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Archive for March, 2014

Sunday Summary: March to the End

Even though RoW80 is on it’s break, I decided to do a post today to evaluate my goals for the last month. I know we still have one more day in the month, but it’s still close enough. And this will help keep me on my consistent posting schedule.

I made some changes to these initial goals as the month went on, so I’ll comment on those as well.

  • Slow Revenge – edit as I get chapters back – I got this finished. And went through it again for a more detailed read. I’ll be making those changes this next week.
  • Stained Snow – make edits once I get it back – I got it back and started working on a major rewrite. I’m about 80% through this. I’ll be moving this to April to finish. I added almost 32,000 new words. It’s sitting at about 48k right now. I’d planned for it to be around 60k, but it may end up closer to 70k.
  • Chasing the Ghost – add 42000 words – I wrote 184 words on this then set it aside to focus on Slow Revenge & Stained Snow. Not sure when I’ll pick this one back up.
  • Read 13 books– I read 12 books & finished listening to 1. So, I’ll count this one as met.
  • Read 1 craft/research book – I finished ‘How to Write a Dick’ earlier this week. Which was research for Chasing the Ghost.
  • Knit 3 projects(Phoenix Gauntlets, Storybook Baby Hoodie, & Snuggly Chatterbox Hat) finished the guantlets and the hoodie. Didn’t even start on the hat though. I’ll be moving that to April.
  • Crochet 3 projects(Baby Pom Pom Hat, Olivia’s Butterfly(hat), puppy hat) Finished the Pom Pom hat & the butterfly hat. Didn’t get to the puppy hat. Another one I’ll move to April.

I also started a short story but only wrote about 3000 words before I set it aside so I could finish the edits for Slow Revenge.

So far this year, I have written 112,226 words on 8 different projects. An average of 37,409 words a month. Now, I just need to focus on finished one project instead of having all of these in different stages.

My goals for April:


  • Slow Revenge: Publish
  • Stained Snow: Finish rewrite
  • Short Story: Write
  • Flames of Redemption: Revisions


  • Listen to 1 audio book
  • Read 12 fiction books
  • Read 1 craft/research book


  • Knit 2 projects(Snuggly Chatterbox Hat & Imp Cloth)
  • Crochet 2 projects(Crochet Puppy Hat & Hello Kitty Hat)


2014 ROW80 Round 1: Done

I was going to post this yesterday but I was behind on my goals so decided to wait for the official end of the round and try to get caught up. Yeah, I’m still behind. I’ll admit it. I bit off way more than I could chew. This is not an unusual occurrence for me. And now I’m feeling drained and unfocused by trying to play catch-up all week. Taking a break and reading this afternoon(maybe some crochet or knitting tonight too) and hopefully be ready to work again tomorrow. Anyway, I’ll do a quick wrap-up of my progress this week and look back on how I did on my goals for this round.

  • Slow Revenge: line up editing/cover art -neither. I’ve been looking at a lot of cover art, but can’t decide on anything. And I decided to print it off and do a thorough read through. Usually I do this on my kindle, but that’s when I’m looking for overall issues, not the little stuff. This is taking me longer than I figured, which is why I’m behind with everything else.
  • Stained Snow: 11 scenes – I’ve finished 9 scenes and started the next one. 7807 words added this week. That’s a really good number, if I hadn’t planned to write more. I have at least 13 more scenes to get through(some just need some rewriting though). Probably won’t get there before the end of the month.
  • Flames of Redemption: read through & make revision plan – I sent this to my kindle, but have set the rest aside until I finish editing Slow Revenge(again).
  • Short Story: would like to finish, but it’s lower on my priorities added 858 words on Tuesday. Setting this aside as well for right now.
  • Read: True Colors, Playing Pretend(Juliana Haygert), & Ignite(Tessa Teevan) – Just finished True Colors a little bit ago. Really enjoyed it. And as much as I like a bad boy(to a certain extent), I really like the sweet, good guys too. 🙂 Planning on starting Playing Pretend in a little bit.
  • Read: Finish How to Write a Dick – 90% through. Should finish today or tomorrow.
  • Knit: Finish Phoenix Gauntlets – Done! Only goal I actually met this week, but didn’t have much left to go.
  • Crochet: Olivia’s Butterfly – Haven’t even started it yet.

