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Showing posts from June, 2014

June Check-In

Where did June even go? Wasn't I just writing May's check-in, like, yesterday? It was a good month. Certainly lots of things happened.

Writing: 
Word count: 31,451
This month easily broke the records set by the previous months. In fact, a third of my grand total for the year so far was written this month. It really does help to have a steady WIP. I haven't quite hit 20k yet but I'm loving it so far and looking forward to seeing how the rest of it goes.

Reading: 
This month: 2
Total: 20
Should be: 25
I've reduced my goal to 50 books once again for the year because I don't see myself getting caught up and making it to 100. I spent most of the month reading Son by Lois Lowry, through no fault of the book itself. I'm just having a really hard time settling down to read when there's so many distractions.

Movies: 
This month: 8
Total: 22
Should be: 25
I should be able to get caught up pretty easily at this point. Movies I highly recommend from this month are Mon…

What's Up Wednesday: June 25

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What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.
What I'm Reading: 
I did actually keep my promise from last week to have a new answer to this question. I finally finished Son by Lois Lowry. I'm not going to write a review of it because I'm not sure what to say (and also because I took so long reading it), but I did enjoy it and it made me want to go back and reread the first three books. Next up, I've started a memoir called The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson.

What I'm Writing: 
Progressing a little bit slower on LP this week. My word count is up to 16k and climbing. I have a good idea of where I'm going, but I'm not so sure of what's happening now and that's slowing me down. I am a pantser by nature but I do keep a rough list of future scene ideas and questions that need to be answered.

What Else I've Been Up To: 
Over the weekend, I passed my road test and got my drivers' licens…

Get Back on the Horse

There's a saying in the horse world that sometimes comes up, especially among young riders. "You're not a real rider until you fall off a horse seven times." I hit that point several years ago and here are the lessons I learned that I also apply to writing.

Fall #1: 
I was up on an old, bombproof gelding responsible for giving me the "horse bug." I wasn't experienced enough to know how to do much more than hold the reins. There was only a thick blanket between me and the horse. My gelding was following his pasture mate and, of course, they both decided to trot. The blanket started to slip and I landed right on my tailbone. I was completely fine and while I don't remember getting back on the horse, I must have at some point. 

Moral: The first fall is always the hardest. It'll be a shock to your system but get right back up there and you'll be fine.

Fall #2 and #3: 
By this time, I was under the instruction of a professional trainer (if you us…

What's Up Wednesday: June 18

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What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch. My apologies for reading so few blogs last week. I use feedly to help keep track of posts and it was down for several days last week.

What I'm Reading: 
To hold myself accountable, I'm going to make a promise. Next week, I will have a new answer for this question.I need to get in gear because I've been informed by people who actually watch it that the Game of Thrones show has caught up to where I am in the books. Which means I need to take advantage of the hiatus to get ahead if I want to stay that way.

What I'm Writing: 
Making steady progress on my new WIP, nicknamed "LP" for the time being. I hit 10k at the end of last week and then took the weekend off writing, but I've started up again this week. The original premise that I had in mind is not exactly what's coming out now. While I'm excited about the change, I'm also not quite s…

Five Things to Look for in Submission Guidelines

When querying, you should read the submission guidelines for each agent carefully. While the basic process is typically the same, some agents do have some preferences on how queries should be sent and what they should include.

1. How?
Some agencies use an online form for queries, so keep an eye out to see if this is the case. If it's not, then check to see how queries should be sent. Most agencies seem to accept e-queries these days, some of them exclusively. However there are still some agents that only accept snail mail. Whichever method you intend to use, make sure you're finding agents that accept it.

2. Agency policy on submitting to multiple agents
There are some agencies that ask for a query to be submitted to only one agent at the agency. Therefore, a no from one is a no from all. Other agencies allow submissions to multiple agents, but not simultaneously. I keep notes on which agencies are "no one, no all" to make sure that I don't accidentally query them…

What's Up Wednesday: June 11

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What's Up Wednesday is a weekly blog hop created by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk to help writers stay in touch.
What I'm Reading: 
In books, still Son. I've been distracted lately in doing research into criticisms of Cesar Millan (you may know him as The Dog Whisperer from National Geographic).

What I'm Writing: 
Exciting news for this one for once. I finished Weredragon's polish a couple weeks ago and sent it to a friend who gave me some great comments and pointed out some things I'd missed. I've had a SNI  floating around my head for several months now but it was just a premise. I had ideas for two characters, but I was still lacking their basic personalities and that's the important thing to me when I start writing. On Sunday, I started writing and I've already hit just over 7k. There are dragons and sorcerers and captured princesses and I'm very excited about it.

What Inspires Me: 
New characters. I work with a vague outline to give me some idea…

What Comes First?

No, this isn't one of those chicken or egg discussions because I can go on for far too long about that question. I started a new WIP yesterday and it got me thinking about what element of the story comes first when I get a new idea.

Sometimes it's the characters. The people in my story are extremely important to me and usually they come first. They're personalities and sometimes looks pop into my head. I can hear the voices. Sometimes I get a feel for their story right away and other times it remains a mystery for some time.

Most of the time, it's the premise. With Weredragon, I had the simple idea of a girl stuck in the woods because she transformed into a dragon at night. From there Helena and Tristian came about to take on that premise. That's what happened with my current WIP. I thought of the basic idea but the characters didn't come out to play until I had to come up with names so that I could actually start writing. Under this umbrella, is the occasiona…

May Check-In

What do you mean we're halfway through 2014 already? May wasn't a bad month but it wasn't a great one either. I'm having a little trouble getting back into the rhythm of blogging and thinking of things to talk about.

Writing: 
Word count: 14,398
I'll be finishing up Weredragon's final polish today and then I have every intention of starting a new WIP that doesn't have a nickname yet but does also involve dragons.

Reading: 
This month: 1
Total: 18
Should be: 50
I just haven't been wanting to read lately. It's not for lack of books, I have entire stacks that I really need to get to. I'm planning a personal read-a-thon in the next couple of weeks so I can hopefully work my way through at least a few of them.

Movies: 
This month: 6
Total: 14
Should be: 25
This was a big movie month for me. My favorite for the month is a tie between The Normal Heart and Black Swan. Both movies were amazing but I love the for different reasons. Normal Heart made me fall…