I Will

Overcast, slightly cool & breezy day today. Perfect for a little H.U.V.A. Network and coffee while working.

After some research, I'll be attempting to edit down 5000 bloated words to something (hopefully) more readable and decidedly more creepy, especially once I intro the bits of research I've just done. Prepare for a skin-crawlingly sinister little piece!

Music: H.U.V.A. Network: Orientations (Above Towns Edit) from Ephemeris

click below to listen!


P.S. Not only did I miss my weekly round-up, my board was virtually blank (and pathetically so, only earning 8 out of a possible 56 stickers for the week) that I decided to spare myself the embarrassment and not even post about it. That's what happens when one plans to write and then goes to the horse races on Saturday and turns Sunday into an errand day. All I can say is I will do better this week.

[NWC]

Weeky Writing Check-in: May 11 to 17

Weekly Writing Check-in: May 11 to 17There is one constant in my writerly life – as much as I try, wish for, and convince myself that THIS weekend is THE weekend I will get some writing done (with THIS meaning every and any weekend in question) – inevitably, life does seem to get in the way.

I try not to beat myself up for that. Because we all need a break every once in a while, and as long as I get a respectable amount of work done during the week, I allow myself the weekends to watch crappy TV, go for ice cream, talk naps and generally reboot.

That being said – it was Victoria Day this past weekend, so I indulged in all of the above, including a drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a little picnic and a stroll along the Niagara River.

Like any good writer, I do carry a notebook with me in case the Muse makes an appearance. But it was nice to get away for a few days and miss writing enough that I am ready to tackle the week again.

So, here's how I did last week:

Works-in-progress:
–    Moral Hygiene: still reworking it. Currently see-sawing between which character should be the protagonist (as you can see from my previous post)
–    Castlehill Story: starting to think about this one again, as I hope to finish MH soon so I can work on something new

What I Did Well:
–    Drove some traffic to the ol' website with new blog posts
–    Started networking a bit more with new Twitter peeps
–    Working on a marketing strategy for my fiction writing, embracing the fact that it, too, is as much of a business as my freelancing and realizing that just by building a website doesn't necessarily mean the readers will come – gotta go out and find them!
–    Tweaked my Writer's Accountability Chart: changed the 250 task to 500 – because 250 words is simply not enough of a challenge to me, even on my busiest days
–    Continued adding to my Idea File

What I Can Improve On
–    Didn't get to my Friday 5 this week. Oops! I think I'm going to need to come up with an alternate "chore" for those times when I can't write that much no matter how much I want to (specifically when I am editing and there is no need to add 5000 words to a story)
–    As I said above, try to write on weekends (maybe every other one)

I know for sure that I've improved upon last week's productivity. I think I should give each sticker a point amount or something so I can be more accurate in grading myself. That might just take some of the fun out of it, though. I also feel that my productivity will go up now that the shows I watch have ended for the season.

[NWC]

Crossroads

French signboard photographed by NightLord at SXC.Sitting down about to start editing the rough draft of Moral Hygiene, I suddenly found myself at a crossroads.

Background: Moral Hygiene is an old piece that I'm reworking.

Originally, it was significantly shorter and ended just after the initial horror, with just a hint at what was to come.

Sort of a let-the-reader-imagine-the-most-horrible-outcome tactic, which in turn makes the impact of the story as varied as the number of people who read it.

Now, I've ripped apart the original version, added some additional character motivation and back story, and now – it's time to make a decision.

Do I move forward with the story as-is? Or do I switch protagonists during the rewrite?

I know, I probably should have considered this question earlier. In fact, I did, but I think I got caught up in living out my girl-slasher fantasies while I was slicing and dicing the story apart.

So, how do you decide who gets to shine in the spotlight? Which is a scarier read? A story coming from the terrified mind of the person that is having horrible things happen to them? Or the disturbed individual that is doing the terrifying?

I'll have to get back to you on my decision.

But which would you rather read?

[NWC]

TILT – May 14, 2009

For the uninitiated, TILT (Things I Love Thursday) is a weekly column started by Miss Gala Darling in which she professes her love of things big and small, sparkly & sequined.

These are the things that made me happy this week:

TILT May 14, 2009

Being productive, cutting out stickers for my Writer's Accountability Chart, a new Rimmel eye crayon in Tribal Punk, looking forward to the long weekend (even if it's going to rain!), meeting so many cool new people on Twitter, seeing that the landscape has really begun to bloom, more Egyptian Hieroglyphs on Lost, 2-hour season finales of some of my fave shows, that feeling in my stomach when the masked man showed his 'face' for the first time in The Strangers (though I did feel the movie dragged a bit), finally seeing a special on Egyptian Mythology on Discovery Civilization Channel that I haven't seen before, red grapes, hair scarves, window shopping, dreaming about owning a pair of Fluevogs, my new Moo Card holder from Dear Sukie, planning to get together with long-lost friends.

So – what about you? What are your TILTS?

[NWC]

Check 1, 2, 3

So, starting that Writer's Accountability Chart actually did great things for my motivation. Admittedly, I didn't really get into the swing of things until late Tuesday, and I took Friday off to go to the ROM. But all in all, it was a good start.

So, I'm going to start doing my weekly check-ins again, if anything to keep my motivation rolling.

