the latest… and a progress report

So, dear reader, remember how I was being all vague and shifty? The moment of truth has arrived… For the last few months I was anxiously awaiting news on a job that I applied and interviewed for… and I got it! I wanted to tell everyone at work before posting about the offer, so now I can stop with the cagey antics. 

Can I just say… ain’t no job interview like an academic job interview. The process is harrowing, mind-blowing, nerve-wracking, *insert additional hyperbolic descriptors here*. But really, it is a process like no other. Academics like their folks well-rounded and they’ll stick you in all kinds of social and professional situations to see what you’re really like. Luckily, I’m pretty comfortable talking to people I’ve just met, but it’s still draining after nearly 8 hours of being chatty. Right now, I’m just trying to process all the changes that are coming my way. However, if any library students want to know more about what its like to interview for an academic library position, feel free to leave a comment or email me. I’m happy to divulge.

In other news… my NaNoThon Saturday was completely hijacked by my mother. Just when I was settling in to write–all my notes, floor plans (yes, there are floor plans now), and chapter outlines were spread in their proper order–my mom called as asked if I was ready to go out. Needless to say, my day of writing was at an end. On the bright side, I did need a break and it helped me admit that my rewrite needs rewriting. The ideas were there… but at this point I’m writing for quality not quantity. If I’m going to take this seriously, I have to put in the effort to craft a narrative that satisfies me as a writer and reader… not just toss a bunch of words together to reach a word count. It’s a setback, but better to face it now that the flaws are in sight. The only major drawback–my rewrites are splattered all over the page like some cryptic code. I’ve had to number the pages and draw arrows to tell myself how to read it all. 

and things take a turn

The end is in sight, friends. The end is in sight. Writer’s block is unblocked and the possibility that I might finish draft 2 by the end of April is looking much more possible. Hooray! Lovely CampNaNo inspiration.

And I finally got the call I was waiting for! And I said YES! And I realize this is incredibly vague, but I will explain as soon as it’s all official. Just don’t want to make the announcement yet on the off chance that someone who knows me might be reading this before I’m ready to spill. I’m nervous about what it means, but it’s a happy sort of nervous.

March madness indeed

Somehow, time got away from me and March seemed to pass in a blur of unexpected opportunities and activities. I’m waiting on news and hoping for some good to come of it. Don’t want to dwell on it though. What will be, will be, and some things are just beyond my control. I’ll wait.

Writing is coming along… a few kinks, but it’s flowing again. I read some good books, ate some good food, and took part in a nice run on St. Patrick’s Day. It was a good month now that I can look back and see it objectively.

the plan

Just printed out a copy of the last two chapters I wrote before taking my temporary writing detour… the plan is to read them, make some changes (because I really can’t keep my hands off), and reconnect with the action before moving on to the next scene. I hate taking such a long break mid-chapter, but it was necessary. I’m toying with the idea of joining Camp NaNo, if only for the motivational push, but my main goal is to finish this draft by May and send it to a couple of readers (still on the lookout for reader 2… any takers interested in reading a somewhat messy urban fantasy novel draft?), get some feedback, and polish during the next draft.

another day, another check-in – on not writing

I haven’t written this week and that’s ok! It is. Instead, I’ve been reading and planning and creating a strategy (re: another one of my lists) for future edits, and to target all those little things that overwhelm me whenever I think about them for more than a few minutes. I’m going to take it in pieces and save my sanity. For inspiration, I read James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self-editing for Publication, which offers plenty of excellent advice on managing a major rewrite with as little pain as possible. It helped me think about some of the kinks I’ve been having a hard time figuring out. Very good indeed.

Andrea Hannah has also posted a great article over on The Secret Life of Writers on incubating rather than procrastinating, which you should all go read. It’s spot on and much needed advice. Seeing my week of reading, thinking, and planning as incubating rather than putting things off makes it all better.

Other things I’ve been doing while not writing:

  • Finished reading A Dance with Dragons… leaving me shattered and yearning for more.

  • Worked on important, secret things.

  • Played with contact paper–fancied up a side table and made cheap girl decals to spruce up a mostly empty space.

  • Learned some Photoshop tricks.

