A summery productivity ahead! (Big Dreams Blog Update #44)


That time of the month again.

Update Day is, for those of you out of the loop, every last Friday of the month for the Got Goals?/Do You Have Goals? blog hop group. There are 14 of us with 14 big, maybe craaaazy goals and we’re always looking for more people to join in the fun! All you gotta do is be brave enough to share one goal you’d like to complete, and every last Friday of the month you’ll share your progress on that goal. Good or not so great, you’ll have a cheering squad in the blog hop group. And make sure to visit author-hosts Misha Gericke, Jen Garrett and Brittney Woodson.

My goal is to write one million words worth of prose. And I’ve actually reset my counter, which means I won’t reach my goal by the end of this five-year blog hop, but that’s fine. That one-million goal was to get me writing and submitting to agents and publishers.

But enough of that. You’re here to see how I did for May. So let me start with a refresher for this month’s goals.

May 2017 goals:

☀do revision work for chapter book WIP, Sweeter the Scent

☀read four more books


Writing update:

Sweeter the Scent, my chapter book WIP, is complete – yay! And I’ve had CPs take a look at the first four chapters (double yay!). So far, I’ve set it aside to let it sit. I’m considering taking the story in a different direction.

Reading update:

I didn’t do as much reading as I wanted this month until last week. I’ve finished 2 books, Allie Pleiter’s The Bull Rider’s Homecoming and Colleen Oakley’s Close Enough to Touch.

Image result for allie pleiter the bull rider's homecoming
A heartwarming read; I’m a sucker for reunion/second chance romances.
Image result for close enough to touch colleen oakley
I related to MC Jubilee way too much. Rocking hermit here.

So two down, two to go. I’m juggling Ruth Logan Herne’s Their Surprise Daddy and Rebecca Adler’s The Good, the Bad and the Guacamole. I should have them done by end of May (crossing my fingers). If you haven’t noticed, lots of cozies and contemp romances. Solid sub-genres.


With spring closing, and summer shining brightly ahead, I foresee a more brighter, productive future for June. Check out my goals!

June 2017 goals:

☀begin working on the 1st draft of Ghoul & Alien 2.0

☀read four more books

Writing goal:

I’m going back to Ghoul & Alien after a little more than a month since I took a break mid-April. I’ve gotten a small bit of feedback from two professional #RevPit editors on the first 5 pages and query. Both mentioned that one of the MCs – the five pages didn’t introduce my second MC – hadn’t “wowed” them. One of the editors thought he could be more unique.

Instead of showing my CPs, I’ve decided that since I explored the MG route, and I started plotting and I’m enjoying what I have, that I’m going to age this story up from a chapter book.

Reading goal:

These are the titles I’m hoping to devour in May, in reading order (some are library books that I need to return). 🙂

Image result for pop goes the murder kristi abbott

The 2nd book in the Popcorn Shop Mystery series from author Kristi Abbott. I’m hoping to be ready for Book #3 when it comes out later this year.

Image result for behind the chocolate bars

The 3rd title in Kathy Aarons’ A Chocolate Covered Mystery series. A delightful read with a super funny MC (but then most cozies have hilariously self-deprecating heroines).

Image result for dinnerstein early childhood education

An early childhood text I wanted to read. I’ve been on hold for weeks, waiting for my turn at my library!

Image result for angels a history david albert jones

This one is a re-read. I think I first read it in 2015, but I’d have to check it out. I do remember enjoying it!

And hopefully more reads, depending on my time management skills.


How did your May go as far as goals? Did you get through your spring cleaning? Are you all set for summer in T-minus 4 weeks? Let me know so I can cheer you on, whatever the monthly result(s)!

Image result for spring cherry anime gif

#AtoZChallenge (2017 edition): Challenge Aftermath

I survived the A to Z, and I’m posting this late, but I’d still like to reflect on April’s crazy month of blogging. (Crazy for me at least.)

I’ve been doing the A to Z since 2015, and the first year was a crazy slapdash of creating posts on the day of, so I changed it up last year. I started writing my posts early and I had them all finished and ready to go by April 1st. This year I decided I needed to do that again if I had any hopes of getting to The End and not tearing out my hair from the frustration.

Luckily, I chose a theme I was interested in. One thing I enjoyed was I learned something new in writing every post. It was fun, too. Always a bonus.

