I thought I had 4 hours to write? Where did it all go?

Damn! Four hours flew by. I don’t think I even saw it go.

When I woke up this morning I was thinking “Yes! I’m in the mood to work on The Scout’s Captive.” By the time I finished feeding the cows, loading hay in the truck, flushed out the water system in the cabin, fed the cats and dog, made hubby dinner, cleaned the kitchen, ate lunch with hubby, and sent hubby off to work, I was too distracted by thoughts of what I want to do with my writing career business hobby, making future plans for writing projects I want to do and need to do, the website updates I need to make and what I need to change, and how I’m going to juggle pen names to do any writing.

So writing ended up being a huge bust this afternoon because I couldn’t focus on it to save my behind. But I will say that I made a big ass dent in the website changes and what I’m thinking about with a pen name. I hope that after I deal with dinner, kids’ homework, and picking up the house, I might be able to squeeze in a few hours of writing before hubby gets home from work.

If not, I shoot for some quality time between my laptop and me this weekend. I’m thinking of disappearing into a bathroom and closing the door. Good thing there are two bathrooms in this house. The back one might just be my office tomorrow. 😀

March 2017 In Review

Yay! Third In-Review post in a row. I’m on a roll! 😀

Just so you know, I’m once more tweaking the layout of the post, so please bear with me as I work toward a format that I like.

My Life this Month…

Since it’s Winter here on the ranch, things are slow and both hubby and I are chomping at the bit to get working on the projects we have around here to finish. It becomes a nice bonding experience for our family and it gets us all our vitamin D. The first cow has finally calved. Yes!

Now that Winter is starting to wind down, I’m looking forward to returning to my twice a day walking routine. I really missed it. When I lived in town over 13 years ago, exercising outside was much easier during the Winter months. Walking in the country during the Winter is liable to hurt as the lane is slick and the meadow has snow drifts to my knees.

I’m still working on cutting back on the electronics and TV during the weekends for the family this month, but as long as the weather is crappy outside I don’t see my goal being very successful. However, with the more Spring-like days, the girls are spending more time outside playing then inside. Lately, their game of choice to outside has been four square, and they always seem to want mom and dad to come play. 😀

The girls are also back to working on the Fort they built with a friend two years ago. It’s becoming quite the project with them finding all sorts of objects that have been trashed over a half a century ago and dragging it back to their Fort. As I look at it, their helping clean up their environment and at a later date we can collect it all for recycling and the garbage, but for the time being they are free to use it.

Now on to my goals…


Finish Writing 5 Books in 2017

March has been a month of deep contemplation in regards to the direction I want to take this writing hobby of mine, the type of books I want to write in the future, and how I want to handle some of the books I have already written. I’ve even started to solidify some changes I decided upon. I want to make a more detail post on this later this month when I have a better idea of what I’ll be doing. I’m only mentioning it here because my plans pertain to my goal to “Finish 5 books in 2017.”

So, yes, I will be finishing at least 5 books this year, plus a  few more if my plans work out the way I hope, but not in the way I planned to when I made the goal. I’m making good headway with this and I’m hoping  to increase my writing output significantly with the changes I will be implementing this month.


Write Everyday & Write 300,000
New Words in 2017

In January I figured that I would have to write nearly 30,000 words a month to reach my 300,000 new words in 2017 goal. Since my best output comes in the winter months before the kids are out of school and the ranch work begins, I have until May to create a good buffer. I had accumulated about 9,000 word buffer before the 1st of March and lost most of it before the end of March due to some bad writing days.

Days I wrote: 26
Days I didn’t write: 5

February’s Word Count for March:  19,495 new words
Total Word Count for 2017:
 85,043 new words

Note: The 300,000 words doesn’t include words written for blog posts or web pages unless it was something creative. I am using a Excel program from Svenja Gosen to keep track of my progress and I would suggest it to anyone who wants to do the same. I’ve used this spreadsheet on and off every year since 2014.


