4.25.2008

The Reading...and the Writing...Games

Can you believe April is just about over? Time passes so quickly; I find this concept very difficult to accept and grasp. We are only here 90 years or so, and man, we have to cram in a lot of living in between jobs, shampooing and conditioning the hair, cleaning dustbunnies from under the bed, and chopping vegetables.

Not a great segue, but this does lead me willy-nilly to my book reading. I managed to avoid Colette's Pure and Impure for my March Dangerous Read. It wasn't that it was too dangerous; the prose was more like Virgina Woolf lite, and the first dozen pages or so melted in my brain like so much English toffee. So, I put that down and took refuge in rereading a biography of Dian Fossey and an account of the Titanic sinking (nothing like other people's misfortunes to get you over feeling angry about having to wait for the cable guy on Saturday).

Picked up a silly book. The title got me: Bookmarked to Die. I knew it had to be bibliocentric, and sure enough, the protaganist is a librarian, Helma Zukas. She was a bit too priggish for my tastes, and the story was basic -- two local authors are murdered, the Police Chief (who happens to be Helma's beau) is mad at her so she must regain his trust by solving the mystery. Or something like that. It was silly fun, easy to read, and not too offensive. I figured it would be a good basic book to look at for writing mysteries.

Next up is what portends to be a more literary take on a crime novel, Lisa Lutz's The Spellman Files. I'd really like to find some more noir, too, a la James Cain. Love that hardboiled grit.

Re the writing schedule: I'm keeping it simple and doable. 3 times a week during lunch or after work, 1 hour on weekends. I have my best energy and focus mid-day, and that's when I usually exercise. Now will balance that with writing. It's got to be part of the day; otherwise, will just slip off the radar.

I joined the organization Sisters in Crime, too. A few weeks ago I went to a luncheon they hosted in San Francisco, and the people were great. (Much more laid-back than the usual egomaniacal lit-uh-awry stiffs I typically meet at writing events.) They have a good local chapter. I'm hoping that the networking and events will keep me motivated, too.

Anyone out there who wants to commiserate over or share writing experiences, feel free to email me or post here.

9 comments:

Not-So-Secret Admirer Who Somes Calls Himself Brandon said...

"Hard-boiled grit"? Well, I can make a mean hard-boiled egg. ;)

Charlotte said...

Loving the above flirtatiousness ...

That aside, I'm all for sharing writing experiences. I'm into Chapter Five and my writing cheerleaders are making positive noises. This novel died three years ago at precisely this point (30,000 words), so this is a crisis point for me. I have, have, have to keep going.

You too, Ms LitKit.

Dorothy W. said...

Your writing schedule sounds great. That's how I wrote my dissertation -- an hour a day, six or seven days a week. It's amazing how quickly the writing can accumulate on what seems like very little time.

Courtney said...

i love the sound of your writing schedule (and I will be emailing you soon) - I'm doing an every other day schedule, and exercising on the other days. Interestingly, I have to both condition my hair and chop vegetables today...

dennis said...

Dennis likes hardboiled too.

bleeding espresso said...

Oh I hear you on making the schedule. I have a novel-in-progress sitting here for a few years now because I can't seem to make the time. But that's what I have to do, and I know it.

Best of luck to both of us!

Litlove said...

I'm all for sharing writing experiences. I'm hovering at the start of two pieces of writing, both of which I dread for different reasons and so I get a headache as soon as I approach them. I mean literally: approach the keyboard - wham! headache - walk away and ahhh peace again. I like your disciplined writing schedule very much and will do something similar. After all, a headache for an hour at a time can't be so bad, can it?

Kristi said...

Found your blog through Weekly Geeks.

Your writing schedule sounds great and getting involved with a local writing chapter like Sisters in Crime is a great step in the right direction. I write romantic suspense and hope to have my first novel finished this year (I'm also a professional freelance writer - so I understand the need for a schedule *LOL*). Good luck to you!

~Kristi (Passion for the Page)

Andi said...

Right now, my writing schedule consists of blogging . . . that's about it. But in two weeks, when the semester is over and I have the glorious summer off, I'm putting myself on a four hour a day schedule. I only have three months, so I have to be rigorous. But maybe in the fall I'll try something like yours so that I can keep it up.