Slacking

Obviously, I haven’t been on here as often as I would like to be for the past couple of weeks or so. I’d love to say it’s because I’ve been editing Collecting Humanity or working on some other sort of writing project, but no such luck.

9788867323135_350I did do a tiny bit of editing last night and I have been keeping up with my planner/journal every day. I’ve also been trying to write at least one or two poems every week. I know that isn’t going to get me my poem a day goal, but it’s progress compared to last year.

It’s as if I haven’t been able to get really plugged in lately.

But maybe it’s more that I’ve been too plugged into some things instead of what I should be. Besides my writing and brief bouts of social media, I should probably try to stay off of the internet. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to uninstall or at least move my Facebook app that I have on my phone either.

Something else that I would consider an achievement so far is that I’ve been reading more. I used to read all of the time, but I stopped that at some point last year or the year before for some reason. I’m currently working on David Baldacci’s Saving Faith that a patient, where I work, actually let me borrow. And, before that, I read Horns by Joe Hill; I haven’t watched the movie yet, but a friend of mine said that he liked it.

But I haven’t been blogging as regularly as I’d like and I haven’t been editing my novel in a way that will help me to finish it. My husband actually told me last night that he was happy I was working on it, that he would make me sit down and work on it if he could.

I’m planning on setting aside at least one night a week to focus solely on tackling the beastly project that is editing. And I’m going to try to post at least twice a week here and on No Penny Required.

Writing Goals for 2015

I know that there are a couple of days left in this year, but I felt like the beginning of the week would be just as good a place to put this post as any.

Looking back at the goals that I made for 2014, the only thing off of that list that I actually accomplished was finishing the novel I started for NaNoWriMo 2013. As you know, I did this by completely rewriting it for NaNoWriMo 2014. And, while I’m disappointed in myself for not having completed any of the other goals, I do think that the fact that I completed the big one, so to speak, is pretty exciting.

So, here are some of the writing goals that I have for myself for this upcoming year.

  1. This year’s “big” goal is that I want to finish editing my novel, Collecting Humanity.
  2. Another main goal for me is that I want to try my hand at freelance writing again.
  3. I’m also planning on blogging regularly both here and at No Penny Required. I made a commitment to both these blogs when I decided to purchase their domain names. I’m also playing with the idea of once again trying to create some sort of author website using Wix.
  4. You may have noticed in the sidebar that I’m going to give myself the poem a day challenge again as well. Even if it’s winds up being something I can’t use, I want to get something down.
  5. The same applies to short stories. I want to try to write as many of those as I can during the year as well, and the Story Pieces series that I’ve started doing here should help.
  6. I would also like to submit my work to different literary magazines,
  7. attempt to find a literary agent once my novel is complete,
  8. and get some professional head shots made for the web and also for, one day, the inside cover of my novels.

There are so many things to see and do and learn in 2015. What are some of your life and writing goals?

Citations

I know, I can’t bring another Story Piece today, but I can find time to give you two posts in one day instead? We already knew that I was strange.

I recently realized that I haven’t been citing from the book that I’ve been using to find quotes from. And, because I think it’s important for you to use citations in work, it must also be important for me to use citations in my work. This posts is simply giving you a head up that whenever you see some words in magenta at the end of one of my posts, that is a citation from Son of Citation Machine.

ExampleofMagentaCitation

Above is a better example of the magenta that will be happening. I know that it looks pink, but if you have a WordPress account, you can look at your color options and this one is, in fact, known as magenta.

Anyways, I’m going to go through the other few Weekly Quotes that I have and make sure that I have MLA citations for each of them.

QuotationaryThe book that I was referring to is the Quotationary put together by Leonard Roy Frank. This is a wonderful book that I’m pretty sure my grandma found for me somewhere at some point some years ago–it’s been a while. It’s also a book that I think you should make a part of your collection because it is wonderful and also because it is apparently only $0.98 on Amazon.

I’ve always found quotes to be fun to look at it and they can also be an inspiration for your writing. I find that it’s a great way to spark poetry, in particular.

And this book is designed wonderfully. For one thing, it’s huge! It’s filled to the brim with so many wonderfully easy to read and find quotes.

Frank did a great job when he decided to separate the quotes by subject, making it easy to flip through your ABCs until you find the type of quote you might be looking for. The index is also broken up into topic and author, making it even easier to find what you’re looking for. Each quote has the speaker of said quote along with what they might have said it in, be it a novel or speech or letter. There are even some classic, anonymous quotes at the end of each section.

