How I write: Day Numbah Two

Okay, here’s day number two.  Unfortunately, my life is boring.  Sorry about that!  Feel free to watch this video instead and then skip to the bottom.  😉

  • 7:45 – 10:30 amTook kids to school, stayed and helped in daughter’s kindergarten class until 9:30 am.  Got home around 10:00 am, hung out with hubby watching YouTube videos of Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Not sure why.  Ate breakfast, made coffee, and ready to write.
  • 11:15 amWrote for 45 minutes and got in 657 words.  Time for a small internet break before picking up my daughter.
  • 12:30 pmHad a picnic lunch with daughter on the front porch bcause…sunshine!  Now to catch up on housework that I didn’t do yesterday.  Goal for today is to see the bottom of my kitchen sink and to chip away at clean laundry pile in the living room.  Also need to wash some whites today and plan dinners for the month.    (I don’t  always plan meals but when I’m writing a book it helps keep  my stress around dinner time at a minimum.  I should probably always plan meals, hmm…)  Well, time for dishes.
  • 1:45 -2:10Kitchen is picked up but still not fit for guests. ( haha) Laundry pile has been significantly cut down and managed to catch up on one of my pastors sermons via mp3.  After wasting a half hour on Facebook it’s time to write while daughter finishes watching Toy story 3 (bad parenting? I’ll let you decide. haha)
  • 2:45Movie over, daughter fell down and bumped head and needed some hugs.  Now I’m really hungry and about to eat a late lunch.  Managed to write 500 more words.  Total so far today is 1,162.  This is good for me, so far.
  • 6:15Dinner was Aloo Gobi (potatoes, cauliflower, rice and lots of spices) read with daughter, son is doing homework and hubby is watching a little t.v. before work.  Feeling a bit cotton-headed right now. Not sure how much I’ll be able to write during this session, but we’ll see how it goes.
  • 6:30Only got a few sentences before back and hip made me get out of the office chair. Also, too many disruptions.  Decided to wait until after kids go to bed to finish up my word count.
  • 9:15– I’m calling it a night. Had some disciplinary issues with one of my kids which kind of drained me a bit.  But I did manage to write another 400 words bringing today’s total 1,758.

Total word count so far: 4,036

This number is excellent for me.  I wish I could have done more, of course, but I’ll be very happy if I can find a way to maintain this average throughout the month.

See you tomorrow!  Also, feel free to ask questions if you have any.  😉

Cheers!

~R

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How I write: A Journal

I thought I would try something different this month.  I was reading one of my favorite writer blogs, Dean Wesley Smith, and he wrote about his process of writing a 70,000 word novel in a WEEK.

That’s right,  I said WEEK.

A book in a week? OMG How? I can’t even…what. !??!

If you are a fellow writer or are just curious about the process of a professional writer – check out his amazing blog.

So, I’d been planning on writing another novel in May anyway, but I never thought about keeping a journal during the process.  I’m not pretending it will be interesting to most people, but I think it might help me keep motivated and focused.  Plus, it might be interesting to see how a normal person with kids and daily responsibilities can still find time to write.  I’m hoping  it’ll be inspirational to some of you who have that book inside of you, but are wondering how to not only get started, but finish the darn thing.

Also, before I continue, let me first say that I plot out my novels in a really rough outline.  A lot of writers don’t plot out their books (Stephen King, for the most famous example) and that’s awesome and I wish I could do that, but I need guideposts along the way.  It’s what works best for me but I’m in no way saying everyone should use the same process.  Experiment and find what works best for you.

And, not only do I plot, but I usually do a sloppy bullet point list of scenes per chapter with a little description of the action for the scene.  I’ve found that I don’t necessarily follow the bullet points, but the security of having them there frees up my creative process. I guess it’s my security blankie.  😛

For some authors, planning ahead kills their creative process.  Strange how we’re all different, isn’t it?

So, I’ve already completed my first day of writing this novel and here’s how my day went!

Day 1:

  • 7:30 amMade kids breakfast and lunches, got them ready for school, drank a giant glass of water with lemon and drove kids to school
  • 9:00 amPaid bills, made coffee, ate some breakfast
  • 9:35 am  Came up with names for characters and started writing
  • 10:50 am Off to a great start so far.  Wrote 1,000 words.  So far, so good!  Now to catch up on morning devotions which I forgot to do earlier, and clean up back yard for mowing.  (we have a dog.)
  • 11:15 amSmall internet break before picking up daughter from kindergarten.  From there go shopping, get home, make lunch then mow lawn.
  • 1:45 pmFinally home from shopping.  I actually went shopping, filled up the cart and realized I brought the wrong credit card to the store.  I tried out other card but it didn’t work.  Really embarrassing leaving the store without the groceries.  But, take daughter home, feed her and head back to store with the right card.  disappointed I wasted an hour because I didn’t take 30 seconds to check my wallet.  Mowing lawn now.  
  • 3:00 pmSitting down for lunch & internet break.  Cucumber sandwiches seem to be my go to lunch these days. Saw a nice frosty can of diet coke in the fridge and actually managed to pass it up for water.  Very proud moment for me! (I’ve been trying to kick my diet coke habit for years)
  • 3:30 pmBack to writing. Added 300 words.  Total now 1,300.
  • 3:50 pm –  Pick up son from bus-stop.
  • 4:15 pmSuddenly run out of steam.  Take a 20 minute nap while kids watch T.V. 
  • 4:45 pmCouldn’t sleep because my hip was bothering me, but closing my eyes and laying down refreshed me a bit.  Took Advil for hip pain.
  • 5:15Wrote another 300 hundred words.  Total now 1,600.  Checking out news before making dinner.  Thankfully, daughter gets to pick dinner tonight and chose eggs, toast and fruit salad.  Yay for easy dinner!
  • 7:20 pmAfter dinner, hung out with hubby and daughter while son was at church youth group.  Read and played video games with daughter before sitting down to write for 15 min before picking up son.
  • 7:55 pmWrote 600 more words. Total is now 2,232.  Leaving to pick up son.
  • 8:25 pmPutting kids to bed.  Wrote a few more sentences before finally calling it a night on my book.  Total is now 2,297.  Now for a little video game time (Fallout: Vegas) and to bed.

