Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CEDA - Take Two

So CEDA (Create Every Day in April) was pretty much an epic fail, so let’s try CEDA v.2: Create Every Day in August.*
This CEDA is special in part because I can totally take part in Laurie Halse Anderson’s annual WFMAD in which one simply writes for fifteen minutes a day. I also like Laurie’s prompts so I plan to write on those in addition to dedicating fifteen minutes a day to one or more of my goals.
My goals for CEDA, v. 2
Write 1-2 chapters in my YA WIP.
Compile the bible for my YA WIP as well as the screenplay that Jenn and I started during Script Frenzy. (Just as soon as Jenn is done with her thesis, we plan on working on it as well as another screenplay.)
Work on prewriting of above two screenplays.
Write a short story. (Or a short film.) The goal is to write something from premise to a completed first draft.
Revisit previous story ideas and/or starts. See if there is anything that I want to work on now in addition to my YA WIP, the two screenplays, and the new short story. I probably should select a solo screenplay idea to work on in addition to the ones I’m co-writing with Jenn. Develop a writing plan for the rest of 2011 and perhaps for the next year or so. I’m still trying to figure out the ideal number of projects to be working on at any given time.
Respond to Laurie Halse Anderson’s daily prompts during her WFMAD challenge.
Write and post 10-15 blog entries.
Work on my new freelance writing career. (I suppose that means I need to finish working on the actual applications. I hate applications. (Note if you’re a fan of Left 4 Dead and Francis, you know he’d agree.))

And obviously writing for at least 15 minutes a day.
*Except for August 1st, 2nd, and most of the 3rd, because my time machine is in the shop. Silly intergalactic travel—all planets need to agree to the Universal Driving Codes. And don’t get me started about the effects of wormholes, black holes, and solar storms, if you thought rush hour in LA was bad, you haven’t tried traveling in time and space during the Galaxy Games.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Sorry, fellow Left 4 Dead fans, but this isn’t a post about the Civil Emergency and Defense Agency in the game. But eventually I’ll probably blog about the awesomeness that is Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2.
CEDA (Create Every Day in April) is simply my version of BEDA (Blog Every Day in April) that the awesome YA author Maureen Johnson started in 2009. You can check out Maureen’s initial post here.
Why Create and not Blog?
For starters, I’m still getting used to not cringing every time I see blog used as a verb. But I’m not the grammar police, because if I was I’d have already been picked up by Internal Affairs for my past abuse and misuse of commas.
Midway through the writing version of March Madness, I realized that I seriously needed to work on changing my writing habits. I’ve been a longtime spurter*, and it’s way past time for a change. Or at least, time to try a new approach.
By calling it CEDA instead of BEDA, I can continue my March Madness goals to keep working on my writing by actually writing; be it my YA WIP, the Script Frenzy project that I’m working on with my friend and writing partner, Jenn, my blog, or something else that just can’t wait to be written. (My characters from other works seem to like to make sudden appearances when I’m trying to fall asleep and rattle off epically awesome pieces of inner monologue, description, etc. I think I need to put new batteries in my tape recorder, because by the time I grab my cell or notebook, the words don’t appear so epically awesome. Well, most of the time they are still epically awesome, just epically awesome piles of crap.)
CEDA’s focus is to allow myself to focus on daily writing while not limiting myself to just one project. After all, writers actually write instead of just talking about writing. And I am a writer. I will write every day. I will get the words on paper. I will, in the words of the great Nike slogan; Just do it.
My goals for CEDA:
Write 1-2 chapters in my YA WIP.
Complete a 100 page screenplay with Jenn for Script Frenzy
Write and post 10-15 blog entries.
And because I'm such a geek for statistics, I made a spreadsheet to keep track of my total words/pages. Based on previous chapters, screenplays, and blogs; I estimate I'll see about 35,000 words. Now just to find someone willing to give me a dollar a word. I'd even settle for a penny a word.

* I should really get off my high horse about blog as a verb, because here I am using a rare noun form of the word spurt.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March Madness Goals

So a few days ago, on March 9th to be exact, I signed up for Denise Jaden's Awesome March Madness, I mean it's not the March Madness of basketball fame, but still it is very very cool. Plus it allowed me to set some goals:

So without further ado, here are my goals for March Madness:

1. Write at least one chapter in my current YA WIP.

2. Write and post at least 5 blog entries in my poor neglected Livejournal.

3. Write at least 500 words a day. So by the end of March I will have 15,500 new words. Of course, they'll be spread across a few different projects, but they'll still be new words.

4. Prepare for Script Frenzy. Get to know my characters - who they are and what do they want. Unless, of course, this is cheating.

5. Try to read at least half my current to-read pile.

6. Try to avoid overusing the phrase "at least."

7. Also I'm working on limiting my Pepsi intake to three can a day. (So far today, I've only had one.)

So without counting this sentence I am at 267 words. (Yes, I am ignoring the fact that I signed up for it on March 9, so I have eight days or 4,000 words to make up for.)

267 down, 15,233 to go.

Awesome Must-See Video

I have to admit that I've really never thought about making a nonnarrative short film, although I suppose one could argue that Youth is a narrative film. Nonetheless this is an awesome film and I wish I had been this talented when I was 16.

YOUTH from Tommy Petroni on Vimeo.

I absolutely love what Molly O'Neill said about this film over at 10 Block Walk: "Or, as you might also care to see it, it's essentially the heart of many a contemporary YA novel, in under five minutes."

I have to agree with Molly. And I loved the skateboarding bits, but that might because one of my MCs is a skater.

I love this film.

Thanks, Tommy for sharing this with us. I know we'll be seeing more of your work in the future.

Cross-posted from my livejournal

The Very Memorable First Post

Welcome to my new blog.

First posts are really hard to write. Okay, so I find posts, in general, very hard to write, because honestly while I've always liked the idea of keeping a diary/journal, I've never been really good at maintaining said diary/journal. But I love reading blogs/journals especially those by authors (both published and aspiring to be published), agents, editors, and the like.

Although I've been on livejournal for almost six years, I only have 47 entries. And until recently I pretty much had abandoned it. 2010 was going to be the year that I made a serious return to writing and blogging. That didn't happen. Then 2011 came and I decided not to even fool myself into thinking I'd make resolutions again.

Then last month, YA author L.K. (Lisa) Madigan passed away. Although I only knew L.K. from her often funny Drenched in Words, I felt part of her world. As the news spread, so did the tributes by those who knew her well and those, like me, who only knew her from her words. The following quote (from her advice on writing) often popped up, which coupled by the fact that L.K. knew she was going to die and that she wouldn't get a chance to write all the books she wanted made me decided it was time to actually sit down and be a writer.

The main thing is to WRITE. Some days it might be 2000 words. Some days you might tinker with two sentences until you get them just right. Both days belong in the writing life. Some days you may watch a “Doctor Who” marathon or become immersed a book that is so good you can’t stop reading. Some days you may be in love or in mourning. Those days belong in the writing life, too. Live them without guilt.
                                                                                                   -- L.K. Madigan

Thank you Lisa for your words and for inspiring me to get my butt in the chair and write. Thank you to all the authors whose blogs I read who keep sharing their stories and encouraging us all to achieve our dreams.