Thursday, September 26, 2013

Working backwards....

I'm still plugging away. The toddler monster seems to finally be learning what bed time (and eve nap time) is once more and the last of my outside of family commitments is over this weekend. Since the last post I've been squeezing in more writing time. I was able to do a skype talk with a pro author and he gave me some advice about my goals and some general plotting techniques. It went pretty well and we're going to meet face to face at a con in January (I hope).

Meanwhile I've put aside my short stories for now and I'm writing on the novel. There is a lot I need to readjust. As has been the case at least 3 times now I've come up with a better beginning, but I'm holding off on writing it. Instead I wrote my last scene and started writing in tandem the climax and denouement and the planning scene leading up to it. And it was falling flat. I've spent the last few days trying to figure out how to make things suck more for my leads, and tonight I hit on a better solution. I've been rewriting and shuffling words around and hopefully I'll have a good scene written by tomorrow. Then I can write a new ending and starting working my way backwards until I ca slot in the scenes I've already written.

I'm over 30K into this novel but the progress has been jumpy enough I'm not sure how much will make it into the final novel. But we are nearly to the halfway point for finished word count. I expect the draft zero word count will end up a little higher then my goal. But draft 1 should end up fairly tight. I'm hoping I can power through the next months and end up with a draft by new years. We'll see how life goes.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Holy Hectic Batman..... Writing as a mom

Life has been.... a little stressful. Actually that doesn't sum it up.... life has been a great big flaming pile of stress and chaos for the last few weeks. Why? Well we are in week four of the new school schedule and on top of my very busy, very upset his schedule changed, toddler I'm now part time watching 3 other children at varying intervals/days. It's made things rough and I hadn't written for about 3 weeks. So here's what I've been up to.

7:00 am Wake up and get ready. (7 am is actually sleeping in as the toddler has been known to wake up at 4,5, and 6 am depending on the day.)
7:20 am Two of my kids get dropped off. If Darian isn't awake and moving this is when I get him up and get breakfast.
7:45ish Kid one is off to school. Keep toddler and other child from murdering each other or dumping every toy on the floor while attempting to get toddler to eat breakfast and check my email.
8:30ish Child 2 is off to school, now I can sit back with a cup of tea.... except there are dishes to be done, a toddler wanting to play and I still haven't gone through my email. Put on PBS and let the toddler watch Cat in the Hat while I get stuff accomplished. Say good bye as husband goes to work. Split and apple with Toddler.
9:00ish TV is off. Now we are on to errands. Grocery shopping beckons.
10ish back home to put the groceries away and toddler is asking to play outside. Once the perishables are stowed we play outside for about an hour. He marvels at my ability to draw kermit the frog, rainbows and stars... I admire his ability to be covered in dirt, chalk, and water so quickly.
11ish Back inside and Mommy needs a minute to make lunch and do chores. Yay for PBS and another half hour show.
11:30 Lunch time! As a treat and reward for eating his whole lunch I split a caramel apple with the toddler. I've now eaten a whole apple! This is better than I manage most days.
12 pm And lunch is over. Now we get into the serious playing.... only a fraction of which is cooperative. My block towers are starting to reach spectacular heights.... his bulldozer brings them down to new lows.
1 pm snack time. More play. As he gets focused I can sometimes slip away and read 2-5 pages of a book, or check something online.... it's about a 5 minute window before he notices I'm gone.
2:30ish Kid number 4 is here. 4 isn't mobile yet so there is a small advantage there. Toddler decides to "help" push 4 in the infant swing. I intervene before toddler instills permanent motion sickness.
3ish Food time for 4... I put a show on for the toddler since my hands will be full. If I angle 4 just right I can use 2 fingers on one hand and 1 on the other to read some of the articles people have linked me too.
3:30ish Toddler wants company for his show. 4 is playing by himself. I spend a few minutes with Toddler until he's engrossed again, check on 4 and move him from the play area to the swing. This time I swing him gently. 4 wants more food and needs a diaper change. All of that accomplished I sit back down.
4pm The show is over. I turn the TV off. 4 has fallen asleep in the swing. I pack his things so he's ready to go. Then I get Toddler out of the swing vicinity. We pick up the trash cans from outside (he sits on the wet seat of his tractor so now his jeans are soggy.
4:30ish 4 get's picked up. Toddler and I play more blocks with a side t trains and pirate.
4:45 I need to start a side dish cooking for my husband. Fight with toddler to keep him out of the kitchen while I cook. Time outs are deployed. Rice is cooking.
5:30ish husband is home. He's cooking tonight. Yay! I wrangle kid back to the living room since hot stove/hot pans/ hot oil is a bad place for toddlers. More blocs and some legos.
6 pm diner is done. Toddler wont eat. He sits in a time out while we eat and his food ends up tossed. By now I need a break.
6:30 bath time. Daddy handles this. I spend 20 glorious minutes seated in a chair and catching up on facebook/twitter
6:50 book time. We pick out 3 books (he grabs 6, I tell him Mommy is only reading 3). We read 3 books. Toddler gets tucked into bed. Mommy and Daddy sing "The Wheels on the Bus." Mommy is thinking about adding harmonies and taking the show on the road. Daddy is not amused. One more short song and we shut to door.
7:20 Mommy pours her self a drink (alas not the alcoholic kind). Toddler leaves bedroom.
7:25 Mommy does the nice tuck back in. She takes the "leave my room" token and places it up high.
7:26 Toddler leaves room
7:27 Mommy does the stern tuck in
7:28 Toddler leaves room
And this is a good time for an intermission... all you'll miss is my head exploding which has a high ick factor and potential for a large drycleaning bill....
8:30 Toddler has fallen asleep (with his blanket and pillow) on the changing pad on his floor. "Good enough!" I say and turn out the lights. Time to finish big projects..... namely cleaning the basement.
9:00 For the first time in a week I'm not half dead.... time to walk to McDonalds (yeah some writers get classy coffee shops and fancy coffee... me I get late nights at Micky Dee's and fries). The staff kinda know me. I sit in the back and tune out everything but the fryer beeps (for some reason that cuts through my head phones). In about an hour I churn out about a thousand words. I caffeinate. This is not a great thing but it allows me to come home and write out rambling long posts like this. And a thousand words. I try coke zero. Not a fan.
10pm I come home and spend a few minutes with the husband. Then we both do our own things. He's catching up on the laundry.
12 am Toddler wakes up on the changing pad and comes out to visit. I tuck him into bed this time and finish writing this thing.
12:45 FAR FAR past my bed time and I'm crashing. But this schedule.... this is why I don't write a zillion words a day right now.