12 Pages and DONE!

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Yesterday Trish and I did something we have never done – we finished writing a book on the same day. Cool, huh?
Of course, my last two pages, the ds was standing over me waiting to type up his newspaper story. Then when I finished and said I won, the dh said, "It's like winning golf - you're competing against yourself." Then the ds said, "Yeah, take THAT, past you!" referring to the FRIENDS episode where Monica tried to outdo herself for Thanksgiving dinner.

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I was thinking about this Nano vs. last Nano. I looked for my Excel chart for last year but couldn’t find it. That would have been interesting. And since I didn't use all my good pictures, I will sprinkle more through today's post in celebration.

Last Nano, I changed heroes midstream.

Last Nano, I woke up early almost every day to write before I went to work.
This Nano, I only did that the last week.

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Last Nano, I had out of town company, and so did the bulk of the story at the beginning of the month.
This Nano, I had edits and revisions at the beginning of the month, so did the bulk of the book at the end of the month.

Last Nano, I had green on my chart almost every day.
This Nano, I have more red than green. I really doubted if I should try to finish, just before Thanksgiving. I knew if I didn’t catch up that week, I never would.

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Last Nano I wished that I had a plot about 2/3 of the way through.
This Nano, I wished that I had a plot about 90% through.

Last Nano, I couldn’t keep my hero and heroine’s hands off each other.
This Nano, the sensuality felt a little more forced. And only one love scene.

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Last Nano I finished on November 27.
This Nano, I finished on November 29.

I got an email from my Samhain editor that Hot Shot may be out in ebook in April. Happy birthday to ME! I wonder when I'll get my cover....

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13 Pages - ALMOST DONE

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Wrote the world's worst love scene white the ds listened to the Republican debate. Kept getting distracted despite my headphones and blasting Evanescence. Then he needed the computer, and I fell asleep holding a book in bed! Glad it wasn't hardcover.

One big scene left. And I've been saving the best pictures for last!

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12 Pages, and Apparently That WASN'T the Climax

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I wrote 12 pages in just over 3 hours last night. That leaves me with just over 6000 words to go. Tonight I'm not cooking, and the dh is practicing with his band, so I should get pretty well into it. I have 3 big scenes remaining.

Monday when I went to Target, I saw some pjs I liked, but that Target didn't have them in my size, so my mom went to a different Target last night and found them and brought them to me (how's THAT for service??) I haven't tried them on yet, but they're very pretty, red with white reindeer. My other flannel pjs are getting kinda old, but I love them. They've got pictures of Coke and popcorn all over ;)

I had a nightmare last night that all the Tivoed stuff got erased. Considering I only haven't watched TV LAST night, that was silly, but in my dream, I was missing a lot of stuff, including Bones. Nooooo!!!!!

Yesterday I was listening to a Supernatural podcast, and the girl who played the crossroads demon that Sam killed was Jared's real girlfriend - did you know that?

I was teasing my cousin because she hangs around these 20-something hockey players all the time and my dh said, "Hello, whose picture do you have on your phone?" And my blog, and my desktop at school, and my water mug at school....

Off to get some words in before school!

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6 Pages, and I'm Ready for This to be OVER!

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Nano, I mean. Four more days. 9200 more words. I'm actually at the climax of my story, so I'm wondering how much farther I can go.

Did finish Christmas shopping for Cindi's family yesterday while waiting to pick up the boy from school. Also wrote the Christmas letter and stuffed it in cards, just waiting for the boy's school picture to come in. Seriously, we took them in AUGUST.

Cindi's baby is one year old today. Today was also the day I finished Nano last year.

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Only 6 Pages, and Goals

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I have often wondered if I didn't nap on my days off if I would get more writing done. That didn't happen yesterday. The ds's girlfriend came over, so I didn't nap, and only wrote 6 pages all day.

Back to work today. It's COLD - 35 - and I have NO idea what I'm teaching this week. Time to be boring, I guess, and get out the text books.

