Posts Tagged ‘metrics’

Trials and Tribulations, or why can’t Val update a blog on a regular basis?

Of course, this could be titled “Why can’t Val do anything on a regular basis?” I seem to have issues with regularity, and I wonder why.

 

It could be that somewhere in my dim, distant past, something linked “a regular routine” with “boring” and I HATE boring with a fiery passion. And yes, I know that routine doesn’t have to be boring. I just don’t seem to be able to stick with it.

 

However, I am not a quitter, and so I’m trying again. With some differences, of course – if it hasn’t worked before, why would I try the same thing? Also, see boring, above. This time, I’m leaving my laptop at the studio, forcing myself to go in. And I’ll be doing my blog updates at the same time as my writing – they may not be long, but dammit, I’m going to update! Starting today.

 

I’m on the tail-end of pneumonia (yeah, in the summer. I’m talented, what can I say?), and I’m coming off a low that is partly sickness, partly sadness, and partly frustration. My new goal is 250 words a day. I’m on the Magic Spreadsheet again, and I’ve got a couple of projects that I’m working on. I have an editor for Winter’s Secrets, and one of the projects in the queue is the wedding of the summer – Molly and Drew are getting married on July 25, and they hope you’ll be there for it! There’s a 6-day Summer Advent story that will be going on, and there will be at least one prize (come on, you want one of their wedding favors, don’t you?), so keep a look out for that!

 

Okay, I’ve got a lot to do today, so off to the word mines!

(writing) Ephiphanies

So, I had a headache earlier today.  Well, I THOUGHT I had a headache.

 

What I actually had was a novel trying to burst through my forehead, sort of like Athena coming through Zeus’ brain.  Because once I started jotting notes down for this novel, the headache went away.  And then, when I got to the studio, I managed 2k in 2 hours on the first chapter.

 

Yes, the first chapter.  It doesn’t want an outline.  It says it doesn’t need one, and I’m afraid I might agree.  So Pendragon and Secrets have been shuffled to the side, and I have a new book.  I’m a little afraid of what might be happening, but I’m going to enjoy the ride.

 

This is a magical realism tale, sort of a bastard child of Carter’s Cove and the Dark Horseman world.  It’s not as fluffy as Molly’s world, but it’s not as dark as Nikki’s.  I’m enjoying finding out about it.  So here is the first of many metrics, I hope.

 

Starting count: 0

Ending count: 2075

Beginning sentence:

“No, Reese, I’m fine, really.”

Ending sentence:

“Besides, I think we might be running low on cat food,” Abby said out loud, and chuckled at Timothy’s horrified look.  “Okay, okay, we’ll go get food!”

Darling:

She wandered down the broken fieldstone path to the old stone bench that some former owner had planted under what might have once have been a well-groomed apple tree. Now, the tree was sprawling and gnarled, covered in the remains of blossoms that smelled of sweet decay and sent pale flower petals up into the air with every breeze, and it curled around the bench like a lover. The bench itself was bathed in sunlight, and sitting in the middle of it was a very large long-haired black cat that was snoring.

 

(writing/personal) Monday, my old enemy, we meet again.

I’m trying really hard to keep updating this blog.  I feel bad that it seems to be only on Mondays – I promise, I will get onto more of a schedule soon.  Life has just been…well, life, lately.

 

Hubby is still job hunting, and any good thoughts (or job prospects!) that you folks can send our way would be awesome.  He’s looking hard, and in the meantime, I get to enjoy things like the house being cleaner than normal, and my laundry being done.  Honestly, if we could afford it, I’d love to keep him as a house husband.  He’d be happier too.  We need to win the lottery or something.

 

I’m still writing (yes, this is totally counting as words today, because it is after 11 pm and I’m brain-dead after a Monday), and I’m up to 23 days, I believe.  Not even hurricanes or hurricane-related hangovers stopped me, so one day of weird chats (and dear lord, were they weird.  Especially the guy who wanted to make sure he was still employed, because he couldn’t change his contributions online.  From his work computer.  While he sat in his office.  I swear, I can’t make this stuff up!) is not going to stop me.  And as my friend LC pointed out last week, the fact that I have a life means I have more inspiration.  And I do!

