Thursday, June 30, 2016

Technology of the 1980s vs. Today

One thing I recalled in my memoir manuscript I have been working on is the technology of the 1980s, and keeping up with the cassette craze of that decade.  If you grew up then, you will remember devices such as the Walkman (below):

Or the boombox

From my manuscript:  
Unlike the smartphones, tablet computers and MP3 players of today, we were not allowed to have these devices at school.  
If we did, they would be confiscated. These things were only luxury items, not a very important part of our lives--the way the smartphones and computers of today have become.  A sign of how times have changed.

Another line from my story:
Passing notes in class on folded paper was our generation's version of "texting."
Another thing most kids of the 1980s will recall. When bored in class, kids would either doodle in their notebooks or write a note to their friends or to their secret crushes. When doing the latter, they would try hard to pass the notes without getting caught by the teacher.  A typical note-passing act would be something like this:

Notes would often be folded in styles like those below:

If and when teachers caught students passing notes, the teacher would confiscate the notes. Sometimes the teachers would read the notes outloud to the entire class (or make the students read them), before the teachers either threw the notes in the garbage can or kept them in their desk drawers. 

Another thing we faced before cell phones was having to wait until we got home to blab about stuff to others on the phone, or wait 'til school resumed on Monday to do so.   Also, in the '80s, kids might have gotten grounded from using the phone. If this was the case when you called them, or if they weren't home, you had to wait until you saw them at school to give them the hot gossip.  Now everyone of all ages has a cell phone and can instantly blab stuff in a matter of seconds. Also, many kids in the 1980s would ask to have their own private phone line, something that has now been largely replaced by each person in the same family getting their own cell phones. 

Remember all this? Do you think kids today have everything easy?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tending to Think Too Far Ahead

Yeah, I've done that, what with worrying over getting sued if my memoir should be published and I used real names.  I eventually decided to use fake ones and even made one person into three different people.  I also thought that if it gets published and someone wanted to make a movie, it would be weird to have nameless people in the book. How would they be identified in the movie? Again, thinking too far ahead! But on a side note, I did wonder if any book with unnamed characters have become movies and how the characters were referenced in the film (seems like something interesting to find out).

I am not thinking too far ahead, just want to take it one thing at a time. - Sachin Tendulkar #2

At the beginning of this month, I saved my story in pdf so I could e-mail it to others. I chose to do this after someone from my book club suggested this to save paper. It will also save on postage costs. I've e-mailed it to several people already, one of whose e-mail service unfortunately marked it as "spam."  No feedback yet, but I understand that people have other things to do and I encouraged them to take their time.  But now I'm getting anxious to hear what they think :-) I'm still editing for errors and rewriting some parts.  And how much longer should I wait to find an editor and a publisher? ;-)

Again, I've been thinking too far ahead for something I've already planned for next year. But the idea came to me not too long ago and I had to take it down so I would not forget. I didn't want to share it just yet, but now I'm too eager to do so :-) In this post, I stated the following:

And on a side note, my fascination with memoirs has given me an idea. More on this another time...

Since I have been reading other people's memoirs and am working on one of my own, I got an idea for a reading challenge for next year.  It's only June, but the idea has already come to me. I mentioned this in this blogpost.  The one I've been doing this year was my first one ever and I came up with it last year around May or June.  Yeah, thinking too far ahead.  But once you get an idea, it's good to take it down so you don't lose it. The posts for reading challenges for the following year usually go up around November or December, sometimes in October (when I got mine up last year).  Since it was my first one, I had to do some searching for ideas for readers wising to participate. I'm not sure about doing this one again, as some of the bloggers who signed up have deleted their blogs unexpectedly.  One already finished.

OK, here's what I want to do next year: a memoir reading challenge in a bingo-style format. I looked around for sites to create bingo cards and found some good ideas on this one.  I like the following themes so far (check here for more):
Corporate Bingo Theme
Notepad Bingo Theme
Modern Bingo Theme
Vintage Bingo ThemeGreen Bingo ThemeGold Bingo Theme

These all look good, but I think I like the notebook one the most.

