talkstowolves: I DO throw wild tea parties. Featuring art from Alice in Wonderland.  (wild tea parties)
Today's wordcount: 1505 (1113 usable)
Current project: "Child of Midnight"
Description: "At midnight, every stone was a poet." - Mia Nutick.
Reason for stopping: Some pieces rattled around and fell together in a way that will necessitate immediate revision, plus there was dinner.

This isn't the story I'm supposed to be working on! I'm supposed to be working on "Burier" and then I'm supposed to be researching for another story that's due very soon. However, this one leapt on me last night and I could not say no.



I also have a new Word Cloud to share with you, this one based on "When Death Dances," a Dia de los Muertos fairy tale I currently have sent out:


"When Death Dances"
(click for larger version)
talkstowolves: Books + tea, books + coffee, either way = bliss.  (reading is a simple pleasure)
My review of Vera Nazarian's Salt of the Air is up in today's edition of Green Man Review. Check it out. (Also, this is quite a packed issue, featuring reviews of [livejournal.com profile] papersky's Ha'Penny and [livejournal.com profile] truepenny's Mélusine.)

As we know, I got behind on my writing this weekend. I ended up owing 2,817 words before I even factored in today's wordcount. Here's what I've managed to get done:

For Friday: 122 words.
For Saturday: Nothing.

For Sunday:

Today's Goal:
750 words, and owing 2817 due to previous shortages.
Goal met? Daily goal was met: I wrote 1369 words, leaving me owing 2198.
Reason for stopping: I finished a scene and I need to get some sleep before school in the morning.

Project: Short story, title of "Green Dream."
Status of project: Carin made it to Dunwain, had "tipsy coffee" with another unforeseen minor character, and is now stumbling around the city.
talkstowolves: Writer by heart, English teacher by trade.  (bad grammar makes me sic)
Today had the unpleasant quality of feeling like a brick wall that I had just run into. Repeatedly.

On Tuesday, I gave my World Lit kids some easy homework. I really do not subscribe to the practice of giving homework just to give homework, but I wanted to get them back into the mode of actually doing homework and hopefully expand their horizons a bit. So I asked them to research some non-American winter holiday traditions and write me a short essay reporting on their findings.

No one did it. One student said he couldn't find anything because when he typed his search into Google, it kept giving him American traditions. Another student claimed he didn't know they had to write anything. I know this is not the case considering I wrote the assignment on the board, talked about why we were doing it, and then explained how much their grade would decrease with each day the assignment was late.

This was not a very heartening way to start the semester.

They went on to be incredibly unimpressed by the Epic of Gilgamesh and unable to understand where Sumer was located.

My composition class was surprisingly better today (sadly due to the absence of a couple of individuals). They took notes and did as I asked them, although it's still going to be a major uphill battle. (An example of what I am dealing with: "What are the building blocks of sentences?" "Paragraphs?" "Of sentences? What are the pieces that make up a sentence?" "Uh... subjects?" "A little closer, but not quite. What are the things that are coming out of my mouth...?" "... ... words?" "Yes, words are the building blocks of sentences!") We managed to go over the basic structure of a paragraph and types of paragraphs and their positions in the basic 5-paragraph essay. Then we started practicing writing introductory paragraphs, though I think I might scale that back to just working on paragraphs in general next week.

In my free period, I managed to get all my grades submitted. I was even extra nice and prepared them in a document indicating the relevant semester average and credits each student received. That should make the office lady's job easier, later, when she actually has to prepare transcripts.

I did not, however, manage to put the finishing touches on any of my job applications during my free period. I was having a real problem with my blood sugar and my hydration today, so my mind was twitchy and scattered.

Only half my class showed up for Southern Literature. Again. Only a third of Andy's Government class showed up. The weather was worsening this afternoon and several counties had let their schools out early, but that didn't touch Montgomery county. It wasn't even raining when school let out (at it's normal time). I suspect that might have had some bearing on why our students didn't show up, though. Regardless, I still got my students through an introduction to Southern literature and started them on Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." They had difficulty reading the Southern dialect and didn't twig as quickly as I expected they would to the fact that you can read it aloud and figure it out. "Ms. B, what does 'solitry' mean?" I waited, sure she was going to get it now that she read it aloud. "Ms. B, what does soli..." "Solitry. Solitary." "Oh... oh!" I figured she had it then. But she repeated it with "calk'lated" later.

I had originally intended to submit applications after school today. Instead, we had lunch with my brother. Then we beat the weather home. And I worked desultorily on one grad application while attempting to stave off a bad headache, etc.

I am tired of this post now and I am sure most others are as well! I will close with my sadly low wordcount and take myself off to more water (hydration!) and reading.

