Saturday, October 30, 2010


Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling Outlander series, describes this process the same way in her podcasts, saying she sees something, the looks around it, describing it, then might realize something odd about her character, like that one of them is blind. Her approach to plot is piecemeal, seeing continents slowly emerge out of the ocean, first knowing something is there, then seeing the very tips of the mountains emerge, then the sides, then the plains, then the valleys, and at last there’s this whole massive landscape, dripping and new-formed. Though one must have the skill of an archeologist and patience of a research scientist to get there.


October is nearly gone, and National Novel Writing Month, affectionately and sometimes despairingly called NaNoWriMo by those who flock to the siren call of 50,000 words in 30 days, all shiny-faced and scrubbed clean at the beginning, and hardly fit for civil company or a barn by the end. Yes, I’ve decided to NaNo a book I’ve been working on since last year. Though why, with grad school also on my plate, as well as seeking another part-time job, eludes me.

So 1667 words per day for 30 days. It’s steep, I’ll grant you. People lose their damn minds in November. The writing advice that I’m loving right now is the one-inch window Anne Lamott describes in Bird by Bird. She says to look at your story through a mental viewfinder, describing on the inch you see there. For instance, if I was working on my weird adventure historical erotica story, which is my chosen torturer for November, I’d start by trying to picture a person, or an object, or even use a line of observation or dialogue to look through the lens, then go, “well, what do I see? Okay, candelabra sitting on a damask tea towel in the middle of a brothel window. Well what do the walls look like? Is it dim? What time of day is it? Who’s around?” And before you know it I have naughty English noblemen getting spanked upstairs by a bitter French prostitute as her illegitimate child hides under the stairs. Or, equally, a beautiful young English professor on a treasure hunt following one of the greatest playwrights of Georgian England who never existed all while her mentor lays dying in a hospice. And all through a one-inch window.

So crack those knuckles, rock out on a pot of coffee, and in a candy-fueled sugar coma/frenzy, let NaNoWriMo begin Monday!


Friday, October 29, 2010

I Am The Very Model Of A Wrimo Individual

New focus, new look

As readers of the blog will notice this morning, the appearance has changed a bit. The content will change and evolve also, as I plunge headlong into this blog and its soon-to-be-associated website. True to its name, Farms and Lit blog will remain faithful to farming and books, with a focus on sustainable ag, book reviews, writing, and anything relevant to anything surrounding those.

I’m spastic, what can I say? :)

A look at what’s coming up: NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, starts Monday, so probably oblique references to my flailing word count, a few book reviews, lots and lots on sustainable ag and beef, especially in Michigan, and, oh yeah, how I detest the commercialization of Christmas, especially now that stores are in full swing following Halloween.

So let’s kick off the new look with some media. Check out this very cool video from You Tube on Michigan agriculture and here’s some book review links to my latest reviews. Enjoy!

And I'm especially excited about having gotten to review Laurell K. Hamilton's newest addition to the Anita library.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Check out this story from Oysters and Chocolate. Warning: erotica. But it is literary erotica... :)