#ROW80 Check-in: Week 4

Is it week 4? I think it is. Something like that. Leaving the heading that way now. For those who I have no idea what I’m on about, click to learn more about ROW80, the writing challenge that knows you have a life.

I returned from my weekend birthday retreat feeling both relaxed and very sore (that’s what massages AND bush walking will do to you), and back to the humdrum of every day life. Though I did get my hair cut (see Instagram widget in the sidebar)! And work was kind of interesting/weird on Friday, when we had to pack up our entire office in preparation of them moving all our stuff to our new workspace over the weekend. I think I strained my wrist, but I’ll be all right. For the most part, I did pretty well on my goals. Even though I missed last week’s check-in, I’m just going to focus on the last week in my check-in, because otherwise it’ll get confusing. And I’ve forgotten the week before last anyway.

  • Write one page in my notebook every day

I missed a day! For the first time since the beginning of the round. And it was Wednesday, too, the day when I was home, but off work, and had absolutely nothing better to do with my time.

deancries

However, I am sure I can cope with missing one day out of the last 28.

(Incidentally, it was hilarious how many Supernatural gifs like this one came up when I searched “crying gif”).

  • Type up stuff in notebook on Sunday afternoons

Well… eh. I haven’t done it yet, because I spent today brainstorming, and may be scrapping a character. Most of what I wrote this week was that character’s introduction, but now that I’ve redeveloped a lot of Grace and Frederick’s back story, I’m not really sure that this other character will really fit in. There is one particular plot detail that was specific to her, but I’m thinking I may actually be able to transfer it to Grace. I’m not going to force it, though. I’m thinking I’m going to spend the next week writing more on this back story, possibly from both Frederick and Grace’s POV. There’s a lot going on with Frederick in the main plot that harks back to things he did a long time ago, and I need to really solidify that.

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

I read so much on my retreat it makes up for the couple of days I didn’t read during the week. I finished Dorothy Must Die while I was away and For Darkness Shows the Stars on Friday night. Wasn’t too fussed on Dorothy Must Die, but For Darkness… was lovely. GoodReads informs me I am currently two books ahead of schedule.

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

I wrote two yesterday, and started another one.

  • Spend Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday afternoons working on assignments.

I tried to spend Friday night at the library, but due to my sore wrist, could only do so much. I have now completed 50% of one course’s work, and need to decide what I’m going to write my essay on for the other 50%. There are also two 10% exercises for my second course due during August. I think I’ve decided on how to approach the first one. Also, I think I might change the wording of this goal, since I do actually try to spread my uni work over every night of the week.

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

On my retreat I did two ninety minute bush walks, a fitball class and attempted archery. This is why I was so sore by the time I got home. Soreness extended for the rest of the week. Today was the first day I didn’t wake up with aching arms.

However! I finally got my bike tyre fixed! I can start riding again. The mornings have been pretty cold, but I’m actually quite looking forward to getting back on the bike. By the time I get to work, I’ve woken up properly, and then I have a shower and I’m ready to start the day.

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

I didn’t really get a chance to do this as I only got home the day before payday. I bought a pie-maker, and we made pies yesterday! Vegetable curry ones. Delicious! I’m also going through the soup in the freezer, so I’ve had to buy fewer groceries.

checklistSo! How to go about this week:

Monday: check for emails from lecturer regarding essay topic and respond based on what she says; decide on article to examine for Writing Exercise #1; comment on at least 5 ROW80 blogs.

Tuesday: begin and preferably complete Writing Exercise #1

Wednesday: sport and Wednesday blog post

Thursday: brainstorm essay topic (adapt this if I am not yet decided on topic) and make a list of potential resources; finish For Darkness Shows The Stars review.

Friday: Visit at least half of the WIPpet Wednesday and WWW Wednesday posts. Return comments on my own Wednesday post.

Saturday: will be taken up with a short play festival I’m taking part in.

Sunday: Essay work.

That’s it from me for tonight, check back tomorrow for Mirth and Music Monday!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Check-in 19/07/2015

row80It’s been a bit of an odd week; I had some personal stuff crop up that I wasn’t expecting, and that affected me more than it seemed it would at first. I ended up taking Thursday off work, which threw off my routine a bit, but I still made my daily goals on that day.

