AROW80 Check-In for January 22, 2014

Sooo, about those goals for this week….uhm…yeahhhhh…

I gotta admit, I’m in a slump.  I think part of it has to do with the weather and its insistence on going from cold to hot to OH DEAR GOD WHY IS IT SO COLD?!   It’s just sapping the energy out of me and making it hard to want to do much of anything else.  Am so sleepy! *whines*

Another part of it is that I’ve hit a wall in Defcon: Fade Out and I’m finding it easier to do other things than to try and scale the wall.  On the plus side, I’m pretty sure I know what I need to do to help me get moving — I just need to make myself apply butt to chair, pen to hand, and writing to paper and work on outlining Chapter 12. Even though I know that I will likely either scrap what I’ll write or change it drastically when I start typing it up.

Why I’m scared of writing an outline, I do not know. It’s almost like this writing thing is getting too close to real (in the sense of having an actual draft) and it’s making me want to shy away and hide.

Though, on a good note, I’ve figured out that a couple of my characters — niece and aunt — are originally from Detroit and managed to get out of the city after World War III.  It doesn’t directly impact the book I’m working on right now, but it will be a key part of earlier books and will probably ripple forward.

At the risk of sounding like one of those #overlyhonestmethods scientists, Detroit was chosen because it is a large city in the general region of the US where the rest of the books will be taking place and was used as a test case for nuclear bombing by the Office of Technology Assessment in a 1979 report to Congress on the effects of nuclear war.  Which gives me a primary source from close to the time when World War III pops off, thereby making extrapolating things easier.

As another way of avoiding actually working on the book, I’ve also been creating a bibliography of my research materials for the entire Defcon Series. Partly because I’ve discovered that one of my local libraries will do interlibrary loan and I don’t want to request books I’ve either already read or already own.  Of course, due to a sense of intense laziness, I’m currently not wanting to go and dig the books off my shelves/out of the piles they’ve been stacked in.

Goals for this week:

  • Haven’t watched much Supernatural this week; been catching up on some of the regular TV I’ve recorded (new season of Archer started this week! WHOO! DANGER ZONE!) and some of the episodes of other shows I’ve missed like Bones and Raising Hope.
  • I am still working my way through Story Engineering which I think has also contributed to my slump because reading the book makes me see just where my story is currently falling short — and is giving me ideas on how to fix it, so yay me!
  • Have written not one word for Chapter Twelve but the day is not over yet and once I wake up, I might make myself at least outline/freewrite.
  • did take the books back to the library and made some photocopies from a book called The Psychology of Nuclear War, which is a copy of a report done by the British Psychological Society in 1984 about, well, what it says on the tin.  The other book, which I didn’t make copies from because I went ahead and bought it for myself — is a collection of satiric political cartoons called “We Survive World War Three and You Give Us Light Beer?: Life After Megadeath” by Pat Bagley.  
  • Visiting AROW80 folks — I fell down on this one again, but I will try to do better this round!
  • Also did not get any more oranges but the week is not over yet!

Goals for this Round:

  • Get some oranges, they sound good now.
  • Keep reading Story Engineering and move on to Writing the Fiction Series. Plus, I’ve got a couple non-writing research books coming in through interlibrary loan.
  • Noodle something about Chapter Twelve.
  • Take the girlfriend to see I, Frankenstein this week for some cheesy Frankenstein’s Monster vs. Gargoyles action — and maybe some stir fry, aww yeah!

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15 thoughts on “AROW80 Check-In for January 22, 2014

  1. I’ve seen the previews for I, Frankenstein and can’t make up my mind about it. You’ll have to let us know how it is.
    Sometimes the best thing we can do for a WIP is let it sit and ignore it for a while, let the subconscious work on it, while you pay attention to something else.

    • Will do! I’m hoping for cheesy fun for the movie and that letting the idea sit in my subconscious and slow-cook for a bit will get my mojo revved back up.

