#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/17

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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 Running Total for July: 46,695 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 210,554 words

I’m getting my butt kicked in one of my workshops and I mean this in the nicest way possible. I’d rather suck it up now and work out all the kinks, plot holes, chasms–toMAYto, toMAHto–in my WIP rather than after a year of slogging away at a series that won’t quit and won’t stop branching out in subplots. I’m not saying subplots are a bad thing. They’re great. But imagine your favorite tree. You go and visit it at the park. One day, you see the branches are taking everything over, it’s stifling, there’s no other room to grow. Worse yet, the roots are coming up through the grass, snaking their way in all directions. The tree trunk? That used to be my plot line. My current WIP predicament? The attack of the killer tree. It’s a B-movie with a horrible ending. Don’t watch it. I won’t.

So, back to the butt-kicking. I’m still working on the Series, of course. But rather than intermittent ‘fixes’ akin to a cork in an active volcano, I’m going back to the basics. Remember how I said I used to be on the fence between plotting and pantsing? Well, this mess has compelled me to get off the fence and head back over to Plotville. I gave in to too much flexibility when it came to those “what if” questions and what began as a simple hero’s journey mutated into a foxtrot quickstep square dance limbo with two left feet. Ya feel me?

I’ll get it sorted. I have some challenges that extend through August to give me the rest of the summer to get back on track. And back on track I shall be or I’ll end up running out of horrid clichés to blog!

READING:

In other news…

Here’s what I read this week:

22232

Currently reading and on deck:

lovestargirl     FLIPPED 331920     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432     WIRED FOR STORY 13126099

Okay, I know not all the books here are from my last post. Due to recent events of aforementioned flogging and restrategizing–if it’s not a real word, I’m making it one–my WIP, I found I couldn’t get through reading a fairytale inspired story anymore. Until I’m out of my plotting fog, I’m steering clear of fairytale inspired tales.

The only reason I jumped onto Spinelli’s sequel was because I was moved by the first story, had the second one already and wanted to dive in while the characters were fresh in my mind. It’s told from a different POV and in a different format, but I’m quite enjoying it. Also, I’m enjoying MG/YA fiction, probably because they’re among my favorite reads. No worries. My ever expanding TBR list has a wide variety, but I think I’d like to start here and work my way to the grittier stuff later.

At least I can continue my nourishment through reading while enjoying other genres, as well. The diverse writing styles and voices are inspiring and giving me just the right amount of motivation to stop beating myself up over minor setbacks. 🙂

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 8

Non-Fiction: 3

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

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness are every Monday In July. Some of my fellow WIPsters are going through rough patches, while others are hanging from rafters with glee. We’re all in it together and I love it. Two Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and three Mid-Week Check-Ins.

I was hoping that FRIDAY FORAGE would be shorter than last week, but my inner monologue demands to be heard. Fingers and toes crossed, it will be shining, shimmering, and splendid.

OTHERS:

Oh, dear, sweet, neglected Duolingo. Does it count that the senior member of The Keysmashing Tots knows the word ‘stars’ in both English and Spanish already? Again, thanks to Dora and Diego. To his credit, children are known to have a knack for languages at a young age. I’d love to be a linguistic sponge. I’ll keep at it. I don’t think it’s too late. Of course, now I’m picturing SpongeBob. Great. :-/

Oh, and that thing I mentioned about Stella, last time? Erm, is there a movie entitled ‘Stella May Have Gotten In Over Her Head’ or the sister movie ‘Stella Jumped the Gun’. Grrr, plot holes. I’ll fill you yet.

And how are you on this fine, sweltering hump day?

Week in Review – 2013/07/08 – 2013/07/14

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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 Running Total for July: 38,106 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 201,955 words

It’s high noon. The sun blisters and I squint as a tumbleweed rolls by. There I stand, fingers dancing over my holstered weapon. Across from me, several paces away, my WIP stares me down. It’s a battle of wits, of endurance. On the count of three, I grab my weapon and point to shoot–ink? I look at my outstretched hand to see a pen. Yes. I remember those.

