Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coo Coo for Cocoa Puffs

Crazy week. Not even really sure what all made it seem so crazy, but I feel like this week went by so fast. This coming week isn't looking like it'll be any better. Tomorrow's packed with errands and helping a friend with stuff at her new house. Tuesday I've got my first physical therapy appointment in the morning for my knee, dinner Tuesday night with the FRG. (Army's Family Readiness Group.) Friday I'm helping another friend move into her new apartment.

So I've got Wednesday and Thursday to: finish a short story, write two quick blurbs for two other short stories, finish the chapter of Ivory I'm still working on, and get the next section of my outline for my next novel (currently calling it 'Entry Into Madness') done.

Oh and either tomorrow or Tuesday I need to finalize an event calendar for the FRG. On Tuesday night, people can look over it and give me their feedback. Then I can have it polished for the meeting in May.

I know that may not sound like much for most people, I don't have a super busy life normally. I can't honestly handle super busy all that well. I get frustrated. I'm good with organized chaos. It's when life throws wrenches into things that I get stressed.

I know what made last week seem so crazy. The car. Stupid throttle sensor went wacko making the check engine light come on and made my engine rev all funny. I freaked thinking I was going to have to drop cash into fixing it. Turns out it's still covered under warranty. :D

How do you handle stress? Or how do you cope when life throws a wrench into carefully made plans? Or anything you feel like sharing. :D

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What I've Learned, So Far. #1

What I've Learned:

~ Actually think about things like tense before getting too far into the first draft. I'd rather fix it at 50 pages than at 400 pages.

~ Detailed outlines ROCK!

~ After writing for the day, go back and do a quick edit for grammar, typos, etc. I'll save so much time.

~ Don't dwell over the word count. I get obsessed and spent more energy figuring out how many words a day I can write to finish it in a certain amount of time. Worry about it once the story is done.

~ While cookies are good motivation, I never manage to get past the first goal point before eating all the cookies. Way to fix that: Have someone hold the cookies hostage. Someone who can't be bribed.

~ Carry at least a small notebook EVERYWHERE. I need to put a big one in my car. The little one in my purse can only do so much.

~ Routines rock, but are so hard for me to stick to this year. So I've learned not to stress over it. It is what it is.

I figure I'll be updating/changing this constantly. Every time I 'learn' something about my writing process. What's easier, what works, and definitely what doesn't work.

What are some things you've learned as you've advanced in the stages of writing?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Challah Bread

This is probably should have been posted before Easter, but as I made it on Easter, I'm posting it now. I do think I'll be making it a lot. This bread is delicious. It's just so good.

This is the original recipe: Bread Machine Challah II. Makes two of the loaves pictured below.

I first saw my mom make it one Christmas when I was 11, I think. She burnt the tops because of the egg wash, and not watching it closely. Taught me to watch anything that browns quick. :D I'm not Jewish, apparently it's a traditional Jewish bread. Kudos to them, it's delicious.

I'm not going to do my normal list out everything and my take on it, the recipe is almost perfect. All I changed was adding an extra 1/2 cup of bread flour. Several of the comments on the recipe said the dough was too sticky, one I saw suggested the extra flour. I tried it that way and it is perfect.


Friday, April 3, 2009


I've found the best way to motivate myself is to give myself rewards. Doesn't always work though.

I need to buy a kitchen timer. I had one, but it is long gone. I like to set it when I'm taking a 'quick break'. 15 minutes turns into an hour very easily with me. The TV is also evil. I turn it on in the mornings to watch the news, but if I don't shut it off right away, I get sucked into whatever is on next. I've gotten good with shutting it off though.

The big issue for me is I always have good days and bad days. I'll go maybe a week straight being productive then it's like someone flipped a switch and I get nothing done. Writing wise. Other stuff I have to do, no matter what.

Food is a great motivator...except when it's junk food. I have to be careful with promising myself ice cream. Example: If I just finish that edit on chapter whatever, I can have a mug of ice cream. I'll end up get lots of chapters done, and eating lots of ice cream. Probably making myself sick in the process. (Can't have too much dairy.)

On a day to day basis how do you stay focused/motivated? Are you a daily writer? M-F? Or just whenever the inspiration strikes? I'm always curious about how other people do things. :D