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.

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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#Burned

Currently Reading: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and A Storm of Swords (Song of Fire and Ice book 3) by George R.R. Martin

Books Read: 10

TBR List: 4999

Words Written:

 

Well the new year is off to a good start writing and reading wise. I haven’t made many new posts on here though. I also haven’t written anything more on Finding Family. So I’m feeling a bit bad on the resolutions I made.

I’m also beginning to feel burned out with my writing again. I don’t know if it is I’ve just been putting too much into this one story I’ve started, my meds have stopped working or what but I’m having issues continuing writing for the past couple of days.

Upside though, I have two books very close to publishing. I think that is a good start to the year. More than last year.

I have picked out the book I’m going to work on for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. I would just like a better title for it, but I kind of love the title I have picked out at the same time.

Death to all #PlotBunnies

It is #NaNoWriMo, and all of a sudden these evil little Plot Bunnies are attacking me. In the past 16 days I have started not one, but THREE new stories on top of the 13 I have already been working on! Yes, the other day I finished one that I have been working on for the better part of two years but still! The total is now 15 and I have a feeling it is not going to get smaller, but grow before the month is over.

#FindingFamily Chapter IV

Carefully I skip down the stairs to the restaurant, admittedly giddy and loving the feel of the long wool coat flapping on the back of my legs.

Worry crosses my face when I see just how fancy the place was and how under dressed I am in an old black mini skirt, stiletto heels and a newer dusky-green tee-shirt. “I’m sure whatever you are wearing under my coat is fine.” I heard him whisper in my ear.

I jumped, “Mr. Barrowman, can you hear now?”

He chuckled, “Yes, they took out the hearing devices about an hour ago.” He glanced at his watch.

He placed a hand on my back, “This really wasn’t necessary, I appreciate it immensely but really not required.” I started rambling on, I don’t want to hurt his feelings.

“Anytime my colleagues get chewed out by someone trying to help me, I have to take them out.” His easy going demeanor was relaxing my nerves and I was starting to realize he really is just a sweet normal person.

“Oh no, they told you? I’m sorry. They just ticked me off and I flew off the handle, if I need to I can go back and apologize.”

“No need for that, they needed the wake up call and I’m glad I got to see someone stand up to them for those who are afraid or unable to.” John ordered us each a Beef Wellington, after being talked out of shrimp as I am allergic, and a bottle of Medoc red wine. “So what is your story? How did you end up on that crosswalk tis morning?”

“It’s not pleasant dinner conversation Mr. Barrowman.” I smiled weakly and sipped the delicious wine.

“John, please, and I think  that someone like you would have an interesting story.” He gave me his gorgeous grin and  my crumbling resolve was falling faster than a bowling ball two inches off the ground.

“Umm…not much to tell really, grew up in Missouri, a very small town. My parents should have never been together, volatile is the word that comes to mind with those two. Saved up my money, graduated high school and got admitted to Oxford. Those are the highlights.” I chugged my glass and refilled it in the awkward silence.

“What happened to your mom?” he asked quietly, his demeanor changed from his happy usual self to one of solemn.

Suddenly my seat was uncomfortable, I squirmed around. “umm… my…father kind of a took care of her two months ago. He is in prison now.” I keep my eyes focused on the white table cloth, picking at imaginary threads.

“I’m sorry. You are right, not a good dinner talk. I’m sorry you’re father was an arse. It sounds like it is behind you now and you are rising up from the ashes.” It was is turn to squirm. He was changing the subject, “What are you going to study at University?”

“Music. I’m pretty good with a cello, but I would like to be a classical music professor.” I feel the blush rising in my face, I’m still embarrassed about my choice of career. “My family has never thought of it as a good choice, but it’s where I want to be.

“Are you just into classical music or do you like other music?” He must have noticed that it was a touchy subject and tried to change it.

We talked for four hours through the great dinner and the most amazing chocolate lava cake ever. After he helped me put my coat on, he called for a car and decided to escort me back to the hostel.

 

Tune in next week for Chapter Five and don’t forget to like my Author page for updates on this and more!

