#ROW80 update and progress on goals

This has been a crazy hard month for us, started really end of January, and it’s looking to continue to be another rough month. My spouse was fired, we’re switching kids’ daycare because of abuse issues, I’ve been sick with some cold, stomach bug through the house, COVID scare…it never ends. That’s legit just the last two weeks haha

So…my goals likely need to change. Here’s the original and what I’ve accomplished. I think I should still be able to get most of it accomplished. I’m on chapter 20 of 29 for Race War in terms of writing. I can’t do anything with Stone’s Mistake until I get edits back (I’m impatient for sure), and I should be able to write the other two by the end of March. Fingers crossed I’m able to start picking up the pace even just a little to meet my goals.

Round 1 Goals

  1. EDIT – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – Waiting on edits back
  2. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – halfway done
  3. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2) – IN PROGRESS
  4. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  5. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  6. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – IN PROGRESS
  7. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

COMPLETED GOALS

  1. WRITE – Country Style
  2. EDIT – Love Burns
  3. EDIT – Lawyer Piece

Bright and Early morning in the Smith household #ROW80 #Amwriting #Lesfic

My kids have gotten in the bad habit of waking up super early in the mornings, thus my morning writing time has become very short. Which has been a struggle, not going to lie.

I’ve been struggling with this book on my writing list that I need to get done. I’ve honestly avoided it for months. I had originally planned on writing it in November, then December, then first thing January, and now we’re to the end of January and I just started it.

This piece. … It’s a tough one emotionally. This is for my FBI series, and the title of the book is Race War, so you can probably imagine what it involves. Bombers on a vendetta against one particular race, in this case, Somali Muslims. Diving face first into the world of racism, extremism, violence, why someone would do this, how they could come to the conclusion it was needed, is draining to put it in the slightest.

But I also feel, given the current climate of the US, that it is very much a necessary topic to explore. Because I think a lot of people like me (aka those who would be reading this book) don’t understand that viewpoint, they don’t understand why someone would go to those levels.

My story is in no way glorifying it. It’s an FBI mystery, procedural, so you know–of course–the bad guy gets caught in the end, but goodness, it makes writing this piece tough. Especially because I do “bad guy” POV, and I’ve essentially required myself to get into the headspace of someone who would be willing to bomb and kill someone.

On a happier note…the book is going. I’m writing chapter 7 today. I’m only one day before where I had originally planned to be, and hope to make it up this weekend sometime.

I did get edits back for my August release titled Love Burns, so I did those last week, which was not part of my original goal list since I didn’t know when I’d be getting them back, so some of my edit stuff might be switched around, so I’m going to change some of those based on what’s happening with send-backs from publishers.

I found a new online digital calendar that I think I can officially say I like. It’s got it’s issues, but thus far, it allows me to do the major thing I need, which is move chapters around on different days to shift when I get things done/don’t get things done.

Round 1 Goals

  1. EDIT – Lawyer Piece
  2. EDIT – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – Waiting on edits back
  3. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3) – Printed & kind of started but not really
  4. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2) – IN PROGRESS
  5. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  7. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1) – IN PROGRESS/ONGOING
    1. Doing some live readings on my own Facebook page
    2. Did an official cover reveal
    3. ARC is up on BookSprout and Netgalley
    4. Doing live readings for various groups
    5. NEED – Blog Tour for release
    6. NEED – Figure out what type of launch party I’m doing
    7. NEED – Find more promo opportunities
  8. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

COMPLETED GOALS

  1. WRITE – Country Style
  2. EDIT – Love Burns

#Row80 check in for round 1

I’m going to try to consistently check in this time, and I’m aiming for once a week. Not sure yet if that’ll be Wednesdays or Sundays….today it seems to be a Sunday haha.

This week didn’t start off so great and I got behind in my outlined schedule of what I should be doing because you know people be crazy, but I made up for a lot of it Friday, and I’m mostly back on schedule assuming I finish writing the chapter I started this morning.

I’m currently writing Country Style, which is a May/December contemp romance with one singular cowgirl and a musician who needs a break. It’s going well. I’m almost halfway through it and should finish it next Friday. Then I’ll be on to writing Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2), which is a book I’ve been kind of avoiding writing for a few months now.

Friday I hosted some all day sprinting and managed just under 17,000 words in one day. Holy cow. That was a lot! My brain was definitely done by the end of it. I’ll hopefully be doing the same this coming Friday.

Overall, my goals are going well for being about a week in to this thing. =P

Round 1 Goals

  1. WRITE – Country Style – IN PROGRESS
  2. EDIT – Lawyer Piece
  3. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  4. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  5. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. EDIT – Country Style
  7. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  8. Edit – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  9. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  10. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

Round 1 of #ROW80 for 2021

It is 2021, and I’m so glad we’ve started a new year. I love making goals, and setting out a plan to achieve those goals. This post is going to be two-fold for me. I have year long goals, but I’m also making goals for just this round of ROW80.

Here we go.

2021 Goals

  1. Launch 5-6 books into the world.
  2. Prep 5-6 for launch in 2022.
  3. Write 1,000,000 words.
  4. Learn more about marketing.
  5. Read 20 Sapphic Books
  6. Earn an average of $500/month on royalties

ROW80 — Round 1 Goals

  1. WRITE – Country Style
  2. EDIT – Lawyer Piece
  3. WRITE – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  4. EDIT – Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  5. WRITE – Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. EDIT – Country Style
  7. WRITE – Alone & Lonely (Missing Persons #4)
  8. Edit – Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  9. MARKET – Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  10. MARKET – Release (Quarter Life #3)

Non-existent mornings #ROW80 #NaNoWriMo

As I sit here at not even 7am with my daughter watching Moana for the six millionth time, I’m annoyed. Not because of Moana, not because of time with my daughter, because 5am-7am is supposed to be my writing time, especially on Sunday mornings and since daylight savings, my kids have been waking up when I do…meaning early morning writing is next to impossible.

