Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

Another year and another novel. Or well, similar world of a previous attempt but still different novel. I am revisiting the world from the epic year of 2012. Then I managed to get 160,000 words in the month on a novel that ended up just under 180,000 for the first draft. The novel will be split into two when I finally get to the rewrite as it's too long without much worldbuilding or description. In order to develop some of the plot for the series and the world, I've decided this year to do a novel following a different character.

The series that I've written thus far focuses on Aeon. He is a young mage student who struggles in his studies because of a past attack that affected his memory. There are many things he doesn't remember or know, including his own full identity.

Yes, it's a little done before with the secret prince/princess but that's where the story went. And what brings in the new novel is that he has someone who protects him. That person went through intensive training and has to be fully dedicated to the point of putting his own life on the line if necessary.

That character is Xan and now he's getting his own novel.

While most of the time I don't care for when a novel comes out afterwards that actually goes before book 1 in the series but mine aren't published. So, we are going to find out what it takes to become Aeon's protector.


Hoping to get at least 100,000 words with the first 50k done within the first week. I will update on here for sure, along with a few other topics. End of the year, 2016 blog posting come back. Woot. Plus, it's almost midnight and I can't wait to write.


Are you writing for NaNoWriMo?
What is your novel about?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Motivation and Priorities Q&A from WDC part 1

I posted an item on writing.com in order to get questions for a Q&A Youtube video with a focus in particular on writing. I'm also posting here in the blog to put those answers down in longhand form along with my video rambles. Granted, the questions were a while ago but hoping to play catch up and hey, this means I need to post more often. This first post deals more with motivation and connecting fitness with writing.




Question posted by jiminicritic: Keeping physically fit is obviously important, but at what point does it interfere with one's writing? How do you stop from overdoing it?

Answer: This will depend on the individual, like many other things in life. Honestly, it can interfere with writing in that one can't always do everything at the same time. When it comes to getting things done, some will get priority over others. At times, writing had more of a priority. I will admit that the year of focusing on weight loss and starting to lift did meant that I wrote much less. For NaNoWriMo 2015, I only got about 30,000 words. I finished the first draft recently, which is a plus considering sometimes it takes me years to finally get the draft done even if I hit the magic 50k number during NaNo. Plus, the novel was YA contemporary so the first draft wasn't going to get to any crazy numbers, unlike the fantasy one I have.

As for what point is it an interference? That I can't pinpoint. One of the good parts of being unpublished is it's not like I'm missing deadlines or anything. And to be honest, I feel in some ways the thing that interferes both my writing and fitness goals both is the thing I have to do: work. Having to make money to pay bills unfortunately takes priority over writing and lifting because those can't quite help with rent or student loans at this point in time.

Overdoing it can be a challenge for some people in any given venue. For me it's often a one thing gets big focus and others lay awaiting for a little then the tides shift. It's the same with novels. NaNoWriMo gives me a chance to focus on one single novel (or two) for a month and that is a big main focus in November, so a couple of other things go to the side. It can feel like overdoing it when doing things like writing over 100,000 in a month but then things shift again. Fitness was a big focus and I still have my cycles where it's more of a forefront and other times where it's on the side.

Though have to be careful not to go overdo it to the point of injury. Have to be cautious when doing things like training for powerlifting. I've done it mostly when trying to lose weight, which means a calorie deficit and that can sap some of the energy as food does equal energy.

Question posted by Octobersun: How do you motivate yourself to train regularly?

Answer: The main method of staying motivated to train on a regular basis was that I found something I enjoyed. If I tried to force myself to do something I'm not as fond of, like say I decided to do spinning as I didn't enjoy that when I tried it, then I'd struggle to keep going. Even with running where it's a challenge and not what I thought I'd like, it gives me the chance to create music playlists and was a good time for thinking of novels and other things. Weightlifting, I had enjoyed in the past. My first time was with bench press and a few machines back in high school when I competed in track where I was doing throwing, which involved lifting as part of the training. While I hadn't done deadlifts, it was interesting to try the other lifts and I quickly found I liked the challenge. And it gave me something to focus on besides the scale while trying to lose weight. Plus, I also have goals which helps with the focus. Getting ready for a meet or a long distance run, that helps push me to keep going even on the days when I might want to just stay home.

