Round of More Edits, 80 Days

I’m back on the editing train via Round 4 of ROW80! I’ve decided I like balance in my writing and reading activities. So I’ve honed my goals accordingly. I’m primarily a writer, and my WIP, after many moons of battiness, is finally starting to look respectable. (The key word here is “starting.”) So amping the editing sounds reasonable to me. And of course, every writer is a reader, and I love to read both fiction and nonfiction. Sometimes I read one to the exclusion of another. So I’ll be striking a balance in my reading material.

My goals from October 3 – October 31, and from December 1 – December 22:

1. two hours of editing five times per week

2. one hour of nonfiction reading (internet surfing doesn’t count) five times per week

3. one hour of fiction reading five times per week

4. two French lessons five times per week

My goal for November: at least 50000 words for NaNoWriMo!

Now it’s time to shoo the bats* out of my WIP:

*Disclaimer: No bats will be stressed during the duration of this challenge. I may even leave a few bats in my manuscript- for balance. Aren’t they adorable?


10-05  After spending the last 2 days getting to and from 2 dentist appointments, I need to catch-up on my editing and French. But at least I have another (temporary) crown. I get my permanent crown on Halloween. I’m feeling quite royal. Other than that, I’m ahead in the fiction /non-fiction reading balance, reading Stephen King’s “Full Dark, No Stars,” and James Scott Bell’s “The Art of War for Writers.” I should be completely up to speed for my weekly goals by the next check-in.

10-09  I’m up to speed with my editing and French. Editing- I’m fixing odd punctuation and syntax which popped up after using “find / replace” for a number of words. French- I’m doing fairly well with vocabulary. Still planning about audio supplementation. Ahead on my Full Dark book, King has a way of tapping into gut emotion. Steady on my War for Writers book, I find the interaction particularly useful.

10-12  Allergy season is in full swing. Thus, my allergies are in full swing. The good news is my symptoms this fall aren’t as bad as my symptoms last fall. So far. So maybe the shots are working. But it’s still a struggle, and Zyrtec makes me foggy and exhausted. Ha. Just like my allergies. I always breathe a sigh of relief with the first hard frost. Playing a bit of catch-up, but plowing forward. I expanded my “search and replace” mission in my WIP. Took a break from my War for Writers book to read non-fiction by K.M. Weiland. I’m in my last story in my Full Dark book. And French is foggy. I blame my allergies. Seems convenient enough. Nighty-night.

10-16  I’ve had a rough last few days with my endo, and my hubby has a bad cold. I expect I’ll have his symptoms in a day or so. I’ve been struggling with French, as it’s hard to concentrate with the pain. I might have even skipped a couple days, I don’t remember. My dry-erase board says I skipped, so I’ll go with that. But I’m actually ahead on editing- my character’s voices are now clearly distinct. And I’m ahead on fiction reading- I finished Stephen King’s “Full Dark, No Stars.” I think I’m holding steady with my agent research; I forgot to keep track my of agency book reading time this weekend. Overall, a rough first 2 weeks of Round 4, but I’m still more or less on track.

10-19  Predictably, I caught the cold my hubby brought home from the airport. The last 2 days have been very Sneezy, Sleepy and Dopey. Snotty and Achy even. No Doc. But I’m still managing to flail away at my goals, somewhat. I finally figured out I need to re-number my chapters. This will help me flesh out some skeletal scenes later. Reading “NaNo for the New and Insane” by Lazette Gifford, in preparation for next month’s NaNo (I’m “insane,” as this will be my second NaNo). Trying to read “Crimes in Southern Indiana” by Frank Bill. Not my usual genre. Will try again. Other than that, I’m reading some flash fiction on the Flash Fiction Friday website. I discovered “Coffee Break French” in the iTunes store and am doing 2 of those lessons per day, instead of my usual Rosetta, for a chance of pace. I’m still about a day behind in my goals, but I think I’ll feel better tomorrow.

10-23  I spent the weekend carving Jack-o-lanterns and visiting my in-laws to celebrate my MIL’s B-Day early (it’s on Halloween). But I’m still slowly catching up with my goals. I did another search / replace for more words in my WIP. Still reading the NaNo guide, good stuff. I feel confident in my rough NaNo outline, even though I haven’t actually typed it out yet. (Note to self- actually type out rough NaNo outline.) I decided to plow ahead with my violent Crimes book. The writing style is a bit jarring, but I know that’s to fit the subject. Loads of violence- that’s the genre. Lots of guns and blood. Did I mention how violent it is? Coffee Break French is getting more complicated, but I’m taking notes on all the lessons.

