in the spirit, life, NaNoWriMo, Scrivener, writing

Week One wrap up

The first week of November was a strange thing. It was full of highs and lows, and everything in between. I spent the first few days drunk on words. Gleeful, excited and desperate for just a few more minutes to write, just a few, I promise, I can quit any time.

Naturally, it wasn’t long until reality hit home. I have three kids, a husband, a household to run. /sigh

Then Tuesday rolled around and there were 7 kids in my house for the bulk of the day, I got maybe 63 words written, and it knocked my confidence big time. Apparently, I’m still recovering from the years stress as it doesn’t take much to make me stumble. I began to think that I just couldn’t do this. It was ridiculous for me to try to write while home schooling. Totally nuts. Why was I bothering?

I held onto the fact that Wed night I could head to the library for a bit, until I realized it was Guy Fawkes night and town would be swarming with crowds. I decided to brave it anyway, no matter how far I had to park from the library. It started to rain, and I felt no guilt at all when I gleefully thought perhaps the fireworks display would be postponed. Unfortunately, the rain wasn’t just rain, it turned into hail, thunder and lightening. Fireworks were cancelled, but there were several buildings with collapsed ceilings, hail so thick it looked like snow, and I decided it was probably wisest to stay home…

Thursday is normally home schooling stuff, but I managed to get a few words out, and then Friday morning I felt myself getting back into the swing of it – unfortunately, I think it took me until yesterday to really realize what was going on.

I am out of practice. This is the first new draft I’ve written this year, and I’ve lost the art of sneaking in words. I’ve not been writing while cooking dinner, or giving myself 10 minute sprints every day. I can’t write 500 words in ten minutes right now, and I can’t switch my focus as fast as I used to be able to. There was a time that I could be writing, yet have a million distractions and never lose my momentum.

I also realized that for most of my academic writing this year I’ve made a concerted effort to do said writing out of the house, away from the kids, because it’s super hard to write essays with a million distractions. They are out of the practice too.

IMG_20141107_113424371So I’m going to go a little easier on all of us. Try to remember that I used to do this, and that it wasn’t frustrating, and that I will get back to that place – it just takes practice, for me, and for the kids. We’re all still finding our new normal, and it will take time.

And in the meantime, any words I do get are an absolute joy. Writing makes everything better, so even when I am feeling crappy, grumpy, tired, over it, like there is no point, I should still write.

Highlights of the week include – the many awesome, varied, amazing friends, who’ve helped bolster me and remind me that I’m awesome too.

Our epic bush walk with the home schooling group. Being 100% out of range of all technology (other than my camera) was good for my soul. Pushing myself, using all my muscles, feeling the strength in my body was amazing. We’ll be looking for more long tramps to do in the very near future. I need to get back to the things that feed me.

A friend giving me an awesomely funny one star review for In The Spirit along the lines of “I loved this book, but it was too short and I want more!”, to which I decided that I could totally expand my current work in progress to be a novel – I don’t want to annoy too many readers 😉

Also, Scrivener is behaving itself and we’re getting along nicely so far. Still early days though.

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And then it was almost December

This is the first year since I started a blog that I have been such an unreliable blogger. I mean, 2012 has thrown me some real curve balls, and the living of life has certainly overtaken much of the time I used to spend sitting here blogging. I have countless posts that were started and then abandoned as the subject matter became irrelevant or a week passed since I first started writing it and I couldn’t remember what my point was.

Do I endeavor to do better next year? Well, I’d hope so, but there is certainly no guarantee. Life is not going to get less busy, and I wouldn’t really want it to.

I’ve done very little in the way of writing this month. The ideas that began to spin at the end of October have been taking shape, and then got derailed by a passing comment someone made to me about one of my first novels. So I had to dig deeper and find something new, something different, for the novella I’m writing in December. Nothing came to mind, and that was okay, I knew something would crop up. But the month went on, things got exhausting for awhile with teething kids and sleepless nights, then a friend died and that threw me too. While that death still plays in my mind, we’re now here, almost to December, and I’ve got very little to show for the month.

Except maybe that I made it out of November. I guess the simple fact that I am alive is enough of a blessing to eradicate any of the frustrations of the month. I’m alive, and I do have an idea, and it is shiny and exciting and while I can’t seem to summon the energy to write now, I know that in just a few days time my new character will blaze onto the page and the story will devour me for the month. I’m calling it Shell and Bone for now. It’s always nice to start a project with a title of some sort or another.

So that’s me for November. I turn 32 in a few weeks time, and then it’s Christmas. I’m looking forward to BBQs, the beach, hanging out with family and friends and enjoying life. What about you?

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It’s still SEPTEMBER, thank you very much

I’ve been burying my head in the sand for the last week, trying to pretend like it’s not October. It couldn’t possibly be. No way. It’s still September and I have all the time in the world.

People keep reminding me at every turn though. Oh your assignment is due soon, Cassie. Are you looking forward to being done with your paper? Don’t forget the deadline for that novella is coming up! Have you edited that short story for that anthology that’s closing soon?

