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Archive for March, 2014

Writing Wednesday: Getting Things Done

I’ve had a pretty productive first half of the week. I didn’t meet all of my goals for Monday, but by the time I went to bed last night I was all caught up. On Monday, I only planned on working through 3 scenes. I ended up with 6 because I added some in between the others. Only has 2 to work on yesterday. I’ve made even more progress with stuff around the house. Have all but one chore checked off the list for the week and the last load of laundry is in the dryer right now. I like getting this stuff done early in the week since that gives me more time in the second half of the week to focus more on my writing, reading, and crafting.

Last week, I shared the beginning of my rewrite of Stained Snow, my western novella-turned-novel. William and the sheriff were checking out some bodies dumped on William’s ranch. And William was understandably upset about this. Today’s snippet comes just after that.

The sheriff shook his head but didn’t say anything else. They rode for several minutes in complete silence. William was thankful for it. He preferred his ranch to going into town. Between his wife and son and the few hands he hired to work the ranch, he had more than enough company. It almost made him wish he’d buried the bodies and gone about his business. Not even brought the sheriff into it. But, he hadn’t even considered that until they were on their way back out here.

It wouldn’t have been the right thing to do.

He saw the blanket he had staked down over the bodies. He hadn’t been sure it would do any good. But, he didn’t want to just leave them there for the scavengers to get. He hoped the blanket would be a suitable deterrent. He saw some signs of digging around it, but otherwise seemed undisturbed.

“This them?” The sheriff asked, riding up beside him.

“Yeah. Horses were restless last night, but I didn’t ride out till this morning. This may have been what stirred them up.”

“You didn’t hear anything though?”

“My hearing isn’t quite that good, Carl. I was inside. With my family.” Where he wanted to be headed for right now.

“Okay. Just thought maybe you’d heard a scream or a cry for help or something.”

“They weren’t killed here, Carl. That’s what I been trying to tell you.”

“How do you know that?”

“Look at them,” he said and helped unstake the blanket before pulling it back. “There would’ve been a lot of blood when they were killed. There’s almost none.”

Carl looked back down at the ground then ran a hand over his mouth. William knew he was seeing the same thing he had. Then, the older man let out a long, low stream of curses. “They were dumped here.” He looked back up at William. “Why would someone dump a couple bodies just off your ranch, Will?”

He drew in a long breath. He’d already given Carl his theory. “You know why.”

I’m working my way through the new scenes I want to add to this and blending in the old stuff I want to keep. I sent the first 10,000 words to my CP yesterday so I can fix problems and adjust my course before I get mired in it. I used to edit too much as I went. I seem to have swung the other way now and hoping this will put me somewhere in the middle. 🙂

I took some time yesterday to rework my calendar for the rest of the year. I plan to mostly focus on one big project for each month while others are out to CP/beta/editor and working those in as I get them back. This month’s is Stained Snow, with Slow Revenge being worked in as I get the chapters back. Next month, I’m planning to work on revising Flames of Redemption(again) before sending it on to my CP. I’ve had a few ideas the last couple days for things I want to change/add. I’m hoping this new plan will help get some of the first drafts I have sitting around on to the next stages. Rather than adding more first drafts to the list.

  • Stained Snow: Write/rewrite 13 scenes – I’ve gotten through 8/13. If I get through all the ones on this week’s list, I’ll have 16 done though.
  • Slow Revenge: Edit through Chapter 16(more if I get them back) – finished this yesterday. Haven’t received any more chapters.
  • Read: The Archived, Soul Avenged(Keri Lake), and Losing It(Cora Carmack) – Finished The Archived last night(loved it). Started Soul Avenged this morning. Only 4% in, but enjoying it so far.
  • Read: How to Write a Dick – Get to 50% – at 47% right now. I’m finding more little nuggets that I think will help the story/character in the later parts. I may have to change a few things to make it work. Otherwise this character might be skirting/breaking some laws. I think I have some more research to do on that.
  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie – I have the body finished. Planning on starting the sleeves today, then have to do the hood and sew everything together. Still hoping to have it done this week.

No changes to this week’s goals. I’m pretty much on track with all of them.

Crafty Corner: Hat & Sweater

Last week I finished the Baby Pom Pom hat I was working on.

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One tassel is a little shorter than the other. Oops. Still it turned out cute.

