Nano Struggles

I’m really struggling with Nanowrimo this year. I have zero energy, very little in the way of time for writing, and since I spent time working on writing classwork instead of planning this years nano novel, every time I sit down to write, I instead end up spending 3/4 of the time working on background info and character sketches. So for every 2 hour block of writing time, I get maybe 30 minutes of good writing in, which gets me about 500 words a day. But I haven’t had time every day because of days like Tuesday, where I spent all morning working on PTA stuff, went to the meeting, had to stay late to work on yet more stuff, and that used up all my free time and energy for the day. Or days like Wednesday, where I spent time writing for class, went to class, and only got real words on the book done during the Write-in that I could only stay an hour for (because they scheduled them during school pick-up time.).

By Friday this week I really just gave up. There was no way to get ahead with the way things were going. I sat down to write and spent an hour doing background planning again and while I got a lot of good information out of that session (and got to use my son’s new Apple Pencil, which is how I convinced myself to do it in the first place), I just couldn’t see how I was going to finish.

But then this morning, my sweet spouse asked how it was going and if I was 1/3 of the way through my novel like I should be. I told him about my struggles and he encouraged me to spend more time writing, to put it all into the calendar and enforce those times, and that he’d get me up every morning at 4am if that’s what needed to happen so I’d get my time in.

So here I am, blogging instead of writing. I can’t get into novel-mode with as short a time period as I have until breakfast, plus two of my sons have wandered through since I started typing (and in the time it took to start and end that part of the sentence, one of them wandered back in a second time, but it’s his birthday, so I’m indulging his wandering-ins because he’s showing me photos from his friends celebrating him at midnight last night.).

Here’s my writing schedule for the next three weeks (barring disaster):

  • Sundays: 7-9am at home, 2-4pm at the library write-in
  • Mondays: 9-11am and 1-3pm at home
  • Tuesdays: 9-11am and 1-3pm at home
  • Wednesdays: 2-3:15pm at the library write-in (will also write for classwork 9-11am, but it doesn’t count towards nanowrimo)
  • Thursdays: 9-11am at home
  • Fridays: 9-11am and 1-3pm at home
  • Saturdays: 3-5pm at the Barnes & Noble write-in

Mathematically, if I get 30 good minutes writing for every two hours spent times 500 words per session times three weeks like that, I should be at 50,000 words by Christmas. *sigh* Maybe I’ll have to start writing in the early mornings and late nights, too.

Welcome new visitors, plus site updates for regulars

Howdy my peeps! It’s NANOWRIMO, so I know this time of year I usually get an upswing in visitors from new writing friends, so welcome to all of y’all! This blog is a combination of my online diary/way to kept in contact with far away family/ place to blather on about writing/ health journal. I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, so there’s quite a lot of backlog that’s kept under lock and key as my kids have gotten older and wanted to have less of their baby pictures and stories online. I’ve tried to make the writing and health posts more available because I have a lot of readers for those things. 🙂

Sometime late this summer I started posting and saving things as drafts, meaning to go back and add photos or links and then totally forgot about all of that as school got busy, PTA got busy, and I got sick once again. So this morning I went back and updated all 20 or 30 or those entries with photos or links and set them free from the WordPress jail (aka: published them). SO if you’re a regular here and have not been reading along feeling like you’ve been missing something: the posts in between are there now. Go, read, catch up on my weirdness.

As always, love to all of you. Hope everyone is doing well! 🙂

TPL Writer’s Group Halloween

Here’s how me and my friend Elizabeth dressed up for our Tyler Public Library Writer’s Class Halloween meeting. We went to the coffee house like this first and people were amused. Only one other person at the group dressed up, but we got candy and read spooky stories that we wrote. 🙂 D6EF37DA-964D-4DB3-9DFF-36A754FB02E8

British Houses

Does anyone else watch perhaps too many British shows and movies and then, seeing houses you recognize from other things, feel at once comforted by them, but then a little later disconcerted because they didn’t actually use that particular houses inside for the inside scenes? Is it just me?

Whining

The problem with being sick when your mom has died is that you have no one to call when you just want to whine about it and have someone tell you that “you should check the color of your tongue and take mucinex, why do you hate mucinex? Oh hey, did I tell you about the new building over by campus? It’s awful. Everyone is going to hate it. But there’s another new restaurant on University that we should go to when you come down…”

Nurturing Oneself

I had an early brunch with a dear, dear friend of mine this morning. As we sat in her sweet little breakfast nook with tea, boiled eggs, and stollen, we chatted about how the year was going and she asked me what I was doing to nurture myself. Honestly y’all, I babbled out an answer full of things that made her go “THAT’S what you find nourishing?” Things like scheduling things, making sure everything had a task associated with it, being better organized, etc. She expressed a bit of doubt with my methods, but being the gracious hostess she is, she just let it go and the topic moved onward.

I got home a while later and really started thinking about it. I am not really a planner. Oh, I try and try to be, but in the end every plan lasts a few days and then I scrap it. So I spent some time just meditating on the idea of nurture and what it meant to me.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Nurturing me means extra time around everything so I can digest experiences. Yes, that means a bit of planning, but it is soooo good to have time around things and not just be chock-a-block busy.
  2. Nurturing me also means time for music, which I have not been making. The words “I haven’t played the piano since I got these progressive lenses” slipped out of my mouth and now that I’ve ruminated on it, I got the glasses in January (9 months ago) and haven’t really touched the piano since my mom died.  Hmmm….
  3. Nurturing me means time to read. I have “Time to Read” in my Habit Tracker, but how much have I really been reading? None. Like one day a week, which is very close to none for a Lisa.
  4. Nurturing me also means eating foods I actually like. My husband is very good about cooking dinner, but he is very bad about making food that I really am fond of. Part of that is that the kids hate everything and part of that is that we really, Nick and I, have a totally different palate. I’ve been cooking my own lunches this week and eating all the things I love, like mushrooms and onions and zucchini and sweet potatoes and cabbage, and have been so happy at lunch time!

