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Archive for February, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Catching Up

This week got off to a rough start. I was woken up at 12:30 Sunday night(Monday morning) by a four year old saying she was starting to puke. She wasn’t, but I think she woke up coughing and thought she was. She laid in our bed for a while, but she was really hot(and tylenol didn’t bring down her temperature), so her and her Daddy went and camped out in the living room for the night. I still only got about three hours of sleep and just was not feeling the writing Monday morning. After taking her to the doctor for them to confirm she has strep throat, still couldn’t quite focus on the words. So, I didn’t really get much done then.

Have at least 8000 words on WIP – Not there quite yet. Between my early morning writing session and a sprint, I wrote over 1500 words yesterday. Today’s two writing sessions got me another 1000+ words, which brings my total for the WIP up to 7662. so, only about 340 words short of my goal. Unless something else happens this week, I should be caught back up by the end of the week.

Write on 750words.com every day. – This one I have managed. A lot of it is rambling nonsense that’s running through my head at the time, but it’s still words. I’m currently on a 24 day streak. Lost my streak of no distractions this morning as I got distracted for more than three minutes once. So, I’ll be starting that one over tomorrow. Should have my albatross badge by next Tuesday though as long as I don’t miss any days.

Have Knitting Monday & Flash Fiction Tuesday posts up – this one I got done as well. Posted about some of my Spring and Easter projects on Monday. And put up the flash fiction piece I wrote the day after Valentines Day up on Tuesday. I only have one more piece ready to post, so I may have to work on some flash fiction this weekend.

Comment on blogs. – Nope.

So, even though I missed a full day and haven’t quite made it up yet, I’m still happy with how much I was able to catch up. And I hope to be fully caught up by the next check-in.

Goals for Sunday:

  • Have 10000 words on WIP
  • Write on 750words.com every day.
  • Have Family Friday post up.
  • Comment on blogs.
  • Finish exercises for chapter 5 of Plot & Structure
  • Read the second story in Ruth Nestvold’s If Tears Were Wishes collection

Flash Fiction Tuesday: Locked Door

The locked door fascinated and puzzled her. She studied it from several different angles, but could not figure out how to unlock it. There was no keyhole. No latch to turn. No deadbolt. Unless there was some mechanism she could not see, it was just a simple doorknob that would turn. She looked through the window beside the door, a hand above her eyes to block the glare from the sun. But, she did not even see anyone inside.

“Why did someone send me this note to meet them here if they’re not even anywhere around.”

She stepped down off the porch and started around the corner of the house, hoping to find another door that was unlocked. But, there was nothing besides an entrance to the cellar that was locked with just a rusty old padlock. She figured it would take just one good kick to break that lock, but she was not so sure about going down into a dark basement of a strange house.

She circled the house again, looking for a way in. She knew she should just walk away from it. After all, it could very well be a trap. She did not know who would want to trap her, but something did not feel right about the situation. Whoever had left the note had made it seem like it was extremely important that she be at this spot at this time though. But, none of it made sense. Who would even want to meet with her?

She stepped back up onto the porch and looked around. What should she do? She did not even know who had sent the note. She could wait a few more minutes to see if they showed up. But, what if she was just wasting her time? She sighed as her curiosity won out. Five minutes. She could spare another five minutes.

She settled into the wooden chair near the door and glanced at her watch. Five minutes was about all she could spare, she realized, if she didn’t want to be late to meet her boyfriend at the restaurant. “Hope whoever this is hurries up. Still need to get home and changed before dinner.”

She leaned back in the chair, but it was impossible to get comfortable in the hard seat. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the doorknob start to turn then the door creaked open. She jumped to her feet but could not step away before a hand snaked out and wrapped around her arm.

“Change of plans.”

The voice sent a shiver down her spine as she recognized it. She would know that voice anywhere. Just as she recognized the scent of the man as he pulled her into the house. “Why didn’t you just say it was you? I would have come.”

“This way is better. No one knows we’re here,” he said as he locked the door again. “No one can interrupt us.”

The words and the sound of his voice sent a thrill through her blood as his touch so often had. “Thank goodness,” she said as she wrapped herself around him.

