Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10th, 2011 - the printers revolt.

Today seemed a day of printer problems.  We don't know if they somehow communicated with each other and unanimously decided to go on strike, but some of us were woefully unprepared for the sharing portion of the meeting.

As for my printer, it decided to meditate rather than do its job, frustrating me to no end since I actually had something to share this time around.

For those of you who are unaware, November is the National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo) challenge.  For those insane enough, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.  Plotting and outlining beforehand is permitted, but ideally one would start writing on November 1st.

Is there a large cash prize?  No.  But the exercise in futili - er..... rough drafting is invaluable.  So when Mr. Printer decided not to churn out 6 copies of my excerpt, I was bummed.  Oh well, life goes on.

Benevolent dictator Marsha Ward asked each of us what we'd learned about writing in the past year.  After several enlightening responses, we then shared what we hope to learn in the upcoming year.Here are some of them:

  • Our beloved man of mystery, Ted, entertained us with a string of government conspiracy theories on technology, dreams, and flourescent lighting (all related to the field of writing, of course), but we managed keep on track.  Ted is a wealth of information.  But like Regan said:  Trust, but verify.  (Love ya, Ted!)
  • Writing makes one more conscious of details.  Being able to observe a scene, whether a peaceful nature setting or a city riot, and write about it in any sort of sense later is invaluable.  It takes practice, to be sure!  But like any muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.
  • We also learned about e-publishing, how to address your subconscious to dig up an idea, and various ways to tap into the muse. 

All of us are at different skill levels on this writing journey, and learning new things each day.  Poor Sue was in a tizzy about bringing in an excerpt from a novella she's had on the back burner for 15 years, but this is what the meetings are for:  Bouncing your stories and ideas off of friends and getting good feedback.  The cool thing is, you don't have to accept any suggestions if you don't want to.  The choice to switch one word for another is ultimately up to the author.  So bring in that work for a look-see.  You'll be glad you did.

For our next meeting on December 8th, 2011, please bring in samples of good writing from a favorite author, or some of your own work to share.  (Up to three pages, double spaced, and enough copies for about 7 people.)  Also, be prepared to volunteer to teach something you already know about or something you want to learn in the next year.  (Writing related, of course.  No lessons in motocycle maintenance, please.)

The back room of Scoops in Payson is where we'll be at noon on December 8th.  See you there!

Success seems to be largely a matter
of hanging on after
others have let go.
-William Feather