October Goals

Last Quarter of 2013: Are you Ready?

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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?

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Week in Review – 2013/06/24 – 2013/06/30

WRITING:

JuNoWriMo and Kiwi Writers SoCNoC.  Also tweeting word count updates using #JuNoWriMo and #SoCNoC hashtags.

Fractured Tales Series Word Count Grand Total: 88,403 words (June)

Sleep. Does wonders. Chugged along and got splendiferous results. This total can join the 75,416 words I wrote in April. Not too shabby. I’m also pleased that I was able to exceed the 6K in a day challenge twice this weekend.

I have updates for WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER every Friday. More on that below.

I have some solid material to continue with for JulNoWriMoCamp NaNoWriMoand possibly Savvy Authors Boot Camp that starts on Monday. Already giddy because I’m enjoying the scenes I’ve written lately, pleasantly surprised and complete with oohs and ahhs.

READING:

Already the non-conformist, I’ve read books outside of the list I posted last week. Here’s what I read this week:

GIVER     12786668     15745594

Currently reading:

LoisLowry_GatheringBlue     16248113

I’ll continue reading non-fiction because it helps in my prep for next month’s writing challenges.

BLOGGING:

The third round of #ROW80 starts on July 1st. My goals are pretty straight forward for the next eighty days.

1) Continue to work on my Fractured Tales Series with all the WriMos and writing challenges I can find (see above).

2) Working simultaneously on BOOK ONE: HAMELIN and BOOK TWO: THE CURSE OF BRIAR ROSE.

3) Outline and plot BOOK THREE: AND THEN THERE WERE SEVEN.

4) There are some submission call-outs I’m considering with due dates on July 31st and August 31st. I’ll get those sorted.

5) Continue reading and blogging because I think all of this has helped me become a better writer.

6) Try to keep up with the supportive #ROW80 family and meet knew writing buddies on the blog hop.

7) Try super-duper hard not to edit as I write. That’s always been something that I need to work on (or not, as the case may be).

I’ll also be checking in with the #wipmadness community. To share my progress with WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER I started a new series of posts entitled FRIDAY FORAGE. Those posts are going to be fun.

OTHERS:

Treadmilled my brains out only to follow it up with both TKT having fevers. I’m also considering Urban Rebounding. It was a long week so I finally had the chance to unwind and catch up with my word counts this weekend. Duolingo still waits in the wings, but I’ll get on that.

A busy June. Can’t wait for July. Good thing I won’t have to. 🙂

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FRIDAY FORAGE – 2013/06/28

WEEK ONE: WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER

Last Friday began another writing challenge for me this year. Oodles of words have been read and written thus far, but I’m enjoying the process.

My project this summer, in tandem with all the WriMos I can count, is to continue my Fractured Tales Series.

It all began with an idea.

I saw an anthology submission call for a retelling of any fairy tale. I stormed the brained and ended up coming up with more than one idea–sound familiar? I ended up with so much story that couldn’t be contained in 7500 words or less. Of course, when April came along with challenges such as Camp NaNoWriMo and Savvy Authors Boot Camp, I decided to make it a full-on novel. I already had one story being written for Boot Camp and when I couldn’t decide on the Pied Piper themed story or Sleeping Beauty, I decided to do a mash-up.

Cut to May. 75K for this mash-up but the subplot started to creep to the forefront. It demanded its own story, so I figured, why not?

Along came JuNoWriMo. I was planning on using the month to prep for July’s Camp NaNo and  JulNoWriMo but I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge. I’m a masochist, that way. I extracted the subplot from Book One and it’s now the main plot of Book Two. This month has been me reconstructing Book One and I hope to continue the Series. At present, the flow is as follows (titles pending):

Book One: Hamelin

Book Two: The Curse of Briar Rose

Book Three: And Then There Were Seven

More to follow.

I’d like to wrap up 2013 with a series I can be proud of, spend the holidays polishing and start the New Year with a publishing twinkle in my eye.

So, here’s the deets for Week One on this summer writing adventure:

Wrote just under 20K this week, but after a lengthy assessment, I found about 7K of it Series worthy. I can always put the other words to good use later.

My beautiful Keysmashing Tots had fevers this week. It’s hard to write on a daily basis when your nephew and niece compete for your attention–with each other or as a distraction so they can climb onto your lap and have a go at the computer. The duo was aptly named. But the amount of sleep I haven’t had this week put a dent in my creative plans. As I’ve said before, TKT trump everything, so my writing time, though diminished, still happened, but my three hour window was cut in half. Sometimes I just had an hour to get the words out.

