The Saucers
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ROW80-3 check in 8/19 - the monster

The current book for my Fantasy and Sci-fi course is Frankenstein. An interesting choice, since, unlike the Hollywood version of the story, there is very little science involved in the book. Or fantasy. Frankenstein is 'collecting materials' (body parts I assume), and 'the instruments of life (the hardware) and then suddenly the monster lives. The doctor is seized with horror and remorse over his efforts to mock Creation itself. Within a few paragraphs he races from the room, and spends the rest of the novel running from his guilt, overcome with angst like a hero in a modern soap, sick over what he has done - both physically and psychologically - and haunted by the vengeful monster he created. 

My monster has been my novel, created, yet incomplete, glaring at me from the corner of my desk, haunting me. Unlike Frankenstein, I did create a second one, a slightly better one. It is a quieter beast, but I know is biding its time.

It's time to slay the daemons, or at least tame them. I wrote the first novel in the bliss of ignorance, knowing little of style, structure, outlines, or character arc.  For the second novel, a year later, I had the dubious benefit of more of the knowledge of how to write. I liked to think I was the better off for it, but then, with the two of my creations standing next to each other, I saw even more flaws in the first one. My approach to editing the first novel has initially been a process of hacking off parts and sewing them back on in a different arrangement - a drastic and daunting process. I read a description online of a one-pass editing process, and have been trying to apply that, but keep getting bogged down even further. I've decided that approach just doesn't fit for me and this task - I need to rearrange the parts before I think about any changes to make them prettier. 

All to say that yesterday, after weeks of avoidance, I did some editing. Partially from guilt, as if I tell people I'm a writer, with two novels in edit mode, then when will I actually get to that editing? Partially from some encouragement from friends and family, especially other ROW80'ers. Thanks in particular to Cate, one of the sponsors. Here's a link to here site, and to an excellent TED talk by Chris Abani.  Yes, I did some editing, and will do some more today, once I finish my Frankenstein essay. I may end up with creations that will see the light of day and smile prettily from a shelf in my local bookstore. I may end up with some curiously mishapen creatures, a learning experience as it were, to be stuffed away out of sight. But I won't know until I take out my Exacto knife and roll of duct tape.

Focus was to be on finishing off the Dracula module and starting Frankenstein - done. I also did another Flash Fiction, for Terrible Minds. And, in my spare time, besides watching yet more episodes of Misfits and reading in the coffee shop and tavern, I did some editing.

Next few days? More of the monster - Shelley's and mine - and some Flash Fiction. 


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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Beautifully done! I love the tie-in between your novels and Frankenstein. Good luck on the editing!

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