Accountability Friday: Failing Up

 

So I can tell you that I didn’t meet all of my goals this week, but I am feeling fairly accomplished anyway because despite the acute challenges of my week, I still managed to create fiction. I’m looking forward to snuggling up to this computer and finishing up a few things so that I can walk into this weekend feeling really accomplished. Moreover, I feel like I can end this week feeling stronger than I did the week before: I have moved my family, I have settled them into our new home and our new life, and I was still able to create something for myself in the process. That’s fantastic.

Let’s go to the board:

 

1) I’m so pumped about Chuck’s Flash Fiction challenge this week. We’ve got to create our own “punk” genre and the muse threw something cool at me: Blacksploitation Samurai-Punk. Oh yeah. Get pumped. It’s going to be a great week.

Done and posted.

2) I’m going to, for the love of God, edit this prequel for Before Her Time. I’m excited to finish and put it back out there.

Can’t cross this out right at this moment, but I’m on track to finish tonight. And I have a reader for it, which makes me happy.

3) I have notes in my notebook for a start of the reboot for the original Before Her Time. What I have (5 handwritten pages) is pretty good. I’m going to digitize and continue. I’d like to post that by the end of the week.

I’m going to table this until Monday so that I can start fresh and feel like that is going to be the Story of the Week.

 

Thanks for sticking with me as this has been a bit of a rocky blogging time. But I’m back and I’m settled and I’m ready to rock and roll. I have ideas in my head and words that need to be written. and published.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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1,000 word Excerpt: Accountability (Work in Progress, Working title)

 

I wrote a flash fiction a few weeks ago called Before Her Time, about a woman perceived to be a “witch” and the man who loved her. It wasn’t the best thing that I’ve ever written, but it got me thinking about women, power and society. I wanted to think about her origin story, and write more about her. Her world and character really lit up my imagination. It turns out the story has legs. This is the first of multiple stories involving Victoria, the Duchess of Duxbury. It is still a work in progress, which I’ve submitted to my writing group for critique. I’ve already veen given a few really great suggestions, which I’ll be incorporating this week. When I’m done, I’ll post the short story in its entirety on this blog.

Here is the first 1,000 words (and remember, this hasn’t been fully tightened and edited yet, so it will most likely changed between now and the final version).

 

 

Finer ships had never been produced in the kingdom, and the Duchess of Duxbury looked upon them with the proudest smile that she could muster. Her men had worked hard, and they were to be rewarded today with the best food and wine she could find. Famers from her duchy and the two surrounding had fallen all over themselves to get a piece of the fortune she was using to purchase the food, wine and ale for the celebration, and she was happy to give.

Five ships were in the docks, fitted and ready to sail to the far corners of an ever expanding world. None of her men were sailors. Those men would be trickling in over the next few days to set the ships on their maiden voyages. When the docks cleared, her men would start anew on five more for another year. This was the third completion of the cycle, and orders came in by the day, along with more skilled craftsmen looking for work. The Duchess stifled a giddy giggle. The success and growth seemed to have happened over night.

“You look like a proud mother looking after her children, Tori,” her good friend and chief advisor, Alistair, observed in a low tone.

Liza, Tori’s governess, overheard and cleared her throat. “The Victoria, Duchess of Duxbury, should be very pleased with the progress of her people. Their hard work is for her benefit, and for the benefit of our great kingdom.”

Tori’s proud smile faded into her unimpressed expression. Liza’s undergarments were always just a bit too tight.

“Will you be addressing the men now, your grace? Shall I have them gathered?” Alistair, too, had better things to do than mind the minder.

“This is their day. Let them have it. I shall address them later. Bring me the dock master. I should like to tour the men’s good work.”

Alistair nodded his head in acknowledgment, but hesitated before he turned to do his duty. Tori’s mind was on other things. She’d noticed something missing from the revelry of the feast on the docks below.

“There aren’t a lot of women here, Liza. Where are the wives? The sweethearts?”

“Since the Duchess chooses to set a poor example by not being married herself,” Liza started. Tori let out an audible and annoyed sigh. Enough to make Liza change course. “I believe that a lot of these men are simply unattached, your grace.”

“These men live here, they eat here, they drink here, and they’ve laundry and other needs. Women usually fill those needs, yet there are none here. This makes no sense, Liza, and it has nothing to do with my attachments.”

Liza tittered for a moment, then gave a sort of shrug. It was odd not to see any other women about. The men were serving themselves ale and food was being served by the farmers who brought it or the cooks who prepared it. Tori thought about this for a few more moments before her attention drifted to the large and beautiful ships that were about to leave her shores. They were beautiful, they were strong, and they were a perfect representation of her land and her people.

Alistair returned with the dockmaster, a tall, older gentleman with a slender build but for noticeable belly built from years of drinking ale. He genuflected, he eyes downcast.

“You’ve built fine ships that will bring more people and money to our duchy, dockmaster. I commend you,” Tori greeted warmly.

The man stood, “to be in the presence of my beautiful duchess is too great a reward, your grace.”

