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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

The first part of the year has been less productive than I had hoped, mainly due to serious family drama (middle son and wife splitting up) which really hasn’t taken that much time since they’re in California and we’re in New England. But there’s been a lot of time in conversation, and a lot of time lost to just pondering.

Possibly as a result of having so many churning emotions that are hard to articulate, I put a lot of emphasis on my art classes. I’m quite pleased with the progress I’ve made there.

Got one shiny new idea and worked on it for March Madness. Will keep poking at it and the teenage vampires story; hopefully one of them will be ready to go for November, if I decide to NaNo it.

I’ve made it about halfway through the Crows draft. I’m working on it for Camp NaNoWriMo this month, with the goal of having a solid though not polished manuscript by the end of the month.

May will be primarily a reading-and-crocheting month, with a scaled back Story-A-Day.

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I don’t really have writing “goals” for 2016. My goal is to finish something. And if there’s year left, I’ll finish something else. That’s all.

My strategy for getting there is based on last year’s generally successful work pattern. Last year, my life accidentally fell into a pattern where Real Life took up alternate months, leaving the other months for writing. I tend to be a binge writer, so writing in binges instead of “Omigod, I’m not writing every day!” was a productive change. And it let me free to really enjoy my family and personal stuff, because I didn’t have the constant feeling that I “should” be writing.

So I’m planning to use the same strategy this year. It looks like our plans aren’t going to fall into such neat month-by-month categories this year, so this rough plan will have to be tweaked as the year goes on. But generally speaking, it looks like family/personal breaks in late February, May, August, October, and December.

Scheduled writing events that I’d like to do: Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July, scaled down Story a Day in May, and if there’s time in October, Nightmare Fuel. I’m thinking not NaNoWriMo this year.

First up: Start working on the final stages of Crows, with the goal of being able to submit by the end of March or early April. The first task is to reread the draft and note what has to be done. After that I’ll have a better idea how long finishing will really take.

After Crows? I’m not sure yet. Maybe Sal and Troy. I’m also considering setting up Nicky’s story (Not Forgetting) to publish as a serial novel. Way back when I started it, I had grand ideas of setting it up as a web page with mock videos and even some of the band’s songs, but lack of talent and money makes that unlikely. Maybe eventually…

But that’s the year ahead. I plan to re-evaluate every two or three months.

I also have personal and health goals, but I mostly don’t plan to discuss those in public😀

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It was a busy year.

Grandbaby in February. New kitchen floor, gas range, washer and dryer in May. We bought a canoe, used it, and went on wilderness camping trip. And as usual there was golf league and art class.

Lots of walking, though no hiking this year. The focus was on learning to canoe so I’d be ready for the week-long wilderness trip.

Shoveled lots of snow. LOTS of snow.

Besides the trip to California for the grandbaby in February, David visited in June and the whole family including grandbaby was here in August. I visited my family in Montana in September and we took a major cruise in October.

My only goal for the writing this year was to keep working, and I succeeded in that. I had about 125K in new words and lots of revising, worldbuilding, and notes. Specifically:

* Revised outline for the first Sal and Troy book, and started the revised draft.
* Revised outline for Darien and started the revised draft, which stands at about 30K now.

* Revised the genie story, decided the short version wasn’t working, and expanded it to novel length for NaNoWriMo.

* Worked on PattiSue (new adult vampires and werewolves. Oh, the shame…)

* Story a Day yielded 11 ideas, 8 of which became partial drafts. Haven’t looked at them since though.

So it was a pretty good year. Except that for the second year in a row, I didn’t finish anything. And there were a lot of smaller things, like posting here, that I let slide. I’m not going to beat myself up over it. Isn’t it nice to know I have things to work on next year?

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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The other thing I’m doing this month is the May Story a Day challenge at Forward Motion, the online writing community I belong to. Some people over the years really have done a story every day, but I’m only trying to write a few.

