A Series of Intriguing Events

Anyone who knows me can tell you about two very important characteristics I have: I like lists and I’m all about finding fun new experiences. Put those things together and I often have a ton of different lists going on in the form of vision boards. Consider Exhibit A:


That’s my life list in the form of post-it notes on my living room wall (yes, my husband is amazing for letting me do that). There’s also Exhibit B:


This is something new I’m trying. It’s a blown-up version of an adult coloring page and each enclosed space is something I want to do this year. It has a ride range of items on it, from reading fun (not work-related) books, going to the beach, taking vacations, etc. Every time I do something on the board, it gets colored in. I have REALLY loved this board so far.

I tell you all this so you’ll understand (and maybe laugh) about my next idea. You hear about method actors? Well I love the thought of being a method writer; of experiencing the situations I’ll put my characters in so I can write about them more authentically.

So I’ve come up with an idea: A Series of Intriguing Events. This will be a dynamic list here, on my blog, of different adventures I want to have. The list will be created from experiences I already know my characters will have, plus unique/fun things that I or you (yes, I’m taking suggestions) come up with, which may serve as inspiration for future books.

The best part: I get to share each of these adventures with you! Each one will be a future post so you can get your giggles in by reading what I go through.

Without further ado, here are the ideas I have so far:

  1. Birthday at a drag dinner show. This one will be happening quickly – tomorrow, in fact. Twist: I’ll wear a wig to “be” someone else – I might think of a different twist for this one still.
  2. Make homemade dog treats. Twist: Bring my husband along to hand these out to shelter dogs (this is a twist because my husband has a history of going dog-crazy like woman sometimes go baby-crazy).
  3. Mini road trip. Twist: There can’t be any set plans for where I go/stop.
  4. Karaoke. This doesn’t need any more twist because it scares the crap out of me. 😝
  5. Visit a trampoline place to have some bouncy fun. Twist: Still thinking on this one too.
  6. Drive a race car. Twist: Still needed.
  7. Have a picnic and fly a kite. Twist: I have to make the lite myself.

These are the first events that come to mind based on books I’m currently writing. The “twist” piece is important because I figure adding a different element to the activities will allow me to get a slightly different perspective than just my own. For example, maybe adding the wig to the drag show one will give me the perspective of:

  • Someone who wants to be someone else
  • Someone who’s hiding from the law
  • Someone who’s lost their hair due to chemo treatments
  • My poor husband who’s already said (jokingly) that he won’t be sitting with me

More ideas will be added to this post as I come up with them. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your suggestions! Are there any adventures I should add to list? Twists I should add or consider for the activities that are already listed?

Share your ideas in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear them! 😄

WIPpet Wednesday – May 24, 2017

Whew! Thank goodness for WIPpet Wednesday or I would probably have nothing to post this week – I was actually already bad and missed last week’s post. 😒 Things have just been a little crazy lately, with a mixture of good (my husband is opening his own bike shop) and bad (my grandfather recently passed away). But I guess that’s life, right?

So anyway, since I’m a little behind on writing/editing lately, I thought I’d share a section of my intro to the main character from my WIP, “About the Journey.” 

But first, it’s time for WIPpet math. This one will be fun – the two digits of the day (2 & 4) multiplied together equal 8. The two digit year (17) added together, also equals 8. Combined together you get 16. And May is really the #1 month because it’s my birth month, so subtract 1 from 16 and you get 15. There are 15 “sections” to the intro I’ve posted. 

In this snippet, Kacie McGuire, our woeful workaholic has just gotten off her flight home after a long week/day at work. She’s about to encounter the first of many problems that will come up before she finally makes it home.

Her phone buzzed, updating after being on airplane mode for the last couple hours. Megan had left another voicemail. 

It could wait till morning. Megan Nunez had been her best friend since they were both wearing jelly shoes and top-knot pony tails. She’d understand if it took a while to respond. Besides, Kacie was done with technology for the day. All she wanted was a good night’s sleep in her own bed.

