April Goals

2014-Participant-Vertical-BannerWhere, oh where, is this year disappearing to?

Round One of ROW80 2014 did not go as successfully as I’d hoped. I really, really want to get this steampunk story drafted. That is my sole goal for April.

I’m joining Joely and Diana and Nicole and going to Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m PeachesNCream over there if you want to join us around the campfire.

Here’s to a productive April!

Habits & Updates

I’ve been at this ROW80 thing long enough that Sunday check-ins are a pretty established habit at this point. I have to be head swimming crazy not to schedule a Sunday update. Today’s no different.

The adage is that a habit takes 21 days to form. I guess that also means it takes 21 days to break a bad habit, LOL.

Writing daily is a habit I want to develop. I’ve had some successes and I’ve had some failures in this endeavor over the last year. It’s easy to say, “Make time for it.” Heck, I’ve said it myself. One thing NaNo has done for me this year is using 15-30 minutes of my lunch hour for writing. Some days have been impressive, handwriting 600+ words. Others have been a study in frustration, netting less than 100 words. But with few exceptions, I wrote every day.

I’m excited about the story I’m working on but it needs more attention than I can fit in right now. I will continue working on it. However, NaNo is a bust for 2013.

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ 1007 words/4 days.
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ Yep:

    • NaNo Day 17 = 2226 words
    • NaNo Day 18 = 2212 words
    • NaNo Day 19 = 182 words
    • NaNo Day 20 = 1187 words
    • NaNo Day 21 = 0 words
    • NaNo Day 22 = 302 words
    • NaNo Day 23 = 175 words
  • Update NaNoWriMo Page at least every other day. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but rather a note to self: maintain 3 blog posts per week. With the Meet the Cards series at an end this may be more of a challenge. ~ Done.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 8 completed/3 remaining. Finished up Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina and Come Home to Me by Peggy Henderson this week.
  • Update Goodreads at least every other week. ~ Done.

Support/Social Media:

  • Visit and comment on at least 12 blogs per week, 3 of which HAVE to be ROW80 blogs. ~ 16 total/5 ROW.
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Yes, on Twitter. No, on Facebook (unless you count the Goodreads posts).
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Yes, on Twitter. No, on Facebook.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ Nada.
  • Allow myself an hour each week for me time. ~ Nada.
  • Not a goal but a note to self: maintain family day, one day each week. ~ Nada.

Yeah, not a great non-writery week. Though there was a lot of family stuff with basketball and choir and Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special ;)

You can find and support other ROWers HERE and other NaNoers HERE :D

Sunday’s Update Summary

Busy, busy week with the wee beasties. Basketball, choir, and painting holiday ornaments :) Plus winter cleaning.

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ Nada :cough: NaNo :cough:
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ Yep:

    • NaNo Day 10 = 1219 words
    • NaNo Day 11 = 617 words
    • NaNo Day 12 = 0 words
    • NaNo Day 13 = 1208 words
    • NaNo Day 14 = 830 words
    • NaNo Day 15 = 1497 words
    • NaNo Day 16 = 0 words
  • Update NaNoWriMo Page at least every other day. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but rather a note to self: maintain 3 blog posts per week. With the Meet the Cards series at an end this may be more of a challenge. ~ Done.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 7 completed/5 remaining.
  • Update Goodreads at least every other week. ~ N/A (no reading this week)

Support/Social Media:

  • Visit and comment on at least 12 blogs per week, 3 of which HAVE to be ROW80 blogs. ~ 10 total/3 ROW80
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Yes, on both.
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Yes, on Facebook. No, on Twitter.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ Nada.
  • Allow myself an hour each week for me time. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but a note to self: maintain family day, one day each week. ~ Done.

You can find and support other ROWers HERE and other NaNoers HERE :D

Updates à la carte

NaNoWriMo

I went into the month with only this wee bit of brainstorming and a lot of “what the hell.” Oh, I’ve gotten words, nowhere near what I need to even place in NaNo, but words nonetheless. I have a comfortable grasp of my heroine’s voice.

But I stalled this week.

I have no clue where I’m going. I need a road map.

While this is frustrating to have happen during NaNo, it’s a huge change from where I started as a writer. I started my writing journey firmly in the “fly by the seat of my pants” group. My early stories had vignettes of amazing characters and absolutely no plot.

