Bout Of Books READATHON 9.0

For those of you who don’t know, I started a youtube channel a while back to review and discuss books. Being a writer, I think it’s just as important to read a lot, as it is to write a lot, so I’ve been really focusing on pushing myself to read a ton these past couple of months and I hope to extend that well into 2014. So here are my plans for the Bout Of Books READATHON 9.0.

It actually started yesterday Monday the 6th, but I only just found out about it twenty minutes ago. That being said I actually finished reading two books yesterday which was crazy unpredictable planning on my part. For those of you unfamiliar with Readathons, the idea is to read as much as possible in a short period of time. This challenge started Monday January 6th, and will continue till the 12th. It’s not too late to sign up, if your feeling like getting your inner reader on, so please check out the Bout of Books website 

This week I would like to read:

Stardust by Neil Gaiman  Monday 6th

One Foot in the Grave by Jeanine Frost  Monday 6th

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairy Land by Catherynne M. Valente

Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl by Emily Pohl Weary    Thursday 8th

The Vampire’s Assistant by Darren Shan     Tuesday 7th

Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan   Sunday 12th

Vampire Mountain by Darren Shan

So those are my goals for this week. Stay tuned for updates on how it’s going. I hope everyone finds plenty of time for reading this week. Cheers!

 

UPDATED January 12th Noon: I’ve just crossed some books off my list. I’ve still got about 12 hours to go, let’s see if I can read another book or two? ^__^ Happy bout of books readathon!

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Accomplishments of 2013

For better or worse, the year is over and whether or not we accomplished our goals, or neglected them 9 out of 12 months, this is the moment when we fess up to what we really did in 2013. At various points this year I tried Milwordy (writing 1 Million words in a year- 3 times, reading 40 books in the year, editing some books.)

Here’s what I actually did.

-wrote-

Wrote 223,000 words

Started a really cool YA Fantasy/SciFi series that blows my own mind.

-edited-

Finished the 2nd rewrite of my first book ever (which probably has three more to go but holy fuck it’s starting to look like a real book now.) >_<

Edited, reorganized/started rewriting my third book ever. (conveniently ignores the second book I ever wrote because wow is it terrible. Haha.)

-read-

Read 38 books.

Finally figured out how to effectively use my Goodreads account. >_<

-personal accomplishments-

Got married to my fiance of 7 years.

Found a job I love that leave me lots of time to write and read to my heart’s content.

In going back through my old Milwordy blog, and personal diaries to calculate my word count for the year I came across this thing I wrote on my very first Milwordy blog post back in February.

I want to look back on the year and say “Damn, I accomplished so much more than I thought I ever could.”

Welp, Dear 11ish months ago self, you did. Congrats. Here’s to 2014 and surprising yourself.

Happy Scribbling.

The best laid plans – When life gets in the way of writing.

We’ve all been there. The day you woke up ready to write and your kid is sick, or your computer breaks down. Maybe you had errands to run that took way longer than expected, or your pipes freeze and suddenly everything else is more important or more pressing than writing. It happens. You can’t beat yourself up for it. Expect the unexpected and all that.

So today I’d like to share my unexpected. Being of the mid twenties age, I’m at the lovely time in my life when my wisdom teeth have reared their ugly heads. Or actually they haven’t. They’re still festering away in my gums making snide remarks at inappropriate times, and just like any other rude house guest, they have overstayed their welcome in my face.

I’ve known that they would have to come out for quite some time now. What I didn’t expect was going into  my consultation this afternoon and having it end with, “Come back tomorrow morning and we’ll take care of them then.”

 

… Sigh.

 

I had hoped that when the time came to get them removed, I’d have a little bit of time to write more in the days before hand. Time to get ahead on my goals so that I wouldn’t be completely behind when I regained feeling in my face and could think without the Vicodin making me feel like a five year old on meth. Rest assured this is not an exaggeration. The last time I had to take Vicodin for a kidney infection, I spent a week watching the first two seasons of My Little Pony on repeat. Sometimes I would even be surprised by the endings, regardless of whether or not I had just watched the episode an hour earlier.

Clearly this doesn’t speak well to my ability for the next day or two in terms of my writing, and unfortunately that means I’m gonna be behind at least for a little while.

And basically I’m here to tell you that it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes we can’t or don’t write for reasons that we could have controlled. And then there are times like this where you cut your losses and say, “I’ll get back on track in a day or two. Until then, I’m gonna go back to Ponyville.”

 

Happy scribbling.

Tracking your writing goals

Each month I go through countless pages in my journals, detailing my goals for the next thirty some odd days.

How many days are there?

How many pages or words, I need to write daily to get where I want to be?

If I watch netflix for four days and do nothing in the way of writing, how much work do I have to do to make up for it…. Etc. 

I filled a fair few notebooks with facts and figures about my progress, and while I find it somewhat soothing and motivating, I could always do more. 

So you can imagine my joy when a fellow writer recommended Write Track to me. 

If you’ve ever participated in Nanowrimo, you’ll quickly realize that this free site is essentially an evolved version of the stats page. You can add as many projects as you want. Chose how long you’ll work on them, and how much you want to do. Want to write 60k  during February, go right ahead. 25k in August? Why not?! 

Once you create a project you can see how much you need to do each day to achieve your goal. The projects can be viewed as calendars based on your dates, or as charts/graphs. But be warned. LIke the nanowrimo stats pages, which sometimes claims that you’ll finish your November novel in February when you’re really only 3k behind, this program has the same flaw. If it’s 4pm, and you’ve only done 1k of your necessary 2k, the program will try scare tactics and the rest of the month will say you need to do 3 or 4k each day to catch up. Of course if you reach your goal for the day then the chart is totally accurate. No scare tactics til the next day. 

The other feature that I would like to mention is your ability to have friends on the site who can view your goals. My writing group is using this feature so that we can keep track of each other’s goals and make sure that no one falls behind no matter what their project is. 

If you’d like to check it out, it’s a free program and I kid you not, takes a minute to set up. Just enter your email, username and password and you are ready to go, so why not give it a try. 

 

Happy scribbling!

Lofty goals, life and Nanowrimo

Lofty goals lead to greater falls it seems. While I had intended to get quite a bit of writing done, both on personal projects, as well as my daily flash fiction challenge, the rest of my life had other plans. Stress, illness, and financial troubles are a poor combination and unfortunately they appear to have taken over my life. So here’s to lame excuses and getting back on track.

We are currently eight days away from NaNoWriMo/ November. For those unaware of this lovely tradition, November is National Novel Writing Month, wherein writer’s get together to jot 50k worth of a new novel. Or something like that. There are all sorts of variations in terms of length and content and whatnot, but essentially the idea is to throw caution to the wind and write your little heart out for four weeks straight. Whether you’re writing just for the pleasure of it, or in hopes of publishing, it’s a great exercise in daily writing, setting and meeting goals and pushing through the rough patches. 

So it should come as no surprise to anyone, that I’m currently gearing up for nano. In the past I’ve participated in seven different months of nanos (there are forums for people to do the competition any month of the year), I’ve won 4 times and written a total of about 255k. 

This year I’ll be rebelling and not working on a new draft, which is sad, because I love going into it with a fresh new project, but I really have to work on a series that I’m dealing with at the moment. For added fun, some buddies from my college writing group have issued a challenge to write 100k instead of 50k during the month so naturally, I’ll be trying that as well. It’s a very good thing that failing to meet incredibly high goals doesn’t seem to phase me… In any case, if you are planning to participate in NaNoWriMo this November and are interested in some new writing buddies or want to challenge me to some sprints or word wars, please feel free to shoot my a message and we’ll get that all set.

 

Good luck to those out there with lofty goals and dreams of 50k excellence!