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Loving your challenge!  Seeing other writers putting the work in is awesome!

 

Re: editing, one of my big things when I finish something larger than a couple of pages is to put it away for at least a week, usually a month.  I don't look at it, think about it or touch it.  That way, when I open it again, I can see it with fresh eyes and focus on editing rather than nitpicking at little bits until I mangle the actual story (which I've done, more than once!).  But that's just me, doesn't help everyone, take with a grain of salt!

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Week 3, day 4 summary - Oct 3rd

 

Target 1: complete final draught of short story

  

I've kept the part of the story that makes the protagonist a little less likeable but removed one word that made it worse than it needed to be. I refined the way it's evolved to a point where I'm happy. I redid some changes but just made them better...

 

Then I stopped. I decided it was pretty much where I wanted it to be and stopped. I even printed it out and let my wife read it. She loved it but, of course, she's biased. She didn't guess the twist beforehand but said "Aaah, that makes sense," when she came to it --- one of my main objectives for this story was to have a good twist so I'm pleased with that.

 

I feel less apprehensive than I expected about submitting it to a competition. Just getting the story down, in a form with which I'm happy, has lifted a great weight from my shoulders. I've realized that this short story is by far the most important quest in this challenge.

 

Target 2: do the Basic Run thrice in my interval training routine

 

I did this. In fact I pressed the wrong button and ended up doing the long version three times instead of doing long, long, short. I've updated next week's routine to include the Island Circuit. It felt as if my muscles were starting to cramp with just these runs so I'm really not sure how that will go.

 

Target 3: start work on time thrice

  

I started work on time. I got up a little earlier and was efficient in getting ready again.

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20 minutes ago, Onorexis said:

Loving your challenge!  Seeing other writers putting the work in is awesome!

 

Thank you. I want to stop talking about the idea of becoming a writer because I've actually become one!

 

20 minutes ago, Onorexis said:

Re: editing, one of my big things when I finish something larger than a couple of pages is to put it away for at least a week, usually a month.  I don't look at it, think about it or touch it.  That way, when I open it again, I can see it with fresh eyes and focus on editing rather than nitpicking at little bits until I mangle the actual story (which I've done, more than once!).  But that's just me, doesn't help everyone, take with a grain of salt!

 

I think you're right. I'm going to try to have the self-discipline not to look at it again before next Wednesday (not quite a week, I know).

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On 9/24/2019 at 4:51 AM, The Hero of Time said:

 On a semi-related note, if anyone has a favourite breakfast recipe, I'd love to hear it - .

 

I like either:

Yogurt (1 c plain),  with some fruit (~1/2 c of thawed frozen fruit...frozen fruit kind of makes a sauce when it thaws), 1/4 c almonds and (sometimes) 1/4 c oatmeal

or

Smoothie with 1 c almond milk, 1 c frozen fruit, 1 scoop protein powder and 1 T "fat" (either peanut butter, ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds).

 

I also have toast...but I'm a distance runner and eat a lot (and I know you are trying to cut carbs)

,

On 9/25/2019 at 6:11 AM, The Hero of Time said:

I did this. I also unlocked a longer route. I haven't seen the longer route yet but I'll try it on Thursday

 

On 10/4/2019 at 6:02 AM, The Hero of Time said:

I did this. In fact I pressed the wrong button and ended up doing the long version three times instead of doing long, long, short. I've updated next week's routine to include the Island Circuit. It felt as if my muscles were starting to cramp with just these runs so I'm really not sure how that will go.

 

Sounds like you are making good progress with the running. I'm a long-time distance runner, so if you have any questions, I'm happy to try to help. Where were you cramping? How long had you been out? Sometimes hydration or electrolyte helps. Sometimes stretching. Sometimes it just takes a while for your body to get used to running.

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9 hours ago, Xena said:

Yogurt (1 c plain),  with some fruit (~1/2 c of thawed frozen fruit...frozen fruit kind of makes a sauce when it thaws), 1/4 c almonds and (sometimes) 1/4 c oatmeal

 

We experimented with quark and bacon yesterday. I enjoyed the taste but I didn't find it filling enough. Yoghurt and fruit and almonds (in enough quantity) might just be filling enough and relatively quick to prepare. I think we have some berries in the freezer...