Liza frowned in disapproval, though Tori giggled at the compliment. “Your duchess would like a tour of your ships, good sir. Off you go!”

“Please don’t mind my governess,” Tori’s laugh masked her growing annoyance, “would you please show us your ships.”

The group walked toward the docks and were noticed by the happy workmen, who stopped and cheered as they walked by. Tori loved the attention, rarely having the opportunity to come face to face with happy citizens of her duchy. She stopped and greeted some of the men as they walked passed before they took the long walk down the pier and onto the first ship.

“This is your very basic merchant ship, you grace,” the dockmaster explained as they walked onto the deck, “but it is fast. Probably among the fastest we’ve ever built…”

The others listened with interest, and Tori put on her listening face, but her mind wandered back to the men reveling on the deck. So many men with so few women about tugged at her. She walked around the deck and into the holds below. It was a beautiful ship, with plenty of room for cargo and goods.

The second and third ship were much of the same. She looked about and was generally please. When they got off the third ship, she took steps toward the fourth.

“Your grace, the other two ships are more of the same,” The dockmaster rung his hands, “I would hate to tire you out or, worse, waste your time by showing you identical ships.”

Tori stopped to eye them and noticed differences in the bodies of the last two as compared with the first she’d seen. While the first three were made for speed as well as space, the last two seemed to emphasize more space than nimble speed across the seas.

“I see some details that I think would be nice to look at up close,” Tori said, and took a few steps.

Alistair stepped forward, “your grace, you still must address the gathered men and as you can see, they are already becoming a bit raucous.”

Tori looked the ships over and wondered how much of a difference they would be. They were ships, well made and destined to take the fame of her craftsmen to far places. She turned her back to them and prepared herself for addressing the gathered men.

Accountability Friday: A Creative but Less-Than-Productive Week

Wow, what a week. If I could give a true grade to myself for what I’ve done, I’d give myself a “C”. The reason why? I could have gotten more done, but I ended up watching a lot of television this week. I spent a lot of time chasing babies or watching the Zimmerman trial during my usual writing time.  I was also so brain-dead after the dinner/bath/bedtime routine that I couldn’t contemplate writing, too. But that’s not a good excuse. I should have gotten more done this week.

 

1) Work on an idea for a new character/story, that connects two interesting ideas that came to me this weekend.

Not crossing it out because I’m not done, but I’m 2,000 words into a really great story/character idea. I’m hoping to post an excerpt on Monday, and submit it for group critique as well.

2) Rewrite Before Her Time completely and submit that for critique also.

I knew that I bit off more than I could chew this week. Before her Time will come next week…along with a flash fic too?

3) Return to my novel project, and create one complete area of world building–focus on Religion and Culture this week.

*sigh* Short story writing is really killing my novel writing… I’m going to completely table the novel idea right now. We’re going to revisit in October, plan for it, and then rock it out for Nano in November.

4) Enter Chuck’s sentence contest this week with the goal of winning.

Done. I wasn’t among the winners, but the ones that Chuck chose are interesting! I hope I can write a flash fic next week…

 

I’m excited about the idea that I’m developing. I wish that I had spent more time on it this week…

 

Hope you all have restful, inspiring weekend!

Accountability Friday: Did a Reduction of Time Help or Hinder?

 

 

Believe it or not, I averaged about 2500 words every day this week. Most of those words were dedicated to one blog or another, but they were words put to digital paper, and I’m counting them. It’s Friday morning at 6am and I have real life things to do today. So let’s get to the board and see how I did:

 

1) More posting, more plugs: I’m going to write 5 posts this week and I’m going to link to at least 3 other writing blogs that I enjoy. More shout outs means a better writing community for us all.

5 out of 5 and no technicalities in sight! Feeling very blog-accomplished this week! I was even inspired by some of my other favorite blogs this week, like Bottled Worder!

2)  Finish my Friday Flash Fiction (I’m 800 words in) and have it posted.

Done, posted, happy with it. There were some other really fantastic entries, too, specifically this one over at Panning for Clouds, which is a combo of Farris Bueller and Walking Dead. He did a great job capturing the perfect voice for the protagonist and drawing up a world. I think that Mr. Cook is a fantastic writer. I’m really excited to get to read his work, and I’m so grateful for how much he contributes to the writing community that I belong to (he gives most excellent critiques). If you enjoyed Leaving So Soon, the story that I posted earlier this week, you’ll love The World Ended and I Still Need Condoms.

3) Work on world building this week for the novel, A Terrible Thing To Waste.

Did it. Not as accomplished as I’d like it to be, but I did do some work. Sooooo it counts.

4) Look for a market for Missed Opportunity, which is now finished. (Maybe use Duotrope? Is that a good thing to use?)

Thank God for my writing community–folks gave me a few suggestions as to where to start my search. I have a few prospects already. It’s my goal to get Missed Opportunity and Never a Day (which I renamed, but that’s not important) submitted to a few markets by Friday next week.

5) Critique at least 2 other works by other people in my writing community

Half done. I was only able to critique one fully. There were a few others that I made comments on, but they weren’t offered up for critique per se. So I’m not crossing it off because I didn’t really meet the goal.

