An Uneventful Week is a Good Week

And yes, it’s been an uneventful week around here–just doing the day job, writing, and living life between the two (as in fixing dinner, cleanup, that sort of thing). Yesterday a bad storm rolled through, which for me = migraine, so not much of anything got done then, but yay me! I’d already met my goals. And that’s so much easier to do when there’s not much else going on.

My dog Skeet finds uneventful days a good opportunity to make herself comfortable on the day bed in my office.

What I’ve Been Reading

I finished another novel in the fantasy box set (I swear I’m almost done–I started this thing back in August!). I enjoyed this one, too. I don’t like to talk about books I don’t like, because in the case of the one in the box set, it was just not to my taste, but because of it, I don’t want to name the set. But I do expect I’ll be buying more fantasy this year, because most of these books are part of series.

What I’ve Been Writing

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As noted above, I met my goals this week! After not hitting my writing goals in so long, doing so twice in a row is really exciting. My writing goal was to write 375 words/day, at least five days. I did write five days, and exceeded the word count for a total of a little over 2200 words. Part of me wants to ramp up to 500 words/day (and I exceeded that one day), but it was also a bit of a push so I’m going to go for 400/day this week, again shooting for five days and a total of 2000 words.

I also met my learning goal of completing week 2 videos and assignment for the WMG Publishing “Teams in Fiction” online workshop, and I went on to week 3. I’ve done all but one video (there are five), so I’m going to set a goal to complete that and the assignment, and do the week 4 videos this week, with a bonus goal to complete the week 4 assignment as well.

What about you–do you like uneventful weeks, or do you find them boring? Do you read box sets? And if so, do you go on to buy other books in a series if you like the one in the set? How are you doing with whatever goals you’ve had, whether writing or otherwise? 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.

A Good Start for the New Year

This has been a nice, low-key week, very welcome after the busyness of the holidays. DH and I went to see the new Star Wars movie yesterday. It was a fitting ending to the series, though with Disney owning the franchise now, I’m sure there will be more.

For New Year’s Eve, my husband and I thought about going to downtown Knoxville for their party and ball-drop on Market Square, but decided to just stay home. That was fine with me, as I’m not fond of crowds or cold.

I’ve also been writing (TL;DR: I exceeded my goals!) and going through an online workshop, WMG Publishing’s Teams in Fiction.

What I’ve Been Reading

I finished another novel in the fantasy boxed set. It was full of fantasy cliches (like the young boy predestined to be “the one”) but also had some creative worldbuilding and I enjoyed it. Since there are a couple books in the set I didn’t like, I’m not naming it.

2020 Goals

I also figured out what I want to do with my writing this year:

Writing and Publishing:

  • Finish the current WIP
  • Complete edits on last year’s WIP and get it to the publisher

Learning/Business:

  • Complete two WMG workshops per quarter
  • Keep up blog streak every Sunday
  • Read/learn something about copyright once a month
  • Keep track of books read, including business and other nonfiction, and those not finished
  • Revamp website (it’s sooooo 2011!)

BONUS (Stretch goals)

  • Any additional WMG workshops
  • Edit the current WIP and turn it in to my publisher

What I’ve Been Writing

My goal this past week was to write at least four days, and at least 250 words/day (ramping up slowly). I wrote six days, for a total of just over 1700 words. Yeah, I’ve written that much or more in a day before, but this is really good for me, considering the past couple of years.

This week, I want to continue the slow ramp-up, and write at least 375 words, at least five days.

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Goals for ROW80 Round 1:

  • Current WIP – 36000 words (8000 in Jan, 12000 in Feb, 16000 in March)
  • WMG Workshops – Teams in Fiction, and Secondary Plotlines
  • 3x learn about copyright (once a month)
  • Blog every week

What about you–what are your goals for this year? How did you do on last year’s goals? (Let’s not talk about mine!) What did you do on New Year’s Eve/Day, if anything? I’d love to hear from you–please share in the comments, or join the ROW80 group on Facebook!