  2. oranges do sound good:) about 6 decades ago I used to save my pocket money up so I could buy a Jaffa orange (3 weeks worth of money!) then I would settle down with a new or favourite book and enjoy – I can still see the orange juice stains on the old children’s books:) all the best with goals/slumps/reading and life:)

    • I picked up a couple navel oranges tonight and they’re cooling in the fridge; I went and looked up Jaffa oranges because I’ve never heard of that type of orange. They sound good! Then again, anything eaten with a new or favorite book sounds good!

  3. Slumps happen, but if you get those oranges, at least you won’t be getting scurvy anytime soon.

    I’ve not read Story Engineering, but the title grabs me because it sounds so hands on. I like that.

    Didn’t know that about Motown being used for a nuclear case study. I’d like to hear an R&B song about that!

    I’ll be curious to hear what you thought of I, Frankenstein. It’s coming to a theater near me and I’m curious.

    Ciao for now & best wishes with your fruit accumulation plans and writing goals! 🙂

    • Not getting scurvy is totally on my bucket list! Especially after I learned that scurvy can cause old wounds to reopen — including wounds that have been healed for years. AIEE!

      If you like a hands’ on approach to writing, I highly recommend Story Engineering. He divides story writing into six core competencies and then breaks each of those down into several chapters to cover them in depth. Right now, I’m in the middle of the longest section of the book, which covers story structure and seeing it all laid out and broken down into the component parts is making it make sense in ways it hasn’t before.

      Yup! Among the books and articles I have, I’ve also got a case study that used a city in Massachusetts (I want to say Boston, but don’t hold me to it), plus a book called London After the Bomb. And I know it used to be fairly commonplace for newspapers to run what-if stories about pretend bombings to raise awareness for civil defense.

      I will let folks know about I, Frankenstein. My girlfriend just read that it’s getting a 94% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes so *fingers crossed*!

      Thank you! I have successfully acquired fruit! Writing goals next! ?Hope you’re having a great week!

  4. I know about the hot cold thing happening because we are experiencing the same thing here in Georgia. Right now we are in the cold, brrrrr, freezing time. I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself about not doing well with your goals this week. I have a suggestion before putting your seat of your pants to your chair, turn on some fun music, or mood music to set the tone for your writing and dance. Inspiration might kick in and your fingers will be flying on the keyboard! Good luck with your goals this week!

    • *sends you warm blankets!* It’s colder than it usually is but it’s better than it was during the polar vortex. Ive been able to get out and I’ve only had to wear one pair of pants!

      I like the suggestion for fun music and dancing and I think I’ll try that one. Hope you’re keeping safe and warm and good luck to you as well!

  5. Don’t worry about the slump…. We all slump at one time or another (and I’m terrified of writing an outline too, so I was glad (in a commiseration way) to read about your problems with making one… You could have been channeling me, Kathy.

    Here’s to a better week coming up. And an easier ability to type…. 😉

    • Thanks, and i understand. It’s nice (in a misery-loves-company way) to hear other people are having similar problems. It makes you feel less alone.

      And a better week to you as well and an easier time with the outlining! You can do it!

  6. It is COLD outside, and this weather really does make you feel like taking a nap. I see why bears hibernate. I’ve been drinking lots of tea to stay warm. Maybe the scent of oranges will make you feel energized!

    I had the same problem with part of my story. I just couldn’t get going, felt like every path my characters started down was off somehow, etc. Once I pushed through it, I felt a lot better. Hopefully you can carve out some time to work on your outline!

    • Right now, I think I could happily snuggle down in bed and sleep until next Tuesday when it’s supposed to get warm (well, the 20s) again. Probably doesn’t help that I had a nice bowl of Wendy’s chili with extra cheese and a lemonade and am now coming down from a massive food drunk.

      It’s more a question of sitting down and doing the outline rather than carving out some time, but thanks for the encouragement!

  7. It’s so hard to find motivation in this weather isn’t it. Give yourself a break. I find myself in slumps for my WIP too and then keep restarting it. If I am, after many hours of not doing anything, I will decide to just write 100 words. If I stop, then I still have 100 words but it’s also good as a getting going thing. Hope you have a good week. x

    • That is a good idea — the writing of 100 words, that is. Thanks for the encouragement and hope you have a good week too!

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