Mantra, Nature, Art, Writing

Well, my birthday came and went and I did not finish re-editing my draft like I said I would. There are many excuses, including the fact that I sit in front of a screen nine hours a day and have deadlines five days a week and sometimes just don’t feel like doing any more writing when I get home. (Same excuse for being such a sporadic blogger.) But the fact of the matter is, if I want anything to happen with this book, I need to deal with it. More on this later.

Mantra

BFF Dianna asked if I had a mantra, and I decided on “Deal With It.” It applies to everything. If I don’t feel like doing something? If I am intimidated by something? If I’m feeling emotional? Deal with it, deal with it, deal with it. Then I got this bracelet in the mail:

Deal With It

It’s perfect. I wear it every day and it totally motivates me. Thanks, Dianna!

Bonus photo I found at my parents’ house last weekend:

Dianna (right) and I hanging out in the tree my parents' front yard, circa 1992-ish. Check me out... writing!

Me (left) and Dianna hanging out in the tree my parents’ front yard, circa 1992-ish. Check me out… writing!

Nature

Last month I joined my sister, aunt and aunt’s sister at Government Canyon State Natural Area for a workshop called Mandalas in the Park. If you follow this blog, you know about us and mandalas. For this, we could only use items found in nature, and only items native to the area. Here are some photos:

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A photographer from Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine was shooting our stuff, so we may be featured in the May issue. Cool!

Art

It’s Fiesta time in San Antonio, and so far I’ve visited the Fiesta Arts Fair — my favorite event. I try not to go insane and buy everything I see (especially because it’s all pricey), but I tend to get a couple of things every year. This year I gave myself a budget, which I was adhering to beautifully until I saw the print of the woman. Budget, shmudget. I had to have her:

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Support these artists: Lorena Angulo, Rick Loudermilk, Dolan Geiman.

Support ALL artists!

Writing

So, I may not have met my birthday deadline, but I am slowly but surely working on the book. I spent six hours on Chapter 2 yesterday. I’ll get there, y’all. Deal with it.

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A working title and an official freak out

I gave myself until this past weekend to put in my edits and print out the second draft for my readers. I’d procrastinated for weeks, so Sunday was crunch time. I spent 11 – ELEVEN – hours in front of my computer doing the job at the last minute.

You guys. Don’t follow my lead. I think I gave myself carpel tunnel.

Anyway, it’s done. I had to work on Monday and was so exhausted from the day before that I didn’t wake up in time to blog. Sorry!

What I did do, however, was print out my second draft. πŸ™‚ This is the first time I’ve shared my (working) title. Drum roll please…

After I printed out two copies I went over to my cousin’s house and proceeded to have a small panic attack when I handed one of them over. Only one other person has read this thing besides me, and now I have to let more people do it. My cousin is super excited. I am FUH-REAKING OUT.

I feel like a mom taking pictures of my book’s date.

She’s 17 (my target audience) and loves to read, so I’m looking forward to hearing what she thinks. I just hope I’m not still breathing into this paper bag when it comes time to discuss it. 😦

7x7x7x7; Editing update; Big question

This weekend wasn’t my best, creatively speaking. I worked Friday night, read a book (to be mentioned in a future post)/did my best impression of a slug all day Saturday and hung out with my family on Sunday. The hang-out could be considered creative since I was at my grandmother’s house to re-learn how to make chicken mole. I’d argue that cooking is the best kind of creation since you can eat the final product. πŸ™‚

I did have my camera with me, but I wasn’t allowed to stop stirring the sauce lest it stick to the pan. No monkey business in Gramma’s kitchen. So, no pics. Sorry. (Only a little sorry. The food was too tasty for me to feel that guilty about slacking as a photographer.)

7x7x7x7

Here’s a creative writing challenge that’s a bit more hard-core than Lunch Haiku. (I loved everyone’s haikus, by the way. Y’all rock and we’ll have to do that one again!) Choose the seventh book on your shelf, flip to page seven, select the seventh sentence on that page and then write a seven-line poem beginning with that sentence.

My book is “Eclipse,” the third in the Twilight series. Here it goes:

“Afternoons were the hardest part of my day.”

Between golden morning and Sun’s final ray,

when the world is bright but empty.

Nothing to discover.

When each person thinks he sees

every secret of the other,

but it’s really only part of the game we all play.

No idea if that’s proper meter or punctuation or anything, you know, technical. Don’t much care, either. It was fun. πŸ™‚

Editing Update

I’m about two chapters in with my purple pen. To be honest, it’s taking longer than I expected. I fix sentence structure, do a lot of “find and replace” (i.e. “Cicadas buzzed in the trees” became “Cicadas buzzed in the forest canopy.” A fluffy fix. Also, “He looked annoyed” became “He scowled down at his lap.” Showing, not telling. Stuff like that.) This is along with making sure my characters are coming across the right way and that the story progresses as it should.

I’ve given myself a birthday deadline to get through the first round of edits. That’s two months away. Totally doable.

The Big Question

How would y’all like to meet the main character? Put your answer in the comments, and the sooner the better. Although she’s expressed interest in granting an exclusive interview, she thinks she’s a big deal and can be a real bitch if she feels like her time is being wasted. (Don’t tell her I said that.)

~Stef

P.S. – Happy Chinese New Year! Tonight’s dinner will be eaten with chopsticks in honor of the Year of the Dragon. πŸ™‚