Monthly Archives: August 2013

#WIPMarathon: Check-in #3 (sort of!)

I was on vacation last week with the whole extended family. Ten people all together, including the four nuclears, my parents, and my brother’s family.

We had a lovely time on Martha’s Vineyard, where we typically go each summer. I brought my laptop, thinking maybe, possibly, I’d be able to get some writing in, squeezed around visits to Back Door Donuts, the Flying Horses Carousel, and of course, the beach.

Yeah. Nope.

The writing thing just didn’t happen. It didn’t help that my laptop was on the fritz with some weird bug (seems to be okay now, after a lot of tinkering). Any “writing” time was basically banging-head-on-keyboard time. So I didn’t try very hard to make it happen.

Total number of words written the past week? ZERO.

Intentions? GOOD.

Days left in the WIPMarathon? FOUR.

Think I can squeeze in the last 5k-ish of my goal? PERHAPS.

I’m going to try, anyway. Wish me luck! I’ll make sure to post about any success at the end of the week.



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#WIPMarathon Check in Number 2: Past The Middle Doldrums

Information about the WIPMarathon can be found here.
Other Marathoners’ updates can be found here.

Last Check-In Word Count: 22,985

Current WC: 27,762. So I’ve done about 4800 words for the week, and I’m still on track with my modest goal of 15k for the month.

WIP Issues this week: I haven’t been writing this MS linearly (not a word, but work with me, people). I was having problems in the middle and my critique partner suggested I bounce around a little more. So, I wrote the end, then wrote a little in between the middle and the end, and then a little between those, and so on. And I have to make sure I tie up any of my loose ends.

What I learned this week in writing: I’m close to done with this rough draft. Part of me feels like that’s impossible! my word count’s too low! but then I remind myself that it is middle grade, and a manuscript of 30k+/- words is okay. By the time it’s all wrapped up and polished, I expect it to be closer to 40k.

What distracted me this week while writing: Yeah, I’m going to blame that #WriteOnCon, like some of my fellow WIPM’s. But giving crit is always a good exercise for a writer, and I learned some awesome things at the con itself, so this was worth it.

Last 200 words:

If I thought things would be much different in school after becoming our top sprinter, well, I was wrong. Track stars don’t get much attention, unless it’s the Olympics. My ego was pumped, though, which made all the difference.

When I saw Claire in the halls, I started smiling at her first, and she smiled wider when she saw me. She left me a note in my locker “just to say hi.” My guy friends looked to me for my opinion on stuff. My grades for the first marking period were almost all A’s. I couldn’t ask for much more–I had reached all the markers of success. I was at the top of my game, settling right in to being one of the popular guys of 7th grade.

But it’s Murphy’s Law, right? Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong?

Maybe that should be amended to, anytime it seems like things are going right, it will all start to go wrong.

I should have been prepared. Known better than to think that I could really start over and be happy in Massachusetts. Understood that this life was too good to be true.


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#WIPMarathon Check-In #1 (For Reals)

APPARENTLY I didn’t read the directions* and this week is supposed to be the actual first check-in.

Last Check-in Wordcount: 21508

Current WC: 22985. I started the month with 19455. So, since August 1 I have written about 3500 words. I need to pick up the pace to make it to my 15k goal for the month.

WIP Issues this week: Not really an issue with this WIP, per se, but my CPs are reading another MS I was working on and are giving me great feedback on it. Of course that makes me want to go play with the other MS for awhile. (Focus! Focus!)

What I learnt this week in writing: Quick sprints really work! Even in just 20-30 minutes, I can make my 500-words-per-day goal.

What distracted me this week while writing: Still working on the bathroom renovation. And we’ve been pouring all of our spare time into it right now. At least the medicine cabinet is all done, after six (!!) coats of primer and then paint. The drywall got three coats of spackling from both of us before my husband sanded it down. Then I took over again to prime and paint the ceiling and walls, which I finished today. The ceiling needed THREE COATS. Crick is in neck. We still have flooring and wainscoting to install before the fixtures go in.**

Last 200 words: I’m not sure I like this part of the check-in! But here goes:

I was still recovering from the intensity of feeling from our discussion, and couldn’t quite answer even if she’d given me a chance. She didn’t take a breath throughout this one-sided conversation. But pizza did sound good, so I went with it.

