Saturday, June 30, 2012

Writing, Reading, Weddings and Thinking

I should be writing on my WiP at the moment, but instead I am writing a blog post and alternately painting my nails.  I have a wedding to get ready to go to this afternoon and of course put off things I could have done yesterday until this morning.  I am such a procrastinator! GRRRRRRR.  

Anyways, I mentioned in my last post that I was laying low from social media (including blogging) for two reasons-writing and reading. Well and work too, so three reasons I guess. But I will admit that my head has been buried in a book (or my Nook) every day for hours since I had been trying to catch up with my GoodReads challenge. This includes while eating breakfast, during breaks between court appearances, lunch, while making dinner and while eating dinner. Yes, I have been a reading fool lately. I have also been branching out into different genres which has been surprisingly fun. Nothing like a good book to escape to, no matter the genre! As of today I am right on track, thank goodness, and close to 50% done. This habit however has not been kind on my wallet. Buying ebooks is way too easy sometimes! Ack!

When I haven't been either working or reading, I have been writing. On that front, I've been moderately successful. I still don't know if I will be done with the draft by Sunday, but this is because I actually changed around some scenes in the last third I was working on.  (I know I shouldn't revise as I go, but I had to do it-it was driving me nuts as I wrote, knowing things weren't where they belonged!)  I've also introduced a couple characters in the novel that will show up in another WiP (which I had already written most of as a novella last year but then hit a block)  So with a little tweaking and if I can just stay on a schedule, I already have a book two for this series two-thirds of the way done-talk about awesome! (The second WiP won't follow the same main characters, though they will definitely be in the book as secondary characters of sorts. As I said in my last post, I really love this world I've created and can see a lot of possibilities here.  I will have a better idea of how all this is going to work once I get this first one off to Beta readers and have time to sit back and plan. Which means I should go write...right now. But before I do I will leave you with one of the newest songs on my mp3 player's rotation, cause you know me, I am all about the music!  Have a great weekend! 

Gloriana:  Kissed You [Good Night]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

High Hopes: End of ROW80 Round 2

Wow. I can't believe this Round is over. It's been a long one for me, and as I look over the first half goals and then the second (post class finals) I am pretty happy with the result. Not totally, and I still have some areas I need to work at, but overall, I'd give myself a B- for the Round. 

So, the first half goals I had were mainly about school and I spoke about  them HERE..  Grade wise, I got an A in my Theories in Teaching Writing Class (which was my fave class but it still shocked the HELL out of me!) and a B in my English Novel (I had thought I'd get a C, but my final paper and final brought my grade up, thank god. That teacher was tough!) This first set of goals also taught me one important lesson--that I can't do everything all at once and if I try, I need a plan so I don't completely lose my mind. 

Moving on to the second half of the Round (which was basically May 9th until now), my goals changed and here is how I did overall: 

Write every day:  I didn't quite get there, instead getting in 3-5 days of writing each week, depending on the work schedule.  Despite this however, my WiP is almost there, and when I say there, I mean done. I wrote the concluding scene the other day but after a quick read through of the last third, I need to add in a couple chapters in the last third, and a few scenes to some that I'd thought were finished.  I am still aiming for July 1 to be done with the writing so I think I will be quite busy this weekend typing away.  I also decided that I need to introduce at least two peripheral characters for a WiP I had worked on about a year ago but had put aside.  I've really fallen in love with this world and don't want to leave it behind just yet. 

Reading: During the first half I didn't even try.  During the second, it was one book a month, which then I upped to one a week. I was so far behind in my Goodreads challenge when May 9th came around (22+ books in fact!) that I didn't think I'd ever make it.  The last few weeks I have been devouring books to the tune of 2-3 per week. I am now only 10 books behind.  (Though the widget on my blog may not reflect that because it's been buggy lately.  My GR page has it up though!)  Through this challenge, I've found some AMAZING writers: Veronica Roth, Tammara Webber and Roni Loren to name just a few. Tammara's book, Easy (this is the Goodreads link!) made me cry.  And I NEVER cry.  It also had me thinking back to something I'd pushed out of my memory bank long ago. Cathartic doesn't even begin to explain it.    

Blogging/Social Media: I did great in the month of May but that was about it. I always have the best intentions when it comes to blogging, but I have been so focused on reading and writing that I haven't done much of it, or even any tweeting, the last two weeks. I feel bad about it, that old and familiar guilt creeping in about not keeping up on things and with the people I've come to know through ROW80.  I need to think on how to get better at this for the next round. 

