Friday Five

1. The kids go back to school on Monday!!! Um . . . and so do I. Did you notice the lack of exclamation points there? Yeah. Having this week off made me realize how nice it is not to have to worry about getting to class. I haven’t worn make-up or styled my hair all week and have hardly left the house (thus the lack of make-up and hair style). Crazy as it is to admit this, it was NICE. The kids were here with me so I didn’t get a lot of writing done, but I managed to do a bit. But it’s been relaxing and I’ve enjoyed not rushing to get everything done. I realized my days are okay most of the time, but the evenings when I have school are hectic (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday). Tuesday the kids have scouts and church activities so it makes it even more rushed. I miss the quiet life.

2. All this has made me reconsider signing up for classes in the fall. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the classes I’ve taken, but my heart just isn’t in it anymore. Not even ceramics. I find myself dreading having to go to class on Monday mornings. Once I get there, I have a good time creating and it has helped my creativity and desire to write . . . but I never stay the entire class time like I did last time I took it (class is from 8:30-2:20). I usually arrive around 9:00 and leave just after noon. This makes me sad. But I also think it might be a good thing because I’ll be able to let it go without much regret (I hope). I’m still not sure what I’ll do about the fall semester, but Spring Break has really made me think.

3. We are going to have a little trip today. Going to drive to Scottsdale to the Apple Store. Hubby is buying an iPad 3 for himself. I bought him an iPad for Valentine’s Day thinking he would be so happy (since he’s wanted one for years). He wasn’t. He thanked me very kindly for the iPad and asked if I wanted to take it back because the new iPad would be released sometime very soon. LOL Yeah, I had no idea! I happily took it back and we waited. The money I’d gotten back from returning the iPad ended up going to buy other things, but we saved up enough to get him one today. He’s excited. I kind of am too because I’d like to see what all the hype is about. The kids have had iPod touches for years and loved them. I just got one a couple of months ago—but since I don’t listen to music much, it’s kind of a waste for me. It was sort of an “extra” and only cost me $100—daughter broke hers, I bought her a new one, and we got the broken one replaced—so it’s not a total waste. Plus, I get to play Angry Birds on it. Our youngest son is the only child who doesn’t have his own iPod touch and he plays with “mine” a lot. I’m thinking of giving it to him since I really don’t use it.

4. I want brownies. I’m too lazy to make them. I won’t have brownies.

5. The snow we got on Sunday and Monday is all melted away and it’s feeling Spring-like today. I’m not sure how long it will last, but it’s put me in the mood to do some cleaning. This got me thinking about Spring Cleaning and how it relates to writing (it does—bear with me).

Revising a manuscript is a lot like spring cleaning. We’ve gone through the motions of fixing a few things here and there as we wrote (or not—depending on your method), but we know there are still a few things that need deeper cleaning.  After letting the manuscript sit for a while with out much being done to it (or ignoring it completely—like those places under the sink etc.), we pull it out.

Now it’s time to dive in and really get down to work. We obliterate the sticky cobwebs (weedy words), polish those sentences (tightening), and take away all the dust (back story and exposition). When all is said and done, our manuscript is clean and polished and all ready for spring (submission).

See? I told you revision is like spring cleaning. I’ve almost finished the spring cleaning of my YA manuscript (20 pages to go). Then I get to go back to the MG and finish rewriting it—then it will be time to spring clean it as well (though I’m doing quite a bit of that as I go along—it’s kind of a rewrite/revise situation).

I hope you all have a great weekend (and clean up those manuscripts)!

Write Clean on!

About Joan Stradling, Author

Joan Stradling is a middle grade and YA author of stories with magical elements. She loves painting, baking, crafting, pet wrangling, and anything else she can fit into her schedule. A passionate believer in the power of books, she still hopes to one day ride a dragon, meet a Hobbit, or discover new worlds by walking through a wardrobe. In the meantime, she imagines and writes about her own incredible worlds and characters–and continues to live vicariously through the adventures in other’s books. You can find her on Instagram (@JoanStradlingAuthor) or Twitter (@justJoanS) or FB (Joan Stradling aka Joan Stewart) Join me on Patreon:
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