Be flexible!

Gotta be flexible with my husband’s hours! LOL! I am learning that making time with him a priority means scheduling all sorts of nutty hours.

He’s home early today which means I got about half my goal done today. Had about an hour and 15 minutes to write and got 1329 words, the first scene and the start of the second. That is decent writing for me, almost average. It makes up for bad days.

Usually when I’m running tens with my mom I get good word counts, so it’s nice to see I can do it without the tens too ;) All of Leaving Wandalucia but one or two days was written doing tens with her.

Typically my goal is 2400 words a day, at least five days a week. Bottom line acceptable on rushed, half or weird days is 1200/one scene.

See you all tomorrow!

Be flexible!

54 Scene Cards aaaaand STOP!

Today my goal was to get all of my scene cards done.  BUT as I was filling them out my muse kept telling me to leave a few blank for her.  So I listened!

While writing these cards out I would find sequences that fit together within the story (working from my four page treatment) and put a series of cards together.  This is how it normally works with me.  But I was a lot more… loose than I normally am.  Which is great.  Maybe for me an indication of growth as a writer is not having to plan each and every scene.  And I’ve always gone with better ideas as I’ve had them, so this is kind of allowing the space to form those ideas.  I am excited as it takes courage and confidence to began to break away from the comfort of habit that might also become stale and uninspiring.

Finishing my cards today means I get to start on the novel tomorrow!!  I’m so excited, I can’t express it (not great for a writer, ha!).  This was planned for MONDAY, so I’m two work days early!  Saturday and Sunday (my dedicated podcast day) are supposed to be days off for the writing, but we’ll see how it goes.

So that’s it today.  About 2 hours of work, 54 cards total for 58 scenes, all approximately 1200 words a piece.  A chapter is four scenes, sometimes 5 if it’s super short.

See you tomorrow!

54 Scene Cards aaaaand STOP!

“Four” Page Treatment

Today was another oddly arranged day.  I had to get to an OBGYN appointment super early to check on a mass on my ovaries to see if it’s growing, so everything was thrown back.  Add to that the fact that I only got 2.5 hours of sleep, so after I’d done MOST of my to do list, I crashed and napped for four hours.  Good thing I work from home.  Now that I’ve done my writing, I’m on to work on an art piece.  But first, my work for the day:

I finished up the bio I didn’t finish yesterday, a simple background for a secondary character.  Once that was done I set out to complete a Four Page Treatment, based in Syd Field-style, only I don’t care if I go over a bit (I usually do).

I got 1113 words (and about 4.5 pages) of the plot down.  It’s just a very, very basic idea of the full story from start to finish with important details and a few specific scenes.  It helps me start materializing the action and plot points.  As usual, while writing the four page treatment, I get ideas for scenes.  So I now have 12 scene cards.

Since I try to shoot for roughly 1200 word scenes, I need approximately 58 cards for the 70k book.  I tend to write all 58 scene cards then putting them into a very clear order, but often I end up changing things down the road.  You don’t want to be too rigid, especially because better ideas always come!

So that was my day today!  The Four Page Treatment can be fast in some cases and painfully slow in others.  It depends on how clear the story is to you.  If you’re struggling, just start thinking of the cool scenes you want to write and work backwards, asking “how do I get there?”

And if you’re using the Syd Field instructions to create it, remember that is just one way of doing it.  I don’t follow his instructions exactly.  It’s just a guide.

“Four” Page Treatment

Starting the book

I am planning on doing a complete book from plotting to revision starting today (although I had two days of work previously, a few months back) and ending by December 31st.

What I already had: Brock’s bio.  Angie’s mother’s bio (lol, don’t ask).  Two scene ideas, one theme and a couple notes on what to keep in mind during the writing of the book.  The setting I have from writing Leaving Wandalucia.  I am currently waiting to hear back from Harlequin regarding the possibility of publication, so cross your fingers for me, THANKS!  Ha!

So today I wrote and finished up two bios (Angie and the antagonist), created a simple background bio for a secondary character who is the future love interest for book three, found another two themes, found my ending which is AMAZING and rarely happens right away for me, and got several additional scene ideas.  I also got in about 45 minutes of research, which opened up one of the themes, the antagonist and the ending.  Research, people, holy crap.  It’s fun, educational and amazing.

The plan tomorrow is to create a simple bio for the other secondary character that will be the heroine for book three and then start and finish my (roughly) four page outline.  It’s something I learned from Syd Field (I know, I mention him a lot) and I continue to use to this day.  I have the older version of the Screenwriter’s Workbook and I learned a bunch from it.

And I think this song perfectly encapsulates what I want to show with my romance novels.  It definitely makes me think of the early years of my relationship and marriage to my amazing husband.  Because we do have the kind of love it takes to fix things.


* No links are affiliate links today.

Starting the book

Finished Another Ghost Story

I finished another one of my ghost stories for my anthology I’ve been writing.  I’ll revise it tomorrow and then send to my mom.  She’s looking forward to this one as I might have hyped it a bit and told her I was excited for her to read it.  Hope it’s good lol!

I want to have all stories done by next week, and then I’ll work on the formatting and cover, then up on Amazon!  I’m excited!  This will be the first self-published thing I’ll have under my own name that isn’t my non-fiction Etsy book from, whoa, like 7 years ago, ha!

I’m still struggling with a name for this story.  It’s funny how they just pop out at you sometimes and yet others take forever to come.  In fact, Matt came up with “Leaving Wandalucia” for the book that is now on a slush pile awaiting judgement.

Oh, jeez, that’s right!  I forgot to even come on here and mention that I submitted it!  HA! August 9th, before 3pm.  As my husband was rushing to get ready I finally got all my crap together with my mom’s help and submitted it.  And now?  I’m not stressing it.  I’m shocked.  It was scary, sure, and I’m a bit terrified of a rejection letter, even though I’ve gotten them before.  But that’s just how it goes.  Part of the price we pay as writers.

So now I’m off to look at my massive to do list and find something I can get done before I get back to work.  Maybe clean.  Work will be either another story or working on one of the many, MANY art pieces I have on my master art list that I need to finish.

Check out the Podcast, Alone In A Room with Invisible People if you haven’t already.  Our newest episode is now my favorite, but that’s been the case every week I think!

And today was day one of Clomid, the Dreaded Double Dose.  Yeesh.  Also, this has been a particularly bad period this week, so uuuuuugggghhh.  Maybe it will all be worth it.  Fingers crossed.  Either way I had a moment of artistic inspiration today on some fertility pieces I can create.

Finished Another Ghost Story

It has been a CRAZY 13 Days

Oh my goodness.  Between the podcast (you can visit the site for Alone in a Room with Invisible People or just the Podbean Link itself here) and the insane amount of work it took to start it, get the extra episodes ready to air so I wouldn’t have to worry about it during and after my trip, my bug hunter work (they got their information on the 27th, a day early) and my 10 year anniversary that came up, I was running on steam!

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I have to take a minute to mention this because it was an amazing anniversary weekend. 12 years together, 10 married and this man blew me away.  I have only just realized that I am not the romantic one!  HA!  He booked a cottage room on the beach, a schooner boat ride with a singer who had a truly lovely voice I was glad I could hear over all of the other people on the boat and then we did about a half dozen other things.  In about three days, HA!  Also, we chilled like crazy on the back “porch” area of the cottage.


He even had a cake, champagne and rose petals all over the room after our romantic (and delicious) dinner.

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On our last day at the cottage we watched the dolphins swimming not too far out and even tried to reach them, but it was too far for us in the dark water.  If we’d been in Key West or Hawaii, we would have booked it!

It was one of the best weekends with him I have ever had and I needed it.  He is a workaholic – the pot calling the kettle black, I know it.  Only thing, his work takes him out of the house.  EMT and a volunteer firefighter.  So he might have a day off a week.  Usually it’s half a day and many weeks it’s been no days off.  He typically works two jobs a day.


Today I also had to finish up my first drafts of my Query Letter and my Synopsis (fitting Harlequin’s specs), so that was a surprising amount of work.  I was grateful that a part of How to Revise Your Novel shows you how to create both, especially the fact that the synopsis is taken from your earlier work!

And yes, I know I talk a lot about Holly’s classes, but I use them constantly!  Just like Syd Field’s series of books on writing screenplays, these courses have just become a part of who I am and how I work.

So, now I am taking on plotting the second book in my Wandalucia series.  I was already throwing out some ideas here and there for it, today I planned to start plotting.  Brock and Angie are getting their book, which was definitely the plan as I started to develop Brock’s character.  When I found the first draft came in under goal (word count) I was more than happy to add in another POV – Brock’s.  Already planning to write the next book about him and Angie, I got a chance to explore Brock a little from the inside and also, bring more of the relationship he shares with Dom into the book.  Being best friends, I plan to have Dom in book two as well.

I went ahead and downloaded my copy of Professional Plot Outline (the only non-affiliate link here of Holly’s, it’s a .99 cents, pure and practical guide but she is not currently selling it on her site as she wants to rewrite it and beef it up to be more helpful) and then pulled out the two clinics just in case I wanted to (or needed to, if my Muse had been stingy today) use them: Create a Plot Clinic and Create a Character Clinic.  Those are under $10 each and I have found them incredibly helpful in the past.

I didn’t end up needing them today.  I did about 2800 words on background information and a bunch of research for characters and their pasts.  I wrote a lot about Brock and discovered some really amazing things about him.  And I found out some cool shit about Angie’s mother (Belinda), her half-brother Richard’s mother (Sandy) and a little bit that makes me like their father, Phil, even more than I already did.  I also enjoyed discovering how Dom and Brock became friends.

Angie’s past and the actual plotting will have to wait.  Tomorrow morning I am getting to work on my final version of Leaving Wandalucia before submission.  I am nervous, but also excited and downright chipper to get to work thanks to the amazing help from my bug hunters!!  They’ve all worked so hard and come through for me and I cannot be more grateful.  I should be receiving the last two early in the morning before I wake up, so I’ll be getting to work both before and after the ultrasound I have at my OBGYN.  We have to check on the cysts from my PCOS and the tumor I have on my ovary before deciding on any next steps.


* As always, unless otherwise mentioned, Holly’s links are affiliate links and will never charge you extra because of this. However you can easily Google Holly’s Writing Classes to find all of her courses.   Our Alone in the Room with Invisible People podcast link is non-affiliate, (the same with the Syd Field link).  You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

It has been a CRAZY 13 Days

So much… and it’s only Wednesday!

An update on my How to Write Short Stories Progress.

In short?  I’ve gone mad.  Stark raving bonkers mad.  HA!

Originally I had set out to create three stories in the Wandalucia world as a neat addition to my romance novel.  And I still plan on writing those.

But as I was going through Lesson Three (where we start the actual writing of our stories) I had this cool idea.  See, Holly challenges you to do a 3000 word story.  It’s one of the homework assignments.  Well, my short stories were 10k to 12k.  That’s up to 4 times longer so…  Yeah.

I thought, ‘hey, these ghostly ideas you’ve been having would be awesome to create an anthology for’ and I now have five of those ideas in a Scrivener file.   I can do them in 3k, perfect for this course.  I even have just under 900 words done on the first story.

So on top of my romance novel (I am also waiting to hear back from my beta reader tonight so that I can incorporate her notes into the book, fixing any issues she might have found before sending it off to my bug hunters) and three matching romance stories between 10k and 12k words long, I now have 15k words worth of ghost/paranormal stories to write thanks to the Short Stories course.  Oh my goodness.

I also have to finish the 220 pages of Sketchbook Summer (currently on page 157) by the 31st of July, update my personal website, and start catching up to the housework (we have people coming over early next month; I’ve been slacking and I want to catch up but give myself ample time to do so).

This week I have edited two podcast episodes (one was under 15 mins though!), created social shareables and Instagram Stories for them, created two posts with Show Notes that have been edited too many times to count, created the finalized artwork for episodes and the sites, and went through about 50 themes for the website.  Submitted the podcasts for approval to a handful of sites…  Which, by the way, if you’re interested you can find us on iTunes  |  Stitcher  |  Podbean   There were other things I accomplished to do with the podcast but I honestly cannot remember.  Most of this was done on Monday.

I had an appointment with an OBGYN regarding my infertility issues that went really, really well.  That’s not something I tend to cover in my writing blog, I think I’ve mostly shared about it on my art blog and Facebook.  I spent two hours working on the art piece for my favorite facebook group (this week’s challenge was The Flintstones and I’ve done traditional sketches and a digital piece that was cute lol).  And then I spent about an hour writing up the first scene of the first ghost story.

So that catches me up to today.  My husband has just left for work (for the second time today) and I’ll be moving on to writing the – hopefully – rest of the first draft of the story, aiming to keep it at exactly 3k.  I’ll be working in tens so that for every 40 minutes or writing I then clean up for ten, then come back to writing.



* As always, Holly’s links are affiliate links and will never charge you extra because of this. However you can easily Google Holly’s Writing Classes to find all of her courses.   Our Alone in the Room with Invisible People podcast link is non-affiliate.  You can follow us on Instagram and Facebook.  The link to the Sketchbook Summer page is also non-affiliate.  You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.

So much… and it’s only Wednesday!