If I do end up doing this again next year, I’ve already got my theme set aside. This year I scrambled for an idea (after sticking to movies for two years in a row). Hey, mayeb I’ll even starting writing the posts later this year, so I’m not rushing around to get it all done in March.

But right now, I need a long rest from thinking about posting back to back like that.

Image result for tired gif

How did your April run if you participated in the #AtoZChallenge?

If you weren’t participating, did you make it around to some (if not all) the blogs? A lot of cool, innovative themes were floating around… Never too late to backtrack and check out those posts.

Head-couching action. (Big Dreams Blog Update #43)

Update Day!


Hello, world, it’s that time of the month. I’m letting you know how I’m doing with my goal to reach 1 million words of “bad” to that first word of “good”.

As part of the DO YOU HAVE GOALS? blog hop, I get to update every Friday with my goal, and other mini-goals, and I’m lifted up by 14 other bloggers with similar crazy goals (you go guys!). Hosted by authors Misha Gericke, Jen Garrett and Brittney Woodson, the DO YOU HAVE GOALS? bloggity hop is hopping, guys. It’s the place to be if you want to start on those goals (and seriously need the accountability).

If you’d like to be one of us (ONE OF US!), you can go ahead and sign up HERE. The more, the merrier.

Now, back to my goals. How did I do for April, you ask? Let me show you.

First, a remainder of my goals for this month.

April 2017 goals:

☀continue revision work for WIP titled Ghoul & Alien

☀read four more books

☀visit 5 participating blogs/day during the A-Z Challenge madness (that’s all of April except the first four Sundays!)


Image result for happy dance gif

As you can see, I’ve scratched them all out. Yippee! This must be my first “win” for this year. I’ve been struggling to stay on track. It’s so easy to set these goals for the month, and then have them explode in your face.

Writing update:

So, for my writing goal, I was able to complete my 2nd draft for my WIP, Ghoul & Alien. However, I’ve since decided I might have to do some major rewrites. You see, Ghoul & Alien is a chapter book ATM, and I started exploring its potential as a middle grade and now I can’t get my new outline out of my head. If I DID go the MG-route, then I’d be able to explore more of my characters and their conflicts. Tough decision.

In the mean time, after moping for 2 weeks, I started working on another early reader/chapter book. I love it almost as much as I love Ghoul & Alien.

Reading update:

Reading is coming along. I have to admit that I haven’t been reading as regularly these last two weeks. The first half of April was great though, but then I got depressed about my direction for Ghoul & Alien and I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and read. So much for escapism…I blame the anhedonia.

Image result for slumming on couch gif
Look at that head-couching.

Anyways, I got the reading done, and I’ve got my TBR list from my latest library haul. Again, I’m mostly reading cozies and chapter books (oh, and a bit of contemporary, sexy romance), because they’re fun. 🙂


So, what does my May look like?

May 2017 goals:

☀do revision work for chapter book WIP, Sweeter the Scent

☀read four more books


Image result for skipping gif

That’s it. Keeping it nice and short this coming month. I could do with realigning some of my smaller goals, and making sure I’m still good with the larger ones.

How’s your April been? What do you have planned for May?

Season of Renewal. (Big Dreams Blog Update #42)


It’s Update Day!

For those of you going “HUH?”, I’m one-fifteenth of a group of crazy dreamers. We all are part of a blog hop that allows you to post and share one goal you’d like to accomplish sometime in the near future. For instance, my crazy goal is to write one million words (and I’ve been at it since August 2013). Still going…

Hosted by authors Misha Gericke, Jen Garrett and Brittney Woodson, the DO YOU HAVE GOALS? blog hop is open to one and all. Come, join us HERE!


Now to remind myself of my goals for this month. Did I reach them, or did fall far short of them?

Let’s see…

March 2017 goals:

☀continue with the contemporary romance WIP tentatively titled The Amish Dream

☀read four books (one a week)

☀prepare the posts for the A-Z challenge


So, I’ve scratched out my accomplished goals in March.

Huh. 2 out of 3 isn’t all that bad, peeps! Considering I’ve had a bumpy 1st quarter of this year, making goals and then hardly pushing myself to reach them.

Reading update:

I read four books, though not one a week as initially planned. I’ve been bingeing on PBs and cozies this month. Such a wonderfully fun combination! 🙂

A-Z Challenge update:

2017 Participation Badge!

As for my A-Z challenge, I am participating and I can say that confidently now because I’ve prepped all my posts. Sweet!

