#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

#WIPpet Wednesday – “Make no mistake” + #ROW80 Update

cupidI’m going to start my post with WIPpet Wednesday, so that those who are only visiting for that don’t have to scroll through all my lists in my ROW80 update. For those who don’t know WIPpet Wednesday is a weekly blog hop where writers come together and share excerpts from their WIPs. The only rule is that it has to somehow relate to the date. The linky is here. I’ve got three paragraphs from Unicorn Love. After Aphrodite informs Lydia that she was responsible for Lydia and her (now ex-)boyfriend, David, coming together in the first place, she drops another bombshell: David is moving back to town.

“He’s been offered a job here, and he’s hoping that enough time has passed that he can deal with the return.”

“Then I imagine he’ll be trying to avoid me at all costs.”

“I wouldn’t say that.” Lydia tilted her head at her boss. “Five years later and he’s still got your number on his phone. His fingers have hovered over it more than once in the past few weeks, though he’s talked himself out of calling you every time. Make no mistake, Lydia, you are certainly on his mind.”

As you’ll see below, I have basically finished Unicorn Love. The whole story is there, I just need to polish some of it up.

Onto a ROW80 update. ROW80 is the Writing Challenge That Knows You Have Life. Last week I decided to try setting myself some weekly goals to see if it helped with my time management. I think it was really beneficial and I’m definitely going to keep doing it. Here’s how the last week went:

  • Complete readings for critical exhibition review for MUSC8017 – completed Monday night
  • Get first draft of critical exhibition review up to 750/1500 words for MUSC8017 – I got it to 736 words, which is close enough.
  • Complete Module 2 forum discussion response for HIST8015 – I wanted to do this last night, but ended up being too tired. Howeverm Module 2 runs for this week as well, so I’m okay.
  • Do 50% of readings for Module 2 online exercise (HIST8015) – ditto
  • Write a review of Cinder to go up on here on Friday – done and done!
  • Finish second draft of Unicorn Love. – also done! Though the final scene is awful and basically needs a complete do-over. But I’m having some away time for a little while before I do that.
  • Visit 5 ROW80 blogs and at least 50% of the WIPpet Wednesday blogs – while I only got to maybe 30% of the WIPpet blogs, I did visit some ROW80 blogs after the Sunday check-in (even though I don’t actually participate in that one myself).

row80Additionally to everything above, I also brainstormed a new short story on my lunch break on Monday. I wrote a little of it during a meeting on Monday afternoon but I think I will wait until I’m on a computer to really start it in earnest. I’m quite enjoying the short story writing, even though I don’t know what I’m really going to do with them later.

So, goals for this week. We have a long weekend in my state this week, so an extra day for doing things! 😀 (though that day will probably be reserved for housework, as my other half is working anyway, so I’ll have the house to myself)

  • Write review of Redshirts by John Scalzi
  • Spend an hour each day reading
  • Write 500-1000 words on First Christmas*
  • Complete A Day In My Life post for LiveJournal.
  • Visit 50% of WIPpet posts and at least 5 ROW80 blogs
  • Complete Critical Exhibition Review for MUSC8017
  • Plan 750-word response for HIST8015

*I actually have no idea how long this story will be, but this will be a good start on it.

This is how I’ll achieve these goals:

  • Write Redshirts review tonight
  • Spend an hour writing tonight with the Internet turned off
  • Organise photos and post ADIML post tomorrow
  • Spend an hour tomorrow finding sources for history assignment
  • Dedicate Saturday to critical exhibition review. Ask Edy to assist with structure, as well as making sure what I think is critical analysis is in fact critical analysis.
  • Spend two hours on Sunday doing reading for 750-word response. Make notes.
  • Spend an hour (or two if necessary) on Sunday dot-pointing a plan for response.
  • Spread out blog visits over the weekend.

If some of the weekend tasks spill over into Monday, that’s okay, but I’d like to have one full day of the long weekend to enjoy if I can manage it. (I know what you’re thinking: “Enjoy? But you said you were doing housework.” Yes, well, I’m one of those people who gets immeasurable pleasure and satisfaction from cleaning).

We’re waiting for dinner to be delivered right now, but I think I will go start on my Redshirts review. I’ll catch up with you all soon!

~ Emily

#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: Drastic Measures

I’m unexpectedly at home today, after falling off my bike halfway to work. I think I’m okay, though I have two rather large bruises on my right thigh. Earlier, my ankle was also causing me grief and my head was swimming when I walked, but that seems to have cleared up. The lovely folks at work have told me in no uncertain terms to not come back tomorrow unless I am feeling completely 100%, so we’ll see how I’m going.

