Sunday Summary & #ROW80

Group 1: Thank You, Hello, Follow Your Dreams, & Love cards.

Here’s a tease of the cards up for grabs in the blogiversary giveaway…

Okay, on to the update.

  1. The Writing: Apparently, working on the shiny is speaking to me this week :)
    • Monday: 805 words mostly new wordage with a bit of character development.
    • Tuesday: 685 words toward character development.
    • Wednesday: 0 words.
    • Thursday: 0 words.
    • Friday: 145 words toward plot points.
    • Saturday: 631 words of new wordage.

    So while I didn’t write every day this week I exceeded the overall words (1750) for the week.

  2. As you can see from above, I’ve been working on characters. Marcy Kennedy wrote a wonderful post about characters who don’t match stereotypical qualities and included a link to Rob Preece’s guest post Women are from Venus, Men are annoying. LOL, a great male POV post! I’m firmly in the John Gray camp of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex so it’s nice seeing it applied to crafting characters. And if that isn’t enough character deliciousness, Roni Loren also posted about writing the male POV. Is it any wonder my hero has been taking up all my time? And he hasn’t even told me his name yet!
  3. The Reading: Check. I finished The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life and read two fiction stories. Now to decide which craft book to start next.
  4. The Blogging: Check. Maintaining about a two week cushion on posts and met my comment goals for the week.
  5. The Social Media: I did well with the sharing this week. However, I don’t think I met my updating goal and, sadly, didn’t meet the conversation goal.
  6. August McLaughlin has more great info on Pinterest and blogging.
  7. The Health: Managed 4 glasses of water per day all days this week but Saturday. No dog walking. Bad fur-baby parent, bad. Sugar reduction is going well. I didn’t even cave with all the Easter stuff in the house…go me :)

    Beastie Girl

  8. And speaking of health, Jenny Hansen reminds us women of medical tests we should have done. When was your last visit to the doctor?
  9. Fur baby loving. (This is my phone wallpaper…we girls have to stick together!) Amy Shojai talked about why NOT to hug your dog today. (Edit: link fixed)
  10. To support the awesomeness that is ROW80 you can go HERE

Tuesday Book Talk

Let’s talk books!

Just Read

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne (The Steampunk Chronicles) by Kady Cross

Why I picked it up: Lindsay Buroker mentioned it in her Fantasy-Steampunk E-Books list post and it was free. Win. This is a prequel to the Steampunk Chronicles of which The Girl in the Steel Corset (The Steampunk Chronicles) is the first book.

What I liked: Suspense with some horror, along the lines of Frankenstein, and the steampunk elements were seamlessly woven in. I thoroughly enjoyed the world Kady Cross built. The MC, Finley, was interesting without being over the top. While it stands alone, this freebie did exactly what the author was after…hooking my interest to read the series.

What I disliked: There was no real character arc but, as this is a prequel, I expect there will be more of that in the full-length stories within the series.

Reading

The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life by Noah Lukeman

Why I picked it up: I’d seen it recommended. It sounded worth a try if I could get my hands on a used copy…which I did.

What I like: The way this book is broken down. The Characterization sections have some thought provoking exercises. In fact, all the sections have good exercises. I think the Journey section is my favorite so far with Profound (realization and action) and Surface (recognizable marker of growth) character journeys. I’m looking forward to the Suspense, Conflict, Context, and Transcendency sections. I may even try plotting the shiny via this book.

What I dislike: The Characterization sections are mostly lists and focus on the physical (outer) aspects of character before exploring the inner working of character which I feel is backwards. Overall, I’m finding more I like than dislike about this craft book.

Will Read

That’s a really good question. I’ve been struggling to start Unholy Magic (Downside Ghosts, Book 2) by Stacia Kane. I’m sure the problem is the amount of time since reading the first book and I may need to re-read Unholy Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 1).

Perhaps The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women: A Portable Mentor by Gail McMeekin

Why I picked this up: I saw a number of reviews and recommendations online. Words like “Empowering” and “Inspiring” and “Uplifting” peppered everything I saw about this book. One reviewer even said something to the effect of, “I felt I was sitting at the kitchen table getting the best news from a group of friends.” Sounded worth the read.

What I expect to like: The book is divided into three main “gateways” — Engaging Your Creativity, Mastering You Challenges, and Actualizing Creative Results (the Power of Positive Priorities). There are interviews, bit-sized memoirs, and quotes throughout. Each chapter has challenges, questions, that look like they are designed to help unlock creativity.

