cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Yikes! It's been awhile since I've popped by. I've been updating my WriYe progress thread, though, and I've been more productive than I usually am. Well, here's to coming back and having a more public form of accountability. In June, I started this challenge called the Ray Bradbury Challenge, which is writing a short story each week. I've already flubbed one week, last week, but I'm catching up now. I'm excited that I've got nearly 400 people on board too. 

Here are my goals for July:
  • Write 4 short stories. [Camp NaNo Goal: 20,000 words.]
  • Read 3 books and write reviews.
  • Write the copy for the home page of my author website.
  • Write 4 blog posts for my author website.
  • Write the perma pages for lit mag.
  • Edit: G1 and NV and Pride Park stories [3]
  • Critique for: Paul, Dax
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 I've already lost a day (Monday), so I'm working with 6 days. That's all right. :) 

  1. Finish Scrivener tutorial.
  2. Write 2 permanent pages for website.
  3. Write 1,000 words for Cozy 1.
  4. Brainstorm 10 letters for challenge.
  5. Write 2 synopses for challenge (preferably A and B).
  6. Read one book and review.
  7. 50% edits for Liz.
  8. 100% edits for Paul.
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 I don't want to set myself up for failure and call this a May goals post since half of the month (more than half) has passed. So, mid-month it is.
  1. Finish Scrivener tutorial.
  2. Write down all potential topics/themes for the A-Z challenge..
  3. Set up the A-Z challenge in Scrivener -- the challenge is one project, and each letter gets its own folder. Since there will be two stories per folder, I'll just nest the stories in them. I want to set it up in advance, though, for easy access.
  4. Write 2,000 words for Cozy 1.
  5. Read 2 books and review on Goodreads.
  6. Edit two manuscripts. [Liz's and Paul's] Return them.
  7. Set up in Scrivener the 6-part novelette series and start to plan each story in more detail.
  8. Write the permanent pages for literary magazine website.

That's still kind of a lot to do. Fortunately, the first couple won't take too long. I'm nearly halfway finished with the tutorial now already. Setting up the challenge in Scrivener won't take long either. Still, I better get moving. Weekly goal post coming soon.

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 And here I thought I'd be keeping a running total all during Camp. I haven't, so I really need to update then move on. Camp NaNo was a success for me. I started with a goal of 40,000 words with the intention of writing the entire novella. This was a little unreasonable for me, so I knocked it down to 25,000 words midway. I was still writing slower than I intended, so I dropped it down to 20,000 words, and I made that goal. It's half of my original goal, so I'm still pleased with myself. The story isn't finished yet, but I'm still tinkering with it.

Now it's midway through May, and I'm starting to look toward writing again. I'd been focused on editing these past two weeks, and it's been taking a toll on me. I still have editing projects to do--three of them--but I've been craving writing time too. So, here I am. Also, in the beginning of May, I decided to write what I've called the A-Z writing challenge, which is writing a short story a week with the theme that starts with the letter of the week. It starts in June. I created a Facebook group for people who wanted to participate, and I thought I'd rope in maybe 5-6 people, but there are nearly 80 participants already and it's only be open for ten days. We start in June, so I've been writing down ideas of potential themes with synopses if one comes to me.

One of my synopsis for a theme morphed from a short story into a six-part novelette collection, which was a little surprising but fun to watch grow.

Even though I want to focus on short stories for the rest of the year to practice writing entire stories--and boost my writing skills--I don't want to let my other projects just sit. My goal each week is to write one short story between 2,000 and 5,000 words, with an average goal of 3,500 words, AND to write 500 words for my current WIP. In this case, I'll finish my Camp WIP, the first in a cozy mystery series, then move on to another, which will probably be the novelette series since those are shorter than novels (and novellas). Ideally, I want to finish the six-part series before the end of the year and look toward publication. [Each priced at $1.99, but bundled together for $5.99 or so.]

Elzu and I have also started our literary magazine too, which is awesome. We're still in the beginning stages, so there's not much to report. I'm woefully behind on my tasks to write the permanent pages for the website, though. I'll have to add this to my monthly + weekly update posts.

