Category Archives: ROW80

ROW80 update

Quick update today: 1094 on Back in Time on Monday and 372 today.

Tuesday I finished up my Christmas shopping and today I had four kids 5 and under in my house, so not a lot of time or peace and quiet to write!¬† I’m still enjoying working on BiT and have set things up so that it can be a series.

Because, if I need anything, it’s another series to write. ūüôā

I’ve also got a new idea in the works – I’m going to be writing a novel in real-time on a blog.¬† I’ll let you all know more about that when I actually set the blog up.

That’s all I’ve got to report for today! Stay tuned for my 12 Days of Christmas Reading post that will magically appear at midnight on the 10th.¬† Or noon.¬† I sometimes do that.

Tangent:¬† Have you all seen Friends With Benefits?¬† You should, it’s funny.¬† Anyway, Justin Timberlake’s character, Will, has a real problem with math.¬† I could not stop laughing because it’s the first time I’ve seen someone else, who is otherwise intelligent, be just as¬†perplexed by math as I am.¬† Military time confuses the hell out of me. Also, measurements.¬† I never would’ve made it through culinary school if I couldn’t have¬†based everything on the size of a pint of beer. I could get that two pints of beer could fit into a quart, but trying to understand how many cups are in a quart made my head hurt. (I totally just Googled “how many pints in a quart?” just to make sure.)

Stop laughing!¬† I’ve got a learning disability, y’all! ūüôā


Where is my mind? and #ROW80

I capped off a busy week with a super fun breakfast/reunion this morning.¬† I got together with two friends who went on an exchange program to England with me in 1990 and the guy whose family hosted two of us.¬† I had a wonderful time catching up with everyone – we talked about work and following your passion and kids and we reminisced and laughed and ate good food. It was one of those “picking up where you left off” experiences, really. And, I scored a roll of Rowntrees Fruit Gums. ūüôā

Then I took the kids to a fun Star Wars¬†birthday party (did you know that¬†there are blow-up lightsabers?) and now we’re all worn out and I finally have time to do my ROW80 update.

I was a blogging fool this week. I participated in the YA Scavenger Hunt – which was a blast!¬† Many thanks to Colleen Houck for including me. I also wrote a lengthy post that will go up on the 10th for the 12 Days of Christmas Reading.¬† So, if YA books aren’t you thing and you didn’t get in on the scavenger hunt, you’ll want to make the rounds on 12 Days – lots of giveaways¬†of all types of books.

Writing-wise, this week was a bit of a bust, but I don’t feel too badly about it because I was doing so many other author-centric things.¬† 600 words on Back in Time and 87 on a pen name story on Friday.¬† I want to finish both stories this week.¬† We’ll see what happens –¬† when I think my week is going to be chill it suddenly becomes busy.

Here’s to us all getting off one stop before Crazytown Central.

#ROW80 update

I don’t have much to report as I haven’t worked on any of my stories since last week.¬† Mostly I’ve been putting up my Christmas tree and the lights outside and cooking and eating and drinking and dancing.¬† Decoratin’ and cele-bratin’. ūüôā

I’ve eased myself back into writing this week by writing blog posts – one of which is for the YA Scavenger Hunt that starts tomorrow.¬† There are going to be a¬†ton of¬†prizes and¬†books up for grabs!¬† It should be lots of fun.

Today I have plans to write my 12 Days of Reading blog post – that starts on December 12th –¬†and to finish up the pen name story I started last week.

The deadline for¬†Back in Time¬†is fast approaching, so I’ve got to get¬†on that beginning tomorrow.¬† That gives me two weeks to finish it!

Has November been a blip for anyone else?¬† Jeez time goes by¬†so much faster when you’re old. ūüôā

Happy Thanksgiving and #ROW80

This year my family decided to do something different for Thanksgiving and get out of town. I’m headed to Mt. Hood in a couple of hours to enjoy a few days of eating and sledding and snowball fights.

Here’s where we’re staying:

Yes, that’s the Timberline Lodge – the hotel from The Shining. I fully expect my sister to wake me at least once by wiggling her finger in my face and saying “redrumredrumredrum.”

Our plan for Thanksgiving is to eat ourselves silly and then take the kids out to play in the snow.¬† We don’t get much¬† in the valley, and when we do it’s usually covered in a sheet of ice, so my kids have never been sledding before!

