Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Grand Total

So it wasn't a totally bad month. In fact I exceeded my goal. I ended up with 22500 words this month. This was made up of synopsises, the blurb for Forever Home and my new short story. I probably could've done more, but I'm trying to keep up on my editing as well. But I'm certainly not going to complain.

I'm keeping my goal for March the same--500 words per day of new stuff. I'm going to try to stick with my short story, but I have a strong desire to start another full length.

Everyone have a super night!

Friday, February 27, 2009

February Final Count

I know there's still today and tomorrow, but I'm not sure I'll get the chance to check in again so I figured I'd give my tally now. Hopefully I'll add a few words but as of this morning, I've got 36, 731 words for the month.

Given the nature of this month, and its effect on my writing/life/sanity, the word count proves the point that every drop of water counts toward a full glass. I wrote in stolen moments, tiny swatches of time that I carved out during the chaos. The only days I didn't hardly write were the ones when hubby was in the hospital. But even during those days I managed to jot notes (on the back of his menu, once! I looked like a loon when I ran after the kitchen aide and asked for it back!) and plan scenes while he napped.

Honestly, I defintely prefer my ho-hum, daily writing schedule, the one that's worked for me for so long, to this hit-or-miss, grab-a-second method. But I adapted, and I'm happy that I did. The word tally makes me feel good, shows me that despite everything that happened I still managed to hold onto a bit of myself.

All good, and I'm ready for March. Thanks to everyone here for being so wonderfully supportive and encouraging during this nutty month. I sincerely appreciate your help!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who's In For March

If your name isn't on here and it should be, let me know!

Also, the suggestion was made that perhaps we should all choose days in which to post our progress so that there are regular posts instead of nothing, nothing, nothing and the WHAMMO on Saturday. Thoughts?

Here's who has gotten back to me for more nagging support in March:

... and ME, of course.

Anyone else? C'mon... you know you want to...

I'm Back

Okay I took the month of February off. But, I am almost back, and am committed to meeting my daily writing goal - at least 250 words. Well, that is, when I get back up to my wintery home in Ann Arbor.

Right now, I am enjoying a few days off in paradise - South Florida in winter time.

And, I am editing a story that has possibly been accepted for publication - and I might add - this is my first.

I will be back home, and at my keyboard, typing, hopefully creating, and producing my 250 words a day on March 6th.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I did it!

Last night Forever Home was sent to Samhain Publishing. Now I have to wait.... again. So, that makes two manuscripts out there in the big bad world. I managed to get through the 200 word blurb with not too many groans of pain. That's about all the new words I typed last night.

So, I will now return to my short story, unless I decide to pick up one of my "finished" wips that need some TLC. I've got an idea for either a trilogy or a three part book. First part, for all intents and purposes is done, it just needs major work. I also have another really long manuscript that needs to be completely dismantled and reconstructed. I absolutely love the story, but it there was no angst, it was just a nice little romance. So I've decided to add another major character and change the motivations of another main character. So, that means practically starting from scratch with it.

Maybe I'll just stick to the short story for now and look at the other stuff for next week.

I'm just so happy!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Outlook: sunny with a chance

Recovery mode: on!
Snark mode: off (mostly)
Health: improving
Word count: better, if only by 600 words
Goal: 500 words/day or 2,500/week

I now return you to your regularly scheduled bloggers.


My Job is to Make You Feel Better

I have excuses. I can produce excuses faster than I can write my WIP (which is not saying much), probably even faster than I can eat brownies. Which one do you want to hear?

How much did I write on my WIP last week? Nothing.

I could claim that my paying work got in the way, and it did. Paying work always gets in the way. And I have even more paying work this week. That's all good because I'm fond of the "paying" part of paying work.

But the difference is that this week I'm doing the non-paying work first. I know I HAVE to get the paying work done (possibly during a terrible, tortuous night but it will get done because it has to), so this week I'm going to focus on getting the most important work done -- the non-paying work. My fiction.

Marianne, nag away. This really does make a difference to have to come here and confess.

Thank you. Anne aka smellshorsey

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Day Late... But Here

I'm here, but I have a big fat zero to add to my word count today. I have yet to have a chance to sit down and write more than emails and blog posts. So far The Sickness seems to have passed, but I'm still a bit cautious about saying it's completely gone.

