Ready, Set, WRITE Final Progress Report

This is it, the end of RSW! I can’t even believe that it’s over!

I’m understanding that this year they are doing a “Manuscripts and Manicures” thing where you get a manicure in colors related to your WIP and post pictures? Sounds awesome, but I’ve been SWAMPED and have not been able to get it done. However, I

A hand of flames.
A hand of flames.

do have a stock photo I purchased a few years back for a project that does in fact remind me of one of my WIPs, Fireborn. —>

Okay, so onward with the reporting!

I did okay this go around. I took a few camping trips with hubby and that did not result in any big wordcount numbers, but did result in pictures! Also, I took on a few freelance editing jobs that made it tough to get any sort of groove going, and that’s totally okay. But that’s what happened. In some instances, I was just too busy to do something.

I also was adjusting to new medication for trigeminal neuralgia, and that impacted my ability to be productive.

So, enough with the whining! Here’s the final rundown:

How I did last week:

~Get to halfway point on editing job (page 175 or better!) DONE! Hit page 180 last night!
~Write something, anything, even small! DONE! Wrote a scene in Covenant last night. Don’t have a wordcount yet. It’s still on my iPad.

How I did overall:

~Finish Fireborn, my fantasy novella, episode #2 in my Reaper Girl Chronicles. NOT DONE. I haven’t finished the draft, but I’m within 10k or less of finishing, and I have A Plan for the rest!  fireborn_banner
~Outline Ever Touched (Fey Touched book #3) in Hivemind. (I do not do much outlining at all, so this will be light. But I’d like something laid out to follow) DONE to the extent it could be done. It kind of fell by the wayside as other goals took priority, but it’s started and as I’ve mentioned, I don’t do total scene-by-scene outlines b/c I like a bit of mystery.
~10k or more on Covenant, my dark fantasy project (stealthily writing now) DONE! It’s around 11k or so.
~Continue to work on Survivor on Sundays (Survivor is a psychological horror novel I started waaaay back in 2004 and wrote it only on Sundays. Over the years, I got out of the habit — although I had finished the book — and wanted to try it again with the rewrite.) NOT DONE. This also fell a bit by the wayside between camping trips and editing jobs. I have been thinking about it a lot and I did begin a comprehensive re-outline for the rewrite. Soon, I’ll restart Survivor Sundays again. However, I did manage a couple of Sundays, just not a whole lot!
~Participate in Camp Nano July session/pick a project DONE! Covenant and Fireborn combined for a total of 10k which made my goal!

Non-writing goals:

~Create a name for Etsy shop (still noodling) DONE, although it’s nowhere near the one I want. Supposedly it can be changed.
~Find manual 35mm camera and see if it still works. If it does, shoot test roll. DONE on finding the camera, NOT DONE on test roll. Needed to buy a new camera body. Waiting for things to calm down so I can do the test roll.
~Read (2) books for review and post reviews by August 31 or sooner DONE #1, but not #2. It’s been read but not reviewed yet.
~Organize office NOT DONE but started!

For the excerpt, here’s part of what I wrote last on Fireborn:

“May I come in? It’s kinda cold out there.”

“Of course,” I said as I opened the door wider. Love watched the girl’s every moment. “Please have a seat on the couch. Can I get you anything to drink?”

Her eyes glistened with tears. “Water?”

“On its way,” Rick said. He left to get it.

I gestured for her to sit down, and once she was seated, she released a shuddering sigh, the kind you get when you’ve been crying for hours and you’re not sure you have anything left inside you. I was worried. I didn’t know her, but she’d been through something unpleasant.

I could relate.

“So…what’s going on?”

She squirmed. Clasped her hands together, then released them. Played with her long black hair. “It’s…it’s about the murders.”

“What do you mean?” Rick asked as he entered the room. He handed the water to the girl, who thanked him and drank it almost in one gulp.

“I know what’s been going on. Because I’ve been a part of it.”

“What?” I couldn’t even believe what I’d heard. I exchanged an incredulous look with Rick. “Are you saying…”

“I was part of the group that killed Samantha. I’m scared that I’ll be next.”

