Monday, August 31, 2015

Wrap Up: Ready. Set. WRITE!

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer accountability series that is hosted by Jaime MorrowKaty UppermanAlison MilerErin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. We set goals for the summer and check in weekly. 

This is it. The final check in. Queue up the opening chords to The Final Countdown. (If you have no idea what this is, click here.) I managed to knock off everything on my summer goal list plus plot out a the sequel to PHOENIX RISING. Because of RSW, I seriously accomplished so much. So a big thank you to Jaime, Katy, Alison, Erin, and Elodie. You guys helped me get so much done.

My summer in a nutshell was research and work on three different projects. I can only hope that I'll continue to be this productive come the fall. (Which you'll be able to find out every Monday where I continue with accountability posts. Unofficially, I'm taking this week off.)


How I Did Last Week

  • Complete the beta I started last week. DONE
  • Figure out a blog schedule to maintain. DONE. Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Start working on a doable exercise routine. DONE. Hubs and I will start next week.
  • Walk 5 days. Maybe 4. DONE. 4 days.
  • Stretch goal--> Continue thinking about revision plan for the boy band book. DONE
  • Additional stretch goal --> Do some research for The SNI. DONE

Manicure and Manuscript

Because we all worked so hard on RSW, we deserve a manicure as a reward. Disclaimer: I'm not very good at these. I'm pretty much a slap the nail polish on and call it a day type person. So it was a little hard to do something different. And because I dealt with 3 different WIPs, it was hard to figure out which one to do.  I decided on the boy band book because it's plagued my waking thoughts recently. Since Colt's in a boy band (and ends up in another band) I went with music notes.

And the excerpt...
Here's a really rough excerpt from the boy band book. This scene is from Colt's POV. Because of some bad choices early on in the novel, he's been forced to move back to his hometown--a place he hasn't seen in 5 years--and make amends with the friends he left behind.

I print out the file Kevin sent with the terrible cheesy songs he expects us to sing on our next album. If there is a next album. And bring them to school next morning.
Maddie sits on the front stairs of the high school, book and notebook in her lap, pen in between her lips. For a second I picture something else in place of that pen until I shove that into the late night compartment of my brain.
“Hey, thanks for meeting me so early,” I say as I climb the steps and sit next to her.
“It’s no problem. I was coming in early anyway.” She tucks her notebook into the textbook to mark it’s place and put both back inside her book bag. “What’s up?”
“I need your opinion about some lyrics.”
Maddie’s eyes widen in surprise. “I didn’t know you wrote lyrics.”
“I don’t. That’s the problem. Someone else always does it for me.”
I pull my backpack onto my lap and pull out the sheets of paper from my email. Maddie leans close to peer at what I’m grabbing and the flowery scent of her perfume hits me. I ignore the way my body jerks in reaction to her and talk my way through what I’m about to show.
“Kevin—our manager—sent us a bunch of different songs acceptable for our next album. We’re supposed to pick our favorite ten songs and go from there.”
Maddie accepts the pages from me, our fingers brush against the others as she does. I want them to stay that way so I can have that small amount of contact besides her arm and leg pressed against mine. As she reads, I explain why I want her opinion. All because of my conversation with the green haired mohawk kid in detention.
Maddie giggles as she reads through the lyrics. “Colt, these are horrible. I think I wrote better poetry in ninth grade English.”
“It’s lyrics, Maddie, not poetry.”
“It’s a form of poetry.”
She moves her lips as she reads, no sound coming out. Fascinated, I watch as she absorbs everything in front of her. This is why she does so good in school I bet. And if she takes something as stupid as potential Back 2 Front lyrics this seriously how would she be with something less academic and more physical? Not that I should think about that.
She hands the lyrics back to me. “All of these are classics examples why I can’t stand your music. There’s no meat to any of these songs.”
“Yeah, but songs like this give me enough money that once I’m old enough, I can do whatever I want.”
“And what is that?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Maybe you should figure that out.” 
She leans her head against her arms as they rest on top on her legs. This does nothing for me to keep my thoughts in the friend zone. Not when she’s drawing attention to her legs and how her leggings cling to her calves and thighs. A lock of her hair swings lose and I wrap my finger around it.
“What would you do with the money?” I ask.
“If I had the money I’d save it for college.” Her eyes flick between my fingers and my face.
“Other than school, what would you use it for?”
“Maybe to go somewhere exotic. Someplace I wouldn’t be able to go see otherwise. But I don’t have that money, you do,” she says.
“To be honest, most of the money is tied up in shit that I don’t even understand. Part of it is for my sister's doctor bills and college fund. The rest Mom has someone manage for me.”
I sigh. I don’t know what part of my life someone else doesn’t control. Or how or when it got this bad.
“So these crap songs draw bank. Is that what you want to be known for, though?”
No it’s not. I’ve known that for last few months. Reading these lyrics cements that. I press my lips to her temple and get up to go. “Thanks, Maddie.”




