Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Weeks Later...

I made grand plans for my Spring Break, as you may recall. I claimed that I was, over 11 days, going to try to (start and) finish first-pass revisions on my MS.

The 11 days came and went, and I did make hella good progress. I revised what ended up being 16 out of 24 chapters.

Last night, I finished.

Before the reflection, here are some fun stats:

Original draft word count: 86,115
Second draft word count: 88,362

Number of chapter totally cut: 3
Number of chapters totally re-written or added new: 5

I couldn't even begin to estimate how many new words I wrote, beyond the entirely new chapters. There isn't a chapter in the book that hasn't been tweaked, and most of them got some pretty serious scene re-vamps.

So, this has been my first foray into revising a novel. Honestly, I really like it. Drafting is stressful for me, and it's been nice to finally be on the other side: the path is already laid; I'm just planting flowers. (Is that a terrible analogy for it?) Really, I was doing more than planting flowers. I'd thought my "few" ideas for changes would require minor rewrites, but obviously that did not come to be.

And I came up with even more new ideas as I rewrote and wrote new chapters and scenes, so now I'll be going back to add in the needed groundwork for those ideas...

I suppose that will go on for a while until I've gotten all my threads neatly tucked. Then I get to make sentences pretty.

As for when that will be, I'm not sure yet. The semester is hurtling toward an end. I have to write 2 care plans in the next 3 weeks and take one more Pharmacology test.

Then we have the joy of having 2 finals for each nursing course and my A & P final and then... I'm done with my first year of nursing school. I'll be half-way done.

Holy crap.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Disgusting Thing Did I Do This Week?

This is too exciting not to share.

[ P(re)S: Did I mention I was offered a nurse extern position for the summer? Woot. ]

So this week in clinical, not only did I get to give a bunch of meds for the first time, but I also got to place my first indwelling Foley catheter!

I know it's horrific and gross to most people, but it's a huge scary mountain for us nursing students. Practicing on a mannequin was one thing; just the thought of doing the procedure on a living, breathing, VERY awake patient was terrifying.

But you know what? I followed all my steps, just like I did on the mannequin, and it went perfectly. And then just like that, I'd crossed a huge hurdle.

In four weeks, I'll be starting finals. First year of nursing school, over! Holy hell. Where does the time go?

I got my schedule for fall. I'll be taking Med-Surg and Psych! (OB and Peds in the spring!)

Now, I have some neuropharmacology to read...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Did I? Did I?

Today I'm heading back to class after a well-timed and much-needed week of spring break. I made huge goals here in the blog: I wanted to finish first-pass revisions of my MS.

So, did I?

Answer: I came very close. Turned out that a lot more scenes/chapters needed to be totally rewritten, not just tweaked here and there.

 As of yesterday, I've completely rough-revised 18/21 chapters. Now I'm having to write 1-3 chapters of new material in the end and tweak the current ending to line up, and I'll be done.

I'm pleased with that. I even made time to do other fun stuff, like yard work and playing Assassin's Creed and watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I did have my interviews for the nurse extern program. I don't want to jinx myself before I get the official offer, but things are looking very good for me this summer! :)

So. We're right back into the deep, with a test on Thursday and another a week from today, so no estimations on when I may finish first revisions. I'm just glad I've done what I did!

I can say, though, that so far I like revision a lot better than drafting. Once the course is laid for me, it's a lot easier for me to work within it.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Break!

I skipped my last class and Spring Break came a day early!!!

Sadly, I'm not going anywhere over the break this year. Not even a weird trip to Maryland, like last year. I'm not really sad about it--I have too much to do over the break to think about going anywhere.

There's the requisite studying and catching up and getting ahead, but then I also have Plans.

I told my CP's this and tweeted it, but I'll blog it too:

Staring Thursday, March 08, I pledge to make my fullest attempt to do first-pass revisions on my entire novel, being 86k+, in 11 days.

It's crazy times, I know, but the good thing is there are only 3 really major plot events that have to change, and the ripple effects from them. Unfortunately, one of them is in the beginning of the book, so that's a lot of ripples.

Anyway, this is my first time revising and editing a novel, so I have no idea what to expect. I've gotten Scrivener all pimped out with my draft and scene cards and all kinds of stuff. So far I like working in it. Makes deleting shizz a lot easier, as well as appealing to my visual and liner nature.

Other Stuff:

As I was sitting down to type this, the old TV in the office made a really loud cracking sound. I don't know what the eff it was. It still works just fine. (GREMLINS.)

Thanks to Amazon Prime and a media streamer/Blue Ray player we got for Christmas, hubby and I are watching all of the Star Trek series from the beginning. Starting, of course, with The Next Generation. It's pure geeky bliss. Every time I hear that opening, I'm transported back to being a little kid. Seriously, some of my earliest memories are of watching Star Trek.

I have 3 interviews next week for a nurse extern summer job. I'm nervous as hell.

I think "complexes" should be a verb, as in "That complexes me." Nice ring, huh?

I forgot how hungry I am when I'm at home and not thinking about school constantly. In related news, I have no snacks.

Hmmm....That's it, I think. I hope you are well, that Spring is springing, and that you find a $20 bill in a bush.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Today it's 75 degrees and the sun is blazing. We're deeply entrenched in the beginning of crazy Georgia spring, which basically alternates tornadoes with ice storms until April comes and it rockets to 100 degrees and stays there until October.

I'm in my last big 6-day stretch of crazy school stuff until my Spring Break. I made it through Hell Month (February), and though these next six days are on par with all of the past 5 weeks' shenanigans, I'm feeling a lot calmer and less stressed.

On the nursing school front: started back to clinical this week. I'm still on the ortho/neuro floor at the hospital. First day was pretty dull for me--shared a single patient, and the only interesting thing about them was that they only spoke/understood Hindi. Almost all the other folks in my group got to do fun stuff, like pass meds, hang IV lines, and two of them even got to try an IV stick on a patient! Lucky... During post-conference, we got to hang out in the hospital's simulation lab and practice more IV sticks on the dummy arms. An ER nurse came by to talk to us and give us pointers on IV stick technique. I hit the dummy vein every time, so I've cleared my shame from our first sim lab day.

Still waiting to hear about the nurse extern position. From what I hear, there were over 100 applicants, so a lot of us haven't heard anything.

I'm writing again--or more precisely, revising/editing. Though that always comes with new writing, doesn't it? I don't know--it's really my first time at the ballpark, and I'm not sure what to make of it. I've written lots of massive emails to CPs with ideas and been making big notes in Scrivener--and yeah, I'm trying to use Scrivener, because it just seems like a great tool for revision. I think I'm about 95% on track for revision, in that I've figured out my biggest plot holes and smoothed some big wrinkles. Now I just have to figure out some smaller details, and then I'll be good to go.

For now, I'm going to sneak some more book time as I procrastinate studying pharmacology, and daydream about my Spring Break plans, which are basically this:

(Translation: alcohol, every day and as needed.)