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Archive for February, 2015

Sunday Summary: Changing Plans

Yes, the month has just started, we’re not quite halfway through the round, and I’m changing how I do things. This probably shouldn’t surprise anyone. I seem to have trouble sticking to one way of doing things. For now, I’m once again going to try to focus on one thing at a time. I organized all the ideas and drafts into sets. I have 5 in each set, 1 from each series that has gone out to at least my CP and a standalone(of course, we’ve seen before what usually happens with my standalone ideas-they turn into series). I’ll work through the next step of each of them before starting back at the beginning. Right now, most of them are in different stages. And for the first one, all but the standalone are already out to at least my CP, so that leaves only the one to work through. I still want to put some time between the first draft and revisions though. So, while it sits for a while, I’ll end up moving on to the next set(of which almost all are ready for revisions). As I get things back from CP and betas, I’ll work them in. With focusing on one thing, I should be able to get through things faster, too. I don’t know exactly how fast, though, so at the end of the month, I’ll be adjusting the schedule.

I also started another short story on Friday. It’s more a bit of bonus content for Flames of Retribution. The tail end of it is in that from Mark’s POV, but I’m digging into just what led up to that from another character’s POV. I may end up not doing anything with it, but I’m just going to work on it on the side. I’m having fun with it anyway.

I’m splitting my day into blocks of time. From when I get up until the kids are up(or 6 a.m.-which is usually the same thing), I’m working on this side project. Then, I start chores until they’re on the bus(around 7), then workout up to 8. From 8 to 11, I’ll focus on writing(or plotting or editing). Then, lunch and social media stuff and the rest of the chores until 1, when I’ll work on my crafting until dinner. After dinner, I can settle down with whatever I’m reading. The boy will be home Friday and the following Monday(those are make-up days for the girl because of their snow days), so this will be adjusted for that. We’ll see how long I can stick to this.

  • The Choice: compile CP’s notes & work through Chapter 11 – Still waiting on this.
  • Brann’s Story: Back stories – I have these and the rest of the plotting done. Also have the brainstorming for a standalone WiP done and have started on back stories.
  • Read: Anything but Sweet(Candis Terry), All Good Deeds(Stacy Green), Come Monday(Mari Carr), Four Wishes(Christine Nolfi), & Unethical(Jennifer Blackwood) – I read through all of these. Enjoyed them all. Also read Riding Wild(Jaci Burton) and started Dark Paradise(Angie Sandro).
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers – Chapter 11 – Got through this chapter
  • Knit: Baby Doll Dress
  • Crochet: Love is Cold Ear Warmer finished this on Thursday. IMG_0456

Now, for next week:

  • Buried Secrets – finish outline
  • Read: Dark Paradise(Angie Sandro), Scarlet(Marissa Meyer), Tell Me Something Good(Jamie Wesley), This Weakness for You(Wendy Sparrow), & Outsider(Becca J. Campbell)
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers
  • Knit: Cap with Beaded Flowers
  • Crochet: Broomstick Lace Hat

Fitness Friday: Getting Started

A while ago, I had started doing Fitness Friday posts as a way to keep myself accountable with getting in shape(and yes, losing weight). I stopped, mostly because I got frustrated with little progress. And the weight kept creeping back up. I’m not happy with that. I don’t want to be “thin”. I don’t think I could ever be thin. But, I would like to be more in the healthy range. As it is, I’m at the high end of normal(maybe just over into overweight). So, I’m trying to make some changes. They may be small ones, but I’m hoping for it to be a step in the right direction. I probably won’t post updates weekly, but I’m hoping for at least once a month.

My changes:

  • Cut back on pop(soda, whatever you call it. Here in NW PA it’s pop). I’m not going to cut it out completely, but at home, during the week, I’m trying to stick to water(and coffee in the morning when I’m writing).
  • Attempt to work out 5 days a week. This might be shoveling snow, or yoga, or some other workout. And once it gets nice out again, I’ll include going for a walk in this. As long as I’m getting up and doing something.
  • Limit snacks. Not going to cut out snacking completely. But I don’t need to be snacking all day. And I need to try to get some healthier snacks.

Not a lot of changes, but I’m hoping they’ll help. And, like I said above, I’m planning on checking in here at least once a month. I weighed myself at the beginning of this week and again today. Going forward, I don’t plan to step on the scale more than once a week(I tend to obsess if I don’t restrict myself to that).

My goal is to drop about 25 pounds by the end of the summer.

My starting numbers:

Beginning weight: 174(on Monday)

Today’s weight: 173.6

Weekly loss/gain: -.4

Total loss/gain -.4

Writing Wednesday: Ahead of Myself

So, my streak of being ahead continues. The kids didn’t have school on Monday. We probably got a foot of snow(maybe more. I’m a terrible judge of that) Sunday night/Monday morning. The school actually put out the 2 hr delay Sunday night, and about an hour before the bus would come, we got the call that school was closed. The girl has been introduced to the raz-kids site at school, where they can read books & take quizzes on them and build robots(I think there are some games they can play as they read more)so she spent some of the day(and the past weekend) on my computer reading some of the books. At least I had my back stories to write(which I do by hand), so it didn’t interrupt my productivity too much. My CP had said she’d planned to get The Choice back to me by Sunday. Still not here, so I’m started my revisions on Stained by Ashes instead. Once I get that from her, I’ll set this aside to work on The Choice.

Before I get to my progress, I have another snippet from Scars and All. Easy math for this one. I have 4 paragraphs. Doren and Cassie had gone back to his place but got interrupted by his brother showing up and saying their other brother was on the way to the hospital. He still doesn’t know exactly what happened though.

