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Celebrate The Simple Things

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Celebrate The Small Things is a weekly blog hop, wherein we post our celebrations each Friday, no matter how big or small. You can sign up here. Thanks to our host Lexa Cain and her co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom for continuing what VikLit started!

Some days, all you have to do is look up to find something unexpectedly wonderful. Saw this on my way home today.

June 19 2015-moon, venus, jupiter

The photo does not do the actual sight justice (sorry!) but if you care to look up at the western sky in the early hours after sunset, you’ll see this wonderful phenomena of the crescent moon just below Jupiter and Venus. More information here, and according to this, Jupiter and Venus are converging on June 30, so that should be something to watch out for as well!

I’m also celebrating getting 10 days off next month to visit family. My brother will be visiting as well, so it’ll be the first time in years everyone will be together.

Revisions have been going slow, but it’s steady progress, and I’m still confident I can reach my target for June, as long as my muse and MS prove cooperative.

What are you celebrating this week? Are you fascinated by the night sky and do you intend to watch out for the June 30 convergence? Any plans for the summer holidays?

 

 


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Celebrate The Small Things

vik - small things 2

Celebrate The Small Things is a weekly blog hop, wherein we post our celebrations each Friday, no matter how big or small. You can sign up here. Thanks to our host Lexa Cain and her co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Katie @ TheCyborgMom for continuing what VikLit started!

This week, I’m celebrating trying new things, particularly food. I usually don’t like to experiment, preferring the tried and tested, but it’s been fun trying out new flavors, and seeing what I like and don’t.

I also finally gave traditional Chinese medicine a whirl. I’ve been tired a lot lately and it’s kind of sad when you’re told by an elderly neighbor, who looks very healthy and energetic, that you look pale as death after only a short hike, and that you probably need to see a doctor about your lack of qi. Qi translated would be something like the force or energy that helps our body function as it should be doing. Anyway, I just started taking the mixture of herbs that is typical of Chinese medicine, so we’ll see how it works out. The thing is, unlike Western medicine, traditional Chinese ones hardly have immediate effects. So I think I need to learn to be patient as well, instead of immediately dismissing it as not working. After all, what’s the point of being in Hong Kong if you are not going to try authentic Chinese medicine?

I’ve been revising again and actually finished a chapter. It’s not much, but I’m happy with it. Now if I can just keep at my goal for the rest of the month…

What are you celebrating this week? Ever tried any herbal medicines, acupuncture, fire cupping, etc.? What did you think of them? And if you haven’t tried them, would you? Do you think they’re based on actual science and can really cure people, or just a bunch of old beliefs that does not live up to modern medicine?

 

 


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I’m a Tortoise, Not A Hare (IWSG)

Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. – E. L. Doctorow

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for our group posting for IWSG. Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for April are Suzanne Furness, Tonja Drecker, Toi Thomas, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, and Donna Hole!

As A-Z’ers kick off the A-Z Challenge and Campers get busy for a month of Camp NaNoWriMo, I find myself stuck as everyone else surges forward this crazy month. A-Z has always seemed so daunting to me, but Camp seemed like a good idea, especially since I really had fun with it last year.

In the end, I had to make a decision: Do I get back to creating, or do I stick with revising? I could have countless drafts and it won’t do me any good if I can’t see something to the very end—something that I would actually be proud to let others read (which is an insecurity that I will save for another day). There are times when I feel like I’m going in circles, reading and revising the same chapters over and over again. Is there any point to all of this, or am I deceiving myself? Am I chasing something that will never be? But I still love the story, and no matter how long a break I take from writing, I inevitably keep coming back. That, at least, has to mean something, doesn’t it?

One of my current WIP’s is my Camp novel from last year, Lost. It currently sits at 60,940 words. It’s very slow progress, considering I finished Camp with 51k words. I spent a lot of time second-guessing the third person narrative in which it was originally written. I ended up rewriting a portion of it in first person, just to see if that suited the story better. It didn’t. While some parts worked better with the first person voice, the over-all story suffered from it. So back to third person I went.

Maybe it’s a natural progression, something I had to do and see for myself, to see how the narrative plays out. Or maybe I wouldn’t have wasted all that time if I had a writers group or a CP. Who knows? Sometimes it feels like I’m hardly moving at all.

