Day 16 – It’s M(ugh)nday again…

I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about Mondays… Maybe it’s the hubby going back to MA on Sunday night. Maybe it’s the usually crappy Sunday-night sleep I get. Maybe it’s just knowing there’s a whole week looming and so much to do and so little energy to do it. Sunday nights, though, are usually pretty perky–hyped up and ready to take on the challenges–so I have no idea what it is about that Sunday night to Monday morning shift that twists the pro into a con. I thought it was a malady of the ordinary work-week, but am finding that even at home with management of my own time for a change, these Mondays are no easier. Interesting. 

At any rate, it took a long, LONG while to get going today, and again MINDFUL BIRTHING was the book to shake me out of my nervous-ball-of-wire nerves and actually start making baby steps to move forward. Biggest discovery of the day? When I’m particularly stressed out, for whatever reason, deciding to think about only ONE thing which I will do next (and not the myriad of things I *could* do, but just that ONE thing I want to do) can get me gradually moving. Also, on particularly tough days, five minutes of seated, breath-focused meditation here and there is a lifesaver.


WRITING/EDITING PROJECT: Far-future lifeforms! Pulsars! Sentient robotic trees! Seedling space-travel! Massive radiation poisoning! It’s all here, and being converted to flash fiction from 3,600 words.

Working Title: “The Miracle of Jane”
Added Words: N/A
Total Words (to date): 200

Happening Today in the World of Fiction!: Distant origins! Clones and AIs! Lost originators and millions of lightyears! 

Notes: My goal this week, ideally, is to get each of the six 200-word scenes sculpted and organized, and from there, hopefully do a polish run-through and smoothing edit (with a few minor additions). Today’s section was “Distant Origins,” in which Mother contemplates her own genesis and Little Jane’s, as well as setting the lonely tone for the short piece. I was scared to death of approaching this rewrite this week, which was weird because last week’s planning of it was invigorating. But the time between planning and writing must have been too long, and I got the jitters at the thought of starting this monumental cut-back. Having gone through this section today, however, I’m feeling more confident. A lot of what I want to say is already in the first version, and I’m really just picking out the pieces that I feel have the most poetic and narrative punch and then transitioning between them as necessary. Still, it’s somewhat slow work, since it involves word-sniping at every second in order to keep it in the tight 200 word limit per section. I’ve got a bank of 200 extra words I *can* use if need be, but I’d rather not touch them if I can help it. The shorter this thing is, the better–in the end–I think it’ll be. But it’s not easy! Baby steps, baby steps…



Day 3 – A Forgiving Day

Sometimes, I have what I’m starting to call “forgiving days.” Today was one of them. It started off rough, from cat vomit on the floor, to the fierce onset of a clogged yet runny nose, food seeming unappetizing, to clocking my head on one of the apartment’s angled beams, to spontaneous bursts of tears. Ah, pregnancy is a delight.

On days like this, I try to remember that life doesn’t follow any patterns or rules, and that no matter how many lists and goals I set for myself, sometimes I just need to lean back and let go a little. Forgive myself for not doing everything I want in the time-frame I want. Forgive myself for being overly emotional, because let’s face it, the hormones of pregnancy are one heck of a wild ride at times and can come and go without warning.

The surprising fact is, on these Forgiving Days I sometimes do accomplish more than I might think. I try not to worry about goals or personal deadlines or doing just about anything other than relaxing and letting go. Today, that letting go led to charging through the first fifty pages of MINDFUL BIRTHING by Nancy Bardacke, CNM, a book on mindfulness as related to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. It’s a book my mother recommended. She’s in the last leg of her Masters of Mental Health Counceling, and has found a lot of the mindfulness-based stress management techniques very useful as a therapy. I have another book on general mindfulness to reduce stress that I’ve been meaning to go through, but as I haven’t gotten to that one yet, I figured I’d pick up the one that’s pregnancy specific, since that’s one of the main sources of stress for me at this particular point in time.

It was wonderful. Even just reading a little bit, trying a few of the breathing-consciousness exercises, and generally allowing myself to let go of my “list of grievances” of the morning (yes, I actually wrote them down in a comprehensive list, believe it or not). I felt so much better after that. Even the lingering headache I’d started the morning with (and that was *prior* to hitting my head, joy joy) seemed more manageable. I haven’t gotten all that far, and it’s certainly no miracle cure–I’m not really looking for something like that–but it rings very true with something inside me, so perhaps that alone made me feel better.

I read a lot today. I actually got some writing done, too. I squeezed in a bit of editing, and actually tackled the few things on my to-do list that were stressing me out to no end this morning. When I started feeling too overwhelmed, I took a few moments to get back into the present, center myself a bit, and remind myself that today was a Forgiving Day, and that I didn’t have to blame myself for anything. In all, what had started out as a train wreck of a day became one of the more peaceful days I can remember in the past few months. Perhaps all my days need to be Forgiving Days. :)


WRITING PROJECT: In a world where wars are waged in shadow and the separation between man and machine is shrinking by the day, a war-droid wielding cyborg-girl begins a secret battle against those who would control her and destroy the only chance of a future she’s ever had.

Working Title: Shadow Games: Book 1 of the Shadow Engines duology
Added Words: 1,165
Total Words (to date): 89,970

Happening Today in the World of Fiction!: Virtual espionage! Split multi-consciousness! The construction of mental labyrinths! And a serious case of scrambled-brain syndrome that might prove fatal…but not yet…

Notes: Did what I always do when I just don’t have much energy for writing: I set a timer for ten minutes. These short little sessions usually run over (this one did, branching out for another twenty), but it gives me the freedom to walk away after only ten minutes if it’s just not working. I rarely walk away, but I have when needed. Today, a thousand words felt pretty fine, so I left it there and didn’t worry about more. I finished a complete scene. That’s good enough. :)

EDITING PROJECT: Ghosts and legends and Bluebeard, oh my! The cold Maine coastline! Haunted grounds! Ribbons and bitter, ghostly wives! Dueling secrets! True love? Perhaps!

Current Editing Project: Nobody Here But Us Monsters
Accomplished in Edits: Wrote another rewrite scene, and it actually accomplished one of my plot points. I will say I’m looking forward to chopping out a lot of words from this later, but for now, it’s flowing pretty well, and that alone is worth being happy about.