#ROW80 Check-in – November 29, 2015

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

Click the picture to go the ROW80 blog

It’s Sunday once again, and once again, I’m leaving writing my check-in until after 8:30pm. I’ve had a busy day, though, so I feel I’m actually justified this time. Here’s my goals break-down for this week:

  • Write at least two pages in notebook or 200 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.

I did this every day except Tuesday. Actually, on Monday and Wednesday, I spent 20 minutes editing the first draft of Operation: Sugarplum. Then on Thursday I went back to more plotting on Worlds Apart. For the first time ever, I’m actually managing a detailed outline before I start writing. And every now a and then I get a little niggle to start writing, but I am resisting until I finish the full outline. I did do a little bit yesterday, so I sort of caught up for not writing Tuesday.

Do we want some end-of-month stats? Yes, we do. At the end of October, I had written 4003 words. Most of that was on Operation: Sugarplum. At time of writing, I have written 6967 words, plus whatever I wrote yesterday (it’s not typed up yet), so let’s say 7050-ish, because I didn’t write a huge amount yesterday.

  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.

I wrote a review for The Knife of Never Letting Go. It’ll go up in week or two. I don’t remember exactly when I scheduled it for.

  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards traveling.

I have once again let a week go by without writing any. Maybe this week…

  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

What do you know, I actually managed this! For about the first time in two ROW80 rounds, I think! I even did it four times.

I’ll leave this here, with a quick link to the ROW80 website for those unfamiliar. A Round of Words in 80 Days is a writing challenge wherein you set your own goals, and check in each week with other bloggers to keep yourself accountable. Check it out!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Check-in – November 22, 2015

This is very much a drive-by check-in. I’ve just been to a Thermomix demonstration, and it went a lot later than I was expecting. However, there was a lot of delicious food, so I’m not complaining. I kind of want a Thermomix now. Too bad they are $2000 or so each. Anyway. Enough about Thermomixes. Goals this week:

  • Write at least two pages in notebook or 200 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.

After struggling to write a decent ending for draft 1 of Operation: Sugarplum, I decided to call Draft 1 completed on Monday. Since then, I’ve been using my own slight variation on the Snowflake Method to plan my next WIP. I definitely reached 200 words every day; on Wednesday I was up around the 700 mark and on Tuesday it was over 1000 words of planning. I also had quite a lot of traveling yesterday, so I did some editing on Operation: Sugarplum.

  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.

I wrote review of Winter that went up yesterday. I wanted it to go up while the book is still in shiny new-release mode. I rejigged my scheduled posts a bit to allow it. My review of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl also got posted on Friday.

  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards traveling.

I didn’t get a chance to do that this week. Which is to say, I had plenty of chances and ignored them. Heh. Next week.

All right. That’s it from me. I’m off to bed.

~ Emily

#ROW80 Check-in – 15 November, 2015

A Round of Words in 80 Days, or ROW80, is a blog hop run by Kait Nolan, and it is a fabulous thing. It allows you to set your own goals (mostly pertaining to writing), and then be held accountable via weekly blog check-ins. You can read more about it on the ROW80 blog.

row80This week has been ridiculous. I did not have a free night between Tuesday and Saturday, not to mention I was at work all day Saturday. Today I woke up with a splintering headache that had to be cured with painkillers rather than just caffeine (that’s usually the problem), but had to go out again because we had tickets to a show and I was the one who had made the group booking. Thank goodness working Saturday means I get tomorrow off. Having said all that, I didn’t do too badly with my goals this week. Here’s the break down:

  • Write at least two pages in notebook or 200 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.

I guess it’s a good thing I chose this week to see how I went writing first thing when I got up in the mornings. I managed this on four out of the five days. I didn’t have much energy to do a make-up session on the weekend though. I’m finding it tricky getting the words down at the moment, because I’m actually at the resolution of my WIP and just trying to conclude everything. Which is harder than it seems.

The verdict on writing early mornings: while I am a morning person, I am still groggy when I first get up. But because I try to get into work as early as I can (the earlier I arrive, the earlier I can leave), I don’t really like hanging around the house until I’m more awake. I think I’m going to stick to mostly writing in my notebook at lunch time.

