I used to be able to whip these out no problem. Or at least have a few ideas come to me. Sometimes it’s not so easy to get back into blogging, among other things. What do you think?
Getting Closer to #Row80
I’m getting excited to start up this new round of #Row80. I’m hoping it’ll help keep me accountable for my goals and blogging. I’ve wanted to get back into blogging for some time, but I’ve been too sleep deprived. Now I’m finally ready!
I have three stories I’m working on. Two of which are really close to submitting with agents. I’m not sure if I want to submit via email or wait for a conference to see them in person. Or both. I feel in person is better because you basically get to the front of their submission list line.
Do you ever feel like you have a million stories in you waiting to get out, but you’ve got to polish up what you’ve got or you’ll never get anywhere? I guess that’s why I’m more of a plotter, I can more or less write the story in outline form and then it’s ready to go at some point instead of just bouncing around in my head.
Another thing I’m interested in trying is flash fiction contests. I used to be hardcore about reading and writing short stories to bring up my novel game. Because you have to catch the audience’s attention so quickly, it helps you realize what is important and then you can eliminate a bit more fluff from your novel. Obviously it’s not exactly the same, but it helps substantially. I used to read a lot of Anton Chekhov, I may start doing that again.
And what about you guys? How many stories are you working on? Are you close to submitting to any agents or self-publishing? How have you gotten back into blogging or any activity after a long absence?
Whew! A Baby…
Welp, I did the thing. The thing all the ladies are doing—at least a lot of the ladies around me. I had a baby. And wow! That was hard. And crazy. Especially those first few months. I don’t know how you mommas of multiples do it. One seems like plenty of work to me.
So anyways, I’ve been out of the blogging loop for quite awhile, because the baby journey took up all of my time. But now baby is old enough to sleep decently, so I’m sleeping decently, which means I’m determined to come back. I know the next round of Row80 is coming up soon and I always loved participating in that.
Plus I’ve got some new writing projects on the horizon. Well, I guess they’re already here. Because I’ve already written them. And mostly edited them. So now I just need to work on polishing and eventually publishing them. You get what I’m saying. Well, you Russian bots do, cuz who’s kidding? Ain’t nobody reading the Lit and Scribbles now. But I do want to make cartoons. And forgive me if they get a little first-time mommish but that’s my vibe these days. Talk to you again soon! Or as they say in Russian, Пока тайная полиция снова не найдет нас!
Row80 January 21st
Okay, finally back in the game. Seriously, I can say thanks enough to Row80 for existing to keep me on task for accomplishing things. I think I would fall into super lazy mode otherwise. I think it’s just this time of the year. Too cold to ride my bike and skiing is snow dependent. 😉
I haven’t yet stated my Row80 goals, so here they be, whether overly ambitious or not, I’m still gonna give it a go.
Outline the rest of Codename Clemmings. I need to turn this novelette into a novel. I think it has great potential, but originally I only saw it as a novelette, so it’s been doing nothing after 5 chapters. I’ve had some vague ideas, but I haven’t really put in the effort. Time to make it so.
Finish “The Fire in Fiction” and read two fiction books. I don’t know why TFIF just wasn’t happening for me, but that’s what another Row80 is for. I also have a few unread books on my Kindle for the fiction option I should be able to cram in. Last time I got three fiction books in with a goal of one, so certainly I can make two.
Write Codename Clemmings. I want to get a first draft off. Preferably a semi-edited draft, but a full draft in some form. I think this is possible considering I’ve already got the first 5 chapters and this is a YA.
Do writing exercises at least once a week. I got a few writing exercises from a forum at a conference and I believe they’ve already strengthened my writing with what little I’ve used them. I want every story I write to be even better than the last one and I want my skill to continuously improve. I never want to become one of those writers that gets lazy just because they’ve made it. I want my readers to keep coming back because they know I’m putting in my best efforts for them and for it to show. That takes practice. So writing exercises. Once a week. Yep.
BONUS GOALS: # 1 Get five chapters in to my Codename BFF project. If I’m hoping to accomplish the above goals, this may not be possible, but that’s why they’re BONUS goals. 😉
#2 Plot out a screenplay. This is really shooting for the moon here, but just a plot session might be possible. I did major in film in school and this short series project keeps coming to my mind. Plus I have friends in the independent biz and if it turns out clever I might be able to get them interested. But can’t do any of that without getting the idea out first, right?
Okay, go ambition, go! Still, remembering what I accomplished last session I think many of these things are possible. How are you coming on your goals already? Or have you also just started with new ones?
Row80 Dec 17th
At my writers group party, the spudnuts were a big hit. But I must say, having tried them both ways, they are much better fresh out of the fryer.
And speaking of Christmas type events, last Sunday I attended one of Salt Lake’s biggest yearly events. It’s the hottest ticket in town, and it’s free—the trouble is can you get tickets. Often if you live out of town it’s easier, but as a local it’s anyone’s guess.
What is this event? Why it’s the annual Christmas concert put on by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and whatever guests they host that year. It’s usually a musically talented guest and someone brought as a narrating type. This year I knew I had to attend because who could miss out on seeing this?
Yep. That’s Big Bird conducting the orchestra and choir. Big Bird! This year’s guests were Santino Fontana (of Frozen fame) and the Sesame Street Muppets. Usually the age limit for this is 8 yrs old and up, but this year they dropped it to 5 and the kids giggled with delight whenever the Muppets were out.
It was probably one of their best shows I’d seen yet. It will be broadcast on PBS, but not until next year. However at the bottom of my post, I’ll embed a highlights video.
How about that Row80?
Finish outlining Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED.
Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. Progress! I did read a little more The Fire in Fiction, but I also read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. Where did that randomly come from? Well, I was watching Scrooge, the Albert Finney version and something in that reminded me of what someone had told me about The Great Divorce. Since it’s a pretty short read (about 100 pages in the version I have) I polished it off in a few hours. Fantastic little read if you’re interested in Christian theology. Not to say it’s authoritative or anything, just something intellectual to consider.
So now that I’ve gotten three fiction books read I really, really need to make better progress on TFIF. Hopefully next week I will have finished it, or nearly finished. I believe next week is the last week for this session of Row80.
Rework Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED. I sent off the first chapter to my writers group. As always, they had some good suggestions. It’s interesting how we writers tend to be fairly myopic about our own work, but can see easily see the holes in someone else’s work. That’s why it’s good to have a group to go to or some beta readers you can count on.
BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress.
#2 Do further plotting for Codename Clemmings. No new progress. I’m not sure if I’ll do the other project or continue working on this or polish up the first chapter of Book 2 more. I guess it’s good a new session of Row80 is coming up so I can make new goals to be accomplished. I’m still glad with the progress I’ve made overall.
Now that we’re in the home stretch of Row80, will you get all your goals accomplished? Have you found feedback to be invaluable to improving your writing?
And as promised, more Muppets.