Tag Archives: success

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).

YEEAASSS!

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…

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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*

  • CRAFT
    • 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
  • SOCIAL
    • 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
  • PERSONAL
    • 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.

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By Her Majesty’s Decree

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The Queen and the Sheriff of Nottingham (sort of)

Busy day for us here at Chez Mabee, at least for me.  Somehow I got posted to the JuNoWriMo hosting schedule for sprints twice on Sundays (feel free to jump on Twitter and join me if you need some writing boosts–you don’t have to be a June WriMo member to participate), two four hour shifts: from 6-10am and 7-11pm.  We also went to the New York Capital District Renaissance Festival today, which (for anyone who has attended such things) took a lot longer than we expected it would.

This awesome soldier (Trojan--he'll be sure to tell you) was a highlight of the faire) helping the Boodle to shoot

This awesome soldier (Trojan–he’ll be sure to tell you) was a highlight of the faire) helping the Boodle to shoot

It was the Boodle’s first “real” renfaire (there is a little one that occurs every other year at a church in the center of Albany*, but that doesn’t have the space for many of the activities that make up such an event).  For a while we weren’t sure if it wouldn’t be his last.

We shouldn’t have worried.  There was a Shakespeare-inspired skit going on at the Vixens En Garde stage.  After that…  we had no fear of leaving early.  In fact, we stayed well past the ending bell for the Queen’s Blessing and dismissal.  And during the parting wishes, the Boodle was calling out “Huzzah” right along with the crowd.  He wants to go again next year and has asked if we can look into going to one of the other big faires in NYS (Sterling or Sterling Forest) before summer is over.

The Boodle wasn't quite as keen on trying to fire the ballista

The Boodle wasn’t quite as keen on firing the ballista

A big change from the kid who didn’t know if he was even interested.

He has even expressed something of an interest (though I’m unsure how strong it is) in planning a costume for next year).  If he does, cool.  If not, equally cool.  There is plenty of time to get involved more fully such activities.

And with his love of the Bard, who knows…  maybe someday he will be one of those on the stage someday!

In all, it’s been a good day.  A tiring one…  but worth it.  Even if it did make me dream of England again…

Now, ’tis time for my weekly assessment and…

ROW80 Check-in

ROW80LogocopyWriMos are tricky things.  They tend to consume more energy than they feel like they should.

I mean, really, if I normally hit between 750-1000 words a day, and somehow manage to goof off a bunch, then it stands to reason that a bit more than doubling that shouldn’t really be an issue.  On an average day, I can usually pull out 750 words in a half-hour.

I’ve been lucky to achieve 400 +/- these last few days in the same amount of time.  And when I’m hosting sprints, my actual wordcount drops even further.  I am a host after all, and as a host, it is my responsibility to mingle and interact, answer questions, provide  support.  It’s fun, but it’s very disruptive to the muse at times.

How does this work with my goals?

  • Goal (#1): working through three chapters weekly of James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure (including exercises)
  • Progress: nothing—shifting, broadening focus from now on
  • Not-progress, but… this was the week of reading twice daily a writing blog article for more craft ideas
  • Goal: catching up in my local critique group (including submitting something this week)
  • Progress:  I submitted a piece the other day
  • Goal: typing two pages a day of old notebooks in
  • Progress: typing away madly
  • Goal: (VIG) Write new words daily! (the Five Sentences thingie)
  • Progress:  I’ve been fighting myself for this handwritten work these last few days–some stuff going on at the house that just has our heads a bit filled (my hubby’s more than mine, but he needs his partner around when Life is giving him this kind of stress, so it’s a mutual thing)
  • Not a Goal but Progress Anyway: continued progress  my languages (except Spanish and Russian… dropped the ball on these again)
Of course they had Daleks in Medieval times! They followed the Doctor, and he's been everywhere!

Of course they had Daleks in Medieval times! They followed the Doctor, and he’s been everywhere.

And that’s pretty much it.  I’m overtired; have dealt with two migraines and a slew of sinus headaches this week, two power outages (which almost ruined out file server because it tried to do updates between outages!), “Stuff”, my SiL’s father died suddenly…

I keep saying I’ll add to these goals, but Life doesn’t seem to want to work that way lately.  Maybe it’s just as well that the ROWnd is almost over.   I will be ending things on a “I DID it” note instead of scrambling to reach ever newer and brighter stars.

There is something kind of cool about that too..

Thanks for stopping over!  If you’d like to visit other ROWers and cheer them on, follow this linky here.

* this isn’t the main site, but there is a funny story in this piece, since the cathedral was never completed and a stop-gap roof was installed so the building would be usable

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