Golden Knave Update – Sept

I’ve been writing twice a day every day since Sept. 12 except for yesterday, Sept 19 and today, Sept 20. I started with a writing sprint event put on by DIY MFA. a fantastic writing site I’ve already wrote a post about. After the weekend long event, I was so pumped up about writing I decided to keep going.

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.” – Gabriela Pereira

That is a beautifully put phrase, and it’s one I can’t forget. This past weekend, since I didn’t have to work, I decided to do three writing sprint sessions a day instead of two. I just finished my third one, and I already can’t wait until tomorrow.

I don’t write in big spurts. I don’t even try to. My body, and my brain, won’t allow it. I can’t sit in one place for very long before my lower back and shoulders start screaming. My attention span won’t hold out very long either. It had become so frustruating my writing eventually stalled out….again.

These writing sprints were one hour long. I focused just on handwriting two pages – one page both sides actually. It equals about 600 words per session. I wasn’t interested in the word count. Word count will matter when I’m putting things on the computer and working towards my final draft. I just wanted to write. I wrote. I wrote some more. I can’t not write. I plan out each writing session, and I get antsy if I think I’m going to miss one.

I’m pleased I’m writing again. I’m even happier I found a way to do so without killing myself or my project. I do plan to up the stakes starting tomorrow. My new goal is to create four handwritten pages, two pages front and back. I plan to stay with the two sprints a day during the day and three on weekends. I won’t go past two hours at a time because I know that won’t work. I’ve tried it before.

So, in closing, Golden Knave is back on track again! Vice is about to steal a boat in fact! A Golden Duchess for a Golden Knave no less!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Murdoch Mysteries – Television Show Review

This show is found on Hulu, and it’s quite popular considering all the seasons it’s been on so far. I’ve begun binge watching it, and I’m on Season Two already. It’s a police drama, but it’s not what you’d expect.

First, it’s set in Toronto, Canada. The people speak English. The police captain is from Scotland, and he has the accent and mustache to prove it. The time period is during the Industrial Revolution – the time of Thomas Edison, Marconi and Tesla – to name a few. In fact, in the episode I just finished, they were using the newly developed x-ray machine to prove a dinosaur fossil was fake.

Detective Murdoch is a straight shooting man who crosses himself whenever he first encounters a dead body. He believes in the Bible, but he’s also a man of science. He tinkers and makes things to help in his investigations. He doesn’t curse. In fact, the one time he came close to using the Lord’s name in vain, one of his men stopped him, and Murdoch thanked him for it.

Constable Crabtree is a young man prone to flights of fancy when trying to help his boss solve cases, but he does mean well. Not overly bright, he does come up with a good idea from time to time, and he’s quite willing to do anything Murdoch asks him.

Doctor Ogden is a female pathologist who tries to interject some humor into her rather gruesome job, and she fails most of the time. She’s quite charming and intelligent though a touch plain since she doesn’t wear makeup that much. Her sweetness more than makes up for it though. Murdoch doesn’t seem to mind her plainness as he’s more attracted to her mind. They make a good pair in solving mysteries. They’re also seeing each other by Season Two.

Inspector Breckenridge is a character. He doesn’t mind hitting people and yelling at them if it will help with solving cases. He’s not very bright, but he is a good policeman. He lets Murdoch do pretty much anything he wants, and there are times when he tries to help. He’s a good boss and a good man who tries to do the right thing even if his captain doesn’t want him to.

That’s the main cast of the show, and I enjoy them all. I don’t need blood and guts, swearing and gunfire, to enjoy a good murder mystery. I need a good mystery and a good cast of characters to move things along. So far, I’ve seen Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison, Nikolai Tesla, Buffalo Bill, and Arthur Conan Doyle on the show as guests who help Murdoch solve the mystery of the day. Putting these iconic characters in the show lends a bit of fun to them, imho.

Don’t take my word for it though. Check the show out for yourself!! I’ve found it on Hulu, but it could be elsewhere – you just have to look!

Till next time, see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Golden Knave Update

I am up to 10 handwritten pages so far on Vice’s side of the story. I am planning to write another two pages in a bit. I have a new surge of energy on this project, and I’m not going to stop again until it’s complete this time! I have DIY MFA to thank for that!

For the next two weeks, I’m planning to write four pages a day on weekdays and six to eight pages on the weekend. If I do this successfully, I’ll work my way up to six pages during the week and ten on weekends. I have to make sure I can work this around my work schedule during the week. I don’t want to get stressed out and end up with a mess instead of a good story.

I am making changes since I began my second draft. I’ve come to realize I was afraid to write Vice’s side of the story. The first draft is more on Rajinstorm than on Vice, and Vice is the main character. I made the POV more from her than from him because I wasn’t comfortable writing him. I had created him, and it had taken me three times to get him to be happy with what I was doing with his personality and style. Now, I’m making a conscious effort to change the POV to him where it’s supposed to be. This means developing him further, letting him become more three dimensional like Kitya is. Writing from the female perspective is easy since I’m female. Writing from the male perspective is proving to be a bit harder.

Still, I think I’m off to a good start and will keep working on it. I’ll have to find at least one male beta reader to make sure Vice is believable, but I’m sure I’ll be able to when the time comes.

That’s it for now. I’ll post another update next week.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

DIY MFA Sprint

This was a two day event held this weekend. I did Day One after noon because I had errands to run in the morning. Today, I just finished. I wanted to get an early start because I have house cleaning to do, and I did’t want to be too tired to write. It’s happened before.

I used this sprint as a way to get back to working on Golden Knave. Vice’s story is still in the first draft stage, and I need to get a move on with it. I already missed my personal deadline of having the entire piece published by my birthday. My new goal is Christmas so I need to pull out the stops.

Encouragingly enough, the first three handwritten pages of the first draft have become eight handwritten pages in the second draft. 🙂 I feel really good about this, and I plan to do mini sprints every day to keep my momentum going.

During this event, I spent only an hour at a time at each session, and there were two sessions a day. I plan to do a one hour session every day of the week and at least two sessions of the same length on the weekends for the first two weeks. I’ll up my game from there once I see how well, or not, I’m doing. I don’t want to stress myself out and stop writing again.

Wish me luck, and I’ll see you on the flipside. Don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

DIY MFA – Writing Site

I just got done with Day One of a two-day Writing Sprint being hosted by DIY MFA, and I had a lot of fun doing it. In fact, because of the event, I’m back to working on my novel, Golden Knave. I haven’t written in months, but this event inspired me to get back to it.

DIY MFA is a site hosted and run by Gabriela Pereira. It’s core is Write with Focus, Read With Purpose and Build Your Community. Its purpose is to give writers the education and community a traditional MFA would give them without having to go to school. They have courses you can pay to take, but they also have lots of free resources that are very helpful.

Podcasts – I’ve never been big on podcasts simply because I haven’t gotten much use out of them in the past. MFA Radio is a podcast hosted by Mrs. Pereira, and there are over 130 of them so far. I didn’t see anything in the current list that grabbed me so, I decided to go to the very beginning to see what nuggets I might find there. I have listened to the first 6 podcasts so far, including one very interesting interview. I plan to listen to more as I get the time.

Writer Igniter – this is the best feature, imho, of this site. It’s a writing prompter that goes one step further than regular prompts. You actually press a “shuffle” button, and it randomly chooses four elements for you to write about. These elements are : character, situation, prop and setting. The first one I ever got was: Olympic Bronze Medalist Gets Fired Briefcase Full of Money New Orleans Restaurant. I wrote a short story using this prompt. You can use the prompt for any length of writing and any form of writing. There a thousands of combinations so each prompt is different and shouldn’t repeat.

Articles – there are lots of articles on writing and on reading. Reading as in what is useful to you for your writing. There are also interviews and guest writers so, there’s lots to read and learn from without taking a class.

I have just begun to discover things on the site, and I plan to keep going back to it every day if I can.

I strongly suggest you sign up for the email so you can get the Starter Kit and find out what it’s all about. If you’re a writer, you won’t regret finding this place!!

http://www.diymfa.com

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Mimi the Queen of Fluff

This is my gorgeous Mimi. According to the cat hoarder who sold her to me, she’s supposed to be half Snowshoe and half Longhaired Domestic. She’s also supposed to be about three years old. I don’t care what she is supposed to be. I love her for what she is: my companion.

She gets me up as soon as it’s light outside, I kid you not. She will cry and cry until I get up. In the past, she would sit outside my bedroom and cry but now, she gets on my bed and cries in my face. She used to sleep in my bed until I accidentally knocked her off the bed which offended her. She now gets on the bed and sleeps on my lap only while I read.

I don’t mind her waking me up, not any more. Since I’ve begun working from home, she’s helped me set up a routine. She gets me up in the morning, and I start my coffee before letting her outside. I then drink my coffee outside with her, enjoying the quiet of the early morning. This is when I pray too. It helps me reflect on what I’m grateful for and on what I need help with. I might eat if I’m feeling hungry, but I usually don’t eat until midmorning. I spend about 20 minutes outside and then, Mimi is ready for her own breakfast so, we go back inside. I feed her and begin my work day. I eat at midmorning and then, I break again for lunch. Mimi insists on this lunch break, and I oblige her. She goes back outside, and I sit outside with her unless it’s too hot. Mimi won’t stay out long so I cook, eat my lunch, clean up and let her back inside so she can have her own lunch. I’m then back at work until 5 or 6 pm. Mimi goes back outside, and I have dinner before she comes back inside and eats as well. I stay up until 9 or 10 and then, I go to bed. Mimi wakes me up again, and the cycle continues.

I have found myself becoming more organized and more productive because of this routine with Mimi. I don’t stress as much because when I do, she wants to get in my lap whether I’m reading or not. She seems to sense I need a short break, and she makes me take one. My life has more direction and more drive since she came into my life. I thought I was rescuing her, but she has ended up rescuing me.

Emotionally, my life is better too. I live with ADD and depresssion. I lost my last companion and muse, Lancelot about four years ago, and I didn’t think I’d ever want another companion, cat or other, after that. His loss was devastating to me, and I got very depressed. I stopped sleeping, ate horribly and was just in an awful state. Eventually, things got better, and I found myself very lonely. I had my gentleman friend by this time, but he doesn’t live with me. I found myself yearning for a furbaby again, but I couldn’t quite get myself to go in search of one. Then, one day, I just did it. I found a lady claiming to be in charge of a rescue center(long story that), and I was able to buy Mimi from her.

It was one of the best decisions I’d ever made, aside from saving Lancelot when he was barely weaned. We needed each other and now, I can’t imagine my life without her – even if she is one of the most annoying alarm clocks ever.

In my next post, I’ll be telling you all about this fantastic writing site I found!

Until then, see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Blog Share #4 – unseen by Shreya Vikram

https://shreyavikram.com/posts/2071

This beautifully evocative piece hit a nerve I just had to take a moment to process what I had read. It was a real “wow” moment for me. Even now, I still have these feelings and experiences. I highly recommend reading this piece and please, let’s talk about it.

I look forward to seeing you on the flipside so don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver

Personal Update – 9 Sept 2020

Greetings and Salutations!

I know it’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been blessed with yet another life change, and this one is turning out to be better than I’d thought it would be.

I grew up believing I had to have a steady job with benefits and such outside the home to have a “real” job. That it wasn’t a proper job if I didn’t have to leave home to work. With my health issues, I’ve struggled to find work that wouldn’t cause my condition to worsen, even a little bit. Time was doing a great job of that all by itself, it didn’t need my help. Anyway, because of this, I never felt right trying to get a stay at home job, not even when I had kids.

Covid-19 has thrown everything for a loop, and it has caused me a lot of sleepless nights worrying about work and my financial stability. I lost my job at the plant early in the year and was in a panic until I got a job at a gas station about a month later. While out of work, I started paying more attention to my freelance writing efforts as I may have mentioned in another post. Then, a month ago, or so, I lost my job at the gas station – I can’t abide fools and the general manager there is one of the biggest fools that I did my best to deal with before I had to give it up or go to jail. Seriously.

I’ve been forced to really focus on my freelancing efforts, and I have joined several sites. Upwork and I are not on speaking terms right now, and I’m not feeling too friendly towards Freelancer.com right now either. I don’t have the time or patience to deal with searching for work and bidding. I have tried on Freelancer but most of the people whom I’ve dealt with so far have had language issues with me. They also wanted me to work for far less than I get paid on other sites, and I can’t do that. My two biggest sources of revenue are Textbroker and Guru. I was surprised by Guru, but it has panned out for me. In fact, I’m working as a Virtual Assistant now because of an employer on Guru. The income I will make from these three sources will take care of my debts, and I’ll eventually be able to move closer to my gentleman friend.

Other than scrambling to pay bills, I have spent some time with my gentleman friend, he is still tied to a traditional job though I am gently encouraging him to spend more time on the business he has started and only uses as a side hustle. He could do so much more on his own and have a lot less stress. Still, it’s his choice.

That’s it for now folks, I hope this finds you well and doing what you love. See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!