Wednesday Writer’s Update 10/19

Good morning! It’s going to be one of those days today, so I’m just going get this up now and check at least one thing off my to do list. I love lists. I love the brain emptying, peace inducing process of getting everything that needs to be done out and on to paper. Then the pure joy of crossing things off one by one as I finish them or decide maybe they don’t need my time or attention. “Nevermind, I’m not doing that.”

I’ve been tracking what I do for a few days now, because I assigned my Nano to Pub class at the coop to do so as well in preparation for setting their Nano goals. And damn I am busy. I’d like to say there’s plenty of fluff space in there where I could be working harder on my goals but the reality is there is NOT. wrinkles nose. I need to ponder how I can make some adjustments.bard-starlet-radio-hour-flyer-2016-ghosts-final

The big news this week….is Bard and Starlet. It is on.

We have actors and a director.

This is the first time something I have written will appear on the stage. Kind of exciting.

But at the same time, two members of FVP are publishing this month. And I am not.

I was not a good guardian of my own time. And I am paying for it now.

 


 

I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at for a little prod of accountability.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ sigh, I gotta be honest. This had just ceased to be a priority. Say good bye to flash fiction.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ Just had our October meeting this past weekend. It was more of a prepare for Nanowrimo than a publish. But it is time to get ready to write.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

√ Working on it. Still planning to be ready for beta readers before the end of November.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ Teaching. I have actually have 6 students in both of my classes, which sounds sad but is really impressive given 75% of our students are 4th grade of less. I am super pleased with my turn out. I have just enough kids that they spurn each other on to talk but everyone can have a say because there’s time for 6 kids to have opinions.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either.

√ I haven’t been painting, crocheting, or writing much. Too much time spent cleaning out four rooms for the painters. I seriously think we have too much stuff. I feel a major purge coming….after my book goes to beta. LOL

– yoga daily.

√ Yes, I am actually doing this. Which is how I am keeping my cool with everything else going on. LOL

Wednesday No Writer’s Cafe Again 5/25

Seriously, I should just stop calling the Wednesday post Writer’s Cafe because I never get there anymore. Feels like months. Waves at the pizza crowd. Miss you!

Ok so why am I not there? Yeah, emergency executive meeting of the club board. Yes, again they are derailing my life for more drama. I think since I returned from Hawaii last Monday I have seen about 300 emails. Way too much of it backstabbing, half truthing, bull shit. (pardon my language)

Several members may or may not be resigning tonight, including me. I won’t go on like this. Either people commit to putting on their big boy/girl pants and acting like the adults we are supposed to be, or I’m done. I can’t carry the emotional burden of this crap for a pool. It’s not that important.

Since I have returned, I have not written a single word on my spy novel that is practically at the finish line. I haven’t spent a single minute on the novel I am developmentally editing. I’ve barely been able to get my blog posts up and half of those were done ahead of time. Speaking of I’m leaving on Saturday for a road trip with my kiddo and I haven’t preposted for those ten days yet.

All of my spare time has been sucked up my the drama and drama fall out or the emotional hang over of dealing with the former. Enough. Done. I’m out. Drops the microphone.


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

 

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ I think I missed May. And it ain’t gonna happen between now and Saturday. LOL. I did do a couple in April. Short ones. Single liners on a topic and the like. It was fun.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ Rolling right along. I think we will have 8 new books out of this class by the end of the year. I’m so excited by that. A year’s worth of work and it will be worth something.

 

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel(trashed), write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

√ Not a word this week. I wrote a lot on the cruise though. It’s really cleaned up. I need to write one more bridging scene and then finish the big action blow out on the ship.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ Yep. People have actually signed up for both my classes, Nano and Geography. One family actually joined the coop just so their daughter could take my Nano class. LOL.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either.

√ Been doing good on this although the kiddo did buy me a new paint by number for Mother’s Day. LOL. It’s half done in the last week. LOL. I find it very soothing and with all the club drama, I needed to be soothed.

– yoga daily.

√ Yeah. Actually this is happening, although some days are still only 15 minutes.

Weekend Workshop – Nano To Publish

The Nano to Publish workshop happened in April even though I was busy posting for the A to Z Challenge. We talked mostly about how to find beta readers and what kind of readers we should be looking for.

First thing to consider, writers will give you write it better feedback. They might even give you feedback that focuses on how they would have written the novel. This is marginally beneficial. Another set of eyes is always good but don’t get all writer feedback on your beta, that’s what your critique partner is for.

Get readers for your beta. Ie, People who READ. In a perfect world you’d have two who read your genre and at least one who doesn’t. Readers tell you how they as a reader experienced your novel and that’s ultimately your focus.

You also need at least one eagle eyed, anal retentive line editor to catch every oops. Every double space, wrong punctuation, misspelling, incorrect word choice, etc.

I also spent a bit of time talking about your mom. Your Spouse. Your best friend.

