Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Motivation

Yeah, okay, I don't have any. Basically here's the low-down.

1. I've been rewriting my book.
2. Finished (yay!)
3. Had a weird moment where I thought the first 2/3 were actually good.
4. Maniacal laughing.
5. Sent it off to betas. (just the first 100 pages)
6. Two crits come back.
7. Status: Not bad. Fixable. Embarrassing slips/mistakes. No problemo. Cut, reword, done.
8. Send the first 100 to gammas.
9. Get opinions before they're done reading on the beginning.
10. Get third beta read back.
11. Now have three opinions that basically say the same thing.

*insert WALL here*

*stone*

*mortar*

*twenty feet high*

*with guards*

*guards with guns*

I see what they're saying. My problem? I have absolutely no motivation to do it.

Why? (imagine that in my best whiny voice) Why don't I want to dive right back in and fix this? Do I agree? Does that matter? Do I go with my gut? What is my gut even saying? Maybe I'll just go watch High School Musical 3 again. For the fourth time this week.

What do you do when you don't have the motivation to work on your novel?

90 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

When I know its a major rewrite like that and I've lost motivation, I take some time off to read, work on something else, knowing that usually my sub conscious will kick in at some point with answers. And If it doesn't , I force myself to write to see if that works.

But it sounds like you know what you have to do, it's just not creative enough editing to want to start? I'd do a chunk at a time until the ball got rolling.

Good luck! I know you'll find the groove again.

Jess of All Trades said...

Take a brisk walk. No motivation usually means I've been looking at the screen too long.

Or a long hot shower.

Read someone I love or watch an ol' favorite movie.

I think you just sound tired and burned out. Do whatever You like to do to give yourself a little space, a deep breath, a different mindset. Cooking? Singing loudly on a long drive? Some math problems? Switch gears for awhile. I know the motivation will come back to you.

Faith said...

Take a shower, walk the dog, or... this helps 80% of the time... gather up all my materials and head on over to a cafe. Buy a nice cup of coffee, a slice of cake or a cookie, and then take another look at the work I have to do.

Somehow, being away from the 'regular' work environment and eating tasty treats helps me to focus... especially when it's work I don't want to do.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Exactly what Faith said, I take a shower! Or other everyday activities. Getting your mind of the subject allows you to clear your head, even if it takes a few days. Once your mind heads back to your book, you'll have regained the passion needed to vehemently tackle the next step.

if that doesn't work, don't quit!

Try again.

Janet Johnson said...

Yeah, I just go read someone's blog. Waste a little time on facebook. Read someone else's already-finished-and-published novel. Try not to think about it. And if inspiration doesn't return, I do it anyway. But even authors deserve a break every now and again.

Good luck!

Joan Crawford said...

I don't write but I find when I don't want to do something - I don't do it. Unless it is something like brushing my teeth.
The point is: unless you are going to lose your house or starve to death if you don't get this thing fixed immediately, then ignore it for awhile. Go to a movie or to a sauna. Have a couple glasses of wine AND watch High School Musical 3.
Give yourself credit - you are doing a lot of good work. And you deserve to be a big baby every once in awhile :) This advice works in all facets of life.

Karen said...

My vote is for dancing Wildcats. Then, put it (and the critiques) away for a week or two to give yourself fresh eyes. Then, go back and fix what needs to be fixed, keep what needs to be kept.

Linda Kage said...

I usually put the story aside and work on something else for a while...maybe another story idea. Usually, SOMETHING will come to me on how to continue on the tough story. And if not (shrug), it's not going to go anywhere until something DOES come to me; I've got plenty of other stories to nibble on until then.

Marybeth Poppins said...

I read...then I get jealous that the book is so awesome and I didn't write it...and then I have PLENTY motivation to make mine better!

(Though having a really hard time with this after reading the Hunger Games....stupid awesome book!)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I go outside and sit in the sun. Unless it's winter... then I pull out a book.

Moments of insanity (like #3) are disconcerting! I'm used to being convinced it's all trash!

storyqueen said...

Elana,

You have to find out if it's laziness (which you are entitled to sometimes....dang, I've no idea how you do all that you do) or if your inner writer is balking because it doesn't agree. It IS your book, after all.

