What Up, Wednesday?

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Back with another What’s Up Wednesday, the fabulous meme that lets you check in on a few basics.

What I’m Reading

I love Siege And Storm…but believe it or not, I’m not done yet. Yeah, I had a holiday weekend, but family took precedence over everything else, and I didn’t read a thing. But, I’ve got a few books coming due at the library, so I’ve really got to get going.

What I’m Writing

I managed to sneak away for an hour on Thursday and Friday, and stuffed my entire week-long goal in: 2,500 words. And then I didn’t write.  Strange, to have everything stirring around and not writing it down, but I really enjoyed the satisfaction that came with meeting my goal, and it helped me put it aside and spend some much needed rest time with my family. We don’t get that very often anymore, and I love[d] every minute.

3513d-readysetwritebuttonThis week, everything is sort of off the charts, though. So I’m just going to try to dedicate half an hour every day to writing. No word counts, scene expectations, nothing. I never take very long to settle down to writing (usually because everything stews in my head all day so I’m ready/dying to write in the evenings), so I’m not worried about half an hour being too little to get into the story. But I want to try to schedule that time in order to make sure that I’m fitting it in. I’ve got some other deadlines to meet, and I just want to regain that writing-something-every-day consistency.

What Inspires Me Right Now

Do you ever get inspired by your own story? Your WIP? When I’m writing consistently, I start to reach that point where everything is connected to my WIP.  I see interactions between people and wonder how/if that would translate into my story. Food, family, friends, grudges, gifts, sunshine…with this story as my constant background, it’s easy to find inspiration in even the little things. And regardless of how slow the writing is, I’m finding myself getting excited over this again.

What Else I’m Up To

I need a new synonym for swamped/busy/in-over-my-head. 10 hours in the office every day, and it’s starting to wear. I love my job, but acquiring two people’s jobs in addition to my own at the end of a quarter and crammed into two weeks of training…whew. I’m really, really, really hoping that things will settle down. And that I won’t forget important things, like payroll and taxes and bills due.

And life in general is sort of hectic. Trying to plan a trip to fly out and see my sister. Trying not to think about huge August deadlines. Making decisions on commitments for this fall. Too much to do. o.0

So that’s my Wednesday! What’s yours like? Add it to the link on Jaime’s page!

What’s Up Wednesday

Who’s ready for it to be Wednesday again? *gulp* Not me! But, Jaime’s blog says it is, and since WUW is the weekly meme hosted by her and Erin and they’re really nice and usually right…I guess I’m not allowed the change the weekdays just to accommodate my schedule, huh?

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Yeah, believe it or not, another week has gone, and here we are on the third week of Ready. Set. Write! I’m still wondering how long I can use the excuse that I’m still “settling in” to this whole idea of goal setting. It feels like my excuse for being directionally challenged: “I just moved here.” Please don’t ask me how long ago.**  At least I’ve finally figured out where WalMart is.

What I’m Reading

I finished Defiance, but a review is still in the rough drafts. I was going to begin The Girl Of Fire And Thorns…but Siege And Storm came in at the library, and I sort of maybe sat out in the car reading it…and I can’t quit while I’m in the middle! I was surprised to see how many of you loved The Girl Of Fire And Thorns, so it’s still next on the list. Yay for a long holiday weekend!

What I’m Writing

Note to self: Word-counts-per-day are a great idea, but always include that overall goal. I missed anything until Sunday…but between Sunday and last night, I got in my 2500 words. Whew!  I’m still stuck refining and mangling this first half of the book out, since I’m finding myself running into the same traps as the original draft. Improving the characters and eliminating the extraneous ones is only half the problem. The 2500 counted towards some rescribblings of the opening scenes that are plaguing me, but even with a few ugly scenes cut in my edit-on-the-fly writing style…I’m finally over 5,000 words!  So different than my previous 1K-A-Day summers, but I think it’s because I’m thinking about this one so much more. Thinking about plot, about follow-through, about raising the stakes and wondering why on earth would the MC do that? The writing may be messier, but the plotting is getting far more detail than I’ve previously managed in a first draft.

