Monday, January 30, 2017

February 2017 Goals

Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish in the coming month:

Finish my f!%@&$*ing revisions for Second Nature.

Five scenes across three chapters. That's all that's left. (Yes, I know that in my last post there were only four scenes left. But now there are five. Again. Yay.) Sure, I vacillate hourly between so-close-to-being-done-that-I-can-taste-it and I'm-burying-this-damn-manuscript-in-the-backyard-and-never-looking-at-it-again, but I really, really, really don't want to have this goal again next month. With a little luck, that determination/desperation will be enough.

Come up with topic for my upcoming author appearance.

Yep. That's right. I said yes to doing another author appearance. The kind where I have to stand up in front of a group of people and speak intelligibly on some yet-to-be-determined subject for 10-15 minutes. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I do hope there's a treatment for it.

Read at least three books.

I'm currently three books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads challenge. (Thanks, Firefly-themed graphic novels!) It'd be a shame to fall behind now.

Walk, run, swim, or bike at least 3 miles every day.

I have managed to do this every day thus far this year, and I'd really love to continue this trend. I'm sure with all the revision-frustration pacing I've been doing that this goal will be no trouble whatsoever.

What are your goals this month? Or week, or day, or even in the next hour?

Have a great Monday, everyone. See y'all on Wednesday for the Insecure Writers Support Group...

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Little Things

Life has been feeling a little bit like this lately:

Because that's what life does. In order to combat this feeling, today I'm sharing those little things I'm celebrating this week:

—My beloved New England Patriots won the AFC Championship game and booked yet another trip to the Superbowl. Of course, this means that I will be super tense during said Superbowl. Sounds like a job for beer!

—It took almost two freaking years, but I finally found a Chinese restaurant in my area that serves edible lo mein. I love lo mein, but have been severely disappointed (well, as much as one can be where Chinese food is involved.) by the offerings thus far. I swear there must been a million Chinese food joints around (note: probably a slight exaggeration), yet not one of them served lo mein that I actually liked. But The Man and I found a new place to try, and I was giddy with glee to discover that it was actually good. Now I kind of want to order lo mein every night. I probably won't, though. Probably.

—On Monday, I had five scenes remaining on my latest editing To-Do List. I'm planning to do a more detailed post on this subject next week (consider yourselves warned...), but as of this writing of this post, I'm down to four scenes on the list. I, once again, didn't quite make the progress I had been hoping to make (see: first gif.), but this post is all about celebrating those tiny, little glimmers of progress. Right?

How was your week? What are you celebrating today?

Have a great weekend, everyone. See y'all on Monday. Or maybe Wednesday, if I forget. Which I never do.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Five Scenes, Three Chapters

So, apparently, I decided to take last week off from blogging. I'd like to say it was because I was so busy wrapping up my edits that I didn't have time for anything else, but you must know by now that my editing generally looks more like this:

But I did cross off one scene from the master to-do list, leaving me with five scenes across three chapters. Technically, one of those five scenes is done, but I'm feeling like it shouldn't be. Like, my changes aren't anywhere near as polished as I would like them to be. But I also reached the point where I just couldn't look at it anymore, so I submitted the scene in question to my critique group to see if they think it requires more work, or if it can officially move to the 'done' column. It's probably somewhere between the two. Needs some touching-up, but is not as bad as I believe it to be. Which is something I think I would be happy with. Mostly because I just can't look at it anymore.

Either way, I'll find out on Wednesday.

Until then, I hope to distract myself with copious amounts of editing. Or perhaps this instead:

Happy Monday, everyone. Have a great week!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Celebrations

Hello, all! Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

To close out the week, I thought I would share with you a few things that I'm currently celebrating:

—At the start of the year, I set a goal to walk/run/bike/swim at least three miles every day, and so far this year (all twelve days of it...), I have managed to meet or exceed this goal. I even went for a nine-mile bike ride. Outside. And you know how I feel about outside.

I sincerely apologize to anyone in a deep freeze zone. I know I'm a jerky jerkface
for complaining about the heat. I just miss New England so much.

—I am currently four books ahead of schedule on my 2017 Goodreads reading challenge. Sure, that's only because I read three short Firefly/Serenity graphic novels, and one short story, but if Goodreads counts it, then so can I.

For you, Patricia Lynne!
Also, that is not one of the book I've read this year.
Or ever. I will never read that book.

