Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Setting Goals

I love goals.  "I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."

Okay, that was Douglas Adams, but I actually do love setting goals. I love making lists. I love calculating how far I will get if I... [lose 0.6 pounds a week], [write 750 words a day], [jog 30 minutes every morning]. But here's the thing about setting lists, they don't mean anything unless you stick to them.

I can't actual jog for 30 minutes straight, but I have signed up for the Peachtree Road Race (Atlanta's huge 10K run). And I'm actually training this year, as opposed to other years that I've done it. My goal is to run a significant (>50%) chunk of the race. (I'll keep you updated! I'm on week 1 of a Couch to 5K program.)

After six months, my blog is still a lie. I still haven't actually written a book. But I get closer every day! In high school, I used to reward myself for studying with equally spaced M&Ms. Is there a grown up equivalent? What do you do to help you stick to your plans?

Side note: Netflix on my PS3 is dowwwwwwn! What to do with my life?! Achieve my goals, you say? Nonsense!! (I do realize this is a possible sign that I should open my WIP tonight.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I love the South

After enjoying a sunny, 80 degree day, I went to the first cookout of the season. Summer's here, right? It's official... Dear weather, please don't take this away from me.

Hope you all got to enjoy some great weather as well- no matter where you are.

On a related note, I didn't get any writing or editing done today. No regrets!

Update: And now I am watching Twin Peaks. This show is so strange and fantastic- how have I not seen this before? I like to call this researching, since I'm trying to write a mystery/detective novel. This counts as research. Definitely.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Editing up a storm

I wanted to share a little progress report with everyone:

School of Life
Student: Elizabeth

Science: A+
Math: Incomplete (I still need to finish my taxes!)
Home Economics: C (The laundry is not going to do itself.)
P.E.: B- (Time to hit the gym.) 
Procrastination, with a concentration in TV watching: A++
Blog Updating: B-
Editing: A

That's right- an A in Editing!! Aren't you proud? Feel free to hang it on your refrigerator, I know I will.

I've made some really awesome progress on Power Trio. I'm not sure how other people go about doing this, but here's my approach: I have a document, entitled 'Power Trio', that contains my first draft. I have a second document entitled 'Extra Lines' which is full of 10,000 words of things I wrote in that first draft and then deleted or funny quips or lines I thought of that haven't made it into the actual document. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Yet to be determined. Then, and this one has been the bane of my existence, I have a third document labeled 'Second half- incomplete 11 2010.' Sigh. I work in that documents and move the chapters over to the 'Power Trio' file. Over time 'Second half' shrunk to 'Third third' and now it's hover at about 'Final fifth.'

If all goes well, I'll officially finish the first draft by April! How fantastic!

Also, I have some incredible news to share. I'm always blabbing about how I only recently discovered the world of writing. I was not one of those kids who grew up writing. I couldn't even keep a journal. Instead, I grew up with my chemistry set and my science summer camps (Why, yes, I was a Young Astronaut!). 

But wait! I have stumbled upon a gem of all gems. This is the Holy Grail of Wannabe Writer history. I wrote a story! And I did the illustrations. After reading it and laughing so hard I sobbed, I have decided to share it will you for Elizabeth P.'s upcoming blogfest. You should consider participating too, but definitely come back here on April 1 to join me in celebrating my progress as a writer.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Only two things in life are certain

Death and taxes. And the latter is driving me crazy. It's amazing how much it has made me nostalgic for simpler times.

Maybe that's why I write (aka, am trying to write) YA. I'm secretly and intensely jealous of teens because they don't have to pay taxes. Growing up is tough. I remember being 15 years old and wanting nothing more than to be 25. Life seemed sweet for 25 year olds. They could go where ever they wanted, eat whatever they wanted, stay up as late as they wanted... how could life get any better?

Turns out, even when you grow up, you don't get to go wherever you want (it costs too much money), eat whatever you want (it goes straight to your hips), and stay up as late as you want (gotta go to work in the morning- how did 14 year old me not realize that adults had jobs?!).

But, if I want, I can eat ice cream for dinner! And I stay up as late as I want and willingly pay for it in the morning. So even though there are things I miss from those fantastic teen years, I'm happy to be where I am (and will be much happier after April 15).

No matter how old you are, there are things that suck and there are things that completely rock! And what you focus on can make all the difference. So, I'm going to lay back, watch some funny TV, and put off those negative things for a later day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yay! Contest! Winner!

I'm happy to announce the exciting conclusion of the super sweet Spring contest:

The winner is... Elizabeth Poole! Congratulations!
I have to add that I've been reading her series on How to Write a Novel and learning a ton! For example, I've noticed that I overuse exclamation marks in my writing! Can you believe that!

Elizabeth, shoot me an e-mail and I'll send you the list of ARCs (teaser: I've got some strange ones).

Thanks again to everyone for being a part of my journey to writer-dom. I didn't get much editing of Power Trio done last night, but I did a good bit of reading, and I am more convinced than ever that

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Promiscuous writing

You may have noticed the word counts of my current projects (See 'em? Over there on the right). The first-ish draft of Power Trio has been done for a year. I say first-ish, because the first third of the book is probably on draft #3 and the last third of the book is on draft #0.65. At work, I love to edit, but this felt too daunting. I was intimidated and bored at the same time. I needed to walk away. Right when I thought I was done with writing and going to have to find a new hobby, a shiny new idea popped into my head. It was fresh and fun and I was so excited to get to know the new characters. I happily filed Power Trio away in the depths of my computer.
Now, I'm about a third into Forgetting (maybe that's my lucky fraction- 1/3), and I can feel myself slowing down. And lately I've been thinking about Power Trio. I miss those girls. I wonder what they're up to. Do they miss me? I think I'm going to give them a call.

You know, I think it's better like this. Two projects is twice the fun. I can spend time with the one I'm into one day and go home with the other the next night. My boyfriend is lucky I don't feel the same way about men!

I'm off to work on Power Trio for the first time in months- wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Direct Correlation

There is an inverse relationship between how much writing I'm doing and how much reading I'm doing. On a positive note, I've been doing a ton of reading lately! I finally, finally read the Hunger Games. It only took me three years to get around to it. I must confess that the ending was spoiled for me last year, almost immediately after I told this particular person that I had not read the series. That might have had a little to do with my delay in reading the first book, but I'm glad I finally got around to it.

I've not read a lot of dystopian YA lit (as I mentioned in my review of Matched), but I have to say that I"m really enjoying the genre. Maybe it's influenced by my lifelong love of zombies (George A. Romaro is a genius). But I can totally understand why everyone is so into this right now. I like Suzanne Collins dark dystopia where life is hard and survival is not guaranteed. I like Ally Condie's peaceful world, where food and jobs are available, but free thought is discouraged. Both are equally depressing in their own ways. Up next, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies- finally! Or maybe I'll get back to my writing.

Side note: It's not too late to enter my Yay Contest! The soaps smell fantastic- it's all I can to keep from using them myself. I wanted to mention that the journal is a bit on the small side. It's not a full-sized notebook, more of a pocket-sized journal. Well, bigger than a pocket, smaller than a bread box. My stack of ARCs is read and waiting! Good luck, everyone!