March Madness day 5 check-in

Have you signed up for the March Madness writing/reading/blogging/illustrating challenge? It’s not too late to join us! You’ll be amazed at what we can achieve together. There’s madness, yes, but also support, encouragement, accountability, and prizes. GO HERE to learn more and sign up.

My parents live in a rural area. Cell reception at their house is limited to one particular spot in the kitchen and generally requires that you lift your phone above your head and tip it toward the centre window behind the table while standing on your left foot and reciting the alphabet backwards. (Okay, so the left-foot-alphabet part is a lie, but you get the idea.) So naturally, during my recent visit, I mostly left my phone off. When I turned it on one evening and searched for the sweet spot so I could check my messages, the screen looked like this:

time travel 2

Check out the date! My phone thought it was January 4, 1981. For a moment, I felt like Marty McFly. (Who knew the Model A in my dad’s garage was actually a DeLorean in disguise?)

After letting my mind wander back to reality (it doesn’t especially like reality, but it’s willing to check in now and then), I got thinking about 1981. Do you remember 1981? Some of you probably weren’t even born yet, lol. But me? yeah, I remember it. And guess what I realized as I thought back over the years? Time passes. I know–crazy, right? But here’s the thing: it passes whether we’re moving toward our goals or not. And March 2013 isn’t going to be any different. March will pass, and we can be right where we are now in terms of our goals. Or, March will pass, and we’ll have achieved amazing things!

Where do you want to be on March 31?

Think about the goals you set. Now hop in your DeLorean take a step toward your goals. Put in the time, do the work. Then tomorrow, take another step. And another the day after that. Keep at it (even when it feels like madness), and I guarantee when you finally get to the future, you’ll be thrilled to see what you’ve accomplished. :D


How’s March Madness going for you so far? Are you moving forward?

Check-in tomorrow on Angelina’s blog:  

Remember, each check-in and each comment you leave encouraging others earns you an entry for some great prizes! (If Blogger or WordPress aren’t playing nice and you have trouble leaving a comment, try commenting on the previous day’s check-in or on Denise’s original post — it’ll still count as an entry, and we’ll definitely still appreciate your participation!)


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53 thoughts on “March Madness day 5 check-in

  1. Jennifer Pickrell

    I have a few memories of 1981, but nothing concrete. I do, however, remember watching Back to the Future a ton of times!

    I’m working toward finishing my first draft and it’s getting rambly in places, but I just keep trying to push it forward and resist editing until after it’s all written.

    (easier said than done sometimes!)

      1. baccelliak

        I have the same problem, Jennifer. My internal editor shouts in my ear, “This is crap and you know it! You need to rewrite!” Kate Messner told me if she went back and editing, she’d never get any books finished. So true. I know it’s hard to push forward but yay you can do it!

  2. abohemianeducation

    I was born in 1981. You are right. Time goes on. What we choose to attach to that time is sort of up to us on many different levels. I’m day two into my 2,142 a day word count. I too am working towards finishing a draft. I too have to resist the urge to edit.

    What I know for sure is that my soul is at peace when I get those words down even though I dread the 4 a.m. wake up, so I hope to keep it up.

    Reading is going nicely. I’ve read three novels since March 1st and two short stories.

    Good luck everyone!

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Wow, way to go with all the reading! And great word counts! 4 a.m. sounds brutal, but I imagine it helps knowing how good you’ll feel once those words are done.

    2. rebeccaannemarshall

      I understand that feeling of getting the words down and dreading the early rise (although mine is closer to 6am then for so high five to you for being able to do that!) I’m with Shari on the WOW to the reading! Way to go!

  3. Pat Esden (@PatEsden)

    In 1981, I would have been writing sappy poetry instead of a novel, but I was writing even then.

    My brain feels like mush, but I’m pushing as hard as I can and making super progress on my revisions. I added a detail to one character’s backstory and it really has made this draft sing. Still on track to have it finished and back to my agent by mid month, hopefully.

  4. Alex Villasante

    it’s so true. time will pass regardless of what we do or don’t do. so might as well do! I was 9 in 1981 and I have a 9 year old now which is pretty trippy.

    On March 31 I would *like* to be finished with my revision. I have hope that I’ll be able to send it to my agent in early April. BUT I also know that it has to be right before I send it. I learned that the hard way. So the accomplishment will actually be spending the time to do it right, not just do it.