1) Figure out what I'm teaching this week
2) Finish Nano
3) Hot Shot ending and send back to my editor
4) thank you notes to Gateway
5) get ready for critique on Saturday
6) get Christmas tree
7) do Christmas letter and get Christmas cards ready
8) get Sophia (Cindi's baby) a gift - any ideas? I haven't had to buy for a girl in a LONG time!
9) keep up house
10) keep up at school

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10 Pages, and Things You Can Do One Handed While Talking on the Phone

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I JUST got my 10 pages in, at 1:20. Yeesh. How come my vacation is almost over and NOW I can stay up till 1:30? I was gone 2 hours this AM, getting new tires, groceries and running to Bath and Body Works for soap. Then an hour and a half round trip to take my son to a birthday party (and get a gift on the way.) Came home, ate lunch at 2 (!!) then took a short nap. Woke up in time to go pick up my son (2 1/2 hours this time, because we stopped and had dinner). Got home at 7, showered, started writing at about a quarter till 8, my cousin called at 9:40, and I got off the phone with her at 11:30.

I found out there are a lot of things you can do one-handed while on the phone.

You can unload the dishwasher.

You can sort clothes, and fumble them into the washer and/or dryer.

You can change your purse.

You can put your return address on bills.

You can address Christmas cards and sort them by who needs a letter and a picture of the boy and who doesn't.

You can look for more pictures of Jared ;)

Are you a phone person or do you dread it?

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14 Pages, and Why a Laptop is a Good Time Management Device

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I reached my ten pages early, but kept my borrowed laptop fired up and ended up with four more after watching Blood Ties, using the tricks I talked about yesterday.

I like using the laptop (though I thought I wouldn't) because the battery lasts about 2 hours. Then, while it recharges, I do other things, like get out my Christmas dishes or clean the kitchen or sweep the front porch or start laundry or run errands. Then, when it's charged, I write like crazy again. Works well. I'm actually thinking about getting a cheap Windows (GASP!) laptop just as a word processor.

It's chilly here, so last night we ate leftovers on Christmas plates, drank hot chocolate from Christmas mugs and had popcorn out of a Christmas bowl. Oh, and my Christmas chocolate chip cookies are on a Christmas platter.

I forgot to put my jeans in the dryer, so I need to put on some old ones and get to the store. Le Sigh.

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10 Pages and How I Trick Myself

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I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, and if you got up early to shop, you found what you were looking for!

I ended up with 10 pages yesterday because I've made it a game. See, I have this Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of my progress. The first column tells me how many words I've written, the second (the only cell I can manipulate) is the total number of pages in the document, and the last column gives me my daily word count goal. okay, let's see if I can explain what I do.

I try to make the first column end as close to a 250 as possible, because 250 words equals a page, right? So if I've written 1,780 words, I push till I have 2,000. If I've written 2,175 words, I push till I have 250. Increments of 250, see?

But if the total number of words, the cell I can manipulate, ends up just short of 500, I push till I get there. So if the total word count is 16,430 after I do the 250 trick, I push 'til I get to 16,500. Or if I'm at 16,830, I push till I get to 17,000.

There's another thing I do, too, but it might be MORE confusing to explain. See, the last column tells me how many words I should have written to meet my daily goal. So if I've met my daily goal, I look at the next day's daily goal and try to reduce it to 2,000 words. So, say, tomorrow my daily goal is 32,591. That's where I should be at the end of the day. So today, I made sure I wrote till I got to 30,591, so I only HAVE to write 2,000 words tomorrow.

Now, when I did that, that messed up the 250 rule, so I kept going. But that's the game I've been playing.

My characters are in New Orleans now. I didn't see that coming at all. Maybe eventually I'll have some romance in my romance novel.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!! And 12 Pages!

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I'm thankful for the week off!

I'm thankful I don't have to cook or clean! (though my house is presentable)

I'm thankful for the cold front that lets me wear my fuzzy socks!

I'm also thankful the past two days were beautiful and springlike so I could sit outside and write.