I plan to make a 5X5 card with the free space in the middle and use 24 different memoir categories. I have them picked out already and I say tell what they are when my post becomes official. I'm working on getting it up by the end of October or in November or December.

I wanted to keep this under wraps, which I had done with my challenge this year when the idea came to me a year ago.  But this time, I just got too excited to tell my idea.  I'm sure no one else will have the same idea. No one else came up with a challenge idea similar to the one I did.  There are always several romance, fantasy and mystery themed challenges each year, but each one is different in focus. 

More on this later as the year progresses.

Meanwhile, I will be joining a writing group in my town that meets once a month at a local coffee shop, the same one where my book club meets each month.  The writing group has already met once, but I did not know about the writing group until I saw their flyer at the coffee shop at the beginning of June. They meet this coming Tuesday afternoon. This should be fun. Can't wait to see what the others are writing.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quiz: What Flavor Lemonade Are You?

This is a good result--I tend to like pink lemonade the most whenever I get some to drink.

You Are Pink Lemonade
You are a bit wacky and offbeat. You are all about expressing your uniqueness.
You inspire others to live a little more boldly. You are very exuberant.

People see you as independent, and they're right. You don't see it that way though...
You're just living your life as you want to live it. You aren't necessarily making a statement.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Quiz: What is Your Summer Color?

You Are Sunflower Yellow
You are a cheerful person no matter what the season, but there's something about summer that makes you shine extra brightly.
You see summer as a time for play, adventure, and growth. Each summer is different, and you wouldn't have it any other way.

You have a natural glow and charisma. You are naturally confident and sure of yourself - you stand tall.
You have never been afraid of wanting a lot out of life. You aim high, and you're pretty sure you'll reach all your dreams.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Reading This Year So Far

It's already the middle of June, meaning the year is almost half-over, which seems unbelievable.  I decided to to a mid-year post on my reading this year so far.  Thus far, I've finished seven of the challenges I signed up for this year.
What's In A Name 2016 logo

The first one I completed was What's in a Name? on the first day of March. I always seem to finish this one first each year! Probably because there are only six categories to complete.  This was followed 12 days later by the completion of the Title Fight Challenge.  This one required seven books.
Title Fight Button 2016In April, I decided to call the Ancient Greek Challenge complete after three books, since I had attempted the first level.  For the Poetry Challenge, I went over the 10 books needed for the highest level and decided to call it done after that. And I finished the Mocha Girls Read Challenge, having chosen only to do the spell-out option.


MGR Reading button

For the Alphabet Soup Challenge I counted the first book I read that started with each letter of the alphabet.  I managed to find ones for what the site calls the "pesky letters" Q, X and Z without having to use a word other than the first one in the title.   This was the only challenge I completed in May.

The next one I finished was the Color-Coded Challenge on June 2.  This has been one of my favorites for the last three years. In January, I managed to read a series in that had all color titles.  And my first read of this year was Brown Girl Dreaming, so I got an early start on this challenge. I think this is the quickest I've ever completed this one. 

Last year, I saw several of the blogs hosting the challenges I was doing get deleted by midyear.  Two such challenges were picked up by other sites,allowing me to continue. But two others disappeared completely, forcing me to call those two complete.  
Literary Loners Reading Challenge 2016
So far this year, I have not encountered this problem with any of the challenges I'm in.  But as the first-time host of a reading challenge, I was a little annoyed when I saw that some of the participants have deleted their blogs.  I did not know how many participants to expect when I first came up with the idea and was glad to see some people sign up.  One has already finished after reading five books (there are no levels).

