|A Round of Words in 80 Days|
Round 1 2013
The writing challenge that
knows you have a life
These check-in posts will contain any commentary I have about encounters with the goals since the previous check-in and any relevant links.
Below the commentary is my current reading list for the READ CRAFT goal.
Last month I finished the edit for Blow Me A Candy Kiss, the short story I'm planning to use as the experiment in self publishing. This was on my original Goals when I first joined ROW80 last April. It is now ready for beta readers. Anyone interested can say so in a comment or email me at the email in the sidebar. A link to an earlier draft can be found in the ROW80 Goals page linked under the spreadsheet below.
The latest on the lifequake front: my sister and I are planning another trip down to Phoenix OR this weekend to pack up the rest of my stuff and get as much as we can into the van. We may have to make another trip to load up again before the date my husband is required to vacate. We expect this to take most if not all of the weekend. We're leaving Longview on Friday. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to spending time with my husband as well.
On the writing front I have signed up for the April Camp Nano. They have made the goals flexible so it doesn't have to be a novel nor have to be 50K words. I haven't decided what my goals will be and establish them along with the ROW80 Round 2 goals next week. But I did use the sign up as occasion to create a much needed synopsis for The Storyteller's Spouse which you can find near the bottom of this post.
They have even set up a 'cabin' of script writers at Camp Nano to give a space to those feeling deprived of the discontinued Scriptfrenzy. Which might apply to me. I'd been participating since 2009 and had yet to 'win' one. I think the best I did was 30 odd pages in an adaptation of one of my short stories. I was treating the April Scriptfrenzy as an exercise in stretching my writing comfort zone and as an opportunity to study a new aspect of writing craft. And an excuse to watch a lot of video. :) I admit I did more reading than writing during April often having over 20 books on screenwriting and film checked out of the library as well as actual scripts and several DVD per week. I can't afford to go to such extremes this year but am considering keeping the April=Sriptwriting alive in some fashion.
On the mood front: I've had zero 24 hours awake since the med nurse upgraded my Trazadone from occasional sleep aide to anti-depressant a week ago Monday. A few times I still slept less than four hours on a given night but I always slept. Since then my anxiety and irritability levels have dropped so low I often can't find them when looking for them. So I'm thinking they were directly related to sleep deprivation in a devilish feedback loop. Energy is increasing but not as fast as I'd like nor as dependably. And it frustrates me that my brain won't come back online for hours after waking which makes it hard to give over to sleep when it is time to take my meds and I'm still going strong on some writing, reading or crafting project. I do anyway tho often an hour or more late as I struggle to prioritize making healthy choices.
Other good news on that front is the med nurse isn't convinced I'm bi-polar tho she isn't ruling it out. For now she is calling it 'unspecified episodic mood disorder'. She said my history of my moods and med reactions tied her brain in knots. But it is possible that the combination of anxiety and ADD might be mimicking mania. I'm not diagnosed with ADD but there is family history of it and not of the bi-polar.
Because of past bad reactions to meds, and because of so many variables she wants to go slow adding or subtracting one thing at a time and taking the dosage up slow. She began by repurposing the Trazadone that had been prescribed as an 'as needed' sleep aide to its other use as anti-depressant by doubling it and making it daily. I had the best sleep in months last Monday night followed by a day in which the anxiety was so low I almost felt like I was missing something essential like a tooth or limb.
My moods are
Our landlord in Phoenix, OR has decided to sell the trailer and has asked Ed to vacate by May 15. Then a week later he asked Ed to consider May 1st but he can't insist and Ed can't promise. Which means there will be no home for me to go home to once my disability status is re-established so my medical needs are assured. So everything is even more up in the air than it was. It is hard to see into the future clearly enough to reach for anything solid.
OK. Confession. I've been averaging 2 to 4 hours per day on several emails to my husband where at least one is from 2 to 5K words. I'm trying to decide how this impacts ROW80 goals, weigh the cost/benefit to the long distance relationship goals vs the fiction writing goals and the selfpub goals. It is writing after all and it seems that my words are flowing better everywhere else from posting to freewrite to notes and sketches in FICTION FILES totaling between them(emails and all) 5 to 10K of words per day. So there may be some benefit bleeding off the email writing onto all the other writing. Especially since so much of what is on my mind is the same stuff on my character's mind (see below re Storyteller's Spouse) But if our separation lasts for months as it is shaping up for I may have to take another look at this issue next round.
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I realized early in February that because of my extended stay here I couldn't continue to put off getting serious with my fiction writing until I got home so I had to address the space, quiet, privacy and fear of interruption issues by setting up a second workstation not in the room I share with Mom and dedicating late evenings and part of the weekends Mom spends at my brother's to FICTION FILES. To make them available I'm supposed to be getting my posts prepped earlier in the day.
|2nd Workstation and |
Indoor Workout Space
But after two falls inside a week the pressure was on to move it. And this last Thursday my sister stood it up on end against the boxes on the right when she was in here visiting and I confessed that the night before I'd had a close call after sitting at the netbook reading too long as I waited for my night meds to kick in and then being surprised by how seriously they kicked in.
As I feared, I've did not set it back down even once since until this past Monday and not again since tho the day is still young. I've given myself credit on MOVE for other activities but I really miss the ease with which I'd been stepping onto the tramp and moving on it for several minutes several times a day.
After the first fall 3 weeks ago on Sunday I set my mind to being careful but after the second fall the following Friday I realized careful would not cut it. Not indefinitely. Not for someone visually impaired and with such a history of scattered thought and impulsive movement. So the question became when can I make time for completely rearranging the boxes of stuff to make room for the tramp without blocking the path. UGH.
My Brain on Story
see moar kittehs
The Storyteller's Spouse is also an exploration of story itself and features a married couple the female lead being a novelist and her husband a raconteur with a rep for tall tales, fish stories and war stories and life of the party yarns. Neither of them have an especially good grip on reality so their POV scenes are exercises in unreliable narrator.
Synopsis: Lor and Bull Teller, married for over two decades, are about to discover the power of story to either create or destroy when a disturbing accusation lands tall-tale-teller Bull in jail where suddenly he has nothing to say just as Lor, author of evangelical children's stories witnesses something that tangles and then snaps the tether of her faith leaving her afloat on a sea of mystery which often feels like insanity.
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors. many of them self-published)
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and techniques of fiction
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff In late February I lifted the strikethru I put on this the week I left home in January as I brought it back with me on the 22nd.
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious as well as research for a character who is a Tarot reader
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last January and has been the one I've spent the most time with ever since. Friday's post was a quote post for this one.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. Found this while spelunking the stacks looking for the Smiley book. Who knew. Dick was a mystic. I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception. My Friday post was about my current encounter with it after checking it out of the Longview library again for the first time in over a decade.
The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. Also a Longview library book.
The Fiction Writer's Handbook by Shelly Lowenkopf Review for blog tour Haven't finished it yet tho so it will remain in the list.
A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg Just finished this last fall and wrote an overview of it for that check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned.. This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.