A Lot To Do Or Just No Time?

Sunday School, Work, School, Write, Etc…

I have been very overwhelmed lately. I don’t know if it’s because I have a lot to do, or if it’s not that much, but I just can’t find the time to get it all done. Lately writing has kind of been on the back burner unless Kris and I go to Barnes and Noble and actually have a set day and time to get some writing done. I feel bad about not finding at least some time during the day to get some writing done.

My other sister, Lisa, and I run the Sunday school at our church together. I’m going to say this bluntly: people don’t like church. I don’t know what it is, but this generation is just not full of “church people.” My parish is very, very small. I like it that way, honestly. People say the more the merrier, but I hate large crowds. There are probably about 20 kids total in the Sunday school. I have the prek-k kids and Lisa has grades 1 & 2. Towards the end of the year, no one was coming so we ended up combining our classes. Each week, between the two of us, we’d have a total of four or five kids. The Sunday school consists of mostly younger kids (my class and Lisa’s class). The other two teachers do grades 3 & 4 and 5 and up. They never had a class because they’re kids would never show up.

To make a long story short, Lisa and I have been planning all summer to re-vamp the Sunday school. We found a new curriculum we think the kids will enjoy more as it’s more interactive with them. We’re thinking of ways to improve the snack and we’re going to add a show-and-tell each. For example, on the day we learn about Noah’s Ark, the kids will bring in a stuffed animal of their favorite animal. We’re hoping they’ll feel as though they have a job to do and will want to come to Sunday school. But this is a lot of work and a lot of planning.

Then there’s work. Work starts up again in about two weeks. I got back September 3 while the kids come back September 5. I’m going to be working 31 hours a week. That may not sound like a lot, but last year I worked 18 hours a week. I wanted more hours as I need to get myself through school. I’ll be babysitting whenever I can, too. I’m not complaining, but it’s going to take a lot of time away from writing.

School. School is going to take a lot of time away from writing. If I’m not working, I’m probably going to be doing homework. All I can say is thank God that I’m doing school online. I think I’d be screwed otherwise.

Then there’s cleaning and organizing. This is not a priority, but it’s still something that needs to get done. Kris and I are turning Lisa’s room into an office. We need to clean that entire room and organize it and all that fun stuff. Right now, my “office” is in the basement. I need to organize and clean everything down here because we’re most likely going to get rid of my desk (I bought a new one) and everything down here is going to go up there. This room is going to look so empty…then there’s my bedroom. Let’s not even discuss that.

I am going to write for an hour every morning. But because I’ll be home in the morning (since my school is online) I get the lovely job of getting my cousins ready for–and possibly driving them to–school. They get ready between 7 and 8. That’s the hour I have been writing for. Now that Jackie is going into middle school, she’s going to have to get ready earlier. They’re going to be at my house at 6:30. What am I going to do? Write from 5:30-6:30? I don’t think I can get up that early…I guess I could shoot for writing for just a half hour. If I have more time, I can always continue. But I like having the one, full, good hour.

But I guess I’m going to have to make due with what I have.

Advertisements

The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel

It’s Gonna Be A Best-Seller…

Starting back in the summer of 2010, I started babysitting two boys. I only watch them during the summer as both of their parents work while the kids are at school, which is nice. They’re one of the few families that actually have the parents home when the kids are home that I know of.

So this is the third summer I’m watching them. The oldest, Jack, is now 13 and the youngest, Sam, is 11. The oldest has ADD while the youngest has ADD and a touch of Autism. They get along really well, but…you know, they’re brothers. Despite their special needs, Jack is actually capable of being home alone for a few hours and watching his little brother. However, he torments poor Sam half of the time. So instead of actually “babysitting” I get paid to “referee.” And it’s funny because last summer was horrible, but Jack has actually matured with age…for a boy. I honestly don’t think I need to be there. But I love hanging out with the two of them, so why not?

