Write it Out

Notebooks

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Sometimes, I have trouble saying what I mean.  I either fumble my words or go into a meandering stream of “likes” and “you know’s” as I float toward what it is I meant to say.

Usually, I’m at my fumbliest when I lack proper sleep and rest.  You can imagine how bumbly I was at the height of the holiday season when sleep was at its lowest and the people interactions were at its highest.  It’s like my mouth was falling down the stairs.

All that to say…

This past week was more challenging than usual in terms of writing.  I know this may be contrary to say, but it’s like I had too many words.  I wanted to address so many things in my Work In Progress (aka, The Hot Mess) that the words got clogged somewhere in the assembly line that starts with my brain elves tinkering with ideas, and then shooting those ideas down through my fingers to become inked words on paper.

Most of the time, a morning session of stream of consciousness writing can get me to push past that clog and get the assembly line back in working order.  This time, though, was the first time in a long time that I found I had nothing to say.

I tried writing on my laptop.  I tried scribbling in my notebook.  I tried writing in different environments.  I even tried writing other things, like new pages for my blog.

Nothing.

The malaise in writing culminated to yesterday, when I had the day off to catch up on my writing, a habit I adopted from my NaNoWriMo days.  The only thing I seemed to have words for were crits for my friend, WookiesGirl.  Though I had plenty of comments in my crits for her, I could barely write the email that went along with those crits.  (I also owe Melissa an email about my WIP.)

Then, I encountered this post and just shook my head.

I was so focused on getting something for my WIP that I forgot the very reason why I started Novel-writing in the first place: to have fum.

Sure, I have goals, and I like to achieve them.  But the reason why I started my goal was the fun and joy of writing and creating new worlds and characters.  I enjoyed the challenge of it.

However, I became so focused on it, that I didn’t give my brain elves random things to work with.  Heck, I didn’t even give them time to rest and recharge.

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.-Kahlil Gibran

So, yesterday, I read without guilt.  I tweeted without guilt.  I watched Firefly and Avatar: The Last Airbender, Book 2.  I had dinner with my husband, and laughed at how awesome we are.

And, when I got to my desk this morning, a torrent of words splashed on to the page.  I couldn’t scribble fast enough.

So, Tell Me: How do you revive your muse?

Across the Universe: A Gift For Me, A Gift For You

A Gift for Me.

My birthday is next week.

For at least a decade, I have celebrated a birthday week  or month.  This year, I am very honored to share a Birthday Season with Kayla Olson (Happy Birthday Season!! *glitter shower*), AND with Beth Revis’s debut novel, Across the Universe.

“Nothing’s going to change my world…” Across the Universe, The Beatles

This past November, I had the privilege of reading the ARC of Across the Universe, thanks to Melissa and Kayla’s thoughtfulness.  I remember my delight when my mail-(wo)man hand-delivered the packaged ARC because she didn’t want to scrunch it in my mailbox.  I tore that priority mail envelope open, took a picture, had dinner with The Hubs, and then  proceeded to read that story that night (and into the next day).  I was behind about 5,000 words for NaNoWriMo at that point, but believe me, the lack of sleep, and adding an extra kamikaze do-or-die writing day for NaNoWriMo, was worth it.

(To see how The Want started, read this post by Melissa; The Want intensified after seeing this tribute by Kayla.  Also, see the aftermath of the time I totally made the universe give Melissa an ARC here.  I have actual magical powers.)

In a word, Across the Universe is luminous.  It is an absolute pleasure to read.  Everything about it appeals to me, from the beautiful (purple-y!) cover, to the Firefly influences, to the fact that it is set to launch 1.11.11.  All these things (and more) made this book the perfect 2011 birthday present to myself.

Since I can’t seem to post a non-spoiler review, I invite you to click here to read the summary of the book on Beth’s site. And, you can read chapter one here, and judge for yourself the buzz worthiness of this book.

Sidenote:

Admittedly, I have come across a lot of fabulous books throughout my reading career.  But, the tipping point for me in supporting this book is the author herself, Beth RevisShe is a fantastic author role model, and constantly engages with her readers through social networks.  Also, reading about her career transition from full-time teacher to full-time novelist earned her my undying loyalty, respect and admiration. Read about it here.

A Gift For You.

So, in honor of Happy Birthday Season (*confetti*), and because I love Across The Universe, and admire Beth so much, I will run my blog’s VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY.

The prize?  A copy of Across the Universe. (have you seen the reversible cover??)

Amy's or Elder's perspective...you decide!

Because this is my VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY and since it’s Happy Birthday Season, I am opening this GIVEAWAY to international readers, too. *waves to international readers* *I wish I were multilingual*

Rules (because they’re fun!):

To enter this GIVEAWAY for a chance to receive your very own copy of Across the Universe, simply subscribe to this blog using that “subscribe me” button to the right, AND leave me a comment below!  That’s it!  You will be entered into the drawing.  (Previously subscribed blog friends are of course eligible, too! Just leave me a comment below to let me know you want to be entered into the fun!)

I will begin counting entries TODAY Monday, January 10, 2011 12:00 AM EST until January 17, 2011 11:59 PM EST (My birthday, whatwhat!)

You MUST be subscribed to this blog and comment below to enter this contest.

(Please make sure your email address is correct.  If I don’t get a reply within 24 hours of contacting you, I will move on to the next winner.  I want to send out the book to the winner no later than Wednesday, January 19, 2011, so PLEASE ensure I can contact you!)

You can earn SIX ADDITIONAL entries* by:

1. Following me on Twitter

2. Following Beth Revis on Twitter

3. Tweeting about this contest

4. “Like”-ing Across the Universe on Facebook

5. Blogging about this contest (worth 2 entries)

Maximum entries: SEVEN

*This is on you honor.  Just leave a comment below for every entry you’ve earned.  (For example, if you “Like”-d Across the Universe on Facebook, followed Beth on Twitter, and blogged about this contest, you would leave four separate comments in addition to the one telling me that you are subscribed to this blog and want to be entered into the contest.  So, in this example, you would have earned five entries, so you would enter a total of five separate comments.)

** Previous Twitter followers and Facebook likers are also eligible for your extra entries!  Just leave me a comment per entry on this post!

The winner will be chosen via random.org (which is why you should ensure that each entry is in its own comment box.)

Gratitude

Thank you for celebrating Birthday Week with me (and Kayla and Across the Universe!).  It gives me great joy and happiness to be able to give what little I can back to the reading world that has nurtured me for so long.

And, depending on the level of participation I get here, I will do more giveaways like this in the future.

Tell Me: What upcoming releases are YOU looking forward to THIS year? (I may include it in future giveaways! :D)