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Archive for November, 2011

Writing Wednesday: Last November Check-In

So, I won NaNoWriMo on Sunday, but I still haven’t finished the story. I thought about taking a break this week, but I just can’t stop writing. So, even though I don’t have the frenzied pace of NaNo to keep me going, I still have my own personal deadline to keep. I want to have the first draft of Guarding the Heart dine by December 23. That way I will not even have to think about it until after the Holidays are over. Right now, I’m still on track to meet that goal.

WIP: wrote 1221 words on Monday and after waking up at 3 a.m. yesterday(early even for me), I added another 1863 words. I slept until 6 this morning though so didn’t have any time to write before the kids got up. Hoping to get some time in once the boy takes his nap. Even if I don’t though, I’m over 2250 words ahead of my cumulative goal right now.

Blogging: got a post up on Monday so after this one, I just need to come up with one for Friday.

Exercise: Still a fail on this one. Haven’t exercised in almost 2 weeks. Really need to get back to it, but just can’t find the motivation for it.

How is everyone else doing with their goals?

Knitting Monday: Another Hat

We had the first of our many Christmas gatherings over the weekend. I wanted to make hats for my two nieces we would be seeing. Since I only had about a week to get them finished, I wanted something simple but wanted to try something a little more decorative than what I have done. I found a pattern for one with just a slight cable pattern to it. I was going to practice cables on something more simple like a scarf or something else flat, but this one seemed pretty easy. And it was. It only took me about three days to finish with just knitting after the kids were in bed. I originally had it in mind for giving to my 3 year old niece. However, when I finished it, I thought it looked kind of small. I tried it on Nathaniel and it barely fit over his head(granted, my kids have larger heads, but still). So, I decided I would give it to her 6 month old sister instead. I was going to make another hat, but only had 2 days left until we exchanged gifts and did not think I would have enough time. If i decide to make knitted gifts again next year, I’m definitely going to have to start them earlier.

Sunday Check-In: Crosssing the Finish Line

I did it. I actually did it. I actually won NaNoWriMo this year. Last year was my first year doing it and I fell just about 3.4K short. I didn’t even learn about it until about 3 days into November, so just took an idea and ran with it. And really, I’m amazed I did that well with having a 3 year old & 2 month old at the time. As well as writing it all out by hand until the end of the month. So, this year I was determined to finish. And I did it. Even with dealing with a sick kid, actually two since they seem to be passing something back and forth for the last month. And even with family gatherings on Thanksgiving and yesterday(an early Christmas so we could celebrate with my husband’s brother while he was home), I was still able to get it done. And I’m hoping to be able to write “The End” by the end of December. Because even back when I started planning this, I knew I would not finish the whole novel by the end of November since it will end up being probably between 85-90K. I know there’s probably a lot of garbage in there and I all ready know of a couple scenes that will be cut down if not removed completely. But, they were fun to write.

WIP: I added another 1185 words on Wednesday for a total of 2315. Thursday morning I was up early and managed 817 words before everyone else got up and we had to get ready for the festivities. Friday I wrote 3393 words while others were out braving the crowds(you will never see me in a store of Black Friday. It would not be good). Added 1052 words last night after we got back from the family thing. And I wrote 1490 today which put me over the finish line.

Now, that I’ve made it, my writing goal will change. I’m thinking about going with a weekly goal instead of daily so I don’t get frustrated if I don’t hit the goal every day. So, from now until I finish the WIP, my new goal will be 7500 words. That’s only 1500 words if I write 5 days a week. And if I write on the weekends, it’s only a little over 1000 words a day. That is certainly within my reach. And with that, I could be finished with the story by Christmas.

Blogging: Got all of my posts up this week. So still doing good with this one.

Exercise: Didn’t work out at all this week. Really need to get back on track with this one.



Writing Wednesday: Closing In

There’s only one more week left in this month(and the craziness that is NaNoWriMo) and then just about another 3 weeks left in round 4 of ROW80 after that. And I am very impressed with my progress so far. I don’t know if it is the outlining or if this is just a better story or something else entirely, but I have not hit my usual slump around 25,000 words(give or take a few thousand). Around 20,000 words or so, I started to think, “this story really sucks. that wouldn’t happen. that doesn’t make any sense.” Then, I stopped myself, took a deep breath, and remembered those thoughts are for the editing stage. That’s what NaNoWriMo has done for me this year(last year was to kick my butt back into writing after too much time away). I know I don’t have the time to research every little thing, that’s just a form of procrastination. So, I just stick a little note in that I have to check that out later. I know there are some scenes that will end up getting cut(or at least parts of them) or completely rewritten, but except for a 100+ word section I really didn’t like, I haven’t deleted anything yet. And it looks like I will actually hit the 50K by the end of the month(if not a bit before). Now, onto what I’ve actually gotten done this past week:

WIP: I ended up not getting anything written on Wednesday but did get my daughter to the doctor and she confirmed my little girl’s first ear infection. Got antibiotics and ear drops for her and she’s been doing better since then.  On Thursday, I wrote over 2100 words and just over 2000 on Friday. I didn’t write anything on Saturday but managed 1380 on Sunday.

