Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Check-In

  1. I finally hit THE END on Turn My World Around!  Is there actually anything else to day besides that for an update?  Well yeah, I guess so.  Awesome Editor can’t get to it until Friday, so I’ve been making the clean up pass.  Already completed my search and destroy mission on a lot of my overused words and now need to do the full read through to make sure everything gels the way I want and to fill in any brackets.  I’ll be working on that over the course of the week.
  2. I’ve also been working on my revision outline for Sooper Seekrit Project Book 1.  I have the first half of the book outlined fresh and spent a chunk of this morning adapting my Scrivener file to accommodate that.  I’ll be able to keep large chunks of Act 1 and Act 4 but most of the middle is changing.  I should be able to keep somewhere between 16-25k of the original 60k.  Maybe more, depending.  I’d love to have the first act revised by the time I get TMWA back from Awesome Editor.  We’ll see.
  3. I’m starting Whole 30 again tomorrow.  I’ve been cooking All The Things today.  Grilled chicken, roasted potatoes, hardboiled eggs, zoodles, chopping broccolini, paleo mayo, paleo ranch, nut butter (trying a blend of nuts this time), and red velvet cheesecake shooters, which are obviously NOT for Whole 30 or for me at all, but they were hubby’s birthday dessert request.
  4. We had a big Bourne marathon the last few days in preparation for going to see the latest one this afternoon (also for hubby’s birthday). I’m still pissed about Marie but on binge watching them like this, I want to know what his history is with Nikki.  There’s something there…
  5. My reward for finishing the latest WIP was reading Crushing On Cooper, the latest Camp Firefly Falls novel.  Another fun romp at camp (though I wish it hadn’t been in present tense first person–that’s just not my bag).  I found out there’s merch, so I totally ordered a t-shirt!
  6. There’s probably other news, but I can’t remember just now…

Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Update

  1. First off, according to trending on Facebook, it seems that today is National Ice Cream Day.  Since we have entered the part of summer that’s hot as blue blazes, this seems like an excellent idea.  And I JUST made a fresh batch of coconut milk ice cream yesterday.
  2. It’s been a busy busy week at Casa Nolan.  We’ve been working on getting the teenager registered for school.  This has definitely, thus far, been the biggest challenge we’ve faced as stand in parents.  So here we have this compulsory thing, and yet they make it so difficult to accomplish!  It takes all the logical stuff–transcripts and shot records–and also 17 forms if ID, a DNA sample, an act of Congress, multiple proofs of residency, and a sacrificial chicken.  Between the two of us, the teenager’s grandmother and I managed to round up everything (multiple trips to multiple different locations in the school district) to finally get us to the point of ready to pick classes, which she’ll do once the counselors are back next week.
  3. In more fun areas, we birthdayed this week for teenager.  She turned fourteen.  Had her party with all her friends yesterday.  There were board games; homemade pizza, pie, and ice cream; and a pinata.  Good times were had by all.  I think there was even the chasing of some Pokemon (pokemen?  What the heck is the plural?). This afternoon we’re going to see the new Ghostbusters.
  4. So, with all of that, the word count has been rather low this week.  I knocked out about 2500 words on the current WIP on Monday and Tuesday and nothing the rest of the week.  I’m right at the Black Moment where I break them up, and I always REALLY REALLY hate this part, so there’s a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.  I’m hoping to push through that today so that next week I’m on the downhill slope, hurtling toward getting them back together.
  5. I did get editor’s notes back on the holiday anthology novella.  I earned my very first gold star!  Other than some typos and clarifying a couple of things, I didn’t need to revise anything.  It was super clean.  Apparently I’ve got the whole Hallmark Channel Movie vibe down pat.  So I did knock out the necessary revisions on that in the fastest revision ever, and that frees up the last week of this month for current WIP (which is good as it seems to be taking longer than anticipated).
  6. School starts August 4th, which seems insane.  Also, it’s a Thursday.  What do they think they will accomplish in 2 days? Either way, I expect we’ll be doing some last minute school shopping and such and then we’ll be getting into whatever qualifies as our normal routine.
  7. My pal Susan shared a link on Facebook last week for mason jar pies.  This now has me off on a savory pie quest.  I’m thinking about doing quiche in a jar, chicken pot pie, and any number of other single serve, all in one kind of meals, in addition to the obvious ACTUAL pie.  There was also a link somewhere to basically how to make mason jar lunchables, which I also thought was fantastic.