I'm thankful my dh and ds are happy and healthy.

I'm thankful I have two books contracted.

I'm thankful for the internet, and the friends I've found here!

I'm thankful for the internet which means I don't have to go shopping ;)

I'm thankful I've found my groove for Nano, and that there might actually be romance in this romance novel, after all!

I'm thankful for restaurants which help me avoid cooking ;)

What are you thankful for?

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20 PAGES!!!!! And TV

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Yesterday I:

Wrote 20 pages - 9 from 5:30-10, with a break to recharge the laptop and clean the kitchen, 9 more from 10-5, with a break for a trip to Blockbuster and the library, and a nap, and to finish reading Supernatural, and 2 after 10 PM, after visiting CIndi. 20 pages is the best I've ever done in one day, and it caught me up in Nano.

Cleaned the kitchen, including the bins in the refrigerator

Went to Blockbuster and rented the new Die Hard, V for Vendetta and License to Wed.

Went to library and checked out Karleen Koen's newest audiobook

Went to Cindi's and hung out in the evening

Finished reading the Supernatural novel

See my reward below.

Today I know I won't be anywhere as productive, even though I only need to get to the dry cleaners and the gas station. It's just the way I work.

I haven't talked about TV in awhile, probably because I haven't had 2 brain cells to spare.

Supernatural last week: awesome, awesome, awesome. I love the vampire episodes, and thought it was funny that Harmony from Buffy was on (though, hello, she has to be at least 30 herself, so her saying the guy was old, maybe 30, didn't ring true.) I loved how the brothers worked together, how they acted when they were separated, I loved how they got the crap kicked out of them. Just a really good episode. Looks like there won't be a new one for a bit, according to Tivo.

Men in Trees: Loved that Jack took part in the wedding, loved the byplay between him and Marin, LOVED the ending. Could have done without the new Patrick plotline -that's just silly. (I'm trying to be vague, because I know some people are behind in their viewing.)

I haven't seen Grey's, FNL or Moonlight yet. I have to watch Grey's and Moonlight online.

Heroes ROCKED. OMG. The ending. O. M. G. What does this MEAN??? And how mean is Elle? Wow. How smart is Noah? Also wow. The conversation between Noah and flying boy, about the car struck me as off, but I LOVED the exchange between Noah and his wife. I like Parkman's new ability. I cried for Hiro. No Nathan, though :(

Bones was awesome, too. I love the Gormagon storyline. The dh thinks he knows who it is and I really really hope he's wrong.

What have you been watching?

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Christmas Books

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My grandmother LOVED Christmas books, anthologies in particular. She'd start reading them in October when they'd come out. I don't usually fall into the trap, but this year I did. Maybe they'll get me in the spirit (as will the cold front coming in tomorrow night, since we have our AC on tonight!) So over the next few weeks, I'm going to read some Christmas books. This is what I have on my TBR.

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What about you? Do you love Christmas books?

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What's Next?

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Now that I’ve sold, I’m starting to think about second books and what I have and what they need to be ready. Hot Shot and Smoke both have been through the revision process from an editor. Except for DLB, which is with Susan Litman for SRS, I don’t have anything else with that level of polish.

Here are my books, in descending order of readiness:

Beneath the Surface – maybe needs one more pass if I leave it as a RS, but if I change it to paranormal, that’s a lot of rewriting.

Breaking Daylight – going through critique group now

Ghost of a Doubt – needs to go to critique group

Vanished – I’m not sure about this one. I like it, but I was told that since the h/h aren’t in real danger, it’s not going to sell. But it’s done, has an ending, probably needs more polish and maybe critique group.

Spy Girl – need to build up hero/villain’s motivation and backstory, revise and give new title.

Second Chances – need to rewrite the back half and give it a new title.

Eden’s Promise – want to revise this one for the Shomi line.

Heart of a Knight – not sure. Maybe worth the effort. Needs big revisions and polishing.

