#ROW80 Update and #WIPpet Wednesday – “I screwed up”

Arrrrgh! I had an awesome ROW80 post that I had typed up on my breaks at work today, and then I just opened the email where I thought I had emailed it to myself, and there was nothing there! Noooo! This is what I get for copying things at 4pm when I’ve been at work since 7:45. All right, time to start the memory test.

row80I’ve decided to revise the way I do my goals for ROW80. Not only will I have my round-long goals, but I’m going to start setting goals for the following week every check-in. I’ve seen a few people do this and I think it will be really beneficial for me, particularly now that I’m studying again.

Last week I didn’t do any writing. Instead, I was getting settled into online study and trying to get my head around that. I’m doing two courses this semester: Colonial Australia in an Imperial World and Museums and Collections: Key Concepts and Practices. While the Museums one is actually relevant to my degree (Museums and Cultural Heritage), I’m currently finding the history elective more interesting. This may change, though.

I’ve already written 250 words of 1500 for the critical exhibition review I have due on the 11th of March. So I’m pretty happy with that. I’ve responded to one forum discussion for the history course. I have to respond to at least three over the course of the semester, so I’m trying to get them out of the way early so that when I’m writing major essays, I don’t need to worry. One of said major essays is due smack-bang in the middle of My Fair Lady performances, so I’m really going to need to try to get that completed a week or so early.

So now, some goals for the week of Wednesday 25 February through to Tuesday March 3:

  • Complete readings for critical exhibition review for MUSC8017
  • Get first draft of critical exhibition review up to 750/1500 words for MUSC8017
  • Complete Module 2 forum discussion response for HIST8015
  • Do 50% of readings for Module 2 online exercise (HIST8015)
  • Write a review of Cinder to go up on here on Friday
  • Finish second draft of Unicorn Love.
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs and at least 50% of the WIPpet Wednesday blogs

Rough plan for doing this:

  • Write Cinder review after this post, because I’m not home tomorrow and I’ll probably forget on Friday
  • Spend an hour on Friday night and Tuesday night finishing Unicorn Love. That is all it should take; I’m really close! Then someone will have to read it.
  • Spend an hour on uni work on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Depending on how long I am out for on Saturday, and on what is needed, add a second hour on Saturday.
  • Spend an hour Saturday and an hour Sunday visiting blogs, unless I have managed to already fit some of this in elsewhere.

I do love a good list. I’m actually feeling fluttery excitement in my belly at the thought of getting stuck into these so I can strike them out in next Wednesday’s post.

wippetwednesdayOnto WIPpet Wednesday. I’ve revamped Unicorn Love a bit. I’ve taken all the time travel out, as well as some other material, and made it a lot more concise. Where the first draft was nearly 9000 words, I think this will be under 4k.  I’m really hoping that will be the case, because then I can enter into the Writer’s Digest Annual Short Story Competition. Anyway, today is the 25th, so I’ve added 2+5 and have seven paragraphs to share. The scene I’m sharing comes a little after the one I shared last week.

“Would you prefer to have never cried the tears you cried over David?”

“What? Of course not.”

“You said that if I didn’t meddle, many tears could be avoided. You and David didn’t come together by chance, you know. Would you have preferred to have never known him, and never cried over him when he left you?”

“You mean, you…”

“That’s right.”

Lydia looked down at her hands. “And then I screwed it up.”

To her credit, Aphrodite did pause before answering, trying to find a tactful way of agreeing. “Well,” she said finally, “yes, you did.”

For the record, Lydia screwed it up by getting drunk and making out with another guy in a bar. At least, she tells herself she was drunk. It may have had more to do with the fact that she and David had had a fight the night before and she was feeling reckless and spiteful, than with her level of alcohol consumption.

Y’all should join in on WIPpet Wednesday, or ROW80 or both! WIPpet Wednesday just requires that you post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then you link up here. All the chocolate and coffee to our fearless host, K. L. Schwengel. ROW80, or A Round of Words in 80 Days, is an awesome system for sorting your writing goals and having some accountability. It’s a bit more complicated, but you can check out the website for more info.

