Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 28 through May 31

May 28
112 words on the new story.

May 29
137 words on the new story and 235 words on the old story.

May 30
158 words on the new story and 127 words on the old story.

May 31
564 words on the new story and 150 words on the old story.

I kept up my writing on the trip, and since we got home in plenty of time for me to reach my other goal today, I did. I had a nice long weekend, and I can't wait to get back out there.

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27

I wrote 630 words on my new story today.

My husband and I will be driving out early tomorrow morning so I won't be posting again until Tuesday. But at that point I'll post a record of each day and I'm still going to get my words in when I'm in the woods and keep that streak alive!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26

I wrote 449 words on my new story and 273 words on my old story.

I worked a little bit differently today. I started writing before work in the morning while I was still at home, and then wrote some more at work before work started. I almost had my quota done before I got home after work, but not quite.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25

I wrote 560 words on my old story today.

Another day being very tired in the brain. I really need to get myself to the woods and recharge.

Writing Challenge Challenge

This weekend will be my first camping trip of the season. Car camping, which means I have a few more options for how I will get my writing done, but still. I'm going to be out in the woods, where there are lots of things to distract me from writing.

My husband and I plan to practice some survival skills, including trying to make fire with a bow and spindle, setting a snare and foraging for morel mushrooms. Well, the mushroom foraging isn't really survival, but if we find any it should be delicious.

We'll do some day hiking to see how the water levels are on our regular trails. I might finally hike over to explore the hot springs that are supposed to be near our campsite.

But the biggest distraction is just going to be being out there in the woods. The air is different there; time runs on a different clock. I will focus and get my 100 words each day I'm out there, though there's no way I'll be able to post blogs on it from Saturday through Tuesday. My version of camping does not include wifi.

With it being car camping, I hope to do my words on my phone. It won't have signal, but I've set it up to access my documents offline. That will help me with the challenges of counting my handwritten words and then transcribing my "unique" handwriting when I get home.

I'm glad I started the streak before my camping season came into full swing. The pressure of keeping up the streak should be helpful in getting my words on the page. I'll just need to remind my husband how important it is for me to take time away from onerous camp chores for my writing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24

I wrote 259 words on my new story and 296 words on my old story.

Another day of being very tired. I blame what feels like an IBS flare up, which is causing stomach pain. Plus I exercise a lot. That might have a little to do with some fatigue.

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23

I wrote 515 words on my new story and 430 words on my old story.

A tired day today. But I got my words in and I can feel the power of the streak pulling me along on this adventure.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22

I wrote 289 words on my new story and 572 words on my old story.

I think my husband has given me a cold. He is, at any rate, convenient to blame for what seems to be a late spring cold. It's been hard to focus today, but I've got my old story up to over 19,000 words and I'm excited about where it's going. I'm not sure how long the new story wants to be, but I will finish them both.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21

I wrote 762 words on my new story and 528 words on my old story.

I had a bit of a bad day today, not feeling very well in the stomach. I woke up without an alarm this morning at 5am unable to fall back to sleep. I blame Ambrose. It's been a bit of a hectic week somehow and it just struck me that I haven't finished something for the last week. Tomorrow is time for some micro fiction or an actual short story.

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20

I wrote 293 words on my new story and 399 words on my old story.

A hectic day at work, followed by pay day shopping and some relaxation. I was very tired, but I couldn't go to bed without getting my 500 words.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19

I wrote 182 words on my new story and 564 words on my old story.

A hard day at work today but I got my words in and that's enough for me to be proud of the day. I'm facing a lot of new challenges at work, and I'm glad for that. I hate being bored.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18

I wrote 224 words on my new story and 610 words on my old story.

Today was a bit of a rough day, writing-wise. I wanted to get my words for today done during lunch, but work conspired against me. Still, the goal got my butt in the chair and my goal met.

For the Birds

There have been times that I questioned my husband's bird seed purchases. Sometimes I felt like he was spending too much money on feeding the birds. After all, what kind of return on investment does feeding the birds provide for us?

