Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year Resolutions 2018 (2017 Results)

Photo By: Melissa @ Spellbound in a Flash (Me)

Happy New Year!!

Hard to believe another year has rolled by and we are looking at twelve new months. Where does the time go?!

I thought I'd share my resolutions for 2017 with results. *bites nails* I'll copy the resolutions as I typed them at the beginning of 2017 and type results in blue. Drum roll please....

1)  Write/edit every other day. (except when working on editing jobs, which are worked on daily) I know it's said to write daily. But writing daily seems to stress me out more. I went through a period a few years ago that I wrote/edited every other day. It might have been slow moving, but I didn't feel stressed and it seemed to give my brain time to digest and move on with what I'd written, making it all fit together better.
I started to do this. I didn't hold to the every other day schedule though. I looked back through my monthly posts for 2017 and I did get many hours in on projects, which helps.

2)  Finish Christmas Warmth. I started this in November for NaNoWriMo, and stopped with the holidays. This is a small goal, one easily reached, as there isn't much to add to the story to bring it through to a conclusion that's sitting in my mind.
I did finish Christmas Warmth in the beginning of the year! A win! I didn't have much to work on, so knew this would be an easy win. It's now ready for a full round of re-writes.

3)  Get re-writes of Christmas Spirit done. There are many things that need to be added to the bones of this story, things I missed in my thinking when writing it. So, I'll need to add and adjust the story in this first pass of re-writes. It could easily take me all year with my pacing.
I did get through Christmas Spirit with one round of re-writes! I worked on paper copy then went to the computer and made more changes while typing in the changes. I'm actually working on a another round now. Woot! It's not a complete win as it's not finished to send off, but I didn't know how many rounds I would go with this one.

4)  Write a short story. I have this idea that I started to research and stopped. I want to research it again and outline it. Maybe even get to start writing it. It's a secret project but I can say it's got steampunk in it. ;)
I did not get to this story idea. And...I think I know what this was to be, but I'm disappointed to say I'm not 100% sure what story this was to be. 

5)  Send something to a friend. If things go well this year, I'd like to get something to a rough point to send to someone to read. This is a first for me. I've sent no words to anyone to read. I've had no faith in my words to send them out, even to a friend. I want to overcome this fear.
I did not do this either. I was hoping the round of re-writes with Christmas Spirit would bring me to a point where I could send it to someone to help me with the next rounds. But, I've got another round to get through as there are things I want to tie in through the book first.


It's hard to face the music. I know I didn't follow through like I had hoped. But I did get a few huge goals completed, that being headway on Christmas Spirit and Christmas Warmth.

Now, on to 2018's Resolutions.

These resolutions are going to be similar to 2017's. I am determined to get my Christmas Business series up and going.

1) Write/re-writes/edits every other day - I still like this schedule. It's easier on my stress levels and helps me keep up with working.

2) Finish re-writes on Christmas Spirit - I want to get through this one round of re-writes and get help from friends on it.

3) Send Christmas Spirit to someone to read - This is so I can get another set of eyes on it to help iron out those tough, rough spots and flow of the story.

4) Start re-writes on Christmas Warmth - This one depends on what I learn about Christmas Spirit. I really want to get Christmas Spirit done but want to start on Christmas Warmth as well.

5) Outline for Christmas Wishes - Okay, I don't really outline, but I do make rough plans on where the story will go.

6) Join NaNoWriMo in November - I so love the rush to get through 50,000 words and really missed it in 2017. I want to get the rough bones of Christmas Wishes started in NaNoWriMo so I have something to work on in the future.

7) Exercise - This is unrelated to writing, but so very important in all angles. Exercising helps give me a release for stress and frustration, but it also gives me energy to keep up with all I have in my plans.

This year I have very specific ideas for what I want to do. I feel I'm getting closer to wanting to get a book out to shop around, so these steps are very important to get there. (And see if the book is really ready, along with me.)

What are your resolutions this year?

November and December Update:

Melissa:

November:
NaNoWriMo is past. I didn't do a traditional NaNoWriMo project, but I did set a goal tracker for 30 hours in the month to work on re-writes. And I passed!

