Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#IWSG September 2017 Ch-ch-changes and Co-hosting

As I prepared to write this post, I had a chorus of the David Bowie song "Ch-ch-changes" pop into my head. My life is full of changes at the moment. My oldest just started her first year at a four-year college. My youngest just received her driver's license (she had a permit before, but now she can drive on her own), the school year just started and although I'm independently contracted to teach at a homeschool co-op, I'm not really homeschooling my own anymore since my youngest is taking classes at a local community college for the last two years of high school.
Plus, I changed projects again because I have an opportunity to do some travel research for a novel that I buried ten years ago. I stopped working on that novel because I felt insecure about my lack of knowledge - it's a historical fiction novel set in Bohemia in the late 800s and early 900s in what is today the Czech Republic, or Czechia. I can't travel back in time, but I have received an opportunity to do research as my youngest travels with Team USA to compete in the 2017 Olympic Hopes Regatta in Racice, Czech Republic. I'll spend two days in Prague and then follow the team out to Racice to cheer the team during the regatta. It's a super short trip, but I'm hoping to use the time wisely both as a researcher/writer and as a mom.

My insecurity/hope: I am concerned about changing mid-project again. Both projects that I started but didn't truly finish are important to me, but I feel a need to take the opportunity that is right in front of me. I hope that I've made the right choice. If nothing else, I'm going to have a lot of material drafted by the end of this year so next year may be all about revisions.


Co-hosting is a high honor and a privilege. 
Thank you Alex and IWSG family for always being the supporting, encouraging people you are!
Fellow co-hosts this month: Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure.


September question - Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in??
For a genre surprise - A teacher made me write poetry in high school and I was surprised to discover I liked it. Then, I was even more surprised when my first publications came with poetry while my first short stories stacked up rejections. I sent the poetry out on a whim and a dare, not expecting anything while I sweated and worried over the stories. The lesson I learned:  it's best to send out the 99% writing instead of killing it with revisions to get to a 100% polished state. I know many editors might disagree with this statement, but I destroy my writing when I attempt perfection. In fact, I even introduce more grammar mistakes when I spend too much time revising. It's weird. Three drafts and one more check for grammar = time to send it to an outside editor or time to just send it to the world. 

IWSG Anthology Contest:

Genre: Mystery/Crime/Thriller

Theme: Tick Tock. The story revolves around a clock, is time sensitive, or has something about a specific time. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Story deadline: November 1st 2017


- This sounds like a fun anthology! Best wishes to all who enter!

60 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You and your daughter are going to the Czech Republic - wow! Great opportunity for both of you.
Thanks for co-hosting today. Hope you survive the changes.

Lynn La Vita said...

My big surprise was how difficult it was to get started after 18 months of not writing. My heart and mind was fully engaged in coping with constant change and challenge. Thank you for co-hosting IWSG this month.

Joey Resciniti said...

The trip is a wonderful opportunity and in sure you'll come home with lots of stories even if they're not the ones you were looking for. Safe travels!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

It sounds to me like this travel opportunity is a sign you should work on this Bohemia project. Go with your gut! :)

Julie Flanders said...

Wow, what an amazing opportunity for research!! I agree with Madeline, I think it's a sign. So cool.

Lidy said...

Wow that sounds like a thrilling opportunity. Take it and don't feel guilty about it. Now might be the right time to revisit your old novel. Good luck to both you and your daughter.

Chemist Ken said...

My daughter has had her driver's permit for over and year and she still hasn't tried to get her license. She's just not into driving. My 15 year old son on the other hand....

Glad that trying something new worked out for you. Perhaps I'll finally try my hand with the short story format for the IWSG anthology. You never know what might happen.

Thanks for co-hosting this month!

Tamara Narayan said...

I think you are doing the right thing. A trip like that doesn't come around very often, so you should make the most of it.

I think I'm the same when it comes to revising. I love to edit, but I can edit things to death and they lose some of the original freshness and soul in the constant rewording and removing of words.

Nick Wilford said...

Now I have that song in my head! Maybe the time has come to revive that story. Hope you make the most of that trip. I admire you for taking the plunge into the research for such a novel - I know zero about that time and place!

A good answer to the question. There comes a point with revisions when we're really not adding anything and should just leave alone.

Christine Rains said...

I agree with Madeline and say go with you gut. Enjoy your trip and thank you for co-hosting today. :)

Megan Morgan said...

Sounds like you have a great opportunity coming up! Congratulations!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

100% is impossible to achieve anyway.

What a fabulous trip! Enjoy yourself.

Jennifer Hawes said...

I'm jealous! I hope you have a wonderful trip and get lots of research done.

M.J. Fifield said...

What an amazing opportunity! I will forever kick myself for missing my own chance to visit Prague. Have an amazing time!

And I agree with you on the 100% polished state. It's impossible to achieve, but I still can't seem to stop aiming for it.

Carrie-Anne said...

What an awesome travel and research opportunity! I'd love to visit the Czech Republic.

I don't think any writer can ever achieve 100% perfection. Even published stories we thought we'd polished to near-perfection can seem rife for more revisions when we look at them again a few years later.

