Writing Challenge Turned Q&A

Hello again!  It’s that time of year again, where people start posting those weird “30 Day Writing Challenge” things.  They always sound like a fun idea and every time I see one, I say that I should do it, but then I read the “challenges.”  Honestly, they’re rarely creative and most often read as a list of Q&A topics.  So, since I’m running low on things to ramble about, I thought I’d post one of these challenges here and let you guys pick a number between 1 and 30 (only one number per person, so choose wisely)!  Each week, I’ll do one of the challenges you guys pick.  I can think of a few people who will participate, so this should keep me busy for a few weeks at least.

30-day-writing-challenge-1
It was the first list Google came up with.  Pick a number and I’ll do the corresponding exercise!

 

To start this off randomly, I asked a friend to pick a number, but to be fair she had no idea why I asked and hadn’t seen the list, so she gets another number if she wants.  Anyway, she chose 29.  I suppose that means that I’m talking about my goals for next month!

Honestly, I don’t really plan that far ahead.  I have trouble making up weekly goals, let alone monthly.  I have my writing goals (which I’ve been struggling with).  I’m trying to write at least 4,500 words a week, so I’m aiming for around 18,000 words for April.  Otherwise, I want to post consistently on my author pages and of course do the weekly blog.  I also want to finish the book I’m reading in the next couple of weeks.  That’s about it, really.

5354927497_b50558716e_z
Maybe I should use a Daruma doll for my goals.  I have a blank one somewhere.

 

If you’ve been stalking me, you know that I’m also trying to be better about keeping in touch with people.  It’s not an easy thing, but I’m going to keep working at it.  I did talk to someone last week about creating a daily goal calendar, though, so socializing does help!  I already keep track of my word count, but it hasn’t been a big motivator lately.  The daily goal calendar involves using stickers to denote certain achievements depending on what you want to accomplish and creating a key  (example: gold star = 500 words, blue dot = half an hour of reading, purple heart = an hour of family time, etc.), then marking down what you do each day.  I’m going to try to create a computer version for April to see if something visual like that helps me.

12916791_273486852983356_6246745458090268754_o
The example my friend sent me.

 

Anyway, my goals are basically the same as usual, but with a new way to keep track.  That’s all I really have to say on that.

What do you guys think about the whole picking a number thing?  If you’d like to choose one, comment here or find me on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or G+).  I’m looking forward to seeing who chooses what!

See if you next week!

Murphy’s Law for Cripples

Howdy, howdy.  Yesterday (actually, it’s today as I’m writing this) was (is?) one of those days.  It’s always nice to wake up to one of your key pieces of machinery (naturally one of the few you don’t have a good spare for) being dead (again).  Yes, the hydraulics on my patient lift (the thing that transfers me from bed to chair, etc.) decided it would be fun to go out in the middle of the night.  I was stuck in bed until 4:00, 4:30, which didn’t really bother me aside from zapping any desire to be productive.  And surprisingly, the medical equipment company sent someone out to look at it right away.

0d9ebacac1d15a01ed06bbf0255e2365
Life rises to the challenge.  Always.

 

Bad news!  The hydraulic pump is dead (you don’t say?!).  I’ve had this particular lift less than four years and this is the third or fourth time they’ve had to replace the pump.  Normally, it gives us a little warning before performing a dramatic death scene, so we have time to fix it, but not this time.  Granted, I’d lost complete faith in this piece of equipment long ago (after all, at least two of the replacement pumps had the following sticker on them, so trust is an issue), but I have no choice except to use it (it’s like my relationship with elevators: hate/no choice).  Yeah.

083
Front.  They couldn’t spell front.  How can I trust a company that can’t spell FRONT?

 

So, I was stuck in bed trying not to go down that “every bad outcome of this scenario” rabbit hole, and succeeding quite well with not panicking, when the “good” news came.  They (the medical company) had a spare that we can borrow until mine gets fixed or replaced.  The problem?  It’s electric, so it’s not great for me in the first place.  Plus there’re weird boxes that get in the way of my feet.  And I’ve never used one before, so it’s a little terrifying.  When I get nervous, I ask stupid questions and point out obvious problems and all of that, which annoys the person taking care of me (namely Dad) because he’s also trying to figure out how to make it work, which makes him snappy.  On top of everything else, we were both a little hangry.  Needless to say, issues arose.