Knitting Monday: Getting Ready for Spring

I wanted to make a spring hat and found this pattern on ravelry for a lacy newborn hat. I figured using cotton for it would give it the lightness perfect for a spring/summer hat. I had a little trouble with it at first as it was the first time I had knitted a hat from the top down. But, I think it came out pretty nice.

Lacy Spring Hat

Last week I decided to start working on some items for Easter. The first one I did was the Knit Little Lamb from Lion Brand Yarn. Finished it on Friday. It only took me about ten hours to finish.I didn’t use the yarn the pattern called for as it’s about $9 for 87 yards of it. And I figured any worsted weight yarn(which I have plenty of) should work.

Little Lamb

After I finished that, I started a similar pattern, this one for a bunny. It called for the same yarn, but once again I just used some worsted weight that I all ready had on hand. Not quite finished with it yet, just have the body, ears, and one leg finished. Hoping to get the rest of it done and assembled today or early tomorrow.

Sunday Update

This first week of working on a new WIP has been going really well. I did struggle with one scene. It was a very emotional one for the character and I struggled with handling his emotions the right way. Then, I reminded myself this is the first draft, and if I have to rework it later, at least I will have something to rework. But, first I have to just get it written.

Have at least 5000 words on WIP: Did make it to the sprint Wednesday afternoon and added another 497 words to what I all ready had. Thursday morning, I wrote 690 words and another 478 during the sprint. That put me almost 350 words ahead of my target for that point. Friday morning I got up and wrote 650 words, but was still two words short of my target. So, I wrote another sentence and that day’s word count was at 666. Could not leave it there. So, wrote a little more and ended up with 684 words for the day. Didn’t join the sprint that afternoon as I wanted to finish a knitting project I was working on. But, I had 5032 words at that point. I wrote 4862 words for the whole week(starting on Monday).

Finish Chapter 5 & exercises in Plot & Structure: Finished reading the chapter but have not done the exercises.

Finish The Search: Did this Wednesday night.

Have Family Friday post up on time: Got it up. It was a pretty short one, but I got it up.

Comment on blogs: commented on 1 Wednesday and 1 more on Thursday.

I actually managed to meet all my goals this time. Of course, that’s because I scaled back on the non-writing goals for right now. Concentrating more on the writing goals seems to be the way to go when I’m in the middle of something.

Goals for Wednesday:

Have at least 8000 words on WIP

Write on 750words.com every day. I use this to get my WIP words in during the morning and get any random thoughts out. Currently aiming for a hamster badge(no distractions) and an albatross badge(30 day writing streak). I got my early bird badge earlier this week for writing 10 consecutive days before 9 am. That isn’t really difficult for me as I am an early riser anyway. It’s the no distractions one I’m probably going to struggle with. Although, as long as I can get it done first thing in the morning, it won’t be as difficult since the kids are still sleeping and not being my distractions.

Have Knitting Monday & Flash Fiction Tuesday posts up.

Comment on blogs.

Family Friday: Things I Never Thought I Would Say

There are some things that, before becoming a parent, I never thought I would hear myself saying. Yesterday, I came across one more:

“No, Nathan. Do not bite your sister’s toes.” And trying not to laugh as I said it while Hayleigh is yelling, “No, Baby Nate, don’t try to eat me!” Apparently, I have a cannibal on my hands. Who knew? And of course, he is laughing the whole time she’s yelling at him.

Some other things I never thought I’d say:

“Do not eat your diaper.” Yuck.

“You don’t eat socks.” Yes, the boy will put everything in his mouth.

“Don’t eat the wood pellets.” Are you noticing a trend yet?

“Just stop talking and eat.” After all the problems just getting Hayleigh to talk, I never would have thought we’d have to tell her to stop talking.

“Put the book down all ready.” Anyone who knows me would be surprised to hear me say those words. But, this girl would read(well, look at books) every waking hour if we let her. At least I know where she gets that from.

I am sure there are more, but those are the ones that I can think of right now. Are there any things you’ve found yourself saying that you never thought you would?

Writing Wednesday: Rolling with the Words

The words have been rolling this week. Haven’t met my daily goal of 1000 words a day every day, but I started the week ahead, so I’ve managed to stay ahead of my overall target word count.

