Taking my time

Happy Sunday! The day started late, at like noon, which was fabulous, and why this post comes so late. I spent my morning working in my Bullet Journal and my Writing Notebook (which doesn’t necessarily need to be capitalized, but #bujo was, so I didn’t want it to feel left out), and got lots of great notes to start organizing my thoughts on Things.

I wrote a little bit, and feel pretty good about it. Only 195 fiction words, but a total of 698 for the day. Yesterday was more reading and media consumption than anything else, but it was good stuff. Saturday, you know. And quite a bit of thinking.

I did mention talking about my income and expenses as Writer: Starter Edition yesterday. I still plan on doing that. I may not get to it this week. Instead I think I’m  planning on it for next week. It’s the kind of thing I can plan ahead for and put some thought into. I may also only do it once a month. We’ll see about that. For now, we’ll plan it for the first Sunday of every month.

Look at that! I’m thinking ahead and planning things! Heh.

The printed list for the Rock Your Handwriting challenge
Rock Your Handwriting challenge – hosted by @prettyprintsandpaper, @tinyrayofsunshine, @boho.berry, @decadethirty

One last thing. I’m going to be working more in my #bujo in April. It feels right again, where for a long time I was simply surviving from week to week with routine. Adding this back in seems like a small step back to where I was when I started.

Also, for what it’s worth when I was spending the most time in my bullet journal, I was also spending the most time writing. A coincidence? Perhaps, but who cares. I can make time for this.

And the graphic was fun. I like having images in my posts. Click it to go to the host’s page on the project.

And…I think I’m done for today! Sorry that it’s kind of rambly. Actually, not too sorry. I’m having fun.

Deer are looking skinny (and Ideas)

It’s Saturday, and thus laundry day, and if you remember last week I found a deer strolling through the backyard when I was doing laundry. Well, s/he, or a friend of his/hers, decided to stroll by this week for my elder youth to see! The deer was looking a bit scraggly with a winter coat and jutting hips, but I’m not terribly worried. I can see the grass down by the creek that runs behind the house coming through strong and bright, and the temperatures today are lovely and warm. The deer will find food.

I wrote 116 fiction words yesterday and brought in a total of 592 words total for the day. I don’t think I like the way the particular short I’m working on is going, so I may end up striking those and some written the day before. I’ll have to take a look at it when I’m not also inundated with Minecraft.

I had a thought. Sundays, which is the day when I take care of the family finances, I think I’m going to share some general information about my expenses and income that has to do with my writing. I don’t want to be dumping it all out there, but all I can think of is how helpful it would be for me to hear this kind of thing from people who are more successful than me. I’ve gotten teasers of it from some people on Reddit, but I would personally prefer a little more information.

Here’s what I’d like to know, and so here’s what I’d like to share: I’d like to know about expenses. What things do writers spend money on, and what does that stuff costs? Also, income. How often is the money coming in, and about how much when it does? I’ll also be exploring different income streams (ebooks and print, naturally), including some that might not seem to have anything to do with writing.

I’m not brand new, with a few self-published short stories under my name and another, but it’s close enough that this might be an interesting experiment for someone thinking about writing as a career to follow along. I don’t know if many people think about tracking these things publically when they’re just starting out, and if they are, I’m not stumbling across enough of them.

And I don’t expect it to last forever, either. I imagine there will be an income point at which it becomes unnecessary.

Well, if this sounds like a horrible idea, I trust someone will point it out. If this is all you ever hear about the subject, you’ll know what happened. But tomorrow is Sunday, and I do have a thing or two to report, so…

It’s Friday, folks!

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you what day of the week it is. Even though I had a good week, I still got a little excited when I realized it was Friday. Why do I look forward to the weekend when there was nothing to escape from that happened during the week? It’s an interesting bit of conditioning I suspect, running back a few years from elementary school through last week.

I wrote 302 words yesterday morning (550 total) and met my personal goal of getting through chapter 16 (of 42) in spell checking grinding. I’m glad I got in the words because when the evening rolled around I was ready to not think too hard. This pass through my draft is for making notes on things that jump out at me (I’ve found one possible error so far), and then I’ll hand it over to one or two writer friends (and maybe my mom) for the last “What did I do that fails” pass, then it goes up.

In other news, in following other people sharing their Bullet Journal spreads, I find it’s really helpful when they’re willing to share any money or financial information that they track. I like to see what’s reasonable or even out of the ordinary. Money is very personal for most people, and I understand why folks keep it private. But when there’s a savings tracker that doesn’t blur out the numbers, or maybe an income page that offers some insight for me, I really appreciate it.

I’d like to find that happy medium between privacy and sharing here so, hopefully, I can be a resource for other self-publishing writers. While I have written and published before, January really feels like when I knuckled down and made The Decision that writing is the ultimate goal, and that now is the time I get really serious about it.

Which reminds me – I ought to get my word tracker up for sharing. I believe I have a copy that I shared with a friend last year. Whether it helped or not, I absolutely love it. It adds, averages, and does all of the nifty things I like Excel to do for me so I don’t have to think about math.

Okay, that’s enough for now. I have family I need to wake. Good morning, everyone!

Running “behind”

Behind is in quotes because it’s not quite 6 a.m. here, so how far behind could I really be? The answer is, not far. Junior youth and I woke at 5 (technically, so did DH, but he went back to sleep), me to start my day, JY to start getting ready for school because sometimes school prep takes three hours.

It just does.

Yesterday was a nice day. Chilly and windy, but otherwise a day with plenty of regular things to be grateful for. (Easy traffic, kids home safely, remembered the thing the elder youth needs for school next week, got some spell grinding done, that kind of thing.) Also, the cats were cute and didn’t destroy anything or turn on the broken ceiling fan, so that’s something special to note.

I managed 213 words of fiction and 425 words total. I’m actually pretty sure most of those words will need to be surgically extracted from the manuscript, but they’re good enough to count for yesterday.

Okieday, it’s time for me to start doing something else. I hope everyone has a fabulous Thursday!

Awww, all the talking!

Since I didn’t wake on time this morning (late night), I got up with the kids. Man, I’m spoiled. Waking up in the quiet, having silent time to pull myself out of the fog of the recently awakened…that’s some nice stuff!

My kids are sweet, and I’m grateful they’re in good moods this morning. But wow, they’re chatty.

I wrote a token 83 words last night and squeezed in 346 words total. I was out celebrating birthdays with writing friends and got lots of good things done, but words weren’t priorities. I did get another two chapters run through the spell grinder, though, and now that I have that tool I’m going to grind as I go because this is ridiculous. (And it will only get worse the closer I get to the end when I stopped re-reading what I wrote before.)

Since I don’t have the extra time for waking up this morning I’m going to dive right into spell grinding. I can do that with a few distractions.

Happy Wednesday!

It’s going to be a hard act to follow, Tuesday.

Yesterday was rather amazing, in that all the tiny little irritants that I usually run across just kind of slid out of my way.

All day.

Making left turns across traffic? Traffic magically paused.

Normally excruciating stop-and-go traffic on the way home? Half of it was non-existent.

When faced with having to unlock a particularly tricky lockbox, someone with a key walked up to the door just before I got out of my car.

It was awesome, and I am truly grateful to have had such a wonderful Monday, a day I admit to normally looking at with some skepticism.

Writing was brief. I’m doing it to keep up my streak, but I know I won’t get a lot done as my time is equally occupied with spell and grammar checking. I’m racing to get done for April. I did a reality check this morning, and am shifting my publishing goals from April 1st to April 30th, or perhaps a week into May for the A to Z Challenge Review.

I wrote 260 fiction words (the prologue for April’s challenge) and had 696 words total (my blog post was quite large). It was (as previously mentioned) a very good day.

Off to enjoy another!

Know when to fold ’em

I will cheerfully blame my mother for my love of horse operas. She was an avid reader of Louis L’Amore novels when I was young and had an enormous collection. They lived in the stairwell to the basement which hadn’t been insulated past the first floor. We also kept canning on those studs, and they really made a lovely shelving unit.

At any rate, though you won’t often hear me enjoying country music, I dearly love The Gambler, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, and the like. And that titular song has it right. You’ve got to know when to give up and get the fuck out of Dodge.

Anyway! That probably seems really pessimistic, but it really is for my own good. Trying something 6 times and getting the same result (but expecting something new) just seems silly. I’m done! And that’s all I have to say about that.

So yesterday something happened – I finished that story I started in December and thought for sure I’d finish in January! I don’t have a really great title for it yet. I’m still running with Space Cats from Space Earth whenever I talk about it, but I need to replace that because I don’t know how a strikeout would work on Amazon. I suppose it would end up being Space Cats from Earth there, with the cover being the only place you’d see the strikeout. I’m not certain how I feel about that, except that I’m certain I can do better.

Since I ended up writing/finishing three chapters and an epilogue yesterday, I wrote 1,228 fiction words (and 1.358 total). It wasn’t my best writing day, but it felt like the best since I finally finished the story/book. Here’s the stats block for last week.

Weekly total words: 5,884
Weekly total fiction words: 4,247
Weekly total blog words: 1,637
Difference from last week: 0% (only 5 words less!)
Weekly rank: 5 (of 12)
March fiction total: 9,937
February fiction total: 9,217
January fiction total: 18,615
001* Words: 36,591

*If you hadn’t sorted out from the tags on these posts, 001 (and then 001-1) was the number of this story in my pursuit of Pulp Speed. It’s as good a code name as any, and allows me to easily keep track of which story I was working on in my word count tracking spreadsheet.

Well, that’s what I have for today! I’m off to start waking the household.

A to Z 2017

Red theater seating in the foreground, the words "AtoZ CHALLENGE THEME REVEAL, Monday, March 20, 2017" in the foreground, a stage behind the words with a red velvet curtain in the background, and the URL for the website for the challenge in the upper right corner "http://www.a-to-z-challenge.com"
Theme Reveal for the A to Z Blog Challenge 2017

I had a brilliant idea in the shower today. (Actually, on Wednesday, Feb. 22nd. It was “today” when I wrote started this draft.) And since I don’t remember things that I don’t write down, this is where I’m writing it down.

I’m currently finishing up just finished (as of 3/19/17) a story about cats, but these cats aren’t from earth. They’re space cats, with tech and spaceships and nanites, and they would have us believe that all domesticated cats are from space. (I may have mentioned this once or thrice here before – please forgive me.)

This is, naturally, hard for my heroine to come to terms with, but she eventually does. And my character is a writer, and so it only makes sense for her to pen an “A to Z How To” manual for newly woke humans in feline families.

I’m rather excited because this will A) let me develop the world a bit more, and B) promote the book here and there. I hope it will end up being funny on its own, of course.

I’ve waffled back and forth as to whether I’ll actually try doing this, but I think I will. I may also, incidentally, co-brand my 365 challenge with the A to Z Blog Challenge as well. I’m still worrying this over in my mind.

Now I’m off to figure out where to add the logo to my blog. And to go to bed.

Oh, hello Sunday

Happy day of melting snow, I say!

Yesterday went quickly. I washed lots of clothes, wrote a few words (375 fiction, 580 total), took pictures of deer, and watched lots and lots of Minecraft on YouTube.

My daily fiction average is at 475. I’m going to move that up today.

Short and sweet post for now. There’s really not much else to say!