Taking Hold of My Procrastination and Punching Straight in the Face

Today I’m sending in the request to get the rights secured for Shakespeare in Love. The vice president of production will be submitting the request for the license and then we wait.

My only concern at this point is the Samuel French website lists all current approved productions of the play and there is a show on the same weekends in Memphis, TN. They are about four and a half hours from us, so I don’t see us competing for the same audience, but I still worry that they will look at it and deny it anyway.  I’m just nervous, so we will see.

I go in on Thursday to help out the cast of Big Fish with a few small combat sequences. I was supposed to go in last night but I completely forgot about it and was kindly reminded by my wife (who is in the show so she was at rehearsal already) while I was giving my son a bath.  That’s helpful anyway seeing as how I haven’t prepared anything.  I may have had to reschedule anyway.

Writing has come to a hold. I’ve gotten great feedback from my beta readers for my novel and I have decided to go back and do a serious rewrite.  Main elements are going to stay, but I’m dropping a story line and changing viewpoints.  I’m outlined and ready to go, but I just need to sit down and start.  I have yet to do this.  Life continues to be busy, but I’ll freely admit that I’ve had time I could have written, but I didn’t.  Shame on me.

More on life as it happens. There’s plenty coming up to keep things going.  Stay tuned.

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I Can Feel My Sanity Slowly Coming Back

March has been one of the craziest months I’ve had in a while and it is finally letting up. Things at work are finally at a point where it’s leveling out and we aren’t slammed with stuff going on.  Life outside of work stays busy with church stuff and theatre stuff, but we’ve managed okay.  April is just around the bend and life might be betting back to normal.

 

I’m looking forward to writing again. Not just keeping a regular blog schedule (weird Idea, I know) but getting back to writing more on my book.  I got beta reader feedback and I’ve been able to sync up with a critique partner.  I have the contacts now to get other perspectives on my work to get it better and ready for submission to agents.  The beta reader comments were great but they also come with the need for significant rewrites.  I started plotting yesterday in preparation for Camp Nanowrimo and I really like where things are going. I want to jump on Camp Nanowrimo to help keep me motivated and moving along to tackle the rewrites and get some stuff done.

 

I’ve managed to keep up with my writing group here that meets once a month. I’m generally getting good notes there, with a few ways to look back and maybe reword something here and there to help with flow and stuff like that.

 

It’s not quite time to start working on preparation for Shakespeare in Love, but I know it’s coming soon. It’s another reason I hope to get the book finished, at least mostly finished, through the first half of the summer so I can devote my time to the play without feeling like my book is suffering.  (Note to self:  make a deadline to finish and be ready to submit to agents.  You work best with a schedule)

 

I think that’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted on how April goes.

 

 

 

I Swear I’m Not Dead

Life has been crazy for me this past couple of weeks. Things at work are pickup up as we get ready for a big change over in our projects, and without going into too much about it, let’s just say I have plenty on my plate – more so than normal.

My time at home is full of family stuff so most of the time I get to write anything was my time at work. With my increased workload here lately, that has been slowed down to writing almost nothing.  Much less getting anything done for my writing group or posting to blogs.  If I can make it to the beginning of April, things will get better…it’s just getting there.

In any case, I am four chapters away from finishing my second revision of my book. To get this close and still not be finished is frustrating.  I sent myself the last couple of chapters so that I could be a real pro and do it at home over the weekend.  Lets hope for the best there.  I’ve been throwing in during a lot of pitch activity on Twitter with #sonofapitch and #pitchmad.  No real bites yet, but I’ve gotten some great feedback and come into contact with some great writers who are also out to get published.  The online community out there has been awesome and very encouraging.  I’ve got plenty of good tips to go back and do (I’m kinda loathe to start it but I know I need to) the third revision of my book.  This will be for crutch words, passive voice, and editing tricks like that.  I really want to make my stuff the best it can be.

The real hard part has been getting summaries and pitches to be good. Who knew that writing a blurb in 140 characters would be such an art?  Well guess what?  It so is!  On one hand I feel like I haven’t gotten much accomplished, but I can also see where I’ve collected a lot of tools and stuff to help me get better.  I try to focus on that.

Bring on the Creativity!

 

Tonight is the kick off for Fine Arts with our youth kids at church.  This will be our fourth year taking pieces down to compete.  This year we have 18 students competing in over 28 categories.  We also will have our first group competing this year submitting for both Christian Band and Worship Leading.

 

Fine Arts is an annual competition where youth from the Assemblies of God come together and compete in arts categories that can help build up their gifts in spreading the gospel.  We’ve had kids compete before in short sermon, art, poetry, urban dance, guitar, bass, children’s book, spoken word, singing, and more.  Those that score well will get an invitation to participate in the National Fine Arts competition. 

 

We’ve had great participation and talent before and this year is no different.  We’ve had some kids discover talents they didn’t know they had simply because they tried something here, or the confirmed that they do NOT want to do things.  Either way, it’s great to see what they bring each year.

 

I’ve managed to schedule progress checkups with everyone to where we see them at least once a month to take a look at their work.  This year looks to be pretty good.

 

I’ve been able to return a little to my own writing now that work as settled just a little.  I’m hitting back with things and editing things one more go ‘round before I start submitting stuff to agents.  I’m about six chapters in to a twenty-nine chapter book, but at this point I’m looking for grammatical clean up with a little more descriptors.  I’m hoping to be finished with things sometime in mid-March and then the querying can begin!