I digress.

I have been managing to get some writing in because my spouse is working evening shifts, so after the kids go to bed, I have time to get some words out. I’ve been sprinting to my hearts content and dependent on how much Dr. Pepper I have drank that day. haha. This will change THIS WEEK as my spouse is back to being scheduled for mornings.

So for  updates as fast as I can.

I’ve edited Chapters 1-5 of Glacial Freeze. PS I really need a new title for this. I’m so open to suggestions.

I’m 3 chapters away from finishing my F/M/F piece, also need a title for this. Tentatively Delivering Kris … Maybe…we’ll see. I wanted to be done writing this today. I’m thinking it’ll happen tomorrow because…you know…kids.

That’s about all I’ve done. Some marketing for De-Termination but not a whole lot.

I completed NaNo on Friday, at least official NaNo. My goals for NaNo remain 1. write all 30 days of it and 2. finish F/M/F piece, Lawyer Piece, Love Burns: Take 2 (which will total about 240,000 words for the month). I really need names for these things. It’s getting bad.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  6. Write F/M/F romance piece – IN PROGRESS
  7. Write Lawyer romance piece

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)

#ROW80 update, week 3 round up #NaNoWriMo

Whew! It’s been an insane week. I decided after much thought and listening to my muse, the story, and my spouse, that I needed to expand Glacial Freeze (this is not the final title). So I added 5 chapters to it Thursday-Saturday and turned it into a 55k word novel from it’s 39k word novella.

Then I finished final edits on Broken & Weary (Missing Persons 2) and emailed that off to my publisher.

Before all that I finished final edits on Release (Quarter Life 3) and emailed that off to my publisher.

So BUSY! And TODAY IS NANOWRIMO! W00t! I got up at 5:30 this morning and started typing. Sundays are busy days for me because of church, so I managed 7300 words before I left for work. I’m hoping to write another chapter in the in between times tonight. Wish me luck!

I have moved around my writing schedule a lot, so the goals listed below are not entirely accurate. I don’t plan on writing Beware (Quarter Life 4) until January. Race War and Young & Old are set for December.

In November, for NaNo, I’m insane and opted to write 3 novels. I have 2 goals for NaNo. One is to write these three novels. The other is to write every single day of NaNo. I may not finish the third novel, but I know I’ll at least get a good chunk of the way through it.

First piece I’m working on is a menage FFM piece with no title yet, maybe Delivering Kris, but I’m not sold on that. The second piece is a lawyer piece that will border on erotic romance but I’m hoping to keep it to plot as much as I can. =P The third piece is Love Burns: Take 2. I had Love Burns accepted by a publisher. It’s set to release August 17th, 2021, and this would be a sequel to that.

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  6. Write F/M/F romance piece – IN PROGRESS
  7. Write Lawyer romance piece

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze
  3. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  4. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)

#ROW80 update and heading straight into #NaNoWriMo

I did not update this week, which is my bad, but this week had shit hit the fan hard. It’s too long and too personal to explain, but let me start by saying I’m so grateful to have a therapy appointment on Monday. It will be well-utilized.

Quite a lot has also happened in this week, which is a bit crazy and awesome at the same time. I put a pause of edits of Broken & Weary and sent it to a beta reading. I’m very much worried I tried to smash too much plot into it for it to be developed enough and that some things get lost. I’m waiting to hear back from my trusted beta before I go any further in editing (in case it needs a massive overhaul).

I picked up editing on Release (Quarter Life 3), however. I’m hoping to be done with these by November 1, so I can focus on NaNoWriMo. I’m on chapter 22 of 38, so not too far off. It’s going well, and I can’t wait to send that in to my publisher.

NOW, for the good and exiting news. Last month, I submitted Love Burns (a contemporary May-December lesbian romance) to a new publisher after it was rejected from another publisher. I heard back Friday, and they want the book. Not only that but they said they rarely pick up F/F books but mine was so well-written and the characterization good that they wanted it.

I did submit tentatively two sequels to Love Burns, which they don’t want at the moment. They don’t think there’s enough plot in my outline of them. Totally fair, there wasn’t much plot there haha. But I can always write them or combine them into one and submit it and see where it goes from there. I wasn’t dead-set on it being a series, so I’m still freakin’ crazy excited.

I’ll let you all know more when I know more. Which hopefully is soon!

I’ve been playing around with and learning more about Amazon Ads, which has been an adventure. I’m focusing primarily on Memoir in the Making and Unbound (Quarter Life Book 1) for now, but maybe I’ll do more eventually. For marketing for De-Termination, I set up a blog tour SIGN UP HERE if you want to join in on it. I’ve sent out some review copies and have been doing weekly Facebook Live readings from Unbound which will soon turn into De-Termination once we get closer to the release date.

I also wrote and finished Glacial Freeze, which I have sorely undermentioned. It’s a retelling of the Snow Queen, set in modern times in Glacier National Park with obviously a lovely lesbian twist to it. It’s paranormal romance plus fairy tale. It’s a novella, so only about 40,000 words in length, which was super interesting and weird to write. I had to hold back on my need for plot haha.

I’m adding two pieces I plan on writing during NaNoWriMo, both romances, both May-December lesbian romances. One is a menage, but definitely romance and not erotic romance (though it’ll be borderline. I like my plot!).

