NovNoWriMo 2019 - A Bouquet of Newly Sharpened Pencils

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mrsmig

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“Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies.
I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
- Nora Ephron




Hello, and welcome to the November writing goals thread! Many of you are participating in NaNoWriMo this month, but whether you are or not, you're welcome to state your goals (writing and otherwise) here. We're all ready with cheers when you succeed, encouragement when you feel overwhelmed, and commiseration when things don't go according to plan.

I'll start us off. I'm headed to Europe for ten days mid-month, so I'm easing off on goals this month (which also means I'm not doing NaNo this year actually, I've changed my mind and will be doing NaNo after all, but as a rebel, with a reduced word count goal). The one exception is publishing: I'm hoping to get the prequel to my series ready to release by the end of the month; sooner if I can manage it. I expect to be very busy on my return.

Publishing
[ ] Approve cover design for prequel
[ ] Approve interior formatting
[ ] Do cover reveal promo
[ ] Decide on other promotional efforts for release

Writing
[ ] Write 10k words on Book 5 - 0 of 10,000

Reading
[ ] Read five books - 0 of 5

What's on YOUR agenda for November?
 
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Tamlyn

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1. NaNoWriMo
2. Read five books.

I would normally read less books, but I plan on reading kids ghost books still, so five books! And I am off to a good start, having finished A Ghost in the House and done the first chapter of my NaNo. Right now I am very tired.
 

Woollybear

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I'm impressed at the nano goals!!! I won't be doing that but am so excited for y'all and rooting for you, and so so eager to get back to my second novel.

[ ] self publish my novel! I think I can cross the finish line this month.

[ ] line up three promotional / climate outreach 'things' (local library talk etc)

[ ] improve website (specifically, get novellas into final shape and uploaded, perhaps another blog post, update the science page, and so on)

[ ] three hours aerobic exercise / week

Woot Woot! Big month. Happy November!
 

Tamlyn

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Poor little thread feels a little neglected with all the other NaNo threads. I wrote some words! I'm... almost on track. I read another ghost book, The Hidden Tomb by Jenny Oldfield. This one was a little older - young teenagers rather than kids, more 'scary' (not so much for me, but you know), a death. A plot hole that didn't magically fix itself since my last read :p

Still enjoying my ghost spree though, and I found a way to get a ghost logically into my NaNo novel xD

1. NaNoWriMo. 11k.
2. Read five books. 2/5
 

mrsmig

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Still enjoying my ghost spree though, and I found a way to get a ghost logically into my NaNo novel xD

Proud of you. :e2bouncey
 

mrsmig

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I've been chugging along toward my rogue NaNo goal, but I fully expect productivity on that front to come to a screeching halt Monday, when I take off on my European jaunt. My ten-day itinerary is pretty darned full, but I'll have my tablet with me in case inspiration strikes in the middle of the night (or in the middle of the Baltic Sea). Even if I don't get any writing done, I'm hoping to come back with a head full of new images and fresh ideas. I also have three new books in my e-reader for the trip - a novel, a collection of essays about animals and a short story anthology. So that should keep me occupied on my flights.

My cover designer sent me the mockup for my series prequel, and for once I had no quibbles or tweaks. It's so striking it actually made me catch my breath. Can't wait to reveal it later in the month.

Publishing
[x] Approve cover design for prequel
[ ] Approve interior formatting
[ ] Do cover reveal promo
[ ] Decide on other promotional efforts for release

Writing
[ ] Write 10k words on Book 5 - 3,095 of 10,000

Reading
[ ] Read five books - 0 of 5
 

Tamlyn

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Enjoy your holiday! It sounds amazing.
 

Woollybear

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Tamlyn--your ghost reading is intriguing me more and more. I used to read Anne Rice and enjoyed her ghost series very much. It was naughty.

Mrs. Mig--I'm also excited by your cover and looking forward to seeing it!

Can't believe how fast the month is flying. We had houseguests and such and it made me lose track of the days.



[ ] self publish my novel! I think I can cross the finish line this month. The cover art and formatting is complete (except the cover art is evidently not quite the right size for POD so I've sent the guy a note.) I'm happy with both of the folks I hired. Mrs. Mig helped me find the formatter, thanks again!!!

[ ] line up three promotional / climate outreach 'things' (local library talk etc) I interviewed with CoastToCoast Science which is a great podcast and we talked science and books. I have the interview back from the gal that runs the podcast and need to listen through it and see what should be edited out. So that's one and she wants to do a followup podcast which I suppose could count as two and I have a few feelers out--there's a climate-based youtube series that I might be able to participate on. We're seeing if it makes sense --their goals and mine. I've not really approached the library yet but one of the librarians did say to me that she'd like to have me give an author talk. So I'll see how these all develop before checking this off, but it's moving. (And more energy-consuming than I expected.) (Update--the youtube climate101 guy confirmed an interview for next wednesday on the ocean stuff I've been involved with. Huzzah!)

[ ] improve website (specifically, get novellas into final shape and uploaded, perhaps another blog post, update the science page, and so on) One novella is uploaded. The other needs another round of polish. Subgoal: [ ] Make characters in second novella more LIKABLE.

