It is that time of month, again! Word Count report… YEAH!
For those that may be new to this blog, I participate in a yearly challenge called Get Your Words Out, through LiveJournal. The idea is that writers only keep and use a portion of words written. So the more you write, the more you use and in return the better your writing skills. The challenge is to set a goal to push yourself further than before, and then to WRITE. I don’t write to a specific word goal, but it does give me incentive to keep moving forward when I want to be lazy. The year before last, I aimed for 200K words. I came in well over 300K. Last year I aimed for 300K and I hit around 350K. This year I am going for the gusto– 350K, or the INSANE level.
Yes, I certainly am quite certifiable.
So, last month I had a banner month to kick off the year, over 3oK words. Most of that was three chapters of my fanfic serial, in an effort to finish it. That effort hung over into February, in which I completed 2.5 chapters and some other smaller projects that I probably won’t complete. However, I wrote the words, so they count. I came in around 24K words in February (not sure of the exact number because I don’t have my spreadsheet with me and the database at the community won’t be updated until the 5th). I’m sure, though, that I have over 50K words down for the year. Only 300K to go.
I was a bit concerned when I finished All I Wanna Do. At about 9800 words per chapter, it has been a main source of word count, for me. For a few days after it was done, my mind was pretty much mush. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to come up with a new idea that would keep me writing and therefore keep my word count healthy. I hate to start counting blog posts. I’m trying to keep the word count JUST on fiction (or non-fiction, when it comes to Mama Said). I’m happy to say that I do have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head. Now to just get them down on paper, develop characters and story arc and figure out how they’re going to end. I have to know that before I can work back to the beginning.
So, I am excited again about dipping my toes into something new and that the creative vibes coming out! On to March!
I’ve decided to try and get active in the writing community. Finally. Yeah… I’m slightly slow. *chuckle* I’ve been looking at some events going on in the next few months and there are some exciting things I don’t want to miss. I am also looking for some local camaraderie, maybe some writer’s groups, conferences and events. I joined the Atlanta Writer’s Club and the Georgia Writer’s Association. Through these groups, I’ve found a few things going on that I plan to (and am excited to) attend! March 30- Kathryn Stockett is speaking a Savannah College of Art and design. I own The Help in audiobook and eBook, but I WILL buy a print copy so I can have her sign it! May 20,21- Atlanta Writer’s Conference- There is an opportunity to have some work critiqued, to pitch a book (if I’d written one), to attend a panel discussion and a workshop. I intend to be at the workshop and mixer following, and then the panel discussion the next morning. My friend Kim jokes that I could have a manuscript ready for critique by the April 17th registration deadline… she has a point. But I haven’t even started writing anything, so.. There are a number of workshops and conferences coming up. I’m excited to hear some authors speak and meet other writers. MamaSaid is at a bit of a standstill. I have a few ideas to spark interest… I just need to gather a few materials and push it again. I’ve determined, now that it will take awhile to gather what I need. It’s not like it will come together in a few months. I’m happy to say that my brain seems to be buzzing with new ideas, again. They’re just inklings, still developing, but they’re ideas, nonetheless. Going to try to develop one of them into something.
I cried on page 96 and laughed on page 113. In fact, I laughed on every other page. Jennette’s natural dry humor and wit give this book a great personality. I really enjoyed it. Well done.
