On the Road (10 Days to 20k, Day 4)

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Short day today. We hit the road early to spend the day with family in Stratford, one of Ontario’s theatre meccas. Fortunately, my chauffeur likes driving. I had to marry to get him to drive full time, but it meant I squeezed in a few words.

A year and a half ago, I met Shaunta Grimes. She’s a multi-talented writer and teacher. Her theory is that you set small goals and do it every day. 10 minutes. 500 words. I knew today wasn’t going to be a big word day, so I told myself to just try to write 500 on the drive. The nice thing about small goals is they’re easy to hit, and often times by the time you’ve hit them, you’ve picked up some momentum and want to keep going. I’m going to need more than 500 words a day to meet my goal of getting this draft done by October, but on the days when I know I won’t write much with mitigating circumstances, hitting a small goal makes me feel like I’ve still accomplished something.

What’s one small goal you can set?

10 Days to 20k Summary
Day: 4
Words Written Today: 1,073
Total Words Written: 10,749
Words Left: 9,251
Percent Complete: 54%

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Shut Up and Write (10 Days to 20k, Day 1)

About six years ago, I heard about this thing called NaNoWriMo. Apparently you wrote a 50k novel in a month? I’d dabbled in story writing as a teenager, and always felt like I had a novel in me, but had never managed to get past one messily scrawled notebook.

I decided to give it a shot. I think I googled something like “how to write a novel”. Somewhere I read the famous recommendation–“Bum in Chair, Hands on Keyboard”. That sounded like good advice to me. I even called the filename to my NaNo story BICHOK, which felt clever acronym and also a good way to remind myself the only way to write that many words was to show up and do it.

I wrote 50k that year. It was nowhere near a novel, was out of sequence, and generally not very good. I also lost that file shortly after in a hard drive crash.  I mourned for a while. Someday I’ll rewrite it.

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10 Days to 20K

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Okay, now that the “oh my god, they’re going to publish me!!!” dust is settling, it’s time to buckle down and do some work. Here’s the deal:

The Red Creek Series

3 standalone m/m romance titles. Red Creek is a fictional small town somewhere in the American Northeast. Book 1 is done (or is in draft and is going to the publisher next week for editing). Book 2 is due by the end of the year. I’m currently about 30,000 words in. Your average romance novel is 60,000 to 80,000, so that sounds like I’m almost halfway, right?

Wrong.

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Plot Bunnies

So…there may have been some misadventures in the Temple household this evening. These misdaventures may have involved a microwave, an incinerated sweet potato, a distracted writer on a deadline, and the local fire department.

The end of the story is we’re all fine. Except the sweet potato. I don’t think he’ll be coming back from this.

The good news is I now have a really cute plot bunny hopping through my head. It involves a well meaning and somewhat overweight main character who, on a quest to eat healthier, learns the hard way that sweet potatoes should not be left in microwaves unattended. Fortunately, there is a hot firefighter there to help him learn this lesson safely. Love and general adorableness ensues.

Sounds like a true-to-life bestseller, no?

Sunday Run Down

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Actual photo of me, right now.   (but not really)

As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s been busy around here lately. True story, I got my first publishing offer on March 31, which was immediately followed by a flurry of agents, more publishers, emails written with shaking hands and, if we’re being honest, a certain amount of hurry up and wait.

I wrote a more concise post about how it all went down on Medium, and it was picked up by the good folks at Art + Marketing. If you’re a Medium user, I’d love it if you read it and leave me a little green heart.

Next steps? Well, we’re in uncharted territory now. I need to have a polished MS for The Pick Up to Riptide in two weeks. Then I have to have book 2 done by the end of the year! I picked that deadline myself. Brave or stupid, as my husband would say. There’s a lot of writing in my future.

I’ll be in Denver in October for the GRL Retreat. If you’re a m/m romance fan and planning on going, I’d love to see you! I’m going as a reader, not an author, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends 🙂