Update

Flash Fiction – The Cycle – (and a short writing update)

Thunder always brought the pain. The agony let her know she still existed so she welcomed it. She had lost herself, that much she knew, but little else.

From her high perch she would see the parched ground and exult. It seemed her exultation somehow touched the clouds. They would gather near her and loosen their heavy burden on the earth below. As her delight grew, the clouds shared her excitement and become massive storms. Then with each lightning strike she would scream in empathy for the stricken ground.

For a time she would remember she was the thunder, the lightning, the clouds – all of it. Then the skies would clear and she would be lost, forgetting her nature. So she would resume her vigil and wonder when the thunder would bring the pain again.

Rough draft 134 words


The above piece is a result of one of my goals for this year. My plan is to use various writing prompts to write something everyday. Well, it’s more accurate to say every day I write since I’m not always able to do it daily, though I intend to try.

My prompt sources are numerous. I have a couple of books, tons of blogs to draw from, and the prompts I come up with for Write Anything Wednesday. There are also many different types of prompts to use. One word, a phrase, character ideas, settings, even picture prompts. I have no interest in the ones requiring me to use several words in a story. If this kind sparks an idea, I’ll write it but I won’t force myself to use the actual words. I won’t be searching for these.

For the flash fiction I wrote today (in eight minutes), I used a one word prompt meant to get you warmed up. It’s not much of a story but it woke up my muse so I have no complaints. The story I wrote on Sunday was also the result of a one word prompt. They are working for me so I will keep trying them first before moving on to other types.

I will probably post most of these efforts, even when I don’t love them, because it serves as self-accountability for me. Perhaps I’ll group them up in twos and threes and post them together so I don’t overload everyone.

Any thoughts about any of the writing I post are always welcome.


Photo by Ryan McGuire

New Year, Same Me (But With New Goals)

So it’s 2017. This is a time of making resolutions and writing the wrong year on everything requiring a date. Lasts year sucked so we all hope this year is a fresh start. I keep seeing posts about a ‘new year and a new me.’ I wish I could say that but the only real change for me is a new deductible for all the potential medical junk coming up.

Did any of you make resolutions? I didn’t, not exactly. I have goals and hopes but New Year’s resolutions are too easily said and broken for me to go that route.

I do intend to make this a better year. It’s as good a transition time as any. A couple of good things have already happened. I won the scholarship to the West Texas Writer’s Academy. I’m not sure anything can top this one, except actually attending. I hear it’s a great writing recharge, which I desperately need.

The other good thing has to do with a free car. It’s a long, complicated story but boils down to a temporary fix to a major problem my family has dealt with for a while. It’s a used car with many problems and eventually will go to one of my adult children, if they ever decide they want to learn to drive (I’ll never understand).

Onto my plans for the year. I’m calling them goals because, as previously mentioned, I feel resolutions are too easily broken. It’s easy to not take them seriously. Goals, on the other hand, especially writing goals are important enough to try my hardest. They are more permanent (until completed), more real.

Goal time. Most of these will be writing related but not all, here goes:

Writing:

