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Writing view

Beach 2014This was my writing view on Friday.  I took my notebook to the beach and I actually got some work done.  It took some work but I was able to organize my handwritten pages and sticky notes.  I finally have an outline and a good jump on the novella.  I can’t wait to get home and get some writing done.  My plan is to get it written and have some people read it by the end of September.

I worked in some time in the water Beach squirreland some relaxing reading too.  I also made friends with this little squirrel, I was calling him Monty.  After checking us out several times Monty stopped next to my chair, I gave him a few small pieces of a Wheat Thin.  He was quite happy and ran back up the cliff side to presumably tell all his squirrel friends how cool I am.

 

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132 days…

Cat computerSo, my computer crashed last week.  Luckily, I was able to do a refresh instead of a full reset.  With the refresh my files were saved but I lost all of my emails and all of my programs.  It took me two days just to get into email, then several days of updating and program loading.  Last night, I finally got my writing program loaded and was able to open my most recent work-in-progress.  I also recovered my email files which ended up being a happy accident.  The whole incident was a wake up call, believe me I’ll be setting up a monthly schedule for backing up my computer.

Clearly I didn’t get much writing done during all of that.  I’ll have to do some backing up with my writing too.  I lost a week and I’ll have to go back to read over everything and get back into where I was with the story.  This week, I am hoping to get my read through done and then back to writing every day.  One good thing is that while waiting in line for my car to be emission tested I was able to work out a few plot points that had been a bit tangled.

Sometimes it feels like there have been so many setbacks and obstacles recently with my writing.  I started this year saying that 2014 was going to be my year.  I was going to get my work in progress rewritten, out to beta readers and maybe even take a shot at self publishing.  It’s been a tough year, and there’s only four months left in 2014, it would be smarter to just do what I can now and regroup for 2015.  Right now I am not feeling all that smart.  I am feeling stubborn and a little mad.  I had a plan for this year and I’ll be damned if I am going to let all of these little crappy things that keep happening stand in the way.

Come hell or high water, I am going get my rewrites done and get it to my beta readers.  I am going to write that novella too.  I’ve got 132 days left in 2014.  132 days, I can do this.  It’s not world domination but it’s a start.

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No problem…

calendar multiYou know how you decide to do something but you’ve got a couple of months to get it done and you’re thinking, no problem.  Then suddenly you look up and that day is looming?  Yeah, that day for me is tomorrow.  It’s a little craft project that I could have been working on while I watched TV in the evenings.  I’ve been wrapped up in my redecorating project though I just didn’t do it.   I kept thinking, I’m almost done, I’ll just concentrate on getting this done and then I’ll move on.  Big projects like these take time and usually about twice as long as you estimate so I should have known better.

Now, I am not only still behind on my redecorating project but also feeling guilty because I didn’t get this crafty stuff done.  It’s for a teacher friend of mine and school starts tomorrow.  Hopefully I can get them in the mail by Tuesday.  Here’s hoping…

 

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Am I insane?

Ocean_at_the_End_of_the_Lane_US_CoverLast year, I got the opportunity to see Neil Gaiman.  He was doing a reading and book signing for the release of his book The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  It was a great experience, he is as smart and funny as you would expect, but more so.  I can’t begin to explain how amazing he is while at the same time seem like a normal everyday person.  A few nights later my almost-niece, Andia, attended a similar event in LA, except she got the opportunity to meet him during a small reception before the event.  She’s exceptional, so her special time with Mr. Gaiman was well deserved.  I mean, the girl brought him homemade chocolates with book themed decorations.  C’mon!

 

I saw this quote from him earlier this week and I couldn’t quite get it out of my head.  It was so close to what I talked about last week that it just stuck with me.  I can’t quite give up on being a grown up but I can surely follow the sage advice of someone who knows what he’s talking about.

Just-be-an-author

Plus, I think I’ve already got insane covered so it’s all uphill from here, right?

**UPDATE**

Check out Andia’s website SteamCupcakes

 

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Time for a break

For the past two weeks I’ve been working fairly non-stop on a redecorating project.  Today though, I needed a break and needed to laugh.  My choice was to watch Simon Pegg’s Cornetto Trilogy of movies.  We started with Shaun of the Dead, continued with Hot Fuzz and finished the it off with The World’s End.  I’ve seen Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz several times before and totally loved them.  I was not disappointed with The World’s End, it was more of the same funny action and adventure.

Cornetto Trilogy
It was a well needed break and I am really thankful.  I am ready to get back to my project and everything else that needs to be done this week.  Here’s hoping everyone has a successful week!

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Good news and…

Keep calm writeOk, the good news is that I am writing again, but it’s not on my current work in progress, the novella.  Instead, I’ve been writing a lot of blog posts.  I currently have three blogs; this one for talking about my everyday stuff and writing, a second one that I use to post about homeschooling and craft projects and the last one I started preemptively as an author blog.

It’s a little nuts, having three blogs, I realize this.  The crazy thing is that I really enjoyed setting each one up, I must have changed themes ten times until I found the one that worked exactly the way I envisioned it.  I did that for all of them, in fact, I had a theme on one blog and realized it would work better on this one and changed them out.  I really like how each of them look, they are all different but have a similar bright, clean look.  Every time I publish a post I have a moment of creative giddyness because I like how the blog post looks, and more importantly because I am writing.

Writing has been something I’ve done since I was a kid.  Being a writer is something I’ve wanted to do pretty much since I started writing.  Even though it was what I wanted to do I don’t think I let myself really think about it as an actual possibility until just recently.  I talked about it and let it roll around in the back of my head but I don’t think I ever really believed that I could do it.  My father was my biggest champion, and yeah, dad’s are supposed to be supportive and all that.  I’d like to think there was a little more to it though.  My dad was pretty smart, he came out of college with a double major, Social Studies (History and Political science) and Kinesiology (the study of human movement).  He was also playing college football on a scholarship at a smaller college in California. He followed the Bachelors degree with a Masters, and taught at a Catholic Prep high school.  I actually had him for Honors English and U.S. Government/Economics and also P.E., he was also the head football coach but also coached track, swimming and was the weightlifting coach for all sports.  He was a Renaissance man though, he was a published poet, he could repair any vehicle, build almost anything and he came up with amazing solutions to problems that seemed unsolvable.  When I was a kid he designed and built on an addition to our house that was bigger than the original house.  Looking back it amazes me because he learned it all from reading and talking to people, there was no internet or You Tube videos to learn how to do things.  I remember helping him build a brick wall and platform for our wood burning stove, it was really neat to see it coming together, I mean literally seeing a brick wall built brick by brick.  How many eight year old girls know how to split a brick in half?  I learned a lot from my dad, not just in school but all of those other things like building and problem solving. **

I mentioned all of that to explain this next part.  When I was in college, I was having a stressful moment, I think I was struggling to get classes scheduled and I was full doomsday mode.  My dad sat down at the table with me and said, “Why are you going through all of this?”  Of course, I responded all frazzled talking about classes and grades and how I was never going to graduate.  He told me to quit worrying about my classes and get back to writing. I was bit surprised, my dad was all about getting a good and thorough education.  I told him I was going to school so I would have something to fall back on.  It seemed like a logical plan, go to school, get an education, get a job so I could, you know, eat.  I figured the writing would come later.    He says to me, “Forget about the back up plan, go write,” and then walked out of the room.

My father passed away in 2007 after a 16 month battle with lung cancer.  It took a year or so but all of those conversations I’d had with him over the years about writing kept coming back to me.  I had been writing off and on for years, I mean, I could wallpaper Brooklyn with pages from my unfinished projects.  It wasn’t until November 1, 2009 that I got a serious push toward writing.  I read a post from Jennifer Crusie about National Novel Writing Month (NaNo).  I logged onto the website and signed up.  I spent November writing my 50,000 words and I was very proud of myself.  I planned on getting back to writing after the holidays in January but, you know, sometimes life happens.  In the middle of May, I remembered that I could get a free proof copy and I spent most of June hunched over my computer finishing my story.  When I got my proof copy in the mail, I did a little happy dance and then burst into tears.  It was the first time that it seemed like writing was something I could actually do.

After that first story, I realized that I had the perfect idea for a story that would come before the one I’d just written. Not long after, I had a plan for a series of books set in the fictional town I had created in my first NaNo project.  I’ve used the opportunity of subsequent NaNo’s to work on my ideas for the different books.  I’ve been trying to rewrite the first in the series, it’s been a bit of a struggle after a large timeline change along with a few plot point changes.  I’ve rewritten the beginning and the next step is to get an new outline that incorporates all of the changes.

The important thing is that I write, and it can be hard.  I’m pretty busy trying to keep my house clean, the lawn mowed and food on the table and then homeschooling takes a lot of of prep and teaching time too.  It might be blog posts   I am going to do this though, I am going to find those minutes. I will get my butt in the chair and I will get my words on the screen.

I figure if I keep repeating it, that it will eventually happen, right?

**My dad helped me design these matching L – shaped desks.  It was one of the first projects that I constructed from beginning to end.  Sully was duly impressed.  🙂

 

KC Desk

My desk, cat usually included

Desk Sully

Sully’s desk, always neat and tidy.