Thursday, June 25, 2015

Update: Paperclip Visual

Last month I tried out a new method to visually track my word count each week as motivation. It's worked really well, so I decided to make it prettier and a bit more permanent. 

I went out and got a set of clear shot glasses, and beads in two different sizes. 

The little green beads each represent 100 words (there are ten of them) and the larger red beads represent 1,000 words (I only have seven of these, since I don't typically write more than 5,000 words a week). 

I move a green bead over every time I write 100 words, until I reach 1,000. Then I reset them and move over a large red bead. 

Only 10 more scenes to go until I finish the first draft of TGITP!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Unspoken, You Can Buy Happiness, and Death by Food Pyramid

I'm writing to you from CAMT 2015 in Houston!

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

I joined a book club and this is the first book we're reading. I don't think I would have heard of it otherwise! I am LOVING this main character's voice. She's funny. Not only do I laugh at her weird jokes and phrases, but the other characters laugh and it feels totally natural. Plus there's some great mystery and bad boy tension, as well as a little dab of supernatural. Mmmm. 

You Can Buy Happiness (and It's Cheap) by Tammy Strobel

Not the best how-to minimalist book, but the anecdotes keep me inspired and in the minimalist mindset. 

Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger

I'm not reading this one as much as the minimalist book, mostly because it's a little heavy on the technical side for me to read before bed. However, I've already learned a lot of fascinating facts about the politics that went into creating the food pyramid. 

No audio book this week because I've had a sudden Harry Potter craving and put the first one on hold at the library. Now I'm waiting...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My Pocket Notebook

Yesterday I read "How to Use a Simple Pocket Notebook to Change Your Life" by Trent Hamm. I've been thinking about starting a pocket notebook for awhile, especially for those times when I hear a particularly beautiful sentence or good bit of dialogue and want to remember it. His post finally convinced me. 

Today I ran out to the office supply store and bought a pack of little composition books and a pack of little pens. Here's a picture of my notebook, next to a regular pen for size. 

I labeled it June 2015 (I'm thinking that when I finish it I'll add another label for the end month) and taped a straw to the side to hold the pen. 

In the back, I taped an old bracelet I don't wear anymore to use as a bookmark. I also added a few paper clips in case I have any separate papers (receipts, business cards, etc) I'd like to hold onto until I can do something with them or glue them into the notebook. 

I'll update in a few weeks to let y'all know how it's going (and if it really did change my life). 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Goal - Finish The Third Quarter

Summer break is here! And with it, a big push to finish the first draft of TGITP. I'm five scenes away from finishing the third quarter, so my goal is to do that by this Friday. Three days. I can do it! Much like my Spring Break goal I'm going to keep track of my progress on here to help keep me motivated (and give you all some insight into my writing process).

Wednesday, 1:38pm
Starting now! Today I'm going to plan the five scenes I need to write, and write one of them. I'm currently at a coffee shop with a writing group I joined. We meet a few times a week and chat and get settled for about thirty minutes, then Shut Up and Write for an hour. It's super helpful to be in a room with people who are all concentrating on their writing too.

Update: Wednesday, 2:30pm
Well, somehow I managed to add one, possibly two scenes to my to do list. However, I planned out about three and a half scenes. Not too bad for an hour's work.

Update: Wednesday, 4:13pm
Home now after running a few errands and sitting down to write. I think I'll crank out today's scene(s) and finish planning later.

Update: Wednesday, 5:30pm
Did a whole lot of nothing for awhile and then finally started. I wrote 421 and the first half of a scene.

Update: Wednesday, 7:55pm
Sitting in the Starbucks at my local Target. My boyfriend is across the table from me studying for his physics GRE. I just bought a clipfolio (clipboard on the outside with a pocket and legal pad inside, in cute, coordinating colors of course) in anticipation for editing TGITP. I figure I'll take my notes on the legal pad and keep critiqued scenes from my writing group in the folder. Ahhh, one day. Now to write the rest of today's scene...

Update: Wednesday, 8:53pm
983 words and two short scenes later.....I'm feeling pretty good about my progress today.

Update: Thursday, 9:05am
I'm at my desk, delicious cup of coconut oil coffee at the ready. The sunlight streams through the window in front of me, and my dog is curled up in her bed at my feet. Mmm. So relaxed. Time to plan out the last scene of this quarter and then write one or two more.

Update: Thursday, 10:13am
Spent some time rewriting a great scene in a book I'm reading right now, to get in the "words are music" mindframe. Then I finished planning the last few scenes of this quarter. Now time for the actual writing! (while the Dallas String Quartet version of Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This plays on Pandora...)

Update: Thursday, 10:43am
490 more words written, and 1 more scene. Two more to go!

Update: Thursday, 8:00pm
Here we go, time to hammer out the last two scenes! Throw in a word sprint or two with my critique partner and I just might make it.

Update: Thursday, 8:48pm
FINISHED! A day early too!

What I'm Reading Wednesday - Dreams of Gods and Monsters, The Total Money Makeover, and These Broken Stars

I'm back! After two weeks of finishing out the school year, I'm back to reading and writing full-time!

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

I took a break from this one to re-read The Total Money Makeover but now I'm back to it and zooming through. 

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

I re-read this one now that I'm at a point in my life where I'm ready to start saving for retirement and investing. 

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (audio)

Mmm, getting close to the end on this one and I'm feeling the anticipation...all the little hints and mysteries and starting to add up...