Sunday, March 29, 2015

Procrastination is NOT a Friend

I have 2 more days until the madness starts and what do you think I am doing? Yes, that's right I am procrastinating! I spent a lot of time finding a background I liked more than the plane old purple that used to be on the sides. I do think it looks nice, but probably the time could have been better spent working on the A to Z posts that are kind of refusing to take shape. I could also be plotting the rest of the Camp NaNo novel, but no here I am playing with the settings. There are a ton of settings to play with by the way and they all do something cool. Of course there were a few that I didn't notice a difference, but I am sure they still did something.

Not that I have only been slacking off. I managed to make the A to Z thing a lot more complicated by planning to add some flash fiction into the mix. It's been a while since I've flashed someone. I, uh mean, participated in Friday Flash. I am actually really excited about adding this because I am having trouble finding writing topics for all the letters and I can always use a name is I have to with a flash fiction.

I am jumping all over the place trying to get things in order and making plans for the things I can do in advance. The problem is there isn't much cohesion and I am not really sure exactly where this crazy train is headed. Hopefully off the rails is not the  final destination. I find if I try stick with one thing I get distracted by an idea that pops up and then I have 2 choices. I can interupt what I am doing and try to hop over jotting down the idea somewhere hoping I can find it again and remember where I was before the idea hit. Then there's choice number 2, I can try to put the new idea on the back burner and continue what I was doing risking loosing it forever. I've been using the Evernote app on my phone to take down the note without switching tabs. It seems to help me remember what I was doing if I don't change what's on the monitor.


My post feels a little naked without my check-ins. I still have to work on deciding what my round 2 goals will be. I know I want to stick to the 6 goals thing and they will probably be tweaked versions of round 1, but still I worry about making them the right amount of challenging and achievable. I wonder if anyone ever adjusts their goals up because they are doing so well?

What are you working on?

photo credit: Self, 2013 via photopin (license)
Blogger Widgets

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Plans and Plots Lead to Confusion

Have you ever had an idea, but you weren't sure how to make it work? I mean, I'm not Tim Gunn for goodness sake. I have an idea that really excites me for one of my A to Z posts, but I am worried if the post gets too long when visitors are trying to hop to as many new blogs as possible they will bail before they even get half way through. We all always put a lot of effort into each post and hope at least someone is reading to the end, but this is significantly more effort that I usually invest especially when effort and time are in short supply. If it works it will be awesome and it would make me very happy, but there are so many different ways it could epically flop. What do you do when you encounter this kind of situation? Should I go for it or skip it and focus on my Camp NaNo story?

I am kind of sad to see the last check-in of the first ROW80 round of 2015. It feels like this year is flying by and I am not sure I am really ready for the next phase. I thought about taking a break until stuff starts back up for me on the first day of April, but then I would risk breaking out of the habit of posting. We all know replacing a bad habit with a good one is hard to do, but worth the effort. Why would I want to make it harder on myself, particularly when I have a real knack for procrastination.

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write 500 words per day on any project
I don't know how many words I put out on Monday or Tuesday individually because I was not feeling well which caused me to sleep and be awake at odd hours. It feels like it has been 4 or 5 days since my last check in. Those mini days are a blur of napping and writing on my phone happened more than my laptop. I made a lot of notes and lists with 2 started posts that are really rambley and need to be gutted until they bleed red ink. I will call this a win because I managed 1163 for the combined total.
Wednesday: 786 on this post and it's still early, but my day is full and I probably won't get to much more than a little brainstorming and planning.

2. Blog at least every Wednesday and Sunday.
So far so good. Since I jumped in I think, don't quote me on this, I only missed one check-in. A few times I even beat the linky.

3. Check out at least 10 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
HA! I did this and it felt awesome to see what you all were up to. I want to keep this goal a part of my next round. I had to adjust it from 20 blog hops to 10 and still didn't make around to see everyone sometimes, but I will not get down on myself for making the change. Flexibility is what ROW80 is all about. Keeping your goals realistic and achievable then holding yourself accountable and making it happen.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
Getting back into Twitter has been a great experience and I have found a lot of interesting posts that have helped me with my battle plan for both The Most Magical Place and A to Z. Now it all comes down to execution.

