A Little Ambitious

I’m just not ready for three posts a week, so I’m backing off to doing just the Row80 for now until I can get myself reorganized. I’ll get there though.

Until then, for those of you who haven’t seen this fifty times already, enjoy!


Row80 Nov 5th

Great Scott people! Do you know what day it is today? He was standing on a toilet, hanging a clock, when he fell and hit his head. He had a vision, of this. The Flux capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible. November 5, 1955.

Dr. Brown had to wait 30 years before that invention was fully realized. Surely we can continue pressing forward.


Row80 time. How am I measuring up?

Finish outlining Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED.

Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. Progress. I started “Fablehaven” and “Supernaturally” but I’ll probably still try to nail these all. Missed the train though so didn’t have the chance to read much more today.

Rework Book 2. Progress. Lots of progress here. I’ve connected back in with the original story, which I think means moving quicker. But as always, you have to follow the story to see what changes have done to it overall.

BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress. Although it is a bonus goal, so whatevs.

#2 Do further plotting for Codename Clemmings. No new progress.

I’m pretty happy with where I’m at. My story is getting better and I think soon I’ll be able to have it beta read. I just have to do a line edit after these revisions and BOOM winning.

How are you doing? Is your story coming along? Do you know what I mean about following the changes through? Have you had a tough revision that ultimately worked out for the best? Do you want to travel through time?

Jae vs. Ms. New York Times Bestseller

I attend a writing group where we critique each others’ works. We all submit by email, a maximum of 10 pages and then meet together and discuss what we liked and what we didn’t.

Those of you who have had me beta read for you before, you know I’m particularly honest. Though I admit I try and soften the blow with a preamble before I send off my comments. I feel like we all want to be serious writers though and if you wanted sunshine blown your way you’d take it to your mom or auntie or something so they could tell you how special it is. But we writers, I feel like, owe each other the courtesy of honesty. Helpful honesty, but honesty nonetheless.

I feel like I’ve personally been helped by this honesty and encourage it when I submit my own pieces.

But the thing about being in a writers group is you will often encounter those who came claiming they wanted feedback, but actually wanted a pat on the head instead for how awesome they are.

Needless to say, those types and I are always at odds in the beginning. They want to fight me tooth and nail for their baby. Then one of two things happens. Actually, one of three, but 90% of the time it’s one of two. We’ll get to three in a sec.

1. They hate everyone for not absolutely loving and agreeing that liquid gold comes out of their keyboard and eventually quit the writing group, because who really goes to silly groups anyway? They don’t need others’ opinions because clearly God ordained them to be a writer.

2. They realize that everyone is getting “hammered” with feedback too, but the others tend to accept it more graciously than they did and they simmer down and become one of us. And their writing tends to improve drastically each time we meet.

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Row80 Oct 29th


This picture is of Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. The orange cylinders are called hoodoos. Pictures never do this place justice. This particular scene always takes my breath away. I especially like this park because it’s great for all types. There are easy to access views as well as hikes for a closer view. It’s well worth putting on your bucket list.


Time for a Row80 update.

Finish outlining Book 2. FINISHED! I don’t know whether to call this finished or not. It’s an ongoing process in a way, but I think I’ve gotten it to where it needs to be. I’m gonna stick with accomplished.

Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. No New Progress. I have no excuses for this, I just haven’t done this. I hope to repent of this for next week.

Rework Book 2. Progress. It’s funny how sometimes you abandon an idea only to come back to it later. I love watching the evolution of my stories. I enjoy rewrites and edits much more now because of that. I can’t wait to see how these changes ultimately effect the overall story. And I’m just glad it’s getting there.

BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress. Although it is a bonus goal, so whatevs.

#2 Do further plotting for Codename Clemmings. No new progress.

Sometimes only making progress in one area is really all that matters that particular week. I do wish I had read more, but I’m still proud of the progress I did make. And the beautiful thing about goals is you can always do better tomorrow. I’m good with this.

How are things going for you? Have you ever fallen short but found you were okay with it?

Coming On Strong, Going Pink

Recently I talked about being an introvert. Which I am. But being an introvert doesn’t mean you hide in your room all day, reading books and watching Netflix (though it does have its appeal at times). It just means after a certain period of time I have to return to a place where I can recharge internally, which often means hiding in my room reading books and watching Netflix.

I remember in college I took one of those personality tests. The most popular iteration at that time being the Red, White, Blue, Yellow color test. I scored a majority white, but second place yellow. White and Blue are the more sensitive types. Reds are the power executive types, getting it done. Yellows are the fancy free and fun-loving types. This test tries to claim you’re always the color you were as a child, but I’m a firm believer that a person can change, especially since we’re constantly exposed to stimuli that can change us.

