Sarah’s Writing Diary

May 14-15, 2008

10:00 AM
Word count: 0

Dear Diary,

Today is going to be a great day! I got up early, had my coffee, and I’m ready to rock! Let’s jump right into book 2 and make some progress. I’m hoping for 3,000 words today. Let’s do it!

2:00 PM
Word count: 17

Dear Diary,

I was feeling a bit stifled after a few hours of staring at the screen, so Alex and I went for a walk and had lunch at a little diner called Pop. I had French toast and the waitress was so old school and cute with a bun and glasses and a pencil stuck in her hair. Anyway, now I’m all refueled and energized and ready to write. Rock on!

3:00 PM
Word count: 19

Diary, I know I know I know I know, but General Hospital is on! I haven’t seen it in 15 years! Carly’s 12-year-old son Michael is in an irreversible coma, which means he’ll be back next year, inexplicably 21 years old and looking for revenge. Oh, no no no no no. I can’t get sucked in. I really should be working on my book. But… wait… whatever happened to Jagger?

4:01 PM
Word count: 18, no 19

Yo Diary,

Yes, I must get serious. I’m staring at work in progress. I’m creating and destroying worlds and people and love, all inside my mind. But I’m stuck on a word. I stare at it for several minutes, then delete. It’s an adverb, after all. A modifier. But a good one. I retype it. Delete it. Retype it. Decisions, decisions.

5:12 PM
Word count: 31, woot!

Seriously? I need to sign in to Facebook and make sure Mom hasn’t posted any additional pictures of me posing in ugly sweater and wig. BRB.

5:13 PM
Word count: 31

Damn it. Must consider changing name on Facebook. But not now. Now, I must focus.

8:47 PM
Word count: 39

Tell me something, Diary. How can it be that this boy doesn’t have a nickname yet1? What am I doing with my days of leisure if not honing my craft? How come I can’t make up (or troll friends’ ideas for) a stupid effing nickname? Am I losing my creative touch?

8:59 PM
Word count: 39, but listen to this!

Dear Diary,

WTF is wrong with Tyra? I mean, is Whitney really considered “plus sized?” Really? WTF? Well, I like chocolate cake, you know. And if Whitney can do it, so can I. Plus-sized writers unite!

9:01 PM
Word count: 39 (still, yes, I know, you’re not my mother!)

Dear Diary,

Simon Cowell is trying to sabotage me! I have work to do, can’t he understand? Wait, why is David Cook crying? Don’t cry, David! You’ll be okay! I… ugh! Listen, Dave, stop distracting me with your man-tears and tender rock star ballads!

10:31 PM
Word count: 104

Type type type. Type. Delete. Type type.

Are you happy now, Diary? I’m working.

11:47 PM
Word count: 239

Dear Diary,

I am brilliant. Oh, people will line up around the block to buy this book, my sophomore effort, my magnum opus, just you wait! Sweet beautiful puppies, I have found my calling and it has found me!

See, Diary, I knew I could do it. When it comes to words, I’m a literary top model. I “brung” it. I’m fierce.

12:01 AM
Word count: 109

Stupid, worthless drivel! I will have to pay readers to buy this book! I’m useless! I’m a talentless, brainless, chocolate-cake-eating plus-sized HACK! Delete! Delete! Delete!

12:15 AM
Word count: 119

Diary, check this out. Someone actually named their twin babies after characters in Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT. Really, if someone called me and told me they’d just named their babies Anna and Frankie because of my book, I’d be like, “So do you want those solid gold commemorative copies hand-engraved or laser? And also, I… I… I think I love you.”

12:22 AM
Word count: 119

Diary, I need your event-planning advice. Is it too early to start planning a launch party for TWENTY BOY SUMMER? OMG I could do a super cute beach thing with adorable sparkly ocean-themed evites and mai tais with umbrellas and little candies that look like beach glass and, and, and…

Diary, do you think people will show?

1:07 AM
Word count: 121

Dearest Diary,

I don’t know how to say this gently, without adverbs, so I’ll just come right out with it. I think we need to break up. It’s not you, it’s me. And by me, I mean you. Our correspondence is just too time-consuming; it’s taking me away from my contractual obligations to complete my second book. As you know, my days are packed with a grueling writing and research schedule that leaves no time for frivolous banter.

I’ve appreciated your friendship, but really, it’s for the best that we just move on.

PS. I hope you’ll still come to my launch party.

1. Thank you all for your wonderful nickname suggestions. Each (well, okay, not each. But some. Well more like one…) is being carefully evaluated and tested within the manuscript. Stay tuned for final decision.

Al Gore Gave Me Adult A.D.D.

Curse you, Al, and your magical time-traveling Internets! Because of you I can’t concentrate for more than three minutes! If it doesn’t have a button, I can’t work it! I’m trying to multi-task my relationships in multiple windows like I do on instant messenger. Bling! Ding! Bing!

That’s not cool, Al!

Look at how I’ve suffered… *cue sympathy music, preferably viola with a slight cello undertone*


Thanks to sites like and my local library’s online reservation system, I don’t have to make do with a limited collection of reading materials. I can order, request, reserve, review, search inside, search outside, find recommendations and reviews, see what my friends like, find the word count, the pub date, the dimensions, the cover, statistically improbably phrases… on any book I want, and some that I don’t. I’m also cursed with that disorder where you can’t put a book down once you’ve started, no matter how boring or terrible it is. Put the two together and what do you get?

