Fully Exposed – Day One

Me & my Fully Exposed partner in crime, Matthew Clemens!

Me & my Fully Exposed partner in crime, Matthew Clemens!

On Monday, my day begins like it does most days — I drag myself out of bed, pour a cup of coffee, and sit at my computer going through my Morning Routine.

This involves checking emails from the website I moderate for pay. I look for explicit language, people who post their email address or phone numbers (against forum rules) and people who are annoying and post duplicate comments in different threads.

After that I check in on Facebook and Twitter and then read my favorite blogs. For instance, rarely does a day pass that I’m not reading Karen Woodward, Elizabeth Spann Craig, or The Kill Zone.

After a while, I get myself ready for the day, continuing to down copious amounts of coffee and prodding the kids to get ready for school.

Finally, around 9 a.m., I settle in somewhere (today at home) to write! YAY!

I like to do Butt in Chair until 11 or 12, but today I already know I’m going to fail because the landlord is scheduled to come over at 10:30.

I NEED at least 1,000 words by 10:30. In 90 minutes. Stat.

I get down to business, even though I forgot what I was writing since I haven’t looked at my novel since Friday morning. I get back into the swing of things with only a few distractions. (Hurriedly writing my Fully Exposed post yesterday about my goals, emails to Matthew, and so on.) But for the most part I’m completely immersed in my novel’s world — I’m fully in the head of a 17-year-old Minneapolis girl who is hanging with a bunch of street punks and trying to figure out how her best friend died.

When the landlord knocks at the door, I’ve got in 1,200 words despite all my goofing off. Yay! Win!

After another 90 minutes, I’m alone again.

I eat lunch and surf the web and then get in a walk because it is warm today (above 40 degrees – in Minnesota we call this warm right now, so pipe down).

After my walk, I have to run errands, which involves Target and the eye doctor. Back home, I do a few loads of laundry (aka created more piles of clean clothes that will eventually need folding).

Then, I check some online stuff more – answer comments on this website and Do Some Damage. Then I sit down to do some marketing stuff.

As you’ll see the rest of this month, I divide my work day into Morning (writing) and Afternoons (marketing, walking, errands).

So off to do Marketing. Aka – Time Not Spent Writing Yet Done For Writing Purposes. Today I have a super fun thing to do — write something about my book for another website. I’m stoked. I find it amazing that any other website would even give a rat’s you-know-what about my book, so I’m digging this.

Soon, very soon, my marketing efforts will involve blabbing about book two in my series, which I really haven’t even talked about yet.

So here is my first mention – Blessed are the Meek comes out a month after Blessed are the Dead and today a good writing buddy told me I should probably start talking about it. Because he’s damn smart, I listened to him, so here you go — Blessed are the Meek can be pre-ordered here and comes out July 8.

Any day now, I will get my edit letter from my editor and will shift gears to get those edits done asap. She made my month last week by telling me she had read it and saying “Bravo!”

But back to today. I am spending the rest of this afternoon — until about 3:30 — doing that post for another website.

Because I’m a wife and mother, my “work day” generally runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. so that is the period of time during my day I will share with you.

Otherwise you would be bored by my account of herding children and other domestic chores and activities.

Stay tuned for tomorrow and don’t forget to see how Matthew Clemens, my partner in this project, did daily on his goals here on his website and here on Facebook.


UPDATE: Hold the phone! New plan! What I’m learning as a debut author is this: THANK GOD for my background as a reporter that required juggling three to four stories a day and shifting constantly from one to another as news breaks and phone calls are returned.

The reason why? I was cranking along on this post for this other website when I got an email from my publicist — (HOLY SMOKES I HAVE A PUBLICIST!!****) — talking to me about a possible promotion opportunity involving writing so … click … shift gears. Then, I get another email telling me I have some time to get back to her on story ideas so I tell her I’ll do so next week and shift BACK to what I was originally working on.

And believe me, I am not complaining. I love this. Love it. Love, love, love.
So until tomorrow, then ….

****Two years ago, saying the word “my agent” blew my mind. Six months ago, saying the word “my editor” blew my mind. Now, saying “my publicist” — blows my mind! The fact that I have all three right now = mind BLOWN.

Writing 2,500 (achieved 1,200)
Walking 1 mile (achieved .75 mile)

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Fully Exposed – Goals


Writing is a solitary endeavor.

Much of it is done sitting at home alone for hours on end.

