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Posts tagged ‘summer’

Sunday Summary: Summer Already?


"Graduated" from Pre-K, even though they still have 2.5 days of school left.

“Graduated” from Pre-K, even though they still have 2.5 days of school left.

Well, at least the last couple days have felt like summer. In the 80s(out thermometer even read at least 90 yesterday). And it’s only the end of May. If it gets much hotter, not sure how I’ll handle it(and yes, those of you to the south of me, I’m a wimp when it comes to the heat). Kids had Friday off from school, and they started off at each others’ throats. So, it’s going to be fun when summer vacation officially starts Thursday afternoon.

Even the dogs are too hot to do much of anything

Even the dogs are too hot to do much of anything

I made some good writing progress during the week, though. Also decided on a new way to work through my WiPs. I have them all entered in mywriteclub.com and keep track of my overall progress on them there. So, it gives a percentage of how close I am to my goal. So, each week, I’m taking the ones that I’m the farthest from that goal on. Which will always leave one out(at least for now). But, the two that are farthest along are actually pretty close. So, I figure I’ll be working on one the first week and probably the other the next. I’ll reevaluate which ones I’m working on each week. We’ll see how this plan goes for now. I’ll be counting all of these toward my JuNoWriMo goal, though.

  • Write/edit for 20 hours – 18 hours, 50 minutes. Only a little more than an hour off from my goal. Not too bad. And I wrote 11382 words during that time and notes on the different settings for Guarding the Heart
    • Ready When You Are – 2307 words
    • Paint Me a Picture – 1209 words
    • Carlos & Tereza – 2020 words(+1787 words on Story a Day piece)
    • Break on Me – 2970 words
    • In the Moonlight – 2876 words
    • Stained by Ashes – compiled notes for Chapter 2 into master document
    • Guarding the Heart – As I said, I wrote notes for the various settings, but didn’t go through to make sure descriptions are all clear.
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 2000 words – got to 2213 words, plus I have two Story a Day pieces that will fit into this(probably close to another 2k).
  • Goin’ Down – get to 1750 words – got to 1705 words. Not quite my goal but some progress
  • Snow White Twist – get to 1500 words – 1412 words. Again, not quite to goal. Though I have an idea where it’s going.
  • Read: Storyworld First – get to 90% – made it this far. Shouldn’t have a problem finishing by the end of the month.
  • Read: Finish Priya in Heels(Ayesha Patel), Wild Man(Kristen Ashley), Forged in Stone(Alyssa Rose Ivy), Prophecy(Julie Anne Lindsey), & Sworn(Kate Sparkes)I finished Forged in Stone(was okay, but never felt all that drawn in), Prophecy(enjoyed this one), and about halfway through Sworn(and really enjoying it so far).
  • Loom: 2 Way Headband – finished this! Woohoo!wp-1464542000379.jpg I’m going to take the next couple month off from crafting. Too hot to work with yarn right now.
  • Story a Day: Finish 7 Stories – finished these(just barely! Posted today’s in the middle of writing this). Only 2 more to go. As long as I finish those, this will be the first time I’ve written all 31 stories in May.
    • No Matter What – this comes about the middle(maybe a little farther) in Ready When You Are. Kelan knows he needs to take steps to protect those he cares about.
    • But Everything – Rylan tells Kirsten just what he wants out of their relationship.
    • Believe in You – Some of Carlos’ back story…when he realizes there are some people who believe in him and are willing to give him a second(and sometimes third) chance
    • Talk to You – Gabriel has a talk with his father, which goes better than he expected.
    • Immensity of It – Yasmin tours the grounds of the house she inherited and is a little overwhelmed
    • Pressed – Hawk and Devil arguing when Hawk wants more than Devil thinks he can give
    • Only Hawk – Continuation of ‘Pressed’. Something finally breaks between Devil and Hawk

Lots of green and blue there! My favorite colors!!(Really, they are, even aside from this). Now, goals for next week(well, through Tuesday for most of them. Aside from the writing, don’t have next month’s goals figured yet).