I know, I know, but I just want to pretend for a little longer that I don’t actually have to get to work. That said, I AM working, one thing at a time, in tiny increments. Inching towards the finish line. There is a slow build of excitement in me as I think about the fact that a couple weeks from now I’ll be able to tick a few big goals of the year off my list. The weeks between don’t exist though, because I am going to keep pretending that it’s September until everything is finished.

So what are you going to do for the rest of September? Are you all looking forward to November?? I have a good feeling about that month!

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Say what?

No, it can’t be a month til Christmas Eve, it just can’t. There has to be more than a week left in November, surely! What’s happening to time?

I feel like hiding under the covers until it’s 2011, because otherwise there is just too much to do.

I still have to get the Christmas shopping done. There are a million things around the house that need organizing (gardens, mess/clutter, fence, arg!). I am meant to have this novella done before Christmas, and then there is the new novel I had penciled in to begin in December.

Gosh, December is so close now…

It’s going to take a miracle to get through that list. But I’ll be giving it my best shot. I need to clear some of the junk out of my life so that 2011 starts off well. I don’t typically do New Years resolutions, but I do like to start the year with things in order.

What about you? What needs doing before 2011 hits? Got any resolutions or goals for it?

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Ahh beautiful sunshine

It’s been a lovely weekend, though it’s not yet over (yay for long weekends). Rather than the rain that was predicted to hit this morning it’s still beautiful out there – and it highlights why NaNoWriMo is sometimes a little bit harder for us over on this side of the world! All the sunshine, the nice weather of November… makes me want to be outside, not stuck inside at the computer.

It’s okay though, we will prevail. At least with the laptop now I can take it outside though I’m more inclined to explore the garden with the girls than write when it’s this nice.

Anyways, I’ve had no time for writing stuff this weekend, we still have family down though they are heading back this morning and we’ll have a house load of people coming around soon to say their goodbyes. I’m very much looking forward to getting things back to normal and slipping back into the routine we’ve been making for ourselves.  All the pressure from the weekend is off and I’m feeling rather chilled out. I like it. A lot.

The next few days will see me finishing up this novel critique for Kerryn, and then I can get stuck into the last minute planning and details for Riana. There is so much to figure out before I start writing, I have several events that I know must happen, and some decisions  I have to make  – it’s a matter of finding out how to connect all the bits and pieces that is proving to be most difficult.

After seeing a couple of articles about using the tarot to flesh out characters I’ve decided to use it to flesh out my plot and am sure that things will start coming together. It never ceases to amaze me how easily we forget about the tools we have on hand until someone else reminds us about them! Once again I’ll be splitting my group up, but I have to figure out how we get to that point before I can start writing because it’s going to be fairly close to the beginning of the novel…. it’ll come together. I’m putting my faith in the universe that it will provide me with the answers. It always does.

And with that, I best go make sure the jug is on and we have enough milk! Tomorrow is Lauren’s actual 1st birthday so I’ll post some pics up then 🙂

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What kind of Nano-er are you?

I’m a lurker… I really am. It’s pretty tragic but I tend not to visit the forums a whole lot before the month, during the month, or after. I’ve been told off for this by several people because there are only really three months or so where you get the full nano experience and I’m not taking part in it for the most part.

But it just seems to take up so much time! Finding threads that actually interest me, waiting for replies, keeping up to date with everything thats going on. Every now and then I have a look around but I just don’t know where to start, and when I do look, nothing in particular jumps out at me, I don’t see much I want to comment on… what about you?

Do you lurk? or spend large chunks of time on the forums? is there a happy medium?

I’m also a plodder, you know, I find the time to do my daily word goal every day, there is no last minute madness to cross the finish line at the end of the month, if anything I tend to finish early because I have days where I get a little more writing time.

Sometimes I think that half the fun of an event like nano IS that mad rush though, the fear/adrenalin thing you get going over whether you’ll make it or not, some of which is lost when you’re fairly confident that you will in fact get to that 50,000 word goal.

How do you NaNo?

Oh and if you haven’t checked out Merrilee’s post, go take a look, there are some good tools for throughout the month!

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Slacking off

I confess, I am totally slacking off – not pushing myself, not trying to find more hours in the day, not even feeling guilty about it. I’m getting through my one chapter a day of crits and doing nothing of my own – I think it’s been four days since I finished reading my novella and novel, no, make that five.

I have the very best of intentions to work on Snow White this weekend, but I’m not convinced it’s actually going to happen. That said, I have already done my critting, so maybe I can squeeze some time in later on.

At this point, I’m seriously doubting my ability to write 50,000 words in one month. I’ve written so few words lately that it seems like a mammoth task, hell, I can’t even set myself down to hash out the outline for the novel even though I was feeling so passionate about it a week or so ago – lets just hope I can reclaim that zest when November rolls around.

Come Monday, that is the plan though – planning/outlining, setting myself up for November. I’m not really looking forward to it, though I think once I get stuck into it I’ll start feeling more positive again.

Obviously I just needed some down time, and to be perfectly honest I am hanging out for November when I’ve taken a break from all critique work and will be able to just write. No looking back, no deep thinking, no stressing out – just me and the first draft. Bliss.