Tag Archives: evil day job

T.G.I.F.

(Someday that “F” is going to stand for “Finished” but for now we’ll settle for “Friday.”

Only one more Friday in Bedlam. People who work with special needs kids do not ever get enough credit. Or money. I know I couldn’t do it long term, or even for a five day week.

Still plodding along with The Academy of the Accord. Only two more books to get ready to print. (I’m not counting the prequel as it’s nowhere near done.)

The last book I worked on had chapter breaks… Starting on page 70. Yeah, no. I added a few before there. Probably a few too many but I’ll sort that out in edits.

Some of the books were printed ages ago (I knew that) and have paperclips marking their chapters, as well as margin notes and post-its (I’d forgotten about that). I suppose I should probably go through them before I print them again.

Then I got a bright idea to change something in the last book. It’s not going to affect the outcome at all, but it will affect large parts of text and will make me have to work in a new subplot.

Maybe by the end of the year I’ll be able to start a solid round of edits and bible-building.

(Yes, I know it’s only the end of February. But there’s an overwhelmingly long road ahead of me…)

So, anyhow, it’s supposed to rain this weekend so my plans are to curl up with a bad draft of a good book or two, drown myself in tea, and see if I can get ready to start the comparisons with what was printed earlier by the end of the weekend.

And blog hop and set up my weekly posts for the next month.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Chapters

And the lack thereof.

So I finally finished the latest untangling of the middle books of the Academy of the Accord series, and thought I was finally in for some smooth sailing to get the rest of them ready to be printed.

I was wrong.

When I write, I put in chapter breaks. (Usually labeled “Chapter Break” because I lose count. I put the numbers in when I do the first round of paper edits.)

When I get a manuscript ready to print for editing, I have each chapter start on a new page. (It’s just how my mind works at organizing things.)

So, I opened the next book and did a Ctrl F to find the word “Chapter” and Ctrl F said “Word not found.” And I said “What the F?” and tried again in case I’d mistyped it.

Nope.

There are no chapters.

And I said “F” a lot. (Without “Ctrl”)

How?

How could I have written this whole novel and never put in chapter breaks?

And how could I have read through it multiple times and never noticed that I didn’t put in chapter breaks?

At any rate, I decided it could wait until tonight, but work left me with a migraine so now it’s waiting until tomorrow so I’m not tempted to delete the whole thing. (Kudos to teachers and support staff who deal with a roomful of special needs students five days a week for nine or more months of the year. You all are a special breed of human who deserve a whole lot more money and recognition than you’ll ever get.)

But at least I got the most problem-filled book printed after work tonight so it’s ready to be attacked with paper clips, post it notes, highlighters, colored pens, margin notes, etc.

I should probably start on that fairly soon, while the memory of what I was trying to accomplish with that mess is still semi-fresh. (There is likely to be more swearing in my near future.)

But tomorrow I have to go try to help my mother recover and reset all the passwords that she lost because despite my best efforts to orient her to the truth she is under the delusion that I am some sort of computer guru.

(Some computer guru. I have a Word doc that is “Read Only” and I know I didn’t do that (at least, not on purpose) and have no idea how to fix it. *sigh*)

Anyhow, I hope everyone has a great weekend.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

I Finished It!

Really short post tonight because today totally got away from me and it’s already 9:00pm and I have to get up at 5:00 to get ready for work, just in case school isn’t delayed or cancelled. (Lots of places around us are already announcing a two hour delay but I swear this school district is allergic to calling it until the last possible moment.)

So, what have I done today?

Well, I shoveled snow and salted the sidewalk. Made a pot of chili. Mixed birdseed and filled the feeder. Played doorwoman for the dogs.

And, for the most exciting thing: I finally finished the paragraph by paragraph fixing of the spacing issue in the Academy of the Accord novel I’ve been swearing at for most of the month. Please cross your fingers, toes, eyes, and any other movable body parts that the remaining books aren’t like that because I’m beginning to think that it would be easier to just retype it than go through all of that again.

It seems that I’m following my heart this year – or at least at the present time – and working on the Academy of the Accord series.

I have a lot of stuff that is so much closer to being finished that I should be working on, but this is currently consuming me, despite trying to find a balance, so I’ve decided to just roll with it. I only have four more books to read through, then I can get them printed (one or two each pay) and start on the concordance.

