Author’s Log: What I Did When I Was On Hiatus (& #ROW80)

Warning Oh, hey, look–it’s a fresh new round of A Round of Words In Eighty Days–the writing challenge that acknowledges you have a life!

And a day job. And a spouse. And pets (and, in some cases, children). And piano practice. And VIOLIN practice. And Dragon Age I and II to complete before III comes out in October. And a production schedule that looks like the lineup schedule of the World Cup, and enough stories in the queue to last at least a decade.

So, yeah. There’s that.

Things to do, things to do.

But first, let’s take a look at what I did while I was on hiatus:


No, not that.

Well, okay…maybe a LITTLE of that. After all, blowing through 10k words in 3 days tends to make a person a mite giddy. Like, JEREMY RENNER giddy.


But before the anime schoolgirl level of giddiness, came the MAD NINJA DRAFTING!


Okay, okay. Enough of the gifs. On to the updates:

  1. I COMPLETED WAKING MUSE #2! And it clocked in at a little over 7k words over my original goal of 20k! W00T!! As an added bonus, I discovered that drafting each and every day doesn’t really work for me. I mean, I can force myself to do it, but I’ve found that forcing it just squishes my brain into a gray-matter thingy-blobby that only lets the storytelling flow out in desultory dribs and drabs. Instead, I’ve discovered  that by blocking out several hours of writing time and drafting under a clock, I can knock out the words like nobody’s business. Which brings us to:
  2. The Revised Schedule: Check it: I wrote three chapters in three days, plus an epilogue, by drafting from 10:ooam to 2:oopm, with a Yoo-hoo break at noon, (i.e. when Thing 2 awakens from her midday nap under the bed to demand a prolonged snuggle and bouncy-ball time. If I schedule my drafting days to 3-4 hours of writing on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, then I have time to do other things and not get burnt out.  On Tuesday and Thursday, the Tech Monkey and I have dinner and watch Netflix marathons together, but I can also use this time for planning, revisions, or admin stuff. Fridays are my days off (unless the office at the day job is closed for a Holiday), when I cook for the Tech Monkey and we have game night. (He’s playing Elder Scrolls online, and I’m chugging my way though the Dragon Age series in anticipation of DA3.)
  3. ACT I revisions of THE MINSTREL’S DAUGHTER are complete (FIRST PASS). There will be additional passes, of course, but right now I’ve got nine chapters looking like murder victims with all the red ink splattered all over the place. It still needs some work, but it’s getting there. The trick is to cut it up into manageable bits. I use Acts, because that keeps my structure in line.
  4. I finished art proofs for my book lines, SPECULATIVE INK and HEART LINKED. I’m not quite ready to launch yet, but I’m getting there. I’ve also been playing around with a new site design, one that isn’t quite so busy, and that is more expressive of what I’m doing these days.

Here’s what the new round of ROW80 is going to look like for me:


No, wait. Let’s try…ah, here we go:



> PRE-PRODUCTION: Origins #3

> DRAFTING: Searcher–ACT II (30k words)

> REVISE: Waking Muse #2



> PRE-PRODUCTION: Waking Muse #3

> REVISE: The Minstrel’s Daughter–ACT II

> POST-PRODUCTION: Waking Muse #2



> DRAFTING: Waking Muse #3 (25k words)

> REVISE: Keepers #4

> COMPLETE: Waking Muse #2 (Post-Production polishing and Release)


Don’tcha just love a good list? *scrunchy face*

It looks like I won’t be doing any drafting in August, but since that’s my off-cycle month, I’m reserving that for non-deadline side projects, like the Gaming novel I’ve been dying to write, flash fiction, or other SOOPER SEKRIT PROJEKTS ™! Or, I may just catch up on my reading and the Dread Laundry Monster instead. In other words, refill the creative well.

If I stick to my guns for the rest of the year, I should have a MUCH easier time of it next year, while still kicking things into high gear, since that’ll be when I start querying MINSTREL’S DAUGHTER.

Six months of craziness in exchange for high-octane results? Yeah, I think I can manage that. 😀







4 thoughts on “Author’s Log: What I Did When I Was On Hiatus (& #ROW80)

  1. Lisa says:

    You’ve been very busy during the hiatus! I think the Steve Martin pic is a pretty accurate sum up of how Round 3 will unfold for you!! lol
    The revised schedule will be a big help because if writing sessions fit in with Real Life, they definitely has a better chance of happening.
    All the best with Round 3. 🙂

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