Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Blog Hop - Hosted by Brenda Drake

This Blog Hop is hosted by the awesome Brenda Drake, who very nicely asked us to join her on this journey of thanksgiving. Just post pictures or thoughts of thanks from now until Thanksgiving, hop around during the month, and get to know each other. It seemed cool, so here we are. 

I’ve never celebrated Thanksgiving. It’s not a Holiday where I’m from. I confess, though. I’ve always found it intriguing. I know (unless TV shows are full of bullshit, which would promptly shatter a life-long illusion) that there are parades most people watch on TV, and you all gather and eat turkey and mashed potatoes (that last one I learned from Friends. Remember that episode in which Monica had to make at least four different kinds? I always remember that, for some reason.).

That’s how your Holiday comes across for us down here.

I wasn’t quite sure what was it that you Americans where giving thanks for, but there’s virtually nothing (pardon the pun) a quick googling can’t help you with.
And googling it is exactly what I did. Did you know in Canada they celebrate Thanksgiving, too? I sure didn’t. Different history than the more internationally known American tradition, but they also do it.

Ooookay, back to the topic.

This year, in honor of all the American friends I made during some contests I participated in, I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with you. At least on my blog. You’ll have to eat the turkey and stuff for me because I’m pretty sure they don’t even sell that bird around here. But I’m with you in spirit, my friends.
I’m thankful for the internet. Weird, huh? Maybe this crazy girl from the end of the world didn’t understand your holiday after all, you wonder, no?

Sure I did.

I’m sure some of you would agree with me on this one, though. Writing can be a lonely business. Sometimes I let my sister talking to herself because I suddenly had a breakthrough idea. This idea is gonna fix that one problem that got me stuck for weeks. How could I not let the world hanging to capture it before I lose it? It’s just not done. But then, after I’m reading that one brilliant scene I finally got around to write I notice. My sister is long gone. I’m sure she’ll forgive me when I become a best-selling author and cart her off to Paris like I promised her ages ago, but the point remains. We sacrifice time with our loved ones to write. At least I do.

And here’s where the internet comes from. If it weren’t for it, I wouldn’t even know how is it that a novel gets published. Of all authors out there constantly giving interviews and things, something that Stephanie Meyer said once got stuck in my head:

“There’s ton of information online if you are interested in publishing a novel.”

And then I discovered that info is not only found about publishing it. You get people supporting you that are going through the same issues you’re having, down to that coffee addiction that makes you grumble if not fulfilled or that crazy pair of pajamas that become your uniform on weekends. And it makes you feel connected.

That connection with the world that I had to put on hold with my family and friends gets not restored, because nothing compares to quality time with a loved one, but it definitely becomes something that helps you push harder to take steps forward. And believing that some day (hopefully not too far away) it’ll all be worth it.

An argument could be made that it’s not really the internet, but the fellow writers that I should be grateful for, but as I have already mention in previous posts (you are probably rolling your eyes at me now) I live far, far away from people who could understand my inner musings. I mean, I’m sure there are great future novelists in Paraguay right now (like Augusto Roa Bastos, for example. The guy was a genious novelist and a fellow Paraguayan.) But people speak spanish around me. Other than my parents, siblings and a few friends, no one knows I write in english. So how could they provide any comfort? And it’s not their job to go along with my crazy plans (Except my mother. It sort of falls under her job description.) If I lived next to fellow english-writing writers (that wasn’t redundant at all) I’m sure the internet wouldn’t be such a crucial invention for me. But I don’t. And there are no immediate plans for that to change, so the internet it is.

That being said, of course I’m grateful for y’all. See? I’m even using “y’all”, something that again, if the TV is to be trusted, is a very American way to say “you all”. I’m no one to judge how you make your language your own because God knows, Paraguayans speak an unofficial dialect that most spanish-speaking people from other countries have trouble following. (It’s because we have actually 2 official languages [spanish and guarani] and have a tendency of mixing them up quite often. It’s called “jopara”. Bet you didn’t know that. See how cultured the internet makes everyone?)

