Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dribbles and Drabbles and Drivels

I have no blog post today.

Wait, you're thinking, what the heck am I reading, then?

Technically, a blog post. Right. Fair enough. I'll get more specific: I have no planned, cohesive post with one set topic and a solid through-line today.

That's OK, though, because I only pretend to have those things most of the time. In fact, I often have what I have today, which is a mostly unrelated collection of thoughts, updates, ideas, and musings. So I'm going to start a new, recurring post today that stops pretending to be cohesive and starts claiming its own identity as a Dribble. Or a Drivel. Or a Drabble. Or perhaps all three. That way, I can post collections like this when I need to, instead of dressing them in costumes to convince people that they are actually coherent stories or essays. Live with confidence now, little dribble-drabble-drivels!

Let us begin:

1. California Envy

So this happened this weekend:

Full disclosure: I didn't take this picture. Another wedding guest did, and I'm borrowing it. 

That's at Diablo Ranch, in Walnut Creek, California, about an hour outside of San Francisco, and it's where I spent most of the weekend, at a family wedding. I got more sun in 24 hours there than I have in the past two weeks in Boston. Which raises the question: why the hell do I live in New England, again? Every time I go to California I forget the answer. I end up feeling envious and wistful, and then pretend I'm actually just disdainful of the weak, soft people who live in constant sunshine and never have to learn to endure anything more difficult than a a few clouds. Unlike we New Englanders, who are a tough, hardy breed. Or something. Of course, the whole drought thing sort of disproves that thesis. Which leaves me wondering why I live here and not near that picture.

Oh, and the wedding was lovely. Really, really lovely, actually.

2. Ode to Being Anal

I love my spreadsheets. They make my brain feel clear and clean. They also make figuring out what I need to work on much, much easier. I spent a good portion of the day yesterday finishing a rough draft of a piece about online dating.

3. The Neverending Story

I'm almost done with the Texbook From Hell. I didn't read the whole thing, no, but I did skim a large portion of it, and read a solid chunk of it. I was hoping to have all of the information I needed for my WIP on Pre-Columbus South America by the time I finished it...but I realize now that was a pipe dream. Of gargantuan proportions. What I have instead is a much clearer idea of where I need to go next in my research. Sigh. Some day, I will finish researching, and that will be a really, really good day.

4. American Navel-Gazing

Did you know that the BBC has a series of television shows on Pre-Columbus South America, with a dashing, sexy, young archaeologist as the host? Yeah, I didn't know archaeologists came in dashing, young, and sexy, either. Check out Dr. Jago Cooper:

Image courtesy of http://cdn.wanderlust.co.uk

Oh, and the shows were pretty interesting, too. They're called The Lost Kingdoms of South America, and they've been a welcome, if temporary, respite from the Textbook From Hell. Sadly, I don't think any of them are about the tribes that my characters are from, but the shows have provided great visuals, and excellent insights into the region, history, and various cultures of a place that my schooling, at least, mostly pretended did not exist. Why is that?

5. NaNoWriMoWhoDoesWhatNow?

Based on last year's experience, I'm probably not going to do it this year, but I feel that pull all the same. You know the one: everyone else is doing so maybe I should think about it...

I'll more likely do my version of it, which is less "write a 50,000 word novel in a month" and more "put lots of pressure on yourself to write more and faster and better and get stressed about it while producing about the same amount as always."

What about you all? What's going on in your lives? Are going to NaNo?

36 comments:

  1. But you wouldn't have snow if you lived there. And snow is just awesome.

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  2. I've never done NaNo either. It's really not my thing. BUT I'm ready to jump into a new project, so what the heck. I'm diving in to see how far I can get during the month of November. Spreadsheet and outline free!!!! :P

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  3. Hey. Your blog post is better than mine.

    Lovely photo! I want to go there. Right now! :D

    Don't let the research get you down. When your readers are praising you for it, all that time spent will be worth it. ;)

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    1. Oh. And no, no, NANO. No, no, no.

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    2. LOL! That's sort of the refrain that's running through my head, too...

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  4. Gorgeous setting for a wedding!

    I hope the BBC show covers the tribes you want.

    I will be doing NaNo, assuming I can figure out all my plot holes before November hits. :) Darn timeline is still plaguing me.

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  5. wow that is BEAUTIFUL...perfect wedding spot. I won't be doing Nano since it'd be spreading myself too thin--I already began drafting my next novel and from what I understand if i considered that my NaNo novel it's cheating lol. Sexy archeologists-- this sounds intriguing! The only one that ever came close to sexy for me was Ross Geller from Friends (though I think technically he was a Paleontologist who went on some digs) haha he was cute in a dorky way!

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  6. Come on, digging your car out of the snow really builds character.

    I'm fairly certain that I'm going to do NaNo this year. I just have to plan out my book idea and do some research first.

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  7. OK that picture is beautiful but if you moved there you would have 4 seasons also-earthquake season, Fire season, Mudslide season, Hotter than Hades season. I would stick to our 4 seasons:) Now that picture of that man? With a name like Jago, are you sure he is not on some soap opera? I have been on vacation and not doing much which I am enjoying!! I have been a lump and my lumps have lumps. I should be walking and swimming and organizing..ughh tired just writing this. I will go do more card making

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    1. Hmm...fair point. I don't think they have mudslide season there, but the other three, yes. Maybe I'll stick with snow.

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    2. We got a lot of mudslides and flood - ironically enough. The drought season killed everything off so the rain left mini-mudslides everywhere.

