A Third Blogiversary

Tip-toed up behind me and gave me a Gibbs head slap befitting of Tony DiNozzo. Despite best laid plans to celebrate this month.

April, instead, is CampNaNoWriMo month.

I started strong during Day One (1,742 words) and Two (1,476 words) then fizzled the rest of the week. The problem, besides the craziness that is my life, is that characters from another story are clamoring for attention. It would be so awesome to be able to work on multiple projects at a time.

Maintaining a blog presence continues to be a challenge. Posting interesting content here, stuff people actually WANT to read, fails me. Getting around to other blogs, a goal of at least twelve each week, went a bit better with me commenting on fourteen this week.

Maintaining a social media presence also continues to be a challenge. Though I did quite a bit of activity the first couple days of Camp both on Twitter, with a lot of conversations back and forth, and Facebook, that level has never been something I can maintain long term.

There’s been nothing to update on Goodreads as this month’s focus must be writing, and Camp.

Time to see if I can’t catch up on some wordage for Camp.

So tell me, do you find monthly goals more successful for you, or quarterly, or annually?

Just an Update

We’re busy doing the holiday and family thing. Amazingly, I’m done with the shopping. Gasp. Shock. Just need to pick up That Man’s gift Friday :)

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ 286 words/1 day.
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ Not even a blip on my radar this week.
  • 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, though I still need to work on queuing up posts.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 14 completed. Finished up Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair, Score by Gina Watson, and Gift of Desire by Samantha Kane and Kate Pearce this week, along with a beta read I hope to get back today/tomorrow.
  • Update Goodreads at least every other week. ~ Done, including the widget in the sidebar.

Support/Social Media:

  • Visit and comment on at least 12 blogs per week, 3 of which HAVE to be ROW80 blogs. ~ 16 total/5 ROW80
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Twitter, yes. Facebook, no.
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Twitter, yes. Facebook, no.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ One day of yoga (AM & PM via Element: AM & PM Yoga for Beginners DVD) plus 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

Holiday Baking and an Update

Recipe is on the bag of Bob's Red Mill Muesli

Recipe is on the bag of Bob’s Red Mill Muesli

This holiday season has gotten away from me. I’m sure it is due to Thanksgiving being late this year and the fact we hit the road for the holiday. So I’m behind in all my usual Christmas preparations, like baking. I love baking Christmas treats. I usually start in November, making a few here and there, and freezing half so the wee beasties have a selection for Santa.

Yesterday was spent in a flurry of baking — Brownies (with mint chips), Magic Bars, Shortbread, and Muesli Cookies — I also made up Sugar Cookie dough for today’s baking and Pie Crust for Butter Tarts.

Yum.

ShortbreadShortbread

Cream 1/2 cup of butter with 1/3 cup of powdered sugar. Stir in the vanilla. Mix in the floor. Knead in the bowl long enough to incorporate all the flour and the dough is smooth.
If you have a shortbread pan: Lightly spray with non-stick spray, press the dough into the pan, and prick the entire surface with a fork.

If you don’t have a shortbread pan: Shape dough into a round about 1/4 thick, score wedges in the dough, and prick the entire surface with a fork. (A baking stone is better than a cookie sheet but either will work.)

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut along the scored lines.

What’s your favorite Holiday Cookie?

ROW80

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ 714 words/2 days
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ 166 words/20 minutes
  • 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. ~ Well, I got 2 posts done. I’ve not done well at queuing up posts as I’d hoped for this round.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 11 completed/1 remaining. Finished up All Of You (Only You) by Rhian Cahill and Cinderella Liberty by Cat Johnson this week.
  • Update Goodreads at least every other week. ~ Done, and I updated the widget in the sidebar.

Support/Social Media:

  • Visit and comment on at least 12 blogs per week, 3 of which HAVE to be ROW80 blogs. ~ 14 total/3 ROW80
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Twitter, yes. Facebook, no.
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter. ~ Twitter, yes. Facebook, no.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ Nope.
  • 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

Post Hiatus, er, Thanksgiving

Four boys and a dog in a van,
A 24-hour road trip,
Thanksgiving with family…priceless.