My Apologies

My intent with the Story Pieces series that I started was to give you something every Friday, but I don’t have anything new to give you today. For those of you looking forward to the next installment, I’m very sorry. You will get more Gwen and more fairies next Friday in the new year. And I’m planning on writing even more to make up for it.

Yesterday was Christmas and I had the joy of cooking a meal for my husband, our moms, and my grandma. It was our first Christmas as a married couple and I know that I loved all of it.

I hope that, for those of you who celebrate Christmas, that you had a wonderful time enjoying the people that you love. For those of you who don’t, I hope that you had a wonderful time celebrating your own holidays and traditions. To all of you, today and every day, celebrate whatever time you’re given with the people you love. We don’t know the length of time we’ve been given here.

When I give I give myself.

~Walt Whitman, from Song of Myself

Frank, Leonard Roy. Random House Webster’s Quotationary. New York: Random House, 1999. Print.

Procrastination

Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Lord Chesterfield

Believe it or not, I didn’t intentionally pick another Lord Chesterfield quote! I actually didn’t even realize that it was until I was glancing back at last week’s quote to see how I had formatted the post.

The reason I picked this quote is because it really applies to how I should be looking at life. This past year, I’ve discovered the art of laziness and I’ve been working on slapping myself out of it. Hopefully, this adventure away from laziness with continue on into the next year.

This quote also has a lot to do with writing. You have to “snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment” of writing that you’re able to get your hands on because sometimes a few moments might be all you get in day to let your creativity flow.

And when you do get your hands on it, you need to dig in with all of your focus.

I.e. it probably isn’t the best idea to write while watching Guy Fieri‘s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Which is not what I am currently doing. At all.

Frank, Leonard Roy. Random House Webster’s Quotationary. New York: Random House, 1999. Print.

Lord Chesterfield

Take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves.

I feel like this quote by Lord Chesterfield, a man who was born in 1694, really applies to what I’ve been talking about these past couple of weeks. I’ve always had a bit of a problem with time management, and focusing on what I’m going to do for a couple of minutes instead of the stretching hours, days, years ahead makes it much easier to focus and get things done.

This is something that I learned during NaNoWriMo because of my success in focusing on the 1,667 words every day instead of the 50,000 words that I ultimately had to have written.

Frank, Leonard Roy. Random House Webster’s Quotationary. New York: Random House, 1999. Print.

Editing Progress

Over the weekend, I started more seriously delving into the editing process for my NaNoWriMo novel. I also did a little editing of this actual site along with a little bit of Christmas shopping.

No, I have not finished my Christmas shopping yet. Usually, I would have been done and had everything wrapped by now…

I’ve started doing more shopping online this year and discovered that it’s difficult to not shop for myself along the way. Somehow, it’s easier to control myself when at the store than when on my laptop. For instance, after having shopped for the few things that I wanted for family, I decided to look on the Bath & Body Works website where they had their three wick candles on sale for $12.

I’ve had a bit of a candle problem ever since I’ve moved out, though I’ve pretty much gotten it under control. Sales like these make things difficult. Maybe, I’ll just allow myself one or two candles.

Now, the real reason I’m writing this post is to tell you about my latest editing endeavors.

So far I’ve started doing a read through while doing some minor editing and attempting to organize the piece with chapters and real scene breaks, but I hadn’t gotten very far. I kept sitting on this idea I had to help me fix the organization of the novel that involved sticky notes, but I couldn’t figure out how that wouldn’t be a big mess.

LOTR sword penOn Saturday I decided to take the idea and tweak it to something involving a notebook. I’m writing down a little snip-it about each scene as I come across it and then, with a different color pen, I’m giving it a timeline sort of word like “day 1” or “flashback.” After that, I’m going to work on putting everything it it’s proper order and chapter while fixing timeline holes.

And I’ve already found a timeline hole. I have a scene labeled “day 2” in which one of my characters references “a month later” as if it were in the present.

As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t written this big of a beastly project before, so I think that this will be the perfect way to organize lay out and figure out how to make it make sense.

I’m going to find a lot more holes that need to be filled because, during NaNoWriMo, my goal was to simply get all of the words down.

The sticky note idea probably would’ve worked just as well, if not better, because I would’ve been able to move said sticky notes around to get them in the correct order. I simply couldn’t figure out where I was going to stick all of them.