So far, this was an exceptionally good first day.  (Nothing compared to the great Dean Wesely Smith, I know!)

Normally, when I’m focused, 1,000 words a day is a good day for me.  But for my goal, to finish this story by the end of May, I need to put in about 1,8000 words a day.  I know that some days are going to be better than others, and then there’s the dreaded ‘middle’ of the book that I really hate but just have to push through.  But, for now, I’m celebrating a great start!

Cheers!

~R

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How Ninja Brush Their Teeth: Now available on Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords

Just a quick update.

How Ninja Brush Their Teeth is now available in all formats.  Still waiting for Nook to upload it, but it should be any day now!

Kobo

iTunes

Smashwords

Enjoy!

~R

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A three star review to be proud of.

I recently received a review written better than the story itself! If you’re like me and enjoy short fiction, check out the rest of Adam’s reviews over on his blog! Click the link above!

-Cheers!

-R

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March 22, 2013 · 2:48 pm

Petman, you scary.

Am I the only one seriously freaked out about where robotics are heading and who’s funding the research?

*shivers*

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Confessions: When I hid from Ursula

Sometimes, I’m an idiot and I regret things…

One of my more acute (but only terrible to myself) regrets, is of the time I ran and hid from Ursula K. Leguin. Don’t know her? Go read everything she has written. She is amazing.

UKLbyMarianWoodKolisch

I was working as a facilities maintenance worker (read: JANITOR) at the downtown Seattle Public Library on a night shift. Although the job was hard physically, and made me constantly tired it also had some pretty amazing perks – books. Everywhere. And lots of them. One of the areas I kept clean was the science fiction department and YA section. I would devour books on my breaks, sometimes barely remembering to eat just so I could finish a book and pick up another one. It was during this time that I discovered one of my other favorite short fiction writers Ted Chiang along with the exceptional Ursula K. Leguin.
On one particularly special Friday evening at the library, Ursula K. Leguin had been a guest speaker and had just finished her talk with a full audience who had given her a hearty and rousing applause. It was a little after this that I heard people walking towards the back-of-house portion of the auditorium where there was a little dressing room for library guest speakers. She was coming back there, probably to grab her things. I was back there too, rinsing out a nasty mop-bucket after a clean-up from a notoriously disgusting first floor public men’s room. (You don’t even want to know what I cleaned on a regular basis *shudders*)

When I heard she was coming I took off in the opposite direction.

I told myself there was a carpet that needed to be vacuumed in the children’s office right away because they had had cupcakes with the sprinkles on them and you know how those get all over the floor. Not to mention they had black carpeting which made everything show and it couldn’t possibly wait.
Of course I was lying to myself.
I was terrified.
Terrified that I would see Ursula K. Leguin and she would see me: the sweaty, tired-of-working nights, dreaming-of-being-a-writer-but-never-brave-enough to-try-Janitor.
So, I hid and didn’t stop vacuuming until I was sure she was gone. Then I went back to rinsing the mop bucket and cleaning the rest of the bathrooms, trying my best to pretend I wasn’t angry or sad that I just missed my once in a lifetime opportunity to meet her.

In the years since, that regret has never ceased to prick at me. And as I pursue my dream of being a writer it makes me even more sad that I did this.
The regret isn’t so much that I passed up an opportunity to shake her hand or maybe take a photo with my favorite author, the remorse is that I didn’t want to meet her because I was afraid, and ashamed of who I was. How prideful is that? It’s just so…lame.

And as a story teller, I throw books across the room that end this way-yet there it is, a crappy anti-climatic ending.

Just promise me this: if you ever get a chance to meet your Ursula, don’t run away out of fear. Don’t ever be ashamed of who you are. Be sweaty, be tired, pull off your rubber gloves, proudly offer Ursula your hand and live without regrets.

~R.

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The story behind the Ninja books

And now a little background on how “How Ninja Brush Their Teeth” came about.

It all started because I was sad.  I had put up a snippet of some other writing on a writers forum and it was pretty much hated across the board.

Even my husband, my love, my best friend, the one who I bounce all my ideas off of hated it too.  So, I was sad and deflated and couldn’t bring myself to write a word for a whole week.  And instead of writing, I browsed the internet, reading writer forums, writing blogs, looking for inspiration when I finally found a blog by Kristin Kathryn Rusch that basically had one central theme.  If you are a writer, then suck it up and write.

It lit a flame in me. I licked my wounds and put myself back on the keyboard and because I was out of ideas and just needed a quick writing exercise , I looked for a writing prompt and came up with two words: Ninja + Toothbrush.

That’s the story.  What started out as a writing exercise of 1000 words has now grown into what I hope to be a three book series.

Inspiration can come from anything – but most often, at least for me, it comes from a recent defeat.

Cheers!

~R

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