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In this case, I have doubled from 112 words yesterday to 226 words today, all written while my daughter was doing soccer practice. I must have looked a little odd sitting there in my camp chair, left hand wrapped around both the umbrella handle and the iPad, as I pecked away with my right hand. Very happy with the words.

Also was pleased with daughter, who was not the fastest nor most graceful on her team, but who did happily participate. And when they switched from practice to play, she did her best, first on defense and then as goalie. Next week, though, we’ll definitely bring a hair tie for her.

The rest of the weekend was split between puttery house and family stuff (organizing under the kitchen sink, baking chocolate chip cookies, supervising daughter very laxly as she did laundry) and SFWA stuff (hit a milestone on the OPPM). Oh, and watching my husband play Arkham Knight.

I’ve got a lot on the agenda for work and SFWA and home this coming week, too, but I want to ramp up the writing to at least 500 words per day this week. I won’t lie — I want more. I’d love to be doing ten times that and have the next book drafted in a couple of weeks. But I know I can’t jump from here to there without burning out — and probably dropping other things I’m responsible for getting done as well. So I’m setting the bar at 500 this week, and we’ll see how that goes.

(Oh, yeah — and it’s occurred to me that Inktober is in less than a month! I can’t wait!)

Originally published at . You can comment here or there.

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Although I did write yesterday, I got to it so late, I didn’t bother posting. For the record, I got 101 words yesterday and 160 today.

So many things to juggle — SFWA work on the OPPM, invoicing for copyediting, finishing up an application for the Sustainable Arts Foundation’s award for writers who are also parents, taking the kids shopping for shoes (and pants for the girl, as she outgrew last year’s), back to school night to meet teachers, school paperwork — and that’s just today and yesterday. As I said, lots of loose ends, and this week is just about tying some of them off.

One of the girl’s homework assignments is to bring leaves to school so they can classify them. Maybe I should send a hosta leaf with her.

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Today’s subject line brought to you by this earworm that a friend gifted me with to cheer me up:

Good day. Finished a freelance job, visited the library, bought a watermelon from a farm stand (as I said, earworm), and managed to track down the particular notebook our son needs for one class. And I wrote 152 words and finished off the current scene.

This week, as I try to catch up loose ends and make sure the kids get off on the right foot for school, my goal is at least 100 words a day. Next week, it can go up again.

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Last day of summer vacation (not counting the weekend). I didn’t spend as much time as I could have this week with the kids, though I did make sure to spend some.

Still writing, too. 451 words today, after SFWA stuff and freelance work. More next week!

The big adventure for the week, though, was going to Genrepalooza in Manhattan. Organized by MWA’s NY chapter and HWA, it had writers from RWA (NY chapter there, too, I believe), SFWA, the Author’s Guild, and maybe others — I didn’t talk to everyone, and the pictures I took are blurry. I enjoyed the trip, though, and took pics in New York. Had to take pictures of the Chrysler Building, as anyone who’s read my short story “Blood and Gold” will understand.

Pictures from the trip:

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I had trouble settling down to work today — a touch nervous about tomorrow’s adventure, which I’ll likely post about on Thursday — so I did a mix of things. I did a chunk of freelance proofreading, and told the author she’ll have the file back Friday. Also did some cooking — a pot of beans, plus a dozen jars of sliced pickles. I was going to make salsa, too, or bake the latest recipe from Sparkle World with our daughter, but that seemed like a bit much.

Eventually settled enough to write 142 words. It’s not a lot, but it is progress.

And for those keeping track, six days until the kids are back in school (Monday). I have mixed emotions about this. On the one hand, peace and quiet and lack of interruptions will be sort of nice. On the other, I like being able to spend some time each day with them. (Of course, if I get a ton of words next week, the emotions won’t be mixed at all!)

And now, photos of the pickle process.

Canning tools

Cucumbers, dill, and garlic

Processing the jars

Finished product

Originally published at . You can comment here or there.

Epic timing

Aug. 3rd, 2017 09:54 pm
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Tonight, because of the thunderstorm (it is a dark and stormy night) our daughter wanted scary stories for bedtime. I told her I had a very short one. “You have to go back to school in 25 days!”

“Really, Mom?”

“Yes, really. You have less than a month of summer left. Mwah-hah-hah-hah!”

At which point, lightning crashed and thunder boomed, punctuating my evil laugh. Definitely the best way to end a scary story.

Words written today: 2,543
Words written this month: 5,222
Words written 2017: 151,731
Average words/day 2017: 706
Books completed 2017: 2 (plus 1 novella)
Pages read today: 5
Books read 2017: ?
Days until school starts: 25

Yes! I got past that 150,000 mark! So happy for this! Also, daughter and I made cupcakes today. It was a good day.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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That was the first half of the day — the children’s section of the local library does a monthly session of reading to dogs as part of the summer program. I think it’s geared toward younger children, encouraging them to read aloud and improve fluency with an audience that won’t criticize them. However, our daughter loves dogs, so she eagerly signed up to read today.

She read the opening of Ursula Vernon’s Giant Trouble to a lovely black poodle. The poodle’s companion said that her reading was excellent — and also a mile a minute. No surprise there.

I meant to work on the outline for the next book today, but instead, I worked on creating a print version of the novella. I don’t have plans to put it into any sales channels, but I can see a few uses for having copies myself.

No new words today, alas!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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It was pouring when I woke up. By the time I got up, it was mostly sunny with fluffy clouds. By dinner, dark and pouring rain with lots of thunder and lightning. Weather can’t make up its mind.

I split my time today between writing and working on birthday cake for my son. We had an interesting exchange about frosting (I asked him about cream cheese or buttercream, and he said, “Frosting for the cake?” I said yes, I wasn’t planning to put frosting on the fried rice), but now the cake is done and waiting for candles to be lit.

birthday cake

The writing went really well today. The climax and denouement and all clicked, and I got a good chunk of words. Still need to go back and edit and beef up some earlier stuff, but I’m on a roll.

Words written today: 2,450
Words written this month: 9,791
Words written 2017: 140,190
Average words/day 2017: 684
Books completed 2017: 1 (plus 1 novella)
Pages read today: 0
Books read 2017: ?
Days until school starts: 35

I stared at those numbers and said, “Hey, if I just write 209 more words this evening, I’ll have 10,000 for the month!” Which is true. However, cake is calling. And ice cream, too.

Words can wait until tomorrow (which is also when I will send my newsletter that should’ve gone out today).

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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I spent a good chunk of the day helping our daughter clean her room so she could host her friend for a sleepover tonight. Then our friends came over, and we gamed — D&D (3.5). I’m DM-ing a run through Castle Ravenloft. I’m not the best DM, but everyone seems to be having fun, which is my metric for success.

Eventually, after our friends left and the girls settled down to sleep, I wrote all of 35 words (3 new sentences). Also corrected one typo (changed “hiving” to “having”). Not much, but I still count the day good.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Words written today: 895
Words written this month: 5,985
Words written 2017: 136,384
Average words/day 2017: 682
Books completed 2017: 1 (plus 1 novella)
Pages read today: lots of rereading of last weekend’s fun read
Books read 2017: ?
Days until school starts again: 40

Our son said I didn’t have to sound so gleeful about the end of summer. I explained that although I love them dearly and like spending time with them, going to the library and such, I just don’t get as much done. (On the other hand, I’m getting more sleep because I go back to bed after my husband leaves in the morning, as I don’t have to get children out the door and off to school. Sleep is good.)

Seen in our backyard this evening while I worked on dinner:

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

Back to it

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:47 pm
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I’ve been really lax about blogging since I got back from vacation. Lax about writing, too, but I’m trying to dig in.

Words written today: 119
Words written this month: 4.470
Words written 2017: 134,869
Average words/day 2017: 681
Books completed 2017: 1 (plus 1 novella)
Pages read today: 0
Books read 2017: 12? 13? I just finished one yesterday, and I’m pretty sure I read one or two around the end of vacation.
Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Now for the rest of the pictures.Read the rest of this entry  )

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Our itinerary:
Pennsylvania to Madison, Wisconsin, overnight stop in Elkhart, Indiana
In Madison for a few days with my mom and younger brother and his fiancée
Madison to Fort Collins, Colorado, overnight stop in Nebraska
In and around Fort Collins for a few days with my in-laws
Fort Collins to Pennsylvania, overnight stops in Lawrence, Kansas, and Lexington, Kentucky

It’s a lot to pack into two weeks, and it was wonderful. (Click through to see pictures up to our arrival in Fort Collins. There are a lot, but even this is just a subset of what I took.)Read the rest of this entry  )

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Lots of driving. Couple stops.

Also lots of reading novellas.

No writing.

striped hairDaughter’s final hair color. (Though shes going to be swimming, so it will fade.)

swan a-swimmingSwan we saw on one of our stops

flowersFrom same stop as the swan

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Such a busy day. End of school always is, as I take the kids for ice cream and to the comics and gaming store, as well as to the library. Lots of spending time with the kids, recommending things they might enjoy, and realizing just how much they’ve grown over the last year.

Late writing tonight. 547 words though, which is a step in the right direction.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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score cards from laser tag

In addition to lots of copyediting, I played laser tag today. Our friends had a birthday party for their son, and they wanted it to be for families. Rather amusing — our son, our daughter, and I wound up on the blue team, and my husband was on the red. Our daughter was quite indignant about the fact that her dad shot her.

On the blue team, our son was the high scorer two out of the three games. On the red team, my husband was. Me? Well, I scored better than our daughter and her best friend.

But it was a lot of fun. We all enjoyed it, which was the point.

Oh, and I managed to squeeze out 481 words at some point here. We’ll say they were Sunday words.

Now to go grab a few hours sleep before getting kids off to school and starting the last round on this manuscript!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Today, our daughter’s school had their annual field day, and I volunteered to help out. I ran the water balloon toss and the ball relay. It was a great deal of fun, but also fairly tiring standing in the sun that long, so I don’t think I’ll be doing Beach Day on Friday. Part of me would like to, despite having so much work to do, but it’s wiser if I do not.

Also copyedited, wrote back cover copy, and added 108 words to Siren Circle today. All in all, a very good day.

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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blue high topsWhen I was younger, I loved shopping for shoes. I could walk into any store, find the cutest things in 6-1/2, and walk out happy. And I frequently did. Any more, not so much.

But this means that when I take my daughter shoe shopping, I am not surprised that she enjoys it. Even when it’s hard to find things in her size. So a chunk of the day was spent finding her new sneakers (which she has to have for gym class) and sandals. I’d say that I envision hours spent in shoe stores when she gets to be a teen, but honestly, I’m pretty sure we’re already spending over an hour on this.

Did get words today, too. Happy with this.

Words written today: 1,783
Words written this month: 3,602
Words written 2017: 100,534
Average words/day 2017: 798 (Yeah, okay, that I’m not happy with)
Books completed 2017: 1
Pages read today: 2 chapters with daughter
Books read 2017: 8

Hope you’re all having a good weekend!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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glow-bowlingThere were some meltdowns on the math fun day, as well as sulking. But mostly, it was good. I might have been a little frustrated at the shopping part. (I would have organized a list of all the prices needed to solve the word problems onto a separate sheet of paper and then moved from one end of the store to the other, gathering the info in a logical order, rather than going back and forth to look up prices in produce then sundries then back to the hot dogs, which are near the produce, etc.) Bowling was when we had a couple of the meltdowns, but also a strike and a few spares in our group, so that was fun. (I apologize for the blurry photo.)

Eventually, I added 633 words for the day, mostly on the new project (because I’m going to try to work on the novella and finish the second technowitch novel at the same time). Better than how I’ve been doing so far this week. Tomorrow, more words. Write all the things!

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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Very good day with daughter for her field trip. I recommend trips to any spots listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The kids wrote with ink made from walnuts and quills, put together a mini barn with notched and marked posts and beams, took a turn at both threshing wheat and churning butter, and heard a lot about basic life two and a half centuries ago. I knew a lot of it already, but it was cool watching others see it for the first time, even if they were fidgety and had short attention spans, what with being only 9 or 10 years old…

Words written today: 109
Words written this month: 10,909
Words written 2017: 91,709
Average words/day 2017: 834
Books completed 2017: 1
Pages read today: 2 for pleasure
Books read 2017: 7

Originally published at Erin M. Hartshorn. You can comment here or there.

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