TO DO

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2) – a constant WIP
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Love Burns: Take 2
  5. Write Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  6. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  7. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  8. Edit Stone’s Mistake (Agent Morgan Stone #1)

ADDING

  1. Write F/M/F romance piece
  2. Write Lawyer romance piece

DONE

  1. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Glacial Freeze

#ROW80 and Writing Goals

I used to participate actively in ROW80, ages ago, as I did with WIPpet Wednesdays. I always love supporting other aspiring and published authors. We all need to encourage one another.

I’ve fallen behind on my blogging, which is not abnormal. I’m so focused on writing and getting some new material out there right now that that’s been my focus. I also tend to miss Sunday check-ins because well, I work Sundays in an insane way.

I’ll keep this quick.

Goals for ROW80 Round 4 are as follows (I think because I left my calendar at home, doh!)

  1. Marketing for De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  2. Write Race War (Agent Morgan Stone #2)
  3. Write Young & Old (Missing Persons #3)
  4. Write Sun, Sea, and Gwyn
  5. Write Love Burns: Take Two
  6. Write Beware (Quarter Life #4)
  7. FINAL EDITS De-Termination (Quarter Life #2)
  8. Edit Broken & Weary (Missing Persons #2)
  9. Edit Release (Quarter Life #3)
  10. Edit Her Cold Heart (Agent Morgan Stone #1)
  11. FOR EXTRA — if I need it — write Love Burns: 3 Together, Agent Morgan Stone #3 or Missing Persons #4. And edit edit edit everything in sight!

I’ve got some really big plans for 2021 and hopefully onward from here on out. De-Termination releases December 1, so that’s going to take a lot of my focus upfront.

Partners in Fighting Crime #WIPpetWednesday #Snippet #WIP #Excerpt

I’ve been working on this novel for a week or so now. I thought it was crime/mystery at first. I realized the other day, it most definitely is not. It is a psychological thriller through and through. I even looked up a definition of it and sent it to my spouse going this, this, this, this, this, this…ALL OF THIS…is exactly what this novel is. haha.

So…I guess I’m writing a psychological thriller with a crime/mystery bent. This novel is about an FBI Special Agent Morgan Stone (yes, she is sister to Chaplain Amya Stone, Grace’s infamous girlfriend). Yes, Amya does show up in this novel, and Grace too, albeit briefly.

This novel is about my agent trying to catch a serial killer. That’s the basic of it. Morgan has been with the same partner at work for near a decade, so she knows him amazingly well. This is just a little snippet into their working and personal relationship. From chapter 3 of Stone’s Mistake. This is completely unedited as I never edit while writing a novel because well I won’t finish it if I do. So bear with me on that.

26 paragraphs from Chapter 3 of Stone’s Mistake. 26 is for the day of the month! That’s your WIPpet.

Sighing, Morgan glanced up as Pax jerked his chair back and plopped his briefcase heavily on the desktop. She shot him a questioning gaze before leaning up to focus on her obviously angry partner. “What happened?”

“Mel. Mel is what happened.” He huffed out a breath and sat next to her, grumbling something she couldn’t hear.

“Care to elaborate?”

Pax and his wife had been married fourteen years, and it still wasn’t unusual for him to show up miffed about a fight they’d had just before he’d left for the office. Morgan, in some ways, reveled in his life. Married, boy-girl twins, stability, a home. It was everything she didn’t have and only some things she wanted.

She’d known Pax since before he married Mel, had been the best man at his wedding even, so she knew the ins and outs of their issues. When he shot her a look, Morgan chuckled. “Forget to take out the trash?”

“One flipping day, that’s all I wanted.”

“Wanted for what?” Morgan turned back to her computer screen, deciding she wouldn’t waste all her energy on placating him in his foils.

Pax grunted. “I wanted to go golfing.”

“Since when do you golf?” She furrowed her brow, shook her head, and pursed her lips. “And who the hell do you golf with?”

“None of your business.”

“Wait. Hold on. You don’t golf. What did you really want to do?”

“It doesn’t matter,” he muttered, powering on his computer and clenching his jaw.

Morgan turned her lips to the side as she debated whether or not to pursue the topic. Giving in, she pushed slightly back from her desk and turned to face him fully. “No. What did you really want to go do?”

“I was trying to set up a renewal of our vows.”

“Oh…” Morgan pulled a face. “Really?”

“Yes.” He glared.

She laughed softly. “Didn’t figure your for the sentimental type.”

“It’s a surprise, for our fifteenth. Thought it might be nice.”

“You thought it would get you out of some hot water for something you did, or you thought it’d win you some bonus points for the future when you screw up.”

The look he gave her told her the latter was correct. She laughed again, shaking her head. If he was going this deep in his planning, he was going to have to lie better than trying to go play golf when the man had never swung a club in his life.

“Pax, you’re gonna have to learn to lie better.”

“I can’t lie to Mel, you know that.”

“You’re going to have to if you want this to be a surprise.”

“Can’t you—”

“Absolutely not. This is your own fresh hell you welcomed into your brain. You do it. I am not the best friend who plans vow renewals. You’re lucky enough I dressed up for your wedding and showed up for it.”

He grimaced. Ending the conversation, Morgan turned back to her computer and continued searching for Reilly’s real name and face. She was another hour deep into search when her phone in her pocket buzzed. Frowning at it, she knocked her head to Pax to see if he was paying attention or not. When he wasn’t, she slipped away from their desks and down the hall to a quiet and empty conference room.

Let’s talk about outlining #amwriting #outlining #plottervpantser

Let’s talk about outlining for a minute or two. I have been seeing on Facebook a lot of conversation about having inspiration and being able to find inspiration and how some people just don’t get the juices to write very often.

