Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #19

It’s Monday, Blogland. And I really feel it today. The weekend was less restorative than it was just… catatonic. And now the sunshine is gone, replaced with cooler temps and clouds. All I want to do is sleep and play Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Is that so wrong?

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish Tavi rough draft

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish Tavi rough draft
    • YES. AFFIRMATIVE. INDEED. YARP. YAAAAAAS. YEP. BOY-HOWDY. I’VE BEEN SCREAMING (oops, still screaming) about it all weekend.

Weekly Word Count: 11,360

Inspired by the Write Here, Write Now event a couple weekends ago, on Friday I hosted a Write-a-thon in the Writer’s Discord I’m a member of. I wanted to finish the book on Friday, plus I’d set a goal — a deadline — and I was determined to keep it. With only a couple chapters to go, I figured that I might be able to eke it out.

I was correct. I wrote 5400+ words on Friday, which more or less melted my brain. I have no idea if what I wrote made sense, but it seemed to at the time. The last few chapters came very differently than the rest of the book, which will probably be a whole post of its own once I’ve sat on the realization that I finished my book’s rough draft a bit longer. There are thoughts swirling in my brain about the experience of writing this book over the last six months and I’ll want to write them all down somewhere. Might as well be here.

I also started another 500 word story for my patrons, but I’m not sold on it yet. It’s a rehashing of a very old scene I wrote for an exercise in a Creative Writing class. I can’t find the original scene, but I remember it pretty clearly. I want to readdress some of the themes and see if I can’t do it better now, eight years or so later.

I didn’t read much last week because I was writing so much. So that’s a bummer. But, I spent the weekend bingeing Assassin’s Creed, playing Overcooked with the husbando, and generally avoiding the world. Due to Mother’s Day festivities on Saturday, I did not go on my hike to Cape Falcon, which was disappointing. After Friday’s marathon I could have really used the peace and solitude of the coast.

What’s Next?

  • Enjoy a week off

I’m taking a mini-vacation y’all. No writing this week. No looking at the book, no deciding what to write next. I need to air out my brain and take a well deserved break. Tomorrow night is the Snow Patrol concert, Wednesday is the Willamette Writer’s meeting, Thursday night is Trivia, and then Friday-Sunday I’m out of town on a hiking trip!

I’ll be busy, but not with writing, which will make for a refreshing change of pace. Hopefully it’ll have me back in action for the week after when it’s time to write some short stories!

I’m still (slowly) making my way through the Wayward Children series, and have The Murderbot Diaries queued up for after that. I’m still reading short stories. I’m still doing all of these things, just letting my brain take a bit of a nap before we move on to the next project. And since I don’t have any reviews to share, and no writing news either, I probably won’t be back on the blog this week.

Next week you can expect lots of pictures from the hikes, and maybe even a few from the concert tomorrow.

Until then, Bloggarts.



Goals Summary 2019 – Wk #17

I just got out of a webinar called “How to Survive and Succeed as a Writer”. They talked about goal setting and time management the entire time. Turns out, I might be onto something here, folks.

Last Week

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
  • Finish reading The Light Brigade

How’d I Do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 500 words/day on Tavi
    • Uhhhhh. YEAH! Like, a bit more actually.
  • Finish reading The Light Brigadethe light brigade
    • Yep! Finished it Wednesday night, and started on The Luminous Dead Thursday night. I stayed up late last night to finish it.

Weekly Word Count: 5,436

Um… Yeah. You might say I had a productive week. Every time I sat down to write, words poured out of me. I surpassed my word count goals by Thursday, and came back to the manuscript on Sunday to just add a little icing to the cake.

I was also a reading machine this week, finishing two books and slowly climbing my way back on track for my yearly goal.

Short story submissions continue to wait. I think this is the longest I’ve every waited to hear back on a story, with all of them pending for 50 days or more. It’s exhausting, but also kind of nice. I’m starting to forget about them. I check The Submission Grinder once or twice a day and then move on. It’s sinking in that I’ll find out when I find out and no amount of analyzation will change that. It’s… freeing, really.

Thursday night was the SFWA Reading in Portland, which was amazing. I got to meet Sam J. Miller, Rebecca Roanhorse, Kari Maaren, and Caitlin Starling (who wrote The Luminous Dead). Plus, there was good food and beer!