Today's Goal: 750 words, and still owing 961 due to previous shortages.
Goal met? No. 272 words were written, leaving me owing 478 for a total of 1439.
Reason for stopping: I feel unwell and just don't have much in me.

Project: Short story, title of "Green Dream."
Status of project: Carin on transport down to Dunwain, sleep-deprived and awash in despair and delirium.
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
I have to learn to manage my time better: it's not that I'm disorganized, it's that I'm so organized I'm starting to micromanage myself. I'd really like these habits I'm developing to feel more natural than obsessive.

It'll be better when I finish the hunt for a second job. And finish up these applications for graduate school. And don't have grades to turn in. I think. At least then it'll be down to typical school-planning and writing.

This afternoon, I tried to fill out four job applications (managed one on-line that took forever, plus the majority of two paper ones); finish up one of the pending grad. school applications (realized too late I was working on the wrong one, really); prepare grades for the rest of my classes (mostly done, though there are a handful of students whose grades are still pending); make class plans for my three classes tomorrow, make/assemble my class materials, and put them on my flash drive (succeeded at, yay); make wordcount (also done successfully, even if most of what I'm writing is subpar and I'm almost certainly sure won't be in the final draft); and spend time with [livejournal.com profile] sirandrew (which I'd been neglecting in the face of all my other many tasks these past several days).

Whew. And blah.

Today's Goal: 750 words, and still owing 983 due to previous shortages.
Goal met? Met and exceeded at 772, leaving me owing 961.
Reason for stopping: Exhausted + feeling crazy + it's bedtime.

Project: Short story, title of "Green Dream."
Status of project: Avian alien pirate from nowhere, but she gets awesome magenta plumage and a fantastic wardrobe. Also apparently biomechanical nightingales, which I certainly didn't see coming.

Tomorrow's docket includes finishing up the UTenn application (involves researching faculty and revising SOP/writing sample), finishing grades during my free period at school, also putting the finishing touches on my job applications during the free period, and dropping off said applications after work.

According to Roy Scheider, I CAN DO IT!
talkstowolves: Books + tea, books + coffee, either way = bliss.  (reading is a simple pleasure)
Today's Goal: 750 words, and still owing 1028 due to previous shortages.
Goal met? Met and exceeded at 795, leaving me owing 983.
Reason for stopping: Exhausted + it's bedtime.

Project: A review of George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin + a short story entitled "Green Dream."
Status of project: The review is finished, pending a final read-through tomorrow. Carin didn't make it much farther than actually onto the transport ship itself tonight and is reflecting on Trellan in spring.
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
I didn't get any work done on applications or syllabi, but I did get off to a fantastic start on writing my story tonight. I mean, I still feel like everything is one step to the left of right, but one step away from what I'm shooting for is much better than nonexistent! I'm tentatively excited over a few parts of what I wrote, though I'll probably return to the glum humdrum when I work on it tomorrow.

A few highlights from tonight's writing:

- I've almost settled on actually calling it "Green Dream." It was a placeholder title at first, but some things that suddenly occurred to me as I was writing tonight revealed that it might be more apt than I thought.

- I almost pulled something out of the following Christina Rossetti poem for the title, but concluded that it didn't quite mean what I'm going for:

The poem. )

- On my new planet, florists sell temporary stasis chambers in single-blossom and bouquet sizes. It's only legal to put plant matter in them, but some off-worlders are trying to adapt the technology to be suitable for other organic matter (it's better than deep freezing and the new technology wouldn't necessarily be looked for yet by the law, making it easier on smugglers who are into organics).

- [livejournal.com profile] the_red_shoes is an awesome cheerleader!


Today's Goal: 750 words.
Goal met? Met and blown away, baby! 1345 words.
Reason for stopping: A scene change stymied me and I wanted to spend a little time with Andy, snuggled and watching a movie, before we go to bed.

Project: Short story, tentative title "Green Dream."
Status of project: Carin has left a meeting with an Aide to the Elders with a curious flower I had not foreseen and is on her way back to her ship for the journey to Dunwain starport. Irritated pirates and wondrous alien cities imminent.

To close, Andy and I totally just sat through Balls of Fury together. It was made fun by fun-making, a few funny jokes, and conversation.

My personal favorite moment was when I turned to Andy about 30 minutes in and said, (insert Walken accent here) "Wait a minute, wait. What I need here is... more Christopher Walken. This is not working for me... without the Christopher Walken. Please, guys, more Walken."

Ah well. If you can laugh at yourself, you'll never cease to be amused. Am I right?

