A Great Day

A Writer Needs To Keep Busy…

I did very well today! I had the entire day to stay home and just write. I wanted to get a lot of editing done on Hunter. Honestly, I didn’t get much done on that, but I was still very productive.

I started off with Hunter. I said I had an epiphany with that novel and decided to outline each chapter on individual index cards so I can play around with the chapters to re-order them. Some chapters just might have to be completely re-written. But we’ll keep it easy for now.

I added a prologue to Hunter which was great because it added some background to the marriage of Cat’s (the protagonist) parents. Her mother is dead, but the prologue shows just how much Christina and Charles were not on the same page most of the time. Plus, there’s a part in the novel where a mutant has a message for Cat and I don’t think I ever explained it…yeah. So the prologue kind of added some insight to that, as well. It’ll force me to write that message in some where. So the prologue is actually helpful. I did not add it just because I felt like making the story longer.

I then outlined chapters one, two, and three. I have the entire novel edited on a hard copy, but I’m in the middle of re-typing it all up with the new edits. I add new edits that I didn’t put on the hard copy as I type it up because it’s as though I’m going through the novel a second time. So once I finish typing a new chapter, I’ll write the outline for it. So I was going to try to outline at least up to chapter four, but…I only typed up two pages of chapter four. Oh, well.

As I was going through this, I kept getting  a lot a new ideas for the sequel, Hunted. So I decided to start writing that even though I told myself I was going to wait until Hunter was completely edited. I wrote the prologue and chapter one. I’m on page 20 with 5,775 words. I think that’s an excellent start so far.

Tomorrow I plan on at least getting through chapter four on Hunter and maybe write chapter two for Hunted. Of course, I had a large mocha frap from Starbucks to help me get through today. So we’ll see how productive I am tomorrow.

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Everybody Loves Comet

Comet

I know I have introduced you all to Comet before. He is one of the main characters in my middle grade series, Hunter & Comet. I have just started writing the first one, but I have a few books planned out…if the series takes off.

When my aunt died and my cousins “moved in” (I use quotes because they were over five days a week and slept over three nights a week), Comet tagged along, as well. Otherwise he would have had no company all day while my uncle was at work.

Hunter, my fat cat, and Comet acted as though they hated each other, but they loved each other deep down. One time, Comet didn’t come over for a whole week and Hunter did notice. The first day Comet came back, the two went right up to each other and Hunter gave him a pat on the head (without his claws). Comet didn’t growl at him, either.

The cat and dog were so funny together and it was always great to come up with random scenarios about what the two of them were doing and saying to each other. I loved to watch them interact with each other. This is where I came up with my idea for a novel series. It’s all based on Hunter and Comet from their point of view.

Comet was nick-named (by my mother) Sir Barksalot. As you can probably guess, Comet loved to hear himself talk. I always wondered just how quiet he was when no one was home. Then one day, I was home alone with Comet and my granddad came by. I knew because I heard Comet barking. Granddad said, “It’s funny because when I come by when no one is home, he doesn’t budge. But when someone is home, someone is here for him to protect, he acts all vicious.”

Comet also loved his bones. In his old age, he was getting a bit delusional and believed everyone was going to steal his bones. So he usually growled at you when you went near him, but he was still gentle. It just took him a moment to snap out of it. I think part of this was also because we got Chip, my mini dog, and she loved to take his bones away from him.

Comet just turned 11 this past July, which makes him 77 in dog years. However, he was still a puppy at heart. He loved to jump up on you (he was taller than me on his hind legs) and he sure ran around a lot when he was excited. It could have been because you gave him a bone or something as simple as you just saying hi to him and giving him a quick pat on the head.

However, with his old age came hardships. His hind legs had arthritis and he was recently diagnosed with cancer. The chemo treatments weren’t going too bad, but more complications were found. Comet became a hit-or-miss. He either laid on the floor without a bother or he seemed like his old self. But he stopped eating and it got to the point that my uncle had to force feed him. Comet was getting skinnier and skinnier every time I saw him. They found a blockage in his stomach.

As you can probably tell by me speaking in past tense, my inspiration of my novel series had to be put down this morning. Comet is no longer with us. They were able to help him with the blockage, but my uncle realized that Comet had been through enough. He needed to be put out of his misery.

No one is happy about the situation, but it was what was best for the dog. Comet is in a better place. We’ll all miss him, but we will certainly have no problem remembering him. He may be gone, but I am still going to go through with the series. I have plenty of memories to throw in and will be able to add in some fictional twists, as well. I think the series will be a great tribute to his 11 great years of dog-hood and being a wonderful companion and friend.

Comet

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.”

I Have Issues

Today Was  A Joke…

 

Today was the first day in a long time that I have nothing to do. So I told myself that I was going to wake up early, take a shower, and write. And write, and write, and write some more. Except things didn’t go exactly as planned.

I’m stuck.

I didn’t get a chance to write at all this past weekend. There were some times here and there I would have been able to squeeze some words in, but I didn’t. Normally I would have or if I didn’t, I would have been freaking out about why I didn’t get anything done. Not this time. I didn’t feel like writing and that was that.

I’m going to assume I burned myself out when it comes to writing. But this burn out couldn’t have come at another time? It’s in the middle of the July, I have Camp NaNo to finish. Not to mention I’m already losing next week because I’m going on vacation. I don’t need to lose two additional days.

So I told myself today was going to be an all day writing day. I can’t tell you how many words I have written because I literally have no idea. I am so burned out that every time I tried to write today, I said: “Screw it!”

I’m writing Cybertra for Camp NaNo and I’m ahead of the NaNo goal, but 11,000 words behind my own goal. Two days and I’m that far behind…what? I forced myself to write it and I got about 540 words done. Then I realized…I’m just not into the story anymore. I still love the characters, the plot is good, but…well, the plot isn’t going as well as expected. I feel like I want to keep the prologue then scrap the whole rest of the novel. But that’s over 20,000 words…is it worth it to do in the middle of Camp? Is it wort it to do it at all?

I heard (I forget where) that you should never delete your writing whether you’re going to use it or not. Good writing is writing and bad writing is still writing. Not to mention there might be something in there that you will like later on. I hate deleting things I write because then I just feel bad. I mean, it was a good idea at the time I wrote it, right?

So I didn’t delete it, but I’m definitely not going back to the story any time soon. Which is sad because I was in love with it when I first started. I think I just need a break. Maybe next month I can get back to it. But now how am I supposed to finish Camp NaNo?

I tried writing a couple of children’s picture books…I finished one, but it sucks. I attempted to write another, but I got about two lines in and that was that. I started Hunter & Comet, the first book of a middle grade series I want to write. I wrote about a page and couldn’t get into that, either.

I looked at my list of stories to write. Maybe I just need something brand new? None of those ideas appealed to me. At the moment, anyway. And I’m afraid to start any new young adult novels because I already have four that need to be edited.

I tried writing some FanFiction. I wrote about a page then quit.

It’s about four o’clock in the afternoon, I have to get something written. I want to get something written. But it’s not going so well. And I’m afraid today is going to be a bit of a waste since I’m probably not going to have another day to write all day like this one in a long time.

July Camp: Day Seven

Still Behind…

 

Well, that’s a lie. I’m not behind on Camp NaNo. Today we’re supposed to be at 11,296 or something random like that. I’m past that number. But when it comes to my goal, I should have been at 17,500. I got to 15,110 words. I wrote 5,044 words today. That’s pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I’m exactly one day behind. Which means tomorrow I’m going to be two days behind. In order to catch up I have to write about 5,000 words tomorrow. I don’t think that will be too much of a problem because I write for an hour every morning. I have to babysit until one, but after that the rest of the day is mine. I’m hoping to get another 5k in.

Today is Sunday which means I had to work a little bit on my FanFiction today. I didn’t feel like it, but I did work on it for an hour. It doesn’t look like I did too much…I typed up the stats that goes before the prologue. It’s six pages long, it took a while. If you read Warriors by Erin Hunter, then you’ll understand that the stats are a list of the clans and characters and such.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for today. I got a lot done and now I am going to go hang out in my bedroom before Kris gets home (we share a room).

This was a boring post. Thank you for allowing me to waste these past five minutes of your life that you will never get back. 😀