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Archive for November, 2013

Writing Wednesday: Thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here and one thing I’m most thankful for today is hot water. Monday night I went to start a bath for the boy and water was cold. Would not warm up at all. Had hot water that morning though. We had to fix a valve on our hot water heater a couple years ago too. Husband figured it was a heating element this time. He went out Tuesday and picked up new ones, went to change them and one was so rusted it wouldn’t come out. This water heater is probably about as old as the house, almost 30 years. His dad and stepmom lived here before we bought it. We’ve been wanting to replace it but were hoping to just be able to fix it until Spring when we’d have more money for a new one. I have to say though, one nice thing about living in a small town is knowing people. He was able to find one that we didn’t have to pay for upfront from someone he knows. So, we got that one put in yesterday, and we now have hot water again! Also thankful to have a husband who is very handy around the house.

And thankful to have this creative outlet. I spent a few years denying my need to write. When I picked it up again, I realized how miserable I’d been when I wasn’t writing. It’s something I never plan on setting aside again.

Now, for this week’s WipPet: The last 20 lines(27-11+1+3) I wrote today with a name omitted to not give anything away.

They approached the second ambulance and the paramedic glanced up at them. “I hope you’re the one he’s been wanting to talk to. Refuses to let me take him in until he can talk to the angel that rescued him.”


“I’m no angel. It was just luck that I even found them.”


She felt Adrian’s arm tighten around her, wanted to tell him that he was smothering her. At the same time, she didn’t want him to let go.Why did this all have to be so confusing? She moved to the side of the cot and took the man’s hand. “You need to get to the hospital. What’s the hold up?”


“I wanted to thank you again. You didn’t have to help us.”


“Yes, I did.”


He shook his head. “You didn’t. Not everyone would. I’m thankful to you though.”


“It’s not necessary and it could have waited until you were seen at the hospital.”


“There’s more.”


That stopped her when she was about to turn away. “What?”


“I knew him. The man who shot me, who started the fire. I knew him, or thought I did. I never thought it would cause so much trouble to have a neighbor come look at our computer.”


Her heart nearly stuttered to a stop, and she glanced over at Adrian. “Who was it?” He asked. “You know his name?”


“Of course, I do. He’s lived a couple streets over for several years now.”


“What’s his name?” Kayla asked. But, she could feel dread weighing down her chest now. Did she already know it?




Kayla closed her eyes. “[xx xx]?”


“Yeah. You already know about him?”


She opened her eyes again and looked over at Adrian. “I know him.”

As for my ROW80 goals, I only had 2 this week.

  • Flames of Redemption: 75000 words(which I think will at least get me close to the end if not all the way there). – 68,434/75000 I thought my 2 5k days last week were crazy. Yesterday, I somehow managed to write over 7700 words. I’m still not quite sure how that happened. Except I just kept plugging away at it. Been a much slower day today. But, that’s okay. I’ve written over 11k so far this week. Still have 12 more scenes to get through. May not happen by the end of the month, but I’m going to get as close as I can.
  • Knit: Little Lion Sock Critter – still haven’t worked on this any more.

Sunday Summary: Touchdown!

Okay, wrong activity, but my husband’s watching football, and I guess it works. If you read my post from Friday or follow me on twitter, you know I “finished” NaNoWriMo early. On Thursday, in fact. Then, I wrote another 5k on Friday. And a little more than 1750 so far this weekend. I still have 22 planned scenes left. I’m hoping to get at least one or two of those written tonight, but we’ll see how that goes. I may not finish the first draft this month, but still hoping for sometime during the first week of December, if not before. Already, its longer than the first version of the story. That first draft came out at 55,400 words. I’m kind of glad I decided to go with a complete rewrite instead of just trying to edit it…again.

  • Flames of Redemption: 50,000 words. This will have me finished NaNoWriMo almost a week early, but the story still won’t be finished. 57048/50000
  • Read: Sins of the Angels(Linda Poitevin) & All Our Yesterdays(Cristin Terrill): Finished both of these. Loves Sins of the Angels(even if it felt like it ripped my heart out) and really enjoyed All Our Yesterdays, even if some of the time travel stuff confused me. Read one other book as well. Not going to include a reading goal for next week. I’ve read all the books I had on my list for this month. So anything I read now is “bonus”.
  • Knit: Little Lion Sock Critter – haven’t worked on this any more since Tuesday. May get to that tonight.