We did the "baby's" One Year birthday party yesterday, and as you can imagine with a large family it was rather involved getting everyone fed. I love first birthdays, the baby doesn't expect much and as long as he gets his own little cake then life is good. LOL

So, hoping that once everyone is off to bed tonight I can actually sit and let my characters take over... more than they already do. But, hey, at least I checked in twice in one week! Things are looking up!


Oops Again!

Forgot to post. I do have word count, but it's only on a synopsis and bible for the four book continuity so it doesn't really count. Still I'm making progress and I love what I'm working on.

For research, I watched a specific story line in Love Actually (love the fast forward on my dvd) and Made of Honor. I love movies, but never have time to sit and watch any so this was a real treat for me.

Now I've got all sorts of prewriting forms out, the letter from our editor and a rough synopsis. Today I'll try to figure out the characters and what keeps them apart/leads them to the black moment and why they should be together. Oh, and I do have names for them, too. Jayne and Tristan! Fun times ahead!

use your virus scan religiously

I've kind of learned my lesson about backing up files all the time--as I said, kind of. On that note, I'm a day late and quite a few words short, but I can safely say I got to keep about 3500 words last week. That's not my goal, and would not have been my total, except that very early Friday morning, when I had some paying work due by noon, I turned on my computer that was finally, finally all loaded back up again from the crash a couple of weeks ago, and...all I got was a blank screen. The computer was on. The little lights were glowing. But the screen stayed black.

I turned it off and then back on again, hopeful that this was just some "I'm cold and I don't want to get up yet" glitch. Nope. Finally, the computer whispered something to the screen and it grudgingly revealed in dotted text that my config/system file was missing or corrupted. I tried to do a file recovery, but that didn't work, so while I started penning what I needed to send to my editor onto paper, I had my computer reformat itself again--for the second time in February.

Then I went and had coffee with a friend and let her console me. Yes, I got my assignment turned in--typed like a madwoman on my kid's computer after I got back home. And I've been emailing my JaNo file to myself every few days now that I don't know why my DVD backups will burn but not show up again as good files when my computer tries to read them, I do have the first part of the week's JaNo work. I haven't put it on the computer yet, just finished getting all the stuff I have to have to run it, plus all the updates from Microsoft, Adobe, et al. But despite the fresh pain, at least I have progress to report this time; unlike the last crash.

Which reminds me. I think I know when I picked up the first viruses that caused the first problem. I don't know if this latest was due to virus interference or the fact that my computer is just getting as tired of all of this as I am, however...

Since my first crash I've been reading up, and there was a vicious worm released Dec. 8th that I believe was part of my initial crash. Because I usually only web surf the same boring sites each month, I didn't catch the problem until I had to do a web-intensive travel article around the first of this month. Apparently financial sites are also prone to the risk.

That said, please use your virus scanner regularly, and back up your files. Just from reloading my computer since Friday morning, before starting to add any of my files I ran a virus scan after all the updates were loaded and 12 viruses were detected and quarantined.

I'm not trying to scare anyone, but having to bring everything back up several times in as many weeks is just not fun.

Hello, my name is Tiffany and I'm . . .

a totally lame writer this month! I'm still at 2,500 words. That's it for the whole month. My story got to the point where I am actually writing other stuff to avoid writing it (yes, I'm that desperate). You know when the muse pulls you in a different direction and you ignore her because you know it's a siren's song? I listened to the song. I've been guilty of cheating on my story and writing other things.

Plus, I joined Facebook - that's at least a whole week of productive time down the drain, right?

Oh, and as soon as I got rid of, whoops, I mean said a tearful goodbye to my house guests, my husband said, "I have an opening in my calendar next week, schedule a vacation in Dubai for us." Normally I need about two months to research hotels and flights (I know, I need to let it go, it's a vacation after all).  But 48 hours later we're booked for Dubai, husband is even flying on his requested, specific plane type (the A380) and I've been busy (read, not writing said neglected novel) researching what to do in Dubai. Unfortunately, and thwarting my plans to sit in a pool-side lounge chair diligently typing away at my novel, there are lots of things to do in Dubai - like the largest indoor ski area! In the desert. Who knew?    

Time: Where did you go??

