Tag Archives: writing by voice

Using Dragon Naturally Speaking 9.0 to write, due to recurrent tendonitis of the wrist.

2018 Year-in-Review and Q1 2019 Goals #ROW80

ebookGWP-RSSo here I am with my end-of-year review and a new goals post. I have switched to quarterly planning, which works so much better for me than yearly goals. Thank you, Sarra Cannon, for showing me the way!

This year was HUGE for my virtual assisting/freelance editing business. I landed several new clients in very quick succession which was absolutely awesome. My workload increased a lot, which required adjustments and better planning. However, I am ecstatic that I was able to make this happen. That was my biggest goal: increasing my client base and by extension bringing in more money.

I have also learned so much from my clients, stuff that I can apply to my own publishing efforts. So it’s a win-win.

Health wise…ugh, a lot of stuff went wrong this year. Not going to get into it, but suffice to say it was tough and stressful. However, I’ve survived it and I am looking forward to a new slate.

Since it’s my intention to jump back into ROW80 again, I figured I would put everything into one, handy-dandy simple post.

But first, let’s look at what I did (or didn’t do) this year:

~2nd round of edits/release secret project (early 2018) – DONE. Except it was delayed by unavoidable issues until 12/7. Very happy to have it finally out in the world! 
~Revise and release Fireborn – DONE. Released August 1st.
~Get serious about exercise and DO SOMETHING – Nope. I remain a couch potato. 😦 
~Take pictures regularly (once a month, 1 a day for x amount of days, etc) – Nope, and I really wish I could have.Fireborn final
~Get moving with dictation again – DONE. Not dictating currently, but I did purchase the latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking and I also bought a digital recorder for transcription. Just need to actually start doing it.
~Progress on Covenant – DONE. I don’t have the exact figures handy, but I think I got it up to around 25k.
~Progress on When She Sleeps – This has been put on hold.
~Start Survivor Rewrite for reals this time – Nope, but one of my goals for Q1 is to JUST DO IT.
~Do something with Death Dancer/Pirouette – Nope. But as soon as I can, I’ll start working on this. I have Plans. 
~Get better with planningMy mom bought me a planner for Christmas last year, so I used that for deadlines/appointments/modified bullet journal. It worked great, so 
I asked for another one. And got it. Also, Sarra Cannon’s quarterly planning system worked wonderfully as well. I believe this planning system is the only reason why I was able to release the secret project this year. I was focused in a way I haven’t been in awhile. Being that I am a head planner (that is, I do all my planning in my head), this is a HUGE accomplishment.
~Start writing every day again, even if it’s 100 words – Nope. Time seems to get away from me sometimes.
~Figure out Reaper Girl #3, Faeborn – DONE. I have a premise. And apparently I’d forgotten that I’d called it Faeborn. Oops.

As for how many words I wrote this year: 75,000, which was my modest goal. I was hoping to write more, but given how busy I was and how awful my health was at times, I’ll take it. 🙂

Alrighty, so what’s on tap for Q1 and #ROW80? I’m glad you asked.

~Loosely plot Immortal Faeborn
~Book ads for Gain with Pain, Reaper Girl, and Fey Touched. Put together a tracking system.
~Start manifestation journal (first entry: 1/5/19)
~Put together modified Kanban board for Q1
~Purchase Energy Oracle deck. Start pulling cards daily and journaling.
~Progress on Oubliette or finish
~Do All The Things related to TDP Anthology (to be released sometime in Q1)
~Begin rewrite of Survivor. Continue working on it on Sundays.
~Catch up up on ARCs
~Take Sundays off work when possible
~Start back on MyFitnessPal. Log food 5x a week minimum.
~Water 5x a week

I think that’s it for now. 🙂

Links to the books:

Gain with Pain on Amazon
Fireborn on Amazon 

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!


~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.

#ROW80 Check-in May 8th

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! I am a mother to a cat, so I guess that counts, right? 😉

Been dictating all week with not a lot to show for it. 😦 It takes so long still, and I’m frustrated, but I’m sticking with it. I may need to change the way I do things. Still pondering.

I also discovered that I can dictate on my phone using the Dragon Dictate app, and apparently my dictation app on my LG tablet *does* create audio files that are compatible with Dragon. So that’s good. I can dictate elsewhere, which was something I wanted to be able to do.

Here is the rundown:

Ever Touched – up to 83k. Dictated just under 3k which is progress. 🙂

Covenant – Nada. 😦 I hope to change this soon.

Exercise – 4 times this week – 3 walks, 1 bike.

Water – I think every day. 🙂

Elysium – I worked on the outline some more.

Chocolate consumption – Oreos, lots of Oreos. WW Sundaes. WW caramel-chocolate thingies.

Survivor – I’m considering starting this as soon as I get better at dictating.

Darkroom – I was going to do some printing last night, but between exhaustion and a persistent migraine, I just didn’t feel up to it. Hopefully soon!

#ROW80 Check-in May 1st

This week has been tough because my wrist tendonitis came back and I had to take a break from writing. Yesterday, I started using voice recognition again, and it has been a bit frustrating. But I’m glad to have the option of doing it.

(Handwriting actually hurts more due to an old hand injury, so that was out.)

Actually, it went pretty smooth, all things considered. I ended up dictating a total of 800 words. It felt like it took forever, but it was only a few hours. I’ve been spoiled — I can bang out 1,000 words in 20-30 minutes. But it did the job which was the most important thing.

(I also had to stop periodically and transfer the words from the clipboard thingy and reformat. Also, Dragon didn’t recognize the names, so I ended up using placeholder names, which was okay…as long as I remembered to change them!)

So how did I do?

Ever Touched – 1000 words. Better than I could have hoped. 🙂 Now at 81k.

Covenant – 200 words. Finally!

Exercise -2 times this week

AprilLove2016 – I managed 14 days out of 30. I was running behind, and then my wrist tendonitis popped up, and handwriting just made it worse. But I’m happy with what I got, and the experience was enlightening. Will definitely do that again. 🙂

Water – only three days this week.

Elysium – I worked on the outline some more. Making slow progress.

Chocolate consumption: WW sundaes, Twix bars, and hot chocolate.

So, all in all, I did pretty well considering. I’m hoping to give my wrist time to heal and soon hopefully I’ll be typing again.

How did you do?



#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

#ROW80 Check-in 5/25/14 – Slow and steady

Happy early Memorial Day everyone!

I’ve been voice reccing but yesterday I decided to try to type again. I wrote 544 words and no twinges in the wrist. I’ll try again today sometime, but if it starts getting twinge-y again, it’s back to voice rec. I’m also dropping to 500 words a day for awhile. (Usually I just write as much as I can. In April, the goal was 1k a day and I wonder if that made things worse. But I have no regrets. It’s a great story).

Will probably continue with Soulfire. In June, I’ll be starting back up with Grave Touched. I hope to do a reread of the draft before then.

We have no real plans for the holiday. We’re having a BBQ next weekend instead — one of our family members wants his birthday party and BBQ. We figured two weeks in a row would kill us (and the calories, zomg!). So it’s business as usual tomorrow. Hubby and I are going to see Divergent. I just finished the first two books, and I’m working on the third. So far, so good. I love a good conspiracy. 😉


Words written: 544 words/6,424 words total
Words remaining: 28,576 words
What’s happening: Kyla is about to find out some very life-altering truths.
What’s next: The four sisters must convince her that everything they’re saying is true. Tough when they’re not even human.
Feeling: Not bad. Optimistic
Eye report: Great.
Chocolate consumption: Let’s see..several WW snacks, a few mini-Twix (ice cream) bars…
Mood music: In Flames

#ROW80 Check-in 5/21/14 – Voice Recognition fun

Here we are with another check-in. I am using voice recognition to type this post. It has been so far somewhat frustrating, but necessary as my wrist hasn’t felt any better. The last time I used voice recognition was six years ago. I wrote 57k of a novel for Nano. It was quite difficult, as I suffered from frequent migraines from the headset. This is a bit easier, using Windows speech-to-text and not needing a headset. However, I am planning on buying a headset that is less heavy once I have the money. I do prefer Dragon, but at this point, I’ll do anything to continue writing.

So far, I’ve written 179 words on the resurrected version of Soulfire. I’m hoping to speed up a bit as I go. Currently, I’m spending most of my time correcting mistakes. But it is getting easier. And it does learn as you go.


Words written: 179 words / 5,880 words total
Words remaining: 29,120 words
What’s happening: It’s the first scene. The main character is being interviewed.
What’s next: I’m not sure. I think she will be discovered by her own kind (she’s not human).
Feeling: slightly frustrated, but it should pass.
Eye report: totally fine.
Chocolate consumption: Heh, heh, heh. Way too much (just today = A chocolate ice cream bar and a WW chocolate bar….)
Mood music: Silence for now. Voice recognition more or less requires that.

