I AM THE UNRELIABLE NOVELIST

Things You Should Know, Week 37

Oh heyyyy, nice to see you! What you been up to the last 30 days? Me, I’ve become a blogger with mixed feelings about the internet!

Do I contradict myself? Very well then yada yada Walt Whitman.

ALSO OMFG speaking of wasted time, I’ve just spent an hour trying to sync up these f’d up video and audio tracks, to no avail. Consider this video confirmation that I am in fact a very large, very photorealistic puppet.

Things You Should Know, Week 27

1. As always, the Shout Outs herein are accompanied by gushing tribute on the Acknowledgments Page, along with a donation made in your names to 826 National.

2. Some day I should post the bloopers from these videos, as they are far more entertaining than the intended content.

3. Ben: I forgot to tell you a) I love Roman Holiday! and b) your bespoke poem is forthcoming. I swear!

Things You Should Know, Week 26

Feeling like you wanna vote in the plot polls but don’t know WTF is going on?

Well readers (and non-readers), this week is for you!

In celebration of the unofficial more-or-less I’m-pretty sure halfway point of this feminist fairytale spy novel, I’m rolling out some New! Faster! Smarter! Better! ways to catch up on the plot.

The first is weekly videos. Henceforth, the Monday Things You Should Know posts will include my chatting head giving you all the juicy details you need in order to tell me what to do next.

In fact, this week’s installment recaps THE ENTIRE NOVEL TO DATE in a record five minutes and 41 seconds! By far the speediest way to get up to speed so you can vote on Plot Poll #15.

Tomorrow I will reveal yet another recapitude option. One the world has never seen before! (No seriously, it’s new.)

And of course, there’s always just, you know, reading. Which can be done the short way here, or the long, salacious and satisfying way here.

I can’t believe we’re halfway there. I can’t believe you’ve stuck with me this far.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Things You Should Know, Week 25

Welcome to Hot Lips Studio! After almost a month of steady-as-she-goes migration, my little writing office is now fully decorated, including an entire wall covered in Hot Lips by Benjamin Moore. 

Why? 

BECAUSE I CAN.

Actually, the color I was really going for was Gypsy Pink, but HOT LIPS had me at HOT LIPS.

Anyhoosy, things are going swimmingly over here. Some kickass style selections have been offered over the last couple days, most notably by readers Lisa Kitto and Yarrow Kae. Check out their mad steeze on the Unreliable Novelist Pinterest board. And don’t forget to add your own suggestions! Write-In #4 ends at midnight.

(For those of you not so sartorially inclined, you can offer anonymous opinions by giving a simple thumbs ups or down on last week’s posts.)

Very excited for the next excerpt. Until tomorrow…xx High-res

Things You Should Know, Week 25

Welcome to Hot Lips Studio! After almost a month of steady-as-she-goes migration, my little writing office is now fully decorated, including an entire wall covered in Hot Lips by Benjamin Moore.

Why?

BECAUSE I CAN.

Actually, the color I was really going for was Gypsy Pink, but HOT LIPS had me at HOT LIPS.

Anyhoosy, things are going swimmingly over here. Some kickass style selections have been offered over the last couple days, most notably by readers Lisa Kitto and Yarrow Kae. Check out their mad steeze on the Unreliable Novelist Pinterest board. And don’t forget to add your own suggestions! Write-In #4 ends at midnight.

(For those of you not so sartorially inclined, you can offer anonymous opinions by giving a simple thumbs ups or down on last week’s posts.)

Very excited for the next excerpt. Until tomorrow…xx

Things You Should Know, Week 24

A quick accounting of the weekend:
4 pots double-strength Blood Orange Puerh
big salads
JUICES
hip-hop dance class
1 vigorous run up the hills
(or interpretive dance w unisex culottes? I’LL NEVER TELL)
romantic comedy that A.O. Scott didn’t hate
also CHEESE

= 2,275 words!

I have been known to roll my eyes WAAAYY back in my head when people brag about their daily habits on social media (even though I’m a hypocrite) because WHO CARES WHAT YOU HAD FOR BREAKFAST OR HOW MANY MILES YOU RAN, but I feel the need to take note here in case there is indeed some correlation between whatever the hell I did this weekend and how god damn productive I’ve been.

Was it the Jason Segel internal lust mob?
Whipping my hair back and forth (and the ensuing whiplash)?
Consuming enough cave-aged caffeine to choke Mulan’s horse?
The CHEESE?

People, how do I keep this going???

Things You Should Know, Week 23

Moving distractions and boy cooties aside, I’m having a great time digging into the novel these days. So I’m especially excited that I have almost a whole delicious week laid out in front of me without a single client deadline. HALLELUJAH.

This process is just so god damn interesting, in a floating above my body sort of way. I try to keep that abstract fascination in mind, even during those awful times when I’m stuck in the doldrums, no sight of land, running out of rice rations and catching rain water in the sails. 

