February Status Report: 2012 Goals

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The second month of 2012 has gone by so fast, I can hardly believe its time again to check in on my 2012 goals. February is typically one of the busiest for my day job, so I didn’t get quite as far on some of my goals as I would have liked, but I’m still very happy at the progress I’ve made this month.

1) Submit five pieces of writing.

I’ve done a bit more research on literary magazines both in print and online that might fit my writing style.  It’s a slow process and I have to keep telling myself that I am accomplishing something by doing painstaking research, even though I haven’t sent anything in just yet.

Research aside, I’ve written a new short story that might have some potential for submission.  I’m in the final stages of revision and should have a final draft in the next two weeks or so. I may post it to see if its working, so stay tuned!

2) Finish minor changes in my first novel.

I got as far as yanking out a previous hard copy draft and opening it up to the section I need to reinsert into the current draft.  After reading through it, I’m contemplating whether it should go back into the same place or if moving it somewhere else would better serve the story. It’ll work either way, but I remain in a quandary. The perfectionist in me is hesitant to do anything until that little knot in my stomach unties itself.  Believe me, I know I need to bite the bullet and just do it.

3) Work on my second novel.

The word count for this month stands at 857. While the word count isn’t nearly as high as it was for January, progress behind the scenes has been monumental.  Much of the work took place in my novel notebook, where I created two new characters and constructed a new development in the plot line.  For a while, I found myself battling between the original plan and a new idea that came to me during the writing process.  The word count should actually be around 1600, but I deleted the other half once I made the decision to work with the new scene. I’m really excited about this turn of events and I can’t wait to see where it takes the rest of the story.

Currently, the total word count for Novel #2 stands at 49,561.  The goal of reaching 60,000 by the end of the year is well within reach!

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

Developments on this goal have only recently materialized.  I’m starting to feel the burn to get moving on this, thanks in large part to an e-mail I received from a friend.  Not only did she dream about the main character in my novel, (which is really amazing), but she had some ideas on what to include in the synopsis and how to structure it.  When I combined her ideas with mine, something finally clicked and I think I have a place to begin.  I’ve set a deadline of March 15 to have a rough draft for the synopsis completed.

5) Keep up with my blog.

Anyone who is a regular reader knows this goal has not been a problem at all!  In terms of posting, February has been my busiest month with 21 posts.  Thank you to all my readers for continuing to stop by to read and leave comments.  Your support is so encouraging and greatly appreciated!

6) Network more with other writers.

I’ve always viewed this goal as the most difficult as it pulls me the furthest out of my comfort zone, but I did make some gains this month:

  • I joined the Fourth Writers’ Platform-Building Campaign via Rach Writes . . . . So far, I’ve networked with 30 new bloggers and completed the first challenge, (see The Call).  The process has been tough for me, but on the whole its been a fun experience.  I’m grateful for the chance to connect to so many wonderful new people and fantastic writers!
  • I joined Pinterest as a means to network with people beyond the blogging world.  If you enjoy crafts and travel pictures, click the red Pinterest button on my sidebar and follow me!  I should warn you, however, that Pinterest is very addictive!
  • My Facebook page continues to grow as I’ve gone from 20 followers to 32.  If you’re on Facebook and would like a direct line to new blog posts, musings of a writer, and cool links, click the like button on my sidebar and follow along.  Feel free to post on the wall!
  • Over on Twitter, I watched my list of followers go from 65 to 81.  I’m hoping to hit 100 by the end of March.  If you’re on Twitter, you can follow me by visiting my sidebar and clicking on the Twitter button.

7) Inspire others to keep writing.

All I can do is hope that I’ve encouraged others to write by visiting and commenting on blogs whenever possible.  They say writing is a solitary act, but the longer I stay in the game, the more I realize this is a team sport!

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c.b. 2012

11 Questions . . .Tag! You’re It!

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Guess what? I got tagged!  I’ve seen this game all over wordpress and blogspot, but never had the chance to play until now!  Many thanks to Daisy Carter, a fellow Writers’ Platform Building Campaigner, for sending the challenge of 11 Questions my way.  Her answers to the questions she received are definitely worth a read!  Give her a click!

Photo by Belinda van Steijn, Clipart.com

1) Favorite villain and why. 

Voldermort.  Aside from Maleficent, he’s the only villain that made me shiver with fear.  Both in the books and in the movies, I was afraid for Harry.

2) What’s the last book you read?

The last book I read was History by John H. Arnold.  It was the first non-fiction book I’ve read in quite a while and first history based book in even longer, (besides the books I use for teaching!).  Fact-based reading was a nice change of base, but now I’m hungry for more fiction!

3) If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

The Regency Period just so I can see the world the way Jane Austen saw it.

4) Would you rather have an unlimited gift card to your favorite bookstore or a publishing contract but never be allowed to read any other books?

I firmly believe that in order to write, reading is absolutely necessary.  While a publishing deal would be dream come true, I don’t think I could give up reading.  I’d rather keep my books and keep writing for the sheer love of it.  With an unlimited gift card to a bookstore, I’ll be set for life with all the reading and inspiration I’d ever need.

5) If you were an animal what would you be?

A kitten who has just discovered catnip.

6) What’s your very first memory?

I remember hanging red yarn across my grandma’s living room.  My sister and I were pretending to hang laundry on clotheslines, so we strung at least a dozen lines from one end of the room to the other.  I thought my grandpa was going to have a heart attack when he saw what we did.

7) Suzanne Collins, JK Rowling, Stephanie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume and John Green call.  They all want you to come to their house for dinner, but all on the same night.  Whose dinner invitation do you accept?

Stephanie Meyer.  Not only do I love Twilight, but her journey as a writer has always been very inspiring to me, (see The Autograph Ninja).  Besides that, she lives relatively close to me, so it would be super easy to get to her house.

8) You discover a planet.  What do you name it?

I’d call it Vantar 2 for the simple fact that it has a nice Star Trek: The Next Generation ring to it.

9) What world/nation/city/place from a book would you most like to visit?

Henry David Thoreau’s cabin from Walden.  I love the woods and the idea of gleaning wisdom from nature and solitude.

10) Here’s a million dollars.  How would you spend it? (Note: I said spend.)

I’d buy a small flat in a London suburb.  I’ve always wanted to live there and that million dollars could easily make it happen.  Anything left over would go straight to a few animal shelters that desperately need the help.

11) On which reality TV contest or game show would you be a contestant?

Jeopardy.  I don’t think I could win, but it’s the most quiet and calm of the game shows.  Plus, I’d probably learn something in the process.

Thanks for thinking of me and sending such fun questions!

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My questions:

1) What book have you always wanted to read, but still haven’t gotten around to it?

2) What classic book do you feel is overrated? Why?

3) What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book?  Least favorite?

4) Where is your favorite place to write?

5) Pen or pencil?

6) What was your favorite toy as a child?

7) What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

8) If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one ability or quality, what would it be?

9) What are five songs you hate to admit you love?

10) Where is your dream destination, (or place you’ve always wanted to go)?

11) What are the top five things on your bucket list?

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Tag!  You’re It!

If you choose to take on the challenge, please post a link leading to your answers to my questions. Have fun and pass it along to 11 more bloggers.

Callie Kingston

Stephanie Allen (My Personal Fairy Tale)

W. Chaser

Diane Gillette (Happy Writing)

Melissa Maygrove

Bridget Straub

Jenny Keller Ford (The Dreamweaver’s Cottage)

Rebekah Loper 

Susan Rocan (mywithershins)

Sara Biren (Crow River Writer)

Christy Farmer

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c.b. 2012