Saturday was Independent Bookstore Day and I celebrated with visits to two of the bookstores in town. Ken Scholes, who was the lecturer at the OWC writing conference last year, was at one and we shot the shit for awhile, leading to two introductions to writers in my community. So that was AWESOME! Then I went to Book Bin to attend a couple panels and then celebrate the release of the newest issue of The Audient Void.

It was a very busy, bookish week, which I loved. But I’m tired right now. I want to lock the door to my office and barricade myself in until this book is done. Unfortunately, I have yet another busy week ahead of me.

What’s Next?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Write 1000 words/day on Tavi

That’s it. This week and next are about finishing this book. I have just over four chapters left if the story sticks to the outline. It won’t. But I can dream. And this is the dream that’s gonna make sure I buckle down and finish this book. Point is, it’s close. It’ll be done sooner than later at this rate.

But, this week is a busy one. Tonight is the annual Mug Club dinner at Salem Ale Works, then Wednesday night we’re going to see a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark at the historic theatre in town. And then Saturday is Write Here, Write Now.  At least that’s an entire day devoted to nothing but writing. I’m banking on some serious productivity that day. Between work and social engagements, it’s going to be tough to write as much as I need to to stay on track.

Though it isn’t an official goal this week, I will still be reading. Today I’m starting Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children novella series, and I’ll probably read a Deadpool comic too. Because of all the reading lately there will be a lot of activity on the blog. I’ve got the Monthly Recap this week and The Light Brigade review. The week after that is the Reading Round Up and The Luminous Dead review.

Busy busy busy. Busy B, that’s me!

I’ll be around this week Bloggos, so stay tuned.



Editing Check-In #1


If you’ve hung around this site for any length of time, then you’ve probably noticed that I am in the middle of revising and rewriting my first novel. Now, I’ve never done this before. I’ve edited lots of short fiction, and other folks’ writing, but never something as time consuming and soul-shredding as my own novel.

I want to chronicle this adventure. I need to. This is a very reflective and solitary process, and I think best in writing. So, I need to write down my thoughts, ideas, and concerns. But, I also want to catalog my successes and my missteps.

The natural conclusion is to blog about it! I hope you don’t mind.

Some History

The original first draft of Vessels was completed in 2013. It was 47,000 words, too short even for the YA category, especially since it’s a fantasy novel. It was accidentally YA, but that didn’t bother me. I was willing to work with it. After letting it sit for months, I read it through and was pleasantly surprised.

It had issues; what first draft doesn’t? But, I liked it. I liked enough that I thought it had hope. That it was worth working on. I printed the manuscript out and promptly put it on a shelf to sit while I wrote my second novel.

Such a momentous occasion, the printing of my first manuscript.

Years later I finally took Vessels down from the shelf, reread it, and began the chore of editing it the best way I knew how. Which is to say, incorrectly. I approached it as I had all my previous editing tasks: close reading, circling problem areas with weak writing, and tightening it up. Line editing. Not content.

I did my best, noted where content wasn’t working, but didn’t really know how to address it. I did my edits, gave it a new name (The Steel Armada) and sent off Draft 2 to willing Beta readers.

I really must thank them for their encouragement and patience as they waded through that mess of a manuscript.

They all had similar feedback, which was good. “Val’s motivations are unclear”, “the world isn’t real enough”, “I like the characters”, “dialogue is good”, etc. Fantastic feedback, detailed and concrete. My Betas were saints.

I accepted their criticism, acknowledged it as truth, and promptly put the project away again. This time to start school and slowly work on a third novel (still “in progress”, by the way).

And then last year I decided that I really wanted to work on my second novel’s revisions. But I refused to do that without finishing  The Steel Armada first. I thought it deserved at least that much, and that I could use the practice before turning my attention to a project I thought had more potential.

I also met Madhu last year, and we began our weekly exchange of pages for critique. Each week I diligently sent her my pages, read hers, and then filed away her feedback on mine for later consideration.  I avoided the project, pretty much for the whole year. It daunted me, intimidated me completely, and with the year I had I simply  didn’t have the energy to overcome that.

2018 – The Year of “Focus”

All of that changed at the beginning of this year. You might have noticed that I’m really big on goals. I like setting them, I like talking about them, and I really like reaching them. So, I had some tough conversations with myself and made the call. 2018 would be the year I finish The Steel Armada.

