Tag Archives: finding time to write

Interruptions, Distractions, and Annoyances

Predictably, no writing over the weekend.

I seem to have done an awful lot of running around on Saturday so pretty much nothing at all got done.

Most of yesterday was spent doing paper crafts. I have one more artist trading card to do to finish this swap and it’s almost done but it still needs… something. I just don’t know what that something is.

I had to cancel my car inspection for Saturday – it’s been rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

So today I have to:

  • do the Rainbow Snippet blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • do the Snippet Sunday blog hop I didn’t do over the weekend
  • write the thrice cursed space battle!

And deal with the day job that is being super annoying as I’m trying to write this.

(I got a text that they didn’t get my time card so I scanned it and emailed it, and in the process of doing that I got a phone call that they didn’t get my time card. So I sent it and got an email that they got the emailed timecard but could I scan and email my log as well. Seriously? You couldn’t have asked me that when I was talking to you? I just got my scanner and program shut down. They’re gonna have to wait because now I’m more thoroughly annoyed than I was before.)

(On the plus side, I’m gaining a lot of villains for future stories!)

Off to find my logs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Routine? What Routine?

I got a phone call from the staffing agency around 7:00 last night, telling me that the kid that I ride the bus with was admitted to the hospital so I’m not working today after all. (I have no idea why he was admitted or to which hospital so there’s no way of knowing when he’ll be going back to school.)

So, I’m unemployed again.  Just as I had finally figured out a rhythm of some sort that was letting me do some writing.

So, it’s back to being home and now I’m going to be job hunting just in case this absence stretches on for too long.

And I still need to find some sort of rhythm and routine for my writing. Novel-writing, that is. I’ve already written one blog post today for a 30 day journaling challenge (unrelated to novel writing) and now I’m working on this blog post.

And when I finish here I’m going to go get something to eat and then I am (hopefully) going to come back to my room and do some novel writing.

I’d better, because I asked a friend of mine to message me when she gets home from work today and ask me how many words I’ve written. So far that total is “none” because the blog posts don’t count.

But I want to have an answer larger than “none” to give her so I’m going to write (as soon as I get something to eat because breakfast was a long time ago).

Until I manage to get some sort of routine going, I think that having an accountability partner will help.

At least, I hope so.  I have goals to reach, and I need help getting to them.

 

 

 

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Anything But Routine

This is the promised follow-up to Monday’s post.

Well, so much for routine.

When the staffing agency was telling me about this job they said it would be from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, then from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  (I’m riding a school bus (well, van) with a special needs child.)

Great! I thought. Three hours in between to work on writing or whatever.

Ha! It’s more like from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm with an hour from 11:00 to noon which turns out to be more like half an hour sometimes. (It’s a three hour round trip twice a day, plus time to unload and load the kids. And that doesn’t take into account traffic and road construction.)

So, anyhow…

My first day was Tuesday and I was pretty wiped out. I hadn’t slept well Monday night, and Tuesday was rainy and grey and dull and it was almost impossible to stay awake. I was also getting moderately car sick, which didn’t help.

So, nothing got done on Tuesday other than survival.

Wednesday was better. I slept well Tuesday night so I was able to use my down time (“lunch” and waiting for the kids to get out of school) to work on… not writing exactly (as in, I didn’t write any sentences for a novel) but I did start on some character sketches that I need for Soraine’s crew.  Only one of the three has a name so far (well, maybe two – I think I named one in the last attempt at writing this scene) but they all had descriptions by the end of the day.

Thursday…

Thursday was not so good.

The kid was getting a little out of hand and being a distraction to the bus driver. When I tried to get him to stop he hit me in the face, then bit my arm. (Fortunately I was wearing a hoodie so all I have is a bruise.) By the time all was said and done I’d been hit in the face three times, head-butted in the upper arm I don’t know how many times, and warded off a couple more bite attempts. I think I got kicked somewhere too but he’d taken his shoes off so that’s no biggie.

But on a more productive note, I rewrote my notes for Soraine’s crew, enhanced their descriptions, and actually gave another one a name.

And that brings us to today.

Today started out well. I actually wrote some real words. The kind that go in a novel.

Then the van arrived and my work day began, and about an hour later I got hit in the face again.

So I called the agency to tell them what had happened and that I was sorry, but I was done.  They agreed that I shouldn’t have to deal with the abuse and would take me off the assignment after today’s shift.

Then they called me back with another question: “Where was the monitor?”

Me: “What monitor?”

Apparently there was supposed to be a monitor/aide on the bus to deal with the behaviors and I was only there for medical emergencies.

After much back and forth and at the very last minute they got an aide to start on Monday so I’m not unemployed at all.

Yet.

We’ll see. This whole thing has been a SNAFU heading for FUBAR since it started and I’m seriously out of patience.

So, I’m still trying to find my routine, but I did get some progress made.

Finally.

And as promised, here it is. (Please keep in mind that this is a rough draft.)

(This is part of an added scene for Onyx Sun. Taliya and Ayess have responded to a distress call and have rescued the crew of the StarFire, captained by Soraine, who will be getting a spin-off eventually.)

Soraine was tall and busty and flamboyant – everything that Taliya wasn’t – but there was genuine relief and gratitude in her eyes.

“Captain,” she said, extending her hand. “Thank you for the rescue. I was beginning to lose hope.”

“I’m glad we were in range,” Taliya replied, accepting her handshake.  “You are a bit far out from the normal shipping lanes.”

“Yeah, well…”  Soraine shrugged, a glint of mischief in her eyes. She turned to the three people behind her. “Allow me to introduce my crew.”

Taliya suppressed a smile as Soraine avoided the issue of her ship’s coordinates.

“This is Olleen Osten, my engineer.”

Olleen was a short thin man with fine blond hair plastered to his scalp. He wore a form fitting heavy shirt with another looser heavy shirt over it. Round green eyes darted in constant movement and seemed to be looking in different directions at the same time.

“Welcome.” She extended a hand but he ignored it, giving her nothing more than a quick nod, and it was only a lifetime of training that kept her from frowning.

“Chelu Sulov, my navigator.”

Chelu was tall and slender, her head and shoulders covered with long fleshy protrusions that stirred and shifted slightly around her. It was the protrusions that had earned her species the name Medusens from the humans who had first made contact with them.

“Welcome aboard. We may have the ship a bit too cool and low-lit for Fidian comfort, but feel free to adjust the climate in your cabin to whatever you would like.”

Slitted eyes registered surprise as she accepted Taliya’s proffered hand.

“Thank you.”  The warm voice carried an inflection that said she was grateful not just for the welcome but also for the courtesy of using the proper name for her race.

“And this is my first officer,” Soraine said. “Dektlan Arigral.”

Dektlan was tall and burly, with a wide mouth and leathery skin. He was completely hairless and his upper body was covered with geometric tattoos.

Taliya’s gaze traveled over the markings and she smiled and interlocked her fingers in front of her and bowed slightly.  “Mahishi.”

He started and withdrew the hand he had extended, interlocking his fingers and bowing.  “Sho-mah. Mahasho.” He tilted his head curiously as he straightened, and Taliya smiled.

“I had a friend who was a Desrath. I spent a lot of time with him and his family and learned their – your – customs.  And enough of the language to probably not get myself executed.  And this,” she added, pulling the collar of her shirt to the side to reveal a geometric tattoo.

“What happened?”

Taliya took a deep breath. “There was a fire. Arson. They – and a lot of other good people – did not survive.”

His eyes closed briefly.  “I knew that house.  They were honorable people.”

“The youngest boy survived. I’ve been trying to find a sponsor so he could return to your home world and be raised in your culture, but…”

“But my people are suspicious of the motives of outsiders, especially humans.”

She nodded.

“My family will sponsor him.  We’ll make arrangements when we are back at our home port.”

 

 

 

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Happy End of Un-Labor Days to Me

Tomorrow I start my new job.

It’s been two months since I worked at my last one, and I am… nervous? anxious?

Part of that is because…

Well, because it’s been two months since I put on a set of scrubs and dealt with people.

So there’s the “hermit doesn’t want to leave her cave” anxiety. The longer I’m away from people the happier I am and the harder it is to go out among them again.

And then the fact that it’s kids and I’m… not a fan. (Yes, I know I was one once, but that was a long time ago and I didn’t really like them then, either.)

Add to that the fact that I still don’t know anything about the kid I’m to be riding with, (and as far as I know the agency still doesn’t have any doctor’s orders on him either), and the fact that the logistics of what I’m doing have changed four times since this all started, (not to mention the fact that this was supposed to have started last Thursday) and I’m really not looking forward to my first day.

I am (kind of) looking forward to getting back into a routine, though. I’m hoping that it will give me the chance to get more done than what I have been doing (which is basically nothing so anything will be an improvement).

It will, however, probably take a week or so to find a rhythm. Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping to write at least a hundred words this week. (Low goal? Yeah, but it’s a hundred more than I’ve been writing.)  And I’m going to post them on Friday so watch this space…

 

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I’m Freeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

It was a crazy busy weekend but I got my swaps finished and in the mail –  including two that don’t have to go out until later this week. My next ones aren’t due until September 11th or thereabouts so I’m free to work on writing related projects now.

