Monthly Archives: November 2013

Holiday Shenanigans

Amy Snow will be returning soon! For anyone who missed it the first time (ie last December, when most of you weren’t around), here’s why we don’t have an Elf on the Shelf, and an introduction to the lovely Miss Snow, who does the job for us instead. She was a last-minute project for us, but it’s working out well. The boys are both very excited to see her again!

For the rest of her adventures from last year (a whole half-month’s worth), click here. I have a feeling things are going to get even crazier this time…

Language warning. I know other people love their elf, but I can’t talk about him without cussin’. He scares me.

disregard the prologue

So, Elf on the Shelf. I’m going to be honest here: that tiny bastard scares the bejeezus out of me.

Have you seen him? This little toy elf that you buy (I don’t know where, I assume from Hell’s gift shop) and set up every night in random places because… I think the kids are supposed to think he’s alive and reporting back to Santa.

That’s the theory. I think it’s really an excuse for moms to play with toys. No judgement here- I’m the proud owner of… one or two… *ahem*

If you haven’t seen him, google it. I’ll wait. No, not the cute squishy one, the plastic-headed one that looks like he’s going to consume your soul.

He watches you while you sleep. He thinks it’s romantic.

Look at those eyes. That little fucker KNOWS things.

So anyway, I don’t want one of those, because my dreams are…

View original post 153 more words


…yes, I AM in Third Grade. What’s Your Point?

So, now that NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close, I need a new system to keep me motivated and rewarded.

Because, y’know, bringing characters and stories to life is cool and all, but I really like updating my word count every day and being like, “BOO-YAH!”* Watching the word count bar fill up is fun. Seeing progress is ridiculously encouraging, and being able to look back on what I’ve accomplished every day is even better.

I could just write my word count in my planner every day, but I wanted something more visual, kind of like that word count bar. Soooo I’m giving myself star stickers. Here’s the chart:

20131128-112048.jpg

“TO DO: buy white-out”

I don’t plan on getting a lot of gold stars after this month, but it’s there, just in case. You never know, right? Reach for the (gold) stars.

Silver is my actual daily goal, though there will be many days when I don’t reach it, for various reasons. Still, getting a silver star is pretty darn good.

Green star? Hey, words written are words written. No day when I’ve created something is a waste.

Red star= no writing. I got a lot of those last weekend, right after my NaNo win:

20131128-112733.jpg

…and the days following 😉

No stars for days I’d planned to take off, I guess. Oh, and blue stars for editing. I expect to need a LOT of blue stars in January, as I prepare a ms to go for professional editing in February. Sending a cleaner ms = cheaper editing for me.

Cue panic attack!

I know, writing should be its own reward, and I’m acting like a toddler who demands stickers on a chart before she’ll use the potty. But it’s fun. I like putting stickers on things, and I like a visual record of what I’ve accomplished. Gold stars aren’t enough motivation for me to write 5,000 words of crap, which is good. But then, neither is winning NaNoWriMo.

I can’t pad my word count with descriptions of what’s in characters’ pockets just to win something. Can’t do it.

So we’ll see how long it takes for the novelty of this to wear off. I suppose if I also noted times of day I worked and conditions, I could eventually figure out how to optimize productivity…

Or I could just put pretty stickers in my planner. Whichever.

So, kindred spirits and others: How do you keep yourself motivated? Or DO you? Do you like stickers? I FRIGGING LOVE STICKERS! 

*Please note: I do not literally say “BOO-YAH.”


Wednesday Stuff: Sniffly-Snuffles Edition

Yep, I have the sniffly-snuffles. The common cold. My nose is running, better go catch it, ha ha, I KILL ME. It could be a lot worse– I don’t have a fever or a cough. But you know how it is:

(I’m not actually that bad. My older son is, though. “I’m SICK! I’m really SICK!” is a common refrain every winter.)

Anyway, tanker-truck loads of mucus aren’t going to stop WIPpet Wednesday, or even a less-than-stellar ROW80 Update. Because book kittens… or something.

