Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Who Am I To---

The phrase/question "Who am I to---" is usually followed by words like "judge" or "criticize", and depending on the circumstances, are probably appropriate, but this isn't one of those times. At least, not where I'm concerned.

I have a co-worker that is also a writer, he's been working on his book for about a decade, piece meal as inspiration strikes, stuck on grammar and syntax. He's reworking sentences and paragraphs until he thinks they're perfect, neglecting the flow that wants to happen naturally. So, I've offered him a challenge, one that's meant to help me as well. Write so many words a week/day. The idea is for him to turn off his internal editor and me to get my butt in gear. He mentioned asking me to read a few pages of what he's worked on. I'm looking forward to. But it's been a month and a half. So, I brought in pages of my work in progress to share with him and to get his feedback.

He said "who am I to critique this? You're doing it and I'm not."

Um, I don't know. A reader. A writer. Another pair of eyes. He could have been the leader of a special forces team involved with highly covert operations before joining the current manual labor staff. I don't know. I do know that I know my story inside out and that I will automatically add whatever information I need to make the story make sense. Someone who doesn't have complete access to the story and world before reading, won't add that information. Therefore, logic dictates that if all of the information isn't present it won't make any sense. Words and grammar may not make any sense either because, not only does the writer make mistakes, computers can't catch everything. They aren't programmed to do that.

I'm not sure who said it, or even it can be attributed to one person, but every author, regardless of their success can benefit from an editor and a beta reader. Because, seriously, there are no minor details in books.

And as for the rest of his comment, publication is completely and utterly out of the realm of possibility if the book isn't finished. Once you reach the end of the book, even if it's a world epic spanning 10 novels, reaching 'the end' of the story you need to tell in that first book and each subsequent book puts publication firmly with in the realm of possibility.

Friday, March 14, 2014

It's Friday!!

It's Friday!! Which is great, except I work on Sunday, so this is my Saturday. Which is also okay.  Monday is my birthday, it's supposed to be a mile-stone, but I don't feel that age, so it's not a big deal. I don't think it is.

So, in November I got a day job. And it's a good thing, because I can write without a lot of stress. I like where I work. I really like the fact that since I've started I've lost 35 pounds. I've dropped 4 sizes and I'm loving it. I feel so much better. My job is physical (I walk all day long 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and am constantly lifting something) which is good, but I also went to a 'real food' diet. Meaning - did it have a mama? Did it come from a garden? Then it's probably okay to eat. It does mean I don't eat at fast food or out of a box/bag if I don't have to. I also drink less pop. Which is really good.

This really feels like the winter that won't end. More than a few people are done with it. We've gotten something like 10 feet of snow. Which I can believe as it's still 3 foot deep in my front yard. You could lose a Hobbit in the back. This last snow fall after two days in the 40's F made driving to work interesting. Like driving in the mud four-wheeling interesting. Slip and slide all over the place. But it was beautiful. It took me an hour to get to work that morning. The next morning, it also took me an hour to get to work, but for a totally different reason.

I stopped, turned around found a place to park and walked back to the park/river area to take pictures. I was up to my butt in snow and completely not prepared for it, but this was gorgeous.

I stopped two more times and took over a 100 pictures. This is one of the other places I stopped. I want to repeat the shots in the spring, summer, and fall then compare them.

I still want spring to be here now, but I have to admit, the snow covered trees are gorgeous, even if I can't get out of my driveway.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Goals for Week Ending 3/15/14

Okay, so keeping in mind what my April Goals are, my goals for this week are:

1. Write 500 words each day
2. Brainstorm the 2nd Smuggler's Cove Novel. My characters have declared anarchy and have decided that Capturing Desire is not supposed to be the second novel, but the third. Hopefully, I'll find out what this one is supposed to be soon, as I promised it to my editor by the beginning of June. Oi.
3. Blog Monday, Wednesday, and Friday this week.
4. Complete the Series Bible for Smuggler's Cove
5. Exercise daily - sit ups/crunches, push ups, lunges, and leg exercises
6. Yoga
7. Catch up on block of the month quilt squares
8. Stitch 4 hours on one project.

Okay, so the last four aren't technically writing related, but I want to do them anyways and no one lives, truly lives by only doing one activity all the time.

My job has me walking about 5 miles a day - it feels like, since I haven't  broken down and bought one of those pedometer things, I'm just guessing. I know that I'm losing weight and inches. And that thrills me to no end.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

April Goals

Okay, so I'm part of a writer's group in a nearby city. We meet once a month to discuss business, craft and support one another. They were some of my biggest supporters before my family came around - which was only after they saw that was an income potential from writing. Which isn't why I write. I write because I have to. Because I have no choice. But, because of the depression and other issues I haven't been writing lately. Yet, this amazing group of men and women still support and encourage me. :) One of the things we do each month is to set goals. I also have yearly goals, which this will hopefully help me meet. :)

So for the next meeting in April I have several goals. Probably rather ambitious given the last few months, but might as well jump in with both feet.

So, here goes -

1. Brainstorm 2nd Smuggler's Cove novel, as my characters have committed anarchy are in disagreement with who goes next
2. Write at least 500 words a day
3. Blog regularly
4. Brainstorm new project for TB
5. Finish series bibles for all series

Friday, March 7, 2014

Clearing the Fog

There are times that I feel like that last year or so have been done in a fog. I'm struggling with depression and PTSD issues that I can't always accept. I barely wrote last year. I'm not on meds, but I have a new life plan and it helps. I have a new day job, that while leaving me tired, helps a lot. I'm not back to where I was. There are days I don't walk into my office, but those are getting fewer. I'm writing more. I have new ideas. Ideas that aren't work related. There are office politics to deal with, because that is part of working with other people, but for the most part it works okay. Some days are worse than others, and on those days, I find a quiet spot to hide. Because I have hard time accepting some things, it's hard for me to believe others will. It's something I'll continue to work at. In the mean time, while I prefer to write by the seat of my pants, I know goals and accountability help. So for now, the goal is one step at a time.

Goals for 3/7-3/14
- Write 500 words a day
- Update series bible for Bissari Confederation and Smuggler's Cove.
- Brainstorm 2nd Cove book
- Blog Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
- Exercise daily