Ask and you shall receive. Sort of.

Further attesting to my sleep deprivation and head-stuffiness: the flash fiction contest is NOT open for another two weeks. Voting is closed, so just let me reiterate once more thank you so much to those who voted, to those who liked it, and to those who asked me to consider expanding it. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed and see how everything plays out.

Onwards. In my last post (which was yesterday! I know!) I whined noted that I haven’t had any writing to work on lately. Editing (for other people) yes, but no writing of my own, and no real editing of my own projects either. Last night, however, I had my Wordsmiths meeting and the last exercise was to write for twenty minutes based on a visual prompt – in this case, one of three paintings that our chair for the evening brought in. I love these exercises because they force me to write and they force me to write something other than whatever giant WIP I have going on at the moment. Anyhow, sometimes I find these exercises to be a real challenge, particularly if I haven’t slept or if I have a cold, or, you know, both. But last night I just ran with it and what I came up with I can see expanding either into a short or possibly into a longer work. If it looks like it is going to be on the longer side, I’ll have to settle for notes and maybe a scene here or there. The current work has to come first. But for now, it is simmering, and it’s nice to have something writing-related to toy with for a bit.

This morning I was also considering my WIP and managed to get myself very excited at the thought that maybe I could at least start working on the first set of chapters. After all, most (though not all) of my draft readers have made it to at least Chapter 3. Maybe I could get those back at least and by the time I’d made those revisions, my readers would have more for me to work on. Then, just as I was really getting into the little dance I was doing in my head at the thought of getting back at it, the bigger picture occurred to me. This will be fourth draft. I can’t work on it piecemeal. My readers are going to be giving me their suggestions not only line by line but overall – if they want me to change something in Chapter 21 that gets alluded to in Chapter 4, I need to have the whole thing in front of me so that there aren’t continuity errors. I hope that there’s nothing major but I recognize now that I really can’t work on the earlier bits while waiting for later ones.

So much for that plan.

And so, while it seemed like I suddenly had all kinds of writing projects suddenly springing up around me, what I actually have is at least one new thread dangling in front me – or possibly two, since I’m still considering another writing prompt exercise from a couple of weeks ago as well (ooo! Wait…I’m suddenly realizing a possibility for combining those! Hmmmmm.).

 

But hey, that’s more than I had yesterday!

 

Keeping calm and carrying on (sort of)

Baby D seems to have quieted down for the moment. I’ve had all of two hours of sleep today thanks to my darling offspring (yes, both of them. Sigh) and seeing as Baby D screamed all through his lunch and then passed out, I’m not really buying this whole ‘I’m ready to get up after 30 minutes’ bit. We’ll see if I have to cut this off after 100 words…

Okay various updates…well draft three (three, dammit!) has now been sent off to readers, one of whom is already a third of the way through it and has already sent me two screamy emails. She sends me her thoughts and reactions raw and just knowing that I can elicit such visceral responses from a reader is a huge support to my often-flailing confidence (and yes, I do mean ‘flailing’. It gets itself all settled and then starts falling and tries to steady itself by flapping all of its limbs). Sometimes it succeeds but more often than not it falls and it helps when someone shoves another chair under it for me.

And yesterday I needed that. I participated in a twitter pitch event and got resounding silence in return. And I apparently forgot to put on that armour I forged at the conference last year because I did let it get to me. Fortunately I got the  first screamy email as I was taking a fast-paced walk with my music far too loud and that took the edge right off.

Sounds like Baby D is waking again (sigh), so I’ll wrap this up by saying that I’ve been continuing to work on the short which is now at 3700 words. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about it, but I’m trying to keep in mind that I don’t have to do something with everything I wind up writing – the point is just to keep writing! Even if this turns out to be less than I’d hoped for, who cares? I’m not going to get good at shorts unless I practice them, right?

Okay, back into mommy-mode!

Rambling post since I can’t seem to edit at the moment…

Argh, I absolutely hate it when I have an opportunity to get some work done and I can’t get my head into it! Baby 2 is sleeping at the moment (though perhaps not for much longer, he’s already been down for far longer than usual) and Kid 1 is sitting on the couch playing a video game with the sound turned off. I started editing while Kid 1 was playing outside but only got through one page before he had to come back in. Well, I thought naively to myself, I’ll just park him in front of a game and continue until the baby wakes up. Naive indeed. My brain is just not interested in doing this right now…everything, absolutely everything is distracting me. The back and forth ticking of the swing. Kid 1’s incessant coughing and muttering to himself about the game. I could remove myself to another room and, if the baby does stay asleep by the time I’m done this post, I probably will. Of course, that should guarantee that he wakes up.

I have managed to keep up with my editing quotas for the past few days but that has meant going to bed far too late. Far far FAR too late. We usually try to watch a show once Kid 1 is in bed, even if the baby is not yet asleep. For some reason for the past few days, we’ve been starting these shows later, which means that I’m not even beginning the edit until about 11pm. By the time I’m done, it’s midnight. Then I still have to get washed up and into bed, which often takes a while. And then the alarm goes off at 6. Writing on no sleep is one thing – I’ve done it a million times and the nice thing is that you can always polish it up once you’ve rested. But editing on no sleep? I have a sneaking suspicion that things are catching up to me. So my plan at the moment is to carve out that hour earlier. Only a little. Maybe 9 to 10 or 10 to 11. We can do our one TV show right before or maybe right after if I do 9-10. But somehow I need to get more sleep. I have a baby that actually sleeps through the night most of the time (touch wood), so I feel that there’s pretty much no excuse for me to be dragging myself through my days feeling like I’ve had to get up with him every two hours like I did in the beginning (or with Kid 1 when he was a baby). This is leaving me with no energy to edit, no creativity to work on those rewrite sections and no patience for dealing with a five year old boy.

Oh and I’m still hoping to cram in yoga. Somewhere. Oy.

A last side note – at my writing group last week, we did a writing-prompt exercise and the prompt I did has actually inspired a short story. This is so rare for me that I felt I needed to call it out. I have absolutely no idea when I’ll ever have time for something like that (2025, I’m thinking) but I’m trying to keep it on one of the closer backburners so that I can give it some attention sometime soon.