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to talk about what Sam wants me to do. We drove my cousin and her friend to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago. The swim lesson was only a half hour long so we stayed there to watch. Sam had his Nintendo DS and his Pokemon to keep himself company. I planned on playing my game, but I found myself caught up in watching the kids swim. But somehow Sam got a hold of my iPod and was looking at my calendar.

“Camp NoNoWr…what?” Sam stammered to read my July entries.

“Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.” I laughed at his pronunciation and corrected him.

Of course, Sam has no idea what that is. So I explained the whole thing to him simply. Judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t all that impressed.

“Geez, Rachel…I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t think you were that much of a geek.” he scoffed.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how offended I got. Of course I was laughing, but I never really thought writing would be categorized as being a geek. That was certainly the first time I heard that, but I just don’t think Sam knew what to think about it.

“Hey, it’s writing. Writing is my career.” I replied and he stared at me funny. “Well…I want it to be my career. I want to be an author someday…sooner rather than later, I mean. NaNo is something that helps me get closer to that goal.”

From the look on Sam’s face, I now had his attention. And he seemed to understand, too. Yet, he was still confused because he knew I’m going to school to be a teacher and he knows I’m a teacher at a preschool. I explained I went to school for teaching as a day job just in case selling books doesn’t bring in enough money. But I am going to get my Bachelor’s in English. Being with children and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I can easily do both and if writing becomes more of a priority…well, my books are all picture books, middle grade, or young adult. It’s still kid stuff. He nodded an approval at my plan.

Then the wheels in his head began to squeak. Then they moved slowly and before I knew it, the rust was dusted off and the wheels were turning five miles per second.

“The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel!” he exclaimed. “You should write a book all about you and me and all the fun we have together! I bet you it will be a big hit!”

I found this amusing. Sam texts me throughout the school year every once in a while and when the summer nears and his mom and I start planning a schedule for me to babysit, he’s always calling me on the phone super excited. His mom tells me he constantly talks about me and she’s so happy by how much he loves me. If the child is not happy about the babysitter, then there’s an issue somewhere. But I was excited that Sam took an interest in my writing and he was trying to help me out. Although, at first I thought it was just him being 11, but then I realized he was serious.

“You can talk about me and you and Chance!” he continued on and on. “I guess Jack can be in there…maybe you can put Jackie and Katherine in there, too.” Then he whispers: “You know, just to be nice.”

–Let me stop to explain for a moment: Chance is his dog, Jack is his brother (as previously mentioned), Jackie is my cousin (the one who was swimming), and Kat is my other cousin (Jackie’s little sister). Continuing on…–

Then I asked a question I shouldn’t have (but I still thought he was joking): “How long should this book be?”

“Um…100 pages!”

Uh…what? Wow, he really thought this through in the past five minutes, didn’t he? Then he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“So I know you’ll definitely do it.”

Well, crap. Now I’m stuck. I have an 11-year-old wanting me to write 100 pages all about our fun together. How was I going to pull this one off? He had to be kidding, right? He was probably going to forget about this whole thing by tomorrow, anyway…right?

After I finished babysitting that day I thought long and hard about our conversation. I began laughing to myself and thought: challenge accepted.

A few days later (yes, he remembered), he told me that he wants it to be 256 pages now. Random number, right? I don’t get it, either. However, I did say challenge accepted, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write that much about us. All we really do is go in the pool, play with the dog, and play Pokemon. Seriously. I’ll make the story 100-256 pages. No less than 100, no more than 256. But I doubt I’ll get to 256 pages.

I realized that I am probably going to make Sam’s life when I write this book. Of course I’m not going to write it ready for publication, but it helped spark a middle grade series idea (with the help of Kris when I told her this story) that I think I am going to write. And who knows? Maybe it will be the “next big thing.”

Back To Reality

I Can’t Type…

 

I disappeared for a week, yes. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but I went away on vacation. It was very nice to get away. We had a cottage by the lake, but we didn’t swim very often. The weather was not on our side last week. But it was all good because Kris and I stayed in our room most of the week playing Pokemon and watching movies. We watched Wreck-It Ralph twice, Tangled about four or five times, and the Winnie the Pooh movie about four or five times. It was a good week. That, and we finally got our two cousins into Pokemon. They’re 11 and 9 and we’ve tried to get them into it before, but it never worked because they didn’t understand anything that was going on. They still don’t, but they’re getting through it.

