Ack ack thbpt (morning routine lovingly adjusted)

My usual morning routine goes something like:

  1. Get out of bed
  2. Bathroom
  3. Wake others
  4. Feed cats
  5. Make coffee
  6. Wake up

When my routine is interrupted, it’s difficult, and normally will throw my entire day into a tailspin. Not going to let that happen today, though.

A family member is sick, so one of their usual responsibilities falls to me. That’s going to have to be okay, even though I’m not feeling okay right now. It’s a thing. It’s not going to take over my day. (Yes, I’m operating under the “fake it ’til you become it” philosophy.)

Writing yesterday was not bountiful, but went well. Last year I started tracking my words, and I ended up with a lovely spreadsheet full of formulas to get me all kinds of interesting numbers. Here’s what I have to share this morning:

Nickified – 390
001 (Space Cats from Space) – 617
001 Total – 10,765
Daily Total – 1007
Weekly Word Total – 8,785

Monday is the start of my new week. And so today, I also have weekly totals from the week previous.

Difference from previous week’s totals – 1,719%
Week 2 rank – 1
Weekly average word count – 4,634

Clearly these numbers don’t mean as much in week two as they will in week three. Week one was one day – with 483 words. But it gives you an idea of what I’m tracking. If you have any ideas on anything else I could post about, helpful or otherwise, please let me know in the comments!

When the word counts are low

I have a writer friend who also blogs (and is much better about not killing old posts than I am), Erin.  She’s got me thinking about something completely not writing related, photography.

I’ve always thought the 365 day photo challenge would be amazingly fun to complete. I had a wonderful app for it at one point that would display all the photos in a lovely calendar grid, and so far I haven’t found a replacement that is nearly as visually appealing.

But I have a blog. So who knows, I may give that challenge a shot this year. It will probably help if I give a subject to the photos I take, like a year of cats, books, selfies (*shudder*), or the like. We’ll see how that goes. Writing, naturally, needs to be the priority.

Speaking of written words, yesterday I had 94 blog words and 533 fiction words. Today I have already surpassed yesterday’s word total, nearly all of it with my fiction. This is pleasing to me. It’s not where I want to be, but I currently have an eight-day streak of fiction writing, and I will not belittle that simply because I wish to be further ahead!

In other news, today I’ll be picking up a dresser where I can start storing craft things instead of in the tubs they currently reside in. I’m kind of excited to get things sorted and into place. We’ve lived in our current home for many years, but I haven’t ever taken the time to do decorating things because I always thought about the items I thought must be completed first. Well, the fact is, those things aren’t things I can do right now. But sorting, trashing, donating, and setting up art dressers are. So I’ll do what I can, and worry about the rest when the time comes. Whenever that will be.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

More words, less movies

Today has been a movie-free zone, after yesterday’s spree. Friday’s blog post gathered the most words of the day at 433, and there were only 207 fiction words written in 001 (Space Kittens from Space) early Friday morning.

I had laundry to do, and that took up nearly the entirety of my waking hours. Now that the house is quiet and I have a cat tucked under my arm (I couldn’t love him off my lap, so this is the 2nd best option), I’m ready to get the work done.

I think I might make something explode.

And now for something completely different

Except not really. I just thought that would make a good post title.

There are more than one movie that I have been recommending and rewatching lately. Movies I think are funny, or powerful, or just the kind of things that I would like to watch, and rewatch, and rewatch again. And do!

The Way, directed by Emilio Estevez, and starring Martin Sheen, is one of those movies. It’s about a father whose son dies while walking the Camino de Santiago. He goes to collect his son’s remains and ends up walking the Camino in his place. It’s not funny, but powerful, and quite sad. I don’t know how I stumbled on it the first time, but thankfully it’s been on Netflix for several years, and I’ve seen it at least six times. I also find the soundtrack to be sublime. Insightful and on point. Love.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, starring Amy Adams and Francis McDormand, is flat out hilarious. Taking place at the start of the second World War, McDormand is a nanny who impersonates a personal secretary to avoid starvation. Adams is the nightclub singer McDormand rescues in the process. It’s so sweet, and a whirlwind of a good time. Also, happy endings. I love me some happy endings.

Morning Glory stars Han Solo Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, and John Pankow (and Patrick Wilson). A young woman (McAdams) with eternal, boundless, irritatingly positive energy takes on a crappy morning show and makes it crappier. Then falls in love, and saves the day. The snappy dialogue is amazing and the film is hilarious. Love, love, love this one, too. “Fluffy”, I believe is the word I’m looking for.

So if you’ve been looking for the next film to watch, both Miss Pettigrew and The Way are on streaming on Netflix. Morning Glory used to be, but you can still get it on DVD there. They’re all amazing.

And now The Way is making me cry. On to writing!

So I wrote a bit yesterday. 1,145 words of fiction, and 367 blog words. I feel good about them, but I don’t remember much of them. I got a tad more done this morning, but I don’t plan on many more. I believe I’m going to go see a film tonight with the small fortune I discovered in an old purse that I emptied out this week. The rest of the weekend should go as usual: laundry Saturday, moving Sunday (things from my parent’s house to mine). I’m not expecting much, although I do plan to tuck into the story some more. As usual.

And perhaps get some kitten cuddles in while I’m at it.

Breaking through

It wasn’t strictly a breakthrough, but last night and this morning I finally got a sense of where this story is trying to go. I started out with cats from space (really), and then I was getting a bit of a romance vibe, and I thought perhaps I’d been mistaken on the second part, but now I’m more confident that I did indeed get that right. There’s still no title aside from 001 (and Space Cats from Space, but I’m really not going there).

On to the counting of words! Yesterday’s blog words were not insignificant – 340. Fiction clocked in at 935. (I believe this morning I did better than that.) The daily total then was just at 1,275.

Yesterday’s blog words were not insignificant – 340. Fiction clocked in at 935. (I believe this morning I did better than that.) The daily total then was just at 1,275.

I am not disappointed. And today I’m in a good place, I think, to really ramp things up.

The story I’m working on has 9,200 words in it. I definitely don’t think this will be an epic by any means, but I expect to crawl up past 40,000 words, maybe past 60,000 before it’s finished. I would love to crank up the speed and finish it before January is over, and I think that’s a reasonable goal to have in mind.

I’ve managed to get some reading in lately, too. I’m pretty excited (as I always am this time of year) to complete the Goodreads Reading Challenge for the first time. I’ve signed up for the past several years at 52 books for the year, but I haven’t ever managed it. Last year I came closest with something like 36 books read, but that was all in the first half of the year. I read nothing from September onwards.

It’s easy for me to think reading isn’t as important as writing, and that’s just not the case. So I’m working on making sure I’m taking time to read just as I’m working to make time to write. I have a need to finish the book I started last year first, but I have a large pile of both fiction and nonfiction to complete in the next 12 months. It’s really rather exciting. 🙂

Productive days

Yesterday, with the day free from usual obligations (day job), I did get much more written than Sunday or Monday. I wrote 224 words here on the blog, and 1,950 words of fiction on 001, a yet untitled feline tech narrative. My fiction total for the year is now 3,355.

I am still off target. I knew 3,700+ words per day wouldn’t be easy, but it’s much more difficult than I expected. Part of that is that I’m trying to write a good first draft, and I’m used to writing Zero Drafts. (I define a zero draft as what I would write in November for National Novel Writing Month, consisting of words on the page to reach the word count, and not thinking about plot or the craft of the story at all.) My hope is that as the month goes on it will become easier as I develop the habits I want.

There are some non-writing related jobs that I would like to do to improve my writing speed as well. While I can’t afford a new computer at this point to act as my writing computer, I do have an older laptop that I think will do the job. I’ll install a word processor, and a friend will remove Internet capabilities. With that monster sitting on my desk, I should have a space to turn to that is just writing, not gaming, emails, or web surfing.

To be able to use the desk, I need to clean out underneath it. There are boxes of items I’ve brought home from my office that I need to process. I imagine virtually none of the items are actually useful. I could probably clean that area out before the weekend if I pull a box out every morning to sort through.

I’m still in a “throw all the things away” mood, so that will be helpful.

I’m very glad the new year is here. While I’m not looking forward to returning to work today, I’m hopeful it will pass quickly and I’ll get to enjoy my evening soon.

An early update

I’m not certain whether I’d rather update in the morning or the afternoon, but I have time now that I can blog but not create fiction, so I’ll give this a shot and if later in the day I’m bursting with things to be shared, I’ll share again.

Yesterday I wrote more than New Year’s Day, with 289 words for here, and 1,261 words of fiction. My weekly (and yearly) totals are 2,033, which is still less than I planned to write in one day when I considered reaching Pulp Speed One this year. However, it’s also more than I wrote in December, and ultimately, not a bad thing.

Beating myself up over creating less than planned is wrong. It’s still creating, and I’ll have a couple kick-ass days along the way to make up for it.

Today may be one of those days. I have off of work. It’s my birthday, and I took advantage of the day off I get for that particular event. Schools are opening today, which means I’ll have a quiet house with the four cats I’m currently writing about. So, infinite inspiration, no excuses.

One of those cats has just done the adorable “let me walk on your chest and then purr and take a nap” thing. Now I don’t want to shower. Ah, the problems of being a cat owner.

Amounts of things achieved

Something I have a problem with is realizing that even if I don’t write much, I still very likely was incredibly productive in other areas. While my focus is on words, however, things that can’t be measured that way sometimes feel insignificant.

But they aren’t.

Yesterday, I wrote 483 total words – 339 here, and 144 on 001, a story about cats and technology and maybe a little bit of magic.

Today, I signed what will hopefully turn out to be the last bit of paperwork for the car I purchased in the middle of last month. My husband signed his portion earlier in the day.

Today, I dropped paperwork off at the office that I should have remembered to take care of last week. Now, there won’t be any residual guilt tomorrow when I have off.

Today, I took footstools my parents will be selling back to their home, and brought back to my home a coffee table my grandfather made, a crib my father made, and a typewriter (manual, I believe) that is the same as the one my parent used in college. I now can proudly boast to have three typewriters in my house, none of which are currently in use.

Today I organized my receipts (a task generally designated for Sunday evenings) and watched the film Big Eyes in time I would not otherwise have been able to write.

I also took a nap.

Now I am taking care of one last thing that is important to me, which is my blog. As I have now completed that task, I will shortly begin to write. Something interesting is about to happen, although I don’t know what quite yet. I’m sure it will come to me.

Updates about today’s words tomorrow!

Welcoming 2017

My 2017 Word of the Year #BuJo #NewYearPrep

This is a trend I’ve noticed in the past several years, to have a Word, or a Phrase of the year to keep in mind, to drive your actions forward, to motivate you when you notice you’re lagging, et cetera. I have set a word or two in the past, I believe, but I’ve not felt so good about one as I feel toward this:

Freedom.

The picture pretty much covers the things I wish to give less power over me (or areas which need more power, as the case may be). The result, I hope, will be to free my energy for things which I (and my family) consider truly important to us now.

But a word of the year isn’t a goal. I have those, too.

  1. To reach Pulp Speed One* this year. That’s 1,000,000 words. I wrote 259,909 words last year, so that would be an increase. It’s less than 3,000 words per day, and I will work on my speed until I can hit that mark easily.
  2. To follow Heinlein’s Rules the entire year. That will help a lot with goal number one, but also will help with my word of the year. What are Heinlein’s rules? To write; To finish what’s started; To refrain from rewriting; To put it on the market; To keep it on the market until it sells. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Ultimately, the overreaching objective – the mission, if you will – for 2017 is to start working toward financial freedom (there’s that word again). If I’m writing more, finishing what I write, and get it up for sale, I’ll be on my way.

This blog is here for the mission of 2017, too. I’m counting words here toward my yearly goal. Ultimately I’d like to have my fiction reach Pulp Speed One on its own merits, but that will take time. Until then, I’d like to share how much I’m writing, how the writing feels, and new publications.

That’s what I’ve got. I’m off – there are words to write today.