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Archive for October, 2011

10/30 Check-In: Almost November

This week has gone pretty well for me. Been meeting goals for the most part.

WIP: added 5763 new words. I may add some more to it tomorrow, but then I will be setting it aside. After I finished my NaNo novel(probably sometime in December/January), I’m going to go back to the novel I finished in July(Serial Neighbor) and apply the snowflake method to it and rewrite it. I knew shortly after finishing it that it would need to be completely rewritten. I tried to cram the whole storyline into about 3 weeks, and that made the romance development incredibly rushed. I’m hoping with some planning ahead of time(instead of when I’m in the middle of the story), I can make it better.

Nano: Not much longer to go until the craziness starts(although anyone who knows me, knows it never ends). And I’m pretty much done with the planning stage. I got all of the major scenes figured out. I know there will be more scenes to add as I start writing, so my outline is flexible to allow for that. I got the timeline all worked out(even though it may change as I start to write). Just about ready to start writing on Tuesday. Really getting excited to start working on this.

Blogging: I got posts up on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, so still on track with this goal.

Exercise: only worked out 3 times(Tues, Wed, Fri) this past week. Should have done it Saturday too, but I didn’t. Don’t really have an excuse as to why I didn’t. Just didn’t.

For the next month, my goals will be changing. I’m going for a target of 1500-2000 words a day. I know some days I may write more toward the higher end and others I may struggle to even meet that minimum amount, but hopefully it will all balance out to an average of 1667 a day(so I can meet 50K in 30 days).

Family Friday: Pre-K Update

Hayleigh has been in pre-k for over 8 weeks now. She is still so excited to go every morning. I just hope we’re able to keep up that excitement for the rest of the school year, and really the rest of her school years. When she gets home every day she comes running across the road saying, “Mommy, I back.” And most of the time she tells me what she does in school although sometimes when I ask, I get “nuttin”.

A couple weeks back she brought home a class book. The kids each made a page for it. It had their picture at the top. Then, it said, “Hayleigh, Hayleigh, what do you see? I see a pink bear looking at me.” Except each one had their own name and a different color. They each put pieces of whatever color paper they wanted inside the outline of a bear. Each kid gets to take the book home for a day. When she brought it home, we had to read it probably 4 or 5 times. By the time she took it back, she was able to tell us most of the girls’ names and all of the boys’ names. Not too sure what to think of that!

Last Thursday, we went to the Open House at her school. she was so excited to show us her classroom. That is, until we got there. Then, she just stood there like she wasn’t sure what to do. I don’t know if she wasn’t expecting so many people to be there or what. She did not talk to any of the other kids that were there, but she did go up and talk to her teachers. So, I guess that’s a good thing at least. Her one teacher even said that she mostly plays by herself, but will sometimes play with one other kid at a time. And even then, she’ll pick a quiet activity like putting together a puzzle. Yeah, that sounds exactly like her. I guess I can’t be too upset since she takes after me in just about every way, and that’s not too different than how I was as a kid.

One of the things they have been working on in school is counting to 20(and beyond). Back in August, Hayleigh could count to 12 without a problem. Once she got there, she started skipping numbers. It usually went 11-12-14-17-18-17-18-17-18… In the last week or so, the higher numbers have gotten more consistent. Now, she mostly just skips 13 & 16 and doesn’t repeat any of them. The other day I asked her how high she could count and she told me one hundred. I asked her to count for me, and she went all the way up to 19(except for 13 and 16, not sure why those two are so hard) then skipped all the way to 100. Another day I had the measuring tape I have for my knitting out and she wanted to count the numbers on it. She did a pretty good job on all the 1-9 numbers but had trouble with the multiples of ten. then, just yesterday, she counted up to 29 by herself, leaving out just 2 or 3 numbers. So, she’s definitely figuring it out.


Writing Wednesday: 10/26 Check-In

I have made quite a bit of progress so far this week and doing well with meeting my goals for the week.

WIP: Sunday: 0 words.

