Friday, September 30, 2011

Out To Pasture

I've spent the past few days going over all my standing WIPs. I have plenty to choose from. Two have been booted down my list and are now close to being cut. Actually, one was cut. I started it while waiting for my first critique of Where to Belong. The entire story was outlined and structured and ready to go. I was only two chapters into it when I decided it was not for me. I tweaked it a few times before WtB came back for its first major rewrite. I opened it again when WtB went out for edits. More tweaking and more adjusting. It still wasn't clicking. Yes, I came up with the story and characters, but I disagreed with some of their happenings. I know that probably doesn't make since, but that is the only way I can think to describe it.

Its working title is The Rule Book of Tara. I have since taken characters from this story and inserted them into others. So yes, I'm piecing it out. I know I will not finish it and I've lost interest in it. I've started several more since its demise and it is safe to say The Rule Book of Tara will not happen.

I don't know if it is good practice or not, but I figured I'd post what little bit was actually done. You will laugh to see how short it is. That is because I reworked it too many times to make any real progress on it. Too many projects at once and I disliked how it was going. But anyway...

(I recommend Adele's Set Fire to the Rain as background music to the latter half :))

The Rule Book of Tara

Tara frowned at the creased papers in her hands. "I think two pages of instructions makes this sound harder than it really is." She held to them so tightly that her knuckles blanched. She had them memorized after the third time she read them. This was the seventh time, maybe the eighth.

"Why don't you put them down and go take it already?" Rosie asked from across the room. "They're just in there to keep you busy. All you need to know is plus means yes and negative means no."

Tara's eyes didn't leave the colored diagram. The blue lines, however many, earned her full attention. "This is why I have rules," she said to herself. "Had rules."

Rosie walked over and stood next to her with a sigh. "Go take the test. Everything will be fine no matter what it says."

"I took it."

"What? When? Did you set the timer?" Rosie was already hurrying to the kitchen to find the egg timer.

A quick glance at the watch on her wrist gave her an answer. "Two minutes ago," Tara said. She ignored Rosie as she put her hands on her hips and paced back to her. "It's probably ready."

"Do you want me to go check?"

She shook her head once. "I'm not ready." She knew it was pointless to resist the results. She would have to face it sooner than later. Still, she held her place on the couch and stared at the instruction sheet as the little blue plus sign burned into her vision.

"Are you going to call him? If it says yes?" Rosie was now perched on the arm of the couch. She reached over and gently placed her hand on Tara's shoulder as if she was afraid to wake her.


"You need to. He should know. I think he'd want to know. You would if you were in his position."

Tara snapped out of her daze and straightened her back. It felt tight and her neck ached from holding the tense posture. She looked up at Rosie and found her studying her with worried eyes. "I'll tell him. But I want to see a doctor first and get it in writing. The only thing more embarrassing than showing up on his front step and tell him I'm pregnant would be to show up, break it to him, then find out it was a false positive. 'Just kidding. You should have seen your face!'"

Rosie smiled with a sympathetic chuckle. She gave a nod and took the papers from Tara. "So you'd go to him?"

She bowed her head and rubbed her brow with the heel of her hand. "This is bigger than a phone call."

"We'll be that way next week."

Tara nodded and gazed blankly at the floor. She already knew that. She was dreading the trip. The three day ride used to be one of her favorite routes the train took, and she often spent any free time between duties with her face pressed to the windows. The country they passed through was of the more beautiful she had ever seen. Being a railway attendant wasn't the most glamourous job, but the change in scenery was one of its perks. But the last time they went that way was different. She wasn't herself. She was distracted, and Donovan was charming.

"Can I go check?" Rosie asked, her tone telling of her controlled excitement. "I won't say what it says until you're ready."

Knowing she could no longer hide from the real world, Tara gave a tired nod. Rosie scampered off to the bathroom down the hall. Silence filled the tiny apartment.