Working out: Ha! It's as if I forgot this was even a goal. The only thing I can say about this unfulfilled goal is that I have been working outside more on my gardens. Blackberry season will be here soon so I have been working on that tangle of stems and thorn things to get ready for harvest, and I planted a few veggies (and garlic...not sure if garlic is a veggie or an herb actually.), all of which is coming along nicely. I will try, between now and the next round, to get back into my yoga and walking routine, but, no promises.

Overall not a bad round Id' say. And as I write, I am getting an idea where I need to focus next round and have a deadline to keep me on track.  I want to thank everyone for all of your support throughout this Round. You all have become lifelines for me in this journey into the writing world, and are always there in the back of mind when I try to procrastinate or think of giving up when the words don't come as easily as I'd like. Now, it's time to put a laser beam focus on my WiP from now until the start of the next round. Who knows...maybe I can get it completed, a first revision done, and sent out to my beta readers during the next Round!  Gotta have high hopes, right?   

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reset: Sunday ROW80 Check In

This is a short, and one day late, ROW80 update.  After the last little bit of lazy I experienced (see last week's posts) I knew I had to get back on track in many areas of my life-working out, writing, even work itself since the piles were getting out of control.  So I was largely offline last week to sort of reset things so I could hop back on track today.  So far, that reset was a success (not 100% but close enough for me.  Here's my update:

Writing: 5 of 7.  Not every day but I got a lot of words in (plus 4K for the week).  I will back in the sprints for hopefully three days this week, and penciled in some time on the other 4 days in my calendar.

Reading:  I hit two books last week. I am now only 11 books behind on my Goodreads challenge, which is way better than where I started in the beginning of May.  The goal is still one book this week, but my plan is to read three since I know I can read the one. This will get me down to the single digits in terms of how many I'm behind.

Blogging:  Such a fail here.  I didn't even do my check in Wednesday.  By checking in today, even though it is a day late, I am hoping to get back on course.  I just feel like, as much as I need to get out there and stay on top of social media (i.e. blogging and twitter), I need to be writing my WiP.  And as much as I love to blog, with my self imposed July 1 deadline, I need to buckle down and just do the writing thing.

Working Out:  3 out of 5.  I seem to be able to hit 3 or 4 each, but not 5.  I have also been doing a bit more work outdoors and gardening but haven't been counting that. But whatever the amount, I am feeling and sleeping better, so this is a win!

So that is it for me.  Now I have to go deal with a few work related things and try to stay cool from the 90 degree heat and accompanying humidity we have been experiencing the last couple days. It is days like this that I wish I had air conditioning.  Oh, and I have to deal with how my gmail account got hacked by someone in some foreign country.  *Sighs* It is quite the Monday morning and it isn't even 9:30 am yet.  Anyways, have a great week and happy writing!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lazy Days Continued: Sunday ROW80 Check-In

My lazy week that I posted about on Wednesday has continued.  I think the weather has had a bit to do with it.  It went from blazing hot and humid to dark, dreary and rainy in a matter of days; and the dreariness and rain continues today.  My niece is spending the day with me and we're are going to curl up with some hot chocolate and brownies and finish watching the first season of Joan of Arcadia..  I love that show, and she does too now it seems!  So before I get the brownies out of the oven, here's my quick update:

Writing:  My goal was to write every day.  I wrote three days. Motivation was a huge issue here, as were the 3 little leagues games I attended.  By the time I got home from work and then the games, I was just too tired to do anything other than read and go to bed.  This week my goal is to write every day and get as much writing time in as I can.  I am hoping to hit quite a few of the afternoon ROW80 sprints too since I have afternoons off this week.

Reading:  Finished two more books this week. The third Fifty Shades and Silver Bourne by Patricia Briggs.  I absolutely love Briggs' Mercy Thompson series but somehow I had gotten three books behind and am now trying to catch up. This week my official goal is once again to read one, but I am hoping to get in two or three.

Blogging:  All that I've been been able to post this week are my ROW80 updates. This is something else I need to get back into this week.  Since the Blog Me Maybe blogfest is over, my new goal will be one non-update post per week.  I think I can definitely manage that. I hope!

Being Active: 3 out of 5.  Another goal not met, but I will hopefully hit this mark next week.

As you can see, I clearly took a vacation from my goals this week.  But with this round ending soon, I will ramp up  my writing this next week. I want this first draft of the WiP completed by July 1, a target I think I can still hit so long as I've gotten this little 'vacation' out of my system! Hope everyone has a productive week and happy writing!