Goals Summary 2018 – Wk 14

Hi Bloggos,

This last week just flew by! Anniversary celebrations, good news announcements, and plenty of work to get done.

Last Week

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Edit 1 chapter of The Steel Armada
  • Finish reading Saga
  • Read Binti: Home
  • Work on Sanctuary (500 words?)
  • Review Madhu’s pages

How’d I do?

  • Publish two blog posts
  • Edit 1 chapter of The Steel Armada
    • Barely. But YES! This chapter was really difficult for me, and was probably about 95% rewrites. These last few weeks have seen no editing because I wasn’t sure how to fix this one chapter, and now that it’s done I have a much clearer path for the chapters ahead!
  • Finish reading Saga
    • Yep! I didn’t expect volume 8 to end as it did, especially after the heartbreak of volume 7. I was pleasantly surprised.
  • Read Binti: Home
    • Yep! Finished it last night and will hopefully get the review done before I leave for the coast on Friday.
  • Work on Sanctuary (500 words?)
    • Yeppers! Got a good start on chapter 3 with 593 words.
  • Review Madhu’s pages
    • Chickity-check. This is the one thing I am super diligent about completing.

Weekly Word Count: 2,971

Overall, not too shabby. I would have liked to get Chapter 9 of The Steel Armada edited earlier on in the week, but I’ll take what I can get. I experienced a really rough “block” with this rewrite. It seemed that no matter how I approached it, I couldn’t come up with a solution. I do not like that feeling. I’m planning on posting an “Editing Check-in” of sorts once I finish revising Chapter 10, so I’ll talk more about my experiences then.

Graphic novels are a lifesaver when I really want to read, but don’t have time to commit to something big. Saga is always a delight, and right now I’m making my way through the Dresden Files comics. I love Harry, so seeing all my favorite characters in illustrations is wonderful.

Progress on Sanctuary is slow and steady, which is pretty much exactly what I want. I’m getting a sense for where the story is headed, and building up that backlog of chapters like I planned. Feels good.

Next Week?

  • Publish 2 blog posts
  • Edit Chapter 10 of The Steel Armada
  • Read Down Town and Wild Card (Dresden Files graphic novels)
  • Review Madhu’s pages
  • Have SO MUCH FUN at the OWC 2018 Writers Conference

binti homeI plan to post the Binti: Home review on Thursday or Friday morning before I leave for the coast. There’s no WiFi at the hotel so you won’t hear from me over the weekend at all. In fact, I’m planning on keeping my phone on airplane mode while I’m gone. Which just means I will have SO MUCH to talk about when I get back!

Hopefully I can use conference time/downtime to work on The Steel Armada. I’m still torn about which laptop to take. I have this dumb two laptop situation until Scrivener 3 becomes available on Windows. So while my PC has Draft 2 of TSA, all my edits are being done on my old-as-dirt MacBook because Scrivener 2 has Revision Mode. Since The Steel Armada is my main project right now, I’m thinking I’ll take the Mac. But, if I get inspired and want to work on From the Quorum or something new, I won’t have my “current” computer. Or the internet to use Google Drive.

Ugh. Can Scrivener 3 just be out already???

The Dresden Files graphic novels will fly by, and honestly I’ll probably have them done by tomorrow night. I’ll finish Madhu’s pages tomorrow night or Thursday, and then I’m just packing and prepping for the conference. Madhu and I are carpooling, so my Corolla gets a spa day in honor of our guest. I even built a playlist of Writer/Book themed songs for the drive!

agatha christie roomAnd then we’ll be at the coast, wining and dining with writer types and learning all the things! We’re sharing the Agatha Christie room, which has an amazing view, a fireplace, and a balcony! It’s going to be raining and windy the whole time, but that’s never stopped me from enjoying the beach.

I’ve got a handful of writing/book themed shirts for the weekend, I’ll bring minimal makeup since folks will be taking photos, and a notebook and a slew of pens will round it all out. Binti: The Night Masquerade will probably be my book for the weekend, though I might bring a backup in case I finish it too quickly.

Gotta be prepared!

