Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Week of Win

Alright, this has been a friggen awesome week!

This past Wednesday I posted an update that explained the first two reasons why this was an amazing week:
1- Monday my best friend since childhood gave birth to her first born; a son.
2- Tuesday was a GORGEOUS day after a super crappy and frigid winter. Plus, my sister got to enjoy the beautiful weather while shopping on her birthday. Her 25th birthday. My kid sister is 25!

Both Monday and Tuesday were awesome for writing reasons too, but I wanted to wait until today to let you guys know this. Group it all together and whatnot.

So, Monday I saw celestialTyrant at the grocery store I work in, and asked him if he wanted to hang out when I got out at about noon. I hadn't seen him in what felt like forever, and so I was excited to find out that he was going to swing by after Hubby got off of work that afternoon.

The downside was that he ended up more-or-less just playing Magic: The Gathering with Hubby, Omnibladestrike, and another one of their friends. As a non-player I was sort of self-isolated at my desktop. It turned out for the better though. Granted, I didn't really socialize with the three guests I had in my house, but I did spend the evening chatting with Ronoxym and Cyhyr via IMs.

We talked about generic writing, and I playfully harassed Ron for not updating either of the stories I'm collabing with him on: the Willow/Devon and now Nys/Willow stories. I also sent the Nys/Willow story to Cyhyr at this point.

Well, neither have gotten back to me about the story, and so I posted the Nys/Willow snippet this morning. Fair warning, the whole tale is a spoiler revealing how the two girls could talk in the first place. If you still want to read my original version you can here:
"It Is So On!"

Okay, back to Monday. Well, while I was teasing Ron about him not working on any writing, he interrupted by asking me what I thought about his blog.

His WHAT!? I knew he had a Tumblr, and I just assumed he meant his blog there. But no... he has one right here on Blogger! He started it up a little over two weeks ago! HOW DID I MISS THIS!? Apparently even Cyhyr didn't have the link to the blog until about a week ago....

Anyway... now I can do this when talking about him:

Now - fair warning - he has a Mature Content notification for his blog. The posts he currently has up aren't really all that bad, and so I'm guessing he only has that warning in order to cover his butt in case future posts get out of hand.

Ron didn't get around to updating the blog this past week, which saddens me a little. At the same time, I had to pick on him for starting up a blog instead of updating our stories. Oh well, I can kill time by doing research.

Yeah. Research. Cyhyr has this large folder in GoogleDocs that has lots of writing How-To's and research material. She offered to share it with me while we were talking on Monday. How could I say no!? So, reading those can add to my Non-Zero days.


Well, back to Ron's blog and my Non-Zero week.

His first post was just a generic "Hey, I have a blog now and this is why." The second post was a drabble. Yup, he posted a narrative. He had meant to anyway, but what he ended up with was apparently completely different than the tale he was originally going to post.

I loved the concept. I teased him as I was reading through it that it felt like a fanfic of three different source materials. The first sentence described the protagonist, and I INSTANTLY thought he was talking about Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. Considering when he first described Devon on the forum he had a lot of the same characteristics as another Fullmetal Alchemist character - Roy Mustang - without realizing that he did so, I wouldn't have put it past him to create a lead heavily influenced by some fandom source material without picking up on it. That's besides the point. A few sentences down the protagonist is described more as having curly black hair and a desperate need to get to a ship; he'd be safe if he could just get to the ship. Now my mind shifted over to the Heroes of Olympus character Leo Valdez.

Then came the feral teens. The rest of the story I was wondering if it was supposed to be some sort of Lord of the Flies type of society. I was intrigued, but I was also thrown for a loop. Turns out I was right about it being a fanfic, but I would have never guessed the ACTUAL source material. I was a bit flabbergasted when I got to the reveal at the end of the story.

Yes, the writing is a bit rough here and there because he clearly didn't bother to proofread before posting, but I swear to you that the story is worth it. It doesn't even take all that long to read. So do it! Go to Ron's blog and read his drabble. Then demand for more.

Help me get this guy in to a writing kick by having multiple people beg for him to update.
*Waves to Ronoxym*

Well, this finally brings us to Tuesday.

I got to work bright and early at 7am. I almost instantly started thinking about Ron's drabble. I was intrigued. It gripped hard on to me, and my mind raced with possibilities, as well as how I could do something similar with another fandom.

A Writer's High was sparked within me. All I wanted was to race home - literally, I had THAT much energy - and start writing.... ANYTHING. Of COURSE this was my full day shift. I was stuck at work for eight hours when all I wanted was to write! Figures....
I was this ball of energy the whole shift. I would bounce while standing still. I talked faster than usual. I nearly sprinted across the floor whenever I need to get across the department. I had this urge to just do suicide runs up and down my work area. I felt like I was about to burst.

If this is what it's like to have ADHD, I have no clue how anyone handles it. I'm usually such a focused and still person. I felt like I was going to explode and just become this entity of pure energy floating around in the ether. Craziness!

The fact that it was a gorgeous day outside - one where I wanted to spend every minute in the sun - didn't help matters.

I was able to do something I haven't in a while thanks to that energy: Beta read Omnibladestrike's chapter that he sent me back in the summer!!! Geez! Sadly, I had unknowingly lost the ACTUAL chapter that he wanted me to beta read, and so I accidentally re-edited the previous chapter. Whoops.

