For a Midwest Minute

I mentioned in my weekly update that the trip to Cincinnati was… interesting to say the least. Now, I want to be honest. The Husbando and I had scoped out Cincinnati as a potential contender for relocation. We looked into best places to live for the cost and looked at the housing market and were pretty impressed. The next step was to visit and see how the city felt. Because on paper, things looked promising.

Well, I can tell you, after four days spent in the city, promising is not the word for it. Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a bunch, let me caveat this with the following: These are my feelings about Cincinnati. Mine. And mine alone. I know that I visited in early March, when winter still has much of the country in its frigid, deathly grip. This was intentional; I wanted to see the city at its worst, because if I still liked it, then I knew it would only get better with nicer weather. I stacked the odds against Cincinnati on purpose and kept that decision in my mind as we explored the city.

Guys. It didn’t do well.

There’s a lot to like in Cincinnati, don’t mistake me. The Newport Aquarium was a ton of fun and really well maintained. The Zoo was amazeballs (and yes, we got to see Fiona!), and the Cincinnati Museum Center is absolutely gorgeous. At all three locations there were field trips out for a day of learning and exploration and that was really cool to see.SAve Ferris

Cincinnati also has a thriving craft beer scene. We had low expectations for this, since Oregon is sort of the Mecca for the US Craft Beer movement (seriously, throw a rock in Salem and you’ll hit a brewery or taphouse). The beers didn’t need to be better than home, just on par, which they definitely were. Also, oddly enough, sour beers seem to be very popular in Cincinnati, of which I had zero complaints. I love a good Berliner Weisse, and Nine Giants’ Save Ferris was probably the best I’ve ever had.

We also went to a crazy store called Jungle Jim’s, which my husband described as, “an international themed fever dream where you can buy some fresh fish, giant paella pan, scotch, and durian fruit in the same store while passing by a talking Campbell’s soup can that haunts you until you die.” We followed that up with a visit to the biggest fucking antique mall I have ever been blessed to visit. I bought an unconventional souvenir for my office and have zero regrets.

campbells nightmare
Talk about nightmare fuel…

The Findlay Market was cool, though with it being the off season it was just a fraction of how awesome it undoubtedly is in the spring and summer. That being said, we have farmer’s markets here in Salem, and Portland has a huge one. And Pike’s is only four hours away in Seattle.

And ultimately, that’s what it kept coming down to. Yeah, Cincinnati has cool stuff, but not anything that can’t be equalled by the Pacific Northwest.  So, when the cities are neck and neck, what breaks the tie?


Now, PNW folks are notorious for being ridiculously, obnoxiously, frustratingly nice. They will stop six lanes of traffic to let you jaywalk. They will stop an entire interstate to save a lost dog. “Please” and “Thank You” have nearly lost all meaning because we all say them so automatically that half the time I can’t remember if I even said it. Sort of like flushing the toilet or locking the door, but for politeness.

I thought I was sick of it. I thought I was fed up with false kindness and the West Coast notion that customer service must infiltrate every aspect of your life. I thought I was done with it. And then I went to a bar in Cincinnati.

WTF is Burgoo and why was it so good?

Across the city, from restaurants to breweries to fast food chains to grocery stores, gruff and efficient is the rule. They don’t want to chit-chat, which I am fine with, but they also don’t want to smile or tell you to have a nice day or thank you for coming in. They do not want to acknowledge you beyond, “What do you want?” and “Do you want to start a tab?” or “Receipt?”

It shocked me. It disgruntled me. I felt immediately defensive and closed off. For the first time, I wasn’t so sure we’d be able to make friends in Cincinnati and I wasn’t sure that I would even want to. I already have great friends, and almost all of them live in Salem (Bolt, I’m looking at you, so hurry it up already and move back!).

Ultimately, nothing about Cincinnati made me want to dig up the roots we’ve grown here in Oregon and start all over again. Which we agreed on after only two days, which left us with another two days to explore and just enjoy the vacation!