After I finished that, I started the Storybook Baby Hoodie from Lionbrand yarns. I didn’t actually have any Pound of Love yarn. I decided to use another large skein I had, but it’s actually a lightweight yarn instead of worsted weight. So, it’s probably going to turn out a little smaller than the pattern indicated. But, a lot of the instructions for the pattern have you knit until a certain length, so that should help. If nothing else, it would make a nice sweater for my daughter’s dolls. 🙂

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The back section is still on the needle and the right front is on the stitch holder. I’m hoping to have this finished sometime this week.

Cover Reveal: Emergence(Darkness & Light – Book 2)

This is my first time hosting a cover reveal on my blog. But, when K.L Schwengel asked for people to help with the cover reveal for her upcoming release, I decided to jump on. I loved the first book in her Darkness & Light series and have been anxiously awaiting #2, so I was very glad to share the cover. And it is beautiful!

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Emergence ~ Book Two of the Darkness & Light Series

    The battle for Ciara’s power has drawn the full attention of the Emperor and the Imperial Mages, forcing Bolin to put duty above safety and take her to Nisair. It won’t be an easy trip, even with an Imperial escort and a Galysian elder accompanying them. Especially since Donovan has found himself some new allies, one of who wields a dark magic that has literally gotten under Bolin’s skin.

    For Ciara, coming to terms with the increasingly tangible manifestation of her power could destroy her. Even if they make it to Nisair–something that grows more unlikely by the day–there is no surety of safety for Ciara, or any of them. Not with Donovan willing to gamble everything to achieve his goals, or Bolin’s uncharacteristically reckless behavior, the result of which is the attention of something that has everyone worried.

Loyalties will be tested, lives will be lost, and no one will emerge unchanged as they find things are not always so clear on the line dividing Darkness and Light.

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About the Author:

K. L. Schwengel lives in southeast Wisconsin on a small farm with her husband, a handful of Australian Shepherds, Her Royal Highness Princess Fiona the Cat, and assorted livestock. Growing up as the youngest of nine children, and the daughter of a librarian, Kathi spent many hours between stacks of books, and secluded away in dusty archives, drawn to tales of medieval heroes and conquering knights. With so many characters and ideas spinning in her head, she had to get them onto paper or risk what little sanity she possessed. She has been penning wild tales of magic and mayhem as long as she can remember, but opted to follow her artistic muse first. After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts and spending many years working as a freelance artist, grocery clerk, art teacher, graphic designer, stable hand, advertising account coordinator, dog trainer, and process technician (among other things) she answered the call of her writing muse. When not writing, Kathi trains and trials working Australian Shepherds, still paints, dabbles in photography, graphic design, and anything else creative her assorted muses send her way.

Kathi’s work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and other on-line retailers in both paperback and e-book versions. Signed copies are available via her blog.

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How to connect:

Blog: http://myrandommuse.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLSchwengelWrites

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathils01/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KLSchwengel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6871795.K_L_Schwengel

Sunday Summary: Saving Daylight

The beginning of Daylight Savings Time always seems to go more smoothly, at least for me. I know they say we lose an hour. It also means my kids tend to sleep just a little later. Of course, getting them to go to bed at the “right” time might be a little more difficult. Other than that, I don’t usually notice a difference. Of course, we forgot to change the clocks last night. I barely stayed awake through the girl reading her book before bed(it was only 7). Put kids to bed, came out, and laid on the couch. Woke up at 10:30 and didn’t feel like bothering with the clocks, so just went to bed.

  • Stained Snow – Re-outline and re/write 12 scenes – I have 11 scenes done. Goal almost met. Although 2 of those are actually the same scene. I was trying it out from 2 different POVs. I think if I keep either it will be the second one(although I’m not sure the scene is needed at all)
  • Slow RevengeMake changes to Chapters 12 & 13 – I got another 3 chapters back from my reader Thursday and I’m through Chapter 14
  • Read: Adore Me, Evensong(Krista Walsh), Knights of Rilch(Rachel O’Laughlin), & The Archived(Victoria Schwab)  finished Adore Me, Evensong, and Knights of Rilch(not sure I can even express how much I loved). Haven’t gotten to The Archived yet. Will probably start it today.
  • Read: 25% of How to Write a Dick(Colleen Collins & Shaun Kaufman) – Done. Actually at 34%.
  • Crochet: Baby Pom Pom Hat – Done
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  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie – I have the bottom and right front side done. Hoping to work on the back today, then will have the left side, sleeves, and hood to do.

