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Archive for October, 2013

Writing Wednesday: Another Month Ends

Okay, the month doesn’t end until tomorrow, but I don’t post on Thursdays. I’ll do my monthly goal recap after I update this week’s progress so far. Not much going on so far for this week. My sinuses have been plugged up most of it, and yesterday throat started feeling scratchy and had moved to sore by the time I went to bed last night, at 8 p.m. Would have been earlier, but I was waiting for my daughter to fall asleep so I could turn her lamp off without a meltdown. Still not feeling great this morning, but throat doesn’t hurt as bad. Hopefully I’m feeling better by tomorrow night, or taking the little princess and firefighter around town won’t be much of a treat.

  • Flames of Redemption: Fill out Character Worksheets – finished these up this morning. I could start writing now. I may just “cheat” and start counting for NaNo wherever I am on Friday. Or just wait. But, probably not. We’ll see.
  • Flames of Redemption: Write 2000 words(once November starts) – Not started yet
  • Read: In Bed with a Highlander(Maya Banks) & The Hunger Games(Suzanne Collins) – finished In Bed with a Highlander Monday night. Went to add the sample of the second book to my “want to buy” collection on my kindle(this list is usually how I choose what to buy next) and accidentally hit buy this book instead. So, it’s on my “to-read” list now. I started The Hunger Games yesterday. 1/3 of the way through it now.
  • Knit: Celtic Knot Bag – I’ve been working on this, but don’t even have the first section, which will be the lining, done. I probably won’t finish it this week. I still have to do the pattern section(which will be the outside), the pouch and strap, as well as assembling it all.

Now for how I did for the last month:

  1. Finish editing Slow Revenge – This is done.
  2. Find a couple Beta Readers for Slow Revenge & send it out – also done
  3. Clean up Stained Snow & send it to critique partner – half done. CP had a health emergency and ended up in the hospital. Don’t have a problem waiting on this until she’s healthy again.
  4. Decide what I want to do with Healing the Heart(thinking about rewriting as novella) – brainstormed what I wanted to keep and what could change. Then, set this aside.
  5. Finish first draft of The Choice – Finished this back on 10/15
  6. Finish plotting Chasing the Ghost – I did finish this, then decided to set it aside and work on something else for NaNoWriMo with about a week and a half left in the month.
  7. Read 10 books(between what’s on my kindle & book sales this past weekend I have 30 waiting) – In Bed with a Highlander(which I finished Monday) marked my 10th book for the month. I’m up to 141 books read this year. I’ve raised my goal twice already. I may have just a little too much time on my hands.
  8. Knit: Soft Ribs sweater(add buttons), Boo Baby Bib, & Celtic Knot Bag – I finished the sweater and the bib. Working on the bag right now.
  9. Crochet: Easy Scarf, Cheri Hat, & Knotted Headband – finished the scarf and the hat. Haven’t gotten to the headband yet.

I did meet most of my goals for October. November’s list will be shorter since I’ll mostly be concentrating on writing.

  1. Write at least 50,000 words on Flames of Redemption. I’d actually like to get at least 60k, which would be an average of 2k a day. And I know I can do that.
  2. Possibly: Start on Slow Revenge edits if I get them back from my beta readers.
  3. Read: Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
  4. Restructure Healing the Heart
  5. Read: 8 books
  6. Knit: Celtic Knot Bag & Little Lion Sock Critter
  7. Crochet: Knotted Headband & Fireman Baby Booties(I found this while searching Pinterest for pictures for my Fire WiP)

Ok, I guess the list isn’t that much shorter. Of course, everything that isn’t writing will come after I get my words for the day in. That will be my first priority(of course, that really isn’t different from any other month that I’m writing or editing).

Crafty Corner: Halloween & Winter

I had a longer post title, then figured this fit just as well. I have been concentrating this last month or so on just getting one project at a time done. If you follow my writing updates as well, you’ll know this is a problem I have in just about every aspect of my life, or at least creative life. But, it’s something I’m working on.

I did a Halloween-inspired bib and wash cloth set, both with Peaches & Creme cotton yarn in bright orange. The pattern was designed by Elaine Fitzpatrick over at Down Cloverlaine

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I also finished a little sweater this month that was in a magazine my mother-in-law gave me. This one was knitted with Simply Soft yarn in soft green.