I’m a firm believer that thinking like that is putting limits on yourself. Whether or not you plot or pants your stories and novels, you have to take the time to write. You have to make it a priority. If you don’t, well, it’ll never be a priority and it’ll never happen on a regular basis.

I set a schedule to write almost every day. I’ve done this from pretty much the beginning on my writing career. Currently, I write Monday-Thursday from 3pm to 5pm. Which is not a whole lot of time. I write all day Fridays. I rarely write on Saturday and Sunday as those are dedicated family days; however, if I’m close to finishing a novel. You bet your ass I’m writing on my off days.

I used to wake up every morning at 5am and I would write for 3 hours straight. That was it. Three hours a day, seven days a week was about 21 hours. My goal at that time was to finish three novels a year for publication, and I often achieved that.

Second to my dedicated writing time is outlining. There are hundred million different ways to outline, and you have to find what works for you. I’ve found–for me–that my outlines need to be simple and not overly detailed. If I put too much detail into them, I have zero desire to actually write it because I feel like I’ve written it already.

My current set up is to write 2-3 chapters of a novel and then I’ll finish outlining. Usually I already have some sense of where the story is going to go by that point. I set out each chapter, figure out roughly how many scenes I want in each one, and then I do simple bullet points for each scene. The one I’m writing today looks like this.

1. Morgan goes to St. Louis to look at the crime scene and see the body. She notes the 5 stab marks and the fact that the scene is bloodier and more violent than the last. Killer is escalating. Finds Samantha’s iPad, where they are able to run searches. Find searches for all the murders Morgan is aware of as well as information about Seattle.

2. Morgan spends a lot of time in the office, running the credit cards and anything else she can think of. She searches flight manifests for names. Pax keeps her updated on the trafficking case.

Now, none of what’s in that outline may make sense to anyone other than me, but it makes sense to me, which is what matters. Two simple scenes that will fill one whole chapter approximately 2000-3000 words, so 1500 ish per scene.

That simple. But I have this whole novel (all 33 chapters of it) outlined like this. I just finished outlining Release (Quarter Life #3) yesterday, which has 39 chapters and again, bullet point 1-3 sentence scenes.

I find this gives me enough freedom to mess up my outline but enough to go off so when I’m not feeling it that day, I know where to start. You can outline by character too. If you have one main character or even two, you can literally just outline their development. Start where they are, move into what happens to create conflict and what the character learns from it, then how they use what they’ve learned and up to a pinnacle plot point that then resolves all the pent up issues your character no doubt has.

I tend to write plot driven stories rather than character driven stories, hence the second method I’ve shared of outline is not very useful to me. The most important thing is that you find what works for you. Play around with it. Try something new. I didn’t outline in the beginning. It took me several books to find my method.

Be willing to learn something new, every day, and be willing to invite inspiration to come have a play date. If you don’t send the invitation, inspiration isn’t going to know when and where to show up.

A late #WIPpet but a WIPpet

I’m late today! It’s been an awful couple of days and anticipated coming week for me. Super stressful. I haven’t even written the last two days; it’s been that bad.

Anyway, I have started a new book, titled Stone’s Mistake. It may or may not turn into a series. Today I’m cutting to the chase. You get 8 chapters from chapter 2, which is the beginning of an MC’s point of view. This is completely unedited, so bear with me! =P

Morgan hit the button on the coffee pot to set the dark liquid brewing. It took a few minutes, but the scent wafted over to her, and she shuddered. She needed that dark brew at her lips immediately. Tapping her short fingernails against the counter, she stared down the coffee pot and willed it to brew faster.

Her day was going to be a busy and boring one, and while she didn’t relish going into the office in the middle of a snow storm that was supposed to hit them midday, she knew she had no other choice. There was paperwork to be done, research to be looked into, and conspiracies to test. Swallowing, Morgan glanced back down at the coffee, glad to see there was finally enough in the pot for one cup. She’d need at least three to get her brain spinning gears fast enough to work.

She grabbed her favorite mug her mother had given her with The Golden Girls on the side of it and jerked the pot back. The hiss of coffee falling directly onto the warmer underneath didn’t phase her as she poured her cup and set the pot back. One teaspoon of sugar later, and she was leaning against the counter, sipping the coffee and groaning as it’s dark roast hit the front of her tongue. It was heavenly.

It was going to be a hellaciously long couple weeks at work. She was due to leave the Chicago office and head south into Kansas on Friday and wasn’t planning on being back for at least seven to ten days. Clenching her jaw, Morgan looked around the tiny apartment she was so pleased to call home for less than half the year and sneered. She should probably clean up before she left, that way when she returned she’d have time to relax.

Snorting as the thought ran through her head, she rolled her eyes. Who was she kidding? She didn’t relax. The next sip of coffee hit the back of her throat, and Morgan felt the dregs of sleep pushing from her brain and clearing her thoughts. Perhaps she could get a cat. That could be good company for when she was actually at the apartment, and while she was gone, the cat could easily take care of itself.

Morgan hummed and shook her head. No, what she needed was a date. It was nearing on a year since she’d gone on her last tried and true date, which had been an utter disaster. Getting called in to help with a homicidal maniac in the middle of a first date wasn’t exactly the best way to begin a relationship. She shook her head. Dating apps had failed her, going to the bar had failed her. She was left with little else to make connections for her except friends, which she was severely limited on.

Her coffee mug was halfway empty before she slipped from leaning against the counter and headed for her small bedroom off the side of her living area. The bedsheets were strewn apart after she’d forced herself to exit the warmth. She had clothes all over the floor that she had yet to pick up and wash, but it didn’t matter. She wouldn’t have time until the weekend anyway, which she wouldn’t be home for.

