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IWSG: November 2017

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As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?
Guess who spaced the IWSG post last month? *Stabs self through the heart with her thumb*
This gal!


Holy moley! It’s the end of the year already, I’m in frantic mode, and definitely doing my best impression of headless poultry. But I also feel on top of it. My lists are seeing me through, and my goals are wrapping up.
To answer the question in short, I wouldn’t do anything differently.

That’s not to say that there weren’t things I shouldn’t have done differently, but I’m a firm believer in accepting the past for what it was, and moving on and making new plans to do better the next go around.

2017 has been all about getting back on my writing feet after medical issues that dropped my productivity by almost 60%. It’s been a good reminder that bad times are usually temporary and that working through things with the right tools (yay medication) can lead to results--no matter how …

November's Numbers

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Words: 77,577 in 30 days (Avg 2,984-words/day) 3 projects + Admin (6%)

Hey, look who managed to make herself focus this month?
I hadn’t intended to do NaNoWriMo this year, but I wound up hopping on that bandwagon on the first, and I believe this is the only year where I’ve actually logged a word count every day of November. Lots of sneaked in words here and there on So. Many. Devices. My personal goal was 2k/day in the same project for the full 20 days, and I averaged that, so… thumbs up, Amy.
This month, I added a new chart.
Along with my daily bar graph, I’ve now got a monthly goal projection and cumulative gain chart. Because my brain loves pictures and numbers. Let's hope December (what little of it I have to write in this year) is just as productive and focused!

October Numbers

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Halloween is over and that means two things. #1: I don’t get to shop for home decor again for another 11 months. #2 it’s time for October’s numbers.

Words: 61,056 in 20 days
(Avg 3,053-words/day)
9 projects + Admin (16%)



I need less than 50k before January 1st to have written more this year than last. But it is safe to guess I won’t be getting the 263,107-words it would take to match 2013’s million words.

We’re at that special time of year. The one where the weather is crisp, the year is starting to roll down hill toward Christmas, and I start getting easily distracted… like a cat, with tinsel. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep plugging away at the writing like I did last year. *fingers crossed*

My day job changed on the 25th (as is pretty clear from the end of the month counts….) and I’m not sure how the writing stuff is going to shake down because of it. We shall see.

Time to go kick November’s butt.

Stranger Things Season 2

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If you’re like me, you spent last weekend, binging Stranger Things Season 2. If you’re not like me and are taking it slow, you might want to come back later.
Having finished the show, I have opinions (when don’t I?), and I intend to share them with you (as always). What I liked: The friendship between Joyce and Hopper As you’ll later see, I really love platonic friendship under drastic situations such as this. The brief glimpses at their shared past was fantastic, the way in which they support each other throughout figuring out what the heck is going on in the aftermath of Will’s return was delightful. And I hope against all hope that the series does not move toward putting them together as romantic interests. WILL WAS ACTUALLY IN THE SHOW After S1, Earl and I spoke at length about how strange it must have been for Noah Schnapp to land this role and then… not really be in the show. His character is such a huge part of the plot… and yet, he’s always in the periphery. So I was very happy to …

NaNo No No

As we hit the middle of October, I’m over here looking askance at NaNoWriMo.


I enjoy participating in the yearly ritual, but the book I’ve been planning to NaNo-up all year has been usurped in my schedule and while my req w/c for the new November project will more than adequately fulfill NaNo’s requirements…. The unfulfilled expectation chafes.


So I probably won’t do the thing.


Through September my average w/c per month has been just over 75k. I’ve never done NaNo as a challenge to get bulk words down. It’s only ever been about focus for me. And that’s part of the problem this year.


I’ll only need to write 2,370-words on average for the 30 days of November to finish my scheduled project. That, when I hold myself to strict deadlines… isn’t an issue. So, I’ve considered saying “screw it” and trying to pop in that 1,667-words for a NaNo run too… but my worry lies with what that will do to my focus.


The projects are different… but not different enough. The last thing I want to do is ble…

IWSG October

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This post has been a part of themonthly IWSG blog-hop. Bounce over there, check it out and sign up if you’re ready to share you neuroses with the world. Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?
I think we always put a little of ourselves into our characters, both main and secondary. It’s difficult not to. All narratives are drawn from personal experience (whether it’s something we’ve done, witnessed, or has been pieced together from a myriad of sources.)

