Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Little a this, little a that

-- I did some spastic lurch maneuver getting out of bed this morning and knocked my lamp off my bedside table and broke it. Wah! I love that lamp! I've had it less than a year, whereas the terrible one I had before that managed to sit there and not get knocked off for some 10 years. Stupid stupid. It may be glue-able.

-- This was after Clementine decided to be awake at 6 am practicing her raspberries. (I'd gone to sleep around 2). And her raspberries are really LOUD. So, I'm tired.

-- Oh, she got kissed by a boy already, ha ha. At story time at the library, a 10-1/2-month-old name Jake crawled over to her and gave her a wet kiss on the top of the head. So cute! Then he tried to steal her toy.

-- I wrote another chapter yesterday! Short, but still: all new words, a chapter, in a day. Around 11 pm last night I was trying to finish it and my battery was almost in red so I was racing, and it reminded me of this story about Ray Bradbury, and how he wrote Fahrenheit 451 on the pay-typewriters in the basement of the UCLA library. He'd feed dimes into them and then GO! Like writing as a sprint. You couldn't just sit there and ponder next words. I've always marveled that Fahrenheit 451, in its perfection (have you read it lately? DO.) could have been written like that. Anyway, this wasn't that, but it reminded me of that story.

-- Which in turn reminded me of a Harlan Ellison essay I was reading, the intro to his story collection Shatterday, which I just got from the library because Neil Gaiman said it was the book that most influenced his career as a writer. -- "did more to turn the almost-22-year-old me into the writer I would one day become than anything else" -- (And it is a really good essay, and Ellison's reasons for being a writer are way better than my own, which are kind of the same reasons I used to play Barbies: because I can make people do stuff like go skinnydipping and be veterinarians and kiss.) Anyway, at one point in the essay, Ellison tells how he's racing to finish a story because he's literally got to rush to a reading that night and read it out loud to people, and he does, without even rereading it himself first. Sigh. That there are writers who can DO that.

-- By the way, my all-time favorite short story ever is Harlan Ellison's The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore. Read it.

-- Oh, and I met Harlan Ellison once, in Lake Oswego, Oregon, where he was literally "on exhibit" as a working writer, sitting in the middle of this display of graphic novels and writing an actual short story on an actual typewriter (a typewriter!). Though he's a famous curmudgeon, he was very nice to me. He wouldn't answer questions about the above-mentioned story, though, but tried to make me answer them instead, but I got flustered and fled.

-- Did you know YA books are not "real books"? I just found this out by reading an interview with an Oregon writer, in which she answered the question What are you working on currently? as so: "At the moment I'm ghostwriting a young adult novel, working on proposals for two young adult novels (to be published—if I'm fortunate enough to to sell them—pseudonymously), and mapping out the plot and characters for my next "real novel."

Ack!!! Her next REAL NOVEL!!!

Note to "grownup writers": if you don't consider YA novels to be "real," please do not write them, pseudonymously or otherwise :-( There are those of us who believe young people deserve actual books, not "fake" ones by writers who are ashamed to put their real names on them. (Also note: I may be misinterpreting this and being a b****, and if so, I apologize.)

Okay, off to attack another chapter.

Does anyone have a pay typewriter I can borrow? And a roll of dimes?


Faith Pray said...

There are so many things that resonated about your post, one of which is the lamp catastrophe. We have two crummy, crooked lamps in our house just begging to be toppled and which one gets smashed? The cool one I actually liked. I think there is a lamp conspiracy going on. More importantly though, I am so inspired that you find time to write entire chapters with a baby who wakes at six. Amazing woman! Thanks for the good words.

--jenna said...

It's not quite a pay typewriter...but it goes one step further! Stop writing and it EATS YOUR WORDS. Very, very effective keep writing strategy. :)

I enjoy your blog so much!

Sarah said...

Yay, Laini! I'm ecstatic that you're taking little Clementine to storytime. I have been doing the baby storytimes at the library I work at, and it's now one of my most favorite things in the world. It's just so amazing and inspiring to see a room full of babies and parents and grandparents all focused on books, rhymes, and songs.

And, I love it even more now that my baby has been attending. It's one thing to see it from a librarian's standpoint, but it's also really exciting to see it from a parent's point of view. Makes you a little better at what you do, I think.

Elena said...

Thanks for the book suggestions!

It is so great looking at your blog.

ann foxlee said...

Saw you guys at the library tonight! Thanks for taking your time to come-- seems like there were a lot of young people in the audience too, which is great. Also, I was there with another fellow blogger, and we were both relieved beyond belief that everybody on the panel came to writing a bit later and was published in their 30's-40s. Whew. Sometimes on the web, you start feeling like an old fogey because you didn't have a publishing deal at 15!

Thanks to Jim also for his advice on the artwork end of putting a book together!


Myrna Foster said...

I loved Farenheit 451. I was just thinking last week that I need to read it again. One of my friends told me she was having her high school English classes read it.

I'm sorry about your lamp.

Suzanne said...

"real novel"... gah! I don't know what to say to that other than that irritates me. A lot.

Here's hoping your lamp is glue-able your chapter comes forth willingly.

Amber said...

I get it. It is like when women say they are "not working", because they stay home with kids. It ticks me off. lol


Jennifer D said...

Well "your" novels are real.

I just read Farenheit 451 last year and I LOVED it... timeless.

I did read about those pay typewriters. Motivation for sure.