Saturday, February 16, 2013

70th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
My goals are all time investment and are detailed on the  ROW80 page   I keep track of the time invested with a Google Doc spreadsheet linked on the goals page and also in each check-in along with a screenshot of the most recent days.

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.

Still holding steady on all fronts covered by the spreadsheet but now at the bare minimum on all, even READ CRAFT and DAYDREAM STORY which had until recently been getting more than double the minimum.  Have also let fiction reading slide again and have returned to the multiple hour blog post prep. And still no new fiction scenes.

I won't be limiting myself to an hour for this post either.

I discussed in last Sunday's check-in about gaining insight into how mining the depths of ones own emotions, especially those rooted in one's personal life, can lend power to the fiction.  Then in Wednesday's check-in I related the bare bones of the story that post hinted at--the lifequake that I'm living through right now.  This lifequake has spawned thousands of words in journaling and two raw poems which I posted Monday and Thursday. In fact every post in the last seven touched on it from one angle or another.

As I said in the last check-in I won't keep reiterating the story in these check-ins just link back to #69 whenever the background is needed to understand the particular context of a current check-in.  Today the only fact needed is that my stay at my mom's has become indefinite.  For the whys and wherefores you may look in on the last two check-ins and the poems.  The issue I'm concerned with this time is how to adjust my ROW80 goals and expectations in light of this major change.

Actually I'm mostly just posing the questions today.  I'm still too discombobulated to settle on solutions.

The biggest question is how to fit the actual fiction writing into my routine here when I've always needed privacy and quiet to do serious scene writing and I have little of either here where my writing workstation is the tiny corner on my side of the bed I share with my 81 year old mother who goes to bed at 8:30pm and sleeps until 9am or even 10.  I'm a night owl myself.  My most creative time is usually found between late evening and 2am.  Luckily with her hearing aides out she can't hear my typing and mousing.

No there is no better place to set up.  This house is overrun with stuff and surfaces are at a premium.  Which is why I always bring my own surfaces--folding tray tables and boards.

I inherited my hoarding issues from my Mom and my sister has a touch of it too though it's more that she and her son had to bring all their stuff into an already overstuffed house after the divorce and her duties as Mom's caretaker and as respite care provider for troubled kids has also overstuffed her schedule.  Now add advocate for a disabled sister to all of that...

The chaos in this house makes me want to crawl under the bed not just in it.  But it's one of those adjustable beds so there is no room under there either what with the motor and hydraulics.  I don't dare try.  I already killed this bed once back in 2009 when my foot landed on the remote while I slept and pressed several buttons at once and blew the poor things mind.

That's an excellent metaphor for what just happened to my life.  Some giant foot has landed on the command buttons and is holding down several mutually exclusive ones at once.

There are other issues caused by this lifequake affecting ROW80--like the fact nearly all of the new habits I established in the last six months have been abandoned--but time and space for fiction writing is the biggie and the most important.  I'd been holding out for going home to my own private office to 'get serious' about writing fiction scenes again. I'm having a very hard time changing the vision in my mind to accommodate my new reality.

Two possible solutions:

  • make sure all blogging tasks are tended to before dinner to leave the late night for the fiction writing
  • dedicate some part of the weekends Mom spends at my brother's to fiction writing.


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  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 I left this book at home so I can't continue until I return in mid February but I don't want to remove it so I'll just use strikethru for now.
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 Thursday.
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.

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 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.

1 tell me a story:

Shan Jeniah Burton 2/19/2013 4:40 PM  

You seem to be persevering under far less than ideal circumstances. I hope you find a more peaceful space in you life soon

Until then, this challenging time is likely creating rich veins for writing of many kinds.

Sending lots of positive energy and deep breaths your way!

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