Pride’s Fall – I think this would be good for WRP. I actually have to retype it (it’s that old) and boost the conflict and romance.

The Simple Life – My main couple is dull. I still love the story. Will need reenvisioning.

Everything else stays under the bed. Lessee, that’s…GBGB, zoo, DiD, 2 single dad stories, a basketball hero, a military hero, and I think 1 more.

Of course, I’m still writing my Vamp Hunter and my small town story, and I have a couple of other intriguing partials….

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Goals

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A whole week off!!! Couldn’t have come at a better time!

1) Nano 15 pages a day (maybe more…I’m WAY behind)
2) Revise Hot Shot ending
3) Thank yous to Gateway to the Best
4) Go to Mom’s place in the country, celebrate sale
5) Breakfast with Mom
6) Grocery store
7) Take boy for permit, practice driving
8) Get insurance and lessons paid for
9) Get new tires
10) Go to Cindi’s, see kids
11) Clean house one hour a day
12) Walk every day it doesn’t rain
13) Catch up on Tivo and Blockbuster if I meet my daily goals
14) Decorate for Christmas, make list for gifts
15) Start Christmas cards

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Random Saturday

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Especially when you’re not seeing what’s next in your Nano book.

But I’m on vacation!

Thursday Mom, Baby Brother and I went to a crafts show and I fell down the stairs (thank goodness a short flight). BB tried to catch me and I cracked my head on his knee. Boy has bony knees. He says I have a hard head. I have a nice goose egg, and the rest of my body’s a bit sore from the fall.

I cooked for the first time all week yesterday. Then I cleaned up a bit, hoping the order would help me. Not so far.

I had a freak out because I lost my tutoring check. Yep, I went crazy for $13. I’m sane.

JDM is in the sexiest man alive edition of People. No, I haven’t found it yet.

My inbox is exploding with emails, even one from my paternal gma! Looking at the list is pretty daunting, though!

I woke up from a bad dream about Trish and saw every light in the house was on. I got up to turn them off, and the boy was still up, playing his new video game. It was 3 AM! Won't be seeing him for awhile!

The dh is playing in his new band tonight, at a punk club. I won’t be going, but he’s excited.

Today I have to revise the end of Hot Shot, send it to someone to read. Focus would be nice. And I need to hit the post office to mail my contract. I think I can hold off on the grocery store till tomorrow, though…

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HOT SHOT

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I had JUST finished watching Ocean's 13 and I checked my email and there it was, an offer from Samhain for Hot Shot. I MAY have waited ten seconds before emailing back YES YES YES!!!! Then I sat at the computer and stared for ages. Of course it was late and everyone online was asleep and Trish is on a train in the Sierra Nevadas, so I celebrated quietly. Didn't touch the floor all day, though!

I had gone to SARA earlier in the evening and mentioned that I loved my WRP cover and was so glad that book sold, but I REALLY wanted to sell Hot Shot (mainly so I don't have to mess with it anymore) and 2 hours later....

I didn't think I'd sleep, but I did. At least until 4 AM ;)

Got the contract today, about to go over it. And I do have some minor revisions on the back end.

Longest DAY Ever

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I swear, at one point yesterday, the clock was going BACKWARDS. All of us, the kids, the SPED teacher, me, were watching the clock, anxious to get out of there. I'd HAD it by lunchtime, the kids were rowdy and fighting with each other and the centers weren't working. During my planning, I listened to my ds's Arcade Fire albums and recharged. I pulled out a Jeopardy game and we played it in the PM, until the principal got on the intercom and announced the Mariachi band from the HS was there to play for us. My kids didn't want to go, but 3 of my ex-students are in the band (remember, I was music teacher 7 years.) One of my kids asked, "How can that be? They're in HIGH SCHOOL." Bless her heart. I have some ex-students closing in on 30.

Anyway, we went down the hall to see the mariachis. Cindi had taught 2 of them in both 2nd grade and 4th grade, and Robert, her husband, had taught one of them, so they pulled us out of the crowd and serenaded us. It was AWESOME. I cried, y'all (I know, shock.) But to see the wonderful, talented people these kids have become, and knowing I had some small part in that...it was just what I needed yesterday.

