ROW80 Progress and a Meme – Cause That’s Just The Way I Roll

I just finished the first full edit on Utopians and what better way to celebrate than with a writing meme. LS Engler posted this one over on her blog yesterday with an open invitation for others to also participate, so why the hell not 🙂 The meme invites participants to share the first sentence (okay let’s be honest from the outset- I’m probably going to include several sentences because I’m just a rule-breaking kinda gal) from each of the first three chapters of their current work. This genuinely appeals for Utopians as the story is written from 3 different perspectives and giving samples from the first 3 chapters gives a tid bit from each of them.

Chapter 1
Panic jolted the last remnants of sleep from Mila’s body.
She was suffocating.
She opened her mouth and tried to suck in a huge gasping breath.
It didn’t work. The air was stale, and there wasn’t enough oxygen, not near enough.

Chapter 2
Jett woke to the familiar sway of his yacht as it bobbed over the waves. He’d anchored for the night just outside Auckland harbour. He probably could have completed the journey yesterday, heading back to dock and allowing his feet to touch dry land for the first time in three weeks, but he’d been unable to pass up the idea of just one extra night out on the water.

Chapter 3
Beep… It can’t possibly be morning already.
Beep… Ignore it, it’ll go away.
Beep… Damn it!
Austin rolled over, lashing his arm out violently at the alarm clock on the side table.

Yes I am aware that all 3 chapters begin with the characters waking up and yes it was deliberate 🙂 And now on with my progress toward my ROW80 goals…

Goal 1: Complete my detailed edits on The Utopians
Allocated time: 2 weeks
Progress: Turns out there were 10 chapters left as of the beginning of this round and I am very pleased to say that despite an earth-shattering illness that has seen me virtually bed-ridden for the past few days I managed to get through all 10 of those chapters. The first full edit is complete (and on time too) 🙂 Yay! Now I can start on the Character edits.

Goal 2: Character edits on The Utopians
Allocated time: 2 weeks
Progress: Will be starting on these ASAP!

Goal 3: Final read through and compilation of The Utopians for Alpha readers
Allocated time: 1 week
Progress: I need to finish the above goals before I can think about this one.

Goal 4: Read (at least) 12 books to keep up with my goal of 50 for the year
Allocated time: whole round
Progress: Oops, no. I’ve started reading Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The fact that I didn’t read the whole book is evidence of how sick I was – I had the curl up under the doona bit down but I wasn’t well enough to pick up the book to go with it. I’m still 1/12.

All in all progress so far this round has been great. I think that Utopians is really starting to take shape and I can’t wait to finish up the next few weeks of character and line-edits so I can get it off to some readers.

What about you? Have you hit the ground running this round? Or are you struggling to find your feet? What did you think of the (very small) sample from Utopians? As always, I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

I’m Baaaaccckk!

Yes, that’s right boys and girls. I’m back! Long time no speak… well… errr… post.

So, where have I been? What have I been doing? Well, I’ve been enjoying life, last year I spent 2 months living in Dubai, I have taken the gigantic step back into the paid workforce and I have stood by and watched my baby start school.

Oh and, of course, I’ve been writing. And writing. And writing. In the past six months I have completed the first draft of my third, as yet unnamed, apocalyptic YA novel and I have about 3 chapters to go on my fourth novel, 2 Brothers (working title). And that’s where ROW80 comes in.

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while you will know that this is not the first time I have committed to ROW80 (A round of words in 80 days) to help me keep my focus and fight my way to the finish line on a novel.

The current round of ROW80 starts today which means it’s time to set some goals.

Goal 1: write at least 500 words a day until the first draft of my novel, 2 Brothers, is complete.

Goal 2: once goal #1 is achieved switch to editing mode on the apocalyptic YA novel, aiming to edit ~5 pages a day.

Goal 3: keep up with my aim to read 50 books this year.

 

It’s day 1 today and I have already completed my 500 words. So at my first check-in I get a big tick and maybe even a smiley face. A big g’day to all the ROW80ers I have yet to meet, I look forward to visiting all your blogs over the next few weeks and following your progress.

As always, I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

 

Tis a ROW80 Update

Hi Boys and Girls. Had a good week? I’ll give you a heads up, mine’s been great! Details on my individual goals are below.

