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Archive for October, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Halloween RoW

“It’s the end of Octover. It’s almost Halloween.” That’s what I’ve been hearing for about the last week or so. And this morning, “It’s the last day of Octover. It’s Halloween!” Love the excitement of a five-year-old. I sent my little witch(not a scary witch, she’s a nice witch – her words) off to school this morning for her Halloween parade and trick-or-treating through the school. And she’ll get to go out again tonight with her brother, the puppy.

As for my progress this week:


Not too great on this front, but I am making progress. I’m not sure why, but I can’t seem to get my head into this story recently. I was so excited to start writing it, but that excitement has worn off. Maybe I need to take a little break from it. I’ll still be working on it during November probably, but only after I get my words in for my NaNo project. So far this week, I’ve added 2843 words. So, that’s not too bad, I guess.

In October, I wrote 20,584 words on my WiP writing on 24 days. So that’s about 77% of the month were writing days. And I wrote a daily average of 858 words on the days I did write with an average of 664 overall for the month. It’s not as much as I’d wanted to write, I had wanted to add 30,000 words, or at least get to 40,000 words total. I’m at just over 33,000 words though. So, not as much progress as I’d like, but it’s not terrible either.


This is done. I got all my scene cards made out and everything set up in Scrivener. I only have 33 scenes right now, but I know I will add more as I write. It seems to work better for me to have the basic structure outlined with some wiggle room in there for it to change direction a bit. I just need to get my spreadsheet set up to keep track of word count, and I’ll be ready to write. And actually I can start writing without the spreadsheet fully ready, so I’m as ready for November as I can be.

Social Media:

I didn’t post on Monday, but I did get a knitting post up yesterday.


Finished reading Damnation Marked on Monday. Started Uncontrollable yesterday but am only about 10% through it. I remember having trouble getting into the first one at the beginning to. So, I’ll give it a little longer.


Worked out on Monday and that’s been it so far this week. Was doing good tracking calories until Monday afternoon, which always seems to be when I slack off on it. Didn’t keep track of anything today either. I’ve lost motivation for anything in this category. I’m pretty sure I know the reason and it will be better by next week. Until then, I’ll try to stay on track even if I don’t keep track of everything.

Tomorrow is November, which means the start of writing like a maniac month. Hoping I can focus and pull it off again. Managed it last year even with my birthday(next Monday if anyone want to celebrate with me) and Thanksgiving  during this crazy month. Good luck to anyone else attempting NaNoWriMo this year!

*Yes, I know I misspelled October at the beginning of the post, but that is how my daughter pronounces it. 🙂

Knitting Tuesday: Slippers Done


As I predicted last week, I was able to finish the second pair of slippers on Tuesday. Just in time to head down to my mom’s for a farewell dinner for my grandparents before they headed off to Florida. So, I was able to hand over the slippers to my sister there. Both of my nieces likes their new slippers, and they fit(something I worried about, since I hadn’t been able to measure their feet before I started, so was guessing on length).

my older niece’s finished slippers

the smaller pair

In Progress:

I have three different projects on needles right now. Two hats and I’m still working on the cowl/hood that I first started back in September. One of the hats is a cause hat that I had to set aside because I ran out of yarn for it. I finally got more yarn and then I was working on the slippers. I have now finished the straight section of the body and just have to shape the crown and then fold over the edge for the hemmed brim. Should have it finished sometime this week.

The other hat is one I’m knitting on straight needles. I found the pattern through Red Heart’s email newsletter. Turning out nice, but I hadn’t been paying attention when I first started and didn’t see you were supposed to hold the yarn double throughout. Not until I had finished the ten rows of ribbing. So, I had to rip those rows out and start over again. Otherwise it might be joining the slippers in the finished category today. And I had a little trouble following the chart for the stranding. Once I figured that out, it was all good though. Should be able to finish this today or tomorrow.

the front of the hat

what the back(will be the inside) looks like

The only thing I can really say about the cowl/hood is that I’m making progress. Hard to really tell how much. I’m hoping I’ll only need another 2 or 3 repeats to finish it. I’m ready to be finished with it.

it’s getting longer

Coming Up:

One of the projects I’ll cast on to my needles next is the Shimmer By Night Bag from Lion Brand Yarn’s website. I’ve had the yarn for it for a while, just haven’t started it.

