Tag: i was a good girl and wrote anyway


Day 4

26
June

Yesterday was busy. School for six hours and brainstorming with another, while I typed whatever we came up with into the appropriate boxes.

We’re doing six weeks of thematically designed lesson plans, basically. I have no idea how my peers will receive this. I’m choosing the core texts, and we’re generating the rest of everything off the cuff. I rather wish I had my old lesson plan books now. I tossed them all in the move.

I’ll feel better when this is all over and done.

There was no writing yesterday, so it’s a good thing I’m challenging myself to only write six days a week. Yesterday was school and then a visit to the wedding venue, which is pretty. The five of us (all parents plus bride) milled about and mumbled to each other as we tried to figure out what the bride wanted.

I’m sure it will all be fine.

I got a phone call from the daughter who informed me that her wedding dress was in. Two friggin’ weeks it took. So now the dil2b and a bridesmaid and I head into the valley on Saturday to pick that up and have them try on bridesmaid dresses. That’s after the dil2b and I head over to see how the first fitting went on her wedding dress. (I’ve got the expertise on wedding gowns, I guess, since I’ve made four. Lucky me.)

I would feel better about the weddings if school was even remotely under control.

I’ve got the first run on kinder classes for the fall done. I’ll check them tomorrow, fill out the grids, and be done with that on Friday. I’ve got the new math text in hand (because really, new site and new principal are NOT enough for the district. Let’s throw some brand new curriculum at us, too.) and I need to look that over so I can return them.

I am looking forward to two weeks of non-school, and taking on my brother’s dog for three weeks.

(Okay, so maybe it’s only the first half of that sentence I’m really looking forward to. We’ll see how Coco does.)

And the only reason I even started this post was to announce that I wrote today. Or rewrote. Two pages. Thirty minutes or so.

But I wrote.

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I’m not sure where the day went…

8
January

…although the house is cleaner and some laundry got done.

There’s more to do, but I think I’ll hit the last bits early in the morning before I leave for school.

Insane, I know, but I’m actually sleepy and since the brain hasn’t wanted to turn off most nights this last week, I’m taking advantage of it.

Plus, I’m feeling accomplished. I have a whole 200+ new words for tonight, and Kelly’s critique really has helped–both with the word count and where I need to expand this scene.

I’m going to figure out how I get to this scene later. For now, just nail the set pieces and the transitions will fix themselves later.

Step by step.

And the first one is off to bed, and carting Harley up the stairs. He decided to leap onto the hill after Zoey yesterday, and his knees are suffering for it today.

I must say I empathize.

Back on the pain pills he goes.

Comments Off on I’m not sure where the day went… | this and that

I am not all here

4
July

despite a vat of coffee steaming before me.

It may be the fourth (Happy Fourth of July to my Ami friends!) but it’s take back the world again for me. At least until 3P, when I head to SB.

Walking, cleaning, and writing in that order.

The writing is going, although far too slowly for my taste. I’ve been writing in the equivalent of two screens on these POV changes–trying to convey the feelings of the POV I’m dumping on screen, while adding what information he shares to the new POV character.

It’s slow. And things aren’t quite right, and I don’t like to move on until they feel right. I finished one scene yesterday (finally!) and I’ll see what that does to the story in the next.

Changes all the way down the line, a bunch of dominoes tipping over.

In other news, there is no other news except that the garden is thriving under the heat spell and the tomatoes and green beans are ecstatically producing. I’m sure the zucchini will figure it out in the next day or two. The crookneck squash have.

So, first things first. Pool check, water, walk. And if Harley doesn’t stop begging me for his walk, he’s going to find himself in the pool.

The dog HATES water. :P

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The write-a-thon begins

20
June

And like a good girl, I wrote.

I managed to write 1K+ new words and rewrite the 1650, based on some of the Freeway Dragon’s comments. I’m feeling very chuffed about the whole thing, although I’m really hoping that rewriting those scenes of Bashak’s goes faster as I proceed.

