[personal profile] madwriter
I don't really consider these highlights of what I've been up to lately, unless you call them scattered highlights. Since blogging seems to be practically impossible these days, though - ironically, I'm going to be doing a bit of public speaking about blogging tomorrow - I wanted to do some catching up if only in a small way.

  • Six months into my new life as a homeowner, I'm still working out the kinks of trying to do writing and house-related stuff in the same day. I've only managed it three times in recent weeks. Today, working on the house, was not one of those successfully joint days. Yesterday, writing chapter 20 of the For Fun Fantasy Novel, was also not one of those days. The fact that For Fun Fantasy Novel is for fun and is an experiment on several levels is enabling my bad segregation behavior. But I also know that when I get concentrating on something, that's the something I concentrate on for the time I have. When I write, I write till I'm done for the day. When I've been painting siding, organizing the still-unsettled parts of the house, raking the thirty million leaves from the forest surrounding me, or whathaveyou, then that is the something I work on until I'm done for the day.

    I like to play with the fantasy that if I ever became a full-time writer, this would change and I could get it all worked in each day, as I'd have an extra eight hours a day to work with. I'm sure all the full-time writers I've known are laughing right now.

  • In other news, some fun at work has become a practical tool.

    Writer Warning



    If you're reading this blog, you almost certainly know that I work at a college library. Well, two weeks ago today, one of the students (who also happens to work at the library) did a Makerspace presentation where she taught us how to make our own blackboards. I made the one you see in the picture above, minus the warning message. In the course of making it I half-joked that I ought to write the warning you see and place it on our main service desk where I sit at night. My boss happened to think this was a cute idea and gave me the OK to do it.

    I thought I was just having fun. But lo and behold, overall the last two weeks at the library have been remarkably quiet.

    We've put out signs asking people to be civil - or just outright asking them to keep the noise levels down. The signs are ignored, or occasionally moved out of sight by the people they're aimed at. We've asked people to keep the noise down, which generally works for about five minutes. Those and other measures have failed more often than not. But suddenly I threaten to write about people, and tranquility descends upon the library.

    Who knew writers had so much power? The pen is mightier than the shush.

  • I've written here before that I have a hard time teaching writing because I've been doing it for so long, and it's become so ingrained in me, that when you want me to pin down how I do what I do, I'm not really sure. I've discovered this week that my literary uncertainty encompasses blogging too. One of the other librarians here was slated to co-host a faculty service discussion about educational blogging, and asked me if I wanted to participate. Without realizing at first how close blogging is to writing for me *cough*, I agreed without hesitation. Then the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was as uncertain as to what I would say as I always am when someone asks me to talk about writing.

    I was invited to participate this past Monday; the discussion is tomorrow afternoon. I'm still working out what I'll be saying. If this goes like many other writing-related discussions and classes I've been in, I won't know part of what I'll say until I actually get there and start talking. At any rate, my portions of the event will be interaction, best practices, guest blogging, maybe some process, that sort of thing. Which is why I thought this was ironic for me to be doing right now, since the process hasn't been happening a whole lot lately.

    But who knows? Maybe I'll inadvertently reinvigorate myself my blogging by doing this.

  • The aforementioned For Fun Fantasy Novel, No Word in Death's Favor, is closing in on 100,000 words, and only about three-quarters done, so it's a pretty darn good thing that I've almost got myself convinced that I'm not paying attention to word count this time around. I'm not participating in NaNoWriMo, though I have been keeping a November word count, just because I'm a little obsessive that way.



    PROGRESS REPORT FOR 11/18/14


    New Words: 2300 on chapter 20 ("Jared") of No Word in Death's Favor. Jared causes himself and a whole lot of innocent dead people some major grief when a prank spell turns out to have some dubious powers of resurrection. Oh, and he may have to do it again to save the troops under his command.

    Total Words: 95,700.

    NonNaNoWriMo Total Words: 11,000.

    Reason For Stopping: Getting ready for work.

    Mammalian Assistance: None, which is unusual. Vegas the Writing Assistant generally wants in, but sisters Nate and Hayes have been wanting to pitch in a lot more as well, and occasionally also the black cats Friday and Nugget. Which is nearly all of them. Vegas' sister Velvet doesn't show much inclination to come in, but she'd just want back out two minutes later, or sooner if the window rattled.

    Exercise: Very little. It was raining lightly and frigidly, and neither Tucker nor I felt much ambition to walk around the entire neighborhood under those conditions.

    Stimulants: Two ice cream sandwiches, despite the aforementioned lack of exercise.

    Today's Opening Passage: It took everything Jared had to stay standing and to keep facing his tormentors, but he managed it, and locked himself in place. “Get out of my head, Odesa,” he told her. “I want to see what is real—real at this moment. And I won’t relive that day again.”

    Darling Du Jour: "...If you mean to spend the rest of your life groveling to them, and constantly battering yourself in the head with pranks that serve no purpose but to keep your feet and your fate stuck in the mud, then let me know now so we can be done with you instead of wasting time.”

    Non-Research / Review Books In Progress: 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline; The Golden Princess by S.M. Stirling; Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett.

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    Madwriter

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