[ ] three hours aerobic exercise / week Nope.

I've also beta'd a short HF and am in the middle of a SF. I mean, it isn't a goal but it is in the neighborhood.
 
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Tamlyn

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Patty - since my ghost books are all kids/ya, definitely not so naughty, but still fun :)

Book 3 was The Ghost of Raven Hill by Emily Rodda. Technically the series (Teen Power Inc) is one of her few non-sff ones (and her later co-authors, as it was one of those sorts of series), but I don't think it quite had the hang of it in the first book. So we have a mundane, actually a human explanation for the ghost... buuuut...

It was absorbing; the book is older, but the writing is still good. It made me remember how much I enjoyed them, though I haven't reread the Teen Power ones in a long time. If I owned them all, I might have moved on to them after ghosts, but I should probably read something adult then anyway.

Otherwise chugging along at NaNo! Had a flash story idea I want to get down at some point (I wrote enough to remember what it was about). Tried to resub some sitting stories, but every market I had in mind was closed :S

1. NaNoWriMo. 26k.
2. Read five books. 3/5
 

mrsmig

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Good morning from Helsinki! I'm a little more than halfway through my European adventure and it's been splendid thus far. This morning we're taking the ferry to Tallinn in Estonia, but I thought I'd grab a few minutes to update my progress.


As anticipated, I haven't gotten much writing done on my travels, so it's no surprise that I'm behind on my modest NaNo rebel goal. I have, however, finished two books: the cat anthology (which was rather dire) and Stephen King's newest, The Institute, which could have been tightened up considerably, IMO. It also has something of a been there/read that feel, with echoes of It and Firestarter.


My formatter finished the interior of the prequel to my series, but I haven't had the concentrated time to sit down and review it. That may be something I can work on during the next couple of evenings, or it may have to wait until I'm home again on Wednesday.


Hope everyone is having a successful NaNo/November!

Publishing
[x] Approve cover design for prequel
[ ] Approve interior formatting
[ ] Do cover reveal promo
[ ] Decide on other promotional efforts for release

Writing
[ ] Write 10k words on Book 5 - 4,119 of 10,000

Reading
[ ] Read five books - 2 of 5
 
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Tamlyn

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Hello, week 3.

NaNo is still chugging. Haven't written the flash. Got another first-wave rejection of a new and shiny story and am in the doldrums again. Consoling myself with too much game and too much crafting.

Read Rest in Peace, which is the third book in Kathryn Weiss' The Ghost in the Dollhouse series. Except it's apparently non-existent. I went looking it up to see how many I was missing (since I only own that one), and the series is not on her website, not on wiki. There's another version(?) of the first book there - a different name, I don't know if it's extended or the same or an earlier version or... But the series? Nope. So no clue what's up with that!

I then tried to move onto my next ghost book, The Mystery of Kickingbird Lake, the first in the Ghost Twins series, and it was hard to get into. It's a proper kids book, and it's taken me a while to adjust. I think I shall make sure I read my remaining kids books next, then go on to middle grade, then to YA, so it's not so harsh an adjustment.


1. NaNoWriMo. 35k.
2. Read five books. 4/5
 

Woollybear

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Hi Y'all.

Enjoy Finland!! My husband was recently there and said it was great. There's a library he keeps telling me about--sewing machines and 3D printers and all sorts of stuff.

Tamlyn--Good Job on Nano! Awesome. Why are you reading so many ghost books? Enquiring minds want to know.


[ ] self publish my novel! I think I can cross the finish line this month.(If all goes according to plan, this will happen in the next week. I'm reading the proof copy and still finding issues like other's that should be others' and cases of double-words that should be single words and OMG I head-hopped for one sentence and was stunned when I saw it in the proof. Must fix that.)

[ ] line up three promotional / climate outreach 'things' (local library talk etc) (Two down, one to go, and still making progress here--in touch with the local library and an online eco-fiction group)

[ ] improve website (specifically, get novellas into final shape and uploaded, perhaps another blog post, update the science page, and so on) One novella is uploaded. The other needs another round of polish. (Progress on second novella which is officially a short story now since losing 3K words, heh) Subgoal: [XX] Make characters in second novella more LIKABLE.

[ ] three hours aerobic exercise / week Nope. (double nope. Some jogging and hiking)

I've also beta'd a 50K HF and a 100K SF. I'll be beta reading a short story this weekend.
 
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Tamlyn

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There's no particular reason. I read one, decided I felt like another, then decided I would read all of my ghost books.
 

Woollybear

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Love it. Does it make you want to write about ghosts? I think I'd feel like writing about ghosts if I read a bunch of ghost books. :)

The online eco-fiction promotional thing came through, so I expect to be able to check off a couple of my goals next week. But this weekend will be a grind.
 

Tamlyn

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My NaNo novel is a Cinderella retelling, and the godmother/gifter is one her ancestor's ghosts xD Not really a scary type though.

Good luck with this weekend! Self-publishing sounds utterly exhausting.
 

mrsmig

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Darn it - I did it again: hit "Edit Post" instead of "Reply With Quote" and ended up replacing last week's progress report with this week's, instead of using it as a template. Dopey me...