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 Good Busy

Not much writing happening this week, between the holidays and hosting family and friends. We decided “new state, new traditions,” and started by inviting neighbors over for a drop-in open house on Christmas Eve. While we kept the menu fairly simple–a few appetizers, snacks, and cupcakes–there was still plenty to do to prepare, plus we needed to wrap gifts. And wow, what weather! We wrapped gifts outside on our deck! Can’t say I ever did that in Ohio, though we hear it was unseasonably warm there too.

We had no idea if many (any?) would come to our Christmas Eve drop-in, as a lot of people are busy that night with family, but over a dozen people showed up on Tuesday night, and we had a great fun just hanging out and getting to know our neighbors a little better. Our daughter and her partner arrived that evening too.

They love coming to our new place in Tennessee, which makes us feel really good. On Christmas, after we opened a few gifts (we kept that simple, too), we did a little hiking on the property, and DH taught our daughter’s partner how to drive the tractor and let her bush-hog, which she thoroughly enjoyed! Christmas dinner was simple as well as delicious–our usual traditional ham and twice-baked potatoes, with green beans and biscuits.

We spent the next few days with them, trying out a couple of new-to-us restaurants and a local brewery, which made for a fun and relaxed few days. On Friday night, more friends from Ohio came in, and we made use of our secondary guest space in my office. Our daughter and partner took off the next morning, and we spent the day doing some shopping and sightseeing with our friends.

We drove out to Douglas Dam, where one of our friends took this fantastic photo.

The weather has been amazingly warm and nice all week. Our friends left this morning, so DH and I went for a motorcycle ride, just doing a little exploring in our part of the county. It seems crazy to be able to do such a thing in December!

What I’ve Been Reading

I still managed to read a little every night before bed, even with guests. I’ve been reading through a big box set that I probably won’t discuss in detail, as I didn’t like one of the books in it. Nothing wrong with it, just not to my taste. I am enjoying the others–pretty typical sword and sorcery fantasy fare.

What I’ve Been Writing

I set a very low goal this week, given the holidays. I did not plan to write while we had guests, but I did get to it on Sunday and Monday, and met my goal. This week, I’m going to shoot for 250 words, for four days, as New Year’s comes right in the middle of the week and I don’t yet know what we’re doing for that holiday (if anything).

2019 Goal Wrapup

This pretty much sums up how well I met my admittedly crazy writing goals, given the move:

via GIPHY

I wanted to finish my current WIP. I got about 20,000 words written on it, most of which were written before the move. Heck, I’m just glad I got anything at all written since then! Here were my other goals, which I didn’t detail out in my initial goals post at the end of last year, but that I did write down elsewhere:

  • Finish writing Time’s Guardian – DONE
  • Finish writing Time’s Judgement – this is the current WIP. See GIF above.
  • Complete at least one WMG workshop per quarter – DONE!
  • Read The Copyright Handbook – Nope
  • Attend WMG Business Master Class in Las Vegas in October – YES!
  • Send out one newsletter per month until giveaway books are gone; at least one newsletter afterward in 2019 when there’s news (ideally, quarterly) – uh, I did one books giveaway and took the rest to the library. There hasn’t been any news to speak of on the writing from since, so no newsletters.
  • Keep track of books read, including business and other nonfiction, and those not finished – Yep. I read 35 books this year, plus TONS of blogs.

So, I guess I would consider that kind of a mixed bag, though better than I expected. I’ll take it!

ROW80 doesn’t start back up until next week, so I’ll post about my 2020 goals then.

What about you–how were your holidays, if you celebrate them? Did you stick to old traditions, or work in something new? How did you do on your 2019 goals? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you. And have a happy New Year!

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.

Not a Creature was Stirring…

…not even a mouse.

Oh wait, yes they are. And definitely at night.

We used to get mice at our old house in the Ohio suburbs, too, especially at this time of year when they want in from the cold. So it was no surprise that we’d get them at the new house, which is in a rural area.

But it turns out that country mice are smarter than suburban mice. At the old house, I’d use tip-traps to catch them, and they worked fabulously. We did not have our pantry food in airtight containers or anything, they’d go for the peanut butter in those traps every time.

But here, they’ll go right on past the traps conveniently on the floor and climb up the pantry shelves for the good stuff. We even tried a different type of live trap. No mice, at least not in the traps. They were continuing to enjoy our pantry, however. We bought airtight pantry containers and put everything we could in them. The mice still managed to find the few items that wouldn’t fit, moving on to my protein shake mix when nothing else was left out of a sealed container.