 

Getting Stuff Done in the Midst of Life

These past few days have been challenging in being able to get anything done. It’s been a row of successive days where I’ve just had stuff to do.  Work has been busy.  I’ve been running errands for random stuff right after work.  We get home at the end of the night, manage something quick for dinner and then get ready for bed.  It’s just been chock full of stuff.

I’ve got a little more of plotting done on my new novel outline. I’ve got a three act story (more or less) and now it’s just going in there and putting the smaller pieces in there to flesh it out.  Then I can start writing.  I also need character profiles and a supporting cast.  My goal with this next book is to flesh out the world more and not quite streamline the story like I did in the first one.  Not that the first one is bad by any means, it’s just I think I can work this one out better.

I went by the theatre the other night to answer makeup questions. The cast for And Then There Were None has some inexperienced people in the group and a lot don’t know how to do basic stage makeup.  I’m known around the theatre as the “makeup guy” so I got the call to go down.  The play opens up in about three weeks and there is still a good amount of work to go.  They have time, but the cast needs to pull together and get their lines solid. I know the director is stressing about this a good bit, but things always come together in the end.  For her sake I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

My manuscript is still out to my beta readers. I knew it would take a while to get back, but I just want an initial reaction to how it is.  Is it good?  Is it ok with some potential?  Is it total crap?  In any case, I continue to sit and wait.  I try to keep busy with other things and now that I have a new story idea it helps, but as you can see from earlier, I’m having a hard time getting any writing done.  I’m hoping that will change over the next few days.

So, How is the Writing Coming Along?

So, How is the Writing Coming Along?

It’s never a fun experience to be humbled, but I think it’s something we all need from time to time. We may embark on some journey into a new area or skill and think we are making great progress and strides far greater than we could have hoped for.  It’s at that time that we produce what we thing is good stuff to wow and impress just to have the feedback be positive, but also to remind us that we are not nearly as good as we think we are.

And by “we” I mean “I”.

I’ve made it a point lately to submit some pieces in for some online writing contests. There hasn’t been anything too taxing as far as word count.  I’m not nearly ready to do anything with my book yet, but surely I could churn out some short stories of 1500 words, or maybe even 7000 words.  I mean, come on, when you just start writing it flows out and you have your words, right?  Well, yeah, but are they any good?

Feedback I’ve received from the stories so far have been generally good but they show me there is room for improvement. Lots of room.  I’m not sure what I was expecting really.  I don’t think I would be hailed as the next great American writer.  I do need to cut myself a little slack.  I just started writing period in September, and really only writing prose fiction since November.  The story ideas have been good and the characters interesting, I just need to work on technique.

So, I resolve to plug away. I pulled out my first revision of my book again and took a look at chapter one.  It’s still out to beta readers so I didn’t want to do too much, but just to see what I thought now that it’s been a few weeks.  Again, there is room for improvement.  Not bad, just needing to clean things up as far as verb tenses and flesh some stuff out some more.  I find I get in a rush when I try to proofread my stuff and I skip a lot.  I’m a little impatient here.  Part of my brain just wants the thing to be done now and to hurry up and get on with it.  It’s something I’m working on.

There is a local writing group that meets at the library every month. With the holiday this past weekend it looks like they will wait till February until they come back.  I got the prompt from the group leader so I can have something written for the meeting.  I figure plugging in with a group of other people writing would help.  It couldn’t hurt, right?  They meet every third Tuesday of the month.  I still don’t have a straight up writing partner; someone to send stuff to on a more regular basis.  Maybe once a week?  I figure that person will present themselves when it’s time.  I don’t really know anyone well enough who also writes to ask yet.

The Auditions are Over!

The Auditions are Over!

It’s been a busy theatre weekend. Auditions for Big Fish went up and the cast list is out.  There was a lot of really great talent that came out so I know casting this thing was hard.  I did not audition myself; my wife put in for this show, but I was there to watch everything. I have my own show coming up later in the season with Shakespeare in Love, so I don’t want to do too much; plus with my wife in the show, I will be at home keeping up with our soon-to-be-4 year old.  I’ll be plenty busy.

Writing this week has been slow. There is a competition piece I’m working on that’s due the 15th that I’m mostly done with, but with work picking up this week, I will be close to deadline before it’s finished.  I don’t know how much time I’ll have to go back and give it a good edit, so I’m not thrilled about that, but I should have something.  I’m happy with the story and concept anyway.

We are going to be gearing up soon for fine arts stuff with our youth group at church. I expect to take about 12 to 15 kids to competition in May for our state/district competition.  I’m still looking out for the new rule book for 2017, but no luck yet.  They are liable to make some subtle changes or add new categories, but we need to start working on things soon.  With as busy as kids are getting things in place early will help them have time to put in the effort needed to do well.  I’m always excited to see how it goes and what kids come up with what material.  We have some extremely talented kids in our group.

I have another writing friend who has come against some issues with having her work plagiarized by multiple sources. She’s been writing for two years now on different poetry sites and still sees her work pop up at other places online or by other users she knows.  It’s a sad thing.  When you just use writing as an outlet to speak your mind and express how you feel about things, to have your words taken by others and passed as their own is disheartening.

Really people, do we have nothing else better to do than rip off other’s work. Imagine what you could come up with if you spent the energy faking it and actually creating stuff of your own.  Just food for thought.

In an effort to be consistent, I’m scheduling work on this blog to hit every Wednesday. Now, I may get crazy and do extra content, but I like the look of Wednesday.  My other blog will be getting posts on Mondays.  I’m still looking at taking on a lot of writing/editing over the next few months and I want to make sure that the thing that got me writing in the first place (the blogs out here) don’t disappear as a result.