 

9 hours ago, Xena said:

Smoothie with 1 c almond milk, 1 c frozen fruit, 1 scoop protein powder and 1 T "fat" (either peanut butter, ground flax seeds or ground chia seeds).

 

As yet, I haven't been sold on smoothies. I don't really feel as if I've 'eaten' breakfast if it's a drink. This does sound like something my wife would have, though.

 

9 hours ago, Xena said:

Sounds like you are making good progress with the running.

 

I've gone from not-having-run-at-all-for-about-ten-years to running on the spot with Wii Fit. It's progress of some description.

 

9 hours ago, Xena said:

I'm a long-time distance runner, so if you have any questions, I'm happy to try to help.

 

That's generous of you. Thank you.

 

I'm in a position of almost pure ignorance. That's probably the only reason I'm crazy enough to think I might one day be able to do a half-marathon after starting from scratch at over the age of forty. When it comes to running, almost everything is an unknown-unknown so feel free to give unsolicited advice.

 

Am I kidding myself to think that there's any point to running on the spot? I know I'll have to start running outside at some point but at least I can start off running like a hobbled foal without anyone seeing.

 

I started off bouncing quite high in the air on each stride (I'm a six-foot guy with size... assuming you're American... size 13 feet). After watching an NF video on running, I'm now trying to have as little vertical movement in my torso as possible, and have all the movement in my legs. Is that a good approach? Also, when running on the spot, I tend to land slightly on my toes. Is that okay, or should I try to land more with my whole foot at once?

 

9 hours ago, Xena said:

Where were you cramping? How long had you been out? Sometimes hydration or electrolyte helps. Sometimes stretching. Sometimes it just takes a while for your body to get used to running.

 

It was in the back of my left leg --- my calf and the lower part of my thigh. It could have been fatigue/lactic-acid. I don't have enough experience with this to know for sure. I haven't measured how long these runs take but, at a guess, they'd be around five minutes. The upcoming Island Circuit is ten minutes.

 

I do try to drink water between exercises. I'll go through about a pint. It is eminently possible that it's just taking my body some time to adjust. It certainly isn't used to this.

 

Xena: Ranger Princess is kinda catchy. :friendly_wink:

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Week 3, day 5 summary - Oct 4th

 

Target 1: complete final draught of short story

  

I had already completed this on Thursday so I started the task of looking for competitions to enter. As it happens, I finished it, too. I found three competitions for which my story would be suitable. One requires cutting it down by about 30 words (seems doable and isn't drastic as I'd feared), another has specific and detailed requirements for document formatting, and another wants the story in plain text (which will remove italics). My current plan is to submit the story to all three --- this is a change from when I originally set the quest and I only imagined sending it to one.

 

Target 2: do the Basic Run thrice in my interval training routine

 

Friday was strength training. I'm currently trying to get as low as physically possible with my press-ups. I did this for some of them but not all of them.

 

Target 3: start work on time thrice

  

I started work on time. I had to get up a bit earlier to account for Friday mornings being busier but I managed this.

 

Whole week summary

 

I still can't quite believe that I've got the story to the point where I was happy to print it out. I'm actually itching to send it off --- that's an unexpected reaction. I completed the target of finding competitions a week early, on Friday, but I'm trying not to look at the story again until Wednesday, as suggested by Onorexis. At that point I'll tackle the job of stripping it down by thirty words. In the meantime (on Monday and Tuesday) I think I'll take a look at producing plain-text output and fulfilling the more detailed formatting requirements of the other competition. I feel really proud to have got this far and I don't think I could have done it without you.

 

Not long before this challenge, I would feel as if I was ready to collapse after completing the short Basic Run only once. Now I'm able to complete the long version of that run three times in one routine. If I think about it, that's decent progress for a few weeks. There's an awful long way to go for my Epic Quest but... baby steps.

 

Starting work on time continues to be a bit of a struggle. The accountability of posting here is probably the only reason I hit this week's target. Maybe I should come with a reward for this quest but I haven't thought of one yet.

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On 10/4/2019 at 11:30 AM, The Hero of Time said:

I have to confess that I've only played the 3D Zelda games. A Link to the Past looks beautiful on the Switch but I'm not likely to have one of those for a good few years yet. I love the story to Ocarina of Time and I remember being blown away by the open world when I first saw it on my friend's N64. I completed that and Majora's Mask for the first time this year.

 

Are you playing A Link to the Past on an emulator or a real SNES?

