Call me Maybe
Antagonist - protagonist

ROW80-3 check in 8/01 - my brain hurts

Wow, this course, Fantasy and Sci-Fi, is definitely a challenge. Lots of reading to cover - and we are reminded by the prof to read slowly, pen in hand. I'm reading online, but I get the idea - we are supposed to ponder as we plod. Unit 1 was 50-some of Grimms' Fairy Tales. Once we had read all of them we had to do an essay on the reading, that would, in the prof's words, "aim to enrich the reading of a fellow student who is both intelligent and attentive to the readings and to the course." Seems vague at first, but it does work. Plus, we need to assess five other student's essays, for form and content. 

All to say, great opportunity to learn more about this area, and hopefully apply to my writing. But, unfortunatley, the rest of the ROW80 objectives are hurtin' like cowpoke on the range. 

My focus was pretty simple. This course. And Flash fiction. And less editing. How did I do?

  • less editing - nailed that one
  • Flash Fiction - did two. One for Writer Unboxed abour Red and Romulus and a clash. Blood may be spilled. Or not. And one for Flash Fiction Friday, starting with the line Call me Maybe. Have another one due Friday noon, for Terrible Minds. These are starting to flow easily, and give a real buzz when done. And while composing, actually. That's why we write.
  • THE COURSE - It was suggested we'd need 8-12 hours a week. At least, What with the sloooow reading, our essay, five other's essays to evaluate and suggest changes to, and an hour or so of videos (excellent) by the prof. Almost two weeks in, I'm at 45 hours. Mind you, a lot was spent on initial chatting in the forums and fighting with reading software on my pc and iPad, but still it could take up a lot of hours. But, I do enjoy it. The assessments were interesting. Student body is international - how do you mark for form - for spelling and grammar? Do you try to plow through bad English and NOT penalize? It IS an English course, and there are spellcheckers and proofreaders. And content, even if you don't agree with the premise, if it's well presented then has to get a good mark, right? Some students obviously read only one story, some only the first five. One apparently sent in an essay based on The Little Prince. No - that's not by The Grimms. But there was some work that DID enrich my reading.
  • blogs - several days behind. Live tunes at my local tonight, I think I'll bring my iPad and catch up. No free wi-fi but I'm a with-it kind of guy - I'll use my iPhone as a hot-spot. I've said this before, but being an old fart means I appreciate all this cool kewl technology even more. 
  • TV - as in True Blood. Nope, resisting the siren call of that. On the other hand, the first season of Buffy? Yes, maybe a bit. At least my regular TV has been off for weeks. Not into re-runs, get news online, not a fan of the Olympics. Or re-runs. I'll wait until the fall and see if I have an urge to cocoon up on the couch, remote in hand. 
  • submissions - I sent my flash, Making a Sandwich, into Glimmer Train for a contest. Big prize, and still gets added to their slush pile. I'll find out at end of September. As I mentioned, I'm using Duotrope to track my stories and submissions. On my to-do list is to scan the database on Duotrope, and Flash Fiction Chronicles, find some likely markets, spiffy up the appropriate stories so far, send them out, rake in the money. 

My focus until Sunday? I'll get my five assessments back Thursday for my essay, from other random and anonymous students. Out of thousands I think. And a link to the video for next books, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I read them both years ago, and I still have my hard copy of The Annotated Alice, with notes by Martin Gardner. Amazing book, great notes, will be a challenge to find a small enough focus for only a 320 word essay next week. So - focus her - will read my assessments, start in on Alice, do a flash for Friday, keep up with blogs and newsletters, and visit grandkids. Oldest need some soccer practice to build his confidence. I'll keep 911 on the speed-dial.


Just for reference, my overall objectives for this ROW (which I never expect to meet all at the same time):

  •  Writer (8) - writing for fun, but also working to become a better writer. Writing every day, editing. Reading about writing, books and blogs, as well as networking.
    • Editing (1) - this will be a fixed early task. 2 hrs ?? 10 pages/day 
      • Due North. First pass pencil edit done. Now do online. Approx 315 double-spaced pages, starting at page 81.  
      •  Due North 2 - sequel. About 260 pages. TBD – cleanup scenes synopsis and notes, print, revise, type in.  
    • Writing (1) - Flash Fiction stories. 2/wk, 3 hrs each, so an hour. 
    • Publishing (1/2) -nothing like rejection/acceptance to hone your skills
      • Short Stories (1/4) – Flash fiction. New, or edit existing. Take from blog while submitting. Use market survey from Flash Fiction Chronicles, aim to send in one a week. 
      •  Fairy Tale Folk (1/4)- pull them together into collection. Start with a spreadsheet – story, characters, their traits, their development, good for ongoing stories too. Edit if time. Not a high priority this round. 
  •  Learning/sharing (5 1/2) 
    • Blogs (1) - maybe too many subscriptions. Track them all for a week and rate them.
    • Facebook (1) - ROW80 group, Ottawa Writers, Creative Writing Circle, and NaNoWriMo Ottawa. 
    • Podcasts (.5) - have set up a few, mostly on writing. Can follow these while walking or cooking.
    • Reading (1) - non-fiction, to entertain and learn. 
    • Reading (0) - fiction, to entertain and learn (part of course now). 
    • Course –(2) Fantasy and Science Fiction. Reading, writing, critiques, videos
  • Health (2 1/2) - not a lot of time, but needs to be a main item. 
    • Walking (1) - can be an evening activity too. With podcasts. Will aim for 10,000 steps.
    • Exercise/sports (1/2) -Short morning yoga session. Floor exercises? Bike? 
    • Diet – Better food, less alcohol (healthier and cheaper). 
    • Schedule - hopefully this will be healthy addition too. 
    • Friends and family (1) - just to make sure don't get stuck inside doing all these tasks
  •  Chores (2) - the boring stuff. Cleaning, laundry, shopping. And taxes.
  • TV (1)
  • Total 13.5




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