On Better Book Titles they make new cover images for books with titles that are more descriptive of the storyline. Here is their effort for Where the wild things are.
[found via @screwydecimal]
Over the last few years I have made several attempts at NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The basic idea is that you sign up and attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. This equates to 1,667 words per day. Every day. For the whole month.
I have never managed this. My best effort was 2 years ago when I wrote 16,000 words of a children’s story. Obviously this is nowhere near the target, but it felt great to get that far. I have continued writing that story in fits and starts since then and it is now approaching 30,000 words (has been for 6 months).
If you glance at your calendar you may notice that November is approaching. NaNoWriMo is approaching.
I think NaNoWriMo is a great idea and highly recommend anybody with the urge to write a book to consider attempting it.
I will not be attempting it.
I am sane enough to recognise that I have no hope of getting anywhere near 50,000 words this year. I also don’t want to sign on to another of the requirements – that you begin a new work for NaNoWriMo.
It is tempting to put aside my stalled story from 2 years ago and try something new, but I suspect this could become a dangerous habit. Write a story until it stalls. Start another story until it stalls. Start another story until it stalls. You get the picture.
So I am planning to take part in my own exercise: NaNoFinMo, or National Novel Finishing Month.
My target will be smaller. Probably 15,000 or 20,000 words. I’m yet to decide exactly, but that puts the daily quota in the vicinity of 500 to 700 words. I think I can manage that. I also suspect that will be enough words to carry my work in progress to it’s conclusion.
If you want to write a novel and can find the time and energy to write 1,667 words per day then I encourage you to have a good think about tackling NaNoWriMo. It can be rewarding even if you don’t finish.
Or if 50,000 words is too much and you have a half finished bestseller on your hard drive, why not join me in NaNoFinMo?
Fourteen years ago today I stood nervously at the front of Faith Baptist Church in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada. This may come as a shock to those who have only come to know me since then, but I was sporting a reasonably full head of hair. Beside me stood my brother who had flown from Australia to be part of the day. This may come as a shock to those who have only come to know him since then, but he was sporting a pony tail. Next in line stood my friend Greg. I haven’t seen Greg for a while so can’t do a then and now comparison of his hair. At the end of the line was Doug, who would become my brother-in-law within the hour. I suspect his hair has thinned out a bit.
We stood together. Chatting. Laughing. Smiling at the people who sat looking at us while they waited for the real show stopper to arrive.
I was nervous.
I was excited.
I needed to use the bathroom.
Then the music started. It was a piece from the soundtrack to When a man loves a woman. The song had these perfect little sections for each of the bridal party to walk in on. We men gathered ourselves into a straight line and looked to the back of the church. My future nephew and niece walked towards us followed by two of my fiance’s best friends and her sister.
Then it happened.
The most beautiful girl I’d ever laid eyes on walked into the room with the intention of marrying me. Her dress was splendid but I could barely take my gaze away from her beaming smile and glowing eyes.
Slowly she came down the aisle, timing her steps to the music just like she had practiced. Beside her walked the man whose baby girl I planned to steal away half way around the world. I am eternally grateful for the support and blessing of my parents in law. Now I have a baby girl of my own I am beginning to recognise how painful it must have been.
I shook hands with Garfield, soon to be my father in law, and took his daughter on my arm.
To be honest, the ceremony is all a bit of a blur. I remember smiling a lot. My face hurt from the smiling.
At the reception, Canadians outnumbered Australians by about 25 to 1. They had a shorter commute.
The celebration was an emotional one. Loaded as it was with the knowledge that this union meant we would head back to Australia for an unknown number of years. At least fourteen years as it turns out.
On the next day we began a driving honeymoon to Boston. We saw amazing fall colours as we drove through Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The trip had low points (a swarm of hornets as we ate peanut butter sandwiches in a park somewhere), and high points (everything else). We had little cash, but enough to get by. I think it was the best trip of my life.
The 14 years since has also had its low points and high points. There has been the odd swarm of hornets, but nothing we couldn’t handle together. My wife is as beautiful now as the day I first saw her playing volleyball on a grassy hill in Lilydale. We eventually managed to bring two little gems into the world, and we have had the most wonderful fourteen years together.
Happy anniversary J, and thanks for fourteen amazing years.
Some years ago a friend got his motorcycle licence.
He explained one of his motivations for going out and getting it done, “If I got to be 90 years old and hadn’t got a motorbike licence, I knew I’d regret it.”
I have this crazy idea that I’d like to write a novel. Sure I’d love to write something good enough to be published, but I’ll settle for something I’m happy to send to a publisher. If they like it, that would be a bonus. If they like it enough to publish, that would be unbelievable.
I have started several “novels”. One is currently a couple of thousand words long plus a rough outline. A long way to go but I love the idea behind it. Another is only a few hundred words long and may never move on. Or maybe there’s a short story in it. Another is about six thousand words long. It’s my favourite project so I hope to pick it up and run with it again sometime.
My best effort though and the focus of my current energy is getting close to thirty thousand words long. It’s a children’s fantasy. There’s not many of them so I figure there’s some room in the market.
I have always been tempted to keep this a secret. Plug away without anyone knowing and suddenly surprise the world with a finished manuscript. But I decided instead to tell people. To chat about it like it’s another of my hobbies. Which it is.
For me, talking about it makes the novel more real, the dream more legitimate, and the writer more accountable.
The fact that people know I’m trying this is helping me, even if just to stop me giving up.
This is important because I know if I get to be 90 years old and haven’t written a novel, I will regret it.
A reference enquiry I answered yesterday:
“I’m looking for a book. I can’t remember the title, but it’s only three words.”
“Eat, pray, love.”
“That’s it! How did you do that?”
I’m a librarian. It’s my job.
A timber book shelf that doubles as a bike rack. If I head out to my shed and build one myself I will finally manage to combine my three main hobbies.
Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.
- Ray Bradbury
This has got to be my all time favourite book trailer and it’s done exactly what a good book trailer should do – it has made me desperately want to read the book.
[via we heart books]