Nov 19, 2013

One Million Words

At the beginning of the year, I decided I was going to write 1,000,000-words. 2013 became the year of a million words. And I set about tapping away at daily, weekly and monthly goals.

As of 2:51pm yesterday afternoon. I met that goal!

The words that qualified were any of the things I typed into a story (short fiction, novella, novels...)This blog post would not have counted, emails, etc. I wanted one million words of fiction. And I got there.

I think it's still sinking in.

Nov 15, 2013

An Update. Or, I Technically Finished NaNoWriMo Yesterday.

Words Written: 19,788

I don’t recall what I was distracted by last Friday to keep me from getting to green, but Wednesday was a jumble because I was sorting out publishing stuff for TBFM and getting the word out (however marginally). Regardless of that, I technically won NaNo yesterday. My current count for the month of November is 50,206.
What’s even more exciting than that is that I’m under 10k-away from hitting my Million Words in a Year goal!
Unfortunately, I’m not a writer of few goals, and to get Book 2 of Flynn out in February like I’d like to… I have to finish the first draft before the end of November. That means I need to buckle down and get focused. Not something that is easy to do with the approaching holidays!

What I read this week:
Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger
Wrayth by Philippa Ballantine

Random thought of the week:
This week, I realized a few things. The one I’m going to talk about is one that should have been obvious to me for a long time.
I love writing endings.
I wrote the final scenes of the final novel in the Flynn Monroe series before I’d published Enemies of a Sort. Yesterday I wrote the final chapter of Book 2 (I’ve had the final scene done since before I finished TBFM. I just love having that ending in place. It makes writing easier, because I can see where I’m headed, and I know how everything has to work out. Can I change it? Sure, and I usually do. But it’s nice having a finish line in place.

News and other things you should really check out!

Even though you probably don't need the reminder, I have two books out now!

Enemies of a Sort (a $0.99 e-book Novella in the Flynn monroe series)
The Betrayal of Flynn Monroe (first Novel in the Flynn Monroe series)
(At present, they're both on Amazon's Best Selling Science Fiction Western Top 20!)

Janice Hardy is helping out Crits for water. You can get a three chapter critique from her, and if you’ve ever read her blog, you know how awesome she is. Auction ends tonight!

Nov 8, 2013

First Update for November

It's here. The last of my recorded writing months (I already know December is a bust and I'm not the sort to set myself up for failure.

If you notice over in the corner over yonder (------>) I've gotten to 97%

But let's talk about this week.

Words Written: 30,418

Books Read: 1 (Neruomancer)

We're officially into November... and that mean's I'm almost at the point of the year when my brain decides to flop out of my head onto the concrete and all I can do is stare at it until after the new year. I'm in a mad dash to get through my Million W/C goal, and to get a first draft finished.

So yeah! Hopefully I can keep up the pace and get to that wonderful number in time!

Nov 1, 2013

October Update

Happy November. Some of you will be starting NaNoWriMo today. If you are, Good Luck. I myself am not going to participate. I have my own set of goals and while they might line up with NaNo quite well, I’ve found that the competition doesn’t encourage me as much as I thought it might.

So! Let’s get on to the update. Another month has come to pass. There’s only two left in 2013! Where the heck has this year gone? I swear I fully expected it to drag on and here we are, almost at the end.

This Week -
Words Written: 22,676
Books Read: 3

This Month –
Words Written: 103,827
Books Read: 11

I didn’t reach my month’s goal. I was only 17,000ish off. And I blame that entirely on the return of edits. Okay, not entirely on edits. But it is getting close to the end of the year and I am rubbish at staying focused around the winter holidays. So! I’m hoping I’ll still be able to get my words sorted out and get to my Million W/C Goal!

Only 59,309-words away… Funny how such a small number (in the grand scheme of this year’s writing) can seem like such an enormous task…. It’s entirely a matter of the time of year. I have approximately half of November before I can count on my brain turning to mush… so it’s going to be a bit of a mad dash for the finish line on that one!

Oct 1, 2013

September Numbers

September rolled to a close, and I managed to hit the first of these final months’ big goals. I got over the 121,098-word goal by a smidge, and am really happy with that. Today starts the second BIG goal (it’s the same as September’s) before the final month* which will probably be the hardest.

Next month has the added difficulty of getting a book back from an editor, so I’ll have to deal with the wordless void that comes from paying attention to an already-written book. But, I think it will be a nice change of pace all the same. Hopefully, it will help me get a little more focus. As it is now, I’m getting in my w/c by bouncing around from project to project. It keeps my brain from getting bored, but it certainly doesn’t feel like I’m getting anything finished!

