Hammering Out the Words


A.K.A. It’s That Time of Year Again…




October whooshed by with as much gusto as the SIDEWAYS rain we’ve been having on the homefront.

Finally in the groove with this whole full-time student gig, so what do I do? I joined the annual festival of masochists as we all write 50,000 words. Natch.

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#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In & May Writing Goals

April was busy, crazy, hectic, awesome, draining, exhilarating and… over? 😦

Got some pretty badges for my efforts:

Camp-NaNoWriMo-2013-Winner-Lantern-Square-ButtonI ended Camp NaNoWriMo with 75,416 words. I had my ups and downs but writing sprints were super helpful. I also met fellow writers online. We supported each other through the sprints and gave moral support during times of brainstorming and times of utter frustration at getting those word counts! What’s great is that these writerly connections will continue on to future NaNos and other challenges in between. We’ll be beta-reading for each other, and maintain accountability for our goals throughout the year. I think that’s an even better prize than exceeding my word count targets. Mind you, I have many words to go in my Camp Nano fairytale mashup, but I’m excited at the prospect of worldbuilding and writing something outside my usual fare. I’m taking workshops to help write something this grand and hope that by the next Camp NaNo, I’ll have this story polished and will be ready to tuck in to Book Two in the series.

I also exceeded my word count targets for my Savvy Author April Boot Camp. I ended up with 75,145 words. I have more to go on this story, as well, and I can see heavy revisions for both in the near future. The Savvy Authors website is going under a revamp, so I’m not worried that we don’t have badges yet. I’m actually excited to see the new site that will be up soon. This story was also out of my usual genre, so I’m proud that I tried new writing projects in April.


A through Z. Done. That was an interesting challenge. I started off ahead of the game but ran into some RL issues that kept me from hopping as much as I’d have liked. The blog topics themselves were interesting to brainstorm. As this is my first attempt at a blog, I think I got off to a great start. We’re asked to write a Blogging A to Z Challenge Reflections Post. Since today is a check-in for a pre-existing challenge and I have the next several Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays devoted to challenges, as well, I think I’ll do a special Reflections Post this Friday. I read that there is also an upcoming A to Z Road Trip Challenge. I’ll keep my eye out for something new like that. It’s a great way to use the alphabet as writing prompts and has helped me work on creative non-fiction. I’d say that’s an added bonus from this blogging challenge experience.

And now today, the first day of a new month of writing opportunities. Let’s have a run-down on what’s ahead for me:

1) Round of Words in 80 Days – Each Wednesday and Sunday I’ll be checking in to make sure I’m on track with my writing goals. Aside from the 100 Pages Challenge I’ll continue throughout the month with a focus on the fairytale mashup. If I can write more of the contemporary fic draft, I’ll do that, too. Camp may be over but the writing continues.

2) 100 Pages in 7 Days Challenge – 25,000 words from May 1st to May 7th. Today I wrote 3,872 words. If we count the standard 250 words to a page, that comes out to 15.488 pages. Just for fun, I’m going to round down and say I got 15/100 pages today.

3) Work on the blog. Blog at least twice a week. With these new challenges, I’ll be blogging at least three times a week. I might hold off on the aesthetics of the blog (i.e. web hosting, theme upgrade, etc.) and just work on building more content.

4) Read. READ MANY BOOKS with a focus this month on MG Lit. I had the good fortune of participating in March Madness, two years running. The hashtag and support continues throughout the year under #wipmadness. Last month, Ghost Girl (a.k.a. Mary Ann) hosted the weekly check-ins every Monday. After daily check-ins during March, I felt less pressure but just as much accountability, so it was a good thing.  This month, Deb Marshall is hosting and she also has a reading challenge for Middle Grade books. This is perfect to keep me motivated as I catch up on my reading. I’ll be posting and tweeting about that using #middlegrademay and it should be exciting. I miss reading fiction. I’ve been focused on writing reference and it would be good to dive back into the fictional world again.

So, this is me. May 1st, 2013. A lil’ bit o’ this. A lotta that. Writing, reading, and loving every minute of it. What’s your plan this month?


A to Z Challenge 2013 – Z is for…


I can’t believe we’ve reached the end of the alphabetic blogging challenge already. April blew by so fast, though I tell ya, my digits can feel every last typed letter. Sometimes, handwritten. Also, there may have been tears. More like weeping, but I digress.

Not only did I blog all of April, I wrote the better part of two novels, as well. I say better part because the stories are taking me on a ride that it will be some time before I type the words THE END on either of them. Good news, though, I met my writing goals for the month. That alone is an accomplishment to be proud of.

What does this have to do with Ze Frank, you ask? Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you just thought, way to finish the alphabet, Tonette. There is a link between Ze Frank, the man, the end of this blogging challenge, and my writing journey.

First of all, I love his vlogs and everything he’s got going on his site. I’m a fan of his infotaining TED Talks. The vid I’d like to share with you today is important. Don’t be fooled by the title. I didn’t have some of the crazy kool-aid. And I’m not trying to be ironic.