  • Have 3000 words on Stained Snow – I have 2683 right now. On Monday, I wrote 874 words in the morning then joined a Row80 sprint in the afternoon. It was my first one since I think December, since I usually get all my writing done in the morning. During it, I added another 597 words. That put me over 600 words ahead of my target for Monday. Yesterday morning, I got just 302 words written. During the first half of the sprint in the afternoon, I added another 410 words. I thought my son was waking up from his nap, so I didn’t make it for the second half. Then, he ended up sleeping at least another 45 minutes. I was still about 350 words ahead of my target though so I only needed 650 today. This morning I managed to finish the scene I started during the sprint yesterday. That got me another 330 words. So, that’s where I am now. Planning on joining in on the sprint again today and hopefully will get the rest of words in then as long as the kids cooperate.
  • Start reading through notes I stuck into Guarding the Heart scenes and the spots I marked by [xx] because I wasn’t sure of a detail and didn’t want to take the time to research right then. – worked on this Monday and Tuesday. Still not sure if I’m going to work on editing this while I write the novella or wait until I’m done writing that so it can rest while I edit Guarding the Heart. I’m leaning more toward the second though.
  • Finish Chapter 5 & exercises for Plot & Structure – Haven’t even read even more of it yet this week. I don’t seem to get nearly as much reading done when I’m in the middle of working on a project. So, this might be something to do just on the weekends when I don’t do as much writing anyway.
  • Read 3 more Chapters in The Search – I did get this done, just this morning in fact. Just have three more chapters to go.
  • Have Knitting Monday & Flash Fiction Tuesday posts up: Done on both!
  • Comment on at least 3 blogs – commented on three and replied to comments on my Sunday  check-in and Tuesday’s flash fiction post.
  • Workout twice – Didn’t work out on Monday. Tuesday I did a workout a friend found on Pinterest. Supposed to do the whole circuit of exercises 3-5 times. After doing them once, I was all ready feeling it. So decided to work my way up to more repetitions. Shoulders were still sore this morning(from the push ups, I think), so I decided to take today off.

Doing pretty good on the writing goals, even if some of the others may need some adjusting. Right now, I think I’m going to concentrate more on the writing and social media goals though. So, by Sunday, I hope to:

  • Have 5000 words on the WIP
  • Finish Chapter 5 & exercises
  • Finish The Search
  • Have Family Friday post up on time
  • Comment on blogs – no particular number, just as many as I feel I have something to say on.


Flash Fiction Tuesday: Late Train

This is one that I wasn’t too happy with the ending. I thought a couple times about taking out the last paragraph. Think it might be stronger without it. I’ll take any comments about that because I’m still not sure about it.


The train was late today, and it was always early. I stood at the station waiting for the telltale puff of smoke from the engine. I took my timepiece out of my pocket and glanced at it again. Fifteen minutes past when the train was due. I would give it another five, but I was sure something had happened. As soon as those five minutes were up and there was still no sign of the approaching train, I strode back toward my office.

A man stopped me before I could reach my destination. “Sheriff, where’s the train? It shoulda been here by now.”

“I know, Jim. I’m on my way to see what’s holding it up. Just need to let Deputy Fetz know what’s up.”

“Do you need someone to ride with you? I can close up the shop.”

I shook my head. “No, it’s fine. It may be nothing. I just need to check it out. Go on back to your store.”

“You sure?”

“Yes, Jim, I’m sure. Go on now.”

I waited until I saw the man cross the street to his store again before finishing my walk to the office where my deputy waited. He glanced up at me when I stepped inside. “I didn’t hear the train come into the station.”

“It didn’t,” I told him. “I’m going to go see if I can find the hold up. I shouldn’t be gone long.”

“All right, Sheriff. I can hold things down until you get back.”

“I know,” I said as I grabbed my saddlebags from behind the desk. “Like I said, I shouldn’t be gone long. Hopefully be back by morning.”

I rode out of town, following the train tracks in the direction the train should have come from. I started to grow worried as I rode and saw no sign of the delayed train. When I did see smoke in the distance, I knew something was wrong. It was not the puffs of smoke from a working engine, but a dark column rising into the sky.