This frees me to approach more blogs and comment, make friends and hopefully learn stuff.

Writing update:

I didn’t touch the WIP I had originally intended to start for March. I decided that I needed to make a choice.

For the past year I’ve been hopping between children’s fiction and adult (sweet) romance, and it’s tiring me out. I need to stick with one age group and go from there for now. It’s just how my mind works. So I’ve chosen, and I decided that March shouldn’t go to waste writing-wise, so I picked up one of my children’s-geared plots.

The update on this WIP is that I’m well underway with the 2nd draft and it’s shaping up better than the first – that’s always a good sign.

I have no immediate plans for it after the 2nd draft, and I only know that my revision work creeps into April. Which brings me to…

Camp NaNo:

Image result for camp nano
The only camp I’ve been to.


It’s already that time of the year again. NaNo fun!

I’m participating, and this year I joined a cabin (full of hopefully chatty writers). Also this year Camp NaNo is expanding, and it’s allowing writers to choose not only their word count (which I think the minimum is 1000 words?), but to switch things up and instead stick with a page count for the upcoming month. Or maybe your thing is a line count?

I’ve chosen a time count: 3 hours/day, for a total goal of 90 hours in April. I can definitely confirm the first two-three weeks will be dedicated to revision work for my current WIP. And the rest…who knows? The possibilities are endlessly within the scope of children’s fiction.

So to sum it up

April 2017 goals:

☀continue revision work for WIP titled Ghoul & Alien

☀read four more books

☀visit 5 participating blogs/day during the A-Z Challenge madness (that’s all of April except the first four Sundays!)


Done and done. I’m ready to tackle April. *rolls up sleeves*

And YES, happy Spring everyone!

And on this season of renewal, let us revitalize our spirits and tackle our goals together (hehe, I sound cheesy)!

Image result for dancing pizza slice gif

#AtoZChallenge (2017 edition): Theme Reveal

*cue drumroll*

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal [2017]

I can’t believe it’s almost April. That means A-Z Challenge time! And that also means figuring out if I’m doing a theme or going totally rando.

I like themes though. This will be my third year doing the A-Z Challenge, and the last two years I’ve chosen to go the theme route. It keeps everything nice and tidy. So, I’m choosing a theme again this year.

And that theme is…

Image result for drumroll gif

Greek mythic heroes, places and things/objects.

It took some time. I bounced back and forth between a few theme choices, but I’m stuck on this one. And since I never did end up taking that Greek mythology course in uni, which I’m still butt-sore about, my plan is to crunch through the alphabet and do my own kind of self-study here.

Hopefully I don’t flounder…because, for once, X isn’t the problem letter with this plan. But more on that later!

And if you have time, check out the official A-Z blog for all Challenge-related, fun info. If you haven’t already, jump in and get started. There’s still plenty of time to plan for the A to Z. You got this!

Now, off to figure out how to make a list of blogs to visit.


RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #7 (FINAL): Quotes galore!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



It’s finally here!

The last day of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood‘s 2017 Winter Writing Festival. 50 days later, and we’re here–phew! This year’s annual WWF just flew by… Give me a second while I catch my breath here.

Actually, I haven’t been entirely honest there. I spent the last 2.5 weeks catching my breath, because I haven’t been writing so much as plotting and hopping between ideas.

Image result for spongebob jellyfish catching gif
So many jellyfish, so little net…

After spending almost 2 of those 2.5 weeks scurrying around, trying to figure out my next move, on Friday I finally decided what story I’d like to focus on, and I’ve been diligently working on it since. So far, so good.

Now, good news for those of you keeping up with the WWF (or those of you who sat out this year), the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood just announced that by popular demand the sprints would be continuing. For now there will be sprints from 7-9am, Monday to Friday with author Autumn Jordan. Very kind of her to host those morning sprints, and Autumn knows how to crack the whip, so get in there and get to writing! Lately I haven’t been so much a morning person, but I’ll start dragging my butt out of bed just to get 2 hours in of writing. Sometimes those hours really do make the difference.

