Ready. Set. Write 2014!! Goal Setting Time :)

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YABbootcamp is over, but that doesn’t mean the writing parties are and writing community is done coming together. It’s time for Ready. Set. Write!  

What’s Ready. Set. WRITE!? It’s a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at in our writing—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison MillerJaime MorrowErin Funk, and Katy Upperman. Today’s the goal-setting post to kick it off. Join in! You know you want to 🙂

Drumroll, please…

My goal(s) for this week/the summer as a whole is:

This week: 

Continue progress on my super secret MS. The MS will only be unveiled after I reach 20,000 words. It’s a little push to do more writing and less talking about writing/what I’m writing.

The summer:

  • Complete Super Secret MS. (yay!!)
  • Query THE DAUPHINE FILES (cue nail bitting). I’m really nervous for this because it’s technically an Urban Fantasy (though with more of a noir & mystery leaning).
  • Read all the books in my room (15 books, maybe?)
  • Revise ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX –> I received some amazing feedback from agents…now to apply it.
  • Celebrate the release of my first Spencer Hill Contemporary client, Dahlia Adler’s YA Debut, BEHIND THE SCENES 🙂
  • Have fun!

I have a lot of goals but I think with a lot of persistence and not stressing, I can reach them. Gotta set ’em high, right?

What are your goals? How is your summer going??

Have a great week!

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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#YABbootcamp Month Two Goals!!

YAB-Spring-Writing-Challenge-2014Month One (March) of the YA Bucaneers’ Spring Writing Bootcamp is over, yay!! Now that the sun’s finally out (I wore capris today around Boston!!), it’s time to let the words flow 🙂

During March I began a new story and was able to write over 20,000 words of it!! I had set out to write 10,000 words/week, but I fell short every week and then Spring Break came and all I did was bask in the Texas sun so, it’s time to set some more realistic goals.

April Goals

  • write 30 minutes- 1 hour every day (much more easy to track/meet than 10,000 words/week)
  • read 30 minutes-1 hour every day (so many amazing books, especially debuts, coming out…I have to keep up!)
  • do my class assignments/end of semester assignments ahead of time so that when the end of April/May comes aka Spring Week and all the other college spring shenanigans, I can have no worries.

Basically April 20th is the date by which I want to have my life back and order and my manuscript complete, woohoo!!!

Gosh, April is going to be crazy…I think it just hit me that I’m graduating in 2015. It’s almost time to pick where I want to live next year & the courses I want to take next semester and it all seems so very final. I can’t believe I’ve been in college for three going on four years. That being said, I wouldn’t go back, I’m excited for the future, but, for now, I really need to get writing & turn in an assignment I was supposed to complete before Spring Break…oops (it’s getting to that time in the year when you start not caring/I’m pretty much done with my major so senior year is going to be great)!

Good luck on your April goals everyone 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

 

Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In!

YAY!!! It’s Monday 😀 (How many times do you hear that, LOL?)

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I’m excited because it’s my first Spring Writing Bootcamp Check-In!

What’s Spring Writing Bootcamp? It’s an awesome accountability bootcamp for writers. To learn more visit our amazing hosts, the YABuccaneers!

Mkay, so what’s up…

Last Monday I shared with you the main writing project I’m going to be working on this Spring. And though I stated my only goal was have fun, finishing my WIP would be a bonus, I had a secret goal of my own.

  • To have the MS reach 10,000 words by the end of the week.

Did I succeed?

No.

However, I did make it to 8,726 words. And though I didn’t finish the “end goal scene” that would’ve made it 10,000, I did start it. And I left off at the most perfect place. My fingers are tingling, I can’t wait to start writing it!

According to the love of my life, Scrivener (haha), I’m well on my way to finishing this draft by April 20th, which is my end goal date as long as I write 1,458 words per day.

My goal for this week is also 10,000 words since that seems to be a pretty good motivator!

Here’s an excerpt from the first time Bria and Ty meet…it’s the original “first meet” scene I wrote however, I’m not sure this one is necessary so it might be cut, but for now, enjoy!:

I kneed the driver’s seat, and leaned as far as I could, trying to get a glimpse of my kidnapper. I yelled, not caring that whoever it was couldn’t hear me through the divider separating us. It was the same setup as Chels’s police cruiser.

Why would a cop kidnap me?

I clenched my jaw. This had better not be payback for earlier. I squinted as the sun began to glare though the windows. So much for beauty sleep.

I kneed the driver’s seat, again. “Let. Me. Go.” The car jerked to a stop at a red light. My kidnapper turned and slid open part of the divider. I stopped thrashing. It was a man who couldn’t have been much older than myself. His brown hair framed his face in waves that stopped at his shoulders, and his eyes twinkled as if something about this situation was funny. I pursed my lips. It wasn’t. He chuckled, shaking his head, and a curl fell across his face. He brushed it back and the corners of his brown eyes crinkled as his lips formed into a cocky smile.