This week was kind of a bust, but I did get a lot of work done. I’m halfway through marking up Slow Revenge. I’m about 75%-ish through Stained Snow. Those were my two main goals for the month(which I’ll evaluate my progress for next week). So, it’s not that bad. As long as I try not to do too much.

Now, for my goals for this round:

  • Slow Revenge: Publish – not quite there yet. Getting close.
  • Stained Snow: Finish another round of edits – working on those now.
  • Flames of Redemption: Revise and send to CPs – didn’t even start on this.
  • East of Abilene – finish 1st draft – Done
  • Read 40 books(goal of 175 for the year) – 54/40 Not surprising I exceeded this one
  • 9 knitting projects – 7/9. Not quite there.
  • 8 crochet projects – 6/8 Short again.

Only met 2 of my goals for the round. My main goal for next round: do not overestimate what I can get done in a certain time. The rest I’ll have to figure out before the round starts.

Writing Wednesday: A Brother’s Fear

This round of ROW80 technically isn’t over until tomorrow. Usually I post my last check-in and overview of the round’s progress on Wednesday anyway. Right now I’m really behind on my goals so just taking the time to post a quick WiPPet. Sticking with Slow Revenge(which is undergoing a possible title change. more on that another day maybe). I’m scouring through this with a fine tooth comb(well, red pen) which is part of why I’m behind on my goals. Underestimated how much time it would take to read through so carefully.

Anyway, here are 8 paragraphs on 3/26/14(3+2+6+1+4 = 16/2=8). I think I posted the very beginning of this during a previous draft, so it might seem a little familiar.

    He set three plates at the places his mother had already set then stood, confused for a moment when he realized he still had one plate in his hand.
“Damn it.” He returned the extra plate to the cupboard and had to take a moment to regain his composure before turning back to his parents. He hoped this table would see more than these three seats again.
Dinner that night was silent. It just wasn’t the same without Connie. There had been times she wasn’t there. But, this was different, knowing there was a possibility she wouldn’t ever join them again. Garren’s hand paused with a bite of food almost to his mouth when he heard tires crunch over the gravel in the driveway.
So many feelings flew through him at the sound, he couldn’t even process them all. The biggest of these was hope though. Could it be her?
His gaze swept to his parents and was sure the shock and hope in their eyes reflected in his own. He jumped from his seat and his legs ate up the distance in a few steps on the way to the door.
His father was right behind him. At the sight of his best friend’s truck, Garren’s heart lifted in instant relief. Maybe his father had been right. They had stayed longer than planned. They were here now.
He grabbed onto the door frame when he realized only one person was in the truck, and his knees threatened to give out on him. Geoff jumped out of the truck and started toward the house, and Garren knew. Something had happened. Something bad.
He shook his head as Geoff approached him. “Don’t say it. Please don’t say it, Geoff.”

That’s it for me today. Like I said, I’ll post my final RoW80 check-in and evaluation of my goals tomorrow. Right now, it’s back to writing. Of course, you can always check out the other WiPPeteers here or even post your own snippet and share it with us. All are welcome. 🙂

Sunday Summary: Bouncing

I feel like I’ve been bouncing all over the place this week. Just can’t seem to settle on what to do. I’ve been looking around for cover art, mostly premade covers. While there have been a few I liked, I just don’t know if they fit. Maybe I’m just thinking too much.

Thursday my husband took the boy with him to town. He had fun being with Daddy especially since they spent some time at the fire station. And I had the house to myself for just about 4 hours. That is a very rare occurrence.


think this is why he enjoys time at the station with Daddy.


Then, that night we took both kids to get their hair cut. The girl’s has been pretty much unmanageable for a while. We got it cut shoulder length and it’s so much easier to deal with now. The boy’s was getting pretty shaggy, so we got it trimmed up. Now, they both look like they’ve aged at least a year. Amazing how just a hair cut can do that.


Slow Revenge I finished incorporating my beta reader’s suggestions for the end. And even though I’ve read over this many times(and you know, wrote it), I still nearly had to wipe away a tear on the last scene. It gets me every time. I admit it. I’m a sap. 🙂

Stained Snow: I finished 8 scenes, added 6872 words. I set this aside for a couple days this week while I finished Slow Revenge. I still made some progress though. A little more than half way through. It may end up more than the 60k I was expecting. Probably not more than 70k though.

