Blog Revitalization

March26

Inspired by the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, where I just spent my weekend (and it was absolutely fabulous!), I have decided to do a tour of the local New Orleans bookstores and review them here. We have so many fantastic writers and a thriving literary community, and I am determined to be a part of it while supporting our local bookstores and writers. I also plan to begin reviewing works, including novels, poetry, short stories, and anything I can get my hands on, of local authors, and I hope to get a few of them to interview as well. I want to include a monthly spotlight highlighting various local authors as well. My goal is to turn this blog into a love letter to the New Orleans literary community.

Finally, I will be replacing the Tweetly News with a new weekly update of upcoming literary events happening around the city. I have searched and searched, and I have not been able to find one place that locals can go for a list of all upcoming literary events in the New Orleans metro area. I would love to have a one stop shop where New Orleans literary lovers can go to find information on local authors, events, and programming.

Hopefully, this revitalization of my blog will provide a vital service to our community by getting local authors’ stories out there, by promoting our local bookstores, and by informing other literary nerds of the happenings of our community. If you happen to have information on a great local author or any events happening around the city, I would love to hear about it! I look forward to becoming more of a part of the New Orleans literary circle!

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Stephen King Visits New Orleans to Promote Newly Published Novel 11/22/63

November13

“A question that I always get is ‘Do you wear boxers or briefs?’ My answer is always ‘At my age, Depends.” ~ Stephen King


One of the things on my bucket list is to see Stephen King in the flesh. Last night, on November 12, 2011, thanks to Octavia Books, I was able to cross that off. Stephen King made his very first trip to New Orleans to promote his new book, 11/22/63, about an English teacher named Jake Epping who goes back in time to try to stop the Kennedy assassination. Only 250 signed copies of the book were available, and in a sea about 2,000 fans, I was lucky enough to score one!

Casually dressed in blue jeans and a black jacket, King opened with the quote “At some point tonight, you’ll be alone, you’ll be in the dark, and then you’ll be mine.” He entranced fans for about an hour, giving hilarious anecdotes about being recognized in public, reading an excerpt from his new book, and answering fan’s questions. On his first visit to the Big Easy, he ate beignets and poboys and teased about how if he stayed in the city, he would end up as big as John Candy. He included anecdotes about being berated by old ladies for “those terrifying horror stories” and about being mistaken for celebrities like Frances Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg.

My favorite anecdote was about a time when he was on a morning show and had stomach problems. He went to the bathroom, which had an attendant that, according to King, was about 100 years old, as that is a requirement for bathroom attendants. The stalls unfortunately had no doors, but King said that he wasn’t worried about doors at this point. He sat down on the toilet, and the attendant approached him and asked if he was Stephen King. He said yes, and then the attendant asked for his autograph while he was sitting on the toilet! “Being an accommodating person, I gave it to him,” said King to a roomful of laughter.

In discussing his newly published novel, 11/22/63, he talked about the amount of research it took him and about the fact that he began writing the book in the 1970’s but put it aside because he didn’t feel it was the right time. He feels that now is the right time because of the similarities between Kennedy’s presidency and Obama’s, and he said that both presidents’ decisions could have taken the country in either a good or bad direction. The inspiration for the novel came when he was 25 years old and sitting in a teacher’s lounge discussing the Kennedy assassination with colleagues. The question of what would things be like if Kennedy had escaped assassination came up, and the idea for this novel was born. 40 years later, it’s finally hitting the shelves to the delight of King fans everywhere. He read an excerpt from the novel and posited that, based on his extensive research, Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin.

King also discussed previously published books and said that The Shining scared him so much while writing it that he frequently had to hide the manuscript at night. He has already written sequels to The Shining and a new Dark Tower book, but he gave no indication as to when we might see them hit the shelves. He also said that he thought Pet Sematary was a piece of horrible writing, which meant that he should have known it would reach #1. He noted that he was extremely pleased with the casting for The Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, but he was not pleased with the casting for Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining, indicating that he understood why Jack Nicholson was going after Shelley Duvall with an axe. He also mentioned that the kids from It make an appearance in 11/22/63.

On the personal side, King said that he is scared of speaking in front of large crowds, spiders, snakes, the movie Fatal Attraction, and the book The Lord of the Flies. He also said that he’s a New Orleans Saints fan, but his first loyalty is to the New England Patriots.

King was extremely genuine, witty, and charismatic, proving why he is a master storyteller and one of the most prolific writers of our time. I am excited to cross meeting Stephen King off of my bucket list, and I wasn’t disappointed!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Motivators

October31

Let’s start with a NaNoWriMo Prayer:

As a NaNoWriMo virgin, I am using this year’s National Novel Writing Month to get the novel together that I’ve been mulling over for 6 years. It’s about time I get this thing down on paper! But writing over 1600 words per day and 50,000 words in one month seems like a pretty daunting task. To keep myself motivated, I’ve been searching for tips and tricks that veteran NaNoWriMo’ers have used, and I’ve compiled these here so that we can all use them as motivation. I have written down my ultimate goal on a sticky note and stuck it in every place I can see: bedroom/bathroom mirrors, refrigerator, computer, work cubicle…it says “Get it down on paper.” A goal in 5 words or less. I challenge you to come up with your own goal in 5 words or less and use it as motivation throughout the month of November. I’ve heard that the third and fourth weeks are pretty rough :-) Post your goals in comments!

Here are some tools and motivators to help get you in the zone:

You Tube Video Spoofs:

These two NaNoWriMo parody music videos are my favorite, but you can visit the You Tube channel here to find more.

 

NaNoWriMo Motivational Calendars:

Again, these are just a few of my favorites. Check out Deviant Art to find more.

NaNoWriMo Desktop

Camp NaNoWriMo 2011

Cult NaNoWriMo

Wrimo Holiday

Challenge Accepted!

Wanted: 50,000 Words in 30 Days

 

And now, some motivational pictures and quotes:

Check out Pinterest and the NaNoToons Facebook Page for more!

Finally, something very useful: an Excel Spreadsheet from S.M. Worth to help you keep track of your progress throughout the month. Great for any project!

And, of course, anyone who decides to participate belongs with me here in Writing Wonderland:

Follow my progress on NaNoWriMo! You can also follow the official NaNoWriMo blog, which is run by The Office of Letters and Light, the nonprofit organization that runs NaNoWriMo. I will also post twice during the month of November to keep you updated on my progress. Feel free to comment here with your own motivational techniques!

Happy writing!

 

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Tweetly News with the Mad Hatter

June6

THE GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE TWEETLY NEWS FROM THE ONE AND ONLY MOST FASHIONABLE PERSON IN WONDERLAND (EXCEPT FOR THE QUEEN, OF COURSE) –THE MAD HATTER!

June 5, 2011

Friends of the Mad Hatter: Tweeter of the Week

@JaneFriedman

@Working_Writer

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