Monday, August 24, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week 12

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer accountability series that is hosted by Jaime MorrowKaty UppermanAlison MilerErin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. We set goals for the summer and check in weekly. 

Welp, summer is winding down. (Still no beach in sight). And the first local apples have hit the grocery store. Which is fantastic, because I love apples. However, it's just one calendar page closer to Snowmageddon Part 3. I know, I know. We're far, far away from dealing with that. I will continue to enjoy August. (And hopefully get a beach day in)

Some of my recent weekly goals have been a bit challenging because of the day job. Some stuff I can do when it's quiet, like figure out a revision plan or do some light research. Anything that requires intense concentration -- betaing, revising, drafting -- can't be done due to the nature of working in a call center*. But, we all have our crosses to bear.

How I Did Last Week


  • Do my final pass on the beta from last week. DONE!
  • Begin betaing another friend's manuscript. DONE! Well, done as in I began it. I'm in round 2 of reading throuh it.
  • Walk every day.  Fail. 5 out of 7. It's been too damn humid.
  • Fold and put away laundry. DONE! This is what I'm most proud of this week.
  • Stretch goal--> Continue thinking about revision plan for the boy band book. DONE! 
  • Additional stretch goal --> Do some research for The SNI. DONE!

My Goal(s) For This Week


  • Complete the beta I started last week.
  • Figure out a blog schedule to maintain.
  • Start working on a doable exercise routine**.
  • Walk 5 days. Maybe 4.
  • Stretch goal--> Continue thinking about revision plan for the boy band book. 
  • Additional stretch goal --> Do some research for The SNI. 

One Phrase That Sums Up What I Wrote/Revised

In progress. Everything I've worked on this past week has been to get ready for the next step, so this is apt.

Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Ugh. Myself. The day job leaves me depressed and full of self-loathing pretty much every day. Have you ever tried to work on anything while under that kind of emotional blanket? It's HARD.

Something I Love About My WIP

Researching all the Japanese stuff for The SNI. It reminds me a bit of 5th grade for International Day, I did a presentation on Japan. Except this time I'm not learning about the economy or political structure.



* It's a glamorous life. Try not to be jealous.
** Pretty sure this will be a list that won't do anything until this depression goes away.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week 11

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer accountability series that is hosted by Jaime MorrowKaty UppermanAlison MilerErin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. We set goals for the summer and check in weekly.

So these goals things. When I'm not actually doing something creative (like brainstorming The SNI) and focusing on more other side of the brain (like revising), everything crashes to an almost stop. No joke. Plus, this weekend I was at ComiConn at Mohegan Sun because Hubby was doing that joke thing. He killed it. Hopefully, this means he'll get serious about his comedy again.

Also, I get bored at casinos. And claustrophobic on exhibition floors. The things you learn about yourself at the most random times, right?

How I Did Last Week


  • Complete the beta I started last week. I completed 2 rounds of it, but sometimes a third is in order. THAT hasn't happened.
  • Walk every day. 6 out of 7.
  • Complete reading final workshop of PLANNING YOUR NOVEL. DONE. 
  • Stretch goal-->Think about the Assassin Project and the boy band books and formulate a rough revision plan. DONE. This is basically a whole bunch of questions that need answering, but now I know what needs to be done.


My Goal(s) For This Week 


  • Do my final pass on the beta from last week.
  • Begin betaing another friend's manuscript.
  • Walk every day.
  • Fold and put away laundry.
  • Stretch goal--> Continue thinking about revision plan for the boy band book.
  • Additional stretch goal --> Do some research for The SNI.