“How did you find us?” Rick asked, reaching for my hand.

“I had a vision,” the girl replied matter-of-factly. “I saw you and your husband. And your cat.” She glanced at Love, whose hackles went up. “She doesn’t like me, does she?”

“She’s a…very special kind of cat.” I went to Love and picked her up, holding her close to me. She was purring, but not out of content. She was afraid of this girl. “Let’s start from the beginning. Who are you and how did you come to have a vision about us?”

The girl swallowed hard, eyeing Love warily. “Cats don’t like me, for some odd reason. I’m a witch. I practice black magic, and I know you’re not entirely human.” She looked at Love. “And she’s not from this world.”

“Name. Please?” Rick prompted. He’d paled. No one had ever discovered who we were. Or were so blunt as to tell us so.

“I don’t know what to say.”

She smiled, looking all innocent. A black witch? Hellfire. “My name is Mercy.”

“How appropriate,” Rick muttered. “So…you saw us in a vision. Why?”

Mercy shrugged. “Because you are connected to the murders.”

“And what murders are you referring to?” I asked. Just in case this wasn’t about our case. Hey, it was possible.

“The ones that appear to be suicides.” Mercy stood, set her glass of water down, and wandered to the wall where we’d hung our wedding pictures and pictures of Love. She glanced at us over her shoulder. “As I said, I was part of the group. And Samantha wants revenge on us all. The first two were in the group, too. And there’s a fourth, but I’m not as interested in helping him. He’s a douche.” She lifted her hand and traced a path down the frame of one picture. “You two will be very happy. You’re truly matched.” She turned back to us, and her eyes seemed…deeper. More piercing. “You will have a child together and she will be very powerful.”

My stomach twisted. I’d never even considered getting pregnant. “Oh?”

“Leliel…pregnant?” Apparently, Rick thought the same. Or so I hoped.

Mercy nodded. “A female born in this world but with Reaper blood.” She went back to the couch, but didn’t sit. “I’m here to stop my own murder. And…I guess Tom’s.” She shrugged. “It would be the right thing to do.”

I felt nauseous with the knowledge that we were talking to one of the people who’d committed this horrific crime. “But why, Mercy? Why kill someone?”

“She was being a bitch.” Mercy sat. “She…had been cheating on Freddie for like, ever – “

“But that’s no reason to murder someone, burn them to death!” Rick cried.

“There’s more. You’re aware we’re into the occult, right?”

Rick and I nodded together. Horror filled me, filled every cell. I was afraid at what came next. No, make that terrified.

“Well, she cast a spell on him,” Mercy said, tucking an errant strand of hair behind her ear. “She called it the ‘failure spell.’” Air quotes. “Meaning, everything he’d ever do he would fail at – tests, winning girls over, his goals…everything. Forever.”

“Surely not literally forever, right?” Rick asked. He was sweating.

Mercy nodded. “Yes. Forever. That’s the other thing. It was supposed to give him a form of immortality. But not the good kind. The worst kind imaginable.”

I did not want to know. I did not want to know.

“Explain?”

“Rick,” I hissed. “Really?”

“Curiosity,” Rick whispered.

“Hellfire.”

“Let’s just say that he’d age normally but with no youth. That can be…really bad.”

I’d heard of punishments handed out by His Highness like this. The person would literally turn to dust in time, and the question was always if that dust was still conscious…bile came up my throat, and I made a beeline for the bathroom.

“Is she pregnant?” I heard Mercy ask. “Because that is one of the symptoms.”

Is Leliel pregnant? And is Mercy telling the truth? Stay tuned!

Well, this has been so much fun, and thank you all for the encouragement and cheering and the kind words! Good luck with your future endeavors.

RSW Progress Report 8/24/15

I believe this is the second to last week of RSW, and I’m kind of sad because this has been so much fun!

How I did on last week’s goals:

I did pretty well, actually.

~Finish edit job DONE!
~Finish rough draft of Changeling 3 DONE and revised!
~Read and review short story for TDP member DONE!
~SOMETHING RELATED TO WRITING OR ACTUAL WRITING, no word count goals, just something! DONE! 997 words on Fireborn, came up with a plan for the end. Put together a plan* for the next 6 months or so of writing projects.

