Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September #wipmadness – Week Five

Since today is the last day of September, I thought it would be fitting to wrap the September 2014 edition of #wipmadness today instead of yesterday. (That and after a weekend of helping my nephew catch up on missing math assignments and complete a study guide for the novel they read exhausted much of my energy Sunday night. I truly don’t know how you parents do it, especially those who homeschool. You are truly heroes in my book.)

As I look at my goal for September, I remind myself that a new month begins tomorrow. And that there is less (fewer?) than 100 days left of 2014. 100 days (about 92 remaining if you like exact numbers) is plenty of time to devote to a WIP. I've been waffling back and forth about whether to write a page a day for the next 92 days or to write for an hour a day for the next 92 days. I’m not quite at the drafting stage for either TV show idea. And my novel has been on the shelf so long, I think my characters have already graduated college. But nonetheless October means I still have three months to squeeze as much writing time out of 2014 as I can and be able to start 2015 with plenty of steam and all that pesky prewriting done, prepped, and organized.

So I’m extending my September goal into October, but am adding weekly goals to kick my butt into shape. I’ll announce what those goals are next week, because guess what?

I’ll be hosting #wipmadness for October!!!

So how was your month? Did you reach your goal for the month? Are you extending your goal into October too? Or is it time for a new goal?

And now for the long awaited giveaway announcement:

My friend and sometimes writing partner, Jenn, graciously made this bracelet:

If skulls aren't your thing, she can replace them with different beads. She can also add an r to write to make it a writer bracelet. She will include the clasp of your choice: lobster clasp, toggle clasp or an adjustable clasp. (A toggle clasp is shown.) You can also select the length you'd like. I think this one is about 7.25 inches in length. If you have any questions about the bracelet, please let me know and I can forward any questions to Jenn.

If you would like to be entered into the giveaway, please include that in your check-in comment.

I’ll announce the giveaway winner by Friday on Twitter and here on the blog.

Hope you have a wonderful last day of September, and I’ll see you next week.

Monday, September 22, 2014

September #wipmadness – Week Four

It’s Monday, yay!

Why am I so happy about Monday?

Because we all know it’s the real first day of the week, the weekend is over, and it’s a great time to hit the road running, or rather to hit the keyboard typing, or hit the paper writing. (Okay I might have stretched out that metaphor a little too much.)

But in the interest of starting a new week: here’s an exercise for you to do right now:

Set a timer and just write for the next five minutes. Whatever comes to your mind, just write.

Now look at what you've written. Read it over. Is there anything you can use from it in your current WIP? Or perhaps it’s given you a morsel for something new, maybe something you've never tried before. Maybe it’s something you’ll put on a shelf for a while and let it marinate. (I’ll skip the marinade analogy for now.J)

But whatever you come up with, be proud of it even if you think it’s the worst thing that has ever been written in recorded and unrecorded history. Because you wrote it. You wrote. And that’s something to be proud of.

My question for you this week is:

Did anything surprise you about the five-minute writing exercise? Did you discover something new about a character or uncover a new plot detail? Did you add an idea to the ever growing story idea list? (Please tell me I’m not the only one who keeps such a list.)

See you next week for the final check in for September #wipmadness!

Giveaway Update: I’m still working out the specifics of the write bracelet with Jenn. I hope to be able to post a picture of it this week. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

September #wipmadness – Week Three

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the halfway point of the September edition of #wipmadness. If you’re on track with your monthly goals: Congrats! You’re awesome. And if you’re like me and are slightly off track with your goals, you are still awesome. There’s still plenty of time left in the month to cross those goals off your list.

So take a moment to celebrate the halfway mark. Reflect on what you have managed to accomplish and remember it is okay to reset your goals for the rest of the month. It’s also okay to take a day off to focus on yourself; your characters as well as your family and your future self will thank you.

My question for you this week is:

How do you celebrate? Do you only celebrate the end of a draft/project? Or do you celebrate throughout the process?

Pictures of prizes will be posted this week, so check back if you’re looking for a little motivation. I promise not to claim them all as hosting awards. J

Monday, September 8, 2014

September #wipmadness – Week Two

So how was your first week of September?

Mine was okay. I cashed in a bunch of loose change that I've earmarked for the purchase of an updated version of Syd Field’s Screenplay and other writing-related books. I also brainstormed ideas for one of my TV pilots. I even know the line of dialogue that ends the first act of the pilot episode. Now I just need to actually write these ideas down instead of keeping it in my head.

I think what I need most is to reestablish a writing routine.

Now I've never quite had the best writing routine. I tend to write in long spurts under tight deadlines. Paper due tomorrow afternoon? By all means, let’s start it at 10 the night before. Supposed to submit a story for fiction workshop on Tuesday night? It’s only Saturday, I can watch one more episode (or six) of Friends and still have something to pass out. Draft of thesis project? Um, let’s not go there. J

I’m not sure why I’m so reluctant to committing myself to a routine. Perhaps it’s because I’m so busy planning the forest and the surrounding areas; including the castle and the river, that I run into trees and shrubs that trip me up. Or I spend time constructing metaphors for the simple fact that I keep ignoring: To be a writer means you have to WRITE.

It’s such a novel idea. Writers write.

So my goal for this week is to:

1. Take a few minutes and write down the ideas.

2. Set up a mini routine for the week. Pick a time and write for at least ten minutes each day at that time. Start rebuilding the muscle memory of writing.

My question for you this week is:

What is your writing routine? When do you write? Where do you write? How long do you write for? Are you aiming for a certain number of words, pages, or minutes?

Do you have any advice for establishing a writing routine? What works? What doesn't work?

And what’s the best excuse you've used or heard for avoiding writing?

I have some very cool ideas for giveaway items including a WRITE bracelet and cool bookmarks. I’ll post pictures of the prototypes next week. My friend and sometimes writing partner, Jenn has graciously agreed to make these items.

Hope you have a great week full of fantastic writing sessions and amazing reads. I just finished reading my fifth Andrew Smith novel: 100 Sideways Miles.

Even though it’s been more than 1.7 million miles since I read the final line of the book, I’m still lost in its world, and wish there was an additional chapter hiding beyond the final blank page. I love it when books stick with you for hours, days, and even years after you read it. I hope someday a reader will feel that way about my own book or screenplay. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Welcome to September #WIPMADNESS

Hello and welcome to my blog, Shortstop in the Sourdough. I’m honored to be your host for the September 2014 edition of #wipmadness.

I've always liked it when a new month begins on a Sunday or a Monday as it gives a double fresh start to the week as well as the month. And today being Labor Day in the U.S. (and Labour Day in Canada) makes today a triple fresh start to this month’s wipmadness. 

As you can tell from my older posts, I’m not the most prolific blogger, I’m pretty much the opposite of prolific. Let’s go with having a major case of being a blocked blogger slash writer. But a new month means a new start and this month I am jumpstarting my love and commitment to writing and to blogging.

My goal for this month is to select a writing project (or two) and actually make progress on it. I keep waffling (yum, waffles) between a few screenplay ideas, two TV pilot ideas, a short story, and a YA novel. So I figure I want to commit myself to working at least on one of the screenplay or pilot ideas as well as working on the novel.

So my question to you this week is:

What is your goal for this month?


When you have several ideas, how do you choose which idea to work on first? If you have more than one WIP, how do you balance them?
I’m working on a bribing, I mean motivational giveaway of sorts. I just got my car back from its second major service of the summer, so money is a little tight, but I’ll figure something out. I’ll announce the bribes giveaways next week.

Hope you have an awesome week full of writing and discovery. And chocolate. Chocolate is good. And so are waffles.