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Posts Tagged ‘first drafts’

Of course this week we had hot, humid weather. In previous years, school would not have started until the Thursday of last week (Thursday after Labor Day), but, in their “wisdom”, they moved the start of school up ten days–just in time to hit what is usually the most humid part of the year, here. Naturally without making any adjustments to make that easier to deal with.

So, basically, there wasn’t enough left of me to do any writing during the week. It is cooling off–and much less humid–now. Hopefully this weather will hold for a little while.

I have gotten some writing/revising done on MAGE STORM this weekend, at least.

Mage Storm

And hope to get more done during the week, because the week after that will be busy with other things and the one after that I may be on jury duty.

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Whew!

I know I didn’t post at all last week. All I can say is that the first week back at school kicked my . . . . Well, you know.

However, I did still make some progress on the rewrite of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

I even finished another chapter. So it wasn’t a total waste. And what little energy I had to spare was better used for that, so I don’t lose momentum entirely. I even finished another chapter.

Here’s hoping next week will be a bit easier. At the very least, it’ll be a day shorter.

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I’m a couple of days late posting this. There are a number of reasons for that, but . . . who needs excuses.

The main thing is that I continue to make progress on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Not quite as fast as last week, but that’s to be expected.

In other news:

-In gardening, the Heart of Darkness (otherwise known as the turk’s cap plant at the side of the house) has been tamed (as much as it can be at the moment).

Before:

Heart of Darkness

Half-way through:

Heart of Darkness Today

It was like that green wall at the back pretty much from end to end.

Finished:

Heart of Darkness Part 2

Well, that photo isn’t completely finished. There’s another section beyond that wall with the weird little window. (That window is actually in a closet. Old houses are weird.) It’s mostly ivy, not turk’s cap, beyond that point. And narrower. And I did cut back most of that stuff that was higher up and out of reach without a ladder. (Some of it was still out of reach, at least for me.) Also, I finished up this morning by raking up all the dead leaves, etc. on the ground.

-I’ve also nearly finished the whole house cleaning–as long as you don’t count the back bedroom/storage room. I’ll have to get to that, too. Preferably before I have to get the Christmas stuff (much of which is stored in there) out.

-Summer is almost over. School starts on Monday. Sadie isn’t going to like that. She likes having me home all the time.

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-I finished another course through The Great Courses Plus, Heroes and Legends. It was clear fairly early on that the lecturer meant something different by heroes and legends than I do, although some would have fit my definition. Still, there were some interesting insights.

I’ve started another, How to Write Best-Selling Fiction, taught by James Scott Bell. It’s always nice when a writing class is taught by someone who is actually a writer.

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It feels so good to actually be writing again!

Actual progress on MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

It’ll still take a while, of course. That’s okay. It’s finally coming out and onto the page. That’s what matters.

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I didn’t post yesterday. I was too busy with the longest writing session I’ve had in a long time. Too long.

I don’t suppose the fact that I actually cleaned my desk the day before had anything to do with it. Nah.

But I did finish the chapter.

Mage Storm

Now, to keep the streak going.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that part of my problem with making more progress on MAGE STORM is balance.

Mage Storm

See, in addition to getting back into the habit of writing every day, I’ve also set myself a couple of other goals for this summer–which, for this purpose, ends in two weeks when school starts again.

I also wanted to get a fair amount of work done in the yard. It had gotten out of control and I’m gradually trying to bring it back–in a hopefully low-maintenance kind of way. Naturally, I try to accomplish whatever task I’ve set myself done in the morning, before it has a chance to get too hot. Usually, I get hot anyway. Gradually–one moderate goal at a time–I’m making progress with that.

Then, too, I want to get a whole-house cleaning done. And naturally, since I’m already wearing my grubby work clothes, I tend to do that shortly after I come in from working in the yard, allowing a little time to rest in between. That also is coming along, although I don’t expect to be completely done before school starts.

And then, I sit down at the computer. I’ve been sitting here–and then getting up only to wander somewhat aimlessly around the house and come back again since lunch. Trying to work up the concentration to finish this chapter

And all I really want to do is take a nap. Especially today, between mowing, laundry, and starting in on cleaning the dining room, I’m tired. Might be that I just can’t do as much in a day anymore as I could ten or twenty years ago–though I don’t like to admit it.

