Writing Challenge: Day 27

I wrote 5287 words yesterday, bringing my total to 77,721 words and putting me 3687 words over my goal. And I’m going to need every last one of those words.

The last 4 writing days of my challenge are a Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Halloween. Weekends have been difficult for me to get writing time in (and it’s my husband’s birthday!), though I should have a little so it won’t be a total loss (as far as word count goes), Monday is the day I spend the morning with my kindergarteners, but I will have from about 11am until 3pm, so once again I should get some words in, and Halloween, well, I’m room mom for two different parties and I’ll be taking the kids trick-or-treating, so Tuesday I probably won’t get a single word in until after 9pm.

So basically I think it’s totally possible I won’t reach my goal of 85k by midnight on Tuesday. And no, I’m not staying up late to do it. It’s just not that important. In fact, my real goal was to have a completed novel by that time and it’s looking more and more like I won’t have that done either. There’s still too much ground to cover.

And of course there’s this nagging worry that it is too long already and I’ve forgotten things that the story needs so I have more pages to write within the first 77k. *deep sigh* I’m not unaccustomed to editing, cutting, and adding where needed. I’ve had to cut my darlings before. But the prospect is disheartening. I’m not sure I can do what I want with this novel if I have to cut too much.

Anyway, I’ll be working hard this weekend to keep up with my goal, but I’ll also be spending time with my family. So have a good weekend!

Status Sheet 10272017

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Writing Challenge: Day 26

Today I wrote 4899 words, my total is 72,434 and I am 1142 over my goal.

I was stuck for a little bit today, not sure exactly where I should go next, so I took a moment to fold laundry. Not exciting, I know, but sometimes it is useful to step away from the work and get your mind straight before you continue.

Obviously it worked. I had my goal by 3pm this afternoon, but then I had a little time before bed and the words were flowing well so I continued. I have to do some shopping tomorrow, so it’s a good thing I have a little padding in case I don’t get a lot of time to write.

Status Sheet 10262017

Writing Challenge: Day 25

I wrote 1655 words today, bringing my total to 67,535. I am 1015 words behind schedule.

So today I had a sick kid at home and a kindergarten activity to attend. Basically, my writing time was very limited, but I’m hoping everything will be back to normal tomorrow and I can make up the deficit.

One thing that happened today—which I advise any writer to try to avoid—is that I clicked on an idea board for a story concept I began a while ago. I was already thinking about my current WIP, so I put it on the way back burner after starting the board. Looking at it was a really bad idea because now I’m having thoughts and the pictures I pinned are so gorgeous and evocative and I’m remembering now what I wanted to do with that book and . . .

But no! That’s why it’s such a bad idea. Those ideas can creep in and distract you from what you are supposed to be working on. Hopefully I can keep those glorious pictures out of my mind!

Status Sheet 10252017

Letters to My Representatives: 10-25-2017

Here are today’s letters. Most of the scripts have been taken from It’s Time to Fight so visit the site for more info and scripts, or use my letters if you like. It’s a lot of the same information from last  week, but adding parts about Trump’s refusal to certify the Iran deal, cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Niger investigation, and the treatment of Jane Doe in Texas.

These letters have gotten pretty long so next week I’m going to trim some things I have been talking about for a while and focus on new issues, or at least alternate the issues form week to week. I don’t know that it makes much difference, but on the one hand it might be nice to give these poor interns a break from reading my long letters, and I don’t know if focusing on one or two per week would be more effective than a laundry list every week.

Dear Senator Stabenow,

I ask that you do everything in your power to protest the GOP’s attempts to cut funding to Medicare and Medicaid in the GOP budget resolution. Cutting Medicare by $473 billion and Medicaid by approximately $1 trillion over 10 years is unacceptable.

I ask that you do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

I would like to protest the steps the federal government has taken in the case of Jane Doe’s abortion in Texas, and demand that you do everything in your power to help this young woman. The young woman in question should be allowed to get an abortion, with legal justification as outlined in the dissent by Judge Patricia Millet. These continued delays are putting an undue burden on her health, and can be construed as being part of a personal agenda by E. Scott Lloyd, who is known for his anti-abortion views. I demand that you push for E. Scott Lloyd to putting the welfare and health of the young woman at risk, and allow her to do what is in her best interest and best for her health.

I would like for you to support the Murray-Alexander Deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that the agreement adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees. Please support this agreement and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues to put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to act quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up and the newly allocated $106 million.

I demand that you publicly condemn Trump’s reported statements to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson in that “he knew what he was getting into”. Please demand an apology from Trump. He claims that is not what he said and he has proof. Please demand that he produce proof or apologize to the widow as well as to the military and the American public.

I would like for you to publicly denounce the Trump administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reductions for the Affordable Care Act. The CBO and independent studies all show this will increase health premiums by 20 percent or more, and the deficit will be up by $194 billion. (Per the CBO). I am also demanding you work with your colleagues to appropriate funding for CSR payments. You have to focus on the goal of market stability and reducing premiums, for the good of the constituents you represent. I will be monitoring how you choose to respond, and whether you chooses to respond in a way that shows a commitment toward improving healthcare for all.

I would like to voice my support for Senator Wyden and Hatch’s bipartisan bill extending the funding of the CHIP program, and am urging you to call for it to be brought to the floor for a vote. Approximately 9 million children rely on the CHIP program for health insurance, and a number of states will lose funding by the end of the year, if the extension is not passed. Please do not gamble with the health and well-being of our youth.

I am calling to demand you vote NO on the Hearing Protection Act and the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, if/when it comes to a vote on the floor. Both bills would potentially put law enforcement and the general public at risk, and make it easier to commit violence. We just experienced the largest mass shooting in US history in Las Vegas; any support of either bill would strongly indicate that you do not support public safety. Additionally, I demand you commit to legislation that will result in sensible gun control, including universal background checks. I also ask that you filibuster these bills if they come to the floor.

I ask that you support S.1916, Senator Feinstein’s bump stock bill. Bump stocks were a key addition for several of the weapons found in the Las Vegas shooting. There appears to be no conclusive reason why bump stocks are needed, and/or should be legal. They simply cause more damage. Senator Feinstein’s bill to ban them has tentative bipartisan support, and I would like you to commit to signing on.

I am calling to protest the Trump Administration’s narrowing of the contraception coverage mandate. Many women use contraception for health, and not just to prevent pregnancy. I ask that you denounce this denial of access to contraception for women who need it for health reasons, simply based on the religious objections of certain groups. Women should have the option to decide their own reproductive rights. I demand you speak out for women’s health and protest this narrowing, but also support women’s health through legislation.

I ask that you push for a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico – there is only a partial disaster declaration at the moment. Additionally, I would also like you to request a waiver regarding matching funds requirements for relief. Puerto Rico’s economy is currently unable to handle said requirements. I would also like you to request expanded military personnel, to help with infrastructure and recovery efforts. You should also add additional supplemental relief funds to the FAA authorization bill. We cannot wait until October for another round of funding. Finally, I am asking that you push for additional military personnel to be brought onto the island, beyond current numbers cited by the Pentagon. The island is in need of support to rebuild their infrastructure.

I ask that you support the Office of the Inspector General (OIG)’s investigation of Secretary Tom Price’s use of chartered planes when conducting official government business. Not only do Secretary Price’s actions violate federal law when it comes to travel by executive branch officials, it is also a questionable use of tax dollars particularly due to the cuts he wants to implement. Please publicly state that you support the investigation.

I want to express my objections to the latest incarnation of Trump’s travel ban. Even with the addition of North Korea and Venezuela, this ban is clearly targeted at Muslim nations, and should be construed as a Muslim ban. There is no documentation or justification for this ban. There is no research to prove that our country is safer. Keep speak out against this absurd ban.

I would like to voice my support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and opposition to the Senate Republicans’ attempts to overturn the CFPB’s arbitration rule. I believe that consumers deserve the right to their day in court, particularly in light of the unfolding situation with Equifax. Please protect the individual, and not the corporation.

I ask that you issue a public statement opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA, and to support Senator Graham and Durbin’s DREAM act.

I demand that you publicly condemn Richard Spencer’s return to Charlottesville last Saturday. Even just a few people demonstrating hate like Spencer cannot be tolerated and should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

I am ask that you continue to pressure the Trump administration to seek diplomatic solutions with North Korea. What we need right now are strategic talks to help influence what steps North Korea might choose to take next; inflamed rhetoric will only escalate the situation. I am also asking you to push the Trump Administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated they will withdraw from the South Korea trade deal; to do so is shortsighted, and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jong Un’s regime. Please consider long-term strategy, verses short-term moves.

I ask that you NOT snapback sanctions for the Iran nuclear deal, unless international inspectors actually see resumption of activity that is in violation of the agreement. I also ask that you carefully evaluate any decision to renegotiate the deal. At minimum, all of the previous parties involved in the previous round of negotiations must be brought back to the table, along with a realistic consideration of positive incentives. Any attempts to renegotiate the deal must be taken seriously, and in good faith.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

 

Dear Representative Moolenaar,

I ask that you NOT snapback sanctions for the Iran nuclear deal, unless international inspectors actually see resumption of activity that is in violation of the agreement. I also ask that you carefully evaluate any decision to renegotiate the deal. At minimum, all of the previous parties involved in the previous round of negotiations must be brought back to the table, along with a realistic consideration of positive incentives. Any attempts to renegotiate the deal must be taken seriously, and in good faith.

I ask that you do everything in your power to support the investigations that are currently being undertaken regarding the 10/4 ambush in Niger. I believe the American people deserve answers about what happened to the Americans who died in Niger, particularly what happened to Sgt. La David Johnson. But more importantly, the families of the soldiers also deserve answers.

I would like to protest the steps the federal government has taken in the case of Jane Doe’s abortion in Texas, and demand that you do everything in your power to help this young woman. The young woman in question should be allowed to get an abortion, with legal justification as outlined in the dissent by Judge Patricia Millet. These continued delays are putting an undue burden on her health, and can be construed as being part of a personal agenda by E. Scott Lloyd, who is known for his anti-abortion views. I demand that you push for E. Scott Lloyd to putting the welfare and health of the young woman at risk, and allow her to do what is in her best interest and best for her health.

I would like for you to support the Murray-Alexander Deal to stabilize the ACA. This is a needed step in protecting healthcare for millions, particularly given that the agreement adds two years of much-needed subsidy funding, along with potential further steps to help 2018 enrollees. Please support this agreement and do everything in your power to encourage your colleagues to put their support behind the agreement as well. We need to act quickly, particularly with open enrollment coming up and the newly allocated $106 million.

I demand that you publicly condemn Trump’s reported statements to the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson in that “he knew what he was getting into”. Please demand an apology from Trump. He claims that is not what he said and he has proof. Please demand that he produce proof or apologize to the widow as well as to the military and the American public.

I would like for you to publicly denounce the Trump administration’s decision to end cost-sharing reductions for the Affordable Care Act. The CBO and independent studies all show this will increase health premiums by 20 percent or more, and the deficit will be up by $194 billion. (Per the CBO). I am also demanding you work with your colleagues to appropriate funding for CSR payments. You have to focus on the goal of market stability and reducing premiums, for the good of the constituents you represent. I will be monitoring how you choose to respond, and whether you chooses to respond in a way that shows a commitment toward improving healthcare for all.

I demand you commit to legislation that will result in sensible gun control, including universal background checks.

I am calling to protest the Trump Administration’s narrowing of the contraception coverage mandate. Many women use contraception for health, and not just to prevent pregnancy. I ask that you denounce this denial of access to contraception for women who need it for health reasons, simply based on the religious objections of certain groups. Women should have the option to decide their own reproductive rights. I demand you speak out for women’s health and protest this narrowing, but also support women’s health through legislation.

