Archive | August 2011

#ROW80 Check In – Wednesday 31st August

I think this is going to be the best check-in of Round Three. I’ve actually achieved my weekly goal this week – and it’s only Wednesday. WOO!

Not only that, but I’ve had a count up of how I’m doing on the whole challenge, and it’s nowhere near as bad as I thought.

My goal is 250 words, 5 times a week. That means that by today I should have written 10,536 words (I know this cause I set up a clever little tracker – geek side coming through). I’ve actually written 8020 – not great, but I thought I’d be like 5k behind, not 2.5k. I probably shouldn’t be happy that I’m behind, but I’m happy I’m less behind than I could be. 2.5k isn’t all that much, and if I carry on going the way I have this week (615 on Monday, 358 Tuesday and 395 today), I’ll catch up in no time.

You never know, I might even finish ‘Holiday’ by the end of October!

Changing the subject slightly, can you believe it’s SEPTEMBER tomorrow? Eek! How did that happen?

A Little Bit of Writing, And A Little Bit About Books

I was planning on getting 1k words done over the weekend. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to fit it all in, but I knew I had to – if I didn’t, I thought I was never going to get back into the habit of writing regularly.

By Monday afternoon, I’d not written anything. Poo. But I decided to write while I was cooking dinner and uploading photos to Facebook (have you noticed how long it’s now taking? Over an hour yesterday!!!). Not an ideal situation, but I have to take what I can get! I sent the boyfriend upstairs to watch TV and set about writing the scene I’ve been doing the last few weeks.

By the time dinner was ready, I was 615 words better off. Not  the 1,000 I wanted, but not a bad effort. We then had to travel back down to London, so I couldn’t do anything else.

Today, I decided I didn’t need to go out for lunch, that I’d get some from the canteen upstairs, and then do some writing. 358 words later I’m done.

It means I’ve still not reached the 1k total I wanted over the weekend, but it does mean I’m 973 words closer to writing those magic little words ‘The End.’ I need to be positive about it, not negative, so I’m giving myself a pat on the back!

I’d like to try to get some more done tonight, but I’m going out for dinner, then when I get in there’s loads of washing and stuff to do from the weekend. I’m not making excuses, I’m just being realistic! I’m also out for dinner tomorrow night, so I’ll try to get some writing done at lunch again. I may have to pop out though to do some dry cleaning and stuff, but I’m sure I can get in 10 minutes or so.

If I can do that tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll be somewhere near a regual pattern and that’s nothing but good!

And on to books.

I’ve just read something that reminded me Lauren Oliver’s Delirium was out in paperback at the beginning of the month. I read Before I Fall last year in prep for writing a YA novel for NaNo, and loved it. I know I say that about a lot of books, but I loved it enough to keep it rather than passing on to a friend, or giving to charity or something. I don’t do that with many books.

I knew then that I’d read anything else that Lauren Oliver wrote. Hence my now excitement that Delirium is out in paperback (incase you don’t know, I hate hardbacks, I find them way too hard to read, and way too heavy to carry around everywhere, which is what I do)

The only problem with this is that I’m still on the A to Z Challenge. I’m now on letter R. That means I have 8 1/2 books to read before the end of the year to complete it, and only really 3 months to do it (I generally don’t let myself read anything in November – I don’t really think I have time to NaNo and to read). That really means that I don’t really have anytime to read anything else. Damn. Maybe I’ll ask for it for Delirium for Christmas and it will be one of my first books next year to read.

But honestly, I don’t want to have to wait unit next year to read it. I hate this challenge 😦

More importantly than the A-Z challenge goal, is my ‘Holiday ‘ goal. It’s pretty much 2 months until NaNo, which means I have pretty much two months to finish the novel. Writing 615 words a week  (only 808 last week!) really isn’t going to get me there is it!

Will try harder this week. Honestly!

Another Weekend Away?

Yep, I’m away again this weekend. This time up at the ”in-laws” (not really cause we’re not married, but you know what I mean) for a family wedding. A family wedding tonight, but a shopping spree this afternoon. Woop!

We’re up here for the whole of the long bank holiday weekend, but as it’s a family house, I should be able to find some time to write, I hope. I guess I should be doing it now, but blogging and uploading photos to Facebook are much more appealing 😉 God it’s good to have the internet up here.

