Tuesday, May 29, 2012

6th ROW80 Check-In

Today I was reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield  and ran across this Goethe quote.  I wanted to do something with it to help engrave it on my mind so I went looking for an image to caption.

I began the book today for my 30 minutes of reading about writing which is on my goal list for ROW80 but lost track of how many minutes I actually read.  I had to stop in the middle of part three to  prep this post.

A Round of Words in 80 Days

I have copy/pasted the goal list  each time from the most recent Check-in going back to the original Friday's post of intent.  Tweaking each time as well as crossing off finished goals and adding new ones. If you want to see the way it has morphed over the last two weeks you can use the ROW80 label.

This past Friday Foray's in Fiction may be of interest as I discussed having learned something about the fearsome file messes that tends to defang them--or would if I allowed it to sink in and become as real to me as the decades of anxiety I'd invested in the sense of those files as monsters or chaos personified.

Last Wednesday per the recommendation of two of my ROW80 commenters I rearranged the bulleted list of tasks under goal four to indicate priority.

1. Choose 1 of the finished short stories to be the first ebook to publish on Smashwords or Amazon and prep it for take off by the end of June: any revision, line edit, format, convert.  
___[Blow Me a Candy Kiss  part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4; part 5;] -  
05-12-2012 Yes on choosing the title.  This story is set in my Fruits of the Spirit story world and aspires to be literary.  It has elements of romance in it but that is not the primary focus since the couple involved are already married.  The focus is on loss and grief over infertility and the death of a child/sibling.  Aprox 6000 words.

___05-29-2012 Still have not started re-reading it.  It's been over two weeks since I set this goal and prioritized it at the top of the four goals and yet I've still not started re=reading it.  That looks a lot like the RESISTANCE discussed in Pressfield's War of Art.  So I'm tempted to explore that but I sense Pressfield would call that RESISTANCE too--just another way to avoid DOING.  Besides, according to Pressfield, RESISTANCE is always about fear.  What more do I need to know?  At least before I begin.

Decided last week I needed fresh eyes so set new goal:

Find beta readers outside of current circle of close family and friends.
___05-29-2012 - N

My sister Jamie re-read Candy Kiss while she was here last week and my Mom is currently reading my entire portfolio of hard copy manuscripts.  Some of those are re-reads for her like Candy Kiss will be when she reaches it about three quarter of the way through the binder.  But family and close friends is not what I had in mind when I set this goal.  I think I need eyes with more objectivity than that.

The binder Mom is reading through which I call my portfolio contains all of my complete short stories and a number of scenes pulled out of WIP that I deemed worth wasting ink and paper on. There is another attitude steeped in my pesky perfectionism that I need to change and I would have put printing hard copy of all my WIP including the NaNo Novels on this round's goal list except that my printer is not working.

2. Spend 30 minutes or more per day reading a book or quality web article on Writing or Publishing from my ever growing TBR of books on writing and/or blogs or websites with professional level content on writing or publishing.  Will compile list for future updates.
___05-27-2012  - N  
___05-28-2012 -  N   
___05-29-2012  - Y over 2hrs

  :(  Tsk tsk tsk.  1 Y is better then no Y but one in three days does not establish a habit.

Have been reading a novel I'm doing a blog tour review and giveaway for on June 7.  Need to get a good head start on that now as from May 31st thru June 4th my sister will be out of town which puts me on duty re Mom's needs and meals for three twice a day for five days.  Plus I'll have to stay on a day schedule for those days.  No staying up until dawn to court the muse.

3. Spend 30 minutes or more per day daydreaming in the story world with pencil and pad at hand

___05-26-2012  - Y  
___05-27-2012 -  Y   
___05-28-2012  - Y 

This has been easy since daydreaming my stories is as natural as breathing for me.  Especially when I'm crocheting which I'm doing a lot of this month.  What makes the difference is making sure the notebook and pencil are at hand for the quick jots of thoughts.

And there have been some exciting ones.

The fact that this is so easy made me wonder for a moment if I wasn't expecting enough out of myself but then I remembered that this is how Robert Owen Butler begins the work on every novel as related in From Where You Dream.

The importance of this is that it is getting my head back into it with the expectation that something more than daydreaming will come of it.  This is not a minor development.  Because of the time spent daydreaming and contemplating the story begins to live in me again.  I may not have new words yet but I feel the pressure building that will push them out if I just keep attending to the story world.

ATTENDING.  Think on that word awhile and all it implies.

It means paying attention.

But it also means serving as well as being in service to.

4. Spend 30 minutes or more per day on one or more of the following tasks:

___05-27-2012  - N  
___05-28-2012 -  N   
___05-29-2012  - Y

I have started to dabble in the files but haven't done anything that I can cross off yet and it is hard to list anything specific that I've done and yet it feels more than a bit productive since it has, like the daydreaming, stimulated ideas and joggled memory.  Mostly I've just been reading in them but I've added a few jots and moved a few things about.  Again, it is all about ATTENDING.  Miracles seem to happen when attention is paid to something.

This is the list I referred to above. On Saturday I reorganized it according to priorities as I see them now.  And added a couple of small items and grayed the text of some of the WIP titles to indicate that I'm taking the pressure off for this round.

  • Input any material from the daydreaming session into it's appropriate file or task list.
  • Clean up the Fruit of the Spirit storyworld worksheet.  ___05-26-29-2012  - this is where most of the dabbling this week has occurred.   
  • Create a master task list in FOS story world worksheet file and add any actionable task that comes to mind while working with the files: research and fact check, character development, scenes needed etc.  Future goals can be taken from this list.  ___05-26 -29 -2012  -  ditto  
  • Create topic pages in the FOS story world worksheet file for every character from every existing story and novel finished or in progress that is set in this story world. Add any of the characters known life events to the master timeline.
  • Re-read the incomplete short story Home Is Where the Horror Is and consider returning to work on it with an eye toward finishing it this summer. 
  • Do a line edit of all of the completed short stories
  • Blow Me a Candy Kiss
  • How Does Your Garden Grow
  • Running In Circles
  • Of Cats and Claws and Curiosities
  • Making Rag Doll Babies and Million Dollar Maybes
  • During the line edits consider whether any significant revision is still needed--scenes to add or delete, rearrange or rewrite; timeline issues, facts to confirm or to change--and create an actionable task topic in the file.
  • Choose 10 POV level characters from FOS and write a first person rambling monologue for them. 
  • Write fresh scenes whenever a spark is lit by any of the work on this list or the daydreaming or reading.
  • Clean up the 8 NaNo novel files: quarantine the mess, create work space for new writing, and create a system for  storing the material salvaged from the mess in such a way as it can be found when needed. i.e. linking it to appropriate topic pages in the FOS story world worksheet.
  • ____ The Substance of Things Hoped For 2009
  • ____ Mobile Hopes 2008
  • ____ Storyteller's Spouse 2006
  • ____ Spring Fever 2007
  • ____ Brooding Instinct 2005
  • ____ Majoring in Marine Biology 2004
  • ____ Everything That Rises Must Submerge 2010
  • ____ A Trick of Light 2011
  • Read and notate the scene text of the 8 NaNo novel files 
  • ____ The Substance of Things Hoped For 2009 
  • ____ Mobile Hopes 2008
  • ____ Storyteller's Spouse 2006 
  • ____ Spring Fever 2007
  • ____ Brooding Instinct 2005 
  • ____ Majoring in Marine Biology 2004
  • ____ Everything That Rises Must Submerge 2010
  • ____ A Trick of Light 2011 
Some of the work of these last two task can be done concurrently so I was tempted to collapse them under one task and have just one list of the WIP but they are very different tasks when you look close with this last one being more about the writing and the other about information organizing and story outlining.  I could conceivably do the work of one task with one novel while doing the work of the other with a different one.  The two tasks require different frames of mind.

2 tell me a story:

Barbara McDowell 5/30/2012 12:15 PM  

Joy, you have a lot of goals you are working on and getting some crossed off as you progress is fab! I love the quote and also the fierce kitty pic. Ditto on the crocheting. Have a great week!

Anonymous,  5/30/2012 1:23 PM  

I'm impressed. I signed up for ROW80 today. I only had one goal but I can see where a real list would be helpful. I'll do that for July.

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