Motivational Sunday

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing–that’s why it’s recommended daily.
–Zig Ziglar

Life gets in the way every week of my goals. Mainly my health goals, and my writing goals. Those are the ones I care about the most.

This week I fell short of my writing goal. I planned to edit seven scenes, but early in the week I saw they needed major improvement, so three of them needed to be rewritten. Yeah, a big deal when I want to finish the book, but in the long run, I want a better story. So, I have to take the time and rewrite.

Every Sunday, I look over last weeks goal, and ask myself how I did. It isn’t always a fun task. There are many times I could have done better, but didn’t. There are also times when I can honestly say I did my best, but still fell short. But, if I don’t ask myself these questions I won’t learn how to push myself.

It’s time for me to start looking toward the next novel. I’m not quite finished with this one, but if I start to outline the next one, it will do two things. It motivates me to finish the one I’m working on, and gives me something to think about when I’m editing the same story over and over. As much as I love my stories, once I’ve read it for the hundredth time, I get bored. As long as I still like the story, I’m good. If I don’t like it, that is when the trouble sets in and I know it needs a rewrite. Thank goodness, my story seems to hold up at this stage.

So, during my Sunday Motivational session, I look at last weeks goal and my progress. Then I set a new goal for the upcoming week. This week is easy. Finish editing the last of my book. I always try to include more than I can finish, but not such a large goal I am over whelmed. I can’t say, “This week, I edit my entire book and write the next one.” I have to think about the quality of the work, and plan for that. Also, I have to know when to honestly tell myself I did a great job, or that I did a horrible job.

How did I do this last week? Early in the week I did great. Yesterday is the only day I lounged when I could have written. But, I did have a hard week at work also. My body was worn out. I spent the day reading, which is something that motivates me in my writing. Reading a good book motivates me to write a good book.

What are your goals? Do you ever go back and ask how you did?

It Could Happen

One of my pet-peeves as I watch a movie is a ‘realistic’ event. These events are shown to be realistic, but in fact can’t be. For example, one of Angelina Jolie’s movies, (and I can’t tell you the title because at this point I stopped watching) she punched a shark and got away. Many things are wrong with this scene. Yeah, they show you previously she is fit and strong. But, I don’t believe anyone is capable of punching a shark underwater hard enough for the shark to flinch and leave her alone.

I could probably list many movies and scenes. In every one, my response is, “It could happen.” with a dramatic eyeroll.

Something happened to me yesterday and my thought was, If I saw this in a movie, it would be a ‘It could happen’ moment. It was unbelievable. So much, my husband and I discussed the fact that we didn’t know it was possible.

We were working in an apartment complex on the second floor. During the day, we had taken the elevator several times to retrieve materials and tools. The elevator was nice and every time we’d get in and push a button, a female voice would say, “Going up”. Or “Going Down.” At the time of the incident, I was contemplating whether I had ever been in a talking elevator. I may have been, but it wasn’t memorable enough.

So, hubby and I got in the elevator, I pushed the button to the second floor, and I heard what I thought was the voice. I stood there wondering why the voice wasn’t as clear as before. It sounded nothing like ‘Going up’.

Then it came again, “Hello.”

Oh my God, I’m thinking, there is an elevator police. Someone needs to tell us we overloaded the elevator with the materials and tools. I wonder how much these people pay in rent to afford an elevator police.  I put on my brave face, and answer the unknown voice coming from the speaker. “Hello.”

“Oh, hello.” The voice continues, “I want to assure you I’m not calling to sell you anything…”

Calling. Selling. The woman rambles on. This is an incoming phone call. Intriguing.

“Are you aware you’re calling an elevator?” I ask.

“I’m sorry,” The voice said.

“You’re calling an elevator.” Now my mind is thinking of how this is possible. I study the panel and see a red button marked help. If I needed help, it must be a button to call someone. So, this elevator has a phone number, but not used for incoming calls. But, this telemarketer has the number and is using it to sell something. (Do you believe anything a telemarketer says?)

“Oh, I’ll make a note of that in my log.”

Now my mind is twirling. A million questions, and the voice is gone. Where did she call from? Had she ever called an elevator before? She didn’t sound shocked when I gave her the news that I, in fact, was standing in an elevator receiving her call. If I allowed the call to continue, what was she calling for? Or, selling?

Once my mind absorbs the incident, my mind thinks on scenes in my WIP I can have a similar situation. Uh, Oh. This isn’t believable. This is an ‘It could happen’ moment. If I read this, i wouldn’t believe it happened. But, it did happen. I saw and heard it happen. I participated in this. But, I still don’t believe it. No matter what situation I place my characters I don’t see this realistically happening in the most perfect time.

Which brings me to another question. Could she call when no one is in the elevator? Did I ‘answer’ her call when I pushed a button? Because, I didn’t hear the ‘going up’ that time.

So many questions and possibilities. But, even if I found the answers, I doubt I’ll use the idea. Sadly, It falls into the ‘It could happen’ Category.

