ROW80 Check-in #75 Personal Research

For the I Heart Books Giveaway! click here <– Today is the last day to enter.

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Some weeks will test you in a way that you realize you’ve never really been tested before. They make you think about what’s really important in life.

Life, it’s a journey of a million different challenges. Some are bullshit we put on ourselves and others are journeys that can deliver us right into the hands of all we’ve ever wanted.

I won’t take you through the hell a family goes through when cancer is being diagnosed, but do not resuscitate conversations are the worst. By Friday, I was a pile of blubbering goo, but then the final diagnosis arrived. The doctor’s got excited and now I know why. Within a few hours of getting the first dose of chemotherapy, my father-in-law was already feeling better. Yesterday, he actually sat up in bed and by the afternoon he sat in a chair and took a short walk. They know exactly how to fight this cancer and it’s working.

It’s fricking amazing.

Results.

Got to love results.

I’m starting to see the errors in my ways in this writing journey. Some lead me to the path of no productivity and others lead me to sweet success. It’s time to start listening to my own research.

Here’s to finding and following the proven path to productivity.

Now, for some visual inspiration …

SYTYCD may have had its season finale, but I wanted to share one of my all time favorites. It’s a haunting piece I first saw back in 2010. It’s set to Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. Sonya Tayeh’s choreography is brilliant, as is Alex and Allison’s dancing.

The Goals – week-11 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – done! I didn’t make it to my craft book this week, but I spent some productive time on the WIP. I really hope I can finish it up this week and send it out for critiques. Fingers crossed.
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – not done. I wallowed in a black hole this week. It’s time to dig my way out.
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – not done.
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. Co-treasurer pulled her weight this week and handled almost everything. 😀
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – 1/2 done. I didn’t get to organizing, but I did clean something every day.
    • Spend time in the garden – not done.

I’m holding a GIVEAWAY through the end of September to celebrate my debut.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

What you might have missed here this week:

Spotlight: Knowing Destiny by Tamsin Baker

Spotlight: Burn by Jenny Lyn

 

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ROW80 Check-in #74 Craft Love

For the I Heart Books Giveaway! click here

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

This week was all about getting back to work. I wanted not only to get back to my WIP, but I also wanted to get back to studying my craft. I came across a couple great posts that I had to share. The fabulous Janice Hardy was at Writers in the Storm this week with Be Your Own Book Doctor. Roni Loren posted My Ever Evolving Pre-Writing Process.

Wow.

Two posts packed with awesomesauce. Thank you, Janice and Roni.

Then, yesterday I got a look at the October WANA Con schedule. That’s going to be a great conference. Oh yeah. 🙂

Now, for some angsty visual inspiration …

This week, Amy and Robert danced a piece choreographed by Stacey Tookey. It’s about unrequited love. It’s so good. They breathed life into this hard emotion. It stole my breath away. The dancing starts about 36-seconds in.

The Goals – week-10 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – done! I got back to my WIP and my craft study this week and it felt great. This goal was the perfect distraction for bad news in my personal life. My father-in-law was in the hospital all week and was diagnosed with Lymphoma on Friday. 😦
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – not done. I got in only one workout. It was a hard week for me personally. I was sick to my stomach with worry for my FIL and I struggled with normalcy. This week he’s going to get his port and fight. He can beat this. I know it. Now, I need to act like I know it. He’s taking care of him and I’ll take care of me. WEEK 11 PRIORITY
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – not done. WEEK 11 PRIORITY
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. It was another busy week with more bills and lots of reporting. Good news, I passed everything to my co-treasurer to take care of things for the next week. Yeah!
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – not done. WEEK 11 PRIORITY
    • Spend time in the garden – done. I started cutting back spent blooms. This is always a sad task for me, but there’s still plenty of things to look forward to in my garden.

I’m holding a GIVEAWAY through the end of September to celebrate my debut.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

What you might have missed here this week:

Definition of Love Out Of Lust with Ray Sostre

ROW80 Check-in #73 Get Back to Work

For the I Heart Books Giveaway! click here

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Fun and games are over. It’s time to get back to work. The best thing I can do for my debut now is to get published again. I have three WIPs on the edge of ready.

I need to get back to my routine of taking care of me, studying my craft, and working on my WIPs everyday, everyday, EVERYDAY. 😀

School starts again this week in Michigan which means my days will start earlier and my oldest will be gone ALL day. My youngest starts preschool next week and will be gone three mornings. Are there any changes coming to your routine this fall? Good luck with any and all changes everyone.

Now, for some inspiration …

This week, Paul and All-Star Kathryn perform a Jazz routine choreographed by Tyce Diorio. This piece is hot, fast and all kinds of cool. Kathryn does some crazy things with her legs, one of the best is right at the end. You don’t want to miss it. The dancing starts about 46-seconds in.

The Goals – week-9 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – once again, this is only done if writing guest posts can count. I have written and sent all the guest spots that I’ve committed to so far though. Tomorrow, I plan on getting back to work on the next WIP I plan to submit.
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – not done. My release week is officially over. It’s time to get back to routine, time to get back to work. WEEK 10 PRIORITY
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – not done. WEEK 10 PRIORITY
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. It was a busy week on the preschool front. The big parent meeting happened and it went well. Yeah! I also took care of deposits, expense reports, and lots of bills.
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – not done. WEEK 10 PRIORITY
    • Spend time in the garden – not done, unless I can count picking and eating blueberries. So yummy. WEEK 10 PRIORITY

I’m holding a GIVEAWAY through the end of September to celebrate my debut.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

What you might have missed here this week:

Spotlight- Aftermath: Guts and Glory by Tyler Robbins

ROW80 Check-in #72 The Proof

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

It happened. My book is out. There’s proof too. You can see it on Amazon. The girl who loved to read, but never dared to write until early 2011, has been published.

It’s been a crazy ride. The writing bug had been trying to nab me for a long time and I tried to ignore it. My brother was the writer, not me. I dance. I tell my stories with movement, not with words. But you see, there was the key to my destiny.

I’ve always been a story teller.

I just had to get out of my own way. Once I decided I would do what it takes, I began my journey. I wrote and wrote. I studied and studied. When passion and desire drive your work, nothing can stop you.

It also helps to surround yourself with support and #ROW80 has been there for me. Thank you to each and every participant, you rock.

So, what’s next? After I finish writing another dozen guest posts, I’ll dive back into my craft study, finish the next book in The Love Projects series, and prepare for hitting send, again.

This week, Amy and Travis Wall performed a piece that Travis choreographed. This piece is simply about the games in a relationship. It’s strong. It’s daring. It’s  powerful and oh so beautiful. I could and have watched it over and over.

IT IS PERFECTION.

It’s visions like this piece or the great book I’m reading that drive me to write, to tell more stories, because I am a story teller and I have a lot more stories to tell.

The Goals – week-8 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – this is only done if writing guest posts can count. I’ve written a bunch and I have twice as many more to write.
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – not done. I didn’t get in a single workout, I blew the calorie limit more and more the further I got in the week, and got barely any sleep. I did keep up on my water. WEEK 9 PRIORITY
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – not done. WEEK 9 PRIORITY
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. I handled a bunch of stuff here, including a couple meetings, lots of reporting, and journal entries. ugh.
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – not done. WEEK 9 PRIORITY
    • Spend time in the garden – not done. WEEK 9 PRIORITY

I’m holding a GIVEAWAY through the end of September to celebrate my debut.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

What you might have missed here this week:

My First Cover Reveal: Taking Chances by S.J. Maylee

Spotlight: Been Loving You Too Long by Seraphina Donavan

Mid Week Tease with Taking Chances

My Debut is Here – Taking Chances by S.J. Maylee

ROW80 Check-in #71 The End of the Beginning

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

This is my last check-in … as a pre-published author. That’s right. My debut is coming out this week. I’ll also be celebrating the birth of my two sons on Monday and Thursday. I’m one heck of a Project Manager, lol. This week will now be known as birth week. 🙂

My goal for the week is not to panic, not to worry, and not to think about whether or not I’m ready.

Do you know what will get me through this week? My friends. I’ve met a lot of lovely people in this writing journey. At times they motivate you, encourage you, and they also make you laugh. Thank goodness for friends

and family.

Have your friends and family helped you with something lately?

This week, Tucker and Robert performed a piece by Travis Wall. I recommend listening to the intro before they dance. The choreographer was inspired by experiences he had with this own brother. In the performance, you’ll also see Tucker’s and Robert’s own experiences in this marriage of movement and music.  Their fluid strength hits and melts with such grace. It’s beautiful.

The Goals – week-7 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – kind of done. Waiting for your first ever cover is hard. I was a nervous wasteland all week. Finally by mid-week I got moving again on my WIP and inspiration struck. I’m looking forward to spending more time with these characters.
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – done. I got in 5 workouts.
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – kind of done. I danced one of the new routines. Gosh, it’s so good. I’m thinking about spending time studying one of these routines next. 😀 WEEK 8 PRIORITY
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. It just took a couple of emails, a couple trips to the school and one to the bank.
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – done. We are hosting family and friends today to celebrate my kids’ birthdays. There was a lot of organizing going on this week.
    • Spend time in the garden – done.

What you might have missed here this week:

Spotlight Dark Hunter by Shannan Albright

Cover Reveal BET ON ECSTASY by Stacey Kennedy

A Blog Takeover by Morgan King Author of With His Handy Man

Interview: Shyla Colt and Nikki Prince authors of The Bond

ROW80 Check-in #70 Beauty in Contrasts

Click here for my post for Ella’s Turning What? Blog Party

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Life is full of contrasts, from morning to night, from birth to death. Each point on the spectrum has its beauty and each has the ability to take you completely off guard.

This week I helped my in-laws celebrate 50 years of marriage. They’re an amazing couple. So, I was not surprised at the amount of family and friends that came to celebrate. They re-danced their first dance while my husband and his brother sang and played the guitar. At that exact moment, in the background, was a video of them dancing their first dance at their wedding. It was beautiful.

Also in this same week, we’ve had health scares for an Aunt and a young cousin. A friend learned of her good friend’s cancer and another friend lost her pet.

The contrasts are brutal and each remind you how short life can be. As I move from one busy week right into another one, I will strive for balance and to see beauty even in the contrasts.

I picked Paul and Mackenzie from SYTYCD once again this week. This piece is choreographed by Mandy Moore. The contrasts of strength and breath here is quite extraordinary.

The Goals – week-6 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – kind of done. On Monday, I finished another round of edits on my upcoming debut and sent them back to my publisher. The rest of the week, I struggled to spend time on my WIP. Instead, I spent time reading and enjoying books.
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – kind of done. I got in 3 workouts, but I blew my calorie limit.
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – kind of done. I danced the 3rd new routine. Wow. I picked some great routines and this one might be my favorite. 😀 WEEK 7 PRIORITY
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. I didn’t have to do anything this week. Yeah!
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – not done. WEEK 7 PRIORITY
    • Spend time in the garden – done, but I’m hosting a party next weekend. So, this needs to be a priority again. WEEK 7 PRIORITY

What you might have missed here this week:

NEW RELEASE ALERT!! Claimed by Stacey Kennedy

Ella’s Turning What? Blog Party <- includes a giveaway and a Grand Prize Giveaway

ROW80 Check-in #69 Going for it

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

I had one of those weeks. You know them. The kind that forces you to push yourself on less and less sleep. There are not enough hours in the day. You’d think I’d know this by now.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I need to learn how to say no. Ugh. My solace this week was editing. Normally, I’m not a big fan of editing. It’s hard. Well, everything in writing is hard, but editing is the hardest part for me.

I did turn in a set of edits earlier this week and by the next day I’d received more notes from MY editor. I have an editor. 🙂 and I’ve been working all week. Yesterday, it was time to stop. I had to go for it. I’ve put in my all and now it’s time to let it go.

I turned my MS in yesterday. Gulp.

What a week.

I found another treat on SYTYCD this week. This routine inspired a whole story while I watched. Wow. I’ve been loving Hayley and she got to dance her routine this week with one of her choreographers because her partner got injured. Poor Curtis, but wait till you see this. There’s a spot about 1/2 that is a must see. It’s one of those quite moments, a lift and a freze and then it all melts away. It will steal your breath away. The dancing starts about 44 seconds into the video. Here’s Hayley and choreographer Leonardo (replacing an injured Curtis) performing an Argentine Tango routine choreographed by Miriam and Leonardo

The Goals – week-5 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – done. I edited everyday and worked a smidgen on my new WIP on Friday.
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – done. I got in 6 workouts this week and hit the other goals here too.
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – kind of done. I only danced two of my three new routines. Wow. They are full of awesome. I can’t wait to dance them again. Powerful stuff. 😀 WEEK 6 PRIORITY
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. It was a busy week here with deposits, all kinds of reporting, follow-up, and training.
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – not done. Once again I’m not getting to these bottom two goals. I really would have benefitted from daily cleaning this week too, but instead I smushed all the cleaning into my Friday and Saturday. Grr. WEEK 6 PRIORITY
    • Spend time in the garden – not done. WEEK 6 PRIORITY

What you might have missed here this week:

Spotlight Board Stiff – Taking Advantage, Book 1 by Jessica Jayne

Spotlight: A Secret Love by Douglas Black

Spotlight: Healed Hearts by Tamsin Baker

ROW80 Check-in #68 The Final Cleaning

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

I received edits from my publisher. <~~ Do you know how long I’ve been wanting to type that very sentence. 😀 ~~ This past week I’ve gone through the comments and made little tweaks here and there. I did several full read throughs which I have not done on this MS since last December. The distance really helped.

Now that the must haves are taken care of, I can’t seem to let it go and hit send…again. I could sit with it for another week. It’s my baby. I grew so much as I wrote this story. It will never be perfect. I don’t need it to be perfect. Really. Really.

Still, it takes a lot of guts to show your writing to the world and although I’ve done it before, I’ve never done it quite like this. I’m hoping sometime over the next seven days, I’ll find that blend of clean satisfaction and groovy deliciousness I crave in my work. When I find it, I will hit send, again.

I found the perfect inspiration this week from SYTYCD. Amy and Fik-Shun performed a Tyce Diorio routine. Wow. This routine has that effortless perfection that sits right in the pocket.

The Goals – week-4 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters – done.
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting – done. My week was full of edits. I made progress everyday. I also added an epilogue. My first goal in this list helped it all come together. Nice.
    • Workout a minimum of three times a week and round it out with plenty of water, sleep, and my calorie limit – done. I got workouts in everyday but one. I did go over my calorie limit a bit on a couple of days. I’m editing. It’s going to happen. lol.
    • Weekly Nia study (i.e. studying the song/movement structure) – kind of done. My three new routines arrived this week. I’ve viewed some of each, but have not danced any of them yet. I can’t wait. They look like so much fun. I did do a practice teaching session this week. 😀 WEEK 5 PRIORITY
    • Stay on top of my co-op preschool Treasurer responsibilities – done. Answered countless emails and phone calls and made several deposits.
    • Organize something in the house each week & clean something in the house every day – not done. WEEK 5 PRIORITY
    • Spend time in the garden – not done. WEEK 5 PRIORITY

What you might have missed here this week:

Spotlight His Passion, Her Temptation by Malia Mallory

Spotlight: Persuasion Skills by Laurel Cremant

Flash Fiction #46 One Last Time

Links of the week #29

No surprise, I have great links to share today. I’ve told the hubs to take a break until SYTYCD is over, but they’re taking the next two weeks off. Jeff will be back next week with more great music. Wait till you see the clip I have for you this week, you’re in for a real treat.

Pitch 

Ashley Clark at The Writers Alley : Preparing the Perfect Pitch

Writer’s Life

Janet Reid, Literary Agent : If you are a writer, watch this

Act I / Opening

Jane Lebak at QueryTracker : Engaging Openings <–don’t miss all the links inside

Dialogue / Grammar

Lynnette Labelle : Dialogue Tag Misconceptions

Write Fresh

Marcy Kennedy : Three Ways The Emotion Thesaurus Helps You Write Better

Character Development 

Writing Fiction Right from novelist Gail Gaymer Martin : Four Personality Types For Characterization

Becca Weston at Peculiar Light : My Family’s Defining Qualities and What That Means for Your Characters

Narrative / Internalization

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story : Internal Medicine: How Much Internalization is Too Much? <– don’t miss the extra links to past posts, a fabulous full review

Conflict / Tension

Becca Puglisi at A Writer’s Journey : Becca Puglusi on Conflict vs. Tension

and

Becca Puglisi at Writing, Reading, and Life : Tension-Building Tips, Rowling Style: A Guest Post by Becca Puglisi

Editing

Kristi Boyce at The Write Practice : Read Terrible Books

Janice Hardy at The Other Side of the Story : The Eyes Have it: Are You “Over Looking” Things in Your Manuscript?

Social Media

Molly Greene : How can a writer use Scoop.It!?

SYTYCD

An interesting week of performances. Some great, some okay, and some strange song choices. I had no idea which performance to share until it came time for the guest performance. Sorry contestants, but you were smoked this week by Alvin Ailey. The company has been around since 1958, so no one should be surprised. Check out the power and conflict in this piece choreographed by Robert Battle.

The Hunt

What you might have missed here:

Six Sunday #26

Flash Fiction #17

Links of the week #25

Happy weekend folks!! Boom, bang look at all those cool links for writers. Jeff took another week off from picking out great music. Not to worry, SYTYCD had loads of fabulous performance I wanted to share this week, so which one was my favorite?

Mommy Ninja

K.B. Owen via Jenny Hansen’s More Cowbell : A Ninja Mom’s Guide to Limiting Computer Time <–must read for any parent

Pitch Contest

Brenda Drake: Entangle an editor with your pitch!

Dialogue

Lynnette Labelle : The Secrets Behind Buried Dialogue Part 2 take away tip: can can bury narration, but not dialogue…read the post and the tip will make sense 🙂

Descriptions

Stina Lindenblatt over at Seeing Creative provided a cool idea : All In The Details

Character Development

Kristen Lamb : Making Heroes Heroic–Why Flaws are Important

Prose

Joe Bunting over at The Write Practice : 5 Elements of Storytelling

Plot

Darcy Pattison over at Fiction Notes : End of Act I: 5 Functions Determine Plot

Editing

Tiffany Lawson Inman was at Writers In The Storm yesterday 😀 : Worse Than a Cliché

Writer Business

Rick Carufel at Angie’s Diary : Disappearing Reviews at Amazon?

Writer’s Life

Suzanne Rock, Romance on a Budget: Budget Creativity: Using Mini-Goals to Motivate

Michael J. Scott at Author Culture : How To Write More…and More Often

I’ve completely fallen for @smoulderingsea and his #editortips, if you miss the daily tweets you can still catch them on his blog. Here is my fav from yesterday: When editing down backstory and inner monologue, keep only what the reader needs–not what you needed to sort your story.

Dance to inspire

So many great performances this week as SYTYCD season 9 revealed their top 20. This performance was by far my fav, enjoy

What you might have missed here:
Six Sentence Sunday #23
Spotlight: The Wager (Touch of the Gods) by D. X. Luc
Flash Fiction #13