Tag Archives: Write or Die

My end of 2010 homework

A short while back, Jamey gave me some homework. She said (a loose quote here), “I don’t think you realize how much you’ve done and accomplished this year. I’m assigning you homework. You have to make a list of everything you’ve done in 2010.”

So, finally, I’m doing my homework. Here it is, 10 things I accomplished in 2010:

1. I’ve worked on five movies

In January, I worked for 2 days on the set of Legendary (Brother’s Keeper) and then went on to work on three more WWE Studios movies, up till October. Currently, I’m working on So Undercover. That’s five and that’s a lot in one year, as I’m realizing.

2. I watched a lot of football

I’ve always been a Saints fan, at least in theory. I became a fan in practice during 2009, but in the aftermath of our Super Bowl win (that could be its own entry on the list – I witnessed the Saints winning the Super Bowl!) and now, in this new season, I’ve been watching a lot of football. I’ve only missed one Saints game this season.

3. I started a major revision of my novel

I haven’t finished, but I began (and progressed pretty far) with what I hope will be my final draft before I finally send this baby out into the world — to agents first and then to editors at publishing companies, and then to actual real people who read, complete with hardback gift wrapping.

4. I had major surgery

And came face-to-face with the realities of physical recovery. And asked for help. And forced myself to rest.

5. I had a public disagreement with OffBeat Magazine

I, and several others, publicly and loudly disagreed with the image on OffBeat Magazine‘s March cover. This brought me a great deal of stress and frustration, although there was a bit of a surge in traffic here on my blog and I was quoted in the Huffington Post.

6. I escaped from the Book Section

I had the chance to write a piece for 225 Magazine that started out being a review of The Dictionary of Louisiana French and ended up being about so much more, including the grim situation at LSU lately. Not only was it longer than most of my published pieces, it was in the front half of the magazine, which was a personal first.

7. I published more than ever

And there’s nothing wrong with the Book Section (at all!), as I had more pieces (mostly book reviews) published in 225 Magazine this year than all the previous years I’ve written for them – combined. I continue to be honored and challenged and inspired in my work with this phenomenal magazine. Additionally, my web presence was stronger than ever, between my growing blog, my continued work with PureSYTYCD and a few posts I did for Write or Die.

8. I hung out with rock stars

Halfway through the year, I got the chance to interview Eric Ronick, the lead singer of the new band Black Gold during their New Orleans concert, I danced a little bit with Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls after their show at Tipitina’s and more recently (though I haven’t blogged about it yet), I met Mark Growden when he invited me out (via Twitter) after I mistook the date of one of his New Orleans shows and went out in the cold, only to be disappointed. I also went to Jazz Fest for the first time.

9. I started reading for Narrative Magazine

That one probably speaks for itself. I started out as an intern earlier in the year and was promoted to assistant editor around September.

10. I won NaNoWriMo

I managed to write 50,000 words during the month of November – despite my crazy hectic job, despite Thanksgiving and my parents being in town, despite not having a solid story or characters I was passionate about or interested in, I won!

Somehow, throughout the crucible that was 2010, I managed to (mostly) strike a balance between my consuming work in the film industry and my identity as a freelance writer and everything that entails. I grew my blog and spent a lot of time bragging on my amazing friends and family, something that makes me extraordinarily proud.

The balance isn’t perfect, of course, and there are still quite a lot of things I’d like to finish (my novel!) work out (my finances!) and do (travel!), but Jamey was right that I needed to sit down and reflect on everything that I have achieved this year. I feel much more prepared to tackle 2011 now!

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Filed under bragging on, family, freelance work, Friends, movies, music, NaNoWriMo, New Orleans, pop culture, writing updates

NaNoWriMo Day 6

Last night, I had a great time walking on Bayou St. John with a friend, followed by pretty much my favorite New Orleans meal. Parkway Bakery‘s roast beef p’boy, followed by bread pudding. I know I’m a wuss when it comes to cold weather, but I had three layers on and two of them had hoods!

That cold weather made me disinclined to do much today. I had an extremely lazy day, reading mostly.