Which are coming soon!

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
So, I'm striking out on my own. Since it's the beginning of day 3 [though I consider it to be still day 2 since I haven't gone to bed yet], I want to start getting through the meat and potatoes of this outline so I can start to write the story. My goal is still to finish the entire thing before the end of the month, which means I have to write between 35,000 and 40,000 words in a month. That's a lot of words.

Right now, I'm focusing on those suspects and their motives (and a little backstory too). It's starting to shape up nicely, and I've even given the sleuth a best friend, besides her husband, of course. He has a rich backstory that just keeps developing - plus, he's gay, which makes it that much better. Unfortunately, he's a suspect in this one, so we'll see what's in store for him. I'm really laying it on thick for this guy, and he'll have to dig himself out of a massive hole. I'm not going to lie - I'm excited to watch him try.

He's starting to really look like a good candidate for murder, and I really need to raise the stakes for the other people to make everything seem at least a little realistic. 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 The next task is to list all the characters and assign them a role. The roles are: protagonist, antagonist, mentor, power player, and supporting/minor characters. It's okay to have a character fall in many roles. Here goes! [Since there are a lot of characters, I'm making a distinction between support and minor characters. Support characters are those that support the protagonist and have more ink time. Minor characters may just make an appearance or have a line or two. Not all these characters will appear in this book.]

Agnes - protagonist
Robert - supporting/mentor/power player
Mr. Pritchett - minor
Mrs. Estrada - supportng
Detective Estrada - power player
Ms. Brannan - minor
Mr. Lebrowski - minor
Mrs. Shapiro - minor
Mr. Lane - minor
Mr. Torgerson - minor
Ms. Lemelin (Kit) - supporting/mentor
Ms. Halser - minor
Ms. Killian - minor
Mr. Tinoco - minor
Mr. Guidry - minor
Mr. Crandall - minor
Detective Mogensen - power player
Detective Mayfield - power player
Ms. Aguilar - minor

Actors and cast (including director and choreographer):
Norman, Mildred, Kevin, Andrew, Lester, Wanda, Victor, Anthony, Max, Jason, Edith, Vivian

One of the actors is the antagonist (killer). :) 


Since the rest of this post concerns itself with plot, I'm going to create a new post specific for that. 


cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Here's the post for reference.

The first task is to describe the setting as an outsider would see it. Since the setting for the first book takes place exclusively in the theater, I'll include a description of the entire town for future reference for other books. Here goes!

Cheval, Vermont is a small town in Vermont with 2,153 people living in there. Most people, approximately 1200 people, live in the outskirts of town, and about 950 people live in the main part of town. It's these thousand people who will be mostly featured in the series. There is a typical main street where all the shops are located. I have a map with the stores on both Main Street (your typical small town Main St) and the storefront shops on Sunset Avenue. The town is along Lake Hawthorne, which is based off Lake Champlain. 

There are a ton of shops, including: floral, antique, coffee shop, natural grocery, apothecary, chocolatier, small bookstore, craft shop, Amish specialty shop, smoothie shop, and more. Tons! Small Town America puts an emphasis on  small businesses, so I want to reflect that in my town. I also want to use this city in other series I've developed. [So far, I can think of three already that can share this town!] There are ten streets that are considered large streets in the main part of town, and there are dozens of smaller streets, mostly ending in cul-de-sacs off those. There is a line of trees (like a mini forest/woods) that divide the main part of town from the outskirts. In the outskirts, there are mostly cabins that are relatively far apart. Most of the people live here and commute to town or other cities for work. Beyond the outskirts is the Maplestone Forest, which is about 2500 acres. It's famous for body dumps from larger towns. 

It's not a tourist town, but every year they host a Ren Faire, which brings in people from around the town. It's a middle-class town, with the average income ranging from $50,000 to $80,000 per year. It's about fifty-fifty divided between married couples and single people. Class sizes are small at the school. The junior high-high school has 350 students ranging from age 11 to age 18 - 6th through 12th grades. The elementary school has 400 students from K-5th grades. Average ages of adults are late 20s to early 40s in the main town and mid 40s to late 60s in the outskirts. 