And just the other day, I checked the hosting blog of another challenge I did this year. I've loved doing the Book to Movie Challenge since I read a lot of books that have had film adaptations. Although the blog is still around, the challenge has been discontinued as of June 2, because of a lack of interest and participation :-( I did not see this until yesterday, so I decided to call this one complete as well. Even though I'll probably read more books that have or will become movies :-)

As far as my other challenges go, I'm not yet sure how many more I will read for each of those or how much longer it will take me to complete those checklist and bingo-like challenges.  And as for my own challenge, I've read 16 books as of yet.  I know it's only June, but the other day  came up with an idea for a challenge next year. I want to try this new challenge idea (keep reading my blog to see what it is), and will see how any people I get for this one. But I am not certain about offering my current one again.  This was only first time hosting a challenge and I only wanted to to one to start with. Maybe next time I can handle more than one, but am uncertain as of yet.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Seasonal Fun In the Sun Reading Challenge

Since this is for the summer only, I thought I could squeeze in a few books. It began on May 1 and I have read one book already that is set in the summer. There are no required levels, so I will try to get at least five books between now and the end of August.  Click here to sign up and see more details.

Something happens to me when it starts getting hot out. Sure I want to slip on my flip flops, go swimming, and drink some iced lattes but what I really get in the mood for is reading a certain genre of books that are about fun in the sun! So I'm hosting a seasonal challenge specifically for these books.

My books for this challenge:
  1. Savannah Breeze--Mary Kay Andrews
  2. The Girl Who Chased the Moon--Sarah Addison Allen
  3. The Weekenders--Mary Kay Andrews
  4. The Summer Girls--Mary Alice Monroe
  5. The Summer Wind--Mary  Alice Monroe
  6. On the Count of Three--Maureen Johnson
  7. Summerland--Elin Hilderbrand
  8. Firefly Lane--Kristin Hannah
  9. Fly Away--Kristin Hannah
  10. The Summer of the Swans--Betsy Byars
Challenge completed on August 17

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What I've Learned From Memoirs and From My Writing So Far

I'd like to share some things I've leaned from my writing and from reading other people's memoirs.

Everyone has a story to tell.  Even if you think your story is similar to that of another person (whose memoir you have read), yours is still unique to you.  Some people have similar experiences, but each one is different. I do not know why I could not convince myself of this at first. Or why I felt this way after I had decided to write about my experience with depression and Prozac.  You can from see from previous blog posts (if you haven't read my blog till now) that reading Prozac Nation gave me this  idea, but I then felt my story was too similar. But many people have convinced me otherwise and I then could see that it is true.

You can find a memoir that you identify with and one that inspires you. (Perhaps more than one or one that's both). That, as you can see above, was true for me. I could identify with a lot of things that the author of Prozac Nation described.  But I still had different life events and details, making my own story different.  Definitely read another person's memoir if you feel you can identify with what they have written about. Similar events are what helps one person identify with another.  Even if what the author of the memoir describes events that you have never experienced, you may still feel inspired to write your own memoir, no matter what you plan to focus it on. The fact that a bar owner from my hometown published a memoir was enough to make me think I could do my own, even if I didn't have any experiences similar to hers. Just the fact that I visit her bar frequently was inspiration enough, though it was really Prozac Nation that made me tell me story.  Basically, I've found every memoir I've read to be thought-provoking in one way or another, especially those on depression, since I'm going through that myself.

Only tell what you feel is important to the focus of your memoir. I can recall a lot of things I could say contributed to my depression, but I only included those I recalled at the moment I was writing my notes. If I tried to write every single one, I would have a book the size of an unabridged dictionary :-) Some may have been edited based on the best of my memory.  And I can recall some things that I feel don't contribute to the focus of my story.

This is what I have learned thus far. I'm sure there may be more to come.

And on a side note, my fascination with memoirs has given me an idea. More on this another time...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Quiz: The Single Flower Test

This is mostly true. Can't say I'm much of a justice enforcer :-)

You Are Comfortable in Your Own Skin
You are very idealistic. You really truly want what's best for the world.
You can't fall in love with just anyone at any time. Everything needs to align for you.

