Dawn Montgomery

3rd Quarter Craziness

In #amwriting, Challenges, Goals on September 22, 2013 at 4:13 am

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*Note: Updated to add the new Sales of Deep Cravings to Ellora’s Cave on 26 September and Thunder and Roses to Loose-Id on 30 September 2013! How awesome is that??

This week was a wild one. Publishing is an interesting business.  I spent all last weekend studying submission requirements. Not fun stuff. T&R went out to three new publishers so that’s off my plate. My website has a link to this awesome summer event: BTS Summer. Totally cool stuff!  I had a rough end of the week because of weather changes. It settles in my back while making me beg for mercy, and not in a sexy way.

I was away from my desktop for most of the week (where I have my wips ready to roll out) so I spent time hanging out on Facebook and just having fun between. Nothing like some recovery time to ask crazy questions with insane goals. On Thursday I sat at three hundred and something likes on my author page. I asked for some sharing and likes to see if I could get to 500. I expected two weeks and a gradual increase. So when my page hit 500 likes in less than 15 hours after my initial post I was in shock. Amazed! There are so many other emotions.

In thanks for this amazing feat, I’m working on a free read (Ravenous) for my Author page fans!

Thank you for 500

On Saturday my husband, SuperChef, and I finished up the final touches on the Better Than Sex Red Velvet Cupcakes (for my Christmas story, Hidden Confection). I love them. They are sooo good! So here we are, the end of the Round of Words in 80 Days third quarter. While there’s still a week remaining in this quarter, I’m coasting. Here it is, down and dirty:


#ROW80 3rd Quarter Hotwash



Prep for 3rd Quarter


  1. Figured out what I was going to work on
  2. Web prep and documents ready
  3. Cleared the plate of all other works in progress before the event began

During the Event


  1. Planning for the edits with Thunder and Roses didn’t prepare me properly for the sheer wordage of the novel. Thunder and Roses moved into August with additional edits. September led into an R&R we had to refuse. Re-subbed to our top three publisher choices. *Thunder and Roses was accepted by Loose-Id on 30 September.
  2. Submitted the stories below (check Books/Stories Submitted). Total came to eight, including the free read. This is by 22 September. There’s another week or so to go.
  3. Checked in almost daily with the Camp crew and my writing group
  4. In July I averaged about 1300-2000 words or so a day on the days I wasn’t working on edits or submissions. (YAY me! I usually average about 500 a day)
  5. Middle of summer burn out with the kids contributed to some tough hurdles.
  6. Four days of post-military medical evaluations and traveling wore me down in July.
  7. Back to school was hectic, but my days are so much better.
  8. On the days I was writing, the words were like magic.
  9. On the days I wasn’t writing, I was still working on the book.
  10. Tired. When I hit the last week of NaNo, I was tired. Beyond tired. The end of August was even worse. Mid-September I was ready for a break. Now I’m relaxing and writing at my own pace. No pressure or stress walking into October. Everything’s done that can possibly be done.
  11. I had to change what I was going to work on throughout the quarter. It left half a dozen work in progress pieces to work through toward the end of the final quarter. 😀
  12. Received Stay the Night‘s coverart. Love it!
  13. Took four workshops: Savvy Summer Symposium, Biker 101 (the New Cowboy), Steampunk America, and Harlequin’s SYTYCW workshop.
  14. Developed a recipe for my Christmas book. Better Than Sex Red Velvet Cupcakes. They really are DELICIOUS! So much fun!

Books/Stories Submitted


  1. Thunder and Roses (novel) submitted July 2013 (resubmitted in September *and was accepted 30 September by Loose-Id)
  2. Private Cowboy (short story) submitted (short story) July 2013
  3. Chocolate Kiss (quickie: less than 15k but greater than 7k) submitted  August 2013 *and was accepted 26 September by Ellora’s Cave
  4. The Collector (short story) submitted (and politely rejected) August 2013
  5. The Eyes of Sol (NA Sci Fi pitch) completed August 2013
  6.  Hidden Confection (quickie) submitted and accepted September 2013
  7. Carter’s Legacy (chapter one submission for Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest) submitted September 2013
  8. Ravenous (free read for my Facebook Author Page fans) Written, formatted, and posted for download September 2013 (links to come)

Lessons Learned


Strengths

  1. Touching base with everyone made me write when I thought I couldn’t any more. I had a ton of speedwriting sessions throughout this quarter.
  2. My word count went up. A LOT.
  3. Finding creative solutions when I wouldn’t be at my desk during the quarter
  4. When I actually sat down and read through it all, I was shocked by how much I’ve accomplished.

Weaknesses

  1. Poor planning on the part of summer vacation.
  2. Expecting to waltz through edits, submissions, and physically exhausting events. (HAH)
  3. Went off track on one story so often I don’t recognize it anymore.
  4. Balancing writing with other aspects of the job, my family, and the life. 🙂 Ongoing thing to fix.

Future Planning


  1. Don’t expect huge word counts in the summer.
  2. Give myself rest days after large mind and body drains like edits and evaluations.
  3. Take the time to put myself back on track when I veer off in a story. It’ll save me headaches later and I might stay motivated enough to keep going.