Here are my counts for the month of September:

Words Written: 121,800

Books Read: 3

The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough
What Happened at Midnight by Courtney Milan
Geist by Philippa Ballantine

I hope you had as productive a month as I did!
Happy Writing!

Aug 30, 2013

August has come to a close

August is over!
Well, it is as far as writing is concerned.

Words Written: 97,728
Books Read: 0

I made it to my overall goal before I left for a long trip to Oregon for a wedding. It was one of those goals that you cross your fingers, close your eyes, hold your breath, and hope it actually happens.

But, becasue of my mad dash to get the word count in in 11 days, I didn't get any reading finished. I made a pretty good dent in The Darwin Elevator, but haven't actually gotten to the end of a book this month.

Monday starts another month, but September and October are hoping for MASSIVE word counts. So, fingers crossed!

Aug 16, 2013

Hitting My Goal, Half a Month Early

This month is a clear indication of what I can do… when I’m pushing things.

Words Written: 34,573  

With this count, and the 6 writing days before it, I’ve officially hit my word count goal for the month! I hit it on Wednesday. 

Which is great because my writing days are going out the window, and quickly. 

Books Read: 1 (The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough)

Aug 2, 2013

July's Counts

Words Written: (This week)   24,857
                           (July)             94,276
I made my w/c goal this month, and then some. Which is a nice change from the last two months where I haven’t.

That being said, this update is going to really short. I’ve got a huge chunk of this month where I’m not going to be able to do much (if any) writing, and so I’ve got some huge daily w/c goals!

Books Read in July: 5

I always make this list according to goodreads, that’s the only reason my own book is on this list.

Aug 1, 2013

July Books

This month's book acquisition was certainly an eclectic mix.

These are the five books I acquired in the month of July

Two Pre-orders:

Saga Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough

Three Used:
Punk (a pictorial encyclopedia)
If the Slipper Fits by Elizabeth Harbison
Once Upon a Dream by Katherin Kingsley

Jul 29, 2013

Write or Die - How I Use It

Write or Die is a software (I use the web app, but they have a desktop function and an iPad app) that helps motivate you to get a word count out by eating your words if you don’t type consistently (assuming you’re on that setting).

I love it.

Here’s how I use Write or die:
When I go to the web app, I set the time limit for 15 minutes, the word goal for 5 minutes and put the other two options to their lowest settings.

Then I go.

When I get past the 500 (I generally have a minute to spare), I select all, copy and paste it into a blank word document.

Then, I go through and fix any of the “quick typing” errors. Things like “tthe”  or “t hat.”  

I paste it into the actual document, and then go back and start over again.

For the most part, I can get in three fifteen minute sessions an hour.


The great thing about this for me, is that if FORCES me to focus. I can focus really well on my own… when all the stars are aligned. But as it is normally little things can cause huge time sucks.

Once I get my but in gear and actually go purchase a wireless keyboard for my iPad I’ll be downloading the app on that. As it is now, I can’t really stand typing on the iPad.

Jun 28, 2013

Update for June

I know June’s not technically over yet, but I’m counting anything that happens tomorrow on as part of July – because I can. Also, I meant to post an update last week, but I didn’t do it on Thursday and was out of the state all weekend… so here we are!

Words Written: 72,041

The bad news is, I didn’t make it to my monthly goal of 83,500-words.
The good news is, I am past the half way mark to my Milllion Word-count goal!

Also, please notice that I only had one full week of writing this month. so I'm very proud of myself for getting as close as I did to my goal. (The light grey days are revision days, fyi.)

And I finished work on the third draft of Enemies of a Sort. It is almost ready to go! I'm shooting for July 22nd. But I'll definitely keep you updated through out the month.

Books Read:     6

This month’s reads include (in order of first read):
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
Dragon’s Gold by Piers Anthony
Winning the Wallflower by Eloisa James
Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
& The Graveyard Book by Niel Gaiman

I have a stack of books planned to be read next month, but with the running around I’m going to be doing, I’m not certain how many I’ll be able to get through. I did start Hero of Ages yesterday, and since I’m hopping on another plane on Thursday, I’m hopeful for getting it finished fairly quickly.

I hope you had a wonderful month!