My cheeks grew hot, and I looked away. He was kind of cute. I mentally slapped myself. Get your hormones together, Bria.  I took a deep breath. “Listen,” I said to him, but he’d already turned back around. “Whatever you’re doing, stop. Did Chelsea put you up to this?”

The guy snorted, and I furrowed my brow. Kidnappers weren’t supposed to snort.

I kicked the back of his seat, again. “Seriously.”

He chuckled to himself. “No one’s going to hurt you.” His voice was deep and rough like he was about to start laughing again.

“Well, let me go,” I said. What was this guy’s problem? This was not how you get the girl. Humpf. I slumped in the seat. Technically, I suppose it was. 

The houses changed from duplexes to gated mansions with wraparound porches and stately columns. From the building alone they screamed southern splendor, but from their rotting floorboards to their dusty chandeliers to the lawns that were more unkept than the bayou they were nothing but old. I’d grown up in such a house. Why were we in the Garden District? My kidnapper pulled the car over in front of a stop sign then opened the divider. In his right hand was the piece of tape that had covered my mouth. I turned my head from him and kicked his seat as he tried to put it on. “I’ll bite you, I swear.”

“I’m sure you will,” he said winking at me. He muttered a few words and my body grew rigid. My muscles locked and though I was screaming at my body to move, it wouldn’t. Couldn’t. Wizards. They never knew how to play fair. My heart was thudding, each heartbeat came faster than the other. Why had a wizard kidnapped me? Why was I in the back of a police cruiser? This was definitely not a prank.

The car stopped and we arrived, I supposed, at our destination. I took a whiff of the air and growled as I caught something utterly familiar. I should’ve known. He was always one for theatrics. I gritted my teeth.

My father was here.

The blurb (THE SUP FILES – NA UBRAN FANTASY):

When recent college grad Bria Thurman sets up shop as a freelance detective she figures, with her abilities, it’ll be easy money and will pay more than working at the local coffee shop–the only job she can get–would. Unfortunately, most of the cases she receives are requests from old ladies asking to her to find their cats. And old ladies don’t pay much, if at all.

But, when her best friend, a human cop, goes missing, while working on a set of grisly murders that’s got prominent New Orleanians showing up dead, Bria is the Supernatural, or Sup Council’s first go to gal because not only is she unaligned, meaning she’s free to go anywhere she pleases, she’s the best–well, technically, the only–clairvoyant in town. If she can get that nose of hers to work right.

To find her friend, and keep herself from having to take a job at her father’s hedge fund, a death sentence in itself, Bria must team up with Ty, a Sup cop and wizard who’s a little too Dark Fae for her liking. Together, it’ll be up to them to find the killer, before the case goes public. That is, of course, if the killer doesn’t find them first.

So much for easy money.

Have a great week! What are you working on?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Writer Recharge Challenge 2014

writer-rechargeThis February I’m participating in Writer Recharge hosted by Alison MillerLiz ParkerElodie NowodazkijSara Biren & Katy Upperman!

What’s Writer Recharge?

“It’s a month-long motivational challenge similar to last summer’s Ready. Set. Write! So many of us benefited from setting goals, connecting with other writers, and social media-based accountability. So, let’s do it again! Whether you’re delighting next to the crackling fireplace of a Shiny New Idea with a warm cup of tea and or spinning out on the ice-covered roads of revisions in an attempt to avoid the snow-packed ditch, we want to write with you! What do you want to accomplish this month? Hit a daily word count? Revise a certain number of pages or chapters each week? Complete a draft by the end of the month? Let’s get this party started!”

The Timeline:

  • First week of February: Post your goals for the month on your blog, website, or Twitter. Use the hashtag #WriterRecharge. Link your blog post at Sara Biren’s blog!
  • Every Monday in February: Update your progress via your blog or twitter. Link your blog posts on myMonday posts.
  • Throughout the month: Use the hashtag to connect with other writers, have writing parties, and cheer one another on!
  • February 28: Post your final update via your blog or twitter.
  • Anyone who uses the hashtag or links their blog posts will be entered to win one of five query or 3-chapter critiques.

My goals for February:

  • I have a revision/rewrite to finish of my YA Contemporary Fantasy, BLOOD OF ISIS. I’ve realized me not finishing this rewrite it what’s stopping me from progressing to other novels so it is time.
  • Write every day. No exceptions. Doesn’t matter how much as long as I write.
  • Keep querying my MG Thriller ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX. I’ve been querying it, got some requests, participated in Pitch Wars, many of those early requesters ended up saying no, but I know I’m close I just need to keep going. I received a student writer scholarship for it from SCBWI (yay!!) so I’ll be at the NY Winter Conference & attending the Writers’ Roundtable intensive so here’s to hoping it gets some interest. If not, I’ll go back to the drawing board *fingers crossed*.
  • Read 1 book/week. My TBR is getting ridiculously long and there are a ton of debuts I want to read this year.