I knew I needed help with motivation, so I signed in to Twitter and had a few word wars with folks, managing 2,449 so far today. That brings my grand total to 15,398. I don’t think I’ve ever been so far ahead so early in NaNoWriMo. The whole reason I am ahead is that I had this first week off and I’ve been trying to get some padding before work starts again on Monday. But the real difference has been word wars – with folks from Write or Die and from Twitter. I can’t forget how useful wars are during the rest of the month!

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Legendary, Halloween and NaNoWriMo

So, I bought a copy of the film Legendary, which was the first of the WWE movies I worked on. It was really good, though not what people expect when they think WWE. I think that’s cool. Plus, I have a lot of memories tied in to these movies. I was working on set for two days of Legendary, so my memories are all in the final, climatic sequence of the film. Any time you see a giant scoreboard with time ticking down, that’s my work. 🙂

Today is Halloween, which means many different things around here. For one, it means the end of Voodoo Music Festival and a suddenly empty house after the five people who’ve been staying in my roommate’s room suddenly leave. For another, it means a Saints game later tonight and, of course, handing out candy to kids while partying with my neighbors on my porch.

And last, it means that NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow. I’m pumped up and exhausted, at the same time. So, from that weird place, I wrote an essay that went up on Dr. Wicked’s Write or Die site today. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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Emilie’s 2008 Best List

What a crazy year this has been. It’s the year that my big appetite for music became voracious and I sought out friends and resources to feed it. It’s the year that I “discovered” audio books as a natural result of driving for work – a lot. It’s the year I didn’t go to the theater as much as I used to, but everything came to DVD so much quicker. It’s the year I hoped to finish my book. It’s the year I started this blog.

This is a very personal best list, so the things that I’m highlighting as my favorites of 2008 may not have been released in 2008, just discovered by me in this year that’s soon to be past.

Books – 2008 is the year I read more nonfiction, romance and thriller than ever before, not to mention almost all of Jennifer Weiner and Jennifer Crusie, Spiderwick and Neverland and a lot of David Sedaris. Out of the almost 150 books I’ve read this year, my 15 favorites in roughly the order I read them:
1. His Dark Materials (3) Philip Pullman
2. Gregor and the Code of Claw, Suzanne Collins
3. When a Man Loves a Weapon (this will be released in 2009), Toni McGee Causey
4. Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me, Ed. Ben Karlin
5. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (about halfway through the year now), Junot Diaz
6. The Rescue Artist, Edward Dolnick
7. The Ruby Key, Holly Lisle
8. To Kill a Mockingbird (finally read this!), Harper Lee
9. Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, Daniel Wallace
10. Calumet City, Charlie Newton
11. Finn, Jon Clinch
12. A Very Long Engagement, Sebastien Japrisot
13. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl
14. Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
15. The Wolfman, Nicholas Pekearo

Notables: Continued reading some of my favorite series – the “Alice” books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson books, and Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty. Also was blown away by a trio of historical romance writers – Gaelen Foley, Sherry Thomas and Suzanne Enoch, who gloriously re-invent the genre and write freaking well. Agnes and the Hitman and Faking It made me laugh myself hoarse. And I’ve been crazy about the Twilight series, of course, really impressed with how things wrapped up in Breaking Dawn.

Movies – I used to go to a movie by myself every Sunday, but that habit sadly went away. However, as a three year + member of Netflix, I still saw over 100 movies this year (and I did get to the theater some, of course). I’m going to try to approximate the order I saw them in.
1. Stardust
2. Once
3. Juno
4. Shoot ‘Em Up
5. Across the Universe
6. Wanted
7. Live Free or Die Hard
8. Dear Frankie
9. I’m Not There
10. Persepolis
11. Dark Knight
12. My Blueberry Nights
13. The Brave One
14. Penelope
15. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
16. Mamma Mia!
17. Wall*E – in some ways, my favorite of the year
18. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
19. Twilight
20. I Could Never Be Your Woman
21. Rachel Getting Married
22. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Notables: Much, much better than I’d heard/you’d think – Speed Racer, Good Luck Chuck and The Cutting Edge 3. 21 and Atonement almost made my list, so I guess that makes me a big James McAvoy fan.

TV – This was the year my t.v. became largely decorative. When I forgot how to hook the cables and wires back up after Gustav and relied almost entirely on watching t.v. on my computer. But the shows I love, I love all the more for it. No particular order here.
1. How I Met Your Mother
2. Bones (NOT happy it’s moving to Thursdays)
3. So You Think You Can Dance (Cat Deely’s the bomb, Joshua wasn’t my fav and we need DVD)
4. Survivor (yes, I still love this show)
5. In Plain Sight
6. Top Chef
7. Moonlight (NOT happy this got canceled)
8. Pushing Daisies (NOT happy this got canceled)

Notables: Big Bang Theory surprises me, whenever I manage to catch it, with how funny it is.

Music -This was the year of music. I’ve never been such an avid music listener and collector.
Singles –
1. Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show (most listened to song in my iTunes)
2. Forever in Blue Jeans, Jason Castro (he wasn’t my favorite, but this stuck in my head)
3. Toxic, Yael Naim (cover of Britney, haunting and freaky)
4. Fake Is the New Real, Alice Smith
5. Johnny and June, Heidi Newfield
6. Be My Husband, Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice
7. So What, Pink
8. Another Way to Die, Alicia Keyes and Jack White
9. American Boy, Estelle and Kanye
10. Just Like a Woman, Charlotte Gainsbourg
11. Holding Out for a Hero, Frou Frou
12. Are You Strong Enough to Be My Man, Sheryl Crow
13. You Got Growing Up to Do, Patty Griffin and Joshua Radin
14. Echo, Cyndi Lauper
15. Comes Love, Billie Holiday
16. Whatever Lola Wants, Ella Fitzgerald
17. Love Song, Sara Bareilles
18. See You Again, Miley Cyrus (say what you want, but this song is catchy and cool)
20. Missed Me, Dresden Dolls
19. Hide and Seek, Imogen Heap
20. Arms of a Woman, Amos Lee
21. Lilac Wine, Katie Melua
22. Do I Move You, Nina Simone
23. Hurt, Johnny Cash

CDs –
1. Across the Universe soundtrack (oh glorious TV Carpio, put out a cd already! Dana Fuchs!)
2. Juno soundtrack
3. Once soundtrack
4. Acid Tongue, Jenny Lewis
5. Volume 1, She & Him
6. Black Snake Moan soundtrack

Performers, period –
1. Patty Griffin – I’m delirious over Patty Griffin
2. Jenny Lewis
3. Lucinda Williams
4. Emmylou Harris
5. Allison Moorer
6. The White Stripes, Jack White notably
7. The Dresden Dolls
8. Roisin Murphy
9. Katie Herzig
10. Sugarland
11. Krista Detor

Notables: My love for Nina Simone, Johnny Cash, The Magnetic Fields, Cake and The Beatles, always vibrant, has been renewed. I grew to really appreciate Kanye West (though my first love for him came after his infamous quote after Katrina). And I learned that, as amusing as I find it when my neighbor M. sings the lyrics to “Ding, Ding, Dong,” I am NOT a fan of Gunther.

Websites – These are the websites I checked every day in 2008, once I knew about them!
1. Post Secret
2. I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
3. Living With Music – writers blog about music!
4. GalleyCat – how could I leave this one off?
5. Wikipedia
6. imdb
7. cdbaby
8. Amazon
9. Craigslist
10. YouTube

My Favorite Things – What I’ve been loving this year
1. Favorite Home Away from Home – Cheers, my coffeeshop
2. Friends – you know who you are and likely, you’ve introduce me to a lot of great music and food this year. I love you for it, this year and all years.
3. Family – for the pictures, the drama and the support.
4. Local Music – The Zydepunks, The New Orleans Bingo! Show, Loose Marbles and Gal Holiday
5. Food – the roast beef po’boy at Parkway just may be my favorite thing I’ve eaten this year
6. Lessons – dancing, parallel parking, how to be a better writer (friends again, thank you)
7. Libraries – Nola and BR, so very excited about having multiple library cards
8. Writing – NaNoWriMo, PerNoWriMo, Write or Die, Jamey
9. Epiphany – being excited and finding others who’re also excited about the same things.
10. City – New Orleans. Of course and always.

That’s it, Emilie’s Top List for 2008. Enjoy. Argue. Applaud. Whatever. 🙂

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