Iiii….It’s Done

At 4pm on March 29th, I finished my poetry chapbook.

 

A writing project complete.

 

Since then, I’ve done a lot of staring at things. And blinking.

 

I honestly feel like I’m in shock. I don’t really know what to do.

giphy

It’s been so long since I’ve finished a writing project.

 

This year I decided I needed a baptism by fire. Something that would blast through this fear of acknowledgement/discovery. Not discovery as an author–that would be stupid cool–but discovery as in, the inner workings of Mea Smith. Which, I believe will be a huge step toward the author thing. I know I’m all sunshine and roses on the outside, but there are some pretty dark unicorns and tricky sprites inside that I’ve had (and have) to deal with.

My Southern upbringing taught me to deal with these things privately, but do you know how lonely “privately” is? And who really “deals” with their shit if they’re not pushed by someone or another? So, poetry has been my way to “deal” with the poop piles of death, disappointment, and depression (woah with the alliteration).

“No one has to read it,” I told myself. “Just write it down, get it out, cleanse the inside.”

And that’s what I did.

So, back to “baptism by fire”. I am a fearful being by nature.

And I’m friggin tired of it.

So when making my list of things I want to do this year, I wrote–Get Over All The Fear. I made a plan, and at the time, it felt like a good one.

The Plan

Step 1: Find that poetry that means the most to you. [Maybe subconsciously I wanted to share it because I typed it up after I hand wrote it–Or maybe I thought Iwould want to remember where I came from one day when I am not crazy (so probably never) and typed it up. Either way…]

Step 2: Write some more about The Things. You know what they are, Mea.

Step 3: Put them all together in a pleasing fashion.

Step 4: Share with world.

See, poetry is the most personal thing I’ve ever written. It’s my therapist since I can’t afford one, so putting this out in the world for others to judge and scowl and laugh and cry over…is probably the worst thing I could do to my poor, fearful self.

So that’s what I’m doing.

And that’s what I mean by “baptism by fire”. It’s going to hurt like hell, but I know I’m going to come out a better, braver person when it’s all over. (I so, so hope.)

Now, I sit. It’s cover glares at me when I tell it I’ve picked three competitions to submit to. I’m not sure it wants to go, but this is the Year of Overcoming, and so I and my darlings will overcome.

I decided to go mixed-media with it and added poems on photography I’ve done and illustrations. It’s this Thing that I’ve become proud of (look what I’ve overcome) instead of ashamed of (you don’t want to see my darkness; look glitter!!!).

So here is the cover:

Capture

I’ll let you know if I get chosen from one of the contests, but right now, it just feels damn good to Finish Something.

-Mea

June 2015 Update

I have a working outline! Tomorrow I will begin writing a. Whole. Lot. as I try to squeeze out a rough draft for the July Nanowrimo Camp. I’m fretful and nervous, but it can’t be that bad, right? RIGHT?! I’ve been humbled with the failing of LibertyNovel and feel that one reason it didn’t work out was because it took so long to write it. Through the years, I changed so much and the message got garbled because what I wanted to say kept changing as I learned lessons in my life. So this time, I’m writing with a single message and theme and motivation in the forefront along with the characters, plot points, and world building. I’m hoping this formula will produce a better draft than LibertyNovel had a chance to be.

So, here’s to MediatorNovel and everyone writing this upcoming month! *Raises metaphorical glass* CHEERS!

(http://33.media.tumblr.com/0e8725081cffe8a94c9fe5fb3fd98838/tumblr_inline_mt1vvuWSBQ1qz4rgp.gif)

The New Year is Upon Us Continued

Okay, here is the promised Goal Post (haha) that I promised in January. I have, in fact, been late on this post because I have been über focused on completing said goals and have forgotten to share with y’all where my efforts have been.

I hope I’m forgiven.

I really hope to have my book to my beta readers by the end of February. I’m getting nervous about this deadline because even though I’ve been working diligently, I’m not near through and I’m 10 days into the month. I’m on chapter 3. Please get faster as I get more practiced, Revision. There are big Things to be done.

Something that I’m pretty excited about (yet feel super vulnerable about) is my goal to write a short story once a week, starting last week. I’m sharing them with you guys even if they are horrible. I posted the first one on Friday. (It’s pretty horrible.) Here’s the reason for Short Stories: I want to practice getting ideas to paper faster and smarter, so I’m trying short stories with a limit on the time I spend on them. I spent two hours on the one from Friday from the time I found a prompt I liked until I finally MADE myself stop writing/editing. Maybe at the end of the year I’ll pick a few to edit and submit to things, but that’s not the initial goal.

I have my Writing goals planned out, an idea for Things To-Do with the Family, and a super skinny skeleton for things I want to do personally. This month, I’m cleaning out my closet for me. It’s not wild or crazy, but I think I’ll feel better when I can see my clothes instead of treading on them. 🙂 I’ll pick these person to-dos month-to-month. One can get overwhelmed, you know. Ha!

I hope y’all are inspired and inspiring!

Onward and Upward!!!

–Mea

October Update

I completely forgot that I didn’t do an October Update until about… 10 seconds ago. Let’s call it the effects of About to have a Baby Syndrome and move on, shall we? Ha HA!

Plotting was the them of the month and I got to the very last lovely scene on the book. I’m very excited to start revisions after completing the draft. I love the last scene! It’s sweet and sad and hopeful… There’s resolution and wonder. This place where I am has taken me so long, but it’s so damn satisfying.

Though the Words-to-Date are the same at 43,004, I did plot 2.040 words in 4.5 hours of work time within 3 days. The stats are blowing anyone away, but progress is progress.

I will be having a baby sometime within the next three weeks, so I’ll either get tons of work done or none at all. I’m not sure what to expect with a toddler and a newborn, so goal making for the new year may be put off until I physically can get back on my feet.

I hope you out there are getting closer to your goals. I hope you are getting there faster than me! If you’re doing NANOWRIMO, good luck!!! This is me cheering you on! YAY, YOU!!!!!

Depression is Real-Get Help

Recently, something happened to my family and me that I thought was completely impossible, and I feel compelled to say right here, right now, in public that depression messes with your mind. It eats away all things good and leaves nothing for you to hold onto when things get too much. One can wear a smile and dress in pep but be plagued inside.

Today is National Depression Screening Day. If this is you or someone you know, please get help. Your family and friends need you.

http://mentalhealthscreening.org/media/fact-sheet-national-depression-screening-day-october-9-2014

August Update

August is over and the end of the year is getting CLOSER! How are you guys getting through your Goals? I’m truckin’ along! Some have been changed due to circumstance and pregnancy, but that’s life, y’all. We deal, right?
I’d like to tell you a little of what I’ve learned since I’ve started to finishing Part II of the First Daft. Before I even started writing, I drafted an entire back story, all the while creating the nuts and bolts of this story. I have an ENORMOUS amount of paper and files that will never see the light of day and that did not have any effect on what I am currently writing. (I reserve the right to change my mind about this as my first draft and first revision isn’t done, but right now I feel like I wasted a whole lot of time dreaming.) So I resolved to start writing and to worry about back story issues along the way. For Part I of the book the only thing I knew when I seriously started writing was at what point the section needed to end and the end of my book all together. These are two super good things to know, by the way. (Well, maybe I had an idea instead of a specific scene about where Part I needed to end, but as the end drew near, I had a specific scene.) But from here to there, I had nothing but a foggy image in my head, y’all. I made it up on the fly and, can I just say, there is a LOT of revising that is going to have to happen in Part I. A. Whole. Lot. I finally got to my ending scene. Reread the section once and got it to CP knowing that it was going to change shape completely, but she had it, and I had my milestone, and she loves me unconditionally, so I knew I would eventually be forgiven. But something had to change for Part II. I wouldn’t survive another almost-fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants section. This book would never get done that way. I know me.
So for Part II, I spent time drafting an outline-ish type thing. It was something like a timeline and felt like a lot of “Oh! And then THIS!” with a sentence or two or clever dialogue that sprang up or something. Originally, I wrote it on a flow pad. I think better with a pen in my hand, and when it was done, I transposed it to a document. This worked so very well. I had a starting and a stopping point not only for the second section, but also for each writing day. I’d open up the outline and know what I had finished before and what needed to be written that session. If I’d written something that made the story more interesting, no worries! I’d just alter my outline a little in retrospect, do a quick read through to eliminate plot holes, and move the heck on. I also starting keeping track of how much I wrote, when, and for how long on a chart, which is how I’m able to write these Monthly Update posts.
So now Part II is done, and I’m outline Part III. I have 10 scenes with sentences and I know where I want to end. While I was thinking, I wrote on the first scene and have it completed now. I like that I still feel the progress of writing while I’m in a bit of a holding pattern (outlining), seeing how to get to the end. I still hope I can get through Part III by December 10th (baby’s due date), but we’ll see.
I look forward and dread Revision. There will need to be some major overhauling. My hope is that by the end of it, I’ll be proud that I finished the effort. Because this has been such a HUGE effort.
In short:
Break your story into three sections, know where each section starts and ends, and loosely outline each section before your write it. This formula has worked for me so far, and I hope it saves someone who is starting from scratch months and years of my frustration.

STATS:
Words-2,632
Days with writing in them-3
Hours: 3 hours and 55 minutes
(Not including outlining days, lots of article reading, and a webinar)
Words to Date: 42,631

I hope y’all are pressing on toward the goal! Gotta go pick up my sweet son, now! Later!