Wednesday, July 23, 2014

21 Day Sprint - Day 10

Worked on a bit more of the Ma Tutt novel, 1600 words today. Just never got going. May try Bombo tomorrow. As you can see from my updates, I've been up and down these past 10 days.

One thing I know, I'll have to have more up days than down if I want to write full time for a living. Chatted with a few full time writers recently. They both average 2500 to 3000 or more daily. Having missed two days, my average is only 1770 right now.

But, can't change the past. Can only control what I do from here on out. Here's to a better tomorrow. Thanks for reading. I appreciate your interest.

21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer
Word count and genre updates:
Day 1 - 3200 words (space western, horror)
Day 2 - 2400 words (satire/humor)
Day 3 - 2700 words (satire/humor)
Day 4 - 500 words (fantasy)
Day 5 - 2000 words (satire/humor)
Day 6 - 2700 words (satire/humor, bit of cozy)
Day 7 - (800 words non fiction, doesn't count toward total)
Day 8 - 0
Day 9 - 2600 words (cozy mystery)
Day 10- 1600 words (cozy mystery)
Total - 17,700 words of new fiction so far

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

21 Day Sprint - Day 9

Rough day yesterday, no original fiction words. Some days are like that, even during a sprint. (Not an excuse, but I did have two dentist appointments back to back yesterday, and that wore me out! lol)

So I bounced back today after a short morning nap and pounded out 2600 words in my new Ma Tutt story called "Time for Tea." It's the second tale in a series of five episodes that I'm writing for my second Mack the Magical Cat novel. Book 2 is titled Ma Tutt's Secret Spice.

I have the cover elements and color scheme picked out and my son-in-law should have a mock-up some time soon. Once I'm closer to finishing this novel (probably 45k words total), I'll host a cover reveal. It'll be similar in style as Ma Tutt's Donut Hut, which has garnered some nice compliments for both the cover and the story.

Speaking of which, my second interview is now online. Author and blogger Lisa Godfrees asked some great questions and is going to give away two free Ma Tutt ebooks next Monday. She will pick from those who comment on her blog, so please drop by, read the interview, and comment for a chance to win. Thanks!

Well, off to the gym to exercise (since I basically sat all day writing). Will add my word count updates later tonight. Until then, thanks for reading. I appreciate your interest, truly.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Break for Look Away Sunday

Didn't add to my fiction word count today, but I did write an 800 word reflection on an aspect of worship that I'd had some questions about. (See my "Look Away Sunday" commentary below the fold.)

Although I'm not opposed to writing on Sunday, I find that, in general, this day is best observed when I keep with a different routine. I don't post my usual silliness on Facebook on Sundays; in fact, I try to move away from electronic stuff completely on this day (but as you can see, not very successfully, lol).

At any rate, if you want to read more about such things, then by all means, read on. Thanks for your interest.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

21 Day Sprint - Day 6

Humbled and pleasantly surprised this morning. My favorite Starbucks barista (she was my favorite before she told me this!) mentioned that she bought a copy of my ebook, Ma Tutt's Donut Hut! She said, A bakery cozy with a cat? What's not to love about that?

My thoughts exactly. :)

Btw, Ma Tutt landed in the Top 100 on culinary cozy list at Amazon again, which is kind of cool. I need to hurry up and finish my next novel in the series so I can get some momentum going.

In fact, I was inspired to pen a short 100 word opening and bullet point a tentative storyline for the next section of book two today. So that counts in my word totals for sure. The tentative title of this tale is, "Time for Tea." (There's a hint there as to what the spice does in this adventure!)

As for the rest of my writing day, I kept dinking away at the Bombo story I've been working on. Added 2600 words to the middle section and can see where that's heading. Maybe 4 more days on it (need to work on Part 3 of the novel) and I'll email it to Bunker for a spit and polish. Having a blast so far.

Will forego the project updates as they're the same as reported yesterday, but here's the word count totals for my 21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer:

Day 1 - 3200 words (space western, horror)
Day 2 - 2400 words (satire/humor)
Day 3 - 2700 words (satire/humor)
Day 4 - 500 words (fantasy)
Day 5 - 2000 words (satire/humor)
Day 6 - 2700 words (satire/humor, bit of cozy)
Total - 13,500 words so far

Again, thanks for reading. Feel free to comment.

Friday, July 18, 2014

21 Day Sprint - Day 5

Not great, but not bad either. 2000 words to wrap up the first section of the Bombo Dawson satire I'm working on for Michael Bunker. Previously talked about it during this 21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer.

But why the sprint? Let's talk about that. I've heard it said that anyone can do something for 21 days if they simply decide to. Exercise 21 days in a row. Give up chocolate for 21 days (don't know why you would, it's an example, purely). Write for 21 days. Et cetera.