Clucking her tongue, Morgan set her coffee down on her night stand and tugged off her loose shirt and pajama bottoms, shucking them to the floor right by her bedside. That way when she returned in the wee hours of the night, she wouldn’t have to stumble around to find them. With a fresh pair of undies, the bra she’d worn the last week, Morgan dressed.

A Mission and a Risk #WIPpetWednesday

And here we are at ANOTHER WIPpet Wednesday. So excited to be here. =P I’m sharing from a book titled De-Termination, which is the second Quarter Life book. I published Unbound in 2015! That seems like so flipping long ago, it’s hard to imagine. I didn’t realize it had been that long.

This book has been lingering–outlined 2/3 of the way–in my files on my computer. I knew that whenever I got back to writing, it would be one of the first I worked on. I finished the outline and have written about 45,000 words of the book (as of writing this blog post for you on Tuesday afternoon). It’s set to be over 100,000 words total when all is said and done.

This scene comes to us from the 16th chapter. Molly (my witchy BFF) is on a rescue with her protege (Joel) and tech guru (Ben) to find Faye. Faye (my vampy lunatic) vanished like ten chapters ago, and Molly’s crew had no idea where she’d gone off to or why she was gone. They obviously figured most of that out and are now out to rescue their newfound friend.

This book takes place about one year after Unbound. PS, I’ve already thought out what will happen in book 3, tentatively titled Release, and I might be itching to outline it fully soon, though I’m trying to hold off until I finish this one.

Here’s the WIPpet. 21 sentences for (8 x 5) – 20 = 20 + 1 for good luck!

They walked another kilometer in complete silence, not wanting to alert whoever had taken Faye that they were arriving. Molly kept her wits about her, relying on Joel’s empathic abilities to alert her if anyone was in the vicinity. Through silent communication, they knew they were alone.
She used her hand to direct them as they reached the ravine. Putting one finger over her mouth, she made sure they stayed quiet. Her heart rapped in her chest. She was about to attempt something either very stupid or life saving. Closing her eyes, she cast a protection spell over Ben and Joel, weaving the protection net around their bodies. If they stayed put they would be fine.
Licking her lips, Molly put her hand up so Joel and Ben could see from where they were hidden. She waved and then she focused all her magic. She’d done this spell before, had failed at it before, but she had done it. There was no telling if it would work this time, especially because she had no idea where exactly Faye was.

Listening to her own breathing, Molly calmed her heart. She focused on Faye. Her smile, her scent, her voice, their love. With that brimming and swirling within her, Molly called on the power of force, manipulating it, changing time and space.

This had to work. This had to be it. Molly could taste it. They were close to bringing her home.

Be kind, Rewind! #writingtip

A few years ago, my spouse was starting a new job with a new manager and this said manager kept getting frustrated with my spouse. You see, my spouse has a couple common phrases that he says ALL the time and one of those phrases is “Sure, sure.” So every time this manager would ask him to do something, teach him something, whatever, my spouse would respond with “Sure, sure.”

His phrase used to be “you know?”

The point is we each have phrases we tend to use A LOT, whether we want to or not. We do this in speech, we do this in writing, we do this in texting. If you’re texting (or in messenger) with me, I will type lol ALL THE TIME. It drives myself insane, but the habit is there and I do it.

So the other day, I’m editing away at one of my new pretty little novels that I’ve finally finished working and you know what I found? I found a brand new phrase I’ve been using abundantly along with a few I knew I always used.

What are your go to phrases in writing that you constantly put into your piece and don’t even realize it?

I literally keep a list on notepad in my computer of “words to delete” which are these overused words and phrases I keep typing.

My newest one is “to be honest”.

My list?

– begin/began
– start/started
– quick

Our phrases/words can and will change. This is why it is SO IMPORTANT to have someone else read through your piece before it ever gets near publishing. Other people pick up on this stuff, not us. My spouse still doesn’t know he says sure, sure every five seconds of the day.

In editing other peoples works, I’ve put together a list of common words you can easily find to delete/find and rework. Here’s my list for you to start with.

– that
– feel/felt
– says/said
– ask/asked

Start there and then really look for what your personal preferences are in your own work. I guarantee you have them.

Long time no type…?

It has been a long time since I have truly ventured into the world of writing and publishing. I wanted to be sure in my last foray into it that I was going to stick with it. I’m glad to say it’s been about a month now of me writing consistently, well mostly.

I had two unfinished romance novels that I have finished this month. The first is tentatively titled Learning Love and involves lessons in life we all need. The second is titled About Time and is a sweet sassy romance between a doctor and a chaplain.

I’ve also begun looking at some of my series again. I reread Unbound this past weekend…yes, the whole thing in two days. I forgot how freakin’ crazy Faye is! haha Before I dropped off the face of the planet, I had outlined 3/4 of the second book. I already knew everything that was going to happen and Faye has been reminding me that I need to write her.

I’ll be working on De-Termination next. But this is a LONG book, 41 chapters planned already! So it’ll be a bit for it to come to fruition. While I’d intended this book to drop in 2017, it’ll now hopefully be 2021!

Next up? My best friend, Grace. God, Grace needs some attention so badly!

Some people might think I’ve been focusing on having two toddlers running around which is why I put a pause on writing, but it is so much more than that. After experiencing an incredibly medically complicated and scary miscarriage in early 2017 and then a near death experience in 2018, I had to focus on my own mental well being. I had to figure my shit out, in other words. I’m still working on it, but I also realize how much I need to be writing to keep my sanity.

Back to the grind, then!

