5/5/5 Taking up the gauntlet


Paula’s Post #111 —

Here we go again!

Well, that was quite a week. Since throwing down the gauntlet late in the evening on September 5th, ‘My Challenge‘ has now been taken up, in one form or other, by all the original 5writers. I, along with Joe, Silk and Helga, have once again committed to trying to write the first draft of a  novel in 5months.

In other words, before February 5th, 2016.

Fellow 5writer Karalee, busy with a new endeavor and with limited time for writing in the next few months, couldn’t stand to miss all the fun and is adding her own twist: 1writer5shortstories5months.

This year, in yet another new twist, we also challenged our followers to consider jumping into the frying pan along with us. Crazy you say? Well, I’m delighted to advise you that one intrepid writer, Richelle Elberg, is game to join us. In commenting on my post last week, Richelle said:

To boldly go…..5/5/5. I first started reading the blog in 2012 when I was writing my novel Saints & Strangers. Been trolling ever since. But S&S is now available for Kindle (print soon!) and I need to write the sequel–The 2nd Peirce Patent. I’m in!

While we’re delighted to have Richelle join us, I am somewhat surprised and just a wee dsappointed we didn’t manage to tempt a few more brave souls to take up the challenge.

Writing can be, if we’re not careful, a lonely avocation. If you are even a wee bit tempted to follow Richelle’s example and ‘take the pledge’ it’s not too late. We stand ready to welcome you to the group and cheer you on from now until the finish line.

I hope to post my regular post day (this coming Tuesday), but just in case, I thought I’d update you regarding how many have taken up our challenge, and how I’ve done in this first ‘week’ of writing with the new 5/5/5 clock a ticking away.

So, that’s about it, except for this quick progress report for Week 1

  1. I’ve decided on my 5/5/5 novel. I’ll be combing a couple of storylines I’ve developed previously and am planning a ‘detective noir’ offering set in 1940’s Vancouver (my own 5/5/5 home city).
  2. After a computer crash that devastated my writer’s peace of mind two weeks ago, my hard-drive is replaced, software re-loaded and a fresh new version of Scrivener and StoryMill reside in my Applications folder.
  3. I’m researching. Maybe my favourite part of any story, I’m deeply immersed in the fascinating lives of unlikely, real life heroes and heroines, and the equally fascinating lives of scurrilous villains and their underworld haunts. I’m loving every minute of it.
  4. Progress so far: 7300 words. Not all original, mind you. Some of the output is story reworked from previous work-in-progress. But most of it is original and fresh and involves brand new characters I’m developing.
  5. Airplanes flown on: 2
  6. Weddings attended: 1
  7. Hours spent on the phone with Time Warner Cable technical support, trying to get the internet working here in California – 5.3
  8. Hotel nights: 3

So… all in all a good week. But this one will be even more challenging. Because, as usual, my life is… well, complicated. Last week I was in British Columbia, busy with work and family. Friday, I flew down to California where I’m joining my other “5/5” team mates (as in my Ladies 55 and over USTA tennis team, to practice up for our first ever appearance in the California Sectionals in Santa Barbara.

Since I’ve arrived, it’s been over a 100F every day and unseasonably humid. We practice between 7-9 and then that’s pretty much it for the day. Which of course, works out well and leaves some extra time for writing. So… I’m busy but cautiously optimistic. I hope that despite the travel to Santa Barbara later this week, and all excitement, I’ll still mange to get another 5000 or so words done.

Wish me luck.

How did your week go?

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering about the ‘flag’ image heading up my post – in my never ending quest for public domain and rights free images for use on the blog, I stumbled upon the international maritime symbol for the number 5. Yes, we have a flag (or more precisely, three flags).

5 thoughts on “5/5/5 Taking up the gauntlet

  1. Paula, thank you for the warm welcome! And thanks for the link to my site–especially since I spent much of the weekend working on it–and NOT on my new book. Argh. Marketing a novel is a rabbit hole. But at 6 o’clock this evening I said, “Enough!” and went back to my paltry 2,000 words of The (2nd) Peirce Patent. Reread my research–you are right, that’s one of the funnest parts! And now I have 2,800 words. Sigh. NEXT weekend, I will write, not market!

    p.s. Anyone who can be so chipper after 5+ hours on the phone with Time Warner must be a saint. 🙂

    • Oh, we’d so love to have you with us. You have been such a loyal 5/5/5 follower. And September is crazy for all of us. If you read my post from today you’ll see that I’m completely tied up with a tennis tournament of all things. But just to tempt you, although our self-imposed ‘rule’ in the first 5 months challenge was that the ‘first draft’ in 5 months had to be ‘from scratch’ (not a WIP) this time around we are welcoming everyone to drag out an old, stalled manuscript that has potential and use the ‘challenge’ to finish that puppy in 5 months. Not so very hard. Please jump in, we’d so love to have you join in the fun!

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