*I’m shifting my focus to shorter works, i.e. novellas, longish short stories, and shorter novels. I think I would gain more traction by having more things out there. Novels take me years to write and revise; novellas and shorter novels would take less time. (In theory, anyways ;)  )  So that is my plan. I gave myself rough deadlines for each thing (4 total to start with) plus 7 “floating” projects — projects I can pick up as alternates if I’m having issues or am not inspired to write a certain one when its time. I have no idea how this will go — it’s my first time setting actual deadlines of my own and not writing 130k novels. So, time will tell.

This week’s goals:

~Get to halfway or thereabouts on editing job
~WRITE something, anything! Can be small, as I don’t want to get behind on the editing

Editing will take up most of my time, so that’s why there are few goals. I work a day job, so I have to fit everything in and sometimes I get strapped for time!

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: FINALLY. I got words! And a plan!

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc) Motivation and focus. Still having issues. :(

Something I love about my WIP: That I’m on track again and am nearly done writing it (technically).

How did you do?

#ROW80 Check-in 8/23/15

I’m doing some better. Still having vertigo, but I no longer want to curl up and hide somewhere, so that’s good, right?

I made some progress!!!

997 words on Fireborn and I think I’m unstuck. And, I have an idea for a spin-off series. Thanks, muse!

I’ve been thinking about revision, and decided to go back to Holly Lisle’s How to Revise Your Novel class, which I took waaay back in 2008. It has been invaluable for figuring out where I messed up and where I didn’t, which is really cool. So I printed off the first lesson worksheets and will be working on them once Fireborn is done.

I also have been inspired (by Holly Lisle) to shift my focus a bit to shorter works. And I’ve thought about it before, but never really considered it for reasons I don’t know (too many novel ideas?). She says that the more you have out there for purchase, the more traction you get with sales. I would love to go full time with this, but I need a certain amount of money to make the leap, and sadly, it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve got two books out and two poetry chapbooks and a free anthology. I’d like to get a few more shorter works (novellas primarily) out there. Part of why I decided to write Fireborn was because of that, actually. But I’d like to put out a few more novellas, like novella #3 in the Reaper Girl universe, Flamebound (which was a novella, then I planned an expansion to novel length, and am now planning it as a novella. Crazy!) which has been languishing far too long and is on my priority list of projects. I have a few novel ideas that could be serialized (as long as there’s a complete story per installment — I’m not a fan of having incomplete stories and forcing people to buy three installments vs one novel, but that’s my opinion) and a few longish short story ideas that are lower on the list but are intriguing. Might be some possibilities there. So that’s my main focus at the moment.

As for actual writing since the last check-in, very little. I’ve had a few Real Life things happen and I’ve been feeling a bit stuck. Now that I’ve worked on Fireobrn again, I feel pretty confident I can start again.

I will try to work a bit on Survivor after I finish this post.

And the fanfic-turned-original idea When the Stars Fall is still hounding me.

Noodling on Covenant, but no words.

Chocolate consumption: WW Sundaes (1 per day), chocolate sugar-free pudding (today), chocolate caramel thingies, Kit Kat minis, and some form of chocolate donut tonight.

New Music Rec: Leah (Symphonic/Celtic Metal)

I’ve always been passionate about music. It uplifts, it calms, it makes me think. I was exposed to music very early in my life, as my parents were always playing it. Because of that, I grew up listening to all kinds of music. When I was a teenager, I discovered heavy metal, and have more or less stayed within that genre since then. (I am also a diehard fan of classic rock – stuff like Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, The Who, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Styx, Steve Miller Band…the list goes on and on!). I have also been a huge fan of the band Queensryche since I discovered them in the 1990s (high school). They were, at the time, more progressive, and their songs always made me think. It was deep stuff when most bands were singing about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, I need a bit more :) (They’ve gone through some changes since then, including going a bit lighter and then changing singers and then exploding into metal again. While I respect the former lead singer, Geoff Tate, I have to give the new singer, Todd La Torre, credit for revitalizing the band and their brand. But overall, their music has literally changed my life.)

