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March Recap

It’s the end of the month, so it’s time to look back at how I’ve done for the month, then look forward to my goals for next month.

Outlining:

  • Protecting the Heart – Outline – Done
  • Rylan & Kirsten – Outline – Done

Drafting:

  • Protecting the Heart – get to 8000 words – 7571 words
  • Ready When You Are – get to 25000 words – 21374 words
  • Rylan & Kirsten – get to 12000 words – 11371 words. Also came up with title: Paint Me a Picture
  • Love Who You Love – get to 56000 words – 71130 words – you can maybe see why I didn’t quite reach the target for the other projects.
  • By the Gun – get to 26000 words – 21293 words
  • Come Back Down – get to 28000 words(or finish 1st draft) – 25855 words

Only hit 1 of these goals, but I did write 73,008 words in total. That’s definitely a success.

Editing:

  • Stained by Ashes – finish CP edits & find beta readers(if you’re interested, let me know in the comments. I’m hoping to have it ready by the end of next week.) – got this sent to beta readers & even back from one of them. Leaving it to sit until I get it back from the other one.
  • Healing the Heart – apply CP edits –  I got through all the comments in the document, but there are some more general ones I need to address.

Reading:

  • Listen to at least 2 audiobooks – listened to 6. A couple were shorter(Shame on Me), while a couple were quite a bit longer(Queen of Shadows). I’m more than halfway through Map of Fates, but I probably won’t finish it until at least tomorrow.
  • Read: 29 books – 24 books. I’ll probably finish at least one more today, but still a little short.
  • Read: Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting – Finished this. Didn’t get as much from it as I’d hoped.

Crafting:

  • Knit: Mug Hug – Finished this wp-1458472651866.jpg
  • Crochet: Finish Leaping Blocks and Stripes Blanket & Half and Half Slouch Hat – finished both of thesewp-1457884609936.jpg wp-1459345170105.jpg
  • Loom: Morning Light Cowl – should finish this today

And as a bonus goal:

  • Draft 25 A-Z posts(I already have 1 of them finished) – 9 drafted. 2 revised & scheduled.

Didn’t finish everything, but I made progress on it all. Which makes me pretty happy. So for next month:

Outline:

  • Break on Me(Kurztown #4)

Drafting:

  • Paint Me a Picture – get to 36k(or 1st draft)
  • Ready When You Are – get to 46k
  • By the Gun – get to 46k
  • Protecting the Heart – get to 33k
  • Come Back Down – finish 1st draft

Editing:

  • Healing the Heart – finish CP Edits, Polish, and send to beta readers(so if anyone wants to read the follow-up to Duty to Protect, let me know)
  • Stained by Ashes – apply beta edits once I have them all comments back
  • Stained Blood – CP edits once I have them back

Reading:

  • Listen to at least 1 audiobook(I have 5 in my audible library)
  • Read: 26 books
  • Read: Conflict & Suspense(James Scott Bell)

Crafting:

  • Knit: Entwined Fingerless Gloves
  • Crochet: Twisty Cabled Beanie
  • Loom: 2 Way Headband

Blog:

  • A-Z – Draft other 17 posts, Revise & Schedule 24 posts
  • RoW80 – Draft, Revise, & Submit Sponsor Post; post twice a week; keep up with sponsor duties

Writing Wednesday: Through the Break

RoW80 is on break this week, but true to form, I’m still working. I just don’t like taking breaks. Not very long ones anyway. I can handle a day. Maybe even a weekend. But, more than that, and I get cranky from not writing. So, trust me, it’s better for everyone if I keep going.

I’m still trying to work out the best way to juggle everything I want to get done. The last two days I’ve found my motivation severely lacking, okay, pretty much disappearing, after lunch time. so, ‘ve decided to focus my morning time on writing. I’ll still try to get a few other things done while both kids are at school, but I want most of that time to go to writing. Then, I’ll focus the hour before lunch on editing. I’m starting that today, so we’ll see how it goes. And, yes, I’m writing this while  should be writing my other stuff. I’m bouncing between the two.

I mentioned last week(Sunday’s post), that I was going to start a slightly different routine. Starting with the WiP that was closest to being done, I was going to write through until I stalled out on words then move to the next. Well, the one closest to being done is Love Who You Love(at over 90% to my goal). And the words just keep flowing on it. Needless to say, it’s the only one I’ve worked on so far this week. I may even finish it before the month is over. We’ll see how that goes.

Now, it’s time for another WiPPet snippet!! Since, as  said, all I’ve been working on is Love Who You Love, you get more from that. Today, I have 6 paragraphs(3+3+0). Rumors are spreading about Susan and Kendall(and Chris).

Kendall looked back toward the counter. “Rea, can you watch the front for me for a little bit?”

She caught he sympathy in the other woman’s eyes a moment before she nodded. “Not a problem, Ken. Garage is quiet now, and [xx] can handle it.”

“Thanks.” She took Susan’s arm and led her back toward Doren’s office. “Come on. We can talk in here.”

“I really don’t think making out in my brother’s office is going to help any of this.”

Kendall glanced up at Susan’s face, saw a smile ghosting around her lips, even though her eyes were still shadowed. “That wasn’t my plan, but if you want…”

Susan laughed and rested her forehead against Kendall’s. “I don’t know what to do.”

This is the start of what leads to them fighting and not speaking for a few days(which for them, is a long time). But, I’ve already got that worked out and mostly smoothed over again. I’m think I’ll have this finished before next Wednesday, so you’ll probably get more from Paint Me a Picture then.

Now for how I’ve done so far this week:

  • Work 20 hours on writing projects – 7.5/20. I’m actually thinking of lowering this to 15 hours for writing. 4 hours a day seems to be pushing it a lot of the time.
  • Edit 5 hours – haven’t worked on this at all yet this week. Hoping to today, though.
  • Come Back Down – work 1 hour
  • Row80 Sponsor Post – Brainstorm & draft – Brainstormed & outlined. Still need to draft it.
  • Read: Description & Setting = practically finished with this. At 95%
  • Read: The Vixen and the Vet(Katy Regnery), Frisco’s Kid(Suzanne Brockman), Once Upon a Setup(Kait Nolan), My Last(Melanie Shawn), Protect and Serve(various), Lies We Live(Brenda St John Brown), Nowhere But Here(Katie McGarry), Scandalous(R.G. Alexander), Legal Heat(Sarah Castille), Love on the Ledge(Zoraida Cordova), & Kiss Kill Vanish(Jessica Martinez): Had some issues with The Vixen and the Vet, but otherwise enjoyed the story. Frisco’s Kid was okay. Enjoyed Once Upon a Setup, My Last was okay, though it felt really repetitive and just…off. I skimmed through some of it. I did add the next book in the series to my wish list, but I probably won’t get it unless it drops to $.99 or free. I only read one of the stories(Shots Fired) in Protect and Serve, but I enjoyed it. Now, I have to read the other novellas from that series to catch up to where that one was. Really enjoyed Lies We Live, though it had a bit of a cliffhanger ending. Still, I really want to read the next book. I’m 29% through Nowhere But Here and really enjoying it. Though I’ve been yelling at one of the characters a bit.
  • Crochet: Half and Half Slouch Hat – I finished this. And I started a new project on my knitting loom.wp-1459345170105.jpg
  • A-Z Challenge – Draft & Revise posts as I have time – I have through (H) and part of (I) drafted. And through (B) revised and scheduled. I’m hoping to get through N drafted this week, then I’ll start revising (C) through (H). I’m hoping to stay at least a few posts ahead.

Teaser Tuesday: “Away From That One”

Time for another teaser from an upcoming release. I’m still teasing you about Stained by Ashes. I have it back from one beta reader, but I’m waiting to get it back from the other before I start edits on it. So, still no official release date. But, you can always read Stained Snow while you’re waiting. 😉

Two steps took him to the side of the horse she currently stroked. He tipped his hat forward. “Ma’am.”

Her head jerked up at his voice, and irritation turned to interest. Her face went blank. “Sir, if you’ll excuse me.” She stepped back.

“Do you need help with anything?”

Her gaze flicked across the street, he imagined to look for her father and brother. Whether because she feared what they would do if they came over, or uncomfortable and wanting help, he didn’t know.

“Thank you, sir, but my brother has it handled. Now, please, I’d ask you to leave.”

Fear shone in her eyes, and he didn’t think she directed it at him. He nodded at her and took a step back, lifting his fingers to tip his hat again. “Good day then, Ma’am.”

She kept her eyes on him as he took another step back. He didn’t want to take his from her, but he had to turn before he ran into someone else. As he did, Lucas and Louis crossed the street toward them. The old man’s eyes were trained on his daughter, but her brother glared right at him. He veered away from his father and came toward Adam.

Adam settled his hat further on his head and stepped away. He’d moved too late. Louis caught him, wrapping his fingers around Adam’s arm. “Keep your dirty paws off my sister, half-breed. You won’t make her your squaw.”

Rage boiled under his skin, in his blood. That was all these people would ever see him as. He had too much of his mother’s blood to fit in with them, and too much of his father in him to let it go. He pushed Louis away from him. “I didn’t have my hands on her. I asked if she needed some help. And I have no desire to take a wife.” That was a lie, but he wouldn’t let it show. He wouldn’t like anything more than to find someone to marry, someone he could make a family with. Like he’d dreamed of doing with Maggie.

“Louis, leave him alone.” Her soft voice came from behind him. “He did nothing. People are allowed to speak to me when I’m in town.”

“Not him. Get in the wagon, Leah. We’re going home.”

She trembled for a moment then turned to do that. He wanted to strike out at the man for talking to her like that, for putting that fear in her eyes. Before he could do more than think it, Patrick spoke his name. “Come on,” he said when Adam turned to him. “We have things to see to before we head home.”

He hesitated, trembling with outrage as the younger brother jumped into the back with his sister. Then the wagon pulled away. He saw Leah watching him before it disappeared down the street.

“Adam, come,” Patrick said again. “We have things to do.”

A breath shuddered out of him, but he followed his boss. As they moved down the street, Patrick set his hand on Adam’s shoulder. “It’d be better to stay away, Adam. I don’t think about you what they do, but Kline would never let anything happen between you two. You should keep even your eyes away from that one.”

He’d told himself that when he first saw her. It still stung to hear someone else say it, but he kept his face impassive as he looked at Patrick. “I don’t have my eye turned toward anyone. Let’s get that stuff so we can get out of here.”

He had no desire to be in town anymore.

ListifyLife Challenge: Week 2 – Books to Live In

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What books would you like to spend time in?

Sunday Summary: Happy Easter

I’m actually writing this up on Saturday night as we have a busy Sunday planned. So, I figured I’d get ahead on things. It’s been a pretty good week. Actually pretty excellent. Particularly where the writing’s concerned. I fell behind on the crafting and reading goals, though. But, I’m starting to catch up on both of those.

Since I forgot to share my new journal and pens earlier in the week...here they are!

Since I forgot to share my new journal and pens earlier in the week…here they are!

Inside of the journal

Inside of the journal

Yesterday, we went up and got my husband’s new truck. He gets a monthly stipend for his vehicle payment, since he uses it for work. But, they hold it back over the winter when he’s laid off then gets all that at once when he starts back. So, we used that and some other to put down on the new truck. The other one he had wasn’t quite cut out for everything he needs to do. Anyway, we got that, and I wrote 630 words on Love Who You Love on my phone on the way there. Then, we all(except the husband) got hair cuts. I went pretty short, for me. It still feels a little weird(but good) to have all that hair off my neck. It had been down past my shoulders.

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Now, as for my progress this week. It wasn’t quite what I’d planned on. Thursday I was going t work my hour on Love Who You Love then move on to something else. But, Susan and Kendall kind of took over my brain. And I ended up working over 4 hours on them. So, I came up with a new plan for working on projects. I’m starting with the one closest to being finished(right now that would be Love Who You Love) and working on it until the words stop, then move on to the next one, up to 4 hours. Then, I’ll switch to edits. This could mean one day I only work on one story one day, but4 or all 5 another day. Once I finish one of the stories, the next in that story gets added to the list, but at the bottom.

But, as for how I actually did this week:

  • Work 20 hours on writing projects – 19 hours, 20 minutes. Probably would have hit this if we hadn’t done so much running around yesterday. But, still, I got pretty close.
    • Protecting the Heart – 3545 words
    • Ready When You Are – 2783 words
    • Paint Me a Picture – 4106 words
    • Love Who You Love – 8489 words(told you they took over on Thursday)
    • By the Gun – 627 words(I’m once again considering shelving this one)
  • Edit 5 hours – Only got 2 hours in on this. I’m up 6 words currently(Cut out 46 one day & added 40 the next) on Healing the Heart.
  • Come Back Down – 1 hour – 45 minutes as of Saturday night. 15 minutes Sunday morning. Added 656 words so far.
  • Read: Description & Setting – Still have about 10% to go. I’ll probably have it finished fairly quickly.
  • Read: Finish 99 Days(Katie Cotugno), Festive in Death(J.D. Robb), The Vixen and the Vet(Katy Regnery), Frisco’s Kid(Suzanne Brockman), Once Upon a Setup(Kait Nolan), My Last(Melanie Shawn), Protect and Serve(various), & Lies We Live(Brenda St John Brown) – I finally finished reading Festive in Death last night(not even close to my favorite of the series. I hope I like the next one better). And I started reading The Vixen and the Vet Saturday morning. About 40% through, but feels like it’s missing something.
  • Crochet: Half and Half Slouch Hat – I made a lot of progress on this Saturday. Almost caught up to where I wanted to be.
  • A-Z Challenge – draft posts as I have time – I have through (G) drafted. I got some of (H) done last night. I have to go back and look at a certain scene in Guarding the Heart(this one is one of the events in that but from a different character’s POV). And  have that on my other computer. Once I finish that, I’m going to get the Week 1 posts(A & B) revised and scheduled. I think once I get the Week 3 posts done, I’ll come back and revise the Week 2 posts.

Not too much blue this week, but not bad considering the kids were home for most of it so my routine was a little off. Plus trying to figure out the best routine/schedule for me. Now, RoW80 is on break next week, but I don’t really believe in taking breaks from my writing(I might take a day off, or most of a day, but I get really cranky if I don’t write for too long). Plus, writing down weekly goals here really helps with keeping me on track.

  • Work 20 hours on writing projects
  • Edit 5 hours
  • Come Back Down – work 1 hour
  • Row80 Sponsor Post – Brainstorm & draft
  • Read: Description & Setting
  • Read: The Vixen and the Vet(Katy Regnery), Frisco’s Kid(Suzanne Brockman), Once Upon a Setup(Kait Nolan), My Last(Melanie Shawn), Protect and Serve(various), Lies We Live(Brenda St John Brown), Nowhere But Here(Katie McGarry), Scandalous(R.G. Alexander), Legal Heat(Sarah Castille), Love on the Ledge(Zoraida Cordova), & Kiss Kill Vanish(Jessica Martinez): may not get to all of these(probably won’t), but that’s what’s left for the month.
  • Crochet: Half and Half Slouch Hat
  • A-Z Challenge – Draft & Revise posts as I have time

WeWriWa: “Left to Seek”

Welcome back to another meeting of the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m coming back with another snippet from Come Back Down. I almost have this one finished, at least the first draft. Today I have 10 sentences from the end of their conversation from last week’s snippet.

“None of that is your fault. Isn’t that what you keep telling me?”

It was, and it made me smile a little. “I guess it’s easier to tell someone else than to believe it yourself.”

He leaned forward and brushed his lips over mind. “Please don’t hide from me,” he murmured against my lips. “If we’re both hiding, who will be left to seek us?”

The play on words had me laughing that time, and I rested my forehead against his. “I’ll always seek you out, Trace. I promise.”

I’ll be moving on to further in the story next week. And for all of you who celebrate, have a Happy Easter this weekend.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Real”

Welcome back to another Stream of Consciousness Saturday. This week’s prompt is “real”. Let’s see what I’ve got for that.

*This follows after this other piece I wrote a little while back.

“I can’t believe you’re really here.”

Lora looked across the table at Gabriel. She could say the same to him. But, she did believe it. He’d told her, and so had Aaron, how close he was to his family. So it didn’t surprise her that he’d ended up back in his hometown. “Well, I am,” she said. What was her problem? She made a living speaking, and yet she was having trouble stringing more than a couple words together around him. It’s not like she’d never spoken to him before. But, it had been different with a computer screen and thousands of miles between them. And the last time they’d spoken face to face had been at Aaron’s funeral.

She could still feel that grief hanging between them.

They were supposed to go over the projected plans for the housing project, but she couldn’t bring herself to put that between them right now, too. “What have you been up to, Gabe? It’s been a while.”

“Almost two years,” he confirmed. And they hadn’t talked much then. He’d held her, comforted her. But, they hadn’t spoken many words. She’s used up most of hers for the eulogy. “And there hasn’t been much,” he admitted. “Designing projects for Dad and Chris to work on.”

“Do you miss actually being on a job site?”

He shrugged one shoulder, but she sensed something under it. “I like the design work,” he said. But, he didn’t deny missing working on construction sites. That told her more than his words.

“And is that all you do? Work?” God, she needed to shut her mouth. His personal life wasn’t any of her damn business.

The corners of Gabriel’s mouth twitched, though. “No, it’s not all I do. No serious relationships, though. I did recently get a roommate when his dad kicked him out of the house. He served with us, too. Erik Morrey.”

Her mouth turned down. “Aaron mentioned him. Said he was a bit of an asshole.”

That had Gabriel laughing now. “He’s got his moments. But, he really is a decent guy. If you knew his father…” Gabriel shook his head. “Best you don’t. Now, he really is an asshole.”

Lora wasn’t quite sure what to say about that. Aaron had told her a lot of things about Erik Morrey. She wondered if Gabriel would still want him as a roommate if he knew some of them. Maybe he did know, and it didn’t bother him. It had bother Aaron, which she’d lectured him about enough times. But, despite only being a year older than her, he’d had an “old-fashioned” way of thinking. His words, but she’d had others for it.

“You okay?” Gabriel asked, reaching across the table for her hand.

“Yeah,” she said, coming back to he present and him. “I was just thinking about Aaron and how he wasn’t so perfect.”

Gabriel’s eyes were sad, but his lips lifted a little. “No, he wasn’t,” he agreed. “But, we loved him anyway.”

Yes, they had. She and Aaron hadn’t had much of a family, but Aaron had always said Gabriel was like his brother. So, she didn’t doubt that love.

“So,” he said, “I guess we should start going over the proposal.”

 

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