Tag Archives: reading

All’s Well That…

Well, I can’t say “all ends well”.   Well is a wishy-washy word anyway.

Cafe Office

Cafe Office

So it good, the phrase “I’ve made real progress” (that real gives it extra wishy-washy power, I tell you), and a few other words and phrases that I don’t feel like typing in now (*shrugs* I may need to use them later 😉  )

So, how about I just play with some specifics for this ROW80 check-in?

My goals this round are:

  1. working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  2. catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  3. typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  4. (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences)

MAIN GOAL: Assess progress weekly and add more projects as needed.

So what does this mean in real numbers?

  1. I did one chapter; I should have taken into account that the exercises were likely to get more involved as I went along, and that as a new project, I might need to finish a few other projects first.
  2. I did nothing there; the group is in something of a hiatus for the April CampNaNoWriMo.
  3.  Overachiever here…  Since last Monday, I’ve typed in 43 pages of old story, two pages of gathered notes from recent book research, and two more pages of notes for my (now late) ROW80 sponsor post; obviously, with that kind of typing count (I’m a mediocre typist who manages at best between 38-55wpm according to 750words.com), I have time to redirect to my other goals
  4. Got this one in the bag too!  Even though I only added this goal on Wednesday, I found myself rapidly making up for lost time the rest of this week.  My weekly new word count is a bit over 4K (okay, 4031!)  Unfortunately this includes more than story words, as I’ve fought with four possible drafts ideas for my sponsor post.  Still…  new writing is new writing.

ROW80LogocopyIn the grand assessment, I see where I can afford to redirect energy.  I don’t need to spend so much time typing in old stories and notes.  If I dedicate half to Plot & Structure every other day and then use the off days for writing group, I’ll be able to let projects simmer just about the right about to meet those goals no problem.

And now for a few “extras”:

Though it wasn’t in my goals list, I’ve also managed to get a fair amount of reading done this week.  I hesitate to set this as a goal,  not that I expect my reading list to dwindle in any way.  But so far I have:

Already I am grabbing the rare ten minute to luck half-hour sprints here and there where I can.  I have a lot of reading I want to get done.  So no cuts there, but I’d like to add a touch more fiction to my list.  Yesterday at the meeting of the local chapter of the RWA, I got a few suggestions to add to my reading list.  Will be checking those out soon.

And another goal/not-goal…  I’ve achieved 98 days of French and German on Duolingo.  I’ve missed a week of Russian and Spanish.   Doing all four languages daily was getting to be too much, so….  balance.  I have to find a balance here yet too.

Until then…  one of the few things I can write in Russian: Досвидания!

You can find more ROWers here!

How’s the….

…Reading Going?

I have to ask: some recent changes in my reading habits combined with some research in how the brain processes information have me … well, curious mostly.

Guess how many books I’ve got in here (credit Wikipedia)

Like most writers, I love to read.  A book in hand is a beautiful thing, but for one reason or another, I’ve found myself drifting away from reading for fun and pleasure in recent years.  Part of it definitely was this little niggling critical voice that said I should be spending my time more constructively (a self-defeating voice at that, since it inspired me to play extra games of Solitaire and My Little Pony to boost my mood)…  Another part was the dread of carrying yet “One More Thing” around with me (ask anyone who knows me…  the rumors that I was descended from the great Galapagos Tortoises might be true).

So I had acquired a habit of avoiding fiction books, collecting books for “research” but not bringing them with me when I had to be out and about with my portable office, and trying to catch up on my classics via Project Gutenberg and Librivox.org (both sites I heartily recommend, btw).

But recently, I acquired (courtesy my wonderful husband), a PDA cum iPhone (as in iPhone without phone service because the device is broken).  With access to iTunes and a Kindle app (among others), I’ve rediscovered my love of fiction, having devoured an extra three books a week (not including audiobooks and podcasts that I’ve bluetoothed through the car speakers on the commute).

Aren’t they lovely? (cred Wikipedia)

Is this a good thing?  It used to be that I would read a book and the characters would stay with me for days and weeks (and often longer as I would create mental fanfictions for the characters I had grown to love).  I was quick reader even then, but I also liked to reread a lot and I would immerse myself into these fictional worlds through worn pages and crackling bindings.

I’m not inspired to reread these new e-books though–at least, not now.  It’s easy to read a page or two then drift over to play a bouncing ball game with a new pony then go back to read a few pages…  I’m finding it’s harder to feel connected with the characters.  I’m craving more action in the stories and less description, yet in my print books, I still find a lovingly detailed paragraph or two that sets the scene for my favorite character worth reading over and over.

So…  the verdict is still out.  Since I intend to use both e-books and print for as long as I have access to both, I hope to find a balance where the joy of reading is just that…  the JOY of reading and form will be of no consequence.

But I’d be curious to know your reading habits and if they’ve changed at all recently and why you think that’s happened.


ROW80LogocopyAnd now that you know how my literary life is going, let me share my ROW80 life with you.  It’s… not going as well as I would like.

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences not really…  I tried dictating a few notes and story ideas on the phone, but little more than that
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song   I ‘talked’ with some of my characters after listening to some writing related podcasts and shared some mental rants about things authors do to their characters after reading some scenes in the e-books I’ve read
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) check
  • maintain active sponsor participation  check
  • energize myself with more physical activity  almost none…  I hurt my right foot on Wednesday evening, and I’ve hobbled since: still managed two small workouts at the Y even so
  • reclaim my writing space it’s hiding here somewhere
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) organized stuff on the iPhone…  WHEEE!  a whole new electronic world to manage!
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more… some extra time with families at the Y for today’s Easter Egg hunt, does that count?
  • attend chats and sprints on Twitter (at least one of each) one