I’m going to go now and try to get my Cinder review before I fall asleep on my keyboard. See you all over the next few days!

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update – Holy progress, Batman!

I’m going to start with a ROW80 update today, since there is lots to report on that front.

row80Goal 1: Spend half an hour a day before or after work formatting AMCF into the CreateSpace template.

This is actually complete! Sort of. It ended up only taking me about 45 minutes to get the text all copied into the CreateSpace template (the advantage of having written a short novel). There are still some issues I need to fix but this is well on its way.

Goal 2: Spend one hour on Tuesdays and Fridays on writing projects.

I didn’t strictly do this on the days my goal suggests  last week, but the weekend ended up being very productive, as has the first half of this week. My boyfriend was insisting that I have a lazy Saturday, which meant I was not allowed to any housework (I did get the dishes done and one load of washing before he started going on about this). This meant that I was able to sit down and concentrate on Unicorn Love, and as I said on Facebook, the pieces that hadn’t fallen into place already did so that afternoon. I ended up writing 4000 words before I went to bed. Maybe 1500 of those were copied and pasted and from the original Camp NaNo version, but most were new. On Saturday I also figured out the ending and how to get there, so I had the complete story before me.

… Of course, on Sunday, I only managed about 600 words, and I’ve been averaging around 450-600 every day since (work has been taking it out of me). That’s still ahead of my goal of an hour’s work/between 500-1000 words two evenings a week.

It’s actually going to probably end up under 10,000 words, so I’m not entirely sure what I might do with it. There is an Australian spec-fic magazine that accepts stories up to 8k, so if it comes in under that I’m considering submitting it. I’m not trying to force it to be under a particular length, though. I can always publish it for 99c or something down the line.

wednesdaybannerSo, today being Wednesday, I also have to find a snippet to share with you. For those new around these parts, WIPpet Wednesday involves sharing an snippet of your current WIP that somehow relates to the date and link up here. Today I’m sharing 14 lines from the Unicorn Love Scrivener file. Aphrodite has just asked Lydia (who used to be Lexie, then became Alex for a while before I realised I didn’t want to two ‘A’ names, and is now Lydia) if she has considered what work opportunities she might find if she quits Cupid-ing. This is basically the crux of the plot.

Lydia fidgeted under Aphrodite’s gaze. She had considered that, and the answer was “there aren’t many.” At best, she might end up working in a dating agency, which wouldn’t be much better than where she was now. At worst, she’d have to take a job on a late-night sex hotline and the thought of that made her feel sick to her stomach. Still, she didn’t think she could stand another day in her current position.

She looked Aphrodite square in the face. “I still want to quit,” she said firmly.

Aphrodite sighed and then folded her hands in front of her. “All right,” she said, “I’ll make you a deal. Let me spend a week with you and see if I can change your mind. If I can persuade you that true love still exists in the modern world, then you will continue working for me as a cupid. If, however, you remain convinced that your elusive ‘unicorn love’ has become a fairy tale, then you can hand in your bow.”

Lydia thought about it for a minute while Aphrodite watched her expectantly. Finally, she asked, “How do I know you won’t rig it so that I stay on?”

“You have my word as a goddess.”

“Like that means much.” Lydia bit her lip. “All right, I accept your stupid deal. What choice have I got?”

A wide, lazy smile spread across Aphrodite’s face. “Indeed.”

It occurs to me that Aphrodite does kind of rig it, actually, but it works out okay for Lydia in the end, too, and that’s the main thing.

It is now 9:35 and I am yet to type up the stuff I hand wrote at work today, so I guess it’s time for me love you and leave you all. I’ll be back over the next few days to check in with you all. Much love.

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday – introducing Unicorn Love

First of all, here is an article about a bunch of famous authors who dressed up as their favourite literary characters. There are photos. This is a thing that happened. Neil Gaiman’s is my favourite (which may have something to do with the fact that Badger is my favourite Wind in the Willows character)

nanowrimo_logoSo yesterday I wrote a big deep and meaningful goals post for the rest of the year. Well, for the next five months, since I have no idea what I’m going to feel like doing after NaNoWriMo. You can read that here. I was feeling really scattered and listless in regard to my writing; I only wrote 2879 words in the entire month of June, and I kept thinking about the stories I’ve started recently and not finished. The more I thought about it, the more upset I started feeling about everything. So I wrote a list, because lists are nice. And I’m feeling much better now.

While I didn’t really go into it in that post, I’m also making sure that I make this half of the year more about me. I’m taking it a bit slower at work (still getting everything done, just not necessarily blitzing through it like I normally would) and I’m going to start eating better, too. Admittedly, the eating better was supposed to start yesterday, but we had a party at work on Monday and there were leftovers, so… yeah. Working on that one. I’ve also got three days off approved for the beginning of August, and Edy and I have spent this evening booking a little trip away for ourselves, which will be really nice. I’ve only had two days off in the five months I’ve been in this job, and we’re entitled to four weeks’ annual leave, so I figured I ought to start using it.

Anyway, so as you may have gathered if you read the other post, Camp NaNoWriMo is a go, though I’m only aiming for 15500 words (500 words a day, easing back in slowly). As such, Afflicted is on hold, and we’ll see if I return to it (I was always calling it a post-show project, and by the time July is over, my group will be working on its next production, so I’ll have probably moved on…). My Camp story is one I found on the Adopt A Plot forum because I actually had no clue what I was going to write. It’s called Unicorn Love and if you want a synopsis, here is my Camp Page, but I’m hoping it (or at least the premise, anyway, as well as the reason for the title) is fairly obvious from the snippet. I’m sharing seven paragraphs for the seventh month but don’t worry, they’re short (fewer than 200 words)!

cupidbreakshisbow

Cupid, frustrated, breaks his bow. National Gallery, Athens, Greece

“I want out.”

Two hands smacked down on the glass desk, knocking aside the nameplate which displayed the name “Aphrodite” in a curly font that would have been considered unprofessional in any other workplace. The tip of a bow swung unsettlingly close to Aphrodite’s head, but she held up a dainty hand and it lost its momentum mid-swing.

The Goddess of Love raised her eyes to meet the gaze of the woman in front of her. Her perfect features creased in an expression of concern.

“Alexis, darling. Whatever is the matter?”

“Am I the only one who sees how pointless this job is now?”

“Alexis, a Cupid’s job is never pointless.”

“Really? Do you even know what it’s like? You’re not down there! You’ve got all this!” Alexis motioned around the glass office. All that could be seen out the windows was blue sky and a neat ring of fluffy white clouds around its base. “You don’t see the couples you brought together splitting up after a month or a week or some crap like that! Finding true love in this day and age is about as likely as finding a unicorn grazing in your back yard.”

Gotta say, somewhat-vacuous-but-secretly-knows-exactly-what-she’s-doing Aphrodite is very fun to write. Some of the world-building to do with the gods and the heaven-as-a-bureaucracy theme will have to be sorted out properly post-NaNo, but for now I’m just having fun with it. Which is to say, I’m slightly scared because I actually have no idea how the plot is going to go, but we’ll see. There were two people in today’s excerpt who will probably end up becoming characters, even if only to serve as padding. But I actually need some more characters from probably tomorrow onwards, and might as well use the ones that have already been foreshadowed, right?

I also had a moment earlier today where I was like, “Wait… Aphrodite is Greek… but isn’t Cupid Roman?!” but I’m ignoring that fact for now. Not even sure it really matters in a story like this.

Anyways, this post has turned into a bit of a mammoth thing, so I will finish up here. If you would like to join in on WIPpet Wednesday, just post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow correlates to the date, then link up with us here. We welcome new participants with open arms! 😀 All right, I’m off!

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Cupid image by Tilemahos Efthimiadis used under Creative Commons 2.0. Copyright 2009. Source.