Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Five: Cooling Down

1. I didn't post last week because we were at the beach. After a few vacations with me trying to work the whole time, my husband has (and it's okay that he has) expressed the desire for me to unplug when we go on trips. This is honestly hard for me. i think part of me is a workaholic, while the other part of me is this lazy person that totally lacks motivation. Which may not make any sense, it doesn't to me some days. Basically I think about work whenever I'm not doing it and feel guilty. But some days that isn't enough to make me focus. But the beach was nice. It rained, which was nice, because it wasn't too hot. I'm not someone who loves to be hot. Sunbathing has never been my thing.

2. It was a rough week. I had my first meeting with my son's teacher about his behavior. He seems to have developed some class clown tendencies, which the teacher finds concerning. I think he is a first grade boy with a lot of energy who is going to act like it doesn't bother him, when he is singled out again and again to be still. But I know that's the mom in me coming out. I'm my child's advocate, and it was tough. I made myself sick worrying about the meeting, and sat through it. And came out of it not feeling much different than before going into it. He's noisy when he's bored. He gets his work done, and he's performing at or above grade level depending on the subject. Sorry for the random tangent.

3. This week I was waiting all week to read Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, because I thought Anna and the French Kiss was a perfect book. Absolutely perfect. Anyway I thought it came out on Tuesday, because most books do, and I was sorely disappointed when I realized it was Thursday. I got the book, read it in one sitting, and smiled the entire time. it wasn't quite as perfect as Anna and the French kiss, but it was good. Really good. If you need a good contemporary YA romance it's worth your time. Definitely worth your time.

4. It was interesting to talk to my husband about the book, because he wanted to know if I liked it. (I had been talking about for at least a week, if not longer) and when I said I did but not as much as the other one, I was able to talk about things like character motivation and likability and such. It made me realize that I've grown as a writer, since I can recognize the specific things that bothered me on one read through, whereas i've had to read a book a few times to pull the specifics out in the past. That said, it is a really good book. Really and you should read it.

5. Do you ever question your actually commitment to a project? Or ask yourself why you can't get motivated or going. This week I've been looking at my time sucks and priorities. And the television season is starting up again, and I know that I need to let go of some of my shows, so I an really write. Since I get my best novel writing done in the evenings or I need to evaluate my schedule and rework things. Maybe both.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five: Cooling Down

1. Woke up this morning, and it's chilly outside. When you've had an exceptionally hot summer, 60 degrees feels cold. The kids' wore jackets to the bus stop with their shorts, and every time I've gone out it feels a little cooler. I'm so happy because fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the way the colors change on the trees, I love that I do not need to run the air conditioner or the heat for about two months. I love the smell of wood smoke outside. I love that it gets dark earlier so my kids go to bed better. I

2. I didn't write last week because my mom was in town and we went to Great Wolf Lodge with the kids. It was a lot of fun, and everyone was worn out by the time we got home. My kids loved it, and they had a good mix of stuff for the older kids and my youngest who didn't want to go on the biggest slides. We also discovered Magiques, which involves running around the building with wands and completing missions. The kids ate that up. When we go to Myrtle Beach in a few weeks, we may have to visit the official Magiquest center and pay for them to play there.

3. The kids have completed a few Magiquest adventures at home. My husband has plotted out clues and things to collect and acted out parts in different areas of the house. He is hilarious to watch and I love the way that he actually gets down and plays with the kids on their level. It also made me think about how I'd have fun writing adventures for a similar game or idea. I'm not a gamer (though hubby is) and I've never really thought about the story lines in games. It's funny because one writing conference I went to I had Tracy Hickman lead my workshop group, and he got his start writing manuals for D&D or a similar RPG company. It was a good conference.

4. Well I entered my query for Lexy in a query workshop at Bookends back in February. I wrote the query as soon as I figured out the plot for the book, so I wouldn't have the query problems I had with Isis. It was critiqued on Wednesday. I got some great feedback. You can go check it out if you want. It'd also give you an idea on the world I'm living in right now.

5. I'm on the lookout for some good books to read. I've read everything recommended to me that's already out, and I know there are some books I'm super excited to read in the next few months like Lola and the Boy Next Door, and After Obsession, but I'd love something to hold me over until then.

Happy Writing!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Five - A Day Late

1. Summer is really over, and I'll get my mornings to myself now. My youngest went back to preschool. A really great preschool where I don't feel guilty dropping him off, and he gets to play and explore and i get to work. So that is my most exciting news of the week. Well exciting to me at least.

2. At the end of every summer, I'm excited for the kids to go back to school so they have some structure, but then I forget what that structure means for me. I always wondered how stay at home moms managed to stay so busy once their kids were in school. There are so many time pressures now that have to do with having kids in school. Getting to the bus in the morning, and picking them up from the bus. The homework in the evenings, and getting them to bed on time. So much stuff that has to be done. But I do get time to work now without feeling guilty. That's nice too.

3. It is easy to get discouraged, and lost along the way. I've had the times when I'm super focused on my writing, and times when I've been so discouraged. I've had my share of almost there moments and falling short. This week I've spent a lot of time thinking about it. Do I keep going forward? Am I just kidding myself? Is this a reasonable and attainable goal for myself? Do I just write to write or am I really striving for publication? And if I do decide whether this is achievable, am I willing to really put in the time to make it happen?

The truth is that eight years ago, I decided I wanted to be a freelance writer. I didn't know how to start. I went and got books at the library, and read them. It took a few more years for me to actually start applying for jobs, and a few months before I landed my first job. I've built up what I do to the point that I have a niche that I write about. I make a very respectable hourly wage. I did it. I reached that goal. I write for a living.

And I can do the same thing to reach my next goal, which is writing novels for a living. I know what I need to do. But I need to be committed to making it happen. My first book may not be the book. Okay so it wasn't. I wrote it several years ago. But my second book may not be it, and maybe my third book won't either. But if I quit now I'm not going to make it. If I keep working and trying, I will. Just like with anything that is important but difficult to achieve, I have to make the time commitment and keep going no matter what.

4. I love the beginning of the school year, since it is a chance to reset my goals and my schedule to make it happen. In addition to my writing goals I want to lose some weight and exercise two hours a day. That feels like a lot to me, but I know that's what I need to do to reach my goals. But I'm building up to it, gradually, so that it will become a good habit that will stick.

5. I'm having a hard time coming up with a fifth option. So instead I'll ask a question. What goals are you guys working towards?

Happy writing!