So, I reread the manuscript again. I still liked it, though I found even more issues that would need my attention. I slogged through chapters, taking Madhu’s feedback into consideration, and had some knock down, drag out fights with the writer I was five years ago.

Turns out I really hate revising. Like, really hate it. I have to reward myself for each chapter completed, give myself some sort of incentive to sit down and torture myself with a manuscript I was so far away from that I didn’t really know how to begin fixing it.

I was resigned to working on it, determined to do endless battle with my former self via the time capsule of my manuscript.

Hard not to be inspired by that view.

And then I went to the OWC Writers Conference and had fresh life breathed into Val’s story. I came back more excited about the project than I had been since I wrote the first draft. I sat down to the task with new insight, new ideas, and so much enthusiasm.

And as I hacked my way through paragraphs I realized that what really held the story back was how small scale my original setting was. It was too small. No one could flourish there, my ideas were good beginnings but hadn’t grown into what they really could be. And the best way to fix that was to completely re-imagine the world.

Which means completely rewriting the book.

I was in denial. For about a day. I told myself that was ridiculous, just do the revisions and get on with my life. But I knew, that damn quiet and persistent voice in my head knew, that if I put in the work and made The Steel Armada the best book it could be then it wouldn’t have to be relinquished to the role of “learning experience”.

If I sit my ass in the chair and sweat over the keyboard for the rest of the year, The Steel Armada will be a novel I’m proud of. A novel I can stand behind. A novel worth publishing.

So, here I am, eleven chapters into my revisions admitting to myself that a complete rewrite is honestly the best course of action. And maybe I’ll find the right title for it somewhere in there while I’m at it.

And that brings you up to date on how editing is going in 2018.

A Look at the Stats


  • Added 8,590 words to Draft 3 since 1/1/18
  • Cut one character and expanded another
  • Extensive world building including expansion of religion and socioeconomic systems
  • Improved character development, fleshed out backstories and motivations

Since Rewrite:

  • Added 3,861 words since 5/1/18
  • Extensive world building, including economy, religion, technology; more to come
  • Added another character, impact remains to be seen
  • Main character voice is a bajillion times stronger, all characters feel stronger, more fleshed out and distinct than previous incarnations

Of course, the downfall of a complete rewrite is that I have no idea what will cross over from the previous draft and what will crop up in the new one. There are already some serious question marks plot-wise that will need some deep thinking to resolve, but that’s true of all new drafts for me.

The Facebook image that started it all.

I’m a Pantster, that wild breed of writer that has no idea where they’re going until they get there. Okay, I do some minimal outlining, and by minimal I mean, “Val goes to X place and talks to X person. They argue.”

So, now I’m basically drafting with the vague skeleton of the book that came before.  It’s utterly foreign to me, but really nice so far. I have a general idea of how the book will play out, while frolicking in a whole new setting.

And I am having a great time, as evidenced by my word count since Tuesday. Almost 4k words? That’s pretty intense. And it feels great! Now to keep this momentum going.

What are the Goals?

Hmm. As of this sitting, the only hard and fast goal is a minimum of 500 words a day. I am ahead of that schedule right now, but I’m still sitting down to work on the new draft each day. I’m going to add a bit right after I post this and see where that takes me.

I wanted to edit ten chapters before I posted my first “Check-In”, which I did. But, I’m not sure I should wait that long before my next update. Maybe each 10k words? That way I’ll check in every few weeks. The posts would be considerably shorter too, since there shouldn’t be quite so much to talk about. Let’s go with that.

I’ll have another Editing Check-In when I cross the ten thousand word mark. I don’t think I’ll be back again this week, but I will post again on Monday as usual, and I have the Cold Days review still in the works. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgot!

Until then, Blogland,



Goals Summary Wk. 9/12

Hello again Blogland.

Last week I set some lofty goals.

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Draft #4 of The Portrait of Sterling Madison
  • Chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story
  • A Monster Calls Book Review
Yes, those are pretzel necklaces for easy, drunken snacking.

In hindsight, that was entirely too much, especially when we had a booked weekend. We were at Oktoberfest Saturday night and a friend’s party on Sunday. Apparently bringing a book to a party is frowned upon in certain circles, so I got very little reading done this weekend.

