Waking Fire Fifth Week Update

It’s been an exhausting week!

The kids are back to school and instead of having more time to write, I seem to have less time to finish anything. How is that even possible?

Nonetheless, I am making progress. Waking Fire stands at 47,789 words and I’m working my way through the final five chapters. (oh my!) I’m really excited about how much I have written in August but unfortunately, I will not be completing the first draft by the 31st as I had originally planned. I’ve set a new goal of completing the first draft September 8th.

Still… I’m happy. When I set out to write this book, I sort of expected that I’d fall into the same trap I encounter with every book I try to write – I’d get bored, fed up, lost, misdirected, or all of the above and simply give up.

Good news of the week – the wireless issues that plagued us last week now appear to be resolved. It took not only a new wireless router but also a visit from our internet provider to sort out the issues. Since then (knock on wood) there have been no problems.

The kids and I joke that our house is inhabited by the ‘Ghost of Bob’ because every so often, the toilet will have a mind of its own and flush. It will go months without doing it and then bam, there’s the Ghost of Bob we’ll say! Well, I suspect Ghost of Bob is getting bored playing around with the toilet and decided to find new ways to let us know he’s around…

Last night, in the middle of typing Chapter 16, my laptop shut down! It’s a relatively new machine and has had pretty much no issues up to this point. Most of the time when I use it, I have it plugged in but last night I used the battery. I couldn’t have been writing more than an hour when a battery that had been fully charged one moment, gave out with no warning the next. Zap!

The End!

For a few minutes, I thought I lost everything on Scrivener. Wow, that would be beyond heartbreaking. Thankfully, it’s all there. (And a backup has since been created) I did have one minor unexplainable glitch which I’ve managed to fix but otherwise, sigh of relief… I didn’t lose anything.

That was a close one!

Perhaps Ghost of Bob is not impressed with the new direction this story has taken? Well, too bad, I say. I’m going to continue on anyway and if it’s truly so awful, no big deal. That’s what the rewrites are for, right? We’ll fix it next month.

And then… the dryer just went belly. If it’s one thing… it’s another.

Anyway, thanks for sticking with me on this crazy whirlwind adventure. I’ll be back next week with a new update which will hopefully say I’m so close to crossing that finish line I’ve been eyeing up so long now.

Happy Day!

 

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Waking Fire Fourth Week Update

It’s been an interesting week of frustrations and progress.

First, the frustrations. Writing shouldn’t hinge on whether or not I have an internet connection but it’s rather eye opening to consider just how often I depend on said connection. Take that away and leave me crippled, or at the very least, grumpy, even though in fairness, I should be way more productive writing. I wish I could say those issues have been resolved with the installation of a new wireless router but lo and behold, we’re still struggling and I’m fighting an in and out connection just to accomplish anything that requires I be connected to the world – like right now writing this day-late blog post. (ha)  Any suggestions?

It’s the last week of summer vacation for the kiddos and while I should be happy that soon I’ll have uninterrupted writing time, I am inevitably sad that I’ll be on my own. <big sigh> Let’s face it, I get way more done when I can concentrate on well… getting stuff done … but it’s not nearly as much fun. I like having the company and I miss them when they’re gone.

Since school starts next week, that also means even if technically, summer isn’t really over, it might as well be. Back to the grind. Early bedtimes. Nightly homework. Grumpy mornings. No more leisurely start to the day or trips to the pool. The days are getting shorter. I already notice the early darkness and the fact that it still looks like nighttime when I get up at 6am. As much as I love fall and look forward to everything it has to offer, I’m reluctant to kiss summer goodbye. I guess that makes me a sentimental sap. I’m already mourning the end of my garden.

We’ve spent a lot of time this week preparing for the dreaded back-to-school. The kids approach this task solemnly. It’s kind of fun to pick out new clothes, shoes, and supplies, but it means the day they would rather put off is catching up with them.

We were totally boring for the eclipse. It didn’t occur to me to get glasses and I know what my kids are like so I didn’t want them tempted to look. So instead, we locked ourselves away in the house for three hours with all the curtains pulled to watch movies. Boring. I’ll be better prepared for the next one in seven years. (ha ha)

But in all the crazy to-ing and fro-ing, I did manage to get a fair bit of writing done. I’m not quite as far as I’d hoped to be by day twenty-four but sitting at 38,578 words and 64% complete is not too shabby by any stretch of the imagination! I’ll take it.

I have a growing list of changes I want to make when it comes time to start rewrites and a nagging fear that I’m writing complete crap but I will persevere regardless. There are other aspects of my story that I do like. I am going to finish this draft. Okay, maybe not by the 31st as originally planned, but I haven’t given up hope on that either. I may have hit a few road blocks with one thing or another but I know when the kids are back in school, I will be able to write a lot more than I do now – maybe even double. If that is the case, there is no reason why I won’t be celebrating the completion of draft one by September 1st!

What do you suppose would be an appropriate way to celebrate?

This morning in the shower, I was struck with a way to make an older idea of mine better. It was a story I started a couple years ago and never finished because I never quite figured out what story I was trying to tell. Maybe it finally hit me? During my down time, I’m going to start brainstorming and who knows, I could end up with the outline for my next book.

Okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. (Restlessness is setting in.) Fear not, I still plan to immerse myself in rewrites for this book come September.

