Category Archives: progress
Welcome! It’s been a looooong time since I wrote a craft post but this is important in my writing life, so I thought I’d share some simple numbers that will boggle the mind–or maybe that ‘s just me– and make you say, “Pshh-I can do that!” even when you’ve just spent the day staring at the blank page and telling yourself you can’t do it, not again. I’m not going to tell you how to write a best seller, or a seller at any level. I’m not going to reveal some big, hidden secret to writing the book you want to write. I’m not going to offer a brilliant formula to finishing your book.
Heck, I’m not even going to tell you anything about writing, in actuality.
Now you’re asking what I am going to tell you. Well, here it is.
When you sit down at that blank page I know all the fears and doubts that begin to circle over and through you. Believe me, I KNOW. In fact, that’s sort of what made me decide to write this post. I’ve been struggling for five years to finish a new book and I’m still struggling. Why? Excuses. Life. Stress. Doubt. Frustration. Procrastination. Take your pick.
Words just haven’t been coming to me. It’s depressing at times, but it’s also overwhelming; the thought of writing 50-100K word ms and make them make sense. At times I ask why I ever wanted to become a writer. Other times I ask myself what makes me think I am a writer.
Then something like today happens and it all suddenly makes sense again, my world is right side up once more.
Today I was catching up on email (yes, instead of writing) and came across an interesting article from one of the many craft blogs I follow. The post asked, How long should a book be? We’ve all been told what is not enough words or is too many words at some point in our career. Length is loosely explained in this interesting article by BLAKE ATWOOD.
Ok, yes, we already know how to break words down per day. I have multiple worksheets for plotting word count. But for some reason, probably having something to do with my inability to finish a manuscript, his words struck me as an AhHa moment. So I did some calculating myself and as I write this I’m wondering why I haven’t been able to write several mss in the last five years.
First off, for you math whiz kids, I know this may not be by exact numbers, but for my purpose it’s close enough to make my point, and I’m nopt a math whiz. I’m not even a math crawl. I avoid numbers whenever possible. 🙂
Anyhoo– Without knowing exact numbers Blake uses, my total word count is divided by 255 days per year– subtracting 52 weekends from 365 days– and gives a reachable word count per 8 hour work day. NaNoWriMo uses a similar break down, that I have used in the past and it worked for me. I know this, yet some days even that small per day number seems daunting to me. But really…
That breaks down even further to a much less formidable number, regardless of your ending word count goal. I know you’re aware of that, but sometimes it helps to see, rather than hear something. I am sure the visualization will help anyone manage to finish a ms, no matter how long it is.
Let’s have some fun, since you’re here with me procrastinating, instead of hammering out that incredibly mind boggling daily wc. 😆 Yeah, I know why you’re really here so, while you are let’s begin.
50K in 255- 8 hour days (some are rounded to the nearest approx. whole number, so you might get a slightly different number than I do). That’s just 196 words per day, only 24.5 words per hour, 12.25 per 30 minutes, or a measly 6.125 words per quarter hour.
Now, I don’t type as fast as others, and some type four or more times that number per MINUTE (yep, that thought just made my head spin). Some of us can manage 500 words per hour, some struggle to get that number, but even I can manage 24 words in 60 minutes! That a mere .4 words per minute!
60K= 235 pd, 29 phr, 14.5 p 1/2 hr, 7 words pqtr hr
70K= 274.5 pd, 34 phr, 17 p1/2 hr, 8.5 pqtr hr
80K= 324 pd, 39.25 phr, 20 p1/2 hr, 10 pqtr hr
90K= 535 pd, 44 phr, 22 p1/2 hr, 11 pqtr hr
100K= 392 pd, 49 phr, 24.5 p1/2 hr, 12.25 pqtr hr
So who’s with me? Can we write 7, 8, 10, 11 or 12 words–in the next fifteen minutes? What? Seriously? All we have to do is BICHOK: Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard, and count that word count down.
