#ROW80 Check-in: Yay, feedback! and #WIPPet Wednesday: “We would’ve believed you!”

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Upon posting this post, WordPress informed me this is my 150th. Yay me! *passes around the champagne*

The other night I was doing some work on AMCF and I got to one of my very favourite scenes (for those who are reading it, it’s the scene in the restaurant). I read through it and didn’t make a single change… and that was when I thought to myself, “It’s a good thing I have beta readers.” I am discovering things I had forgotten, too, like the fact that I was already halfway through this draft when I got around to giving Cait’s mother a name – so I had to go through the first few chapters and figure out which “Her mother”s should be changed. I also had a minor character whose stage name was “Lorenzo the Magnificent”… which I completely by accident discovered was how Lorenzo de’Medici came to be known, so I promptly changed him to “Alfonso”, which I feel gives the same effect, but as far as I know doesn’t reference any Florentine noblemen of times gone by.

I got my first bit of feedback in my email today (thanks again, Shan!), and have spent most of the night reading through it, which is why it is already 10:20 and I’m only up to this part of this post. Reading the comments is much less scary than I initially expected, and even on the bits which I love don’t want to change, I tend to end up saying “… that is a very good point you make,” whilst pouting at it. And then there are other bits where I’m like, “Dude, that is the best idea ever! Why didn’t I think of that?!” And there are other bits again where the comments confirmed the mixed feelings I already had about particular scenes, and make me all the more determined to make it work better. I want to dive into those parts already, but I am convincing myself to wait until I have heard back from a few more people and consolidate the comments from at least a few of them. I sent it to eight people, I think, and I know a few aren’t going to be able to get to it until later in the month/early October, so I’m telling myself to be patient.

I’ve also decided on one plot I’m going to use for NaNoWriMo, which is exciting. If my writer’s group meets up again this Sunday (which I think is the current plan), I’m going to bounce some ideas off them. I have the premise and a vague idea of where the story needs to go, but no idea about the resolution at the moment. So that’s quite exciting.

And now I’d best get onto WIPpet Wednesday, since it continues to get later and I continue to write this post at a snail’s pace. WIPpet Wednesday is where a bunch of writers come together and share something from their current Work In Progress that somehow relates to the date. The linky is here, feel free to join in! As always, thanks to K. L. Schwengel for hosting. Today is the 18th of September, so I’m flipping those two numbers around to get to Page 81, and then adding the two digits,  together to give you nine lines. Also, look I made a banner! Sure, it’s just a screencap from Phantom of the Opera, but on my whole AMCF Pinterest board, it is the picture I feel is most representative of Cait and Felipe (even if by the time they’re at that stage of the relationship, Felipe’s leg injury would prevent any scooping up of Cait and swinging her about. Knowing Cait, she’d probably see this as a good thing).

Anyways. It’s no wonder this post is taking so long to write when I keep rambling like that. This scene takes place just after it’s become reasonably common knowledge in the war hospital that Cait and Felipe are friends, and that she’s the woman there were all the rumours about.

amcfbanner “Why did you never tell us you were the prince’s friend?” Hattie asked, “I’ll admit, even Meg and I thought it a bit strange the way you were always asking about him.”

“I became quite used to rumours spreading about me,” Cait replied, “and besides, most people wouldn’t have believed me anyway, had I said that mine and the prince’s meetings were simply borne out of friendship.”

“I would have!” Hattie exclaimed, sounding affronted, “and I’m sure Meg would have as well!”

All right! That is posted, and it’s now past 11pm, so I should consider going to bed. At least I had dinner and showered and things at reasonable times so that I could then just sit on the computer until bedtime. I shall try to get around to as many of your posts as I can tomorrow night, and will try and catch the rest of you on Saturday (Friday is out, as I have a free ticket to the local production of Footloose, which should be fun! I shall see you all then!

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#ROW80 Check-in: A terrible influence, and #MirthMusicMon – More Gilbert and Sullivan

nanowrimo_logoSo at the end of November last year, there were a group of NaNoWriMo participants in my region, me included, who decided to continue meeting up every so often and writing together. We called our group PoNoWriGro (Post November Writing Group, though recently we agreed it’s that time of year where the Post really needs to change to Pre). We meet every second Thursday and alternate between going out for dinner and having write-ins at someone’s home. This week was an out-for-dinner week, and at one point the subject turned to this year’s NaNoWriMo… someone asked me if I knew yet what I would be writing, and I said I wouldn’t be participating this year, since I’m heading off to the UK on November 12. This was met with exclamations of, “But that gives you twelve whole days! That’s only, what, 4000 words a day? You can do it!”

