Writer Wednesday: Heh.

 

Yeah, that’s how I’m going to describe this week. Just a shrug and a “heh.” I was really hoping that the boys were going to settle in to this new place and that we were going to keep it moving as a happy family. I also thought that the stress of moving would pass over me, allowing me to open my mind to writing again.

What I didn’t plan for, on any of our accounts, was the physical fatigue.

Moving is fucking exhausting. We got movers to do the heavy lifting, but there seems to be a lot of lifting and hauling and moving and pushing and pulling after the fact. Not to mention the fact that I went from very flat apartment living to 2 big stair cases of townhouse living. With babies.

So my body is still sore, my brain is still cloudy, and while my muse is fighting to get these ideas out, communication is getting lost in the haze. I wrote 400 words of Chuck’s Flash Fiction last night, and I have ideas coming at me left and right. I can only pray on the time and energy to get them down on digital paper.

So 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.

and I’m still pumped. The 400 words that I have are pretty solid and I’m excited about getting on to this fight. I’m a little worried–this will be the first fight that I’ve ever written. Hope I create something good with the opportunity!

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.

I think I’m going to edit it but not post it to my writer’s group. There were two members who read it and commented, and I’ll give them the opportunity to read it again if they’d like…but It has ballooned to almost 6,000 words and that’s a lot to ask strangers to read. We’ll see.

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 might have this written, but it would be too choppy to post. And again, I don’t know how I feel about posting super long pieces…we’ll see.

Optimism Monday: Moving to an apartment, purchasing a house, and writing?

We are moving in two weeks, and I’m trying to keep it together. After having such a productive week last week, I’d like to keep the momentum going, but this might have to come to a full freaking stop in a few days. We’re moving to a really great new townhouse next week in preparation of my eldest son starting preschool in September. I am so excited and worried I can’t keep my head straight. To make things more complicated, My husband and I encountered a house last week that I’m absolutely in love with. I can’t stop thinking about it. Of course, signing a lease for an apartment only to turn around and sign up for a mortgage makes things interesting… lots to think about. In the meantime, I still have to keep appointments and entertain little babies. My life is a hot mess. 🙂

Let’s go to the boards:

1) Accountability, the prequel for Before Her Time, was well received and torn to pieces by my writing group. I have a lot of work to do this week, and that will be my first priority.

2) If I can, I’d like to rewrite and expand Before Her Time, and have that ready for posting to the group by Friday.

3) Chuck’s weekly challenge involves the plot generator this week. I’ve hit that button about 100 times in the course of 3 days, and I encountered about 3 viable ideas. I’m going to try to find a prompt, but if something doesn’t pop and speak to me by tomorrow morning  his might be a wash.

That is seemingly short, but that represents about 8,000-9,000 words worth of work. Let’s hope I can pull it off!

Hope you have a word-packed week ahead of you!!

Accountability Friday: Everything is Commin’ Up Roses!

 

Two successful weeks in a row? Let’s go to the board!

1. 3 Blog posts plus a bonus. We’ll slowly build to five posts a week.

Booyah! The WordPress scheduling feature is my new best friend! Banged out that little ditty about inspiration when the boys were napping one day this week. Best thing ever. I think I will be able to pull off 5 posts next week!

2. Put up Missed Opportunity for critique and integrate critique into a true final.

Booyah! Got some really great feedback. Gonna tighten up this beauty and then repost for one more critique. Hope to submit this piece sometime next week.

3. Write a Flash Fiction for this week’s challenge, which has to do with psychics and what not. I chose Divination… I’m not going to lie, I’m not wholly excited about this challenge (paranormal doesn’t turn me on as a reader, so it isn’t singing to me as a writer.) We’re gonna challenge ourselves and make it work! (And my offer still stands. I’ll link to yours if you link to mine!)

Semi-Booyah: I have something written, but I didn’t finish it by the noon deadline. I like the story, but I don’t like-like the story…and since I have spent my day taking the boys to the pool and preparing my home for an in-law onslaught, I haven’t had time to edit and post it. I hope to do that tonight after everybody leaves.

4. Dedicate this week to Junia and Tinsley, the last two characters of my novel to work on. I’m excited to be finishing this phase of character building. Gotta try to stay on schedule so that I can start writing on August 1st. It’s so close and yet so far and there is must more to do!

Had this one on lock by Wednesday!!!

 

Everything is crossed off this week! What, what!!!!! Feeling so pumped going into the weekend!!!