Thanks to the list, I finished the first draft of my WIP. Now, revision time. :) Yay! 

The list is working so well in fact, I actually can't believe how much writing and revising I can get done when write first and stay off the Internet. :) But, the list has its drawbacks too, like time. I run out of it. 

The time factor amazes me because as a kid, I was always bored and time moved like molasses. Now, time flies by and I never feel like there is enough time in a day. :) 

Does everyone feel this way?

Have a fabulous week everyone! ;)  

A Primer on Coping Mechanisms

1. DENIAL: I didn't sign up for this.
2. REPRESSION: Huh? I did? I don't know what you're talking about.
3. SUPPRESSION: Even if I did sign up for this, I can't think about it right now.
4. DISPLACEMENT: !@#* you guy and your !@#$ word counts!
5. SUBLIMATION: I'm going to work on these promotional materials over here instead.
6. PROJECTION: You guy don't really want me to do this anyway.
7. INTELLECTUALIZATION: Ya know, forcing yourself to stick to an arbitrary goal could actually be counterproductive to the project as a whole.
8. RATIONALIZATION: Really, even if I had stuck with this, what would I have accomplished? 3000 words wouldn't really make a difference anyway, would it?
9. REGRESSION: goo goo gah gah

Submitted (with tongue firmly in cheek),

A Day Late and No Wiser

Hey Everyone,

I've been WAY down with the flu this week.
No excuses and no gains.
I'm feeling better, finally.
I'll be catching up with the blog entries as I can and I'm bound and determined to write this week.
Hope everyone's doing well.

We're not really Jamming this month, are we? What is it about February? I really do feel it's the darkest month.

Bad News, Good News...

The bad news: ... word count. Ugh.

For this past week -- a BIG FAT ZERO.

Between DD being sick, me being under the weather and just being utterly swamped with other stuff, I didn't make the time to write. Please note: I did NOT say that I didn't "HAVE" the time to write, because there is always time. Always, always, always. A pet peeve of mine is folks who say they don't have time. So, I had the time, I just opted to use it on other things.

Shame on me. This coming week will be different.

The good news: ... I figured out how to fix "A Jewel For Geoff". Out of the blue, in the middle of a shower no less, the idea came to me! Woot! See... I didn't like the occupation I'd given the heroine and her family. It wasn't working, but I couldn't see a way out of it because I needed her to be somewhere doing something at one point. And then **POOF**, it came to me. And I'm thrilled.

The subconscious mind is a wonderful thing.

So, this week, I'm going to make those changes and see if the words flow on Geoff's story. If not, it's back to my fantasy (have I mentioned, lately, how much I love that story?).


How about you?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Good morning!

Just checking in before I head out to begin what looks to be a very busy day. I've got snow to clear, firewood to haul into the house and housecleaning to do. Oh, and somewhere in that mess, I plan to find an hour or two to devote to the howling characters.

So, stopping by now before things get too crazed! *G*

I'm happy that I listened to the chattering voices and took up the story that I'd left languishing in my files. The characters were right to bug me...they have a story to tell and, honestly, they're making it real easy for me. The work is humming along, bringing my new word count with the screamers up to just over 7,000 words.

Add the seven to the eighteen I've got on Madcapped and my total for the month is twenty-five. I'm pleased with that. Barring any unforseen chaos, I should make my monthly goal. Hopefully the nagging characters will have their story wrapped up with that word count so I'll be able to get back to Madcapped in March.

So... March? Hmm?

Saturday Check In

I know it's early, but I'm here to post my numbers because I'm done writing "new" stuff for the day. I've found a story to pick up on, something I can probably keep around 12K (I'm not ready to move on to any full length wips yet, not until I deal with the ones I have on my plate)

So, anyhow, my current February word count is 18597. I've been managing to maintain my goal, although I've had days I go way beyond. But that makes up for the days when I don't write any new stuff at all. The past two days I've been editing.

Thanks to everyone who pointed me in the right direction. I'm giving myself another week to edit my entire manuscript so I can send the whole thing as Samhain prefers instead of just the first three chapters. They'd take the three, but they prefer the full. I can wait a week.

Now I'm going to go spend some quality time with my manuscript and notes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Decisions... decisions...

Okay, I have my synopsis ready to go. I have my first three chapters ready to go. I could send them off this morning.

