Dawn Montgomery

Posts Tagged ‘#ROW80’

Weekly Writing Update #ROW80

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

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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

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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

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!)

Writing


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


Education


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).


Health


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.

YouTube


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?

Writer in the Battle Arena: The Unpleasant HouseGuest

In #amwriting, Challenges on May 13, 2015 at 1:18 am

ROW80LogocopyIt’s midweek check-in time! I had a couple of curve balls thrown my way this week. Both were out of my control, but I noticed that I wasn’t as stressed writing-wise as I WOULD have been had I forced word count goals.

On one really bad day¬†when I couldn’t concentrate because of insanity, I managed one pomodoro (25 minute writing sprint, see below for more information). While it wasn’t my best work, I was able to tweak it the next day and bounce back writing-wise. I even went three over my usual POM count the next day. Not because I wanted to “catch up”, but because it was so refreshing to not be racked with guilt because I hadn’t met a specific word goal the day before.

In the past, I would have sat to write without interruption (bad for my broken back, btw) until I finished yesterday’s and today’s goals. There would have been a constant “write faster, you’re behind” mantra in my head until I would say the heck with it and write whatever crap I could down so that voice would shut up.

So…I’m not stressed about word count goal, and somehow I’m managing, on average, a chapter a day.

Unheard of. Seriously. And before this week INCONCEIVABLE. I’m not sure if this is whether I’m having fun writing this book, I’m in the fourth part of this serial and it’s all coming together, or this new method is just that amazing. I won’t know the answer to this until next week, honestly, as that’s when I’m starting a new book in an ongoing series I need to keep working on (but keep stalling).

Updates are below if you’d like to check them out. I’m pretty detailed (I’ve got a Swiss Cheese memory-therefore I keep detailed notes) so I hope it doesn’t make your eyes cross. LOL!

I’m participating in this year’s Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a self-paced writing challenge that helps you keep track of yourself in each quarter. They’re already two weeks into this round, but you can join any time. If you’d like to join them,¬†HERE’S THE POST¬†about ROW80. If you’d like to see who else is involved in this week’s update, check out the linky list HERE.

If you’d like to see my writing updates for this quarter, CLICK HERE for the complete list of posts.

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May 10-17

I expected this week to suck. Truly. Mother’s Day, for me, has been a difficult one over the years for many reasons. I was overjoyed¬†with the day and the fun we had. I’m not big on gifts (handwritten cards or letters are the best, btw!) so just spending time together was great (SuperChef, my husband, also promised¬†that next year he’d¬†send me away for the weekend on a personal writing retreat so I could enjoy it in peace. The reason for this is in the below post).

While Mother’s Day totally rocked, the next day was a nightmare. We have a difficult person in our care at the moment who enjoys what my grandmother used to call “showing their ass”, which means acting like a¬†jerk, treating the people around them¬†in a condescending way, and just being an unpleasant person to be around. When you work from home and have to deal with it 24/7, it wears you down.

Ignoring works for a little while unless you have “the obnoxious follower”. A follower is a person who follows you to whatever room you’re in (or from room to room) and either sits right in front of you and talks to the air about how much they hate all the things about this place, you, and the world in general…or pesters you about nonsense for hours until you snap. Makes for a long day.

Monday was that day. And that person.

As this individual is a guest of my husband’s, and for reasons I won’t get into, our hands are tied. So, redheaded gal that I am with a fierce temper…I’m in an awkward (see: precariously explosive) position.

Complaining about someone who doesn’t stop complaining kind of loses its impact.

And losing my temper only adds fuel to the fire. LOL. Bright light at the end of the tunnel: They’ll be leaving our home soon, but until then…I guess I’m public enemy #1. As long as no one else is directly affected, I thought I could take it.

I reached my limit, though. Yesterday (Tuesday) some stuff went down that forced them (for their own good) to remain in their room and gave me breathing space to get back to work.

Thank goodness SuperChef was home to run interference.

Watching them go from I hate everything about you and this place to the¬†obviously fake laughing and suck-up behavior toward my husband would be comical if I wasn’t so relieved to be able to work in peace.

Btw, my husband knows what I go through. He’s completely sympathetic, does his best when he’s home (unfortunately he spends a lot of time at work, bless his heart for forced overtime), but, like I said, for *reasons* we have to hold out for a couple more weeks.

Hey, everyone has trials, right? Mine is staying focused in the gladiator arena. Am I the only one that remembers American Gladiators? Or do you watch the Next Ninja Warrior?

I’m running the obstacle course while being shot at with nonlethal projectiles. Non lethal ones, by the way, may not kill you, but they sure do leave a heckuva mark and lots of sore muscles.

Two week countdown until they leave. In that time, I’ll have run my complete course and we’ll see who wins. I can out-stubborn the best of them.