A real SNES :)

Ocarina of Time is still my favourite, it's amazing! but to be fair, I havent played any of the new ones. 

 

4 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Starting work on time continues to be a bit of a struggle. The accountability of posting here is probably the only reason I hit this week's target. Maybe I should come with a reward for this quest but I haven't thought of one yet.

Maybe just a bunch of stickers on a calendar? It can be very rewarding to see your progress like that. 

 

4 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

I still can't quite believe that I've got the story to the point where I was happy to print it out. I'm actually itching to send it off --- that's an unexpected reaction

So cool! :) Do we get to read it? 

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6 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

My current plan is to submit the story to all three --- this is a change from when I originally set the quest and I only imagined sending it to one.

 

Awesome. I assume they don't have any simultaneous submission restrictions--most only markets don't allow simultaneous submissions because if they do through the effort of reading and accepting something, they don't want to find out someone else has accepted it. But markets aren't competitions so they may have different rules. 
 

6 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Not long before this challenge, I would feel as if I was ready to collapse after completing the short Basic Run only once. Now I'm able to complete the long version of that run three times in one routine. If I think about it, that's decent progress for a few weeks. There's an awful long way to go for my Epic Quest but... baby steps.

 

That's pretty good!

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15 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Am I kidding myself to think that there's any point to running on the spot? I know I'll have to start running outside at some point but at least I can start off running like a hobbled foal without anyone seeing.

 

It's not a terrible idea. Anything that gets your heart rate up is good exercise. But I think that running with actual forward motion is more natural for the body and easier to get a proper gait. You already do some walking for exercise outside, right? I would encourage you to try mixing in short periods (~30 sec) of jogging and see what it feels like. Find a deserted place if that makes you feel better. If you do try some bits of jogging, go slow. Slower than you think you should. Most people who try to get started running try running too fast and get discouraged.

 

15 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

I'm crazy enough to think I might one day be able to do a half-marathon after starting from scratch at over the age of forty.

 

Not crazy at all. Great idea. Stay healthy and you can absolutely do it.

 

16 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

It was in the back of my left leg --- my calf and the lower part of my thigh. It could have been fatigue/lactic-acid. I don't have enough experience with this to know for sure. I haven't measured how long these runs take but, at a guess, they'd be around five minutes. The upcoming Island Circuit is ten minutes.

 

Sounds like fatigue...and running on your toes will put more strain on the calf. Nowadays they tell people not to force the gait too much (landing on toes vs mid-foot or heel) but to do what comes naturally. But I'm wondering if running in place is kind of forcing a different gait. Even if you really don't want to run outside regularly, go outside at least once and try to experiment. Try to jog at a very easy relaxed pace and see what you do naturally. Maybe rolling from your midfoot to push off with your toes and see what that feels like.

 

16 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Xena: Ranger Princess is kinda catchy.

 

Thank you @DarK_RaideR gave me the title, and I love it. Now that I'm officially a Scout GL, I really should change it, but I haven't thought of anything I like quite as much. I tried to make the case that it's like when a princess goes off to marry in a foreign land (like Catherine of Aragon or Eleanor of Aquitaine), but I'm not sure it's a convincing argument.

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17 hours ago, KB Girl said:

A real SNES :)

 

Full authenticity. I like it.

 

I completed Super Metroid, for the first time, using a SNES emulator late last year. I remember being so drawn in, when I saw it on a friend's SNES twenty-something years ago, by how atmospheric it was. The same thing happened this time 'round. With those pixellated graphics on a large telly, the sound-track still makes you feel as if you're there.

 

17 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Ocarina of Time is still my favourite, it's amazing!

 

I heard a quote that the worst thing about OOT is that "it ends." I have to agree. There are so many firsts about that game and it has such an amazing story. Truly a seminal moment in game design.

 

17 hours ago, KB Girl said:

but to be fair, I havent played any of the new ones. 

 

If you ever play Majora's Mask I suggest doing so with a walk-through. There's so much going on that you'll miss otherwise. Wind Waker looks amazing, especially with the HD remake, and has great characters.

 

Twighlight Princess is next on my list and I can go all the way to Breath of the Wild on my Wii U. I could play the SNES version of A Link to the Past on it if I wanted.

 

17 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Maybe just a bunch of stickers on a calendar? It can be very rewarding to see your progress like that. 

 

That's not a bad idea. I'm not one for bits of paper but I'm sure I could find a technological solution...

 

17 hours ago, KB Girl said:

So cool! :) Do we get to read it? 

 

Oh, now I feel bad. In the interests of internet anonymity I'd prefer not to post it on here. I will tell you if I win anything or come in the top three.

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16 hours ago, Harriet said:

Awesome. I assume they don't have any simultaneous submission restrictions--most only markets don't allow simultaneous submissions because if they do through the effort of reading and accepting something, they don't want to find out someone else has accepted it. But markets aren't competitions so they may have different rules

 

That's a good point and is something I should double-check. I know that one of them explicitly states that it doesn't restrict on simultaneous submissions --- I just have to tell them if it wins another competition first. I'm pretty sure one of the others has even looser restrictions but I'll read through that one more carefully and check the third.

 

I'm not sure I know what you mean by a "market" here.

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8 hours ago, Xena said:

...But I think that running with actual forward motion is more natural for the body and easier to get a proper gait.

 

That sounds about right and matches the way I feel when I'm trying to do it on the spot.

 

8 hours ago, Xena said:

You already do some walking for exercise outside, right? I would encourage you to try mixing in short periods (~30 sec) of jogging and see what it feels like...

 

I do the walks with my wife to that may need some negotiation. I don't think she'd be averse to running, though. Unfortunately, she's currently nursing pain in her foot, I think from doing the runs (on the spot) in her bare feet.

 

8 hours ago, Xena said:

Not crazy at all. Great idea. Stay healthy and you can absolutely do it.

 

Thank you. I think I needed to hear that.

 

8 hours ago, Xena said:

Sounds like fatigue...and running on your toes will put more strain on the calf. Nowadays they tell people not to force the gait too much (landing on toes vs mid-foot or heel) but to do what comes naturally. But I'm wondering if running in place is kind of forcing a different gait. Even if you really don't want to run outside regularly, go outside at least once and try to experiment. Try to jog at a very easy relaxed pace and see what you do naturally. Maybe rolling from your midfoot to push off with your toes and see what that feels like.

 

I've been actively trying to change my gait, when running on the spot. It's been a while but when I used to run (I'm talking about running for the bus rather than going for a jog) I would strike heavily with my heel and then the rest of my foot would come down hard (you'd hear it slapping against the pavement (sidewalk)). I've been trying to come up with something that's lower-impact. I don't know whether I've been going about it the wrong way.

 

8 hours ago, Xena said:

Thank you @DarK_RaideR gave me the title, and I love it. Now that I'm officially a Scout GL, I really should change it, but I haven't thought of anything I like quite as much. I tried to make the case that it's like when a princess goes off to marry in a foreign land (like Catherine of Aragon or Eleanor of Aquitaine), but I'm not sure it's a convincing argument.

 

Yeah, Xena: Scout Princess just doesn't have the same ring. Xena: Warrior Scout could be confusing...

 

Then again, if James Cameron can come up with a story where a Terminator has to travel back in time... in order to exist... so that it can travel back in time... I think you're justification will do just fine.

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Week 4, day 1 summary - Oct 7th

 

Target 1: find competitions, choose the one to which I want to submit my story, and start any rewrites to conform with the word-count requirement

  

I found and chose competitions on Friday last week (I chose three). I'm not going to look at editing until tomorrow. The plan has changed a bit (note to self: plans are allowed to change) so I'm going to rename this week's Target 1.

 

Target 1: edit for word-count requirements, find pandoc command-lines that produce files that conform to the competitions' requirements

 

I made a note of the command that produces a good plain-text format. The default output included Markdown formatting characters so I decided to pipe the input through sed first.

 

I moved the metadata to a separate YAML file. Then I produced different versions that conform to the different competitions' requirements. In the pandoc command I can concatenate different metadata files to produce different output.

 

I made a note of a command that produces PDFs using the font (or as near as damn it) required by one of the competitions. I'll just use the same font for the other competition that wants a PDF.

 

This may seem like a lot of work just for the sake of sending a story to three competitions. However, I don't want to have three versions of the story. If I make an edit to one I don't want to have to repeat the edit twice more --- that's likely to lead to inconsistencies. Also, I plan to write lots more stories (I'm blaming you again, @Harriet) and this is an issue I'm going to encounter repeatedly. I think it's worth coming up with a decent workflow now.

