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Monday, March 4, 2013

Mad, mad Monday ... (March Madness check-in, Day 4) #WIPmadness

"You can have fun and do good work at the same time. In fact, you do better work if you're having fun." 

Sir Patrick Stewart (Emerald City Comicon panel, March 3, 2013)


Merry Monday Morning, Mad Marchers! Mmph. I could misuse many minutes mincing my melliloquent missive. But don't mind my mirthful mania, however miasmic it may be.

Wait for it ... wait for it ...

Okay, there! The coffee's finally kicked in. And now it's time to check in!

Friendly reminder: If you are trying to comment with a WordPress account and having trouble, try using something else. For example, do you have a G-mail address? That's your Google account. For some reason though the Internet is seriously trending towards unity, certain websites don't seem to be playing nice with each other. Hope this helps!

Friendly reminder, part II: If you haven't signed up for March Madness, you have not yet missed the boat. There is no deadline. Latecomers welcome!

So how goes your morning? Your month? Your madness?

Done now, I swear. :)

I just got back from a wild weekend south of the border (so for me, Seattle) at Emerald City Comicon. Lots of geeking out, seeing celebrities, and spending time with friends. Patrick Stewart's panel was the last one of the convention, and it was *packed*. That above quote that I shared with y'all rang so true. So I ask: how do you bring fun into your work? What great examples can you share of how enjoying yourself while writing has made your work better? For me, sometimes just hanging out on twitter in writers' threads actually helps me get more work done. Especially when we can ask questions and give each other instafeedback. How about you?

March the Fourth be with you!

And don't forget to check in tomorrow at Shari Green's blog.

68 comments:

  1. I got up with my alarm, so the day is already going well for me :)

    Sometimes I have fun with my WIP by adding in a scene I know won't stay, like my characters doing silly things while they hang out. It may not move the story forward or have anything to do with the plot, but it makes me laugh and I get to know their personalities better.

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    1. I like this idea! You really would get to know the MC's better.

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    2. That sounds like a great tool that's both enjoyable and productive!

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    3. The better you know your characters, the more they'll come alive for the reader even if no one else reads those scenes but you.

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  2. Oh, Comicon! How fun! I often read aloud and/or act out scenes that I'm writing so I can really get a spacial/physical sense of what is happening as well as the emotional impact. Yes, I have had janitors and children walk in on me and think I must be schizophrenic, but that just makes me laugh more.

    Bouncing my sparkle ball helps too!

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    1. Oh, I've heard that's a great strategy. Also useful! I sometimes read aloud to my cats. They just roll their eyes and position themselves for petting while I read.

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  3. I'm with Mary Ann on this one, except I keep my acting private. But I've laughed more than once at myself after making faces in the mirror so I can get an expression right.

    Now I better get a coffee and head for my day job. I wish I could spend all day revising :(

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    1. Practicing facial expression can be useful for *writing* that, rather than the usual "She grimaced. I bit my lip. He furrowed his brow." can be more vibrant and unique! Love this.

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  4. the fun in writing comes with the flow - when the words are flowing I swear i could float. when they aren't (hint: today) it's a lead balloon I'm dragging behind me. You know how you can know something and still have trouble believing it? Well I know (from experience) that there's a place you hit in revising where you are convinced everything you wrote is garbage. Flat, irredeemable dreck. While I *know* that it's not really true, I am having trouble believing I'll ever whip this WIP into shape. So what's a girl to do? CARRY ON. It's the only way. Keep going and not stop. That's my answer to everything these days, every set back is met with "well, that sucked. CARRY ON." Off to the revision mine. Wishing everyone well!

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    1. That's such a great feeling, isn't it? And yes, definitely carry on. (Now I have that Fun song in my head. Great song.)

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    2. It's so awesome when the words are flowing! But for the many, many times they don't want to cooperate quite so readily, your strategy is perfect: carry on! :)

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  5. Writing is almost always fun for me - even when I'm slogging through revisions or a sticky plot point. The non-fun part for me is the submissions and rejections part. But I think the fun in that - and in the other part, if that's not fun - is in wonderful writer friends. I have some amazing ones who have gotten more excited about my progress sometimes than I have, or more outraged by what they saw as an unjust rejection comment, etc. It's so nice to know there are people journeying along the same path as I am.