My husband got tired of dealing with it and bought some guillotine-style traps. These at least kill them quickly, unlike the old-fashioned kind, or <shudder> glue traps. They’re now his problem.

What I’ve Been Reading

Mice haven’t stopped me from enjoying some fiction! With all the extra to-dos that the holidays bring (though I’m not getting stressed out about it), I was in the mood for a nice light, contemporary romance. Always Remember by Sheila Seabrook fit the bill perfectly! What I really loved about this story was how the heroine was living the life someone else (her mother) wanted for her, and came to realize that what she wanted for herself wasn’t as out of reach as she thought. Recommended!

What I’ve Been Writing

<sigh> Once again, not much, even less than last week. I did get a couple of nights in, but that’s all. Just over 500 words. This WIP will never be finished at this rate. But I remind myself that it’s the holidays, will all the extra to-dos (that are worth it, for friends and family), and that we’ll soon be back to normal. So this week, getting any writing in at all will be a plus. I’d like to get two days in before our daughter and her partner arrive on Tuesday. 

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This past week was also the end of the quarter for ROW80. I was still buried with the move when the round started, so I didn’t set any goals. I wrote less than 5,000 words this whole quarter. I used to write that much in a week without a problem! Of course, I also hadn’t moved house since I began writing, so maybe I’ll cut myself some slack. 😀 I’ve seen plenty of folks already stating their 2020 goals, but I’ll figure mine out next week.

What about you–have you had mice in your home? How did you handle it? Have you read anything good lately? And how are you doing on your goals, whether writing or otherwise? I love to hear from you–please share in the comments–and have a wonderful holiday!

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.

Any Progress is Good

The pups are ready for Christmas!

This didn’t feel like an eventful week, yet when I think about it, I got a lot accomplished. We finished decorating for the holidays, and took photos for the Christmas cards, which I ordered yesterday. I would have liked to have had this done way before now, but that just didn’t happen. They’ll still come in in time for people to get them before Christmas, so that’s what matters. 

What I’ve Been Reading

Fiction reading has been slow, as I’ve been glomming on a blog lately: A Slob Comes Clean, by Dana K. White aka Nony the Slob. I discovered her books first, which I blogged about a couple weeks ago. When I learned she started with blogging, I had to check it out. Not only am I always looking for easier ways to manage my home, her writing is pretty darn funny.

She’s been blogging for ten years, and I went back and read from the beginning. I do this with blogs every once in a while when I find one that really draws me in, and I realized it’s reading about someone’s journey that I really enjoy. If you struggle with keeping up with your house, or just want some entertaining reading that’s also informative, I highly recommend A Slob Comes Clean!

What I’ve Been Writing

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My goal this past week was to write at least five days, 250 words/day. Well, I ended up getting slightly stuck again, and I did get unstuck (thank you, Twenty Answers!) but didn’t quite hit that goal. I did write for four days, for a total of just over 1000 words. It may not be my goal, but any progress is good, so I’m happy with that. I still have some holiday-related stuff to do (mainly shopping), so I’m going to stick with the same goal for this week (and hope I stay un-stuck!).

What about you–are you ready for the holidays, if you celebrate? How are you doing with whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? Do you like to read blogs (other than writing blogs, for you writers!)? 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.

Progress

I’m happy to report that the title refers to both the house and my writing, albeit slow in both cases.

I went back to Ohio for a few days last week, mostly for work, but I also wanted to see my parents. I also had a couple of nice surprises in that I had lunch with one of my best friends from high school, who works across the street from my client’s office, and also got to see my daughter and her partner. Work was boring, but it was stuff that needed to be done and overall a successful trip. Also the first time I drove all the way there and back by myself! The only other time I drove all the way myself was when we moved, and I had a back seat full of critters (my turtle, goldfish, and two tanks of gerbils). At least I didn’t have to worry about the 4″ of water sloshing out of the fish tank if I had to brake quickly this time.

As good of a trip as it was, I was glad to be home. For one thing, I picked a wonderfully (not) cold week to go to Ohio, and also, we typically didn’t see things like this there, though that may be more because we were in the suburbs, rather than on a ridge top:

View from our deck one evening in October

  

While I was gone, my husband was busy too. He did a bunch of work outside, and after it got cold (though not as cold as Ohio), he installed all of the drawer pulls and cabinet knobs in our laundry/mudroom and in my office. They’re a little detail, but I never appreciated how nice it is to have handles on cabinet doors and drawers until we didn’t for a month.

He also made these hooks out of antlers from a deer he got while hunting last year (also, the deer was delicious). He put these up in our bedroom, and they look great.

  

What I’ve Been Reading

As I mentioned last week, I still managed to read during all the craziness of fixing up the old house, packing, moving, unpacking, and projects here. So far this year, I’ve read 31 books, plus a short story and two nonfiction books that just weren’t doing anything for me so I didn’t finish them. I will just touch on a couple of the novels I read, both of which I really enjoyed.

On Hallowed Ground by Jansen Schmidt This romantic suspense features a Native American heroine and a hero in law enforcement. Rich, cultural details and a lot of research on the author’s part make this one of those stories that pulls you right in to the story world. Definitely enjoyable, and highly recommended for those who enjoy romantic suspense!

Biting the Curse by Stacy McKitrick was another book I enjoyed this summer. This latest installment of the Bitten by Love vampire romance series features a heroine whose every love interest meets an untimely death, until she unknowingly hooks up with Sam, whose vampire powers should protect him, but even that becomes questionable. Another enjoyable read, with plenty of suspense!

 

What I’ve Been Writing

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I met my goal this week of writing 100 words per night. Not that that’s very much, but I’ll take it! I even managed to get the writing in while I was in Ohio. That’s an accomplishment, as I usually find it hard to get to the writing while traveling. It probably helped that I went alone, rather than with my husband.

This week, I’m going to try ramping that up by just a little, to 250 words/day, for five days this week.

What about you–have you read any good books lately? What other projects have you been working on? If you’re a writer, do you find it hard to write while traveling? If not, please share your tips in the comments, as I do need to make regular trips and can use all the help I can get!

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.

Round 1 Wrap-up

Hard to believe we’re halfway through March already! Even harder to believe that it’s only three days until spring – it was snowing buckets here earlier today!

This weeks has been relatively uneventful, which is not a bad thing. No news from Tennessee on the house. As far as the unwanted neighbor business goes, they just closed on the purchase of a large, adjoining lot. The landowner claims he’s going to turn it into gardens, but no one believes him at this point. It doesn’t change anything as far as his zoning change request, except that if he still wants the change, they’ll have to re-apply at this point. So we’re still in a wait and see mode there.

What I’ve Been Reading: Finally finished my novel last week, The Longview Chronicles: The Complete Saga by Holly Lisle. It took a long time because it was actually a boxed set of six books that started with a novella, and each one got longer. Book 5 was definitely a full-length novel, and not a short one either (at least it didn’t feel short). But, it was well worth it. This is set in her Settled Space universe, a series I love. While it’s an independent story, it links to the prior two books in the series, Hunting the Corrigan’s Blood and Warpaint. The main characters from those novels appeared in the fifth book, which I had not expected and was a great surprise since I love them. However, it was probably more enjoyable since I’d read those books. This series is space opera at its best–fantastic worldbuilding of a dystopian society, and characters fighting to make a difference. I will note that this series is very dark, and contains graphic violence, so be aware if that’s not your thing. It’s normally not mine, but it’s completely appropriate for these stories, and I doubt they’d pack the emotional punch they do without it. Highly recommended!

What I’ve Been Writing: I didn’t quite make my goal this week, which was to write five days, for a total of 2500 words. I had a couple days where I just didn’t feel like writing, so I only got four days in. I got 2015 words out of those however, so I’ll consider that a “failing to success” as it’s still not bad and moves me forward. I am getting a good feel for this new WIP, and completed the first scene.