And as Kristen Lamb reminded us today (go read it!), in every complaint there is something to be thankful for. I am thankful for these sniffly-snuffles, because they mean I am breathing, and I’m thankful that my health is good enough that I’m not worried about my illness being something much worse.

WIPpet Wednesday

Let’s see… math. The 27th, minus eleven for the month, and… minus sixteen for the chapter number.

That leaves us with one paragraph, the first one to come from a new character.

Because I did that. I can handle three POV characters, but I think that’s my limit for this trilogy. Or possibly ever.

I’ve never liked surprises. I don’t remember much about my first home or my first family. But I remember leaving, being wakened from sweet dreams and taken from my warm bedroom out into the cold night. My mother held me in her lap as we rode in the back of a wagon. I remember the smell of hay, and horses, and the driver’s pipe. My mother cried every day of our journey, until I thought she’d never stop. That was the first surprise I remember, and I haven’t had many pleasant ones since.

Hmm. That last sentence should maybe be its own paragraph, for impact. Maybe the first sentence, too. Well, that’s how early drafts go, right? More for you this way, anyway.

So there you go. There was another scene I just finished that I REALLY wanted to share from, but it would make even less sense out of context than this did. Boo.

Want to see who else is WIPpin’ it good this week? Head on over to the linkie, and be sure to share some comment love! And thanks to K.L. Schwengel for hosting. Speaking of whom…

ROW80

I’m going to stick this down here. On Monday it was my turn in the hot seat for K.L. Schwengel’s WIPpeteer interview series. You can see that here. She was nice, didn’t release her flying monkeys on me, didn’t let them fling poop. I was nervous about that. I DID get turned into an evil, sock-stealing supervillain in the comments, but what can you do? I should have costume designs finalized by next week.

In other news, I’ve hit a post-win slowdown in my word count. Instead of riding the wave of NaNo glee, I’ve kind of not written anything since Thursday. Why? Because weekend, because children, because we had people coming Tuesday to do a walk-through of the house, see what needs repairing, and I assume to spy on us, make sure we’re not screwing the place up too badly. This meant I had to clean the place up AND (more importantly) get the kids to clean up the basement.

It was a DISASTER. There were threats, there were garbage bags, there were angry faces. I’m not proud of that, but there you go.

And after that was done, the kids wanted to do some Christmas decorating. The cats approve of the blanket I put out:

20131126-214310.jpg

The big guy there, Charlie, is terrified of Lucy, the smallest cat in the house. He looks uncomfortable because he wants blanket, but he fears her wrath.
Her adorable, fuzzy wrath.

Then on Monday I was going to get back to my regular schedule, only to find that Ike didn’t have school that morning… a fact I discovered only after dropping him off at school.

Oops.

So we had a morning together, and I got nothing else done.

Tuesday was house inspection morning, and I had a short nap in the afternoon, and then kids all evening when AJ was at work, and then I had no mental energy left. And that was that.

Also, the dog ate my homework, and now I’m all out of excuses.

20131126-214832.jpg

“Did not.”

I need to get round to more ROW80 blogs this week. I’ve been slacking off since I’ve had NaNoWriMo goals taking up my time, but that’s not an excuse any more. If anyone would like to join me in making the rounds, you’ll find the links here. 🙂


Novel: VALIDATED

 

If only I could find my Kobo, life would be just GRAND. I’m supposed to be finishing a beta read. Anyone seen it? Little thing, flat, white, hair dye stain on the back? Answers to the name of… um… Kobo?

No?

I swear, I’m going to buy one of those car-key finders and stick it on there if I ever find it.

I NEED TO FINISH THIS BOOK!!!


ROW80 Update: Cat Legs Edition

First, the good news:

Image

Harriet’s got her legs back.

I hit 50,000 words on Thursday, thereby winning NaNoWriMo, and celebrated with a delicious box of Count Chocula cereal (thanks, Jae!).

I can’t call it official until I validate my word count, and we can’t do that until tomorrow. Until then, I’ll be on edge, waiting for every computer in the house to simultaneously self-destruct, thus thwarting my victory.

