Thursday, August 29, 2013

Remember how I mentioned laundry being a reason?

It's not just DOING laundry, it's FOLDING it that kills my time.  That and trying to make phone calls to Bank of America regarding my Deed in Lieu.  But I digress.

I found a few GREAT blogs/articles/bits-of-info that I did one of the following with:
- read fully
- read parts for later
- read none of it with the intent to read later

All of wish I will share here.  Paying it forward.

2k per day to 10 per day
The first of 3 blogs posts I found from Pretentious Title.  I loved this thought/planning process and will certainly be applying much of this to my own habits.

Plotting a Novel in 5 Steps
As I've said in every post to this blog thus far, I am at ground zero in terms of any sort of novel/story planning.  I'll read anything, and as this is also from the same blog, I'm sure I'll get a good deal from this post as well.

12 Days of Glory
Haven't read this one yet, but it looks like a bit of an example of Rachel's word count tracking method she explained in the 10k per day post.  I'm a visual person.  Score.

Unofficial NaNoWirMo Recourse Binder
Via the NaNoWirMo Forums I visit and stalk, one of the users there was awesome enough to compile a wealth of knowledge in once place.  Awesome!

Story Bibles
I hadn't heard of this term before until I saw it also discussed at the NaNoWirMo Forums.  It's got my curiosity.

Tomorrow is the Friday before a three-day weekend, and I could not be more excited.  Because I have time to get my lazy ass caught up, get organized, and get some serious planning and preparing for NaNoWirMo and more of my writing life.

And FOOTBALL!!!  Did I mention FOOTBALL?!?!  Just one more thing to distract me.  FOOTBALL!!!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Milestone in terms of a realization

Welcome to nearly 2 weeks later!

P.S. It's Hump Day again.  I thought about posting a picture of the Miley Incident, only with her and a camel, but the one I had seen disturbs me.  Use your imagination.

In terms of my writing activity, I have been having a difficult time.  I've been keeping up on the other blogs I follow and the forums I stalk.  I stare at a page I have at work that I use as a "vision board" of sorts that has pictures of writing and pens and notebooks and books that I have written things like, "I wrote this one!" and "This one is a series!" and "This one became a movie!" and "This one became a TV series!"

I have not been writing.

I get very down and hard on myself once in awhile.  When I do, not only am I short, rude, and unloving to myself, but to everyone I am close with.  Adam didn't do anything wrong.  Mom didn't do anything wrong.  If I had the time to spend with my few other close friends, it wouldn't be their fault either.  I am punishing myself because I feel that it is wrong what I'm doing (or not doing), and therefore I have to punish everyone around me to be sure that they can't give me the love I still deserve no matter what I did or didn't do that day?

I've rolled this way for decades.  All three of them.

I had previously alluded to the fact that I long for the day where I don't need to hold a separate job as a source of income.  That I want to one day be able to write when I want and not around a schedule that I have no say in.  I envy people who are at this point in their lives and/or career.  I also envy people who may be creative writers, but they are in a job that still involves writing in some way.  I long for that day, too.  And what sucks as being born in 1982, I'm apart of that instant gratification generation.  It doesn't help that I was also spoiled growing up, being the only child.  It also doesn't help that I inherited the family trait of having zero patience.

Yes, it's okay to be disappointed that I didn't plop myself down and work on whatever project it was that I was writing.  It's okay to be annoyed that I hadn't posted to my blog in nearly two weeks.  It's okay to feel all-talk-and-no-action when I haven't followed up with any freelancing opportunities.  There will be days where I will NEED to do laundry all night because we're low on underwear.  There will be days where I just don't have the energy to get up early and instead sleep a few extra hours on the couch before work.  And there will be days where I whip out a notebook and jot something awesome down before I forget it.

NaNoWirMo is just about 2, TWO, months away.  One thing I do know is that I can't go into that without a plan (if that's one thing I got out of the Camp NaNoWirMo in July).  I want to do a bit of journaling, working with whatever schedule I have for that week, and begin to envision how I will operate not just in November, but also on a regular basis.  I have this in-my-head-only process, as I have my whole life, and it just doesn't ever come out the way I think it will.  I know that getting it down will.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Super short!

I did nothing writing-wise today as I had to bake cupcakes for work tomorrow (and they KICK ASS!!), however I did find another writing community I want to check out, and I also kept up on a few forums/blogs while at work.