  • Write often. I want to say write every day but with all my back problems I don’t think it’s feasible. So I will write as often as I can. If it ends up being everyday then I’ll mentally jump for joy.
  • Revise/edit. All of them. I have five finished novels (first drafts) and two almost completed ones. I want to take the time to fix/rewrite what needs it. I included the two partials here because I need to revise some of what I’ve written to fit in some side story, which both desperately need to be full stories.
  • Write books two and three of my fantasy trilogy. I have the first one done, minus revisions. My plan is to revise book one before I write the other two because it makes sense not to waste my time writing something that could/will be changed. I believe it’s possible to get both first drafts completed. I don’t know if I will be able to revise both this year with all the other projects in line before them.
  • Blog more often, and read (and respond to) other blogs more often too. I love reading others’ work but with all the stuff I’ve been through this last year, I’ve barely been able to keep up. I read them as much as I can but haven’t been able to comment very often. Still, I want to get back on track. As for my own blog, expect some changes in the next couple of months!
  • Write a lot of short stories. I intend to write as much flash fiction as I can but I also want to spend some time crafting longer short stories. It’s one of my weak points. I can write really short stuff with little in the way of details but longer stuff I struggle with. It really does come down to description. I despise reading pages worth of how a forest looks and it causes me trouble in my own writing. Once I have my mental image I don’t need any more words on it. I feel like too much is boring and too little doesn’t give the reader a clear enough picture. The trick is to find the happy medium. Unfortunately my medium is too close to not enough. I’m working on it.
  • Finally put together a collection of flash fiction and publish it. I need at least three more stories I love for it. I’ve written many pieces but only some have made the cut. As any other writers out there know, it’s hard being your own worst critic.
  • Also finish up another project for publication. I’ll explain this one at a later time.
  • This one requires a confession. I want to write on Wednesdays again. It was always my day to write, no matter what. Then life happened. I generally don’t write when my husband is off. Not only would I rather spend time with him but also I’m easily distracted when my family is around. So my day off from writing is whatever day off he has. It was never Wednesdays, until it was. His schedule changes every six months or so. When he eventually got ‘my’ day off it really messed me up. So I haven’t been writing on Wednesdays. Then I got used to it. He went to Thursdays off and I still couldn’t write in the middle of the week. That made two straight days when I wasn’t getting anything accomplished. Now he’s changing back to Wednesdays off. My goal is to write a little in the morning, then spend the rest of the day with him. I know it sounds complicated but the real goal is to teach myself to write even when there are a lot of distractions, just like I advocate on this blog.
  • The most important goal I have is to break out of this writing funk I’ve been in. I will find a way.

Everything else:

  • Work out regularly. I mostly do this one now but I’ve found when things go south it’s too easy to let it slide for a while. Getting back on track is hard so I’m going to try to not mess this one up.
  • Get back on the physical therapy wagon. I’ve been neglecting my home exercises and yes I’m an idiot.
  • Watch more TV with my husband. Odd? Well, I’ve never been the type to spend every evening parked on the couch. I don’t want to become that person but I do miss the weekly TV times with my honey. It will be easier when the shows we watch aren’t on break.
  • Read the books on my to read pile, while not adding to it for a while. Is that laughter I hear? Maybe I should just say I’ll read as much as I can and leave it there.
  • Bring my bags into the grocery store. I wish Texas would pass a law banning the use of plastic bags. If I was required to use my own then maybe I would remember to grab the twenty or so bags in the back of my car when I go shopping.
  • Make more lists and look at them. I’m a list person. I need them and love them. The problem? I write things down because my memory is shot after all the pain meds I was on and hormonal changes (damn thyroid and all the rest) but I also forget to look at some of the lists. I need to come up with a system. Maybe have a spot specifically for my multitude of lists so I always know where to find them. I don’t know how to force myself to remember to look at them though. I’ll figure it out though. I have a thing for clipboards too so I imagine they will be part of my solution.
  • My desk. This one is too complicated to explain but I’ll say I need to keep my desk(s) tidy.
  • Talk to my doctor about my allergy issues. Shots will not be allowed.
  • Cook dinner more often.
  • Yell at my offspring about the kitchen table daily. For some reason the table is a catch-all. NO MORE!
  • Ditto on my daughter’s bedroom.
  • Eat a bit more healthy.
  • Cut back on iced tea. Don’t ask.
  • The typical lose weight thing needs to make the list.
  • More date nights.
  • No more getting on the floor with the dogs. It hurts, I do it anyway, it must stop.
  • Photography, period.

 

I’m sure I could add a million more things to both lists but I don’t want to overwhelm myself. I wish everyone well with their goals or resolutions. All it takes is belief and effort. We’ve got this!


WR

Everything Update – 12/26/2016

Writing #1 (the bad stuff): Apparently my muse is a Grinch. I’m sitting in my favorite writing spot trying to find some inspiration for flash fiction stories. Nothing came to me at first so I looked at writing prompts. That was when my muse made her true nature clear.

All the prompts in the reader are Christmas related. UGH! I like the holidays and all but I don’t want to write about it. I already wrote a Santa story (click here to read it). I’m ready to move on!

