Tag Archives: Accidental novel

Weekly writing check-in: announcing my 2020 project

I took last week off from the blog.

I was ruminating on what it is I might like to do next year.

Actually, I’ve been pondering that for a while.

I want to do something completely different with my Free Fiction Friday posts.

So I thought to myself:

Why don’t I post one of my stories every single Friday for a year?

If you’re thinking: because that’s crazy. Well … I thought that too.

But you may have noticed I’ve been a little vague with the writing updates. That’s because I have been writing a lot of short fiction, mostly flash, or at least stories that clock in at 2,000 words or so.

Some I could (and have) sent out to various markets. But, I want to do something different, something challenging, something fun.

Thus, the (Love) Stories for 2020 project was born.

Because I think we could all use a little love, compassion, and kindness as we head into 2020.

I already have January’s stories ready to go, and February’s and March’s slotted (I’m going for challenging, not completely stress-inducing). I also have about 25 – 30 stories I can use, plus I plan on writing some more.

At year’s end, I’ll collect all the stories in a compilation and publish it in ebook and paperback.

So. Yeah. As my son might say. That’s how my 2020 is shaping up.

Wish me luck?


Filed under Stories for 2020, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: start before you’re ready

So, after I posted about writing “seaside ghost” (which may not even involve the seaside or a ghost) and WWII, I had a mini-freak out.

I was all:

Wait! Why did I say that! I know nothing about WWII!

I then proceeded to have this conversation with myself*.

Other me: Why don’t you check your reading log to see how many books on WWII you’ve actually read?

Me: Wow … that’s a lot of books.

Other me: Now, why don’t you take a quick inventory of all the WWII books you own.

Me: Even more books.

Other me: So maybe if you don’t know something, you could look it up?

Me: …

Other me: …

Me: Okay. Fine. Use logic.

The lesson here (at least, I think there’s a lesson somewhere in here) is not so much start before you’re ready, but start before you feel ready.

In other writerly news, I made progress on some short stories and the project I’m still hoping to do in 2020.

And I finally, finally consolidated all the audio for Coffee and Ghosts and submitted the three-book bundle. I checked, double-checked, triple-checked the files, but I’m still worried I’m either missing one or they’re out of order.

*What. You don’t talk to yourself?

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Weekly writing check-in: seaside ghosts will interrupt your plans

So you may have noticed that I’ve been writing a lot of flash fiction lately. I have a notion for a project I might like to do in 2020, which involves a certain amount of flash fiction.

Years ago, when I was doing write 1/sub 1, I began a story I referred to as “seaside ghost” since it was about a ghost and involved the seaside. (I know. Sometimes the last thing I do is come up with a title for a thing.) I had the thought I might take the seed of that story and create a flash fiction around it.

Narrator: She didn’t.

I’m closing in on 2,000 words, which is well out of flash range. I don’t know what I’m looking at right now. A novelette? An actual novel? Who knows? The reason I set the original story aside is it involved WWII, and I didn’t have the background to write it. I figured I’d return to it once I did a little research.

Apparently, the muse has decided I’ve completed the necessary research. I guess now we’ll see where she leads me.

I’m still hoping to complete my flash project for 2020.

Narrator: She is optimistic.

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Weekly writing check-in: the one where I look back at 2014

Action is hopeHappy New Year! I hope it was joyous and safe and you have lots of plans for the new  year.

I’m going to take a quick look back before I jump into 2015 proper.

Words written:

For 2014, I wrote ~270,000 words.

Uh, yeah. That looks like a lot. You know what? It doesn’t feel like a lot. I don’t feel tired or drained from doing that. In fact, I feel energized, and to quote Mr. Bradbury, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.

270,000 words looks intimidating. But really? Divide that by 365. It’s only 740 words per day.

740. Not even 1,000 words per day. That’s doable. If you bump it up a bit, you can take weekends off. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now. Daily writing is a lot like exercise. It isn’t sexy or glamorous, but if you commit to it, you’ll see results.

Of those words I wrote, I managed a couple of novels, a handful of short stories, and several novelettes. I love writing novelettes, but it’s hard to find a home for them.

Other stats:

I made 51 submissions this year (down ~ 50 from last year).

I sold six stories/poem thingies.

Of my fiction writing income, 30% came from selling to traditional markets (short fiction markets) and 70% came from publishing my own work. With this in mind, I will probably concentrate on publishing my own work in 2015, in a variety of ways.

2014 Publications:

Straying from the Path at Flash Fiction Online

A Most Marvelous Pair of Boots at Timeless Tales Magazine

Breakfast in the Desert at Every Day Poets

Playing Soldier in issue #9 of Vine Leaves Literary Journal (and best of anthology for 2014)

The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty, in audio, at Cast of Wonders

Girl with the Piccolo, in audio, at Cast of Wonders

Incriminating Evidence in Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Issue #4

This week:

Writing Work:

  • Writing ~ 9,700 words (I’m on a bit of a tear this week)
  • Graphic Design tutorials


  • None


  • None


  • None


  • None

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Filed under Cooking (disasters), Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with a word-count milestone

My news this week? I hit a milestone. So far this year I’ve written 250,278 words! Yes. I know. I have no idea how I did it either.

Well, actually, I do. But the nuts and bolts of it are pretty boring. There’s no magic formula, no silver bullet. It’s a lot like exercise. You do a little bit every day and that little bit adds up. Not sexy in the least. But that’s all I have.

But if you’d like a bit more inspiration, I highly recommend Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing. That’s really where this all started.

Also? It’s snowing on WordPress. I love that.

Writing Work:

  • Writing ~ 7,805 words (those last five words are very important)


  • None


  • None


  • None


  • None

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Weekly writing check-in: the one with a finished novel

dorm5So apparently you can send your son off to college and finish a novel all in the same week. Because that’s what I did this week. Those 11,000 words? Yeah, I have no idea when I wrote them. I just grabbed pockets of time here and there, and the next thing I knew, I was closing in on the last few scenes.

Once you get there, it’s hard to stop writing. So while that looks like a lot of words, it didn’t feel that way. As far as the total goes, the novel came in at ~ 80,000 words, which is a nice size for a novel.

And also, in other big news, my son went off to college this week! It’s not every day these two things happen, right? As you can see, he’s busy doing schoolwork already. Actually, he’s filling out the check-in form so he isn’t charged for damage to his dorm room later on.

So … that was my week. How was yours?

Writing Work:

  • Pansy 2.0 ~ 11,650 words


  • March Madness


  • Five to Freedom


  • None


  • None


Filed under Kids, Weekly Writing Check In, Writing

Weekly writing check-in: the one with the novel breakdown

No, my novel did not have a breakdown. Also, I did not have a breakdown while finishing my novel, amazingly enough. But! Finish it, I did!

The Time After came in at 94,070 words. This looks like a lot of words, and I suppose it is if you write them all at once. Here’s the week-by-week breakdown of that:

Week 1: 5,069
Week 2: 5,388
Week 3: 6,827
Week 4: 5,291
Week 5: 7,774
Week 6: 8,081
Week 7: 8,637
Week 8: 5,833
Week 9: 5,004
Week 10: 7,214
Week 11: 6,113
Week 12: 5,226
Week 13: 5,707
Week 14: 5,531
Week 15: 6,283

But let’s break it down further. I worked on this novel for 101 days. If you look at it like that, I wrote, on average, 931 words per day. That’s not a blistering pace. It’s doable. It’s about the amount that can fit into Anne Lamott’s one-inch picture frame.

For me, the best way to stack up words is to stack them up a little bit at a time on a regular basis.

In other news, on the day I finished the novel, I also sold a short story. That’s not something that happens every day. But it did on Thursday.

Writing Work:

  • The Time After ~6,283 words
  • Incriminating Evidence ~ edits
  • The Fine Art of Keeping Quiet ~ copy edits


  • Abandonment Issues


  • Doreen’s Muse



  • None

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