Do you find yourself rewriting scenes in different points of view, just to see how it works out? At what stage of writing/revisions do you feel confident enough to show your novel to others? How did you find your writers group and/or critique partner, if you have one? Any tips on how to find one?


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Are You Ready To Commit? (IWSG)

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for our group posting for IWSG. Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for February are Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax!

This month is all about commitment for me. Writing, after all, is a marathon, and not a sprint, which means it’s important to be able to get down and commit yourself to a project until it’s through. Unfortunately, I’ve wasted the last few years jumping around from story to story. Sure, I have “finished” drafts here and there, but without the polish of revisions, they really can’t be called finished.

So I decided to commit to one of the two stories I’ve been working on. I was happy with my choice. It was something I wanted to focus on and finishing it would definitely be more rewarding than the other one. And for a few days, things were going good… and then that other story just wouldn’t shut up. You know, the one that you thought you’ve read to death and are just sick of that you want to put it aside for a long while? Well, turns out, it won’t leave me alone. But I was committed, and so I refused to heed the call.

Now if this were someone else’s story, that commitment would probably have resulted in much success and rejoicing, but this is me we’re talking about… so no, it didn’t quite work out for me. I was doing more staring than revising. It’s the perennial stuck at start problem, as I made it as far as chapter three. So I caved in, and worked on that other story, just to see if I could at least be a little more productive–and I was. Even things that I didn’t notice before seem obvious to me now.

So I don’t know what the lesson behind this whole thing is, since I obviously did not stick to what I committed myself to. Maybe I made the wrong choice? Maybe it was just its time now, and I didn’t realize it? Either way, I apparently still suck at committing. But for now, I’m going to commit to this one, see where it goes.

Do you find it just as hard to keep your focus or do you stick with a story until it’s done? At what point do you decide to set it aside and work on something else? How do you keep yourself committed when you have that other project that’s just calling you?

 


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Writers Write – An IWSG Post

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It’s been a rough couple of months and writing-wise, I have not been very productive. I didn’t even get to do NaNoWriMo, as I’d intended. I’d hoped it would help me get back on the saddle, so to speak. But in the end, time simply didn’t permit me to even attempt it.

We all have other things to deal with in our journey–life, work, relationships, etc. It is up to each of us to find the time to dedicate to writing, if it is something that we truly want. So does that mean that I do not want it enough? I don’t necessarily think so … although I wonder whether this is me simply trying to justify things?

Writers write, and the simple fact is, I haven’t been getting much writing done. So that’s my insecurity. I feel that I should have been able to do more. The first half of the year went so well goal-wise, and the latter half was just a downhill spiral. In the back of my mind, I know I should be writing, there’s that voice telling me I should fire up my computer and get writing. But at the end of the day, I find that I don’t have much energy left, and just crash.

With a few weeks before I go on a much-needed Christmas break, I’m thinking it’s time to forgive myself and not beat myself up over what I haven’t been able to do. Instead. I’ll take my break, hope I come back new and refreshed, and pick up where I left off.

Does that sound like a good plan? I don’t know. I certainly hope so!

Any tips on how you guys do it? Do you take planned breaks or do you just keep going? Beat yourself up over those lost time when you should’ve been writing?

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group is the brainchild of Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for December are Heather Gardner, T. Drecker from Kidbits, Eva E. Solar at Lilicasplace, and Patsy Collins! Thank you all for your hard work!


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Thank You for The Support!

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Last week, I posted my idea for my author interview series Behind The Scenes, and issued a call-out for any published writers who’d be willing to share their writing journeys and tips to other fellow writers on their journey to publication.

A big thank you to everyone who responded and expressed their interest, both in reading and participating. I feel so honored and blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people who are very generous with their time and words of wisdom! If that isn’t something to celebrate about, then I don’t know what is!

And because of everyone’s support, I’m also celebrating the guaranteed run of Behind The Scenes until the end of the year (all slots up to December have already been filled), and I’m now already lining up Q1 2015 schedules. Thank you all!

You can read all about these amazing people’s journeys every second and last Monday of the month. And yes, that means there’s a Behind The Scenes on August 25, featuring Joylene Butler, who talks about, among other things, a Seer who looks like Adam Beach.

So what else am I celebrating this week?

  1. I’m editing again, and after months of uncertainty and false starts, I think I’ve finally figured out how to fix the beginning of the novel.