My real problem is a bad case of writer’s funk. It’s different from writer’s block because I can write, but there is nothing I want to write about. I’m not even sure I want to write. I know I should so I keep trying but I only have tiny spurts of creativity. Otherwise, my muse is hiding (and waiting for the holidays to end).

This is not to say I’ll have better luck once all the decorations are taken down and everyone stops blogging about Christmas. This funk won’t simply disappear on a certain date.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to do, what I want to do. My plan for now is to try to write flash fiction. No ideas have hit me so far today but I’ll have some eventually. Or I’ll make them. Ideas are cheap when it comes down to it. I just have to find a way to make some work for me.

What I’m really fighting is apathy, brought on by burnout. I know I’ll get through this but for now it sucks!

Writing #2 (the great stuff): I will be attending the West Texas Writer’s Academy (WTWA) next year. I’ve wanted to go for a long time now and finally it will happen. In October they offered a chance to win a scholarship. I had to write an essay, under 200 words, on why I wanted to write.

The essay was so hard to write! If you’ve ever read anything on my blog, or even just this post, you know I’m wordy. The idea of keeping it so short terrified me. Then came the fear i wasn’t saying anything right. I wrote one and thought it was silly, then changed it. The next attempt was too serious, more changed. Finally I simply started over.

I wrote about the things and people who stopped me from writing for too many years. I spoke about how my experiences, especially the bad ones, made me more determined to write now. I called those years my writing boot camp. Then I said nothing would stop me now and I want to learn everything I can and add to my toolbox as much as possible.

After I wrote it, I edited the hell out of it. I remember at one point I hit undo a bunch of times and in the end, most of this third attempt stayed intact, with only minor changes. I was surprised but shouldn’t have been since it came from the heart. The words poured out with no fears or concerns. I emailed it then sat there and cried and shook, in the middle of Starbucks haha.

My nerves were a wreck! Not once did I think I would win the scholarship but I desperately wanted to. So I spent the rest of the day freaking out then tried not to think about it much. The deadline was December 15 (my birthday) so I had plenty of time to ‘forget’ about it. There was no sense in stressing for almost two straight months.

On my birthday I thought about it for a moment then shut it away. I knew by this point they weren’t announcing the winner until January so I tried not to get worked up.

The on December 20 I got an email. The notification popped up on my screen. It showed a small portion of the email and who it was from. I thought my heart would stop. My hand hovered over the mouse, too afraid to look at it. Logically I knew what it said and why I received it but I was too busy calming my nerves to be logical!

As you’ve probably guessed, I won the scholarship. I read the message at least ten times before I moved. Then I burst into tears! I took a picture of the email and sent it to my husband because for once I didn’t have the words to tell him what happened. I sat there crying for a few minutes then went into the living room and told two of my kids. They didn’t know what to do because I was crying and laughing and trying to explain. They got the explanation but they rarely have seen my cry so didn’t know how to handle it, haha.

When I started talking I was having difficulty. My sixteen year old daughter was staring at me with a look of horror/concern until I said they were good tears. It made me laugh when she visibly relaxed. I must have looked like I was having some kind of breakdown.

They congratulated me and I left the room but I couldn’t sit back down, I was too…something. Excited isn’t quite the right word, though I felt it too. Shocked is a closer description.

My other daughter heard the story shortly afterward, once I realized she was awake. I guess I didn’t say it very quietly because my oldest son heard it at the same time, as I woke him up talking near his door.

Eventually I told the people in my writing group and called my mom. I know I talked so fast she barely understood me!

As I came down from the high of finding out I won, weird things started happening. I wondered if I deserved it. I kept thinking my essay wasn’t good enough for me to be picked. I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I tossed those stupid, destructive thoughts out the window! I didn’t just win, I earned it! I wasn’t about to let anyone, not even myself, ruin it.

So next summer I’ll attend a week-long intensive writing class. I know how to write, but like I said earlier, I’m eager to add to my writing tool box. I can’t wait!