I may be back…I may disappear again…

As my children finally get a little older and as I finally work through some of the trauma from the birth of my second, I am FINALLY getting back into writing a tad bit. It’s been a whirlwind for the past four years of trying to just keep up with basics and function.

In November I attempted NaNoWriMo. I did not finish, but I did manage 35,000 words on a romance novel. Then I didn’t really look at it again because sickness slammed us hard over and over again until pretty much 2-3 weeks ago when now it’s just waves of it. That or we got used to it. Who knows.

I have no abandoned this piece, but I did start writing a second one, and in about 4-5 days, I’ve gotten close to 15,000 words in. I realize how desperately I need this for me. Soooo I’ll be setting some attainable goals, getting back to my authorly social media and blogging and see where this takes us.

We’re looking at potentially moving 400 miles (final interview is next week for a new job), I’ve got two toddlers at home, I’m having surgery on March 4, and waiting to hear back from a neurologist about a potential MS diagnosis or just stress. So there’s that.

This week my goal is to write five days a week (seven if I’m ambitious) and writing does include one sentence or more and future plotting of stories.

I’m working on two novels right now. My NaNoNovel, There is a Time, and this yet unnamed piece. There is a Time I’m stuck in the middle of the 12th chapter, and this new unnamed piece I just completed the 4th chapter. One is plotted, one is….was….plotted. Both are MILFy, both are romances, both are way different than the other.

That’s just a small update of my life and where I’m at. I’ll be back soon, I hope!

 

 

Running with the #WIPpet #WIPpetWednesday

It’s been 4 weeks since I posted. oooops! my bad! I haven’t done any writing this past month, which saddens me. I need to get back on the boat and I’m hoping posting a WIPpet will help. The blog I was running for reviews has shut down officially, so I should have more time to be writing. It’s only been a week, but I’m still recovering and doing some of the final touches on the blog. Hope to have it completed by the end of next month and wash my hands of it.

I’ve spent a very small amount of time this week looking into marketing for my stories. I’ve gotten slack on it this past year, and I’m definitely seeing it in sales. I need new ideas and new ways to go about doing some marketing that won’t take up too much of my already thin time. Most of what I’ve looked at is how to stream-line everything, not specific tactics, which has actually been rather helpful (for my sanity at least).

Back to WIPpet. This is a continuation of the story I was posting on, Mourn (Kansas Beatitude #2). The funeral is officially over, the service anyway, but they’re still at the church. For some reason, I think make-out scenes in a church are HAWT! hahaha

Today I have 25 sentences. 24 for the day and one for good luck because I so freakin’ need it. This is rough, rough first draft, so yes, typos are included.

Ashley sat her down and shut the door, keeping the lights off. She then disappeared and reappeared with Moira’s plate full of food. “You looked insanely overwhelmed out there.”

“Thanks, I was.”

Moira licked her lips as Ashley sat next to her. Moira’s heart raced as their knees touched. With the services out of the way, Moira could only focus on one thing: Ashley. She’d been there for her throughout the whole week. And if Moira was being honest with herself, there had never been anyone except Ashley.

“I have a few minutes.” Ashley interrupted her thoughts. “Do you need anything else?”

Her voice caught in her throat. Moira bit her lip. She’d been handed a golden opportunity. Ashley was leaning in closer, her eyes focused on her, waiting for an answer to her question. Moira left all other thoughts behind and leaned in, taking the moment as it came.

Their lips touched. Ashley made a surprised noise in the back of her throat, but Moira wasn’t going to let go unless Ashley specifically told her to. She threaded her fingers into the back of Ashley’s hair and tightened her grip, making sure Ashley wasn’t going anywhere. It took Ashley a few more seconds to relax, but when she did, Moira put everything she had into the kiss. She scraped her nails against the nape of Ashley’s neck and slid a hand up her thigh, stopping just as it started to curve into her hip.

Ashley gripped Moira’s arm that was reached out behind her neck and dug her fingers into the fabric. Ashley was moaning, and Moira pressed her tongue against Ashley’s lips. Fluttering her eyes open, she stared in the deep blue before closing them again and focusing only on feeling. It was exactly like they were back in high school again, making out in the locker rooms and the bathrooms and in the back of the school behind the bleachers on the field.

Join WIPpet if you want! All are welcome to join. Make a blog post with a snippet from your WIP (Work In Progress). The only hard fast rule is that your WIPpet somehow relate to the date. Then head on over here and link it up. Go to all the other WIPs and check them out, commenting, because we’re all comment whores!

Decisions, Decisions, will they come back to haunt us? #WIPpetWednesday #WIPpet #AmWriting

I’m excited to say that I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time writing this week. I feel like I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. On Monday I wrote close to 5,000 words, so I guess that helps makes up for my ROW80 goals that I’ve missed. I need to write about 1500 words every day to maintain my ROW80 goals.

I’m very close to being halfway done with this short story, word count wise. There are three more scenes to write, although I could probably cut one if I really wanted to. I’ll decide when I get there. I figured out what the first story in the Kansas Beatitudes “Poor in Spirit” is going to be about, which makes me super happy, and I’m finding a way to connect each story to each other with characters that cross over as side characters. In other words, Ashley shows up in the first story, and Martha will show up in the third story (it’ll actually be about Martha). I do need to plan out/get an idea for the third story though.

