I'm over at sweet'n'sexy divas talking about my newest productivity tool...rewarding myself. For the last month I've been getting back on the writing band wagon, and I've been doing pretty well thanks to my new reward myself plan. Drop by the blog to find out more.
I managed, on November 29th, to complete 50k and win Nanowrimo for another year. Whoo hoo! Even through my plan this year was to try and finish as many stories as possible, almost all the words I wrote went towards the same story, the one I started last month, and its still not done. Finishing the story will be the first priority my December close out plan.
I'm sure you can notice that I didn't post much this year through the month of November. Most years I like to keep you guys updated on my progress. Sometimes even give you a little excerpt or tease.
But this year I couldn't do that for a copy of reasons. One - I can't post at work like I did other years (stupid increased security), which limited when I can post. But in all truth, that is mostly an excuse. The real truth - and reason two I couldn't post - is that I just barely got the goal done by the skin of my teeth.
Yes I finished a day a head of time, but I was only able to do that by putting in a lot of extra time (the time I could have been blogging), and getting in over ten thousand words in the last four days alone.
For the last six months or more I've been having trouble writing, having trouble focusing the way I used to. If nothing else, I think this nano gave me so great new tips to get more focused, including getting out of the house and going places (like a starbucks or barnes and noble), breaking up goals into smaller sections, and finding away to put my writing/and myself first.
I'm really hoping to bring all these new lessons and new enthusiasm into December and the new year, and get a few stories done. Starting with my nanowrimo project.
Its late October, which normally for me means Nanowrimo prep. This is the time when I would be finishing up stuff (revising, writing blog posts, cleaning, etc…) and taking a break from writing, to be refresh and ready to go on November 1st.
But so far this year, everything hasn’t been working the way it normally does. So why would I expect Nanowrimo to be any different.
As some of you might have noticed, this year hasn’t been great for me writing wise. I’ve been working through some personal things, including getting a new job, still adjusting to a new place and welcoming a new member into my extended family (a little baby nephew), which has all put a crimp into my writing time and focus.
On top of that I have been having some writing issues too. Mostly, that I’ve been starting series. I have three series now in the works, that have one or two books finished, but I am waiting to submit until the whole series is finished for a couple of reasons (including consistency, publicity, and giving my readers what the want—limited wait time between books), which really slows down my out put, but will cause a big bang next year when they are finally complete and ready for publication.
But regardless of all this I had still planned to participate in Nanowrimo. Its one of my favorite activities all year long, and regardless of everything else going on, I still wanted to part take. I was planning on spending October the way I normally do, revising, focusing on my new stand alone ménage, and then hit November with a bang. This year I’m also staying home for the holidays, which would free up a lot of distraction and time.
Then on October 1st I got into a car accident. I was fine, besides a few bumps and bruises, but my car was not. Emotionally, the accident hit me hard (pun intended) and distracted me even further from my goal of revising my ménage. Not only did I have to deal with the insurance company and finding transportation, I also spent over a week looking for a new car. Not to mention the mental headspace these all took up.
On top of that, the accident spurred in me a need to write about it, to make sense of it and deal with my emotions around the crash in the only way I know how—through a story. So I immediately started writing my heart out on a new book, featuring a heroine that gets in an awful car crash and the man who saves her. So I’ve broken one of my cardinal rules for Nanowrimo. I never write in October, to give my mind time to relax and store up ideas so when the first comes I want to write so bad I stay up for hours just to get the words down. That combined with my need to get some works finished and off to my editor soon, I’m not sure Nanowrimo is the right idea for me this year. I’m certainly not setting myself up for an easy month the way I normally do.
But instead of abandoning the idea of Nanowrimo all together, I’ve decided to amend Nanowrimo this year to suit my own needs.
The point of Nanowrimo is to encourage people who never thought they could write a book to just give it try. To show them that they can write 50k in a month. I’ve definitely proven that. I’ve won Nano for the four times and published eighteen books. As a published author, I need to focus more on finishing books, and getting them to publication, instead of just getting words down on a page. But I still love the spirit and encouragement of Nanowrimo, so this year I’m going to do it my own way. While I will still try to hit the 50k word goal of Nanowrimo, my focus this year will be on finishing works already started. That means no new book for me this year. I currently have over twenty books on my started list, ranging for a thousand words to thirty thousand. I need to get some of these babies completed and out of the house. For my own focus if nothing else.
The rules are simple. I can work on anything that is already started. Even if I just have a few words on the page. If I have a document holding some combination of words, that counts. But that’s the only things I can work on. No exceptions.
With so many ideas in the works, it shouldn’t be hard to find another 50k to fit in. Though I will admit it is harder for me to add words to something already created than to start something new. Especially because a few of these works are a little old and will take some time to dust off the characters and get writing. But that’s the challenge of it.
My focus will not only be to hit the word count goal, but also to complete as many works as possible during this month (giving me even more fodder for my December close out plan). My first focus will be the accident story I’m currently working on, and after that completing one of my series.
While I’m still working through some personal issues, especially the change in job that is supposed to be officially completed this month (Great Timing!) I refuse to let that tamper my Nanowrimo fun. I’m going to make this November productive and enjoyable if it kills me—though I certainly hope it doesn’t.
With only six more days to go, I'm already starting to get a little antsy to get started. While only time will tell how successful this month is, I'm determined to make November my most productive this year either way. I can’t wait to start telling you all how many great stories I’ve finished and you can expect to see on your digital shelves very soon. Wish me luck!
I'm over at Sweet'n'Sexy Divas today talking about how I've been doing a lot of rewriting lately, and how I think that's a good thing. Stop on by to see how I've come to that conclusion, and what I'm hoping it will be mean for the future.
Owned Forever is available now for download. Whoo hoo! I'm so happy to see this book come out. I love these characters (I think that is obvious with how much time I've spent writing about them) and I am so excited to see how Readers like seeing their new happily ever after.
I hope you all enjoy spending time with my kinky cowboys as much as I do.
Two sets of in-laws, a Dom with the need to assert his power, a fiancée with an inferiority complex and a country chic wedding to throw. What could go wrong?
For the last six months, Kate, Daniel and Grant have been living blissfully in Colorado. But that’s all about to come to an end. They’re opening up the ranch and their relationship to outsiders—Kate’s parents. While her future mother-in-law has adapted well to their unconventional relationship, Kate knows her parents won’t feel the same. At her insistence, the whole Farrell crew agrees to keep the true nature of their relationship a secret—at least from her parents—for the whole wedding weekend.
Stretched thin, Kate tries to be everything for everyone. The enthusiastic bride, the good daughter, the diligent sub that’s always under the control of her Master and the affectionate fiancé that wants nothing more than to be married. But with everyone’s needs weighing her down, eventually Kate snaps under the pressure.
In one quick moment of need, their secret is out of bag, and it’s not just her parents that feel betrayed. Can Kate convince all the people she loves to accept and participate in this untraditional wedding party, or will her needs doom her relationships for good?
Who knew Happily Ever After would be this hard!
Publisher's Note: This story is a continuation of Kate, Grant and Daniel’s relationship from Owned For Christmas by Willa Edwards. It is best read in sequence but can be read as a standalone.
This March I accidentally challenged myself to do something I’ve never done before. To write, revise and polish to submitting in less than one month. To be accurate, in eighteen days.
Why you might ask, would I want to complete this feat. Well, it certainly wasn’t intentional (see the heading ;D). As I’ve mentioned in several previous blogs, I’m really good at getting ideas for submission calls very close to the due date. Well that happened again. I got in idea for an anthology request that was due on March 1st. To complicate the issue further, I promised Owned Forever, the sequel to my Christmas release, Owned for Christmas, to my editor by 1/31. Which gave me only a month to get this new story written and submitted. The shortest timeframe I’ve even had to work in before. But I decided, if I want to be a fulltime writer, I probably have to work in this kind of time frame every month, so I ned dot learn how to do it.
Well, as you might have guessed, my revisions for Owned Forever took longer than I anticipated. I ended up rewriting two whole scenes, delaying when I could start this new story by ten days. But I was determined to try. So I vanished into my writing cave to make this happen.
The good news: I did it (or at least I will). It’s February 27th and I have every confidence I can finish this work in the next two days. I’m through writing and the first revision (which is always the hardest for me). I just have to finish the second revision and one more read through and it will be ready to submit.
The bad news: It’s about 6k larger than the submission call asks for, and on rereading the request I don’t think it really fits what they are asking for.
Not that either of those bits of news are really lemons, but I’m going to make lemonade with them anyway. I’ve decided I’m going to double, or triple, this challenge by turning this story into a series. And I plan to write one book each month for the next few months.
Many of you may know I’m not great at writing series. I love starting them, but then a shiny idea distracts me and it takes me months to get back to it. It took me three years to write all five books of the Naughty Holiday list series, and there was almost a year between the two published Snowedin Fantasy stories (and believe me I have plenty more to write). I haven’t even finished the next book in the Fairytales bound series.