Phew. That was too much drama for one post. I even had to cull some of it. Sorry about that, gang. Frustration spillover has to happen somewhere, and it started poisoning my writing, so I had to release it in a controlled way.

Keep reading to see what my week was like writing-wise. If I’ve lost you so far, my apologies. Thankfully these type of posts are very VERY rare.

About Pomodoros: A Pomodoro is a time management technique that uses a 25 minute on-task timer with a 5 minute break after. I write and/or edit for 7-15 hours a day. That’s a lot of poms! By breaking it down into manageable and focused chunks, I’m able to get a lot more done. I use this method to help me focus on content and quality of my writing rather than word count.

Three novellas and two short stories so far have proven that this works for me. I’ve also noticed a significant decrease in the amount of edits I receive. As a paranoid person, that makes me double check everything and get another set of eyes, but they all come back the same. I’m writing a cleaner copy than ever before.

Since this works for me right now, I’ll keep doing it. And I’ll do it until it doesn’t work anymore. LOL! At that time, I’ll find another time management and motivational tool to help me keep writing. A writing career is a string of marathons. Adapt to and overcome your personal plateaus to be successful.

Dawn Montgomery

  • Write:¬†Devil’s Due –¬†15 Poms (0¬†written so far. Plan on doing it starting tomorrow)
  • Edits:¬†Freefall – 8 Poms (1 done so far)
  • Readthrough: Freefall with beta readers¬†–¬†4 Poms (can’t do this until edits are done)
  • Final Edits: Freefall – 8 Poms (must finish the previous two first. Hmm, I’d better get a move on this)
  • Format: Freefall – 2 Poms (fingers crossed) (See above)
  • Publish: Freefall – 2 Poms (See above)
  • Write: House of Horrors – 24 Poms (10¬†Poms, 2 chapters)

JW

  • 4 pages of rewrites by next check-in (3 Poms per page) (didn’t happen. rewrites take considerably more concentration for me than new content or edits. I’m putting this one away until next week.)
  • Outline A Wish Before Dying serial (I don’t time this since I do it when I’m in transit or watching TV with the family) (Partially done)

DM

  • No goals this week

RB

  • Write: one short title¬†(3 Poms) (Not started)

Jessica D. Russell (working with husband on this one)

  • Recipe Development for Cookbook (11 Poms)
    • Brainstorming and shopping ¬†(Done, 6 Poms, 3 hours. I think I might have¬†underestimated¬†the amount of time this was going to¬†take)
    • Cooking (Wednesday’s plan, all day grilling with multiple recipes and lots of photos)
      • Cooking fail?
      • Cook some more. LOL.
  • Formatting recipes and image for cookbook (15 Poms) (need to do the cooking and recipe tries first.)

Total hours spent in the chair writing new content: 21 hours Hours spent so far: 5

Total hours spent in the chair working on rewrites and edits: 18 hours Hours spent so far: 0.5

Total hours spent working with my husband on his cookbook: 13 hours Hours spent so far: 3

Expected writing work week: 39 hours Hours spent so far: 5.5

Additional Time Scheduled during my normal family time (since that’s when we do our cooking): 13 hours Hours spent so far: 3

Observations: Sunday was Mother’s Day and all promotional stuff with Madhouse’s release (I need to update the blog with my new release info!). Monday was a horrible day. The only solid working day I’ve had was yesterday. So, 8 hours for Tuesday (and half an hour uninterrupted on Monday) really makes sense.

Tomorrow (later today, actually LOL!) I’ll be cooking outside with SuperChef. I’ve charged up my bluetooth keyboard and my tablet for working outside the house when he’s doing his grilling thing.

The youngest is looking forward to playing frisbee with the dog after he gets out of school. The dog is looking forward to sniffing everything and alternately barking at strangers or begging for food.

On fun days like this, as long as everyone is cool with it, I’ll usually write for one pom and then play/take over cooking for another one (or two). It keeps the day lighthearted and fun. PLUS I don’t have to come back inside and work after working all day with SuperChef.

Our house guest will probably be sullen and complain about the weather or how my choice of writing is ruining the entire day. Like water on a seal, it all flows off me, baby. All that matters is my family’s health and joy, the happiness in my heart, my sense of accomplishment at the end of a long writing day, and the fun I have with the family on days like today.

I hope this post hasn’t seemed like a whine-fest, but I KNOW I’m not the only one who faces the drama tornado now and then.

Drama Tornado: an¬†individual who creates a storm that wrecks the world around it, and then, when the skies clear asks…how did that happen? See this rainbow…I made that. Now fix up this mess.

I hope I actually made you laugh through this craziness. It’s okay to laugh, promise. That’s the only thing that keeps you sane in an insane world.

