ROW80 Check-in #95 SJ’s Superheros

Hello Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ll be taking a couple weeks off while I finish my latest WIPs. I’ll be back soon.

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Where did the week go? Where did the month go?

I’ve been in the editing cave for so many weeks now that I think I’ve lost track of time. But wait, what’s that? I see a smidgen of light way down at the end of my cave.

Yes! I can see it. 😀

I got notes back on all my manuscripts this week. My betas are superheros. They can see the story under the flaws. They can see what works and what doesn’t. They gave me advice that allows me to see the story from a different angle. I’d gotten too close to my manuscripts. After reading their notes, I could see how to improve my stories. Gosh, I love that. It renews my love affair with my characters and makes me excited to finish.

I wish my superheros didn’t live so far away. I want to give them big bear hugs.

One of my WIPs has shifted from ruff around the edges to smooth and shiny on a couple sides. I’m so close. After one more slow read through, I just might hit send.

I may still be working on the manuscript I’d hoped to send out back in December, but I’ve made such great progress recently that I’m letting it go. I realize now that nerves and lack of confidence kept me from working on these projects. This problem isn’t going away, but I need to do a better job of seeing it and dealing with it.

I’m ending this round on a high and I can not wait to start the next round of 80-days.

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 worked on the manuscript everyday this week and added 1.5k words. I smoothed out so many little things and tightened bits here and there.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)done. I took the tech breaks, but I let my house go. Please don’t bring your white gloves to my house today, lol. I did clean my kitchen and bathrooms yesterday. I knew I needed a big push on the WIP this past week. So, I let things slide and it took a lot of the pressure off. Wahoo!

What you might have missed here this week:

Review: Stealing His Heart by Ella Jade <– 5 Stars. A great sexy read.

Cover Reveal: The Sin Circus

Flash Fiction #58 A Drink or a Proposition

ROW80 Check-in #94 Hurry Up and Wait

Hello Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ll be taking a couple weeks off while I finish my latest WIPs. I’ll be back soon.

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

I’ve been busting my butt on three manuscripts. One I’ve already sent to a beta, but couldn’t get the end of the story out of my head. Now, I know why. There was something missing. This week, I added that something missing and forwarded the updated chapter to my beta.

Nice.

I moved right on to another manuscript. Finished another read through/polishing pass and sent it to a different beta.

Score.

I didn’t stop there. I took another look at the third manuscript, realized it was ready for a second pair of eyes and sent it to yet a different beta reader.

Three manuscripts out to beta readers.

Love it!

To be honest. I have no idea which of the three I’ll get back first or which is in the best shape. Good news. I love each of these stories and I cannot wait to share them. I just hope one of them will be in its best possible shape soon so I can hit send.

I want to hit send.

So much work and now I have so much waiting to do. Ugh. I will not be twiddling my thumbs while I wait to hear back from the betas. I’ve begun work on a new short story. 🙂

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 added 1k between the three manuscripts this week.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)done. I had a crazy week. I busted my butt all week and then on Friday I drove to my home town and surprised one of my best friends. Our other best friend flew home from Seattle too. We surprised the heck out of our friend. It was AWESOME!! I may be exhausted now, but it was so worth it. I love those girls. They lift my spirits and inspired no less than 5 stories in one night. 🙂

What you might have missed here this week:

I had no new posts last week. Sorry about that, but I’ll have a few posts this week, including a review for a fabulous book by one of my favorite authors. Loved it! A cover reveal on Tuesday and new flash fiction at the end of the week. It’s going to be a great week here at the Maylee ehouse.

ROW80 Check-in #93 The End is Coming

Hello Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ll be taking a couple weeks off while I finish my latest WIP. I’ll be back soon.

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

The end is near. I’m talking about this round of 80 days. 😉 I’m also nearing the end of three manuscripts. I’ve been working hard this round, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel if I don’t finish one of these projects soon.

