Sunday, October 28, 2012

Who wants a do over?!

*raises hand while jumping up and down*

Book Club, an unexpected death, a wedding shower, work, coffee with former students that lasted 3 hours longer than it should have, writing, and a huge storm heading this way has made for a week I wish I could forget. I mean seriously  there is only so much a girl can take. Next week doesn't look much better. I have a funeral to attend, a divorce trial (I represent the kids, thank god, since the kids are the only sane and rational minds of the bunch), the storm (which I hope to heck it isn't as bad as people are predicting), and another really horrible, heartbreaking case I've been assigned to. (I represent the kids, which makes the horrible, heartbreaking part of it that much worse. But, it's what I do so...*shrugs*) With everything happening, my emotions have been run through the gamut. This is a 'calgon, take me away' moment if there ever was one.

I'm not bitching about this to complain or make it seem like I'm fishing for sympathy, this is just where my head is at.  Most of what I listed is out of my control, so I'll just deal with it. But it doesn't make it suck any less. (And I foresee me escaping into a good book or twelve during the week. Just sayin'! :D )

Anyways, enough about that. Here's my ROW80 update for the week:
  • Write 5K words for the week: Because I've finished with my NaNo prep (it's almost here! GAH!) I managed to get some actual scene writing in on a new-ish idea I've had in my mind. My word count for this week (of words that didn't totally suck anyways) was 3914.  (I also got a bit of outlining done on a collaborative WIP a friend and I are writing. Yay!)
  • Continue edits on Finding Home as they come in: I have not touched these. *headdesks* Can someone please give me a few more hours in each day? Just say, three or four? I promise I will use them wisely. 
  • Post at least one ROW80 Update (either Wed. or Sun.): Done.
  • Post one non-ROW80 post: Last week I didn't hit this goal. This week I posted two! 
    • On Thursday it was Books, Books Everywhere and if you are a book addict like I am (i.e. love to read books, can't stop buying them, always have a book in your purse or bag, etc.) you might appreciate this. 
    • On Friday I kind of lost my mind and went off on a tangent. I've been on a TV news media hiatus and I slipped on Friday. If you don't like reading rants about news and/or politics (though it's not really political. I am an equally opportunist when it comes to my disgust with the government! :D ). You can read it HERE if you're so inclined. [And on a quasi-related note, it's been so hard to give up the TV news since I am a news junkie. But I'm working on breaking this habit and after my slip on Friday, I quickly remembered all the reasons to give it up. Progress!]
  • Complete major, serious, HUGE, scary work project by end of the week: In progress. I had wanted to get this done by Monday. I am thinking that, given most of last week was a bust in terms of work productivity I will extend this due date to Oct. 31. I would like to get this done before NaNo begins. 
My goals for next week are as follows:
  • Write 5K quality words for the week
  • Continue edits on Finding Home
  • Post at least one ROW80 update (Wed, Sun. or both)
  • Post at least one non-ROW80 blog post
  • Complete major work project this week (Oct. 31)
I hope everyone in the east is prepared for the "Frankenstorm" that is on its way. Stay safe! And let's hope the storm hype is worse than its bite! *keeps fingers crossed!*

Friday, October 26, 2012

What Happened To No Man Left Behind?

[The following is a rant (take note of the bold and italics! :)  )Also, this post could be viewed as political in nature, which I normally try to avoid. And some might take offense. So if you are easily offended, or prefer to steer clear of politics, news and current events, do not proceed. Also, please understand this is my opinion. I respect other peoples' opinions (I welcome them in fact!).  And I also welcome respectful and informed debate. (I am a lawyer after all!) So leave me a comment but try to be nice and not too mean! Thanks!]

Remember when I gave up the news about a month ago? Well I did, and up until Friday, things were going really well. Originally I wasn't going to turn it back on until after the election  but when I got home Friday I turned the TV on fully intending to watch VH1 or the Food Network. (I am slightly obsessed with Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Ask me about my trip to Hawaii and the miles and miles of walking I did in flip flops all to find a hot dog place.)

