What? WHAT? Yes, after much debate (with myself) I’ve decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year… Well, not officially anyway. As much as I love how the mad bouts of productivity and sky-high word counts that I magically (robotically?) seem to dole out every November or during other write-a-thon events, I’m trading in my word count for an email that I can send to my CPs/beta readers finally declaring, “Hey, I finished revising my novel. Have at it!” Basically this year I’m taking a page out of Jen Ellision‘s book and participating in my own little National Novel REVISING Month (NaNoReMo).
Whenever I had to write an essay in high school or university, I would write like the wind, but when it came to revising? HAHAHAHAHA. This is honestly Classic Lindsey, and since I don’t have an ~official deadline for my novel, obviously I’ve been taking my sweet time in revising it. I keep procrastinating for whatever reason and ohhhh how tempting it is to start fresh on a new project. BUT NOT THIS YEAR. This year I’m going to finish what I started three years ago. This year I’m going to finish what I put on hold EVERY YEAR because of NaNoWriMo.
In other news, that schedule I made for myself back in late September? I haven’t been sticking to it as strictly as I hoped, but I’M NOT MAD AT ALL. Of course on the week I decided to create that daily schedule, my workplace declared that we could start banking extra hours to allow us extra days off during the holidays. Sometimes I go in early, sometimes I stay late. Strangely enough, my unpredictable work schedule still allows me to follow every item on my daily schedule… EXCEPT THE MORNING WRITING SLOT. I was able to get in about a week’s worth of sessions before I switched to sleeping an extra half hour instead LOL. That’s something I’ll need to work on this month.
Today is November 1st. The plan is to make yet another daily schedule somewhat similar to the NaNo 1667 words per day one. Today, I think (I HOPE) I will go to a Starbucks or something and just focus on getting that done before anything else. Wish me… Strength. Pots of coffee. And candy.
Oh, how I wish this was a blog post about my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel FEAR NOT THE FALL, but it’s actually a post about the upcoming season–the fall. Tomorrow is the first day of my if-I-have-to-choose-only-one-favourite season. There’s just something about first days and last days that get to me. Maybe it’s my seemingly existent obsession with deadlines and the cruel mistress known as Time, but whether it’s the first day of a month, season, whatever–I just like to schedule my life around these firsts and lasts.
So what’s on the menu for the first day of autumn? A brand new schedule! Last November–during NaNoWriMo 2014, actually–I had a really great daily schedule that I pretty strictly stuck to. I REALLY enjoyed it, and I got so much accomplished that month. Since then, I haven’t really been able to stick to a writing schedule just because my days are all over the place despite having an 5 day, 8 hour work schedule.
My ~goal for the next two and a half-isn months until winter/Christmas/holiday madness takes over is to stick to my daily schedule without fail. …Okay, there will probably be a little bit of fail just because I’m not a 100% robot. For the most part, however, my goal is to not stray from this schedule. I mean, if my life is gonna continue to be semi-mediocre (why in the world haven’t my mutant powers kicked in yet??), I might as well routine the heck out of my upcoming days, right? Right. Sure. Yes.
And so, I’ve composed a rough schedule that I sorta kinda already stick to save for the writing/revision slot. Usually I just do that whenever I feel like it, but I think in order to accomplish other goals and stay focused, I need to designate a time slot to writing EVERY SINGLE DAY. Below is the schedule, more or less, which yes, I am documenting in this post so I will be more inclined to follow through, hehe.
6:30am – wake up!
6:35am – actually wake up.
6:35-7am – tend to dogs, brush teeth and MAYBE COMB MY HAIR, make tea/coffee/breakfast, change into non-pajama clothes (i.e. clothes that are socially acceptable out of the house)
7am-8am – write! revise! whatever, as long as it involves words.
8am-8:30am – work commute and misc other stuff (chasing dogs around the house, etc)
8:30-5 – work work work x_x
5-6 – misc post-work stuff (grocery shopping, errands)
6-7 – work out!
7:30 – dinner…
and after dinner… whatever. Netflix binge session. Reading. Anime marathons. More revisions or writing if I am so inclined.
I feel like Springtime is traditionally that whole ~rebirth~ season because of flowers blooming and George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and Thumbelina growing her wings. With that said, I’m not entirely sure what Autumn is … Like the pretty orange-brown calm before the dead of winter? Seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones? Whatever it is, for me I’m making it a time to
indulge on pumpkin spice everything get back into a groove. Not just with writing, but with everything–eating, working out, reading (ugh, I have been in such a reading funk lately -_-), my social life (LOL), and whatever else in between.
