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Archive for September, 2012

Row80 Round 4 Goals

It seems like this break between rounds has gone particularly fast. Maybe because I haven’t really taken a break. Still writing every day, except for usually on weekends. And plotting my next project(which I’ll be writing for NaNoWriMo this year), and taking another look at my Western novella before sending it off to Beta readers. In fact, I almost forgot about writing up my goals until I saw a post on Twitter yesterday reminding me the next round starts on Monday. So, I figured I should get to it. As usual, I came up with quite a list and they are organized into categories.

  • October: Write at least 30,000 words on Flames of Redemption. This will bring me up to between 40,000-45,000 words(am at just over 11k now).
  • November: Write my 1667 words a day on Nano project first. Then, write at least 500 on Flames of Redemption every day(I should have around 60k by the end of the month if I can do this).
  • December: Finish Flames of Redemption. My target is to write at least 1000 words a day, so can hopefully be done just before Christmas. If I do finish then, I will turn back to finishing the NaNo project(I know what I’m writing, but it’s still untitled). This most likely won’t be until after the round is over though, so I won’t include it with the goals.


  • October: Finish Plotting/outlining NaNo project by the end of the month


  • October: Read through Novella and make any changes

Send to Beta Readers by 10/31

  • December: 1st Read through of Slow Revenge

You may notice I have no plotting or editing goals for the month of November. I decided to simply concentrate on writing for that month since I can’t seem to stay away from the challenge of NaNoWriMo.

Social Media:

  • Comment on at least 5 blogs/week
  • Keep Up with my blog
  • Reply to comments on my posts

I realized I have really started slacking on leaving comments for others. I’m not sure why this is, but I want to start being more supportive again. So, I’m going to focus on leaving more comments. And I’ve also been slacking lately on posts other than my weekly check-ins. so, need to work on that as well.

  • Read 15 novels(will include novellas and collections of stories in this)
  • Read 1 craft book

I easily surpassed my goal of 12 books last round, so decided to stretch it out this time. I do not currently have a craft book picked out, but would be open to suggestions. Have already read Plot & Structure(James Scott Bell) & Self-Editing for Fiction Writers(Renni Browne & Dave King). What are some other good ones?


  • Walk on treadmill 3x a week
  • Keep track of calories in/out on My Fitness Pal.

I haven’t been doing health goals, but we recently bought a treadmill(secondhand), and I was lazy over the summer about exercising and paying attention to what I was eating. So, now I need to get back on track.

So, those are my goals for this round. All are ones that are manageable for me, although some may be a stretch for me. But, if you don’t push yourself, how do you get better?


Writing Wednesday: Final Round 3 Check-In

Hard to believe we’re at the end of yet another round(well, tomorrow, officially). I’ll have to review my initial goals and see how close I came to meeting them. But, even if I didn’t meet all of them, I still feel like I made quite a bit of progress. After all, I do have another first draft finished. And that is an accomplishment in itself. That’s the third one I’ve finished this year. two novels(one actually started last year, but finished it this January) and a novella. As well as several flash fiction pieces. Which I’m sure brings this year’s total word count to over 100,000. And there’s still 3 months left to the year.

  • write every day, plan for an average of at least 1000 words a day

Haven’t written every single day. Saturday we went out to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary(which was on Sunday), so I didn’t write at all over the weekend. But, in the eight days since I started this WiP, I have written six of them. Word counts for the last week are: Thursday -1030, Friday – 1065, Monday – 1213, Tuesday – 738, Wednesday – 1319. That brings the last week’s total up to 5365. Averaging about 1000 words on the days I write so far. Which is still good. My current deadline for this one is December 21. That will have it finished before the Holiday weekend.

  • Finish reading The Last Boyfriend

Finished this last week.

  • Start reading Wrath by Kirkus MacGowan

Read this in two days and have finished one more book, An Act of Deceit by Jennifer L Jennings and have moved on to her third one, An Island of Illusions.
Usually I review my round goals in a separate post, but I’m going to do it all in one this time.

  • Finish the first draft of Slow Revenge by 8/10.

I didn’t finish this by my deadline, but did finish before the end of August.

  • Read 1 chapter a day of Stained Snow to finish by 7/13 and make notes on changes to make.

I did meet this one.

  • Have edits finished by 7/31.

Pretty sure I had them done before the end of the month.

  • Start Guarding the Heart edits on 8/13

Ended up not even looking at this again. I think I’m going to start over on it sometime, do some more planning, flesh out characters more(particulary the antagonist. I knew there were problems with him from the start). It probably won’t be a complete rewrite, as I’ll probably be able to use a lot of what I had written.

  • Finish Guarding the Heart edits by: 9/14

See Above.

  • Decide on next story idea once Slow Revenge is finished

Did this. Decided to work on an idea that’s been simmering for several years. Working Title: Flames of Redemption

  • Plot out idea using snowflake method.

done. and did some additional plotting.

  • Be ready to start writing in September.

Started writing September 12, so not right at the beginning of the month, but still in September.

  • Read 12 novels(or 1 a week)

I have read 17 books during this round. Not all were novels, some were novellas or collections of short stories, but 11 of them were novels, and the others would definitely count as more than one novel together, so I’ll count this one as achieved.

  • Read 1 craft book

Read Jeff Goins’ You Are a Writer(So Start Acting Like One).
Other than working on editing Guarding the Heart and finishing Slow Revenge a few weeks later than planned, I’d say I met each of my goals for this round. And I’ll call that a success.


Writing Wednesday: Starting Over

Another starts

I mentioned I’m not good at taking breaks, right? Just making sure. Yeah, that’s right. I started another WiP this morning. Didn’t take me nearly as long to plan it out as I figured on. Although I’m already having my doubts about it, as my tweet this morning proves: “haven’t started writing & inner editor is telling me this story will suck. not a good sign. But, time to shut it up & get to it. #row80” And I managed to write 1140 words before I had to get my daughter off the bus. So, that’s not too shabby, I suppose.

  • Finish applying the snowflake method to the newest WiP

Obviously this is done. 🙂 Used the blueprint from Kait Nolan‘s site and filled that all out as well as the novel notebook. I also wrote out all the scenes I had planned on notecards with goals, motivation, & conflict as well as who is in the scene, who the POV character is, the setting, & plotline the scene falls in(and then transferred all of that to Scrivener when i was setting up those scenes). I only have 34 scenes planned out, but I know there will be more that that when I’m finished writing. But, these should be the major ones.

  • work up a blueprint for the WiP

Done as well.

  • Be halfway through Gone Girl

I finished reading this in 2 days. Was reading it as part of an online book club, and we had planned to be through the first part by the end of this week. Obviously, I finished early. 🙂 Then, I started reading The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts over the weekend. I’m on chapter 9 of that now and planning to finish it by the end of the week.

I’m very pleased with what I’ve gotten done in the last week. I think this is the last week for this round(it ends 9/20, right?). So, my goals for the finish of this round are:

  • write every day, plan for an average of at least 1000 words a day
  • Finish reading The Last Boyfriend
  • Start reading Wrath by Kirkus MacGowan

How is everyone else doing as we near the end of the round? Do you usually take breaks between projects? Or are you like me and ready to jump into the next one?

Family Friday: Birthday & Check-Ups

Nathan’s 2nd birthday was this past Monday. We celebrated it a few times over the weekend. On Saturday, we had a party with my side of the family down at a campground where my mom and stepdad were camping.

eating watermelon at the campground

his birthday cupcake

trying to eat all the ice cream in one bite

frosting in his hair

and into his ear

a new puppy

fire coat and boots

construction set

dump truck(or “du tru”) and digger


Then, we had another celebration on Sunday with Cory’s side of the family.

my little firefighter before his party.