I hope it gets me through the rest of the week ;) If it doesn't the cool front blowing in right now might ;)

The new Supernatural novel is not making me happy. The author doesn't have the rhythm of the brothers down, like the first author did. This is sounding like a cool story, but the author's lack of connection with the characters we know from watching the show is causing problems. However, tonight Gordon's back on the show. Next week looks like a rerun of the season premiere.

I don't know why they tweaked Jared's eyes in this pic, but I like it.

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Random Wednesday

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Wow, has THIS been a long week. And it's only Wednesday!!! And I can't find my favorite denim skirt to wear today....

Stared at my cover ALL DAY. Got hugs from teachers who are proud of me.

Managed to get to my blog from school yesterday! Shock!

I DID write yesterday, but longhand, since the boy was working on a paper all evening. I REALLY need to get back to the storyboard, because stuff is happening ALL out of order, and I don't like that.

Since Trish is on the train and without Internet, we talked on the phone.

The boy and I were on our own for dinner, so I got a pizza and Shrek 3 and Ocean's 13. We ate the whole pizza, saw Shrek, wasn't impressed (except for the gingerbread man's flashback - I LOVED that.) Started Ocean's 13.

Finished Dear Santa, was very good. Started Witch's Canyon. Worst First Chapter Ever. Yeesh.

Col front coming in tonight - FINALLY. It's been summer-like.

What're you up to?

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I Have Seen My Cover

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And I LOVE it. Okay, the guy on the cover is way more buff than Seth, and looks more Italian than Hispanic, and wears a chain instead of a leather strip around his neck, but overall it couldn't be better. I love Lauren. I've been carrying it around staring at it all day.

I found out my book was accepted into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest. If I get good news from Samhain, I need to pull it.

I overslept a bit today - but I should be able to get in 30 minutes of writing before I go to work.

Don't forget to vote for Trish!

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Round Two - FIGHT!

Remember the Mortal Kombat games? Before every round?

Anyway, Round Two of American Title is up. Go vote for Trish!

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Trish thanks you, I thank you, Sammy thanks you ;)

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Yesterday I Made My CPs Cry, and Goals

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Yesterday I was gone 11 hours. When I found out only 3 of us were at critique, I thought I'd be home early afternoon, easy.

I left at FOUR! But I got REALLY good feedback on BD. In fact, one of my cps hadn't been able to print out all my pages, so the other cp was telling her about one of the scenes and CRYING. Wow, did I feel good!!

Then I came home and we FINALLY went to The Gristmill to celebrate my contract. We took my MIL, and finally told her about the contract when we were taking her home. She got mad she was the last to know, but she isn't, really. It's just weird.

Anyway, I've got to get to work. I'm only going to breakfast and a quick grocery store trip today, then reading Trish's ms and writing. I am convinced if I'd held off to write the small town story now, I'd be farther along. I'm pretty clueless on this book.

Goals

1) Nano (at LEAST 2000 words a day – GOTTA)
2) Read Trish’s ms
3) SARA? (If I can find the boy a way to get to Battle of the Bands)
4) More revisions on Smoke?
5) Write thank you notes for Gateway to the Best
6) Boy’s Battle of the Bands
7) arts and crafts show with my mom (shopping, not displaying)
8) tutoring
9) school website committee meeting
10) get grades in (I’m in good shape here for a change)
11) keep up house



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Guilty?

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Why am I feeling guilty for all the red on my calendar? It's not like I've been slacking. I had three late nights and a crazy Monday, and yesterday read my critique partners' stuff for critique group today. I've done all the edits the WRP editor has sent me within a day. And I wrote some longhand yesterday, and know what's going to happen next (immediately next, but still.) Still, that red has me down.

Maybe this will help.

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Goodreads

M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
reviews: 2
ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

Good Reads

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MJFredrick
I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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