Well, he resent me the second chapter of his story - yeah, he actually moved on to the second chapter! Go him! - and I beta read that within 24hrs. He got the proper chapter edited and sent back to him on Wednesday.

So, quick detour back to Tuesday.

I was set to write when I got home. I started up the blog post I updated on Wednesday. I wrote some on the forum. I worked on the Ripley/Lia as well as Trish snippets I've been struggling with lately.

Then I got in to a mildly-heated discussion with CelestialTyrant. Personal things I won't air out here, but I think in the end I helped him figure some stuff out. So sacrificing my writing energy to help him out was well worth it. I also chatted with Cyhyr a little, and she was in an equally odd mood: she was excited about wedding planning!

Now, Cyhyr obviously loves Ronoxym. No doubt there. But she's more of the "I want to be married" type than the "I want a wedding" type. Fantastic for in the long run - the girl always has her priorities straight - but kind of crappy when she has to plan the wedding with no desire to.

Anyway, I used my left-over Writing High to ride her Wedding High, and we just girl-talked for a while. Again, I didn't get as much writing done as I would have thought that morning, but I had fantastic talks with two good friends. Fair trade.

Wednesday I managed to finally finish up that blog post that kept getting delayed: first by work cutting my Sunday posting hours short, and then by talking to Ron, Cy, and CT over the next two days. I didn't just write that post though. I also started this one. Got a decent chunk of it done too before I had to pick up Hubby from work.

I might have gotten farther, but I felt so guilty about making poor Omni wait for so long for me to edit his chapter - and then ending up editing the wrong one - that I started out the day bright and early and reading his work. After I sent him my edits I quickly told ChibiSunnie to send me her stories again. Just like Omni, I had neglected to read the three Hey Arnold stories that she had sent me while participating in a writing challenge.

Sadly, the rest of the week was a bit tight in regards to free time. It was still awesome with things such as Hubby making me awesome meals, and getting to smother my niece in kisses and hugs. It wasn't as awesome with regards to writing, though. So, I haven't sent Chibi anything yet, but I've been whittling away at one of her stories whenever I have a moment. Beta reading for her has helped me avoid Zero-Days on Thursday, Friday, and yesterday. In fact, the only writing-related thing I did yesterday was beta read more of her one story.
In fact, aside from beta reading, the only other writing I did throughout the rest of the week was:
  • Periodically work on this blog post; concluding today.
  • Updating on the forum, and getting further in to Crystal's head; finally starting to hear her.
  • Coming up with that project I teased about in my Wednesday update.
So, what is this project? Well, nothing is finalized yet - in fact, silly Ron hasn't even chimed in about it - but it hit me during my antsy work shift on Tuesday.

I'm going to once more complain about my pathetic eyesight, my broken netbook, and my inability to really see my desktop monitor too well. When I do things like write my snippets I tend to just let my eyes unfocus a little as I type. I'm one of those people who doesn't need to look at the keyboard - or even the screen for that matter - in order to type something. This is how I can marathon my writing, even with the vision issue. I then go back and read in shifts. I'll read for x-minutes, and then take a break. I'll come back and read more, and repeat. That's how I read posts people put up, or edit both my writing and others, or read the 100+ Facebook notifications waiting for me each day.

Not the most efficient way to write or beta read; although, even if I could properly see, it IS a good practice to stop from ruining my eyesight even more. Anyway, to help with the turnaround time of my beta reading - as well as helping me read even when not home - I've started to print out the stories and make notes there. I later type these notes up and pass them along.

I do a bit better this way. I also had a better time actually talking to people about writing when I was able to do so in real time: in person and/or IM. It really bubbled over that energy, and got me super excited to get back in to writing. It's also faster to bounce off ideas. Plus, I didn't have to wait a week or so before hearing feedback - yes, I'm looking at you Ron. Likewise, people didn't have to wait MONTHS to hear feedback from me - yup, I know you are looking at ME, Omni and Chibi.

As much as I enjoy being part of Writers’ Huddle, it is far from being in real-time. It is a great deal of reading; something I have troubles with. So I haven't been as active in the community as I would have liked. I do love the concept though. I also noticed how great it is to talk to my local fellow writers: Cyhyr, Ronoxym, and Omnibladestrike. We truly encourage each other, give each other differing views on how to take the story - views that tend to better the tale, and excite each other in to writing more. It's just such a good energy.

So, on Tuesday I sent the proposal out to those three: Create a local writing group. Why haven't we thought of this before? I suggested that we meet in person at least once a month, if not once every other week. I know with Ron's schedule the every-other-week option might be a bit rough, but if he can manage it I think keeping each other so accountable on such short periods of time will be truly beneficial to all of us.

Like I stated before, nothing is finalized. We don't have a first meeting planned. We haven't agreed on how frequently to meet. We haven't decided if we're always meeting at my place, or if we are going to rotate where we'll meet so everyone gets to host. We haven't even figured out what day of the week we want to hold these meetings. But the idea is out there, as well as the excitement to make it happen.

I'll be sure to keep everyone posted, but I'm super excited at where this is heading. If I can get this writing group off the ground and couple it with my new Non-Zero Days philosophy, I may actually FINALLY have a semblance of a writing habit.

Be on the look out for great things on the horizon!

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