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Posts tagged ‘progress’

Cathy: Writing, Editing, and Not

This post is kind of a way for me to work out hitting a wall in my manuscript.

All I want is to finish it. In my heart, I still love it. But after so many edits, this edit is really a bore to do. In my house, two kids are gone for a month, including the most distracting one. In and around my house is a lot of neglected house stuff, largely due to my trying to focus on the manuscript.

When I try to write at home, even if I have my mother-in-law take the 3-year-old out of the house for a couple of hours, invariably I putz around finding other things to do until, lo and behold, they return, and I haven’t even pulled the critiqued manuscripts out of my tote bag. Like the day last week, when Toots decided waking up throwing up was the way to go that day rather than out of the house with Grandma. I sank her into the couch with Netflix streaming kid videos, and the next thing I knew, I found myself hacking branches in the yard in 100 degree heat, because that apparently was immensely preferable to actually finishing my novel.

And I had a good session on it the day before when I did my usual Tuesday routine of packing everything up and taking it to the library to edit. Okay, so the next day, off to the library I went, and knocked through two chapters in a fairly painless edit session.

As I write this, I look back over this very morning, noting that, yes, I had an early doctor appointment, from which I left a bit upset, mostly just burnt out on doing the specialist shuffle, so I gave myself permission to see another human being, I mean tea chat with a friend, and then another friend who is back in town visiting from far far away showed up, and finally I trotted myself off to the library. I couldn’t settle in as the place was teaming with people, and then the summer camps came tromping through in droves, so I turned right around, having never even opened the laptop. Read more

Cathy: Trading words for stitches

It all started here, which led me back to the fabric store, which led to obsession. From which I have only slightly recovered, as I continue to quilt approximately an hour or so per day. Some days I skip. Others net four or five hours of poking myself in the finger with a needle and going blind from close up examinations of threading the needle or trying to find where it came out the back so I can tie it off and thread the needle again.

I am enjoying it, meditatively, methodically producing something of use and pretty, too. Toots can’t wait to wrap it around herself, sleep with it over her in bed.  She woves her kiwt so vewy much.

Some photos of the process, which is nearly complete:

Stage one, in pieces:

Watch the dates, folks, most of these were taken during the 48 hour endurance obsession initial weekend. Pieced together by evening, sorry it’s blurry, so was I:

Next morning, the border is completed.  I wanted to try fancy cornering, but then I said it’s good I got this far:

Blood was shed from my cuticle! twice:

(Addendum: That is my grandmother’s thimble!)
Back panel sewn and turned right-side out:

Lost a day to finding a fabric loop and oh yea, paying attention to my family.
Quilting begun:

See? Not perfect, but getting the hang of it.

Weeks later, I am still quilting.
Mr. Cynic took this on Tuesday:

What may not be readily apparent is that most of the quilting is complete. I’m in the final blue panel now. I also now have a better understanding why at one point in my glasses clad young adulthood, a guy in a bar thought, What are you, some kinda librarian? was a good pickup line. It wasn’t, but I can see why he said it.

[Crossposted from Musings in Mayhem]

Cathy: Back to writing

Yesterday, I met with my writing group. I had not opened my manuscript since the session I went to about month ago. I kind of feared where I was in it and was pleasantly surprised that I was at page 93 in my purple line edits. I won’t use a red pen — looks too much like violent spilt blood.

The significance of being at page 93 is that I was much farther along than I thought I was, and being a middle reader novel, I was darn close to the end. So guess what?

Yesterday, I finished my purple line edits.

Now to go into the document to make the changes official from the purple scribbles. Toward the end, my purple pen ran out of ink, so the end edits are in black, which is what I had in my purse.

Anyway, I feel good about the book, still. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it since I started it back at the dawn of time. At this point, the changes I was having trouble believing in, make better sense to me. The bottom line is I still cried while reading the end. My main character’s growth is evident.