Tara unknowingly held her breath as she awaited the verdict. She half expected Rosie to be cheering by now. Her roommate had been collecting baby magazines and books on motherhood for the past couple days, since Tara picked up the pregnancy test. She had been stashing them in box behind the kitchen table, but Tara knew they were there.

Quiet footsteps sounded from the hall. Tara bit her lip and looked to the all-too-calm Rosie. The shorter, middle-aged woman stood with the test held at her side. Her thin, brown hair framed her round face and rested at her shoulders. She gave a shrug and a forced smile. "They can stay in my room until you're ready."

So there it was; life altering news delivered Rosie-style. Tara drew a deep breath and smiled up at her roommate.

"Oh, I hopes it's a girl," Rosie said. "I can make dresses."

"Wait for the doctor's answer, Rosie. Let's not get too excited yet."

"I love making dress," she went on. "I made them for my nieces. In fact," she turned back down the hall, "I think I might have a few. They outgrew them before I finished …"

There was no stopping her. Tara smiled as Rosie's voice drifted away. Let it be a boy, she thought as her hands went to her tummy. And let him have his father's eyes.

There had been only one man in her life prior to meeting Donovan. Paul was her high school sweetheart. They were married shortly after graduating. He worked for his father's company and built houses. Tara looked at his job as making peoples' dreams come true. Who didn't dream of a house and family of their own.

She'd spent the first nineteen years of her life in one sleepy little town. Everyone knew everyone. And everyone knew she and Paul would marry. They were meant to be. The whole town was at their wedding.

Paul designed and built their house. He put the finishing touches on it two days before the wedding. It was perfect. It was everything she wanted. The spare room would be a nursery when the time came. Tara was ready, but Paul said he wanted to wait. So she put that dream on hold.

It was a good thing that she did. Not six months into their marriage, Paul came to her with a confession. He had had an affair with her best friend, Angie. He said that it was over, he was only curious, and he had come to the decision that Tara was still the girl for him.

She didn't hate him for what he did. Nor did she hate Angie. But she could face either. She hoped to avoid the gossip before it started. She took the first train out of town the next morning. Her dream was dead, and she felt numb about it.

Rosie was the first smiling face she met on that train ride away from everything she knew. The generous and always gracious woman insisted on Tara staying with her. She even helped her get a job with the same railway. Tara threw herself into a new life and didn't look back.

To keep herself from falling victim to another Paul, Tara made a list of rules to live by. They often left her excluded from certain groups of coworkers, but she knew it was for the better. Rule one: no drinking around men. Rule two: don't kiss a man until after the fifth date. Rule three: never go home with a man until he is her husband. With these rules, only the best intentioned man would get into her heart. It worked.

Until she let her guard down.

It was on the day that would have been her and Paul's tenth anniversary. All her ex-anniversary days were hard, but this one had her depressed more than usual. She didn't know why it was, but neither could she get past it. She couldn't get Paul out of her head.

She was called to a luxury suite to clean up a spill. It wasn't her post, but the assigned attendant was on the phone with her family. It was just a coffee spill, nothing big.

When she stepped into the room, the guest was on his hands and knees trying to wipe up the mess with a hand towel.

"It's okay, sir. I'll get it," she said to him.

He didn't give up on his attempts. "I'm sorry, I wasn't watching what I was doing. My fault."

Tara pulled a rag from her spill kit and knelt beside him. "Don't worry about it. I'll have this cleaned up in no time. Would you like more coffee?"

"It's already on the way, so I've been told." He slowed at rubbing the stained towel into the carpet. "I think I've almost go it cleaned up. I don't want to waste your time here."

She smiled as he felt at the growing spot with his hand. "If you let me take care of it now, I won't have to come back later and clean it again."

He finally looked up. His face told of his surprise at her teasing. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be." She continued to smile as he relinquished the towel to her. "This is my specialty."

Tilting his head, he returned her smile. "You specialize in getting coffee out of carpet?"

"Not everyone has what it takes, sir," she said with a shrug. "I live for this. Enjoy your paper and I'll be done before you know it."

