Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | August 10, 2016

Back from the tired

A rare Wednesday check-in from me, totally due to meeting Eden who (kindly) informed me I was going to write and post tonight.  I needed that accountability, and here I am.

RoW80

Until today, I hadn’t written anything outside of the day job.  I have been exhausted and needing to fill the well for over a month.  I now understand on a cellular level that good stress is as debilitating as bad stress, because moving into this lovely new house and neighborhood has beaten me to a pulp. I come home from the day job exhausted, and do nothing but play computer games and read.  

The good part?  I do spend a lot of weekend time going through boxes in the garage.  It will be a nice, efficient, welcoming house when I am done. The bad part? I’m not writing. I have yet to find the correct configuration for my office that allows me to retreat without guilt. It doesn’t help that it has been one of the hottest few weeks I’ve weathered here in the past four years. I wake up thinking I’m back in north central Florida.  Well, I’m tough, and I will persevere!

Please visit the other RoWers here if you have a chance–the accountability is a key piece of the challenge. If you are interested in joining the RoW80 challenge, this FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.

WIPpet Wednesday 

After a long absence, Eden made me write this scene this afternoon (thank you, Eden).  I added the 8 + 10 + 2 +1 + 6 for 27 sentences, and one more that had to be there for sense.

 

Carol leaned across the table. “So, how are things with Johnny?”

Linda sighed. “Even from across the room, he’s cute. Strong and silent.  Just my type.” She smiled at Helen.  “So, give! When is his platoon coming back?”

Helen sighed as well, not wanting to talk about it. “It’s called a flight in the Army Air Forces.”

“You say tom-ah-to, I say, well, to-mah-to.  When are you going to see him?”

“I’m not sure I’m going to see him again.”

“What?” Carol gaped at her.

Linda asked, “Did he dump you?”

“No, things were just going a bit fast.”

“I like fast.” Carol grinned.

Linda swatted her arm. “This isn’t about you.” Turning to Helen, she asked, “Did he pull that ‘I could die tomorrow, so sleep with me tonight’?”

Helen shook her head. “No, nothing like that. He was just getting too serious.”

Carol asked, “But isn’t serious good?”

Linda laid her hand on Carol’s arm. “Not always.”


WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop where writers share part of their WIP here. The only requirement is that the length have something to do with the date, hence the maths above.  Feel free to read, comment, or join in!

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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | July 24, 2016

Prodded and Posed

Well, I fell off the map last Wednesday again.  I was in the big city from Sunday through Tuesday, getting poked, prodded, and posed.  Why is it that x-rays require impossible ways of holding oneself? I remember several years ago being asked to move my broken arm into some sort of origami, which took all my early lessons of politeness to weather.

On the plus side, I did get a chance to do some window shopping for furniture, especially for something to give us more counter space in our original 1960 kitchen. I am unpacking slowly and deliberately, and still getting rid of a lot of stuff, which continues to feel liberating.

I have also done some thinking and scribbling down of those thoughts, but have spent a lot of the last week trying to stay cool, relaxing and reading. I have some added incentive to finish a scholarly article for a new journal that asked for submissions by the end of August, so I plan to pull something together by that time. I also have to update Pacemaker, which fell off my radar, since I do have some progress on the projects.

Please visit the other RoWers here if you have a chance–the accountability is a key piece of the challenge. If you are interested in joining the RoW80 challenge, this FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.

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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | July 17, 2016

Trains and tests and doctors, oh my!

Last Wednesday’s check-in came and went without a post from me, partially because one of my doctors called at 4pm on Tuesday with a last-minute cancellation for Wednesday. It was a bit of a scramble to get the trains set up to get there and back, but it finally worked out. Although I have more tests in the next few days, I did well not to wait another month for my original appointment to see this doctor, as I seem to have done more damage than I thought when I fell in April.

I managed to get some writing done on Friday, thanks to a writing sprint (thank you again, Eden) and got my minimum goals on Saturday and today, but concentrated on unpacking and cleaning on Saturday.

Also, I was reminded by Karen in a comment that it’s okay to be tired (and thank you for the reminder). I tend to think I should be able to get things done more quickly than I can, but doing this move correctly means getting rid of things I don’t need, and finding a place for things I do need. I am making progress, and need to work on my patience–not my strong suit by a long shot!

If you are interested in joining the RoW80 challenge, this FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.
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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | July 11, 2016

RoW80 Check-in Ahead and Behind

Illumination from Morgan Library MS 775

Illumination from Morgan Library MS 775

It continued to be a crazy week, but that is starting to feel normal. DH and I spent yesterday planting flowers in the brick planter by the front door, and in a couple of concrete urns in the back yard, as well as putting up some hanging baskets.  It helped greatly to make it feel more like home.

Settling into the house is taking a fair amount of time and energy, but it feels good.  I have been keeping up with some of the writing I planned to do, but not all.  I plan to work more on it this week, and have some inter-library loan books awaiting me tomorrow. I realize several of you have more than five projects going at one time, but I encourage you to check out Pacemaker (https://pacemaker.press/).  I really like it.

I spent five hours on the train to and from New York City on Friday, and despite best intentions to be productive, I slept most of the trip.  I can only accept that I must have needed the sleep.

So far, I have rather spotty progress on my goals, but I’m settling into the rhythm, and am not terribly worried yet. I am behind on my fiction, which should be at 960 words, and is at 0.  I have thought about it every day, teasing apart some of the conflict to see if it is strong enough. I wish the book could be delivered like the one in the illumination above, but I haven’t figured out how to tap into that delivery service.

I am ahead on my blog posts, since I am at 2,198 words, and am supposed to be at 1,250. I am behind on my article, which is supposed to be at 385, and is at 0, but I can catch up tonight and tomorrow.  I have read through what I have written, and targeted some holes in the argument.

I have some doctors’ appointments to make pursuant to the doctor’s visit I had Friday, and must call tomorrow.

Check out the goals of other ROWers, which you can find here. If you’re interested in joining ROW80 challenge, the FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.

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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | July 6, 2016

Round Three Goals

 

*I try to slip into the back row of the room, hoping no one notices that I am late for the Round.*

Kait offered quite the challenge on Monday, bundled with a “geek’s delight” tool, for which I fell completely. If you’re interested in the tool, it’s here. Kait’s post made me think on the slow but sure progress I managed for several weeks in June, and how much it cheered me.

So I have put together three projects on Pacemaker. Feel free to question this tortoise’s sanity. The first is 15,000 words of fiction, which is roughly 192 words a day.  The second is 250 words a day of blog posts, hoping to resurrect my rather moribund blogs. The third is 6,000 words on a journal article, which is about 77 words a day.  I really enjoyed the research and the subject of this article, but it just well, dropped off the radar.

I have some life goals as well, which are still rather amorphous–get in better health, continue to organize the new house (it is day 5), but I will add those as they begin to hold a shape and be measurable.

Check out the goals of other ROWers, which you can find here. If you’re interested in joining the ROW80 challenge, the FAQ will give you all the details. Feel free to jump in anytime.

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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | June 16, 2016

What? Yesterday was Wednesday?

RoW80

As the lateness of this post attests, things have been crazy lately. I have to be content with baby steps right now.  I am writing every day, even if some days it is only a handful of sentences.  I am continuing to discard, pack, and plan for the move, in the face of having to travel for several days next week.  I have donned my hiking boots to scale the mountain that lies between today and two weeks from today when the trip will be done, the old place will be empty and the new place will be festooned with boxes and possibilities.  Until then, I can only plead sleep deprivation and stress have robbed me of any interesting developments to offer my readers.  All my words are going into my writing, it seems, so here is a small offering.

WIPpet Wednesday

I have 12 sentences for this snippet, 6+(1+5)=12. It follows right after the snippet from last Wednesday.

I shook off the worst of the disappointment—I could cry in my beer later.  “I needed an honest answer, and I got one; I can’t complain.”

She put her hand on my cheek, turning my face to hers, as I had done to her earlier.  “I do love you, Johnny, I just . . .” her voice died away.

“It’s okay, really.  Let’s not spoil the evening.”  I pulled her into my arms, burying my face in her hair, breathing the scent of her, praying that she wouldn’t disappear.  I didn’t regret asking; I couldn’t have spent another hour with Helen without asking. “I won’t badger you about it, I promise,”  I said, although I wasn’t sure I could bear to ask her again.

Helen pulled away just enough to reach up to kiss me; she had no idea what she was doing to me, but I was amazed that my heart didn’t explode or just stop. I had grown up among people who lived hard lives, and romance did not prosper among such arid conditions.  Yes, there was love, but it was hard-won, worn smooth by adversity.

Want to read other works-in-progress?  Want to share snippets of your work?  WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by Emily Witt here  Check out the other offerings here, or add your own.

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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | June 12, 2016

RoW80 Better Than Expected

How is it Sunday already??  I will amend the adage of “Time flies when you’re having fun,” because I’m not having fun, but it’s flying anyway.  Several good things have been happening, to be honest, though.  My prediction that the rental house I’m inhabiting (and was told to keep ready to show against my inclination) is massively overpriced is proving true.  It has been on the market a week tomorrow, and only one person has wanted to see it. Even if interest picks up, I am holding to my insistence that there will be boxes everywhere.

Also, packing is going pretty well.  There is rampant grouchiness among the denizens of Testosterone Palace, but it is understandable.  Husband and I have to go to a conference for several days the third week of June, returning one day before the putative closing, so everything has to be packed beforehand.  That means we all have to live out of suitcases sooner than we wish, and for longer than we would like; even worse, our sons don’t get to go anywhere to enjoy the inconvenience.

As for writing, it goes well, too.  I’m a JuNoWriMo rebel, and had planned only 5K for the month, because of the craziness of life.  I’m at 3551 at the moment, which makes me very happy, as long as I don’t fall into the trap of comparing word counts. I can easily get depressed if I let myself, so I have to make sure I concentrate on the positive. Also, I’ve had to do a lot of editing this past week, which makes me think that I should just be an editor, and not a writer.  I have to remind myself that I can do both.

