Category Archives: creative process

One Down and…

Things are Blazing

Okay, maybe not quite that extreme, but I’m extremely pleased with myself after these past few days.  Not because I got so much done, but because of WHAT I got done.

I just sent that sponsor post out to our fearless leader (and now suddenly have ideas for a few others…  maybe I’ll prep a few if my characters will give me a few more days of nudging them aside to do so).


I’ve also been (finally) rockin that creativity goal of mine this past week.  I need to remember to start carrying pencils with me for my doodles—otherwise I get a lot of art that looks like this:

a ballpoint pen, a writing/drawing journal and time at a B&N cafe

a ballpoint pen, a writing/drawing journal and time at a B&N cafe

But if I’d stopped or put off drawing for when I had the correct tools, I’d have never met this fellow.  Not sure WHO he is yet, but definitely feeling he has a story to tell.  And I’m fairly sure he’s Hastor…


Who do YOU think this is?

Row80 Check-in & Assessment

So how’s that for a week?    I’m thinking good things.  Not ideal things.  I know I set aside some work I should have done to push past the block that was my sponsor post.  Some call it prioritizing…  I guess I should call it that too.

Sometimes it’s hard to admit I’ll never be Wonder Woman.  Wondering Woman, yes…  I’ve got that down well, but I am no Lynda Carter. *pouts*

    • Goal: spend ~three hours a week delving into writing craft related learning
    • Progress: I’ve been reading John Steinbeck’s Journal of a Novel: The East of Eden Letters.  A lot of process and general perspective on writing, and maybe 3 hours of this so far
    • Goal: Hand-write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
    • Progress:  *hems and haws*  I wrote a lot of handwritten stuff (not only on my new phone love the handwriting app), but not much of it was story related
    • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks into the computer
    • Progress: I managed two days of typing and not a full two pages each
    • Goal: maintain local critique group submission of excerpts and critiques during non-NaNoWriMo months
    • Progress: behind; I owe a submission and one more critique
    • Goal: return to regular posting in the WIPpet and WeWriWa blog hops
    • Progress:  managed a WIPpet but as I noted last Sunday, I’m not rushing to jump into the WeWriWa
    • Goal: sponsor duties for the ROW80 twice a week
    • Progress: on track
    • Goal: Explore my creative side daily
    • Progress:  *high fives self*
    • Goal: Daily languages (except Sundays)
    • Progress: done, though Saturday became my Sunday
    • Goal: daily exercise amounting to a minimum of 30 minutes a day
    • Progress: Doing pretty good.  I missed … no days
  • Temporary! Goal: write and submit my sponsor post
  • Progress: THIS IS DONE *happy dance*

And before I start trying to post happy dance pictures of me trying to Zumba (cheers to you, ReGi), let me end this.   It’s been a…  pretty good, and very interesting, week.

Dance Hall Days

Not that anyone wants to actually see me dancing, but I do love doing it.  And oddly…  I find I get an insane amount of writing done on the computer when I listen to disco and club music (Youtube playlists are my friends these days).

Though, there are those moments in my office and the kitchen when I’m letting a plot point simmer in my head that I act out a line dance* from Soul Train.  My characters think I’m quite crazy.  My husband is equally bemused.


Fortunately when the Boodle is home from school, he still joins in most of the time.  He’s not quite at the “Mom, don’t embarrass me” point yet.

The point of mentioning this is…  the last few days I suddenly haven’t felt up to dancing.  I’ve also noticed a decrease in my word count or at least my enthusiasm to achieve any real word count.

Is it because April CampNaNoWriMo is over and I don’t have a ‘push’?  Is it adjustment to the Boodle heading back to school again (it’s not necessary to dance with a partner, but it can be a lot of fun)…

I don’t know.

Or maybe it’s a beginning of the week slump.  I have noticed that these Wednesday posts tend to be less optimistic than my Sunday posts.  I’m still figuring it out, but if you’ve got thoughts or personal experiences of a similar type, please share.  I’d like to know what’s going on in this crazy head of mine.

(And in other people’s heads too…  )

ROW80LogocopyBut you all didn’t come here for that, did you?  You (hopefully) came to hear about my awesome… well, not so awesome, progress since Sunday.