In the distance, my WIP is on the ground, its jacket flung off upon impact. I inch my way towards–my foe?–and see my laptop languishing in the dirt. The screen flickers before it goes to sleep. To my right, a notebook approaches, to my left, more allies, a sketchpad and pencil set. They flank me in a semi-circle as we mourn the sleeping WIP.

What’s this all mean, you ask? After my cathartic FRIDAY FORAGE post, wherein I rambled, pondered, and planned, I spent the weekend in an unusual decompression mode. Most of Saturday was spent outdoors in the sunshine as I and the Mothership ran some errands. Something so mundane as banking and grocery shopping was for me, on a glorious Saturday afternoon, both freeing and relaxing. I strolled the aisles, enjoyed the A/C, and was satisfied at the nutritious bounty we took home. I recall in my youth how much I used to hover in the processed food aisles but have since realized that a healthy body and mind contributes to better creativity, as well.

Never have I appreciated some time away to clear my head–sans The Keysmashing Tots, sans the WIP–before now. It’s been nonstop words, carpal tunnel, baby food and dirty diapers. My mind (along with the rest of me) needed a much needed break. It truly does wonders. Yes, I planned on vegging out Saturday before my epiphany struck me upside the head, and in some ways this was a veg of sorts, but one that was good for the creative soul.

I came home rejuvenated to face my beast of a WIP and try again. What a difference a few hours make. I completely understand why writers insist on putting a draft away for days if not weeks at a time to regain that fresh perspective. Alas, I do not have that extended luxury in my fledgling career, but I’ll take these small breaks whenever I can, especially if a break leads to a breakthrough.

Despite my blogging about the experience here, I’ve decided to go old school and draft the way so many others have suggested. Pen to paper, I’ll continue this writing journey and see where it takes me. At first, I worried that my word count would suffer, but I’ve found so far that free writing sessions unleash even more great stuff that ideas and scenes are flowing more readily now.

This afternoon, I drew maps of my story world. I was pleasantly surprised and how the imagery translated from my mind onto the page. I’m no cartographer, but the crude drawings came out well. Aside from family trees, I also created ‘How’d they Meet?’ trees and all the crisscross connections between characters are helping keep things straight.

I’ll give low-tech creativity a whirl and post an update on the progress and/or pitfalls in the next mid-week check-in.

READING:

Currently reading:

20120201-book-beauty-sleep     76171     22232

First time I didn’t finish any books during the week. With the aforementioned WIP overhaul, my downtime from crafting was never quite downtime. Still, I’m reaping the benefits of reading. I see how it’s improved my writing. And it’s just fun to immerse myself in another world outside of the one I’ve created or the one in which I live.

Next up:

20120226-SunlightAndShadowedt     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432     WIRED FOR STORY 13126099

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 7

Non-Fiction: 3

Working on it…

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

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness are every Monday In July. Two Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and two Mid-Week Check-Ins.

FRIDAY FORAGE will hopefully be a shorter post than the last one, but equally fulfilling as we discuss the fourth week of summer writing updates.

I have to give props to my workshops because they were responsible for my epiphany. The were like the canary down in the mines. Good thing the wisdom gained was the canary getting out just in time. Gotta love the proverbial sunshine after the rain. 🙂

OTHERS:

I’ve probably had several Duolingo updates, but today is the first time I accessed the app to see just how much has changed. While I haven’t yet gotten all up in that business, to be fair, I’ve been speaking the lingo thanks to a few rounds with Dora and Diego. I’ve learned to love the shows TKT watches. So, I’m still working towards my goal of being multilingual.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the sunblock’s on and the words are flowing. I’m not Stella, but I’ve certainly got my groove back.

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/10

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WRITING:

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

Fractured Tales Series Word Running Total for July: 28,329 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 192,148 words

Tried different POVs this past week. Might continue this way because the story is too grand to have my protagonist in every scene. Also, I’m sure I’m not the only writer who’s had a ‘middle of the night’ epiphany linking events from Book 1 to events in Book 3 (which is but a twinkle in my eye, at the moment… twinkle and brief outlines).

