October Goals

Last Quarter of 2013: Are you Ready?

long-road

( via freimaurer32 )

 

To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite shows, here’s THE ROAD SO FAR:

 

WRITING:

This year, I came up with four new stories: Hamelin, The Curse of Briar Rose (a reframing of the story premise morphed it into Aaralyn’s Song), all YA Fantasy, A Love Less Ordinary, a contemporary (possibly Women’s Fiction), and a boatload of new story ideas.

I did the Blogging A to Z Challenge in April, along with Camp NaNoWriMo, SavvyAuthors Boot Camp.

I also participated in JuNoWriMo, July’s Camp NaNoWriMo JulNoWriMoand AugNoWriMo

Just when I thought I was WriMo’d out, I spent September revising Imprint, a Spec Fiction Thriller.

All this writing was just for my WIP. I also had various workshop assignment, as well, as my blog posts along with my FRIDAY FORAGE series.

 

READING:

I think I’ve read close to thirty-five books this year. Lately, the focus has been on writing reference or anything to do with how the brain works.

Outside of actual books, I’ve been eyeballs-deep in critiques, beta reads, and book reviews. I suppose all the strain on the eyes was to make up for the exhaustion on the digits from the writing.

For those who don’t know, I’ve been dealing with a fractured thumb and seasonal allergies. The allergy shot regimen has made all the aforementioned tasks an interesting challenge.

 

NETWORKING:

The writing community continues to grow and now that I’m a mod at SavvyAuthors and the WFWA Forums, the reach seems to be boundless.

 

LEARNING:

I’ve expanded my horizons with Udemy, and Duolingo. More learning experiences are coming up this month with Coursera. Gotta keep the brain active. 🙂

All that plus some mad ukelele playing and I’m all set.

 

 

=8=

OCTOBER WRITING:

Major prep needed for my upcoming November challenge with Entangled Smackdown. It was supposed to be a Thriller but since that imprint isn’t included in the challenge, I think I’ll write for the novella imprint. Problem is, what word count will I focus on? The imprint requires 10K-15K words but the challenge is 50K. Do I write multiple novellas? Good thing I have a month to plan. This time, actually plan. No matter how many times I have the intent to plan for a WriMo, something happens and I end up outlining in a forty-eight hour window.

I’ll still work on my other WIPs, old and not-as-old. The writing never stops.

 

OCTOBER READING:

The reading tasks haven’t changed. In fact, they’ve increased. All good stuff, however. I’m keeping an open mind–and still looking for a speed reading course.

 

OCTOBER NETWORKING:

Modding and communicating with the writing world continues. Accountability keeps us moving forward and that’s what it’s all about.

 

OCTOBER LEARNING:

More brain boosts with Udemy, CourseraDuolingo. I’m on Level 10 in Spanish and Level 7 in French. I’m adding German to the mix, just because. With the other learning opportunities, I’m learning about writing, time management, fitness, and everything in between. It’s an exciting time and fortuitous to have the internet. There’s no limit to attaining knowledge and bettering ourselves.

 

 

=8=

The last three months of this highly productive year are about to roll on. I’m excited to see what happens next.

Care to join me?

longroad

( via 00_jack_00 )

#ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In 2013/06/19

FINAL CHECK-IN FOR ROUND TWO

This was my first time doing #ROW80 and it was quite a ride.

APRIL:

Camp NaNoWriMo. Wrote the beginnings of a YA Fantasy Series. Book One turned into more of Book Two (more on that later.) Working titles are BOOK ONE: HAMELIN and BOOK TWO: THE CURSE OF BRIAR ROSE. I’m still stormin’ the brain for the Series Title.

Savvy Authors Boot Camp. Wrote contemporary fiction. Title: A LOVE LESS ORDINARY. Like the YA Fantasy Series, it’s the first time I tried writing in this genre.

Blogging A to Z Challenge. A month of firsts, I created this blog for the purpose of chronicling my progress. Then I discovered this challenge. It was interesting to keep this going while writing two stories at the same time.

#ROW80, Round Two. Yeah, so I figured with all that on my plate for April, I couldn’t say no to this awesome method of accountability. It certainly kept me on my toes.

MAY:

Last year I joined a lovely group of writers where we checked in with each other each Monday for pep talks, moral support, celebration and commiseration of our writing efforts. #wipmadness and two years of March Madness has kept my creative juices flowing and definitely served as a catalyst to my foray into the online writing community.

In May, one of my fellow WIPsters, Deb Marshall hosted #middlegrademay. I read ten books, though if you saw my TBR list, you wouldn’t have noticed the dent. Reading all the great MG books out there reminded me how important it is to be on both sides of the book, so to speak.

JUNE:

Reading books was a nice reprieve for my aching digits. So, I originally said I’d skip JuNoWriMo and just plan for July’s Camp NaNo and Savvy Author’s Boot Camp. It didn’t take too much arm pulling from fellow writers to get me all excited to write NOW, so I ended up doing the following (and am still in the midst thereof):

JuNoWriMo and Kiwi Writers SoCNoCThis time I decided to devote my words–and brain–to the Fractured Tales Series. Formerly known as Fractured Fairytales, the universe has since expanded to include other notables (and less notables) from lore, myths, legends, and other fictional worlds (that I can legally include). In April, my attempts to blend the stories of The Pied Piper and Sleeping Beauty turned too epic even by April’s standards.

I moved the Sleeping Beauty element (previously a subplot in Book One) to have it’s own focus for Book Two. The Pied Piper is my protagonist for the series and BOOK ONE: HAMELIN will serve as an origin story. Therefore, a complete overhaul was needed, characters rewritten, expanded, new angles, backstory, the gamut. It’s been a trip and I my brain’s churning out the scenes faster than my digits or dictation software can record them.

25,000 Words in 7 Days was an ambitious challenge. Made it just shy of 18,000 words but that was because there’s so much material to work with when you have a Fractured Tales Series. Once I got going on certain scenes, it took someone to nudge me from my spot for me to realize how long I’d been typing away. Unfortunately, this time around, I was only able to get two to three hours per night for writing. The rest went to The Keysmashing Tots. They kinda trump everything.

WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER starts this Friday-GAH! Two days–June 21st and runs until September 21st. Meh. I shouldn’t really be surprised. Considering I want to get this series out of my brain by the end of the year, I’ll be participating in every variation of WriMo from now until New Year’s. It’s exciting to be this excited about something. You know what I’m talking about here.

Not to be outdone. Reading made a comeback with THE 48 HOUR BOOK CHALLENGE, June 7th to 9th, and continues with 30 Books in 90 Days starting June 23rd. Should keep me busy, yeah? When not with TKT, I should have a book (or ebook) in hand or should be writing one. How’s that for keeping me in the creative mindset? 🙂


Apologies if I’ve left something out. As you might have noticed, it’s been a busy 80 days. 🙂

I smile as Round Two draws to a close, mainly because I’ve been super productive. I’ve written close to 200,000 words and have read almost 3,000 words of other authors so far. Many, many more words to come: written, read, spoken, and otherwise. I’m already chuffed about my Round Three Goals post. The line-up is expected to be full of wordtastic opportunities. I look forward to Round Three and am grateful for a fabulous writing community that keeps me motivated to keep on keepin’ on.

See you in the next round.

ROW80Logocopy

Blogging my ABCs: A Look Back

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9

When I first started my blog just over a month ago, it was with the intent to chronicle a zany idea I had of writing two novels at once during April. I had the option of writing just one story for both challenges, but I upped the ante. In the last days of March, I was pleasantly surprised to see people commenting and following my lil’ blog. I decided to check out some of these blogs and I happened upon a blogging challenge that was just days away. The countdown for the sign-up egged me on. “You’re going to blog anyway for the novel challenges, might as well blog through the alphabet, too.” With a Kanye shrug, I decided to give it a whirl. I mean, what did I have to lose except sleep, meals, a little bit of my sanity, and a lot of the feeling in my fingers.

April was filled with writing, blogging, and tweeting all things writerly. The Blogging A to Z Challenge gave me a chance to dive into the blogosphere with that ‘learn-as-you-go’ appeal. By day one, I had the themes picked out for 40% of the alphabet and had already pre-written three posts. Out of the gate, I was on fire and the excitement of people liking what I had to say pushed me forward on this writing spree.

I took to heart the tips on blogging etiquette and wanted to get posts out as early as possible so that fellow-bloggers in different timezones would have a chance to read them. I could have set up the schedule posts and gone to bed, but I also wanted to tweet the announcement of the post as well as post a FB message on my writer page. That meant I’d stay up late for these tasks. At least I had the good sense to switch from 5am postings to just after midnight.

However, that extra step only worked for so long due to long days of writing (in back to back sprints) along with the highs and lows that happened outside of my writing life. The last handful of posts were done closer to the wrong midnight, but I managed to get them uploaded before I turned into a pumpkin.

I learned a few things about myself as a writer and as a neophyte in the blogging world.

1) The first and most important thing is to respect myself as a person. I was unkind to myself as I spent hours on end writing for novels or for the blog. I’d forget to eat and type well into the carpal tunnel danger zone, to the point that my hands and wrists would tingle and go numb with pain shooting up my arm. As much as I’d love to say that a writer is who I am, I learned to accept the fact that writing is what I choose to do. Writing is my passion but it is not what defines me. Who I am is still a mere mortal who needs to eat and sleep like the rest of the world. And if it comes down to me having to choose between writing and taking care of my family, like it did here, family wins, every time.

2) If I allow my imagination to run free as I write, I can pleasantly surprise myself with the results. This was made possible by twenty-six writing prompts. More specifically, twenty-six letters that compelled me to brainstorm further what I wanted to write about. On several occasions, what I originally planned on writing morphed into something better in the drafting stage. It was nice to have a loose structure to work from with enough leeway to get creative–which, I imagine, was the point. I learned to not take myself too seriously (it has adverse effects in writing) and still remained committed to completing the challenge.

3) Although writing is a solitary act, there is a great writing community full of support. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are other like-minded people in the world willing to write until their hands fall off because they’re so passionate about what they do. Taking part in the blog hop allowed me a glimpse into the lives of fellow artists. I was both humbled and inspired by everyone’s creativity.

survivor_[2013]

I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing and I look forward to the next alphabetical blogging challenge <– see what I did there?

Thank you for keeping me entertained while nurturing my writing muse. It truly was an amazing ride.

Blog on!

Tonette

#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.

survivor_[2013]

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?

ROW80Logocopy

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.

GOALS FOR MAY & BEYOND:

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.

ROW80Logocopy