I spent a good chunk of the morning going over the previous chapter I wrote in The Harvest. The novel draft is at 311 pages now, and I am still crafting the ending. I mean it's there, upstairs, in my cabeza, but I also love the direction the plot is taking based on the interactions with the characters. I am not married to that ending by any means. Como les digo, today, I added cybernetics to the plot in a way I hadn't planned on, but Ashely's antagonist, was not strong enough. So check that scene out.
This afternoon, my writing goals are stretching me to write down specific strategies for my students in my creative writing class, students who want a little more structure in the exercises they do. Yes, we have been writing in class with direct aims, and I keep telling them to trust the writing process, and to write regularly, but they need more. I am going to spend the afternoon working on my class plans and reading over the stories, so they can analyze them with more writing purpose. However, I don't want to inhibit their creative writing at all or tell them how to read; I just want them to have a good grab bag they can reach into and produce work. They should determine what to put in there, and be confident.
They will discover what works best for them with each project they write because the process isn't always the same. Some of them are also extreme mappers, but they don't write. To my original advise, they should sit down and write. Some of them have to kill the internal editor and resurrect her when the writing is "done". With time, and trust in the process, they will figure it out.
On a writer note, you ever get that feeling when your life is singing that you are doing that one thing you love? Damn, if I'm not feeling it this morning. I am so happy with how this draft is flowing, imperfect as it is. This is it for me. Right here, even if I can only sneak in an hour a day.
Well, wish me luck on my teaching goals. I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday!
Write to your heart's content. #Resist
I just spent like 30 minutes working on a few hundred words of my story descriptions. I read through some of them online, got the general gist, and word vomited.
This writing has been something I want to work on because my friend Yankee is going to Kindle my books. I hope I didn't annoy him by trying to do some of the work. I sent him "The Long Walk" and "Paranoia" to Kindle as a set. I added a table of contents and acknowledgements and a copy-rite section. I skipped the author section. You'll see those soon after Monday. "The Long Walk" is a test publication for me, before putting out "La Bruja del Barrio Loco". You can sample some of them in Antojitos.
I also fooled around with a free software called Calibre which is pretty easy to use. The only thing is I am not sure why my table of contents font is bigger than the rest of the font. It's quite odd. I made a *.mobi and Amazon file (forgot the file type), and looked at them in my e-reader. I guess I will have to pick Eric's brain about why that happened. Like my mom says, "Tiene su chiste." Kindling books has its nuances. Like, should I add page numbers? I supposed if they get printed, yes.
Anyway, in real life, breakfast took longer than I had planned. Then, I decided to wash dishes before fooling around with software and reading manuals on Smash Words about formatting files and what-not. Now, I am going to try to break the 300 page barrier in The Harvest. If not, I'm going to look over old stories. I tell you, I really am becoming an early morning writer.
Actually, I think it's time to revise. Let's see what pops out, crying for attention.
Honor your writing process, even post-crepes-from-scratch energy. #Resist
Happily, today is my long writing day, and I am caught up on my grading, which is a perk. I am devoting four hours to it, three more to go, and some time for revision. I hope to cross over 300 pages. In The Harvest, my novel draft, I had Cherry come back into the scene. At first, it was going to be Strike, but decided not quite yet. Besides, I have been thinking about developing that relationship between Cherry and Strike a little differently. More to come.
For the revision, I am not sure which completed work I am going to revise. We'll see which one from my collection calls to me. I may go over a poem, too.
Anyway, I hope your weekend is productive. I have to cut this one short, and maybe add a longer entry later this afternoon.
In real life, I let all of my family sleep in today, including myself. I got up at 7a.m. and hit the lap top. Now, it's time to make an elaborate breakfast. My husband wants an three-egg vegetable omelet. Antonio, my son, wants scrambled eggs. And my Simona, wants crepes because she loves her Mommy. Then, back to my writing.
Break some eggs, today, then write. #Resist
Well, great news, the editor is publishing my poem. I guess the poem I sent had some junk code in that file like, an @ symbol. I have no idea how it got there. That acceptance was a great start, and I am still trying to send one out a week and to write a poem a week too, which is a solid goal because it is forcing me to review poetry journals again.
On another happy note, my Creative Writing class is running this summer. The first day, I had students establish their writing schedule, and they all did a great job of crafting realistic schedules, including time to revise. That, of course, had me reflect on my schedule.
It has been difficult for me to stick to my daily writing routine this week. Yesterday, for example, I did get up at 6a.m. but had to grade essays. The essays were, fortunately, outstanding, so that work was fun. With teaching, I find that I will have to stick to my morning schedule, somehow, but at least I am getting up consistently at 6a.m., which is half the battle. I promised myself that I would give four hours a day to write on Saturday and Sunday and time to revise.
In my class, we also talked to some extent about what motivates us to write. It was a very interesting conversation, and I hope the illusion of fame and wealth isn't what brings them to the table. I mean, that is a fantasy I clung to when I was younger, but now, I write because I love it. I know I am in a fortunate position to have a full time job, and have my degrees in English, but still, I write because I have stories to tell, sometimes very insistent stories that won't shut up, like my novel.
This morning I wrote more of The Harvest and am at 291 pages. The writing flowed, but I muted the arena battle with Dr. Harper because sporting events can be boring when the other team sucks.
Well, this morning, I have to do an editing favor for a friend. I am meeting with her at 10a.m. to go over a booklet she is putting together. The funny thing is that in my head, we keep meeting at Starbucks, but the meeting is taking place at the parish office. Fantasy versus reality, right?
Keep writing and setting new goals. As ever, shoot for the moon, even if you hit the lamp post. #Resist
I got up at 6a.m. and managed to crank out a few more pages of my novel draft The Harvest. I say this having taken a couple of days off to do other work for my job, but I want to get back on a writing schedule. I start teaching today, so the schedule will be a little wonky, and I hope to write some more in the evenings. But, 6a.m. is my target time, Monday through Sunday with longer stretches on the weekend.
How are you dealing with the changes in schedule and obligations? Are you able to stick to your schedule? I think sometimes, it is important to honor your energy, but if you are going to be angry or miserable because you don't write regularly, even a few minutes of writing will go a long way. Somehow, time expands when you write anyway, so fifteen minutes easily becomes thirty minutes.
So, keep on! I have to run to get ready for work and drop off my son at school.
Write because you love it; time will stretch out. #Resist!
This morning, I was surprised to find a response to my poem submission. You may recall that I grew a pair of balls and finally submitted a short work a few days back. The poem is "Lo Tierno", and the editor thought it wasn't done at the last line. I emailed her, and told her it was, but I guess if she thinks it's not done, I could try to add more to it, besides a period. The only problem is, I am not sure what I would add to it because it's done. I do have some pieces on my site, that I don't think are complete like the social justice piece, but we will see. I am open to ideas.
Today, I also wrote a short section of The Harvest Draft in the afternoon because I had a Faculty Contract meeting early in the morning, and I expended most of my mental energy helping to draft counter-proposals. But, I made myself sit and write for an hour because these last two days, I have been so focused on writing my syllabus for English 101 that I haven't had the mental space to work on my novel.
On another downer, my creative writing class didn't make, according to the cut-off. I had ten students on Friday, and even though classes don't start until tomorrow, I missed the mark by two students. However, I hope to start an informal creative writing group with my former students, so we all keep writing through the summer.
I hope your energy is way higher than mine.
Keep writing, even if your routine gets out of whack. #Resist
This morning, I cranked out a parallel scene in The Harvest of a fight scene in the arena. However, I want to tweak the point of view, so that Ashley notices things that Alan does not because she should know more about combat moves. The results of the battle will still be the same, but perception is never really 100% anyway.
I am also really excited that I reached 276 pages of my novel! I thought this piece would be done at 300 pages, but that's not how this work is developing. Anyway, it's always better to produce more and cut down, and right now, some sections need more narration. They are dialogue heavy, but this is a draft after all, and I have gotten well beyond the previous three versions of this novel. All of this territory has been new for some sections, now, but I like how this novel is developing and know I will finish by June 2018.
Well, in real life, I am off to do some essay reading for my regular job. I also designated this as "cleaning day", and my poor spouse has been working on the dining room, while I have been happily writing away. Chores, here I come.
Write first. Everything else will take care of itself. #Resist
This morning I had a 9a.m. Faculty Contract Negotiation, which threw off my writing schedule. Well, I should say it threw off my blogging schedule. The kids are also coming home, soon, so I will have to make this one short. Earlier today, I did manage to write for about 40 minutes.
I crafted another good scene in my novel, The Harvest. Lister finally tries to get an upper hand on Ashley, but fails. I figure, Ashley has already been through enough, but I will deal with these pacing issues later. It is fun to write high-action scenes, but my novel doesn't have to be riddled with them. It's not a damn video game or hard core movie after all, but they are a joy to visualize and put together on paper.
I am also playing with the timeline a little bit, but I need to make the shifts clear. Sometimes Alan's narrative starts right as Ashley's ends, but not always. I don't want to confuse the reader, so these will have to be future considerations.
Anyway, I couldn't sleep last night, and it has caught up with me, so while I would like to write some more, my energy is like, "Really?"
Honor your writing energy. #Resist
Dr. Jesú Estrada,