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 & May Writing Goals

April was busy, crazy, hectic, awesome, draining, exhilarating and… over? 😦

Got some pretty badges for my efforts:

Camp-NaNoWriMo-2013-Winner-Lantern-Square-ButtonI ended Camp NaNoWriMo with 75,416 words. I had my ups and downs but writing sprints were super helpful. I also met fellow writers online. We supported each other through the sprints and gave moral support during times of brainstorming and times of utter frustration at getting those word counts! What’s great is that these writerly connections will continue on to future NaNos and other challenges in between. We’ll be beta-reading for each other, and maintain accountability for our goals throughout the year. I think that’s an even better prize than exceeding my word count targets. Mind you, I have many words to go in my Camp Nano fairytale mashup, but I’m excited at the prospect of worldbuilding and writing something outside my usual fare. I’m taking workshops to help write something this grand and hope that by the next Camp NaNo, I’ll have this story polished and will be ready to tuck in to Book Two in the series.

I also exceeded my word count targets for my Savvy Author April Boot Camp. I ended up with 75,145 words. I have more to go on this story, as well, and I can see heavy revisions for both in the near future. The Savvy Authors website is going under a revamp, so I’m not worried that we don’t have badges yet. I’m actually excited to see the new site that will be up soon. This story was also out of my usual genre, so I’m proud that I tried new writing projects in April.

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A through Z. Done. That was an interesting challenge. I started off ahead of the game but ran into some RL issues that kept me from hopping as much as I’d have liked. The blog topics themselves were interesting to brainstorm. As this is my first attempt at a blog, I think I got off to a great start. We’re asked to write a Blogging A to Z Challenge Reflections Post. Since today is a check-in for a pre-existing challenge and I have the next several Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays devoted to challenges, as well, I think I’ll do a special Reflections Post this Friday. I read that there is also an upcoming A to Z Road Trip Challenge. I’ll keep my eye out for something new like that. It’s a great way to use the alphabet as writing prompts and has helped me work on creative non-fiction. I’d say that’s an added bonus from this blogging challenge experience.

And now today, the first day of a new month of writing opportunities. Let’s have a run-down on what’s ahead for me:

1) Round of Words in 80 Days – Each Wednesday and Sunday I’ll be checking in to make sure I’m on track with my writing goals. Aside from the 100 Pages Challenge I’ll continue throughout the month with a focus on the fairytale mashup. If I can write more of the contemporary fic draft, I’ll do that, too. Camp may be over but the writing continues.

2) 100 Pages in 7 Days Challenge – 25,000 words from May 1st to May 7th. Today I wrote 3,872 words. If we count the standard 250 words to a page, that comes out to 15.488 pages. Just for fun, I’m going to round down and say I got 15/100 pages today.

3) Work on the blog. Blog at least twice a week. With these new challenges, I’ll be blogging at least three times a week. I might hold off on the aesthetics of the blog (i.e. web hosting, theme upgrade, etc.) and just work on building more content.

4) Read. READ MANY BOOKS with a focus this month on MG Lit. I had the good fortune of participating in March Madness, two years running. The hashtag and support continues throughout the year under #wipmadness. Last month, Ghost Girl (a.k.a. Mary Ann) hosted the weekly check-ins every Monday. After daily check-ins during March, I felt less pressure but just as much accountability, so it was a good thing.  This month, Deb Marshall is hosting and she also has a reading challenge for Middle Grade books. This is perfect to keep me motivated as I catch up on my reading. I’ll be posting and tweeting about that using #middlegrademay and it should be exciting. I miss reading fiction. I’ve been focused on writing reference and it would be good to dive back into the fictional world again.

So, this is me. May 1st, 2013. A lil’ bit o’ this. A lotta that. Writing, reading, and loving every minute of it. What’s your plan this month?

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Week in Review – 2013/04/22 – 2013/04/28

Two days left in the month of writetasticness.

Updated stats. The deets of my original goals can be found here and here.

Camp NaNoWriMo April, 2013 – Current word count, not including Sunday’s totals = 67,474 (I wrote 14,154 words this week.)

Savvy Authors April Boot Camp – Current word count not including Sunday’s totals = 65,876 (I wrote 14,919 words this week.)

Blogging A to Z Challenge – A through X posted

Round of Words in 80 Days – Four Mid-Week Check-Ins and Four Sunday Check-Ins (including today)

Holy carpal tunnel, Batman!

Very pleased with my word counts but I’ve found so much story in the twists and turns this month that the stories are nowhere near over. Originally, I was going to alternate NaNo months with revisions, but I’ll continue with these stories while they’re fresh in my noggin.

GOALS FOR MAY & BEYOND:

1) Round of Words in 80 Days – This challenge, as the name suggests, has 50 more days to go. I’m glad that I’ll have check-ins twice a week to keep me on track.

2) 100 Pages in 7 Days Challenge – 25,000 words in a week? Pfft. Hi, May. Have you met April? 😉 Challenge accepted and continued.

3) Work on the blog. Blog at least twice a week. Also, I’ll be looking into web hosting and switching to wordpress.org down the road.

4) Read. READ MANY BOOKS. My TBR pile is ridiculous. Also, I’m reviewing some books through goodreads and might add a review series on the blog.

5) Summer Novel Writing Challenge – June 21st to September 21st. I’ll brainstorm what stories I want to develop for the upcoming challenges.

I’ll add more goals as they come, but I think I have a fair amount to work with in the coming weeks. Thanks to everyone who’s joined me. Your encouragement and inspiration fuels my creativity.

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