  • Write one page in my notebook every day

I did this, and I think it was multiple pages every day except for Thursday and Saturday, when I didn’t realise I hadn’t done any writing until 9:30 at night.

  • Type up stuff in notebook on Sunday afternoons

I just finished! And learned that for all the pages I wrote, it only added about 1500 words to my file. But the regular writing habit is what I’m aiming for this round, and so far I’m doing that.

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

Haven’t had any reading time today, but have read every other day. And probably for more than half an hour, too, since I read on the bus to work, and then on both my tea breaks. I write on the lunch break, though.

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

I started one, but then I lost it. I’ll have to try to write two this week.

  • Spend Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday afternoons working on assignments.

Yesterday was the only day, though I completed another 10% of my winter course work, which takes me up to 30%. There are two work sheets and the final essay to go. However, I realised that second semester starts this week, and the course I am enrolled in has things due while the winter course is still going (curse this overlap!). So I’m going to have to really get motivated this week. If I wasn’t writing this so late, I’d write a to do list for each day in this post, like I was doing in first semester, but I think I’ll leave that for tomorrow.

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

I did two lots of Zumba this week. And ate enough junk to cancel it all out, to be honest. Still need to find a time on a weekend to get my bike into the shop. The problem is that it won’t fit in the back of my car, so I will have to take it in on the bus.

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

I did this, though… I got home from uni yesterday to my partner informing me that our fridge had died… thankfully, we had only been to the farmer’s market so far, and the fresh stuff was okay out of the fridge. We did have to run out and buy a new one and pay the extra $10 for Sunday delivery, and then we had to wait for the few hours until we could turn it on, then another few hours before we could put stuff in it, so the rest of the groceries only got done tonight. Foolishly, we thought to measure the width of our old one, but not the depth, so this one sticks out past the edge of the alcove a bit, but hey, it’s a working fridge! We’re just lucky Edy’s tax refund came through when it did, or I would have had to raid my savings, and I wouldn’t have been able to that until tomorrow.

I’m probably going to miss next Sunday’s check-in, unless I do it early. It’s my birthday, so I’m treating myself to a stay at a wellness retreat, where I intend to entirely cut myself off from the outside world for three days. I will be enjoying a facial on one day, a massage on another, bush walks, bike rides, a heated pool, a gym and a silent room with an open fire, where I will be doing lots of reading and writing each evening… I mean… I’ll be working really hard and it’ll be awful and you have no reason to be jealous whatsoever. 😛

Anyway, it’s now 9:45, so I should finish this up so I still have some time to read for a while before bed. Until next time!

~ Emily

A great start to #ROW80 and some Doctor Who #mirthmusicmon

row80I’ve got to say, I’ve made a really good start to this ROW80 round, and I’ve had a really productive week overall. It’s now Sunday night and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, actually. Let’s hope it lasts! Ruth Nestvold was talking on her goals post about how they say it takes 21 days to make a habit. That’s what I’m aiming for with this round. Even when I sometimes wanted to just read on my lunch break instead of make sure I did some writing, I did the writing anyway, and I always felt really pleased with the words I was getting down. The only thing I didn’t manage was to visit very many people’s blogs. I’ll try and do better at that this week. Here’s a break down of my goals:

  • Write one page in my notebook every day

I did this! I so did this. I think there was only one day when I only wrote one page, the rest were multiple. And I have actually figured out the ending of the story. Which is a relief, because this is the story that has emerged from my 2014 NaNoWriMo and for the past nine months I’ve had no clue how it was going to end. I also wrote some fairly important scenes. And there’s more to come. This coming week will be good, too.

  • Type up stuff in notebook on Sunday afternoons

Done!

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

Pretty much. There were a couple of days where I didn’t manage it, but I probably read for more than half an hour on the other days, so it’s even. I’m only just on track for 52 books in the year, though. Someone pass me some graphic novels!

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

I wrote the review for Splintered that went up on Friday.

  • Spend Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday afternoons working on assignments.

