N.M Sotzek

Author of the AIM Chronicles

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What is beauty?

Posted by nsotzek on March 1, 2012 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I've sent my manuscript to five fabulous people. I'm so grateful for their time and effort, and thankful that they offered to read my book. I don't think they knew what they were getting themselves into, to be honest. Well, one of them did. She's a published author, and I've been a beta for her when I was younger, so I'm confident she knows what she's doing. Oh, and another knows as well. She's an English teacher and was extremely helpful during the early stages of the book.

Now onto something that has recently been bothering me. It may not have an appropriate place in this blog, but it's been on my mind and as a writer, well I can't really stop that.

Beauty.

Has everyone seen this photo?



I certainly have. Friends of mine keep posting this on Facebook, cheering for the classic Hollywood Beauties in the bottom row. The comments on this picture are generally along these lines:

"Um, never."
"Real men like curves. Stop starving yourself! Bigger is always better!"

Since this picture went viral, I've been paying more attention to how people look at me. Big people. That's not fair, actually. There are women who are barely bigger than me as well. And how do they look at me, you wonder?

With disgust.

I'm 5'4" and I weigh 130lbs. I'm darn proud of that. I've never been on a diet in my life. I eat what I want, when I want it...which is usually desserts all the time. I just happen to have a very active metabolism. I'm even on a medication that's supposed to make me retain fluids and make me overweight. An ex-coworker used to tell me all the time how much she wished she was my size, how fat she was, and how skinny I am. She was only ten pounds heavier, and we wear the same size shirts. I'm also an active person, so I have bi-ceps and massive thighs and calves, but a small waist.

I was walking down the street one day and a (larger) woman called out to me: "Eat a hamburger, you stick!"

What makes that okay?

I agree that the mainstream media has told people (both men and women) that thinner is better, and I agree that it's terrible. But absolutely no-one has the right to tell someone else that their weight is unacceptable (unless, of course, it's affecting the person's health). We've fought so hard against the media that now we've completely flipped our thinking. We now assume that every thin person is anorexic or bulimic. We tell each other that no man wants to be with a woman with no meat on her.

If you have a young daughter and you're a plus size but she's naturally thin, are you honestly going to sit her down and tell her: "Darling, you have a problem. No one's going to like you if you don't gain twenty pounds." I would never tell my daughter that, or even the opposite.

What is beauty?

Beauty is health. There are healthy weights, and there are unhealthy weights. Period. If you're a grown woman and you only weigh 60lbs (assuming you're average height), there's a problem. If you're 400lbs (at any height), there's a problem.

This picture represents judgement, which is exactly what it's fighting against. How about a picture that says: they're all hot! We need to be telling each other that we accept each other. People are always promoting that, but we're not really living it.

"Accept me because I'm gay!"
But people can't say that they don't agree with the lifestyle.

"Accept me because I'm black!"
But then people trash white people.

"Accept me because I'm a plus size!"
But then people attack thin people.

I'll accept you, if you accept me. Deal?

Distractions

Posted by nsotzek on February 22, 2012 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, it's done. I've completed the first re-write. My boyfriend hasn't gone through all of the chapters but he'll go through the final ones at least. I'll be sending my manuscript to a few people who have graciously offered to read and comment once he finishes. After that, I'll plan for one more quick re-write before I send it off to agents.

I can't believe it's only been a year. I've thought about other authors and how long it took for them to complete their books and usually it takes years. Granted, they may be including how long it took for them to obtain representation and then a publisher.

It's definitely daunting, and part of me is screaming to just stop and being content with the progress I've made already. But I won't. I've never been one to settle.

Home stretch

Posted by nsotzek on February 17, 2012 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, I began to think that I should start posting more regularly. I'm thinking bi-weekly should work. Hopefully I can keep to that!

So, I titled this 'home stretch' for a reason. I have seven more chapters to re-write before I send my book to my very kind-hearted beta readers. Of course, once I finish that, my boyfriend still has to go through and make sure I've kept up with the logistical issues we've discussed and all that fun jazz. That's when I can send it out.

I'm grateful to have him helping, especially since the original concept was his idea. There are times that it's extremely difficult. He's very much into minor details and the technical issues, whereas I'm more concerned about developing the characters. Maybe it's a perfect combination, but it definitely caused more than a few heated discussions.