 

GOALS FOR ROW80 ROUND 3

1. Read 10 books and watch 10 movies to keep me on track to hit 50 for the year. Watched – Aliens in the Attic (Embarrassingly enough Hubby and I watched this without either of our children present and even more embarassingly I actually thought it was quite funny) Total thus far =  2/10. Read – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (enjoyed it, but it wasn’t as good as I was expecting) Total thus far = 2/10.

2. Keep exercising as often as possible (preferably 2-3 times a week). Twice again this week… Yay me! (Have done too many lunges though and now my quads are killing me).

3. Write 5000 words a week on either of my two current projects. 2933 words on Project 1 + 2093 words on Project 2 = 5026 words total. Big cheer because I hit my weekly total for the first time!

4. Complete one additional ‘Spring Cleaning’ project per week. Cleaned out and tidied up the kids art and craft cupboard and Daughter’s bookshelves.

5. Try and find some time in among all that to do some edits on Soul Hunter and send it out for another round of beta reading in prep for serious editing. [Cough] Umm… No.

 

So excluding my edits on Soul Hunter (and let’s face it, my goal does state TRY and find some time :)) I hit all my goals this week.  Oh yeah, and I think I might have finally come up with title’s for at least two of the novels in my Ankhari trilogy!

What about you? Good week? Bad week? Are you having to change your goals to fit in with your hectic lifestyle? As always I love to hear from you.

Jody Moller

ROW80 – Week One: The brief version

One week in, well as the round strictly speaking started last Monday I guess we are only 6 days in… but whose counting? My goals/hits/misses for the week are listed below.

GOALS FOR ROW80 ROUND 3

1. Read 10 books and watch 10 movies to keep me on track to hit 50 for the year. Watched – Snow White and the Huntsman (was actually much better than I was expecting). Read – Circle of Flight by John Marsden (the final book of the Ellie Chronicles). So two big ticks for me here.

2. Keep exercising as often as possible (preferably 2-3 times a week). I exercised twice this week so not too bad.

3. Write 5000 words a week on either of my two current projects. 1555 words on Project 1 + 2459 words on Project 2 = 4014 words total. Not the 5000 I was hoping for but for a 6 day week not a  bad effort. I might push myself to try for 6000 for next week… maybe.

4. Complete one additional ‘Spring Cleaning’ project per week. Helped hubby put in the joists for our new deck and grouted the new tiles in the pool – not strictly speaking spring cleaning but took me two days of hard work so I am putting them in here.

5. Try and find some time in among all that to do some edits on Soul Hunter and send it out for another round of beta reading in prep for serious editing. I didn’t even look at Soul Hunter, though I did get feedback back from one of the round one beta readers. I had a good week with everything else so I’m going to give myself a break on this one 🙂

Reading Circle of Flight by John Marsden this week I came across this passage. I loved it, so I thought I would share it with all of you.

‘And suddenly they came out of the woodwork. I don’t actually know what that expression means. What come out of the woodwork? Cockroaches maybe. Mice? Are these rhetorical questions, like I just learned about on one of my rare visits to school? Was that a rhetorical question? Is it a paradox when you ask rhetorically if a rhetorical question is rhetorical question? I think I’d better stop this before I get a headache.’

John Marsden, Circle of Flight p242

 If you’ve never read a John Marsden book I would highly recommend the whole Tomorrow Series and the follow up trilogy The Ellie Chronicles. He is a master of the written word and after 10 books still managed to come up with an ending that was, mostly, satisfying.

How are your ROW80 goals going? Have you started like a bullet out of a gun or are you more of a work-up-to-it kind of person? Have you read any of John Marsden’s books? As always I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

Flash Fiction: Faithlessness

This post was my first ever attempt at flash fiction (almost 12 months ago) and remains to this day one of my favourite pieces of short fiction. A big shout out to Haley Whitehall who provided the prompt for this challenge.

I hope you enjoy it. As always I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

 

Flash Fiction

Until 2.5 hours ago I had never before heard of flash fiction. While browsing a fellow bloggers ramblings I came across Haley’s Flash Fiction Challenge and two glasses of wine later I decided to give it a go.