Why 21 days? I've heard (again) that it takes that long for a habit to form and thus for something to become...habitual. Part of one's routine. Ingrained.

That's my hope, anyway. Because at the end of this summer sprint, I head back to the classroom and I want to keep writing in my spare time. If you look below the fold, you'll know why. I have tons of projects I'm working on.

Plus, I want to have four novels published by the end of the year. And that can't happen unless I put fingers to keyboard every day. Thoughts about the process so far? What works for you to keep you writing?

Thanks for reading. Project updates below.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

21 Day Sprint - Day 4

Slacker that I am, today just didn't do it for me. Took two good naps, though!

As for what I wrote, I dabbled in 3 projects...

1) a 300 word "flash" piece for a little contest here. (BTW, please give my little micro-fiction a "thumbs up" - if you like it, that is. If I'm in the top three by the end of next week, I advance to the finals. ;)

2) a 200 word opening for a Sword of Otrim story. Last summer I wrote two medieval fantasy tales, and I'm thinking about writing a few more and then link them into an episodic novel, like I did with Ma Tutt.)

3) 1000 words nonfiction for an upcoming interview. I won't count this toward my daily word totals since it didn't advance a story. So I ended up with only 500 new words of fiction. Some days are like that.

Summary of word count and genre of projects:

Day 1 - 3200 words (space western, horror)
Day 2 - 2400 words (satire/humor)
Day 3 - 2700 words (satire/humor)
Day 4 - 500 words (fantasy)
Total - 8800 words so far

Projects on Deck (those I know I'll be working on in the next few months):
+ Ma Tutt's Secret Spice (Book #2 of Cat Cozy)
+ post-death horror story with Gustavo Bondoni
+ historical werewolf story with Jeff Chapman
+ spiritual suspense with Stoney M. Setzer
+ MG alt history with T. M. Hunter
+ space western with Dan Devine
+ thriller/mystery for Joe Konrath
+ YA paranormal with friend
+ cozy mystery with friend
+ a few others! lol

Thanks for following along on my 21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

21 Day Sprint - Day 3

Another day working on the satire story featuring Bombo Dawson (see yesterday's post for a summary of this collaboration project with my friend Michael Bunker). Pretty productive morning - 2700 words in about 4 hours of writing (with short breaks every hour). The story is in three parts of about 7 to 8,000 words per section. Michael will expand it where needed and we'll publish it this fall as a long novella/short novel.

Again, I probably could have done more writing this afternoon, and I figure I might as well start doing that during this challenge if I'm going to be a full time writer. See, this 21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer is a kind of test for me to determine if I have the discipline to write every day and produce a finished work. If you read yesterday's account, you'll note that I have plenty of projects to keep me busy. My problem is sticking with one and finishing it.

On the other hand. I get bored easily and sometimes want to let some story ideas percolate. So while one book is sitting idle (percolating!), I may jump into another work. I feel that urge coming on tomorrow or the next day. But first, I want to finish this section of the Bombo story so I can be free to fiddle with another story.

In fact, I took a short break from Ma Tutt right before this 3 week challenge, having just completed an 8k word tale to begin the second novel in my Mack the Magical Cat Mystery series. I'd like to get that second book out in August, so I'm almost ready to jump back to life at Sugar Pine Station. :)

Thanks for reading. Word count update and tally below the fold.

Oh, and PS, I received an invitation by Lisa Godfrees, Christian author and blogger, to be interviewed. Look for that soon (next week, maybe). And if you missed it, here's a recent interview by Jeff Chapman, friend and writer. Appreciate your support. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

21 Day Sprint - Day 2

Pretty productive morning - wrote from 7 to noon with breaks every hour and hammered out 2400 words. Which is good, but I have to tell you I slacked off in the afternoon. I could have come back and added another 1000 or 1500 words.

But I read a book instead. Ah well. Tomorrow's a new day.

The project I was working on this morning was a Bombo Dawson story, a collaborative effort with my friend Michael Bunker. Michael has written two other short Bombo Dawson novels, both satires. They are extremely funny, but you have to be in the mood for this kind of thing.

His first Bomob story evolved from a Nanowrimo style event and is called Hugh Howey Must Die!; and the second is titled Legendarium, which he wrote with our mutual friend, Kevin G. Summers. My novel, for which I'll do most of the writing and Michael will polish off by adding his trademark humor via our hero Bombo, is tentatively called Hugh Howey Must Live! Or, The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Bombo Dawson.

Unless Bunker hates it.

Then I'll take out all the references to his proprietary characters, finish it, and publish it myself. Won't make as much money that way, because really, the goal is to get my name on the same book cover as Bunker - the popular author of an Amish SF novel called Pennsylvania - and bask in his success. (satire, sarcasm, truth ;)

See you tomorrow with another update. Thanks for reading!

(Daily progress report for my 21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer is below the fold.)