  • Gave Evernote a second chance and became addicted.

the shelf lives!

Hallo lovely readers. So here’s the latest on the shelf situation…

I give you *drum roll* the EXPEDIT! YES, ALL CAPS! FEEL MY EXCITEMENT! I LIVE FOR SHELVES!!!

Actually, the boy noted that I do have an awful lot of shelves now, to which I said, “One can never have enough shelves.”

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There are still some books to haul over from my mom’s place, but most of them are now home. I’ve made a major overhaul to the collection and parted ways with most of the leftovers from grad school. Such is life, some books need new homes. I’ll take a better picture when the shelves are filled.

I also put up my curtains a few weeks ago. There was much ado about putting up those curtains, but now that they’re up, I am finally able to block out the light that was filtering in from the street lights across the way.

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The details…
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And here are the pretty string lights I added to the bedroom window. I mostly use them while writing in the evenings. They add a touch of magic to the room :)

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Friday feelin’

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my dear readers (you know who you are *wink*). I’m a total sucker for Valentine’s Day… commercial, made-up holiday it may be, but I love me some heart-shaped tchotchkes and, other than Halloween, this may be my favorite of the candy-themed holidays.

It’s been a rough week and I need me some joy and joyness. There have been good moments, of course–plenty of them actually (a successful crafting event at work, some fun dress-up time)–but it’s been slow on the writing and terrible on the time to relax front. My mind has been racing lately, but I’m too drained to do much more than try to look after the little things like tidying up the apartment and minding the cat fiend. It’s been a blur. My dear friend lost her mother last Saturday and attending the funeral did not put me in a good state of mind. It’s one of those life moments you know will happen but there is NEVER any way to prepare for the death of a loved one. I’ve come terribly close too many times and I know the moment of truth will come some day (it’s one of those things you are more aware of when your parents are older than all your friends’ and never seem to be able to do as much), but just the thought leaves me a little broken. I wish I could do more for her, but grief takes its time and no one can ever really make it better.

I’ve also been feeling some serious pain beneath my right shoulder blade. It just started last night about two hours after I went to bed and it was so bad I could barely find a comfortable position. Had to get up and take some pain killers and slather on muscle run in hopes that it would fade away, but it’s still aching away. My attempt to self-diagnose (I’m a sucker for that too) has turned up gallstone pain… but that can safely be ruled out, as I lost that little part of me about two years ago. So where does that leave me?! sigh.

Breathe. Relax. Just looking forward to some time with the boy tonight and shelf-hunting at IKEA with my mom on Saturday morning. I’ve been going through the books I left at her place after the move, culling those I want to keep a little closer and deselecting the ones I’ve been holding on to for sentimental reasons… I mean, really, when am I ever going to read my old literary theory books again? I love my books, but time and space (or lack thereof) have taught me to let go. EXPEDIT, I need you now.

TTFN.

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post-January writing update :)

‘allo there dear readers and fellow writerly types! How was your January? Because mine was pretty productive… at least, that’s what my writing calendar says. I started keeping a writing calendar last year–just bought a cheap desk calendar from the Target $1 bins and started noting every time I wrote, even if it was just a 10 minute quickie. It’s a great motivator and makes me accountable to myself… kind of like logging work hours with visual appeal and stickers (!).

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February is coming along well. Reminding myself that I’m doing this for me and only me at this stage keeps the self-doubt to a healthy minimum, so I’m not turning into a puddle of anxiety on days when I don’t have the time or energy to write (again, calendar shows those instances aren’t as often as I fear). At this pace, I should be finishing up the draft sometime within the next 2-3 months. My revision has evolved into a major rewrite with plenty of new characters and plot elements. My world-building is all the better for these changes and I find myself learning more about existing characters’ motivations and personas. Of course, I worry that I’m going in too many directions, but outlining each chapter helps me stay on target even when surprises turn up.

On a side note, I’m also working on a chapter for a potential future academic publication on writing. It’s a collaboration and I was invited to write a piece on editing and revision… because I do an awful lot of that on a daily basis (and not just for my writing). It’s forced me to really consider how revision works, which has proven useful for my current project.

Here’s looking to mad writing and strong plots.