Whether this NaNo story gets edited and polished into something readable isn’t important. It’s getting me back in fiction mode which was the reason I jumped on board. But I can’t continue blind. So, this weekend, it is back to the planning drawing board to flesh out that brainstorming spread I did.

I’m not crazy, I’ll be adding the words I come up with to my NaNo count. Hopefully, an amazing and inspiring blurb for this tale will come out of the process and light a wordage fire in me.

ROW80

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ Nada :cough: NaNo :cough:
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ Yep:

    • NaNo Day 3 = 2971 words
    • NaNo Day 4 = 1076 words, which included a fun 1/2 hour sprint via text with Joely
    • NaNo Day 5 = 719 words
    • NaNo Day 6 = 991 words
    • NaNo Day 7 = 2078 words
    • NaNo Day 8 = 460 words
    • NaNo Day 9 = 356 words, plus 1029 words of planning (as of the scheduling of this post)
  • Update NaNoWriMo Page at least every other day. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but rather a note to self: maintain 3 blog posts per week. With the Meet the Cards series at an end this may be more of a challenge. ~ Done.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 7 completed/5 remaining.
  • Update Goodreads at least every other week. ~ N/A (no reading this week)

Support/Social Media:

  • Visit and comment on at least 12 blogs per week, 3 of which HAVE to be ROW80 blogs. ~ 16 total/1 ROW80 (oops, I was a bad ROW supporter this week)
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Yes, on both.
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Nada, on both.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ Nada.
  • Allow myself an hour each week for me time. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but a note to self: maintain family day, one day each week. ~ Done.

You can find and support other ROWers HERE and other NaNoers HERE :D

November Equals #NaNoWriMo

I’m off to a slow NaNo start. But I have high hopes :)

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ 579 words/2 days (I blame it on NaNo prep)
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ Yep, 1/2 an hour of NaNo brainstorming/229 words plus NaNo wordage.
    • NaNo Day 1 = 492 words, which were lost to a power surge or something, grumble, grumble.
    • NaNo Day 2 = 1909 words, and equaled a new start which I’m liking better than Day 1’s start.
  • Update NaNoWriMo Page at least every other day. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but rather a note to self: maintain 3 blog posts per week. With the Meet the Cards series at an end this may be more of a challenge. ~ Done.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 7 completed/5 remaining. I read Anchor and Storm by Kate Poole. (It’s one of the November reads for the Menage Readers group on Goodreads.)
  • Update Goodreads at least every other week. ~ Done.

Support/Social Media:

  • Visit and comment on at least 12 blogs per week, 3 of which HAVE to be ROW80 blogs. ~ 20 total/3 ROW80
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Nada on both.
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Facebook, yes. Twitter, no.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ I got out once with Beastie Girl.
  • Allow myself an hour each week for me time. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but a note to self: maintain family day, one day each week. ~ Done.

You can find and support other ROWers HERE and other NaNoers HERE :D

Brainstorming

I’m scrambling a bit to figure out what I’ll write for NaNoWriMo in T minus 18 hours, 15 minutes.

Tarot to the rescue.

Well, tarot and Diana Castle’s spreads. She has a spread, aptly named “Brainstorming,” and I played with it earlier this week, and last. Since I used my Steampunk deck, the genre of this unknown will be steampunk. I’ve never written steampunk before but what the heck, NaNoWriMo is about sending the inner editor on a month long cruise around the world.

BrainstormingThe spread is pretty basic, just draw a card for each spot.

  • Character: Knight of Wands, reversed
  • Character’s Backstory: Queen of Swords, reversed
  • Character’s Personality Type: Death
  • Character’s Goal: The Hanged Man
  • Character’s Inner Obstacle/Flaw: Five of Wands
  • Character’s Outer Obstacle/Antagonist: Two of Swords
  • The Ordinary World: The Sun, reversed
  • Call to Adventure: Seven of Cups
  • The Special World: Ace of Wands, reversed
  • Point of No Return: Nine of Swords
  • Climax: Justice, reversed
  • Resolution: The World, reversed
  • Genre: (I didn’t draw a card as I’m using the deck in general)
  • Plot Type: Three of Swords
  • Theme/Lesson Learned: The Magician, reversed
  • Major Conflict: Nine of Pentacles, reversed
  • Setting/World: Six of Swords

When looking at a spread, there’s more than just your impressions of the individual cards. Let’s look at the big picture.

