Fully Exposed – Day 8

tumblr_liwe9dlFs91qa3cfvo1_500
My youngest was in a school play this morning. Made me so proud. She definitely inherited her father’s singing and acting ability, because she doesn’t get it from me, that’s for sure.

Then off to write at a café, albeit starting an hour late, which is fine.
I revised Blessed are the Meek from 10 to 1:30 p.m.

Right when I was logging off my computer at the café, I got an email from my editor, who if I haven’t mentioned already, I adore. She’s unbelievably smart, and cool, and savvy and I’m incredibly grateful to be working with her. So I’m always thrilled to get an email from her. This time was no different, but it did cause me to hyperventilate for about two seconds.

Along with revisions to Blessed are the Meek (which are due May 1), it looks like this next week will also be spent doing edits from the copyeditor on Blessed are the Dead and those are due next week.

This business and the stress of trying to get everything done is a good problem. I mean, I’ve dreamed of being in this position for years, right? And here, I am, so busy working on writerly stuff, I can barely surface for air. And I love it at the same time I’m having mini panic attacks about it.

One of my super talented and successful writer friends reminded me to take a breath and not get too crazy and it was just what I needed to hear today.

And I reminded myself once again my priorities are thus: Family and THEN writing. And so I need to be able to turn it all off at night when I’m around my family and enjoy their company and be relaxed and not a stress ball around them.
So that will be my challenge this week.

So back home, I took an hour for lunch, errands, and a walk, which helped the stress dissipate quite a bit.

When I got back, I had an hour to start tackling the copyedits before I had to shift into Italian Mama mode.

I got a thrill reading my manuscript all laid out ready to go with my dedication page and everything all set. And learned a lot reviewing what the copy editor did. For instance, now I know that “douchebag” is actually two words “douche” and “bag.” But really, glad to have someone going through and catching all my mistakes and making my novel all pretty and stuff. YAY!

Today, I am counting my blessings. I am incredibly grateful for my life, that my family is healthy and we are fortunate to have a safe place to live and I can send my kids to good schools and the sun is out and I’m exactly where I want to be at this point in my writing career.

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.

Today’s Stats:
Goals:
Writing: 2,500 words or three hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile
Results:
Writing: 3.5 hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fully Exposed – Day 7

IMGP3582Covering the Death Beat: My day at the newspaper.

Sundays typically go like this: mass, the after-party at my in laws, and reporting at the newspaper.

On this weekend day, my fiction writing almost always gets zero attention.

The most I do is check on comments at Do Some Damage (my posts run every Sunday) and do a little online surfing, but other than that, my goals are not anywhere even close to met on Sundays. And that’s okay. This is my day off from writing.

Work at the newspaper was stressful — death and violence. A couple killed on the freeway — dad driving 100 mph smashed into the back of a semi truck killing himself and his pregnant wife and leaving their one-year-old an orphan. A shooting, (which at first sounded like a big deal, reported as shot to the head when it was a arm wound). A man missing in the Mississippi after the Hummer he was in seemingly purposely plunged into the river. A woman who gunned her engine and ran over a man after an argument, sending him to the hospital in serious condition. A body found.

I felt like I was overwhelmed and never quite managed to do justice to one story, instead just played catch up. I should’ve just jumped on one story and gone full out, but instead I tried to add bits and pieces to each one. And those phone calls I make to grieving family members — which I talk about in that Do Some Damage post yesterday — well, last night, I left messages everywhere and could never reach a family member, who apparently did call back the competing paper. Ack!

Not my greatest night at work. The regular police reporter was very sweet when I gave her an update, said that I work my butt off and that I can’t expect to get everything because newspapers are understaffed. Which took away some of the sting, but I tossed and turned in bed last night, wondering how I could have done it all differently.

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.

Today’s Stats:
Goals:
Writing: 2,500 words or three hours of revision
Walking: 1 mile

Results:
Writing: 0 toward novel
Walking: 0

 

 

Categories: Fully Exposed | 2 Comments

Fully Exposed – Day 6

DSC_8777Anybody who follows me on Facebook probably knows this about me — Saturdays are for Pinterest. It is the one morning a week I allow myself to indulge in this fun site. I do have some bookish pins there that show my characters and the areas where they live, but I also have cute animals, clothes, and food pins.

As Matthew mentioned on his site, my weekends are different than his. My work week is really Monday through Friday. Between parenting and other sluttish housewifery* activities, there is no way I can have that type of focus or concentration I need to work on my novel.

I did use today as an opportunity to get organized and to whip out some guest posts for other people’s sites and publications. My agent also has me working on something for my Gabriella Giovanni series so I worked on that, as well.