I have problems, Al! Problems!

Facebook Anxiety Disorder (FAD)

Since I’m part vampire, I’m like the only one still awake right now on Facebook. All of my so-called “friends” have either gone to sleep or gave up in favor of some other duty; feeding children, perhaps. So here I sit, like a chump, waiting for my Scrabble friends to take their turns, waiting for my level 3 vampire avatar to recharge so I can fight my vampire friends again (I used all my attacks today), waiting for the coveted “Inbox (1)” to light up, waiting for the news feed of what all of my online pals are doing right-now-this-second, updating pictures or writing messages or eating leftovers, now now now now now. Argh!

Friends & Family (Offline)

No – don’t call me. I’ve forgotten how to speak with my mouth. I only speak with my fingers. See? And since I write like one of Tolkein’s Ents, I “do not say anything in it, unless it is worth taking a long time to say, and to listen to.” Texting? Fughettaboutit. If I’m sending you a one- or two-line message, it’s either part of a much longer conversation, or I’m just mad at you.

(A quiz: Who might be up for a one-liner text from me tonight… not mentioning names, but his may or may not rhyme with Male Whore?)


Whaa? I’ve been typing online for so long that when I try to hand write something, I inevitably hand draw a sideways smiley-face. No, seriously. I’ve also wasted hours of my life searching for the elusive CTRL+Z on my paper spiral journal. Al, this is so not normal!

Curiosity Killed The Huh?

In the eighties, if I wanted to learn something new and exciting about, say, mummies (yay! I heart them!), I’d have to go all the way to the library and look up MUMMY or MUMMIES or MUMMIFICATION or MUMMYLICIOUS in the card catalogue. Then I’d have to write down the call numbers, march over to the shelf, hope that the books were properly shelved, not too water damaged, check them out, and read through everything in ten days. Not so, anymore. It wouldn’t be so bad if I only had this unnatural obsession for mummies (yay!) but I’m also wondering about such things as Salem Witch Trials, Mt. Everest, natural remedies, fairies, time travel, Native American history, pyramids, space time, and a good red lentil soup recipe.


Take this afternoon, for example. I needed to look up the definition of a single particular Tarot card for a scene I’m writing. A ten minute task at most.

Three hours later, I’d read through a million card definitions, seen a million pictures of cards, read about Greek, French, and Romanian origins, and installed a daily Tarot application in Facebook. Which then linked me to numerology (life path is 1), horoscope (Virgo, *blowing kisses*!), and Chinese astrology (wood rabbit, yo!).

And that, your Honor, is precisely how an innocent search for a red lentil soup recipe ended three days, four pots of coffee, and a carton of Hostess Ding-Dongs later in the online image gallery for the National Association of Nude Octogenarian Sea Snorkelers, eyes glazed, stomach lining on fire, utterly failed.

Failed, Al! Are you happy now, with your fancy webs of world wide wonder? Oh, look, shiny…

A Glitch in the Matrix

Oh, Mr. Postman! My new best friend! Delivering books in boxes and crates and padded manila envelopes, all under the guise of my so-called research! Thank you, Mr. Postman, for making today one of those Happy Mail Days, complete with tell-tale beige box with swooping arrow logo from! Joy!

I just ordered Scott Westerfeld’s UGLIES series and can’t wait to read it. It’s been on the NYT children’s bestseller list for a while, and *insert NYT super-secret formula (which may or may not represent actual sales) for deriving best-sellers* can’t be wrong, right?

Problem is, I’m desperately trying to avoid all distraction while working on book 2 and its related partial and synopsis (*cringe*). But I keep looking at the UGLIES cover and sneaking in a few paragraphs… Mr. Westerfeld, dude, you’re so not helping.

In an effort to further procrastinate, I decided to go with my America’s Next Top Model strategy and visit Scott’s Westerblog in search of advice. Or at least some sort of loosely connected coincidence that I could pass off as advice while making my own poor decision and justifying it (like I did this afternoon, when Alex and I went to Tattered Cover and passed by the cookie counter, and I suddenly remembered that in my dream last night, in addition to getting attacked by a cobra, I was first in line at a cookie buffet [yay!] which featured *insert creepy, foreshadowy music* the exact cookies now on display at the TC coffee shop, including snickerdoodles, sugar cookies and the elusive colored sprinkle cookie, and of course I interpreted that as a sign from the Universe that I absolutely must get a cookie or risk the complete destruction of the planet. With that kind of pressure, yeah, I got that cookie. You can thank me later).

Back to Scott’s advice… I got what I asked for, all right. He’s just posted two blogs, written on location in Saratoga Springs, NY at the World Fantasy 2007 Convention. The fact that Scott lives in Australia and is visiting my home state in the U.S. is exactly the kind of loosely connected coincidence I was hoping for. But…

The fact that I was just working on a paragraph of my book in which the main character, her mother, and her aunt stop randomly in Saratoga Springs for lunch on their way to Vermont is way more closely connected than I’d planned on, and now I’m even more confused than ever!

Scott, and the Universe, are you telling me that I should ignore my selfish tendencies to work on my own book and dive right into UGLIES? Or are you telling me that I need to stay focused on my book and stop using your books as a handy excuse to avoid writing the synopsis that’s keeping me awake at all hours and giving me a slight unpleasant burning sensation in the esophageal area? I’m always looking for signs, but I’m afraid I’m not very good at interpreting subtleties. Would you mind clarifying in a future blog post?

And also, do you want a cookie?