Friday Funny with Writing and a Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

It’s Fridayyyyyyyy!

So, is it just me, or did every day this week feel like Friday? Seriously, each morning my alarm clock went off, I thought, “Yippee! It’s Friday–No, wait. It’s not. Not even close. Beepity-beep!”

I was very happy when I woke up this morning and realized it was Friday–for real. Woo-hoo!

Anyway, it was a busy week for me, but a productive one. I’m proud of myself for not getting too caught up in the mad dash of life and focusing hard on my manuscript. Since last weekend, I’ve knocked out four new chapters, each one approved by my beta reader.

If I keep up this pace, I might finish my second draft by November 1st. Which means I’ll have two months to edit a third draft. Which means I just might have a presentable draft done by my deadline of January 1st.

*fingers crossed*

Besides writing my booty off this week, I had some fun too. I celebrated my dad and sister’s birthdays (back-to-back days), and then put together my costume for my family’s Disney-themed Halloween party this weekend. I had wanted to go as Ursula from The Little Mermaid (you know, do my hair all crazy like octopus tentacles), but my nephews demanded I go as Elsa from Frozen.

Okay, my costume won’t be nearly as glamorous as Elsa’s, but people will get the general gist–er, hopefully.

I also spent some time this week shooting photos and video clips for my friend’s latest film for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. These films are silly, but I love contributing to them. They’re a great way to bring the NYC Midnight writing community together, build friendships, and have fun. Oh, and laugh at myself.

A lot.

JennaDisney1Like the last round, I needed to use the story I wrote for round 2 as my inspiration. Since Operation Disney revolved around the recent debacles of the Secret Service Agency and Julia Pierson’s absurd Disney quote (“We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting…”), I decided to dress up like Mickie Mouse and wave around a toy gun while singing/dancing to “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”.

Here are just a couple of the clips I took:

(And, yes, feel free to laugh/shake your head/mock me. I don’t care–ha!)

I know I look ridiculous, but I actually had a blast while filming. Sometimes it’s therapeutic to let go, act like an idiot, and laugh at yourself, you know? And I laughed at myself a lot. There were many blooper moments, one of which included me accidentally hitting the trigger on the toy gun and dropping it in surprise when it made that motor-like sound. I wasn’t ready for it!

Anyway, here is today’s Friday Funny. I thought it was fitting after taking those pictures and video clips for my political satire piece. The day I wrote Operation Disney, I did quite a bit of research and Googled a variety of things, including Secret Service Agency, Air Force One, Obama, attack, guns, Russia…By the end of the day, I said, “Well, that probably put me on the NSA’s watch list.” 😉

Enjoy!

10671284_10152514271928432_1697126134585438931_nHow was your week? Busy? Calm? Do anything goofy and silly? I know many of you are preparing for NaNoWriMo. How’s it going? Are you ready for it?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Explosions – Ellie Goulding

You Know You’re a Writer When…Awkward Introductions

Yes, Agents Google Writers

Photo credits: 

http://giphy.com/gifs/DImeco37S0Fl6

http://ynaija.com/teen/these-are-the-problems-of-todays-social-media-girl-her-facial-expressions-are-just-too-funny-look/

https://www.tumblr.com/search/self+five

http://tatara94.deviantart.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ericjodomfb/photos/pb.195590938431.-2207520000.1414167501./10152514271928432/?type=3&theater

Friday Funny with Paint, Chocolate, and Wallow

There isn’t much to say except:

Well everyone, this week was a doozy on the writing front. In a nutshell, I felt like this:

So, last weekend I sent my beta reader my latest two chapters. She liked them, but she wasn’t crazy about their setting. “I wasn’t wowed,” she explained. “This is a big moment, and you nailed the emotions and the action, but the actual location wasn’t thrilling. I wanted…more.”

Always more, Mrs. Beta Reader. That’s all you ever want. More, more, more

Yeah, yeah. I know what you’re all thinking: “It’s good your beta reader pushes you to do better–to give a reader more. That’s their job.” I know, I know. But, still. Grrrrr.

The problem is–and I know you’ll find this bizarre considering I’m passionate about novel writing–I’m not a fan of painting a setting. The sky, the clouds, the house, the trees…blah, blah, blah. If I could, I’d literally say, “There’s an old house that’s creepy and scary. Get it? Got it? Good. Let’s move on.”

Horrible, I know. But, unfortunately, true.