Unfortunately, the universe had other things in mind. 

The first problem came with her suitcase. By the time she made it to the baggage area, the other passengers had swooped up their bags, like pigeons consuming scattered crumbs. The carousels had stopped circling and only three suitcases remained, none of them hers. 

Maroon, with multi-colored polka dots. Big enough to hide a giraffe contortionist. Hard to miss that one. She had Megan to thank for that. The girl had quite the sense of humor when it came to birthday presents.

Of course, at midnight the airport was dead (heightened security, my ass!). After several minutes trying to hunt down help, she took things into her own hands. Her black pencil skirt and gray silk blouse were not ideal for for crawling on baggage belts but sometimes a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.

Off came the high heels as she  hiked her skirt above her knees.  Then she climbed onto the conveyor belt, crawling on all fours toward the entryway that lead to the baggage loading area. A peek past the rubber flaps told her there was no one on that side either. Shit.

She ducked her head, slinking through the opening like a caterpillar, ignoring the the flaps that snagged her hair. On the other side, Kacie spied the unmistakable corner of her suitcase on the floor just beyond the conveyor belt. 

Yes! Must have fallen off as the carousel was turning. Her arm stretched out, fingertips barely reaching the tip of the bag’s handle. 

Come on. Last thing I need is to be caught with my ass in the air.

With a surge forward and a grunt, she grasped the handle and pulled it partially up on the belt.

“Just a little help,” she muttered to herself. “Someone to radio for assistance. Is that really so much to ask?” She shimmied backwards, tugging the bag with her. When a rip sounded, she jumped, hitting her head against the entryway edge. There was a taste of blood on her lip.

Damn. Her sleeve had caught on an upraised screw. Well this shirt was ruined. Arms tucked in and still grasping the suitcase handle, she slid back some more. Her shoulders were clear of the entryway. Then her head. Kacie curled her stockinged feet under her to brace for one last pull.

“Ma’am?”

She yelped and fell backwards, tumbling off the conveyor belt. Another tear sounded – this time up the side of her skirt. Her bag flipped over her head to land at the feet of a security guard.

How is everyone else doing with their WIPs? With any luck, both your ideas and your words are flowing well. 

If this is your first time coming across the WIPpet blog hop, don’t forget to check out the links of my fellow writers. Each Wednesday, we’re posting snippets from one of our WIPs (works-in-progress) based (VERY loosely) on the date it’s posted.

I hope you enjoy!

#WIPpet Wednesday – May 10, 2017

Today is my first post under the WIPpet Wednesday blog hop I just joined. Yay! As part of the blog hop, I’ll be posting snippets every Wednesday from one of my current works in progress (WIP) – working title, “About the Journey.”

The excerpt has to tie back in some way to the day it’s being posted. Since today is 5/10/17 I went to page 5 of my second chapter, counted 10 lines down and I’m posting the first 17 lines from that starting point. 

So here we go:

“Alright, fine. I’m a horrible, awful friend. Apparently, I forgot about something that was important to you. I’m very, very sorry. Once we’re out of the car, I will grovel at your knees for forgiveness and worship you forever as the greatest friend of all time. Does that earn me an answer?”

Megan smirked. “Fine, I know you’re busy so I forgive you.”

“Thank you, oh Merciful One.” With a sip from her thermos, Kacie savored the taste of now-cool hazelnut coffee.

“We’re going on road trip.”

Coffee exploded from Kacie’s nose and mouth. “What? No way. We cannot go on a road trip.”

“Aw, come on.” Megan handed her some tissues to clean up the mess. “And yes we can.”

“How long of a trip are we talking about here?” She wiped her face and then the dashboard.

“A week.”

Kacie froze. “A week? You’re crazy. There is no way I’m going on a road trip right now.”

“Yes, you are.”

What you don’t see in this excerpt is that Kacie is a bit (or a lot) of a workaholic. So much so that she’s completely forgotten that they agreed to go on this trip over a year ago. 