I think surpassing my writing goal makes up for falling behind on the knitting goal. Only going to have 2 goals for the rest of the month, since that’s less than a week.

  • Flames of Redemption: 75000 words(which I think will at least get me close to the end if not all the way there).
  • Knit: Little Lion Sock Critter

How I Wrote 5k in One Day

So, I may have gone a little crazy yesterday. I had always planned to “finish” NaNoWriMo a little early. The earliest I’ve gotten to 50k words in the last 3 years is November 27. That was two years ago with Guarding the Heart. With my original plan of writing 2500 words every day, I should have finished by 11/20. Well, then I adjusted it a little, because I don’t write as much over the weekends as I do during the week. But, I still planned to finish on 11/24. That plan has now gone out the window too, because I crossed the 50k line last night. Yes, I wrote 50k words in 3 weeks. I have never done that before.

So, I’m not actually sure how I did it. I woke up at 4, like I do pretty much every day. Was writing by about 4:30. Kids were up by 6. Typical day around here. This was how my day went in tweets(about half of them part of conversation with Lauren)

So, obviously, I spent about the whole day writing. The boy spent most of the morning watching Fireman Sam or Thomas the Tank Engine(although I think there was some Super Why thrown in there) and playing independently(both of my kids are good at this and actually seem to prefer it). He did have a bit of a meltdown about mid-morning that I had to soothe over. That happens when you’re 3 and don’t take a nap for three days though. He did take a nap yesterday finally.

It felt like I was just chipping away at the words throughout the morning, and yet I managed to rack up over 3k by lunch time

I had only been writing when the kids were sleeping, but now I’ve started writing during the in-between moments. Which is how I got 174 words while dinner was cooking.

And another 855 while sitting on the couch after the kids went to bed.

At that point, my battery was about to die, so I plugged the computer in and decided to call it a night, even though I almost felt like I could write more. That was at 8:30, so that was 5k words in about 16 hours from start to finish.

was happy to see this last night

This obviously would not be an every day occurrence. I think I might burn out if I tried to write that much every day. 2500 words a day is usually a pretty decent pace for me. Although I do like getting the WiP done quickly. In fact, my goal for this month is to finish the first draft. The first time I wrote this story(last year and earlier this year), it was only about 55k and took me over 4 months. This time it looks like it will be between 75-80k and might only take me a little more than 1 month. And I feel better about this version.

Right now I have my daily goals broken up by scenes instead of word count though. I have it worked out for which scenes I need to write each day to finish by the end of the month. I’m a little behind on that, but I should either be able to catch up or finish it during the first week of October. I don’t really want it to go much farther than that since we’ll be getting busy with Christmas stuff then.

Writing Wednesday: Speeding Through the Week

This week’s been going pretty well, and fast. I baked a ham(we got a few of them from my husband’s stepmom) on Monday and made some hambone soup in the crockpot yesterday. Today I’m making chicken pot pie stew in the crockpot and cooking up a batch of potato soup to put away(what I don’t eat for lunch anyway). Not too much else to say here, so I’ll get right to my WiPPet for the week. 22 lines(1+1 for the month + 20 for the day) from a scene I wrote last night. Adrian is at his parents’, dealing with some family drama.

“Adrian, you know you don’t always have to be a cop. You could just be a brother.”
He could feel his temper building. “Being your brother hasn’t gotten either of us anywhere.Thought maybe it’d be better to take a different tack. I see that hasn’t done much good either.”
“Like when you arrested me.”
His stomach was twisted so tight, he was surprised he didn’t throw up right there. “I’m not the one that was doing drugs. I never forced you to. I tried to help you before it got that far. But, you’d rather lose yourself in a drugged haze than face anything.”
“At least I’m not the one that let our baby sister burn to death.”
Adrian felt the blow to his gut, felt the blood drain from his face, and he lunged out of the chair. But, Callum’s face was about as white as his. Like he hadn’t meant to let the words come out.
He didn’t think he could draw enough breath to respond to the accusation. Instead he turned to his father. “Sorry, Dad. I can’t stay. I’ll try to stop by some other time.”
But, Donovan grabbed his arm. “You can stay,” he said with a meaningful glance over Adrian’s shoulder.
“No, Dad. I think it’s better if I don’t.”
He only paused to kiss his mother’s cheek before leaving the living room and striding right through the kitchen. He wasn’t even going to stop when he heard his sister call out to him. But, she caught up to him at the door. “Adrian, please stop. You don’t need to go.”
He turned to her then. “Yes, I do, Darcie. Because if I would’ve stayed in there, it may have cost me my badge.”
“You know none of us think what he said. There was nothing you could have done.”
He couldn’t help but smile at her. Darcie was always trying to make people feel better. “I know, Darc. But, thank you. Go on back in. You always could deal with him better than me.”
“Cal’s messed up, but he’s not a bad guy.”
“I know. I just can’t…” He trailed off as his phone rang, and he sighed when he saw it was from dispatch. He looked back up at his sister. “I have to take this. Tell them I had work. I can’t stay.”

