Thursday, February 11, 2010

What more do you want?

photos found at CakeWrecks

No, really. The title of this post is serious. I need ideas. The cows don't mean anything, I just thought it was a really cute picture turned into an amazing cake, and I felt the need to share.

So. Please tell me what you want me to blog about. Any topics I've posted about that you loved and want me to discuss in further depth? Any nagging questions you want answered? Any flame wars you want to drag me into? (Okay, not that.) Anyone up for a virtual bookclub?

Help me out or I'll be forced to start telling you what I had for lunch every day. I am not kidding. Yesterday it was a steak burrito with a side of guac. Fascinating, right? Don't make me go there.

Non-Lunch-Related Updates

  • New Year's Resolutions: somewhat off-track. My writing and time-with-Serious-Girl efforts are going well, my physical-fitness and get-life-organized efforts, less so. And I've pretty much stopped showering since my husband left the country for a week on business. Not good.
  • Querying: same as it ever was. Four agents still have the full manuscript, some requested as recently as November 2009, others requested back in April-May 2009. (Note to any agents reading this, I swear I'm not trying to guilt-trip you, I'm just stating the facts. It's cool, I know you've got other stuff going on. When I'm finally represented, I certainly won't want you to prioritize the slush pile over me. Plus, the story of my patience and your ultimate discovery of me will look good in that NY Times Book Review write-up.)
  • What I'm Reading Now: short fiction online, plus a bunch of "writers on writing" nonfiction. I'm eagerly anticipating the new Joe Hill novel, Horns, and I was starting to feel a little guilty that I haven't already read more in the new year, but I should probably cut myself some slack what with that 600-page Raymond Carver biography in there...

  • Okay. It's on you now. Give me blog topics, or else.

    I'm thinking maybe a roast beef sandwich today...


    1. Stream of consciousness is good when you're stuck for post ideas. Just sayin'.

    2. I love your blog and I think everything you write about is great. Very thought-provoking.

      I have FINALLY posted after a million years, because I'm suffering severe blogging block. I can't seem to find my blogging identity, since I want to write about BOTH writing and motherhood, and I don't really see other blogs doing that. So I'm in a bit of a crisis. I think I just need to stop worrying and be myself.

      Anyway, keep up the good work. I love your posts! (and the cow cake is very cute)

    3. I really like knowing what's going on for lunch.

    4. Okay, here are a couple:

      Books to movies: what works, what doesn't, and why? Discuss.

      Coincidence vs. incidents: coincidence is a big taboo in plotting, but sometimes some coincidence is necessary. How can you use motivation/character traits to make a coincidence into and incident that isn't merely "convenient" for the plot? Favorite coincidences in plots that work/don't work/make you groan or laugh out loud?

      Researching agents

      And I'm in for a virtual book theory!

    5. My co-writer and I have maintained our blog for over two years, and it is a struggle to keep coming up with ideas. (Especially since the focus is on "green babies" and my "baby" is now four years old!) One thing that helped us generate material was establishing a "Friday Question." We just think of some question to ask our readers, like "G-diapers: Has anyone tried them?" and we get a lot of comments. That particular one got over 50 responses! You could do something similar, except about writing.

      Product reviews have also provided us with a lot of material. We get a lot of advance copies of books, baby products to try out, etc. You could certainly review all those writing books you're reading--and maybe even the novels you're reading, from a writer's perspective. It's always interesting to look at novels from a craft angle.

      One last thing that we learned along the way: Write shorter posts. Or rather, post shorter posts. After you've written a draft of a post, see if you could logically divide it into a couple, or even a week-long series.

      Good luck!

    6. Simon: Elephant, metronome, bottle caps.

      Sandy: I like your voice! Just be you.

      BPD: Goat cheese on crackers. :-)

      Lisa: Thanks! "Coincidence" is especially good.

      Rebecca: I think your last point is especially applicable to me. I'm so concise in fiction, so wordy in blog form...

    7. Drat. Used "especially" too many times.

    8. How about this for a series of prompts? Go alphabetical-- start with something that begins with "A" and so on -- there's 26 prompts before you start over and they don't all have to be about the technical aspects of writing.

      Or Google the date of your post. Wikipedia always has a nice list of things that are relevant to that date. Like February 12, 1832 Ecuador annexed the Galapagos Islands: I could come up with a post about that since my wife's from Ecuador and the Galapagos have a lot of interesting points to offer. You can do some brief research, then go with Simon's suggestion of stream of consciousness, and let your writing talents just go crazily entertaining from there. The date prompt method gives you 365 days of posts and those could go the rest of your life. Hellfire, I think I've inspired myself.

      Or you can always write about cats. What is this thing with cats anyway? There are so many blogs posting cat pictures and cat stories.

      I love this--- I could go on all night.

    9. I'd also love to hear about what you're reading. Reading recs, please! (And those are very cool cows).

    10. I'm new to your blog, but have had dreams of being a published writer. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to the writing part. Only 800 words out of my goal of 50,000. Where does one even start?