because I’m now a dogwalker. There’s a lesson here, something about slowing down, sniffing flowers, petting horses…

Friday ‘Fess Up + Four = Friday Five #3

(What is this? A combination of two Friday memes: the literate kitten’s invitation to ‘fess up to our crimes and misdemeanors against our writing efforts and a “friday five,” in which we list five random things about our week…)

1. ‘Fessing up: I wrote 20 pages this week, and I finally feel like I broke through the “The End” barrier. I decided that even though I’m unsure about the series of scenes that are in my head, I’ve simply got to write them anyhow.

Like yesterday, I got going earlier than usual, and, once again, my groggy state proved beneficial to the writing. Just now (~10:45 a.m.) completed five pages in a little over two hours. No complaints here! As Sandi mentioned in a comment yesterday: They (the pages, that is) don’t have to be good, there only have to be five of them.

In general, I need to work on getting up and running on Mondays. I seem to start out the week slow and then push hard to get many pages written toward the end of the week.

2. Here’s a cool writerly-bookish website that received a mention on novelist Patricia Wood’s blog. It’s called “Book Roast.”

3. I don’t know what to write! This is strange — and truly random, so I guess my blank brain still fits with the Friday theme. I apparently haven’t had enough deep thoughts this week. Or, could be that because I blogged more than usual, I don’t have any interesting thoughts left…hmm…Or, it could be that I’m still in the fiction-dream as I write this…(Most likely, I need a nap.)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Picture

4. Nope, nothing, I’ve got nothing, except that I’m still thinking about adopting a shelter mutt. This weekend I hope to meet a one-eyed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix named Queenie. Poor thing was a stray with a severe eye injury.

5. Photo of the week: Oregon barn, site of rockin’ annual “barnfest” parties.