Speaking of rations, this article in The Awl about the relative cost of eight women writers making it in New York is AMAZE. Por exemplo:

"The first week of January 1925, Zora Neale Hurston moved to New York City, as she recalled, with a dollar and fifty cents in her purse, ‘no job, no friends, and a lot of hope,’" as one of her biographers put it.

The equivalent young female writer arriving in New York in search of literary success in 2012 (as calculated by the CPI Inflation Calculator) would have $19.51 in her purse, which could buy breakfast at Balthazar, or a pack of smokes and one Happy Hour cocktail, or about ten hours’ rent.

Any writer with big city expenses (or at least big city dreams) will relate.  Read it! High-res

Things You Should Know, Week 23

Moving distractions and boy cooties aside, I’m having a great time digging into the novel these days. So I’m especially excited that I have almost a whole delicious week laid out in front of me without a single client deadline. HALLELUJAH.

This process is just so god damn interesting, in a floating above my body sort of way. I try to keep that abstract fascination in mind, even during those awful times when I’m stuck in the doldrums, no sight of land, running out of rice rations and catching rain water in the sails.

Speaking of rations, this article in The Awl about the relative cost of eight women writers making it in New York is AMAZE. Por exemplo:

"The first week of January 1925, Zora Neale Hurston moved to New York City, as she recalled, with a dollar and fifty cents in her purse, ‘no job, no friends, and a lot of hope,’" as one of her biographers put it.

The equivalent young female writer arriving in New York in search of literary success in 2012 (as calculated by the CPI Inflation Calculator) would have $19.51 in her purse, which could buy breakfast at Balthazar, or a pack of smokes and one Happy Hour cocktail, or about ten hours’ rent.

Any writer with big city expenses (or at least big city dreams) will relate. Read it!

Things You Should Know, Week 21

One of the best secrets about writing novels is that reading novels is an official part of the job. That means I can spend a whole Monday morning soaking up Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning prose and not feel guilty about it AT ALL.

It’s oh-so-sneaky and delicious, as if I’ve found the world’s biggest loophole. Sorta like writing off the cost of said books on my Schedule C. But we’ll save taxes for next week.

Anyway, after two solid years of shuffling half-heartedly through genre fiction to get my bearings on the industry (spy, chick lit, YA, anything bestselling with a female protagonist), returning to my beloved literary fiction feels like I’ve discovered books all over again. Synapses are in overdrive, zapping open forgotten cubby holes in my brain. I’m haunted by sentences whose importance I haven’t quite parsed yet. And contrary to what I feared, reading her inimitable prose did not make me despondent about my own abilities. It made me want to aim higher. 

So there’s that. Only time will tell how it pans out.

Things You Should Know, Week 21

One of the best secrets about writing novels is that reading novels is an official part of the job. That means I can spend a whole Monday morning soaking up Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning prose and not feel guilty about it AT ALL.

It’s oh-so-sneaky and delicious, as if I’ve found the world’s biggest loophole. Sorta like writing off the cost of said books on my Schedule C. But we’ll save taxes for next week.

Anyway, after two solid years of shuffling half-heartedly through genre fiction to get my bearings on the industry (spy, chick lit, YA, anything bestselling with a female protagonist), returning to my beloved literary fiction feels like I’ve discovered books all over again. Synapses are in overdrive, zapping open forgotten cubby holes in my brain. I’m haunted by sentences whose importance I haven’t quite parsed yet. And contrary to what I feared, reading her inimitable prose did not make me despondent about my own abilities. It made me want to aim higher.

So there’s that. Only time will tell how it pans out.

Things You Should Know, Week 20

My grandma turned 90 yesterday. Firecracker though she is, I spent the whole lunch (on a rooftop terrace in La Jolla with no umbrella) worrying that she was going to get heat stroke. 

She didn’t! 
So therefore…

OMG FINALLY 
a full, undisturbed day of writing.

The last two (insane, overscheduled, traveltastic) weeks mark the first time since November that real life has gotten so totally and unavoidably in the way of this here novel.

I HATE IT.

Which, glass half full, is a good sign. 
Heyyyy avoidance: you have been replaced. By guilt.

Things You Should Know, Week 20

My grandma turned 90 yesterday. Firecracker though she is, I spent the whole lunch (on a rooftop terrace in La Jolla with no umbrella) worrying that she was going to get heat stroke.

She didn’t!
So therefore…

OMG FINALLY
a full, undisturbed day of writing.

The last two (insane, overscheduled, traveltastic) weeks mark the first time since November that real life has gotten so totally and unavoidably in the way of this here novel.

I HATE IT.

Which, glass half full, is a good sign.
Heyyyy avoidance: you have been replaced. By guilt.