Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Check In


Not a banner week for the Quantum Kiss word count, although I did get over half—987 to be exact. If you count the blog entries for the past week, I’m over the 1750 weekly goal, but I’m not doing that, so…DUCK! Here come the excuses. 

I did well on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week. Saturday came and I went to my RWA meeting. Perfect time to write—yes? No. The meeting was very interesting and informative and made my teen green with envy. The theme was “What’s Your Heroine Packin’?” and there were pistols lined up, sans ammo, on a side table. To my teen, it looked like a smorgasbord to a starving man. Not that I took pictures. Not that I then texted those pictures to him. **whistles innocently** At any rate, side-stepping the issue of if I was a mean mom or not, the meeting ran late, as we are apparently a blood-thirsty little group and were utterly fascinated with the talk. We arrived back from lunch late and, unfortunately, left the gaff tape for our mouths in our cars. But I do only see these girls once a month and it’s nice to chat with someone who understands about your “little novel”. 

I did manage to write a bit on Saturday night and again on Sunday, but was busy putting together Monday’s blog, as well as writing an article that I hope will be accepted by my local RWA chapter’s monthly newsletter, an article on what I like to call the “Little Bites Challenge” (the girls in my group preferred the “Elephant Challenge” & you’ll soon see why. Excuses for Monday and Tuesday run the gamut from “busy” to “migraine”, so I won’t bore you with the details. But I would like to invite you all to join in the Little Bites Challenge. Here's the article, explaining the challenge.

Writing a novel sounds like such a wonderful idea; until you sit down to do it. Then you realize that writing a novel is actually a lot of work. You have to create people and breathe life into them; you have to create worlds, sometimes even new governments and social structures and planets and transportation systems. In a sense, you are playing God. And while God’s gig sounds like a hoot, any parent will tell you that kids take work, and most of us feel very parental emotions toward our characters. You are also creating a home for your “children” and homeowners will tell you that keeping a home chaos-free is also a full-time job. So how does one tackle such an enormous (and sometimes frustrating) new “family”? One day at a time. One moment at a time; crisis by crisis. As one of the girls in my local RWA explained it:

 Q: How do you eat an elephant? 

A: One bite at a time. 

Thus was born the Elephant Challenge. The Elephant Challenge is fairly simple. You write. Every day that you can, but averaging 250 words per day. Do you know how long it takes to write 250 words? Well, that varies from writer to writer, from muse to muse, and all depends on the writer’s ability to fend off their inner editor to make things “just so”. When my muse is sitting in my lap or hanging over my shoulder giving me encouragement, it can take me only about twenty minutes to type up 250 words (which is approximately one page, depending on font, size, and line spacing). When Miss Muse is on vacay, 250 words can be as painful as having a loose tooth removed the old-fashioned way. However, 250 words, when you say it, sounds so much smaller than EIGHTY THOUSAND, which seems to be the average size of a novel, based on popular consensus. Somewhere around the middle of this paragraph, I had 250 words written in this post. Took me about 15 minutes, despite arguing teen and pre-teen in the background. 

Want to participate? Awesome! The more, the merrier. All you do is sit down and write. BICHOK (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard) as our chapter president says. I wrote 250 words last night longhand, because I was tired and when I’m tired, I tend to play on the internet until it’s time for bed, at least if my computer is on. You can write any way you want to, so long as it moved your novel forward. If you like, you can throw your blogs or articles in your count, but personally, since I am the self-proclaimed Queen of the Unfinished Manuscript, I am going to work on one of those, my sci-fi romance, Quantum Kiss. Currently, I am just over eighteen thousand words in. I am keeping track on an Excel spreadsheet I made up. There are other ways—some people just write their number on a calendar, others use word count trackers, like this one by Svenja Liv (insert link here), some use a small calendar and color in the date when they reach their goal.

Last but not least, you do not have to write 250 words every day—you can write 500 one day if you have a day when you can’t do any writing; the main thing is that you average 250 words/day. Comment here each week for encouragement and virtual cookies (no fat or calories, loaded with flavor!).

Obviously, I failed this week. But next week is another week.

Writing Prompt: You are the first English woman (or man) to see the shores of America. Describe the scene and your feelings.

Vocabulary word: apprehension--fear or anxiety, particularly of the future.

Challenge: Write 500 words on the prompt, using the vocabulary word.


One place I did not fail is with the weight. This week’s scale:

This one was a tough battle the past couple of days, as I was naughty for most of last week and gained back a pound and a half. I have now added to my sit-ups and push-ups, as well as adding donkey kicks and butterfly stretches to the routine. Tuesday, I stayed in push-up position for a full minute (oh, I was shaking for the last 20 seconds or so, but I did it).

I’ve been thinking recently about how we measure weight loss. Of course, there is the mighty god, Scale, to whom I have paid homage every day for the past few months. There are measurements taken with a tape measure, and the recently popular BMI and BMR. But what’s been encouraging me is the fit of my clothes, the way I feel, and the comments people make. You saw the pic of the skort last week, the one that used to be tight on me. Now here’s my skinny jeans, the ones I used to not even be able to get over my hips:

Lying down last night, I ran my hands over my stomach and where it used to feel all mushy and blobby and just plain fat, now it felt flat. It is by no means gone yet, but it was nice to have it feel firm. Speaking of which, hubby said that my breasts are firmer and smaller, that he can see where I’m losing weight all over—that it shows in my face, my arms, my thighs, as well as my stomach and breasts. He’s not complaining about the smaller breasts—I have a long way to go to not be considered well endowed. Not only that, my youngest boy made a comment out of the blue yesterday that he was glad I was losing weight, that I was pretty before, but even prettier now.

When I first started losing this weight, I could not bend over to put on socks or shoes; I had to sit and pull my foot up to rest it on my opposite knee. I could not bend to dry my legs after my shower (well, I could but with difficulty). The first sit-ups and push-ups were only two or three, have a nice day (no reps). Each day I feel better and better, and am more interested in the food choices that I have—stir fry has become my friend, as has this wonderful new lunch product that I’ve found from Healthy Choice. Healthy Choice is the only brand of frozen “diet” dinners that I can stand the taste of, but for only 88 cents apiece, I am going to try some Michelina’s that I just found as well. The Healthy Choice lunch meals that I found are under $2 apiece at Wal-Mart. Here’s the one I had the other day for lunch:

Yum, right? That, with a small snack a couple hours later, kept me from having a rumbly tummy, and these sorts of meals are keeping my tummy from becoming even more rotund. I totally thank my Gateworld friends who encouraged me to buy tickets to Chicon, and Kavan Smith, as well, for being the catalyst (don’t want to look FAT in those once-in-a-lifetime photos), but every day that I practically walk out of my jeans, every day that I can bend to pick up something from the ground, every day that I can slip my arms around my wonderful hubby—those are what keep me going.

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