Goals for the Final Quarter


  1. NaNoWriMo workshop here on the blog.
  2. Finish and Submit Feral Hunger
  3. If I move on to the second round in SYTYCW, have the full of Carter’s Legacy ready to submit mid October.
  4. Polish up (and update) another novella I wrote back in 2008. Submit it for publication as soon as it’s ready.
  5. Edit, format, and publish Shift the Night for a Veteran’s Day release.
  6. Pulp novel project for NaNoWriMo
  7. Dragons Never Lie finished and submitted.
  8. Silver Tongue Devils (maybe) written and submitted.
  9. Begin writing Sabian
  10. Start planning aspects of book 2 with Ditter Kellen in the Thunder and Roses Universe.
  11. Clone myself in triplicate in order to get all this done. Geesh.

Expected non-writing moments for the final quarter


  1. My oldest son’s birthday October 7th!
  2. Halloween is a three-timer: My second oldest daughter’s birthday, the kickoff for NaNoWriMo and one of my favorite holidays. 😀
  3. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Enough said.
  4. NaNoWriMo insanity and rebellion (from my family mostly).
  5. More classes on the horizon.
  6. Book launch, formatting, etc.

Book Release Schedule (as of 22 September)


  1. Stay the Night, Dark Talisman #2 – November 11th
  2. Red Velvet Christmas: Hidden Confection – December 6th
  3. *Deep Cravings – unknown
  4. *Thunder and Roses – January 2014

Well, that’s it how I did for the third quarter and what I have planned for next quarter. I hope you found it entertaining.


Final 3rd Quarter #ROW80 update of current works in progress


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The word count app at Critique Circle is too buggy. Too many times it has lost the word count, changed the name of the work in progress, etc. So I’ve moved back to ol’ reliable with Writertopia.

500 Likes Free Read

Shift the Night

Dragons Never Lie

Feral Hunger

 

I’m part of a fantastic group called A Round of Words in 80 Days, and if you’d like to see how everyone else is doing, check out the list HERE.

Would you like to be a part of our writing challenge? Check out the rules HERE.

Keep Writing!

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  1. As always, your Hotwash posts are both expansive and a bit intimidating, Dawn. You get so much done (even if you say you were burned out a few times). And the lessons learned section is a great mini-evaluation tool…. one I suspect many of unconsciously do, but never make into a written format. I think that getting it down, as you do, is the key.

    Thanks for the reminder. And here’s looking forward to another ROWnd. May you get the acceptances you’re waiting for.

    • Oh honey, I’m so sorry if they seem intimidating! I promise that’s not my intention! My first six months of this year would have been posts like…

      “Still working on the novel. Only got 10k more this month. Managed to write 500 words this week. I haven’t written in two weeks. Etc.” I probably should have posted during those months. LOL!

      Then there was the two years I wrote but never finished anything. It’s just nice to be at a place where I can be more productive again.

      • It’s a good kind of intimidating, Dawn, never fear. I’m glad I’ve gotten a chance to see a few in action (so to speak).

        And you’re so right about how easily posts can become that second paragraph. It’s certainly my curse…

      • I’m glad, then!

        For a long time I was a part of a writing group where someone was always doing horrible with their writing. Taking too long, blocked, etc. One person would mention it and then the rest would feed the negativity by talking about what was going wrong with us, how horrible it was. At times it was like a competition for how many obstacles jumped in our path to keep us from writing. I deployed and had limited internet access (and no access to chat rooms or yahoo IM, which is what our group used at the time). Here I was in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert away from my husband and my writing friends, but I was writing more than I ever had. Maybe it was less stress. Nope, trust me on that one. I, as far as I know, was the only one writing anything, so it wasn’t the company I was keeping. I might have been bored, I thought.

        So I came home from the deployment so happy to be home and that buzz to write, that drive I had in the desert was still there, calling to me. I spent a few weeks (R&R and leave) delving back into American culture and I was still writing…until I went back into the writing group. Less than three chats and I was suddenly blocked again and frustrated. Everything was going wrong. A writing friend from the group popped over to my IM and asked me what writing was like while I was away. I told her all about it and how, even though the stresses of war and working in a triage hospital got to me, I could still write, but now I couldn’t. She and I thought about it and decided maybe it was the negativity.

        So we jumped over to another chat and started motivating each other in a positive way. Every word gain was a celebration without competition. A week of this and suddenly we both started writing faster and without bogging down.

        In the past eight years of my writing life I’ve realized a hard truth…giving in to negativity is feeding the monster. It will suck out all your energy and leave you in tears. Staying positive and turning your stumbling moments into a positive light (I failed because I only wrote a chapter all June becomes Don’t expect high word counts when summer is in full swing) will keep you writing when nothing else can.

      • I can’t vouch for what it’s like on the battlefront, but I can vouch for how negativity is our own worse enemy. So, yeah, I agree with everything you’ve said here, and I love the way you describe your realizations, Dawn.

        And just to clarify–I meant “intimidating” in the way that a good commander or teacher or leader inspires… sometimes by sheer force of being. My “gut” says we all started out the same, but X person made it to that level, and it’s worth seeing how…. That sort of “intimidating”. 😀

      • Negativity is definitely our worst enemy! I couldn’t have said it better.

        Wow, that’s an incredible compliment. Thank you!

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