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Archive for December, 2015

Looking Forward to 2016

I was going to wait until Sunday to post my goals for next year and January. But, I got everything done for today and my lists for the next year, quarter, and month goals written up. I won’t be sharing the quarter goals until Sunday, when I get my goal post for RoW80 up.

First, a recap of 2015:

Wrote: 745,241 words. 34416 of that was in plotting notes. 22155 were in revisions. So, that was over 688,000 words in drafting. I published two novels, neither of which was actually written during 2015(one was revised this year, though).

Read: I listened to 70 audiobooks. About a dozen of those were about novella-length. I read 250 books of varying lengths.

Crafted: Finished 11 knitting projects, 14 crochet projects, and 3 knitting loom projects. Only about half as many as I’d originally planned for the year.

Now for my goals for next year:

Outline:

  • Protecting the Heart(BC Security #2)
  • Rylan & Kirsten(Gilbert, CO #4.75)
  • Kurztown #4
  • Defending the Heart(BC Security #3)
  • Carlos & Tereza(Gilbert, CO #5)
  • Chris & Reagen #5(this may get switched with #4)

Write:

  • Love Who You Love(Kurztown #3)
  • By the Gun(western standalone)
  • Protecting the Heart
  • Ready When You Are(Hunter Family #3)
  • Rylan & Kirsten
  • Kurztown #4
  • Buried Secrets(standalone)
  • Defending the Heart
  • Brann’s Story(Flames 5.5)
  • Carlos & Tereza
  • Chris & Reagen

Edit:

  • Flames of Retribution
  • My Way to You
  • Flames of Recompense
  • Freeing His Heart
  • Flames of Restoration
  • Rylan & Kirsten

Publish:

  • Stained Snow
  • Healing the Heart
  • Stained by Ashes
  • Stained Blood

*This will depend on getting things back, but I’m hoping to get at least these out.

Reading:

  • Listen: 25 books
  • Read: 300 books(I devour them, so this likely won’t be a problem)

Crafting:

  • Knitting: 12 projects
  • Crochet: 12 projects
  • Loom: 12 projects

And for January:

Writing:

  • Love Who You Love – reach 33,000 words
  • Come Back Down – reach 18,000 words

Editing:

  • Flames of Retribution: Read Through, 2nd Revisions, & Polish
  • My Way to You: Scene Map

Reading:

  • Listen: 2 audiobooks
  • Read: 25 books
  • Read: Writing Vivid Characters(Rayne Hall)

Crafting:

  • Knitting: Antler Hat
  • Crochet: Leaping Stripes and Blocks Blanket
  • Loom: Zig Zag Hat

Writing Wednesday: End of Year Wrap-Up

We survived all the Christmas celebrations. And everything is packed back up now. So, my house is the way it’s supposed to be again.

And, then, today we went and looked at a puppy. Maybe not our smartest idea. But, it’s been something we’ve talked about off and on about getting another dog. Someone my husband knows posted pictures of the puppies her dog had. We went to see them today. Got to hold the smallest, and apparently calmest, for a while. And took our dog along to introduce them. She behaved a lot better than I expected, but I guess the real test will be when we bring him home. In about 2 more weeks. So, now time for me to read everything on training a puppy since I’ve only ever gotten older(more than 1 year) dogs before.

Before I get to my wrap-up, it’s WiPPeT Wednesday!! I’ve been working on revising Flames of Retribution, so that’s what you get today. 33 sentences(1+2+30) from the prologue. For anyone who’s read Flames of Redemption(or snippets I’ve shared from Retribution), you may recognize Mark. Caitie is Adrian’s cousin, and they’re at Adrian & Kayla’s wedding).

