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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.

 

 

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Work in progress…

I am supposed to be editing my work in progress, but I am trying to figure out which software to use.

I have used yWriter5 for several years but I felt like I needed more.  More what?  No idea, I was using the basic chapter and scene features, I also liked the character and location menus.  There are several features that weren’t useful at all and there were a few things that I could have used that weren’t there.

In January, I was working with Liquid Story Binder.  The difficult thing about LSB is that it is terribly complicated to figure out.  I really love the look of it, very colorful and visually striking.  There are so many features and it is so complex that it is not easy to just jump in and start writing.  You have to make builders and planners that link to chapters and scenes.  The character dossiers are s


Last month, Scrivener was recommended to me and I discovered that you can do a 30 day trial download.  I downloaded it last night, I haven’t really spent enough time with it to really comment.  My first impressions are mixed.  I like the corkboard feature and that the chapters and scenes are set up similarly to yWriter.  There are a few things that I am not fond of , there is no total word count, no timeline and the character section is less than interesting.  There is a tutorial video that I should probably watch.  I will post an update after I watch it and play around a bit more.et up well though and I like that.

Of course, I think all of this research and fact finding might just be a way of putting off working on my WIP.  As I said before, I am supposed to be editing.  I was hoping one of these programs would be helpful with that.  I think I just need to buckle down and get it done so I can let people read it.  I need the input so I can get better and move forward

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Going back to the beginning…sort of…

One of the many things that I plan on doing this year is rewriting one of my NaNo projects.  I have done NaNo three times along with Camp NaNo this past summer.  I have gotten my 50K words every time and twice I have gone back and finished the book enough to get the proof copy.

This year, I want to go back to the first book (which is actually the second book I wrote) and do my editing and rewrites.  During NaNo you just write to get your word count which can sometimes leave ginormous holes all over the place.  I want to take that next step and fill in those holes, I want to fix the story.  I was happy to have an ending to the story after my first NaNo but now I need to fix it.

My original plan was for me to start my rewriting on January 1st and just plow through it.  Of course, I am in the midst of transferring my story from one writing program to another.  I am also trying to flesh out a bit more of the plotlines in my notes.  I really want to see some character development as the story progresses.  

The new plan entails me writing or working on my writing every day.  So far, I have done pretty well.  I’ve gotten most of my plotline notes done.  I am hoping that next week I will actually work on the rewriting part.