ROW80 Check-In – 3.6: Week In Review

Here’s my week in review…

Write 7000 words each week.  2000/7000.  Last week I finished the prequel novella I’ve been working on since early July.  The first two chapters will be posting to my blog this week.  I have some revising to do to later chapters, but it’s in a place where I can be okay with sharing it here on my website.  I’ll be taking the rest of August off in terms of writing new words.  I haven’t ever intentionally taken time off from writing.  It’s happened, and I’ve gone long stretches without writing, but not ever because I planned it.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to not write for the rest of the month, but I know that my imagination needs a break and my creative bucket needs time to refill.

Journal everyday.  38/41.  I haven’t made today’s journal entry but the day isn’t over yet so it could happen!

Read one book a week.  I did manage to finish a book this week–Cursed City by William Massa.  I read several samples and also read about half of The Sick House by Ambrose Ibsen before giving up on it.  I’m definitely in a book slump and can’t really find what I think I want to read.  My writing time will become my reading time for the rest of August, so I’m hoping to knock out some titles on my list while also trying to discover some new authors.

  1. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt
  2. This Side of the Grave – Jeaniene Frost
  3. Turn Coat – Jim Butcher
  4. Surrender – Lisa Renee Jones
  5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Ride Rough – Laura Kaye
  7. Entice Me – J. Kenner
  8. Anchor Me – J. Kenner
  9. Ripley Under Ground – Patricia Highsmith
  10. Demon from the Dark – Kresley Cole
  11. Just One Touch – Maya Banks
  12. Hard As Steel – Laura Kaye
  13. Hard Ever After – Laura Kaye
  14. The Iscariot Sanction – Mark A. Latham
  15. Random – Craig Robertson

Write one book review for my blog each week.  I have written  a review of Cursed City and plan to have it posted to my site tomorrow.

Walk/Run twelve miles each week. Ah, nothing to report here for this week.

Want to learn more about ROW80?  Click here.

Have a great week!

ROW80 Check-In – 3.5: Turn It Off

 

I struggle to turn off my mind, and I know I’m not alone in this.  Thus, today’s image is a reminder for me and for you.  Take a few minutes to enjoy the natural beauty of the world.  Slow down, reset, let go of what no longer serves you or brings you joy.  Turn off the noise and give yourself a minute to hear yourself think, or not think at all.

Here’s my week in review…

Write 7000 words each week.  10386/7000.  I have steadily been working on the last few scenes of a prequel all week.  The epilogue is the last scene left to write, and it will be from the POV of a different character.  I have three scenes that need to be heavily rewritten and condensed into two scenes, and I also need to write the equivalent of back cover copy for the prequel. Lots left to do before I post the first chapter as a web serial on August 15th, but I’m slowly getting there.

Journal everyday.  32/34.  I actually missed yesterday’s journal entry.  It was a marathon day of writing on my prequel, and the journal entry just got away from me.  Still, I’m happy with the way this goal is going.

Read one book a week.  Well, I started reading Ghost Detective by Scott William Carter.  I don’t know if I’ll finish it.  What I really want right now is some noir-style detective fiction, but this book isn’t exactly satisfying my need for a fix.  Anyone got any recommendations? I want something that is contemporary (though I do love Chandler, Hammett, the MacDonalds), something set in the 21st century.  I love the Sandman Slim novels and so I’ll take paranormal recommendations, too.

  1. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt
  2. This Side of the Grave – Jeaniene Frost
  3. Turn Coat – Jim Butcher
  4. Surrender – Lisa Renee Jones
  5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Ride Rough – Laura Kaye
  7. Entice Me – J. Kenner
  8. Anchor Me – J. Kenner
  9. Ripley Under Ground – Patricia Highsmith
  10. Demon from the Dark – Kresley Cole
  11. Just One Touch – Maya Banks
  12. Hard As Steel – Laura Kaye
  13. Hard Ever After – Laura Kaye
  14. The Iscariot Sanction – Mark A. Latham
  15. Random – Craig Robertson

Write one book review for my blog each week.  Nope. This is not happening this week.  *sigh*

Walk/Run twelve miles each week. Ah, nothing to report here for this week.

Want to learn more about ROW80?  Click here.

Have a great week!

ROW80 Check-In – 3.4: Bubbles

Bubble baths and bubbly.  If you’ve had a peek at my About Me page or know me IRL, you know that these are two of my favorite things.

I indulged in a bubble bath last night.  It’s been a long, stressful week filled with life questions I can’t answer, more than a little bit of self-doubt, and concern about the health about my 94-year-old grandmother.  It’s also been a week to wish my older brother many happy returns and remind myself that mountains aren’t climbed in large leaps, but rather in the relentless, continuous motion of putting one foot in front of the other.  This week has been chaotic and I spent several days feeling out of rhythm with my Self (no that’s not a typo).  To find my way back to the calm, collected, peaceful center within that I have spent the year recognizing and cultivating, I opted for a bubble bath late Saturday afternoon, and I followed it up with a short nap.

Do you know what I discovered?  Bubble baths go a long way toward calming my nervous system.  Afterward I had this feeling of zen that lasted the rest of the night.  It was fantastic and the best gift I could have given myself.

Now for a recap of the last few days….

Write 7000 words each week.  6433/7000.  I ended up having four zero days this week.  Really unusual for me, and I can’t help drawing a connection between the lack of writing and the chaotic, stressful week that comprised the rest of my life.  The good news is that I got a good bit of writing done on Saturday and I also got some writing done today.  In total, I wrote two of the three scenes I was hoping to get done this weekend, and now I’m only one scene behind where I ideally wanted to be at the end of this week.  The other good news is that I have successfully completed my CampNaNo goal for July!  Currently my wordcount is at 38047/36000.  That may actually be where I finish the month, as I put off another commitment and the deadline is tomorrow and I may need to give up some or all of my writing time tomorrow morning to get it in and done on time.  However, I’m actually grateful for the chance to reflect on how writing (or not writing) impacts the rest of my life.  I’ve said before and I’ll say it again–writing is my keystone habit.  When I do it, the rest of my day is just better.  When I don’t, things tend to fall apart.  Let’s hope that next week I get back into my normal rhythm.

Journal everyday.  27/28.  I’ve only missed one day of journaling for the month of July.  Last month I missed three days and in May I missed one day.  I’m so close to having a whole month where I journal everyday!  I’ll try again in August but I’m happy with my progress here.

Read one book a week.  This week’s book was actually a novella–One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis.  I had put a monthly goal in my daily planner to read four books this month, and I’ll end up having read six books total.  I haven’t gotten through everything on the list below, but I’m steadily getting back into the habit of making time to read and that’s what’s most important to me right now.

  1. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt
  2. This Side of the Grave – Jeaniene Frost
  3. Turn Coat – Jim Butcher
  4. Surrender – Lisa Renee Jones
  5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Ride Rough – Laura Kaye
  7. Entice Me – J. Kenner
  8. Anchor Me – J. Kenner
  9. Ripley Under Ground – Patricia Highsmith
  10. Demon from the Dark – Kresley Cole
  11. Just One Touch – Maya Banks
  12. Hard As Steel – Laura Kaye
  13. Hard Ever After – Laura Kaye
  14. The Iscariot Sanction – Mark A. Latham
  15. Random – Craig Robertson

Write one book review for my blog each week.  My review of One Snowy Night will get published to my blog tomorrow (I’m trying to make Mondays the days that book reviews get posted).

Walk/Run twelve miles each week. Ah, nothing to report here for this week.

Do you love bubble baths?  Do you also find that they have a calming, restorative impact on your mental outlook?  What are your favorite things and how does indulging in one of them help you bring order to the chaos of everyday life?

Want to learn more about ROW80?  Click here.

Have a great week!

ROW80 Check-In – 3.4: The Power of Music

I have had music on the brain for the past few days.  There are certain songs that I could hear right this minute and point to a particular time in my life (I listened to the Game of Thrones Season One soundtrack while studying for the Series 7 and 66), or a particular story I have written (Springsteen’s “The Secret Garden”, The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris”, and X Ambassadors’ “Unsteady” have all been theme songs for various projects), or a particular memory from childhood (like my brother teaching me all the lyrics to The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”).  I’ve been to my share of concerts and I’ve got a writing playlist that I listen to all the time and that only changes when I add new songs.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of music, and though I will never ever meet any of my favorite musicians (and perhaps that’s actually a good thing), it’s no less true how much I’ve been touched, inspired, motivated and at times emotionally leveled by their lyrics (I went to a yoga class not long ago, and the teacher had Michael Jackson’s “Man In the Mirror” playing and I was almost in tears because it was the exact song I needed to hear in that exact moment in time). When you know that someone you’ve never met who had that kind of effect on a specific time or moment in your life–helping you write the scene, reach the goal, pass the test, dance with someone you love, resolve to make a change in your life–is gone from the world, I don’t think it’s strange to feel a sense of loss.  In fact, I think it’s human.  For whom the bell tolls.  The sense of an ending.  (See what I did there?)

Write 7000 words each week.  1669/7000.  It’s been a slow week in terms of writing, with yesterday and today being zero days.  I have eight scenes left to write in my current WIP and even though I have written for two days, there’s loads of time to get back on schedule for the week and on track to meet my deadline of 8/15 for finishing the first draft.  Hopefully, my mind has been percolating on the story even though I haven’t gotten any words down.