The closest cities to it are: Seville, Ridott, Valinda, Wolsey, and Roselle. They get the most traffic from Wolsey and Roselle. 

Since I want to keep this sort of organized, I'll end it here and continue the rest of the topics from this day in a different post. Next are characters and their roles.

After writing all this, I'm feeling nostalgic for a town I've never been. (Though it feels like I have lived there!) 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Here's the post for day 2 from my writer blog for reference.

I already have my plot synopsis, so I'm going to skip the paragraph part. 

The point of view is Aggie's. Everything is filtered through her eyes, and I want an up close and personal feel, so I'm going with first person using I and me pronouns. 

This is a really short one since I'm not doing the one paragraph summary, though. Onward! 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
I finished my mini series of how to prepare for Camp NaNoWriMo in five days, except I didn't prepare my own idea because I spent so much time writing the blog posts. *sigh* It's two hours until midnight of the main event, and I'm sitting in a local diner ready to get to work. Since I actually like the way I laid it all out, I'm going to follow my own blog's advice. 

Here's the link for day 1 for reference. I've already done most of the prep work: I've registered, I have my idea, and I have my one sentence summary. I'll answer the final questions at the end, just because they will come up later.
  1. What is the story about? It's about a thirty-one year old English teacher and her husband who go see a play at the local theater. The teacher, Agnes, notices the actors are acting weird, so she sneaks behind stage to investigate, only to see that two actors have been murdered during the play. She must solve the case before the play concludes and everyone goes home.
  2. Why do I need to tell this particular story? I'm bringing my love of teaching and Shakespeare on the page and combining it with my love for solving murder mysteries. Quite frankly, these characters won't leave me along (especially Agnes - she's persistent) until I write the story.
  3. Why does it compel me? It combines several aspects I love. I love as good mystery, and I want to practice laying down clues to solve a puzzle.
  4. What feelings does the story bring up for me? Excitement. I'm definitely excited to follow Agnes down these rabbit holes to solve murders. 
  5. How do I want to convey the feeling to others? By carefully laying down clues and red herrings, I'm hoping to bring a level of suspense and mystery to the page. I want readers to get excited and curious about who could be the murderer (or murderess). 
  6. What actually happens in the story? Readers get a glimpse into Agnes and her husband's lives. They get to know their minds and their relationship to be able to further build on top of it in later books.
  7. What's the conflict? Agnes is an outsider who tries to solve the murder. There is a level of urgency because once the play is over and people leave the theater, it'll be more difficult to solve the case. 
  8. Who tells the story? Agnes. She's our main character and amateur sleuth. Since she is the one solving the cases, it's important for her to tell the story so we can get a glimpse inside her mind to see her thought processes.
  9. Who is the story about and why? It's about Agnes and her life with her husband in a small town in Vermont. Together, throughout the series, she will share her challenges and successes with readers. She will cry about health issues, get frustrated with her husband, and celebrate her victories on the page and with readers.
  10. What themes do I want to explore? Family and companionship are big ones. I'm trying to explore what it is that makes a family and how people define it. Also community, especially a tight-knit one such as the small town in which they live. There's always pros and cons to small town life, and I want to explore those in the series. I want to also explore friendship and platonic relationships as well. Also - fulfillment and what it means to be satisfied in life, how sometimes we don't get everything we want, and how to redefine success and happiness. 
  11. Who is my intended audience? People who enjoy a good mystery while also delving into the personal lives of characters. Cozy mystery readers will enjoy the story, as may teachers and lovers of literature since there is a literary bent to it.
  12. What genre does the story fit in best? Cozy mystery.