Nathan’s dinosaur cake

wearing his boots for his party

more construction equipment

And some clothes

new dishes

John Deere cups

and another tractor

Cars activity mat

blowing out his candles

Then, on Monday we had a little celebration with just us.

traditional picture with his big puppy

opening a present from Mommy and Daddy

a new train

a truck from his sister

checking out this big present

a bike!

and he’s just about big enough for it


And today, both kids had their check-ups. Nathan weighs 27.5 lbs, which is about the 42nd percentile, although he was moving around on the scale, so it might be a little off. And he is almost 35 inches, about 63rd percentile, and his head is 50.5 centimeters(not sure why that’s the only one they don’t give in inches), which is about 90th percentile. So, he’s skinny, tallish with a big head. 🙂 The doctor asked about his speech, and I told her some of the words he’s saying, mostly “du tru” and “tra” and “oh no”. And of course “muk”, his favorite drink. She said we could get him evaluated if I was concerned that he’s not talking enough, but really I’m not. He’s so much more verbal than my daughter was at 2, and he talks all the time, we just can’t always understand a lot of it. She only said maybe half a dozen words at 2, and he is saying more than that now. If he’s still not saying much more in another 6 months or so, I may be more concerned. But, for now, it’s good. He didn’t have to get any shots today, just the nasal flu vaccine.

Hayleigh weighs 37 lbs, 3.2 oz, which is 33rd percentile for her age and is 41 inches, which is 23rd percentile. So she is short and skinny. 🙂 She had her hearing and vision checked and hearing was good and eyesight is 20/40. The doctor said that’s not really unusual for her age, but is borderline, so we could get it checked if we wanted. Since she takes after me in just about every other way, I don’t doubt she’ll need to get glasses at some point too. So, if I ever go in to get mine checked and new glasses(I’ve had these ones 3 years and are so scratched up I can barely see out of them), I’ll probably have hers checked too. She also got three shots, since she wasn’t able to get them at her 4 yr old appt which was 5 days before her birthday, and the nasal flu vaccine. She never even cried, so the nurse told her she could take 2 stickers when we left.


























Writing Wednesday: Taking a Break, Or Not

First, I finished my WiP last week. One day before my latest self-imposed deadline. I had said that once I finished it, I would take a break over the long weekend(and my son’s birthday) before I started planning the next one. Yeah, not so much. I finished the first draft Thursday afternoon and by Thursday night I had decided on and was brainstorming my next project. Apparently I do not know the mean of the term, “break”. I worked on it Friday and a little bit on Saturday, but did actually take a break on Sunday and Monday. Then jumped right back into it Tuesday morning.

I didn’t make out a list of goals last week, but my main one was to finish the first draft. Which I did accomplish. When I checked in on Wednesday, I had written 1310 words. Well, after the ROW80 sprint in the afternoon, a bunch of us decided to get together around 8 that night for some #wordmongering. And I ended the day with 5126 words. Thursday I wrote 4022 words and finished it. It ended up being 88130 words when finished. I’m not sure how happy I am with the ending, but that can always be fixed during revisions.

I ended up writing just a little short of 40,000 words in August. And wrote 28 out of 31 days. That’s an average of about 1321 words for the month, 1415 just counting the days I did write. I know the last two days I wrote had a lot to do with that, and those numbers are quite unusual for me. It took me a total of 83 writing days to finish, although those were over a total of 116 days. Over those 83 days, I averaged about 1060 words a day. So, I know writing 1000 words a day, on average, is definitely doable for me, and I could potentially finish a novel in 90 days. So, I think that will be my goal for the next one.

I already have a good bit of the planning done for the next story. Did some fleshing out of the plot and have dived into the characters’ lives quite a bit. did some character interviews for the first time. Two of the characters were quite open, but the other one had some things he just did not like to discuss. Have some more plotting to do before I will actually start writing though. Hopefully will be done with the plotting by the end of next week though, but we’ll see how that goes.

I also started reading The Fall of Billy Hitchings by Kirkus MacGowan and finished it last night. Now, I’m starting to read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Well, I haven’t actually started it yet, but have it open on one of my e-reader apps on my phone.

Goals for next week:

  • Finish applying the snowflake method to the newest WiP
  • work up a blueprint for the WiP
  • Be halfway through Gone Girl


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