Tag Archives: work in progress

Check-In #…2 & 5


I am finally back on track this week for my summer writing challenges. Welcome to the second week of A Round of Words in 80 Days and the Sixth Week of the Ready. Set. Write! (fifth for me as I missed one week and updated late—Wednesday—last week).

Here’s how everything is going:
How I did on last week’s goal(s)

  • bring a notebook CHECK!
  • allow myself a space to just relax and look around and observe CHECK
  • write observations down 1/2 Check (mostly my observations tended to become discussion fodder between the Spice in my Life  and I, not story fodder
  • a minimum of fifteen minutes of physical exercise daily (on days I exercise I get much more, but then I flump on other days… consistency is key) CHECK (even when I really, really didn’t feel like it, I made some time for exercise)
  • make a space to write with pen and paper at home again not so ‘Check’, since I mostly wrote wherever I could pull out my notebook, but I would still like a bit of ‘me space’
  • write my ROW80 sponsor post 1/2 Check  wrote First Draft

●My goal(s) for this week

I pretty much have the same goals this week as last week. Took the sponsor post off the list because the first draft is done, and the final draft is being readied to submit this afternoon.

RSW8So I am adding theses as my extra RSWrite (weekly) goals:

  • type in some handwritten work (at least five pages)
  • prepare things for my pending change of blog (create a main page).

●A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Taunting… I have a character (actually several) who enjoy baiting my MC, some more fondly than others. I just finished one of those dreaded transition scenes I’d been working on last night at our local NaNo groups where my MC finally gets the best out of one of these encounters.

●The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)
Ow…. Last week was the week of hurt. Between two migraines, a super-sensitive chipped tooth, and a pulled ligament in my leg, I wanted nothing to do with anything most of the week. I still found time to write though. I don’t know my total word-count, but between the three notebooks I used (three different stories), I pulled out sixteen handwritten pages. I’m happy with that.

Alanii (sort of)

Alanii (sort of)

●Something I love about my WIP

I got to see a new side to my MC this week. He’s a real smart-Alec when he thinks he can get away with it. And… he’s such an idealistic dreamer. The world is not going to be very kind to him (nor will I).

(The picture is a sketch I drew of my MC a few years back…  not perfect by any means, including the eye color, but I think it captures the teen-age aspect of him somewhat.)

That’s my update. How has everyone else been doing with their goals? Not a member of either the ROW80 or RSWrite? You can join in at anytime. Jump on it and get involved with two wonderfully supportive online communities for writers.

The links are:

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.

Mirrors? — a WIPpet/ROW80 post


Reflections On Ingenuity

Reflections On Ingenuity (Photo credit: mjp*)

Oh, it’s been one of those Wednesdays.

I had more fun figuring out my WIPPet maths than figuring out a piece of story to post.  Despite making some more progress (finally) on the Swan Song Series, I still spent more time working on my fanfiction the Was Long Variation.  So here are eight sentences from that (2 to the power of 9 equals 512; 5 plus 1 plus 2 equals 8):

He knew he took longer getting ready than the queen wanted. Though he admired the view in the mirror as she started her shower, he re-braided his hair in silence. And he didn’t try to look too close. The woman’s expression could have made his old friend Chaz flinch, and near nothing had affected that man.

While she filled the bath with steam (his own shower had been much cooler), he took another peek into her room to verify something he thought he’d seen before. He asked as he headed to his own room, “Mirrors, your highness? Nice bed you’ve got.”

Behind the shower curtain something clattered to the floor, but the woman said nothing.

Warm hugs ( especially in this weather)  to K.L.Schwengel for maintaining the WIPpet.  Head over to our linky to visit all the WIPpeeters!

ROW80 Check-in

Work In Progress

Work In Progress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Progress!  Real, definable progress!  Yay me!

  • write every day; at the minimum, do 5 sentences  hit this one everyday so far; l I even started work on the Swan Song Series again
  • finish a complete (rough) draft of Courting the Swan Song  no progress on Courting, but I added a scene to Chorus (working name); at least I’m back in the series again
  • make twice weekly blog posts (WIPpet Wednesdays and Some Thing 4 Sundays) on a consistent schedule check
  • maintain active sponsor participation I still need to write my sponsor post; I’m caught up on other sponsor duties; I’m dedicating this Saturday to the sponsor post; the rest of this week is too crazy to focus on more than gathering pieces together for it
  • energize myself with more physical activity some Tai Chi and extended posture work; made a point to add extra stair walking to each day
  • reclaim my writing space tossed some papers, sorted through some others
  • go through some piece of my electronic home (desktop, laptop, server space, Dropbox, etc.) emptied inboxes and spam folders on all three email accounts
  • laugh more, hug my family more, share myself with friends more…  LOTS of hugs and minor progress on catching up with people

Looking over this list, I want to add one more goal, mostly because it will help support several of the other goals.

  • attend two #row80 sprints on Twitter a week and one other Twitter sprint or chat

There’s something powerful about success.  Now, time to work on momentum….

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