Question by Ruwth: How has your weightlifting experience impacted your writing?


Answer: I don't think that weightlifting has impacted my writing much except maybe it distracted me from writing. Now, when I'm not at work, a few hours a week are spent in the gym instead of at the computer. Health wise, it's probably for the better though. However, it does help at time with ideas and doing physical activities can help when writing more action type elements in a story. Granted I can't do magic or anything but I know how some things feel and can expand from there when I'm writing what a character is going through in certain scenes. I also have a romance story that is between a long distance runner and a body builder, which is inspired a little by the anti-cardio weightlifters and the runners who don't do weight training. So, it has both helped and hindered my writing a little but for the most part is a separate entity in my life.



Youtube link: https://youtu.be/zHONFtGbDP4


Saturday, August 6, 2016

July Summary (What all distracted me)

So much happened in July that I ended up not posting much of anything for the entire month. There was more other stuff than writing and a little fitness on the side. Here is what has gone on lately, for anyone who is interested. :-)

Moving

I moved to Los Angelos early in June but that was into my sister's studio apartment and with just a car load of my belongings. July we moved into a new apartment. There was a short interruption that I'll discuss next but we spent part of the beginning of the month transitioning in apartments. Towards the end of the month, then, I drove all the way back up to Oregon to get the rest of my belongings. My dad drove over to help as he has a truck. We did end up leaving some stuff behind for the old roommates as they weren't quite worth the effort needed and didn't want to get a trailer. It was around 16 hour drive each way but heading down to LA again was done in two days, whereas on the way up, I did the drive in one day.

Visit Home

At the beginning of July we had to make an unfortunate trip over to Wyoming. My grandmother had suffered with Alzheimer's for the past few years and she passed away. We (My sister and I) went to attend the funeral and just be with our family. It was a long drive both ways but wouldn't have done it any other way.

Bad Luck

Had some not great luck, in particular with my car. Had a very minor accident that involved very little damage and no injuries, but was very jarring and a hassle. Then, day before leaving for Oregon, I popped a back tire on my car. Had to wait for road side assistance as I wasn't sure on how the use the jack that came with the donut tire thing my car has. I could change a tire but have never done it by myself with the car. Had to get a new one, which was an added expense on an already tight budget.

Work

My work schedule has been rather sporadic at the new location. There was a slight issue with the transfer in that the system put me as unavailable every day when it went through and the newer person doing the schedule didn't notice, so I wasn't on the schedule for that week. I did fill in at a different store and am still in contact with them. Other times I've gotten okay hours. I'm also applying for positions higher up and have been trying to get further in the company for a couple of years now. In progress but also looking around for opportunities.

Fitness

Still going to the gym and lifting. Not doing much running yet as I haven't found a place to run though am looking at a park that isn't too far away. The gym is only about 11 miles away, but that can be a long drive here in LA. I was a little sporadic with my lifting due to the lots of driving and things that went on during the month. I got in one lifting session in Wyoming along with some walks. In Oregon, I just packed up things. I'm starting a peak cycle in my weight lifting though, despite not able to compete at the APA Meet in October. Working towards a possible PR on all of the lifts. Trying to get squat above 200 and increase a little on bench. We'll see how deadlift will go as that I would like to see increase a decent amount but hard to tell the results.

Writing
This was hit the hardest. I haven't done much writing at all. I did a tiny little bit on North West and am on the very last chapter of the first draft. Need to get the last section done.  Need to up my game on this now that I have a place to set my computer aside from the bed. We have a table up and even have a new couch in the living room. Writing will happen in August along with a couple of blogs and hopefully some youtube videos.


August is a big month. Applying for jobs, trying to write, lifting heavy and my birthday. Hope it goes better than July. Hoping for good things this month.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pre-Summer Novel Progress

At last, an update on my current novels. I have many projects going, as usual, and figured it would be a good time to state where I'm at in most of them now as I get ready to make goals for the rest of summer.

Current Novels in Progress:

North West

This is my current first draft that has taken most of my energy and focus for the past few months. I started the novel for NaNoWriMo 2015 but only got up to 30k during the month. The first draft is now over 50,000 words and I recently finished chapter 20. In fact, it's almost time to end the whole thing. I'm at the climatic part of the story where things are bad and we don't even know if the one main character will survive. Plan to write the last bit very soon.

