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Success and Surrender–ROW 80 Check-in

By next check-in, it will be February. This first month of 2012 has blown by so quickly. I feel like round one just got started a few days ago, but that is not the case. Instead we’re twenty-eight days into this eighty day journey. I’m totally excited about the progress in some areas and less than impressed with others.  A mixed bag.

Reading– I finished Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. In the end, I’d say I’m more than luke warm about it, but I won’t be having any fangirl meltdowns about it either.  This book was extremely slow moving in too many places for me. I’m invested enough in the main character, Kvothe, to read the next installment. I hope it picks up.

I went back to Story Engineering as well. Knocked out  a few more chapters of that this last week. Got some pages in today.

Novel Analyzing– Haven’t worked on that at all in the last few days. And when I’m truly honest with myself, I realize that I’m just  being stubborn. I asked myself a question: Would I rather sacrifice the drill for the sake of finishing the book or sacrifice the book for the sake of finishing the drill?  When I look at it that way, the answer is clear. 

I’ve been trying to prove to myself that I can finish this book and slowing my overall progress in this area down to a snail’s pace. I hate quitting things, but sometimes that is the best option. Forcing myself to stick with it is not an efficient use of time in this situation. There is a big difference between activity and productivity, and I’d much rather be productive than merely active. I’m starting a new book this week with the option never to return to the book that shall not named. Waving the white flag and moving on.

Writing- I am most pleased with the happenings on this front. My 250 word test mile has been the most successful thing I’ve implemented so far this year. I have written every day this month. I haven’t written this consistently in  a while. I’m going to start participating in some sprints again. Those are always fun and productive for me.

How are you feeling after your first month of the new year?

Hope you guys are having fun and hitting your marks. Catch ya Wednesday!

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Happy Happy Joy Joy–Row 80 check-in

Fresh off my morning walk, I’m feeling really good today. In fact, I’m feeling like this……

Ahh the Zen of Ren & Stimpy. I used to love that show. “You stupid idiot!”

Anyway, here’s my midweek report:

Progress has been made. I’ve written every day. It’s starting to feel as normal to me as brushing my teeth or taking a shower. That excites me because it means the habit is forming. I’m not missing that “I’m not writing” guilt at all.

Happy news on the novel analyzing side as well. I’m half way through the Jim Butcher novel Storm Front. It has been a much better experience than Undead and Unwed. Though I do find myself wondering about the reason for that. Is it that Jim’s writing style is clearer? Did I just hate the writing in Undead and Unwed? Or was it just fatigue from trying analyze three novels in a month? I guess I’ll find out when I go back to it later.

For now, I’m on schedule to finish this novel on Friday. That’ll give me three days to finalize NaNoWriMo prep. Am I the only one who is both anticipating and dreading NaNo? Until Sunday! Hope the rest of your week is filled with happy happy joy joy moments. 🙂

Converted

Okay, so this week I devoured the first two books in Mary Janice Davidson’s Betsy Taylor series. I’m officially a fan!

Undead and Unwed was absolutely hilarious. I admit that I hated the main character at first. Betsy Taylor is vain, self-absorbed, and more than a little ditzy. The girl makes you question her intelligence at nearly every turn. She is easy to hate, but give  her more than a cursory glance and you’ll find some redeeming qualities. Betsy is also compassionate, observant, and smart-mouthed. She speaks her mind. You’ve got to love a woman who knows who she is and is unapologetic about it. Betsy Taylor is no shrinking violet for sure.

Of course, Mary Janice Davidson puts our little Betsy through the wringer (as every author should manhandle their protagonists). Betsy loses her job, dies in a car accident, and wakes up super thirsty. She can’t keep down any of her favorite foods. Some of her family friends are happy to see her and others…well not so much. To make matters worse, she may in fact be the long foretold vampire queen,  a possibility  that comes with its own mixed bag of goodies. All in all, a quick and entertaining read.

Book two, Undead and Unemployed, was a strong follow-up. I won’t get into the details here. I’ll just say that Betsy continues to make me shake my head and laugh out loud. She’s still totally annoying, but thoroughly interesting. Nothing but respect for MJD. There is a special place in author heaven for writers who make the unlikable characters relatable, and therefore readable. Not such an easy task.