Now, to leave you all with a few inspirational quotes that got me through these last 7 weeks, through the ups and downs…and way downs…

Image result for ernest hemingway quote first draft

Image result for writing inspiration quotes

Image result for bf skinner writing quotes

Image result for writing a bad book is as hard as writing a good book

Image result for dreams that you dare to dream really do come true wizard of oz

So go out there and make your dreams a reality! Because only you can make it happen. You’ll have cheerleaders along the way, here’s hoping, and you’ll stumble, but you will also pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on marching. You got this. One step at at time.

RSS Winter Writing Fest update closing marker

Yeah, I’m done moping…for now. (Big Dreams Blog Update #41)

It’s Update Day!


Yes, we’re at the end of February – and last Friday of this month means Update over at the DO YOU HAVE A GOAL? blog hop. Hosted by authors Misha Gericke, Jen Garrett, and Brittney Woodson, this blog hop is all about choosing one (possibly crazy) dream and then setting the small goals needed to achieve its greatness!

Want to sign up? Click on the banner for the blog hop above, or right HERE and share your goals; let us cheer you on!!

My big, maybe – crazy goal is writing a million words worth of completed stories. They don’t need to be published; I just need to write it and read it over, decide whether to pursue it.

So, February did not go as I planned at all…and I spent 2 weeks doing nothing but moping. I DID read a lot on my Kindle, so I guess there’s an up here, but I’m doing this full-time and so I don’t have the luxury of moping. I am revising my plan for my freelancing work, but that can often be soul-sucking (content mill hell), and though it does bring in money, I spent a week-ish wondering if it was worth it.

Anyways, here are said goals I set for this month.

February 2017 goals:

☀start and finish holiday novella WIP

☀kick off my #ChiVamps series marathon (more deets on that later)

☀start to plan for A-Z challenge–have no clue what my theme will be this year…>_<

How did I do?

I scrapped the holiday novella before I even started it. I did plot it, but that’s all I got, a brief outline. My heart isn’t into UF right now. I’m stuck between cozies and sexy romance.

As for the A-Z challenge planning, I’ve been tossing different themes around, and I think I might have found one that works. I’ll be developing that more in March, because like last year, I learned it’s way easier planning and writing posts beforehand, so I have more time to visit other blogs participating in the awesome challenge event. You should consider joining if you haven’t already!

Now, my goals in March are…

March 2017 goals:

☀continue with the contemporary romance WIP tentatively titled The Amish Dream

☀read four books (one book a week)

☀prepare the posts for the A-Z challenge (gotta make a run to the library…*hint, hint*

I’m determined to hit all my goals this month. I haven’t started 2017 the way I wanted to, but I’m darn ready to turn that around.

Wish me luck?

Image result for dancing pikachu gif

RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #6: Keeping on!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



Oops! I’m late with this post, but better late than never I suppose.

I’m mostly late because I haven’t done much since my last update. I’ve been afraid to write. I have these lengthy periods where I can’t bring myself to do much more than plot and dream up scenes and dialogue, but I can’t get the words flowing–and it has nothing to do with being stuck in the plotting, and everything to do with fear of failure. Fear of confronting the words on the page and then judging right out of the gate. NOT a conducive way to do anything by the way.

And, yeah, I’m talking myself through it. What I’m going to have to do is take it a day at a time, a sentence at a time, until I get that confidence back. The confidence is in the actual writing. I have to write to start to feel like I’ve got a grip on my creations.

In the meanwhile, what could you do if you’re afraid or you find you’re not writing as much as you’d like and you’re trying to re-wire your fearful thinking?

1. Do what you enjoy.

Easy enough. I’ve said this a lot in my blog whenever I write these kind of posts. I find baking, watching TV, reading, window shopping (yeah, I know, retail therapy at its best) and even cleaning and re-organizing to be great ways to trick my mind into wanting to write. By the time I’ve taken a long break, I feel like I return to the page like a starved Sylvester.

Image result for sylvester cat looking at tweety gif

2. Do have a notebook near.

I use the Notes in my phone because it’s easier at night to jot down an idea if one strikes. Doesn’t mean I’ll ever revisit the idea, but I usually judge that when I’m more awake… Yes, sometimes bursts of inspiration that feel amazing at 3am are not like so when I’m wide awake and I’ve gotten my daily dose of caffeine.

Image result for what was i thinking gif

3. Do some other writing.

I don’t journal much, but I tried it last year and I’d recommend it. It takes away the stress of having to show anyone your work. And that’s where fan fiction could come along as well. Everyone has a fandom they enjoy, so find yours and write a short story, or a series of one shots if you’re not willing to dedicate a whole lot of time to a longer derivative work.