Take 1 writing related workshop in 2017

I know I mentioned that I probably wouldn’t be doing this. Well apparently I lied. Sorry. 😦

Around the first of the month I ran across 5-Figure Author Challenge/ AuthorRemake eCourse  and joined at a discounted price I couldn’t pass up. I’ve really wanted to learn more about platform building because basically I suck at it. Maybe this eCourse will help me become better at it, or at least less awkward.

I’m still going through the course information, but it felt really nice to cross off this goal off my list.


My Plans for Next Month…

I have five main focuses this month:

  1. Keep writing no matter what life throws at me. 😀
  2. Remember to make weekly goals and review them to get shit done!
  3. Solidify my plans for the series I’m working on and write that blog post explaining a few things.
  4. Watch for more calves to drop.
  5. Start walking again as the weather permits.

Wishing you all the best in April,

 

Women Are Different, So Heroines Should Be, Too

Even though this is geared toward writers, I love Ruth’s take on making every heroine in her books different and why she does it. It’s a great article for writers and readers both. Enjoy!

Ruth Ann Nordin's Author Blog

This post is a semi-rant.  From time to time, it irks me that people think there is a one-size-fits-all heroine.  (Actually, there is no one-size-fits-all hero or villain or secondary character or kid, either, but I’m going to speak specifically about heroines.)

How Women Are Different

Just like fingerprints, no two women are exactly alike.

different women ID 67013990 © Andrey Arkusha | Dreamstime.com

This entire post is based off a comment I recently received after someone read one of my books with a heroine who wasn’t in major pain after her first time of having sex.  I don’t know why we have to assume every single woman on this planet will have a horrific first time.  I didn’t.  In fact, my first time didn’t hurt at all.  But then, my husband and I took our time and I was able to get ready for him.  I had no tearing, no bleeding…

View original post 1,292 more words

Writer Doubts and Pushing On

The last two weeks I’ve been plagued with doubts about The Queen’s Rebellion Series. The kind of doubts that can be crippling. Things like:

  • Am I going about this character/scene/plot line the right way?
  • Am I doing justice to the character/plot?
  • Should I keep this? Should I delete this? Is this really necessary?
  • Am I making the plot/theme of the story clear?
  • Should I slow down and explain more? Or do I need to explain less and speed up?
  • Is book #1 interesting enough for people to continue to read the rest of the series or will it fall flat?
  • Would the people reading this be confused because I forgot to put something in?
  • Did I start too soon in the story? And should I get rid of book #1?

Anyone seeing the start of a pattern here? Yeah, I’m having issues with book #1. I know that I finished writing it back in January and moved on to book #2, but I’ve got this niggling feeling that I’m doing it wrong.

Wow! Just had a flashback to the movie Mr. Mom. For those who would like to know what I’m talking, here’s a YouTube clip to explain.  

Anyhoo, right now I’m filled with doubts about this book and really wished I had an alpha reader or several. I’ve been wanting to use that new (for me) term forever BTW 😀 . Because I would really like to discuss the particulars of the story over with someone who reads (sadly, hubby is not one of those people) and see if I’m missing something or if I’m doing packing to many subplots into the story.

But since I don’t have an alpha reader, or beta readers anymore, I’ll just have to push on and hope for the best.

Cross my fingers and pray! LOL


Want to know the difference between an Alpha Reader and a Beta Reader?

The Alpha Reader gets to read the unfinished draft, pieces of the draft, or may even act like sounding board for ideas. They should give you honest, immediate feedback on how the story plays, not line-specific notes. They’re the people who tell you what bores them, what confuses them, what’s cool, and what’s unbelievable.

The Beta Reader gets to read through the “almost ready” for publication draft and give you honest feedback on how the story plays –like what bores them, what confuses them, what’s cool, and what’s unbelievable– typos and grammar mistakes they find, and line-specific notes.

