Ok, people. I’m doing the NanoWrimo this year.
I’ve heard about it for more than a decade, but never been tempted to join the madness.
But this year, three things changed mmind about NanoWriMo:
- I need to get a second novel going. I have a premise in my head, have begun to do research, even written in a few character voices to get to know them better. If I do a little more of research and planning, I might just get something going. Then, I can use December to hack out the rest of the draft, and at least by January, I’d have something to work with.
- I’ve written 45k words in 20 days this year, and then again, about 20k in 15 days. Granted, both were rewrites, but, I know I can put in some serious word count.
- I took way too long to write my first novel-– and the lessons I learned told me I need to be fully immersed in the world for the spell of time I’m writing. Everything falls into place when I do that–so Nanowrimo–1667 words for 30 days– seems like just what the doctor ordered.
- NanoWriMo has a good community feel to it. At the very least I’d feel less alone when I’m drafting. A few of my writing friends have thrown their hat into the ring.
Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, today it is my absolute pleasure to welcome a short story writer I adore, Tania Hershman. If you’ve read her, you know why I’m so excited, and if you haven’t, I urge you to make up for this lacuna in your reading life pronto!
(This interview is also for Insecure Writers Support Group. Go to this site to meet the other participants: each insecure writer, trying to feel secure, from across the blogiverse. This month’s co-hosts are: Beverly Stowe McClure, Megan Morgan, Viola Fury, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Angela Wooldridge, and Susan Gourley.)
1. At what age did you start writing fiction? What prompted you?
I started writing stories when I was a child. I loved reading from when I was tiny, I read everything and spent a lot of time in my own imaginary worlds (as I still do). Writing came naturally from the reading. I then got “side-tracked” by a science degree into a career as a science journalist, and slowly found my way back to fiction writing, my first love, around the age of 28.
2. Do you have an ideal reader in mind as you write?
Me. It’s always me. I write to entertain myself, to make myself laugh and cry, to surprise myself first and foremost.
3. For someone new to your work, which of your books should they read first? Could you link us to some of your favorite work online?
Life has its way of forcing you into what you need.
For the past several days, that’s what it has done to me: given me enforced bed rest. I haven’t been keeping well this year, and this weekend brought another crash. Weather in Singapore being its hot and humid tropical best, I’m trying to stay hydrated, and indoors. Feel like I’ve been through a wringer, as it is.
Things are better now, but I’m still not at 100%, so I’ll keep this short. Two links for you:
Here’s a useful post on Verbs for the writers among you, from editor Kelly hartigan.
And another one with one of my recent stories published in a New Zealand journal. (I’ve added a screenshot of a part of it below, click on the link and scroll if you’d like to read the rest.)
I thank you all for the love you’ve continued to show my blog despite my absence. The last post on illiteracy saw such kind and insightful comments. I’ll be visiting back each of your blogs, and sharing your posts on social media. Missed you, my blog family–life hasn’t been the same without you.
How has life been treating you? Any news you’d like to share in the comments? What’s the weather like in your part of the world?
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Here on Daily (w)rite, as part of the guest post series, author Lillian Slugocki spoke about short stories, a post that continues to be popular. Today it is my absolute pleasure to welcome journalist Valerie Waterhouse who interviews author Aileen Godat, about how, aged 16, she overcame illiteracy.
- Like most North Americans, you attended school (in Queens, New York) — but aged 16, you realized you were illiterate. How is it possible for a child in a modern-day, occidental country to slip through the education net?
A: In 1964, I was 11 years old. In the eyes of my mother, the Sisters of Charity, my grandparents and all others in my young life, I was a troubled girl. Aside from the family fights that trumpeted from our apartment, no one knew what was happening after dark in the confines of my home. If someone knew, would they have intervened? Would they have understood why I was unable to learn in school? Would they have known what to do to help me? My brother had the support of clubs, teams and activities designed to assist boyhood and grow successful men. Girls didn’t need an education to change a diaper, wash a floor or clean a house. As my mother before me, I was directed towards domesticity. So, my guess is that it was easier to let the ‘bad girl’ slip through the cracks than it was to address the cause of my difficulty.
2. Illiteracy, it seems, often masks greater troubles. In the USA, for instance, 70% of prison inmates are illiterate. Fortunately, your life took a totally different path. What made you finally acknowledge your illiteracy?
A: One morning while taking a shower at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan, I realized I couldn’t tell the difference between the shampoo and conditioner bottle. I was compelled to do something.
3. Interesting that something so banal yet important turned around your life! You then taught yourself to read and write. How did you manage this?