Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Wicked Conspiracy to Pry The Coffee From My Cold, Living Hands

So, I've already decided to participate in NaNo from a cheerleading perspective only. Lots of love to all those brave souls getting in on the action, but I have a manuscript to polish, up here in my hermit hut.
I have also been snookered into another, completely unrelated challenge in the coming month - a thing my adorable but perhaps a bit unhinged aunt has dubbed No Sugar November.

The concept is making the month sugar free to whatever degree suits your lifestyle and will power. I recently left a part time job that required a lot of walking around to be home making art and writing all day, which is lovely, but also much too sedentary. I fully support us writerly and artistic types taking the time to take care of ourselves. Writing and art making are careers with a fairly strong association with decidedly unhealthy lifestyles, including untreated depression, alcoholism, addiction to opiates, amphetamines, tobacco, basically any method of being especially self destructive.

Us kid lit writers seem to have evaded that long and sordid history of creative brilliance coupled to personal misery and tragedy. I rather like our tradition of demonstrating a creative and yet healthy life. I've learned how to find the hidden sugar in a lot of foods, and to prepare foods that I somehow came to believe only came from jars or frozen bricks. Since I became a parent, I've been an active food label reader, and I've made a serious commitment to limiting the processed food and unnecessary additives in our everyday meals.

However, I eat waaaay to much sugar. Candy, ice cream, soda, cookies, pie, tarts, scones, muffins, and the list goes on into the sunset.
So to that end, I've decided to try this experiment my dear aunt has proposed, and remove the sugar-based items from my diet for a few weeks. I'm not a dieting kind of person, really. I've had at most a tertiary curiosity about the concepts of eating Paleo or Adkins or Juicing or whatever the thing is at the moment that's going to save/kill us all. I see problems with cutting whole food groups from your diet, except of course in cases of allergies. I don't really see a problem with cutting back on the raw tonnage of oreos or hershey bars I manage to put down in any given week.

My only hesitation is my dear, beloved coffee. I'm getting  a little misty just thinking about it.
I love my stupid flavored creamers. Love them. Cutting back on the caffeine would probably be pretty good for me, too, but to think about a whole month without a cup of coffee... that just seems mean. Especially when I have a manuscript to revise!

I'm giving it a shot anyway. With a one day pumpkin pie exemption, of course.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh No NaNo!

It's that time of year when the leaves are changing, the air goes crisp, all foods are mysteriously infused with pumpkin, and your writerly friends begin asking the inevitable fall question, "So, you doing NaNo this year?"

No.

I did it last year, for the sake of trying it out. One of my favorite things is Trying New Things. The older I get, the more I have realized that I thrive on novelty, and I love a challenge. However, this year I really need to rein in the novelty,  and focus on revising a manuscript that has been with me since before last year's NaNo.
So, instead of reinventing the wheel, and churning out 50,000 words that will most likely have to be entirely rewritten, I'm going to take my halfway finished MG and make it into something wonderful in the next six weeks or so.

For those of you who are diving into NaNo, I send the very best of luck! It was incredibly fun to participate. I really love writing first drafts, sitting down with my manuscript and cranking out words, playing with the story and the characters, and letting them do odd things that might get axed in later revisions, but might lead to something delightful down the road. It's so fun and refreshing to start a new project, which is what I plan on doing next year, which means getting this current project finished (or as close to finished as it ever can be).

And I also have to get my son's Halloween costume done.

Happy Writing!