Anyway, I’m basically bursting with all this excitement! I can’t wait to have this amazing weekend and get to tell you all about next week!

I’ll be back soon with the Binti: Home review.

Until then, Blogland,

 

BZ

 

 

 

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Goals Summary wk 8

Well, Blogland… I did it. I finally did it. Well, sort of.

For about 2 years now I’ve talked about my ailing Macbook. I’ve tried all kinds of tricks to prolong its life, a new battery pack, deleting caches, empty my trash consistently and thoroughly. But, even then it was struggling.

Typically I use my computer with at least three programs running at once. Scrivener, iTunes, and Firefox. Occasionally it bumps up to four with Word. But, lately my computer has struggled to even run two programs at once, and if I open a second tab in my web browser, forget about it!

After a particularly frustrating session on Thursday, my husband convinced me to try out “our” Windows laptop. It was a Black Friday purchase a couple years ago, and though we bought it with the intent of it being a mutual device, neither of us use it.

Until now.

Sunday night I upgraded to Windows 10, and have spent the entirety of my morning getting programs downloaded and trouble-shooting my external hard drive. Turns out that, when I bought the thing four years ago, I formatted it for my Mac. At the time that wasn’t unreasonable, seeing as I had zero intentions of ever going back to PC.

But, here I am. So, I had to erase the entire drive, reformat it, and am now reloading all my writing, music and photos. Only then will I be able to put the files on the “new” computer. Hopefully. It’s given me a lot of issues already. And by issues I mean that I have had a mac for far too long and am PC illiterate.

But, this computer is nice. Just, weird. The keys are slightly farther apart, but they’re lighter. I don’t have to press as hard, and they’re quieter. There’s 10-key, which I love/hate. I love it because 10-key is awesome and convenient. I hate it because it makes the computer that much bigger.

Also, I am not a fan of the touch-pad on this laptop, so I’ll be getting a wireless mouse this afternoon. And, the backspace key is shorter than I’m used to, so I have to get used to that.

A bunch of tiny things that I won’t even notice, given some time. But, right now, they’re glaring.

But, It’s Monday, so let’s talk about goals!

Last week I wanted to:

  • write chapter 13 of From the Quorum
    • Didn’t happen. I wrote 346 words, but did outline the rest of the novel. 17 chapters to go!
  • read The Paper Magician
    • Done! And moved on to The Six-Gun Tarot.
  • publish 2 blog posts
    • Done!
  • continue The Steel Armada edits
    • Done! I’m on chapter 15 of my read-through, which has become much more active editing than anticipated. I’ve done a lot of world building already, and have set about answering some of the Betas’ questions. I also created a new Scrivener project for The Steel Armada, in which I will do my further edits, instead of relying on printed copies from Word. So, once I’m through with the read through and any handwritten notes, I’ll head back into Scrivener and get to work.

Al in all, not a bad week. That brings us to this week. What do I want to accomplish?

  • write chapter 13 of From the Quorum
  • read The Six-Gun Tarot
  • publish two blog posts
  • Continue The Steel Armada edits

Hopefully by the next Goals post I’ll be fully moved in to my new laptop, and less gripe-y than I feel now.

You should hear from me on Thursday, when I post the book review for The Paper Magician. Until then, Blogland.

 

BZ

The Evernote Conversation

Blogland,

A couple things to talk about today.

Friday I worked at a different store than usual. You know, doing the right thing and helping out. Anyway, I went in early to get some writing done, just like I do at my store.

The typical crap happened. I spent an hour and a half or so ignoring my novel. I checked Facebook, wrote half a blog, and researched schools. While all that is happening a lady sits down at the computer bar one chair down from me.

I know her from when I used to pull shifts at that store often, and I know that she’s currently preparing to self-publish a young adult novel.

Anyway, I open up Scrivener and get ready to write, and she immediately starts talking. She turns to me and says, “I tried to use Evernote, I just can’t get into it.”

Now, I’m pretty confused. I’m somewhat computer stupid, and have no idea what Evernote is. I politely correct her and say that I’m actually using Scrivener.

