Tipping Over

Balance

Life is hard. Can I just throw that out there? Of course, no one told me life was going to be easy and I never expected it to be… I mean, why would I?

It’s not that life in general is hard, it’s all the little bits and pieces that go with it. You just need to work your way through each one, but the trick is that you need to deal with it all at the same time. I can’t say, “I’ll go to work this week and then stay home and write the following week. After that I think I’ll go on vacation!” Sadly, life does not work like that.

So how does life work? I certainly don’t know and I’m pretty sure no one else really understands it, either. What I do know is that I need to have some sort of balance between everything that goes on in my life. That’s one piece of the puzzle solved, but how do I find that balance and implement it? Let me know when you figure it out because every time I find my balance–even if it’s just for a short while–life throws another lemon at me giving me a black eye.

For the past few days I’ve been writing “to do” lists for myself. So far it’s been working, but probably only for a little while. I’ve done this before and soon enough I get out of the routine whether I get sick, something unexpected happens, or I just get lazy.

We all know Kris and I have conversations about life and the future every so often, but with both of us getting older those conversations have been happening more frequently. We’re in no rush to leave our parents, but we want to move out for the experience. We don’t have the money to do it. Plus, I’m still in school so I have a lot less money than my sister does.

I’m going to be 21 in about a month. My friend who is three months younger than me got married and moved across the country. My other friend who is a year older than me (and also the sister of the other one) is pregnant. I feel as though I’m “behind schedule” even though I’m really not. I should be focusing on work and school and that’s what I prefer to work towards. Yet, it’s hard to work towards something when everything else is about money.

I want to be a writer and I’ve written many things, yet none of them pay as they’ve never been published. This is okay, but I’m wondering about when September hits. I will be taking five courses, one is accelerated (which will be kind of nice in a way because then the last month of the semester I’ll only have to worry about four courses), but one of the courses is going to make it feel as though I’m taking seven courses–not five. This course, by the way, is Selected Authors: Tolkien & Rowling; the class I’m super excited for. I don’t think I’m going to be so excited for the homework, though. Not to mention homework from four other classes, one being accelerated.

should also be working full-time. I say “should” because I don’t know if I officially have the job, yet. If not, I’ll still be a substitute which won’t be so bad with all the school work. Money-wise, it won’t be so good, but I have to take what I can get.

Then there’s babysitting on the side and…oh, yeah writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close and I am at 41k words or something around there. I’m also done and I will win. I was actually hoping to be done by today, but I started reading Harry Potter to get a head start on my class in the Fall and I got so into the series that I’ve just been reading nearly non-stop.

(To throw a lame excuse as to why I haven’t been blogging a lot is because of Harry Potter, trying to win Camp NaNo, and also homework…but the school semester ends tomorrow, yay!)

So with that in mind I have about six days left. I plan on going overboard (but let’s get real–I probably won’t) and come August I hope to edit the first book (I’m writing the sequel now). I edited the first draft in June, but obviously still needs a bit of work.

Good luck in the last few days of Camp, people! I can’t believe the end is near…but at the same time, I feel as though the month of July dragged on. Maybe that’s just me. 😉

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Daily Word Count

Writing

 

 

I posted this picture from Pinterest because this is how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s gotten to the point when I’ve started asking myself, “Why am I doing this to myself?” again. You all know my answer as I have explained it once or twice before.  As writers we’re not allowed to make excuses, but we make excuse after excuse anyway. Here’s my current excuse:

School started.

You know how I was writing 5,000 words a day? I was doing fantastic at that! Well, since school started I have been more preoccupied with that (as I should be) so it’s gotten to the point where I’ve said to myself, “It’s already 8pm, I’m not going to hit 5k…I’m just going to go watch Seinfeld.” …My sister and I have been on a Seinfeld kick lately.

Anyway, I decided that I’m going to shoot for 1,000 words a day while school is in session. During winter break, summer, Spring break, etc, I’ll go back to the 5,000 words a day. I’ll update it on my To Do List whenever I change the word count, even if it’s just for a week (like for Spring Break).