Rex and I walked up to the front steps of the school. I stared up the stairs and at the front doors. I’d only been here for a couple of months, and in some ways it was the first place I felt that I belonged. Successful in track, doing well in my classes, making friends. But that was all blown apart when everyone found out about my moms. I hadn’t seen or heard from Claire since Mama had died. The guys I thought were my friends were avoiding me.

I knew that in Natick, I’d be an outcast forever. And, yeah, I didn’t know Mama’s parents at all, but they raised Mama, so they must be okay.


 *Just like my mother, who once ended up with extra parts after she had “fully” assembled a piece of furniture from Ikea.

**Sorry. Don’t get me started talking about DIY projects. I really get into it. I could go on even more, but I’ll spare you.


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#WIPMarathon Check -In #1

Last Check-in Wordcount: I didn’t plot with chapters (crazy me), so this is more about word count. I started with 19455. 

Current WC: 21508. Almost exactly two thousand words written!

WIP Issues this week: None so far.

What I learnt this week in writing: I don’t know that I learned anything new, but I was reminded that waking up just a tiny bit earlier than the rest of the house makes me a million times more productive.

What distracted me this week while writing: Bathroom renovation! We got more drywall up yesterday, and I painted our custom-built medicine cabinet from Etsy.

Last 200 words: This is the scary part. Totally raw writing, no editing or critiquing yet. Eek!

Mom marched out of her bedroom, where she’d been after slamming the door. She was shaking so hard she almost couldn’t speak. “Get out of my–our–house. Ricky–”

“Rick,” I had to interject. She just threw me a look.

“–is my son, just as much as he’s your grandson. I am asking you now to leave.”

My grandmother arched an eyebrow. “We’ll give you both some time to think it over. And, by the way, we’ll also be talking to our lawyer.” My grandfather remained silent through all of this, but he got their jackets from the closet and followed my grandmother as she exited. “We’ll be staying in the hotel until this is all fixed,” my grandmother threw over her shoulder before closing the door.

Mom didn’t look at me, just ran back into her room again. I could hear the sounds of her loud weeping in there. At least, at last, she was showing some kind of emotion.

“I think I’d better go now, too,” Sarah said softly. I let myself fall back onto the couch behind me and nodded. “See you at school?” I froze. Would I be ready for school, ever again? Could I face those kids? “It’ll be okay, Rick,” she said, patting my hand as it rested on the couch arm.

I didn’t say anything, and a few moments later she left the house, too. I was alone again.


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#WIPMarathon: I’m A Turtle, Not A Hare

Hurrah for Ifeoma Dennis! If you’re not yet following her blog or on Twitter, you should. She’s a writer and a full-time medical student, and apparently never needs sleep, with all that she gets done.

A few days ago, I saw an exchange between her and Nikki Diehm, another writer worth following. The two of them agreed to do an August writing marathon. Hence, the #WIPMarathon was born. Of course I stuck my nose in too: “Is there room for one more?” I asked.

Apparently there was, and now our little group has grown to, like, 32 writers! Wow!

Of course, this blog post was *supposed* to go up before the end of July. Sigh. I’m still counting myself in!

And if you want to join us/find us, click here!

ImageMarathon Goal:

I would like to complete another 15k words on my WIP, THE EVERGREEN. It’s a contemporary MG, so that might actually take me through the end. 

Stage of writing:

I already have about 20k written in the first draft. I’m trying to be realistic about my expectations, and not drive my husband crazy by staying glued to my computer 24-7. 

What Inspired My Current Project:

Earlier this year, the Westboro Baptist Church, notorious hatemongerers, protested at my alma mater, Vassar College. I started thinking about what would happen if they protested at the funeral of a gay servicemember, and what that might do to the family of that person. And so Ricky/Rick Gonzalez was born: an almost-thirteen-year-old who wants desperately to keep his two moms a secret from his new school. 

What Might Slow Down My Marathon Goal:

Oh, just life.

I have two kids, one husband, and three part-time jobs, in addition to my internship with Inklings Literary Agency, several demanding volunteer gigs, and critique partners I need to crit!

Yeah, on top of that I’m still querying THREE WISHES, my completed MS, and I’m dusting off a completed but totally unpolished historical fiction MS I wrote during NaNoWriMo last November.

My husband and I are spending most of our free time working on DIY bathroom remodeling project, too.

So, I’m a wee bit busy. But who isn’t? And I want to keep writing!

I’ll be trying to keep up my moderate, turtle-like goal, while watching the other WIPMarathoners zip by me within the first few days. No matter. We’ll all (hopefully) get to our own finish lines.


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