10-26  The week before Halloween is always busy for me. I have several Halloween-themed projects, including cooking and party planning. Not to mention the Jack-o-lantern carvings and pumpkin pulp frapping. So while I’m treading water, I still have a slight schedule backlog. But my regular ROW80 goals will be put on hold during NaNo, and I’ll be using the first week of NaNo to eliminate the backlog, as well as write 1667 NaNo words per day. So . . I’m still picking through my WIP, and finding picky words. But I promise I’m not being overly picky. I’m alternating between my NaNo guide and my literary agents book. I hope to finish reading my Crime book before Halloween. French continues to increase in perplexing complexity. The feminine and masculine word forms are wacky. (But what did I expect?) With one week until NaNo, I’m happy with my ROW80 progress, and confident I’ll complete my goals.

10-30  Holding steady on my fiction and non-fiction reading balance, and I even made a sizeable dent in my editing. I’m giving Coffee Break French a break, and picking up Rosetta French again. I’m also thinking about spending some time on Google translator to decipher my . . “French” notes. Tomorrow, after my crowning, I’ll dive back into my War for Writers book. I’ll also start reading “Light on Snow,” by Anita Shreve (a MIL book). We’ll see how that goes. Oh yeah, tomorrow’s Halloween. I’ll be “Somebody with Another Crown,” and that “character” will be permanently integrated into my persona . . at least until the Singularity. Happy Halloween . .

11-2  On the second day of NaNo I check-in with 3729 words so far! Hooray!

11-6  I have 10917 words to date. A nice start to my story. But things are about to get really creepy (in mood, not speed).

11-9  Very pleased with the unfolding of my story so far! Having an outline absolutely helps. 15,970 words and counting.

11-13  My protag is cracking under the pressure, and my antag is moving in for the win. Ramped it up with 23,702 words.

11-16  I wrote a “protag breaks down” scene, and for the first time, I actually felt a twinge of distress for one of my protags. Quickly followed by obligatory glee. 29,932 words, baby!

11-20  My protag and antag are about to marry- each other. (My protag’s mind is cracking.) 37,996 words written before the nuptials.

11-23  Going easier on the word count for the week of Thanksgiving, but still writing every day. 41,185 words of domestic despair. Oh yeah- Happy Thanksgiving!

11-27  In the home stretch, and my protag is about to see a faint, flickering light at the end of his long, dark tunnel. Or what he perceives as light. HARDY-HAR-HAR! 47,224 words of marital mind-mashing.

11-30  50,495 words for another NaNo win, baby!

12-04  I’m back in the regular grind of ROW80. During NaNo, I managed to play a bit of catch-up with my regular goals. By the end of this month, my WIP will be ready for its beta-read début. In the meantime, I’m reading Carolyn Kaufman’s “The Writer’s Guide to Psychology.” A good reference for non-professionals who nevertheless think they know it all. Also reading Anne Brontë’s “Agnes Grey.” And I thought my babysitting charges were demons. Holy crap. Picking up where I left off in Coffee Break French. I might have to actually teleport myself to France. Will decide later.

12-07  Steadily editing, and loving the process again. NaNo was a good break. Still reading my psychology book and the book about governing hellions. Though I’m starting to pick out the obviously fictional parts, I do sympathize with Grey / Brontë. Ah, the memories . . Doing numbers onze to mille in Coffee Break French, and after a happenstance “onze mille” googling, wondering if  l’enseignant is a Guillaume Apollinaire fan.

12-11  I might finally be done with my word-substitution in my WIP (again). Still need to flesh out some descriptions, though. I finished “Agnes Grey.” I highly recommend this story to anybody who’s ever taught or babysat children, especially demon seed children. Toward the end, Brontë departs entirely from what happened in her actual life and writes a fairytale ending. I don’t blame her, but I would’ve found a continuation of the realism more satisfying. Next I’ll tap into my ebook fiction backlog. Plowing through my psychology book- lots of “what real therapists / patients do” examples. Taking a break from Coffee Break French and diving back into my Rosetta French. I like to mix it up.

12-14  Fleshing out some previously sparse scenes in my WIP. I expect it to be finished by next month, and ready to be shredded again constructively criticized by my first beta reader. Reading some great, thought-provoking fiction by C. S. McClellan. Also reading some great non-fiction by my favorite Senator from Minnesota, Stuart Smalley Al Franken. French is at an ebb. Still pounding away at the lessons, though. The pounding just hasn’t reached my brain yet.