I finished the first draft of Unicorn Love on Saturday. It only needed another 300 words or so, which goes to show just how lazy I had been in the week and a half prior. But anyway. Somewhat fitting that a story in which the main character is a cupid, and which explores the idea of true love, was finished on Valentine’s Day. That was the only Valentine’s Day-related thing that happened on Saturday, since the partner and I tend to ignore the day usually (though it is also International Give A Book day, which is something I can get behind).

The first draft ended up being just under 9000 words. However… I am not entirely sure if I am going to keep more than the first 2700-odd. It works really well up until the time travel happens, at which point it practically becomes a different story. At first, I was just trying to figure out ways to bring in aspects from the first part and tie it all together better, but my other problem was that I was having trouble coming up with an ending that was neither too easy nor too unrealistic (both of which were the case in the first version). I was driving a friend home after a theatre outing on Saturday evening and bounced some ideas off him. He has given me something to work with, though it will require deleting some stuff I’m quite partial to… I’ll have to see if I can work that in elsewhere. Either way, just as with AMCF, it sounds like the second draft of Unicorn Love will be drastically different to the first.

cupidOnto WIPpet Wednesday, and this scene follows the one I posted three weeks ago. Lydia is surprised that the Chinese boy and the girl in the bookstore are already together when she and Aphrodite spot them the next morning.

Lydia narrowed her eyes at Aphrodite. “Did you do something?”

“Lydia! I’m surprised you’d even suggest such a thing!” Lydia arched an eyebrow. “All right, maybe I gave them a little push.”

“I knew it.”

“But look at the boy! He’s beaming! And she is clearly smitten.”

“And how much of that is thanks to you?”

“Lydia, you’re not thinking about this in the right way. No wonder you’ve become disillusioned.” Aphrodite motioned for Lydia to follow and they continued past shops towards a crowded food court. “We are partly responsible for so many couples being brought together. Does that make their love any less legitimate?”

“I guess not. But why can’t you let it run its own course, once we’ve set it on its way?”

“Well, after today, I will. But while your job is simply to give prospective couples the push they need to come together, mine is far more complicated than that. I have to make decisions about which relationships should continue and which ones should end. I intervene a lot more than you know. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the work that couple does to stay together isn’t any less important, or that the tears that are cried when it doesn’t work out are less justified, just because I nudged it in one direction or another.”

“But the tears might have been avoided if you didn’t meddle.”

I realised while reading through the whole thing the other day that Lydia does an awful lot of eyebrow-arching. Something else for the second draft.

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K. L. Schwengel and you can find out linky here. To participate, simply post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. I posted 9 paragraphs because I added together the one and the eight from the eighteenth. A Round of Words in 80 Days is hosted by Kait Nolan, and you can check out the blog for more info. Now I’m off to do some uni work!

~ Emily

#ROW80 Update – the part where I have a little bit of a freak out

row80I’m going to skip WIPpet Wednesday this week, for reasons I’ll get onto in a minute, but you should totally go and check out the linky and read lots of cool excerpts from people who are taking part this week.

I haven’t written anything since I checked in last week. I had things on from Monday – Thursday nights, and I spent Saturday with a friend. Other than that, I was just bloody exhausted. And this week I just haven’t bothered.

But what I wanted to talk about is the fact that as of next week, my time is going to disappear before my eyes and that’s going to be upsetting. I’m starting my Masters degree, which would be fine, but I’ve got rehearsals for My Fair Lady twice a week as well, and working out when to fit everything in is proving a bit of a challenge. I know that I will spend Saturdays at work (the National Library) because they have a lot of the text books and I can take them out on staff official loan (but that means I can’t take them out of the building).  I think I will need to also spend probably two nights a week studying (given that I am supposed to allow 10 hours a week per course and I’m doing two courses). I can apply for study leave at work because the degree is relevant to my job, but that only gives me three hours a week.

This is going to mean that writing goals are unfortunately going to take a back seat, probably for this whole semester. I had figured that doing a show while studying wouldn’t be much of a problem, but those two nights a week feel like more than that when I actually start to account for my time. And makes me feel rather relieved that the play I was going to be doing after this has been postponed until next year because the

I do not have a solution for this yet. I imagine I’m going to be many tables and Gantt charts and things. I feel organised when I have those sorts of things. I need to un-enroll from one course and enroll in another so I’m not entirely sure what my workload will be, but as long as I get my act together, my student account should be updated by the weekend.

That’s it from me. You can visit other ROW80 check-ins at the linky here.

~ Emily

#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Update:

I have to admit, I’ve been rather lax with my participation in ROW80 this round. And that keeps happening. But now that my holidays are officially over and I’m into more of a routine, I’ll be able to really make a crack at it. I hope.

On that note, while I was on holidays, I didn’t take my laptop with me, but I did take my notebook, and I wrote maybe 500 words on at least three different evenings. As my goal is work for an hour or write at least 500 words on Tuesdays and Fridays, I call that a win. I also wrote a few pages at work on Monday, and then I spent my writing group’s meet-up last night typing all of that up. It took forever, and I actually ended up leaving some notes to myself in big red letters where I decided to completely change things. The exciting thing is that at nearly 10k, the first draft of Unicorn Love is just about finished. It does need some good revising, though. I need Aphrodite to be more interfering throughout the story, and the ending is far too convenient (it’s a literal deus ex machina, actually). But! It’s a first draft. That should be done by next Wednesday with any luck.

wippetwednesdayThe problem with a WIP so short, of course, is that after a few weeks it’s getting rather hard to find a WIPpet that doesn’t spoil the entire story. I have some nice bits of dialogue from the end, but they do give away everything. I was going to get you guys’ advice on the back cover copy I have written for AMCF, but I will do that next week when I’m not typing this at my writing group’s Tuesday night meeting because I’m seeing a play on Wednesday night (this week is awful; stuff on every week night). I did find this bit though. Six paragraphs, which I got from adding the month to the day.

In this scene, Lydia has gone back in time to before she became a cupid. She is poor and living as part of a little street gang who do what they can to look after for one another and scrape by. The person she is talking to is David. The real one, this time, not the fake version Aphrodite created in this scene.

“Hey, sleepyhead,” he greeted her when she opened her eyes. “Today’s the big day. Are you ready?”

“No,” she replied, sitting up again and yawning. “Oh, good lord,” she said, the worrying thought suddenly occurring to her. “There’s no coffee here.”

“What?”

“Um. Nothing. Ignore me. Just tired.”

“You don’t like coffee. You tried it once, when the nuns were handing out food and drink.”

“I know I… I had a strange dream, that’s all. I liked coffee in the dream.”

Feel free to join us for WIPpet Wednesday! All you need to do is post an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date (eg. 4+2 paragraphs). Then link up with us here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting us.

In other news, we have all heard about Harper Lee agreeing to publish a sequel to To Kill A Mockingbird, right? I honestly can’t decide quite how I feel about it. I studied TKAM in school, like everyone else, and it was probably more difficult to appreciate as a non-American 16-year-old, but I did appreciate it much more later on (confession: not that I have ever actually re-read it. I just, um, watched the movie a great deal. Come on, you guys, Gregory Peck.). I’m going to copy and paste my boyfriend’s response from Facebook, because he basically sums it up:

Yes, like anyone else with literary inclinations, I relish the idea of being able to read Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. But before you start to place your pre-order, consider reading between the lines. Lee has always been known as a recluse, she was always protected by her lawyer sister in her business dealings, her sister has been dead for only three months, and Harper is by all accounts in the throes of senility, not always understanding the documents she signs. If she is genuinely (as the press releases say) “humbled and amazed that this will now be published”, that’s fantastic. With so many signs pointing to exploitation of a frail old woman, though, I’m a little more suspicious.

There is also the fact that it doesn’t sound so much like a sequel, as the book that ended up becoming TKAM in the first place. Not that I’m saying it can’t work because it was written first, but it sounds like one of those situations where you write the book you think you want to write, only to discover it was just the hiding place for an even more amazing book. Anyway, I suppose it remains to be seen.

I’m going to head off now, and I’ll see you around on your own blogs!

~ 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 and #ROW80 Week 1

First of all, I have a request, though given the crowd that visits this blog, I’m probably preaching to the choir here. Can we stop fussing about how other people read books? I’m just really sick of the ebook vs. print “debate”. People seem very concerned about how other people who have nothing to do with them read, and I can’t understand why… if you like print books, read print books. If you like ebooks, read those. If you like going with whichever option gives you the fastest and most affordable access to the book you want, like I do (my process is check library, check Amazon, check bookstore), then more power to you. Now let’s all stop the fuss, yes?

