Monthly Archives: February 2012

My Ground Hog’s Day

I went to bed around 2:30 this morning. So, I was totally surprised when my eyes popped open bright and early at 6:30. Unable to go back to sleep, I put on my workout gear and hit the streets. I walked a couple of miles. Then I did a little stretching and some work with weights. I’ve been trIying to shake off my winter sluggishness. Cold weather is not my friend. I practically hibernate. Holiday season and cold weather always seem to throw me off track with my health goals. Let’s hope today was the reboot that I’ve needed. It was 61 one degrees out this morning. The promise of Spring makes me giddy. It feels like my personal Ground Hog’s Day.

ground hog

I’m glad that I got a good work out in. It’s helping with my excess energy. I’m playing the waiting game right now. The results of Monday’s interview will come in within the next week. I’m not feeling very patient right now. One minute I’m confident. The next I’m nervous. I hope to hear back sooner rather later.

My goals are on track. I’ve been kicking butt in the writing department. On Monday, I more than tripled my word count goal. Yesterday, I doubled it. Today, I’ll hit and it then some again. Yay! Not reading a new novel yet. I’ve been focusing on a collection of short stories instead. I finally picked up the craft book that I’d started again. Progress has been steady. Can’t ask for more.

Much love ROW family. Catch you guys on Sunday!

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Another Sunday Check-in

Since Wednesday, I’ve polished off another novel, Hot Mama by Jennifer Estep. It was fine. I liked her first one better. I’ve read a couple of short stories as well. The thing I’m noticing is that even my leisure reading isn’t so leisurely any more. I still enjoy it immensely, but I can’t read a story of any kind without looking at it from a writer’s standpoint.

The more I learn about structure and specific writing technique, the more I see it in the stories I read. I see what’ s working. I see what’s lacking. I see how I would have made different choices. That excites me, makes me feel like all the studying that I do is paying off. I like that because it teaches me to be patient and to trust my own process. Things are coming together even when I have no idea why I’m doing what I’m doing. The reading bender continues.

I’ve gotten some more work done on the novel analyzing front as well. I am working through Karma Girl and it is going quickly like I hoped. Sort of. The actual process is speedier than with some other books. I just don’t have very much time to devote to doing it. So, I guess it’s more like medium speed. 😛

I am getting my writing in every day. I’m exceeding my word counts still, but I refuse to up the number just yet. I am deep into the interview process. With a new job, my schedule would change dramatically. Free time would dwindle. I’d have to see how that number would hold up then. That’s where I am.

I hope you guys are hitting your marks and having a good time. Happy ROWing guys!

Back to Blue Stars

I’m a bit tired today. I did not get much sleep last night. Monday’s interview went well and today I had a skills test that I passed. My next interview is scheduled for this coming Monday. So, there is much more prep and practice to come over the next few days. I really want this job. That is where my focus is right now.

Yesterday, I finally took a day off from writing. It was a little bittersweet to end my streak. I was running errands and by the time I got back, I just didn’t want to write. So, I let it go. It felt good to make the choice though. Today starts a new run. I don’t know if it will last as long as the last one but we’ll see.  For every day that I write, I get a blue star. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing blue stars on my calendar. The blank spot on yesterday’s date looks a little lonely.

Today, I got back to novel analyzing. I started working on Jennifer Estep’s Karma Girl. I just read that book last week I think. So, the scenes are still very fresh in my mind and therefore easier to analyze quickly. I am hoping it doesn’t take very long to get through. I’m actually excited to be working on this goal again.

As for reading, I’m finishing up the last book in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage series today. I really like the series. I am a little sad that I don’t have more of them to read. I did see talk of another one on her website. Fingers crossed. No reading in the craft department. That’s cool for now.

Catch you guys Sunday. Happy ROWing!

 

A Case of the Shoulds

I am just bubbling over with excitement. I have a job interview tomorrow with a company that I’ve applied to a number of times. So, I’ve been in prep mode for a few days now. There is more company research to be done. And then there’s practicing the answers to likely questions . Busy, busy, busy in a good way. I’ve thrown a roast in the slow cooker so that I can just put my head down and work.