Often, when creating characters, I try to evaluate first what I would do in the given situation, and then weigh that against what the character would do. Understanding why they’d do something differently than you would is important to keeping them true to themselves throughout the whole story. Especially important when you think of an awesome way to handle something… but it’s an action that character would never take (unless you can find a way to make them go against t…

September Numbers 2017

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Another month down, another (low) word count in the books.
Words: 34,245-words in 17 days
(Avg 2,014-words/day) 9 projects + Admin (14%)
September came in about 9k short of January, previously my lowest recorded w/c for the year. There were many distractions, several days were I was not at a desk, and much editing was done, so I’m not upset by that number. It’s still above the totals for september in both 2015 and 2016, and still above the average for the whole of 2015. Woo.

This month also came with the realization I’ll need to alter my schedule for the end of the year to stay on top of things, on target for finishing those major tasks that just can’t wait, and still managing to stay sane.
We’re approaching the end of the year and that one month where I have zero goals (Looking at you, December). The holidays come with enough stress w/o me glaring at a spreadsheet with too low of numbers. Add to that the fact we’ve got a big trip planned around Christmas and it’s just better if I keep the…

The Disappearence of Flynn Monroe

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It came to my attention early this morning, that I spaced addressing the disappearance of Flynn Monroe (that’s not the title of the next book). Fact of the matter is: I meant to mention it, and then completely forgot.
(Yay, shoddy memory! Thanks, Idiopathic Temporal Lobe Epilepsy*!)
So, here’s the situation:
A short time ago, I pulled the Flynn series from all sales outlets. I did so in response to some quality concerns and have been working to correct those problems.
I plan to re release the series in the first quarter of 2018 (barring unforeseen circumstances.)
What this means for readers:
As all of the books in the series are able to stand alone, if you’ve already read books within the series, you won’t need to do a thing to read books 6+. Please accept my apologies for those errors you caught and know that I will do better in the future.
If you’ve only read some of the previously released versions, you won’t need to reread the corrected versions to continue on when they are released.
Th…

IWSG: September 17

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Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?
I’m not sure if it counts, but I surprise myself with what I forget I’ve written.

Also with early quality and breadth of work.

Back in the year of 1 million words, I finished approximately twelve first drafts (and had a smattering of other incomplete stories). I’m still cleaning up those books and working through what is actually worth keeping.

As I go through those books, it is startling to see how poorly some of them were done--you live and you learn--especially when compared to something written almost at the same time that is actually up to par with my writing 4 years later….

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This post has been a part of themonthly IWSG blog-hop. Bounce over there, check it out and sign up if you’re ready to share you neuroses with the world.

August Numbers

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August was my third least productive month…. And I think we can blame that on actually being focused.
Words:69,214-words in 21 days
(Avg 3,296-words) 5 Projects + Admin
Saying I worked on five projects almost feels like a lie… like I should go back and edit the spreadsheet to show only the two that I worked on in excess and toss the others in with the admin.

ISWG August 17

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Guys, it’s been rough the last month. The weather’s been atrocious, job changes have made writing more difficult. And, well, most days are feeling like thursdays lately.
What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
Pet peeves are a dime a dozen.

In reading, word choice is one of them, specifically when an author is trying to make the scene sexy and they use a word that, while correct, is just gross. If I never see the word ‘turgid’ in relation to anatomy again, it will be too soon.

In writing, I guess it would be my “squirrel” habit. Waking up one day with a work schedule that doesn’t match what my brain wants to work that day.

In editing, it would have to be realizing past Amy was super lazy and left a bunch of work for present/future Amy to deal with. Past Amy is kind of a jerk.
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This post has been a part of themonthly IWSG blog-hop. Bounce over there, check it out and s…

July 2017 Numbers

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This month was… interesting.
Words: 61,125 in 19 days (Avg 3,217/day) 7 Projects + Admin And a lot of editing only days

Goal Setting Like You're An Annoying GPS

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I’ve mentioned it here before (and often) that I am a goal glutton. I love scheduling and planning and setting myself RIDICULOUS benchmarks.
And while I’ve managed to hit a few of those “shoot for the moon” plans, I’ll admit that more often than not, I get side tracked. Something in my schedule makes it impossible to complete the plan. A book suddenly blossoms with a plot thread I didn’t see coming and I have to spend a day noting the ways this change will cascade back through what I’ve already written.

That’s when my brain does it….


RECALCULATING


Because no matter where I am in a plan when I realize all hope is futile, I know how unproductive it is to reach for a goal that is truly unattainable. If I can’t even reach the benchmarks, why am I worried about it.
So I adjust. I fix my plan so that it makes sense with the new information and I go on until I hit another snag and then….



RECALCULATING


I spent yesterday recalculating. And because I’m an overachiever… this time, I made a realis…

IWSG: Lessons

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What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing? The thing I’ve learned is: learning to let go of your words is often the best thing you can do. Back when I wrote my first novel, I was fiercely protective of every line, paragraph and scene. These were things that had come out of my head and my heart and they weren’t going to be tossed aside like trash. I clung to them, even when they hurt the story. Learning to let that go has been so helpful. I cut 20,000 words between drafts 3 & 4 of the book I’m working on now, and it is so much better for it. I have to go back in and rewrite scenes and fix a plot line that was restructured, and that’s a little frustrating, but cutting those words was the right thing to do for the book, no matter how much I enjoyed the previous incarnation. In other news: I’m over on the Go Forth & Nerd Podcast today, talking about writing, inspirations, nerdy things, and feminism. Books and blog posts have the bonus of being edited before…

June Numbers

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Words: 135,285-wds in 26 days

(Avg: 5203/day)
12 Projects + Admin
The beginning of this month looked like it might have a big potential for getting me that focus I so often find myself looking for, but alas, I didn’t quite get there.

What I sacrificed in focus I made up for in productivity though…

This was my best month in recorded history. Though, I still think February of 2013 was most impressive because 133k in 17 days is still just flabbergasting to me.

On top of that, I surpassed my total word count for 2014this month (woo!). But!
What we’ve done is only a metric of what we still can do. And so, I sally forth to see what word count possibilities July holds.

(Hint: it’ll probably be lower, since I’ve got two revisions rolling through here shortly.)

Injection Burn Winner

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(Guess who scheduled this in the wee hours and then forgot to push publish... that's right, me!)


The Winner of Injection burn by Jason M. Hough is....

#6 - Angela Spugnardi! So, Angela, hit me up and get me your address so I can mail this guy off to you. EDIT (6/29/17): So, Angela never got back to me and I drew a new winner. #1: Nathan G Happy reading everyone!

IWSG: Quitting

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Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
I write a lot. If you keep up with my monthly count posts (the only thing I seem to do consistently over here) you’ll have noticed that I’m averaging about 75,000-words a month so far this year. It’s just what I do. But in 2015, I was almost forced to quit. I didn’t run out of ideas. I didn’t have a drastic change in my schedule. I didn’t get frustrated and decide to throw in the towel…. I had two grand mal seizures. But the seizures weren’t actually the problem. If you’ve ever looked in to anticonvulsants, you’ll have seen they have an AMAZING list of unfortunate side effects. The one I’m on presently had the potential of an allergic reaction that might have made all my skin fall off and, you know... killed me. My first medication was the problem. So there’s a fun little drug called Keppra. It’s apparently the oldest anticonvulsant medication on the market. It’s had the most testing. It’s what the emergency r…

GIVEAWAY: Signed Copy of Injection Burn by Jason M. Hough [CLOSED]

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So I picked up a copy of Jason M. Hough’s newest book at Phoenix Comicon a few days before it’s release. It’s the first in his Beyond Dire Earth duology and it is a fantastically fun read. I knew it’d be great, so I bought two! One for me, and one for you.

I meant to put this giveaway up last week… on the book’s release date, but the week after PHXCC is always a bit of a blur and before I knew it, Friday was here and gone. So here it is, a week after release, your chance to snag a signed copy of INJECTION BURN.

So what is this awesome book about? Skyler Luiken and his ragtag crew of scavengers, scientists, and brawlers have a new mission: a long journey to a distant planet where a race of benevolent aliens are held captive behind a cloud of destructive ships known as the Swarm Blockade. No human ships have ever made it past this impenetrable wall, and Skyler knows not what to anticipate when they reach their destination. Safe to say that the last thing he expects to find there is a second…