So, what did I complete?

  • The Obelisk Gate Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts

I also read/finished reading three books this last week, so that feels pretty good.

But, after a week with so much red left on the board, what’s my plan of attack this week? First it’s important to note that I have no social obligations this week, other than a standing sushi date on Friday. I also feel the need to acknowledge how unfocused I am. I have too many projects, that I’m not prioritizing very effectively.

So, what’s most important?

I still think that reading and writing book reviews here is very important. It’s my consistent, guaranteed word count, and it keeps the writing juices flowing when all else fails. It also keeps my critical thinking and reading skills sharp, which I need for editing. Luckily this is the one area I seem to be performing well in so far.

Writing Jordinn’s Story is very important. These characters, this world, has been waiting nearly a decade to find the page. I’m done putting them on the back burner.

And, as much as I’d love to shelve the project, getting The Steel Armada into its third draft is huge for me. The bulk of the hard work comes between draft two and three. It’s not just the grammatical, line by line work. I’m good at that. It’s the tearing out and replacing the things that don’t work. Adding and subtracting to build the world and characters. It’s looking at all the glaring errors, and instead of hiding from them, challenging myself to fix them.

Let’s face it, I’ve been hiding from this project for a long time now. It’s time I faced up to the task.

And so, I’ve decided that, yet again, The Portrait of Sterling Madison will get benched. I’m glad that I feel like my writing is finally at a level to tackle the project, but ultimately, it’s a_monster_callsjust not the right time to focus on it. Maybe next fall, when I’ve reacquainted myself with my former discipline and schedule.goldenson

So, the quick read bullet points for this week are:

  • A Monster Calls Book Review
  • Golden Son Book Review
  • Publish two blog posts
  • Finish chapter 7 of Jordinn’s Story

Also, not white board official, I think the shelves will finally get installed this weekend! Everything is sanded. Wednesday we measure and drill. Thursday we stain and poly. Which means Sunday we install! Fingers are crossed that we can stick to some sort of time table with this project. The weather is turning here in the PNW, and I’d really like to be able to park in my garage when Fall decides the rainy season has officially arrived.

I’m over 100 pages into Morning Star, and am generally freaking out every single chapter. Something incredible seems to happen on every page. I’m not sure how Pierce Brown does it, but I’m taking notes.

So, now you know what to expect this week. Hopefully I can share more success stories next Monday.

Until then Blogland, have a good one!



Avoiding the Research Paper


Sorry about the delay in posts. This is the last week of school, and of course I’m working almost 50 hours this week. Add in a little personal drama (don’t you fret), and I’m am up to my earlobes in all kinds of time consuming things.

I’m still making steady progress with Red Sails Under Red Skies, but will probably have to read Stardust between the two Gentleman Bastard books. I just couldn’t devote quite enough time to them. Follow my progress on Goodreads!

But, for school I’m researching a pretty awesome topic. I have to write a paper about a literary topic of my choosing. My topic of choice? Mephistopheles as a Modern Archetype.

I haven’t been this excited about a research paper in pretty much my entire life. I’ve checked out about a dozen books about the Devil, the Trickster Archetype, Norse Mythology, and a couple comic books. All to arm myself with the argument that Goethe’s Mephistopheles is ready for a revamp. I think telling the Faust legend from his perspective would be wildly successful.

Anyway, I’ve basically been holed up in my favorite breweries/taphouses studying for days. I’m anxious to finally sit down and commit the words to paper.

Outside of school, it’s one of my best friend’s birthdays today. I’m balancing social interactions and academic responsibilities like a boss. Unfortunately that means my own writing endeavors have fallen a bit behind.

The good news is that the new issue of Fab Fables, in which I make my first appearance as Editor, is out now! You can buy it here for the low price of just £1.25!

So, what else is up?

Basically, I’m just busting ass until school is done. I just have to get through this weekend, and then I’m off for the summer. Work will be easy enough to balance from there. My plan is to really commit to my writing, and reading, over the summer break.

And, sometime next week I am going to finish the rough draft of Fight of the Best. I’m still quite infatuated with the story and feel that it’s a much stronger first draft than A Stranger in the Mists was. The current story falls comfortably between Hunting Storm and A Stranger in the Mists, which leaves me feeling confident about what Leah and I can do to it. Between the two of us, we’ll polish it up nice.