Wish me luck, I’m going to be the one driving and I haven’t ever put chains on my tires.¬† Actually, I haven’t driven in much snow at all since I was a teenager…why did I volunteer for this job again? ūüôā

Enjoy the holiday, American types, and do yourself a favor and sleep in on Friday.  The 500 pack of socks for 10 cents will still be there later in the day.

Row80¬†update: I barfed¬†up a whopping 3,279 words on a new pen name short¬†story on Monday. I’m using barf in the best sense of the word – I’d been thinking about the story for a while now and wasn’t in the mood to work on my DBC story, so I thought I’d just get the beginning written.¬† It took off from there!¬† I probably would’ve stayed up late and written more, but my husband wanted me to watch How I Met Your Mother with him and my eyes were¬†burning something fierce. I added another 400 words yesterday and have left off in an awesome spot so that I’ll be rarin’ to go on it¬† when I get back from the mountain.

I also completely reorganized all of my files and finally got the epub version of most of my stories up on All Romance.  A fairly productive beginning to the week that I will now completely ruin by being a sloth for three days.  Yippee!!

Have a good one, y’all.

#ROW80 update

I had what is considered a good writing week for me, although I didn’t write every day.¬† I managed to get in 3,125 words on my Death by Chocolate story, which I’ve decided is called Back in Time.

I’m having a¬†blast writing BIT and it’s about halfway done, thank God.¬† When I first started it I thought I might never make it past 1K.¬† The only weird thing about it thus far is that it’s supposed to be for a YA paranormal romance anthology and as yet, the characters are all adults and there hasn’t been any romance.

I think this is because I’m describing the hell out of everything. I started out writing¬†BIT afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to make the 14K word count, so,¬†for once, the reader’s will know what the characters, scenery and buildings look like. ūüôā¬† I’m doing my usual after-plump while I’m writing it.¬† It’s a new experience.

Other than working on that story, I’ve done some beta reading and signed myself up for some blog tour action in December.¬† One of the stories I beta read was written by my cousin.¬† I really like it – it’s very scientific and thriller-ish and unlike anything that I’d ever write. I’m sure our many greats uncle, Lew Wallace, would be happy to know there continues to be writer’s in his family, although he’d probably think we’re both heathens. ūüôā

That be it for the week. I’m going to try to get some more words in on BIT and make a trip to the grocery to pick up something for the potluck at my son’s school tomorrow that won’t send any of the children into anaphylactic shock.

Midweek #ROW80 update

Surprise, surprise, I’m actually writing an update on the correct day! Wish I had something more exciting to post.

I had a few blessed hours to myself yesterday and I added 862 new words to my Death by Chocolate story. Uh, I think.¬† I also erased whole paragraphs because I decided my main character, Aurelia, needed to be more conflicted about coming home. It’s a time travel story and if she doesn’t miss anything about the other dimension, there’s no real tension in the choice she has to make at the end. So, I’m pleased with where it’s at now.

Currently, I’m on the precipice¬†of the “meet cute” scene and although I want the love interest to be awesome and suave and funny, I think I have to make him a douche.¬† Maybe a douche that’s still really hot? lol Again, there needs to be more conflict.

On the home front, my husband is sick and my kids are still trying to adjust to the time change. This leads to everyone at my house sleeping at weird hours in several places besides their beds. The hubs is favoring the couch, my daughter the floor, and my son and I spend a lot of time in the recliner with our heads hanging over the side. Super comfy.

I’m excited to go on a mom date with Sarah tonight to see In Time.¬† For once we’re going to see a movie because it looks good instead of because of all the hot boys that are in it.¬† Although, there are plenty to ogle in In Time – just not our faves.

I know you’re shocked that I’m seeing a movie tonight and not waiting until tomorrow to check out Breaking Dawn Part 1.¬† I kind of am too, but we’ve decided to check that mutha out next Sunday.¬† I seriously can’t wait to see the honeymoon scene.¬† I powered through the books to get to that part because I’d been promised some sex and then, well, we all know how underwhelming that was. I’m sure I’ll do something dorky like clap and embarrass the hell out of Sarah.¬† I like to think it’s payback for having to see Valentine’s Day just because Abs McLautner was in it. ūüôā

Okay, time to go douchify a character.  Have a super swell Wednesday.

Pantser 4-ever and #ROW80

Last Wednesday a few of us PacNWYA authors gave two talks at a middle school in Portland. Lisa Nowak spoke about writing rules, left brain vs. right brain and how to turn off your internal editor and let creativity come through. (Expect a lot more 8th graders to be participating in NaNoWriMo next year.) Then Angela Carlie and I led a writing exercise that involved writing dialogue and coming up with ideas on the fly.  Finally, we did a Q & A.

