Friday, October 30, 2015

Resting and Waiting

Resting.  I hate resting.  At times, I can be really good at it.  Summer time I rest from writing and I garden and play which some may think isn't resting.  However, there are times I need to rest.  For the most part, I hate it.  Right now I am in a resting phase.  My project ended a couple of days earlier than I anticipated, so I rest.  Thank goodness a couple of things have been going on so I don't go stir crazy.

This past month, I read through my manuscript of about 90,000 words.  I finished that up in nine days instead of 10.  Next, I went to writing and editing like crazy.  I added 23,630 words.  I thought I would finish it up on the thirtieth, but actually ended the twenty-eighth.  Now I am waiting/resting for November 1st.  I hate waiting.

Why November 1st, you might ask.  Well, November is a crazy month where many writers work at writing a 50,000 word novel in thirty days.  I have to say that it is crazy fun.  I love it.  Of course, I am so excited to start the writing, but I don't want to use up words I can't count in October, so I wait.  I do bend the rules for my convenience.  This year the project I am working already has 26,726 words.  Some of those words have to be cut.  I probably have more like 20,000 words.  However, the novel will end up being 116,000 when it is finished.  Thus, I can easily write 50,000 words that are new for this project.  That is my goal for the November NaNo.  Will it be finished?  No, but it is 50K and I am counting it.

So, in prepping, I decided while plotting the novel two days ago, I wanted one of my characters to drive the other character crazy.  I downloaded a memoir about a person with Schizophrenia.  This has kept me pretty busy.  I was also exceptionally tired yesterday.  I read and catnapped much of the day.  I also baked chocolate zucchini bread.  Today, I am traveling to a little city that is about halfway between where I live and where my sister live.  It also happens to be where my son goes to college.  We are taking him to lunch and then the two of us are going shopping.  No, I am not a big shopper, but it is fun with my sister!

Tomorrow, I will hopefully clean house, finish the reading, and make oatmeal flatbread.  I am really anticipating Sunday.  I have a feeling I will be up at four due to the time change and excitement.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Rediscovering Jesus

I sit here at my computer gaping at the white screen.  My eyes feel like they have dirt enough in them to turn the blue irises deep brown.  Though my eyes feel full, my brain feels empty.  I keep trying to think of a topic for my blog post.  An idea pops in the empty void, but I crumple it up like a piece of blank paper and toss it in garbage.  Yes, I envision making the basket every time. 

One of the activities in my life at the moment is rediscovering Jesus.  Four other ladies and I are working on the new book by Matthew Kelly entitled, you guessed it, "Rediscovering Jesus."  I love Matthew's simple writing skill that asks big questions.  I also love the purple cover.  For some reason, when I look at the bright lively color, I smile.

Anyway, a week or two ago, a question struck me.  I don't remember the exact question, but it had to do with what I have done to get to know Jesus better besides pray.  How have I studied Jesus to get to know Him better?  At first, I was proud about how I have read the Gospels a number of times.  But then I took the question a step further.  How have I studied Jesus compared to some of my favorite saints.  I have read the writing of St. Patrick, St. Theresa, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Francis of Assisi.  Besides the Bible, I have never read any other books about Jesus.  I have to say, that I am a little disconcerted by that fact.  What am I going to do about it?  Well, I will finish this book.  I think I will continue with another one either on my own or with my friends.  Yes, I know a lot about him, but I would like to know more.

The other aspect I have obtained through the book is spending more time with Him.  The book asked to compare my relationship with Jesus to my relationship with the people in my life.  I believe it is similar to that of one of my dear friends.  I think of them both often, but I forget to spend time with them.  I get so busy with my daily work and schedule that I realize I haven't hung out with Him.  Now I am trying to ask Him to hang out with me while I am writing and drinking my coffee.  Or I ask Him to go for a ride downtown to keep me company.  I am far from good at it, but with a little practice, I have to be a little better.

My computer screen is no longer empty!  I pray you have a blessed day.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Plan of Attack

I am proud of myself.  Yesterday, I just went out and looked at my sales reports for my novel and short stories.  Nothing, notta.  I haven’t sold anything in at least three months, but it is probably more like eight or nine months.  I think I am okay with that.  But it does mean that I have a crap load of work to do.  I need to get this book done and started on the next book.  I need a plan of attack. 

