Monthly Archives: July 2014

ROW80 Goals Post (Round Three)

Guys… this has been a weird week.

Good. Amazing. But slightly overwhelming, confusing, and strange-dream inducing.

Things are going better than I expected a week and a half after Bound’s launch. I know it won’t last. I’m taking screenshots.  But I’m also celebrating little victories like this, which will probably be less impressive by the time you click on that link.

I have a habit of keeping my expectations low and not getting too excited when things go well, because I’m scared of crashing. I know that the good times will end, and then what will I have? Will I feel stupid for celebrating something so temporary? Better to just stay low and even, ride it out...

The official challenge for this round of A Round of Words in 80 Days is to OWN YOUR DREAM.

I’m going to modify it a little, and say that one of my goals is to enjoy my dream. Publishing a book and having at least some people love it has been my dream for a long time. I’m not going to shout it from the rooftops every time a copy sells, but I’m going to let myself get excited when things go right.

It’s a big shift for me.

But it’s time to move on. You can’t coast on one book, no matter how fun the launch party was. Momentum is key.

My goals for this round (which lasts until September 24-ish) have to do with Torn, the sequel to Bound. I’ve already written two drafts, but what I’ve got in the works for this one is a huge improvement over the last one. This is one reason I don’t release early drafts. I need time to stew and let things develop.

It’s a huge job, involving the addition of around 13,000 words and major re-writes to existing scenes. We have a family vacation in there, which makes writing difficult, but I’ll work it out.

AJ: You just released a book. Couldn’t you take a day off?”

Me: I don’t understand the question.

Round Three Goals:

  • finish revisions on Torn by the end of August. Accomplish this by getting up early to write before the kids wake up.
  • Send Torn to beta readers at the beginning of September, ask for feedback by the end of the month.
  • While Torn is with readers, finish outlining book three.
  • contact editor and cover designer in September.
  • keep up on Twitter and Facebook involvement. No big promos until Torn is ready to go.
  • Stop looking at sales rankings. Seriously. It’s unbecoming of a professional.
  • read two novels and two craft/business books per month.

That last one will be hard. I’m still struggling with reading for pleasure, and finding it hard to get into books. When I do have to take that week off from writing, we’ll see if that helps.

So there we go. No more commentary. No promo.

The future is bright, and it is terrifying.

*rides off into sunset*





Fun with Skedjools

Or shed-yools, if you’re feeling fancy. I’m not, particularly.

The kids are out of school for the summer! Hooray! I’m not going to get anything done! Hoor– wait a minute. Ack.

New challenge, then. I have a book to revise this summer. I’d like to have it out to beta readers by the beginning of September, which means I have a LOT of work to do in terms of re-writes and self-editing. I’m looking forward to the work. This story is rather exciting, and I hope that will help me focus.

But that’s hard with “Mom? Mom? Hey, Mom? Look at this! Mom? No, look again. MAAAAAA!!!” happening all day long. I need a plan. I need…



I don’t do well with schedules. I’m easily distracted, and I procrastinate. Following a schedule feels like some kind of temporal/experiential oppression, and generally, I won’t stand for it. But if I want to have this thing out on time, I might need to make that sacrifice.

Hey. I got Bound out in spite of a flooded basement, an evacuation, and the destruction of my office. I can deal with a few kids for this one.

So why am I talking about it here? Because I need to be accountable to someone. Specifically, to you. I’m going to report back on this once a week or so. This could be inspiring, or just really entertaining for everyone but me.

Here’s a look at the schedule as I doodled it up a few nights ago:


I can’t resist the siren call of glitter crayons. :/

Yep, that involves getting up early and working. I have no idea how this will work out. My brain already wakes me up between 6 and 6:30, but I usually doze a bit, day dream, plot noodle, and generally laze about until I have to get up. This plan involves, like… getting out of bed. And using my brain before 7:00.


But my body clock also makes me crash by 10:30 most nights, anyway, so staying up late isn’t really a better option. Besides that, I have my biggest kid husband around a lot of nights, and I like to hang out with him when I can. He’s pretty cool. So this is what we’ve got.

In theory, this gives me 2-4 hours of working time a day (writing and social media), while still giving me time with the kids and time for housework and like… food and stuff. And adventures in the real world. That’s important.



6:00 – wake up. Caffeinate.

6:20 – *write*

8:30 (approx) – kids up. Breakfast. Housework. Family stuff. Errands.

12:00 – lunch

1:00 – write (or social media promo stuff if the kids are around and not easily distracted)

3:00 – do stuff with kids

5:00 – supper prep, supper

7:00 – clean up kitchen, tidy, read with boys or on own

9:00 – kids to bed. Hang out with AJ or work if he’s not home

9:45 – prep notes for next morning’s writing

10:00 – bed


I’m hoping that few minutes of pre-bed prep will help me focus in the morning. Normally I have to spend an hour a few minutes finding my focus. I’ll let you know if this helps.

Added rules:

  • no e-mail before noon (so if you don’t hear from me, I’m not ignoring you!)
  • no facebook/twitter during work time (except for word sprints)
  • read at least 30 minutes per day

Obviously this is all subject to change. It is summer, which calls for spontaneous trips to the beach and the walking trail, overnight visits to the in-laws’, a wee vacation trip, and various other upsetters-of-schedules.

But I’m going to try.

Wish me luck.

Have any tips or tricks to share that help you get work done in the midst of distractions? How do you stick to a schedule without going insane? Please share!

Bound for Greatness: An Interview with Kate Sparkes.

Interviewed by L.S. Engler today. This interview was a lot of fun, and we talked a bit about writing process, if you’re into that. Enjoy!

L.S. Engler

I am really excited to have a special post today. I have newly published author Kate Sparkes, of disregard the prologue here to talk about her first novel, Bound, the first book of an exciting new series about a magic-using redhead, and anyone who knows anything of my Aryneth series knows I love me some magic-using redheads. Kate here will be my second author interviewed releasing a debut book (the first being the wonderful Angela Misri), which means I’ve only interviewed Canadians so far. I can’t help it. I’m from Michigan, we basically just wish we were Canadian. Enough about that, though. Let’s move along to Kate and her exciting new release!

LS: So, Kate, before we get to the book, tell us a little bit about yourself.

KS: I’m a writer, a daydreamer, a collector of socks, and a bit of a scatterbrain. I live in Newfoundland…

View original post 1,791 more words

Memorial Day

I didn’t have time to prepare a Memorial Day post for this year, but everything I wrote last year still stands. We haven’t forgotten.

disregard the prologue

(Not to depress anyone on this lovely and otherwise-celebratory-in-Canada day, but history is important, guys…)

Happy Canada Day! Well, mostly… see, when you live in Newfoundland, July 1 is a bittersweet holiday (and not just because so many people still swear that joining Canada was a mistake– not today’s topic, don’t worry). No, it’s because in Newfoundland, July 1 is also Memorial Day, the day set aside to remember the lives lost at the battle of Beaumont-Hamel, France, on July 1, 1916.

It’s not an insignificant number. The Newfoundland Regiment (then hailing from a tiny dominion of the British empire, not from Canada) was destroyed: more than 650 casualties, most within 15-20 minutes of leaving the trenches. Anywhere you read about the Newfoundland Regiment and this battle, the terms “nearly annihilated,” “almost wiped out” or “decimated” are sure to appear.

War is awesome, isn’t it?

But Great Big Sea tells…

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