September Update

This month, guys. This month. I just don’t even… My heart has been broken a thousand times over in the past two and a half weeks. I want to share, but it’s a bit raw right now. I have some things to sift through before…

Before all the crazy, I did get some work done.

There was 7 hours of plotting and outlining that resulted in 3,158 words. I’m not counting them in the total words because they’ll be modified and added when the scenes are written.
I did write about an hour on the next scene, 373 words, bringing the Total Words to Date to 43,004.

Good news:

Part III is almost all the way plotted. Heavily. Not just—This happens and then this—but there’s some dialogue and deep stuff going on that I’m really excited to share with y’all one day. It’s going to really push me in revision for Parts I and II; in fact, I have a feeling my WIP should be in limited third person instead of first person (3 POVs) but…I’ll deal with that idea later. I’m learning so much, and I’m happy about that.

Also, there are only 8 weeks and 6 days left until I get to meet my new son. No better news than that. 🙂

Depression is Real-Get Help

Recently, something happened to my family and me that I thought was completely impossible, and I feel compelled to say right here, right now, in public that depression messes with your mind. It eats away all things good and leaves nothing for you to hold onto when things get too much. One can wear a smile and dress in pep but be plagued inside.

Today is National Depression Screening Day. If this is you or someone you know, please get help. Your family and friends need you.

http://mentalhealthscreening.org/media/fact-sheet-national-depression-screening-day-october-9-2014

August Update

August is over and the end of the year is getting CLOSER! How are you guys getting through your Goals? I’m truckin’ along! Some have been changed due to circumstance and pregnancy, but that’s life, y’all. We deal, right?
I’d like to tell you a little of what I’ve learned since I’ve started to finishing Part II of the First Daft. Before I even started writing, I drafted an entire back story, all the while creating the nuts and bolts of this story. I have an ENORMOUS amount of paper and files that will never see the light of day and that did not have any effect on what I am currently writing. (I reserve the right to change my mind about this as my first draft and first revision isn’t done, but right now I feel like I wasted a whole lot of time dreaming.) So I resolved to start writing and to worry about back story issues along the way. For Part I of the book the only thing I knew when I seriously started writing was at what point the section needed to end and the end of my book all together. These are two super good things to know, by the way. (Well, maybe I had an idea instead of a specific scene about where Part I needed to end, but as the end drew near, I had a specific scene.) But from here to there, I had nothing but a foggy image in my head, y’all. I made it up on the fly and, can I just say, there is a LOT of revising that is going to have to happen in Part I. A. Whole. Lot. I finally got to my ending scene. Reread the section once and got it to CP knowing that it was going to change shape completely, but she had it, and I had my milestone, and she loves me unconditionally, so I knew I would eventually be forgiven. But something had to change for Part II. I wouldn’t survive another almost-fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants section. This book would never get done that way. I know me.
So for Part II, I spent time drafting an outline-ish type thing. It was something like a timeline and felt like a lot of “Oh! And then THIS!” with a sentence or two or clever dialogue that sprang up or something. Originally, I wrote it on a flow pad. I think better with a pen in my hand, and when it was done, I transposed it to a document. This worked so very well. I had a starting and a stopping point not only for the second section, but also for each writing day. I’d open up the outline and know what I had finished before and what needed to be written that session. If I’d written something that made the story more interesting, no worries! I’d just alter my outline a little in retrospect, do a quick read through to eliminate plot holes, and move the heck on. I also starting keeping track of how much I wrote, when, and for how long on a chart, which is how I’m able to write these Monthly Update posts.
So now Part II is done, and I’m outline Part III. I have 10 scenes with sentences and I know where I want to end. While I was thinking, I wrote on the first scene and have it completed now. I like that I still feel the progress of writing while I’m in a bit of a holding pattern (outlining), seeing how to get to the end. I still hope I can get through Part III by December 10th (baby’s due date), but we’ll see.
I look forward and dread Revision. There will need to be some major overhauling. My hope is that by the end of it, I’ll be proud that I finished the effort. Because this has been such a HUGE effort.
In short:
Break your story into three sections, know where each section starts and ends, and loosely outline each section before your write it. This formula has worked for me so far, and I hope it saves someone who is starting from scratch months and years of my frustration.

STATS:
Words-2,632
Days with writing in them-3
Hours: 3 hours and 55 minutes
(Not including outlining days, lots of article reading, and a webinar)
Words to Date: 42,631

I hope y’all are pressing on toward the goal! Gotta go pick up my sweet son, now! Later!

Dear Robin Williams,

My heart hurts knowing that you gave the world such joy, Mr. Williams, and yet there was such sadness in you. I’m sorry that we could not return your gift. I hope you have found peace.

giphy

“O Captain! My Captain! Rise up and hear the bells. Rise up, for you the flag is flung, for you the bugle trills.”

Sincerely,

Mea

July Update

July marked a milestone accomplished! Part II is completed, folks. It’s on to Part III, and I am super excited. I think the first draft can be done by the time BabyTwo is ready to say, “Hello, World!” Oh, I’m getting excited!

The writing was better than last month, but not up to par as past months. I’m working on regaining my drive and the second trimester of pregnancy has been good to me, so far as not draining all of my life powers as it did previously. Outside stress is still there, but there isn’t much of it that I can control. It’s hard to see people I care about make decisions that maybe I wouldn’t make, but at the end of the day, I am an adult because I get to make my own choices and so are the other people. I still love them and will continue to, no matter what they choose. Also, if I had a superpower, I would control cancer.

Okay. No more waiting. The stats for July are:

Days with writing in them: 5
Amount of time writing: 6 hours and 35 minutes
Number of words written: 3,615
Total number of words written for the year: 39,999
(I really wanted to go in and add a particle or adjective in there just so I could say I broke 40,000 words, but I didn’t. I will remain honorable.)

Does this call for a Yay!Gif? I believe it does.

I hope y’all had a great month. Bring on August! Happy Writing!

Hurt

Of the 30 years and 11 months of my life, there has never been a worse day than June, 1, 2014.

It’s nothing medical. My husband and son are fine, too.

I’ve never truly understood how Elizabeth Bennet felt when Lydia ran away with Wickham. I suppose I always knew Mr. Darcy would save the day, so I never really thought through the consequences.

This is a poor example, down-right frivolous in comparison, but it’s all I have right now.

I never understood how one reckless person’s actions could affect his or her family so completely, shattering foundations, forcing them from their home, destroying lives. I’ve never truly felt ashamed to be linked to someone until now.

I’m generally a fighter or cheerleader for the underdog. I would try to find reasons why someone would do a Thing. Devil’s advocate kind of stuff. Ammunition for forgiveness. But I can find no redeeming motivation to this action, and the more I search the more I cry and throw-up and burn in anger.

I just…hurt.

April Update

Meeting goals is fun, y’all. Soooo much fun.

I didn’t think this month was as writing productive as last month, to tell you the truth. I got a little distracted. On April 9th, I found out I was having a baby–YAY!–but with the nausea and sleep issues (I want it ALL THE TIME) and mind games that hormones play, I felt so lacking in this area. Still, though, I trudged along when I could, fifteen minutes here, thirty minutes there, lunch breaks, down time, and

LO AND BEHOLD

when the minutes and words combined, I found that I had MET MY WRITING GOAL for the month.

YEAH!

April had 12 hours and 33 minutes of writing time over 14 days. I completed 9 scenes and 8,862 words found a home. The yearly total ramps up to 26,783.
And the kicker… there are 10 scenes left in Act II.

I am so ready to get this first draft down and to begin the next challenge–revision. Dum Dum Dahhhhhm!

I’m totally geeked.

Hope your April lacked all the threats of vomiting mine had and that it was filled with sunshine and rainbows!

To Planner or Not to Planner?