This week, I worked on read throughs for two of my WIPs. I’d meant to work on the final scenes for one of them, but I just couldn’t concentrate on new words. I’m very anxious to get back one of my WIPs from betas and the read throughs kept my attention. I’m grateful I was able to be productive and find a way past my nervous jitters.

If I’m not able to hit send before the end of the round, I don’t want it to be because I let the last couple weeks fly by. There’s no time to slow down. It’s time to stay the course and continue to work past the nerves which are only going to grow as I get closer and closer to hitting send.

So, here’s to a big push to the end and to finishing at least one project. Have a great week everyone.

The Goals – week-9 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters- done. I keep thinking about those endings. 🙂
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting- done. I finished a read through on one WIP and almost finished the read through on another. Lots of little changes that only added up to about 100 words.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)done. My birthday week was lovely. It ended with a great visit from my mom. 🙂 I only worked out once this week, but that’s more than last week.

What you might have missed here this week:

Happy Release Day- Make Me: Twelve Tales of Dark Desire

Inside Look with Doris O’Connor author of Through the Dom’s Lens

Inside Look with Donna Cummings author of An Encouraging Word

ROW80 Check-in #92 A Reason to Celebrate

Hello Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ll be taking a couple weeks off while I finish my latest WIP. I’ll be back soon.

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

What a big week. I sent my WIP out to some betas and I pulled up two other WIPs that are close to done. One is now in the final read through before betas stage and the other needs an HEA. I have figured it out though. I hope to finish the final scene this week.

Big steps forward.

Huge.

Of course, all three have giants steps to take before I can hit send, but I’m really hoping one of them will be ready to go soon. Fingers Crossed.

pink cakeOh and today’s my birthday. Aw! Birthday cake for everybody. 😀 This is my first birthday as a published author. It feels good, so good, but I have so much more that I want to accomplish. I have many more characters I want to write and yes, I would love for my writing to support my family in some way. For now, I’ll concentrate on the projects in front of me. Eye on the ball. However today, I’m going to concentrate on  my favorite things like reading and enjoying coffee.

Have a great day everyone.

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- very much done. I finished a read through and sent a WIP to betas. I spent two days on craft and ended the week reading through two WIPs and plotting out a HEA. I added over 1k to my WIPs this week.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)done. This goal is always easiest on a birthday week. I relaxed and took my breaks and prepared myself for another birthday. 🙂 I am going to have to start breaking out the healthy journey into a separate goal though. It needs my attention.

What you might have missed here this week:

My Writing Process

Spotlight: Amazon Heat by Valerie Twombly

Cover Reveal: Desired by Stacey Kennedy

ROW80 Check-in #91 Not Before It’s Ready

Hello Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ll be taking a couple weeks off while I finish my latest WIP. I’ll be back soon.

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

For the first time in weeks, I made time for my WIP everyday. It might be because I can smell the finish line. It also might be because I had more time this week outside of all my other responsibilities. The finish line is most definitely within reach though and I want so badly to hit send.

Each time I read through this WIP, I fall in love with my characters all over again and I cannot wait to share them with you.

I know it would be a crime to hit send too soon.

Today or early this week, I hope to release it to my betas. I will keep myself busy with another WIP to clean my palate. Once I have the manuscript back, I’ll work my way through the findings and, when it’s ready, I will hit send, but not before it’s ready.

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- very much done. I finished a read through. Reworked one of the love scenes and added a connection that I’d missed. I added over 2k. I’m so close.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)not done. I had a good week, but as I get closer to hitting send, the pressure is getting greater to get this WIP right and it’s stressing me out. I need to figure out a way to work through it and relax each day.

What you might have missed here this week:

New Daily Picspiration Flash and FIVE Stars for TAKING CHANCES

Inside Look with Elyzabeth M. VaLey author of Blind Beauty

Flash Fiction #57 His Stubborn Witch

ROW80 Check-in #90 Ready to Rock

Hello Weekend Writing Warriors. I’ll be taking a couple weeks off while I finish my latest WIP. I’ll be back soon.

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

For weeks, I’ve been talking about my struggles with my WIP. I  haven’t been able to get it done and time hasn’t been the only problem.

This week, I came across a post listing 10 Self-Limiting Habits Successful Writers DON’T Have. It’s a mouthful, but it’s such an empowering read. By the time I was done reading the post, I was ready to rock.

I cleaned up my beat sheet and spent a good amount of time thinking through my story.

Click. Click. Click.

I finished a read through, kept going, and finally yesterday I typed “The End.”

The WIP is no where near ready for submission. I still have a good bit of character arch to clean up, several read throughs to complete, and my betas to get past, but I’m a huge step closer to hitting send.

I see now that I had pushed myself up against a wall these past few weeks, and I couldn’t see the finish line. You better believe I’ve bookmarked that post. It clearly helped me to push past whatever was holding me back.

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- not done. My week started off slow. Well, crazy busy on the evil day job front. By mid-week my focus was back on track, thanks to that fab post. I finished my read through and finished the last scene too. I also added 1k.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)– done. I worked through a lot of stuff this week. I’m proud of that. I also took breaks from technology this week and boy did it help me stay recharged. I also stepped back from a couple tasks and I’ve used the time well.

What you might have missed here this week:

Spotlight: Bared by Stacey Kennedy

ROW80 Check-in #89 A Mixed Bag

<<Click here for the Love Scene Blog Hop!>>

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

I had one of those weird kind of weeks. Some good progress was made, some fabulous news was received (my youngest was awarded a FULL scholarship for preschool next year <~ It’s a five-1/2 day program too. That’s a lot of money staying in our pockets. Wahoo!!), I wrote (the link at the top of the page will take you to a brand new love scene for my debut. It’s a hot one. You’ve been warned), I prepared for two blog hops, and I edited, but no great progress was made.

I thought this would be the week I finally typed “The End” on the WIP. This is the WIP I should have finished in December. I need to dig deep this week. No more monkeying around. It’s past time to get this book done. Let’s do this. <~ My pep talk.

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- not done. I finished the editing on two chapters this week. Chapter five took a lot of work to get right and now it shines. 😀 The second half of the week was eaten up by non writing/editing/plotting/craft author tasks. Ugh! I’ll try again next week.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)– done. I even worked out twice which was twice as many times as last week. My parents arrived yesterday. We had a nice relaxing day, exactly what I needed to prepare me for conquering this coming week.

What you might have missed here this week:

Spotlight: Anne Lange author of Friends with Benefits

Spotlight: Lynked by Bethany-Kris

ROW80 Check-in #88 Looking for the Lemonade

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

I have better days on the mind this week. Bright sunny days with lemonade to quench the thirst. Oh, there’s a good thought. Let me just stay right there for a minute.

Thanks.

As I worked through my WIP this week and prepared for yet another snow storm, I walked right into a road block, several in fact. This dang WIP doesn’t want a happy ending.

Instead of forcing it to happen, I stepped back and went right to the beginning. I’ve now completed an editing pass on the first five chapters and it feels like I’m re-meeting my characters. I love these two. Their passion and fears are right there on the page. I love this story. I’m hoping by the time I finish this editing pass, I’ll be able to walk them right into their happy ending.

It will happen and so will that sunny day and the big glass of lemonade.

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 I added 1k while editing this week, but I also deleted 2k. Ouch!
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)– done on all accounts, but I could have done better. My relaxing morning ritual is working and my little one is trying to get used to it. He’ll get there. I did take breaks from technology this week, but I needed more. This week my volunteer demands will lessen and I plan on taking advantage of the extra time. I need to work smart, not hard.

My stop on the web you might have missed this week:

Author Interview and Giveaway: SJ Maylee at Long and Short Reviews

What you might have missed here this week:

Inside Look with Doris O’Connor author of The Bear Project

Inside Look with Kitt Crescendo author of Three For All

 

ROW80 Check-in #87 Art Imitates Life

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

My baby steps for combating burnout have led to a little breakthrough. I think it’s funny that in all the weeks I’ve tried to just do it, I wasn’t getting anywhere. It took a week of stepping back, taking little breaks, that I had the most success.