Jun 3, 2013

May Update (Because I spaced it on Friday)

Words Written: 46,113

You'll notice that I was about 37,000 words short of my monthly goal. But I'm consoling myself with the fact that I spent six days of last month not actively writing, but instead revising. and so while I'm counting them toward the goal, I wasn't actually putting out a big effort there. That being said... the lack of green in this picture makes me a little sad. I am still ahead from February's awesome W/C input... but I'm going to try to make June bump me even farther ahead.

Books Read: 11

You'll note that all but one of them are romance novels. This month called for quick reads that wouldn't bog me down. I'll be reviewing Mistborn soonish... I've got it all hand written, I just need to sit down and format it for you ;)

On to June! And hopefully better on the writing front!

Mar 1, 2013

February is Over, Time for an Update!

The Counts for the Week:
W/C:               41,018-words
Revisions:       105 pages
Reading:         1(Beautiful Creatures)

I’m going to talk about the w/c more when I get down to the month’s numbers. But I am really happy with that word countage. Truth be told I bounced ALL OVER THE PLACE this week when it came to getting words in. I worked on: a space western, an alternate history fantasy, a sf thriller, a YA space pirates novel, and a few other things….

Revisions were of a first chapter my editor couldn’t get past (so clearly I needed to fix things before we considered moving forward) and on a novel I’m about 40% done with, and had an epiphany about something that happens in the beginning, so I had to change that and then go through what I’ve got written to make it make sense. (I’ve been writing this one off and on for a while now, so I don’t feel bad about popping back to it when the mood strikes.)

I didn’t get much reading done, did I? I started reading another book and while I like it so far, it was not striking the mood. And so, I pulled Beautiful Creatures up on my phone (having bought it a few weeks ago) and I read it over the course of two days.

The Counts for the Month:
W/C:               133,329-words (lowest count 2/18: 1118; highest count 2/8: 11,813; Mo Avg: 7843/day!)
Reading:         9 (2 Thrillers, 3 Regency Romances, 2 YA, 1 classic and 1 non-fiction)

I’m super thrilled about this month’s word count. *Beams*

When discussing the shortest month of the year (though not the shortest writing month of my year) I told my betas I was shooting for 120k written. And I did it! It tickles me to no end. Next month, I’ve got another secret goal… that I’ll reveal at the end of the month (or tell you that I failed miserably and keep it a secret), but because of it, my daily w/c for March’s 21 writing days is only 4300-words (that starts today, since I wrote this last night… shhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell). That keeps me on track for both my needed monthly average for the Million goal, and for the secret goal. But still, wish me luck!

Please note, I may have read 4 more books than my goal, but I did not read two of the ones on my schedule… so those are getting pushed into this coming month. To be fair, it was a short month, and I did take a vacation – and it is impossible for me to get any reading in on vacation – so I’m not beating myself up about falling off the schedule.

Feb 7, 2013

Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

It’s rather fitting that this is going up on a Thursday, don’t you think?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

By Douglas Adams

Classic Science Fiction with a Zany Voice
Hardback, 215 pages

Published by Crown

Released August 3, 2004 (25th Anniversary Edition)

My Summary:
Arthur Dent’s life has gotten rather stressful, first he wakes up to find his home is being demolished, and worse, his friend Ford Perfect facilitates the debacle only to inform him the world is ending before whisking him in to outer space and informing Aurther he’s an alien. Not only that, but he’s a write for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the two of them are on a ship controlled by a race that does not like hitchhikers at all.

My Review:
I’ll admit, it took me an embarrassingly long time to get around to reading this.  Overall it’s a very interesting book and I do enjoy the rather slapdash feeling the plot gives, but the ending is so odd, it’s hard for me to know exactly how I feel about the book.

There were several points of author interjection that I didn’t’ see the need for, and several plot points that seemed to sprout from nowhere and vanish just as quickly.

I don’t think I was underwhelmed… I think I was just waiting for more? Perhaps I’ll have to read the rest of the series to find that complete satisfaction.

Buy, Borrow, or Brush Past:
Definitely borrow this one, after all, the classics help us understand how modern literature is going to shape up.

Feb 6, 2013

My February Reads

Etiquett & Espionage by Gail Carriger -  I loved Gail's Parasol Protectorate Series, so I have high hopes for the Finishing School series. And I'm in love with the saturated colors they went with. Basically, I don't see much chance of this going wrong - especially with a main character named Sophronia! It should be interesting to see how Gail's saucy banter translates into a YA series.

The Frankenstein Series by Dean Koontz - This series was foisted upon me by my mother (note the broken spines - they've been read by at least two people before me). The fifth book should be heading my way... soon? I'll have to make a call to be sure about that. I know very little about these books other than what I assume the basic plot is, and that my mother thinks they're funny.  We'll see how I feel at the end of the month!

Feb 5, 2013

Review: Hourglass


By Myra McEntire

Contemporary YA with a Time Travel Twist

Paperback, 390 pages

Published by Egmont USA

Released on May 8 2012

My Summary:

Life is never easy when you’re different. But when being different means you see dead people and ripples of the past, life can have you two steps away from a mental institution. Or in Emerson’s case, two steps out of one. When her brother hires a consultant from the Hourglass, Emerson finds she’s not alone in her oddity, and in fact, what makes her different could save a life.

My Review:

I genuinely enjoyed this book. Even though I’m a little leery of the time travel premise, I think this novel definitely approached it in a new and refreshing way.

Myra’s voice and the lovely southern affectation came through so beautifully and made me smile simply for the way I felt wholly immersed in small town TN.

Every time I read Emerson Cole, I thought Emerson Cod from Pushing Daisies. They are not at all the same.

There was a moment when I was very worried. Worried that Michael was going to turn into a jerk bag. Worried that this novel was going to fall into the same hole so many before it had…. I do not understand why seemingly intelligent in all other respect girls fall for jerk bags, and so I was very happy when it turned out that Michael was not one – though for a brief moment it seemed he would be.

I think my only major complaint with this novel is the fact that like so many others all the “Specials” are Uber Hot. It’s like an affliction. But all of the other characters she meets who have some form of gift are described as hot. Which always bugs me.”

When I finished this book, I wanted to find Myra and kiss her. I hate the trend now days of leaving your trilogy’s first two novels open ended. I WANT A DANG CONCLUSION. And I was really worried that this one wouldn’t tie anything up and It would taint the rest of the novel. Luckily, it did wrap up and Though there are something’s that do not end, the main point of the novel is concluded and I will love Myra for that forever.

Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:

This gets a BUY rating from me. In fact, it’s already gone on my “Push this on anyone” list. So if you ever ask me for a book rec, this will be one of the ones we go through as we try to find the right one for you ;)

Feb 1, 2013

January is Over, Time for an Update!

31,000 words later….

So January is done. It’s gone and good riddance! I’ve never been a big fan of the first month of the year, I think it’s probably the same reason people don’t like Mondays. (Cue the only song from my favorite band that most people in the US actually know)

January is usually a rough month for me. I’m still dealing with the aftermath of a focus-less December and I tend to find myself ALL OVER THE PLACE. This year, January wasn’t that much better, but I think keeping track of things helped out a lot.

This last week let me finish two more books toward my goal (I finally got around to reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – I still don’t know what took me so long – and then I read the first book in a series I read books 2-4 of 10 years ago!) I got in 31,116-words toward the million w/c goal, and I made a rather impressive dent in my revising. Overall, I’d say I’m getting back into the swing of things!

In the end, January saw me working on 7 different projects. 1 revision, 1 setup for a COMPLETE AND TOTAL rewrite and 5 novels that are in various states of drafting. In total, I ended up with 96,878-words written (that’s a little over my goal of 83,500, thankfully – I will need to get a running start so I don’t completely flounder in Nov/Dec).

I wrote 21 of the 31 days this month (which is pretty typical since I don’t write on weekends or Holidays. And I didn’t do any writing on the Friday before we moved house.) for an average of 4613-words/day. My Smallest writing day was Jan 7th with 302 words. My best writing day was Jan 23rd with 8761 words.

I worked on Revising Novel #6 for a meager 5 days. I’d be able to say I was done with this part of the revision, if I’d just pushed myself a little more this month.

We’ll see what February holds!

Jan 9, 2013

January’s Five Books

The new books for January:
The Kassa Gambit by M. C. Planck – Released January 8th, I preordered this back in September, but I’ve been waiting for it for – what seems like – forever. His wife’s novels Song of Scarabaeus and Children of Scarabaeus are among my favorite new SF, so I have high hopes for his.  M.C. Planck on why he wrote the book: “My wife doesn't like fantasy. So I wrote her a sci-fi story where everything was exploding on the first page.”

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis (Not Pictured) – Released January 15th, this is the final book in the Across the Universe trilogy. I’m honestly both excited and terrified to read this book. The second had me in a complex state (wanting to finish the whole thing in one go, but also wanting to lock it up in a cupboard and pretend it was not killing me a little inside.) I know Beth won’t disappoint with this last installment because, as a follower of her blog and twitter, I know that writing this was an intense labor of love.

The ones that have been in my TBR pile far too long:
I could not get a good picture without the flash - sorry!
Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld – the sequel to Leviathan’s paperback edition was released in  August of 2011. I don’t remember precisely when I picked it up, but as I reviewed the first in the series in September of that year, I feel like I should have gotten to this one well before now. I reviewed this alternative history steampunk novel yesterday, so hop back a page and you can check that out.

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld – the final novel in the Leviathan trilogy, the paperback edition was released in August of 2012 (and I probably bought it and the second about that time). This get’s a January spot in my reading list because I want to finish the series in one go. I really do love the steampunk genre, and the approach Scott took with these books is amazingly refreshing.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire – to be completely honest, I tend to shy away from time travel novels. But I’d heard enough good reviews about this novel that I decided I had to get my hands on it and give it a go. Also, because you can’t feel this book, I have to tell you. It is AMAZING. The cover feels like some sort of strange velvet substance.

Jan 3, 2013

What I did in December

Okay, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m TERRIBLE about getting things done in the last two months of the year writing-wise. Awful I tell you!

But this year, I may have found a way around the irritation that is the distraction of the holidays. On a good writing day I can get a good 5k+ on the page (on a spectacular day, I’ve done 14k, and on an insane day back in 2011 I managed a whopping 19K…. but that has never happened since). In December, I’m lucky if I get any. However, this December was different.

In the past two years I’ve acknowledged my failings in the last month of the year and pretty much given into the lethargy. This year, however, I managed to do that – in respect to actual novel word count – while still getting something spectacular accomplished.

I can’t exactly tell you what this is for just yet (Shhhhh, it’s a secret), but I managed to get down a full set of novel premises, and then write out two full Chapter maps for two of the novels on it.

All in all, I managed to get in about 12k words and have a decent jumping off point for when it comes time to work on this particular project.

As a fun bonus, I started work on a timeline for a particular universe.... it's a lot of fun, but there are things that happen off the page that I write down and then think "That'd be a really fun book to write!"

Jan 2, 2013

Goals for 2013!

January is a time when many people make resolutions. I call them goals, but I suppose it’s pretty much the same thing. More than a few people have called me an over achiever… and I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

My goals for 2013 (and I’m sure they’ll augment at some point):

Other People’s Books:

  • Read 60 books (5 a month – I’ve already got Jan – Apr figured out)
  • Buy one new release a month (I’ve already got Jan – July & Dec figured out… 2 for January, actually)
I'll definitely be blabbing at you about that each month....

My Books:

  • Revisions – I finished quite a few books last year…. Which means I have that many to fix. My goal is to get all of them ran through and sent off to Betas. 
  • Writing – I want to get to 1,000,000 words this year (I’ll include rewrites and new stuff). 

I’m going to keep a running total in a spreadsheet, which means you’ll probably have to hear about that trough out the year too....

Jan 1, 2013

2012 in Review...

This year I:

Fell in love a handful of times, lied and was lied to in turn, woke up in an unfamiliar bed with a splitting headache, watched my only living relative die, fought dragons both fake and real, got a tattoo, destroyed a planet, and was poisoned by a slug.

I argued with an artificial intelligence, fought pirates, found a friend in a windowless cell, made an inappropriate and ungrantable wish, revived an extinct race, found there was no possibility of a happy ending for me, buddy-breathed with a nixie, adopted a stray, and got plastered with a girlfriend.

I disregarded direct orders, found the person I was in love with frozen, nearly froze to death myself in an abandoned lighthouse, stopped a mass murderer, realized someone wasn’t what I thought, tortured a man nearly to death, planted the seeds to dismantle a regime, fought against and lost to a kraken, incinerated an oasis, and killed dozens.

(Not necessarily in that Order…)

Okay, okay, so I didn't do that, my charaters did. So you want real concrete stuff? Things with numbers?

Drafts completed: 7 (5 first drafts 2 revision drafts)

New Words Written: approximately 608,807

Novels read: 44 (According to Goodreads – and who knows if I spaced putting something in.)

Cups of Tea Drank: Innumerable

No. of Emails sent to Betas/Crit Partners that made me sound like a stark-raving fool: aprx. 20,746

Overall, I think this year was pretty decent. I say that because I managed that word count with most of my writing happening exclusively between the last week in June and the second week in November... That's not even six months!

I have plans and goals for next year.... but I'll get around to that tomorrow.

What did you get done in 2012?