Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Point one and point two. And okay, point three.

1) I finally watched Stranger than Fiction, and I have to say, I liked it. A lot. Some of my favorite scenes were with the author/narrator--like when she stood at the edge of her desk and imagined what it would be like to fall from a building, or when she sat in the rain and stared at a bridge, waiting to see a wreck. She was pretty awesome, and as crazy as she was, I kept thinking, "Man, I wish that was me!" Or "Why didn't I think of a storyline that clever? I'm sure I can write a screenplay ... I mean how hard can it be, right?" (Yeah. Right. Sure.)

The movie did leave me with one (okay several, but one main) question, so help me out here if you can: What happens during her rewrites ... or is she this magical author that doesn't DO rewrites?

2) I went some place new today. A building with checkout ladies and tables and chairs and computers and DVDs and paintings and ... what was that other thing ... Oh yeah. And books. Lots of them. For the first time since high school, I went to the library. My thoughts:

-- Heads should be put on the body at an agle. Ya know, tilted about 90 degrees to the right. Either that or there needs to be a way to stack books so that I can see the title on the spines without pulling a neck muscle.

-- I live in/near the boonies, in a religious and conservative town, so I didn't expect much in the way of YA. Well, at least not the type of YA I lean toward, anyway. They surprised me, at least a little. I didn't see any Ellen Hopkins on the shelves, but I did find Scott Westerfeld and Laurie Halse Anderson (I checked out Chains) and that newer book "Generation Dead" and some other interesting looking ones, and that's a start, right?

-- This ain't a Barnes and Noble. So it's probably best to leave your cell phone in your bag or in your car. Trying to whisper a conversation with your sister so you don't piss off the 2 teenagers sitting at the table with 8+ books each in their stacks isn't the easiest of tasks.

-- It's pretty easy to get a library card. You just need a driver's license with a local address. And if you're name is Jessica, put your middle name, because they have a LOT of Jessicas. Or so the lady says.

-- The cool looking abstract art on display isn't for sale. Damn it. No, really. It isn't. Both ladies said so. Deal with it. Move on.

-- The books are covered with something weird and plasticky, at least the hardbacks in the teen section. It gives the books a saran wrapped, previously frozen, wayyyy past the expiration date, high school science book heebie-jeebies type of feel. I'm not making much sense, but still. I don't so much like it. Although thinking about a book jacket, trading from hand-to-hand without a condom, makes me want to cringe.

-- It's easy to lose an hour staring at books with your weird crick-neck. Now, if only I can get my work hours to move so quickly ...

3) a couple of episodes of Boston Legal + 2 hours of So You Think You Can Dance + medicating kitty for his ear infection + a hyperactive puppy + court month from hell - sleep/rest/meditation = exhaustion. So much exhaustion that I believe I fell asleep mid-sentence typing this thing up (or maybe that's just because I'm boring? Eh, whatever.). There goes my midnight writing/editing time. I'm out.

Happy dreams to all.


Eric said...

Your number 1 point is dead on. That particular movie was actually the turning point for me, the moment when I figured out I wanted to be a writer. The narrator's voice resonated with me in such a deep and personal way, and I found myself saying "Hey, I can do that. I CAN do that!" Next thing I knew, I had begun writing. Nice post though. Your points evoked more than a couple chuckles.

Jamie D. said...

I've never seen that movie - will have to see if I can rent it. Sounds very thought provoking. One of my favorite "writerly" movies is "Finding Forrester" (2 R's or 1? Hmm).

Your experience at the library made me laugh. I haven't been to a library in years - keep thinking I should, but for some reason, I just never do. It would probably save me $20-$30 per month though, checking books out instead of buying them...

Hope you slept well!

TereLiz said...

Great movie, and very thought provoking. I love when the author is narrating Harold's life, and she starts talking about the vast and endless ocean of waves he hears when he's filing. All of her narrative was definitely inspiring to me.

Hope you got plenty of sleep last night, cuz it sounds like you need it!

Kori said...

I want to see that movie... SO. BAD. TAT But as to your question - rewrites are something that don't exist to the Great Non-Writers. I never really understood just how much WORK goes into writing a book... I thought you wrote it, cleaned it up a bit, sent it into a publisher and hoped for the best. And then I decided, seriously, that I was going to write a book, and began doing research. And it took a bit of digging, and thank god for the connections I already had in Mami and her friends. It was through Mami that I found the first few agents/editors blogs, and those lead to more, and more, and more, and now I've got a huge list of people I read pretty regularly, and follow on Twitter, and all that. I don't, as yet, have much of an actual fan base outside my fanfiction, but enough people have commented on that and said that they'd love to read an original novel by me, that I think I can convince them to tell their friends, who can tell their friends, and gradually build myself up from the fanfiction world in the manner of Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan.

Wow, this got long. XDD I apparently need to start talking to people again - living in my bubble for the last few weeks has turned me into a chatterbox.

jessjordan said...

Eric: The narrator was very inspiring to me as well. As soon as the movie was over (and during the middle of it, too, really), all I could think about was my current WIPs and how being a writer was just really freakin' amazing. Glad to evoke a few chuckles :)

Jamie: I've never seen Finding Forrester. *note to self--research this movie more** But yeah, you definitely should see Stranger than Fiction. It really makes you think. And laugh. And maybe even cry.

TereLiz: I didn't get enough sleep, but I made up for it this morning! What was great about the vast and endless ocean waves description was that it, like other parts of her narration, really made me think, "This author doesn't just write; she experiences her characters and their actions before she puts pen to paper." That's really good stuff to read.

Kori: I didn't realize Cassandra Clare started with fanfiction. Huh ... learn something new every day, I guess. :) I always thought the same thing you did. I would read a book and think, "Hmm. How hard can it be to write something like this?" You've read my earlier post, so you've seen it was a struggle for me to find my writing voice. I still struggle with edits--not b/c I think every word I've written is perfect and amazing and belongs in my story, but b/c I have a hard time letting things that I've written go. It's easier for me to sit and think before I write--even if the process goes a little bit slower--than to rush my thoughts to paper and have to rearrange them all later. Make sense? Nah, probably not. :o) Glad you're out of your bubble--chatterbox away!

Stephanie Faris said...

One thing I didn't understand about Stranger Than Fiction or other movies like it is how so many authors can exist for whom writing is such torture, yet they continue to have publishers awaiting their work. It just doesn't seem natural to me for writing to be so tough for someone. Sure it's not easy, but if it's leading you to substance abuse and sheer misery, maybe another line of work is in order!

Abby said...

I had to laugh about the rewriting. Non-writers have no clue how much goes into writing and especially rewriting a novel. My family is super supportive, but they just don't get how much work is involved.

Hope you're getting caught up on your sleep. :)

There's a little something for you here.