Tuesday, February 19, 2013

71st 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.

Starting with this post I'm reinstating the 1 hour post prep practice tho I'll allow exceptions as events warrant.

The loss of those recently instated habits--1 hour post prep, fiction reading--were due to the personal crisis I'm calling a lifequake which I touched on in the last three check-ins and detailed in #69, last Wednesday's 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 as for Saturday, the only fact needed to understand the following paragraphs is that my five week stay at Mom's has been extended indefinitely.  So I'm in the process of doing what ROW80 is made for: adjusting goals to accommodate a new reality.

Part of that new reality is that this temporary workstation on my side of the bed in Mom's room is now going to be long term.  Many months if not more than a year.  It's happened before but the last time was a year ago when I was here January thru April and I've always set aside the serious fiction writing while here saving it for when I get home and once again have the significant blocks of time in which quiet, privacy, predictability, and freedom from interruptions can be counted on.

Yes I was here for part of NaNo but like many other NaNo efforts I don't consider that serious fiction writing.  In order to get the word count I have to let go of expectations and let fly and pretty much write only on the surface of the story.  It is often more like thinking and journaling about the story getting down everything that comes to mind as it comes to mind: image, snippet of dialog, character's description, traits and history, setting descriptions and in the case of plot getting down multiple versions of what ifs at each step of the way.

In order to turn all of that into the story itself that is readable by others I have to have large blocks of time to go deep into the dreaming of the story and take one scene at a time in no particular order until I have a sense of the natural order to focus on and get a draft of it that actually reads like a piece of a story.  It is hard to get those blocks of time here at Mom's.

In the last check-in I mused on this issue and detailed what the chaos of this household looks like, tho I left out one of the issues which is the frequent heated discussions between my sister and her 18 year old son that take place right outside the door of this room nearly daily and when it happens once I can bet it will be two or three more times that day.

The stresses on my sister are extraordinary before you add me into the picture.  I've been coming for multiple week visits two or three times a year as relief for her in her care of our blind, lame and aphasic mother but now she will essentially be taking on my needs as well.  All of which adds to my distress over this situation.

Another issue I didn't make explicit before is that I can't pull my all nighter's willy-nilly while living in a household where my behavior impacts others.  And those are usually the times I have the most creative productivity.

At the end of the last check-in I listed two possible solutions to contemplate:

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

I have already implemented the first one for the last two nights. I am prepping this in the afternoon and scheduling it to post at 11pm.   I have started in, yet again, editing and revising the short story, Blow Me a Candy Kiss, that I targeted last April to be my test run for self-publishing.  I'm hoping to have it ready for Beta readers by the end of the month.  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 above.


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 2/20/2013 11:30 PM  

It sounds as though you are working through the difficult aspects of living at your mom's long-term.

I hope that getting back to some of your routines, and adapting others, will help you to find peace as you weather your lifequake.

I'm glad you are still writing, Joy, as best you can, and I hope you will find solace and healing in it.

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