 

I’m hoping to get Into Thin Air out this week.  It’s on my list, and Wednesday after my PT appointment, I’m planning on heading to the studio and getting it out.  This is a labor of love – I really, really love these characters, and I think the story and the concept are awesome.  It’s a new universe, a new plotline – and I can’t wait to share it with you.  I’m thinking Wednesday I might post a scene for you.

 

Health update!  We think the kidney stone passed while I wasn’t looking (a 4mm stone, or so they thought.  My friend Bob uses pearls smaller that that in his jewelry. O.o) but I go to the urologist on Wednesday to find out.  There’s no pain anymore, which is good, but apparently now I’m prone to them (kidney stones, that is).  Joy.  It’s been stupid cold here, so my knees are not happy.  I think Wednesday might also be swim day, as I have a 3 hour block of time in between urologist and PT.  And the pool is warm.  I just have to find my swim suit.

 

But right now, I’m not going to think about sore knees, or bills, or anything like that. I just wanted to thank you guys.  All of you, who believe in me, who like the stories and the characters that I bring into life.  I want to be thankful that I can continue to write.  And I want to remind myself, and everyone else out there, that I always have my writing, and that’s a very, very cool thing.

 

Even if it is stupid cold out.  (Seriously, it’s -17 degrees F before the wind chill.  WTF?  It’s March!  It’s baseball season!  This is NOT AWESOME!)

(writing) The First Pendragon Casefiles is done!

Well, the rough draft is, anyways.  I’m going to let it sit for a week while I sketch out the next book (different series – going for a paranormal romance next – first book of a 3-book series), and then I’m going to settle into revisions.  But it’s done!

 

And did I mention that yesterday was Day 50?  Now I did.

(writing) Leveled up! Day 25 is in the books

Yesterday, I hit Level 3 in the Magic Spreadsheet.  This means that my new word count goal for the day is 350 words, and that I am chugging along.  The first Pendragon novella is at a little over 14k, and is coming along nicely. I’m thinking it will probably top out at 25k, which is great.  I can’t wait to share it with you guys!

 

Today’s wordcount was 445, and I did it in about 45 minutes.  Writing in the morning is working out well.  No darlings today, but I’ll be sharing more in the days coming.

 

Now, time for lunch and getting ready for work.  Have a good day, folks!

 

(writing/to-do/health) Thoughts on the eve of a long weekend

So, I’ve been back to work on the Day Job for three half-days.  Today, I’m exhausted (although I don’t know if it’s because of the two hours at the dentist today to repair a broken tooth or just low stamina), but I have the next FIVE days off, so I’ll be able to sleep in, do some necessary refueling, and see how I feel next week.  Luckily, my doctor is happy to extend my part-time status if needed.  Finding a good doctor is so key – I’m very lucky with mine.  Seriously, if you have health issues and your doctor doesn’t talk to you or listen to you, fire them.  Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up to fail.

 

This weekend, I’m doing some planning.  I want to redesign the website (because I’m aware it sucks.  There’s a reason I’m not a website designer, I’m a writer).  I’m going to actually PLAN it out, though, rather than just try and do it online.  I’m also doing some writing plans, which will involve calendars and metrics and all sorts of fun stuff.  I’m determined to keep my writing going, and this year is the year when I write stuff that I can then pitch to people.  I’m not kidding when I say I have nothing held back.  I’ve sold everything that I have finished.  I have nothing to pitch.  That is not a good situation to be in.  So this year is the year of writing.

 

I also need to start working on some publicity things for Last Rites.  I’m working on the page proofs this week, and then I will have some interesting news for you guys.  And some teasers!  And maybe, just maybe, some other things that you might be interested in.

 

And now, I’m going to bed.  Because I’m mean that way.

(writing) We’ve crossed the 40k mark

That’s right.  In 2013 so far, I have written over 40,000 words.