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 2 times per week.
I made it through the round feeling successful in this goal even though I did have to adjust it from the original.

6. Read 1 book per week.
It will come as no surprise that I have not been able to keep up with reading 1 book per week if you have been following along. I am not sure how to change this goal so that I can challenge myself and still set a manageable goal that won't leave me constantly frustrated. I type fast, but read really slow. When I start reading it is like I am watching everything, even details that weren't specifically mentioned in the book are filled in by my imagination and the scenes play out in my head. This image kinda becomes an overlay to the words I am reading. I am not sure if that exactly makes since, but it is the best way I can describe the reading experience for me. It is very rich and satisfying, but also slow.


Photo Credit: Pixabay
photo credit: For me too via photopin (license)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Camping and Copper Boom

The other day I realized that I must be a masochist. Why you ask. Well not only am I signed up for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge, but my friends over at Lake Writers were signing up for Camp NaNo and I just had to do join as well. They even have private cabins this year so we can all camp together without spending 45 min requesting each other as cabinmates and all pressing submit at the same time. Yes, this actually happened last year. I am going to work on The Most Magical Place for Camp NaNo so I am not adding another thing to my plate, but I am using the traditional NaNo pace. That is 1,667 words per day just on the story. It will be significantly more words, 1,167 to be exact, than I have been trying to turn out on a daily basis, but like I said I obviously like to make things harder for myself and probably for others. Our ring leader said I thrive on chaos. Are you doing Camp Nanp, too? Want to be my friend? You can find me there as Ink Dipped Moon. Come join me I would love to watch your progress and help cheer you on!

I am taking too long to write this post and kinda whining about not being sure what should go in this paragraph, but knowing I would like to make the post longer. My daughter responded to my whining with, "Cooper boom!" I was all like why did you say that? She gave me a look that clearly communicated I was growing senile in my old age and very slowly said, "From Gilmore Girls." Then I heard the clunk as my brain fell into place. The only thing you can say in that situation is clearly oy with the poodles already. I bet you thought I was going to say copper boom.


ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write 500 words per day on any project.
Thursday: 750 words on The Most Magical Place.
Friday: 659 words getting ready for the Blogging From A to Z Challenge, I am number 553 and darn proud of it, not sure why, but proud all the same. There is still time to join us! Theme reveal day is tomorrow, but you don't have to make a special theme. I am just going to keep the rules of my blog the same and post about writing. At the time of this posting there are 1121 people signed up.
Saturday: Yea, I am not sure what I did all day. Mostly I snuggled my kids because we were feeling under the weather.
Sunday: 747 on this post and it's still early, but I keep looking at the clock and loosing time. If you have a blog how long does it take you to create a post from start to publish? I think I have spent 4 hours today.

2. Blog at least every Wednesday and Sunday.
Still chugging along.

3. Check out at least 10 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
Damn, I still didn't make it to 10 I only got to 5 and I did 4 on Wednesday. So I was seriously slacking.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
Missed Saturday, but I didn't remember and I had to go check. Now I am a little worried about what I may have been up to yesterday. Must think harder...
Candidate for a Pullet Surprise
By Mark Eckman & Jerrold H. Zar
First 2 verses only

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 2 times per week.
I did this and ended up fighting with Facebook. Seriously, how many times are you going to ask me to verify I'm a human and not spreading viruses? I didn't used to have any problems, but lately when I post my Ow.ly shrunken link, or any link for that matter, Facebook is accusing me of malicious activities. Also, apparently when I am mad I make a billion typos. I just had a giant red snake over most of the paragraph. Spell check is my friend.

6. Read 1 book per week.
This is just not going to happen. I need to make this a more realistic goal, but I also need to dedicate more time to reading because it makes me happy. I definitely will adjust this for the next round.

Photos from Pixabay

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Post Vortex and a PSA

I went looking for information about body language. My plan was to add descriptions of actions to let readers know what my characters are thinking when they aren't the POV character. At first everything seemed to be going along fine, but then I must have gotten stuck in a post vortex. They just kept coming and I just kept reading them. The next thing I knew it was like 4 hours later and I had consumed a ton of information, but written no new words. It was late so off to bed with me, but I vowed to try again tomorrow.

Also, PSA there is a point at which your Chrome will start having trouble with how many tabs are open. I am sure every computer is different and I am by far no expert. However, I now know that at 75 tabs my Chrome stops responding and just cries. I was waiting for something to happen and did actually take the time to count all 75 tabs that were open. In case you were wondering it also causes the user to curse. So, be warned. If you want to know why that may be, Geek has an interesting read on it.

The next night I put the kids to bed and was all ready to write when my husband asked me if I had a chance to read, which actually means fix, his resume. My head fell down and DAMN was all I could think. I am not great at writing a resume. I am not even sure I have done it since high school and that has been a long while. I knew it would be time consuming, but the worst part of it was finding a free template that was actually FREE. I wanted to share Hloom with you in case you need to write a resume and need a little guidance like I did. They have 279 different templates, I know that's a lot, laid out in 8 categories. You do have to scroll down a while to get to them, but they are there. When you go to each resume it tells you what it is best suited for which helped me quite a bit. Save this link just in case. Save it even if you don't think you will need it, because someone will.

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write 500 words per day on any project.
Monday: Info gathering vortex instead of writing.
Tuesday: 866 words, in bed on my phone. This is interesting because when I went back to look at it some of the words near the end didn't make since. I had to break out my phone and Swype the word that was there to see what other suggestions were so I could figure out what the heck I was talking about. That only happened twice, but still. PS: Evernote is awesome and syncs up to my on line account. I was amazed at how much I got done.
Wednesday: 705 on this post.

2. Blog at least every Wednesday and Sunday.
No new way to say it, but still getting this done. I really didn't feel like working on my blog today, but decided that I didn't want to give up the only goal I was doing so great on.

3. Check out at least 10 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
I only made it to 5 this time around. I need to put more focus on this because I really enjoy reading what you all are up to and it helps me so much when you comment so I want to return that feeling to others.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
So far so good. I am retweeting mostly, but still doing it.

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 2 times per week.
More yes! I like meeting goals.

6. Read 1 book per week.
I am really loving the book, but I feel like I also need to dedicate more time to this goal because I am so far behind that there is no way that I can possibly read 52 books in what is left of this year.


Photos by Pixabay

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Dog in a Hat and Check-In

Yes, I did just resort to silly naming tricks for clicks.

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write 500 words per day on any project.
Didn't get much done because I took some time out to celebrate my twin sister and brother's birthday. Just the girls went out to dinner and my bother took a nap. It's ok, he would have not been amused at the banter between myself, the server and his twin. The only picture I remembered to take was of my sister's best friend holding our other sister's dog. I probably should have planned that better.

2. Blog at least every Wednesday and Sunday.
I'm looking for new and creative ways to say, "Yay, I met this goal!" Any suggestions? Though, this is like blog light and it's slogan shall be: All the time invested and half the content.

3. Check out at least 10 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
I was able to make it to 10 posts from ROW80 and a few from IWSG, but I wasn't able to make many comments. For some reason almost every page seems to stop responding shortly after loading when viewed on my phone. The common factor seems to be that my phone will become extremely hot very quickly since I dropped it again. It is probably time for a new phone or at least a new battery.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
Now that my initial obsession with Twitter is waning I find that Saturday's are the hardest for me to remember to tweet.

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 2 times per week.
After lowering the goal to 2 times a week I am feeling a lot less stress. Well, at least as far as the author page is concerned.

6. Read 1 book per week.
This is still not happening. I downloaded a ton of "new" books from Project Gutenberg's Top 100 List. Of course it occurs to me now that I could have used that time to be reading.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Plodding Away at Plotting

OK, so bullets, plotting or pantsting? Not looking for someone to change my mind, I am just genuinely curious about how other people work.