Medical: My back hurts, so nothing new. On Friday I’ll have the second procedure I’ve talked about before. A couple of weeks ago they did the right side, now they’ll do the left. There has to be eleven days between the two procedures and my doctor was on vacation for Christmas week. Otherwise I’d already be done. Thankfully this one is happening this year so I don’t have to mess with a deductible.

This won’t be a permanent fix but any relief is welcome at this point. I’m sure this is part of why I’m in my writing funk. Chronic pain drags a person down. It doesn’t matter how sunny your personality is, eventually it all gets to you.

Hopefully I’ll be back to normal soon. My mother (and the rest of my family) would laugh at me using the word ‘normal’ to describe myself so maybe I should say I’ll get back to myself again.

Reading: I’m doing this a lot more than I planned on lately. With my back giving me so much trouble, I’ve been forced to spend a good portion of every day lying down, which I hate. So I read in twenty-minute increments then get up.

Also, hot baths help relieve the massive muscles spasms my back gifts me with so I read in the tub too. This I don’t mind at all!

I’m re-reading The Sword of Truth series. It’s not my favorite but I’m enjoying it anyway. It’s so complex, with a million side stories and enough twists and turns to make your head spin. Just how I like it. I feel like I’m learning a lot from how the author writes.

His transitions are really good (so far) and most of the time his descriptions are delightfully sparse. Unlike this blog post, he doesn’t overdo it with adverbs. I’m not sure how I feel about his characterizations but overall I’m glad I chose to read this series again.

I’m afraid to read anything new since I’m already having trouble writing. If this were a new to me series, all I would do is read it. Books are my catnip (I can’t say they are my drug because I hate drugs).

Everything else: Christmas was good. We went to my mom’s house on Christmas eve for lunch. It was nice because there was family there I see only once a year or less. The rest of my extended family I only see a few times a year because I’m a homebody these days.

My husband had to work that day, which sucked. He was off on Christmas day though. It worked out that the kids went off elsewhere at lunch so I spent the whole day just hanging out with the hubby. We did a whole lot of nothing and it was perfect. I needed a nice relaxing day and so did he.

Right before Christmas I saw Rogue One. My review is simple: I loved it.

My youngest daughter (my clone) got me into watching Chuck so I think it will be my new binge. The first day of her vacation from school I sat in the living room for hours watching it with her. My back was killing me but we were both happy.

There’s nor really anything else to tell for now. I’ll post an update again after my procedure. Not that day, as I’ll probably be asleep. Hopefully I’ll have a writing update, or new piece of fiction posted before then!

 

 

Everything Update 12/16/2016

Writing: Sadly, I haven’t written much lately. Only a piece of flash fiction (click here to read it), and a bit of revision. It seems my muse is on Christmas vacation.

I picked up an older story, my Nanowrimo project from last year, and started on revisions. Then I stopped. In all fairness to myself, I’ve been busy, but I’m also reluctant. I don’t know why. Part of me is afraid to step out of creative mode. The problem with this attitude is there is not much in the way of words coming out of me. So I’m already mostly out of creative mode anyway.

It could be my rebellious nature or fear or stupidity but I can’t get into editing/revising even though I feel I should.

There are a few issues, besides the above, stopping me.  One is pain, more on this later. Another is the scariest. Burn out. I have writing fatigue and I don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve considered changing mediums because I still have the urge to be creative. I could do photography, which is unlikely due to the pain issue, or draw. I’m a beginner at both but I like to think I have potential. The problem with doing either of these is I tend to switch off all other creative outlets.

If I’m into sketching then I don’t touch my camera or the computer. If I’m taking photos, no stories come to me and I lose interest in drawing.

The darkest side of this is writing is a business. If I’m not writing then I’m not finishing books to sell. I’m not in it for the money but, like every writer, I need the money to be able to keep writing. The bright side of changing my focus is when I go back to writing I seem to be more creative.

I do need some kind of recharge. I wish I knew exactly how to get it. At this point I’m just guessing.

Another option is to change what I’m writing. This could be a change in genre or a different word count. I’m considering working on only short stories for a while. If I do, I would only write these, novels would have to be put aside completely.

It wouldn’t be a bad thing to write a lot of pieces of flash fiction. The sense of accomplishment from finishing a story completely should not be underestimated. Part of my issue with writing is I sometimes feel I’ll never finish anything.