Mark stood in line at the bar to order his third drink. He knew he should cut himself off after this one. Bad things happened when he had too much whiskey. Even if they felt good at the time.
Then, an arm slipped through his and turned him away. “Wouldn’t you rather dance with me than have another drink?”
He tried not to look down at Caitie, but he couldn’t help himself. And he would have sworn her bright blue eyes were laughing at him. “Actually I hoped the drink would dull my wanting of you.”
The last time he’d seen her, she’d been wearing a tank top and cut-off shorts. And she’d had her hair pulled back into a tail. He’d mistakenly assumed she was a teenager. Thank God she wasn’t, and he wasn’t a perv for his reaction to her.
But, today…well, there was no mistaking her for a teenager today. Her red hair was braided around her head like a crown with more falling down her back. And that crimson dress fit every single curve. He wanted to strip it right off of her.
“And why’s that?” she asked. “I promise not to step on your toes.”
“I don’t want your brothers to beat me up.”
She laughed, and it wrapped around him. She could bring him to his knees with that laugh.
“Really, Mr. Marine?” She asked, walking her fingers up his chest. “I thought you were all big and bad. Not afraid of anything. But, you’re worried about a couple of city cops. Don’t worry. I’m sure you could take them.”
He knew she was goading him but didn’t care. He liked the feel of her fingers on him. “A dance, huh? How do you know I won’t step on your toes?”

I originally wrote this as a separate piece and started Flames of Retribution shortly after this(like the next day), but I figured I’d put it in as a prologue. It may end up coming back out or at least I might cut more(already cut out over 3k from the original).

Book mail yesterday. More coming tomorrow.

Book mail yesterday. More coming tomorrow.

As for how I’m doing the first half of this week…pretty good, actually.

  • Love Who You Love – get to 15000 words – Only at 12181/15000 words. Was feeling stuffed up this morning and the words didn’t really want to come.
  • Flames of Retribution – 1st revisions – Doing pretty good with this. Have a few adjustments pertaining to the timeline to make & some other details to fix/fill in.
  • Come Back Down – get to 10000 words – weekend project
  • RoW80 Sponsor Post – made a little progress on this. Have over a week to finish it.
  • Read: Writing about Villains – finish -about 75% through it
  • Read: Destiny Unchosen(Lindsay Buroker) & Only Yours (Susan Mallery) – finished both of these and enjoyed them. Also read Frostbite(Lynn Rush), which wasn’t bad, but didn’t get really pulled into it. And Kissing in America(Margo Rabb), which I really liked. Now, I’m reading Caged Wolf(S.M. Reine). Not too far into it yet.
  • Loom: 2nd Hat – finished this, too. Not starting any new projects this year.

As for the month’s progress:

Outlining:

  • Love Who You Love(Kurztown #3) yes! Though, as I write, I think a good bit of it is going to change.

Drafting:

  • Love Who You Love – write 9000 words – I’ve written over 12k, so I’ve surpassed this.
  • Come Back Down – Write 4000 words – 4115 words added to this.

Revising:

  • Chasing the Ghost – Revise & Polish – done. Cut almost 3k.
  • Flames of Retribution – 1st Revisions – nearly there. Added 984 words in new words(doesn’t count the prologue since that was written, just in a different document)

Reading:

  • Read/listen: 21 books – 30/21 books. 8 of those were audiobooks.
  • Read: The Word-Loss Diet(Rayne Hall) – read this and should finish Writing about Villains as well.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – Finishedwp-1449406413975.jpg
  • Crochet: Twist N’ Shout Slouchy Hat – finishedwp-1450615817240.jpg
  • Loom: Hat – finished 2 of these.wp-1450883440175.jpg wp-1451501192561.jpg

As for the year(should be interesting since I changed things several times):

Writing:

  • Outline – I have 19 stories on this year’s list to outline. I may not get to all of them, or something else might strike me so I move them around. So, I’m not listing them all here.

I outlined 11 stories. Not all the ones I wanted to get to, but still a good bit. Some of those I outlined, I haven’t even gotten to writing yet.

