Row 80 Round 2 Goals

The last round wasn’t so good for me, but I’ve learned that life has ebb and flow, so I’m just putting the last round down to an ebb tide, right?  ( I think that’s the right phrase, being landlocked in Kansas I don’t get much ocean exposure!)

I’m going to keep it simple this time and focus on a three-pronged approach to my goals, and focus on me as a writer a little bit more.

I found a copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way at Bookaholic the other day, and since I’ve been feeling blocked creatively for the last, oh say, 30 plus years, it seemed worth a shot.  The book is a twelve week program for getting un-blocked and tapping into your creativity, and a Row 80 is about 12 weeks, so seemed pretty coinkydinky to me!

1.  I will work through the lessons one week at a time, and do all the homeworks involved with it.

I am also going to get serious about some diet and excercise this round.  I did the Body for  Life program several years ago and had excellent results.  I got lazy and distracted and let some things go (my middle, butt and thighs!) but it’s time, for reasons I won’t get into here, to get serious about taking care of myself.  And a Body for Life challenge lasts 12 weeks, so I’m surrounded by coinkydinks!

2.  I will commit to my clean eating and exercise plan for the entire twelve weeks.

And the writing?  It’s time to put up or shut up, and get busy writing an ugly, messy, imperfect little draft of my idea that sits and chews on my brain stem all day long.  First drafts are supposed to be ugly, messy and imperfect so I’m giving myself permission to make puke stains on the page.

3.  I will write a rough draft of my novel.  This draft will be more like a very long synopsis, but at least it will be words on the page.

So how many of you are Rocking the Row this go-round?  Chime in and lets hang out together!

Magical March book review– Game of Thrones

Well.

I’m rather at a loss for how to sum up this book.  I finished it in a sleep deprived binge Friday into Saturday morning, and as soon as I have an opportunity to, I’m going to re-read it.

Game of Thrones is a book you don’t simply read.  It is a book you experience.  From the opening prologue through the stunning conclusion, you get sucked in and dragged along for a ride you aren’t sure you really want to be on, but you can’t manage to get off of.  You find yourself seeing things coming, and trying to shout a warning to the characters to JUST FREAKING STOP RIGHT THERE! But they can’t hear you.  Or don’t want to listen.

Martin does a brilliant job of creating complex, believable characters with strong motivations who are usually their own worst enemy, as we all are in real life.  And, as many of you well know, he isn’t afraid to treat them badly.  Very badly.  And because you come to see yourself mirrored in them, it hurts when things go wrong for them or when they do stupid, stupid things.  Just like life.  A happily ever after is not a given.

SPOILER ALERT

 

 

 

 

 

Because of my stupendous ability to be a spoiler magnet, and HBO’s ability to give me free service at exactly the wrong time, I knew Eddard Stark would meet an untimely end.  What I didn’t realize until reading the book was that his demise was a direct result of his own failings, his own ability to completely underestimate Cersi Lannister.  And dude, she warned him!  Multiple times.  I tried to also, but apparently he couldn’t hear me either.

I have a friend who is a major Martin junkie, and she told me that a lot of people who watched the HBO series were outraged when ol’ Ned got done in.  Apparently they hadn’t read the books.  But I think part of the problem was that they mistook Ned for the protagonist, which he is not.  In a story as complex with as many story lines as this one, it’s hard to pull out just one main protag, but at least in this first book, it’s definitely Cersi.  The protagonist drives the story, and Cersi is definitely the driving force here.

The other great thing about Martin’s writing , for writers, is that he presents a clinic on story tension with every paragraph of this book.   Every word serves to create micro tension, and as much craft as there is in every paragraph, I can see why it takes him so long to write the next damn book.  He also does a brilliant job of writing in different POV, and yet giving you enough that you realize what the POV character doesn’t.  Example:  Sansa.  All I’m going to say about her is that her choices led her to where she is and I really can’t feel sorry for her.  And plucky little Arya.  I’m afraid to get too attached to her, but it’s tough.

Anyway,  Game of Thrones is definitely not casual reading, but it’s great reading.  Experience it for yourself.  But…

I warn you…

Photo courtesy of Better Book Titles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will read all the rest of the books, and as long as it takes me I may be caught up by the next time he releases a book, say in five years or so.

* Bummer.  Apparently I didn’t get this posted in time for it to count for the Magical March challenge.  I didn’t remember seeing a deadline, but oh, well.  My bad.  So I won’t get my sorceress button.  Maybe next year.