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RoWnd 3 Wrap-Up

Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days is over today. So, it’s time to evaluate how I did. I may also check in on how I’m doing on this year’s goals at the end of this.


  • Green Hills & Smoky Fields(this may end up being the series title and I’ll have a different name for the first story): Story Toolkit(it’s already plotted, but that was before I started doing the Toolkit) – I’ve finished one(of three) character arc worksheets. 8a/18


  • Heart of Christmas – 30000 words/1st draft – I finished this on 9/6.
  • Still Burning – 30000 words – 27214/30000 words
  • Whatever It Takes(Jayla & Carisa) – 30000 words – 24787/30000
  • High on Loving You – 30000 words – 24724 words
  • By the Gun – 30000 words(this should take me into part 2) – 23148 words, I am working on Part 2 now.
  • Side Projects – Add 30000 words – 27500 words
  • Story a Day(September) – Add 30 stories – 18/25 stories. this one is being handled differently than the main one in May, so there’s actually only going to be about 25 stories


  • Stained Blood – Beta edits – got Chapter 2 back the other day. Transferred comments into Scrivener and will be starting edits today.
  • Flames of Renewal – CP edits – Still don’t have this back.
  • In the Moonlight – Read Through, Revisions, Polish
  • Hang On – Polish & Submit
  • Midas’ Daughter – Fill-In Details, Read Through, Revise, & Polish


  • Listen: 13 books -17/13 books
  • Read: 90 books – 79/90, not quite but I’ll probably get there by the end of the month.

A good bit of green, some blue, and only one red. So, not a bad round over all. 😀

Now, as for the year three-quarters into it.


  • Plot 9 new novels/novellas among 5 active series + 1 standalone novel – 7/9
  • Re-plot 2 novels to be rewritten
    • Stained Blood(Stained #3)
    • East of Abilene(Directions of Love #1)


  • Finish all 5 active WiPs
    • Defending the Heart(BC Security #2)
    • Crash and Burn(Flames #5.5)
    • Not Meant to Be(Gilbert, CO #6)
    • Stay a Little Longer(Kurztown #5)
    • In the Moonlight
  • Work on 5 more WiPs – 7/5 WiPs, 2 finished
    • Buried Secrets – 1881 words, then set aside
    • Playing with Fire – 60331 & finished first draft
    • Still Burning – 39963 words
    • Heart of Christmas – 34049 words & finished 1st draft
    • By the Gun – 34582 words
    • Whatever It Takes – 24787 words
    • High on Loving You – 24724 words


  • Rewrite Stained Blood(Stained #3) – done, sent  back to CP & to beta and have 1st 2 chapters back from beta(and got gushing email from CP)
  • Revise next in active series
    • Demons Rising(Gilbert, CO #3) – this title is likely to change
    • Flames of Justice(Flames #2.5)
    • Scars and All(Kurztown #2)

I have done other editing on shorter projects, Guarding the Heart, and In the Moonlight


These will depend on getting stuff back from my critique partner and beta readers, so there’s some lack of control in that, but I still hope to get to them:

  • Stained Blood(Stained #3)
  • Law of Choice(Kurztown # .5)
  • Flames of Renewal(Flames #2)
  • Guarding the Heart(BC Security #1)
  • Demons Rising(Gilbert, CO #3)

Side Projects:

  • Revise Snow White Twist, give it a real title, and submit to World Unknown Review
  • Finish rewriting Midas’ Daughter & revise
  • finish drafting Dance with the Devil, revise & post to Wattpad
  • Write Icarus & Cassie’s story(Riders of Justice #4)
  • Start Hawk’s story(Riders of Justice #5) – 6099 words
  • Add 6000 words each to back story novellas – 73862 words between all side projects(excluding Hawk), and I’ve added a few new ones throughout the year. So, I’m sure I’ve met this goal.


  • Just Jot It January – I’m counting this for today’s “jot”, though I may do a separate post from my usual ones depending on what the prompt is.
  • A-Z Challenge – I’ll be writing Icarus & Cassie’s story as a serial for this
  • Story a Day May
  • Story a Day September
  • RoW80 – Keep up to date on my 2x weekly posts as well as commenting on others’ posts
  • Any other challenges that come up throughout the year


  • Listen: 50 audiobooks – 58/50 books
  • Read: 350 books – 259/350 books


  • Knit: 9 projects – 4/9
  • Crochet: 9 projects – 4/9
  • Loom: 9 projects – 1/9

Writing Wednesday:

I instituted my first Mellow Monday this week. And I finished reading 3 books in one day. 1 was short, and I’d actually started it Sunday night. But, I’m still counting it. My word count for the week is a little low. But, I’m hoping to catch up there, too.

