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Archive for July, 2011

Final Words count: July 31st- 3,800 (8 pages); journal entry to be completed tonight

It’s done! I’ve successfully achieved my 50,000 word count (actually I surpassed it) and made my 100 page goal. It feels like I should be writing like a little maniac deep into the night as is my usual habit but nope. I get the night off! Guilt free! How exciting is that?!

I decided that this kind of project very definitely deserves a reward system so I’ve decided to pay myself $10 for every 10,000 words. That may not sound like a lot, but it’s something that I can feel like I earned. I’m paying myself for my work and the incentive is there in the form of little treats I’ve discovered but are non-essentials. I’ve gotten out of the habit of treating myself to little extravagances. Rather than “earning” it in some way, I’ve fallen into the consumeristic attitude of “if I want it, I’ll get it.” I want to surround myself with things that mean something. Like a little jewelry tree I found and I love. I want to look at it and remember the wonderful mystery (or whatever) I wrote that “paid” for it.

Now that I finished the nonfiction piece (I’ve disqualified myself from NaNoWriMo this month), I have very mixed feelings about it. Of course it’s a huge relief that it’s done and I can release that idea. I’m one idea lighter and it feels great. On the other hand, it’s been a tough month with little epiphanies coming to light. I also have a morbid feeling now like something can happen to me but I’ll still be around comforting my friends and family. I certainly hope that’s not the case but it’s weird. I think my problem is that I have an overwhelming sense of completeness about my life- something I never expected to feel so soon. It doesn’t help that I started this 4 years ago (as of September) and it’s about my life to date. Maybe part of the weirdness is that I can only write nonfiction about the past and as of yet my future is still unknown and removed.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with this story but I do know that I’m not going to touch it for the next year. When next July comes around I’ll dust it off, read it, and contemplate what should be done. Maybe this will turn into a 2 year project and I’ll take the corresponding year next year to revisit last year’s work and polish it up. Goodness knows it’ll need some reworking (in varying degrees).

It’s been a wild ride and as much as I may have whined, I’ve loved every minute. Onto the next one! I can’t wait!

Did I mention that I was in a photo shoot this morning as well?! What a day! I was traipsing around town dressed up in my finest vintage outfit getting my picture taken. On top of being a novelist, I’m also going to be a calendar girl! I have to keep an eye out, I may also be in the newspaper tomorrow. It amazes me that with a life so full, my days seem to expand to accommodate all sorts of unexpected, yet super awesome events. I’m so thankful that as of yet I haven’t had to compromise or decide what experience I want to try more. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my life?

I sincerely hope everyone experiences something like I have right now. If I could give you all a bit of the ecstasy that is zinging around in me. Everyone deserves what I’ve found. It’s true that the joy, happiness and contentment in life is found in the little things. For me, it happens to be writing, dancing and learning Irish (and a great job that allows me the freedom to do all this).

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Final Word Count: July 28, 2011- another day of flowers and smilies (aka one one letter was added to my story); an entirely neglected journal as well.

Yesterday was a tough day. My presence was requested at a funeral and it was no question about me skipping out on my roommate at a time like that. It really put things into perspective and with the sober (but not depressing) atmosphere, I really didn’t feel like delving into my past because who knows what may come up.

I’ll be so glad when I’m relegated to world of pure fiction because this introspective baloney is tough business. I was joking with Mom the other day that I’m going to have to give this to the guy who wants to marry me and tell him “read this and if you still want to marry me after we can talk.” And I thought having a tiny 8 lb. girl dog was a great weeder-outer. Nothing says “I love you” like reading your life history and not run screaming from the room.

This weekend is going to be a flurry of writing, can’t you feel it in your bones? My fingers are already tingling with the anticipation of all the  miles of keystrokes that are looming on the horizon. Wish me luck!

I’ve mentioned Yesterday enough, here’s a picture of the Furry Little Bum Cheeks with her stuffed Octopus, Burt.

  

Yesterday & Burt one Morning

 

Over the course of the year, I’m sure she’ll be featured more prominently in these posts. Until then, Yesterday, Burt and I wish you all a very lovely weekend and for all you Nova Scotians, Happy Natal Day!

 

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Final Word Count: July 27, 2011- Pffft who knows. (Maybe a page and a half); Forget about the journal entry

It hasn’t been the best day yesterday or today. With life picking up and work getting busy again (yay me!) I’m still feeling productive, just not in an artistic way. Today might not be much better.

There’s really not much to say about my writing since there’s not much to be talked about. I really wish there was, I’m getting a little antsy now to get this done; if nothing else, this project right now is really pointing out how fleeting time is and how much I still have to get done. I’m kind of started freaking out. I’ve spent the past couple days confident that I’d get my 50,000 words and possibly 100+ pages.

I’m still on par with the schedule at 44,052 words and 85 pages. I remain optimistic that I can make it but I think I’ve used up my emergency spare words. From now on I’m going to have to tow my weight and get my words written! It’s time I settle down and get serious about putting this book to bed. THANK GOD! This idea’s been dangling around my neck for 3 years, weighing me down. As of August 1st, it’s onwards and upwards!

Until then, the blinders are on and my fingers to the keyboard as my story continues to develop.

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The Crazies

Final Word Count: July 26, 2011- 1,077 (3 pages); 1 journal page

It’s been a tight squeeze today to get things done since I slept in like a delicate little flower then had a mad dash off to work. With a busy day at the office, I’m finally getting a chance to scribble something down before heading home.

Scribble. Scribble.

 

 

 

*To be continued and updated tomorrow

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Final Word Count: july 25, 2011- 1,820 (4 pages); 1.5 journal pages

Let me fill you in on a little secret: typing while drunk is a seriously difficult task. I think it took me twice as long to finish my work than I thought it would. It also didn’t help that I ate a whole little pizza, cheese, crackers and finished an entire bottle of wine. All within a span of we’ll say an hour or so while watching a movie. What a little piggy! It felt so great though, I have to admit. And I haven’t learned my lesson because I woke up feeling fresh and spry without the slightly twinge in my head (even though my neck had a wild kink in it).

With the end of the month looming over me, my fingers are really itching to get this done and ready to move on to the next one. I’m approaching the 45,000 word mark and quickly nearing 90 pages so if all goes well, I’ll surpass the 50,000 milestone and break 100 pages! I think I’m going to have to revise the 180-page goal or at least modify it because if the other stories are going to follow this trend, I’ll be disappointed each month. I really don’t want to have that happen because I am working hard at this even if my efforts aren’t consistent.

It’s an amazing afternoon for this work- steely grey clouds, overcast with occasional sprinkles and cool temperatures that make me happy, exuberant and optimistic

Happy Tuesday!

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Final Word Count; July 24, 2011- 4,000 (7 pages); 1 journal page

Well, I’m absolutely on track right now! And the best part? I’ve broke the 40,000 word mark! I think I’m up to page 80 now as well so I’m confident I’ll be able to get the 50,000 words and would really like to finish the novel. I hate to think that the end is weak and it’s unbalanced but at this point, the most important thing is to get my thoughts out. I can always go back in the future and spruce it up. To be honest, I don’t know if I want anyone to read it- it’s turned into an autobiography so strictly speaking, I’m disqualified from NaNoWriMo this month. I don’t really care though. I’m just really happy to be writing and pushing my creativity.

I was watching an old movie yesterday and the plot for my mystery literally flashed in my mind. I think I’d be content just scheming up storylines and outlining plots for other people. I find that process to be the most satisfying and creative. I like the feeling of starting with nothing and ending up with something new and exciting. There’s a shell of a piece of art and within that hazy structure, the potential is limitless. No wonder I always loved Choose Your Own Adventure stories.

I have to stop living in the future in regards to my work and start enjoying what’s currently evolving. The grass may seem greener on the other side when I start getting tired of the direction the story’s headed in, the characters seem one dimensional or I end up with writer’s burnout or writer’s block. I don’t need an excuse to treat myself to some delicious little extravagance, I think this is very definitely justified. It’s very difficult to maintain a certain level of creativity for such prolonged periods of time as well as rip your life apart with rusty tweezers and face things in black and white as things are written.

I’m not sure just year if this autobiography is what I expected it would be or whether it’s a triumph or possibly just a hot mess. I’m afraid to go through and read any part of it even though I’m intrigued to see what thoughts from my subconscious I was able to capture. The days with the high word counts were the times when my fingers were most closely linked to my stream of conscious. I don’t remember 1/20th of what I wrote; actually, I have no clue how I filled 80 pages with straight narration. What was so important to me that I’ve spent hours working on this?

Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to go through it again but come Sunday night, it will be finished whether or not it’s completed.

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Final Word Count: July 22, 2011- 520 (3 partial pages); 0 journal pages

What another zinger of a day yesterday was. I don’t know what was in the air but it sure was quite the end to my week.

I managed to drag my sorry little bum out dancing last night even though it was the last thing I felt like doing. Even though I didn’t get too much work done last night, I did get some questions resolved and with those out of the way, I’ll be able to get back to business. Yay me! I would really like to get this story done so I can move on to the western next. I think I’ll juuuuuust be able to finish this piece by the skin of my teeth as far as word count goes, but there’s going to be a lot of gaps to fill. I doubt I’ll be able to actually finish the book by the end of the month. I’m going to need a few days off, seriously lighting fast typing skills and a bucket of straight caffeine.

I’m amazed at how much more there is to this story than I expected. Oh my goodness.

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Overwhelmed

Final Word Count: July 21, 2011- 0 words; 0 journal pages

I don’t know where my day went today. Yesterday was unexpected so it was a complete write off. Another lesson I learned.: write whenever I can because who knows what kind of unexpected events will happen.

Well, today didn’t even start off too promising. I slept in from a stressful night before and tried getting some work done on the bus ride in but hit a bit of a brick wall. I realized that perhaps my “social life” chapter will overlap the “friends” chapter too much so maybe I need to consolidate them. It was hurting my head to figure it ut so I skipped to the next one.

I misjudged the timing as far as work went and am quickly losing the time I thought I had between work and going out tonight. It’s amazing how the heat, among other things, can zap you. To be honest, I’m finding it hard to finish this piece. I’m just not in the proper frame of mind (I didn’t even have the heart to pun there) to work on this. Maybe after tonight I’ll be a little less preoccupied with things and can settle back down. You know the feeling when you’ve been in one position for too long and all of the sudden realize you have to stretch, like RIGHT NOW? Well, that’s how I feel. I have all sorts of buzzing, nervous energy zipping through my body and I don’t know exactly what will help dissipate it.

Today would have definitely been a good day for a “to do” list.While seeing what needs to be accomplished can be daunting, seeing each item ticked off is a pretty great sense of productivity and highly satisfactory. Come to think of it, it’s never too late to write a list up so here we go…

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Final Word Count: July 20, 2011- 5,250 (10 pages); 1 journal page

That’s right- 10 pages in approximately 8 hours!

Well, if I wasn’t at work being a productive employee, I thought what better time than the present to get some serious work done? Yesterday was a gift that I could not squander.

After a fairly late-ish start to my write-a-thon (walks, Irish lessons, lunch, and getting back into my jammies), it took me a bit to get into the groove but once I found it, my fingers were on fire! It was such an amazing experience to find that place in myself where my brain was perfectly in sync with my fingers. The stream of conscious blended seamlessly with the album of the day (Three Days Grace (TDG)- One X) and time seemed to slip by yet simultaneously stay suspended.

I first tried writing to a movie marathon featuring Tom Hanks but that was only so good. I managed to get some work done but I knew it could be better and come easier so I switched to music. A few days ago I went through my playlists and rediscovered TDG so took a chance on them. I’ve tried writing to classical, swing, and the oldies so I figured it couldn’t hurt to try some angry rock. The album perfectly suited my mood too. Well. Let me just say that this was so much more effective than any cup of caffeinated beverage ever could be.

I finally finished the relationship chapter (for someone with a pretty sparse history it sure took a long time to get through!) and almost finished the next one as well! Before I started I was at 29,078 words and finished the day at 34,428. It was looking pretty scary that I might not be able to make my goal this month but as long as I hang in there for the next 10 days I’ll be able to do it!

This is really exciting and I’m hoping this realization will help pull me through the next week and a half. I still have 9 chapters to do so I don’t know if I can finish them all but I’ll try. At a chapter a day, I can do it. The trouble is I have no idea how long it’ll take each one to finish and what commentaries pop up that have to be addressed. Too bad I can’t shut off my id, ego, and super-ego. If unchecked, they can and will run amok and wreak havoc on my life. While this can be a lot of fun, the repercussions can be anything but enjoyable.

Even though I may want to approach this from an objective, shoot-from-the-hip angle, I can’t avoid bringing in the parts of myself it needs to read like who I am and what I’m all about. Anything less would be a half truth at best.

Off I go to jump back into this convoluted twi-story (twisted history). Happy Thursday, everyone!

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Final Word Count: July 19, 2011- 649 (1.5 pages); 1 journal page

I got a real zinger today… today was my last Irish lesson! *Bawling tiny tears* While I’m super excited for my tutor that she gets to visit Cape Breton & PEI before she moves home, the selfish part of me wishes I could keep her here forever. I can’t say that we frittered away our time though. We got a lot accomplished and perhaps now I can work on organizing all my knowledge and practice what I’ve learned. Ah well. Life goes on. Besides, I now have a pen pal! How awesome is that?!

(A philosophical aside- feel free to skip…)

It’s amazing to reflect on my life at the moment and see how different it is compared to previous summers. My life in general is nothing like I could have imagined. It’s wonderful how much more you get out of life when you’re busy and have a couple (or a lot) of things on your plate. When I started this project, I never imagined that it would help open my eyes in this way. If anything, I thought it would hold me back by monopolizing my time. While this may be the case some days, most days I appreciate the gift of getting more out of life that I would otherwise receive.

I may be attempting to pile a few too many things on my plate but if they’re all things that I enjoy doing, they can only enrich my life. Nothing is ever mutually exclusive- who knows, an experience could make it into a plot or my writing can become a refuge from a break up. As long as my job is unaffected, everything else is free game.

I can’t wait to experience all that life has to offer me. I’m no longer the little shrinking violet I have been in the past. While this feels like base jumping, sometimes without a parachute, it’s exhilarating.

(The End)

A lesson that I was suspecting was lurking around the corner revealed itself last night. I can no longer deny the impact household chores has on my writing. I thought I’d be able to get a lot of work done last night but after walking the dog, grocery shopping and making a pot of pasta salad (delectable by the way!) my evening was over. There was hardly time to whip up the almost-700 words and a journal page before passing out in bed.

I’m still determined to get my 50,000 words but I don’t know how. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of girl and this daunting task is proof of the under taking I’m signed myself up for. Sometimes I feel like I’ve agreed to climb Mt. Everest in nothing more than a snow suit but I have the love and support of my friends and family and my new friends here. I suspect there will be times when I’ll need everyone behind me, pushing me to finish (think of it like trying to push me through a tiny portal window- I may just fit but it’s a tight squeeze!).

I do know that I can’t do this alone. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and kind words!

Things do happen for a reason and I got a call from my boss today telling me I don’t need to come into work so I’m taking this free day to play catch up. With my roommate out for an afternoon shift at work, I think I can really get a lot accomplished. Wish me luck!

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