It’s funny because Jackie, the one who is 11, pesters us with questions. She wants to learn everything about Pokemon and wants to do it right. If we tell her to do something differently, she hears us and tries not to do it anymore. For example, leveling up only one Pokemon instead of her whole team. Whereas, Katherine…she’s just going to have to learn the hard way. No matter how many times Kris and I try to tell her that she needs to level up all her Pokemon…let’s put it this way: she was in a battle with an NPC trainer for about two hours. Her highest level Pokemon fainted and the rest of her team weren’t at a high enough level. Not only that, but she does’t understand that she needs to go to the Pokemon Center before they faint. She thinks she’s not allowed to go there unless she entire team has fainted.

This just goes to show that slow and steady does in fact win the race. Whereas Kat is farther along in the game than Jackie, Jackie will probably be the first to beat the game because she’s actually going about it the right way. But at least they’ll both learn…eventually.

Anyway, the sub-title says “I can’t type.” Seriously, you have no idea how long it has taken me to write this post so far…being away from a computer for a whole week really takes a toll on my fingers. I checked my FanFiction e-mail and I have a lot of stories to catch up on for my beta-reading. I didn’t open a single one. I can’t type. How am I supposed to correct stories if I can’t type?

There was no wi-fi at the cottage, but my phone still gave me internet. It was great because I ended up playing my HeartGold version of Pokemon all week and I left the guide at home. I brought my Ruby and Sapphire guide because I had just started playing my Ruby over again. Apparently, I changed my mind. But I had my phone to look up the levels of the gym leaders and such. So I was saved.

But that’s not really the point. I was on the internet a great deal, but it was only my thumbs doing the typing. My other fingers got a vacation and now I’m paying the price. I have a lot of correcting to do for FanFiction, I have my own FanFiction to write and I have my own original novels to write. Of course, none of this is going to happen until tomorrow (at least) because my fingers need to get back into the groove of things.

Speaking of writing…Camp NaNoWriMo? What is that again…?

Ugh, yes, I know. I fail. But at least I got something written. Something is better than nothing, I guess. There’s always November…then April…then July again…and so on and so forth.

Well, I’m home now and it’s back to reality…starting tomorrow.

What To Do

I Have Been Getting Absolutely Nothing Done….

Also, this is my last week of classes for school and finals are next week. Granted, I only have one test, but that test is stressing me out big time. On top of that, I’m trying to figure what I’m doing for school next semester since I graduate this month. I got into a school and had a plan, but I have changed my mind. Now I have to start the process all over again. That’s a pain in the butt, too.

At the moment, I am writing four novels at once. All of them go together and three of them are not to be published. Although, who knows? If The Blank Page series kicks off pretty well whenever I get that published, I may publish the characters’ books just as a side series. So I have been working bit by bit on that.

However, I have been in the mood to edit my novels instead of writing new ones. Believe me when I say that this never happens. I hate editing with a burning passion and usually when I finish a novel, I set it aside only to be dug up again in a few years and say, “Hey, I remember this!” And then it gets buried again…

But a couple of months ago…well, I think it was back in March, I decided that I was going to set up a writing schedule for myself. This is how it goes:

January — Write
February — Write
March — Edit
April — Camp NaNo
May — Write
June — Edit
July — Camp NaNo
August — Write
September — Write
October — Edit
November — NaNo
December — Write

All the months before the NaNo months are editing months to make sure that I don’t start something new and “cheat” at NaNo. Also, notice that this is only three months. Again, I hate editing.

I started this back in March, except I wrote instead of edited because my flash drive was broken. I have two novels to edit because I had printed them out before my flash drive broke, but I either didn’t think to edit those two novels or I just ignored the fact that I was able to edit them…who knows? My point is that for 2013 I may switch the months of March and May. I wrote in March so I think I’m going to edit in May. I’m probably going to switch back and forth between editing and writing The Blank Page. Then in June I will try to strictly edit.