Anyways, back to the news. I turned on the TV and the channel was turned to the news. (This was because my dad had stopped over while I was out, and watched the news while he was fixing the cupboard in the kitchen). So before I could change the channel I hear something about the attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th 2012. 

Instead of turning the channel, I kept it on and now, I'm pissed off and seriously freaking sad. 

First, let me say, I don't care about the election or the whole President thing. Whoever wins, nothing is going to change and I am still going to have to get up and go to work in the morning. I will vote, but I'm just not all that enthused. But whatever. This isn't about politics. It's about a government who failed its heroes. 

When I heard the newscaster say  there was an unmanned drone recording the attack I was stunned. When I heard there were people about 400 miles away that could have gotten there, I was shocked. When I heard them say that some of those units could have helped (and some wanted to) because they were close, my heart started to ache. 

Those units that were close apparently didn't get the go ahead from the people watching the freakin tragedy in real freaking time because people weren't sure of all of the dangers.  Hello?! All the dangers?! Seriously,  I have a question for all those in the government who were watching this while people fought to their deaths, literally:  What the hell are you talking about? Of course there are dangers! And of course you won't know them all!! Who cares?! For the love of god, just do something! 

This was some of the other info from the news report:  Americans were pinned down and being attacked and killed, while radioing in for help multiple times. One former Navy Seal (and at the time of the attack was a CIA agent) defied orders to stand down so he could try to save the Ambassador and others. He was unable to save the Ambassador and another embassy worker, but he was able to save others.  While this man and another former Seal (also a CIA agent at the time) manned a gun on the roof to try and protect those still alive, they could see where the terrorists were targeting them from.  They radioed in the coordinates of the attackers but there was no air support to come and take the bad guys out! Both men died when mortars hit the roof. 

I don't know why this story is affecting me so much. But I feel sick over this. If this information is true then what the hell is happening with our government?  And I don't want to hear that there was too much risk. I do not want to hear that excuse! Because that is what it is. It is an excuse. Hell the Seals got Bin Laden in another freaking country for god's sake and we couldn't get into Benghazi, Libya to rescue our people who were under freakin' attack by mortars, after the insurgents killed our Ambassador on our soil?! (He was killed at the consulate which is U.S. sovereign territory, therefore our soil.) GIVE ME A BREAK!

I grew up around military folks. My mom was in the army before I was born. My dad was in the Reserves. My uncle was in the Army and retired after 20+ years. My cousin was in the Army. Three of my grandparents served in World War II as did my great-uncles. I wanted to do ROTC when I went to college but I couldn't because my eyesight sucks. I love this country and our military. As do most Americans. Honor, loyalty, fighting for freedom, those were principles instilled in me since I was born. As was the following principle: No Man Left Behind.  Ever. Never Ever.

The government let people down on September 11th 2012. I don't care who it was. I don't care why. All I care about is that for one reason or another, a bad decision was made and people died. And if it comes out that the US reaction to this attack was soft because of some stupid political reason or something to do with concerns about the election, then people should be ashamed of themselves.  We need leaders, not career politicians worried about saving their own jobs. And we need term limits too, for all of those who are elected to the federal government. (Congress, I am looking at all of you! *gives them all a scowly face*)

I'm so disgusted right now. This should be all over the freaking news! Every journalist should be on top of this and asking questions.  But it's not on all the news shows. It's being buried. I even had trouble finding information on it. And before anyone can say it, had this happened under the prior administration not only would I have also been having this reaction, but I imagine that the mainstream media would be tearing Bush apart and it would be at the top of ALL the newscasts. And rightly so. So why aren't they doing that now?!

I hope we get answers soon. More importantly I hope the families of those killed get answers. Rest in peace brave heroes. You won't be forgotten.

