My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Weekly Happenings

So, it’s been over three months and nothing much to note. My son turned one on June 11th (already!) but other than that, not much else to report.

Anyway, I figured I’d break the blog silence by doing a weekly happening type thing. As the title suggest, it’s a hodgepodge of random things in my life this week.

Writing Happenings

1. I’ve still been working on my novel, Before the Dawn, although I haven’t written any new chapters. But I did work on my outline for the remaining 8 chapters, so I have more of a guideline. My critique group told me to skip the scene I’m having trouble with and write the next one. It’s simple, but I hadn’t really thought to do it.

2. Sometimes working on another project helps me break my writer’s block for the current one. I’ve been working on character building for another story set in the same world as Before the Dawn, but two centuries later. If anything, it’s helping to get more world building done.

Currently Reading…
3. The Sister Queens by Sophie Perinot. Set in the 13th century, it’s a historical novel based off the lives of Marguerite of France (wife of King Louis IX) and her sister, Eleanor or England (wife of Henry III). I love a good historical, but at times I get lost in this one with all of the names of the characters. It spans twenty years and there are A LOT of names. Also, there’s too much sexual stuff, enough that I find myself skipping chunks because I don’t want to read about their bed adventures. Not my kind of thing. I’m not quite finished though and it’s still intriguing to read despite the flaws.

My Life
4. Tommy’s getting closer to walking.  He walks very well if you’re holding his hands or if he uses his push walker. He zooms across the room then!

5. My family’s coming to visit for the weekend. I haven’t seen them since Tommy’s birthday a month ago. We have some fun things planned for the weekend, mostly going to a local dairy farm/restaurant/petting zoo. It should be fun!

So, that’s my week. How about yours?

The End is Approaching!

You know, someday I’ll actually keep up with this blogging thing again.

Yes, I’m still getting that first draft done, BUT I have figured out what was stopping me, been working on that and it’s coming along. I have about 9 chapters left to go, give or take, and when that’s done I am rewarding myself with a subscription to Ancestry.com. An odd reward? Maybe, but I’ve inherited my parents’ desire to keep up on the genealogy, especially now that I have a son of my own. Perhaps my recent addiction to Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots also has something to do with it :)

Anyway, the end is approaching and I am getting excited!

I avoid thinking about all the editing and worldbuilding I have to do after this first draft is complete. Must focus on one huge step at a time, right?

Seriously. I blinked and it was March.

Anyway, sorry for the blog silence (again)but February was a mess. The first week I was up with my family as my grandma’s health was poor. She passed away on February 2nd. And for some reason trying to get back to a normal routine the rest of the month was almost impossible. It was hard to want to do anything short of the same old, same old, every day.

Then the end of the month came and I got sick. Of course. February is the month of illness for me; the last time I had a really bad cold was LAST February while I was pregnant and couldn’t take anything. I’m still getting over the sniffles but at least I can (mostly) breathe.

Needless to say, I massively failed in my goals for the Winter Writing Festival for the 2nd year in a row. I always do so well the first two weeks and then BAM! Life comes and takes me away and then I can’t focus again.

Anyway, that’s been the last month’s recap for you. I am trying to get back on track with the writing as well. It would be nice if this silly draft would be done by say, summer.

Who am I kidding? We’ll say by the time I’m 30 at the rate I’m going :P

 

Writing is said to be a lonely business. But I disagree.

True, no one can write your story the way you can. You are the only one who can bring those characters within your head to life on the page. If you’re unpublished and not on deadline, it’s up to you to get that story written.

But I don’t believe we have to live up to the old writer stereotype. You know the one, a recluse writer, living alone next to his or her typewriter, the room filled with smoke from his or her last cigarette, surrounded by a stack of papers and grimy windows.  If anything, we can’t afford to be that kind of writer. Readers expect to connect with the author, which is why the publishing industry pushes their authors to operate blogs, Twitter, Facebook or any other sort of social media. Plus, it makes you more accessible and more likely to sell your book if you get the word out this way.