I already had a feeling of what had happened, so I was cautious as I rode closer. When the train came into sight, I pulled my horse up and just stared at the wreckage. The tracks had been dynamited. And by the way the front of the engine was mangled, it had been timed so the dynamite had been thrown or placed on the track just as train came to that point. The engineer would not have been able to stop the engine in time to avoid the blast. The explosion had thrown the rest of the train off the tracks. I was not sure anyone could have survived that crash. And from where I observed the scene, I could not see any sign that I was wrong.

With a heaviness in my chest, I urged my horse forward toward the scene of destruction. But, he stopped just a few yards from the tracks, snorting and pawing at the earth. I knew he could smell the blood and death surrounding the train, and it made him anxious. I patted the animal’s neck to calm him then slid down from the saddle. “It’s all right, boy. I’ll take it from here.”

I pulled out my pistol as I headed for the train, in case any of the ones responsible for this were still around. I stepped into the first passenger car and did not see any sign of life. Bodies lay thrown against the wall and into the aisle, but by all appearances, none moved or even breathed. Still, I checked each for even the slightest sign they may have survived.

When I passed through that first car and back outside, I had to take a moment to gather myself again. I sucked in the fresh air to try to cleanse the smell of death from my nostrils. I knew I had to go on, but I was not sure I could take any more of this. Taking a deep breath, I opened the door to the next car. And what I saw nearly brought me to my knees.

I knew all of them. Each and every last person in the car was someone in my life. How could they all be dead? I made my way through the car, my horror growing as I went. At the end of the car, I did drop to my knees. In front of the woman who had been my wife, who had left just the year before when my drinking got out of control. Then, her eyes opened and stared directly into mine. “It’s your fault. This is all your fault.” Then, the darkness opened up and swallowed me.

I woke up in my own bed, my head pounding from the last night of drinking and the taste of stale alcohol and vomit in my mouth. Obviously someone was trying to tell me something. My life had become a train wreck, and I had hurt all the people that mattered, and probably even some that didn’t. It was my fault, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t change it. I got out of bed and going into the kitchen, dumped the rest of the bottle of whiskey down the drain. I would get cleaned up, for good this time, and get this train back on the tracks.

Knitting Monday: One Month in Business

I have been in business for just over one month now. I don’t really have a whole lot to report on that though. Still have no sales. Only one order, which I was never even paid for.

Since opening on January 15, I have listed 22 items in my Etsy shop. 11 of those listings are hats, 4 are bibs, 2 slippers, 2 toys, 1 washcloth, 1 set(bib & washcloth), and 1 blanket. The most viewed of these during the first month was my Baby Seahorse bib.

During that month, I received 61 views. 27 to my shop, and 34 that actually viewed my listings. 34 of those 61 came right from Etsy. 12 came from facebook(and 3 from facebook mobile, which I think were all me looking at my shop from my phone). 10 came directly to my shop from a link. And one each came from this blog and yahoo mail.

Of the ones that came right from Etsy, 13 came to my shop and listings from the category pages. 8 clicked to other pages in my shop from my listings, 7 clicked another page from my shop, and 6 came from Etsy search results.

Some of the searches that brought people to my shop were: ireland beanie hat(I imagine my Irish Flag Hat), irish flag hat, cotton baby bibs knitted, slippers, baby monkey(my baby monkey bib), and baby bib).

As I said, the baby seahorse bib was the most viewed listing with 5 views. Right behind that was the Baby Starfish bib, Tiny Turtle, and Button Band hat, each with 4 views. Then came the Baby Monkey Bib and Rolled Brim Hat with 3 views each. I had just 2 views on the Simple Baby Bib, Simple Squares Baby Hat(preemie & 12 months/toddler sizes), footwarmers, and the Irish Flag Hat. I had just one view on the newborn/6 month size Simple Lines Baby hat listing.

On my Facebook page, I had 29 people who had liked the page up until last Wednesday, my one month anniversary of being in business. That morning, I saw a fellow crafter post about a fan cruise. What you did was share that post on your business page then go through and like the other businesses that had shared the page. They in turn, like your page. I know for myself, I was overwhelmed by the number of businesses there and did not like all of them, but tried to like as many as I could. I was even more overwhelmed by how many new “fans” I gained. In about the span of an hour, I went from 29 likes to 61. I could not believe it. Of course, it has not brought any more business my way yet, but I figure it’s another way to network and hopefully soon I will get some orders at least. In the meantime, I’m going to keep knitting new things and hope at least one of them will appeal to someone.

