Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap of Faith

Today, it's that awesome, comes-only-once-every-4-years, special day that -- to me -- always feels like a gift from the gods. As usual, I have too much to do. Too much to try to accomplish before the end of the month. So I'm grateful for an extra 24 hours. And, sure, I'm excited about a few things that will be happening in March (we have some big family/friend birthdays and anniversaries ahead) but, ohhhh, I am nowhere close to being ready for the projects I have due in the next few weeks either...not to mention my own personal deadlines... 

One of those personal deadlines involves finishing a draft of a new manuscript this spring -- a novel that I started writing "for fun" (because authors are insane and desperately in need of normal hobbies) about a year and a half ago, and it's a book that is not quite like anything else I've ever worked on. This scares me to no end. I wouldn't say the subject matter is so wildly different from my prior projects (although there are a few elements that are brand new to me) but, rather, that the writing process for this book has been unusual from the beginning. Typically, I'm a loose but dedicated plotter. I outline. I adore Blake Snyder's beat sheet -- you all already knew that. Well, this particular book doesn't seem to want to be outlined. I've tried to do the beats for it FOUR separate times, and every time the last 5 or 6 beats have changed on me... And, while there is certainly a character-study side to the narration, this happens to be a story with A LOT of plot!! I, quite literally, need to know what's going to happen in the later chapters so I can, you know, write the middle! The fact that I'm having to fly into the mist so much with this manuscript is, for me, like some crazy leap into the unknown...every single time I work on it. 

So, rather fittingly, I am spending today -- Leap Day -- mostly offline and primarily writing. I need to close my eyes and take a few jumps into the story's future. I'm not at all sure where I'll land by the day's end, just that I hope (!!) I'll be a little further along on my characters' journey by tomorrow. What about you? How are you spending this extra gift of a day?!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Are You Pinteresting?

Because I needed a new social network like I needed cement boots and a push into a very deep lake, I avoided Pinterest for months. I'd heard excited rumblings about it being "so fun," "so cool" and, worst of all, "so addictive but you'll love it"... I wisely stayed away.

Well, I'm wise no longer. Curiosity of this online bulletin-board-like site got the better of me this weekend, and I signed up: www.pinterest.com/marilynbrant

I've only just begun pinning, but two hours of searching through awesome photos and other people's interesting pages was, clearly, insufficient to satisfy me today. I want to create more boards! I want to start labeling the ones I've already begun! I want to sift through more, more, more pictures of Nutella brownies and Budapest and glass necklaces and pasta and adorable raccoons! SO MUCH VISUAL COOLNESS IN ONE PLACE!!!

I know. This will lead to no good for me. It hasn't even been 6 hours and I already love it too much. I think I'm going to have to treat Pinterest like dessert -- something I get to enjoy only after I've finished my main meal or, in my case, my main writing tasks for the day. But...I justify my involvement (because I have a background in psychology as well as art) by telling myself that it will be HELPFUL for my writing because I can make up special bulletin boards for each of my books. And include recipes, where applicable. And favorite lines. And images of Jane Austen...and European sites...and fancy coffee drinks...and ice cream sundaes...and...and...and...ohhhh, I wanna go do it again RIGHT NOW!!!

(*Forcing self away from keyboard*)

So, are any of you Pinteresting already? Hmm?? If so, what do you think of it? If not, are you tempted?!