Rainy Days and Wordsprints

I think I like being up during the early morning hours.  I don’t like getting up early, but I like being up early in the morning.  Anticipation, wakening, determination fill the world with a creative energy.  For a few hours, I bask in it, my head filling with characters, their stories and images to give a permanent form.

wilted-flowerThen I wilt.  Whether I slept soundly the night before or grabbed an hour or two cat-nap after a reckless all-nighter, I wilt about the same time each day.  It’s not a meal thing either.  If I eat, I have a slump; if I don’t, I slump.

Today… I’m in a slump for a bunch of reasons.

The biggest is I overestimated my energy for my part as staff in the JuNoWriMo.  I’m holding it together, mostly, by ignoring the little things, like pleasure reading,  cleaning my desk…  Oh!

img by Adamr via FreeDigitalphotots.net

img by Adamr via FreeDigitalphotots.net

Well, actually, I’ve spent a lot of the last few days reading.  Opened up the Kindle app my phone a few times and spent some time reading short stories I’d downloaded a while back. Since short fiction is not my usual fare, it was doubly cathartic. I tend to be less critical when I’m in an ‘alien’ zone. That said, I read one piece that would have hit the wall had it not been my phone.

I wonder how many people can say an iPhone saved their story?  Or in this case, a story nearly destroyed their iPhone…  and am I the only one or does strike you odd too that iPhone doesn’t set off the spellchecker but all-nighter does?

Oh, and from some of my more pleasurable reading this week, can I please inspire you to read Maria Popova’s Commencement Address to the Annenberg School of Communications?  This, along with her recent post Against Self-Criticism: Adam Phillips on How Our Internal Critics Enslave Us, the Stockholm Syndrome of the Superego, and the Power of Multiple Interpretations were exactly what I needed to read after the last few days of sprinting sessions for the JuNo.  I’ve begun, but not finished How Kindness Became Our Forbidden Pleasure, but I read enough to know I wanted to read the book.  It’s on order from the library now.

The experience of which COULD lead me into a rant about the layout of the local library system, but…  maybe for another day.  It time for my:

ROW80 Check-in and Assessment

ROW80LogocopyAll weeks should be this profitable…  (okay, maybe not all, but more than a few, which is where I seem to be right now).  I’m still not making much progress on that Goal #1, but it’s OK.  I’m reading other things, and exposure to writing and stories in general is always good to get the mental gears spinning.

  • Goal (#1): working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: nothing, no progress here at all
  • Not-progress, but… explored other fiction formats, some YA (by Avi) and a huge bunch of short stories
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress:  I haven’t submitted anything, but then neither has anyone else.  Three of us are doing the JuNoWriMo, so perhaps no one has something ready
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: of a sort…  see the next goal
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  I’ve been doing a lot of handwritten work and typing it the next day for my word counts, so yes, a definite “Check”
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: continued progress  my languages (except Spanish and Russian… dropped the ball on those two)

As you can see, another really good week.  I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to maintain this momentum (I’m hoping to make it a regular habit that just IS, but that takes time).  I know even then there will be off days that things just don’t work anymore, but I’m hoping to reduce those to just a few and start enjoying my rest days more because I won’t be stressing about the work I’ve missed on my off ones.

And now, the Boodle update for those interested…  you’ll have to turn your volume up for this one; Dan wasn’t in the best position to capture the video (things you realize after the fact).  But for anyone interested, here are two slices of Boodle: his most recent piano recital and today at the Albany ComicCon.

Aperture Labs meets Star Wars

Aperture Labs meets Star Wars

14 responses to “Rainy Days and Wordsprints

  1. I love being up early in the morning too, but after an hour or so, by six or seven a.m., when I should be getting ready for work, I want to crawl back in bed. I also relish a mid-afternoon nap, which doesn’t fit into the day job, at all. Between two and three each afternoon, all I can do is yawn.

    Happy to hear you have made progress, hope that it continues into the coming week.

    Like

    • The mid-afternoon nap is, I think, a biological/evolutionary thing, based on the light-cycles. Most animals tend to nap mid-day. Why not humans? We also tend to need that nap less during Spring and Fall than we do in Winter (when our bodies try to hibernate some to conserve resources) and Summer, when we tend to be more active during early morning and early evening.