Well, there you have it. Ramblings on ways to trick my muse into cooperating long enough to finish a ms. Thanks for tagging along and I sincerely hope this will help someone even a tidbit. If not, I hope you get a giggle at least. 😉
Please excuse the construction mess on the Ranch. I’ve decided to start Spring Cleaning early 😀
It will be back to it’s usual prettiness very soon. I hope it will, anyway!
Thank you for your patience.
While you wait, please check out this month’s UnCover Monday sweetness
by some awesome artists and authors!!
Though it’s not Thursday, I thought now would be a good time to post my writing goals for the year. Yes, I’ve been procrastinating doing this. I’m a very good procrastinator. 😆 But, January is quickly slipping away and I need to do this before the New Year isn’t new so, here I am.
Some of you may have read my goals last year, that HUGE 2-year plan I set out with last January 7th. What a disastrous mess that turned out to be! If you missed it, you can find that memorable post of My Writing Plan For 2024-2015 here. I warn you, take a deep breath before reading it! LOL
I’m doing it again. Yes, again! Why? Why torture myself? You might be thinking I’m a glutton for punishment, that I like to set myself up for sure failure. You’d be wrong. I did it for the same reasons, I guess, that I started edits on a five year old manuscript this weekend. Partly because I’d never set a long term plan and wanted to see if I could. Well, I can set goals. I did. And, as you can probably tell…I failed. Miserably.
I also did it, and am doing it again this year, to push myself, challenge myself. I didn’t set those goals last year for anyone but me. That’s why I do it. But, as with all new things, goals are meant to learn from, I think. And learn, I did!
What did I learn? For one, not to bite off more than I can chew. In other words, I need to set realistic goals, not what I want to do in one or in two years, but what I can do in that time. Can I realistically write four novellas and a full length manuscripts in 12 short months, plus revise another novella to re-publish? Obviously not when it takes me three months or more to write just one.
Did I accomplish any of my goals for 2014? Yes. I was successful in promoting Risk Factors after it’s new release with my new publisher, Kensington-Lyrical Press, in March. (Do you like how I did that? 🙂 )
I didn’t succeed in getting any other goals completed. Not even blogging once a week. In fact, I didn’t get one novella finished last year. Why? Because I overwhelmed myself. Good lord!! On top of the goals I set, I took on a new project, that isn’t finished yet, either.
Part of my failure is due to a burn out that began in May and didn’t fully end until October. I couldn’t write, didn’t even look at a ms much less work on any. I had to give myself permission to take a break and reevaluate my writing and regroup.
This year I’m taking a new direction with my writing. So, take a look at my new goals for 2015. Yeah…no more two year plans for this writer. But I will be diving into the Self Publishing pool this year, finally.
GOALS FOR 2015
1. Learn to mute phone when working!!! (can’t turn it off with fil here)
2. Blog at least once a week, aside from guests and regular UnCover Monday features
3. Edit completed full length ms, HW, in progress
4. Post some free reads on website
5. Write two novellas, both already started, but not the DDD novellas from last year
6. Self publish HW, already have a cover in the works and tentative date, May
7. Submit, or self publish at least one of two novellas, not sure which pub route I’ll take yet
8. Write a second full length ms*, my first paranormal, in progress (Juliet’s story in my 2015 goals)
9. Figure out a better marketing solution, for me, or at least a more productive way to use what I already have
* By ‘write a second ms’ I mean complete the first draft in 2015.
So, there you have it. Eight (not counting #1 🙂 ) simple, less stress-inducing goals. Still challenging, but hopefully, doable.
What about you? Will you be making goals (again) this year? How tough are you on yourself? Do you torture, or love yourself with your goals?
A lot of you know how long I’ve been waiting, working and waiting, for my second book to publish. Some of you probably know of the tedium I went through with Perfect Dr. Viv before Piper Denna and Lyrical Press, Inc. contracted it this past May, and the new title change. Many of you even know I’ve been biting my nails waiting through round after round of edits for a cover reveal.
Well, I won’t make you wait any longer. Please help me celebrate the awesome job artist Valerie Tibbs did for me.
I present the cover for–
Risk Factors! Due March 2013
Love, like life, is not without risk.
BLURB- Veterinarian Vivian Dane has purchased her uncle’s practice in the tiny town of Wales,
Missouri, where most residents still doubt her ability to treat their pets. But Viv is used to being
considered less-worthy than her predecessors. After all, her parents are world-renowned wildlife
vets, and most everyone is unimpressed she’s chosen to not follow directly in their footsteps.
Now Connor, a patient’s owner, is hot for Viv, but clearly doesn’t think she’s dating material
because he has a daughter…who he believes no woman is good enough for.
Being a perfect dad is EMT paramedic Connor’s life focus. He can’t seem to stay away
from sexy Doctor Viv, but attraction is as far as he’ll ever let it go. His mother abandoned him,
leaving him to be raised in the foster system, and then his wife abandoned both him and their
daughter. He absolutely will not risk bringing another woman into his little girl’s life and having
her feel the hurt of being left…again.
Forfeiting is easier than attempting and failing. So why does Viv feel compelled to prove
she’s a sure bet for Connor and his daughter? Can Connor trust Viv–and himself–enough to play
I really would love to know what you think so comment away. Share your thoughts- honesty welcome.
Thank you all.
Yep. It’s that time and I’m excited to bring you a little more of something I’m writing! For the last three weeks I’ve been sharing snippets of a paranormal I’ve been working on since Nano 2006. Obviously I didn’t win Nano if I’m still writing on this story. 🙂 But that’s ok. I plan to do Nano this year again and maybe I’ll win this time.
So Dray and Chelsie have met but what are their gifts? They are mind manipulators of massive proportions. They can hear thoughts of those around them, they can move objects, make outsiders see what isn’t there, or keep them from seeing what is- to name a few special gifts these Talents are capable of. There are levels of gifts and a special ‘race’ that can do several of these simultaneously. Chelcie is one of these. I call them Kortais. They are kind of like the queens of the manipulators. Rare and hardly ever discovered. It is almost unheard of for someone to meet one, much less two or especially not three- or at least not know when they do meet them. This group is protected because without them the entire race of mind manipulators is at risk of elimination. There is one particular enemy who wants to find and kill Chelcie because she has the power to destroy him when others before her failed for hundreds of years. Can she survive long enough to save her race? Will she find the one who is the key to accomplishing her fated job? Or will the evil one kill her as he did her ancestors?
This week I’ll skip a few lines from where I left off last week. Dray truly doesn’t know what to make of Chelcie at this point. He is unreasonably and romantically drawn to her, though he suspects she might be sent to kill him. Maybe it’s the Frenchman in him?
“What are you looking at with such interest?”
Such obstinate belligerence in her voice, but he supposed he didn’t blame her. He was, after all, staring rudely, and enjoying it very much.
“Hmm? You.” Not that he would admit to the impossibility to drag his gaze from her lovely face at that moment.
I think he’s smitten. What about you? Don’t forget you can follow the link in the 6SS link at the top to find more snippets from participating writers. Until next week…
I’ve had a rough last two weeks so I am ready for some real fun here on the ranch! I’m excited to be a part of Six Sentence Sunday and hope you enjoy these shared bits & pieces of my much loved writing. Click on the Logo above to find many more authors to stalk. If this is your first time on the ranch or your fiftieth, I welcome you and thank you for visiting. We are casual here on the ranch so take a tour, kick your chair back, grab a drink and Li’l Smokie and have fun!
In 2005 I first heard of NaNoWriMo (google it). I decided that since I had some free time and took the Nano challenge. I was writing one of my fave hero types, cowboy, but that story wasn’t the one I wrote. It was started and for Official NaNo you can’t use anything already beyond the planning/plotting stage. I thought long and hard about what to write in the weeks before Nov 1 kick-off and thought I had it ready. Nov 1 rolled in full of writerly excitement that’s hard to ignore and I sat BICHOK (but in chair, hands on keyboard) and my fingers began to fly as words began to flow. I was thrilled but had no clue where in hell the story forming came from. I was confused to say the least because 1) I have never written a real paranormal and 2) it had a veterinarian in it– not my presupposed cowboy! But I gave the two characters their lead and now have 50,000+ words of a paranormal about mind manipulation.
I posted a blip last week introducing Dray Corbeau and Chelcie Miles. Today I’m offering another peak into these two awesome people, picking up immediately following last weeks lines so you might get a glimpse of my charming Frenchman. Last week Dray was laughing at Chelcie, imagining her like a kitten and it ended with her demanding to know what he was laughing at. This is his response to that.
“Rien, Chéri,” he struggled to bring his humor into control. The seductive name made her glance away briefly. He smiled. She understood French, as she’d proven in their previous ‘conversations’ when he’d used his home language. “Nothing at all,” he repeated.
He fought another smile and said, “I have never been so pleasantly attacked in my life.
I hope you like these lines and I think I might continue from here next week. I apologize for any typos, structure or punctuation errors you might spot. This work is completely unedited as the first draft is only half written. As I said last week- one day I’ll get it finished. 🙂
Have a fun, productive and fantastic week! Thanks for reading.
Dodadagohvi~ *until we meet again*
I love this day! Yep, Six Sentence Sunday! I’m very excited to share a little tidbit from a wip I’ve been working on since NaNo 2005 this week. In the Mists of the Mind is currently at @50K and I don’t know yet how many words it will be when finished. Yeah- I know you want to see more of Nick and Kaylie, but sci-fi, paranormal and ‘out there’ books were my mother’s favorite genres and today in the anniversary of her death (1984) so I want to dedicate this week’s pick to Mom.
Here’s to you Mom. 🙂 I miss you and wish you were here to read my stories. I know you’d love them because you loved me.
So, this week I’d like to introduce you to Chelcie Miles and Dray Corbeau. Mind readers of a higher calibre, mind manipulators is actually a more accurate term for these two and those around them. Chelcie is destined to become a special MM, while Dray has his own impressive brain strengths. But he created a serum that in the wrong hands will be the end of all their kind. Together they must overcome the destruction she is capable of dropping into their lives, in order to beat their true enemy. Dantrais. A male MM with capabilities as strong as Chelcie’s, as long as Dray is by her side. Without him? Death is almost a certainty- but she is the only one who can conquer both their past’s death call before it reaches them. I hope you enjoy this view into my baby. 🙂
Her cat-like eyes glittered and suddenly he found himself amused by her fearlessness, since she barely reached his chest in height. He was reminded of the tiny tiger of a kitten his mother used to have that would bare claws and needle sharp teeth when he teased it mercilessly.
Laughter boiled and erupted from his gut involuntarily, as he stood staring down at the she-devil he’d previously held prisoner in his hands. He wondered what it would be like to have her temper turned around to passion in his arms. She was certainly a passionate woman who could do sinful things to a man given the chance, he was sure.
“What’s so funny?” she demanded.
Well, that’s all for now. I might just let these two back out to play next week. Thanks for coming by and don’t forget to visit some of the other participating authors by clicking on the logo or SSS link above.
It’s Six Sentence Sunday where I join tons of other writers, whose links you will find by clicking on the logo above or on the site name, to thrill, tantalize and tickle your fancy with a tiny sample of something we’re working on, or that’s already published. I decided to go with a few lines from Back to the Way We Were, my short cowboy story.
I hope you enjoy a blip from this reunion story. This is when the main characters first meet again. At this point Haley has said exactly one word to Nick, before he’s even seen her face, hidden under a floppy hat. This is his reaction to that word, a voice he’s never forgotten–good or bad–over the years apart.
Husky and soft, her voice dug into his head and dragged across his memories like sand paper over raw skin. Suddenly he knew the color of her hair, the shape of her body. He knew the exact shade of green of her eyes. If he didn’t say her name, refused to acknowledge who she was, would he be able to wake from the dream in which he suddenly found himself? Hell no. That would be too simple, and nothing about Kyley Carter was ever easy.
I look forward to sharing more of this story next week!