I’m home for the long weekend to recharge my own batteries and it’s odd (though hardly surprising) that I now find their absence to be a greater distraction from writing. I have two days to keep adding to my June word count–hoping to break 70K–and prep for Camp that starts on Monday.

It’s a long road ahead but the journey is the best part, don’t you think?

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Week in Review – 2013/06/17 – 2013/06/23

WRITING:

JuNoWriMo and Kiwi Writers SoCNoC.  Also tweeting word count updates using #JuNoWriMo and #SoCNoC hashtags.

Fractured Tales Series Running Word Count: 52,999 words

I’m not including today’s total yet because I still have some scenes I want to churn out. My weekend was on the higher end of the blerg scale and my super writing marathon didn’t end up happening.

Speaking of…

The WRITE YOUR NOVEL THIS SUMMER Facebook page has been quiet since the challenge started on Friday, June 21st. I’m hoping that it’s just because everyone’s busy writing. Even if that challenge doesn’t end up happening, I still have JulNoWriMoCamp NaNoWriMoand possibly Savvy Authors Boot Camp in July to keep me busy for at least the next six weeks. That’s triple the accountability. Good stuff.

My word count may not have poured forth, but I’ve done some plotting and more character sketches that will prove useful in the longrun. It’s a writing journey, after all, so I’m looking for that silver lining.

READING:

So, I’ve been psyching myself up for this 30 Books in 90 Days challenge that started today. Of course, I was finalizing my flexible reading list–which kinda makes it anything but final–and forgot that today was the start date. Haven’t read anything from the list yet, but hey, I’ve got 90 days. I suddenly went into panic mode for no reason so I think I’ll just post my list here and do the challenge unofficially, that way, I’m still reading without the added pressure. Here’s the list so far, but I’m willing to make changes and shift the order around.

1) THE GIVER – LOIS LOWRY

2) GATHERING BLUE – LOIS LOWRY

3) MESSENGER – LOIS LOWRY

4) THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

5) BEAUTY SLEEP – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

6) SUNLIGHT AND SHADOW – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

7) GOLDEN – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

8) BEFORE MIDNIGHT – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

9) THE WORLD ABOVE – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

10) BELLE – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

11) WINTER’S CHILD – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

12) WILD ORCHID – ONCE UPON A TIME – CAMERON DOKEY

13) THE FORT – ARIC DAVIS

14) THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER – STEPHEN CHBOSKY

15) THIRTEEN REASONS WHY – JAY ASHER

16) THE SELECTION – KIERA CASS

17) THE PRINCE – KIERA CASS

18)  THE ELITE – KIERA CASS

19) THE SUPERNATURALIST – EOIN COLFER

20) LEAPING BEAUTY – GREGORY MAGUIRE

21) WHAT-THE-DICKENS – GREGORY MAGUIRE

22) SHELTER – HARLAN COBEN

23) SECONDS AWAY – HARLAN COBEN

24) THE EYRE AFFAIR – JASPER FFORDE

25) BEASTLY – ALEX FLINN

26) BEASTLY: LINDY’S DIARY – ALEX FLINN

27) BEWITCHING – ALEX FLINN

28) CLOAKED – ALEX FLINN

29) ANGELFALL – SUSAN EE

30) OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE – NEIL GAIMAN

I might read more than one at a time, I might stop reading one altogether, if I lose interest, but the point is, I want to increase word counts both written and read for the rest of the year.

BLOGGING:

The third round of #ROW80 starts on July 1st. I need to take stock of my goals by then. The next 80 days will certainly be busy (just take a look at the challenges above).

Kim Baccellia’s blog hosts the June check-ins for the fantabulous #wipmadness community. Everyone’s working hard on their WIPs. Two more weeks until we switch hosts but the peer support continues.

OTHERS:

All my ‘gold star’ achievements have dwindled with Duolingo. Apparently, they want you to use the app on a regular basis. I get that. I suppose I was miffed that a glitch ruined my fifteen day streak. I used to get all happy when I’d receive an email saying that I’m doing well. Sure it’s automated but I thought it was super duper progress. Turns out I can learn Spanish beyond my family and my friends Dora and Diego.

No treadmill last week but The Keysmashing Tots did the equivalent of intense cross training with me. I totally believe those studies that show two football players completely spent after taking care of a two year-old for a single day.

June’s almost over. How’s your first half of the year been, so far?

#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.

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