  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.

I wrote three! For Mothers Grimm, The Golem and the Djinni and Chasing Nonconformity. I have finished reading another two books this week, so the trend should continue. I’m currently reading a lot, so I’m posting two reviews a week instead of one a fortnight. Two went up in the past couple of days, Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth and  A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab.

  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards traveling.

As you can probably imagine, I have had zero time for writing postcards. I still have six stamps, though, so I might try to write make-up cards this week.

  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

The weather has been terrible this week, so I did absolutely no exercise. I know that’s not an excuse, but I’m using it anyway. Edy and I did find some resistance bands during a tidy up, though, so since we’re both home tomorrow, we’re going to see what we can do with them. Having an indoor exercise option that doesn’t involve having to unplug the DVD player and plug in the Wii (I am aware of my laziness levels, don’t worry) is always good.

That’s it from me, it is already 9:35 here, and I intend to have an early night tonight to make up for the fact that I was up until 11:30 reading Winter last night. I’m fairly sure that goes at least part way to explaining my headache today. See you later!

~ Emily

ROW80 Check-in – 08 November 2015

row80Once again, it’s Sunday. The weeks fly by far too quickly these days. Sunday means a ROW80 check-in. You can read more about ROW80 at the end of this post. For now, here are my goals, and how I went with them this week.

  • Write at least one page in notebook or 100 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.

I did this every day during the week, as well as yesterday. I’m on the downhill run with Operation: Sugarplum now, which means I’ve had a couple of days with really good word counts. Also, since uni is now done, I’m going to up this goal to 2 pages in the notebook or 200 words on the laptop. It may not happen this week, as I’m quite busy, but things settle down a bit after that, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m also going to try writing first thing of a morning, starting this week. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages, but I’ve got my partner in on it now, and he won’t let me snooze the alarm more than once.

  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.

I didn’t finish any books to review this week, but I finished one this afternoon and will finish a second after I finish this post, so I’ll get them ready this coming week.

Also, I decided to alter my blog schedule to have a review go up every Friday, rather than alternate Fridays. I’ve got four scheduled at the moment, so I hope I’ll be able to keep ahead.

  • Spend one evening and one weekend afternoon on uni work.

I did this, and I have finished uni for the year! No more studying til February!

  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards traveling.

I’ve written three out just now and I’ll put them in the post tomorrow.

  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

I walked twice this week. I was planning on riding my bike to church this morning, except then I slept in and only got up about half an hour before the service (I was at a late movie session last night and it was past midnight when I got home). Now that uni is done and I’m not trying to get to work super-early so  I can leave super-early, I’ll probably ride my bike more often. That’s the theory/hope, anyway.

That’s it from me this week. I’m still tired from my late night last night, but I do want to start getting up slightly earlier to write, so I’ll need an early night tonight. If you would like to hear more about A Round of Words in 80 Days, click here. Goodnight!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Check-in – 01 November, 2015

row80I missed last week’s check-in due to the week leading up to it being busier than most, and having very little to report. I met my writing goal every day, but that was it. This past week has been a lot better, though.

  • Write at least one page in notebook or 100 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.

I wrote four days out of five. Usually I would make this up on the weekend, but I’ve been trying to get as much done on my uni work this weekend (see below) so no writing has happened. I’m drawing to the end of Operation: Sugarplum, which is both scary and exciting. I don’t really know what I’m doing with my final climax, but I am basically just trying to write something each day. I’ve been making some notes for the second draft as well, though this one will really need to be put away for a while before I work on it again. I’m a bit sick of the sight of it.

Since it’s the first of the new month, let’s have some stats. During October, I added 3352 words to Operation: Sugarplum, plotted another 294 words and wrote 357 on non-WIP things for a total of 4003 words during the month. Not huge, but about 1000 words a week, which right now, is about all I am hoping for. There were only three week days during the month when I didn’t write, and I made up for two of them on the weekends. I wanted to make up this week’s, too, but my essay breaks were made up of not writing things because I was sick of it.

One more week of uni (my final paper is due on the 6th) and then I’ll up this goal to account for having way more time to devote to writing.

  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.

