New Year, New Goals

If you aren’t tired of hearing it already then allow me to be the next to wish you a Happy New Year!  I hope it brings you health and happiness.

Where did 2017 go? I had so many plans to be more productive writing and to publish more books and yet, somehow, all those plans managed to slip through the cracks. I’m a little disappointed in myself. While I did manage to write at least three full first drafts, I haven’t made much progress in rewriting those drafts and bringing them any closer to publication.

Remember Waking Fire? It’s one of my favorites. Somewhere around the middle, the whole story muddled and fell apart though and I’m still trying to figure out how to fix it. This is becoming a typical scenario for me, one which I hope to rectify. With a bit of luck, I’ll solve the problem and get this book into the hands of readers soon.

But either way, I’m still here. I’m still writing and creating. I’m still reading and learning. I like to think I may even be improving along the way. As December came to a close, I finished up a very detailed outline of my current WIP. I will be using that outline to finish another first draft this month. (Follow my progress on Twitter as I join in the #WIPjoy fun.) I like to think I’ve worked out the problems before committing too much story to paper and I will, therefore, avoid the issues I face with Waking Fire.

One of the things I enjoyed in 2017 was sharing the work of fellow authors. I plan to do more of that this year, however,  I’ll keep it to a minimum since promotion isn’t what this blog is about. Look for those features on Mondays.

Wednesdays and Fridays, I’ll reserve for posts of a more personal nature. I’m not quite sure what Wednesdays will bring but Fridays I am participating in the 2018 blog challenge so that should yield some fun posts. I hope. 🙂

I have a mailing list. You can sign up HERE. I’ll be putting this to better use in 2018 as well. If you have an interest in receiving free Advanced Reader Copies of my books or discounts on new releases, then you should certainly sign up. I’m expecting to send out a newsletter about once per month, more only if I have something so exciting I can’t wait to share.

Above all else, I want to wish you all the best the new year has to offer and I hope that you’ll stick with me on this crazy journey as we begin yet again…

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Waking Fire Fourth Week Update

It’s been an interesting week of frustrations and progress.

First, the frustrations. Writing shouldn’t hinge on whether or not I have an internet connection but it’s rather eye opening to consider just how often I depend on said connection. Take that away and leave me crippled, or at the very least, grumpy, even though in fairness, I should be way more productive writing. I wish I could say those issues have been resolved with the installation of a new wireless router but lo and behold, we’re still struggling and I’m fighting an in and out connection just to accomplish anything that requires I be connected to the world – like right now writing this day-late blog post. (ha)  Any suggestions?

It’s the last week of summer vacation for the kiddos and while I should be happy that soon I’ll have uninterrupted writing time, I am inevitably sad that I’ll be on my own. <big sigh> Let’s face it, I get way more done when I can concentrate on well… getting stuff done … but it’s not nearly as much fun. I like having the company and I miss them when they’re gone.

Since school starts next week, that also means even if technically, summer isn’t really over, it might as well be. Back to the grind. Early bedtimes. Nightly homework. Grumpy mornings. No more leisurely start to the day or trips to the pool. The days are getting shorter. I already notice the early darkness and the fact that it still looks like nighttime when I get up at 6am. As much as I love fall and look forward to everything it has to offer, I’m reluctant to kiss summer goodbye. I guess that makes me a sentimental sap. I’m already mourning the end of my garden.

We’ve spent a lot of time this week preparing for the dreaded back-to-school. The kids approach this task solemnly. It’s kind of fun to pick out new clothes, shoes, and supplies, but it means the day they would rather put off is catching up with them.

We were totally boring for the eclipse. It didn’t occur to me to get glasses and I know what my kids are like so I didn’t want them tempted to look. So instead, we locked ourselves away in the house for three hours with all the curtains pulled to watch movies. Boring. I’ll be better prepared for the next one in seven years. (ha ha)

But in all the crazy to-ing and fro-ing, I did manage to get a fair bit of writing done. I’m not quite as far as I’d hoped to be by day twenty-four but sitting at 38,578 words and 64% complete is not too shabby by any stretch of the imagination! I’ll take it.

I have a growing list of changes I want to make when it comes time to start rewrites and a nagging fear that I’m writing complete crap but I will persevere regardless. There are other aspects of my story that I do like. I am going to finish this draft. Okay, maybe not by the 31st as originally planned, but I haven’t given up hope on that either. I may have hit a few road blocks with one thing or another but I know when the kids are back in school, I will be able to write a lot more than I do now – maybe even double. If that is the case, there is no reason why I won’t be celebrating the completion of draft one by September 1st!

What do you suppose would be an appropriate way to celebrate?

This morning in the shower, I was struck with a way to make an older idea of mine better. It was a story I started a couple years ago and never finished because I never quite figured out what story I was trying to tell. Maybe it finally hit me? During my down time, I’m going to start brainstorming and who knows, I could end up with the outline for my next book.

Okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. (Restlessness is setting in.) Fear not, I still plan to immerse myself in rewrites for this book come September.

Time to enjoy those last fleeting moments of summer with my boys. Until next week…

 

Let’s Go Fly a Kite … It’s March!

marchupdatesFebruary was a hectic month. I questioned my abilities to write a good story and I wondered whether my time would be better spent pursuing a new job outside the home. The only real conclusion I have reached is … I love to write. I wish it benefited me financially to do so, but hey, we can’t have our cake and eat it too, right? We’ll get through summer and see where we end up in the fall.

Here it is March already and it’s about time I post my monthly update!

Edits… I am still rewriting ‘Rise of the Angerroots’. Slow, slow, slow going… but I have also been distracted by other things. The problem I have with this story is that I spent too long to write it with too much time in between. That sounds a little odd, I know. I’ve changed my mind about too many elements of the story, including character names, and that just makes for an editing nightmare.

Writing… I am halfway through the prequel novella and writing it has helped me fine tune rewrites on Rise of the Angerroots. I understand where the characters are coming from a little better. The downside – this adds to my editing nightmare. (Ha!) Anyway, because I’m crazy and can’t seem to focus on one idea at a time, I have also started writing a comedy romance. My friend, Joe, will be making his debut as a fictional character as the owner of a high class Italian restaurant. He’s thrilled. Or scared. I’m not sure.

The Challenge… I committed to writing 365,000 words this year. I hit 103, 000 at the end of February. Yes! That is like two NaNoWrimo’s.

Short Story Contest… Remember ‘Point of Entry’? Results of the round one entries should be available on March 15th. Round 2 begins shortly after. My fingers are still crossed and I hope to share good news soon. And if I make it, you can bet ‘Point of Entry’ will make an appearance on the blog. 😉 I just received an email this morning about Writer’s Digest annual contest so hey, maybe I will join that one, too. The deadline is May 6th.

I’ve taken a break from participating in the Weekend Writing Warriors while I try to get my stories organized but I do plan to get back to that soon.

That’s about it for now. Let’s think spring! I can’t wait to see some green in the trees and flowers in the garden again. Enjoy March. 🙂

 

 

Who Am I and Why I’m Here…

close up of typewriter vintage retro styledHello, World!

It’s Monday morning and everyone is back to work and school after a fun, but lazy, eleven days off together. I enjoyed it immensely and I’m sad to see the holidays end and the dreariness of true winter begin. We even woke up to snow this morning which was a real shock to the system after the warm December we’ve had.

The kids were shocked when I told them we wouldn’t be driving to the bus stop in the car. “You mean we have to walk in the snow?”

Yes, and believe it or not… we lived to tell the tale. Better get used to it, as well, because I suspect we’ll be seeing plenty more of that before spring comes.

Anyway, now that I’m back to quiet time on my own, as part of the new year, I am setting new goals for my writing. (You may have already got a glimpse of this in my earlier post.) I’ve committed to writing at least 1,000 words per day by joining the 365k club and I’ve also signed up for WordPress’ Blogging 101 online course.

Okay, so I’m not exactly new to WordPress or to this blog, but I have certainly struggled with figuring out what to blog and to sticking to a consistent routine in doing so. Maybe I will learn something new. Maybe I won’t. It never hurts to give it a try.

First assignment, of course, is to introduce ourselves and talk about why we are here. I suppose that’s a good question! For those who have only just stumbled across my blog for the first time, my name is Stephanie Ingram and I write fiction. Paranormal is my favorite but my stories border in the fantasy realm, too. I originally started this blog in order to share my writing news. I have also used it to talk about daily life from time to time, and I’ve shared samples of my works-in-progress.

Beyond that, I’m not really sure why I’m here and that is probably half my problem! Over the coming weeks, I will think about my focus for blogging and see where it takes me.

I can imagine myself exploring my interests related to writing, books I have enjoyed, and topics related to the paranormal. That is a good place to start.

In the meantime, there are Christmas decorations to take down and put away and a mess to sort through to get the house back in order again. Let’s not forget the exercise routine that I put aside in favor of family fun and yummy treats. I need to restart that, too. Ah, January, you’ve never been my favorite month. But Christmas brought me a brand new laptop and as I learn my way around Windows 10 (after using a machine that barely functioned and ran Windows XP), I look forward to writing and sharing much more…

Happy Day!

 

 

What’s Up, December 2015

Nano winnerFirst of all, congratulations to all my fellow writers who took the plunge into NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and came out winning on the other side. Whether you wrote 50,000 words or not, tackling the challenge is still something to be proud of and I hope you had fun along the way.

Obviously, NaNoWriMo is one of those challenges I can’t resist because 2015 marks my eight year signing on and my seventh year winning. I now have a 50,000 word “paranormal romance” currently titled Blood Moon. This mess, err, I mean book, will undergo extensive rewrites during the month of December and with a bit of luck, will be ready to submit to publishers sometime early in the new year.

My zombie story is on hold. It stands at just under 10,000 words. Hoping to jump back into that story as soon as the dust settles from my previous writing frenzy.

Rise of the Angerroots is also still waiting in the wings. I have high hopes to submit this one to the Amazon Scout Program in early 2016 and/or simply self-publish. More on that soon.

As the year ends, I look ahead to my goals for a new year of writing. I am happy to have settled into a regular routine and I am excited about having stories to share in the near future, both long and short.

For starters, I have entered the 2016 Short Story Writing Competition. Round one begins on January 22nd. This is my first time participating in this type of challenge and my stomach is in knots.  Stay tuned for details on how you can cheer me on.

I also have a short story in the works for hopeful submission to a horror anthology. I will be carving out some time to get that finished and polished in the coming weeks. There are few other potential anthology submissions I have pegged with deadlines coming up throughout 2016. It’s my goal to submit to at least three of them by the end of 2016.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for fun in #1lineWed and the #DecWritingChallenge and keep your eyes on the blog for weekly snippets of my works-in-progress via Weekend Writing Warriors.

And… most of all, have a happy December! 🙂