Story Holes

I’ve been thinking a lot on story holes. One reason I am taking so long on editing my rough draft is that I am fearful of a giant hole in my story. What adds to my fear is I’ve seen holes in published stories and movies. When I watch a movie and it continues all day and into the night, I can’t help but wonder, don’t these people ever sleep? I watched a 60’s cowboy movie this past weekend, and they did it. The movie I watched today did it. It was late at night and one scene had a uniformed cop and someone asked him, “When does your shift start?” His response was 6AM. I wondered, why he was working late night, and then had to be there the next morning. Then the next day, he was working in the morning, as expected, but when it turned night, he was still there working. Sorry, but anyone with a gun shouldn’t run around with a lack of sleep.

So, I’ll continue to nit-pick books and movies when I see a huge hole. Little holes don’t bug me. I think, it isn’t my job to double check a person’s clothes or schedule. But, big ones bug me endless.

While I got holes on my brain, better than holes in my head, I hope. I’ll be checking my own stories in hopes I don’t irritate a reader with stupid stuff that can be fixed if I take the time to look for it.

Have a good day.

Christy

 

Lack of sleep isn’t the only holes I notice in stories. They come in all kinds of forms.

A major goal for me is to not have a hole in my story. I’m not on a deadline now, so there is no rush. I can take my time and double check everything from my timeline to location and clothes.

 

Focus

It’s amazing to me the problem I have with focus. What do I mean by focus? The ability to keep my attention on one thing. I plan my day to accomplish the most important things. If I accomplish them, great, if not, there is always tomorrow. What are the main things? Sleep. Eat. Brush teeth.

After I take care of those, there are plenty of hours left in the day. Work is in there most days. Yes, there are different categories of work. But when I say work, it is the leave the house and work to earn a paycheck work. That is up there with sleep and brush teeth. Sure, eat is up there too. But there are different versions of eat. There’s the peanut butter sandwich and roman noodles eat. Put something in your belly so you don’t die eat. And there is the ‘let’s go to Red Lobster or Texas Roadhouse’ eat where you enjoy it so much you don’t want it to end eat. It would be nice to eat like the second version of eat every day, but there is the money and time aspect to consider.

Back to the purpose of this blog. Focus. Was I focusing on focus? No. That is my point. When I set aside time to accomplish something, I need focus in order to do it in the time allotted. One example is the book I’m writing. For three months now, I’ve been saying I’m almost complete. Well, actually, it took me three months to write 90% of it. Why can’t I finish?

The editing is so much more complicated than I ever thought it was. I have to nit pick everything the characters do, say, wear, what they think, and where they are.

What would make this process easier? Focus. The ability to sit down for several hours and work non-stop. Oh, and of course stay organized.

Writing isn’t that hard. I’ve completed short works. So, why are the long one’s hard? Who knows. But, I am not going to stop.

So, as I babble on about focus, I will admit I am scheduled to be working on my story at the moment, and I decided to blog when I couldn’t focus on my scene. I will keep working on this lack of focus sickness.

Thanks for reading.

a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, top slice ...
a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, top slice of bread turned clockwise to show the peanut butter and jelly filling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Show vs. Tell

I’m in the process of editing my WIP. As I wrote the rough draft, I found I told a huge chunk of the story. Which can not stay if I want to story to be readable by others.

I’ve been reading all I can of show vs. tell so I can recognize what is good and what is bad. The story gets to the point I don’t see what a reader sees. I see my version I made up ages ago, so I have to learn to only look at the words. Not an easy task at times.

I want to share a post I came across.

http://www.mariavsnyder.com/advice/showvstell.php

The examples are wonderful. I admit I wasn’t familiar with this author before I found her blog. I am definitely adding some of these books on my TBR list.

 

 

Energy, or Lack of…

Red Bull abrirá inscrições para programa de traineeIt seems no matter what I do, I don’t have enough energy. I try to eat right, I exercise on a regular basis, I get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. But, my energy doesn’t take me through a full day. I know some days after super busy days, my body and mind require more rest. I don’t mind those days. But, it seems those days seem to happen more often.

So, what is the remedy? On days I have to have energy, I drink a red bull, or take a Ginsana. Those are wonderful energy boosters. But, they aren’t something I can rely on every day. If I drink a red bull after 2 PM, I can’t sleep that night, which will zap my energy for the next day. Sure, I can take a red bull again, but I know I will pay for it later by having sleep problems.

Ginsana is the same way. I can take a ginsana, but I will have sleep problems. One night of poor sleep won’t bother me, but I can’t deal with several nights of no sleep. I’ll become a grump.

Coffee helps, but if I drink it in the afternoon, I encounter the same sleep problems. There’s also the problem of it during summer. It gets hot drinking coffee. I don’t enjoy cold coffee, but I have tried it.

What do you do for more energy? Does it help?

Until I find the right balance to overcome my lack of energy, I’ll use Dory’s advice.

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

Have a good day.

Christy Thomas