The good part is that means I will have another first draft done. However, compared to the other first draft work in progress, this is not one that will be ready for submission sooner. In fact, I will have to do research before editing/rewriting. Boys Read Romance will be ready quicker as it doesn't require the accuracy that North West does. Between the travels and the fact that the whole story is based around the characters going on adventure to see the Northern Lights, it means getting things accurate. Hence, that will take longer.


Boys Read Romance

I started this novel before November, which is why I didn't use it for NaNo since I wanted to follow the "rule" of starting with word one of the story. Made it to chapter 7 before getting distracted by focusing on NW. I do like the novel and hope to get back to working on it this summer. I'm liking the contemporary YA novels right now. Might write a few along with the speculative fiction ones.


Aeon Fading

On standby but my plan is for this summer to start the rewrite. First draft came in just under 180,000 words, which is a little too long. I will be rewriting it into two novels with the first one keeping the title of Aeon Fading. Second book will involve Ixia or Basil, as those are part of his name and position in the world he lives within. Should be at least 3 books in total, maybe 4. Will have to see how the rewrite goes, etc.


Tattle Tell

I have worked the query letter a few times. I need to do a synopsis asap because most of the agents I want to submit queries to require one. However, I have officially submitted the novel to an agency. So, it is now in submission and will have a few more sent out once that pesky synopsis is crafted. *throws confetti*


Those are the main ones, though I have to admit there are at least three others on the side. Lots of work to do. In fact, I should go write and work on that synopsis.


What are you writing now?


Friday, May 20, 2016

Fiction Writer's Experience at KROQ Weenie Roast Music Festival

I love music but have rarely had the chance to see any live performances. I have been to a few small country fair concerts and one bigger one that was held at Cheyenne Frontier Days, but other than that, no concerts or music festivals for me until I went to LA. My sister does some music blogging and was able to get us into a music festival where it was groups that I actually listen to, for the most part, and overall it was a cool experience.

I must admit that when it comes to bands and music, I tend to recognize the song more than the people performing it. Aside from listening to the radio, I am big on creating playlists. Many of the novels I have in progress or plan to write in the near future have a playlist with at least 10 songs. I also have different playlists for running as I go more by time than distance when I'm training. So, I love making playlists and listening to music even if I don't pay as much attention to the people involved.

Still, it was a great experience seeing groups perform live and I hope to see more in the future. For fun, this post is a little review of the festival that I attended along with details on who performed and some of the songs I have in my current novel playlists.


KROQ Weenie Roast @ Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre

The event was a 24 year tradition in Orange County with this being the last year they would host in that particular venue. The station = http://kroq.cbslocal.com/

The lineup and my thoughts on the performances:

Budlight Party Stage

DJ Jeremiah Red
Bear Hands
Bishop Briggs
Nothing But Thieves
The Strumbellas
Lukas Graham

We didn't catch the first few since I didn't know some of them. The first ones we went over to the smaller stage to check out was Nothing But Thieves as the radio station up in Portland has played their song Trip Switch before (94.7 fm, Alternative Portland). I had also heard of the Strumbellas from listening to that station too. Had a good view of Nothing But Thieves with the exception of some tall people as it was standing room type of situation and well, I'm short. The Strumbellas were on the other stage, so I couldn't see them very well.

I really enjoyed Nothing But Thieves, who are from the UK.  They had good energy and it was easy to see how much the members of the band put themselves into their performance. If you haven't heard them before, I recommend checking them out. Trip Switch is a great song but others are enjoyable too. I don't have many of their songs attached to novels yet, but the one is going with Renegade and Quarantine for sure.

From the Strumbellas, I do like Spirits. It's a good song in general. I don't have any of their songs on playlists at this time but suspect that will change in the future.

Had no idea who Lukas Graham was but the women standing near me were very excited to see him. Very excited. Made for an interesting experience in the topic of fangirl-dom.



Main Stage

DJ Jeremiah Red
Miike Snow
Fitz and the Tantrums
Cold War Kids
Garbage
The Lumineers
Panic! at the Disco
(not on playlist) Blink-182
Empire of the Sun
Weezer
(Did not perform, hospital situation) Red Hot Chili Peppers


I actually knew all of the bands, though had to hear a song or two in order to remember a couple because I pay more attention to songs than who plays them. Most are ones that get played on the radio station I listen to but I've also heard many of them for years. And yes, I have songs from some of them on novel playlists.

