Row80 Dec 3rd

lake powellOne thing I would definitely recommend putting on your bucket list is a flight over Monument Valley down at the Utah/Arizona border. The company I did it with is out of Page, AZ. They fly over Lake Powell first (pictured above) and then take you on to Monument Valley. Worth every penny. And as you can see, you can get some pretty spectacular photos up there. This I took with a Samsung S4 (a camera phone).

THE GOALS

And now onto Row80. What did I accomplish this week?

Finish outlining Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED.

Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. Progress! I have not read much more of The Fire in Fiction but I did finish Supernaturally, book two in the Paranormalcy series. It’s an easy YA read, very much aimed at teen girls, but still a lot of fun. A lot of the book is connected with faeries, and these particular ones are a lot like those found in Patrick Rothfuss fantasy books. It’s definitely piqued my interest. Perhaps one day I’ll write a story about these kinds of faeries as well.

Rework Book 2. Progress. Getting there. Getting there. I have 28-ish chapters and I’m to 18 with revisions. Although I think I could probably combine a couple of chapters. I think most of these are pretty short (like 6 pages). Anyways, been weaving in some new stuff that’s made the book a whole lot more interesting. Once I get it to a place I’m mostly satisfied with, off to beta readers with it.

BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress.

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

Not sure the bonus goals are going to happen. But I always feel like setting goals and falling short is better than floundering around. I will definitely need a break from the SHADE world once Book 2 is finished.

I’d really like to attend another writers conference in 2015 as well. It’s been hard to plan for anything lately, but I may just sign up anyway. (They issue refunds). I like the energy and comradery that comes in being around other writers. Plus I’m always interested in getting feedback on my stuff. And there is always valuable information to be gained from forums.

Do you attend writers conferences? If not, why not? What do you find to be the most helpful to you in attending writers conferences? And how are your own personal goals coming?

Row80 Nov 26th

yellowstone bearDid I mention I actually saw a grizzly bear while in Yellowstone National Park? Those suckers are extremely hard to come across anymore. They used to come down to dig through the trash, but since they’ve made the bear-proof bins, sightings are much rarer. Not that I’m opposed to keeping bears away from the trash (and close proximity to kids).

This bear was really close, but thankfully there was a substantially sized river between us and it. I was ready to shove my people back on the bus if it even got close to the water. But I constantly see other tourists being less than smart when it comes to wild animals. They just want to pet the bear, or the bison, or the coyote. Say what? Wild animals will eat you on a whim? 😛

THE GOALS

Okay, time for Row80. How am I measuring up?

Finish outlining Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED.

Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. Progress! I went to a business conference which was mostly interesting, but in those few instances where the speaker wasn’t doing it for me, I pulled out this little book and gave it a read. I also had some time on a bus lately, so I got through a couple of chapters. It’s really helpful to read stuff like this when you’re revising. It makes you stop and consider your own story and inspires you with new approaches to revisions.

Rework Book 2. Progress. This one will likely remain as progress. Although I got to a certain point in the book and felt an inclination to go back and strengthen a few things before continuing on. It’s that whole cut one string and see where it leads. Sometimes it takes you forward and then you realize it also leads backward, too. Ah, writing. We really have to love this to torture ourselves like we do.

BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress.

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

I think once I have Book 2 reworked, I’m going to work on Codename Clemmings again. When I’m not thinking about Book 2, I sometimes think about other projects (so do we all). If I’m not feeling much inspired with Clemmings I may actually strike out on a brand new project, just for kicks. They say it revitalizes your writing to do something completely new. I found it did with Clemmings when I originally started it.

I would do it now, but I feel like Book 2 needs to reach a more solid state of improvement first.

Oh, and one more thing, Happy Thanksgiving to all my USA bloggers. I hope you get to eat lots of delicious food and enjoy the company of those you love!

Are most of your writing projects within the same genre? Have you branched out, even if just for practice? What do you do to keep your writing fresh and renewed?

Row80 Nov 12th

tetonsThis is a little late in coming, but better late than never. The view you have here is of the Grand Tetons from Jackson Lake Lodge during the Fall. I love this part of Wyoming more than anything else.

We were lucky enough later on in the day to see two moose wandering around out in the fields. The Jackson/Teton area is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places in the world. I suppose after I’ve visited all of the world, I’ll report in again and tell you if I still think this is the same. 😉

THE GOALS

Row80 time. How am I measuring up?

Finish outlining Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED.

Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. No New Progress. I really had anticipated making a lot more progress here, but without Row80 it would certainly be 0% instead of 5%. I’ll take whatever progress I can. I really just need to focus on reading instead of watching Korean dramas. 😛

Rework Book 2. Progress. Still making lots of progress here. The story is really taking on a life of its own. I make a plan with my outline, but sometimes in the midst of writing it goes in its own direction. I’ve uncovered things I didn’t think of in the early stages. That’s why I try to be adaptable to the way my story involves. I still start out with a plan, but I allow for side trips wherever or whenver

BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress.

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

I will be happy with where I am at once I get more reading in. What is it with life and occupying time you once had to do all these things. Seriously, I had all the time in the world when I was in high school and a bit more than now in college. I guess that’s the way it rolls sometimes. But the story is getting done, and I’m still pleased with how it’s going. I know I’ll need my trusty beta readers to help me do the final sculpting, but I’m a lot happier with where it’s ended up now. Ah, editing. It can be a pain, but also a great joy.

Do you often feel like life gets in the way? How do you just press on? When you write, are you all panster or are you like me with a lot of plotting allowing for side trips? Or must it all be done with an outline first no matter what?

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

THE GOALS

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.

Continue reading

Row80 Oct 29th

image

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.

THE GOALS

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?