Even though I thought I knew all these answers, the question about theme was the one that struck me the most. I had to pause and really think about what broad topics I wanted to explore within the series. It helped me hone some of the feelings I want to invoke within readers as well. 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 I forgot to update from the seven day challenge. To recap, I challenged myself to write 100 words per day for 7 days in a row. And I did it! The week after, I wanted to do 200 words a day, but I didn't do any days. [Way to fail, right?] This week, it's supposed to be 300 words a day, but I'm waiting for Camp NaNoWriMo to begin. My Camp goal is 40,000 words for the month, but I think I'm going to take that down a notch. While I really do want to finish this novella during April [and I really, really do], I don't want to pressure myself like that. I'd rather get it done right the first time, even if it'd take me longer to write. 

Now I'm just prepping for Camp. I'm doing this 5 days of prep series on my blog, and the cool thing about it is that I can prep along with readers. I have a general outline and list of characters, but I don't feel like I know anyone yet. They feel like cutouts, especially the minor characters (and the murderer). Since it's a mystery, I really need to flesh out the motives of some other characters to not make it totally obvious who the murderer is. I'll have to give others a reason to want to kill the people. [And I'm thinking I should pare it down from five dead bodies to maybe two. It's a novella, after all.] After I lock down some other suspects and find their motives, I'll have to give them airtight alibis as to eliminate them. Oh, and clues and red herrings. Obviously, the other minor characters are red herrings, but I really need to sit down with my plan and outline it in such a way to know when I'll drop in the clues/red herrings. 

I might be overthinking this, but with this being my first mystery novel[la], I feel that over-planning is far better than under-planning and risk missing vital info - or giving away too much too quickly. 

Anyway, those are my basic thoughts on it and kind of a plan of what I need to get done.

Now it's time to figure out who dies and who lives. I have the original motive of my killer [no spoilers in case someone's actually reading this thing], but I'll need to link it strongly to the other person. Love is always a strong motivator. Maybe they're having an affair? Someone else on the cast stands to have something to lose? Like the significant other? Money's also a great motivator. Maybe someone on the cast paid for theatre school [is that a thing?], and needed repayment sooner than usual but the two people couldn't pay - and "slit."

Of course, it's not really slitting their throat since they die...some way else. [Spoilers and all.]

I think, now, it's time to really get to know these minor characters. Give them more than just names and ages and personality types. Time to dig deep. If I get enough figured out in time, I just might be able to make my 40K word goal without most of it being fluff or ideas running into dead ends.  
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
I decided that, in order to get myself motivated and writing, that I needed to do a seven day challenge. [I'm on WriYe, so I signed up on there.] The idea is to pick a minimum amount of words to write each day - then do it. Simple, right? Well, I tend to complicate everything in my life. In past years, I chose a godawful goal like 1,000 or 1,500 words per day for a week. [I didn't get past the first days on any of those attempts.] This year, I chose the smallest goal they offered: 100 words. It sounds stupidly low, but I swear it has been working. I officially started it on Monday, yesterday, but I wanted to get myself used to writing daily so I started on Saturday. Since I don't get time to write during the day with the kids, I have to wait until they go to sleep - except I've been working graveyard shifts. So, I get out around 3 or 4am, and I still need to write my words for the day. [For me, the day doesn't start over until I go to sleep or until the sun rises.] Here I am, sitting in the car in the driveway, half delirious and wondering how the hell I drove halfway across the state and made it home without dying in a fiery crash because I'm half-drowsing while going 80 mph. I reach in my bag, pull out my laptop, which, by now, has only half battery. I pull out my notes, open my word processor, and get cracking. Sometimes it's all I can do to churn out 100 words before needing to just go to bed. But I did it! I actually expended that extra energy to sit down and spend time with my story, and I feel so much better for it in the morning. 

So, 100 words might not sound like a lot, but to me it's the difference between feeling confident versus feeling like a total failure. I'd say that's a pretty big deal indeed. 

This is all to just create the habit of writing something daily. It's a reminder that it doesn't matter how many words I write, just that I write. Words add up. I'm trying to do this all spring. [Sunny weather just makes me want to soak up the warmth and spend the day writing. Weird, I know.] Anyway, I'm starting week 1 with 100 words a day. Week 2, I'll write 200 words a day, and so on. Eventually, I'll be writing 1,000 words per day, but I won't really notice it because I'll already have that habit of just sitting down to write. 

That's my intention, anyway.

For this challenge, I'm working on the cozy mystery series that features a high school English teacher as the amateur sleuth. I'm really excited about this first installment, and I hope to finish it by the end of May. [It will get written.] Ideally, I want it released by October, which means beta reads, edits, and promotions need to be planned too. *squeal!*

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Okay, so, I really like that word. Sue me. (Please don't.) It's the second-to-last day of February, which, of course means there are only two days left to edit this client's manuscript. To say I'm freaking out is an understatement. 

Not to mention I work my day job (which is kind of an anytime-of-the-day job) on both these days.

As of right now, I have 56 pages left to edit, which isn't too bad. I can knock that out in three or four hours this late at night . (I'm much less productive after midnight, but I have my ways to stay awake.) The scary part is that I still have to go back and address all those things I need to research throughout the manuscript, which is about two-hundred random comments. I'm not even sure how long that'll take. Two days, probably. 

I suppose, then, I'd better make this a short and sweet post. 

Let's see, a recap. 

I finished the final two books in the cozy series, and it ended exactly how I knew it'd end. (No spoilers.) I also wrote reviews for both books. I never did actually write the short story for the crime anthology, and, after seeing the quality of the cover and some of the stories, I'm kind of glad I didn't. You know that phrase "guilty by association?" Well, that's why. I'm spending a lot of time and energy building this series, so I need to ensure its quality, which means I need to ensure the quality of all the other stories in the anthology. I don't like to badmouth other indie authors because, well, the world kind of does that to us already, so I'll just say that there were a lot of corners cut. Besides, if I were to bang out the piece in a day or two, it'd leave little time to edit and no time to send it to beta readers. I'm starting to be okay with not finishing. I do, however, still have a detailed outline of the story, so I'll work on it next month and do it right. Maybe I'll even expand it to a novella-sized story and put it up as a solo project. It did keep wanting to expand past the five-thousand word limit. I'm thinking maybe fifteen-thousand words? 

And my goals now. I want to only focus on these two days before even thinking about March. Basically, my only goal is to finish editing this manuscript and get it back to my boss-lady before 11:59pm on Tuesday. I doubt I'll even read my book until it's finished. 

I'll make sure to come back on or around March 1 to dive into more goals.  
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 February is halfway over, and I'm wondering where all this time is going. Certainly, not in my writing projects! Here are some updates!
  • I'm on book 12 of the year. (And I'm over halfway through with it.) This is the penultimate book in the cozy series.
  • I actually started editing the client's manuscript - about time, too. I was asked to copy edit, but after taking a closer look, I saw it needed a little more than that. I'm dipping into line editing territory. I'm nearly on page 40, which, in two days, is pretty good for me. [My goal is to get to page 60 before going to bed tonight.] I need to edit at least 20 pages a day to finish on time. *yikes*
  • I started planning my own cozy mystery series - about the English teacher. I'm having a lot of fun with it too. I need to have that all planned by Sunday, so I can start writing the short story.
  • For now, I've shelved the children's adventure story. I'll pick it up later this year when I can figure out what it's missing.

And, of course, where would I be without my goals?
  • Edit 30 pages a day. I want to finish this project by next Friday. It'll give me four days to go over all my comments and do research to fix individual problems I didn't address before. [This will take approximately 4 hours a day.]
  • Plan the cozy series - complete with the town history and characters - by the end of this Friday (tomorrow!).
  • Plan the short story for the anthology by the end of this Sunday - the 19th.
  • Write the short story and have it finished and edited by next Sunday - the 26th. [One week is doable.]
    • To break it down a bit, I want to write from Monday to Friday, let it sit on Saturday, and edit it on Sunday. If I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I want to have it written from Sunday to Wednesday and send it off to one beta reader on Thursday, get it back on Saturday, and edit on Sunday.
  • Finish reading this cozy series by Sunday - and write the remaining two reviews, of course.  
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 Hello, productivity. It's nice to meet your acquaintance. Each year, I always feel a big push to "DO ALL THE THINGS" in January, but it seems like it's my least productive month. What's with that?! I always feel like February should start the year, while still being the second month. I'm not sure how that works, but let's just go with it. In the one week that has been February, I've been as nearly productive as I've been in the four weeks prior to it.

