Week in Review – 2013/07/22 – 2013/07/28

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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: 73,138 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 236,997 words

My revised outline is much stronger. It’s important not to get too attached to a story idea. There are new twists to twists I’d previously made but I like the new developments. Things are shaping up nicely for my August redraft. No pressure to get all these words and set them aside while I try to get all the best bits and weave them together. Lowballing 12,500 words makes it an attainable goal. I can already see myself doubling that number. Of course, I’ll just keep at it and hope for the best.

I also have my Fast Draft WIP in the works. That’s off to a good start but I’m not quite in the fast lane, just yet. I think I’ll split up the 20 pages into manageable writing chunks throughout the day–if The Keysmashing Tots cooperate. They’re growing up way too fast and are making it trickier to slip away. Their acrobatics and their burgeoning sibling rivalry requires a constant referee/observer. Only the younger one takes naps–short naps– in the afternoon, and they’re sleeping late.

Who needs official writing challenges when these two challenge my writing time every day?! 😉

READING:

Currently reading:

FLIPPED 331920     THE SPARK 15798364

Next up:

WIRED FOR STORY 13126099     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432 

(Although, I have read a few pages of each to get a taste of what’s to come.)

  

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 9

Non-Fiction: 3

I didn’t read as much this week, so I’m still in the middle of my books. I don’t feel bad, however, because my writing’s flourished. Nice trade off.

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

A final July check-in on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness. I wonder who’s hosting for August? I’ve joined up in a handful of communities already that have overlapping check-ins that I have constant accountability for my writing goals. It’s a great motivator. Four Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and four Mid-Week Check-Ins, so far.

OTHERS:

There is no reason you can’t find time to write. Case in point, the waiting room at a dentist’s office. I used to be able to lug my laptop or iPad around, but my back injury is acting up so I didn’t to take anything heavy on the commute. Enter the trusty notebook and pen. I managed to squeeze over four pages (after I transcribed them) while waiting. It was highly satisfying. When I got home, I tried the same thing and the elder Tot grabbed the pen and now I have some artistic additions to my notes.

So, Keysmashing or Notebook-taking, at least the kiddies are into creativity, as well. It’s good to get them started early. 🙂

The weather makes for lazy days but I’ll sit and sweat more bullets as I continue to write.

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/07/24

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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: 60,170 words

Totals from April, June, and July: 224,029 words

 

Headway on the outline revision and HOPEFULLY steering this ship in the right direction. Believe it or not, it’s okay to be excited and terrified at the same time. I am and I’m okay with that. 🙂

This next bit goes in my unofficial Edification Category, but it falls under the WRITING umbrella:

1) I’ve taken part in Savvy Authors Summer Hike hosted by the wonderful Cathy Yardley and it’s another great way to have ongoing support and accountability as I achieve my writing goals. Since I surpassed the 50K word count goal awhile ago, I decided to spend the rest of the month revising my outline. It’s going to be like playing Jenga or Tetris with words. [SIDEBAR: I looked up the proper links to associate with the games and found this. Amusing, considering my previous sentence. I had no idea it existed.]

August, rather than WriMo myself into a black hole of Writer’s Burnout, I’ll give myself a little extra time to make sure my outline is solid. It’s something I’ve never quite done in previous WriMos. I shall not pants my plots anymore. Not even Bermuda shorts. I need to be rigid to ensure a smoother writing experience. My goal is to write and polish the first fifty pages of the novel by September 1st. That’s 12,500 and far less pressure on myself than I’ve been dousing since the start of the year.

2) I went back to that scary wildebeast of an assignment. There’s still a ways to go yet but I’m making progress in the outline’s refinement. Progress is always a good thing.

 

There are other activities and challenges that I’ve taken up and I’ll post updates in the next couple of posts. Good things ahead because it’s all things writerly.

 

READING:

Currently reading:

FLIPPED 331920     THE SPARK 15798364

Next up:

WIRED FOR STORY 13126099     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432 

(Although, I have read a few pages of each to get a taste of what’s to come.)

  

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 9

Non-Fiction: 3

 

Not freaking out that I haven’t finished a book yet this week. I have my own to work on. I’ll be a Beta Reader for fellow writers’ manuscripts and I think that’s an interesting endeavor. I’ve done it in the past and it helped me appreciate the skills I’ve learned and honed, as well as appreciating a story as a reader. I say this counts as as part of my reading challenge. I’ll be pulling double duty because there will be edits and critiques involved. Reminds me of a teacher who asked me if I wanted to be an editor. I certainly wouldn’t mind. These tasks, reading and editing, they’re just a couple of ways for me to improve my own writing.

 

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

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness continue every Monday In July. I’m a newbie compared to how long my fellow WIPsters have been at the grind. This week we celebrate book deals, query submissions, and just getting the words on the page. We should all be proud of our efforts. Three Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and four Mid-Week Check-Ins, so far.

I’ve been on the lookout for insightful articles and websites for my FRIDAY FORAGE series. I’m not sure if I’ll post them during my summer writing challenge but it couldn’t hurt. The interwebs are a cornucopia of knowledge. I’m enjoying the scavenger hunt, so far.

 

OTHERS:

Duolingo is something I’m going to take a peek at on the weekends.

Speaking of… staycations. Weekend getaways either geographically or just in your own backyard. I highly recommend them. Get this, after the zany non-stop action with The Keysmashing Tots, you’ll never guess… I. Had. Fun.

Unbelievable, I know. But fun was to be had, rest was taken, my eyes, my back, my carpal issues. Come Monday (technically. Sunday night when I got back to the tykes), I had renewed energy and out of the gate, the words flowed with more ease than in the last fortnight. As part of my writing goals for the summer, I decided that, come August, I’ll take the weekends off, or at the very least, keep Saturdays as a catch-up buffer day, but Sunday is a writing-free day.

Did I mention how highly I recommend this?

 

How’s your July 24th?

Week in Review – 2013/07/15 – 2013/07/21

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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 (as of yesterday):  52,984 words

Totals from April, June, and July (as of yesterday): 216,843 words

I aim to tackle that writing assignment again in the workshop that helped me see the error of my ways. I also have more specific goals to outline as it pertains to another writing group’s summer session. When those are up and running, I’ll post them here.

At the very least, my goals for two out of three writing challenges have already been met as I’ve exceeded the 50K word count I set for myself this month. I’m going to spend the rest of the month restructuring my plot outline to make sure that the scenes I wrote fit organically and that my character and overall story GMC is ironed out. Next month, I’ll work on my revised plan. More preparation, less stress, I think that’s a better combination for what my schedule is looking to be for the next few months.

READING:

Here’s what I read this week:

22232     lovestargirl

Currently reading and on deck:

FLIPPED 331920     WIRED FOR STORY 13126099     THE SUPERNATURALIST 45432     THE SPARK 15798364

Total books read since June 23rd:

Fiction: 9

Non-Fiction: 3

The numbers aren’t bad considering I’m unofficially taking part in the 30 Books in 90 DaysSo far, I’m ahead of schedule in that regard. The good thing, too, is that all the reading has helped with my plotting issues in my current WIP. The reading continues.

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

Check-ins on Angelina C. Hansen’s blog for #wipmadness continue every Monday In July. Three Sunday #ROW80 check-ins and three Mid-Week Check-Ins, so far.

My FRIDAY FORAGE was–to me, at least–shining, shimmering, and splendid. The week began on a low point and ended much better for me. With everything happening with my writing and home life, it’s good to remind myself that it’s okay for goals to change, to make certain adjustments here and there as life throws those ever-loving curveballs at us. The end goal remains the same, it’s just the method of getting there that changes.

OTHERS:

Duolingo is going to have to wait awhile longer while I fix my WIP glitches.

On the upside, this weekend involved a cleansing staycation at a hotel and I was treated to a much needed massage. It’s nice to have getaways with the Mothership and Sisterhood. Two days now without diapers and the children’s voices and scampering about were of those I didn’t know. It’s like I’m in a different country but the brain is recharging and the excitement to write is returning. Tomorrow–or rather, tonight–is already the start to another intense week, but I think I’m better prepared for it this time.

Tonight, the weekend ends with the Sisterhood and I taking part in a feast of fowl, a banquet of birds. Seriously. According to the blurb from the restaurant, we’ll be dining on 8 birds served 13 different ways.

1064830_10151699268614637_149086763_o

Is the eighth bird chicken? They didn’t even show the eighth bird, why?! Please be chicken. Egads. I think the only chicken at this dining experience will be me. Here’s to new experiences, right?

#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.