In addition, I made room for fun — as I mentioned, played around on Pinterest, but also finished Lyndee Walker’s terrific novel, FRONT PAGE FATALITY, and finally got a chance to crack my buddy, Owen Laukkanen’s gripping new book, KILL FEE!

I didn’t make my goals, but all in all a really good day.

I’ll leave you with this bit of inspiration I found — a terrific article about the routines of geniuses.

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.

Today’s Stats:

Goals:

Writing: 2,500 words or three hours of revision

Walking: 1 mile

Results:

Writing: Nothing toward novel, but very productive writing day otherwise

Walking: 0

*Despite the provocative name, sluttish housewifery does not involve being a slut or being promiscuous. It means lazy. I cribbed the phrase from my friend Kristin Boldon — who borrowed it from Bridget Jones.

Categories: Fully Exposed | 2 Comments

Fully Exposed – Day 5

fullyexposed

I ventured through the snowstorm out to the office today (local coffee shop) and met up with some writer friends.

Before I realized it, I’d been revising and editing for four hours and was about to faint from hunger, so back to home base for some food!

I’m stoked that I got so much done on Blessed are the Meek, but also feel a little tapped out creatively and I’ve got stuff to do. My walk will not happen because the crap all over the sidewalks (snow) is up to my knees and I don’t have the energy to plod through it. No thank you.

So the walking goal will be a big FAIL today. Again.

This afternoon, I’m going to work on the list of articles I am now writing for magazines, book reviews, blogs and websites in promo sorts of ways. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be doing this. Again, I’m astonished to be in this position, where people actually want to promote me and my book.

I will never take this for granted. It is the best thing ever and something I feel like I’ve been working years and years to have happen. I’m going to remember to appreciate this whole debut author process.

But mostly I thank my lucky stars I wrote a mystery.

I am still astounded by how supportive, encouraging and just plain kick ass this mystery writing community is. The support has gone beyond all my dreams. And I truly feel like I have a whole new world of friendship opened up to me — this mystery community welcoming me with open arms.

It’s wonderful and strange at the same time. Strange because for so long, we as writers do it in isolated settings. We write our books alone for months, sometimes years, and then bam — one day, an entire universe unfolds before you.

I am so grateful for this. For the friendships I’m making more than anything.

So, I’ll sign off today, feeling blessed.

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.

Today’s Stats:

Goals:
Writing – 5 hours revising
Walking – 1 mile

Results:
Writing – 4 hours revising
Walking – O

Categories: Blessed are the Meek, Fully Exposed | 2 Comments

Fully Exposed – Day 4

fullyexposed

I got sucked into a vicious spiral of designing and revising Facebook cover pages on Thursday morning. Lots of fun, but a total time suck.

If you want an entire morning swept away, this is the website that sucked me in — here you go: It’s addicting and awesome and I love it.

Finally at 9, I had to employ my secret weapon, Mac Freedom, which turns off my online access. I programmed it for 90 minutes. That’s usually about the longest I can go without resorting to grabbing my phone and hopping online that way.

Made it! Got my three hours of revising and editing in. At this point, I’m 100 percent back in Gabriella Giovanni’s world again, even though I first wrote the novel (Blessed are the Meek) a year ago. I’m living it now and feel more confident in my revisions and even more excited about how my editor’s suggestions are making this story come to life.

My editor said she thinks this second book might even be better than my first and that is the biggest compliment I could have received. My goal is to become a better writer with every book I put out.

After my three hours of immersing myself in Giovanni’s world, I surface for air and go forage for lunch, run errands, and try to stay warm on this wet rainy day. Errands take longer than I like, but I’m still spending under an hour for lunch-time activities, so that’s good.

I’m back at the computer, polishing a post for Dru’s Musings and taking a look at my Do Some Damage post. Darn you, Joelle Charbonneau, for being such a tough act to follow. : )

Even though as a newspaper reporter, I’m used to pounding out as many as four newspaper articles a day, I’m sweating over a tiny blog post. Ack! The pressure. Oh well, I’ll put something I like together and hope everyone else likes it, as well.

And then, at night on my way to pick up Juicy Lucy’s from Matt’s for my writer’s group meeting, the day gets even better with a phone call from one of the Dignitaries of the Mystery Writing Community — seriously, a true king, talking to me about my work. I just about lost my mind with happiness.

And then — my writing group, where they critiqued my young adult mystery. I wasn’t sure about writing YA, but my group loved it. In fact, one member said he thought it was the best writing I’d ever submitted to them, so that made me super happy and motivated to finish it after I get all my edits done for Blessed are the Meek.

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.

Today’s Stats:
Goals:
Writing – 5 hours revising
Walking – 1 mile
Results:
Writing – 3 hours revising
Walking – 0*

Categories: Blessed are the Meek, Fully Exposed | 3 Comments