I can’t believe how much I’m struggling NOT having internet. I feel totally cut off from the world, even though I can get it on my phone, it’s just not the same, and I really hate typing on my phone, so don’t do all that much. I should do, but I don’t.

We’re hopefully going to sort out getting the internet at home soon. It’s easy to say that, but then we forget and then it gets to the end of the month and we don’t have money to spare on connection etc (this is what I’m told, I didn’t think it cost that much, if anything to set up – but I think he thinks he wants to get Sky too, so it’s not a basic thing. I think? I dunno!).

So anyway. My goal is to write at least 1000 words this weekend. That’s really quite doable. Maybe not today cause we’re just about  to go out and then when we get back I’ll have to get ready (it takes about 2 hours to make my silly wavy hair curly, and I’ve got it in my head I’m curling today!).

I’m reading Trans AM by Rob Ryan (R on the A to Z Challenge). I’ve not really had the chance to get into it too much, but hope I’ll also be able to do that. Of course we need to catch up with the Mr’s family and friends, so maybe I’m setting myself too many goals, but I guess it’s good to aim high!

Happy Weekend everyone!

Back from Ireland – Time for a New Start?

As predicted, I didn’t get any writing done in Ireland. Unlike when I went to Sweden I was always with people and always doing something. There were about 15 of us, so always someone around wanting to do something.

I make it sound bad – it wasn’t it was great, had such a laugh. It just wasn’t the environment to be able to write. Neither were either journeys. But I kind of predicted it, so it was fine really.

On the way back, in between the chatting to my friends, random Irish people on the flight, and drinking, I started thinking about ROW80 and how incredibly terrible I’m doing at it. I was almost tempted to give in and quit. BUT, I’m not a quitter. And quitting wouldn’t do me any good. I need to finish Holiday by 31st October, so ROW80 is needed to push me to do that. Good!

I had already booked Monday off, thinking I’d need it for a hangover. I only had 2 drinks the whole of Sunday, so knew I’d wake up on Monday without a hangover. But I was exhausted so decided I’d take the day off anyway.

In the back of my head I had a plan to do so much… Go to the library, do a blog, upload some photos to Facebook, tidy the house, do the washing  up etc etc. Oh, and of course some writing. You know how much of that I did?

I woke up stupidly early for a day off – 6am – and couldn’t get back to sleep. When the other half left I actually managed to sleep. For about an hour before I got texts waking me up. I was knackered. It took me ages to get up (reading in bed didn’t exactly help), then to shower then to get ready (which also included reading). By this point (about 14.30) I decided I had to go food shopping cause I dind’t have anything for lunch! After reading a little more, I went.

An hour later I got home, tidied the kitchen and started dinner. Having not done anything on my list. Sigh.

Which dinner was in the oven I turned on the laptop and churned out 517 words – WOOP! I wanted to get 1k, but I’m so happy I got over half (even if only just!).

I hope this is a new start for me. I really want to finish Holiday by the end of October. That gives me just over 5 weeks to do 36/37/38k or something. I don’t have an exact goal, but I’m guessing it’s going to end up about 70/80k. I want to finish it, and I’m damn sure I can. If I can do 50,000 in 30 days I’m sure I can do this. I want to.

It’s going to help that we’re going to be broke this month. No money = no going out = lots of time in the flat to write. I’ve been good in the past and left my boyfriend in the lounge while I go and write in the bedroom. I know I can do it, and he doesn’t mind, so I have no excuses about having no where to go. I just need some will power now.

I have a couple of times, got home from work, written a few hundred and then made dinner. I think that’s quite a good plan. Then if I don’t manage to pull myself away from my boyfriend/the TV/a film I have already done some. And if I do manage to, I get more words!

Result!

I’m going to try blogging more during my lunch break. At the moment I’m bringing my lunch in to work (also trying to lose weight!) so once I’ve eaten that I’ve got loads of time. I don’t have money to go shopping this month, so blogging should fill in some time.

Got it all worked out haven’t I! Lets see how well I get on…

To NaNo or Not to NaNo

The last week or so, I’ve been thinking about NaNo. Em posted a blog about it the other day, which I commented on, and while I was doing this I realised I needed to do a blog myself about it.