What else?

I’m generally exhausted, as of this writing. But, I’ve been up since 6:45, and it’s a quarter after midnight. I have to be back up at 6am tomorrow. You know, the usual.

Anyway, I’m here. I’m thinking about you guys, and reading your posts. If my paper goes well, I’ll post it here after I’ve received a grade for it.

Also, if you haven’t visited my reading page, or my about page, keep an eye out for some updates!

I’ll talk at you all soon!


The Long Week, and a Surprise!

It’s been a while Blogland. This past week has been full of work, school, and an unexpected visit to the Hospital. Don’t worry, I’m fine, and so’s Trevor. My best friend’s dad lives in Hillsboro, and had a seizure. I went to visit him, since his daughter couldn’t leave Arizona herself.

I had a lot of poetic thoughts about my visit, and wanted to write them down. It was definitely a moving experience for me, and I am beyond glad I could be there for my friend and her family. But, today isn’t the day to wax poetic about the importance of a moment. Perhaps later this week.

Destiny, a highly anticipated video game, is finally here. I’ve spent quite a bit of time playing, but will reserve official judgement until I finish the game. So far though, great gameplay, terrible story.

And so I’ve been busy. This is my first chance to sit down and write, and I’m glad for it. I miss clacking away at my aging macbook. I’m still reading through ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’. With everything going on, reading is one way I can keep connected to my writing, plus Kvothe’s story is really picking up.

I also wanted to mention that, some point in the last few weeks, my blog passed the 200 Followers mark! Now, considering that this month marks the three year anniversary of the blog, this isn’t many followers. But, that’s over 200 people that I have never met. The only contact I have with these folks is virtual.

And it’s mind blowing. I wanted to thank you all. Knowing you’re here, reading my ramblings and following my version of the journey to publishing, helps me remember that I can do this. That I should.

I woke today, my mind muddled with the heavy layer of sleep twisted through it, to a WordPress notification on my phone. I thought it odd, given my silence over the last week, but was excited.

Now, I don’t really know much about this whole blogging community thing. I blog to get thoughts out of my mind to make space for fiction. But, there are these Awards, apparently, which people get nominated for. I have no idea how one earns a nomination, nor if a winner is ever chosen, but I was nominated nonetheless.

Thanks to A.D. Martin, who tagged me at the bottom of his list, I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award.

And thanks for the use of your logo mash-up!
And thanks for the use of your logo mash-up!

So, what does this mean?

I have no idea. Except that I must adhere to, and post the rules of the chain-letter nomination.

The Rules:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you
  • List the Rules, and display the award image
  • Include 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate an additional 15 blogs, and notify them by leaving a comment on one of their posts
  • Follow the blogger who nominated you

So, I have thanked and linked my nominator, and I just happen to already follow his Lovely Blog, and now his twitter feed. I have listed the rules. Now come the facts, followed by my 15 nominees.

Fact: I have an insurmountable love of purple. If not for Trevor’s good sense, our entire house would be coated in a fluff-pile of purple pillows.

Fact: I am tattooed.

Fact: I am a coffee drinker. It comes with the Starbucks territory.

Fact: I love music. I listen to all kinds, but my top listens right now are: anything Chris Cornell was involved with, AFI/Blaqk Audio, Ed Sheeran, and Snow Patrol.

Fact: I drive a 2003 Toyota Corolla. I’ve owned it since 2008, it has almost 120,000 miles on it, and is unstoppable.

Fact: I believe that DIsneyland truly is the Happiest Place on Earth. And I’ll be really damn happy come September 29th!

Fact: Bookstores have an effect on me. I imagine it’s the same effect an alcoholic feels when they walk into a bar. The hairs on my arms and back of my neck lift, my breathing deepens, and I am filled with contentment. A sense that all is right with the world. I have been this way since I stepped into my Elementary school library for the first time. I don’t expect the wonder, respect, and deep emotion I feel when I step into a building full of books will ever leave me.

Now for my 15 nominations.

Ileandra Young, writer of Fantasy and Erotica, and a longtime reader of this blog. She’s involved with some pretty awesome writer-ly stuff. You should be reading her!

Terzah Cain, author, poet, and wordsmith, who constantly offers up thoughtful posts about writing.

