Saturday, November 24, 2012

51st ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
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
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff

Recently Read:

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 month and wrote an overview of it for that next 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.

In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?

View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list

See my musings in last check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.

My hope to get NaNo words Wednesday while in the car on the five hour trip home did not get realized because my Mom and sister were listening to a audio novel.  So I crocheted instead..  I was listening as well since I couldn't avoid it but it was frustrating in that they had been listening to it off and on for months and the story was more than 3/4ths over plus it had not ended yet by the time we arrived.  I hate both getting in on a story already in progress and missing out on the ending and both happened for me.  Which is frustrating even when the story isn't one I probably would have chosen for myself.  In this case it was The Walking Stick by Winston Graham and I learned online that they made a movie of it in the 70s.  My sister told me via fb the day after they left here that the story ended 'stupid'.  I had the sense it was shaping up for a less than happy ending.

I was surprised they were listening to it as it wasn't typical fair for either of them.  It had the flavor of 1970 anti-hero movies in which the main character is extremely flawed and morally or ethically wishy-washy and fate punishes them.  I guess my mom chose it from the talking books catalog based on the blurb about a woman who limped due to having had polio as a child. But Mom was probably imagining a story of heroic overcoming of physical challenge instead of a woman with no backbone who is easily manipulated by a charming man into helping pull of a jewelry heist at the auction house she worked at.  Her need for this man's affection, approval and attention overcame all of her inhibitions.

Ah.  Enough.  That was a tangent I wasn't intending on taking.

As you can see in the spreadsheet I lost Ys in the Fiction Files column and got zero words for NaNo on Wednesday and Thursday.  Wednesday was the trip home to Phoenix OR from Longview WA.  The 5.5 hour trip took us 9 hours.  We left Mom's house at 2pm but didn't get out of Longview until 2:30 due to lines at the pumps then we didn't get south of Portland OR until 5:30 --50 odd miles in 3 hours!--and then reached Phoenix at 10:30 but stopped to settle Mom at their motel first so reached my house at 11:15.  Then my sister unloaded my stuff from the van while I sorted our huge pile of laundry we had planned to take to the laundromat that day but now hoped to do it on Thursday if we could find one open on Thanksgiving.  Which we did and that turned into a 7 hour project--nearly 2 dozen loads counting 5 do-overs.

Both days were exhausting.  And the elbow I rammed into the doorknob at Mom's while packing Tuesday evening still throbbed and I kept rebumping it. My sister and Mom left here Thursday evening about 9pm and I could barely see straight.  So no NaNo again.

I made a dent in the NaNo deficit Friday with a 2222 advance and repeated that again Saturday.  I was just getting ready to start working on this post about 7pm when we lost Internet and didn't get it back until nearly 3am.  I spent the time instead crocheting and getting some of my reading, writing and craft stuff that went with me to Longview unpacked and put away.  Having spent hours Saturday afternoon and evening putting away the laundry and other unpacking from the trip I was exhausted by midnight and was about to give up on the net and go to bed without posting when it came back.  My fatigue is contributing to the rambling nature of this post.

My mom and sister will be back again Sunday afternoon and will spend parts of Sunday and Monday here.  My sister will be helping with some small repair projects around the house having brought her toolbox loaded with things we don't yet own. So I may have trouble getting my NaNo words for both of those days too.

Update Sunday Afternoon: After waiting over seven hour for the Internet connection to return and spending over an hour prepping this post I had just published and was about to enter my link in the linky when our power went off.  Power returned in fifteen minutes but no the Internet.  I waited another hour but it still wasn't back so I gave up and went to bed.  My husband said it was after ten this morning before it came back.

0 tell me a story:

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