But Samhain prefers the entire manuscript. Which is not ready. It will take several more days of work before it's ready.

So, the burning question is.... do I send the synopsis and three chapters today, or the synopsis and full next week?

I really want to get it sent over to them. Then, if they're intested they can request the rest. But, if they prefer the entire thing I don't want to put them out.

What would other people do?


I have made very little progress since mid-January. That was pretty much the point at which life decided to drop a hammer on my head and just keep pounding.

My grandmother wound up in the hospital, and my mother was taking care of her, and I was trying to find out what was going on, making sure my mother was holding it together...from a thousand miles away. The news was positive, then negative, then positive, then negative. I was frayed and I wasn't even there. Focus wasn't even in my vocabulary those weeks. Even now, I'm sort of in a holding pattern, wondering if I'll have to get on a plane at a moment's notice. It's stressful, this family stuff.

I also had to prep for a trip. I spent four days in New York at the SCBWI conference, came home and The Sickness took over our house. On the upside, in the middle of my fevered weekend, The Girls In The Basement plotted my next book. On the downside, I was still sick and largely dysfunctional for over a week.

But I'm back at the keyboard now, and it's all systems go. I have quite a bit of catching up to do.

See you next week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sticking My Head In...

And hanging it in shame. *sigh* I don't have a whole heck of a lot more done than the last time I checked in. This is my widget as of today:

I think that gives me a grand total of 600 words since I last checked in (probably less). But, I saw that Marianne had her Nag hat on and knew I needed to at least check in, give a rundown of... well of why I don't get to sit and write like I want to... no like I need to.

I have spent the last eight weeks in and out of a cardiologist office only to have him tell me after numerous tests that whatever is wrong with me it's, "Most likely not something I as a cardiologist can help you with." Nice, huh. Now, apparently I get to start all over with another doctor. I go back to my "regular" doc in another week when he will most likely tell me that I will need to go to another specialist. Something's got to give, as the fatigue is just a no-go when I have four children to take care of on a day-to-day basis.

Add to that, my kids and I ALL got the stomach flu... and it's so not fun when at least two of those children can't make it to a bucket or toilet... yeah, TMI I know. My hubby is also currently in the middle of a "project", that is along the lines of a Thesis, for the Masters program he's enrolled in to further his education. So, no help from that area there, when I've gotten quite spoiled by his constant help. Hopefully, that will settle down in the next week and life will at least be on the way to normal.... at least as normal as it gets in my house. We'll see, but hopefully I'll be able to write, and drop in more, since most of y'all have no idea who I am or what I'm writing. LOL

So... that's my report... lament whatever. See y'all around.

To Quiet the Howls...

coming from characters in a half-finished manuscript I discovered languishing in my files a few days ago, I am going to take a break from Madcapped to finish this other (still untitled!) story. It seems to be the only thing to do, considering the characters in the found story won't shut up. Believe me, I've tried to get them to quiet down.

They. Won't. Listen.

Am I the only one with characters this unruly? Please, tell me this happens to you, too. Please.

Anyhow, Madcapped has been humming along. It's up to just over 18, 000 words and I'm very pleased with how it's going. The plot is fun, the characters quirky and I think the heroine is definitely making strides toward becoming the person she's meant to be. I figure it'll be easy to pick up again once I get these other nutjobs--uh, characters out of my mind. At least that's the plan.

So today, after I clear the driveway for the gazillionth time this season, I'm going to sit down and work with these loud-mouths demanding attention. My hope is that they'll help me with a title. It's the least they can do, don't you think?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What To Do

Okay folks, I just finished my first draft of the story I was working on, ya know, the one that was giving me my daily word count. It has now been added to my growing TBE pile.

So, now I need a new project. Or maybe a short story or two. Something that will let me keep up with my word count.

I'm off to my writing folders and see if anything piques my interest.

mid-week confessions

Okay, I'm not going to belabor why I'm behind, and why I had to catch up all last week, but I am going to confess. Sunday night I thought life was truly grand again. I had finished all of my overdo redoes of nonfiction assignments and managed to get everything else done last week on time, and my computer has been humming right along trying to keep up and be forgiven (knock wood--or in the laptop's case, knock plastic). Monday was sunny and wonderful here, I brainstormed all morning to get back into the frame of mind I needed to revisit what I had written nearly a month ago, pounded out a re-roughed scene, then happily followed my daughter to Tulsa to do some shopping after she got out of college classes. I even wrote in the car while I was waiting. I was really being good.