The brown eyed man didn't go far. He only scooted back from the stain and continued to watch. Tara went on anyway. She sponged the spot with the rag until most of the standing coffee was lifted, then sprayed the area with a cleaner. She could feel his eyes on her as she worked the detergent into the plush carpet.

A waiter came in with another cup of coffee. She was glad for it. It took the guest's attention away from her for a few minutes. She was nearly finished when he knelt beside her, his voice in a whisper. "If you'll excuse me for moment, I need to check on something."

She looked up at him as he stood, nodded at the door, and backed toward it. "Yes, sir," she said.

It was all the time she needed to finish up. She was sorting the things into the kit when he came back into the room. He knelt down and gave an approving nod at the clean carpet. "I can't even tell where it was!"

Tara laughed, still feeling awkward to have him surveying her work. "Thank you, sir." She stood and turned for the door. "Enjoy your stay and …"

"I didn't get your name," he said. She turned back to him at the interruption and was slow to answer. "Ah, Tara," he pointed at the name badge. "It was a pleasure meeting you."

She stammered over a response. "You too, sir. And thank you for choosing TransEmpire Railway."

"Do you have plans for tonight?" he asked before she could open the door.

She looked to him with a nervous chuckle and gave a nod. "I work, sir."

"All night?"

"If the train is moving, I am working. But thank you, sir."

He put his hands in his pockets. "Well that's too bad. We're having roast, and I hear the chef is amazing with roast."

She studied him trying to determine his sincerity. "Yes, sir, he is."

"You can't even spare a few minutes of your time? I could speak with your supervisor and see if they could do without their spot specialist for a short time."

Rosie was her supervisor and Tara knew she would clear her evening schedule if a man had invited her to dinner. She was always encouraging her to start seeing someone again.

"I'll be a perfect gentleman, honest. Don't make me spill my coffee again."

The newspaper on the table caught her eye, and the date reminded her of the day. The old heartache pushed to the fore and whittled away at her resolve. She looked to him and bit her lip. But her answer came out anyway. "I'll ask my supervisor."

His grin grew and he gave a nod. "I'll be looking forward to see you this evening."

"Just dinner," she said. "I don't think I could stay any longer than that."

"Whatever you can spare."

Rosie not only granted the evening off, she ordered it. She even helped find something for her to wear for the dinner since Tara had only packed her uniforms. Black slacks, a blue blouse, and a silk scarf with blue daisies for the night's attire.

So, yeah, that's it. That's the only part in MS form anyway. Lots and lots of short notes, scribbles, jumbled thoughts, and nonsensical pages. Trust me, it's messy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And Then Came a Thing Called Time

Whirlwind. That is how I would describe the past several months. Days ran together. Time got away from me. I often found myself standing lost and dazed wondering what else I have forgotten. Late nights and early mornings became the norm. Between situating things at work, home, writing, and everything in between, I was stretching myself thin.

This week has been the first of chaos-free days. It has been great. I feel like I've been holding my breath for months and am now finally breathing again. I just might have this new lifestyle figured out. Well, at least beginning to. I don't want to say it too loudly because my experience as of late has been that once you think you have something under control is usually when it falls apart.

I've learned much. Be it about myself, other people, the writing world, or the big picture, I have been taking notes. I've had to take the bad with the good. The good makes it worth it. One of my favorite moments came this week when my sister called me to let me know she has been reading my book. It apparently got her into trouble. She was up late the other night reading when she came upon one of the major plot twists in the story. She jumped up yelling and dropped the book, waking her sleeping husband. He took the book away claiming it was way past bedtime. She said she couldn't sleep for wanting to keep reading. Her plan was to dive back in at her lunch break. So she called me to let me know she was sneaking reading sessions to hold her over until she could sit down with it. That made my day.

I am amazed everyday to hear from people who have read Where to Belong. I've been surprised many times over. When I first released it, I cringed every time someone said they were downloading or picking up a copy. I was constantly wishing I could take it all back. I was not ready to let people see this story. I still cringe, but now I'm equally excited to see what they think.