12-18  I’m looking over some character questionnaires I filled out a while back and finding some fortunate revelations. My WIP will benefit- now I just have to weave the benefits into my novel. I finished reading McClellan’s story. I was disturbed by it, from start to finish. Actually felt a bit queasy. 5 stars, and looking forward to reading more of McClellan’s stories. Enjoying Franken, though some parts of the book are confoundingly political. But then again, it’s supposed to be *political* satire. French pronunciation is coming easier- I’m not tripping over the words as much as I used too. There’s hope for me yet!

12-22  I’ll be doing my final ROW80 edits, readings, and French lessons tonight, and am happy to report MY ROW80 GOALS = MET! My writing goals for the new year are still in the “simmer and stew” stage. In the next couple months I will be re-evaluating my goals as a career writer, getting feedback on my WIP, and moving onto the next stage (not sure what that will be yet) in my development as a writer. ROW80 was a great learning experience and I am grateful and honored to have been a part of it. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me this past year, I really appreciated every comment. I did my best to visit and reciprocate with comments on other participants’ blogs- sometimes my comments showed up, sometimes they didn’t. Apparently my comments are delicious to SPAM filters. (Check your SPAM filters.) Best of luck to those who will be continuing ROW80 in 2012. Happy New Year and happy writing!

Leave a comment


  1. Whew, you’re making me tired! Good luck with all your goals!

  2. Aaaw, so cute! I love bats. Don’t shoo them all out. 🙂

    All the best with your challenge – I’m so impressed with your ambition. I don’t tell anybody my goals. That way, I can always pretend that whatever I got done was what I meant to do. My motto: If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success. I’m so brave.

  3. Michael

     /  October 3, 2011

    That is both hilarious and praiseworthy.

    My wife used to be a zookeeper who was in charge of taking care of the bats at her zoo. Ever since then, she’s often used the moniker ‘Lady of the Bats’ for one character in particular in our books. (And if I have my way, by hook or by crook, that moniker will make its way into our novels!)

    As our novels made their start in NaNoWriMo, I wish you the best of luck with it!

  4. @Elliott I figure I’ll be breaking up my schedule with NaNo, so amped up the editing a month at a time- sounds reasonable to me.

    Best of luck to you as well!

    @Henders I used to live in a neighborhood with a large bat population. Once while taking an evening stroll at summer’s end, a bat flew at me and swooped in front of my face, so close I heard and felt the wind from its wings.

    Sounds like you have a foolproof goal-meeting strategy. I will be your ecret-sa eerleader-cha, eering-cha for you in my mind.

    @Michael “Lady of the Bats” . . that does have a nice sound to it . . Kind of reminds me of one of my fav movies- “The Bat,” starring Agnes Moorehead and Vincent Price. Van Gorder makes novel writing look so easy- simply have your secretary transcribe it.

    Did I mention I’m highly suggestible?

  5. Good luck with your goals! I look forward to getting to know you during round 4 🙂

  6. Good luck with your goals!

  7. Editing is a bitch, isn’t it? But we can do it! Good luck with your goals!

  8. I also love bats. Agreed. Adorable. 🙂

    Good luck with your edits. I’m just about finished with edits on one of my projects, and it will be a relief when I can call that one done!

  9. Ruth Nestvold

     /  October 4, 2011

    Good luck with all your goals, and here’s to another Nano novel!

  10. @Barclay Thank you, good luck with that!

    @Ghenet Thanks, good luck to you!

    @Green Yes, editing = bitch! lol Thanks for your encouragement.

    @Nelson From one bat lover to another- thank you!

    @Nestvold Thanks, cheers to NaNo!

  11. Bats!

    They are too cool!

    When I was a kid, we spent hours on summer nights throwing rocks high into the sky. Bats would tune into them and follow them back down near the ground before pulling up.

    They really are cool animals…

  12. Cute bat. Wish we had one here in the summer to eat mosquitos. Good luck on your goals for this go around. I’m excited to be doing the ROW80 rumba again. 😀

  13. I do admire your goals! 🙂
    Oh … dare I ask what your username on the NaNoWriMo site is? I’d like to follow you. 🙂
    Yay bats! I have a vampire over here who introduced himself as a “fruitbat” when I first met him. It’s stuck ever since, and last Christmas one of my friends knitted a small bat for me whose wings are pinstriped – just like my boy’s favourite suit.

  14. @Gronlund I hadn’t heard of the bats-follow-rocks thing. Maybe they think the rocks are HUGE bugs? lol Yes, bats are quite lovely and intriguing . .

