Round 4 Row80 Goals

Round 4 of Row80 is starting. I spent some time thinking about my goals for this round.  This Round ends in December. That means, holiday events may interfere. Best of luck to all.


Round 4 Goals 2015:

  1. Start revisions of book 2 in my Dragonfly Mystery Series-
    I’ve completed one read through. It needs lots of work. Goal is to revise/edit the first 100 pages
  2. Send out queries for Dead in the Water-
    Goal is to send out 1 a week.
  3. Plan one new short story
  4. Edit/Revise Mystic Brew It’s being critiqued now
  5. Finish plotting Book 3 in my Dragonfly Mystery Series I have an idea of what’s going to happen. This will be what I write for NaNoWriMo, so I have to do this in October
  6. Participate in NaNoWriMo and write 50,000 words
  7. Read 8 books that’s for the whole round 4. You can view my October reading list here.
  8. Be a good human and socialize online Goal- leave 3 comments a week on Row80 participants and other media
  9. Be a good Baptist and join a Wednesday night group- Seriously, left to my own devices I would be a hermit!
  10. Finish my daughter’s bedroom- At the moment my girls share a room. I fear they may soon kill each other, so it’s time to move daughter #1 into her own room. Which means giving up my sewing room. We have to build a closet/bookshelves/desk and a wall. We’ve made a little progress.

Man I need a snack just looking at this list!

What are your goals?


Name That Town

I’ve decided to change the name of the town in Mystery series. Originally, it was named after my hometown. That’s the actual setting. But after killing off quiet a few characters and causing others to partake in questionable activities, I should probably change the town name.

I want something memorable and Southern. Easy to remember is a must.

About the town:

  • small, less than 6,000 people
  • on the banks of various creeks and bayous. All are part of the Mobile River Delta
  • At one time, a large Satsuma grove gave the town it’s real name (Satsuma).
  • The local wildlife includes: deer, bears, alligators, and many small mammals
  • Until the last few years there were only mom and pop stores and two stop lights
  • at last count 6 Christian churches, maybe more
  • Seasonal activities include: Swamp Fest (yes, that’s a real thing.), holiday parades, Fall Festival

If you have a better name, please respond in comments.



There’s been a lot of chatter lately on organization. If I could find the blog posts I would link them here, they are lost in space. I’ll be honest. Organization is a four letter word in my house, right after housework.

Organization is of particular interest to writers. If you’re like me, you have short stories, novels in various stages of development, submission tracker sheets, self-published projects, etc.. Grated most of this could be taken care of and organized on the computer. But really! I only trust the computer with so much. My backups have backups. WHY? Obviously I’m a bit neurotic.  I usually start my planning and plotting with pen and paper. I like the feel of it and it’s easier for me to work with that than stare at a blank computer screen. I keep a notebook next to my Lay-z-Boy, in easy reach whenever inspiration strikes. I also print out my writing when it’s time to revise/edit. So this is what I end up with:

100_9618I am in the process of re-organizing some of it. I also don’t plan well enough for all notebooks, for the same novel/series, to be the same color.

How I organize:

  1. each short story gets it’s own small polyvinyl pronged folder. I discovered these when my kids were in preschool. They were a little more expensive, but my youngest couldn’t destroy them. Inside that folder I place any plotting/planning notes I have. I also include each printed copy of the SS with edits/revisions. Each edit gets a tab with the date. That way I know which edit is the most recent. A small folder should be sufficient for most SS’s. If it ends up being a temperamental story that needs to be beaten into submission, I’ll move it to a 1″ binder.  I also include a page of queries listed. That way I can see where my stories have been sent.
  2.  Novels are done the same way, except they go straight to a 2″ binder, or larger depending on the size of the MS. Usually, each reprint of the novel goes into a new binder. Each binder is marked with matching duct tape. I have tween girls, fashionable duct tape is in ample supply here.  This is also where a little forethought would have been helpful with matching binders.  Question: When do you throw away ‘older’ versions of your novel? or Do you keep every rewrite?
  3. Novel Blueprints are placed in there own binder and have the same color of duct tape as the MS binder. Confused yet? Some people call these Bibles, I like blueprints. It holds all of my planning/plotting and character sketches. Anything I might need to look back at later, is put in this binder. I use tab separators between sections and include plastic pocket pages to hold things that I can’t put a hole in.  If I can figure out how to print my corkboard from Scrivener, I’d include that. Anyone know if that’s possible?
  4. Series Blueprints is a new binder that I am creating. I have two novels and one novella in a series. I just started planning the third novel. I’m just now trying to decide what exactly needs to go into this binder. I know there will be some repeats from the novel binder. Series character and story arcs, overall themes, and characters will be included. Also ideas for future books in the series. Not sure if another strip of tape on this is necessary or not.

That’s where I stand now. Mountains and mountains of paper held captive in folders and binders. Now I need to get back to work.

How do you organize your writing? If you have any helpful hints or blog post about it, include it in the comments below.


Remember When…Halloween

This is Halloween …..100_7379

Halloween is not what it used to be.  I grew up in a town with two stop lights, back in the bayou. We knew our neighbors and couldn’t walk anywhere without someone calling my mother and telling her where I was and who I was with. I know all about the village raising a child.  We moved in just a few weeks before Hurricane Frederick hit. Because it was a newer subdivision, kids were everywhere. Every house had at least one kid, some had four or five. Point is, packs of us roamed around on a daily basis.

Halloween was the perfect kid holiday. We cut our pumpkins early and put an actual candle inside. My mother forced us to sit still and eat a “real” dinner before we went trick-or-treating. Afterwards, we raced to our rooms, put on our costumes, and grabbed our plastic pumpkins. Mom and dad were waiting by the door to go over the rules:

  • don’t talk to strangers
  • stay to together
  • don’t get in cars with strangers or anyone for that matter
  • come home at 9 oclock
  • don’t eat any candy before we look over it

We’d run outside and walk back up to the door. I’d ring the bell and my dad would yell in a creepy old witch voice, “who is it?”

“Trick or treat” I’d say, barley able to contain my excitement.

Dad would open the door, mom would take a photo and give us each a special treat before sending us out.

Usually, we would meet up with a group of girls and together we’d roam the neighborhood begging for free candy.  Every kid in the neighborhood would be dressed up, going door to door. Older siblings walked with younger children. Even teenagers, I mean high school seniors, went trick or treating. As we walked a few houses would be given the tissue treatment, but mostly it was just fun.   There was even the occasional party with, I kid you not, apple bobbing. Before you start asking if TV was still in black and white, no it was not. This was in the 80s.

Today, trick or treating seems to be a dying event. Maybe it’s because we don’t know our neighbors. I don’t know. Here, neighborhoods have switched to Trunk a Treat or don’t do anything at all. That’s sad. I still look forward to dressing up and going door to door begging for free candy. Is it my favorite holiday? No, but it’s the only one wear I can dress funny and be rewarded for it.

What memories do you have from Halloween?