I’m really excited to begin/I started a couple days ago and loved it. I love the world of BOI, and if I can just finish this second half I can go back and “sew” everything together and the MS will be ready to send to CPs!

Whew! What a busy month. That’s not even including all the college related events I have going on. Can’t wait to connect with you at #WriterRecharge 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

What’s Up Wednesday!

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It’s What’s Up Wednesday time (a little later than usual but I’m getting back used to posting).  What’s What’s Up Wednesday?  Well… It’s this super cool awesome weekly meme started by Jaime Morrow and Erin Funk.  If you want to participate you should link your What’s Up Wednesday posts to the list on Jaime’s blog so that we can all stop by and say, “Hi!”

What I’m Reading

photo (34)Right now I’m reading everything.  I’m a first round panelist for Cybils YA Spec Fic so I have a long list of things on my already hellish list of to-reads.  However on Monday I went to a reading and Q&A at my school by authors Karen Russell and Maud Casey (you can read my recap of the event here).  At the event, I got copies of a book of each of theirs.  The book pictured is one of Maud Casey’s short story collections.  I’m only on the second story, but I highly recommend it.  It’s all about “how we survive through modern cries of loss and love through the lives of emotional and geographic nomads.”  It’s eerie, poignant, and reflective.  Also, they’re short stories so I can pick it up, read one and not feel bad about putting it down (unlike when I’m reading novels).

What I’m Writing

woman warrior holding swordI’ve started this amazing WIP that I talked a bit about in my last What’s Up Wednesday post (I decided to go with the fantasy one).  It’s a YA (Upper YA) Epic Fantasy about two girls who must go on a voyage, in a land where magic is strictly forbidden, to find this place where magic lives on in order to overthrow an evil ruler and bring peace to their land.

The picture to the left was one of the inspirations for the story.  It was this really weird moment when I was writing one story, that eventually became my MG MS, ALEX DE VEGA, yet as I was browsing through Pinterest, I kept thinking of another story.  I found the picture of the woman holding the sword, then some more pictures (see my boards for the main characters Alala and Eva).  Then I found the pictures of the girls on both the boards and instantly knew, I had to tell this story.

It’s told in 3rd person, dual POV so this is like a new arena for me.  I think it’s going to be very fun and challenging.  I’m looking forward to all the exciting research I have lined up for the story (I love story research).  The research is important because though this is a new story, I want it to be reminiscent of a very old tale that has been passed down for generations.  I want it to be covered in/supported by mythology and legends from different lands and times.  I love epic fantasy and I’ve been wanting to write on forever, I just never thought I was ready.  This is me saying I’m ready to do this.  It’s going to be so much fun!  Also, what I’ve just written will hopefully serve as encouragement for those days when all I want to do is abandon ship.  I’m tentatively calling in DAUGHTERS OF THE PROPHECY because I need a title, I’m not too attached to it so we shall see where it takes me!

What Else I’ve Been Doing

Let’s see…SHP/C blog tours are underway.  and I’m working on another one.  College is wonderful.  My father arrives tomorrow and is staying until Sunday.  I’ve really been trying to enrich myself into writing and living so I’ve been doing what I want to do when I want to do it, going to some amazing lectures, and most of all spending time with friends.  It’s actually one of my friend’s birthday today!!  After my father leaves, on Sunday, I’m declaring a writing cave for Sunday and the rest of Fall Break (Monday & Tuesday).  I have some edits to finish on a previous WIP, now completed MS, and, of course, I have some very fun research to do for DAUGHTERS OF THE PROPHECY.

Like I said, I’m a Cybils YA Spec-Fic judge so I’ve started to read some amazing books.  It’s like someone just gave me permission/a reason to read every book on my MUST READ list.  I’m in heaven…I’m also glad I’m not a second round judge, I don’t know how they pick one winner (of course, I don’t know how we’re going to pick a final shortlist).

What Inspires Me Right Now

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I don’t know if you can read this but it’s a goal list, just writing for now, of things I want to accomplish.  It’s posted on my wall, above my desk.  I see it every time I open my computer aka 24/7.  I’m sure we’re all heard about the importance of writing goals down, that it’s like a public commitment to what you want to accomplish.  The goals might seem a little far fetched or hard for someone to understand but for me, they’re very simple.

With my first MS, BLOOD OF ISIS, I wrote down on my calendar the date I would have it finished.  I kind of forgot about that date halfway through that summer then I saw it, realizing the date was only twenty days away.  I didn’t finish that first draft by those twenty days, but I did finish it by the thirtieth day.  Writing down your goals will keep you in check and on track.  Every time I look at them, when I’m derping around on Facebook or wasting my time some other way, I stop what I’m doing and get back at what I should be doing.  it’s not foolproof, you have to want to accomplish those goals but it’s working.

This is what’s inspiring me, and I look forward to the new year when I can cross off, the first three goals.

How have you been?  What’s inspiring you or rather, how do you inspire yourself?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC