Weekends are tough…

…mostly because I pull two 12-hour shifts on Friday and Saturday nights at the bar.  It was my birthday on Friday (yay!), which meant that it was superbusy.  It always seems to be busy on my birthday.  But it worked out okay.  We had a pretty slow month in September, so it was nice to have a busy weekend.

And happily, I received two gift cards to Barnes & Noble, so you know where I’ll be tonight. <g>

But because I tend not to get to sleep until 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning on the nights I work, not to mention the sudden change from summer to fall temperatures these past few days, I spend most of the day asleep.  I’m not proud of it, but I can sleep 12 hours at a time.  Well, actually, I’m a little proud of it.  But nowadays, I blame the pregnancy instead of my own penchant for laziness. <g>

So I ended up playing catch-up today on my word count.  But it didn’t turn out too bad.  I finished my first short story of the month.  It weighed in at a hefty 46 pages, 10,437 words.  Whew!  In definite need of revision, but I’m glad to have it finished.  Plus, I’m looking forward to diving into the next one.  It’s a little on the lighter side, totally different.  And I’m anticipating the next one will be much shorter.  I don’t know why my “short” stories have been leaning towards the long side, but hopefully revisions will correct that to some degree.  I’ve been trying to keep the editing process separate from the writing process, which seems to remove a lot of the hesitation that can plague me at the creating stage.

Anyway, I did good work today, so I’m off to B&N to collect my reward. <g>


"Talks Over Tea" by Kichigai

"Talks Over Tea" by Kichigai

Yesterday was a full day, a very girlie day.  I caught up with my friend Gris for tea, which is always fun, considering I’m not a very girlie girl.  Really love those little sandwiches.  I could eat a baking sheet piled up high with them.  But it wouldn’t be very ladylike.  Instead, I restrained myself to what was on my plate and held my pinkie high and proper when I drank my tea.

There’s a lot to be said about restraint, I’m discovering, especially when it comes to trimming your own bangs or reacting to a family member’s heated, emotional outburst.  This is really nothing new to anyone, I’m sure.  Actually, it seems to be a lesson that I find myself having to learn over and over again.  But I’m proud to report that this time around, I’m not afraid to show my bangs in public, and I didn’t make a family issue worse.  Yay me!

As for tea sandwiches, I’m still unconvinced that restraint is the way to go.  They need to put the goodies out in man portions!

Later on, I met with another friend and we had a nice dinner, then off to a local coffee house to try to get work done…me with my writing, and her with her college studies.  Unfortunately, coffee houses just don’t stay late enough for nocturnal folk like ourselves, and so I found myself with a measly 157 words before it was time to wrap up.  Then we gabbed at my house until my husband came home from working at the bar, around 2:20 a.m.  Yeeks!

This is why I didn’t blog last night.  I was ashamed.  I sorry.

Therefore, I vowed to prove my worthiness today by writing 3,000 words; 1,000 for yesterday, 1,000 for today, and another 1,500 just to get me closer to my month-end goal of 31k.  And I’m proud to say I managed 3,352.  Yay!  This public posting of goals really helps, I gotta say.

Which reminds me, Leo Babauta has an excellent post up at Zen Habits about motivation, including tips such as positive public pressure and pacing.  Still working on the pacing bit.  I tend to work in spurts and buckets.  But even still, this new approach of writing about 1,000 words a day seems to help as it always leaves me knowing where to pick up the next day.  And in a very short span, I’ve got a 30-plus page story.  Revisions will hopefully pare it down to a more marketable length, but it still smells like accomplishment to me.

Tomorrow or the next day, I will be able to type “The End” to the current story.  I’m really enjoying writing this one.  Nothing like a monster-in-the-backyard story to make you afraid to go outside at night.  I’m really looking forward to writing the next story in the queue though.  Love, love, love magic realism, and I haven’t written one of those in a while.

Ah, well.  To all the writers out there, may your daily word counts overrunneth your cuppeths.

Until tomorrow, nighty-night.


“Howdy” seems to be the vernacular in these here parts, so howdy it is.

This is my first blog post.  I have been surprisingly nervous about this whole blogging enterprise, despite the fact probably nobody will notice its debut for quite sometime, as is the way with new blogs.  But nervous I am.  So be it.  As a good friend recently told me, “Just start one, for Goodness’ sake.”  So here’s to Goodness.

I’ve decided to start a blog mostly for the incentive of having a “credible threat.”  This is not a new concept, by any means, but it’s explained magnificently in Tobias Buckell’s blog post:  http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2007/01/02/some-ideas-for-achieving-your-goals-in-2007/

Basically, I want to be a professional writer, a successful published writer.  This is a long-time dream, something I’ve carried with me since a child.  It’s the very reason I went into court reporting; I thought given a good-paying vocation and flexible hours, I would have more time to devote to writing.  And though my court reporting career — and subsequently, my current gig as a co-owner of a karaoke bar — has yielded much in the way of dialogue and character study, I am still an unpublished writer.

I’ve spent an awful lot of time writing short stories and bits of novels and screenplays — and even one draft of a novel — here and there; however, obviously not enough.  Mostly, this is due to a lack of discipline.

So I thought it was high time I set out my goals a little bit more publicly (as in beyond telling my husband and a few friends), in the hopes of eventually getting folks to check in on me and my progress, and kick me in the ass when I need it.  And maybe in this way, I’ll find some like-minded folks to cheer on as well.

In keeping with Mr. Buckell’s insightful post as linked above, I have to agree with the mistakes he thinks many people make when making goals…especially the vague bit.  How many Januarys have I set the goal of writing this book or that book, or this many stories, et cetera?  I can’t help this, you know.  For some reason, when it comes to blind ambition, I was first in line and given more than I could carry.  So I am burdened with the knowledge I am capable of accomplishing EVERYTHING, but knowing I don’t because I just don’t feel like it right at this moment.  😛   My mom likens me to having my paws jammed in too many “hunny” pots.  Just the way I’m wired, I suppose.

Anyway, I’ve decided to post my goals online in order to hold myself publicly accountable, a credible threat, if you will.  And one of the things I’ve decided is to start out with bite-sized goals…at least by my terms of accounting.

So here are my goals for October.  And I will try my bestest to post updates daily.  Anyone who comes across this, feel free to send me a kick in the ass via the “Comments” section.  Anything from “Have you written today?” to “Bend over, fatty,” will do.

1.  I will write 31,000 words of new short fiction this month (which equates to 1,000 words daily).

2.  That means 4 new short stories (one a week).

3.  I will polish and submit 4 short stories (I have a good backlog).

4.  I will upload 1 short story to my online writer’s group OWW.

5.  I will critique 4 short stories in my online writer’s group.

6.  I will write one of my new short stories using Liquid Story Binder (to see if I can get past the learning curve and determine if it’ll be helpful for longer works).

7.  I will find and gather all of my story notes, research notes, and various other bits and drafts into one collective pile.

8.  I will prepare a project idea for next month’s NaNoWriMo (www.nanowrimo.org).

I am giving myself until October 31st to meet these goals.  And although I feel I’ve really scaled them back on the ambition scale, I realize that realistically, it’s still quite a bit of work to embark on.  However, considering I’ve already written over 16,000 words in my journal, and 4,042 words of new fiction (I didn’t start until the 5th, so I’m a few days behind — don’t worry, I’ll catch up!), I think it’s feasible.  I’m up for the challenge.

Right now I’m in the midst of a horror short story tentatively titled “Animal Control.”  I started out writing mostly fantasy when I was younger, but it’s progressed to slipstream, magical realism, science fiction, and now horror.  Horror seems to be a nice color on me as of late.

In any event, <whew!> my first blog post is done.  Now I’m off to get some work done.

– Ang