This story was originally supposed to be a standalone novel. Now, all these other characters seem to want their stories told. James, Kayla’s brother, Jeremiah, one of the other firefighters(who I don’t think has showed up in any of the WiPPets). Even Callum. Not sure if I’m capable of writing a standalone at this point. 🙂

As for my progress on my goals this week:

  • Flames of Redemption: 50,000 words. This will have me finished NaNoWriMo almost a week early, but the story still won’t be finished. 43082/50000 I changed the way I have my daily goals set up for this. Instead of a certain number of words, I have the scenes listed that I want to get done that day. I’m sure I’ll add more scenes as I write, so I may not get them all done by the end of the month. I am hoping for at least by the first week of December though. After that we’ll be busy pretty much each weekend with Christmas gatherings with the family.
  • Read: Sins of the Angels(Linda Poitevin) & All Our Yesterdays(Cristin Terrill) Finished Sins of the Angels yesterday morning and felt like my heart had been ripped out. Instantly added the second in the series to my “to-buy” list. Then, I started reading All Our Yesterdays and am about halfway through it now.
  • Knit: Little Lion Sock Critter I’ve made some good progress on this. Have the body & head finished. Just need to do the arm, ears, and mane. Then, stuff and seam. Staying on track with it.

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Quesedillas

I mentioned in a post on Sunday that I had started planning out our menu for the week. I like this because it makes knowing what to make easier, getting groceries more organized. And I’ve found it’s helping us branch out more in what we do eat. I grew up in a family that didn’t really eat much Mexican food. We’d have tacos every once in a while, but that was pretty much the extent of it. My mom isn’t a fan of salsa, and I’ve never eaten much that was too spicy. It was different when I went to my best friend’s house. It seemed we always had a Mexican dish when I was over there. Or at least something else I hadn’t tried before. We lived in Northwestern Pennsylvania. But, she was originally from Colorado.

Other than the times I was over there for dinner, I still didn’t really eat much spicy. In fact when I was pregnant with my daughter, I couldn’t eat much that was more than bland. Even water gave me heartburn. Now, with my son, I seemed to crave spicier food. I guess it’s not too much of a surprise that she likes more plain, bland foods and he will eat just about anything, especially if it’s spicy.

Last Monday we had Salsa chicken and Spanish rice for dinner. She did eat the chicken, even though I had to scrape the salsa off it. My boy however, had his chicken finished like it was nothing. I decided to stick with the Mexican theme for Mondays and we had chicken quesedillas last night. Not only was this my first time making them, but eating them as well.

I chopped up the peppers and chicken earlier in the day.

20131118_133719 20131118_132740

Then, tossed the chicken with fajita seasoning and threw that under the broiler. I got a lot of seasoning on some of the chicken, not so much on others. Going to have to do this differently next time.


With about a tablespoon of oil, I cooked the peppers and chicken together.


Once the peppers were soft, I put the mixture on half of a tortilla shell, layered shredded cheese, and folded the shell over.

20131118_171531 20131118_172026

Then, I threw the baking sheet into the oven for 10 minutes. When they came out, I cut each shell into 3 wedges. So, out of 8 shells I got 24 wedges(which I didn’t take a picture of).


When I put the leftovers in the fridge, there were 11 wedges left. The boy ate 4 of them himself. The girl finished two after saying she didn’t like them without even taking a bite. I’d call this a win.

Also, my husband’s stepmom brought us some hams, bacon, and pork chops. I baked one of the hams yesterday, and today am making some ham bone soup in the crock pot. I was just going to use the bone to make some ham stock, but wasn’t really sure what I would do with it then. And while searching for what to do with the bone, I found a recipe for ham bone soup.

I have been cooking an awful lot lately, especially for someone who rarely makes anything that doesn’t come out of a box or can.

