Monday, June 29, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Third Check In!


 
Welcome back to another Ready. Set. WRITE! check-in! I hope you had a super productive week! In case you’re new to the RSW craze, Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer long writing intensive through which we write/revise/plan like crazy, cheer each other on, and hold one another accountable with weekly updates. We’re sharing our goals on Mondays and keeping our posts brief so we can save our words for our WiPs! J Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to hop around to encourage other participants. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here!
And now it’s update time. J
How I did on last week’s goal(s):  

1)       Write 5000 words total on one or both of my stories. CHECK! I wrote 5886 words this week. Yay! 

2)       Read one book. CHECK! I finished reading Renee Ahdieh’s THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and it’s absolutely AMAZING. Definitely ranks up there with the best books I’ve read this year.

Currently, I’m half way through reading THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (Paula Hawkins) and it’s pretty exceptional. I also just picked up Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT and I am very excited about reading that one.  

3)       Exercise at least five times this week. CHECK! One of my exercise sessions involved cleaning out gutters and yard work. At noon. In ninety-degree humidity. I think I should’ve counted that session three times. J


STRETCH GOAL: Clean up what I’ve done so far on both stories.

Heh. No. Not at all. Oops.
 

My goal(s) for this week

1)       Write 5K total on one or both my stories. This goal seems to really work for me, although I do find myself writing more on the soccer story these days. Not a bad thing. Just an Alison observation.

2)       Read one book.

3)       Exercise at least five times this week. 

STRETCH GOAL: That clean up what I have so far thing didn’t go so well, so I think I’m going to just try to revise my stories for at least an hour this week.  

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: 

First, thank you for all your kind words on my way-too-long excerpt from last week! Second, this week, I’m following the rules and keeping things brief.

A line from THE STORY FORMERLY KNOWN AS CHICK MAGNET: (some of you may be familiar with this one)

                “Yo, Marshall! Thanks for the extra. Penny got two rides on this disco stick!”

And from the soccer WiP: 

                I dribble into the eighteen, cutting around defenders like Mia Hamm is my spirit animal.
 

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc) 

A wicked case of the lazies. I know. Shut up. I accomplished my goals. But it was hard to do that. Especially when all I wanted to do was read and hang out at the pool. Once I pushed myself to start something, I was fine, but getting started? #thestrugglewasreal

Something I love about my WIP

My CHICK MAGNET rewrite: my absolute favorite character entered the story last week and I’m ridiculously excited to write more of him. 

My soccer WiP: my playlist, which I don't really have a playlist because my iPhone's being stupid, but I have several songs that inspire me. This particular WiP has such a girl power feel to it and so Roar, Titanium, Shake It Off, Don't Stop Believin' are on continual brain-repeat. And I think my favorite song on the playlist so far: Playing with the Boys (Kenny Loggins). Could listen to that one ALL DAY.

Random side note: the Pitch Perfect station on Pandora is a perfect replacement for my non-existent/existent playlist. Except it plays Miley Cyrus. Which I then become very thankful God invented skip buttons.
 
I hope you had a wonderful writing week too! I can’t wait to bounce around and see how you’re doing! So, yanno, don’t forget to sign up on the linky!

 






Monday, June 22, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Second Check In!




Welcome back to another Ready. Set. WRITE! check-in! I hope you had a super productive week! In case you’re new to the RSW craze, Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer long writing intensive through which we write/revise/plan like crazy, cheer each other on, and hold one another accountable with weekly updates. We’re sharing our goals on Mondays and keeping our posts brief so we can save our words for our WiPs! J Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to hop around to encourage other participants. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here!
And now it’s update time. J
How I did on last week’s goal(s):  

1)       Write 5000 words on one or both of my stories. CHECK! I wrote 5,342 words total—about 40% on my CM rewrite; 60% on the soccer WiP. About 500 words on the rewrite were technically from an old draft, but I revised them so I’m counting them. J 

2)       Read one book. CHECK! I finished EXTRAORDINARY MEANS by Robyn Schneider and it was pretty extraordinary. Like, ranking up there with my favorite reads of the year extraordinary. You all should definitely check it out. 

Currently I’m reading Renee Ahdeih’s THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and it’s AMAZING. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble meeting my weekly reading goal. 

3)       Exercise five times this week. CHECK! I walked three days and Wii Fit-ted it three days.  

