Tuesday, July 03, 2012

13th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 3 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
My goals will be very similar to what they were in Round 2 which I joined half-way through.  And like last time I will continue to copy/paste the goals list with new commentary for each check-in.  But I did strip nearly all of the commentary added during the last round leaving only what effects the new goals.  I also added some new goals.

I debated whether to start the check-in count in the post title at 1 for the new round but decided that it was important for me to get a sense over time how the number of total check-ins correlate to progress on all fronts.


Miracles seem to happen when attention is paid to something.

Attention =Attend = serving as well as being in service to

Changing habits in just one area has ripple effects across all other habits.  It is powerful and empowering to realize that if you just take small steps in the right direction BIG things start to happen.


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 August:

  • 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.

___Still have not started re-reading it.  It's been nearly two months since I set this goal and prioritized it at the top of the (then) four goals as I began the last round 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 early in the last round I needed fresh eyes so set new goal:

Find beta readers outside of current circle of close family and friends.
___Not yet accomplished.  I confess I'm not sure how to go about finding/asking for beta readers

My sister Jamie and my Mom both re-read Candy Kiss while I was at my mom's in May and Mom read my entire portfolio of hard copy stories and snippets and poems.  But that isn't what I need at this point.

The binder Mom read 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 goal list except that my printer is not working.

Camp NaNoWriMmo 2012

___ I intend to join the August Camp NaNoWriMo

WriMos Word Count:___

The Time Investment Goals:

2. [New Goal for Round 3] Return to some form of free writing exercise like doodling, morning pages or journaling for 30 minutes daily. A practice I once had that fell away when I began daily blogging which I confess is no substitute and if I cannot keep the very personal free write/journaling up in tandem with daily blogging then the blogging needs to give.  The purpose of this free writing is to develop playfulness analogous to a jazz musicians playfulness with musical tools, vocabulary and grammar.  I've been reading Imagine: How Creativity Works by  Jonah Lehrer which reminded me of the importance of play in creativity.

___7-2-12 - N
___7-3-12 - N But I did clear off my desk and set out several kinds of paper, pencils and pens to entice me to doodle and I opened a free topic in my WhizFolders note ap only to just sit and stare at the blank screen.  Sometimes I wonder if if is mere coincidence that the word 'free' is contained in the word 'freeze'

3. [New Goal for Round 3] MOVE!! 15 minute per day minimum: walk, mini-tramp, pace the house with weights on legs, exercise ball, exercise elastic bands, dance/sway to music.  ANYTHING counts as I've gotten so sedentary which I've re-learned recently has very negative impact on creativity and energy.  It doesn't have to be VIGOROUS yet.  Maybe later after the daily habit is established I'll add that requirement for 3 days per week and up the 15 minutes to 30.

___7-2-12 - N But I did get the box of stuff still needing to be sorted and put away after my recent trip out from under the tramp which made it impossible to be impulsive about stepping onto it.
___7-3-12 - Y Paced the floor in the house for about twenty minutes but didn't put the weights on.  Oh and at a separate occasion I played with the cat quite vigorously with dangly toys and balls.  Anyone with a cat knows that they don't generally fetch back the tossed toys.  They chase them while they are moving but then stop and stare at them waiting for them to start moving again.  So I did a lot of moving in order to retrieve and toss, retrieve and toss.... Who was playing with who I wonder.

4. Spend 30 minutes or more per day reading a book or quality web article on Writing or Publishing or work habit/organization from my ever growing TBR of books and/or blogs or websites with professional level content on those subjects.  Will compile list for future updates.  (hmm no list yet)

Instead of a list of TBR titles I will start including the titles of books and articles and websites that I spend the time with between check-ins.  This week it was the same three books I've been working my way through since the beginning of my ROW80 participation.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher  

___7-2-12 - Y
___7-3-12 - Y

This goal had become a habit by the end of Round 2 and I kept it up during the break.

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

___7-2-12 - Y
___7-3-12 - Y

This was the habit that really took during the last round and yielded astonishing things.  Late in the round I added a new goal related to this one: to develop the habit of keeping the note taking implements with me at all times because as the habit of dreaming the stories developed it didn't always confine itself to when I was near my netbook or crochet where the means to record them were available.  Developing the means is a bit tricky for some cases but I'm working on it.

6. Spend 30 minutes or more per day on one or more of the tasks in the list below:

[as the round progresses check-in updates will accumulate in this spot which will push the list itself down]

___7-2-12 - N

___7-3-12 - N

I did not keep this up during the break and that is probably why I am having trouble reintegrating it into my days.
  • Input any material from the daydreaming session into it's appropriate file or task list.  ___  this is a developing habit begun during last round
  • Clean up the Fruit of the Spirit storyworld worksheet.  ___  this is where most of the dabbling for last round 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.  ___ the master task list was created soon after I started the last round but using it is a developing habit  
  • 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. ___ have added a few and added info to existing ones as well. Much of my file dabbling occurred in these character notes
  • New task --06-11-2012 : collect character info for all the Faye's Strays from out of all the stories and files they are scattered through into it's own section in the FOS worksheet file.   ___ this is where the work mentioned in the line above was happening during last round
  • 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.  This is one of the Faye's Strays stories so work on it will count toward the WriMos word count.   ___ have not reread nor written new scenes yet but have jotted many ideas for the the missing scenes, did some new character sketch work some of which I may count towards the WriMos which end tomorrow
  • 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.   ___ am using the master task list in the storyworld file mentioned above and then linking to the appropriate story file.  This is what I love about WhizFolders as my story writing ap.
  • 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 tasks 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:

J.R. Pearse Nelson 7/04/2012 6:10 AM  

If you're looking for Betas, maybe include that in the title of your next ROW80 post so it shows on the linky tool. I would bet you'll find others in the same situation who would like to do a beta swap. You want it to be someone you're comfortable chatting pretty openly with, but you can develop that relationship over time.

Good luck with your goals this time around, and enjoy the 4th!

N. 7/04/2012 9:11 AM  

I am going to be completely honest with you. This is a very long post and I didn't read through the entire thing. I did, however, notice that you need an unbiased person to read your story.
I have taken a few creative writing classes and am an English Writing tutor at my college.

If you would like, email me at heartattack.0906@yahoo.com and I would be more than willing to discuss reading it for you.

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