But, I made it to my chair (which has also been acting up) without getting anything broken.  I tried to figure out some Medicare problems I’ve been having.  Then I wrote this.  I’m officially done with today (yesterday as you’re reading this).

59850430
So done.

 

So, what does all of this mean?  Absolutely nothing.  I needed to rant and I needed a blog topic.  You can take it as a glance into cripple problems if you want.  Feel free to send me a rant since you’ve made it this far!  I’ll gladly listen to your woes since you paid attention to mine.  Fingers crossed tomorrow is better.  Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Date With A Dentist

Hello, hello!  I have nothing to ramble about, so this is probably going to be shorter than usual.  I suppose I should say that I have been writing again the past couple of weeks (only four days a week so far, but that’s better than nothing).  I’ve been trying to socialize a little.  Had a movie date on Monday with a friend.  Go watch Kinky Boots if you haven’t already!  Anyway, yesterday I had a dentist appointment, which is pretty much the only thing I have to talk about (sad, I know).

max1139610528-frontback-cover
It’s on Netflix.  You have no excuse.

 

I go to Forney Wellness for my dental hygiene needs.  I totally recommend them.  At least one of the dentists and one of the hygienists have experience working with people in wheelchairs, which is pretty important to me.  Everyone is nice.  It’s a little expensive (though not the worst I’ve come across by far) and they have a tendency to tell me a different price each time.  But they’re generally great, at least for cleanings (I haven’t had to have any other procedures done *knocks on wood*), and I only see them twice a year, so it’s really not that bad moneywise.

Now, I fully admit that I hate going to the dentist.  You can probably tell by the fact that dentists are demons in pretty much all of my stories when they pop up.  I even bit one as a child (yeah, I was that kid, but she totally deserved it).  Despite all that, my dad and I have a running joke about going to Forney Wellness, which is totally worth the usual anxiety.  First, realize that they have this water pick scraper tool called a Lil Beaver 2.0.

timthumb
Oh, Internet.  You always know what I need.

 

So, being the perverts we are, we giggle like little schoolgirls a the prospect of me having a beaver in my mouth.  It’s even better when the fact that it’s wet comes up.  And that it’s expensive and never as pleasant as one would hope.  But we can’t be too loud.  There are usually children around, after all.  Yeah, going to the dentist as an adult is definitely more entertaining.

Anyway!  Not that anyone really wants to know, but I’m still cavity free.  There are spots to watch, but there always are.  What does this mean?  I can eat all the things guilt free!

6359198011037144991934733144_chocolate-main
Like that.  Only without the makeup.

 

Wow, I almost managed to ramble the usual amount.  Awesome!  But, in conclusion, go check out Forney Wellness if you’re in the area and looking for a dentist.  Also, feel free to share your funniest/scariest/whateverest dentist story!  Do you have running jokes about your dental hygiene?  Share those too!

Grey Days

Hello, hello!  I’m writing this a little earlier than usual (Monday instead of Tuesday), and it’s a really drab (cloudy and humid) day.  In fact, it’s supposed to be dull and potentially rainy most of the week.  A lot of people I know talk about how wonderful days like this are for writing, but I just don’t see it.  Back when I did most of my writing at like two in the morning, weather didn’t really affect me.  The only time it bothered me back then was during thunderstorms and that was only because of a fear of random tornadoes springing up, so I’m fairly jittery during them anyway.  It wasn’t until I started writing during the day that I noticed how the sun affected my writing moods.

img_5726.jpg
Stolen from Google.  Maybe if this were my view, grey skies wouldn’t bother me.

 

People are different, I know, so I’m just saying that writing is harder for me on grey days.  I feel more lathargic than usual.  A headache is almost always involved.  So, I’m one of those people who wants to binge watch Netflix or read manga and munch on chocolate until the sun comes back out.  It’s worse if it’s super humid and warm.  If it’s freezing cold (that’d be 60 or below in Texas), I don’t mind it as much.  Maybe because it’s supposed to be yucky outside at that point (or at least that’s what I tell myself).  Who knows.  It’s just not conducive to writing for me.