I drew six Major Arcana cards (37.5% of the spread) and that tells me there are events happening beyond the hero/ine’s control.

On the other hand, I only drew two Court cards (12.5% of the spread). Court cards are people. I can play this a few different ways. Perhaps a split personality? An identity crisis? Or maybe it just means I’ll use two points of view.

Swords are the predominate suit (31.25% of the spread) with Wands coming in second.

Swords are the Airy intellectuals. Wands are Fiery initiation.

Threes and Nines are the dominate numbers we see. According to the book that came with the deck, threes focus on creativity and nurturing, while nines focus on compromise. Threes indicate a beginning while nines indicate we’re nearing the end, but not quite complete.

More of that duality :)

Women, at 62.5% of the spread, are represented more than men. I’m definitely leaning toward a female dominated society.

Looking at the overall color, the sepia tone stands out most to me. I think of vintage clothing and old photographs. I see more interior scenes, and shadows, making me think of night.

Despite the numbers noted above, the number four stands out to me as I look at the entire picture. We have The Hanged Man with his leg bent and the four circles. The eight (four times two) sunflowers on The Sun. We have the Ace of Wands with its four candles. The four tarot cards Justice is dropping. The four elemental signs on The World. The four gears on the Three of Swords.

What stands out to you?

Okay, I must get back to work figuring this story out. T minus 18 hours, 14 minutes…

Craziness

Yep, craziness sums up my month and it isn’t over yet.

We have entered into our craziness of birthdays and anniversaries and holidays. Seriously. It started last month with my parents’ anniversary. The wee beasties’ birthdays are bang, bang, bang, bang starting this month. That Man’s parents’ anniversary AND our anniversary are next month. Then the holidays. It’s enough to make my head spin.

I won’t even get started on the school, sport, and choir craziness.

Coyote Con wraps up this weekend. The closing chat will be at 9 PM ET tonight. Sadly, not as successful a con as last year’s. I think a lot of which is due to Joely and I getting started too late this year. Something we’re already in talks to correct next year.

Tools4Wisdom Weekly Planner snapshotI ordered this Weekly Planner (with monthly calendar and goal planning) in an attempt to manage that elusive time I talked about last week. The way this planner is laid out makes me think I’ll be able to consolidate a couple calendars. And “less is more” is always a good way to roll. However, I’m really hoping this will help me identify blocks of time for writing. Something I’ll need help with next month. Yep, I am biting the bullet for NaNoWriMo (along with two of the wee beasties).

Actually, now that I think about it, with a Thanksgiving trip, perhaps I should have saved that title for NEXT month!

On to my ROW80 check-in for the week.

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ 1253 words/3 days (calling this a win because it’s over half the goal, still needs work though)
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ Not yet. And with NaNo around the corner I better get crackin’ on at least the brainstorming!
  • Not a goal but rather a note to self: maintain 3 blog posts per week. With the Meet the Cards series at an end this may be more of a challenge. ~ Done.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 5 completed/7 remaining. I finished Fever Dream (BDSM Ballet) by Annabel Joseph, Natural Law by Joey W. Hill, and Kiss Across Time by Tracy Cooper-Posey. I even finished a beta read this week. Whew…heavy reading week.
  • Update Goodreads at least every other week. ~ Done, including the widget.

Support/Social Media:

  • Visit and comment on at least 12 blogs per week, 3 of which HAVE to be ROW80 blogs. ~ 17 total/3 ROW80
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Facebook, no. (Unless you count the Goodreads feeds to Facebook) Twitter, yes.
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Facebook, no. Twitter, yes.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ Nope. I thought about it though, LOL
  • Allow myself an hour each week for me time. ~ Done.
  • Not a goal but a note to self: maintain family day, one day each week. ~ Done.

You can find and support other ROWers HERE.

NaNoWriMo 2013

nanowrimo1I’ve been on the fence. I like the energy of this challenge. I’ve been successful doing this challenge before. However, it has never felt right for long term writing life.

But I haven’t really been LIVING the writing life this year.

Something that must change.

This year, for the very first time, I know someone locally who will be taking up the challenge. Someone I could meet with for write-ins and such. And I really want to grab that opportunity.