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  8. Dribble, Drabble Drivels - it's a three way. Does that sound bad? That is a gorgeous pic of California.

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  9. I love it... Dribbles, Drabbles, Drivels. I love the photograph you took, Liz. It's absolutely stunning! And is a perfect reminder of how much I can't stand the cold, dark damp days we are experiencing in New Jersey right now. Ugg. I've already lost my summer glow and could use a trip to California.
    I'm wondering what your "textbook from hell" is like? Probably exactly how you describe it in those three words!=)
    I have to get back to my novel which has been on the backburner do to my children's work. I actually miss doing the research.... sigh. I know, I have to be joking, right? Nope, I actually miss the research and writing of that piece. I'm hoping to take advantage of the nasty winter days here, bury myself inside the warmth and coziness of my pjs and get some writing done=)

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    1. Yeah, Textbook From Hell pretty much sums it up :)

      I hear you. It's cold and damp and not so nice here, but it IS good writing weather!!

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  10. Hah! NaNo... I played a few years back and swore I'd never do it again. Well, guess what? Actually I'm playing casually. I don't care if I reach the word count. All I care about is making epic progress for the month--and quality progress at that.

    Oh, I'm going in to find out what the baby is in two days. That's news, right? Guess I'll have to mention that in a blog post soon...

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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    1. =) Guess I better go get that blog post ready.

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  11. Wow, that's beautiful. Good question about living in New England (well, the leaves are pretty; that's something, right?). I have too much other work to do to even consider NaNo, but you're right, it is tempting.

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  12. Wait, wait, wait. You were right here and we didn't meet for drinks or something??? (I live in Livermore.) I used to live in Boston, actually; we moved out here two years ago and I don't regret it in the least. I miss the foliage, but that's about it.

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    1. Oh, I didn't know you were that close!! Darn it! Well, I was busy with family stuff all weekend, so I probably wouldn't have had time...which makes me feel slightly better about not knowing ;)

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    2. Next time you're out this way . . .

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  13. NaNoWhoWhat??? I'm still ducking from the manuscript I was supposed to write last year. No way, dude! Right now I'm working on the novel I've been kicking around since I was a wee lad. Maybe I'll finally make some progress on it!

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  14. I know what you mean about California, but honestly, after living there for a time, I've found it's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. Glad you got some sun! I'll have to check out the archeologist, too. I know what you mean about SA not coming up much in school--it's a lot more popular now as a travel destination. As you know, I am leaning toward Nano, but only due to peer pressure and only to keep working on a novel I am already writing just for fun.

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  15. Okay, I read this and loved this hours ago. And here I am finally finding the time to comment. Sheesh! I gotta take back my life!

    Love the dribs and drabs. And as for Cali, they're like, snow shmow. We have earthquakes. Hard boiled new englanders? Bah!

    Okay, I might be paraphrasing here. I think it was the Bah. I doubt a Californian in all the history of California ever said bah.

    Keep up the research, lady. I want that book!!

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    1. Well, I'm glad you came back - but I still wish things weren't so crazy for you!

      LOL. Yeah, does anyone say 'Bah'? Out loud, I mean? ;)

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  16. I've never joined NaNo. Tempting as it is, I really don't have much time with work and my writing and the family and other things. I guess if I stay committed to my writing, that's just like doing NaNo my own style.

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  17. I'm originally from Southern California, so I understand. We invented the term "sub-70 weather". :P

    And I don't do NaNoWriMo either, but for a different reason than most - doing 50K in a month isn't a challenge for me. I'd blog about it, but damn, it feels like I'm bragging now, what would an entire entry feel like? O_o

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  18. I totally understand how you feel about California. It would be so cool to live there. Everything you could want to do is within a day's drive! Skiing, beaches, movie stars, great food, wine! It's apparently just way too expensive to live anywhere within state lines, so I'll just stick with Tennessee for now.

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  19. I wish my posting "dribbles" were as awesome as yours. And no NaNo for me. I just don't write quickly enough.

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  20. Looks like a lovely setting for a wedding. How can all that sunshine beat 3 feet of snow and a blizzard in Boston?
    That TV show sounds interesting even without the hunky guy.

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  21. I loved California on my one visit there. Would love another visit soon...

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  22. I don't do NaNo, but I hope to harness the noveling energy that's sure to hit the ether and finish my current draft.

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  23. Loved reading your post dribbles...no NANO for me either. Too busy editing.

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  24. That CA pic looks fake! So beautiful. I was born in California but my parents moved me to the Midwest when I was a wee babe. I tell myself the same thing about nasty-weather-bred toughness, hehe.

    I'm cooking up thoughts about semi-participation in Nano too.

    So far my daughter has reported meeting one hot young archealogist wannabe at university. I'm sure there are many more to come...

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  25. San Francisco is the most beautiful city I've ever visited and ever since I went I've thought how much I'd love to live there! I think Northern California is amazing. What a place for a wedding.

    No NaNo for me but I did love it a few years back when I tried it. Maybe next year.

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  26. I happen to like your dribble! :) Especially that pic of California—yeah, you had me thinking, 'why the heck don't I live there!' Absolutely gorgeous!

    And speaking of gorgeous...that young archaeologist isn't bad to look at either. Guess I need to spend more time watching the BBC! :)
    As for NaNo, it's going to be a no for me this year. As much as I'd LOVE to write, write, write, I need to spend November trying to publish my YA thriller. So, it's off to the query trenches for me. But, like you, I feel the "pull" because, ya know, everyone else is doing it. Peer pressure sucks. :)

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