It’s been a pretty decent week even though I overestimated what I could get done at the beginning of the week. But, I got pretty well caught up during the second half. Next week’s goals:

  • Stained Snow: Write/rewrite 13 scenes
  • Slow Revenge: Edit through Chapter 16(more if I get them back)
  • Read: The Archived, Soul Avenged(Keri Lake), and Losing It(Cora Carmack)
  • Read: How to Write a Dick – Get to 50%
  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie

 

Writing Wednesday: Change of Plans

When I posted on Sunday, I hadn’t heard from my CP about Stained Snow or my beta reader for Slow Revenge. Well, I got an email from my CP later that day and started making notes on some changes. Then, since the changes were going to make for a pretty big rewrite, I decided to re-outline. I also got a couple more chapters of Slow Revenge back from my reader. So, I decided to put aside Chasing the Ghost. Probably for the rest of the month. I’m going to be concentrating on Stained Snow instead and still working on the edits for Slow Revenge as I get them back.

Here is the new first 15 lines(3=5=2=0=1=4) from Stained Snow. Very first, very rough draft.

William Jensen pushed his horse farther down the trail. He could feel his rage boiling up again as they neared the site. The heat of it was in sharp contrast to the brisk Spring breeze. That certainly wasn’t enough to cool him.

“Will, slow down.” The sheriff followed behind him, barely keeping up with his pace. “If what you said is true, those people won’t be going anywhere.”

William clenched his jaw but eased off the reins, letting his horse slow into a gentler pace. “They’re on my land, Carl. I don’t know who they are, but they were put there.”

“So, you’ve already said. They’ll still be there even if it takes a few more minutes.”

“I don’t like it. David could have been with me when I found them.” He closed his eyes for just a minute, remembering the look of disappointment on the boy’s face when he said he couldn’t ride into town with him. But, he had planned to bring the sheriff straight out here, and there was no way he wanted his son to see this. “Whatever’s going on, we need to stop it.”

“We will. I will. I am the sheriff here. You need to deal with your ranch, Will, and leave this to me.”

“Not if he’s bringing it out to my ranch, Carl. We both know there’s only one person who would do that.”

“And you don’t even know if that’s what’s happening. No one from town has disappeared. You said you didn’t recognize them. The killer could have been a stranger too.”

“He could be.” He’d give him that much. But, it wasn’t a stranger. He was as sure of that as he was of anything. He knew just who was behind this.

  • Slow Revenge – get in touch with reader – done and got 2 more chapters back from her.
  • Stained Snow – send message to CP – done and got some suggestions for changes, and was a little giddy because I made her cry. Yes, I’m mean.
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish 10 scenes
  • Read: Adore Me, Evensong(Krista Walsh), Knights of Rilch(Rachel O’Laughlin), & The Archived(Victoria Schwab) – I finished Adore Me and am 62% through Evensong.
  • Read: 25% of How to Write a Dick(Colleen Collins & Shaun Kaufman) 10% through this. This is actually research for a side character in Chasing the Ghost, but I’m going to keep reading through it now in case I need to do some reworking for that character.
  • Crochet: Baby Pom Pom Hat – I have the border around the hat done. I just have to do the braided tassels and the pom pom for on top.
  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie – haven’t started yet

Added Goals:

  • Stained Snow – Re-outline and re/write 12 scenes – outlining & first scene finished. 311 words in to second scene. 7 of those scenes are new, 5 are rewrites. 1343 words so far this week.
  • Slow Revenge – Make changes to Chapters 12 & 13 – compiled notes on these in my scrivener file. Haven’t started working on them yet.

Crafty Corner: Hats

Last week I was just starting a fox hat. I finished it on Friday. It came out a bit bigger than I’d planned, but it still looks nice. My daughter is wearing it today for Crazy Hat Day. It took me just a little over 5 hours to finish.

The Sly Fox

The Sly Fox

My little fox boy

My little fox boy

I was going to start a pair of fingerless gloves next, but I didn’t have the Cotton-Ease yarn it called for. So, I moved on to the next project on my list, a Baby Pom Pom Hat. I just have the hat and ear flaps finished so far. I should have it finished soon though.

