Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weaving Words Despite Cobwebs

Right so this is supposed to be the interesting part where I give a little background about what I am working on and the challenges I have had over the past few days. Unfortunately I have no idea exactly what to tell you about. I have been working on the outline for The Most Magical Place and besides the usual time constraints I haven't had problems that I can remember. I have most of my main plot points fixed and the immediate get to and go from scenes, but the connective tissue is what I need to work on. The sub plots that I planned need to be woven in and I am not that good with a word loom.

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Spend 2 poms on plotting using Hiveword.
This has been going well. I am still plotting, but making a lot of progress. I was only able to get to one pom last night because Rowan woke up with a bad dream just as I had started the second one. He won't always need to cuddle so we take the time while we can.

2. Spend 2 poms on posts for this blog.
I haven't done this everyday. I have to pick a topic before 11:30 the night before I want the post to go out. I need an idea file, but right now I mostly just have cobwebs. I plan to use tomorrow's poms to brainstorm topics ahead of time and research if necessary.

3. Spend 1 pom on social media for blog posts.
I posted on Twitter and the Facebook on Sunday and pretty much ignored it. I keep saying I need to work harder and I am doing stuff all day and night long, but I just don't seem to be able to get everything done. I pretty much feel like I am falling down a giant deep hole all the time.

4. Spend 1 pom on visiting other ROW80 bloggers.
This I did everyday, but yesterday. I so enjoy seeing the progress you are all making. It is inspiring.

Photos by Pixabay.
Blogger Widgets

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Out Voted by Characters

I've been working to flesh out my outline. Last night I was so engrossed in what I was doing I lost an hour and a half. Either I was so distracted I didn't hear the alarm go off or, more likely, I forgot to start it. The kiddos asleep and hubby busy made the house so peaceful. I was working on a particularly difficult part for me... the middle. 

My mid-point, which is supposed to be context shifting, is so into the shifting thing that the setting just changed dramatically. The characters were standing outside an apartment arguing and they were attacked. Then in the middle of combat they were transported to the beach. The story just decided it needed to relocate and the characters agreed. I kinda feel out voted and like I am loosing control. Now I need to change around the scene before it and decide what the beach is like. Since there is very noticeable magic going on I would prefer if it was an unpopulated beach. Now I must do research. That means a beach trip for inspiration!

How do you do your research? Obviously if you are far away there isn't much choice for direct observation, but some times I get the itch to experience things first hand. Leave me a comment and don't forget to let me know where you came from so I can follow you back and see what you are up to.

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Spend 2 poms on plotting using Hiveword.
I didn't use Hiveword every day, but I did spend at least 2 poms every day on plotting. I am really pleased with my current progress.

2. Spend 2 poms on posts for this blog.
Yea, this hasn't happened since the last post. I'm not really sure what I should spend my poms doing when not actually constructing a post. Do you have any suggestions on activities that might help to make my posts easier when it comes to time to check-in?

3. Spend 1 pom on social media for blog posts.
Nothing Thursday or Friday, but I used Twitter on Saturday so that's something. It isn't like it's hard or extremely time consuming, but I just don't seem to remember. Maybe I should set an alarm to remind me. Of course that would make like 12 daily alarms to remind me of different things.

4. Spend 1 pom on visiting other ROW80 bloggers.
I did get a chance to hop away. I left comments on most of the blogs I visited and really enjoyed the posts. My ROW80 friends are very inspirational, even when you are facing roadblocks.

Photos by Pixabay

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tricky Like Jareth

Today has been like the Labyrinth. Where everything seems possible and nothing is what it seems. I had so much planned for today and got a ton done, but not anything I planned.

How dare you sneak up on me Wednesday!

Today has been such a handful I am ready for a nap, luckily it's almost my bed time. I think I've got one  more pom in me before I head that way.

Is it stressful for you when things don't go as planned or do you just roll with it? I would love to be a go with the flow kinda gal, but I have always hated when my plan was totally disrupted. A slight change or modification I am fine with, but throwing it totally out the window makes me nervous and stressed. Leave me a comment and don't forget to let me know where you came from so I can follow you back.


ROW80 Rundown:

1. Spend 2 poms on plotting using Hiveword.
Monday: Plotting galore! I added 2 new characters to my Hiveword. They aren't completely fleshed out, but I am getting there.
Tuesday: I worked on items. What is a fantasy novel without magical items? I'm a little worried about the amount of items I have to keep track of. I am already to 11.
Wednesday: No work on The Most Magical Place today, but I have plans for tomorrow night that I am very excited about.