Since completing NaNo in 2009, I’ve always KNOWN that I’d do it again. When 2010 came around, I didn’t even question whether I’d do it or not. I presumed 2011 would be the same. It has been, until the last couple of weeks.

Maybe a month ago, I decided I had to finish Holiday by 31st October so I can start NaNo on 1st November knowing that I hadn’t leftHoliday unfinished (as I have the previous two years). I decided that in December (realistically probably January) I’d either start editingHoliday, or Italian Infatuation. Good plan, I’m happy with this.

However, I’ve now started to have doubts.

By November I’m going to have two novels with draft one finished – not edited. I’ve also got the half novel from NaNo 2010. Do I really want or need another novel that would compete for my attention, I’ve spend enough time over the last 18 months trying to work out if I should be editing Italian Infatutation, or writing Holiday – what if there was another novel in the mix too? I don’t think I could handle it.

But, I love NaNo.

Last year I went to lots of writing events, and loved them. I met some great people that I’ve stayed in touch with, I met some great people that I haven’t stayed in touch with, but that I know I’ll see again in November. I got a thrill from writing in a room with lots of other people. I did a writing tour ofLondon, writing in loads of different places (mid November isn’t that great to be writing on park benches – but FUN!).

Also, you know, I wrote a novel in 2009 and half in 2010. I kind of have this idea that I’ll write a novel a year – probably in November each year.

This sounds weird, but I love the pressure I’m under each of those 30 days (especially the last few!!). I’m so much better at writing when I have a deadline. I find it pushes me, which I can’t seem to do on my own.

But then, if I do take part, I’ll need to have a story idea. I don’t have any at the moment. I know this is just now and I’m sure I can think of something in the next two months, but it’s still a problem. I’ve hadHolidayin my head for years, and Italian Infatuation in one form or another for years too. I thought up The Dating Project just before NaNo last year, and I’ve got to say I’m not that happy with it (I think that’s a lot to do with the pace being too slow – I’ve written 51k and not really even hit the main story!), so it would worry me that the same would happen again.

I’m quite likely to have a comment here from my other half reminding me about my black comedy/funny thriller (kind of Ben Elton style) that’s kind of been floating round my head for a while. There is that one. But, well, I’m scared if I’m honest. I’ve never written anything funny and not sure I can. The guys in the writing group often laugh atHolidaywhen I read that out, so maybe I can, but a whole novel TRYING to be funny scares me. I also think it will have to be much more complex than I usually do, and I just don’t know if I can do that complex.

There’s also a little bit of me that thinks I should do NaNoEdMo in November when everyone is doing NaNoWriMo (editing instead of writing…). 50 hours editing. It’s an idea anyway.

I’m going to make a decision soon. At the moment I really need to concentrate onHoliday, so thinking about this can be on the back burner. I’ll probably end up doing it, but there’s a little bit of me that thinks I shouldn’t.

Sunday 14th ROW80 Check-In

Another check in day, and another check in (again writing up on Sunday, and I’ll post when I get internet tomorrow). Awesome. Just a shame about the writing.

I’ve done nothing. Nowt, nada, nothing.

I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to get into it since I’ve been back. I was ill last week, so not feeling that up to it, but it was more than that – I didn’t even think about writing. Yesterday I should’ve done some, but again, I didn’t really think about it until it was too late and I headed out to a wedding. Today I’ve been hungover, then since I started feeling better I’ve done a full roast dinner, and baked a cake.

I was also going to go on a diet this week. My boyfriend said I had to have no excuses on eating bad things – I always make excuses to be able to let myself have a chocolate bar here, muffin or something there etc etc. I’m just the same with writing. I find a reason and go with it. I need to have NO EXCUSES this week with writing and the diet. NO EXCUSES.

I think I’ll start tonight by typing up what I wrote in Sweden last week, that should work by reigniting my interest in the story. I hope.

Although I’m not writing, I’m reading! I’m still going with the A-Z Challenge, and have just finished P. Of course, I’ve not finished L or O and have had to miss Q. L is a book that I’m a little embarrassed to read on the tube – Girl with a One Track Mind by Abby Lee. It’s chockablock full of sex, and I don’t want people reading that over my shoulder, I’d be so embarrassed. I’m reading it at home, but it’s taking a while.