 

Target 2: replace one of the Basic Runs in my interval training routine with the Island circuit

 

Monday was strength training. I'm happy with the incremental improvements in form. One thing I find is that my muscles ache more as I improve my form because they're being worked harder.

 

I've been using some 2.5kg dumbbells to get more benefit from some of the exercises but I've outgrown them. I'm trying to work out whether it's worth going to cast iron (I want them to last) and whether I'm ever likely to need more than 7.5, 10, or 15 kg per arm. I'm not looking to do weight lifting; just to get more benefit from the strength-training exercises. At least the cast iron weights seem to be easily upgraded. I've never even looked at weights before so I'm pretty much just guessing at this point.

  

Target 3: start work on time four times

 

I didn't start work on time. This leaves no spare days this week if I'm going to meet my target. (Spoiler alert: I didn't start work on time this (Tuesday) morning either).

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4 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

I'm not sure I know what you mean by a "market" here.

 

Just online places that publish short stories, sometimes offering small payments. I learned about them when I took a writing class, but I have only submitted one thing so far... in fact, I have a story that's just waiting for me to choose the right place and format it. P.S. There's a website called submission grinder where you can search for markets by genre and word count. You can also keep track of your submissions if you're the kind of person who submits a story a week :) 

 

3 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Also, I plan to write lots more stories (I'm blaming you again, @Harriet) and this is an issue I'm going to encounter repeatedly. I think it's worth coming up with a decent workflow now.


Yessss

 

3 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

I've been using some 2.5kg dumbbells to get more benefit from some of the exercises but I've outgrown them. I'm trying to work out whether it's worth going to cast iron (I want them to last) and whether I'm ever likely to need more than 7.5, 10, or 15 kg per arm. I'm not looking to do weight lifting; just to get more benefit from the strength-training exercises. At least the cast iron weights seem to be easily upgraded. I've never even looked at weights before so I'm pretty much just guessing at this point.


Well, I'm a woman and not especially strong, and I've been using 25lb DBs for my DB bench press recently. If I were stronger, or male, or dumbbells were my main exercise type rather than a supplement to the barbells, I would probably want heavier stuff (the nice thing about weight training is you keep getting stronger, and weights you used earlier eventually seem light). You can get adjustable ones with mini plates you slip on and off. Not sure how expensive that is compared to buying single ones, but it definitely takes up less space.

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17 hours ago, Harriet said:

Just online places that publish short stories, sometimes offering small payments. I learned about them when I took a writing class, but I have only submitted one thing so far... in fact, I have a story that's just waiting for me to choose the right place and format it. P.S. There's a website called submission grinder where you can search for markets by genre and word count. You can also keep track of your submissions if you're the kind of person who submits a story a week :) 

 

Kudos for submitting something! What sort of formatting does your new story need?

 

Hmm, not sure how quickly I'll go from not quite submitting one story in more than forty years to submitting one per week. :friendly_wink: I'll definitely be writing more, though, and I will check out that site.

 

BTW, my motivation for putting my story in for a competition is partly just about getting something published. I've read that most places that would pay for a story require you already to be published. A lot of competitions don't have that requirement and will publish your work if you do well enough. Thus, I can point to my winning or top-three story when submitting to a normal vendor.

 

17 hours ago, Harriet said:

Well, I'm a woman and not especially strong, and I've been using 25lb DBs for my DB bench press recently. If I were stronger, or male, or dumbbells were my main exercise type rather than a supplement to the barbells, I would probably want heavier stuff (the nice thing about weight training is you keep getting stronger, and weights you used earlier eventually seem light). You can get adjustable ones with mini plates you slip on and off. Not sure how expensive that is compared to buying single ones, but it definitely takes up less space.

 

Thank you. It really helps to get a benchmark. It sounds as if the best thing for me to do is look for something that's the heaviest I can afford whilst also being easily upgradeable with more weight. Probably this as a starting point, although I'm sure I've seen it for a fiver less.

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Week 4, day 2 summary - Oct 8th

 

Target 1: edit for word-count requirements, find pandoc command-lines that produce files that conform to the competitions' requirements

 

 

I came up with commands that automatically insert a word count and now conform fully to the PDF formatting requirements. I refined the way the plain-text export includes some meta-data. At some point it would be worth turning this into a Makefile and/or introducing git integration.

