Archive for the ‘Creative Writing’ Category
Posted on December 21, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
So I totally suck. After having the puppies, I apparently dropped off the planet. I didn’t mean to, but between caring for mama and puppies, five kids and getting ready for Christmas (plus a house guest immediately following Christmas), I did not update my blog this week. Sorry!!
Puppy News: Puppies are doing great. They are 1 week old today, and I will post pictures in a little bit, but if you want to see what they looked like at birth, check out the previous post. Mama is doing well too, and just over the past 48 hours has begun to want to be a bigger part of the family and come out for short intervals to play with the other dogs and kids. This makes me smile, because she is so different with her puppies this time. Very maternal, and I’m proud of her. Oh, and that puppy over there on the right? Not ours… but I would so do this to my puppies LOL That is so freakin’ cute! They aren’t big enough though.
Christmas News: I am finally finished shopping for my family. I have nothing left to buy for kids and hubby and this makes me smile. We decided to try a “secret santa” exchange between the kids instead of having them all buy stupid stuff for each other, and instead buy one really nice gift for one kid. I am proud of what they bought for their special person. I think this will definitely become a tradition.
Christmas Traditions: Our final Santa parade of 2010 was Sunday, and it was so bittersweet. We had an amazing time this holiday season and reminded us about what the season is about. It gave me little time for shopping but I think that was a good thing. We were so devoted to main street St. Charles every weekend. We have one last event for Christmas Traditions taking place the day after Christmas, but it is a silly and fun day, no parades and not as formal as the others. I will miss it.
Flash Mob: My girls & I joined a St. Louis Flash Mob, and have had a BLAST participating in everything. Unfortunately this past weekend was also the last one of the season, so our weekend was filled with bitter sweetness but we have the most amazing memories for Christmas 2010. LOVE IT! We’ll be mobbing again after the new year with a whole new song and dance.
MFA: I have decided to try and go back to school to earn my MFA (Masters of Fine Arts ) in Creative Writing. However, can I just say that finding programs is DIFFICULT to say the very least. Plus, I have two to choose from in my area (that have cropped up in just the past couple of years) but both are very limited in how many students they take. A total of 12 – 6 for poetry, 6 for fiction. I’m of course going for fiction. (would also like to check out the non-fiction area too). More on this later in another post, because through my research I learned a lot about the programs, and wish to share both my excitement and my frustrations. ha!
So that’s about it for now – will post those puppy pics in a little bit, but for now – you can just “awwwww” at the pics from last week.
Posted on November 8, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
I’m really not having that much of a problem trying to maintain my writing everyday, but with that said, since I’m trying to do the Reverse method of writing this year, I am a bit behind where I am supposed to be today. I’m supposed to be at 23,447 and I am just over 18,000. See, not quite there. That’s okay, because I am still ahead of regular NaNoWriMo, so I’m not really complaining.
I was trying to find different methods to try to see if I could race myself to write more shutting my inner editor up, because she likes to vocalize and be heard all through my writing. It’s annoying. Write or Die is great, but I haven’t really felt compelled to use it this year.
I did however find mytomatoes.com and it has been an interesting tool to use to try to get as much writing done as I can in a short amount of time. I don’t know that there is anything all that special about it, only that for some reason its fun and reminds me a little of the thrill I get when I participate in word wars. I’m notorious for missing word wars and word sprints on twitter, so this works the same way.
The idea is basically teaching you time management by using a cooking timer. Click on the link, load the page, sign in or register and start the time. As soon as the 25 minutes appears, go write. Write and Write and Write. Don’t stop. Don’t edit. JUST WRITE. Get as many words as you can in that 25 minutes. For me, I sometimes just need accountability. I also love that you do the task (whatever you WANT to do) for 25 minutes and then you take a 5 minute break. The alarm goes off and you start again. This gives you time for a reward, a potty break, getting coffee or food. When you hear the alarm again – its time to start a new tomato.
I have enjoyed this so far… I can usually get about 2 or 3 tomatoes in (sometimes 4 of 5) before I actually need to get up and do something else for a bit. I love that it gives me the time to do all of this. Check it out. If you need a push, this might be just the thing you need.
