The Titanic Was a Thing and A Movie Theater Is a Place.

I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I had a long list of perfectly good reasons not to do NaNoWriMo this year:

  • Writing/editing 1 essay a week for submissions
  • Editing two novels
  • Updating this blog twice a week
  • Keeping up with the Patreon Page
  • Working full time
  • Running a Youth Group twice a month (which requires way more planning and organization than one would think!)
  • Running a weekly teen writing workshop
  • OH and maybe some personal time to spend with The Mr, our dogs, our friends and maybe sleeping sometimes too?

See? Those are all really good reasons not to do NaNoWriMo.

And I was also feeling really comfortable with this decision. I wished all my friends who had decided to dive in good luck and told them that I was cheering them on.

But I had one friend who decided to email me. On November 1st:

Subject: NaNoWriMo

Body: I'll race you to the 50k :)

And I responded with my whole "Oh, I'm not doing NaNo this year because <see reasons above>, but good luck!"

And he was all "Hey, we all have shit to do. Here's my laundry list of reasons why I shouldn't be writing a novel this month either." And then he essentially was like "do it anyway." I'm totally paraphrasing here, but that's basically what he said.

And I was all "Even if I could, I don't have an idea! I don't even have a character in mind that I could just start following around in my brain!"

But then I talked to another friend - a friend you only talk to when you want to be talked into writing - and she gave me a pretty great idea...

So suddenly I had an idea... and a laundry list of reasons still not to write the book... that I decided to ignore. Not ignore, exactly because I'm still doing all of those things... I just decided to add to it? So now here I am, waking up every day at 5am to put words onto the vomit draft of a new novel. And one of the best things is that I've got this weird husband who was all "Alright. Let's do this." instead of being all "EMELIE WHY?" For example:

So as of this blog post on November 3rd I am 2,201 words into a strange novel. And I can't wait to see where it's headed.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Buddy me so that we can support each other.


And now, for some business:

 

I’ll be performing at this open mic night on Saturday Night (November 4th) with some really amazing people. All proceeds go to the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in New Milford, CT. If you’re able to make it, please do! I’m reading one of my most awkward pieces I’ve ever written, and everyone else will be reading really incredible stuff, so it should be a good time for us all.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

Just doin' my job, sir.

Today a child totally called me out when I lied to him, but in my defense, he was hitting his father to an obnoxious degree (aren't all degrees obnoxious?) and using truth and reasoning wasn't helping. Me: Alright kid, this has gone on long enough. We have a very strict no-hitting policy here and if you don't stop it, I'm going to have to put you to work.

Kid: ....

Me: Cleaning our toilets.

Kid's Dad: Ooooo... that sounds rough, dude.

Kid: No. You're lying.

Me: What? I am not.

Kid: Yes you are.

And then we just stared at each other for a few moments until I turned my attention back to his dad.

Me: So anyway, you should totally read Ready, Player, One because it's amazing.

Dad: Awesome, thank you!

I would like it to be noted, though, that the kid did stop hitting his dad, so.... I'm kind of a hero - even if I didn't stay within the lines of morality to do it. I'm basically Batman.

 

via GIPHY

Do you Litsy? You should Litsy.

If you don't love books, this will not matter to you at all. If you do love books, read on. There's this newish app that I'm in love with recently and you should know that I'm in no way being asked to or bribed to talk about it. I just love it that much.

Because it's social media for book lovers. And it's not GoodReads (which I don't use for many reasons). As many of you know, I'm a bookseller and I love talking about books, but I usually don't do so here because that's not what this blog is typically about. This is the exception. This is where I blur the lines between my goofy Internet self and my let-me-tell-you-what-I'm-reading-because-BOOKS! self. It's Litsy.

Basically it's as if Instagram and GoodReads met one night at some bookish photography thing and then that turned into drinks, which turned into a few dates, which turned into trading book recommendations via photographs, which became their relationship, and then all of that eventually led to a baby app that grew up to become it's very own awesome individual app that we should all be hanging out with.

