Why I am not writing

There have been a lot of changes around my desk is 2018.

During Texas’ Spring Break, I ran into an old friend and we talked about our kids.  We ended up on schools, of course.  She told me about the charter school her kids attend and about how it is worth it to her to drive 30 mins to get them there.  {Seed planted.}

That night, my husband and I talked.  Kids. Schools. My career. {Seed watered.}

The next morning, we had decided to sell our house and move to a better school district. We contacted our agent and found a house in about 2 weeks, maybe less.  We put in an offer and my head has been a jumble of to-dos ever since. {Seedling buds faster than anticipated.}

My old house got boxed up, the floors redone, new paint on the walls.  I’ve been going between houses for almost a month now.  I’m excited to close on the old house next month so that I can have one location and quit going between.

I have a great spot for my new desk, but most of my stuff is still in boxes. My head is jammed so full of things that half of them leak out my ears. My days are spent going here, doing this thing, planning this other thing, trying not to forget a thing in the span of 6 minutes.

My birthday, anniversary, and Mother’s Day fell in this window of crazy and I don’t think I took the time to note that I achieved another year for each.

But, Today, I wrote something. {Seed flowered.}


2018 Reading Challenge

My daughters and I created a reading challenge for 2018.

The rules are simple: 1. Get as many categories checked off as possible.  (Yes, books can count for more than 1 category.) 2. Try not to cheat by reading a book too far below your reading level. 3. Book must be finished in 2018.

There are 52 categories. Some are easy. Some require research. (A book printed the year you were born. A book originally printed in a different language.)

My 11 year old and I are considering adapting “A book with over 500 pages” to fit the reading style of my 9 year old, who cringes at the idea of a book that thick. Our current idea is to let her 500 page goal be cumulative, instead of a single book.

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Here is a PDF version of our list: 2018 Reading Challenge  We printed and hung it on the wall. We also made a copy to take with us to the library.

My 11 year started making a reading list almost as soon as the page was spit from the printer.  She is challenging herself to see how many categories each book fits into. I believe her highest is a book that completes 7 categories. She might force us to make an overachievers list.

My 9 year old took a little while longer to get excited, but she checked 3 books out from the library today which will complete 6 categories. That’s a good start for my reluctant reader.

I look forward to watching both my kids get excited about reading things they might not normally read this year.

Feel free to join us!

2018 Reading Challenge


On Commissions and Deadlines

Over December, I received my first commission.  I was asked to write the narrative for a picture book.  I was given 2 characters and 2 story elements.  I was also given a deadline of Christmas Day.  I accepted.

My first roadblock was getting started.  Fitting the writing in around the living is always my first block.  Once I force myself to sit and get the first crap-tastic words on paper, everything gets easier. The project’s first draft was cliche and I detested it, but I got it out of my system and the complete rewrite yielded a much better story.

In the end, I managed to meet my deadline and deliver a story the client was happy with, which boosted my confidence.

Trying to fit my ideas of a good story inside the clients ideas can be challenging. Lesson learned: Writing inside a box takes more effort than writing the box.

Writing with a deadline looming adds a layer of stress.  I added in the craziness of December holidays and just coming out of NaNoWriMo, making it a little more of a crunch.

I owe many thanks to my beta readers (KE, EM, and MM) and my editor (BE). I was worried she would be unable to get the 961 words turned around in the days before Christmas, but she came through for me in a big way.  I managed to send the file to my client Christmas morning.  Deadline met. Project completed.


50,020 words written on my work in progress in November.

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The discovery draft is finished.  I’ve already started going through and resolving conflicting information and working on getting a complete first draft.

It’s time to set goals and rewards for going forward, all the way through the query stage. I’m looking forward to getting my first rejection letter, because that means I’m doing the thing.

End Game

My characters are headed to end game. She’s finally learning the rules and might be able to complete her quest. Her ally is badly injured, and her nemesis will summon her away from her quest’s goal soon.  Two factions would rather have her dead than on the other team. Both have given her the same ultimatum and it’s not quite as nice as “cake or death.”

I have 10 days to write 10K words and put NaNoWriMo behind me for another year.  Then begins the massive rewrite as I blur the edges and blend the colors into a more pleasing picture and a finished first draft plus, cake.

Halfway Point

I have officially written everyday of November thus far.  I have spent most of today in front of my story.  I admit to doing some editing early in the day, simply because math and geometry wasn’t working out for me. Once I fixed a major thread, everything slid into place better and I came out at 2,222 words for the day.  I think my children are still in the house somewhere, but I can’t be sure, since I haven’t seen them in hours. I have not heard any fighting or explosions, so that’s good. I am thankful they are old enough to manage without me.

My manuscript total is 57K. 28K attributed to my NaNoWriMo score.

Keep doing the thing! I will.

Less than 30K to go!

11 days into NaNoWriMo, and I’m liking my chances.  I have written everyday. With a low word count of 1505 and a high of 2908.  That sets a pretty good average for the first third of the month.  My reward is a day off, to be used when I need it. But if I manage to get through without using it and I continue with my average wood count, I should be typing ‘The End’ a good 3 days before the end of the month.

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As far as my work in progress:  The main plot is going well. I reached a plot point in today’s words. My main and supporting characters just parted ways thanks to my villain.

My husband helped me with a sappy love letter from my main’s father to her mother.  He’s very good at the sap, while I err on the side of not.  There’s a happy medium in there for me to carve out at a later date.

My favorite part so far is today’s revelation.  The intrigue has been dropped. Which give me a layer that needs to be retrofitted to the rest.

There are also some points I need to go back and clarify in the early pages, as well as adding my supporting character’s point of view.

As much as I look forward to typing ‘The End’ but there will still be work to do before I send it to my editor. I’m fairly sure in my speed, that I’ve typed ‘form’ instead of ‘from’ and vise versa so many times that she will come to hate those two words.

Less than 30K to go!

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