#writemotivation August Wrap-up and September Goals


The last week and a half has been crazy.  Between trying to find out what is going on with my pay checks and making sure Colin behaves in school, I’m lucky to have a few minutes to breathe.

I’ve had time to write, to be honest, but I have not been able to focus on writing very much.  I can sit here at my desk and open the file to resume the story and that’s as far as it gets.  My concentration is next to nil.  There is so much on my mind, the character’s aren’t heard clearly, if at all.  That’s why I’ve been more editing what I have now to get to know the story and the characters better before putting them through a blizzard deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Really, it is worrisome when you haven’t written any business when you are living on commission.  Thankfully, I’ll have something tomorrow, one way or another, even if it won’t get me near bonus.  Cross your fingers, I’ll have more to write before the end of next week.

With all of this weighing heavily on my mind, I have to say that my son, mom, Dave, and the cats have given me much to smile about and keep up a positive attitude.  A few people at work know what’s going on and they are right there helping me keep positive and work harder.  They are even going so far as helping me finesse my presentation and ‘paint the picture’ for our clients to understand the need for life insurance.

I can ‘paint a picture’ with my writing, but when it comes to speaking to strangers, those same words run and hide.  Sad as it sounds, it is very true.  It is also why I am seeking a part-time job as well.

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Write two chapters to Black Friday 2. (Two chapters a month sound reasonable enough to keep this one around)

I did manage to complete this one.  When I had to stop writing for the night, I thought I had only a partial chapter.  Looking at it now, no more needed to be said.  Definitely completed.

2) Work on Dark Crystal contest submission

I gave up on this one.  I could not come up with anything that could fit within the theme, let alone within the word count required.  I may try a normal fan fic on my own time later.

3) Word on edits/revisions for the last half of SoNL

I did manage to work through one full chapter.  Consider this one done!

4) Keep trying to exercise twice a week

Yes, I have been exercising.  Not quite as much as I should, but this is all a good start.  Those who have met me know I am not in the greatest shape.

5) Work on edits for Black Friday for republication.

Would five chapters be good enough to consider checking this one off?  I did, though I started off seeking out character names and frequency then opened my red pens and made the pages bleed.  >.<

6) Study the craft of writing.

Done, done, done!  Still reading on the craft, too.

7) Get art and items prepared for August Elks Swap in Pryor.

No way I can afford to make it to the Swap and Shop any time soon.  I have to take care of other bills first.  Maybe sometime this winter.

For the month August, I did well.  Only two things could not be completed but nothing says I can’t come back to them later.  I’m of myself for getting this much done with as crazy as this new job is and how much time it hordes.

No one said being an independent contractor would be easy.  *sigh*

Now, for September!

I’m keeping the goals simple.  I need to write as much business as I can so I can pull out of my financial hole and get my medical bills paid off.

1) Keep writing in Black Friday 2 (anything so long as it moves the story)

I’ve managed to get a little bit more written, but mostly I’ve gone back through what I already had to make a few corrections.  I’m also going to add to this editing on Black Friday.

2) Do revisions on SoNL

I’ve done another page.  I’m lucky to have this much done.

3) Keep walking.

Adding more exercise to this one.  Not just walking, which has been increasing little by little, but I’m going to add a short cardio workout a couple times a week.  Nutritionist’s orders!  😀

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#writemotivation Mondays


I know I updated just Saturday night.  But, may as well set things up for this last week of August.

As you know, work is kicking my but settling down into a routine which will allow me to get more writing done.  On top of insurance, I’m considering a part-time job to help beef up the day job.

Will a second job cut into my writing time?  No, not really.  I found a work from home sales job that isn’t difficult or requires me to spend a lot of time keeping track of product and sales numbers.

The product is one I can back up.  An old friend of mine from way back is selling the same thing and uses it.  So far, no bad side effects plus she’s done rather well since starting back in April.  The company is legit and back up their product as well.

So, alternative income to consider to help get all my bills caught up and savings building for a real vacation, new vehicle, and a house some day soon.

I won’t re-post my goals in this post.  Nothing has changed except for more reading done on studying the craft.

Once I get this post done, I’m pulling out my copy of Black Friday and an empty journal, then I’m going to go through to gather all the named characters and figure out their relation to my main three (Karina, Nick, and Marcus) and figure out which are my secondaries.  After that, the red pen of death will be coming out to bleed all over those beautiful printed pages and make notes in the rest of the journal.

We’ll see how much more is done come Wednesday.  🙂

With my mornings starting so early thanks to school, I now have a little extra time to sink into a story and write.

How has your month gone so far?