    @Medeiros Thanks, and good luck with your goals, and with your rumba!

    @Howalt A knitted pinstriped bat? My kitties would love it! lol And my NaNo name is . . . . . CMStewart. See you there!

  15. Looks like you are doing fairly good. Editing is usually not fun, but so necessary. Hope you make even more progress in this next week!

  16. Ok I LOVE Bats! So, keep your battiness! I am a fan!!!! (I even got to analyze their acoustic signatures……er, there goes that research jones again!!) thanks for the fun post, I know editing is a bear, but I also know you are up to it!


  17. I love the bats, you definitely need to keep one or two 🙂 Your goals seem great. They would, I think, provide a lot of structure. I appreciate you visiting me over on my Blogger blog. I am feeling more and more encouraged for having signed onto the ROW80. Thank you.

  18. @Susan Thank you, this week is a “kick some butt” week (hubby is away on business)!

    @Shari You’re welcome, and thank you for the encouragement. Interesting about the bats’ acoustic signatures- I watched TV show a couple days ago about brain abilities / disabilities. The show featured a blind man who navigated his way through his environment by clicking, and listening for the echoes!

    @akweelife You’re welcome! I’m glad there are so many bat fans out there. Funny, my WIP doesn’t have any literal bats in it. But now I’m seeing how they would fit perfectly. So off I go. (Yep, I’m highly suggestible.)

  19. Yikes, allergies! I hear they can make one miserable! I hope they don’t get too bad this year. 😦

    Good luck with everything!

  20. Allergies are rough. I had them particularly bad through August with all the ragweed nearby. Best of luck on your goals!

  21. @Elliott Thanks, so far my symptoms are nowhere near as severe as last year’s (worst ever) . . come on hard frost . .

    @Jaleh Thanks, and I’m glad your symptoms have abated. This year my symptoms started late. Hopefully they will end early.

  22. I’m getting in editing mode as well. I’d rather be writing first drafts which is why I’m doing Nano again this year.

  23. Keep up the good work! Any forward motion is good. I hope you don’t get sick!

  24. sounds like you’re doing well and I hope the cold doesn’t slow you down too much. Best of luck for the week.

  25. @McCormack I figured a NaNo goal would be a good break from my regular ROW80 goals.

    @Eaton Thanks! But I did get sick. But then I got well.

    @Bennett Thanks, I was able to power through the last few days. Good luck to you too.

  26. Awesome goals that makes you more planned out then I am. 🙂

  27. Ryan King

     /  November 14, 2011

    Muuuhahahaha. The “All is Lost” moment approaches. Some writers love writing it. Some hate it. Keep those words coming.

  28. kerrymeacham

     /  November 21, 2011

    It looks like you’re a little ahead of schedule on NaNo, so way to go. Keep Rocking The ROW!!! ~clink~

    • And now the pressure is on to stay ahead. Barely squeaking by last year was a bit unnerving. I guess no matter how we arrange our goals, there’s always pressure, hmm . .

  29. I like all is lost moments too – well done on your goals and nano – hope you feel fit soon and all the best for coming week

  30. Shoo, bats shoo! 😀

    Congrats on the word goal, even if it’s of despair.

  31. You are so close, wishing you 50,000 by tomorrow!

  32. Congrats on NaNo! And, poor protagonist–is that a train he glimpses in the distance?

  33. Congrats on NaNo!

  34. Congrats on NaNo!!

  35. @Mitchell, King, Haygert Thank you! At this point, my protag would welcome a train. 😉

  36. Oh my–prefer a train? That is really intriguing. When you learn how to teleport to France, take me along, okay?

    Glad to see you are back in the groove (a much nicer place than the grind!)

  37. Oooo please pass on your teleportation skills 😀 Glad you’ve managed to keep up even during Nano last month. Good luck getting the WIP ready for beta and have a great week!

  38. @Mitchell You’ll be the first person I’ll notify via telepathy when I perfect my teleportation skills and telepathy skills. 🙂 I hope you can speak French better than I can. lol

    @Garafalo You’ll be the second person I notify via telepathy when I perfect my teleportation skills and telepathy skills. 🙂 (At this writing, my teleportation skills are in the beta sleep stage, and my telepathy skills are below practical detection.) Have a great week!

  39. I’m glad to hear you met your goals! Happy Holidays and I hope you return to the ROW when you’ve decided on what you want to do next.

  40. @King Happy Holidays to you too! I will likely return to ROW80 to check out how others are doing. I’m sneaky that way. 😉


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