And at first, I was like, “Don’t be silly, that’s a ridiculous idea!”

And then I thought about it. I am planning on November 1 being my last day at work. That gives me the whole following week to get myself packed, and get up to my parents’ for a few days before I head off. When I put my mind to it, I can bash out 1000 words in under an hour. So I’d just have to do four sessions throughout each day. And I do have a 24-hour plane trip ahead of me. A couple of my PoNoWriGro buddies are already saying they’ll most likely be NaNo rebels and maybe work on two stories, so if I were to that as well, I would be in good company (I’ve rebelled in Camp NaNo before, too, so it wouldn’t be the first time), and that would also make it easier bashing out 4000 words a day. The only question is WHAT DO I WRITE?! I was actually thinking Operation: Sugarplum could be one, but I would have to come up with another story as well. I’ve had a bit of a look at the “Adopt a Plot” forum on the NaNo website and there were a few that took my fancy, so we’ll see which one I end up going with.

As for ROW80 goals, this week has been good! I got in my two hours’ editing work on AMCF, along with sending it out to the last of my wonderful betas. I passed row80-2page 80 today, and since the whole thing is 160 pages long, that’s something of a milestone. I might actually have it finished before I go overseas in November. Huzzah. I also visited all my sponsor posts for Wednesday, plus some! Which is a marked improvement from the last few check-ins. AND I wrote 1500 words on Keep Your Enemies Closest, so I now feel less guilty about not working on that the last couple of weeks. Though I was writing it at my writing group’s write-in at a cafe today, and I only had my tablet, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember any of the characters’ names apart from Gallivan and Mireille, so there is a lot of “Private ____ said” and that sort of thing. So this week I’ll probably focus on editing and making it fit properly with what was already written, rather than writing anything new.

That’s it for writing news, so now onto Mirth and Music Monday, the brainchild of one ReGi McClain. Click through to her blog to find the MMM linky.

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I’ve been listening to more Gilbert and Sullivan recently, and I couldn’t decide which version of this song I like best, so you get two. In the first you have the Jon English swinging from ropes and arguing with the maestro and pretending to be an opera singer, and in the second you have Anthony Warlow doing a pretty spot-on impression of Captain Jack Sparrow.

I’m going to take off now; it’s nothing personal, but my upstairs neighbour called me not long ago to invite me up for apple pie and tea before bed, and I am very open to that (actually I’m going on a healthy eating thing as of tomorrow, but might as well make the most of it before then, right?), so… yes. Ttfn, lovelies!

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#WIPpet Wednesday and #ROW80 Check-in: Yes, I sort of dropped off there for a bit.

I know, I know, I kind of vanished after last Wednesday’s post. I wish I could say it was because I was busily writing and forgot to blog, but actually I was just being lazy. Well, Saturday I had a full day, starting with voting in our Federal election, then off to an art gallery in the afternoon and then a friend’s house-warming in the evening. But Sunday I was just lazy. I was also lazy for most of last week and didn’t do anymore writing or editing. I was still reading the Bartimaeus trilogy at that point, though. Luckily, I have finished it now (still dealing with how it ended, though; it took me completely by surprise!), so I don’t have it to distract me. I did finally get back to my editing AMCF tonight, though it took me a while to remember where I’d edited up to, since my file had decided not to save the marker I’ve been putting in the file where I stop. So I sort of ended up casting my eyes over what I’d already been through as well, which is not a bad thing, but means I’m probably not as far along as I might be.

I have sent the MSS out to a few betas and have a couple more lined up (Kate F and Eden, I will probably send it to you guys tomorrow evening). I did have a bit of an “Ahh! What am I doing sending this to people and letting them read it?!” moment the other day, but I am getting past that.

So for today’s WIPpet, I am going back to ACMF. Today is the 11th of September, so I have 11 lines to share. This scene takes place just after Cait has been appointed as Felipe’s full-time carer in the hospital, and is having a chat with the doctor who is also looking after him.