Sunday Update: Productive Week & New Distraction

I was pretty productive during the second half of the week. I can see that possibly changing though. Yesterday I finally broke down and signed up for Pinterest. This could very well be a mistake. It’s all ready proven to be a bit of a time suck. And I’ve even found a recipe for homemade snickers bars. Well, there goes all the weight I’ve lost over the last couple months. Looking at the pictures of them will probably make me gain it back(ok, not really, but they certainly did look really good). So, hopefully I can apply my massive amount of self-control — ok, had to stop laughing there. Hopefully, I have at least enough self-control to make sure I can still get something productive done before I step into the time suck that is Pinterest.

My goals for today were:
Get chapters and scenes set up in yWriter – Done on Friday & started writing the first scene on Saturday. Am now 170 words ahead since I didn’t plan to start writing until Monday.
Write & edit(if necessary) another flash fiction piece – also done on Friday. Was less than 800 words, so I left it as is. It was kind of sad and a bit disturbing at the end(I seriously did not even see that ending coming until I was writing it). And may be a sensitive issue for some people, so I’ll have to be sure to put a warning on it when I do post it.
Read Chapter 3 & do exercises in Plot & Structure–  Not only did I finish this by Thursday, I’ve also read Chapter 4 and finished it’s exercises(yesterday), and started on Chapter 5.
Get through Chapter 22 of The Search(about 1 chapter a day): Got here on Friday too and have now read through Chapter 25. Only 6 more chapters to go.
Have Family Friday post up: Got a shorter one up about the fact my daughter has the memory of an elephant.
Comment on at least 2 blogs: did manage this one.
Workout twice: this is the only one I didn’t do anything on. took Wednesday as a rest day and Thursday I completely lost my motivation. Not sure what the problem was, but I couldn’t get it back. Need to get back on track on Monday though.

I started my spreadsheet for Stained Snow yesterday. I guess I’m going to retract my statement that I’m not an organized person to Eden. I should have phrased it differently. I’m not an organized person in my everyday household/domestic life. You can take the messy counters and even my very disorganized work area as proof of that. But, when it comes to my writing, and even my knitting, I am dorkily(did I just make that up?) organized. I have my spreadsheet with columns for the date, daily target, cumulative target, actual words written, cumulative words written, and how many words I need to write a day to reach my goal on time. I also have little calendars off to the side so I can keep track of how much I actually get written each week and for the month. To prove my dorkiness, I even took a picture of the spreadsheet I created yesterday. Yes, my life is really that pathetic that I actually enjoyed making this.

See, I told you I'm a dork

Goals for Wednesday:
Have 3000 words on Stained Snow
Start reading through notes I stuck into Guarding the Heart scenes and the spots I marked by [xx] because I wasn’t sure of a detail and didn’t want to take the time to research right then.
Finish Chapter 5 & exercises for Plot & Structure
Read 3 more Chapters in The Search
Have Knitting Monday & Flash Fiction Tuesday posts up
Comment on at least 3 blogs
Workout twice

Family Friday: An Elephant’s Memory

Sometimes I think Hayleigh has the memory of an elephant. I swear she never forgets anything. She has every episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse memorized, I think. She can even tell you what happens in some of the newer ones that she’s only seen a couple times. Or the ones she has not seen for weeks or months.

She has started “reading” her books to me, especially the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Silly Sally, and Pinkalicious. I love the fact that she loves books and reading, and it is so cute what she remembers from the books.

Last week, she was watching an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba that was about dressing up and she told me she had a dog costume she could dress up in. And we could go to the place where we went for Halloween. And sometimes we go to the mall for Halloween. Then, she keeps going on about how she had to wait until her brother was changed before she could change into her costume. How does she remember this stuff? That was like four months ago! Like I said, the memory of an elephant.

Of course, this has a bad side too. She remembers absolutely everything we say. We can’t even say we might do something, because if we decide not to, she remembers that we were going to do it. And she doesn’t let us forget it.

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