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Sunday Summary: In Like a Lamb

Friday school was delayed because of temperatures being below zero. Yesterday it was almost 50. My husband got called in to plow early this morning. I’m ready for winter to be over simply because I don’t know if I can handle much more of this back & forth.
Yesterday my husband had a hazmat refresher class for the fire department. He got out of that earlier than he figured and we went up to Erie to do some shopping. We’ve been having problems with our cell phones, both with the phones themselves and our service. So, we were wanting to switch. Since we’ve been together(about 8.5 years) we’ve had Verizon, AT&T, back to Verizon, T-mobile, and now we’re back to AT&T. We went with iPhones since we were having so many problems with our androids. I went with the 5c and my husband got the 5s. We both also got the Up bands by jawbone. Wear it around your wrist and it tracks your steps and sleep cycle. You can sync it with an app on your phone and view everything. Also can track what you eat. Haven’t used it too much but I checked out the graph of my sleep from last night(which wasn’t good) and that was cool.
Got a carpet cleaner and groceries too after some dinner. And the kids got books with some money they had from birthdays/Christmas.

The rest of my week was about as mixed up as the beginning. Thursday wasn’t too bad of a day. Then, Friday woke up and had a frozen hot water line. That was it, just the hot water. And only in our bathroom. It worked in the rest of the house. By Friday night we had hot water running through the bathroom sink. Still wouldn’t come through the shower. It was finally thawed by Saturday morning. That’s twice this winter the hot water has frozen. The pipes themselves have been fine. Again, I’m ready for winter to be over.

Anyways, my progress for the last week:

  • Slow Revenge: Work on chapters as I get them back – no
  • Stained Snow: Start edits if I get it back – no
  • Work on each WiP 2.5 hours – close to it at least. I ended up with 8153 words this week. 2596 on Chasing the Ghost, 2040 on Flames of Renewal, and 3517 on Guarding the Heart. Going to focus on just one of these for the next month. Playing with each was fun, but jumping around can be distracting too.
  • Read: Catalyst(Jennifer Snyder), The Binding Stone(Lisa Gail Green), and Beyond Shame(Kit Rocha) Done, Done, & Done. Also read Resisting the Bad Boy(Violet Duke). I had started one other, but I was more than a quarter through and just…didn’t care. So, I set it aside. Right now I’m 89% through Adore Me(Jillian Dodd).
  • Knit: Finish Tidewater Lace Scarf – finished this on Monday

    folded over

    folded over

  • Crochet: Sly Fox Hat – finished this on Friday. It turned out a little bigger than I expected. But, it’s still cute.

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It’s a new month, so I’m going to evaluate my goals from last night and post the ones for the next month.

  • Slow Revenge: work on edits(when I hear from my reader) 11/30 chapters finished
  • Stained Snow: work on edits(when I get it back from my CP) don’t have it back
  • Chasing the Ghost – work 1/2 hour a day – yes: 12585 words
  • Flames of Renewal – work 1/2 hour a day – yes: 11427 words
  • Guarding the Heart – work 1/2 hour a day – yes: 12186 words

In total, I wrote 36204 words during the month. If that had been on one WiP, it would be a little more than 1/3 done(roughly. My 1st drafts range from 60-90k. It’s a big range).

  • Read 13 books – 18/13. I’ve read 42 books so far this year. Granted, some of these were novellas or a bit shorter.
  • 3 knitting projects(lapghan, Knit Child’s Solid Sock, Tidewater lace scarf) – finished the lapghan and the scarf. Decided not to do the socks.
  • 3 crochet projects(45 minute cowl, Ladybug, Sly Fox Hat) – done, done, and done

It was a pretty good month over all. Need to check in with my readers so I can get back on track with editing.

Goals for March:

  • Slow Revenge – edit as I get chapters back
  • Stained Snow – make edits once I get it back
  • Chasing the Ghost – add 42000 words
  • Read 13 books
  • Read 1 craft/research book
  • Knit 3 projects(Phoenix Gauntlets, Storybook Baby Hoodie, & Snuggly Chatterbox Hat)
  • Crochet 3 projects(Baby Pom Pom Hat, Olivia’s Butterfly(hat), puppy hat)

And for the next week:

  • Slow Revenge – get in touch with reader
  • Stained Snow – send message to CP
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish 10 scenes
  • Read: Adore Me, Evensong(Krista Walsh), Knights of Rilch(Rachel O’Laughlin), & The Archived(Victoria Schwab)
  • Read: 25% of How to Write a Dick(Colleen Collins & Shaun Kaufman)
  • Crochet: Baby Pom Pom Hat
  • Knit: Storybook Baby Hoodie

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