#ROW80 Check-in 5/18/14

Doing fairly good over here. I’m writing again, hoping the wrist holds up. I’m considering going back to voice recognition, at least part of the time. I need a new headset though — the one you get is heavy and gives me migraines. I found a smaller, less bulky Bluetooth headset on Amazon. Just need the money to buy it (it’s not cheap).

Awaken Me is going well. I’m pretty much winging it, and the plot is moving a bit faster than I planned. I think that’s okay, actually, as I want it to be no longer than, say, 50k. Possibly less.

I also wrote some poetry — 2 poems and 1 haiku. It feels nice to be writing poetry again. I’ve been jotting down every single possible phrase that comes to my mind that remotely sounds poetic. Just need to get deeper into the mindset. I used to write a ton of poems a day — well, actually, they were freewrites that I turned into poems. This is before I started writing novels. I’d like to — ideally — write 1000 poems. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s something to aim for, and there’s no deadline, really. (I got the idea from another poet’s website. He actually gave himself a deadline, though.)

And lastly…my muse wants me to write the first scene of Soulfire today. After weeks of procrastinating, she’s saying today’s the day. Muses are crazy sometimes.


Words written: 1,101 words / 5,701 words total
Words remaining: 29,299 words
What’s happening: Beth is discovering some stunning secrets about herself
What’s next: Her initiation into the group
Feeling: Okay, I suppose. Wrist is already getting twinge-y, dang it.
Eye report: Twinge-y but tolerable
Chocolate consumption: At least a few pieces a day since the last check-in. It helps stimulate brain cells. *nod, nod*
Mood music: The Fray and the Goo Goo Dolls

Reassessing and making decisions.

Whilst on vacation, I did alot of thinking and brainstorming and figuring.  I did a bit of writing and a bit of revision, but mostly kept things open because it was vacation.  Luckily, the Inner Slave Driver was actually in agreement with me this time.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to work on one book at a time.  Working on three wasn’t difficult, but it was cutting into the time I could be working on Pirouette (we’re back to Pirouette now, no third draft or 1.0).  While it was good to take a break, I’m now starting to feel the urge again.

Considered doing another rewrite for the sheer amount of stuff that needs to be changed or fixed.  A lot of people I asked about it strongly suggested against not doing a rewrite because I should learn how to revise.  Flamebound is the first novel/novella I’ve attempted to revise since a failed attempt in 2004ish.  Unfortunately, with the amount of work I still have yet to do on Flamebound (before even making the changes and such), it won’t be ready by the end of the year.  I just can’t see it happening. 

With Broken, that can be done whenever.  I have no set deadline or timeframe.  When I can, I will continue work on it.

However, my one big goal was to get something out THIS YEAR.  With the year half gone, I need to get moving.  And I feel the urge with Pirouette.  I’m using a mix of methods for this.  Some HTRYN methods and some of my own.  Also Holly Lisle’s One Pass Revision methods. Going to be notecarding soon, to figure out how the scenes are working (or not working).  I need to get a handle on Alisia and Lucien’s relationship arc.  Also Raelan’s (the villain).  I may go through them separately and then string it all back to together once it’s good.  I’ll be rewriting some things.  Refiguring others.  I’m also going through every single crit I got and making notes.  I thought I’d remember and I didn’t remember alot of it (this is from last year on the 2nd draft).  Some things I fixed in the 3d draft, but there’s still alot that’s messed up.  I’m also going to be doing some Tarot readings and some journal entries in Alisia’s voice.  I might write some in longhand.  Basically, I’m using a bunch of things that I think will help.  And I want to get through this rather quickly (not crappy, mind you, just quickly) so I can get it to my critiquers. 

I hope this will be it (ha, I said that last time) and I can move forward.  My idea is to get it to be the best it can be, using all of the things I’ve learned and using my critters’ insight.  I’m hoping I can nail it, or at least come close, this go-around.

I made a discovery while reading one of my critter’s notes.  The 2nd draft sucked.  Yeah, it had its good points, but most of it was awful.  Granted, I wrote it in 2007 almost completely with voice recognition software (and, despite my fearsome editing skills, I still missed a ton of mis-recognitions 😦  ) and well….I’ve gotten better over the past 3 years.  I think I can do a better job.

But I believe in the story.  I wouldn’t be working myself into a tizzy if I didn’t.  Sure, I could move on, but regardless if this book gets published, I need to learn to revise/edit.  Although I might be one of those writers that just does multiple drafts.  Hopefully, I’ll get a clue.  Meantime, I’ll be plugging away at Pirouette.  It needs to shine.