Is your agent asking for the changes? Or are you just trying to give it a spit-shine (or is it a different manuscript altogether?)

Find out what your gut is saying. I mean, your instincts are there for a reason.

Good Luck!

Shelley

Scott said...

Go read a book. This works for me. Normally, when I'm stuck, if I immerse myself in a book, a little piece of my mind is still left thinking about the wall I hit with my writing. Nine times out of ten, while reading, I figure out how to climb over that dratted wall!

Maria Zannini said...

If the majority of my crit partners tell me the same thing, and I'm refusing to edit, I HAVE to put the manuscript away for a few days or even weeks.

9 times out of 10, they are seeing something I'm not ready to admit. I need the distance to look at it more objectively.

During this time, I watch a lot of movies, read something outside my usual genres and wash dishes. Something about being in hot water always motivates me.

Good luck.

Indigo said...

Clean house. I have to push myself away from the computer and do something that doesn't require a lot of thought. Otherwise I start feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

Then there are some days when I don't feel I can type or reread the same passage again. I'll sit and dive in to find it wasn't so bad after all.

Wishing for whatever you need to get motivated. (Hugs)Indigo

Christine Fonseca said...

bwahahaha....I SO relate~! You know what I do...bug you, or go for a run! Good luck.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Play Princess Yahtzee with my five year old. After she creams me, I'm more than willing to go back to the head banging about my novel. ;)

Michelle McLean said...

lol yeah, I'm with Christine :D I bug you or her and then I take a break. Because, as others have said, I either don't agree, agree deep down but don't want to admit it yet ;-D or am just burned out and need some time to be excited by the book again. Usually a day or two is enough to get me back in the game. And then I can come back with fresh eyes, ready to work :)

VR Barkowski said...

This is probably weird, but when I know I *can* do something, it's a bore. When I know I *can't* do something, it's a challenge. I'm guessing you know you can fix this baby. All it's going to take is some time and - dare I say it - work. So hunkering down is no fun, no challenge. Instead of a creative endeavor, it's a chore, like cleaning the house. The Answer? Don't have one. Procrastination is my middle name.

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks guys! I swear I've showered fifty times in the last week. Okay, maybe not, but it feels like that. I've read six books this month already. (That's a lot for me, I usually read one in a month.)

What a great support you guys are! I suppose it is the sheer amount of work that it will take -- work that I don't really want to do right now. So maybe later? Maybe.

And Shelley, this is a different book. One I'm trying to get ready to send to my agent. My goal was to have it to her by January 1. Ha ha ha ha! Yeah, I've spent TWO months revising it, and now the goal is maybe March 1? I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

<3 you guys!

Krista said...

I go to the library, walk past the books in my genre, give them a once-over, find a cozy spot at a table and re-read the chapters of my story surrounding the one to be fixed. I'm usually back in the zone by then, visualizing the action, and I tackle the edit.
Getting myself to the library is another thing altogether.

Jennie Englund said...

I agree with Jess' comment.

Put the book away for a day or two. Then load up on an awesome mocha, and hit the pavement for an hour.

Something will come to you, I promise!

Abby Annis said...

Usually just time away doing something other than writing is enough to get my brain back in that mode. Sometimes we all just need a break.

Good luck!

Brandon said...

I'm in the same rut, albeit I'm much farther behind than you, Elana (i.e., I have maybe 5-6k worth of words to my novel at this point?). I've found my desire to work on my book at record low levels these last few days. Posting to the blogosphere, however, is at an all-time high. :)

I don't think motivation is something you can force, but it's also something that seems to come back if you walk away for just a bit. We all have plenty of other things in life to occupy our time and energy. Maybe focusing on those a little extra for a while will give us the motivation and inspiration we need to get back on the writing/editing/proofreading horse.

Or am I just being lazy? :)

Kelly said...

I put it aside for a few days. I have dreaded making major (but needed) revisions, but once I sit down and do it, I think, "That wasn't so hard after all!"
Good luck!

lbdiamond said...

Wow. I'm in the same spot. I "know" what needs to be fixed, but I'm not working on it. Perhaps my lack of motivation is worry about if I can pull it off. On the one hand, I like to let things simmer in my brain until an idea pops up. On the other, I could be waiting a long time.

The problem: Avoidance breeds anxiety. Sometimes it's best to just jump in.

I did that last night, and though I didn't get far, I'm working out the kinks. Even if it's one sentence at a time. :)

lbdiamond said...

Wow. I'm in the same spot. I "know" what needs to be fixed, but I'm not working on it. Perhaps my lack of motivation is worry about if I can pull it off. On the one hand, I like to let things simmer in my brain until an idea pops up. On the other, I could be waiting a long time.

The problem: Avoidance breeds anxiety. Sometimes it's best to just jump in.

I did that last night, and though I didn't get far, I'm working out the kinks. Even if it's one sentence at a time. :)

Julie Dao said...

I'm the same way! I chugged through NaNoWriMo, pumped out a novel, got all excited to make it all pretty and sent it off to my critique group. They gave me great advice but I just have no motivation to revise the darn thing. I've been taking a break because usually a week away from the story helps a bit. It also helps me to work on something else so I don't feel totally unproductive. Good luck, I'm sure it will come back to you soon!

Stephanie Thornton said...

I take a day or two off without touching the darn thing. I like to take several weeks in between edits so I get excited about going back in.

Of course, that excitement usually doesn't last more than 50 pages, but then I slog my way through the rest.

Good luck!

Emily Ann Benedict said...

Been there. So many times!
Frankly, sometimes I go start something new, just to give me a fresh perspective. I guess you could say I go through a trial seperation with my wayward manuscript. :P But after a while I can go back with a little more gumption.
...The only problem is if you're working with a deadline. In that case the only option is to trudge through.
Good luck!

Paul Greci said...

I'm rewriting a novel right now and it is taking way longer than I anticipated. When I get overwhelmed with the enormity of the task I try to just focus on the one scene in front of me. Before I dove in, I took short but detailed notes for each chapter so I can pick it up in small hunks without having that, I've-just-jumped-into-a-bottomless-vat-of-fish-guts feeling.

Good luck with finding your motivation. You've done enough writing to know that it's in there somewhere. I'm guessing if you can find a way to lessen your anxiety that your motivation will start to show its face.

I'm not sure if any of this is helpful. Its just what I do. Sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn't.

I hope you have a peaceful day.

Jen Chandler said...

Oh Lord, did it have to be a post on motivation? :) I have been wandering aimlessly around the house, looking at my writing, willing it to be completed by the Force. It's not working, mind you, but it does pass the time.

Sometimes, just the act of sitting down and pounding out a few words helps. I have been known to conjure will power at the darndest times and say, "I'll just write/edit one chapter" and I end up with five.

Good luck with your rewrites (and may the Force be with you).

Jen

the cautionary tale said...

I always do something that I really enjoy. If that doesn't work...I eat a cookie. If that doesn't work,I take a break and wait for something to happen. At first that's torture but after awhile,I stop obsessing and poof inspiration/motivation happens. It's like those stupid magic eye pictures. The harder you look, you can't see it. But if you just let it happen you see it. Good luck girl!

Carolyn V. said...

It's okay to take a break from a piece. Sometimes it helps the "little gray brain cells" regroup. =)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow...it's only 9:09 AM here and you already have 33 comments. You really are the queen! :-)

I'm totally with you on this. I have an invitation to re-submit my full MS since I changed it from a PB to a chapter book, but I need to re-work the ending. Despite the motivation to send it, I just can't get myself to be productive! Argh!

Tere Kirkland said...

When I've hit that wall--the point where I'll scream if I look at the effing thing again--I grab a book I've been saving for such a crisis. A book I've been dying to read, but won't let myself until I finish my revisions. A reward for a job well done.

Sometimes it's okay to break the spine on that book in case of emergency. Read a book just to give your brain a break.

I recommend The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. ;)

Stephanie L. McGee said...

Sorry you're struggling with the novel. I have confidence you'll find your muse again and be able to scale this wall, all without those guards seeing you.

Eric said...

I completely feel your pain, Elana. When I can't write, I turn to video games. It's a great way to have fun without having to think, which allows me to subconsciously think about what to do (I think). Anyway, it works most times.

Iapetus999 said...

Work on something else.
That's what I did.
Unless you have a pub contract...
I'm learning a lot by working on something else that I'll apply when I return to my old WIP.

