Friday, June 26, 2015

30 Days of Shorts Summer Blog Challenge

It seems there are all  kinds of blog challenges going around and I always seem to miss out on them because, by the time I see them, they're over or nearly so. So, I've decided to create my own challenge. I love doing short stories on my blog and this is a good opportunity. It will also keep me writing and I may get some good ideas. I'd love it if you'd join me but if you prefer, just read along. 

Here are the rules for the July, 2015 - 30 Days of Shorts Summer Blog Challenge 

Beginning July 1, 2015:

  1. Introduce the 30 Days of Shorts Summer Blog Challenge on your blog and place a link back to this post.
  2. Write a short story post on your blog every day for 30 days. This doesn't have to be more than 500 words unless you want it longer.
  3. Come back to my blog and share the link to your post in the comments on my blog. 
  4. At the end of the 30 days, if you've completed the challenge, I'll give you a Winner's button for your blog. (I'll post it on this blog on the 31st.)
July is 31 days so if you miss a day, you haven't totally lost the challenge!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Progress on Several Fronts

If you look below, you could say I'm making progress. I believe you can compare it to previous posts. I update the counters on the sidebar and on the Progress reports but not in posts.

I've been writing off and on for the last few days, working on the short story for the Anthology. Today, I've managed 400 words. I don't know if they're go0d words but I'm halfway to my goal of 8,000. All told, in June, thus far, I've got a net gain of 1000 words. Not great but hey, it is more than nothing. The unfortunate truth is I have to do 4000 more before July 31. That will be a novelty in itself.

In case you wonder about the little raisin in the green recliner, Mike and I are about to go on a binge watch of the last season of Warehouse 13. I never got to see that season and when he said he got it at the library, I told him to bring it over. I will return to writing after that. We're going to drink sodas and eat junk food for a few hours. I can crochet while I do that. Well, I think I can... maybe not. Crunch & Munch is sticky so maybe not.

Mike came over to help me move bedding in prep for doing repairs. I took down all the spare beds and stored them in the middle bedroom. I've packed up nearly all of Sarah's stuff to protect it when I start sanding and painting. So, progress, although slow, is taking place. I just want to be able to do more than a couple of hours work. Like the writing, it is just not going fast enough!

Our next step is to take down curtains and seal up vents and the closet. I don't want to have all that plaster dust going everywhere when I start sanding. Once that is done, we can start the real work. I'm limiting it to 4 hours a day because my body won't do more and still function the next day. I've lost too much muscle mass. I think that is why I'm tired a lot, too. It makes sense to me.

During all this, the writing must continue or I won't finish. . . {sigh} I need more hands. I need more muscle. Sarah is right. I need a nice, handsome man with blue eyes. And muscles would help a lot.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Deadlines & Atmosphere

I set to work tonight on the short story.  The July deadline is quickly approaching and I have to get the 1st draft done. I don't really know how anyone else is doing but my story seems to be moving along... when I write it. I need to have it done before the end of June. Only because I want it to sit for a bit and stew before the deadline. I'd like to go back to it mid-July and edit it a bit. First... get it written.

I really need to get hold of myself. My schedule in January was working well and I must set it back up. At the moment I'm fighting unusual fatigue. Actually, I've stopped fighting it. I'm taking a nap every day that last about 2 hours and then I'm going to bed at night. I have no idea why. Thank goodness I don't have a job to worry about at this point.

The storm actually helped get me writing tonight. I like writing in rain. Tonight it gave me a scene and I wanted to get to it. So, I sat down. The storm promptly stopped. I kept writing but it wasn't as much fun. I paused in my writing to post an update of the word count. I changed the word count of my story to 8000. It was 10,000. We set a limit of 5K-10K to give everyone plenty of room and those appear to be the standard for short stories. I suspect I'll be doing good to hit 5K. I"ll get it but I think just barely.

Do you have a schedule that helps you write, keeps you on track?  Are there things like locations and atmosphere that help you focus? What deters you?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My Grammarly Report Card

In May, I posted a review of Grammarly by Randy Ingermanson I received in my email. I was glad because I had downloaded the Chrome extension of Grammarly and had been using it for several weeks. His findings greatly matched my own and it is a useful program. I turned off the extension a few days ago because I was having a major drag in my browser and was trying to find what was causing it. I haven't turned it back on but once to use it. That's the nice thing about Chrome extensions.

Anyway, on June 1 I got an email from Grammarly that said it was a weekly progress report. I had the extension for at least a month and had not received such a thing in all that time. It puzzled me that I'd get one now. I was mildly surprised by the contents, which I share below.

ACTIVITY:  2128 words written
You were more active than 79% of Grammarly users.

MASTERY: 28 mistakes
You were more accurate than 62% of Grammarly users.

VOCABULARY:  722 unique words used
Your vocabulary was more dynamic than 84% of Grammarly users.


1 Missing comma in compound sentence
35 mistakes

2 Redundant words
21 mistakes

3 Missing comma in compound sentence
11 mistakes

Let me say that I was rather impressed with my report card, but what I find amusing is that my vocabulary was more dynamic than 84% of their users. Really? I speak English, albeit American English, still we can understand one another fairly well. 

The other amusing things was the number of words I typed from May 25-May 31. Actually, that was words I typed using Chrome (mostly emails and blogs) and a few things I pasted into Chrome to use Grammarly. Nearly 3000 words in one week. It doesn't include any computer work.  And that's more active than three-quarters of their users. 

First, I'm rather annoyed at myself for not using more of those words on my stories. Shame on me. Second, I didn't know I was as good as I am. Good for me. 

I suspect that Grammarly is a very useful item for me in Chrome, but I won't be buying the subscription. I do think it is helping me  recognize my comma problems, but I don't think I actually the full version of the program. And as Randy Ingermanson points out in his review, you still need eyes on hard copy to get a really thorough job of editing. 

Speaking of which, visit my friend, Rae Ford's blog for a chance to win a free editing job on Ecstasy Editing.

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