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1001....

The infamous 1001....the 1001 (fill in the blank) before you die-- stemming back to Scheherazade's 1001 tales that postponed her death, one story a night in exchange for one more day of life. There are the 1001 places to see, 1001 albums to hear and 1001 movies to see....but for me, I choose the 1001 books to read before you die. Will I succeed? There is no way of ever knowing...

I turn 30 in 3 months and hope to begin this daunting task at that point. I call it daunting because of the time needed to complete this undertaking. If I average one book a week (some books won't take me that long, others might take longer) then it will take me exactly 19 years and 3 months to finish the list-- a lifelong endeavor.

Some of the books in the list I have already read, but for the purposes of this project, I intend to reread them. Some of the books may prove difficult, if not impossible to find (specifically the ones dated pre-1700s), for these books, I may have to substitute a comparabl…

NaNo Novel 2008 --- Club Haunt --- a different style, a different approach, but a better novel??

Introducing:
Digby Wilkins
Jeremiah Bickles (known only as Bickles)
Granville Isaacson

Club Haunt Credo: Scientific Investigation of all things Paranormal

This year's NaNo Novel wound up being something entirely different than I set out to do. Originally, I had planned a sequel to last year's novel 'Lost in the In-Between', but when it came time to start this year's NaNo Novel, I found that I wasn't interested in returning to the In-Between...at least not yet. I do have some ideas for Daniel Quinn's further adventures in the In-Between, but this year was not to be the year to write them.

Before NaNoWriMo 2008, I already had the names of my characters and the club's credo, but until the month-long frenzy began, I had no idea what was going to happen in the story. I had no plot, no general outline, not even a not-so-general outline. All I had were three names and a short insert about how the three names came to be on the same club's roster.

Nothing. T…

Sometimes it's less about Mind-Over-Matter and more about Insanity-Over-Mind ...

So, my second attempt at NaNoWriMo ended with me squeaking out a win at the eleventh second of the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour. In fact, I cut it so close that I was sure the word count validator was going to shut off for the year 2008, declaring me a failure for the year.

My final day of NaNoWriMo was my most frenzied writing escapade of my life thus far. After a full day's work at my day job--- in retail, mind you, during the holiday season---I came home ready to finish my 50,000 words and ready to be declared a winner. But, then the full reality of the task before me sunk in. I got home at 6pm and realized I was only at 40,000 words. I had until 11:59:59pm to write a full 10,000 words or face a year of personal defeat and humiliation. I was determined not to fail...especially after my pathetic attempt at Script Frenzy in April, but I don't want to mention that episode again.

Well, I did the only thing that I knew how to do...I wrote my ass off. The adrenaline start…

NaNoWriMo Round 2

It is officially October...the planning month for the frenzied month of November. This is the time to finalize and tie up any loose strings or pressing obligations that might interfere with next month's all-important and all-consuming goal--- cranking out a novel in 30 days. It doesn't seem possible that a whole year has passed since my first venture into NaNoWriMo.

I, unfortunately, must admit defeat for the month of April. Script Frenzy came and went with barely a whisper of words captured. But, I must not dwell on this lest it mar my chances at winning my second year NaNovel.

Last year's NaNovel --- Lost in the In-Between --- stands at 57,000 words and a triumph for me at hitting the 50,000-word mark by day 20. Unless things change in the near future, this year's book will probably be a sequel to Daniel's first experience in the In-Between.

Possible ideas---
- Nightmares have taken over, now that the Dream Recycler has been dest…

Fresh Starts, Promises Made and Lives Rewritten....

After my less-than-hopeful last post, I'm hoping this time to not further depress anyone who might read what I've written. Slowly, the 2-month long shadow is beginning to lift. It feels as if I've distanced myself from my creative self for far longer than 2 months, but that is all it has been.

Desire to return to my unfinished stories and the limbo-held lives of my infant characters is now needling its way through the darkness......

--I've left Morgan Blake in the clutches of her sadistic, psychopathic cousin.
--Poor Daniel Quinn has been "lost" in the In-Between for longer than he should have been.
--And my dreadfully neglected Gruesome triplets must surely think I've disowned them-- Wilhelmina, Phineas and Ignatius are still without a home, though their inheritance should be of some comfort.
--Regretfully I'm ashamed to even mention Carson Reed and Raimi Singh, whose story is still only half-conceived.

I am obliged to return to my writing, not for m…

Been a while....

I sometimes forget how life can suddenly take a drastic turn, causing all your perfectly laid plans to scatter to the proverbial wind. Since the last time I posted, I should proudly have in my hands my first completed screenplay manuscript-- such is not the case. For all my excited planning and revelry in the expectant insanity that was to ensue, I failed to remember there are times when unseen forces and unplanned-for-events stop at nothing to prevent us from completing the goals we set out for ourselves.

To set the record straight, I currently have 3 pages of the intended 100 pages of my screenplay complete. The April 30th deadline has long been past and thus my first attempt at Script Frenzy is a bust. But, that doesn't mean I can't try again next year and with NaNoWriMo only 6 months away, I still have a chance of redeeming myself before the year is out.

But, even more unfortunately, the events that prevented me from completing my screenplay left such an emotional, spiritu…

Addition to list of top reads....

Must add another book to the list of favorite reads--- Book Thief by Markus Zusak. If you have not read it, I suggest that you do :) It is one of those books that stays with you, and don't let the fact that it is marketed as a Teen/Young Adult novel put you off. It is beyond awesome, one of the best-written new novels out there.

Death is the narrator and it is set in Germany during WWII, but it is in no way over-done, contrived or depressing, though there are sad scenes. It centers around death's observations of life in a small German village and more specifically, his observations of a young girl whose desperation and hunger to learn to read cause her to steal books....from a cemetery, from a book-burning, from the mayor's library. It is a heartwarming, touching and awe-inspiring look at a time when life could have ended for everyone. It is a story of survival and a story of the power of words.

Insanity revisited....

As if I wasn't insane enough to get myself caught up in the November writing frenzy, NaNoWriMo---50,000 words in 30 days--- Now I've signed myself up for the sister program Script Frenzy---20,000-word or 100-page script in 30 days, which is set to begin April 1st.

I've never written a stage or screenplay before, so it should be an interesting exercise in imagination. And because I want it to be fun, I've decided to use one of their generated plot ideas so I don't have to struggle with what to write. Try not to laugh too much at the plot, it is supposed to be fun, you know ;) So, without further ado, here it is:

Screenplay: Devil Dread Bayou

Main Characters (so far): Max Steiner, Elsa Hardcastle

Plot: In a world where sleep must be paid for, a bike messenger with a death wish, plans to camp out in a haunted bayou.

So, let's see what I make of it :) I'm hoping it will be a good way to relieve some stress, since I don't really care how it turns out and it&…

Life changes and questions asked.....

It's strange what you come to think about when life takes a sudden turn. It's also strange the stand you find yourself taking when the sudden turn came from an unexpected direction. I never realized until just a few days ago how much I had tied myself to my store. I never realized just how much of an impact certain changes would affect me.

We are about to lose our General Manager, which opens the possibility of the current Assistant General Manager moving up and the added possibility of me moving into the Assistant General Manager position. I think I'm ready and I'm fully prepared, but doubts have set in about whether or not the higher powers that be will make the wise decision to move us up.

No one thinks about there being politics in a bookstore, but we are a corporation first. By definition we are a business....a business to make money. As much as those of us who work in the store would love for it to be a paradise of the written word, a pleasant place with soft cus…

Soul Sifters, a depart from the norm....

I've been fleshing out the plot/character line-up for my newest project and I'm beginning to think that this story will become more psychologically dark than I originally anticipated--- not that it's a bad thing, it's just probably more than the teen genre will allow. I think the strongest dark element is my protagonist's young daughter being in possession of another child's soul and memories---a child who has been dead for five years, and whose soul is eager to rejoin her dead brother, even at the expense of another life.

I never planned on the story skirting the edge of horror...I've never enjoyed being scared, but if this story decides to take over, I fear that's just where it is headed.

To do the plot justice, I plan on amping up the research, everything from paranormal psychology to Jung's idea of collective consciousness. I'm a bit concerned about doing justice to everything I want to include and I'm also struggling with the number of …

Amendment to list of favorite reads.....

Yes, I know I have a list of favorite books already in my profile, but I thought I'd add to the line-up:

Most recently---- ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan
--I don't know how the movie turned out and I really don't have plans to go and see it, but the book was really well done. As a warning though, most people I know (myself included) struggled with about the first 50 pages or so... almost to the point of putting the book down ----DON'T put it down. Fight through the first part because the book is totally worth it by the end. You will regret it if you don't keep reading.

Not on previous list---- RUNNING WITH SCISSORS by Augusten Burroughs
-- I'm not really sure why this one didn't make it on my original list, because it is so well-written and entertaining. It is definitely not for every reader, there are some intense and at times graphic scenes, but Burroughs is such an entertaining and descriptive writer that it is definitely worth trying. You almost look past the …

Redemption.....

Just saw the sneak preview of "The Kite Runner" with several of my book club buddies. And though some aspects of the book were missing in the cinema production, I definitely have to admit the movie was just as moving as the book itself. It is a definite "must-see"!!!!

So, the overwhelming question of this night, as well as the book discussion night, was that of redemption. Is it always possible to redeem oneself? Or are some things completely unforgivable? The idea of something being completely unforgivable is so powerful and frankly it's also emotionally terrifying. I can in no way imagine (and plan on never HAVING to imagine) what living with such intense life-long guilt could do to a person. What lengths would you go to just to alleviate the guilt? Even living the rest of one's life for the sole purpose of making amends may not ever be enough for some things.

Back to the movie or book :).... did Amir ever finally redeem himself for his silence? What abou…