It’s great to write a complete first draft and I’ve done exactly that with four novels. However, a book isn’t finished on that draft. There are revisions and editing still to come. I wonder if I’ll end up revising all my novels in a group, one after the other. Actually, this is one of my fears. I get into whatever mode and stay there until something jerks me out of it. Financially it would be great. Creatively, it would be devastating.

I’ll decide eventually and get to it. For now, I’m going to continue with this semi-break from writing.

Medical: I had a procedure recently and will have another on December 30. They are burning off nerves and can only work on one side at a time. I’m sore from the needles but I feel a difference. Unfortunately, it makes the pain on the other side seem worse. So I’m kind of better but still miserable haha.

Working out helps a lot so. So did the exercises I learned in physical therapy. I haven’t kept up with them but I’m going to start again today. I’m an idiot for not doing them all along.

I’ll update again after my other procedure. It will take a couple of weeks for me to know how successful it will be though.

Reading: There were many novels I planned to read but I ended up picking up something unexpected. I’m rereading The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I’ve only read it once and I didn’t love it the first time. The reason I’m reading it now is partly research. Book one was the author’s debut novel and it shows. Still, this book is pretty amazing.

It moves a little too fast in the beginning and the words ‘that’ and ‘had’ are everywhere. The sentences are overly long at times and quite frankly there are times I don’t understand how it made it through an editor’s hands in its end form.

Grammar and sentence structure aside, the story is great. It’s hard for me to put it down. I feel I can learn a lot from reading it with a critical eye. The series is long and the writing gets better with each book.

My biggest reason for reading it is description and transitions. He does both in an interesting way. The first book is long and there simply isn’t room for too much description. So in most cases, he keeps it compact and only uses the details needed to give the reader a solid picture.

Transitions are hard. If you’re not careful as a writer, you will bore a reader into putting your book down if you spend too much time on how a character gets from place to place. Unless getting there is important to the plot. So far, Terry Goodkind does this well. I remember he gets a bit lazy in later books but for now I’m happy with what I’m reading.

I want to write transitions like he does. I don’t want to write like him but I do want to see good examples of how other authors tackle things we all struggle with. My real problem is I don’t write enough with transitions. I’m trying to find the happy medium.

So reading right now is as much for writing as it is for pleasure and I’m okay with it.

Everything else: Yesterday was my birthday and my husband said we could do whatever I wanted. I couldn’t do exactly what I wanted so I did the next best thing. I wanted to see Rogue One but I don’t do opening nights. I’ll have to wait until next week. Since I wasn’t willing to be around a crowd but still wanted to go see a movie, I decided to go to Alamo Drafthouse for the first time.

We went to see Moana. It was great. There was more singing than I would have liked and one of the songs was so grating I wanted to cover my ears, but I liked it. They serve food and I got my old standby: chicken strips. The food wasn’t great but was tolerable. I don’t have any interest in ever eating there again but I liked being able to pick my seats.

I might go back but I live practically next door to a better theater so I’ll probably still with it.

We decorated out Christmas tree differently this year. There are some plain ornaments on it but mostly there is non-ornaments all over it. I told my offspring it was time to we made it more fitting for our family.

So now it’s covered in nerdy stuff. There are Pokemon stuffed into the branches. My Star Trek and Doctor Who key chains have become ornaments. There is a Harry Potter luggage tag and a multipass (bonus points to anyone who knows what that is). I even hid the alien from Aliens against the trunk for the kids to find. I bought a BB8 ornament too. Everyone is happy and making plans for buying more franchise ornaments for next year.

There probably won’t be anymore updates until after Christmas but I hope to write some short stories and I’ll post them when finished.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Nanowrimo 2016 Update #5

My word count for the month is 36,328 with one more day to go. Today I wrote 6311 of those words. It may sound impressive but it doesn’t get me to 50k.

I don’t think I’ll be able to write thirteen thousand words tonight and tomorrow so I won’t win. However, I don’t see this as a fail. I wrote when I could. There were some days I wrote over 3000 words. There were also plenty of days where I only wrote a few hundred words, or none at all. But I still wrote.