And there you have it. So now I’m gonna make like an autumn tree and LEAVE… because homg, I need to wake up at 6:30 tomorrow morning, ahahahahahaha.
As someone who is currently undergoing this insanely mad process of revising the first draft of a novel, I find myself freaking out on a daily basis. Thankfully, we live in a time of THE INTERNET which allows those of us who are fortunate enough access plenty of resources. One of my all-time favourite and automatic go-to sources for when I need a… fix?* Susan Dennard. And so, because I adore making lists, here are 5 reasons why you should sign up for Misfits and Daydreamers.
1. Book news and fun stuff.
Well, first off, if you are a fan of Susan’s writing (hi, me!), then OBVIOUSLY you should be signed up. Not only do you get book news, but you can get really fun stuff like excerpts from yet-to-be-released titles, as well as a first look at never-before-seen content. Let me tell you, I ogled the TRUTHWITCH cover for a good ten minutes on my phone screen when that beautiful little gem appeared in my inbox.
On top of bonus content, when you sign up you can also get an extra scene from A DARKNESS STRANGE AND LOVELY or a guide to writing a query letter from scratch.** It’s basically like receiving a birthday gift when it isn’t even your birthday (unless it happens to be your birthday, which in that case: happy birthday!).
3. Advice of all sorts.
Writer’s Block? Show versus Tell? Criticism getting you down? It’s your lucky day because there’s advice for pretty much everyone. Of course, every writer is different so one person’s advice may not always apply, but help is help! And sometimes a push in the right direction is all you need. Finding out what works for other people can help you realize what does or doesn’t work for YOU. My personal favourite piece of advice from Sooz was on the power of ritual and routine, to making a schedule and sticking to it like a drill sergeant. DOING SO TRULY HELPED ME AND I GOT SO MUCH ACCOMPLISHED, omg.
4. It’s the real deal.
Susan’s newsletter is 99.9% probably the most honest and informative newsletter I’m currently subscribed too–and I am subscribed to several newsletters of authors, lit agents, pub houses, and other book-related areas. She truly provides an insider’s point of view on the publishing process and with her own experiences as an author (pre and post publication). Sometimes (probably more often than naught), the art of writing and the business of publishing is gritty and muddy. Sooz tells it how it is.
As a writer and aspiring author, my personal favourite thing about her newsletter is how encouraging it is. Like I said, she’s brutally honest about the publishing world and the writing process, but not in a Chef Gordon Ramsey way in which you feel like you’re a failure and probably will never amount to anything because your beef wellington is undercooked AGAIN. No way. Susan encourages you to keep writing, keep revising, and keep working. To persevere. And most of all, that it’s okay to feel discouraged at times. I can’t even count how many times I’ve felt crappy or frustrated over some writing related hitch, but then after reading Sooz’s newsletter, I immediately felt better and that HEY, MAYBE I *CAN* DO THIS.
Sooooo what are you waiting for? Go forth and subscribe by clicking the banner below~~~
*Fix like a shot of inspiration or a mental nudge. Not like a drug fix. Unless you’re reading this in the year 2525 and there’s a legal drug that allows one’s productivity and writing skills to sky rocket.
**I chose the extra scene because while one day I will have to delve back into the world of query writing, I am a member of the Eleanor Fitt fan club, so there was no way I could resist more from the series xD
One of my 2015 goals should have been updating this blog more often than the 5 odd times each year, but ahh sometimes I just feel like I have nothing to ~report, you know? Like at this point in time and space, I’m not writing 24/7 or even 15/6 due to working FT and other Life Duties. Progress is steady, but slow-ish… and do I really need to blog about revising a single chapter or finally conquering a pesky paragraph of dialogue? I mean, that’s what twitter is for, right?
DESPITE THE ABOVE PONDERING, I’ve decided that I should definitely document progress or whatever at least once in a while, sooo here goes~
The first draft of my current work-in-progress ETERNITY CHASERS has been written. Right now, I’m doing the first round of revisions, i.e. my own read-through and my own major editing of the entire manuscript. Basically during the first draft stage, I write like the wind. It’s almost like word vomit except not as gross, but pretty messy. WORDS EVERYWHERE which basically equals me devoting a lot of time to clean up. That’s how I roll, and that’s what works for me. It’s just a slooow process since I tend to go into perfectionist mode and will literally spend days on a single paragraph until I think it’s as good as it can be.