Sunday, when I had to push to finish stuff, I found myself really wanting to just read stuff I’ve written so I could get back to work on them. I was hoping to do that today but still had a couple things to finish up before the post office closed, then my dog had a chiropractor appointment, then a trip to Tractor Supply where the checkout lady fed him treats. We dropped him off at home then went for supper and for my roommate to do a mystery shop at a frozen yogurt place. I’m stuffed and too tired to do anything else tonight.

So tomorrow I’m going to clean up the disaster area that is my bedroom and try to organize craft supplies.  And I’m going to do writing related stuff.  I’m thinking of maybe setting up some sort of rotation, maybe 15 minutes of craft clean up and then write a set amount of words (unless I really get on a roll with one or the other).

Tomorrow and Wednesday are my last “free” days as I start my new job on Thursday, and I have the feeling that Wednesday is going to have a bunch of errands attached.

Still, the future is looking pretty promising at the moment as far as getting some writing and such done.

And I’m going to be careful not to take on so much stuff that’s all due at the same time.

(Yeah, yeah, I know. We’ve all heard that before.)

But The Academy of the Accord is calling (but I should work on Onyx Sun first) and I want to get back to work on the sequel to Song and Sword (which is now tentatively titled Song and Sight).

What was I saying about not taking on so much?

 

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Free to Write

Well, I did it.  I had two Swap Bot packets that had to go out today and I took them to the post office this morning.  The next ones I’ve signed up for don’t have to be mailed until next Monday, so I have time to clean up my mess from this last batch (one thing about writing, it’s not nearly as messy as other crafts!) and to take my time working on the next ones (an artist trading card and a pair of bookmarks).

And maybe even be able to focus on writing.

Actual writing, as in putting words on paper (or in a Word doc).  My mind is always on writing, and it’s been working overtime these last few days. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been focusing on the story that it needs to focus on. In fact, it’s not even thinking about any of the more pressing writing projects in my life.

Nope.

Instead, it’s been fixated on when a character should first put in an appearance in Sea Witch (working title only), arguing over having her show up first in the hospital or the court room.

Not very productive.

But it’s Monday, and one of the writing groups I’m on Face Book always has a post on Monday to set your goal for the week. So mine is to finish that blasted scene I’m trying to add to Onyx Sun.

Next week it’s going to be a follow up scene to this one – one that will segue into another already written extra scene that I need to work into the story.

So.

Weekly goal.  No word count, just… write the scene. Finish it. Even if it’s just bare bones, finish it. It can be fleshed out later.

Oh, and make an ATC.

 

 

 

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So Much For Writing

On Tuesday I noticed that Riley (one of our boxers) was acting… not right. I decided to see how he was on Wednesday and the answer was “worse” so I called the vet and the got him that afternoon.

He has a slipped disc and is on prednisone. (Fortunately he’s really good about taking pills.)

He’s also now seeing a chiropractor.

He’s doing better. He’ll go down the steps to the yard now and he wouldn’t on Wednesday. He’s also starting to eat.

But meanwhile, I’ve been spending my time downstairs with him so he didn’t have to climb the steps to be in my room with me. (The dog is my shadow. Seriously. At the chiropractor’s this evening I got up to go to the restroom, leaving him with my roommate. As soon as I was out of sight he started barking, so I went back to get him and take him with me.

(Owning a boxer means you never pee alone.)

Anyhow, tomorrow I’ll be getting up early so we can get on the road to bring home two more wiggle butts (see Monday’s post). Helping them settle in will take up most of the rest of my time tomorrow and I’ll be home alone with the foursome on Monday, then Riley goes back to the chiropractor that evening, and the sisters (the new additions) have an appointment with the groomer on Thursday.

In short, the month is half over and I may never see my monitor again.

Okay, so that is kind of an exaggeration. I’m sure that it won’t be long before all four dogs follow me up to my room to hang out with me. (Riley and Jazzy already do.)

Now, with all this focus on the dogs (and considering how much I love animals) I have to ask myself one question:

Why have I never given my characters pets?

(Well, in Hedge House there is sort of a pet, although I’m sure she’d take exception to that term.)

Something to think about…

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Increasing Count

I spent most of yesterday in a car getting lost on a road trip to Ohio.  (I don’t know what Google Maps was tripping on when it gave me directions but it sure wasn’t PA and OH roads, that’s for sure.)

So word count didn’t go up, but body count did.

No, I didn’t kill my roommate.

Nope.

We were taking the dogs to a pound in Ohio. (We live in Western Pennsylvania.)

And, no, we weren’t dropping our dogs off there. Jazzy and Riley came from a shelter and have a forever home with us.

Nope, we were going there to meet Laverne and Shirley.

They are 10 year old sisters that I learned about via a boxer rescue group on Face Book (Boxer Rescue of America).   They were surrendered by their elderly owner because she was no longer able to care for them. Laverne is the fawn (on the right) and Shirley is the brindle.

The meet and greet went very well. None of the dogs showed any sign of aggression – not one hackle was raised, no flattened ears, no growls or snarls or baring of teeth, not even a guarded look. A lot of sniffing and going about their business. No cowering in submission from anyone, either.

So, we’re going to back on Saturday (sans dogs) to bring them home with us. (Laverne and Shirley are getting some blood work done this week.)

That’s going to give us four wiggle butts.  Two humans = four hands. Four dogs = one for each hand.

(My roommate wasn’t too sure about adding to the family, but Shirley kissed up to her and now has her wrapped around her little cigar butt tail. Literally kissed up to her.  She did the “Boxer Lean” and slobbered big wet sloppy kisses all over her face and Sue said, “They have to come home.”)

Anyhow, since I’m about nine thousand words behind where I need to be today, and since I’m probably losing most if not all of Saturday (and the days that follow as I help the two new additions settle into their new home) I had really better get myself focused on increasing word count.

And I will.

Right after supper.

 

 

 

 

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Brain Dump

So far my plans for the month aren’t going too well. I’ve written approximately 400 words in one of the short stories I’m planning to submit to an anthology and that’s been about it.

Why? I have no idea, other than the fact that the evil day job has been draining and by the time I get home I’m too brain dead to do more than poke at a jigsaw puzzle on JigZone.

Remember my plan to use 750words.com for writing instead of brain dumping my day? Yeah. That (obviously) hasn’t happened.  I tried. I poked at one of the short stories in 750words and… couldn’t focus.

Maybe because I haven’t been using it for writing lately and I need to get back into the habit of doing that, so that my muse or subconscious or whatever you want to call it knows that when I log in it’s time for some creative writing.

Or maybe I’m going about it the wrong way.

Sometimes, brain dumping is necessary.  It can help clear the way for writing by getting other concerns out of your head.

The trick, I think, is to do the brain dump, and then write once the day has been cleared from the mind. I’ve been failing at the second part of that.

I was thinking the other day about how odd it is that I seem to get less written now, when I’m less than five minutes from work, than I did when I had an hour long commute each way.  But maybe it’s not so odd.  That commute gave me time to clear my head on the way home, and time to psych myself up on the way there, so I was able to be productive when I was home.  Instead, I now have to use my time at home to get myself mentally prepped for my day job, and to de-stress from it afterward.

I don’t want to go back to that commute just to test the theory, though, so I’m going to have to find a way to balance brain dumping and writing.

 

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Time Sinks

You know what they are. They’re those black holes that you fall into and before you know it you’ve lost hours of your day.

A few of mine:

Pinterest. I’m pretty good at avoiding this one, but when I fall… I look at someone’s board, then go the board of someone that they pinned an image from, and from there I find other boards and other people and… Yeah. Half a day and forty boards later I come up for air, bleary eyed, wondering what year it is.

Jigzone.  I’ll admit it. (I may have already admitted it here.)  I am a jigsaw junkie. I have been known to skip meals while engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle. I have been known to ignore chocolate cake with peanut butter icing while engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle. I have foregone sleep while engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle.  I’m only semi successful at avoiding jigzone.

YouTube. *sigh* Let’s not go there.  No, I mean, really, let’s not go there. I’m currently addicted to all things Pentatonix.  And to Superfruit videos. And the comments on them. And the Moody Blues. And then I look up old songs that I used to like or wonder if they’re on YouTube.  And then I start looking at horse videos and videos of Boxers (dogs, not fighters).  I’m um… really not good at avoiding YouTube. I tell myself that I’ll use it as a reward, that I’ll watch one (just one!) video and then get back to work. And, yeah, one video becomes two hours and…

Yeah. FaceBook pales in comparison to those.

Then there are online games. I’m pretty good at avoiding them, mostly because I haven’t even thought about them recently. (Until now.  Thank you, me. Now I have to go find Alchemy and BookWorm and Hangaroo, and…)

No. Just no.  I am not going to go there, I’m just not.

 

 

 

 

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