What I've Been Reading
Well, writing wasn't going so well this week--I had one of those slumps where the plot holes I haven't yet figured out really stalled my progress. So instead of writing for most of the week, I read two really great books:
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
THIS BOOK! The author is now solidy on my favorites list. She wrote a love story that is not really about the boy, which was so inspiring to me. This book starts out like a lot of YA, but it goes pretty deep. Parts of this were tough to get through, only because the character is depressed and not able to shake it, and I just hurt for her. So much of this story that could seem cliche or toss-away was explored, characters that could have been one-note were not. Such a great example of how complex YA fiction can be.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kahling
This ended up being one of my favorite memoirs. Mindy was a head writer for The Office and she now has her own NBC show The Mindy Project (which I have the entire season save for the first episode unwatched on my DVR). She talks about growing up with immigrant professional working parents who while strict still nurtured her artistic side, being bullied as a fat kid by an exchange student who everyone was afraid of offending, and discrimination as a woman writing comedy, all with a breeziness that does not elicit sympathy, but instead is quite empowering. You want to cry with her when a magazine shoot specifically for her only offers up size 0 samples, but she tells it in such a funny way, you don't pity her. (she also says this was her rare diva moment where she told the stylist to make it work and promptly picked out her favorite size 0 sample and had them affix a back panel to make it fit, at least for the camera). I was highly amused how several times she names a rivalry with Rainn Wilson, Dwight from The Office, and never says "oh just kidding." I'm sure she is, but it's really funny how she seeds it in what an egomaniac Rainn is and never follows up with examples. Like an inside joke, which is subtle enough to be really, really funny. I totally want to hang out with her after reading this.
What I'm Writing
Not all a lost cause: I did end up acheiving my writing goals for the week. I caught up editing about 4 chapters of my current project, liberally noting [issues] within brackets that I can easily search for later to fill in. I don't like this in-between draft where I'm polishing stuff but I still have plot issues to work out. This is the part when Writing is Hard.
I also did some intel on a new retelling of a classic movie. I hate to be all hush hush but well, TRADE SECRETS! (Not really). It's so fun coming up with ideas, and I even wrote some very rough intro lines, but that's the fun part of writing--coming up with characters and setting and what you want to do with the story.
For next week's goals, I'd like to:
- Continue revising WIP (untitled YA contemporary story) 4-5 chapters
- Brainstorm how to work through my plot issues--I may need to reconsider one of my central conflicts. At the very least, define the motivation more clearly
- Write rough general outline of new WIP (untitled YA which I will covertly name Project Audrey)
- Recruit a writer or two to brainstorm ideas with for new project
I don't tend to be much of an outliner. I mean, I've already written the first page of my new project and I haven't even named the characters yet. But I do want to get some ideas solidifed to see how my concept will work.
What Else I've Been Up To
My husband helped re-design my blog to look a little more customized than generic Blogger options and I now have my custom domain name pointing to my blog (yay!). Things I've been meaning to do for awhile. I wanted to get that done before making business cards that I've been told I will need for hob-nobbing at RWA Nationals and the Midwest Writers Workshop next month. And when I say next month, that's really next week, and all of it is creeping up pretty quick.
What's up with you, readers? Read any good books? Do you watch The Mindy Project, and do you like it? Do you have reading or writing goals?