Copies have been shipped to reviewers. I thought the wait would do me in, but it has not. This is where the breathing began. I've once again reached a resting point in the process. Yes, I'm still working at publicizing it. I'm learning to trust the readers. That will be my most powerful resource. I know that is where I pick up new reads, going by what others have recommended. It's another marathon, not a sprint.

Something else that I've come to accept recently is letting the writing happen. I try to stick with one WIP and give it all my concentration. That will not happen. I've always had at least two stories going at once. One will often triumph over the other, but it helps with when I get stuck. I'll set one aside and pick up another. I switch between the two when I feel one is progressing better than the other. With Oneiros, I think that was my problem during ROW80. I would not let myself take on other stories. It killed my creativity. But I'm back to juggling two stories and they have both grown by leaps and bounds.

Oneiros is the more inspiring tale for me. The newer one, Quisling, will be a challenge. I've stopped projects like this one before because of it turning too dark for my comfort. While it has more conflict and angst than the recent stories, I'm hoping to keep it from becoming too bleak and depressing. The first story I ever wrote is on hold because of this. It deals with treachery and betrayals on many levels. I finished Book 1 in the series and started into the second. But 1 ends on such a heart breaker that the second was difficult for me to keep going. I'm working up the courage to get back to it. As long as I keep up this pace, I'm thinking early next year. I've had several Betas asking about it. That tells me I did something right. I need to finish it.

On to the home front. Yep, it's still there. Dottie went home Tuesday. I have to admit that I miss her. She was good company. But since her leaving, Oliver has made more appearances. He likes the quiet. I can't blame him. Diesel is a handful. He keeps me on my toes. He takes anything he can carry and hides it. We've lost keys, jewelry, computer tools, cables, notes, and even my iPod at one point. He eventually brings it back, but not always at convenient times. I've found his stashes here and there. But then he changes it up and builds another stash. I've never had a cat do this before. It is usually comical, but it does get old. We are now more careful about where we set things down.

Colt has been busy after hours working on peoples' computers. He keeps saying he won't take on anymore jobs, but he brings them home anyway. I think it's the challenge of the more recent ones. This week has been a few laptops and iPhones. One laptop in particular blew my mind. It was deemed unrepairable by several techs. The value of the machine was less than the cost of the parts needed to fix it. Shame, it's a pretty Toshiba. Portable desk top is what he called it. The techs said they were done with it and he could do whatever he wanted with it. It was his. So he brought it home and took it apart the other night during my writing binge. He took over the kitchen and dining room with it. He said it was over heating quickly and one of the video cards were fried. So after dismantling it, he cleaned it and worked on the fans and whatever else cools it (I don't know what they're called). When he looked at the video card, he said he thought he could fix it. He turned on the oven. Yep, he baked the video card. That, he said, reflowed the solder. After letting it cool, he put the machine back together. The Toshiba booted up and he played Tomb Raider on it. So our house reeked of burnt PC, but he has a new computer. He said he isn't sure how long it will work. It could easily die within a day or last several more years. Even still, I'm impressed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Final Post for #Row80 Round 3

So here I am at midnight rushing my final post for this round. Oneiros grew by a little more than 800 words yesterday and today. Not what I was going for. I planned to be home and hammer away at it today. But I was called in this morning. So after a long night of breaking up fights between the dog and kitten ALL NIGHT LONG, I was beat. But I did the full day anyway. Well, almost full. I clocked out 30 minutes early. Dinner was leftovers as Hubby was helping out at a friend's house. I eventually dragged myself to the WIP and got to work. I will keep working on it tonight after I post this and on into tomorrow. I'm really, really hoping to get this finished up before November. So will keep at Oneiros for the time being and stick with the daily goals I set for ROW80. I'll just pretend the campaign is still in progress :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#Row80 Check-In 9/21

I plan to post again tomorrow because this is a poor check in. I refuse to end this round on such a bummed note. This check-in was put off all day because I just knew I would be able to have something good to report if I waited longer. But I never opened my WIP today. Ok, well, I opened it and changed a few words around and took out a little bit that just wasn't sitting right with me. So I actually lost words today. Go figure. But I have one more day and plan to binge on words for the time I have left.

