Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

It's time for What's Up Wednesday!
What I'm Reading I am still reading Two Year's Before the Mast and A Prayer for Owen Meany.  I won an e-book called She Belongs to Me by Carmen De Sousa and while I meant to just look at it and read it later, um yeah...  I'm several chapters in now.  It is romantic/suspense and it is not an easy read to put down.

What I'm Writing  I completed the first draft of Simmer last night (or was it early this morning?).  I hope I don't freeze like that at the end of every book I write.  I wrote less this month than I usually write in a week but it was still progress and I now have two complete first drafts!
  My Ready. Set. Write! goal for the week was to finish the first draft so I nailed it!  Yay!
This week my goals are:
  • ignore Simmer (no adding, deleting or peeking at it of any sort)
  • finish my initial go through of  my first book
  • make a revision plan (or loose guideline as I do terrible with set plans)
  • write the next two episodes of Donut Dwellers.
  • watch any documentaries I can find on sailing and pirates.

What Inspires Me Right Now  Coffee.  Writing most of the night when you have three early rising children has its disadvantages.

What Else I've Been Up Too  Another disadvantage of writing most evenings is that I haven't been working out like I used to.  I even picked up a few extra pounds of what I call "book weight". 
Yeah, I'm not to happy about that.  I'm only 5' tall so any extra weight shows, a lot . This week I decided that I didn't have to put up with those pounds and I started working out during the kids nap time.  Since my husband is actually home in the evenings now I have been walking after dinner several nights a week.  Book weight, be gone!!!

Finished the First Draft!

  Simmer is now a complete first draft!  I feel lost now.  I wrote it in two months and it dominated my thoughts the entire time. I'm almost sad that the story is over.  I'm sure my feelings will change once I've started revising it...
  Now to sleep.  I've been writing instead and I can only do that for so long!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Walk the Plank (flash fiction challenge)

YaBuccaner's has a writing challenge called Walk the Plank .  The rules are:

"All ye buccaneers out there that are up for the task, well, all you need to do is write a short flash fiction story in 200 words or fewer, excluding the title, around this month's theme of ADVENTURE!
For an extra challenge, begin your story with the words, “I set sail” (these three words will be included in the word count).
And for an even bigger challenge, use the same beginning words and end with the words: "my adventure continues!" (also included in the word count)."
For those who want to prove their Flash Fiction prowess, hit all of the above challenges, PLUS, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!"

I decided to give it a try and I accepted every challenge.
Here it is!


  I set sail as the sun began to rise.  I’d never been away from land.  Now that I thought about it, I had never even been above ground.   The rocking motion of the boat made my insides feel all jiggly.  I ached to see the boat, to see the water.  I could feel the vibration of voices.  Someone was talking.  What were they saying?

   My senses were so limited.  I tried to look around me.  All I could make out was light and shadows.  The longer we sailed, the more light there was.  I’d always wanted more out of life then what I was given.  Now I had it.  I was going somewhere and I was getting nothing out of it.  I’d never been so mad at my inability to truly experience life.

  I felt fingers against my skin.  My body was being manipulated like I was clay.  Cold metal pressed against me.  I flew through the air.  I had to be getting close to the water.  I was going to drown.   I didn’t. I was rescued.  Now I am hanging from the mouth of a gull.  I may only be an earthworm but my adventure continues.

Celebrate the Small Things

It's time for Viclit's Celebrate the small things!

I'm full of tiny celebrations today!
  1. My six year old has fallen in love with making paper airplanes.  It keeps him (and Daddy!) happy for hours. 
  2. My husband is getting a daytime shift at work!  After a year of working the swing shift proceeded by a year where he was on an unaccompanied remote tour, I am thrilled.  We might get to eat dinner as a family on a regular basis.  Yay!
  3. I found a second hand set of building blocks and a dump truck for $5.  It should help my very bored two year old sit still while his fracture continues to heal.  I hope...
  4. Its not raining!  It has been raining for weeks. 
  5. I am finally moving forward on my WIP.  I wrote 52k last month and this month I've done about 4k...  but I've worked through the place that was hanging me up. 
What are you celebrating this week?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

It's time for What's Up Wednesday!