And these chapters my beta reader wanted “more” from are all about painting a setting. So, rewriting them this week has. Been. Pure. Torture! Compared to writing dialogue and action sequences, describing a location is hell for me. Going from blank page to vivid scene is a rough and frustrating process. There’s lots of writing, deleting, crying, screaming, writing, deleting, groaning, kicking, writing, deleting…

…punching my computer in the face. Apologizing to my computer for punching it in the face. Punching it again. Apologizing again…

Seriously, by the time I finished revising these chapters last night, I felt like this:

Okay, Okay, I wasn’t that bad. But I really wanted to curl up with a big bag of peanut M&M’s and wallow. Maybe chow down on some cookie dough ice cream, a slab of fudge, and an entire chocolate cake.

What? Every writer is allowed to gorge on chocolate once in awhile, right?

Right?

Fingers crossed my beta reader gives me the thumbs up on the new location I painted for her. If she doesn’t, then I will be buying a GIANT bag of peanut M&M’s and I will be wallowing….And then, after my pity-poor-me party, I will roll up my sleeves, gnash my teeth, and try again. Because, as the saying goes, “You fail only if you stop writing”.

Right?

Anyway, in honor of my rough writing week, here is today’s Friday Funny. Enjoy!

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How was your week? Wallow worthy? Or full of rainbows and glitter and blah blah blah? 😉

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

Music Monday – Love The Way You Lie – Eminem and Rihanna

You Know You’re a Writer When…Alter Ego

8 Words to Seek and Destroy in Your Writing

Photo credits:

http://stevencee.com/author/stevencee/

http://giphy.com/gifs/b55x0VFpFKm7S

http://www.gifwave.com/3kSL/reaction-cameron-diaz-the-holiday-grrrr-gif

http://giphy.com/gifs/obG1fKl754GZ2

http://fivefootattack.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/the-five-foots-top-five-christmas-movies/

http://itsbetterblonde.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/hey-guys-learn-your-manners/

http://rebloggy.com/post/funny-humor-book-write-epic-fail-writting-distractions-to-write-writing-humor-st/32599840340

Friday Funny with a Birthday and Woot Woo

Happy Friday to one and all!

Well, I had one heck of a distracting week. In fact, I was so busy, I didn’t even get one word written for my manuscript. I didn’t even think about it that much. Eeks!

First off, I had my birthday on Tuesday.

Overall, it was a quiet celebration this year. Actually, most of my birthdays are on the quiet front. Believe it or not, I’m not a fan of the spotlight. Opening presents in front of people, having a group sing happy birthday to me, getting a cake with my name on it…Yeah, I pretty much burst into flames and go up in a flare of mortifying smoke every time. If I could, I’d happily hide in my house all day on August 19th, and then– slowly and cautiously–creep back out on the 20th.

Don’t worry. I didn’t do that. I went over to my family’s after work for my favorite home cooked meal–breakfast for dinner–had some cake (best part of a birthday in my opinion), and opened some great gifts. My family knows me way too well. They gave me a book, gift cards for more books, my favorites snacks (Craisins and granola bars), and a hilarious card.

unnamedI have a few other plans with friends, but they’re aware they’re not allowed to make a big deal about my birthday, so we’ll just be going to dinner and hanging out like we’d normally do…And if my friends are reading this, I mean it. This is your warning: No singing waiters or I’ll put you into one my stories and give you the boot! 😉 )

The other big part of my distracting week was the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2014. On Wednesday, I received confirmation for my entry, Inevitable, and was able to post it to both my blog and the competition’s forum. For the past couple of days, I’ve been doing nothing but reading and reviewing other people’s stories, and also receiving feedback for my own.

So far, the reviews for Inevitable have been positive!

Here are a few comments from my fellow competitors:

Suspense is right, I actually held my breath at one point.  And that ending!!

Damn! Just…damn.

I felt like I was there! It unfolded like a suspenseful movie, and I was totally on board with being along for the ride.

Amazing! Everything about this moved me.

The biggest compliments I’ve received thus far have been about my dialogue and character development. Everyone seems to agree I nailed both, and that makes me so happy! I’ve been working my booty off lately on improving those aspects in my stories, so it’s awesome to see my hard work paying off.

Of course, there have been constructive criticisms as well–which I’m more than happy to hear. One of the main reasons I do this competition is to learn and grow, and I can’t do that unless I hear what’s “wrong” with my story.

Anyway, that’s about it. Busy week, but a good one. I will be plunging back into my manuscript this weekend to get back on track with that. It shouldn’t be too hard. I’m right at the juiciest chapters of the book, so it’ll be fun once I rev up the creative engines again.

In honor of my birthday this week, here is today’s Friday Funny–well, Funnies. I couldn’t decide, so you get two!

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633d5e26caa8877ac29ef931b73abf3fHow was your week? Distracted? Focused? Anyone else have a birthday? August seems to be a popular month for them, so I’m sure someone out there had one.

