Friday, April 4, 2014

Writing and a Quiz

My book club nominates books to read for the year, and then a list is assembled, and then votes are taken, and compiled, and a final list presented.  Last year I wrote a novel for National Novel Writing Month, and somehow it got nominated.  And then it got enough votes to make it onto the reading list.  It is scheduled for November.

But I thought it was on the list for April, so I was starting to gear myself up for it.  What would they say? What would we talk about?  I wrote the thing in 30 days, and then I only read it all the way through once.  Only once!  I barely even know what is in it!

And partly that's because it is sort of painful for me to read it.  I wish it were better than it is, but I just don't have the time to devote to it, and so all I see are the many ways that it is silly and amateurish. Which is what my writing really is, actually, and so maybe it can't get any better, but that's a discussion for another day.  I am excited and curious about the feedback I will get from my friends, hoping that I can take some notes and file them away for someday when maybe I can make it into something to really be proud of, if that's possible.  Then, if/when I am proud of it, that is when you should be wary of criticizing it.

All that was going on in my head but I just looked at the reading list and it doesn't come on stage until November, so I have to be patient and keep waiting.  Yesterday though I got an email from my sister, and she reminded me that I had written a book THIS YEAR for Nano, and maybe I should "polish" it up a little more.  At least finish it so I can "publish" it.  I've been skimming through it making minor changes and whatnot, and this one is completely different than the one I wrote last year, in every single way possible.

It is sort of a fictional autobiography, in that I pulled large chunks from my actual high school and college journal, but the girl in it is absolutely not actually me.  She just thinks a lot of the same ways I did way, way, way back then, when I was sort of crazy in the head about things.

Here's where the quiz part comes in. I'm going to put five little excerpts from it here, and you tell me which ones you think are from my actual real journal, and which ones I made up for this here little novel I was writing. Ok? Ready, Set, Go.

Excerpt 1
I think one of the ways that I will finally know I am in love, true and lasting love, is when I look back on all this silly journal and instead of crying inside at the enduring honesty and lasting truthfulness of what I have written here, I will laugh at myself, and say, “Oh! I was so young! So cynical!  How sad she was!”
For irony and for honesty, I must state that I feel that after that would happen, my heart will inevitably be broken and I would never recover.
Doesn’t that just seem like it would be totally appropriate?

Excerpt 2
I was reading Pride and Prejudice today.  This part is what I am thinking about right now:  “A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment."
I will make sure that is never true about me.  I solemnly vow, right now, that I will never be that girl.
I will never assume, never hope, never daydream.
I cannot afford to.

Excerpt 3
What if I gave myself a sparkle?  What if I could think of some way to make myself stand out from other people, make myself different, interesting, in a way that other people are not?  That way, even if I still didn’t attract the mainstream guys, hordes and hordes of them like some perfectly manicured and makeup-ed ditzy blonde, I would have the guy who appreciated my particular sparkle.  The one I worked for instead of just being born with.
Because let’s face it, I clearly wasn’t born with a sparkle.
I’ll make my own sparkles.
Excerpt 4
I know that it is my fault, but sometimes I do get tired of it.
People don’t understand me, and I don’t know how to make myself understood.
I don’t know how to feel emotions that can be put into words for people to hear. And even if I did, would they hear the words I meant, or only the words I say?  I hope someday we won’t have to communicate with words.  They are too simple for such complicated creatures as we are.
Excerpt 5
What if I wake up tomorrow and discover that my life has passed me by while I was blinking, and worse yet that I still somehow managed to make choices and they were all the wrong ones?
What if I spend my whole life waiting for something that might never come, or might not be as great as I think it will be and then I try to look back with regret only to realize there was no better option I had missed?
What if you only get one chance of love, but since you had never been in love you let it pass by, and lose it forever?

Oh, this is fun.  Well, I'm having fun anyway.


  1. I have no idea. But I like it all.

  2. When I realized you were giving us a quiz on your high school self, I thought..."Oh, I've totally got this!! Totally!" And then I read them all carefully, pulling ones out that couldn't be you for real. And then when I got to the end, I was like..."Um, I don't got this...not at all."

    So there's that. But I will make my guesses for you to laugh at and chuckle to yourself about later. For me, 3 was out right away. No. Not Amy, never. I also ruled 1 out, but not quite as quickly. I thought about 2 as a possibility, but then 4 and 5 came, and well...hmmm...All three of them could be it. 2 and 5 seem the most likely to me. Do you love that I'm struggling over here? Haha. So I guess my answer is 5. Maybe that is because I feel like that sometimes and even though you and I were and still are very different in our thinking about guys, I'm going to go with it.

    Do you love that I wrote that all out for everyone to see? haha

    Also, I was so confused at the beginning when you said "last year's book", because I just assumed that you meant the one you wrote in November of 2013 which was in fact last year, and then you referenced to the one that is already published. But anyways. Maybe I didn't read carefully enough. Either way that is so exciting that they are going to be reading it. You are like famous or something. ;) Also maybe their feedback can help with this year's NaNo if you read it early enough in the month.

    "This year's NaNo"...I think it's still too early for me to be thinking about all that. I am still a little damaged from all of last year's "fun."

  3. Also, I was just thinking the other day how I need to edit my story. And then I got stressed out. Haha. Here's hoping I get it done for my two free copies.

  4. I think #4 and #5 are made up.

  5. Oh gosh. I don't even know, Ames. Okay. . . . um 2 and 3 are not direct quotes from your journal.

  6. I'm going with #4. That's it. Don't ask me why 'cause I can't communicate with words. I'll give you a hug.