I’ve been trying to fit my schedule into something I either wasn’t ready for or just wasn’t right for me. Each step back allowed me to breathe and come back to my tasks refreshed.

I should have had a stressful week too. The evil day job and my volunteer hours were both crazy. It was no where near perfect, but I’m completely okay with that. I edited all but one day this week and in the process have worked out many issues with the WIP. I even added almost 3k.

Instead of trying to make my life imitate art, I needed to get my life straight first and the art fell into place. You got to love it. Can I do it again this week? I’m sure going to try.

The Goals – week-3 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters- done. 🙂
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting- done except for one day. I’ve tried so many times to find the right ending for my WIP and I’ve been finding this most recent attempt a bit overwhelming. The little breaks this week really helped. I worked through the plot from a completely different angle and after spending time with my characters, I think I may have found the right happy ending.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself (start w/ a relaxing ritual and daily breaks from technology)– done on all accounts. I’m okay. <~ This is what I needed to believe. I’m doing just fine. No, I’m not where I want to be, but that’s okay. My relaxing ritual in the morning is happening before I leave my bedroom. I’m so glad my boys are getting older because this step is actually doable. My breaks from technology happened this week too. We had a bunch of company this weekend and I was ready for them. Thank you tech breaks. Wahoo!!

My stops on the web you might have missed this week:

My bi-weekly flash at Daily Picspiration: Lucky in Love

D. Renee Bagby Presents First Chapters: Taking Chances chapter one

What you might have missed here this week:

Inside Look with Elodie Parkes author of A Little Mysterious

Spotlight: Midnight Mistletoe by Laurel Cremant

Spotlight and Review: Find Me by Ella Jade

Mid Week Tease – Her Fascinating Imagination

Flash Fiction #56 – Pleasing Colin

ROW80 Check-in #86 Baby Steps for Preventing Burnout

The writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Many of my friends have been talking about burnout lately. I’ve definitely been showing the signs for some time, but have been soldiering on. Enough is enough, it’s time to figure another way.

We know moderation is the key for food choices. We also know when making changes, baby steps can be a set-up for success.

I came across a website yesterday called HelpGuide.org. Their page Preventing Burnout caught my attention. They breakdown the differences between stress and burnout. In dealing with burnout, they suggest the “three r” approach (recognize, reverse, and resilience). It’s really good stuff. My favorite section gives tips on preventing burnout. I’m very familiar with several things on this list and will continue to work on them. The two I want to add are Start the day with a relaxing ritual and Take a daily break from technology. 

I’m hardly ever far from my phone and laptop. I rarely take any time for myself. No wonder I’m burning out.

I’ve recognized the issue, I’m working on reversing the effects, and it’s definitely time to work on building my resilience. It’s most definitely baby steps time.

The Goals – week-2 results

    • Spend at least 1-hour a day with my characters- done. 🙂
    • Daily progress in writing craft, word count, editing, and/or plotting- almost done. The first couple days of the week, I was buried in evil day job and volunteer work. Ugh! By Wednesday, I was eager to make progress, but I let my frustrations get to me. Finally on Thursday, I started making some progress. I edited a couple of scenes and found the first scene that needs a rewrite to set the story in the direction of the new ending. I made good progress on Friday and Saturday too. There’s a happy ending.
    • Take care of and be kind to myself- kind of done. I’m doing a better job of letting the stress go at the end of the day, something I used to have mastered. I’m getting back to that pattern and it makes me happy. Baby steps. I’ll let you know next week how I do with adding the morning relaxing ritual and the daily break from technology.

What you might have missed here this week:

Inside Look with Alexa Bourne author of Dance Away, Danger

Spotlight: This Isn’t Goodbye by Iyana Jenna

Flash Fiction #55 – Light of My Life