Soooo about 5-6 years ago, a good friend of mine turned me on to symphonic metal, which is heavy metal with symphonic and sometimes fantastical influences. A good portion of symphonic metal bands have female lead singers, which is awesome, as there aren’t many out there in metal. And, most of them are not American, which makes it even more interesting.

Most people know Nightwish. They’re Finnish, and they were like, the biggest symphonic band around. Then came others. And there are an amazing amount of them out there now. I almost can’t keep up. Now my music collection is about 70% symphonic or femme metal (metal fronted by women) and about 30% everything else.

I still love metal and classic rock — and 80s hair bands and pop bands and all that (I was an 80s child). But…I think the thing that brings me back again and again to symphonic metal is how different the sound is. If you’ve never heard it, I’m not sure I can explain this well, but I’ll try. There’s just…more to it. More musical elements. Beautiful arrangements and equally beautiful voices. The lyrics are cool, too. Some deal with fantasy type stuff. And most trend toward dark, which again, is totally me. ;) So I enjoy them. I also enjoy going on mad hunts for new bands. Most of the bands I’ve found are from hunts. (Pandora radio and Spotify are my friends in this. Nowadays you can sample stuff before you buy, which I strongly suggest. Because this is so different, you want to know before you buy if you even like it!)

Recently I saw an ad for a symphonic metal/Celtic singer Leah and decided to get a free download of three songs. I think I found a new one! I really, really like her music. She’s got a great voice, there’s some symphonic in it, and some Celtic (another favorite)! I’ve spent all afternoon sampling her music and am itching to purchase something. I didn’t really know what to expect from an ad — never have done that before. But I figured I couldn’t go wrong with free. From like, the first few bars of the first song, I was hooked.

So, if you think you may enjoy her music, or are just curious, check it out. I believe you can get it on her website http://www.leahmusic.net. (The ad was on Facebook if that helps). Her newsletter’s pretty cool, too. In the last one, she had pictures of herself wearing homemade chain mail. Yeah! Pretty neat!

So that’s my recommendation for today. Hope you enjoy. :)

#ROW80 Check-in 8/19/15

ROW80, here we are again!

I have to admit, I’ve made almost no progress on any writing so far this week. Real Life is conspiring against me!

Today I managed 526 words of Changeling 3, which I am proud of! It’s finally moving again! I’m hoping to get the rough draft done before freelance editing job #2 lands in my inbox. I started it in the middle, then moved to the beginning. Next it’ll be finishing the middle and adding the ending. I usually don’t work that way, but for some reason I had a mental block about where to start, and I did know the middle, so I went with it. I wonder if that would work for novels, When the Stars Fall in particular (it’s still trying to become fanfic. I don’t know).

I’m still having vertigo which is not good, and a bit scary. I had one last night in the shower. My mom had one of those railings put in when she had the bathroom renovated and thank God for that! I hate being unsteady, but having the rail there is helpful and I feel safer. (Hard to imagine not feeling safe in the shower…)

As for everything else…not much happening. I just hasn’t gotten back into the groove, and I hope to soon!

Maybe working on several projects isn’t working. I’m not sure. For now, I’ll keep with it, make a decision later.

Chocolate consumption: Some. Last night I had a few mini Kit Kats (I LOVE those!) and today I had a WW Sundae.One goal for next round will be an actual plan for dieting. I really, really need to lose get some weight off and I’ve been tap-dancing around actually dieting and well…it’s overdue. Why can’t the good stuff have NO calories? It’s crazy.

Some eye pain due to a storm front. I did take a loopy pill this time. But I haven’t taken one since vacation, so I call it good. Hopefully tomorrow the front will be gone and I’ll feel better.

I feel like this is a bit of a downer post, so I apologize. Usually I’m bursting with things to say! Today I’m a bit quiet, and I think it’s okay. Sometimes we need quiet, you know?

How did you do?

RSW Progress Report 8/17/15

I’m home!

And…trying desperately to get back into my normal routine.