I'm focusing on the positives here, okay?

Here's what I've done and planning to do -

  • I managed to read nine books this year so far. I'm currently entrenched in a murder mystery series, cozy of course, and I have four books left. Three and a half, really.
  • I inadvertently signed up to read one hundred cozies this year in a Goodreads challenge, so I'm scrambling to find books in various subgenres. This opened up my eyes to potential writing projects too!
  • I currently have 13,299 words written this year. I'm aiming to have 60,000 words by the end of the month.
  • My children's adventure story is not as adventurous as I planned. I'm slogging through the first draft while taking notes for future edits.
  • I decided to convince a friend to extend an anthology deadline so I can submit a story for it. Instead of the original outline I planned, I'm writing a short story to work as a supplement to my own murder mystery series.
  • So far, I have nine adult murder mystery series and two children's murder mystery series planned. (Not all to be completed - or started - this year, but they've been planned to various degrees.
  • The first one I'm starting features a creative writing teacher as an amateur sleuth, and she loves all things Shakespeare.  
  • I revised a clients manuscript after flubbing pretty bad on it. (I notated the scene numbers incorrectly. It's good I'm not a math teacher!)
  • I still have a full-length manuscript to copy edit and deliver to the client by the end of the month. I haven't started yet.
But there is time yet to complete everything! :) 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
I have a nifty spreadsheet that tells me when I'm on target or if I'm horribly off-schedule. (It's the latter right now for me.) I am 24.287 words BEHIND schedule. That's scary, honestly. Instead of holing myself up for two days, neglecting all my responsibilities, and writing, I decided to just catch up by the end of this month. Unfortunately, it's not a leap year, so I have 28 days to work with. Actually, I have 24 days left to work with. The spreadsheet tells me I should have 60,000 words by the end of this month (PANIC!) and I'm nearly 25,000 words behind already. That means, I have to write something like 48,000-someodd words to write this month. I rounded it to 50,000 words because I like easy-to-remember numbers.

Essentially, I'm playing NaNoWriMo in February. And that doesn't include the manuscripts I need to edit for clients. Or taking care of my kids, the house, my out-of-home work, or the number of other projects I have.

So, I just need to take this thing one day at a time.

Daily, what I need to accomplish is:
  • 2,000 words written for my current WIP.
  • 20 pages edited for client manuscript - SS.
Weekly tasks include:
  • Reading 2-3 books and writing reviews on Goodreads.
  • 3 blog posts - one each for the author, editor, and spiritual blogs.
  • Doing one thing for another online venture (spiritual/homeschool/writer courses).

That's not too bad, right? Totally manageable...

I guess we'll see. :) 

cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 January was a trying month. I seem to always struggle in the beginning of the year. Last year, I had a baby in January, and this year I started working in January. While it isn't a full-time job by any stretch of the imagination, it does encroach on my post-midnight writing and editing time since shifts start around 4am, which means I can't stay awake until 3am writing and editing. During the day, I'm a single mom of two young children, so time isn't easily found.

I try, and I think that's what matters.

In January, I
  • read 8 books and wrote reviews for each.
  • wrote 10,713 words.
  • secured five manuscripts to edit in the next two months [2 novels, 3 short stories]
In February, I want to:
  • be more realistic with my time and goals.
  • read 5 books and write reviews for each.
  • write 500 words a day for RB to develop a writing habit.
  • edit SS manuscript for client.
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 I'm actually a little surprised I hadn't updated yet. I'm a little horrified, to be honest. Not only that, but I haven't stated my January goals. [It's probably a good thing since they've been tweaked a bit.]