Then Dawn Montgomery made a comment about ordering workbooks for her kids. Now I have two of the four wee beasties excited to attempt this challenge! I ordered them workbooks yesterday.

Which means I’m on for NaNoWriMo this year. Egads!

What to write? Time to pull out the tarot cards and figure that out. Pretty much everything currently in the hopper is in some kind of revision or editing stage. Not a good idea for NaNo. I’ve been down that road before. Shudder.

You can find me as PeachesNCream on the NaNo site.

Are you NaNo-ing this year?

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

  1. Congrats to Kait Nolan! Her YA Red was the only indie title nominated for DABWAHA.

    A great showing Kait!

  2. How many of you picked up Scrivener after NaNoWriMo last year? Are you using it to the fullest? If not, perhaps Gwen Hernandez’s Scrivener class can help.
  3. The writing: hmm…well, I was struck with a new shiny. I tried just writing the bit that came to me so the idea was captured but not taking over. :snort: Then I spent a D&E writing on it. Trial and error has shown me that D&E is best for new words. I’m far enough from the fantasy piece that I’ll need to do a complete reread before continuing it. So on one hand I’m not surprised. Yet it has distracted me enough that forward progress on the SF piece has stalled. We almost to the end of this round and, while I’m not calling it a change in goals, I think I’m just going to continue “cleaning house” so all my ducks are in a row for the start of the next round.
  4. Janice Hardy is always a great resource. Her The Other Side of the Story blog is a must read for me. Gems from this week: A Journey Through Massive Edits in 10 Easy Steps by guest poster Paul Welch and So Where Were We Again? Salvaging Half-Finished Manuscripts.
  5. The blogging: still holding a week grace of scheduled posts. I think I’m ready for my blogiversary next month, just need to finalize one giveaway. Details coming soon.
  6. Taking a page from Fabio Bueno’s Blog Comments Log and Marcia Richards’ Streamlining Blogs posts, I’ve been cleaning out my Google Reader this week. I listed them. Noted the days each blog posted. Evaluated whether it was an info blog, a friend blog, or just a blog I enjoyed reading. And while it shouldn’t matter, I also noted who was supportive of my blog. Just like a good spring cleaning I feel like a weight has be lifted off my shoulders and my reader is much more manageable.
  7. The social media: I continued to meet my retweet and sharing goals thanks to Triberr and StumbleUpon this week. Even had a bit of a conversation with @Ali__Dent :)
  8. The health: Sigh. I fell off the wagon a bit this week. I think that time change mucked with me more than usual. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it :D
  9. Then I read a post like Elena Aitken’s Your Body ~ A Love/Hate Relationship and I’m reminded how good life is.

Round of Words in 80 Days — Wrap-up

Crap. Where did the time go?


It’s almost Christmas — I’m not ready — and it’s the end of the fourth round of ROW80 for 2011. With Christmas falling on Sunday, there won’t be a Sunday Summary this week, so we’ll call this my final check in for 2011.

For a recap of my goals, go HERE.

  1. Write 250 words per day, 5 days a week, on fantasy piece. — Mostly a success, with NaNoWriMo I managed to get about 15K shy of finished with the first draft. However, there has been some major slackage in December that not even joining Jenny Hansen’s NaNoSlackMo could salvage.
  2. Blog twice a week, not counting ROW80 updates. — Definitely a success. I even got in a guest post over on Maria Zannini’s blog (giveaways are open through tomorrow) as part of her DIY Christmas. I had some fantastic visitors here, with Jenna Reynolds talking about tarot, and Piper Bayard and Kristen Lamb here as part of their Bayard/Lamb in 2012 Campaign Tour.
  3. Comment on 3 blogs per day. — Mostly a success. Definitely had more hits than misses :)
  4. Update Twitter and Facebook 3 times a week, not counting new blog posts. — I had some great weeks. I had some bad weeks. I even had some epic fail weeks. This will continue to be an area I need to work on in 2012.

I’ll definitely be joining again in 2012. To watch for the details of round one in 2012, go HERE.

I have a regularly scheduled Tarot post for tomorrow, and next Thursday, plus a post scheduled for next Tuesday. Otherwise, I’m kicking back and enjoying the holiday.

I wish you all a very happy holiday with the ones you love!

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