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You can find my new blog…

9 Nov

…at thetypedwordblog.wordpress.com. I should have publicized this like five months ago, but well, I didn’t. So, better late than never, right?

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I’m baaaaack…..

20 Nov

It’s been a bit of a hiatus, eh?

Well, I’m baaaaaack!

A couple of months ago, my dear friend Sarah bought me a book called, “642 Things to Write About” filled with – you guessed it – 642 writing prompts. So, I’ve decided to pepper (and what the hell, salt) them into the blog along with the (highly anticipated, I’m sure) journey through draft number two of my novel.

Writing Prompt numero uno: Facebook Status Updates for 2017.

My first thought when I read this was how old will Mark Zuckerberg be in 2017, and will he still be wearing hoodies? And then I realized he will only be 33. The year 2017 seems like Jetsons-time, but it’s really only four short years away. Technology, however, operates in dog years, so technically it’s like thirty years from now. By 2017, status updates will literally be people talking and you’ll have to mute the people you don’t want to hear. Why settle for the silence of a typed message when we can actually hear a baby crying? There won’t even be keyboards. You will just talk to your computer phone watch chip in your arm to navigate. And then of course, there will be the app (shortened into ap, because app is just too long) that will give you an English or Australian accent. Eventually this will become annoying and it will go to the Facebook grave and hang with Farmville.

Alright, if none of my predictions come true, I at least hope emoticons have evolved. Why have emoticons stayed the same for the past 20 years???

In summation, in 2017 nothing will be private, we will have chips in our arms, and Mark Zuckerberg will still be wearing hoodies.

*Also, an important side note. We are less than two years away from 2015, the year Back to the Future II took place, and we are really behind. Hey Zuckerberg, why don’t you get working on flying cars and hovercrafts instead of Facebook!

A Pivotal Moment.

15 Aug
KatieArticle
Check out my article in the Write Life Magazine! You can access this fabulous magazine here:  http://www.thewritelifemagazine.com/get-your-copy/

Draft one. Finished.

24 Jul

Warning. This is a blatant ask for pats on the back and other accolades.

I finished the first draft of my novel yesterday!

It was pretty exciting. I was sitting in our home office and with the fanfare of a parade, dove release, fireworks, and champagne toast all rolled into one, I saved the first draft of my novel. Except that I was just alone in workout clothes and it was more like, hey I finished.

Feeling the weight of my accomplishment, I started harassing my husband at work so someone could share in my excitement aside from my dog, Penny (who was actually sleeping). I started toying with “Guess what, I have good news!” to really build that anticipation (although this more likely just scared him into thinking I was pregnant).

*Side note*

Other good news I wish I could have shared would be:

“I won the lottery even though I never buy tickets!”

“Someone put a pool in our backyard!”

“I’m going to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune!” I really think I could dominate that game, and I want to meet the well-preserved Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

Sorry, ADD brain. It feels good, but there is still a long road ahead. This is like building the foundation of a house (well, I would assume): a good start but not a home. To me this is actually where the real writing begins. Additions added; parts ripped out, changed, and rearranged.

And for my many fans who keep asking for a glimpse (all three of you), it’s not what I would call “readable” yet. Just as no one wants to live in a foundation, no one should want to read a first draft.

So now what? I re-write and edit and essentially create my second draft. The first step is complete and you would never run a marathon without taking the first step. Right? The house foundation analogy just wasn’t enough…

I would also like to thank two large cups of iced coffee and my 1980’s Songza station, “Your Own John Hughes Movie” for really bringing me home yesterday.

Write on.

Time’s fun when you’re having flies.

11 Jul

Time flies when you’re having fun. Also, Time’s fun when you’re having flies. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen that on a tank top…

Anyway, time seems to fly when you get older. Doesn’t it? Aren’t we adults always saying things like, “Where has the time gone?”

When two little kids haven’t seen each other in a few months, you’re not going to hear, “Billy, where has the time gone?” Probably something more like, “Let’s go throw rocks at that tree.” Is Billy even a real kid name anymore?

But why is this?

I know, I know, because we’re adults, right?

I have been thinking about time, partly because it has been a month since my last blog entry and partly because it will be my one-year wedding anniversary on Sunday (and yes, my husband and I are accepting cash gifts, if you’re asking).

So, time. Why does it seem to go by so quickly as we get older? I think this happens for two reasons. One: as we age, we do inevitably have more responsibilities and obligations to fill our time, so time does seem to speed up as we are speeding around through life. When you’re buzzing around like a busy bee and you finally stop, breathe and look around, it seems that time has swiftly come and gone.

And two: we gain the ability to look into the future and remember the past, which takes us out of the moment that we’re in. While it is impossible, at least for me, to always be in the moment, it’s not so impossible for kids, which is part of the reason why time seemed to float by when we were younger. I mean, can’t you remember how long it felt between Christmases when you were little? Eternity!

I suppose some of this is inevitable. And I like to be busy, but as I get older, I am also learning it is nice to have downtime.

My advice. Spend a little downtime today. It doesn’t even have to be quiet time, just unplug from your phone, TV, running around, whatever. Think about some of your happiest times and do those things. Unless you are independently wealthy, this probably needs to be more of a “playing with your kids/dog” versus “sipping a cold drink in the Caribbean.” Or, what the hell, make yourself a pina colada and drink it in your living room. Go wild.

My second piece of advice: Focus in on this moment and know that you are reading my blog and that obviously this has been a good way to spend the last five minutes or so.

Now, go do good things!

 

My first book reading and signing.

7 Jun

I attended my first author book signing and reading this week. I really enjoyed it, and of course it make me realize a few things. I’m a sucker for “learning something” from each and every experience, no matter how trivial. Even when I get lost driving somewhere (which is less frequent than the old days, thanks to GPS), I think, well at least I drove through a new part of town and now I know what’s around here. I will definitely forget most of this newfound information soon after, but that’s another topic for another blog.

So, sitting in the audience at the Schlafly Library in the Central West End, I listened to Anton Disclafani provide the premise of her new book, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. She read a few passages and then opened up for questions. I learned about this signing and reading the day-of through one of my writing groups, so I have yet to read the book, but I definitely think it’s in my wheelhouse. You can check out the premise here: http://antondisclafani.com/books/.

Disclafani teaches creative writing at WashU and she has already received a favorable review in the New York Times from Michiko Kakutani. Remember her from Sex and the City? Hmm, I think that’s my second Sex and the City reference in my blog. Maybe I should broaden my horizons just a bit…

Anyway, so what did I learn?

Writing historical fiction is challenging.

Disclafani’s book takes place in the early 1930’s and one audience member asked about the research process and her answer definitely resonated with me: the hardest part is in the small details. My book switches between the late 1950’s and early 1980’s, and while I actually enjoy the research, it is pretty time-consuming. It’s not hard to get a sense of the basics: significant historical events, pop culture, statistical information, but the tiny details can be much more elusive. What brand of perfume would a middle-class St. Louis woman wear in 1958? Did mothers use high chairs when feeding their infants in 1959? What would someone’s office cubicle look like in 1982 Los Angeles? What happened in an emergency before the days of 911 and CPR? What was a typical cocktail a woman would order in 1983 in Los Angeles? These things may sound trivial, but it is the small details that can seamlessly weave information into a story and create the feeling that you are actually in that time period, instead of simply reading some well placed factoids to signify that this is the 1950’s or 1980’s.

When you finish writing a book, the work is far from over.

Disclafani said the process from start to finish was over four years. Sigh. So, you finish your first draft, only to revise, revise, revise. When you have decided it’s as perfect as you can get it, you begin submitting to agents, which will apparently lead to much rejection. After the tears (I’m only guessing, since I’m kind of a crier), you finally find that agent who wants to represent you (and you want them to represent you)! But wait! They will likely have their own edits for you. So, more revise, revise, revise. Okay, then that agent needs to convince a publisher to actually publish you. Insert more rejection here. OMG! You found a publisher, but they have new changes. Revise, revise, revise. And finally, your book is for sale. And you want to sell more than like ten copies, so time to help promote your book! Book tours, website creation, press releases, social media promotion, conferences, networking, etc. etc. etc.

Then, you start a new book and it all begins again. Good thing I like writing or this would be torture.

The last thing I learned is that I can’t wait to one day hold my own book signing and reading. I also definitely already thought about what I might wear and say. Too soon?

Little white lies.

30 May

I’m back! Sorry, I’ve been away. I’m sorry. I’m sorry!

Well…let’s get to it.

You know how women lie about things? Men, I’m sure you’ve heard a few of these gems.

“Which of my friends are hot? It totally doesn’t bother me!”

“Tell me more about your ex-girlfriend. It totally doesn’t bother me!”

“You don’t need to get me anything for Valentine’s Day. It totally doesn’t bother me!”

Alright ladies, we can be known to lie about these things. Probably lying mostly to ourselves when we say ‘it doesn’t bother me.’

But men have their own little lies too.

“Honey, join our softball league. What, you’ve never played softball? No worries baby, it’s not competitive.”

Total lie. Men don’t know how to NOT be competitive. We all remember those guys in high school P.E. who took ping-pong just a little too seriously. I see that glimmer in their eyes when one of our teammates hits a home run; that flinch when someone on our team makes an error; that hopeful look on their faces watching our outfielder under a fly ball; that grinding of their teeth when the other team bats two home. I mean, come on, how can a group of guys who have been playing sports their entire lives, most through college, not want to win? I’ve got some breaking news: you ARE competitive. Even at beer softball.

Now, I’m not saying I’m not competitive, but man it sucks trying to be competitive at something you’re not really good at…

Honestly, I’m actually enjoying softball. Our team is made up of our friends, we are sponsored by a bar, and we are drinking on the bench during the game. And we’ve been rained out like four times, so there’s that…

So, boys, when you get angry about our little white lies, remember that you have some of your own.

What other white lies do men and women tell?

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