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Archive for December, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Wrapping Up

Hard to believe it’s the end of another round of ROW80 and the end of the year. It finally looks like we might actually have a White Christmas this year. Around here, it’s pretty unusual for us not to. But, last year it was still green on December 25. And so far this year, we’ve only had a few inches, if that. Right now, there’s just a little snow on the grass, but according to the weather, it’s supposed to snow through the weekend. So, maybe there will be white.

As for my goals, I’ll report my progress this week then go and evaluate how did for my whole round goals.

  • Finish last 3 scenes of Healing the Heart: Done. Finished this morning with just over 75,000 words. Which is a bit short for me, but I’m sure I’ll add more during revisions.
  • Finish read through of Slow Revenge: Done yesterday.
  • Finish Skeleton Lake: Not finished yet. Only about 55% through it. Didn’t get much reading done since I worked on Healing the Heart so much. And I still don’t have my Kindle yet.
  • Start Locked Within by Paul Anthony Shortt: Haven’t even started yet.
  • Workout at least 2 more times this week: Done as well. Have worked out all 3 days so far and planning to stick with it the next 2.

And as for how I did with my overall goals for the round:


  • 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).

Did not achieve this one. I was really starting to struggle with this story and realized I might need to do some more research. Which I did during November and December. Hoping to be ready to pick it back up after the holidays. Written: 20,584

  • 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).

First part of this I did. Finished my 50,000 words one day early. Ended the month with 51548. Didn’t follow through with the plan for Flames of Redemption. I wrote 15 words on it the first day then not again. That’s when I decided to do more research on it first. Written: 51,563

  • 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.

Changed my mind with this one. And kept working on the NaNo project: Healing the Heart. Which as I said above, I finished this morning. Written: 23,478

Total words written this round: 95625 or an average of 1195 words a day. Not too bad.


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


  • October: Read through Novella and make any changes Never did do another read through of this

Send to Beta Readers by 10/31 Or this

  • December: 1st Read through of Slow Revenge: Finished this yesterday.

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 started out all right with these goals and slacked off over time.

  • Read 15 novels(will include novellas and collections of stories in this) I finished 31 novels, novellas, and short stories/collections during this round
  • Read 1 craft book but I didn’t read any craft books

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’ve been off and on with both of these. Probably achieved the workouts(although not always the treadmill) about half the time. tracking calories was not nearly as successful.

Overall, I had a pretty good round. Especially with my writing goals, even if I did change which story got my concentration this last month. Now, I’m planning on actually taking a break from the writing/editing. At least until after Christmas. We’ll see how that goes though. I have a tendency to not take breaks for very long.

Late RoW80 Check-In: Becoming a Habit

Being late is not a habit I care much for. But, I guess that’s what happens when the business of the holidays starts. We got just about all of our Christmas shopping finished on Wednesday, which is earlier than last year at least, when I think it was the weekend before Christmas when we finished. We just have to get something for my MIL and BIL still and we’ll be done. Yesterday we had a Christmas party at the local Moose club and then we went to a birthday party after that. This Wednesday is the kids’ Christmas party at the fire department, Thursday is a special Christmas celebration in my daughter’s class, and they have their class Christmas party on Friday. Then, Sunday we’re going to my husband’s stepmom’s for Christmas with her and his sister and brother. Monday we’re going to my mother-in-law’s and Tuesday, after opening presents with the kids here, we’ll be going down to my mom’s. Like I said, busy. But, I’m still determined to get things done this week.


I only wrote 7552 words last week. Quite a bit short of my planned 10k. Monday I wrote 1922, Tuesday I managed 1779, Wednesday I wrote 1146 in the morning, then Christmas shopping cut into the rest of my writing time. Thursday I did better with 1959 words. Then, Friday I ended up sleeping in and didn’t get much written in the morning and was so shaken up in the afternoon by the tragic news from Connecticut that I couldn’t focus on anything. I only managed 746 words that day. I wrote almost that much just this morning. I only have 3 more planned scenes to finish. I may add more as I write depending on how these scenes go. But, unless they are each 3000 words at least(or i add more scenes) I’m not going to hit even 80,000 words for the first draft.


I am now through Chapter 23 of Slow Revenge. Should have no problem reading through the last 7 chapters of this during the week. I’ve been spending an hour a day on this and that seems to work better than setting a certain number of chapters to read a week. Since some of them range from 1k words to 6k. That’s something that will change during the next draft. But, I don’t like worrying about shifting scenes and chapters around during first draft.


I finished reading Exiled last week, then devoured Hunted(just a novella, so was quick anyway), and Still Life with Murder, which I really enjoyed and have added the rest in the series to my “to buy” list. I also read Voodoo Love and the Curse of Jean Lafitte’s Treasure by Victoria Richards. And yesterday I started Skeleton Lake by Angela Kulig. About 44% through that right now.

Last Sunday I ordered a Kindle with the gift card I got from my dad for Christmas. When I placed the order, the estimated delivery date was between Friday December 14-Wednesday December 19. It shipped on Wednesday and the new estimated delivery date was Saturday, December 15. Still don’t have it yet, but I’m hoping today or tomorrow. Will be nice to read on something bigger than my I-phone screen.


Despite my determination to do better at tracking my calories, I didn’t. When we were Christmas shopping Wednesday, we went to Olive Garden for lunch. I did put my calories in My Fitness Pal after we got home, and it wasn’t pretty. Thursday I baked more cake mix cookies and of course, ate cookie dough while they were baking. No idea how to track that one really.

I didn’t workout Thursday or Friday either. My calf muscle was hurting, I think from the workout I did Wednesday, so decided to take it easy. Was feeling better this morning, so I did a workout today. Going to try to stay on track this week since next week will pretty much be shot.

Goals for rest of the round:

  • Finish last 3 scenes of Healing the Heart
  • Finish read through of Slow Revenge
  • Finish Skeleton Lake
  • Start Locked Within by Paul Anthony Shortt
  • Workout at least 2 more times this week

Tidbit Thursday: Slow Revenge Chapter 2 Excerpt

This is from the WiP I’m doing a read through of before editing. So, the following excerpt is still in first draft mode. This is the first 500(-ish) words of Chapter 2.


Garren drove out to his parents’ ranch after catching a few solid hours of sleep at his apartment. He still had not heard from Connie and had left her another annoying message. Maybe that was why she hadn’t called him back. Maybe his parents had heard something. He certainly hoped so as he parked in front of their house.

He walked into the kitchen and saw his mother in front of the sink. He walked up to her and wrapped his arms around her. “Two days in a row, Garren? What’s the occasion? We never see you this much anymore.”

“That’s not true, Mom. I still come around. When I can.”

She laughed, but he could hear the tears behind it. “I know. I was teasing. It’s good to see you, whenever you come.”

“What’s wrong, Mom?” He asked, turning her toward him. And he saw the tears weren’t just in her voice, but in her eyes as well and streaming down her face.

She shook her head though and waved him back. “No, it’s nothing. I’m just being emotional. I’m sure your dad’s right, and they just decided to stay longer. Probably enjoying their time together and forgot what day it was.”

Garren shook his head. That was even less like Connie than just not calling. “You know she would have called by now, Mom. Connie’s not that irresponsible. Not that inconsiderate. She should have called.”

“I know,” she said and dropped her head to Garren’s chest. “I know that. And I can’t let myself think about the reasons she hasn’t. And I can’t stop thinking about them.”

Garren did not know what to say to her. He didn’t want to lie. And he knew his mother would see right through any he told. And he didn’t want to think about why she hadn’t at least called either. He knew nothing he said would ease her mind until they did hear from Connie.

Garren turned when he heard the footsteps on the porch and tensed as his father walked into the house. He didn’t want to be told he was overreacting or being paranoid again. He saw the lines of worry etched into the older man’s face, and the panic starting to show in his eyes. It only took him a moment to realize what must be going through his head.

“No, Dad. That’s not why I’m here. I haven’t heard anything. I was hoping you had. That’s why I’m here.”

The older man’s shoulder’s sagged in relief. “I thought…,” but he trailed off and shook his head. “Are you staying for dinner then?”