My problem with writing is that I worry to get it perfect even though I realize I’ll have to edit it because it’s still a first draft. If you’re like me, then you just need to take a step back, breathe, re-group, and get to doing what you’re passionate about and don’t worry 100% where you’ll land; there’s always room for growth at the end too.

Image result for wizard of oz gif

And next update is the final one for this year’s RSS Winter Writing Festival. I’m sad to see it end, but it’s also nearly the end of winter, and spring brings more growth…and much-needed sunshine.

See you then! And keep keeping on!

RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #5: It’s (Kinda) Not Me!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



It’s post-Valentine’s, and I spent yesterday trying to woo my latest WIPs – yeah, I’m a player, courting 2 stories at once – I realized sometimes it’s really not you causing all the relationship problems.

Sometimes I catch myself blaming my outlining skill, or my writing ability, or my propensity to procrastinate…let those eyes wander to Slutty New Idea(s)* BUT I’m not always at fault!

Yeppers, I’m looking at you manuscript(s). Both of you. I’m not the bad guy here. You should be burden with some of the blame. So I got some questions…probably stuff I should have asked before, but *cracks knuckles (but ew! not really)*

Image result for it's you gif

1. Why Can’t You Be Easy?

Why is it you start off all nice and sweet, and you’re busting out the flowers, and champagne, and heart-shaped chocolates, and BAM! All of a sudden we’re past the outline stage, and getting into the real serious first drafting and it’s like “what the heck have I been doing with you”? Maybe we moved too quick…

2. Why Are You Making Me Think Such Awful Things About Myself?

That doesn’t explain why you’re making me hate myself. Suddenly it’s like I can’t even look in the mirror without confronting a stranger.

Image result for patrick punching mirror gif

Like who is that girl and why is she letting this puny story beat her ass?

3. Do we need a break? Or should we call it quits?

Break, quits. Break, quits.

Which is it going to be?

Image result for plucking flowers gif

I could start dating again, shopping around, see what manuscript fits me, but I also kinda like how we started before everything went to heck and all. So I guess it depends on what I want to do, and doing what feels right, not necessarily what makes me happy right now.

Which brings me to my final point…

4. Let’s move on.

Whether we go our separate ways or not, I’m wishing you the best.

No, I won’t promise whipping out dolls to prick and stick some voodun magic your way, but I will stop opening your file and delete you from my life. Cool? Cool.

And okay, fine, let’s agree to definitely agree that the Internal Editor hates us both and should be bitten, mercilessly.

Image result for wizard of oz gif

*courtesy of NYT bestselling author Rachel Hawkins. She’s mad funny, guys, and great books–>go read them.

RSS Winter Writing Fest 2017 Update #4: Be You!

RSS Winter Writing Festival 2017



Another week, and not much to update.

I did finish a novel, so there’s that…

But after the excitement of the ending wore off, I found myself feeling a little blue. Aimless, more like it. I had my hands on a second WIP, but I woke up the next morning not in the mood to write. Of course, I pushed myself. I’m getting WAY better at showing up, shutting up and doing the work, but I also lowered my word count and that helped ease the guilt hounding me.

I’m totally cool now! I finished the second WIP and I’m fixing my eye on my next story. I should mention I freelance write, so these stories are not mine once I send them to their rightful clients. It’s a way to keep me afloat; not entirely lucrative, but it’s doing the trick for now. In the meantime, I’m hankering to get started on writing a story of my own again. The last story I finished of mine was back in October, and it’s high time I got my hands back in the game.

So, moving forward into this latest week of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood‘s Winter Writing Festival, I’d like to sanely juggle WIP #3 for a client and my side project.

As an aside, if you’re feeling a little down about your story (stories), don’t be. Sometimes I fret that I’m not a good enough writer, but I’m getting better at stopping and asking myself who I’m measuring myself up against. Because usually it isn’t me and I’ll complain “I’m not as good as Authors X, Y, Z” and “I’d bet Authors A, B, C could take my premise and make magic of it”.

Stop, breathe, and repeat this Wilde truth: “Be yourself; everybody else is already taken.”

Image result for oscar wilde everyone else is taken

They really are.

Be true; be you!

And get out there and make magic of your own already.

Image result for be yourself gif