In the 1960s, Stanford began the Marshmallow Experiment. In that experiment, they put four-year olds in a room with a marshmallow. The children were told they could eat the marshmallow, but if they waited 15 minutes they would be given a second marshmallow. Two out of three kids ate the marshmallow before the 15 minutes were up.
The 1/3rd of participants who held out for the second marshmallow were more successful later in life.
In today's culture, we need more marshmallow sniffers.
As most of you probably know already, I am working for myself these days. I used to work for other folks, and I was a darned good remote employee for almost 14 years. When I worked for other people, I had clearly defined tasks and deadlines. While grading papers was not fun, it was a clearly defined task with deadlines. Now, those deadlines and tasks are all loose and I don't have the cheerleading squad to validate me on a daily basis.
I loved this movie and anticipate watching it again. The whole idea of Doris finally embracing her own weirdness and living the life she wants probably resonates with everyone.
Over the last few years, there have been plenty of stories of adjunct and other contingent faculty dying in poverty. Sometimes, it's just the persona that dies, though, thankfully.
I thought that I needed some community to get things going; the problem is that as with most things that involve more than one or two people, massive groups of aspiring writers wind up in sniping wars or discussing everything but the actual writing.
So, one of the things I'm doing today is putting all of my writing related social media groups on silent.
Last weekend, we finally watched West of Memphis I'd put it off for a long time, having seen the first two Paradise Lost films and having read Echols' Life After Death and both of Mara Leveritt's books on the case. It was the current season of The Truth & Justice Podcast that led to me watching the film. I noticed a clip of Geraldo in which Pam and Terry Hobbs appeared. Of course, I had to go watch the episode on YouTube.
November is National Novel Writing Month, AKA NanoWriMo. I finally hit on a project that I wanted to work on and that had potential to be a longer work. In the days between leaving my job and November 1st, I even managed to get an outline together, as well as a character list and some specific scenes down. When November 1 got here, I was off and writing.
Possession has always fascinated me. It's irrelevant to me whether it is supernatural or psychological. But recently I started wondering why the phenomenon is popular again, whether in the form of the Fox series The Exorcist, which is inspired by Blatty's novel and the movie from 1973, or whether it comes in the form of movies based on the files of Ed and Lorraine Warren, famous long ago for their involvement with the Amityville case and more recently The Conjuring films and Annabelle.
As a birthday present to myself, I registered for the Self-Published Small Press Book Fair this year. If you didn't get a chance to visit the Book Fair, be sure to keep an eye out for it in 2019.
So, I'm not going to do a lot of big posts this month, most likely, but I will be posting on occasion to keep accountable and to let you know my progress on NanoWriMo 2017.
In preparation for this year's event, I have outlined the novel so I know the time frame (it takes place over a long weekend) and the setting, as well as the four main characters. The basic plot is this--in 2012, four college best friends reunite after 20 years over Labor Day weekend. It's Chick Lit, and it's character driven. The lame (?) tentative title is Long Weekend.
There's also a tie in to Elegant Freefall, as one of the minor characters from that novel (which is in my desk drawer at the moment, waiting for revision), is one of the four main characters in the NanoWriMo novel.
I've also been listening to old episodes of The Story Grid Podcast in preparation for this project, and love the episode titled "The Mathematics of Story Telling." It's somehow oddly comforting to know that I need 1/4 for the opening hook, 1/2 for the middle build, and 1/4 for the conclusion. There's also some great advice here about positive/negative balance for the characters.
How's your first day?
Total word count at the moment for day 1: 2185
Projected end date at this rate: November 23*
End date = 50K words. There's no guarantee that'll be the actual end of the novel.
We end our month with a great interview with Heather A. Bowser of the Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance.