Write a Novel: February Update

February 27, 2014 § 3 Comments

February was a month of palpable professional momentum. My brain was all in – pushing the rest of me to do my absolute best. My stomach was one big ball of stress. My heart just wanted everyone to get along.

I’m feeling better now but only because I had a heart to brain to stomach talk and realized it’s necessary to scale back the (already scaled back) novel goals I had set for myself just 4 short weeks ago. This momentum for my business is a great thing. I need time to see it through.

And so, after a full week of negotiation and internal battle – here are the 2014 goals I’ve been able to get all my body parts to agree on.

  • Complete two in-depth character studies for my novel
  • Practice fiction writing and generate novel content by writing 2-3 “Micro Stories” each month
  • Write 2 additional short stories and publish them on my blog
  • Take June and December off (otherwise I just get annoyed at the birthday parties, vacations and holiday festivities I’m supposed to be enjoying and that is ridiculous).

Character Study: Here’s my tracker for my first character. I’ll complete another one just like this after my Birthday Party Break in June. Like last time, I’ve assigned myself topics and angles to think about related to each person. When I finish the topic, the wedge turns blue.

Character Study - Abigail

Micro Stories: This is work to get myself faster and better at writing fiction no matter where/when I have time to write. My goal is to finish 2-3 stories each month and 20 over the whole year. Each story needs to be “done” in 60 minutes. Sometimes, I might publish what I write on my fiction blog. So far, I have only written 1.

Micro Stories

Short Stories: I want to finish two more short stories this year. Short stories are so motivating and teach me a lot about my writing process. They also help me network with other writers and mentors because they demonstrate actual, completed work.

Short Story Progress

This list is so much shorter than my original list, it’s hard for me to take. But then I remember that this situation is precisely why I gave myself 13 years to finish my first novel and also, precisely why I need to write my goals down here. Without goals, I am sure I’d be 2 character studies, 20 micro stories and 2 short stories behind. Without a reasonable timeline, I’d want to give up.


Snow What Fun.

February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

It’s  a good thing Hiram and Eldyn are carrying the “I love winter” torch because otherwise I’d be sure things have gone straight to pot. Over these past few weeks (decades?) of crazy cold and snow, Hiram and Eldyn have reminded me that:

  • School being cancelled because it’s too cold or snowy is awesome.
  • Icicles are also awesome and have nothing to do with ice dams.
  • Large amounts of snow only means better sledding.
  • There is absolutely no need to worry about icy roads or snow banks across streets that are higher than the hood of the car. We’ll be fine.

Here are photos of my two kids making the most of their last snow day. The picture of Eldyn wearing a suffocation hazard on his head may or may not mean that I was losing the battle for control.

20140226-133116.jpg 20140226-125244.jpg

Stalling Out

February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

LewLew! He’s getting so good at stall tactics. Here are a few of his tricks that have worked at least once on us in the past week:

  • Suggesting that I “forgot” a page in his book and insisting we go back to the beginning
  • Asking for his dinosaur footie pajamas, changing his mind (no, Fire Truck Jammies!) and then changing back
  • Realizing he’d like to try going potty once he’s tucked into bed (see also: wearing snow pants)
  • Wanting to do something himself and then promptly forgetting he was going to do it

This child must be 2.

Either that or he’s pregnant.

Say What? Trash Picking Angel

February 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

The other day Brad was taking a while to get into the car and Hiram asked me what his dad was doing. I told him daddy was “being an angel and picking up the neighbor’s garbage in the alley.”

Brad got back in the car just in time to hear Hiram say, “Why do angels pick up garbage in the alley?”

I can think of way worse things to get busted saying.

Sneak Peak

February 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hadley Barrows

Megan Moore is my best friend and also one of the best illustrators in the world. She and I are in cahoots on a new children’s book and it’s finally time for a sneak peak.

hummingbird illustrator: Megan Moore

The best thing about a sneak peak? It’s just the beginning. Stay tuned.

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Valentine’s Day 2014

February 17, 2014 § 4 Comments

Olympics + Valentines Day + THREE Valentine boys to celebrate with. I loved our Valentine’s weekend.

One way we celebrated was by eating an entire bag of Oreos. The only part of the bag not polished off was the part e-Lew used to make himself an Oreo Goatee.

20140216-221406.jpgAs an aside, the concept of  “dunking” Oreos has opened up a whole new world for Lew. Now he thinks of dunking everything – chili beans, sandwiches, carrots, etc.

Eldyn: 2 Years + 2 Months

February 16, 2014 § 1 Comment


Shoe Fetish: Eldyn’s love of shoes has only intensified with age. He will steal shoes from any one of the rest of us and shuffle himself around the house (and down/up the steps) all day long. Last week when I tried to change him out of his boots into his play shoes at daycare, he wanted nothing to do with it. One guess why:

  1. He was too excited to play with his friends
  2. He didn’t want me to leave
  3.  Daycare just got tap shoes exactly his size

Roger That: Not all the time, but sometimes now, Eldyn makes it hard for me to know for sure which of my boys is talking in the other room. He is capable of saying such perfect sentences and putting all his words together in such a natural way. But then, just when I’m starting to feel like he’s getting too big to need me, he falls face-first into a snow bank and starts hollering “I such!” (That means he’s “stuck” and only his mama will do.)

Mr. Fixit: Over the weekend, Hiram broke one of his favorite toys. Hysterics immediately ensued. As soon as he heard Hiram crying, Eldyn ran into the room. When he saw me sitting on the floor with the broken toy in hand, he crouched down, looked straight into my eyes, took the two parts into his hands and said, “I can fix it.”  It turns out Lew couldn’t actually fix Hiram’s toy. But it wasn’t for lack of desperately wanting.

Eldyn: 1 year + 2 months

Eldyn: 2 months

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