My goal(s) for this week 

1)       Write 5K total on one or both my stories.

2)       Read one book.

3)       Exercise at least five times this week. 

And thanks to the fabulous Jaime Morrow, I’m adding a STRETCH goal this week…

STRETCH GOAL: Clean up what I’ve done so far on both stories.
 

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: 

Sharing a little excerpt from THE STORY FORMERLY KNOWN AS CHICK MAGNET. And I’m breaking rules here because it’s a little long and a lot rough, but I’m sharing anyway. J

She sounds like she doesn’t want to talk about it.
            So we talk about other things. We talk about an amusement park in Ohio where she held her first summer job. I learn that she loves horror movies. That Child’s Play is her favorite. It used to be Jaws, but, while she won’t explain why, that she will never watch that movie again. I learn her favorite course in college was Shakespeare on the Lawn, where pretty much all they did was read and analyze Shakespeare and then field trip somewhere—Raleigh, Greensboro, even as far as Virginia Beach—to watch it live.
            I learn she’s twenty-two.
            That stalls me for a minute. Hot Bar Reader Girl is twenty-two. Four years older than me. She’s probably graduated college, about to start a real, real job. Not some summer thing or some internship like I initially thought. She’s probably had boyfriends and sorority sisters and trips around the world.
            Twenty-two.
            I should probably end things here. Tell her I’m only eighteen and about to be a senior in high school. That I only have the beach house because it’s on loan from Dad.
But I don’t want to.
For the first time in weeks, I’m not the Pedophile’s Nephew. I'm not Dr. Marshall’s son. I’m not that kid with the arm. The kid going to Carolina. The kid who’ll lead Sound Side to their first State Championship.
            I kind of like the idea of being twenty-two for one night.
            In fact, walking here with her, discussing college and pasts and families and classes she’s taking and then, when she asks, fictional classes I’m taking, I’m feeling pretty twenty-two.

 I know. I am SO BAD. 

Also, you’ll probably have T Swift on the brain the rest of the day. J Not a bad thing, right? I also have “Shake it Off” on the soccer story playlist so I’m all about some T Swift these days.  

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)

Research. I’m in a stage with my soccer story where I need to research A LOT as I draft. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it can be time consuming, which I don’t always have a lot of.

Also, there are some questions/things I have to research for this story that are not exactly online. This might be the first story where I have to, like, actually email professionals and stuff and heh. #scared

Something I love about my WIP

Research. I know. I’m a walking oxymoron. Despite how time-consuming and sometimes frustrating research can be, I also love learning about new people, places, and things. The soccer WiP has a bit of a travel aspect to it. I’ve never written a story before that has required a passport and it’s been very fascinating and intriguing and definitely has my wanderlust amped to new levels.

I hope you had a wonderful writing week too! I can’t wait to bounce around and see how you’re doing! So, yanno, don’t forget to sign up on the linky!





Monday, June 15, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! First Check In!




WOW! I am so excited about all of you who are doing Ready. Set. WRITE! this year and I hope you had a super productive week! In case you’re new to the RSW craze, Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer long writing intensive through which we write/revise/plan like crazy, cheer each other on, and hold one another accountable with weekly updates. We’re sharing our goals on Mondays and keeping our posts brief so we can save our words for our WiPs! J Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to hop around to encourage other participants. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here!
Last week was our first goal-setting post and now it’s time for an update.
How I did on last week’s goal(s):  

1)       Write 5000 words on one or both of my stories. CHECK! I wrote over 3500 on one, a little over 1500 on the other. I know some (a lot) of those words may go in the future, but writing crap keeps me going (that sounded better in my head) and it did. I really, really can’t wait to tackle more on each WiP. 

2)       Read one book. CHECK! I finished my read of CEMETERY BOYS (Heather Brewer) and reread WE WERE LIARS (E. Lockhart) for my IRL book club. 

3)       Exercise five times this week. CHECK! I walked for 30-45 minutes five days this past week. In ninety degree weather. I should win a prize or something. J 

My goal(s) for this week 

This 5K a week thing seems to work for me (writing, not running) so I’m going to stick with my goals from last week: 5K on one or both of my stories, read one book, and exercise five times this week. 

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: 

I have two stories I’m working on so I’m going to share what might be the first line from THE STORY FORMERLY KNOWN AS CHICK MAGNET:

The SWAT Team shows up before I have a chance to take a leak.