In order to prevent another series full of lag time I’m going to dedicate the next three months to writing this whole series, or at least making a good dent towards it. I’m going to write one book a month, giving each the deadline of the 1st. I know myself well enough that if I try to write them all at once, I won’t end up finishing any of them. Not to mention, revising three works at once (or even one right after another) might send me over the edge.
This weekend I’m going to focus on coming up with outlines for the first three or four books, to make sure they all make sense together, and we’ll see where we go from there.
I’ll keep you guys in the loop as to how I’m doing on this challenge. I really believe if I want to work towards writing fulltime I need to work on producing more better works for all of you out there, and this is a great first step.
I hope you’ll follow me on this journey, and get ready to spend a few nights with the Hot Tamales.
Wow I can’t believe it’s already less than a week till Christmas. It seems like just last week it was September. Where is the time going?
Time is moving so fast I almost forgot to post about my December Close Out Plan.
Every year I do a December Close Out Plan. It was originally started with an inspiration from a previous job where they did a December Close Out to get rid of older product and start the year off with a nice clean slate. I think this idea is fantastic. Not only to start of the year with a clean slate (which we could all use every once and a while), but I love having the final deadline of getting some stories out by the end of the year (see my previous blogs about deadlines to see why I love that idea ;D).
In previous years it had a week or more off from the evil day job that made this time of year perfect to dedicate to my writing. Unfortunately this year I don’t think it will be as easy. Due to my move this year, I’m traveling and staying with family for the holiday week, and given how my thanksgiving experience went, I don’t think I’ll get a lot of work done this Christmas season.
That doesn’t mean I’m completely abandoning the December close out plan, but this year won’t be the huge push I’ve had in previous years. Also having three works released between December and January, which means I’ve been more involved with edits and promotional activities than starting new stories and discovering new characters. But I do want to use my time off this year wisely and even with a few new works available I still have a few deadlines I’m working towards.
My goals this December Close Out Plan are to finish the first draft on Owned Forever (the sequel to Owned for Christmas). I want to get this story to my editor by the end of January to release sometime this summer. My second goal is to edit and submit Hot-N-Ready, a fun little free read I wrote for my publisher Romance Divine. These goals seem reasonable and attainable and in line with the deadlines I have. If I can get this done by the end of the December I’ll be doing really well. And if I can do more, even better.
How about you guys out there? Do you have any end of year goals? Any projects you have to get done before the ball drops? Leave a comment below and we can cheer each other on to the finish.
I'm over at Sweet'n'Sexy Divas talking about the difficulties of writing around family, as I tried to do this Thanksgiving, and the few tips I have for balancing these two commitments.
Stop by and leave me any tips you have for how to focus when family is in town. I can always use some more hold focusing around family.
That's right, today before lunch, I wrote the last 500 words to win Nanowrimo. The last three weeks have been a whirlwind. I've written two short stories and over 20k on two different stories.
This is the fastest I have ever written, and I'm going to try and push for more. I'd loved to come out of this with one completed work. Or if I really stretch, two. I've never walked away from Nano with a complete story. I've gotten a few close, but never complete. I never had enough time to complete something within the month. I have a few commitments for the release of Owned for Christmas which I need to work on (because I've been ignoring them for the last three weeks to reach this goal), but I'm going to keep reaching, keeping trying to complete both of these.
Owned Forever: 19,698
Good Girls Always Finish First: 21,084
Once Upon a Prom Night: 6,004
Today I had my best writing day of the whole Nanowrimo experience. My plan was to get to 40,000 words by the end of the weekend. I got in some good writing on Saturday. For whatever reason the words were flowing, and I managed 3290 words that day. Bringing my total to 38,364. So I knew this goal was not only in sight but easily within my grasp.
On Sunday though, the words were not flowing as easily, but I managed to get in the 1,636 I needed to hit my goal before heading out to Panera for a dinner and writing session. That's when the magic started. I got another 2,000 words at Panera before I was done with my meal. And then what did I do, I went home and wrote some more. Bringing my total word count for the day to 5149. Amazing! I never write that much, but going somewhere like Panera or Starbucks is one of my tricks of the trade to beef up my word count.
Several of my author buddies that write full time talk about getting these kinds of numbers, but I never thought it was possible for me to do. I just don't do it. Ever. But now I'm rethinking that whole idea. Maybe I can't do it every day, but I can definitely hit that kind of number. Maybe there's even more I can do. Maybe I can write full time, maybe I can be prolific like some of my friends. Only time will tell, but right now, all possibilities seem available for me.
Total word count: 43,513
Spicy Erotic Romance Author and Life-Long Book Lover
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