Posted on October 23, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
We are one week out from the beginning of NaNoWriMo. If you feel a little unprepared, there is still time to fix that, or time for you to accept the fact with pride, that you will be winging it. Either way, it’s almost time. This isn’t going to be one of those NaNoWriMo posts, because the info I share, should help anyone who is a writer, not just someone about to embark on the craziest month of their year. The funny part of that is, I have many new people in my life who have NO idea how bad this month can get – and have no idea how stressed and frazzled I will be when I arrive at activities and events. I have my little netbook charged and ready to go so I can take it with me, when I am stuck at an activity. Of course, we’ll see how much writing I get done at these things.
So with one week left, where should you be? This is the same information that would be helpful to anyone sitting down to write a novel, whether they have a month or a year.
At this point, you should have a summary, some character development, an outline and the drive to get going.
Your summary does not have to be written out. In my mind, a summary is nothing more than a blurb about what you expect your book to be about. If you don’t know what you are going to be writing, writing might be challenging and you might find yourself stuck after a couple of days and several thousand words. It has happened to me before. At least go in with SOME idea, even if it is just character development sketches.
Your character development doesn’t have to be extreme. Just knowing names, and an idea of the role the character will play in your story, is a good start. You still have a week to push forward and figure out more information. Take a quiz or fill out a character development sheet. These will help. (more on these coming this week).
I have an outline this year. I had one last year. Last year is the first year that I did not struggle to complete my novel in the 30 days. In fact, I finished early. The outline made it easier. Last year I used post it notes and did a timeline of the story. When I got stuck, I looked at what came next, and figured out how to get there. It was a lot easier than staring at a blank white page and figuring out what to type next or where to go with the story. This year, I planned a bit more and did an outline of sorts. The biggest reason I did this, is because I had two story ideas and I didn’t want them to cross each other. I have a huge problem hushing my inner editor and my muse is kinda vocal when I’m writing. I need both to behave, so I thought if I had an outline – something to follow – something that showed me where I wanted the story to go – this might help. I know it did last year. There is still time for you to formulate some kind of outline. It doesn’t have to be complete, or even detailed. Just something to help you write.
My drive to get going is ridiculous. I am itching to write this story. I know I have a good idea, I know it will be easy to write – now I’m ready to write it. This week long stretch into the start of NaNo is always the hardest for me. What about you?
Posted on October 11, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
This is so awesome. Every year people make videos and write songs and whatever… I love this parody and I am spending way too much time watching it, I need to get back to work. But I thought I would share…
Posted on September 22, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
Scratch the previous post where I was temporarily questioning my decision not to do NaNoWriMo this year. I’m doing it. I think all along I knew I was doing it. But something was holding me back. I realized that I have done this for the past two years – questioned my decision to do it. And I always wind up doing it at the end.
Yesterday, I had a major inspiration moment – I know exactly what I am going to write, an idea that has been formulating in my brain for a long time. I don’t know what changed. I was sitting there by myself at the park watching my kids practice for their fife and drum corp (which has nothing to do with it, btw) and not only did inspiration hit – but I could visualize the whole story in my head. That hasn’t happened in a long time where I can actually see the beginning, the middle and the end. Usually I only have pieces, and I have to figure out how to put them all together when I am writing them. But this time, the only thing I really have to do is connect the dots, so to speak. I have to write the story all the way, but the only stuff I can’t foresee coming, is the stuff that connects the beginning, middle and end. That’s okay. In my opinion, this might be the easiest NaNo I’ve done. And I’m thrilled that the inspiration took hold before September was out, so I have plenty of time to figure it all out.
I usually don’t plan ahead. I write with “literary abandon” as the site suggests and at the end I have a somewhat decent story but that holds lots of plot holes that have to be filled in at the end. This should be different, I hope. This year, I am hoping to have an outline ahead of time, some character sketches (because right now, the characters are still foreign to me, I need to get to know them), and a few minor details in place. Why doesn’t this happen every year?
In the meantime, I plan to do some outlining, research and spend a little time on the forums getting to know new peeps and fleshing out some of the meatier parts of the story. Very excited.
The only thing I don’t like about September? They haven’t wiped the boards clean on NaNo yet, so everything that is posted now, will be deleted around Oct. 1. I know, its not that far away, I can wait.
Have you come up with your idea yet? Are you participating this year?