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Increasing Count

I spent most of yesterday in a car getting lost on a road trip to Ohio.  (I don’t know what Google Maps was tripping on when it gave me directions but it sure wasn’t PA and OH roads, that’s for sure.)

So word count didn’t go up, but body count did.

No, I didn’t kill my roommate.


We were taking the dogs to a pound in Ohio. (We live in Western Pennsylvania.)

And, no, we weren’t dropping our dogs off there. Jazzy and Riley came from a shelter and have a forever home with us.

Nope, we were going there to meet Laverne and Shirley.

They are 10 year old sisters that I learned about via a boxer rescue group on Face Book (Boxer Rescue of America).   They were surrendered by their elderly owner because she was no longer able to care for them. Laverne is the fawn (on the right) and Shirley is the brindle.

The meet and greet went very well. None of the dogs showed any sign of aggression – not one hackle was raised, no flattened ears, no growls or snarls or baring of teeth, not even a guarded look. A lot of sniffing and going about their business. No cowering in submission from anyone, either.

So, we’re going to back on Saturday (sans dogs) to bring them home with us. (Laverne and Shirley are getting some blood work done this week.)

That’s going to give us four wiggle butts.  Two humans = four hands. Four dogs = one for each hand.

(My roommate wasn’t too sure about adding to the family, but Shirley kissed up to her and now has her wrapped around her little cigar butt tail. Literally kissed up to her.  She did the “Boxer Lean” and slobbered big wet sloppy kisses all over her face and Sue said, “They have to come home.”)

Anyhow, since I’m about nine thousand words behind where I need to be today, and since I’m probably losing most if not all of Saturday (and the days that follow as I help the two new additions settle into their new home) I had really better get myself focused on increasing word count.

And I will.

Right after supper.





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A Long Way

Can you believe that Camp is open for registration already?

I set up the cabin and declared a project “to be determined” since I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to be doing for my July project. (I’m outlining for November, but for July? Um, yeah. No idea.)

My goal for Camp is 31K, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be on the Elven Bard novel or something else.  I can’t really decide on that until I see how this month goes. If I finish the scene I started working on for Onyx Sun I’ll work on the Elven Bard novel, if not, I’ll finish it and then get back to work on the new novel.

Meanwhile, I think I might change my modus operandi, mostly because I’ve been an idiot.

You know those goals I set for myself each month and then fail miserably at meeting?  Well yesterday, Curiouser Editing, LLC, posted something on Face Book that made me stop and think.

I know better, I do. One of my mantras is “Look at what you did, not at what you didn’t do.”  The trouble is, I only seem to apply it to things like house work and decluttering, which is why I said I’ve been an idiot. Of course I should apply it to other things too – like my writing.

So, (as of yesterday) I’ve started keeping a journal listing the things I do do regarding writing, not just the things I want to do. Yesterday I managed to schedule my Wednesday Words, Rainbow Snippet, and Sunday Snippet posts for the month. And I set up a “holding” project for Camp and got the cabin opened and named. (In case you’re curious, it’s YaGottaWanna)

I still need to keep the overall goals in mind, but I think that shifting the focus to what I am doing instead of everything that I need to do is going to help.

With luck, at the end of the month I’ll be able to look back and say, “Wow, I’ve come a long way!” instead of “I have a long way to go.”










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It was an odd two days off.  Aside from being unseasonably hot (near 90F in May is not normal for my area) it was also kind of productive.

Well, not very productive. It was too hot to do much of anything.

But I did do some writing.

I wrote about 500 words. (532 to be precise.)

It’s not much, but progress is progress, right?

It wasn’t toward any of my stated goals for the month, though; it was for a scene to be added to Onyx Sun.

As for my goals for the month. *sigh*

I think I’m not going to be submitting to the anthology after all. I have two ideas for it but neither one seems to want to write itself – or tell me to write it.  There’s still time, I suppose. We’ll see.

And I haven’t even opened the Elven Bard novel.