I’ll also start another cause hat once I finish the current one. The next one will be a toque with a 1×1 ribbed brim.

I’ll also be casting on stitches for a woven cable coffee cup sleeve. I found the pattern for this when I was looking at the other coffee cozy patterns. I have one other one I want to try as well.

Sunday Summary


I had some trouble focusing on the words this week, but I still managed to make some progress. Monday I wrote 1081, on Tuesday: 792, Wednesday: 1052, Thursday: 1083, and Friday: 496. That adds up to just over 4500 for the week. So, about 900 on average a day. Would like to do more, and I know I can. Just have to work on focusing better.


I just finished making out my scene cards this morning, so I just need to figure out the timeline of the story and get it all set up in scrivener, and I’ll be ready to start writing it on Thursday.

Social Media:

I’ve commented on a few posts this week, but I doubt 5 of them. I posted on my blog every day but Thursday. I did reply to some comments, but I know not all of them.


I finished reading S.M. Reine’s The Dark Union Wednesday night and started the next book in the series, Damnation Marked. Am a little more than halfway through it now.


I walked on the treadmill twice this week, Tuesday and Friday. And I did a workout on the Wii Monday and Thursday. Hurt myself doing it on Monday, but by Wednesday or Thursday it was feeling better. I did better with keeping track of my calories this week as well, even if I wasn’t so good at staying within the calories.

Goals for next week:

  • Write another 4000 words on Flames of Redemption
  • Write at least 6600 words on Healing the Heart
  • Have chapters/scenes set up in Scrivener
  • Keep up on at least Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday blog posts. Monday & Thursday if I have time.
  • Finish reading Damnation Marked
  • Read Uncontrollable by S. R. Johannes
  • Workout at least 3 days
  • Keep track of calories 5 days

Family Friday: Shadow

Last night a little before 7:15, my 15(-ish, we don’t know her exact age), Chow mix, Shadow, passed away with me by her side. We believe she had a stroke sometime on Tuesday, and we did not believe it was fair to let her suffer any more. If she had been younger, and there was a chance for her to recover, a different decision may have been made. But, in all honesty, we’ve known for a while that this day was coming for a while now. Over the past few months, and really over the last year or two, her health has been on the decline. So, we knew it was coming, but this was still hard.

with our lab mix, Lady

Shadow came into my life back in July of 2000. I remember at the beginning of that summer, I was looking at our humane society’s website at the pictures of their dogs. I had wanted one so much. We had my stepdad’s dog, but he was outside and old. And not mine. I wasn’t even 16 yet, so I couldn’t adopt one on my own(you have to be 18). Well, one day my mom and stepdad came home, and they were leading this medium-sized black dog across the yard. Come to find out, they went to look at the one I was interested in, a yellow lab puppy, but someone else had just adopted it. And they found her. The humane society said she was 2 1/2 years old and a chow mix, but we never knew what else she was mixed with.

shortly after we got her, running toward me.

From the moment I took the leash, she was my dog. She followed me everywhere. And still it took 2 weeks to think of a name for her. Should have been obvious from the start, she was my shadow. She had a problem with men. And balls, and later, we learned, empty pop(soda) bottles. I tried to teach her to fetch a ball soon after we got her, and she cowered away every time I would throw it. Our assumption was that she had been abused by a former owner and thought I was going to hit her as well. Either that, or she knew how terrible my aim was. She also hated to have her tail touched. HATED it. Which is another thing we attributed to her possible abuse.