One Phrase That Sums Up What I Revised 

So. Much. Research.

Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week 

Motivation. The heat and humid of August saps most of my energy, which makes it hard to do much of anything. I mean, hell, I've put a goal of fold laundry for a reason. And it's only a small load!

Something I Love About My WIP

I recently read through the first draft of the boy band book and I love my boy MC's voice. I'm pretty excited to get back into that story.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week 10

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer accountability series that is hosted by Jaime MorrowKaty UppermanAlison MilerErin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. We set goals for the summer and check in weekly.

Whelp, We're fully entrenched in August. I'm not sure how this happened. And now that I hauled through one of the major, major goals for the summer, I'm a little bit lost as to what needs to be done next. I still think there's something wrong with this WIP, but I can't articulate the problem. Like, people love dialogue heavy things, amiright?

How I Did Last Week 


  • Continue SCENES FROM LAST NIGHT revisions. DONE. Now I just need to send it to betas. 
  • Get up at 5 AM Tuesday-Friday so I can walk to work before it gets way too hot. ACHIEVED, sort of. I woke up at 5 every day, but only walked 4 days because I carpooled with a coworker.
  • Walk every day. Nope. I only managed 5 days.
  • Beta a friend's manuscript. In progress. My revisions took too long so this isn't complete.
  • Stretch goal-->Get at least halfway through final workshop of PLANNING YOUR NOVEL. DONE. This is a massive workshop and I'm not as prepared to do the exercises in it for The SNI but I'm reading.

My Goal(s) For This Week 


  • Complete the beta I started last week. 
  • Walk every day.
  • Complete reading final workshop of PLANNING YOUR NOVEL.
  • Stretch goal-->Think about the Assassin Project and the Boy Band books and formulate a rough revision plan.

Favorite Line From My Story 

"It's a low-rent clown. I hate clowns."

Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week 

The revision itself. SFLN is terrifyingly short for a contemporary YA and for some reason this book doesn't like the concepts "exposition" and "narration" at all. This was a hard won revision round. Hopefully my beta readers won't hate me when we're done.

Something I Love About My WIP

How the mimes have taken on a life of their own. In the WIP and in real life. In the WIP, they have multiplied like rabbits so now there is a mime horde. Bestie Danielle and I randomly incorporate mimes in our conversation. She even commented that a show her son watched dealt with a mime. Then there are all the YouTube videos I found on miming, and of course there's this mime meme.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Week 9

Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer accountability series that is hosted by Jaime MorrowKaty UppermanAlison MilerErin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij. We set goals for the summer and check in weekly.

Because of the revision cave, I wasn't able to pre-game today's post. So, I'm writing this from the confines of the day job desk before I get some revision time in. This, by the way, seems to be the preferred revision method for SFLN. I prefer the bed and The Stripey One. It's so weird how fickle WIPs can be.

How I Did Last Week 

  • Continue SCENES FROM LAST NIGHT revisions. So, so close to finished. As of last night, I have 40 pages left to revise. Then I have some new scenes to write.
  • Get up at 5 AM Tuesday-Friday so I can walk to work before it gets way too hot. Done. And because of that, I've been revising in the morning. My brain is toast in the evening.
  • Walk every day (except today). Erm, well. I walked every work day.
  • Stretch goal-->Get at least halfway through final workshop of PLANNING YOUR NOVEL. Nope. Revision takes precedent, though I have been thinking of the SNI and how it may not be a NaNo novel after all.

My Goal(s) For This Week Continue 

  • SCENES FROM LAST NIGHT revisions. 
  • Get up at 5 AM Tuesday-Friday so I can walk to work before it gets way too hot. 
  • Walk every day. 
  • Beta a friend's manuscript. 
  • Stretch goal-->Get at least halfway through final workshop of PLANNING YOUR NOVEL.  
 

One Word/Phrase That Sums Up What I Revised 

Taking too long.

Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week 

The Tower. I stupidly decided to reread The Dark Tower series, completely forgetting how much of a junkie I am for it. Now when I should be revising, I'm thinking about what I just read like a literary Rhea of the Coos. Or I'm on Pinterest looking up fan art.

Something I Love About My WIP 

Even though I'm not there yet, the mimes.

Good luck on hitting those goals this week. 
Related Posts with Thumbnails