Pain and feeling down plagued me this month. My motivation fled and my muse went into hiding at times. I complained bitched and moaned often but I kept going.

Frustration abounded. Anger hovered. Negativity intruded. I wrote through it all.

Today I wrote an unexpectedly large amount of words (after several days of not writing) and right now my back is paying for it. But hey, the words are on paper!

No, I probably won’t win Nanowrimo but I was able to write in spite of all the bad stuff, so I sure as hell didn’t lose.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-150

 

Everything Update

Writing/Nanowrimo: I’m still behind on Nanowrimo. I’ve been in a lot of pain and my writing motivation was nil. My muse is in hiding and my I don’t know how to coax her out. I’m going to try though.

It is unlikely I will win Nanowrimo this year but I’m almost positive I don’t care. What I do care about is not giving up. If I say I’m not going to win and just stop then it’s a problem. If I say I’m so behind I can’t see the end in sight but still try then I win. So I’m going to put as much effort into it as I can.

I realized I’m an idiot last night. Forgetful is probably a better description but whatever. I spend a lot of time lying down. I hate it, every second. If I’m in bed I can’t write. Except I can. I have Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is a dictation program. After reformatting my laptop I never got around to reinstalling it. Which is dumb on my part. I can’t physically write when I’m forced to lay down but I can talk. Hell, I can always talk, unless I’m sleeping and sometimes even then!

I feel silly for not thinking of this earlier. It’s not as easy to ‘write’ this way for me but it’s possible. I’m sure once I get in the habit again things will go well.

I’m not at home at them moment but when I get there I’m going to install the software and start using it. I will have to close my door because I can’t do it in front of anyone else, not even my kids. I’m the type who wouldn’t even order a pizza in front of my husband. (Ordering online is the best thing ever!).

Hopefully it will work out the way I think it will. If it doesn’t, that’s okay. At least I’ll get more story out of my head during a time I haven’t been able to. Even the lessening of the irritation I feel when having to get into bed should help. Maybe my muse will come out and play again.

As for my new Nano project, I’m happy with it so far. Since picking it up I’ve already made major changes but none of them changed the flow of the story in a bad way. It’s still going to end the same way but getting there is much stronger now. I’ll have to replot a bit but I did a sticky note outline so it won’t be hard.

The main change is with a young boy introduced in the beginning of the story. He’s an important character but not the main one. Originally my main character (MC) rescues him and takes him to a nearby garrison. He was going to show back up later and his identity was going to surprise my MC. Now she’s going to keep the boy with her. She still won’t know who he is until late in the story. He’s going to be a handful and this kid is full of it but with good reason.

Protecting him adds a sense of urgency, on top of her hiding from the bad guys. Dealing with him adds some small conflict and the byplay between the boy and a man who joins them later will add more depth.

None of this changes the last act except when the boy does his part, it will mean more to the reader. I’m still developing this character but I decided to do it as I go because I’ve already stalled out too much this month.

I’ll update more about this story as it goes along.

Medical: My pain management doctor is awesome. His PA is not. A while back I went to an appointment and saw the PA. She told me I should get an injection to help with my back pain. If it didn’t give me enough relief then she thought we should burn off the nerve. This would require a nerve block, which is basically a test to make sure they get the right nerves. Then the actually burning if the test worked out.

After first losing my paperwork and lots of confusion and many calls I finally got an appointment for the first injection. Except it didn’t happen. Oh, I did get an injection, but it was the nerve block. The PA basically forgot a step. I’m irritated with her but to be honest it works out for the best. I thought doing the first injection was a waste of time because it was clear I’d eventually have to do the burn procedure.

Because of her mistake I’ll probably be able to get the burning procedures done before the end of the year. They do one side, wait two weeks and do the other. This is good because if it’s done before December 31st, I won’t have a pay a dime. I’ve had so many medical things happen this year that I met my maximum payout. Money things aside, I want the relief now so I’m not complaining about the PA’s dumb move.

However, this could have easily worked against me. So I’ll have to be careful with her and make sure I write everything down and keep on top of everything I’m told and make sure stuff not only gets done, but gets done in the order it should.

