Tag Archives: changes

A Bit of Back-Tracking

Wednesday does this “thing” to me… it shows up every week, same time, same way… when I am least prepared for it.

I realized (actually, I was reminded) that I kind of dumped you all into this story a bit out of the blue last week. For anyone who wants the main opening chapters, of this Unnamed Story (my personal title is actually Phuque U, but only because I give most of my stories doofy names), there are eight rather long installments here. This section jumps several days into the future when ‘Listii and Atyr have finally admitted how they feel about each other. And the realization that it changes nothing in their chaotic lives with their responsibilities to others weighing over them…

This WIPpet happens maybe an hour at most before last week’s Not the Other Way. Just a glimpse into Atyr’s space as this is happening too. Five paragraphs for June 1st: 6-1

Her wandering footsteps found her at the door to the room she’d been given. She did hesitate to enter for a moment, then seeing nothing better to do she went in boldly. There was a ray of sun highlighting the waterfall now, and she stood at the archway, staring out at the crystalline rain for long enough to wish she didn’t ever have to leave it. But a cloud drifted across the sky, shading things, and she turned around to see if she might find herself some rest.

The room itself now glowed with the diffuse light of some battery-powered lamps. Fresh linens and a feather-bed had been brought up but had not yet been fitted to the straw slab.

Temporary…. not decided.

Her bags had been emptied into the drawer and the wardrobe–an invasion, even if it did seem to be the only suggestion of permanence in the room. Her brush and combs, all her personal effects, had been neatly arranged next to a basin and ewer of rose-scented water. She picked up the brush and passed the boar bristles through her hair a few times, watching her reflection in the silvered glass of the dressing table.

But she didn’t see herself.

If you enjoyed this, why not head over to the WIPpet linky and visit other WIPpetteers. A “Hi“, a cheer and lots of appreciation to Emily Witt for hosting the WIPpet bloghop these days. It takes a lot to corral our silliness.  If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, the rules are simple: post a sample of your most recent Work In Progress (WIPpet) that somehow (can very loosely) relates to the date and then add your post to our Linky List so we can come visit you too.

Insert creepy monotone voice here

Insert creepy monotone voice here

Never a Dull Day

Warning: this post is LONG!  If you don’t want to read it all, link directly to certain sections here: Ready Set Write, ROW80 overall (triggers!) and ROW80 goals concise.

Second warning: this post may include triggers for people who’ve dealt with suicide and mental illness.

There’s this old saying…

May you live in interesting times….

I must say “No, but thank you” to whomever offered me this equivocal blessing.  My characters’ lives are interesting enough for me.  I don’t feel any need to change things up now.

Well, I do…  just in what Douglas Adams called “rigorously defined areas of doubt and uncertainty”.  I’m adding another writing challenge to my summer  excitement, the Ready. Set. Write!, a summer writing intensive that melds the goal setting and cheering of the ROW80 with a bit more of a “get a project done” push of writing challenges such as the many Fast Draft options out there.

So this is another two-fer post:

  •  a Ready. Set. Write! initial goal setting post
  • a ROW-80 check-in

Ready. Set Write!

RSW4The Ready. Set. Write is about goal setting and writing that story in your head that needs to find its way to the page.  It feels a lot like the ROW80 in that sense, just geared more toward weekly goal setting, and much briefer, once-weekly check-ins.  The basic rules are (mostly copied from RSW co-founder, Allison Miller’s blog):

At the start of each week, we’ll update our progress and set new goals using these headings in a check-in post:

  • How I did on last week’s goal(s)
  • My goal(s) for this week
  • A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised
  • The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, -getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)
  • Something I love about my WIP

We will keep our check-ins short (no more than a sentence or two per heading), and add our post to the group linky.

In that spirit, here is an overview of my RSW Work In Progress and a checklist of my goals for next week:

Getting my present WIP, Courting the Swan’s Song finished, and to beta readers would just make my summer.  A coming-of-age fantasy, CTSS is part of a larger series of books that I’ve been working on, where three people save their world through destroying it, by contacting an ancient enemy and by finding new homes in the stars.  Book 1, CTSS, deals with one of these three people: Alanii Vestimiir.

So my goals for this week are:

  • fully draft two main transition scenes in Courting the Swan Song
  • do read for consistency in in Book 1 and 3 regarding city description and Alanii’s exposure to Wanderer people
  • add to overall world map drawing; begin map of Darshaila

Simple enough in theory.  The first one has stumped me for weeks.  I don’t like writing transitions, scenes where even the characters seem to be trying to find ways to keep from being bored.  I know intellectually that these are great moments for character development and world-building, but knowing something and believing it are two different things.  So a challenge to be sure.

I have more goals than these as I also participate in the Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) challenge.  For the rest of my goals without a lot of reading, go to my concise ROW80 goals checklist…

ROW80 Check-in

The ROW80 touts itself as the Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life, and…  it was so nice to have Life happen and not feel like I was failing on all fronts.  It’s amazing what a little nice word in my pending comments was able to do when things fell apart around me on Friday.

I tossed around the idea of talking about what happened here (or anywhere beyond family and a few trusted friends).  It’s one of those things people wouldn’t have talked about when I was a kid.  Thing is…  I believe a lot of things these days are getting better because we talk about them more despite their disturbing nature: things like depression, domestic violence, child abuse, etc….

What happened was my son, the Boodle, helped himself to half a new bottle of acetaminophen (the cherry-flavored kids’ version that looks and tastes like candy), and while we were in the Emergency Room Friday morning, told the ER doctor that he wanted to die and was going to kill himself.

*blink blink*


I’ll die if I don’t get it

Now, this isn’t the first time the Boodle has used this dramatic catch-phrase.  He’s written letters to Valve Software saying he would die if they didn’t create a Portal 3 game.  He’s made similar claims about  various books and movies he wants to see.  When he made a major faux-pas in one of his homeschooling groups and almost lost his friends, he claimed he wanted to die and not talk about what had happened (he was happy to find out that talking fixed the problem though).

So we’ve heard this phrase more than I care to admit lately.  The tone, the gestures, the situation..  none suggested actual danger given his past use of “I’ll die if” instead of something similar such as “I want to crawl under a rock”.

But I’m not a doctor in an Emergency Room dealing with a child that has overdosed on pain relievers.  The doctor, and then afterwards the social worker and the nurse,  and then the experts we had to see at the crisis ward of the local psychiatric center…  everyone acted as they had to, and we spent a very, very long day wondering if our son had done damage to his liver, having our daily life analyzed, and just wondering if we’d be able to go home as a family for the next week as inpatient care was discussed and insurance forms were filled out and bed counts were made…

I am worn out emotionally, still.  Both my husband and I are trying to figure out what we need to do next first.  Counseling is required (there’s a three-month waiting list at every place I called this morning unless there is a crisis, in which case… why did they send us home); changes all around…

…because we have to take such claims seriously (I first attempted suicide when I was eight… I survived, but some kids don’t), because there is a history of depression and suicide in my family, because the Boodle doesn’t always have a clear grasp of his actions and their consequences and will do things that can harm him without a second thought.

To the Boodle, that tween lament was no big deal, merely an expression of embarrassment and dismay when he had to explain why he didn’t go downstairs for supper (he told me later it was because he didn’t want to stop playing K’Nex and “Littlest Pet Shop in Minecraft in Real Life” to eat or do homework) and instead decided to get into a brand-new, (so-called) safety-sealed bottle of candy-flavored pills.

It was “no big deal”.

But big deals are made of small deals….

ROW80LogocopyAnd with that, I think I should get to my ROW80 check-in.  And about my goals?  I did what I could:

  • Writing — Managed a pile of writing on Thursday and some on the weekend
  • Time with characters/storyworld — So very, very little…  my head and heart just weren’t there
  • Pushups/general fitness — I’ve been a lump
  • Camera time daily — missed Friday (because of above) and Saturday for brain-drain; went out again last night (this morning) with the Boodle) for another photo session; posted photos from the first session for the First Friday Photo.
  • French and German daily 10 minutes — missed this Sunday
  • MOOCs — none; I may drop this goal for the summer

It’s been one helluva couple of days…  but we’re here.  All of us are safe, ….and we’re moving on.

Oh So Very Distracted

With many apologies

With many apologies

In the grand scheme of things, a few days of “I can’t get it together” will be nothing to worry about…. really, nothing to worry about. I should get on with my day-to-day business, my writing and all will resolve itself.

Only problem is… distraction.  Oh, how many distractions are out there!  I wish I had Ted Geisel’s whimsical artistry on hand–I would have a new book out within the week.  For the moment, I’m indulging in a bit of Photoshop.

What I’ve Done and am Doing

ROW80LogocopyIt’s Monday, so officially it’s a day late for my ROW80 check-in.  Except…  like posting Wursday WIPpet last week, this lateness is intentional.  But instead of explaining this every week, from now on, my ROW80 check-ins will be on Mondays and Thursdays.  This is to open Sundays for other projects stewing in my brain, as well as to set my WIPpet Wednesday posts on their own instead of blocking them together with the ROW80 and so many other things.  Yeah, more posts…  but I can plan my posts ahead of time easier.

Over this week I will be adjusting my sidebar to reflect the changes in scheduling.  I’m still tossing the idea of bringing back the Friday Photo about.  Not sure how I feel about that.  It was good in some senses…  I spent a lot more time doing post-processing on the pictures I took.  It also ate up a lot of headspace when I wanted to get writing done.  And now, Fridays are insanely Real Life Busy…  That should change as the school year winds down.

In the non-blogging world, I have done more plotting and planning my next WriMo jump (JuNoWriMo followed by the July CampNaNoWriMo).  I still have a small bit to finish before I “win” the April camp, and having hit something of a block between last Wednesday and now, I’ve decided to use the rest of my ~3K  to get some outlining done.  The nice thing about the camps is that writing is writing.  If all goes according to plan, I’ll have a decent amount of the legwork done for this June… I’m really looking forward to that being the case this year.

Beyond that, I’m holding to my goals… mostly.  I’m at that point in the writing goal, when I need to stop just freewriting and start pulling pieces together into something cohesive and readable.

For example:

  • Last night for our local NaNoWriMo gathering, I found myself unable to focus on the task of story writing.  I probably pulled about 600 words or so from the session.
  • Saturday, all I did on my stories was to create notecards in Scrivener for new scenes I wanted to write in my Was Long Variation and part of Swan Song.
  • Friday…  I wrote, but I had such a vicious headache for most of the early day that I didn’t get much done.
  • Thursday (evening) was my glory day.  Besides posting a WIPpet and check-in here, I also added another 2k in story for the Swan Song series.

I’m mostly on track with my other goals.  I wasn’t as active as I probably should have been, and I haven’t even tried a push-up since Wednesday (sorry, muscles), but I made a point to avoid sitting to long, get out and get fresh air, even on Friday.  Of course, I’ve gotten plenty of character/story time in otherwise….  enough so that I was given something of an epiphany last night when, while looking over some notes for possible character development that I hadn’t been using, Valistii and Vissellii both started clamoring in my mind with “This!  See…  THIS is how you should write it, not the nicey-nice way you have been.”  Then Vissellii called her brother a rude, selfish baby, and he called her a brat, and then she threatened to tell their mother on him and pushed him, and he grabbed her wrist and twisted it behind her back, and….

Again, with apologies...

Again, with apologies…

Triplets….  at least I got them to settle down before they drew their knives on each other.  Though I’m not sure that redirecting that energy toward their step-father was necessarily the best idea.

Anyway…  this is where I am.  How about you?