By the way the rules for the challenge were:
•You must start your story with the sentence:”She had been warned, but now it was too late.”
•The story must be 500 words or less

So here is my first attempt at Flash Fiction – hope you like it! (Please forgive me any typos and grammatical errors, as I said this went from concept to published in just over 2 hrs).

 

Faithlessness

She had been warned, but now it was too late. The pain was almost unbearable. Her leg almost definitely broken. Her pursuer almost upon her.

“Please God, save me,” she prayed to a God she didn’t even believe in – which was when she really knew it was all over.

It was when the ‘What Ifs’ hit her.

What if she had listened to her mother when she had told her not to mix with that crowd?

What if she had jagged right instead of left, missing the oncoming car, leaving her femur intact and her only means of escape still available?

What if she had stayed on the main road rather than heading down this gloomy dead-end alleyway?

What if, what if, what if.

But she was here and it was over.

A shadow fell upon her as her pursuer appeared at the entrance to her hiding place. She hunkered down even further, her hands falling instinctively across her abdomen.

The figure loomed above her, dark and enigmatic – utterly terrifying. She could see the orange glow from the closest streetlight reflecting dimly off his teeth as he scowled at her.

“You know why,” his words were barely a whisper.

He was closer now; she could smell the stale fusion of bourbon and cigarettes on his breath. The recoil was automatic, but she didn’t get far – his powerful grasp around her upper arm held her firmly in place.

He was examining her, the draw of lust glinting in his eyes.

‘Oh, God no, not that… anything but that,’ the thoughts were so loud in her head she was surprised they did not cross her tongue. She needed to entice him to act – finish the job sooner rather than later.

She spat in his face.

It worked. The spark of desire was blinked away, the pure unadulterated hate had returned.

She was grateful that when he finally decided to act it was quick. She felt the sharp sting as the blade pierced the soft skin an inch below her ear. He drew the knife slowly sideways.

It was inexplicable given her current predicament, but her fear was gone. The visceral part of her brain realising that the fight or flight response was no longer required – it was too late for that.

The pain was gone too; there was nothing but the heat, the warm moisture that flowed down her neck and onto her chest.

The figure before her lowered his face towards hers, staring deep into her eyes. A single tear rolled down his cheek. If she had been capable of it she would have sighed as she stared back into those black, scarily familiar eyes.

Her final breath caught in her throat as he pressed his lips firmly against hers. As the wave of unconsciousness dragged her under she made a conscious decision to think instead of their first kiss and better times.

But the ‘What Ifs’ got her again.

What if she had not fallen pregnant with another’s child?

FCG2012 #7 – Interval

You know I am always up for a writing challenge (check out my attempt at a piem here if you still need convincing). Well, I have found another. The Form and Genre Challenge 2012 over at Write Anything. The challenge consists of 52 different prompts for the 52 weeks of 2012 and aims to encourage writers to move outside their comfort zone.

This week’s challenge is ‘Tanka’ a form of Japanese poetry with a five-line syllabyl count form (5,7,5,7,7).

Apparently there are many rules for Tanka, some of which involve nature and love and a pivot point in the third line, none of which I have included in my poem (except perhaps for the pivot point). But forgive me, I wrote this poem before I knew about these rules and I like it so I decided not to change it.

 

Interval

Cells proliferate

Lungs curse the air within them

Silence engulfs me

In misery I lie here

Awaiting sweet atonement

 

Hope you liked it. If you did make sure you let me know. If you didn’t, remember I write novels, not poems. As always I love to hear from you.

Jody Moller

And the writing challenges get stranger and stranger…

The amazing DJ Lutz put out a challenge earlier in the week to come up with a piem. Yes that’s right a piem.

I’ll steal the explanation directly from DJ’s blog post Piphilology:

‘A piem is a literary structural challenge that is a tenet of piphilology, or the use of mnemonics to remember the digits of pi.  Yes, that pi.   3.14…..

How does it work?

Each word must have a letter count that matches the corresponding digit in pi.’

With a challenge this unusual I just had to give it go. So here is my piem:

‘Why’ I said, a query revealing in itself. Three old women answered ominously, ‘because believers die.’  [3.141592653589793]

What is the most unusual writing challenge you have attempted? Feel free to give writing a piem a go and post your story in the comments here or over on DJ’s blog.

Jody Moller