I used to live with a girl who was a strong Red personality. She couldn’t see the sense in worrying about the tender feeling stuffs. Just get it done. Upon first glance, one would think that’s not the best personality to have, but I’ve come to find that each personality has its strengths. And again, we are all unique human beings with differing personalities that are allowed to and do change.

Point being, I feel the red in her rubbed off on me as the white in me rubbed off on her. Now I think of myself as a pink. White most of the time, red when I need to be.

In social situations, having been the quiet, shy reserved type, I saw the value of red getting things done. So even though I may be exhausted when I get home, I let red take control which transforms me from introvert to perceived extrovert stage.

Point being, I tend to come on strong. Which I often forget can freak some people out. I’m more like:

And less like:

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Spurts and Space

Yesterday a lot of you mentioned in the comments your habits when it came to writing, especially for writing those difficult scenes.

Sometimes you just need to walk away, many of you said. Let it get cold. Get it off of your mind. Go watch some Korean dramas for crying out loud. (Thanks a lot Gloria, for my new found addiction to Liar Game). Sometimes the writing needs some space.

But don’t you also find that occasionally when the writing spurts it really spurts and it’s like nothing can stop you now. NaNoWriMo could come and pass and you’d still be tapping those fingers away at the keyboard.

I think everything in life has it’s pulse. And just like our own pulses we can have some effect on whether that pulse goes fast or slow—or stops completely.

Sometimes you do need a break. Even if you have deadlines or goals to be met, a break can still do you good. I often go for a walk, or as previously mentioned, watch a Korean drama, or play a mindless game, just to get out of my story head for a minute and breathe.

But when I’m spurting, I tend to let the spurt continue on. For me I tend to jam on through until I encounter a problem that slows me down, makes me rest, makes me think. Sometimes I feel like a bad writer in these situations, but lately I’ve reminded myself much like the heart beat, there needs to be those moments where the pulse goes down again before it comes back up. There has to be those pauses.

For us they may be long pauses or very short ones. For us they may be long spurts or short spurts. After all, a healthy heart gets subjected to more rapid beats for a short period of time.


While it’s important to take a break, it’s important not to stay away too long. For me sometimes the break doesn’t come from no writing, but writing something else. I’ve found a lot of refreshment from going to a completely different genre and letting my writing brain have at it. It could be another novel or a short story, but even if it goes nowhere I think that can be equally as important in “resting” as taking time to get away from writing completely.

I also think reading is another way to refresh the mind. One of my favorite Ray Bradbury quotes essentially says that. It says we’ll never run out of ideas if we’re always stocking the fire with fresh ones.

“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels,  films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every  morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life,  mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake  early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping  beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.” -Ray Bradbury

So you’ve shared with me how you take a break from problems? But what things do you do to recharge in general? What about getting inspiration or gaining the motivation to “spurt” your writing? How do you keep your mind fresh and writer’s block far from you?

Row80 Oct 22nd

zionpicThis pictures comes from the Weeping Rock of Zion National Park. Those colors are all nature’s doing. There’s also a lovely bit of water being “wept” out of the rock. It’s an easy hike, though a bit steep, and very well worth it. Beautiful colors everywhere in Zion.


All right, a week has passed since I jumped in on Row80. What have I accomplished thus far?

Finish outlining Book 2. Progress. I think I’m close on this one, though I’ve realized it may be a bit of an ongoing goal as I sometimes have to stop and ponder and outline another scene when it’s giving me a lot of trouble. This book has been a struggle, but I think that just means it’ll be even better because it was so hard to get out.

Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. Progress. I started “The Fire in Fiction” and put “Ask the Passengers” and “What Happened to Goodbye” on my Kindle. Hopefully I’ll have a lot more progress to report next week.

Rework Book 2. Progress. The outlining wasn’t exactly finished, but I felt like I needed to write anyway and so I did. I have a new start to the book which I think is a lot better. A member of my writing group thought my original first chapter seemed like a bunch of exposition and I decided he was right. This should be a little more exciting, plus I have opportunity to do a little foreshadowing and build in some other subplots. It feels like this round of rewrites will be very productive.

BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress. Although it is a bonus goal, so whatevs.

#2 Do further plotting for Codename Clemmings. No new progress.

Things are coming along. Again I do appreciate Row80 for making me feel obligated to report something each week. I may try the dreaded getting up early and writing before work. It benefited my last book quite a lot, but the early is tough. We’ll see.

How are you doing on your goals whether for Row80 or personal? When you write, do you have to stop and brainstorm or do you just keep on writing until something comes out? Have you ever had a piece you struggled with and what did you do to overcome the struggle?