Tag Archives: JuNoWriMo

Sunday #ROW80 Update: Writing, Reading, and… Cleaning?!

Hello! First Round of Words update since JuNoWriMo started yesterday, so I guess it’s time for those updated goals, isn’t it?

Yes, Kate. Yes it is.

ROW80Logocopy50,000 words in a month breaks down to 1667 words a day, which isn’t so bad on good days. Sadly, they’re not all good days, so I set my goal at 2,000+ words a day so that there’s some wiggle room when family stuff comes up and I can’t write, depression decides to kick my ass into the corner, my personal muse decides to sit his own ass in the corner and pick the dirt from under his fingernails instead of doing his share of the work… whatever.

So here are my goals for June (which will take me past the end of this round of ROW80):

  • write 2,000 words a day on TORN
  • read one novel a week
  • continue edits on BOUND after writing is done for the day so I can get that out to my dear darling special reader friends and start looking for an editor (eep!)

We’ve had some not great news concerning my husband’s job. He’s not losing it, and I’m probably not supposed to share details, but it looks like he’s going to be having a very stressful summer. Not pleased. So in addition to my writing goals, I’m making a set of goals focusing on making his home life easier and less stressful, since there’s bugger all I can do about his work life. He’s been my biggest supporter (and to be honest, my hero) through a lot of my tough times. Now it’s my turn to be at my best for him. It might affect my writing, but there’s not much I can do about that.

  • full menu plan for each week with healthy meals (eating out/getting pizza still allowed, but should be planned)
  • 10-minute tidy (or 15 on bad days) with the kids every day before AJ comes home (clutter REALLY stresses him out) and before bed
  • get the basement in shape so the kids want to play down there more and keep the upstairs tidier
  • save extra money so when he does get days off we can get out of town and he can relax (I hope), and also to buy an elliptical for days when he can’t get out to exercise (and days when I can’t get out with Jack)

That’s all I’ve got for that so far. I know from experience that if I set my goals too high I’ll fail and give up, so I’ll leave it at that for now. If you have any suggestions, though, I’m open to them, and prayers and happy thoughts over the summer would be much appreciated.  And no, he’s not a drinker, so I can’t greet him at the door with something alcoholic in hand when he gets home (and he’s going to be on-call anyway, so no drinking even if he did. Which he doesn’t. I, on the other hand, might take up drinking as a hobby. YAY!)

So what have I achieved since my last update?

  • Not much on Thursday or Friday, but yesterday was a good day. I woke up with a migraine (bloody weather), but I took a frightening amount of painkillers and cranked out 3800 words over the course of the day. Were they good words? Darned if I know. I think they were.
  • Started reading Fallen. It starts out with one of my least favourite set-ups (people who are DESTINED to fall in love and they JUST CAN’T HELP IT!), but I like the writing, and I’m going to keep going to see what happens.  It might lose me if an IMPOSSIBLY GORGEOUS AND PERFECT BOY shows up, but I’m giving it a good chance. 🙂
  • Still struggling with reading fiction on the Kobo. I’m about 12 chapters in on First of Her Kind by K.L. Schwengel. I like the story, but the format makes me put it down a lot, and that makes me sad. Would be better if I was travelling. Great for reading in the bathtub, though (except that my husband thinks I’m nuts for having the Kobo near water)
  • Holy crap, how is the living room a mess again? Nobody is doing anything! Ugh, guess I should go round up the troops to take care of that…

I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Take care, and I’ll see you later (I’ve scheduled posts for Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Will there be Engrish? Stay tuned to find out…)


…Because I’m an Idiot, That’s Why

JuNoWriMo starts in two days. Technically less than two days. My brain has been wandering everywhere lately– that is, everywhere except where I want it to go, which is writing.  I need fewer distractions in my life, especially for the next month, when I’m going to be trying for 2,000 words a day (and hopefully most of those before the kids get up in the morning, fingers crossed, yeah right).

So what did I do today?

I WENT TO THE EFFING LIBRARY.

ImageNot only did I go and look at books, I also got out more books than I could hope to finish in a normal two-week period, never mind one when I’m supposed to be writing all of the time.

