Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I’m strongly considering buying Write or Die‘s Desktop Edition. I used the web version all morning, but I find myself wishing I could save my work right there instead of copying and pasting little chunks from the web browser to my main document. It looks like the ten bucks would be well worth it: full customization of your own prodding, stats, interactive with other users.

We’ll see how desperate I get.

The nerves are getting to me. nano_understand

I’ve won NaNoWriMo five times. I know I’m capable of writing 50,000 words in a month. But, as always happens in late October, my eye twitches when I look at the calendar and realize November is close. Too close. (more…)

I took a moment to assemble some of my more useful links to writing resources and added them to my blog. You can check out the page here: NaNoWriMo Software and Help.

I’ll add more pages as I find them, particularly tutorials and writing strategies.

Happy writing!

It’s a personal quirk of mine to never write my novels in Microsoft Word. There’s no reason for my snobbery. I just think it’s more fun to write in other programs instead. Word is for making your manuscript presentable, not writing it.

For the past few years I’ve used Q10, but this year I’ve been hesitant to do so. I was introduced to the wonders of Liquid Story Binder and yWriter last March for NaNoEdMo. As a result I’ve been bopping between the three, looking at pros and cons. (more…)

That is, once a year, I “have a bad feeling about this.”                         nanowrimo_icon

As usual, there are four or five stories in my head that need writing. As usual, it’s perfectly clear which two of those will yield a final product worth my time. As usual, it’s also clear which one of the two would be most beneficial to myself and humanity. And as usual, I want to write the unworthy, unbeneficial option I’ve called “Project Opposite of Twilight with Robots Instead of Vampires.” (more…)

The Shame of Acquiring a Twilight book

Posted: September 29, 2009 in Books
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A few months ago, I made the mistake of entering a used bookstore and compounded the mistake by purchasing the first Twilight book.

I was curious, okay? My little cousins talk about nothing but these books, so I figured it was my duty to see if they were suitable for pre-teen girls. Plus, the controversy surrounding the themes of the books sucked me in. Anything that inspires so much vitriol must be worth reading. And it was only five bucks.

So I read it on the plane to DC, hiding the cover behind an issue of SkyMall. The woman sitting next to me saw it anyway. She didn’t speak to me for the whole flight.

To my surprise, I didn’t hate it. The writing could use some work, but overall, it is undeniably a page-turner and Meyer managed to make me care about her idiot character of Bella. Secure in the knowledge that my little cousins were merely having fun with a bookseries and not actually looking for vampire boyfriends to take care of them, I checked Twilight off the list of books I had to read and put it out of my mind.

When I returned home from DC, my mother asked to read the book. I loaned it to her.

And she became obsessed.

“I need the next one.” She handed Twilight back to me. “The next one is New Moon.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll look for it at the library.”

“And the one after that,” she said. “The one after that is Eclipse.”

“You want both at the same time?”

“I need both!” I jumped backward from her sudden shout. “Just get them both if they’re both there!”

My school library had them both on the shelf, so I picked them up the next day. Don’t judge me don’t judge me don’t judge me ran through my head as I checked them out. But the boy behind the counter said nothing. Maybe he likes girls who read Twilight.

Two nights of staying up until after midnight later, my mom gave me the books to return.

“I need Breaking Dawn,” she said. “I need it.”

“I didn’t see it at the library.”

“Then I have to buy it!”

“It’s like twenty dollars.”

“Then you’d better get it from the library!”

I looked at my school’s online library catalogue. Breaking Dawn was on loan somewhere else. I checked the other nearby library. 40 holds. I checked the next closest library.

“Eighty-six holds!” I half-shouted at my screen.

Wishing there could be 86 holds on The Giver, Ishmael, 1984, or anything other than a Twilight book, I requested Breaking Dawn from the school library with a sickened click and hoped it would arrive before Mom spent her gas money on it.

I got an email a few days later from the circulation desk informing me that it was ready to pick up. Today, I read through it twice more to make sure I went to the right place and had to do a minimum amount of asking around. Presenting myself to the desk, I said in a hushed voice, “Hi, I need to pick something up.”

The squat librarian waddled over. “I’ll just need your ID, then.”

My ID! I dug it out of my purse, relieved. I didn’t even have to say what I was there for, my covert mission was in the computer!

She squinted at my card, looking between it and the numbers on the reserve shelf. With a creased forehead, she waddled back to the computer and clicked through a few pages. “Hmm,” she said, scanning the shelf again.

“It’s a book. It’ll be thick,” I said as I watched her pull out some thin volumes and VHS tapes.

She flagged down a passing student librarian. “Can you help me find this?”

“BREAKING DAWN. Oh, that’s a TWILIGHT book,” the girl said. “It’ll be really obvious!”

She looked over the shelf. “I don’t see your TWILIGHT book,” she told me.

“There are eighty-six holds on it at the other library,” I said, trying to make it seem like it was popular and therefore not at all odd that I would want it. “Heh, maybe one of the librarians saw it here and checked it out.”

Both librarians looked at me as if that could never, ever happen. “I’ll check for BREAKING DAWN in the curriculum section, maybe it got shelved,” the girl said with a sniff.

I swayed in place awkwardly while the older librarian continued to search the reserve shelf.

“I found it!” the girl shouted from across the library. Students looked up from their laptops and homework. “BREAKING DAWN was next to the other TWILIGHT books.”

Half the room watched as she trotted back to the desk with the book proudly displayed in outstretched hands. Heads gradually lowered back down to their work. She checked it out for me and set the book and my ID on the counter. I shoved them into my bag and fumbled to close it as fast as possible.

“Sorry BREAKING DAWN got shelved somehow,” she said.

“No worries!” I shouted over my shoulder as I ran out the door.

Now, mere hours later, Mom is about a hundred pages in. I suppose I’d better finish Eclipse so I can start Breaking Dawn tomorrow.