Monday, August 29, 2011


So I thought hard about coming home and writing after my eureka moment. But then I was tired and cranky and this incredible guitar player on the subway was playing Hard Day's Night, so I came home and we played Beatles Rock Band instead. We are dorks. Very happy dorks.

After I kicked ass on She's Leaving Home and then didn't suck too hard on a bunch of other songs, I settled down to write.

838 new words. And a whole nother conversation is about to happen before the conversation that was giving me so many problems.

Now I have to go to sleep, but I feel jazzed and ready to keep writing. If only I could put this feeling on hold until tomorrow evening. Or writing group on Thursday.

When the going gets tough

The tough go shopping.

Or something.

Generally, things that are easy for me to write include: dialogue, description, one-liners, adorable children and descriptions of people talking to adorable children, wittily, about tea.

And redundancy.

Things that are hard for me to write include: plot, strong emotions, and flaws.

I am getting much better at flawing people, by the way. But it's sometimes hard to resist my urge to think that my characters must be PERFECT and BRILLIANT, because obviously, I would like to present that way to the world, myself, if I had a choice.

But I've had a general rule that if I find myself butting up against something and saying "but I dun waaaaanna", it's a pretty fair assumption that it's an important thing to work on.

So I've been butting up against what happens next in my book for weeks now. It's boring, I don't want to write it, it involves a lot of research, the more I think about it, the more I'm not sure I want so much of the focus to be on that aspect of the plot, etc.. And I know that most of those things are excuses for this thing that, for some reason, I just really don't want to write. So I assumed that it had to be Important To Work On, both for my development as a writer, and for the plot.

Turns out I woke up this morning with the realisation that the reason I hadn't been wanting to write it is that it just doesn't work. It does detract from the story. It is kind of pointless, there are BETTER ways around it which build up characters that are otherwise 2-dimensional! I can make it much more realistic. AND I don't have to betray a character's beliefs to get him into a situation he would never chose to go into.

Sometimes, I guess, when you can't make yourself write something? It's because you shouldn't be writing it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Things and stuff, but no string

I got a smartphone! I feel like I'm joining the 21st century. Also like my nose is going to end up stuck to it.

I moved. Did I mention that already? One day I will unpack all the boxes.

Started trying to tackle this book again. 9,000 words and a better sense of the plot. I need to draw a diagram. Sadly I don't draw very well.

I want to make a list of thrift stores I love, because people keep asking me about them, so I figured I'd put it here for ease of finding and also general knowledge.

For ultimate cheapness: Thrift by the Pound Goodwill in Astoria.
Next in cheapness, but a little better quality (and in Manhattan): Salval on 4th and 12th. 1/2 off Wednesdays
Decent quality, medium expense: Goodwill on 25th and 6th, 23rd and 3rd or 79th and Broadway
Great quality, slightly more expense: Goodwill on 8th and 6th. Sample sale stuff here a lot.
Slightly more vintage, more expensive: Housing Works, wherever they may be, Vintage Thrift on 3rd at 23rd, The Cure Diabetes thrift at 12th and 4th.
And then there's: Monk Thrift Shop on Macdougal just below 8th. It's in it's own, weird little class because it's mostly on the "good vintage but quite expensive" range, but sometimes has really nice things for like $5-15. And then it has a dollar rack. I love that dollar rack. So it's a mixed bag here, but if you're planning on hitting up the Goodwill on 8th anyway, it's right around the corner and open pretty late.

I think the ones I visit the most are the SalVal on 12th and 4th (but only on Wednesdays) and the Goodwill on 8th, swinging by the Monk dollar rack. Were Thrift by the Pound not in Astoria I'd be there every day. But it's something of an adventure. Like, bring water and powerbars, comfortable shoes, wear a bathing suit and you'll still leave with glazed eyes. Plus there's the mad episode I witnessed, not unlike the running of the bulls, when they bring out the new bins.

So, if you're looking for comfy and sturdy and cheap, hit up Thrift by the pound, Salval or the Goodwills in the 20s. If you're looking for huge discount but more expensive (in the $30s often) designer clothes and the ability to look like you're wearing next season's clothes, the Goodwill on 8th and if you want gorgeous, vintage, try the others.