Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Apocalypse? Resolutions?

Up for an apocalypse? Check 'er out:
Cool, noh? Speaking of animation, Jim and I finally saw both Wall-E and Kung-fu Panda, and loved them both, but especially Kung-fu Panda, which is gorgeous. And funny. With awesome kung-fu!

So, Cybils shortlists will be finalized this afternoon, at long last. Yay! I'm finishing reading my last book today (Graveyard Book, which is great so far) and then it will all be OVER. Yay! It's been fun, but I need to get back to work! And it's a good thing, because my book-in-sort-of-progress is beginning to spill out of my brain. I'll be upside-down blow-drying my hair and suddenly have to dart to my writing room and scribble in my notebook. Or, trying to fall asleep, and some sentences converge and fall into perfect alignment and I have to run downstairs to the writing room, blinking and squinting when the light comes on. Sometimes just ideas, but other times whole swatches of dialogue or narrative. I think this means the story is ripe and ready to be plucked. Baked, and ready to come out of the oven? Either way: ready.

"As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall." -- Katherine Mansfield

Kind of like that. I would never advise this course of action, because I know from experience that it can take years for a book to reach that state, but sometimes, breaks are a good thing. For me, there were periods of non-writing on Blackbringer that really shaped it. When I'd come back to it after a break (of, say, designing Laini's Ladies), I'd be able to see it clearly and know what to do with it. And, I'd love it again and be eager to work. BUT. Breaks are much more likely to lead to not ever finishing, so go with caution. Now, though, I am so bursting with this book I feel like I might explode. I'm happy that the explosion will coincide with the beginning of the New Year, because I am one of those people who likes beginning new things, laying out new goals, on "special days." Like, Mondays are best. January firsts are great. When January first falls on Monday, that is the perfect alignment for goal-setting. But a Thursday will work too. I would love to have the house cleaned by then, and all other obligations temporarily suspended. The Cybils will be over, I'm done with copyedits on both Lips Touch and Silksinger. Ooh, I've finally broken down and ordered the new Mac operating system for my laptop, so I can download Scrivener for the new book. I hear from reliable sources that it *practically writes your book for you.* Ha ha. Maybe not. But I hear it is extraordinary, and I will soon discover HOW extraordinary. I'll keep you posted! (Also, the Blurb software required the newer OS, so that was part of the impetus.)

Does anyone make New Year's resolutions anymore? I don't, not really. But I have some New Year's *notions*, some things I'd like to do. I want to write this book, of course, and also some stories. And I want to learn how -- finally -- to use my camera that Jim got me three Christmases ago. It's a great camera, but I always use it on the fully automatic settings, which is very limitting. I want to take a class, or at least get a good instructional DVD and start to experiment.

See, nothing grandiose, a couple of manageable goals.

How about you?


Q said...

I don't know what it is about New Year's Resolutions, but I never seem to make them. Nor do I have any desire to make them, really. Maybe I'm not a driven person, but I can handle that.

Stephanie Perkins said...

Scrivener. Ooo, I keep thinking about that too. Lemme know what you think!

Anonymous said...

Check out Storymill


It has very similar properties as Scrivener, which also seems really cool, but I think Storymill is perhaps a little less complex, which can be great in many regards but also limiting in others.

Just thought be cool for you, to be able to see your options. =D

Anonymous said...

I'm not big on New Years resolutions because it seems they are made to be broken.

One year I thought I'd break the jinx by vowing to be miserable. I figured since I never managed to keep a resolution, I was bound to be happy. Didn't work.

I am big on goals, and I do have a lot of follow-through, but I don't correspond the start of those goals to any particular day.

K. M. Walton said...

Resolutions...or goals...to land an agent. And get published. And have my book be an enormous sucess.

Nothing big.


Deirdre said...

I wish the muse would present me with some wonderful bit of story when I'm doing something other than driving or showering - neither activity lends itself to a quick scribble.

As for resolutions ... well, I'm not so good with them, but good intentions abound. The biggie this year is making it to the gym regularly. The goal? Getting into good enough shape so I can choose my wedding dress instead of making do with the one that fits.

Happy New Year to you and Jim - may it be the best yet. xoxo

tanita✿davis said...

Definitely report back on Scrivener. I wrote my first two novels -- and am writing novels five, six, fail, set aside, and forget-about on plain old MS Word -- I've never even thought of doing anything else -- but I'm a PC person, and we're a pretty nuts-and-bolts bunch. Very interested in how this goes for you.

Happy New Year -- all my "goals" have to do with writing and being healthier and more creative -- so it all rolls back 'round to writing no matter how I start out. Hope you have a great celebration.

Anonymous said...

Mizz Perkins had reccomended the Graveyard Book to me since it's by the same author as Coraline! Well, if both you guys thinks it's great I'll have to run down to the library soon.
The video was so creepy...but amazing! I love Tim Burton films.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Jehsyka! I did love Graveyard Book, and I think you will too. It's been so long since I read Coraline that I can't say for sure, but I think I like this better.

Oh, and that movie "9" isn't really Tim Burton -- he's just presenting it or something. It's some animator I'm not familiar with. I think he did FX for Weta on Lord of the Rings.

Laini Taylor said...

Hi TadMack!
I have a deep and abiding loathing for Word, and the only time I use it is to translate my ms into it at the end for shipping off to editors. I've been usinng this bare-bones Apple program called Appleworks, and it's fine. I mean, I guess a pen and paper are fine, right? But I am expecting some kind of *magic* from Scrivener. We'll see!

Good luck with your New Year goals!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

since i seem to break mine - I just blogged about all the ones I automatically roll over :) happy new year.

Anonymous said...

I've gotten tired of setting goals that are doomed to fail. I will NOT give up cupcakes. (Though I have embraced moderation) I will NOT go to a gym, any gym (But I will walk the dogs. Briskly, and regularly!) I like to keep my resolutions simple. In fact, I use the same one over and over again: Every year I vow to clean the gross, smelly stuff out my fridge. Then I do it. It gives me a feeling of immediate satisfaction and completion I don't get day to day in this business. A nice way to start the year.

PunkHaz said...

I've been sitting on my Ali tale for a few months now, and it has been growing. I used to think, "man, I really gotta start thinking about it more," but now I find it shoving other thoughts aside. Ali comes to mind constantly now and I can't wait until I can get started writing again. (Hopefully, I'll be able start this Tuesday.)

I hope this year is drenched in story creation for you, me, and all our friends!

Amber Lough said...

Oops! Sorry about that, Laini. PunkHaz is my sister, who was LIVING here for six weeks. Didn't realize she had used this computer...hmm...