Crafty Corner: Bags, Headbands, & Lions

I finished a couple projects last week and started one more. The first I finished was the Celtic Knot Bag, from a little book I got from my mother-in-law. The cable work is really a PITA to do, but it always turns out looking really nice. The bag took me about 2 1/2 weeks to finish, and a total of almost 24 hours actually working on it.


The other one I finished is a Knotted Headband pattern I found through Ravelry. This one was a lot easier. It’s crochet, instead of knitting. It only took me about an hour and a half over three days of working on it.


The other project I’m working on is this Little Lion Sock Critter I found over at Lion Brand Yarns. I’ve worked on it for almost 4 hours over 2 days and have the legs and body finished. I’m hoping to have it done sometime this week.


Once I finish the lion, I’m planning on starting these booties. I found a picture of similar ones while browsing Pinterest one day, and they were just too cute to pass up.

Sunday Summary: Planning & Writing

Before I get to the rest of my post, I wanted to share the good news here. Not really my good news, but I’m excited about it anyways. My CP posted earlier this week that she signed a contract for her first novel. Exciting!!

As for me, not too much to report for the second half of the week. I’ve been busy writing. Husband worked Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So, yesterday basically felt like a weekday to me, except the girl was home from school. Surprisingly, the kids played nicely together until about 9:30, when they wanted a snack and cartoon. This let me get a good chunk of writing done, even though it felt like I was barely chipping away at the words.

This past week was the first I’ve stuck to a menu for our dinners. I’ve tried one before but didn’t even stick to it for a whole week, I don’t think. Not sure why. I think part of it was because I tried to plan a whole month, instead of starting small. And just the thought of getting all those groceries overwhelmed me. This time, I’m doing a week at a time. Although I might change that to two weeks at a time as that’s about how often we do grocery shopping in the winter. The other problem I had last time was trying to plan the meals around the time my husband would be home. And since there’s always 1-2 days he’s not home before the kids go to bed, I let that throw me. This time, I’m trying to make it for the same time every day, and either keep his portion warm or put it in the fridge to warm up when he gets home. Most of the meals were even a win for at least one of the kids.

Monday we had salsa chicken and Spanish rice. The boy nearly inhaled the chicken. The girl is a bit pickier about spicy food(mainly: she doesn’t like it). But, she did eat about half of it before she said she didn’t like the red stuff on it. Tuesday we had Lasagna in the crock pot. The girl tried to say she didn’t like it before even tasting it(and we’ve had it like this before) and then ate all of hers anyway. Wednesday, I made beef stroganoff. The boy barely touched his, but the girl ate all of it. Thursday, we had scalloped potatoes and ham, and everyone ate it. I didn’t plan anything for Friday, figuring we could eat leftovers or whatever. But, I did make some applesauce in the crock pot(that was the third time I used it this week). I’ve always claimed to not like to cook, but I’m finding I like it better when I have things planned out ahead of time instead of trying to figure it out an hour before we plan to eat.

Salsa chicken & Spanish rice

Salsa chicken & Spanish rice

Now, for how I did on goals this week:

  • Flames of Redemption: 35000 words(that’s the progressive goal, so another 15k) – finished this Saturday while the boy was taking a nap. 15,013 words this week. Have some family drama shaping up for one of my characters, actually for both of them, just different dramas. And as Eden said on my Wednesday post, these 2 need to get a room, if they’d only admit it. 😉
  • Read: The Dream You Make(Christine Nolfi) and Beautiful Darkness(Kami Garcia/Margaret Stohl) – Finished reading both of these. I’m glad I put a more light-hearted story between Allegiant and Beautiful Darkness. They both twisted my emotions up, which is a good thing. And easy to do for me, it seems. I get sucked into stories so easily. I’m almost halfway through Sins of the Angels by Linda Poitevin now.
  • Knit: Finish Celtic Knot Bag – Finished this Friday morning, I think.  Took me about a total of almost 24 hours over about 2.5 weeks to finish.
  • Crochet: Knotted Headband – Finished this Friday. It was nice doing a quick project after finishing a bigger one. DSCN2664

Goals for the next week:

  • Flames of Redemption: 50,000 words. This will have me finished NaNoWriMo almost a week early, but the story still won’t be finished.
  • Read: Sins of the Angels(Linda Poitevin) & All Our Yesterdays(Cristin Terrill)
  • Knit: Little Lion Sock Critter

Simple goals this week as I push through the middle of the WiP.

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