Balance won’t be any less of an issue once school starts, especially the first couple of weeks. The challenges will just change. Though, at least, I’ll likely only be working on they yard on the weekends. House cleaning never ends, though once the hard cleaning is done it will hopefully be the lighter kind of maintenance cleaning–at least for a while.

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The rewrite of MAGE STORM is flowing better now.

Mage Storm

What I need to work on is regaining the habit of spending enough butt-in-chair time on it. In fairness, I do have several other projects I have to work on this summer, both in the yard and cleaning the house. But I used to have this habit and I’ve lost it during the protracted writer’s block. (Ever notice it’s a lot easier to break good habits than bad ones?) I need to get that back.

Meanwhile, I’m finding more sources of inspiration, which will certainly bear fruit down the line. I mentioned, I think, that during the writer’s block I decided to subscribe to The Great Courses Plus.

I started with a series of lectures about the Celtic World, which was very good–and some of that is a portion of the new inspiration into my secret history.

Then I tried one on King Arthur. That one started out well, but turned into a sort of literary survey of who wrote what about the legend and when certain elements got added. (Hint: Lancelot is a French addition that was never part of the original Romano-Celtic tale. Though Guinevere is part of the original cast.) The stories themselves tended to get lost.

I very briefly stuck my toe into one on the great mythologies of the world, but I’m interested in them as stories, not comparative religion.  So, that didn’t last long.

Of course, it’s all a question of what interests me, in particular. For both Arthur and mythology, I’m all about the stories, because that’s what’s likely to spark something that I can work with. (Like taking off from the Hercules legend with my BECOME series.)

BecomeSeriesBoxSet

But, see, that’s the beauty of this subscription service. If a lecture series isn’t for you, you can just move on. Now I’ve started one on Heroes and Legends, which I’m really enjoying so far. The first lecture was . . . wait for it . . . about Tolkien’s Bilbo and Frodo, with an argument for why they are the unexpected, but needed heroes for the time following the World Wars. Then Odysseus (the ultimate trickster hero, perfect for his time) and Aeneas (Rome’s answer to Odysseus . . . and a bit of a prick, really.) Today I watched the one on Guinevere. I’m not sure I entirely agree with his analysis of her. But the summation of how depictions of her changed over time along with the expectations of the societies who were retelling her tale was very interesting.

This one may definitely inspire some new stories. Or new ways of looking at heroes. Or . . . well, who knows?

 

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Well, the plumbing fiasco–and my feelings about it–have derailed the small amount of momentum I’d started to build.

But I am not going to let that defeat me. No way. So the thing to do is to get back to that rewrite of MAGE STORM–painful as it is at the moment.

Mage Storm

Because that won’t last. Once I get some real momentum–or, at the latest, when I get past these first few chapters into the part that will diverge from the original–it’ll start really flowing. It will. All my other stories have. And just about every one of them has been hard to get really rolling. Why should this one be any different?

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All I can say is this week so far has been abysmal. Horrible. I want this week to be over. The last two days have been mostly interrupted by plumbers.

I’ve gotten the chance to work on maybe three or four sentences of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

This too shall pass–eventually.

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I’m gradually getting momentum on the rewrite of MAGE STORM.

Mage Storm

Very gradually. I’m still working on Chapter 1. But I am making progress. And I really think that this version is much better. Which, in turn, feeds my desire to work on it. And helps build momentum.

For the moment, I’m copying the old chapter into my new document in a different color. In fact, I’m using Word’s Heading 3, which allows me to track every line in the navigation pane. Then I’m rewriting paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, deleting the old version from the document as I go. This works, for now, because the first few chapters will remain mostly the same–in terms of what happens in them. After about chapter 6, things will begin to diverge from the original plot. I may still refer back to the original in much the same way in some places, but not wholesale.

Meanwhile, I’m continuing with the clean-up of the yard. And the house cleaning. Well, at least it keeps me from sitting in my desk chair all day. And I’m making progress with those, too.

 

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