And now I'm turning the off again. Maybe this time for good. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Books, Books Everywhere

I just found a ton of books (paperbacks) that I have yet to read piled high on my bookshelf. Seriously like, I found at least 15 (and that was just on ONE of my bookshelves!). *starts pulling at hair in distress*

I can only surmise that, since I very rarely buy books in paper format anymore, that these were purchases made pre-Nook color. And for whatever reason, they've been sitting on my shelf since then. But, whenever I bought them doesn't really matter. What matters is that I need to read them. And then I need to read the books on my Nook (of which there are a lot) and on my tablet via the Amazon Kindle app (of which there are only a few since I only go to Amazon if they are exclusive there and I have a gift certificate.)

As you might have guessed, I have no will power when it comes to buying books. When I see one I want (especially if it's by an author I love or in a series I am reading) and it's reasonably priced I can't help myself from snapping it right up. (And I add in the 'reasonably priced' bit because of my previous rant about book prices which can be found HERE. I still refuse to pay 12.99 for an eBook  Even if I was a freaking millionaire and had oodles of cash sitting around, I wouldn't do it. I just cannot justify paying that much for ONE eBook.)

Anyways, back to the problem at hand: book buying.  In order to fix this issue, starting November 1st, I am going to limit my book purchases (if I make any) to two books per month, or monetarily speaking, no more than $20 bucks per month spent on books. And since I gave up buying tea in the morning on my way to work and I gave up once a week take out, in the end I will end up saving money. (And that savings, even though small, will go into my vacation fund.)

Some might ask why don't I just stop buying more books until I am done with what I have.  Well, I have a simple answer for this. I am weak. I just cannot go cold turkey and I know it would be an epic fail. I'm addicted people. I would need Chantix for books to accomplish this. Or a 12 step program like Book Buyers Anonymous.

So, now I have to go through the books that need reading and find some order to the chaos.  Once I do that, I foresee many late nights in my future as I work on whittling down this pile. But then, what better way to spend the evenings than curled up with a good book?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The End of a Mediocre Week: A ROW80 Update

I love the Fall. It's my favorite season. But the swing in temperateness we've been having has been wreaking havoc on my sinuses. I woke up Thursday feeling like my head weighed about 1000 pounds. Even today I feel like I've been kicked in the face by a very angry and burly biker dude wearing steel toed boots. This means I haven't had a great week in terms of my goals but, I did what I could.
  • Write 5K words for the week: I've been slow on this front. Very slow. Wednesday I decided to strive for 5K quality words a week and I only ended up (for the week), getting just over 2400 down. This is of course better than nothing and I'm happy with what I've gotten done (better than nothing right!?), but I need to do better. 
    • As an aside, someone asked me how I would measure 'quality' and I thought about that a lot the last few days. It's subjective of course, but for me it has a lot to do with thinking about what I want to write before I write it. I want to take more time with the words I'm getting down now that I've gotten in the habit of writing every day. As I noted in Wednesday's check-in, I'm becoming more of a plotter and this, I think, has helped me in working towards this. Having a plan means I now have an idea where I am going with my story so I can take the time to choose the words instead of just tossing words on the page and going back later to see what sticks and what has to be changed. The idea is to spend less time on revisions later because I've put more thought into the words the first time around. (I hope that made sense, cold meds are making me fuzzy! Gah!)
  • Continue edits on Finding Home as they come in: I received revisions/notes back on Friday but haven't had a chance to go through them yet. I am seeing a week's worth of editing sprints on the horizon and I can't wait! :) 
  • Post at least one ROW80 Update (either Wed. or Sun.): Done.
  • Post one non-ROW80 post: Fail. My brain had only so much space this week and between work, writing and this cold, I didn't get a post in. 
  • Complete research for major, serious, HUGE, scary work project by end of the week: In progress. I have a lot of ground to make up in the next few days.