Time to enjoy those last fleeting moments of summer with my boys. Until next week…

 

Waking Fire Third Week Update

Even slow progress is still progress which is what I keep reminding myself this week. I’ve still not quite pushed past the midpoint of my story but I’m teetering on that edge with 28,326 words. I anticipated I would need to put aside the writing for at least a day or two because of family issues I anticipated this week but I underestimated how big an emotional toll those issues would take on me. Once I hit Monday, my writing ceased and if I write much at all today, it will be dabbling just keep my forward momentum. The setback was inevitable but I’m not letting it slow me down and by Thursday this week, I expect to be back into regular writing routine.

Aside from that, I’ve also started hitting those middle part ‘blahs’. By the 9th chapter I felt like everything I wrote was the same. Was it because I already mapped out the story ahead of time and therefore had no big surprises? Or did the pacing feel slow because it inevitably takes longer to write than to read? I see a lot of areas where I will need revisions – dull descriptions, overused words, etc. My enthusiasm started waning and some days it felt like I was pushing myself just to get the words on the page and because of that I worry about how much I will end up cutting when it comes time to start revisions.

Then again, my head was not really in the best place because of the family issues looming closer so perhaps those chapters I wrote before all the dust settled are more a reflection of my anxious state of mind? Let’s hope!

I wrote the first draft of my book description but I expect this to go through many more revisions before it’s worthy of sharing. The first draft wreaks of melodrama and made me realize I don’t have a very clear vision of the overarching series antagonist. This is something that may become clearer as I finish writing the book I’m writing or it may be something that requires a little extra work to uncover before the first book is complete.  I’ll worry about that next week.

In the meantime, I will continue to push forward on the first draft because I still feel it’s a worthwhile endeavor and hopefully I will have better progress to report next week!

Back to dabbling… I stalled out on chapter ten where I’m expecting the first love scene so this should certainly prove an interesting place to pick up the pen and start again.

Waking Fire Second Week Update

I’m making progress!

Waking Fire is moving right along. Nine days into the month and I’ve already passed the 20,000 word mark. I’m pretty happy with that.

Not only that, I’m still enjoying the story. The outline helps as I work my way from one chapter to the next. It’s vague enough that I still get to daydream about the scene I want to write but still includes all the important points I want to hit in that scene. Most days I’m averaging just over 3,000 words but last Friday I pushed until I’d written 5,000 words. (Saturday and Sunday, I rest… but daydream.)

Fast progress is great – but it’s also dangerous. Too much time spent staring at the screen means I risk burning out before I reach ‘The End’. Not only that, but it’s still summer and I want to enjoy family time too! So yesterday we took advantage of beautiful weather for a day at the local amusement park. But even if it’s fun with the family, I like to think of it as a little research, too. After all, most of the scenes I’m writing this week take place in a traveling carnival. Not quite the same as an amusement park – but close enough to inspire the real life sights and sounds one might encounter. So yes, I’m taking notes.

Now that it’s midweek, I’ve worked my way through Chapter Seven with plans of hitting the story’s midpoint by next Monday. Things are getting exciting and I’m getting even more excited to share the story I’m bringing to life on the page.

Thanks for reading. Now it’s back to writing!

Waking Fire Begins in August

Where did the summer go? August is here and the haze and humidity of late summer brings new writing adventures. I’ve been daydreaming, planning, and outlining the first book in my new series for quite some time now but because of prior commitments, I wasn’t able to devote the time to start writing until now.

I  completed a seven-page outline by the end of July, just in time to roll up my sleeves and get cooking. It’s kind of like Nanowrimo, except a lot lonelier. You know, instead of the comradery of completing lofty word goals as a collective group, I’m standing alone in an empty chamber listening to my voice echo off the walls. “Anyone there?”

Nonetheless, I’ve attempted to create a progress bar which should be on display on the right hand column of my blog. (If it’s not, well, something apparently went wrong with the gobblety gook, as I so affectionately term the computer language, or my ability to update the tracker. Either is just as likely.)

The series is still untitled but I’m hoping the writing will spark ideas. The working title for the first book is Waking Fire. At the time of writing this post, I’m not in love with that title but it’s growing on me.

My goals for the month are ambitious. I have set out to write at least 60,000 words before the 31st. I figure if I average 3,000 words per day (which is totally doable when I follow an outline and a clear path) during a normal five-day work week, I should finish in time. Of course, I say this overlooking the fact that the kids won’t start school until the end of the month. Inevitably, life will throw wrenches at me and my foolish plans. (ha) Whichever way the wind blows, however, look for updates on the story progress once per week, on Wednesdays.

So far, I’m only on day two. Enthusiasm and optimism are still high. I’ve completed the first two chapters with 6,343 total words combined and I’m eager to jump into chapter three but holding myself back because I don’t want to burn myself out in the first week. The fact that I’ve thought so much about the characters helps a lot. It’s almost a relief to finally get it all down on the page.

I’m well known for diving into stories with great gusto only to run out of steam somewhere around the middle, completely lost. There are so many stories I once loved that now sit on my computer abandoned and unfinished.

This time, I’m determined to keep that from happening. Even if the story gets a little muddled or takes longer to write than I hope, I’ll keep pushing forward and shove those perfectionist tendencies back in the closet where they belong, hidden behind the winter coats. They can come back out later when it’s time to crack the knuckles and start rewrites in September.

So, until next Wednesday… Back to Writing!