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Archive for March, 2015

Fitness Friday: Wrong Way

I was going to post an update last week, and I…didn’t. That’s it. No excuses really. I just didn’t do it. So, I’m here to do that this week.

What I’ve been doing:

Exercise:

I’ve been shoveling snow pretty much every day this week for at least an hour. Tuesday I didn’t because it was raining out. The snow is slowly melting, but so much of it has been pushed aside and piled up on the sides of our sidewalk and porch, so I’ve been trying to move it and widen the walkway to our front door. Also, I downloaded the Move app. I have it set to alert me every 30 minutes between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with a random exercise. I can usually burn at least 100 calories if I do at least most of these.

Water:

I’ve been doing pretty good with this. Usually finish off 1.5-2 bottles a day. Instead of wasting a lot of bottles of water, I keep refilling the same one. If I don’t have the bottle right with me, I don’t drink very much though. So, I need to get better at making sure I have it there.

Food:

This is what I need to get better with. I haven’t been snacking too much, although more than I should when I’m editing. I really need to go and get something healthy to crunch on for those times. And not a bowl of sugary cereal. I also really need to get back into tracking what I’m eating. I used to do this and then I stopped.

Beginning weight: 174

Last check-in weight: 171.8

Today’s weight: 172.8

Weekly loss/gain: +1(for 3 weeks)

Total loss/gain -1.2

Not the way I want it to go, but hopefully I can start heading in the right direction again.

Writing Wednesday: Secrets

It’s been a pretty good week so far. Temperatures are moving up. I spent Monday afternoon widening the path to our front door while the kids played outside. And wearing just a sweatshirt instead of a coat. Was very nice. Yesterday it was raining, so we just came inside when kids got home. And I’ve managed to stay pretty well caught up on goals. Although my knitting fell a little behind.

I’m a bad daughter. My dad’s birthday was Monday, and I didn’t even call him. Tried to make up for it yesterday, but his phone went right to voicemail. I’m very adverse to leaving messages. I hate talking to a machine even more than I hate talking to people over the phone(and if you know me, you know just how much I love that). But, I did. I’d feel worse about it if it wasn’t for the fact he often forgets mine. Also called yesterday to schedule an appointment with the school to register the boy for K-4(the school’s pre-k program). When we registered my daughter, we only had to go in and do it. Now, they want you to set up an appointment first. PITA, but once it’s done, won’t have to worry about doing it again for Kindergarten.

Last week, I tore Callum and Megan’s relationship apart while writing Flames of Recompense. I’m still working on stitching things back together. But, for WiPPet Wednesday, I’ll go back a little farther. I have 14 paragraphs(3+11) from Chapter 8. Only a couple days have passed since Callum & Megan ran into each other though.

Teresa looked up from the counter and smiled at him. “Callum, what are you doing here?”
He’d started to lean against the counter but froze at her question. “What do you mean? Kayla said you’d needed my help for something.”
“I asked her to get you here.”
He spun around and saw Megan standing in front of him. Then, he heard Teresa make a sound of surprise, not quite a gasp. “That’s why she looked so familiar,” she murmured.
Megan kept her eyes on Callum, and he only felt more confusion. What was going on here? “Why would you do that?” he asked her. “I didn’t think you even wanted anything to do with me. You ran from me fast enough the other night.”
“I know, and I’m sorry. I was told I wasn’t being very nice by ignoring you,” she said with a slight twitch to her lips.
“By who? Surely not your mom. She always hated me.”
“No, not her,” she said, not even bothering to deny it. “There’s some-thing I need to show you,” she said, but he caught her hesitation on the one word. “I didn’t know how else to get in touch with you. Sorry about using your sister-in-law. And you, Teresa,” she added, looking over his shoulder.
“It’s fine,” Teresa said, and Callum turned to see tears in her eyes.
“What the hell’s going on here?” he demanded. “Why is she crying?”
“Watch your language, Callum,” Teresa told him. “And your tone. You’re in a library, and there are children here.”
“Mommy? You said you were going to help me find a book to take home.”
Callum turned back around and saw Megan’s face pale. Then, he glanced down at the little girl standing next to Megan. She looked so much like her, the same blonde curls around her face, that same tilt to her chin, the same-no, not the same eyes. “Holy shit,” he murmured.
The girl looked up at him. “You shouldn’t say that. My grandpa does, and Gramma yells at him.”

Megan’s been keeping secrets. Next week, maybe we’ll see more of why & Callum’s reaction. Check out others’ snippets over here.