I also started a short story based on some back story from Slow Revenge. It’s a really big moment in the main character’s life. I’m thinking of either sharing it here or through my newsletter(that isn’t quite set up yet).

Between edits, Stained Snow, and this short story, I wrote 10,381 words last week.

Read: I finished the two books I still had on my list for this week. I had some issues with Mystery Man(the hero went a little too beyond alpha for me), but I still enjoyed it. I also read Almost Broken Up by A.O. Peart. I now have True Colors by Melissa Pearl ready to read on my kindle. Only two more on this month’s list then I’ll try to catch up on some of my free reads until the end of the month.

Also got to 75% in How to Write a Dick. Had a few thoughts on how to fix issues with this character. If he wasn’t such a good guy, I wouldn’t worry about it because he probably wouldn’t worry if he skirted the law. But, *sigh*, he is a good guy. 🙂

Knitting: I have the gauntlets just about finished. Just need to knit the last few rows of the second and seam them up. This got set aside while I was finishing up Slow Revenge as well.

Goals for rest of the round:

  • Slow Revenge: line up editing/cover art
  • Stained Snow: 11 scenes
  • Flames of Redemption: read through & make revision plan
  • Short Story: would like to finish, but it’s lower on my priorities
  • Read: True Colors, Playing Pretend(Juliana Haygert), & Ignite(Tessa Teevan)
  • Read: Finish How to Write a Dick
  • Knit: Finish Phoenix Gauntlets
  • Crochet: Olivia’s Butterfly


Questions about Newsletters

So, for the last day or so I’ve been thinking about author newsletters. How you make them, what you put in them, how often you send them.

I’m thinking of starting to send one out. But, again, I don’t know how to go about it. I know some of you have one. I’m subscribed to a few different ones. I’m not even sure where to start with it.

I don’t see me sending one out very often. Probably not more than once a month. Maybe when I just have a release or something going on.

And since I had an idea for a short story yesterday that’s part of the backstory in Slow Revenge, I thought about having that as a special bonus for newsletter subscribers. And maybe having other short pieces from different back stories. Or setting up a page on the blog here for that.

What are your thoughts on newsletters and bonus content? Do you subscribe to newsletters? What do you like to see in them? How do you make them?

Writing Wednesday: New Plans

It’s definitely going to seem like I’m indecisive. I keep changing my plans. The plan had been to work on editing chapters of Slow Revenge while I waited for my beta reader to get them back to me but focus on finishing the rewrite of Stained Snow. Then, yesterday morning, I got two emails from my reader. The first had come in at just after midnight, with the other a couple hours later.  She had finished the second half of Slow Revenge. So, I reworked this week’s to-do lists to try to finish them by the end of the week. Which means Stained Snow has been moved to the back burner for now, or at least off the power burner. 🙂

Then, while we were out and about yesterday, I started a list on my phone of the different series I have in progress. There’s 5 of them that I have at least 1 story started in. Yes, I’m insane. 🙂 After I made that list, I started one of all the different stories in those series as well as the *hopefully* standalone novels I want to work in. I have them separated into different groups, all the #1s are in group 1…I’m planning on working through each group for each round. It’s doubtful I’ll get every story in the group out the door before the round is over, since they’re all in different stages(some aren’t even plotted yet), but this is a starting point.

Speaking of starting points, I’m switching for WiPPet again, this time to Slow Revenge. Since that’s what I’m working on and have open right now. The first 20 lines(3+1+9+2+0+1+4) of Chapter 1.

Garren Alexander sat back in one of the lawn chairs spread out across the yard and watched as some young kids ran past him, laughing. He had to smile. It looked like another of his parents’ Memorial Day picnics was a success. Most of the neighbors came out for it, bringing all the kids along. Most of the adults here were ones he had run around with as a boy, kids he had considered cousins when he didn’t have any of his own.

Despite the happiness of the day, his mind was weighed down by the absence of one person, and the corners of his smile turned down. His sister had never missed one of these picnics. It was the first one she had not been there for. Her and her fiance had decided to go camping this weekend, but they’d said they would be here today.

His parents had tried to assure him everything was fine. The two of them had just decided to extend their camping trip longer. They weren’t worried. Apparently he was the only one who was. Maybe it was his years as a police officer that made him so paranoid. He hoped that was it, and his parents were right.

Still he found he could not sit still. He got back up and strode over to where his father was cooking another batch of hamburgers and hot dogs. “They should have been here by now,” he said, “or at least called. Connie would have called if they decided to change their plans.”

Brendan Alexander sighed, but didn’t look away from the food on the grill. “Cell service at the campground can be spotty. She may not have been able to get a call out. I’m sure everything’s fine.”

I’ve been making progress on my goals this week. Monday was a very productive day. I even got started on yesterday’s list before I went to bed. Yesterday, not so much. We left early to go up to the city and do some shopping and still get home before the girl got home from school(and made it with a good 45 minutes to spare unlike last time when we pulled up to our driveway right behind the bus). And since it was almost 50 degrees out, we stayed out and played until I needed to go in and get dinner started. I did manage to get a little bit done after the kids went to bed, but it certainly wasn’t as productive. We did get the kids’ Easter clothes though.

  • Stained Snow – work through 14 scenes – I got through 4 and started a 5th. This will be moved down my list of priorities until Slow Revenge is finished.
  • Slow Revenge – Work through any chapters I get back(right now that’s through Ch 19) – Like I said, I have them all back. Spent last night compiling beta’s notes into scrivener and got through 6 chapters this morning. These ones didn’t have many changes, but there’ll be more work in the last few chapters.
  • Read: Cursed by Cupid(Wendy Sparrow), Mystery Man(Kristen Ashley), & A Little Too Much(Lisa Desrochers) – I finished reading Cursed by Cupid yesterday while we were outside. Started Mystery Man this morning.
  • Read: How to Write a Dick – Get to 75% – I’m at 65% right now.
  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie – Finish – finished this on Sunday
  • Knit: Phoenix Gauntlets – started these on Monday but didn’t work on them at all yesterday. Planning on getting the first one finished tonight.

New goals for the rest of the week:

  • Slow Revenge: Finish edits
  • Read: Finish Mystery Man & read A Little Too Much
  • 75% through How to Write a Dick
  • Knit: Phoenix Gauntlets

Any suggestions for editing/cover art for someone who is on an extremely tight budget? I want to get my stories out there, but I want to do it right.

Crafty Corner: Sweater & Phoenix Gauntlets

I finished the Storybook Baby Hoodie I’d been working on all of last week on Sunday. It didn’t turn out as small as I was afraid it would.


I’ve gotten better with the seaming, doing it on the wrong side and turning the piece inside out. Still had a little trouble setting the sleeves into the sweater, but I think I got it figured out.

Yesterday I started on the Phoenix gauntlet pattern from Lion Brand Yarn. These aren’t the first fingerless gloves I’ve made. The other ones I’ve done though have all been short ones. This pattern comes with instructions for three different sizes: mini, midi, and maxi. The mini are about the length of my other ones; just past the wrists. The midi, which are the ones I’m making now, should come to about my elbows, I’m thinking. Or at least mid-arm. The maxi looked like they’d be a little too long. Plus they would have needed an extra skein of the yarn.

I only have the first half of the first one knitted so far.


Monday Mentions: Writing Cycles & New Releases

I decided to try out a new feature for the blog. I figured since social media is supposed to be, you know, social, I’d highlight what other people are talking about/have going on. So, I figured I could share some posts that struck me, or cover reveals/new releases. Things like that.

Last week, I read this post by Chuck Wendig and have to say I’ve gone through pretty much all these stages at one time or another. 🙂

Then, yesterday L.S. Engler posted this. And I have to say I agree with a lot of what she says. Particularly this:

Ultimately, all I care about is how my writing makes a person feel. While it would be nice if they didn’t, they can forget exactly what I said, what I created, what techniques I used or what words I put together, as long as they remember how the words made them feel. And I hope they make the reader feel joy and happiness and sadness. I hope they feel an incredible, lingering connection to their soul that sticks with them long after they set the book down, staying there in their hearts and minds even if they’re not consciously aware of it. And then, when they hear my name or see my books, they remember those feelings fondly.

That is what I want. Not seeing my book on a shelf in the store(although that would be nice one day), not even making it on a bestseller list(again, it would be absolutely great if that ever happened). I want to make people feel. I want them to be entertained, to laugh, maybe even to cry. Mostly I want them to enjoy the stories these characters have been telling me.

And this morning, from Lydia Sharp, about seasonal writing cycles. I think we all have these cycles. I do, even if mine isn’t tied to seasonal affective disorder. Although I like the way she explained:

Even during the worst bouts, I still have the ability to function day to day. It’s more like an itch I can’t scratch than a broken hip. Sometimes the itch is all I can focus on, and this hinders me, but it doesn’t cripple me.

I’ve felt like that for years. Never enough to really be considered clinical depression, but still there. My cycle seems to be more geared toward the school year. When I only have one kid at home all day, I can get more done. When both are home, and it’s warm out, I’m being dragged outside to play. Nap time will probably be non-existent this year, since the boy doesn’t like to nap when his sister is home.

I actually looked at last year’s numbers, and my highest was in the second quarter(so April, May, June), still mostly during the school year. My second highest was right in the middle of the summer, and I’m not sure how I managed that. Last year, it was the first quarter that was actually my lowest. But, so far this year, I’ve written over 92,000 words. I think my cycle may be even more affected by what I’m working on and what stage it is in, since I get less words while editing than when I’m first drafting. Still, I’m sure I’ll have to remind myself not to feel guilty if I’m not getting the words in while both kids are home. After all, I only have one more year before they’re both in school at least part time.

And finally, Emergence is here! This is the cover reveal I shared last week. It’s currently available on Amazon and I-tunes. It’s not yet available on Nook or Kobo but should be soon. I’m really excited for this one.

Sunday Summary

This was a pretty good week. I’ve managed to cross just about everything off the week’s to-do lists. Yesterday was my nephew’s 12th birthday party. Last year it was a skating party, this year was a bowling party. We went to that and I was reminded how much I hate being competitive and yet sucking at pretty much every sport. We played two games and my highest score was 69. It was still fun though. The girl had a lot of fun. They had one lane set up for just the kids with bumpers and a ramp that they could just roll the ball down. Maybe I should have been in that lane. The boy just enjoyed the pizza and cake. 🙂

  • Stained Snow: Write/rewrite 13 scenes – Got through 17 more scenes. Almost halfway through the rewrite. Have a chunk of new scenes to write coming up.
  • Slow Revenge: Edit through Chapter 16(more if I get them back) – No more progress here since Wednesday, but I did just get 3 more chapters back from my reader this morning, and she said she might have more for me tomorrow, so I’ll work on them through this week.
  • Read: The Archived, Soul Avenged(Keri Lake), and Losing It(Cora Carmack) Done, Done, & Done. This was a good reading week. I enjoyed all the books I read. And for all three of these, I’ve added the next in the series to my wishlist.
  • Read: How to Write a Dick – Get to 50% – Done. Some interesting information, some of which I think I can work into this character.
  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie – Almost done with this. I got it all assembled this morning. I just have to add the tassel to the hood.

Like I said, it was a pretty good week. Next week’s goals aren’t going to be too much different.

  • Stained Snow – work through 14 scenes
  • Slow Revenge – Work through any chapters I get back(right now that’s through Ch 19)
  • Read: Cursed by Cupid(Wendy Sparrow), Mystery Man(Kristen Ashley), & A Little Too Much(Lisa Desrochers)
  • Read: How to Write a Dick – Get to 75%
  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie – Finish
  • Knit: Phoenix Guantlets

Fitness Friday: Going Down

It’s been a couple weeks since I checked in for Fitness Friday. No reason really, other than I didn’t feel like writing up a post to say I was staying at the same point and hadn’t really been keeping to my goals. Which is really the whole point of keeping myself accountable with these posts.

  • drink one bottle(24 oz) of water a day: only 3/5 days. Haven’t started on today’s
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes(between Wii & treadmill)  3/5 days. I started doing the Couch to 5k program last week. I’m a little behind on my days though
  • Limit snacks to 1 between meals – Doing better with this.
  • Track food daily – I’ve been doing better with putting everything in to the My Fitness Pal, just not staying within calories all the time. Just trying to get into the routine of tracking for right now though.

Starting weight: 174.8

Last week’s weight: 171.8

This week’s weight: 169.2

This week’s weight loss: 2.6 pounds.

Total Weight loss: 5.6 pounds

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