"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What I'm Reading Wednesday #9 (April 25, 2017)

I am currently reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  Huge book... huge.
Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 11/32
Books from TBR list: 3
Series completed: 0
*Erin's Book Challenge:  8/10  0/Bonus Round

January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
*2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
*1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

March
1.  The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)
*2.  Wonder by RJ Palacio (TBR)
*3.  Matched  by Ally Condie
*4.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (TBR)

April
*1.  The Ancient Ones by Kirk Mitchell
*2.  The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
*3. The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen


Currently Reading:
11/22/63 by Stephen King



What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Revising My Novel: The Editorial Map

I have been revising my novel using  Janice Hardy's At-Home Workshop to Revise Your Novel in 31 Days.



The first step is the editorial map and I recently completed mine.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to finish... probably because I was scared, and... well... I should have been.  So, what did I learn from the experience?  Good question.

1.  I think I have a good basic story structure.  After reviewing the 3-act structure and comparing it to my editorial map, I think my story fits well in the structure(I am never sure when it comes to writing).

2.  My story has a lot of problems.  My characters keep doing things they would (should) never do.  For example, why would a paranoid conspiracy theorist broadcast a cold call about a top secret mission to his whole radio audience?  The answer: he wouldn't.  Unless it was accidental, like if someone was bugging him.... hmmm.

3.  I need more conflict.  A lot of events happen too easily.  I once read that you should do the worst to your characters.  I think I need to go through each scene and add more problems, more hoorible things.  My characters need to suffer more(that sounds bad, huh?).

4.  I do really like to handwrite.  I always start my projects by handwriting and I type everything later, even when I'm editing.


5.  I have some research to do: pirate radio, military stuff, sound vibrations, and a ton of other topics.

6.  I figured out the daughter's name!  Somewhere in my writing I forgot her name and started calling her "the daughter." Now I know her name is Susie and I am not sure that I like it.


Now to begin the next step.  Wish me luck!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 What I'm Reading Wednesday #8 (April 12, 2017)

I just started reading The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen, and then my Kindle died.  Oh well, I will really get started tomorrow.
A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 10/32
Books from TBR list: 3
Series completed: 0
*Erin's Book Challenge:  7/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
*2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
*1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

March
1.  The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)
*2.  Wonder by RJ Palacio (TBR)
*3.  Matched  by Ally Condie
*4.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (TBR)

April
*1.  The Ancient Ones by Kirk Mitchell
*2.  The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver



Currently Reading:
The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Goals

Monthly Goals - April

1.  Read 3 books
In order to meet my annual goal of 32 books, I want to try reading at least 3 books a month.  This month I am also trying to finish Erin's book challenge (I think I have 5 more books to read).  I will be starting with The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite authors, and then I will move onto The Ancient Ones by Kirk Mitchell.

2.  Write 1 letter
I have been slacking on my penpal letter writing stuff, so I am starting a monthly goal of one letter.  It's a start.

3.  Work on my blogs
I have some specific goals that I am working towards with my blogs this month.  I want to write up a blog business plan, especially for my craft blog.  I want to change my blog schedule a little.  I am still trying to find the perfect posting schedule.  And I want to research how to make money from this blogging enterprise I have begun.

4.  Journal daily
I want to write daily but I don't necessarily want to write fiction daily, so I will be attempting to journal daily.  I may look for some daily prompts, in case I lack motivation, not sure yet.

5.  New-ish Revision Plan
The New-ish Revision Plan (NRP) that I blogged about in my last post is beginning this month.  First I will complete my editorial map, then I will complete days 1-3 of the 31 day revision plan, one day per week.  I will post weekly updates of my progress and learning.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Revising My Novel (in 31 Days?)

During March of this year, I decided to try Janice Hardy's At-Home Workshop to Revise Your Novel in 31 Days.
It was a well-intentioned plan.  I had have a manuscript that needs to be edited, I had a month, and now I had a plan.  I immediately started the prep work of making an editorial map.  It was exciting, and illuminating, work.