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So, new goals? I liked 500 a day. While it didn’t work out perfectly, 2,500 words for my week was a manageable goal. And I’m going to stop stressing out about this first half of the story. I need to write some of my favorite scenes to remind myself of some of the pivotal character points and get excited about this. It always feels like cheating to jump so far down the timeline, but I’m well-armed with “adequate causality” in my defense.

What Inspires Me Right Now

Music, for one. Balmorhea? I’ve got “The Winter” on infinite loop right now, and when I get tired of chucking the scenes that aren’t working, I play me some “Lament”, have another cup of tea, and move to a spot of sunshine and keep writing.

Otherwise, I’m loving the enthusiasm of this community. Why are you all so wonderful? I’m also excited to see the YA Buccaneers, which looks like an amazingly fun venture. And the website is so pretty! I’ve seen hints of this on a number of blogs, and the reveal is very much living up to the hype. Keep it up, ladies!

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Frankly, I’m swamped. I usually have time to break up my workday with all of your lovely WUW posts and comments…but I’m pretty sure that that is not going to happen this week. I love what I do and where I work, but June just finished, and that means End-Of-Quarter/Half-Year reports for my company, and that means really long hours for me as Controller. If I got paid overtime, I’d be making enough money this week to buy me some serious something(s). I’m really looking forward to the extended weekend, but I may sleep through all of it to make up for the the two weeks’ worth of work that I’ve crammed into the first three days of this month. Except I’ve got family coming in to town, and they’ve planned a canoe trip on Saturday. So…sleep all the other days? Hope so.

What’s up on your Wednesday?

**almost five years.

What’s Up Wednesday

 

It’s Wednesday again, and the end of the first week of Ready. Set. Write!

WHAT I’M READING

Barely started The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr. This is mostly because I took a small detour and read Mind Games, by Kiersten White…and I didn’t regret it a bit. Loved it! This week’s schedule didn’t give me a chance to review them, but I’m working on it.

WHAT I’M WRITING

My goal last week was to write the first chapter of my WIP, a total rewrite of a five-year-old project. I didn’t finish the first chapter, but after experimenting with several different beginnings, I’ve finally found where I want to start. Not a first-chapter-completion, but  the writing is coming well simply because I’ve found a point to begin with.

This week’s goals are different, though. I thought that I had enough memory of the old project to be able to simply take the barest skeleton–main characters, basic geographical world, and five or six tentpole plot points–and start all over. But despite my success in finding my beginning, I’m feeling very behind on my worldbuilding. Yeah, way to do things backwards…but this week I want to write character sketches, and do a little bit more research on my world. It’s a fantasy in the vein of The Blue Sword, and I write best when I have specific images and descriptions in mind, regardless of whether those make it into my writing. I need to rebuild some of the visual, cultural, and moral aspects of my characters and countries. So the goal(s)?

1. Finish writing Chapter 1

2. Write a character sketch for each of the main characters

3. Pull out the old country maps I created and answer five basic questions about each of the three countries involved

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW

Friendship. And God’s faithfulness. I drove to see my best friend over the weekend, a chance for us to spend time together after only brief meetings in the past six months. Five of the eight hours driving were through severe thunderstorms and hail (hello, hail damage on my car. Great to see you again…), eventually adding an hour and a half to my original travel time, and nearly killing myself on a lonely gravel road in the middle of nowhere at 1 AM when sleepiness and hilly roads took over. Not kidding: somewhere in rural Kansas there are impressive swerve marks, the alternative to flipping my car as it went airborn on gravel at 60 mph. Sometimes you have moments where the only explanation is the hand of God, and that was one of them. I was able to enjoy one of the most refreshing weekends I have had this year. On Sunday we sat at her kitchen table and talked. Just talked. For five hours.  This was after four hours doing the same thing the night before, and countless hours together with her and her family during the rest of the day(s). Some people wear you out. I have been blessed with a friend that fills me up.