Journal everyday.  23/24.  I have started to set my timer for thirty minutes when starting each day’s journal entry.  I try to write for the full thirty minutes, sort of in a stream of conscious style.  It’s amazing that I actually could still write even after the buzzer goes off.  I like it and will keep doing it.

Read one book a week.  I finally finished reading Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, which I expect to finish tonight.  I don’t read a whole lot of non-fiction or even books about writing so I don’t know how to rate this one.  Like I said last time, it has some good information in it. I’m not crazy about the style of the presentation (there is a lot of self-promotion by way of examples to get the writers’ point across) but I do think there is advice that writers can apply to their own writing and writing careers.

  1. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt
  2. This Side of the Grave – Jeaniene Frost
  3. Turn Coat – Jim Butcher
  4. Surrender – Lisa Renee Jones
  5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Ride Rough – Laura Kaye
  7. Entice Me – J. Kenner
  8. Anchor Me – J. Kenner
  9. Ripley Under Ground – Patricia Highsmith
  10. Demon from the Dark – Kresley Cole
  11. Just One Touch – Maya Banks
  12. Hard As Steel – Laura Kaye
  13. Hard Ever After – Laura Kaye
  14. The Iscariot Sanction – Mark A. Latham
  15. Random – Craig Robertson

Write one book review for my blog each week.  Nothing new to report here.

Walk/Run twelve miles each week. I haven’t walked at all this week and as I look at how the rest of this work week is going to unfold, it’s not looking good.  I may not get to the gym again until Saturday.

In case you were wondering, the theme song for my current WIP is “The Space Between” by Dave Matthews Band.  The project I’ll be working on next already has a theme song.  “Let it Be Me” by Ray LaMontagne.  Do you identify a theme song for each writing project?  What songs have you used? How has having a theme song impacted your story?

Want to learn more about ROW80?  Click here.

Have a great week!

ROW80 Check-In – 3.3: No Signal

Let’s spend a minute thinking about this boat on the water, with no people, no land, and perhaps most importantly, no cell tower in sight. What would it be like to be on that boat for just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon? Where all you really had to do is lay on the bottom and stare at the sky or lean against the bow or stern and watch the world drift by? What if, in that boat, you couldn’t access the internet, your smartphone had fallen overboard, and the only companionship you have is your own thoughts, your own mind? Would it be a wonderful escape, or a pending nightmare? Would it be heaven or hell?

Write 7000 words each week.  8398/7000.  It was a good week in terms of writing.  I had a zero day on Tuesday, but other than that I wrote everyday and met my weekly wordcount goal.  I still have no word debt for CampNaNoWriMo and I’m currently at 31614/36000.  Getting really close to reaching my goal and “winning” the July challenge.  Next week will be about crossing the finish line.  The other good thing that’s happened this week is that I am still on schedule to meet my self-imposed deadline for completing the first draft of my current WIP.  According to the project target in Scrivener, I have 24 days left to write nine scenes.

Journal everyday.  20/21.  I missed my journal entry for last Sunday, and that was the first day I’d missed making a journal entry for the month of July.

Read one book a week.  I’m still reading Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, which I expect to finish tonight.  I don’t plan to write a book review. I’m still undecided on how I feel about the book as a whole.  I think there’s some good information in it, but I’m not all that enamored with the presentation.  I also have read almost the first 100 pages of Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Pleasure (book 3 in the Lords of the Underworld series).  So I’m reading.  I’ve started a few things but haven’t finished anything since the first week of July.

  1. The Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt
  2. This Side of the Grave – Jeaniene Frost
  3. Turn Coat – Jim Butcher
  4. Surrender – Lisa Renee Jones
  5. The Return of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  6. Ride Rough – Laura Kaye
  7. Entice Me – J. Kenner
  8. Anchor Me – J. Kenner
  9. Ripley Under Ground – Patricia Highsmith
  10. Demon from the Dark – Kresley Cole
  11. Just One Touch – Maya Banks
  12. Hard As Steel – Laura Kaye
  13. Hard Ever After – Laura Kaye
  14. The Iscariot Sanction – Mark A. Latham
  15. Random – Craig Robertson

Write one book review for my blog each week.  Nothing new to report here.

Walk/Run twelve miles each week. I managed a total of 7 miles this week.

  • Wednesday = 2.32 miles / 45 minutes (32/100)
  • Thursday = 2.32 miles / 45 minutes (33/100)
  • Saturday – 2.36 miles / 45 minutes (34/100)

 

In case you were wondering, that boat would be heaven to me.  If all I had to do was hand over my electronics and be promised a safe return to shore after five or six hours floating on the water, I would take it in a heartbeat.  No signal, a chance to hear myself think and turn off the noise and distractions–yes, that sounds like a wonderful escape.

Want to learn more about ROW80?  Click here.

Have a great week!