Video: 30-Question Survey

Here’s a just-for-fun video post that might function as a prompt for people who are stalled out on their writing right now but might be able to reclaim some passion if they get to talk about it.

Designed as a blog survey but there are certainly more uses for it than that! Enjoy.

New blog

I primarily use this site to discuss big writing news, occasionally share perspectives, and promote other content. I’d like to continue to have a fairly dignified lifestyle over here, but there is a time and a place for silly, so I have started a new blog over on Blogspot:

In Propinquity

I plan to blog about books, personal life stuff, publishing, and of course writing process and product. But there are some things I didn’t really want to clutter up this site with that I can participate in more easily there, and it also has a connectivity factor that this one doesn’t.

Both blogs will of course feature any important news on any of my projects!

Please follow the new blog. It is lonely.

(And just in case you are curious: I called it “In Propinquity” because it is a quote I really like from Keith Miller’s The Book of Flying: “But keep characters in propinquity long enough and a story will always develop a plot.”)

My Desktop

For the curious, this is what my desktop background looks like. I think the (original) quote accompanying the avatar is one of the most important ideas I live by as a writer.

desktop

Do any of y’all have desktop designs that are writing-related or inspiring for your work?

New YouTube channel for writing videos

I’ve decided to start video-blogging about writing-related things. Sometimes I will post how-tos on things I know how to do in the writing world, and sometimes I will post personal perspectives. You can subscribe to my new YouTube channel at Channel JulieSondra.

Here is my video on writing query letters:

And here is my video on how I got my agent:

Feel free to let me know in the comments of this blog post or the comments of the YouTube videos whether you’d like me to do a video on any particular topic. It should be noted that optional captions are always installed in my videos for anyone who needs/wants them.

Old journals from fifth grade

I’ve been going through some old journals from when I was a child.  I found this hilarious “About Me” packet I had to fill out in fifth grade—full of prompts asking me to provide answers to unimaginative questions that everyone asks kids.

In asking what I wanted to be when I grew up, it said “When I grow up, I want to be a . . . ”

I wanted to be an author.

So I wrote “author” and then I corrected the prompt above by changing “a” to “an.”

That’ll show those jerks who can’t imagine that any kid would want to grow up to be something that starts with a vowel.

I also found this prompted journal entry for “What Makes Me Happy,” in which I announced that I liked writing and wanted to be a writer . . . and that “not having a boyfriend” made me happy.  Guess I was destined to be an aromantic asexual from a young age?

Word of the Day: Favonian

I subscribe to Word of the Day from dictionary.com, so I get neat words delivered to my inbox daily.  Today’s:

Word of the Day for Wednesday, January 3, 2007

favonian \fuh-VOH-nee-uhn\, adjective:
Pertaining to the west wind; soft; mild; gentle.

With dusk came cool, favonian breezes.

I LOVE this word. I want to start using it all the time, except I guess I don’t have that many occasions to talk about western wind.

Can I use it to describe when a country star farts?

Movie Recommendation: Stranger Than Fiction

If you are a writer, or have ever fancied yourself one, you need to see the movie Stranger Than Fiction.

I went to a pre-screening with my friend and it was such a wonderful experience. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you can remember watching a movie while grinning practically the whole time, enthralled, actively involved and completely immersed in the story that you’re being shown?

I’ve been guilty of being a passive movie-watcher. There’s not a lot out there that impresses me. But once in a while there’s a movie that hits every nerve, makes me say “OH!” throughout, makes me completely relate to the characters and draws me right the hell in.

Stranger Than Fiction involves a rather interesting relationship between a writer and a character, and vice versa. It raises interesting questions about the nature of writing, of stories, of literature and story forms, of the duty of the creator and the created to their own respective worlds, with a nod at the weird little glimmer of reality where the two meet.

Will Ferrell usually plays a different kind of character, but in this I could totally believe in him as a stiff, numbers-obsessed IRS agent who’s suddenly in a situation he can’t puzzle out. Emma Thompson plays an AWESOME neurotic writer! While I was watching her I was like, “Oh my God. She GETS it.” Maggie Gyllenhaal was such a convincing bleeding-heart hippie baker . . . I was totally reminded of my college hippie days going to poetry jams. And Dustin Hoffman was his usual brilliant self—completely comfortable in the role of a literature professor who doesn’t appear to think it’s all that bizarre to be analyzing a story he’s become part of. (Queen Latifah was also in it, but I didn’t really have anything to say for or against her—I like her in everything else I’ve seen her in, but in this she felt like kind of an extra character.)

The last time I was this taken with a movie, it was also about writing. That movie was Adaptation.

Three words: Go see it.

Four words: Go see it NOW.

Wendy West Saves the World

I thought I’d share this.  I found my first short story, written when I was eleven years old, in fifth grade: March 15, 1989. It was written in pencil in a preteen’s careful cursive. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation has been left untouched.  It’s called “Wendy West Saves the World.”

Wendy West was an explorer who had shiny black hair and light purple eyes. She could see farther than a million telescopes put together could see.

One day Wendy West was exploring a hole in Sudan, Africa. She heard some screeching inside the hole and a laser beam shot out of it, narrowly missing Wendy. It hit a tree and the tree evaporated into thin air.

Wendy was shocked at this. She looked into the deep hole. It seemed endless, so she used her special vision to peer deep into the hole. At the bottom, there was a huge group of tall, blue men! They shot lasers at her. They missed. She ran to a nearby police station.

The police were on coffee break. Wendy got a police man to come to the hole. He looked inside the hole. “Is this your idea of a joke? I don’t see anything,” Said the police man. “No,” said Wendy. She shined a flashlight down in the deep hole. Sure enough, nothing was there. She used her special vision to look around in Africa, then in Europe. When she got to China, there were the blue men, shooting huge buildings down.

The police sent helicopters to China, after Wendy West reported her story. They disposed of the aliens, and then they had a party for Wendy and proclaimed that day a holiday called “Alien day!”