Death By Novel + First MTV Featurette

Do you watch Arrested Development?

(If the answer is "yes," than I love you. If the answer is "no" -- well, I still love you, but please run-don't-walk to your nearest video store/Netflix queue and pick up all three seasons. Immediately.)

Every morning this week, I have woken with a singular image etched into my brain. A banner a la Bluth that reads:

You're killing me, Novel


Why? Here is my current schedule:

7:45 -- Alarm goes off. Snooze.
7:55 -- Snooze.
8:05 -- Snooze.
8:15 -- Snooze.
8:25 -- Snooze.
8:35 -- Crawl out of bed. Basic, minimal hygiene.
9:05 -- Slog into work (five minutes late)

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch. Review novel notes. Plan that night's revisions.

1:35 -- Back to work (five minutes late)
5:40 -- Sleepwalk home.
6:00 -- Crash on bed.
6:30 -- Jarrod (forcefully) removes from bed.
6:40 -- Jarrod (forcefully) pours caffeinated beverage down throat.
7:00 -- Revise novel.

3 am/4 am Bedtime.

I shouldn't even be here right now. This blog entry should not exist. I am cheating. I should be upstairs, revising revising revising. That means no book reading. No movie watching. And no blogging.


I am baffled and humbled by writers with full time jobs (whether at an office or at home with children) who FINISH novels. Because serious novel-writing IS a full time job, which means they have TWO. How do they do it?

By not sleeping. That's how.


It reminds me of a bit in Empire Records that I have always secretly loved. Early in the film, Renee Zellweger picks up Liv Tyler for work and discovers that Liv has baked treats the night before. When Renee asks how she found the time, Liv answers: "My dad always said there are 24 usable hours in every day."

I love that.

Of course, later we find out that she was awake because she's been popping pills. But still. Twenty-four usable hours!

I have a seee-cret.

Noooo! My secret is out!

I wish I had time for everyth
ing I love, but I don't. Which means I have to choose, and right now, I'm choosing my novel.

There are two and a half weeks left of revisions before my new (self-imposed) deadline, before I must turn it over to my writing pals for feedback. Two and a half weeks to turn this putrid rotting lump into something pretty and sparkly and comprehensible.

Thankfully -- although I'm running strictly on yerba mate fumes -- things are going well. Last night I tackled a scene which I'd been dreading for months and, amazingly, it just sort of fixed itself. It's like I had a visit from the magical writing gnomes.

(I love the magical writing gnomes. I leave cupcake crumbs on my keyboard, hoping to lure them into my Microsoft Word documents.)

Except, of course, I WAS there and I WAS working. So what made it easy this time? Help from my favorite writing advice website, Not for Robots. Basically, I opened a new document and worked on the scene in there, rather in my actual novel file.

So much less pressure to be perfect.

I re-visioned the scene completely -- rather than touching up what was already written -- and it wrote itself. Then, a quick copy and paste back into my novel document, and presto! Done!

(If only it was always that simple.)

Well, I'm off now. I have a turd to polish. But until we meet again:

AHHHHHHH!!! It's the first MTV featurette!

The nice thing is that it's a great clip, and they've treated the topic with respect.


The bummer thing is that none of his interview is in there yet (hopefully it'll be in the next one). Until then, you can see a quick clip of Jarrod in the very beginning, rocking out in his gray jacket, right before the clip of Harry and the Potters singing "Save Ginny Weasley."

You can also see him briefly in the background right before that ("We are The Remus Lupins!") stepping away from his kicked-over drum set, and then hear him later, wildly pounding on those same drums during "I Was A Teenage Werewolf."

So hurrah! It's official. Keep your fingers crossed for more.


  1. Stephanie, I am so impressed with your work ethic! And how awesome is Jarrod, to help you stick to your plan like that? He sounds like a keeper :-)

    You can do it! You can do it! Rah rah rah!!!!!

  2. YES! You CAN do it! Keep that caffeine-river flowing! It's amazing what you can do when you have that lazer-like focus, and how when you get your second wind the lack of sleep doesn't hinder. Keep wiggling those fingers!! :) (what Laini and I call writing sometimes)

    And YAY for Jarrod! I hope his interview airs -- that'd be GREAT!

    Now back to work for ME!

    P.S. - RADIOHEAD RULES!! (and so does Arrested Development! I [heart] them both SO much!

  3. I love Arrested Development and Empire Records. Therefore, I love this entry! Also, I think I need a "You're Killing Me, Novel" banner for my office.

    I wish you much luck with the continuing revisions. Just, please, don't turn to speed like Liv. Renee will start yelling and throwing things at you, you know.

  4. Min --



  5. Yay for your hubby! I've got to listen to some wizard rock...

    As for finishing novels--you're right. People with jobs who successfully finish writing a novel are, indeed, some form of mutant vampire. Without the cool fangs.

    *sigh* I wish I liked coffee. It would make my life clearer. Tea only goes so far...