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Best laid plans…

I woke up this morning with an awful allergy headache.  I took ibuprofen and allergy medicine as soon as I got up but it still took several hours to get rid of the headache completely.  I had great plans to get a lot done today but moving around really wasn’t an option.

So faced with the fact that reorganizing the garage was not going to happen I decided to turn towards my writing.  My work-in-progress is my NaNo project from November 2010, titled ‘Above the Water’.  I finished the rough draft and got a proof copy and now it’s time for rewrites, actually past time for rewrites.  

Camp NaNo started on Friday and I am having a slow start.   I wrote ‘Above the Water’ using the program called yWriter.  I like that program and how it separates things into chapters and scenes but it’s missing some features that I would like to utilize.  I looked at Liquid Story Binder and I really like how it looks.  I downloaded it in January, it’s very complicated and not really all that conducive for learning as you go.  I even toyed with Scrivener back in February and I like that it is similar to yWriter in it’s simplicity but I was having a hard time with the actual writing within Scrivener.  This dilemma over writing programs helped me to continue procrastinating.  There was also the problem with moving files around on my computer, some of which are still missing.  So, anyway, here we are at the beginning of June and I am no closer to editing my WIP.  

Friday night, I finally opened a new project in Liquid Story Binder and transferred the first chapter from yWriter.  The chapter needs to be rewritten, it starts out too slow, there’s too much information being dumped.  I need to go back and get the story moving from the beginning.  The backstory info needs to be spaced out over time, we don’t need to know absolutely everything in the first chapter.


I worked on the first chapter on Saturday night, rewriting the opening scene but I was not happy with it at all.  My immediate thought is a quote from the first Spiderman movie, I need to take the whole thing “back to formula.”  I’ve decided that I need to sit down and read chapter one all the way through.  Then go back and make changes.  In fact, I think I will print the pages out and actually go through it and make corrections and notes on the page.  It’s the way Stephen King does it, and I am thinking he might know what he’s talking about.  Ha!

June+1

My June +1 for today is that I drank 2 – 24oz tumblers of water.  
At least the day wasn’t a total loss.  🙂

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Porch decor…

Nothing like a little procrastination or it is good things come to those that wait…

Last Spring, I bought this wall art piece.  It was on sale, I had a coupon and I love butterflies.  It was missing a butterfly in the middle and I figured I would fill the space with something.  I just wasn’t sure what.  I hung it on our covered front porch and I like how the sunlight reflects off of the copper.

It’s been a year and I still haven’t filled the space.  Every time Lily comes over she says, “still nothing?”  And I usually say, “Ugh, I know, I just haven’t seen anything that seems like the thing to add.”   I’ve thought about tracing the shape of the butterflies and making a new one out of bright colored paper, or getting one of those butterflies that they use in floral arrangements.

Last week, though we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch with Sully’s mom.  She’s really trying to keep herself moving along, which I think is commendable and a healthy way to go.  After lunch we went into the ‘Old Country Store’ to look around.  I found a really pretty butterfly wind chime and a pretty butterfly plant decoration.

The wind chime looks perfect on the front porch and I had planned on adding the butterfly planter decoration to the butterfly decorations in the master bathroom. It’s our spring time theme, I only have a few more weeks to enjoy it.

This morning I had the butterfly in my hand and was looking around to see where to put it.   We’ve had the butterfly theme in the master bathroom for several years, last year was the first year that we attempted changing the bathroom decor to go with the seasons.  As I looked at the master bath, I was suddenly struck with a fantastic idea.   The idea hit me so suddenly I ran out to the front porch.  I must have startled Sully because he showed up soon after.

The butterfly from the Cracker Barrel hooked right on to the wire that was left at the empty space.  I did a little fine tuning but it really looked good from the beginning, with minimal help from me.

While I was out on the porch I hung up these pieces that I got, on sale, with a coupon and then left leaning by the front door for two months.  They are hanging on the opposite wall of the front porch.  My mother was part Native American, she would have liked these although Kokopelli was her favorite.  I like the designs, Butterfly, Eagle and Thunderbird, and whose house doesn’t need some extra happiness, freedom and everlasting life?