I know. A little crass. But I write from a guy’s POV and clearly I have no filter so… 

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc) 

Time. Oh, definitely time. Last week was the last week of school so my daughter had exams and half-days, my son had award ceremonies, I volunteered at the high school a few days with exams, and then between graduation parties and taking the teenager to see AWOLNation and fifty thousand other things, my writing time was very limited. This next week should be a little…freer. #ihope 

Something I love about my WIP 

Since I shared a little from my boy story above, I’m going to share here what I love about my girl POV soccer story. It’s a story that I’ve kind of envisioned to be a Step Up with soccer. I don’t know how well I can execute that vision to fruition, but I do have a character named Tate Channing (yes, I’m lame) and I love that 1500 words in I already have some soccer, tension, and some not-so-crappy words. J

Also, I love the discovery part of drafting. What I thought was my soccer girl’s hamartia is turning out a little… different. I’m trying not to fight that and just see where it takes me. 

I hope you had a wonderful writing week too! I can’t wait to bounce around and see how you’re doing! So, yanno, don’t forget to sign up on the linky!






Monday, June 8, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Goal Setting!


 
We’re back! And ready for Ready. Set. WRITE! We hope you’re looking forward to another productive summer! If you’re wondering what RSW is all about, it’s a summer long writing intensive through which we write/revise/plan like crazy, cheer each other on, and hold one another accountable with weekly updates. We’ll be sharing our goals on Mondays and keeping our posts brief so we can save our words for our WiPs! J Sign up on the linky at one of the host blogs each week, and remember to hop around to encourage other participants. For more info on RSW and a link to our lovely stash of buttons, click here!
As part of Ready. Set. WRITE! Katy, Erin, Jaime, Elodie, and I will be hosting Twitter writing parties (just look for the hashtag #RSWRITE and feel free to kick-start your own too!), giving away writerly care packages in July and at the end of the summer, and… AND at the end of the summer, we’ll be rewarding ourselves with what we call “Manicures and Manuscripts.” Stay tuned for more info. We hope you’ll join us for all the things!

PS - Elodie has started a Twitter list for Ready. Set. WRITE! 2015. It's a great way to keep up with all the RSW happenings. Just let her know (@ENowodazkij) you'd like to join the list and she'll add you!
And starting next week, we’ll be updating progress and setting new goals using these headings
●How I did on last week’s goal(s) 

●My goal(s) for this week 

●A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised 

●The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc) 

●Something I love about my WIP

 BUT since today’s our kick-things-off Monday, I’m sharing my goals for next week as well as some overall dreams/wishes/hopes for my writing this summer. 

OVERALL DREAM for RSW
This summer I’ll be working on two stories. One is a total rewrite and its current title is THE STORY FORMERLY KNOWN AS CHICK MAGNET. This will be my fourth rewrite of this beast (obviously there’s still a pull and a lot of love there) so I’m really hoping the fourth time is the charm. *fingers crossed*
The other story snuck into my brain a few weeks ago and I cannot shake it. It has a title and a diverse cast I’m really excited about getting to know and um… I’ve already written a super rough query for it, which I NEVER do at the onset of a story. Anyway, I’m still not sure where the story starts, but I’m anxious to get…started on the writing. Wish me luck! J
Also, this will be the first time in a while I’ll be working on single POV stories. TSFKaCM is from a guy’s POV and my other story is from a girl’s. It will be a weird, but nice change.
And as always my stories have a bit of a sports element running through them. One’s football. One’s soccer. My two faves. Clearly I’ll be using the Women’s World Cup as research. J
GOALS FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 8th
Write 5000 words total on one or both of my stories. 

Read one book.

Exercise at least five days.
 
How about you?! Are you doing RSW?! What are your goals for the next week?
And don’t forget to sign up on the linky!

 





Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Currently...

The fabulous Katy Upperman has recently rejuvenated the “Currently…” posts and I thought I’d jump on that bandwagon on a semi-monthly basis. Here’s what I’m currently

LOVING
All the hype and excitement about Ready. Set. WRITE! I’m excited and I’m glad other people are too! Don’t know what RSW is? All the details are right here. J
 
READING
I finished Katie Cotugno’s 99 DAYS which now ranks up there with some of the “best books I’ve read this year” and then went on reading binge and flew through Courtney Summer’s ALL THE RAGE and James Patterson’s MAXIMUM RIDE FOREVER. Currently I am about two-thirds of the way through THINGS I KNOW BY HEART. I always enjoy Jessi Kirby’s stories, but I know this one is going to be my favorite.

