Friday, September 07, 2007

Battle Cry of the Procrastinators

A little battle music to get us started...

"Dum...dum, dum, dum...dum, dum, dum...dum, dum, dum! Rising up, back on the street. Did my time, took my chances. Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet. Just a man and his will to survive! So many times, it happens too fast. You trade your passion for glory. Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past. You must fight just to keep them alive! It's the eye of the tiger, its the cream of the fight. Rising up to the challenge of our rivals! And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night and he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger..." (Survivor, Eye of the Tiger)

So we're four days into the SP/PC writing challenge. No timelimits, no minimums, just a race to 140 pages. This could take a week if one of us buckles down or six months if we creep along at our current pace. Who knows what will happen?? So far, it hasn't been too painful, at least for me. I had to psych myself into it, though. I took the last few weeks leading up to the challenge to prepare. I looked at my outline and made a list of major scenes that need to be written. Sure, there will be scenes that come along as I go, but I captured the high plot points to move the story along. I went back and edited what I'd already written so I had a better idea of how many pages I really need to write to be finished. (The goal is 140, but if one of us completes our book at say, 125 pages, the contest will end there and the person with the most pages at that point, even if not done, will win.)

I've also started going to bed about twenty minutes earlier. I choose a scene and lie in the dark, thinking out how it would go. I fall asleep with the scene in my mind and wake up ready to write it the next morning. Instigator has always written her scenes out of sequence as they come to her. The thought of this has always made me crazy, but I'm trying it now. I'm writing the scenes that seem the most alive to me at the time. I'll go back and string them together later. This may not be the best method, but I'm getting words and scenes written, so I say don't knock it till you try it. I have to go back and layer a bunch anyway, so it doesn't matter. The pages don't have to be perfectly revised and submittable to win, but they do have to be clean without gaps, etc., so I'll have to do all that before the race is done.

Of course, it takes the threat of public shame and financial burden of losing to movitate me, but that's ok. I say whatever works at this point. I haven't quite gotten my method down as a writer, so challenges like this force me to work through my issues and get books written. That's the whole point, right? Someone said you have to write a million words before you get to the level that you should be published. That comes out to 12.5 80k books for me. So far, I've cranked out 5, so I still have a way to go.

As of Thursday night, our numbers stand at:

SP:6,500 / 35,000 (18.6%)
PC: 3,750 / 35,000 (10.7%)

There's a long way to go until the mani-pedi is awarded, but I think we're both off to a good start. Is there something in your life you could use a little movitvation to start or finish? Share with us and maybe we can give you a boost to get going.



Nini said...

Congrats on beginning!!!

I need pushes, yells, nudges, shoulder slams on finishing my diet first, and my wip next....

Now i'm off to finish getting ready for school. I despise getting up at 5AM...No one should be up at o'dark nothing.

Nini ;)

Today's verification: AFWWVX...I thought it quacked aflac

Angel said...

I agree with you, Nini. I can always use encouragement dieting. I just wish I had the courage to get started, so I can get around to finishing. :(

This challenge has motivated me a lot, though I'm not part of it (thank God). I got 6 pages done last night. Woohoo! Today is preschool for the little one, which means more writing! But none on Saturday, with HOD's all day workshop I'll be bushed.


My word verification: lbjaq. I thought it said Iraq

Rhonda Nelson said...

Like nini, I need a nudge in the pants on the diet thing. Ugh...

Jen said...

Most of the time I need a boot to the hindside to exercise.

Instigator said...

Exercise? What's that?

I need some help staying on this diet. I'm yo-yoing the same 2 pounds back and forth and it's driving me nuts. Of course, if I could stay on plan then I might have a fighting chance of losing the last 7 pounds.


word verification - ozxmejuk ox me junk? It's too early in the morning to type that.

Problem Child said...

Wait...I thought the pages had to be of submittable quality.

We might be headed towards a "ruling from the judges," if we had any.

Yeah, I'm behind. But I have all day to catch up. Plus, as SP told me last night, the whole purpose was simply to get us to write *something* instead of dithering around.

I'm going to be singing eye of the damn tiger all day long now...

Smarty Pants said...

Well, I think there are coherent, well-punctuated pages without gaps, etc., and there are prefect, critiqued, ready to submit to an editor pages. My final pages are pretty clean (I write in final draft anyway) but I'm still going to want to go back over them before I put them in the mail.

Either way...we are writing for the first time in forever, so... carry on!

Playground Monitor said...

I've put back on 3 of the 5 pounds I lost and I really need to lose them again before my sister and I go on a cruise the first of November. But I love carbs so...


Problem Child said...

Since I somehow lost the pages I wrote yesterday, I'm going have to take my meter back 5 pages.


robynl said...

I need a boost to get started again on my Memory Album; since Mom and Dad passed away(4 yrs. and 2 yrs. respectively) I have not been in the mood to continue on. Help!!!

Smarty Pants said...

Robynl, just looking through catalogs of scrapbooking supplies usually gets me fired up to start working one one of my albums. That or some scrapbooking magazines that give me ideas and inspire me to try something new. I've inspired myself in quite a bit of debt. :)

As for dieting...somehow I got myself into 2 challenges this month. The Great Writing Challenge and a WW activity points challenge. I should be dictating my story while I walk around the neighborhood...

Kathy said...

I should be in a weight loss challenge. I hate myself right now. Ugh! I can't wait until I can exercise safely again.

Great job getting started on the writing challenge, SP and PC! Keep up the good work.