Though I've had a mediocre week in terms of my weekly goals, I can say that I have completed one of my longer term goals 10 days before the deadline. My goal was: Finish prep on Wanted by October 31st for NaNoWriMo. I can happily report that this is done! *happy dances*

Next week, my weekly goals will remain the same though my writing may have to take a backseat so I can finish my work project. Tuesday and Wednesday I am in my office all day and I have already warned people my phone will be turned off to get it done. I may also barricade the door. And put up some razor wire to stop would be interrupters from barging in.

I'm off to get some more tea, curl up on the couch for awhile and listen to Mumford and Sons. I hope everyone had a great week and good luck with your goals!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

From Panster to Plotter: A ROW80 Check In

I think it is pretty safe to say that, if the last few months are any indication, I am becoming more of a plotter and less of a panster when it comes to writing.

Up until late summer I'd always been the type to just sit and write, with only a vague idea about my WIP in my head and scattered notes all over my desk and in my notebooks. But over the last few months I've slowly been incorporating more outlining and planning techniques (as well as getting more organized) into my writing and I am loving the results. And as I prepare for NaNo (by making an outline, scene list and character sketches) I have high hopes I will be ready to go when November 1st comes around. *fingers crossed*

But enough about that (for now!). Here is my ROW80 mid week check in:
  • Write 5K words for the week: On Sunday I was unsure whether I would stick with this weekly word count because last week I wrote less than 5K but the quality was better. After some thought I've decided to make this goal more difficult, because (1) I like a challenge (and the whole point of a challenge is to be challenged, right?! LOL) and (2) I am, apparently, crazy!  I am going to modify this goal to be: write 5K quality words every week. This is a much harder goal to hit I think since, though there are times I can get a lot of words down, they can sometimes end up needing to be be totally retooled or scrapped entirely when I revise because they aren't up to par.  With this modified goal in mind, I've managed about 1200 words so far.  I have a ways to go to hit 5K, but I'm going to try! 
  • Continue edits on Finding Home as they come in: Not  much to say other than in progress.
  • Post at least one ROW80 Update (either Wed. or Sun.): I've met this goal by posting today. But I am still going to try my best to check in Sunday as well. 
  • Post one non-ROW80 post: I'm unsure what to post about this week so hopefully something comes to me in the next couple days! 
  • Complete research for major, serious, HUGE, scary work project by end of the week: Monday I did not get one thing done on this project because of the dazed and confused state I was in. Tuesday I didn't either as I focused on getting through a pile of work I needed to get done and had been delaying on. Wednesday I am out of the office until the afternoon. This leaves me Thursday and Friday, since I do not want to work over the weekend. The possibility of weekend work should be enough for me to get this done by Friday. I hope!
So that's it for me; nothing too exciting. I'm off to a meeting outside the office and have to post this quick before I'm late. I hope everyone is having a rockin week and happy writing!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tweaking My Goals: A ROW80 Check In