#FindingFamily Chapter III

The outside world silenced the moment the ancient door closed behind me to Saint Paul’s Cathedral. My place of peace still brings calm to my mind as I dip my fingers in the cool holy water and cross myself before taking a seat in the last pew.
I’m far from religious, but the only place I have been able to clear my head is a church. Specifically an old Catholic Church. Other newer churches, just don’t do it. The noise of the city penetrates through the walls and sullies the serene bubble. Where better to empty one’s thoughts and be alone for awhile than a beautiful piece of art?
I say I’m not religious, but I do know some of the rituals and I guess you could say my time spent sitting in bliss as Eucharistic Adoration. I’ve never had a eureka moment or clarifying call, but it makes me feel safe and content.
Once my hour was up, don’t want to overstay my welcome, I stood up to leave, bracing myself for the chaos on the other side of the door. “What do I do now?” I ask myself aloud.
As I walk down the street my thoughts turn to this morning and how great it was. If I had taken another turn on the Eye or had been paying more attention to my surroundings, I never would have met Barrowman. I kept my promise, though if was tough, no pictures or questions. No proof of our meeting, and it sucks but it was still the best hours of my life.

My feet brought me to a charming sci-fi shop proudly displaying Doctor Who and Torchwood merchandise in the window. I had to stop in and spend a little mad money. I have time to kill before dinner and what geek-girl can resist her guilty pleasure?
I am at the cash register with a mock trench coat, when I get a text from an unknown number. “Plans for dinner?”
Depends, who is this?” I swipe my card and wait for an answer. There is only one guy I gave my number to recently and know he wouldn’t be the one.
“Forgot about me already? I’m really beginning to wonder if you are a fan.”
“Holy shit.” I gasp.
“What? Wrong size?” the cashier asked a little worried.
“What? Oh no, the coat is perfect. I just heard from someone I never thought I’d see again.” I babbled, staring at my phone. “Well if you could see what I just bought, your mind would be at ease.” I joke with him. I slipped the coat on and walked out.
“Come to dinner and show me? I need to repay you for your help, support and lunch.”
Where? When?
Chapter One. Not too fancy, but nice and great food. Two hours give you enough time to clean up and get there? Need to talk with my husband.”
“Sounds good.”
I leave for the hostel and to prepare for a fun evening.
“See you there Chandler.”

Tune in next week for Chapter Four

Writing Prompt #3

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Writing Prompt: Grandpa pt 2
Grandpa Riley
Growing up I didn’t see grandpa Riley as often as I did great-grandfather Searcy or grandpa Bob, because he lives 3-4 hours away from my house. Usually it was just a week or two in the summer and Christmas or Thanksgiving. Seeing him usually meant late Christmas and birthday gifts.
He worked for the Ford plant and Chevy is a curse word at his house, but I remember one summer night when we staid up late and watched ice-skating. His favorite was (probably still is) Michele Kwain. It was my first time watching an ice-skating competition or the Olympics, whatever it was. I loved it. Just me and grandpa crashed on the couch, house is silent except for the low volume of the announcers on TV.
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Writing Prompt #2

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Writing Prompt: Grandpa part 1

Great-grandpa Searcy
The first memory I have of my great-grandfather really isn’t  memory at all. I have been told this story a million times, so much I can “remember” it happening. I was one, shiny cloudless blue Missouri sky. It was summer, so around June or July. My great-grandfather, a survivor of D-day, was trimming branches off a big tree in our back yard (some people say he was actually mowing the lawn). I was up on the deck with mom, aunt and great-grandma.
The house sits half on a hill, and half not. The garage is under the house next to the basement, putting the deck six feet off the ground with a short landing to break up the stair climb. With a concrete slab at the bottom. The railing on top was red, and the slats were tan or a light brown color. Spaced far enough apart that a small human couldn’t fall through, but this day something went wrong.
I was a big grandpa’s girl and was crying because nobody would let me go down there and “help.” I must have shook the slats or something, because one came loose and I fell through. I don’t remember the fall or the sound of my skull cracking when I hit the ground but I can see grandpa appearing above me and picking me up.
That’s all I have been told. Except after I fell, great-grandfather put up lattice work in an attempt to stop further accidents. Years later, my great-grandfather is gone and the house belongs to someone else; but the porch is still there. The lattice work is gone and the porch had been painted yellow, but the boards are still the ones he placed there. No one had fixed the porch and you can see the bottom wood waiting for another accident.

