Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back from the Brink

Oh, boy, folks, have I had a crazy few weeks. Grab a cuppa coffee/tea/wine/beverage of your choice and let me tell you all about it.

So I needed a mini break of blogging because I hadn't quite figured out how to manage my writing, my "new" job, family, life, and blogging all at the same time. I think I've figured it out now, so we're gonna try a trial of me blogging on Tuesdays and Saturdays for a while, and see how it works. Please bear with me as I reintegrate myself into the blogosphere.

This is your brain on editing.
Any questions?
Then there was the writing. In late October not only was I trying to manage some pretty intense revision on my novel (currently listed on my WIPs page as FIGHTING FATE, though I plan to change the title to IN FLAMES). I wanted to get a full round of revision finished before NaNoWriMo started, while also juggling my NaNo prep. That took a LOT out of me, and I edited until my brains turned into liquid goo. Seriously. It was messy.

My own personal NaNo shield
On November first, having finished that round of editing, I was happy to accept my NaNo fate. I greeted it with a warm, strong handshake. And on the fateful afternoon of November 1st, I had an extra meeting with my boss, wherein he asked me to work overtime in preparation for our display at an upcoming conference (I work for a small, specialty academic publisher). And in my inner ear, I heard my NaNo plans go *squish*. My boss and I negotiated trading the days in early November for days around Thanksgiving, so not all was lost, but it put some stress on my NaNo plans nonetheless.

As of November 12th, one-third of the way through the month, I had only written about 14K over the course of 4 authentic writing days. Ouch.

On the morning on November 13th, as I'm leaving my house to pick up a friend, I grab my phone to let her know I'm coming, and see that I have a missed text message from my boss--who, I might add, never sends me text messages. It said, more or less, that he was in the hospital, post-surgery after having had a heart attack. Everything okay. Call to talk about conference prep. SERIOUSLY. My boss is in the intensive care unit on a Sunday morning and wants to talk about conference prep. Now, granted, the conference started on the 17th. My boss isn't really all that Type-A, but we did still have a lot of work to do, and that essentially took the editorial side of our house from 3 to 2 employees doing the bulk of the work (we have a few work-study students, but regular employees, we are three). So now add more overtime work to my schedule over the next three days, making the first day of the conference (Nov 17th) day 5 for writing. Not a good sign.

See how the Jell-O powder gets all goopy with a little water?
Not to mention that on the 17th and the 18th I was about as worthless a writer as an uncooked box of Jell-O, from working 10hour days three days in a row, and the emotional turmoil of talking to my boss on the phone while he was doped on morphine and falling asleep. Yup, powdery Jell-O.

Somehow, though, I managed to pull a few days writing between 5-6K. Don't ask me how. Perhaps some superhuman feats of strength that even kryptonite couldn't squelch. Who knows? But I have to attribute at least a little of my success to Hart Johnson and her stupendous idea for hour-long sprint-writing sessions. I think those were ultimately my saving grace. Coordinated over Facebook, I would periodically join Hart, among others, on these sprints, and both the time and the community support helped a ton.

And, imagine, through all of that, I actually won!

Granted, according to my word verification, I only have 50,002 words, but I don't care! I'm 2 words over what they need (although, according to my Scrivener file, I have 50,019), and that's what matters.

Anyway, now it's December. A little over two weeks until the holiday break comes, which will entail lots of time with family, friends, and fruitcake. I'm already celebrating by eating too many sweets and listening to Christmas music while I cook and bake. And, dangit all, I am MAKING these cookies if it kills me. I just have to find some sweet rice flour first...

Be seeing you around the blogosphere!


Charity Bradford said...

Wow, Rosie. I'm impressed you still pulled it off. Good for you! I hope your boss is okay and things settle down so the Christmas season is less stressful.

Jan Morrison said...

Rosie - you are my kinda pal! Good for you for pulling it off and despite jello brains making it real to the end. I didn't nano this year but I applaud those that did. Like tattoos I think one is enough - though come to think of it, I have been contemplating a new tattoo for my 60th. hmmm... I've been scarce on the blogging front myself and am glad to see you around however and whenever. Yay!

KarenG said...

Amazing! You inspire me, as do all those who completed Nano. Good to have you back blogging!

Carol Riggs said...

Yaaay, for you! Enjoy the season now, and hopefully unstress and relax!!!!! That's an order. ;o)

Robin Weeks said...

Ohhh. Hour long sprints saved my NaNo, too. I did it on Twitter, where there were always people who wanted to sprint with me when I was finally free to write. Such a NaNo-saver.

Congrats! I'm so impressed with those who fell behind and still managed to get it done.

Holly L'Oiseau said...

Bravo for finishing it! I tried it once last year and quickly realized that not everyone's made for NaNo! And I feel ya on the whole 'when do I squeeze blogging in?' thing. I get it when I get it. But if I'm uninspired I don't bother! I've learned that no one's holding their breath or going on hunger strike until I post again. lol.

DEZMOND said...

nice to see you've been busy and productive, Rosita :)

MzHartz said...

Awesome job!! That is amazing!

Talli Roland said...

Wow! You rock, Rosie. You've been so busy and productive!

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