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Archive for July, 2011

Final Word Count: July 7, 2011- 1,750 4 pages); 1 journal page

Oh boy! I’m getting back on track finally! I’m still not back to where I should be but it feels great to be zipping through my writing. I’m working on the next chapter about life and it’s actually going pretty smoothly. I think I needed to get my work station set up and out of the chapter about my life in Europe and the 6 months living in a convent. It may sound exciting but apparently I don’t think it’s too exciting since it was tough scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Ah, the Procrastination Station, I love it but I wish I had more self-control. I got so caught up that I almost forgot to write my little post today! Bad, San.

There’s nothing much to report today. I was working on my story last night until about 12:30. Things didn’t get started until fairly late but better late than never, right?I hope things keep continuing along on this path and the sticky spots have been addressed already. Reviewing the chapters left, I think the ones left will be better.

I think tonight I’m going to make my ultimate faaaaaaavourite meal- sausage with onions and peppers- and a super amazing pasta salad. I may just eat half of it tonight. I’m just so hungry right now that I could eat the contents of a small grocery store. I’m really looking forward to an amazing dinner and solid evening of writing.

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Amazingness

Final Word Count: July 6, 2011- 1,608 (4 pages); 1 journal page

First off, CONGRATULATIONS to my bosses on the move to our new space! I loved work before but now I’m never going to want to go home! It’s that spectacular 🙂

I n my room last night after getting home and I think I’ll be more productive now that I have my kitchen table positioned so that I can open it up and use it properly. I noticed the difference right off the bat so here’s hoping!

My Mom got home from a visit to England on Tuesday so I’ve been pestering her as usual on the brat phone (yes, I admit,  I still have my sister’s phone that’s attached to my parents’ family account along with my own cell) and while talking with her I completely outlined the plot of next month’s novel. Since it’s going to be August and hot, I thought a western was the obvious choice.

I still have some moving to do but I was itching to post something today. WordPress is quickly becoming one of my favourite aspects of this project. I’ll see you all tomorrow! Have a lovely Thursday 🙂

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That’s pretty much it as far as I’m concerned today. Camp is going to save my sanity this month, I hope it starts again in August!

http://www.campnanowrimo.org/

I’m hot and hungry and buzzing with about a thousand watts of nervous energy. Thank goodness for camp!

 

Official Camp NaNoWriMo Attendee for July 2011

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Final Word count: July 5, 2011- 1, 432 (2 1/2 pages); 1 journal page and a few lines

This is a disaster! I don’t know why I’m slowing down and what’s deterring me since I’m still enjoying writing this memoir. Each day I get further into it though, I have less of a desire to read it. I tend to be like that with food though. It’s the overexposure that makes whatever I’m cooking lose its appeal.

I gave up working on the chapter that was all about my life in Europe. Perhaps the sticking point was the fact that it’s going to be impossible to condense two years of a perma-vacation into a book chapter. i’m also flying by the seat of my pants so there are no notes, roughly-sketched outlines or diaries to reference. Hence, this tome is going to be a distilled version of my life to date with all the memories I still retain. Seriously, fat lot of good that’ll do me. Why bother writing something down when I still remember it? The nuances of my life are lost. When I kept a journal I was wonderful at documenting everything from my day but now this memoir is goingt o be a randomly collected bunch of events from my past.

Is it bad news for me that I can’t wait to move on to the next project? I still enjoy writing but I’m looking forward to working on something that has nothing to do with my memories so each day I can zip along, making the wildest stuff up if I feel like it. Perhaps doing 6 pages a day is too ambitious and it’s stressing me out.

ARGH my writing career is too young to be having a crisis like this! There’s so much going on in my life right now and it’s not even as full as it will be in the foreseeable future! How am I going to squeeze all my writing in? There’s moving day at work tomorrow (It’s pretty darn tootin’ exciting) and I’m picking up the pace for my Irish lessons since my tutor’s moving back to Ireland at the end of the month (I’ll be hanging off her leg begging her to stay). Work will be changing too  so there’s so much to adjust to and restructure. Not to mention my social life surrounding the jazz fest. I said in the past I’d never date a student after entering the working world. Well now I can’t see myself dating anyone BUT a student! I need the time they’d use to study to get this writing done.

I know in the beginning I said it’s not realistic to expect to finish all 12 but it would be nice to start off with a good track record. I don’t want to settle for doing “okay” when I could do better. I just don’t know what to do. I’m stuck right now and I hate not being able to figure out what the best plan of attack is.