So, to wrapped up.. the internet is something to be grateful for. So I am.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group #1

So someone (no idea who) put me on the list for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. The idea is so fantabulous that I can't help but going along, although some notification would have been lovely.

For those of you who have no idea, the purpose of this group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Really, when you think about it, why the hell didn't someone thought of doing this ages ago? 

It feels like I've been writing for ever, but the truth is I'm just starting out, at least seriously. I have one finished manuscript that still needs heavy revising, and three other projects which are half-way and on the drawer. Oh, and I'm starting a new one now for NaNoWriMo. I'm really excited about it. 

But then again, I'm always excited about WIPs when they are born. Those three that are unfinished were my dearest babies at their respective times, but somewhere along the way of plotting and pansing (I'm a hardcore hybrid) I just lost the way. 

I don't know about you guys, but when I "lose my muse" it's virtually impossible for me to get back on track. It's n times easier to just start a new WIP and wait for those ground-breaking ideas to come to me in a moment of clarity and make my lost manuscripts jump out of the drawer. And before you even think about saying anything, I'm know that I'm being incredibly stupid about that approach.

And it's not even that my one-liners for those manuscripts were bad. One is about a teenage girl who's been raised in a secret society of empaths (they are matriarchal) and havoc wrecks when they find a boy in their midst. Another is about a college girl (New Adult, if you must. When I started it, that term wasn't as popular as it is now) who was murdered and for some reason comes back to life. It has something to do with the weapon used to kill her, she didn't become a vampire or anything paranormal like that. And the other one is about four girls who are the ancient embodiment of the seasons (think of them as faeries, except that word is never actually mentioned). See? They are kind of cool, in my humble opinion. But they are only half-way done. 

And my mother pressuring me to just FINISH them of course helps nothing. I'm sure she means well, but... not really helping. I got stuck in a place that only I can crawl out of. I'm well aware of that. 

Not to justify my procrastination or anything like that, BUT... my working theory is that I just haven't lived enough. I'm young. And I know that there are gifted teenagers out there who could write a pullitzer-deserving novel but not all of us are like that. It's a fact we have to accept. It's specially hard when you consider that as a child, I was always ahead of my peers. I was spoiled into believing I was "smart". Parents, don't tell your children they are the best, even if they are. I'm not saying I was perfect, because God knows that would be big, fat lie. But it sure didn't help me accept failure. And I say this with no presumptions or anything. It's just how things are. 

Great, now this post makes me sound like a spoiled brat, doesn't it? But whatever. It's cheaper than therapy and helps just as much.

Anyway, more on these and other subjects in posts to come :)


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Creative Cursing

With all this NaNo madness going on, I had an epiphany today. My previous projects were all Young Adult, but I’ve had these ideas for an Adult Romance novel living in my head for so long that I decided to go ahead and put them to good use. It was a crazy, last-minute decision, but I’m doing it. And it’s working! I’m so excited I can’t stop thinking about it.

Anyway, that’s just as intro for the real reason behind this post.  Creative cursing. I completely suck at that, apparently.

In YA there’s not much use (usually) for curse words, but given the age and… natural inclinations of my new MCs, there’s endless room for creative cursing that I just can’t get my head around
I remember after finishing Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series that every so often, I found myself yelling: “Taking it to the turn” or “Tink’s undergarments!” at random.  It was particularly hilarious because no one in my day to day life actually speaks English. And there I was, using Jenks’ funny expletives in English. People confirmed then their suspicions that I was crazy. And I just smiled condescendingly at them, muttering a prayer that someday, I find someone who‘d understand my predicaments. (I’m still waiting for my prayers to be heard, by the way.)

And then, after finishing Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy, my household thrived in the epoch of the “Bleep” cursing. This was, again, funny. But now people kind of got the gist of what I meant.

I had another example, but I forgot. It happens to me all the time. I’ll get back at you on it.

Anyway, the idea remains. It hardly is an unexplored territory, but it’s kind of difficult for me. And I want my future readers to get stuck in their heads funny curse words as much as the next writer.

What about you? Does creative cursing come easily to you?