This week I've decided to start delineating my weekly goals from ones which are longer term. I should have done this when I first posted my goals but better late than never I guess! I won't be addressing the longer term/date specific goals every week in terms of progress (unless I finish early or have to modify them) but I wanted to list them here so I can keep myself accountable. So my goals for the end of the round, or those that have specific dates attached them, are as follows:
  • Finish major, serious, HUGE, scary work project by Oct. 29th
  • Continue outlining/prepping Wanted for NaNo and have this done by Oct. 31st
  • Finish final edits of Finding Home and publish by Nov. 1st (and pick cover at book club! Gah!)
  • Complete draft of Wanted by the end of Round 4
Now, on to this past week and how I did:
  • Write 5000 words a week: Although I wrote every day my word count was lower than expected. I hit 3043. Even though I didn't hit my goal I'm okay with this because I found the quality of my words this week a lot higher than usual. So maybe less is more? I think I need another week or two to ponder whether to stay at 5K or lower it. I like having a high number to strive for, but I want quality words too.
  • Finding Home (Ashten Falls #1): Yes, I am no longer calling it 'book 1'. I was going to wait until I revealed the cover to reveal the title, but it was annoying to call it book 1. As for progress, one of my favorite people in the entire world is pouring through this as we speak and I have been editing as her comments come in. 
  • Wanted (Ashten Falls #2):  I've given book 2 a tentative title as well so YAY for more progress!! This past week I continued to focus on my outline and scene list. I need to be ready for NaNoWriMo!
  • Minimum One ROW80 Check: I missed the check in on Wednesday but I hit today.
  • One Non-ROW80 post per week: I posted something on Friday (not writing related at all; actually more serious than my usual chatter about TV, books, music, and zombies!).  The post can be found HERE.  
Next week my goals are as follows:
  • Write 5K words for the week
  • Continue edits on Finding Home as they come in
  • Post at least one ROW80 Update (either Wed. or Sun.)
  • Post one non-ROW80 post 
  • Complete research for major, serious, HUGE, scary work project by end of the week
And in case anyone wasn't aware, THE ZOMBIES ARE BACK TONIGHT! *squeals* Yes people, The Walking Dead is back with its season premiere. Although the gore freaks me out (it looks way to real *shivers*) and I will likely dream of zombies chasing me, I am sure the show's writers will make it all worth it. I hope! Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well with their goals and see you around the ROW!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pardon The Interuption

I gave up watching the news a couple weeks ago due to an incredible burn out on election coverage (see the post here) and the ridiculous lies and misrepresentations BOTH parties are involved in this election cycle. However, I did cave and, during a moment last night where sleep would not come, I watched the replay of the VP debate. Seriously bad idea and I'm starting to think that moment of sleeplessness was also a moment of insanity.

I won't go into my specific political views other than to say that, my political view is one where individuals shouldn't push their political views on others. I feel the same way about religion. You believe what you want to believe, I'll believe what I want to believe. You want to be a Democrat, Republican, Independent  Green party (whatever that is) or start a new party to elect the Geico Gecko as President (this may be me at this point. I seriously F-ing hate politics) more power to ya. Just don't tell me what to believe or try to win points with me using stupid, empty, nonsensical facts that pander to only your side. I am not an idiot.

That being said, I do have to comment about VP Biden's performance last night in terms of style. He's a lawyer, as I am. So I expected his style to be, strong, but also humble and respectful.  As a lawyer you learn to respect the adversary, even if you don't agree with and even if instances where you loathe that person and wish they were anywhere but in your universe, let alone your vicinity. Because of the need to do this, you learn through debates, oral arguments and trials, that decorum and style is key. This is especially true when one has to argue before a judge or jury. Basically, the idea is to avoid looking like...well to avoid looking the way Biden looked last night.

Mr. Biden was rude. He kept interrupting  chuckling, smiling, and acting ridiculous. He certainly wasn't acting like I would except a lawyer, who served in the Senate for many years and now is the sitting VP of the United States to act. Even when I muted the sound he still looked bad. It was kind of embarrassing to watch.

Some people may think Biden was aggressive and they liked that about him. But for me, he came off as arrogant and thinking he was better than his opponent (and for that matter everyone else who might dare to disagree with him.)  I don't need or want aggression, a lack of humility and someone acting like I'm a moron. I want truth from both sides.  I want things to get better. And sadly I got the impression that whether I vote for Obama, Romney, the Geico Gecko, or the man in the moon, that isn't going to happen.

Is it me, or do they all (i.e. politicians and news media types) talk to us like we're stupid? Anyone else think our fore fathers are spinning in their graves at the state of our Union? I swear I feel like I need to take a shower in bleach to cleanse me after the mudslinging theatrics from both sides last night. I am going back to enjoy my self-imposed hiatus from it all. At this rate, I don't think I'll ever come back.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Forward Progress: ROW80 Check-In

This week found me crazy productive on the writing front. After getting my notes together that were scattered about for the WIPs I've got going, I'm much more calm about what I have to do and how to do it. Outlines, I'm learning, are a freaking lifesaver. At least in my case they are. I don't get overly detailed but just having it there, where I can look back and see where I am and where I need to go, definitely keeps me on track.  (And by the way, thanks everyone for your thoughts on Wednesday's post about Evernote and Scrivener!) My only wish for this Round of ROW80 is that I have more weeks like this in the future, and I don't lose my momentum. I know I will stumble. Life if life after all and who knows what curve balls will be thrown my way. But I can live with that as long as I can pick myself up, find my footing and move forward.

