In which I become friends with my Muse (his name is Kip)

It’s July! And like I said in my post about Summer, I intend to write a lot this month.

But I’m slacking on the writing-blog-posts-part, so here it is: a July post 🙂

It’s nothing more than a short update on what I’m doing but still. I wrote it. (Maybe I can add the words to my daily nano count #cheaterthatIam)

I’m doing Campnano again. And having fun with a new story about a telepathic connection between a brother (who paints in only one color, either blue or red) and sister ( a barista who can make awesome Latte art but HATES milk, because the memory that clings to it rips her soul apart).

I guess the new story is also about coffee. Because I like coffee.

AND I am editing the previous story, which is turning into something that might actually be worth reading. I stumble upon sentences I don’t really remember writing and some are actually quite suprising. In a good way. Sometimes I feel almost proud of what I’ve written. And I’m not a person who finds it easy to be proud of her achievements. I’m terrible at writing descriptions, but some of them might work. Like this one:

The rain was washing away the remains of the day, clearing the city like an etch and sketch. The streets were shimmering and the air smelled like earth. Jenya loved this hour of night. Tourists were nowhere to be seen, the streets almost empty. The rain turned into a soft drizzle, making soft thudding sounds, indifferent of the surfaces it fell on. A couple hurried by, giggling and trying to balance an umbrella between the two of them. Jenya thought about rain, how it had made her feel warm and safe when she was younger, lying on her bed listening to it tapping the windows

The last six years she hadn’t felt safe at all, and when her window was tapped upon it was normally something that came straight from a nightmare.

I’m still really (really , really, really)  insecure. And a lot of times I tell myself not so optimistic things (why are you doing this/ this is not going to work/ why?/ all that time typing and stringing words together/ nobody is going to read or like your work/ etcetera). My inner editor (Pie is her name) still points out why things are not working, but hours go by where she’s just quiet. Maybe there is a muse and maybe he’s holding her hostage. Who knows?

I’m calling my muse Kip, because Kip is a cool name and sounds like a person who likes coffee. Kip and I are going to be friends.

 

 

 

When I think of Summer

Once upon a time, in a practically underwater country, not so very far away, a person named Irene was feeling rather bored.

And wrote a blog post about Summer, because Summer is cool.

*

June’s already halfway gone! How did that happen so fast??

The good thing is that it’s almost July and July means GOOD THINGS.

In case you’re wondering what these good things are, behold a list!

  • Summer (for details of my thoughts on things to do in Summer, see below)
  • Summer vacation part 1: Bretagne
  • (a ten day break at a wonderful piece of coast in France with four happy kids and one very handsome man, starting July 31st ).
  • Campnano is coming again!
  • (in which I intend to work on my writing goals like there is no tomorrow (Ha! As you may know I find “tomorrow “ an elusive concept).

These are some of the things that come to mind when I think of summer:

get a tan/eat a coconut/have weekly BBQ’s/swimming&beach/read books/drink champagne/have picknicks in the park/ go to a festival of sorts/ attend a wedding/buy a bikini/write an entry for a YA contest/edit Draft that Must not be Named until it’s worthy of a name/ dabble in contemporary YA because the idea won’t go away/ finally make that Polaroid branch I was supposed to make in May/make my own icecreams/figure out how to make Mango juice.

Ahh Mango Juice.

And she lived happily ever after.

(Back to work).

 

 

Breaking Down April

No, I’m not breaking down.

This post is to evaluate the goals I set for April.

Before I do this I’d like to underline that these goals were just there to give some direction and also to make me put in words what I wanted to work on in April.

As a reminder this was April’s Project:

1 – Make Plot Outline (for Editing Purposes)

2 – Edit First Draft (Obvious)

3 – Create Synopsis (Kind of dreading this one)

4 – Write a couple of blog posts (Because it is fun)

5 – Start short story/ new story (To distract from point 2)

And

Make a blog post about my writing challenge to see how many hours I spent writing/ how many words/ how many chapters edited.

I finished or started the things in green, but didn’t do the things in red because I wasn’t as quick in revising/editing as I thought I would be.. After one week of campnano I changed my goal to hours instead of words.

Let me break my April writing down for you in days:

Date

 

Hours What/why?
April 1

 

0 Because of hangover after birthday party. (I turned 34 on 31st of March)
April 2

 

2 Cut things. Also keep shifting things around in chapter 1 and 2.

 

April 3

 

2 Day job. Added some but also cut things. Moved things around.

 

April 4

 

2 Finally started editing for real. Chapter one mostly
April 5

 

2 Chapter one revised/edited
April 6

 

2 Chapter two revised/edited

 

 

April 7

 

2

 

One tiny blogpost. Chapter 3: delete/ repeat. Added some.

 

April 8

 

Weekend (0) House painting /chores ☹
April 9

 

Weekend (0) House painting/chores ☹
April 10

 

 

3 Tinkered again with chapter 1 & 2, and send it to someone to read.
April 11

 

 

4,5 Returned to chapter 3, added/cut/rewrite
April 12

 

 

1,5 Chapter 4
April 13

 

1 Looked things up/ get in touch with writerly feeling
April 14

 

1 Wrote Blogpost
April 15

 

1,5 Chapter 4 done, needs more revising in next draft but okay for now. Need forward momentum so on to chapter 5.
April 16

 

2,5 Chapter 5 started also some reading on WordPress reader to look for interesting blogs to follow (also known as procrastinating)
April 17

 

Minutes Easter things
April 18

 

Minutes Work and birthday party prep
April 19

 

Minutes Kid birthday party/ housecleaning/grocery/ watching Luther, because: Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson😊
April 20

 

Minutes Work and stuff
April 21

 

3 WordPress and a bit of editing.
April 22

 

3 Chapter 5 !
April 23

 

0 Work and stuff
April 24

 

4 Chapter 6
April 25

 

0 Kids vacation, went to a zoo
April 26

 

1 Kids vacation, zero concentration
April 27

 

4 Chapter 5 & 6 Done
April 28

 

4 Started chapter 7
April 29

 

2 Chapter 7/ WordPress
April 30

 

2 Chapter 7 done

What have I learned about my process this month? Well I’m a slow starter for sure. It took me FOUR days to realize that if I wanted to improve this draft I actually had to sit down and well, DO SOMETHING. And with that I mean, FOCUS and put words on paper. And even worse: delete everything that doesn’t work. (Which also took time, because I only really cut things when I send my work to someone else).

So by the time it was April 4th I had that realization and in the days that followed work was done. But then the weekend came around… In which I promised to help to paint and didn’t get around to write much. This is also true for work days and days when the kids are free.  It was a very busy month with loads of obligations but I still managed 50 hours.

Of course I could have done more, but I don’t mind. I like being hooked on watching Luther, going to the gym, meet friends, have dayjob (not liking that one), having 4 kids to entertain on occasion, having a relationship, read books.

And I’ve found some writerly friends! Some say Campnano is very different from the Big November Thing, and that’s true, but I really liked my cabin.

I would have worked on my story anyway but I’m glad I’d a group of people doing the same thing, dreaming the same dreams, fighting the same insecurities.

For May I’ve decided to just keep on keeping on. I learned that if I’ve longer stretches of time I get more work done, so I’m trying to get those this month.

May Goals:

  • Continue Edit on The Draft That Must Not be Named 😊
  • Make a Polaroid branch and blog about that project!
  • Blogpost about editing process part two
  • I’m going to Copenhagen this month, so expect a travel post by the end of the month (probably just pictures, because well Copenhagen!)

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

A Short (& Slightly) Melodramatic Post on Editing

So I wrote this mess of a story.

Lots of words, but not enough and probably not the right ones. Plot holes around every corner, characters doing not- interesting stuff to/with other not-interesting characters. No description or too much of it. And of course : clichés that will make you cringe. I’m at that point that I’ve read the first chapters so many times, I not only lost all objectivity but every single word seems wrong somehow.

But amidst all this misery there’s an occasional gem. A sentence exactly right, a character delightfully wicked, a story element just waiting to be picked up.

So I’m gradually moving along, endlessly deleting, putting whole scenes in The Folder of Lost Words, hoping they will still fit somewhere but knowing they probably won’t. Making up new things that will inevitably cause so many many problems further up the road.

Chapter four, here I come. Such fun this editing thing.

🙂

Virtual Camp

Next month I’m going camping behind my desk.

http://campnanowrimo.org/  is coming to the rescue of writers who can use a little nudging along or who want to chat with likeminded cabinmates.

Pie (more about her here) is allowed to get behind the wheel and stir my draft into another draft, one that will make a little more sense.

The Project:

1 – Make Plot Outline (for Editing Purposes)

2 – Edit First Draft (Obvious)

3 – Create Synopsis (Kind of dreading this one)

4 – Write a couple of blog posts (Because it is fun)

5 – Start short story/ new story (To distract from point 2)

And

Make a blog post about my writing challenge to see how many hours I spent writing/ how many words/ how many chapters edited.

You get the picture.

I hope doing this will give me some insight about my process, and it sounds fun. 🙂

To Be Continued..