Week in Review – 2013/08/05 – 2013/08/11

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WRITING:

I’m digging the POV shift experiment for Aaralyn’s Song, so far. It’s added new depth and helped me view certain scenes differently. It’s also allowed me to get to discover new facets to my characters. Spiffy progress there. That’s good news for AugNoWriMo and for my WIP, as a whole. I hadn’t planned on working on my WIP this weekend, as part of my recharging mode. However, I’m revved up to write because of these new angles to tackle. Love it.

READING:

I read some interesting entries for the 21st Annual Heart of the West Writers Contest sponsored by the Utah Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

This week I’m continuing K.M. Weiland‘s forthcoming Structuring Your NovelI have WIP excerpts from fellow SCBWI critique group members to work through as well. I like the discovery of other forthcoming awesomeness to this great industry.

NETWORKING:

Tomorrow, #wipmadness check-ins continue on Candilynn Fite’s blog. More #ROW80 check-ins, updates at Ali Luke’s Writers’ Huddle, and SavvyAuthors. Lots of accountability.

I’ve enjoyed blog hopping and visiting various writing sites for my WIP’s research. I’m quickly building a great line up for my FRIDAY FORAGE series.

LEARNING:

One of my favorite writing places, SavvyAuthors, is undergoing some renovations with their new site. As such, I wasn’t able to register for two classes that began this past Monday. While I was intrigued by the subject matter, I think it was a blessing in disguise because it forced me to go to the resources I already have–as I should have done before finding myself intrigued by these new ones!–and I’ve found gold. Better yet, I’m saving money. It’s become a habit to check for new classes and workshops every week.

New Memo to Self: Stop it! Stop. It. Pretty please, stop it!

Repeat Memo to Self: USE RESOURCES YOU ALREADY HAVE!

The good news: Some courses had new classes that posted once a week. Now with some fully available or at least a few months in, I have the option of marathoning lessons or going to the topics pertinent to my WIP. Awesometastic.

I also have some calluses that need tending to. Guitar lessons this afternoon. Sweet.

Ain’t it great that I’m learning my lesson by learning my lessons? 😉

Bring it on, August! I’m ready for ya.

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/08/07

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WRITING:

AugNoWriMo is going well and I’m in the midst of some interesting POV experimentation for my WIP. This week, I’ve combed through various articles about the pros and cons of Multiple POVs. Some even mix up present and past tense, while others switch up from 1st person to 3rd. One thing that is a common theme with this methodology is you should do what’s right for the story. If it works, it works. There aren’t any ironclad rules on writing, as we all know. Part of the fun on this writing journey is when we get the chance to play with words.

READING:

I’ve read two out of the four contest pieces for the 21st Annual Heart of the West Writers Contest sponsored by the Utah Chapter of Romance Writers of America. It’s interesting to see techniques I’ve learned via workshops as well as those that require more refinement. I’m hoping to finish the rest in the next couple of days.

Next up on the reading list, my continuation of K.M. Weiland‘s forthcoming Structuring Your NovelI also have WIP excerpts to go through from my SCBWI critique group.

NETWORKING:

Had our first check-in for #wipmadness on Candilynn Fite’s blog. It’s nice to know everyone’s in agreement that we need to honor our minds and bodies while on our writing journey.

The #ROW80 check-ins twice a week, along with other writing communities such as Ali Luke‘s Writers’ Huddle, and SavvyAuthors, are going well, too. I had a chance to pop in on Holly Lisle‘s Forums, as well. All good stuff happening in the writing community.

LEARNING:

Tonette, meet Udemy. Udemy, meet Tonette. You’ve circled each other for too long. Now, it’s time to boogie.

And boogie, I have. Well, not really. I’m not taking dance classes through the website, but I’m sure there’s a course out there. This week I dove in the following courses (from the many free and paid sitting in my account):

Young Adult Novel Writing Workshop

I resisted temptation and did exactly as promised by looking at what I’ve had all along before registering for new workshops. Interesting sessions, so far.

Pain Free at Work

This was a perfect course to get because of the long hours sitting at a computer. I recommend this for anyone who sits for extended periods of time throughout the day. Your body will thank you.

Learn Guitar in 21 Days

That last one is more of a self-imposed accelerated course. Since I only have access to my sister’s guitar on the weekends, I did the first week’s worth of classes over the holiday weekend. My calluses are developing nicely. 🙂 The first few lessons are a refresher from my basic level guitar playing days many moons ago. Still, it’s nice to do something creative outside of writing to keep things interesting.

I have a bunch of recorded webinars and ebooks I bought at the Writer’s Digest Shop. They’re next on my ‘To Sort and Review’ list. Not to mention all the great content in the magazine subscription.

We’re a week into the month of August. How goes it for you?

Week in Review – 2013/07/29 – 2013/08/04

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WRITING:

Taking the weekend off from writing is weird, yet refreshing. I dove in, teeth bared and wrote August 1st and 2nd. So far, this weekend, this post is the only writing I’ve done, strictly speaking. Even when I recharged on previous weekends I continued to write because of the daily WriMo word count goals.

I’m not saying AugNoWriMo demands less commitment. I like the accountability coupled with the flexible writing goals. I’m revved up because I’m much more excited to get back to it tomorrow. Score one for relaxing the brain.

READING:

I received the contest entries I need to read as a judge for the 21st Annual Heart of the West Writers Contest sponsored by the Utah Chapter of Romance Writers of America. It was a  great learning experience and enjoyed when I was a judge for the 2013 The Sandy Writing Contest for the Crest Butte Writers. I believe that order for me to become a better writer, I need to appreciate a story as a reader.

That’s why I’m making a point to continue my reading goals whether it’s through published works of fiction, non-fiction, contest entries, or fellow writers’ WIPs. It’s also a great way to give back to a thriving and supportive community. I’m grateful for the writers and other people in the industry that have helped me in my writing journey. It’s my honor to do the same for other writers out there.

NETWORKING:

Tomorrow and every Monday in August, Candilynn Fite begins hosting duties for #wipmadness on her blog.

That, the #ROW80 check-ins twice a week, along with other writing communities such as Ali Luke’s Writers’ Huddle, and SavvyAuthors, to name a few, I’m happy to stay on course.

My fellow cabinmates from Camp NaNo are continuing our collective spirit of encouragement via Twitter. The writing family continues to grow.

LEARNING:

Just got back tonight and while tomorrow is still a holiday in my neck of the woods, I will get back into writing mode, as promised (to myself, at least). I spent the late afternoon checking out the upcoming workshops at my home away from home on the interwebs, SavvyAuthors.

I need to curb my enthusiasm because there are so many great topics to learn but I need to keep it focused to my current projects. Even if I know there is a super-duper class on a genre outside of what I’m working on or even a later stage in the writing process (such as editing and querying, etc.) I need to save my time and money on the here and now.

Memo to self: use what resources you already have.

Keeping things light for the next thirty-six hours. Aside from my WIP and workshops, I finally have time to take up my guitar lessons.

How’s your August going so far?

FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/08/02

WEEK SIX: WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER

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Day Two in my Revised Revamp for Aaralyn’s Song. Interesting how a couple hundred thousand words later and it’s like the entire experience is brand new. A great motivator, psychologically speaking. You know, when everything’s all shiny and new. It’s like the Honeymoon period of novel writing. I should relish this time in the writing process before the Honeymoon period of excitement wanes around Act Two (a.k.a. The Sagging Middle), but I think we’ve all experienced this as some point.

Possibly because I just wrote two posts in the last two days I don’t have more of an update. This might be my shortest post yet. I’m just thrilled that the Series Renovations, as it were, are going well. Yes, it’s been two days, so far, but I’m going to maintain a lighter perspective.

Traveling today and possibly offline during the weekend. I’ll kick it old school and write when I can with those archaic recording implements (i.e. notebook and pen). But since I don’t have the major WriMo pressures looming over my head (thanks to AugNoWriMo‘s flexible word count and my updated specific writing goals), I just might take both Saturday AND Sunday off. Odds are, this will make me all itchy, as I haven’t done that since February.

So, yay for the brand spankin’ newness of it all. I’ll take all the good vibes I can get as the writing journey rolls on.

August Writing/Reading Goals

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 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Here we are in the third quarter of 2013. I can’t believe how fast this year’s flown by, though my carpal tunnel issues and back pain are constant reminders.

WRITING:

1) A couple writing challenges: WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER began on June 21st and runs until September 21st. Updates will be posted in my FRIDAY FORAGE series. AugNoWriMo is alive and kicking. Due to recent plot and game changing events with my WIP, I thought to skip this WriMo but am happy to learn that the flexible word counts are conducive to my new plans. At least I can continue my train of successful WriMos this year. 🙂

I’ll be working on the first 50 pages of my revised, revamped WIP, Aaralyn’s Song. Of course, I’ll keep writing beyond the first 50, but that’s my bare minimum goal for August. Writing 12,500 words is doable given my recent word count figures.

2) Polish & submit two short story pieces by August 31st. They’re complete and have both been workshopped. I’ll do final pass as it’s been awhile since I last read them.

3) Review old contest submissions of novelette and novella lengths. While I’m working on my Fractured Tales Series, I might as well shop these completed manuscripts so I can officially take part in the industry’s infamous Waiting Game. 🙂

READING:

Given my relentless schedule these past couple of months, I’m pleased to say I’ve read thirteen books since June 23rd. Not too shabby. This month, my reading will also include Beta Reading a fellow writer’s MS, critiquing fellow SCBWI member’s WIPs, as well some Advanced Reader’s Copies (ARCs) from NetGalley. I’m pleased to have received an ARC of K.M. Weiland’s forthcoming Structuring Your Novel. Read more about it here. The timing’s perfect to go with my writerly revamp.  

NETWORKING [formerly known as SOCIAL MEDIA-ING ;) (formerly known as BLOGGING)]:

I love the writing community and it continues to grow. Sometimes, it also feels like a small world because a bunch of us run in the same circles. Either way, I love the support and accountability with people who know exactly what I go through on a daily basis.

For August, the lovely Candilynn Fite will host #wipmadness for us every Monday on her blog. The #ROW80 check-ins will continue each Sunday and Wednesday.

Another bit of fortunate timing came in a new Twitter follower today. I followed back @nownovel which brought me to their site. It’s an online writing hub for fiction manuscripts from conceptualization to drafting. I’m going to give the free version a whirl but from the look of the three paid options, it’s likely I’ll make the eventual upgrade. It’s worth having a lookiloo.

LEARNING (formerly known as OTHERS):

Rather than change it just for yesterday’s post, I think it makes perfect sense to tell it like it is. All the other things I’d be doing aside from the three categories above naturally fall under the LEARNING category.

It goes without saying that I’m a huge supporter of perpetual education and I’m happy to be a SavvyAuthors member. Check out their snazzy new site. These workshops and the bonds I’ve formed with my fellow writers keep me inspired. I’ve also taken workshops through many RWA chapters, and while the genres might not be the same, the fundamentals are universal when crafting good fiction.

Here’s a rundown of what I want to learn and utilize this month (and beyond):

– Dr. John Yeoman’s Writers’ Village

– Ali Luke’s Writers’ Huddle

– Holly Lisle’s many courses, of which I have all but have not gone through yet. *tsk tsk*

– Udemy courses I’ve purchased (some on sale, some free, all pretty nifty)

Those were courses, workshops, and lessons. I’ve also severely neglected the following amazing resources of which I’m a member:

– Children’s Book Insider – The CBI Clubhouse has lessons, vids, and other services all put together in a great community.

– Writer’s Digest VIP Program – This includes great discounts (that I did take advantage of) but also access to WritersMarket.com

– Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators – Got an email today. Free webinars and other great critiquing opportunities!

– Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators & Performers

– Canadian Authors Association

Again, this list is by no means exhaustive, but it goes to show just how many things we have at our fingertips that may get overlooked in the blur that is life.

These are all writerly, but I must include an oldie that needs to make a comeback, mi amigo Duolingo. Aside from learning a new language, I want to continue something I learned MANY moons ago, how to play the guitar. I’ll start late because my only access to a guitar is on weekends but I’ll be perusing the online course with Jamorama.

I think doing other creative activities will be a nice change of pace, especially if bogged down by all the words. At least this way, I can continue to flex my creative muscles and the inspiration continues.

If you made it all the way down here, congrats! You get a cyber cookie. This might seem like a lot for August. Keep in mind, I wanted to gush here and there about different things I’ve discovered. In the LEARNING category alone, I’ve got enough resources to last a year. I’ll pick and choose accordingly. Rest assured, my top priorities are the Reading and Writing Goals that are still quite reasonable given my previous months. I suppose it’s time I give myself a little leeway, don’t you think?

Here’s to August! May the words flow more than the potential tears from the tasks ahead. 🙂