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And a scarf that was in the book I used to learn crochet:

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And a hat I just finished last week from a pattern by Jennie Harrell I had queued on Ravelry

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My crafting is picking back up now that the weather is turning again. So, I may be doing these posts a bit more often. I try to finish at least one project a week. Depending on the project that doesn’t always happen though.

Sunday Summary: Busy Weekend

Our busy weekends usually end with the summer, but there’s always a few more that sneak their way in. My husband had bought winter tires a couple weeks ago and was told he could just bring them in sometime later to have them put on. Well, we went up yesterday to have that done,and left the kids with his mom so we could get some shopping done too, since we didn’t know how long it would take. Well, we get in there, and they’re booked solid for the day. Since we got about an inch or 2 of snow earlier in the week, everyone panicked and had to get their tires done. We still did our shopping, but had to take the tires back with us. He’s going to take them back up later this week after work when it won’t be quite so busy, and has an appointment this time.

Then, today after church we went down to my mom’s. My grandparents are leaving, I believe, tomorrow to head down to Florida for the winter. So, we had a going away lunch for them. Pizza, baked macaroni & cheese, apple dumplings, and ice cream. Not a bad dinner. We’re pretty low key for our gatherings. Especially when it wasn’t even planned until the day before. On the way home, we stopped at one of my husbands friend’s and picked up a couch they wanted to get rid of. So, now we have three in the house. One we pretty much inherited with the house and would like to get rid of. The other one, a sectional, we’d like to get rid of as well. It just takes up too much room. Want to go down to just a couch and love seat. Same number of seats, but would be able to split it up.

My goals for last week were pretty simple, especially after I changed them halfway through the week.

  • Flames of Redemption – finish outline: I did do this and got the outline figured out. That may change as I write and add in more scenes, adjust timing. But, it at least gives me an idea of when things happen.
  • Read: Unbelievable(Lori Foster) & Pigments of My Imagination(Angela Kulig): finished both of these. I had trouble really connecting with any of the characters in Pigments. And felt like it jumped around a lot. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, which I think it might be the first in a series, and I hope so with that ending. I mean, I hit the page forward button on my kindle, went “what?” and went back to read over the last page again, because it just didn’t seem like it was an ending. Then I read Time of Death by J.D.Robb, 3 novellas from her In Death series. Then, started In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks. So, I went from future NYC to past Scotland. A bit of a shift. 🙂
  • Crochet: Cheri Hat – I got this started Monday but haven’t worked on it again. – Finished this on Friday.

Goals for next week:

  • Flames of Redemption: Fill out Character Worksheets
  • Flames of Redemption: Write 2000 words(once November starts)
  • Read: In Bed with a Highlander(Maya Banks) & The Hunger Games(Suzanne Collins)- yes, I still haven’t read this.
  • Knit: Celtic Knot Bag

Writing Wednesday: Winter is Coming

Okay, so winter isn’t quite here yet. But, they’re calling for a rain/snow mix starting today. We’re talking about getting a couple tons of wood pellets for our stove(what we use for heat). We still have about 1.5 ton left from last winter, so at least we won’t have to get quite as much this year. And the stove we bought last year heats much more efficiently than the old one, so hopefully we won’t go through quite as many either. I’m not sure I’m quite ready for winter though. It seems like we only got about a week of actual Fall weather. I’d rather have more of that before the snow sets in. My husband may not be too upset since it’ll mean going right from hauling equipment to plowing snow without time to sit between. I’ve heard we’re supposed to get hit pretty hard this year.

I’m kind of between projects right now. I finished the first draft of The Choice, finished editing Stained Snow(my western novella). Have Chasing the Ghost all planned out, but since that is #4 in the series and #1 is out with beta readers now, I decided to hold off on writing it. I’m trying to overcome my first draft addiction. I have no problem writing them(trust me, that’s the easy part), it’s getting them out there where I run into trouble. So, I’m trying to work on one at a time(again. I’ve failed to keep to that every other time I’ve tried). I started reading over one I wrote last year and the beginning of this year, Flames of Redemption(or as I refer to it on Twitter: my Fire WiP). Just planning on revising it. But, I had taken 100 notes by the time I got 21% through it. So, I decided to replot and rewrite it. So, that is now my NaNo project instead of Chasing the Ghost.