 

That’s amazing.  That’s almost a NaNo novel.  It might be more than I wrote in total last year.  And it’s only halfway through May.  I’m seriously impressed.

 

And the big thing is that I’m doing it steadily, a little at a time.  I think I wrote about the Magic Spreadsheet before, but that’s what I’ve been using to keep my chain going.  I’m level 2 at the moment, which means I need to write a minimum of 300 words a day.  I’m averaging about 350 words a day (which will be good when I level up!), and it’s a good daily habit.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Of course, once I start editing, that will be a whole different thing.

 

Oh, and more news!  I have a plot idea for the next Advent Story (thank you, Dad!).  So there WILL be an Advent Story this year, and yes, Schrodinger will be back.  Maybe this year, I’ll even get things together enough to offer the first two Advent Stories as books.  Anything is possible!

(personal/writing) Getting back into the swing of things

I’ve been writing again.  In fact, my new streak is at 8 days and counting.  It feels good to write again, like I’ve found the right thing that I need to be doing.

 

I used to wish I was one of those authors who could have two or more projects going at once, because they always seemed to be getting stuff done.  However, as part of learning my own process, I’m realizing that I’m not built that way.  I have two current stories going, and I’m going to be putting one aside so I can concentrate on the other one.  I can’t switch back and forth from different worlds – not when I’m writing, at least.  So I’ll choose one (Pendragon, actually) and then, once that draft is done, I’ll switch back to Midsummerland.

 

I’m okay with this.  Yes, it takes me longer to write and finish things.  But that’s okay.  It’s my process, and I’m owning it.  I have other things I can work on as well (like the page proofs for Last Rites), and the sooner I finish Pendragon, the sooner I can start shopping it around.

 

And that’s a good thing.

(personal/update/writing) I really don’t do this blogging thing well, do I?

I’m trying, I really am.  I need to get myself on a schedule again, where I settle in to write before work, so it’s done.  I also need to start working on more blog posts.  I just feel like I don’t know quite what to say, so blogging feels – I dunno.  Self-aggrandizing.  Ah well, I’ll get over it.

 

So, what’s been going on?  I’m still writing.  My streak ended at 54 days – I’m starting a new streak today after missing yesterday due to a ghost investigation.  It was a FASCINATING investigation, and I can’t wait to work on my recorder tomorrow.  I have something like 7 hours to listen to.

 

Writing news – I have the interior proofs of Last Rites, which are due by the end of the month.  I’m also working on the rough draft of Midsummerland, which I’m planning on having the rough done of by June 1, so I can revise it and get it sent on the agent hunt by September.  I’m still plugging away on Pendragon Casefiles 1 too, so don’t worry.  Ghost hunters will be out by the end of the year!

 

More later.  I just wanted to make sure that folks knew I wasn’t dead.  And that I’ll be doing more blogging soon.  I promise.

(personal/writing/health) Not dead!

In fact, I’m doing really well.  Just amazingly busy.  (What else is new?)

 

I’m up to day 34 of writing every day.  I leveled up last week, which means in order to get my points, I have to write 300 words a day, not 250.  I’m not up to NaNo level yet, but the habit is really sticking.  I have high hopes for Camp NaNo next month!

 

The current project is Pendragon Casefiles #1 – ghost story.  It needs a better title, but that will come.  At this point, it’s going to be a novella.  I’m looking at doing a series of them.  In anticipation of that, I submitted a prequel story to Every Photo Tells…  for their March photo.  As soon as that goes live, I’ll have a link for you!

 

I’m also still in training for my 5k run in April – only like 3 weeks away! Eek!  I’m so not ready.

 

But I’ll make it through.  The current plan is to blog here 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and blog over at Cassandra’s blog on Tuesday and Thursday.  That blog is going to be more centered towards editing and proofreading, but there will be all sorts of things going on at both.

 

Also, con plans.  At this point, the only con I am planning on attending is CapClave in October.  I might go to Readercon, but I haven’t decided yet.  A lot depends on finances.

 

More info to come.