 

Now, if only I could shake off these damned in-laws.

Hope that you all have a great (and in-law free!) weekend!!!

The Power of Critique and My Funky Writing Week

 

I know that it’s Accountability Friday, and I really should break out my task list right now to show my failures.

Fuck it. Let’s just go ahead and do that:

1. Aside from the 3 progress report posts, write 2 blog posts about my writing and who I am writing for.

I didn’t even get through my normal 3 this week! I am going to be thinking more about this blog and platform, and figuring out a way to make it more doable as well as successful.

2. Write a 1000 word Flash Fiction for this week’s challenge. My rolls: Weird Western and Haunted House. I have such a great idea for this!  Post fiction by noon on Friday.

I DID manage to do this! and I feel like I created a cool idea, too! Unfortunately, horror/scary really isn’t my gig, so that idea is going to die with that story. Maybe someday I’ll genre bend again and return to that world. There might be a way to save Richard…if Richard is worth saving?

3. Work on Escort Mission and start another work, 6:45. 

I didn’t work on any short stories this week beyond Never a Day and that Flash Fiction.

4. Polish current edit in progress: Never a Day Quiet. Already got some great critiques for this.

I was given two great Critiques this week on Never a Day, and while one of them was interesting, the other was devastating. I am considering rewriting the story for a second time. The majority of my writing/editing efforts this week went into this piece instead of other works. To realize last night that I will probably need to whip the slate clean and try again was simply heart breaking.

5. Work on Haley, a secondary character in my novel, A Terrible Thing to Waste. Post excerpts (along with the other excerpts from previous weeks) on Sunday.

did work on Haley this week and I love her. She is going to be one of my more fun and stronger characters in my novel. She was probably the only highlight of my week. I’m almost ready to put up excerpts. As soon as I’m done developing characters (there are 6 characters who I want to highlight and follow), I’ll put up all of their excerpts at once.

6. Critique at least 3 other short stories in the forums of my two writing communities this week.

I got 2 powerful critiques this week, yet I wasn’t able to replicate the same sort of commitment to other pieces. I did read one…and it confused the hell out of me. I couldn’t decide if it was because of my own stupidity or if it was because the author missed something. I couldn’t bring myself to write the critique because I was a coward. I do want to commit to reading more of my peers’ work and critiquing them, so as to get more critiques for my own work.

 

I realized this week how hungry I’ve been for critiques. I submitted a work for an anthology two weeks ago and wasn’t accepted–the notes were very positive, with only a few minor edits suggested. But one of the notes made me angry. Instead of finding the nuance and subtlety in the conflict, a person wrote “nothing happened. No conflict at all.” What made me angry was not that the person didn’t like the work, but that her note was not helpful. I realized that I needed to go searching for more people, more eyeballs on my words.

I found two great writing communities–one that I had sort of forgotten about and rejoined, the other a totally new one but part of a corner of the internet that I’m familiar with. Both welcomed me with open arms and both have given me a lot of great feedback.

And then I made a mistake.

I gave a family member Never a Day because I consider her to be a brutal editor and I wanted her to tear it apart grammatically. Instead, she tore apart the content in a way that has made me re-consider the entire piece.

Before you say “you should just ignore her critique,” you must understand that her critique was very specific and insightful. It wasn’t about content, it was about message. Where I thought that I was writing about something specific and important, my reader couldn’t get passed the message that she had found on her own. Once she gleaned that message, she couldn’t get passed it. Indeed, she said that the message that she found made the story “fucked up” for her.

At first I thought that I had done something right. The story is designed to make people thing. She was thinking and it moved her.
But it moved her in the wrong direction about the wrong things. She got distracted somewhere.

And now I feel compelled to rewrite and try again.

I don’t mind re-writing. Indeed, I relish the opportunity of rewrites. I recognize that first drafts, even second drafts, suck. But in this case, I’ve been working on this story for a month and I thought that it was in a great place. I thought that it was ready to submit or be put aside for some e-publishing.

So now this story is a time suck. It’s taking away from my novel, from other pieces that could garner me more opportunities to publish and grow. I’m anxious to get beyond this piece, as much as I appreciate the process that I’m going through.

So that’s why my task-list is all sorts of fail.

Blech. What a week.

I don’t even want to LOOK at my task list. But I must. So here we go…ctrl-v!

  1. Beyond the usual check in blog posts, write 2 additional posts: One regarding why I write and who I am writing for, the other regarding where I draw my inspiration from and how my sons work into my inspirational moments.