I spent Sunday at the library. I’m going to get into the uni work a bit more in earnest starting this week. I’ve completed about 20% of my coursework so far.

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

Yeaaaah. See, my bike has a flat tyre which I need to get fixed, and I was finishing work quite late, and it was usually dark by the time I got out, so I skipped the walking, too. I did do a zumba session at home on Thursday morning, though. That counts for something, right?

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

music_mirthThis Wednesday is the first pay day since the round started, so I’ll be doing this over the next couple of days. It’s also time for Mirth and Music Monday. Today’s is rather Doctor Who-themed, because I came across the classic clip of David Tennant in drag, so I apologise to those who don’t understand a word of it. Mirth first, then music.

Our Mirth and Music Monday linky is here. Please come and join the fun! To learn more about ROW80 (“the writing challenge that knows you have a life”), visit the blog. I’m heading off now, I’ll see you soon! ~ Emily

#ROW80 Round 3 Goal-setting

row80I fell off the Round 2 bandwagon about halfway through the round. I was so busy with uni work and rehearsals that I didn’t really have time for blogging, and since I also wasn’t writing anything of note during this time, there didn’t seem much point. However, I don’t plan on auditioning for anything else until September(ish), so that does give me some time to get back on track for a while. As such, here are my goals for round 3:

  • Write one page in my notebook every day, be it brainstorming, prose, whatever. Even if I were to write on every line of each page, this would probably only equate to 150 words at most, but I’m setting tiny goals deliberately.
  • Type up stuff in notebook on Sunday afternoons
  • Read for half an hour every day. Keep on track for 52 books in the year.
  • Write one book review per week, and queue them up so I don’t miss another post.
  • Spend Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday afternoons working on assignments. (Amend slightly if aforementioned audition is successful and I need to work around rehearsals)
  • Ride bike to work at least three days a week, or if it’s too foggy in the morning, walk from work into the city after work. Yes, it’s cold. Stop being a wuss. Rug up.
  • Devise fortnightly meal plans in the couple of nights before pay day. This is something I’ve had grand intentions to do for months, so maybe having it on here will encourage me.

I’m posting my goals separate to my usual Monday post, but after this week, I will post Mirth and Music Monday and a ROW80 check-in in the same post (I’ll schedule it for early Monday morning here, which will still be Sunday in a lot of places). Then I’ll have WIPpet Wednesday and WWW Wednesday on, well, Wednesdays. It was going to be getting a bit crowded if I also did a ROW80 check-in there like I have in the past.

I’m going to head off now and make my other post for tonight, and I’ll see you all around the blogosphere.

~ Emily

#ROW80 Check-in and #WIPpet Wednesday – May 6, 2015

So, um. You know how my main goal for this week was to finish that history essay I had due? Well. I kind of maybe withdrew from the course because everything was getting a bit too hard. Here is the thought process:

  • I was honestly not sure I was going to finish this essay to a satisfactory standard.
  • I would have to be doing an assignment on my way to Sydney next weekend.
  • The final assignment (another essay) is due on June 9. My Fair Lady opens June 5 and between May 31 and June 7, I am in the theatre every night (and during the days on the weekend). Yes, I’m taking three days off work during this period, but I’m going to be really tired.
  • This course was simply an elective as far as my degree goes, it has nothing to do with my specialisation or anything.
  • I’m enrolled in a winter course in the middle of the year, and while it would have been nice for that to mean one less subject at the end of degree, it will at least mean dropping this subject won’t make the degree any longer. I’ll still have done four courses by December.
  • It was still at the point where I incur no academic penalty (my “grade” is “withdrawn without fail”). Even though I still have to pay for the course, in the Australian system, the government pays for your tertiary education, and we pay it back through our tax. Sure, it means I’ll get paid less for a bit longer, but you don’t miss money you never actually see in your bank account. It’ll be a nice surprise when I finally have it all paid off and start getting paid a little more. That’s not going to be for some time, though.

So, yes. I’ve now only got one course to concentrate on, and I’ll have handed in the final paper for that one two full weeks before My Fair Lady opens. I do feel like all the hours I spent working on this silly essay have now been in vain, but they’re in the past, and I had to consider my sanity in the near future.