What I'm reading  I am still reading "Two Year's Before the Mast" and "A Prayer for Owen Meany.  I'm also reading "Life After Theft" by Aprilynne Pike.  I loved her "Wings" series and couldn't resist reading her latest work.
  The kids and I are still reading "The Story of Doctor Dolittle".

What I'm writing  I am still working on the first draft of "Simmer".  I tend to have trouble towards the end of my stories.  I froze for weeks with my first novel.  It's like I start second guessing the rest of the story or something. I did decent on my Ready. Set. Write! goal of writing everyday.  I did miss a few days but I made progress and I am feeling much more motivated than I was.

My goal for this week is to:

finish my first draft! 

I'm not sure how many words that will end up being but it shouldn't be more than 7k.  I refuse to freeze at the end this time.

What Inspires me right now  YaBuccaneers!  I have been having so much fun with this site the past week.  They have writing and reading challenges and a great pirate them which is so fitting since my WIP takes place on the ocean and has pirates. 

What Else I've been up to  I have been trying to keep my two year old in one piece.  How can a kid with a broken leg and a cast up to his hip be so busy?  He figured out how to run in his cast (with no balance, I might add) and he can climb as well as ever.  Scary. 
  I am crocheting a blanket for my sister-in-law's baby boy who is due in November.  It is a great way to relax after a busy day of chasing my wobbly toddler and keeping up with my other kids.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Spy a Secret Blogfest! and Celebrate the Small Things

Its time for VicLit's Celebrate the Small Things AND Jordan McCollum's I Spy a Secret Blogfest!

     Today I am celebrating that my son's fracture is a minor one and that his leg is healing well.  I am also celebrating that I'm being brave and posting a scene from my YA novel "Simmer".  It is very much a first draft but as it is a scene about secrets, I thought it would be fitting to share during the I Spy a Secret Blogfest. 

   "Simmer" is the story of Zelia, a 16 teen year old that witnessed the death of her best friend, Lysta.  She thinks it is an accident, a byproduct of the corrupt times she lives in, until clues start surfacing. 
    The book alternates between Zelia's point of view and journal entries that Lysta wrote before she was killed.  This particular scene is a journal entry. 
    Zelia knows something is different.  Today she asked me if I was all right while we were wandering through the market.  Apparently I am withdrawn, not my usually bright and bubbly self. 

“I’m fine.” I told her. 

 “There is something you’re not saying.”  She said.  Her eyes were on my face.  I couldn't look at her.  No one can read my expressions as well as Zeelie.

“Yes.” I answered.  I couldn’t bring myself to lie to my best friend. 

“You know I am here if you need me.”

“I know.” I said.  “This is something that is just for me to know.”
And that was the end of it.  She knew I was up to something but she didn’t pry.  I love that about her.  Always there and never demanding.  If the roles were reversed I would be hammering her with questions and wouldn’t rest until I had a satisfactory answer.  It’s a good thing that they aren’t.  I can keep a secret, or so I seem to be able too, but I can’t stand one being kept from me. 

  I still had one dilemma.  Going anywhere without Zeelie was going to be a challenge.  Whenever our ships were at the same port we were inseparable and I’d have it no other way, except for a few moments to complete my mission.

   The entire time we were at the market I was looking for one thing and it wasn’t a new handbag.  I was looking for a booth with a banner hanging out front.  Ha.  Every booth had a banner.  Or two.  Or seven.  The banner I was looking for  was a deep blue green  one with gold threads woven throughout in the shape of fish.  I was very grateful that golden fish didn’t seem to be a popular pattern.  Once I spotted it I had to get to it.  Alone. 

Blaine saved me.  He joined us and I don’t think he did so to hang out with me.

“You should take her see the paintings.”  I whispered to him. “She wouldn’t linger because she didn’t want to bore me but I know she wants to study them longer.”

