Week 1 Goal Assessment

Blogland!

Last week was the first week in which I set pretty firm goals for myself since school ended. I’ve got the whiteboard up and am using it consistently. Last week’s goals included:

  • The Martian Book Review
  • The Audient Void edits
  • Since the Fire into draft #3
  • Two blog posts
  • Write chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

How did I do?

Well, I posted the book review for The Martian, as well as completed The Audient Void edits. So that’s great. I technically did finish the edits for Since the Fire last night, but they weren’t finished in the computer until about 20 minutes ago. So, that’s close. Also, I feel really good about the changes. I consider it done until I seek out further feedback. And then I even wrote over 1,000 words of Chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story, plus some reorganizing and outlining.

I also was a bit naughty and compiled all the separate Cards chapters into one correctly formatted manuscript. It totals 239 pages, and 63,005 words. Not too shabby.

So overall, not a bad first week. I didn’t sit down and write that second post like I wanted to, and I didn’t quite make my writing goal, but after two years of very limited fiction writing, I’ll take 1k words. I’m dubbing week one back a success!

Why didn’t I complete these goals? Because I cleaned out the garage and unpacked a bunch of boxes instead. So, still a very productive week. I’m happy.

So, on to this week? What’s the plan?

  • Coraline Book Review
  • publish 2 blog posts
  • Finish chapter 7 and write chapter 8 of Jordinn’s Story
  • Start edits on The Portrait of Sterling Madison

Unofficial goals include finishing The Obelisk Gate and Elric of Melniboné. I only have an hour left on Elric, so that should get done tomorrow or Thursday at the latest. And less than 100 pages to go for The Obelisk Gate, so hopefully I can get a good chunk of it done tonight.

Anyway, there’s a brief update for you all. Keep an eye out for the Coraline book review, as it will be up before the weekend!

See you all soon,

 

BZ

The Lie We Tell Ourselves

Hey. Long time, no see.

Let’s just say that the wedding has finally made itself known. I’m emailing caterers, booking appointments for all kinds of things, and with frappuccino happy hour at work, I don’t really have time to breathe. And my silence here is a symptom of the silence on my computer. I haven’t written a word for the novel in two weeks now, nor have I edited a single page. It makes my stomach all knotted. I hate it. And it shows in my attitude. It’s like when you’re really hungry and so you’re extra irritable, except I do that with writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I get Hangry too, but the writing version is worse because it’s subtle.

It’s not just an irritability. It’s a total fraying of the nerves. I handle stress much more poorly. I cry more, and I do get angry more easily. It gets to where Trevor starts to hint, “maybe you should do some writing, babe.” Which then makes me angry, because I obviously know I should be writing, I just don’t have time!

Ah-ha…

The writer’s excuse. We all know it. We’ve all dealt with it. And we all see it for what it really is. A lie.

My ideal schedule of closing and writing the four or five hours before my shift is no longer mine. I’ve been opening and working days, and so I go straight home, and usually to sleep or to make dinner. I haven’t adjusted and made time for my writing, and I feel incredibly guilty for it. I’m still going to try and get some work done today though. I have the time and the scene has been percolating now for a while. It’s ready.

But, what’s my plan going forward?

Well, we’re moving in about two weeks. We’ll be getting rid of this bulky desk I’ve had since my childhood, and using a more streamlined piece. A small one to fit in our smaller apartment, and with less desk space so we can cut down on clutter. But, we’re also going to get a dining room table, and I think that’s where I’ll make my base. I need to train myself to work at home, that Starbucks is not synonymous with writing. At least not solely. That way, time spent home alone can be productive time too.

It’s a tentative plan, so don’t judge me if it fails!

I hope to see you soon, blogland.

 

BZ

Guess Who’s Back…?

Hello again blogland!

I’m so sorry for the unannounced hiatus. I moved across country mid-May to Salem, Oregon. It’s gorgeous here, and now that life is settling down and making sense again, it’s time to pick back up where we left off.