 

@Harriet was right about simultaneous submission (I'm glad I've got you in my corner). I checked through carefully and, sure enough, one of the competitions specifically excludes simultaneous submissions. It also happened to be the one that would require me to trim 30 words. Strictly speaking, this means that no rewrites are necessary and I'm ready to submit the story to the two remaining competitions. However, I do intend to have one more editing pass (I haven't looked at it in almost a week, as suggested by @Onorexis) and then I'm good to go.

 

Target 2: replace one of the Basic Runs in my interval training routine with the Island circuit

 

I did this and I completed the circuit!

 

As recommended by @Xena: Ranger Princess, Guardian of Scouts, I took it easy and just went slow. Also, I tried not to worry too much about my gait and just ran in a way that felt natural. My legs felt really fatigued (mostly in the back of my left leg again) for the last half but I managed to get to the end (I had to sprint right at the end in order to finish the circuit in the ten minutes). Wii Fit U says it was 2.6km --- I don't know, as yet, how this would compare with 2.6km in the real world.

 

I also completed the short version of the Basic Run twice after this. Interestingly, throughout the running, I didn't get out of breath. It appears that my heart is up to the job but my legs are trying to work out why I'm suddenly being so cruel to them. I've updated Thursday's routine to make one of the Basic Runs the longer version.

 

My wife is a better runner than me and is now jealous of the amount of running I have in my routine.

  

Target 3: start work on time four times

  

I didn't start work on time. This means that I can't meet this week's target. The cooking of breakfasts still seems to be the main issue. We had a veggie omelette for the first time and the fact that it was a first just means that it took longer (and it takes a little longer to record the calories). Maybe we should only do new recipes on the weekend. Maybe I can be a better Sous Chef...

 

I'm still going to try to start work on time five times next week but I have less hope now.

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16 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Wii Fit U says it was 2.6km --- I don't know, as yet, how this would compare with 2.6km in the real world.

 

You are really doing a great job this challenge! I don't know either, but pretty much everyone has some version of this problem, so don't worry. Treadmill running isn't the same as road. Road isn't the same as trail. One trail isn't the same as another. What you are doing is clearly motivating you, so keep it up!

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17 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Kudos for submitting something! What sort of formatting does your new story need?

 

I haven't chosen a place to submit yet. I just wrote it and moved on to the next story. That could be a goal for the next challenge, I guess.
 

17 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

my motivation for putting my story in for a competition is partly just about getting something published. I've read that most places that would pay for a story require you already to be published. A lot of competitions don't have that requirement and will publish your work if you do well enough. Thus, I can point to my winning or top-three story when submitting to a normal vendor.

 

Oh, neato. I'll add competitions to the list of potential places to publish. Yeah, some of the markets have a very high standard and pay a bit more, while others accept new writers and pay a nominal fee only. Just gotta try some places, I guess.
 

17 hours ago, The Hero of Time said:

Thank you. It really helps to get a benchmark. It sounds as if the best thing for me to do is look for something that's the heaviest I can afford whilst also being easily upgradeable with more weight. Probably this as a starting point, although I'm sure I've seen it for a fiver less.


Yeah, that looks exactly like the one I bought for working out at home before a friend introduced me to barbells. 

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7 hours ago, Xena said:

 

You are really doing a great job this challenge! I don't know either, but pretty much everyone has some version of this problem, so don't worry. Treadmill running isn't the same as road. Road isn't the same as trail. One trail isn't the same as another. What you are doing is clearly motivating you, so keep it up!

 

Thank you. If you'd have asked me six months ago whether I'd ever be able to run 2.6km the answer would have been a firm "no". I know it's not a real  2.6km, but nevertheless...

 

I'm thinking about putting two of the runs back-to-back, for the next challenge, to make 5.2km. I can just keep running through the part where it gives me a score out of four for the first run. I should also challenge myself to have a real run in the real world.

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7 hours ago, Harriet said:

I haven't chosen a place to submit yet. I just wrote it and moved on to the next story. That could be a goal for the next challenge, I guess.

 

That sounds like an excellent goal. :smile-new:

 

I've taken on your exhortation to "write ten more", although I've modified it to make it more manageable. My current idea for the next challenge is to come up with ten story ideas and write five of them. They may be flash fiction... which would be a challenge in itself because my stories tend to be verbose.