Ipod is on, ear buds in, lap top in my lap. Everyone is fed (kitchen isn't cleaned yet), laundry is done, and daily vacuuming is complete. So besides the kitchen and a few emails, I'm ready to attack the word count for one last desperate attempt to hit my goal.

Oneiros sits at 26,460 words. I wanted at least 50k. That will most likely not happen, but oh well. It will get my attention until November. I think I will be back for the next round and mold Oneiros around NaNo and "Always and Forever". This will fry my brain because "Always and Forever" is set in the same setting as "Where to Belong", Chicago (and other real places). But Oneiros is straight up fantasy. I love creating this odd world, but it takes a little more concentration to make sure I follow my own rules. My five other story lines are fantasy. Why WtB and AaF hit me, I have no idea.

And to go along with that, I have another story line teasing me. It is more Dystopian. The only thing I love more than a good Dystopian is a good Steampunk. So I am excited about this. But I have all these other stories in line already. Thus, I'm going to let it stew a little while longer, maybe jot in a notepad, until I clear some space for it. I'm afraid to take too many stories on at once. I feel they will all suffer for my cramming them together. I have one that has been brewing for nearly a decade and can easily be a three part saga and I don't know when I will be able to focus on it long enough to make it as epic as I think it can be. This one already has its own land, society, laws, practices, faiths, language, rituals, and customs. It's weird to have this whole other world slowly building. But I love it. It is definitely my "baby". So I want to get these other stories squared away so I can let this one take over.

And I want to say, Thank you," to my fellow ROWers. You have been very encouraging throughout this entire adventure. Looking forward to the next round. And, "Thank you," to my friends and family who have rallied behind me and my hobby. Many have really come out and shown their support. It means a lot to me. I had my first encounter with a "Fan" today and was sad no one was around to see it. While it totally made my day to hear this young man relate his favorite parts of the story and the areas he could relate to, I wanted all of you to hear it too, because I couldn't have done this without you.

You all rock!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's Here

The Kindle version is now live from Amazon's Kindle Store.

Where to Belong - Kindle Download

Not quite the 22nd, but I'm happy :)

So Close

A few more updates for Where to Belong:

A giveaway is being set up with Goodreads for a paperback copy of WtB. I will post the link and dates when that is available. Who doesn't love a giveaway?

The official Kindle version *should* be up and running the 22nd of this month. If they are totally awesome about it, it might come up tonight or tomorrow. It's one of those will-they-or-won't-they things. But I'm shooting for the 22nd.

If you have read it, I need to ask a favor of you. This could be considered begging. Possibly even pleading. Anyway, it needs reviews. If you have had the chance to read WtB through, please review it on any of the sites it is listed at. It would be so greatly appreciated. Huge "Thank you" in advance.

In other news, back to the Goodreads topic. I think I'm in love. I'm sorry I didn't join earlier. It is a book lover's haven. More books than I could possibly dream to look over. Today's time-suck? The giveaway page. Every book you can imagine is available (or has been) at some point. Sign up to win. Win. Get amazing free book. Review said book. Sign up for more. What's not to love? Yep, I'm officially a fan. And I hope I continue to be a fan, because I hate having to retract statements.

Like the statement about Powell's. Yes, they have it. No, it is not on a store shelf. A warehouse shelf. But it is still available through Powell's, so I am still incredibly pleased.

I now have a total of six bloggers agreed to review WtB. I think I can breathe again. I'm still learning the ropes of publicizing and such. It's been a real trip. And I get the feeling it's not over yet. Let's just hope it remains a positive trip.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Now It's Monday

Last week and this past weekend have been a bit on the busy side. I thought last night was Saturday night. That is really, really off because I did all my usual Sunday happenings during the day. So how I managed to misplace an evening tells of my talent as of late. I scrambled to get the laundry done so Hubby could have office friendly attire ready before his work day.

