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NaNoWriMo Rebel

Tuesday evening, 73° and hazy
Listening to Led Zeppelin, The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair

I thought quite a lot about how I would approach NaNoWriMo 2016,  and didn’t settle on a decision until late last night. This will be my ninth tenth NaNoWriMo. For the last eight nine years, I’ve written an all-new novel. I’ve gotten skilled enough at NaNo that  three of my last four Nano novels are in the queue to get revised, polished and published. You could say I’m a little like a chipmunk writing stories and socking them away like acorns to be feasted on at a later date.

Finding that brand new story and getting most of it committed to paper in just 30 days is part of the beauty of NaNo. But my hang up this year is that I’m already mid-story and going full-steam  on a book I deeply believe in. I was torn between setting that aside for an entire month to chase a new story, or using the added pressure of NaNo to finish the story at hand. Continue reading

My NaNoWriMo Dilemma

Monday night, 41° and cloudy
Listening to Hiss Golden Messenger, Like a Mirror Loves a Hammer

Oh boy. NaNoWrimo 2016 starts in a week.

November is when I till the soil and plant the seeds of my novels. I’ve won NaNoWriMo every year since my first attempt in 2007.  Don’t hate me. I know how to NaNo and I dig it. I’ve amassed a small arsenal of NaNo novels, several of which I will revise and publish. One of them (originally titled Anything In Between) became the backbone of my first  published novel,  State of Love & Trust.

I’m onboard with nailing my vicious inner editor into her pine coffin and letting a new story rip.  (Don’t worry. I’ll let her out when it’s time to edit). I have no problem with the magical daily word goal of 1667. That number is painted on the inside of my special NaNo coffee mug I made at a pottery place during the Saginaw Bay Wombats’ kick-off party a few years ago. I’m all about the write-ins, writer friends, word wars, stickers, commitment, and coffee drinks. I love NaNo like Elf loves Christmastime. Continue reading

Rumors of Rock-n-Roll’s Death

have been greatly exaggerated

Tuesday afternoon, 63° and windy
Listening to Night Beats, The New World

If you  believe there is no good new rock music, or that Justin Beiber, Rhianna or *insert popular, predictable, auto-tuned act here* killed rock and roll, I have seven suggestions for you.

1. Quit complaining about today’s Top 40. Top 40 has largely sucked throughout its history, has only been a trailing indicator of musical trends, and has completely missed countless fantastic acts. For every Space Oddity there were approximately 1,794 Afternoon Delights. If you’re over 35, you do not have enough years left to wait for Top 40 to spoon feed you something great.  Most likely, it won’t.

Yes, 1973 was an exception. So what. You’ve been holding your breath  for 43 years waiting for that to happen again? Get over it.

Continue reading

A Joy, Not a Job

Wednesday evening, 66° and clear
Father John Misty, The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apt.

The fabulous internet thingy called Medium plopped this hefty blob o’ truth into my inbox today: You Can’t Make a Living as a Writer Because Writing isn’t a Job. You should read it, but if you’re not inclined, here’s the upshot.

Writers have day jobs because being a writer isn’t a job. Writing is a thing you can do if you like it! It’s a thing you might get paid for, now and again, if you’re good at it! But it’s not a job. Ester Bloom

I’ve written in one form or another from the time I learned to spell. Ten years ago, I started writing novels and discovered there is no form of entertainment quite like digging into a character’s head and convincing him to spill his deepest secrets. I write for the sheer joy of it. Falling into the story world feels a lot like falling madly in love. It’s an all-consuming process that leaves you by turns giddy, sentimental, and obsessive. Continue reading

Character Drawings

Wednesday evening, 63° and clear
Listening to My Morning Jacket, Grab a Body

This morning my daughter Charlotte, who is away studying entomology at Michigan State University, texted some images to me. She’s currently reading  State of Love & Trust and was inspired to draw the characters.

A little backstory: I have always written, and Charlotte has always drawn. I still have the first person she ever drew, which looked like a smiling potato with stick arms and legs. That was impressive detail for a two-year-old.

Throughout much her childhood I’ve been working on one novel or another, and the roots of State of Love & Trust go back to when she was still in elementary school. She always asked if she could read my story, and I always said yes … when you’re 18. But as it happened, I put that manuscript away for a lot of years and began polishing it for publication shortly after she’d left for college. Continue reading

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