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Archive for August, 2013

Writing Wednesday: 1st Day of School & ROW80 Check-In

We are finally getting back to our typical routine. Well, kind of. I set my alarm for a little earlier because I knew what time I had to get the girl up, instead of letting her wake up on her own(Which, honestly, there’s usually little difference between the two). I know I woke up when it went off. I remember it going off and realizing my husband was in the bathroom. So, I started to go through the notifications on my phone while I waited for him to get out. And next thing I know, the girl is standing beside the bed. Thought she was really excited to be up so early. No, it was almost 6. Guess staying up until almost midnight reading and setting the alarm for 4 wasn’t such a great plan. And the boy was up not much later than that.

Ready for her first day of Kindergarten

Ready for her first day of Kindergarten

We were ready and out the door by 7. Bus was at our driveway right about 7:10. She’s ridden the same bus the last two years for k-4. The first year it came around 7:07. Last year, it seemed to be closer to 7:15.

Getting on the bus

Getting on the bus

Then, the boy and I came back to the house, got some things done, and we played most of the morning(between me switching laundry around, of course). Played with trucks, Mega Blocks, dinosaurs, tools, and his train. The train tracks with this train have a couple different colors for the pieces. So, I used them to try to get him to say his colors. He has yellow down perfectly(except none of the tracks were yellow).

Oh yeah, and Mr. Potato Head. I forgot about Mr. Potato Head. Unlike his sister, he doesn’t have a problem putting the pieces in the “wrong” spots. She always used to yell at me if I did that. “It doesn’t go there! It goes here.”


Of course, the boy does not want to take a nap today. But, he’s staying in his room okay(except for coming out saying he has to use the potty when he went right before naptime). Less than an hour now until the girl’s bus brings her home. Can’t wait to hear how her first day went(Should actually be getting on the bus in the next few minutes). As for how my week is going:

  • The Choice: Write 1250 words – 601/1250. Almost halfway there. Words haven’t been crazy this week. But, that’s okay. And I can still get the other 649 in the next 2 days, I’m sure. Or Saturday if I have to.
  • Slow Revenge: Read over CP’s notes and compile in Scrivener(once I get them) – nothing yet
  • Chasing the Ghost: Write the 2 antagonists’ back stories – finished both of these. One Monday and the other yesterday. So, now I can move on to some other plotting.
  • Read: City of Ashes(Cassandra Clare) & Unbroken(Melody Grace) – Finished City of Ashes Monday night. Downloaded and started City of Glass the same night. And finished it about 11:30 last night. Going to wait before I start the next ones. I started reading Unbroken this morning.
  • Read: Story Physics – Chapters 6-10 – I’ve finished Chapter 7, so right on track for this.
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater – Finish – I have the body finished except for seaming the sides. I seamed the shoulders together yesterday with a three needle bind-off. Yeah, I forgot how much I hate that technique. I’ve only used it once or twice before. I need to do the sleeves, button loops, and collar then seam everything. I might still finish this week.

Sunday Summary: Camping “Fun”

Yes, I put fun in quotes. Because there can only be so much fun crammed in a small RV with three adults and two young kids. Especially when one of those adults is the complete opposite of you and just rubs you the wrong way no matter what she does(probably not a nice thing to say about the woman my dad married, not my mom by the way, but it’s true). She’s a germaphobe, I’m pretty much the opposite. Not that I’m a complete slob, but worrying about germs isn’t at the front of my thoughts. In fact, it tends to be way down the list of my worries. And imagine that, my kids and I really don’t get that sick too often. Add into that a strained relationship between my father and me, that he doesn’t even seem to realize. And the tug of my own emotions about him. I want to be with him, but I just want to be home, and I feel guilty about that. I’ve fought with this since I was about ten. Almost thirty, and I still feel it. By Friday, I just wanted to come home, and yet found myself fighting tears because I was coming home. It doesn’t make a lot of sense with some of the realizations I’ve come to about him and our relationship. I may get into that with another blog post. This one has already become a bit personal.