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    1. I've started submitting work places and it is infinitely more bearable when you have a support network that's there to catch you and prop you back up when you get knocked down. That's why I'm glad I found you lovely people doing this March Madness thing. Writing is a solitary activity but you don't need to feel so alone when you do it.

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    2. Patrick Stewart said something about rejection yesterday, too. He said that it was his thing that when he auditioned for a part, he always put it out of his mind right away and assumed he didn't get it. Easier than stressing over it.

      And yay, community! It makes things so wonderful. :)

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    3. Good writer friends make all the difference in the world! Don't know how I'd survive without all of you....

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  6. How exciting! I'm all the way over here in Canada, my daughters father actually just came back from Emerald City Comicon as well! On a different note! I have been doing great at keeping up my progress (so far so good).

    For me I am a sucker for relaxation. I find the best thing for me to actually have fun and enjoy myself is to get all relaxed and happy before I sit down to write. Sometimes that means to just set up my quiet baby-free writing spot, (my husband entertains the girls for me when he gets home from work so I can enjoy some mommy time) on the lazy boy, in my bedroom, with my slippers and comfy clothes. Sometimes I go all out and have a bubble bath too!

    I also love to do anything hand written, so when I am feeling up to it, (and weather permits) I take my ever trusty note book outside to relax and scribble a few chapters down on paper to type up later!

    It is all about relaxation (and baby free time) for me when it comes to thoroughly enjoying my writing time :-)

    Hope everyone is with me in the so-far-so-good for their goals this month!

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    1. Yay, a fellow hand-writting enthusiast! I really prefer to do first drafts by hand, too. It takes longer, but I find that what I come up with needs less rewriting at a syntactical level than when I type to start. I also got a fountain pen for christmas, and I have to admit it makes writing by hand a real pleasure!

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    2. That does sound enjoyable! I can't remember the last time I wrote with a fountain pen (probably not since I was a child). Now I feel like I might have to put one on my list of gotta-gets!

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    3. I find I think more clearly when I'm writing by hand. The ideas flow more smoothly and I feel less . . . judged, if that makes sense. Yes, my computer is an inanimate object but there's something frightening about a blank word document with its blinking cursor staring at me while I stare at it that stresses me out in a way that paper and ink doesn't. So I feel you.

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    4. Rebecca, us too! We got back to Burnaby around 10pm. Yay no border lineup for once.

      YES on the relaxation. It does wonders, doesn't it?

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    5. It really does! Burnaby! My family and I stay there occasionally when we are down there for our Children's hospital visits! It is our surrounding area of choice. We are all way down here in the Okanagan.

      Melissa I TOTALLY agree about the stress, I think it is that a nice bit of paper and a pen feel more casual and so have a more relaxing feeling to it.

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  7. I feel slightly silly to realize just now that the way I keep writing fun is primarily with foodstuffs. There's tea, obviously (current cup: really florally earl grey with milk), and also any kind of candy I can let dangle from between my teeth while I'm working, like liquorice whips. Basically, I'll be lucky if I still have enamel on my teeth when I'm done this manuscript.

    I wish I was more disciplined about online socializing, but whenever I take a twitter/chat/facebook break, I fall down an internet rabbit hole and don't pull myself out for ages, so it's best if I just avoid it.

    Thanks for hosting today, L.S, and thanks for sharing, everyone else!

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    1. I used to get the writing munchies too but I've been able to cut back a bit. The one vice I can't shake is caffeinated tea. It doesn't feel like writing if I don't have a cup of tea next to me.

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    2. I am right there with you on the foodstuffs! Although my go to is a nice big bowl of chips... or the bag... maybe some dip too... it is not doing to well for my writers bottom. The hubby made me take an apple with me upstairs to work today... so not the same.

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    3. Sorry I missed this, Kim. Sounds yummy! (And yeah, probably a bit healthier than keeping writing fun with whisky.) ;)

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  8. Today is my big writing day, and so far I've done nothing. :( I better get to work!!!

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    1. You aren't alone on that one! So far this morning I have managed to play on the internet and clean, I may just have to lock myself away later this evening to make up for time lost(and probably disable my internet connection for a few hours!) Here is hoping your day gets going on getting going!!

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    2. No worries, Larissa. We all have days like that. :) Onward!

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  9. This morning have the plague. Ugh.

    For me I love going to writing conferences and just mingling with others in our field. Love meeting authors that I adore too. My biggest thrill was meeting Terry Brooks of the Shannara fantasy series back in 2004. He was so sweet and encouraging, asking about my own writing. Got to love that.

    Now just hope this is only the 24 hr bug.

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    1. I hope you get better quickly! *sends tea*

      Writing conferences are definitely a fantastic way to infuse some fun, energy, and inspiration into our writing routines. :)

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    2. That plague is going around, isn't it? DH and I had it last week, and it didn't quite go away all weekend. So we still have a bit of it. Or we caught con crud. Can't quite tell. Here's to health!

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  10. Glad you had fun at the Comicon. Their guest list was awesome this year. Sadly, I enjoy the awesomeness vicariously through you. Family's way under the weather which is silly now because it's so nice outside. On the upside, as part of Dave Fox's 100 Hours of Humor Blog run this weekend, I entered two of his contests for flash humor and got honorable mentions. They're published on his website. And writing the pieces were fun in themselves.

    Bringing the fun:

    I like using the mirrored closet doors that came with my apartment. I turn that thing into a massive mindmap/doodle station. I'm pretty sure it's about the size of a king bed, so I get on the stool and write long-term reminders way up high. It's helped my brainstorming on many occasions.

    I still feel bad that I haven't returned to the New West Write-Ins. The timing's off because my nephew and niece are 3 years old and 16 months, respectively. They wipe me out. I'm hoping to find a happy medium and will one day get out there. Connecting with writers online these past few months has been extremely helpful and I'm constantly inspired. However, in-person conversations with humans older than three is probably essential to my sanity, as well.


    Cheers,

    Tonette dela Luna

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    1. "in-person conversations with humans older than three is probably essential to my sanity" -- lol, yup, talking to grown-ups is pretty much essential, but sadly hard to come by at times. ;)

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    2. No worries, Tonette. We look forward to one day seeing you again. You can only do what you can, and don't stress over it.

      Also, those mirrors sound awesome. :D

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  11. Actually got something accomplished today, even if it wasn't on my WIP. Went back to first MS and did a quick revision to include an idea. Any progress is good since I didn't do much all last week.

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    1. Yay for progress (of any kind)! :)

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    2. Amen! Any progress is always good progress.

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    3. I agree with you all, ANY progress is great progress (in my opinion even just planning to make progress is a step forward!)

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  12. Okay today I managed to:

    Write 2610 words, which puts me 41 ahead of schedule.

    Read 22 chapters, which means I'm on track to reading 8 books before the end of the month. (I have to read 11 chapters a day to finish by the 29th.)

    Yep. A good day's work, I think. ;-)

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    1. Awesome day's work! Way to go! :)

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    2. Now that's just fantastic. Great progress!

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    3. Exciting progress! And WOW to 22 chapters read, I am amazed and inspired by that, I really do need to work harder on reading more throughout the day! What a fantastic accomplishment today!

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  13. Got 27 pages edited today, so I'm feeling quite satisfied with myself.

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  14. I have more fun when I'm working with others. So yeah, hanging out with my peeps on Twitter makes writing more fun. Today I braved subbing 7th grade math and got a good amount of editing done during my prep period. Now I'm home and it's time for a nap. This head cold is kicking my butt!

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    1. So great to make use of whatever little snatches of time you can find. Way to go! I sure hope you feel better soon....

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    2. Dang, feel better! This cold really is going around. I'd really like it to leave now, please and thank you.

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    3. Superwomen! Working at work AND with a cold!
      Sending feel better vibes your way!

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  15. Glad you have fun at the Comicon!

    The fun in writing for me comes in when the words flow freely. There's nothing better! At the moment, the words are NOT flowing, and I really feel stuck. I'm beginning to think my new shiny is not so shiny after all. Hmm...think I need some more planning.