Well, I am a methodical plotter in life so I don't see that changing in my attempt at writing. I have a notebook that holds all my To Do's for the foreseeable future. At present it is 83 items long. This does not include repeating tasks like dishes, laundry, school work, etc. They are on a separate list. What I am beating around the bush at saying is that I got a lot of plotting done or at least planning to plot. I don't really remember how, but a while ago I found Larry Brooks StoryFix (now in 2.0). He recommends something he calls story architecture. He also has books about Story Engineering and Physics which I haven't gotten to yet, but will probably read soon. On his blog Larry has a 10 part series on story architecture. I found is writing stile to be sometimes vexing because it felt like he was talking down to people who disagree with him, but the information has already been very helpful to me. I especially liked the 1 page writing tool.

So where is my point? My father always told me it was on the top of my head, so I wear a hat. Just kidding, mostly. I took a break to watch Big Hero 6 with Rowan and there it was. The story structure was present. My notice of it made my thoughts a little distracting, but it was fascinating to "see" it and it kinda smacked me in the face. I would also like to say that I really enjoyed the movie even if it got a little violent with me. No spoilers here, but I am glad we purchased it.

Thanks for all the well wishes for my cousin Drew. He is doing better and it is looking like he may be heading home very soon to continue his recovery. I was thinking that they would have to keep him longer, but he seems to be making good progress.

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write 500 words per day on any project.
Monday and Tuesday: Combined because I forgot to check when I finished on Monday or when I started Tuesday was a whopping 2082 words. Most of them were questions that have yet to be answered, but I think if I have at least identified the questions I need answered then I am heading down the right track. If I'm not, maybe don't be too harsh when you tell me because I am excited about this shift in focus that allowed me to spend much less time on the Facebook and more on prewriting stuff.
Wednesday: 715 words on this post

2. Blog at least every Wednesday and Sunday.
I keep this goal because it is the only on I seem to be able to hit more often than not.

3. Check out at least 10 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
I made it to 5 so far and plan to check out some more once I am in bed. Technically it will probably be after the linky comes out, but hey sometimes mostly there is as good as it gets. Yay for the convenience of having the interwebs on our phone in the palm of our hands.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
I have been doing this, but not with original content. There is a lot of awesome stuff out there to retweet, though.

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 3 times per week.
That's it! I am putting the hammer down on this goal and not stressing myself out about it for the rest of the month. I will only post on my author Facebook page 2 times per week when I put out my ROW80 check-ins.

6. Read 1 book per week.
I was steadily getting closer, but have made no progress on this front for the past few days. It was interesting to notice that there have been 4 references to The Picture of Dorian Gray in the past 3 days. Coincidence? The jury is still out.



photo credit: Pixabay

Sunday, March 8, 2015

OK Universe, I Get It!

Complaining that small time sucks were making writing, and life in general, more difficult was probably a bad idea. Tempt the universe and it will show you how good you had it. On Wednesday my cousin had a massive heart attack and needed a triple bypass. The surgery had to be done as an open heart. We were in the waiting room for a very long time, like 7 hours. Most of us were not able to see him, but his wife and her parents were allowed. He made it through the surgery and is recovering sedated in the ICU. As a result I didn't get much done. I was back to the notebook, but what I did write is kind of useless.

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write 500 words per day on any project.
Thursday: Didn't make it home until 3am so slept too late so and didn't do anything. I actually can't really remember what I did on Thursday.
Friday: 258 plotting
Saturday: More nothing, I spent the day with a friend I hadn't seen in over a month and we just gabbed for hours.
Sunday: 380 on this blog.

2. Blog at least every Wednesday and Sunday.
So far I am doing well on this as long as I get this done soon.

3. Check out at least 10 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
I got to 10, but wasn't able to leave a comment on all of them.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
I missed Thursday on this, too.

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 3 times per week.
It is so close to the end, but I haven't been able to make this and I just need to change this to 2 times per week. I am only posting the updates when I put out a new blog post.

6. Read 1 book per week.
Yea, I have long since given up on completing this, but keep trucking on with the list to help me read books I wouldn't usually discover. I read about a chapter a night and managed to hit myself in the head with my phone every night as I fell asleep reading.


Photo credit Pixabay