What I expect to dislike: Can’t think of anything from my glance though the book.

What are you reading and loving at the moment?

Sunday Summary & #ROW80

  1. Just a reminder, the more posts you comment on in April for the blogiversary the more chances you have to win one of the giveaways! Oh, and the giveaways are open to everyone on the planet.
  2. The Writing: The wee beasties were on Spring Break this week. So no writing. I did toy with some ‘what if’ questions on the shiny idea.
  3. I don’t think of the above lack of progress as procrastination (the family comes first, after all) but Sonia Medeiros wrote a fabulous post, When I Have More Time and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, on how to combat it!
  4. The Reading: Still working on The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life which I’m not counting toward my two craft books this round as I started it before the round.
  5. I’ve had the honor of being a Beta Reader. I’ve benefited from my first experience of sending something out to Beta Readers. And I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read. Jami Gold’s How Do We Find Beta Readers post is a great place to start.
  6. The Blogging: Check. All aspects of this goal went well this week (except for comments on Saturday). In fact, this goal is feeling pretty set.
  7. Loved this post, 10 Things to Know About Blogging, from Lynnette Conroy.
  8. The Social Media: Check, except maybe Friday and Saturday. I had a fabulous chat on Facebook with a gal from Algeria (complete with us both using Google Translate, LOL) … how cool is that?!
  9. I delayed joining Pinterest at first because of the potential time suck factor even though I saw some cool author storyboards. Then the copyright and lawsuit stuff hit the fan. Pinterest stepped up to the plate and fixed things. August McLaughlin wrote a fabulous post on the changes — How to Pin Without Getting Arrested. Still not ready to jump on board but August’s post makes me feel better about joining.
  10. The Health: Only hit 8 glasses of water once this week, 3 a day the rest of the week. Only got out for a walk once this week due to high winds the rest of the week. Sugar reduction still on track.
  11. I was search-bombed by Leanne Shirtliffe (aka Ironic Mom) :lol: Here’s How to Search Bomb Your Friends. Go forth and have fun!
  12. To support the awesomeness that is ROW80 you can go HERE

Steampunk Tarot Deck

I had planned to tease you with some of the handmade cards but I ran out of time to take a picture. I received the Tarot cards sooner than I expected :pets the pretty: so here’s a look at the Tarot deck up for grabs in the blogiversary giveaway…

That picture doesn’t do this deck justice.

Tuesday Book Talk

Let’s talk books!

This is my version of Lynn Viehl’s 3 Books feature.

Just Read


Take Me Home by Sloan Parker

Why I picked it up: Actually, I won this one but it’s been on my to-buy list since she first started talking about it on her blog. Sloan was my intro into the M/M world and I probably measure all others by the standard she set.

What I liked: This is a friends to lovers story which has to be one of my favorite romance devises. Both characters are well developed, a good chunk of the story takes place on a train (which I thoroughly enjoyed as both my grandfather and father, for a bit in high school, worked for the railroad), and she wove in a neat little mystery.

What I disliked: One aspect of the mystery seemed extreme even as it was believable. It made for exciting passages but felt a little over the top for a contemporary setting.

Reading (Actually, we’ll have two Just Read this time.)


Somnium (Halos #1) by Keri Lake
You can also check out my interview with Keri Lake.

Why I picked it up: Again, it was on my to-buy list radar but I won this from Keri’s site.

What I liked: This has a strong first person point of view. It satisfied my POV junkie habit beautifully :) Keri has built a fascinating world of angels and demons locked in the classic good vs. evil battle. There’s bit of mystery and enough questions at the end that I’m looking forward to the next book.

What I disliked: There’s a bit of a “love triangle.” Normally I’m all for it, love the tension. This one started out well but ended up too one-sided too soon. And I think the story could have had the same level of suspense and tension without it.

Will Read

That’s a really good question. I’m in the middle of revisions so reading right now isn’t high on the ol’ list. I did just get this in the mail…


The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life by Noah Lukeman

Why I picked this up: I’d seen it recommended. It sounded worth a try if I could get my hands on a used copy…which I did.

What I expect to like: The way this book is broken down. Seriously, there’s Characterization: the Outer Life; Characterization: the Inner Life; Applied Characterization; The Journey; Suspense; Conflict; Context; and Transcendency. And in a quick thumb-through, sections within on romance.

What I expect to dislike: Hard to say. I’ve never read anything by Mr. Lukeman before so am coming to this with fresh eyes.

What are you reading and loving at the moment?

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