It also means that I’ve had some time to write, and that means that I will only have had to avoid WIPpet Wednesday for one week rather than the seven or eight I was expecting. Camp NaNoWriMo is now over, so I’m making sense of all the brainstorming I did. The story took a couple of unexpected turns throughout the month, so I’m working out where to go with that. I’m also developing the structure for the story a bit more. It’s fun to explore. So now I can actually start sharing from the story, rather than the back story scenes. This one is from… well, I hesitate to say “prologue” but that’s essentially what it is. In this scene, Grace (formerly known as Rosa; I have another MC named Laura and two characters with names ending in A was bugging me) has gone to visit a Seer she trusts before she heads back to her home country. Six paragraphs for the sixth of May. Grace has stated that she doesn’t intend to return to Merrowford, her home town.

Densey held out her hand and Grace took it in one of her own. The old woman closed her eyes and bent her head, stroking Grace’s hand with her thumb. Grace waited.

When Densey opened her eyes again, there was a sparkle in the corner of one. “I think Merrowford might be in your sights. An old lover of yours will return. You’re going to have a run in with him.”

“I think you’re mistaken. I’ve never had a lover in Merrowford. I’ve kept clear of any more emotional attachment to that town.”

“‘Any more’. Where did it start?”

“Do you mean…” Densey raised an eyebrow. Grace shook her head. “That’s impossible, Densey, that man is long dead.”

“And you’re one hundred and twenty-nine years old. Also impossible, wouldn’t you say, my dear?”

I feel like she has a good point. With that, I have only left to say that you should join WIPpet Wednesday over here (just post an excerpt of your WIP that somehow relates to the date), and ROW80 over here. I am going to see out this game of Words With Friends that I’m playing with my partner (he is thrashing me) and then head to bed. It’s been a long day. ~ Emily

#ROW80 Check-in, April 29, 2015

First up, would anyone be interested in reading Unicorn Love in full (about 3000 words)? I realised this morning that it’s nearly May and that means nearly the cut-off for the competition I wanted to enter it in. But no one has read over it yet, so it might be awful (I’m reasonably confident it’s not awful, but would like a second opinion).

I wanted that at the top to get people’s attention (my posts often get long and I’m sure not everyone sticks around to read them right through), how did I go with my goals this week?

  • Complete essay by Sunday night – I actually wrote a draft for an essay due next week, and have been granted an extension on this one. So not completed, but I didn’t waste my time.
  • Polish essay on the following couple of days – n/a
  • Write a review of Jackaby and schedule the post – done! I have both my May reviews scheduled now. And I’m really enjoying the book I’m reading at the moment, so that should be my first June one. I was getting a bit sad because I’d read a whole heap of 3-star books in a row, and they were fine, but nothing incredible, so it’s good to read another one I’m really into.
  • Decide on item for significance report. Email course convener and also have chat to people at work about it. – This is what I wrote the draft of. So I’m ahead on this one.
  • Visit 50% of WIPpet Wednesday posts – done!
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs – done!
  • Reply to comments on this last week’s post – done!

I’m glad I didn’t make “keep on track with Camp NaNoWriMo” a goal this week, because it sadly would have been a fail. I just about made it to 7500 words for the month, which had been my original target, but then I decided to up it to 10k. So part of me wishes I’d left it. However, winning/losing a NaNo event is not the be all and end all, and the brainstorming that I did do over April will help greatly with post-semester-and-musical-all-at-once writing projects, and that’s what’s important.

For now, new writing projects are going on the backburner. I simply don’t have the time to commit. I know they say you have to make the time to write, but it takes me an hour to get ready for work as it is (I already get up at 6, and I get to work early so I can finish early) and then after work, it’s either rehearsal or study time. At work, I’ve just taken to reading in my spare time, though I am carrying my notebook with me each day in case of any sudden inspiration. I’ll probably write a bit, but it’s not my main focus. As such, I’ll also be taking an indefinite hiatus from WIPpet Wednesdays until I have something to share again.