  • Write – 9 on this list. The first 3 are the unfinished ones. Again, I may not finish them all, but I have some to choose from. 🙂

I finished 11 stories. Also some short stories that I didn’t count.

  • Edit – 5 on this list to at least get sent to my CP. After that, it depends on when I get them back from her.

I only actually sent 2 to my CP(and still waiting to get them back), but I got 6 others polished and ready to go. So, I’ll count that as a win.

  • Publish: At least Flames of Redemption. Also hoping to get Stained Snow, The Choice, and maybe one more out this year.

I published Flames of Redemption and First Choice, Second Chance(formerly The Choice) and had my novella, Into the Sun, published in the World Unknown Review. So, a partial win.

Reading:

  • Read: 250 books, which means 21/month. I’ve done at least that 3 times this year. It will probably average out. I counted earlier today. Once I finish Caged Wolf, I’ll have an even 250 books for the year.
  • Listen: 12 audiobooks(will probably end up being more, but that’s at least one a month) – 69 audiobooks. Will be an even 70 if I finish The Dream Thieves tomorrow, but that’s unlikely(I still have about 7.5 hours left). 10 of those were the Shadowhunter Academy books, which were all short. There were some other shorter ones in there too.
  • Research: At least 1 craft/research book a month. – 11/12. I had two months when I didn’t read any.

Crafting:

  • Knit: 25 projects – 9/25
  • Crochet: 25 projects – 11/25
  • Learn New Craft – learned to knit on a loom. Finished a scarf & two hats.

I didn’t get everything finished, but still a lot. I’ll have goals for the new year, month, and RoW80 round up on Sunday(the round doesn’t officially start until Monday, but I usually put my goals up on Sunday).

Monday Mumbles: 2016 TBR List

As 2015 comes to an end, I’m looking forward toward my 2016 goals. This includes my goals for reading. Last year my total goal was 250, and I easily surpassed that. I’m currently over 300 for the year. So, surpassing that will be my challenge for next year.

Also, as I mentioned in my Best of 2015 post a couple weeks ago, I want to branch out more. Particularly in my LGBT reading. Last year, it was mostly G&B. So, I’ll be looking at reading more f/f at least. Everything I read last year was m/m(and one m/m/f).

I already have plenty on my TBR list. I have 13 books sitting on top of my desk right now. wp-1451323180919.jpgAnd I have 5 more books coming in the next couple of weeks. 2 of those should be here tomorrow(although it’s still saying Saturday even though it’s been transferred to USPS in Erie, which means it should be here tomorrow).

 

And that’s just the physical copies I have. I have 88 in my TBR folder on my kindle. Those are the ones I’ve added to my list and bought(or that I’ve bought when someone posted about it. As long as it wasn’t free). Then, I have 62 in my ‘free’ folder. And I have another 10 from Kindle Unlimited. That folder gets refilled to 10 at the beginning of every month.

Needless to say, I have plenty to read for next year. And more books will likely(I say that like there’s a chance it won’t happen, although we all know better) be added throughout the year. And I still have over $50 on my amazon account from Christmas.

Sunday Summary: Post-Christmas

Hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Christmas. We had a pretty good one. The boy got more Legos(and had already put most of them together. Getting better at doing it himself). The girl got 11 more books(and more dolls, clothes, and toys)I got some new shirts, books, and more gift cards to spend at Amazon. I’m writing this up on Saturday, and we have one more Christmas to go to today.(Edited: that one’s over now too. The boy is happy, he finally got his Optimus Prime that transforms into a truck, and I got another gift card to amazon).

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I didn’t even turn my computer on Friday. But, I got ahead on my goals earlier in the week, so I don’t feel bad for taking the day completely off. Though, it was hard actually staying in bed.

  • Love Who You Love: get to 9000 words(taking Christmas off) – 10107/9000. 5034 words added this week.
  • Flames of Retribution: finish pre-revision steps – got this done too. Ready to start 1st round of revisions on Monday.
  • Come Back Down – get to 8000 words – got here on Saturday
  • Read: Writing about Villains – 45% – got to this
  • Read: Upside Down(Lia Riley), All Played Out(Cora Carmack), Part-time Cowboy(Maisey Yates), & A Kiss at Midnight(Eloisa James) – Finished Upside Down(really enjoyed), All Played Out(really liked this one, too), and Part-time Cowboy(loved this one). Finished A Kiss at Midnight last night.  Had a little trouble getting into it but did end up enjoying it.
  • Loom: Hat – finished this earlier this week, and started another one with a slightly different brim.

A lot of blue this week. Pretty good for even taking a day off. And since this last round of RoW80 ended this week, my quarterly wrap-up(I’ll do the monthly & yearly one next Wednesday, probably).

Plotting:

  • Protecting the Heart  (BC Security #2) -Outline – this got moved back. I probably won’t start it until March on my new schedule.
  • Bryan & Leo(Gilbert,  CO novella) – outline
  • Rylan & Kirsten (Gilbert,  CO novella) Outline – this got moved back when I reworked my schedule. Now, it’s on for June
  • Love Who You Love (Kurztown #3)Outline

Writing:

  • Guarding the Heart – 1st draft – finished this the first week of November.
  • Protecting the Heart – 3000 words – set aside until March/April
  • Some Fools Never Learn – 43000 words – – finished the first draft in two weeks in November
  • Bryan & Leo – 1st draft – finished this before the end of November
  • Let It Begin – 1st draft – – finished this in October.
  • Love Who You Love – 18000 words – not quite, but got the first 10k written.
  • By the Gun – 40000 words – this one got set aside, too. Will try to pick it back up in March.

Revising:

  • Stained Blood – Polish – this is done and ready to go to my CP
  • Chasing the Ghost – Polish – I just finished this last week.
  • Flames of Retribution – Polish – ready to start the 1st round of revisions on this.
  • Freeing His Heart – Polish
  • Flames of Recompense – Polish
  • Flames of Restoration – 1st revisions

Submit:

  • Into the Sun -yes, and it was accepted and published in the World Unknown Review
  • Just Add Moonlight – submitted, but wasn’t accepted.

Reading:

  • Listen/read: 20 books (I’ll read more than this,  but that will finish my goal for the year) – 74/20. 19 of those were audio(actually it was more like 28, but I only put down one of the Shadowhunter Academy ones, they were all ~2 hours long).
  • Read: 3 craft/research books – 3.5/3. I’ll finish the fourth one before the end of the month.

Crafting:

  • Knit: 3 projects – counting my loom projects, I made this goal. Finishing the Cuddly Chevron Blanket took forever.
  • Craft: 3 projects – 2/3.

Not too bad considering I changed my goals partway through October. I’ll have goals for the next round up next Sunday.

And my goals for this week (even though ROW80 is currently on break)

  • Love Who You Love – get to 15000 words
  • Flames of Retribution – 1st revisions
  • Come Back Down – get to 10000 words
  • RoW80 Sponsor Post
  • Read: Writing about Villains – finish
  • Read: Destiny Unchosen(Lindsay Buroker) & Only Yours (Susan Mallery)
  • Loom: 2nd Hat

WeWriWa: “Not to Me”

Welcome to my final Weekend Writing Warriors installment for the year. I’m actually writing this up on Thursday because I’m ahead on everything for the week, and I know I have time now. I’m still sharing from Come Back Down. There may be some spoilers for Into the Sun, but I’ll try to minimize them. Today I have 9 sentences. I’ve skipped a little since last week’s, mostly some of Birdie’s thoughts and a few of those spoilers. The first line of dialogue is Trace speaking.

   ”I was starting to think you wouldn’t make it.”
I smiled at him and reached up to thread my fingers into the ends of his rust-red hair. “People like to stop and talk.”
“Not to me,” he murmured.
“That’s because you scowl at them and keep your arms crossed in front of you,” I told him. I ran my hand down one side of his leather vest, “Add this to the mix, and it intimidates them.”
“I don’t scowl,” he insisted, but already lines were digging into his forehead as he did just that.
I laughed and brushed my lips over his. He didn’t laugh but he did meet my kiss.

I hope everyone has(had, by the time anyone reads this) a good holiday if you celebrate. We’re celebrating straight from Thursday through Saturday. That’s what happens when both you and your husband come from divorced parents.

Flames A-Z: Zachary Brooke

This is the final installment of  my Flames A-Z posts. I may do another one for one of my other series for the official A-Z challenge in April. We’ll see. I’ve stretched this out quite a bit, but it’s been fun.

Zachary Brooke is the younger son of Robert and Carol Brooke. James is his older brother. Zachary is just under a year younger than his brother, and they did pretty much everything together. Both went into the fire service, got married within a year of each other, and Zachary’s daughter was just about a year younger than James’ son.

Zachary was always the more impulsive, reckless of the two. He got into situations that James usually ended up having to drag him out of. Sometimes literally. He was light; blond hair, blue eyes with a very bright, outgoing personality. James was the darker one, almost black hair, green eyes, and a much more serious demeanor.

Zachary married Angela before he even turned twenty. Their daughter, Kayla, was born less than a year later. They were still celebrating that when Zachary carried his nephew out of a burning house. He stood with his brother as he had to bury his family. But, he didn’t know what to do when his brother wanted to hide away their memories as well, as if that would erase all the grief.

Zach and Angela wanted to add to their family, but it was ten years later before their son, Jeremiah, was born. Both of his children showed an interest in following him into the fire service. That worried him a bit, knowing the dangers it held. So, he asked both of them to put in at least two years at a regular college before they decided to join the fire department. He didn’t stop either of them from volunteering with the department once they were old enough, though. In fact, it made him proud they wanted to.

When Kayla joined the department, it quickly became apparent that she took after her father in more than just looks. And that really scared Zachary. But, he still supported her. He realized how rough things must have been on his brother as he tried to make sure she never took the recklessness too far. Then, due to some health concerns, he needed to retire from the fire department. He couldn’t keep that eye on her any longer. But, she was already starting to trail with his brother to become an investigator.

Retirement isn’t going easy for him. But, his daughter is married, his brother has finally found love again and is making a new family. And his son is finishing that second year of college and getting ready to join the fire department as well.

Writing Wednesday: Coming to the End

Two more days until Christmas. Yesterday was the kids’ last day of school until the new year. This morning we made some chocolate chip cookies, and I’m just about ready to take the second sheet of M&M cookies out of the oven. Those are going to be our Christmas cookies for this year.

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Tomorrow we’ll be going to see my husband’s grandma then over to his mom’s for our Christmas with her. Picking up pizza on the way there. Then, we’ll go down to my mom’s Friday morning after we open presents here. Saturday we’re going to husband’s stepmom’s for our Christmas with her and his siblings. We used to try to see everyone on Christmas. It’s so much easier this way.

cat joined the girl's stuffed animal collection

cat joined the girl’s stuffed animal collection

It’s WiPPet Wednesday, so time for another snippet. I started some pre-revisions on Flames of Retribution this week, but I’m going to share one more snippet from Chasing the Ghost before I move on. This one takes place the day after last week’s. Garren did some looking into Jason’s past, even though his father was willing to trust Jason’s word and his own instincts about people. I have 17 paragraphs(12+2+3) today.

“What did you find?” He hated that his voice grated through his throat.
Garren’s face did soften then. “I spoke to detectives Smolka and Duval in Farmington. They told me Lauren and Adam Matthews were killed in their home. Even though the case is still open, her husband is not considered a suspect. Charles Stevens though, the victims’ father and grandfather is known to hire private detectives to prove otherwise. As well as filing complaints against the department for shoddy investigation practices.” His eyes went hard at. “And to the press with pleas for information on his daughter’s killer, her husband.” He blew out a breath. “I’m sorry, Jason.”
“His daughter,” he muttered. “His daughter but no mention of his grandson.”
“No,” Garren said. “He never mentioned the child in any interviews.”
“Damn bullheaded old bastard,” he muttered. “He told her if she married me, he would never recognize our children. He never once held him. Did nothing for him. But, he tried to get her to leave me because I raised my voice to him.”
Brendan’s hand squeezed his shoulder. “I won’t ask you to leave, Jason, and I hope you won’t.”
“I’ll see about having someone keep an eye on this guy following you,” Garren said. “He hasn’t killed anyone, so there’s not a lot I can do. But, I can call in a few favors.”
The words took him by surprise. “Why? I’m not anything to you. You made it pretty clear last night you don’t like me.”
“I never said that, but I will protect my sister.” He let out a little laugh and ran his fingers through his hair. “Not that she’ll let me. I don’t want to see her hurt.”
Jason met Garren’s eyes. “I don’t want to hurt her either.”
“If someone’s after you, it could happen. Again. I don’t want her hurt again.”
“Garren.” Brendan’s voice was soft. “Would you have stayed away from Lisa if you would have known what would happen?”
Garren turned to his father. “Do you forget me getting drunk and sending her away? Right into the arms of that psycho.” He scrubbed his hand over his face. “She wouldn’t let me send her away anyway. She kept pushing to give us a chance. I wouldn’t give up what we have now.” He sent a sharp look at Jason. “I almost lost my sister to one person bent on revenge. I don’t want it to happen again.”
“Neither do I,” he murmured. “I’m not here to get involved with anyone. I don’t have any plans for that.”
“You know what, Jason,—” one side of Garren’s mouth quirked up again, “when my sister went missing, and I went to talk to her best friend and roommate, I didn’t plan to get involved either. Now, I’m married, sober for the longest stretch of my life, and have two precious little babies. Our plans don’t always make a difference.” He was quiet for a moment before saying, “I think it’s about time Connie had some happiness. The last couple years have been rough for her.”
His words floored Jason. The night before, he’d looked ready to call him out for a duel if he so much as touched his sister. He shook his head. “I don’t-”
Brendan reached out to touch his shoulder. “Stay, Jason. You have a place here, and you’re one of ours now. We fight for ours. I have a feeling not too many people have fought for you.”

So, is Jason going to stick around? Is more trouble going to follow him? Will he ever find out who killed his family?

This week is going very well. I didn’t make a to-do list for this Friday, as it is Christmas. Going to make myself actually take a break. And I’m trying to get everything finished before we go to MIL’s tomorrow. Doing pretty good at that so far. I only have a few more things to get through today, then I’ll start on tomorrow’s list.

  • Love Who You Love: get to 9000 words(taking Christmas off) –  8820/9000. I’ve added 3747 words so far this week. Not going to have any problem meeting my goal. And while writing this morning I learned that Kendall’s oldest brother has a daughter & apparently a custody fight. gotta love the things that pop up and surprise even me.
  • Flames of Retribution: finish pre-revision steps – Got these all finished yesterday. I probably still won’t start revisions until next week.
  • Come Back Down – get to 8000 words – weekend project
  • Read: Writing about Villains – 45% – 22% through this
  • Read: Upside Down(Lia Riley), All Played Out(Cora Carmack), Part-time Cowboy(Maisey Yates), & A Kiss at Midnight(Eloisa James) – finished Upside Down and really enjoyed it. 66% All Played Out. Should finish it today.
  • Loom: Hat – finished this yesterday. wp-1450883440175.jpg

I thought about including my end of round wrap-up in today’s post, but I’d say it’s already long enough. So, I’ll have that on Sunday.

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