New Year, Not-so-new Goals

I took some time off blogging last month, mainly because, holidays. With all of the extra stuff on the to-do list, something had to give, and I figured it might as well be the blog, since the writing had already given.

I did get some other things accomplished. For one, I decluttered the basement. After living here for 23 years, that’s no trivial thing. My family is amazed. And while I was decluttering, I found fabric my mom had given me years ago to sew her a couple of things. Which was great in that, if I completed them, I had something to give her for Christmas, not an easy thing to find. Which was not-so-good in that it was another project to add to my to-do list (hence no blog). That really wasn’t a problem as I like to sew; it’s just one of those things I haven’t had time or energy for much in the past few years.

Luckily, my energy held out until after Christmas, and I was able to complete the projects (the last one at 9PM on Christmas Eve). And she loved them, so it was totally worthwhile. The whole family had a good Christmas, so that was even better (and we were all well this year, too!).

DH and I had decided not to get each other anything since, after all, we had a new kitchen and were in the process of buying 28 acres in TN. Except I couldn’t do that, so I bought him a couple things to wear. LOL–he did the same.

Skeet at right while Isis gives DD a kiss

We got an addition to the family, too–a four-legged one. This is Skeet, the neighbors’ dog that we pet-sat for a couple years ago. She’d run away, and DH found her in the pound. The neighbors aren’t really in a good place to keep a dog right now with their jobs (he is out of town all the time, and she is rarely home) so we adopted her. As before, Skeet and Isis get along great, and we knew Skeet’s really sweet and affectionate (and totally destroys dog toys, but only dog toys, so that’s OK).

What I’ve been reading, abbreviated version (since it’s been a while):

ROW80Logo175

ROW80/Writing Update: As mentioned above, not much writing has gone on in the past couple months. I had a great start to NaNoWriMo, but that stopped cold soon after that as I ran out of outline and had no idea where my story was going. Some people write well that way; me, not so much. I needed to step back and regroup, but just as that happened, the holidays came along. So my new goal for this ROW80 is the same as last time’s: finish the WIP. I did figure out a few things while not writing, so that’s a start. This week, I want to at least spend time planning or working things out each day, if not actually writing.

What about you–how were your holidays? How did you do on your goals, if you do that? And what are you up to now? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

New Year, New Row

I’ve been away from the blog for a while, between holidays and fighting off the crud. Seems like everyone around here has had it: something between a bad cold and a mild flu. My husband and daughter kicked it in three days; it’s taken me a couple of weeks (thanks to Adrenal Fatigue). But I’m feeling better now, just in time to go back to work. Not how I wanted to spend the five days off I’d planned plus holidays, but I am grateful I was able to take the time away from the office, plus three more days.

Christmas itself was fine, other than me and my parents all being sick. We ate Christmas dinner at my house off of paper plates, so no one had to do dishes. That helped a lot. And everyone got gifts they wanted. New Year’s was a laid back evening with friends at my house.

One thing I did a lot of during my sick time was read. I read two unpublished nonfiction books by friends, one of which was pretty rough-draft, but both of which held my attention. I read several published books, too.

spirits of the seasonsmithsmonthly14What I’ve been reading: I finished the other four stories in the Spirits of the Season box set. One wasn’t really my thing, but good enough to finish, and the others were really enjoyable, especially Bandit’s Hollow, by Diane J. Reed. (It was time travel; of course I enjoyed it!). I also read Dean Wesley Smith’s Smith’s Monthly #14. For those who aren’t familiar with Smith, he puts out a monthly magazine that is 100% his original fiction. Each issue includes four or five short stories, a couple of poems, one or two segments of serialized novels, and one complete novel. So each one is a lot of reading, and they are always entertaining. He’s due to release Issue #25–I’m only a year behind. 😀

