Wednesday, April 29, 2015

This is where I've been

I'm blasting these stats everywhere because I'm so damn proud:
50,000 words written in November
25,000 words written in April
103,000 words written overall (not counting scenes I've cut or the first two chapters that I already rewrote)

I have WORK to do.  Tons of editing.  A particular character who acts differently in EVERY SINGLE SCENE because I haven't nailed him down. And ending to write.

But I've been working on this project for six months now that is seriously rad.

I need a little break from this material.  I have some articles for Be Your Own Lady that need to come to light- not in the least a write up of my Ladies Conference and a May book club pick (APRIL IS OVER WE MISSED IT I'M SORRY) and a backlog of good links for you.  I also might need to rewrite some of the fanfiction that I recently found.  My 14-year-old self peppered with too many Mary Sues and inflated vocabulary words, and I'm curious how it would come out if I wrote it today.  Only one way to tell.

Ladies, a reminder.  Find what makes you shine and dull it down for no one! Never stop shouting from the rooftops how good it feels to throw yourself into something you love.  Goodnight, lovelies. 

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Take the compliment. Seriously.

Where I live, it's getting warmer.  Yesterday was the first play-outside-in-short-sleeves kind of day. I live in the state where it didn't start snowing til the end of January and our big city still broke it's record for the snowiest winter ever, so people are pumped.  Ladies and gentlemen everywhere are pulling out their shorts and dresses and flip flops and sunglasses and getting these hits of vitamin D that make them manically grin.  We're seeing neighbors emerge, running into friends on walks around the block.

It's about to get complimenty up in here.

It might be That is the cutest dress! or You're so good to be out running! or Your pedicure is adorable!  Or maybe it will come in the form of I love the color you painted the deck, or even Your new roof held up so well, that was smart to go with those ice-dam-prevention shingles!  

Of course, you are lovely and wonderful year round, so you may hear things like this all the time.  At work, a coworker might praise your presentation, or simply remark how patient you are with your children if they call when you're at the office.  Your best friend might tell you she's impressed with your dedication to meal planning.  Your sister might tell you that you throw the best Sunday brunches.  You look cute, often, and everyone from the secretary at the doctor's office to your mother's cousin is going to tell you that they like your shoes/hair/earrings/bag/lipstick.  

Here is how you're not going to react: you're not going to stammer.  You're not going to deflect.  You're not going to come up with an excuse as to why you don't deserve the credit.  There is a famous family story about a time when I had been working hard to get healthy, and I saw my mother, who sweetly told me I looked like I had lost weight.  I was so bad at taking compliments, EVEN FROM MY MOM, that I immediately blurted "I have acne on my back!"  (I have acne on my back is now shorthand for anyone ducking kind words).  You're not going to do that.  You're going to take the compliment.

It's easy.  "Thank you!"

Really, that's all there is to it.  Smile while you say it.  Then ask a follow up question (How did your roof do? or Did you see the Oscars last night? or What time do we need to meet with Jim?) and move about your day.  You can tack on a "I've been working on that," or "I really like this color, too," if you're feeling ambitious. It's okay to tell people that their compliment brightened your day, or validated something you've been putting work into.  But if all of this is hard for you, practice the beginners version.  Smile, and say "Thank you!"

I've definitely shared this before, but it is probably the most brilliant thing ever put on the internet.  I love Amy Schumer's comedy, and this is one of her best sketches.  It's severely NSFW, but until they all start killing themselves, I would say it's barely exaggerated as far as the dialogue between women when they are complimenting each other.  Please watch it.  This is what you look like when you don't take the compliment.

This weekend I received a compliment from a blogger that I admire (Jennifer from Cult of Pedagogy, the only education blog you need to be reading- the tagline is Teacher Nerds, Unite.  Come on.) and her kind words completely made my day.  It's time to get braggy.  I would love it if you would be brave enough to share a compliment you've gotten lately.  Let's get in the habit of celebrating each other, and start be celebrating ourselves.

1. Smile and say "Thank you!" to every compliment you receive.
2. Share a great compliment you've gotten.  Remembering it will give you that warm fuzzy a second time.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Coffee and Blogs: No. 17

April is here, which means Camp NaNoWriMo, The Lady Project Summit, another Be Your Own Book Club pick, and ICE CREAM.  The dairy bars around town are opening back up, so it's dessert for dinner at least once a week until October.  Amen.

I have some really lovely links saved up for you, and this rainy morning is a perfect time to curl up and check out what's going on in the world. Coming this week I have the questions about the #beyourownbookclub March pick, Never Let Me Go, and an update on my word of the year: write.  For now, though, let's see what other lovely people wrote.

START HERE: Theme for April 2015: Expect the Unexpected.  Even if you aren't big into horoscopes, this is more of a pump it up motivational talk about how to rock it this month.  For awhile, I've been reading horoscopes cautioning people to move slowly and act rationally, but this month the message is get out of that comfort zone, dude!  I actually found myself writing notes on stickys while reading.

For the past decade, I've tiptoed around the lie that I can't be both a writer and a mother.  That I have to choose between the two or everyone suffers. The truth is we can be as many or as few things as we want to be. Wife, mother, writer, helper, friend, artist, shop owner, acrobat, singer, restaurant hostess, teacher, lawyer, wanderer, 30-year-old mom shaking it to Beyonce at the club.

The question shouldn't be "Will this make life harder?" but "Will this make life richer?"

Kate wrote about her 30th birthday and I loved it.

There is a big controversy in the writing/publishing/reading/caring about censorship world about a new app that replaces swear words in ebooks.  This article lays out the facts and some great quotes from authors who are, in some cases, "fucking horrified."

More political news from the writing world: Chuck Wendig, author and blogger and 1000 other things, is not attending the Midwest Writers Workshop in Indiana after they failed to condemn the new (fucking horrifying) Religious Freedom Rights Act.  I've felt very proud of all the different individuals and state governments who refuse to accept this insanity as anything other than archaic bullshit.

I read the title of this article, 10 Things Not To Say At Work, and instantly got mad because I'm a brat and I despise when people tell me what to do.  Then I read it, and it's actually ways to remove common qualifiers from your language.  Stop with the "I just want a minute of your time..." or "I think maybe..."  Speak your mind, your words matter, and quit apologizing.  (Quit apologizing, Ashlie.)

1:15 pm: You drink a ton of coffee and experience a sugar/caffeine-induced mania and decide you’re going to start writing a book. A tech tells you to calm down and makes you drink a glass of water.
2:00 pm: Recreational therapy. You watch the movie “The Karate Kid” and popcorn is served. You don’t eat it, which gets noted in your chart by a tech.
2:30 pm: Education group. A short, older lady who claims to have once been a backup singer for Aerosmith preaches on bipolar disorder and the evils of not being compliant with medication

I'm writing some scenes set in a mental hospital, and came across this article while researching (Googling "what's it like in a mental hospital?").  It's a very interesting and humanizing read.

I'm currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern.  Amazingly, that's all I'm working on right now.  I just finished rereading a secret book that I can share in a few months (it's a present and I want it to be a surprise) and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, a middle-grade book loosely based on A Wrinkle in Time.  I highly suggest all titles I just mentioned.

What are you reading?  What should I read next?  Thanks to the lovelies who share links, you're the best.  

(image credit, text added by me)