It’s that time again! Friday Reads is when we talk about what we’re readin’! My reading has been considerably slower this month than last. I was entirely more productive in January than February, but in my defense, I had a lot of writing I wanted to get done. Since I’ve finished that story (that was hanging over my head), I have more time. I wish I could say I’ve filled it with reading, but that would only be a 1/4 truth. Not even a half truth. *shame* On with it! Let’s chat about what I’m reading… these are the books most active in my ‘Currently Reading Pile’. Chocolate and Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn’t Go Away , by Jennette Fulda p. 74 of 320 (23%) I’ve been an avid reader of PastaQueen for nearly three years. Back when I was trying to lose some weight (never did manage to outrun those lbs, the suckers) I was looking for inspiration and someone linked her blog and I was hooked, right away. I love a success story, and when Jennette Fulda, the Queen of Pasta herself, announced that she was writing a book, I was ultra excited. Half Assed, her weight loss memoir, was her first. Chocolate and Vicodin is her second, about the headache that is like the Little Engine That Could. Since February 2008, Jennette has had a constant headache. At a time in her life when she should be deliriously happy and celebrating, she is knocked to her knees by debilitating head pain. My father suffers from chronic migraines and back pain on a constant basis, has for as long as I can remember. I have friends who are migraine sufferers. If nothing, Chocolate and Vicodin brings the experience home and puts it into words which are down to earth and even humorous. I don’t know how Jennette does it… if I’d had a headache for 3 years, I would be pretty unbearable right now. Great read […]
Yesterday I put the finishing touches on the final chapter of All I Wanna Do, my fanfiction serial story. I started writing it in January of 2009. I really wanted to finish it last month, but it just wouldn’t be rushed! I posted the final chapters today and I can’t stop smiling. Is it literary perfection? HA! Hardly. Some of it is really bad. Some of it is boring. A lot of it is unrealistic and just plain reaching, especially to me, and I wrote it! What it is, is 2 years of progress. Two years of writing, two years of practice, two years of improvement. I can definitely see a difference between my first chapter and my last– all the tips I’ve picked up from writing blogs, and books on writing, and tips from writers and from novels. The change in how my writing has developed is obvious. It was not easy. In fact if you read through this blog, you’ll find that I flail about quite easily and frequently. It’s hard for me to fall in love with my own words, when I want the words to literally jump off of the page and into your mind and heart. I want readers to nod along and understand, and as James Patterson has coined the phrase, “unputdownable”. I want that word to describe the things that I write. I feel like I have a ways to go before I get there. But today I am closer to that than I was two years ago. And that’s what I call progress. So now I am sitting here twiddling my thumbs and thinking… now what? For the first time in years, I don’t have a new chapter brewing in my mind. I don’t have an end point that I have to reach. The story– which was burning inside me, demanding to be told– is complete. Maybe now I can think past this story… past this genre and write something new. Maybe […]
I did a little bit of shopping today in order to help me get organized with the new project! It was a lot of fun to be taking a step toward getting started: An expandable file so I can sort the entries. Hopefully this will soon become too small to hold them all. All of my materials; pen, file, notebook, post-it flags, a calendar, and…errr…writer’s fuel Then I settled in and got down to business. I’ve printed out all of the entries I’ve received so far: Lots of sayings, a few stories, some advice, and one classified as “other”. Not sure what I’ll do with that yet. My thinking is that I will see what sort of material I have and then try to divide it by topic and if something seems particularly salient, then I will seek out material specific to what I’m looking for. I haven’t received a submission on the page in a few days. I’m brainstorming ways to get the word out. I have been using twitter and facebook and this blog and the ThingsMyMamaSaid.com web page. I’ve also sent an email out to my contacts to ask them to spread the word. I think my issue may be that I don’t yet have a deadline. People may feel like they have plenty of time to contribute, so they’ve put it off. OR, like a lot of people have said, they can’t think of any off of the top of their heads. I’m going to think about a big push next week, maybe venturing out into Craigslist and other public forums and calling in favors from my favorite bloggers. Maybe I could create a button and ask if they’ll put my button on their blog. Any other ideas for spreading the word?