I would like to share a video I watched not long ago that I got a lot out of.  You might, you might not.  But I enjoyed it.  Plus, Dan Wells (the author leading it) and I seem to have the same taste in books/movies, so it kept my attention for quite some time.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Insert Happy Camel Here

If you don't watch much TV not on a DVR or live some place where Geico commercials don't exist, you won't get the reference of the title today.  Here's a hint:

I was literally about to shut off my computer before I realized I hadn't stopped by here yet.  No recent developments other than I am greatly, very, really, TRULY excited for the day where I can do my writing activities all freaking day long and not have 8 hours taken up by a job I have so I can pay bills.

Though I did speak to the editor of the local paper, to which he referred me to two other editors there (as he is the Editor in Chief and didn't directly handle any freelance work).  I didn't get around to emailing or calling them today.  Yay!  More stuff shoved to tomorrow!

I am slowly exploring a site that goes by Text Broker, which from the whole one sentence I saw it mentioned in, looks to be a place I can register to hopefully gain freelancing gigs.  Cracked also takes in work, and I friggin' LOVE that site.

And, happily, I got a solid hour of writing in.  Again, 20 minutes was spent staring at fragmented sentences, but hey, got some done.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Writing Prompt #3 and other cool things

I've decided that it's okay to not post on Mondays.  Because Mondays.

A couple pretty cool developments!  I finally had the pleasure of meeting Adam's cousin, who is also a writer.  On top of us bonding over it in general, she did confirm an awesome tidbit for me: drinking while writing sparks the creativity, and revise/edit sober.  I foresee Lindsey and I getting along great.

The other awesome thing is that it finally dawned on me that a friend-of-mine's father works for the local paper out here.  I asked her the favor of possibly her dad giving me a reference there for some freelancing work.  I was touching base with my Google Gods and found a couple interesting articles on "how to start a writing career."  Both had some short, informative bits, but a couple of the big points that struck me were:

  • You might not have any previous experience, and that's okay.  Put a few writing samples together, and/or create a query.
  • Start by inquiring to local publications for any available freelancing opportunities.
Paying it forward, the two articles I found are the following:

How to Start a Freelance Writing Career in 24 Hours or Less via The Real Life of a Narrowboat Wife
How to Start a Freelance Writing Career via Theta Mom

There were tons of other great nuggets of info, but those two are the ones that really stuck out to me.  To the point where my mind went, "Hey, this is actually possible.  Awesome!"

And then, as would be expected, Anxiety Girl here instantly jumps off the deep-end with such classic lines as, "Query?  Wtf?  And writing samples?  Dude, you HAVE NO WRITING SAMPLES that would work in the world of non-fiction freelance!  And local publications?!  This isn't Chicago anymore, Dara!  There's practically nothing!  You can't even find a damned yoga class that doesn't meet in the middle of the friggin' day, what makes you think you'll even find somewhere that will give you a few shots at writing for them?!"

I have quite the Debbie Downer in my head, I tell you what.  Moving on.

I left a message for the editor of the local paper, saying that my gal-pal's father recommended I reach out to him.  Nothing back yet.  I've got a gag in Debbie's mouth for now, it'll probably last only until the end of the week.

And now, for some writing time, care of Today's Author.

"There was no one in the rest stop, but the parking lot was full."

Outside.  Of course, they had to be.  Imagine if some normal person walked right in to see ten to fifteen businessmen with fangs standing around.  Maisie crossed through the rest stop to the exit at the opposite end, back into the humid, nighttime air.  The rest stop wasn’t large by any means, but still, the sight of so many cars and no bodies accompanying them was unsettling.  At least Devin would be there.  And Perry, as well.

A short, shrill whistle got her attention.  She saw a figure waving the screen of a cell phone in her direction, to which she quickly made her way over.  “May want to use the light on yours,” Devin pointed it towards the ground as he led the way through a faint path in the grass, “These tree roots don’t mess around.”

“I’m sorry I’m late,” Maisie did as suggested, watching her steps as she followed, “Perry didn’t call me until he was already on his way, and I was with Bree.”

