Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Hopping April

April has officially come and gone ( or nearly so!) and my word count fell short of my goal. I managed 43,000 words, give or take a word or two, so I'm not upset with myself. The annoying part is that I jumped around from wip to wip, so those words are spread over three different manuscripts. It's not like me to do that, and I'm not sure I want to continue hopping about. But now I've got three partially written novels, and ideas for each of them rolling around in my head.


I just may have to keep hopping until they're done. After that, though, no more jumping from one thing to another this way. It's just not my best method to work.

How is everyone looking for May? Me? I anticipate a very busy month, with a long-term visitor, more garden chores and truckloads of firewood that will need to be stacked, so I'm going to drop my goal down to 1,000 words a day. It should be doable, and I'm hopeful that I'll manage to get at least one wip finished. Fingers crossed!


Who's in for May? If you're in, email me your May goals... and y'all might consider doing a "wrap-up" post for April to let us know how you did for the month.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Huge sigh of relief...

Sorry I didn't post last Monday. I totally forgot, but there wasn't much to say. Like a few others here, I've been having a really tough time being productive. With a deadline (proposal today!), however, I didn't have much choice but to write this past week.

It wasn't easy (that's putting it lightly), but I managed to put together a proposal. It still needs some work, which I'll get to as soon as I post this, but those words will count for this coming week.

I'm quite happy with the results since I finally met my weekly word count with 5861 new words! About time. I also revised 12746 words, too. Not a bad week at all.

Now to keep it up!

Hope the words are flowing for everyone!


Zip... Zero... *sigh*

Yup, I'm here checking in, but I got nothing. Between my back (started PT this week, and I do feel stronger so I can sit at the computer for longer periods of time YAY!) and having friends in town over the weekend I have a big fat zero for word count... again. Grrrr...

Now that things seem to be slowing down in some areas (friends, family, etc.)... and picking up in others (health, Physical Therapy, etc.)... I'm hoping, praying, begging, that I'll have time now to sit and finish up edits, write some and get through emails that have accumulated. Cross your fingers, and I will too. Happy writing everyone! :-D

Sunday, April 26, 2009

new week, new machine, new hopes

I really was going to post today, anyway--but I just love the nagging picture with the oven mitts for boxing gloves. Creativity and versatility all in one great image! Thanks, Marianne!

This week is pseudo confession time. It's good, but bear with me.

I've had a very nice paying gig this week that I'm looking at as not just a high hourly rate for writing (something that has sadly dropped off lately with the economy), but a way to start my own mental wheels rolling toward submission when I get SW completed. I've been researching agents and writing submission letters and synopses for a lawyer who finds it cost effective to pay me 10% of his hourly wage to do the kind of writing he hasn't been very successful at doing. He's fiction is fine--but his letters and synopses have not gotten the attention he wants (and with good reason, because this obviously isn't his forte). Since he's successful lawyer, my 10% of his 100% is a very nice little wage, thank you, and I don't have to also pay for an office outside my home, receptionist, secretary, paralegals, etc. Though I do long for my own personal assistant, but that's another story.

But I did NOT put my fiction completely on a back burner--only kinda. It's allergy season around here--I live near Tulsa, a city which muscles its way onto every bad allergy poll each year. We consistently top the charts on mold and pollen. That said, Zyrtec is my 11 month out of 12 sidekick, but by this time (and around Thanksgiving) even the big Z can't keep me up and mobile all the time. So, I've had several down days in the last two weeks, and couple that with the lawyer's deadline and my fiction hasn't gotten any extra time. However, I've mostly made my 1500 words a day of fiction--and almost like half of them.

And my reward for being good and working on marketing someone else's book because mine isn't ready yet came in the arrival of my very new, very cute, very oooh-oooh-oooh Asus 1000HA net book. I'm typing on it right now, and since it's only about 3 pounds it's going to be my constant companion now wherever I go. I plan on tripling my output just because of this wonderful little gizmo. I was going to put the Snoopy Dance after this paragraph, instead of at the top, but I couldn't figure out how to get the image to imbed into the type. I'll try a different approach next time--add the picture first--and see if that accomplishes the goal better. See, even my experimental creativity is improving, as I'd never tried to add an image to the blog before. I credit my Asus!

No, I'm not going to up my daily goal yet--yes, yet--but we'll just have to see how it goes. I'm very optimistic by nature, and this little jewel (yes, I got the pearl case) just makes me smile and want to type more.
So whenever you're writing uphill, don't forget to reward yourself. Yes, part of my upcoming check is now already spent, but if it pays off in more fiction I win over and again!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

May Flowers and More Writing

Not a lot of novel writing due to a plethora of yucky reasons, including the sudden death of a beautiful co-worker, friend, and amazing teacher.   

But, I did finish a couple of magazine articles, my column, two essays, and I shared a great chat with my agent on Thursday. I'm gearing up for May and excited to get back to my 1000 words a day. 

It's a balmy 80 degrees at the Jersey shore today, so I'm headed to the beach and boardwalk for a recharge. Hope everyone is enjoying fabulous weather. :) 

Enjoy your weekend!! :) 

The Nag Hat is ON!

Hey all... Here is who committed for this month:


And... yet... I'm thinking I've only heard from three or four folks.

C'mon, it only takes a moment to post. Tell us what you have or haven't done. We want to be here for you, but can't if you won't post. It's so QUIET in here. Lonely. Sad.


Please come back. Don't make me come hunt you down.

Six Hundred...

That's how many words I wrote last week. While it wasn't great, it was better than the big, fat zero from the week before.

This weekend, I have a challenge going with a friend: 7500 words by Monday morning. We gave each other one line to use and ten random words. I love prompts.

Wish me luck.

Better Than I Thought

I really thought I'd had a lousy week. Okay, so not as bad as last week, but still, not great. I spent so much time contemplating what I had to write, the wips I had to chose from and nothing really generated a spark of interest. I spent time contemplating my "bad" characters to decide if I should reinvent them (see my Opinions Needed post).

In the end I worked on something brand new (but stopped when I realized I didn't have much of a plot developed) and finally ended the week working on a short story (shortish, I'm up to 12605 words and I have a few thousand more to go, but I'm determined to keep it short-ish). I found my spark there and actually had to force myself to stop because it's a spicy story and I got to a spicy part, which I don't like to write with kids around. I can spend the rest of my day (if I get anymore writing time) editing.

My grand total for the week is 5038 words. I could've done better but I completely wasted one day just staring at my computer (okay, and going to Facebook and such).

Only a few more days left in April! I'll post my month total on Thursday.

It's a beautiful day here. Think I'll take the kids out geocaching!

Just the facts, ma'am

No excuses. Just the facts.

Word count for the month is just over 34,000 words. Not awful, but not where I need to be if I plan to meet monthly goal. The fact of it is that I'm not going to make 50,000 words before Friday. The upcoming week is jam-packed, leaving barely enough wiggle room for eating, let alone writing.

I'm not totally bummed about falling short. The words I've got have already been tweaked a bit. I've gotten into the habit of reading the previous day's work before beginning anew so I've gotten some fine-tuning into the mix that I hadn't taken the time to do before now. A new, good habit, I think.

What about you? How's the month panning out for your writing? I hope you've had a productive writing month!

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Opinions Needed

Okay, I have a question regarding heroes and other male characters in a story. I've got a manuscript that I'm going to be overhauling (still in the think process) that has a hero who's clearly the hero and my heroine's ex-husband who clearly isn't the hero. I've been considering making life harder for my heroine by making the ex a little more sympathetic, a little more like the man she would've stayed married to if he hadn't been the cold jerk he was before the divorce.

How do you feel about the heroine having a choice between two men (though I know who she'll end up with)? Do you like the it to be clear cut? Knowing there's no way she's going to go for the other guy because he's the spawn of Satan? Or could there be that element of "hmm... okay, I could see her with the other guy even though I prefer the hero".

I started another manuscript, only because I was getting tired of the one I was working on and needed something fresh for awhile, and I was thinking the same thing. The heroine has a best friend who's a guy and her fiance, one of them isn't going to be too nice, but it could go either way. Or maybe the "not so nice" one will just end up as Mr. Pretty Close But We Want Different Things.

I've probably just confused everyone. But why should I be alone in my misery, right?


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where Have I Been?

Excuse me. I seem to be lost. Where have I been?

I know I was writing earlier in the week. And I know I've been driving a lot and had some paying work come in that interrupted things plus piano rehearsals, recital, middle-school drama and even some veterinary issues. I worked in the yard all day yesterday, and I'm freezing some make-ahead dinners today so I'll be free to write in the coming days (and I hope week or two because those groceries were expensive). But it's a little scary how I really can't report on what I've done because I guess the answer is as Ceri put it, "Writin'? What writin'? I don't know nothin' about no writin'."

I will have tomatoes. And I will have more writin'. 'Cause I might get sidetracked that easy, but I don't give up that easy. (Yes, I know it should be "easily" but "easy" speaks more to my redneck heart.)

Y'all, let's get some writin' done!

Writin? I Don't Know Nuthin' 'Bout No Writin'

Yah, it must've been that kind of week for a lot of people.

I had one day of mediocre writing.


And I only got 334 words down.

It was a week of being sad about my submission to Samhain being rejected, trying to figure out "now what do I do with it?" (it's a sequel to one of my Samhain books), editing it to make it a stand alone (which thankfully wasn't that difficult. It only meant tweaking a few scenes) and hoping that whoever I send it to next will like it better than Samhain.

So, while my new writing was pretty pathetic, at least I got a weency bit of editing down while I wallowed in self pity.

No, kidding, I only allow myself a few hours of wallowing. Then I get back to work.

Anyway, I was digging a garden yesterday and this morning my arms won't move so I'm typing with my nose. Today more of the same. Depending on how I feel when we're done digging I may just have my mom bury me in the newly dug dirt. Sounds pleasant and soft.

If not, I'll be back in action tomorrow. Or tonight. But for now I have to get my manuscript off to someone else. Could be the start of a beautiful new relationship.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Block on My Head...

This past week, I think I may have written thirteen words.

I despise the term "writer's block". I am stubborn and will usually push my way through. I have tricks I use (prompts, challenges, writing scenes out of order) that usually work.

Not this week. I've tried working on "Drive Me Crazy" (the sequel to Kitchen Matches), "A Jewel for Geoff" and "Queen and Assassin". No matter how much love I have for them (and I have MUCH), I just can't seem to write.

I am beyond frustrated.

Still, I'm going to keep beating my head against it and eventually I will break through.


Check in time!

Consider yourself nagged.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can you hear my feet dragging?

Oh, I hate to have to write this post. My check-in for this week is so much less than I'd planned on.

Ugh. Just ugh.

I wrote 3,400 words, which is fine but not nearly enough to pull me closer to the month's total. I am beginning to fear I won't make my goal, and that bugs the heck out of me.

There aren't enough hours in the day. That ever happen to you? I rise before the sun, and fall face-first into bed well after dark, and am busy every minute in between. Still, the hours are flying and the days are passing and my word count is stalled and I'm...frustrated. Yes, I'll admit it. I'm frustrated by the reality of not writing as much as I'd like.

Maybe when the gardens are tilled, the flower beds raked out and the trees planted I'll be able to put my hands on the keyboard. Until then, I'm tied to a rake and a shovel. But on this front, I've got a confession as well. I'm jazzed about being outside--without the snow blower! I love feeling the sun on my head, listening to the birds and plowing my fingers into the dark, rich soil.

This is one of those time/season points in life. I'm focusing on one joy but another is being sacrificed...for now. When it rains, I'll catch up on the word count. I'm pretty sure I won't make my goal, but that's all right. It's got to be, doesn't it?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A big fat 0

Another week with no progress. Well, I did do a little, but never got the hand written words typed that I scribbled on Wednesday typed in so I didn't count them. Not good since the proposal is due in two weeks. I must plant my butt in the chair and write. And write and write.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

checking in

Last week had its challenges. All of my produced words weren't gold--by any means--but I kept my butt in the chair, didn't get sidetracked by new work-writing possibilities, or that next new, bright and shiny (or old, dim and dull) novel idea, and kept writing. End result? About 8000 words--I say 'about' because some of this draft was handwritten and I haven't typed everything up yet. I didn't make my 1500 words every single day, but I did make it more than half the time. So, I'm ready to plow into the new week.

Checking in... finally

I'm in the same category as many - not enough produced, and spring break STARTS for me this week. It's not going to be much of a distraction, though, as we're not going anywhere and I'm just still helping my mom, etc.

The good news is that I got *some* writing in - about 400 words. It's a start. It's 400 more than I did past the first week of March.

Secondly, I "de-chaosed" today and my work area is, well, workable again, so that will also help.

I just need to get through Easter dinner today and then I think I'm good to start producing again.

Dashing in...

to let you know I'm finally on my way! It took a bit of time this month for me to settle into working on just one project but I'm on the right track now. As of yesterday I have nearly 9,000 words on a romance set in Rome. The characters are amuse me, and they're so hot for each other it's not always easy to concentrate (*G*), but I'm zipping right along. I guess I just needed to figure out where I wanted to spend this month. Apparently, I'm in the mood for love, Italian-style!

Also working on a rough (very rough!) chapter outline for a Regency mystery. I don't want to dither around in May, do I? If I've got an idea of where I'm supposed to be going, I'll be able to get right down to business. That's the hope, anyhow!

I hope everyone is enjoying a good writing month.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Really... I'm Writing

So, here I am checking in a day late. Except, I realized I never checked in last week. WHOOPS!

It kind of feels like a case of "If It's Not One Thing It's Another" lately. Some days are better than others, but this last week has sucked monkey butt. Health wise, it's just been same old same old, but stress wise... My stress has been through the roof this last week. The reason? Spring Break!

Some of y'all know, but for those who don't know: I have FOUR boys under the age of 10. They're my miracles and I love them to pieces, but they have a never-ending well of energy that I wish I could tap into. How come the youngsters get all the energy when it's the old fogies who need it? How fair is that? LOL

So, chaos was the word of the day in my house... every day. It's hard to even think, much less find time to sit and write. Add to that a cranky hubby who has started up a new class in his Masters program and writing wasn't the first priority. Yup, my muse is pouting, she swears I'm ignoring her... and well, I am. My word count for right now is a big fat ZERO. Okay, maybe not a complete wash, I did get a bit of editing done last night and the night before, but then I got sidetracked by my sticky laptop keys. I'm a bit anal about that, drives me nuts if I can't type fast and have to keep going back and fixing stuff when the keys stick.

Okay, okay.. I'll admit it, it was a bit of procrastination. And, you should have seen the look of horror on my hubby's face when he came into the kitchen to find all the keys of my laptop on the table. *snicker* I was sitting there with a can of compressed air and electronic wipes surrounded by little black keys as he stood there blinking at me. And not just a couple... every... single... key.... hee hee. But, hey, it works so much better now. So now that I've rambled on about my nonexistent word count I'm off to finish posting today's hottie. Yup, I'm behind on everything. Maybe I'll get caught up within the next year. Maybe not. But, hey, there's lots of joy even when it's insane. I'll just have to keep on writing! :-D

Sluggish week

I think I'm getting bored with my current wip. I'm getting preoccupied with other writing projects, especially doing prompts over at another blog. Today I spent hours looking over my files and I think I'm going to go back to another wip I was working on in January.

I also have been contemplating a finished manuscript that needs TLC.

But I shouldn't complain. My weekly word count is 5575 words. Probably more if I take into consideration all the prompts I did. But I won't count those.

Oh, and I found out that the editor I sent a partial to over at Kensington back in January jumped ship in February!! I emailed them asking if maybe my submission was handed off to someone else, but from what I've heard, this editor may have tossed everything. Waah! I'll probably have to resubmit it and wait ANOTHER THREE MONTHS!

Oh, the life of a writer.

Walloped by Spring Break

For the first three days of April, I met my goals. I think. Then the weekend came... then spring break. And all this time that I foolishly envisioned I could structure for my writing goals was eaten up by mostly fun and exciting things (shopping for/trying to sell a horse) that meant we spent a lot of time in the car/truck/barn. And lots of state highways.

I fell off all wagons. Writing wagon. Exercise wagon. Eating right wagon. Even the laundry wagon.

But this wasn't a failure unless I stop here. A detour, possibly. Maybe even a trip into the ditch on the side of the road. But not a failure.

Come Monday, spring break is over. Then you'll find my behind in the chair. (Or my feet on the treadmill, working at my desk there.) And I'm going to keep showing up every day until I actually have changed my habits. Which means I'll keep showing up every day from then on.

Hallelujah amen.

Time To Check In

Consider yourself nagged.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Uh Oh

Nothing much to report here. Really.

I'm really going to have to stop procrastinating and put my tush in the chair. Otherwise April's going to be a very short month.

I hope everyone else is just buzzing along!

Monday, April 6, 2009

April's Auspicious Beginning

It wasn't a very productive writing week for me. Only 867 words, a far cry from my goal of 5000 words. But it was our spring break and we spent four days skiing and the other days having a lot of fun. Two of my writing sessions were spent reworking a troubled scene. I love the way it came out even if it took forever to whip those four pages into shape!

The good news is my revised synopsis was accepted, and I'm waiting to hear when my proposal will be due. It'll be sometime this month so I need to get back on track this week.

Hope everyone's writing is flowing!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New month, new gameplan

It's a new month! Hurray for April and spring and newness and all that wonderful Easter candy that has made me leave behind all my weightloss intentions until after the holiday! Hurray!

With the new month comes a new gameplan, especially since all of my family stresses seem to be finally resolving themselves. Life is good and a high word count is excellent!

So, to report my progress. Didn't get to write much on the 1st (had to still take care of one of those last family things), but I did get more than 500 good words written despite the day's running. And made my goal for the 2nd and 4th, with the 3rd coming in at more than double. So, for the first week of April...drumroll, please... a tiny bit more than 6700 words!

Still working on today's, but that, of course, goes into next week's word count total hopper.

Good luck to all!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April Participants so far - updated

Here's who I've heard from about doing JaNo in April:

... and, yes, Jen... ME.


I may have forgotten someone... I'm dopey from my cold... but feel free to leave a comment here or email me if you want to participate. I'm updating the goals on the sidebar this weekend.

Week Word Count

It's still early and I have plans on writing more today, but I wanted to get my word count in. We're off to do some work at my mother's so I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to post again.

Another fairly good week. My total is 6668 words this week. I had a lightbulb moment yesterday afternoon with a manuscript that I adore but is too bland. I've put it aside until I can figure out how to make it exciting. Ideas come to me slowly but surely and I had one yesterday. It won't be the story's saving grace, but it'll help it out immensely, I think, even though it (along with another idea I had) means doing a complete re-write to implement the changes. I'm not ready to go there yet, not until I know exactly what the real saving grace will be.

But the story got a real good prologue this morning and I'm happy with that.

Hope everyone had an awesome week. Enjoy your weekend and happy writing to all!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The In Between Stage

Happy April, Everyone!! Yay, Spring!! 

I'm off for a weekend filled with softball, a final proof, and a Sweet 16 party. Lately, I'm hesitate to dive into something new, since I should hear from my editor at some point this month to confirm my next SCREWBALL project. But, like Marianne would say, that's just a good excuse, so here are my April goals.. (Love ya, Marianne!) 

1. Finish brainstorming my new upper YA novel.  
2. Write 10,000 words of my new upper YA novel. 
3. Write 20,000 words of my next SCREWBALL novel. I should find out next week if the editor accepted the first three chapters of the prequel or if she wants the first three chapters of SCREWBALL 3. :) 

What's on tap for everyone this weekend? 

Have a fabulous weekend! 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hope everyone has a great start to April!

So, my self-imposed exile is over. It's been a MONTH. It's good to be back.

I'm really, really looking forward to writing again.

I won't get caught up, but I will start commenting.

I hope everyone had a productive March!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bring it on!

Bye, bye March!

Now that I've been to the post office and back, I'm ready to tackle April.
I'm thinking that I'd like to up the month's ante to 50,000 words. I've got a project underway, and I think that if I work my keister off I should be able to make another postal run come May 1st. Yeah, I'm optimistic but why not reach for the moon? Even if I don't get a chance to swing on it this month, I'll have a blast reaching so I'm going for it.
What about you? You in?

Heading into April

Okay folks... at least a few of us want to keep on going. If you'll send me your goals, I'll make sure the right ones are listed on the sidebar. If I don't hear from you by the end of the week, I'll assume you DON'T want to keep on keeping on, and will take you off the list of participating bloggers.

And, I'll continue nagging... at least now and then so you don't feel lonely and unloved.