Monday, November 16, 2015

14 Minor Differences Between Things in the Life of a Writer

This post is going to be very gif-heavy. Particularly gifs from Parks and Rec. Sorry about that, or alternately, if you love Parks and Rec, you're welcome about that.

So, I decided to do a fun post this week, about writing, to keep with the NaNoWriMo spirit. I based it off of the "Minor Differences" series from the comic The Oatmeal. Basically, they're little funny comics about minor differences in life that are actually major differences: grocery shopping while full vs. grocery shopping while hungry, microwaving butter for 13.1 seconds vs. microwaving it for 13.2 seconds, etc. This post is going to be like those, only focusing on writerly experiences. Also, instead of drawing original comics, I'm going to be using gifs I found on the Internet.

Hope you enjoy them! Sorry that Parks and Rec is so prevalent here, again; it's a little bit my entire life and existence now. :) I also apologize in advance for the super weird spacing. Blogger isn't fond of gifs.

1. Writing when you have writer's block:

Writing when you're inspired:

2. Opinions on NaNoWriMo on November 1:

Opinions on NaNoWriMo on November 20th:


3. What your Pinterest board about books is like:

What your bookshelf in real life is like:

4. Twelve year olds commenting on your first draft online:

Adults commenting on your first draft in real life:

5. Doing research for school projects:

Doing research for your book:

6. Cutting stuff when you edited your first book:

Cutting stuff when you edit now:

7. Who your favorite character in your own book should be:

Who your favorite character actually is:

8. Critiquing your classmate's manuscript:

Critiquing your friend's manuscript:

9. How readers feel when you kill a character:

How you feel when you kill a character:

It's fun being the Dark Lord.

10. How you react out loud to someone younger than you getting an agent:

How you feel inside:

 11. Diversity in the real world:

Diversity in popular books:

12. Using the word "said" in your writing like a normal person:

Using ridiculous synonyms instead:

13. Outlining a scene:

Writing that scene:

14. Writing a blog post about writing:


Actually writing:

Thanks for reading! That took a lot of maneuvering around the demon that haunts my computer to put together (it doesn't like gifs) so I really hope you like it, haha.
See you next week,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

If My Life Was a Novel

Hey! So, yes, I know, I didn't post last week, because I was super sick and exhausted. Sorry about that! But I am here this week with a post about this time of year. What, Christmas season? Late autumn? Thanksgiving? (Conference season at SLC?) No, not that! NaNoWriMo, obviously!

Now, this year I'm technically not doing NaNoWriMo. I'm doing NaNoEdMo, where I plan to edit 50 scenes in 30 days. You can read more about it in my interview on the amazing Julia Byers' blog. But the month of November generally gets me thinking about novels in general. And on Saturday I started thinking: what if my life were a novel?

If my life were actually a novel, it would most likely be a dull NA contemporary. "Nineteen-year-old Ariel Kalati has always been a little different. She's socially awkward and likes to read, unlike all those other NA heroines that aren't like that at all. Follow her story as she survives her second year of college, braving social interactions, getting out of bed in the morning, and not eating all the things!" But that would make for a really boring blog post. Instead, I'm going to imagine how a novel based on my life would go if it were actually... AN EPIC FANTASY ADVENTURE STORY!

Me, the heroine: I'm definitely not a knight or soldier or anything that requires physical effort. I'm not a high sorceress or anything cool like that either, although I guess writing could count as magic. OK, so I'm an aspiring wizard, at the Sarah Lawrence Academy of Magic, where some learn the magic of Political Science, and some learn the magic of Creative Writing, and some learn the magic of Gender Studies, etc. I may be a lowly student, but I'm up against some fearsome antagonists...

Primary antagonist of my life: Who else? Google Plus. As I try to join a scrappy band of young word wizards in our journey to put together the Chapter One Wizard Convention, the evil Google Plus thwarts me at every turn. And it's not alone...

Minor antagonists:
-The laundry machines in the next building just recently joined the list of villains. Why couldn't they just have dried my clothes? WHY?
-Intrusive Thoughts Man! "Hey... see that person you'll have to interact with a lot... do you like them, like in a sexual way?" "What? No, of course not!" "That's exactly what you would say if you DID!" Intrusive Thoughts Man strikes again! "Hey... what if you just yelled out a bunch of curse words in the middle of class?" "I'm not gonna do that." "BUT WHAT IF YOU DID"
-My meal plan! OK, that's my fault for buying a million foods at the beginning of the semester, I guess.

The quest: 
I'm going through the Fields of the Book Industry, battling the Dragons of Rejection and Evil Spirits of I'm-Not-Even-Close-to-a-Final-Draft, all in an attempt to reach the holy peak of Publication. And my true dream is to find the One Ring of Actually Making a Living Through My Writing. If I don't make it, I'll have to go to the Land of Day Jobs, which is not that bad really if you think about it and I could still self-publish or something.

Wise Mentor:
I have plenty of professors here at the Sarah Lawrence Academy of Magic, all of whom teach me many valuable skills I can apply to word wizardry. But my true mentor is probably the most glorious Panera Bread. It gives me hope and comfort in the darkest of times. :) (No offense to, like, my parents and wonderful friends, but I mean... Panera, you guys).

Romantic Subplot:
Hahahaha... that's a good one.

Magical Tools:
Besides my innate talents for word-magic that I have been cultivating since a young age, I've picked up many magical objects in my magical travels:
-The Tweeting Bird: This tiny bird, whose name is Twitter for its high pitched tweets, can send 140-character messages of my choosing out to the world. For some reason, all word wizards need to get one of these birds now to network with people in the industry, but the bird mostly seems to want to tell me celebrity scandals and something called "parody accounts."
-The Magical Tomato: This tomato is in the form of fabric most of the year, but once a year it comes to life at the Chapter One Wizard Convention with the power of friendship and young writers coming together to learn about writing and publishing.
-The Blue Veil: If I input a secret password, the blue veil suddenly gets filled with messages from a land called... Tumblr. It tells me of the magic of memes, shows me moving pictures of our overlord species (cats), and most importantly analyzes to death every fictional story that I love. Truly a magicalplace.
-The Tomes of Rowling: Though as a word wizard, I believe all books qualify as magical objects, the most magical are the Tomes of Rowling, which tell the story of an actual wizard and his adventures. These tomes imbued me with the power of Inspiration and can give me strength in difficult times. These are my most valuable magical objects.

Fatal Flaw:
All my antagonists know that if they offer me pizza, or pretty much any free food, I will do their bidding. Mostly pizza. Seriously, give me pizza and I lose all morals and free will.

OK, well, that was a lot of inside jokes about Ch1Con and the publishing industry and Sarah Lawrence, but I hope you liked it anyway. Feel free to do your own post of this style if you want! :)

Thanks for reading, and have a great NaNoWriMo (or regular November),