  • Flames of Recompense: get to 54000 words – I’m at over 46,000 right now. Not done with all of today’s words, but once I am, I’ll still be on track for this.
  • Stained by Ashes: Finish 2nd round revisions – I’m through Chapter 15(of 26 + epilogue). On track here, too.
  • Western Hearts: Character Work – I have the first of the back stories written. I kept procrastinating on it, and considered just setting this story aside. Then, I started writing the back story & found there was more to this character than I knew. So, I’ll keep at this.
  • Take Me Under: Revise – not yet. That’s for this weekend.
  • Read: Relax, I’m a Ninja(Natalie Whipple), Incinerate(Tessa Teevan), Midnight Caller(Haley Whitehall), Chameleon in a Mirror(Ruth Nestvold), & Dare to Surrender(Carly Phillips) – I finished Relax, I’m a Ninja and enjoyed it and am a little more than halfway through Incinerate. I also finished listening to The Winner’s Crime the other day and will just say I can’t wait for book 3. Seriously, cannot wait.
  • Read: Dialogue(A Busy Writer’s Guide) – 50% – I’m 35% through this. Haven’t got to today’s reading yet, but I’m still on track.
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – nearly finished with this.

The week is going well so far. Hope everyone else’s is good too.

Sunday Summary: Springing Ahead

We may have lost an hour last night, but I was falling asleep on the couch before 7 last night, so I probably made it up in there somewhere. One nice thing about this time change is it’s easier to change the clock. Also, my kids actually almost sleep in. Hey, I’ll take whatever positives I can. 🙂

Also, it’s warming up here now. Yesterday, it actually made it above freezing. And we were outside in just sweatshirts. It’s supposed to be in the 40s the rest of the week, so maybe spring is on it’s way here. Today I need to shovel the snow that slid down from the roof off our sidewalk. This is from the garage roof, at least my husband got most of it off the roof of the house, so there won’t be as much. Thursday I spent a good three hours in the morning shoveling off our back porch. We don’t use it in the winter(it just goes down into the back yard), so it hadn’t been touched since the first snow fell really. The snow came up to my waist. I didn’t get it completely cleared off, but shoveled about 3/4 of it. If that started to get wet and heavy, it would have probably collapsed the porch. Doing that also meant I fell behind in my goals, but I did manage to mostly get caught up yesterday, except for with my knitting. And I’m still looking for beta readers for The Choice if anyone is interested in giving feedback on a ~69k contemporary romance.

  • Flames of Recompense – get to 39000 words – got to 39150 words, wrote 15,110 words. And things were going a little too well for my characters, so I had to screw with their lives a bit. I’m evil like that. 😉
  • Healing the Heart – Fix Fragments – this is done(cut 690 words doing these fixes) and sent off to my CP. Instead of chewing my fingernails down while waiting for her feedback(ok, still doing some of that), I’ll be focusing on my other projects.
  • Western Hearts – Brainstorming – finished this yesterday. Will be starting character work this week.
  • Take Me Under – Revise – Haven’t done too much on this. Working on the first read through though.
  • Read: Oaths of Blood(S.M. Reine), Unmasked Alloy(Becca J Campbell), Pulled(Becca J. Campbell), If I Stay(Tamara Morgan), & Tell Me When(Stina Lindenblatt) – I finished reading all of these and really enjoyed them. Started another one but couldn’t quite get into it. Don’t know if it was the present tense or the flashbacks, but something just didn’t work for me. So I set it aside. I’m reading Relax, I’m a Ninja(Natalie Whipple) right now. I’m 13% through it.
  • Read – Dialogue(A Busy Writer’s Guide) – 25% – got through this. Skipped the first exercise, but I think I’ll go through those once I finish the current revision round of Stained by Ashes.
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – Not finished with this yet. Hoping to get it done this week.

For next week:

  • Flames of Recompense: get to 54000 words
  • Stained by Ashes: Finish 2nd round revisions
  • Western Hearts: Character Work
  • Take Me Under: Revise
  • Read: Relax, I’m a Ninja(Natalie Whipple), Incinerate(Tessa Teevan), Midnight Caller(Haley Whitehall), Chameleon in a Mirror(Ruth Nestvold), & Dare to Surrender(Carly Phillips)
  • Read: Dialogue(A Busy Writer’s Guide) – 50%
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole

Writing Wednesday: Marching On

March is rolling along pretty well. I’ve already written over 7700 words for the months. I’ve been hitting my word goal within, or right around, two hours. And the weather is warming up. Of course, yesterday we did have freezing rain, which caused an early release for the boy’s preschool, and there’s a 2 hour delay today for ice. But, we’re supposed to be getting up into the 40s next week. So, that’s something at least.

