NaNo Kick-off

Yeah, I’ve probably mentioned NaNo more than I should have (it’s not even here yet!). This past Sunday was the Los Angeles Region Kick-off party. Which only serves to remind me that November is pretty much here. Time flies when you get older.

The party was at El Cholo restaurant in Paseo Colorado, Pasadena. I’ve been to the kick off twice—can’t remember if I went in 2011. Anyway, it’s always awesome because I get to see people that I haven’t seen or heard from for a year. Though I attend a writing group that meets in Pasadena as a year-round write-in with other Wrimos, many people only participate this one month. Always good to reconnect!

Anyway, the big mingling event we do is the Human Scavenger Hunt. This fun game is a list of qualities or information about people so we all get up and meet. Ranging from what type of project someone will be working on, to matching “Fairy Tale” notes in the swag bag, this always gets people up and moving. One of those items was “Has included a wombat in a previous Nano novel” and guess what? I was the only person there (save Viannah, who showed up later) to have done that task. So I was sought after! Great for me, as I gave away 30-40 business cards—again, thanks Karina Dale! I’m hoping this will drive people to my website for connections.

If you met me at the NaNo kick-off, let me know in the comments!

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(Clever Title Here)

A couple blogs ago, I mentioned National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short—man hitting that shift key is killer on the name). We are fast approaching November and I’ve found that the plot of the book I’ll be working on is already done—thank you past me.

(I got distracted by forums! Oh no!)

Anyway, I’ve put a lot of finishing touches together on the next issue of East Jasmine Review—the publication I started up early this year—and that’s been a bit draining. I think I’ve done it right this time by allowing myself 2 weeks from the end of submissions to publication date. Gives me some wiggle room to finalize everything. And then start writing like crazy.

I haven’t been writing a lot lately as I’ve had SO much other stuff going on that I’ve had to put writing on the back burner just to take care of the multitudes of issues popping up. But, I think I’ve finally got them under control.

WHEW.

Reading!

It’s been a long time since I posted anything about what I’ve been reading lately. So, here we go!

  1. A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  2. The Fates Will Find Their Wayby Hannah Pittard
  3. Teacher at Point Blankby Jo Scott-Coe

I’ll write a little bit about each of the books I’ve read. They are all quite different from each other in tone, style, and subject.  A Princess of Mars is an older novel from the early days of science fiction (1917). As such, it feels very much like the novels written during that time. In my eyes, they are very stiff and formal and employ a writing style I don’t like. The syntax is rather burdensome and follows the subordinating style popular at the time (which I find taken to extreme as annoying). The story itself is interesting and is arguably the start of modern science fiction, not to mention in that genre’s cannon.

The Fates Will Find Their Way follows a group of men as the progress from young teens to middle age. Often the story jumps time to bring in events as they seem to relate to the story, which focus on the disappearance of Nora Lindell. I found the style captivating and the prose easy to read. The heart of the story often drifted from Nora to bring in events that seemingly had nothing to do with the main focus. One thing that was rather frustrating was the lack of resolution in the story. I think it’s buried in there after two or three reads, but as such, I probably won’t read it again.

Jo Scott-Coe

I’m currently reading a work on nonfiction, Teacher at Point Blank, which I picked up at the Mt. SAC Annual Writers Weekend in 2011—yes I’ve been bad about sitting down to actually read it! Now feel sorry for all the other books that I’ve haven’t had a chance to get to. Though I’m not finished with this book, it is incredible. Scott-Coe is a phenomenal writer with prose so gorgeous it raises the subject matter to serious literary study. Her brilliance is captured in the dark moments of her life where she exposes the inherent “you can’t win” and complexities of teaching in public high schools. An undercurrent of feminist knowledge and belief fuels the book, bring to life the theories in a way that is undeniable.

“Fall”ing

Ever since I haven’t been to Starbucks for writing outside the house, I’ve become bad at writing blogs! Sorry folks! I’ll be trying to fix that soon.

Fall themed sixlets!
Fall themed sixlets!

The last couple weeks have been busy with work at the office—my boss’ daughter had surgery and is currently recovering—which means a nice paycheck for me, but I’ve fallen behind on the writing bandwagon. I’m making that up today. Lots to work on!

Karina and I have been communicating on Chapter 3 of Hawthorne Boulevard, and she’s going to have it finished a lot quicker than Chapter 2 (good news right? You won’t have me drawing stick figures). And that means I need to get on writing Chapter 5 and 6. I’ve had a long enough break from writing in that online graphic novel—which I’ve decided (and Karina too) is pretty much what we are doing. Funny story, Karina told me that when she laughs, she knows DB’s hair is finished. I want to see this happen!

Yesterday, at work, I hit a nasty wall in my graduate applications. You know that feeling that your brain is about to go into overdrive and start failing? That was me. And I was just getting information on deadlines and portfolio requirements, nothing more. My brain DOES NOT want to even start thinking about that process again. I don’t blame it! So to make it feel better and get further behind in my work, I played Mass Effect 2 for a few hours after work yesterday. I felt better. Until I woke up this morning with a huge to-do list.

Don’t worry, I’ll knock it out! Got some revisions, of course Chapter 5 to hammer out (outline is written, needs to be reworked and sent off again) and some other writing done. This time of year is always crazy. National Novel Writing Month is just around the corner, meaning I’ll be going crazy with all the writing (speaking of which, check out my classes at www.kandrewturner.com/courses)

Whew. So, how is your end of your year shaping up?

Portland, OR

As many of you lovely people know, I’m working on a web comic/graphic novel with the lovely and amazingly talented Karina Dale. And though it’s been a touch over one week, I went to Portland, OR to visit Karina and co.

(you can read the comic for free here: www.dbandmatty.com)

Let me just say, that I am now enamored of Portland. It was amazing! Went to my first burlesque performance, and have to say it was something I’d never experienced before. It was was cool to see. I could gush forever about it. But that’s not exactly the most exciting thing to read.

Karina and I met through the Teen Wolf fandom and got to talking all the time and we decided to work together to write a graphic novel/web comic (really it’s more a graphic novel but in web form?) and because this medium is really a first for both of us, we may be stumbling about a bit, but the story is absolutely amazing and the topics we cover are something that I don’t see much tackled by many writers or artists. Seriously, stop reading this and go click above if you haven’t started reading it—you’ll thank (curse) me later.

Anyway, the comic takes place in Portland, and wow. I’m glad I got to see the city and experience the feel of it so I can translate that to the page. It really is unlike any other place I’ve visited.

Also, I’d like to mention to those planning to participate in NaNoWriMo, check out my classes for NaNoPrep: www.kandrewturner.com/courses

I hope you’ve all had a wonder two weeks. I should be back to my regularly scheduled blogging soon!