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Final Word Count: July 4, 2011- 1.843 (3 pages and a paragraph); 1/2-page journal entry

Well, yesterday didn’t go so well. It’s not that I was slacking, I just got dazzled by the glowing computer screen and frittered my time away at the Procrastination Station. I thought I’d have more time when I got home to work on my writing but sadly that wasn’t the case. I might not have gotten any work done if I hadn’t written a page and a bit before work.

I don’t know what got me so out of sorts. Perhaps it was just that I was tired or feeling uninspired by the current chapter but whatever it was, it seems to be better today. I don’t know about you but in university I found myself feeling tired and stressed around exam time. I inevitably felt like I couldn’t go to bed until I had finished a certain amount of work. That kind of work discipline is just a recipe for disaster. You may feel like you’re getting things accomplished but when you’re trying to learn, it’s next to impossible and if you’re trying to do something like write, all you’re producing is crap.

I don’t ever want to read this memoir once it’s finished. I know my voice and tone are as stable as your average Hollywood romance and the flow of the story has long ago gone to Hell in a fast car. At this point, I’m just focused on spewing out whatever my little grey cells come up with and not bothering with the extras (such as coherence). I know this is what first drafts are for but surely they tend to be better than this drivel.

As much as it seems I’ve fallen out of adoration with my work, I’m still really enjoying the process. This make be the worst first draft in the history of all the writers that ever lived but it’s my story and it feels good to be pulling my life together into a condensed little package. There’s definitely a sense of satisfaction I’m getting from this work.

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This is the new name for work. At home I get right down to business but at work that’s not the case. I’d much rather be working or writing but with the allure of the Internet, the glowing computer screen attracts me like a siren’s song. My demise dangles precariously on the thread of self-control I manage to exert on myself. Usually I’m a lost cause.

Today has been pretty hopeless for my work although I did break the 3-page mark this afternoon. I suppose you know exactly what I’ll be doing tonight- watching (or rather listening) to The Mummy and typing like I have 4th of July sparklers on my fingertips. It’s going to be a mad dash to the end of the night for me. What will it be, 6 pages and a journal entry before midnight or will my Mac turn into a lumpy gourd?

I hope Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz pull me through this one; I’m crossing my fingers though that I’ll soon find another movie to latch onto. I think I’ve already got the dialogue memorized. For all the characters.

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Final Word Count: Saturday- 2,003 (approx. 4.5 pages), 1 journal page; Sunday- 3,575 (8 pages), 1 journal page

Right off the bat, let me apologize for not having a make up post for Sunday. I was bad and didn’t write one up. It was a busy day between writing like a fiend, dancing and catching the tail end of the Powwow. Phew!

A recurring thought floating around my little head is the fear that once my life picks up (work, social events, god forbid dating!) I’ll run out of time to get my quota met each day. There’s only so much catching up I can do on Sundays. Maybe the pure fiction will go a little quicker as long as I don’t get caught up in figuring out and obsessing over the snaggly bits of plot I’ll come up against. This memoir is turning into quite the beast. I’m really glad I picked it to tackle first.

I’m not sure how consistent the tone is since I don’t read what I’ve written the day before before starting on my work. It’s also extremely dense (as evidenced by the word count:page ratio. Not a whole lot of dialogue, that’s for sure! I’ve also been picking through my brain for memories and feelings to include so the process has been pretty slow. Hence, it’s been taking me approximately an hour a page so you can understand my apprehension of a busier schedule. Did I mention the pages are single spaced, size 12 font? This challenge isn’t operating on the agreement of double spacing the pages and writing in size 14 font.

I’m really looking forward to getting this done. It’s been a project I’ve had for over 3 years but it’s been shoved to the back burner for so long the little scraps of the idea were starting to send up smoke signals- finish me now or forever hold my pieces.

I decided to do this year-long project because I have a few such projects and I felt like they were dragging me down. I needed a way to work on them and hopefully write them out of my system so I can focus on new ideas and move on. I think it’s a pitfall for a lot of artists (writers, sculptors, painters, etc.) who are continuously brainstorming ideas. I’m so grateful that I don’t have a problem right now with coming up with new ideas, the problem is that they’re so eclectic and separate that I don’t know which to work on first or how long they’ll take to finish.

I used to prefer short stories but something I should have been able to whip up in a day or two was taking a month or more. Maybe my writing isn’t as tight as it once was or I’ve developed from a short story author to the novella form. Whatever the case may be, I wasn’t used to suddenly ending up with 15-page short stories. I’d put off completing what I started because it felt like it would never end. At least now I’m prepared for the long haul. I really enjoy settling down and working on a piece that I know not to expect to finish in one sitting. when I started and finished the chapter yesterday, I had an amazing sense of accomplishment but starting the next one today was difficult. I’m getting used to picking up where I left off rather than having to start fresh all over again.

The newest lesson I’ve learned? Don’t finish a chapter and call it quits for the day. It’s very difficult to start writing again when you don’t have a jumping off point set up. Always end with at least a little bit left in a chapter or a scene. When there are too many directions available, it can really stall your writing.

I managed to get about a page and half done before coming into work and I would have gotten more completed but after a walkies with Yesterday, the weather was so lovely I just had to hang out in the backyard for some playtime with her. Hopefully I can get some serious writing done now.

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Final Word Count for July 1, 2011: 2,862 (6 pages & a few lines); 1 full-page journal entry completed

I survived the first day! Yay, go Team San! It was a bit tough getting back into the writing groove but I managed it. With a pretty quiet holiday (Smart thinking, starting on Canada Day!), I was able to take my time and slowly start stretching some embarrassingly atrophied creativity muscles. It took me about 7 hours to finish my work for the day but I was all over the place. The dogs (mine and my roommate’s 2 setters) were wild little hooligans. Some times I’d be dragging one out of the garden while keeping my little one from trying to escape and the third from doing god-knows-what sort of naughtiness. My sister lives in New Zealand right now and during a surprise call last night I asked her to remind me of my life right now if I ever get serious about a man who has a family history of twins.Sheesh.

I tried writing outside in the backyard to make the most of the beautiful day but between the sun (I HATE being hot and tanned) and the fact that I couldn’t see my screen, I had to move inside. Right now I don’t have a comfortable spot to write but I managed to make do with the pseudo kitchen table we have. It’s at a pretty awkward height so I’m going to have to do something about the seating (and the fact that I face the t.v.). For now it’ll have to do. I did find it was helpful to keep the same movie (The Mummy with Brendan Fraser repeated I think 3 times or something ridiculous like that) playing while I was working. I seem to need conversation and peripheral visual stimulation to help me focus. I think that’s why I enjoy coffee houses.

About half way through the afternoon and 3 chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches, I realized I’m going to have to stock on healthy nibbles. If I’m not out walking the dog, I’m  going to get really fat really fast. And that just won’t do. I absolutely love hot yoga so I’ve got my fingers crossed that by September I’ll have my routine down so I can re-add yoga to my schedule. Dance classes will resume full-time in September so I should be in good form by Christmas. I know for me, having an active life is a huge component of my creative process. In my experience, I gain a lot of clarity and figure out the answers when I’m pushing myself to swim 1 k in under 20 minutes or pushing myself a little deeper into a twist during yoga. Right now I get my fix with dog walks and social dances.

I woke up this morning feeling like this is a part time job. Not in the I-have-to-go-to-work-today sense but the time commitment involved. I underestimated how much time this will take, at least until I get into a steady routine.I hope I get into the swing of things soon!

Off I go for Day 2!

 

*Please note: I don’t have internet at home so I may not be able to post on Sundays. I will do my best but if not, there will be two posts on Monday.

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Hi ho, hi ho off to the races I go…

Finally! The day I’ve been drea…ming of is here! I made the mistake of letting my brain get a head start on one storyline as I was trying to fall asleep last night and do I remember what the stellar idea was of even what novel it was for? Nope. Of course, when you’re wafting through the beautiful twilight time of sleep, you could solve all the world’s problems with logic and solutions that sound absolutely reasonable when in fact they’re baloney. For all I know I was sketching a plot for the horror novel involving zombie buttercups.

Regardless of whether those zinging lightning-bolt ideas are magnificent or atrocious, I think it’s time I invest in a little tape recorder. I’ve tried NaNo WriMo (National Novel Writing Month- http://www.nanowrimo.org) and found that even my little forarm muscles got stressed out. I don’t know if this is what happens with other writers, but if I get into my zone, a previously unstructured stroyline comes whizzing past my mind’s eye so it’s like I’m transcribing a movie AND describing the set and location, right down to the last just-cut bouquet of daisies on a hand-embroidered peasant tablecloth. I can fill page after page of that kind of stuff and feel like I’m going nowhere fast. I suppose this is what happens when you can’t draw to save your life. In my case it’s literally true- a picture IS worth a 1,000 words.

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