Showing posts with label challenges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label challenges. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Calendars and Challenges

At the beginning of each month, besides working on paying all the bills, I update my personal calendar and make sure the family calendar is up to date. This is generally a daunting task because two of my daughters and my husband usually have multiple doctor’s appointments each and it’s a rare week that doesn’t have something scheduled.
This month I opened my calendar and decided that my girls hadn’t told me their appointments yet, and my husband’s needed to be added too. For the whole month there was only my doctor’s appointment. 
I asked.
One daughter gave me the mere two she had while the other sent the message she miraculously didn’t have any, while I added my husband’s—one.
I looked at the completed calendar in sheer astonishment at all the blank spaces.
I can’t remember the last time my calendar was that empty at the beginning of the month.
Then of course of I dove into my week, including adding a doctor’s appointment for a sick kid. Then I’ve had to fit in trips to the vet for several pets between runs to the store for necessary things like milk and bread, which I can’t seem to keep enough of in the house. Not really surprising since I have two teenaged boys.
In between all that I’ve had to figure out where all our money has to go this month and I still have to get those bills paid, plus I’m still hard at work trying to finish my opus, and I’ve finally managed to get to the day of the momentous final event, but like Bonnie, I’ve hit a snag in reaching ‘the end’. (Neither one of us has won this challenge yet.)
As I was scrolling back, just a few pages, to check something I’d typed, I found an anomaly, a line of code that I’ve run into before.
How it gets into my documents, I have no idea. I have found there is only one way to get it out, copy and paste everything into a new document without any formatting.
Easy enough to do. And if your only formatting is line spacing and indents for paragraphs, it’s a matter of selecting all and reformatting it, and you’re done. Of course if you have chapter heading, like I do, you’d then have to do a find for the word chapter and reposition where the heading is, i.e. center it.
For most documents that’s be about all you’d need.
But I have scene breaks that would need centered. So do a find for all of those. Also not so hard.
Okay. Next step.
I have subheading that need to be flush right and italicized. Fortunately they all start the same. So do another find and change all of those.
Now it’s back to the way I had it, right?
Not quite.
Because I also had some italicized text within the body of the story, and, you guessed it, it’s all different. Now I have to do a careful hunt in the old document, with the anomaly in it, for everything that’s italicized and make sure I italicize it in the new document.  
Considering I was working on chapter 144 when this happened, and my document is well over 1700 pages, it’s a massive undertaking.
And as you can see, I’m now late making my post this morning. Plus I’m running behind on getting ready for the busy day I have.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Challenge

Last week, as Bonnie said, I challenged her to a race to the end, see which one of us could finish writing our current work in progress by the end of the month. Her main goal was to get it finished so she’d have a clean slate to start a new story for Nano next month.
My motivation is finally getting my mega opus finished. Today I started writing chapter 137 of these epic story, which is really several stories in one. There are so many characters in it and even the non-POV characters have a story line. But I’m oh so much closer. Since at least part of the last few scenes are already written (I do know how the opus ends) I know I’m almost there. I just need a few more scenes to wrap up some story lines and set up that final event.
As I look at what I have now, and the scenes I still need to write, I’m sure I won’t finish at 140 chapters, in fact, because that last event is so big, I’m pretty sure I’ll make at least 150.
Which means I could have 14 more chapters to write in just over a week.
I have ten days to write about 14 chapters.
Scratch that.
Due to plans I have this weekend, I doubt I’ll have any writing time on Saturday.
And then there’s the paperwork, bills and so forth I have to deal with. The grocery shopping. My husband’s car is down, at least until we can fix it, which won’t be until after the first, so guess who gets to do a lot of chauffeuring for the next ten days to two weeks?
But having a goal is a good thing.
Both of us are trying hard to complete our stories.

Most days we both spend time on our stories either adding to them or editing, tweaking, what we already had.
One word at a time we are both getting closer.
She doesn’t think she’ll make any more than I do, but we’re not giving up.
Although I don’t do Nano, I rarely have the time to do that much typing, I can see the value of such challenges. Setting goals with friends, people who will not only keep you on track, but race you to the finish line.
So for all those writers who are doing Nano, I support you. Keep fighting to ‘the end’, and when you reach it, go back and edit, edit, edit, until it’s the best you can offer.
I’d write more now, but I’ve got an alarm going off, I need breakfast, and my opus really wants me to finish that scene I left in the middle of so I could get this written. And I’m sorry this is late, but I really was trying to write that scene.
Smile. Make the day a brighter day.