August Status Report: 2012 Goals


As expected, the return of my day job has slowed the progress of my 2012 goals.  However, I’m happy to report I still accomplished something on most of my goals.  The numbers may be a bit lower across the board, but I’m proud of myself for writing every night, even after a long day at work!

1) Submit five pieces of writing to contests, journals, literary magazines, or the newspaper.

I submitted three poems to Wordrunner eChapbooks‘ call for poetry relating to the theme of “found.” Two of the  poems I sent were chosen by my readers in the Poetry Poll series.  Unfortunately, I had to eliminate  the third poem because after reading the fine print a little closer, I found out at least one of the poems had to be previously unpublished (including blog publication), so I rallied by writing a new poem to complete the trilogy.  Wish me luck!

In mid-August, the winners were announced for the Write It Your Way (Writer’s Digest – Summer Stories) and unfortunately my story Blueberry Hunt didn’t make the final cut, but I’m still really proud of how it turned out.

So far this year, I’ve submitted four pieces which means I’m one submission away from reaching this goal!

At the moment, I am working on a story to enter in the Sixteenth Annual Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Contest, (Deadline October 1)

2) Finish minor changes in my first novel.

I didn’t get to work on this goal as much as I would like, mainly because Novel #2 has most of my attention.  Even still, I managed to get a small block converted from the third person to first person.

Starting word count:  7,657
Ending word count: 7,975
Total word count: 318

3) Work on my second novel.

The numbers don’t quite reflect the time and effort that has gone into this project this month.  A slight plot change (one of the characters threw a little curve ball), a couple chapters ago created the need for some tinkering in the end sequence.  My muse and I spent many hours pondering, brainstorming, and scribbling until we came up with some viable solutions.

Furthermore, the completion of a Love List for this project has me moving full throttle to finish it.

Starting word count: 64,427
End word count: 66,210
Total word count: 1,783

4) Send out five query letters and be ready with a synopsis.

This goal remains on hold as I work to complete the total overhaul of Novel #1.

5) Keep up with my blog.

Even though I’ve cut down on how many posts I write each week, I remain consistent in updating on a regular basis.  Thank you to all my readers who continue to stop by to read and leave comments. Your visits are very much appreciated.

That being said, I am in the process of making a big decision.  The motivation to finish my second novel is so high right now, I want to take advantage of the momentum and finish it by the end of September.  In order to do this, I may have to cut down to one or two posts a week to give myself more time to write my novel.  I love my readers and I want to write for all of you, but my story is calling me!

6) Network more with other writers.

It’s a little slow on this front, but I’ve decided that’s okay.  Until I figure out how to get around the social networking block at work, I can’t be as connected as I’d like to be with the writing community. I’m hoping to have something worked out soon so I can visit other Facebook pages and tweet more often!

My thanks goes to everyone who has stopped by and followed me Facebook and Twitter.

My Facebook Page has grown from 178 to 188 Likes.

On Twitter, my followers have grown from 283 to 287.

I tend to update my Facebook status while I’m working on Novel #2 and sometimes I can be rather entertaining in the middle of a writing binge.  To join in the fun, please visit my sidebar to follow me on either network.

7) Inspire other writers to keep writing.

As always, I hope I am a positive presence!

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c.b.w. 2012



This has been making the rounds on Facebook and I love it so much, I just have to share it.  Seeing as my blog is all about following my muse wherever she may go, this image is very significant to me.  I believe creativity is an dynamic force that lives inside of everyone.  All we have to do is listen and make.

May your day be full of creativity and inspiration!

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c.b.w. 2012

Project Spirit Journal: Smile


A random act of kindness does more good than you could possibly imagine.

Always listen to a smiling beaver.

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Today’s challenge: Carry out at least one random act of kindness today. Tell us about it in the comments below.

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c.b.w. 2012

What I Love About My WIP


One of my favorite bloggers, mywitherhins, shared a fantastic idea wherein a writer creates a love list in regards to a work in progress, (which originated from Stephanie Perkins on Natalie Whipple’s blog).  The practice is meant to revitalize creativity for the project, while also helping to keep the focus on what is working in the story. Essentially, the Love List is a collection of everything a writer loves about a WIP, whether it be characters, setting, the writing process, or anything that gives a reason to keep writing!  This is the ultimate individual motivator that will give your muse a supreme kick in the butt!

For the better part of this year, I’ve been working on my second novel.  The first draft is near completion (we’re talking one chapter shy of the end), but a slight plot change I made a couple chapters ago has put a kink in the original ending I had planned.  My muse and I are working overtime to solve the problem, which unfortunately doesn’t show much in terms of overall word count.  A lack of physical progress has left me a little discouraged, but I have a feeling the Love List will put me back on track.

Novel #2 Love List

1) Experimental Beginning – The first sentence of Novel #2 came from an experimental free write. I liked what was happening so much, I kept writing.  The story came flying out of me as if it had been there all along and it didn’t take long for the entire framework to appear in my head.  I remember staying up until 2 a.m. on a work night to finish the basic layout.  I was that excited about it and I still am!

2) Fantasy Genre – I’ve read fantasy all my life, but never thought to write my own fantasy stories. Novel #2 created the opportunity to explore this genre and I love it!

3) Out of My Comfort Zone – Everything about the story, genre, and characters has me thinking outside the box.  Nothing about this book falls into my usual realm of writing.  It’s a breath of fresh air for me every time I sit down to write.

4) Main Character #1 – Amanda.  She’s tough, funky, and fiercely independent. She’s a 17-year-old who graduated high school early in order to take care of her invalid mother.  She loves the Beatles and Charlotte Brontë.

5) Main Character #2 – Ian. He’s calm, pensive, and compassionate. He has a secret that holds him back from everything he wants, including Amanda. He’s tall and lanky with sandy blonde hair and always wears a worn out pair of leather flip-flops.

6) The Setting – The bulk of the story takes place in Phoenix, AZ in the summer.  The heat plays a strong role in the story in terms of imagery and plot development.

7) The Soundtrack – As with everything I write, I have a playlist for my characters and the storyline. It includes everything from new age to rock and covers the novel from beginning to end. Some artists include: Delerium, Mysteria, Muse, Junip, Death Cab for Cutie, Owl City, Yanni, and The Beatles.  As I jump into the final scenes, Muse’s “Map of Problematique” plays on a continuous loop:

8) Imagination Meets Mythology – I’ve created a unique world that has roots in known mythologies.  The history teacher in me reveled in the idea of reinventing old myths into something entirely new.

9) New Words – The world and mythology I’ve created called for the invention of new words.  It’s been beyond fun to come up with original terms to describe things that only exist in my story.

10) First person POV – I made the decision to write in first person from Amanda’s point of view, even though I’d never written anything in first person.  In addition, I took a bigger risk in opting to write in present tense as a means to highlight a major theme of the novel.

11) The Twist at the End – I never even saw it coming until the character told me. The revelation left me reeling for days.  It’s a cliffhanger, folks!

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Whether you are writing a novel, short story, picture book, or poem try creating a Love List to keep your inspiration flowing!

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c.b.w. 2012