(mis)adventures in trying to become a novelist

I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. Since I could put words into sentences and sentences into stories, I knew THAT’S what I wanted to do. No kidding. You should check out the first of my oeuvre entitled Missy the cat wins a trip to Florida. In it, the protagonist (Missy the Cat), does, in fact win a trip to Florida. Second prize was a Mr. Cool-Whip sticker. I don’t know why I remember that, nor do I remember why I was obsessed with Mr. Cool-Whip stickers.

Point being? Besides that I was a really weird kid, I’ve been thinking about writing forever. I’ve started a few manuscripts, but I haven’t actually finished one. So this NaNoWriMo, I’m determined to finish a first draft.

The story is pretty simple: girl has a mental freakout after her best friend announces she’s pregnant (the last of her ‘single friends’) and she gets fired from her job. She realizes her 10 year high school reunion is in 3 months, so she frantically tries to use the three months to “become interesting” to face her old high school classmates.

The story is a work in progress, but I’m STOKED to be writing again.

If the story sounds familiar, surprise, it’s because I (like most other writers) have to find inspiration in reality. I took a creative writing class when I was maybe 17 and the piece of advice I took away from it was this: write what you know. It has to be authentic.

I can’t write from the perspective of a middle aged black man. Number one, it wouldn’t be authentic…and number two, my imagination isn’t that good. I can write about twenty-something single girls going through an identity crisis, mostly because I AM a twenty-something single girl going through an identity crisis. I understand the character & how the character would behave. I suppose when my writing chops get stronger, I’ll be able to exercise my imagination muscle a bit, but for now, I’ll stick to what I know: the struggle of the single girl.

I like to find out what other people listen to and watch while they write. I always get a lot of the same answers: Wilco, Radiohead, the Arcade Fire, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker. They watch The Sopranos, Mad Men, Californication, Six Feet Under, Twin Peaks: a lot of ‘thinky-thinky’ shows with interesting writing and complicated plot lines.

This is what Stacey listens to while she writes

the Christmas album is my favorite—all.year.long.

and I can’t forget what I watch:

everywhere you look, I see Stacey typing furiously

Yup. I like to watch/listen to metaphoric junk food when I write. I don’t care if it rots my teeth (brain), it makes me happy. And lets be honest, I’m not exactly writing the sequel to War & Peace. I write about fun, fluffy things, so it makes sense that my favorite things are fun and fluffy.

Besides. Why watch Twin Peaks when you can watch this

Seriously. Uncle Jesse is a badass. And has great hair. And pink bunnies on his wall.

In other news, my sister (one of my favoritest favorite people EVER) is coming to CLE for the weekend. She, my mom, and I are taking a beading class tomorrow night. This should be interesting. Both my mother and Nicole are famously crafty. I am not. They also can have fun with creating. I stress myself out, trying to make it perfect. Basically, they are fun & laid-back and I am a batshit crazy perfectionist.

Let the (crafting) games begin.

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