READING:

Loving my reading revival. Here’s what I read this week:

20120201-book-storytellers-daughter     483445

Currently reading:

20120201-book-beauty-sleep     76171     22232

I just realized how disparate these titles are. LOL

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 7

Non-Fiction: 3

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

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness are every Monday In July. One Sunday #ROW80 check-in and two Mid-Week Check-Ins.

Friday, I’ll continue my new column FRIDAY FORAGE and will go through my third week of summer writing updates.

After attending an Author Chat at Savvy Authors, I learned many new things that will go towards mending my love-hate relationship with Facebook and how to best forge a relationship with readers out there. Author C.J. Ellisson was faboo–people still say that right?–and is hosting Reader Clubs. I joined her event for July and it’s coming up on July 24, 2013. I suppose I should have mentioned this in the Reading section above but it’s social media related as I’m linking to the impending awesomeness over at Facebook.

These are writing related but also part of my edification as a writer. Aside from my continuous workshops–super helpful when I get the chance to work on assignments–I also joined Ali Luke’s Writers’ Huddle and am cozying up in Holly Lisle’s Forums for that added oomph, support, and accountability. They join Joe Bunting’s Story Cartel Course and Dr. John Yeoman’s Writers’ Village. I’m in good company.

OTHERS:

In the words of Grantaire, “I am agog. I am aghast.” Okay, so here’s the deal, Duolingo. I’m not mad at you. I’m not ignoring you. Promise. When my brain’s more sorted with my Fractured Tales Series and all the words of other fine authors that I’ve been absorbing, you and I will have words. And hopefully in Spanish.

Week two of July is almost up and I’m getting into the summer writing groove. Whatever ailed the household is almost gone. In fact, I’m more than ready to kick it to the curb already. Press on, I must.

And how are you today?

Week in Review – 2013/07/01 – 2013/07/07

ROW80Logocopy

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 Running Total for July: 20,129 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 191,345 words

Some twists and turns this week and that’s just because the household came down with an onslaught of sniffles, fever, and coughs. Tissues a-plenty along with ACHOOS and I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANY LONGER, I still managed to get some interesting scenes written. Made discovers along the way and caught myself saying, “I didn’t think she had that in her!” a few times. That’s always a good thing when it comes to plot development. 🙂

 

READING:

More great books read. Here’s what I read this week, including me rounding out Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER QUARTET. Awesome stuff:

LoisLowry_GatheringBlue     books_messenger[1]     20121017_072140_son     16248113     22628

 

Currently reading:

106489     483445

Threw in some more non-fiction in there because, hey, why not? If you have any stories you’d like to recommend, please comment below. I’ve enjoyed the reads so far. It’s probably the highlight of my blerg days when I just didn’t want to do anything productive. Reading is awesometastic.

 

BLOGGING:

Will check in at Angelina C. Hansen’s blog tomorrow for #wipmadness. This is the first Sunday Check-In and we’ve had one Mid-Week Check-In, as well. I like hearing what other writers are doing this month.

Friday, I’ll continue my new column FRIDAY FORAGE and will go through my third week of summer writing updates.

 

How goes it in your neck of the woods?

 

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/03

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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 Running Total for July: 7,397 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 171,216 words

I’m having fun storming the brain for the series and enjoy the company of old writers and new on this continuing adventure.

 

READING:

 This week, I continued Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER QUARTET. Love her work! She’s one of my new favorites.

 

Here’s what I read this week, so far:

LoisLowry_GatheringBlue     books_messenger[1]

Yes, I totally dove into it.

 

Currently reading:

20121017_072140_son     16248113     22628

 

 

I need to go through my GoodReads account and sort through my Want To Reads and I’ve Reads… review to follow. Gah. So many words. 🙂

 

 

BLOGGING:

Angelina C. Hansen took over the hosting duties for #wipmadness on her blog. We had our first check-in for July this past Monday. Monday was also the beginning of Round Three of#ROW80 and today is our first Mid-Week Check-In.

Friday, I’ll continue my new column FRIDAY FORAGE and will go through my second week of summer writing updates.

 

 

A great start to the month already. How’s everyone doing?