#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/09/18

WRITING:

Doc says the thumb shouldn’t bother me–in about six months! Grr. Could’ve been worse. Healed fracture is better than a broken digit. Silver lining?

That said, my writing has suffered since my last report. I’ve been doing more reading (of my writing) and minor edits than full-on revisions and that makes me sad.

I know it’s a temporary setback. I’d just rather it be over already.

Despite the physical issues, I edited my novella and am at a better stage of revisions than I was a month ago. My current WIP has stalled slightly due to life’s continuous snafus, but I shall chug ahead. Even though the path of the WIP and trajectory of it’s completion has changed, I think these changes are for the betterment of the story and for myself as a growing writer.

On deck: More revisions for my Spec Fic Thriller Imprint and more work on my YA Fantasy Aaralyn’s Song.

READING:

Lots of reading in lieu of writing. Critiques, beta reads, and reviews… oh my. Whatever problems are in my way, I’m still getting some work done, but seriously. Ugh much?

So much to read and I haven’t taken that speed reading course yet! I need to reassess my work-life balance. (See ‘On deck’ below.)

On deck: read through lessons for various workshops. One, oddly enough, is about balancing the chaos and overwhelming nature of multitasking.

NETWORKING:

Speaking of, I need to get cracking on my FRIDAY FORAGE blog post research. I’d hoped to have a few advanced posts tucked away but life had other plans. No worries. It’ll get done.

These check-ins have been super helpful so I can keep track of my ups and downs. Despite the endless list of tasks on my to-do list, my TBR list, and everything else, I think adding more responsibility to my plate, including modding for the WFWA Forums and SavvyAuthors, is forcing me into focus. That’s a good thing.

On deck: I have a chat to moderate tonight over at Savvy Authors. It’s called The Two Strings Technique: Adding Contrast and Interest to Our Writing and will be conducted by L. Jagi Lamplighter. Should be fun. Wednesday nights have become a staple of good fun.

LEARNING:

I’m on Level 9 in Spanish and Level 6 in French on Duolingo. Keeping busy rather than moping about fractured thumbs and whatnot.

I’m supposed to increase mobility and will look into physio. Maybe I should just play more ukelele. 🙂

Languages abound. I plan on adding another language to my learning repertoire in October. More on that soon.

On deck: lingo and lyrics, conjugations and chords. Fun times.

 

How’s your September treating you?

Week in Review – 2013/09/02 – 2013/09/08

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WRITING:

WIPs and workshops for my YA Fantasy Aaralyn’s Song, my Spec Fic Thriller Imprint and possibly my Urban Fantasy short story Lady in the Lake. Redrafts, revisions, and critiques. Busy, busy. Along with the workshop assignments to get my brain chugging along, I haven’t had much time for brainstorming new story ideas. That’s okay. I’ve got a full plate.

READING:

Still behind on my reading Daniel Tammet’s Born on a Blue Day. I’d like to say it’s primarily to do with all the stuff mentioned above, however, the allergy-shot regimen I’m currently enduring is making the eyes less functional. Well, that’s not entirely true. The eyes are fine. It’s just all the skin around them, including the eyelids that like to seal up nice and tight as I build a tolerance to the allergen. Fortunately, I also have Tammet’s book in audio form. I should give that a whirl again.

NETWORKING:

I think the first FRIDAY FORAGE post went well. I’m already planning several ideas at the same time but need to narrow it down. I like the number five, but I might do three at a time if the posts get too long. The number of finds isn’t as important as what I want to share. We’ll see how it goes.

LEARNING:

First off, I’m glad to report that Bilbo is back safe and fully-strung. So happy to be playing the Uke again. Good thing, too. My calluses were starting to soften. Can’t have that!

Duolingo is great. I’m on Level 9 in Spanish and Level 4 in French. I tend to put in some time right before bed. Perhaps I’ll start having multilingual dreams or dreams with subtitles. 🙂 I think, if all goes well, I’ll start another language in October. Why not, right?

Don’t mean to bring up mundane topics such as the weather but it’s been wonky in my neck of the woods. It’s as though Summer’s fighting to stay but Autumn is taking a stand and giving her the ole heave-ho. Hope everyone’s doing well in their writerly worlds.

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/09/04

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WRITING:

The WIP work continues. Aside from my YA Fantasy Aaralyn’s Song, I have my Spec Fic Thriller Imprint to work on for my critique and revision workshops this month. Good stuff. Nice to revisit characters I haven’t thought about in some time. A happy reunion. 🙂

READING:

Meanwhile, I got caught up with all my workshops and writing that I’ve fallen behind in my reading. I’m still reading Daniel Tammet’s Born on a Blue Day. I’m also reading up on blogs and articles for my FRIDAY FORAGE series that starts this week. Squee.

NETWORKING:

September’s #wipmadness check-in started this past Monday on Kim Baccellia‘s blog.

We’re nearing the end of this round of #ROW80Great progress throughout the community.