2. Spend 2 poms on posts for this blog.
Since I allotted time to working on posts everyday I put in the things that are regular parts of the post yesterday. As for today, like I said, nothing I had planned happened and here I am at 10 at night still trying to get this post out.

3. Spend 1 pom on social media for blog posts.
This is still hit or miss, but I have done better than last week. There are so many awesome authors posting cool stuff that pops up on my feed. I need to get back over there and learn something new.

4. Spend 1 pom on visiting other ROW80 bloggers.
I was able to visit Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Today isn't over so may make it today as well. Look out here I come.


Photos by Pixabay. (Can you believe they had that awesome labyrinth.)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jam Packed Like a Tiny Clown Car

What the heck am I doing? Last night I was making a list of characters to be sure I didn't forget to make an entry on Hiveword for any of them. I realized I easily and quickly reached 18 without including the extras like the people who are also in the restaurant with the heroes or even there server who has a few lines of dialog. Trying to recall them all made my head feel like top. I started wondering how many characters is too many? The interwebs didn't have a clear answer probably due to the fact that the question is highly subjective and dependent on many variables. I found a lot of posts with guidelines and recommendations with a very similar disclaimer at the end saying that most everything they had just rambled on about doesn't apply if you are writing an epic fantasy. That made me think am I writing an epic fantasy? I don't know, but I received wise advice from author Elise VanCise. She said, "Don't worry about length. Just write the story and then worry about breaking it up if it is necessary later." I find myself so worried about things like genre, themes and how many characters that I am not getting much else done.

On the up side I did have a breakthrough with the antagonist. I now know what he looks like, how he effects the plot at the 2nd and 3rd plot points and some back story. It all came to me at once and I was struggling to get it down, but I believe I have succeeded. I am really looking forward to seeing exactly how he decides to torment my heroine.

ROW80 Rundown:

I am just starting the pom thing. While the theory seems easy and I was excited it also relies upon you having uninterrupted time to concentrate. I have none. My poms are littered with me saying, "Please stop singing by my head," and "Can you please smack each other in another room." My bed time isn't much past Gwen's so this has been a struggle. For instance while writing this post about 15 minutes in I had to stop and handle a situation that no one else was able to handle and couldn't wait. Mostly because some people feel reading directions is optional. While writing that sentence I had to stop a fight. I am starting to feel like this can never get done.


1. Spend 2 poms on plotting using Hiveword.
Thursday: 2 poms attempted. They were not as successful as I would have liked and that led to some discouragement.
Friday: 2 poms attempted and 1 was successful. The other not so much, but we move on.
Saturday: Dearan's birthday and most pom activity was put on hold. I only attempted 1 pom and it was very productive. This is when I pinned down my villain.
Sunday: Today is off to a rocky start and I am now grumpy.

2. Spend 2 poms on posts for this blog.
Other days I didn't have much to say here, but I may start putting stuff in as it happens. I think...that I was interrupted again and now have NO idea what I was planning to add.

3. Spend 1 pom on social media for blog posts.
I mostly spent this on Twitter and am not sure which days I was successful and which I wasn't.

4. Spend 1 pom on visiting other ROW80 bloggers.
I was able to visit 7 of my fellow ROW80 bloggers and that was awesome. I really enjoy this part of the blog hops so glad I was able to get around so much. Take that how ever you like.

What do you say to family to convince them to give you a few minutes peace or be able to figure out what they should be doing without you having to detail every step? **Edit** Someone has recommended Duct Tape. I may or may not be considering it. Leave me a comment and don't forget to let me know where you came from so I can follow you back.


Photos by Pixabay.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Reconstructing Life With Tomaotes

Last check-in was a bit of a pity party. I was feeling very down about feeling overwhelmed. I am still feeling overwhelmed, but the light at the end of the tunnel no longer looks like an oncoming train. Thanks to one of my ROW80 buddies Dawn Montgomery I learned about time management with the help of a tomato. She suggested The Pomodoro Technique. The basic premise is to set a timer and work for 25 minutes, called Pomodoros, then take a 5 minute break. After you run 4 consecutive "Poms" you take a 20-30 minute break. My plan is to use the poms to help me make it through tasks and focus when I am writing or doing writing related tasks.