    1. Shari Green Post author

      I’m totally with you about taking the time to do it right. I hope putting so much time and effort into your revision for March Madness gets your ms where you want it to be by the end of the month! Go you!

  5. ghostgirlwrites

    Ha! I love that, Shari! I was in high school in 1981…Madonna, MTV, Bad hair…

    As for March Madness, I hope to have a manuscript on its way to submission and another building into chapter 4, or 5, or 6… Some of this depends on my agent, so I might also be sitting on my butt and waiting for a green light at the end of this month. (Egads!)

    Forget 1999. Let’s party like it’s 1981! I’m teasing my hair, throwing on some rubber bracelets, and rocking on my WIP!

  6. girlparker

    What a baby face Michael J Fox had then!! 1981 was sixth grade, which was all about cheerleading and roller skating. Good, good times. =) Thanks for the throwback.

    Today’s step forward is a whole day of straight drafting! How’s that for moving forward? Even if the word count doesn’t go as high as I’d like, it’s still a whole day towards plot development…. and hopefully lots of words.

  7. kiperoo

    I was around in 1981! But I like the here and now a whole lot better. :-) I am hard at work on my March Madness project, trying to get revisions done before I leave for Spain on 3/17. Back to work!

  8. baccelliak

    I was dealing with a major breakup in 1981 and listening to tons of sad songs. When you’re a teen and you break up with ‘the one’ it feels like the world has ended. A few years later I’d go off to a private university and have a total blast.

    This week so far I’ve been in bed with the flu bug. Ugh. At least I’m getting in some of my reading. **Thanks Penguin Teen for sending me that package of ARCs to read! Nothing like getting a package of books to make you feel a little better!

    Hope to get back to my writing either later today or for sure tomorrow.

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Sorry about your flu bug. :( Great timing for new books to arrive, that’s for sure. I hope to hear you’re well and able to write soon!

  9. JoyMC

    1981 was preschool for me. I know for sure I was already making up stories then. I had gotten off to a good start on my MM goals, but now I need to reevaluate them – for a terrific reason. Yesterday I had a phone call with a super swoon-worthy agent. She had read two of my manuscripts and feels like one of them needs a very simple revision (really just a structure thing, not plot or character or voice or anything), and the other needs a more substantial revision. But she’s excited about both of them and me!!! So before signing me, she wants me to do the simple revision and write up notes on my plan for the more substantial revision. So those two tasks are now PRIORITY NUMBER ONE. After that, we’ll see where we are in March and what else I may or may not have time to do. Woo-hooooo!

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Woohooooo!!! So awesome. Congrats, Joy! That’s a fantastic reason to have to alter your goals, lol. Have fun with the revisions, and keep us posted!

  10. Jeanne Ryan

    I was old enough to be writing crappy short stories in 1981. Unfortunately, I didn’t stick with it, taking a long break before getting serious about my writing. But once I got serious, I learned the value of pursuing it, day after day, one page at a time.

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Crappy short stories are probably good building blocks, lol! I was very late coming to the “get serious” stage of writing (glad to be here now, though!). One page at a time is a good mantra to help us keep moving forward.

  11. Carolyn Charron

    Hi there, checking in here since Blogger isn’t playing nice today!
    1) Revised 1.5 chapters of WIP (about 18 pages) today… and what’s up with my library today? Every crying baby for 5km around must have been visiting!
    2) Picked up my next read: it’s not YA like it’s supposed to be but I couldn’t resist a new Agent Pendergast novel! (Fever Dream by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child).
    3) Still haven’t succeeded in tweeting less but who needs sleep, right?

  12. rebeccaannemarshall

    So far so wonderful! I started in late here, not horribly late mind you, didn’t join until the 2nd. In the past 2 days I have managed to get a whopping 3108 words written on the first draft of my novel AND a grand total of 3 posts written and scheduled to go up for my blog, The Dissocial Mom. So I am feeling great in my progress, thrilled even!

    Today, however is sort of one of those “blah” days, I feel like poop for having one so soon into this. In the span of 5 hours our van decided it didn’t care to serve us any longer, that has resulted in me having to re-work our entire budget… *sigh*…. Not a totally unproductive day I suppose, just not in the writing department.

    Silver lining? It is only half way through the day so I still have time to pick myself back up and get working before the day is through!!