  • Write/edit 20 hours for the week
  • Dance with the Devil – get to 2500 words
  • Goin Down – get to 2000 words
  • Snow White Twist – get to 1750 words
  • Read: Storyworld First – 100%. Choose next craft/research book. Read 15% of it
  • Read: Finish Sworn(Kate Sparkes) & Faking Perfect(Rebecca Phillips). Decide on June’s books(will change this goal then)
  • Story a Day – Finish last 2 stories

I’ll have my June goals(and wrap-up for May) up on here Wednesday

Photo Friday: Birthday & End of Summer Fun

Seems like we’ve been busy pretty much every weekend this month. Motorcycle rides, birthday parties, picnics, and trip to the water park. This is the last weekend before school starts for the kids, and the boy has a friend’s birthday party to go to. Then, the weekend after that, we have a wedding then labor day & the boy’s birthday. After that, things should settle down.

Ready for our first motorcycle ride of the month.

Ready for our first motorcycle ride of the month.

gift from one of her school friends

gift from one of her school friends

birthday cupcakes

birthday cupcakes

playing with the new doll we got her

playing with the new doll we got her


new helmet

new helmet

She definitely takes after me

She definitely takes after me

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Minion hat he made at K-4 orientation

Minion hat he made at K-4 orientation

Photo Friday: Summer Days

We’re more than halfway through summer vacation. Other than our camping trip and a family reunion over in Ohio, we haven’t really done too much. That’s fine with me. I don’t mind staying home.

On the fourth of July, we took the kids fishing before going to a picnic. Didn’t catch anything, and they lost interest after about 10-15 minutes.

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Now, I have no idea where she gets this from(pretend you can hear the sarcasm here), but the girl likes to bring a book outside to read. The cat obviously has other ideas.


This past Monday, I finally went and cut the boy’s hair for the summer. It was getting pretty shaggy. I swear he always looks like a completely different kid when we cut his hair. I’ll admit, I didn’t do a very good job of it(he kept moving his head around, and I missed a few spots). My husband ended up cleaning it up.

after the haircut

after the haircut

lots of hair gone

lots of hair gone

Spending a lot of time outside these days. In the garden or working on the porch while the kids play out in the yard.

first flower on one of my cucumber plants

first flower on one of my cucumber plants

flying his kite through the yard

flying his kite through the yard

Photo Friday: Start of Summer

Okay, so it’s not officially summer yet. But, the weather’s been pretty warm(except for a few days this past weekend/beginning of the week) and since noon Wednesday, both kids are on summer vacation. So, close enough.

1st grade spelling bee champion

1st grade spelling bee champion

Done with preschool

Done with preschool

Almost right away Wednesday, the boy started bugging me about taking the training wheels off his bike. He’s been riding two-wheelers all over at school, but we hadn’t taken the ones off his bike yet. Once I actually found a wrench in husband’s tool box(oh there are plenty of wrenches, find the one I needed was the issue), I got the training wheels off. He climbed on the bike and took right off. Did fall a couple times, and scraped a little skin off his knees/elbows, but he’d just get right back on and keep going. His sister still has no desire to get her training wheels off.


And last night, I got to go on my second motorcycle ride. There was a cruise-in at one of the local American Legions. We met up with some of the guys from the club my husband rides with(they’re all firefighters) and rode over to it. Had pizza, wings, and laughs. I was a lot more relaxed this time. And I found those knots of anxiety that are constantly coiled up tight loosened when we were riding. Now, that is a great feeling


This was me ready for our first ride.

Sunday Summary: Getting Ahead

So, I’ve had a productive week. So productive, that I’m actually writing this up on Friday. I probably won’t do much over the weekend anyway, and if I do, I’ll update this post. 🙂

The girl got home just before lunch on Thursday. And of course, the boy wouldn’t nap. So, we ended up going outside shortly after lunch. And spending most of the afternoon out there. Between that and when I was outside with the boy in the morning, I wrote over 1000 words in my notebook. Not too bad. Friday morning we were outside by 9 and didn’t come in until lunch time. And the boy fell pretty much right to sleep. And we spent all afternoon out there.

Mowing the lawn

Mowing the lawn

Saturday was my husband’s cousin’s daughter’s birthday party and my MIL took the kids to that. My husband was working so I had the house to myself. I figured I’d use that time to get some writing done. Yeah, not so much. I wrote about 200 words while bingeing on Supernatural then kept watching and playing solitaire. I don’t usually just let myself sit, so the break was nice.
Today is my niece’s birthday party(I was just saying that a few weeks ago too. That happens when you have 5 nieces/2 nephews). Also a benefit for my husband’s old boss who died the Friday before Memorial Day. So we’ll be out most of the day. This is normal for summer weekends.

  • Healing the Heart – Read through & make notes on scenes to add/cut – Done. I ended up with about 55 highlights & notes on my kindle for this. And after I put everything into the scrivener file, I had a few new scenes added as well.
  • Stained by Ashes – 12k words – done. I had almost 2k written by about 7:30 this morning which put me just over 12k. Wrote even more Friday night, and happened to wake up early Saturday morning so decided I might as well write. Ending up getting it up to 14,650 words.
  • Flames of Renewal – Read through what I wrote in February(about 10k words, I think) A lot of typos and some things I’m not sure about, but a good start.
  • Brian’s Story – brainstorm – worked on this while sitting outside Friday morning. Not sure exactly sure where this story will go, even though I know the basics of what it will be about. Thinking about mostly pantsing it.
  • Rick & Leann – 500 words – Only wrote on this 3 days this week, but got 505 words.
  • Read: Gypsy(Trisha Leigh), Swords & Salt Collection(Lindsay Buroker), & Against All Odds(Angie McKeon) I really enjoyed the first two. The third…wasn’t bad, but…I don’t really know how to describe how I felt about it. There were a lot of flashbacks, and a lot of dysfunction. And it was almost too much for me. Since I finished these, I started Celebrity in Death(J.D. Robb) which I had picked up in paperback back on Mother’s Day. Finished this Friday night. I still love these books. Whether she’s writing as J.D. Robb or Nora Roberts, I love the interactions between characters, romantic or not. I still have I think 3 more to catch up in this series.
  • Knit: Schooner Hat I didn’t work on this, but I did finish the Headwrap. If I can pick up the yarn I need this weekend, I’ll start the hat next week.


Goals for next week:

  • Stained by Ashes – Continuing with goal of 2k/day during the week & 1k Saturday & Sunday. So, I hope to have 26k by next weekend
  • Healing the Heart – Revise through chapter 10
  • Flames of Renewal – Write 5 scenes
  • Brian’s Story – character bios
  • Rick & Leann – 500 words(was going to up this to 1000, but with the other projects, I may not get to this)
  • Read: No Regrets Trilogy set(Lauren Blakely)
  • Knit: Schooner Hat

Not sure if I’ll be able to get to all of this, but if it is too much, I’ll reevaluate for next week. I hope the way I’ll have it broken up for each day will help.

Writing Wednesday: Almost Summer

So, technically, there’s a little more than two more weeks until summer gets here. But, it’s been in the 70s-80s lately, which for here is pretty warm. I don’t mind the 70s. When, it gets up into the 80s, I don’t care for it so much. But, obviously we can’t control the weather. Or can we?(sorry, had an evil villain moment. lol). The girl is done with school tomorrow. Not even a full day of school, so she’ll be home by lunch time. This means I’ll have to make adjustments to my writing routine. I’ve already started to kind of doing that by taking my notebook outside when the boy plays. I prefer to just type, but I’ve tried taking the computer out and just can’t focus on it. Plus, the boy likes to ride his bike in the driveway, and I can’t watch him from the picnic table behind the garage. But, I can set a chair up at the edge of the sidewalk and have my notebook in my lap and still keep an eye on him. And, it’s easier to set down. He doesn’t even need my help with riding his bike. It took him all of one day to figure it out. He’s even tried riding his sister’s bigger bike(and not doing too bad with it).

I may have to readjust my goals and routine as the summer goes on. But, for the rest of the round they’ll stay the same. I’ll have my progress on this week’s goals a little later. But, first a new WiPPet. This snippet is from Stained by Ashes, my JuNoWriMo project and follow-up to Stained Snow. I was going to share a bit from the very beginning. But, that gives a bit of a spoiler of the end of Stained Snow. So, I considered sharing the first part of the scene introducing the heroine. But, I also wanted to share the end of the scene, where she first meets Adam. So many bits I’d like to share, and I’m only a little over 7k into it yet. Finally decided on the beginning of Leah’s scene. 11 paragraphs of mostly dialogue(6+4-2+0-1+4=11)

Leah Kline held on to the horse’s bridle. She knew who she needed to deal with to get her way. “Come on, Barrett. I’m so tired of being stuck out here. I just want to go into town. It’s not like I’m going to listen in on your precious meeting.”
“I don’t have a problem with you going into town, Leah,” Barrett said as he tightened a harness strap. “But, I know Pa already told you no. Do you really think I want to go up against him? Especially when Louis will just back him up.”
“You can convince him, Bare. You’ve always been able to charm him.”
Barrett snorted at that. “You’re the one that has him wrapped around your finger, Sister, not me. If you can’t convince him, I won’t.”
Leah sighed and leaned her head against the horse’s neck. “He doesn’t want to listen to me. The only thing he cares about is this fight with those farmers.”
“He’s trying to protect all of us, Leah.”
“I know. But, it’s just going to town. Nothing’s going to happen while we’re there. I don’t see why I have to stay here all the time. I’m starting to feel like a prisoner.”
“You are not a prisoner, and you know it.”
She winced at the voice behind her. She hadn’t realized her father was near enough to hear her words. She turned and looked up at him. “Pa.”
He brushed her off and moved to the other side of the wagon. “Get in the wagon if it is so important for you to go.”
The smile spread across her face, and she headed for the back of the wagon. “Told ya,” Barrett said as she passed him.

  • Healing the Heart – Read through & make notes on scenes to add/cut – I finished reading through it Tuesday night. Still need to compile all my notes into the scrivener file.
  • Stained by Ashes – 12k words – 7064 words so far. Want to have 7200 by the end of today, so doing good. I actually started working on this Friday. So my count for JuNoWriMo is a bit lower(ok, about 1800 words lower) than the total count. That’s ok, I’m still hoping to get 50k this month.
  • Flames of Renewal – Read through what I wrote in February(about 10k words, I think) – haven’t started this yet
  • Brian’s Story – brainstorm – haven’t started on this yet either.
  • Rick & Leann – 500 words – 317 words so far.
  • Read: Gypsy(Trisha Leigh), Swords & Salt Collection(Lindsay Buroker), & Against All Odds(Angie McKeon) – Finished reading Gypsy Monday night. Really enjoyed it. Have just barely started the first story in the Swords & Salt collection.
  • Knit: Schooner HatI didn’t have the right yarn for this, so decided to work on crocheting the “Easiest Headwrap Ever” instead. – I have the headband and flower for it finished. Just have to sew a button onto the band and attach the flower, and it will be finished.

Pretty good start to the week? How is everyone else doing? Does a change to the seasons bring a change to your routine? Or are you freer with that than me? When I try to just go without a schedule or routine, nothing gets done.

Writing Wednesday: Rowing Downstream

It feels as if I’ve been rowing with the current lately instead of against it, which is a good thing. Definitely since that current may be turning on me this month. I was thinking this morning about something else9I think it was my daughter’s upcoming 5th birthday) and realized we have something going on every weekend this month. This Saturday night we have my husband’s class reunion dinner. And I think Sunday we are meeting with some of the classmate’s and their families at a local park. Next weekend is my daughter’s birthday party. The weekend after that we’re leaving for a camping trip with my dad and step mom and won’t be back home until that Wednesday. And that next weekend will probably be my niece’s birthday party. Then school starts the last week of August and that next weekend is Labor Day and also my son’s birthday. A lot going on, but I’m still determined to finish this WiP by the end of the month. Even with everything going on, I should still be able to get up and write first thing in the morning(which I don’t always do on weekends anyways). I’m not sure if I’ll take the computer with me on the camping trip, but I can take a notebook and still get some words down, even though my progress is a lot slower on paper than on the computer.

  • Write every morning, shoot for 5000 words.

I ended up writing another 181 words last Wednesday. The rest of the week’s counts were: Thursday: 629, Friday: 714, Monday: 1687, Tuesday: 1690, Wednesday: 1041. So, that’s a total of 5942 words in the last week. If I write at least 1000 words every day, I could finish the WiP this month. I know I won’t write every single day, so I’ll have to readjust that as needed. But, for now it is my target for the day.

  • Have edits finished on Stained Snow and do another read through

Finished the edits on Friday. Haven’t read through it again though. Think this will wait until I have finished the first draft of Slow Revenge. I’m actually thinking of adding more, possibly at the beginning. It ended up being right around 27,000 words I think. This is the first novella I’ve written, so I don’t know if shorter or longer is better. Would be open to any advice from those who’ve written novellas.

  • Read Blindsight

I finished this last Wednesday. Read it in one day. Then I started Ruth Nestvold’s Shadow of Stone on Thursday. I finished that on Monday. Yesterday, I read SM Reine’s Death’s Avatar(a novella). And this morning I started Roni Loren’s Still Into You. About 25% through it right now. So, I’m up to 7 out of the 12 books I want to read this round(even though not all are full novels, I’m still counting them).

Goals for next week:

  • Write every day, shooting for another 7000 words by next Wednesday
  • Finish Still Into You
  • Read Bowlful of Bunnies by L.S. Engler

For the rest of this month, I’ll mostly be concentrating on my writing goals. How about you? Are you concentrating on one thing? Or are your goals spread out(like mine usually are)?

Writing Wednesday: Rowing Through the Summer

It’s hard to believe this is the last check-in for July(for me at least, since I don’t check-in on Sundays). This summer really seems to have flown by, even on the days it dragged. Less than a week left in July, just over two weeks until my daughter turns 5, and 5 more weeks until school starts. And between her birthday and school starting, we will be going camping with my dad and stepmom for almost a week. So, I don’t see the last month of summer being any slower. But, it’s all good because I’m still getting things done. And will continue to(except for maybe during the camping trip).

  • Continue writing every morning. Aiming for around 5000 words again.

In the last week, I have written 6 days. Sunday is the only day I did not write anything. Thursday: 658, Friday:1225, Saturday: 97, Monday: 1210, Tuesday: 770, Wednesday: 834(so far). May try to write some more this afternoon during the sprint. But, that still makes a total of: 4794. So, not quite to my goal, but pretty close. I’m averaging about 690 words a day for this month, 822 if you count just the days I’ve written(21 so far this month compared to the 17 in June and just 13 in May).

  • Have through Chapter 8 of Stained Snow edited.

Have through chapter 7 done. Planning on working chapter 8 during today’s sprint, if I don’t get to it before that. I have cut over 1000 words from it so far. not sure what my ending word count should be as this is the first novella I’ve written. Thought about aiming for between 25 & 30K, but not sure if it should be longer or shorter than that. Right now it is at 27712 and I still have 3 more chapters to go through.

  • Be through Chapter 24 of Chasing Fire

Finished reading this Saturday night. Then, I read the prequel to the Gabriel trilogy(by Steve Umstead), Gabriel: Zero Point. This was a novella and I finished reading it this morning. Starting Kait Nolan’s “Blindsight” today. So, I’ve read 4 out of the 12 books I want to for this round. Counting Blindsight, I have 8 more waiting on the Kindle app. So, if I get through all those during this round, I’ll have reached that goal.

  • Finish reading You Are a Writer

finished this last week sometime(don’t remember exact day0. really enjoyed it, and I signed up on Jeff Goins’ website to get email updates.

Things have gone really well for me the past week. Hoping they continue. I don’t see me finishing my WiP by the end of this month or even by my daughter’s birthday, like I had hoped. I still have over 40000 words to go on it. But, I will hopefully have it finished by the end of August.

Goals for next week:

  • Write every morning, shoot for 5000 words.
  • Have edits finished on Stained Snow and do another read through
  • Read Blindsight

Family Friday: Summer Fun

We have been blessed recently with some really nice weather. This was really nice especially with my niece’s 5th birthday party this past Sunday. They just recently got a pool, so Hayleigh was really looking forward to swimming at the party.  And thankfully the weather cooperated for that. Shortly after we got to the party, Hayleigh was in the pool. Of course, she can’t swim on her own, so I was in there with her and she had her life jacket on. But, even with that on, she was clinging to me. After presents were opened and cake and ice cream eaten, we were back in the pool. Two of her cousins had these “puddle jumper” flotation device things. I had seen them before, but didn’t want to get them for her until I had tried them on her. So, she borrowed one of her cousin’s while we were there. And suddenly I had a completely different child.

Hayleigh has always been a very cautious child, pretty much from the day she was born. She would sit and watch everything until she was sure she could do it. She’s still that way really. Well, once she got these puddle jumpers on, that was gone. She was still a little nervous at first, but that soon went away. She didn’t cling to us. She even swam her way across the pool(with us right next to her, but we didn’t have to hold on to her). After that, we decided we definitely needed to get her one of her own. It seemed pointless last year because we really only went swimming a couple times a year(and she has really only grown into the weight range, 30-50 lbs, in the last year). But, we now know three different people with pools, one of them my sister-in-law who lives just down the driveway from us. So, I see more swimming in our future. Cory’s mom picked up one of these puddle jumpers this week, so now Hayleigh has her own.

Trying on her puddle jumper

Cory’s mom was on vacation this week, and she came up on Wednesday to take us to lunch and then to the park so the kids could play. Hayleigh had the choice between Pizza Hut or McDonald’s(really the only choices in our town). And she chose McDonald’s. This isn’t odd for an almost five-year-old, but her reason for the choice? Because they have apples there. And she ate those before she even touched her nuggets or fries. After lunch, we headed over to the park. The kids had a lot of fun going up the steps and down the slides(okay, Nathan had more fun going up and down the steps and acting like he was going to dive right off the platforms), and swinging. I am really starting to believe that I gave birth to a monkey who has absolutely no fear. Certainly the exact opposite of his big sister.Although she did go part way across the monkey bars with me holding onto her legs. and she did go up the little rock wall(although she couldn’t figure out at first what to do with her hands and feet when she got close to the top.

Maybe I’ll just jump down…or give Mommy a heart attack

thinking about walking down the slide

Going up the rock wall

After we left that park, we went to another little playground in town. And the kids played there some more. And Nathan ended up having to sit on the bench for a bit because he kept trying to run out of the playground towards the road. Like I said, no fear.

riding the motorcycle at the “tot lot”

riding the horse

driving the fire truck

climbing down the slide

The kids had a good time playing. And Nathan came home and took a late 2 hour nap and was only up a little past when he would usually be asleep at night. Of course, they were both still up fairly early in the morning, but that is just a normal occurrence in our house.

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