With that being said, I do appreciate the help and his opinions. But I hate having to wait for him to get around to reading each chapter as I finish them. I'm currently re-writing chapter 21, and he's still on chapter 11. I understand that he's in grad school and I don't nag him about reading but I've never been a fan of working on someone else's schedule. I suppose I should get used to that.

I guess that's all for now. Back to the grind, which does not seem to be so rough, actually. I re-wrote five chapters yesterday so I'm back on schedule. Agents, expect to hear from me in April!

On Your Mark....

Posted by nsotzek on December 27, 2011 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, I suppose I should come out and say that I did not win NaNoWriMo. It is probably because I stopped writing about halfway through the month. However, I still consider it a win because (insert drumroll here) I finished the first novel! That was quite emotional. It was the first time I've actually finished something. Okay, that's not fair. I have finished plenty of short stories before, but never a 200 page novel before (mind you, 200 single spaced computer pages which is definitely much more in a softcover format).

I received a Sony E-Reader for my birthday, so once I finished my novel I quickly formatted it into epub so I could do a full reading of my novel. I figured that before I do a re-write I should read my novel as....well, as a novel. I finished that tonight, and I'm so glad I did. There's quite a bit that I need to change, add, and delete. My goal is April, which I think is definitely attainable. My job has ended for the season (Archaeology) and so I have plenty of time to work on this, as well as preparing research for my thesis.

And now, I begin my re-write!

Happy New Year everyone!

Poor Judgement

Posted by nsotzek on November 9, 2011 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I have no depth perception. No, really, I don't. Blindness in one eye kind of causes that. When things are hurtling towards my face, I have no idea how far away it is until it hits me in the face. That being said, I was just hit in the face with the end of my novel. Long ago, I wrote the final scene of my book and last night I wrote the second to last scene before that one. It's been quite a roller coaster, and I do not look forward to the editing, the rewrites, and then more editing. I am, however, quite looking forward to being able to say that I've written a novel. I'm a little scared at the same time, and I think that's partly the reason why I'm writing a sequel. I'm not ready to let these characters go. They still have too much to do, so much more room to develop that I can't just abandon them now.

So, here's to the final chapter!

November!

Posted by nsotzek on November 4, 2011 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

November, I believe, is the best month of the year. Not only is it my birthday month, but it's also National Novel Writing Month! This is the first year I can attempt it without being in school. That means I can write my novel without that nagging guilt that comes with ignoring research papers and other assignments. I'm keeping up with the word count so far, so that is a good sign. However, I am a rebel this year. What does that mean? It means I'm not starting a new novel. As you gasp in shock, hear me out. I know I'm going to finish this novel but this is the perfect way to get it finished quickly, and to also start the sequel.

I have the main plot figured out for the sequel, but I am not completely convinced about it yet. We will just have to see how the characters make me end the book.

4 more chapters...

Posted by nsotzek on October 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I was never used to writing actual chapters. I used to simply write and write and write, and then go back and decide where the chapter breaks go. Recently, I've changed my strategy and it seems to be working well.

With that being said, I plan on writing four more chapters....although I have the end of the book already written. Is that cheating?

And then comes the fun part: the re-write! As I've written each page, the characters evolve and do things I wasn't quite expecting. I sit back and think to myself: 'Hm, well they weren't supposed to do that,' but what can I do? So now I have to go back and smooth the edges that my rebellious characters have created for themselves.

Even without the last four pages, the re-write and the editing, I've already written a query letter. Haven't sent it, of course, but I have a few agents in mind who I would like to represent my novel.

Maybe I'll also post this here, while I'm at it.....

Science fiction is real!

Or at least the concept for my novel. That in itself is rather cool. The whole concept for the novel is that a computer chip controls these AI animals (AIMs - Aritificial Intelligence Morphers). Scientists at Tel-Aviv University have created a computer chip which replaces the cerebellum, and they're testing this in rats right now. The only difference is that an AIM is made up of a biological substance created in a laboratory combined with the chip, rather than an actual animal.

Read about the experiments here:
nextbigfuture.com/2011/09/computer-chip-replaces-cerebellum-in.html

news.discovery.com/tech/cyborg-rat-computerized-brain-110928.html

science.slashdot.org/story/11/09/27/2215208/scientists-restore-lost-brain-function-in-rat-with-synthetic-device


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