R.S.W! FINAL Check In

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

Although our summer officially ended last week, RSW has now marked the “end” of our writer-ly summer. Thus, it’s time for us to do our final RSW check-in. We figured we’d tell you all how we did on the goals we set at the VERY beginning of this journey back in June. And if we can comment freely, we’d like to say we handled these goals

Tee hee. So, seriously without further ado…

Pam’s Goals (and results) for Summer 2015:

  1. Finish revisions on my YA thriller, THROUGH OUR TEETH–> Completed and Awesome Agent-approved. CHECK! 🙂
  2. Write at least 15k words of a new WIP–> Who would’ve thought that revisions, traveling, working, and preparing to start a dissertation would leave such little time to write a first draft? Nonetheless, though I may not have written 15K, I’m at a good starting place to knock out this draft in time for NaNoWriMo!
  3. Read at least 5 books–> Sheesh, see response to goal number 2. BUT…I only fell one book short. This summer reminded me how essential reading is to my writing (as well as how much I love it), so I’ll certainly make reading a priority even during my fall semester.
  4. Exercise 3-4 times a week (including running!)–> I’d call this goal a win considering I even managed to exercise while on vacay. I need to go on with my bad self.
  5. Do something FUN or FOR MYSELF at least once each weekend–> This summer has been filled with wine and movies and concerts and museums, oh my. I think I balanced work and play well this summer–and I’d like to continue that during the school year.

Quita’s Goals (and results) for Summer 2015:

  1. Work on revisions of YA contemp novel, YOU WILL LOSE HIM–> After a very tumultuous on and off again love affair this summer, this was completed. I am now beginning to query this novel again 🙂
  2. Plot/ begin writing at least 10k of new WIP–> Some plotting occurred and I pretty much know my characters & what they want; however, I didn’t quite reach 10k. Alas, this can be my NaNo novel, riiiight?
  3. Read 4-5 books–> Read 3 and started the 4th this week…close, very close. I fear with the start of the school year my reading will suffer. I’m gonna work hard to find time to squeeze in reading. Promise.
  4. Less work, more play on the weekends (especially on Sunday) translation: force myself to relax–> I think I got in a lot of “play” this summer. Visiting another country, going to SCBWI, a winery, Busch Garden’s food & wine festival…there have been some fun times!
  5. Exercise at least three times a week (or as often as Pam makes me :/) –> I don’t think Pam and I have ever gone a week without exercising at least three times. This might be something that (again) will suffer due to school & all the things, but maybe we can keep it up. *wishful thinking*

All in all, we think we did pretty well this summer. Of course we didn’t reach some of our goals but if it weren’t for RSW, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have finished MOST of these! So, thank you all for holding us accountable, reading our posts, commenting, and being your general awesome selves! ‘Til next time 🙂

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R.S.W! Check-In (Week 12)

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

We are entering our first week of classes, you guys! Summer is almost officially ov-ah for us. Alas, we will enjoy our last 1/2 week before the hustle & bustle of doc classes & teaching commences. Also, I guess you’d like to know how we did last week, huh? Here it goes…

Pam’s Check In:

  1. Write 2000 words for my YA WIP –>DONE, because I’m awesome. And I kept myself on a strict schedule to write at least 500 words for 4 days this week. Discipline for the win!
  2. Do at least 2 fun and/or relaxing things–>Quita and I went to a wine tasting, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, and took my mom out for a birthday lunch. Wine for the win (oh, and birthdays)!
    At Williamsburg Winery

    At Williamsburg Winery

    Wine Tasting Menu (Williamsburg Winery)

    Wine Tasting Menu (Williamsburg Winery)

    Pam & the Tallest Man in the World

    Pam & the Tallest Man in the World at Ripley’s

    Pam & the Woman with the Long Neck (at Ripley's)

    Pam & the Woman with the Long Neck (at Ripley’s)

  3. Read another book.–> I’m a few pages away from the end of Pointe by Brandy Colbert, and I’m reluctant to finish because it’s SOOOOO good. Nevertheless, I should be done by the time this update posts on the blog.

Quita’s Check In:

  1. Write another 2k of historical YA WIP–> Check! It’s hard to just sit and write this, though. I keep wanting to research and make sure I’m using the right “slang” and not making references to items or clothing that wouldn’t have been available during the time period. Historicals are not easy, you guys.
  2. Do something for myself–>  Pam and I were able to go to a wine tasting and the Ripley’s Believe it Or Not Museum (see pics). It was pretty awesome, especially seeing a vampire killing kit 🙂 Oh, and scoring some amazing new wines to add to our fave collection.
    Ripley's (Lizard Man & Us)

    Ripley’s (Lizard Man & Us)

    Quita & the Woman with the Long Neck (Ripley's)

    Quita & the Woman with the Long Neck (Ripley’s)

    Vampire Killing Kit (Ripley's)

    Vampire Killing Kit (Ripley’s)

    Quita & the Tallest Man in the World at Ripley's

    Quita & the Tallest Man in the World at Ripley’s

  3. Read more of Learning Not to Drown–>  This book gets better the further I get into it. I’m a few pages away from finishing and I can’t wait to find out how it ends. I recommend it to fans of contemp YA!

Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

1. Write 5000 more words for my YA WIP. I originally wanted to write 15K of my WIP over the summer, but I invested a lot of time on making my revisions nice and purdy for Awesome Agent–and also traveling for school and fun. I would be HIGHLY satisfied with 5000 this week.

2. Read one more book this week. I’ll fall short of my 5 books for the summer goal, but I think I can squeeze in at least one more before the fall semester comes and knocks me over the head.

3. Do yoga at least once. This summer has been all about cardio and strength training. I think my body could use a good stretch.

Quita:

1.I would love to reach my end of summer goal of 10k on the historical YA WIP, thus that would require another 5k this week…GAH!

2. Do more strength training. I’m so weak. Everytime I try and hold myself up, I tumble. I need muscles. Think I can get those by the end of the summer?

3. Read another book by the end of next week. Pam keeps raving about Pointe so I think I’m reading that next 🙂

One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Intrigued. Wait, did I use that before? Either way, my new characters are puzzling and frustrating…and I can’t wait to write more about them.

Quita:

Daunting. Like I said earlier, I keep wanting to just write, but then I second guess myself–wondering, am I using the right word, here? Am I making these characters sound too modern? Then, I have to just woo-sah and remind myself it’s a first draft.

Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

Real world stuff! With the fall semester of my dissertation year approaching, I had to put on my Responsible Student Hat and start planning ahead. I had to add writing time to my To Do list each day…but interestingly enough, I got it done!

Quita:

Scheduling. Kind of similar to Pam’s, I’m about to start doc classes again and I’m a member of every committee ever created at the school, so we’re having meetings and creating events AND I’m teaching…it’s just been a hassle to juggle it all with writing. Alas, things have gotten done. So, that’s good!

Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

The mystery of it all. My WIP is almost a “whodunnit” tale, and I’m not sure who the culprit is myself. I’m eager to find out, though. 🙂

Quita:

The time period. My novel’s set in the late 60’s. Gearing up to create the music playlist for this WIP just makes me excited 🙂

That’s all for us this week, you guys. How did y’all do??

R.S.W! Checking In: Week Eleven

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

The summer is going by SO fast! We can’t believe it’s already week 11’s check in. Here’s how we did 🙂

Pam’s Check In:

  1. Work on Awesome Agent’s notes for my YA thriller revision –>  DONE. Earlier this week, I had bouts of insomnia. However, the perk was that I was able to get my edits done. Boo to the yeah.
  2. Write at least 1500 words to the actual narrative of my WIP–>Okay, so the original YA I wanted to draft has been placed on the back burner because I had an “ah ha” moment for another YA thriller idea. And…I wrote a little over 1500 words of a first draft for it. So far, so good.
  3. Work out at least 3 times this week–> I did workout 3 times this week–and went running TWICE. My muscles don’t love me at the moment, but they will in the long run, right?

Quita’s Check In:

  1. FINISH my revisions on YWLH–> Cue the confetti peeps, I am DONE! Just sent the draft to my beta reader, too. Feels so GUD to get rid of it.
  2. Exercise at least three times–> Done & done! See Pam’s  # 3 🙂
  3. Write at least 1k on new historical WIP–>  Killed it! You guys, I am unstoppable.

Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

1.Write 2000 words for my YA WIP. I think my goal is to write at least 15,000 by the end of August. I’ll take it slow and steady initially, and then marathon the bleep out of it during the last stretch.

2. Since the school year begins in under 2 weeks, do at least 2 fun and/or relaxing things this week.

3. Read another book.

Quita:

1.Write another 2k of historical WIP

2. Do something for myself before I have to get back into the academic mindset

3. Read more of Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda

One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Breathe. I’m so used to being a plotter, but I’m trying out something I learned from Meg Wolitzer at the LA SCBWI conference. Basically, I’m throwing all caution to the wind and writing 80 pages with no outline of where the story’s going. This is new for me, so yes, I have to remind myself to breathe.

Quita:

Relieved! It feels amazing to have finished revisions on YWLH and be working on my historical WIP. FINALLY!

Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

Summer-itis. The last days of summer are upon as, and my last year as a doc student is around the corner. Needless to say, my desire to lounge on the couch and sip coffee or chai tea has been trying to outweigh my productivity.