But I started outlining another novel, one that’s been kicking around in my head for years. It’s science fiction and it’s going to be my NaNoWriMo novel this November.  (Hey! Only five and a half months to go! Of course I’m outlining!)

So at least I’m doing something, even if it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing.



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Brain Dump

So far my plans for the month aren’t going too well. I’ve written approximately 400 words in one of the short stories I’m planning to submit to an anthology and that’s been about it.

Why? I have no idea, other than the fact that the evil day job has been draining and by the time I get home I’m too brain dead to do more than poke at a jigsaw puzzle on JigZone.

Remember my plan to use 750words.com for writing instead of brain dumping my day? Yeah. That (obviously) hasn’t happened.  I tried. I poked at one of the short stories in 750words and… couldn’t focus.

Maybe because I haven’t been using it for writing lately and I need to get back into the habit of doing that, so that my muse or subconscious or whatever you want to call it knows that when I log in it’s time for some creative writing.

Or maybe I’m going about it the wrong way.

Sometimes, brain dumping is necessary.  It can help clear the way for writing by getting other concerns out of your head.

The trick, I think, is to do the brain dump, and then write once the day has been cleared from the mind. I’ve been failing at the second part of that.

I was thinking the other day about how odd it is that I seem to get less written now, when I’m less than five minutes from work, than I did when I had an hour long commute each way.  But maybe it’s not so odd.  That commute gave me time to clear my head on the way home, and time to psych myself up on the way there, so I was able to be productive when I was home.  Instead, I now have to use my time at home to get myself mentally prepped for my day job, and to de-stress from it afterward.

I don’t want to go back to that commute just to test the theory, though, so I’m going to have to find a way to balance brain dumping and writing.



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May 2017 Writing Goals

“First of May, First of May
Brand new writing starts today.”

Okay, so that’s not the real lyrics but at least they are safe for work.

Before I get into my writing goals for the month, though, today is a very special day. Riley, my bestest buddy, turns 12 today. He’s one of two Boxers that we adopted from a shelter in November.

So, anyhow, on to my May writing goals.

I’d like to get my Elven Bard novel up to 30,000 words, which means adding 12,195 words to it. That’s doable, even with the rest of the insanity I’m planning, such as submitting a story (or maybe two) to an anthology.

The deadline is the first of June, and the length is 4000 to 6000 words, so I’m now up to needing to write about 18k next month, 24,000 if I do both.

I’m going to let Onyx Sun sit for the month before I go back at it again in June. I like to take a bit of a break in between editing sessions. (Yes, I finished round two during Camp.)

I want to finish the first round paper edits of Book 12 of The Academy of the Accord series. I’ve started it, and it’s an even bigger mess than I thought it was going to be. (I thought I had an alternative start to it, but I don’t, so if I take out the one that’s currently there I have absolutely nothing to go with. But if I leave it, I have to do a lot of rewriting to work in a character that I just sort of… dropped.  So, yeah. It might take me all month.

I’d also like to enter the changes to Book 5 of The Academy of the Accord.  And maybe make a Book 5.5… The jury is still out on whether that’s going to solve more headaches than it creates.

And then there’s the series concordance. I really need to find the three ring binder I started it in. I’m planning a bit of rearranging of things on my days off this week so maybe it will materialize during that so I can get back to work on it.

And I really really really want to set up my traveler’s notebook that is dedicated to writing stuff.

Inserts will include:

notes for current WiPs
notes for new ideas/stuff not started
stuff that’s in progress but not currently being worked on (I need to find a way to track way to track where each project is in the writing process.)

So, yeah. It’s going to be a busy month. I’m going to try to use my 750words to work on writing instead of brain dumping my day, although sometimes brain dumping helps clear the way for writing.


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Mid Month Update

Well, hey, here it is.  Friday. Time for another blog post. And time to go back to work. (Friday is my Monday; my weekend is Wednesday and Thursday.)

It’s also more or less the middle of the month, and I am… nowhere near the middle of my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo. (Closer to a fifth of the way if I’m doing the math right.)