  2. I’m also trying to get a bit more organized with my research. I hope I can keep it up! (I’d love to hear how some of you do it.)

  3. Sleep!

 

What are you celebrating?

Join us every Friday as we Celebrate The Small Things, thanks to our host VikLit and my fellow co-hosts Diana Wilder, LG Keltner@Writing Off the Edge, and Katie@TheCyborg Mom!


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You Win Some, You Lose Some – An IWSG Post

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for Insecure Writer’s Support Group. Thanks to our host, the Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh, and his awesome co-hosts for July: Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson for all their hard work!

As we reach the halfway mark of the year, I thought it’d be interesting to talk about goals and check in with everyone on their progress: Are you on track, falling behind, happy with your progress despite everything?

For myself, I hit a setback in June as I didn’t meet any of my writing goals. Life happens, things come up, other things have to be prioritized, and those few pages of edits and research…Do they really count as accomplishing something? I tell myself that yes, they do; that somehow they are all the bits and pieces that have to happen in order for me to achieve my goal. But am I deluding myself? I don’t know. All I know is that goals aren’t achieved overnight. We have to keep on working and moving towards them, even if it’s at a slow pace. As the ever-wise Gandalf said: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

What’s your process in trying to meet your goals? How do you deal with the adversities and missed deadlines?

And to everyone who’s participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this July, good luck!


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June Roundup – Celebrating The Small Things

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Celebrate The Small Things is a weekly blog hop wherein we post our celebrations each Friday, big and small. Thanks to our host VikLit for this wonderful meme and my fellow co-hosts Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, and Katie @ TheCyborg Mom for their hard work.

 

This week I’m celebrating:

  1. A long weekend. The end of the month tends to be more hectic at work so I’m glad to have this out of the way and just be able to relax before the new month kicks in again.

  2. Got my tickets booked. Will be visiting with family for my mom’s birthday in a couple of weeks. \o/

  3. Finished my Behavioral Genetics class in Coursera.

  4. Got 5’s on my essay on Bram Stoker’s Dracula for my Sci Fi class. Six is the highest and so far I’ve been averaging 4’s so I’m quite happy with this.

 

My June progress:

  1. Finished two MOOC’s. Currently on track for three out of my seven courses.

  2. Sadly, no new writing done although I have been doing bits of research for on-going and future projects. I’m also in the midst of edits with the help of my awesome Womentoring mentor Janette Currie.

  3. Managed to blog once a week:  IWSG post, My Writing Process Blog Tour, Celebrate The Small Things, and a Short Story. I apologize if I haven’t been visiting and commenting as much as I used to. I still read and if you’re on wordpress, click the like button to let you know I appreciate the post.

 

Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year? How has your progress been so far? Anything you’re looking forward to in particular? What are you celebrating this week?

 


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Celebrate The Small Things … With Cake

Just saw The Amazing Spiderman 2. I have some issues with it but over-all I enjoyed the movie. Peter and Gwen (Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone) have such an amazing chemistry and I just fell in love with “their” song from the movie, Song for Zula by Phosphorescent.

 

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And since it’s Friday, it’s time again to post our celebrations as Celebrate The Small Things, thanks to our awesome host VikLit.

My Celebrations for this week:

  1. Won Camp NaNoWriMo and hit my goal of finishing the first draft.

  2. My birthday! My friends threw me a surprise birthday dinner and it was really great.

How was your week? Seen any good movies lately?

 


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I Am Done!

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That’s it, I’m done with Camp NaNoWriMo! I clocked in at 51,376 words; 51,358 by Camp NaNoWriMo’s count. But more importantly, I reached my goal of actually finishing the first draft. *happy dance

I haven’t begun to re-read yet so I’m not sure what I will find. I expect the word count to go up in revisions as I flesh out the scenes I’d left bare and pretty much skipped. Revising this draft would be some kind of hell, I’m sure. Joy! I just need to remind myself things could be worse when that time comes.

With two days one day left in April, I’ll be trying to finish a short piece I’ve put off and hopefully get some time to recharge before I start things again in May.

To everyone who has encouraged me and cheered me on, thank you! And a big shout out to all the wonderful peeps I shared this journey with. You guys rock!

As the month comes to a close, how is everyone doing with your own goals and writing?

 

My Camp NaNoWriMo Novel, Lost:

When two friends go to England for a holiday and one of them goes missing, chaos ensues and life as they know it will never be the same again.