I’m writing again, though a bit intermittently. But, I feel good about the project moving forward. I’m far too close to the end to give up now! Only 8 chapters left to finish the first draft! And then comes revision and expansion, which is my favorite part!

Again I am horribly sorry for the great gap in updates and work, so by way of apology, I shall post a gift. Below is my newest material on the novel. Keep in mind that it is extremely rough, written only a couple days ago.

Thanks for following me all this way,

BZ

 

 

Brandon sat on the couch. The sounds of gunfire and explosions echoed from the tv as he waged war in whatever video game he was playing. I turned the burner down to simmer and walked down the hall.

I could hear rustling as I neared the second bedroom and knew it was Evie. I rounded the corner to stand in the doorway. She sat on the floor digging through boxes marked “keepsakes”, or “memories”. I leaned against the doorframe as the small girl picked out one of my old yearbooks. She began flipping through it, and as I thought of some of my high school friends, I figured I shouldn’t let her read too much.

“You probably shouldn’t read all of that,” I told her as I walked into the room. She looked up, surprised, and quickly set the book back into the box. I sat across from her, my back against the wall. “Find anything good?”

Evie looked at me from below her lashes, gauging my reaction. Once she realized I wasn’t angry, she pulled a paper out from beside her. “I want to read this,” she said.

I took the paper from her. My name in golden script stood out, as well as the title of one of my stories. I had to think hard to remember what I’d won the award for, but eventually remembered the state writing competition and my first prize piece.

“I don’t have it anymore,” I told her. Her smile faded. “Sorry,” I mumbled, handing the paper back.

She paused, looking at the boxes, and then tore into a new one. She began asking questions as she dug through my cardboard past.

“Do you still write?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because.”

“How many stories did you write?”

I thought about it. “Eight.”

“Did you win anything else?”

“Not really.”

“What’s that mean?”

I shrugged. “I had one get published.”

She gaped at me, but soon returned to the box. She removed a dusty picture frame. Even from the back I recognized it. Evie turned the frame to show me the photo.

“Is that your girlfriend?” she asked, pointing to the pale redheaded woman in the picture.

“No.”

“So that’s not your baby?” she asked, referring to the infant in the woman’s arms.

“No.”

“So then why are they in a picture with you?” She pointed to the man in the photo, his black hair slicked back to blend with his turtleneck sweater. I could see why she would think it was me.

I held out my hand, and Evie passed me the picture. I looked close at the woman. The soft spray of freckles across her nose, the hazel eyes, and the smile I missed so much.

I set the frame aside. Evie took the hint and kept on searching. It didn’t take her long to find another photo of interest. The black frame was grey with dust. I shut my eyes against the dread lodging in my throat and breathed deeply through my nose.

“Oh,” Evie said. I didn’t need to look at the photo to see what the girl saw. I stood front and center in my white cap and gown. I looked young. Naive. Oh so optimistic. Behind me, each with an arm over my shoulders, stood my grinning parents. Beyond proud. Evie looked at me and back at the picture a couple times.

“You were the baby,” she whispered. I sort of smiled, watching her eyes shine, impressed by her compassion. I expected her to ask the obvious, and started prepping my speech about frozen Colorado roads. Instead she looked down at the floor, her finger tracing the woodgrain.

“My mom’s dead too.”

I let my head fall back against the wall. Thump. I didn’t know what else to do. Evie sniffed. I couldn’t watch her cry, so I just didn’t move. When she finally did speak, the strength in her voice surprised me.

“She looks really nice,” she said. “And pretty.”

I swallowed. Hard. “She was nice.” I nodded. “And prettier than any of her pictures.”

“And your dad?” She asked. I smiled true.

“He was the only person in the world good enough for my mom.” We both thought of our fathers in the silence, and I reminded myself of just how lucky I had been.

“Kevin?” Brandon stood in the doorway, interrupting our thoughts. “I think the food is done.”

I looked at Evie, who was wiping her face furtively. “Thanks, Brandon. I’ll be right there.”