They’re posted on Forward Motion, but unless you’re a member there, you won’t be able to see them. So far I have a short humorous fantasy about some incompetent fairies and a contemporary story about an elderly woman trying to preserve her life. It’s probably the summary for a novel:)

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April wound up being fairly successful despite the personal chaos, which can only be described as “internal crisis.” There’s nothing going on outside. The world is good as far as that goes. So I decided to just ignore it and signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’d had a thought out of the blue about how I could resolve a plot-and-motivation problem in Darien’s story and wanted to implement that.

I figured it ought to be good for 50k, but when I got going, I discovered further complications (of the not-good-for-the-story sort:) ) and issues arising from inadequate character development, which in turn revealed big gaps in my worldbuilding. The characters were doing things but they didn’t have attitudes about the world around them, and their interrelationships were exactly like relationships in 2015 America. I had written the earlier draft on the assumption that I could go back and fill in the details later, but clearly that wasn’t working. So I lowered my word count to 30,000, which turned out to be a comfortable pace.

So my plan for May, complicated as it is: keep writing at a comfortable pace😀

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Why yes, I dream of having a writing retreat some day. Somewhere. Somehow. I’ve been dreaming about it for years.

I used to think it was difficult to impossible to get away when the kids were in school. There were always gymnastics/dance performance/big tests/band performance/etc. that required both parents. I did manage to get away for a couple of writing seminars or a long weekend alone. For those, I just booked a room at the Sheraton in nearby Portsmouth NH where I could go down for a meal if I needed a break or order room service for minimal interruption. Or go out and wander around the downtown if I was temporarily stuck.

I always thought it would be easier after the kids left home and we retired. No obligations, no kids to take priority, no…

No money.

Well, not exactly no money. But not a lot, either. And would I rather spend it on a week away somewhere to write, or on going to visit the kids and the pending grandbaby? If I have to choose between a week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with spouse, or a week in a cabin alone with my thoughts and my notebook? What about two weeks in China? Writing is important, but it’s chugging along. Do I really need a retreat? Do I even want it?

Even though the answer has been no so far, I still dream of spending weeks or months in Italy soaking up the sun and alternating painting, writing, and hiking or biking. Maybe a villa in Umbria, maybe an apartment in Rome. But I know myself well enough to know that I’d most likely spend all the time doing things, seeing art galleries, finding new trattorias and gelato stands, going to concerts, and generally being more of a tourist than a writer.

Which makes me think that the way things are working out is just fine:)

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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Better late than never? Here’s my Merry-Go-Round blog post for January:)

I’ve been struggling all month to write this post, not because the post itself is so difficult but because the goals I wanted to write about refused to stay put. I knew I was going to need to be flexible what with the first grandbaby arriving in February and the usual family obligations and impromptu weekends in the mountains, but the lists I came up with were more than flexible. It didn’t seem to matter what order I put things in, or whether I changed one project for another. They were all equally arbitrary and equally impossible to believe in.

The truth is, writing isn’t my only priority right now. I’m still recovering from losing my father and now worrying about my mother, I’m about to be a grandmother for the first time, I’m making progress in my painting, and it’s all contributing to huge changes inside, changes I’m only beginning to recognize. It’s like sitting on a volcano waiting for it to erupt.

I don’t know what’s going to happen when it does. Maybe nothing. Maybe just renewed energy to the things I’ve always loved. Or maybe I’m getting ready to head in an exciting new direction. But until I figure it out, I need to just keep on keeping on, while being aware that I might need to change directions.

So for the first part of the year, I’ll be working on background research for the steampunk series I started last November, mostly studying US history, especially the history of slavery. I’ll also be finishing the genie novella and possibly working on the next pass of Crows. Target date for the genie story is before grandbaby. I don’t expect to get anything done while we’re visiting; when we come back, I’ll pick up Crows.

Today’s post was inspired by the topic “New Beginnings” in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour–an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out their thoughts on crossing genre lines, check out the group site at the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. You can find links to all of the posts on the tour there. Read and enjoy!

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