Then yesterday happened.

I only had to meet someone at 11:00--yes, it was an interview of sorts, but not one I really had to work at, just a meet-and-greet kind of thng. But I woke up tired, telling myself all the reasons I wasn't ready to meet this new person who I might be working with a lot in the future on something I hope will bring in new revenue (I lost a huge chunk of yearly revenue when due to the economic conditions Toyota didn't renew a project I've been working on for 12 years). But the more I tried to force myself, the less I could find the stamina to go. So, about 9:30, I rescheduled the app't for Thursday and went to WalMart. Yes, I am depressed when I voluntarily go to WalMart when I really, really don't have to. But I got ice cream, so that was a good thing (maybe).

Back home I ate my ice cream and caught up on email I hadn't read because I was re-doing everything. And read email. And read email. Finally about 4:00 I turned off the computer and had written exactly 497 words. Not even quite a full page single spaced.

So, my confession. I know I needed yesterday. I know it came because I worked too non-stop the previous week. But today I will write. Today, I will write at least 3000 words.

I will!

Good, I feel better now that I know I've said it out loud to everyone.

Thanks group!

Calling all MIA Writers... The Nag Hat is ON!

Some of you have been conspicuously missing.... Are you there? Wazzzzzzzup? Don't make me come over there. I'm officially calling:

Kealie Shay

Hey... some folks had major issues. Joanie's computer had a meltdown. Melissa's house is covered in germs and vomit (TMI?). Sarita's DH had some pretty major surgery.

They've posted.

Where are YOU?????

:::hands on hips, shaking fingers:::

I know your email addresses. Don't make me use them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Does writing a synopsis count toward the official word count? That's what I've been working on the past few days.

And it stinks. Anyone else out there hate writing synopsi? (what is the plural for synopsis? synopsises?)

At a Snail's Pace

Only 2,500 words to report! 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Day Late and Several Thousand Words Short

This was not a good writing week.

Heck, it wasn't a good week, period.

I DID get lots of things done for other parts of my life, but I've been hit by some stupid health stuff and I'm co-chairing a huge fundraiser which is rearing its ugly head shortly, so I was basically running around like a chicken with its head cut off this week.

I still managed about 2500 words, which is better than no words. The story is in my head all the time, too, and that helps.

I also read two novels which are "inspirational" for what I'm writing currently. So that was all good.

More than anything, though, I notice I'm grouchy because I didn't get my writing time in. So... that's a priority for this next week, word count goal or no.

Happy start of the week to everyone!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

new week, new words

I've made almost 3750 this week! Yes, that's just a little over half my goal, but after the computer crashed last week, I've been having to redo everything I did work-wise for both this week and last. I had to get extensions on two assignments, and my editors were both wonderful about it, so that's good. And when I finally got the postpartum depression article turned in, my editor emailed me the next day and told me it was the best article on this subject she'd ever received. So, the redo was worth it after all! I also had to teach a class of seniors this week that really kept me on my toes, and I'm still polishing my final late assignment--a big travel piece. So, I'm going to try to do better next week--only one interview on Tuesday, and a proposal due by Friday, so I hope to have a much stronger total that gets me closer to the words I lost in the crash. And I'm hoping to continue my streak of writing even better the second time around. Beyond that, Happy Valentine's Day to all, and I'm so glad this group continues to "be mine."

Writing Extravaganza

Well, it was a good writing day, despite the fact I had a full day at work and had to handwrite-then type up-my wip. I managed to get a whoppin 3848 words written today (and I'm feeling it).

So, my February total thus far is 12713 words. Okay, far away from being NaNo material, I'm still managing an average of about 900 words a day, which is over my goal. And I've been able to get my editing done too.

Monday I start my new work schedule. Dont know if it's good or not, but I get to stay home on Saturdays. Yard sales (when the snow is melted off the yards) here I come!!

For now, I'm dozing off at my keyboard so before I start to type a bunch of random letters, I'll sign off with a big HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO ALL!

Happy V Day!

Things are moving along well and the priority list is working. I finally found something that keeps me focused and it's so simple. Just a list. :)

Basically, every morning I wake up and write before my hubby leaves for work. Some mornings I have an hour, some morning less then a half hour. But, using the time for writing instead of emails, FACEBOOK, and MySpace is proving more productive. And this week, I was able to write close to 2000 words a day and I'm almost finished my WIP. :) Yay! 

Happy Valentines Day! 

Is anyone doing anything special? I'm stuck at home with an ear infection. I know. An ear infection in my thirties?? :) I thought things like ear infections only struck little ones. 

Have a fabulous weekend! :) 

My Saturday Check-In

Despite my enthusiasm for the new story I've been brainstorming, my fantasy has taken over my writing life. I didn't make my goal for the week, but I did write -- and when I managed to find blocks of time, the words just fell from my fingers. It was wonderful.

I added just over 3000 words to my story. Not the 7000 I'd been shooting for, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!!!



Happy Mid-Month

I know I'm dreadfully late! I apologize for being AWOL.

Happy middle of the month. Oh! Happy Valentine's Day, too! I hope this finds everyone enjoying good writing mojo, zipping along on their wips or finding fabulous inspiration for that next project.

Me? It's been hard to carve out any time for myself (I'm not complaining, just telling the truth) but I have been writing in every spare moment I can steal. Hubby's recuperation is at the point where he sleeps a lot, so I dash around while he naps. And when I'm not busy clearing snow, bringing in firewood or taking care of the house, I open my laptop and settle in, even if it's only for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. The truly amazing thing is that while I'm behind where I'd like to be, the words are piling up at a steady rate. Every little bit counts, I guess!

Madcapped is now just over 14,000 words. I'm having a ball with this zany romance, enjoying making the characters dance, laugh and exfoliate on command. Uh, yes, I did say exfoliate.

Don't ask.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Story!

One of our continuity ideas has been approved by the Harlequin Mills & Boon editors which means I have a book to write. Yay! This is what I've been waiting for. So no page progress for me this week. That is, I'm still at zero, but watch out next week. Well, maybe I shouldn't say that in case I jinx myself. Anyway, the writing will soon begin and I'm so psyched to bury myself in a new book!

keeping my head above water

While the first of the week found me drowning in things I had to redo because my computer crash/backup fiasco, I'm happy to say I'm still not caught up but gaining, and I'm keeping my head above water. Just picture me as a springer spaniel dog paddling along. I haven't made it to shore yet, but as long as I have the water at only neck level, and I can keep my paws moving along, I know I'll have this newest challenged licked soon.

Right now, I'm below my JaNo goal because part of the fiction do-over I did this week found me sidetracking into a new tributary I hadn't thought about before, so one of the scenes I wrote was to develop this idea. Bad idea. So, about half of my work until now will not be included in the total, since I have absolutely made up my mind that it will not end up in this WIP. However, that doesn't mean a variation of it won't end up in a future WIP. But I'm not just trusting it to a backup--I'm printing that puppy up and filing it, too. Right now, hardcopies rule in my book!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Behind but progressing

I'm up to 1,900 words and behind where I should be. My excuse? I have friends visiting from the States and my son is off school this week. So I'm not getting as much writing in as I should but I'm enjoying playing tour guide around London. I thought my goal this month was so puny that it would be easy but it looks like I'll be playing catch-up the last two weeks of February.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I didn't post a page count because there isn't one. I have been writing just not words in a novel. What have I been doing? Writin more ideas for the continuity and a Dear Reader letter for my September release. I've also been doing some pre-writing on the book I'll write after the continuity. So no JaNoWriMo progress, but I'm happy with all I did last week!

Not my fault!

Okay, I'm very late in posting my progress--but that's because some nasty person on the internet apparently wanted to thwart my writing efforts. I had some weird security alerts pop up at the end of last week, and gave me fits when I tried to access various web pages--including this one. I hung back a little and stewed over things, talked to some friends, and as my internet access continued to shrink, I started doing a system back up to DVDs and then yesterday did a full reformatting of my laptop. Several friends told me there are a number if icky things rearing their active little heads that are worming and virusing their way into any systems that show a chink in the armor. I've always used McAfee, and had it going the whole time, but when I did my virus scan late last week it did actually have to isolate 8 viruses that had gotten through it.

The reformat makes my system clean and run very nicely this morning, and after I get all my necessary files back on that should be the best part of the story. Unfortunately, when I finished the reformat last night (really about one in the morning) I pulled the couple of disks I particularly need on my computer and tried to reload the files. Emphasis on tried. Apparently, I also now have a DVD reader/writer that will write to disk, but then can't read what it wrote. I can read all the CDs and older copied DVDs that I want. But not the latest.

So, now to my progress--or I guess I should say regress. I have a copy of my wip that I emailed myself a couple of weeks ago, so instead of gaining the 7000 words I wrote last week, I'm back about 18,000. However, I'm not daunted. I know where I've been and it will be much easier to find my way back. I'm just glad I never back up only one way.

Challenges; what would we do without them?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

8,000 Words Behind

I haven't written one word, except for several room service breakfast orders, which puts me 8,000 words behind for our first week. My DH and I went on a seven-day cruise last week. We had two days at sea and I had my laptop. I could have written. The thought even occurred to me. But I had chocolate instead and read a couple of books.

Before I left, I had visions that I would be writing. I took everything I needed. Everything but the slightest motivation.

One night I was even showered and pajamaed and in bed with a good book by 7:30. DH went to the casino and won $24. Ah me. That's about all the excitement I can stand and it was divine.

I wasn't completely lazy -- I did lots of miles on the promenade deck. Not as many miles as I had desserts, but better than no miles.

But now I'm back. The clothes washer may never catch up with all the laundry but I will catch up on my word count by writing 2,000 words a day, starting tomorrow. There's always tomorrow, right?

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Hey, everyone! Just checking in to say.. Ah... Nothing. Only about 1000 words written this week for my WIP. But, it's all good. Sometimes life just gets in the way. And it certainly was last week. 

But, it's a new week and a new list of priorities. No blogs. No FACEBOOK. No Perez Hilton until I write 1000 words. Yesterday, I wrote a list of priorities on a bright yellow post it and stuck it to my laptop. Write 1000 words is first. Assignments, emails, and revisions are listed second. And blogs, FACEBOOK, and publicity is last. So far. So good. :)   

Does anyone else make a daily list of priorities? 

Have a fabulous week! :)  

Saturday check-in... a bit late

Well, this has been a challenging week. I have really been struck down by arthritis the past couple of weeks, and this week may have been the transition week for me, in the sense that I had some work done via massage therapy that ultimately helped tremendously, but kept me thoroughly down for a couple of days. I managed about 4000 words this week, and will shoot for 7000 by the end of next Saturday. I also changed my word count meter to reflect the length that I'd actually like to hit with the manuscript:

On the plus side, I got through an extremely pivotal and complex section that will move my character to the third act. I feel good to have made it to the other side of that. I'm feeling less like I'm spinning my wheels and I'm happier about the quality of the work I'm producing, since about two weeks ago, I wasn't very happy.

All in all, I'm pleased with the progress.

Running Behind... But Running!!

I got horribly sidetracked this week by another story. If you read my personal blog (this post) you'll see what happened.

So... unless I count the words I wrote on the character interview, on my scene cards and in my head, I'm currently at a big, fat ZERO.

But that will change this week as I start to write on this story. I'll still trade off with my fantasy as well, but I really am enthused about the new one. Better, I feel like I have a bit more under control than I have my previous stuff. Will that work for or against me?

Guess we'll find out!

Now, though, I must waste precious writing time and go put on my nag hat ;-)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Thus Far

For February I have 5024 words written. I've met my goal on all but one day so far.

I've finally settled on one manuscript at least and I'm very pleased with its progress. Can't wait for it to be finished.

No words of wisdom. It's only 8:30 and I can hardly keep my eyes open.

See ya'll!


It's taken me a month and a week, but I've FINALLY started writing.

I reread my story Molasses Swamp and decided to concentrate on it while my other projects are simmering on the backburners. (My muse has a very large stovetop!)

I LOVE this story. It has so much fun in it, so much action and zip! So I thought I'd twist things by throwing in a murder. No such luck. It's still too early. Instead, I added another character - a new character totally unexpected by Jason. That's right...Jason is going to flip when he sees who his mom is dating! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

And his mom is going to freak when she finds what he's hiding in his room...

Anyhoo, I eked out about 1,000 words. That's no where near my goal of 500 per day, but it's a beginning!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Huntin' Wabbits Again...

It's (once again) vewy vewy quiet in here. I hope that's because people are writing up a storm!!

Remember, check-in day is tomorrow...come on over and report your totals. Tell us how things went: what worked and what didn't.

I know your email addresses. Don't make me put my Nag Hat on and hunt you down.


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Accountability = My Friend

I'm new to the group; thanks to Jen for inviting me! I need to complete several shorter projects for deadlines this month, so my goal for February is hourly. I have to factor in time for editing and polishing in order to have these pieces ready. (Of course, blogging time does not count.)

I'm attending a novel writers' workshop in April. For that, I need to have the first 30 pages of one of my novels ready for nine other writers and the workshop leader to critique. Right after that, I'm attending a conference at which a) I'll be receiving a (paid) critique from agent Amy Jameson; and b) I've entered a First Chapter contest in two separate categories. Again, these pieces need to be as perfect as I can make them.

I'm writing an article on speculative fiction for next month's issue of Glimpses, a newsletter published by Mormon Artists Group. My first draft is due to the editor by the end of next week.

I also have two short stories I'm submitting to two separate fantasy magazines; both of these have submission deadlines of February 28th. So I'll be busy switching back and forth between projects! I have six kids, so fortunately I'm pretty good at multitasking.

So, that's me. I'm grateful for accountability; without it, I tend to flail a bit. I look forward to getting to know the rest of the group!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sorry is as Sorry Does

Busy/traveling/entertaining/sick. Total for January = 8200 words. Not many by you guys and your super human standards but okay for me. Looking forward to writing more with you this month.

So Far So Good

Okay, we're 3 days into the month (okay, barely 3 days) and I've found it a piece of cake to meet my measley goal of 500 words per day. I've been trying to get them done in the morning before work so when I get home I can plunge into editing. Problem is I find myself just wanting to continue writing. I guess I should go with that. But I really really want to get the editing through.

Which leads me to my next question. To submit to my crit group or not. It means critting 2 chapters for every one I submit. Not a big deal really, but I figure I have a good 25 chapters. I won't be done for ages. I do have a friend, a reader, who goes over the manuscript and critiques and asks a lot of good questions, calls me on anything that doesn't make sense or is out of place. Maybe I'll just rely on her. She never steers me wrong.

How do people feel about big crit groups? Worth it or not?

Happy writing!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February, here I come!

I didn't make the 50K goal, but it sounds like I'm in good company and we're all going to make our goals for February, right?

I always thought November was a horrible month for NaNo--at least from a woman/mom/hostess/doer-of-everything-for-the-upcoming-holidays point of view. And I thought January would be better. Of course, if I'd been able to clear the decks better of all other distractions (work, upcoming contests, etc.) I may have made it. But no excuses. I averaged about 1000 words a day overall for the month on my wip--Suicide Watch--and I'm going to be darned pleased with that!

But I'm going to do better in February.

Still have one more busy week for all the beginning of the month column deadlines, but then I have smooth sailing (I hope--except for need to do tax stuff, of course. Ugh!). Since I made 1000 words pretty regularly last month, I'm going to hope to go over 1K each day since that's the goal for this month.

That's my plan, anyway.

And not to derail anyone else from Feb goals, but does everyone who reads romance know that Harlequin is giving away downloadable books right now at their website? You can download into several formats--I just had everything sent as PDF, but there are several ebook format for anyone with readers. The link is You can download 1 book, or all free 16!


January Totals

So... 50,000 words didn't work out for me. I DID find that, when I really apply myself and even with my busy "other" workload, I can easily write 750 and work hard to write 1000 words a day.

So, I set next month's goal at 1000 daily words -- hard, but attainable.

Last month? Though I didn't make my goal, I DID write ... which was huge for me, since writing has fallen through the cracks of late. Better, I fell in love with my fantasy all over again AND I figured out how it would end.


I have a new idea for my lighter story in Feb (I never can focus on just one project), so that's good, too since Geoff and Co. are being buggers.

For now, though -- here is my word count for Jan: