Sunday, January 29, 2012

#Row80 1/29 Check-In

Boring post today.  I didn't get to do any writing yesterday or today.  I'd love to squeeze a little in this evening.  The past few days have been busy.  SR progressed the most since last check-in.  I wipe out a chapter and started over.  So the word count isn't hot, but I think I've finally straightened out the scene.

Most of my time has gone to everything else.  My phone bricked Friday.  I ended up taking it to Killeen to get it fixed.  Something about the update that it just received.  So the phone had to be reset.  I'm glad I saved what I did to the SD card.  Now I need to figure out what programs I had and where.

The rearranging bug bit again.  We moved everything around in the dining room and living room last night.  Our house has one of those awkward layouts that makes it feel like one big room.  It's lousy for changing up the furniture.  One wall is mainly widows.  Another joins the kitchen.  The only solid wall is the one with the front door.  Then there is the staircase wall.  We're looking to replace our dining set, so we tried moving things around in there.  Something like a cafe feel is what we're going for.  The bistro set that's in there is less than convenient when there are more than two people trying to eat.  We ended up pushing it closer to the window wall and adjusting the overhead light.  Then Colt hung a light in the kitchen.  It's different.  Two cables run parallel across the ceiling with five lights suspended from them.  I'm just happy to have a light back in the kitchen.  That meant I had to clean everything again.  That ran into this morning.  And afternoon.  I have problems.

Another reason we tried to rearrange things is because we're working to set up a new fish tank.  I'm not a fish tank fan.  I think they smell and are not worth the mess they can be.  I don't mind watching the fish swim around, but I gag at the sight of a dead fish.  So they have to be super healthy all the time.  Colt has had a tank for some time now, but a friend of his gave him another one.  This one is huge.  And dirty.  I was just fine with it taking up space in the garage.  Then Colt took me out and showed me some awesome saltwater setups.  And now I'm trying to do research on care and maintenance about this kind of hobby.  I think it's a bit of an investment.  We're still tossing it around.  We've also yet to clean out the tank.  Until then, there is a massive cabinet taking up one of our few walls just in case I get the urge to clean out the tank and bring it in.

So am I a writer or a fisher?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Forever Lost In My Own World: 'Where to Belong' by W.J. Smith

A rather nice review of Where to Belong by Mireille Chester -

Forever Lost In My Own World: 'Where to Belong' by W.J. Smith: Blurb: Madison is an ex-con artist who has now lived by the rules for eight years following the tragic death of her fiancé. She has made a n...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#Row80 1/25 Check-In

I missed the word sprint today.  I was not entirely ready for it, but it's still nice to hammer away at a WIP during the sprint and see what happens.  I don't always keep what I end up writing.  Even still, it's a good stretch before delving into a project.  I think of it a daily dose of NaNoWriMo inspiration.  While NaNo is good to get an idea flowing, I tend to need to slow down and concentrate more on the bigger details.

I've finished an extremely rough first draft of the idea I started working on earlier this month.  I might try to make it into a novella.  It's more of a sci-fi, and I don't think I'm the best person to make much out of it.  I'll just set it aside for awhile and see what happens.

A&F is getting obnoxious.  I have got to glue myself in place and get with the program.  I know what I'm wanting to do with it.  I just can't seem to concentrate enough to make any progress in the word count department.  I'm about to do a pretend NaNo and just spit it out.  I can always come back and polish the mess out of it.  Only, it would need lots and lots of polishing.  A friend volunteered to look over what I have so far.  He's asked about it quite a bit lately.  I told him there are still several major plot bunnies in it, and that I've skipped around some in the story line.  He still wants to give it a read.  I might throw together the alternate beginning I've been playing with and see which he thinks is the better way to go.  That would have some say in how I fix one of the plot bunnies.

As for SR, it's been a trip.  Like I said before, I've started over completely.  No, I don't know how many rewrites that makes.  But I really think it's getting better with each start-over.  It is now in the first person POV.  I'm liking the feel of it.  And for whatever reason, I'm kind of wanting to change the trilogy idea.  Would a series of novellas be any better or worse than three big novels?  I have a feeling this one is going to be my baby for a long, long time.