And that’s fine.

But every once in a while a writer needs to turn to another writer for inspiration, motivation, or just a shoulder to cry (or bitch) on.

I’m super lucky to have Matthew Clemens as a writer friend who tolerates me doing all of the above.

A while back, Matthew and I started messaging each other daily, checking in on how much progress we’d made in hitting our writerly goals each day.

Most often that had to do with word count.

Which leads me to the Fully Exposed project.

Matthew and I decided to make our daily checking in public — which brings it to a whole different level of accountability. Coincidentally, we both have the same goals for this project – Writing and Walking.

You can check out Matthew’s goals on his Facebook and website pages and here are mine:


Write at least a thousand words a day.

My very prolific and talented writer friend Brad Parks has talked about this, even giving it a name — The Church of A Thousand Words. Check it out here. Brad is the man.

I first heard about this idea in Carolyn See’s book, “Making a Literary Life.”

Her rule is 1,000 words a day, five days a week for the rest of your life.

(Or if you are revising you can tweak that to two hours of revising, five days a week.)

What I found is that I can easily pump out 1,000 words in two hours of Butt in Chair.
They may not be brilliant. They may eventually end up deleted, but the point is I’m writing. I’m making progress on my novel. Every. Day.

And believe me, when I check in with some of my hardest working writer friends, 1,000 words a day is nothing. I think my pals Joelle Charbonneau and Owen Laukkanen probably hit more like 5,000 words a day.

I am very fortunate that my part-time job is on weekends so during the week, five days a week, I’m Butt in Chair for my 1,000 words right after I eat breakfast.

But I’m going to ramp it up to 2,500 words a day until I finish my young adult mystery novel. If I get it done before the end of the month, I’ll do three hours a day of revising.


I’m a much nicer and healthier and more mentally stable if I get in a daily walk. That has been a total bitch to accomplish this winter. But now that it’s spring, I’m going to be all over it. So my goal will be to walk at least a mile every day.

So welcome to our Fully Exposed project and please chime in with your thoughts whenever possible!

The fun begins tomorrow when you can read about how I did today. So far, not so good because I’m writing this instead of chipping away at those 2,500 words. But the day is young ….

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Cover Reveal and Do Some Damage


I’m so thrilled to announce that I am the new Sunday blogger over at the esteemed crime fiction website, Do Some Damage.

In my introductory post, you’ll also get to see my cover for the first time.

Hope you all love it as much as I do.

P.S. Check on my Facebook page for the chance to win a copy of my book before it’s June 10th release date.

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An Experiment by
Kristi Belcamino and Matthew Clemens

This was Kristi’s idea, and it started out pretty simple.

“We should trade word counts every day,” she said. That was how this began, then it grew. More than just a tool to hold ourselves accountable for meeting our word count every day, the plan has morphed into what I have taken to thinking of as thirty day job shadow.

Although everyone is welcome, unpublished writers are sort of our target audience here. No matter where I speak, this question always comes up, “What’s your work day like?”

For the month of April, Kristi and I will be showing you exactly what it’s like to live the writer’s life. Every day, we will each post our word count, how we’ve spent the day, what we have and have not accomplished, and generally just giving you an inside look at the lives of two professional writers.

Kristi’s first novel, BLESSED ARE THE DEAD, will be published June 10th and my twenty-second collaboration with Max Allan Collins, SUPREME JUSTICE hits the streets July 1. Other than both having books coming out this summer, we’re at different places in our lives and careers. She, for instance, has a family and a part-time job. I have a wife, two cats, and a very small office where I spend a good portion of my day.

So, come along, join in the conversation, maybe we’ll all learn something, have a little fun, and find our way through the first reality writing series.

We’ll have more about our goals and what we hope to accomplish with this project on Monday and then we pull the trigger Tuesday, letting you all know what went down on Monday, which will kick off our 30 days of FULLY EXPOSED.

You can find out more about Kristi at kristibelcamino.com and more about Matthew at www.matthewclemens.com.

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Noir at the Bar Footage

Here is slightly Blair-Witch-Project-Shaky footage of me reading at Noir at the Bar in January.

The professional camera footage was very well done but there was a glitch with the sound. The brewery was extremely loud and had horrible acoustics, so I decided to use amateur video figuring it was better for people to be able to hear my words than see me clearly.



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Categories: Appearances, Blessed are the Dead, This Writer's Life | 2 Comments