Thursday, July 17, 2008

Taking a Break

...and isn't it sweet? It's not a total break, really. I'm taking some time to plan my excerpt reading. I've invited lots of people, picked the place, picked the chapter. This past Monday, after business hours when I had the office to myself, I closed my door and began reading aloud, expecting to find myself making lots of edits along the way.

As it turns out, the changes were minimal. Reading it aloud was fun; I really started getting into it, attempting to adopt the personas and tonalities of the different characters. Through the frosted glass I saw the shadow of a custodian passing back and forth in the office suite. At one point he knocked gingerly on my door, looking to collect the trash. He must have thought I was out of my mind.

The chapter won't acquaint my audience too much with any major characters apart from my hero (anti-hero? anti-superhero?), but there's a bevy of fun minor characters to play with. It consists primarily of two scenes, and I'm betting most people will be able to relate, on some level to both. On the whole the chapter doesn't require too much context to appreciate --- I really think I picked the right one.

A friend has graciously lent me her microphone and stand, plus amplifier. In between scenes, my plan is to take a break for bathroom trips, food ordering, and the "Guess the Word Length" contest, for which I have a prize for the winner. Only after that contest will I post the final length (of the first draft anyway) here. I also have some "pop quiz" questions about the first part and will award small novelty prizes for those who paid closest attention. This was inspired by my boy Chuck Palahniuk, who awards cheap plastic toys during Q&A to each audience member who asks a question. Thanks Chuck!

The stresses from two weeks ago have reduced dramatically, but not before getting way more intense --- between work issues, family issues, and a conversation at my lease signing that almost made my head explode, July 7 was the worst day I've had in the last two years. Blessedly, most of these tribulations resolved themselves quickly, so quickly in fact I can't believe how good I'm feeling now.

Oh, and I even designed a neat imagined cover for the book, which will go on the blog home page as soon as I've rewritten my first chapter (which will also go up).

And tonight, I'm going to see The Dark Knight at midnight on IMAX, which has nothing to do with anything except that I've been salivating for months over it.


Jub said...

So glad your stress has been lightened. No one ever said "the journey" would be easy, just "worth it". Enjoy your reading and I'm very much looking forward to the day I can sit down and read your book myself. Jub

Amanda said...

Glad to hear things are coming together and STILL looking forward to reading your excerpt