Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm afraid...of writer's block

Sure I've met with the wall.

It happens about three times during my novel. After chapter three when I have defined my characters and am not sure what the hell the story is. Around mid-way when I'm sure this book is total crap and I shouldn't be writing it. And after I end the first draft and know that I have to go into the dreadful second draft phase. The second draft usually takes longer than the first draft because you have to clean up a lot of nonsense--the only saving grace, you have already typed THE END and you don't have to feel like quite the loser while you struggle through each sentence.

BUT is this writer's block or exhaustion? Am I just tired of typing away about one set of people or am I really hitting a block and need a bulldozer or a cosmopolitan to get past it? Or a Writer's Block, a drink that I came across in the New York Times.

Writer’s Block
Fresh lime juice
Muscat sparkling wine

I don't know if it works but it definitely puts me in a good mood. But nearly any cocktail can do that.

But these are still the good times. Ask my husband and he'll tell you that I'm much less of an uber bitch when I at least have a book to work on. When I'm in between stories it's a whole other story. My kids are going to grow up and say that they knew mama was a writer because she kept saying things like, "I got nothing to say. No stories, no nothing." And their favorite, "Can you keep it down, I'm in the middle of a sentence."

I hit major block when I finish a book, send it away, and have nothing but an empty page in front of me. There is nothing more intimidating than typing in the title of the book (I need a title before I can write anything) and chapter 1. I hate typing in chapter 1 and sometimes write a Prologue that may or may not be part of the final book. A prologue makes me feel safe, like it's
going to be all right, that the book will have a THE END.

I'm not having writer's block right now--and maybe that's why I can write about it. During writer's block, nothing comes out, and I mean nothing. I sit in front of the computer and watch TV, read a book while the laptop is on my lap, or chat with my husband about complete nonsense, ask my children to play monopoly with me until they're sick and tired of it--I do laundry, cook up a storm, go out with friends, invite people over all the time--anything to not look at the blank screen with no title and no chapter 1. Just a file titled Latest1.docx in a folder called Latest1.

It's the hardest time in any writer's life. I fear the wall. I fear opening the story I'm working on and finding that there are no new words, there's nothing to say, nowhere to go.

I'm almost ready to finish draft 1 of a book--and I know that the wall is rigth around the corner. I'm going to hit it and then what? I have to get through quickly because I only have two weeks of vacation and I need to get the manuscript to my agent by Labor Day Weekend. So I have my fingers crossed--I'm counting on skipping the wall this time as I type THE END and think, this book is a total waste of time. I need to rewrite the whole thing. I need to rewrite every book I have ever written.

After five books you'd think I'd be more sure of myself--you'd be so wrong. Self doubt is my middle name. I'm a writer and I'm scared of hitting the wall.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New study...lots of writing

So we moved again. This time it's for keeps - or at least 5 years. Anyway, that's what we're telling ourselves. This is our fourteenth dwelling in the fourteen years we've known each other. We're exhausted. This is the first though that we threw out and gave away all our packing boxes. It's very liberating.

It's a great time to move. The weather is lovely so we can enojy our trouble-free garden that is all lawn and bush and lovely easy-to-climb apple trees. I'm not climbing the apple trees but my boys are all over them. My younger one spends a lot of time up there - doing god knows what because the apples are not big or ripe enough to eat.

So I have a beautiful study now. Mostly it is empty - has a couple of book shelves and a table facing a window that opens into a big patch of lavender. It's very inspiring. And even though I had my doubts, I have been writing up a storm, which is a good thing because I really need to finish this book and send it to my agent by the end of August. When life comes back to the publishing world after Labor Day I want to be locked and loaded with a finished manuscript. Fingers crossed!

Hope everyone is having a lovely summer!

Check out John Blumenthal's Blog

My friend John Blumenthal is a very cool writer - and not just novels, movies too. He wrote the superhit from the nineties BLUE STREAK.

His latest blog is titled:

"How Can Mike Huckabee Dispute Evolution When He Was Elected By Neanderthals?....And Other Political Queries."

Check it out, comment, rant, tell a friend, call John an idiot... whatever.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sarkozy makes my blood boil!

So the useless President Sarkozy comes out and declares that the full-body religious gown is a sign of the 'debasement' of women.

He's perfectly okay with his wife being plastered around the Internet without any clothes on but he has a problem with the burkha. Naked pictures of his wife all over the place do not debase women - a woman covering herself is debasing herself. Can the guy hear himself or is he so full of himself that he misses the bloody point?

I don't understand how on the one hand people like Sarkozy talk about democracy and freedom and on the other want to tell some women how they should dress. It's really none of his business.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Serbian this time...

Oops, below is the cover of THE SOUND OF LANGUAGE in Serbian (or is it Bosanski?). The previous one was the Romanian translation. I thought it was Serbian because I didn't know Ballantine had sold Romanian rights. But it's exciting to know that THE SOUND OF LANGUAGE has now been translated in Dutch, Danish, Romanian, and Serbian (or Bosanski - I'm not sure but I hope a reader can help me). More translations to come I hope...once the recession passes and publishers the world over start buying books again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My book in Serbian...

I don't even know what the title translates to but this is the Serbian translation of THE SOUND OF LANGUAGE.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doing publicity for my sister's friend's new movie...

This year’s funniest and coolest film, 99, releases worldwide on May 15!

99 is a 'smart comedy' that promises a hell of a ride with unpredictable and hilarious twists and turns. Facts and fiction are liberally mixed to create a heady cocktail of twists and turns and loads of laughs.

It is an exciting comedy-thriller-historical fiction, a one-of-a-kind film.

The eclectic cast blends a reinvented Kunal Khemu with a new look, the ever-cool Soha Ali Khan in a chic new role, the hilarious Cyrus Broacha in his first feature role, and the talented powerhouses Boman Irani and Mahesh Manjrekar. The film also brings yesteryear hero Vinod Khanna back to the silver screen in a rare cameo.

The film is already generating buzz as the COOLEST COMEDY of the year, and is coming to ALL CINEMAS on MAY 15.

Watch the super-cool trailer on or on youtube.

Directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK
Produced by Anupam Mittal and Aditya Shastri
Cinematography: Rajeev Ravi
Sound Design: Stephen Gomes
Music: Ashu, Shamir Tandon, Roshan Machado, Mahesh Shankar
Written by: Raj Nidimoru, Krishna DK and Sita Menon

A People Pictures Presentation

Monday, May 11, 2009

Flying - a rant...

So...when you pay, say $2,000 for say, a hotel room for the night, you know that the service you get will be impeccable. People will genuflect and every whim of yours will be fulfilled.

Now say, you pay the same money for an airline ticket, what would you be expecting? I'm expecting nothing but grumpy people who think that the airline business is doing us a favor by flying us out and about and taking our money. Airlines have forgotten what it means to be hospitable and are the weakest link in the hospitality chain.

I rant because I flew today. The service wasn't bad but in Europe there is no service. No tea, coffee, breakfast, nothing if you fly monkey class. You just sit cramped and wait to land. No one even says hello to you unless your seat belt is unbuckled.

Today, as I walked through security, I kept my shoes on. I usually take them off, it's just not worth the hassel. But it's spring and I was wearing pretty open shoes without socks and didn't want to take them off. The thing beeped and interestingly enough, two men stood there feeling up women. I mean the guy touched my boob in an attempt to find a bomb. Now I know it was 8 a.m. but Copenhagen airport can't hire women to feel up women? I'm not a prude and I didn't kick up a fuss because I didn't want others to think I'm a prude, but seriously, some strange guy runs his gloved hands all over me...and doesn't even offer me a drink?

And wouldn't you know it, the damn security thing beeped every time someone walked throug it. I don't wear a belt. The only jewelry is my wedding ring and some ear rings.

I'm disappointed with the aviation industry. They don't care for their customers. They don't give a damn how we're treated. I was in the US in February and after getting through immigration which took two long hours, we were in another security line and this guy was yelling, "take your shoes off, take your shoes off." We were all tired after 10 hours on a plane and this guy was talking to us like we were cattle. How is this behavior okay?

Imagine going to your supermarket and they yell at you, do you go back? Would they do that and still stay in business?

I think the airline industry confuses itself with a homeland security type agency and that's the big problem. We're all terrorists and should be treated as such until the plane lands and we're out of their hair.

I'm sick and tired of this. I have decided to do something about it. From now on, I intend to call on every rude act performed toward me or anyone else I see during my travel. I should have said something today morning when two men were feeling up several women as their security gate beeped for absolutely nothing. Well, there's always next time I'm sure.

What do you hate about flying? Or do you love flying and why?