Monday, February 29, 2016

Author Day with Rita Trevalyan

This blog will be about what to do while you're waiting for your edits. A lot of it is just marking time. You could do housework, but as semi-– disable as I am, there is a limit to what I can do. When I'm in NaNoWriMo mode, I always assign. from 10 AM to 10:30 AM as the time to perform household tasks. There are also other projects you can work on. I have two: one is my story about Camelot's Merlin the magician awakening in the 21st century after a nap of more than 1600 years. The second one is a story inspired by the death of rockstar David Bowie. If the words just won't come, I will engage in other activities. I have a number of coloring pages that I can print out and color. I can also read. Right now, on my Nook, I am reading a translation of the Aeneid| by Vergil. I am also reading a book titled Outwitting Writer's Block and other Problems of the Pen by Jenna Glatzer. It is a book I got from Writer's Digest. One idea that I got from this book is the "ugly notebook."

This notebook, which for me is a an ugly binder with package of college ruled notebook paper in it, is to get my creative juices flowing. I will scribble in it nonsense phrases, or questions about my characters or plot. This is to warm up my writing muscles. After all dancers and athletes warm up before they start their exercising or their games, or their dancing. We writers should really do the same. I also have a pretty notebook, in which I scribble ideas for either the next step in my story, or my next writing project. Sometimes, in the wee hours of the morning, I will get an idea or a solution, or an insight for a writing problem that has been plaguing me for the last several days. I keep a small notebook by the side of my bed, so that I can jot these ideas down, because all too often, when I awaken fully in morning, that insight or idea is gone, never to return. But if I write it down, it has a dual purpose: the physical act of jotting it down creates an ingrame in my brain, a new dendrite connection and pathway that helps me to remember this insight. I also have the note to refer to. The same that does not seem to happen if it is done digitally. Studies have shown that students who take notes digitally on their laptops or tablets, or even their phones do not retain the information as well as when they physically handwrite their notes. This just vindicates what I have known for decades: kickin' it old school is the best way to proceed.

I am also working on a large crocheting project. It is a blanket with sleeves, which I hope to get done before winter ends, so I can wear it at least once before I have to put it in my winter clothes wardrobe. The brand name for these blankets is Snuggies, but since it's a registered trademark, the creator of the pattern can't use that name. I can only work on it at home, since it's too big to carry around with me. So when I'm out and about, I work on smaller crocheting projects. Right now I'm working on a pouch for my Vampires of the Eternal Night Tarot kit, and then I shall start crocheting socks. I'm crocheting them in the colors that socks are not available in. I am also waiting for my Lucet to come in the mail. A Lucet is a cord making tool that was used in Scandinavia during the Viking age, and then again in the 19th century. It is enjoying a Renaissance right now among certain people who combine their love of history with their love of crafting. My friend Kira Cattan, a fellow writer, has one, and has been singing its virtues for the past several weeks, so I decided to get one. I doubt that it will replace crocheting, but I think it will be interesting. Cords are very handy for all sorts of things; drawstrings for gathered necklines and waistlines, cord for lacing a corset, and many other uses. I now have my lucet, and am in the process of learning cordmaking by using the Youtube videos. I have gone through the videos several times, as it s a steep learning curve. The main challenge I have is keeping the tension of the yarn even.

I have received my first round of edits, completed them, and returned the corrected copy to my editor/publisher. It took far less time than I thought it was going to. I expected to be working on it for over a week, at least 2 days anyway. Instead, it took me barely an hour and a half, and I'm not even a very fast typist. Now I'm waiting for my second round of edits. I just hope it doesn't take as long as the first one did. That is, I hope it doesn't take as long for her to get them back to me as it did for her to get them to me in the first place. I expect to be working on them, once I get them, for far longer than the first round of edits took. Until then, I shall be crocheting, cord making, working on other writing projects, and perhaps even planning a bus trip to old Sacramento.

So there you have it; my plan for avoiding going crazy while I wait for my edits to arrive. My secret for waiting on anything has always been to keep myself so busy that the time passes at at least a normal rate. When I have to wait in line, I'll crochet or read, or write in my diary, which I always keep in my purse. While I wait for the bus, or the light rail train, I crochet, read, or scribble in my diary. While I wait for the doctor to see me, or in the clinical laboratory, I crochet, read, or scribble in my diary. It is a handy way to pass the time when you had nervous fingers like I do. Most people nowadays play with their smart phones, but I believe that I am accomplishing more by doing what I do.

Meet the author...I am Rita Trevalyan, and I've been writing since I was 9 years old, but it wasn't until 2006 that I found a publisher.  I reside in Sacramento, CA with 2 housemates and three utterly ridiculous cats.  My forthcoming book was a NaNoWriMo winner in 2013, and has the working title of Palulukon, although my publisher might change it, if she can find a pithier, more saleable one.  In my spare time, I crochet, embroider, read, listen to music, and go on bus junkets in my adopted city.

1 comment:

Dani-Lyn Alexander said...

Great post! I keep a stack of spiral notebooks on my nightstand as well. I've lost more than one good idea by putting it off until morning. And I totally agree about writing things by hand. I do much better when I hand write my notes.

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