If you’d like to see May’s Goals/Projections and my Quarterly Goals/Update, please jump to the full post (click on the full post title at the top).

Read the rest of this entry »

May Goals, a Round of Words Update #ROW80

In #amwriting, Goals on May 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

ROW80LogocopyWow, I’ve been deep in writing and forgot to post! It’s going to take some time to get back into the habit, gang. Sorry about that!

Never fear…I am feverishly writing!

I’m participating in this year’s Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a self-paced writing challenge that helps you keep track of yourself in each quarter. They’re already two weeks into this round, but you can join any time. If you’d like to join them,¬†HERE’S THE POST¬†about ROW80. If you’d like to see who else is involved in this week’s update, check out the linky list HERE.

If you’d like to see my writing updates for this quarter, CLICK HERE for the complete list of posts.

PWCicon2


May 10-17


I don’t do word count goals anymore. They’re intimidating when I have a hectic publishing schedule. It completely overwhelmed me last year, the sheer number of words I tried to write. Instead, I focus on how many Pomodoros it takes for me to get a book done.

A Pomodoro is a time management technique that uses a 25 minute on-task timer with a 5 minute break after. I write and/or edit for 7-15 hours a day. That’s a lot of poms! By breaking it down into manageable and focused chunks, I’m able to get a lot more done.

Dawn Montgomery

  • Write:¬†Devil’s Due –¬†15 Poms
  • Edits:¬†Freefall – 8 Poms
  • Readthrough: Freefall with beta readers¬†–¬†4 Poms
  • Final Edits: Freefall – 8 Poms
  • Format: Freefall – 2 Poms (fingers crossed)
  • Publish: Freefall – 2 Poms
  • Write: House of Horrors – 24 Poms

JW

  • 4 pages of rewrites by next check-in (3 Poms per page)
  • Outline A Wish Before Dying serial (I don’t time this since I do it when I’m in transit or watching TV with the family)

DM

  • No goals this week

RB

  • Write: one short title¬†(3 Poms)

Jessica D. Russell (working with husband on this one)

  • Recipe Development for Cookbook (11 Poms)
    • Brainstorming
    • Cooking
      • Cooking fail?
      • Cook some more. LOL.
  • Formatting recipes and image for cookbook (15 Poms)

Total hours spent in the chair writing new content: 21 hours

Total hours spent in the chair working on rewrites and edits: 18 hours

Total hours spent working with my husband on his cookbook: 13 hours

Expected writing work week: 39 hours

Additional Time Scheduled during my normal family time (since that’s when we do our cooking): 13 hours

If you’d like to see May’s Goals/Projections and my Quarterly Goals/Update, please jump to the full post (“read more” tag below).

Read the rest of this entry »

Writing Again, a Round of Words check in

In #amwriting, Challenges, Goals on April 15, 2015 at 11:40 pm

ROW80LogocopyI’ve tried to start four different posts on where I’ve been for the past year¬†or so (the USA Today Bestselling post is one of the last ones on this blog! Wow!). It always devolved into rambling¬†after the first 1000 words (holy cow, that’s a lot of words to read on a blog post!). So, I’m going to just pick up and move forward. 2014 was one of the most extreme rollercoaster years of my life. I didn’t enjoy it much and was glad to see it go. I did, however, gain a really large fanbase (thank you, readers, for all the love and support last year), and had a few record highs in my writing career. Real life, however, beat me and my family over the head with health (and therefore) financial issues.

I’m back. I’m writing. And I’ve missed you guys!

This time I think I’m going with a simplified format for my writing updates. This is the first post of the quarter, so I’ll set up the quarterly goals for you. Weekly goals will follow. And any updates I have writing-wise.

I’m participating in this year’s Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a self-paced writing challenge that helps you keep track of yourself in each quarter. They’re already two weeks into this round, but you can join any time. If you’d like to join them,¬†HERE’S THE POST¬†about ROW80. If you’d like to see who else is involved in this round of writing, check out the linky list HERE.

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Quarter Goals


Finish books, launch the JDR Creatives website and brand, and get a handle on my writing schedule.

Books to finish

I have four¬†active pennames. Dawn Montgomery you already know. One is an Urban Fantasy, science fiction, and dark fantasy writer. The other¬†two are for short fiction in various genres. In May, I’ll be releasing a cookbook with my husband (from his recipe site), so I guess you can add nonfiction and another penname to that as well.

