Dawn Montgomery

Archive for January, 2016|Monthly archive page

Weekly Writing Update #ROW80

In #amwriting on January 10, 2016 at 5:03 am


It’s the first round of A ROUND OF WORDS IN 80 DAYS! I am super excited this year (for many reasons!). Middle of the night post for me, so please excuse the short, choppy sentences. I just hit 26 hours awake and the brain is foggy.

My goal for last week was simple: 10 hours dedicated to my dragon story. NAILED IT! WOOHOO! Total hours: 11.5 ūüėÄ

Goal for this week: 40 hours on dragon: 20 hours of writing, 10 hours of editing, 10 hours free for rewrites, tweaks, and submission by January 16th. Continue working on freewrite Fantasy story after I complete my daily goals. 

Challenges I faced last week:

Drama with a capital D. And shopping for school supplies since my new college semester starts in a week. I’m nervous about whether I’m able¬†to balance writing and school this semester. All of my classes are animation-related, so that means lots of out of school projects. Lots of them. And a 13 hour Friday. Two classes, gap between, and nowhere to go while I wait. At least I’ll have time for writing and extra time for working on my projects at school.

Organization was a bear this week. Getting on track, as well. Also, moving into a new office made things tough. I’m still half packed and all my reference materials are scattered. Poor Planning = Slow Going.

What did I do to overcome my challenges:

Avoided the drama. It’s not related to me. I’ve learned that being a peacemaker is about balancing your life and the lives around you. There are lines of behavior that can’t be crossed without pushing people too far. Letting the energy vampires in your life run the show isn’t keeping the peace, it’s letting you be a doormat. So I was firm last week. The drama stayed out of my house. Or else.

Shopping was an adventure, as always. I get all giddy over office supplies, but over the years I’ve realized simple is best when it comes to me being organized. One notebook per class. Color coded. I set up the first ten pages or so into a pocket¬†configuration so I don’t have to keep track of folders with in class handouts.¬†Sort of like this adorable little girl’s tutorial. I think I need to take a picture so you see what I mean. I’ve tried to explain it six times now and my fog brain is keeping me from making sense.

I don’t have any idea where the inspiration actually came from for making the pockets the way I did. I just started doing it one night after I’d lost my class folder for what felt like the hundredth time (found out at the end of the semester that my littlest son had thought they were for his class since they were the same color as his homework folders. He had seven of them at school with my paperwork in them LOL). I’ve got this gorgeous scrapbooking paper that was just going to waste since I’d stopped being a Creative Memories consultant¬†so I used that to reinforce the outside. The heavy weight made the pocket resilient. I love doing it!

I have a dump binder at home for anything that’s too large to go in those. I’ve got my homemade planner that changes as I do so I can keep myself on track.

I splurged on a new “work purse” so I don’t have to carry a backpack and a purse to school anymore. I needed something that would carry my keyboard, Kindle Fire, plugs, books, etc. and be easy to handle for a gal walking with a cane (hey, I make this cane look GOOD!). I found one on-the-cheap at my local mega mart. Expensive doesn’t work for me as I am BRUTAL on my bags. If this style works, I’ll move up to a more durable design. I haven’t carried a purse full time since…well…ever, I think, so this will be interesting. I miss my backpack already, but the ongoing issues with my back (and my habit of overloading my backpack with everything but the kitchen sink) has forced my hand. I need a smaller package with less pockets so I only take what I need with me.

Home office organization: I have a standing desk that is actually a leaning book shelf I got from Linens and Things back in 2005 (when they were still around). The middle tier is the perfect height for me so I set it up tonight. The second highest shelf is at perfect eye level so I put my motivation stuff there and set up my index card stand. I should probably do some pictures and a few quick tutorials for you guys. The office unpacking and organization is still in progress, but I can’t move any faster with deadlines breathing down my neck. It’s driving me crazy, but I’m maintaining my patience as much as possible. One box a day and I’m cheering.

I hope you are doing well so far! I’m ahead of schedule, but not so much that I can slack off.

Would you like to see how others are doing in their writing challenges? Click HERE for the linky list!

