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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dangit

Well, there's only today and tomorrow left of my two week challenge and I've had to spend over a week of it working 12-15 hour days for other people, hence I'm nowhere near where I wanted to be.

Such is life. Nevertheless, I did get a little more work done, lost one more pound (hooray - finally broke through that plateau) and even wrote another page on the short erotica piece I had put on hold. I just couldn't stand seeing all three of those blue bars staying in the same place week after week. :)

Oh, well. NaNoWriMo starts Thursday, so I'll just keep plugging away through November. How are the rest of you doing?


Friday, October 26, 2007

TGIF

Quick update - still working hard for everyone else, not much time for me. I did get in a couple of words today - only 3 pages, but every little bit helps, right? I hope to take tomorrow as a painting day and Sunday as a writing day. Let's see if I can get as much done this weekend as I did the last one. That should help make up for the couple of days I had to miss.

From reading your blogs, it looks like everyone else is hard at work too. We're all getting closer to the finish line - keep up the good work!

Remember: "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." --Richard Bach

And if you need more inspiration, make sure you have The Write Attitude. :)

Now, since I'm really tired, I'm off to relax a bit.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When it rains...

Steve, Spy, Edie, Avery, Marcia, LaDonna - how's it going out there?

I'm hanging in, but not at the pace I'd hoped for. We were under Murphy's Law yesterday, and today... well, I'm adding a tag of "Magical Mondays" to this blog because let me tell you how it's been.

(Edie & Spy, this one's for you.) :)

Let's see if I can get the timeline straight since I'm still sleep-deprived.

A couple of days ago, I worried that I needed to find work. Spy said don't worry about it, the universe has a way of swooping in at the last minute, and Edie said she was visualizing money raining down on me.

Well, earlier in the month, I had sold a piece of artwork on eBay for a fairly significant sum but it got lost in the mail. Fortunately, the woman who bought it was absolutely lovely. When I explained the other day that I couldn't file an insurance claim on the loss until 21 days had passed (we'd already waited 14 on a package that was sent 3-day priority) she said she'd like to wait another week to see if it arrived, or have me paint her another one instead of give her money back.

That was extremely nice of her and a big relief to me. So, I said a few prayers that it would find its way to her, or that it would somehow work out.

Yesterday, I gathered my purse and keys to go buy the supplies to make her another one since I'd given up hope that we'd ever see the original again. As I entered the lobby of our building, I saw it. Sitting in front of my mailbox was the package -- returned to sender. I had mislabeled it and they'd sent it back. Now everyone wins. :) I had also told her about another painting I was working on, and she wants me to let her know when I'm finished so she can bid on that. What a sweetheart.

(That was also a welcome change from the fireman fiasco which had started out the morning!)

A little while later, I got an email from a former colleague asking for help with a project she had that's due tomorrow. Well, that meant less writing time, but it also meant more money, so I said, "sure."

A few hours after that, I got an email from my former boss (who is now working where I'd interviewed last Monday) who said that they will be making me a formal offer as soon as they finish with the Human Resources paperwork.

Yippee! More money, but hmm.... did I mention I signed up for Nano again, thinking I'd have time after all?

Today, I got two more emails with requests from others who'd like me to do some contract work for them. One is a fairly significant project due by November 12. It also pays pretty well.

Spy, you were right. :)

Though, did I mention I was trying to finish one novel before the end of October, and another one in November? But did I also mention I was broke and needed the money? LOL

So... Edie....is there any way you can visualize money AND time raining down on me? *grin* Oh, and best sellers for all of us. Thanks, you're the best. :)

Now here's a little bit of fun that I used with NaNoWriMo last year. I can't change the word count, but it does let me change the number of words and the action of the cartoon guy. Since the percentage almost matches my page count #, I thought I'd throw him in. (Of course, I may take Steve's advice and increase my font to 48pt - I should be finished at that rate.) :)


Sunday, October 21, 2007

What's a gal to do?


Well, day three of the two-week challenge is moving along swiftly. I discovered something a little while ago. If I post word count on the zokutou meter, the percentage is much less than if I post page count. And if I use Courier font vs. Times, the page count goes even higher. I've wrestled with my conscience, and my ability to rationalize seems to be winning. :)

I mean, many pubs want things in Courier, right? So it should be okay to use that. And my original goal was 280 pages, right? I only estimated that it would be around 70K when I finished with the 280 pages--I didn't make the 70K my initial goal--isn't that true? And besides, if it's less than 70K, most e-pubs consider 60K and above to be full novels, don't they?