As for my goals, I am consistently moving forward. I’ve finished another Faith Hunter novel and started the last one available in the series. I came down with a case of the shoulds yesterday. I haven’t read any of the current craft book of choice for probably a week. I’ve been so caught up in good fiction, the kind that’s like candy. I started to feel guilty for enjoying myself too much. I decided that I should read something more substantial and get back to the craft book and blah blah blah.

Truth is, I don’t care about any of that. I put the heavier stuff to side. I went back to what I WANT to read right now. I’m calling this episode a momentary relapse. I suspect there will be more. But every time I manage to refocus on my priorities instead of the shoulds floating around in my head, I breathe a bit easier. I feel a bit stronger. I feel more myself.

I’m finding that the more I write. The quicker it gets. I’m able to hit my mark in shorter and shorter stints of time. I exceed my goal more often than not. That’s a good place to be for now. This is where I’d normally insert some new goal, but I’m not going to do that. I like the feeling of consistency. Gonna ride it out.

I hope that all is well with you guys. Have a great week ROW buddies.

 

Ladies’ Day Out

This is a super late post for me. I’m all tuckered out. Yesterday, I was out and about for hours on end. I spent the morning finishing up my shopping. It was Valentine’s Day which just happens to be my best friend’s birthday as well. So, I spent the day with her.

We went out to lunch at Panera Bread. We ended up spending hours there talking, reading, and writing. Then we went to a movie. We saw Mark Wahlberg in Contraband. Her choice, not mine, a birthday girl’s privilege. It was a lot more drama than action which wasn’t quite what I expected.  It wasn’t the worst choice for my first theater visit of the year, but I’m hoping my next one will be better. (Hello, Hunger Games.) After the movie, we had dinner. All in all, it was a great day.

Today was spent playing catch up on the things I didn’t get done yesterday.

As for my goals, it’s been easy going since Sunday’s check-in. I’m a few pages from finishing Jennifer Estep’s Karma Girl. I’m sure I’ll get to that as soon as I finish writing this post. I have not read much in the craft book, but that’s nothing to worry about. I alternate my reading material a lot.  I had ordered the next two books in Faith Hunter’s Rogue Mage series. They showed up yesterday. Happy Valentine’s Day to me. 😉

My writing streak is still going strong. I did a good deal of brainstorming during yesterday’s session. I started playing with ideas for a short story. I’ve even started outlining for it.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Good luck to all for the rest of the week. Until Sunday my friends.

Finding a Groove

At the start of this round, I was unsure about whether or not I wanted to participate. I was deep in the midst of a holiday hangover. It felt like round one was just starting too soon. I went back and forth about it. I didn’t want to start late or skip the whole round, but I had no clue what I really wanted to work on during this time. Ultimately, I joined. I pieced together some goals that seemed appropriate and I kept it moving.

As the weeks go on, I find that some goals have just died. Some have been tweaked. Some have popped up out nowhere and remain kind of unofficial. I have found myself a little groove. Once I decided that I wasn’t adding new craft books to my to-be-read list, I hit my own bookshelves. There are plenty of books already in my personal library that are untouched.

I’m content with my daily writing and getting lots of reading done. Since Wednesday, I’ve finished June Casagrande’s It was the best of sentences, It was the worst of sentences. I liked her approach to grammar enough to look into her other books. Ha, but since I don’t already own them, they’ll stay on the back burner for a while. I’ve started John Truby’s The Anatomy of Story.  On the fiction side of things, I picked a couple of Jennifer Estep’s novels from the library, Hot Mama and Karma Girl.

So, that’s where I am. Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Eat, sleep, and the usual stuff.

Hope all is well with you guys. Happy ROWing. Until Wednesday.

Guess Who’s Back!