So, for today’s WiPPet, I’m going to share a snippet from the original version. It may end up in the second one, or it might not. 23 lines from  the second scene from Chapter 1. Kayla, a firefighter, stopped by her parents’ before going home after her shift.

She waited until her mother grabbed her bag and her lunch and walked through the door. Then, she turned back to her coffee, lifting the steaming mug to her lips. When she set it back down, she saw her father studying her. “What?” She asked, wiping at her mouth without thinking about it.

“What else is going on, Kayla? I know you.”

She shook her head. “Nothing, Dad. Really. I told you. I’m just tired. I really should just get home and get some sleep.”

But, Zachary Brooke shook his head back at her. “No, I know you. Looking at you is like looking in a mirror. What happened that has you so disturbed, Kayla?

Kayla clenched her jaw. Why couldn’t he get it that she just didn’t want to talk about it? “Nothing, Dad. I’m just tired. It was a long night. And I need to make time today to see how my brother I was supposed to lead through the fire is faring.”

Zachary gave a quick nod. “That’s what I thought. It’s not your fault, Kayla. That’s something you need to remember. Whatever happened in that house, he made his own decisions not to stick with you. That’s not on you.”

Kayla closed her eyes as she sipped her coffee. She didn’t want to talk about it. She thought maybe her father finally got the point when she heard him close and fold the newspaper. But, she still kept her eyes closed, enjoying the silence between them. She finished the coffee before she opened her eyes again. And saw that her father was still watching her.

“You know you can talk to me whenever you want, Kay. I know a lot of what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling, right now.”

She sighed. Because he did know. But, she just couldn’t talk about it, didn’t want to think about it now. “Yeah, I know. Thanks for the coffee, Dad. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Since my plans changed, I may not have made any actual progress on some of my goals I posted Sunday. But, that’s okay. I can adjust them.

  • Healing the Heart: brainstorm some changes. – I did do this. Figured out the main stuff I want to keep.
  • Chasing the Ghost: Start writing Not going to work on this yet.
  • Read: Unbelievable(Lori Foster) & Pigments of My Imagination(Angela Kulig): still working my way through Unbelievable. I’m on the second story in it(it’s a collection of two of her older stories, from 1998).
  • Crochet: Cheri Hat – I got this started Monday but haven’t worked on it again.

The only changes I’m making to this week’s goals are to finish the outline for Flames of Redemption. I’m setting Healing the Heart and Chasing the Ghost aside for now. Reading and crochet goals will stay though.

Little Clones

Ok, so our kids aren’t actually clones of us. But, sometimes it seems that way. Actually, neither of the kids look too much like me. Both are blonde haired and blue eyed. Neither got my brown hair or brown eyes. But, we’ve always said our daughter takes after me in just about every way. That was made even more clear last Thursday night at her school’s Open House. We walked into her classroom and she led us right over to her table. They had their writing notebooks and folders set out at their seats. I flipped through the notebook with drawings and little sentences.

Then, opened her folder. There was a little “book”, a title page and three pages of story. The title of this was “The Time We Went to Splash Lagoon.” Splash Lagoon is a local indoor water park. I read the three pages(1 sentence each) and looked down at her and asked, “When did we go to Splash Lagoon?” Because we have never been there before. Apparently I am raising another storyteller.

My son, on the other hand, is pretty much the spitting image of his father. Not only does he look just like early pictures of him, but he thinks and acts like him too. While my daughter and I may be creative with words and ideas, they are creative when it comes to figuring out ways to do things. If something won’t work one way, my husband can usually figure out a way to rig it up so it will work another way. And our son apparently takes after him.

We got him this tool bench from a local yard sale group on Facebook for Christmas last year. It came with a bunch of the tools as well. The little saw didn’t work though. Even when we put new batteries in it. That never seemed to bother him though. Well, last week he comes out with the drill and this saw. And holds the drill to the middle of the saw blade to make it spin around. Apparently he figured out how to make it work!

Getting the saw to work.

Getting the saw to work.

He also has put a whole train track together himself.This track is more complex than the ones I usually make.

He only needed help snapping the bridge on.

He only needed help snapping the bridge on.