Back when our daughter was first born

She was such a good dog and smart. About the only thing I could never teach her was to fetch. She wouldn’t even chase the ball. Everything else she learned so easily though. And friendly. I would swear she didn’t have a mean streak in her. But, she was definitely a one-person dog. She would stay with me all the time, and didn’t really care for too many others. When Cory and I moved into our apartment, we had two floors of it, which started on the second floor of the building. She would only let me take her outside. If Cory tried to, she would just stand there and not do anything. And she would not eat or drink unless I was home. One time, right before our wedding, she went about 24 hours without doing anything. Because I wasn’t home. Neurotic, a little? Yes, she was. 🙂

But, she was a good dog. And she had a long life, a lot longer than we thought it would be. Back when we lived in that apartment(only for a year), we didn’t think she would make it much longer. With having to go up and down those steps all the time, her joints were bad. And she would never stay downstairs if I was up on the top floor(which is where our computer was and where I spent most of the day). Once we moved out to our house, she improved. There’s only a few steps from the porch to the yard, and our house is just a single level. But, over the last few years, she had gotten bad again. Would have trouble walking when she’d first get up, especially when it gets cold. And on Tuesday, I thought at first that’s all it was. Until it didn’t get any better, and really got worse. She could barely get up on her own, and I had to carry her outside and to her food dish, which she wouldn’t even eat out of. So, I don’t have much doubt that we made the right decision.

Our daughter feeding Shadow a dog cookie while Lady looks on

So long, Shadow. You were a good dog and a good friend. We’re going to miss you, but I know you’re no longer in pain. And I hope you’re able to run and play now like you haven’t been able to in a while.

Writing Wednesday: Feeling Emotional

This probably won’t be a very long post(or it could be because I tend to ramble when I’m emotional or worked up about something). My dog who I have had for twelve years, she’s about 15, has been seriously declining in health over the last several months. Really, for the last couple years. We kept thinking she wouldn’t make it through the next year. And she kept proving us wrong. We knew this decision was going to have to be made soon. And it was pretty much made for us yesterday. I noticed in the morning that she was walking weird, like her hips weren’t working right. And then I noticed that when she would walk, she had her head tilted to the side and she kept staggering when she walked. When I took the dogs out in the afternoon, she fell down the  porch steps to the lower porch. And I had to carry her back inside. She wouldn’t eat anything this morning even when I put her right in front of the bowl. I looked up symptoms in strokes in dogs(since that was my first thought), and hers seem to fit. I called the vet this morning, but he’s not in today(only 1 vet at this office), so it looks we’ll be taking her in tomorrow and most likely saying goodbye. And I’ve felt like I’m just going to start crying any minute this morning. I’ve known this was coming but still, she’s been my companion, my friend for the last twelve years. So, it is hard, even if I know it’s time.


Hasn’t gone incredibly well this week, but not terrible. have 2677 words for the first half of the week. So, I could still make my 5000 word goal for the week if tomorrow and Friday are good days.


This is coming along. I have the novel notebook finished. So, I need to make out my scene cards and figure out the timeline and I can start setting up the scenes in Scrivener.

Social Media:

I’ve commented on at least 1 blog post so far this week. I posted Monday(about my insecurities) and Tuesday(slipper progress). And even though I didn’t comment individually on Monday’s comments, I would like to take the time to thank those that did comment on it. Your words meant a lot to me.


I finished reading S.M. Reine’s book The Darkest Gate and started her novella, The Dark Union. I’m 40% through it right now. I’ve finished 7 books so far this round and 57 this year.


I worked out on Monday & Tuesday. Monday I did a new workout on the Wii and feel like I overextended my arm or pulled something during the boxing because it hurt all day yesterday. Still feels a little sore. Yesterday, because my hip and knee were bothering me(seriously, I’m not even 28, why am I falling apart?) I did a slower walk on the treadmill. I still wanted to do something but didn’t want to push myself too hard. I did good at keeping track of calories Monday until after lunch. And then I started snacking. This always seems to be my problem time. I held off on snack in the afternoon yesterday, well mostly. I ate 1 string cheese and a granola bar. And then we had dinner down at my mom’s and I didn’t put any of that down. Need to try to remember to put everything in even in the afternoon/evening.

How is everyone else doing? Does anyone have words of wisdom for explaining the death of a pet to a 5-year old(who is very sensitive) and 2 year old(who I don’t think will really understand anyway).

Knitting Tuesday: Slipper Progress

Finished:I was able to finish my younger niece’s slippers last Tuesday night. I had been about 95% finished with it when I posted last week, so it didn’t take much longer. In total, it took me about 10.5 hours to finish the pair.


