Posts Tagged ‘Check-in’

January 24, 2012



In my other life (my day job), I’m a page designer and sometimes writer. I used to write a weekly column called “Adventures in Cooking,” which eventually became the basis for my weight-loss blog, Adventures in Weight Loss, Cooking and Life.

My job duties have shifted and I don’t have as much time for column writing anymore, so “Adventures in Cooking” fell by the wayside. But after reading our features editor’s eloquent defense of the printed page a couple of weeks ago, I was compelled to craft a response.

That response, headlined “In defense of the e-reader,” ran Sunday in the Arts & Living section of the Arizona Daily Sun.

The highlights?

1. Easy access. I carry my Nook — and phone — with me everywhere, so I can read anywhere, anytime.

2. Endless variety. I can read anything — anything at all. Romance dominates my collection, but I also have other options, like the Klingon Dictionary (downloaded for research, not because I’m a geek).

3. Saved space. When I traveled to New York City for RWA Nationals last summer, my e-reader — loaded with a bunch of reading material — went with me. Having several books on one compact device eliminated the need to pack five or six tomes to keep me occupied during the flight. This both lightened my bag and freed up more luggage space for the important things: clothes and shoes. (As a GH finalist, I needed a fancy gown. Being indecisive — and unsure how many other fancy events I’d be attending, I packed three.)

4. Price. While the device itself wasn’t cheap, there are a lot of low-cost books in cyberspace, available with a simple click.

5. Privacy. I can be in the middle of a steamy scene without anyone being the wiser. (That’s a huge perk, since some of my favorite books are super-steamy.)

Perhaps the column explains the huge bump in page views for this blog today? Otherwise, I’m at a loss. Why did I get 97 hits when I usually get about 10? My site stats page is no help at all.

January 11, 2012

Ruby WWF


The big day’s finally here: The start of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival.

It crept up on me so quickly that I didn’t have as much time as I’d hoped to craft my goals — so I’m going to build on last year’s list. With a few modifications, it’ll work again.

Here’s the quick and dirty list:

  • Write at least 500 words on WIP OR
  • Edit at least 10 pages OR
  • BICHOK (butt in chair, hands on keyboard) for at least 30 minutes without Internet distractions OR
  • Craft winning query letter for one of my two 2012 GH entries (so I can be ready if I final again) OR
  • Read/give feedback to CP OR
  • Find a contest to enter and prep entry OR
  • Read one article in one of the many unread issues of RWR I have on file OR
  • Write a blog post of at least 150 words for my writing blog, Love & Laughter. Posts for the weight loss blog don’t count. OR
  • Read one of the GH entries I just received for judging OR
  • Pay my RWA dues. They’re due by Feb. 28 at the latest OR
  • Register for RWA National Conference OR
  • Get a massage. (If I could afford to do this one once a week, I would — but it’ll more likely be once during the entire festival.)

They seem like simple goals, I know — but I’m setting myself up for success. If I can’t make time to do one (or more) of those things each day, I’d better give up on writing.

What is my WIP, you ask? That’s a very good question. I still seem to be suffering from the story ADD I developed last March.

Currently, I’m expanding/editing Brad & Erin’s story with an eye to a specific submission. I also have plans to add to Dave & Melinda’s story, which is right at 50K now. Eventually, I want to get back to Beth & Cody, too — I only had about 20K left to write when I got derailed. Surely Beth has some redeeming qualities (though the Golden Pen judges were doubtful). And then there’s my NaNo novel starring Van and Allyson. I finished the 50K rough draft, but it needs major help.

See? Story ADD.

Guess with no shortage of projects, I’ll always have something to do! I’m ready to get down to work and have some fun. See you at the RSS.

January 4, 2012

Ruby WWF

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Golden Heart finalist calls will come out in less than three months.

But that’s not the “it” I’m talking about (yet). It’s almost time for the annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival.

The festival starts on Jan. 11 and runs through the end of February — an extra day, with this being a leap year.

Okay, I cheated: This is the 2011 badge, from my old writing blog. But I will be participating again this year. I plan to give some serious thought to my goals before posting them here.

That’s the great thing about the WWF: You determine the goals. If you want to throw in there “get a massage,” you can. Of course, it makes sense to have most of them be writing-related — it is the Winter Writing Festival, after all, not Relax-a-palooza.

Come, write with me and the Rubies. You can get a lot accomplished while having a blast.

Had you asked me last week whether I was going to win NaNoWriMo this year, I’d have laughed — most likely right in your face.

With two entries for the 2012 Golden Heart competition to polish, I’d pretty much written off finishing NaNo. When I popped my last GH entry in the mail on Monday, I had 15,000 words left to write and three days in which to do it.

And here’s where that old power of persistence kicked in. I didn’t want to fail. I had Monday off, so I spent most of it at Starbucks, writing away — and then did some late-night word sprints with the Power Writing Hour Facebook group I belong to. On Tuesday, I did as much writing as I could until it was time to go to work … And on Wednesday, after working until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and then sprinting until 12:30 a.m. or so, I hauled myself out of bed at 8 a.m. so I could put in a full day at Starbucks before heading to work.

The persistence paid off. At about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, I crossed the finish line with 50,094 words. (Yeah, I was supposed to be at work by 3 p.m. — but I was too close to give up. Lucky for me, my hours are somewhat flexible.) The NaNo validator came in slightly lower, at 50,016 … but still enough to declare me a winner.

Finishing something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do felt great. I have to give shout-outs to Jamie Raintree and Anne Marie Becker, my writing buddies who wouldn’t let me give up. (They both hit 50K, too.) My new Power Writing Hour friends helped, too.

Another shout-out to the new CPs who helped me whip those GH entries into shape. I received confirmation just this morning that the second of two was received — so all that’s left is to wait …

And to keep writing, of course. I already have a new challenge in my sights: Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. Its mid-December deadline is creeping up fast.