I am dog-sitting for my parents for a while. I have the Pom, Dottie. If you were with me last year (might have been the year before), you will recall that Dottie was originally my adopted puppy. But with certain upsets at home and my inability to give her the time she needed, I ended up letting her go. My parents took her with the promise that when things settled here at home I could have her back. So I packed up my travel buddy and left her at my parents' place across town. She wound up LOVING it there and has been their dog (well, Dad's dog) since. My parents took a road trip to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary and I have Dottie until they get back.

It's safe to say she is still their dog. She sat at the door for the first day and cried. The second day was spent in the window crying. She has since calmed and now follows me around. She is a total bed hog, which doesn't make sense since she is maybe 4lbs. The cats are bigger than her. She hardly eats, drags a stinky chew toy around, and begs to sit in my lap when I am still. But she is so friggin adorable!

Both Dottie and Diesel still think everyone's day should start at 5:40 am. That is not fun. My average bed time this month has been 1am. Thus I am not a morning person when they bring all their morning glory to my side of the bed that early. Still, I get up, feed them, let Dot out, wait for her to come back in, toss Dottie's ball and Diesel's mouse for a little while, then get on with my day. They were nice to me today and let me sleep till 8. As wonderful as that was, it makes me nervous that they were tearing something up instead of waking me. Haven't found it yet, but I haven't looked too closely.

Colt's parents were also out of town on a road trip. But there was a wildfire out by their house last week, so we had to keep an eye on that. It didn't get to their place, but it was close enough that we pulled some stuff out of their house and brought it to ours. The firefighters got it under control for awhile, then it rekindled the next morning. It was contained by noon that day. I haven't gone out there to see how close it got, but I know it was across the road at one point. I never realized how quickly those fires move. It was amazing (and disconcerting).

But the weather has turned around and given us poor Texans a break. We have had a little rain this weekend. The heat backed off and it has been in the 90's and 80's these past few days. I admit, I busted out the hoodie when it was 70 something one morning. I love this weather!

Where to Belong. Yeah, it's out. I'm still waiting on Amazon to release the official Kindle version. Going on three weeks now. It is up and going on Smashwords. That is the version I have on my Kindle and it seems fine to me. I don't know what will be different about it.

I was totally floored to find out Powell's in Oregon is carrying Where to Belong in their stores. My plan was to send them a few dozen for free and beg them to find a shelf for it. I just wanted to be able to say my book is at Powell's. But they already had it! I did not expect that at all. Now, whether or not it is where anyone can find it, I have no idea. But it's at POWELL'S! Wow. I am happy about that (if you didn't notice).

It is also at Diesel books in Oakland and Brentwood, California. On the shelves. I texted my brother last night to see how far he lived from Oakland. A few hours. Then he proceeded to tell me that he was in Concord, which is a short distance from Oakland. He and a friend had gone there to pick up a transmission for his Comanche. They even stepped into Oakland to look around. But by the time I texted, then promptly called, he was on his way back to Tahoe. Diesel was closed. He had to be the grown up and tell me he wouldn't stay the night in Oakland to see my book (he already has a copy) on Monday. Boo. He had to go to work.

Where to Belong has shown up on several websites. I have them listed on the right side of my posts. One in the UK! Another wow. I really didn't think it would list on many sites outside of Amazon and Smashwords. Pleasant surprises.

I had my first author interview recently. It can be found at Angelina C. Hansen's blog. It was fun. Angelina has been very encouraging and I enjoy chatting with her on Twitter.

I am working on my Goodreads page. Where to Belong has one, but I'm not officially the author according to them. Hope to have that squared away before too much longer. As for now, the generic W. Smith is the listed author.