But beyond all of those old stereotypes and modern expectations, I think it’s important for other writers to connect with other writers.  They understand what it’s like to have those voices in your head at all hours of the day. They feel your pain when you are experiencing a plot hole or a particularly rough day when the words just won’t come.  They can also help you see things in a new light. I know with my critique group, as well as with some of my online writer friends, they’ve helped me reevaluate where my story could use some improvement. I don’t know how many times where I’ve been stuck and a helpful suggestion from one of these writer friends has gotten me out of the hole and taken me down a path I wouldn’t have expected.

And who else can truly understand the accomplishment when you’ve made your word count for the day? :)

Remember–you don’t have to go it alone!

It’s So Close…

My first draft is *this close* to being finished.

I have about 9 chapters left. I know, that’s still sounds like a lot–and it is in some ways–but that’s the closest I’ve been to finishing a draft in years.

My writing sprints during the Winter Writing Festival are solely the cause of this. It’s just so much easier to write when I’m “sprinting” with others. I know I can’t always rely on that, but if that is how I get this draft done, so be it!

I’m fighting the urge to go back and edit. So much has changed throughout the course of the draft it’s going to be difficult to make it consistent. I’ve been doing my best to keep notes on it but I’m sure there’s something I’ll miss. Let me tell you, as much as I look forward to editing this thing, I’m dreading it equally.

And the world building. Oy, the world building. I have so much to do on that front I’m already overwhelmed thinking about it :P The curse of creating your own world from scratch I suppose.

 

When I Grow Up…

I don’t know where this came from, but the other day, I thought about all the different dreams and ambitions I’ve had over the course of my 27 years. Not counting those childhood dreams of being a ballerina, I think my first true goal in life came from my fascination with weather. At 8 years old, I distinctly remember wanting to be a meteorologist.

Funny, I know. How many eight-year-old kids have even heard of the word? Well, I was a bookish sort of kid (what a surprise, :P) and I wanted to know what you did if you grew up and studied weather. I believe it was my parents who told me and of course I devoured any book on weather. I even remember writing a picture book about it for a school project.

That dream lasted a few years until I realized I wasn’t quite the science type. I think around age 10 or 11 came my interest in history and in writing–both about the same time. I distinctly remember it was my obsession with the American Girl series and loving all the history that was packed into those 70 or 80 page books. Plus, my dad had always been a history and genealogy nut, so some of that rubbed off on me.

I wrote my first “novel” at age 12 about a girl in the 1840s who crossed the ocean with her family to settle in America. It was about 170 pages–front and back, mostly handwritten. The kids in school thought I was crazy for writing that much. I’m not sure I’ve met many sixth graders who have done that myself, so I probably was a little odd :)

Throughout junior high and high school, I would write. I never got past the first three chapters of anything until recently. Of course my love of history deepened and I became obsessed with watching documentaries–I still am that way–and part of me wanted to go to school for archeology. I still dream about that sometimes, going on a dig somewhere, brushing off centuries worth of dirt from a chipped piece of pottery.

But honestly, I think the desire to write has always been there, even when I was just learning how. I love to tell a story–my first one my mom transcribed because I just couldn’t spell yet–and that’s still a part of me.  I’ve still got a lot of “growing up” to do, though, in regards to writing. But I think writers always do; we’re always learning, always improving, always maturing in our work.

So, have you always had that desire to write? Were there other ambitions and passions you’ve had that are still a part of you now? :)

 

Winter Writing Festival

Second Annual Winter Writing Festival, sponsored by the lovely women at The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, starts on January 11th! It goes until the end of February, so it’s plenty of time to write as well as connect with some of the other participants.

Here’s the official site in case you’re interested. It’s sort of like a personal NaNoWriMo, only you set the goals and give yourself a point each day for completing it. For example, I’m attempting to write 1000 words per day and take part in a live writing sprint on the website’s chat forum at least twice a week. I have found that writing with others helps me get the words out :)

Since I’m probably 2/3 done with my first draft, I am hoping I can keep up enough to finish it by the end of the winter. And maybe this year I can actually enter the Golden Heart competition.

Anyway, it’s a great opportunity to start that long-planned novel or edit one you’ve had hiding away for so long. Even if it’s just the planning phase, now is the time to get started!

I forgot to mention that there will be giveaways too :) Ultimately though, the best part has to be joining other writers. Even though writing is said to be a lonely activity, it’s always nice to connect with others. It helps :)

Note: I will post a badge up in the corner that will take you straight to their page in case anyone else is interested.

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