(And if ever there was a series that needs a concordance, this is it!)

(Five books. Just realized I forgot about the prequel.)

So, anyhow, that’s been my day today. Well, that and a change in my work schedule that will result in an extra hour of pay and one hour less of commute.

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Night Shift

In a moment of insanity I agreed to work a night shift tonight, and, as usual, as the time to work it draws nearer I am regretting my decision. (Although I do have to admit that it was kind of worth it just to hear the confusion in the voice of the person from my agency who called to ask if I’d pick it up as the client had requested me. It was quite obvious that she had expected me to say no and she was kind of fumbling for a response when I said yes.)

Anyhow, it’s an easy assignment; most of my work is done by midnight at the latest and then there’s basically nothing to do (except check on the residents a time or two) until 6:00 in the morning.

Which begs the question: what should I take along with me tonight to work on to stay awake?

I can’t take counted cross stitch because the lighting in the nurse’s office sucks. (I’ve tried before; it just doesn’t work.)

I could maybe take yarn and a crochet hook and make a scarf, especially since I’m behind on that goal.

I should take something to edit but I don’t feel like lugging my laptop along and working on Onyx Sun and I don’t think I have any current print outs of The Academy of the Accord to swear, cry, and pull my hair out over.

Maybe I could take a note book and work on the outline of Song and Shadow? That won’t take all night, though. At least, not in a solid stream of working on it. (I tend to do outlines in fits and starts: write some stuff up, let it sit for a while, ask/answer some more questions about the story, add to the outline, repeat… And it’s even worse for this book because it’s started, and I know pretty much how it ends, but it’s getting from one point to the other that is giving me problems.)

Part of me wants to take my portable DVD player and the complete series of Fraggle Rock DVDs that I got for my birthday and have a Fraggle Rock night.

But on the other hand, I should do something productive…

*sigh*

In brighter(ish) news, I’m still chugging through fixing the spacing in that Academy of the Accord book, paragraph by paragraph. And I have another book ready to print for editing. (And might get another one ready before I go to work tonight. The Word doc is open and ready to work on at any rate.)

But I really just want to go to bed.

 

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Almost Gone

January, that is. But where? I can’t even figure out where today has gone, let alone this whole month. I could have sworn the year just changed a week or two ago.

I’m slowly getting used to my new day job assignment. I don’t seem to be quite so tired at the end of the day, at any rate. (Seriously. Who knew that riding a bus for seven to eight hours a day would be so tiring that all I want to do is sleep?) Of course, there were two days this past week where I didn’t work, so I don’t know if it really counts as getting used to it or not. One day was because the school district closed due to weather, and the other was the student being kept home.

I got my car inspected today, then got my second dose of the Covid vaccine, so those are both out of the way. And outside of a doing a load of laundry and taking a bag of garbage down from my room I haven’t done much of anything else.

Except read.

I’m working my way through re-reading the Academy of the Accord series so I read Book Four today, and so far it’s coming in as one of my favorites, although the ending totally sucks and needs to be completely redone. (Endings are a major weak point in my writing, but this one is especially bad and lazy. I really need to “read as a writer” and note how other writers wrap up their books.)

Yes, I know I’m supposed to be writing the prequel to Song and Sword, and I am still plugging away at it, but it’s not what’s calling to my heart right now.

And I’m also still poking at edits for Onyx Sun, and the rearrangement of my computer hutch is making that project much easier, so there is light at the end of that tunnel, although I’m afraid that my self-imposed deadline for it is going to go swooshing by. (Kind of like my To Do list that I just keep changing the date on.)

The Academy of the Accord, even with the amount of overwhelm and frustration I feel about it sometimes, is truly my heart project. I just sometimes despair of ever getting it finished and edited and free of continuity errors. (Especially that last one!)

Then there’s going to be the issue of finding a beta reader (or readers) for a 13 book series plus a prequel.

And coming up with titles for all of them. (Naming things is hard.)

And blurbs. Fourteen blurbs.

But one thing at a time. I have to finish writing a couple of them, and edit all of them, but I’ll get there. Eventually.

I just need to find a balance between the big picture and a narrow focus, and to a creative mind that frequently goes in several dozen directions at once – and multi-tasks in all of them – that is easier said than done.

 

3 Comments

Filed under writing

And Tomorrow’s Not Looking Too Good Either

 

Today’s “To-Do” List turned out to be more of a “Not-Gonna-Happen Today” List. I have marked a couple things off of it, so I’ll take what small victories I can find and move the rest to “Probably-Not-Gonna-Happen-Today-Either” list.

I did get a bit of a reprieve in that I only have to work a half day tomorrow so I’ll be able to get some errands run on the way home, at least one of which is writing-related.

While poking around in my files I found a scene that needs to be added to Book One of the Academy of the Accord series. I could have sworn I’d already inserted it but I have no versions at all with it in, so I’m going to put it where it belongs and reprint the draft (it desperately needs gone over again anyhow) and put it on the shelf again for another round. My current goal with the series is to get one book edited/reprinted each month. (One month will have to have two books done because there are more books than there are months now.)  And maybe finish the prequel’s first draft.

And, then, of course, there’s the work on the prequel to Song and Sword, and the edits of Onyx Sun, and… *sigh*

On a brighter note, the computer hutch project is almost finished and I hope to get it cleared out today and start moving stuff into it. I really should work on my CPR recertification for work first, though. I think they’d like that.

2 Comments

Filed under writing

Editing Bag

Well, what have we here?

No, you’re not seeing things. It’s a real, live blog post.

This is the last weekend before Camp NaNoWriMo starts so I thought I’d talk about my editing bag.

For July Camp, I’m going to be doing some editing and revising of Book Two of The Other Mages trilogy.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I probably plan to finish it at least one Camp session every year, but this year is different. This year I have figured out how to solve a major plot problem and I’m eager to get it fixed and get the book wrapped up. (I think it is mostly “finished” except the end was buried somewhere in the middle.)

So, anyhow. My editing bag.

And the reason why I need one.

I’m a nurse, currently working for a staffing agency, riding a school bus with a special needs child with multiple health issues. I have two hours between dropping him at school and getting back on the bus to pick him up again.

That’s almost two full hours of writing and/or editing time.

But since I live too far away from there to go home, the editing stuff has to come with me. Thus, an editing bag. It’s kind of a portable office.

First, there’s the bag itself.

I got it at Michael’s years ago. I had a coupon but it was on sale so I couldn’t use it, so I gave it some random person that was in the same aisle I was.

The main compartment is big enough to hold a three ring binder that has my printed manuscript in it. It also holds a spiral bound notebook for random thoughts, things to check elsewhere in the book (or trilogy or series).

The smaller compartment holds all kinds of good stuff. (Those are paper clips and binder clips. Kind of hard to tell with the reflection, plus I’m a writer, not a photographer.)

What else goes in there? Glad you asked!

Pens and highlighters in a variety of colors.

The scissors and tape and stapler (and extra staples) are for when I move whole sections somewhere else. I’ll cut them out, tape them to a piece of scrap paper and put them in their new spot. (Or I’ll tape them to the page they’re being moved to. Think of it as the original version of “copy (or cut) and paste.”)

And sticky notes of various sizes, shapes, and colors. (And, no, I do not have too many sticky notes. Bite your tongue, child! In fact, I think I need to add another large pad to the bag.)

And, yes, all of that fits in there, with plenty of room to spare. I had some of it pulled out into a “mini bag” and haven’t reassembled it yet – that’s one of my projects for this weekend. By Sunday night it’ll be ready to grab and go so I can get started on Monday.

(I’ll be breaking my tradition of staying up to start NaNo at midnight – my alarm goes off at 5:00 and sleep is a thing.)

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under writing

Too Tired

Well, so much for the weekend.

Friday night was a total bust. I didn’t get a chance to sit down and chill until 2:30 (night shift is 10:00 pm until 6:30 am), at which point I couldn’t really chill as I still had over half an hour’s worth of paperwork to do to get caught up on the first half of the night. And the interruptions just kept on rolling until suddenly it was time to get everything ready for day shift.

Saturday night was better but I hadn’t slept very well, had a killer headache, and no focus.

Last night I finally managed to get some words written but in long hand and I haven’t had a chance to type them up yet to see where I stand. I know it’s not much but at least it’s better than it was.

Today? Today has been my only day off until Saturday and it’s been worse than Friday night, as evidenced by the fact that it’s 10:30 pm as I’m writing this.

So far today (after getting up a little after 2:00 this afternoon and running on about 5 hours of sleep, maybe a little less) I have done two loads of laundry, washed dishes, took my dog (and myself) to the chiropractor for adjustments, drove through McD’s (Riley got a cheeseburger), and took Riley to visit residents at the nursing home where I used to work.

Came home, sat down to relax a bit until the temperature dropped a little then went out to mow the lawn which is waaaaaayyy overdue.  (If hay is growing as fast as our grass is the farmers should get half a dozen cuttings this year.) (That’s a bit of hyperbole – three is the maximum I’ve seen.)

Anyhow, I couldn’t get the mower started. Engine was primed, blades weren’t in the grass, engine wouldn’t even try.

Banged mower down on sidewalk. Nope. Blades not fouled.

Checked gas tank.

Empty.

Swore.

A lot.

Gas can was also empty so I went to get gas and by the time I got back it was too dark to see to fill the tank.

So, the grass still needs cut and I still have to type yesterday’s written words and I’m too tired to care.

And there you have it. The life of a nurse: too tired to care.

2 Comments

Filed under writing

The Night Shift Method

So, Friday night into Saturday morning I started work on entering the changes from the first round of paper edits on Book 5 of The Academy of the Accord series, and it… didn’t go so well.

I looked at the words on the paper and on the screen and just stared at them in disbelief at how utterly horrid they were.

I know I suck at setting a scene, but I had poor Marsden just noticing someone in the middle of nowhere. (Until a paragraph or two later I established that he was, in fact, in a town.)

Then I read more and wanted to tear my hair out. Had I not read the preceding books? Like, ever? Why was I basically ignoring everything that had previously been established?

And the wording itself was beyond awkward.

So, yeah. The first couple of pages are getting a total rewrite.

Saturday night into Sunday morning went a little better. At least, it did once I decided to copy the stuff that’s giving me trouble into a separate Word doc and print it so I can do a paper edit on it in the future. With that out of the way I could get on with the rest of it and finally started making some progress.

Sunday into Monday went well, lots of progress made, but now I’ve run into a bit of trouble. I’ve hit the part where there are decisions that need to be made and a lot of fiddling to that it matches other books, and stuff needs to be imported from other files and…

Yeah.

I don’t even know if the parts I need are in that doc or if I have to find them and pull them from another one – or two.

So, I still have a long way to go and it’s not all going to happen this run of night shifts, but by the end of the month I should have it done and be ready to move onto the next book.

I think I might just start using night shift for editing and do my writing during daylight hours. That might help with the juggling so many projects thing…

So overall, I’m calling this experiment a success.

So far at least.

 

2 Comments

Filed under writing

Idiot or Genius?

I’m either an idiot or a genius.

Okay, let me back up some and admit that I have done absolutely nothing on working on The Academy of the Accord this year, despite my stated intentions to get them all ready for 2nd round edits by the end of the year. Part of that goal was to have Book Five’s changes entered by the end of January.

That, um, hasn’t happened. In fact, it hasn’t even started to happen.

But I just loaded the Word doc onto flash drive, and have the binder with the edited print out ready to take to work with me tonight. I’m on four night shifts in a row, so with luck this will be done by the end of the run.

It makes so much perfect sense that I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t think of trying this before now.

I have more room there to spread out the pages. I have better lighting there to try to read my handwritten notes. I (usually) have more uninterrupted time there (on night shift).

And suddenly I’m excited to be back to work on it. (And eager to go to work tonight.)

Truth be told, I’ve been doing very little of anything related to writing, other than poking at Song and Sight and a few other WiPs a little bit. I just haven’t been feeling energized or focused on much of anything related to writing.

Why?

I’m not sure.

I want to write, but I just haven’t been able to get moving. Opening a Word doc just feels like too much effort and it feels overwhelming.

I truly hope that this marks a turn around, the beginning of the end and the beginning of a new beginning.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even be able to get back to work on Onyx Sun.

Or the Other Mages trilogy.

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under writing