On a side note: I was looking at different publishers to possibly submit these short stories to. I could self-publish, which is still on the table, but I prefer a publisher if only for the fact that I want to be a bit lazier with these stories until I really get back on my feet. I have a list of publishers to send to; I’m just not sure which one I’ll send to first. Anyway, back on track, I was looking at one of these publisher’s open calls, and they’re seeking holiday stories. I have one that’s not quite finished but is well over the halfway point. I could easily finish it up and submit it. My only hesitation is that it’s M/M and not F/F. I don’t want to piss off my F/F readers, so I’m thinking if I did do that I’d submit under a different pen name (one I’ve thought about for a long time), but then again, I don’t want it to be a one-off story pen name either. ugh, so many decisions that are really minor and I just need to make them.

I could consider converting the story to be F/F, but that’d take quite a bit of time (not that I don’t have time, the submission isn’t due until Sept 15th), but I’m not sure how much of the story will be lost if I change the sex of the main two characters. It’s something for me to ruminate on for sure.

Back on track of what today is all about. My WIPpet! This is an excerpt from Mourn, Kansas Beatitude #2. Because I’m writing this post on Tuesday instead of in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, I was able to get super creative with the math for the day.

2016 / 7 [month] = 288 + (7 [day] – 2 [day]) = 293 and you get 293 words today from Mourn.

She sniffled but didn’t dare repeat herself. It might have been twenty years since Moira had left, but it had taken her twenty years to admit out loud that Moira leaving had hurt her so much that she was still dealing with it. Swallowing, Ashley shuffled in the chair, not quite sure what to say.

“I’m so sorry,” Moira whispered, reaching out and gripping Ashley’s fingers tightly. She curved their hands together and didn’t seem to be letting go any time soon. “I didn’t know what to tell you.”

“The truth would have been a good place to start.” Ashley’s voice rang through her kitchen, and she bit her tongue. She was usually so much better at hiding her emotions than this.

Moira licked her lips and straightened her back, but she didn’t let go of Ashley’s hand. “I told you the truth back then, and I’ll tell you again now. I loved you, Ashley, more than I thought was possible.”

“You loved me, but you left.” She was whispering but it was more like screaming. The last thing she wanted was for her son to hear what was going on and tell his father, only to have his father take them all back to court for custody again. “You abandoned me our last year of school. We could have both gotten out of here, but you had to shove me in the garbage along with everything else you left behind.”

“Ash—”

“Don’t. Just don’t. You have no idea what that did to me because you didn’t care to look. It’s been twenty years, so just leave it alone.”

“Ash, I looked. Trust me. I saw everything that was happening to you, more than you saw. I was trying to protect you.”

If you want to want to join in WIPpet Wednesdays, all are welcome to participate. Simply make a blog post with a snippet from your Work In Progress. The only hard fast rule is that it has to relate somehow to the date. It’s your choice how it relates. Once you have your post done, then head on over to our wonderful hostess & link it up with the rest of the WIPpets. Visit everyone you can! We’re all comment whores. =P

A new work in progress #Mourn #KansasBeatitude #WIPpet

It’s been a while since I’ve done WIPpet. It’s also been a while since I’ve written and posted on this blog. I’m attempting to get back on track with this writing stuff and back into the habit of writing everyday.

I’ve joined up with ROW80 this round in an attempted to basically write one short story every ten days. It’s not going well. I still only have 2500 words that I wrote the first day, but I’m going to share some of it today.

The idea for this series of short stories is romance shorts based on the beatitudes. There are eight beatitudes in total, and each short story will be a minimum of 15,000 words, totaling 120,000 words when I finish all eight. I have all but 3 planned with basic plots, and I’ve been working on the second beatitude since that plot came easiest for me. Each short story will take place in Kansas (where I’m currently stationed) thus making the theme complete.

I do hope I can finish them all so I can publish these. =P But it’s romance so maybe it was a bad idea to write romance to get me back into the game since it’s not my strongest genre. Oh well, only time will tell.

WIPpet Wednesday is a day where we post snippets from our Work In Progress. It’s got one very simple rule: your snippet must in some way relate to the date. For this WIPpet, I’ll be sharing from Mourn, Kansas Beatitude #2. These are the first 21 sentences of the piece, 20 for today’s date and one for good luck because I really need it. This is straight draft form, and I haven’t gone through it at all, so forgive the typos/grammar/spelling.

“Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted.”

With her finger bent, she rapped her knuckle against the screen door. The wooden door was wide open, and the heat from the house, which was actually a business, rushed through the screen and barely touched her cheeks. Taking a  deep breath, Moira sturdied her shoulders and waited for someone to answer. The figure shown through the door in seconds, and she took a step back off the cement deck so the door could be opened.

“My sister called and said this is where I was supposed to meet you?” Moira said it like a question, but she knew exactly where she was. She’d only been there once before when she was a little kid and her grandmother had died, but she remembered the smell of the makeshift funeral home distinctly.

“Moira.” The voice was smooth and warm.

Moira finally raised her gaze, locking her eyes with the woman standing on the other side of the doorway, pity lacing her features. Moira gritted her teeth and tensed her shoulders. She had never expected that woman to be standing in front of her, had never expected to see her again, in fact, she had prayed every night for years that she wouldn’t have to look upon her beautiful face again.

“Get in here out of the cold.”

Without saying another word, Moira pushed her way through the screen door until she stood just inside. Shivering in the sudden warmth, she stripped off her winter jacket and twirled her scarf from around her neck. She was going to be there a while, whether she wanted to be or not. With her heart racing, Moira lifted her gaze once again, this time prepared.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see you again, Ashley.”

Ashely gave a wry smile and took Moira’s jacket, hanging it next to the door. “Me either. Thought you’d left never to return.”

Want to join in WIPpet? Check out the linkie here.

Back for some WIPpet Wednesday #WIPpetWednesday #amwriting

Oh if only I remember clearly how to do this and where the links are and everything! It has been so long since I’ve been apart of WIPpet, and I sorely miss it.