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here you go!

I Made It – Round 1 – NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2014

Inevitable – 1st Round Entry – NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge Entry

5 Things to Know When Pitching to Literary Agents

Photo credits: 

http://imogenpoots-rph.tumblr.com/post/29738573493/did-i-really-hit-200-followers-within-a-week

http://verymerrydisneybirthdays.tumblr.com/post/28191748051/happy-birthday-alice

http://bitsofada.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/hugh-laurie-at-the-annual-sag-awards/

http://hellogiggles.com/amy-poehler-life-coach-15-things-shes-taught

http://imgfave.com/view/2106241

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ae/b9/76/aeb97696b7c0bbe74cd13230d11ead11.jpg

Friday Funny with a Reminder: Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Ahhh, it’s Friday. Friday, Friday, Friday!

In a nutshell, my week was similar to the last few: calm and productive. I’ve continued traipsing through the revisions for my YA manuscript, and despite my ongoing sluggish pace, I feel good about them. As planned, I sent my beta reader the first five chapters of my story, and she gave them the thumbs up.

Hallelujah!

When I received her positive feedback, I did a little happy dance. I was so delighted! And astonished. And relieved. She isn’t an easy critic to please (hence the reason she’s my beta reader). But she genuinely enjoyed my first five chapters. Here were a few of her comments:

I read the chapters and all I can say is other than some typos and descriptions–like you said just read for the content–well I could not stop reading it. I mean really. I never wanted to stop and you kept me guessing

I chuckled off and on throughout and felt the story’s lightness–not too deep and dark–yet. Your character development was perfect

I am anxiously awaiting the next set.

I will be sending the next two chapters to her tomorrow. I’m not as happy with them–something just feels off…Hopefully my beta reader will be able pinpoint what the problem is. Or maybe I’m just over thinking things and need to carry on. Which I will, as always. 🙂

Unfortunately, my 9-5 job has picked up its pace and workload, so I won’t have as much free time to devote to my manuscript. Blerg! Fingers crossed I’m able to deal with it and just keep writing, especially since I’ve made it an official goal to have a solid draft completed by August 15th. That’s when the first round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2014 kicks off.

So, basically, I won’t have a life the rest of summer. Adios world. See ya later.

Oh well. As the saying goes, “Dreams don’t work unless you do”, right?

*big breath*

In honor of the slightly overwhelming amount of work I have ahead of me, here is today’s Friday Funny:

a-ha-ha-wr-be-a-writer-funny1How was your week? Are you feeling stressed? Or you are kicking back and enjoying some fun in the sun? I won’t resent you if you are…Okay, okay. I might resent you a little 😉

Jen’s Weekly Roundup
In case you missed my posts from earlier this week, here go:

Music Monday – Good Girl – Carrie Underwood

Why You Should Enter the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge 2014

The First 250 Words of Your Manuscript

Friday Funny with Ahhhs and Errors and Tornados

This week, you guys…I swear…AHHH!

 Okay, hold on. Let’s start off on a positive note…

So, last weekend I finally overcame my blah, lazy, “I don’t wanna work on this” mood with my manuscript. Woot, woot! Every time I open it now, I’m there, eager to write and tell my characters’ story. Better yet, I’m gradually getting past that dreaded middle section and entering the end zone–aka, the fun zone, filled with plenty of action-packed, twisting-turning, “Ahhh!” moments. I can’t wait to write them!

Okay, so now for the not-so-good stuff.

Despite my refreshed motivation, it’s been near impossible to sit down and write. Last weekend was brimming with pre-planned/pre-committed events, including a birthday party, volunteer work, and my youngest nephew’s church dedication. Add in my regular chores and life stuff, and I only managed to write about 3,000 words 😦 . However, I didn’t let my lack of production get me down. With great determination, I used my newfound motivation to carry me into the workweek. And it did! On Monday and Tuesday I wrote nearly 7,000 words! Yay, right?

Well, hold your applause.

On Wednesday, I went to open my manuscript and discovered those 7,000 words from Monday and Tuesday were gone. Poof! Zap! Bye bye!

How did this happen? I don’t know! The only thing I can figure is I accidentally saved/replaced the wrong file. *cue screams and tears*…So, yeah. That sorta killed my writing mojo on Wednesday. Once the horror of this erroneous event faded, I made a decision to simply outline those lost chapters, rather than rewrite them. This is a first draft, and these are middle chapters, so why bother rewriting them? As long as I know where the story’s going, it’s fine.

…Still, it hurts. That was A LOT of hard work to lose.

Anyways, if that wasn’t enough, my afternoons the past two days have been interrupted by tornados and lots of hail.