ETA: FIXED IT, thanks to Patty's suggestion below!

Here's this week's update, in its proper place:

Got back from my travels on Wednesday, and have been fighting jet lag for the last couple of days. No writing as yet (hoping for a restart today), but I did get the galleys proofed for my prequel, so that's some progress. Started my third book and have been salivating over the new books I've added to my wish list. I do love getting books for Christmas.

Publishing
[x] Approve cover design for prequel
[x] Approve interior formatting
[ ] Do cover reveal promo
[ ] Decide on other promotional efforts for release

Writing
[ ] Write 10k words on Book 5 - 4,119 of 10,000

Reading
[ ] Read five books - 2 of 5
 
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Woollybear

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I'm surprised how much time I am spending trying to learn things like mail chimp (apparently I need to build a list) and instagram. Ad refreshing the author dashboard on KDP.

But--progress all around, here--


[ XX ] self publish my novel. What a relief. I feel light, but also like I am standing on a chasm of 'marketing' and 'promotion' and 'more spreadsheets'...

[ XX ] line up three promotional / climate outreach 'things' (local library talk etc) Yes--Sort of. Six items targeted, two completed and two in progress. (and two signings now lined up)

[ (x) ] improve website More or less, yeah, I did this.

[ (x) ] three hours aerobic exercise / week Might achieve this this week.

~~~~~~~~~~

(I think edited posts are retrievable to prior states by navigating backward through the 'last edited' italics and playing around on the screen that pops up.)
 
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mrsmig

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Whew - where did November go?

My new book PRINCELING released this morning, so most of last week was spent getting ready to hit "publish" on Amazon and figuring out my promo schedule. I decided to do another countdown sale on KINGLET, starting tomorrow (Cyber Monday) and spent the last day or two doing graphics for Facebook and Twitter. Today was all about updating social media and my website. I will try not to peer at my figures on KDP every hour to see how sales are going. So all publishing goals were met this month.

I finished (sort of) the book I was reading for my review pool - meaning I read about 75% of it, enough to write the requisite review. (I feel like a bit of a whore, but I need to boost my visibility on Amazon and reviews can help. I lost a bunch of my reviews on the trade-published versions of my books - Amazon moved the reviews over for KINGLET when I republished it, but wouldn't do it for the remaining books. I've given up begging them.) So I'm counting that book as finished, but I still fell short on my reading goals.

And writing? I actually did far better than I thought I would. What with my trip and releasing a new book, I knew even my modest 10k goal would be hard to reach, but I got a bit past the halfway point and even my measly 5k+ results are better than I usually do in a month.

I'm off to start the December thread. Please join in there to state your goals for the last month of 2019!

Publishing
[x] Approve cover design for prequel
[x] Approve interior formatting
[x] Do cover reveal promo
[x] Decide on other promotional efforts for release

Writing
[ ] Write 10k words on Book 5 - 5,778 of 10,000

Reading
[ ] Read five books - 3 of 5
 

Tamlyn

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I finished NaNo, though the book isn't finished. Sometimes I felt like I could have written more, but then I figure 50k is still a bajillion words, really.

Continuing my ghost book kick, I finished on 7 books for the month. I read The Mystery at Kickingbird Lake (at, not of, like I said before) and then the fifth book in the series, The Mystery of the Disappearing Dogs. Kickingbird Lake is the one I owned as a child, so it's falling apart and very tattered; Dogs I got when I was older and I wanted to fill out the series a little, so it's much shinier. Once I got used to the style, I had fun. It's very much nostalgia with those ones though. I did get angry at the ending of Dogs, when the 'antagonist' was "punished" (in quotes in the book itself) with something he loved. He abducted a person at the end as well as two dogs and would have killed at least one of them if not for the ghosts!

Ahem. I shouldn't read kids ghosts/adventure books if I want real world logic, I suppose :p

Then I moved on to High Spirits by Tony Foster and am halfway through number two, Castle Spirits. I have all four available in the series and they are fun, but definitely in the above ghosts/adventure category. Like castles that have sunk into the ground, yet remain whole without any damage to the structure and full of furniture and treasure and everything. And kids who can be forgiven for their lack of scientific knowledge, but when you have the museum directors going oh my goodness, how would something historical be underground, well... The editing is lacking, especially in the later books as well, and from the first book to the second, the writing got, uh, more flowery, shall we say? Especially for a kids book. For example: "Even that didn't go too smoothly and their lengthy deliberations were fraught with doubts and uncertainties."

Despite how it sounds, I really do enjoy them though!

I forgot to write baking on my goal list, but I baked! Something the recipe called red velvet whoopy dogs, which, what? I call them red velvet cake cookies, and they turned out nicely. I made them too big, but that's fixable. Two of my D&D players weren't touching them, and I thought they must be terrible, but it turned out they hadn't ever had red velvet because red cake scared them, and when they tried them, there was a surprised "This is good!" from both.

1. NaNoWriMo. 50k.
2. Read five books. 7/5
3. Baked! Red velvet cake cookies
 

mrsmig

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"...because red cake scared them..."

:D
 

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