Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #15

Hey Blogland,

It’s been an emotional day after learning about the tragedy in Paris. I visited Notre Dame when I was fifteen. That same year, before we ever knew each other, my husband also traveled to Paris and went to see the beautiful Cathedral. Now, almost fifteen years later, we’d both hoped to visit again so we could share those memories. I’m at once feeling the loss of what was and of what could have been, but I know it is nothing in comparison to the grief of the citizens of Paris and all of France. Je suis de tout cœur avec vous.

But before today came a whole week of writing and reading. Let’s talk about that.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Finish reading The City in the Middle of the Night

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yarp. Not only two but three, thanks to a busy week of reading and reviewing.
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
    • Yes! And then some!
  • Finish reading The City in the Middle of the Night
    • Yep. And I finished listening to A Gathering of Shadows!a gathering of shadows

Weekly Word Count: 4,368

Do you see that word count? Do you? It was a hard fought week with the manuscript with some scenes pouring out of me while others had to be tugged like knotted rope. But, the point is, I sat down each day and committed to 500 words. Some days that was all I could manage, but most days there were quite a bit more. Most days the flow didn’t hit until I crossed over 500 words and poured into more.

I finally powered through the last third of The City in the Middle of the Night. The review is up now for those who are interested in my thoughts on the book. I also posted the review for A Darker Shade of Magic on Friday, so it was a busy week on the blog.

I read Trail of Lightning and binge-listened to A Gathering of Shadows, pretty much screaming the entire time while I folded laundry. It took all of my self-control not to purchase the audiobook of A Conjuring of Light because I was very nearly too impatient to get my hands on the hard copy today. I also read a short story, as per my monthly goal of a story a week. So, yeah, lots of reading and writing this past week.

I’m trying to remember if there was anything else. The Walk ‘n’ Talk was rescheduled to this week, and Madhu received another Full Manuscript Request, so that’s awesome. I’ve sort of reached that nose to the grindstone phase of the novel. There’s not much to talk about writing-wise right now. I just need to buckle in and get work done.

Speaking of which…

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Finish reading A Conjuring of Light

So, yeah. More of the same. I’ve got two book reviews slotted for this week, so we’re all good there. I’m still feeling good about the manuscript and the direction the story is headed, so as long as I make time at my desk, I feel good about my word count goals. And as for reading the last Shades of Magic book? I can’t think of much that could stop me from inhaling it at inhuman speeds.

The short stories are STILL out and I’m still slowly dying of anticipation. Each day more stories are rejected (and some are even accepted) but mine remain in the nebulous realm of “Maybe”. It’s exhausting.

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What else? Walk ‘n’ Talk later this week and another hike on Saturday’s docket. Still don’t know where we’re going, but somewhere pretty and probably wet. I’m sure there will be pictures to share. There’s also a bit of social activity this week with dinner out tomorrow night and possibly(?) trivia on Thursday. Oh! And the Willamette Writers meeting on Wednesday.

Good grief. When am I supposed to do any writing? I may have overbooked myself. And there’s another busy week after that too, but I’ll talk more about that later.

Oh yeah! I signed up for Camp Nanowrimo, mostly as a way to keep myself accountable this month and really focus on getting this draft done. I like seeing the little graph grow each day, and I really like seeing the daily breakdowns of my productivity.

That’s all, I think. Reading and writing. Lather, rinse, repeat. I have a couple busy weeks ahead of me, both personally and writing-wise as I try to get this novel rough draft done before June. Meanwhile I’m trying not to think too much about all the pending news I’m waiting on. The good news is I have enough books that I ought to be well and truly distracted.

TBR madness

See anything you like? Tell me all about it (spoiler-free please!) in the comments! I’ll be back with the review for Trail of Lightning on Wednesday, and A Gathering of Shadows on Friday.

Until then, Bloggarts.

 

BZ

 

 

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Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #14

Oh, Blogland, what a week it was. Busy, quick and seemingly never-ending all at once.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Finish The City in the Middle of the Night

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
    • Yep! Between the weekly post, the Monthly Recap, and the Reading Round Up, there was no shortage of blog activity last week.
  • city in the middle of the nightWrite 500 words/day on Tavi
    • *grumble, grumble*… no…
  • Finish The City in the Middle of the Night
    • … No… But I did finish an audiobook over the weekend!

Weekly Word Count: 3,410

So, I was all on track to have this amazing, productive week, only 90 words shy of my goal, when, BOOM! Migraine. I cannot tell you how much that pissed me off. That something as arbitrary and absolutely uncontrollable as a migraine ground my work to a halt. I’m real salty about it.

It’s also the reason why, instead of finishing The City in the Middle of the Night, I listened to all fourteen hours of A Darker Shade of Magic instead. The good news is, I am obsessed with this series now and am gobbling up the second one. I wish I’d read them sooner! The bad news is, I’m still struggling with the Anders book. But, I’m almost there. Just another 60 pages or so.

The only other good thing about migraines is that I completely forget about tracking my submissions. It’s been three days since I’ve obsessively checked The Submission Grinder to see that beautiful, terrifying graph that holds all my publishing dreams in its grip.