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Which brings me to my quarterly goals, or ROW80 Round 1 Wrap-up. I know it’s not quite the end of the quarter, but ROW80 is only 80 days, so it ends on Thursday and this is my last post before then. My goals were to finish Time’s Guardian, my last WIP, and start on my new one. I did both of those. I have about 3600 words in on my new book, which is hmm…. far short of the 40,000 I’d hoped for! So what happened? Well, the first book ended up taking a little over 18,000 words to finish–a good bit more than the 5,000 I expected! I also went through a revision, which took waaaaay longer than I thought it would–pretty much the whole month of February. And ramping up to the 5k/week also took longer than I expected.

But still, that 22,000 words is more writing, done more quickly, than I’ve accomplished in years, so I’ll consider that “failing to success.” And I still have a chance to hit my BHAG (Bit Hairy Audacious Goal) of writing 150,000 words this year.

I also had a goal to complete two online workshops, although I didn’t mention it in my 2019 Goals Post back in December. That goal I met.

This week I have a few things going on, so I’m going to shoot for what I did this week: four days, at 500 words/day, for a total of 2,000 words. And, keep up with the online workshop I started yesterday.

What about you–what’s been going on in your life? Read any good books lately? And how have you been doing on whatever goals you might have, whether writing or otherwise? 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.

Struggling to (Re)Start

Another week, and another goal not met. Ugh. Once again, I wrote one night this week, then… nothing.

I’m not sure what the deal is with my writing (or rather, lack thereof). Maybe it’s because this was a bad week for migraines due to the change in weather. Maybe there is lingering house stuff crowding my brain (okay, there definitely is). Or maybe it’s a stupid fear I identified last year when I took Dean Wesley Smith’s Writing into the Dark workshop last year–the Fear of Not Knowing What Happens Next. It isn’t the story. I really want to finish this one. I think about it when I’m not writing, but not enough to figure it out.

I am a recovering outliner. I’m not saying that outlining is bad if it works for you, but it had gotten so that it wasn’t working for me any longer. Outlining, or planning ahead, was pretty drilled into me, having worked as a software developer for 20 years. In that endeavor, failing to plan is definitely a plan to fail. And outlining served me well for the first few books I wrote.

But with the last couple, I noticed that I’d spend a lot of time planning, and no matter how much effort I put into it or how good a plan I thought I had, the book would always veer off into a different direction. And the new direction was always better than the outlined one, by far. ALWAYS. So why spend the time outlining (which is also boring) when it doesn’t help me anyway? That’s why I’m trying to get out of it. But I’ve been stuck lately. Maybe it’s because I’m just not putting the time in? I don’t know.

That’s what I’m trying to find out–if I just open the file, sit at the computer regularly, will this work itself out? The trouble is getting myself to that point. The nonfiction book I’m reading this week has given me a couple of good ideas to try, but I’m not done with it yet so I’ll discuss it after I finish.

What I’ve Been Reading: I did finish a couple more books last week, so I’m still reading. In fiction, I finished Watcher’s Web by Patty Jansen. Jansen has done it again and totally pulled me into this character’s life and world. Like her other series, it took a little while before I really clicked with the character, but the world and actions were interesting enough to get me through that initial bit, then once I was through that, I knew I’d read this whole series. Watcher’s Web is Book One of the Return of the Arghyrians series, a science fiction tale centering on Jessica, a 17-year old Australian with an odd power she calls “the web” with which she can telepathically influence animals, and sometimes people. When she’s in a plane wreck and finds herself in an otherworldly forest, she discovers a whole new world–and learns she’s not even human, but an alien race thought to be extinct. Now everyone wants her–and her powers. Though science fiction, this has a strong fantasy feel to it which is a combination I love, so I will definitely be reading the rest of the series. Highly recommended if this is your thing, too!

In non-fiction, I read The Four-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. This is somewhat of a classic now, but I will admit I went into it with skepticism, and after finishing the book, I remain skeptical. I’m not saying that his process can’t be replicated–plenty of people have done it–but it’s not for me, and I suspect, for a lot of people. It involves either quitting one’s job to start a business, or else getting a remote work arrangement in your job, so that you can spend your time doing things you want like traveling the world. Ironically, I’ve done the remote work part, but I’m more of a roots person, and am not into the extensive outsourcing that Ferris advocates to reduce the need for actively participating in one’s business. I also don’t see how that works when one is an employee, though he claims it can (not even touching on all the fields that don’t lend themselves to remote work). Once he got to the outsourcing part, I started to find it distasteful–possibly because I wouldn’t appreciate having my job outsourced, and definitely because I see this system as something done by the Kindle scammers–put out a product solely for the money, with little regard for its quality. Another big negative of the book was that the book has been updated since its original publication, but a lot of it was links to services and content that is no longer available.  Though his system is not for me, it was still an interesting read.