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday.

ROW80

Writing/Editing:

  • Morning Pages for a minimum of 250 words or half hour, whichever comes first, 6 days per week. ~ Nada.
  • Fiction, at least an hour each week. It can be brainstorming, plotting, writing, or editing. ~ Nada.
  • 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. ~ N/A, I’d put the blog on hiatus for the week.

Reading:

  • A minimum of 12 books to stay on track for 100 books this year. ~ 9 completed/2 remaining. Finished up A Scandalous Scot by Karen Ranney 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.
  • One non-blog related post per week on Facebook and Twitter.
  • One share, re-tweet, whatnot per week on Facebook and Twitter.

I didn’t track anything.

Non-Writery Stuff:

  • Exercise three times per week. ~ I got out with Beastie Girl three times.
  • 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. ~ Yep.

You can find and support other ROWers HERE

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

#ROW80 Round 2 Wrap-up

ROW80LogoIn the spirit of Kait Nolan’s Fix Your Focus post from last Round, I’m not going to beat myself up for a less than stellar Round.

I DID write on my Morning Pages for a total of 7948 words over the course of the Round. That works out to an average of 115 words per day. Definitely plan to strive for my 250 words per day goal next Round.

I DID maintain my posting schedule for the majority of the Round.

I BLEW my reading goal out of the water with a total of 22 books read this Round.

I DID update Goodreads within my goal guidelines.

The Support/Social Media goal was more miss than hit this Round. Definitely going back on the goal list next Round!

The regular exercise goal alluded me. I had some great weeks and some epic fail weeks. Definitely another goal to continue working towards next Round.

I COMPLETED The 30-day Diabetes Cure in April.

I KEPT a FAMILY day each week (hence the word count above was averaged over 69 days, not 80).

I WAS HIRED for a JOB I’m absolutely loving with a company that is ah-mazing.

Beasties #2 and #3 won awards for PERFECT ATTENDANCE which included a $25 gift certificate. Way to go boys!

Beastie #1 is moving on to HIGH SCHOOL. Gasp!

Beastie #2 is moving on to MIDDLE SCHOOL. Double Gasp!

Beasties #3 and #4 are moving on to their next grade level within ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.

We had a visit from That Man’s mum and brother.

How did the second quarter of the year go for you?

I’ll see you next Round. You can find and support other ROWers here.

Sunday Summary & the Illuminating Blogger Award

Not much to report for the Summary this week.

On the writing front, I’ve continued to do my Morning Pages. However, the deeper I get into the revisions I’m attempting, the less patience I have in doing them. Plus side, revisions feel pretty good. I rewrote the opening scene on Friday, 1048 words, and rewrote almost three scenes Saturday, 2664 words. I know all these will need another run through but right now I’m aiming to clean up plot.

On the reading front, I have two stories to beta. Bad me, I haven’t started either. I will get them done soon, Melanie and Angela, I promise.

And I have a standing date with Doctor Who starting Saturday :D

~ * ~

The amazing Melanie Macek awarded me the Illuminating Blogger Award on the same day I awarded her the Sunshine Award and Fabulous Blog Ribbon. I swear we were channeling each other, LOL.

Something we seem to do a lot.

Thank you Mel!

Here are the rules for the award:

  • Visit the Blog who awarded you and thank them.
  • Tell everyone who nominated you, thank the blogger and include a link back to their site on your blog.
  • Share a random thing about yourself.
  • Select five or more nominees — and notify them on their blogs.
  • Put the award on your blog somewhere.

A random factoid about moi:

I won first prize in a third grade essay contest about my hometown. Even had my picture in the local paper :)

My five nominees are:

Fabio from Diamonds & Rust
Stacy from Turning the Page
Jenny from More Cowbell
Angela from In a Pursuit of Publishness
Maria from Tale of Otherworlds

They are welcome to indulge in randomness if they like :) I hope you’ll visit these bloggers and see why they are so special!

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