“Bree.  Shocking,” Devin muttered.  Maisie could never put her finger on it, but she couldn’t help but assume her best friend and he had a history.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Writing Prompt #2

Today's Author had another writing prompt today, so off I go.  This one I messed a bit with the idea I had from a dream the other night.  I can't remember the dream anymore, hell I forgot it the second I got out of bed, but I wrote down my idea in a quick few sentences after I had some coffee.

Just to share, I now have 4 "big" writing plots in my head.  Kinda makes me feel all warm inside.  Enjoy.

“The Tarot reader looked up from the cards, a panicked look in her eyes.”

Even being as high as he was, Calvin could easily see her exaggerated reaction.  “Oh no, must be bad,” he couldn't help but smirk.

“I don’t think you understand,” the Tarot reader turned the cards so they showed face-up to him, “Look, you should not even be here.  You should be dead.”

“I know, I got hit by a bus,” this wasn't news, he didn't drop fifty dollars to be told what he already knew, “I was dead on the table for seven minutes.”

She shook her head, seemingly now annoyed as Calvin was, annoyed he wasn't understanding her, “But you are alive now.  You should be dead at this hour, and alive again by morning.  You die after dark, you live again after dawn.”

The woman wasn't making any sense, and being sober wasn't going to help any.  Calvin doubted why he bothered to stop in.  He muttered a thank you and stood to leave, heading for the door back outside as she shouted after him, “You do not dream, you sleep to die.  When the sun rises, you live again.”

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Making progress.

So this Huffington Post article sort of lifted my spirits as my mind went to the You-Are-31-Years-Old-And-NOW-You-Want-To-Start-Writing zone.  That shut it up real quick.

I also found out this morning about the Insecure Writers Support Group, which is a "blog hop" that occurs on the first Wednesday of each month.  Of course I would find it on the first Thursday.  I joined up my blog here with it for the next month.  I'm still going through to get a grasp on it, but it's sounding like we writers post that day regarding our insecure selves and how we feel "meh" about our hobby/career, while at the same time, giving support to each of us.  Sounds fun.

I previously mentioned my Speed Dial To The Universe book.  I'm a big believer on the whole Law of Attraction thing, The Secret, whatever you want to call it.  I use this book to get my thoughts and desires down on paper (sometimes, SOMETIMES I'm clearer when I write things down).  Everything from getting a ton of new leads at work to getting over a cold in a timely manner to how grateful I am that Adam does all the yard work.  One of the items I of course have been including are my thoughts on writing.  How I would love to have a kick-ass mentor.  How I can write confidently  How I can be involved in an online writing community or two.  And, how I want to also be involved in a writing group.

This is the fun part.  I had the day off today and Adam offered to treat me to lunch.  Score!  After that, I made a point to stop by the library near our house to see what sort of writing events may be occurring.  I had already heard that nothing really exists in our county, but it was still worth a shot.  I come to find out there IS a writing group that meets there monthly.  Awesome!  She, the librarian at the counter, didn't have the details, so I gave her my info to pass on to someone from the group, who literally called me the second I got home 3 minutes later.

Lovely woman.  The group sounded wonderful.  Though I come to find out that in talking with her and sharing my age, she says, "Oh!  You're so young!  I won't be the baby anymore at 63!"

Oh my.  There's 3 others in the group, she tells me, 2 travel frequently, and they are apparently in their 70s, from what she tells me.  And of course, as they are all retirees, they meet Tuesdays at 10AM, when I work at my full-time job.

I'm not meaning for this to sound like I'm ragging on the elderly and that I'm too cool to hang out with anyone over 60.  A group like that would be a fan-TASTIC knowledge base.  The thing that sucks is how my current life-schedule is set, it's a no fit.  She did mention that once October hit and the Farmer's Market was over (apparently one of the participants is an organic farmer), they may move it to Saturdays.... which is still a bit of a bummer as I work Saturdays twice a month.

So lesson learned, be a bit more specific in my thoughts of what I want.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Writing Prompt #1

So once of the previously mentioned blogs I said I was now following is Today's Author.  Every couple days, or few days (I haven't figured out the pattern yet), they post a writing prompt.  Meaning, "Here's a sentence.  Go do something with it in 5 minutes."

I can of course go beyond 5 minutes, and my reason/excuse for this evening is I have a few other things I need to accomplish before bed and today was a late night at work.  Can you tell I'm good at coming up with excuses?  YEARS of practice, let me tell you.

