So… April 10th has come and gone…

I celebrated a happy ___ birthday (Whoo hoo!) I got a shiny, new car as a gift to myself, but today I’m going to have to part with my old one. I’m really kinda sad about it. My old, green car is the first car I bought myself. He’s seen me through ALL of college (hoo boy), ALL my first jobs (ha!), and through multiple states (Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Lousiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida). He’s even been to Disney World (well, close enough to it, we went to Universal Studios 😛 ).

So, today I say, “Goodbye J’son II.” (J’son I was my R-13 clarinet I sold my senior year of high school). I’m taking him to Carmax where he will be appraised and maybe even put on the market. May he find a terrific second owner. But is it wrong of me to hope he breaks down and can’t be driven anymore? I hate to think about a stranger driving MY baby. If I was still in Texas, I would have given him to a family member. If I had a house, he would have been the car that chills in the garage.

Siiiigh… Okay, after all that car talk, let’s get on to the writing business and why this post is called Epic Fail, lol.

Back to my opening statement, April 10th has come and past and I didn’t complete the Stephen King Challenge. I have come to the decision that while I do think Stephen King is wonderful and a novel can be finished in a month… that plan usually works best for people who don’t work full time at jobs that require overtime. If I was still doing a part-time gig, or teaching and had my summer off, I think I could have done it :).

BUT… and this is why the Fail is not Epic, I do have a good start to the novel. I’ve got 70 pages, and over 16,000 words. I’m still excited about the material and moving forward. I still want to challenge myself and set a time period for completion, but a more realistic one. I have a good writing buddy who suggested a book to me called: The 90 Day Novel. Well, I have done the first 30 days, right? So, I’m giving myself 60 more, starting today!

THE NEW CHALLENGE: FINISH FIRST DRAFT BY JUNE 12, 2013.

What is great about that is June 12, 2013 is also the kick-off of the library’s summer reading program, and I’m going to be extremely busy after that date. So, it’s on! I’m ready, and hey, this time, I think I can do it!

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for, I said if I failed the Stephen King Challenge you all would get to throw bananas at me. So… let ’em fly. (Oh, but not at face… or the hair… let’s just avoid the head, okay?… um… okay? …crap.)

watch out for flying bananas

Hey!  I want to thank all the folks out there who have wished me luck.  I think I’m gonna need it.  Last week was insane.  I do not think I have ever been so busy or tired at and after work before.  I’m a youth librarian, and we just had the grand opening for our new teen room on Wednesday.  There was so much last minute work to do, and then there was the party to host.  At the end of the day, the event was a success and the kids like their new space.  (And we like their new space, too, because when we shut the door to their new space, we can’t hear them :D)

So, how much writing did I do last week?  Needless to say, I have a grand total of 5 new pages.  I need to kick my butt into high gear.  What I really need are some days where I don’t have to do anything else but write.  I have a few coming up and I hope to get a lot done then.  I’m still excited, and still think I can beat this challenge.

In fact, I want to extend the challenge to other authors out there.  Let’s race.  Send me a line and let me know if you want to do it!

race

impossible

I’m back and ready for a challenge.

I never was good at keeping diaries or journals.  I wondered how long I would be faithful to doing a blog entry at last once or twice a week.  Answer: About 6 months, lol.  Well, now I vow to do better.  I am challenging myself in two ways.  Way 1: I will blog at least once a week.  Way 2:  Well this one’s the big challenge.

I know a lot of people know about NaNoWriMo where you pledge yourself to write 50,000 words in a month.  Well, a great writer by the name of Stephen King wrote one of my favorite writers craft books.  I don’t really read those things anymore, as I had a writing teacher once say something wonderful: The best way to learn to write in your genre is to READ in your genre, and read a lot.  Many rules and grammar lessons and such just don’t apply, especially as current trends in your genre are constantly evolving.  And, sometimes writers craft books are boring.  If you feel like you’re doing homwork, suddenly writing is not fun.  I ran into that rut for a while.  Writing became work and no play.

But anyways, I digress, Stephen King says writers should get all of their first drafts out in a month or you lose focus and intensity on what you’re writing.  I find the longer it takes me to get a work out the more spread out my ideas become and I have to do a lot of “tightening” up editing.  I’ll use my fan fiction as an example because I have finished fan fiction stories. ;). I find that the fan fics I finish in 4-6 weeks are tighter with better structure and more consistency than the ones I take a year to finish.  Mostly because my writing style is always growing, so you can tell what I wrote in January from what I wrote in May, and mainly because my interest in the project wans over time.  By the end of the year, I’m thinking about and working on different projects, so my focus is split.

So, I challenge myself.  I have gone back to a project I shelved for a very long time (7 years).  It is a novel that I’ve wanted to write since I was a kid, but I put it away because I let a lot of people tell me it was implausible and no good.  I’ve reworked the concepts and characters and I wanna try it again.  I’m very excited, but I also don’t want this to become another 6 year project.  (My last book took that long and now the edits are taking forever because… well, the writing differs in places and it’s too spread out due to me writing parts of it over the course of years).

So, here’s the bet: I bet that my novel, The Fourth Piece, will have a complete first draft by my birthday on April 10th.  I have given myself 4 weeks (1 month) to deliver.  If I loose, well, you guys can throw net bananas at me.  I will blog at least once a week to report my status.

Whoo, four weeks.  I can do it, I can do it.  When I’m not distracted, I’m a fast writer, and I have a bit of an outline to go off of.  Well, wish me luck and ice cream for banana splits.

You guys take care!

challenge sign