Here are my goals:
  • Read 5 books and write reviews for each.
  • Write 31,000 words [of fiction].
  • Write 90,000 words [31K has to be fiction; the rest can be blog posts, website copy, etc.]
  • Launch the Storenvy store and accompanying blog.
  • Complete dev edit for DoaS [client novel]
  • Complete half of line edits for DoaS [client novel]
  • Participate in the WWC. [extends until April]
  • Complete copy edits for MD [client novel]

  • Read a book [The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating] and wrote GR review.
  • Wrote 1,762 of 59,000 words. [randoms]
  • Wrote 683 of 31,000 words [fiction only]
  • Completed 3 assignments of WWC.
Goals this week [until Sun 1/15]:
  • Read book 2 [The Third Eye] and write review on GR.
  • Finish planning novella #1 [approx. 3,000 words]
  • Write 4,000 words for novella #1 [manuscript]
  • Start dev edits for DoaS
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 This isn't my official goal list; that'll be posted on the first. I wanted a place to write what has been percolating in my mind lately. 
  • Write 365,000 words. [novels, novellas, short stories, info articles/blog posts, educational packets, NF books]
  • Publish [anthologies, novellas, collections]
  • Read 70 books; write reviews for all
  • Read 3 children's books to the kids per day
  • Review/beta read one chapter/story per week on Protagonize
  • Send one query letter to agent/publisher for novel
  • Weekly blog posts [Nature Cottage, Sacred Moon, CS Editing, CS Writing, storiesbycayleigh, lit journal]
  • Promote editing services; earn $10,000
  • Promote spiritual services; earn $1,000
  • Research local yoga teacher classes; choose affordable one; 2018 goal to register
  • Exercise 4X per week [yoga, pilates, weights, walking, hiking]
  • Save $3,000 in savings account
  • Establish a garden
  • Meet local friends [similar interests - homeschool, reading, writing, etc.]
*My unofficial word count goal is one million words, but I want to write at least 365K, which is 1K per day every day.
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 I've been thinking a lot about 2016. It's been a trying year with the charged political climate the way it is, celebrity deaths, personal friend deaths, and other little hiccups along the way. I've been reading posts by people who just want this year to end because it was so horrible, and I almost feel guilty for saying that, for me, it was a good year. 

It's the year that I finally achieved my lifelong dream of being an author. It's been the only dream of mine that has stuck around from childhood, and writing has been something of a coping mechanism for me through the years. AND I FINALLY PUBLISHED A STORY. Actually, two stories in two separate anthologies. 

In 2017, I'm working on self-publishing my own stories, novellas to start. I've gotten a taste of the publishing world, and I'm hooked. I also want to write a full-length novel, edit it, and write a query letter (or two) to send to agents and/or publishers. This is a terrifying (but thrilling) step for me to even think about taking. 

Overall, though, this year has been trying, but I've come out on the other side victorious. 
cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
 My guy kind of kicked me out yesterday, but it was with good intentions. He said I needed to get out of the house because I was pacing the house and saying negative stuff. So he gave me a few child-free hours to do what I wanted. 
I went to Barnes and Noble to indulge in tea and write, and it was the best thing I've done this month. 
Let me start by saying the creative process is heightened when sitting in a bookstore cafe. Just seeing all those books in print really help me be able to "see" mine alongside them. It was beautiful. 
So here's my update:
  • I went over beta notes and edited the short story for the Mental Health anthology.
  • I planned a short story for the A Stab in the Dark crime anthology. 
  • I re-read Hamlet to be able to incorporate it in the short story.
Not too shabby for two and a half hours! Hopefully, I can continue this creative surge today. 
Plans this week:
  • Edit novella for client.
  • Write the short story for A Stab in the Dark anthology - estimated 7,000 words.
  • Write the short story for Pride Park anthology - estimated 4,000 words.
  • Edit the short story for Gratitude anthology


cayleighstickler: Black cat walking through the snow leaving a trail of paw prints (Default)
paw prints in the snow

July 2017



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