But still… feels good. 🙂

The bad news is that I haven’t got anything done since Friday morning. We have some people coming to look at things that need to be fixed in out house (yay!), but that means that we had to clean the house to make it presentable (boo). Most of it wasn’t too bad, but the kids’ areas (their bedroom and most of the basement) looked like they got hit by a toynado. I had to go into mean mommy mode and spend my days helping them. And then there were little, unimportant things like cooking, dishes, groceries, cleaning everything ELSE…

It’s left me in a REALLY bad mood. As torturous as writing is sometimes (and as good as I am about procrastinating), I do notice a change in my mood when I’m kept away from it for a few days.

If anybody’s going to screw up my writing schedule, it’s going to be me.

In any case, the weekend is almost over. We’re going to go do some Christmas decorating right now, before the boys go to bed (yay!) and watch the Grinch (boo).

What are you all up to this weekend?


ROW, ROW, ROW Your WIPpet: Creeptastic Edition

It’s WEDNESDAY, the greatest day of the week (for me), and hoooo my goodness I forgot to put the garbage out again.

Dangit.

You all know what that means (she said as readers not interested in this stuff quickly navigated away). WIPpet Wednesday and a ROW80 Update! Yaaaaaay! *partysplosion*

WIPpet Wednesday:

Nine paragraphs from Rowan’s POV in this year’s NaNoWriMo novel (20th, minus 11 for November, so as not to bore you all… wouldn’t want to keep you against your will). Just for fun, no context. Most of you don’t know this guy, anyway.

“Keep those clothes on,” Callum said. He locked the door and released me, then sat to remove his boots. “I don’t have anything for you to wear.”

“You… you’re staying in here, too?” I asked, and he smiled sadly.

“Funny, isn’t it? If things had gone as they were supposed to, we’d be married by now, and you’d have been sharing a bed with me since midwinter. Now you’re with me against your will, and I can’t risk leaving you alone to piss without thinking you’re going to disappear.” He stood and walked barefoot toward me, and I stepped back until I hit the wall. Callum sighed, and reached out to cup my face in his hand. “You should have been mine. Sweet Rowan.” I tried to look away, but he wouldn’t let me. He rubbed his thumb over my cheekbone, tenderly, then pushed me toward the bed. “Get in.”

“No.”

“You’re not in a bargaining position, love. You have nothing to worry about, anyway. I know what you’re thinking. You assume too much about your own appeal if you think I’d defile myself with someone like you. Don’t make me angry, though. You’ll regret it.”

I took my time deciding whether I could believe him. In the end, I sat down and took my own boots off, then slipped under the uppermost blanket and wrapped my skirt tight around my legs.  Callum closed off the oil lamp. There was silence for what seemed like several minutes, and then he climbed into the bed. My muscles twitched as the lumpy mattress shifted under his weight.

“Go to sleep,” he said.

I didn’t think I would, but I must have drifted off. I woke to the feeling of a heavy hand sliding from my waist down over my hip and resting on the outside of my thigh for a moment before retracing its journey back up to my ribs. Callum sighed and shifted in the bed, then rolled away from me.

I lay in the dark, eyes wide open and unseeing, waiting.

Oooooh, how did THAT happen?

Want to see what the other WIPpeteers are up to this week? Check out the link here, and as always, please stop by to pay your respects to K.L. Schwengel, the Godauthor of WIPpet Wednesdays. She just might make you an offer you can’t refuse. Want to join in? Post a snippet of a work in progress on your own blog that relates somehow to today’s date, and link back. Easy-peasy, London squeezy, as my 5-year old says.

ROW80

NaNoWriMo word count: 44,076 as of last night. I’m having a pacing issue in that a character has encountered friends he hasn’t seen since book one and they have a lot to talk about. I mean, it’s interesting stuff, and a horse just got eaten by a dragon in the middle of it… and there’s sexual tension with the wrong damned person… but still. Do I need to throw more dragons at you people? Because I WILL DO IT. -_-

I need to get back to work. There’s a box of Count Chocula calling my name, and I can’t open it until I hit 50,000.

Also, if I get 50,000 likes words, the doctors say they’ll put legs on my cat. That’s a thing that works, right?

"Help... meeeeee!"

“Help… meeeeee!”

Boy, that’s a lot of pressure. I’d better get back to work.