Monday: wrote 1085 words before the kids got up in the morning.  And another 792 during the little man’s morning nap for a total of 1877.

            Tuesday: wrote for about 45 minutes in the morning and got 576 words. Struggled with the beginning of a scene but the words started to roll after a little bit. Worked for another 15 minutes during the boy’s morning nap and brought the word count up to 931. Wrote some more in the afternoon for a total of 1204 words.

            Wednesday: wrote 560 words in about 30 minutes in the morning. Could have written more, but I wanted to go back and read over an earlier scene with a character that is in this one. My “muse” threw an interesting twist at me and I wanted to make sure the earlier interactions with this character were consistent with where it’s going. Hoping to get another 1.5 hours in on it today.

Outline: Sunday: I expanded paragraphs 2 & 3 from step 4 each into their own page. Starting to get excited for November 1, so I can start writing this.

Monday: Was able to finish step 6. Hadn’t expected to do that until Tuesday or Wednesday, so I’m ahead of my own schedule. Decided to skip step 7(putting all character info into chart) since I all ready did character outlines so have all of that down.

Tuesday: Got the main cast of characters put into the storybook program. I like to use this because it helps me figure out the timeline for the story. Otherwise, I try to cram the whole story into a couple weeks(like I did with the one I finished in July). Hard to develop a relationship in that time. Then, I started to figure out the beginning scenes, but was not sure exactly how I wanted to start it. So, I was debating between two different ways. The one way I was afraid would give too much back story right away, but the other I thought might start too far into the story. I decided to go with the first, which I can always cut if I decide I started too far back.

Wednesday: nothing yet, but should be able to get to it later today.

Blogging: Got my Monday post up & this one will go up as soon as I finish typing it. I started working on Friday’s post and I shouldn’t have any trouble finishing it before it’s scheduled to go up. So, still on track for this goal.

Exercise: didn’t work out Sunday or Monday, so ended up taking 3 rest days instead of only 1. But, I did work out both yesterday and this morning for just over 30 minutes both days. So, I’ve gotten back on track with this one.

Knitting Monday: Winter is Coming

Not sure what it is like where everyone else is from, but here it is certainly starting to cool off. We’ve gone from temperatures in the 70s down to 50s the next week. So, it’s definitely time to start some winter knitting. I started that last week by making Nathaniel his first pair of thumbed mittens. Knowing my son, I knitted a cord so they can hang through his jacket, or sweatshirt for right now. This first pair match his Halloween costume, and I’m planning on making another pair to match the hat I made him last month.

I also started a pair of gloves for Hayleigh, but I think they are going to be too big for her. But, it will be some practice with double pointed needles on something other than decreasing hats. I guess I should have measured her hand circumference before I started. I thought about just adjusting the pattern, but I’m afraid I would not adjust it right and really screw it up, particularly the fingers. So, I’m just going to see how they turn out. Maybe she’ll be able to wear them sometime down the road. If they don’t fit her now and I have enough of the yarn left from the hat and scarf I made her before, I’ll make her a matching pair of mittens instead.

Sunday Check-In 10/23

This week has been mostly about just making forward progress, and I have managed to do that. I also decided this week that I was going to get back to typing on the computer instead of writing everything out. Computer is still not fixed but the problem is more of a nuisance than an actual performance issue, so I can still use it. On Thursday I got everything I had written typed up, so I’m now back to working on the computer. Didn’t really do much yesterday because we were at a funeral most of the day for my husband’s great-aunt.

WIP: added 1743 words for the week. Now, that I’m back to the computer I’m going to raise my goal to 500 words a day or 2500 a week(since I usually only write on weekdays). My daughter doesn’t have school on Monday though, and since her immune system seems to have great timing, she seems to have croup again. So, I know I may not get too much writing done, and that’s okay.

Outline: finished step 4 & step 5. Got started on step 6. I should have step 6 finished by Wednesday and hopefully the rest done by next Sunday. I may not get all the scenes figured out, but as long as I have the first several chapters I should be good to go from there.

Blogging: Got Wednesday & Friday’s posts up. After I’m done with this check-in, I’m going to try to get Mondays written up and scheduled to post in the morning.

Exercise: Worked out 4 days last week(Mon, Tues, Thurs, & Fri). According to my schedule, I should work out again today but it hasn’t happened yet. So, I’ll probably get back to it tomorrow.

I have decided to scratch my flash fiction goal. I haven’t been able to get to it lately, and I’m just going to concentrate on the longer fiction for right now.

Family Friday: Fall Fun

All of the leaves are falling off the trees around here now. So, on Monday, Cory took the leaf blower out and started blowing all of the leaves into a large pile. Of course, Hayleigh wanted to go play in the leaves then, since she’d been telling me for about the last week that she wanted Daddy to go out and rake up the leaves so she could play in them. We went out in the afternoon, but it was just before Nathaniel’s nap time, so he only stayed out for a little bit. Hayleigh, however, played in them for probably forty-five minutes or more. And she still didn’t want to come back inside.

Not too sure about these leaves

"I guess I'll just sit in them"

Wading through the leaves

jumping into the leaves

Writing Wednesday: 10/19 Check-in

I have not made much progress so far this week, at least not on my work in progress.

      Sunday: WIP: 35 words. I didn’t have a particular word count in mind for over the weekend, since I usually don’t write at all, so this is better than what I normally get.

Nano Outline: finished step 4 and started on step 5, write one-page description of major characters/half page for other characters. I wasn’t sure how to go about doing this, so I started writing the main male character’s background from his point of view. It seriously felt like he was telling me about his life as I wrote it. A couple times I thought, “oh, I didn’t know that about him!” I’m not crazy, right? Ok, maybe a little. Anyway, it turned into 3 pages instead of 1.

     Monday: WIP: 337 words. Those were all written before the kids woke up. Planned to write more during the boy’s naps, but ended up doing stuff around the house in the morning(and never even got to Monday’s blog post). And in the afternoon, my daughter wanted to play in the leaves outside, so I wasn’t even inside to write. When we did come in, I needed to get dinner started.

Nano Outline: I finished the main male character’s background. Started to feel like I knew him better after writing it.

    Tuesday: WIP: 285 words. Once again, all written before the kids got up. Didn’t get to it during either nap time.

                           Nano Outline: Wrote up the background of the main female character.

Wednesday: WIP: 263 words so far. I may try to get more, but I think for right now I’m going to adjust my goals.

Since it seems like I can get the most writing done in the morning, my adjusted goal is to write every weekday morning before the kids get up. I’m going to aim for at least 250 words in that time. I know most mornings I can probably get more, but usually I don’t get much less than that. Once I finish the outline for next month’s novel and I get back to writing on the computer, that goal will change.

I also want to add a couple goals. First, I’m going to blog at least 3 times a week, just like it says in my schedule. So M,W,F. No excuses. I could have gotten on after the kids went to bed on Monday and typed up the post. Or done it Friday or over the weekend. So, no more excuses about not posting.

And the second new goal is a non-writing one. I’m going to exercise 4/5 times a week for at least 30 minutes. I have a game/program for the Wii, the EA Sports Active. Last week I finished the 30 day challenge on it for the first time even though I’ve had it since last November. It sets up a schedule for you of working out for 2 days then resting for a day. So, there are actually only 20 workouts. It took me 33 days to finish it the last time since I got off the schedule a few times. I’m doing it again at medium intensity(did it on low intensity the last time) and am hoping to finish it in the 30 days this time. So, I’m going to try to stay accountable to keep me on schedule. Most of the workouts take between 15-20 minutes, so I’ll do another workout on it after the challenge one to meet the 1/2 hour minimum.

Sunday check-in: 10/16

Wednesday: wip: 0 words.
Guarding the Heart(nano novel): finished the second step in the snowflake method – one paragraph summary of story.

Thursday: wip: wrote 866 words and finished the scene I had started on Tuesday.
Guarding the heart outline: almost two of the one page character summaries(step 3 of snowflake method) completed.

Friday: wip: 1119 words written & another scene finished.
Outline: finished the second character summary & did the third. I had figured 3 days for this step but finished it in two.

Saturday: wip: don’t usually do much writing on the weekends, but I did get another scene started. Only wrote 246 words for it, but I wasn’t worrying about word count.
Outline: I started on step 4 of the snowflake method(expanding each sentence from step 2 into its own paragraph) was able to finish the first 3, just have 2 more to do.

Sunday: nothing so far, but it’s still early. I’m hoping to at least get the rest of step 4 finished. May get some writing on wip in as well, but we’ll see.

Family Friday: Family Pictures & Halloween Costumes

My mother-in-law wanted to have some new pictures of the kids. So, she got in touch with her uncle, who used to take pictures professionally, and he agreed to let us use their yard for an outdoor setting. She was going to get a camera from a friend of hers but ended up not being able to get it last Saturday when we decided to do the pictures, so her uncle ended up taking some with his camera.

We barely had to pose Hayleigh at all. She is such a little ham when a camera comes out(except for at home when she usually runs from my camera). We got some really good pictures. Nathan even cooperated for some of them.

This is normal in our house: she yells at him & he ignores her.

I mostly finished Nathaniel’s Halloween costume Monday night and got all of the pieces onto his shirt. I still wanted to add some ties to his hat though so he didn’t just rip it right off. So, I knit those up real quick on Tuesday night, and his costume was finally finished.

my little fire hydrant

a better view of the hat

fire hydrant & fire dog: can they get along?

Writing Wednesday: 10/12 Check-In

I started off the week pretty strong but have not been able to keep that up.

Sunday: I worked on figuring out the timeline for the sequel. Since I moved a couple of scenes around, it changed things so I needed to get it all straight for when the rest of the scenes are supposed to happen. I also wrote down everything I had brainstormed for the supporting character into outline form.

Monday: I managed 1073 words on the sequel. This surprised me as my daughter had the day off from school(teacher in-service) and she started to complain right after breakfast that her ear hurt. Thought we might be dealing with our first ear infection, but she never had a fever so I decided to just watch it instead of taking her right in. She ended up taking a nap(actually passed out in her beanbag chair while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), which is almost unheard of anymore, and a good indication she is sick. So, I was able to get the rest of my 1000 words in while both kids slept. That night, I worked on my Nano outline. I have been hearing about the snowflake method lately, so I decided to try that out since I’m still trying to figure out the best way of outlining for me. I wrote down each of the steps and figured out my one sentence summary.

Tuesday: When I started writing in the morning, I was having some trouble figuring out how to start the next scene. What I was going to write completely contradicted something one of the characters had said in an earlier scene, so I had to go back to the timeline & outline and figure out what to do. Once I did, the words did not want to flow at first. It seemed by the time they did, it was time for the kids to get up. I only got about 250 words in before that. The girl said her ear didn’t hurt when she got up, so I sent her off to school, even though I worried it would start while she was there. But, when she got home she still said it didn’t hurt. I didn’t really get anything else done during the day other than typing up one scene I had written in my notebook.

Wednesday: A big fat nothing done so far today. I slept right through my alarm this morning. Usually I can get in about an hour or more of writing before I have to get the girl up at 6:15(if she’s not up on her own before that, which she usually is). But, that doesn’t work when I sleep until almost 6. And at the time of writing this, her bus will be here in about 15 minutes or so. So, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting anything(other than this post) done this morning either. going to try to type up more of what I have written during the boy’s afternoon nap and hopefully work on my nano outline after the kids are in bed if I don’t get to it before that. I felt exhausted last night and couldn’t even think about looking at it. so, I figured I’d be sleeping in some day soon.

I still feel pretty good about how I’m doing with my goals right now even if I’m not hitting them every day.

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