Oh, man!  I did say I would be honest about these things.

So, honestly, I thought the PostADay Challenge was going to be a piece of cake and the Write1Sub1 Challenge would be the monkey on my shoulders that yanks on my ears and makes down the back of my shirt…BUT after a few weeks, I figured I would settle into a nice groove and be able to return to my novel projects.

After a week at this, I realize I was wrong.  Turns out both challenges are evil monkeys, and they’re gonna crap down my back all year.  Yay, me!

I must confess, the nerd in me is most happy.  Despite the stress and pain that comes with stretching, I feel busy and productive.  And I am still hopeful that I will settle into some sort of groove soon, as I am eager to make progress on my other projects.

Anyway, as far as the PostADay Challenge went this past week, so far so good.  But it wasn’t easy.  That’s why there hasn’t been a single picture attached to any posts this year so far.  There just hasn’t been time.

(But since I’m being honest, it probably doesn’t help that I’m trying to write this while kicking my friend’s ass in a Skype-sniping yo-mama contest.  I always win because I type faster…and I’m smarter.  I hope he reads this.)

Anyhoo…obviously, I need to manage my time a little better — or rather, manage myself better.  Besides curbing the usual time wasters that most of us actively participate in (surfing the net, Hulu, starting and winning text flame wars, obsessive email and blog stat checking), I know I need to work on developing my focus.  (You’re like, “No!”)

I’m always toggling online to check something.  I’ve always got ten tabs open in my browser and at least eight files open in OpenOffice, and I’m constantly stopping to pin ideas down, or worse…I get sidetracked by them.  There are Post-Its everywhere, and they keep spreading.  I’m afraid they may one day win.

My biggest time challenge really is the little one.  It goes without saying that she is my number one priority.  Almost all of the writing happens when she is unconscious, though we’re working on changing that.  But if we have troubles at bedtime and I get to the computer late, I’ll often only have a couple of hours to write my post.  You’d think that would be PLENTY of time, but apparently, in my case, it isn’t.  Apparently, I also need to get a hell of a lot faster.

Because of the daily deadline, the blog took precedence this week over the fiction writing big time.  I didn’t start editing my story for submission until the day before yesterday.  I ended up choosing to submit a flash fiction piece I wrote a while back because I felt it was finished.  In fact, I’ve submitted it to a contest before.  (No, it didn’t win.)

But when I read through it again, out came the pen.  No problem.  It’s only four pages long.  Mark, notate, scratch…type, type, type…print.  I’m thinking one more read-through and off it will go.  Nope.  After the first revision, I spent at least another two and a half hours rewriting it.  I think it’s a stronger piece now.  I hope it is.  Either way, it’s now up to the lovely folks at The Pedestal Magazine to decide.

That takes care of the submission bit.  What about the new story?

<deep breath>  I’m concerned that this story will never be finished and will never leave my desk.  I thought this part would be a little easier since I already have 11,000 words written on the damn thing and just needed to write a few scenes.  I won’t go into the gory details, suffice it to say that there have been changes, lots and lots of changes.  And I’m still not done.  And once I’m done, I’ve seriously gotta chop the thing in half and make it pretty and get it to my writer’s group like yesterday.  No problem, right?

And after I get all of that done, then write another story and submit another story and blog every day this week (all while kicking my friend’s ass on Skype), then I can get back to the novels.  Whee!

So the goal this week is to get caught up and stay caught up.  That’s it.  Oh, and to start including images in the blog again at some point…but not today.  🙂

As far as the blog goes, this week should be fun.  I’m renovating the place, knocking down some walls to open it up a little, adding a little texture and pizazz.  I’ll post each step of the way and include screen shots where applicable (since I just learned how to do that!).  And if the photo shoot goes well ;), I’ll let y’all vote on the new header.

So stayed tuned tomorrow for Part 1 of the Great 2011 Blog Overhaul…and find out what I hate about my blog.

P.S.  I’m still working on blog post brevity.

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