Excited to be mostly back to normal. All that’s left of my illness is a slight cough that gets slighter as the days go on. I’m sure I’ll be completely fine by the end of  the week. That makes me so happy. I’ve been watching doctors try to figure out what’s wrong with my bestie  for about a month and a half. They still don’t know and she’s miserable. Being sick for several days sucks, but being sick for extended periods of time wreaks havoc on the body and the mind.

I’ve been pretty productive since Sunday.

Reading:

I started and finished Faith Hunter‘s Bloodring. It is a book that I picked up while browsing the stacks at my library. It is a post apocalyptic fantasy that caught my eye. This is my first look at a book with that kind of setting. The cover has a seraph on it and there is a religious component to the story that I was willing to explore with the author. I liked it and wanted to read another. Totally disappointed that the library only has the first book of the series.

I’ve gotten back to my grammar book. I am surprised by how much of it is sticking. June Casagrande has a way of explaining things that works for me. She gives you the technical stuff  and a what-that-means-to-you breakdown in a manner that is succinct and entertaining.

Writing:

No change on that front. I’m still hitting my marks. Yesterday, I stayed off the internet and my computer for the whole day. So, I actually wrote by hand which was weird in a good way. I’ll probably do some more of that this week.

Novel Analyzing:

I’ve chosen my next book, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Hoping to have more to report here Sunday.

Happy ROWing guys! Catch ya next check-in.

 

A Case of the Ickies–ROW 80 Check-in

Not much progress to report here. I officially came down with a case of the ickies, as Eden calls it, and I have been in recovery mode ever since. The scratchy throat turned into a full blown sore throat by Thursday. It was accompanied by congestion, sneezing, fever, and a horrendous cough. I’ve been pumped full of drugs some over-the-counter, some not. At least, that’s how I feel anyway as I detest taking medication of any kind. I’m sure my roomie would tell you a different story. 😛

This morning, I woke up feeling better than I have in days. I was downright chipper in comparison to previous mornings. So, I hope that means that I’m taking a turn towards normalcy. My days have been filled with extra fluids and and lots of naps. The sooner I can get out of bed, the better. Though I have thoroughly enjoyed my Game of Thrones season one marathon.

As for goals, I’ve kept up with my writing. Call it stubbornness, but I refused to let my streak die. When it ends, it’ll be because I choose for it too. Illness is a good enough reason to have taken a break, but I want to ride this stretch of consistency for as long as I possibly can. Every thing else I’d hoped to get done did not.

I was on pace to finish the grammar book that I started, but I haven’t given it much of  a glimpse since Thursday. I haven’t picked a novel for analyzing still. I did start reading a new novel called Bloodring by Faith Hunter. All in all, it wasn’t a complete lack of progress. I am happy with that.

I hope all is well with you guys. Until Wednesday.

And a Cup of Honeyed Tea–ROW 80 Check-in

I woke up too  early this morning unable to get back to sleep. My throat felt scratchy and my body achy. With all the time I’ve spent sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office in the last month, I wouldn’t be shocked if I’ve picked up something. (One of the nurses suggested that I should be on the payroll. :P) I am just not ready to accept such a fate. So, I’m going to drink some tea with honey and find my happy place.

In the meantime, I’ve finished reading Story Engineering this morning. It was well worth the effort. I found the sections on structure and character to be the most useful to me. I’m sure I’ll reread them both a few times. Brooks comes at the subject of writing with specifics that I’ve been hard-pressed to find in other craft books. This one came highly recommended by Kristen Lamb and so many other folks that I had to pick it up. Glad I did.

Now that I’m done with that, I’m on to the next book. I started June Casagrande’s It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences. I think a little change of pace on the craft front will do me good.

I haven’t chosen my next book to analyze yet. Now that I’m a few books into the plot drill, my initial list looks less appealing. I am deviating from it for sure. I just have to figure out what’s next. I have some free time this afternoon. I’ll likely make my pick and get started then.

The daily writing continues. Onward ho!

Until Sunday my friends!