POV changes are way more time consuming than any switch in verb tenses. This is the first time I’ve actually tried a POV change–most of my shorts have demanded the POV I’ve used, and I’ve never felt the need to try them from a different one.

I’m still looking for sponsors. I’ll be posting my progress regularly, and sponsors get the added bonus of virtual pitchforks, rusty nails, and serpent’s teeth, the better to see me squirm and question my sanity. If you’ve ever wanted revenge, this is your opportunity.

I managed to aggravate my carpal tunnel in my left wrist, so that I woke with a numb hand in the middle of the night. I’ll be typing with the keyboard on my lap and the hand propped up by my bean-filled mouse and keyboard supports. I hope that takes care of it.

In addition to writing yesterday, I taught my daughter-in-law how to machine quilt. After we figured out why the needles kept breaking (wrong size, d’oh. Where did I get those size 60s… oh. I just realized. The bridesmaid and flower girl dresses from hell. OF COURSE. Well, I won’t be sewing any chiffon ever again–I broke every single needle.)

She made it through the central panel of the quilt (pre-printed with a tree and several birds and small leaves) by outlining the main elements and random scribbling covering the remainder. It really made the tree and birds pop. She’s happy. I’m happy.

She’ll be back to do the borders. Your upper arms get a workout pushing the weight of a quilt through a machine like this.

I talked to the Slug the other day, and it turns out she’s doing a lot more firefighting than she thought. Today she’s playing with fires they get to start.

Lovely.

I’m still anxious and will probably remain in that condition until she comes home at the end of September.

I can’t spend all my time on the writing today. I’m walking Harley, and then I’m off to work in the classroom. I’m going to try for at least six hours there. On my list is cleaning out my file cabinet, but I might not get there before August. The stuff I want to do around the house is taking precedence. (Yeah, there’s another room to paint and rugs to clean in it. In July. So I can recover from the last painting bout. But hey. There’s NO wallpaper.)

Yes, I’m still insane.

Comments Off on The write-a-thon begins | Clarion West write-a-thon

19
March

Rewriting sucks.

The final wordcount tally is always far less than you believe it should be.

Me: Only one page?!
Ragtag novel, looking smug: It could have been even less. *wink* Wait til tomorrow.

The on-going saga of Harley and the big bad bed. Meaning mine, of course.

Harley: Woof! Bark! Bark! Woof! (Translation: I can’t get on the bed. Elevator up!)
Me to Eldest Child: I need to build steps so he can climb up on his own.
Eldest child: *runs out to garage and returns with a plastic crate and a pillow* Here. Use this. Harley! *pats pillow invitingly* Up! Up!
Harley: *tips head sideways* Woof! Bark! Bark! (Translation: No food, no way.)
Eldest Child: Come on! Up! Up!
Harley: *leaps onto bed with no help*
Me: You FAKER!
Harley: *jumps down, leaps up, repeats thrice for good measure.*
Me: (You don’t want to know what I said.)
Eldest Child: Well, never mind then.

6A, this morning

Harley: *whinewhinewhinewhine*
Me: I AM NOT PICKING YOU UP.
Harley: *whinewhinewhinewhine*
Me: *sits up and pats the pillow on the crate* Up. Up.
Harley: *leaps, avoiding crate and pillow completely*
Me: Oh, thank god. *collapses in a heap for another 45 minutes or until the beast decides he has to have breakfast or he will DIE. DIE, I SAY.*

Still, it was better than the night before last.

Comments Off on | this and that

Inch by inch

14
February

I managed to get the opening chapter rewritten. I think.

It’s better balanced between characters, I’ve dragged Kalim into action sooner, and it’s better, even if it’s not perfect. A new 1300 words in this, and I lost about 2K.

I sent it out to Amber to check.

And we’ll see. Meanwhile, I’m behind a book-length crit and just took on another few chapters for a second read. I’m getting both of those done by the end of next weekend. I can only keep stuff on my plate for so long and then I get antsy that I’m not finished.

In other news, I have flowers, wine, and chocolate for VD. And I had a nap.