I’ve decided to post from this scifi tentacle thing I started writing the other day. I’ve only made it 2000 words into it. I’d also love to finish this paranormal romance novella thing I started forever and a day ago that I’ve only ever made it halfway through the first chapter. OOOOoooops! In the upcoming months, I’d love to finish this and I need to (read have to, must, absolutely) finish De-Termination, which brings me back to Faye & her wild and crazy antics. De-Termination releases Oct 1, and I haven’t even written it. I do have a pretty cover for it though! And a blurb.

De-TerminationFINAL

 

Faye has never been more determined in her life.

 

After becoming an integral part of Molly’s crew to find unique creatures, Faye feels she’s finally found a place she can stick around for a few years. She grows more comfortable with the team each passing day, and when Molly sends her and Benjamin on a job, she jumps at the opportunity.

Disaster strikes only a few days in. As chaos crumbles down around her, Faye doesn’t know where to turn for help. Dealing with the hiccups of life and plans has always been easy, but this time, Faye’s not sure she’ll survive. Her only hope is that Molly can find her in time.

 

Here’s to hoping being a part of WIPpet will give me the kick in my ass to start writing again. Here’s 9 paragraphs from this scifi short story I started. It’s at the very beginning, and I think the only thing you need to know is that Calleen works in receiving on a station.

Klockow stomped over to her, his thick metal boots clacking against the metal floor. Cal’s shoulders tensed. He always made her do that. She breathed deeply as she grabbed the last plastibox and slid it onto the hoverpad.

“Calleen,” he said, his gruff and deep voice reverberating in her chest.

“Yes, sir?” she asked, straightening her back and looking him over. His wide chest was probably half her height, and he stood over her to the point where she had to strain her neck just to make out his drool soaked beard. Kloakan’s were one of the ugliest species out there, according to more than just humans, and Cal agreed with them.

“This is Rev.”

A small woman popped her head out from behind Klockow and gave Cal a small wave with one of her bright green tentacles. Her smile seemed to be a mix of excitement and nerves. Cal didn’t dare smile back.

“She needs to be trained, and Halvarti is out today.”

“Yes, sir,” Cal replied. She tried her best not to say more than those two words to Klockow, but it didn’t always work out.

Grunting as more drool slipped down his beard and onto the metal floor below, Klockow looked Cal over carefully. “Train her right and you might get a bonus.”

“Yes, sir.” That time she said the words with a bit more enthusiasm. Any bonus would help her out in the long run. The credits would be funneled exactly where they needed to go: to her son.

If you want to join in WIPpet! DO IT! It’s open to any and all who care to join in. You just go over here to our awesome linkie after making your blog post and then add it in. Check out other WIPpeteers while you’re at it and give us load of comments because we’re all comment whores. Thanks to are amazing hostess, Emily Witt, for taking the time to run it!

 

*cracks whip* WIPetty WIPetty WIPetty #WIPpetWednesday

Good morning!! I’m back for a second week in a row. That’s like a record or something. I did finish NaNo on the 14th. And since my in-laws canceled Thanksgiving with us, I now have the opportunity to finish writing the book this month. 3.5 chapters and an epilogue left to go. w00t! then I get to start the wonderful editing process.

For this week’s snippet, I chose the scene pretty much directly after the last one. I’m trying not to give away too many hints, and that’s going to get hard to do real soon. Here are 16 sentences from chapter 2 of OBlique. Here’s my math. 2-1 = 1 and 5 +1 = 6. 1 and 6 makes 16 when put side by side. =P

“So at Logan’s this girl pretty much fainted in one of the aisles.”

“And you just happened to be there?” Sissy asked, flipping her silky hair over her shoulder.

Jaclyn had always been jealous of her looks. Where she was tiny and scrawny and could easily pass for a boy if she wanted to, Sissy was curvy and voluptuous in all the right places. “Yes, I just happened to be there buying my dinner. Anyway, Dale didn’t know what to do, so I had to intervene.”

“Ahh, playing the hero. And was this lass pretty?”

Jaclyn pursed her lips. Her cheeks reddened and her chest heated. Before she could respond in either the affirmative of the negative, Sissy was pushing at her shoulders.

“Oh my God, she was, wasn’t she?”

Jaclyn nodded.

“Come on, Tiny. Spill the details.”

“Ugh, you know I hate that.”

“Spill!”

Taking a deep breath, Jaclyn leaned back into the couch again as she flicked her tennis shoes off her feet and curled her legs under her body. “Nothing much. She said she got dizzy and tried to sit down. I think she sat down harder than she expected to.”

“And you did a medical exam?”

Jaclyn gave Sissy a short look. “Get your head out of the romance novel, Lenora. That’s not how it works in the real world.”
Sissy clicked her tongue and shook her head. “That’s how it happened with me and Dougie.”

“Dougie and me,” Jaclyn corrected.

“Shh. It can happen anyway.”

And that’s it folks! All are welcome to join in the WIPeteering fun. Just make a blog post with a snippet somehow related to the date and linkie up here. As for the rest of what’s going on in my world…

Yesterday I had an odd and interesting thing happen to me. While I was avoiding writing, because why else would I write, I was working on whatever I could find. That meant first edits for Lost & Forsaken so I could send to betas, copy-edits on my short Deathscape with has a potential release date of April 6th with Less Than Three Press, and then I did finally get to writing on this new thing OBlique and promoting my release for Grace through Redemption happening on Dec 1. Like…how many more books/stories can I add into that chaos in one day!?

That’s the odd that. Oh! And I finally got video of bumblebee kicking up a storm in my belly. It’s about time. Only took months to get a good enough video of it happening.