Friday, October 12, 2007

Robot T-shirts! And, when good novels misbehave

Awesome Not a Robot apparel is now available at Jim's Cafe Press store. I love them! They come in a bunch of different styles, so check it out. (Jim says the "heat transfer" ones are best.)

Meanwhile, the Sunday Scribblings prompt this week is "First Job, Worst Job, Dream Job" so if you have something to say on that, hop on over there and link up. It's a great week to start scribblings if you've never done it before.

Thoughts on writing this morning as I flex my fingers and gear up for a day of hammering out new scenes (swimming upstream!) I belatedly discovered this post by Patry Francis, who was one of my first blog discoveries. Her first novel was coming out a few months before my own this past year, so I hungrily read about her experiences in advance of my own, and though she's not blogging as much as she used to, I find we still have much in common. We are both slaving over our third books, and find we have not joined the secret "writing is easy once you're published" club. It's still hard. It's still really hard. Novels misbehave. They're wayward teenagers; you think you've got them on their path, and then they up and join the circus, or a cult, or something! Okay, this metaphor not so good, because when it comes to a book that's veered wildly off course, the thing to do is let it go and start again, and I suppose the answer to a teenager who has joined a cult is not necessarily to let them go and have another baby. Not necessarily.

I've been hearing a lot of writers admit lately that it is only due to mulish stubborness that they finish their books. So keep that in mind if you're working to finish your first. Plus, according to Patry, muses like to eat blueberry pie, so you might try to keep your muse happy with food. Me, I would eat my muse's pie myself and then she/it (I think my muse is a goat with wonky assymetrical horns and a nonplussed look on its cud-chewing face) would head-butt me and tell me to get back to work already with my blueberry-stained teeth.

Quote, found on a new blog discovery:
"The real writer is the one who really writes. Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the fact of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved."
-- Marge Piercy

Er, I had to look up "phlogiston" and it's really cool: it was, in the middle ages, a "hypothetical inflammatory principle" believed [falsely] to exist in all combustible matter. It was, like, an imaginary gas assumed to be an essential principle of fire -- the way this imaginary thing "talent" (or whatever) is assumed to be essential to writing. I do believe in talent, but I believe it's something we build while working. So, off I go to work. It's devils on the menu today. Wicked, wicked devils (and one sweet one). Tally ho!

10 comments:

liz elayne said...

love the shirt!! (and all the others in jim's shop)

and this marge piercy quote - oh how i love that woman.

i am cracking up thinking about you and your blueberry teeth (complimenting your hair nicely i bet!) and your muse giving you a headbutt.

hope today is a fruitful writing day my friend...

Mardougrrl said...

*sniff* OK, I am not sure what happened here, but this post ACTUALLY brought tears to my eyes. It's a struggle, sometimes, isn't it? but you are just...don't make me break out that Peter Cetera...too late.

You're the IN-SPIRATIONNNNN.

xoxo, M

Dalissa 365 said...

Excellent post and just what I needed to hear. I've been thinking for weeks that I need to trash what I've written and start over because it's gone a direction that I don't necessarily like but I haven't had the guts before now to do so.

Cute t-shirt... I love the colors!

Oh, and thanks for the review of "Pushing Daisies". I had heard the writer of the show interviewed on NPR last week but wasn't sure if I was going to tune it but it sounds right up my alley.

Heather said...

Erg. I HAVE a teenager. No cults yet though - other than the actual cult of teenagehood.

I find that I ignore my writing much in the way that I ignore parsley on my restaurant plate. It's there, but I don't HAVE to eat it! Perhaps I should envision it as creme brulee!

Thanks for the ongoing encouragement - it makes a difference.

C. Alyson said...

Hi Laini. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I confess I've been lurking around your blog for awhile now. Very inspirational. Love the t-shirt, the blueberry pie you'd steal from your muse, and the adept explanation of phlogiston and it's application to writing. Also, I'm definitely going to have to catch an episode of Pushing Daisies. I haven't watched it yet. Sounds good:)

Cheers,
Alyson

Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

cute, cute shirt!

Maribeth Kayla said...

Hey! I just finished your book, and I loved it. You can go here to see my review.
http://maribethkayla.blogspot.com/2007/10/blackbringer.html
Just don't get offended by the bit at the bottom. I still love your book. Really love it. It's on my top shelf of my bookcase, with all my favorites. ;)

Amber said...

Hello from the Chathams! It's a bit cold, but I love it (much like I imagine Scotland to be, but without the castles).

I love the t-shirt, by the way. Unfortunately, I am not one of those robot writers. Writing is hard work, most of the time. Fortunately, it's always fun work.

Micol Ostow said...

Oh, we are so getting his and her shirts! Great to meet you in Chicago!

tinker said...

What a cool shirt!
Love Patry's blog. One of these days, I'm going to try to bake one of those pies for the muse...