Friday, November 5, 2010

I May Be Losing It

Yesterday I was belligerent with someone in the express check-out line at the grocery store.  Usually I just mutter things under my breath and think about all the snarky things I'd like to say, but yesterday the words poured out of my mouth like verbal diarrhea.  I couldn't stop them.

For the love of God, people, get off your cell phones before getting into the checkout line.  Don't write checks for $8 worth of store brand instant mac & cheez.  If you're ARE going to write a check, have it out, along with your license (they ALWAYS ask for it).  And don't look shocked and appalled when the people you've held up in line for 10 minutes are grumpy and one of them loses his head.  Sigh.

So every once in a while I get really excited for a book.  I mean, REALLY excited.  I'd heard about Andrew Smith's THE MARBURY LENS a few months ago and I've been waiting impatiently since.  Here's the synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Jack gets drunk and is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is kidnapped. He escapes, narrowly. The only person he tells is his best friend, Conner. When they arrive in London as planned for summer break, a stranger hands Jack a pair of glasses. Through the lenses, he sees another world called Marbury.

There is war in Marbury. It is a desolate and murderous place where Jack is responsible for the survival of two younger boys. Conner is there, too. But he’s trying to kill them.

Meanwhile, Jack is falling in love with an English girl, and afraid he’s losing his mind.

Conner tells Jack it’s going to be okay.

But it’s not.

Cool, right?  Well it's not out until the 9th but yesterday I stopped by a bookstore to browse and saw it on the shelf.  I grabbed it and took it home.  I'm in the middle of THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN so I planned on only opening the first page and reading a bit. an hour later I was sucked into Smith's dark, tragic, and utterly engrossing book.  Sometimes I read a book and I just know when I'm reading something really unique and special.  This is one of those books.  You should totally read it.

NaNoWriMo is going on and I'm tired of all the people naysaying it.  I get that it's frustrating for agents and publishers to get a flood of bad novels when all is said and done.  I get that some people see it as a waste of time.  I get that some people just think it's dumb.  But why poo-poo all over it?  For real.  Not only does NaNo foster a sense of community among writers (who tend to be solitary creatures), but it teaches potential authors one very important lesson:  If you want to write, you have to WRITE.  That lesson took me 15 years to learn.  Maybe if NaNo had been around when I was younger, I'd have been able to learn it sooner.  So I guess what I'm saying is that if you haven't got anything nice to say about NaNo, don't say anything at all.

Is it really almost the end of the year?  Jeez.  So don't forget that on NOV 18th, I'll be on YA A Book and a Chat with Barry Eva.

I guess that's all I have for now.    


  1. Amen to all of the above LOL I don't always do NaNo, and you do sorta feel left out if you don't - and yes, all the results of NaNo you listed are true....but I am loving it this year. Even when I don't feel like it, I've sat down every single day and WROTE - and I'm doing AWESOME. Sure I'll have to edit, a lot, when all is said and done. But at least I'll have something to work with :)

    And that book looks amazing! Definitely on my list :D

  2. I keep hearing how amazing that book is. I'll be picking it up soon.

    And I don't do NaNo, but not because I think there's anything wrong with it, in fact I think those that can pull it off are amazing!

  3. The thing about Nano is that for many of us it's no more about becoming a professional writer than the London Marathon is about becoming a professional athlete. It's a challenge and we do it because we can - or we think we can and we want to find out!

    My nanomuddle may circulate among friends when it's edited. Meanwhile, I'm having fun.

  4. Nice post, Shaun. The book you highlight here sound really interesting. I'll need to add it to my lengthening list of books I must buy. You're right about people verbally crapping all over NaNo too. If you don't like it, fine. But let those of us who find it a useful tool (yes, I'm not doing it this time, but that's a whole other discussion) enjoy it for what it is.

  5. I always enjoy your rants :)
    I'm doing NaNo and I can't wait to read The Marbury Lens.


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.