Garren knew she needed to hold onto that. But, he didn’t think the call they would get would come from Connie. He had seen too much during his years on the street, even before getting his detective’s shield, to believe it would all turn out just great. He wanted to believe that, but he thought it might hurt more to hold on to that hope.

Writing Wednesday: Nearing the End Again

So, we’re nearing the end of another round and another year. And I’m nearing the end of another first draft. That’s exciting, but a little bittersweet at the same time. But, since this is part of my connected series, I’ll most likely be visiting these characters again. Makes it a little easier to say good-bye to them.


My numbers have been lower this week than the end of last week, but not too bad. I’m a little short of 5000 words so far. Plan on writing another hour this afternoon though, so hoping to have at least 6000 before the end of the day. I only have 5 more planned scenes left to write, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I add more in there. Still, I really think I should be done by the end of next week. I’m still not sure if it’s going to come in at even 80,000. But, I’m pretty sure there’s more that could be added in. After Christmas, I may read through it just to see if there’s any where in it that could do with some fleshing out.


Coming along with this. May even be done with it by the end of the week.


This is going pretty well too. I’ve read through Chapter 17 so far. Marked up a good bit of it. Not all of that is going to be cut. Maybe reworded/rewritten or some places that needs more added.

Reading: Still reading Exiled. Currently 69% through it. Will probably finish today or tomorrow.

Health: I’ve worked out three days this week. I did good on tracking calories Monday, not so good yesterday. Was good until about lunch and then started snacking after that and didn’t keep track. Determined to do better today.

Staying pretty well on track so far this week. Hoping to keep it up for the rest of the week.


Another Late Check-In

We had a pretty busy weekend. Of course, this is the season for busy weekends. Saturday was my niece’s 4th birthday party and after that we had Christmas with my dad since he was up for the party. Sunday we had church in the morning(and finally Nathan doesn’t cry when we take him to the nursery. he has a little friend he plays with now) and then in the afternoon we went back into town for the fire department elections. When I did sit at the computer yesterday, I was fighting with it(it died on me twice in less than 45 minutes) so wasn’t in the mood to type this up. So, getting to it a little late again.


Last week I wrote 10,459 words. A lot more than I had as my goal. The week started out with pretty moderate word counts for me. Monday I wrote 1538 words and Tuesday just 1506. Wednesday I wrote even more, 1859. Then, Wednesday night I read this blog post by Rachel Aaron, which I have seen floating around before, but this is the first time I’ve actually read it. And Thursday morning, before I actually started writing, I took out my little notebook and scribbled down some notes on the scene I was working on. Basically a list of what was going to happen, without all the stuff tying everything together.And when I sat down to write, the words just came pouring out. And I did the same thing Friday morning. And managed about 1200 words in 45 minutes. In the afternoon, which is usually my less productive time, I wrote for a little over an hour and put down another 1648 words. I wrote in my notebook Sunday while we were at the fire station, and only managed a little over 600 words then. But, I don’t write as fast as I type, so that’s not surprising. this morning, i was a bit distracted looking for ideas for Christmas presents(really need to get out and buy those) so I just managed 644 in an hour. Hoping for a better count this afternoon when I can get back to it though. I’m planning on setting aside two hours a day(1 in the morning before kids are up and 1 int he afternoon when the boy takes a nap). If I can’t get all that time during the day, then I’ll get it after they go to bed at night.


Doing good here. Getting through most of the topics on the site I found. Some of them are repeats from the other ones, but I’m getting some of the information i need. I should be done with this by sometime next week.


I got a slow start to this last week, but as of Friday night, I had the first 10 chapters of Slow Revenge read through.


This past week I’ve finished reading 5 books and have not finished a couple others. Just couldn’t get into them or didn’t care for the writing style, so I set them aside. One of these was actually  just a short story.


I worked out 4 times last week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Didn’t do as well with tracking my calories though. Did good on Monday, started out good on Tuesday, then the rest of the week, I did good through breakfast and a morning snack and then I’d forget to add anything else to it.