…oy yoy yoy….I pray I can get one done today and maybe one done tomorrow. Or maybe tomorrow and Friday…

  1. Work on my third protagonist, who I am considering to be a 2nd tier character, Urban. Post an excerpt on this page.

Work has been done! I don’t know if I’ll have an excerpt ready, but work has been done. WOO HOO!

  1. Receive notes and incorporate them into two short stories: Never a Day Quiet and Missed Opportunity in preparation to submit them for publication.

I received notes on Missed Opportunity that were somewhat helpful. It is going to take a bit of time to complete the edits. I haven’t received notes from Never a Day, but I’m about to submit it to my writing group for critique.

  1. Finish Escort Mission in a real way, seek  readers for content editing.

…..oy yoy yoy….this story is killing me.

  1. Finish Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge (1000 words!). Basically, rewrite it. Post it here and link it on his blog.

……you’d think that 1000 words wouldn’t be that difficult. KILLING ME!

  1. Find some sort of inspiration for Short Story Saturday. Mother’s Day edition, maybe?

I’ve got too many short stories to think about any more!

In summary, I’m in EPIC FAIL MODE! Gotta turn this puppy around somehow…

Somehow.

I hope that your week is going better than mine!

New Spring Green makes for an Inspiring Week!

 

The sun is shining, the grass and trees are green, the sky is blue, the clouds are puffy and the air is so, so sweet.

What a fine week for writing.

What’s on the table?

  1. Beyond the usual check in blog posts, write 2 additional posts: One regarding why I write and who I am writing for, the other regarding where I draw my inspiration from and how my sons work into my inspirational moments.
  2. Work on my third protagonist, who I am considering to be a 2nd tier character, Urban. Post an excerpt on this page.
  3. Receive notes and incorporate them into two short stories: Never a Day Quiet and Missed Opportunity in preparation to submit them for publication.
  4. Finish Escort Mission in a real way, seek  readers for content editing.
  5. Finish Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge (1000 words!). Basically, rewrite it. Post it here and link it on his blog.
  6. Find some sort of inspiration for Short Story Saturday. Mother’s Day edition, maybe?

Let’s see what we can achieve this week. Somehow, it’s Monday, but I feel behind already. There is much to do!

What’s on your task list this week? Want to do the flash fiction with me? I’ll link to yours if you link to mine!

Happy Monday! Happy new week! Happy opportunity to do something creative and amazing!

An accomplished Week!

 

Happy Friday fellow writers and potential readers! How did you fare this week? I’m feeling pretty accomplished this week! Let’s observe the task list:

 

  1. 3 blog posts this week

Alright, this was a cheat. Clearly I’m going to write three posts a week. Won’t put this on my task lists anymore. 🙂 It feels good to cross one off, though!

  1. Finish a first draft of Escort Mission and post excerpts by Friday.

Ok, only half crossing off this one. I really like this story and I’m about half-way through. There is a lot of potential here, but I’m noooottt quuuiiiittteee finished. I have posted an excerpt on my here, so I’m partially done, but I can’t totally take this one off of the list.

  1. Work on my second character for A Terrible Thing to Waste:. Post excerpt of first-person interview by Friday.

I done the work for my character this week, but I’ve decided that I have is a little too raw for publishing on the internet. So I’m going to write a publishable “Character Introduction” for him to post on the web. Something to entice without giving stuff away! Hope to have this done by the end of the weekend.

  1. Seek feedback for current edit-in-progress project, Never a Day Quiet. Post small excerpt (I’m polishing this for submission, so I don’t want to publish too much here).

Feedback sought but not received. Hopefully I’ll get the notes that i need next week. I DID, however, post an excerpt here.

  1. Find some inspiration for this week’s Short Story Saturday (a sequel to Escort Missionperhaps?) Post teaser/inspiration sentence by Friday.

I THOUGHT that I was going to draw inspiration from Escort Mission, and while I’m inspired, I am not fully inspired to write a sequel for it yet (because it’s not finished! Duh!!). The Good news is that Chuck Wendig, on his fantastic blog, has posted a Flash Fiction challenge that looks awesome. The sentence that I’m choosing: “When does the family document the thunder?” 

 

Another week is done, and many words have been written. I’ve taken a few more steps toward my goals and I’m feeling really great about it!

I hope that you, too, are feeling accomplished and hopeful on this Friday! I look forward to starting another week with you again on Monday!