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


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.


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:


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.


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:


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!


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:


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. 🙂


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??


10 thoughts on “R.S.W! Check-In (Week 12)

  1. Good luck with your goals, and congratulations on reaching last week’s goals! The Ripley’s museum sounds like a really fun trip.

    I love the researching part of writing historical, and sometimes get lost in researching fascinating or macabre subjects. Learning how to research is such an important skill for a historical writer, particularly when it involves editing a WIP to root out unintentional anachronisms. I’m so embarrassed when I think of all the anachronisms I had in the earliest drafts of my 20th century historicals, like words and slang which didn’t exist in the 1940s or teenagers/preteens of any era carrying on like young people of the early 1990s who just happened to live in the past.

  2. Congrats on all the wordcount! And I have to know–what era historical are you writing? You’re so right on the research part. When I wrote one set in the 1960s there were so many things I had to double check just in case; like food at a fancy place, I found the dish hadn’t been invented yet. And then automatic doors, had they been invented? So many questions.

    Ripley’s is fun, I went there in Niagara Falls.

  3. Pam, I loooooved POINTE! Such a great book. And I think it’s so much fun when you are writing to figure out the mystery instead of knowing the answer all along. Definitely makes it easier to obscure the truth, since you don’t actually know it, haha!

    Quita, Definitely read POINTE (see above, lol). Writing historical is such an undertaking, I can totally see how it’d be complicated to make sure you’re not only getting the historical details and slang correct, but still imbuing the character with their own unique voice.

    Good luck to both of you on your goals this week! 🙂

  4. Congrats on the word counts, ladies! I’m super impressed with how much you both pack into a week. Especially with all of your school stuff looming in the not-so-distant future. Your wine tasting and Ripley’s trip looks like so much fun! Enjoy your last week or so of summer vacation. Hope you enjoy it (and write all the words too!) And Quita, I think it’s smart to think about the historical aspects as you go (I can’t imagine the added pressure that puts on!) but I agree you can get the words down first and then go back and fix things later. 🙂

  5. Pam: A big high five for meeting your goals, especially the 2k on your WIP! You know, I always freak out when all the fall busyness arrives, but sometimes that discipline to write actually comes easier with a more set schedule. Your WIP sounds fun! Who doesn’t love a good who dunnit book? Hope the culprit reveals his/herself in an awesome flash of inspiration!

    Quita: You’re so brave for taking on a historical! I love historical but what a challenge to write! Sounds like you’re doing your research, so I’m sure you’ve got this. I really hope you figure out your new schedule and find a good writing time with everything else you’ve got going on this fall. Have fun making that playlist for your WIP!

    Girls, you look like you had so much fun at the museum & your wine tasting! Love the photos!

  6. Great job, Pam, on hitting those goals! And 1960’s sounds fun, Quita! I had to smile at the Ripley’s Museum visit. My son has been mentioning he’d like to go to one all week. Good luck with this next week!

  7. Love all the pictures! And I’m so jealous of the wine tasting! Also, I have had POINTE on my shelf forever. I am bumping it up the TBR!

    Hope you guys have a great week!

  8. Okay, I feel like if you’re not both INTRIGUED by and DAUNTED by your WiP at all times, you’re writing the wrong story. So I think you two are on the right track! I love that you’re both finishing out the summer strong, and I’m so impressed by all you’ve accomplished over the last few months. Also — cutest photos ever! Have a fantastic final week of RSW, girls!

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