#ROW80 Check-in #6

It’s Sunday already? Where’d all the time go?

It’s been a fairly productive week for me. Here’s what I’ve accomplished:

~I finished Fireborn! Yay!
~I’ve managed to drink water almost every day this week again. Double yay!
~I started my 8 minutes thing with Covenant yesterday. 485 words.
~I began inputting the new Survivor outline into Scrivener.
~I’ve read over and re-organized my Ever Touched document.
~15 minutes of physical activity twice this week
~I’ve been filling out my planner with each weekly and daily goals on an ongoing basis since the first week of January.
~Assessed the state of my darkroom and have decided to start dumping the old chemicals as soon as possible so I can order new ones.

I hit a bit of a stumbling block on Covenant. I know what’s supposed to come next, and since this is going to be a novella versus a novel, I have to keep the action tight. But as usual, I’m pantsing it, and I’m not sure how to execute the next few scenes. So that needs to get worked out.

I trust that my muse will toss something my way. ;)

Fireborn will need some serious work once I switch back to it. I’m not sure when that’s going to be – I had hoped to release it this year. I probably still can, but I have a few things that are more urgent – copyediting in March for the next TDP book, a story for an anthology, and of course, Ever Touched. So I’m not sure. I think the first half is pretty solid, for the most part. I think it’s the second half that needs the most work. We shall see.

I’d love to start Survivor Sundays but need to get the rest of the new outline inputted before I try that.

Annnd that’s it for me.

Talking to myself: Ending Fireborn

So, whenever I am stuck on something in a story I’m writing, I like to “talk to myself” which basically means typing out my thoughts freeform and hope an answer reveals itself. Typically, I don’t post these, but since it’s been awhile since I’ve done one (I think years), I thought I’d try it again.


So, when i first conceived the idea of Fireborn, I knew my MC, Leliel, a former Grim Reaper, was going to vanquish the antagonist, a ghost who compels young men to commit suicide via self-immolation. Dark subject matter there for sure. I also recently figured out (remember, I am not a plotter) that Leliel will be (almost) compelled to do the same thing. Whether or not the ghost tries to make Leliel’s husband Rick to do it as well remains to be seen.

I have it set up. Leliel and Rick are tied to chairs. One of their allies has turned on them. The ghost, Samantha, who’s wearing a recently dead body, begins to compel Leliel to write her suicide note (as she has done with all other victims). There will also be a Tarot card left at the scene. Which one, I have no clue.

Leliel is actively fighting it, and Rick is freaking out and …then what? Obviously, Leliel ha to fight it enough to get free in order to live (and not die by fire. Factoid: Leliel originally died in a fire.) and I wanted Rick to somehow get free and help her with that (which would be a nice tie-in to how he helps her in episode 1). I need a way for him to get free. I have the traitor to deal with, who’s a powerful witch. Rick has no supernatural powers except sensing the feelings of the dead. I also want to bring in the police and/or the TV news reporter guy. They were both working on the case and Leliel and Rick had been sharing information with them.

There is also the conspiracy to work out. This whole thing started when a group of guys killed Samantha by fire, and she’s just getting revenge. But the school (college) didn’t want anyone to know, because the kids were from money, and that’s just not socially acceptable. So it was buried, and no one would help Leliel and Rick figure this out. So I need to bring that all to light somehow.

Could someone on the inside come forward out of guilt? (Now, the traitor was one such person, so I’m not sure I want to do it a second time).A teacher? A mother? An intern at the news station who runs across confidential information and cannot keep quiet? Hmmm, I kind of like that, but it seems so random.

So back to the showdown. Police come in, guns blazing, and release Rick and Leliel. The witch tries something, and it either works or doesn’t. The distraction is enough for Leliel to fight the compulsion and she stops what she’s doing and is saved. Samantha is somehow put to rest, both her borrowed body and soul. Which Leliel must reap. Maybe. (In episode 1, she lost her powers). But those poor cops will be in for the shock of their lives when they see a decomposed body walking around and talking and…wow, that’s creepy and I kind of like it. ;)

How do the police find out? Someone calls them? Who? Rick’s hands are tied literally. Someone not there? Maybe the news guy. He’s been following them, thinking they’re off their rockers. That it cannot be true. So he calls the police once he 1) wets himself and 2)realizes what’s going on. That would effectively bring him back in. And the cops and so on.

I think Leliel having a distraction and then being able to fight it is a bit weak. So far in this series one of my themes is that love conquers all/love can save you. I think Rick needs to play a bigger role in her saving. Maybe a combination of both? Or have Samantha ignore everything and compel Leliel and then Rick gets untied and is able to get closer to her/talk to her/help her and THEN she’s able to fight it?

Good ideas so far I think. Something to work with, in any event.

#ROW80 Check-in #5

Here we are again with a ROW80 check-in.

~I’ve been drinking water pretty much every day, so that’s a win!
~I’ve finished the Changeling 4 revision
~I’ve read over Fireborn and am planning how to end it. That’s the first priority.
~I have a deadline for Ever Touched, so after Fireborn is done, I’ll be working on that.
~I haven’t started the 8-min writing thing yet. For the past few days, my attention hasn’t been there. I think I’m still a bit worn out after revising and submitting Pirouette/Death Dancer. Will try to start this week. I am thinking of working on Covenant, since it’s already in progress and I know the basic plot and I want to finish it ASAP to publish.
~Would like to re-institute Survivor Sundays
~Did my 15 minutes of physical activity twice this week
~No darkroom. I’ve had a serious lack of time. Maybe next weekend.

So things are happening. I just need to get back into the swing again. Things tend to derail or mess with my momentum, and I’d like to figure out a way to keep that from happening.

How have you done on your goals this week?

#ROW80 Check-in #4

Feeling so much better than I did last check-in. I’ve been drinking a glass of water a day every day so far (with one exception) and it seems to be helping. It seems that once I start drinking it, I’m good. Only drinking one glass for now. Because I have bladder issues, I don’t want to go overboard.

The awesome fantastic wonderful super news is that I not only finished my synopsis to my satisfaction, but I submitted the whole thing on Monday. And now I am chewing my fingernails off. I don’t think I’ll hear from them really soon (unless they are rejecting me) but who knows? Gah, I hate waiting.

I also more or less finished the Changeling 4 revision. I decided that the ending did work, and it will provide a hook for part 5. It will end with part 5, though. I sort of semi have that figured out.

(Also toying with the idea of an online serial novel. Thoughts?)

So now that the submission’s finished, I will turn my attention to Fireborn and writing 8 minutes of new material per day. May end up being Flamebound, a paranormal romance novella I wrote waaaaaaay back in 2008 for Harlesquin’s Nocturne Bites line, but it never quite got to the point where I felt confident in submitting. I took it through Holly Lisle’s awesome How to Revise Your Novel class and have been chipping away at it ever since. When I set up my short work priority list for this year (I also have a novel priority list as well), I decided that 50-60k would be perfect for my new goal of getting shorter works up for sale (and could kick off a series). So, that may be my 8-minute writing project, maybe.

On the physical activity front, I’ve done 15 minutes of activity. I’ve fallen a bit down off of it due to lack of motivation. It’s cold outside, I was forced to spend a lot of time here revising/editing/synopsis-izing, I was tired, etc etc etc. I need to get more time in and pronto. If I feel up to it, I may clean a portion of my darkroom as one 15 minute thing this weekend, and it will help me get closer to having it ready to reopen.

Annnd that’s it for now. :)



#ROW80 Check-in #3

It’s been a rough few days for me. I spent most of Wednesday night in the ER thinking I had appendicitis when I actually was severely dehydrated. That was a wake up call. I’m not a fan of plain water, but it looks like I will need to start drinking it. So I’ve been trying to add it into my daily routine. We’ll see how that goes.

I have finished the submission to the publisher – synopsis and first 3 chapters. I am waiting for a bit to see if there’s any other feedback on the most recent version of the synopsis I posted to the forum. I still have almost another week. I am not waiting till the last minute though. They are in the UK and go by BST, and I have no idea how that converts to our time, and I don’t want to miss it. So mid-week or so I’ll submit.

Next up is Changeling 4 revision. I’m wibbling a bit on the ending. I think I need another installment to wrap things up. So I need to leave a few things ambiguous. I’m pretty sure I know how it ends, though, so that’s progress.

What else? I’m giving some thought to what’s coming next. Fireborn, for sure. Getting my freebie set up with Mailchimp so I can get more subscribers to my newsletter. A Facebook ad for it, too.

After that…not really sure. Probably Covenant and Ever Touched. Something for my 8-minutes a day thing(if different). Survivor Sundays for sure.

That’s about it. :)

#ROW80 Check-in #2

The latter part of this week went into researching how to write a synopsis, and then actually writing the thing. My first attempt sucked, but it got all the important plot stuff in the correct order. Second attempt yesterday went slightly better. I tried to inject a bit of the narrative voice into it (as per my research), but so far the critiques I’ve gotten on it suggest that it’s not a good idea. And my plot is confusing. And…

So, it’s back to the drawing board. I expected this, being that this is the first time I’ve ever done this. It’s just so hard to stuff 5 pages of plotty stuff into 3 or less. And make it compelling, and interesting, and not confusing. So that’s my goal for next week, nailing this down so I can work on the final edit of the first 10k for the submission.

I’m kind of scared. I know that must sound ridiculous, but this is m first submission to a publisher EVER. In fact, up till late last year, I was planning on self-pubbing everything. Or finding a small e-publisher. But something told me to go for it. And with Pirouette, well…I’d always dreamed of having it traditionally published, even after I’d decided to self-pub. And…well, it’s scary taking this step, but the only way to have a chance is if I try. So, I need to just do it.

On the physical activity front, I house-walked for 5 minutes on Thursday but was too winded to continue for the next 10. I also did some cleaning today for at least 15 minutes which I’m counting. So, 1.5 times this week?

How are you doing on your goals?



#ROW80 Check-in #1

It’s been a busy two weeks, and this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and do a proper ROW80 post. I got a bit sidetracked by my first freelance editing job of the year, which was great. I sent it back yesterday. I had a few issues with Open Office which could have delayed things. My comments were turning into gibberish. I still have no idea what happened, but I need to figure out what happened so it doesn’t happen again.

So, I was able to finish the first pass of the revision before the job came through, but noticed a few plot holes and discrepancies that needed to be addressed, so I’m doing a second pass just for that. And then editing/proofing, but only the first 10k so I can get the submission done. I will continue to edit/proof the rest while I’m biting my nails off waiting for a response. ;)

I am on page 35 of the second pass.

I’ve done 3x of physical activity last week, and tonight I’ll be doing another.

I finished the first draft of Changeling part 4 which I see I didn’t put in as a goal. Oops. Anyhoo, that’s due to my TDP folks on 2/1. Just need to revise it.

Logging in to the planner has been working pretty well. However, I’m still not quite in the mode and have to remind myself to do it. But it is helping me narrow down things for when I’m home and have only so much time.

Annnd that’s really it for now. How are you doing with your goals?