Dominique said...

You've seen High School Musical 3 three times? Wow.

It depends on the type of work and demotivation. Fixing typos doesn't really need my heart and soul, so I put my butt in the chair and do it anyway. But rewriting a scene or more takes some heart. If I'm tired or bored, the writing is going to be tired and boring. Not what I'd hope for. In that case, I work on other things, listen to music, to take my mind off it.

Kristi said...

I have yet to see any of the High School Musical movies but it seems I'm missing out on greatness!

I'd echo the 'take a break' sentiments unless you have a publishing deadline. It's when I leave something alone that the answer pops into my brain -- it's worked every time. You may also get an answer by forcing your way through it but it's usually not as good. Good luck, you'll figure it out!

Kayeleen said...

I take a break. I talk it over with my husband (who is a great reader, but not a writer). I set itty, bitty goals for myself like "today I will write one page" or "today I will fix this problem." I clean the house. It helps me to have success in other areas of my life, like making dinner and folding laundry. And then, if I still can't get it rolling or I lose momentum, I read blogs and get inspired by other people's motivation.

Tracy said...

I work on something else. When I'm sick of that, or get stuck, then I'm ready to go back to revisions. Good luck! (And now I have the song I Want It All in my head...)

Elle Strauss said...

I think you need to switch from HSM 3 to 17 Again.

Catherine Denton said...

Take a break. And I'm agreeing with Elle.
Winged Writer

Voidwalker said...

Either take a break, OR talk about the concept with someone who doesn't know anything about it. In sharing your story, you can likely pump yourself back up about it.

Jackee said...

I take a nap. With the ms on my forehead. "Editing by osmosis" is what I call it.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Sometimes I read or watch television or blog instead of working on my novel.

Usually I try to hand write a scene on notebook paper when I feel that opening the document is too daunting.

I'm not even into the editing phase yet, so I don't know what to tell you! I guess it's nice that you don't have a deadline, that it's a work-at-your-own-pace process. However, keep your eye on the prize! You'll get in the mood to edit it. I know you will.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Holy cow, woman. Your followers...your comments! Holy cow.

I'm dealing with #7 right now. I'd rather be writing a new novel, not editing the one I need to...blech. I have 3 or 4 open times for me to write/edit during the day. I hop on it when I'm going to do the best job for my work. If it gets to the end of the day and I haven't gotten into yet...I force myself. Shackles.
~ Wendy

Krispy said...

I say go watch High School Musical 3 again. :D Like others have said already, it sounds like you're a little burned out. Put the MS down and step away. Go sleep or read or take a walk or otherwise veg out for a bit. When you're feeling refreshed, THEN go back to thinking about the rewrite.

As for whether or not you agree with the opinions of your betas, if you're still iffy on this after you've stepped back from the work and thought about it, you could maybe discuss the issues with them in depth. You have their opinions on the matter, but maybe they didn't get what you were going for. You could explain what you were trying to do and see if it changes what they think about the issue - and they could help you better communicate your idea. Good luck!

Robyn Campbell said...

Elana, I get away from it. And that happened with my MG novel that I am about to query this month. I lost all interest, because I had worked so hard on it and I felt like I was getting nowhere with it. After a week or two, I was back at it. Revived and ready to go.

High School Musical 3. GROAN. I've seen that at least forty times. Went to the theater(with the girl, not the boys) and bought a copy when it came out on DVD. Like I said, GROAN.

Kristi said...

I love your train of thought you have going here...very cool. I normally avoid my MS for a day and try to go back to it after doing something fun for myself. Tonight I'm watching the LOST premiere.

I'm embarassed to admit I still haven't watched High School Musical. I hear good things but I just haven't had the time. Maybe I should.

Best of luck with your rewrites!!!

Elana Johnson said...

First off, I cannot believe the number of you who haven't seen HSM. I've seen them all. I own them. I watch #3 all the time. I love "I Want It All" (I want it, I-I -I want it... HA!)

I suppose I need to take a break from it? That's the gist I'm getting from a lot of you. But, but, but... If I do, then I don't have anything else to work on? Then what do I do? Farm some more? I mean, there's only so much farming I can do...

L.T. Elliot said...

