Don’t Erase, Highlight

I go back and forth on how I wish sentences to be worded, but the second I choose one way I decide I want to go back or a few days later I think I want to change it back. If I’m lucky to make that choice a second later, I can hit the undo button but if it is a few days later (as is often the case with me) I can’t quite remember how it was previously worded before and the undo button is useless.

Now the easiest way to do this would probably be to use the strike-through feature in Word or Google docs (the two I use, but whichever platform you use probably has one as well), but seeing the word(s) there bug me. They distract me when I’m reading through it and makes a few minutes of reading into a longer period of time. I have taken a leaf out of the FBI’s playbook and highlight the non-used words in black.

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Here, I have left the redacted words because this story is obviously still in it’s first draft and still deciding if I want to reword the sentences or not.

This method also helps when I work through my notes or “outline” like I mentioned in Different Outlines.


Different Outlines

In school you probably learned an outline structure similar to this one:

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But that’s not the only way to outline. Unless this method works for you, it doesn’t need to be that structured or you can use other templates that are the same just different starting letters and numbers.

Personally, I am not as structured in my outlines as above. That just happened because I copied those rules from a webpage ( ) as a quick reference. Most of the time my outline just looks like this:

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Each line starting with a capital letter is a different thought. It is just a rough sketch of what I want/need to happen in that chapter without being fleshed out. These quick notes are faster to write so I don’t forget anything. I also don’t have to worry about if I’m putting things in the right level of the outline structure or agonize over where it needs to go if it can fit into two or more categories.

Then it’s right below the words I’m typing and can see where I am headed with the story and the notes change into an actual story. The words above have been fleshed out from other notes, and those below are still needing to be applied.

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Then because I am very forgetful, instead of deleting the notes I’ve used I highlight them in black and move them to the end of the chapter’s notes. So if I need to go back and look at them, they are still there.

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This is just a trick that helps my writing process go smoother than keeping thousands of notebooks stashed all over the house (admittedly still have those too) and keeps my thoughts better organized than I have been able to do with pen and paper (probably because I use pen and hate pencils with a passion). You can use any color you want, I just chose yellow for notes and black for redacted because I use other colors for other color coding that I tend to do to help remember different characters.

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Word Tracking

Long time no read, sorry I’ve been pretty busy. Have been writing and reading, so that’s a plus. Thought I would share how I track everything word wise.

I am a tracker, I like to have a visual of my progress and love excel. I know there are others out there so naturally, I hunted the internet for different templates, but none really felt right for me. I would tweak the templates for a better fit, but still not right for me.

It took a while to figure out how I wanted everything to work, but finally came up with my daily spreadsheet.

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Just the basics: Code name of the project and how much I wrote in that for the day. Totals for overall and how much I have written per project in that one month. At the bottom I decide on a goal, keep an overall running total and then how much more I need to go. January was obviously a bit of a slow month as I only barely reached my goal.

Then, I wasn’t just satisfied with the daily numbers. I wanted to expand and see both monthly and yearly. It was a pain to figure out how to get the totals to show up on a different spreadsheet, but had a hay day when I got it where I wanted them.

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It’s simple and similar to the daily. Track the projects and number of projects I’ve worked on in the year (better understood for later) and pull the totals for the month from the daily page. It ends in totals for both monthly and project wise throughout the year. If they are blacked out as three of them are for January, that means I didn’t work on those projects at all that month.

The yearly page is my favorite because I have pulled the yearly totals used another formula for words per page and created charts to better visualize my work. This helps motivate me to work on different projects because I can see where I am putting most of my concentration and which books seem to be falling by the wayside.

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Soulmates: Dark #FlashFiction

He was my kind of gorgeous; sweet, funny, great singing voice, protective and a little good looking. Others thought differently with his jerk nature I tended to overlook, tad overweight (just more to love), controlling habits and he was a bit immature.

Still he was my soulmate and I was his. I loved everything about him, but every time we were together things would go wrong. Little things that all couples go through, so we stuck it out. That is until things went really wrong.

I came home one morning, from working nightshift at the hospital, to find another man in my waterbed. Normally I would be ok with this, I’m weird like that, but the poor man was black and blue, tied to a hook in the wall above the bed and looked terrified.

“Leo, what’s going on?” I asked tentatively.

“I needed release, you weren’t here like always. He showed up to deliver a package. I don’t have preference.” He grunted out, still buried deep inside the postman and thrusting. “He took a bit of persuasion but he is better than the corpses in the basement.”

“There are dead bodies in the basement?” I tried not to freak out. That would explain why I’m not allowed in the basement.