#writemotivation Late Update Week 3


I know this is awesomely late this week.  The way things are looking, I am going to have to keep my lists short until I can balance my new job, writing, and home.  As it sits now, work and home are cutting deep into my writing time.

Selling insurance is not very easy to do.  We have several no cost items to help us get into the door, but once inside, getting people to go through the whole presentation becomes the challenge.  Most just want the no cost stuff (it isn’t free.  Huge difference), and don’t want anything more.  But, I do get several who will allow me to show them what we have to offer to help fill in the gaps in their existing insurance.

Mostly, I need to work on my presentation so I am asking for anyone who lives in NE OK to volunteer to sit through a full presentation.  Who knows, you find what I show worth buying, but there is no pressure to buy.  I only show the need for buying that first policy or getting additional insurance.

If I am to succeed, I have to practice, practice, practice.  Anyone with kids or a mortgage, please, let me practice with you.

Other than work, I have three restaurant reviews to go over.  One is a brand new place right around the corner from my apartment and the other two are very well established.

On to the goal check!

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Write two chapters to “Black Friday 2″. (Two chapters a month sound reasonable enough to keep this one around)

I have written part of chapter 12.  This one is coming from Nick and Nahana’s POV and what they see while gathering wood in the building storm.  So, YAY, progress!

2) Work on “Dark Crystal” contest submission

Still a no-go on this one.  Barely times for my other WIP, so I’m crossing this off for now.  We’ll see how things look come NaNo time.

3) Word on edits/revisions for the last half of SoNL

I have started on this one.  Only a few paragraphs into the second half of the book.

4) Keep trying to exercise twice a week

There is a lot of walking involved in this job, so, this is a definite yes.  Not to mention, I walk Colin part way, most days, to school.

5) Work on edits for “Black Friday” for republication.

Nothing done on this one, yet.

6) Study the craft of writing.

Been reading up on it this week!

7) Get art and items prepared for August Elks Swap in Pryor.

It’ll be, at the very earliest, November before I can get to an Elk Swap Meet.  Bills come first, then my little hobby items can be stocked up.  I’ll let you know when I have soaps and lotions ready for sale, or sampling.

#writemotivation Goal Check 1 and 2


Or is that 1 and a 1/2?  *shrug*

calendarAnyway, there isn’t much to report for last week or this week.  The main reason being is that training at work has me staying late; after six or seven in the evening but until after nine if I’m not very lucky.  The first few days were fine when we left at around four in the afternoon on a long day.

But, when we started actual field training, in which I made a nice sale at the first appointment (YAY!), I didn’t see home until after dinner.  Call nights, when we go through referrals and leads sent in by the many unions around the state, to set up appointments the next day we could be there until nine which is the mandatory time when we HAVE to stop.  The ‘No Call Law’ made to prevent telemarketers and bill collectors from bugging you at all times of the night kicks in.

Before you say it, no, I am not a telemarketer nor am I soliciting life insurance.  Yes, I want people to buy (Mostly because I don’t want to see them going through the hell I do because of no insurance more than for the money), but I am not pushing for sales.  I honestly do have some wonderful stuff that is no cost and very useful to the average person.  I wouldn’t be calling them unless someone they knew pointed me in their direction.  At the beginning of that chain is someone who is/was in a union that started the ball rolling.

The company I’m with deals with unions and associations and will only go to people outside of them on a referral basis.

It is really a very niche market and AIL is running with it all the way.  I have to learn a lot about this niche and perfect my presentation before I’m allowed to step out and bug people on my own.  😉

So far, I’m enjoying it and encountered only a couple of people who irritated me.  One was an elderly woman whose husband was injured and laid-up for a while.  The dramatics she put on (That so tired sigh with the back of her hand against her forehead and the mock pained glances toward her husband) were way over the top.  It was easy to tell she didn’t want us there.  I could hear it in the tone of her voice and the clipped answers she gave.

Her husband was giving her those looks of ‘would-you-stop-the-drama-before-I-kick-your-butt’ kind of looks.  He was listening and being cordial.  He wanted us there.  I found his expressions amusing and, to be frank, if I were him, I would have said something about it with us there.

The one whom I have trained with the most in the field, and who helped me make that first sale, is a sweet gentleman.  He’s patient and gave many good pointers which I’ve used.  He’s young and married, but he’s supportive and guides.  My boss, who I’ve also trained with makes me nervous and is far too much the alpha male.  He expects perfection out of the gate even though he says he doesn’t.  His body language and attitude in general says otherwise.

If you’ve been in retail and fast food for as long as I have, you pick up on those or the job will chew you up and spit you out on the streets.  The same reasons why I don’t like people is also why I enjoy the job.  Working is my only social time with others.  (I don’t count write-ins as work.  That’s fun-social which I need more of)

Tomorrow, I’ll be in the field with a girl is, more than likely, half my age.  She’s pretty, vivacious and bubbly without being annoying.  I can imagine her being a cheerleader in school with her get-up-and-go attitude to getting the job done.  She and I had one preset appointment each then we hammered out the rest (for eight appointments total) in an hour and a half.

So, that is what I was up to for the last week or more.  That will explain why I haven’t done anything on my goals, too.  They’re bad excuses, but they are true.

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Write two chapters to “Black Friday 2″. (Two chapters a month sound reasonable enough to keep this one around)

I did get started on this one around the first.  Sadly, nothing was written at all in the last few days of July.  The way things look, until I can do presentations on my own, I won’t be able to do much unless I manage to get home early or on a Sunday.  When school starts, I won’t be doing anything after midnight so I can get up at six to get Colin off to school.

2) Work on “Dark Crystal” contest submission

The same on this one.  The only exception is, I just cannot come up with anything.  I have the premiss but the story isn’t there.  I do like the character, however, so I may use her in one of my fantasy stories at some point, or see her cameo in a current work in progress.  Nothing at all last month either, so this one will probably be dropped until I can focus more on my writing again.

3) Work on edits/revisions for the last half of SoNL

I started re-reading this one to get an idea of where it’s going.  This one, after I get the first half back for revisions, is going to be going through the wringer in a few other writer’s groups I found on Facebook.  A few are critique and help groups for just such problems.

4) Keep trying to exercise twice a week

This one I can say I have been doing.  There is a lot of walking involved plus some extra on the side just to help keep my knees and rump from getting sore on call nights at work.

5) Work on edits for “Black Friday” for republication.

Some has been done, but not enough to put it in the green.  I need to do more than a word or two to call it progress.  But, at least there is some progress to speak of.

6) Study the craft of writing.

This one has been easy to do.  I’ve managed to read through four books on writing.  I’ve gone over speaking and dialects, show and tell, how to write a scene, and how to show emotion and action.  There’s still more to read and many more books to buy when I have the spare change again.

7) Get art and items prepared for August Elks Swap in Pryor.

This one could not be done.  I had to work and Saturday’s appointments were all in Bixby, OK.  A lovely little town with such a cozy friendly atmosphere and countryside that makes you want to kick off your shoes and go running through the fields.  *sigh*  When I finally build a house, it will probably be in Bixby on several acres of land.  I saw a plot there I would love to have, now, but there’s no money for it and terrible credit to get it.

The September Swap will be out of the question for now.  I’m going to aim for November (Yes, during Nano) so I’ll have some set back and plenty of change to get supplies I need to make soap.  Yes, you read that right, I’m making homemade soap.  For now, using a premade base until I can get the things I need to make it from scratch without ruining the good cookware.  There will be more than just homemade soap.  I’ll delve into lotions, oils, bubble bath, and liquid soap as well.  Basic bar soaps are all I have for now.

#writemotivation Week 3 and 4 Update


Adam W. Cooper Class of 2013
Adam W. Cooper Class of 2013

This post is coming extra late.  There is no doubt about it, I flaked on it this week.   But, I don’t regret it.

It wasn’t my normal week this past week.  Last Saturday, mom and I were on the road to Searcy, AR, and enjoyed an overnight stay.  Our reason for being there?  We were picking up my oldest son, Adam, and bringing him home for a visit.  A week vacation was what he needed.

Personally, I needed some time with the child I haven’t seen in over six years.  To say I missed him would have been a huge understatement.  Adam has never left my mind.

Why wasn’t he living with me, you ask?  His grandmother thoughtfully (/sarcasm) took him away after I had Colin and finally got the idea through to his dad, I did not want him around.  Adam could stay, but Rick had to go.  Judy, Adam’s grandmother on his dad’s side, took him away and never encouraged him to keep contact whether by phone, visiting while we were living in town or via letter (email or written).  I had to do all the calling, visiting, and writing.

After I moved, well, that cut everything down to phone calls and chats over gmail talk or whatever.  Not fun.  So, he has very little to connect to me except not being there.

So, a whole week with him was the best thing.  With him being 18, he didn’t have to do what his grandparents said when they automatically tried to shoot down any ideas of him coming to OK with excuses of him needing to work.  They forget, I have a lot of training in management and was working toward a degree in business.  (I will complete those courses one day)  Even related, they can’t make him work without a vacation.  😉

Happy birthday to my baby boy, Colin, for surviving 9 years on this planet.
Happy birthday to my baby boy, Colin, for surviving 9 years on this planet.

Anyway…he enjoyed his time here without worrying about someone invading his privacy or needing him to do whatever chore around the house or office.  While we didn’t do much, it was fun.  Adam’s visit was the best birthday gift he could have received.

Best thing, we could connect.  I’m still mom.  Not Candace or the egg donor.

Due to weather and wanting to get to know my boy again, I didn’t focus on my goals like I should have.  There’s still a few days left for the month, so something will be done.

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

Goal Check

1) Focus on Black Friday 2. Get at least two chapters written.

I barely even glanced at this one though I did consider what was going to happen next after Takesha’s chapters.  There will be three primary speakers in this book, and probably the POV changing to make them fit better, though this does seem to work so far and gets the ground work started.   The speakers are, Karina (the primary narrator), Takesha (Kartina’s second and apprentice), and Karina’s mother (I’ve forgotten her name but I’ll update as soon as I remember or find it).

Nick and Marcus may contribute, but I’m not sure just yet.  If/when I change the POV, they’ll have more of a focus since they are main support characters in this book.  One or the other need to fill in the period when Karina was knocked out after discovering Mikey, Joe and his sisters.

2) Pass the second half of the State Exam.

Done, done, doooonnnne!

3)  Get at least 10K on a submission for the Dark Crystal prequel for a contest for Dark Crystal.

I’m about to give up on this one.  I have tried several times and I can’t think of anything.  It is such a wonderful contest idea and I draw a blank.  All I can think of is the MC, Jena flittering about in the night finding strange things and encountering the Skeksis while they are doing experiments on other gelfings they’ve ‘invited’ into the Dark Crystal Castle.  That’s all I have and I am unable to expand on that premise to get even 1000 words, let alone 10,000 words.  It’s very frustrating.

4) Exercise twice a week. (I mean it this time!)

This one was easily done.  Lots of swimming and a good bit of walking done last week.

5) Work on revising and editing Black Friday, the original book. 

Well…I haven’t done anything on this one.  I barely cracked open the book to start counting the characters and gauge their importance to the story.

Did do so good on the goals this month.  I know, bad girl.  This is not what a writer does.  A writer writes and tells stories, not stare at blank pages then go play games on Facebook.

Between the stress of starting a new job, the weather, and my eldest visiting, I’ve not done very well at all.  You all have permission to come over and smack my hands for doing so poorly.

#writemotivation Week 2 Update


1714201*hangs head in shame*

I’ve been a bad little writer this week.  I haven’t touched my goals though the few things I have done are working toward two of the goals.  Honest!

Last week was also filled with appointments along with the normal Thursday fun-filled therapy sessions.  Between those and the heat, I felt wiped and not very inspired.

Colin had a visit with the surgeon who stitched up his foot.  There is a lot of what she calls isotropic growth, which means the scars building too much tissue and the oil rubbing isn’t helping as much as it should.  He has been prescribed a compression sock and massage therapy to help break up that excess tissue before it becomes permanent and affects the development of his foot and his walking/running later on.

Dave also had his doctor appointment the same day, after we sat at the place to get Colin fitted for the sock.  His went well.  He has maintained weight since the last visit which is good.  But, he has to talk to his other doctor to get the ball rolling for his gastric surgery and the options he has.

That was Monday.  On Tuesday, I went into the office and filled out the paperwork to get me listed on their payroll and went through a sample presentation.  There is a script I need to learn.  Only three paragraphs, to be honest, and the rest we can adjust to our own wording.  Also went over the rules and fun stuff.  All of that was being done while my laptop downloaded and installed the app which I’ll be using in the field and can customize to the people I’ll be talking with.

hangingaround__awritersfantasycopyWednesday, Colin has his first massage therapy session and we went over everything.  I was given instructions on how to use the stuff they gave us to work on his scars.  It’s barely been a week and we can see improvement already.

Thursday was normal, out all day with the normal therapy.  Friday, I was back at the office, Colin came with me because we had another appointment for him.  I didn’t get the script to go over on Tuesday and I forgot Wednesday until it was too late to catch anyone in the office.  Allison, one of the other agents, helped me out and gave a rough idea of what I’ll be doing over the next two weeks.

Everyone there is so nice and friendly.  They want to help all the newbies so they can succeed.  That vibe is just so strong there, I can’t help but to feel more confident in myself.

Anyway, on to what this post is about.  😀

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Focus on Black Friday 2. Get at least two chapters written.

Nothing new written, yet.  I’ve backtracked some to gather pertinent information about who the named characters are and when they entered the story.  I’m also making sure I know what the general make up of the current group is so I can keep things balanced when I bring in the next group.  There will be many more, enough to make the resort into a small community with others coming and going, possibly taking some of the group with them.

Where they are now and the need to keep warm will cause some problems eventually.  Fires cause smoke and someone is bound to notice a thin plume of smoke rising, or several plumes, before the weather turns warm.

2) Pass the second half of the State Exam.

Done, done, doooonnnne!

3)  Get at least 10K on a submission for the Dark Crystal prequel for a contest for Dark Crystal.

I haven’t written a single word on this, yet.  *sigh*  I know what I want to write but I just cannot come up with a way to start the stinkin’ story.

4) Exercise twice a week. (I mean it this time!)

So far, yes, this one has been achieved.

5) Work on revising and editing Black Friday, the original book. 

This one is occupying my time.  I am, more or less, rereading the story to make notes of not just the characters and who has a name and who doesn’t, but events that happen.  Some of the timing is off, in my opinion, and needs to be adjusted to feel more realistic.  I also want to make certain scene less obvious since, as they sit now, they aren’t really needed in the story, but other spots could use more attention; such as when the main characters are under attack early on, the first hunt and a bit more life event happening while Karina is raising Nick and the rest of her young.  There’s also other things which need some explaining and making the ‘other side’ have more of a presence instead of the few times they are given.  Really, the bad guys actively try to go after Karina’s people, which is another reason why they are dying out.

Really, if anyone has read the book, the final fight scene is just pure drivel.  It needs to be redone in a huge way.  I’ll excerpt that chapter out to anyone who wants to give it a look and offer advice.

In the work I have done, I can see some of the influences from my favorite and most read authors,  I spotted some Piers Anthony and Jean M. Auel, and even a flicker of Anne McCaffrey.

This week, I have a few posts to make; one book review and two more interviews.  I enjoyed the interview with Hanna Gray Gordon from the NaNo group and it took a while to come up with the questions.  I just may do others.  There’s four different blogs these posts go to, so there’s plenty of people to see them.

I hope your week has gone well!

#Writemotivation Monday Strikes Again!


fire2Wouldn’t ya know it!  I posted on the proper day for the second, or third week, in a row.  Now THAT is an accomplishment.  =^. ^=  <—  happy kitty grin

But, really, it is something to crow about.  Lately, I had posted my progress, or lack thereof, later in the week.  Passing both portions of the broke me out of the funk I was in since I was fired from Wal-Mart of all places.  In all honesty, I loved that job even if I did complain about it.

None of you want to hear about that.  So, keeping it short today, here’s what has been done.

Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/
Header image and thumbnail photograph by Hugh Lee and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sahlgoode/

1) Focus on “Black Friday 2”. Get at least two chapters written.

Nothing new has been written, yet.  There is a very good an valid explanation coming up.  Keep reading.  😉

2) Pass the second half of the State Exam.

This one has been completed!  I passed with a bare minimum of an 80%.  Tomorrow, I go in and the paperwork done and the program loaded on my laptop.  By the end of the month, I will be bringing home money again.

3)  Get at least 10K on a submission for the Dark Crystal prequel for a contest for Dark Crystal.

This one has been started.  I had to re-download the information.  So, up to now, I’ve only done research but no writing.  Good thing I did because what I was originally intending to do wouldn’t have fit.  The story has to take place between the Conjuction (when the three suns are in alignment and appear as one) and the Wall of Destiny (a place where the prophecy of how to fix the Dark Crystal and by whom.  (Was that the correct pronoun there?)  So, when I was at home at the computer, I was reading up on what was allowed and the time period.  They want the story to take place around the time of the Gelfling Gathering, which gives me a nice intro for the MC, Jena, to come in and get things rolling.

4) Exercise twice a week. (I mean it this time!)

Not a lot was done with this one last week.  I was focusing on other things which had a lot more importance.  But, I did manage to walk the equivalent of a mile Saturday and about a half mile Thursday while Colin was in therapy.  I’ll call it a good start, but not close to what I need.  So, if you feel any weird earth tremors, don’t worry, that’s just me enjoying the Cardio routine on Just Dance 4.

Before I forget, again, I’ve added this to my goals after they were posted.

5) Work on revising and editing Black Friday, the original book.  

This one has also been started.  I’m going through and taking note of all the different named characters starting with Karina, Nick, and Marcus, my main three, then go through and trim out the extras for use later in BF2, and give the others a little bit of the spotlight.  I’m also contemplating changing the narrative a bit from first person, to omniscient view.  It’s a thought.  If anyone is curious about it, I have a copy you can borrow.  It’s a quick enough read but it needs a lot of re-polish.

How are things coming in your goals?