I ask that you push for a full disaster declaration for Puerto Rico – there is only a partial disaster declaration at the moment. Additionally, I would also like you to request a waiver regarding matching funds requirements for relief. Puerto Rico’s economy is currently unable to handle said requirements. I would also like you to request expanded military personnel, to help with infrastructure and recovery efforts. You should also add additional supplemental relief funds to the FAA authorization bill. We cannot wait until October for another round of funding. Finally, I am asking that you push for additional military personnel to be brought onto the island, beyond current numbers cited by the Pentagon. The island is in need of support to rebuild their infrastructure.

I want to express my objections to the latest incarnation of Trump’s travel ban. Even with the addition of North Korea and Venezuela, this ban is clearly targeted at Muslim nations, and should be construed as a Muslim ban. There is no documentation or justification for this ban. There is no research to prove that our country is safer. Keep speaking out against this absurd ban.

I ask that you issue a public statement opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to end DACA, and to support the Bridge Act.

I demand that you publicly condemn Richard Spencer’s return to Charlottesville last Saturday. Even just a few people demonstrating hate like Spencer cannot be tolerated and should be rejected in the strongest possible terms.

I am ask that you continue to pressure the Trump administration to seek diplomatic solutions with North Korea. What we need right now are strategic talks to help influence what steps North Korea might choose to take next; inflamed rhetoric will only escalate the situation. I am also asking you to push the Trump Administration to not undertake moves that will upset key allies in the region. The Trump administration has indicated they will withdraw from the South Korea trade deal; to do so is shortsighted, and will cause tensions with a key ally needed to address Kim Jong Un’s regime. Please consider long-term strategy, verses short-term moves.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Austin

Writing Challenge: Day 24

Today I wrote 2793 words, meeting my daily challenge and also exceeding my running total goal. I’m at 65,880 words total with just 72 words over the goal.

I now in this draft I am doping a lot of telling and not so much showing. As I’ve talked about before, when you’re doing a NaNo-style writing approach where the focus is getting the words on the page, you have to let that showing type of writing go unless it immediately comes to mind. If I find I’m struggling to find a way to describe how my character is sad or angry or how the wind is blowing, I just put in the cliche knowing I’m going to have more editing to do later. So my characters do a lot of nodding, shaking their heads, shrugging, being sad, etc. It’s . . . not ideal, but I know I can fix what’s on the page.

Alternately, I am looking forward to the next novel I will write which I think I will work in a slower pace and focus on quality instead of just trying to get the words on the page. This can be frustrating too, because you might be staring at that screen for a long time trying to find the right words. Or maybe typing something, erasing, typing something, erasing, and so on and so on. Until hopefully you come up with that perfect line that expresses your characters angry face instead of just saying thy’re angry. But there is a certain satisfaction in getting that phrase just right. And it fuels the creative juices and the next line and the next line are easier and easier.

Status Sheet 10242017

Writing Challenge: Day 23

Today I wrote 2054 words which is below my daily goal, but since I wrote over the day before I still reached my running total goal. So now I’m at 63,087 words and I am over the goal by 21 words.

One problem I’m running into right now is that my characters are plotting their big action scene and it’s going to take a lot of coordinating on their part to make this mission work. Problem is, I know what the mission is, and I know how it ends up, I just haven’t planned out what actually happens so that it sounds realistic yet. Basically, I haven’t done their planning for them . . .

So hopefully I’ll get that mapped out before I actually have to write it, or the word count may suffer for a few days. I’m okay with that though, because while I like the method of just writing even if you know it isn’t your best (you can’t fix what you don’t write), it’s also difficult to write a prison break-out scene when you’re flying by the seat of your pants.

Time to get my plotting cap on and think about all the things that can go wrong, or at least should go wrong. Don’t want to make this too easy for them.

Status Sheet 10232017

Writing Challenge: Day 22

The new season of The Walking Dead starts in 23 minutes so I’m going to make this quick. I wrote 4560 words today, bringing me to a total of 61,033 words which is 709 words over my target goal.

Seriously, I can’t even think about something to write concerning writing I’m so excited for TWD so I’ll post more tomorrow. Have a good night!

Status Sheet 10222017