He didn’t need any more encouragement then that.

 I was alone and I hadn’t lied.  I wasn’t even rude to the people I care about.  My brother seemed pleased with the arrangement.  He was grinning and animated in a way that I rarely saw.

I went back to the “fish” booth, signed my name as “Squirrel” in the ledger as I had been instructed and placed the letter in the basket.  The man at the booth didn’t even turn around, just reached back and handed me another packet.  I slipped it into my bag and left.

I feel like I should be feeling more than I am.  I just feel numb.  I am a part of something now.  I’m not even sure exactly what; just that it is for the northern cause.

 No one deserves to live the way they do.

Forever myself, Lysta
If you made it to the end of this, thank you so much!  It definitely needs work but it is such a fun story to write.  Be sure to check out Jordan McCollum's new book, I, Spy!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What's up Wednesday

It's time for What's Up Wednesday!

What I'm Reading  I just finished "Wanderlove" by Kirsten Hubbard. It was a quick read but I loved the exotic setting.  I'm still reading my chapter a day classic, "Two Years Before the Mast" and the kids and I are about half way through "The Story of Doctor Dolittle".  I began "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving yesterday and will be starting a new YA novel soon but I'm not sure which one.
What I'm Writing  I have had another terrible writing week.  I did get about 1k written.
My Ready. Set. Write. goals for this week are going to be very simple. They are to write every day. 
What Else I've Been Up To My two year old fractured his ankle.  Taking care of him is about all I have done. .  He is such an active little boy and not being mobile is so hard on him.
What Inspires Me Right Now  I am feeling unusually uninspired today.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

 It is time for VicLit's Celebrate the Small Things!

   Today I'm going to celebrate something that I commonly overlook.  I'm going to celebrate my favorite window.  We have lived in a lot of different houses over the past few years and in each one I have a window that I love looking out more than all the rest. My current favorite looks out over our back yard.  Behind our yard is a walking path that weaves through a wooded area.  Some days I look out and see children on scooter's or people walking their dogs.  On other days I am greeted by a herd of deer grazing near the trees and my goofy lab/Dane puppy bounding the fence line, trying to get them to play with him.  During thunder storms I have a perfect view of the lighting over the trees.  Right now my fence is serving as a perch for some very plump birds. 
   Do you have a favorite window?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Review - Shattered by Dani Pettrey

   Reef McKenna is accused of murder.  The crime is barely worth investigating.  He was at the murder scene.  He has no alibi.  He was covered in the victim's blood.  Even Deputy Landon Grainger, a family friend of the McKenna's, thinks he did it.  Only his sister Piper believes him when he says that he is innocent and her love for her brother won't allow her to rest until everyone else believes him too.  The deeper she investigates the crime the more danger she finds herself in, which is problematic for Landon.  He has fallen in love with the spunky Piper.
  Shattered ,by Dani Pettrey, is the second book in the Alaskan Courage series.  It combines suspense, romance and an awe inspiring Alaskan setting.  Persistent Piper keeps the story moving and Landon's protectiveness fans the romantic spark.  The author does a wonderful job of weaving in inspiration and faith without slowing the pace of the novel.
  I enjoyed both this book and the first book in the series.  I even have some of my friends reading them.  They are particularly good for people who like a fast paced but clean read.  I am eagerly waiting for the third book to come out!

I received a free copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishing Company.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's Up Wednesday

It's time for What's Up Wednesday and Ready.Set.WRITE

What I'm Reading I am finally reading a Sarah Dessen novel! I found "This Lullaby" at a second hand shop I am enjoying her style.  It seems that I never make the time to read classic literature so I decided to follow in Jaime Morrow's footsteps and start reading through them a chapter a day. I am starting with "Two Years Before the Mast" by Richard Henry Dana.  I am six chapters in and the portrait it paints about the life of a sailor is captivating.  My WIP takes place in a fleet of merchant ships so I thought it would be a fitting choice.  My children and I are reading "The Story of Doctor Dolittle." by Hugh Lofting.  They seem to be enjoying it, especially my animal loving daughter.
What I'm Writing  I had a horrible writing week.  Just horrible.  I was sick for most of the week and then my kids caught it too.  I didn't accomplish any of my Ready. Set. WRITE.  goals for last week.  I did a lot of brainstorming on ideas to add depth to my WIP and I read a lot about revising.  Hopefully this week will be better!  My goals are much like they were last week. I want to:
  • Add 5k to my WIP
  • Go through a scene a day of my first book
  • research sailing, tides and merchant vessels