 

 

Sunday Summary:

I’m feeling better than I did Wednesday. Still have a nagging headache, but that’s not all that unusual for me. Definitely now when the weather keeps flipping. Plays havoc with my sinuses. Other than that, I’ve been feeling better and have been able to get things done. In fact, I had all my to-dos crossed off my list by lunchtime on Friday. That doesn’t happen very often.

  • Stained Snow: Search & Destroy. – Finished this on Thursday. Still have 46,796 words. Wanted to get it under 45k. I was going to be sending it to my CP, but she’s been in the hospital, so it can wait until she’s better. That’s more important.
  • The Choice: Write last 2 scenes – had these finished on Tuesday.
  • Chasing the Ghost: Finish Novel Notebook – DONE! Was going to wait until Nov 1 to start writing this, but I’m ready to start now. May just end up being a rebel for NaNo.
  • Read: Tempted(Lori Foster) & Treasure Me(Christine Nolfi) – Done & Done. Tempted was ok(thinking it was because these were older stories that they made me roll my eyes a bit, but I did like the interactions between characters). I loved Treasure Me though.
  • Knit: Boo Baby Cloth – finished this on Friday.

A couple weeks ago, I had seen someone post on Twitter about Aeon Timeline, but they were saying it was for Macs. Well, found out I think last weekend, they have a version out for Windows too. Timelines of my stories are something I really struggle with. I tend to cram everything into a short time when it would be better spread out. And if I don’t have it laid out, I forget what happened when. So, I downloaded the trial version of this. I’m liking it, but I don’t know about the $40 price tag when the trial is over. Guess I will see when the trial is up how I feel and if we have the extra money. I tired downloading a program I used to use, Storybook. But, of course, it’s not compatible with Windows 8. I’ve seen a couple others like that, which is making me hate Windows 8 just a bit.

I’ve also been playing around with a family tree program this week for the characters from my series. I used familyecho.com. I’m liking that one. The tree is already complex and will get even more so as the series continues. And along that, I started a series bible to try to keep everything straight. I have it set up in Excel with worksheets for different categories. I have main characters and minor character sheets just about filled in. The last one is for locations which I’ll get to.

My goals for next week:

  • Healing the Heart: brainstorm some changes. still debating whether to rewrite as novella or not.
  • Chasing the Ghost: Start writing
  • Read: Unbelievable(Lori Foster) & Pigments of My Imagination(Angela Kulig)
  • Crochet: Cheri Hat

 

Writing Wednesday: Taking It Easy

This will probably be a fairly short post today. Not feeling too well this morning for some reason. I was picking up the living room and started feeling light headed and just “off”. That off feeling actually started last night. I thought it was either from the nasty headache I was getting or the heartburn from the tacos we had for dinner. Both headache and off feeling were hanging around this morning. Not sure if I’m getting sick or if it’s something else. But, I think it will be a day of just taking it easy and hopefully I can get back to feeling like normal. You know it’s bad when I feel like taking a nap(if you know me, you know that very, very rarely happens).

Now for my progress so far this week:

  • Stained Snow: Search & Destroy. – made quite a bit of progress on this. Got rid of more than half the occurrences of just from it yesterday. I checked the word frequency list in Scrivener after I’d gotten through chapter 3 and I had 270. When I got through, I had 112 still. A lot of those left were in dialogue, I think. I only had 5 “very”s, which was today’s mission. At least that is one crutch word I have stopped relying on quite so much. I only have 2 more things on my list to look for.
  • The Choice: Write last 2 scenes – finished writing the final scene yesterday morning. It’s still just short of 64,000 words. I was figuring it would be around 70k, but I’ll probably add even more during the next draft. I tend to add during the first edits.
  • Chasing the Ghost: Finish Novel Notebook – finished this last night.
  • Read: Tempted(Lori Foster) & Treasure Me(Christine Nolfi) – still working on Tempted. Will probably finish it today.
  • Knit: Boo Baby Cloth – I’ve gotten more done on this. I have knitted 40 rows out of 69 before I need to start the shoulders. I’m hoping to get the main part of it done today, then I should have the shoulders done by this weekend.

I’ve already been pretty productive this week, and it’s only Wednesday morning. Hopefully I can keep it up despite whatever crap this is trying to knock me down.

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