I picked up a few books I’ve heard a lot about but never went OH MY GOODNESS I HAVE TO READ THAT RIGHT NOW and a few that have been recommended to me personally. Maybe it’s not fair to the books, but here’s how this is going to go: they have maybe three chapters, depending on length, to win me over. If I’m not intrigued/excited/curious/whatever (really, I’m open to a host of possibilities) by then, I’m not wasting my time on it.

Is that unreasonable? All we hear as writers is that it’s our job to hook readers in the first pages. The first paragraphs, even, if you’re talking about querying agents. Is it my responsibility as a reader to give a book more than three chapters to win me over? Even if the story isn’t in full swing by then (and I’m not saying it needs to be; I can enjoy a slow build or a quiet beginning), it needs to have promised me something that will keep me going.

It’s no different from dating, I guess. First dates don’t have to be perfect, but you’ve got to make a good impression. I don’t need to know everything about you by the third date (and please, I don’t need to have SEEN everything by then), but there’s got to be chemistry there. If there’s not, there are other people I could be spending time with who might work out better. It’s not you, it’s not me, it’s just not working.

I guess that’s an advantage of library books, at least for readers. If I spend money on a book, I’ll probably push harder to finish it. Now, if it’s not a good book this also means I’ll hate it more by the end, but I’ll at least try to finish it. If I have no money invested, I’m much more likely to leave it and go find something I DO enjoy.

So that’s the plan for these books. I’m going to give them a fair shot when I have time (and thank goodness for library renewals!), and I hope I’ll enjoy all of them.

And no, I won’t be reviewing/talking about any that I don’t finish. 🙂

How do you approach books? Do you feel like you HAVE to finish a story once you’ve started it? I used to. Do you think books deserve a chance to get good in the middle, or do you expect to be hooked/entertained right away? What pulls you in to a book? Voice? Action? A world that you want to take up permanent residence in? Characters who are interesting, either because you love them or hate them? What turns you off right away?

PS- if you’re a blogger friend and I have your book, I promise it’s still on my TBR list, but I’m waiting until I have time to really enjoy it. Yours get more than 3 chapters. 😉


WIPpet Wednesday: Back at it

*scrambles for something to post*

Yep, this one sneaked up on me, mostly because I fail at writing right now. Since I can’t handle that, I’m reading over Bound and making more notes (the never-ending cycle), which makes that my active work in progress, which makes that the one I’m posting from this week. Apologies to anyone who wanted more vampires, I’ll get back to them after JuNoWriMo. Probably.

Since I haven’t revised chapter 29 yet (and I’m fiddling with chapter divisions, anyway), let’s go with the 29th scene, which also happens to be the one I was revising when I decided to take a little break. Coincidence? Absolutely. 🙂

Just a few things you need to know: Rowan and Aren are on the road, trying to find a cure for her *mumble mumble* and headaches before Aren’s brother finds them, and he wants them because of all of THE EVIL REASONS (I swear it’s explained better in the story). They were stuck out in a rainstorm with a lame horse and with people chasing them, so when the opportunity to spend the night with a group of semi-nomadic performers presented itself, Rowan decided they should take it, in spite of Aren not wanting help from anyone he doesn’t know and trust. They were welcomed by a man named Bartilae, who is the community’s leader, and Rowan gave him fake names when she introduced herself and Aren. We already know that Bartilae’s daughter is named Patience… and I think that’s all you need to know. Oh, and this chapter is told by Aren.

A thin-faced girl with bright ribbons braided into her hair stumbled out of the crowd of running children and dropped onto the cushion between me and Bartilae. “Will we have a show, Father?”

“I think not tonight, my love. We haven’t unpacked here, an our guests are weary from their travels. Another day.” The girl pouted, and when the children passed by again she flounced off to join them. Bartilae sighed. “Sometimes I wonder why we name our children before we know them well. I’m not holding much hope of that one growing into hers.”