Now this bothers me because I assumed by taking three classes I’d have more time to write as opposed to taking five classes like I did last semester–not to mention I’m not working full-time anymore. But here’s the thing: I’m taking three classes and have 14 books for it. Mind blown, right? You have no idea how much reading I have been doing in the past two weeks since school started. I’m not saying this is a bad thing because it’s certainly helping me on GoodReads (I’m three books ahead of my 20-book 2014 Reading Challenge goal!) and I’m using a few of those books to fill up some squares on the Reading Bingo. So even though a few of the books are boring (no offense to anyone who likes Gertrude Stein and/or Ernest Hemingway), it helps. Plus it’s good for writers to read books they like and books they don’t like, right?

So today I pushed myself to get back into that daily writing routine. I wrote 1,259 words and I am happy with that. However, I will admit that I am looking forward to Spring Break in the middle of March so I can not be too exhausted out of my mind and will be able to write 5,000 words again even just for that week.

Starbucks!

Coffee

 

 

So Kris and I decided that we were going to go to Barnes and Noble today and write. Yes, we have our office now at home, but we haven’t been to Barnes and Noble in a while. We thought we would go, say hi to the workers behind the Starbucks counter there, but…she ended up getting called into work. So we didn’t go.

We did end up going to Starbucks, though. Since she was closing, we thought we would get coffee and write in our office at home. She continued to edit her novel while I continued to write Inspiration Station.

The more I write that novel the more I realize that I have no idea what I’m doing. When I wrote Detective Florence, I outlined the first part of the novel and continued to outline as I wrote the rest in an attempt to making editing easier for me. I am not outlining Inspiration Station and I never planned on it because this was something I began to write when I had a slight writer’s block. I didn’t expect it to turn into an actual novel. I was still able to write 5,096 words for it, though.

I also changed my schedule, you can see it on the To Do List. Even though I have a lot of free time without work and school, writing 5,000 words a day and editing takes a lot out of someone. So I decided that I’m going to write 5,000 words a day Monday-Thursday and edit Friday-Saturday and relax on Sunday. I can write/edit if I feel like it, but I’m not obligated to do anything. This will be helpful for when school does start back up again (in about a week and a half) and I can do the bulk of my homework on Sunday. Not ideal, but whatever.

So, since tomorrow is Friday that means I’m going to edit. I’m hoping to edit a lot as I would love to self-publish this novella by the end of 2014…wish me luck!

Inspiration Station

“You may not want to be a writer and that’s fine. But by the end of this class, you are going to know exactly what a writer does and all the blood, sweat, and tears that get mixed in with the ink.” –Athena Beech

 

Today was a rough day. Kris was home all day because she’s doing the over-night at her work tonight. I also had to go to work because the other teacher and I have been stripping the classrooms. We finished today, thank God. I can’t stand seeing the classrooms so bare. Anyway, because of those two factors I was not able to start writing early in the morning like I have been and with Kris there all I want to do is play video games with her. She got Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U for Christmas and we just started playing it the other day. It’s a great game and I bother her to play it at any moment I get.

So, I came home from work and said, “Wanna play Sonic?!” Kris said something to me that I regret mentioning to her…you see, the other day I wanted to do absolutely nothing. I had a cup of coffee in hand and all I wanted to do was put my feet up and watch Psych. I have been watching that a lot lately, I don’t know why. But season eight starts tomorrow night!

Even though I wanted to do everything humanly possible that did not involve me writing my 5,000 word count, I repeated to myself: Work first, play later. I told Kris this. So, what do you think she said when I asked her to play Sonic? Yes, “Work first, play later.” Thus, we wrote.

Kris wrote a little and then decided to edit her novel (yay!) while I continued to write in order to hit my 5,000 daily word goal. Since I finished Detective Florence I had to write something else. I looked at my To Do List and looked at all the novels from there. I couldn’t choose which one to write, so Kris put them in a randomizer thing on the internet and it told me to write Hunter & Comet.

Well, I wrote an even 2,000 words for that. However, I wasn’t in the mood to write it so I decided to stop because it was turning out kind of crappy…even for the first draft.

I decided to write Inspiration Station instead. This was a story idea I came up with on a whim one night (pretty recently) when I wasn’t sure what to write. At the time I still wasn’t in the mood to finish Detective Florence, I had no idea what to write so I decided to write about writing. I’m pretty sure I’ve explained this novel before, but I’m going to explain it again…

Inspiration Station is about a writer, Athena Beech, who is not yet published because she’s stuck on her writing. As her day job she starts her first semester teaching a creative writing course at a local community college. She has a class full of interesting students. Some are taking the class because they want to write for a living and others are taking it because they believe it to be an “easy A.” Athena takes this as a challenge and comes up with the “Inspiration Station” which is basically a bunch of writing prompts. She hopes to give inspiration to all her students as well as herself.