I have a PLANNER, and I am USING it! Yes, dear friends, I have vowed to be more organized this year, and with all the irons in my metaphorical fire (mom, wife, job, writing, other family, maid, etc.), this has made all the difference. Something else, too… I’m not just putting Things To Do on this list, but also unplanned things I’ve accomplished. So, for example, if I spontaneously make a pair of earrings, I make a note of it.
Oh! And something else… I’m keeping track of my writing time in this amazing contraption! (AND my bank account!) So, when I feel like I’m a stagnating pool of Good for Nothing only capable of harboring mosquito eggs (I kind of grossed myself out a little with that one.), I look back at my planner and realize that I, somehow, carved 50 minutes out of last week last to write 481 words. That is 481 words closer to the end of my first draft, which should fill me with joy. But if that doesn’t help the BLARG feeling, I look at the days I marked Mommy/Son time and remember his sweet hugs and the way he looks into my eyes when he laughs.
Husband has sung the praises of his planner for two years-ish now, and I have finally, FINALLY, acknowledged his song. (I’m stubborn, and I’m working on it.) Now we are a duet, and I am here to tell you I get more done with a planner in my hand than I did without it.
I have a Two Page a Day planner so I can have my work list on the right, my personal list on the left, my bank stuff on the bottom left, and personal appointments or important notes on the top left.
planner 2
Also, it’s pretty, and studies show I am 50% more likely to incorporate pretty things into my life. (The other 50% is reserved for broken things because I love them.) (Wait…I don’t think that math makes sense…)
planner 1
So, if you are on the fence, Planner or Not to Planner, tip the scale to Planner, try it for a month, and if you don’t like it, you’re doing it wrong. Ha!
Later!

Thankful

No surprise that in November, protocol requires me to write a thanksgiving post.  I love November because everyone acknowledges things they’re thankful for. Today that is me.

As much as I try to be Mrs. Positive Pants everyday, sometimes that is so stinkin’ hard.  It’s a little easier in November because lots of people try to be Mrs., Miss, or Mr. Positive Pants, and I feed off the positive energy like a leech.  So here I am, hoping to feed you some jolly juice, my fellow Leech, you.

There are the big things…family, my tiny home, my ability to pay for said home, friends, good weather…

I am so in love with my life, even as I struggle to make it better.  I think this is possible because I figured a few things out.  First of all, I know that I strive for worthwhile goals.  The past five years have been so enlightening for me.  In some aspects, I feel like I didn’t really start living MY life until then.  So now, I’m a 30-year-old goal seeker, and I’m just fine with that.  Sure I wish I would have been one of those people who figured things out in high school or something.  Who wouldn’t? But instead of dwelling on all the lost opportunities(which benefits nothing, I found out), I’m trying to make the time I have left so very meaningful.  Being a mom helped me realize how much I can squeeze into one day.  I told a friend of mine just recently that I didn’t know how lazy I was until I had Blue.  You don’t have to have a kid, however, to be aware of how you spend your time.

Secondly, I’m finally my own person.  I care about other people, true, but their words and opinions don’t rule me, and this…this is freeing in a way I never expected.  At Blue’s birthday party, I was able to tell someone close to me that I didn’t want multiple pictures of every, single gift as he “opened” it.  As someone who has been to multiple kid birthday parties, I didn’t want to torture my guests in that way.  There are so many other ways, like making them watch my kid splatter cake all over himself and others for twenty minutes while I hold the food hostage until he’s done. The point is, even though the person was obviously sad about not being a photographer for a day, It didn’t cripple me to tell them to sit down and enjoy the show. It’s my son’s party, gift time is awkward, and I didn’t want to prolong the awkward moment.  The end. I would have said nothing or worried my head off about what the person felt after I did say something 6 years ago.   

So, between a loving, supportive family, worthy goals, and being unabashedly Me, I am the happiest and the most thankful I’ve every been in my life.

I don’t want to lie to you.

Bad things happen.

To me, to people I love, to people I barely like.

But because of those Big Things I grasp like a winning lottery ticket, I am able to deal and still be smiling at the end of it.

When bad things happen to people I love, people I barely like, and even people I kinda don’t like, I try to be that supportive person I know they don’t have because, if they did, they wouldn’t be talking to me.

So there’s that.

There are little Happies, too!! Oh, good gracious, aren’t there!!

Today, my attitude completely changed because I popped a bag of salt and lime natural popcorn. It AMAZED me. Suddenly, I saw flowers everywhere. Birds sang on my shoulder. Bunnies frolicked in the breezeway.

And it dawned on me:

I could be this happy everyday if there was enough salt and lime popcorn in my desk drawer!

No. That’s not right.

I could be this happy everyday if I let the happy small stuff do their thing.

Let yourself laugh out loud at that funny quote, Mea. Don’t be a professional robot.

It’s okay that you like to scotch tape mailouts closed, Mea. You work in an OFFICE and don’t even have to pay for office supplies, so really, you’re a winner.

And if salt and lime popcorn can make birds sing, share.

Happy Thanksgiving.