Keep Writing!
Dawn Montgomery


I Dream of Dragons, Demons, and Deadlines

In Goals on January 3, 2016 at 6:09 am

Hello Readers! Welcome back to the insanity of my¬†writing blog. It is the first week of 2016 and I’m knee-deep in dragons, demons, and deadlines. All related to fiction, of course. ūüėÄ

Weekly Goals:

Some publishing news first: WTF Dragons (the Dragons of Werthing Ton Fallorian, of course) are back! No Dragon, No Problem and Once Upon a Dragon have received a new cover facelift, and books 3, 4, and 5 are in my queue to be finished. This week I’ll be focusing on book 3: Dragons Never Lie. My goal for the week is going to be in hours vs. word count. I’ll dedicate ten hours this week to WTF Dragons 3.

My FreeWrite Book of the quarter is Shadow Lies, an epic fantasy that recently recaptured my attention from my ancient work in progress folder. I will only work on it after I finish my WTF Dragon goal of the day. It’s in a genre I don’t usually write in so it’s sparking a different part of my brain and allowing me to take chances I normally wouldn’t (in erotic romance, anyway). So far it’s a straight fantasy work, but we’ll see if a romance develops in the story line.

It’s also the start of A Round of Words in 80 Days or #ROW80 on all social media outlets. It’s the quarterly writing challenge that knows you have a life. So this means I get to pick my own goals for the quarter. I will only have 2-3 hours per day this semester as my college course load is super intense. What follows are my FIRST QUARTER¬†goals. I know it seems like a lot but a great deal of these titles are already almost done.

Contracted Works to turn in:

  • Dragons Never Lie (WTF Dragons 3)
  • Dragon Arse (WTF Dragons 4)
  • A Tail of Two Dragons (WTF Dragons 5)
  • Dark Rider (The Fallen 2)
  • Sky City Multi Author Book (Title tbd)

Indie Books to write, edit, polish, and publish: 

  • Devil’s Due (Silver Tongued Devils 2) (currently in the revision phase)
  • Winter Guardian (The Fallen 1) (currently in the expansion and revision phase)
  • Last Rites (Reverted Rights book that needs extensive rewrites)
  • Voodoo Carnival Boxed Set (currently in the formatting for publication phase)
  • A Wish Before Dying Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 and Boxed Set (Holly Savage)

FreeWrite Book for the quarter (the book I work on after I meet my daily writing goals, my carrot on the stick):

  • Shadow Lies (epic fantasy)

Are you participating in A Round of Words in 80 Days? If so, please go HERE to check out other writers in the challenge. Are you new to #ROW80 and want to learn more? Awesome! Check out the about page HERE.

I’m looking forward to seeing you on the next post.

Good luck in your week, whatever challenges you¬†may¬†tackle, and I’ll see you as soon as I can.

Keep Writing!

Dawn Montgomery

Free Calendar Printable

In #amwriting on January 2, 2016 at 2:24 am

Every year I build a word count tracking calendar for my Word Slinger Writing Groups. It has a 750-word per day (or 20k per month if you take one day or so off a week) set up, but you can use it however you like. Each box represents 250 words. There is nothing more satisfying than crossing off each box as you go!¬†If you write more than 2500 words a day on average (the maximum boxes available), change the value of each box to 500 words. It’s fully adaptable to your needs.


Please let me know if you spot any errors. For the complete calendar, CLICK HERE. The PDF should download automatically. You’ll need Adobe Reader to view and print the document.

This is based on David Seah’s NaNoWriMo calendar from 2013, and has been adapted for my writing groups’ (I maintain two of them) needs. I built it when he was developing his 50k a month calendar. If you’d like to check that out, it’s available for $7 at his awesome site. CLICK HERE to learn more. Also, if you’re a productivity and project junkie like myself, check out the rest of his incredible¬†notebooks, planners, and more! Just sharing the love since I adore¬†anyone who helps feed the crazy that is National Novel Writing Month.

This works perfectly for those doing the official (or unofficial) 750 words a day challenge. The official page is HERE¬†(it requires a $5 a month membership to participate in their events and track your words). Unofficially, the 750 words a day challenge is all over the ‘net.

Do you like stuff like this? Are you using it this year? If so, how is it going for you? Did you use last year’s? Did you want to see more things like this?

Happy Writing!

2016 Goals

In #amwriting, Challenges, Goals on January 1, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Chapter 2016

Hello everyone! Welcome to 2016! I have goals in four categories this year:

  1. Writing
  2. Education
  3. Health
  4. YouTube (What? No, seriously!)


The stuff in blue is required by either contract or deadline. The rest is wishful thinking IF I get finished with the first part of the list.

In alphabetical order:

Ongoing Series

The Fallen

  • ¬†Winter Guardian expansion and print
  • ¬†Dark Rider (working title) releases May 1st in a (title TBD) boxed set.

Holly Savage

  • A Wish Before Dying

Silver Tongued Devils

  • Devil’s Due (Preorders go up mid-January)
  • The Devil’s Own
  • The Devil Wars a Crown
  • Silver Tongued Devils in Print
  • Devil’s Due in Print

Voodoo Carnival

  • Boxed Set release of the entire serial
  • Print release of the entire serial

WTF Dragon Series

  • Dragons Never Lie
  • Dragon Arse
  • A Tail of Two Dragons
  • WTF Dragons Collection in Print

New Series

Nightmare Gale

  • Enraptured
  • Entranced
  • Entwined

Sky City (multiauthor)

  • Title TBD

Spaceport: New Tortuga (Spinoff from Silver Tongued Devils)

  • Rogue Bounty (revise, expand, edit, and publish an old title)
  • SNT 2 (Title TBD)

Wolfen Underground (MMA shifters)

  • Savage¬†
  • Renegade
  • WU 3 (Title TBD)


Standalone Titles

These  will be added as they pop up since most of them are based on rights reversion from publishers.

Last Rites: revision, edit, and publish

Angel’s Masquerade: revision and resubmit requested. Finish it and turn it in.

Carter’s Legacy: Revision and submit to an agent


I complete my associates degree at the end of December if I don’t miss a beat classes-wise. I need to stay focused. This will be an ongoing challenge per month (once I’m back in class, I’ll do a post).


Four main focus areas this year:

  1. Standing vs. Sitting. I need to move from standing to sitting on a regular basis. This year I’m going to figure out an effect way to do this.
  2. I need to work on my grazing habits. I eat my feelings. If I’m stressed, tired, worried, or nervous…I eat. LOL. If I can’t curb the grazing, I need to ensure that I have foods ready to go. Also, I need to plan ahead for my meals when I’m at college.
  3. Walking and exercising. I walk a lot in school. The campus is quite a commute, and I have to do a lot of walking to get to the right buses, etc. I need to find something to do on a regular basis that makes me feel better about myself
  4. Taking better care of my mental health by knowing when I’ve reached my limit and taking the days I need to take for rest. Working from home and going to school full-time knocked me on my butt last year. I need to get a handle on my cycles of behavior.


Not as a writer, well, not for most of the year. No, I’m exploring YouTube as a mom to a very enthusiastic kiddo who loves stop motion. I have a crafting blog that will launch at the end January where I explore the way we create his movies¬†as well as other crafty goodness. I have a list of tutorials I need to do including my writing planner video (I made mine from scratch). Each month will have a different goal. This month I just need to get the website launched and the youtube channel sorted.


So, if you’re following along, or ended up here via a search engine, here are the tags I will be using this year.

Click Here– for the thirty day challenges post (this one will be included in that tag as it’s my first mention of it)

Click HereРfor all posts related to the year-long writing challenge I participate in called A Round of Words in 80 Days.

  • First Quarter 2016
  • Second Quarter 2016 (tag will be updated when it’s created)
  • Third Quarter 2016¬†(tag will be updated when it’s created)
  • Fourth Quarter 2016¬†(tag will be updated when it’s created)

Click Here– for all posts related to YouTube and my crafting channel

Click Here– for all posts related to Health

Click Here– for all posts related to my degree and education

What are you planning for 2016?

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