Dawn Montgomery

  • Write: Devil’s Due (63k, 1/3 done already)
  • Write: Voodoo Carnival serial finished (24k to go)
  • Write: Spaceport: New Tortuga spinoff series launched with first title (50k for the series, first story 10k)

JW (urban fantasy, sci fi, and DF)

  • Edit and Publish: Last Rites
  • Write: Holly Savage serial (50k)

DM (short fiction writer)

  • Write: A single short work for a “best of 2015” collection (3-5k)
  • Publish:¬†the award-winning story from a previous collection

RB (short fiction writer)

  • Write: 15 short fiction titles (3-10k each)
  • Publish: 3 short story collections

April Goals


Dawn Montgomery

  • Devil’s Due 25% done
  • Voodoo Carnival Serial finished

JW 

  • Rewrite Last Rites, 25% done

DM

  • Publish the award-winning story

RB

  • Write 10 short fiction titles this month
    • Number completed so far: 2
    • Number remaining: 8

April 15-21


I don’t do word count goals anymore. They’re intimidating when I have a hectic publishing schedule. It completely overwhelmed me last year, the sheer number of words I tried to write. Instead, I focus on how many Pomodoros it takes for me to get a book done. A Pomodoro is a time management technique that uses a 25 minute on-task timer with a 5 minute break after. I write and/or edit for 7-15 hours a day. That’s a lot of poms! By breaking it down into manageable and focused chunks, I’m able to get a lot more done.

Dawn Montgomery

  • Complete 40 Poms¬†on Devil’s Due
  • Finish Madhouse on Sunday –¬†24 Poms
  • Start Freefall on Monday –¬†14 Poms

JW

  • 11 pages of rewrites by next check-in (3 poms per page)

DM

  • Publish the story

RB

  • Write four short titles (2-3 pomodoros each)

Total hours spent in the chair writing new content: 48 minimum

Total hours spent in the chair working on rewrites and edits: 16.5 minimum

Expected work week: 64.5 hours

2nd Quarter Goals for #ROW80

In #amwriting, Goals on April 8, 2014 at 10:06 am

PWCicon2Writing. A solitary adventure. Every book is a marathon race against yourself. It’s not about speed, but endurance. Every step forward is progress, but if you jump in at full speed, you’ll lose momentum early on and wear your body down.

I hit burnout pretty bad in the first quarter of 2014, but many MANY great things happened despite my self-doubt.

Releases

  • Thunder and Roses came out in January (through Loose Id)
  • Tall, Dark and Alpha came out in March (Indie Pub)

Bestseller

TDA hit

  • Top 100 in Barnes and Noble
  • Top 50 in Amazon US
  • Top 25 in Amazon Australia (international bestseller!)
  • Top 50 in Amazon Canada
  • #1 in multiple categories for Amazon UK, Japan, and Germany
  • Recommended Read by USA Today’s Happy Ever After Blog

Me

  • #12 in Paranormal Romance Authors for Amazon
  • Top 100 in four Amazon categories: Paranormal Romance, Romance Books, Romance Kindle Ebooks, and Literature and Fiction Kindle Ebooks

Website/Brand Launch

  • Seven Sinful Scribes (blog goes live April 16th)
  • Seven Sinful Scribes Facebook Page
  • Seven Sinful Scribes Facebook Fan Group

Awards/Nominations

  • Halloween Heat II won Best Menage Romance Anthology 2013

New Projects on the Horizon (Most are Super Secret until the ink dries on the contracts)

  • Charity Anthology, expect more to come on this next month. Readers voted for a Silver Tongued Devils side story
  • Ambrosia Tavern Boxed Set (title and release Date TBD)
  • Super Secret Project November release date!! This is GONNA ROCK!
  • The Naughty List Boxed Set¬†(Holiday collection of steamy romances by yours truly)
  • A 2015 BIG project! I can’t wait to tell you more!!
  • Continuation of the Silver Tongued Devils characters in two new ebooks by summer’s end.

Series Closeouts Planned for the Rest of the Year

  • Hunger Universe: Closed out by the end of the year
  • WTF Dragon: Closed out by 4th Quarter
  • Silver Tongued Devils: Closed out by the end of the year
  • Deep Cravings universe stories (No approved series name yet) by the end of the year
  • Dark Talisman by the end of the year

New Series Launches 2014-2015

  • Heartbreak Ridge -Launches in December
  • A currently unnamed Vampire series, due to launch in March of next year (big secret project LOL!)
  • Rift Wars
  • Holly Savage – Launches in November
  • Sakura Jones, Demon Slayer – Launches¬†in September

Bad things happened as well, but we’ll glide over those and not give them any more time in my head. Let’s just say when the chips were down and I was at my lowest, helping hands rose me back up. The love and caring of readers, fellow authors, friends, and family can never be matched. I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful community.