     

  8. Other exciting food things this week include the arrival of my Instant Pot.  This thing is like 7 appliances in 1: -Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer.  I got it because I wanted to try out the pressure cooker part.  I mean, a roast chicken on a WEEKNIGHT?  I got a super deal on it on Prime Day.  This is a big thing in Paleo cooking, and I’ve got a few cookbooks through Kindle Unlimited.  Need to go read the instruction manual though. Super excited about my new toy!

Late Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Check-In

  1. I’m just getting around to this over a quick breakfast before running in to work.  It’s been a super busy week with the teenager moving in.  She’s just about settled.  We got art hung yesterday.  Now she’s just working on organizing her desk and office supplies.
  2. Hubs and I took her to see Ghostbusters (original 1984 version) on the big screen yesterday afternoon.  You gotta love a kid who appreciates 80s cheese.  So many of them see the special effects that look lousy compared to the fancy computer generated kind today and turn their noses up, but she dug it.  We also introduced her to The Princess Bride last night.  These are the first in a very, very long line of items on her remedial geek education list.  She loved that, too, so that’s a yay.
  3. I cranked out 11,745 words on the new book last week.  Nearly 8k of those were since Friday.  So I seem to have hit my stride with this one (remind me I said that now that I’ve taken my first steps into the Dreaded Valley of the Shadow of the Middle).  Coming back to Wishful is always fun and familiar.
  4. Yesterday I also had a bit of a bucket list moment.  To Get Me To You finally hit 100 reviews on Amazon.  My first book to get there.  So that was super exciting.  It’s the threshold I’ve been waiting for before going after a BookBub ad.  Which may or may not make a difference in acceptance, but it seemed a good metric anyway.  Rumor has it that Amazon does a lot of pushing of stuff in its system once you hit that level.  We shall see.
  5. Must run.  Lots to do this week!

Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Update

  1. I’ve been enjoying some much needed hermitude this weekend.  There’s just been a lot of social this past month, so I’m finding the quiet very restorative.
  2. I’ve been in the kitchen this morning.  I haven’t actually gotten around to my menu for the week yet, but I made up some fresh turkey sausage to freeze, a couple of quiches, hard boiled eggs, and a fresh batch of marinara.  Yesterday I made a behemoth batch of chicken shwarma (4.5 pounds!).
  3. Know Me Well tinyKnow Me Well got a facelift this week.  I was never quite happy with the original cover I’d made for it and I finally came across a couple that I thought suited Liam and Riley.  So that’s been posted and is trickling live at all the various etailers.
  4. I’m working my way through a crit, doing some more reading for fun, and I finally got started on Sooper Seekrit Project Book 3.  I’ve been so twitchy the last few weeks.  I did take a slow stretch to finish first pass revisions on Book 2, but this is the longest I’ve gone without drafting something (nearly a MONTH) in about three years.  Maybe longer.  I was really worried I’d have crippling page fright (I often do, even when I’ve only stopped for a couple of days), but I cranked out the first 1k yesterday without too many problems.  I’m wanting to finish that scene today and get started on the intro to the hero.  I’m not done plotting, but I’m testing out something I did with Book 2–hitting my major plot points, plotting out Act 1, and writing that (to get to know my characters better) and THEN going back to plot the rest of the book.  It worked well for the second book in this trilogy, so I’m hoping I’ll have the same success this go round.
  5. I’m up to my eyeballs in class prep right now.  Summer semester starts June 2nd, so I have until then to finish updating everything to go with the new textbook.  This means that I will be recording 5 lectures this afternoon and I won’t have a voice when I’m finished.  Then 4 more tomorrow.  Bleh.  Not how I wanted to spend the end of my weekend, but it’s nearly done.
  6. We’ve been testing Huck with some additional freedoms, leaving his crate door open at night for the last week.  So far he’s doing awesome.  Just goes in and snoozes like usual.  It’ll be a while longer before I’m willing to try that when we’re not actually HERE, but he generally doesn’t mess with stuff inside.  He’s got a bunch of toys and he’s perfectly happy with them.
  7. I bought paperbacks for the first time in YEARS.  I wanted to read the rest of Louisa Edwards’ Recipe For Love series, and I couldn’t stomach paying $7.99 for an ebook.  Not when I could get used copies of all 5 of the books I was missing for the cost of about 2.5 of said ebooks.  Which I kind of hate because the author doesn’t get anything off those used book sales (other than a devoted fan), but it is what it is.  Cracked open one on Friday…holy crap.  Did mass market paperbacks ALWAYS have 8 point font?  I had to pull out the reading glasses I haven’t used since grad school.  :pets Paperwhite:

Belated Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Update

  1. The last week has been super busy catching up on All The Things that got put off, either in the name of finishing that first draft or because we were on vacation or whatever.  So the story of my life the last week has been GO GO GO GO GO.
  2. I’ve got approximately 2 weeks left to finish updating my summer class to go with the new textbook.  It drives me crazy when they put out new editions.  Especially for subjects like Theories of Learning, which hasn’t changed much since the 70s.  There’s very little actual NEW material, they just moved stuff around in different chapters–just enough that I mostly can’t use my old lectures wholesale.  And since I teach online, this means updating the powerpoints and RERECORDING (and re-editing) them.  Time consuming PITA.
  3. I finished first pass revisions on Sooper Seekrit Book 2 yesterday morning.  Book 1 is still with Awesome Editor, so I’ll let Book 2 sit until Book 1 comes back.  Meanwhile, my focus is on getting Book 3 fully plotted.  I knocked out the concept for Act 1 this morning.  Hoping I’ll be ready to dive into that one on Monday…that will put me having taken a month off from drafting, which is very unlike me.
  4. I’ve been taking advantage of the time off to get to a few things around the house that have been lingering for…approximately the 4 years since we moved in.  Saturday I tackled cleaning out the guest room.  There was lots of evidence of the hurried “OMG, people are coming over. Hide the stuff so we look like civilized, neat people!” brand of cleaning–which means, of course we forgot about most of that stuff.  I tossed out 3 garbage bags full of stuff, did some reorganizing, and moved a couple of boxes of stuff into the attic.  I seem to be managing about a closet a year since we moved in.  I just seldom stop writing long enough to get to this kind of stuff.
  5. I’m ready for some serious hermitude after the last week.  Between Mother’s day, family coming to town on my side and hubby’s, lunch with friends, girls’ night, and another friend of hubby’s coming to visit, I had WAY too much social interaction.  All GOOD, I’m just really drained.
  6. Hubs has introduced me to Baby Daddy on Netflix, which is hilarious.  I love a good sit com.  There’s a love triangle (which normally I hate) and I can’t decide which team I’m on.  But it’s good, light, funny entertainment, which is about where my brain is right now.
  7. Been reading a ton.  Finished Starfish Moon, the last of the Brides of Blueberry Cove from Donna Kauffman.  Knocked out the last of Sarah Morgan’s Puffin Island Trilogy Christmas Ever After (which was released as One Enchanted Moment in a collection for some reason instead of independently in the US), which I totally loved.  Also read Jen Frederick’s Revealed To Him, which was surprisingly good.  Finished Maisey Yates’ One Night Charmer.   Blew through the first of Brenna Aubrey’s Gaming the System series At Any Price.  Great narrator for the audio.  I started Tricia O’Malley’s Wild Irish Heart this morning.  I’ve picked up and put down a lot of stuff.  I have a 6 month Kindle Unlimited subscription that I’ve been using to fill my desire for audiobooks, but I’ve blown through the entire romantic comedy section and I’m running low on things I really want to listen to.  But my Audible subscription kicked back in this month, so I just have to narrow it down and decide what I want.

Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Update

  1. Our last day of vacay in Charleston (a week ago this past Friday) was lovely.  We spent most of the day at Magnolia Plantation, wandering the gardens, checking out the Audubon Swamp Garden, and taking pics of the wildlife (we got several good ones of gators).  We ended the day with a stop by the Angel Oak, which was awe inspiring, but left us generally frustrated because a tour bus of about 50 people besieged the site, making taking pictures impossible.  A word about photographer courtesy: If someone is trying to take a picture don’t walk in front of them and get in the way. IT’S RUDE. Have some situational awareness.   All in all, it was a lovely, if fast, vacation.  And because it was fast, it wasn’t what you’d call restful.
  2. Life has been a little busy here at Casa Nolan since we got back.  There was all the laundry and housekeeping, and food prep, and then once I got back to work on Monday, a week of scrambling to catch up there, on top of figuring out what all I will need to manage while my boss is out of the country the next two weeks.  And I’ve got to scramble to get my summer class updated to go with the new textbook.  Someday…someday I won’t have to teach…
  3. We intended to start Whole 30 on Monday.  And we did.  And then my mother in law’s birthday happened.  So we started over.  And then Mother’s Day happened (well, for me it happened yesterday when I went up to see my mommy).  So we’re starting over again tomorrow.  I’m about to do my menu planning for that and get some batch cooking done.
  4. Not much has happened on the writing front.  I have been slowly working my way through a first pass revision on Sooper Seekrit Project Book 2.  Awesome Editor has Book 1, and I’ve opted to go ahead and write Book 3 before I go back to tackle revisions on the first one, as I didn’t KNOW everybody when I wrote it, so a lot of the characterization was flat (also, it was a NaNo project, so it was written all Speedy Gonzales style).  I’ve just barely started plotting out Book 3.  That’s going slower than I’d like, but I’m conceding that after cranking out 53k words in 23 days last month during Camp NaNo, I am in desperate need of refilling the well.
  5. I’m in a serious Spring Cleaning phase right now, and trying to tackle a room or at least a piece of a room every day.  I’m all about cleaning out and tossing out things we don’t want or need, getting clutter put away and cleared out.  That’s part of my process when I finish a book.  I have to dig out before the next one. There are other household projects that need attending to, but I suspect my creative engines will be firing again before I get to that part.
  6. A part of me wants to make a list of all the unfinished projects around the house and form a schedule for tackling them.  But I’m kind of afraid of how long that list would be.  You know?  That is the kind of thing that once you see, cannot be unseen, and then it will haunt me.  Which would probably result in a lot of it getting done, admittedly, but also would make me neurotic as hell.  Maybe a mini list of stuff that I’d like done this year…
  7. I’ve got my purple belt test coming up in June.  I’ve really got to kick my taekwondo training into high gear.  The last six months has been kind of treating water, with lots of stuff going on, classes missed, and just general lack of focus.  But it will’ve been a year since I got my blue belt, so it’s time.

Sunday Summary, CampNaNo and #ROW80 Update

  1. So this happened.  53577 words in 23 days.   Thank you CampNaNo.
    CNW_Winner_200
  2. Also, THE END on Sooper Seekrit Project Book 2.  I’ve got some semi significant revisions to tackle when I get back from vacation because my antagonist’s motivations got muddy in the middle and I’ve got to clear that up.  But it’s done.  71757.  43 days.  Brain = mush.
  3. We have plowed through both seasons of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  Need season 3 please.  That show just hits our happy buttons.
  4. I can’t say the same for Wynona Earp. I really wanted to love this show.  I love the concept.  It’s like Supernatural meets Jessica Jones meets Tombstone.  I love all these things.  But 3 episodes in and it’s just not gelling for me.  The guy playing Doc Holiday is fabulous and his talent is wasted on the rest.  He’s the only one that’s gotten us this far.  But it just might bunny me with what I’d LIKE to see out of this kind of concept.
  5. We head out to Charleston next week for vacation.  First one in five years.  Super excited.  But hitting Birmingham first for a Breaking Benjamin concert.  So taking a week and then diving back in come May!

Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Update

Look at me.  I’m actually remembering to blog ON Sunday for the Sunday check-in.  This is largely because I have actual progress to report.

  1. I officially hit THE END on Just For This Moment Friday night.  Myles and Piper were a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing them out in the world.  The manuscript is off to The Pink Hammer, and I’ve spent the weekend doing a reread of the first book in the Sooper Seekrit trilogy and working through the toolkit for the second.  This was actually the first straight through read I’d done of Sooper Seekrit book 1 since I finished it in December.  It needs some revision (and hasn’t had its trip to the Hammer yet either), but it came out pretty well for a first draft.  I still love the story and the characters, and I’m looking forward to diving back into that world for the next installment.
  2. I’ve just finished my first batch of kitchen stuff for the day–special Valentine’s candy for hubs.  Really hoping it turns out, as I’m not the only Star Wars fan in the house (he got me a bouquet of Storm Troopers–because he’s awesome like that).  We shall see when it comes out of the freezer.  (Update: They turned out!  Pics to come). Still need to roast some chicken breasts for the week here in the next little bit and grab a shower before I head in to the coffee shop for the afternoon.
  3. I’m hoping to get some more intensive character development done today.  I’m a step beyond charicature so far, but a good ways from having my hero and shero become real.  I was supposed to be starting this book 2 weeks ago, but my original schedule was banking on Piper and Myles just being a novella.  I’ve thought about going ahead and diving into this book, as I’ve got all my major plot points and the first act plotted.  I should have a better idea of what all needs to go in the other 3 acts once I’ve gotten through that.  But I’m undecided.  We’ll see.
  4. I might take the week to just deep work the toolkit, catch up on some reading (I’d like to finish Jamie FarrellSouthern Fried Blues, which is fabulously hilarious, and Maisey Yates’ latest Copper Ridge Cowboys novella, Hometown Heartbreaker), and I’ve got a marketing course I’d like to dig a little deeper into.
  5. And as I apparently forgot to hit publish on this earlier, I did finish Southern Fried Blues, which was absolutely delightful.  I highly recommend!

