MondayMusings: Square One

A.K.A. It’s All About Experimentation

Hello and welcome!

Today will be the start of a series I’d originally considered calling MakeupMondays. However, since I know I’d be dabbling in various topics within the realms of health, beauty, lifestyle, and everything in between, I wanted to expand the title to reflect that.

A-beautiful-life-begins-with-a-beautiful-mind.

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Week in Review – 2013/09/30 – 2013/10/06

WRITING:

I’m storming the brain for possible contingency plans for Entangled Smackdown over at SavvyAuthors. Meanwhile I’ve come up with new ideas–too many–and have even distracted myself with some fangirl ideas. I came up with a fanfic story for a 13th Doctor, a girl!

Downside, I haven’t narrowed down my plethora of ideas. Upside, I have a plethora of ideas. haha

READING:

Finished a beta read and have to sink my teeth into book reviews and critiques. And also the many workshops I’m taking now and from before. Ugh. Any word on that speed reading course yet, people?

NETWORKING:

There’s a new check-in for #wipmadness and #ROW80 this week. Maybe I can tap other creative minds on upcoming project idea whittling.

LEARNING:

Thankfully, an area that is never lacking is my edification. Along with Spanish and French, I’ve now taken up German on Duolingo. Good thing, too, my sister’s joined up and is taking French and German, as well.

Udemy has taught me in the ways of time management, writing, and new ways of thinking. I love soaking in all the innovation.

At Savvy Authors I’m taking Character Development with Mary McCall and Putting the Suspense in Romantic Suspense with Dee Lloyd. They run through to the end of the month and I hope they’ll help sort out my current Entangled entanglement.

I have a class starting on Coursera tomorrow. It’s called Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World. How awesome is it that universities all over the map offer free and intriguing courses? Score one for perpetual learning!

Busy week ahead including a little romp back east. It’s going to be weird returning to places I haven’t seen in half my life. Seriously.

Excited for the zaniness ahead. How goes it for you?

#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?

FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/09/13

5 GREAT WRITING SITES: NONFICTION FINDS

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Hello, Gentle Reader.

This week on FRIDAY FORAGE I’d like to focus on the fiction that isn’t–the world of nonfiction. While I have written nonfiction in the past, this blog included, my focus is primarily writing fiction. However, my fiction has benefited from the countless writing references that guide me in the craft. My renewed love for nonfiction about anything on how the brain works is also fascinating.

Nonfiction tells stories in a different way. There’s still a beginning, middle, and end. It can be anything from a memoir to a textbook, a biography to a newspaper. Thanks to Patti Hall who gave me the idea of getting to this important round-up sooner than later. The FRIDAY FORAGE series is all about writing, inspiration, and all things creative. Nonfiction definitely has a home here. Patti, this blog post is dedicated to you and all other writers who also write nonfiction. 🙂

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1) BellaOnline: The Voice of Women

To all the guys, don’t be swayed by the header. The resource list is extensive and even has subcategories. Under Specific Topics, for example, they have links for Journalism, Radio & Television, Speechwriting, and Technical Writing. Under the General writing section, there are links to specific sites or topics, including travel writing.

The site is easy to peruse and a great place to start, especially if you know exactly what type of nonfiction you’re writing. Good stuff.

2) George Mason University’s Nonfiction Universe

Rather than regurgitating a list, I’ll just include what’s on their front page. (Mea culpa on the formatting. It wouldn’t budge.)

This site includes “links to current online publications in these nonfiction writing genres: autobiography, biographybusiness writing, essaysinterviewsjournalismliterary analysisreportsreviewsrhetorical criticismspeechestechnical writing, and weblogs(blogs). [Our] resources provide writers and writing teachers with links to writing guides, style guides, reference books online, places to publish, and writing contests.”

They also have information on their undergraduate and graduate programs at the University. Huge range of resources. I like the added feature of places to publish and writing contests. It’s like a one-stop nonfiction writing shop, without having to buy anything!

3) The DIY Blogger Net

This site is huge in the blogverse. Dino Dogan, the founder of Triberr, built this thriving community that covers the gamut of blogging life. I have to add blogging to this list because it’s such a huge part of social media and global connectivity. The fact that you’re reading this blog right now is proof. There’s so much to dig into at this site. You’re just going to have to explore it. Trust me, you’ll be there awhile.

After a few moments of clicking, you’ll realize how big this industry is. I think it is definitely fair to call blogging an industry. It’s come a long way.

4) Wayback Machine

Speaking of. Not get all 1984 on you but this is an amazing resource to have for all kinds of writers. It’s not an exaggeration to say you practically have the world at your fingertips. According to the site, they have over 240 billion web pages in the archive since 1996. That’s billion with a B. It goes as recently as a few months ago. Check back to this site in a year. Just imagine how big that number will be then. The world just got a whole lot smaller. And yet…

5) Write Nonfiction in November

If you’ve known about my writing life longer than five minutes, you know that I love all things WriMo. When I saw this site, I had to add it to the list, just ‘cuz.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. While Camp NaNo and other incarnations of WriMo show up through the year, it seems that November is prime real estate on the calendar. Well, nonfiction writers rejoice! This one’s for you. Write a nonfiction piece in the month of November and have a writing community that will take the journey with you.

What’s cool about this site is the WNFIN 10-Month Training, held from January to October. Even though it’s too late to start from the beginning (unless you like to cram), this is something to plan for next year’s challenge. Writing prompts are given out on an M-W-F schedule. Who doesn’t love prompts? Some of the best work comes from the most unexpected places.

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Alrighty. Thanks for tuning into another instalment of FRIDAY FORAGE. Writer, meet tip of iceberg. There’s so much info out there. Within each link there are loads more links. It’s Linkception!

I hope this helps all our nonfiction writers out there. Some sites you might know, some might be a welcomed surprise. All I know is that we can all benefit from sites like these.

Have a great weekend!

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#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/06/07

WRITING:

JuNoWriMo and Kiwi Writers SoCNoC  Tweeting also using #JuNoWriMo and #SoCNoC hashtags. As expected, my daily word counts dwindled this week as opposed to the frenzied start over the weekend.

Fractured Fairytale Series Word Count: 27,167 words

I think the added pressure–ahem–motivation from the 25,000 Words in 7 Days challenge has helped me churn out the words. So far, it’s been between 8:30pm and 11:30pm, though tonight I lost an hour and gained more wrestling time with TKT. (Totally their idea, not mine. Honest. But hey, I couldn’t resist.)

READING:

See, this his how messed my eyes are. I keep checking my calender and think that this week is my break between reading challenges. It turns out that I have another week of reprieve. However, I have a few books to finish and reviewed, so I’m getting through those as well as catching up on my backlog of workshop lessons and writing reference reading. Any and all education to better hone the craft is essential in any writer’s toolkit. So, basically, I’m reading a lot of stuff. Some made up, some not. All good. 🙂

BLOGGING:

As you can see, I continue the updates with #ROW80 posts and check-ins with the awesome #wipmadness community on Kim Baccellia’s blog. On last Sunday’s Week in Review I posted my entry for FLASH MOB 2013. That should be interesting and we’ll see how it goes. There are a couple of short story submissions I’m working on but as I’ve yet to focus on them, I’m just blogging about the advent of their existence. 🙂

This month, let alone the year, is going by so fast. I hope everyone’s doing well with their goals. I can’t believe eighty days are almost up. It’s been quite the ride. I’m going to assess my current goals and start planning for the next round. I really appreciate how #ROW80 has kept me going. I anticipate the latter half of 2013 will be just as splendiferous–and equally exhausting! Happy writing/reading/blogging the rest of the week, everyone!

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