Row is wrapping up and I am way behind on my word count. Marketing for WtB and research for other projects have really taken over my writing time. I have a new respect for full time writers. Writing a WIP is the easy part. Everything thereafter is intimidating. I am still learning to balance my time. But as long as I keep my priorities in line, I just might figure this thing out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

#Row80 Check-In 9/18

This will be quick. I'm sneaking this post. I'll try to do another later today or tomorrow, but we'll see.

I've been busy lately. I'm still getting the hang of the whole "part-time" gig. And to be honest, it is more of an PRN gig. I don't know until the morning of each day whether or not I go in. So I am not able to really plan too far in advance. But I am thinking I should look at is as an out-of-work-writer gig. I didn't go in at all this past week. I think I should have insisted on two days, but I let the new girl take over. Time will tell. I don't think she will last, but I could be wrong. I hope I am. I guess I'm just territorial.

Anyway, sneaking...

Oneiros has had pretty good progress this week. I seem to only be able to concentrate on it in the evenings and on into the early morning hours. Which would be cool if I knew if I was expected to be functional the next day for work. But the story has been coming together nicely. I am already planning to do a total rewrite once this first draft is finished. It needs to be told in first person. Funny, when I finally admitted it, the story started to flow. It was like I gave myself permission to have fun with this draft so I loosened up and rolled with it.

I know I will not be able to complete it by the end of Row80. Where to Belong's sequel is already planned for November, so I am giving myself a pass on Oneiros. I will do what I can with it until November. Then it will have to be shelved until WtB P2 (Always and Forever) is standing on its own.

I will be back ASAP to post again. I have lots of news for WtB and things here on the homefront. Busy, busy week .... with more to come.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#Row80 Check-In 9/14 & Cognizance

On the Row front:

Miscalculation on my part. This campaign ends on the 22nd. That's earlier than I thought. There is little chance for me to reach my 50k word count by then. Yes, I am finally focusing on the story and doing much better than I have since the start of the campaign, but that's just a bit much. That's 26,620 words needed in eight days including today. Nine if the 22nd is an actual writing day. 3,328 words a day is what I will need to complete my set goal. I have stopped shy of 1k each day since last check-in.

I keep looking back to NaNoWriMo and checking my numbers. There was a day I did over 5k. Not one day was under 1k. I was working full time and juggling even more projects at home. Now I am part time, not even working in the office one day this week, and I'm struggling to hit 1k. Granted, yesterday was packed full of surprises and a few game changers and I didn't get to open the WIP until late in the evening. But now I've added another issue to the pile.

I mentioned early at the start of Oneiros that I was considering altering the POV. I have always written in third-person. I am now broken of head-hopping in the story and sticking with one angle. But Oneiros has been a little odd to me. I have been fighting to keep the idea at bay. The story is already in progress. But yesterday I realized it needs to be told from the first person. I think it will give it more strength. Third just isn't clicking. So do I scrap everything I have done so far and start over? Or do I finish what I've started and rewrite in the 1st and see which has more life? I'm thinking the 2nd option.

In other news, I've encountered a few obstacles in publicizing Where to Belong. Two of the three review bloggers who agreed to post it backed out Monday. One is too busy. The other has changed their genre. I have yet to get back in touch with the third. So my planned route crashed and burned. I spent yesterday scrambling to find bloggers and reviews for WtB. Two responded right away. One took a digital copy last night. The plan is nearly back on track. But since I am late to get in their TBR pile, the reviews will be coming later than expected. At this point, a late review is better than no review. I am still looking for book sites and bloggers to do give-aways and such, but it is still too early to name names.

A few set-backs, but I'm still kicking.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How'd That Get There?

I have been checking to see if Where to Belong was up at the ebook stores. Still only showing at Smashwords for the e-version. It has been sent to Diesel, B&N, Scrollmotion, and Apple. I'll let you know when it is available on their sites. It has not yet shipped to Sony, Kobo, or Amazon.