 

7 hours ago, Harriet said:

Oh, neato. I'll add competitions to the list of potential places to publish. Yeah, some of the markets have a very high standard and pay a bit more, while others accept new writers and pay a nominal fee only. Just gotta try some places, I guess.

 

I stumbled across https://winningwriters.com/the-best-free-literary-contests during my travels. You have to sign up but it looks useful. I'll also take a look at these nominal-fee markets.

 

7 hours ago, Harriet said:

Yeah, that looks exactly like the one I bought for working out at home before a friend introduced me to barbells. 

 

Slight change of plans. An awful lot of the reviews talked about delivery problems --- missing weights and spinlocks due to inadequate boxes, although I also suspect theft. I've decided to get some that I can pick up from the shop, most likely these. They don't have the York name but they have decent reviews and, IIUIC, I can upgrade them with any 1" cast iron weights at a later date.

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Week 4, day 3 summary - Oct 9th

 

Target 1: edit for word-count requirements, find pandoc command-lines that produce files that conform to the competitions' requirements

 

I took an editing pass, having looked at the story for the first time in almost a week. I think leaving that gap was definitely worth it. That editing reduced the word count to a point where it would have met the requirements for the discounted competition, but that's not relevant any more. So, now I have a final-final draught.

 

I know I said I'd be good to go at this point. However, a friend is coming 'round this evening who has a professional history in the field that the story covers. I'm going to ask him to give it a once-over. If I make changes based on that then I'll have a final-final-final draught. Unless the changes he suggests require a lot more research from me, I plan to submit the story tomorrow (Friday).

 

Target 2: replace one of the Basic Runs in my interval training routine with the Island circuit

 

It was strength-training. Improved my form again. My lunge form is now pretty close. I now get right down the floor for the majority of my press-ups.

  

Target 3: start work on time four times

  

I started work on time, which was a bit of a surprise on a Wednesday. I still can't meet this week's target, though.

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On 10/8/2019 at 3:41 PM, Harriet said:

Just online places that publish short stories, sometimes offering small payments. I learned about them when I took a writing class

 

I meant to ask you whether these markets are recommended as the primary method of submitting/publishing stories by your writing class?

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Week 4, day 4 summary - Oct 10th

 

Target 1: edit for word-count requirements, find pandoc command-lines that produce files that conform to the competitions' requirements

 

My friend read the story and said that he liked it. He didn't see any issues with the part that dealt with his area of expertise. His only suggested changes were about some word choices. I'm sticking to my guns with one --- I'm not gonna change it --- but he had a point about the other and I've reworded. He's a bit of a grammar snob so I'm quite pleased those were his only suggestions. He did guess the twist but:

 

Quote

If fans guess your plot twist, it means you've laid the groundwork for it to be believable. The point of a twist is to enrich a story, not feel superior for outsmarting your audience.

 

I now have a final-final-final draught and I'm going to submit it to the two competitions today. I feel surprisingly calm about this...

 

Target 2: replace one of the Basic Runs in my interval training routine with the Island circuit

 

I did my interval training earlier in the day, before my friend came 'round.

 

I didn't quite complete the Island Circuit within the time limit (ten minutes) even though I thought I'd been running faster to avoid the sprint at the end. I'm not sure what happened there. Either the measurement of my running was inaccurate (it's a Wii Remote in my pocket) or there was something about my running that meant I covered less distance. I mentioned the idea, yesterday, of putting two of these runs back-to-back, for the next challenge, in order to cover more distance. Well, I've discovered that I can increase the time for the run to twenty or thirty minutes, so that's a much easier way of doing it.

 

I did the long and short Basic Runs in the same routine. I've updated next week's routine to have two of the Island Circuits (not back-to-back but separated by other exercises).

  

Target 3: start work on time four times

  

I didn't start work on time. I've been trying to work out why not, because everything was pretty much the same other mornings when I have started on time. I think I just wasn't concentrating enough on being efficient.

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On 10/10/2019 at 12:35 PM, The Hero of Time said:

 

I meant to ask you whether these markets are recommended as the primary method of submitting/publishing stories by your writing class?

 

They were by that one teacher, yeah. But I'm no expert, I can only take his word for it. I guess it makes sense, though. Real world/paper publishers are probably not going to accept short stories from unknown writers. 

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