I read Mirielle Chester's Chael's Luck this week.  I loved it.  I'm tempted to go back a read it again.  It kept me up until 2:30 in the morning when I first started it.  So I finished it in two days.  I should have savored it longer.  It's a very interesting story and I do believe Chael is one of my favorites of Mirielle's characters.

Oh, word counts.  I've majorly goofed my word count tracker thingy.  I'm jumping between these three stories and the word count gets a little wonky when I'm hopping around like that.  The newest story, which I've dubbed Project Marshal until I can think up a real title, has seen the most progress.  Shattered Remnants follows closely behind.  Always & Forever has been sort of busy, but it's more of redoing sections than adding to the word count.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

#Row80 1/22 Check-In

I think the WIPs have grown since last check-in.  Shattered Remnants has seen the most progress.  I missed the word count tracker thingy again, so I don't know the exact number.  It has to be around 5k.  I'm still working on the board (mirror) with Always & Forever.  Then two other shelved WIPs came to mind.  I haven't opened them in Scrivener.  Not quite to that point.  The 2am muse party has gone ignored.  I've been staying up too late to even pretend to get up when the ideas start coming.

That's how things have been running since last check-in.  As near to non-stop as humanly possible.  I still don't understand how my head doesn't just explode with all the crazy thoughts and ideas going on.  Even Where to Belong saw a little action this past week.  It wasn't much, and I don't think I'll follow through, but it's been kind of fun to go back and tinker with it.

So now I'm catching up on everything else.  The pile of laundry is a bit on the scary side.  The poor kitchen is in need of some serious attention.  Most every room in the house needs help.  Colt and I took off yesterday and did our best to get lost.  It was fun.  I was lost from the very beginning, but I think he had the whole thing planned.  We even goofed around in a spring.  It was a very refreshing day trip. And the evening before, we went over to our friend's house (who had surgery) and spent some time with a group of friends.  We played Clue (I've never played it before, and the only instructions we had were in Spanish), had lots of dinner, and watched How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.  We've all seen the movie before, so it was kind of like our own version of Mystery Science Theater through the whole thing.

There's a few more things I need to do today, then I'm hoping to get back to SR.  I am way behind on visiting every one's blogs.  I've only gotten around to a few, but I don't think I left any comments.

So, there it is.  I've managed to stay busier than usual.  At least it's been a good busy.  But now I have lots of catching up to do with life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

#Row80 1/18 Check-In

In all honesty, I wanted to skip this check-in.  It's been a busy week so far.  It doesn't look to be letting up any time soon.  The Word Count for all WIPs has been 0.  I'm wrestling with the muse and loosing.  It wants to work at 2am.  I don't.  But seeing that I've stalled as of late, I'm beginning to think I need to surrender and let 2am happen.

Plotting has happened.  There's been lots of changes to A&F.  I've decided to cut the first six chapters and start over.  I like what's there, but I don't think it progresses the story enough.  I'm also working to make A&F stand on it's own.  I'd like readers to be able to pick it up and go without having to go back to WtB.  And, yes, I'm still tinkering with the Skyler POV scene.  It's happening on the side.  I'll get it into the file sooner or later.  Just to keep it interesting, SR has thrown me off track.  I was trucking along just fine, then realized it was still missing something.  Can you say, "Start over"?  I think I'll have to pull it off the blog until I nail this down.  Is there such a thing as too many rewrites?

To go along with that, I sort of employed the dresser mirror as a story board.  I kept changing up my notes and plot line.  The computer screen and notebooks seemed a bit crowded.  I don't have a dry erase board.  I've never seen the need for one.  The mirror is an OLD one that is all wavy and messed up like it should be in a fun house.  Now, it holds most of A&F's plot line.  Lots of X's and arrows going on.  I wanted to start the rewrite yesterday, but felt icky and uninspired.  Maybe today will be better.

I had my follow up this morning.  My doc is referring me to a specialist.  I figured that would eventually happen, but it's still discouraging.  I'll give them a try.  The doc has been very helpful so far, and I trust her.

My friend's surgery went well.  I don't know if I ever mentioned what was up.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer.  They removed the lump and a portion of the surrounding tissue Monday.  Now she is on bed rest with a few rounds of chemo coming her way.  She's a trooper.  I admire her courage.  She isn't one to complain. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

#Row80 Check-In 1/15

Nearly back on track.  I've been floundering (in case you haven't noticed) in my writing as of late.  It was my own fault.  I won't get into that.  But, I think I might be finding my way back.  My word count is maybe a few hundred for this check-in.  I've read over several WIPs and tinkered with editing.  I even tossed around a few hook ideas for a query.  I can't say that it stuck, but it's getting better.  I've been searching for cover art.  The perfect piece jumped out at me.  I'm not able to claim it at the moment, but I now have a more concrete goal to reach for.  The artist is one I've admired for some time.  I can pick her covers out of packed display without any problem.  I even bought a book I'd never heard of because of the cover art.  It was gorgeous.  But A&F is not quite to that stage yet, and I can't warrant investing that much in it for the time being.  One day.

In the determination to earn that cover art, I finally went back through A&F.  There are some parts that will stay, no questions asked.  Other parts need a bit of help.  I have two big plot holes in it.  One will be easier to fix than the other.  I know what goes there, I just haven't tried to make it fit.  The other hole is a bit more of a challenge.  I knew it would be when I skipped past it.  It's out of my comfort zone.  But I think the story will benefit from the scene.  Thus, I'll have to get over it.

I'm working on the scene that I got a little too frustrated with.  It's a chapter that steps out of Madison's shoes, and picks up from Skyler's POV.  I don't like head hopping.  Only, this scene needs to be shown from Skyler's view.  To go along with that, if you've read WtB, you know Skyler carries his regrets around.  It's kind of hard to explain.  That characteristic really, really bugs me.  But that's who he is.  I think I got tired of him thinking over the 'what if' side of things.  Dwelling on the past doesn't help with current situations.  Skyler's attitude got on my nerves.  Does that make any sense?

So I'm back with A&F.  It's been interesting.  Here's hoping to Skyler shaping up and me not being so grumpy about him.

My friend's surgery is tomorrow.  I'm nervous for her, but I know she is in good hands.  Her doctors are the best in their field.  They've done a good job of preparing her for all the possible outcomes.  She's still scared (understandably), but going in with her eyes open.  I admire that about her.  I wouldn't want to know all the details.  It's still early in the treatment phase.  There is a lot that's yet to be determined.  Yet, she and her husband have managed to keep their sense of humor intact and take their options as they come.  They'll be fine.

Oops.  Lengthy check-in.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

#Row80 1/11 Check-In

I'm not far into my morning, but the one big thing I had scheduled for today has now been rescheduled to next Wednesday.  Yep, one of those 'Yes, I confirmed multiple times, but stuff happens.'  One good plus to this, it's supposed to be a gorgeous day outside.  I might head out there and work in the yard a bit.  Winter is expected to return tomorrow and stick around a little longer.  I think I'd better take advantage of the warm and sunny day while it's here.

In the writing department, I don't think I've progressed in word count.  I have a WIP open, but I've been checking different points in the plot line more than anything.  I did make a few notes in the notepad one of these past late night/early morning 'oh oh' moments.  I couldn't sleep, so I did a little reading.  One word caught my attention, which led to another, and so on.  I might have pieced together a title.  Maybe.  It's still in the notepad.

As for now, I'm gonna sneak some writing in my suddenly freed morning, then see what I can find to do outside.  I know I need to clean the fireplace as well.  I should probably get to that soon.  The cat has this odd fascination with the fireplace.  That is even less fun to pick up after.  It's best to clean up the soot and ashes while they are in one general location.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

#Row80 Check-In 1/8

I managed to goof up my word count thingy each day this week.  I'm getting good at that.  But I did open one WIP each day and made progress in either plotting or actual writing.  Still more so in the plotting department.  I'm wanting to finish up the plot line for the newest WIP and get back to A&F.  I think it's time.  I'm mulling over the idea of releasing it only in e-format when it's finally done.  I'm trying to get a few new betas in line and another editor to look it over before I send it out into the world.  I can't say exactly why I'm shying away from the print option.  I think I'm just ready to move on to the next story.

Anywho, the writing.  3678 words since the last check-in.  Most of it is done late at night when I should be in bed.  I need to get some sort of schedule figured out so I can use my time more wisely.  My friend's surgery is another week away, which makes me hope it isn't as urgent as originally believed.  I've taken on a few other projects related to the writing department.  It's been nice to get away from my own work and concentrate on others.

Queries to agents and publishers have been set aside.  I'm second guessing too much to go ahead with it.  I'd like to think I'd eventually feel more confident and know when the time is just right.

It's great to see so many taking part this round.  I'm loving all the posts from fellow ROWers.  It is very refreshing.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#Row80 Check-In 1/4

I'm starting off a little weird.  Well, more weird than usual.  I was late to declare my intentions to join this round.  I won't revisit that.  Anywho, so we started Monday.  Monday wasn't too great.  The day itself was fine.  My head was in a fog.  I tinkered with SR and added a few hundred words.  Not much at all.  But I got it past the point that I kept getting hung up on.

Yesterday was much better.  Remember that idea that's been bouncing around in my head?  Well, I skipped the notebook and opened a new Scrivener project file for it.  2,543 words later, I'm a little more than half way through plotting the story.  The notes are very, very rough.  I don't know if I'll understand them later, but it felt good to finally sit down and let the story come on its own.  I almost took the laptop to bed with me to keep writing.  I'm glad I didn't.  I fell asleep before I turned off the lights.  I guess I was tired.

I'll see what happens today.  I'm trying not to sit and stare at the screen for long.  That never helps.  I slacked miserably on the housekeeping yesterday.  It took me all day to do one load of laundry.  Then I forgot it in the dryer twice and nearly cooked it.  Spaghetti-Os for dinner.  A late dinner.  Even the tort and the dragon were fed later than usual.  I'm wondering if I need to set a timer so I don't goof up like that two days in a row.  Hubby didn't seem to mind, but I don't want to make it part of my routine.  We're still waiting for an update about our friend.  I'm not the best at passing time while waiting by the phone.  I think he's caught on to that.  Even still, dinner isn't asking too much.

It's good to see everyone again.  I'm glad I signed on for this round.  I think it has already helped.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Still Here for #Row80

Lots has happened over the past week.  Very little happened in the WIPs.  But, I did manage to clean up a new idea.  I now have more than I care to admit to.  Too many for the time being.  I'm currently working on SR and hope to have something posted before much longer.

I planned to join Row80 for this round when we left for break last month.  I still want to hop aboard.  That's the nice thing about Row80.  You make your own rules and set your own goals.  Seeing that I'm now considered a Stay-At-Home-Writer, I really expected to be doing more writing at this point.  But I've fumbled a bit, then a friend received some scary news, and now writing has been set aside for a little while.  The only good thing about that is that it is once again my escape.  But, for now, I'm going to have tiny writing goals.  I'm hoping to be able to pick up a bit more before too long.  We'll see.  I just think I need to concentrate on helping my friend where I can.  Yes, I'm pretty much useless at this point, but I want to be there for her.  She has always been an amazing help to me.  I only hope I can do the same for her.

Thus, my goals for Round 1 of 2012 are rather simple.  In the writing world, I would like to progress at least 200 words per day in any of the WIPs.  I think I want to scribble more in the notepad with the newest idea.  Walking would be a nice way to clear my head each day.  I don't even know where to start with that goal besides getting out the front door.  And I want to be more supportive of my fellow Rowers.  I didn't get around to as many posts last time as I should have.  I see there are plenty of new members for this round.  Let's see if I can't drop by everyone's blog at least once a week.

Flimsy start, but it's a start.