Showing posts from October, 2020

Reading Guilty Pleasures

My reading taste tends toward literary most of the time, and I gravitate towards difficult reads. I like a challenge and learning new words. I like there to be a deeper layer of meaning beneath the words on the page, and experience a thrill of discovery about the unreliability of a narrator. I love connecting various unrelated threads together in a way that's not explicitly spelled out by the author. Vagueness, ambiguity, and conflicting points of view are my jam. But right now, friends, I am exhausted. September/October 2020 has hit like so much of the rest of the year--unrelenting in its awfulness while at the same time passing miserably as more of the same. Every day requires a new evaluation of statistical tradeoffs, the type of thing that human brains excel at. I'm a manager, which means supporting my reports' existential dread while managing my own simultaneously. A Republican congress has defied the dying wish of a feminist icon and Supreme Court justice by shoving t

Preptober 2020

 In my last post , I detailed my first attempt (and win!) at NaNoWriMo 2019. I’m gearing up for participation again this year, but it’s 2020, so everything is different. I’ll start with the bad news. One of the most enjoyable things about NaNo was the group participation. Meeting up at libraries and cafes to write sitting next to people cheering each other on was a mood boost for sure. We’re all in lockdown, more or less, so virtual write-ins might happen. I spend all day on video conferences for work, so am not excited to spend more time on them even in the pursuit of fun. Positive changes for 2020 are based around the fact that I’m a much better writer than I was last year! The process of editing last year’s project with critique partners and beta readers opened my eyes to how much I had to learn, and I’m now much improved. I’ve also figured out how to write productively on a keyboard, so won’t have to hand-draft my project this year. Tools that have helped me are: Scrivener - I got

I made a book!

 Last year I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time. If the 10 oddly capitalized characters in that last sentence mean nothing to you, NaNoWriMo is a yearly challenge to write 50,000 words in the month on November. I’d been vaguely interested in the concept since first hearing about it over a decade ago. In 2019, I participated, won, and emerged with a finished novella. Why did I do this, how did I manage it, and what did I learn? I participated in 2019 because I finally had permission. The instructor of an after-work creative writing class gave me permission to write about my experiences and things that I love even if they aren’t profound. To write a novel I don’t have to hold myself to the standards of great literature . The format of Nano gave me permission to suck . Getting words down on the page is the only goal, and the fast pace of the month guarantees that what you write will suck. To get 1667 words a day out of your head and into the world, there’s no time for second-gu