Yesterday my kids had their yearly check-ups, so that cut into my day a bit. Picked them up early from school and took them up for that. Both are in good health and still right along the same growth curve they’ve been on since birth. The girl is at about 35% for both height and weight. For the boy, that’s about 70% for height and 40% for weight(so basically tall & skinny, which I could see for myself.;) ) Which is basically how his dad was as a kid from what I’ve been told and his dad as well. They both got the flu shot, and that was it. So, they’re good for the next year, as long as neither of them get sick.

Today, I don’t have anything that needs to take me away from the house. Tomorrow is Open House night at the school, but that’s not until 6, so plenty of time to get stuff done. On Friday we’re dropping the kids at my mom’s and going out of town for the weekend, so I won’t be getting much done then.

But, for now, I have another bit of Jonas & Isaac’s story for WiPPet Wednesday. For today I have 29 sentences(9+20. Simple math today). This is just shortly after last week’s. Konner has left them alone to talk.

“You want to sit or something?” Isaac asked. He didn’t think staying up on those crutches could be that comfortable.

“I’m fine,” Jonas said, though his jaw was still tight. “Toby came to bring me home for the weekend.” Isaac figured Toby must not have spoken to Jonas since then, since Isaac already knew that. “He told me, Isaac.”

Isaac kept his gaze on the floor. He wanted to look Jonas in the face, but it hurt. Not just seeing the scars there, but the pain that was evident in the rigid line of his jaw and in those dark eyes he’d always loved looking into.

“Told you what?” He didn’t even know why he was playing. Toby had told him he’d let Jonas know.

“About your dad. That he’s about to be released. Are you okay?”

Isaac’s head snapped up at that. “That’s why you’re here? The only reason you’d come to see me is because you think I’m falling apart because my asshole father is getting out of jail.” He didn’t know why he was surprised. Still, it hurt.

“I was worried about you,” Jonas said.

Just like Toby had told him. It didn’t help this ache in his chest, though. “Well, don’t be. I’ve got it handled. There are people who never left me who will stand around me.”

“You broke up with me,” Jonas reminded him. Like he really needed to.

“Because you were already planning to leave.”

Ouch. Will they get past this? is that really the only reason Jonas came to see him? Will he admit the real reason?


  • Primary: Green Hills & Smoky Fields: Book 1 – Story Toolkit – finished the first character arc worksheet  8a/18
  • Secondary: Plan out weekly Story a Day offeringsPlotted 13/15 so far. The others from the second set of prompts aren’t really plottable(write in opposite setting from last time/write opposite your usual method). On target.


  • Primary: Write 45000 words on 5 main projects(one almost complete) – 18477/45000 words Off target
    • Still Burning – 512 words
    • Whatever It Takes – 310 words
    • High on Loving You – 505 words
    • By the Gun –
  • Secondary: Write 10000 words on 10 side projects – 4456/10000 words A little off target
    • Tavin & Haiwee –
    • Roman –
    • Dougal & Shae –
    • Jacob & Matthew –
    • Mike & Fadil–
    • Hawk –
    • Sean & Braeden –
    • Melanie & Garren –
  • Stretch: Write 50 pages on Jonas & Isaac project – 20/50 pages Off target


  • Primary: Edit Stained Blood as I get chapters back – got Chapter 2 back last night. Will start edits later today.
  • Secondary: Edit Flames of Renewal when I get it back
  • Stretch: Edit Preggers short story – Polished 9/49 items


  • Primary: Read 30 books – 17/30 Fell Off Target
    • Of Dreams and Rust(Sarah Fine) – Started this Monday(9/4) morning. At 14%. Not sure if it’s because it’s been so long since I read the first book or what, but I find myself not really caring. So setting this aside until I finish the other books on this month’s list(or at least for the week). Then, I may try to pick it back up.
    • If I Should Die(Allison Brennan) – Started this Friday night. Finished it Sunday afternoon. Really enjoyed it.
    • Love Is Murder(Allison Brennan) – Read this Sunday afternoon. This was a novella in the back of If I Should Die. I’m counting it as 2 books, since this was another 100 pages(it’s my list, I can cheat if I want. 😉 ) Enjoyed this one too.
    • Ash & the Prince(Katie Doyle) – Started this Sunday night. Finished it Monday morning. This is one I’ve had in my ‘free’ collection for quite some time. Didn’t really get into it, but it was short, so I kept reading.
    • Red Blooded(Caitlin Sinead) – Started this Monday morning. Finished it Monday afternoon. Enjoyed this one.
    • Mature Content(Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell) – Started this Monday afternoon. Finished it Monday night. Oh, I loved this so much!!!!!
    • Star Cruise: Outbreak(Veronica Scott) – Started this Tuesday morning. Finished it Tuesday night. Enjoyed it.
  • Secondary: Listen to 6 books – 2/6 Close to target
    • Beautiful Broken Rules(Kimberly Lauren) – Started this Monday morning. On Chapter 14/21.
  • Stretch: Read 1 craft/research book – I did read a little more of The Story of the Irish Race for GH & SF.

Social Media:

  • Primary: Post weekly Writing Wednesday, Fiction Friday, SOCS, WeWriWa, & Sunday Summary posts –  On target
  • Secondary: Write & Post 25 Story a Day pieces – 17/25 written. 14/25 posted On target
    • Changing History
    • Birth – takes place after the end of Jonas & Isaac’s story
    • Dazzling Sunset – a bit with Ian and Aidan, from my short story, Hang On.
    • Looking Up – a bit of a “meet cute” for 2 new characters.
    • Moving Forward – a bit of ‘after ever after’ for Jonas & Isaac(though it comes before ‘Birth’.
    • Not Twins – continuation to my Preggers story, not posted
    • Motive – More Jonas & Isaac, combined with Stream of Consciousness Saturday
    • Breaking Rules – A quick 100 words of dialogue without quotation marks(prompt was to break some rules).
    • Konner & Derek – Wrote this by hand then dictated to my phone(both methods I don’t typically use).
    • Rapunzel, Rapunzel – a bit of a gender-bent modernized version of Rapunzel, featuring Konner & Derek.
    • A Good Sign – more with Konner & Derek, something that happens off page in Jonas & Isaac’s story.
    • Like This Forever – more of Jonas & Isaac’s story, a bit emotional
    • Slanting Sunlight – continuation of Looking Up
    • Never Believe – a bit with Isaac shortly after him and Jonas break up.
    • End of the Party – more with Jonas & Isaac
    • The Monster – A really short one(125 words)
    • The News – more with Jonas & Isaac, this would be after the end of their story.
  • Stretch: Post to Patreon 4x – 2/4 – posted a monthly writing update & posted Chapter 2 of Patrick & Sarah’s story. On target

Story a Day: Day 16 – “The Monster”

A really short one today. Was shooting for a drabble, but it’s a little over 100 words(125 to be exact).


They were never going to believe me. Not this time. Not again.
Every time they came in to search, they told me it was just my imagination. And to just go to sleep already.
I didn’t imagine that scuffling sound under my bed. Or the hairy arm that came out to pat at my mattress. I stared at it now, and huddled in the corner of my bed, the blanket pulled up to my chin. If I screamed again, would they come before the monster got me?
A second furry arm joined the first and soon a head popped up from under the bed. The scream nearly popped out, until I saw the monster grinning at me. “You ready to have an adventure?” it asked.

WeWriWa: “Just a Tease”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. Today I’m picking up pretty much where last week’s snippet left off. I cut out two sentences between and got creative with punctuation to get to the end of the scene.

“He’s a wise, old man.”

“Hey,” Mr. Bentley shouted, “I heard that.”

He had to be at least in his seventies, probably closer to eighty, but he’d always hated being called old. Damon chuckled under his breath then leaned forward and pressed his lips lightly to mine. When he started to pull back, I grabbed his head. “You fucker, that’s just a tease,” I said and pulled him back to me.

We kissed until I heard Mr. Bentley say, “Damn boys, you know there’s no fan in here, and this place could go up like a tinderbox if you raise the heat anymore.”

I laughed and pulled back. Damon’s cheeks were still red, but he was grinning, too, and the tension between us, now that he knew Mr. Bentley was okay with us, had eased. We shouldn’t have a problem making it to when we could leave again and retrieve our bikes.

Will they be able to get their bikes? What are they going to do about the danger out there? Are they ok now? I’ll have more next week.

I also got the first chapter of Staring at the Sun up on Wattpad this week, so you can check that out if you’d like.

Writing Wednesday: 10 Years

almost 10 years ago(1 week old)

Okay, so it’s 10 years minus 1 day. Yes, my daughter is going to be double digits tomorrow. And yes, I’m having a hard time believing that. This is my sensitive, and sometimes dramatic, daughter. She often still has her bed so covered in stuffed animals that there’s little room for her to sleep. She’s my “girly-girl”, who likes to paint her nails and wear dresses and skirts. Has a strong distaste for jeans(and I mean strong, she refuses to wear them). She’s my little bookworm, who seems to be more interested in non-fiction(particularly about animals) these days.

And she’s going to be 10. She’ll be starting fourth grade in 3 weeks(well, from yesterday). How did this happen?(yeah, I know how, but still). We had her birthday party this past Sunday. I was a little stressed since we were busy all day Saturday, and by the time I got home at 8:30 that night, I still had to bake zucchini bread(ended up with enough zucchini for 2 loaves) and the cake. So, it was close to 11 before I got to bed. And there was stuff to do in the morning before the party. But, we got it handled. And I mostly handled the party, even if 7 kids(counting mine) being loud in my house had me a little on edge. And that was just her cousins. And we get to do it again in 3 weeks for her brother’s birthday.

And now it’s time for WiPPet Snippet, a blog hop hosted by the amazing Emily Wrayburn where we post from a current Work in Progress that somehow corresponds to the date. Today I have 9 paragraphs, picking up a little ways down from where I left off in Jonas & Isaac’s story last week. Jonas is snapping out at people, and Toby realizes why and pushes him to take a pill so he’s not in so much pain. And we find out a little more about what happened to him.

He twisted off the cap, glad at least his arms hadn’t been damaged in the accident, and he could at least do something for himself. Some hero. The chopper had gone down on their way to pick up a couple wounded soldiers, and he hadn’t been able to even help the men on board. Hadn’t been able to help Santiago, his best friend, his one time lover.
Jonas swallowed a sob with the pill. All his medic training had meant jack shit as he laid trapped in the wreckage. He’d heard Santiago take his last breaths and hadn’t been able to get to him. His foot had been so mangled and deprived of blood flow by the time help go there, there’d been no recourse but to remove it. They thought it was a head injury that caused the vision and hearing loss on his left side.
But, he was still alive. Some days he just wasn’t quite sure if that was a positive or not.
The door opened again, and he lifted his head, thinking it would be his mom, sister, sister-in-law and the kids.
It wasn’t.
Everything inside him froze as five years seemed to just disappear. His stomach knotted up, and he gripped the edge of the table. No. He was only here for two days. Couldn’t he even go that long without seeing him? Any other time he’d been home on leave he could have stood it. Not now, though.
“Isaac,” Carlos said. “You here for that dinner order for the center?”
“Yeah. Is it ready?” His voice had started to trail off on the last word, and Jonas knew his ex-boyfriend was looking at him. There wasn’t much more than blurred images on that side, though.
He ducked his head and turned his face away, hoping Isaac hadn’t already seen the scars there. The last thing he needed was pity from that direction.

How will Isaac react to seeing him again? Will he pity Jonas? Will they even talk? I’ll have the end of this scene for you next week.
In the meantime, you can check out the other WiPPeteers here.


  • Primary: Write 50000 words on 5 main projects – 12370/50000 words
    • Heart of Christmas – 1245 words
    • Still Burning – 1048 words
    • Whatever It Takes – 1154 words
    • High on Loving You – 1241 words
    • By the Gun – 1152 words
  • Secondary: Write 10000 words on 10 side projects -2299/10000 words
    • Patrick & Sarah – 31 words
    • Tavin & Haiwee – 68 words
    • Roman – 111 words
    • Dougal & Shae – 64 words
    • Jacob & Matthew – 97 words
    • Mike & Fadil – 144 words
    • Preggers – 49 words
    • Hawk – 29 words
    • Sean & Braeden – 151 words
    • Jacob’s Stepfather – 143 words
  • Stretch: Write 20 pages in composition notebook on Jonas & Isaac’s story(already had 2 pages written at beginning of month) – 16/20 pages


  • Primary: Edit Stained Blood as I get chapters back
  • Secondary: Edit Flames of Renewal once I get it back
  • Stretch: Polish In the Moonlight and Staring at the Sun, post Staring at the Sun on Wattpad, Edit Midas’ Daughter – 34/34 polished for In the Moonlight


  • Primary: Read 30 books – 6/30
    • Two of a Kind(Susan Mallery) – Started this Friday afternoon. Finished it Sunday night.
    • Interborough(Santino Hassell) – Started this Sunday night. Finished it Monday night. Loved it.
    • Fatal Justice(Marie Force) – started this Monday night. Finished it Tuesday night. Enjoyed it.
  • Secondary: Listen to 4 audio books – 2/4
    • Carry Me Home(Rosalind James) – Started this Friday afternoon. Finished it Tuesday afternoon. Liked it. Though I could handle not ever reading/hearing another male character telling a female character to act/dress/look feminine. In the context in this book, it wasn’t so bad, but I’ve heard it enough in my own life that I’m rather tired of it.
    • Forgotten Memories(Robin Perini) – Started this Tuesday afternoon. On Chapter 2/27
  • Stretch: Read 1 craft/research book

Social Media:

  • Primary: Post Writing Wednesday, Fiction Friday, SOCS, WeWriWa, & Sunday Summary posts each week – 1/5 once this one posts.
  • Secondary: Post to Patreon at least 1x a week – Posted excerpt from Still Burning on Monday.
  • Stretch: Stay current with blog comments – current as of Tuesday morning

WeWriWa: “Through a Minefield”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me. We have to take the dogs into the vet this morning(Saturday). Then our motorcycle club is having their annual ride benefitting the oncology department at a local hospital. We’ll be helping out before the ride and then there’s the after party. And when we get home, I need to bake a cake and zucchini bread for my daughter’s birthday party tomorrow. Then, there’s all the getting ready for people to be in my house tomorrow. I don’t care if they’re family, they are still people. In my house. *shudder*

Anyway, you’re not here for social awkwardness. I have another snippet from Hawk’s story for you. Last week, I left them finding shelter somewhere that has memories. This week, they have found that shelter and both are remembering what happened the last time they were there:

I walked over to where Devil sat on an over-turned crate. He gave me a little smirk as I approached. Yeah, he remembered this place, too. “I’m guessing we won’t be passing the time the same way we did last time, until the rain stopped.”

I couldn’t hold in my laugh, then I had to go and ruin it by saying, “At least you won’t spend the next several days avoiding me.”

His face flushed, and he dropped his gaze. Damn it. We’d made a lot of progress over the last few months, but sometimes I still felt like I was walking through a minefield with him. I slid a finger under his chin and tipped his head back. “I only meant it as a joke,” I said, “not to hurt you.”

How did they spend the time before? Why did Devil avoid him? What are they going to do this time?

WeWriWa: “Hole Up”

Welcome back to another visit with the Weekend Writing Warriors, the blog hop for anyone who likes to write. I’m still sharing from Hawk’s story. This week’s snippet picks up right after last week’s. There’s only a few more sentences in this scene, so I’ll jump to the next one next week. For now, here’s this:

If it was possible, Mr. Bentley’s grin widened. “The day you two stopped fighting what you felt for each other and accepted it.”

Damon’s face went red, and I couldn’t help a little laugh. Sometimes I thought he still wasn’t there quite yet, though it had gotten better over the last months. I squeezed his hand and leaned in to him. “That access road up there will take us to some shelter. We can hole up there until dark.”

I caught Damon’s smirk and knew he’d realized exactly where we were going. We’d passed some time there one rainy night, leaving me with some great memories. Which was good since he’d taken to avoiding me after that night.

Where are they going? Will they be safe? What’s going to happen next?

And I posted the final chapter of Dance with the Devil yesterday. So you can go check that out if you’d like. Either next week or the one after, I’ll be putting up the next story. Just need to get a cover figured out.

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