Too bad it’s back to reality tomorrow.

Now if only I can stay fixated on the novel. Some of my shorts are demanding equal time.

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It’s lovely. Or not.

25
January

Haven’t had laryngitis in a year or so, and tomorrow will be delightful.

Yes, as I told Amber tonight, I’ll have to resort to using CVC and our limited sight words in four-word sentences or find a kindergarten human microphone. The obvious choice this year won’t work because the unbridled power would go to his/her head.

Sentences on the board it is! Augmented with my bell.

Because I have very little brain (It’s been spent asking myself, Is it time for more meds? How ’bout now? How ’bout now?) the writing was difficult tonight. Mingling chunks of new prose with old chunks and smoothing it out isn’t easy anyway, but tonight?

Wow. I could have been chiseling ice off an iceberg and gluing chunks together for a raft.

I’m sure I’ll hate it tomorrow, but I’ll fix it then.

And because teh sick has fried my brain, I can’t remember to work on what I’m supposed to be working on: the rewrite of the other end. Because I have to get that out to the Posse. Needless to say, they won’t be getting it tonight.

Maybe tomorrow. If I have a brain.

Eldest child: Hi! How are you?
Me: Hi.
EC: *stops cold* Oooooooooh. You sound like Darth Vader.

Yes, dagnabit. Because I’m using my chest voice. D’oh. No, there was no voice lesson today and I’m cranky about having to cancel.

Still, there’s a positive in all this. I can breathe heavily on my kinders tomorrow. We share everything, right?

Might as well start with the cold they shared first.

Comments Off on It’s lovely. Or not. | this and that, writing

Wait–there’s a fire?

27
July

After a lovely day spent lolling by the pool with my family in Santa Barbara, we zipped home, and I ran out the door to Borders and writing.

Which I did. It was difficult to get back into it, but I tweaked all the places Jenni said needed tweaking and moved on. There was a big jump to this scene, but I can’t imagine what of any interest happened between the last scene and this one, so. Jump, it shall be.

I’m also not certain why Benim wants Kalim, and before I write more of this section, I’ll have to nail that down firmly. What I do know is that Benim’s a spy for the enemy, and you’d think that would be enough, but nooooooo.

I also have to figure out time for everyone. This is a sticky process at the moment, since it feels as though Kalim’s time is passing faster than everyone else’s for me. Or maybe it’s because he’s moving and the other main characters aren’t going anywhere physically.

Eesh. These novels. Here, have the newest version of the opening.

Kalim, arms laden, scuffed the sandy expanse of the monastery’s courtyard as he crossed. Another day closer to his acceptance date. Another day nearer to the worst possibility—never being elected soul-bearer and never leaving the monastery. More than anything, he wanted to see the world. To explore.

Bashak’s mild ridicule of his worries did not help. That had been this morning’s trial before he had dumped a task suitable for one of the younger initiates on him. The day before he had brushed him off with the casual comment that Kalim had no reason to be concerned. With a frown, he shifted the dried yarrow and a bundle of coarse-woven cloth and trudged on to the infirmary.

Of course he had to be concerned. It was his entire life in the balance.

A lookout cried out, and Kalim spun about, following the man’s pointing finger. In the distance, far beyond the open monastery gates, a point of swirling dust and sand swelled.

Excitement surged, and clutching his burdens, he dashed to a fig tree to shelter from the desert sun and leaned. No one would chastise him for gawking—others, including the masters, had slowed to a halt.

Loud cries as the men on duty processed the potential threat and rushed to shut the huge gate. But Kalim straightened, his eyes intent on the speeding object. A sandship!

More yells as the gate duty identified the approaching visitor. The gate’s forward progress halted, reversed.

Mouth ajar, Kalim watched the approaching ship. It was only the third visit in his nearly eleven years as an initiate.

The ship’s sails, shadowed with sand lifted skyward by its passage, were now clearly identifiable, as were the streamers whipping from its tallest spar. The wooden ship zipped across the desert, the scrub in its path crushed beneath its runners, while an unfelt wind billowed its sails.

Kalim’s grasp on the herbs tightened as the sandship whizzed closer. Would it stop in time? He braced himself, while a few in the courtyard broke, fleeing to the safety of the perimeter.

The sails flattened, men swarmed the rigging, and the ship skidded to a halt a few yards from the monastery walls.

Now off to figure out how close the latest fire in Kern County (Bull Fire, 4500 acres last night with 500 personnel, 7 water-dropping helicopters and 7 air tankers) is to my middle child’s Boy Scout camp. A text did get out to say they all were fine, but they have no power or phonelines. I’m not sure how a text managed to overcome these hurdles, but I’m grateful, and I’m hoping he doesn’t have to evacuate the camp like they did when he was 15 or so and flames crowned the hills above them. (Yeah, he got sent to prepare the evacuation site in Porterville for 300-500 kids. Gotta love the Scouts. If you’re ready for leadership, then, by gum, you get it. In spades.)

Comments Off on Wait–there’s a fire? | write-a-thon, writing

Keeping myself honest

24
July

I didn’t want to write last night–I’d spent four hours school shopping. School shopping for me does not actually involve clothing stores. It’s all about hitting Lakeshore and getting out for under $200 (score!), Office Depot (yellow Sharpies sold individually! OMG!!), Big Lots (nothing exciting here–ziplock bags and plastic storage) and Michael’s (jewels for the treasure game for four I saw at Lakeshore and refused to cough up $25, that I created for $11 for six on my own. Such is the life of a teacher.)

Not. Done. Spending. Yet.

Wait til I head back to Lakeshore with 30+ yards of laminating.

Anyway, I didn’t want to write. But the Clarion West write-a-thon is still in process, and I feel guilty if I don’t make a stab at it.

I checked out Skype. No one. So I did my trusty fallback: sign into chat with the OWW zoo peoples. Yep, they were all there. Particularly Jodi and Celia. Jodi threatens me nicely, and Celia horrified me (with the help of Jamie) to create a marshafails.com site with blinking lights and dancing hamsters, nested tables sized incorrectly, and locked frames that won’t let you escape. There was more, but that was enough to make me fling open my laptop in a frenzy.

So end result an hour and a half later: 1900 words deleted and 1300 rewritten.

Friends. What would we do without them?

Comments Off on Keeping myself honest | write-a-thon, writing

So, about last night…

21
July

Carole King and James Taylor rock. It turned out to be the last concert of their Troubadour tour, and they filled 3/4 of the Honda Center in Anaheim.

I haven’t been in pigeon heaven like that since my college days and hitting ACT in San Francisco for production like Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. I had to focus on the stage (slowly circling in the round! Cool!) to keep from getting dizzy at times. Since the place seats 17K+ during a Ducks game, I’m figuring there had to be about 12K in attendance. That’s a lot if you’re trying to get out of the parking lot. (Or in for that matter. We chose a cheaper lot and hoofed it several blocks. We were in our car and on our way about the time cars began to stream out of the main parking area.)

Note to future Honda Center visitors–if you’ve got bad knees or are tall, you will not like the stadium seating. Luckily there were open seats where we were and I was on the end. I could stick out my legs to uncrimp them. We finally moved up beyond everyone else so the Spousling could sit on the stairs and stretch his.

I’d forgotten how much of her Tapestry album I’d sung to back in the 70’s and 80’s, and James Taylor is just plain wonderful. I remembered enough lyrics to sing entire songs, as did the entire audience. Plus, there’s nothing like the feeling that you’ve accidentally walked into a convention for the AARP–and you feel right at home.

As for writing–I managed 2400 words in the car on the way to Anaheim. Go me! And it very much appears that I will exceed my goal by the end of this week. I’m currently at 33.3K on the rewrite, and the goal was 35K. I’m feeling the glow, peoples.

Which is good, because next week, I’m on the road again.

Comments Off on So, about last night… | write-a-thon, writing

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