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Have you ever gotten really sick and needed a few sick days? I am in between jobs (still laid off), but I have chores and lots of writing stuff to occupy my time (when I’m not job hunting). Anyway, yesterday and today are my sicks days. I don’t have to call into anyone except myself. And I’m calling in. Right here. Right now.
I’m going to nap. Read an easy book. Eat. Nap some more. I’m going to baby myself back to feeling healthy.
The weird thing is when you work full time, you’re expected to be available via email and phone on sick days. Even do work from home. This is insanity. If you are too sick to leave the house, you need to rest. Period. So corporate America chill the hell out. You give people 3-5 sick days max a year. Back off.
Sure firms can use the economy to terrorize people, threatening to lay them off. But the economy will get better and those employees can find something better.
Personally, I can do more in an hour when I’m motivated than in six when I’m not.
Here’s another thing I don’t get–productivity is never ever measured by companies. If I do 20 things in 8 hours and my co-worker does 18 in 12 hours, why is he lauded and I am told to work harder? Why is face time a measure of productivity? My suspicion? Managers are lazy. Clocking someone’s hours is easy. Figuring out what they do in x hours requires doing math.
My bff and I always thought being fast and efficient were skills. Evidently not. No it is better to be slow and appear busy if you want to climb the corporate ladder.
Last week my bff asked me about 16-6. Never heard of it. He explained someone told him he worked 16 hours 6 days a week. The guy was proud of this. If you’re job=your life that’s cool. But for most of us, that is like giving up on living.
Okay I’m rambling. Might be the fever. But you get my point? Probably not.
Life is short. Prioritize. You should come first 90% of the time (at least).
Oh and no word count increases today. Sorry. I only hit 3K this week. But I budgeted in time to get sick, so I’m still on schedule.
It was a rainy day on Wednesday, which means Grandma and I didn’t do too much galavanting around. We did get me a library card. It was cool to see the library where I spent many childhood days searching for knowledge. I remember falling in love with the Greek gods because of a book I borrowed from the children’s reading room. Leafing through a book on the zodiac, I became excited to discover I was a Scorpio and identify with it.
After that, we decided to have coffee at Dunkin Donuts. We’re having coffee and she asks me, “What if writing doesn’t happen? I mean every writer must want to be published.”
I get this question a lot. And it’s not like it didn’t cross my mind. Failure is always possible. “It will. I’ll keep working at it until I die.” Except I’ve decided to not accept it as the final possibility.
She didn’t seem to understand. I tried another way. “The only reason I get up is to write. If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. Everything else is just filler for me.”
She got quiet.
“Isn’t there one thing that makes it worthwhile to get up? One thing you have to do or else the day feels like a waste?”
I’m betting she has something, but maybe wasn’t ready to share. Writing is my purpose. Pretty much anything else I do is to support my writing or to allow me to write.
What is the one thing you couldn’t live without doing?
Been listening to Taylor’s new CD Speak Now for the past couple of days. She amazes me with her voice, her songwriting, and her ability to tap into everything I’ve ever felt.
The CD booklet prologue sets up the entire CD as a collection of things she should have said and needed to say. Sometimes those moments left undone haunt us. This is an intimate look at those moments from her life. And her way of getting rid of regret.
How many times have you held back, when you had something to say?
We’ve all gone through breakups. What amazes me is that she finds the strength to keep trying. She doesn’t give up. She works through the pain. We could all probably learn a thing or two from her.
So the songs. WOW. Each one creates a scene in my mind. A snapshot of her life. And conjures up a memory of a similar experience. That’s what I’ve always loved about Taylor Swift, she gives you a glimpse of her life and reminds you about your own experiences, creating a bit of magic with each song.
My favorites include: Haunted, Back to December, and Enchanted.
Enchanted conjures up every damn! moment where there’s immediate attraction and you crush on someone. You have all these possibilities before you. It’s am amazing moment, so full of hope.
Haunted reminds me of the limbo you go through when love is dying. You try to get back to what you had, but keep losing ground. You hold on and it slips away faster and faster. But you refuse to give up. Even when there is nothing left.
Back in December brings me back to the time I screwed up a relationship. Never realizing what you were destroying until it was embers in front of you. Bad calls are the worst. At least when you are the one that gets hurt, you know you were the good person. You can take that forward with you. But being the screw up, you regret that.
What are your favorite songs on Taylor Swift’s new CD?
BTW Word count hit 51,472 as of this AM!
Last night,Mom and I were looking for something to watch as we ate dinner. We’re TV watchers while we eat. Anyway, Dad notices The Pleasure Seekers, a 1960s movie with Ann-Margret. Mom and him start talking about how great she was. I’m suspect. It takes a lot to catch my attention and a two hour movie is a big chunk of time.
Fast forward an hour and I’m completely hooked on this film. It’s the same single girls fall for guys story, but it’s set in Madrid. Each guy has a host of problems that prevent him from being with the girl. The girls are all pretty and yet have trouble getting a man. I guess that’s a universal problem women have had for centuries. This was a cute take on it.
The girls were all in shape, but not sticks. It was nice to remember that society’s obsession with looking like a bag of bones is something recent. You forget beauty once included having curves. Now when they say someone has curves, they mean she might be a size six. Reediculous.
They had the pervert neighbor who kept trying to catch a glimpse of them through the windows.
I loved seeing the old cars and people smoking in their offices. Seems like another world.
Made me want to go off and live in a foreign city for a while. Just for the experience of it. Then again, every time I read a cool book I want to try the protagonist’s profession. I guess that’s what good storytelling does to me.
The music and dancing were pretty entertaining. Overall worth watching.
Do you like movies from the 60s? Which are your favorites?
Word count update: 50,251. Finally broke the 50K mark!!!!
I set a goal to write 5K words for my new novel each week. Last week I wrote 6K, bringing my word count to 48,702! It sounded so hard when I started on Monday but by then end of the week it was easier. I also decided to revise on Friday and added 1000 words in revisions for everything I drafted Monday-thursday.
Sat is my day off to spend time with the family. Sunday, I went back to editing and revising of my first novel The Radcliffe Curse for the Minotaur Books Contest, where I have to submit the entire manuscript.
I joined a writing critique group that is just starting up. So that should be fun and painful. Feedback always hurts on some level. It has to because it tells you where you disconnected with the reader. But it gives you the opportunity to fix it and make things better.
I finally finished unpacking the boxes from my move. Those last 3 lingered. Now I am all moved in.
So last Sat and Sun (Oct 16-17), the Bristol Community Center had its annual gem and mineral show. I’ve been meaning to attend the past 2 years and this year as luck would have it I was in town. Permanently. LOL.
Rock shows, for me, are most women’s equivalent of Louis Vuitton or Marc Jacob bags. I want everything I see. The minute I walk in, I have to repeat my mantra, look don’t buy, until I get the lay of the land. So hard to restrain myself. Think diabetic in a candy store. I circle the entire place and then I see a cool tiger’s eye bracelet. The stones are shaped like bones. And the colors–browns and blues swirl together. Tiger’s Eye is OL’s fav stone too. Must buy it. Then I spot a Selenite crystal. And $20 later I’ve made my first purchases.
Now I’m warming up. Promising myself I will not go over $20 a piece, I circle to another table and see this light green rock. Looks like a bowl filled with liquid stone.
Then I go back to the table that caught my interest…
Then I decide what the hey, I blew through $80 bucks might as well go get that smoky quartz I liked when I walked in…
I circle over to my dad, who is eyeing the scrimshaw. He asks if I liked the fish fossil. I advise that they are cheaper at another table. He’s like if you were getting something what would you get here? I told him I liked the sea shell fossil. I thought he was asking advice as a collector, but instead he surprises me with this cool fossil as a gift:
Then we scouted around for a gift for mom. I found a pretty hematite bracelet and a chalcopyrite rock (which she always tells me to buy when she sees at the rock store). And that was father daughter bonding time at the rock show.
Will I go again next year? Yup.
And word count:46,581.
So Monday night, I watch DWTS (Dancing With The Stars) with mom. It’s become a ritual since she helped me move out of NYC. For 2 hours you watch these people compete and then Tuesday they get the results. Monday, I felt like Kyle was robbed. Lacey and Kyle’s number rocked. They had charisma, energy, and the steps were sharp. I also Love Kurt and Anna, who did well and I want to see them continue.
I’m not one to vote in contests, but I broke down Monday night and logged into abc.com. I had to give Kyle and Lacey some votes, a couple to Kurt and Anna and one to Jennifer and Derek and one for Brandy and Max. They only got one because I didn’t think they needed it because they were scored well by the judges.
Who do I think will win..tough call. Right now I think Jennifer Grey is likely. Though Brandy did bring it this week. And Audrina has had moments of stunning technique.
But there’s something about Kyle and Kurt. They’ve both made huge improvements over the weeks. And I always root for the underdogs.
Who are you rooting for?
And what a sad night…I can’t believe Florence Henderson went home. I so thought she was safe since the judges loved her dance. She did awesome. But on the upside, Kurt and Kyle are still in it!!!
BTW word count hit: 45,442 today.
So Monday morning, I sat down and faced a blank page. I wanted to write 1000 words, but *gasp!* faced a new scene. What to do?
I played the what if game. What if x came over? And 500 words flew onto the page. It was crappy dialogue but it was dialogue. And then I thought but what if y came over first? And 1ooo words filled the page. I am now going over it and tweaking it. But I’m amazed that in 2-3 hours I could get that much wordage down. Of course, it’s rough and needs oodles of editing. But word count is growing.
That was my biggest worry–that I’d get sidetracked my other stuff and not get back to my work in progress. So I think I will set my goal to 5K a week, with a minimum of 1000 words a day. And if I happen to write more so be it. Then I can take a day to edit it instead of only writing forward.
So yesterday’s wordcount went from 42,400 to 44,360.
I’ve also decided to get the dog a 1/2 hour walk everyday. And happy news I’ve been on my low carb diet for a week and am starting to look like my old self. Or the beginnings of it!
I’m also delighted to meet up with a friend from CTRWA (M.) this evening and swap pages. I think my YA needs more feedback on the later chapters so this is a godsend.
Ever had a moment like that? Where everything is blurry and you have no clue how you let it slip by? Well, I got hit in the face with that on Friday and Saturday. I thought my YA manuscript was in great shape. I had gotten feedback on the first 3 chapters from several published writers and agents via auctions. I had my shit together.
Wrong. The first 3 chapters rocked. Then chapter 4 things got a little boring. Then chapter 5 and 6 required extensive reworking of dialogue. And chapter 7 sucked until the second half.
I was horrified. How did I miss this?
Truth? My writing improves with each revision. The more I write the better it gets. And I had the entire book at the same level. Then I got feedback and brought the first 1-3 chapters up and up and up. I made my way through the rest of the novel, thinking I caught my mistakes. Bad dialogue tags, too much telling, long scenes that weren’t needed were cut.
But the simple fact was I didn’t do a good enough job. Once someone else pointed out what was wrong–I went through the normal stages, denial, anger and finally acceptance. Once I accepted it, I could suddenly see so much that needed work. Ouch. So I spent the past couple days revising ch. 5-7. It’s a 16 chapter book. But I’m over 1/3 of the way there. I just have to step it up a notch.
Meanwhile this post from Upstart Crow Literary Agency has got me setting a new goal. I want to write 1000 words a day in my paranormal romance novel. Right now I’m at 42,320 words. I think I can finish it in 75,000-80,000 words. So that is 32,000-37,800 more words to write. Thanks to CTRWA’s awesome plotting session, I have the synopsis plotted out. I just need to sit down and write it.
So starting today, I will clock 1000 words a day 5 days a week. And each blog post will include a daily word count–to keep me on track. I want to have this story polished and ready to shop around at the RWA conference in June. So I need it finished by end of January so I can take it through 2-3 rounds of revisions before the conference. Ambitious? Of course. Would you expect otherwise from me?