TO THE WRITEATORIUM!

[This post dedicated to Shannon, who was the first person who reminded me to tie up this loose end 🙂 ]


What, Me Worry?

Here I sit… accomplishing nothing at all.

I generally consider worry to be a useless state, a waste of energy and imagination. I’ve had enough to worry about in my life (though by no means as much as some), and I’ve learned that freaking out over what might happen makes absolutely no difference in the outcome.

If you can do something about it, stop worrying and do it.

If you can’t do anything about it, worrying is only making it worse.

…or so the theory goes.

About a month ago, I went to a doctor who specializes in… okay, you know what? Just avert your eyes if you think girl stuff is icky. Walk away. I’m not going to get graphic, but I’m also not going to act like I’m ashamed of having lady bits.

I like my lady bits. This is not really about them.

I went to see an OB/GYN about some issues I was having, and we discussed treatment options. We decided on an outpatient surgical procedure that would allow my condition to be treated without long-term drug use, because I’m sensitive to medications. If it has side-effects, I’ll probably get them.

Before I left, he had to do a test. Take a sample. A biopsy, but not a scary “we think you have cancer, let’s check” biopsy, just a test to make sure everything is okay. He said to remind him the day of the surgery to check on the test results, because I wouldn’t hear any more about them otherwise. I got into the least-dignified position imaginable in front of a complete stranger, he made me cry*, it was all good.

A week and a half later, my family doctor’s office called. “She wants to see you for an appointment. I’m going to book you in for Tuesday.”

What?

Um… okay.

That didn’t work out (my husband has to be off work to be home with the kids when I do the 45 minute drive to the doctor), and today was the soonest I could get in.

I told myself not to worry, because that’s useless, and I figured out reasons I shouldn’t worry. She probably just wants to see me about the test results because…

Hmm, I don’t know. She doesn’t book appointments when PAP test results come back negative (though I take some comfort in the fact that THAT was all normal last time).

But she probably just wants to talk about the treatment I decided on, right? And the fact that it was okay to add 2 weeks to the appointment wait time means it’s not an emergency.

I’ve hardly thought about it since I booked the appointment. Still, I HATE this. I hate not knowing. I’m distracted, I should be working right now, but I just keep looking at the damned clock.

I understand why doctors can’t give test results over the phone, even when everything is fine, but there has to be a better way to do things than “she wants to see you, imma book you in like, right nao, mmmkay? Kewl?”**

My fault for having to wait, I know.

So anyway, I’m sure everything’s fine. I’m not worried.

I just want to get this over with.

UPDATE: I tried to beta read to distract myself, since I might as well use this time for something productive. Kobo died, can’t find the charge cord. Not amused.

FURTHER UPDATE: The Chief Risk Officer and Executive Director of China Gungfua Bank in Hong Kong wants to present me as owner of $49.5 million dollars US. Now it’s the BEST DAY EVAR!

*For the record, not everyone finds getting their innards scraped as painful as I did, and if your doctor says the words “endometrial biopsy,” you should not freak out… Unless you’re a man. Then you can smile, nod, and back right out of that quack’s office, ’cause you don’t have a uterus. Unless you do, in which case, good for you! (PS: I am not a medical professional, never listen to me. Ever.)

**Also for the record, this is not how my doctor’s receptionist talks. I have nothing but respect for that poor, overworked woman.


The Writer Within

Inside the world of author AnnMarie Wyncoll

mum mutter

the mutterings of a tired mum and aspiring writer

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .

rogerbloomsfield

An Aspiring Author's Adventure

Are You Finished Yet?

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of best-selling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

Allie Potts Writes

How to appreciate the everyday

Ultimately Useless Stories

~ Might as well Laugh ~

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

shanjeniah.wordpress.com/

Learning. Laughter. And Loving My Glorious, Messy Life!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan

Doorway Between Worlds

Communication tips with a creative twist

CHOUETT

Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Stories of Magic & Moonlight

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

Life is Never Fair

Overcoming Life's Obstacles with Perseverance

inkedrainbowreads.wordpress.com/

LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister - Author

I love sharing my stories but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie