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Sunday Update – July 23, 2023

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Okay, I think it's time for me to admit that I don't have a lot of spare time lately. I keep thinking that I can get everything done, and I just can't. My clean clothes have been sitting on the dining room table for a week. I haven't cooked in ages. I barely even think about this blog unless it's Sunday! And I'm glad for the Sunday Updates because I would not update here at all without them.

This last week was super busy, as you can probably guess. I taught classes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I worked HOURS on pre-writing work, which I'll get to more in a bit. I deflected more bullshit on Facebook than I usually do regarding AI. I booked my trip to Vegas for the 20BooksTo50K conference. I did numerous Zoom meetings. I went to see my kid in Beauty & the Beast at her summer music program. I ran errands and went grocery shopping. It was literally non-stop. I was even on zoom until 11PM one night working.

Yes, I am using AI to help me write, and let me give some more details here. I'm a long-time pantser of my books. I have always struggled with pre-planning or outlining a book ahead of time because I usually don't get good ideas until I'm “in the moment” or even in the second draft. Now, I'm using AI to help me pants my outline! I get it to suggest a good structure for a novel that I want to write, and then we work together, like partners, to brainstorm what happens in each section of the book. When it comes time to write the chapters, I give the AI my writing style guide (this is something I've been working on for months now) and have it write me a short first draft of the chapter. I then go in and flesh it all out, add details, change dialogue and style, and end up with a chapter that's pretty much all me.

Is this faster? For me, it is. For others, this would be slower. Why is it faster for me? I often walk away from a blank page. I hate first drafts and would rather do the second draft any day, so with a first draft done with AI, I stay in the seat and keep working when I would normally give up. Also, with this method, I am less likely to write myself into a corner that I have to go back and fix. I think of the AI as my collaborative junior writer and this is the method I've been teaching my students.

I'm writing three books this summer. They all require lots of work and planning, and I'm knee deep in all three. Combined with teaching, this is why I'm so pressed for time every day. I'm really glad for these Sunday Updates that keep me in touch with you all!

I only took two photos this week…

My husband left on Saturday to go to the beach house with Lulu. We'll be following him there next weekend because my youngest has a camp this week and my oldest will probably be doing driving lessons. I miss my little hip warmer.

And there was Beauty & the Beast Junior. It was such a great show and the kids did an amazing job! The girl who played Belle has quite the voice. She nailed all the songs.

Have a great week, everybody! Stay safe and healthy. ❤️

S. J. Pajonas