Onto this week’s progress update, since I missed Wednesday’s post. Lack of internet connection was only one of the reasons I was ready to come home.

  • The Choice: write 1250 words – Managed to get 1951 words. Thursday was the only day I got any writing done on this while camping. It’s up to 5675 words so far. That’s 5 scenes finished. I don’t have this one broken up into chapters yet though.
  • Slow Revenge: read over CP’s notes(once she gets them to me) and compile in scrivener – don’t have this back yet. Which is fine. I told her I wasn’t worried since I wouldn’t be around this week.
  • Chasing the Ghost: Jason’s back story – I did get this done while camping. Easier to write in a notebook and the words were just flowing. Of course, I now only have 1 sheet of paper left in that notebook, so I have to get another one out for the last two back stories. Not that I have a shortage of them. 😉 And while I was working at the racetrack last night, I was working through those back stories. Shouldn’t take too long to write now.
  • Read: Treachery in Death(J.D. Robb) & Beautiful Creatures(Kami Garcia/Margaret Stohl) – finished Treachery in Death while camping and started Beautiful Creatures. Finished it Friday night after we got back. And I started reading City of Ashes yesterday morning. Then, I was gone most of the day so didn’t get too far into it yet.
  • Read: Story Physics – Chapter 1-5 – I got these first chapters read through and a lot marked up. Just sentences that struck me, or information that I wanted to come back to. Planning to keep with a chapter a weekday with this, which should have it finished by the end of the round.
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater – Finish – Haven’t worked on this at all this week. Going to try to get a little done before the birthday party we have to go to this afternoon. Still want to have it finished by the end of the month.

I did really good this week especially for not being around, and spending a good bit of time at the playground, water park,  and pool. Only one more week left in the month(2 more days of summer vacation and 9 more until my son’s birthday). So, this week, I’ll be finishing up this month’s goals.

  • The Choice: Write 1250 words
  • Slow Revenge: Read over CP’s notes and compile in Scrivener(once I get them)
  • Chasing the Ghost: Write the 2 antagonists’ back stories
  • Read: City of Ashes(Cassandra Clare) & Unbroken(Melody Grace)
  • Read: Story Physics – Chapters 6-10
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater – Finish

Sunday Summary: Online Fights & A Love of Reading

I know not to get into them. Really I do. But, tonight I was this close(imagine me holding my fingers really close together) to forgetting that. And maybe it wouldn’t have turned into one. But, I’m sure it could have. There’s one person who happens to be on a list I follow on Twitter who always seems to be ranting about something. It annoys me, but I usually just scroll past her tweets when I’m on tweetdeck. Not a big deal. One of the usual ranting points is names used in books, and how a lot of times they wouldn’t have been popular at the time the character was born. It’s something I don’t usually notice when I’m reading. I guess maybe if I saw two of my niece’s names in a novel, it might throw me just because they’re names I’ve never heard aside from them. But, otherwise, it’s not something I think much about. I will sometimes check the SSA’s popular baby name list, just to see where their name was when they were born(you know, if they were real). But, it doesn’t make my final decision for me. One reason for that could be because I have a cousin with a very different name. In fact, it’s never been in the top 1000 names. So, obviously not everyone names their kids from the list. I was so tempted to respond to this person. But, the way anxiety was rearing up just typing up my response, I realized it wasn’t even worth it. So, I cancelled my tweet to her before I ever even sent it. Just not worth it. Just glad I realized that before I was stupid about it. Like I said, not worth it. I try to keep things fairly light on my twitter and Facebook. And I plan on keeping it that way.

Yesterday, I worked up at the racetrack again. Didn’t see any fights this time(although we did hear there was one after we left). Wrote descriptions in my head of some of the people that came through. Today we went up to the city to get some groceries and some other things. We stopped at Barnes & Noble while we were there. My daughter got her first chapter book(still under 100 pages) with some of her birthday money. She’s actually laying in bed right now reading it. She also got a few books from a used book store yesterday. Some are at a 1st grade+ reading level, and she’s just about to go into Kindergarten. And she’s reading them all on her own. I’m impressed. And proud. I’m so glad I’ve been able to pass my love of reading down to her.