“I must warn you, though,” Doctor Raymond said when they had finished going through all the medical details, “he is already bored and complaining of a lack of fresh air in his room. In a few more days, it should be all right to move him. If I’m not to be found, ask some of the other doctors to help him into a wheelchair for you. A turn about the gardens might keep him quiet for a while.”

Cait suppressed a smile. “Have no fear, doctor,” she said. “I am quite capable of handling the prince’s whining.”

“Good girl. Well, that is all you need to hear from me. You may start these new duties immediately.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

Under other circumstances, I might make an attempt to talk a bit more in this post, but it is already 9:30 and I had an interrupted night’s sleep last night, so I should consider going for a shower and to bed. I’ll get to your WIPpets as soon as I can! You can join in the WIPpet fun here (thanks to K L Schwengel for hosting) or visit other ROWers here.  🙂

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#ROW80 Checkin and #MirthMusicMon: “Home sweet home… it’s crap.”

Before I go into anything else, a friend of mine would be very grateful to anyone who has a spare half an hour or so and would be able to fill out this survey for her. It’s on senses of humour and responses to various jokes, and is for her Honours thesis for psychology. All responses are completely anonymous of course. She still needs quite a few responses.

This week has been a bit of a blah one for ROW80 goals. Well, it started out well, with an hour spent on Keep Your Enemies Closest, my Short Story Saturday WIP. But then adding a second hour to that to make my goal? Yeeah… I got about 280 words written in the half-hour of Thursday night where me and the members of my writer’s group bothered to do any writing (we were all tired and there was good food and Suz is going overseas for 12 months in about three weeks, so we were sort of just hanging out with her). Since my usual goal is an hour/500 words, I suppose you could say that half-hour was right on track. But the second half-hour, which I tried and tried to get through today, just wasn’t happening. I wrote maybe 100 words of Operation: Sugarplum (I’m still stuck on that fight scene, and even moving onto the next scene for the moment proved difficult)… so I decided to come write this post and then I’m actually going to return to AMCF editing for a bit. I did finally write this up earlier; I rearranged my pin board to accommodate it a couple of weeks ago, but only just got around to it:

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… Yes, sometimes I like to pretend I’m Cockney.

The reason the text is so big is so I can read it from my bed, the head of which is at the other end of my room. There is still plenty of room on the pin board if I end up needing another couple of pages when writing at that size. As for 101 Things in 1001 Days goals… yeah, I kind of forgot about them all together this week, so no work was done on them at all. And I think that’s about it for ROW80. Onto MMM!

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I was really struggling for what to post this week. It was only when I thought Tripod might be an option, and typed them into Google, that a couple of things they had done with the Umbilical Brothers came up, and I remembered the intense and passionate love affair I had with all things Umbie a few years ago. Seriously, though, the Umbies are awesome; they are both professional mime artists, but they do all the sound effects for their scenes as well. This is their summary of the film “Gone With The Wind”, which was part of the Australia’s Favourite Film special done by the ABC back in 2007 or so. You should click on the related videos as well. *nods sagely* (And for anyone with kids, I deeply recommend their show, “The Upside Down Show”. It’s amazing and encourages kids to use their imaginations like nothing else!

I also had some music to go in this post, but our Internet went down last night and was still down when I got up this morning, so I am unable to look up the clip (since I’m now at work). It was going to be “I Believe My Heart” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Woman in White” if you want to go look it up. Just make sure you listen to the version from the show, not the annoying pop version that I stumbled upon last night. I’ll be back on Wednesday! 🙂

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#ROW80 Check-in: Accidental new WIP and #WIPpet Wednesday – Wait, what?!

So I was thinking. I had said I was going to do a quick line-edit-type-of-thing on A More Complicated Fairytale before I sent the second draft out to beta readers. But I also needed a break form that story, and I am working on Operation Sugarplum and Keep Your Enemies Closest at the moment, so… instead of just having it sit there, I figured the second draft might as well be being read over by people and getting some feedback. It’s about 37k if memory serves, and WIPpet Wednesday excerpts can be read here if you’d like an idea of the type of story it is (to sum up, for those not familiar with it, it is a quasi-Regency/Victorian setting and there is an outspoken heroine and a war and a dashing prince and drama and romance!). Either let me know here, or send me an email at fuzzyagent999[@]yahoo[dot]com[dot]au. If you aren’t interested/haven’t the time/whatever else, but know someone who might be, please feel free to share this post/my email address/whatnot.