    March Madness may go slow for me next week. I got word my father will drive in from Chicago and be here for ten days. It's also Spring Break for the girls, so I'm guessing not a lot of writing will get done. Sigh.

    Maybe I should just go by the library and pick out some really great books to read next week instead. Inspiration comes between the covers of books. Note to self: schedule library visit before Thursday.

    Yay to everyone who is writing and getting things accomplished!!

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    1. Aw, that's never fun when a shiny idea feels tarnished.... *hugs* Sometimes I find it helps to go back to what I loved about the idea in the first place, kinda re-discover the passion. But sometimes, there's nothing like a good reading binge to get me excited about stories and writing again, lol! All the best, whatever you decide to focus on this month. :)

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    2. Candilynn, you and Alex should talk. (See her comment above.) I think we all hit that spot. You can do this. You're a great writer.

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  16. It's amazing... well, it's more like frustrating... when a perfectly good Monday slips by without any of the usual things accomplished. It's been an admin kind of day for me, with phone calls and e-mails much of the morning and THEN an afternoon fighting to configure and download books on my hubby's new eReader. He chose a Kobo because he likes to read occasional library books. It shouldn't have been hard but the instruction manual was decidedly unhelpful, and the Chapters/Kobo website assumed we only wanted to buy their books or download their free ones. ::sigh:: So I haven't written a thing today, nor made a start toward my goals. But I have created a personalized set of instructions for hubby's future use, so I suppose the day's not a complete loss.

    Glad you had such a great time at Comicon. I think the revitalization that conferences bring to my writing is so beneficial. I wish I could afford to go more often. :)

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    1. Ugh, so crazy how much time "technology" snatches from us. But I'm glad you've got it all figured out now! Tomorrow, words.... ;)

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    2. I've had days like that too, Carol. Hope things are more productive for you tomorrow.

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  17. Forget writing! You saw Patrick Stewart?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And he was in MY TOWN?!!!!!!!!
    Pardon me while I faint, then hit my head against the wall, then faint again.

    Well, while I was facing the blank screen, it appears you were having the time of your life in my back yard. I may recover someday... =)

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  18. Checking in! I wishI could have been at ECCC. I write about comics for IGN and Starburst Magazine but neither one wanted to fly me out for the con so alas, I was unable to go.

    Today, my characters and I had a quiet night in. Well, they had a quiet night in while I scribbled, frantically, trying to get all the plot bouncing around in my head onto the page. I have a routine down at this point and it involves writing by candlelight while reclining on the floor surrounding by blankets and throw pillows and it's atmospheric as hell. I was surprised by how much more productive I was when I forsook artificial lighting. Go figure.

    I outlined 4 chapters today (and wrote a metric ton of dialogue to go with them), bringing me up to 24 chapters for this month. I also plotted out the ending, which was a relief. It's hard to find your way home when you don't know where you're going.

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    1. Wow, super productive day! congrats! I love candlelight and instrumental music for creating a conducive-to-creativity atmosphere. :)

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    2. That's great progress! Way to go!

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    3. Thanks, guys!

      Shari - Yup, candlelight and atmospheric music is the way to go. I'm going to dedicate this book to whatever screaming genius designed the Pandora app for iPhone.

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  19. Ignoring my internal editor and breaking rules makes writing fun for me, and it almost always makes my writing better, too! (Not breaking ALL the rules, just the shouldn't-be-a-rule rules, lol.)

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    1. I love this! Ignoring that is certainly not an easy thing to do, but I agree, once you master it writing is much more fun!

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  20. Words didn't flow today in my revision, but I did learn an update on word usage that I needed. And I had fun seeing how rearranged story elements will fit together. Hoping the pace--in my word flow and in the wip plot--picks up tomorrow. :)

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  21. No worries, Liz. It's Monday. ;)

    Isn't it awesome when you see it all come together? Grin-worthy, that.

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  22. Well I was here earlier to check in but given tonights progress I had to come back before I made the decision to tuck away the laptop. I am feeling like an addict on a binge! Just a little bit more, a little bit more! 200 words short of hitting 2000 words added today! That may just be a record for me!!

    Feeling good about today's progress! Now it is just a matter of keeping it up!

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