I’ve some more prep work to do for the official first FRIDAY FORAGE post. I think I’ve decided on a theme. It’s timely with NaNoWriMo just around the corner.

LEARNING:

So far, I’m on Level 9 in Spanish and Level 3 in French. Duolingo is quite enjoyable and makes learning the languages via other sources, including Udemy, fun fun fun. I think I might be multilingual by the New Year!

Egads! I’m already thinking about 2014. I gotta slow this train down.

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. 🙂

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/31

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July draws to a close and I. AM. TIRED. We’re past the halfway point of the year. Can you believe it? I’m still climbing a steep hill on my writing journey. Fortunately, the continuous support in the writing community is making it worthwhile

WRITING:

Camp NaNoWriMo and JulNoWriMoTweeting updates with @JulNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo. Every Friday until September 21st, I’ll be writing update posts for WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER.

Fractured Tales Series Word Total for July: 90,436 words

Totals for April, June, and July: 254,295 words

These numbers are daunting. I won’t post them again for awhile to give my revised rebooted revision–yep, you read that correctly–a clean slate. All those words still have their purpose and many of them will find their way back into the finished product. I think starting August with a fresh perspective will mean I have less to live up to. No need to pressure myself and take the fun out of the writing process.

I still plan on keeping at least one day a week writing free. The plan is for Sunday to take that coveted spot, but I’m flexible, depending on the chaos that the week’s activities bring.

For August, my writing goals:

1) The first 50 pages of my Triple R WIP Book 1: Aaralyn’s Song. I certain can and will write more, but this is my absolute minimum. I want a solid and shiny start to the series. Plot holes be gone! Tight prose, crunchy conflict, here I come.

2) I have at least two short story submissions due at the end of the month. They’re written. I just need to polish them up real pretty and submit them. Easy peasy.

3) I want to dust off old contest submissions. Novelette and novella length pieces. They got positive feedback so I figure it’s a good idea to shop them around. I know there are submission call outs and my pieces are within the word count range.

Just three goals of many, but three of the most relevant at this time.

READING:

Here’s what I read this week:

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I really liked this book. Authentic voices and a fresh take on young love. I liked the alternating POVs from each of the main characters, though I got muddled a couple of times before realizing that it was strictly alternating back and forth. D’oh. Since no names were addressed right away per chapter, it took me a handful of lines before realizing who the POV character was. Another thing I noticed, and possibly just for the boy’s POV, it was written in first person past tense, but there were some passages that suddenly switched to first person present. Dunno why that was but I got used to it eventually. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and a nice escape from my daily grind (writing or otherwise).

Currently reading:

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Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 10

Non-Fiction: 3

I need to put my other books on hold for the time being because I’ve been fortunate enough to receive Advanced Readers Copies (ARCs) from NetGalley and from an author herself. I’ll be reading those first and posting up reviews when the time comes. My original plan for friday posts (Pre-FRIDAY FORAGE) was to have book reviews. I think I might include that in the FORAGE as these reads are great finds, too. 🙂

I have three, at the moment, plus the MS that I’m beta reading. I think that all counts towards my continuous reading challenge.

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

Thanks to Angelina C. Hansen for allowing us to check in on her blog for #wipmadnessIn August, we’re lucky to have Candilynn Fite host for us every Monday. Four Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and five Mid-Week Check-Ins, so far.

As mentioned above, FRIDAY FORAGE will soon include book reviews. I will still post updates for my summer writing challenge. I’ve been gathering some interesting sites and articles for upcoming posts, as well.

OTHERS:

Today’s OTHERS section is devoted to EDIFICATION. Have you ever registered for a course or workshop, perhaps purchased downloadable lessons, and so forth, all in the name of honing your writing skills? How often have you let a couple or maybe a few of them slip through the cracks? I’m at fault on this one, primarily because I enrol in more classes than I have physical ability to stay on top of aside from my daily obligations. Other times, because some of them are self-guided, it’s so easy to put them off and before you know it a year’s gone by. True story.

I need to reevaluate all the resources I already have at my fingertips and make use of them before I start enrolling myself in any more classes or buy anymore downloadables. I kick myself for discovering that I have similar products and the money could have gone towards something else. This is a lengthy process, but it’s necessary, especially since it was an investment made in the first place. I want to make sure it’s money well spent, not carelessly forgotten. It’s one of those things where you don’t realize the value of what you have even if it’s right under your nose, or in my case, on my laptop computer.

To that end, I will go back and truly appreciate the following (These will also be mentioned in upcoming FRIDAY FORAGE posts):

– 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

There are more. Like I said, it’s a long process to sift through all that I have. Hello, Self. It’s me talking. You aren’t paying annual dues for nothing, ya know!!!

More on this tomorrow in my goal post–ha! See what I did there? I’ll devote the first of the month, as usual, to all that I’d like to see happen and want to focus on during the month itself.

Happy Hump Day, everyone.