Quita:

Switching gears. It’s going to be hard to get into the world of my historical WIP and move away from my previous characters. However, I am so HAPPY to let that novel go for now.

Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

Um, love is a strong word since this new YA WIP idea just snuck up on me. But so far, I’m heavily in “like” with my characters because they’re diverse and remind me of people I grew up with.

Quita:

I LOVE research and looking up photographs from the past. I’m excited to do that for this new draft.

Well, if we do say so ourselves, we kinda BEASTED our goals this week! What about you guys?

R.S.W! Week 10 Check In (That Rhymes…)

Ready. Set. Write! Summer 2015

Taken from Jaime Morrow: RSW

It’s not like we have enough to do, right? Right. So we’ve decided to join the Ready. Set. Write! crew this summer and set some realistic goals for ourselves. If you wanna play along click on the link above to venture to Katie Upperman’s blog (one of the hosts along with Alison Miller, Jamie Morrow, Erin Funk, and Elodie Nowodazkij) and find all the deets about the summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting, accountability, and camaraderie.

We’re back from our SCBWI extravaganza and we’ve got thangz to report. Ready or not, here it goes:

Pam’s Check In:

  1. Write at least 2000 words for my new WIP–> KINDA done. I became super-inspired during my time at LA SCBWI, so I was able to complete character sketches and a general idea of the synopsis. So while my 2000 words weren’t exactly part of my draft–at least I put in some work for it!
  2. Read half of a new novel during travels to and from LA–>  I actually read MORE than half. I’m a few pages away from the end of Galgorithm by Aaron Karo (which I picked up at the conference bookstore), and it’s that perfect combo of heart and humor. Can’t wait to finish!
  3. Attend a session outside of my comfort zone while at SCBWI –> DONE, yo! I attended a session on writing nonfiction for young adults and teens, and not only did it get the creative juices flowing–I also nabbed a free book (Alice & Freda Forever by Alexis Coe–looks like a creepy, yet awesome, read).
  4. Work out at least once while in LA–> YEP! Quita and I ran…and did not get lost. Possibly because we made sure to just keep circling the hotel this time.

Quita’s Check In:

  1. Settle on a new plan for YOU WILL LOSE HIM & stick with it–>  CHECK! I have created & completed (one more ‘gin) a SHINY NEW plan for this revision. I wholeheartedly intend to stick with it.
  2. Complete character sketches & plotting for WIP–> Character sketch for one MC is complete and I have started plotting the first few chapters; however, Pam heard some G.R.E.A.T advice from Meg Wolitzer at SCBWI that I think I’m going to try for this novel. Thus, plotting has been halted.
  3. Begin reading a new novel–>  I am reading (and enjoying) Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky. While I’m reading for pleasure, since my WIP is historical YA, I’m also taking a few pointers.
  4. Enjoy time @ SCBWI –> If I report on this one too much, I’d end up writing much more than a sentence or two. I LOVED the breakout sessions I attended, keynotes were ON FLEEK (oh, and very inspiring) and getting to spend an entire weekend with Racquel was truly amazing. This goal was definitely achieved.

Our Goals for the Week

Pam:

1. Work on Awesome Agent’s notes for my YA thriller revision.

2. Write at least 1500 words to the actual narrative of my WIP.

3. Work out at least 3 times this week (the heatwave and traveling has given me a case of the blahgitty-blahs).

Quita:

  1. Okay…this is a BIG one. I want…to FINISH my revisions on YWLH by the time I check in next week. GAH!

2. Exercise at least three times

3. Write at least 1k on new historical WIP

One Word/Phrase that Encompasses What We Wrote/Revised:

Pam:

Curiosity. My WIP will be my first time creating new characters in a loooooong time, so I’m wondering where they may take me…

Quita:

Getting there. I was able to actually write some of the novel after coming up with my new plan. This book is my Everest.

Biggest Challenge We Faced This Week:

Pam:

TV. The DVR was filled with guilty pleasures during my trip to LA, so of course I had to empty it, right? Right?!

Quita:

Well, I somehow got bronchitis on the way back from LA so that was fun.

Something We Love About our WIPs/Novels We’re Revising:

Pam:

The NEWNESS of everything. Drafting is usually my least favorite part of the writing process, but I haven’t started a story from scratch in almost two years. Let’s see if I remember how to do this!

Quita:

The various avenues that I can travel with this story/ these characters. I kinda have a one track mind so talking things out with my awesome critique partner/life coach  (i.e. Pam) has helped me remember that I’m the master of this book. *cue wiggly eyebrows*

Wow, another week down! We can’t believe it’s August already! How are you guys coming along with your goals?