#FindingFamily Chapter I

Chapter 1
The Eye looks daunting from the ground, it once inside it is beautiful. London unfolds before you, giving you a different view than those too scared to come aboard. The sun rising over the horizon is gorgeous from the top, I almost cry as the wheel begins its descent.
My vacation is off to a great start, I landed yesterday and caught up on sleep. I have ridden the Eye twice now and am looking for a coffee shop. I bump into a man, spilling coffee on his black silk shirt. “Shit! I’m sorry.” Quickly I grab napkins out of his hand to help clean up, then I look up. “Oh…my…god.” I feel the blood drain from my cheeks and my heart gallops into overdrive.
Smoldering blue eyes and a cheeky smile stare down at me as I’m frantically wiping off his torso, he takes my hands in his and I freeze. “It’s ok. I’m fine.” THE John Narrow man said slowly, and a tad loudly.
“Oh Shit!”
“What, is, your,name?”
“I-I-I am Chandler Forbes, Mr. Barrowman.” I stammer, my movie-star crush right in front of me and I can’t talk. I am an idiot.
“Sandra? Sorry, I’m working with a charity to help deaf people. I’ve gone deaf for a day.” His Scottish lilt is even, more memorizing in person.
Someone jostled me as the pedestrian light turned green. I took his arm, (why did I do that?), and walked him across the street. As we walked I pulled out my phone, and carefully typed “Do you need help getting around today?” He glanced at me curiously, and I quickly added, “I promise not to fan girl out or take fifty pictures. I just want to help.” Having a task to focus on was helping me regain my confidence and a little dignity I’ll admit.
“Sure if you’re not busy.” His grin lights up the sidewalk as I let him pull me to wherever our destination was going to be.
Back in the silence, my stupid brain started working again,John Barrowman is letting me help him around! Captain Jack Harkness is dragging me off on some adventure, this is amazing!” He may not be able to hear me right now, but I’m beyond thankful he can’t read my thoughts. I feel the blood warming my face again and know I just look crazy. There is a goofy grin plastered on that I can’t get rid of.
“Sandra, you have my permission to fangirl a little, I can’t hear your shrieking.”
That sobered me and I texted out my response, “It is Chandler Mr. Barrowman, and I’m ok. I’ll freak out on my own time.”
“Not a normal fan then.”
“Oh no, big fan of both voice and shows, but I also like to help those in need. Someone really should be helping you around.”
“It’s about experiencing a day in the life of a deaf person. They don’t always have someone to help.” He opened the door to a tall building for me.
It’s different, but I have a good friend back home that is blind. She gets around well on her own but it’s nice to have me around to help once in awhile. What floor?” We pause by a bank of elevators and he gently releases my hand to press the up button.
“Top. These guys you are about to meet can be a bit pushy so be careful ok?” he winked at me, we stepped inside and off we flew. I’m about to meet some bigwigs either in show business or the music industry, this so does not happen to girls from small Midwestern towns…with celebrities!
This vacation is going to be epic!

Tune in next week for Chapter Two

#Fanfiction

It doesn’t have a title, yet, but I have a fanfiction that has been running around my head for a while now, and won’t go away. I figured it is time to get it out.

All the fanfiction that I know about covers books or movies, never have I seen one strictly for a celebrity. So this might be a bit unconventional, possibly borderline stalkers, but who hasn’t had a crush on a star and fantasized about them? Granted they were probably smart enough not to mention it on their blogs.

I’m going to attempt to post a chapter a week, but may not always be able to post back to back, so apologies in advance, if for some reason you like it.

The question now is do I tell you who it is about or wait until I release chapter one?

It’s about a regular girl, Chandler Arizona Forbes, who takes time out of her vacation to help her celebrity crush when her life changes. She gets taken for a wild ride and earns a new family along the way.