—At the start of January, Second Nature had nine scenes across five chapters in various stages of deconstruction because last year, I went crazy (crazier...) and decided that I hate everything I've ever written. Ever. Well, as of this post, I'm pleased to announce that I now only have six scenes across four chapters that still need to be Frankenstein-ed back together. (Just an FYI, I'm referencing the actual doctor here, not his creation.) It's not quite the pace I had hoped to set, but I am certainly happy to have crossed a few off the list.

Liz Lemon is my spirit animal.

—But what's even weirder than me actually crossing scenes off the never-ending editing list is that I actually kind of really liked how this one particular scene turned out. This, of course, made me immediately suspicious, so I submitted the scene to my critique group so they could tell me how wrong I was. But they didn't. They liked the scene, said it worked well, and when they told me that—brace yourselves—I actually kind of believed them.

I know, right? I'm shocked, too.

—And last, but certainly not least, rumor has it that there will be a new Echo Effect comic available today! The story took quite the interesting turn in the last strip, and I'm eager to discover what'll happen next. I mean, I'm worried about what will happen to the main characters, but that's just the mark of a good story, isn't it? Actually worrying about what might befall its characters? Anyway, I'm so excited...

And on that note, I'm outta here. (I'm hoping to cross off one more scene before the weekend.) How's your year gone so far?

Have a great weekend, all. See you next week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Road Trips, Life Lessons, and A Book Release

Hello, all!

Today, My Pet Blog belongs to author Tara Tyler. She's here as part of her blog tour for her latest fabulous release, Cradle Rock!

Take it away, Tara!


I fondly remember being young and stupid... Do you?

When I was in my 20s, I had a super fun, adventurous friend who took me with her on many of her wild travels. That was long ago, and I've since had a family, but she's still go go going! I miss her and our fun excursions.

For one of our first adventures, we joined a sport and social club so we could go on their yearly trip, this time to gorgeous Destin, Florida. We paid our fees and off we went. We had a blast playing in the sun and making new friends, like cute boys!

our roomies for the weekend and my fun friend Amber is the blonde =)

On the first night, the club leaders threw a party and I clicked with one particular guy. He played the guitar and sang, so dreamy. A bunch of us went out after to some clubs, and then we went for a walk on the beach in the moonlight. It was a magical night, or so I thought.

The next day, the boy was nice, but cool toward me. I wasn't upset, more puzzled since we seemed to connect and he seemed to really like me the night before. I wondered why he changed his mind, but not for long. I had too much fun when I was that age and didn't dwell on a guy if he wasn't interested. Plenty more where that came from!

Here's the moral of my little story in a few essential dating one-liners:

Don't get hooked too quick.
Infatuation isn't love.
You can't force someone to like you.

If it doesn't work out, don't ever think it's you - it's just not the right fit. You are perfect for someone, so don't give up, keep looking! (story edited for time and to protect the not so innocent!)

Any fond stories of love or escapades from your youth?
Or possibly some advice for singles in the...what do we call this the 20-teens?

Thanks for letting me take up space here, MJ! I enjoyed reminiscing and I hope it brought back sweet memories for you all too! Now go make some more - Happy 2017!


CRADLE ROCK, Beast World Book Two
by Tara Tyler

Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans--horrible creatures of myth and legend--may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!

Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.

But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.

Check out the Book Trailer!

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her three active boys and Coach Husband. Currently she has two series, Pop Travel (techno-thriller detective capers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures). To squeeze in writing, she economizes her time aka the Lazy Housewife. Make every day an adventure!

Talk to me!
Author Blog ~~ @taratylertalks ~~ Facebook ~~ Housewives Blog

Sign up for my quarterly newsletter if you'd like to find out more and you could win something!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

MDD (An IWSG Post)

Hello, all!

I'm late getting this post out again. Sorry, but I was deep down in the editing caves sobbing while stuffing my face full of chocolate cake editing, and completely forgot to resurface. It may look like a long post, but I assure you, it's mostly memes and gifs. Because that's how I communicate now.

Shall we get on with it?

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and also the year, which means it's time for another action-packed installment of the Insecure Writers Support Group.

I'm assuming that most of you are already aware of what this group is and what it does, but if you're looking for more information or a complete list of participants, please click on the above link...

Today's co-hosts are: Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham, Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather M. Gardner!

Today's (optional) prompt asks: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?

Well, this isn't intended to be the main focus of my post, but that 'show, don't tell' rule is currently giving me the hardest time (Stupid, lazy draft) so I will say that. But mostly, this is how I feel about writing rules:

Now on to the rest of the post!

All right, so in my last post, I told you about this woman in my critique group who believes I have some kind of Manuscript Dysmorphic Disorder. According to Wikipedia, body dysmorphic disorder (the inspiration for my condition) "is characterized by a obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of one's appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it." The flaw may be, in actuality, non-existent, or if it does actually exist, it's nowhere near as bad as the affected thinks it is.

I imagine that if my betas or critique partners were reading this post, they would read that explanation and go...

Because this is how is normally goes when they read for me:

Betas/Critique Partners be all like:

And then I'm all like:

Which is frustrating for all involved, I'm sure. Especially when I break out the spray bottle...(Just kidding. I wouldn't do that.)

But I'll figure it out eventually, right? I'll find whatever it is that bothers me so very much about this manuscript (and it is up to me to find it), edit the hell out of it, and then move on to another story, and do it all over again.

Can't wait...

That'll do it for me today. How are things going in your neck of the woods?

Monday, January 2, 2017

Maybe This Time

Happy New Year, everyone! May it somehow be better than that dumpster fire known as 2016.

This is my now-traditional start-of-the-year post in which I lay out my big goals for the coming year. (These are just the broad, ultimate goals. The breakdown as to how I might actually accomplish said goals does exist, but for brevity's sake, I don't share it in this post.)

Usually, this starts with a recap of how well I did with the goals from the year before, but we'll be skipping that portion this time around. Mostly because I have a lot of the exact same goals. Mostly because I failed to accomplish them the first time around.

But it's okay. I'm totally cool with it. Really.

Coincidentally, this is how I felt following last night's Sherlock premiere.

Well...maybe not.

Onto the goals! First up, as always, is...

The Writing Goal

Publish Second Nature.

As it was featured on this blog (and various other social media sites) multiple times over the last year, you may remember this picture:

It was taken on the first of January 2016, and marked the start of my editing process. Turns out, I can post it again today because I. Am. Still. Editing. Part of this is because of the amount of time I was forced to take off last year, but a larger part (and much more important part) is that I'm not happy with it. I can't put out a book I'm not happy with, so that's that.

As of this post, I have nine scenes across five chapters still awaiting my attention. Four of which I have absolutely no idea how to improve to my satisfaction. (There's a woman in my critique group who thinks I have some kind of manuscript dysmorphia. Which is probably a blog post in itself. Perhaps on IWSG day?) The others are, in theory anyway, easier fixes. Just time-consuming.

At any rate, finishing these freaking edits once and for all is priority #1.

Then I'll worry about the rest of it. (except that's kind of a lie. I worry about everything all the time.)

I'm aiming for a May 30th release. I know that's only five months from now. And I know I'm probably just going to end up watching it sail on by, but I have a big book fair I'm doing at the start of June, and I would really love to have Second Nature out and about for that event, so I'm going to try. Again, I don't know how realistic this goal is (It's not. At all.) but go big or go home, right?

The Reading Goal

Read 40 books this year.

This goal just keeps shrinking and shrinking. I used to set goals for 70, then 60. Last year it was 50. This year, it's 40. Last year, I only managed to read like thirty-something novels. Low thirties.

And yes, I was distracted by other things, but I don't like how much I'm not reading. Must improve in this area.

The Fitness Goal

A few years ago, I was in a good fitness routine. Regular work-outs, not overindulging on too many oversized baked goods, that kind of thing—and I was healthier and happier. (I think. It's been a while.) And then, something happened. I don't remember what the something was, but I fell out of the habit, and it's gotten worse since I've been living in this ridiculous, entirely-too-warm swamp state Florida. (I do not like to go outside in Florida. I like to sit in front of my air conditioner and weep.)

Hence, my goal is to get back into that fitness routine. Some way, some how. Probably not jogging, though...

The De-Cluttering Goal

This is probably pretty self-explanatory. There's way too much clutter in certain parts of the house (i.e., the rooms I happen to inhabit. I can't imagine why that is.) and I would like to change that. Or, at least improve on it. We've been in the Florida house for almost two years now, and I still have a bunch of stuff in boxes. Which means I could probably get rid of all of it. Most of it. Well, maybe just some of it.

Anyway, it's time to clean house and get organized and stuff like that. This goal, I like to think, will become Priority #1 once Second Nature actually makes it to the proofreader. (I'll need something else on which to focus...)

We'll see how it goes.

Except the books and weaponry, of course...

And on that note, I am outta here. Those edits will not complete themselves. I should know; I've waited long enough for that to happen.

Did you get any goals for 2017?