And now it’s time for goals. In some ways, New Year’s Day seems like a silly holiday–we’re just celebrating turning over the calendar–but that’s also a perfect time to assess, reassess, and set new goals with a clean slate (which is worth celebrating). Like most writers I know, I did not get as much done as I wanted, but I still got a respectable amount of stuff done. I finished and released a new novel in my Saturn Society world, set up a Readers Group newsletter, and actually did a little promotion, something I’ve avoided thus far (and my sales have shown it). I also began a new novella related to that latest release, which brings me to this quarter’s goals–or ROW80, Round 1.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Goals for Round 1: I am going to keep these simple, though I have several other goals not directly related to my writing–things I’m doing for Mythical Press, some website development and related learning, and so on. A lot of writers whose blogs I’ve read want to focus more on writing this year, and I count myself with them. I do want to keep doing promotion, but hope to spend less time on it now that some aspects of it are now setup and running (my newsletter and sign-up process, for example). I also want to keep learning, both craft and business. So here are my writing goals:

  1. Finish 1 craft workshop (I’m currently about halfway through it), and practice what I’m learning there.
  2. Finish the current novella in progress, and get it to beta readers, and if they turn it around in time, turn it in to my publisher.
  3. Review what I’ve already done on Saturn Society Book 3, and sketch out (outline) the second half of the book.

And here are this week’s goals:

  1. Finish two more scenes on the novella
  2. Complete last week’s assignment for the workshop (due tonight)
  3. Watch the workshop lesson videos for next week
  4. BONUS: Start the following scene in the novella.

What about you–how were your holidays? I hope you and your family stayed well, or if you had the crud, that you’re getting better! How did your 2015 goals turn out? And whether or not you’re participating in ROW80, what kind of goals are you working on now? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Holidays and Houseguests and Books!

We had a nice Christmas, but like always, I’m glad it’s over. I am blessed in that there is not a lot of drama in my family, and though I host dinner, everyone chips in with the food and no one complains about anything (well, nothing related to dinner or each other). My husband and daughter went to Staples to shop for me, LOL. They got me a new desk chair for my Internet computer, which was sorely needed, and filled my stocking with things like pens, sticky notes, and a few small treats. Money from my parents will undoubtedly go for writing workshops–always appreciated!

She borrowed Isis' clothes

She borrowed Isis’ clothes

Isis got a candy-cane-shaped rawhide, which allowed everyone else to eat without being bothered.

The next day, we got a houseguest–a furry one with four legs and a tail. We are dog-sitting for a neighbor, and their dog and Isis get along well together, so we just brought her back to our place.

They had a sleepover

They had a sleepover

 

Our guest really enjoys GerbilTV

Our guest really enjoys GerbilTV

She enjoys TurtleTV too

She enjoys TurtleTV too

Isis is ready for a nap

She wants to play, but Isis is ready for a nap

cd-hersh-cover-blood-brothersWhat I read this week: One thing nice about having a few days off work is more time to read! I read several short works, both fiction and nonfiction, that I’ve had for a while. I also finished the novel I started two+ weeks ago, Blood Brothers by C.D. Hersh. This is urban fantasy, and the sequel to The Promised One, which I really enjoyed, and discussed here. I like the shapeshifter mythology in these books, because it’s different: rather than people who shift into one type of animal (i.e., werewolves), these folks can mimic other people as well, so you can imagine the kind of havoc that power raises in the hands of less ethical folks. Add in a good twin-evil twin scenario, and things get even more interesting. In addition to continuing the relationship between the main characters from the previous book, it also had a nice romance subplot featuring an older couple, which I find I like more as I get older LOL.

Forever32I also read a couple of short stories. One I’d been wanting to get to for a while, “Forever Thirty-Two” by Stacy McKitrick, was the prequel to her vampire romance, Bite Me, I’m Yours, which I beta-read probably a year ago and really enjoyed. So I knew this wouldn’t disappoint, and it didn’t. “Forever” is the story of how the vampire hero in Bite Me was turned, decades before the novel takes place. Fun to see the background, and I loved the bit of justice in the circular plot ending. You can download “Forever Thirty-two” for free from Stacy’s website.

HunkyElfI’m not a big reader of holiday stories, but I do like one occasionally, and on Christmas night, I was in the mood for one, so I downloaded Meg Cooper’s erotic romance short story “The Hunky Elf.” Very cute, and definitely a fun read that perfectly fit into the Santa mythology and feel-good spirit of giving, along with some good steamy stuff.

