Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WiP Wednesday

...or What I Have Learned About My Life, Writing, and the Universe.

The titles are synonymous. Take your pick. *wink*

Okay, since I love word math so much:

Freezing Camping last week + Dirty Laundry + Girl Kidlet with a Hacking Cough = No Writerly Progress.

But I did learn a few things. Oh, yes. My brain never turns off, so even whilst (I love that word) searching for black bears, I can stew on other things.

Things I Have Learned About My Life, Writing, and the Universe:

1. The night sky in Wyoming is spectacular. Chalk one up for the universe. Seriously. If you think you've seen stars, you're wrong. Good thing I had to get up and go to the bathroom in subarctic weather or I might have missed that glowing yellow crescent. Universe - 1.

2. 33 degrees is really cold to be sleeping in a tent with "star-gazing" capabilities (meaning the top was see-through mesh). Another point for the universe.

3. Small things like seeing a bald eagle thrill me. This one goes in the "my life" box. Who knew seeing an elk or a marmot would make me so happy? I just wish the moose would've come out of hiding. Doesn't he realize we got up at 5:30 AM just to find him? I guess that one could go to the universe too.

Status: Universe - 3, Writing - 0, My Life - 1

4. The hours spent in a cramped car can count as character research. Trust me on this...yeah, just trust me. Writing - 1.

5. Lame jokes are really lame. And that can be a character quirk. Also, the more one tells lame jokes, the funnier said person becomes until finally, the other people are laughing. Which, of course, is the goal of the lame-joke-teller. Are you following this? Probably not. Le sigh. Writing - 1, Universe - 1.

6. I do not like talk radio, like, at all. My Life - 10,000.

Status: Universe - 4, Writing - 2, My Life - 10,001

7. Rejections don't hurt as much if you have to wait days to receive them. It's almost like you knew they were lurking in the inbox so you were mentally prepared. Or something. Writing - 1, My Life - 1.

8. Watching a buffalo herd move in the mist is awesome. Hearing them snort and seeing their breath in the cold morning air is kewl. Watching them swim across a river is wicked. Universe - 1. My Life - 1.

9. Putting a 10-year-old boy in charge of Entertainment for the trip means you will have zero Entertainment for the trip. Just FYI. My Life - 1. Writing (for those of you with 10-year-old male MC's) - 5000.

Status: Universe - 5, Writing - 5003, My Life - 10,004

10. There's no place like home with family, dirty dishes, unpaid bills, and overgrown backyards. My Life - Priceless

Question: What have you learned this week? Not how many words you wrote, or how many pages you edited or anything like that. What have you learned this week? About yourself, your writing, or the universe?


Anonymous said...

I love this post! I blogged about the journey of writing today...cause I've learned again and again that I need to focus on the journey I am taking - not on the end goal.

And BTW, #9 had me cracking up!!!

Scott said...

I've learned that I have muscles I didn't know I have . . . and they hurt like heck after starting my 30 day workout challenge. SIGH!

I've learned that my dog Jesse can sense rain, and when he tugs on the leash to go home, I should listen to him. Instead, we both got soaked dashing home. Smart dog!

I've learned that there is always improvement in writing, even if it is eliminating one word in a sentence.

I've learned that the Universe sometimes drops - i.e., the doe in the backyard last night - a pleasant surprise into my path and sometimes, I just need to sit back and watch the doe meander through my backyard on the edges of civilization.

Thanks for the post and the inspiration to figure out what I've learned this week.


Katie Ganshert said...

What a cool blog! Thanks for visiting Brain Throw Up, Elana.

What have I learned this week?

That I like rain...but not when it's all day. I like it much better when it's at night.

That nothing can stop my nine-month old son from climbing the stairs. Nothing. He's one determined lil' feller.

Suzanne said...

I think this is my favorite all time post.

I learned that I am still me no matter what else changes. I can't escape it.

I learned that I am even less patient than I thought I was, me= -1trillion patience.

I learned that I am much better to my family when I am a side dish, not a full meal. ouch.

I learned that if you lurk, but don't comment on blogs, people will unfollow you... which I get and still don't get. I read the blogs I follow, I just don't always have time to comment. Hmmmmmm.

Abby said...

Awesome post! I love Yellowstone, even if there's camping involved. :)

#9 - I'm picturing my son here (he's 11) "What? I brought my DS. That's fun. I'll turn up the volume so you can listen."

Main thing I learned this week, is good friends are invaluable, blogging or otherwise. Especially when I'm so stressed I can't write to de-stress. I love the writing community blogging has created. I think I'd be lost without it.

TereLiz said...

I learned that persistence pays off, and having the support of people who care makes it all worthwhile.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I've learned that bloggers are generous friends, truly willing to help each other. And I learned that fear can't rule my life or stunt success.

BTW. I'm Canadian, so I had to read your #2 twice to connect that you were talking in Fehrenheit (sp?) not Celcius. What a difference!

Cole Gibsen said...

Wow, you lucky duck! Your trip sounds amazing!!!

Sharla said...

Sounds like a great radio or not! LOL.

I learned that (like someone else posted, sorry you beat me to it) when working out for the first time in 5 months, "easy" does not mean easy and when the little interactive chick on the Wii tells me all perkily that my form isn't good, I have murderous thoughts. Especially two days later when it feels like she threw things at me.

I learned a new writing routine of writing longhand at night while my house and life is chaotic, because I don't have to write perfectly in longhand. Then I get up 30 min early and transcribe it all into the computer and tweak it, all while the house is quiet before I have to leave for work. It's workin' for me.

I learned that nothing is more relaxing than sitting in a boat fishing with your spouse watching the sun come up and the water is still glassy and perfect. Priceless.

Icy Roses said...

When we (my family) went to Yellowstone, we saw a moose! But it was a girl moose, so it didn't have the antlers. But it was like two feet from our car, so that was cool. We also saw A LOT of Buffalo, and five bears. We saw an abnormal number of bears; it was weird.

Hmmm, what I have learned this week. I learned to hold onto every moment, because life passes too quickly. We (my friends) watched HSM 3 last night (we're lame Disney channel freaks; I'm over it) for the first time, and we collectively decided it was a good idea we didn't see it in theaters last fall. Because we would've bawled like little babies through the whole thing, having just graduated from high school. We really loved our high school.

And...memories last forever.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I actually took a course in college called the language of math to avoid math math at all costs.

I'm right there w/ you on #3 and I just wrote about #9 the other day.

I'll be back!
~ Wendy

Lisa and Laura said...

Fabulous post!

I'm not sure what we've learned this week...maybe that we shouldn't even consider writing a book unless it's really talking to us. We've been trying to force it for a while, but now that we've finally stumbled on a concept that's really working for us we're writing like fiends.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

I totally hate camping, but if you hadn't (repeatedly) mentioned the whole freezing thing, I'd be totally planning a trip right now just because of the whole amazing nature aspect.

What did I learn this week? Grab a pen - you'll want to write this little helpful household hint down.

When you buy the extra gigantic bag of russet potatoes because they are super super cheap, and you don't have anywhere in the kitchen to store them, it is probably NOT a good idea to use the space between the clothes dryer and the wall. Oh sure, it'll be okay for the first several days when you aren't doing any laundry, but after a day when the dryer is running with several loads... the potatoes will start to stink like dead animal and a blackish goo will begin to seep from the bottom of the bag.

Sigh. Lesson learned.

Eric said...

I've learned that Elana is hilarious. Seriously.

I've learned that little things like "Le Sigh" crack me up beyond measure.

I've learned that being two weeks away from my kids (the two weeks prior to this) really helps me enjoy them being around when they come back.

I've learned how much easier it is for me to just spastically take a topic and run with it than to sit down with one of my WiPs in mind.

Tess said...

so you saw the bald eagle in the nest with it's little baby too? That was beyond cool.

Danyelle said...

I've learned how awesome people can be, and generally are.

I've learned that rejection does hurt, but not as bad when you have a Beloved Spouse Creature to cheer you up.

And, perhaps most importantly, I've learned that no matter how often I vacuum, the tiny tot is going to find something to put in his mouth that he really oughtn't.

Mandy said...

I've learned that there's NOWHERE else on the planet that I'd rather be than Payette Lake at our cabin. I hope that heaven is eternally July with luke-warm lake water and me on a floating raft.

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! Terrific post and terrific comments!

I've learned that I must be solar powered, because when it rains I just sleep all day.

Shelli said...

I learned:

That money does not grow on trees except in corporate america.

that you can only have good credit if you have lots of debit - hm?

that saying its not fair or Im telling my mommmy doesn't work anymore.

that i dont care if everything is taken away - as long as I have my family healthy, safe, and with me.

that no matter how old you get, a parent's love is unconditional, therefore irreplaceable.

Jessica said...

Awesome post Elana! I love each and every one of your points. The lame jokester def. made sense. :-)
What have I learned? Right now, this early, I don't know. I hope I learned something though. It would be sad if I didn't.

WindyA said...

A day late ... but my week's lesson contributed ...

I've learned - internet in Porterville, CA is not an ideal setup.

I've learned that a normally 11.5 hour drive from SLC to P-ville, CA with 2 children under the age of 5 can VERY quickly become 14-15 hours and if you don't laugh about it, it turns into an even worse trek.

And I've learned that I may not have oodles of patience for dealing with things, but so long as I can laugh about it, it will all be okay.

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