I got the next book in a series that I’m a bit behind on. This one actually came out in 2011. And I got Story Physics by Larry Brooks. So, I’ll be reading through that for the next while.

As I said on Wednesday, I’ve been pretty productive this week. Even since then.

  • Healing the Heart: edit 14 more scenes(get through Chapter 17) – 38/14. Yeah. So, I actually finished going through this WiP. I need to clean it up, do a search for my crutch words, and all that. But, otherwise, this latest draft is done.
  • The Choice: write 1250 words – 3457/1250. I surpassed this goal just on Thursday alone when I wrote 1297 words. I’m only about 3700 words into it so far, but I like it. Of course, I usually do at the beginning. I’ll be camping most of the next week, so I’ll be keeping this goal fairly low(for me).
  • Chasing the Ghost(Connie’s Story): Connie’s back story – I had this finished on Monday. Didn’t start any of the others yet.
  • Read: Picture Perfect(Alessandra Thomas) and Closed Hearts(Susan Kaye Quinn) – Done and Done. I also read One by Leighann Kopans, Chasing Memories by Tia Silverthorne Bach, and Breaking the Reins by Juliana Haygert. I just started Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb tonight.
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater – finish body – I’ve got most of the front finished. Have one more part of it to do then I can start working on the sleeves.

Goals for next week:

  • The Choice: write 1250 words
  • Slow Revenge: read over CP’s notes(once she gets them to me) and compile in scrivener
  • Chasing the Ghost: Jason’s back story
  • Read: Treachery in Death(J.D. Robb) & Beautiful Creatures(Kami Garcia/Margaret Stohl)
  • Read: Story Physics – Chapter 1-5
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater – Finish

Writing Wednesday: Cooling Down

It’s August 14. When I came out to the kitchen a little before 5 this morning, our thermometer said it was only about 55 degrees(Fahrenheit – so about 13 Celcius I think). About 63 right now. I had to change from my shorts into long pants and even threw a sweatshirt on. In August! Yeah, totally not normal for around here. But, I’m certainly not complaining. I much prefer this over high 80s or even 90s we usually have. So much easier for me to warm up than it is to cool down.

So, it’s Wednesday, which means not only ROW80 check-in time, but also WIPPet time. This picks up where last week’s left off. The next 14 lines(well, it was 14 in Scrivener, not sure how it will show up here).

He turned and put his hands on his hips, his eyes steady on hers. “Come on, Mel. I’m not trying to fight with you. Just come into my office. If the patients see you this unsettled, they aren’t going to think you can help them. Just come with me.”

Melanie sighed. She hated giving in. Especially to him. But, she always did. What was it about Jared that made her so weak? But, she still followed him and could feel the shaking start again as he closed the door. She thought she had gotten past this. The calls were just pranks. They couldn’t hurt her. So, why was she letting it throw her so off balance?

When Jared turned back to her, she saw the concern in his eyes.She felt her heart flutter. Damn it. She wasn’t that young anymore. She couldn’t afford to be as stupid as she had back then. But, she couldn’t stop the warmth that went through her. Then, he took her hands in his. She wanted to pull away from him, wanted to protect herself, but he just held on. “What is the matter, Melanie? Are you sick? Did something happen?”

She shook her head. “No, it nothing like that. I’m healthy. I’m not hurt. I’m perfectly fine.” She tried to work up a smile to prove it.


If you want to join the WIPPeteers, you can post your words, sentences, lines, paragraphs, whatever from your WIP that correspond with the date and link up here

As for my ROW80 update:

Anyway, it’s been a pretty good week for me. Monday morning I was awake before 4 a.m. No reason for that. I set my alarm for 4:30 so I can usually be at the computer by 5. That usually gives me at least a solid hour before the kids wake up. Not sure what woke me up even earlier than that. But, I got up and ended up having 4 cups of coffee by 7. Yeah, I was a bit jittery by that point. But, I got a lot done. In fact, by the end of Monday, I had checked off most of my to-dos through Wednesday. Not just my writing tasks, but chores as well. And I finished most of the rest of the week’s tasks by yesterday afternoon. So, I’m focusing on getting some knitting done the rest of the week. And getting ahead on my editing goals. I had it planned so I’d have it done by the end of the month. But, we’ll be camping next week with my dad and step mom for a couple days, so I’m going to try to get ahead before we leave. Maybe even finish it.

  • Healing the Heart: edit 14 more scenes(get through Chapter 17) – 20/14. Like I said, I’m getting ahead. Some of the scenes don’t have a lot of changes, but I’ve added 429 words to it this week. 
  • The Choice: write 1250 words – 1235/1250. Not quite to my goal even though I got it up over 1500 total. Didn’t write anything on it this morning, but I’m sure there’ll be more this week. 
  • Chasing the Ghost(Connie’s Story): Connie’s back story – I wrote this on Monday. All 4.5 handwritten pages of it. I knew a good bit of her story from writing Slow Revenge(she’s that story’s protagonist’s younger sister), but I always learn more from writing the back story. I still have 3 more back stories I want to write for this one.
  • Read: Picture Perfect(Alessandra Thomas) and Closed Hearts(Susan Kaye Quinn) – Done and Done. It took me a little bit to get into Closed Hearts, but I stuck with it and did enjoy it. 
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater – finish body – I decided that I’d wait to do my knitting(or crocheting) until I’d finished the rest of my goals for the week. Well, I did that yesterday but still didn’t get much knitting done. I use an old I phone simply for the knitting apps(I have an android phone now and it doesn’t have the same apps, which I really like). The battery on it pretty much sucks though. I started knitting yesterday afternoon and it died on me after I’d finished just 1 row. So, plugged it in and waited until the kids went to bed. Finished two more rows but couldn’t keep my eyes open any more. So, that was all I got done then. Hoping to do more today. Will probably edit/write when I have to charge the phone again.

Sunday Summary: Birthday Fun

Yesterday was my daughter’s 6th birthday. I say this all the time, but it really does feel like time is flying. So hard to believe she is 6 already. We had some family over for presents and cakes and ice cream yesterday. Nothing too big and pretty laid back(which both my daughter and I handle better). And she made out pretty good. Some new toys, a couple new books and coloring books. Some new clothes for school.

Her annual picture with Tigger. He used to look so much bigger.

Her annual picture with Tigger. He used to look so much bigger.

Blowing out her candles

Blowing out her candles


new books

new books


riding her new scooter

riding her new scooter

Today we went to a picnic for our local Moose club, for members and their families. Had some food, the kids got to do pony rides, pet some animals and see an animal show. Both kids even went up to pet a snake.

checking out a llama

checking out a llama


petting a prairie dog

there's an albino Burmese python in there somewhere.

there’s an albino Burmese python in there somewhere.

the other Burmese python

the other Burmese python

petting the tortoise

petting the tortoise



Now, we have three more weeks until the boy’s birthday. Although I think we’re waiting until the weekend after for his party since it falls right after labor day.

I did pretty good on my goals this week even while getting ready for the party.

  • The Choice(my new idea) – brainstorm characters/plot & start back stories -done & done. And I also started writing the first scene on Friday. I still want to keep my focus on my editing for this month, but I’m planning on shooting for 250 words a day on this.
  • Healing the Heart: Edit through Chapter 8 – I actually got through Chapter 9.
  • Read: Finish Eyre House, Read Caught Up in You(Roni Loren) and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer(Michelle Hodkin) before Lauren Garafalo yells at me again(kiddding! kidding!) – Done, Done, & Done. Loved all three.
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater -body – didn’t work any more on this.
  • Crochet: Finish Monster Family and Simple Earflap Hat– I finished the monster family, didn’t work anymore on the hat.