Now, of course, not every person we interacted with was so closed off and unfriendly. There was a fabulous server at the Moerlein Lager House named Mikey, and another great server at 50 West Brewing (I can’t remember her name, sorry!). And the sweet guy at the counter of the Taste of Belgium stand at Findlay Market that forgot to give Trev his coffee and was amazed at how unworried we were about it. But the majority was… brusque to say the least.

We spent a day in Kentucky, meeting up with my husband’s aunt, which was a blast, and then we went to the Kentucky Derby Museum for a walk down memory lane for me, and a first time visit for Trevor. I was pretty emotional the whole time. The last time I was there was in 1995 when I went on a cross country road trip with my grandparents. My papa has since passed away, and though I don’t have many distinct memories from our visit to Churchill Downs there were just enough to keep my eyes moist at sharing this visit with my husband, whom my papa never got the chance to meet.

And while the people in Kentucky are beyond nice, come Wednesday, Trev and I were so so so ready to be home. So of course, that’s the day the Boeing 737 Max’s were grounded. And of course, that was the plane we were supposed to be on. What was supposed to be an arrival time of 10pm in Portland turned into 11am, with us spending 22 hours either in an airport or on a plane. My advice? Skip Chicago Midway if you can, and DEFINITELY don’t spend the night there. The only silver-lining on that was the hilarious native Chicagoan that sat at the bar drinking a Budweiser while we ate breakfast and shot the shit with us. He was hilarious and a delight. There will be inside jokes involving that guy for the rest of our lives, I’m sure.

And then we were home and I snuggled my dog and vowed not to leave the PNW for as long as I possibly could. Which is roughly a year since Southwest gave us two $100 vouchers for the whole 737 snafu.

So, the trip served its purpose. We went to Cincinnati to see if we’d want to live there. We very quickly decided no, and got a chance to relax and just enjoy ourselves for a few days. Other than the awful travel on the way home, I’d say that was worth it. Plus, I wouldn’t have found Melvin if we hadn’t gone!

There is no Tavern, and Moby Dick was published in 1851, but the inaccuracies only make me love it more. Hence the name, Melvin. 

Knowing that a cross-country move isn’t in our future has reinvigorated our enthusiasm for the house we do have. Old projects are resurfacing, especially as the weather improves, and I hope we’ll actually have our entertainment center built up by the summer and my built-in desk finished by fall.

Home is where you make it, after all. So maybe it’s high time we showed this house some love and focused on turning it into our home. This trip really helped me appreciate where I am and what I have, and the city I share with so many people I care about. It led to a reaffirmation for both of us, and I couldn’t be happier with that.

Because, let’s face it. I’m a West Coast kid, through and through. And that’s how it’s going to stay. At least for the foreseeable future.



Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 24

Hey Blogland!

This last week was… not what I expected. Hopefully I can regroup and see some productivity this week.

Last Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading something
  • Write two tumblr prompts
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
    • For the first time this year, I did not meet this goal.
  • Write 500 words/day on The Steel Armada
    • Nope. Actually, I wrote zero words on The Steel Armada last week.
  • Finish reading something
    • Yes? I was hesitant to count it, because it was fanfic, but I read a total of 268,649 words, which is roughly 1,000 pages. I figure that, if I’m counting my fanfic writing towards word count goals, fanfic should count for reading goals too. Even if it doesn’t count for the actual Goodreads Reading Challenge.
  • Write two tumblr prompts
    • No. But, I did write one of them, so that was good!
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Yes! The one thing I can always count on to get done.

Weekly Word Count: 1,653

So what the heck happened? Honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I think I’m a little depressed? My eating habits these last couple weeks have been dismal, I have zero drive to get anything done, and I spent all my time playing Horizon Zero Dawn and reading related fanfic.