          

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Following your dreams…

Author Bob Mayer tweeted that quote today.  I looked around online for the original source but I was unable to verify the true author.  The quote kind of struck a chord with me today.  Not because I have anyone discouraging my dreams though, it’s quite the opposite in fact.  Sully is so supportive that he is ready and willing to live off of me once I become a famous author.  Friends and family are lining up to read what I have written.

I think I am the weak one in this example.  It’s not easy to admit but it seems like I discourage myself daily.  I have a writing project that already has a word count over 110K .  I am supposed to be editing it.  I read the first chapter and didn’t like it.  Honestly, I sent a text to Sully that said, ‘I just read the first chapter and it blows.’ Sully replied with a lot of nice stuff and basically said he didn’t think it could be that bad.  He was right the end of the chapter was pretty good but that beginning part had to go.

This project was written during National Novel Writing Month, also referred to as NaNoWriMo, which I have shortened to NaNo.  The combination of the newness of the story and the time constraint of NaNo, I think, is at least partially to blame for the first chapter blowing.  I am procrastinating about editing and I am not sure why.  It’s a little overwhelming, and not just because it’s over 110K.  I know that stuff needs to be cut, added and rewritten, I have an entire notebook of notes.  Of course, I know part of the problem is that I am just afraid that the whole thing sucks.

I think I am going to leave this here and address that last part on another day.

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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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Procrastination or Fear…

I am supposed to be writing.  This is not new, I have been procrastinating about my writing since college.  I used to write for fun and then somewhere along the way I got concerned about whether what I was writing was any good.  That was not a good thing to have happen.  Once I started worrying about the quality of my writing then I was stuck.  Writing was stressful, and not fun.  I really wanted to write, but my inner critic was telling me to forget it.

My stories called to me, different scenarios filed through my head during the day and  I would have vivid dreams about people and places I didn’t know at night.  I would start stories and never finish them.  I mean what was the point?  I had already told myself they were crap so why continue?

My parents were very supportive and encouraged my writing but when you are in your twenties you are so damn sure that you know everything.  I thought I knew better and pushed it aside.  So, I would doodle here and jot something down there but nothing more than a few written pages.  After I survived a horrid relationship, followed by a self imposed sentence of solitary confinement of about seven years, I got laid off and finally ended up working in a bookstore.  There, I met my future husband and remembered why I loved writing.  Sully and I were married in 2000, and had Boo at the end of 2001.

Fast forward a few years, I’ve been working up to writing.  I’ve been talking about it,  a lot.  I bought books about writing and I even read some of them.  I have a drawerful of notebooks, journals and legal pads.  So, clearly, I’ve been thinking about it, my follow through was lacking though.  I guess I was waiting for some motivating factor…

November 1st, 2009, Jennifer Crusie posts on Facebook about National Novel Writing Month.  I read about it and think, yes, yes, yes.  Within minutes I was signed up and I am committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  At the end of November I had  my 50K words and I was so excited.  I was writing again…and then I stopped, it was Christmas and I thought for sure I would start again in January.  This is where someone coughs *bullshit* in the background.  Honestly, though I thought I would keep on writing but it just didn’t happen. Somewhere around June 1st I realized that my book was only half done and I needed to finish it to get my free proof copy.  So, I spent another month hunched over my computer slogging through the last half of this not very thought out story.    With a day or so to spare, I finish writing.  I turn to Sully and promptly burst into tears.  I’d never finished anything beyond a few short stories, most of which had been assignments for classes.

I then spent several hours formatting (and swearing) and finally submitting it for printing at CreateSpace.  I check the mail everyday and grumble through July 4th and the lack of mail delivery.   When my proof copy finally came, it was so amazing to see it, well worth the wait, and the work.

Since then I have started three more stories, two of which I have finished (mostly) and one that kind of fell flat in the middle.  Not my fault, it was the middle of the Arizona summer and I honestly think my brain got fried, too many days over 110 degrees.  Blah!  The point is, though, I haven’t gone back to do editing and rewrites, that’s where I will have to face up to the truth.  Mind you, this is where I can see what works and doesn’t work over the whole course of the story not just one scene or chapter.  I think I am better prepared now after writing the other stories but it’s still a bit scary.

In November, I shut my inner critic into a closet so I could write, now I’ve got to let her back out.  I really hope she isn’t a total bitch about the whole closet thing…