WATCHING
YouTube videos. Some for research, like this really cool street soccer one.


Some for entertainment. Like this pretty amazing tribute to the past ten years of YouTube (I’m a fan of the Rs)


And some because… Flula. If you’ve seen Pitch Perfect Two, you’ll know Flula Borg as this guy.  

Obviously you want to hate him, right? Well, watch this video. He is hilarious and so, so adorable! I’m so glad my daughter makes me watch all these videos. J


LISTENING TO
Still in my eighties groove, but I’m also gearing up the playlist for my summer projects. Police, Katy Perry, Journey, and a whole lot of Pitbull. J

THINKING ABOUT
My next project(s). Despite any and all attempts at plotting, I’m not quite sure where either of my stories start. I have several possibilities for inciting incidents and so I think it’s going to be a matter of me sitting down and writing a first chapter for each project 24 times before I get the one I really want. *sigh*  
At least there are thoughts there. Better than none, yeah?

ANTICIPATING
School ending. The end of the year is very stressful for my kiddos and there’s a lot going on. The husband and my children are in desperate need of some time off.

WISHING
More good things would happen for GOOD people.
Let me explain…
Last Tuesday, my husband’s girls soccer team played an opposing crosstown rival in the eastern regional finals, one game before the State Championship game. We had beaten this team earlier in the season 3-1, then lost to them 4-0 later on. Anyway, this game? We scored first. They tied it up. The game went into overtime, then golden goal overtime, and then the other team won the game in PKs. You hate for any game to go to penalty kicks and you certainly hate to lose in them, but my husband’s girls fought hard, they left it all on the field, and I’m so extremely proud of them.
But it still sucks.
I know many of my husband's girls personally so I can vouch for the fact that they are extremely hard working, incredible, and just all around good-natured people. I don’t know much about the other team's girls, but their coach is a good friend and he’s pretty awesome and I think he runs a great and pretty classy program. However, the opposing team’s fans?  They do not seem like GOOD people.
Don’t get me wrong. Jacksonville fans can get pretty obnoxious, but the opposing team’s fans take obnoxious to a whole new level. To like, overbearingly rude. They were pretty ridiculous during the game (choral boos at ref calls, air horns and whistles intended to throw our girls off, chanting OUR believe chant), to the point I don’t think I can stand to go to another game in which they’re there, but after my husband’s girls were presented a runner-up plaque and the opposing team was pronounced Eastern Region champs, the fans sang us a parting song: “Na na na na. Hey, hey, goodbye,” waving us off like good riddance.
The girls were upset enough. That was just downright rude. And I’m tired of good things happening to people like that.
They lost in the State Championship so I guess there was a little redemption for my friend Karma, but I’m still angry. And bitter. And just frustrated that some people seem to get the breaks and others don’t. Same goes with publishing. I’ve read some really amazing stories from good people that don’t get picked up and it really frustrates me. And then I read some published works that make me cringe. I don’t get it.
Anyway, I guess I could let the anger and defeatism and frustration get me down. But frankly, all I really know how to do in situations like this is to persevere. Write another story. Practice harder. I mean, if my husband’s girls won the State title, would they just quit? Does anyone who reaches a big success marker do that? No. Win or lose, his girls will get back in gear this summer, work out, go to camps, condition and try to get to the State Championship game again next year.
I feel defeated a lot when it comes to writing and publishing. I’ve been told twice now that whatever WiP I’m looking to send out is THE ONE and so far that’s not working out to be the case. It’s frustrating. Infuriating. Depressing. So, I do the thing I have control over. Write another story. Persevere. And just try to make something happen.

But still. UGH. 

MAKING ME HAPPY
Despite that depressing tale of defeat, the good news is soccer goes on. My husband is graduating two starters. He has his entire defensive line coming back. Hopefully next year will be their year.
I had my last field day with my son yesterday and while that’s not making me happy, I do love that I could spend that field day with him.
And my children continue to make me laugh and make me proud. My son won third place in an essay contest. And my daughter blew the SATs out of the water on her first time taking it.
And my family is just an extreme bright spot in my life. Always. I hope you have similar happiness going on for you.


What’s up with you… currently?