HZD Sundom CLimb

I talked about it with a friend on Saturday, which I think really helped. It also got me out of the house and into the sun, which also really helped. I realized that the majority of my life’s traumas have occurred in the summertime. The deaths of loved ones, turbulent times financially and emotionally. And, it’s such a constant for me that I think my mind is prepping itself for stress. I’m shutting down preemptively.

So, now I just have to combat it. I’m trying to keep doing my normal activities. Monday night is movie night, so I went to my friend’s house and we watched Twin Peaks. We’re on season two and I am real confused. But I’m really enjoying it.dale cooper coffee

We finally finished tilling the front yard, and have now seeded the lawn. I’m looking forward to grass out front, I think it will really make the house look much nicer. I got plenty of sunshine and exercise this weekend thanks to more yard work, and I think it’s a large reason of why I feel so much better so far this week.

So, What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day of The Steel Armada
  • Write 2 tumblr prompts
  • Finish listening to Side Jobs
  • Write 500 words of Sanctuary
  • Review Madhu’s pages

That’s a lot of bullet points, especially when I achieved so little last week. But, I’m feeling hopeful? I guess? I feel like there are a lot of question marks in my head right now, but I’ll never get rid of them if I don’t try to do the things I want to. So, I’m setting the bar high. You know, shoot for the stars and all that.

I’ve already written one tumblr prompt and I think my week immersed in Horizon Zero Dawn was actually good for me. It turned off my brain for a little while, let me absorb a new story in a way that didn’t feel like work. Maybe I should track the games I play each year, like I do reading? Hmm, food for thought.

HZD Hearts

Anyway, the plan is to buckle down and do a lot of writing this week on various projects. Gotta get those creative juices flowing again. If I can pull myself away from gaming long enough to do so…

I have some nebulas blog post ideas for this week, so you should see me back her sometime closer to the weekend. I’m working extra hours this week as well, so my time will be at a premium.

Until then, Bloggos,



Goals Summary wk. 4

Hello, hello!

In non-writing news, the Husband and I are buying a couch. Finally! A nice big sectional to fit our very not-apartment-sized living room. It feels very grown up, only made more so by happening on the fringe of tax season.

Everyone said that once we bought a house taxes would be much better. Well, turns out not to be the case. We’re getting back the lowest amount since we’ve been together. Not sure how, or why, and we’re definitely looking into it, but we’re getting $0.00 back from the interest paid on the house.

Hurray, us!

But, we’re getting the couch anyway and I’m at least excited for that.wildeeps

Now, what was I supposed to do this week?

  • Finish chapter 12 of From the Quorum
  • Read The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps
  • Publish 2 blog posts

What did I actually do?

  • Wrote 802 words of From the Quorum. Not great, but a lot better than no words, so I’m satisfied.
  • Completed Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, book review forthcoming.
  • Published two blog posts.

So, overall, an all right week. Nothing too spectacular, but I got a bit done. Moving into February I’ll have more time and hopefully more discipline to achieve a bit more. last-unicorn

What am I doing this week?

  • I am finishing chapter 12 of From the Quorum! I am!
  • Read and discuss The Last Unicorn (book club title #1) by Peter S. Beagle
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Print and reread draft #2 of The Steel Armada, prepping notes for forthcoming edits

I only need about 1k more words to finish the chapter, so it should happen this week. Reading is gonna be tight, but I should just finish the book on time. The blog posts are in the bag, with this one and the book review coming on Thursday. Printing and rereading the manuscript will take some time. I might need beer. I might need a bar. I might disappear for a few hours this weekend to get that done.

But, I feel pretty good about everything. Except my taxes…

Until Thursday, when we discuss The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps,



State of Mind

I know. I know. You were expecting a book review. I promise, that will post sometime today. Consider this… a bonus.

I’m in atypically high spirits right now. For no apparent reason. Music pounds through the house via my favorite Christmas present: a Sony Bluetooth speaker from the In-Laws. It was gifted as a “both of us” present, but come on. I’m the music freak in this house. I’m the one that screams song lyrics at the top of my lungs until 3 AM. I’m the one that holds impromptu dance parties of one at the drop of a hat.