I really loved what storyqueen had to say. Smart thinking, that.

Hang in there, Elana. You're brilliant and I just know that you'll find your heart for it again soon.

Lisa Nowak said...

I just keep plugging along because I'm terrified that if I stop I'll never start again.

Kat Harris said...

About 45 minutes on the elliptical usually does it for me.

Jody Hedlund said...

Ah, this is a tough one! But usually I just sit my behind in the chair and force myself to do it.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

You have so many answers already! I'll just say: Great Post! It's so validating to hear that others struggle with it too.

Angela said...

I love these answers. But really, you need to stop peeping into my head, thinking what i'm thinking and writing about it!

This. Is. ME. *cries*

But there's some yummy stuff to chew on in the comments, so all is forgiven. :-)

Natalie said...

Clean the house. Even a manuscript I don't want to work on is more fun than cleaning. :)

Cindy said...

I know how you feel...it's the same feeling I've had for the last two weeks. I finally just made myself sit and write something (of course I kept putting in snide little notes after each paragraph, like "you can do better than that" or "make this funnier, duh!"). But once I had something, even something pretty crappy on paper, it gave me something to look back on and work on. It gave me some kind of direction. I'm still not making huge leaps of progress on paper but it's definitely helping me to get the story and the characters straight in my head. Good luck!

Shelli said...

maybe you just need to chew on it awhile.

Kara said...

I do something else. Something creative that gets me motivated and feeling refreshed so I can dive back in. Making chocolate brownies, painting with the kids, anything fun:)

Alison Eckel said...

I was right where you are last week. Of course, being hormonal didn't help things. This week, I'm feeling better. So watch HM3 and in a few days - or more -you'll be ready.

Bish Denham said...

Sounds like you need a bit of break.

Regina Quentin said...

A break! I always take a break! My brain can only handle so much. High School Musical 3 sounds like a good diversion (not that I've seen it before). Perhaps you could go on a 1 to 2 day vacation somewhere...that always helps.

John Sankovich said...

I usually step away, go spend time with my kids, watch a movie or do some other activity that requires little thinking. I think this allows my mind to sort itself out before I delve back into the project. This has taken a day up to a week sometimes. If it's longer than that, I start work on a different project, but usually it clears up in a day or two.

Brian Miller said...

sometimes for me it is a long walk in the woods, not thinking about anything when i find the strength to continue...

thanks for dropping over today!

WindyA said...

Seriously? HSM 3? 1 or 2 maybe, but 3?

I'll take re-runs of Glee on Hulu.

Rewriting... *raising pompoms* you can do it!

Do I need to come over with the chocolate covered bacon emergency pack??

Cheree said...

When I find myself stuck without motivation I go for a shower or even go out to the movies, anything to get away from the story for a bit before jumping right back into it with a fresh mind.

Jemi Fraser said...

Take the night off. Read something fun. Relax. It'll come :)

jbchicoine said...

I eat dark chocolate with a glass of pinot noir; I might pull out my watercolors and paint a bit; and all of that while chanting--This too shall pass...
...and it does...

Kimberly Franklin said...

Oh Elana, I feel your pain. Go ahead, take a break. You definitely deserve one. ; )

Mistress of Fantasy said...

Yep, I know the issue. I've had it myself. Especially after I've gotten criticism from it. (One person read a story of mine, commented profusely on how well I captured the essence of her daughter...needless to say, I couldn't stand her daughter and never worked on it again.)
The other thing is, you've got to take some time, let what you've been told sink into your brain. I always go do something else until I get my "Aha!" moment. That blissful moment of "I'll show them! I know how to fix it." or "I finally figured out where I want to go with this..."
Your wall looks a lot like mine sometimes. I post dragons, I like to watch them tear the critics apart with their teeth. ;)

Faith Pray said...

Motivation: doesn't it depend on what you "need" inside? I could be way off, being very slow at the writing process myself, but I'd say, heck! If your inner writer needs a little "me-time" to take a nap (where great subconscious editing can go on!) or read a good book (ideally not the exact genre you're writing about so it won't mess with your WIP) or take a nice bubble bath, then have at it! Of course, if the motivation fails to appear after a week or two of feeding the inner writer, then it may be time to unleash your inner drill seargent. Cheers!

