Saturday, August 31, 2013

Final WIPMarathon Check-in (All good things must... WAHH!!!)

Here we are at the final WIPMarathon update and it feels like too soon! Where did the month go? I’m not sure I’ve ever been so productive in such a short period of time and I have all of you to thank for it. To every Marathon-er who cheered me on, thank you! And also to those who were with me in spirit. You all rock! There’s just something about working together, sharing goals, that’s so… AWESOME!!!

Now, you might have noticed I missed last week’s check-in. There is a reason for this. A loooong, drawn-out, complicated reason that I’m sure you don’t really want to hear about because…

What’s that? You do want to? Well, okay. I’ll give you the super-speedy version (trust me, this IS the super-speedy version):

Potential good news that I still can’t talk about came in my email, everything in my house decided to malfunction (except the coffee pot- thank you, God), bad news came from SEVERAL family members, hubby got a traffic ticket that cost us MORE than 500 bucks, good-news email turned sour, then good again, then sour again, hot water heater leaked and flooded our garage *deep breath* and all this happened between Monday and Friday. Yep, seriously. So, because the hot water heater broke on Friday, and even though we live just outside a biggish city, and NOBODY COULD FIX IT UNTIL MONDAY, I had to pack up the fam and drive 2 hours to my mom’s house to live out the weekend. GAH!!! Okay, but here’s why I couldn’t do the check-in: Mom lives on a mountain with bad reception (sketchy internet).

Now that we’re all caught up, here’s my final check-in:

Last/current word count: I managed to get my CYOA to a place where I felt comfortable entering it in Pitchmadness, which really was my short goal for #WIPMarathon. (YAY for meeting my goal) This has made me a nervous wreck, of course, but fingers crossed!!! (Trying not to think about is so much)

WIP issues this week: None. Had too many non-WIP issues. Haha. Haha. Ha. ;)

What I learned this week in writing: No matter how much you think you know, there is always more to know. Also known as: Always expect the unexpected. Also known as: You live, you learn.

What distracted me this week: Covered that already.

Plan for after the writing marathon: Hopefully, I’ll be sending out Pitchmadness requests *wink, wink* Also, I plan on cracking down and finishing my Zombie sequel.

Last 200 words: For this, I just picked 200 from a random spot in the MS because of spoilers.

“I didn’t try to escape or harm you. Or anyone else.” He wipes at the spot of blood sliding into his eye. “I have a wound to show for being peaceful. Irony? Right?”

The approaching footsteps are even closer now. “Sure. Yeah. I guess.” I raise my voice to speak over the alarm. “But how was I supposed to know you were being peaceful? Geez, you had a death grip on my arm. Not to mention the fact that you want to kill my dad.” I leave out the part of his mission about me because it’s too awful to think about.

He blinks. “I don’t want—“

“Yeah, yeah, I know. You have no wants, likes, or needs—“

“Wrong. I do have needs.”

My mouth snaps shut. The way he says it… I know he doesn’t mean it, but it sounds really… flirty. Maybe it’s the way he’s looking at me?

I don’t have time to figure it out because the footsteps finally arrive and my crap morning turns crappier.

“Well, well, well… What have we here?” It’s Savor, a.k.a The Last Person I Want To See Ever Even If The World Was Ending And Her Spit Was The Only Thing Keeping Me From Burning In The Fires Of Damnation. Speaking of names, hers reminds me of those old timey strippers. It’s kind of funny really. She was supposed to be Saver, a name that had meaning, importance. Hell, maybe her parents were hoping her name would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unfortunately/fortunately (unfortunately for her and fortunately for me) whoever entered her name into the database misspelled it.
See all the goodbyes here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

WIPMarathon Check-in #2

Hey there, fellow marathon-ers! It's been a crazy week (but I get the feeling we can all say that, right?). To be honest, I have written very little. I could get into all the reasons behind that, but I don't want to bore you. So, on with the check-in! 