So, goals for the next week:

  • Have essay ready to hand in on Tuesday 5/5.

… Actually, that’s about it, really.

Okay, I’ll add some more.

  • Read for half an hour a day
  • Write review of Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel if I finish it.
  • Comment on at least 5 ROW80 blogs.

But really, this history essay is my focus for the week. I’ve got rehearsal tomorrow night, Sunday afternoon, and Monday night, so tonight, Friday and Saturday really need to be head-down-bottom-up. I’ll finish this off here, and catch you all later!

~ Emily

 

#ROW80 Check-in and #WIPpet Wednesday – April 22

This week I had a little trouble keeping up with my goals. I’m not way behind, but I’m not quite where I would have liked to be.

  • Stay on track with Camp NaNo – ehhh, I’m a couple of days behind at the moment. I have been writing every day, but only between 100 and 200 words. I can’t give exact figures at the moment because it’s all still handwritten.
  • Write 1000 words of history essay pending response from course convener – at time of posting, I only have about 799 however, I wrote a plan last night with estimated word counts for each section and I think that will help. I’m aiming to hit 1000 tonight.
  • Write a new forum response for history – I’ve just got to finish it off and post it.
  • Read half an hour a day – I expect it averaged out. I finished Jackaby by William Ritter.
  • Visit 50% of WIPpet Wednesday posts – done!
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs – yes!
  • Read over lecture slides for three MUSC8017 lectures – I did this, and it didn’t enlighten me about either of the remaining assignments in the slightest. I’m just glad the next assignment is based on an external document that has nothing to do with the course, though there are aspects of that I’m also confused about.

There are still maybe eight weeks left of semester (my final assignment is due June 9) but I’m basically at a point where uni work has to take precedence. I have discovered that doing a musical where the performances are around the same time as final papers are due is a terrible idea. However, it is too late now to back out of either thing, so I’m just going to have to do the best I can. I was doing a Wednesday night casual sport thing with some friends, but I’ve told them I will rejoin in June, as I have too much on my plate at the moment and need those evenings for studying. I did have my first little Masters-related cry yesterday. It wasn’t a cry, really, just a bit of a stress out about things.

I have come to the conclusion that Camp NaNoWriMo has not been so much a month of planning but of brainstorming. The story I set out to plan has taken at least two turns and is now very different. In a good way. Good guys have become bad guys and vice versa, magical police procedural has become more the story of two characters (not police-types) out to stop the nasty magical character before everything goes completely downhill, all the while having to deal with the issues they have with each other… It’s a much more personal story for all the characters.

On that note, since my characters have all swapped their character arcs in the past few days and have new back stories, very little of what I’ve written up until now is still relevant. For today’s WIPpet, I’m going to have to take you right back to when Rosa and Frederick Merrow first met, or at least, properly interacted. I’ve got 4 paragraphs because it’s the 22nd and 2 + 2 = 4. And it’s also the fourth month and all that. It’s a hot day and Rosa thinks she’s wandered far enough from the house to not be disturbed on her afternoon off.

She had been dozing off when a crack of twigs behind her made her jump and spring awake. The figure of Frederick Merrow emerged through the trees, a large dog by his side. Rosa had taken off her shoes and stockings, and now she scrambled to try to at least replace her boots, as her skirt would possibly disguise the fact that her legs were otherwise bare.

Her movements attracted Frederick Merrow’s attention, and he stopped walking, looking over at her. His expression was initially bemused, but it quickly transformed into a grin and he chuckled at her efforts.

“Please, don’t feel you ought to cover up for my benefit.”

Rosa’s cheeks turned a dark scarlet, and she felt as though she were completely naked, not just stocking-less, in front of him.

Given that I’ve turned him into the villain, and he’s more “total jerkwad” than “roguish charmer”, this scene now feels a whole lot sleazier.

If you are wondering what on earth this WIPpet thing I keep referring to is, wonder no longer! WIPpet is a portmanteau of the acronym WIP (work in progress) and the word snippet, and every Wednesdsay, we share a snippet from our WIPs that somehow relates to the date. The linky is here; do join in! The fabulous K. L. Schwengel is our host and many thanks go to her for keeping us all in line.

Now I return to ROW80 and my goals for the coming week. I have this 2500 word history essay due Thursday of next week, and a museum significance report due the following week. Thus, I really need to get the essay out of the way this weekend. I do have a birthday party to go to on Sunday, but I’ll probably excuse myself after a couple of hours. My Fair Lady chorus members are all a little annoyed when today we were informed we now have a rehearsal on Monday, where we didn’t before. It would have been handy having that extra spare night.

  • Complete essay by Sunday night
  • Polish essay on the following couple of days
  • Write a review of Jackaby and schedule the post
  • Finish forum response
  • Decide on item for significance report. Email course convener and also have chat to people at work about it.
  • Visit 50% of WIPpet Wednesday posts
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs
  • Reply to comments on this post

Doesn’t seem like much, but watch me fall apart in a quivering heap in next Wednesday’s post. I’m going to leave it here, but be sure to check out other ROW80 posts. I’ll see you soon!~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday April 8

I’ve managed to be pretty productive in the last week! Hurray! I perhaps should have done a bit more studying over my time off, but I decided to enjoy the time instead. I head back to work tomorrow and I can get to work on the next essay then as well.

row80

      • Read 1 hour a day and finish A Wicked Thing – I just spent Friday reading and finished it then.
      • Complete text-to-speech run-through of AMCF (8 chapters, so maybe 2 a day?) – done! Though I did it all yesterday, because I procrastinated up until then. But this means the interiors are all done and I just to worry about the exterior. Exciting times!
      • Finish review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – done!
      • Write review of Cress by Marissa Meyer – done!
      • Write review of A Wicked Thing once finished reading – done!
      • Make a list of books in uni libraries that may be useful for history essay – sort of? I initially chose an essay question that was a comparative question, and I could find lots of books on one aspect of the topic but not the other. So I’ve changed topics, and stocked up on books for the new topic today.
      • Spend an hour each day doing uni readings – haha. Yeah. Well.
      • Try to dot-point an essay plan – see previous couple of points.
      • Remain on target for Camp NaNoWriMo (approx. 334 words a day = 2333 words by the end of Tuesday) – yes! More on that below.

It  would seem that no matter what I set out to write, some kind of epic and/or tragic romance always manages to make its way in there. This has happened with my Camp NaNoWriMo plans. I was supposed to be revamping and planning in more detail my WIP from last November’s NaNo (you know, the one with Armand and Bianca, and Josephine who was turned into a statue for 500 years and finally escaped?). I’ve accidentally ended up with a sympathetic antagonist, when I was going for “evil for the sake of evil” (almost – she did still have her own motivations). In her case, the romance is more on the tragic end of things.

As part of the Camp NaNo stuff, I’ve written some important scenes from this antagonist’s back story. It’s from this that I’m taking today’s WIPpet. I need you to imagine a large homestead on a farm out in middle-of-nowhere Australia, around the end of the nineteenth century. If you need an example, I have the Monte Cristo homestead, which is purportedly the most haunted house in Australia, in mind. Rosa is young and naive, and a member of the household staff. Frederick Merrow is the head of the household, and has been teaching Rosa magic in their spare time (there’s a pretty extensive back story for him as well, how he got into magic, etc, but I’ll go into that at a later date). My WIPpet maths is eight paragraphs for the 8th of April.

“It’s all about the right mind-set, you see.” Frederick put his index and middle fingers against Rosa’s temples. She felt herself blushing from the contact. “You have to believe you can do it or it won’t work.”

She glanced up at him. “I believe I can do it. It’s just… well… I still feel like I shouldn’t.”

“If God was going to smite people for performing magic, Rosa, he’d have got me years ago. You’ve got nothing to fear.”

He removed his fingers from her head, and stood, moving around to Rosa’s side of the table. He squatted down next to her and put an arm across the back of her chair to balance himself.

“You can do this,” he breathed in her ear.

smurf-vela-candleShe wanted to do this. She wanted to prove to Frederick that she was a worthy student. He believed she could do it, so she had no reason not to believe it herself. She stared at the unlit candle between them, willing it to light. In her mind, she saw the same candle, a flame flickering at its top. She closed her eyes, focusing on that image until her head was pounding.

There was a faint whooshing sound, and then Frederick’s hands clasped her shoulders. She opened her eyes and saw the flickering candlelight.

“Was that me? Did I do that?”

I haven’t actually figured out yet whether they would be on first name terms yet (particularly Rosa calling Frederick that), but given that this is unlikely to be in the actual finished work and is mostly just for my benefit, I figure it doesn’t really matter. I’m also yet to entirely figure out the magic system, so I’m just rolling with what comes to me right now.

I am actually loving Rosa more the more I write of her, and I have a feeling it’s going to be much like when I played Abigail in The Crucible last year. Everyone else was like, “Wow, what a bitch” and I was all “YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND.” Which is still how I feel about Abigail.

WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by the very fabulous K. L. Schwengel. All you need to do to participate is post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (eg. 8 paragraphs for the 8th of April. I went simple, but encourage creativity). Then link up with us here. And on that subject, you can learn more about ROW80 here.

Anyway, time for this week’s goals.

  • continue with ROW80 goal of 250 words a day/keep on track with Camp NaNo.
  • Read for half an hour a day
  • Read uni readings for at least one hour a day
  • Make a bullet-pointed plan for the essay and email it to the course convener for feedback
  • Reply to all comments received on this post
  • Visit at least 50% of fellow WIPpet Wednesday post
  • Visit at least 5 ROW80 posts

I think that’s all I need to work on this week. If anything else comes to mind, I’ll add it in later. I’m going to go now and consider reading about Britain’s involvement in the Seven Years War, though its more likely I’m going to watch something on Netflix. (Netflix is still new in Australia. For those of us who didn’t know there are free VPNs out there, anyway. Don’t judge.). See you later!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Round 1 Final Update

My goodness, it’s the end of Round 1 already. That certainly snuck up on me. In fact, most dates seem to sneak up on me these days. Is that what it’s like, being a grownup? Either way, I feel I’ve participated in this round far more than I have the past few I’ve tried to make a go at, so that’s good. Figuring out that weekly goals instead of round-long goals were what worked best for me has been a breakthrough.

First up in my last update for the round: I got the essay done! It was a hard slog, and I didn’t exactly follow the day-by-day goals I set for myself, but I got there. It helped that I ended up not having a rehearsal on Monday night, so that gave me some extra library time. It did get to a point where I was doing a bit of word-bashing, and thinking all the while, “This is really not a good essay” however, when I got to proof-reading last night, that changed to “This essay is kind of okay, I guess.” Certainly not my best work, but I’m quite certain I won’t fail. P’s make degrees, after all, as we say in institutions where grades are P (pass, 50-59%), C (credit, 60-69%), D (distinction, 70-79%) and HD (high distinction, 80-100%). Those percentages vary from uni to uni, but the terminology remains.

All that sitting at the library meant that my back was killing me by yesterday, so I called in for a massage on the way home. I got my favourite of the guys who work there, so that was good. And I’m now up to my free massage on my loyalty card! 😀

I also found the time to rework the ending of Unicorn Love when I had just arrived at the library and then my computer decided to give me no choice in whether or not it would restart to complete the Windows update. I wanted it to end on a punchy note, and getting the dialogue just right was a challenge, but I made it work. 😀 I’m actually quite proud of that story. It began during Camp NaNoWriMo last July, and has sort of evolved and devolved to the point where it’s now only around 3000 words and rather more philosophical than I ever expected it to be, but I don’t see anything wrong with that. I’m going to submit it for the Writer’s Digest Annual Short Story Competition, as I think I have mentioned in previous blog posts. This will be the first time I’ve ever submitted any of my writing anywhere, so I’m a bit excited!

So! There’s now nearly a fortnight until the second round of ROW80 begins, but I’m going to be busy in that time. Shan Jeniah Burton inspired me to sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo, which I intend to use to start my world-building notes for a revamp of last year’s NaNoWriMo story. I’m only aiming for 300 words a day (or a little over, my goal for the month is 10k) because I have other things, too, but this will at least give me a good start.

In light of that, goals for the next week (I’ll still do a post like this next Wednesday, even though it’s not officially ROW80 time):

  • Write review of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Write review of The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Write review of Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park.
  • Type up the end of Unicorn Love and send it out to my writing group for their consideration before submitting.
  • Spend an hour continuing to format AMCF and compare two files with text-to-speech software.
  • Research and write Module 3 750-word response for HIST8015
  • Research and write Module 5 750-word response for HIST8015
  • Decide which essay questions I will use before meeting with lecturer on Monday (also HIST8015)
  • Decide on an object to use for my significance report (MUSC8017)

It looks like a lot, but I’ll be able to knock over quite a few of them quickly. I’m going to leave this post here because I’m out tomorrow night and I’m having people over Friday, so I really need to clean my kitchen and lounge room. See you soon!

~ Emily

#ROW80 – Don’t mind me, just having a bit of a crisis

My friends, I need you to indulge me for a bit. Long-time readers of this blog will know that every now and then I have a bit of a crisis with my writing, and then I do some actual writing and it stops. This one is possibly a little more in depth than usual, though, so I’ll give you some dot-points about why I’m feeling down tonight. I hope it makes sense.

  • During my undergraduate degree, I wrote very little for pleasure. A few small pieces of fanfiction, but that was it.
  • I started a Master’s degree this year, so there’s a vague feeling in the back of my head the same thing will happen again.
  • I have an assignment due a week from today and I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing with it.
  • Apart from uni, I’m also doing a musical at the moment. Sometimes we’re not required at all, but other times that’s a full two nights out of my week. And as we get closer, it will be busier.
  • With the exception of NaNoWriMo last year, I have basically been on a rewriting/revising/editing cycle for the last 12-18 months. I haven’t really had that writing-solidly-on-a-new-idea rush and outpouring of words for a long time. This isn’t to say I’m not passionate about my existing characters, but there’s something about starting a new project.
  • What made me realise the above point was the tinge of jealously when meeting with my writing group tonight. One of the other members has calculated that in a couple of weeks she’ll be finished her 2014 NaNo story. This is because she’s had that time to solidly work on it over the past few months.
  • It also made me realise that until I get this piece of paper (I’m studying part time, so it’ll be the best part of four years), I’m unlikely to have that sort of time, except over mid-year breaks and summers.
  • And on top of all that, what with AMCF being in post-writing stages and Unicorn Love being just about done, I’m having the I-don’t-have-any-new-ideas! freak-out, which is being made worse by the And-I-have-no-time-to-explore-new-ideas! freak-out.

My Internet was down last Wednesday, and since I wasn’t able to blog, I didn’t write myself goals for the week, even though I had proven the two weeks prior how much it helped. I’ve also been constantly tired lately, which isn’t helping. I actually really can’t wait until Easter, when I have Good Friday through to the following Wednesday off work. I have a terrible tendency to get obsessed with housework when I’m at home for long periods, but I have faith my partner will insist I relax for at least some of the time.

Anyway, so, goals for this week. Mostly I will be trying to concentrate on getting the paper written that I have due next Tuesday. I’m seeing a local production of Evita on Saturday so that will take a chunk out of my day, and I’ve got some church commitments which are going to take a larger chunk out of my Sunday morning than the regular service normally would. So I’m really going to have to try to work on this every night…

Thursday: Read relevant readings on Wattle. Makes notes.

Friday: Read collection development policies for the institutions I’m comparing in the assignment.

Saturday: (Morning) Make notes based on everything I’ve read and which angles I’m looking at. (Evening) Try to begin a first draft.

Sunday: Finish writing.

Monday: (I think I have My Fair Lady rehearsal)

Tuesday: Polish, proofread, etc.

Judging by this, it’s probably not going to be the greatest essay I’ve ever written, but as long as I turn in something, I should be all right.

I could say “no time for writing in amongst all that” but I saw a very helpful post on Twitter today, and I really think I ought to follow it.

So I’m going to try! It’s 10pm, though, so for now, I’m off to bed!

~ Emily