Friday, July 21, 2017

Status Update

Time flies when you're having fun . . . or not having fun. I guess it has been a mix of both since my last post. Currently, I am doing Camp NaNoWriMo and trying to rewrite a draft of a novel that I pitched to an agent at PPWC (by the way, this was a huge agent and if I mentioned his name, you would probably recognize it and boy would my face be red.) He was really interested in the idea and I came home, hopped on the computer hoping to give the ms a quick rewrite so I could send it off to him and I could only find a few pages. So, that was upsetting, but I didn't let it get me down too much. Unfortunately, shortly after that happened and I got back on the writing every day bandwagon, one of my dogs knocked a glass of Bloody Mary into my Macbook Pro and killed it. I know I'm creative, but seriously: I can't make this stuff up.

General Updates

The good news is, I'm on track with my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo and it's going well. I have some really good ideas that I came up with at the conference that I'm putting to good use and I like to think everything happens for a reason. Even on the days I don't totally believe that, you know what? It is what it is; we're going with it.

For the uninitiated, PPWC stands for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. It is an annual conference in Colorado Springs at the Colorado Springs Marriot--as far as I know, it is held there every year and will continue to be. If you are seriously interested in taking your writing career to the next level, I can't help but recommend that conference. First, it's a lot of fun. Colorado Springs is beautiful, and in April, it's usually nice. Second, all the big dogs from literary agencies attend, plus editors, and writers.

Camp NaNoWriMo is the summer version of NaNoWriMo which is our beloved National Novel Writing Month (aka November.) I can't usually participate in NaNoWriMo because I tend to entertain a lot around the holidays because I like to cook. I like entertaining too, I just wish I could actually afford to pay someone else to clean and organize my house before and after.

Summer Reading Updates

This part is fun: I couldn't get my hands on summer reading lists for local schools before we went into full on summer mode, and my day job as a therapist has not slowed down at all until just this week. So, here we are in the last week of July, and actually, next week, I think I have 18 appointments booked. That's not really a light week. Not at all. Meanwhile, I have to write more.

I'm going to see what I can find out about books that typically get assigned. I know I've already read quite a few of them, so I will post the reviews I already have of some of those, and if I don't already have a review, I'll write one. I was doing some thinking this afternoon and there are a few classics that Audible has gotten some really good people to narrate for you, so I want to highlight some of those as well.

I guess summer reading for most high schools has become optional and I'm not sure how I feel about that. There's a part of me that believes since I had to do it, everyone else should have to do it too, but I know that's small of me. I'm not actually in favor of anyone mandating that high school students read certain books over the summer, especially since the selections are usually totally arbitrary (I know that they often check a box for whatever the educational agenda du jour happens to be, but it's still arbitrary.) The books aren't chosen with entertainment value in mind, and it's a shame since we have plenty of books available to us that are entertaining and serve as good examples of why it's important for us to have access to a good body of literature as a well rounded and educated society. I'm not just referring to "high brow" literature here either. Also, not all "high brow" literature is a slog. Jack London is entertaining and definitely literature.

Yes, there's a stigma associated with reading. A lot of students get called "bookworm" or are seen as nerdy or lame or like they don't have anything else to do if they're "caught" reading. Here's the thing though: as you get older, that matters less. What matters more is whether or not you can think critically and actually have something of substance to say. If you're well-read, that all comes much more easily, and reading a lot makes it much easier to be well-read. So do yourself a favor and get started as soon as you can. You might even like it.

photo credit: Rolf Kirchner the bike via photopin (license)