Oh, wait, first I want to say a HUGE thank you to all who left encouraging comments on my last check-in. You guys are amazingly inspiring. I mean it. A kind word goes so very far when the day has been less than awesome. Also, I read most of last week's check-in posts from my phone while riding in the car or waiting in the check-out line at the grocery store so, I didn't get to comment much. I must say, this group is FULL to BURSTING with wonderful writing talent! I loved seeing how everyone commits to their project and pushes through the obstacles. It makes me want to try hard, push farther. And that is what #WIPMarathon is all about! Am I right? So BIG thank-yous to everybody!!!

Now, on to the check-in!

Last word count: Somewhere about halfway through the book (revising).

Current word count: Somewhere a little past halfway through the book. (Total weekly word count was probably around 2k *holding my head high*)

WIP issues this week: There were no major issues with the MS (probably because I didn't get very much done).

What I learned this week in writing: I learned not to compare my writing to other's. Though it seems no matter how many times I "learn" this, I still tend to do it. I have to remind myself that my style is different, my words are different, my characters are different. Uniquely me. And that's alright!

What distracted me this week: We started home school this week. CRAZY!!! Most of my attention was directed at trying to manage our new schedule. Hopefully, things will level out next week!

Last 200 (actually, it's more because I couldn't figure out where to break the scene):

“You’re saying there is no right or wrong? There’s just… what?”

“Shades. Shades of right and wrong. What does your conscience say? That’s the question you need to answer in order to make a decision.” I hold in the next part but then go ahead with it. “Always let your conscience be your guide,” I sing-song.

“What is that?”

“It’s from Pinocchio. The old Disney movie. I’ve never seen it, of course, but my mom used to sing it to me when I was little. When you get in trouble and you don’t know right from wrong, give a little whistle. Give a little whistle. And always let your conscience be your guide.” I include the whistles for effect.

He’s quiet for so long I fear I’ve broken his brain.

“Your voice is beautiful.”

Whoa. And what? A compliment from he who ‘does not like or dislike’. I remind him of that fact. “But Ten Sixty-four,” I drawl. “You do not like or dislike.”

“True. However, my conscience tells me your voice is beautiful. Also, call me Isaac.”

“It’s just the caverns. Good acoustics. Makes it sound better than it really is.”

“I’d like to know how you made the whistle.”

“Oh, um…” He knows how to build a fire with q-tips, kill an elder with his bare hands, and speak six different languages but doesn’t know how to whistle? “Well, Isaac, you make a tight little o shape with your lips and then you just…” I whistle. “Blow.”

I know he’s trying it, even in the dark, because I can hear him blowing. But of course, no whistle.

“It takes practice.”

For the next who knows how long, there is nothing but him blowing. Over and over. No resulting whistle. A slip of moon inches across the cavern noting the passing of time. I’m tired. I haven’t slept in 24 hours? Or is it 36 hours? Far too long.

I’m nodding off when he declares, “It’s impossible.”

“Practice,” I say.

“I just did. It doesn’t work. Have you taught me wrong?”

“No! It’s just not easy. You have to work at it. Took me like, I don’t know, two years, to learn.”

More blowing. More non-whistling.

 Go here to see more Marathon check-ins!!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

WIPMarathon Check-In #1

Hi, all!!! Here we go with our first check-in…

Current word count: This is really hard to measure since I’m revising. My total word count keeps going down which I think is a good thing. It means I’m cutting away the parts that aren’t needed. I also can’t really say how far into this revision I am because of the CYOA aspect. I’m going through each path individually to make sure the story flows right with each ‘choice’.

WIP issues this week: I ran into some gigando plot holes. Like, the kind that needed a rewrite. This is always discouraging to me because I hate changing anything that I’ve already fallen in love with. *weeps and then gets over it*

What I learned this week in writing: I learned sometimes I need a break. I hate to admit it, but if I go too hard at the writing, my brain starts to revolt. It gives me all the NOTHING. And I’m so stubborn that I sit there and try to force myself to be productive anyway. It’s a work ethic thing for me. I feel like I need to be writing anytime I have a spare minute, when really my mind, heart, whatever, is just not in it. When this happens, the quality of my writing drops so much, it’s just wasted effort. So… breaks. I take breaks.

What distracted me this week while writing: Getting ready for the new school year was a big distraction for me. I homeschool my 6-year-old so we’ve been redecorating our school room and I’ve been lesson planning. I also went on a school supply shopping binge. Anyone else love buying school supplies? Sigh. All those fresh pens and pencils and notebooks…

Last 200 words: The last thing I worked on was the body of a potential query letter for my CYOA. It works out to be 237 words so I’m just posting the whole thing. And BTW, wow, it’s hard to lay this out for all to see! *shaking like a scared hamster*


Adults have poisoned the world with their selfishness, jealousy, and deceit. Now it’s up to the young to heal it. First order: eliminate every elder. Second: discover the secret to never growing up. Third: procreate.

Ten Sixty-Four is on trial for treason. The crimes he committed are unforgivable: hiding elders who should be long dead, consorting with naturals (illegal, untrained young), and purposely botching kill missions. He’s come a long way from the cold, unfeeling, automaton he began as. At sixteen-years-alive, he’s still four years from the death age, which means they can’t afford to kill him. If he’s found guilty, he’ll be given to the Machine for reprogramming. But none of that matters because he’s done what no other Sleepwalker has dared to: found love. And he knows something they don’t. Falling in love is the secret to achieving the third order.

Brille has a secret of her own: the elders aren’t extinct. They’re not even endangered. But what the rest of the world doesn’t know can’t hurt them. At least, not anymore than they’re hurting themselves. There is no more laughter. No more crying. No feelings of any kind. Only in the secret hiding places where naturals dwell, can emotion be found. And even then, it’s usually anger, rage, and hostility. When she finds herself a target of the Sleepwalkers, she realizes the naturals aren’t the only ones with secrets. Ten Sixty-Four feels. And he’s not the only one.

The Hex has convened. A trial will commence. Members of the jury must decide Ten Sixty-Four’s fate, and with it, the future of humanity.


See other WIPMarathon-er updates here!

Friday, August 9, 2013

#WIPMarathon Intro (AKA, The Sad Blog Got Happy)

My poor, poor neglected blog. I’m so sorry you’ve come last on my list. But thanks to #WIPMarathon, you’ll be getting some extra special attention for the month of August! *squishes sad blog in a bear hug*

So what is this WIPMarathon hashtag ,you ask? On Twitter, where all my writer friends live (it’s a lovely place full of rainbows and moonbeams and sparkly glitter dust), there is a beautiful princess named, Ifeoma, who decided it would be a wonderful idea to dedicate the month of August to encouraging others to work hard at their writing goals. So, in her princess castle (which is not like any other princess castle, I assure you. Hers has a giant timer for sprint writing, awesome writing music, and snacks to keep her sustained during her 6+ hour sprints.) she sat down and wrote this blog post, explaining her idea. Many in the kingdom of Twitter were inspired and wanted to join in on the marathon. Since the beginning of August, lovely new friends have been made, writers are sprinting almost round the clock, encouragement flies like a flag from a turret on Princess Ifeoma’s castle, and so many words are being written that the world might run out of words. *GASP* But nah, we’re writers. We’d just make up new ones.

Now, about that blog attention. As part of the WIPmarathon, I will be doing weekly check-in posts, reporting my progress. You can expect these every Saturday. I am most excited to read everyone else’s posts!!!

And since I missed the Intro Post last week, here’s what you need to know!

Marathon Goal: I’m working on a YA choose-your-own-adventure book. It’s a beast. A fire-breathing dragon. Every time I think I might be done with it (not done, done… just like, done with first revisions), I find something new that needs major work. I wanted to have it ready for a pitch contest that’s coming up soon but I’m not sure if that’s too lofty of a goal. I’m also working on a sequel to FATAL, my zombie story.

Stage of writing: Revisions. The icky stuff… fixing plot holes, adding depth, tweaking dialogue.

What inspired my current project: A conversation with my hubs.

Him: “Hey, remember those CYOA books from when we were little? You should write one of those.”

Me: “Are you CRAZY?!?!”

Me, a little later: “You ARE crazy!”

Me, a little later-er: “You’re crazy but… it’s not exactly a horrible idea.”

What might slow down my marathon goal: I’m a stay-at-home-mom of two and I homeschool my 6-year-old so… yeah, that might slow me down. We start Monday so I’ll let ya know. ;)

I love being a part of this! Everyone has been so uplifting and it really has challenged me to push myself! Thanks to you all!!!