    1. Shari Green Post author

      What a fantastic start to your March Madness! Way to go! Sorry to hear about the blahs…they sure can zap our writing energy. (Also sorry to hear about your van! Ugh.) But, yay you for seeing the silver lining! Definitely still time for some Fun With Words to redeem the day. :)

  13. Tonette dela Luna

    What a coinkydink. I was just talking to the Mothership (endearment for the parental unit, not *that* Mothership) today about 1981. Some of my earliest memories were probably between 1979-1981 because I remember meeting my grandfather at the start of that year when they came to live with us and right until he passed that December. Yeesh. That’s a story for another time. Anyhoo, love the McFly reference so back to happier thoughts now.

    In previous check-ins, I mentioned that I’d had two of my flash humor pieces published on a website this weekend. They didn’t win the contests they were for, but I was elated to see my name and work on screen that didn’t come from my word processor. I didn’t win the last contest either, but this time got an honorable mention from the judge, along with the blog host. For three-non wins to be published and praised my first time trying the format, I’m pretty chuffed. :) You’re reading the words of a happy loser.

    Where do I want to be on March 31?

    I want to be on the continuous road to Awesometown. Now that I can proudly call myself a published author, I want to continue working towards further publications, thus achieving my life’s dream of sharing my words with the world (and hoping that some readers will like them). If I can make a go of this for, say, ever? I’ll be all set for a long-term happy dance. :)


    Tonette dela Luna

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Here’s to long-term happy dancing! :D Congrats on the publishing credits and the honorable mention — awesome!

      Happy writing…. :)

  14. Angelina C. Hansen (@AngelinaCHansen)

    So happy to be in 2013. ^_^ Today I met my first goal of the month–completed edits on Ace’s MG. Switching gears will be a challenge since that’s my all-time favorite story to work on, but I’m going to do it. Thanks for hosting Tuesdays, Shari. ^+^

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Awesome!! Way to go on those edits! Turns out I’m switching gears, too — setting aside my shiny new MG to do some revisions on a YA I haven’t looked at in ages (got an agent request for it). So, here’s to successful gear-switching for both of us, lol. Happy writing! :)

  15. Carol

    My ears perked up about that request for the YA, Shari. Fingers and toes crossed!! (That’s relatively easy to do with arthritic digits. LOL.)

    I goofed off all afternoon and did three hours of real estate drive-bys on behalf of your older sibling. (Found nothing very promising, though.) I did manage to read through the synopsis of one book that I’ll be reviewing, so that’s a smidgeon of productivity. Then again, it doesn’t measure up to all the reading, writing and revising that everyone else seems to be accomplishing. “There’s always tomorrow,” right? ;)

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Thanks for the crossed digits! (I hope you can get them uncrossed again.) ;) Too bad the drive-bys didn’t turn up anything good. The right one’s out there somewhere….

      A little productivity is better than none, so yay for that! Wishing you lots of reading/writing/reviewing time tomorrow!

  16. Melissa Grey (@meligrey)

    I really like what you said about goals at the end of your post (and shout out to your BTTF reference!). It’s important to have big dreams but manageable goals – we make the big dreams manageable by working towards them, step by step, until voila! There we are.

    I didn’t write as much as I wanted to do today (was feeling dreadfully ill all day and fell asleep mid afternoon) but I did outline the current YA fantasy WIP through chapter 27 (and sorted out my MC’s first kiss!). In the past week or so, I’ve handwritten about 100+ pages. I’m going to hate myself for it when it comes time to get it on to a computer, but I’m so much more productive this way. Hope you’re all doing well!

    – M

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Aw, I hope you feel better soon! Not fun. But wow, you’ve gotten a lot done so far! Way to go on the outlining and all the writing! (Funny how writing longhand can be so much better than computers for some people — I like to do a bit of longhand when I’m stuck…seems to free up my creativity somehow.)

  17. Jean

    Fell off the wagon on the weekend and went adventuring in the sunshine, but back at a clean desk tonight and utterly inspired by everyone’s progress!
    Futzing with plot structure ’til bedtime.
    Congratulations to everyone who shared the good news!

    1. Shari Green Post author

      We have to take advantage of the sun when it makes a visit! Sure was nice to have some brighter days. :)

      So glad you’re feeling inspired. Happy writing!

    1. Shari Green Post author

      Yay for moving forward! It really does help knowing there are people cheering you on and hoping to hear from you, doesn’t it? :) Wishing you another forward-motion day tomorrow!

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