I wrote two this week, for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson, which was my lead-up-to-Halloween read. I’ve actually got enough reviews scheduled now that I’m into the new year. I did consider making them weekly, but I don’t think I write enough of them to quite manage that. I did also consider just posting them on the Friday of the week when I write them, but I like schedules too much for that.

  • Spend one evening and one weekend afternoon on uni work.

I actually organised to have Wednesday off work, and I spent the day working on my final essay. I went through all the books I had from the library, and made lots of notes in the morning. In the afternoon, I got about 400 words written. I’ve also worked on it both days this week and I have about 1750/2500 words.

  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards travelling.

I’ve got a bit behind on these, but I will buy some more stamps on payday this week and send some more. A few of the ones I sent at the beginning of the round have started arriving, which means I’ve got more I can send.

  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

This hasn’t been happening as often as I’d hope. With luck, once uni is done and I’m not worried about getting into work as early as possible so I can leave as early as possible, I’ll have a bit more wiggle room for riding in or taking my time getting home.

If you’re unfamiliar with ROW80 (A Round of Words in 80 Days – the writing challenge that knows you have a life), you can read more about it on the website. It was the brainchild of Kait Nolan and it’s hugely beneficial for a lot of people. I’m going to head off now and have a proper break from the computer, I’ll see you all later!

#ROW80 Check-in – October 18, 2015

I was really proud of myself on Monday; I finally managed to create a spreadsheet that tracked all the aspects of my writing that I wanted it to. It’s all nice and colour-coded and adds things up for me and I love it. I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to track editing, but I’ll cross that bridge when I next have to edit something. It’ll probably be a time spent/pages edited type set-up.

This is a fairly quick check-in from me tonight. I’ve left it a bit late and now I’m just wanting to go to bed. Here are my goals for the week:

  • Write at least one page in notebook or 100 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.

Yes! I did this every week day, as well as yesterday! I know this because of aforementioned shiny spreadsheet. I think not obsessing over writing in my notebook every day like I did last round has made all the difference. I am happy to just type up one day’s writing and then do the next day’s on the computer, which is actually much easier than handwriting every day and then having ten pages or so to type up on the weekend.

  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.

I nearly didn’t finish anything to review this week, but I got through Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth faster than expected and have scheduled a review of that. Also, Kate Forsyth followed me on Twitter. That was cool. I also found out that she is running a writing course at Oxford in the middle of next year, and man, I want to go. Oxford is a long way away, though.

I’m now most of the way through Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell so I should be able to write its review this coming week.

  • Spend one evening and one weekend afternoon on uni work.

Probably. Or something. I definitely spent a couple of hours yesterday. I intended to do some more tonight, but then I was feeling sick because I ate way too much deep-fried stuff at a friend’s birthday lunch so I ended up lying in bed for an hour or so hoping it would all go away (which, thankfully, it did). I realised that I basically have 2900 words due in the next three weeks. Which sounds kind of big, but should be fine once I actually settle down to working on it properly. I’ve teed up with my boss to take the day off on October 28, so that’ll also be helpful.

  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards travelling.

I’ve actually got four ready to send tomorrow. I’ll send three this week and then it will be a case of registering to send a new one whenever these ones are received.

  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

I rode my bike on Monday and walked on Friday. I also walked for about an hour today. There is the issue that between various things at work and on the weekend, I undid any weight-loss/fitness benefits this exercise would have given me. But oh well. The thought was there.

I’ve got a fairly busy week ahead, as my mum is in town. Even though she’s coming with a friend and not staying with me, I’m still ferrying them around a bit tomorrow and Tuesday nights. On Wednesday, I have the first class in a five-week astronomy course. I’m really looking forward to that! And Thursday is choir, as usual. So apart from writing, I’m probably not going to get a whole lot done before Friday at the earliest.

Time for me to head off now! I’ll catch you later!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Round 4 – Check-in #1

This has been a pretty good week for me. Not only did I have a bit of a breakthrough on Operation: Sugarplum, but I also had a class with an award-winning Australian author. It was for the creative writing module of the uni course I’m doing this semester, “Writing in the Public Sphere”, and it was just eight of us along with this author. I’m going to do a blog post with all the stuff she talked about; I intended to have it up before this post, but that didn’t happen, so I’ll link to it in next week’s check-in.

row80Now having said all that, let’s have a look at how I went with my goals:

  • Write at least one page in notebook or 100 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.

