Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What's Up Wednesday: Ready Set Write

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. Be sure to visit Jaime's blog to add your post to the link list!




What I'm Reading: I did decide on Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea. I plan to get it tonight and start reading! Right after making chili and going through all of today's What's Up Wednesday posts.

What I'm Writing: Guys. How is it already the final week of Ready. Set. Write!? This has been such a wonderful writing summer for me. Thank you Alison, Katy, Jaime, Erin, and Elodie for putting it on and to those of you (like Tracey) who wrote with me almost every night.

As far as goals go, my goal this summer was to write. Which I did. My goal last week was to finish part 5 and watch some Battle of Shiloh reenactments. Success! Even bigger? I made a good start of figuring out how to fix part five. But now that the writing intensive is over, I hope we'll all still keep writing together!

I'm hoping to finish this draft (including fixing part five and making some tweaks to part four) by the end of September, at which point I will send it along to my critique partners. I'd like to have a beta-ready draft by the end of October. Not sure if I'll make it, but we'll see. So for those of you who've expressed interest in reading, let me know if you want to be on that October/November list :)

I'll keep updating on Wednesdays to share my progress, and I'll be around on Twitter.

What Inspires Me Right Now: Fall is almost here, and it's my favorite season. Soon there will be all sorts of fall-themed photos on my Instagram; I guarantee it!

What Else I've Been Up To: House stuff, work stuff, life stuff. Nothing terribly exciting. I'm planning to finally install a threshold under our basement door to help with the flooding. That's about it, friends!

What's Up With You?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. Be sure to visit Jaime's blog to add your post to the link list!



What I'm Reading
: Nothing actually. Getting back to work post-vacation has been a little rough, as it always is. Right now I'm trying to decide what to read next. I'm between Charm and Strange and Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. I'll definitely be reading both this year, but if you have an opinion on which one is next, let me know! Also, I know I'm past due for two book reviews. Maybe soon? Maybe?

What I'm Writing: A lot, actually! I did not meet my goal for this week, but that's because I didn't realize how many words it would actually take. I'm one chapter plus one scene short of my goal--one of the hardest scenes for me to write. But, I did come out with 6,712 words. 

They are not all good words. In fact, they probably need a lot of help, but that's okay! I wrote them, and I hope there are some diamonds there. As I've mentioned, I'm doing a rewrite. This section? Completely new and not in the original plot. So yeah, it will definitely need a lot of help.

Goals for next week? I'm actually not sure. Maybe write as much as I can? I definitely want to finish part five--that one chapter plus one scene. I also want to watch a YouTube video I found of the 150th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Shiloh (part six of my story). So those are my big goals. Plus a lot of words.

What else I've Been Up To: Aside from writing and work, not a lot. The coffee shop where my husband works is back up and running, so I haven't seen a whole lot of him, which is how I managed to get all those words in. 

What's Inspiring Me Now: Seven chapters to go! The end is in sight, and I have a special treat waiting for me. I'll post a picture once I finally get to it.

What's up with you?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis. Be sure to visit Jaime's blog to add your post to the link list!




What I'm Reading: I've been on vacation since last Thursday (today is actually my first day back at work) so I read Siege and Storm on Thursday, and I loved it. Once I actually write my review of The Madman's Daughter, I'll get this review up. I haven't picked my next book yet--thinking I'll do another debut since I'm behind on my DAC.

What I'm Writing: The first couple of vacation days were dedicated to dealing with a few things around the house--some planned (finishing unpacking), some not so planned (cleaning up the flooded basement). Then my husband and I headed to Chattanooga, where he built in time specifically for me to write.


I hit two pretty big milestones, First: Ten chapters to go! Second: 70,000 words down. As you may have guessed, I decided to move forward with drafting (perhaps at the urging of some unnamed commenters...you know who you are). My goal this week is to finish part five, which will leave part six--the Battle of Shiloh.

Bed and breakfast bliss.

What Else I've Been Up To: Vacation? Yes, please. We had some great food and stayed at a beyond lovely bed and breakfast. It was a much-needed escape. I'm only hoping the peace I was able to gain will stay with me. I think yoga may help with that :)

For those of you on Twitter Monday night, these are the cocktails I mentioned.

What's Inspiring Me Now: Spending time with my husband this weekend has been awesome. He really does fuel my creativity, and he takes me nice places to see nice things. Here's a video I took that I've been watching for inspiration.

video

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Discovering Self Acceptance: On Writing and Yoga

This past Monday I completed my thirtieth straight day of hot yoga (a mixture of bikram and heated vinyasa). I initially planned to write this blog post that afternoon, but I waited. At first, I was too busy, but then I wanted to think--to contemplate what I had done, what it meant, where I go from here.

I've been practicing yoga since February--which is to say I'm still a bit of a noob. And while I have changed since I've begun my practice, those changes didn't really set in until after the 30 days. What's changed? My body, of course, but it's so much more than that.

I'm generally an anxious person. I have an anxiety disorder, and I also suffer from PTSD. Practicing yoga daily has not only helped me manage my anxiety, but it's helped me recognize it and see it for what it is. In doing that, I've been able to acknowledge anxiety-induced self deprecation and move on.

That's huge.

The largest thing I've learned over the past thirty days is self acceptance. Every day is different. Every day I'm different. Being on the mat has helped me come to terms with that. Some days I can hold a standing bow for a full minute. Other days I'm on my back, laid out, unable to even make it through the warm up. And that's okay. It's good to acknowledge what my body can and can't do. The important thing is that I'm there. I'm on my mat. I'm enduring the heat. I'm practicing. I'm not giving up.

It's discipline. It's endurance. It's daily.

Where do I go from here? The obvious answer is that I continue my practice. But I don't want to stop there. These things that I've learned, the intentions I've set, the patience I've gained, they can go beyond the studio. No. They should go beyond the studio.

My next goal? To apply them to my writing. To accept when my writing sucks. To work through that. To acknowledge it and have gratitude toward myself for trying. To celebrate the days the words flow and I can't seem to put a cap on my creativity. But most importantly: to practice.

I need writing to be daily (or at least as close to daily as possible) like yoga is. I need it to be a practice, a discipline, a constant. And I need to give myself grace.

Thank you Hot Yoga East Nashville for giving me a space to learn these lessons--on and off the mat.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

“What’s Up Wednesday” is a weekly blog hop by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk. From Jaime: It’s similar in some respects to the Currently… post, but it’s been whittled down to only four headings to make it quicker and more manageable on a weekly basis.



What I'm Reading: I picked up Shadow & Bone this weekend so that I can finally read Siege & Storm. I forgot how beautiful the writing is. I read it so fast the first time, that all I really took in was story. I'm taking it slow this time, and I'm so glad. I also plan to have my review of The Madman's Daughter up later this week.

What I'm Writing: While I didn't meet all my goals for this week, I'm happy with my progress. I made it to the other side of my slump and knocked out both the scenes I needed to write. It's the editing that I didn't finish. And that's okay.

Goals for this week? I think I'm going to skip that editing and go back to writing the draft itself. So I'd REALLY like to finish the next part. We'll see if that happens.

What Else I've Been Up To: I finished my 30 day yoga challenge! More on that later this week. I'm also taking some vacation time--tomorrow through next Tuesday. I'm planning to finally finish unpacking the house before my husband and I head out for a couple days.

What's Inspiring Now: "Another Love" by Tom Odell. I heard it on the radio, and if my current WIP ever becomes a series, this song is perfect for later in that story.


What's up with you?