Goals for next week:

  • Healing the Heart: edit 14 more scenes(get through Chapter 17)
  • The Choice: write 1250 words
  • Chasing the Ghost(Connie’s Story): Connie’s back story
  • Read: Picture Perfect(Alessandra Thomas) and Closed Hearts(Susan Kaye Quinn)
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater – finish body

WIPPet “Wednes”day – A Day Late

Didn’t realize until after I posted my usual Wednesday update for ROW80 that I didn’t include my WIPPet excerpt. Then, I was gone most of the day and didn’t get back on the computer last night. So, I’m posting it this morning. This one is from the first scene of Chapter 8 of Healing the Heart. Melanie is back to the clinic for the first time since she followed Mica. And has been getting phone calls with no one there(and starting to get a little freaked out).

She jumped at the voice behind her. Then, drew in a deep breath when she saw it was Jared. At least she hadn’t screamed. “What are you doing there?”

She watched as his eyes narrowed and he studied her. “What’s wrong, Melanie?”

Her hand shook as she reached up to adjust the purse strap on her shoulder. “Nothing. What makes you ask that? Just because you jumped out and scared me.”

“I didn’t jump out from anywhere. I was just standing there and greeted you. You’re not usually so jumpy. What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” she said again, a little stronger this time. “I just have some things on my mind, and I didn’t see you there. You startled me. Now, I’m sure I have some patients to see if you’ll let me by.”

But, he shook his head. “It’s slow right now. Come into my office for a minute.”

“And if I don’t want to?” She asked, not moving as he started off across the room.

So, that’s 7 paragraphs from Chapter 8(since yesterday was 8/7). Melanie and Jared have a bit of history together. Visit the other WIPPeters here

Writing Wednesday: Three Weeks

Three more weeks of summer vacation left here. Not that I’m counting down the days or anything. That probably makes me sound like a terrible mother. Maybe I am. I know I’m not good at getting down and playing. But, both of my kids have always been pretty independent players. So that makes it easier to not get down and play. I do love my daughter(both my kids actually), but dealing with her can be draining. And I have to keep reminding myself that maybe I did deserve some payback, even if I thought I was the good kid. Because she is just like me, extremely sensitive, very emotional. And very creative. She’s everything my mom had to deal with from me. Of course, even once she starts school, the boy will still be here. But, I’ll still get a bit of a break with just one of them, and have some quiet time after lunch when he takes a nap.

My mom’s taking us to one of the local county fairs today. We’ll eat some crap(and expensive) food, kids can ride some rides, and lots of walking around. The girl’s birthday is Saturday, and I think we have everything for it right now(as long as I don’t screw up the cake like I did last year, so my husband has to run out and get more cake mix at 5 am). Then, we have her Kindergarten orientation a little more than a week later, so we’ll get to see her classroom and meet her teacher, then probably going camping with my dad, a birthday party that next weekend and back to school on Wednesday. Wow, that tired me out just typing it.

  • The Choice(my new idea) – brainstorm characters/plot & start back stories – This has been going well. I don’t think I’ll put as much planning into this one. I did get 2 of the back stories done, and just have one more to do. Then, I’m going to set some scenes up in Scrivener and start playing with the words next week. These characters are already living in my head. And I’ll be doing some research today. At the fair. Since that’s going to be part of the setting(these county fairs are really big things around here).
  • Healing the Heart: Edit through Chapter 8 – 5/8 complete. I only have 6 more scenes to go. Most of what I’ve done this week has been changing little things. Although I did write over 1000 words for a new scene yesterday morning.
  • Read: Finish Eyre House, Read Caught Up in You(Roni Loren) and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer(Michelle Hodkin) before Lauren Garafalo yells at me again(kiddding! kidding!) – Finished Eyre House late Monday afternoon. I’m 29% through Caught Up in You. I was practically in love with the hero before I picked it up just from reading excerpts at the beginning. Although I fall in love with characters rather easily, so that may not be saying much. 😀
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater -body – I have the back finished. I started the front then my needle got pulled out of the stitches, so I ripped out the first 8 rows I’d done. Haven’t cast them back on yet.
  • Crochet: Finish Monster Family and Simple Earflap Hat – I finished the monster family Sunday night but haven’t worked on the hat again yet.

Most of my goals are coming along good. Should have at least the top 3 met by Sunday.

Sunday Summary: Busy Fun Weekend

Had quite the weekend here. My MIL was able to get some tickets to Waldemeer, an amusement and water park around here. It seems though every weekend, we’re either busy or the weather isn’t nice enough to go. Well, finally this weekend we were able to. So, yesterday we fed the kids some lunch then headed up there, meeting my MIL at the park. Did some of the kiddie rides and rode the train around the park(which seemed to be my son’s favorite activity. He ended up going on it 3 times). Then, we went over to the water park. Spent probably close to 2 hours just in that part of the park. The kids wanted to do a couple more rides(actually, the girl didn’t want to leave the water park at all). They did that, then my MIL took them on another train ride while my husband and I went to ride one of the roller coasters, the Ravine Flyer II. Yeah, have I ever mentioned I’m not much of a roller coaster person. It’s been 10 years(my senior class trip to Cedar Point), since I’ve been on one. Just waiting in line, my stomach was in knots. But, I didn’t chicken out. And I didn’t scream. I may have been grinding my teeth to not scream, but I managed it. The ride only lasts about 65 seconds. After we left the park we went to eat at a local place and got some ice cream, then we had to do some shopping, groceries and my daughter’s birthday presents. Of course, since she was with us, I had to get a little sneaky. He took the kids while I grabbed the scooter she had told me she wanted, another little toy, a couple notebooks and colored pencils and took them out to the car before going to find them. Out of all those gifts, I imagine her favorite will be the notebooks. Sometimes she seems to be more my clone than my daughter. 🙂

And even though we didn’t get home until about ten last night, well past the kids’ bedtime, they were both up by 6:30 this morning. We went to church, and went back up to the city to do some more shopping. Mostly because my husband needed to get some things for the fire department’s bingo on Friday night, but we needed some other things as well. So, it was another longer than planned day. But, it was a good weekend. Next weekend is the girl’s birthday and a picnic on Sunday, then a week after that, I think we’re going camping with my dad and stepmom. Then, it will be back to school(and then my boy’s birthday.)

Even among the busy, I’ve managed to get some things done.

  • Guarding the Heart – scene cards  – finished these.
  • Healing the Heart – read through – Done!
  • Read: Finish Soulstice and start Storm Rising(Kenneth Hoss) – finished Soulstice, but only got a little way into Storm Rising, and just…didn’t care. So, I set it aside. And picked up Gwynneth Ever After by Linda Poitevin. That I finished in less than 6 hours. And it made me cry(This was a good thing, was unsettled from all the social interaction last weekend, and felt like I needed a good cry all week). And it gave me an idea for a new story. Even though I planned on rewriting Guarding the Heart after I work on edits for Healing the Heart this month, I think I’ll be working on the new one. I have so many ideas and feel so excited about it. I may not even plot it to death. I also started Eyre House by Caitlin Greer. Only 15% through, mostly because I just haven’t had a chance to read this weekend.
  • Knit: Body of Soft Ribs sweater – I got the back done, but haven’t even started the front yet.
  • Crochet: Simple Earflap Hat – about halfway through the body of the hat. I did finally get the supplies needed to finish the monster family I was crocheting, so I’m probably going to finish those first then come back to this. It shouldn’t take too long now that I have the supplies.

Goals for next week:

  • The Choice(my new idea) – brainstorm characters/plot & start back stories
  • Healing the Heart: Edit through Chapter 8
  • Read: Finish Eyre House, Read Caught Up in You(Roni Loren) and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer(Michelle Hodkin) before Lauren Garafalo yells at me again(kiddding! kidding!)
  • Knit: Soft Ribs Sweater -body
  • Crochet: Finish Monster Family and Simple Earflap Hat

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