I’m… mostly on track.  Still no progress on that creative arts, goal.  No reading in my writing craft books, but then my library list is demanding my focus on two other books now.  And I haven’t submitted anything to our local critique group.  Then again, no one else in the group has yet either.  I suppose the first step is to make sure we’re “On” again.

For today, I’m detouring my regular plans and goals to set a day or two for rearranging my Swan Song Series Scrivener files into a main Story World Bible and separate projects for each book.  I realized I needed to do that when I discovered how hard it was getting to keep track of the March/Promenade section of the series.

And…  I’m at serious cross-purposes there too.  This third book is getting insanely large.  Six POV characters!  Ack…  and they all need to collide in one place at about the same time.   Granted, three of these characters are major secondary voices, so I might be able to shift my focus from them some here and there, but…


So how are you all doing with your creative endeavors?  Interested in joining a bunch of really supportive people who share the same passion?  Find other ROWers here and jump right on in.

I like that video best because of the twin sisters at the end…  I have a thing for twins.  Just ask my characters.

*It was one of the highlights of my teaching at the Bethlehem Children’s School when I got the whole school (from the director down to the youngest Pre-K student) funking out to the O’Jay’s ‘I Love Music’.  It’s amazing what one can do with laughter and a few basic karate moves…

The Morning After

Here I am a day late for my ROW80 check-in, and I feel completely unapologetic about it.  The last few days have been, to quote the prolific Chuck Wendig, amazeballs (actually Chuck has a lot of really awesome, though mostly NSFW* terms for writers to… um, ponder).

Anyway, absolutely friggen amazeballs!

Not only have I again caught up with all of my goals, I’ve been exceeding them (well, not totally, I still haven’t started that creative art thingie I was going to do, except a bit of coloring on one of those so-called “adult coloring pages” I printed off a while ago and had lain around.  I’m working on it slowly, bit by bit.

Here is something I drew myself for that very purpose you can download and color yourselves if you’d like.  It’s not Great Art, it’s just a sketch I made once.  If you click on the image before you download, you should get a full page image.

Just an old pump to color

Just an old pump to color

And besides…  I have had too much fun with my wonderful characters to want to do much more than spend my free time with them.   Especially Atyr…  she’s hard to ‘relate’ to, a lot harder than most of the others.  I find myself not connecting to her, a lot.  She’s got religious and political views that are alien to most anything I’ve been raised around.  And while I’ve made some study of martyrs, there is a deep difference between knowing the acts of someone so devoted to a belief and the inner feelings of such a person.

And a long time ago, I realized that for all that she lives through her choices, Atyr is a martyr to her faith.  To her, life is her punishment for not serving in her religious duties better, even despite the fact that those in charge of the temples she had been raised in were not acting in the interest of the people they served or the good of the world at large.

But Atyr believes in ideals, not individuals.  And I’m more the opposite.  I believe in individuals, then groups with more caution.  Ideals…. no so much. It always seems to me that everyone has their own interpretation of an idea—there doesn’t seem to be a universality to many things, and those tend to not involve higher level thought: basic needs, etc.

Yeah…  she’s a zealot.  And I think a lot of my problem with working with her is because people with that dogmatic a personality make me very uneasy even to be around.

But enough of my writing problems (what few there are…  one character out of several, and lots of words to write about all of them)…

Here’s some nori before I start the assessment of my goals.  I think I want to make something like stained glass out of this stuff.  Isn’t it just awesome?nori panes

And now my weekly assessment:

  • Goal: working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: still detoured progress here, though I not done much Syd Field’s Screenplay either; some other library book reading… and an overdue fine to pay tomorrow
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress: group is on hold for the month of April; however, finished all the critiques I owe; now need to submit something
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: one page ahead of count
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  getting ALL the words…  am so loving this time with my characters
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: managed to sort out and discover several files for bits of story and notes I’d thought I’d long lost and place them in Scrivener projects with the stories they belonged to *happy dance*

Again, since this post was late, and I was having serious doubts about getting anything done on Wednesday, I’m holding off one more week before I consider adding in extra projects.  We’ll see how things are by mid-week (fair warning my mid-week check-in will be on Thursday because this one is a day late).

Hope you had fun reading and plotting your own creative endeavors.  Before you go, why not visit a few other awesome ROWers here!

  • or most daily life…  you can do serious damage choking on that latte if you read these while drinking