Goal Check-in April
This week has been chaotic. Mostly my fault but still. I have felt lethargic and tired all week. I know it’s my allergies. It rained last night and this morning, I’m hoping it washes away some of the pollen before my head explodes. If I keep moving all day, just stay busy, I have a better chance of accomplishing something. But the moment I sit down to rest, it’s all over.
Baby girl turns 13 on Saturday ;( Please ignore the tears. It’s hard to believe that my baby is officially a teenager. I don’t know why she acts like one! If that’s not enough emotional stress, my oldest is in the 8th grade. I received an email about the 8th-grade reception– they need pictures of each student at various ages. I’m not ready for high school. I’m not a clingy mother. I never cried after dropping them off at school at the start of the year. I was always there early and had plans for lunch to celebrate being kid free again. I blame hormones for the sudden trepidation in life changes.
I currently blame hormones for everything. On that note. Has anyone written a cozy mystery series surround a woman with hot flashes? I see a gold mine there. Just imagine the possible titles: Hot Flash of Death, The Insomnia Defense, & Spontaneous Flash of Murder… you get the idea. On with the goals.
- Write 200,000 words. Still at 10,914 words. No new progress.
- Edit 600 pages. I edited 19 pages of Camouflage this week. Brings the total to 301 pages. I want this finished before summer starts.
- Walk 2,600,000 steps. I finally bought a new pedometer. This one is also a wrist watch. I don’t think it’s terribly accurate. It says 20,615 steps. Hmmm. I know I moved more than that. My previous step count was 474,725. I think I will add the totals together at the end. I did 15 minutes of calisthenics yesterday as well. I’m trying it on my ankle today. I want to lose 10 pounds before Mother’s Day. I don’t know how doable that is. My cute swimsuit is too tight and I’m going to the beach 🙂
- Read 80 books.
I read: Michelangelo’s Ghost By Gigi Pandian and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Michelangelo’s Ghost was one of the books I won in March. I loved it, it’s book 4 in the series and totally fed my archeologist fantasy that started with Indiana Jones. I’ll have to read the first 3 in the series. I don’t usually reread books. I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve reread. Like Water for Chocolate is one of those. I loved it more this time than when I read it 20ish years ago. I don’t own this book, but I need to. Highly recommend it. I own the movie and I’m watching it with my honey Friday night. He dosen’t know that yet. I’ve started reading 2 books but I don’t expect to finish either before the end of the week, so I’ll save it for May. 28/80 books read.
- Find the shipwreck at Ft. Morgan. (summer)
- Complete devotional. I’m back on track.
- Deep Cleaning. I’ve started to clean out the laundry room and under the sofa. We hide our massive hoard of Legos under the sofa 🙂 I’m going through each set, putting them together to make sure we have all the pieces. Then I will decide if it’s a set we should keep or sale. Yes, I worked on this goal. On another positive note, the other people in my house have finally gotten on the yard sale bandwagon!
- Submissions. I submitted to 2 publishers this week and received one rejection.
There you go. It’s been a busy week and will stay that way until school is out.
How did your week go?
Ponce de Leon Springs
If you don’t know, Florida is resting on a giant aquifer. That is the reason the state has fresh water springs and sink holes. Basically, Florida is one giant marshland;)
The first stop on our road trip was Ponce de Leon Springs. Click here for the real stats. The spring is fresh water and crystal clear. Let’s not forget COLD! The water stays at 72* year round. Surrounding the spring is woodlands
with trails. Those are fun. You get to see where the high water line is.
The water depth is also misleading. The water behind that tree is clear like tap water, giving the impression that it’s only knee deep. It was quite a shock when I climbed in to discover it was waist deep.
We visited the spring twice, once on the beginning of the trip and once at the end. The first time only my daughter the mermaid was willing to get in. She even admitted the water was cold. Of course, we knew that from her blue fingers and toes.
It’s actually close enough for us to visit on weekends during summer, but the park is small and fills up quick. We don’t have that kind of clear water where I live. It’s a bit mesmerizing to swim and see the fish, turtles, etc swim around you. Take goggles, it makes exploration easier.
Camouflage is the name of the project I am editing. I’m not telling you too much about it. I will say it centers on a mother and her three children after the death of her husband. The title is very fitting.
I decided I needed a playlist to go along with the work. So, here it goes. The top 10 in no particular order.
- No Mermaid by Joan Baez
- Building a Mystery by Sarah McLachlan
- Caribbean Blue by Enya
- Na Laethe Bhi by Clannad
- May It Be by Enya
- Son of a Son of a Sailor by Jimmy Buffet
- Wicked Game by Chris Issac
- Cry Me a River by DianhWashington
- Hold On by Sarah McLachlan
- Orinoco Flow Enya
Yes, it’s a bit moody. But it’s also full of surprises, hopefully.
What’s on your current playlist?
We are at the end of Round 1 in #Row80 . It’s also 3 months into the year. Time to see how successful I was before I take a week to reevaluate my goals and schedule.
- Write 200,000 words.
- Edit 600 pages.
- Walk 2,600,000 steps.
- Read 80 books
As expected I did great on half of them and bottomed out on the others. BUT I did work on them all. So that counts for something. I did a little math to find where I should be by the end of March. Granted there are two weeks left, but it’s easy to see if I’m on track or not.
Where I should be/ Where I am:
- Write50,000 words / wrote 10,451 words. Fail! That hurt. I struggled with inspiration and dedication this round. Hopefully, with a little planning, I can do better next round.
- Edit 150 pages/ edited 267 pages. Success! I made this a priority in order to search for agents and publishing opportunities.
- Walk 650,000 steps/ walked 413,412 steps. Fail sort-of. I didn’t meet my goal but I did better than I expected. I feel better and I’m sleeping better. All good things.
- Read 20 books/ read 19 books. Success! According to Goodreads I’m I’m two books ahead so I’m going with that. And let’s be real, by the time March is over I will probably have read 2 more books.
Looks like I’m barely keeping up with the goal monster. Better luck next time 🙂
How did you do this round?
Until recently most books I’ve read were found at the library or mainstream bookstore. Translation, the books are traditionally published. Usually.
Since I joined the local writers guild, I’ve had the pleasure of reading local authors. I’ve discovered I love local writers. I love books and stories set in and around Mobile. Some writers can write about a location having never visited the area or lived there. Others…can’t. They try but fail.
Cities like New Orleans have a myth and mystic all their own. A writer has to be careful not to fall into cliche or melodrama when depicting the city. But what about the smaller cities and towns? They too can play a part in a book. It’s easier to change/alter the city to fit the needs of a story but beware. Alter it too much and you run the risk of angering the locals.
There’s a certain thrill to read a story when you’ve walked the same streets or stared at the same horizon. I feel all warm inside seeing my city portrayed on the page, digital or paper.
Not all of these books, by local writers, are set in Mobile. Many are fantasy and take place in created realms while others occur in different states. But my fascination is there, knowing the writer’s local. Yet, I prefer those set in the city of Mobile.
Mobile is a quirky city rich in history, controversy, and strange festivals. There’s plenty here for a writer to dive into. Most of my stories are set within the boundaries of Mobile County .
This year I challenge you- find a book by a local author and read it. Where ever you live there’s a writer. Look up the local writers guild or indie bookstore, they can point you in the right direction.
What book will you read?
2017 Goal Check #4
A return to #row80. The link is back 🙂 Click here to link.
Hard to believe it is February. January went by in a blur. I spend most of my time editing Dead in the Water. I hope to have something grand to say about it soon. Fingers crossed. I’m taking a few days off from most writing related chores to focus on cleaning my house. My family has been very understanding as I ignored most everything while I edited. I might do a little writing and planning.
- Write 200,000 words. On hold. I will pick this back up on the 6th.
- Edit 600 pages. This week I edited 42 pages! That brings the yearly total to 227/600 pages. I have several stories waiting in the wings. I just need to decide which to edit next. Novel or novella? Fantasy or Mystery? Tough decisions.
- Walk 2,600,000 steps.
I walked a puny 21,245 steps this week bringing the grand total to 114,280/2.6 million. I got a long way to go. After a month of just tracking my normal steps, it’s amazing I’m not heavier than I currently am. I’m a few steps shy of a slug. Not good. I am going for a walk in 15 minutes.:) My goal is 50,000 steps a week.
- Read 80 books. I haven’t finished anything new since my last check-in. I’m reading Plot &Structure by James Scott Bell. I’m taking my time. As he suggests, this week I am working through the exercises on generating new ideas. Fun. Completed 6/80 books this year.
- Find the shipwreck at Ft. Morgan. This is a goal for summer so, check back later.
- Complete devotional. I restarted this for February and I am on track. So far. 🙂
How did your week go?
How did I forget to make a TBR list for January? It’s just as well. I read weird stuff, and spent most of my time on one book 😉
Before I jump to the TBR, this is what I read in January:
- In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and DurnaDuran by John Taylor
- Fortune Hunter (Miss Fortune Mystery #8) by Jana Deleon
- Paris by Edward Rutherford (over 800 pages!)
- The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman
- Emotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman
- The Negative Trait Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman
That’s 6/80 books for the year. All of them were really good, just in different ways.
There’s plenty of time to join the fun with the Mother-Daughter Reading Challenge. I’ve marked 3 off that list.
I’ve started reading 3 books, those top the pile.
- Corroded by Carrie Dalby- Dalby is a local author. This marks the second book of hers I’ve read. It’s a YA book featuring a boy with Asperger’s. So far, so good. The teens communicate through emails on a daily basis so I might use this for my epistolary novel.
- Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that GripsReaders from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell. That title is entirely too long. I’m taking my time as I read, only a chapter a day. I’m working through exercises as I go. So far– Excellent
- Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade by Patrick Denis- I love this movie. It’s one of my all time favorites. As a kid, I wanted to live with Auntie Mame, forget the circus. This is on my Kindle and I hope to finish it. So far it follows the movie fairly well. This will take care of the novel set during the 20s!
Other books I might read:
- A Monster Calls by Parick Ness- As soon as I brought this book home, my youngest stole it. She devoured it within 48 hours. She gives her seal of approval.
- Fantastic Creatures by A Fellowship of Fantasy Authors– including me 🙂
Reading 4 books this month may be pushing it, but I will try.
What’s on your TBR pile?