In Progress: I started my older niece’s pair of slippers on Thursday, taking a break from all knitting on Wednesday. I finished the first one on Sunday. I got most of the second knitted yesterday. All I have left to do is seam the top and toe  and the heel, then knit the sole and sew it around the bottom of the slipper. And make the pom poms for it. So, I should be able to finish all of that today hopefully. And then both pairs will be finished.

Almost finished

Coming Up: As long as I do finish the slipper tonight, tomorrow I will pick up the cowl/hood and one of the cause hats I was knitting. And I plan to start the Fair Isle baby hat as well. Since, me being me, I can’t just work on one project at a time(unless it’s for someone).


Meandering Monday: Insecurity & Imposter Syndrome

On Friday, I read this post by Amber West on not being good enough. And it really struck a chord for me. I’ve spent most of my life feeling like I was not good enough. In school. In relationships. In every fricking thing I ever attempted. I was a smat kid. In high school, I made the honor roll just about every time(a couple times where my math grade brought it down enough to keep me off). I didn’t graduate with a 4.0, but it was still up there. And yet, I never felt like what I did was good enough, because there were kids who were smarter than me. Ridiculous mindset, I know. And instead of working harder, I’d usually get into a funk of “why bother”. I wasn’t athletic either. I ran cross country for two years, and even in that, I wasn’t good enough. I was usually one of the last ones to finish a race. But, I loved to run.

Socially, I wasn’t much better. For the longest time, I couldn’t seem to make and keep a friend. I thought maybe something was wrong with me. Or maybe, I just made friends with the wrong people. I think that would be a good assumption as one who I thought was a good friend asked me in eighth grade if I was a lesbian because I’d never had a boyfriend. And I never did have a real boyfriend before I met my husband when I was in college. Was I not good enough? People told me they were intimidated by me. Really? I never could understand that one.

Almost ten years after being out of high school, I still suffer from feeling like I’m not good enough. Not a good enough daughter. Not a good enough wife. Not a good enough mother. Not a good enough writer. Just not good enough. And it’s stupid. All of it. But, sometimes, I just can’t help but fall into that trap of wrong thinking. So, I don’t think to call my mom just to talk. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad daughter. My mom knows me and knows I don’t like to talk on the phone. She doesn’t expect it of me. So, I don’t have a week’s or month’s worth of meals planned out and don’t always figure out what we’re eating until half an hour before dinner. And those meals are often not fully balanced. I’m not a bad wife. My kids may watch more tv than they should, but they’re happy and healthy(well, the daughter woke up sounding croupy, but overall, she’s healthy). I’m not a terrible writer. I may not be the best writer out there(I know I’m not), but I’m not the worst either. And every day I’m working on it.

And yet, every time I call myself a writer, I feel like someone’s going to point a finger at me and yell, “liar. Imposter. You can’t even sting a coherent sentence together”. And I want to hit my head against the wall because I know it’s all a lie. I know it. Really I do. But, that voice just won’t shout up. The voice that says you’ll never do this. You aren’t enough. You don’t have what it takes to stick with it. And I know the only way to drown out that voice is to keep going. Put one foot in front of the other and keep walking down this path. No matter how long it takes, I will do this. I will publish my stories. And maybe somewhere, someone will think that I am good enough.

Sunday Summary: Warming Up

Wasn’t I just saying that the weather was getting colder? Well, not any more, judging by the next week’s forecast. Supposed to be in the high 60s maybe even hitting 70s. This isn’t exactly usual weather for northwestern PA at the end of October. Sometimes we’re getting ready for snow right about now. On Thursday, a friend of my husband’s hauled in the 4 ton of wood pellets we had ordered. We unloaded them Saturday morning, with some help from my brother-in-law. With 3 of us unloading, it took less than an hour to carry 200 40# bags from a horse trailer into our garage. I don’t know how many calories that burns, but it certainly felt like more of a workout than walking half an hour on the treadmill.Now, we just need to get the new gasket around the door of the stove and clean the chimney out, and we’ll be ready to use it. So, it’s probably a good thing the weather is supposed to be nice through the week.