That speaker is mine.

And right now it is shuffling through my music with style. Currently, “Arabella” by Arctic Monkeys, which has my blood pumping.

I wanted to talk about my work space. This is something that is very important to me, and I know has come up on multiple posts. Usually I talk about the tone and atmosphere of whatever coffee shop (read: Starbucks) I’ve landed in for the day. But, I don’t work for the coffee giant any more, and don’t really go there unless I’m giving myself a treat of Iced Coffee.

And I knodeskw I’ve shown photos of my work space as it comes together, but today is the first day that it feels like the space is mine. Today I sat down in my $20 Wal-Mart office chair and said, “no more.” That chair is awful and impossible to sit comfortably in for any length of time. Plus it rolls, and I’m inevitably waging war with staying in place. Usually I just lilt to the side a bit and end up facing the desk at an angle.

Generally irritating and distracting stuff. No way to write a book.

So, I said, “no more”, slid the chair to a corner of the room, and retrieved one of the extra dining chairs. Our dining table can seat four to six, depending on the leaf, but we generally keep it as a four-seater.

And let me just say that this chair has made all the difference.

I sat at my desk, and though my ass slid on the slick wood of the chair (a cushion will solve that) my back found the rest and it was perfect. I’m here, and I’m ready. And it finally feels like mine.

I’ve got all my aqua accents, from the desk lamp, to the simple cardboard organizer, to the ceramic moon I painted on mine and Trevor’s first anniversary, to a large, heart-shaped paperweight my work wife brought back for me from her hometown. Actually, even the plate my tiny little potted cactus sits on is aqua. I have a theme. I have a fgarrus-vakarianeeling the chair cushion will match.

Beneath the white board, where I track all my weekly and yearly goals as well as reading progress, Garrus keeps a close watch over everything, Black Widow at the ready should shenanigans prevail. I have a small, thrift shop tea cup that is a souvenir from my best friend’s bridal shower. And I have a clay Hermione, intended to decorate a wineglass stem, hanging from the neck of the lamp, a gift from that same best friend on her wedding day.

I’m a sentimental person. It’s true. And there’s no better place to surround myself with all these good vibes and memories than my work space.

My bookshelf is also a testament to memories and friends. Odd trinkets and collectibles from my life interrupt the rows of books, yet again giving me a wonderful warm feeling of belonging. That shelf is unarguably mine.bookshelf

And the walls! I finally have art on the walls. Over the sofa is a print from a local artist. I don’t know what the actual inspiration was, but the content reminds me of The Way of Kings, and I bought it on sight. I’ve had that painting for the better part of three years, waiting for an office to hang it in. Across from that, on either said of the window are framed prints of the maps from the book Elantris. One large print on the left, and two small one on the right. These were a gift from Trevor for my birthday, and the frames were purchased with a gift card from a good friend, also for my birthday.

Add the dog lounging on the sofa, and everything is just… right.simon

I mean, there are things I still want to add. An arched lamp over the sofa, a small side table to allow for lunches/snacks and drinks when I’m reading or taking a break, and a real rug (as opposed to the purple yoga mat currently spread across the floor). I want a new desk, which the Husband says he can custom make one for the space, but that project is far down on the list of home improvements.

And that’s fine, because having this space at all is so relieving. So freeing. No more packing up all my work to tote it to Starbucks. No more awkward people interactions when I just want to write. No more fielding the ever present question, “school?” when people see the laptop. Then I have to say, “no, writing” and then they either want to talk about it (which they don’t really) or they cast a look that says, “you’re one of those“.

We all know that stereotype of the starving writer sitting at Starbucks all day, writing and taking up a good seat, but only buying a brewed coffee. Yes, it’s irritating, especially since I would spend WAY more than $2.25 while I was there, and that was with a discount! But, there’s also a lot of truth in it. In my five years with the company, I met my fair share of them.