Jodie Llewellyn, writer, reader. She constantly opens my eyes to new books, in genres I might ignore otherwise.

Lynette Noni, whose blog is a reminder that hard work and dedication can, and will, pay off.

D.M.W. Lewis, writer of YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy, and over all an extremely entertaining read.

John Guillen, who consistently writes entertaining, opinionated posts about all things books.

Andrew Knighton, writer of Alternate History Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He’s also a Whovian, and we’ve got to stick together! Plus, he draws my attention to genres I would normally leave on the shelf.

Trent P. McDonald, reader, commenter, and writer of Trent’s World. His blog features all kinds of things, including his writing, reading, artwork, and vacationing habits.

Artemis Lousie, who writes interesting pieces reflecting on her experiences in the counter culture. I identify with her posts, and enjoy reading them. Plus, she’s introduced me to new music, which makes us instant BFFs.

Brittany Foster, the genius over at Quoth the Wordsmith. And, no, I didn’t select her just because we spell our names the same. It did help, however.

Rachael Stanford, a hilarious blogger, whose journey through writing and life is always a great read.

Jennifer Bresnick, author and blogger, whose posts are generally full of good writing advice and commentary.

Benjamin H. Hebert, a sometimes writer I met through Write About Dragons. I’m always glad to see one of his posts in my feed.

Erynn Im-Sato, book blogger, with a refreshing and upbeat look at reading, working in the publishing industry, and life.

Thomas M. Watt, writer and blogger, his posts are in-depth looks at elements of writing. Always an interesting read.

Fifteen is a lot of people. I hope this chain letter award thing is considered a good thing, and not some irritating waste of time. I enjoyed it, and it allowed me to revisit blogs I may have skipped over recently. If one of my Fifteen happens to read this before I comment on their blog, I’m sorry. The comment is coming, I promise!

Now, my writing was limited last week, though I made good progress on my reading. This week I want to finish chapter 5, and edit two chapters from ‘Vessels’. That’s the goal. Today was a blog catch up day, and with a fairly early work start time, I didn’t plan on writing much. But, tomorrow and Wednesday are big writing days.

We leave for Disneyland on the 29th. By then I want to finish chapter 6, and edit through to chapter 15 of ‘Vessels’. That last bit’s a pretty lofty goal, but hey, shoot for the moon and all that, right?

Anywho, I’m off to work, and probably lunch. I’ll see you soon, Blogland!


Meet and Greets and the School Year

I’ve mentioned quite a few times now how much I love Salem. Well, the reasons just keep piling up. Remember my post a week or so ago about all the awesome bookstores in town? Well, The Book Bin East just got that much more awesome-er!

You see, Brent Weeks, author of the Night Angel Trilogy and The Lightbringer Series, is an Oregonian. He’s touring in support of the third Lightbringer book, and he’s making a stop at Salem’s largest indie bookstore. 

Now, I own the entire Night Angel Trilogy, and I’ve read half of the first one, but I never finished the series. I also own the first Lightbringer book, The Black Prism. I enjoy Weeks’s style. It’s crisp, and clear. He creates the world and characters with very little fuss, and gives you a crystal view that does little to impede the imagination. 

When I saw Sanderson back in March someone asked who he would choose to finish the Stormlight Archive if the worst were to happen. He said Brent Weeks, because he was closest to Brandon’s style. I agree with that, but really need to give Weeks’s works a fresh look.

So, Monday September 8th he’ll be in Salem signing books and talking to fans. And I just so happen to have the day off! I can’t wait! I’m going to meet an author that won’t leave me gasping like a fish in awe. I might actually be able to talk to this guy!

In other news, it’s freaking September already! That means that school is in session everywhere, even for this girl. Kind of. My ASU Online Orientation course starts Monday, and it’s a seven day intensive on how to manage my time and resources. All the while I have speaking appointments for French, which are going well. Mademoiselle Peyton is very nice, and extremely insightful. She’s already taught me quite a few things, and we’ve only had one appointment.

There was a mix up with textbooks, but since the actual course doesn’t start until October, I’m not too concerned. The wrong textbook is sitting on my kitchen island, unopened, waiting to be shipped back for a refund sometime tomorrow. The correct text is on its way. 

Easy peasy.

