Saturday, February 02, 2008

Challenge Check-In

"What," you say, "is the relevance of that snowy picture up there to a blog about challenges?"

I'm glad you asked.

Last week at this time, it looked outside just as it does today, wet. The picture is what the view down my driveway looked like twenty-four hours later. In other words, it changed. It grew beautiful. That picture is a reminder to embrace the possibility of everyday and delight in the unexpected.

Anyway, it's Saturday again.

How's everyone doing? We've blogged this week about procrastination and about working outside your comfort zone. I'm indulging in a bit of both. Procrastination in that there's a whole lot of book to finish before the last day of this month -- my deadline. And outside my comfort level in that I am trying my best to write forward despite the sinkhole I left behind about ten pages ago. Normally, I would founder around for quite awhile as I thought of a way to fill it in before going on, but I'm trying to let it go. Frankly, I don't enjoy knowing it's lurking back there. The trouble with a sinkhole is that objects next to it tend to fall in when no one is looking. Ack!

Did you meet your goals? I can't honestly say that I met mine, but I did move forward about 6500 words. Or sideways. Anyway, there are 26 more pages now than there was a week ago at this time. Time to put the old nose down and hunker in big time!


Alice Sharpe said...

Don't you hate when you publish your blog and THEN see the errors like "everyday" instead of "every day"?

I'm going to live with them!

Lori Barber said...

Well, Alice, that sinkhole of yours has meander clear over to my place. I'm faced with a similar dilemma. I've added a 2nd POV and I need to add a scene. I'm stuck at this point. Last week I went forward and edited over 30 pages thinking inspiration would strike. Apparently, inspiration is on strike. This character isn't talking to me either. I do abhor stuck-up, snooty characters.

So all I've done this week is stew, fume, grunt and complain to avail.

Lori Barber said...

That last line should read 'to no avail.'

Alice Sharpe said...

Lori, I feel your pain.

Genene said...

Hey, Alice! Beautiful photo and wise sentiment to go with it..."it changed. It grew beautiful."

Of course, when you're facing a short deadline, perhaps that sentiment is a little difficult to hang onto.

A while back, I read something -- in an interview in the RWR, I think -- where the author said she gives her muse deadlines. She will tell the muse something like, I'll be at my computer at 2:00 this afternoon to write this scene or finish this chapter or whatever. Then she went off and did other things that needed to be done, sat down at her computer at 2:00, and the scene flowed out of her muse, into her fingers and onto the screen. Voila! It's done.

When I read that I was really skeptical, but I figured what do I have to lose. You know something? It worked!

Why did it work? Because I believed it would? Because you set your subconscious mind to work and it loves to solve puzzles? Because of the energy healing I've done? Because I changed the background on my computer screen? I don't know exactly why and I guess it really doesn't matter.

It's one more tool to use in writing. If it works, use it. If it doesn't, shrug it off and move on.

But you're making progress -- even if it is sideways -- and Lori is great company to "stew" with!

By the way, did you try the chocolate remedy? Or does that only work AFTER the book is finished?

Stay with it, ladies, you'll get there!

Lori Barber said...

Ack! Chocolate! I forgot chocolate! Alice, you did march down to See's and buy an ample supply, right? Well, toss me one of those 2 pound boxes pronto!

Genene, I loved your advice. Instead of putting up with my character's attitude it's best I adjust mine. I'm going to bark out my forthcoming plan to write that scene at an appointed time and do it.

I'm not going to swim in this stew forever.

Alice Sharpe said...

Lori -- I forgot the Sees. That explains a lot.

I like your advice, Genene, too. I have told myself when I sit down that I'm not getting up until I hit page so and so and that works, but I like the idea of making an appointment for a specific task. It's hard for me to believe ye old muse gives a flying fig about what I need, but I'll give her a chance.


Paty Jager said...

Hey everyone! Sorry I'm chiming in late. After being gone the dh had a long list of things for "us" to do today! And it started as soon as I cleaned up the breakfast dishes.

Anyway, I'm sorry Alice and Lori are sinking and stewing. Wish I had words of wisdom like Genene to help you out, but alas- I've breathed in too much fiberglass insulation to think straight at the moment. LOL

I'd did better than I thought this week. But just as I thought I was closing in on the black moment my heroine decided to make a dash and added an extra chapter. ~sigh~

My word count this week is 8,395.
And by golly, even though I have several appointments this week to pull me out of the house, my goal is to have this first draft finished by the next check-in.

We'll see if it happens!

May your muses be with you!

Paty Jager said...

just checking the box!

Alice Sharpe said...

Paty -- Your enthusiasm and upbeat attitude despite (or perhaps because of) the fiberglass installation is ... annoying. No, that's not the word I want. Exhilarating! That's the word! Actually, I am closing in on 1,000 words today making a week total of close to 7500 words, so that's not as bad as I thought. the book just grew a whole bunch from the inside (and then there's that pesky sinkhole thing, ahem...)

Anyway, I wanted to tell you I read the focus you wrote on our website. I loved reading how you got to where you are! Very inspirational.

Can't wait to hear next week if you got where you wanted to get.

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Alice. And congrats on getting to 1000 words today! Woo hoo! I had zero today and tomorrow is looking the same. We have piglets to castrate, cows to feed and then two trailers to load with hay. Then in the afternoon we have three couples coming over to watch the Super Bowl. So there will be no writing tomorrow.

As soon as the brownies come out of the oven I'm taking a shower and if the dh stays asleep in his chair... I'm going to try and get some more words done.

Happy writing, sinking, stewing all!

Karen Duvall said...

I'm not doing the challenge this time, but I still feel compelled to stop in and say "Hi!" 8^) Watching you guys rack up the new words makes me long to get back at it. My second book in my Chalice series is still stewing in brain, but for now I'm focused on revisions and agent submissions.

Alice, great picture of your driveway with all the snow. I'm flabbergasted by the amount of snow we got here in Bend. Paty, did you get much in Redmond? Egads! This is the most I've seen of the white stuff sine we moved here. We cross country skiied to my MIL's house yesterday and it was so fun! Though DH is moaning about his sore muscles. We really need to wax our skiis. The golf course was so deep it was like snow shoeing instead of skiing. We burned through several hundred calories, I can tell you that!

You guys are so awesome with your word counts! Go forth and conquer!

Alice Sharpe said...

Karen, it sounds as though you're enjoying your snow and also that the get back to writing bug is nipping at your literary heels.

Yesterday, after working, I was sure I'd seen my way free of the latest hurdle only to find today that it was only hiding, it's still there, biigger, higher and meaner than ever. Does anyone else write this way -- two steps forward and a step back? Eeerrgghhh!

Danita Cahill said...

I almost always find errors in my comments and posts after the fact, Alice.

As for the challenge. I got through another 35 pages of edits. They were hard pages. I made a lot of pen marks. I actually combed thorugh to the end, but need to go back over the last 30 pages again because some things are not quite tied up.

Some days I still think this book is crap, but each time I read through it, I finish with a nice warm feeling. That seems like a good sign.

Alice Sharpe said...

I agree, Danita, a nice warm feeling is a good sign, esp. if you can still get it after reading the same material two hundred and fifteen times.

FYI, when I write something long, I am trying to remember to copy it first so I can paste it in if the bloggonator eats it. Yeah, that'll happen...

Christine Young said...

Well, this is the third morning that I've tried to post here. It seems I'm not smarter than the blog. I've made my goal. I started with about 35000 words and I finished last Saturday with about 65,000 words. I have to edit Highland Song this month. It's due in. So I won't be writing until next month or when I finish my edits. Good luck to everyone on there writing. I will be joining you again soon.