6) Begin work on a new short story. Short stories on Saturdays haven’t been working, so we need a new day. Find inspiration, find a day, and get writing.

Didn’t do this. Mostly because I wasn’t really inspired this week. I’m deciding that it should be more about quality and quantity (hmmmm, what a delicious excuse not to write). I will get back on the composition horse next week.

 

 

Damn! It’s like high school all over again–give me as little time as possible, I make shit happen. Hilarious!

 

Hope that you all had productive weeks. Have a great weekend!

Writer Wednesday: Short Weeks, Extra Work

 

How are you doing, writing world? I feel like my fingers have been flying all day every day this week! What’s up with that!?!?!

Let’s see what I’ve accomplished for all of this typing:

1) More posting, more plugs: I’m going to write 5 posts this week and I’m going to link to at least 3 other writing blogs that I enjoy. More shout outs means a better writing community for us all.

This is post 3 of five this week! And you should totally check out the guest post that I wrote for my good friend over at Notebook Blogairy! (See what I did there?)

2)  Finish my Friday Flash Fiction (I’m 800 words in) and have it posted.

Oh yes! Finished this and got some pretty good reviews on it! Will post in a moment!

3) Work on world building this week for the novel, A Terrible Thing To Waste.

This is my primary task this evening…especially because I’ve come to a bit of a world building conundrum…and a plot problem simultaneously. Much pondering must occur.

4) Look for a market for Missed Opportunity, which is now finished. (Maybe use Duotrope? Is that a good thing to use?)

I have not done this, mostly because I haven’t decided if it’s a good idea. In other words, I’m a bit chicken shit. Gonna force myself to do this.

5) Critique at least 2 other works by other people in my writing community

Working on this. Nobody has posted anything recently…so I might not be able to do this one…

6) Begin work on a new short story. Short stories on Saturdays haven’t been working, so we need a new day. Find inspiration, find a day, and get writing.

Inspiration hasn’t really struck me yet. My head is swimming with many, many other tasks. Hopefully, while I’m twisting my hair, lightening will somehow strike.

 

Not a whole lot is crossed out yet, but the progress bar is slowly moving toward the right on every one of these tasks! We’re gonna have a successful week. I can just feel it!

 

How are ya’ll doing, writing friends? Share your progress!

Accountability Friday: Callin’ a Technicality

 

What a week. I’ve written something for somebody every day this week. How much of that writing accomplished my goals for the week? Let’s see

 

1) We’re gonna do it this week: 5 posts on this blog! Can I do it?? Let’s see!!

Ok. I know that you’re like “yo, I didn’t see that 5th post.” Yeah, you are right. I’m getting off on a technicality. I totally wrote a guest post for my friend over at the Notebook Blogairy, and it will come up sometime next week. So it’s not a post for THIS week, but a post for NEXT week. But it’s totally written, so I’m saying 5 posts!

2) Tighten up Missed Opportunity and repost the story to my critique forum. I’m late on this. This must be done tonight before I get to other things I need to do!

Done.

3) May was designated to characters in my novel. This month, we’re working on culture/politics/religion and other aspects of world building. This week, I’m working on culture. So excited!

…..roar. I have great ideas, but I didn’t try to execute any of them this week. I’m leaving this as undone… Though, my muse is talking to me. I have ideas, I swear.

4) Create a Flash Fiction for this week’s challenge. I didn’t get a chance to finish late week, but this week, I’ll have something posted by Friday. My words are mint, divorce, moon.

I wrote something. It sucks. No, really, it sucks. But 1000 words were written. I’m too ashamed if its suckiness to post it here.

5) Get inspired for Short Story Saturday (something I haven’t done in a few weeks)

I’m thinking about this. I have a few ideas… Gonna write a story tomorrow morning!

Optimism Monday: So Much To Do This Week!

 

My goodness gracious. My Mommy Blog is Freshly Pressed today, so I have been staring at my screen overwhelmed by all of the visits and comments. It is all I can do not to be paralyzed by all of the follows, the comments and the views!!

But as excited as I am, I still have a whole week of writing ahead of me. Some of it must be done TONIGHT!

Let’s go to the board:

1) We’re gonna do it this week: 5 posts on this blog! Can I do it?? Let’s see!!

2) Tighten up Missed Opportunity and repost the story to my critique forum. I’m late on this. This must be done tonight before I get to other things I need to do!

3) May was designated to characters in my novel. This month, we’re working on culture/politics/religion and other aspects of world building. This week, I’m working on culture. So excited!

4) Create a Flash Fiction for this week’s challenge. I didn’t get a chance to finish late week, but this week, I’ll have something posted by Friday. My words are mint, divorce, moon.

5) Get inspired for Short Story Saturday (something I haven’t done in a few weeks)

 

That’s a lot on the plate this week, but the last 2 weeks went so well, I’ve decided to challenge myself.There is nothing better than the satisfaction of striking things off in completion!

Let’s have a great week together. Happy writing!