Monday, August 22, 2011

updates: chattanooga/sparkfest/campaign edition.

Boy howdy. If I wasn't averse to cleaning before, I most certainly am now. On the upside, there's this neat little city in southeast Tennessee, practically (in fact, partly) in Georgia, and I live there now. It's called Chattanooga. Maybe you've heard of it.

There's this thing called the Choo Choo, and it sure was the swizz in 1941.

Dang. (This was also my only association with Chattanooga as a little kid. LITTLE DID I KNOW, HUH?)

Anyway, I hope you all are excited, because it's Sparkfest week! Meaning, pretty much, that a bunch of cool folks are going to spend a lot of time in the next several days telling other cool folks about the books that got them hooked on the notion of... all this. Stay tuned!

Here are some other important things:

1. The Chattanooga Library is HUGE. It's not quite as quaint/bright/user-friendly as my beloved Blount County, but it takes a close second. Definitely better than downtown Knoxville. Anyway, the point in all this: it's only about a block from where my husband works, as well as within a few blocks of both a local coffee joint and a Starbucks, and a park with free wifi (where I am right now). So, pretty much, I'm set.

2. This city is so... spacious. It's really not any smaller or bigger than Knoxville (not including their respective universities), but it's so much nicer. I could really get used to these wide, wide streets (you can always see the sky! Even in the middle of downtown!), this plaza, that place over there with really good coffee and super-nice baristas, not to mention the gorgeous library (complete with book sculpture/fountain*), and all the awesome things that aren't even in this little chunk of the city.

*a fountain that is a huge, metal sculpture of a pile of books-- but could also be read as books flowing out onto more books, which is a less organized version of what's going on inside, anyway.

3. I am going to gush about Chattanooga for a long, long time, so buckle up. You will want to visit, I am determined.

4. I did the two CRAZIEST things just now:
   4a. I signed up for Rachel Harrie's Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign. It's like I suddenly grew a spine or something. I'm excited to meet other bloggers, for sure. I'm not as excited about/actually terrified of participating in the challenges, because, in case you haven't noticed, I don't really share what I write online. Too many eyes! Not enough clever! Oh the well. Can't hurt to stretch (my camp counselor is showing, isn't it?)!
   4b. I signed up (I think?) for NaNoWriMo. We shall see where this leads. It kind of doesn't make any sense, being as in-the-middle of a WIP (oh yeah, I started New Draft, finally) as I am, but I figured, What the hey? I need to write something other than this one story, over and over again, anyway. I'm thinking female MC. First person*. You know, something normal.


*I actually did just throw down a bit of New Draft in first person, just for fun, just to see what it was like, and, uh, yeah. So much better. Surprise!

5. Because of all this, I've found myself staring down some new goals.
A of all: diligent, daily work on--and hopefully the completion of--New Draft, from now until October 31.
B: I'm shrinking my Booksplurge 2011 goal to 50, instead of 60. Bummer, I know, but I think it just has to be this way. And it will still be the most books I've read in one calendar year, if I get there (pretty shallow claim, since I've never kept track before. OH WELL).
And C: Um, the Campaign and NaNo.

So... wwwwwish me luck.

(Edited to add: this isn't in English, is it? Ha!
Well, that's trying to watch youtube outside in the city without headphones, for ya.)

See you next time! We'll talk about my favorite book in 5th grade! And then my favorite book in high school! And then, you know, college, and why I started writing, for reals. And then maybe we can eat pizza, because Chattanooga has really great pizza (it matches all the other really great stuff). Ooh! And we can go to the Tennessee Aquarium, because it's awesome and I could walk there right now. (!)

Oh, wait, I did what? Set a ton of unreasonable, unattainable goals for myself that will pretty much take up the rest of the year?


Okay. We can go to the Aquarium in January, then. HAAAAAAA. (oh boy.)


  1. Yay for NaNoWriMo! We'll have to be online writing buddies. I did it last year and it was my most productive writing period... ever... I think :) (That's not saying too much, but hey, progress is progress and goals are... amenable to progress :)).

    It was fun seeing you in Chattanooga last week!!!

  2. What a cute blog, Julie! I'm a new follower!
    I'm in your group over at the Third Writers' Platform Campaign - just stopping by to say hello.

  3. Loved NaNoWriMo! I, too, am a fellow campaigner stopping by. **Waves**

  4. Apparently my comment didn't show your blog! I've only read the most recent entry and I'm already hooked. :) I'm in your group for the Writing Campaign, and wanted to stop by and say hello. Good luck with NaNo this fall! I loved it last year and wanted to do it again this year, but I'm getting married in November, and that is a craziness that I don't even want to touch. :P

  5. I'm going to second everyone else--lovely blog!

    I'm a fellow Campaigner in your YA group--excited to see you around!

  6. Suddenly I have a hankering to move to Chattanooga. First of all, because it sounds so awesome. Second, because it's fun to say Chattanooga.

    Good luck with your goals! You can totally do it.

  7. Uh, yes, I'm thinking a visit is in order. I have library envy.

    Also, "not enough clever"?? Pshh. PSHHH I say!!

    Also also, hi, I'm in your campaign group. Will you be my forever friend? :B <---hopeful face that makes me laugh uncontrollably

  8. Just thought I'd drop by quickly and say hi from a fellow campaigner. I'll be back! (That wasn't supposed to sound so stalkerish!)

  9. i love the chattanooga aquarium. it's a great little sprawled out city! looking forward to your sparks!

  10. Hi, Julie! I'm looking forward to your Sparkfest posts! I love hearing about other people's favorite books. :)

  11. Glad I found you through Rachel's Campaign (we're in the same group). And I love Jimmy Buffet songs, too! Now I must go push that follow button.

  12. Hello from a fellow campaigner! And I love the reference to camp counselor-hood. I met my husband while counseling at a summer camp. Fun times!

  13. Coffee, free wi-fi and a great library. What else do you need? Chattanooga sounds great to me!

    We are in the same Campaigner group. Nice to meet you.


  14. Hello! We are on the same YA campaigner group. I see like, 15 other people have already showed up to tell you the same thing, but I am really excited to read more of your blog!

  15. Hi, Julie! I'm in your New Adult/Crossover group. Nice to meet you! :)

  16. Came here from the Platform Building Campaign!!

    Cool Blog!!

    with warm regards
    Another Author

  17. Hey campaign group gal! I see you used to live in KY. What part? I am from KY too:) TN is pretty fab too though.
    Good luck on your 2nd draft deadline!

  18. So, you like Chattanooga a little then? :) Just teasing. Sounds like a great place. I love our little town. Moving here lit a lot of sparks for me. Happy Spark!

  19. Hi, I'm in your NA/Crossover campaign group!


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