And it's so wonderful, you guys. Every morning I wake up and I check through my various social media feeds, and by far, my favorite one is Litsy. I get all sorts of reading recommendations from people who love books. I'm following authors and seeing what they're reading. I'm mIMG_5225eeting other really bookish people on the Internet and my to-be-read list is overloaded in the best way possible. On top of that, there's this fun little game aspect to it: You can track your reading and gain "Litfluence" points based on how much you're reading and how many people are adding books to their stacks because of your reviews. So if you're into stats and improving your score, this feature is delightful.

Currently this app is only available for iOS devices, but hopefully that will be changing soon so that we can all participate in this bookish glory together. But you should totally get on this if you can and follow me over there for book stuff! In fact, let me get you started with some of my favorite accounts:

Mine: @AwkwardlyAlive

Liberty Hardy: @Liberty (You will  never read as much as her. Accept this and then read whatever she tells you to.)

Amy Stewart: @AmyStewart (As in the author of Girl Waits With Gun, which is SO GOOD!)

Rebecca Schinsky: @RebeccaSchinsky (Fabulously smart)

K.D. Winchester: @kdwinchester (She reads the most interesting things!!) 

So go and download this app, follow me and all these lovely readers, and let's start chatting about books! BECAUSE BOOKS!

 

NaNoWriMo Begins!

I've attempted NaNoWriMo in the past and failed. Maybe failed is the harsh term, but either way, I've never actually completed a novel. I've been working on the same book for the past few years on and off and I'm so ready to complete it. I don't want to be done with it in the sense that I want to wash my hands of it or anything, but I'm sick of listening to myself make excuses, so I've decided to do NaNoWriMo a little differently this year. Instead of taking the 30 days to write a 50,000-word novel from start to finish, I'm going to start at word 17, 787 and go from there. I'm going to use NaNoWriMo to freaking finish my novel. It's time to take all those notes and scraps of paper and post-its and actually apply them here and get this shit done.

It's going to be tough. I know that. I'm not one of those writers who just bleeds words and PRESTO!: There's a novel.

No.

I'm one of those writers who whines and cries and bangs her head against the desk and constantly texts her friends saying "I can't do this."

That's the kind of writer I am.

But dammit, sometimes I even text myself back and say "YES YOU CAN! YOU'VE GOT THIS!" and then sad-me responds with "STOP TOYING WITH MY EMOTIONS AND JUST LET THIS DREAM DIE!!" and then the cool-me says "NO! KEEP GOING!" and it goes on like that for a while.

What's my point again? Oh yeah, I'm determined to finish my novel this month and I'm using NaNoWriMo (albeit in an unconventional way, but still) to do it and I hope you're all okay with that.

And if you aren't, well then I'll enjoy being a rebel in your eyes.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo? If so, leave a comment below with your NaNo name and I'll buddy you!

Happy writing, all!

***

In other news, here's the new Page Break episode, in which Cole does a book review of the new Garth Nix novel (yay!!) Clariel:

NaNoWriMo

That's right, Duckies!! It's November! For so many people, this month means Christmas preparations, turkey selections, and training for the biggest shopping marathons of their lives. And then there's the Nano-ers. For us, this month is the most exhilarating challenge of the year: Write a novel (50,000) within the month of November.

Why? Because we're all insane. Obviously. In fact, right now, I'm all "Emelie, stop writing this blog post and just get back to your book. THIS IS WASTING PRECIOUS TIME." But then the other side of me is all "Hey, stop being an asshole. You have to write for the duckies, too, and if you don't,they'll cry." (In  my head, you all cry when you miss me.)

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is because if any of you are embarking upon this amazing writing challenge...

I BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT.

Why?

BECAUSE YOU CAN DO THIS.

And when all else fails,

JUST KEEP WRITING.

So many people give up on NaNo because they think that what they write isn't brilliant or wonderful or pulitzer prize worthy. Well, guess what, it's supposed to be a first draft, so cut yourself some slack and JUST. KEEP. WRITING.

If you want to be my buddy on NaNo, find me under the name "Siv Samuelson" and I'll totally buddy you back. This month, we need all the support we can get to power through the writer's blocks.

You ready, duckies? Because I so think we've got this.

Get Ready to Be Jealous, Book Nerds.

Sorry for the late start today, but my body decided it hates me. I woke up to an excruciating pain in my head due to my stupid bone issues - but that's another post for another day. Today, I'm here to discuss something much more awesome: Dead Authors.

