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  • I read a lot, and I have a lot of opinions, so I can't believe I haven't made a list like this before. If you are even a little bit like me or you want to get a peek into my psyche (you probs don't), these are the books to read.
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Posts Tagged ‘TGD’

Overkill

Posted on November 17th, 2010 by annakjarzab

You guys, I think you might be able to download Beatles music on iTunes now. I just have a feeling…

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Yeesh, iTunes, give it a rest. We get it, you’re very excited.

In other news, the book I’m writing might actually be killing me. Every day I decide to shut it down at some point, and then either later that day or the next day I decide I’m going to give it a shot even though it’s currently in a particular state of awful I can’t even adequately describe to you, and then twelve hours later I’m like, “WHY DID I EVER THINK THIS COULD WORK? I AM THE WORST EVER.” Ask Alex. She gets to experience it live and in person on G-chat every damn day! Lucky girl.

(Note: This is not OoH, or “Hallelujah” as I’ve decided to call it for short because…well, obviously “Ooh!” is a weird shorthand for a book title. I’m waiting for a Hallelujah editorial letter from my agents, which I’ll hopefully have before Thanksgiving. This is a completely different disasterscript.)

I seriously think this book is rotting my brain. It feels utterly unoriginal, yet too weird and different, at the same time. 90 percent of the time, when I even think about working on it I get this feeling in my shoulders like I’m being squeezed to death by a professional wrestler. The characters are all underdeveloped, the plot is ridiculous and full of holes so big you could drive a semi through them, and I still don’t have any faith in my ability to pull of the mechanics of the story. The mechanics. THE STUFF THAT MAKES THE STORY GO VROOM! And even though the quality of the actual writing should be, at this point, the least of my problems, I’m stressing out about that, too.

Basically, I’m a whole ball of anxiety about everything having to do with writing and publishing and being myself in the world these days. I’m afraid I’ve run out of ideas. I’m afraid I can’t put together a decent sentence anymore, let alone an entire novel that doesn’t totally suck. I’m afraid I don’t have the right body armor to be on the writing side of this business. I’m afraid of the mere idea of doing anything else. It’s really quite the idiotic predicament, because honestly, sack up, Jarzab! These are first world problems! And yet they bear down on me all the same. Awesome.

So I have come to this conclusion: I need a vacation. New York is getting to me, and so is this book. I’m looking forward to working on Hallelujah again because, as spooked as I am after the Great Book 2 Debacle of this summer, and as low as my confidence level is, I think I can handle Hallelujah. It’s not a wild, sprawling octopus of a book that I need to wrestle into submission; it’s more of an overgrown garden in need of weeding and pruning and maybe a little bit of Miracle Grow. And thus it has become my anchor, something I’m looking forward to working on, which I need because damn. And I get to go home for Christmas for twelve straight days, which is another anchor. I can’t wait to be out of this crowded, stinking city. Maybe this time I’ll remember to bring a coat.

(Funny story: Two years ago I spent Christmas in California–as I’m doing this year–and because I live in New York, where the winters are very cold, and I’m a moron, I was all, “It’s California! I don’t need a coat!” Guess what? You need a coat in December practically everywhere. Okay, that’s not true, but you need one in Northern California. Not, like, a sleeping bag snow parka, but something to take the edge off the wind. Anyway, I didn’t bring a coat to California for Christmas two years ago and I had to wear my high school letterman’s jacket, the only coat I had at my parents house, around town for two weeks. I looked pretty cool. Just kidding, I looked hella dumb. Lesson learned!)

So…yeah. That’s me! The upside is that my friend Mary, she of the fabulous AUT blurbs you can find somewhere on this blog (sorry, too lazy right now to link), is coming to visit on Thursday, and on Friday I get to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows after some chicken and a giant margarita at Dallas BBQ. And then next week is Thanksgiving! I’m making the pies.

And, one last piece of news if you made it this far–I got my first royalty statement! From the looks of it, AUT sales are much healthier than I expected (erm…I think, as I do not actually understand the statement at all). A little birdie has been feeding me BookScan numbers since pub and it looks like the real sales were about twice as much as BookScan shows, which is kind of insane. BookScan only covers about 70% point of sale, but the channels it doesn’t cover (box stores, Walmart, etc.) are ones AUT wasn’t even distributed in. But I’m not knocking it; it was a nice piece of news to dull the pain of my realizing today was only Tuesday. Somehow, it felt like Thursday.

All along the watchtower

Posted on June 23rd, 2010 by annakjarzab

This is Bear McCreary’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” (made famous by Jimi Hendrix, who covered it) that he wrote and performed for the third season finale of Battlestar Galactica. It’s very exciting, just the sort of music I love to write to, with a lot of drums and guitar and a real, heart pounding drive. The book I’ve been writing (the first in a planned trilogy, although we make plans and God laughs, right? What am I doing working on the first book in a trilogy when I haven’t even finished out my two book contract with RH yet?) is what I used to call a “quasi-post-apocalyptic pseudo-mystery” but which I’m now just calling a “supernatural thriller” because it’s not post-apocalyptic, quasi or otherwise, and it is more of a thriller than a mystery, in the way that The Da Vinci Code is more of a thriller than a mystery. I’m being necessarily vague here, but that’s what I’ve been working on. So I’ve been listening to a lot of hard rock and a LOT of instrumental movie-trailer-y type music, like the E.S. Posthumus song below:

And “Requiem for a Tower”, which is the Clint Mansel theme to Requiem for a Dream that was given a little oomph and used in the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers trailer:

And James Dooley’s “Trinity”:

Anyway, it’s been fun. I’d forgotten what it was like to work on a manuscript with no external pressure. I’d written the first eighty pages or something a long time ago, and when I went back to them I was shocked at how much I didn’t hate them (ALTHOUGH, that happened with Book 2 as well, and I ended up rewriting half of that book!). I actually thought they were really well turned out for a first draft, so after I sent my draft of Book 2 to Joanna I started adding on to them, and what do you know? Immediately I started turning out loosey-goosey pages. I knew I was just writing them to add to my word/page count, so that I could get to the good stuff, so that I could finish the draft, and then I was like, “Why?” For my own enjoyment, partially, but I had just written a terrible draft of a very important scene that serves as the catalyst for the rest of the book! What was I doing?

The great part about it was that I could just get rid of it. I’m under no deadline and have no pressure, so I just excised that part and rewrote it last night in a different way. One of the things that makes this draft of that scene better than my first draft of that scene was that I knew my characters were going to come face-to-face with some pretty unbelievable stuff, and I wanted my main main character (as opposed to my handful of other main characters) to believe it almost immediately. What I hadn’t figured out was why she would believe it. She’s a pretty sharp, cynical person, so it doesn’t seem to fit her personality, until you take into account her back story and what it is she’s been through in the last year or so of her life, and then her ability to buy what she’s being sold makes a lot of sense. Again, super vague, but when I made that realization, the whole scene blossomed out. It’s sort of lovely when that happens. I’d started to think I’d never know what it felt like to write a book organically again.

This is the sort of blog post I write where I get to the end and realize it has no real point. Usually I delete those. I probably delete three blog posts for every one post that goes up here, which is why I don’t post very often. But I’m going to post this one, without a point. Because why not?

Oh, and this third book? I’ve referred to it before as GR. I’m going to start referring to it as TGD now. Good day to you.