And on that optimistic note, here's my check-in:

Write 5K Words Per Week:  I hit 5681 as of Saturday afternoon. The words were split between Book 1 (I totally re-wrote two scenes which came out so much better!), Book 2, and a new idea that has been niggling in the back of my head for awhile. The main characters in that WIP have been overly chatty and I needed to get them out of my head so I could focus on other things.

Book 1: I knew Wednesday I had to put this aside for a few days. I was fretting and fixating on anything I could find "wrong" with it. This I knew was not good. So I ignored it and worked on other writing related WIPs/outlines, and didn't touch it until yesterday. It was a huge help. I came back to it and saw it with a fresher perspective and was way less critical. (I am my own worst critic, sadly.) Definitely need to remember to do this in the future when I'm freaking out like I was.

Book 2: I added some more info to my outline which is helping to keep me organized and added about 1500 words.

Blog a minimum once per week for ROW80: Done. I hit both posts this week. Yay!!

One blog post per week (not including the ROW80 Check-Ins): I posted on Friday about some much needed motivation I was lacking in my work-outs. It's a humorous post (at least I think it is), so if you want to take a look, or need some inspiration and/or motivation to reach your health/work out/being active goals, or want a laugh at what a dork I am, have a look HERE.

I am hoping to get some more writing in today but that will have to wait until I come home from my sister's Sunday Football Feast. This will entail a torturous couple hours where she will try to feed me food that is not, in any way at all healthy. All while I, use every ounce of willpower, to resist. (She can eat anything and not gain an ounce. I do not have this 'problem'). I asked if I could bring something and I learned not to do that again. Silly me, thinking a veggie platter and some hummus would be acceptable. Maybe I should do an extra workout, or twelve, before I go to her house. *shakes head in resigned frustration*  Have a great Sunday and good luck this week on your goals!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Apocalyptic Preparedness: Why I Need To Step Up My Game

I live on a busy road, and though my house is set quite a ways back from said road, when I have the windows open in my bedroom I can hear the traffic. During the day, when I'm trying to fall asleep at night, when I wake up, it's just always there. I've gotten used to it but there are times that I miss living farther out of town where the only sounds were whatever birds were awake fluttering about and the smalls animals running around. 

So this morning when I was startled awake at 3:00 a.m. it took nary a second to realize how quiet it was outside. Like so quiet it kind of creeped me out a little. No, let me amend that. It didn't 'kind of' creep me out. It just did. And it was more than a little. I strained my ears but I heard no cars, no sounds of squirrels, birds, bugs or other creatures. No wind. No nothing. Ever get that feeling--where you get the chills and the hair on the back of your neck is standing up, but you just can't explain why?  Well that was me. I was out of it, trying to figure out why I jolted awake (which I still haven't figured out) and my first random, and clearly incoherent thought was, "wtf happened!?!".  

It was in this sleepy incoherence in the dead of the quietest night ever, that I became all too aware of the old house I live in. This had my mind wandering to all things scary and terrifying, including but not limited to vampires, werewolves, demons, aliens, and of course, zombies and I began to wonder if, should there be a Apocalypse, I could survive. I was not happy with the answer I came up with.  

Why wasn't I happy? Because my survivability rate is not looking good. Let's be honest. I am no spring chicken (I am closing in on 35 way to freakin fast). And also I might be getting better at maintaining my health and working out more, but I am no where near where I need to be to fend off all manner of danger that could lurk in an end of the world scenario. I can't do a damn thing about the first issue (sadly...), but the second, well the second is something I can control.