New revamped ROW80 goals:

1. Spend 2 poms on plotting using Hiveword.

2. Spend 2 poms on posts for this blog.

3. Spend 1 pom on social media for blog posts.

4. Spend 1 pom on visiting other ROW80 bloggers.

That is about 3 1/2 hours a day if I run them consecutively, less if I only get 5 min breaks.

Notice Rowan pretending to fight on the right.
I didn't even try to push myself to reach the old goals and I just today decided on my new goals. In this sort of limbo state I still managed to plot in Hiveword Sunday and Tuesday. We did a little demo on Monday for a friend. We left at 10am and didn't get home till 2am the next morning, but it was loads of fun. The only other goal I worried about was visiting ROW80 friends and I was able to visit and comment on 5 posts.

What tips and tricks do you have to reach your goals? How do you reward yourself when you meet a new one? Leave me a comment and don't forget to let me know where you came from so I can follow you back.

Photos by Pixabay.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day and Overwhelmed

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. Today I am heading over to see my mom with the kids and husband in tow.

Short and sweet is all I got today. I am feeling unbelievably overwhelmed by the stuff that is going on in my life right now. I have still been making time to devote to the story by plotting in Hiveword, but not nearly as much as I would like to.


ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write at least 500 words per day on plotting or blogging.

Monday: 278 words

Tuesday: 324 words

Wednesday: 298 words

Thursday: 195 words

Friday: 324 words

Saturday: 363 words

Sunday: 272 words on this post.

2. Check out at least 5 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
Nope I've been a bum. I need to get around...Wait that didn't come out right, but you know what I mean.

3. Use Twitter at least once per day.
I only tweeted last week when I posted here.

4. Post on my author Facebook page at least 2 times per week.
So much no and I am now beating myself up.

5. Read 5 books in round 2.
Still working on The Wahls Protocol.

In conclusion I have made basically no progress. I am planning to reevaluate my goals, not just the writing ones. I will get back to you. Leave me a comment, but also make sure to let me know where you are visiting from so I can follow you back. How do you decide when to chop goals? What things feed your strengths?


Photos by Pixabay.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Using Lightning as Book Ends

I missed the midweek check- in, but I don't really feel guilty. I was about to work on the post and when I had a flash of inspiration for the backstory of one of the characters in The Most Magical Place, the very same character that I'm attached to and is slated to die. At least she lived a good life. Hmm, guess I need to write her eulogy as well. Oh and for my own curiosity I need to research shipping a deceased loved one from the US to the UK, fun times. I just want to make sure it isn't a giant problem that could cause a new plot bunny in the story. The odd things you Google when your plotting a novel. What are some of the weirdest things you've researched while planning or writing a story?

ROW80 Rundown:

1. Write at least 500 words per day on plotting or blogging.
Monday: 429 on Hiveword.
Tuesday: Nothing and lots of it. Too much running around and then I passed out before midnight.
Wednesday: 1683 on backstory in Hiveword.
Thursday: 631 entering details of locations on Hiveword.
Friday: 485 still working on locations.
Saturday: 813 entering and describing items. There are a surprising amount of significant items, but it's a fantasy novel and they seem to have a plethora of them.
Sunday: 508 on this post.

2. Check out at least 3 A to Z posts per day.
A to Z has ended. I really enjoyed the part I was able to participate in and plan to do it again next year. Hopefully I'll make it to the end next time around.

3. Check out at least 5 posts from each new ROW80 linky before the next one comes out.
That goal came and went without me hopping around to visit you guys. I hope you're all doing well.

4. Use Twitter at least once per day.
This is hit or miss, but I'm still planning to  persue it in my day.

5. Post on my author Facebook page at least 2 times per week.
I didn't make the check-in so didn't bother to post on the Facebook either. I am feeling kinda worn out this week.

6. Read 5 books in round 2.
Still plugging along in my book. I also started reading Harry Potter to my 7yo son. He can read, but Harry is a bit above his reading level and he really wanted to consume it again. This is the first time I'm reading it to him. We usually listen to it on audio book as a family. I don't know if he's ever sat through the whole thing before. He did well, but started to get fidgety about 2/3 into the chapter. With my daughter we would read for 5 hours straight, but he needs more activity.


Photos by Pixabay.