And then ducks started showing up to feed at our porch and I began to understand what kind of benefit the bird seed provided for us. The ducks are fun to watch. They squabble sometimes, they couple up. I'm pretty sure we have a pair of gay mallards that visits us regularly. Ambrose even caught ducklings visiting one day.

Duckling field trip
There are smaller birds, too. Songbirds and the doves that roost somewhere on the roof. Every now and then a goose or two will come up. I try to chase them off because I don't want our porch to be covered in goose poop. Plus geese can be mean and they chase off the other birds. Squirrels visit. Sometimes I can look out and see a handful of small birds, a dove, a pair of ducks and a squirrel all pecking away at the ground.

So, even in his absence, I kept up the spreading of the seed. It's a part of the morning routine now. And yesterday, I was rewarded by an entirely new visitor.

At first, I thought it was another goose and I was getting ready to run it off. Then I looked again and saw that this was no goose.
Is that a goose?
That is not a goose!
It was a turkey. I've eaten turkey, but this is the first time that I've fed one.
The ducks were not exactly made welcome by the turkey.
A shot from outside.
I went outside to try and get a better picture of the turkey, but the sun was shining directly at me and I didn't want to get too close and scare it away. I'm hoping it will come back when Ambrose is here to see it. Though I'm pretty sure he'll believe my pictures. 
A nice profile from between the blinds. 
You lookin' at me? 
The ducks did keep their distance.
I could have looked out the window for hours, watching the turkey, watching the ducks circle the turkey in a clearly defined distance. But before too long something spooked them all. 
Threat response - not flight.
None of them flew off. I'm not sure if the turkey can fly. But they all walked away across the parking lot, presumably into the nearby park. I wonder how long it will be before the turkey's mate comes around...
Bye bye birdies!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17

I wrote 534 words on my new story and 562 words on my old story.

Overall, a nice vacation day. I slept late and went to crossfit. More time was spent watching TV than writing, but I got done what I wanted to get done.

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16

I wrote 565 words on my old story today.

I had an unusually busy evening planned so I made sure to get my 500 in during lunch at work. I could have spent more time in the chair, but I'm satisfied with what I did and the streak is alive.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15

I wrote 297 words on my new story and 1093 words on my old story.

I feel like the old story is really starting to cook. The new story goes a bit slower, but I want to figure out how it ends anyway. I spent some time in my boots doing an hour on the treadmill with a 20 pound weight vest. I wrote most of today's words in the morning, which was a different experience.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14

I wrote 687 words on my new story and 667 words on my old story.

I had a good workout today and got some errands done. Then I spent some online time with my husband before getting on to the butt in chair time for my words.

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13

I wrote 576 words on my new story and 555 words on my old story.

Going to bed early last night really seemed to help get my energy up. Plus it's Friday and that always gives me a boost. I like staying up late, but it's not something that I do very much anymore.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12

I wrote a 392 word microfiction (completed), and 375 words on my new story.

Another tired day today. I'm hoping an early bed time will help get me energized for some good weekend writing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 11

I wrote 218 words on my new story and 409 words on my old story.

It was hard to get going on the writing today. I got a horrible headache near the end of the work day and it put me off for the rest of the evening. But I still managed to reach my overall words goal, even if I had to split it between two stories tonight. Tomorrow I'll focus on a short short story so I can finish something for the week.

So Far So Good

Five days into my challenge and I've met or exceeded my 500 word goal each day. The backpacking season hasn't started yet, so I haven't had any 100 word days, but those days will come soon enough.

The story I started this week is one that I've had in my head for a while, but never started writing. And then I had a different story that I had started but never finished that I'm also working on.

I like writing more than one story at a time. When one isn't flowing, I can switch to the other and get something going. Once I'm in a story mode, it's easier to get back to the one I was stuck on and figure out which words come next.

I'm thinking about starting a third story for this week, because I don't think the one I started is going to be finished by Thursday. It feels longer than that. The solution would be to write a flash fiction piece tonight so that I have something completed for the week. I enjoyed the micro fiction exercises in my last class, so I could go even shorter. I'll probably go for between 500 and 1000 words unless I feel like my first story is getting close to ending.