I’ve been doing good with my time goal of at least 1 hour every day. And I seem to keep proving my theory of the beginning of the week being better productivity-wise. My numbers for the week were: Monday- 1360, Tuesday – 1005, Wednesday – 1013, Thursday – 705, Friday – 526. And Friday, I really struggled to get even that much. Even in the morning, which is usually my best writing time, I just felt scattered. Hoping tomorrow morning, I can focus on this scene a bit more. I had a total of 4609 words for the week, so not quite the 5000 I wanted, but not too far off. And that comes out to an average of 922 words a day. So, that’s still pretty decent. I had been hoping to have 40,000 words on this WiP by the end of the month. I’m only at a little over 25000 right now, so I may be a little short of that. We’ll see though.

I had wanted to finish filling out the blueprint for my next project, which I’ll be doing for naNoWriMo this year, by today. And I finished it on Friday. And started the Novel notebook for it over the weekend. I should finish that tomorrow, and may be able to finish the planning for this by the end of the week.


I finished editing Stained Snow on Friday, right on schedule. So, now I need to start looking for Beta Readers for it.

Social Media:

I only commented on a couple blog posts over the last week. Except for skipping Monday’s post, I’ve gotten the rest up, and have slacked on replying to comments.


I finished reading Wilde’s Army and also read Alight: The Peril by K.C. Neal. Now, I’m reading The Darkest Gate by S.M. Reine. About 25% through it, so should have it finished by Tuesday or Wednesday.


I only walked on the treadmill 2 days this week, but I really think moving those pellets should count as my third workout. As for the calories, I haven’t done too well on them. Think I may have had 1 day where I remained within them. Something I still need to work on.

Goals for next week:

  • Write at least 1 hour every day. Target = 5000 words for the week.
  • Finish filling in novel notebook
  • Write out scene cards
  • Have nano project set up in Scrivener(and resist starting until Nov1)
  • Find Beat Readers for novella
  • Comment on at least 5 blog posts
  • Have 5 blog posts up(including ROW80 updates)
  • Reply to comments left on my posts
  • Finish Reading The Darkest Gate
  • Read Dark Union by S.M. Reine
  • Workout at least 3 days
  • Keep track of calories 5 days

Family Friday: Pumpkin Carving

This past Sunday we went to my husband’s aunt’s to do some pumpkin carving(and eat some good food). Both kids picked out which pumpkin they wanted.

Carrying his pumpkin to the table

And both helped clean them out(to varying degrees)

Hayleigh even helped carve out the face on hers

Helping carve the face

And Nathan watched while Mommy carved out his.

with his pumpkin

Now, to put lights in them, and they’ll be ready for Halloween.

Tidbit Thursday: Stained Snow Blurb

I figured since I am just about done with this round of edits on my novella and will be on a search for Beta Readers for it, today I would post the page summary I wrote up during plotting.


When rancher, and sometimes deputy sheriff, William Jensen, returns home from taking a bank robber to trial, he cannot believe what he finds. His wife and son are dead and his home had been burnt to the ground. He does not have to wonder who is responsible for this. After burying his family, he starts searching for the man, his own brother.

He quickly catches up to his brother and is wounded in the resulting confrontation. He is taken in by a fellow rancher and his daughter, Alice, who tries to offer more than just a warm place to stay. Until she learns he is Thomas’s brother and plans to kill him if he can’t take him in. William learns his brother has all ready been there and had told his own tale of what happened.

As William heals, his resolve to bring the man who killed his family to justice only strengthens. He’s sure by now, his brother will think he’s gotten away with it, and knowing his usual haunts, it won’t be difficult to find him. He starts out one morning, leaving Alice in tears, but is turned back when a blizzard strikes.

William has to wait out the blizzard at the ranch and steer clear of Alice’s advances while trying not to hurt her. He cannot even imagine having someone in his life after losing the wife he loved. But, by the time he is able to leave a second time, he feels as if he is leaving a part of himself behind.

As he closes in on his brother, he begins to wonder if either of them will survive this search for justice. And even if he does, will life be worth living with his family gone and his mission complete? Or can he let someone else in and give meaning to it again?

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