So, as you probably figured out, the quote up top is from the main character, the teacher, in the story. She said to her class right as they were being dismissed because most of them aren’t too into the class at the moment.

I’m having fun with it. As a teacher, I think it’s fun to write lesson plans and since I’m not a teacher anymore I don’t write lesson plans anymore. So, yes, I am writing actual lesson plans for Athena’s classes. They’re not fully thought-out, mostly just an outline to help me plan the novel, but it’s a lot of fun. I think some of that stuff would be cool to do in a real classroom.

I wrote 3,358 words for the story. Adding that to the 2,000 I wrote for Hunter & Comet, I have 5,358 for today. This also leaves me at 6,500-something total for Inspiration Station so far. I already had about 3,300-something words already written for the story.

I think Inspiration Station is going to be the next novel I complete. I think it’s going to be a good one. I have high hopes for it, anyway.

July Camp: Day One

Yay for Camp!!!

 

I have a lot to talk about today, so listen up:

1. My sister Kris and I decided to come up with some sort of schedule. It was actually her idea, but I thought of the idea a while ago (er, years ago). Of course, that was all mine was–an idea. I never even tried it for one day. But yesterday she came up to me and told me to help her stick with something. She showed me a “to do” list of hers. On that she stated she wanted to set a daily goal (words, pages, time, etc.) and do it every day. Monday through Saturday would be spent working on originals and Sunday would be FanFiction days. When I came up with this, I decided I was going to do FanFiction on Saturday and Sunday and originals would be Monday through Friday. I mentioned that to her and I don’t know if she’s going to do her way or my way, but either way we’re going to do it together. Since she asked me to help her make sure she completes this to do list, I decided that I’m going to do it, as well.

Yesterday, which was Sunday, we went to Barnes and Noble for our weekly writing session. I ended up working on my FanFiction because, well it was Sunday, a weekend day. For writing in a notebook, I got a whole lot done. Today is Monday (and the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo) so I worked on original. But since Camp started, I started something new instead of editing Hunter or Diary of a Lover or anything like that. I’m writing Cybertra. I’ll post the summary on here by the end of the month.

Anyway, I decided that I was going to write for at least one hour every day. The morning is really the only reliable time I have just to myself. So I decided that every day (all seven days of the week) I’m going to write from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. That started today. And man do I wish that I started something like this a long time ago! I had the most productive day! I woke up at 6:30, took a shower, made an iced coffee, and wrote while I had Raph getting her daily exercise and I got my morning caffeine dose. My timer went off on my iPod after an hour, I took Chip for a walk, then I got myself ready to go out. I had to babysit toady from 9 to 3. It was great. Not to mention that by 8, I was wide awake, felt refreshed, and ready to take on the day! If this was any other normal day, I would have woken up around seven, realized I needed to take a shower, but say “eh, I’ll do it tonight,” then count down until I had to leave the house all while moping around in my bed watching TV…I’m really not that lazy, but sometimes….

Right.

2. As stated, today was the first day of Camp NaNo. I’m going away this week (leaving Wednesday afternoon and coming back Friday afternoon). So I can write on Wednesday and Friday, but I’ll miss Thursday. One day isn’t bad. But I am going away again the last week of July. The 20th to the 27th. I’m going to bring a couple of notebooks with me and work on FanFiction that week. Yes, I will be breaking my schedule, but I can’t bring my laptop. So I decided that I want to try to finish Camp before I leave. That gives me 20 days instead of 31. Of course, I’ll still have a couple days when I get back, but still.

This means I should write 2,500 words a day instead of the usual 1,613. I wrote 1,616 today. At least I met the standard quota. If I didn’t have to babysit today, I probably would have written a lot more. I have to babysit again tomorrow (double time…9-3 with one family and then 4-7 with another family). Wednesday I’m babysitting, then leaving. Thursday I’ll be gone. Friday I can write when I get home. All next week I’m babysitting 9-1. It’ll be tough, but I think I can make it work. I can at least be able to make it to 50k by the end of the month, if not by the time I go on vacation. I will do it!