People were really disappointed at the end when RHCP couldn't perform. Okay, more mad than disappointed. I didn't put down a lot of money so that might have influenced my lack of caring, plus all of the other performers did an awesome job. I still would like to see them perform, some day, live and hope things go better for the band with the hospital situation that caused the cancellation.

I enjoyed every performance. Panic! had to be one of the most dynamic performers out of the bunch though a few gave them a run for that title. Empire of the Sun was the most costume orientated and showy. Loved Garbage and despite a fall, she powered through, which shows great on her part as it can be hard to recover in the moment let alone turn it around that quickly the way she handled the situation. Also, a number of the bands have new albums and/or songs coming out this summer and performed some of them for the crowd along with the more popular ones.

Overall, a great experience and while I don't have all on playlists there are more to come in the future as I keep writing. And I may have gotten a novel title for an adult story from the new Fitz and the Tantrums song, maybe. ;-)

Novel Playlists with songs from bands that performed at Weenie Roast:

North West - Weezer (My Best Friend)
Snow - Panic! at the Disco (Ready to Go)
Under the Selfsame Sky - The Lumineers (Ho Hey)
Three Days of Rain - Garbage (I'm Only Happy When It Rains)


More to come. Have several novels that still need playlists. It's on the very long to do list for summer along with the youtube videos. Which, clips of the music festival will be up once I combine everything from my LA trip. Stay tuned for that.


What music groups have you seen live?
What is one song on your current novels playlist you enjoy the most right now?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First Powerlifting Meet and Youtube

At long last, the blog post about the experience I had at my first powerlifting meet. I took part in Elite Spring Challenge within the APA-WPA federation. It was held in Oregon and was a qualifier competition for another meet that will be held in October. Here is the video I put together with the lifts someone was nice enough to film for me along with the details of my experience at my very first and definitely not last powerlifting meet.





Had a great first meet experience. Another lifter offer to have her friend film me too and email it to me, so that was super nice because I had no one (friends or family) there with me. I didn't get all 3 attempts on all of the lifts but overall am pleased with how it went. Considering making notes on kg during training instead of just lbs to practice cause that conversion was a little rough at times when making decisions on my next attempts, maybe.

Squat - 3 white lights on the first two but failed on near 210, started to lean forward when trying to grind it out but that's okay. Got 198 on second attempt and all of my attempts were kinda slow, so things to work on.

Bench - First attempt 3 white lights, 1 red on second (not sure reason but eh, still counted) and failed the attempt at close to 125 (pesky conversions). That pause is just too long for me at that weight for now. 115 was my second attempt so that's still my max for good reps though I've done 125 touch and go.

Deadlift - Got all three attempts with just 1 red light on one attempt. I ended up going for a little more than planned on the third attempt as the second went well and trying to pick a decent weight with the conversion. Managed around 248. Not quite at goal of 2 times body weight but getting closer.

For a half minute or so, held a total record, which was kind of fun in the moment as he announced when your attempt was for a record before the lift.

Results, I don't remember the exact kg total but around 560ish lbs. Ended up placing second in the open division for the 132 weight class. This meet was also a qualifier for a "world" meet that is held in the same location in October. So, I'm qualified to compete in that one and can focus my training in preparation for APA-WPA World. Maybe I can get my total to above 600 if I get those last attempts worked out in bench, squat (okay, increase a little on both) and get over 2xbw deadlift. #goals

Really enjoyed the meet. Everyone is nice and encouraging. I had a good time, lots of nerves and energy and can't wait to compete again.


My Youtube Channel

Aside from the video of my lift and a couple lifts I'd put up for a little competition on bodybuilding.com, there are other videos along with future plans. I decided to start my own youtube channel in connection with the topics of this blog.

Fiction & Fitness Youtube Channel

The channel will have similar topics as the blog with a little more emphasis on the fitness than writing as it's a little easier to show video of lifting and food compared to the writing side. There will be writing ones too though, I can guarantee that. I have many plans in how to use topics for the video along with the longer worded stuff for here on the blog. It is a little weird filming myself and hearing my voice on the videos because you sound so very different in your head compared to recordings. Taking time to get used to it but should be more consistent with content as I learn programs, editing and get to posting different videos and blogs.