Honestly, how can you expect me to be satisfied with a rating of 15.8% finished when I can have 22.1% right now, and the day isn't even over? That's just unreasonable. :)

So how's it going for you LaDonna, Steve, Edie, Marcia, Spy? Any little tips or tricks to keep you going?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Updates, Part 2

Well, sort of.

Not much to report, actually. I haven't lost any more weight, but I haven't gained either, so that's at least good. Will just have to find a way to break through the plateau. However, I did manage to break through a bit of the writing plateau (a.k.a. writer's block, stall, laziness, whatever you want to call it.)

It went like this:

I'd been toying with the idea of doing NaNoWriMo next month, even though I know I'll need to be doing some serious job hunting and/or working then. (The interview I had Monday seemed to go well, but I still don't know anything.) I also just finished a book (one I'd recommend - there were a few issues with it, but overall, she made me laugh on nearly every page) called TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR by Lani Diane Rich. In the author biography, she mentioned the book was one she wrote during NaNoWriMo. I was impressed. I also remembered the book my friend Amber wrote during Nano last year - it was outstanding. Hmm, says I, should I take the plunge?

The only plunge was one of cold, sobering reality. I need November to focus on financial survival. Period. However, I continued to argue with myself, November is still two weeks away. What about Book in a Week? (BIAW) It may not be an official start time, but it might work. Stewart had also posted a short story writing challenge to his group to help break through blocks. There were still opportunities.

I did a bit of research--all of which suggest that rapid writing, writing past the inner critic--would make for magical happenings. I also read a lot of great blogs (mainly to avoid acting on my research) and decided to give myself a two week, 20 page a day challenge.

It started today, folks. I managed 25 pages so far, and I had no idea what I was going to write when I started. I considered finishing the novella, but that wouldn't have lasted more than a day or two. It had to be big, so I went with a kernel of an idea that I'd had floating around since last year, but never followed up on because I really had no idea what to do with it.

So it's true what they say. If you can make it past the inner critic, stifle the inner editor, you CAN just write and write and write. Doesn't mean it will all be good, but it doesn't have to be. The point is to just get it down. Revise later. But, gah, that's hard for me! It was made even harder by some great posts by Bernita and Steve Malley. Their advice kept ringing in my head, slowing me down, but I repeated the mantra, "You will fix it later!" and moved on.

I wrote for 6 hours today with many, many breaks. I can't do that when I work full time, so I want to do it while I can. Let's see if I hold up for two weeks. I hope so. 20 pages/day for 14 days=280 pages. That's 70,000 words or so. More than I've ever written for one piece.

So.... anyone want to join me for a crazy exercise? You don't have to make it 20 pages a day. Just as much as you possibly can every day for two weeks. Somewhere between BIAW and NaNo.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Updates

Hello again. :) Edie, I haven't forgotten about you - just been super busy. I haven't made any more progress on my story (sadly) but I've made progress in other areas. I've lost 4 more pounds, sold 3 craft pieces on eBay (I updated my main website if you'd like to take a look) and have a job interview next week that looks like it's going to work out. (I'd be working in another hospital with my former supervisor - I loved her, just not where we worked before.) I'll keep you posted. As soon as my eBay auctions end and I get everything shipped this week, I'm going to settle down and finish that novella! I promise. I'll have to check out everyone else's progress in a few minutes - hope you are all busy tapping away at the keyboards!

Now, the dear Edie Ramer tagged me to list eight random fact about myself, so let's see what I can come up with.

  1. I'm homeschooling my teenage daughter this year. So far, we're using an unschooling method while she gets away from the public school mentality. We'll see how it goes. (See the "The Teenage Liberation Handbook" by Grace Llewellyn for the why of that.)
  2. I just starting making Halloween crafts in the last couple of months - a departure from the fine arts I've been used to.
  3. I have a large collection of Harry Potter memorabilia. Professor Snape is my favorite.
  4. I love men with big noses. (Could explain the Snape fascination, lol)
  5. I speak Spanish fluently, understand most Italian, and know a few words of Russian.
  6. I miss my cat. My friend said if I say this one more time she's going to slap me, since all I ever did was complain about that demon cat from hell - so don't tell anyone I said so. :)
  7. I believe in the power of the mind to alter circumstances.
  8. I am so severely sleep deprived right now I can't think of an eighth fact. :)

Seriously, I need to sleep. Just the other day, I misspelled my own name. It's that bad. 8-)