Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Today's Tally Ho

Courtsey freedigitalphotos.net
Another day of writing. I got a late start today. I was up on time as usual and ready to start at 9 a.m. but I got so sleepy all of the sudden. I lay down on the sofa in the den on the DNS (Designated Nap Sofa) and passed out. A call from my aunt woke me but even then it was a while before I could actually get motivated.

I didn't get started until around noon but the good news is I managed to get +900 words, all of it on the ending, which sucks, too. I mentioned yesterday that I'm in "this sucks" phase again. Nothing has changed. I know it doesn't all suck but I can't tell you where it sucks at this point. And now I have this anthology the group is doing.

Yes.

I don't know if I mentioned it. I probably have but if not, you can read all about it on the River City Writers' blog. The deadline for that is July 31st. Good thing... the deadline for Long Summer Run is April 21. Can I write the short story between April 21 and July 31? Maybe. Probably. Yes. I can write it.

Really, everything just stinks right now. Writing wise, I  mean. Am I the only writer this happens to or is it common to all writers?

For now, I'm hitting the shower and getting ready for bed. It is only 6 p.m. but last night I was wiped out by 10 and still exhausted when I got up. The positive... pain levels are a bit lower at the moment. Of course, I'm still on Prednisone but I think today was the last day. I think the credit may go to my electric blanket, which I thought had stopped working last winter. I've used a small electric throw but I decided to get my blanket out and see if it was non-functional. It worked. So, I put it on the bed and started using it several days ago and I notice the last two mornings I've had much less joint pain. Sarah is using the throw. Mike used it over the weekend.

Of course it is always something. I appear to have a sinus infection again. I get cold sores inside my nose, rather than my mouth. No, that's not an improvement. You can't put just anything in your nose and not much really helps them there. Mike and I have been sneezing all day. So, I suspect we have some upper respiratory issues.

I'm itching to write some more but I'm sticking with pacing myself. I don't want to get too discouraged and I don't want to burn out by spending hours on the story. I've done that before. Working on the ending is a bit different. I've never been there before. And I think it isn't very good but I keep saying 1st draft, 1st draft, 1st draft.

I'm so thankful for my writers' group for how much they encourage me. They are super awesome.

Must pass congratulations along to my friend and group member, Amanda Hard. She's featured in a couple of places this month. Women in Horror & Horror Tree. Amanda's blog is here: Horror the Hard Way Stop by and congratulate her.


Monday, February 23, 2015

A Busy Day & A Book Bible

Photo Courtesy Pixabay
I was at the desk this morning by 9 and that after getting Sarah ready and off to school, fixing breakfast for me and Mike, getting Mike settled, washing dishes, vacuuming two rooms, and reading my morning devotional.

If you look to your left, you will see how things are progressing. I sat down and created a table to keep track. This way, I don't have to keep posting all that stuff. I got a lot of work done today. I did 10 pages, which is what I have averaged all along, and just over 800 word increase. Some of this was from working on the ending.

I'm in a "this stuff is crap" stage. I've been away from it three weeks and it has had a negative impact. I am moving forward, as you can tell but it really isn't very good. I want to just chuck it and start over but even I know that's crazy. I need to get this first run through done and then start over.

I started creating a Story Bible. Ever since I talked to my writer friend, Molly Daniels, I wanted to do this. I was going to do a hard copy but I've since decided to just organize some folders in Scrivener with the information. I can print it all out later.

I wasn't sure what exactly goes in the Story Bible but I ran across several sites with details on this. I put those on the River City Writers' Blog for others to access. The Story Bible, Book Bible, or Novel Bible contains character sketches, world building details, place details, and outline - anything that you want about the story to give you a source to check for continuity, usage, spelling, etc. Basically, it is a reference book for the story. I just read a few of the blogs and got started on the one for LSR, being mindful that I was killing time.

I'm at the end of the day at last. Now, I'm going to go shower, get PJs on, and I hope go to bed early tonight. I'm really tired.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Ream of Writers

Courtsey www.Pixabay.com
I don't know if that is what you call a bunch of them but it fits. I've been blessed beyond belief with an amazing group of writers locally. The River City Writers group has something happening all the time. We've been meeting monthly for at least a year now and the group has grown so much in membership and scope. The last few meetings have had 9-10 people and that isn't all the members registered.

We have a wide range of members in age and experience - from published, to about to publish, to editing the draft, to just starting out. We've got people driving from the next county when they can to join us, cause they like us. We've had about half a dozen new people join in the last few months. I think the word has leaked out that Evansville has a lively bunch of writers meeting regularly.

Since we've grown, beginning in March we start bi-monthly meetings. Several of us are eager to get that extra meeting. We like the opportunity talk and learn about writing. In December we had our 1st Monthly Writers' Stress-buster Luncheons once a month. That seems to be a hit with everyone. We've had a good turnout for them.