And I love him. He has been growing up alongside my boys, as if he is one of them himself. Mr. Cynic was a year or so younger than him when I started, and is now in entering the halfway point of high school. Captain Comic was in preschool when I first wrote the 12-year-old into existence, and now he turns the age of my character in a bit over a week from now.

So, from here on out, I want to try to see if I can pick my way through the manuscript document, inserting the scribbles by day, instead of waiting for my writing group to meet in silence and commitment to writing. I am hoping that transferring the changes won’t take as much concentration as the purple lining did. I hope I can do it while my menagerie runs around the house.

Draft 2 (er 5,010) complete. Phew — kind of.

[crossposted from musings in mayhem]

Kristine: Baby Steps…Literally

My daughter is learning how to walk. Over the weekend, she stood on her own, finally got her balance, and moved three steps before tumbling over. I was amazed. It was a major achievement in my eyes. My husband and I have been waiting for this milestone as she’s 16 months old and until this point showed no desire to move around unless she was crawling.

I showered her with cheers and kisses. My daughter, on the other hand, didn’t seem so thrilled about the whole thing. Actually, she got rather annoyed and didn’t feel like doing it again for the rest of the day. Every time I tried to walk with her, she’d get frustrated at her lack of balance and pull away. Isn’t that typical? She’s becoming more and more like her mother every day, I’m afraid.

My friends tell me these first steps mark the beginning of her true independence. Before long, she’ll be running out of the house to play with her friends, going to school and finding reasons to be away from me. Sigh. Okay, so maybe I’m happy with her crawling for a while longer.

So The Munchkin and I are learning our baby steps together. While she learns the courage to stand on her own feet, I’ll be learning to let her go…slowly, one step at a time.

Also, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and join Facebook. If I haven’t found you yet, let’s be friends!

Cathy: Sweet Surprises

I get it now. Or have I said this before?

I still need to go at my snail’s pace, but in keeping the pace steady, I am immersed. A little bit of writing in my manuscript most days is realistic with constant interruptions. Regularly communing with others at least online as well as scheduling virtual writing dates, keeps my mind set on the path. Also, it helps me to know that I’m not really sitting alone in the dark, even if I’m sitting alone in the room with wiggly baby on my lap, typing one handed.

My characters are coming back to life in a way I had long forgotten when I hit my first big bump that made me unintentionally set this gig aside years ago. Scenes I never intended are beginning to write themselves into the story while I sit back and go, “Hmm, so that’s why I wrote her in way back then.” or “Gee, THAT was unexpected!”

I’m finding that it’s going a lot like the way I cook. I follow the recipe or the rules of writing quite a bit, but when it comes down to it, there is quite a lot of improv, too. Like today, I baked a cake while measuring half-assed, dumped a boulder of sugar into the batter by accident, and the flour spilled over, too, which I didn’t really sift. Then I threw choc chips in just because I felt like it, and voila! An ugly, lopsided, yet delicious cake emerged from the oven. The boys, my audience, didn’t care what it looked like or how it got there. They just got off their respective busses, came in, and oo’ed that something smelled good, and promptly stuffed a piece in their mouths. One even said, “Chocolate chips? I’ll get a glass of milk to go with that!” So, it turned into a healthy snack, too.

In the writing today I ended up with three or more completely unexpected scenes: the bully did not punch the main character as I thought I’d be writing since day one, but kicked a kickball into the face of his friend, a girl, hard enough to stop the game and send her to the nurse. The nurse suddenly became the confidante of the three who get the brunt of the bullying. And the evildoer’s sidekick is turning his game face over to the good side sooner than I anticipated. Who knew? Certainly not I, and you’d think I had some control of the situation, seeing as I’m making it up as I go, right?

Above is a new Wordle of my work in progress. I find Wordle to not only be a fun waste of time, but a good editing tool. Now I can see how much of my most important and frequent words are drek which needs to be cut at some point when I begin to fine-tune it. But that’s later. First I just want to get the plot down from beginning to end. Page 60 and counting…

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