I mean seriously, if there are going to be zombies, demons, werewolves, vampires, aliens, and/or any other kind of apocalyptic baddies I really need to step up my game and get my ass in better shape. Hell even if the baddies are of the human variety (say, for example, a scenario akin to the destruction of the world's electrical grids and all hell breaking loose as happened in the new show Revolution), I need to be ready. Now perhaps I don't need to go out and practice with a crossbow or get trained in sword fighting, but I should be able to get through a tough 1 hour cardio workout without feeling like I might pass out. I am also thinking that I need to take up running. I hate running but if the zombies or demons or whatever takes over the world and it becomes survival of the fittest I need to learn to run without falling over my feet and taking a header into the sidewalk. (And yes, I've done this. I am the most uncoordinated person I know.) I think I also need to get a bike. It won't help in the winter, but in the other three seasons I could learn to out-bike a zombie riot should that become necessary. The demons, werewolves, aliens and vampires...well that's another story. Especially if the aliens can teleport. One problem at a time though.  

Right now, it's about kick starting my work out to fight off any end of the world hordes in whatever form they may come at me in. My first step will be adding some kickboxing to the rotation. Well, that and learning how to sharpen stakes without slicing any appendages off.

So kickboxing, running, biking, sharpening stakes...I've decided this is my Apocalypse Preparedness plan and my new workout plan. I'll worry about hording food after I get myself into Buffy-esque shape. Okay, so maybe I won't ever get in that good of shape, but even if I get a tenth of the strength the Slayer had, that should be good enough to increase my odds of surviving. It's all about baby steps after all. And whenever I think of complaining, procrastinating or otherwise not working out, I will remind myself of the impending doom and get my butt off the couch.  Instead of no pain no gain my new motto will be: 

Not getting off my ass and working out means I could die a painful, horrible, torturous death at the hands of flesh eating zombies, soul sucking demons, blood sucking vampires, throat ripping werewolves and/or evil baddies of the human variety intent on world dominance and/or destruction. 

This I think should do the trick in terms of motivation. It's too long for a bumper sticker, but I could probably have a banner made for my living room. And now even though I've been up since 3 a.m. I am going to tackle my first Apocalyptic Preparedness workout: the kickboxing DVD I've had sitting around forever but have never used. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Getting Organized: ROW80 Mid-Week Check-In

Oh what a week's in been and it's only Wednesday! I got myself organized earlier this week and it has made getting items on my to-do list done much easier. I mean, it's still crazy long, but I've been able to tick some things off that have been piled on my desk for awhile now. Now if only I can be this organized every week I might find more time to write and read and, oh yeah, maybe have a life outside of work!!! This should be motivation enough for me to stay that course, but perhaps I need a post it on my computer screen to remind me...

Anyways, in getting myself organized I got around to taking all my notes and outlines that I have on my works-in-progress (which are several!) and putting them in One Note. I've had this program awhile and I use it for work projects, but I've never used it for my writing. By getting all my notes together in one place I feel so much more focused, and it has cut down on the random documents I've had saved in various locations on my computer and the post-it's I have everywhere. I know there is a program out there, Evernote, that is similar and I've heard people rave about it. I may switch to that some point but I need to look into it some more. At some point I will likely cave and get Scrivener, but perhaps when things at work die down and I can concentrate on learning how that program works. Right now if I bought it, it would sit there for awhile until I had the time to go through it.  Anyone have any familiarity with these programs or comparisons? Do you use a program like Evernote and Scrivener? Or does Scrivener do the same thing as Evernote?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this if you have 'em!

And now, back to the task at is my mid-week check in:

Write 5000 words per week: I've written 1993 so far this week which leaves me with just over 3000 words to go.

Pick a cover and get Book 1 of my new series out by November 1:  The title of the book won't be Book 1 by the way. LOL! I am just waiting to reveal that when I have the cover picked!  Anyways, this goal is in progress so not much to update here. I do have one worry though about the book in general.  I have been re-reading through this (for the millionth time), and I'm starting to wonder if it is suspenseful enough.  It's not a mystery, it's not a suspense.  It's more chick lit/contemporary with a mystery/suspense element.  As a reader, when I find a book I want to see character growth and development and a side mystery is fun and can add to that growth and development when done right. But I'm waffling, wondering if I should add more (or less) of it. *sighs* I talked this out with one of my crit partners who has assured me it's fine and that I've just read, and re-read, my book too many times. She is probably right. Maybe I just need to put it aside and not look at it for a week. Anyone else ever run into this problem, where you're done but you don't know if you're, well, done (or if it's missing something)?

Book 2 (this remains untitled): Of the 1993 words I've written this week, it hasn't been on this WIP. However, last night I jotted some notes down on my outline and want to get started on those scenes today.

Check in for ROW80 at least once per week: Done!

Write a non ROW80 post once per week: The week isn't over yet...

That's it for me so far. Hope everyone is having a great week and good luck!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Here We Go Again

First, I just have to mention that, blogger's schedule feature does not ever work for me. That thing drives me up a freaking wall! Anyways, moving on...

It's time to get our ROW on!

My work schedule has been beyond crazy, and I have a million things on my mind (and on my to-do list) but despite that, I am forging ahead with a few goals to make sure my writing doesn't take a hit in the chaos. So that said, my goals for this round are:

Write 5000 words per week: The last two rounds I had a goal of "writing every day" in order to build this as a habit.  I am happy to say that this has been a success. Because of this I will have a word count goal every week this round to make sure that, even though I am writing every day, I am hitting a decent word count.

Book 1: Pick a cover and get this novel out by November 1. 
  • I've finished the formatting. I've done all the edits that have been given back to me so far. I am sending it out to my last two crit readers and hopefully will get their final comments back in the next couple weeks. I'm freaking out but I am happy where the book ended up. 
  • As for the cover, this has been the hardest part. Nothing has grabbed me yet. I've narrowed down my choices at least. It will help that I will be getting some help at October's book club with my friends who will help me decide. (While drinking  copious amounts of wine no doubt!)
Book 2 (this remains untitled): Finish the first (very rough) draft by the end of Round 4
  • I have about a quarter of this written. I've also made a ton of notes and added to my scene outline while writing the first book (and while I waited for comments to come back from crit readers). So I feel confident I can get a rough first draft done by the end of the Round. I hope. This book will focus on different main characters but the same city as the first in the series.  The characters in the first book may make an appearance at some point, though I haven't gotten quite that far yet so we shall see just how (and if) that happens.
Social Media (This goal has three parts): 
  • Check in for ROW80 at least one time per week
  • Write a non ROW80 post once per week: I started this a couple weeks ago with a post about my vow to give up the news. Last week I wrote two posts: one about a 60 Minutes episode about sugar (truly fascinating, shocked the heck right out of me!); and another on what I've been watching on TV for the new fall season. If people read it and/or comment, great. If not, I'm cool with that too. Que sera sera, right? The important part of this is me being authentic, having fun, not focusing on stats, and not making blogging a chore
  • Stay present on twitter: Not really a specific goal, more just a reminder to myself to keep at it. For an introvert like me, I find twitter really hard. But I will keep at it, even if it means just lurking while at work or being totally random about music or, lately, about Sons of Anarchy. 
And that is it- a mix of weekly, deadline specific and end of Round goals. I've finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year (75 books baby!), so I didn't add a reading goal. As for being active, I will still be working out but I'm not adding it as a specific goal right now.So far I have been doing really well being (more) active than usual and eating healthier so I will just keep on keeping on and if I start to slack off, add in a weekly goal.

What about you? All set with your goals this Round?  Good luck and happy writing!