A day late, but here you go…
The first day is always hard.
New kids, new teachers, new classes.
I’m not ready for the homework.
And I’m not an early bird.
I’m already counting down the days.
One down, 179 more to go.
Camp NaNoWriMo officially starts tomorrow… or tonight, if you want to get technical.
Are you ready? Because I feel like I’m not.
April is going to be a busy month for me. I have to take my Spanish final exam today and then my Spanish class is all done. So, I’ll only have three classes to worry about during the month of April. Yet, I’ll still have work six and half hours a day, plus that small bit of homework, plus blogging, reading, critiquing for my writing group as well as editing my own stuff to send in… oh, and I’m getting my wisdom teeth out towards the end of April.
That will certainly put my life at a stop for a couple of days.
Also, that doesn’t even include Easter, my cousin’s birthday, and my dad’s birthday.
April is going to be ridiculously busy when it’s usually not. But I can’t worry too much about it.
Aside from my Spanish exam, I already finished all my homework for this week. So starting tomorrow I won’t have school to worry about so I’m hoping to get a great head-start on NaNo.
Good luck, everyone!
Friday: Friday seemed like a long day. I was anxiously awaiting to get out of work not only for the weekend, but so I could get to my friend’s house. My friend had a baby about a month ago and I was just meeting the baby for the first time. It was a good afternoon because I got to hold a baby (it’s been a long time) and I got to see my friend. I haven’t seen her since her baby shower back in November. I have school and work to thank for that.
Friday night I came home and worked on my writing group’s critiques. They were due Saturday morning, so I naturally left them until the last minute. It’s funny how deadlines creep up on you.
Saturday: I had my first writing group meeting. Technically was the second one, but Kris and I missed the first due to a prior commitment. We were nervous, but it went really well. Including the two of us, there’s seven of us total. Small, but I like it that way. It was good to have my work being read and critiqued by others than family. I got great feedback, both positive and negative. The next step is to edit that part again so I can edit the second part and send that for next month.
My cousin had a birthday party to go to so I went with my mom to drop her off and then we were food shopping. For once, we finished shopping in a timely manner and then had an hour to kill while we waited for my cousin’s party to be over. Once we got home, my mom thought it would be a good idea to go out to dinner. Kris and my dad didn’t feel like going, so Mom and I went to Panera. I was barely home on Saturday and wasn’t able to get anything done I originally planned. However, I spent the majority of the day with my mother (and we don’t get a lot of time to do that often) so it was good.
That night we gave my mom her birthday gifts early. We got her a Blu-Ray player and a new iPad. So I think she was pretty content.
Sunday: It was my mother’s birthday, plus Palm Sunday. So we went to church, which was extra long because the service was an extra half hour and then the Sunday school kids had their annual Easter egg hunt. We ended up being at church for an extra hour.
I took my Spanish quiz (that again, I left until the last minute) and then we went out to dinner. There was 11 of us for dinner and the waitress was slow and not very good, so we were there for a little while. We went to The Outback, so I can’t complain–the food is always awesome.
Then we went back to my house for cake for Mom’s birthday.
Overall, it was a great weekend. Busy, but relaxing at the same time.
This Week: I need to outline a bit more for my Camp NaNo novel. Camp starts in two days. With that being said, I need to finish my homework in a timely manner. Plus, I need to work on my Detective Florence manuscript for my writing group.
April is going to be a busy month; especially when it comes to writing. I hope I’m able to get a routine down and stick with it–even if it’s just for the month.
How was your weekend?
I started thinking a bit about my inspiration board for the March #YearOfHappy. The more I thought about it, the more complex it got. Who knew it could actually be difficult to figure out what inspires you?
Anything can inspire you and it can inspire you to do different things.
What inspires me to wake up and go to work every morning? My wonderful co-workers who are fun to work with and teach me a lot. My students who are always able to put a smile on my face and push me to do my best in helping them. My paychecks because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to go to school and when that’s all paid for, I wouldn’t be able to save up for a new car.
What inspires me to go to school? What inspires me to go to church every week and teach Sunday school? What inspires me to babysit? What inspires me to read, write, and blog?
There are so many questions, but I feel as though there are way more answers (which is a good thing).
Maybe someday I’ll do a more elaborate post about everything that inspires me to… well, live my life. For the March inspiration board (which will be posted in about two weeks) I think I’m going to focus on what inspires me to write. Maybe I’ll continue and do more inspiration boards about everything else in my life afterwards.
After all, inspiration is everywhere.
We started workshops this week in my Creative Writing: Nonfiction class. This is what I’ve been looking forward to all semester and it’s finally here. I’ll be critiquing nonfiction stories by my classmates and they’ll critique one of mine.
Four people were due to post their stories this week so everyone else is due to critique these four stories.
Only read and give feedback to four stories… not bad homework, huh? Of course it can be tedious depending on how long and how well written the story is.
Hence, critiquing is hard.
I’ve never written an actual critique to anyone before. I don’t even know what I’m doing when I edit my own novels half the time.
This is my second class doing a workshop. So I’ve gotten feedback from professors and classmates before. However, there are some classmates who see it as what it is: homework. In other words, you may or may not be getting the most out of your classmates because in the end, it is homework.
With my first real life critique group coming up at the end of the month, I really want to nail my critiques for my classmates. I see it as more than homework and I’m sure some, if not all, of my classmates do as well. I want to help them by giving structured feedback and I want them to do the same for me when I share my story.
I’ve done two of the four so far and both took me at least an hour to do.
Last night I pulled Kris away from whatever she was doing and asked her to read my critique. I wanted to make sure it made sense, I didn’t sound mean, and that they were valuable points to mention.
The thing is you can’t critique a critique.
Everyone has their own preferences. Everyone reads differently and understands what they read differently. What I liked about the story, another classmate might have thought it didn’t work. What I didn’t enjoy about the story, another classmate might absolutely love.
A critique is a matter of opinion. After much consideration and looking through all the critiques, in the end the only opinion that matters is the writer’s.