Anyways, that’s what’s on my mind today. Time to go eat the mushroom/onion/zucchini/feta dish that’s been sauteing while I type. 🙂  Hope y’all have a good afternoon!

Misreading Signs

Signs that you might need to go to bed early. I’m so tired right now that I just misread a sign as “The Devil’s Roomba.” Yesterday, similarly tired, I read a different sign as “Murders Ahead.” I also got mad at a light switch for not turning on the light that was already on.

Things I Do When I Cannot Write

I wrote 7 scenes yesterday, but my brain could not be bothered to come up with more than 500 words today, which is the lowest limit I allow myself for productivity these days. So I made this list of things I could do that are mostly Writing Adjacent on those days:

  • Make list of things to be done
    • Scenes
    • Outlines
    • Character sheets
    • Research
  • Research things off my Research list
  • Write “daily pages”
  •  Update Writing folders on computer
  • Read “Downloaded-yet-Unread Writing Related Articles”
  • Sort “Prompts” file by type of prompt for later use
  •  Figure out what topics I want more info on for the next writing group meeting
  • Prepare my 2-page item for sharing at TPL’s Writing Club
  • Do coursework for online writing classes
  • Help someone else with their writing

 

So then I did, yay verily, sort all my prompts. Also, dyed my hair teal. It didn’t come out quite how I hoped, but that’s how my whole week has gone.

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Anniversary

It’s around the one year anniversary of me taking myself and my writing seriously. It took a big health scare to do it, but I finally started regularly doing the things that make me feel all sparkly inside when I do it. Since then I’ve been writing or reading-about-writing as closely to daily as possible, I’ve joined classes and groups that have helped me not just work on my craft, but also expanded my knowledge of areas of writing and publishing that I had been previously unaware of. I’ve scaled back on a myriad of things that I was doing just because they filled a need for others and have tried to concentrate my efforts on things that I am really good at or knowledgable about (being the secretary for organizations and helping PTA’s learn & grow). Despite some hard times this last year, I feel like it’s been a year of growth and I’m excited to expand on that and start putting my writing out into world this next year. 🙂

50 New Things About Me

50 (yes fifty!!)
Things You’ve Never Been Asked.

1. What is the color of your toothbrush?
Blue and white

2. Name someone who made you smile today?
Christie Craig

3. What were you doing at 8am today?
Driving to a writers conference

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?
Singing a song from A Chorus Line

5. What is your favorite candy bar?
Snickers

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?
nope

7. What is the last thing you said out loud?
Meep

8. What is your favorite ice cream?
Umm… coffee heath bar crunch maybe?

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Long Range Pils by Revolver Brewing

10. Do you like your wallet?
Yes, so much!

11. What was the last thing you ate?
A Taco Bueno bean burrito with Taco Bell Hot Sauce

12. Have you bought any new clothes this weekend?
not for me, but for twin boybies

13. The last sporting event you watched?
DCI marching contest

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
Chicago style

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to?
Katherine Smith

16. Ever go camping?
Yes

17. Do you take vitamins daily?
yes

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?
Nope

19. Do you have a tan?
Not since high school

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?
NON

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?
Sometimes

22. What did your last text message say?
AWWWWW

23. What are you doing tomorrow?
Church, laundry, dishes, reading about writing

25. Look to your left, what do you see?
cat tree

26. What color is your watch?
I do not wear a watch

27. What do you think of when you hear “Australia”?
“In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson

29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Drive thru, usually

30. What is your favorite number?
17 or 14, depending on mood

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone?
My spouse

32. Any plans today?
Rewatch more of season one of ST:TNG and laugh at how derpy Riker is in retrospect

33. How many states have you lived in?
4

34. Biggest annoyance right now?
Headache from too much wind and heat from driving husbands non-air-conditioned car this afternoon for an hour.

35. Last song you listened to?
‘For Once in My Life’ sung by the cast of Glee

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Sometimes. Prolly not right now.

37. Do you have a maid service clean your house ?
I am the maid service. 🤣

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Black massage sole flip flops

39. Are you jealous of anyone?
Not really. Maybe people not currently having a headache, if anything.

40. Is anyone jealous of you?
???

41. Do you love anyone?
So many people! Also cats!

42. Do any of your friends have children?
That is such a weird question.

43. What do you usually do during the day?
Chauffeur my mini-me’s, write novels and short stories, go to the gym, work with PTA’s, clean the house, talk to my friends, snuggle people, pet the cats, eat, breathe, meditate, do homework for writing classes

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?
Not people I know. Politicians, yes.

45. Do you use the word ‘hello’ daily?
I probably say it more than a dozen times a day, usually to my poor spouse when I’m half asleep.

46. What color is your car/truck ?
Red/maroon, depending on who you ask (I did not choose it)

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?
Yeah. But when am I not?

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Yes

50. How did you get your worst scar?
I have so many. Ummm…. prolly the one on my right knee?

That’s All Folks ♥️