Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Monday, November 26, 2012

Guest Post: Author Natasha Deen




Enough is Enough – Natasha Deen


When I was a kid, they showed us the four food groups and said to be healthy, we had to eat from each category. I figured I had this knocked, especially the grain part. I loved bread, but then they came and said it couldn't be white bread. To be healthy, it had to be brown.

I don’t like brown bread, but okay, I changed over.

Then they said my 60% loaves weren't good enough, it should be 100%.

So I changed.

Then they said it that wasn't good enough, it had to whole grain and just when I was getting used to the choppy texture, they said multi-grain…then sprouted grain.

At this point, I thought, enough is enough. If I keep going with this, pretty soon I’m going to be fighting the cows for the grass in the pasture. Sometimes I feel this way with the writing.

I get an idea, an intriguing “what if” and I start to write, but even as I put pen to paper (and later, keys to screen), I hear those voices, whispering, “Not good enough. It has to have a tighter plot, deeper characters.”

Never mind that it’s my first draft, never mind that my goal is just to get the ideas on the page, all I hear is “not good enough,” and I have to stop, to remind myself that writing, like life, is about the effort, not the outcome.

My first draft isn't my last draft. There’ll be edits and deletions, rewrites and write agains, but that’s okay because that’s life, too. We try, we fail, we try harder. Forget about processed grain, whole wheat versus whole grain, and let the words flow, the sentences come. There’ll be time later to talk about good and better, but right now, it’s me and the page and the idea, and that’s good enough for me.


About the author:

There was only one thing Natasha wanted to be when she grew up: a superhero. Sadly, this goal was made moot when she realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and her super-weakness for anything bright and shiny meant that a magpie with self-control could easily defeat her in a battle of wills.  So, she turned to writing as a way to unleash her inner superhero.  She doesn’t get to live on a secret space station orbiting the earth (and thank goodness because she gets motion sick on a merry-go-round), but she still get to wear leotards, a cape and say things like, “STAND ASIDE! THIS IS A JOB FOR WRITING-GIRL!” 

Visit her at www.natashadeen.com, and find her on Facebook, Goodreads,  and Twitter 



Angel Maker, True Grime 2 by Natasha Deen
ISBN:  9780986741951
Publisher:  Blueberry Hill Press
Publication Date:  August 2012

About the book:


For the last two years, human Aponi Runningbear has been training to be part of Grime, the magical police division tasked with protecting humanity from SOAP terrorists. But things aren't going well. She's barely keeping up with her studies, failing the physical component, and her Generalized Anxiety Disorder is making her bad days even worse. When her team is given the chance to find a missing coworker and stop SOAP from producing a DNA-altering drug that's killing humans, Aponi grabs hold of the chance to show she's meant for Grime. But as the investigation heats up, she's forced to deal with the tormentor from her past, dead bodies, and the certainty that SOAP's going to win this battle. Humanity's dying, Grime's in trouble, and she's failing...does a foster kid really have what it takes to save the world and herself?



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14 comments:

  1. Hi Vivian,

    Thanks so much for hosting me. Hope you had a wonderful weekend! :-)

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  2. Good point, Natasha. We can drive ourselves crazy, can't we?
    -R.T. Wolfe

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  3. funny analogy about the bread. I don't worry so much about first drafts, with all my kids my time to write is so limited I'm just grateful when I can write. I know the polishing will come later. :)

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  4. Excellent post. Excellent advice! I have to keep reminding myself when I write my first draft that no one has to see this yet. It's for my eyes only, and I MUST get the ideas down. I have a mantra I try to repeat, 'Every pass will improve' - That reminds me that, no matter what I write now, when I go back over it, I will make it better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  5. RT: You're so right--it's a bit of paralysis by analysis: is is good enough, is the plot tight/the characters fully formed...and it's such a crazy making mindset--no one tries to frost a cake at the same time they're mixing ingredients, yet we writers try to polish at the same time we're just getting our ideas down!

    Diana, I'm totally impressed with how you can separate writing from editing. I think I'm going to have to add you to the list of writing heroes. ;-)

    Lol, Alicia. My mantra is: "If you do x-number of pages, you can have chocolate." Yours is MUCH better!

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  6. I think we could all work on stories forever if we didn't draw that line. Thankfully, we can get better with each story, and those voices aren't as loud. Though they're always there.

    Great post, Natasha! :)

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  7. I have the opposite approach. Takes me forever to get the first draft written because my first is close to being my last. I'm an edit as I go kind of writer. Probably means I'm way too obsessive! LOL I think everyone has to do what works for them. There isn't a "right" way.

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  8. Well said, Jannine: everyone really does have to go with what works best for them...and as for being an obsessive writer--lol, that's all of us, isn't it? :P

    Jessica, I often wonder about "that line" with historical writers...when does research stop and writing begin?

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  9. Wise words both from the post and the comments. It's good to know that we're all in the same boat [or bread bin]

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  10. Very nice and very true, Natasha. I had a critique partner once who wanted to see a polished draft when we got together. I kept trying to let her know that it was my first draft but to her the first draft should be perfect. Yet, I'm like you, I want to get it down then worry about fixing it.

    Great post. Glad I stopped by!

    Lynn Crain

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  11. Great advice, Natasha! And I love your analogy to the versions of breads! (On a side note, some of those extra-chunky ones make me think I'm eating tree bark.) Here's to just letting go and enjoying the process.

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  12. Lol, Maddy, in the same bread bin & baked in the same oven!

    Uck, Lynn, that would drive me crazy! Why tries to lay accent rugs while the contractors still pouring cement for the house's foundation? Like you said, Get it down, fix it later.

    Leah, I'm with you on the tree bark--and here's something funny: I had a dentist who told me how much he LOVED the new whole grain breads because people kept cracking their teeth, so it was bringing him extra business! Lol. Talk about character perspective!!

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  13. Well said...especially the bread LOL.

    And that is something I have to keep telling myself, but it gets hard to hear through the other voices. Thanks for the reminder.

    Stacy

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  14. Great reminder. And I so know what you mean about the bread LOL.

    I too have to figure out how to hear past the voices in my head to the one that says, "It's okay, it will all work out in the end." LOL

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