I was on a roll Monday. Did a #1k1hr race with another writer on Twitter and got almost 1700 words in that hour. That’s impressive for me since I can usually only manage around 1k in that time. I also joined in on the #row80 wordsprint in the afternoon, and even though my word count was lower in that hour, it still pushed the day’s total word count up to almost 3700. Didn’t write nearly as many words yesterday but am still happy with the 2378 I did get. I woke up extremely early this morning(3 a.m. don’t ask me why, I don’t know, but I was wide awake), so got up and even though it felt like I was struggling with the words, I added 1130 words to the WIP before I had to get my daughter up for school. Not sure how the next five days will go since she does not go back to school until Tuesday. But, I should at least still be able to get some words in before either of the kids get up in the morning. And according to my stats on the nanowrimo site, I only need to write 971 words a day to finish on time. Then, I’ll just need to add another 35-40K to actually finish the story.

Blogging: I didn’t get a post up on Friday or check in on Sunday. I did get my knitting post up this past Monday and I have one started for this Friday. so, I should get back on track with this one.

Exercise: Got in a workout on Thursday but nothing since then. Need to get back on track with this as well. Just need to find the motivation again.


Knitting Monday: Finished Mittens

Two weeks ago, I posted about running out of yarn and not being able to finish a project. Later that week, we were back up at the mall so I ran into the yarn stores. A.C. Moore did not have the color I needed but I was thinking I had originally bought it at Michael’s anyway, so I went over there and was finally bale to find it. I figured I’d be able to finish the mittens I had started over the weekend now that I had the yarn. That didn’t happen though. I think my body was still adjusting to the recent time change and I felt so tired by the time I got the kids to bed that I did not feel like doing any knitting.

I finally got to them by Wednesday. It only took me about another hour to finish the mitten off since I was all ready about halfway done with it. I seamed up the sides of the two mittens differently. On the second one, I did an invisible seam which I like a lot better since it make it look neater. I had just forgotten how to do it.


Family Friday: 1st Parent Teacher Conference

We had Hayleigh’s first parent teacher conference last week. After some miscommunication about what time the conference actually was(the slip she brought home only said 8, not a.m. or p.m.) Cory finally got in to see her teacher. We also got her her first report card and school pictures. the kids were evaluated in three areas for the report card: Social Development, Math, and Literacy.

Social Development:

This is the area I was the most worried about since she has always been so extremely shy(like her mother). She needs improvement in following classroom routines, interacting with others(not surprised there), and following directions to complete a task. She was marked ssatisfactory in  follows classroom rules and demonstrates self-help skills though.

Can ID 7/8 colors
Can id 6/6 shapes
Recognizes 11/11 numbers
Can point & count 10/10 objects
Can count to 29(end year goal: 20)

Identifies 50/52 letters
Recognizes 6/26 letter sounds

Needs improvement: recognizes name in print
Satisfactory: can sing ABC song, repeats rhymes/poems

We also got a progress report from the physical therapist. She said that Hayleigh is making gains in her gross motor skills. She still prefers the “w sit”, but the therapist keeps encouraging her to sit “crisscross applesauce”. She still pushes up from floor when there’s no support available. She can now jump in place & forward 4-8 inches though, which she was not able to do when she was evaluated over the summer. So, she is making improvement there as well.

Writing Wednesday: 11/16 Check-In

We’re just halfway through the month and I’m a little more than halfway through the word count I need to finish and win NaNoWriMo this year. Love the feeling of being ahead since I don’t think I made it to that point even once last year.

WIP: I got to just over 25000 on Sunday. Which put me halfway there two days ahead of schedule. On Monday, I wrote 2172 words and yesterday I managed to get down another 2189. Had a rough night last night with my daughter. She kept waking up crying and felt warm. She kept grabbing at her head/ears but when I asked if they hurt, she said no. I got her to take some tylenol and she slept better after that, but I stayed in bed with her all night(something that really never happens). She had a fever this morning so I kept her home from school today and haven’t gotten any more words added. I’m thinking I probably won’t. But, at least I don’t have to worry about falling behind. Taking her to the doctor later today, so hopefully she’ll be feeling better.

Blogging: Failed to get my Monday post up again.

Exercise: worked out Monday and Tuesday. Today is a rest day though. so, doing good with that one this week.

How is everyone else doing so far this week?

Sunday Check-In: Cruising Along

This has been a very good week for my writing. I don’t know if it is the time change or if my body is just really used to waking up early now. But, I’ve been waking up around 4, if not earlier, every morning. Which gives me a good two hours to write in the morning.

WIP: I’ve written 13,960 words so far this week(Monday through today). I’ve put down at least 2000 words a day every day except for Monday. I now have just over 24,000 words. I’d like to make that 25,000 by the end of today which would put me a full two days ahead on my word count. That would give me a good padding for the family gatherings we’ll have this month(Thanksgiving & an early Christmas). I love checking out my stats page on nanowrimo’s site and seeing the brown bars above the plot line. I don’t think I was ever ahead on word count last year, so I actually think I could “win” it this time. And I’m hoping to have the full first draft finished by the end of December.

Exercise: this one has been a big fat fail this week. I haven’t worked out even one day. I need to get back on track with this one next week. No more excuses. Since the excuses I’ve used(back feeling stiff when I wake up mostly) would probably be cured with some exercise.

Blogging: got Friday’s post up so I managed all the posts for this last week. So, doing good on this one too.

How did everyone else do this week?

Family Friday: My Little Monkey

So, Nathaniel has been walking for just over a month now and is getting pretty sure on his feet. And even before he started walking, he loved to climb. We used to call him a little mountain goat because he would get up into a set of low chairs and then climb up onto out coffee table. That was one reason we had moved our coffee table back to where he couldn’t get to it. But, back then, he couldn’t get up onto the couch without something in front of it to give him a step up. In the last couple of weeks that has changed though. He is now climbing up onto both of our couches without a problem. And I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before or not, but there is no redirection with this child. If you move him away from something he wants, he just goes right back to it. No matter how many times you try to distract him from it. I suppose this could be the reason for my utter exhaustion by 9 at night even more so than the time change.

Climbing up

Getting all the way up

sitting on the couch like a big boy

thinking he can stand on the couch

Writing Wednesday: Check-In & a Synopsis

So, far this week has been going pretty well on the writing front. I still haven’t quite adjusted to the time change, so I’ve been waking up even before my alarm goes off in the morning. Of course, this affects me on the other end as well. Sunday, I was falling asleep on the couch before 9 p.m. But, the earlier hours do make it easier for me to get up and write before the kids wake up. Anyway, here’s my progress so far this week:

WIP:  I wrote another 913 words after my check-in on Sunday for a total of 2243 which brought my WIP up to 10,105 and put me about 100 words over where I needed to be to stay on track. So, I was able to catch back up at least. On Monday, I wrote 1591 words which kept me on track but didn’t put me ahead. I decided I wanted to have some padding in case there’s a day when I don’t get to write much(or at all with the holidays coming up). So, I decided I’m going to shoot for at least 2000 words a day. Yesterday I managed that with 2311 words, all written before lunchtime. That put me about 700 words above the minimum I needed. I’m still going to try to write the 2000 today but so far I’ve only managed just under 700. I’m only about 300 away from what I need to stay on track, but I’m hoping to at least get close to 2000 for the day.

Exercise: This has been a big fat fail so far this week. The motivation is just gone. No excuses for it really. I need to kick my butt in gear and get back to it.

Blogging: Checked in on Sunday, got my knitting post up on Monday, so after I post this check-in, I’ll be right on track. Just need to do the family post on Friday.

And I just thought I’d share the synopsis I put up my novel page over on nanowrimo. I’ve never really written one before(the one I had on my novel page last year was really bad), and I basically took it from the 1 page summary I did during outlining with some adjustments. It’s rather rough(and might completely suck), but feedback is welcomed.

*Just a note: I suck! lol. As soon as I hit publish, I realized I forgot to actually put the synopsis here. So, here it is:

Personal bodyguard, and former Marine, Casey Brannigan, is approached with a job offer he does not want but cannot turn down. He does not have patience for crooked politicians or weak-willed women but that’s exactly what he thinks he’s facing when Senator Blaine approaches him with a job. His daughter, Emelyn, has been receiving threats against her life. He wants someone to protect her while the police look for the person behind the threats. He doesn’t agree with the politician’s policies or respect the woman he thinks is nothing more than a pretty face, but he needs the work after a failed job.

Casey thinks this will be an easy job and goes by himself to her house to watch her. But, there are problems from the start. He finds his feelings for her deepening as he realizes there’s more to her than what you can see on the surface. But, he’s afraid to get too close and lose her as he did his fiancee several years earlier.

When Emelyn is taken under his watch, he throws everything he has into finding her, even calling on people he has not spoken to in years. But, as time starts to run out, he fears he will never see her again, let alone confess his true feelings for her. As he closes in on the man who took her, he is forced to face the past he’s tried to leave behind. Will he find her in time or will he have to bury another woman he loves?

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