Writing Can Be Murder

June 29, 2007

Building the 6 Million Dollar Book

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:27 am

Remember the beginning of the old Six Million Dollar Man tv show?

There was a voiceover that said something like, “We can make him faster, stronger, better.”

That’s what writing a book is like. You get your idea, your plot, your characters. They make up the body of your book, but it’s the enhancements you make that make it able to leap tall buildings (or slush piles). (Yes, I know I’m mixing and matching heroic figures here.)

Every single time I think about my WIP, I’m trying to make the plot move faster, the characterization stronger, the emotional impact better. It’s still on the operating table…

June 28, 2007

Sharing a Work In Progress

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:21 am

I’ve been having a lot of conversations about various WIPs lately. 

I just read a friend’s sci-fi erotica WIP. It’s great, really great, but there was a MAJOR problem with what she sent me. It’s her WIP. It’s not finished yet. I’m dying to know what happens next and I’m going to have to wait. This is the pitfall of reading WIPs. (To be fair, I ASKED to read it, so my misery is my own damn fault!)

 I’ve also been reading the copious notes of a fantasy novel written by another friend and I’m getting antsy about reading her story too. I feel like I know the characters and their story. I just want to read it already!

Lastly, I’ve got to apologize to my DH and the friend who have read my WIP. I now understand why you’re so frustrated waiting for more pages. Sorry!

June 26, 2007

Intemperance

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 7:52 pm

Intemperance — that’s my word of the day.  Intemperance is the excessive indulgence of appetite or passion.

Today I OD’d on my WIP. Spent ALL day on it. Did little else. Haven’t walked out the front door. Haven’t showered. Haven’t spoken to anyone other than my DH and the dog. Didn’t cross a damn thing off my “to do” list. 

I just lived and breathed the story. 

What a glorious day! 

June 25, 2007

Following a Series

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:50 am

While I was away last week I read and read and read. Among other things I read two of Allison Brennan’s http://allisonbrennan.com/ books. She’s published two three-book-series (and is contracted for two more series).

I enjoy her books BUT had I read them in order I would have enjoyed them more because not only does she have characters that appear in multiple books in a series, but some of her characters from the first series show up in the second series.

 What series do you follow?

June 22, 2007

Another reason to never become a celebrity

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 7:14 am

Celebrities have my sympathy when they fly. (Not the ones that have their own private jets, they get no sympathy, but I do feel for those that travel commercial flights.) 

Some actor from The Sopranos was on a flight I took the other day.  (I’ve never sat thru an episode of the show, so I didn’t recognize him at all, but it seemed like every other person on the flight knew who he was.) People gaped at him like he was an animal in a zoo. He didn’t get a moment’s peace with people “surreptitiously” taking his picture with their camera phones or walking up and asking him questions about the finale.

He was gracious to all, but doesn’t that kind of attention get old pretty quickly?

And for those Soprano fans that are curious he was Federico Castelluccio — Furio Giunta

June 11, 2007

I liked her. I really liked her!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:45 am

A couple of summers ago when I was workshopping one of my award-winning screenplays (not that award-winning means jack, but I’m so used to putting it in my query letters that it just slipped out now) at a so-freakin-prestigous-they-act-like-a-freakin-cult theater center, I met a bunch of talented performers.

I met and worked with some famous people. I met and worked with some people I believed would one day be famous. One of those people was Laura Bell Bundy. http://www.laurabellbundy.com/

She may not be a household name yet, but if you watched the Tony’s last night you saw her smiling face because she was nominated as a Lead Actress in a Muscial for her starring role in Legally Blonde.

I had the opportunity to see Laura perform (not in my piece, but in a musical theater piece — which by the way I happened to think was quite good and I’m still waiting for it to hit Broadway) and I was really impressed with her. I thought she had a great singing voice and an amazing stage prescence. I liked her. I really liked her!

The people I’d seen the show with (all with more theater experience than little-old-me) didn’t like her. Not one iota. They poo-pooed my praise of her.

 I wonder if they like her now, because obviously an awful lot of people do. She may have been the one nominated last night, but I was the one who felt vindicated.

June 6, 2007

Love it? Hate it?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 9:17 am

Yesterday I was writing back and forth with two writing friends. One told me how much she is enjoying her current project, the other confessed she was struggling with her WIP. I’m happy for the first, because nothing feels better than being in flow with your creation. I sympathize with the other writer because I know how frustrating it can be to not be in flow.

 Me? I’m enjoying the piece I’m working on right now (which is one I began after I put away a half-finished manuscript because I hated it so much I was tempted to kill ALL of the characters) BUT I’m struggling with it to because I LOVE my bad guy. His scenes are the easiest to write and are easily the most interesting, but it’s not his book, so I keep telling him to shut up which I hate to do.

Here’s hoping I keep loving this book for a while longer!

June 5, 2007

My contribution to the world of art

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:17 am

I have no artistic ability. None. Can’t draw, can’t paint, can’t knit, can’t crochet, can’t bead, can’t scrapbook, can’t play an instrument…you get the idea.

DH on the other hand can do pretty much anything. 

A couple weeks ago I bought some clay (two bucks at the supermarket, wasn’t like I was making a big investment in art supplies) thinking that maybe I could at least make a simplistic clay figure. Nope. I totally suck at it.

DH on the other hand sits down with me, grabs some clay, rolls it around and Voila! — a tree appears!  A short time later there’s a man sitting on a rock. (The man really pissed me off because I recognized him as a character from one of my books.)

I, on the other (meaning the untalented) hand, had made nothing.

We put the tree and the man away. I put the clay away for a week. Then, the other night, I took it back out again. Once again, I ended up with nothing. DH made a dog.

 I look at his man, and his dog, and his tree and I make my one warped contribution: “You should have the dog peeing on the tree.”

DH, who must love me very much because there’s no other worldly reason to put up with my insanity, lifts the dog’s leg. 

Then I finally figured out what even I could make. I rolled out some yellow clay.

Yup, I made the puddle of pee.

June 4, 2007

Perky Paula and the tortoise at the 5k

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenniferelbaum @ 8:25 am

This weekend I participated in my first 5k. Unfortunately it was unseasonably hot (we’re talking every ambulance in town out and firemen hosing down runners — which isn’t nearly as appealing as you might think…) so I didn’t do particularly well. Not that I was expecting to set any record. I’m a walker, not  a runner.  I’m a tortoise, not a hare.

This whole tortoise thing applies to the rest of my life, not just “racing”. I’m a low-energy person, always have been, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because I am also what I call a “slogger”.  I’m pretty good about putting my head down and slogging through any project I tackle. I may not finish first or fast, but I do finish — that whole “slow and steady” thing.

 I did this particular “race” because my dear friend Perky Paula suggested it. Perky Paula is a hare — hell, she’s a freakin’ Energizer Bunny.  If you haven’t already guessed: Perky Paula is a runner. She runs races most weekends. I saw her before the race started and that was the last time.

I had plans for after the race, so I didn’t dawdle at the finish line, I left immediately, so I didn’t find out how she did. She left me a message after the race, checking in to see how I was (because while she’s incessantly perky, she’s also incessantly kind). She complained about the heat, that she’d had to WALK part of the race (thank goodness, because I was thinking maybe I was the world’s biggest wuss since the temperature had bothered me) and that she’d done her worst 5k time EVER. 

I, on the other hand, set a personal record since I’d never done it before and I’m encouraged that next time I won’t have too much trouble breaking it the next time, lol.

 I called her back, thinking maybe she needed her spirits bolstered.  NOT! Her WORST time netted her the second BEST time for women in her age group and she got a freakin’ medal! Go Perky Paula! (In case you’re wondering, this tortoise was 13th out of 14 for women in my age group — but I did beat a bunch of 20-somethings which amused me!)

 Today the tortoise is back to slogging through her work-in-progress!

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