Ready. Set. Write! Update #6

RSWCoffee

Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

I missed last week because I had just arrived in NYC and forgot! But I set some goals on my What’s Up Wednesday post.

Last Weeks Goals:

1. Enjoy this moment.

~ This was a serious goal for me. I am not good at in the moment living. I managed it well I think. 

2. Think about writing.

~ So much. I did some revising too. Went to a cafe, had a bagel, and actually wrote a whole new chapter. Also, saw writing friends which aided in the inspiration. 

3. Be in love with my characters. Be in love with this city. Be in love with my husband.

~ Yes to all of the above. But very glad to be home with my kid. 

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

He brushed his thumb across my knuckles. “It is everything to both of you,” he paused, moving his hand up my arm to squeeze my shoulder. “It shouldn’t be.”

Biggest Challenge:

Myself. In my own way and stubborn.

Something I love about my WiP:

That the book I want to write is in there, that I know what that book is, and that I can see how to shape it.

This Weeks Goals:

1. Finish the book I am reading right now and start another one.

2. Revise three chapters.

3. Write 8 screenplay pages.

4. Do something fun on Friday with my son, just us.

 

What’s up Wednesday from New York City

RobotWUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

I am jumping around between a few books right now. I don’t normally do that, but this summer I am suffering from reader commitment phobia. Still reading If I Stay, but because it’s on my Kindle app I am being slow. I started Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke on the airplane, and I am really into it.

What I’m Writing

Yesterday morning I put together a detailed revision plan for my manuscript Of Blood and Promises. It is the most detailed plan I’ve ever come up with for a manuscript, which seems significant. This summer has meant less writing time for me, and also writing time focused on a screenplay, and when I got notes on this manuscript (they are from an agent I’ve been working with) as grateful as I was for the opportunity to revise, I found myself demotivated.

Rather than ignore my feelings, I took a break, letting the feedback sit for a bit — letting everything sit for a bit. I think it was the right move, and I’m excited. BUT…I am still working on the screenplay. The last few times I’ve revised my manuscripts I stopped all progress on the screenplay, and while I don’t have as much writing time right now, I am going to try.

What Inspires Me

New York City. I lived in Brooklyn for two years. It has been 15 months since I came to the City last. We’re here for a week, and while my husband works during the day, I am visiting old friends, fighting with public transportation, feeling the energy of the city, and wandering through quiet places in Prospect Park.

Our departure from New York was a break-up, and at the time we were happy to say goodbye. Being back here, seeing this place on my own, at this point in life, as this person, is a surprising gift full of reflection, grounded in inspiration.

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What Else I’m Up To

See above. And since I didn’t get to do my update for Ready. Set. Write! on Monday, here are my goals for the week:

1. Enjoy this moment.

2. Think about writing.

3. Be in love with my characters. Be in love with this city. Be in love with my husband.

Happy Wednesday!

What’s Up Wednesday

wuwPLANEBORDER2What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

What I’m Reading

Beta reding, but different stuff now. I feel like I’m starting to get ahead on my reading, which is a wonderful feeling. Betaing is a responsibility I do not take lightly, so my recent reading slump is also not something I am proud of or willing to give in to. It’s good to be coming through it. Still reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman, still slow as Christmas.

What I’m Writing

Still mostly the Screenplay. I love this thing more than I should love something I have no idea what to do with. Screenwriting was my first writing medium. I know, it sounds very weird. I wrote my first screenplay at the age of nine on a typewriter. It was bare bones and unrealistic, but it was a screenplay.

I am also processing some notes on a manuscript and trying to figure out how to revise. It’s not that the notes are complex, or even really that much, it’s more wanting to really do this manuscript justice. So, I haven’t started revising yet, and I am OK with that.

What Inspires Me

Watching TV and Films and dissecting what is seen on screen and what is said in dialog. We were watching Firefly last night, which is incredible for language and character development, and I found myself taking notes.

My writer friends, who have become some of my best friends. I have called on them for advice, encouragement, and distraction in the past couple weeks and they have delivered to no end.