While I wasn’t assuming the fetal position and trying not to puke, I was hiking! Blogland, it was an absolute perfect trip out to the Oregon Coast. It poured down monsoon quality rain the whole drive out there, Laurel and I talked about all kinds of things (including some story fodder), and then, right as we arrived, the rain stopped. The clouds moved inland and we have clear skies and the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen. By the time we reached the Cape, there were no clouds.

No whales, either. But, there were plenty of birds and plenty of mud. It was a perfect first hike of the season.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Finish reading The City in the Middle of the Night

Another straightforward week, with the same straightforward goals. The good news is I ought to be able to meet them all this time! Heck, you might even get two book reviews this week if I keep to my reading goals.

I’ll need to make up for Monday’s word count, and the 90 words I missed on Sunday if I want to stay on track for the month. Luckily, the book hit a bit of a stride last time I was in front of it, so hopefully that momentum will continue into tonight’s session.

It’s a busy week, work-wise, and there’s a Walk ‘n’ Talk on Thursday. I’d like to have something substantive to talk about while we walk so I’ll need to get some quality work in before then. Thanks to the migraine, I already feel behind.

No time like the present to catch up!

See you all real soon with the review for A Darker Shade of Magic, and then again later in the week to review The City in the Middle of the Night.

Until then, Bloggarts.

 

BZ

 

Welcome Back

Ahh… It’s like clocking in to work, opening a fresh, blank page for blogging. This is how I get the creative ball rolling, and help myself focus on what actually needs to happen.

See, when I wake up, my brain tends to be full. It’s like a thick stew being stirred constantly. I can’t grasp any particular thought, and I have about a million of them before I even brush my teeth. By the time I actually get in the car I’ve had about 20 different ideas for what to blog about, but once I sit down to it, they will all have disappeared, leaving me to think of something fresh.

So, what’s today’s fresh thought?

Let’s start with the fact that I met my writing goal for last week. Friday morning Trevor woke up at a quarter to six, to take his parents to the airport. I woke with the alarm, and couldn’t fall back asleep. I tried, like hell, but as my brain came to I felt flushed with writing. The spur of creation. I knew where the scene was going. It had marinated, and on Friday morning, the metaphorical timer had dinged. It was time to write.

By the time I reached Starbucks it was 7:30. My shift started at 9. Account for setting up the computer and eating breakfast, I had about an 1 and 15 minutes of solid writing. Notice, I didn’t write a blog that day. In that time I wrote 1,553.

I believe NaNo Campers call that a sprint.

Let me also say that ‘sprinting’ felt good. It didn’t leave me exhausted, my brain comparable to pudding. Instead I felt energized. Thrilled, and in love with the scenes I’d written. And, after reading them today, I still feel that way. They were good scenes.

Those 1,553 words ended chapter 9, and put a solid intro into chapter 10. But, as I imagined, I got zero editing done last week. Which means I need to edit two chapters this week.

My Starbucks schedule this week isn’t ideal for writing, but it’s a good compromise between the Write Life and my personal life. Off today, which is always nice, a whole day to myself to really get good work done. Tomorrow I close, Wednesday I’m a late mid, so I get to have dinner at home. Thursday I close, and Friday’s another late mid. And then Saturday I close, off Sunday.

So, today I’m going to try and finish chapter 10. That’s a tall order, because it needs another 2500 words or so, but I’m sure gonna try. Tomorrow I want to edit at least one chapter, but I might get to two. That way Thursday can be a finishing/starting a new chapter day.

Also, and this is more for my entertainment as well as learning, I bought a paperback version of ‘The Alloy of Law’.
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I love this book. It’s everything I could ask for in a sort of Steampunk detective story, and I won’t lie, it’s a major source of inspiration for the novel I’m working on. I own a hardback copy that I bought from when the book originally released, and it was one of the books I took to the signing. I just finished rereading it for the third time, and I think I’ve fully absorbed it now.

But, as I was reading my hardback I found myself noticing that Sanderson breaks some rules I’ve been living and writing by. As I flipped through page after page I found myself itching to circle ‘-ly’ adverbs and ‘was’. Also, he teaches against using dialogue tags, but he does it.

I needed to know how often he breaks the ‘rules’. So I spent the eight bucks to get a paperback copy that I could write all over and not feel too guilty. So, for my pleasure reading I have a hardback copy of ‘Steelheart’ sitting in my box at work, and for my editing, I’ve got ‘The Alloy of Law’. While I waited for the computer to wake up I started my ‘was’, ‘as’, and ‘-ly’ circling, and let me tell you, Sanderson definitely bends the rules.

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And that’s just page two! What does this mean for my writing? Not too much. I think Sanderson’s stories and his clear writing allow him to get a little lenient with the ‘rules’. Also, when you take into account that the book is just under 100,000 words, there’s more room for scenes that bend the rules. Also, the circles and counting don’t help me actually analyze the sentences. I have to go back, make notes in the margins, and see if the sentences themselves are strong, even with so many circles.

It’s going to be a fun exercise. And that’s how I’m treating it, an exercise to see how Brandon’s finished work looks. Something to compare my manuscripts to and to learn from.

Anyway, I’ve killed enough time here. It’s about time I started writing!

 

BZ