On the flip side of that coin, if it’s sunny and beautiful and warm out, I also get distracted a lot.  The sunny weather is energizing and all that, so it’s not because I’m lethargic and feel like crap, which makes it a lot easier to push through the writing avoidance.  On those days, I simply tend to have a ton more “ooo shiny” moments than usual (also known as “Squirrel!” moments ever since Up came out).  But, like I said, it’s easier to work around those moment.

squirrel-up-dog-gif
Focus… focus… SQUIRREL!  Yeah, like that.

 

I suppose my preferred writing weather is probably sunny and cold or sunny and super hot.  Something energizing, but not anything I want to be out in.  The kind of weather I can occasionally glance out of the window at and be satisfied.  I’m not an outdoorsy person anyway, so most days are okay for writing.  It’s just those super blah days and the incredibly beautiful ones that get to me.  The in between is fine.

362d3b78f44d8641fa1b8cd53f45b0f6
At least I’m not the only one.

 

So, what about you?  Do you find certain weather patterns to be more conducive to writing than others?  Are you a sunshine or stormy day writer?  What about daytime writing versus nighttime writing?  Or maybe you don’t care either way.  Maybe I’m just trying to rationalize my avoidance of writing on certain days.  Feel free to share your thoughts here or on any of my social media links!

Until next time!  Write on.

I Might’ve Broken The Rules

Happy March!  How was your Leap Day?  Mine was actually pretty productive.  It was the first day in a long time that I met my “this is acceptable” word count (1000+ words).  I broke one of my golden rules to do it, but the writing is what’s important, right?  Rules are made to be broken and all that.  Or maybe I’m just nuts.  Or trying to rationalize things that don’t really matter.  I mean, it’s not like anyone’s going to punish me for breaking my own rule, right?  It’s just the voices in my head that complain about it.  They’ll deal eventually.  Do you have rules you stick to when writing?  Or is that just something crazy people do?

115.JPG
Nancy Holder!  Blame her for the rules thing.

 

I suppose the whole “rules” thing started during my first semester at Stonecoast.  Up until then, I had no rules, no discipline, and all I was writing was short stories.  I wrote when I felt like it or when something was due.  Deadline induced panic was an essential part of my process.  Then Stonecoast happened.

I was actually pretty terrified at the prospect of writing a novel, but I wanted to do it.  My mentor at the time was Nancy Holder, and she’s a super supportive type, so she encouraged me to do it.  There was no “try,” there was just “do it.”  Of course, I asked “how?”  Her response was “keep writing!”  Yeah, it wasn’t helpful at the time, but she was right (as mentors tend to be).  So I wrote, got past twenty pages (my usual stopping point), and kept writing.  Around page fifty, I wanted to stop and work on something else.  Nancy said no.

NvbOGZm.gif
It was kind of like that.

 

She explained that starting a new project was a form of procrastination that all writers are tempted by.  If you’re constantly stopping one thing to start something else, you’ll never finish anything.  It made a lot of sense, especially for something as large as a novel.  And thus, my first rule (the one I broke) was born.  I’d never start a new novel while one was sitting half-finished and waiting on me (aka one I haven’t given up on).  I’d wait until I at least had a first draft.  It only applied to novels, so I admit to writing flash fiction, short stories, poetry, etc.  Basically anything to give me a break here and there, but that could be finished in a few days was acceptable procrastination.

But, since I’ve been in a slump, I finally decided to say “screw it!” and started a new WIP.  It doesn’t mean that I love the old one any less, it just means I can’t get into that world right now.  Same goes for the screenplay.  I love it, but my heart just isn’t in it.  Hopefully that will change as I get back to a normal rhythm, but for now, I needed something new that no one has seen or heard about.  Something strictly mine.  Something that doesn’t have any expectations to live up to.  It can fail completely, I can trash it, and no one will ever be able to ask “what happened to that novel about that thing?”  Does that even make sense?

keep-calm-and-break-the-rules-15.png

I still have a bunch of other rules that I haven’t broken, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to break a rule once in a while if nothing else is working for you.  So, what are your rules?  Have you ever broken them?  Did it help?  Or am I just crazy?