WHAT ELSE I’VE BEEN UP TO

Last preparations for my sister’s grad party. It’s this Saturday, which means yet another weekend away from home. But I’ll get to see hundreds of people from my hometown whom I haven’t seen in years.

Swamped at work. I love my job, truly, and while I’m enjoying the added responsibilities, there’s a lot to be nervous about. I’m struggling to find the balance between having delegated authority over people and respecting the innate authority they have that comes when they have 20+ years on me.

Settling into summer. Finally running consistently again, playing volleyball, and getting into the full swing of summer. Sunsets are still my favorite, and while I have to walk half a mile to get where I can see them, it is totally worth it!

Check out Jaime’s blog for more links on this bloghop! 

Tell The Truth Tuesday: Scrivener and Staples

Today has a theme! Things that begin with ‘S’.

1. Staples. I love refilling my stapler. It’s one of those little perks of working in an office; using cool office supplies because you’re actually doing work. I never use enough staples at home to refill the stapler.

2. Sunshine. What happened to it? I don’t understand you, June. It’s almost summer, and it’s 60 degrees and threatening to rain.

3. Software. I need Aeon Timeline. I’ve been needing something like this for a coon’s age, but it’s only available for Mac. *sob* I need to stop looking at it.

4. Scrivener. This beauty is available for Windows, and I’m going to break down and buy it tonight, I know it. I’ve wanted it for over a year now, but I’m a reluctant-to-change-what-if-it-breaks-my-mojo sort of writer. But if I can’t have Aeon, at least I can have Scrivener.

5. Swamped. Did I miss a memo or something? Is it Monday? Because the volume of work on my desk and the amount of time in a day and the events that are supposed to happen this week and all the things I’m supposed to do and nope, this isn’t a collision course at all.

Your turn! What’s the truth for you today?

Tell The Truth Tuesday…

[…wherein I attempt to be honest, and usually end up being random.]

1. Usually I have trouble writing the new year on things for at least the first month. This year, my problem isn’t writing 2012 on everything instead of 2013. Nope. This year, I keep trying to write 2014.

2.  I’m going to Colorado, and I’m nervous and excited and most of all: happy that I don’t have to pay for gas. I’m such a cheapskate.

3. I actually found some decent things at Goodwill while shopping their $1.23 sale.

4.  I use sticky notes on my desk for my to-do lists. Usually I transfer them into Outlook when I have time. I currently have 18 sticky notes on my desk, and not enough time.

5. Sometimes I wish people would change, and sometimes I think that is the worse thing that could happen.

(Tumblr: this with reaction .gifs)

Tell The Truth Tuesday…

1. My calendar says it’s Tuesday, but based on the number of people who have been in my office with requests for things they needed ten minutes ago…I’m definitely pegging this as Monday morning all over again.

2. I have had Imagine Dragons on repeat on my ipod for the last week and a half.

3. I was sort of rooting for both teams to win the Super Bowl this weekend? And yes, the commercials are my favorite part.

4. I got 1.5 advanced sudokus completed in class last night.

5. I am not vertically challenged, but I love wearing shoes that make me taller.

Check out my tumblr for Tell The Truth Tuesday…with .gifs!

Tell The Truth Tuesday…

1. I hate talking on the phone.

2. I watched Minority Report and Total Recall for this first time this past weekend. The cities may be mostly CGI, but they are amazing.

3. The engine light on my car came on again, and the vehicle sounds like it has no muffler. So I finally called to schedule a repair. The engine light turned off ten minutes after I made the call.

4. The printer in my office randomly cycles on its own and freaks me out.

5. I’m renegotiating some of our utility contracts at work. 90% of this involves me pretending like I know what I’m talking about. (The other 10% is putting my John Hancock on whatever paperwork they send over.)

Check out my tumblr for this…with .gifs!