Tag Archives: wordcounts

2017 Year-End Review and 2018 Goals

Time has been flying! Holy cow! It’s almost 2018 already, and and and —

Okay, I’m a bit early. I don’t expect much to change drastically in 3 days, so here we are.

So how did I do?

~Release 1 book (besides Ever Touched) ~NOT DONE, although I got a new cover for In Flames and put Reaper Girl into KDP Select. 
~Publish Ever Touched (set for May release)~DONE! 
~Start revision of Pirouette/Death Dancer ~NOT DONE, but had an interesting idea the other day about Alisia’s lineage. 
~Finish Covenant ~NOT DONE, but it’s at 24k now. Wanted to hit 30k before the new year, but I’m not sure that’s possible now. 😦 
~Start Elysium ~NOT DONE. At all.
~Finish and release Fireborn ~DONE. Rewrote it and submitted it to TDP for publication next year.
~Outline book #1 in Fey Touched spin-off series ~NOT DONE. May toy with this next year.
~Get on a consistent, simple exercise plan and STICK WITH IT ~NOPE. 
~Eat healthier/Gluten-free ~NOT DONE.  😦 Well, made the attempt, anyway…
~Get back into darkroom when hands are better ~NOT DONE.
~Add in a second writing session twice a week (8 minutes)~NOT DONE. Have been fighting pain and exhaustion.
~Try to write more short fiction ~DONE! Fireborn (55k) and When She Sleeps (projected 60k) 
~Continue with FYFB class (so behind right now!)~NOPE. Downloaded everything that’s available that I haven’t gotten to.
~Start working on Survivor Rewrite outline again ~DONE! Not finished due to wrist issues.

This year has been roughly for me physically. I have been exhausted more, and the trigeminal neuralgia flared up again so we’ve been trying to find the right combination of meds to control the pain. So far, we haven’t been very successful.

I was also laid off from my job in August, so there’s been some upheaval there. I have been working on my freelancing/virtual assistant business to try to bring in more money. Things are kind of up in the air, and it has been wreaking havoc on my productivity.

I have decided to buckle down and make things happen in 2018!

Goals:

~2nd round of edits/release secret project (early 2018)
~Revise and release Fireborn
~Get serious about exercise and DO SOMETHING
~Take pictures regularly (once a month, 1 a day for x amount of days, etc)
~Get moving with dictation again
~Progress on Covenant
~Progress on When She Sleeps
~Start Survivor Rewrite for reals this time
~Do something with Death Dancer/Pirouette
~Get better with planning
~Start writing every day again, even if it’s 100 words
~Figure out Reaper Girl #3, Faeborn

I’ve written roughly 80k this year, which is down from last year. Would like to hit 100k and more in 2018.

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#ROW80 Check-in #8

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hubby and I are going out to eat. We don’t typically give gifts or cards these days. We’ve been together for 10 years, and I have an extensive collection of teddy bears already. 😉 And while I loooove chocolate, I don’t need it for the waistline.

So what have I accomplished this week?

Ever Touched – I broke 32k last night, and the story is taking shape. A few things I didn’t plan on, which is awesome, because I’d initially very loosely outlined it and was worried about filling in the gaps. Now I’ve got a straight line to follow which is awesome. I am also really glad I started it for Nano last year. It was not as daunting starting it back up, and now with a deadline, I would have been stressing. So, go, me!

Covenant/8 minute writing – I’ve been working on this in 8-minute increments, which is sooooo easy and not overwhelming. It also gives me time to think about what’s happening next, and there’s no pressure to produce. And I make progress every day which is awesome. I’ve managed to do this every day except Thursday.

Physical Activity – 15 minutes x 3 – yes, I managed all three. Cooking a very involved meal yesterday kept me on my feet and moving for over an hour. Various cleaning chores did the same.

Darkroom – Alas, it was not meant to be. I had planned on doing something last night, but after cooking the meal I was exhausted and didn’t feel up to it. Today’s a short day b/c we’re going out to dinner and then my in-laws are coming over, so there won’t be any time to do anything. Looking at next weekend (she says hopefully).

Planner – Been going along fine and then this week I stopped. Why? Still not quite in the mode of planning. I know that sounds crazy, but actually, I do most of my planning in my head. I remember in high school we were supposed to use a planner, which was turned in at some point (I don’t remember), and I’d write everything in at the end. I got everything done. But for some reason my brain is just not like that. I had hoped to try this method of doing things, and I’m not giving up on it. It’s just been interesting to see how it works. So, I plan (LOL) on jumping back in this week. Maybe I should fill it all out at once instead of each day? *ponders*

Water – Every day with the exception of a few. I can’t drink water after 8pm or I’m running to the bathroom all night. But any day I’m home, I drink my water after dinner.

Survivor – I have been thinking about this on and off since the new year, and would like to reinstitute Survivor Sundays. I still need to finish inputting the outline, and I also need to figure out how to work it around Ever Touched. I wonder if my 8-minute project could be Survivor on Sundays? There’s no huge rush — I mean, I’d love to finish it and starting submitting, but these next few months are to be mostly pressure free. I have a short story to revise this month yet and a short story/novella to write for an antho, but other than that, I’m pretty open on projects. It might work. I dunno.

Lastly, I sat down and logged all of my wordcounts for last year and I was stunned to find out that I only wrote 88k for the year, not 100k like I’d thought. And I only wrote 9 months out of 12. Now, Grave Touched’s release set me back considerably and afterward, I was fried. So that probably accounts for that. And getting Grave Touched out was the priority and needed to be done. I just wish I’d have a less brain recovery time afterward. Some writers I’ve heard dive right into their next project, and I have a hard time doing that. But maybe it comes with practice. So that was a bit disappointing, but hey, not all years can be about the wordcount.

Annnnd that’s it for me.

2012 in Review and 2013 Goals: Year of the Crazy

This year has been nuts, and it feels like a whirlwind. But I managed to accomplish a lot, so it’s all good.

Let’s go over my goals for the year, shall we?

Finish Fey Touched and eventually self-publish it (includes lots of revisions and lots of blood, sweat, and tears). It’s currently at 58.5k. Goal is 100k.Ding, ding, ding! DONE and published August 1st.
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully move on from lesson 8! Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I’m on lesson 13.
~Write a novel (to be determined later. Current contenders are Survivor Rewrite, Darkweaver, and Fey Touched 2)Ding, ding, ding! Began Grave Touched, book 2 in the Fey Touched series, and it’s currently at 73k. While I wanted to get something new rolling as well, it appears that I work best with only one book at a time.
~Get unstuck on Alpha Female (note I didn’t say – finish Alpha Female – this one I think is taking its sweet old time)Nada. However, I did give it some thought and have a possible new direction. Still in the thinking stages, though.
~Write more poetry (nebulous, yes. That’s all I’m willing to commit to)Ding, ding, ding! DONE. Wrote a total of 6 new poems for the TDP Blog Freebies. Not as much as I’d wanted, but it’s a start.
~Take more pictures (photography has been sooooo neglected and I miss it so much!)Hit and miss here. I’ve taken some, but I still haven’t been able to get out there and rock and roll due to my health. Soooooo, we’ll see what I do for next year.

~And lastly, WORK ON GETTING FREELANCE EDITING JOBS. I had a few opportunities this year but they didn’t work out, although one was a very close call. Not only do we need the money, but my long-term goal is to make enough money to leave my day job. Scary, yes. Impossible? I don’t think so, if I do this right. And I know this won’t happen overnight — in fact, it could take quite awhile – years, maybe. But, as long as I’m moving forward, making progress, that’s enough for me. I want to believe I can make this happen. But if I never start, how will I ever know? Ding, ding, ding! DONE. I have an ongoing proofreading job with a writer friend, so that’s a nice start! Would love to do more, though!

So, I’ve accomplished almost everything I set out to do. The biggie was getting Fey Touched finished and published, and I did that. It was a very educational experience, and I’ve learned some things about promotion/marketing. So it’s all good.

I did participate in NanoWriMo, but unofficially with a goal of 30k. I managed 29k, just shy of my goal. But I’m totally happy with that.

Also, I wrote 100k+ words this year, which is awesome!

So what’s cooking for the new year?

~Finish, revise, and publish Grave Touched tentatively for August 1st release
~Continue work on the Flamebound revision, hopefully finish!
~Reread Survivor and make notes for rewrite
~Start a new novel? (Contenders: Darkweaver and Soul Touched, Fey Touched book 3)
~Redesign website so it makes sense
~Get on a regular blogging schedule
~Continue to look for more freelance editing/proofreading jobs

Annd that’s all I’m declaring for now. Here’s to a healthy, productive new year!

What are your goals for next year? Share them in comments.

Nano days 10-16: 6,211 words

Been a writing fiend, and it’s going really well.  I did take last night off to work on a story for an antho, but other than that, I wrote every day.  I’m coming up on 40k whch is so exciting, and things are really heating up!

Stats (all days combined):

Wordcount today:  6,211
Total for Nano so far: 15,217
Words left: 14,783
Treat: Hot chocolate!
Nick is: being evaluated
Asha is: being saved by Joe
Emily is: in unspeakable pain
Mood music: Tool, Eyes of Eden, Various

Excerpt: in which the shit hits the fan…

I was looking at myself in the mirror when I saw it: my new eyes flashed to black with silver streaks.  My heart plummeted to my feet. What was going on?  Why were my eyes doing that?

I blinked, and they went back to normal.

I grabbed a brush out of the drawer and started to brush my hair. It always calmed me.  Always soothed me.  I needed soothing.  I needed answers.

And answers you will get in time, an unfamiliar voice said in my head.  It’s too soon.  I need to grow stronger first.

Grow. Stronger.

I dropped the brush, and it clattered on the floor.

I ran out of the room, not sure where I was going – where could I go? I was locked in here, with this thing in my head, and –

Don’t be afraid.  I will not harm you.

I wanted to close my ears, make myself not hear her.

You cannot get away from me.  I am within you.

I could certainly try, though.

I went back to the bathroom and frantically searched for anything that could bring me pain.  I figured if I was hurting, I would be able to ignore her.

My shadow.

Of course, the bathroom didn’t have anything.  Who knew?  They probably anticipated this sort of thing and didn’t want us to hurt ourselves.

Were there others like me?

Yes. But no one as strong as I.

I sat on the bed, my hands shaking.

“What do you want?” I asked, my heart racing.

Your beautiful, young body.  And your mind.  That is all.

That was all?

“And here I thought you might want world peace or something,” I muttered.  “What if I asked you to leave?  Would you do it?”

I cannot.  I am entwined with you now.  If you hurt me, you will hurt yourself.

Nano days 5-7: 3,020 words

I’ve been very, very busy and the days are just flying.  Finally, I have a few minutes to do an update.

Yesterday, I had a HUGE revelation about one of the main characters.  It is SO huge that it’s going to impact everything I’ve planned.  But this will make it better, and a bit heartbreaking (sorry, can’t help that — some parts of Fey Touched were heartbreaking, too).  I also have a solid idea for book 4, if you can believe that.  Lots happening.  Lots of thinky-thoughts going on.  I just love my subconscious.  It is so wonderfully evil.

Stats!

Stats (all 3 days combined):

Wordcount today: 3,020
Total for Nano so far: 7,476
Words left: 22,524
Treat: Good music!
Nick is: a puppet dancing on Piper’s strings :shudders:
Asha is: freaked out like whoa
 Emily is: scared and angry
Mood music: Dawn of Destiny and Eyes of Eden

Excerpt:

Soren took deep breaths.

I prodded my wrist, trying to see if I’d been injured.  See?  No. Feel.

“I’m so sorry.  That one was strong enough to break through my magic. It’s strong enough to make you its vessel.  I got rid of it.  It won’t be hurting you again.”

My stomach was flip-flopping.  “It called me its soon-to-be Queen.” An icy finger ran down my spine.  “What did it mean?  I’m no Queen.”

Weight on the left side of me signaled that Soren sat down on my bed. “There’s a hierarchy there among the grave touched.  They have a Queen.  And a King.  Their version of nobility and commoners.  It is determined by strength.  The Queen usually takes a vessel when she’s strong enough, and chooses a mate who is as strong as her.  And they rule the Nether together.”

“But I wouldn’t be the Queen.  I’m not grave touched,” I protested.  Having even a slight connection to those things was freaking me out, sending me in a tailspin.  Vertigo made me lay back against my pillow, putting my hands over my bandages.  When would these blasted things come off?

“That’s exactly it.  The one who is Queen is planning on taking you as her vessel.  And through her, you will be Queen.”  He brushed a wayward strand of hair from my face, his fingers cold and soothing.  “I will die before I allow that to happen.”

“Thank you.  I don’t want that to happen, either.  It sounds..horrific.”

“Being taken as a vessel is an unbearable kind of torture. One that you cannot begin to imagine.”

Nano days 3 & 4

Yesterday, I wrote a grand total of 184 words.  I was very distractable and the words just weren’t flowing.  Today, however, I wrote 1,306 words, and things are moving again.  One of the MCs, Emily, surprised me today.  She is about to do something I hadn’t planned on, but it’ll work nicely.

Stats (both days combined):

Wordcount today: 1,490
Total for Nano so far: 4,456
Words left: 25,544
Treat: Homemade Apple Crisp – yummy!
Nick is: still in the twilight zone
Asha is: terrified
Emily is: scared and depressed
Mood music: Pandora (various)
Excerpt:

I drifted off, the dream returning once I was sleeping.  It seemed I couldn’t get away from the darkness…

The zombies surrounded me, licking their lips with blackened tongues. Panting like dogs.  Their skeletal hands, skinless except for a few places, reached for me…

One got my wrist.  Its touch was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. Slimy, cold as ice.  It permeated deep in my bones.

I shivered, giving in to the sensation even as I wondered what was happening to me.

The pain at my wrist jolted me back to reality.  Its teeth – what was left of them – sunk into my skin and I didn’t feel anything any more….

Winter’s Night, a Giveaway, and an update

Winter’s Night is Turtleduck Press’s latest offering that released on December 1st.  It is a winter-themed anthology with some awesome stories and some awesome poems.  Proceeds are going to UNICEF.  Check it out here: http://www.turtleduckpress.com . It’s really cool.

I’d like to give away an e-copy to a lucky person.  All you gotta do is comment to this post.  Please include your email address.  I’ll draw one name at random on Dec. 10th, so please check back!

I have been very busy with Fey Touched.  I ended my unofficial NaNoWriMo with 31k, which was fantastic.  My plan is to continue writing this month as if it were Nano.  Goal is 30k.  As of today, it is 33k.

It’s going very well.  I have some things I need to tweak, but per my new rules, nothing is being rewritten.  I also got hit with an idea for book 2.  I was actually going to use it for Fey Touched but decided against it.  It would totally change everything and it could be given the attention it deserves in book 2. Book 2 is tentatively called Sun Touched, but that might change.

Finally, I’ve been writing more poetry for Turtleduck Press, and I’m enjoying it a lot.  I’d like to start writing poetry on a more regular basis.  Also, I started working on the Flamebound revision again.  I can’t seem to let that one go, even though it’s been sitting for over a year. I think my muse is floundering a bit.  But that’s not a bad thing — it keeps me working.

Soon I’ll be making my goals for 2012.  Seems like the year just flew by!

 

 

 

2010 in Review and 2011 goals

This year just flew by.  I don’t even know what happened to it.  It felt as if I were making no progess anywhere, but I did accomplish a few key things.  I also had to adjust my goals to accomodate Alpha Female, which wasn’t planned.  All in all, this was a pretty productive year.

What I accomplished:

~I finished the 3rd draft of Pirouette in May and am gearing up for the final revision (which is my #1 goal for 2011)
~I started the Flamebound revision using HTRYN.  Got to lesson 8 of 22.  Yeah, that was one of the things that got adjusted. 
~I wrote and rewrote and completed Alpha Female.  My original goal was to submit it to an anthology by the November 1st deadline.  After getting it back from a wonderful beta, I realized that it wasn’t going to work for the antho.  I decided to expand it, as most of the issues were due to trying to keep the wordcount within the limits (25k) and then decided to try to finish it up by the end of the year.  Which I pretty much did, if you don’t count the tweaks I’m currently working on.
~I started Broken and got it up to 12k.  Broken was a personal challenge to myself, as it’s got a bit of BDSM in it and I’d never written that before. It’s also a different genre for me. I am very pleased with how it’s going.
~I critiqued 3 novels for writer friends.  While this isn’t a huge thing, I made my deadlines for the most part and got the honor of reading some really good books.
~I joined up with a few writer friends and started Turtleduck Press, which is our publishing endeavor which will hopefully change the world, muhaaaa.
~I self-pubbed Life as a Moving Target through them, which has been a dream of mine since December 2002 when I wrote the very first poem in that collection.  After trying traditional publishing, I decided to go ahead and self-publish it.  I’ve gotten some great feedback so far.  And it’s so dear to my heart.
~I wrote approximately 100k this year.  Not bad considering I did mostly revising and editing.  Some writing, too.  I’m glad to have hit 100k.  It certainly didn’t feel like 100k.
~I wrote and rewrote my query letter for Pirouette.  I think I have it nailed.  We’ll see.

So, yep, not a bad year at all.

Goals for 2011:

~SUBMIT something.  This is HUGE.  This year was supposed to be the year for that, but I got a bit derailed.  I will submit something if it kills me.  Most likely either Alpha Female or Pirouette.
~Finish up Alpha Female and get it critted
~Do the final revision on Pirouette and get it to critters.
~Submit something!
~Continue Flamebound revision, hopefully finish (I see a rewrite in my future…)
~Finish Without Wings, my second poetry chapbook with Turtleduck Press, and get it to approvals by Feb. 1st.  This is a biggie because it still needs some work and time is ticking.
~Write (hopefully) Darkweaver.
~Work on Don’t Close Your Eyes, chapbook #3.
~Do not get derailed this time.  Stay to the goals.
~Get an agent

Will I accomplish all of that?  Perhaps.  But I will try for sure.  It feels like 2011 will be a good year.

Alpha Female is done!

Yep, just finished it a few minutes ago.  It needs a final tweak, but it’s basically finished!  It’s at 38k, 2k less than the projected 40k.  Once I do my tweaks, it’ll probably end up around 40k.

This one gave me fits to the very end.  I’m so glad to be done.  Another year-end goal accomplished.

Next is the tweaks, and back to the Pirouette revision.

Taking a break.

Ever since I got Alpha Female back from my beta reader (who was wonderful and quick and cool about everything), I’ve been taking a bit of a break.  There were alot of things missing, due to the wordcount limit of the antho, and while I had a feeling that might be a problem, I thought possibly that I could pull it off.  I tried, right?  I made my goal of finishing the draft on time.  However, I can’t submit it because 1) it’s too long at 27k, and 2) the story would be better served by expanding it vs. cutting 2k and then trying to fill all of the holes AND keep it at 25k. 

So here’s my plan.  I’m going to expand it to about 40k and submit it to the e-publisher’s regular submissions or another e-publisher altogether.  It’s okay — the story is far darker than the antho wanted.  Sometimes a story unfolds and as it unfolds, it mutates into something else.  Also okay.  I had a feelng that was happening, and I didn’t fight it.  I trusted my muse on this one.  And, after rewriting it 3 times, I wanted to make it work this go around. 

Am I happy with this?  Actually, I am.  I learned alot about my process and got a peek at what it’s like to write to a deadline.  Obviously, there was no contract-stipulated deadline so there were no consequences to speak of, but I took it very seriously and buckled down and got it done.

The only real variation in it is that I rewrote it 3 times before finishing the draft, something I rarely ever do.  My feeling was I didn’t want to continue to write a story that feels wrong, and then have to turn around and rewrite the entire thing.  Possibly several times.  It seemed like an exercise in futility.  Normally, I’d write straight through.  But I had a deadline, so things changed a bit.

So the next thing is to expand/rewrite/edit Alpha Female, addressing the problems that my fantastic beta reader found.  And adding a few things I couldn’t fit in this go around.  I’m thinking of cutting the death of the main character’s spouse from the entire thing, or make it already happened when the novella starts, as per the original draft.  I wanted Natasha to have a reason to be emotionless and distant, and a deceased spouse could do it.  But then while writing the ending, I thought, hmmm, what if he died in the fight that injured Natasha?  Killed by the same race as the man who wants her as his mate?  Brilliant, or so I thought.  But I had a wordcount limit, so I couldn’t let it play out the way it should have been.  I could put it back in and try to make it work, or cut it altogether.  Decisions, decisions.

And then there’s Natasha being a “latent” werewolf — aka she doesn’t — can’t — shift.  My beta reader felt it was a convenient plot device, and nothing more.  I needed Natasha to have another strong reason to allow Luke to turn her — besides dying, that is.  She’s an enemy of his race, and I would think she’d balk at it — even if it saved her life.  Stupid?  Nah.  She’s just very stubborn.  So I gave her the latent thing so the idea wouldn’t be so abhorrant.  She was already part werewolf, so going that extra mile wouldn’t be so bad.  I don’t know.  In some ways it works, but then again, my beta might be right.

So that was the idea behind my break, and to rest my brain.  I’m still really tired from dragging my cast around.  And I suspect a bit burnt out, too.  I just need to recharge the batteries, you know?  Let it come, but slowly.  This weekend, I might take a crack at it.  If I feel up to it.

But what about Pirouette?  you ask.  Well — that’s happening, too.  I actually think this “rest period” has given me alot of insights.  I have the first scene somewhat figured out and a few other things.  I’m almost ready to start the big revision.  So it’s Alpha Female next, all the way to submission (my one goal for last year and this year was to submit something to someone) and then Pirouette.  Maybe some Pirouette pre-work in between.

And as usual, I got smacked upside the head with the perfect NaNo idea — except I’m not doing NaNo and I can’t do any new stuff right now.  But, it’s a doozy, and pretty unique I think.  Oh well.  It can get into line with the rest.

So…hopefully I’ll have more to report in a few weeks.