His father spun on him. “Like you don’t know. If it wasn’t for you, he never would have gotten into racing.”
The words shocked him. His brother didn’t race. He helped him with the car, but he never got behind the wheel. His mother stepped up to them. “Joel, that’s enough,” her voice was soft, but it nearly broke. “Doren didn’t make him do this.”
“Do what?” Doren asked, but his voice sounded weak.
“Like you don’t know,” his father said again. “Don’t tell me you didn’t know he’s been racing on the streets. God, you’ve probably been encouraging it. Anything for a thrill, right, Doren?”

Doren and his father really need to have that talk soon(and they will). You can head over here to read others’ contributions. Or feel free to share your own snippet.

Anyway, I’m way ahead for this week. I’m typing this on Tuesday just past noon if that tells you anything.

  • The Choice: compile CP’s notes & work through Chapter 11 – haven’t started this, but I have gotten through the first 3 chapters of Stained by Ashes
  • Brann’s Story: Back stories – I have these finished.
  • Read: Anything but Sweet(Candis Terry), All Good Deeds(Stacy Green), Come Monday(Mari Carr), Four Wishes(Christine Nolfi), & Unethical(Jennifer Blackwood) – I read Anything But Sweet on Sunday & loved it. I’m 66% through All Good Deeds now. Enjoying it.
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers – Chapter 11 – I’m through Chapter 8.
  • Knit: Baby Doll Dress – finished this on Sunday. IMG_0453
  • Crochet: Love is Cold Ear Warmer – making progress on this. About 1/3 finished.

Monday Mentions: New Cookbook & PI Intimidation

We got about another foot of snow last night(I think. I’m terrible at judging that). The girl’s school is on a 2 hour delay and no transportation for the boy’s preschool. So, today should be interesting.

Anyway, I have two posts to share today.

First, Kait Nolan(founder of the ROW80 writing challenge/community) just released a new cookbook. As far as I know, no one in my life has a dairy or gluten allergy. So, while this is something I likely won’t need, I’m sure there are people out there who could use it.

And from Guns, Gams, and Gumshoes, a post on when a PI’s activity becomes intimidation. There’s always interesting information from them.

That’s really all I have for today. Has anyone else read anything interesting the last week?

Sunday Summary: Switching Focus

I started out this week well ahead, but by Friday I had caught up to myself. Part of that is the fact I finished Flames of Justice earlier than planned and started on the short story. But, on my to-do lists, the only goal for the short story was to finish it. Instead of breaking it up into smaller goals like I usually do. So, I kept working away at it instead of getting other stuff done between those smaller goals. But, in the end, I still got everything done. Including the short story, which I wrote 6262(I could hardly believe that total) in 3 days. Really not too bad since when I started it on Wednesday, I wasn’t completely sure what I was going to do with it.

  • Flames of Justice – Finish 1st draft – I did this. 5363 words written this week. The total for the story came in at 20427
  • Brainstorm – idea for Caitie’s(Flames of Retribution) brother’s story. not sure if this will be a full novel or just novella, but he’s been bugging me to write it. – this is brainstormed. Will be starting back stories this week.
  • Read: The Minaldi Legacy(Courtney Cole), Calculated in Death(J.D. Robb), and Soulless(L.S. Engler) – finished these just in time to count them for this month.
  • Read: Forensics for Writers – Finish – finished this too
  • Crochet: Flower Pop Hat
  • Knit: Baby Doll Dress – won’t finish this, but I want to at least get it started. – didn’t get this finished, but both the front and back are done. I just have to do the seams & the neck and sleeve edging.

Also, since January is over, I’ll evaluate how I did on my goals for this month.


  • Outline: Flames of Restoration(Flames #5 – Nolan’s story) & at least start Gilbert, CO #5 – finished outlining Nolan’s story but ended up working on another in he Flames series next. Had 4020 plotting words.
  • Write: Finish 1st drafts – Chasing the Ghost(Gilbert, CO #4) & Flames of Justice(Flames #2.5) finished both of these, as well as a short story. Wrote 64065 words between these 3 projects.


  • Read 21 books – 21/21
  • Listen: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood(Diana Gabaldon) – finished this Friday night. Finally. I didn’t realize until I started listening it was 45 hours long. Most of the books I listen to aren’t longer than 15. I really did like it, though
  • Forensics for Writers – finished reading this.. Some interesting stuff.


  • Knit: Vertical Striped Tie & Baby Doll DressIMG_0450
  • Crochet: Sleigh Bell Scarf & Flower Pop HatIMG_0447 IMG_0451

Did pretty good for the month, even if I didn’t finish everything. I should be able to finish that last knitting project today. As for the rest of the month, I plan on switching over to editing. I may work on some short stories on the side as well, but the most part, I’ll be focusing on editing. My CP said she should have The Choice back to me today. So, that will be my first priority.


  • The Choice – work through revisions per CP’s notes & send to beta readers
  • Stained by Ashes – work through my 2nd round revision notes & send to CP
  • Gilbert, Co #3 – first read through(if have time)
  • Outline: Brann’s Story(Flames 5.5) & Denise’s Story(Gilbert, CO #5) through character work


  • Read 21 books
  • Listen: Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover(Ally Carter)
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers(Shaun Kaufman & Colleen Collins)


  • Knit: Baby Doll Dress, Cap with Little Beaded Flowers, & Faux Crochet Stole
  • Crochet: Love is Cold Ear Warmer & Broomstick Lace Hat

And for this week:

  • The Choice: compile CP’s notes & work through Chapter 11
  • Brann’s Story: Back stories
  • Read: Anything but Sweet(Candis Terry), All Good Deeds(Stacy Green), Come Monday(Mari Carr), Four Wishes(Christine Nolfi), & Unethical(Jennifer Blackwood)
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers – Chapter 11
  • Knit: Baby Doll Dress
  • Crochet: Love is Cold Ear Warmer

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