I’m glad I can park myself at home and no longer contribute to it. This is something I’ve wanted since I knew writing was all I really wanted to do. Since Trevor and I moved to Oregon and I finally committed myself to writing novels instead of short fiction. Yeah, there were some breaks in between, long pauses where the distance made me doubt my own discipline and ability. But, every step we took led us to buying a house, and I was very vocal that any house we considered must have a separate room for my work.

Now, I was willing to share that space with a guest bed, if needed. I even intended that any sofa I purchased for this room be a sleeper sofa. But, news flash, I’m cheap. I hate spending money and sleeper sofas are expensive. And when I saw the purple settee on sale, I immediately knew it was the right one for the room.

So, future guests of the Harlow Homestead, sorry, not sorry. Writing won out. It’s an air mattress or the (future) living room sectional for you.

So, though it is just the first phase and there are many improvements and upgrades to be made in the coming years, I love this room. This space that is so thoroughly and completely mine. The place where I’ve written more words in the last three months than I have in the past two years. I am so pleased, enchanted, and grateful that you have come into my life.

Now, let’s get to work!



It’s That Time of Year…

Oh, Blogland.

I’ve abandoned you. Yet again. But, it wasn’t just you. I’ve played hermit from so much of my life this last month, and only now do I appear to survey the damage.

Aside from a missing email from The Audient Void that I need to address, things seem to have held up all right in my absence. I’m ready to get back into it.

I mean, after New Years. Because, let’s be honest, I’m not getting shit done until the holidays have come and gone.

But, last thing you all knew I was halfway through NaNoWriMo. Let’s bring everyone up to speed.

NaNo was…. a success. I wrote a total of 11,444 words. That’s just over 3k short of my goal of 15k, and I have no doubt that I could have done much more if I’d been more disciplined. That word count reflects only two weeks of writing. Not too shabby for someone who thinks she’s so rusty.

It gives me hope for the coming year. I have the words, and the stories. I just have to get the muscle toned again. I can do thaperseust. As long as I keep to a schedule.

In the meantime, the writing room has really come together. A new sofa now graces the wall across from the window, and I’ve got some new organizational items that were dirt cheap at Goodwill. All that’s left is a nice arched lamp over the sofa, a tiny side table, and a rug.

You know, to tie the room together.

But, it’ll get there.

Since this will most likely be my last post of 2016, let’s talk about goals.

Next year I want to do the following:

  • The Steel Armada draft #3
  • Submit The Portrait of Sterling Madison to The Audient Void
  • From the Quorum rough draft
  • Cards draft #2
  • Publish 104 blog posts — 2/week
  • Read 60 books

That’s a lot of stuff, I know. But, I’m only working 30 hours a week right now, and I’m not going to school. I need to pick things up and get to work.

Now, the year in review. What the hell happened to 2016?

Well, for starters, we bought a house. For years that seemed like some far off dream, a foolish mirage we were chasing through the desert of our twenties. And then suddenly we had the keys and so much more responsibility than we could have ever prepared for. I’ve loved every single moment. And it’s been an admitted time-sink.

I mean, we built that…

We got a dog! Another, adorable, totally worth it time-sink.

I finished my Bachelor Degree! Over half the year was spent busting my ass to get those three words on my degree: Magna Cum Laude. It feels good every time I glance up at the degree hanging on my wall. Damn good.

I wrote over 16k words of From the Quorum, and got The Steel Armada into its second draft. I also completely gutted The Portrait of Sterling Madison, priming it for a rewrite in 2017. Plus acting as an Editorial Consultant for The Audient Void.

I worked an average of 48 hours a week until mid-November. Usually more than that.

And I’m on track to read 61 books this year.

Tack on a couple weekend getaways, friends with life changing events, and beginning a DnD campaign. I’ve been really busy this year… Here’s hoping that 2017 mellows out so I can shut the real world out and get back to fiction.desk

From where I’m sitting now, in my very nearly finished “writing room”, things are looking good.

I hope your holiday season is full of warm, tasty food, shared with the people your care for most. Thanks, as usual Blogland, for getting this far.

I’ll see you all in 2017.




Goals Summary Wk of 9/26

Hey Blogland,

So this last week’s goals were a little ambitious, because I wanted to make up for the previous week’s utter failure. Luckily I landed somewhere in the middle, and I feel pretty good about it.

So, goals were:

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • A Monster Calls book review
  • Golden Son book review
  • Morning Star book review
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

I completed the first three, and actually made a tiny bit of progress on the chapter. Some streamlining and outlining mostly. But, I have a much better idea of where the chapter is going and how it connects to the subsequent chapters that are already outlined.

So, overall, I feel good about this last week. Not writing the Morning Star book review is all right, mainly because I need time to absorb the material. I’m excited to talk to all of you about it, just as soon as I’ve come to terms with the fact that the series is over.

So, what’s on the docket for this week?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Morning Star book review
  • finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

I know, what a lax week. But, I feel good about the work load, and I need to be more realistic with my goals. Setting small, achievable goals is the key to growing success. Yes, I want to challenge myself, especially since I so desperately need and want to get back into my old writing habits, but if I keep falling short week after week, it’ll become discouraging.

So, let’s lower the bar a bit until I start consistently meeting and exceeding goals. I’m alright with that.

In other news, Trevor and I bought a dining set today. I’m in love with it, and can’t wait to actually have a meal we prepared at it. This house is coming together bit by bit, transforming into a home before our eyes. Sorry for the sap, but it’s true.

Also, if you haven’t checked out The Audient Void yet, now is the time. Issue #2 is right around the corner! Click here to visit the Facebook page!

And, just as an update, I’ve decided that I am going to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. I’ll be working on Jordinn’s Story, and though I don’t imagine I’ll win this year, it’ll be nice to get back to writing every single day. Even if it’s just 500 words over breakfast.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at right now. Social activities are at a minimum this week. Yesterday was my mother-in-law’s birthday, so we had the folks over and made dinner. Saturday was my first day on my new schedule, which is working 10+ hours straight between the two jobs.

But, this week? We’ve got nothing planned. I’m pretty excited about it.

So, keep an eye out for the Morning Star book review sometime this week. I’m trying to read A Dance of Cloaks. I’m 45 pages in, and I have zero urge to get further. But I know better than to judge a fantasy book by its slow beginning. I’ll keep trucking on.

See you soon Blogland,



Goals Summary Wk of 9/19


I’m sorry about the tardiness of this post. It should have happened on Monday, instead here we are, late Wednesday. But, let’s dig into it.

So… goals for last week weren’t terrible, and yet I achieved none of them.

  • Write A Monster Calls book review
  • 2 blog posts
  • Golden Son book review
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

Did literally none of those things.

Buuut…. My bookshelf is complete!bookshelf 1.jpg

After weeks and weeks of begging and pleading, and plenty of procrastination on both our parts, the shelf is installed, set, and loaded. What took so long was the sanding. Each board had to be sanded three times, top and bottom, in order for the stain to adhere properly, and for the boards to be the right texture for the polyurethane. That’s two+ hours of sanding for each board. Times five. 10-12 hours, just sanding.bookshelf 2.jpg

Then, each board needed to have five pocket holes, and four 1 1/8″ circles drilled into them. Then be wiped down with mineral spirits so that there wouldn’t be any debris or sawdust ruining the finish. Only then could we coat with stain, waiting at least an hour before we flipped the boards and stained the other side.

Trevor was a champ. He drilled all the pocket holes (for securing the boards to the studs) and all the circular holes for the pipes in one day. We also completed the staining process that same day. It was intense.

bookshelf 3.jpg
Then came the poly, which was my nemesis. Not because it was complicated or anything, but because it has to set for three days before you can subject the surface to normal use. AKA, I had to wait three days beyond installation just to put my books on the shelf! The agony!bookshelf-6

But, tonight was the night, and everything is in place. There’s have more room than I anticipated, which is nice. I’ve currently filled any gaping spots with knickknacks and non-fiction books. These things will be pulled in favor of new books as time goes on. For now they’re just pretty.

And it’s all I can think about. I just keep looking at them. Admiring the collection that has finally come home. Unpacking these books, touching them all again, and finally giving them the home I’ve dreamt of for months has been so… relaxing. It felt like stress cleaning. Like dusting cobwebs off my very soul.

I finally feel like I live here. Like my writing room isn’t just an over-glorified storage with a desk shoved in the corner. Now I can envision a daybed, with a rug and a small coffee table, artwork over it. A tall lamp in one corner by the bookcase. Maybe some auxiliary shelves surrounding the window across from that. All in good time. For now I’m just ecstatic to be looking at this every time I spin in my chair:bookshelf-8

But, enough about that, for now. Let’s talk about this week’s goals. Or at least, what ever’s left of them.

  • Write two blog posts
  • A Monster Calls book review
  • Golden Son book review
  • Morning Star book review
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

So basically, last week’s goal, but with a bonus book review. We’ll see if I finish Morning Star in time. If I do, the book review will probably be out late Saturday night or relatively early Sunday morning.

Also, it’s time to start thinking about NaNoWriMo. I’ve got a month to decide if I’m going to participate. Seeing as I’ve written a little over a thousand words in three weeks, it seems unlikely I’d win this year, but it’d be a really wonderful way to force myself back into the habit of writing. Plus, I haven’t participated in NaNo since 2011. I miss it.

So, that’s on the horizon. I have a million tiny things lurking around the house. Mostly just organizational things that are begging for my attention as we get used to our new space. I never thought it would take this long to feel settled. But it does. I’m still learning about this house, and discovering what the best uses for certain spaces are. It’s exhausting. And wonderful.

Anyway, you should see a bit from me in the next few days as I make a mad dash to make up for this past week. Thanks, as usual, for your patience Blogland. I appreciate you all immensely.

Talk at you soon,



Week 1 Goal Assessment


Last week was the first week in which I set pretty firm goals for myself since school ended. I’ve got the whiteboard up and am using it consistently. Last week’s goals included:

  • The Martian Book Review
  • The Audient Void edits
  • Since the Fire into draft #3
  • Two blog posts
  • Write chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

How did I do?

Well, I posted the book review for The Martian, as well as completed The Audient Void edits. So that’s great. I technically did finish the edits for Since the Fire last night, but they weren’t finished in the computer until about 20 minutes ago. So, that’s close. Also, I feel really good about the changes. I consider it done until I seek out further feedback. And then I even wrote over 1,000 words of Chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story, plus some reorganizing and outlining.

I also was a bit naughty and compiled all the separate Cards chapters into one correctly formatted manuscript. It totals 239 pages, and 63,005 words. Not too shabby.

So overall, not a bad first week. I didn’t sit down and write that second post like I wanted to, and I didn’t quite make my writing goal, but after two years of very limited fiction writing, I’ll take 1k words. I’m dubbing week one back a success!

Why didn’t I complete these goals? Because I cleaned out the garage and unpacked a bunch of boxes instead. So, still a very productive week. I’m happy.

So, on to this week? What’s the plan?

  • Coraline Book Review
  • publish 2 blog posts
  • Finish chapter 7 and write chapter 8 of Jordinn’s Story
  • Start edits on The Portrait of Sterling Madison

Unofficial goals include finishing The Obelisk Gate and Elric of Melniboné. I only have an hour left on Elric, so that should get done tomorrow or Thursday at the latest. And less than 100 pages to go for The Obelisk Gate, so hopefully I can get a good chunk of it done tonight.

Anyway, there’s a brief update for you all. Keep an eye out for the Coraline book review, as it will be up before the weekend!

See you all soon,