A Weekend In Astoria

Tomorrow marks the halfway point of National Novel Writing Month, and I'm pleased to say that I am currently at 22,000 words and on target to complete 50,000 words by the end of the month.  I understand how daunting it can be, because the minute the words come out on that blank page they are so inadequate.  They're the children you hide in the closet because "something ain't right".   And it can be daunting because, while the words are coming out on the page, the question remains... are they quality?  And just how much sense is this all going to make when I reach the end?  Add to that, the fact that most editors expect a novel to be, not 50,000 words, but 60,000.  Which, in truth is refreshing, because at my current point, I am not halfway through the novel.  More like, just under a third.

However, there are some upbeat points to make here.  Around the third or fourth day I got behind, and it was pretty daunting for awhile there because my goal to stay on target at points was 3-3,500 and not the easier daily goal.  Which made it very difficult to go back and fine tune pieces of the novel and turn them into something worth reading.  Now, I know most people say DO NOT GO BACK, I understand.  And I understand the danger, but I myself need to know I have something that is solid- not mind shatteringly gorgeous necessarily, especially with the genre novel I'm currently working, but something that resembles what I might pick up in a bookstore, and with most of the details decided and the decisions made so that everything up to the most current page matches in detail.  Being on track will allow me to do that.

Keeping on track has also kept me from blogging very much, and there's been a lot of fun little things going on.

I got to explore Astoria in Queens for a weekend get-away as a friend of mine was out of town and let me crash at her place to have a change of environment and stir up some creativity.  I would now, at this point to sing the praises of The Astoria Bookshop.  It's a cozy little bookstore so beautifully designed and welcoming.  And I know the big shops can not be beaten when it comes to vast selection, however there is something to say for a shop that has a really wonderful selection in what is there, and allows you to actually notice some of the great things there.  I spent at least an hour there, and while I didn't buy any books as I currently have a stack of books waiting for me, and I couldn't justify spending more money on a book.  I did get a candle.  Especially when I'm writing I like to light a candle specifically saved for that time.  It's not a ritual, per say, but it does feel like I'm saying to myself and the world at large, that it's writing time.

In fact, at some point I would like to live in Astoria.  It's a little closer to Mid-Town than my current location, and it's got so many lovely little shops within quick walking distance, like Gossip Coffee, which has some pretty delicious donuts.  I tried the chocolate stout and the pumpkin spice latte, both of which were delicious.

I also went on another audition, and it was a pretty big win simply to go, because I've been going through the notices as of late and thinking of a reason for each post as to why I might not be perfect for the show, and therefor shouldn't go out for it.  But on Monday I told that side of myself to kindly shit it's pie hole.  I decided I'm going to go through the postings and if it seems even possibly right for me, I would go and give it a shot.  Now, I spoke to a friend of mine about this later who was worried about wasting the auditions time---  let me clarify.  I'm not saying if the part calls for a 25 year old romantic lead of Italian heritage, and that is not your age or your "type" that you should go out for it.  Yes- it's a waste of time.  But there are so many other parts out there that could work, and yet...they may not seem like the part you would immediately go in and rock.  To that voice saying don't go, I respectively again say "shut your pie hole".  You may go and you may not be right for it.  But if you go in there and give an amazing audition, they will take notice for next time.  They will.

In short, I am working hard on saying "yes" to opportunities and ignoring the tiny little "no" that often pipes up to have its say.

Joe Hartman