They all love you. Ergo their feedback is less useful. Why? Because they will like your book because you wrote it. And even if they honestly think its the best thing ever, will you believe them, give the whole love thing? And if they do hate it, and they’re honest, how will that effect the relationship long term? Think carefully before using this avenue.

So where to find these bastions of honest virtue? Well if you have a blog, you can try asking for readers there. Your followers already like your style. At least a couple of them might like to read something longer from you.

How much beta do you like as a writer? Do you use the same readers every time? Where do you find them? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe 3/16

Some days being a mom is tough. Like when your adorably cute six year old says “please mommy cancel my sitter and stay home with me tonight” with big tired eyes.

This week has been interesting. Time change is always a big problem for me. Compounded by the fact that getting up at five was still a struggle even though I had been doing it for 3 months. So now five is four. bleh. I’ve been getting up at the new 630. shaking head.

Which might explain why I feel like I am making zero progress with my murder mystery. On the other hand a new idea for a new novel popped into my head and despite the fact that I attempted to purge said idea by writing it down, the idea won’t leave me alone. I keep coming up with new layers to the story I want to leave me alone so I can finish this darn murder. LOL.

I finally hit 100 followers. It only took 18 months. (snort, only) A quick shout out to the lovely Sue over at Artist Path.


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

 

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ er…cruddle, I really should get on this for March eh?

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ This Saturday is our March workshop. We’re still overhauling our work to take it to beta next month. I also taught a special session class Tuesday on blogging to three of the N to P participants.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ um, so this is going rather slowly right now. I decided to cut this group interrogation scene and instead work the conversations in during a reception after the murdered guy’s funeral. I’ve written the funeral but that’s about as far as I’ve gotten this week.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ sigh, this is all so messy. We’re half way through mock registration and NO one wants my nano class. People are lining up for the geography class I made up on the spur of the moment though. Laughing. Ain’t that always the way?

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either.

√ I’ll admit it, there was a little too much painting last weekend.

– yoga daily.

√ laugh, snort, laugh. I did however get my son addicted to yoga though. I convinced him being more flexible will help him with capoeira.

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe 3/2

Wow, it’s March already. How the bleep did that happen? In no time at all con will be here, then Legoland, then Hawaii thank god. I expect this whole year to slide by in a wash of head shaking, “wait, where did x go?”

So the Norwescon schedule is up and I want to know what idiot thought it was a good idea to schedule So You’ve Finished a First Draft, Catching Readers, Hook, Line, & Sinker, Beta Better, and Single Combat for Writers: Creating Believable Violence all in the same hour on the same day? I need a time turner.

Also this week, our friends J and A decided to go to Hawaii with us in May. Woot. This reminded me that I hadn’t put the family passport information into the cruise website yet. Which led me to discover … my passport expired. Bleep bleep bleepity bleep.

So in between putting in a couple hours a day on the schedule for the coop next year, double checking Scripting the Truth for errors before my next order, and editing my murder mystery for Beta…I am breathless. In fact, I’m so busy I had to spend the first 45 minutes of write in figuring out what I am going to cook for the rest of the week so I can go get groceries on the way home. LOL

 


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my categorization on amazon.

√ This is done. I might just remove this goal. I have a list of marketing locations. I joined a publishing coop for the year to get more of my face out there.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ Done. Already back from first critique.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ I did two technically in February but both were super short. One was to write an opening line to a novel. (Watch as she sits on the couch working on her laptop, one hand occasionally petting the sleeping dog next to her.) I was leaving it open so the novel could go a myriad of ways.

The other was to put the working title of your current WIP into an anagram site and pick an anagram of your title. There were over 70K+ anagrams of Sweeping it Under the Rug. LOL. Both challenges came from Dan Alatorre.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ January and February done. People are moving forward. It’s early still but I’m excited that only the people who weren’t ready to pull the trigger in January didn’t come back in February. Everyone came back. Everyone is still working forward. We even gained a member.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ Edited 21 chapters this week including some pretty big rewrites to fix some issues. It’s still not where I want it but I think I will be ready to go to Beta in a month. Start thinking about if you want on my beta team.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

-Non Applicable at this time.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ This got so out of control. I am now teaching 3 classes more or less. laughing. It’s in flux. And of course it depends on whether people sign up for my classes but still.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ Pretty good this week, although a long stretch with a sander left one shoulder a little cranky. I’m on another house project. This one is just a book case so no pictures, I think.

– yoga daily.

√ Nope. LOL. But at least every other day. The three weeks I was sick, exhausted, sick, exhausted, sick really killed my daily habit. But I am building it back up.

Nano To Publish February Edition

One of the things I always noticed when I was getting edumacated was there are two kinds of teachers. Those who have a plan of what to cover and stick to it like glue and those who have a plan but follow the organic flow of the class. I always liked the latter because you never know where the discussion might go when you just let people talk about ideas. I had a plan for last weekend’s workshop. And while things somewhat went according to plan the detours were really fun.

