Best Laid Plans

Over the summer I got the bright idea to use one of those white-board calendars to plot my writing course over a three month span of time. I think I made it to week six before illness and deck construction ran me off the rails. But I haven’t abandoned the idea because it helped me complete a revision of a novella I first wrote about 12 years ago and is now sitting, waiting again for a final polish before being shipped off to the wide world of publishing.

I have so much to do despite the fact that in the last week plus I have written two pieces for 50 Something Moms, finished/submitted my flash fic election horror piece for the Apex contest, and created two Facebook groups for my writing groups while helping plan the joint anthology for next spring. 

I am not at all certain why I thought the anthology was such a great project to take on. It’s not like I don’t have a memoir to write for NaNoWriMo in November or another website to administer since I also let myself be talked into serving on the Strathcona writing groups board as the website manager.

I don’t think I was this busy when I had a job.

So, I need my calendar thingy again. Today one of my “to do’s” is the calendar. Another task on deck is getting my blogging obligations outlined and hopefully drafting a few. 

I am up to three blogs that I actively contribute to in addition to this site and not counting the website managing gig or the blog I need to create to go along with that. One would think there should be money in this somewhere, but still I toil in relative obscurity. I guess that is where everyone starts, who isn’t the child or spouse of someone famous.

Sixteen days until I disappear into memoir writing. I am kind of looking forward to writing it. Mostly looking forward to being done with it. Another widow – a 9/11 casualty – whose novel I will be reading and reviewing in December, wrote on her blog yesterday that she was uncertain how to follow the book up. Talk about her search for “happy ever after” or her journey from New York to the West Coast. It got me thinking about the focus of my memoir. I had thought to concentrate mostly on the after. After Will was diagnosed. After he went into the nursing home. After hospice. After death. After the first months of widowhood. There are so many things now that I simply can’t recall with a high degree of accuracy or that are just not share-able. Is that a word? But I am guessing most people know what I mean. Even a die-hard blogger like me doesn’t share everything. Some events are mine or mine and my late husband’s or mine and Rob. I don’t write about those.

Which brings me to the reason I need to organize the memoir’s direction beforehand. I don’t want to spend too much time wandering in the desert. I have only 30 days and hopefully I will surpass the 50,000 words. It needs to really be twice that length which means writing about 3,000 plus words a day. Not out of the realm of possibility. I can easily crank about 2,000 a day if I am focused and have an idea of where I am going.

NaNoWriMo means getting my blogging house in order. I need two pieces a month for both my other blogging obligations, and I have ideas so the thing is to draft/revise before the end of this month and get them slotted. I also need to get a bit of blogging ahead done here. I am woefully neglecting my dear readers and readers, however dear, are fickle and go where there is reading to be done.

I have what feels like a ton of urban fantasy to finish (I discovered during the month I spent at the workshopping site that I am not writing pure sci-fi but in a genre called urban fantasy – who knew?). I am pushing it back to December. One of the things they recommend doing after a NaNoWriMo is putting your manuscript aside for a month and then coming back with fresh eyes to read and revise in January. And that is what I am going to do, therefore December will be urban fantasy month for me.

In between all of this I have writing group business including: monthly meetings, board meetings, anthology preparation, and a publishing workshop. And also the daily life stuff of husband, children, house, dying father, grieving mother, yoga class, and reading.

Man, do I have reading to do. My Bloglines is so backed up it is groaning. I do apologize if I am not commenting much. I just have so much to read that I don’t often get to it all in one sitting and sometimes my mind is too empty to find words. Would a “hi, I was here” be acceptable? Somehow that seems very trite.

A few things before I leave off for today:

  • I am still interested in trading links. Leave a comment if you are too.
  • Please vote for me over at FuelMyBlog if you get the chance.
  • If we are not friends on Facebook, perhaps we should be. Let me know.
And so I am off to organize the writing machine which is me.
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7 responses to “Best Laid Plans

  1. Wow you’re so busy and ambitious. What hormones are you taking and do I have to move to Canada to get them?

    No hormones unless you count the herbal stuff from the health store. I think it’s just the sense of freedom I have now that I am not shackled to a full time teaching job.

  2. Once again I am getting tired just reading your schedule. But I have my own projects, like getting this house in order, so I can move to the motel for the window installation. Which reminds me, I need to go get boxes.

    Hope it goes quickly.

  3. Wow. Nothing like deadlines to get things finished, right? Thanks for mentioning me in your post. It is an ever daunting task to pre-determine the subject of a memoir before it is written as it often takes new turns and twists in the writing.
    I decided to take a class, (that deadline thing), at MediaBistro (http://www.mediabistro.com/courses/). I am hoping I get a few pieces under my belt and then figure out a direction.
    Good luck with everything.
    Abby

    Thanks:)

  4. The whiteboard sounds like a great tool. My daughter is good at using such strategies – it got her through college and med school. I do well with lists and calendars. Good luck with getting organized.

    I like calendars and lists myself.

  5. Hi Annie —
    Sounds like your plate is overflowing too, but all good projects! I was interested to read about your memoir project. I teach personal essay and memoir classes, and recently learned about a great new handbook, “Thinking About Memoir,” by Abigail Thomas. It’s short, sweet, and helpful, especially if you’re drowning in writing/craft books, as I am.

    Secondly, I would be happy to trade links with you. I will add you to my blogroll after I sign off here.

    thanks very much for the tips and the link.

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