It’s WiPPet Wednesday, which if you haven’t been following along, is hosted by K.L. Scwhengel  and is a chance to share a snippet of a work in progress that relates somehow to the date. Fell free to join in(just watch out for the flying monkeys)! For today, I have 11 paragraphs(3+4-2+0+1+5) from Chapter 2 of Flames of Recompense. There was a fire in the building and Callum tried to put it out himself . Now, the fire department is there, and he thinks he sees someone he used to know.

The smoke must have gone to his head. The medic had told Callum his vitals were fine, he hadn’t inhaled enough smoke. He might have a cough for a day or so, but no major damage.
Then, why was he seeing things?
He’d only caught a quick flash of her face, before she was turning away. Her hair was shorter than it had been four years ago. But, he was sure. And unless his eyes really were playing tricks on him, the name on the back of her coat confirmed it.
He’d had to wait for the paramedic to wrap a bandage around his arm, but once he was freed, he went in search of her. He needed to assure himself he was wrong. Needed to find out he was right. His gaze searched the people standing around the truck. He recognized Nolan standing off to the side, talking to one of the other men. He didn’t remember their names, though. The other man nodded at him, and he returned the gesture. He didn’t see her, though.
God, maybe he really was losing it.
“So, I guess your boss doesn’t do background checks during the hiring process.”
He spun around, and Megan was standing right there in front of him. If this was a trick of the mind, it was quite the hallucination. He let a smile spread across his face. “My boss is married to my sister. He knows all about my past.” Then, the smile faded. “Well, mostly. None of them know about you.”
He saw her jerk at that. “You never told anyone?”
He shrugged uncomfortably. “Your letter said you wanted to wipe me from your memory. I was letting you do that.”
He caught the hesitation in her eyes, and the way her teeth caught at her bottom lip. Then, she said, “I said I wished I could. Not that I wanted to.”
“I never saw the difference,” Callum muttered.

Like I said, the week has been going pretty well. I’ve fallen a little behind on my brainstorming and knitting, though. And I’m still looking for beta readers for The Choice.

  • Flames of Recompense – get to 39000 words – I’m at a bit under 32000 right now. Have a little more to write today to stay on track, but that shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Healing the Heart – Fix Fragments – about halfway through the read through for this. Hoping to be done reading it by tomorrow so I can fix things on Friday and send it off to my CP. I’m finding more issues than just fragments, though.
  • Western Hearts – Brainstorming – a little behind on this. I brainstormed the characters in general. But, I need to flesh each of the main characters out. I’m hoping to catch up on this today.
  • Take Me Under – Revise – haven’t worked on this yet. That’s for this weekend.
  • Read: Oaths of Blood(S.M. Reine), Unmasked Alloy(Becca J Campbell), Pulled(Becca J. Campbell), If I Stay(Tamara Morgan), & Tell Me When(Stina Lindenblatt) – Finished Oaths of Blood last night. Then, I read Unmasked Alloy and Pulled. They were both short ones. I also finished listening to Snow Like Ashes, which I loved. I may or may not have been texting Lauren Garafalo with all my flails as I listened to the end. I also started listening to Water for Elephants last night then Lauren gifted me with an audible copy of The Winner’s Crime(Marie Rutkoski) so I may start listening to that instead.
  • Read – Dialogue(A Busy Writer’s Guide) – 25% – I’m currently at 10%. Still on track though.
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – haven’t made a lot of progress on this. Even if I don’t work on it much this week, I should catch up over the weekend.

Monday Mentions: Protagonists, Project Juggling, & Book Bargains

I actually have quite a few posts to share today, so my comments may be minimal. Plus, I’m getting to this later in the day than normal. It took longer than I planned to get through all my writing and editing.

First, is Jami Gold on whether our protagonist should be in the first scene and when maybe it’s okay if they aren’t. In my stories, it usually is a protagonist in the first scene. I’m actually not sure if I’ve started any that don’t have the protagonist(or possibly the love interest) in the first scene.

Next, Kerry Schafer write about project juggling. I do this, and I find it’s the way I work best. I know not everyone works the same way though. Now, I can’t easily draft or edit more than one project at a time. But, I can plot one, draft another, and revise a third at the same time. I’ve tried focusing on just one thing at a time, and I just can’t do it. I find myself thinking about all the projects I’m not working on.

And from Amy Boggs, a post on what to do when you screw up. This really pertains to including diversity and is something I worry about. But, I don’t want that fear to rule my writing choices either, so I will do the best I can.

And from Ava Jae, on How to Import Word Comments into Scrivener. This is going to save me so much time. I like to write & edit in scrivener but compiling the notes manually takes up a lot of time.

And for something fun: a Random Logline Generator. May be something to break through writer’s block.

And finally: The book A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers by Shaun Kaufman and Colleen Collins is in a Kindle Countdown Sale this week. I thought this had a lot of interesting information. So, if you have lawyers in your stories, it may be a helpful resource. They also have some books on Private Investigators that I’ve found helpful.

Sunday Summary: Short Month

February may be the shortest month of the year, but I still feel like I got a good bit done(even if I did change my goals more than once). I’ll get to that in a little bit.

Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon shoveling snow. We had so much snow and ice on our roof that our front door didn’t want to close. Not a good sign. So, my husband climbed up on the roof and started shoveling the snow off. I was down below, moving it all off the sidewalk/porch. Though I shouldn’t say all. I ended up just making a path through so we could get to the door. It still took about 3 hours to get it all done. My back and shoulders are definitely feeling it today. I figure I’ll take some time each day this week to move more of it of the sidewalk and open the path up a bit more. It’s supposed to be warmer all week too, so that may help melt some of it.

  • Flames of Recompense – add 15k words – did this. It’s sitting at just over 24k right now.
  • The Choice – Fix fragments & polish. Send to beta readers if I can finish this & get them lined up. – got this all cleaned up. Still need to find beta readers. If you’re interested, I wrote up a quick summary Friday.
  • Buried Secrets – Outline – this is outlined. It will be first on 2016’s ‘to-draft’ list. Yeah, that’s how far out my plotting is. Too many ideas, not enough time.
  • Take Me Under(short story) – finish first draft – just finished this morning. It’s sitting at just under 2500 words. Planning to start revisions next weekend and may end up adding more words then.
  • Read: Queen of the Tearling, The Vampire Exclusive(Julie Glover), & Marine for Hire(Tawna Fenske) – Read and enjoyed all of these. Also read: Nights with Him(Lauren Blakely), Ill-Times Entanglements(Kassandra Lamb), & Come a Little Bit Closer(Bella Andre).  Loved these too.
  • Read: Writing Fight Scenes – Finished this.
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole – Finish – this is the only thing I didn’t finish, so I’ll be moving it to March’s list.

Editing:

  • 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

I did not get much from this list done. However, I did write over 43k words. 2300 of that was revisions for The Choice. Just over 24k was on Flames of Recompense. 4800 was in plotting. And over 12k was on short stories. I also finished outlining a stand alone novel(hopefully. A lot of my series have started this way).

Reading:

  • Read 21 books – 24/21
  • Listen: Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover(Ally Carter) – this and The Selection(Kiera Cass) & Lick(Kylie Scott). Also about halfway through Snow Like Ashes(Sara Raasch)
  • Read: A Lawyer’s Primer for Writers(Shaun Kaufman & Colleen Collins) – finished this and Writing Fight Scenes(Rayne Hall)

Crafting:

  • Knit: Baby Doll Dress, Cap with Little Beaded Flowers, & Faux Crochet Stole – finished 2 of these. Still working through the Stole though. IMG_0463 IMG_0453
  • Crochet: Love is Cold Ear Warmer & Broomstick Lace Hat – finished both of these. IMG_0456 IMG_0465

I didn’t do everything that I’d originally had planned, but I did still make a good bit of progress, especially once I settled back into my normal way of doing things. There’s something to be said for mixing things up, but sometimes you just have to stick with what works for you.

For next month:

Writing:

  • Flames of Recompense – finish first draft

Editing:

  • The Choice – Send to Betas
  • Healing the Heart – Read through for fragments before sending to CP
  • Stained by Ashes – Finish Second round of revisions & possibly send to CP
  • Take Me Under – Revise

Plotting:

  • Western Hearts – Outline
  • By the Gun – Brainstorm

Note: These are both old ideas, one I only started years ago and the other I wrote a probably crappy first draft. I don’t actually have those drafts, so I’ll be starting these from scratch.

Reading:

  • Listen: Snow Like Ashes
  • Read: 21 books
  • Read: Dialogue- A Busy Writer’s Guide(Marcy Kennedy)

Crafting:

  • Knitting: Faux Crochet Stole, Bunny Hat, Simple Cable Scarf, & Schooner Hat
  • Crochet: Bunny Basket, Chocolate Bunny, Easter Basket

We’ll see if I actually stick to this month’s plan. For this week, my goals are:

  • Flames of Recompense – get to 39000 words
  • Healing the Heart – Fix Fragments
  • Western Hearts – Brainstorming
  • Take Me Under – Revise
  • Read: Oaths of Blood(S.M. Reine), Unmasked Alloy(Becca J Campbell), Pulled(Becca J. Campbell), If I Stay(Tamara Morgan), & Tell Me When(Stina Lindenblatt)
  • Read – Dialogue(A Busy Writer’s Guide) – 25%
  • Knit: Faux Crochet Stole

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