Terri Tiffany said...

Not a problem this week! But usually I read a book about being a better writer and that makes me want to get back into it! Good luck!

Kristin said...

High School Musical is a great procrastination tool. True facts.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

You really watched HSM 4 times??? Brave! I could only watch once,lol! Sounds like you need a break....sunny beach, palm trees, sipping a tropical drink, warm blue waters....darn it I was day dreaming again, sorry.

Jessica said...

When I have no motivation, I like to wile away my time eating chocolate, watching House/NCIS, and reading historical romances. *grin*
But...you should just dive in. I know you don't want to, but you might find the motivation once you open the files. Furthermore, aren't you agented now? Girl, motivation doesn't matter anymore. Would if you get pubbed?
You can do this. You're SO close to being done.
I'm jealous because I still have 30k to go on my rough draft (and that's because I've had no motivation and I wiled away my time eating chocolate, watching House/NCIS and reading historical romances).
Soooo.... open them up, grab you some chocolate and soda, and just do it. Bet you'll be happy once you start. :-)

Jessica said...

But you might need a break. You did work really hard, so it might be good to give yourself a week or two and come back to everything with an objective eye. :-)

Nisa said...

They made three of those movies? I liked the first one. I think I may have found a new, shiny distraction...

Um, you asked about fixing something? Motivation? Sorry, I got distracted.

Sometimes it is dang hard to buckle down. It's about discipline and heaven knows I don't have that, but somehow I still manage to plow ahead. I do think we need breaks from the work to keep the work fun. Maybe come back with fresh perspective and ideas to make revising fun. Wow, long comment. I'll shut up now.

Jeff King said...

well your posters covered it all.

take a break so you want to revise it again.

don't cheat your work by being lazy. if you want to be the best... do your best.
or forget about writing, because it isn't for you.

thx, hope only the best for you.

ali said...

Eat chocolate?

Eat more chocolate?

Whine and complain to myself that I SUCK and I can't possibly get up the strength to work that crap again.

Revisit the chocolate thing.

And again.

Then *maybe* I can suck it up and drag myself back to the gym, err, I mean, computer to get beaten up, I mean, to rewrite. Again.

Lisa and Laura said...

I make a cup of tea, go up to the office (instead of sitting on the comfy couch), surf the Internet and when there's absolutely nothing else I could possibly search on the Internet, I begin to write. Lisa holds me accountable, which helps immensely.

Lorel Clayton said...

Start a new novel! That's what I want to do when I don't feel like editing. It might mean you need to satisfy your craving for creativity or get some distance so you can bring your walls down and do those rewrites.

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh gosh. I know how you feel. I lack motivation for edits even when I agree with the advise and can see how to fix it. Wouldn't it be nice just to get it right the first time?... I can dream :)

Carmela Martino said...

Hi Elana,
Wow! You've already received a ton of advice. I don't have anything to add, except to suggest that you check out the Irrepressible Writer blog written by my friend Carol Grannick. I always find helpful tips on her site when I'm feeling stuck, such as this post about cleaning out closets: http://theirrepressiblewriter.com/2009/12/28/clean-your-closet-it-might-be-good-for-writers-block/
Good luck!

Ryan said...

I've had ruts similar to this before, and I found that taking time off of the book put me almost six months behind schedule with it, and it was a much shorter book than most. So, what I would do is just push on with it. Write a rope ladder into the situation and climb over the wall one rung at a time. Just take the edits one day at a time the same way you do writing. Its not something that can be rushed, and already knowing what the problem is (and if all of your beta's agreed it probably is a problem), than I would say just put your nose to the grind stone and get it done.

Cynthia Watson said...

No motivation to write? Just go with it - embrace it - watch a movie, take your kids out somewhere & have some real life fun. If you are a real writer (and you are Elana!) it will come back to you.

You're obviously a very hard worker - take some time for yourself! Remember the butterfly theory? Let it go; if it comes back, it's yours!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I'm so hoping you get over this soon and tell me how you did. I'm in that same position right now, unfortunately.

PJ Hoover said...

Yikes, I don't know! I try to force myself to write through it and sometimes this works. But it's hard, and then I solve the Rubik's cube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoZOo2VLvr0

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