Now it’s time to set up goals for the Second Quarter of 2014. As always, I will likely shoot for the moon and come up in North Dakota, but that’s okay…I’ll get more done than not. ūüôā¬†


A Round of Words in 80 Days 2nd Quarter Challenge

#ROW80


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Books that need to be done by the end of the quarter:

  1. Antonio – cowritten with Ditter Kellen
  2. Feral Hunger (yes, I’m STILL tweaking this novel. Two years is a long time to work on one, but I’m almost done with it!)
  3. Recipe for Disaster
  4. Silver Tongued Devils goes solo this quarter so I need to finish up a followup story for the trio to go with the single title ebook release.
  5. Dragons Never Lie
  6. Silver Tongued Devils new book for the charity anthology (readers voted!)
  7. Christmas Belle revamp (my first Christmas story, ever. I have to do some heavy revisions) – Part of a holiday collection I’m putting together this year.
  8. Winter Break revamp (same as Christmas Belle)
  9. Start Christmas as Heartbreak Ridge
  10. Halfway through my Ambrosia Tavern book.
  11. Ravenous Hunger (a Tale of the Valorian Resistance)
  12. Renegade Hearts
  13. Angel’s Masquerade (revise and resubmit I need to finish up and resub)

The first six are contracted so have to be done. ūüôā ‚̧ No pressure. LOL! The results of burnout and it’s ripple effects.

Goal for 4/7-4/13

  • 7k on Antonio
  • 7k on Feral Hunger
  • Recipe for Disaster plotted
  • Silver Tongued Devils interlude plotted
  • 500 words on Dragons Never Lie (weekend work)
  • Anthology Silver Tongued Devils book plotted
  • Get through 2k on Christmas Belle revamp

Ways to Avoid Burnout

  • Write in the morning when I’m refreshed
  • Edit at night when my creativity has been sapped by full time domestic goddess duty
  • Read and relax for a few hours every night
  • Give myself permission to take time off when I need it
  • Every day visualize what I love about the characters/book/situation before I begin writing
  • The night before, get amped up about the scene I’ll be writing the next day!

That’s it for me. ūüôā

That’s enough, I know. ūüôā

If you’d like to join in on the personal challenge of A Round of Words in 80 Days, check out the event HERE.

If you’d like to see what everyone’s starting goals are, check out the linky list HERE.

 

March Tidings

In #amwriting, Goals on March 2, 2014 at 3:54 am

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I always greet March with shock. How, I ask, did this year fly by so fast? It’s the third month of the first quarter, and the end of ROW80 Round One is almost upon us. I am so far behind on administration and keeping up with my blog (and how you guys out there are doing!), but I’ve pulled ahead on other projects that demanded my time.

If you’re new here or haven’t been here in a while, you should know that I tend to keep things lighthearted on my blog and in comments. I poke fun at myself often because laughter makes even the dullest day shine brighter.

I’m no expert in the writing process, but if you find something here that helps you, awesome! If not, discard what doesn’t work and find your own way. If you’ve read the warnings and are ready to continue, welcome to the rest of the post.

TDAONEWEEKThis week is Crazy. Two books begin on Monday (as in page one, word one) and two others are in the world building and planning stages.

Remember that revise and resubmit for Angel’s Masquerade back in January? I’ve finally figured out what needs to happen in the book.

It’s also release week (Tall, Dark & Alpha will release next Saturday!) so I’m going to be all over the place with promo for this baby. If you like contests, there will be tons available on the Facebook page and several other locations.

More to come later. Sign up for my newsletter if you want to know all the crazy happenings before they begin.

Now back to the writing side.

Works in ProgressNew Projects

  • Antonio (book 2 of Thunder and Roses): It’s finally jumped out of the planning/plotting stages so chapter one starts Monday.
  • RenHearts (shortened title until it’s approved): A new sci fi romance novella. I’m building the playlist today so I can get to work first thing Monday morning.

World Building and Stages

  • Heartbreak Ridge: My contemporary romance is taking as long to plan out as I’d feared. If I had to choose between writing contemporary romances or eating pumpkin soup (my least favorite thing in the world…ever…next to fried squash, but I digress), I’d choose the soup and ask for seconds.
    .
    Contemporary romance is a genre I live in fear of. Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I am seriously intimidated. ūüôā
    .
    Back in January I promised to break out of my shell a bit with this book, but my nerves seem to have me at panic. LOL! I’m currently building the backstory of both main characters. Second week of March I’ll write the first words in this scary new venture. This week I’ll finish up their backstories and make sure I know where the story will begin.
  • An as-of-yet-unnamed Urban Fantasy I’m building the characters and the world. This week I’ll set up the scrivener world building file, coordinate some plotting time for the evenings, and research fox spirits.

Revise and Resubmit

  • I need to break down the scenes and make notes where Angel’s Masquerade needs to be expanded. Once I have that settled, I’ll know where to begin. I find rewriting a book to be far more difficult than starting from scratch, so I’m taking my time and doing it right. My heart can’t take another maybe or no right now. ūüôā I need good news! LOL!