It’s been my experience that the first question people ask is, “How long did it take for you to get published?” This is when we all share that our first books took years.¬† We explain that most of us went the traditional route at first, why we got fed up with it and how we made the decision to self-publish.

The second question we get is, “Do you outline?” Some of us do and some of us don’t and we each speak a little bit about our writing process.

What I find most interesting about these two questions –¬†that have been asked of us¬†by kids, teens, teachers, other writers and book bloggers –¬†is that they don’t hear what we say past “My first book took five years to finish and another two to publish” and “Yes, I meticulously outline before I write.”

I feel like the general consensus is that folks want authors to have suffered for their art. That the books we outlined for a year and took five years to write are somehow better because we worked harder on them.

So, as you can imagine, people stop listening to me when I tell them that after I published Glimpse, Glimmer was out eight months later and Glow was out eight months after that. They definitely stop hearing me when I¬†explain that I have no use for outlines because I won’t follow them.

Now, there are a ton of writers and readers to defend the self-published, to rally behind those that put books out on their own schedule.

But who, I ask you, stands for the pantser?

Uh, I guess it will be me.

No one wants to admit to being a pantser, they will say they’re¬† “reformed” or a “hybrid.” I’ve used the hybrid term to describe myself, but I’ll come clean and admit that scribbling a page full of half sentences and characters names is not an outline. Writing down Epic Battle or Showdown or Then they get it on are not¬†decisive plot points.¬†I’ve been known to say that I “know what’s going to happen next” or “I have a solid beginning and ending.”

Nope. I don’t.

In fact, if I write down a plan I can almost guarantee that none of the things listed in the plan will end up in the manuscript.

The only thing that works for my pantserin’ self is to write a sentence, read it, and write another sentence. As far as I can tell, this method still requires creativity and¬†perseverance.¬† I am still, a really real writer.

This method may be your writerly version of hell. I can respect that. Everyone works differently. My method isn’t better than yours and yours isn’t better than mine.¬† We’re all in the business of making stuff up for a living; we’ve all had our characters “speak” to us.¬†We’ve all had¬†those weird moments of inspiration that derailed and then bettered our books.

Those things happen because we’re writers, not because we’re pantsers or plotters. If the end product is awesome, who cares how we got there or who properly suffered more?

One final thought: Pantser¬†is a weird name, but I think we should own it.¬† Let’s not be embarrassed anymore. It’s like the whole indie/self-published thing. Yeah, indie sounds cooler and it will make for a better tattoo, but there’s nothing wrong with¬†saying you’re¬†self-published either. I’m kind of over being embarrassed about how I write and publish.

Self-published pantser.


#ROW80 update: My 300 words a day plan fell apart after the first day. Go figure. I wrote 306 words on Monday and 1,628 words on Friday Рboth days on the DBC anthology story.

This post is cross-posted to the Death By Chocolate blog.

Weekly #ROW80 goals

I’m back from the coast!¬† I had a great time despite being sick and missing out on Friday’s festivities.¬† No eight counts for me, but lots of good mama talk and a very animated reading of my pen name story by my friend Erica.¬† I was both mortified and proud.¬† She has a way with hand gestures that made my words come to life. ūüôā

I also purchased every pair of pajamas that Carter’s makes and got my daughter the glitteriest (is too a word) Christmas ornament I’ve ever seen. The ornament is in a box in a bag and the dog stuck his head in the bag and ended up with glitter on his face.¬† I love me some shiny sparkly!!

Writing went to hell last week.¬† My son’s birthday is this weekend and it is usually the start of the MASS CRAZINESS at my house.¬† Like, the kid has his birthday and then sdflkjwe3rnl2k8i3!!!!! it’s January. So, instead of trying to stick to my original-ish writing goals, I think it’s best to go week by week. (I was kind of doing this already, but declaration is important!)

My goal this week is to write 300 words (great if it’s more) on the DBC anthology story every day. That’s it.

I hope you all have a spendid week and I’ll talk at ya later.

Oh, yes, it’s ladies weekend and #ROW80

I’m allowed to start looking forward to the weekend when it’s only Wednesday, right?¬† This week has sucked so far, as I’ve got a cold and my washer and dryer crapped out just when I really needed them.¬† Off to Best Buy we went and procured ourselves a new set.