3. My novel is weird. Seriously. I had a completely different vision in my mind for Cybertra and it…well, it took an unexpected turn. Don’t get me wrong, I love where it ended up going, but I was shocked…and was laughing. A lot. I can’t post the summary yet, so you’re going to get lost when I tell you this, but…in the novel, the father builds robots to help people in need. Elderly people, police force, etc. He makes 100 robots at a time and when they all get shipped to a big company that sells them places, he makes a new batch of 100 robots. But, in the prologue, his daughter is six and wants to keep one. All the robots look exactly the same on the outside. The only way to tell them apart is by their personalities. And…well, one of them, the one they end up keeping, has a very different personality. He wasn’t supposed to be this animated. He was supposed to act more…robot-like, I guess you could say. So I can’t give you a summary, but here’s a small excerpt from the prologue:

 “No, no, no! You must hold your pinky up. Haven’t your mother taught you any manners?” a small little girl wearing a pink, frilly dress with a sparkling tiara on top of her head, held up a small plastic tea cup. Her pinky was in the air and she tried to speak in a grown-up, mature tone.

            “I have not had time to learn manners. My apologizes,”

            The man poked his head through a door in the crack of where the young girl and her guest played on the floor of her bedroom. He opened the door a little more to see her smiling and laughing.

            “Well, it’s a good thing you came here, then.” She giggled.

            “Hannah?” he opened the door all the way.

            She froze. Her eyes grew wide as she shifted them back and forth between both of the gentlemen in her room. Finally, she leaned forward and whispered something.

            “Hannah,” the man sighed. He knew exactly what she was saying to her robot friend.

            “Oh, right! The inspection!” the android jumped off of the floor. “Excuse me, Mr. Noel! I must go see Mr. Noel! I am late…I am very late!” he brushed right by the gentleman and disappeared down the hallway going to the basement.

            Mr. Noel shook his head. He lifted his clipboard and muttered to himself. “Fix attention span on number four…”

Leo is what Hannah names him. He wasn’t really supposed to have a name, either. Oh, well.

Happy camping, everyone! 🙂

Small Update

Hey everyone! I just wanted to give a small update because I haven’t posted in a couple of days. Of course, I haven’t posted in a couple of days because I haven’t written anything in a couple of days.

I now have 121 pages written out of my 360 page goal. Go me! Of course, in order to finish that 360 pages by the end of 2012, I have to write a little over 13 pages a day. Yeah, right. I think I could do well with something like that, but with finals at school, work, and Christmas coming up…not a chance. Especially since after Christmas whatever toys I get, I’ll be playing with them a lot.

Also, I have 33,229 words of Saving Each Other. 13 days late of NaNoWriMo and still not done, but better late then never. The end of this novel is near, as well. I have 105 pages so far and still counting.

My “To Do List” wants me to finish Saving Each Other and write 360 words by the end of the year, so I’m attempting to kill two birds with one stone…slowly. But that’s okay. 😉

Typing Away

117/360 Pages

243 pages left to go! And I have 20 days to do so. We’ll see how this goes. However, I did notice on the Challenges page that I wrote that I was going to finish a new novel by the end of the year. Well, all these pages that I am writing are from Saving Each Other. I don’t think that story is going to be another 243 pages long, so even if I don’t make the 360 page goal, I should finish the novel, which means that I have beaten half of my goals. I say half because it makes it sound like more! 🙂

I also realized that I make a challenge or goal and then I forget about it. That’s why I’m lucky that I still have to opportunity to beat those two goals because I just happened to remember them before the end of December. So I decided that I was going to make a new page.

It’s called “To Do List.” I explained everything on the page, but basically what it is is a list of everything that I was want/need to get done with my writing. I figured that if I had an actual list that I could check off and such it would be a lot easier to meet the goals, remember I have the goals in the first place, and which ones I have beaten. Here’s the catch: I only put ten items on the list. If I want to add more, I have to finish a goal in order to replace it with something else. I think that’s motivation to finish something, don’t you think? We’ll see how it goes. The page is published, if you would like to look at it. It’s up at the top with all of the other pages.

Other than that, I don’t really think that I have anything else to say. This is my last week of classes and finals is next week, so I’m just trying to get through that. But I did write six pages of Saving Each Other this morning! Go me!