Shah Wharton said...

Wow - your youngest is with Team USA competing in the 2017 Olympic Hopes Regatta in Racice, in the Czech Republic? That's awesome! And you finally get to research a project you shelved ten years ago; you must be super chuffed! Superb news.

Hubs and I are going to Prague in a couple of weeks for four days, too. We went once before but only over night so there's much more we want to see.

Shah. X

Loni Townsend said...

Woot for the travel opportunity! Hope all the changes in your life turn out for the best. Thanks for co-hosting!

cleemckenzie said...

You're off on a great adventure! Tell us all about that trip and show us your pictures. Thanks for co-hosting today. Great job.

Arlee Bird said...

If life wasn't changing then we wouldn't be living--not much! Sounds like you've got a lot going on with some exciting things ahead. That trip abroad should be very interesting and hopefully highly rewarding to you.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Hart Johnson said...

That is my favorite Bowie song. Does sound like some big changes for you. My baby just left for his sophomore year at college. My older has a job and is never here. My advice is keep up a routine. As your obligations disappear, bad habits can creep in. Instead of writing more, I seem to have obsessively adopted several TV shows I now can't miss. Don't do that.

Laura Clipson said...

I hope you get lots of research done, and have a great time!

Elsie Amata said...

I went to Prague in late 90's. It's beautiful. I hope you enjoy your time there, just like I did. Thank you for co-hosting today!

Enjoy the rest of your week!
Elsie

krystal jane said...

I love that a ten year old project has resurfaced! I'm currently drafting something from four years ago. Those stories really get wedged in there sometimes, don't they? ^_^

Oh gosh, I totally agree with the over editing! I always triple check any sentences I change during the proofreading stage, and without fail, I always make at least one mistake, in either leaving a word out or spelling it wrong. I leave perfection off the table these days. If I'm staring at a sentence for too long, I just move on.

The anthology does sound fun!

Suzanne Furness said...

Sounds like an excellent opportunity to do some research. Sometimes it is hard to change project (I've done it myself) but am sure you will be able to complete both in time. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

Jacqui Murray said...

I love that advice, Tyrean. I am stressing over edits to my latest WIP and pretty sure I am losing my voice with every change. I'm going to take your advice to heart.

Pat Garcia said...

Yes! I've always loved to read poetry but never thought I could write it until I stepped out and did the WEP's April Poetry Challenge.
Thank you so much for co-hosting.
Shalom aleichem,
Patricia Everything Must Change

S.E. White Books said...

Wow, enjoy Prague! And thanks for co-hosting this month

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Hello, Tyrean! This is my first time here. I'll follow your blog and connect with you online.

Oh my gosh! What an opportunity for you in the Czech Republic. And congratulations to your daughter for making the team. Wow! You have much change in your household. Bravo to you for your poetry publications. I enjoy writing poetry as well. Writing takes time, but the projects that speak to you must be completed no matter how long they take. Oh and by the way, I usually overthink my stories and add errors to my revisions, too.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Prague!!! How awesome!!! My daughter studied abroad for her college in Prague. She absolutely loved it and would like to go back. I can't wait to hear all about it. And I hope it helps you research your story!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I forgot to say, thank you for co-hosting, Tyrean! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! Thanks for all the visits! I'm going around to visit at blogs, but I am super thankful for all of the encouragement! I'll come back and try to be better about responding to comments later this afternoon (Pacific time).

Diane Burton said...

Thanks for co-hosting this month. What an opportunity to visit the Czech Republic. You have to take advantage of it and work on that project. You will get back to the others, if they're still important to you. Lots of changes for you. Going with the flow helps cut down the stress. Hard to do, though. Good luck.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

That's not changing mid-stream, that's switching gears at just the right time. That's serendipity...providence...roll with it and enjoy!!

And congrats to your daughters on all of their accomplishments. Awesome!

Jen Chandler said...

What a fantastic opportunity! Do enjoy your travels to Prague. I've heard it's a beautiful and fascinating city. And best of luck to your daughter!!

I love your edit ethic: "Three drafts and one more for grammar." I'm the same way. When I start editing, I find it hard to stop! I've read old drafts I've spent years working on and they're full of inconsistencies. I'm going to agree with you: be as concise as you can with a few drafts and then let the professionals do their job to help mold your work to the best it can be!

Cheers,
Jen

diedre Knight said...

Prague - how exciting! I'd take it as a sign to take another look at the unfinished novel. I know you won't be sorry ;-)
I know what you mean about revising your work to ribbons and I do like your style - that's what editors are for. Editors find room and fill empty spaces, take out the trash and sweep up our grammatical errors. Some even carry tissues for the hard times ;-)
Have a fantastic time!

Erika Beebe said...

I am so excited for you! What an amazing opportunity. I say trust the opportunity and belief it's the right direction :)

Adrienne Reiter said...

Your trip and project sound fabulous! I feel what you're saying. It's possible to edit ourselves into oblivion. Have a great trip, and thanks for co-hosting!

Lee Lowery said...

With an opportunity like this, the Universe is telling you something! But even good change tries to pack its anxiety-ridden baggage. Enjoy each moment as you immerse yourself in all the "what ifs?" Thanks for co-hosting and bon voyage!

Kathryn McKendry said...

It will be an amazing experience to go to the Czech Republic! I'm sure just being there will inspire you to finish what you started years ago! I do the same thing though, I feel I need to keep doing research before I feel comfortable writing some projects but there's always more research that could be done and then you'd never finish! Good luck and can't wait to see all the pics you take while you're over there!

Olga Godim said...

Good luck on your journey. I dream of going to Prague one day.
And you're right about the 99% fiction. Striving for perfection often kills spontaneity and deadens the narrative. It's best to let it go one day and say: "I'm done." Even though everyone knows that a story is never really done, just abandoned.

Samantha Dunaway Bryant said...

I think there's something to be said for finding the right stopping point. You can edit the life out of something if you tinker too long. @mirymom1 from
Balancing Act

Chrys Fey said...

What a great opportunity! Definitely take it. If you care about them, those other projects will still be there when you're ready. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I feel like I've watched your girls growing up and now they're out in the world. I think you're doing the right thing because when will you have that researching opportunity again.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm going through changes too. My daughter and her boyfriend moved out to live in a house with friends on campus. Your trip with your daughter sounds awesome. Glad you're taking advantage of the opportunity.

Juneta Key said...

Have a grand trip. Thanks for hosting. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

erica and christy said...

What a great opportunity! Have fun! I can't imagine a time when my kids will be as old as yours, but with how fast the past 11 years went, I know it won't really be all that long. I teach, so the end of summer/beginning of school year always brings big changes too. (I liked my lazy summer with no set routines! (My oldest started middle school and my youngest kindergarten. It goes so fast!)

Fundy Blue said...

How exciting to have Prague and Racice fall into your lap, Tyrean! Take this chance and run with it! and good luck to your daughter as she competes with Team USA. Thanks for co-hosting today!

dolorah said...

Funny how life seems to be a river, always flowing, never still for long. You readjuct well with the changes.

Thanks for co-hosting.

I know I have over-edited when I find myself putting back edits I'm sure I previously changed. As writers, we are never satisfied; sometimes not even after its published.

Nancy Gideon said...


Thanks for co-hosting this month. On site research is AWESOME! Spending a week in New Orleans gave all sorts of extra layers to my current series. I even set a book where my ex's family held their family reunions in Iowa! Just wait . . . your imagination will grab onto all your experiences and your plotline will runneth over! Take notes. Take pictures. Take it all in! And never apologize for putting a project in the drawer. It's time just wasn't right and know, you're going to be ready to do it justice. Have a fabulous time!!

Patsy said...

You do have a lot f changes going on!

Leaving one writing project to work on another can be a really good thing. We work better because we're doing what we want to - and when we return to the older ones we'll have some distance and be able to read it a little more objectively and tackle it afresh.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - congratulations on daughter one doing her 4 year course, and then daughter two get her driving licence ... while the trip to Czechoslovakia will be amazing ... and spending time in Prague - I was there in the 70s ... when it was shrouded in plastic and dirt after the uprising ... but I gather it is stunning.

Then the rowing in Racice - that will be amazing too ...good luck on the research, the being a good rowing mom and supporter ... just enjoy and then good luck with the writing - cheers Hilary

Liesbet said...

That's a great insight about the drawbacks of striving for perfection. I will keep that in mind. Enjoy the Czech Republic. Prague is a wonderful city - I hope you have time to take it all in and get some writing done! :-)

I think working on two projects provides enough productive distraction and keeps you inspired, but I'm sure there comes a time where both kind of weigh on you and you want to get one (or both) finished! Thanks for co-hosting!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Sounds like a busy, yet exciting, year. Good luck with everything!

Stephanie Faris said...

WOW! You are a busy, busy woman. But it sounds like you're really living, which always provides great writing material.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this moth. Its nice that you are researching a novel you buried 10 years ago. Good luck with everything.

Michelle Wallace said...

I think that's a good plan: to have lots of material drafted by the end of this year so next year you can concentrate on revisions. You're one smart lady!
Congrats on your daughter's placement in Team USA for the 2017 Olympic Regatta in the Czech Republic! It's fantastic that you'll get to visit the country AND do research for that manuscript that's hidden in the back drawer! A win-win!
Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Thanks for co-hosting! I've never had success with poetry, but I used to love writing it. Maybe something to go back to.

Sandra Cox said...

You have so many exciting life-moments going on right now!
I think it's wonderful that you're going to be able to get hands on for a project you set to the side. Your current projects will wait for you.
Best wishes.

Mary Aalgaard said...

I agree. You can kill a story by working and reworking it to death. It's like when I try drawing. I keep adding more detail, or maybe a little color, then it's ruined. Enjoy visiting the Czech Republic! Woo Hoo! What a timely opportunity, and congrats to your kid.

Doreen McGettigan said...

Thank you so much for co hosting this month! Sorry I am so late getting around. It's the story of my fall.
What an exciting opportunity and adventure to have with your daughter!
I've put a pr
Happy writing.oject on hold to work on another this year too. I definitely learned I can't work on two at the same time.