They were delivered yesterday, but the outlet in my laundry room was¬†designed for a range instead of a dryer. My poor house.¬† I love it.¬† It’s orange, has a tree growing in the center of it and has lots and lots of windows, but it was built in 1964 and has apparently had nothing but DIYers (including me)¬†habitate under its skylights. Something always has to be updated or redone because it was slapped together with hillbilly carpentry.

Many thanks to Ben,¬†an electrician, for coming out and putting a new outlet in on such short notice.¬† Also, thank you for being hot and having an accent. I can’t really remember anything you said to me, but the washer and dryer are all hooked up and I’ve got on clean underwear for the first time this week.

Yeah, so when that’s a highlight you can bet I’m ready for a weekend away with my girlfriends.

We go to my friend’s family cabin at the beach every November – In fact, I think this will be my 9th year. The only time I’ve missed it was when I was, like, two days away from giving birth to my son.¬† We all lounge about and read US and People magazine, drink Bud Light, eat junk food and just generally have a grown-up slumber party.¬† On Saturday we hit the outlet mall and get started on our Christmas shopping. We play card games and make up dance routines and try on each others’ clothes. There is some hair braiding, I won’t lie. We, without fail, burn our dinner on the first night and have something¬†fried with ranch dressing¬†on it at the bar the second night.

The best part is we get to be how we used to be for a weekend. Before husbands and¬†kids and jobs and mortgages and all the have-to’s that come with getting older. I get called by my first name and no one asks me to get them anything besides maybe another¬†beer. I can forget that I’m on my second set of washer and dryers in my adult life.

The¬†next best part is on Sunday when we go home and get to see our husbands and kids and we offer to get them anything they want and it’s good to be called¬†Honey and Mommy again.

No matter how successful I want to be as a mother and writer, how driven I am, how much I sacrifice “who I used to be,” it can’t all be about getting ahead.¬† Sometimes you have to relax, do some 8-counts, play Apples to Apples and not worry about word count or deadlines or if your kids have clean jammies.

My point: Acting like a jackass 18-year-old can be good for you. ūüôā

ROW80: I wrote 376 words on Dissent on Tuesday and head plotted the rest of the scene last night while folding, you guessed it, laundry.

Spazmatron 5000 and #ROW80

Good morning! Okay, it’s 11, but I got to sleep in until 9, thus my morning is still new. I slept for ten hours last night and have maybe never needed it more. While I was jealous of all the Halloween parties my friends and family were attending, I woke up this morning refreshed and not hung over, so there is a plus to being a boring grown-up once in a while.

Have I mentioned that Glimpse is Free on Amazon?¬† (Like, EVERYWHERE.) Sorry for being so annoying, but I just can’t help it!¬† I’ve had over 5K downloads since Friday evening and it’s making me a spazmatron¬†5000.¬†Right now it’s holding steady at #16 overall in Free and is #1 in both Contemporary Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magic.¬† Can you all frickity-frackin’ believe that?

Thank you SO much to everyone for tweeting about it and posting on Facebook and other places Р Рwho knew?  I have no doubt that all of you made those 5K downloads happen.

If you’re over me and my spazziness, take heart, I’m sure someone will write a review on Goodreads soon¬†calling me a no-talent fuck-up and¬†then I’ll go back to being my normal, sedate¬†self. ūüôā

*snort* That is so not true.  Is this your first time reading this blog?

ROW80 Act-shun!:

Wrote the pants off of my pen name short story this week and got that puppy edited, beta read and published on Friday and Saturday. My alter ego is pleased that she’s already sold a handful of copies.

Added another 253 words to my Death by Chocolate story last night Рmostly pumping up the description and adding more back story to the first scene.  Nothing on Dissent or the Glimpse pilot this week.

Worked on the pen name website, PacNWYA website and wrote a blog post for the DBC blog.

I’m taking the day off from writing today, because at this point I wouldn’t even let a hoarder into my house I’m so embarrassed by the state of it.¬† The kids laundry is done, but I haven’t done my own laundry since the beginning of October!

Thanks, Sarah, for the 8 new pairs of hand-me-down jeans. I couldn’t have survived or clothed my lower half without them.

I’ll talk at you all again on Wednesday, but will be missing next Sunday’s check-in as I’ll be at the beach with my ladies doing 8-counts, drinking cheap beer¬†and eating Combos.

Happy Halloween and thank God October is almost over!