I wrote something every day except Wendesday. I made up for that today, though. I think having the weekends for making up time is a good plan. Most of this stuff was on Operation Sugarplum, though on Monday I wrote 252 words from a random prompt.

I’m also going to increase these word count aims in November, once I’ve got uni out of the way for the year.

  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.

I wrote and posted my review of The Amazing Adventures of Acacia Carlisle by fellow ROW80 participant, Cate Morgan. I figured something with no reviews on either Amazon or GR deserved to have a review posted this week, rather than the three I already had scheduled, which are all really popular books with plenty of reviews. So I’ve bumped those ones back a fortnight.

  • Spend one evening and one weekend afternoon on uni work.

I was mostly preparing for the intensives we had on Friday and yesterday. I’ve started one of the short exercises, and I have changed my mind about which longer paper I’m going to do. But I still need to get a move on with it. I have arranged with my boss to take a day off in a couple of weeks to work on it.

  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards travelling.

I’ve actually written six, though I need to put them in the post tomorrow. I registered to send three new ones, then realised I had three sitting there that I had claimed in March or something. Users can still register expired postcards, so I figured I might as well send them so they stop showing up on my list as expired.

  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

Erm, well, it was the wrong time of the month this week, so I just drove to work each day, because it was more comfortable. That’s not an issue this week, though, so watch me go!

If you want to find out more about A Round of Words in 80 Days (the Writing Challenge That Knows You Have  a Life), please visit the ROW80 site. You won’t regret it! That’ll do me for now. I’ll see you around your blogs!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Round 4 – Goals post

row80Today signals the beginning of the new round of A Round of Words in 80 Days. The last few weeks I have been writing words, but I have not been feeling them. I’m not excited about what I’m writing. In fact, this has extended to a few facets of my life, recently, but I’m trying taking steps to inspire myself again. The weather is warming up over here now, and I want to try to spend more time outdoors. Especially over the next month or so, because after that, it’ll be too hot.

I currently have three WIPs on the go. The first, Lessons Learned, is the one with the characters of Grace and Frederick, and set in a historic town in country Australia. You can read some excerpts from it here. In its current state, it sits at about 6000 words so far. Then there’s Operation Sugarplum, which is sitting at 5k. The third is Worlds Apart, which I’ve shared from a couple of times, but I’ve probably only written a couple of thousand words on it, as it’s mostly still in the planning stages. And it’s still mostly all handwritten at this point.

My aim for this round of ROW80 is to finish Operation Sugarplum and make significant progress on Lessons Learned. No, I don’t exactly have a definition for “significant” in this context yet. I’m going to work on Operation Sugarplum first, so I’ve got some time to figure it out.

I also decided I’m not going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. Or maybe any year. I logged into the site earlier to look at the forums, and they have added a feature to the profile page called “Lifetime Achievement: Total NaNo Word Count”. Mine is 190,652. That’s nearly 200k words that I have not really done anything with since the months when they were written. I think perhaps Camp NaNo is my thing, if anything, with the option to select what you’re writing and how much. Writing 50k in a month makes too much work down the track. For me, anyway.

So with all that in mind, here are my goals for the round. As usual, I’ve added an exercise goal in as well.

  • Write at least one page in notebook or 100 words on the laptop every week day. Consolidate this on the weekends.
  • Write one book review a week and queue them up on the blog.
  • Spend one evening and one weekend afternoon on uni work. I only have a couple of short exercises still to write, but I need to start the research for the 3000 word paper due November 6.
  • Return comments on this blog and visit the blogs of those who visit me each week.
  • Send three Postcrossing cards per week/maintain maximum total cards travelling.
  • Ride bike to work or walk into the city after work at least three times a week.

I think that ought to keep me busy.

If you are unfamiliar with A Round of Words in 80 Days, you can read more about it here. Its tag line is “the writing challenge that knows you have a life” and it is immensely helpful! I’m going to head off because there are a few more things I need to get organised to get back to work tomorrow (we’ve had a long weekend). I’ll catch you all during the round!

