Still here

ORGANIZING - Remember back in September, when I was getting my house in order? I’m still in the middle of that. It is a never-ending process, I guess. Right  now I’m participating in a Lenten decluttering project started by Ann Marie of White House Black Shutters. It is called 40 Bags in 40 Days, and I’m about 25 bags into the process. Five years of marriage, three moves, and one baby later, and I think Daniel and I have finally combined and pared-down our belongings. Yikes.

SLEEPING - Sleep was also an issue in September. It still is, I guess. Just a better issue. Toddlerhood has not changed our son’s night waking schedule, but it has vastly improved his naps and bedtime, so I can’t complain. Much. In fact, I can pretty consistently depend on naps and bedtime for uninterrupted writing time, if I take the opportunity. (Sometimes you just have to veg after chasing a one-year-old all day.)

WRITING - I’m still working on my science fiction project. I tweeted the other day that my story seems to be coming together from the outside-in. I’ve figured out the ending, and have a beginning that matches it. Now I just need the middle, and I am filling in scenes in my tentative outline in Scrivener as they come to me. The science-y aspects still are my nemesis, but I will not give up! Which brings me to my last little update …

March is halfway over. April is coming quickly, and with it Camp NaNoWriMo. This year I’m going to keep working on my current project. I don’t have any concrete goals this time around, but I am excited to be bunking with some local writer friends (hi Amy, and Cassie!). It is nice to be out of the baby haze and getting my creativity back, and even nicer to have like-minded people coming alongside to keep me honest and cheer me on in my progress.

Happy New Year!

Birthday! 190 Birthday! 193 Birthday! 194 Birthday! 196 joy31

So, 2014 was kind of a big year. This little guy came home from the hospital with us at the very beginning of it.

And now,  we just celebrated the beginning of 2015 with a brand-new one-year-old boy who happens to call me momma (sometimes, when he feels like it and is prompted. We’ll get there.)

I can’t wait to see what comes next!

{photo credit for the last picture: my friend, Joy}

NoNaNoWriMo

Sadness. I simply cannot add another writing project to my plate write–er, RIGHT–now.

So, for me, it is NO National Novel Writing Month.

But to those of you who are tackling it this year, go you!

I’ll be over here, in my little corner, chewing on the end of my pencil and trying to get the last bits of my first draft’s plot hashed out on paper. So I can actually write the durn thing.

Through a plot dimly

mist

This is my plot. Fuzzy, uncertain, shrouded in mist.

I’m working on that.

Right now, I’m brainstorming as my antagonist. Setting her up for success, so that my protagonist has something to truly fight against.

But her motives are unclear. Her actions hazy.

It is a challenge. But that’s okay. I’m up for a challenge. Not to mention, my leading lady is kinda kick-butt, in a nerdy, matter-of-fact kind of way. She can handle it.

 

Image credit: Alice Popkorn, via Flickr

Just Checking In

Well, I am a week into my “downtime” and while I wish I could say the entire house is now spotless and I am spending hours at a time serenely playing with my kiddo, I can’t exactly say that. I can say both bathrooms have been scrubbed recently (trust me, this is, indeed, an accomplishment) and I restocked the baby food supply before I ran out. Barely.

Also, I threw out a bathroom trashcan’s worth of expired health and beauty products I had been storing in my linen closet. I can now, you know, store linens in the linen closet again. This is a good feeling.

I have a feeling this whole get-the-house-in-order-so-I-can-focus-on-my-writing thing is going to take longer than expected at the current rate of one surface or cupboard being tackled per nap.

BUT! I wrote the rough draft of a picture book idea this week. That was unexpected. See what crazy things your brain might do when you give it orders to rest? Yeah. Weird how that works.

Downtime (And a Projected Project Timeline)

I’m giving myself permission to rest. Well, not really REST rest, but rest from writing for a little bit. Don’t worry. Just a little bit. I’ve been feeling guilty about the two drafts I have that are 50% and 90% written and yet are still 50% and 10% UNWRITTEN. I need to stop with the guilt. I’m at a point with both projects where I need to stew for a week, or two, or three. And when a plot point comes into focus, I can make a note and then, when I am ready again, pursue it.

My family and I will be taking a vacation in the coming months, and when that happens, I’m going to really set aside everything and just enjoy the moments I have with my husband and son and just unplug, unwind, and relax. But, until then, I need a bit of time to reboot other areas of my life.

For instance, finally organizing those last couple cupboards in my kitchen that are lingering bastions of clutter. The ones I have been studiously ignoring in favor of napping.

Or, you know, I could also just keep napping. The sleep war continues in this household and the struggle is real, y’all. Nobody can fight sleep like a teething eight-month-old boy.

So, I’m going to focus on me, and my little family, for a couple of weeks. If writing or plotting happens, that will be wonderful, but I am not planning on it. Then, when the time is up and I can’t hold back the urge to write again (it never takes long!), I’ll dive right back in. I have a crazy goal to have both manuscripts ready for submission by this time next year. And, who knows, probably be at work on my next one once they are nearing completion.

Here’s how that projected timeline looks:

September: Tackle the pesky household and personal matters I’ve been ignoring since our son was born. Kind of like a back-to-school (but for grown-ups) thing, baby-proofing for our almost-crawler, and spring cleaning, all rolled into one. Or, maybe this is that infamous “nesting” instinct finally kicking in that I was supposed to get back when I was pregnant?

After that:

  • Autumn months - Plot and write.
  • Winter months - Finish drafts.
  • Spring months - Get feedback (beta reads, critiques, etc.) and revise.
  • Summer months - Final feedback and revisions, copy and line edits.

and then …. submit!

Am I crazy? Maybe. Could others do it more quickly? Definitely. But, for me, that’s an aggressive timeline. It’s worth trying, though!

Ready. Set. WRITE! {Week 12 Update}

 Good day! ThRSWCoffeeis is a post about my progress towards goals I am making in a summer writing initiative hosted by lovely writers AlisonErinJaime, and Katy. We’re posting our goals publicly, cheering each other on, and reporting back via link party to let everyone know how we’re doing. Why not join us?

 

1.  How I did on last week’s goals

Polish things up for WriteOnCon.

Be a good mom and give the little man the extra love and comfort he needs right now.

Take care of me whenever I can so I can keep on keeping on. 

I think I did these things. I hope I did. Lots of extra bouncing and tickling and holding for my little man. Down time for me when I got a chance.

And Dr. Who.

This morning I am working on polishing up the query and first five pages of my current WIP (The Echelon Project) for WriteOnCon. I’m terrified, to tell the truth. I’m scared it is rubbish and I’m a fraud and that I’ll be discouraged by feedback and quit on my literary baby. But doesn’t every writer feel that way, at some point?  I wish it was a completed project I could pitch and truly query right now. That was my goal last year, to have a finished manuscript ready to go this August. I’m bummed I didn’t meet that goal, but I am going to cut myself some slack for growing and birthing a human being during this past year, instead. ;)

 2.  My goal(s) for this week

Participate in WriteOnCon and be active on its forums as much as possible.

3.  A favorite line from my story OR one word/phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised

Bird of Paradise. Cryptic, much? Hah!

Really, I just revised the first 250 words for posting in the WriteOnCon forum, and my main character is caring for one of the plants in the greenhouse.

4.  The biggest challenge I faced this week

More sleep issues! Such is my life right now.

5.  Something I love about my WIP

I might be biased, but I think it is a fresh premise and I am enjoying exploring it.