Tonight was the 1st Online Accountability Session that I hope we'll be able to continue in some way. The current plan is to meet online twice a month, on the weeks we don't have a regular meeting. That should round us out enough so that folks that haven't been able to attend the monthly meetings may be able to attend at least one of the events each month. They're designed to last an hour and are primarily to give an account of our writing progress and encourage one another, thus the reason for the time limit. The concept may change as time goes on.

This first session worked really well, aside from a few technical glitches. Molly's webcam wasn't very cooperative and I got booted at one point. Robin had trouble getting her sound going. Kimbra, who I trained in person a few weeks ago, seems to be the only one who didn't have any major problems. There is something to be said for OJT. Since there are cyber limitations to how many can be in a hangout at one time, it was probably a good thing it was a small group.

The energy and excitement of the group is just amazing. When you have members actively seeking new members and bringing them in, you know something is working.

I can't stress enough how important it is for a writer to have the support of other writers. It has helped my writing so much to have other writers who are struggling with the same issues I struggle with and to not only encourage them but to be encouraged in return. Sometimes it takes time to find the right mix.

So, what are you looking for in a writing group? How important is it for the members to actually be writing and seeking to improve their craft? Is there organization and structure to the meetings? Did you like the atmosphere of the meeting? Did you feel an affinity with the group? Do you come away feeling you gained something from the meeting? How can you contribute to the group?

They may sound like silly questions but the answers will more than likely tell you if you're in the right place. You'll learn something with any group, not all of it about writing. You will have to determine if it is meeting your needs. Bear in mind that no group is perfect but if you stick with it, continue to make connections, focusing on what you're looking for in a group, you can find the group that works for you.

If you're in the area, you can always visit our group. Check out the River City Writers' blog for a calendar of events.




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Words for the Day

I'm a wordsmith, a word hound, a word collector, and writer. I love excavating gems of language to add to my trove.

Today I have a new favorite word. Numinous. It sounds so exotic and despite the admonition not to use too many adjectives I must use this somewhere.

The definition on the site where I found it, There's a Word for That gave their own definition but I looked it up... because I'm a purist.

This is from the Merriam-Webster site:

Numinous

  1. supernatural, mysterious
  2. filled with a sense of the presence of divinity :  holy
  3. appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense :  spiritual

The synonyms for it are interesting as well, although from the definition, I disagree with a few of those. Still, a very interesting word to work into my writing, I think.

The other word I ran across was hireath, a Welsh word. A couple of sources defined hireath as homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, which may never have existed, grief for the lost places of your past. The definition from The University of Wales website is:

hireath

1. homesickness n.m.f.   grief or sadness after the lost or departed n. (hiraethau) longing n.m. (hiraethau) yearning n.m. (hiraethau) nostalgia n.m. (hiraethau) wistfulness n.m. (hiraethau) earnest desire n.m. (hiraethau)

This is such profound word for me. I do not know why the word speaks so loudly but I have a sense that I know this feeling and that it fits so many things far better than simple homesickness.

Do find any particular words compelling or irresistible?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Demons & Detours

Courtesy Freedigitalphotos.net
By now most of my readers know that I've hit a snag in my writing schedule. I have a deadline and it was going pretty well... until Mike had an accident last Friday and broke his tibia and fibula. He came home on Monday but needless to say, since Friday I've  written very little. 

On top of his accident, I had to reset my computer and reload everything over the weekend. By Monday, I was back on line but with a full time patient in the spare room... or living room recliner, depending on the time of day. 

On January 21, when I accepted Autumn's challenge to finish a 1st draft by April 22nd, little did I know what demons would descend to derail and detour me. That has some nice alliteration to it, doesn't it? Broken bones, broken computers and exhaustion are now wreaking havoc on my writing schedule. 

Today I ran across this blog post: Productivity For Writers: 5 Ways To Become More Productive on The Creative Penn and thought I'd share it. I was so pleased find I'm actually doing most of this. My plan covers them all, except #2 but honestly, my reward is a finished first draft, so I feel I've got covered, too. 

I was a bit nervous when I accepted Autumn's challenge but it has been an immense help to have that deadline. My late writing teacher, Ron Roat, was right about me. I do better with a deadline. Add a scheduled work day to that and things were progressing.  

Each day I've found myself measuring how much I got done and how much more I need to reach that goal. The progress I was making encouraged me, The accident simply means I've had to re-evaluate how I'm going to finish. 

I'm exhausted by the time I get to bed. Then, I have to get up every four hours to dispense pain meds and help with bathroom breaks or change the ice packs. By the time 6:30 rolls around and I have to get Sarah to school, I'm tired. So, I have to adjust my writing schedule to compensate for the increased demands on my time and lack of sleep. I'm having some pain problems of my own that are not as easily solved without sleep but that's the norm for me.  I'm confident, well, pretty confident, that I'll be back on track in a few days.

The point is that the article was a nice validation of all my efforts. I think writing is one of those jobs where it doesn't take much to discourage you. It is a very personal endeavor and we tend to judge ourselves more critically because of that. It has taken years for me to get there. I'm not going to let a few broken bones get in the way. 

And if I happen to fall asleep at the keyboard, then so zzzzzzzzzzzzz