#ROW80: Overwhelmed

The transition to summer is always a bit bumpy.  Adding in my husband’s employment change has made it extraly so.  There’s always so much to do and with the changes it feels like there is extra to do (there actually is like haircuts, doing chores my husband normally does, and so on… though not as much as I feel there is).  I overwhelmed myself with tasks last Friday and Saturday (trying to do it all as fast as possible), so I ended up falling short and missing doing my writing those days.

This week, I have been as careful as I can be.  I planned properly.  Though, planning writing was a bit tricky because I was in the process of changing my process.  Before, I singlemindedly worked on a project.  However, I fear I won’t make my 2018 goal of getting a new work published if I don’t work on some new short stories.  So, I’m now rotating between projects in different stages.

Well, in theory I am.  I kind of rushed my “writing” project last week (FAIRY).  I wrote, edited, and submited it in one night!  Hey, it was less than 500 words and it took four hours.  Thankfully, I got it in one day before the deadline!  But I didn’t count the writing project’s edits and submission in the rotation and went onto edits the next day (for PET)… Then I got overwhelmed.  So, Monday I got back on the horse and edited (PET) some more.  Today?  I sent out FAIRY again, as the market I wrote it for passed on it.  Tomorrow I’ll start a new writing project (PRINCE), but it might take a few weeks to get it done.

Hopefully, I can more whelmed and less over as I work on my goals.  To review, those are (and how I’m doing):

2018 Goals
Have something new published. – Not yet
Finish Querying GRANDMA – [DONE on 5/17]
Finish Editing PET – Working on

(Round) Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER–  [DONE on 5/16]   
Send out SUMMER– [DONE on 5/16]  
Submission (1/week)– 3/1 Same piece has gone out twice.
Edit PET – There are 12 chapters.  I want to do 3 edit passes.  I am on pass 1 of 3.  I have edited 4 our of 12 chapters. 

(Round) Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] [Finished Free Comic Book Day stack 5/16/18] I have 2 weeks of comics to catch up on and another week’s coming in tomorrow.  I’m getting in the weeds again!
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– [Finished 6 – last updated 5/29/18] Recently finished DC BOMBSHELLS volume 6.

(Round) Blogging
Every Tuesday– Somehow made it before work…

Plan For This Week
(Which is going to be quick because I have to leave for work in 10 min)
#1- Edit chapters 5, 6, & 7 of PET.
#2- Start Writing PRINCE
#3- Submit another work
#4- Seriously make time to read my freaking comics before it becomes that stack of 200 again and guilt swallows me whole!

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#ROW80: Choose Your Own Blog Post

littleROW80So welcome to Choose Your Own Blog Post!  (You know, like those 80s novels, Choose Your Own Adventure!)  I am going to try an summarize each topic in a heading (sentence).  If you want to read that part, great!  If not, move onto the next heading.  You read the parts you want to without missing out/overlap.  Are you read?  Then let the blog post begin…

If all goes well, in one month I’ll know if I have thyroid cancer.

As I said before my break, I had a biopsy scheduled (and done) on the 23rd.  At that time, my doctor took samples for two tests.  The first test was the same one I’ve done now 3 times.  And I got the same exact results as last time.  Some mutated cells, but not enough to say it is cancer.  The second test is to test those mutated cells and determine if the genomes for cancer are present.  Those test results should reach me in a month (possibly a month and a half).

But don’t think things haven’t changed, because they have.  First, I have an appointment for a thyroid surgeon in two months.  My doctor wants me ready should this be cancer.  (More on that if it happens.)  Second, my risk of cancer has shot up.  It went from 3-12% to 30-50%.

And in all honesty?  To me, it has always felt like the odds were 50/50.  It is either cancer or it isn’t.  I know statistics and math… But to me, it has always been this much.  However, now that it is at 30-50% it is starting to feel more like 75%.  And that’s scary.

The anthology I submitted SUMMER to was canceled so it won’t be published.

There’s a little more to the story than that.  Seems I missed the publisher’s announcement that the anthologies after a certain point were canceled.  This included the one I had written SUMMER for.  However, the editor did say I could publish the short story through them as a stand-alone piece.  The header, though, lets you know I didn’t pursue this option.

Those that followed along from the beginning know I struggled so much with this piece.  In the end, I was satisfied enough with it to submit it.  Though, I wasn’t happy with it.  While I thought it was a decent piece to be with many, I felt it wasn’t a solo thing.  So, keeping my writing career in mind, I passed on the option.

I am happy to announce the accomplishment of not only some ROW80 goals but one 2018 Goal.

2018 Goals
Have something new published. – Not yet
Finish Querying GRANDMA – [DONE on 5/17]
NEW GOAL- Finish Editing PET As I stated when I made these goals.  When I finish one goal, I need to add a new one.

Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER–  [DONE on 5/16]   
Send out SUMMER– [DONE on 5/16]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– I’m changing this to one a week since I am now doing a rotating project schedule (I will talk about this more next week after I test it out).  I did 17 queries in order to finish my 2018 goal.  Definitely went to break rocking it!
NEW GOAL: Edit PET – Last ROWnd I was working on this, but I stopped in order to meet the deadline for SUMMER (not knowing the anthology had been canceled).  Since I’ll be cycling my writing tasks, I chose this for my Edits (and it ties to my 2018 goal).  I already started on this.  Chapters 1 & 2 are done! 

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] [Finished Free Comic Book Day stack 5/16/18] I am a little behind on last week.  I hope to catch up this week.
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– [Finished 5 – last updated 5/29/18] Recently finished DC BOMBSHELLS volume 5.

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Last week is an excused absence!

There’s a fine line between rewarding and punishing yourself, and I tend to be on the wrong side of that line.

On top of these goals, I have separate goals on a sheet of paper regarding my household and exercise.  My reward for meeting my exercise goals is a random clothing purchase.  I usually don’t buy myself clothes or nice things because I have a little more than enough (I rather pay off my credit card balance faster).  Except recently…

My socks started dying.  I would be putting them on and the top part had worn out.  They started shredding as I pulled them on.  Little by little, I started realizing I was running out.  And as it was I had very few pairs to wears comfortably with my knee-high boots.  So, I told myself… Make those fitness goals and you can buy them.

Only, life.  I was always super close.  But a family event or scheduling issue would make me miss one part of it by one.  I was proud of what I did those weeks, but did I reward myself for it?  No.

And even worse?  I was holding hostage a necessity (a good pair of socks is important when you are working in a store or running).

So this is my PSA:  Rewards are great and motivating things.  Promise yourself a bottle of wine when you sign that contract.  That necklace you saw and thought was pretty?  Run that 5K and buy it!  They should be indulgences and moments of celebration.  But don’t hold dinner off until you finish editing those three chapters, especially because you only have thirty minutes until you need to get in bed.  Don’t keep wearing falling apart shoes because you can’t have a pair until you run a ten-minute mile.  Don’t deny yourself water until the whole kitchen is spotless.  Things you need are not rewards.  They are musts!  Meet your musts ASAP!  

Don’t worry about me, though.  My husband found out what I was doing.  He bought me new socks.  And then, to break the cycle for myself, I bought myself new shoes for work/running the trails with the kids this summer.  The shoes I’ve been using have practically smooth soles (from being worn down).

And, though I could probably add another two discussion topics, let’s close this up with what I’m planning to do by my next blog post check-in.

#1- I will hopefully be up to date on all comics and have at least 1 more trade read.
#2- Edit chapters 3 & 4 of PET.
#3- Have a list of short stories on my hard drive that need a home.  Also Send 1 out.
#4- Find a new anthology to submit to.  Start work on that.
#5- Have my summer schedule worked out.  (And make sure I have time for writing and reading in it!)  Last day for my kids is Thursday.  We have a family fun day planned Friday, so I need it for Saturday and beyond.

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#ROW80: Life is Chaos

littleROW80Mother’s Day Update: I struggled with the gift giving this year.  I sent out cards late and couldn’t give proper presents as I was broke because of sick chicken supply costs.  Even though I worked all day, I still had goodness.  My husband bought me something I looked at because he was at a loss as to what to get me, my son gave me a hug, and my daughter gave me a drawing.  A special moment was when my friend/writing mentor came by my work and gave me some cake.

Chicken Update: Still not sure what caused Makoto’s problem, but the root of it all is her vent got hurt.  It is now dilated (thus her waste drips onto her back feathers, which makes her a target for other chickens to peck at, so she must remain separated) and I washed away a large scab during her Saturday bath.  There was more, smaller scab that washed away today’s bath (Tuesday).  I think the scab prevented the vent from returning to the original size, but now that it is shedding the vent is shrinking.  But I also worry that what I consider shrinking might just be wishful thinking on my part.  At the very least, she is finally eating and drinking normally.

Job Situations Update: For the foreseeable future, I will be having more hours at the office (my second) job as a new scheduler (started Monday) gets trained up so she can fill the shoes of our previous scheduler (big shoes to fill).  I’m hoping this lasts only for the next month, because…  This is my husband’s last week at his current job (some of you might recall he was looking for new employment).  After a week off, he’ll be training for two weeks as an assistant-manager and then go to another place to train to be a manager.  Once he gets the promotion to manager (we are guessing in June/July), I’ll be leaving the office job because I will need that time for my family and household responsibilities.  I’ll be staying at the comic shop (first job) and this week I’ll be getting an extra shift because it is convention season.  Did I mention there is another Pokemon event at the store that day?  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Goals Update:
Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER– My goal for this week was to be done rewrite edits and have final edits (real aloud/grammar) underway.  I am done the rewrite edits but have not started the final edits.  I am hoping maybe later today. [Due the 17th/Thursday]   
Send out SUMMER– [On Hold]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– 2/1.  I did try to make that 5/1, feeling that my slip up should have been followed by not just making it up, but rather overachieving.  Thing is the next 3 places on my submission list were either closed to subs or my project did not fit their prerequisites.  So, I crossed 5 off the list total, but only sent 2.

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] I have been reading anywhere from 2 to 3 comics (gotten from Free Comic Book Day) during my kid pick up wait and I still have 6 to go.  Yes, I did get a whole heck of a lot!!!!
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– [Finished 4 – last updated 5/1/18] On Hold

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Bam!

The Plan For This Week
#1- Finish Editing and Submit Summer – Which will mean all my writing goals will be done!!!  With luck, I’ll revisit the editing portion (because then it means it was accepted).
#2- Finish Reading FCBD Comics – With the rate I’ve been reading, that shouldn’t be an issue.
#3- Submit 1- It is a goal
#4- Take the Week of 5/21 Off-  That means I won’t be blogging next week.  I was supposed to be off this week, but I mentioned how my husband is off next week, so I adjusted my personal/non-work schedule to reflect his.  This is part of my mental health care.  Though, it will be a busy week.

My Week Off: I will be taking off from most of my things (running, writing, any chore I can get away with not doing, and so on) the week of 5/21.  However, there are some big things I’ll talk about come my next post… The 23rd I will be having my 3rd biopsy on my thyroid being done.  The 24th we’ll also be attending an IEP meeting for my son’s transition to his vocational school (which he’ll attend next year).  Oh, and my father-in-law also invited us to a cookout (26th).

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#ROW80: Makoto the Unlucky Chicken

littleROW80This hasn’t been the smoothest week for me.  However, it hasn’t been all bad.  So as I explain the bumps, I’ll do my best to balance that all out with something good.

I hurt my back Wednesday taking out the large items we stored for our town’s yearly “big garbage day.”  I was happiest laying down or standing, but sitting was beyond painful.  Even though I was okay standing and walking (in fact sometimes it made me feel better), I went a week without running.  My back’s almost better now, though!

Thursday there was a small bit of family drama regarding one of the kid’s grades, which wasn’t awesome.  What is awesome is that my daughter has a band concert tonight, and seeing the progress the 7th grade (who have been playing 2 years now) band students have made will be so exciting!

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Makoto and I watched SUPERGIRL as I syringe fed her water with a dash of apple cider vinegar.

I worked at the comic shop all weekend and, of course, that means something went wrong at home.  Makoto (the hen that had the prolapsed vent last year and had to live in my house as she healed) is sick.  What kind of sick, I’m not sure (I’m trying the remedies for everything it might be), but she’s living in my house again.  She does seem to be getting better.  Today she drank on her own for the first time.  Now if I could just get her to eat her normal food… (She’s been eating everything else like egg, just not her everyday food.)

So how did my goals stand up to the chaos?

Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER– My goal for this week was to be done the read for edits and be 25-50% through edits.  I am 33.3% done my edits, despite skipping Saturday and having yet get to today’s.  I’m hoping I get to today’s, but I have work this afternoon followed by the band concert.   
Send out SUMMER– [On Hold]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– 0/1.  Was busy separating Makoto from the flock for treatment and flock safety (and safety from flock).    I hope to do one before Saturday to make it up or two this Saturday.  Basically, I am going to try and make it up!

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] I am caught up with DOOMSDAY CLOCK, but then I got all those Free Comic Book Day comics (not to mention my regular pull).  So, here I am playing catch up once more.
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– [Finished 4 – last updated 5/1/18] On Hold

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Look, ma!  I’m typing!

The Plan For This Week
#1- Make up that missed submission.  Also, don’t miss this week’s.
#2- 100% done the 2nd draft of SUMMER. Started final edits (read aloud/grammar check). [9 days until submission window closes!]
#3- I almost want to be brazen and say “catch up on all comics.”  But I really did get a lot.  So, one FCBD comic a day and all of my pull

Next week was supposed to be a week off for me from my goals (a mental health break), but my husband is taking the week after that off, so I’m pushing it back a week… Plus want to finish and get SUMMER out in time!

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#ROW80: Because TBR Piles Need To Be Scary!

littleROW80Do you know what the first Saturday in May is?  The answer I am looking for is Free Comic Book Day.  I’ll be working the event (comic shop employee, after all), but before I start my day (at the best day job EVER), I’ll be buying.  Because FCBD is like the Black Friday for comic store sales.  And after I spent all this time catching up… I’m going to drown myself in it all.  (Not that I’ve conquered the pile yet…  However, it is less massive!)

But, I think all of us writers have that problem with any kind of reading material.  We want to read it all, but we only have so much time.  I guess I won’t be getting to my regular book pile as soon as I thought I was (and that pile is scarier)!

Speaking of time…
I am trying to find time every day to work on my writing.  That was step one in a new writing schedule.  I wanted to put it on a rotating system.  Like edit to a stopping point (like scene break or chapter end), switch to submitting (send out 3 things), write something (like a blog post or whatnot), and repeat the process for a while finishing a long list of projects I have going.  Thing is, the deadline for SUMMER is much closer than I give it credit for.  So, I can’t stop working on SUMMER to do other things (at all).  So, I guess I’ll be waiting until after SUMMER is out to rework my goals.

Speaking of goals…
Writing
Finish Writing SUMMER (1k/week)– [DONE on 4/26/18]
Edit SUMMER– I am working on this.  Right now I am on my first stage of edits, which is reading for what’s missing (senses/themes/keywords) and intended edits.  I am 25% done with this at this very moment.   
Send out SUMMER– [On Hold]  
Saturday Submission (1/week)– 1/1.  Did it.  

Reading
Catch Up On Comics (7/week)– [Bulk portion accomplished 4/17/18] This is now back because now that I am done WATCHMEN, I need to catch up on the DOOMSDAY CLOCK series.  I’ll be reading the 4 issues along with my pull (I hope).
Catch Up On Graphic Novels– I finished the following trades this week: WATCHMEN, I HATE FAIRYLAND volume 3, GIANT DAYS volume 1, and ARCHIE volume 4.  I started WE ARE ROBIN volume 1.

Blogging
Every Tuesday– Trying to finish this before I have to get my kids from school. (And I did!)

The Plan For This Week
#1- Next check-in I want to be doing my second stage of edits (actually editing/rewriting) for SUMMER (25-50% in).
#2- My focus is back to catching up on single issues again, so DOOMSDAY CLOCK.  If I have time, I’ll pick up WE ARE ROBIN in the evenings.
#3- Submit something this Saturday, even though I will be at work at 10AM to get my sale buying on.

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