Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Check-Up

Summer is almost over - not that you'd know it here in Florida - and all over the country, school is already in session or about to be. Ahhh, I can smell those new notebooks with all those blank pages just waiting to be filled with notes and facts and doodles and ideas. Of course, as an adult (ahem!) I can get a new notebook pretty much whenever I want so the feeling isn't quite the same but I do tend to cling to nostalgia the way lint clings to the dryer screen. 

But this time of year also makes me think back to what I've done so far this year. Okay, this time of year and the fact that we took the tortoises to the vet and it made me think about "check-ups" in general.

[Side note: the tortoises are healthy and active and the vet got a big kick out of how personable they are. I guess I should say how personable Mrs. Larry is since Larry pretty much stayed in his shell the whole time. Mrs. L looked around the office, stuck her head out to be petted and, when she was getting her nails clipped, acted as if she was getting a manicure/pedicure. Larry? I didn't see his head again until we were back in the car. (Although, to be fair, that's pretty much how I act when I have to go to the doctor.)]

So, I thought I'd do a quick check-up on my writing for the past six months or so....

Stories/short pieces
- I've written a number of new things - some finished, some in various stages of being finished.
- I've had about 8 of those new works - plus a handful of older ones - accepted/published.
- I won one contest and placed in another.

Novels/longer ms
- I finished a women's fiction ms, revised it a bit, then set it aside because something about it wasn't working. I haven't given up on it, though, because I do love the characters and the story.
- I wrote a women's fiction/horror-type first draft for the first ever Camp NaNo (July.) Right now, it's sitting and drumming its fingers waiting for me to figure out exactly what to do with it.

Other achievements
- I'm on track for the monthly Light Ray version of Write 1 Sub 1.
- I was invited to join Write 1 Sub 1 as a co-administrator.
- I've kept up with my blog and tried to keep up with others'.
- I joined the Third Writers' Platform-Building Campaign over at Rach Writes.
- I read lots of writing mags and some books about writing.

Okay, that list feels rather piddly to me. I know I can do more, do better. I'm not exactly sure what that means or how to do it, but I'll figure it out. There are some fresh notebooks out there with my name on it, just waiting for me...

How about you? How has your summer - or the first part of the year - gone for you? Did you accomplish what you set out to do? Why or why not? Did you do more than you thought you would and if so, how? Any tips or suggestions for how to do more, do better? 


  1. Doesn't sound piddly to me! Sounds very productive :)

  2. Madeline, you've had a stellar summer! I surely don't have that much to report other than my newest expert has killed so of my plot. LOL! See you around the Campaign. ; )

  3. Thanks, Zan Marie and Clare! I suppose it's all relative, isn't it? I do recognize that I accomplished a chunk of work but still... :)

  4. You've had a great 6 months so far; keep it up! I'm back at work this week prepping and planning for another school year, so I'm a little worried my productivity may slack off a bit. Flash fiction may be what keeps me on track with Write1Sub1.

  5. The end of last year and the summer were spent launching my son. Now that he is settled in college i've started a t-shirt quilt, entered a ms contest and been looking for a full time job. Enough to keep me busy.

  6. Wow! What an impressive list of accomplishments. Makes me feel like a slacker. :)

  7. Milo, I have no doubt that you're going to stay on track with W1S1.

    What if you assign your students writing assignments and do it with them - there's your W1 for that month! :)

  8. Um, yeah, Sally, I'd say you've been busy! :)

    Good luck with the ms contest and the job hunt. I love the idea of a t-shirt quilt! I literally have no idea how many t-shirts my husband has...

  9. Thank you, Donna! But you forget that I read your blog and I KNOW you are far from a slacker. :)

  10. Nothing piddly about that list - sounds like a good year. Keep it coming!
    AliB from #writecampaign

  11. Hi Madeline! Wow, I'm impressed with all you have accomplished over the summer! I've been a total slacker. I'm hoping the Campaign will be the inspiration I need to change that and get back on track.

    Great to meet you, and I love the name of your blog, very clever! :)

  12. Thanks, Julie! Great to meet you, too.

    Oh, and the tortoises are happy you like the name of the blog. :)

  13. Wow. I'm impressed. You've accomplished an awful lot, so be proud!

    As for hints or tips, I'm afraid to be the one taking notes from your ability to focus outwardly. ;)

  14. Allie, it's all about balance...something I'm not very good at, I'm afraid. :)