Coming soon: LA, Music Festival and Novel Updates.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The SMFPA Chapters 7, 8 and 9

Last of the meet prep, or at least the gym time. One thing left after this and that is the competition. Things went pretty well except for getting a cold. It hit me hard for a couple of days then had the lingering parts for a while. Going low calorie is not my recommendation when recovering from a cold, even if you don't feel like eating, but sometimes it just has to be done that way. Been tired and had some rough moments with the cardio but overall, things went well. Can't wait to see the results this weekend.


Chapter 7

OHP

OHP 2x10 @ 45, 1x6 @ 65, 3x5 @ 80 - tough but managed

pull-ups 3x1.5, chin-ups 1x3
tricep push down 4x10 @ 80

cable bicep curl 1x1 @ 80 for fun then 3x10 @ 50
pallof press 3x10 @ 40

30 minutes on elliptical watching Chopped on Food Network



Trying to get a little extra cardio in on a regular basis but nothing crazy. Usually just 20 or 30 minutes. Have the next two days off so can update more soon. Plus tomorrow is squat and going to try it in singlet.

Squat
warm up on elliptical for 10 minutes

Squats 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 1x3 @ 185 with belt
working sets with belt 3x1 @ 200 (1 & 3 were grindy)

sumo deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 170 and 3x5 @ 195

20 minutes on elliptical but didn't care for the show on Food Network


Bench
Bench 2x8 @ 45, 1x6 @ 75, 1x5 @ 95 and 3x1 @ 120

db bench press 4x4 @ 40
bent over row 4x6 @ 90

cable tricep pushdown 3x10 @ 80
cable bicep curl 3x10 @ 60

That is all. Skipped cardio as it was late and needed to do a thing before bed for the 250k challenge that ends today. Was very pleased that 120 went well as I didn't fail or anything on it. One more weekend of lifting then it's rest until the meet. Getting closer, so quick and slow at the same time.

Deadlift
low bar squat 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 3x6 @ 135

Deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x3 @ 185, 1x3 @ 205 and 3x1 @ 230

I also forgot my belt and didn't use my straps making this a minor PR on deadlift since my max without straps was 225. I have done 235 with straps for 2 reps and the belt is still new to the mix. Was happy with the performance even though it was slow, especially that last rep.

Did slow cardio on elliptical just cause and watched Cutthroat kitchen but by the end felt very blah. I would sleep all day but I still have 2 work days, then I will have my two days off.

Chapter 8

Squat
Squat 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135, 1x3 @ 185 and 1x1 @ 200
185 and 200 were with belt

overload @ 280 for about 12 count though didn't step back after unracking cause wow was it heavy

Then just 35 minutes on the elliptical to watch food network.

Bench and Deadlift

bench 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 75, 1x5 @ 95, 1x1 @ 105 and 1x1 @ 115
-this went pretty well, just feeling out cause upper strength is slow back after cold

deadlift 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 185, 1x1 @ 230 and well that's all cause failed 240
-tried to follow plan but couldn't get 2 @ 230 but tried 240 anyways. I was slow off the floor on 230, which was unusual too. 240 went a couple inches and no more.


Body Weight: 131.8


Chapter 9

First Attempts
warm up for squats - 2x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 95, 1x6 @ 135
Squats 3x1 @ 185 with belt

warm up for bench - 1x10 @ 45, 1x8 @ 75, 1x5 @ 95
Bench 3x1 @ 105

warm up for deadlift - 1x6 @ 135, 1x5 @ 185
Deadlift 3x1 @ 225 with belt


Imagined the cues on them all. Still a little nervous about that and all of the details that will be different, like the number of people around. Wish I had family or something nearby so that I didn't have to do the whole event alone. I would like to get video but that may not be plausible since no one is going with me. Will have to wait and see.


Watching the weight on the scale as need to be at 132 or less for the weigh in, which is Saturday. Last step on the scale was at 130.4, so should do just fine. Then will be food and the fun. Can't wait to see how my numbers go at the meet. Hopefully this slow cold recovery doesn't affect my strength too much but will have to wait and find out on the big day.

Fun

I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!