I’ve split ETERNITY CHASERS into four parts (the first five chapters can be found here actually!), and right now I’m hardcore revising the second part. Yup, I’m not even half way through which is frightening to me. Like am I EVER going to be finished? WHY IS THIS TAKING ME SO LONG? DOES IT MEAN I’M NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS? WHY AM I SUCH A FAILURE BLAH BLAH BLAH. You know how it is. Whenever these questions plague me, all I can do is think about my 2015 Rules to Live By. Be positive! Shake it off! Keep trying! Endurance is key and I need to keep going NO MATTER WHAT. I know I can do this, and I want to do this. And in time, I will.
My current goal (ahahhahaha goals) is to be finished revising this by the end of summer. Crossables crossed that by the end of August, I will be able to email my CP(s…? More on this below) and be like, “YO, MY MS IS FINALLY READY FOR YOU TO READ AND TEAR APART. HAVE AT IT!”
Yeaaah, so as of now I only have one official CP (the dauntless/wonderful/hilarious Jen Ellision). Jen is and has been super helpful and encouraging with all of my random, manic texts and emails. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t care about finding other CPs because I already have a great one. However, I know that I need at least ONE other. I do have beta readers (hi, family! hi, friends whom I pushed this task upon!), but I know I need someone else to crack open my MS, help mend the cracks and polish this baby up. I am not entirely sure where to begin the search, but this is definitely something I will have to think about soon.
Aaand that’s pretty much the status of Writing Things.
In other news, I’m off to New York City on Tuesday for BEA 2015! This will be my fourth year attending and excited would be a grave understatement for my feelings about this upcoming trip.
Super glad one of my 2014 goals wasn’t to keep up with this blog more often because then I would’ve failed hardcore, yo. Anyways, yeah, how is 2014 already ending? How many times in one’s life is the phrase “time flies” uttered? When does one reach the limit to quoting lines from John Mayer’s “St Patrick’s Day” in blog post titles? So many questions!
And are there just as many answers? Probably not, but I suppose when it comes down to it, the answer to any question can simply be summarized as “lol life.”
Anyway, in extremely delayed news, I won NaNoWriMo 2014! Yes ma’am, I wrote 50K in November! The story goes that I was kiiind of having some difficulties in revising ETERNITY CHASERS because you know, time travel resulting in events to occur in supremely specific ways. I knew that events in Book 1 would heavily influence events in Books 2 and 3 (and 4? Yikes.), and vice versa. My solution? To write a suuuper rough draft of Book 2. I know that you shouldn’t really touch sequel drafts until you’ve got revised/critiqued/etc version of the first book in your yet to be completed series, but I made my own exception as I just needed to have a draft of what goes down in the future (or the past) so that I could ~lock in~ what happens during the events of EC. And I’m talking like specific snippets of dialogue, when/where people are on any given minute, the butterfly effect…. Just typical time travel business. November seemed like the perfect opportunity for that, and hooray for I accomplished it! The only problem is that now I’m all ASLKJDLKADFHDSF over certain characters and plot developments because I know what happens to later and I’m like half grinning like a maniac and half lying on the cold hard ground. And that’s all I shall say about that.
In other news, there really isn’t any other news? The past few months have been insane at work. Apparently every clinic, university, and medical distributor has the mad lust for catheters, so I’ve been neck deep in that.
Oh oh oh Star Wars! Less than a year until Episode VII: The Force Awakens hits theatres! I’ve discussed this with my sister and I seem to be going through some strange revertigo/nostalgia phase because it is JUST! SO! WEIRD! that Star Wars is… back. Like I never thought I would endure the whole “homg trailers. homg casting. homg new lightsabers,” and yet here I am. It’s just … well, it’s just very “lol life.”
It finally feels and looks like Spring outside, so what better way to celebrate that by staying cooped up in my room to write all the words in the world? Despite staying up waaay too late last night watching Orphan Black, I’m up on this fine Saturday morning for another write-a-thon. I’m joined by Jen, Angel, Christa, and Candice.
My current word count for Verona Horse Mermaid (yesss, my main focus right now is my time traveling spies story! More on that later…) is 45 124 words. I’m aiming to hit 50K. We’ll see how it goes. Right now I’ve got a banana, a cheesestring, a cup of green tea, AND an iced coffee. I am ready. LET’S DO THIS.
10:46 AM – *Mario Kart sound effects* GO! 45 124
12:30 PM – I’m not much of a traditional coffee drinker, but it’s like I go insane when that coffee is on ice. Anyway, I’ve got 1000 words secured (yays), so I’ll take a brief moment to update this blog about VHM… which is actually now called ETERNITY CHASERS. 😀 I finally came up with a title… in January, maybe? I’ve still been referring to it as Verona Horse Mermaid because I have attachment issues, but yup it has an official title now! Also, because it’s about time travel and there’s no way I could keep this limited to one novel-length story, I will most definitely be writing two more novel-length pieces about these characters and the whole dealio. That I’ve always known and have a title for, but I don’t think I ever shared it. Although “Eternity Chasers” does sound like a good ~series title, I’ve always known I wanted to go with THE TIMESHADE CHRONICLES. I really like the word chronicle and I think it’s appropriate since this is about time travel and whatnot. Hooray for titles! *edits tags* Aaand back to writing. 46 174
2:06 PM – So I was just in the midst of writing this somewhat dramatic scene between one of the protagonists and a potential love interest and BOOM, the Star Wars main theme song comes up on my playlist. Talk about a mood killer, ahahaha. 46 973
3:30 PM – I didn’t plan on writing this one important scene today, but it happened. And now my brain is all AHHHH from it. So I think I will take this opportunity to take a break from writing to go for a run. 47 804
9:02 PM – Back from all miscellaneous duties and errands! Aaand since my SPACE channel stream for Orphan Black episodes seems to be lagging, I guess that’s a sign I should resume writing. Just about 2100 more words to today’s goal. 48 001
9:58 PM – One of my favourite types of scenes to write are ones that occur midway and on in the story when characters who don’t know each other are beyond the whole initial first meeting. Like scenes with several individuals interacting and all of their personalities coming through. Just as much as I adore reading about bands of characters being awesome together, I also really enjoy writing about bands of characters interacting whether it’s in a social setting or in a predicament. The scene I just wrote is one of those scenes and I know it’s super lame to say this, but I just really love these characters and am so glad to be back to writing about them, as well as ~discovering who they are. 48 880
11:49 PM – It’s nearly midnight and I just hit 50K! I was actually starting to drift off a little, so thankfully I reached my goal before my brain burnt out for the day. 50 038
STARTING WORD COUNT: 45 124
CURRENT WORD COUNT: 50 038
WORDS WRITTEN TODAY: 4914
It’s been a while since I’ve devoted an entire day (more or less) to writing, and I have to say, I definitely miss it. Damn you, work and RL things. My word count goal for this WiP is about 80K (because I know when I start editing my first draft, I’m going to end up adding stuff. It never fails to happen.), so I’m more than halfway there and ahhhhh so excited about that.
Until next time…
First off, I guess I shall start with HAPPY NEW YEAR.
I honestly feel like I am already halfway through 2014 because so much has happened in the past three weeks. Before you fall off your seats in anticipation for a highly dramatized and detailed telling of my life, I sadly have to admit that it’s nowhere near anything exciting. In fact, it’s more like, “Oh my gosh, every clinic in the world wants to order catheters so I must constantly be wearing this lab coat and overseeing these demands!” Between that, tutoring my cousin on the weekends, and general life chores, I’m definitely feeling like these days are 50 hours long.
But what’s this? I actually do have something awesome to blog about! Three awesome things, actually.
1) My CP/fellow dauntless baby/Floridian friend/pesto aioli enthusiast Jennifer Ellision is publishing her debut novel in May! I feel like a broken record, but I am sooooooo excited for her. Her novel, THREATS OF SKY AND SEA, is awesome. I’m so proud of her dauntlessness and I cannot wait for this book to find its way to various shelves and e-book readers because it is so wonderfully good and deserves to be read by the world. She blogged about the whole decision to self-publish and all other relevant details over at her blog Speaking Jenerally which you can read about here. You can also add her novel on Goodreads! DO IT. DO IT NAO.
2. Just like a good chunk of the characters in GRRM’s A Storm of Swords, my book blog A Storm of Words is now…out of commission. Well, sort of. The site still exists, but I’ve moved onto greener pastures. I’m sad because I still completely adore that blog name and there were many goodtimes had at ASoW, but I’m also relieved and happy. While I enjoy discussing and writing about books, actual book blogging was starting to become… not so fun. The rest of the bevy of dauntless felt the same. Our solution? To combine forces. So we started a new book blog together! It’s already been absolute funtimes and I already feel so much more relaxed. Appropriately named, our book blog is The Bevy Bibliothèque.
3. My short story in Inaccurate Realities is out… today! The fact that people I don’t know will be reading my non-blogging/review/news article writing is just plain scary, but also exciting. I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories in the issue, as well as the interviews with the authors of time-traveling novels. You can find all of the info you need to know about purchasing the issue over on their website here. It’s available in book format, e-book, and pdf. You can also add the issue on Goodreads. 🙂
So those are the bright beacons of light in this otherwise cold month of January. I’m still not over the fact that FROST QUAKES occurred due to the coldness. I’m also still not over the fact that we actually reached -40. I know this is Canada, but come onnn. Anyway, yay to writing-related milestones for myself and my friends!