My main issue so far in maintaining this has been being tired. When I'm tired, I don't want to write and I get whiny. Having the "deadline" of getting my 500 words in has helped me get past the "I don't wanna" feeling and just get it done.

The streak aspect helps, too, and I know it will only help more as it grows. If I don't want to break a 3 or 4 day streak, I definitely won't want to break a longer one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10

I wrote 568 words on my new story and 259 words on the old story.

Today felt like a long day. I don't know if I'm not getting enough rest or what, but I'm tired. So I tried to get to focusing on writing a little sooner than yesterday and that seemed to help.

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9

I wrote 525 words on the new story and 289 words on the old story.

A long Monday at work, but it's over now and I'm excited about my stories.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 8

I wrote 678 words on the same story from yesterday, and 964 words on an old story that I never finished.

I ran myself ragged this morning doing a six mile run. It was, perhaps, a bit too much too soon. My stamina's not there yet. I wanted to take a nap, but I didn't let myself, because I have to get to bed early and go to work tomorrow. I feel good about my words today.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 7

I wrote 647 words today on the same story from yesterday.

I had a bit of a lazy day today. After working out in the morning, I took a nap. It felt luxurious, but I probably should have been writing. I think I do a little better when I have more of a set deadline. This challenge is helping, but I anticipate my production being more focused on work days when I have less time to get it done.

Friday, May 6, 2016

May 6

I wrote 769 words today on a new story.

I had the day off of work today, went to Crossfit at the luxuriously late time of 9am and went grocery shopping. Something, perhaps the thunderstorms passing overhead, has given me a huge headache, but I wasn't going to skip my first day's writing goal. The streak starts here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Plan of Action

Dean Wesley Smith calls the next few months of the year the time of great forgetting. It's far enough from January resolutions for people to have lost the vim and vigor with which such resolutions are attacked in the first few months of the year. The weather is getting nicer, making butt in seat hours harder to attain. School is out and so many other things-to-do end up edging out writing.

He recommends setting goals right now to carry a writer through the time of great forgetting. I think I've already got somewhat of an edge up, because I never made any resolutions in January so I'm not falling behind. But the reason I didn't make resolutions was that I was taking a class. The class was the final one that I needed to complete a second bachelor's degree, and so, even though I plan on backpacking as much this summer as last summer, I'm going to set writing goals for the next four months.

Basically, the plan is to go ahead and start writing more. Not necessarily more words, but more often and more story oriented. I keep up with my blogs on a weekly basis, but I don't write stories for them very often. To that end, I've got some goals.

Output Goal: 500 words of fiction per day on non backpacking/camping days. 100 words of fiction per day on backpacking/camping days. These are minimum counts. I'm setting them low because I want to start building a streak. When I was writing my fiction for my last class, I discovered that I tended to write about 300 words in an average session, so 2 sessions per day shouldn't tax me at home. When I'm out backpacking and/or camping, I'll be writing my words long hand to transcribe later. I admit, the main reason to cap it at 100 is so I don't have to manually count more than 100 of my chicken scratch handwritten words.

Completion Goal: I'm going to have a couple different goals when it comes to completion. I'm aiming at one short story per week each week this summer, with the exception of three specific weeks when I'll be out backpacking for the entire week. Since a story may not take an entire week, and/or my brain might need a break, I have other projects that I've been wanting to attack. I want to complete four longer length works that have been in my head for a while.

Publication Goal: This one is the hardest for me. I still haven't figured out how to not react to rejection. That's why I need to do it. I need to find venues to submit and continue to submit to them. Every week. I'm still nowhere near my first 100 rejections. It's time to start building that collection again.

Accountability Goal: I will post a blog (almost) every day with word counts and story counts. I write almost because when I'm out backpacking there's no way to post anything. Backpacking days will have no entries, but will be recapped on the next possible day.

My final portfolio for class is due tomorrow by 5pm. My challenge begins Friday May 6, 2016 and runs through Thursday September 1, 2016. 17 weeks. At the end of that period, I aim to have 14 short stories, at least as many rejections, 4 novellas and a mighty streak.