Goals for next week:

  • Write another 10,000 words on Slow Revenge
  • Research more arson & fire investigation topics
  • Read through chapter 20 of Slow Revenge
  • Finish Exiled by M.R. Merrick
  • Read Hunted by Lindsay Buroker
  • Start reading Still Life with Murder by P.B. Ryan
  • Exercise at least 3 times
  • Track calories every day

Family Friday: Writing Santa Letters

Santa needs to get his act together this year. Kids have written their letters, but he hasn’t started on them yet. Better get to it soon.

Hayleigh's letter to Santa. Hopefully he can decipher 5-year-old.

Hayleigh’s letter to Santa. Hopefully he can decipher 5-year-old.











I think this is this first year Hayleigh has actually written her own letter to Santa. Even last year, she told me what she wanted and I wrote it down for her. This year, I just had to help her spell some of the words. And in case you can’t read the 5-year-old scribble, she wants:

Tigger, princess shoes, alarm clock(olarm clok in Hayleigh spelling, even though I spelled it out for her), Minnie Bowtique,  and princess dresses. And since then, she’s added kite and dream Lite to the bottom of it.

"writing" his letter to santa.

“writing” his letter to santa.









I wrote Dear Santa on the paper for Nathan, and he “wrote” his letter. Or rather colored on the rest of the paper.

And just because he’s such a cute little goofball:

He thinks stockings are socks

He thinks stockings are socks

Writing Wednesday: Pacing Myself

This is something I’ve always had trouble doing. Usually I overestimate what I can do. I used to do it when I ran. Would start out too fast at the beginning and run out of steam long before the end of a race. And I tend to do it with my writing. I did all right with a higher goal during November but I don’t know if I could keep it up all the time. So, maybe I’ve finally learned. But, probably not.


For right now, I have a goal of at least 1500 words for a day. And I have that broken down into chunks of 500 words. I can usually get at least that first 500 done in the morning before the kids get up. Today that was about all I wrote. Yesterday though I was able to get 1000 in before the kids got up. It seems breaking the daily total down into smaller pieces helps. and I can get some other things done between the writing. I know this wouldn’t work so well if I wasn’t home, if I had a job I had to leave for. But, it works since I’m home with the two-year-old in the morning and both kids in the afternoon. It’s hard to find larger chunks of time to get things done without the boy getting into everything. So far this week, I’ve written 4189 words. I’m not done writing for today yet. I should still be able to meet my 7500 goal by the end of the week.


I found a site that has a lot of the information I need, so I’ve been taking notes from the different articles and things I’ve found there.


I read through chapter 1 yesterday. I’m a bit behind where I wanted to be by now. But, will try to catch up.


I’ve already finished both books I planned to read this week. Finished reading Souled on Monday. And I read all of Elemental Magic yesterday. stayed up until after 11 reading it, even though I had been falling asleep on the couch before 9. Now, I need to get the next two books in the series.


Worked out with the Wii Monday and Tuesday. haven’t done anything yet today. I did good with keeping track of calories on Monday and even stayed within my calories. Started out good yesterday then forgot to write anything down after lunch. I did measure out the snack I had in the afternoon though(and didn’t snack after dinner).

Knitting Tuesday: New baby Hat and Bib


Otis Baby Hat:

I used a lightweight acrylic yarn for this hat. The pattern only gave directions for a newborn size, so with it being so small, I needed to use my double point needles. It turned out nice, but cabling when knitting with double point needles is complicated to say the least(for me anyways. Some people may find it easier.) I just don’t seem to have enough hands.

newborn cabled hat

newborn cabled hat







closest to newborn I can find.

closest to newborn I can find.








Garter Stitch Bib:

I also finished another bib. It’s designed by the same person who I got the patterns for the cow bib and some others from. This was a much simpler one, just garter stitch(knitting every stitch, every row) throughout the whole thing. I almost thought as I was going to run out of yarn before I finished it, but I ended up having just enough. Seriously, I had maybe two inches of yarn left when I finished. Now, that was cutting it close.

garter stitch bib

garter stitch bib









In Progress:

Rolled Rim Slouchy Toque

This is my latest cause hat. I only have the brim of it finished so far and no pictures yet. I would have started it with the other two projects, but I had to use the same needles for the baby hat that I’d need for this, so I’m just starting it.

Turn a Square Hat

This is another pattern I found on Ravelry. Also only finished with the brim of this one. I should make more progress on these this week and hopefully have them finished before the end of the weekend.

Coming Up:

Knit Child’s Solid Sock:

I found this pattern on Lion Brand Yarn’s website and was going to start it already, but I don’t have the yarn it calls for(Wool-Ease). I was going to use some of my acrylic yarn, but not sure how well that would work for socks. hopefully I can get the yarn soon though

1×1 rib beret

Simple Stripes Baby Hat:

This is another pattern I found on Ravelry. I attempted it once before, but it was when i first started using double-point needles and hadn’t quite gotten the hang of them yet, especially when starting a hat on them.

Sunday Summary: End of NaNo and Evernote

Nano Winner-2012

So, November, and NaNoWriMo, is over and won. Yes, I won for the second year in a row. Over the last week, I started to doubt that I’d be able to get the 50,000 words done. But, I buckled down and made sure I met at least my daily goal. And I did it. On Thursday in fact. So one day early. And I don’t feel like I “vomited” words onto the page or wrote anything just for the sake of putting words down. Is there some stuff that I’m sure will be cut when I go back over it? Yes. Is it polished? Absolutely not. It’s a first draft, or rather the first 50-60% of one. But, I think it has a fairly solid foundation to build on. And that’s what I plan to do this month. Hoping to have the first draft finished by the end of December(before Christmas would be even better, but that may be pushing too hard). I’m planning on keeping my word goals up there, but not as high as November. And I have no plan to write on weekends, since that’s when most of our holiday gatherings will be.

I didn’t write anything this weekend, but as I was going to bed last night, at around 10:30, I suddenly was struck with an idea for the scene I started working on Friday. I wanted to write it down but didn’t want to go back out to the computer. And had no paper or pen nearby. so, instead I grabbed my phone. I have the mobile Evernote app on there, as well as on my computer. I mostly use it for doing my daily to-do lists(and monthly goals), but I find when I’m away from my computer/notebook, this is the best way to jot down when those ideas strike. And even better, it syncs it right with the program on my computer. I’ve only been using it since the beginning of August, but haven’t really found anything I don’t like about it yet. And a lot that I do.


As I said, I made it to 50,000 words by Thursday. Which made me very happy. But, I didn’t stop there. I still wrote on Friday even though I had officially won. Because this month wasn’t just about writing 50,000 words. It was about getting a large chunk of this story done. But, there’s no point to that if I don’t finish it. So that is what this month is for. Last week I wrote 13,282 words. Monday: 2663, Tuesday: 3310, Wednesday: 3115, Thursday: 2676, Friday: 1518. Over the month of November I averaged 1718 words a day and wrote 28 out of thirty days. On those days, I averaged 1841words. Not too shabby that. this month, my numbers will probably look more like Friday’s than the beginning of the week. And that’s okay. It should still get this done before the end of the month.

I also finished taking notes from the book I was using for research. But, I have a few more things I have to look into before I pick the other story back up. Plus, I think it will be easier to focus on just the one. So, I’ll probably start working on it again in January


I finished reading Soul of a Vampire and picked up another book to read but within the first couple chapters, had no interest in it, so stopped reading it. Now, I am reading Souled by Diana Murdock. Currently 20% through it.


I worked out with the Wii on Thursday and walked on the treadmill Friday. This next week, I’m planning to get back on course with tracking what I eat and plan to start cutting back on snacks. Or at least measuring them out. My biggest problem seems to come when I’m writing. I got a bunch of bags of Quaker Quakes. There’s supposed to be 3 servings in the bag. I finish them in one sitting almost before I realize it. I won’t even mention the package of Chex Mix Muddy Buddies I finished off while writing last week.

Goals for next week:

  • write at least 7500 words on Healing the Heart
  • More research for Flames of Redemption
  • Have at least first 10 chapters of Slow Revenge read through
  • Finish reading Souled
  • Start Elemental Magic by Angela Wallace
  • Work out at least 3 days
  • Keep track of calories 5 days

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