I’m also counting down the days to Disney! We leave September 29th for the Happiest Place on Earth! Disney should put our tickets in the mail on the 8th. Dang, Monday’s a busy day for me!

I’m making solid progress on ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, though I’m not as voracious as I was with its predecessor. I think that has to do with all the other things I have going on. I’m still undecided as to what I’ll read next. I’m leaning toward Melanie Rawn, but won’t be surprised if I’m suddenly obsessed with Brent Weeks after meeting him on Monday.

But, I’m working 40 hours this week, so I doubt I’ll finish Rothfuss before the end of next week. Especially since Destiny (a video game) releases Tuesday. 

Like I said, I’m a busy lady.

Anyway, I’ve got a few hours before work starts, and I’ve got a scene simmering in my mind. I may actually get some writing done!

Have a good Tuesday, Blogland!



The Healing Powers of a Weekend

Friday’s post was a bit humdrum, and here I’m sitting on a new Monday feeling refreshed and motivated. It’s amazing what a weekend can accomplish.

Trevor and I were both off Saturday, our first day off together since our return from our Wedding Getaway. We slept in, cleaned house, and then opened any lingering wedding gifts and put them to good use.

An old co-worker of mine has returned to Salem, and is now a new co-worker of mine. He and his girlfriend came over for dinner, and true to form, Trevor pulled out all the stops.

Using the Apple Green KitchenAid stand mixer his parents got us, we made our own Spinach Spaghetti. We’d never had fresh pasta before, and I think I will never have boxed pasta ever again.

Trevor cooked down chopped bacon in white wine with cloves of garlic, and once that was done he cooked shrimp in it. The result was garlic bacon shrimp in a white wine sauce over spinach spaghetti. Add side caesar salad and garlic bread, and we all stopped talking for a solid thirty minutes.

Our mouths were otherwise engaged.

And so we spent the night, until we lay down, tipsy on wine. And finally I slept, relaxed and happy.

I’ve felt renewed since then. And wishing there had been leftovers.

Anyway, today’s goal is purely writing. I edited enough over the last couple weeks, but my word count has dwindled. I aim to fix that this week.

I’m still reading ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, though my progress has been slow. The book is great, I’ve just been busy this past week. Hopefully the next few weeks will find me reading more.

Anyway, there’s work to be done, and only a few hours to spend on it. Have a good Monday Blogland!


The Comedown

I feel worn out. I’m not sure if it’s just the final comedown from all this wedding excitement, or if I’ve just reached the maximum amount of social exertion. It has been a very active week, going out with friends nearly every night. And, thanks to weird scheduling, I haven’t written anything new. I’ve got some editing done, but no writing.

I aim to change that today. Though my time is still short. I’m still reading ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’ and haven’t made nearly the progress I would like; only 176 pages in.

Anyway, music is pumping along the umbilical cord that is my headphones, extending a lifeline and an escape. With headphones in the world around me fades out, leaving me alone in my head to coax characters to life.

I don’t feel like writing, if I’m honest. But, right now, I don’t feel like much of anything. I feel grey. I’m not sad. But I’m not happy, or even content. Nor am I angry or excited. I just am.

And tired.

Keep an eye out for a new page. I’ve considered it for awhile now, and realized that it’s something I should have included from the outset of this blog. Almost three years later I’m finally including it.

Anyway, I’ve got work to do. See you around.


Freaky Fruit and Fiction

Nectarines look like butts.

I’ve thought this for a while now, but staring down the last part of my breakfast this morning, I was struck by it. My fruit has a butt crack. It should be disconcerting. I don’t want to eat a butt crack.

So I flipped the nectarine back to right-side-up, and tried to burn the mental image of the Crackterine.

And, despite its incredibly awkward appearance, that fruit was delicious.

I spent most of my evening reading last night. I hit page 432, and decided to call it quits. Kvothe had finally hit a happy moment in his life, and I figured it wouldn’t last long, so I’d better stop there.

I’m going to focus on my fiction today. As much as Kvothe’s story is calling to me, it’s not something I want to speed read. I need to read it and absorb it. And I want to enjoy it.

Yesterday I edited chapters 9, 10, and 11. That means I only have 10 more chapters to go and ‘Vessels’ will be in draft 2!

So, the music is on, I’ve had my breakfast, and my requisite coffee. It’s time to get to work!