O is the book I left on the airplane. I need to go to the library to get it replaced, then re-borrow it, but until I get paid, I can’t afford it (rubbish eh!). That’s on my list for next week, then I’ll get back to O sometime.

I’ve missed Q completely cause I finished P last night and really want to start another one on the way to work tomorrow. I’m a little torn on my R though.

I’ve got a choice of Trans AM by Rob Ryan, or Surf, Sea and a Sexy Stranger by Heidi Rice. I’ve had Trans AM for years and not read it, it sounds really good, and I’ve not read a thriller for ages and really fancy it. But then I went to a Mills & Boon workshop with Heidi Rice a few months ago, so kind of really want to read that too.

Writing this I’ve just realised which one.

It has to be Trans AM. SSSS is a book I should read just before I edit Italian Infatuation, to get my mind into the Mills & Boon place. Trans AM then. Can’t wait.

P was brilliant. It was Still Thinking of You by Adele Parks. Of course it was going to be great, I’ve enjoyed every single thing I’ve read of hers. I want to read another of hers – now! In some ways I’d love this A-Z challenge thing to be over!

Sweden and ROW80 Update

I’m actually writing this on Tuesday, and I’ll post tomorrow when I’m at work, you know, with the internet.

Yep, it’s nearly a month later, and we still haven’t sorted out the internet at home. We suck. And now I don’t think we’re going to be able to sort it until we get paid – 10 days away. Oh well.

So I went on holiday to Sweden. I wasn’t sure how much writing, if any, I’d be able to get done, because we were staying with friends, so I wasn’t sure if I’d get any time to myself. As it is I did. Not loads, but some is better than none.

On Friday, the weather was lovely. Just before we had a Crayfish Party (traditionally Swedish where they eat Crayfish and drink lots and lots of Schnapps) I got some time in the garden, in the sun, to myself. I managed 100 words. It wasn’t many, but it was some. I’m happier with some than none.

On Saturday, we went to Stockholm and stayed in a hotel, so I was more confident for some time to write. It came at the price of missing out on going to the gym, but I got 200 words in.

On Sunday I wrote another 250 words.

550 isn’t all that much, but, I was half expecting to get none done, so I’m really happy. I also wrote a scene that I knew was coming up, but I wasn’t  looking forward to. I wasn’t really sure how one of the secondary characters would react to some news, but it turned out to be a brilliant reaction, that makes the scene, and the one before, totally worth having. I was getting a little unsure of the reason of having it. I’m really happy.

I just need to type the words up now and add them to one of the many many documents that currently are ‘Holiday.’ When I say many, I think at the moment it consists of 11 documents each compromising of between one and eight thousand (does that add to 35 ish thousand?). I can’t wait until I have bits to fill them in and it becomes just one long document.

I also need to back everything up. About a month ago, I emailed the whole thing to myself, but I’ve done a few thousand words since then so should really do it again.

Or even better, copy it to my boyfriend’s harddisk. One or the other.

It will have to be the harddrive actually, seeing as I don’t have internet – doh!

Finally, I’m doing well on the A-Z challenge. I was on O (Maggie O’Farrell – The Hand that First Held Mine) when I left London, and took P (Adele Parks – Still Thinking of You) with me. I planned to at least finish O to get to P. I got to P ok, but only by being an idiot and leaving O somewhere (strongly though to be the plane!). Uh, oops! It’s a library book as well. Damn. Will have a big fine then (replacing it), and then have to re-borrow. I don’t know how I do these things!

Right, now I’m back, I really need to get back into a regular writing pattern. After all I’ve got less than three months to write roughly 36 thousand words. I can’t do that by writing 550 words a week! 

PS – I keep forgetting to apologise for not visiting many blogs at the moment. I know there are lots and lots of people who deserve some visits and I’m not giving. I promise as soon as I get the internet back, or I get less busy at work, I’ll start visiting again. Until then, keep up the good work – you can do it. OR, don’t worry you’ve not done well till now, there’s still time to catch up!!!