The whopping 148 words I got in 5 minutes involves a couple characters in my head for what I plan to be my November NaNoWirMo Novel.  Yes, I'm aware I need to be writing a fresh, not previously written novel.  I want to use these little writing "sprints" not only to meet my goal of somehow writing daily, but also to get my brain going on what ELSE I can include in the story I've been fantasizing about for years.  Because as I learned from July, I'm not as strong in the ways of zero planning as I thought I was.

So here is the link to the post for today's prompt, where you can see other folk's results from their minds, and even participate for yourself.

Enjoy.  Feel free to critique... but be nice, I'm tender, and I'm PMS-ing.

“They huddled under the bus shelter as the rain and wind got heavier.”

John, being the tallest and bulkiest, after Bree of course, sat between the women as they shivered, slurred, and sneezed.  At least Maisie sneezed, and he knew of all people to be sick, Maisie was the worst.  Not even Nyquil could knock her out to rest.

“J-just call a cab, John,” Bree’s arms were crossed in front of her, hiccuping as she tried to speak, “The b-buses run maybe once every half hour at this time of night.”

“It’s gonna be jus’ as hard to get a cab,” he burped himself, carefully checking the app on his smartphone once again.  Maisie said nothing.  She was still at a loss of what to say.  What to do.  Was she not supposed to go there with her friends?  Probably something I should have asked  *attorneyname* ahead of time… and calling him at 2:15 in the morning would be just brilliant.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Annnnnd a month later...

How cool would it be that the reason I haven't posted in the month of July is because I was frantically writing and typing to reach my goal of 15,000 words for the month for Camp NaNoWirMo?  It'd be TOTALLY COOL!

And sadly, not what happened at all.

I didn't rage-quit like the last time I tried something like this.  This time, I did nothing.  I got up to 6,437 and just kinda stopped.  I woke up every day with the thought, "I am SO going to write the crap out of this scene."  And then it's suddenly 10:00 PM and there was nothing done.  Let me share with you some of the reasons/excuses why, because that's what I do:

  • Started my new full-time job and I suck at creating a new routine.
  • Adam and I had a kick-ass BBQ for the 4th of July that really took 3 days to prepare, host, and clean up after. (Adam read this over my shoulder and wanted to point out that I did not par-take in much of this at all; I entertained our friends and guests and went to work at my old job for the last time hung over the next day.  Moving on....)
  • Played a bit too much WoW (World of Warcraft)... and even then nothing WoW related, the Battle Pet/Pokemon crap in there now.
  • Spent time laying on the couch eating string cheese and catching up on the DVR with Restaurant: Impossible.
  • Whined about not being used to working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week so therefore I had no energy.
  • Paced around the house trying to find something to do other than write.
  • Spent a lot, LOT of time on Kongregate trying to earn badges.
  • For a week, studied the "scripts" I needed to be comfortable with for my new job.
  • Cried and whined to Adam and my Mom about how I want to write and like writing, but I have no motivation, and when I do, I still don't write.
  • Made the decision to leave roller derby while I begin writing, which through that I found that a few people who I thought were my friends actually were far from it (that's a whole 'nother mess I'm not even going to explain further).
So that's all been going on in my head.  All those same excuses/reasons can also be applied as to why I haven't posted here.

But here's what I know now.

I CAN write on a daily basis.  Give it a minimum of an hour.  Any sort of writing.  Working more on the story I had for the Camp, blogging, journaling (kind of, I have this Speed Dial to the Universe book, more on that another day), I'll even count reading all the writer-themed blogs I've been adding to my Feedly like it was my job.

My other hump/bump/mess I'm letting hold me back is the whole wanting-a-writing-group-or-mentor-or-people-to-have-coffee-with.  It's not exactly panning out the way I thought it would.  To be blunt, it's not panning out at all.  I'm having a difficult time trying to "rev up" the folks who I thought would be interested, and it's just not happening.  I'm sure part of it has to do with my own "attitude" in writing, so I kinda brought it on myself if you look at it one way.  And/or, I just haven't opened myself up to the right people yet.

The next task of mine is begin to find an online writing community to participate in.  Yes, keeping up on this blog and staying up on the blog-verse I personally as counting (it's just a bit more challenging to "get into it" since I can't even friggin' post).

And now an hour and a half later, I finish this post.  I blame Adam for calling out my laziness regarding the BBQ.