 

Delayed Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Progress Report

  1. Let’s get the important bit of this #ROW80 progress report out there first–I finished my NaNo novel.  This is the first in another contemporary romance trilogy that’s unrelated to Wishful–but is set in the Colorado town where Once Upon A Snow Day and Once Upon An Heirloom take place.  There are totally a few Easter eggs in there for readers of those stories.  I’ll still need to revise, but I’m really pleased with knocking it out.
  2. My reward for finishing was to have a girlfriend over last night for the annual viewing of Christmas in Connecticut.  This was a new to me movie last year, and I was lucky enough to see it as part of a triple feature on the big screen at Cinemark.  I love it so, so much!  Hilarity and hijinks. Barbara Stanwyck is amazing.  And of course I totally have an “inspired by” novel to go with it.  Someday.
  3. There is, of course, no rest for the wicked.  I got bunnied by a Christmas Meet Cute while wandering Lowes this week.  I got the first half plotted out over the weekend.  Hoping to knock out the other half of the outline today and dive in tonight or tomorrow.  It’s fun to hang out in Wishful for Christmas.
  4. I got a pretty decent amount of decluttering done around the house this weekend.  There was a kitchen table under all that mess!  Hubs is having a cleaning service run by a friend of ours come in to do a deep clean later this week.  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US!!!!  That will help so much.  We’ve been trying to get assorted junk put away so they can get TO stuff to clean.
  5. I also spent an hour out in one of the flowerbeds, slowly reclaiming it from the weeds.  I hate yard work.  Like, seriously loathe it.  90% of this is because we live in Mississippi and ergo working in the yard = hot and sweaty and gross.  But I’m also highly allergic to…everything that grows.  So this time of year, when it’s in the 40s and 50s and I can actually dress with all my skin covered, is the only time I don’t mind it so much.  But really, it’s this Sisyphean task.  THE WEEDS NEVER STOP.  I literally used the sharpshooter shovel to pry up CHUNKS of SOD from the…whatever kind of grass is infesting that bed.  If I ever make serious money, someday I’m going to have a YARD SERVICE.
  6. I’ve got two more weeks until I’m out for the holiday from the Evil Day Job and I can’t wait!  I’ve got LOTS of plotting I want to do, several holiday reads I want to plow through, and the requisite holiday movie viewing.  I still haven’t watched White Christmas yet.  But lots and lots to do before then, so it’s back to the grindstone!

Sunday Summary and #ROW80 Update

I haven’t been posting much lately.  Evil Day Job has been nuts and I’ve thrown myself whole hog into National Novel Writing Month.

  1. I cleared 18k words last week.  My secret?  When Daylight Savings Time left…I kept getting up at the same time.  So 5:15 I sat down for my first writing sprint of the day.  Every weekday.  I regularly cleared 700-900 words every morning last week using Write or Die.  I’m forced to concede I actually can write before I’m conscious.  Getting that extra session in made a huge difference.  And just using Write or Die has been kicking my productivity up enormously.  Evidently I spend a lot of time otherwise just staring at the screen when I don’t have something to prompt me to KEEP WRITING.  It’s like Speed but with words.  DON’T STOP!
  2. Part of that 18k was a new Meet Cute.  I’m not using NaNo traditionally, just working on multiple things at once and counting the total number of words for the month.  Once Upon A Setup is a companion story to Be Careful, It’s My Heart, following Piper and Myles–who will, themselves, get another novella following.  So cleaning that up is on the agenda for the next week or two, and doing a cover and all that jazz.  Then I’m diving into plotting the novella.
  3. I’m also in a brief burst of research mode for some details on the Sooper Seekrit Project.  I’m hoping to get rolling on that again next time I sit down.
  4. I also bought Dragon Naturally Speaking.  I haven’t done more than set it up, so it didn’t play a part in my word count.  I want to do an “out of the box” sort of post a bit later.