I started off talking about my feedback from my critique partner. It was pretty harsh. My book is just not that good. And even though I felt that the whole time I was writing it in Nano, finishing it off post Nano, and doing some edits to get it ready for first pass, it still kinda hurt. My critiquer knew within ten pages of finding the body who killed the victim. Ouch. What was the point of laying my pain open for everyone? Well, by asking more questions of my critiquer I found out one line in my novel gave it away for him. One line. One line I meant to be a little odd, to make the reader think just a pause, but apparently I overshot the mark. Then I turned them loose to talk to their partner and find those little extra nuggets of information that might help rework their novel.

Then we talked about what they had heard. I wanted to identify places where they felt overwhelmed by the criticism or had no idea how to address what had been presented to them. And what do you know, almost everyone felt really good about what they heard. Everyone had something to share though.

Which lead to a fabulous discussion of erotica versus romance as a genre and what might be contained in those type books to make it fall into one category or another. The librarian on duty actually came and closed the doors of the conference room on us. Oops. LOL.

Another writer was concerned about time line clarification. Her reader was confused when in the story he was. One suggestion to fix that was to read through how an author you admire handles that sort of notification subtly and then apply it to your novel.

I think if February Nano To Publish had a theme it would be that. If you don’t know how to do something but know an author who does it well in your opinion, read their works. Model the changes you need after them. I’m not talking about changing your style to match theirs, just using their toolbox when you discover your tools aren’t working for a particular problem.

If you’re following along at home, get to work on making the changes your first pass critiquer suggested to you. Ideally you want your novel ready to go to Beta readers in April. You have two whole months. Get to writing.

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe – 2/3

Cafe is preempted because I am in Portland with the kiddo, G, and her kiddo M. This trip was planned for last month but the stomach flu derailed our plans. So we went this week.

We left Tuesday after Lego class for my kiddo and Pilates for G, she is in wicked good shape. First stop was the Mount St. Helens Volcano Museum. We’re home schoolers, every trip must include some education. LOL

Of course when we got there it was closed. Yep, even though the website says open 9-5 daily, daily no longer includes Tuesday and Wednesday. So we took a short hike to let the boys get the wiggles out. Onto Portland.

Checked into our hotel, got rooms right next door to each other, nice accommodating hotel. Lemon verbena soap. Headed out for sushi at Bamboo sushi. Tasty. Kiddo was mad his California roll didn’t have fish roe on it. Sigh. But a trip to Powell’s made everything better, 80 dollars later…but I found some sets of books that are like Bob books, but star wars. Score!

Flight Museum at McMinnville. They have the spruce goose. I saw it in long beach when I was a kiddo so it was cool to take my son now. We ponied up the small amount of extra duckets to take a private cockpit tour. We caught the fighter pilot documentary as well, all about red flag at Nellis. Very cool. In between we kept popping out to the car to enjoy the bounty of tasty treats we picked up from kyra’s bakery on our drive out. Totally gluten free facility, heavenly taste. Cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, sammies, quiche. Hard to say what was the best although the raspberry cheesecake I’m nibbling right now might be winning.

Tomorrow we hit the Oregon science museum, sub tour, and a few paleo food trucks before we head back home.


I’ve decided to report on my stated 2016 goals each Wednesday at cafe for a little prod of accountability.

– Research marketing locations for the next free giveaway for Scripting the Truth. Figure out the Reddit problem. Fine tune my marketing strategy.

√ working on it. I really need more reviews, hence my new give away on offer. Review Scripting the Truth and get an e-copy of my murder mystery free when I publish it later this year.

– Write 2500 plus words per week on my 2015 Nano novel til completion. (Only another 5-6 weeks to go on that, I think.)

√ done until I get my first critique back.

– Participate in one flash fiction challenge per month.

√ it’s February. Another sorry will appear soon.

– Prepare and teach “Nano to Publish”.

√ I suppose I should get started on the February class, lol.

– Edit my 2015 Nano Novel for 2016 publication.

√ Houston, we’re in a holding pattern here. First critique is out. Waiting for it to come home.

– Any time I am not actively working on my 2015 Nano Novel, write 2500 words per week on my spy novel until it is done. (After four years, it’s time to put this mess to bed.)

√ I should be working on this right now but I’m using the time to get to some other important projects of the ground.

Non writing goals

– Prepare and teach two classes at the coop for the 2016-2017 school year.

√ there’s some stuff brewing, it looks like I might be teaching much more than n to p but we’ll see how it shakes out.

– Take better care of my body, ie. stop compulsively painting, crocheting, and writing until my back or shoulder is so tore I can barely use either. Which leads me to …

√ two thumbs up.

– yoga daily.

√ made it to daily this week with one 90 minute session. I’d love to get that up to a couple of times a week.