Ugh, I’ve GOT to get back on my reading schedule! I’ve been so distracted. I’ve hardly read at all and I haven’t finished ONE book this month. My January was way ambitious, but I was more worried about my writing schedule than my reading schedule, so I was trying to get caught up on words. Let’s dig in: I have officially given up on Stiff. I just don’t feel like finishing it. I’m not going to take it off of my reading list but it won’t show up on Friday Reads again until I am actually reading it. Damage: I’m still working on this one. It’s just now getting good, a hundred and some pages in. I miss one of the pivotal characters of the older books, Dismas Hardy. I love Glitsky but I’m not a huge fan of Wes Farrell so having him as a major character in this book instead of Dismas is bumming me out. But the story is catching on so I’ll stick with it. Crash Into Me: I cracked this book open just last night. It is a FirstReads Advanced Reading Copy– have I mentioned that I love this program? FREE new books to read! This is a true story, one I’m sure you’ve heard about, in which a woman receives a letter from the man that raped her in college. He ask for forgiveness. She drums up the courage to prosecute him. It’s a pretty thin book so I am sure I can get through it in no time. Can’t wait– I’m only a few pages in but it’s okay so far. Slammerkin: This is a thick, rich book. And while I typically love a thick, rich book, it is set in London and some of the dialect is a tough to understand. I’m muddling through it, but it’s taking some time to get through. I’m pretty spoiled with my Nook, so having two physical books on my reading list is slowing me down, […]
Missed yesterday, but I didn’t think it would be that huge of a deal since I am typically only working on one thing– my fan fiction serial story. Since I’ve launched Things My Mama Said, in support of my (hopefully) book Mama Said, I guess I have more to write about, so I decided to catch up. Things are going swimmingly as far as contributions go. I haven’t counted but I am up over 20, I am sure. I sent out an email to folks I know, asking them to pass the link along and encouraging them to contribute. Anyone know of any other ideas to get the word out? I’m also doing some research and looking for ideas/recommends on great books on writing non fiction/literary non fiction/ creative nonfiction. I openly admit to not really knowing what I am doing, and I am wide open to suggestions and pointers! I’ve started ch. 62, the for serious final chapter of All I Wanna Do. In regular fashion, I write about 1000 words, let them sink in, and then let it grow from there. Hopefully I can dig into it this weekend. I really want to bring that story to a close in February. It will be sad, but also exciting to be moving on to other things. I also sort of feel like I want to write a short story but I don’t know what about. Maybe I need a jumping off point, a prompt or something. What are YOU working on, and how’s it going?
There is a long prologue to this entry that involves a few months of ignoring a nagging idea and finally giving in to it and then pushing full steam ahead. It was not the original first piece of publishing I had in mind, but… it’s going to happen! The book I want to write falls in the genre of literary or narrative nonfiction– it’s not made up, but it’s not a memoir. The idea came about from a visit with my mother and her best friend, who were throwing back and forth these old, southern, black momma sayings that they’d heard all through childhood. I’d heard them to0, and knew them well. Some of them I couldn’t even define, I just knew they meant ‘hurry up’, or ‘get home’ or ‘be good’. I know that black mamas aren’t the only mamas with sayings and stories and sage advice. My idea was to start gathering this information from people I know, eventually working my way to people I don’t know, widening the circle further and further until I’ve got a wide variety of what I’m calling Words from the Mouth of Mom. Tentatively titled Mama Said, it’s meant to be a gift to my mother and I’m hoping it can be a gift to yours as well. But… I can’t write a book based on just things my mother says. I need stories, sayings, advice, words of wisdom from moms all over the world! I’ve launched a website as a collection point– it could not be easier to submit your contributions to Mama Said! If you would, please oh please spread the word? Link your visitors to this blog or straight to Things My Mama Said. I assure you that anything collected will only be used in the most pleasurable of lights and purposes! My dream would be to have the book published professionally–my knees quiver at the thought– but I’d like to actually collect material and see what I have to work […]
:: waive:: I’m checking in, still here. Alive and such. I had such a bang up January that February is seeming like a slack fest. I’m still catching up on my goal of 1000 words /night. I’m at just under 5000, so about 2000 under but I have another chapter of AIWD to get out before month’s end. I know, I know, I said the last chapter was the last, but I had far too many ends to tie up. The next chapter will be the last, for sure. Maybe. Okay, that’s my plan, anyway. I haven’t been digging into my books like I’d like to, either. In fact after this blog post I am going to spend a few hours reading. I have a few books on my nightstand that I haven’t even cracked open yet! Unheard of! I have a new project that I’m excited about. I don’t want to talk about it yet but it involved buying a domain and setting up a new site for it. Will be announcing soon and, if things go right, it will become a book! ( *squee* ) I must admit that I have NO IDEA what I am doing. I read a lot of blogs that talk about being published and the do’s and don’ts and… I’m overwhelmed. I guess I just take this one step at a time. I have some collection that needs to happen, first. I need to give the site a once-over before I can officially launch. Oy, I’m tired already. I’d better sign off and get to reading!