Works-in-progress:

-    Moral Hygiene: currently reworking an old piece for a Super Sekrit Projekt (if they still want me)

-    The Hanging Garden: this one has been on the backburner for a while now. I was stuck on it so hopefully this break will allow me to see exactly where I was going wrong with it and I can hit the ground running when I start working on it again

Ideas Brewing for:
–    Side Show 2: I was all gung-ho with an idea for this one, but it quickly fizzled after multiple attempts. I may try to revisit this before the deadline (whenever that is) or sub it to Sideshow Fables

Submissions:
–    I have 1 piece out & about

I definitely need to get back on track, finish up all my WIP's and get them out there! I am absolutely not satisfied with only having 1 piece currently under consideration.

What I Did Well:
–    I ended up doing my Friday 5 on Thursday, because I knew I would be gone all day Friday seeing dinosaur bones, fossils, sculptures and Ancient Egyptian artifacts at the ROM
–    When I log off from the network, it's amazing how much more productive I can be!
–    Added a few Google Apps to iGoogle to keep me on track (ToDo and Sticky Notes)

What I Can Improve On:

-    logging off from the network more often
–    sticking to my schedule
–    refocus, get back into seeking out more markets, and brainstorming more ideas for my Idea File
–    do more writing on the weekends!

All in all, I'd give myself a 70% grade for last week. Let's hope I can improve on that!

Music: Aes Dana: Nexus from [Oxycanta] Winter Blooms

click below to listen!


[NWC]

Louder Than Words

My Writer's Accountability ChartSo, after seeing this post from the wonderful Routines For Writers blog (which has so many great ideas that you should definitely add it to your favourite blog reader immediately!), I decided that this definitely suits me well enough that, by George, I'm going to give it a go!

It's no secret that sometimes, I am not the best at time management. Sometimes, I can be easily distracted. But other times, I do actually work well when I have a set schedule. So, I decided to bust out one of my ignored bulletin boards and create a custom writer's accountability chart that will hopefully keep me on track.

(Sidenote: I've decided not to call it a chore chart because I do still see writing as fun, even on those days when the words won't come, and by thinking of it as 'work' I might just start to hate it)

For those who are interested, here are my headings:

Marketing/Networking: I decided to add networking to his one because I don't have much work to promote, as of yet. My pile of unfinished works is of no interest to anyone but myself, and I didn't want to set myself up for feeling like a failure by always have that row blank on my board. Besides…tweeting counts as networking, right?

Research/Planning: Generally, I only research when I'm in the midst of a WIP. So, I decided to include planning in this same category. If NaNoWriMo taught me anything, it's that having a plan, no matter how scarce or elaborate, works wonders for keeping you on track (especially on those days when you feel too tired, too cranky, too bored or just…TOO…to write). 

Friday 5: I hope that I will be able to do 5000 words more than once a week, but at the very least, even if I haven't written anything all week, I vow to always do 5k on Fridays.

1Kday: This is what I'd like to make the norm. The 1Kday was excellent for my productivity, and I find myself sort of coasting lately, so I'm hoping that my chart will get me back on track (and help me to tie up some of these unfinished pieces)

250: I know at some point, I will have a crazy day/week where I can get nothing done, and for those times, I am instituting the pitiful, bare bones, this-is-the-least-you-can-do 250 word minimum.

Editing: While editing days don't always leave one with a lot of new words written by the end of it, it is a vital part to the writing process, and sometimes I fall into the trap of feeling like I haven't accomplished much, even if I've managed to edit a bunch of pages. Hopefully this will help me get out of that mindset and realize the importance of editing. After all, I have to admit that most times, it is in the editing process that the true core of my story takes shape.

Blog: I admit that I've slacked on updating the blog lately, mostly because, as I mentioned above, I have a lot of unfinished stories floating around, and not much else to talk about. My plans are to get back into the routine of it, and hopefully grow my reader-base to more than 4 people (which includes 1 family member, 1 semi-regular reader and a few looky-loos), where it pretty much stands right now.

Craft: I have subscriptions to both The Writer & Writer's Digest. But I realized that after I skim through the issues when they first arrive in my mailbox, they get pushed to the back of my desk where I forget about them. Which is such a shame, because there are some great exercises in there to improve one's craft. I'd been contemplating giving up my subscription to 1 magazine since I hardly read them, but maybe by actually working through those exercises, I can justify my subscription, and also improve my skills at the same time.

So, there you have it. My Accountability Chart. I'll be marking off each accomplishment with either 1-inch buttons that I collected back in my indie jewellery business days or with stickers (which are kind of more fun, no?).

So…what would your headings be? Any tips or ideas for things I can do to promote myself when I don't have a huge catalog of work to share yet? What are your best tips for places and ways for a writer to network? Any categories you think might suit me better?

[NWC]

Pavlovian

During NaNoWriMo, I made a bunch of mixed CDs to listen to while writing. I admit that, by the end of the month, I was so sick of those songs that I packed them away for a good month or two. But now, in the midst of a writing slump, I’ve decided to pull them out once again and see if they have the Pavlovian response I’m hoping for.

So many articles about writer’s block tell you to set up a certain time of day, or place, or some other ‘hook’ that will teach your brain to get into writer-mode everytime you come back. I don’t see why music can’t also have that effect.

So, I’m putting out the bait and seeing if I can trick my writer-self into falling for it.

Today, I’m starting with Writing Mix 1. Let the experiment begin!

Click to listen to my playlist: Pavlovian", posted with vodpod