five things, on friday this time!

Hey, how are you, how’s it going? Here’s my weekly wrap-up.

1. I missed posting last week because I grossly miscalculated how much time I’d be spending with family over Thanksgiving. (This is a problem I have. Every year I lug my computer to whichever family member is hosting thinking I’ll get some writing done, and every year my family is all, “Spend time with us! Why are you getting your computer out?” and then I get nothing done. I should learn to accept this.)

2. NaNoWriMo ends today. Here’s a round-up of what I’m working on:

a. A romantic comedy novella about a guy who gets invited to his ex’s wedding. This was a tremendous joy to write and I pounded a complete draft out in a week, which I think must be some kind of land-speed record. I was playing around with the tropes from every Julia Roberts movie you’ve ever seen. I think it’s funny. I have to do some revision work on it (I mean, I wrote it in a week) but I do really like this story, so I will keep you posted on when/if it will be available on an ereader near you.

b. A short novel about two damaged characters, a misanthrope and an extrovert. This was actually kind of torturous to write because I started with a not-fully-fleshed out idea and I had to really push myself to get past the 25K hump, which seems to be my writing problem of late. (That is, I get really excited about a new story idea, write 25K in a blizzard of activity, and then promptly lose all interest in the project. This particular malady has been plaguing me since August.) I think forcing myself to write until the end of the story was probably a good exercise, but I can’t say the story itself has much going for it. I especially failed in making the novel have the emotional resonance I thought a story like this should have. Not all of my books are winners, I guess. I think it’s salvageable and I maintain that the premise is a good one, but this manuscript is rough. To the editing board!

c. On Tuesday, I spent my lunch break freewriting whatever popped into my head and came up with an idea for a m/m Regency. I’ve written about 5,000 words so far. We’ll see if I get it over the 25K hump.

Aside: I worry about discussing my WIPs publicly, because some (a lot) of the things I write will probably never be fit for human consumption, and how much of a dirty tease am I if I’m all, “I’m writing this thing!” and you go “I want to read it!” but then I never finish it? Also, talking about what I’m working on seems to be the death knell for my creativity. Like… talking to readers about a sequel to one of my books? Pretty much kills all desire I have to write said sequel. No idea why this is. Pressure to actually do it, maybe? I have at some point sat down and started a sequel to every one of my novels, with the exception of Out in the Field, but I’ve never actually finished one. [OitF ties everything up quite tidily and I never felt the necessity to revisit those characters. I sort of blew my baseball wad there, I think.])

Will any of the abovementioned projects make it to bookstores? Who knows?!

3. I successfully (?) finished reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Then the woman who runs my book club came down with the flu and we canceled our meeting, so I haven’t really gotten to talk to anyone about it yet. Although, actually, a few people I know have essays in Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades, so I went to a release party for the book on Wednesday. I did talk to a few people! I have the same opinion I had before I read the book, which is that, generally, the phenomenon is a good thing because it has opened up the conversation about erotic romance and, I think, indirectly gotten people talking about LGBT romance, which, you may know, is relevant to my interests. The contents of the book are kind of irrelevant. But I can say now that I’ve read it that the book’s chief flaw (IMHO) is that Ana exhibits a profound level of naivete that I could buy in a 16-year-old but not in a 22-year-old grown woman. When you consider that her personality is basically Bella Swan’s elevated to an age when it’s not creepy to think about her in a sexual context, it pulls you out of the story. (Also, the creepy stalker push-pull dynamic between Ana and Christian—wherein she would weep about how he was all wrong for her but he would bully her into liking him again—was off putting to me personally, but the same dynamic is in every Harlequin Presents I’ve ever read.) (I wasn’t really a fan of the first-person present POV, either, but I have less of a leg to stand on there.)

4. I saw Lincoln right before Thanksgiving and really enjoyed it! It’s surprisingly engaging for a movie that is pretty much about political process. I spent some time this week reading cerebral essays picking apart the history presented in the movie, which the nerd in me has been enjoying.

5. Otherwise, work on Show and Tell is moving right along. (January 8!) I’ve got a bunch of stuff on my schedule over the next couple of weeks that I’m looking forward to (parties! concerts! readings!). I totally splurged on a gorgeous handbag at a sample sale the other day, and that was sort of the highlight of my week, because sometimes I’m shallow.