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Twice now, my co-workers and I have been ordered to leave our desks and take shelter in the basement (don’t worry, I grabbed my flash drive with my manuscript on it before I fled and took cover, haha). To be honest, I’ve been far more annoyed than scared by all the severe weather. I’m in Denver, so I haven’t been too concerned about an F-4 sweeping through town. Honestly, I’ve been more worried about flooding and hail damage. AND losing precious writing time, which I have.

Seriously, I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West has been mocking me all week.

“I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little manuscript, too!”

*grumble grumble*

All I can say is thank goodness it’s Friday, and thank goodness it’s Memorial Day Weekend. I will be spending the majority of the next three days writing–writing, writing, writing! Because, I’m not gonna lie, I’m panicking a little here. I have all this pent up excitement/momentum/energy, and if I don’t use it soon, I’m afraid it’s going to disappear just like those lost chapters.

So, with that said, here is today’s Friday Funny…Or maybe this week it’s more like a Friday Freakout?

496a7cfc9242eae53a77be2bb2537097Hope your week was better than mine, and no tornados tried to sweep you off to the Land of Oz.

…Okay, time to hop to it. Let’s write!

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

Music Monday – Take It Off – Kesha

Jen’s Top 10 “How Have You NOT Read This” YA Books

Make Your Character Reactions Twice as Interesting

Friday Funny and Slowly but Surely

Friday! Friday! Friday!

…It’s FRIDAY!

Well, I’m not gonna lie. It’s been a rough week on the manuscript front, ladies and gentlemen. I only managed to knock out around 9,300 words…Yeah, I know that’s better than nothing, but I’d planned on writing A LOT more than that. Honestly, I just couldn’t get my act together. Between a draining allergy attack earlier in the week, and a never ending pile of ads at work, it’s been a nightmare finding the time and energy to sit down and write.

Another part of the problem is I’ve completely lost the insane momentum and natural rhythm I had going before round 2 and 3 of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t recapture it.

What makes this even tougher is I’ve reached the dreaded middle portion of my story. Historically, this is when I slam into a brick wall, even when I do have momentum carrying me. And, historically, this is when I give up and go allll the way back to chapter one to begin revising. However, I made a deal with myself at the start of this draft. I told myself, “You’re not allowed to start over. No matter how hard it gets or how many obstacles try to trip you up, you gotta push through.” AKA, NO STARTING OVER ALLOWED!

Thankfully, I’ve got some badass moments planned for my characters in future chapters, so I’m using those as motivation to fight through these foggy middle ones.

Hi-yah! Kablam! Splat!…Oh, yeah. I’m feelin’ it 😉

Anyways, in honor of my “slowly but surely” type of writing week, here is today’s Friday Funny. Enjoy!

DfgRvHow was your week? Are you on a roll? Or are you feeling sluggish and “blah” like me? If you’re on the blah side, all I can say is push through it. That’s what I’m gonna do here.

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

Music Monday – For the Glory & With These Hands – Civil War Musical

Unforgettable Writing: Use all 5 Senses to Add Emotion

 

Friday Funny and the Return of the Evil Butterflies

Help! Help! They’ve come back. The butterflies. The horrible, pesky, distracting butterflies!

Man, oh man! Ever since the second round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge, I haven’t been able to get my act together. Between a busy work schedule, being sick, and lots of family obligations/events, I haven’t been able to sit down and focus on my manuscript. And when I finally do sit down and get to work, I feel like the Tinman from the Wizard of Oz. Rusty and stiff and, generally, out of whack.

12247176_ori tinman getting oiledOf course, I know the solution to my problem. It’s the same simple solution I came up with a couple of months ago when the “butterflies” first swarmed me: I need to, “Suck It Up and Writer Up!” Stomp down and crush those unnecessary distractions. Focus all of my time and energy on my manuscript and get it done! Don’t let anything hold me back. Fight for it. Charge full steam ahead!


Unfortunately, I won’t be able to put my battle plan into action until next week. This weekend is packed with lots of Easter celebrations, and my nephew’s 2nd birthday party (I’ve been assigned to make Minion cupcakes for it…Yeah, those will be interesting). *sighhh*

Anyways, here is this week’s Friday Funny. I need to remember this as I finish writing the rest of my first draft. I need to remember, especially during these “ugh” moments, that my manuscript doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be written!

24712aba1d4d9ce45de0a3ae30f21a10So, how about you guys? How was your week? Are the butterflies swarming you, too? Or have you squashed those suckers and been productive?

Jen’s Weekly Roundup

Music Monday – Long Shot

Vote For A Dedicated Teacher – AKA My Sister

How to Write the First Draft of a Novel