You have a strong sense of right and wrong. You are a justice enforcer.
You are interested in all types of people. You find almost everyone to be compelling.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bookish Bingo Summer 2016

Going to do this one. I'll see how many squares I can get. Sign up here.

bookish bingo
Hi everyone! It’s time for another Bookish Bingo! The purpose of this challenge is to push our reading horizons a little bit, as well as to push us to just read more in general. I hope you join us!
The Details:
  • Every new season has a new bingo card. This one is for books read in the months of June, July and August.
  • The object is to get as many BINGOs as possible (five across, up and down, or diagonal)
  • One square per book
  • You do not have to review these books, or even have a blog, this is simply for books read during the allotted months
  • At the end of August there will be an international giveaway for all participants. The more BINGOs you get, the more entries you get in the giveaway!
  • To participate, simply leave a comment!
The Card:
summer bingo

Here is what I have read:
  1. Middle Grade: Walk Two Moons--Sharon Creech
  2. Over 500 Pages: Great Expectations--Charles Dickens
  3. Free Space: Yes Please--Amy Poehler
  4. Aussie Author: The Husband's Secret--Liane Moriarity
  5. Folklore or Myths: Deep Blue--Jennifer Donnelly
  6. Food in Title or on Cover: A Sheetcake Named Desire--Jacklyn Brady
  7. Name In Title: Will Sparrow's Road--Karen Cushman
  8. Red Cover:  We Should Hang Out Sometime--Josh Sundquist
  9. Starts With S, U, M, E, or R:  The Makeover Murders--Jennifer Rowe
  10. Mental Health:  Loud in the House of Myself--Stacy Pershall
  11. Yellow Cover: Philomena--Martin Sixsmith
  12. Magic: Fairest--Marissa Meyer
  13. Part of a 4+ Book Series: The 5th Horseman--James Patterson
  14. White Cover: Such a Pretty Fat--Jen Lancaster
  15. Outdoors: The Girl Who Chased the Moon--Sarah Addison Allen
  16. Water on the Cover: The Weekenders--Mary Kay Andrews
  17. Weather Words in Title: The Summer Wind--Mary Alice Monroe
  18. F/F Romance:  On the Count of Three--Maureen Johnson
  19. A Book About Books: Fangirl--Rainbow Rowell
  20. Historical Setting 1900s to 1950s:  The Lake House--Kate Morton
  21. PoC MC: Things Fall Apart--Chinua Achebe
  22. Political Intrigue: Gorky Park--Martin Cruz Smith
  23. Monsters: Some Monsters Are Different--David Milgrim
  24. 2016 Debut: Monterey Bay--Lindsay Hatton
  25. June, July or August Release:  Being Jazz--Jazz Jennings
Challenge completed on August 11

Monday, June 6, 2016

First Round of Editing and Revising--How Many More to Come?

In my last post, I said I was getting nervous over typing my corrections and revisions.  I managed to get all of them inserted into my original document done on Saturday. I know this will not be the first time I have to do this as I know I will still be finding some typing errors, which is not unusual for the way I type.

What this cartoon explains is definitely true:
The Graphic Recorder - One Card One Concept - The Essence of Writing is Rewriting - William Zinsser - On Writing Well

It's definitely part of the process.  I know I'm not done yet.  But who knows how many more times I'll need to edit and revise? I guess only I can determine that answer.  

The words below could not be better said:

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Living the Writer's Life?

I'm still editing and revising my first printout and am getting anxiety over correcting my mistakes and adding revisions onto my original document.  It seems that each time I look it over, I find a mistake I didn't see the last time I edited it.  I have to admit typing isn't one of my best subjects :-)

I now feel I'm living the writer's life, however you may define that term. In this article, Erik Larsen, the author of Devil in the White City, gives his idea of the Top 10 Essentials to a Writer's Life. I follow most of these, except the coffee (not my thing!) I prefer caffeinated soda to get my daily rush on.  I only eat Oreos every so often.

I rarely pulled all-nighters in college, even with all the papers I had to write. I could not stand the thought of little or no sleep.  As such, I rarely faced a scenario like this from the Prozac Nation movie. And I used a computer in college :-) (I graduated in 1997!)

As I began typing my manuscript last month, I would sometimes find myself wide awake at night even when I had to be at work the next day. I typed as many chapters as I could each night. I could never be up late typing, or I may just fall over on my computer table in a way similar to the movie scene above.

My guess is that everyone defines the "writer's life" in their own way.  Everyone has their own style and pace and time when they work best.  All you have to do is write when you feel works best for you.