How I did on last week’s goals:

I did okay. No actual writing, unfortunately, between camp prep and then at camp; I just didn’t feel up to it. I did manage a few things, though, which more or less made up for it. I also got hit with a paranormal romance idea that’s…very intriguing to my muse because it started off as fanfic…but I am not really a fanfic writer, and this has promise as an original work, one I may want to self-pub, so…yeah. Still working out details. Of course, I can’t really add it to my WIPs because I will go crazy, but I’m definitely making notes so I can tuck it away for later.

It may become book #1 of a series, one I’ve been planning for awhile…the worldbuilding intersects nicely and it may be doable…

Yeah. Anyhoo.

Here’s the actual rundown:

~Finish editing job and email the short story back to the writer (due 8/7) – DONE! I’m working on the final look edit as I type this.
~Start packing for vacation (!!) DONE! No kidding, Erin.
~500 words on Fireborn/rewritten portion min NOT DONE! But, I got the first half of it edited/revised and the second half I re-outlined. Stuck on one part, but am noodling.
~500 words min on Covenant NOT DONE.
~Review of Pas by SM Reine (!!!) DONE. Great book, great series.
On vacation:
~Take pictures on vacation, regular and infrared DONE and DONE! Once I get the infrared pics post-processed, I’ll put them up.
~Work on any project, any amount of words or outlining or whatever (usually I wait to see how I feel about being insanely productive or taking a break or doing just a bit. Every trip is different!) DONE with Fireborn and the new project.

This week’s goals:

~Finish edit job
~Finish rough draft of Changeling 3
~Read and review short story for TDP member
~SOMETHING RELATED TO WRITING OR ACTUAL WRITING, no word count goals, just something!

I’ve been feeling very out of sorts since coming home, and I want to ease into the swing and not pressure myself too much. I’ve been having vertigo attacks and that’s been scary, so…yeah. Just progress on something works.

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: Freaking muse! I love her, but she’s crazy when she’s got a new story idea! She was sending me whole scenes and conversations! I dreamed about it! I am consumed by it.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc): Not succumbing to the urge to start a new project, even though it would have been easy. And fun. :) (That’s how Covenant started).

Something I love about my WIP: What the hell, let’s talk about the new one. it started its life as Tell Me Your Secrets, but then morphed into a psychic thing, and thus, I changed the title to When the Stars Fall. The idea for the title came from a phase uttered by a character on one of the shows I watch, and it just stuck. It involves ley lines, soulmates, time travel, and clairvoyance believed to be mental illness. Pretty twisted, but should be fun. :)

How did you do on your goals?

#ROW80 Check-in 8/16/15

I’m home! Well, I’ve been home since Thursday, but have been busy getting unpacked and into the swing again.

It’s been tough. Vacations are absolutely awesome, but it’s so rough for me getting into the normal routine again. Tomorrow is my first day back to work and that’s bound to be a killer, and I’ve been feeling meh about my WIPs.

Also, I have been having vertigo attacks all week. At first I thought it was my body going wonky over not being home (it’s totally weird but true) but I continued having them when I got home, and more frequently. It’s scary because I never know when I’ll get one, and I worry about falling, so I’ve been living in a state of limbo and it’s exhausting. I’m not sure if it’s the new medication or not. It’s not listed as a side effect, but my research has turned up a few people who have experienced it as a side effect. Also, I’ve been on the new med for over a month, so the crazy beginning period is basically over so…I don’t know. I’ll be seeing the neuro again in September, and I will be bringing it up for discussion.

So here is the (pathetic) rundown of projects:

Fireborn – Revised first half while on vacation and re-outlined the second. Haven’t started any type-in or rewriting as of yet.
Covenant – Nothing done since last check-in. :(
Changeling 3 – Rough draft partially written before vacation. My goal this weekend (today, actually, since the weekend’s almost over) is to finish up the rough draft.
Survivor – Nothing, but have been thinking about it.

I also was hit with a new idea for a paranormal romance while camping, and let’s just say I am fending it off as I type this.

Also, I have another round of editing happening on my freelance project soon. So that is happening.

I am hoping to get back moving with everything once I feel a bit better.

Chocolate consumption report: A fair amount while on vacation, including s’mores made with fudge stripe cookies instead of graham crackers. They were SO GOOD!