Unfortunately the nerve block procedure only lasts a day so I’m still in tons of pain but at least I have hope. The next procedure will actually cause me extra pain for a while, probably a few weeks but I’ve done it before and it’s worth it.

I’ll let everyone know how it goes.

Reading: I am rereading David Eddings. I started with The Belgariad, then read The Mallorian. I moved on to The Elenium and now I’m on the second book of the Tamuli. The first two I mentioned consist of five books each and follow the same characters throughout. The other two are both trilogies set in a different world. I reread this books at least once a year. I shouldn’t be reading so much during Nanowrimo but it’s what I do when I can’t write. I didn’t want to start any new books because I would get too distracted from my own work.

I’ll finish the last trilogy before November is gone so I might pick up one of the companion books to The Belgariad. One of them is very long so hopefully it will get me through the month. There is a new book tempting me but I’ll resist for as long as I can.

Gym: I haven’t gone every day but I do go most days. I’m still trying to find what works for me. There are certain exercises I can’t do and others that I have to be careful with the amount of weight I use. I’m not progressing, as in not increasing the intensity, but I’m staying steady. Maybe after my procedure I’ll be able to work harder.

That’s all for now. I’ll post a Nanowrimo update soon.

 

Nanowrimo 2016 Update #4

I’m slowly catching up. I’m still 5000 words behind but it’s nice to see the gap closing. I might not win Nanowrimo this year but I’m glad I’m trying. So far today I’ve written a bit over 2200 words and I hope to write some more later.

I dumped my first Nano project because it was not working the way I thought it would. The story needs more thought and plenty of changes before it can progress. Nanowrimo is not the time to redo a story so it’s on the back burner for now.

Another story raised its hand and politely asked to be considered. It’s one I previously plotted but hadn’t started writing yet. I would have but I wasn’t completely happy with where the story was going as I planned it out. So I was reluctant to pick it back up after putting aside another problematic story.

Still, I decided to give it a look and as I read through my notes I could clearly see what it needed. I made an index card outline and liked where it went. So now I’m writing it. I’m only 3000 words into it but I’m invested again. I always loved the idea of this story and I’m glad it’s starting to see the light of day.

All l have to do is keep my muse happy now. I’ll let you all know how it goes.


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Nanowrimo 2016 Update # 3.5

I said 3.5 because I haven’t written since the last update. I’m five thousand words behind at this point. I’m not sure what I will do but I managed to figure a couple of things out.

First was what is missing from my Nano project: a relationship. I have this weird rebellious thing in me where I try to avoid romantic stuff in writing. I guess I’m afraid the story will be perceived as a different genre than it’s meant to be.

This novel is urban fantasy but if I make my characters fall in love then it could be put into paranormal romance by some. I don’t actually have anything against romance, I just don’t think I can write it well. I don’t want someone to pick up this book thinking it will be all about the relationship and walk away unsatisfied.

It gets more complicated because this story might Need to be romance. It started out plot driven and now is so character driven it surprised me and I’m unsure how to proceed.

I need to decide which road I’ll go down. Either choice will be hard for me. I have to choose between writing in a genre I’ve never tackled or try to replot and completely change what I’ve already written. I may need to wait until Nanowrimo is over to decide.

For now I’ll probably change projects. My muse can’t make up my mind for me at this point though. I’ve been looking into my middle grade project. It’s meant to be a series. I was thinking of making it a collection of longer short stories instead. I’ve been working on a timeline for it and coming up with story ideas.

If I don’t work on that one, then it’s likely I’ll work on one I call The Order Of Life. I’ll probably change the title because I don’t think the acronym TOOL is appropriate for the content. There is a lot of political intrigue involved. Since I have no experience with that I’m not sure I want to jump back into this story. It is the most planned project I have though. At least I can fall back on it.

Part of me wishes I could magically come up with a new idea to run with so I don’t have to make decisions. Even some short story ideas would be welcome at this point. I just want to make stuff up again!

The election was another issue. It stressed me out more than I realized and now it’s over, I’m hoping my muse will come out of hiding.