When the meal was finished, many of the adults bundled into their shawls, capes, or jackets and headed out into the storm. Two white-haired old women stayed behind, huddled close to a cluster of burning torches, and half a dozen other adults sat talking, occasionally sending curious glances our way. The tent smelled of damp wool and burnt wood, but it was far more pleasant than being outside.

Rowan scooted closer to me. “How was your meal, dear?”

“Just wonderful, Penelope, oh light of my life,” I replied dryly, and she stifled a giggle behind her hand. “Nice names. Where did those come from?”

“I once had a goat named Penelope.”

“And Doug?”

“I have no idea.”

I didn’t want to talk too much about what we were doing, not with other people possibly listening, but it couldn’t be avoided completely. “We can’t stay here. We know nothing about these people.”

She rolled her eyes. “Do you think everyone is after us? They’re Wanderers. I really doubt they’re working for Severn; they barely acknowledge a king on either side of the mountains. If anything, they’re staying out of it. They don’t know who we are, anyway. You’re too suspicious.”

“And you’re too trusting!”

“Well, I guess that evens it out then, doesn’t it?”

I didn’t know how to answer that. There wasn’t time to, anyway; a woman we hadn’t met yet was coming toward us with clothing folded over both arms. “Hello, my dears. I’m Alys. Jein thought you might like to borrow some dry things while your own are drying.” I reached into my pack. Everything was damp.

“Thank you,” I said, and she nodded.

“If you go through the door over there you can get changed in the storage space. It’s small, but I don’t suppose that will be a problem.” She winked, then walked toward the old women. Rowan flashed me a smug smile and carried both piles of clothing toward the storage room.

We took turns changing in a small space that was packed with piles of boxes and burlap sacks, and that smelled of onions and spices. Alys took our wet things and disappeared through another flap in the side of the tent, returning moments later. “How big is this place, anyway?” Rowan asked me, stretching to try to look through the doorway.

“It’s probably a few interconnected tents. I’m sure when you spend most of your time traveling, you figure these things out.”

“I guess. Bartilae was right, though. Odd time of year for them to be out. Wanderers only ever visited in the summer, back home.”

Patience dashed in out of the rain wearing a pink dress that she had to hold up to keep out of the mud, and a floppy red hat that dripped rainwater everywhere. She was followed by a motley band of seven other children, the youngest just a few years old, all dressed in odd and colorful clothes. “Ladies and gentlemen and extinguished guests!” she bellowed, and Alys chuckled. “Preeeeeesenting the finest show in the entire world!”

“Oh, I love the theatre,” Rowan said, and joined in the scattered applause that was nearly drowned out by the rain. Patience’s voice had no such problem. She bellowed out a rough program that sounded like it would drag on for hours. When she finished, Rowan clapped again, then stood. “Come on,” she said. “We should get better seats.”

“You’re joking.”

She frowned down at me. “Douglas Anderson, are you telling me that you’re too important and busy right now to enjoy a show performed by the great actors of the future?” Once again I didn’t know how to argue with her, and we took seats close to the area the children were clearing for their show.

I wish I could keep going; this leads into one of my favourite scenes in the whole book, an odd little semi-tangent with an entertaining and disorganized play, a bit of character development and OH THE FEELINGS, but I haven’t finished revising that yet.  It would be too long to post here, anyway.

So that’s it for this WIPpet Wednesday. This little party is hosted by K.L. Schwengel over at My Random Muse; stop by to say hi, and click on the linkie to see the other WIPpeteers’ posts and to add your own if you’d like to join in. The only rules are that you post a bit from a work in progress, and that it relates to today’s date on some way (29 lines, chapter 29, something to do with a 5 for the the month… WIPpet math is very flexible!)

For today’s #ROW80 update… sadly, I’ve got nothing. I’m taking this week to do a bit more reading and revising on Bound (maybe… this is not a good time for me to be judging my own work) and to get my notes in order for working on Torn next month. I’m hoping I’ll get my writing mojo back so I can do my 2,000 words a day for JuNoWriMo (and OK, am I the only one who says that and hears Agador from The Birdcage asking why I’m not writing more? “Why ju no wri’ mo? When ju gonna let me be in your cho’, huh? Wait, dere’s CHRIMPS!”)

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