What Else I've Been Up To  I have been cuddling sick kids and wiping drippy noses.  That's pretty much it...
What Inspires Me Right Now  Today I am inspired by the clean half of my living room.  It gives me hope that the whole thing will look decent soon.  I'm also inspired by a head that has finally stopped hurting.  Writing goals, watch out!  I am ready to tackle you!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things

It's time for VicLit's Celebrate the Small Things!

   I'm celebrating that the rain let up enough that we can still drive to the store.  I know that's not a big thing at all, but when I heard about all of the roads that were closing I started to worry.  We were almost out of milk and bread and cold medicine.  Yes, we have a hurricane kit in the pantry filled with powdered milk and can goods but I didn't want to use it up for a simple rain storm.  Now I won't have to!  Hopefully we will not get much more rain.  My thoughts and prayers are with all the people in the area that are experiencing flooding.

  I have two more small celebrations on my mind.  The first is that we enjoyed our fourth of July despite the rain.  We turned the living room into a pillow nest, made popcorn and had a movie night.  The kids loved it!

    The second is that my new rug came in the mail today.  Military housing is sometimes hard to make look like home, especially since the same curtains and rugs never seem to fit more than one house.  This rug is a basic enough shape that I hope it will work in several houses and it has color.  Lots of color.  Good-bye bland, beige living room!
Have a great weekend everyone :)


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What's Up Wednesday and IWSG

Its time for What's up Wednesday and IWSG!

What I'm Reading  I am still reading" Story Bound" by Marissa Burt and I also started reading "Lament" by Maggie Stiefvater.  As always, I am mesmerized by her writing style and characters.  I was in the mood for something informative so I began "Life Management for Busy Women" by Elizabeth George.  I'm only a few chapters into it and I'm already loving her sound advice.  My children and I are still reading "Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle" and its still making us giggle!

What I'm Writing  I am still drafting my YA novel Simmer.  I have a horrible cold right now so this week has been a bit slow so far. 
I was feeling a bit lost after finishing JuNoWriMo so I joined Ready. Set. Write!  My hope is that I will find the motivation to finish this first draft.  I only have 10k or so to go but I tend to get stuck near the end.
My Ready. Set. Write! goals for this week are:
  • add 5k to "Simmer"
  • write a children's story for Children's Writer Kindergarten story contest.
  • read through a scene a day of my first WIP and answer questions on it to help me see what needs to be done in revisions.  I started this a couple of months ago but I took a break for JuNoWriMo. 
What Else I've Been Up To  I have been drinking tea.  Lots and lots of tea.  Hopefully it will help me get over this cold. 
What Inspires Me Right Now  My inspiration this week is jasmine green tea.  It is not only delicious but it has given me a character idea for the next book in my series . That idea will have to be stored for later but I am still excited about it.  I am also inspired by the Elizabeth George book I am reading.  It has helped my perspective immensely.

Now for Alex J. Cavanaugh's IWSG!

I have been a mixture of secure and wildly insecure about my writing this past month.  I love the book I am working on but writing it has shown me so many areas in my first book that need to be rewritten or fixed in some way.  I guess that is a good thing.  It means that I am learning. 
  I entered a few short story contests and I didn't place in any of them.  I didn't really expect to but it would be nice to have some concrete evidence that my work is worth reading.  I reacted by selecting another contest to enter.  I will not give up!
Now it is time for me to curl up with a nice cup of... Yup!  Jasmine tea.