First, I need to finish up my current work.  I gave myself 10 days to read my novel, make notes, and get a plan of what needs to be done.  I am halfway through this thanks to the sandwich call.  Melissa is doing great with that.  I am very blessed to have her helping.  The rest of October needs to be writing the rest of the scenes and editing with my note cards.  At the same time, I have to write up an outline for book three. In my spare time, I have to read the instruction of how to get book one into CreateSpace.  I am very tired of not having a paper version of the book.

Second, in November, I will send my book to my first readers.  I will give them a couple days head start and then send the first two chapters to my editor.  I will give her the rest as my readers get finished.  I will continue work in CreateSpace.  The big task will be writing 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo.  The words will marry up to the 26,000+ words I have already done for book 3.

Third, in December, I will start formatting and uploading book 1 to CreateSpace.  I will design a book cover for book 2 and work edits.  I will continue to write book 3.  I will format and upload my “Crosses” short story to Kindle and Smashwords. 

Wow, that is a crap load of work.  Plus, I forgot that I want to keep blogging.  I had thought to go to a movie this week as an artist date, nope.    Instead, I will take the camera to do a 10 to 20 minute shoot of something historical.  I need to get pages read and edited.


Writing Away

In my last post, I talked about filling my time back up with a lot of work.  Wow, that is most definitely the case.  I have been editing and writing away.  Let me tell you a little bit about it.

In the spring, I tried periodically to work on my latest novel, “Pursuing Knowledge.”  I struggled.  In May, I went to a conference when I had a light bulb moment.  My novel reached its ending and I thought I had about 21 more scenes in my protagonist’s (Corrion) future to write.  Nope, instead I had some 20+ scenes to write from the antagonists’ (Icylica and Stephne) point of view.  Unfortunately, the short moments I had to write left me a little lost in the plot.  The summer drug by with no writing on the novel.  Gurr!!!

At the end of September and after the busy church retreat obligations, I sat down, as lost as ever.  I needed to read my 310 page novel to remember more than the high points.  Starting October 1st, I vowed to read/edit 30+ pages a day by October 10th.  My dear friend Melissa helped by holding me responsible for texting her each evening with a report.  She cheered me on and I finally dropped all my procrastination and finished it by the 9th. 

With my success, I needed to keep the candle burning.  Starting on the 10th, my goal turned into editing/writing 4 scenes a day.  Of course, I started having flare-ups from my fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.  I have been hurting and dragging with no energy.  I still have been plugging forward.  A friend of mine made the comment that I am my own boss; I could take a day off.  True, but I fear that one day will turn into to and the next thing I know it will be Halloween Day and I am not done.  Yes, my goal is to send my novel out to my first readers on the 31st.  This book has been looming over my head now for a good year.  I want it gone!!!

I have 30 scenes completed.  I have 46 scenes left to edit, but of those, I have 10 scenes that need to be written from scratch.  I also have to go through the character arc of my two villains.  This might flush out a couple more scenes to write.  Calgon, take me away!!!

As for the rest of my life, as I mentioned, the flare-ups are being a little challenging.  This week was a bit tough with my husband home one day and my daughter home other days.  I love to spend time with them.  They are great though and let me have some time to write.  I pray next week the flare-ups are gone and I can add hours to my work days.  God willing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy Tuesday

Looking back at last month, I didn’t blog very often.  I was busy working with our ladies weekend retreat, attending a family gathering, and getting back into the grove of school.  This month isn’t slowing down.  Well, it is, but I am filling it back up.  Here is what is going on currently with our lives.

Madelle is doing wonderfully, not perfect, but our good days far outweigh our bad days.  I can take that.  She is writing her own blog which I might post here in a couple of weeks.  She is talking about her illness.  She is beginning to feel mildly comfortable around people.  She is recognizing her triggers and adjusting her life to fix them.  She has cut a few people out of her life for the time being because they cause her so much hurt.  Other people from her younger years, she is working at having them back in her life.  All of this is a huge process.  She is amazing me.

With her doing better and the drama down to a manageable level, I am working on my novel again.  Yay!!!  I think I am even going to go away for a weekend later in the month to have my own writer’s retreat.  I am getting excited.  On the first of the month, I started a project that I will go into more detail later this week or next week.  It depends on timing.

What will this mean for my blog?  To tell the truth, I am not all that sure.  I will post how my writing life is progressing.  And I will try to post the thoughts of a Norwegian Catholic Red Neck; that would be me.  I always find that entertaining.  I will also give updates on how the mental illness is going.  Oh, I may write a little bit about my auto immune diseases.  For now, I need to get back to my novel. 

Happy Tuesday.