Friday, July 23, 2010

follow me! or don't!

i've been not so great at updating my blog, i admit.
really, i'm trying to spare you every a-ha related thought that goes through my mind!

fellow blogger neurotic workaholic wrote this post about blogs, followers, and empty compliments.

i follow a fair amount of blogs, and there was a time when i could read all those and comment every time they had a new post. but honestly, it's been really hard lately to do that between the KidLit (and a-ha), thinking about the changes i need to make to my wip (and a-ha), and working on a business venture with mr. write (and a-ha). really, of all the blogs i follow, there are only a handful i regularly check.

i know followers are very important to some bloggers, and that's all fine and good.
but that's not me.
it might have to do with my personality. i'm more of a "take me or leave me" kind of gal. i find it too exhausting to be everything to everyone, so i figure i'll just the best me i can be.

i'm grateful for the readers i have, and i love when they take the time to leave comments.
but my self-esteem is not measured by a box of profile pictures on the side of my blog. my goal has never been to collect followers, or even a "fan base". if it were, i would have continued with my other blog, which although is never updated, still gets hundreds of hits a week. in fact, that blog is just about to have it's millionth hit, and although i'm happy people still get enjoyment out of it, i feel the same way about that blog as i do my current one:
if you want to read it, great! if not, ok.

some bloggers brainstorm on how to get more followers and suggest holding contests and giving out blog awards. if that's what works for you, and it's what you want to do, fantabulous.
but again, that's not me.

although i tend to follow blogs by unpublished writers, i wouldn't exactly consider myself a part of their community. not because i don't think they are a great group of people, just that where i update sporadically, they update regularly.
where i go on and on about my favorite band, they have themed posts dealing with the writing craft.
where i only use vague and cryptic terms when discussing my wip, they go into great detail.

i've made genuine friends on blogger. friends i couldn't have met if my time had been spent trying to accumulate more followers.
in a nutshell: i blog for the love of it, and i am happy to take this ride with all of you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

life imitating art (or at least a first effort novel)

i'll start off by saying i've done absolutely no work on my novel.
i know i should, and i'm sure i will, but right now i have quite a full plate.

of course, there is always time for a-ha!

for the moment i am decidedly anti-twitter, but that doesn't stop me from checking up on my favorite norwegian men. it was quite a pleasant surprise to see them uploading pictures from the set of their video shoot. i was, like many other fans, incredibly pleased to learn their last single would indeed have a video to accompany it.
but then they uploaded the end of day/video shoot wrap picture. 

and i was totally blindsided.

i can only guess what these three men were feeling as they embraced each other. 
the image alone was enough to bring tears to my eyes. 
and imagining the waves of emotions they must have been feeling as they shared a last hug on their final video shoot kept the tears flowing.

so what does this have to do with my first novel? 
nothing, i thought. until my friend pointed out i was pretty much acting the same way as a character in the manuscript:

Remember your best friend that lived and breathed for a certain musician or band? Rio does, but the friend is her mother and the band is from the 80's. LAST TIME LA LUNA is the story of Rio Luna's attempt to live her life in the present and escape her mother's unrelenting obsession with the past. Rio (named after the hit song by Duran Duran) is convinced Momma's fanatical behavior has permanently branded "MISFIT" upon her forehead. Having grown up without knowing her father, or experiencing life as a "normal" teenager, she spends her days wishing Momma would get with the times.   
When realizing Momma enjoys living in the past more than she enjoys existing in the present, Rio at last begins to take responsibility for her own happiness, but just as she starts to blossom, Momma spirals into a deep depression after waking up from her 80's induced haze to find the world has passed her by. Frightened by the empty shell of a woman before her, Rio does everything she can to get her Duran Duran obsessed mother back, stumbling across her long lost father in the process. His sudden appearance bewilders Rio and causes Momma to instantly regress to 1984 and her teenage romance. As Rio's and Momma's individual needs clash head on, both mother and daughter are forced to face past and present together. Rio's shame and resentment towards Momma melt into empathy and support and she finds her life filled with more than she ever wished for.

now it wasn't exactly flattering to hear i was mirroring the same obsessive behaviour of one of my characters. in fact, as i wrote the novel it was my intent to show Momma as selfish and immature. imagine the great fun i had realizing i'd pretty much prophesied my own emotional state.

the truth is, i've always wished i were a teenager in the 80s. and i wrote the Momma character through my own personality filter. so her reaction to her favorite band losing two original members, and my reaction to a-ha disbanding are almost identical. when i wrote the novel i had no idea i would actually live some of it. yes, it was cathartic when i wrote it, but i had no clue how close to home it would actually hit.

i guess i can be pleased i managed to write something so realistic. and if i really do have the ability to predict the future, i can breathe easy since Momma's story does indeed have a happy ending.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

rah, rah ,rah!

i'd love to tell you the reason i've been absent from the blogosphere is because i've been cracking away at my manuscript - furiously flying through my revisions so i can start the climactic ending of my novel.
that would be a big fat lie.

i KNOW i'm supposed to be working on my opening chapters and making my work more cohesive and polished.
i KNOW i have to actually complete the darn thing if i'm ever going to submit it.
and i KNOW i should dedicate the small amount of free time i have to my writing.

i am heavily distracted. and of course you already know by who:

so, color me obsessed.
but can you blame me? they will only exist as a band for six more months.
i think that well entitles me to listen to their cds, watch their videos, swoon over photos, fantasize about...erm, uh, you know what i mean.

i know once the year is out, and my favorite group has disbanded, i will no longer be acting like an infatuated preteen. strange as it may sound, it's been fun to experience all this again as an adult in control of her life as opposed to the girl who felt helpless and had to turn to music as her only source of comfort. in a way it feels like i get to fully enjoy their music for what it is, instead of drawing from it what i needed.

i can't say for sure i'd be feeling this flood of emotions so strongly if i weren't in the middle of writing a YA novel. but, knowing me, i can't say for sure i wouldn't, either.

mr. write has been a dream about all this.
he's tolerated my love for a-ha for as long as he's known me. in fact, one of the first times he and i snuggled i dreamily informed him, "you smell like my a-ha book" so it's not like he didn't know what he was getting into when we started dating.
he was even genuinely happy for me when i scored tickets to their sold out concert in london.

yup - you read that right!

of course, this doesn't necessarily mean i'll actually be able to make it over the pond to see them, but at least i have tickets to their (very special and once in a lifetime) show at the RAH.

so, now that there is a glimmer of hope i might be able to see my band perform one last time, i REALLY need to get back on track with my novel. 
but who am i kidding? there's a ton of youtube videos calling my name right now.