      I vote that a siesta become part of our national culture! 😉

      Thanks.

      Like

  2. I like getting up early in the morning. There’s something about the morning stillness that does my heart good. So, I’ve begun taking two – twenty minutes naps during the day and those two naps help me refresh and get through the day.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

    Like

    • I think naps are a normal part of being human. We all try to compete against each other and ourselves that we tend to forget this in the rush to ‘get things done’ but I know I definitely feel better after a short nap. The key is a short nap. The long ones leave me feeling more drained. I don’t know about you, but that’s how I feel.

      Thank you for visiting, Pat.

      Like

  3. I love being up in the morning. Not always so much making myself get out of bed. But, it’s my best writing time. Of course, this usually means I’m ready for bed early. And I always seem to hit a slump in the afternoon. The JuNoWriMo sprints have been keeping me going though.

    Great job this week. Hope you can keep it up.

    Like

    • The Author Strong Podcast just had a piece on how we have our ideal creative times (and places!). Mine tends to be in a cafe, morning or evening. But we are writers… we write when we can, even if the situation isn’t perfect. 😀 Glad the sprints are helping, even those I don’t lead… It’ll make all the crew happy to know.

      Like

  4. I wish I could be a morning person, but alas, I am a night-owl through and through. The good news is that this allows me to work in the middle of the night when no one else is up (seriously, even the cats are sleeping).

    I love short stories–both reading them and writing them. Have you read any good ones that you would recommend? I just started reading “Once Upon a Curse,” a collection of short stories based on fairy tales–but with a dark twist. So far, so good. Like any anthology I’m sure it contains some stories that are “meh” and others that are amazing. But if you like fairy tale retelling, you might want to check it out.

    Like

    • I think I got the worst of all worlds in the biological schedule, at least for a writer (though it’s great for most anything else). I’ve got a 2nd shift brain. Late mornings, late evenings. I can wiggle to either end when I’m actually employed to do the normal 9-5 or the overnight run fairly easy. For a while… I do LOVE those quiet wee-hours. I just can’t write then. Read, sometimes. More often I tend to just sit and ruminate.

      I wish I could suggest one that keeps coming to mind but it’s not a recent one, but rather one I read about 10 years ago in an old copy of Story magazine. Although as a sweet piece, ED Martin’s Sara and Tim was delightful too. I’m not a good judge of short fiction, I guess. There was this old piece: http://storyoftheweek.loa.org/2016/05/somnambulism-fragment.html which was fun to discover.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That boy wears a suit well! You can tell him that I enjoyed his recital very much. =)

    Nice goals (and not-goals) progress. Hopefully, you’ll find a balance between the JuNo stuff and the Everything Else.

    Like

    • I’ll pass along the message. He’ll be glad to know it.

      Balance is coming. slowly… I think a lot of the issue related more to my just starting everything again. A slower, more considered start would have helped. And well, there IS this thing I have about obsessive volunteerism. I’m a bit afraid it’s genetic

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice to start with the Ode to Joy. Congrats to the Boodle. Speaking of joy, I remember our daughter’s many recitals (she now plays the violin professionally). Good memories — and such discipline translates well to many other pursuits, including math (which always surprises me, being somewhat math-phobic). When I was working, those early morning hours became routine. Now retired, i still get up about 5:30-6 and hit the keyboard for writing first. I’m also reading Card this week (Characters & POV). I’m curious about JuNoWriMo, but not enough to look any more closely. Wishing you well as you balance all in the coming week.

    Like

    • Music IS a mathematical language, Beth. I think that is why. And I can imagine the joy as you think about your daughter’s recitals. I felt the same looking back a few years in our files to the Boodle’s first. It’s a special experience of parenthood.

      I think habits hold pretty-much as long as we allow them, unless something outside affects us. Or our bodies just don’t work that way. Mine really doesn’t. I’m more of a nibbler, napper… long stretches either awake or asleep don’t really work for me. But we do what we must. Thank you, Beth!

      Like