I started by printing my manuscript.  This was when I realized that even though I have written the end of the story, I have not yet typed it up (that's right, even now at the end of the month, I still have not typed the ending).  I like to write by hand and later type my words.  I've always liked filling journals and notebooks with handwritten words; I don't think I will ever stop liking it.  The ending to my story is still waiting in one of those notebooks.  Luckily I know which one.

I was not going to let that one tiny missing part of the story hold me back.  I trudged forward and started reading and creating my editorial map.... and immediately realized that this manuscript needs a lot of work, and I mean a lot.  I read through the prologue and ten chapters, answering the questions that Janice suggests:

  • What is the POV character trying to do in this scene? (the goal)
  • Why is she trying to do it? (the motivation for that goal)
  • What’s in the way of her doing it? (the conflict)
  • What happens if she doesn’t do it? (the stakes)
  • What goes wrong (or right)? (how the story moves forward)
  • What important plot or story elements are in the scene? (what you need to remember or what affects future scenes)
  • from Janice Hardy's How to Create an Editorial Map

and also adding notes about revisions that needed to occur.  I quickly realized that the prologue and the first chapter needed to be cut.  The book will begin with chapter 2, which needs a lot of work.

And then I stopped.

Not many people knew that I was trying to revise my novel.  I had mentioned it on a writing forum; no one else knew.  A few weeks into March, someone on the writing forum asked how my editorial map was going.  Ummmm.... great, I'll get right back to it.  Soon.

I really should get back to revising.  What is stopping me?  I am sitting here on the last day of my spring break.  Spring break.  A whole week with nothing to do.  And still I did not revise.  The plan failed, and I think I know why.  There was no accountability.  I have a tendency to procrastinate, especially if no one is holding me to a deadline.  

So I am making a new-ish plan.  You, my blog readers, will hopefully help me with my accountability.  I still plan to follow all the steps of Janice Hardy's revision plan, but at a slower pace.  I am allowing myself a week for each step.  I will post a weekly update on my progress as I slowly revise this manuscript and I will type the ending.  Let's see how this new-ish revision plan goes.  I am new-ishly excited!!  If you are interested in joining me in a slower version of the revision plan, I pinned all of the steps to a Pinterest board (If only I were always this organized).

Have you ever tried Janice Hardy's 31 day plan?
Are you interested in joining me on this journey?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2017 What I'm Reading Wednesday #7 (March 29, 2017)

I just finished Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, one of the books on my list for Erin's book challenge.  Yay!  More progress!

Anyway, here is my progress so far... 
2017 Goal: 32 books
Books Read = 8/32
Books from TBR list: 2
Series completed: 0
*Erin's Book Challenge:  5/10  0/Bonus Round


January
1.  Midair by Kodi Scheer
*2.  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (TBR)

February
*1.  Christine by Stephen King
2.  The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (yup, I started a new series)

March
1.  The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (second book in the series)
*2.  Wonder by RJ Palacio (TBR)
*3.  Matched  by Ally Condie
*4.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Currently Reading:
*The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver


What are you reading this week?  How are your reading goals going?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Books of Beginning Trilogy

Books of Beginning trilogy by John Stephens:

I have read the first two books in this series, The Emerald Atlas and The Fire Chronicle.  Here is what I like:

The Cover:
Yes, I know that you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the spine of the first book was the whole reason I decided to borrow it from the library.  By the way, I judge books by their covers all the time, and it usually works out.
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Time Travel:
I love time travel and the paradoxes and problems that it creates.  Sometimes I get a little too caught up in it, trying to figure out how everything fits together.  These books were no exception.  

A post shared by Lisa (@lalocadesigns) on
The Characters:
The siblings are so well-written.  I especially like the middle child, the only brother, Michael.  I love his obsession with dwarves and how he thinks that elves are overrated.  It is such a fun detail.  The characters in these books have full personalities that grab your attention and make you care.

Have you read these books?
What did you think?
Personally, I can't wait to read the third book!