Let me back up... John Hamm has started annually hosting "Venetian Coffee Parties". They are very fancy, with lots of requirements: The first is that John Hamm spends almost an entire day baking fancy cakes and cookies for us to enjoy. The second requirement is that everyone must arrive in costume. Last year we all had to dress up from any decade of our choosing (I went with 1930's). That was a lot of fun, since it looked like a bunch of people jumped into a time machine and went to eat cake.

This year, however, we all had to arrive dressed as any dead author that we chose. It was awesome.

Here is a photograph of some of the people who attended:

Authors (left to right, back to front) Zelda Fitzgerald, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, John Steinbeck, Carl Sagan, Douglas Adams, Ayn Rand, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Mitchell

 

Yup. I went as Sylvia Plath. With an oven on my head. Get it? Too soon?

Apparently we weren't supposed to dress up in a way that included the death of the author, but I was the hit of the party, so whatever. Okay, not really the hit, but people thought it was funny. I even drew burners on the top of the box for a more accurate depiction of an oven. I thought it was awesome.

So yeah, my friends are so nerdy, but I love that about us. There were others who made appearances earlier that evening, like Plato and Jane Austen, but they did not stay long enough for the group photo. Those jerks.

Anyway, what did you do this week?

 

Also, don't forget to keep making your suggestions for the Book Review! Deadline for the February 1st Review is January 8th. Thanks!

Welcome to 2013, Folks. Let's Hope It Kicks Ass. Also, I Am Pleased to Announce: BOOK REVIEWS!!!

Sorry for the late post today. I woke up after last night's festivities and my laptop was totally dead, so I decided to let it charge a bit before sitting down and writing to you all. I hope you all had a fabulous New Years last night. I know I did! I worked at the restaurant until about 11 and then headed out to meet up with Dragon so that we could kiss at midnight.

Here are my resolutions:

1. Keep my apartment clean. I'm off to a terrible start.

2. Drink more water.

3. Take more pictures. I seriously have NO PHOTOGRAPHS from last night. That is sinful.

4. Start saving my money to go to massage school. It's been a dream for a long time and I think I need to finally start saving up to do that.

Let's see how many of those I actually end up doing...

Also, it seemed like a lot of you were interested in that whole book review thing that I mentioned about a week ago, so I built a page just for that. You'll see the link at the top. It says "Book Reviews". For this month, I'm going to make the cut-off for suggestions just one week, so that I can get reading and reviewing for February, but after that, suggestions can go all month, every month!

Okay, since this post wasn't really that funny, I promise to have something spectacular for you tomorrow. If you are looking for something else to read, please check out all the other blogs that I read on my page "Other Blogs You Should Be Reading!"

I Have This Idea...

So I've had this idea brewing in my head for a while now, but I want to know what you, my readers, have to say. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I'm an independent bookseller at a small bookshop in Northeast Ohio (which is currently up for sale and you should make a donation here to help my manager put the deposit on her business loan so that she can keep it from becoming a soulless name-brand clothing store!!). So, I spend a lot of my time around books. I love them.

In a way, they've become a major part of my life. I also know that there are quite a few of you out there who also love books, some of you are even authors, and I'm so jealous of that fact because I wish I could finish just one of the few books I've started writing, but that's a different story for a different day. Nobody needs to read my works of fiction... my factual life is already sometimes too much to handle!

So now I'm toying around with this idea of doing a monthly book review here on my blog. I know, I know: you all come here for laughs about how my dog shit himself or when my mother asks me for assless chaps, but I think there is a little room for some book-talk, don't you?

Around the same time that I started this blog, I had also started one just for reviewing books, but I got so swept up in this one, and no one was really reading my other one, so I shut it down. Now, however, I think that it might be a nice little feature. You know, just something on the side from all the hilarity that you come here for.

The way I was doing it before was this:

You all suggest what you want me to read next, I then pick one of those books at random and I read it and review it for you all, and then the process repeats every month. This way, you guys get to participate, and I get to read books I might never have picked up without you telling me to. It's kind of fun for everybody! (If you're into that kind of thing, which I am!)

So... feedback? Tell me what you think! I won't do it if no one is interested, but I thought I might throw it out there! 

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!