Here, why don’t you watch it before I explain further. In case you haven’t already seen this piece of awesomeness, please know that there is strong language ahead. Viewer/listener discretion is advised… but it’s so worth it.

This is the end of my April Challenges, yet I feel like I’m just getting started. Ze Frank’s Invocation for Beginnings helps bring everything full circle. I challenged myself to be more awesome. I took on a write-a-palooza that would make a normal person wince. However, in my quest for awesomeness, I have determined that normal isn’t in the cards for me or anyone who chooses the path of creativity.

Thirty days later, I’m excited, exhausted, happy, humbled, and hungry for more. More punishment? The delicious masochism of my writing journey keeps me on my toes. I don’t want to place unrealistic goals on myself but I want to stretch the limits of my abilities and my wild imaginings. If the only person holding me back is me and I have the power over what comes next, then the only way is forward.

To be or not to be.

I choose to be.

I am the captain of my fate, the master of my soul.

But I have miles to go before I sleep and with every step taken, I rage against the dying of the light.

This isn’t the end but only the beginning. A new challenge or opportunity, the start of the next stage in my writing journey. What’s next for me? Tomorrow is the Mid-Week Check-In for Round of Words in 80 Days. New month, some new goals, some continuous, all in forward motion.

Thanks for joining me this month. I hope to see you next month and beyond.

There is so much to do, so much to write, and I can’t wait.


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter


A to Z Challenge 2013 – Y is for…


Once upon a time, there was sliced bread. Then the internet came. And it became the best thing since, well, you know. Out of the binary woodwork, more newfangled–and billion dollar grossing–bits of ingenuity have made their way into our lives via the magical interweb. Remember ICQ? Friendster? Then MySpace took center stage. Facebook brought global communication to a whole new level. I have mad love for Twitter (in 140 characters or less), but something has to be said for the global reach and appeal of this lil’ guy named YouTube.

You can watch your favorite shows, vlogs, and other visually appealing, if not sometimes scandalous material, on YouTube. A creative renaissance has emerged through this medium and we find web series, instructional videos, book trailers, and musical acts that make a big impact on an international level. How many now celebs were first discovered from a video uploaded to YouTube?

In honor of this amazing hub that unites us all in some way (through laughter, tears, and Harlem Shaking), I would like to provide a selection of many great videos for your perusal curated from their archives. I could devote an entire year of blogging to YouTube and I’d still have too many to choose from.

Sit back and enjoy. (Well, after you hit ‘play’, and all that. You know the drill.)

Let’s not forget amazing additions to our lexicon: You know something good–or really bad–has happened when you hear the words ‘YouTube Sensation’ and/or ‘gone viral’. And let’s not forget the love/hate relationship we have with the glam of autotune. Mature themes and language ahead. Viewer/listener discretion is advised.

The original vid can be found here, but you quickly learn that the autotune version is far more entertaining.

Last, but certainly not the least:

Here’s the original. I must admit, it was also, erm, enlightening.

I have at least a dozen–or three–more I can think of right now, but the bandwidth police might wig out. Do you have any youtube favorites? Or do you have any that you believe have used up their fifteen minutes (or however long their vid is) of fame?

Yes, I left out a video by a certain Korean popstar that has the record for most views.

And yes… I know the dance moves to Gangnam Style. I am not ashamed.

YouTube, hit the music!

[Tonette exits stage left.]


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter


Week in Review – 2013/04/22 – 2013/04/28

Two days left in the month of writetasticness.

Updated stats. The deets of my original goals can be found here and here.

Camp NaNoWriMo April, 2013 – Current word count, not including Sunday’s totals = 67,474 (I wrote 14,154 words this week.)

Savvy Authors April Boot Camp – Current word count not including Sunday’s totals = 65,876 (I wrote 14,919 words this week.)

Blogging A to Z Challenge – A through X posted

Round of Words in 80 Days – Four Mid-Week Check-Ins and Four Sunday Check-Ins (including today)

Holy carpal tunnel, Batman!

Very pleased with my word counts but I’ve found so much story in the twists and turns this month that the stories are nowhere near over. Originally, I was going to alternate NaNo months with revisions, but I’ll continue with these stories while they’re fresh in my noggin.


1) Round of Words in 80 Days – This challenge, as the name suggests, has 50 more days to go. I’m glad that I’ll have check-ins twice a week to keep me on track.

2) 100 Pages in 7 Days Challenge – 25,000 words in a week? Pfft. Hi, May. Have you met April? 😉 Challenge accepted and continued.

3) Work on the blog. Blog at least twice a week. Also, I’ll be looking into web hosting and switching to wordpress.org down the road.

4) Read. READ MANY BOOKS. My TBR pile is ridiculous. Also, I’m reviewing some books through goodreads and might add a review series on the blog.

5) Summer Novel Writing Challenge – June 21st to September 21st. I’ll brainstorm what stories I want to develop for the upcoming challenges.

I’ll add more goals as they come, but I think I have a fair amount to work with in the coming weeks. Thanks to everyone who’s joined me. Your encouragement and inspiration fuels my creativity.