Megan is on a mission to make sure she follows through with their plans. They’re about to embark on the road trip they’ve been planning since they were 15 years old.

Hope you enjoyed! I’m looking forward to sharing more details in the future. 

Also, don’t forget to check out the other WIPpet Wednesday posts by clicking this link.

Week 4 Check-In

Okay so technically last week was Week 4 of the book-writing challenge I’ve given myself. But hey, this is close enough, right? Either way, I’m very happy to say that I finished the first draft of my next book yesterday morning. Yay! It took about 3 weeks total, once I got writing.

As with my last check-in, there are a few lessons I’ve learned with this part of my challenge:

  • I absolutely loved focusing all my energy on writing as opposed to writing and editing at the same time. That was what made the short writing time possible and I have a great sense of accomplishment just from getting that piece done.
  • The chapter-a-day goal I gave myself was just about perfect. Yes, it was challenging at times, but that daily goal ensured that I powered through my writing rather than getting hung up on small details that would normally slow it down.
  • Having such a focused attack ultimately made my first draft stronger. With longer writing windows I think it’s easier to get distracted and lose the tone, atmosphere, or character voices you’re building throughout your story.

Now what will be interesting is the next step in this process. Writers are all a little different. I know some authors who can write their first draft, do minimal editing, and be done. For me, I fully expect that the editing piece will take twice as long as writing the first draft. Mostly because that’s where I get finicky about word choice, sentence structure, etc.

The challenge, if you want to call it that, will be figuring out a good per-day goal for editing that will keep me on track the same way my first draft goal did. 

Only one idea has come to mind so far – a goal by chapter and type of editing. I break my editing into two categories. Story editing is my opportunity to improve upon the story itself (plot points, making various scenes more impactful, etc.). Basic editing is where I add in the finer details (scenery descriptions, chars details, etc.). So maybe my goal can be to do the story editing for Chapter 1 on one day, for example, basic editing for Chapter 1 the next, and so on.

Might as well give it a try. Realistically I may not even start that until next week because I have to compile the list of by-chapter story edits that still need to be made.

Guess we’ll see if it works! If you are a fellow writer, what do you do to keep yourself on track while editing?

Choose Your Next Story 

As promised in previous posts, I’m steadily plugging away at my books to get them out and into the world as soon as possible. In the meantime, I want to also work on a novella I can release soon to reward all of you for your patience.

What better way to do that, than to make sure you’re getting a story you want? So I’m throwing some options out there for your vote.

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The novella ideas I’m considering are below:

  1. Self-employed baker, Joanna Kane, has built a successful business through rigorous routines. Despite that, her therapist seems convinced that her incessant planning has become a problem. When he challenges her to add more spontaneity to her life, Joanna sets out to prove him wrong. It’s a task that will be easier said than done.
  2. When Jeanie Lorraine’s father passes away unexpectedly, all she wants is to figure out how to move on and be happy again. Maybe that would be possible if it wasn’t for her father’s strange little dog, Gizmo. No matter what she tries, the dog just refuses to be given away.
  3. Teenagers Kacie McGuire and Megan Nunez have been best friends for years. So when their world is rocked by terrible news, it’s no wonder that they plot to escape their troubles together. They may not be able to solve their problems but they can plan the most epic road trip that has ever been done. **This would serve as a short prequel to one of the books I’m currently working on.**

Which of these novella ideas would you like to receive for free as a thank you for subscribing to my newsletter? Drop your vote in the comments below. The story that has the most votes by the end of the week will be my next project.

Haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet? Sign up here so you can receive your FREE story as soon as it’s done!

Week 2 Check-In

It’s been about two weeks since I launched my mission to write, edit, and complete a new book within three months. In that short time, I’ve already learned a few important lessons – some positive, others not so much – but all of them worthwhile.

writing schedule

On the plus side:

  • The outlining strategy I’m trying is working well. It’s a combination of concepts from K.M. Weiland’s Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development and Libbie Hawker’s Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better, Writing.
  • I have to write less words than I thought. I’ve been judging my story length off standard novel averages, which means I planned on it being 80,000-100,000 words. Apparently though, e-book novels – which is what I’ll be writing – typically have a range closer to 40,000-50,000 words. That actually works perfect with how my outline planning has gone and should mean that I have wiggle room in my schedule.
  • I’ve changed up my word count goal. This aligns a bit with the last bullet. Since my overall word count has been adjusted, my rough draft chapters are ranging anywhere from 1,500-2,500 words. Since this is so close to my original 2,000-words-per-day goal, I decided to simplify things and commit to completing a chapter each day. It’s more or less the same but seems soooo much more satisfying.

On the less positive side:

  • A silly decision set me back a week. You see, I’ve had Story A floating through my brain for a few months but, for a number of reasons, I wanted to wait to write it. So I did a last-minute brainstorm and tried to launch this mission with Story B and then even Story C. When it became obvious that those stories were not lining up the way I wanted them to, I turned back to Story A. Ultimately, I’m glad I did this because the words haven’t stopped flowing since, but the mistake cost me a week of planning time before I was able to start writing.
  • I’ve already burnt myself out trying to play catch up. When I started out that week behind with my right draft, I decided to write extra each day to make up time. While it did catch me up some, it also kept me from other tasks and led me to feel frazzled by the end of the week.
  • It takes longer to accomplish my daily writing goal than I thought it would. I currently work on my books for a solid hour and a half every morning. When I was building my schedule, I thought 2,000 words into that window each day would be a breeze. Instead, I’ve had to complete it throughout the day. It’s been okay so far but when I start my next class for work that early morning writing time won’t  be guaranteed so it’ll be interesting to see how my schedule is impacted.
  • I’m still struggling to figure out how I’ll stay on track with everything. Again, this somewhat relates to the last bullet, but I realize that right now I’m just focusing on writing. Pretty soon I’ll have to be editing too. If I want to keep momentum up than it would be ideal to edit one story while I’m planning/writing my next book.

All that being said, I’m pretty happy with how things are going and I look forward to sharing some fun tidbits from this book soon!

If you’re a fellow writer, what fun lessons have you learned since starting your writing career?

Writing Schedule

The last few months have been very interesting. While I have been writing all my life, it’s only recently that I decided to actively pursue self-publishing as a career. As a result, I’ve been gobbling up as much information as I can find on the subject. So far, there’s one piece of advice I’ve come across that I find particularly intriguing – that it’s best to have at least three books fully written before I self-publish my first one.

As you may imagine, I agonize over this suggestion for a number of reasons:

  • Pure impatience. With my mind made up and my heart set on publishing, it’s difficult to imagine all that WAITING.
  • Time to write. I work a full-time job and go to school so finding the time to get one book written seems challenging, much less three.
  • Anticipation with no payout. Obviously three books takes longer to write than one. With that extended timeline, I hesitate to say my first book is “coming soon” when that could still be a year away.

All worries aside, I’ve decided to trust in the wisdom of those who have come before me. To help with the waiting, I’m considering turning my first book into a freebie that will be offered here, to my subscribers. Then, at least people will have something to read while I plug away at my other books.

Also, I’ve decided that I need to develop a true writing schedule for each book. With that much work to do, I’ve got to make a plan and stick with it, otherwise there’s no telling how long these stories will take!


So here’s the schedule I want to try:

  • 1 day to write my character details 
  • 1 day to write my basic story outline
  • 1 day to flesh out the full storyline 
  • 2 months to write the book (that’s roughly 1500 words/day)
  • 1 month to edit the entire project

I’m sure for some writers that seems like a long time and for others it seems short. To be honest, I find the challenge to be intimidating but exciting at the same time.

To keep myself on track, I’m going to post updates both here and on my Facebook page. I’ve been under the weather the last few days so I’ll give myself the week to rest and then it’s game on April 1st!

Be sure to Follow my blog to see how it goes and stay up to date on that first freebie book!