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What I’ve Been Writing: As noted above, not much. My goal for this week is to try a couple things in the nonfiction book I’m currently reading about habits, and also to check out Dean Wesley Smith’s video lecture series on Starting or Restarting Your Writing.

Tennessee Update: No new pictures, but they are planning to pour the basement floor this week. Hope to have some updates next week! One thing I really need to do–and am having as hard a time getting into as writing–is to declutter my house. I went through a big purge a couple years ago, but there are still a TON of things I don’t want to move. So decluttering a little bit each day is a habit I really need to get back into.

What about you–any suggestions for me to try to get back into writing? Have you read any good books lately? What’s been going on in your life? And how are you doing on whatever goals you might have? Better than me, I hope! I’d love to hear from you–please share in the comments!

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.

Rental House Wrap-up/Getting With It

It’s been a while since I last posted, and I can only blame part of that on the rental (now flip) house. But that did keep me pretty busy through mid-May, and my husband much more so. That’s about when the work on the house finally finished up and we listed it for sale, even though I hadn’t finished the new master bedroom closet organizer. Close enough!

We put on an Open House on Mothers Day, and actually got some decent traffic (my family celebrated Mothers Day the next day). The following weekend, my husband turned 50 and we had a party. Party planning is not my forte, and being an introvert, stuff like this stresses me out a good bit, but everything came together in time, and everyone had a good time. For my part, I was especially grateful to have a lot of help from friends in putting it all together!

Amazingly, my husband held another Open House the next day, and again got some good traffic. But in the whole time the house was listed (on Zillow and Craigslist), he got a lot of phone calls from agents wanting him to list with them, but no buyers. I thought his price was a little high, so he dropped it. It was still pretty aggressive for the neighborhood, but we’re also talking a house that’s practically new, given all the fire restoration work plus the completely new upstairs.

We got a call from an agent with a buyer the next day. They toured the house the following day. My husband called me while they were in the house and said “I think they’re going to put in an offer.” After they finished looking through the house, my husband hadn’t driven more than two blocks when the Realtor called and said they wanted to make an offer. And they did–for pretty much the asking price! It was listed for less than three weeks before the offer–the market is hot right now! One agent told my husband there were ten buyers for every listing right now, so that sure didn’t hurt.

Inspections went well, and only turned up a couple of minor things which my husband and the contractors fixed. The appraiser was skeptical until he went inside. He told my husband the house was easily worth the asking price. Closing is this coming Tuesday!

But that’s not what you were hoping to see here, were you? Here’s what we all came for: pictures! I don’t have too many before pictures, as I just didn’t think to get many before the work began. So we’ll start with those, then go on to the bunch we took for the listing.

Exterior – Before

 

Dining Room Before (after carpet was pulled up)

 

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Before – yes, the fridge and stove were crammed in next to each other on this small wall.

 

Exterior – after. Really, it was fine before, but the fire damaged the roofing and siding, so we had to replace it all. We kept the roof and trim the same, but for siding figured, why not green?

 

Click any of these smaller pictures for a larger view

 
Living Room and Dining Room

   
Downstairs Bedrooms – the front bedroom (right) was originally this color scheme (go Bucks!).
We kept it to honor my husband’s late cousin, who was a big Ohio State fan.

    
Downstairs Bathroom, with fun decal on the laundry chute

   
Dining Room, with barn door I built

    
Kitchen – remember the pipe shelves I built? Very happy with how they turned out!
I’ll give my husband credit for the hard part–installation! Also, we moved the fridge.