In nonfiction, I went through some of the books from the NaNoWriMo Writer’s Pack that StoryBundle offered a few weeks ago. These included Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing by Dean Wesley Smith, The Pursuit of Perfection and How it Harms Writers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Drawing on the Power of Resonance in Writing by David Farland. The first two are collections of blog posts but updated and organized, which made for a very worthwhile read even as a repeat. The Resonance book brought up some concepts I hadn’t thought of or even heard in workshops before, and while not as immediately useful with my writing process, was also worthwhile.

ROW80/Writing Update: ROW80 is on hiatus until January 4, but I’m still writing! Why? Because it’s fun! Of all my writing goals for this year, one of my primary ones was to find the fun in writing again, and I have. I’ve written something every day this week and the one before, even if only a couple of sentences, and on Christmas, I got 1500 words written after my family left, my daughter went to visit a friend, and my husband and brother went to the garage. Other than that, it was one of those weeks where it didn’t feel like I got much writing done. But when I checked my log, I’d completed a new scene, and it added up to 3500 new words. So a big win! So this week’s plan is to keep up that pace. I only have to work Monday and Tuesday, so that will help.

What about you–did you have a nice holiday? Any houseguests? If you celebrate Christmas and exchange gifts, what did you get and/or give? Read any good books lately? And what are you looking forward to in 2015? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

A Visit with Santa Paws

It’s been a busy week–that time of the year, of course!–so this update will be short.

We took Isis to see Santa, even though she’d been naughty last night. My husband figured she’d been trying to email Santa a letter preceding her meeting with him, and had a bit of trouble. Let’s just say we owe our daughter a Google Nexus 7 tablet or equivalent. At least they’ve come down in price!

But we’d planned to see Santa, so off to Pet Supplies Plus we went. While waiting her turn, Isis met an interesting furry friend:

Isis and Rabbit

Then, she got to see Santa. We don’t know what she asked for, but we spent enough money at PSP I can guess that she got it!

Isis and Santa

When we got home, some neighbors stopped by to introduce us to their new “baby.” Just wait until summer, and that baby will be bigger than Isis–she’s a Great Dane!

Isis and Jules

What I read this week: I started in on another novel, but am only halfway through that, so will discuss when I finish (or get close). I did get most of my Christmas shopping done! It helps that my family is small, and the friends I exchange gifts with, don’t do so until after Christmas. I got my cards from Shutterfly, although I still need to write up my note for friends I don’t correspond with all the time to catch them up, before sending them out. But that’s a big load off.

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I also managed to hit my writing goal this week. I not only finished my scene, it clocked in at 4400 words! So quite happy with that. This week, I hope to get the next scene fixes done, and start in on writing the next new scene, which comes after that, to the tune of 1,000 words.

How about you–if you celebrate Christmas, do you have your shopping done, and cards sent out? Have you ever taken a pet to see Santa? How are you doing on whatever goals you might have this week–or the rest of this year, whether writing or otherwise? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

 

Be Kind to Yourself for the Holidays

The holidays are the most stressful time of year for many of us, with all of the extra things to do on top of our already too-full to-do lists, plus all those things we want to (or have to) tie up by year-end.

Adrenal fatigue is largely caused by stress, whether a single event, or more commonly, chronic overdoing it, so those of us who’ve reached this state need to be extra mindful when dealing with more stress. So, the best way to begin to heal from adrenal fatigue (or prevent it in the first place) is to avoid unnecessary stress whenever possible.

So to that end, here are some things I’m doing to be kind to myself–and reduce stress–for the holidays:

  • Decorating: stop worrying about outdoing or impressing anyone, and just put up those decorations that are meaningful to us and those we care for. Less is more!
  • Cooking: Nothing wrong with simplifying! Again, stick to those dishes that are particularly enjoyed, and skip the stuff we’ve been doing just because we’ve been doing it for years.
  • Parties: Go to the ones we enjoy, skip the ones we just feel obligated to attend when at all possible. And do we need to bring something? If not, don’t. If so (or if we really want to), get something easy we can just pick up. No need to bring a “famous” homemade dish that takes a lot of time and effort, unless it’s one of those things those we care about will really miss.
  • This year's Christmas card photo

    This year’s Christmas card photo

    Shopping: I hate crowds and traffic, so I do as much as possible online. And whether we go out or online, planning ahead helps us not only do the job faster and with less stress, but also helps us to spend less money we didn’t intend to (another source of stress).

