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Nilina Mason-Campbell
14 January 2007 @ 06:25 pm
Since I've written on here / written period. In non-novel writing I started contributing concert reviews to Pitchfork and will likely start writing concert previews for the Mercury newspaper, but that's really all the writing I've gotten up to which is sad, but a fact of life when you work literally seven days a week. Thank goodness the Christmas season is over so everything can normalize again.
I'm uber excited for my NYC trip in February as everything is going on at once- Arcade Fire announced a five night residency (now if I can arrange comp tickets as it's sold out. . . not that I would paid anyway); Westminster Dog Show is happening, and even though I can't afford the huge SCBWI conference I still get to meet my dream editor Cheryl Klein as she's having one of near-regular drinks night out on the 9th!!!!!! SO excited!!!! My trip was planned for the 10th through 18th, but I have easily altered it for hopefully a night that will be a mini foot in a mini door.
My original goal was to finish the Legend of Laurence Swindon by the new year but that came and went with me landing a new job of 60+ hours compared to my previous job of 15-25. Then the new goal was by the end of this month, but I know now that won't be happening. When I moved back from Scotland my goal for 2006 was to relegate photography to hobby status and focus of writing and making clothes. Well I feel like what I did in 2006 set it up so that 2007 would be the year to achieve those goal and now I'm busy prepping my mini clothing line (it will expand in future collections) for a myriad of appointments with buyers while I am in NYC. Yay to a week away!!
 
 
Current Music: The Long Blondes
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
14 November 2006 @ 03:37 pm
I hate writing when i have the time, but I'm not in the position to take the task as seriously as the story dictates. I'm in between jobs right now and know that I should be using every last second to work on the Legend of Laurence Swindon before I begin working full time again, but I don't feel ready-I'm not in the right mindset.
Also, I dislike realizing that my first two chapters are not yet ready to send off to my editor of choice Cheryl Klein as apart of her SQUID submission. My original revised goal is/was New Year, but somehow last week I thought I'd set a new deadline of this coming Wednesday. And it's not so much that the first two chapters aren't ready, it's that I'm not.
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
26 October 2006 @ 03:48 pm
Well I sat down looking at some photos of London and it really inspired me to the point where I began thinking that the London scene could actually be something other than a bridge between other scenes. When I sat down to turn the notes I took into text it just didn't flow so I began looking last night for a song about London that would assist in the writing process. not necessarily about London in terms of lyrics, but just representing the red phone booths and Roman architecture and the streets that change names in the middle of the block (Bayswater anyone?). Still haven't found it (which is frustrating), but I stumbled upon a song by Man Man. Only in the end do I absolutely fall in love with the song and it's perfect for a scene way later in the book when Kellin goes in Dunoon and sees a house that he saw much earlier in Ayr that wasn't really there (there is much more to it-a chill down the spine kind of much more).
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
20 October 2006 @ 04:40 pm
I had a fabulous day today! I went to da Vinci Arts middle school to lead two sessions of printmaking. It was going to be an optional indoor recess, but because of the assembly they had today, the students had to give up their lunch in order to participate.
I expected the turn out to be relatively low given how sunny and nice today was and also attract students who aren't the lunch-time-social type because that's who showed up for indoor recess when I went there. The first group met that expectation. At first it was just me and one boy and he did the neatest reversible symbols and designs, then a sixth grade girl joined us and then a 7th grader, who left only to return moments later. He ended up making the coolest eye ever!
They did a bit more of an announcement of the activity over the PA during the second lunch and a lot more students showed up. One girl made a stamp with "Loser" on it to stamp on her friends

