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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

PROGRESS REPORT #50: KEEPING TO SCHEDULES


MY WORK STATION

It's been tough lately keeping to my writing schedules because of all the other things happening which include my new program of Winter classes.
I spent over a week just preparing for my courses, getting handout materials sorted out and delived to be printed, organizing my class plans etc. I have quite a few new classes this term. The school board asked if I'd like to do two kids classes (ages 7 - 10 and 11-13) I jumped at the chance, it being a new experience and challenge. So that took some time and thought to prepare for. It kind of cuts into my Friday night socializing though as I have to get up so darn early on Saturday morning to get across town to the school. But it's proving to be fun, and the pay is not bad. I also have 3 Memoir groups a week, plus one travel writing class and I am doing a novel writer's workshop at home. Iin addition, I'll be doing a night-school-in-one-day class in Prompting the Muse next weekend. Then there's my own Scribbler's writer's critique group that I attend on Mondays. Where do I get all the time? Consider that some days I am riding buses for long trips, maybe a total of 4 hours a day on the buses. That really takes up time! So when I am at home, like this afternoon and evening, I have to try and stay focused. It ain't easy!

So, I try and work out a plan. This picture below is my "planning board". On it I put down the chapter headings for each part of my novel. In this case, you see I only have a few chapters to write before I reach THE END. Some of the chapters are already partly written as I tend to often write things spontaneously and then piece them together. It's kind of like doing a jig-saw puzzle. I've actually had the end of the story written right from the beginning.

What's slowing me down now, more than my lack of time, is trying to get the right 'lead' for the first chapter of Part VII. I've been making notes and playing with it, but it's still not right. I need some time and these days, that's hard to find. But I'm sure I'll get it and then I'll be on a roll again.

Besides my classes and the novel, I am writing 4 short pieces for PlanetEye.com each week. Although they don't take me long to write, I sometimes have to do a bit of research and make some notes. Usually I try to do these on the weekend and then post them over the first couple of days of the week. It's only 'informative' writing (journalism) so it's not like I'm sweating over character descriptions and setting details or plot. But it is another task that has to be done (because I get paid to do it, so that's good incentive!) Forget about my other travel writing for now, although I should be preparing some things to market. And oh yes, I also edit and publish my travel 'zine TRAVEL THRU HISTORY. And as the January stories are now up that took up several days preparing.

I wonder what other writers do to set their own work schedules? Do you make a plan or an outline so you can see where you are heading? And how much time to you allow yourself to procrastinate before getting down to business? That's another tricky subject. PROCRASTINATION. I'm good at it and can be quite an expert time-waster. But once I start working, I pretty well get right into it and sometimes forget to stop even for something to eat.

One thing I know, and that is I want to finish this novel before I leave for my summer holidays in Greece. I have other projects on the back-burner waiting for me and I just want to see THE END as soon as possible!




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10 comments:

Meghan said...

First off, I love your planning board! It's awesome. And I have to wonder WHERE you find the time to do all that! I believe you when you say it ain't easy!

Wynn Bexton said...

Well today I managed 4 hours of work on Shadow. These days with so many classes it isn't easy. I am already feeling a bit stressed (as usual) but I needed the money so took on a lot more than I probably should have. I am, in fact, a 'full time' writer just now. But not necessary 'full time' writing my own stuff. So it's important to try and be a bit 'organized'.

Marie said...

I'm good at wasting time too. I blame the internet for that. I try to be organized but I really don't plan that much when I write. I always had the ending in mind when I started my current work in progress though.

Good luck with finishing your novel. I'm hoping to finish mine soon as well.

Wynn Bexton said...

It's been awhile since I heard from you Marie. I hope you've made lots of progress on your novel. I'm a bit slowed down right now because of all my classes but I am hoping to catch up soon.

Adrian Swift said...

Oh, my goodness gracious! Wynn, you're amazing! I can't believe all the projects you've taken on. You've clearly got the skill to handle it, too. Good for you! I'm sure you must enjoy teaching, as well as writing. That's great. You are making a difference.

Best wishes as you bring your novel in to the final pages,

Adrian

Wynn Bexton said...

Hi Adrian, for some reason your message went direct to my delete box so I was glad I found it. I will post another blog this weekend with updates but today was very frustrating when I had a day off and wanted to get busy on Shadow but couldn't get my printer to co-operate (I needed to print out in order to do some serious editing). So it was a wasted 'day off'. But I still have the weekend.

Father Park said...

I realise that you might have a handle on things but your whiteboard is seriously misinformed. It also presents with classic symptoms of Chronometricitis.

Best have it treated before it infects the novel!

By the way: "spalocle"? Your word verification has just invented a new fashion in eyewear?

Wynn Bexton said...

Hello Father Park, not quite sure what you mean. I follow the time-lines that I have for the Diodochi wars etc, pretty sure I've got all the events straight thanks to on-going research.

And what's with this 'spalocle'?
I am puzzled.

Father Park said...

Be wary from where you take timelines…

Cyprus fell to Ptolemy over summer 315 whilst Antigonus was engaged in the siege of Tyre. He’d commenced operations after receiving a demand from Lysimachus, Cassander and Ptolemy for a payoff from the second Diadoch war after returning in November 316.

Which brings me to Seleucus. Far from “returning” to Babylon in 314 – as your whiteboard notes – Seleucus was operating Ptolemy’s fleet in the Aegean until 313. About as far from Babylon as he could be. He was also assisting Cassander’s attempts at taking Caria over 314.

In the autumn of 313 Ptolemy attacks (via the sea) Cilicia and sacks Mallus and we all then go “into winter quarters” over 313/12.

The battle of Gaza then takes place in March/April 312. Diodorus states that Ptolemy caught Demetrius napping and that the latter’s forces had to be summoned from winter quarters “on all sides”. In other words, the army was still in winter quarters from the previous late autumn. He is defeated and Ptolemy, over the spring and summer brings Phoenicia and Syria under his control. With his back and the road to the Euphrates safe, Seleucus, in late summer 312, movers to re-occupy Babylon.

A winter campaign in Media sees off Nicanor and then in spring 311 Seleucus launches his assault on the “upper satrapies”. Demetrius conducts a punitive plunder and pillage mission during that summer and, after the “Peace of the Dynasts” (autumn 311) Antigonus, free of western wars, advances into Babylonia for a showdown with Seleucus. In a near re-run of his tussles with Eumenes, Antigonus is forced to withdraw, defeated, by 309/8.

Perhaps you might lay down another bottle of red for that party??

"Spolacle" was the word verication password required by blogger. Today's is "sneerv". Perhaps a put-down perv?

Wynn Bexton said...

Thanks for correcting the error which I had written on the time-line board re Seleukos returning to Babylon. I also had the wrong date for Polyperchon siding with Antigonos. However I've check the rest according the Chronology of the Diadochis from the livius.org site which I've been following.

I might add that, the time-line board is really just for me to look at and see where I'm going. Before I start each segment of action I go through all my notes and research books carefully to double-check facts. As I am not writing a history book, but fiction, I don't necessarily have exact dates in place though I do try to be accurate with years and approximate time of year things may have happened.