February 2017 Reading List

I tried something different with this last month, but I really didn’t like the format. So I’m going back to making my monthly reading list a separate post again, with one big change. I’m not going to post the description and a sentence of why I liked or didn’t like it. I’m actually going to write a short review. 😀

I spent the first week of February doing a lot of reading while I tried to figure out what was wrong with my current works-in-progress. Below are the five books that I like/loved enough to recommend. There were another four stories that I read, and while I found them interesting, they are not something I would recommend.

What I did like and would recommend are:

Chained (Brides of the Kindred, 9) by Evangeline Anderson

You know those moments in life when you do something good for someone else because it’s right, only to watch it backfire in every way imaginable, but in the end it all turns out good, or even better than you thought it might. That is this story.

Maggie is on a routine mission to Gaia for research, only the ship she’s on needs to make a detour to female dominated Yonnie Six to drop off a package. It only goes down hill from there when Maggie decides to rescue a slave from certain death. Only Korexiroth, or Kor, is far more dangerous than she believes and he is not about to abandon Maggie after she saved him. Only problem is every turn they make brings them closer together and into deeper and deeper trouble. There was a point when I was afraid that the characters wouldn’t get over their past issues and would be miserable forever without the other.

Divided (Brides of the Kindred, 10) by Evangeline Anderson

This is not the type of book I usually read. I’m not into erotic romance with love triangles or threesome, but I could not read the next book in the series. So very much would have been lost if I had skipped this book.

So I read it and I found that I liked it more than I thought I would. Becca is about to take her vows as a nun when she accidentally eats some very potent aphrodisiac cake and with the help of twin kindred warriors survives the ordeal. Only now she’s falling hard for the brothers who were separated at birth and believes she needs to choose between the two brothers who hate each other and refuse to share her as Twin Kindred do. It doesn’t help when something evil threatens to destroy all the Kindred protecting Earth and Becca, Far, and Truth are sent on a mission they believe will help stop it.

Dead Again by Tracy Cooper-Posey

I was drawn to this book because if the tagline, “They killed him—now they are back for survivors.” I couldn’t pass up a hook like that.

From the start to nearly the end I was on the edge of my seat thinking “Who the Hell is this guy?!” Mobster? Police? Criminal? Agent?

Sophie Ryerson is a woman who survived a plane crash that should have killed her with one other person, Jack Laubreaux. He saved her life and then died of his own injuries. Ten years later, she sees a man who reminds her of Jack and she’s drawn him. Martin Stride is a drifter who just wants a job and a warm place to sleep for winter. Sophie offers him both and he knows he shouldn’t accept, but he can’t seem to make himself walk away. He’s tired of running away from what he wants. 

Writing a Book in a Week: How to Profit with Self-Publishing by Alex Foster

This is one of those books that I ran across while searching for writing books and while I will probably never write a 65,000 word novel in a week, I figured it might have advice on writing faster and it did have a lot of it. Plus side, it’s a free read.

I love free books, especially when it comes from an unknown writer or it’s something I’m interested in but not sure if I want to spend my book money on. If I like their writing style, I don’t mind adding them to my wishlist for future book purchases.

I would suggest this book for writers getting started or who want to write faster but don’t want to spend the money on more expensive books.

 The Divine Guide to Creating a Daily Writing Practice by Pernille Norregaard

I’ve been wanting to create a daily writing practice for years and this book condenses all the stuff that I have learned over the years in articles into one book. Kinda like a reference book for setting up your writing habit.

This is another book that I found for free and I really didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know, but I would recommend it to writers who are looking to find more time to write and put your writing time to good use, deal with the fear and limiting beliefs that holds you back, and give you a strategy to stick with your writing routine.


Keeping Track!

This year one of my goals is to read at least 50 fiction books & 5 non-fiction books. 

January 2017: I read 5 fiction books and 1 non-fiction book.
February 2017: I read 7 fictions and 2 non-fiction books.

Total Fiction read this Year: 12 books.
Total Non-Fiction read this Year: 3 books.

Happy reading to ya’ll!