(This rant brought to you by a very stupid video I saw on YouTube today)

In other news, you know how I face cast my characters? I have this perfect image of the actor I want to cast as Armand in my NaNo 2014 story… The problem is, I can’t actually place who this actor is. After it had been bugging me all day, I literally figured it out just after I typed that sentence. Actor in question is Hugh Dancy, but from about 10 years ago, around the time he made Ella Enchanted. You guys have no idea how much of a relief this is. I could see his face and even hear his voice but couldn’t work out who he was. To the Pinterest machine! *points dramatically*

All right, I’m back from Pinterest. Firstly, an update on the ROW80 front. I am yet to start putting AMCF into the CreateSpace template. Once I finish writing this, I will go get my USB and put the relevant files on it so I can work on it at work with the dual monitors.

While I didn’t meet my “write for an hour on Tuesday” goal either, I have been working on my writing at other times. I sat down on Saturday or Sunday to start working on overall goal “Work out the plot holes in Unicorn Love”. Some of you may remember that Unicorn Love started out as a very different story to the one I thought it had become. On Saturday, I realised that a) that stuff with Aphrodite was really quite good, and b) the reason that I had so many plot holes was because I was trying to weave two stories together that really should be told separately. Lexie and David’s problems can be solved with Aphrodite’s help (and to think I was going to take her out of later versions), but even time travel can’t really help Grace and Anna. Not plausibly, anyway.

As such, I’ve returned to the original version, in which Lexie is the cupid who has lost her faith in true love, and I’ve got about two thirds of an outline written. It’s not going to be a long story. I’m expecting maybe 20000 words? Though I really don’t know? I haven’t entirely decided how to approach Grace and Anna’s story, though I have some notes. I don’t know whether I’ll sit down to write Unicorn Love and come back to Grace and Anna (who now have their own story but no title) or outline them both and then start writing. Either way, I’m glad I came to this realisation.

wednesdaybannerOn that note, today is Wednesday, which also means a WIPpet. For those unfamiliar with the blog hop, WIPpet Wednesday requires that you share an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow relates to the date. Then you link up here and see what other people have shared. Since the rest of today’s post is Unicorn Love themed, here is an excerpt that takes place not long after this one I posted back in July. For the 7th of January, I have 7 paragraphs.

“Lexie?” He stood up, and in a couple of strides had made his way to her. He took her hands in his as she stood up to meet him.

“David.”

“What am I… what is this place? How am I here?”

“I don’t know. I… oh, you’ve got no idea how good it is to see you.”

“What is this place?”

“It’s hard to explain. Please stop talking and just hold me.”

David seemed happy to oblige. He slid his arms around Lexie’s waist and pulled her close. She put her arms around his neck and buried her head in his shoulder. That was when she sensed something was wrong. David had no scent that she could inhale, and his clothes were too crisp and clean. This was not David, but a very good reproduction.

That Aphrodite, eh? She’s a pesky one.

Anyway, I started this post late, which means it’s even later now. I was tired four hours ago when I got home, so I think it’s time to turn in for the night. See y’all soon!

~ Emily

New Year, New Goals

fireworksHappy New Year, everyone! As promised, today I’m back to talk about my goals for the coming year.

2015 is going to be busy, even before I add writing goals into the mix. I’m starting a Masters degree (Liberal Arts, majoring in something museum-y). I’m also going to be rehearsing for a production of My Fair Lady up to twice a week between February and June, and then as soon as that’s over, I will be rehearsing for a play called Racing Demon on a similar schedule. That one will be performing in September. As such, it’s going to be even more important for me to make reasonable goals that won’t take it out of me.

A few weeks ago, I started making a nice detailed list of my goals for 2015 (this can also be found by going up to the “What’s All This, Then?” menu item up the top of this blog, the page with my goals is in the little drop-down; do you know how long it took me to figure out how to make the drop down happen?!). I like really detailed lists.

row80And on that note, since the new round starts on Monday and I hope to actually participate actively this time, here are some goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days. These are a work in progress, until I have an actual rehearsal schedule and know what my study load is going to be, at which point I’ll adopt them and probably add some more.

1) Spend half an hour a day before or after work formatting AMCF into the CreateSpace template (making use of the two monitors I have on my work computer). Once this is complete, move onto other AMCF-related goals.

2) Spend an hour on Tuesdays and another hour on Friday working on writing projects. I have my own gauges of productivity for these hours, depending on whether I’m writing or planning. If I stare at a blank page for an hour, obviously that’s not going to count. Also, browsing Pinterest does not count if that’s all I do. Putting that down here and now, otherwise I’ll try to justify it.

That’s all I’m setting for myself for the moment. I haven’t entirely decided which day I’ll be checking in (I only check in once a week, as I never feel I have enough for two, especially when my goals are spread out over a few days). But I’ll see you at the first one on whichever day I choose!

~ Emily