Tag Archives: ROW80 Round 1 2015

#ROW80 Final Check-in 3/26/15

I’m a day late, but I’m here!

I’ve been working on the final edits on Grave Touched. I’m up to page 16, but I may need to backtrack to tweak a few things. I hope to get a decent amount done this weekend, however. 😉

Tomorrow is my birthday. My beloved hubby is taking me out to dinner, and I will have a nice, relaxing evening at home afterward. Will probably edit, because I’m insane, but hey — I need to get the work done, and I want to get the work done, so there you go.

How did I do this round?

~Start writing first draft of Fireborn (Reaper Girl #2). YES, I started it and up to almost 15k now. I had hoped to end the round with 15k, and I’m less than 300 words from that, but I really needed to focus on GT edits. It’s a win.
~Settle on a plot (loose) for Ever Touched (FT #3) YES, pretty much settled. I still may tweak it some, but the basis is there.
~Work on Survivor one day a week (“work” loosely defined as: plotting, planning rewrite, brainstorming, actual writing, poking at it with a sharp pointy stick…) YES, I did this every week I wasn’t on a deadline. It’s been slow going, but I hope to speed up once I get further in. Right now, I’m still cringing at the awful writing and planning to rewrite it completely. We’ll see how that goes once GT is released and I have less swimming around in my head.

So, I’d call this round a success! I will be joining Round 2 for sure, so I’ll definitely be around.

(As for chocolate consumption…through the roof, mostly due to stress. Oops?)

I’ll also be revealing the Grave Touched cover and blurb on April 6th, so stay tuned for that!

#ROW80 Check-in 3/22/15 – Almost to the end

I haven’t been feeling so hot this past week. I had some really bad eye pain that kept me from doing anything useful. I did finish the teaser of Grave Touched I’ll be posting to the Turtleduck Press website on April 1st and the cover for the digital edition and a banner I will use for my Author FB and on the TDP website as well. Very happy with all.

Tomorrow the first half of my final edits are hitting my inbox, so that will take priority over everything else.

April will be CRAZY.

Today I went over the first few scenes of Survivor (again!) and realized that I don’t like the way things played out. I was hoping to just tweak it, but I have a sneaking feeling that this will end up being a full-blown rewrite. So that’s my next step. Rewrite the first few scenes.

On the Ever Touched front, still noodling. I want to start writing it sometime after I release Grave Touched.

And on Fireborn, I wrote 370 words today! So that leaves less than 300 to make my goal. Yay! (Still a bit unsure how I want it to go, but I’m being careful not to scare my muse away. This is more than enough to start, and I’m happy with it).

So, yesterday was my family birthday party. (My actual birthday is March 27th, but due to my sister’s work, we decided to have it a week before my actual birthday). And naturally, I got a triple chocolate cake. Lemme tell you, it was sinful how good it was. It was divine. So that was my chocolate fix for yesterday. Today I’ve been snacking on Chex Mix Muddy Buddies which are basically chocolate-flavored Chex Mix. Will probably have some leftover cake later.

I’ve also started on my housewalking (basically, walking inside your house instead of outside) using the new activity tracker I got for my birthday. So…I hope do more walking and maybe burn some more calories of all this chocolate I’m consuming!

We’re almost to the end of the Round, and I’m pretty happy with my progress.

#ROW80 Check-in 3/15/15 – Stuckity stuck

The hamsters in my brain have decided to stop doing their thing, and I am horrendously stuck on Survivor. Like, I-can’t-figure-this-out-there’s-no-way-to-fix-this-and-everything-I-think-of-sounds-stupid-and-why-did-I-decide-to-work-on-this-book-anyway stuck.

I’ve considered starting the book in a slightly different place, but Grave Touched starts with the MC waking up in the hospital, so I don’t want to duplicate that. It needs to be…ambiguous. It needs to be unclear as to who exactly is in the hospital and what exactly happened to put her there (I’m trying really hard not to give spoilers). So, it’s told in first person POV. I love first person because it’s a way to dig deep into a character’s head, and that’s how I wrote it originally.  Third person isn’t possible due to the aforementioned situation. The narrator is an unreliable one, which complicates things a bit.  And everything I think of isn’t working.

Unfortunately, I need to do this linear. I suppose I could jump ahead, but that’s how this book got so messy — because I kept jumping around and not doing anything in order.

It’s a freaking mess.

The good news is that I believe I may be done with the Grave Touched cover and blurb. Possibly. Yay. Final edits start in April, and I’ll need to work on getting it ready for release. Need also to look for reviewers (hint, hint). It does stand alone so you could theoretically read it before book 1.

On the Ever Touched front, still noodling.

I reread Fireborn yesterday and I’m a bit stuck on that as well. I had a very loose outline I was following, and I stopped in a weird place, so that’s a thing.

(I had a sneaking suspicion that my muse is tapped out. And that’s why all of this is like pulling teeth. We’ll see.)

Other than that, nothing else to really report. Been consuming lots of chocolate (white chocolate too! Yum!) and have been doing a ton of thinking. May do a freewrite to see if anything pops out at me.

#ROW80 Check-in 3/11/15 – Covers, blurbs, and insanity, oh my!

Annnd here's that lovely cover for your viewing pleasure. SM Reine rocks.
Annnd here’s that lovely cover for your viewing pleasure. SM Reine rocks.

I’m still alive. I’ve been busy working on the Grave Touched cover (both digital and print editions). I have the basics done. (In fact, I’ve had the cover stock image bought for ~2 years now). I’m tweaking it some, as I want it to match Fey Touched’s cover so it’s obvious they are part of a series. But it’s a bit tricky because I want to show that there’s sci-fi in it, and the cover artist who did Fey Touched’s cover did such a beautiful job with it. I’m trying to recreate it, and kinda sorta teach myself how to do covers at the same time. Crazy? Nah. Actually, I am a fine art photographer and I have done a ton of digital photography but…book covers, not at all. They’re a completely different animal, and I wasn’t originally planning on doing my own covers. But then I thought, wait a sec. I’m a photographer. It can’t be that difficult.(We’ll see. Jury’s still out on that one).

And naturally along with that is the blurb. I suck at writing any kind of blurb. I think it might be because it’s so new to me. And I know the story inside and out, but what will hook the reader? That’s where I have issues. Or, things I think might be important may not be that important or worthy of note. So…it’s kinda like shooting a target I can’t actually see. And that makes it tough, too.

(Especially since the Fey Touched books are multi-POV books…so the main characters need to be at least mentioned.)

So I’m a bit frazzled, but I’ll make it through. The nice thing is I can redo stuff if it’s not working, and nothing’s in stone yet. So, I’ll try not to drive myself crazy. Much. 😉

I’ve done a huge amount of thinking about Survivor. Because the first few scenes set up the situation and one character dies, but I need it to be ambiguous. (Or else I will give away the twist in chapter 2). So I’ve been trying to figure out ways to do that. It’s first person POV — I believe it has to be, in order for this to work (and it’s more immediate IMO). I’m also considering changing a bit of the plot to bring in another character (and her machinations, winks) sooner. But because this story takes place in our world, in our time, I don’t think it’s going to work. So…still noodling.

Also been thinking about poetry, even #badpoetry. Been so inspired lately, but lose it when I want to write it down.

Had a caramel cupcake after dinner. It was SO GOOD. (And yes, I’m still eating a lot of chocolate).

#ROW80 Check-in 3/8/15

I’ve been busy proofreading and haven’t had the time to do a proper ROW80 post, so please forgive me. I did finish the proofreading, but I was a few days late. I’m having some stress/eye pain issues that have made it tough to concentrate. My editor was okay with it (I’d worried about that). But now it’s done and I can breathe again.

My #1 goal is to RELAX. So I haven’t done anything writing-wise. It seems my brain and body need a break after intense writing/editing/deadlines and the last thing I want to do is stress myself out too much. So yesterday was a “free” day. I worked on Grave Touched’s cover because I need to give myself enough time to get it done properly (first time doing a cover! Wish me luck!) and I binge watched Game of Thrones. I also ran a backup, which I promised myself I’d do once the book was sent off to my editor. (I’m very OCD about my backups).

So…what is on the horizon?

~Today I will poke a bit at Survivor. I was rewriting the first chapter when I started the edits on Grave Touched, and I don’t want that to be left hanging.

~Some point soon, I will get back to Fireborn and write those 661 words I need to make my goal before the end of this round.

~Ever Touched plotting

~Poetry. I have several poem drafts to weed through, and some old ones I discovered by accident, so that should be fun. (And maybe some more #badpoetry. *winks.*)

As for when, just gonna say soon. I have a really hard time taking breaks (as much as I need them) because my brain is ALWAYS spinning with ideas and I feel a desperate need to get them down. And, I’m just used to writing every day. The last day I wrote anything was January 27th. Yikes! Two months ago. Granted, I was editing and proofreading, but that doesn’t count. My Inner Slave Driver has to relax. *rolls eyes*

So that’s what’s going on. I hope to make some progress, even a bit, before the end of the round.

Also, chocolate consumption: through the roof. Stress = stress eating. Enough said.

#ROW80 Check-in 2/22/15 – Finis

Yep, you read that right! Just a few minutes ago, I finished the Grave Touched revision! It will need another pass for proofreading and such, but I will make my March 1st deadline. I’m ecstatic!

The plan for today is to rest. I’ll start the final pass on Monday. After Grave Touched is turned in, I will resume Survivor on Sundays and Fireborn. And maybe play with some poetry. And start the cover for Grave Touched! I’m doing it myself this time, and I need enough time to get it right! I already have the stock photo purchased and the special fonts my wonderful friend SM Reine used for Fey Touched.

And now for the stats!

Pages revised: 261
Pages remaining: big, fat goose egg!
Scenes finished: 129
Scenes remaining: big, fat goose egg!
What’s happening: A lovely happily ever after for my Hunters.
What’s next: Proofreading! Fireborn! Survivor! Cover creation!
Eye report: Terrible this morning, but a bit better now. I’m also a bit sick, so that’s a factor.
Back report: Holding up okay after walking around the Sea Life Exhibit yesterday.
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: Ye Gods. Chocolate-caramel thingies, Twix bars, WW mini sundaes, Samoas (my favorite Girl Scout cookie), chocolate/mint pudding.

Annnnnd that’s it!

#ROW80 Check-in 2/18/15 – Back for the attack

…It would help to know what, precisely, I’m attacking. 😉

Okay, okay. I’ve been revising like a crazy revising writer. I am now up to page 146. Would have been further by now, except I needed to backtrack and smooth over a bunch of scenes featuring two of my three main characters. Yay? So, it goes.

Naturally, my muse is DYING to have a go at something else, anything else. Today she was whispering poetry in my head: #badpoetry warning!

You ask me what’s happening?
What’s happening is I want to regurgitate
all the love I ever had for you
yank my intestines up  through my throat
I love you but I shouldn’t, that’s true

..and that’s it. *grimaces* Maybe it’s the extreme horror anthology I’m reading at the moment?

Moving on to stats!

Pages revised: 146 of them
Pages remaining: 115 of them
Scenes finished: 70
Scenes remaining: 59
Feeling: Slightly stressed. (Deadline: March 1st.)
What’s happening: Possessions! Mayhem! Fierce battle!
What’s next: I have no idea — wait. One of the MCs might get injured, possibly. Still noodling.
Eye report: Not too bad? But nights have been a bit yucky.
Back report: Twinge-y. I need a physical therapy bouncy ball, stat!
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: Oh my. 1# bag of M&Ms (in roughly 3 days — I tried to eat them slowly…), 3 WW mini-sundaes, WW caramel-chocolate thingies, Twix bars, Chocolate-filled pactzi (that’s the 2nd time I’ve had to look up the proper spelling)…I think that may be it. 😉

Here’s a blog post I wrote yesterday about the Truth about Revision. Will give you a laugh, methinks.

#ROW80 Check-in 2/8/15 – Deep into revisions

I’ve been working on the Grave Touched revisions, and I’m up to page 60. So far, the changes haven’t been huge, but as I get into the middle and toward the end, more work will be necessary.  I’ve got at least three scenes to condense with other scenes, and it might get a bit hairy. But, must press on!

Everything else is on hold until March 1st. I haven’t done any voice recognition, as I haven’t needed to do much rewriting. But I will be messing with it when I have the time.

The past Wednesday, the members of Turtleduck Press, including me, were on the Word Ninjas videocast, hosted by Full Coverage Writers, a group of writers who have a very entertaining, helpful website along with the videocast.  It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, being that 1) we were all new to it and 2) None of us were ever live, face-to-face on video before since we met many, many moons ago.  But as we got into it, we relaxed some and had a good time. Lots of laughing and goofing off, and Charles, the host-guy, is just plain made of awesome, as was his crew. We’re doing it again this Wednesday!

I’m gonna see if I can put it the video here…


Pages revised thus far: 60
Pages left to revise: 202
Scenes finished: 26
Scenes remaining: 103
What’s happening? MCs have just gotten it on. <grin>
What’s next? The afterg — no, wait. Bad stuff, sniffles.
Feeling? Okay, except I’m fighting a migraine
Eye report: One big ball o’ pain here after several good days.
Back report: Totally okay.
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: A double chocolate cake popper which was divine, a WW sundae thing (2x), WW chocolate-caramel thingies, mint chocolate pudding, WW Mini-Twix bars (2x).  I think that’s it.

Happy Sunday.

#ROW80 Check-in 2/1/15 – Exploring Voice Recognition…


…and disappearing posts.  What is with WordPress these days?  This is the second time I’ve had to retype a dang post. (And no, it isn’t another page.  Le sigh.)

Okay, so voice recognition.  The headset I bought was a replacement headset missing several important components.  Nowhere in the description did it say anything about it being that, so I’ve arranged to return it.  Then I looked further into these headsets (which I should have done sooner) and discovered that they are very flimsy and sometimes don’t work.  So, back to the drawing board.

Installed a Remote Microphone app on my tablet and have been messing with it, getting a feel for things.  I also discovered that the version of Dragon I own comes with transcription.  Win.

So, because Grave Touched edits are coming back tonight, I’m shifting my goal to x amount of pages per day, once I find out the scope of the edits/revisions. I’ll work on the other projects when I can, since I’d still like to make some progress on them before things get busier as we get closer to release (May 1st).  Also, I had hoped to release Fireborn before Grave Touched, but it will depend on how fried I am (last time, I didn’t write for 2 months.  Brain fried and wrists very bad).  So that will remain up in the air for now.


Words written: big fat goose egg #sadface
Words remaining: 661 words
What’s happening: This is on hold for a bit.
What’s next: nada

Ever Touched
Figured out who my villain is.  It’s not a crazy scientist.

Been mulling it over.  Preparing to start revision.

Feeling: Extremely nervous about edits. *twitch*
Eye report: Not bad for the past few days, but earlier this week is was really bad.  #alsoasadface
Back report: Twinge-y for the most part
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: 2 mini sundaes (low calorie FTW), WW snacks, hot chocolate, dark chocolate caramel mousse thing at a fancy restaurant, Twix bars
Soundtrack: Eh, haven’t really been listening to any music.  😦

#ROW80 Check-in 1/28/15 and Conversations with the Muse

You get a two-fer today.

Before I dive into the ROW80 portion of things, I wanted to talk about talking to the muse (or, subconscious, or writer-brain, or whatever label you give it).  My muse is a unicorn who sits on my shelf and whispers twisty plots and intriguing characters in my ear.  Holly Lisle says you can learn how to listen to your muse, work with it, and ultimately become a better, more efficient writer.  Cool, huh?

I know this from experience.  My muse, 95% of time, is murmuring in the background, telling me all kinds of fun, twisted things.  Or dialogue.  Or actual images (which I call “movie flashes” because they remind me of the previews at the theater).  Or a cool new way to work something out with a project…

Which leads me to my point (long-winded am I!).  I was on the bus this morning, tired as all hell, and had literally nothing to do.  Could have read, but didn’t feel up to it (read: sleepy).  Sooooo with nothing to occupy my thoughts, they turned to Ever Touched, book 3 of the Fey Touched series, and my current problem child.

I had an idea early on but scrapped it.  Then I had another, more promising idea.  But it was horribly lacking a villain (or antagonist in writer-speak).  BEWARE POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR EVER TOUCHED.  SERIOUSLY.  I MAY USE THESE IDEAS OR SOME VERSION THEREOF.  BACK AWAY SLOWLY.  THAT’S IT.  JUST, SKIP DOWN TO THE ROW80 PART IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILERED.



So yesterday (backing up a bit here), I did a little musing and came up with: First Fey/holographic wings/angels/old but new.
I let that kinda simmer until this morning.  Here’s how it went:

ME: I love the idea of First Fey and…holographic wings?
MUSE: What about actual fairies?
ME: Eh…kinda weakens the whole genetic engineered Fey premise.  Try again.
MUSE: Okay, what if they were the first Fey Touched?
ME: Eh, I think they need to be more powerful than current Fey Touched.  Getting warmer.
MUSE:  *sighs* Okaaaay.  How about beings made of pure energy who are trapped in cybernetic bodies?
ME: *does a double take* *almost falls over* Wut. Is. That.
MUSE: Say these evil people trapped the all powerful First Fey, who are so ascended (angels!) that they no longer have a physical form and they were tricked into it somehow.  Fits your idea of the Fey and Fey Touched joining together against a common enemy.
ME: *blinks* Yeeaaahhhh.  But who’d be stupid enough to do something like that?
MUSE: A scientist.  A brilliant one.  One who wants to rule the Fey world, that’s who.
ME: But how?  They are energy.  No form.
MUSE: I’m not quite sure, but it sounds promising, right?
ME: Awesome.  Let’s go get our souls sucked out, shall we? (Work.  Day job)

Annnd that was how the idea was born.  Still noodling, naturally, and I’m sure I’ll tweak it some, but I am fascinated by a race of beings made of energy who somehow allowed themselves to be trapped.  And cybernetics?  Sign me the eff up.

Okay, now ROW80.

I’ve had to take a little break from typing due to wrists of suck.  I have the Grave Touched edits hitting my inbox on Sunday, and there may be some serious rewriting happening.  So, since they are already twinge-y, I don’t want to push my luck.  So I’m probably done on Fireborn until edits are done on Grave Touched.  I am *thisclose* to 15k, so I may slip in a bit here and there, and my deadline on the edits is March 1st, so Fireborn will definitely get my attention then.  (I’d like to release it sometime before Grave Touched release on May 1st, but we’ll see).

I finally broke down and ordered a Bluetooth headset, for HALF the price of what Amazon is charging.  WIN.


Words written since last check-in: 1,850 words (14,339 total!)
Words remaining: 661 words, so CLOSE!
What’s happening: Leliel and Rick are putting the pieces together.
What’s next: A red herring.

Ever Touched
As above.  Getting close to something I can use. Most of it has been mental, naturally.

Nothing on paper but the wheels are turning.  I might be ready to start drafting again soon.

Feeling: Stressed out with several things.
Eye report: Very minor twinges.
Back report: Still not happy.  Need to do more stretching.
Chocolate consumption since last check-in: chocolate zucchini bread, WW snacks, hot chocolate.
Soundtrack: Nightwish and Queensryche