Hey all… It’s the final check in for round 3 and well, I’m leaving this round with mixed feelings. I feel I worked hard and did my best in the midst of life and all its demands on my health and resources. But I also feel a bit of a let down. I have all the reasons in mind and am good with them, but still… it’s not great to leave another round without having made much overall progress with my goals.
I made big life changes (moved home and became the proud though worn-out owner of a 7 month old German Shepherd) but I’ve yet to complete my MS enough to send it to the editors (mostly because the issues presented to me by fabulous beta readers mean it needs work) so yet again, I leave another round without having progressed to where I needed to be.
Did make several trailers/promos for Finding Esta. I got around with a few guest posts. I read lots and viewed many movies. I didn’t blog anywhere near as much as I usually do, and my social networking has been pretty poor too, and my MS is calling out for intense concentrated efforts, but not as loud as Bobby! OR the decorating. Or the looming house guests (October)… and the visitors after that (November).
We visited UK and I felt my first real burst of homesickness, not wanting to return to Dubai and the heat. The distance between me and my family has felt so much more powerful lately. Perhaps because my niece wed and is pregnant, my other sister is the still nursing Oscar, her latest addition to her growing brood (another pregnancy/birth I wasn’t there for) and two sisters are soon to begin University/College. So proud of them (both mothers too)… And my mom, although she lives in Spain, seems ever more illusive to me… screeching stop!!! No, put back your violins… I sound awfully depressed and I’m not. I’m a very lucky woman and know it… but home visits can be as hard as they can be pleasurable. That’s all. 🙂
So, meet our puppy (although he’d huge at 7 months!) Bobby
Ain’t he cute? 😀 Favourite game at the moment is treasure hunt – he’s presently searching for tiny pieces of carrot! 🙂
My final round 3 ROW80 updates….
I added health goals (25th July) due to a diagnosis of pre-diabetes or IGT, which requires much change to prevent full-blown diabetes 2.
In line with advice given by my Diabetic specialist, I will devise goals more specifically. For the time-being, I have already implemented the following measures:
- Exercise for at least 30 mins, every other day. Well, this stopped weeks ago due to one thing or another (ankle injury not healing, house-hunting, packing and moving, unpacking, packing for UK trip, returning and unpacking, then dog search – Finding Bobby and here we are – regular exercise a thing forgotten, although an ongoing unconscious threat and reason to feel guilty! I WILL address this… soon!
- Maintain a low GI / low Carbohydrate/ low fat, high fibre, high protein diet. I’ve been eating rubbish till last night when we cooked and ate out first meal in our new home. David bought me Anthony Warrel Thomsons diabetes cook book – brilliant. Even better? He has mastered many of it’s recipes and they taste GooooD 🙂
- Monitor the fatigue/hypoglycemic occurrences. Constant nauseous hunger pangs are driving me crazy – I’m eating often (putting on weight too – Grr!)
- Lias with the nurse/nutritionist. My fault that I missed this apt and have yet to secure another… busy diabetic nurse!
- Regarding my mental health/bipolar downward swing – maintain a close eye on my moods. Share with hubs and maintain meds/good night sleep. My mood has dipped but in a natural way – because I enjoyed the high of seeing everyone in UK and the wedding, contrasted sharply by returning to Dubai in the summer, so I’m not worried. And hey, we have Bobby! 😀
Continue to edit manuscript ready for Beta readers rounds 1&2 – Continue to work with my cover designer – It’s coming along nicely 🙂 DONE! Try to participate in writing challenges, writing flash fiction/short stories (REMOVED)– Get the edits back from betas, review/make required changes, then get it to my editor by end of August/September. Got four of nine beta forms back and have attempted to apply any required changes, but there is much yet to do.
- For ‘Shah Wharton’s WordsinSync’ as required (re. reviews/book tours and ROW80 updates – plus writing random’s and memes) – many posts, but future reviews pending are on hold as – NIGHTMARE!! – My KINDLE didn’t make it back from the UK trip – he rests in peace, and leaves me heartbroken. And somewhat frustrated. I’d paid for on pre-order the new Kindle Fire HD (not out till October 26th) so can’t afford to get another kindle in the interim. I’m reading one on hubby’s ipad (how easy is it to read a book on ibook via a simple PDF ? Excellent!) but he HATEs letting me have it – I totally understand, I’d be the same over my Kindle (before it died).
- Visit everyone who visits me as and when I can (#1).Visited quite a few, but hardly any while away. Trying to play catch up.
- Enter/link up one hop a week, commenting on several other participants of each hop.- Not too fussed about this right now.
- Reply to everyone who comments on my posts.- Think I’m up to date here.
- Leave thoughtful and post relevant comments on a few blogs each day (#1) – Need to catch up, but did a few over the past few days in between unpacking and puppy care. 🙂
- Share several blogs I visit.- I share everyday on Triberr but otherwise, not over the past few days.
Social Networking Goals –
Thanks to ifttt I have set up most of my sharing needs to happen automatically. I highly recommend this free service.
- Update/Share on Triberr – daily Check – Apart form only a few days I missed while away!
- Respond to anything on my FaceBook Page from LIKERs (and family/friends on personal profile) Check – Mostly
- Participate in Novel Publicity’s Karmic Friday – No
- Update Amazon/Goodreads/Pinterest when required – I still have quite LOADS to update, especially all the movies I watched during the flight – six I think!
Arrange Book Blog Tour/Cover reveal/blurb – DONE! My pre-blitz tour runs 23rd-27th July – DETAILS 🙂
I’m still including reading challenges and fifty-fifty.me (reading and viewing 50 books and 50 movies during 2012) in these bi-weekly updates.
- Research self-publishing – I purchased Joanne Penn’s Publishing course, which I’m yet to dive into. I need more time!
Research Formatting: I found THESE to format it for me. I’ll teach myself to do it for the next novel.
- Read about writing craft – 3a) Stephan Kings On Writing is an enjoyable treat! These seven tips ae great….
1. Don’t blab, get to the point.
In On Writing Stephan does this, he doesn’t blab or grind us into dust with back story. Get to the point before the reader’s attention is lost.
2. Write a draft, but then let it rest a while.
He recommends that we spit out a first draft, but then put it in a drawer a while. Forget about it, move onto something else even. How long? Who ever long you need to change focus, clear your mind and to return with a fresh perspective. Stephan often shoves his manuscripts away for months. I did the same with all of mine and I’m yet to re-read book two since last November! Do you do this, if so for how long?
3. Cut, cut, cut.
When you revisit your MS, after you’ve done a few thousand rewrites, remove all the superfluous words and sentences. This will de-clutter your text and offer more clarity. Stephan follows advice to cut down his text by 10 percent, advice he received from an old rejection-letter and has followed for decades. Don’t do what I did though – before I sent my file to beta readers I did a few mass deletes on ‘superfluous words’ like; as, much, so, but neglected to realise the impact this would have on the sentence structure, so they didn’t get the MS I wanted them to get and had more negatives to read through than they should have. I was mortified when I read that version on my Kindle and saw the glaring errors – Cringe!
4. Be open & honest.
Develope an honest voice, write honest characters. I need to work on a few of my characters with regards to making them more three dimensional. King’s characters always strike me as being humans first, character second. This enables the reader to care about them and become invested in what happens to them.
5. Don’t care too much about what other’s think
Stephan has learned to pick whose feedback he cares about. His wife’s opinion matters, but those who think he should wind up in Hell for his work (err?) can well, go to hell I guess. I will endeavour to be this wise once my novel has gone public.
6. Read a lot.
If you don’t read as a writer, there’s something very wrong. How can you practice your craft if you never enjoy the craft of others? If you don’t read, you miss out on so much. Read varied text, from comics and newspapers to short stories and full-blown novels.
7. Write something everyday.
A blog post, an email, a short story, a first draft of your next novel. Just write something. I think I read and write something everyday, pretty much. But I could always do more. What about you?
- Read the required review requests – I have at least three review requests for book tours, one of which I’m finishing up. The other two are on my dead Kindle! I’ve prepared the book tour companies for the possibility that I may not be able to review them on time. I already have read quite a few I’d like to review (hopefully before I forget about them).
Where do you stand on ditching books you don’t enjoy (whether you’re reading for review or not). Is there a code you follow?Read for fun. Not at the moment!
Still on target for the 50 in one year regarding the 50/50 Challenge. 😀 I have around 6 books to add too I expect.
- No pressure here…. 🙂 Watch movies as and when I can and update the list/Pinterest.
- For a list of books/movies instead, check out the 2012 Challenges page.
- Or check my Pinterest account here for more colourful updates
August 2012 I started a new challenge –
“The essence embodies simplicity, good-natured competition, and a lot of fun. Over the course of twelve weeks we’ll be holding tri-weekly bouts (36) on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays to determine winners that will advance to the play-offs, which will ultimately lead to a single champion. Bouts between who…or what…you ask. Anonymous 500 word writing samples, submitted by anyone who wishes to take part, that’s who. The submitted samples should be identified only by a pen name of your choosing (be creative) that nobody has ever seen before. The writing can be any genre, any style (even poetry) with the word count being the only restriction. It’s a way to get your writing in front of a lot of readers, without having to suffer the agony of exposure. We’ll start accepting these submissions today and will continue to take them during the entire twelve week preliminaries, but beginning on July 30th, the first WRiTE will be held. “
I’ve not had the time, imagination, will to write anything new. Maybe now I’ve moved, but it’ll still be after the UK wedding trip, end of September, before I enter anything. Probably shouldn’t have signed up to this?
Please click the link to find fabulous Row80 participants HERE.
How did you do in round 3 of your ROW80 goals? What are your top writing tips?