    
Mudroom/Drop Zone I built

    
Pantry shelves I built (and cute decal purchased from Etsy)

    
Upstairs/Master Bedroom

    
Master Bedroom, with barn door I built

    
Master closet, with shelves I built, and Bathroom

    
Master Bathroom

    
Basement – not a dingy, creepy one

    
Screen porch, and even the garage got a new door and siding

Not bad for our first flip, huh? Of course, we owe a lot of the credit to our contractors–we’re even going to have them over for a cookout in a couple weeks to say thanks. We were really happy with how everything turned out in the end, especially since this fetched $25k more than the next highest-priced recent sale in this neighborhood! Finally, all those hours spent watching HGTV are paying off, LOL. I hope the buyers will love having this as their home!

What I’ve been Reading: Lots of blogs and books, both fiction and non-fiction. I’ll pick this up next time.

What I’ve been Writing: Uhhhh, not much. This is where I need to “get with it,” as my friend Stacy said in a recent blog. The flip house work was mostly wrapped up by the end of May (I still had to build the closet shelving). In June I didn’t really have an excuse, other than it’s been hard to get my mind back onto fiction. There is still house stuff on the brain, what with Tennessee and all.

Speaking of Tennessee, things are moving along there too. We went there in early June to meet with the builder and our lender. The builder is ready to go whenever everything else is. So right now, we’re just waiting on the final version of the plans–we had a few more minor changes–it’s by far the easiest and cheapest to make them now! I expect those back later this week or early next, then the builder can file for permits, and the bank can get an appraisal. Hopefully we’ll be able to break ground in late August!

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But the writing… yeah. I realized I need some kind of accountability. Even if it’s to folks who are always nice and understanding when I don’t meet my goals, just knowing I need to report in to someone is motivating. That’s what ROW80 (“A Round of Words in 80 Days“) is for. So ROW80 friends (and anyone else), please keep me accountable!

I’m going to start out with baby steps. My main goals for this Round are to complete the “How to Write Villains” self-directed workshop I purchased from Holly Lisle, and to write at least one more chapter in my WIP. I’m currently one week into the workshop, out of eight. So this week, I want to complete the Week 2 reading and exercises. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s been a struggle getting to it–or getting with it, as Stacy says. Let’s hope this Round gets me back on track!

What about you–what’s been going on in your life? If you’re a writer, do you sometimes struggle to get to the writing, even though it’s something you really want to do? Or if you’re not a writer, is there something else you really want to do but just can’t seem to get around to? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you! And please click the ROW 80 seal above to go to the ROW80 Facebook page, and cheer everyone else on!

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.

Blame it on the Olympics

This has been one of those weeks where I’ve gotten pretty much nothing done.  Just a little bit on my shelves for the rental house, and no writing at all. Part of it has been whenever I walk through the living room and there are Olympics on, I have to stop and watch. Which ends up being all evening. Yeah, I know, I could just keep walking and go to the writing, but it’s only for a couple weeks every other year. And doing it afterward? I stop watching when it’s time for bed, so no go there. At least that’s my rationalization, and I’m sticking to it! I’m not writing off tonight (excuse the pun LOL) but I’m not optimistic either.

I did get done what I wanted to on the shelves–I cut all the mounting bracket pieces, and drilled pilot holes in them. I would have liked to go over there this afternoon and get those installed, but my fatigue kicked in pretty good today so that just wasn’t happening.

What I’ve been Reading: I started a new novel, but haven’t read far enough into it to discuss. I also finished binging on the 1500 Days blog a couple weeks ago, and moved on to another personal finance/financial independence blog, Slowly Sipping Coffee. It’s named that because that’s what the authors want to be able to do when they’ve managed to save up enough to ditch their hectic workweek and crazy commute, and live life on their own terms. Another one I highly recommend, especially since they’re not so super-frugal as many of these folks, yet still save tons of moolah. The husband was not always so good at managing money (to put it kindly, LOL), and shares his past struggles with it. Entertaining and relatable!

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What I’ve been Writing: As noted above, nada. I even opened up the file last night, and just wasn’t into it. So I’m going to try opening the file up at different times of the evening–hey, maybe before the Olympics comes on after the news!–and we’ll see how that works. So this week, getting anything at all will be a win.

What about you–have you been caught up in the Olympics? Read any good blogs lately? (Or books?) How are you doing on whatever goals you might be working on, writing or otherwise–here’s hoping better than me? 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.