The thing is that summer is nearly here and I want it to be a good one. So far, 2013 has been promising. I have been keeping up with my New Year’s Resolutions (which never happens) and I have been doing great on my writing. I want the summer to be just as good since I won’t have school and I won’t have work. I’ll be babysitting a lot, but I kind of need to make some money, right? But it will still give me a lot more time to write instead of writing around school and work. Plus, half of the time I’ll be watching my cousins and they’re older, so it’s not like they don’t know how to entertain themselves and I have to keep an eye on them at all times.

But this summer I really want to finish editing something. I have two children’s picture books that are completed…edited and all. I sent Asking Bobby to a publisher about a month ago. They said if I don’t hear back within 30 days, I should e-mail them…which I still have to do. There’s another publisher that I really like, but they only take exclusive manuscripts. So I’m going to send Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium there and send Asking Bobby to a bunch of other places. If I get all rejections, I’ll swap the two. Make sense?

In the meantime, I’m going to be editing Diary of a Lover. My goal is to have that novel completely edited and ready to be published by the end of the summer. Then during the school year I can send that novel to places, as well. While I wait for those three books to get accepted, I can continue writing other things.

The reason I’m planning on editing Dairy of a Lover before Hunter is because I have edited Diary of a Lover before. I’m in the middle of the seventh draft (believe it or not) whereas I have not even glanced at Hunter since I finished it. I finished it back in 2011, I think. Wow, right?

So that’s that. That’s all of my plans and I pray to God that they follow through…or that I keep up with them.

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Day Eleven

Womp…

So I’m at school right now and I still have about an hour to keep on writing. Am I going to keep on writing? No. Why? I don’t know. I just don’t really feel like it right now.

Since I finished Saving Each Other, I started writing Seeing Things, which is the next part. Of course I then realized (thanks to Kristen) that I said I was going to finish Take Over when I finished Saving Each Other. So now I’m in the mood to finish Take Over and not write Seeing Things.

So this morning, I wrote 1,669 words of Seeing Things. I am done for the day because I have class, then I have to babysit, and then I have to watch my cousins because my mom has a meeting. This means I have to make dinner and clean up after dinner and fun things like that. Then my boyfriend has to come over and help me with stupid math homework. It’s not going to be a fun night.

But for 50,000 words, you’re supposed to write 1,667 words a day and I made sure that I got at least that much. Because I’m so far ahead, I only need to write about 747 words a day or something like that, but I wanted to keep up with the pace.

I now have a total of 36,748 words for the Three V’s Prophecy series for book one, which is also my Camp NaNo total. I plan on making it to 50,000 by Sunday. It’s going to be difficult, though. Tomorrow, Friday, I have class 9-10:15 and work 11-5ish. Then I’m probably going out with my boyfriend. So I’m going to try to wake up early tomorrow so I can write. I have all morning on Saturday to get things done and all day Sunday to get some writing done. So I think getting 50k by Sunday is doable, but it just might be a little difficult. I can always pull a late night here and there, I don’t mind. I think that would be fun!

When I hit 50k, if it’s by Sunday, I will still have a little over half of the month to go. So I’m thinking I might change my word count goal to 75,000. I’m not going to change it until after I hit the 50k, though because knowing my luck something will come up and I won’t be able to make it.

In other news, I have my first vlog video all done. I have no idea when I’m going to post it, though. I’m thinking I might post it on Sunday. I decided that, if I have the time, I’m going to try to post one vlog post every two weeks. So that’s twice a month. I thought that seemed fair so I can continue on with life while you guys won’t get so sick of me that easily. I don’t know if I’m going to have a set schedule for when I post these things, but as long as it’s twice a month, I guess that’s all that matters.

All you Camp NaNoers out there, keep going! And if you’re not doing Camp, keep writing anyway! For those of you who do not write or just read this blog because you have nothing better to do…hi!

2013: 118,527/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read