Spending time with a friend I haven’t seen in four years. We’ve kept up over Facebook, which is one reason I still do Facebook, and after four years — and a lot of changes — it was like no time had passed.

What Else I’m Up To

I had dental work last week and then didn’t really let myself recover properly. So I am paying for it. I had to go in to the oral surgeon yesterday for “an adjustment” which is a nice way of saying they had to do work on me that they shouldn’t have had to do.

Going to NYC next week for six days. I haven’t been to the city since last May. So. Excited.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Ready. Set. Write! Update # 5

RSWcloudpolaroid

Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Last Weeks Goals:

1. Write 15 Screenplay pages.

~ I wrote 18 pages. Yes. 

2. Read 100 more beta pages.

~ Done! Phew!

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

Kate looks annoyed and nearly stops in the aisle.

KATE
Since when does my flirting bother
you?

ABIGAIL
Since your husband still has a
pulse.

Kate’s face tightens. Abigail sits. Kate stands for a beat, waves once at Thor, and then sits.

Biggest Challenge:

About halfway through the week I really had to fight doubt, frustration, and general life fatigue. Time is always a big issue for me this summer, too.

Something I love about my WiP:

It’s not a fantasy, which is what my YA novels are, but it is about living in a fantasy world. And it’s a lot of fun to let my nerd flag fly.

This Weeks Goals:

1.  Put together a workable plan on how to revise based on some awesome feedback for one of my manuscripts.

2. Finish pages for my CP and get her notes.

3. Write 5 screenplay pages.

 

What’s Up Wedesday

TreeWUWWhat’s Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, allowing us to touch base with blog friends and let them know what’s up. Should you wish to join us, you will find the link widget at the bottom of Jaime or Erin’s blog.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done What’s up Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a wonderfully epic summer.

What I’m Reading

Currently doing beta reading. Which is top priority for reading right now as I have a lot to get caught up on and very little reading time this summer. I also started If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and so far am loving it. I haven’t read anything by Gayle Forman yet, but have heard nothing but good things. And with the upcoming movie, I thought I’d start there!

What I’m Writing

I’ve been working on a feature length screenplay pretty much exclusively for the past two weeks. I am over 1/3 of the way through and just so very happy with it. The dialog, which is maybe the most important thing in screenwriting, is coming really naturally. I am taking this to mean I have a firm grasp on my characters. Right now I am just working on the main plot lines, and getting the basic story down. I had some breakthrough figuring out how all the main plot lines will converge at the end yesterday, which was THRILLING.

What Inspires Me

This may sound very strange, but my brother and his family. Three years ago, right before my husband and I moved to Brooklyn, my brother, his wife and young daughter moved to Israel. Right now, they are right in the middle of war in a foreign country. Their faith and bravery to stay in their home in Jerusalem in the midst of this chaos is incredible. Your thoughts and prayers for the peace of that nation are appreciated, personally, by me and my family. This is a terrifying time, it is meant to unsettle and unnerve, to get those who live there out of safety and into harms way. War does that, is touches the innocent and the foolhardy alike. When the war is over the land, over faith and long standing hatred, there are no winners. There can’t be.

What Else I’m Up To

Everything that is involved in having an epic summer with my son.

Also. I got New Hair (that is what all the kids at Sam’s school call it) and Sam asked me what “the hair color doctor” had to do to give me this hair. I explained it was a lot like painting.

new hair

Have a wonderful Wednesday! And drop by comments to tell me what’s up with you!

Ready. Set. Write! Update #4

RSWCoffee

Ready. Set. WRITE! is an online writing intensive to help stay accountable with your writing goals over the summer and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on whether planning, drafting, or revising! Your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Find the rest of the details HERE.

Last Weeks Goals:

1. Screenplay – 15 pages

~ Done! I am 43 pages into this SCREENPLAY and it is right where I want it to be plot wise. So exciting. Also, remembering how hard writing screenplays are. You have to come at the story in a very different way than writing a novel. 

2. Beta Reading – ONE MS

~Ugh. I read about 50 pages on an MS and 20 pages on another. Do not take this as me not enjoying the reading, I AM!! It is just slow going right now. 

A favorite line from my story or one word or phrase that sums up what I wrote or revised:

Simon and Alexa emerge. Alexa has her iPad out and is
filming Simon.

ALEXA
B-role.

SIMON
Did you grab the waters?

He faces her as he shuts the door.

ALEXA
(Turns camera to self)
Backpack.

Turns camera to Simon.

SIMON
Granola bars and other sustenance?

ALEXA
(Camera to self)
Loaded up like a hobbit on her way
to Mordor.

Biggest Challenge:

Not having a lot of down time to read. Exhaustion.

Something I love about my WiP:

Sometimes you have an idea for a story and you start writing it and it just doesn’t work like you expected it to. This Screenplay is working better than I anticipated. So. Excited.

This weeks goals: 

1. Write 15 Screenplay pages.

2. Read 100 more beta pages.

3. Continue having an Epic Summer with Sam. (This is one goal I have had no problem achieving so far!)

 

Independence Day Musings

From WingsofWhimsy.wordpress.com

From WingsofWhimsy.wordpress.com

Today, I feel the pressure of being closer to thirty than twenty-nine with an acute pang of melancholy and reflection. I have used my twenties to find myself, maybe in the most obvious ways — maybe in ways that are only obvious to me —and still I am not sure it is myself I have found, but this years version of myself instead. And that thought scares me more than I like to admit.

It is like I am racing with myself. Not toward a finish line, but toward the memory of who I have been and who I wish I had become, toward the apparition of who I am becoming and who I will never be. There are those who will say thirty is just a year, another birthday in a long line of birthdays. But those people have never been almost thirty as an American female.

It’s not really about aging at all. When I look in the mirror, the face I see isn’t that different than the face I saw a few years ago.

Maybe my face reflects the discovery that I could write —write well, and keep writing even when I failed, even when I wanted to stop. Behind my eyes are years spent in Brooklyn, chasing a kid around Prospect Park and questioning my own status quo. There is darkness hidden there too, questions I grapple with daily that the 25-year-old me would never have dreamed challenge.

There are also answers pressed into the tiny wrinkles that crease my eyes when I smile, now, because I do know a little something of the world and am OK with not knowing everything.

This woman is young and old. Silly and serious. Moved and unchangeable.

No, the pressure of thirty is deeper. It is the rush of time as it speeds around me, propelling me forward but trying to keep me from flying. When I was a child, I was made of dreams of the epic variety. I wish I could say I no longer harbored those aspirations to greatness, but that would be a lie. Dreams are the fabric of my person, the thread that sews me together. As thirty approaches, my seams are being stretched out and examined, re-stitched and altered.

Today is Independence Day, and I am thinking about the idea of Independence. In many ways, I am an average American: busy, a little self-centered, overcompensating for the guilt that comes with privilege and ambition. All around me I see freedom wasted on laziness, on fruitless wandering, on the inability to commit to being more than your current state.

I am not above this waste. I shit around with the best of them. But then I see people trying. People with ambitions to alter the world, whether the world for them is their backyard garden or the local food bank or their city government. I was raised to believe that I can do anything, and that is a very American concept. That is the result of a life lived in independence.

Independence is honesty. It is acknowledging what you fear, owning it, then conquering it. I fear the unknown beyond my twenties, but that is just a symptom of the probably never-ending fear of what I cannot see. What is beyond me to see.

Countries have borders and laws, but so do human beings. The person I found in my twenties may not be me in five years, but it is me now. It is me at this level of achievement, at this time in life, in this version of the world. The somethingness I strive for will never be in reach because even when I am living the dream, a new dream will be born.

I am not thrilled with feeling this way. It makes me itchy and snarky and want to sell all my belongings and hit the road with my husband and son. It tugs at me, unsettling me on the very best of days, and rattling my core on the worst. I am having to learn to accept that this is how it feels to be living, actively, and that is better than being stagnate. Where I am is the place I am, in the day I’m living. It is not about being thoughtful or calm or blissful or willing. It is just showing up today, then tomorrow, and then one day I will be thirty and I will have moved from the seat I warmed when I was twenty-nine.