“I shouldn’t have said that. Now I’m going to lose the only person that has been able to keep up with me. When you’re home that is.” He kept going, as if in a hypnotic state. “You know they didn’t start out like that. I just couldn’t have them screaming when you are home.”

Mentally I thought of all the places I could run, but he has alienated me from all my friends and family. The cops would think that I was in on it because God only knows how long it has been going on. There is nowhere for me to go.

In order to save my life, I knew what I had to do: join him.

I stripped my clothes and eased down on the unnamed postman’s appendage, facing Leo. “Think of all the fun we could have together.” I said hoping to entice him.

Matching him move for move, I rode them. At the right time, I arched back to the bedside table and grabbed the dagger I keep for protection.

“Rose!” He called out and I plunged the knife deep into his heart.

“That is for thinking to kill me.” I pulled it out and went in again, loving the feel of his warm blood coat my body. “That is for not sharing.”

Greatest Fear #Boogeyman

Currently Reading: Slenderman by Willow Rose, A Storm of Swords (Song of Fire and Ice book 3) by George R.R. Martin, Beauty’s Punishment by Anne Rice and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

Books Read: 20/85 Books pledged to read this year.

TBR List: 4997 I reread a couple of books, so technically my TBR didn’t go down….stupid I know.

Words Written: 18,828

I’m not talking about the fear of failure or dying. I’m talking about the scariest, nastiest thing that keeps you up at night. Some people have a fear of clowns or spiders that instantly causes them to freeze up.


I’m working on a new book that involves a big bad boogeyman type coming after the MC (no names worked out yet it’s that new) and her family. While trying to think of the thing’s backstory, I tried coming up with my greatest fear and I can’t think of it.

I have things that freak me out and things that downright scare me, but nothing that makes me stop dead in my tracks or causes my entire body to shake uncontrollably.

Everyone has a greatest fear, but what does it mean if you can’t pinpoint it? Are we becoming oversensitized to violence, gore and horror in general that we no longer have a tangible greatest fear? No matter how irrational.

Think about it, horror movies have transitioned from what I consider horror to more gore than anything. Movies I do consider horror are now referred to as “psychological thrillers” like Black Swan with Natalie Portman or Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio. They both have components of a broken psyche that make people do horrible things and not realize that they are the monsters. To me this is horror because it can and does happen. We learn at a young age that humans are the true monsters (thank you Scooby-Doo) and not things like the Boogeyman.


Horror movies are now things like Sinister, Nightmare on Elm Street or Scream. Great movies but technically slasher flicks. Someone or something goes around filleting people, gratuitous boob shot and people dying because they had sex. It’s like an expensive “Abstinence” ad. Yes they are good but not horror.

My point is getting away from me, sorry.

Are there such things as greatest fears anymore or is everything now a psychological, non-tangible fear? Is that even real with the newest generation being more rewarded for just participating and told to not fear failure? Have we lost the ability to fear and have a great rush of adrenaline when we find that biggest fear? Is the horror genre dead?

An Author’s Romance #AAR Preview

Rushes of angry foreign words as the priest keeps glancing back at me and Jolene before turning his head back to the man who came to the door.

“Jessabel, I don’t like this.” Jolene called to me from the window.

I went across the room to her side, “What’s going on?” I looked out and had to grab the edge of a table to steady myself. “Shit. That’s a lynch mob.” My worst fear has come true.

“Jessa, it gets worse. Look who is leading it.” Jolene pointed to two figures on a brown and white horse. They turned just right so we could see the woman’s face, “Coira.”

“Double shit. I think she is still ticked about the other night and the marriage.” I turned to the priest, fell to my knees and begged for our lives. “Father, please grant us sanctuary. Please. I promise we are not what they think we are.”

He glared back at us, “I know exactly who you are, Witches! I carry the proof!” He held up the battered and stained diary he was just reading to us allowed. “You will get a trial by water, may God have mercy on your souls.”

The gruff man who knocked and a companion from the angry mob rushed forward with lengths of rope. They tied us up and dragged us outside. Jolene’s screams ring in my ears as we are thrown over horses, precariously balancing like teeter-totters, forced to hope we didn’t fall as the riders sped off at a full gallop. The crowd of people jeering and laughing all the way to the pond.

Find at:

New Romance #AAR

Jessabel is a writer that has been experiencing one bad event after another, until she wins a writing contest after drinking her sorrows the night before. Along with her sister, she takes her free trip to Scotland and end up in 1501 Scotland. Not the exact trip she had planned.

She has no idea how to get home, stop her sister from falling in love or save their heads from a blood-thirsty ancestor. Jessabel also has to contend with a jealous housemaid, intent on drowning her as a witch.