I accomplished my 30 hour goal!!

In those 30 hours, I finished the round of re-writes on the printed pages I had of Christmas Spirit. I also finished typing in the changes and started a new round of re-writes on the computer. Exciting! This was a lot of work accomplished, or so it felt to me.


December:
What month is it!?! I'm saddened to say I did nothing in December in the way of words. We started the month with head colds and then the holiday time grabbed on and spun us away. We have been busy with so many different things for the holiday, so all other things have taken a back burner to life.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

October Update

Melissa:
I had plans... Ugh.

Goal:  15 hours Re-writes on Christmas Spirit
Actual:  8 hours Re-writes on Christmas Spirit

So, I started out good. I figured half an hour a day and if I missed it would be easy to make up. Then we had an away football game that was a couple hours away. And then another one. The weekends were a wash with driving, game, and photos. (I take and touch up photos for the guys on the team with Kiddo.)

Then the biggest hold up happened. Scrivener locked up. Yep. This is that one thing no one wants to see happen. I couldn't get into my project. AT ALL! My heart sunk. I thought I was going to have to type every word and character all over again. And lose all my character and places details. I took a breath and tried to relax. I sent an email to Scrivener, hoping for all hope they could unlock it. It took five days and emails to get there but we did. *phew* I was so relieved when I finally was able to see words on the screen again.

So, I did get some work done. Not as much as hoped, but closer to what I expected. We can always hope for more.

I'm not officially doing NaNoWriMo in November. I don't have a plot board or ideas down to work from to hit 50k words in sprint writings. But I am taking the month to work on words. I set up a Goal Tracker for November of 30 hours of Re-writes/re-read for Christmas Spirit. I want to get this book to a rough draft that can be worked from and move forward with it.

Plans for November:
Goal:  30 Hours Re-writes/Re-read of Christmas Spirit


As for Scrivener locking up, would anyone be interested in a post to how I was able to fix it? Of course the help center told me what to do, but I could share the details with you if you're interested.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

August and September Update

Melissa:

I was on such a great roll. And then it all comes to an abrupt end.

By that statement you can probably guess I didn't get anything accomplished in the two months this post is for. True. I've been working on for-pay content editing work. And, somewhere along the way I got swept up in life and events happening. A wedding for a dear friend's daughter. Football season. And all sorts of things that go on from day to day. I've started diving into my photography which takes time as well. I've been going to free functions to practice and better my craft with the camera. Which all has left little time for writing.

I'm sitting at the beginning of October telling myself I will not do NaNoWriMo this year. I will not. (reminder for me) Reason, I've not planned out the next novel I plan to write. I can't dive into the next one without some guidance. I don't really outline, but I do have a direction in mind when I start. And I have a rather (RATHER) loose idea, but that's it. I will, however, work on edits.

We are four days into October and I've managed to get two hours in on typing in re-writes, and making other changes. I created a Goal Tracker for it on the NaNoWriMo website. (I totally love this new feature!)

Goal:  15 Hours of Re-writes for Christmas Spirit (at least, if done sooner I'll dive into more works).

I'm hoping for half an hour a day. If I get behind, I should be able to make up lost time on weekends. (cross your fingers) This will be the same plan for November, though hopefully more hours to work toward.

Here's to doing ALL THE THINGS! Have a great October!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Update:

Melissa:
I joined Camp NaNoWriMo. I know, I know. I said in June's post I didn't know when I'd get back to writing or re-writes, and at the earliest it'd be August. That was true then. The schedule for editing work changed and opened up July. So I figured what the hay, I'll give it a go.

Also, I failed miserably at Camp NaNoWriMo in April, so why not attempt it again? What's the worst that'll happen? I could fail again (even though I hate that). But it would be some work towards the story.

I signed on to work 30 hours. I wasn't to thrilled with this. I wanted 15 hours, to work at least a half hour a day. Camp NaNoWriMo writing by the hour only goes as low as 30 hours. I understand it's camp and you strive to get as much as you can in, but life still happens too. I didn't think I was going to hit 30 hours, there was to much still in motion at the time. So I also signed up for a Goal Tracker in NaNoWriMo for 15 hours. I figure if I fail at one place I'll win at the other. lol.

What am I working on? I'm continuing with Christmas Spirit.

Where I am at the start of July:

Where I am at the end of July:


I know. That image has to be flipped or something, right. I was further along in the first image. So you know what that means. That's right. I finished the book with it's first round of re-writes in print and have started typing in the changes! Woot woot! Exciting!

How did the Camp NaNoWriMo go?

30 Hour Goal of Re-writes on Christmas Spirit:
~ 30 Hours ACCOMPLISHED in Re-writes of Christmas Spirit!

That's exciting news. It was a good month for working.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

April, May, and why not June Update

Melissa:

April:
The month started off slow but good. I've been pleased with the progress over last few months. I've had sections that had a great bit added and other sections where I switched the POV and adjusted the scene slightly. I love it! It feels like I'm really getting somewhere!

Christmas Spirit:
Goal:  30 hrs for April
Results:  9 hrs

So what's my excuse? I knew 30 hours was a dream goal. I never expected to get there, an hour a day, not with all that we were coming up upon. But I never thought I'd do less than 10 hours either. Kiddo started baseball, and I go to the games to watch and take pictures. There are a lot of games! Also I've been working with Kiddo on college stuff. All sorts of forms and visits were in April for a college he thought he was going to (he's recently changed to another). So time was tied up with Kiddo, which would probably be most of the last of many things now that he's graduated and going into college.


May:
And this month was a bust all around. It felt like a short month as we were still playing catch up from three of the four weekends in April being filled with college visits. We had Prom to ready for and pictures to be taken. Then I headed to Balticon for the last weekend.

Like I said, a bust for me.


And why not toss in June?
I know we are coming to the mid point of June and there's still 15 days remaining. Anything could change. But, I'm not foreseeing it going anywhere and I'm not going to get my hopes up just to be crushed.

I spent the first 10 days tied up with Kiddo's graduation from high school then his Graduation party. We had the school picnic and then I got sick with this sinus infection. It's been busy. I am also working on for pay content editing work. And I've concluded I need to get another part-time job on the weekends, so I'm looking for that now too.

Sadly, the writing will have to take a back burner until life gets back on track all around.

I'm not planning on joining Camp NaNoWriMo for July. I have another editing project coming in (yea!) and I want to get back on track with a few things here. August is going to be a bit tricky in the beginning, and then Kiddo starts college so... I'm not sure how that will go. We'll see when the time comes.

I want to get a few things squared away and get to writing again, even for half an hour a day.

I have an idea for a special system to use in a book creating itself in my mind. It has to do with color and light. I have to research it and learn more and I don't have a story to go with it yet, but the idea of this system sounds neat...in my head. ;) I'll note it and maybe some day it'll work into a story idea.

So, here's to a few months of getting caught up then back at it once again!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

March Update

Melissa:
Oh my! I forgot to post this. How can I do that? I've been trying to keep up with all the things. lol.

So I had some big plans for March. I was cruising along on re-writes at the beginning of March. I was thrilled as some sections stayed with the same idea but re-written and other scenes got additions, large additions.

Christmas Spirit:
32 hours by March 10th ~ I upped the goal to 38 hours by March 31st.
-- I added 11 hours to the clock, bringing me to a total of 28 hours spent on the project since the beginning of the year.

The total hours spent don't feel like a lot as I look back now. But when working, it feels like a lot is getting done. I'm currently on page 146 out of 359. I think this is a very good progression. I know I can't work daily on the project with all going on in life at the moment - work, kiddo college stuff, editing work, and more.

Here's a picture of the progress, so can see the pages going by. This page has been read through and, as you see on the left, I've added a good bit to this section. I need to read it again and add a bit more, so I'm still on page 146.

So what's on the horizon for April?

I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. My goal is 30 hours of work by the end of April. That's one hour a day. I know one hour a day isn't going to happen, especially with content editing work to be done too. But I hope to get close. This means I'm going to have to buckle down and do the time. I know there's a few college visits this month as well, which will take my Saturdays and make Sunday's harder to get everything done. But I'm going to try.