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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Novel”

This week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt from the wonderful Linda G Hill is “novel”. This shouldn’t be too hard for a writer to talk about, right? I thought about working it into some fiction, but maybe I’ll do something different. It is National Novel Writing Month, after all. And, yes, I’m participating. I always have since I started back in 2010. I had a 3 year old and 2 month old at the time, didn’t even hear about it until a few days into the month. And I’d hardly been writing anything at that time. I think I felt I couldn’t be a Mom and a writer at the same time. Which, looking back, is a little ridiculous. I actually think I’m a better mom now that I’ve taken writing back(seriously, it’s not pretty when I don’t write for a while). Anyway, that first year I totally failed. I just jumped on a vague idea I had. Since then I’ve always plotted out my ideas.

This year I’m actually working on 5 different projects. Yeah, it’s cheating I suppose, but this seems to be how I work best. When I try to focus on only one at a time, all the other ideas suddenly think its their turn. So instead I’m writing 500 words a day on each. By the end of the month, this should get me at least 55,000 words, since I don’t work on the weekends unless I have to do some catching up. Anyway, this year’s projects are:

Defending the Heart

This is book 3 in my BC Security series. I actually first wrote book 1 for NaNo ’11. Then, I re-plotted and completely rewrote it. I always knew book 3 would be Piers’ story. Then, in book 1 Xavier popped up. I hadn’t been expecting him, or the fact that he and Piers had history and very possibly a future.

Crash and Burn

This is a novella in my Flames series. That series revolves around a fire department. The female main character is a paramedic who works with the department, and the male main character is a previous character’s older brother. This takes place at the same time as Closing Time(which I recently finished), and I wonder if it will ignore my decree of it being a novella as much as that one did.

Not Meant to Be

This is a series I actually started about probably 14 years ago now. The first book was written then at least. I completely rewrote it in 2012 and published it in 2014. I’m getting ready to release book 2 next month. This is book 6, but Toby has popped up in almost every single novel so far(except book 2 I think). It’s about time he got his happy ending 🙂

Stay a Little Longer

This is book 5 in my Kurztown series. I started this as a standalone set in a small town. It was just going to be a simple contemporary romance. A challenge for me because those tend to turn more into romantic suspense for me. I never thought it would be a series. And then Brian says he wants to tell the story of how he and Ashley got together(book 1 was told in 2 timelines, and they got together between those times), then sweet, soft-spoken, scarred Doren said he had a story to tell too, and look at that, now I have a series. Terrall was actually the antagonist in that one(there is bad history between him and Doren). I didn’t think he’d ever get a story, that I wouldn’t want to try to redeem someone who had taken a life by driving drunk. But…Redeem may not even be the right word for what will happen, but he is trying to makes amends. And something he said in Doren’s story will come back to bite him 😉

In the Moonlight

I feel like I’ve been working on this one forever(according to my spreadsheet, I started it at the beginning of May). It’s the only one of these that isn’t part of a series. This actually started as a flash fiction piece several years ago. It’s not even close to what that was, except there’s still a ghost involved. I’m really loving these girls, though.

So, that’s what I’m working on right now.

Writing Wednesday: All the Words

He thought he should get to share some of my snack of Ritz crackers.

He thought he should get to share some of my snack of Ritz crackers.

Okay, probably not all of them. But, let’s just say November is off to a good start, at least as far as the writing is going. I’ve started a sort of different routine. I’m focusing on my writing/editing/plotting goals through the morning. I use myWriteClub writing sprints, which run for the first 25 minutes of each half hour. During the break, I do other stuff, usually reading blog posts(and writing my own), checking email, pinterest, goodreads. Wherever I’m at, I stop at lunchtime, and after eating, start doing chores(dishes, laundry, and whatever else is on my list for the day), finishing any social media stuff and prepping dinner(if I can get anything ready early). Then, if I still have any writing goals, I go back to those. If I get that done before dinner, I’ll work on my crafting goals, and after dinner is for reading. Even if I don’t finish my writing goals before dinner, I set them aside until the next day(which has been my plotting so far this week). Needless to say, so far this week I haven’t even gotten to my knitting and my reading goals have fallen slightly behind. That may change once I get the outline for Stay a Little Longer finished.

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Monday night we took the kids in to town to do some trick-or-treating. Only walked around for about an hour. In that time I managed to turn my ankles 3 times(right twice, left once). One of those was in a flat parking lot. It’s not an unusual thing for me but still. And by the end my knees were aching. Even pretty much all of yesterday they were still hurting. I’m going to be 32 on Saturday, and sometimes I feel about twice that.

All right, enough whining from me. Like I said, the words are going pretty well. So, now I’ll share a few of them. I just finished today’s words on Crash and Burn. This actually takes place during the same time period as Closing Time. Brann is Gio’s older brother, but we’re in Jaya’s POV today. Today I have 13(11+2) paragraphs that I wrote yesterday.

Jaya groaned when she heard the quick beeping beside her bed. Not her alarm clock, that was on the other side. And that wasn’t the ringtone for anyone on her phone. Ugh. Why had she had all that wine at the wedding reception? And let them convince her to stay all the way to the end. She’d had a rare thirty-six hours off, and a third of it she’d spent celebrating a wedding that wasn’t hers.
Not that she was bitter about that. She was twenty-nine years old, almost thirty. It’s not like she had a ‘Best if Used by’ date stamped on her left ring finger. No matter what her aunts tried to tell her mother.
But, she really should have left sooner. Or gone to find Brann again. Maybe he could have taken the edge off if she’d really had to be around all those people, a lot of them she didn’t even know.
She didn’t have to go into work until seven tonight and it was already…she squinted at the clock. A little after nine. Jaya let out a gasp and rolled to the other side. Nine. how long had Stefan been trying to skype with her? He wouldn’t have much time left by now.
She hit the button on her laptop to answer the call. “Sorry,” she said, not able to stop the yawn that came out. “I slept in.”
“You?” her brother’s voice came through a little staticky. It didn’t look like they’d have a great connection today. “When was the last time that happened?”
She threw up her middle finger at him as she rubbed the last of the sleepiness from her eyes. He just laughed. “Mark and Caitie’s wedding was last night. I stayed and drank longer than I’d planned to.”
“Right,” he said, and some of the amusement fled from his voice. “Balin told me about that on our call yesterday. He’s one of those firefighters, right? Or was it her?”
She shook her head then focused on the screen. Her heart swelled a little at seeing her brother. It almost hurt. She just wished they were truly face-to-face. A couple more weeks. Unless something changed with his orders, it should only be a couple more weeks. “Mark’s with the fire department. Caitie’s a cop.” She laughed. “You should see them. Nothing about them should match right, and yet they fit together perfectly.”
“I still don’t know how I feel about you working with all those men. What if they-”
“It’s a good thing it’s not up to you, then. Come on, Stef. I’m not a little girl who you need to protect from all the guys with nefarious intentions anymore.” Not that she’d really ever been that girl. She’d always been able to take care of herself.
Stefan scowled for another moment then broke into a laugh. “Maybe I should be asking after them. Broke any hearts lately, Jaya?”
She snorted. “As if.” But, she couldn’t help thinking about Brann. And the way he’d looked when she’d pulled away after their dance. Not exactly heartbroken. Definitely confused, and maybe a little hurt.

Wonder if this story will actually remain a novella, unlike Closing Time(which came in just short of 60k).

As for my goals for the week:

 

  • Write 12000 words – 9290/12000 words. Needless to say, I’ve been surpassing my daily goals. And I’ve been working on each project in a different order so it’s not always the same thing.
    • Defending the Heart – 1671 words – A shudder went through Piers, but he kept his eyes glued to the screen. Just don’t look at him. Don’t be a soft-hearted fool, and you’ll be fine.
    • Crash and Burn – 1980 words – She never had found him for another dance Saturday night. And he’d broken his own rule about no more than three drinks in a night. At least Cormac and Luisa had still been there to drive his drunk ass home.
    • Not Meant to Be – 1888 words – Her hands shook, but she managed to get the key in the lock for the front door. She climbed the stairs to her apartment on the second floor, her knees nearly going out on her twice, ignoring the voice calling out to see if she was all right. She was fine. She would be fine. It was a lie she told herself all the time.
    • Stay a Little Longer – 2038 words(some of these were actually from an earlier Stream of Consciousness Saturday post but I reworked them) – I’m trying. God, she was trying. It just never seemed to be enough.
    • In the Moonlight – 1713 words – I didn’t think I could sell. I knew Dad would be upset about that, but when was the last time I’d really worried about pleasing him? I wasn’t even sure of that answer, it had been so long.
  • Guarding the Heart – Polish – I got through 5/50 of my search & destroy list on Monday. Then, I got notes back from beta reader on Healing the Heart. So, I’m setting this aside until I get through those.
  • Stay a Little Longer – Outline – Still working on this. Have it more than half finished. Hopefully will be done today.
  • Side Projects – Write 1500 words – nothing yet
  • Listen: Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet(Charlie Holmberg), The Sapphire Heist(Lauren Blakely) – I finished listening to Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet yesterday. Enjoyed it. Haven’t started The Sapphire Heist yet but probably will shortly.
  • Read: Finish Out on Good Behavior(Dahlia Adler), Walking by Faith(A.M. Leibowitz), The Rule Book(Jennifer Blackwood), The Best Kind of Trouble(Lauren Dane), Into the Storm(Suzanne Brockman), Seduce Me at Sunrise(Lisa Kleypas), Devoted in Death(J.D. Robb), & Tall, Dark, and Deadly(Suzanne Brockman) – Finished Out on Good Behavior(loved) and Walking by Faith(LOVED! Now to translate all my feels into a review to be shared here on Friday). I’m 39% through The Rule Book and really enjoying it.
  • Knit: Tricorder Hat – haven’t even started
  • Crochet: Tiny Jellyfish – nada

Would certainly like to see less red. Hopefully by Sunday’s check-in

 

Fiction Friday: NaNoWriMo Edition

It’s the final Friday in October. Only 3 days left until November starts. Which means NaNoWriMo starts in 3 days. Wheeeee! Granted, most months are pretty much NaNo months for me. In the 10 months of this year, I’ve written over 50k in 7 of them. The least of those was in April(59k). The most was June(96k). Both of those months, I was splitting my words between several projects.

I had been planning to only focusing on one project this year. It was going to be the next book in my Kurztown series, since I just finished the last one(Break on Me). But, looking at my spreadsheet for the year, my highest word counts came in months where I split my word counts between multiple projects. Most often working on several of them in one day. So, instead, I think that’s what I’ll do this year. I don’t do much writing over the weekend, so my 50000 words for the month will be spread across the weekdays. This will work out to about 2500 words a day(technically less, but I rounded up). If I work on all 5 projects I have going(not counting the side projects, which I won’t be doing), that’s 500 words on each a day. My goal lately has been 2000 words a day. An extra 500 shouldn’t be too hard to meet.

This month’s projects will be:

Defending the Heart(BC Security #3)

Three years ago, Piers would have given anything to be with Xavier. Now, they can barely be in the same room. Until they are forced to work together, and Piers remembers every reason he fell for him in the first place. Then, Xavier’s life is threatened, and Piers is determined to keep him safe. After all, Xavier might have broken his heart, but he also may be the only one who can make it whole again.

Crash and Burn(Flames 5.75)

Brann Magaldi doesn’t have a problem with the bachelor life he’s been leading, his work as a motorcycle cop keeps him satisfied. Until he meets Jaya Mertz at his sister’s wedding, and she turns his world on its side. He wants to spend more time with her, but when his own past starts to shadow him, he worries she’ll be in danger. He’ll do whatever he can to keep her safe, but will it be enough?

Not Meant to Be(Gilbert, Co #6)

Toby Pedera has always loved Denise McDermott, but he knows he’s never been good enough for her. One thing he doesn’t realize is that she’s always felt the same for him. Then, she’s threatened, and he’ll do anything to make sure she stays safe. But, can he when his own life may be in danger as well?

Stay a Little Longer(Kurztown #5)

Jessica Amadeo has made mistake after mistake, particularly when it comes to choosing men, and she’s raising the evidence of that on her own. Which she’s determined to put ahead of everything else so she can give them a good life. Then, Terrall Shreeve comes to town, and she can’t get him out of her head. But, Terrall’s got mistakes, big ones, of his own he’s trying to live with. She’s never been able to depend on a man before, but she’s not sure she can avoid making one more mistake.

In the Moonlight

When Yasmin Reisner inherits her great-aunt’s house, she doesn’t know what to do. Her father thinks she should sell and just take the money. But, that house holds a lot of history, and not just for her personally, and that interests her more than the money. So does Nola McCarthy, who comes with the house. Nola appears to hate her, though, until they have to come together to stand against another man who wants the house and won’t take no for an answer and get to the bottom of the ghost stories surrounding the house.

In the Moonlight is more than halfway finished(at least according to my predicted word count), but the others are all just barely started. I don’t think I’ll finish any of them this month, but I’ll certainly be making progress.

Fiction Friday: Post NaNo

I let a lot of my extra blog posts fall to the side during November. Doesn’t mean I didn’t do much over the month. In fact, I got a lot done. To the tune of over 100,000 words.

Yes, I participated in NaNoWriMo. Like I’ve done every year since 2010. That first year is the only time I “lost”. I didn’t even start until almost a week into the month. And I jumped right into a story with no planning.

Every year it seems I’ve written more and finished sooner than the last. This year I “finished” on Nov 17. I was also a rebel for the first time. Every other year, I’ve started a new project. But, this year I had a few different projects already in progress. So, I decided to work on finishing those during the month.

First up was Guarding the Heart. Which I started more than a year ago. It was one I worked on off and on during that time. Once I finally settled down to it, it rolled right out. I wrote 24506 words during the first week and finished it. Total word count: 94768.

Then, I picked up Some Fools Never Learn, the second book in my Hunter Family series, which is a spin-off from my Flames series. I spent the next 2 weeks on this one and added 44567 words to it, to finish it. Total word count: 61255.

During the last week of the month, I worked on My Way to You, a novella in my Gilbert, CO series. I really enjoyed writing this one, and these characters. I wrote exactly 25000 words during the fourth week of the month on this. And finished it Monday, the 30th, with another 3850 words. Total word count: 36236.

I also did first round of revisions on Chasing the Ghost(which takes place right before My Way to You). Added 2274 words to that. And I started a new short story/novella that is a sequel to Into the Sun, which will be in the World Unknown Review that will be coming out later this month. I wrote 4098 words on that.

Going forward, I’m working on the second round of revisions on Chasing the Ghost. And possibly even starting revisions on Flames of Retribution(book 3 in Flames series). I’m also plotting out Love Who You Love(book 3 in Kurztown series) on the side and am hoping to even get some words written on it. I’ll be focusing on revisions this month and the next two. Then in March, I’ll be back to focusing on drafting for a bit.

Writing Wednesday: New Routine

Getting to this a little earlier this week. Since I decided to set further revisions on Chasing the Ghost aside until next month, I have more time to focus on new writing. So, I raised my daily goal from 3k to 5k. And that I split in half, so I write the first 2500 first thing. Then, I’ll get chores and blog reading/writing, email, goodreads, pinterest stuff done. Then, I’ll write the other half of my words before I worry about fixing dinner/crafting(which I’ve gotten none done yet this week). This seems to be working well for me so far this week. Of course, we’re only 2.5 days into the new routine.

It also helps that I was awake at 3 this morning(ok, 2:30, but I didn’t get out of bed until 3). So, I had an extra hour+ to get some words done. I made my first goal before 7:30. It’s a little more than an hour later and I have almost all chores done(waiting for laundry to be done in washer to throw it in dryer then fold it). So, here I am working on my blog post.

It’s Wednesday, so time for another snippet from Some Fools Never Learn. I’m a little more than halfway through this. So, still hoping I’ll be able to finish the first draft next week. For today, I have 11 paragraphs+a bonus sentence at the beginning. For context: They’re at Nolan’s(1 of Tate’s younger brothers) wedding. Jess(Tate’s sister) is talking to Emilia. She’s the second youngest, and about 15 years younger than Tate.

“I came to talk to you, though.”
“About what?” The tone in her voice put Emilia’s nerves on edge. She didn’t understand it, she’d never done anything to the other woman. So, why did it feel like Jess was poised to attack.
“My brother.”
“You may want to be more specific. Or do I get to choose between them?”
She’d meant it as a joke, but since Jess’s face pulled tighter into a scowl, it obviously hadn’t gone over well.”
“You know perfectly well just which one I meant. And you’d better not be trying to go after any of the others, either. Nolan and Jace are taken. And Kelan’s dealing with his own shit. You need to-”
Emilia held out her hands. “I was joking, Jess. I’m not like that. I don’t know what gave you the idea I might be.”
“She was. Still is, the cold manipulative bitch.”
Emilia narrowed her eyes then it came to her. “You’re talking about his ex-wife.”
“So, he has told you about her.”
“Some,” she admitted. “He told me she cheated. And I know she dug her claws deep into her. If you think I’m like that-”
“I don’t know, do I? All I know is he’s getting awfully wrapped up in you. Rebekah is the only one who’s ever done that to him before. And I don’t want to see him get jerked around again. I want to like you, because it’s obvious he does. But, I’m not a little kid this time. I don’t have to just stand around when I see someone hurting him.”

Also, yesterday this happened:

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This is the fastest I’ve ever finished NaNo. 17 days, with only 12 of those actual writing days. Last year it took me 19 days, with 15 writing days. I’m still going, of course. And can’t officially “win” until Friday. But, still exciting.

  • Some Fools Never Learn – add 25000 words(this will get me close to 60k) – 12832/25000. Making good progress
  • Come Back Down – add 1000 words – weekend project. Also, got good news about Into the Sun, which this is the sequel to.
  • Read: Gotta Read It – get to 75% – through 65%
  • Read: Prodigy, Crown of Midnight(Sarah J Maas), Lover Eternal(J.R. Ward), & The Emerald Isle Trilogy(Renee Vincent) – finished Prodigy Sunday night. Really enjoyed it, though the beginning felt a little slow. But, the ending…gah. can’t wait until I can pick up the last book(yes, I know it’s out. No, I don’t want to pay $9.99 for the kindle version, no matter how much I want to read it). I’m about 75% through Crown of Midnight and can’t wait to finish the rest of my stuff so I can get back to it.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – Strip 22 – Haven’t worked on this at all this week.
  • Loom: Hat – Weekend project

More red than I’d like there, but hopefully by Sunday it will be mostly blue.

Sunday Summary: NaNo Halfway

It’s been another good week for me. Didn’t write quite as many words, but that’s okay, too. Because I’m still making good progress on things. I passed 40k for NaNoWriMo on Friday. Shouldn’t have a problem “finishing” early this week. Of course, I’ll keep going after that. I’m hoping to finish Some Fools Never Learn and maybe even get back to My Way to You before the end of the month.

  • Some Fools Never Learn – add 15000 words –  added 17142 words. It’s sitting at 33,830 words right now. Still have 33 planned scenes to get through
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish 1st revisions – finished these on Friday. Added 2274 words during this round and cut out a couple scenes. Setting further revisions aside until December.
  • Come Back Down(Into the Sun sequel) – add 1000 words – added 1032 words. Have a few ideas for where to take it.
  • Read: Gotta Read It – 50% – got through this on Thursday.
  • Read: Soul Enslaved (Keri Lake), Luck on the Line(Zoraida Cordova), Whatever Life Throws at You(Julie Cross), Captive Films episodes 1-3(Jillian Dodd), and Getting Rowdy (Lori Foster) – Read all of these. The Captive Films serial didn’t really pull me in, so I’m not going to get the rest of the episodes. But, I enjoyed everything else. I also read Then Came You(Jill Shalvis) and loved this one. Then read Secrets on the Sand(Roxanne St. Claire) and enjoyed it. I’m about 70% through Prodigy(Marie Lu) right now. So, it’s been quite the week for reading. I finished listening to Alone and loved it. Also listened to the first Shadowhunter Academy(Cassandra Clare) and enjoyed it. Short, but it was a fun listen.
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket -halfway through strip 21 – I made it through strip 20.
  • Loom: Hat – Ended up ripping out what I’d done. There looked to be too much space between the stitches, so I doubled up the yarn. I think I’ve gotten back close to where I was, though.

Lots of blue and not any red. Really like seeing that. Now goals for next week:

  • Some Fools Never Learn – add 25000 words(this will get me close to 60k)
  • Come Back Down – add 1000 words
  • Read: Gotta Read It – get to 75%
  • Read: Prodigy, Crown of Midnight(Sarah J Maas), Lover Eternal(J.R. Ward), & The Emerald Isle Trilogy(Renee Vincent)
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – Strip 22
  • Loom: Hat

 

Sunday Summary: Refilling the Well

It’s been quite the writing week for me. The first half,  I pretty consistently wrote around 3k a day. Actually Monday I had over 4400 words. Tuesday and Wednesday were both 3k days. Then there was Thursday. I hit my 3k goal rather easily, but the words were flowing so I didn’t want to stop. I ended up with 5600 words. That’s a more than excellent day for me. Friday I was determined to finish the first draft, and I did. It took another almost 7500 words. That may be the most I’ve ever written in a day. Overall I wrote over 27k this past week. A little under 25k of that is toward my NaNoWriMo goal. I felt a little drained after that so have mostly spent the weekend reading & relaxing.

Thursday we had parent-teacher conferences for both kids. Basically we were told that both of them are wonderful. The boy got satisfactory marks(it’s either satisfactory or Needs Improvement) for social development, which is what his sister had more trouble with. Only things we need to work with him on are letter sounds and writing his name(though that’s getting better, too). The girl is doing really well in 2nd grade. High scores in math & reading(97 & 99), 102 in word study(b/c they get bonus words), and 84 in writing. Which sounds low, but her teacher said she has one of the highest scores in the class.

Last night they stayed with grandma and we went to see my husband’s friends’ band play at a local bar. Had a good time, then today we went to see The Peanuts movie. It was cute and the kids really seemed to enjoy it.

Now, for how I did this week:

  • Guarding the Heart – finish 1st draft – like I said, I finished this on Friday. Ended up a little short of 95k. Not bad when I thought it would only be 80k. Not sure I’m completely happy with the final confrontation scenes, but I can fix that in revisions.
  • Chasing the Ghost – 1st revisions – I haven’t worked on this since Wednesday. Still have 11 chapters to get through.
  • Read: Gotta Read It – 25% – got through this
  • Read: The Heiress Effect(Courtney Milan), Bringing Home the Bad Boy(Jessica Lemmon), Hot On Her Heels(Susan Mallery), Forever Grace(Linda Poitevin), & Lucky In Love(Jill Shalvis) – read all of these. Enjoyed them. Really loved Forever Grace (have been looking forward to Sean’s story almost since I read Gwynneth Ever After) and Lucky in Love (I have such a weakness for the ex-military characters). Started reading Soul Enslaved (Keri Lake). I also finished listening to Time’s Divide (Rysa Walker). I loved this series. Now listening to In Rides Trouble (Julie Ann Walker)
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket – Get through Strip 19 – Made it through strip 18. Like revisions,  this feel to the side while I was finishing drafting.
  • Loom: Hat – haven’t worked on this at all.
  • I also started a sequel for Into the Sun. Basically pantsing this as I did the first one.

So,  it’s been a pretty good week. Now,  on to next week:

  • Some Fools Never Learn – add 15000 words
  • Chasing the Ghost – finish 1st revisions
  • Come Back Down(Into the Sun sequel) – add 1000 words
  • Read: Gotta Read It – 50%
  • Read: Soul Enslaved (Keri Lake), Luck on the Line(Zoraida Cordova), Whatever Life Throws at You(Julie Cross), Captive Films episodes 1-3(Jillian Dodd), and Getting Rowdy (Lori Foster)
  • Knit: Cuddly Chevron Blanket -halfway through strip 21
  • Loom: Hat

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