#ROW80 Goals for March (and the week)


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We’ll make this set of goals as simple as possible. I have five books on my table this month. Too many, yes, but I can’t do anything about that. Taking a week off at the end of February was revitalizing. I have no regrets. ūüôā


Goals for the Month of March


Antonio‘s Book is planned for 65k words (so was Thunder and Roses, but that sucker ended up at 97k). I need to write a chapter a week to stay on target, but I’m nothing if not aware of my own plot hangups (and emotional rollercoaster during writing). So we’ll plan for six chapters of Antonio in March (1.5 a week isn’t too bad).

RenHearts is going to be hard and fast (and not in a fun way). I have no time to get it done so this baby has to make it into the editor before the Ides of March are upon us. It’s a 25k novella that will have to be edited and polished to within an inch of its life before submission. RenHearts will be done by the end of this week and submitted by March 15th. Fun.

Heartbreak Ridge will be a 65k novel. I need to finish up the backstory, figure out what the characters want and then get them on the page. To make my goal, I’ll need to write six chapters a month. That’s what I get for letting fear invade. If I don’t make the May 31st deadline, I’m afraid I’ll put contemporary away again for another couple of years, and I’m not ready to do that. ūüôā I need five chapters of Heartbreak Ridge done by the end of March.

My NoName Urban Fantasy will be novel-length. The world building is fun and the backstory is almost all complete. The only thing I have left to do is…oh yeah…figure out a title. ;). So a title and one chapter a week is more than enough since this doesn’t have a pressing deadline. I won’t begin writing it, however, until RenHearts is done. (keeping this one vague until RenHearts is finished)

Angel’s Masquerade, my revise and resubmit, is at 35k. I need to get it up to 65k to meet my original vision. Since I’ve been given the blessing to expand it to the length I’d originally intended, I’m ready to roll. In March, you ask? Why yes. Of course. The end of this month will be two months since the RR. It’s a personal mission to ensure the editors get the new copy within two months of the original RR letter. My goal then: expand, edit, and resubmit Angel’s Masquerade by the end of March.


Goals for March 1-8


  1. Antonio: Chapter 1 complete. With RenHearts as my focus, I’ll keep this goal low.
  2. RenHearts: 25k by Sunday. I expect setbacks on Saturday and Sunday due to the release of the Boxed Set (YAY!) so if I can have it done by Friday, even better.
  3. Heartbreak Ridge: Finish planning the book, building the characters, and figuring out where I’ll begin the story. (It always begins at the beginning, except when it doesn’t.)
  4. Urban Fantasy: A title. That’s my big goal for the UF this week. Figure out a title.
  5. Angel’s Masquerade: Sketch out the new Prologue/Chapter One. I’ll give it the original introduction I’d intended so I’m excited! Man, am I glad I kept my notes.

Non-writing stuff that has to be finished this week:

  1. Organize my office by Monday. I can’t put this off any more. We moved everything around, but if I start writing now, it’ll end up turning into a nightmare around my desk. I have to get this done.
  2. Build my Tall, Dark & Alpha webpages.
  3. Finish a PDF news bulletin about the Tall, Dark & Alpha Boxed Set.
  4. Help a friend with their Media Kit.
  5. Finish all the remaining promo images by Monday.
  6. Send out my newsletter on release day with the first chapter of my book, Silver Tongued Devils, from the TDA boxed set.

So that’s my March Madness. My insane push at the end of the quarter. Almost all of this was scheduled before 2014 even began so please don’t think I’m heaping tons of work on myself. Burnout set me back some, but I was able to set aside a few projects until later. So if you’re following along, welcome to my writing journey.¬†

I’m part of a great motivational writing group known as A Round of Words in 80 Days. Click here to find out how other did this week and here if you want to become a part of it!

Keep Writing!

Dawn

The Promotional Drain

In #amwriting, Goals, Write Talk on January 27, 2014 at 1:08 am

Keep WritingWelcome to the final Sunday update in the first month of January 2014!

So much to tell you guys. Let’s start with the not-so-good news (I won’t say bad, because it’s NOT bad news…just a little schedule adjustment required).

Angel’s Masquerade was submitted on the 20th for a special submission call. I’d mentioned to both editors involved that my story had moved into novel territory and suggested it might be better for them to pass on my ability to get it in on time. They were awesomely encouraging and really wanted to see it so I nixed a plot thread or two and brought it in under word count and in time for submission.

Two days later I received a revise and resubmit request. ūüôā Turns out they loved the story but it didn’t quite fit the special call so they asked me to go ahead and extend it to the novel I’d originally planned. I spent a good twenty-four hours in a depressed funk. Until my awesome husband reminded me that I’d wanted to extend into a novel back in December. So I should be happy that my instincts were right. He also fed me chocolate. Both of which helped bring me out of self-loathing.

You know, it’s hard to share the bumps in the road with you guys. I only want to give you good news, but I realize that’s not an accurate portrayal of my writing journey, you know? I get asked a lot of question on here and Facebook about the writing journey, and I don’t want to sugarcoat it. At the same time, being negative about it won’t change anything but my motivation.

So positive spin on revise and resubmit:

  1. It’s not the first time I’ve received one. So I know what to expect.
  2. It’s an honor that they wanted to see more of my characters.
  3. I get to write it the way I’d originally intended.
  4. I don’t have to make allowances for the limits of a special theme (although the theme was what inspired the book in the first place).

Negative spin:

  1. I have to rearrange my writing schedule to allow for the additional time in the expansion.
  2. No matter how encouraging they are about wanting to see the book, you can’t help but feel a little disappointed that it wasn’t accepted immediately and snatched up. That’s normal and perfectly acceptable. It’s not a rejection, however. ūüôā Just a delay. And in this world of hybrid publishing, I have other options that weren’t previously available. That, also, means more work. See point #1. LOL.

Action taken: 

  1. Sent the novella to my trusted CPs (critique partners) to make notes for expansion (I’ve received one back. The outside eye has been amazing).
  2. Created a scrivener file for Angel’s Masquerade so I can break up the word document into easy-to-manipulate chunks. Each scene will have it’s own folder. I can add what I need wherever I need to. If you’ve never used scrivener before, I highly recommend it for ease in expanding your stories, writing novels, world building notes, etc.

Great things that happened this week:

sunshineawardMenage Nominee

  • Turned in Angel’s Masquerade.
  • Completed two rounds of edits on Thunder and Roses (post line edits and post proof edits)
  • Had a huge giveaway from the 17th-24th of January
  • Received the Sunshine Blogger Award from the awesome Audrey King (will be doing the Sunshine Blogger update at the end of the month).
  • Hit 1000 Likes on my Facebook Author Page
  • Celebrated my birthday on January 24th.
  • Creating a bingo card for the Naughty Book Club. I adore them.
  • Halloween Heat II, an anthology I was in with Selena Illyria and Rachel Firasek, was nominated for Fan Choice of Best Menage Anthology 2013.
  • Started a promotion countdown on the 20th for the Thunder and Roses upcoming release. New images every day with quotes from the book. Note: the 1 Day to release image is subject to change without notice.

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#ROW80 update


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Goals for January: 

Finish the following:

  • Angel‚Äôs Masquerade¬†(35k novella)¬†– Finished and submitted 20 Jan 2014. Bad news aside, I’m so proud of the work I put into it. Another 20k and it’ll be exactly what I’d originally envisioned.
  • Sex and Magic¬†proposal (1st 3 chapters, plus synopsis of other books in the series)¬†– Working on the synopses for the proposal. First three chapters are in edits.¬†
  • Silver Tongued Devils¬†(25k novella)¬†– Chapters 1-3 in progress. My initial drafts are more like extended outlines, so I’m filling in all the goodies.¬†
  • Shift the Night,¬†Dark Talisman¬†(25k novella)¬†– Nope. off my radar until further notice.¬†
  • Dragons Never Lie,¬†WTF Dragon¬†(20k novella)¬†– 5k into it.
  • A Pirate‚Äôs Bride¬†(4k short story)¬†– Finished January 4th
  • Final edits for¬†Thunder and Roses¬†(releases 28 January 2014)¬†– Finished. Received post proof edits. Finished those. Did that this week.¬†

So, half the list completed. Not bad considering the insane amount of stuff I’ve done this month.

Coming this week:

  • Submit Sex and Magic proposal by January 31st
  • Finish the first three chapters of Silver Tongued Devils
  • Complete the promotional items for Silver Tongued Devils
  • Begin Antonio’s book
  • Celebrate the release of Thunder and Roses on Tuesday.
  • Get through chapter two on Dragons Never Lie
  • Catch up on my ROW80 Sponsor duties.

Lessons learned this week: 

  • Promo drains me to the very limit. Even having the promo images ahead of time, I was constantly bombarded with the urge to check and see if it had been shared, make sure I’d commented my thanks, and continued from there. I found this to be the case during Madeline’s blog tour and the big giveaway contests this past week. I’m just wore to the bone and slowly recovering from those four or fives days of burnout from the week before.
  • The days of me being able to wrangle a story length down to meet insane deadlines may be behind me. My head just doesn’t work that way any more. I get really irritated when I know there’s more story there (and memories of way too many “I wanted to see more of the world/characters/story” reviews stick with me). It’ll save me heartache in the long run if I just write what I want to read and go from there. No more compromising on word length to fit a special submission call. I’ll continue to let the calls inspire me. If the book gets done in time, and under word count maximums, I’ll submit it. Otherwise, I’ll submit it the regular way.

I’m part of a great motivational writing group known as A Round of Words in 80 Days. Click here to find out how other did this week and here if you want to become a part of it!

That’s it for me. What about you?

Edits and Other Reasons My Brain Melted Down

In #amwriting on January 9, 2014 at 11:22 am

WARNING: WRITER’S BRAIN IS IN DANGER OF IMPLODING.

Expect this post to be random. Because that’s where I am today. ūüôā

Keep Writing

Edits. 334 pages. 97, 341 words. Four days. Managed two complete chapter overhauls. Plus¬†2.3k in additional wordage (not counting the words deleted, changed, added to, etc.). And a partridge in a pear tree. I’ve been reminded that Christmas is over by my dear husband, SuperChef, but if you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time you’ll know the last three months have blended together.

Thunder and Roses began it’s journey (Hey, wait! Don’t run away! I’ll keep it short, I promise!).¬†

*ahem* Thunder and Roses started December 26, 2012. By the time it’s released, this hefty novel will have been a year and a month in the making. ūüôā

Four days isn’t much time to do edits. Definitely not much time to do edits THAT extensive. Unless you don’t sleep. And only eat when your husband pokes you with a stick and passes you a plate with the threat of force-feeding you if you don’t eat…theoretically, of course.

So why four days?

I had other books due. My writing partner has a convention she’s hosting in January. She was sick. I was exhausted. Neither one of us wanted to tackle the big book. Until we couldn’t put it off any more.

I also managed to turn in the book to our editor with four minutes to spare on a visit from a dear friends who’d kept me sane during my last remote tour. Unfortunately she saw me in deadline mode. Talk about scary! The fact that she still hugged me means she must really love me. My hair and clothes were comfortable, but that doesn’t mean they were a good option for company.

By the time my friend left and the house settled down, I’d been awake for over twenty-six hours. I slept for seven and spent the rest of the day fielding editing questions and rewriting two scenes (as well as changing the time line for the first two chapters). Then slept again. Woke this morning and did the final edits. Now it moves on to the next level of editing. The fine-tune polishing of line editing. I have ten days until it’s due back in my hands. In the meantime, I have books to finish.

BUT…my brain won’t function. ūüôā

TR Digital AnnouncementSo I made things. Like this:

It was fun to make Facebook covers. And build promotional material for my upcoming books. I even built a cover for a self-publish book coming out under a different name.

I tweaked my excel spreadsheet for 2014. Fiddled with color palettes. Ensured the formulas were good to go for all four quarters.

I also became a ROW80 sponsor for the first quarter of 2014!

Since my head is already in an editing/linear-minded mode, I think I’m going to work on the synopses for my proposal due soon. First three chapters of book 2 in the Deep Cravings universe, plus synopses for the next two books in the series. Maybe I’ll pitch the next Hunger books as well so I can get an official series name. Holy cow.

Did I mention my first novel, Primal Hunger, will be released in Print March 25, 2014? How’s that for crazy?

I was also told that since I’m working on series this year, I might want to consider revamping my two websites to have series blurbs for people to read up on. So the question I have for you guys is this:

How do you search for books on a favorite author’s site? Do you look by series name? By genre? By print or ebook? I’d like to keep it as simple as possible. Let me know in comments!

That’s it for me. I’m a day late for this post, but I’m better now. Tomorrow I’ll be back to writing. You guys rock and don’t stop writing!


#ROW80 update


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Goals for this week:

  • Finish and submit Angel’s Masquerade – Now that T&R’s edits are done, this is the priority.¬†
  • Finish edits for Thunder and Roses (due by the 7th)¬†–¬†Finished this one last night. Five minutes before a very dear friend stopped by. She saw me in my deadline hell clothes and hair. I’m sure it will haunt her for years-to-come. Continuing…finished the third round of edits by Thursday morning. First round finished Tuesday night. Wednesday was scene overhauls. Been an editing frenzy, my friends! ¬†
  • Get through the first three chapters of Sex and Magic book 2 with the goal of finishing and submitting the proposal by January 15th. – I’m on chapter one. Since edits were just finished, this is a higher focus for the rest of the week.
  • Plot Heartbreak Ridge¬†(this is part of my 500 words a day challenge. I can’t start writing it until it’s plotted, so this part is key to completing the 500!) – A quarter plotted. Edits took up the majority of this week.¬†
  • And if I have time, finish A Pirate’s Bride.¬†–¬†Finished this on Sunday. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it though…

I’m part of a great motivational writing group known as A Round of Words in 80 Days. Click here to find out how other did this week and here if you want to become a part of it!

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