Please go encourage the other RoWers, who are entering the last couple of weeks of the challenge, here.  What is RoW80, you ask?  It is an accountability group, with flexible goals and good companions.  If you’re interested, check it out here.

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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | June 8, 2016

RoW80 and WIPpet Wednesday Still Writing

Where the magic happens

Writing Desk

RoW80

It is Wednesday, and therefore time for a RoW80 update. Life continues to be crazy, but also provides an object lesson.  For years, I would have said that a crazy time like now would make it impossible for me to write–clearly I had too much on my plate.  This year, after being reminded by this post, I realized that I chose all sorts of tasks in the past that made excuses for my not writing, when  I could have chosen writing.  Am I perfect and writing 10K a day?  Far from it, but I am writing at least 5 days out of 7, slowly and in little pieces, keeping the well primed.  I can also recommend inner dialogues with one’s characters while packing dishes, clearly a task from some lower circle of hell.

There are a few blog posts in that paragraph, but I will write those a bit later. Please go encourage the other RoWers, who are sliding into the home stretch here.  What is RoW80, you ask?  It is an accountability group, with flexible goals and good companions.  If you’re interested, check it out here.

WIPpet Wednesday

My contribution to WIPpet Wednesday follows immediately after last week’s cliffhanger.  Yes, I was evil. My math is 6+8=14, so 14 sentences.

“That I’m falling in love with you.”

Over the pounding of my heartbeat in my ears, I said, “I loved you before you even looked my way.  Marry me.”  Those last two words were unexpected, but now that I heard them, I would never take them back. Helen’s face stilled. Her body froze.  I prepared myself for her rejection and perhaps even her anger.

“I don’t know.  Let me think about it.”

Well, she hadn’t handed me my head, but the axe had certainly nicked me.  Even while telling myself that she hadn’t gotten mad, or turned me down flat, I felt my heart shrink from the hurt.  I couldn’t hide my disappointment from her, either. It mattered too damn much.

Helen smiled wistfully,  saying softly,  “I’m sorry. “

Want to read other works-in-progress?  Want to share snippets of your work?  WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by Emily Witt here. Check out the other offerings, or add your own.

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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | June 5, 2016

RoW80 June arrives

My father holding me, with my sister beside him

 

Yesterday was my father’s birthday, so the above picture of him holding an unhappy me early in my life is in his honor. The house in the background is one where I lived for only the first eight weeks of my life, so I know I am younger than that age.  My sister, who is peeking into the frame, is four years older than I, and a daddy’s girl, so it is not surprising to see her in the picture. She was never far from him. This year is the first that my sister will celebrate her birthday later this week without him, without the joint celebration my father and she enjoyed with birthdays only four days apart.

Since I have finished with the course I had to take for work, I may be able to fit some writing on the memoir into the month of June.  My World War II novella has a better framework, as do the scholarly articles calling out for attention, but the memoir may offer some salve to the losses of the past few years.

Yesterday was filled with words and stories, not all written down or tied to a certain piece, but I’m comfortable with that. I managed to make my word count for JuNoWriMo, but not easily or early. Sometimes the words need to fling themselves into the void, and perish in the effort, but they create paths for the next venture.  Words, even those tossed aside, are not wasted.

I also spent most of yesterday cleaning so that the property manager can take pictures of the house. I tend to scrub harder when I am perturbed, so everything is quite clean.🙂

I’m off to write more words.  Have a lovely day, and please go encourage the other RoWers here.


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Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | June 1, 2016

RoW80 and WIPpet Wednesday Plodding

Honestly, I don’t have a lot to update in RoW80.  I’m plodding along in the writing, and actually signed up as a JuNoWriMo rebel.  I have a couple of scholarly articles I want to work on, as well as this rebel piece, so I don’t want to go down in flames. I’m not complaining, trust me.  I am delighted that the words are still coming and the characters still talking to me.

I am steadfastly working to pull back from the day job.  I have the bad habit of working through lunch and breaks, but want that to stop. I did have Monday off, and got most of the china packed–an impressively intricate and slow job!

Please go encourage the rest of the RoWers here.

And for WIPpet Wednesday:

My last two snippets have been from the point of view of my female protagonist, but this is from the male POV.  There are 7 short paragraphs (6+1) of dialogue between the main characters, a very few dates after the earlier snippets:

“You haven’t said much of anything about what you want to do with your life,” I said.

“Oh, I haven’t thought about it very much.  I suppose the usual, husband and family.”  

Suddenly, she began to shiver uncontrollably.  I thought she might be cold, even though it was rather mild, so I gathered her into my arms, but only close enough to warm her.

“I’m not cold,” Helen muttered into my chest, so I let her pull away.  

“But you’re shaking.”  She wouldn’t look at me, staring at the ground, or down the street, anywhere but at me.  All of a sudden, I realized she was scared, and said so.

“Yes, I am.”  She still would not look at me.

“Of what?”  I tipped her face up with a finger so that she had to look at me.  I was searching her face, her eyes, trying to read her expression.  The understanding hit me the second before she said it.

WIPpet Wednesday is curated by Emily Witt at Keyboard and an Open Mind. If you’d like to contribute, or want to read other offerings, they are here.

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