  • Cards: This used to be one of the most stressful aspects of the holidays for me, because I used to design fancy, custom ones and printed my own. Invariably, the designing took far longer than necessary, and the printer would jam several times before I got them all printed, and maybe would run out of ink, too. I now just upload a few photos to Shutterfly and order them there. Not cheap, even with the special offers, but still uniquely ours and sooooo much easier.
  • Addressing cards: I buy Avery shipping labels (or similar) and use Word templates and a mail merge to fill ’em in. Much easier than hand writing!
  • Gift wrapping: I still can’t stomach paying Amazon $3.49 to wrap a gift, but my wrapping has gotten much simpler over the years. When I was in school and had much less stress (not to mention no job), I loved to wrap fancy gifts with tons of extra ribbons and bows. Now they get wrapped, and maybe a bow, and about half just go into a gift bag. I remember one high school friend whose parents used to wrap each kid’s presents in a one specific paper. No gift tags; everyone knew which was theirs just from the paper. And it was the gift that mattered, not the wrapping job. Brilliant!
  • Treating yourself: I got a haircut this week. That may be no big deal to many of you, but I hadn’t taken the time to do this one simple thing for over six months! So I went to Square One Salon, where they include a mini-facial with the cut, which was so relaxing and worth it. I will not wait so long to go back.
  • And yes, I also spent plenty of time reading!

Speak of LoveWhat I read this week: I finished the novel Speak of Love by Linda Madl. This is a historical romance set in the 17th century Scottish isles. The characters were well-drawn, interesting, and believable for the time period while still sympathetic, but what I especially liked about this book was the real history that was worked in. This did not have a lot of steamy stuff in it, but was definitely not a “sweet” romance either–IMO the sensuality level was just right for the story, the characters, and the other things going on. If you enjoy historical romance, pick this one up!

ROW80Logo175ROW80 Update: I’m going to consider this week a “failing successfully” week. I was completely not thinking when I set a goal of making the big picture changes in the rest of my WIP. Turns out it needs two more scenes, which I realized as I reworked the last one, not to mention that making the big-picture changes is more of a job than I thought, given the scope of the major change introduced 3/4 through the first draft. So my goal for this week is to complete one of the new scenes, or 1500 words–a reasonable goal, as I also still need to finish Christmas shopping, and I have a party to attend that I am really looking forward to.

What about you–do you find yourself stressed over the holidays, or are you good at being kind to yourself? And in what was do you do that? Got any additional tips or ideas? How are you doing on whatever goals you might be working toward, whether writing-related or not? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Where is your Stress Coming From?

I finally got those Christmas cards out last week.

As in yesterday. Saturday.

I suspect some of my recipients won’t get theirs until after the holiday. At first, this bothered me, but then I remembered that I always get a few after Christmas each year, and I really don’t think much about it, so no big deal.

2009's Christmas Card - my favorite!

2009’s Christmas Card – my favorite!

Christmas cards are one of those things that it turned out I stressed about more than I needed to. I used to design mine myself, did up some really cool ones in years past. But this year, none of us had any cool pictures taken (my family is not a big photo-taking bunch) so I couldn’t think of anything cool to do with them, nor did I have any special photos to use on a Shutterfly card (which I’ve also done in the past). So I kept putting it off, hoping something would come to me.

Nothing did. Finally, early this week I threw something together with a picture of our dogs that we’d used before. I wasn’t thrilled with it, so I printed one out and set it aside.

By Wednesday, I knew I had to do something. I’d also realized that I wasn’t quite done with shopping, and I mentioned to DH that I was feeling really stressed. Awesome guy that he is, he asked what he could do. I told him to make moonshine (not real moonshine, just store-bought stuff with flavoring added, but very good), which I’d promised to some of my coworkers. He then took a big load off. He said the Christmas card I’d printed out was fine, so why not send them out.

You see, he was the one who’d always made a big deal of the designed cards, and had been disappointed the year I used Shutterfly. So that was a lot.

I printed them out. Then realized I only had eight envelopes for 8-1/2 x 11 paper folded in quarters. Not a size I can just run down to the corner drugstore to buy. ::headdesk::

So I took off work a couple hours early on Friday, bought a box of cards, and sent those out, along with eight of the homemade cards.

But it all makes me wonder, how much of our stress comes from our own expectations of ourselves? How many of us put a ridiculous effort into extensive decorating, fixing the perfect holiday dinner, buying the perfect gifts–when those they’re supposed to be for don’t expect it, and are just happy we’ve done whatever it is for them?

ROW80Logo175Which brings me around to the rest of my ROW80 goals. I certainly expected too much of myself, thinking I’d get any writing done with everything else that needed to be done. Here’s the details:

  • 2,500 words on combined WIPs – No
  • Keep up with writing workshop assignments – Done (and the workshop is done)!
  • Website: figure out custom programming needed on product page – No
  • Fitness 4 times – Done!
  • Get Christmas cards out, complete rest of shopping – Done!

I figure I did well to get done what I did. This week will be better. I still have to wrap gifts, am hosting dinner, and my house is a disaster, but I have help if I need it, i.e. DD is home from college. I need to put in a few hours at work tomorrow, but am otherwise taking off until after New Year’s–my yearly present to myself. 😀 I think this Round officially ends on Christmas, but my goals are weekly, and I plan to work on the non-holiday goals Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so here goes:

  • Wrap Christmas presents, and finish everything else needed for the holiday
  • 2,500 words on combined WIPs
  • Website: figure out custom programming needed on product page

What about you–do you expect more of yourself than others, once you think about it (or ask)? If you celebrate Christmas, are you ready for it? And if you’re doing ROW80, did/are you hitting your goals? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Changing the calendar, or something more?

Today is New Year’s Eve. Historically, this (and the real holiday, tomorrow) used to be my least-favorite holiday.

CalendarNew Year’s Day was just like any Sunday in the winter when I was a kid, except that you couldn’t go anywhere because everything was closed. It was boring, because it was nothing but the parents sitting around watching football, which I was never into. Then the retailers started wising up, and realized not everyone was into football and there was money to be made from those of us who weren’t. Now everything’s open, so there’s shopping to do if you need or want something, and it’s less boring. Football is spread out for several days both before and after New Year’s Day, so that’s less of a Big Deal too.

But for many, the real holiday comes the night before, when we gather with family or friends to cheer the clock striking midnight.

New Year's EveThe allure of this, too, escaped me for many years. Of course, the big attraction for many is drinking. I was a boring, rule-abiding teen and didn’t drink. In fact, I was usually babysitting for people with glamorous parties to attend. I didn’t even get dressed up, and I drank Coke. TV was usually boring–I never liked any of the entertainment on those New Year’s Eve shows (still don’t). New Year’s Eve got better when I met my husband, and actually had someone special to kiss at the strike of midnight, but it was still just another night at the bar. When we owned the bar for over ten years, it also meant I saw little of my husband, as he was always working, and I needed to help distribute the champagne. This was okay in and of itself, but there were always the one or two PITA patrons who either tried to scam us out of an extra bottle, or who bitched because we hadn’t gotten around to them yet (everyone always got their champagne before midnight). The best part of New Year’s Eve was having my best friend from college over–there is no such thing as a dull moment with her around, especially with alcohol! 😀 But that stopped when she found a significant other of her own, and they stayed closer to home.

At any rate, all the New Year’s Eve stuff seemed a big, freakin’ deal to make over what, IMO, amounted to nothing more than swapping out the calendar.

It got better after we sold the bar. All of a sudden, my husband didn’t have to work!

We got together with friends, and went bowling a few years there. I suck at bowling, but it’s still fun. The past few years, we’ve gotten together with neighbors, either at our house or theirs. We aren’t friends with them any more (long, stupid story), so I’m not sure what we’ll do this year. I’ll leave that up to my More Sociable Half to determine.

But it doesn’t matter. Because somewhere along the way, New Year’s Day became more than getting out a new calendar, more than a day to put away Christmas stuff while my husband went somewhere to watch football.

It became a new start, a time to set goals (never resolutions for me!), a time to evaluate last year’s goals and accomplishments. I’ve revised one long-ass book and published it, written and published a short story, written another short book (and won NaNoWriMo!), and designed covers for/formatted two anthologies, plus my Saturn Society Boxed Set, and revised a third novel, which is currently with my editor. It didn’t feel like I’ve done that much, but when I list it out like that… yeah!

I’m in the process of that evaluating of goals now, and it’s exciting to see not only what I’ve done, but what’s to come. I think 2013 will be a good year.

What do you do to celebrate New Year’s Eve/Day? Is it something special to you, or just time to change the calendar? Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

Merry Christmas!

…to those who celebrate it, and to those who don’t… well, if you get a day off of work, enjoy it! Otherwise, have a good day! Because here in My Town, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m busy, busy, busy…

And with that, I’ll leave you with my favorite Christmas song ever, Bob & Doug McKenzie’s “12 Days of Christmas.” I’ll take my beer on the table, please. 😀

My Town Monday: Serving Those who Served for the Holidays

Veterans line up for a homemade meal at the AMVETS monthly luncheon

On the third Saturday of every month, our AMVETS chapter takes a variety of delicious, homemade foods to the Dayton VA Medical Center and serves lunch to dozens of resident veterans. The vets always appreciate the good food, and after lunch, the AMVETS host Bingo, which the vets always meet with enthusiasm.

During the holidays, the AMVETS make the December luncheon extra special, with a visit from Santa, a care package stocking for each vet, and entertainment.

The vets eat while the girls sing

I’m the chauffeur for the entertainment: my daughter and whichever friend(s) can join her. This year, one of her choir friends came along, and they sang several Christmas songs. My daughter played flute for a few while her friend sang, too. Even though they messed up a few times, no one seemed to notice or care. The vets, as well as the AMVETS serving lunch, gave the girls a hearty round of applause. Even though all I did was drive the girls out there, it’s a good feeling to contribute to something that makes the day a little merrier for those who served us and sacrificed so much.

Of course, it’s just one of many activities our local AMVETS chapter does to give a little back to their fellow vets who are less fortunate, health-wise.

Do you participate in any special charitable activities over the holidays – or all year long?

More at the My Town Monday blog

Goals, and Facing Facts

On a positive note, I again reached my writing goals this week, although partly because they changed. I finished the type-in through Chapter 11, then marked up Chapters 18 and 19, but decided against sending the first half to the beta readers at this point.

Time's Fugitive book cover

Coming in FEBRUARY!

Because it’s time to face facts and come clean: Time’s Fugitive is going to be late. I’d wanted to release it about now; that’s not even close to happening. There were two reasons for this: 1) earlier on in this challenge, I wasn’t focused enough and tended to push the work aside when it was just too hard. The other, more insidious problem was that I grossly underestimated the amount of time this revision would take. My estimate was based on the revisions for Time’s Enemy, and while the lengths are similar, Time’s Enemy had already undergone several exhaustive revisions before I discovered Holly Listle’s How to Revise Your Novel system. So the Time’s Enemy revision was relatively painless, but Time’s Fugitive needed a lot more work, for me to make it into the book I wanted, with the quality that I’ve committed to delivering to my readers.

One thing this challenge has taught me is what is a more realistic goal, and how to set that goal while taking in mind what else I have going on that week. This week, I knew I had two holiday events to attend today, plus decorating (my tree’s still not up :facepalm:) and getting Christmas cards out. I met my goal this week, but it wasn’t a super-aggressive one. It wasn’t easy, but it was doable.

So that’s what I’ve learned through this challenge. The eighty days of ROW80 ends on December 22, so for my final writing goal, I’m going to keep it simple: one more chapter marked up. How about you? What have you learned lately about what you’re capable of, whether or not you’re a writer, or participating in ROW80?