Cross your fingers for me!


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Nanowrimo 2016 Update #3

Yesterday my word count was 10,305. I’m caught up, assuming I meet my goal today. Unfortunately, I haven’t written anything today and I’m not sure if I will or not. I encountered a problem I’ve never had, not only during Nanowrimo but with writing in general. My story is finished, except it’s not.

Let me explain, since I know that sounds odd. I thought I was prepared enough to write this story but apparently I wasn’t. All the major scenes were planned out. I wrote scene cards and pinned them on a cork board and was confident I knew how to get from beginning to end.

I did. I wrote every one of those scenes. The problem is, with only a couple of exceptions, I only wrote those scenes. Normally, I start with my opener and the first few scenes. Then, if I’m lucky, some magic happens between the first sequence and the next, or even between those first scenes. Call it filler if you will, or transitions, or whatever. It didn’t happen this time. This story reads like a 100 meter dash instead of the marathon it needs to be!

This could mean several things. It could simply indicate this shouldn’t be a novel length story, but I don’t think so. It could mean I am not as interested in the story as I believed. Maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be. Perhaps this novel needs a lot more planning than previous ones, or less. It’s changed a lot since I first conceived it, so it could be it changed so much my muse doesn’t understand it anymore.

I don’t know what the problem is, so I don’t know how to proceed. Some of what’s missing is what I call padding. I write very little description in a first draft, unless it directly impacts the characters. I have several scenes where I’ve fleshed out the setting a lot and others that only say ‘forest’, ‘town square’, ‘grocery store’, etc.’ I haven’t taken the time to describe either main character or any of the lesser but important ones. I did spend some time on the villain though. I figure I know what they look like so I can just get the story out and add that stuff later.

If I go in and add all the items listed above, I would still only have about 15,000 – 20,000 words. I need to take some time to figure out what happens in between the crucial scenes. Therein lies my biggest problem. I’m doing Nanowrimo. I don’t have time to flesh out a story I thought I understood and still write 50k words.

So today, I’m taking some time to think and make decisions. Do I set aside this story and pick up something else so I can get the word count? I’ve done this before, every year I’ve participated actually. It seems to be my pattern. Or, do I take the time to work on a story I believe has massive potential and give up on Nanowrimo? I can’t do both.

Either choice is appealing to me equally. I will hate making this decision. I honestly don’t know what I should do.

I’ll post another update when I figure it out.


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Nanowrimo 2016 Update #1

Yesterday I wrote 1669 words for my Nanowrimo project. About half were written between 12:00 am and 12:30 am. The rest I managed while writing with my best friend in the afternoon. Everything except him distracted me. Staying up three hours past my bedtime and sleeping badly took its toll.

I feel lucky I met the daily Nano goal (which is 1667). Nothing could make me reread anything I wrote yesterday though. I was so out of it I can’t be sure any of it makes sense. If I read it, I’ll want to fix it. This cannot be allowed. My inner editor is a bitch and will take over, throwing me out of creative mode.

So I’m going to start today’s writing with the assumption I did everything right. Since I’m trying to write in a linear manner, I’ll simply write the next scene, then the next and so on.

All the past Nanowrimos I jumped around in the story. I started out with the beginning but at some point jumped to the end, then back to the middle, and all over the place. Each year I ended up getting stalled and moving to another story. The hopping around in my timeline might have been the reason. So I’m going to try to stay on track this time. Try is the keyword here.

I won’t beat myself up if I do end up following my usual pattern though. What matters is words. I’ve got lots of those.

My goal for today is 2000 words. I prefer to stay ahead as much as possible. There are several days this month I won’t be able to write much and at least one where I can’t write at all. So it’s important I have days where I write more than the regular goal.

Tomorrow is one of the no write days. It’s injection day. I’ve had several of these procedures but I’ve never looked forward to one this much. Sure it will suck getting an IV but if this thing works then it might get me through the month with less pain. Less pain means more writing. I’m very worried back pain will dictate whether I win this year or not so I desperately want this injection to work for me.

I will posts updates when I can but I hope to be too busy to do it often. Good luck to all the other participants!


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