~ Emily

Final #ROW80 Check-in – Sunday 20 September

row80As I don’t post check-ins on Wednesdays, this is my final one for the round. My aim this round was to create good habits, which I definitely managed on the reading and writing fronts. Study and fitness fronts… not so much. The days are getting longer, though, and the weather is gradually warming up, so riding the bike shouldn’t be such a chore. I’m going to keep most of my goals as they are, and see if I can continue to develop good habits into the future. I’ve actually missed the past few check-ins due to various things going on, but here’s my progress for this past week.

  • Write one page in notebook every day

There have been a few days recently where I didn’t write. In the 80 days of the round (all right 74 at time of writing), there were 14 days when I didn’t write anything at all, plus a couple of days where I only wrote two or three lines. While there is still room for improvement, I’d call that a success!

I am going to change this goal for the next round, though. Because I was so obsessed with having something under every day’s date in my notebook, I didn’t ever want to sit down and just bash out words on the computer.  So I’ll phrase it something about “write one page in notebook or 100 words on laptop” and hopefully won’t get so het up about the notebook itself.

  • Type up the week’s writing on Sunday evenings.

I have a lot of untyped stuff to go through, particularly on my newest WIP, “Worlds Apart”.

  • Read for half an hour every day. Keep on track for 52 books in the year.

I have definitely been doing this! I’m about five or six books ahead of schedule!

  • Write one book review per week, and queue them up so I don’t miss another post

I’ve scheduled reviews for A Darker Shade of Magic and The Hollow Boy. I’m considering changing up my blogging schedule a bit, and posting reviews every Friday if I have them to post, or just letting the Friday go by if there’s nothing written at that point. When it comes to set patterns and ways of doing things, though, I vehemently dislike change. So we’ll see how long it take to persuade myself to do this.

  • Ride bike to work/walk from work into the city after work at least three days a week.

Haha, yeahno. Better luck next round, right?

  • Devise fortnightly meal plans in the couple of nights before pay day.

This goal went not too badly. I’m happy with the work I did there.

I’ll see you all in the next week or so for Round 4!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Checkin- August 16

This week was a vast improvement from the last, I am happy to say. I’m pantsing my way through a contemporary romance set at a university, whipping through what I’m reading. Here’s a break down of my goals.

  • Write one page in notebook every day

The only day I didn’t write was Thursday. It felt much better than the week before, when I barely wrote at all.

  • Type up the week’s writing on Sunday evenings.

I am going to do that immediately after finishing this post.

  • Read for half an hour every day. Keep on track for 52 books in the year.

Yes. Definitely. I finished Dust Girl and The Viper and the Urchin and am continuing Balanced on the Blade’s Edge. Persuasion is on hold because my iPod isn’t working. I also started Crewel, but I didn’t realise it was dystopian fiction, and so it wasn’t what I was expecting (I thought it was fantasy). I like for everyone to subjugated equally when I read dystopian fiction; things like the women having to be married by 18 and having to be styled and made beautiful don’t really appeal to me as much. I’m going to give it to page 100 and then decide whether to keep going.

  • Write one book review per week, and queue them up so I don’t miss another post

I wrote and scheduled a review of Dust Girl. Also tweaked my review of Dorothy Must Die and can now hand it in for a uni assignment. So that review will now go up at a later date when the assignment has been marked. I was going to do a critical analysis of three reviews of Go Set A Watchman for this exercise, but then I realised I could do a review of anything, and suddenly the exercise became a whole lot easier.

  • Ride bike to work/walk from work into the city after work at least three days a week.

I rode Monday and intended to also ride Saturday. I was just about out the door when I remembered I was seeing a show last night and wouldn’t be able to finish work at five, ride/bus home, freshen up and get to the venue in time for dinner. So I had to drive.

  • Devise fortnightly meal plans in the couple of nights before pay day.

We took stock of what we had in the cupboard and managed to stock ourselves up for four different recipes for under $50. I wish more grocery bills were like that! I also made apple pies. Delicious.

That’s all from me! See you all soon!

~ Emily