I'm obsessing on my presentation for tomorrow. I have weird images of complete failure and dumbfounded faces staring at me with mouth's agape in my head. Argh! Plus, I've got so much to do on top of getting ready for it and hardly a quick step to get me there. Alas, no football game for me tonight. I'm not allowed. :-(


Nini said...

Well my day sucked. How about yours? Here's what i posted on another board...and yes, it's the God's honest truth.

Honest to goodness today was a b*tch of a day. It's not a full moon, nor is it report card day or anything. Just a regular Friday. I was so frustrated that i wanted to grab her head and throw her thru a wall, but did i? No, of course not. This is what happened.

I had my first class - 8th graders. All went well. We laughed, we worked, they went on the computers. No problems. This was first and second period.

Third and fourth come my 6th graders. I love them. They're so willing and malleable. Anyhow, we begin work. All is great. Then we split up into groups. One to the computers, one to the reading area and one in front of me.

Then it begins.

Mrs. M....over and over again from the computers. Then it's not working. I don't understand. Why does the computer hate me? Pulling on my sleeve, standing over me, yelling in my ear. They were like 2nd graders today. I don't teach elementary school.

Finally i said STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not move, do not say one word. I go over to the first boy - he didn't put his password in the right way. We fixed it and he went on like a good little boy, having a blast on the computer.

I went to the 2nd little boy - i stood there, told him exactly how to put his name into the computer. Last name first, the first 5 letters. No space. Next is his first name - the first 3 letters. They use this FOR EVERY SINGLE COMPUTER IN SCHOOL. It should look similar to:


That's what it should look like. Do i have it posted at every computer? Yes. Is it posted on the bulletin board above the computers? Yes. Is it in their folders? Yes. Then what's the problem you ask?

They forget.

So i said to this boy - Phillip - Check it over again. Check it five more times while i help these girls. If it does it again 5 times, i'll come back. He whined and began to cry.

I went over to the one girl - she typed her first name in, then her last. We fixed it - and then she forgot her user password. It's her student ID - used for lunch. How could you forget it? She's had it for the last 3 years at elementary school and now it's in middle and she'll have it in high school. We get that started, and finally she's ready to go.

Then the last girl. Sigh** By this time, i'm frazzled.

"My name's not going in. The computer hates me." She's whining, very loudly i might add. I tell her we speak in a classroom voice, not an outside voice. The only outside voice allowed in this class is mine.

I sit down, type in her name and fix it...then she sits down and two minutes later, she yells for me. I told her to wait and she stood up and took a tantrum. Yep - 6th grade. I motion to her to sit and wait - stop crying - but she stomps over and pulls on my sleeve, still yelling.

I help the girl i'm talking to - then help the 2nd boy - who's still putting his first name in first and then his last and finally turn to the girl. I take her hand, pull it off my shirt.

I said:

Taylre - yes - taylor but spelled the other way - take your hand off me. You do not touch me. You do not grab me. You do not yell at me. You do not whine at me. You sit down and you wait for me to get to you. I have other students in my classroom. You are not the only one. Go sit down!

She stomps away and i finish helping three students finish their paragraph we were working on. Taylre is now kicking the chair, moving the keyboard all around. I get everyone together, excluding Taylre, and have them sit down with books. I tell them this is silent time. No talking at all. First person i hear talks, earns them lunch detention on Tuesday.

Blessed silence.

Then Taylre's voice comes shrieking through the room. I'll show you pictures of my area later....

"Mrs. M................GET OVER HERE NOW!"

The media specialist, the corrective reading specialist and the special education coordinator just happened to walk thru my area at that time. They all stopped and looked at her. She's a very big girl for a 6th grader - and she's standing there, hands on hips, screaming at me.


This is about where i lost it. I held my hand up to the other teachers and said - i'll take care of this right now - was there something you needed? They said no and left. I looked at my other students who were reading...they were so angry at Taylre. I nodded to them, said keep reading and that i was sorry Taylre interrupted their quiet time. Then i walked over to her.

I sat down at the computer, began shutting it down to reboot and she's standing behind me, pulling on my shirt and screaming at me. I said:

Fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff and then stopped. Yes - i almost said F**K it to a kid.

I changed it to fart - shut the whole thing down, pointed to her chair and told her to sit down, we'd talk when the bell rang.

She stomped over to her chair, kicked it out and sat down, crossing her arms over her chest, pouting.

I had the rest of my kids finish up, reminded them of their test on Tuesday, homework due on Tuesday. The bell rang and they sat still. I said - thank you for remembering that I dismiss you, not the bell. Go and have a great weekend. Taylre don't move.

Now it's my planning time. I sat down, took out a referral paper and filled it out. I told her to grab her books and follow me. I took her to the assistant vice principal who read it the whole thing. I also sticky noted who walked in when she was mouthing off at me. He put her in a room and told her he was calling her mother.

Then he walked with me back to my room, and quietly asked if i wanted a drink. LOL!!! I said no -i just need 5 minutes to gather my thoughts. I told him i almost cursed her out - he said it's okay. You didn't. Let it go.


The last two periods had heard of what went on - and they were just absolutely wonderful - my 7th graders. Except for the one who slept. That was even better. No freaking way tonite. Tonite is chocolate cake, with chocolate chip cookies and chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate sauce....Need i say more?


Angel said...

Oh, Nini. Bless your heart, hon. Sounds to me like that one has some disciplinary issues. And congratulations on your patience. I wouldn't have had half as much.

Eat all the chocolate cake you need tonight--it counts as no calories whatsoever! :)