She rolls her eyes a little and says, “Its all the same thing.”

Now I’m intrigued, because Scrivener’s awesome, and if there’s something out there like it, I’d much like to check it out. Through a quick conversation I learn that she doesn’t know anything about Evernote, but that she has it on her phone and doesn’t use it.

So, I start bragging about Scrivener. I tell her all the awesome features and functionalities. She tells me about her “process” and how she has all these separate binders for each story and how organized she is for her rewrites and research.

I promptly tell her that I do all that too. Except all mine’s in Scrivener, and only my edits and final copies make it into hard copy binders.

Now she’s the one intrigued.

I brag some more and open up multiple projects I’m working on. I show her the Kevin Foxx novel because I have a “To Do” list created on that one, and there’s much more content as far as research and character development. I show her the “Cork Board” view and all the fancy color coding. An obsessive compulsive dream.

Then I show her the trilogy I have outlined. There’s some content in there. An old short story, where the entire idea came from, and a twenty page script that I created for my screenwriting class.

Then I show her Vessels. Compared to the others, it’s a bit sad. But that’s because I’ve been too busy writing to bother with the bells and whistles that Scrivener offers.

By the end of my little tour, she’d written down the software name, learned about NaNoWriMo, and I’d given her my contact info to start a writing group.

Productive Friday, and it wasn’t even 3 yet!

But, I also didn’t get any writing done. I’d talked about it enough, but didn’t get a chance to do any.

So, yesterday I started chapter 9, and finished my session at 1,700 words. Pretty good progress and was impressed with the content.

This morning I remembered the Evernote conversation, and looked it up. I still think Scrivener is the best, but Evernote does have a mobile component and is apparently fantastic for organizing outlines and research. The article I read suggested using both softwares in conjunction with each other. But, I’m not much of an outliner, or all that well organized, so I’ll just stick with what I’ve got.

Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.

But, the real gem I got from the article, was really just a side note from the author. He mentioned that for most publishers the standard is 250 words per page, in a trade paperback.

This is a great number to have! It allows me to check how many (book) pages my manuscript is, instead of just Microsoft Word pages.

Now, I’ve just finished chapter 9. It capped off at 2,284 words, rounding the novel to a nice sounding 21,018. Divide this all up by the magical 250, and I’m at 84 pages! I still have another nine chapters to write, so it’s quite possible that the manuscript will land somewhere around the 200 page mark, which is beyond exciting to me!

That is by far the largest book I’ve written, and I couldn’t be more excited to hurry up and get it done. Also, I’ve already got more ideas for details and more character building to inject into chapters once the book is finished.

Ultimately, I’m feeling ridiculously good about my novel right now!

Keep an eye out, I plan on posting a segment from the novel on here later!

Much Love,

BZ

Update on the Writing

Blogland,

So far today I’ve written 1,234 words! This makes for the 4th straight day of writing 1,000 words or more!

I set a summer writing goal before the end of the semester. We all did in my class. My goal is to finish the rough draft of my novel by September 1st. I have 37 days left to finish 9 chapters, about five of which have no content yet at all.

But, I’m feeling extremely positive. I really think I’m going to make it. My word count might not be the best, but there’s always room for expansion in the editing process.

Today I wrote the climax of the book from the villain’s perspective. It was way more fun than it probably should have been. He’s so evil! I love it! I don’t even know what to say about it, because I liked every bit of it so much.

Sorry, but I probably won’t be sharing it on here- I can’t give ALL the good bits away!

One big thing that has really helped me focus up is Scrivener. I’m sure I’ve talked about it on here before but it is just an amazing piece of software. It has a palette that tracks your writing progress. So I put in the number of words I need to have by September 1st, and it gives me how many words I need to write each day to make my goal a reality. Then, as you start typing, it tracks how many words you’re writing with a progress bar that changes color the closer you get to the day’s goal.

It’s a fairly inexpensive software that is absolutely necessary for me now. I couldn’t imagine trying to write a novel without Scrivener!

At least check it out if you’re interested. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Anyway, happy writing, blogland!

BZ