Friday, January 02, 2009

New blog and new weight loss challenge goal

I decided I didn't have enough to do (snort), so I started a new blog yesterday. It's called "Story Seedlings." After nearly twenty years in the writing business, I can safely say the question I get asked the most is "Where do you get your ideas?"

Like they're just lying around someplace and I stumble upon them. Or as if I have a magic formula (take one part old TV show, one part research, mix and voila!).

But the "finding" of an idea -- the first initial spark of a story -- isn't really the tough part. Not by a long shot. Indeed, that spark can come from an old TV show. Or a bit of research. The hard part is taking that initial idea and spinning a 400 page novel out of it.

So what I decided to do was take a potential idea source -- Old Bailey Online (link in my sidebar), which provides an "on this date" feature showing the transcript of an actual case tried at the Central Criminal Court in London -- and demonstrate how I'd take the basic information and start creating a story.

As I note over at Story Seedlings, I'm not sure yet how often I'll be doing that. I'm not quite sure how my time is going to be divided this year, as there promises to be several family issues/events to deal with. But what the heck. I've been toying with this notion for a long time, so decided to go for it. I can't say I'm thrilled with the template/layout I've chosen, so I'll probably play with that a bit today.

I'm also going to continue my weight loss challenge. I expected to gain some over the holidays, and alas, I did -- I'm now at just over 143 pounds again. I didn't walk as much as before, but if I didn't walk, I tried to use the treadmill for at least half an hour. I think there were only two days I didn't do either.

And it's a testament to the Treadmill o' Power that my friend, who used to instruct aerobics, finds it "tough going."

Here's my current plan: I'm eating and drinking everything I want to -- Christmas chocolate, cookies, etc. -- until Monday. Whatever I have left on Monday goes out of the house. And my new weight loss goal? 135 by the end of March.

I haven't been writing, but plan to start on Monday, with an experiment in seeing just how much I can write if I approach the first draft like NaNoWriMo, trying to get as much done as I can in five days or, I hope, two scenes a day.

Here's the (planned) schedule:
Take this weekend and outline. Starting Monday, write one scene (7-9 pages) in the morning, break for lunch and exercise, do another scene of similar length in the afternoon. No editing, no revising, no research.

I am, however, well aware that nearly every time I make a plan something crops up to mess with it, so I won't be surprised if that happens this time, either. Still, with fingers crossed, I'm off to revise the Story Seedlings look and start outlining.

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