Printmaking

It was really fun showing the tricks of how to draw the image on paper and transfer it over to the rubber block as well as cutting techniques. A custodian passed by and asked if I had attended in 1999-2000. I mean the principal and all my old teachers remember me and now the custodian too! There were a lot of issues within the district at that time when they then fired all the custodians and outsourced their jobs. That just got over turned, so a few of them have returned to the job and he is one of them. I really wish I could've talked to him more!
I return on Monday so that all the kids in both the first and second lunch can finish their stamps and then create bookmarks and gift tags from them for themselves and da Vinci's holiday art sale. I can't wait! This has been the first indoor recess of the year at the school. Later in the week I'm hoping to do either cross-stitch, light switch plates, or knitting and the cool thing about it is all of those activities will attract boys and girls-one other cool thing about it being an art school. I mean they have a weaving class there and all kids take dance instead of PE-so cool!
I wanted to glean ideas to add into my manuscript, but that didn't really happen. It was just fun being around the energy and maybe if I write tonight I'll be able to inject that into the character Kellin :)
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
17 October 2006 @ 04:26 pm
So last Friday I went down to Powells at 2pm for their party for the release of The End. I wasn't the oldest in attendance as the people that worked there were older than me hahaha. . . My only interaction with the series had been when Polly's sister brought all her friend up from Munich to Glasgow for the weekend and I watched the movie with them. They didn't quite get it because of the language barrier and I sat there shocked (that's an understatement) that this film was a "kids" film. Then I decided I liked it and read the Unauthorized Autobiography of Lemony Snicket.
So I went to the party as I've always dreamed of going to a Harry Potter release party and it was SO much fun!!! It was SO much fun and there was a crazy big turnout! They had an open mic where kids could come up and complain about how awful the party was and a MC with a monotone voice. There was a Salmonella Cafe serving cake and parsley soda alongside a cake walk. I picked up a lot of stuff and then caved and bought the book because it was on sale.
I'm pretty broke right now and only bring enough cash out of the house with me to purchase exactly what I need because I don't trust myself and that day I had to send out my birth certificate application form out so I can get some ID. I brought enough for the notary and then enough to pick up three Lean Cuisines. So then after buying the book on impulse and spending my Lean Cuisine money, I spent 29 cents to get a money order for the application and went to mail the application. Only I was now 17 cents short for a stamp!!! I had to mail the application out that day too in order to meet the deadline! My only choice became to go back home to retrieve 17 cents and then come back downtown which is an hour each way. I could ask someone on the street for a quarter only I HATE when people ask me. Then I thought I would only have to find four cans or bottles and get the bottle deposit back for them.
Well before going home I had to return to picture books to the library that I had checked out to assist with my current pb manuscript. I returned them, walked to my bus stop, got on the bus, then couldn't find my bus pass. I couldn't find my bus pass for many many stops, and just as we were about to leave downtown it became apparent I had lost it. I absolutely cannot afford a new pass as I can barely meet my loan repayment this month and so my option was to retrace my steps. The bus driver felt sorry for me so he gave me a transfer without me asking for one which would see me through the afternoon. I went to Plaid Pantry and it wasn't there. I walked to the library book drop and it wasn't there. Before trekking all the way to Powell's I thought I may check in with the library as it may have ended up in the pages of the books since they were in the same bag-long shot, but I'm broke.
The guy called downstairs to returns and after ten minutes they said both books had been checked in already. So I went to the childrens room where the librarian argued with me that there was no way they could've been checked in that fast. I said they had so we found one on the shelf and paged through it and of course my pass wasn't there. We then tried to locate the other book and it wasn't on the shelf. So she checked on the computer and it said it hadn't been checked in yet. Another librarian came over to help and upon further scrutiny it became known that the second book was in transit to another library. So she raced down and return 10-15 minutes later with my pass!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, but the story doesn't end there!
I walk back to my bus stop and some guy asks me how much it costs to ride the bus. I tell him I don't know. Then I remember the transfer the bus driver gave me. I offer it to him for free and he gives me the change he was going to use to get on the bus and there I have it-enough to buy that stamp to mail in my application!!!

Later that night I went to another at 7pm at Borders and saw some of the same kids. There was a scanevger hunt, but the one at Powell's was definitely the better of the two.

***
Today I volunteered at my old middle school for Run for the Arts and it was entirely too much fun!!!! The kids there are absolutely CRAZY! It's an arts magnet school and when I went my fellow students were out of their minds-arty to the extreme. There have been rumors that it has become more of a regular school now, but t was great to see that that is not entirely true. Being there only strengthed my resolve to be able to afford to be a stay at home mom when I have kids so I can be at school as often as possible. My old principal, math teacher, core teacher, and secretary all recognized me and remembered my name (or at least the Mason-Campbell part in the case of my former math teacher)
On Friday I'm leading to print-making activities!!!! And next week I'm doing bookmarks and gift tags on twice on two different days. Being around these kids is going to add SO much to my characters in the Legend of Laurence Swindon! I'm excited. It's rather scary how I still feel and prefer to feel that I am still 11 and 12.
 
 
Current Location: Portland State University
 
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
05 October 2006 @ 11:55 am
So I typed up the majority of my hand written manuscript a couple days ago and it looks hopeful-word count wise-like I'm making progress. My goal for the month is to add an additional 10K words.
Run down of the past week:
Went to see the French band Phoenix-they were great! On my way I had to catch a million and one buses and there was quite a bit of waiting at bus stops in between so I was able to write a lot of dialog. The dialog I had been putting off due to the difficulty of the scene when Kellin first encounters a group of boys hanging out at a bus stop near his flat.
I blogged about the show here:
http://www.notontheguestlist.com/blog/2006/09/phoenix_not_act.html

Then the other night I went to see Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio. TVotR did a great song about pirates and the sea and had the entire audience creating sounds to match the mood and it was phenomenal to say the least!!!! Anyway, how it connects to the Legend of Laurence Swindon is that I had gotten mid-way through the pirate story that is being told to Kellin and didn't know in which direction to finish it and it was solved over the course of the song. The cd is being sent to me next week so I hope it will bring further inspiration.

Yesterday I lost my notebook in which I'm writing it out long hand, but was reunited with it this afternoon.

Turned 21 today. Of course I stayed in because I have a life. Watched Grey's Anatomy and the LOVELY John Stamos on ER. I find it fairly sick that I now find (the post-)Uncle Jesse hot.

Tomorrow I'm going to visit my mom in Seattle and were going to spend the day in Port Townsend which I expect will inspire another section of LoLS, or at least hope it does cos the story is starting to fell like busy work me trying to fill in gaps between scenes I have already written.
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
24 September 2006 @ 09:47 pm
So by mid-week I got to a point where I wanted to string together earlier scenes that I had written into a cohesive narrative. That equals a ton of cleaning up to do. I'm writing the first draft in spiral bound notebooks as when I attempted to write on my computer, Kellin just didn't seem like the Kellin I've been creating in my head. And since I've been jumping scene to scene while writing, my current notebook is so overloaded and all over the place it could use it's own map. So now one of the earliest scenes is towards the back of the notebook, and I've been ripping out pages from the front of scenes that come after it and re-writing them behind the earliest scene, revising as I go. It takes a lot of time, but it seems to be working for me and I hope by either the end of this week or by the end of next, I will be to a point happy with my revisions to where I can take the first third of the manuscript to my Macbook.
Today I went down to the waterfront on the Oaks Bottom side, closest to Ross Island, re-writing and also read The Family Under the Bridge for inspiration. It was one of my favorite books as a kid and it's reassuring to read now and notice the vocabulary that must have flown straight over my head, as that has been a dilemma of mine with my current writing over whether or not it's read-able for the 11 year olds I hope it appeals to.

Earlier this week I downloaded Nick Drake's 'Pink Mood' which instantly inspired a scene I didn't know I was missing. Right now I can't stop listening to Beirut, though his music is so far away from Scotland that it's not influencing anything that I write.
 
 
Current Location: Home
Current Music: Beirut
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
18 September 2006 @ 04:42 pm
I am so overly paranoid about the first two chapters of LoLS. There are selections that I have already written that are what the heart of the story is and the portions I'd most like to share with an editor when sending in my manuscript, it's just that they're NO where near the beginning on the book. I have have attempted to experiment with starting the book in the middle, working back to the beginning, and then continuing from the middle, but I feel this story can only start in one specific place. The trick is creating a beginning that leads readers-makes them want to get to the middle.
The true heart of the story is not only when the boy gets to Scotland and when he separates from his family which is a bit in after they arrive in Scotland and if an editor is ever going to fall in love with the book, I think it's those parts they'd fall in love with and I hate the fact that they won't get the chance to until after they fall in love with the beginning. Now it could be said "write a better beginning," but I'm not quite sure that's the case. It starts a certain way regardless of how many times it may be re-written or re-represented and it's just that the action and character's revelations don't kick in quite yet at that point-and that the heart.
I may just have to bet on the synopsis and hope that's what they fall in love with and from reading the beginning realize that I have the talent to carry through on what the synopsis promises.
I guess I can tell myself that for the time being :)
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
17 September 2006 @ 10:09 pm
Today I went walking attempting to gain new ideas and ended up working out some brief dialog sequences in addition to finally finding out where in the text to put in about how unfriendly dogs are in Scotland. The walk was nice. I met a very chic cat with the hoarsest meow as well as a dog that came running after me, bringing his owners in tow and it reminded me very much of Because of Winn-Dixie, only the dog was a tiny dachshund. I brought my spiral bound notebook with me, but didn't jot anything down. Will probably cement the ideas to page tomorrow. Earlier in the day before the walk I got down two hand-written pages!
 
 
Nilina Mason-Campbell
16 September 2006 @ 02:30 am
Typically I have a million and one projects floating around and that's still true, but I've narrowed down the number of projects that I am truly giving attention to, and one that I'm in even hotter pursuit of. Which would be a picture book I'm working on with my mom called When the Seagulls Came to Macaville, another picture book about my pet guinea pig who sadly passed away May 19th 2003, and then of course the project that I truly am unflinchingly focused on-The Legend of Laurence Swindon, my middle grade novel that I am far beyond obsessed with.
It's weird writing it when the weather is slowly turning to that of rain and dark skies, alongside soggy leaves fallen from trees, and the promise of warmer jackets. This is my favorite time of year and now I'm struggling to write all the scenes that involve sunshine before it's too late, as the weather seems to truly dictate my writing. I've found that the pages I've wrote most recently are a bit darker, all involve rain, and I'm just anticipating an uphill battle of the imagination as I attempt to write sunny scenes when all I want to think about is autumn and winter.
Yeah-and I'm not writing the scenes in sequence. With this story I envision the scenes rather cinematically and just write down the scenes as I see/watch them in my head. Well the projector must be melting the tape, because the scenes aren't showing chronologically. Fine by me. Rather than struggle to continue on the same tangent after writing a passage and then not knowing where it'll go after, I instead skip all over which keeps my interest and it's getting very close to me starting to tie all the scenes into one and other.