I had wanted to get caught up over my weekend, but it was pretty busy. I spent way too much time and money shopping on Wednesday (food shopping – not even fun shopping), and cooking both Wednesday and Thursday. (My roommate and I are both nurses and both work on Sunday so we did our “Easter Dinner” yesterday.) I was pretty wiped out by the end of the day both days and feel like I need a day off to recover from my days off.

I am going to try to get a couple more pages done before work today, though. Every little bit helps, right?

Hopefully I’ll have some easy shifts this week so I can get more work done on the first round paper edits of The Academy of the Accord series. I’m currently on Book 10, and if I can get it done by the end of the month, and get Books 11 and 12 done by the end of next month, then I can try to get the concordance done by the end of the year, which will make the next round of edits go much more smoothly.  I hope.  I’m still shooting for a 2020 release for the series, and it’s almost looking possible.

Meanwhile, writing new stuff has been on hold, other than a flash fiction piece for the QSF contest and occasional Thursday Threads entries. And now I’m looking at maybe writing a short story or two to submit for consideration in an anthology…

Yes, I know I should be working on the sequel to Song and Sword, and I will be, but the deadline for the anthology is June 1st and it doesn’t really have one, so…




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Progress and a Plot Bunny

So, there’s this plot bunny starting to form.  I don’t actually have a story yet, just a main character: a Mexican demon named Charlie.  And I’m not sure, but I think maybe he can only possess pencils.

If you’re as totally unaware of trending teen things as I am, you’re probably scratching your head wondering what on earth I’m talking about, so here’s the explanation.

At work last night I was on a different unit than the one I usually work.  One of the aides there is also a preacher and is a bit… over zealous… at times.  I’m not sure what prompted the conversation but he asked another aide if she had heard about “the Charlie Charlie pencil game.”

She thought for a minute and said, “Do you mean the thing with the piece of paper with yes/no/no/yes?” and started to get a piece of paper to draw it out and was demonstrating how the pencils laid on top of each other for it.

He stopped her and said not to do that because it would summon a real demon.

He was completely serious.

And apparently it’s a Mexican demon. (Although he did say that demons don’t have nationalities.)

Anyhow, I now want to write about a Mexican demon named Charlie.

I’m just… not sure what his story is.


Any work on this story (other than kicking it around in my head) is probably a long way from happening, but it’s so rare that I have a clear example of where a story idea came from that I had to share.

In other writing news, I started working through the bit that blocked me from working on entering changes to Onyx Sun. And I wrote (more of) a scene to be added to the first book of the Academy of the Accord series.  The scene seems kind of… not really necessary (although it will further character development, world building, etc) but it’s needed for a scene in Book 12, so…

And I got a bit more done on the Elven Bard novel that only has half a title.

So, there you have it. My weirdness and inspiration for the week as well as a bit of progress.


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… is not on my side.

Halfway through the month already?  Didn’t we just celebrate New Year’s?

I’m doing pretty good on my writing goals.

Sort of.

I finished the first round paper edits of Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord and have Book 7 in the editing binder. I should probably stop and work on updating the writer’s bible for the series but I don’t think I can get that three ring binder to fit in my current backpack and I don’t feel like dragging out my MOLLE pack.  I think I’ll have to break down and carry an extra tote bag if I want to work on the bible. (Not that I have a lack of tote bags, mind you.)

I also have less than 2000 words to go to hit my writing goal for the month.

I’m not doing so good at getting changes entered to Onyx Sun (and haven’t even touched the changes to Book 5 of The Academy of the Accord).  I was actually doing pretty good on it, then hit a snag the other day, one of those things I talked about on Friday where, instead of fixing it as I was going through, I left myself a note “Westin? Intro him here instead of later” in the margin.

When I came to that point I didn’t have time to do it because I had to get ready for work, and then the weekend blog hops happened, and…

And here it is, Monday, and the same page is sitting here staring at me.  I have figured out how to work him in (and add description and setting to the scene as well) so all is not lost and I might have time to get it fixed before work today.

I’m hoping to make some headway on getting those changes entered over the next two days (my “weekend”) but tomorrow is going to be packed with errands.  (Dog to groomer, dog licenses, dog food, bank, post office, Aldi’s, Sam’s Club, Wal Mart, Dollar Tree, getting stuff printed, and taking the dogs to the nursing home to visit because I am not leaving the house on Wednesday after all of that.)  Fortunately, all but Sam’s and getting stuff printed can be done here in my town: for those I’ll need to make about a half hour drive. (The printing can actually wait, and just might.)

Maybe if I get started and on the road by 8:00 in the morning…

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January Goals Check In

Just over a week into the month so I thought I’d take a look at where I stand with my writing goals.

I have not entered any of the changes to Onyx Sun. I have, however, put it into a different three ring binder and have moved Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord to the flex cover binder that I carry in my backpack, so I’ve been working on the first round of paper edits to it, and they are going much better than expected.  In fact, another good week at work staying on my regular unit and I should be finished with it.

That doesn’t mean that all is peachy-keen and wonderful in my writing world.  This is one of the books that intertwines with two others and I’ve crossed out huge sections to delete and left notes to move stuff to other places, and “cut this but keep that and move it to …”  and made various other sweeping changes that are easier to do on paper than on a screen.

Plus, there are a lot of notes to check stuff in other books.

So I think that when I finish this round of first edits I might take time out and work on putting together my Writer’s Bible for the series. I have it started but I need to get caught up on it a bit and see if I can answer some of the questions I’ve asked in it. (I don’t want to try to put the whole thing together after I finish all twelve first edits. I may be crazy but I’m not insane.)

Anyhow, this week on my days off I have to get to work on Onyx Sun.  I changed my profile picture on Face Book to the makeshift cover I made for it once upon a time for NaNoWriMo to help keep me focused on getting it done.

As for writing… I’ve added maybe five hundred words to the next Elven Bard book. (It’s a sequel to Song and Sword.)  I started it for NaNoWriMo but didn’t get very far due to some events that I let throw me off (and which spawned a bunch of baby plot bunnies that I started writing instead of working on it) so I don’t even have quite 5000 words in it yet.  I want to be at 10K for it by the end of the month.

So, all in all, so far I’m doing pretty good on my goals for the month. I haven’t touched my traveler’s notebook for my writing stuff but that can happen tomorrow or Wednesday when I’m off.  I still need to find a way to track where everything is in the process… I think I’ll spend some time perusing the posts and files in the Bullet Journal Writers group on Face Book to see if anyone has any good layouts.

And then I need to, you know, start using my planners…


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Words For The Year

No, it has nothing to do with a projected hoped-for word count. (Although between NaNoWriMo in November and the two Camp session, plus other writing, I’m looking at writing over 200,000 words this year, maybe 250k, which would be a quarter of a million words. (I never looked at it like that before. It’s kind of awesome.)

But the title has nothing to do with that.

I’m not sure how many of you have seen people posting their “Word for the Year.” I asked a friend and she’d never heard of it so maybe it’s more of a journal thing than a writing thing.

But anyhow, basically, as I understand it, it’s a way to summarize what you want to be or work toward that year.  One word, rather than a list of resolutions that no one keeps for more than a few weeks.

This is my first year doing it and I actually have two, although they do go hand in hand.

One is “Create.”

This not only applies to writing, but to other crafts as well, things that I enjoy doing (or want to learn to do) that have taken a back seat to writing for the last several years. (And who knows what else may come of that word?)

The other is “Focus.”

I need to stay focused on my goals and not dashing off to a billion other shiny things. My main goal right now is to release Onyx Sun this year.  Yes, I am working on the Academy of the Accord series as well, but until Onyx Sun is off my plate I’ll be torn between the two projects and not fully focused on either, which means I won’t make much progress on either because no matter which one I’m working on I’ll feel guilty for not working on the other.

(I should maybe make a goal about run on sentences while I’m at it.)

So the two do go hand in hand but there doesn’t seem to be one word that combines the two, so I’m going to have two words for the year. (I’m kind of a rebel that way.)

For more information about choosing a word, see:







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