P.S. Who (besides [livejournal.com profile] sirandrew and without Googling) can tell me where the quote in my subject line comes from?
talkstowolves: Courage lies between vulnerability and boldness. Girls are strong. Women have voices.  (strong like buffy)
When I sat down to write tonight, I opened up iTunes in search of inspirational music. Putting my songs on shuffle yielded "Going Through the Motions" as sung by Buffy in the musical Buffy episode, "Once More, With Feeling."

As I said earlier, if it weren't so apt, it'd be funny.

For those who don't know the song, the title pretty much sums up my chagrin. But at least it also contains inspirational lyrics such as "I go out and fight the fight" and "I just wanna feel alive."

But, yes, my plotting yesterday didn't help as much as I had hoped. I realized a bunch of things I hadn't thought about needed to be figured out before I even started writing random bits... so I wrote a few random bits and then wrote more concise plotting along the lines of...

Only the curious should click here... )

But, yeah, the gritty details:

Today's Goal: 750 words.
Goal met? No, it's even worse than last night: 212 words.
Reason for stopping: Need to get away from the computer. I may try to keep writing by hand once I lay down.

Project: Short story, working title "Green Dream."
Status of project: Plot, plot, plot.
talkstowolves: Fairy tales inform us for life.  (fairy tales take me far from here)
Today, I find myself in a foul mood feeling rather like a waste of space. I have not plumbed all the reasons for this feeling, but I imagine a fair measure of it is tied up with the fact that I have neither been job searching nor grading papers over this break. I suppose I should give myself a break for, well, giving myself a break; however, I just haven't been conditioned that way. It's work-work-work and flagellate yourself if you're slacking.

Another fair measure of my attitude is tied up with my recent writings. For the past several years, I have allowed myself to write creatively only when I was "in the mood," which wasn't often due to the insane amount of academic work I completed while in college. Now that I'm trying to attain any notable level of productivity again (which I want, given how many awesome ideas I have laying about the place), I am suffering wave after wave of negative thought patterns that can be broken down into the following catch-phrases:

1. None of this is worth the digital paper it's written on: i.e., it's crap writing.
2. None of this is worth the digital paper it's written on: i.e., the writing's fair enough but no one could possibly care about my stupid story.
3. I'm not a skilled enough writer to pull this off; who am I kidding?
4. This feels like work: I must be doing something wrong. I'm an imposter.
5. ARGH, argh! glsglkhglkshglhg! What the fucking fuck, I am a fucking idiot, grrr, argh!

I have hopes that these are growing pains and I will get past them by ignoring them to the best of my ability and soldiering on. Please, for the love of GoD, someone tell me that I am correct.

Yet another part of my poor feeling could be due to the Lord of the Rings marathon I successfully pulled off today. I love Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings is one of the formative stories of my life: one of those books that built me as a child, given my mother indoctrinated me on it from an early age. As such, it's a very intimate story and I'm closely tied up with the journey of the Fellowship. It always affects me emotionally. And although our friends are successful in the end, the story pierces my heart, leaving me feeling wrung out after fully experiencing the story.

So here we are: the close of a Lord of the Rings marathon and me trying to prod myself into writing. Is it any wonder I'm feeling surly?

Instead of writing for the past hour, I have spent some time blocking out the story. I really think I'll benefit from this tomorrow as I try to make up word count: I have a brilliant idea, a haunted and beautiful place in the heart of sentient beings I want to evoke, but I wasn't entirely sure how to get my setting and characters to that one moment in time. I think I have it now, though only the writing (and then the reading) of it will prove my case.

Today's Goal: 750 words.
Goal met? No, only produced 319 words.
Reason for stopping: Foul mood; need to step away from the computer and relax with a book.

Project: Short story, working title "Green Dream."
Status of project: Blocked out a framework.

Time to scare up a nice cup of tea and snuggle down into bed with The Princess and the Goblin, an odd little literary fairy tale from the late 19th century.
talkstowolves: We love stories that subvert the expected. Icon inspired by In the Night Garden, Valente. (not that kind of story)
Writing isn't always a torrid affair, all moans of ecstasy and frissons of excitement: most often, it's an entrenched relationship with all its attendant coaxing and chores.



Yesterday's Goal: 750 words.
Goal met? Met and exceeded at 1114 words.

Project: Review of Vera Nazarian's Salt of the Air.
Status of project: Finished.



Today's Goal: 750 words.
Goal met? Met at 778 words.
Reason for stopping: I need to get Andy some cold medicine and procure dinner.

Project: Short story, working title "Green Dream."
Status of project: Just started roughing it in.



The words come, but the mind rebels and the spirit fidgets. I will learn to write again yet!

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