Confessions of an IceBucketBikiniBabeDunkee

Confessions of an IceBucketBikiniBabeDunkee

Confessions of an IceBucketBikiniBabeDunkee. (If you haven’t seen the video, DON’T! It ain’t pretty :O)

Monday night, a little over a week before our first challenge ended, I knew with sickening dread that I was going to have to take an icy dunking. This lead to a meltdown, and on Monday night around midnight I was on the email to my writing buds, cry babying about this. For all that my buds can be real wizenhiemers (which I adore), all three came back with heartfelt and encouraging emails (harder for me to handle). For two days, I went into hardcore reflective mode, and ultimately arrived at several conclusions.

The first – despite knowing I was going to get douched, I decided not to concede defeat. Something Terri said in her email struck me: “The ice bucket bath is not a punishment, it is a motivational tool.” It’s true, I was thinking of the dunking in terms of punishment, but when I forced myself to look at it in terms of motivation, I realized that while I would be taking a douching come February 14th, I was totally, completely, and highly “motivated” to be more aware of my writing process when setting goals. (God, I love adverbs!)

Early January, when Dawn, Kay and I met (Terri was slaying vicious malware and couldn’t make it) to discuss the Write or Consequence blogging idea, we were gung-ho to continue with a second challenge. My goal for the first challenge, which began in Oct of 2014, was not only to complete a first draft, but to handle the business side of self-publishing as well as have the story fully edited and ready for publication in only four and a half months. Too ambitious, as it turns out. Hence my ice bath. For my second goal, I most definitely wanted to be more mindful, and so set it as finishing the second draft of Love’s Storm (40K) the first in my three book series. One task, one time frame. Fingers crossed I get it right this time.

The second – actually analyzing my writing process. Yuk, boring. Not something I like or want to do. But damn if I was going to fall before another Consequence. I’ve been plugging away at this writing business for longer than I care to admit, and I realized that in all that time (and we are talking years) I had only completed three novels. This meant I had next to no experience with having a completed first draft. Explained why I freaked out Monday night. I expected the damn thing to be publish-ready, and instead it was crap. Fixable crap, yes. Fixable by Valentine’s Day, hell no. Hence my ice bath.

Third – Writing is a solitary business. Very often setting then sticking to goals has no consequence because there’s no accountability. I’m incredibly blessed to be in a town with a strong writing community, and even more blessed to have such awesome writing buddies. We have devised a way to “motivate” ourselves to set goals with real and very public consequences, a motivation to be productive when no one is watching, when we don’t feel like it, when life is nibbling away at the edges of our creativity. For the first time I feel like I have a real chance at getting something out there, and despite my ice bath, I’m super jazzed about that notion. Our way may not be viable for you, but find a way, get your story out there. Avoid your own “ice bath”.

Lorinda Peake

Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.

Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.

Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.

13 thoughts on “Confessions of an IceBucketBikiniBabeDunkee

  1. As a fellow ice bucket dunkee – I too was overly ambitious with that first goal – yeah, let’s call it that. In a perfect world, where all I had to do was write, I could have easily made the deadline. But life isn’t perfect, it comes with lots of STUFF that demands time and attention and that STUFF has nothing to do with writing. Hopefully, for Goal 2, I took LIFE into account and have set a more realistic goal (especially since I’m moving during this timeframe!) And Dahlin’ I do love you, but we’ve been at this writing game DECADES – well at least DECADE! Just saying.

  2. Damnit, Terri, I know how freaking long it’s been since I first started in on this racket, but I was trying to soften the impact (to myself) when I wrote out those words. No, not lying, just softening. Can’t imagine why I struggle with nailing my process. What, what! So, really appreciate you lifting my skirt. NOT! Kicking your ass when I see you next. And you thought Gilmer was bad. Welcome home, “Dahlin'”!!! (I do so hope you caught my sarcasm)

  3. Sweeting, I loved that you decided not to concede defeat. I’m not sure I would have done the same, frankly.

    Your insight into your process is foundational, I think. This Ice Bucket challenge offered us a great opportunity to discover what holds us back, and the fact that you came through it with these observations says a lot about your openness and willingness to learn.

    I can’t wait to see how Love’s Storm comes along in its second draft. I think it’s a wonderful, edgy, passionate story — even if it might not look like that to you sometimes. 🙂

    D.K. (where the D stands for Dry)

    1. Oh Dahlin’ I just love the way you build me up and then sock it to me with the “Dry” zinger. You know that ass kicking I reserved for Terri? Just earned yourself one. I may be a large woman, but if I catch you, you’re mine!

      On the plus side (no pun intended), it did make me want to double my effort to be on the Dry Team.

  4. As the third in our dunking trio, I’m feeling your pain, Lorinda Dear. Not only the icy pain, but the even worse pain of self-analysis. Ouch!

    Taking a good hard look at what we really want and what we’re willing to do to accomplish those goals is HARD. I think this ice bucket challenge really forced us all to examine those first two, and now that we’re all on board with getting back into our writer’s skin (thanks, Terri, for that awesome turn of phrase!), we have to buckle down and do the work.

    And as you’ve said, it’s not just the butt-in-chair, words-on-paper work we have to figure out. It’s that damned process. But on the bright side, I think we’re all much smarter — process-wise — today than we were back in October. That’s a significant step forward.

    And another point to add to the mix, this one brought to light by a surprising source: my husband. Writing is a craft, and therefore, some aspects are technical, but at its heart, it is a creative endeavor and creativity has an annoying tendency to come in fits and spurts. Some days, the old grey matter’s all crickets and some days, it’s a beehive of thoughts and ideas that you can hardly capture fast enough to get on the page. So as we work through our process and learn what does and doesn’t work, we must also so respect for our fickle muses. So on the days the muse refuses to come out and play, just, uh-hum, play by yourself  and keep at it, because she will show back up, probably on a day you’ve scheduled all life’s mundane chores, and she WILL knock your socks off.

    1. Okay. Wow. I was expecting some sassy, southern witticism from you, and you give me what? Insightful thoughts, AND a new way to consider process from, of all sources, your husband? Thunk! Yes, the sky is falling. The earth has tilted on its axis. I need a pill.

  5. Yes, the sky is falling and the earth has tilted on it’s axis – for you at least the lady love of my life, Angela Peake. Your husband and love of your life should give you great inspirational thoughts and desires to conjure up into a tale of some kind. You are like a golfer that is so worried about the technical stance, grip, arm placement etcetera about their golf game that they cannot even enjoy the game of golf that they love. They look like they have a corn cob up their butt when they try to swing the club. They look so tight trying to make the perfect shot that it just never works out for them. You just have to go out there and play for the fun of it. You know all the technicalities of the game now, trust that you can put it into practice. Just play the damn game, and have fun with it. The question really is do you love the damn game. Quit worrying about how close you stand to the ball and just see the shot and swing, or quit the game of life and watch it on TV or read about it in a book.
    Sir Bob

  6. WOW – insightful comments from not one, but TWO of the male counterparts to our group! Way To Go Doug & Bob. Advice from Doug – play by yourself. Advice from Bob – play golf. Did I get right? That’s what they meant, right?

    1. Dear Ancient One,
      (Yeah, Terri, that means you, Oldicus Maximus)

      Have I told you how “special” you are. So, so “special”. Why sure. You nailed it. That’s exactly what Doug and Bob meant. Masturbation and a new euphemism for sex.

      I’m off to play “golf”.

  7. Lady Terri and Lady Angela,
    This so intimidating writing on a blog in the first place, but then you have to add that it is a blog of writers so its really tough for me. I had to answer Terri because my writing skills are lacking in expressing what I meant on my comment, and the love of my life Angela just replied yes you got it.

    It really is not that simple on what I meant, even though that is essentially what I am applying with what Ann at least needs to do. I have seen too many Golfers worry about every rule in the book and when they get out there and actually play Golf they are so tight about all the correctness of the game they do not enjoy playing it. They are so wound up that they don’t see the shot, they don’t enjoy the beauty of the game, they don’t basically love the game just for the sake of it. They don’t enjoy the flow of the game, the ups and downs of playing a set of holes really great like a Pro, and then just collapsing and stinking up the Golf Course for a few holes. The thrill of seeing if you can make a come back for a few holes and turn it around. Never giving up on the game even though a few holes you absolutely made terrible shots. Golf is a lot like life in that you are going to have really outstanding days, but there is unfortunately many days that there are going to be bad ones. You will be defined on how you pick yourself up the next moments after the bad shots appear.

    What I am saying is you better look at yourselves ladies and ask if you really enjoy writing for the enjoyment of it. Like me you all know the rules on every matter of the game so just go out there and play it. Don’t worry about all the technicalities so much and just write the story you feel. You can come back later after the game is over and go over the game hole by hole or chapter by chapter that you sucked on. You must not only at least finish the game, but you also better enjoy playing it. Don’t play the damn game if you don’t really enjoy it. Always finish the game to it’s completion to see where you stand.

    The third year in Afghanistan has changed my way of thinking on everything I have back home. I was so spoiled on what I have back home, and especially in taking for granted the love of my life Angela. Little things like a glass of ice, and especially having no one trying to blow me up all the time. Even now sitting in a room alone waiting for my flight later today I am starting to miss my beloved Angela already and simply dread going back to Hell in Kabul.

    I wish that I would have taken more enjoyment in doing the things I loved hole by hole now that I am not playing the game of life right now. I wish I could move back time and get another cuddle from Angela feeling her soft skin against mine. I wish that I could even be playing a bad game of Golf versus going back to Kabul. Wow this went on incredibly way to long I say, but I hope it clarifies on my analogy of Golf to life and simply enjoying the game along the way.
    Sir Bob

  8. Sir Bob,
    Okay, first I should have said I LOVED YOUR GOLF/WRITING/LIFE analogy. You get it – EXACTLY! My glib response in no way reflected the validity of your comment! I’m a smart-ass – I make no apologies for that 🙂 (It’s why your wife is one of my best friends! 🙂

    Not only does your analogy perfectly describe your Lady Ann, it also describes … well, me. Okay, there I said it. I frequently find myself so caught up in the ‘get it right’ mind set that I end up not ‘getting it at all’ – as in, I don’t write, because my writing isn’t good enough, I break to many rules, I don’t know where the commas go, it’s a freaking lot easier to tell than it is to show, if anyone reads this, they’ll know I’m a fraud, not a ‘real’ writer … so, okay yes – I resemble your remarks.

    The work you are doing is so admirable – leaving your family and living in a war zone and never knowing if the guy you are walking passed on the street is going to blow you up. Working seven days a week, living with constant stress – a perfect recipe for P.T.S.D. – although I think your situation is PRESENT TRAMATIC STRESS DISORDER!

    Stay strong – STAY SAFE – and come home SOON! We miss you, Sir Bob!

  9. Lady Terri,
    Thank you for the reply. Yes you do definitely have everything right in getting my point. I am so damn happy my Lady love Angela has a friend such as yourself. Remember that most people don’t bother when they are reading stories about the writing rules. They just want to get lost in the story, and forget about there dreadful or boring life for awhile. They want to forget about there Mortgage or their shitty job. They even want to forget they are living in a Country that 25% of the people want to kill them like me. Maybe forget about their loveless life who knows. I watch Law & Order SVU all the GD time , because it makes me feel somebody has a worse life than me over here so quit being a pussy and quit your crying Bob. Reading lets us feel things we can’t in our regular life’s and want to do things we ultimately can’t. As you are reading you think what would I have done in that situation? I swear the Facebook about that crazy lady hitting you in her car, and the bullshit story she made up was fascinating. That has got to be a story, and carry it further where it did not end there. When I was reading it I thought shit what would I do as a man if that happened to me. That was such a unique thing that happened to you. You get it? We want to live and be shocked and wonder what would I do in that situation. How would I react? I did this shit in a war-zone because I wanted to be chivalrous. I wanted to know if I could cut it. I wanted to know if I could smell the smoke of the battle. Would I be a man or run away from the battle. Could I handle living in a tent with 10 men. I wanted something different with my life. What am I going to tell my Grand Kids that all I did was run Restaurants for 40 years in Houston. Even my relationship with the family and wife was like we all took it for granted and we just went about the motions of life. Now when we talk or see each other it is so exciting. The burning love is there because it is different for us. What we want to do is escape from reality for awhile when we read. The funny thing is once you do something shocking or way out of the box you wish you had your boring life back. Wow this has gone on way to long and I am writing on a writer’s blog so it’s going to be critiqued. Once again thanks for being such a friend to Angela, and shock us out of our same ole same ole shit and forget about rules… I got to here more about that Facebook story for real Lady Terri
    Love Sir Bob

  10. So yeah, Terri, did you catch that bit Bob wrote about your fascinating car story? I believe there have been several people, me included, who have told you time and again those kinda stories is where your true voice and genius lies. Just saying. AGAIN.

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