In other news… this is a thing that happened on Monday night:

newwipoopsrow80-2So. Um. Yes. Annoyingly, I can’t really even use it for WIPpet Wednesday posts, since that would get confusing when I’m regularly posting sections on Saturdays. But that’s okay. I spent all three of my breaks (morning/afternoon tea and lunch) on Monday writing new stuff for it. I also realised that the section I’d written last year, I had written before the further world-building I did  in which I discovered all Mireille’s people are all born with magical abilities was done. So I’ve gone through and edited some references to magic in.

A couple of people in my writer’s group have stories that they serialise, and post as they go, pretty much, and it’s interesting hearing them say that one of the perils/thrills of doing it that way is having to live with what you’ve already posted, even if it doesn’t work with something you come up with later. I’m actually planning on cheating a bit with mine. This Saturday will start a few lines before the end of last Saturday’s post, but with an amendment that gives a bit more depth to the end of that scene. My blog may have over 120 followers, supposedly, but I’m fairly certain only maybe 20 of those actually read it regularly, and I think they’ll forgive me. 🙂 Obviously, if something three posts ago affects what I’m writing now, I’ll try and work  with it, but… well, we’ll see how it goes. I was thinking that maybe when it’s finished, I’ll put the whole thing into a PDF and just have it a link on my Writing Projects page, with full disclaimers of it being a bit inconsistent and all.

wednesdaybannerBut on to WIPpet Wednesday! Want to play along? Simply post an excerpt from a WIP, or write the opening of a new one, that somehow corresponds to the days date. This might be as simple as 28 lines (maybe from Chapter 8) for August 28, or you could get more creative and throw in some more complicated operations and such. The linky is here and as always, it’s thank you to K. L. Schwengel at My Random Muse for hosting.

I’m adding 2 and 8 together today to give you 10 lines, because I don’t actually have a huge amount of Operation: Sugarplum to pick from at the moment (kind of stuck on a fight scene where I don’t know how I want it to play out). This scene is not long after last week’s, in which Clara was being followed on her way home from uni. She’s been caught by a creature with long claws and bad breath, who wants to know where “the Prince” is. Clara is trying to insist she doesn’t know any princes when Max (her boyfriend in this newer version, if you remember) shows up, and the creature is all, “Your Highness, so nice to see you.” Or words to that effect.

Wait – Max was the prince the creature had asked about? Under other circumstances, Clara might have laughed at the suggestion. She had known Max a long time and while she loved him to bits, of course, “princely” was hardly a word she would use to describe him. “Adorkable” (with the additional ‘k’) was usually what she went for. It summed up everything she liked about him, but also gave a sense of how he’d been known to cancel a pre-arranged date night to sit in his room and continue work on the app he was building. Afterwards, he’d given her a big, doe-eyed expression, handed her his phone and told her she could be the first one to play the new level, and she found she couldn’t stay mad at him for long.

Right now, however, Max didn’t seem at all surprised to be addressed with the royal title, and was making his way determinedly towards Clara and her captor.

“Let her go,” he said, his voice raised. “It’s me you want.”

In my head(/on my Pinterest board), Max looks like Josh Groban in fetching suits and scarves and things. I wouldn’t be able to stay mad at him after getting doe-eyed expressions either.

And now I must leave you, as I hope to get up early enough in the morning to ride my bike to work. I have a writer’s group gathering tomorrow evening, so hopefully I’ll get my other hour of writing in for the week. I might bounce some ideas off people for that fight scene I said I was stuck with. So it might be Friday before I get around to your posts, but I will see you then! Cheers!

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#MirthMusicMon – The Very Model of a Modern Major-General and #ROW80 Check-in: Damn that book being good!

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The other night, I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for years and downloaded a version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado from iTunes. The following night, I did the same with The Pirates of Penzance, and as such, have been listening to them all week. So it only makes sense that something from one of those is my contribution to Mirth and Music Monday this week. I did manage to pick about the longest song that I could, but it really is the best one. This is the version of Pirates that I grew up with on video, and it never ceases to amaze me that the guy playing Major-General Stanley is the same guy playing Nanki-Poo in this production of the Mikado. Said productions were only a few years apart. I think Mikado was second, too. The same company also did HMS Pinafore, that was the only one I got to see live, and I’m pretty sure I was too young to understand half the jokes, but it was still lots of fun. Anyway. I am rambling! Video!

And now onto my ROW80 check-in. Um. Well. You know how I said on Wednesday that I had started a new book and it had grabbed me in the first two pages? Well, it continued to keep me reading so much so that I gave up any plans of getting anything else done until I finished it. Which was yesterday. The book was The Amulet of Samarkand, the first in the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud. And it was awesome. But that did mean I basically had today to get anything done. And I did write for two hours! The two hours preceding the writing of this post, in fact. I wrote about 300 words on Operation: Sugarplum; not the best result, but  the scene that I’m currently working on is proving tricky to actually make turn into words on a page.

I did, however, also manage to add 500+ words to my Short Story Saturday serial, Keep Your Enemies Closest. Actually, I also worked on that a bit yesterday, going through what I wrote last year and fixing it up and making it better. The story is coming along nicely. I’ve come up with a bit of world-building tonight that I wasn’t expecting, so that’s exciting. Also exciting is that people seem to be enjoying it so far, even if it is basically me foisting a first draft on an unsuspecting audience.

… I am vaguely worried it is going to turn into a full-fledged WIP, but… I could actually live with that. It is a prequel to Friend of the Enemy, so if I end up writing one instead of the other, I’m not hugely bothered. The plan I’ve got for it in my head is paced reasonably quickly, so even if it does take over, hopefully it won’t be for too long.

Anyway, it’s time for me to schedule this post for tomorrow morning and go to bed. I shall catch you all at your check-ins. 🙂

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Job Interview Aftermath, #WIPpet Wednesday, #ROW80 Check-in and a Question

First of all, thank you for all your good wishes for my job interview today. It went… okay, I guess, but it was the first time I’ve been interviewed for a job at this level (despite acting in a very similar position before), so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect and despite preparing as best I could, a couple of the questions still caught me a bit off guard. I came up with answers, but they were a bit dodgy. If I get this position, that would be great, but I think I will be chalking this one up to experience and will be better prepared for the other couple of positions coming up in my workplace in the next few months. Of the three positions, this was the one I wanted the least, so while I’ll be disappointed, it could be worse.

wednesdaybannerAnyway! Onto happier things. WIPpet Wednesday is here again! Want to join in? Simply post an excerpt from your current WIP that somehow correlates to the date (either [date] number of lines/paragraphs/words, etc, something from that numbered chapter; add some of the numbers together for a different outcome…). Then join us at the linky and see what others have shared. I feel a bit bad because I only got around to about half of you last week. I’ll try to do better this week!

I’ve got another piece from Operation: Sugarplum to share with you this week. I’ve added the 2 and the 1 from the day’s date, plus the 8 for the month, and have 11 lines for you. This is very early on in the piece; the second scene in the story in fact. The opening scene is from Max’s POV, he knows Clara”s in trouble and is worried because she’s not answering her phone, then we cut to Clara. There are a couple of lines of dialogue between Clara and her lecturer before this, but the numbers worked better to just start here.

Clara had not been in a class, but she had been on campus, meeting with one of her lecturers to get some tips for the upcoming assignments. She pulled on an overcoat, ran her fingers through her hair to make sure none of it was caught under the collar, and then slung her handbag over one shoulder. There was a spring in her step as she left campus and began walking home, despite it being dark and chilly.

She’d been walking for ten minutes or so when she first thought she heard footsteps on the pavement behind her. She tried to ignore the noise; it was probably just someone else walking home as well. This part of town was full of student share houses so it wasn’t exactly unusual.

When the footsteps were still following her after she’d turned two corners, though, then she started feeling worried. Casting a glance over her shoulder, she saw two figures in black clothes and hoods. She quickened her pace, hoping to keep them away just a bit longer – she was only a street away from her house now – but they matched her new speed.

row80-2As for my goals, well, as predicted I was so caught up with interview nerves prep that I didn’t get anything done in the first half of this week, apart from add maybe a few sentences to O:S. Once I finish this post, I plan on going and banging on my keyboard for a bit, so that will give me a bit of a start on one of my Mission 101 goals. I was planning on writing during my breaks once my interview was over today, but that didn’t happen because I was feeling more frazzled than I had expected, so I mostly just read my book and daydreamed because that was about all I could concentrate on. Tomorrow I will be in a much better frame of mind.

To finish off, I have a question for you guys. The two most recent books I have tried reading, I have ended up giving up on, just because I felt I should have been more invested in/hook on the story by the point I was at, and I wasn’t. Having said that, I was wondering if I’d given them enough of a chance yet. I was asking my boss about how much of a chance he gives a book, and he told me of the “100 pages minus your age” rule, which seems to be a thing a lot of people advocate. For me, that’s 76, which translates to roughly 15% of either of these books. That’s about how much I give a ebook before I decide to ditch it. Of course, as I get older, that number is going to go down, but I sort of still feel like 15% is a good number (and that of course will go up or down depending on the length of the book). Do you have a rule for how long you stick with a book before you decide not to bother anymore? Or do you just throw it aside immediately if it doesn’t grab your attention?

And with that, I leave you, and go to play some music, before going to bed and reading the book I started today, which captured my interest in the first two pages!

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#MirthMusicMon – The Galaxy Song, and #ROW80 Check-in: Primarily Progress

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I’m going to do Mirth and Music Monday first this week, because I can!  I went to see Professor Brian Cox’s live show on Saturday night, and he was awesome! Not only is he incredibly intelligent and passionate about science, he’s also really funny and entertaining! In the middle of talking about how he ended up as a BBC science presenter, he ended up on a rant about Justin Bieber and One Direction and how awful it would be if they presented television science. Then he forgot what he had been talking about previously. He also talked about the episode of Doctor Who he had a cameo on, and was humorously bitter over having to refer to the Doctor as “a better man than me”.  Anyway, this song, sung by Monty Python star Eric Idle, and co-written by Brian Cox, was played at the show, and there are some funny moments in the video, so I thought I would share it. It was used as the trailer for his most recent show, Wonders of Life, which I am watching right now because I bought all the DVDs.

row80-2As for writing this week, I think I probably worked for two hours on Operation: Sugarplum, particularly if you count both writing and plotting. Still haven’t got a complete outline, but I got some really good feedback on Wednesday’s post (both about the excerpt and some other aspects), which was really helpful. I didn’t write 500 words on my Short Story Saturday story, but I do have another 2000 words or so before I run out of material, so as long as I get working on it now, I’ll be all good. I visited all my sponsor posts after Wednesday’s check-in, so that’s good.

I also COMPLETED two goals for my 101 Things in 1001 Days project. I played the Tangled video game all the way through to the end, and I went a whole day at work without getting distracted by fun things on the Internet.  I also documented Saturday for an A Day In My Life post, which has been posted up on LiveJournal, and which I will post up here as my end of the week post. My goal is to do 3 of those posts, but at least I’ve made a start now. You can see my whole list of Mission 101 goals by clicking the link at the top of the page.

The first half of this coming week I may not get too much done on goals, as I will be preparing for a job interview I have on Wednesday. I’ve worked at the level this position is on, but only in an acting role, so I’ve never actually been interviewed for this level. I want to read the organisation’s business plan, annual plan, things like that, so that I can refer to those in the interview and prove that I understand the point of the position. So it might not be until Thursday that I actually work on my usual goals.

Anyway, I’m not going to hang around any longer because the episode of Wonders of Life that I was watching just finished, and I need to have some dinner and then get to work on that preparation I just mentioned. Catch you on Wednesday!

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#ROW80 Update: Ch-ch-ch-changes and #WIPpet Wednesday – A new history for some characters

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A Round of Words in 80 Days, the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click the image to visit the site.

ReGi McClain, if no one else, will be pleased to hear that I’ve been working on my outline for Operation: Sugarplum again, finally. In light of having read the full original text of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, however, a lot of what I had already written is going to change. Max and Clara now know each other when the story starts. In fact, they are a couple. I’ve figured out the history between Max and Lauren Pirlipat, and kind of inadvertently ended up with a love triangle, but as much as I hate love triangles, I think it’s the best way to go at the moment. It’s not really a love triangle, anyway, as any romantic relationship between Max and Lauren is well and truly over, but as you’ll see from the excerpt below, it’s kinda left Max a bit messed up.

The changes do mean that I probably won’t have the cool bits where plot is revealed through characters texting each other or posting in forums; it’s just not going to work with the characters knowing each other outside of the Internet. Max and Clara only knew each other online at the start of the first version, but having them know each other in person from the start makes it quite different. I’m also probably going to want to change the title, mostly so that the word “Sugarplum” isn’t in it and I can use it for a character based on the Sugarplum Fairy in the ballet, but I suck at titles, so it’s going to remain Operation: Sugarplum for the time being.

wednesdaybannerBut onto WIPpet Wednesday!  I did try convincing myself that I should write the whole outline before I start writing any of the text, but yeah, like that was ever going to happen. Some of you may remember (though that is unlikely) this WIPpet Wednesday from May, which takes place immediately after Clara and co. discover that Lauren is working for the enemy. The scene I’m about to share with you is 14 lines from the new version of that scene, taking into account the changes I’ve made, and I wrote it earlier today, so it couldn’t be much more of a first draft if it tried.

“Who was that?” Clara asked, but no one answered. Drosselmeier was looking at Max, concerned, while Max himself had shoved his hands in the pockets of his suit and was pacing the cave.

“Max,” Drosselmeier said finally. “I think you should explain to Clara.”

Max stopped pacing and looked up, though his shoulders remained hunched and he kept his hands in his pockets. He looked at his uncle briefly, and then took a deep breath and looked at Clara.

“Her name is Lauren Pirlipat,” he said. “About a year and a half ago, she was interning at Drosselmeier Industries. I met her in the cafe one day and we hit off and a little while later, started dating. We were together for about six months…”

“And then?” Clara prompted when it seemed Max wasn’t going to continue.

“And then she disappeared without a trace. She handed in her pass at work, packed up her flat, stopped answering my calls… I called the police but they turned up nothing. It was like she never existed. I guess if she was here, that explains a lot.”

He frowned, and looked like he was going to start pacing again. Clara quickly crossed the cave and pulled him into a hug. He returned the embrace and rested his chin on the top of her head. She felt him ball one hand into a fist against her back and wished she could think of something helpful to say.

There are two ways you can join in on WIPpet Wednesday. Either post an excerpt from your current WIP, or write the opening of a new one, that somehow corresponds to the day’s date. I posted fourteen lines for the fourteenth of August, but you can play around with it (chapter numbers, numbers of lines/sentences/paragraphs, page numbers, everything counts, and we don’t mind what mathematical operations you throw in either). Once you’ve written up your post, leave your details at this linky and check out some of the other offerings the WIPpeteers have brought to the table this week. I also encourage you to stop by some other ROW80 participants at today’s blog hop and cheer them on.

It is now 10pm, so I think it’s time to start considering sleeping. I look forward to reading all your blogs in the morning! 🙂

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#ROW80: Some Goal Revising and #MusicMirthMon: That is the question

You guys, today is exactly three months until I go on my big trip to the UK and Europe! Eeeee!

Anyway, I’m back to it after my lovely, refreshing non-writing week. And I have two new goals! As I said on Wednesday, I realised that I was neglecting other goals in favour of writing. It’s all very well to get on a roll and just want to shut everything out, but I don’t want the only thing crossed off on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list to be “Publish a novel.” And on Saturday, I started serialising a story I have half-written as part of Short Story Saturday. So, goals:

  • Work 2 hours a week on WIPs (currently focusing on finishing outlines for both Friend of the Enemy and Operation: Sugarplum).
  • Add 500 words to story, Keep Your Enemies Closest, per week. This story is background for two of the side characters in FotE.
  • Visit ROW80 sponsor posts after each check-in.
  • Spend an hour a week working towards Mission 101 goals.

So that’s the plan. I was determined to get back into piano playing recently and bought a stand so that my keyboard can be permanently out and not under my bed, but do you think I’ve touched it since then? Nope! I also have a couple of knitting projects half-finished, and I have all the equipment to learn to crochet and just need to get around to it. I am slowly working on the “Play a video game right through to the end” one. It’s the game version of Disney’s Tangled, but hey, I’m not really a gamer, so it has to be something fun and random for  me.

Onto Music and Mirth Monday, hosted by the wonderful ReGi McClain. Regi has been keeping us cultured the past couple of weeks with clips of Andrea Boccelli, so in that vein, I have here the video for one of my favourite Josh Groban songs, Per Te.

And now for the most adorable Shakespeare-related thing you will ever see in your life:

And with that I leave you, and go and have some dinner. You can join in on Music Mirth Monday here or find more ROW80 Updates here. Ciao!

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