But I did find the paperback at B&N. That was a surprise. And they have it for less than Amazon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

#Row80 Check-In 9/11

20,921. That is Oneiros' current word count. I am not happy with that. But, I am also not surprised. I have not stuck to this project as well I wanted to. There are nineteen days left, not counting today, in this month. That means I will have to dish out a little over 1500 a day to hit 50k by the end of the month. If I could do a +50k MS in less than 30 days last year in November, I think I should get at least 50k in the 80 days I've had with this campaign. And since I am now at part-time hours at the office, I should have more time on my hands. Funny thing is I feel like I have had less. There is always plenty to do around here. I have a list of home repairs I plan to tackle this week to go along with my 1500 words a day. I guess I better get my skates on.

Hope everyone is doing great. I am enjoying fellow ROWers' posts.

Until next time ...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#Row80 9/7 Check-In

Oneiros didn't grow much on Sunday. I changed some things around and edited (I know I'm supposed to hold off until later for that, but I can't help myself!) bits and pieces. Monday and Tuesday accrued a little over 300 words each. I also had to skip forward a chapter in my writing. Just wasn't feeling a scene. So it has a big hole in it for now. I've gotta keep moving with the story before I get mad at the stingy part and dump the whole thing. I'll come back to it later. Sometimes you have to finish an adventure before you can see where it is you have been.

Where to Belong has been approved for the Premium Catalog. It will take one to two weeks for it to start popping up on the designated sites. That will give me some time to figure out more about publicity. And my order came in, so I can send those out to the bloggers and reviewers that have already agreed to look it over. I see a trip to the post office in my near future.

So we have entered the final stretch of Row80. I am not as far along as I want to be, but I hope to change that. My part-time scheduling started last week. That means I have more time to give to many projects. Writing is only one of them, but will fit nicely into my new schedule. Thank you to my fellow ROWers for your support and in sharing your own stories. It has been very encouraging and I hope I have been able to cheer you along as well as you have cheered for me.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Share the Wealth

Two posts in one day. Don't read into it too much. Yes, I'm procrastinating again. No, I can't put off my WIP all day. No, I'm not aiming to ... just dragging my feet.

Anyway, this post is a follow up on a comment that was left earlier this week. Apologies for taking so long to get with the program. Had a little difficulty with one of the rules.

I have seen the Liebster badge on several blogs and wondered what it was. I never did look into it. I should have. I would have been a little more prepared on this. But now I know, so you will too.

The super talented Marie Andrews awarded me with the Liebster Blog honor. Much appreciated. It was a pleasant surprise. Now I get to pass it on. It was not difficult to find blogs to pass it to, but it was hard to narrow it down to only five. It took me this long to do that.

The Rules:
1) Show your appreciation to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2) Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3) Post the award on your blog.
4) Bask in the camaraderie of the most supportive people on the internet - other writers.
5) And best of all - have bloggity fun and spread the love.

Here are the five I could not pass up:
Girl Parker - An absolute sweetheart whose posts reflect her darling nature.
J.C. Fiske - An amazing writer whose fictional and real life stories are always enjoyable.
Mandie Baxter - A super busy young lady juggling many hats and still manages to be supportive.
Anna Banks - A hard working writer who takes the time to share a laugh.
Annette Mackey - A real gem of a writer whose stories I will readily read over and over again.

So there it is. It was tough to stop at only five, but these five have been extremely helpful and caring on this roller-coaster of a journey called writing.

#Row80 Check-In 9-4

My WIP has been rather neglected. It grew in a few hundred words during the week. I sat down with it yesterday and was able to add 1095. That was nice. It needed it. I'd love to dive right back into it.

But we have a full house this weekend. Very full. I'm not having to entertain, but I still feel like I should at least pretend to host. It is quiet at the moment and I can't decide if I should run for coffee or lock the door and write. Wendy who?

Nothing new with Where to Belong. Now I wait to hear back about my last submissions. I really need to work on this patience thing.

This is the first day this summer that is bearable weather-wise, thus I really should go out and get some stuff done around the yard. These next few days are supposed to be gorgeous, so if I flop today I might yet get another chance. Hoping this is the end of the 100 degree streak. Our electric bill would be appreciative. As would my withered and fried flowerbed.