Sunday, 29 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 29th January 2012

My goals are:
1) Do 30 minutes of something writing related each day.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge.

4) Review one book a month (DONE FOR THIS MONTH!)
5) Exercise twice a week.

This week I am pleased to say I have met all my goals!

I have done something writing related for 30 minutes each day and managed my test mile of 250 words each day. I have found some reading time each day and am on my 8th book of the year which I am enjoying. Technically I haven't read two books this week but as I am on track with my reading I am counting this as an achieved goal.

I have managed to exercise twice! Along with my dance class I walked 20 minutes today even though I was offered a lift to my destination. On the way it was downhill and on the way back uphill so I am counting it as exercise. My knee is still clicking and generally being a pain so I am investigating knee supports but when I went to the shop you needed to get the right size and strangely I don't know my knee measurements off by heart so I will get this next weekend hopefully.

I wasn't able to join in with the #row80 sprints on Thursday and friday as I was late home from work and at my parents on the Friday. Hope to join in this week on some days though. I have also read the majority of Will write for shoes - How to write a chick lit novel. It is a really informative book and has certainly made me think an AWFUL lot about my chick lit WIP. It sounds very 'fluffy' but it really is good and has lots of useful ideas. One point I like is the suggestion you map out your characters houses as you can tell a lot about a person from their house. The way it is organised, the colours, the books they have, the ornaments or souvenirs on shelves all give an insight into the person. I believe Nicole is going to review it and thank you again Nicole for the tip. I haven't read it all as I want to read the editing part before I start editing and the bit about agents and publishers.....well that can wait a while!

I hope to check-in on Wednesday but in all likelihood it will be Tuesday or Thursday as I will be turning 29 on Wednesday and have plans with friends in the evening. I am tradtionally someone who loves birthdays but I have to say 29 is not an age I am looking forward to! 30 is atleast a big milestone (remind me of this next year) whereas I see 29 as the waiting room for 30. But I have decided to enjoy the last year of my twenties whatever it may bring!

I hope everyone has a great week since it is my birthday week!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 25th January 2012

Here are my goals:

1) Do 30 minutes of something writing related each day.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge.

4) Review one book a month (DONE FOR THIS MONTH!)
5) Exercise twice a week.
So far this week things are going well.

878 words in 30 minute sprint

583 words in 30 minute sprint (interrupted by phone call with sister!)

Just under 300 words in 10 minutes.
22 minutes reading 'Will Write for Shoes - How to write a chick lit novel.' as recommended by Nicole
Dance class - One Hour

I have managed to join in with two sprints on the #ROW80 this week even though I only sprinted for 30 minutes. I love writing during sprint times as I find I focus and get inspired by all the people around me typing (or writing) away. I hope to join in tomorrow aswell.

Dance class was good even though my knees are killing me. I need to get some knee supports or something as they were hurting during the class and they are hurting now. But I want to keep going and I need to exercise again this week.

I don't think I will get to any check-ins tonight but I will try and visit tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a good week.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 22nd January 2012

Quick recap of goals:

1) Do 30 minutes of something writing related each day.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge.

4) Review one book a month (DONE FOR THIS MONTH!)
5) Exercise twice a week.
I nearly achieved all my goals this week. I have done the equivalent of 30 minutes of something writing related each day and have always exceeded my test mile of 250 words. I have been reading as much as possible and am on track with the 100 books in a year challenge as I am currently reading book number 7. So yes, you guessed it. I have failed on my exercise goal.

I did go to my dance class on Wednesday and since then I haven't been feeling great. Combination of things such as the start of a cold I am trying to keep at bay and very achy knees from dance class meant that I haven't had the motivation to exercise. I am annoyed at myself about this but I am determined that this will be the only week I fail on this goal. Keep me accountable please!

Here is what I have been up to since Wednesday's check-in.

40 minutes writing my WIP 1,002 words
5 minutes reading a blog about writing reviews.

30 minutes writing WIP 940 words
7 minutes looking for photos to make my character profiles more detailed (this worked well for me during NaNo.)

Day with friends - no writing but a lovely time!

One hour sprint (whilst Lauren did a chore sprint!) 1,879 words.

The sprint I did earlier might be my personal best for an hour sprint. The words just flowed today even though my MC went wedding dress shopping with a friend instead of having a hard discussion that I think I will be writing tomorrow instead. Sprinting works for me and I need to try and organise my evening so I can join in with the nightly sprint on the ROW80 hashtag as often as possible.

Before I go I just thought I would share my word count total. When I stopped wriitng this particular book in September I was on about 33,000 words. Since the start of this round I have added nearly 10,000 words as I am on 42,707 words. I must keep better track of my word count as it can be so motivating.

Ok, that is all from me. Hope to see lots of you sprinting this week and hope this round is treating you well :)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 18th January 2012

Quick recap of my goals:
1) Do 30 minutes of something writing related each day.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge.

4) Review one book a month (DONE FOR THIS MONTH!)
5) Exercise twice a week.
Things have felt calmer this week (famous last words!) and I feel writing is becoming part of my daily schedule. I managed to join in with half the sprint on the ROW80 hashtag and I forgot how much I love writing alongside others even though I only took part for the first 30 minutes. I will try to make 7pm (my time) my writing time so I can write with my fellow ROW80ers more often.

Here is how the week has looked:

30 minutes writing WIP (during sprint) 1036 words

30 minutes writing WIP 846 words

One hour dance class.

I haven't managed to do any writing today as it has been one of those days and the dance class eats into my evening time so I will make up the half an hour over the next few days. I found the dance class much harder tonight, I don't know why. I tend to withdraw from situations which make me feel unfit and uncomfortable but I am determined to see it through as it is only by going that I can get better!
I posted my first review on Sunday just before my ROW80 check-in and thank you for all your kind comments. I wanted to be very careful not to spoil the book for anyone and am glad people seemed to like it! I have read 6 books this year so far so I have made a good start with the read 100+ books in a year.

Plan for rest of the week is to keep writing more of my WIP and make up the 30 minutes of writing I didn't do today. It is nice to sit down and write for 30 minutes on my WIP instead of plotting and doing bits and pieces. I am happy with the direction things are going in but the cloud of editing is hanging over me. Think it will need alot of work but for now I am happy to keep plodding forward!

Hope everyone is having great weeks!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 15th January 2012

Things are good this end and I have met all my goals!
1) Do 30 minutes of something writing related each day.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge.

4) Review one book a month.
5) Exercise twice a week.
I have struggled to get time to do writing related things this weekend as I have been away with friends but I have made up the time and the word count so I have accomplished my goals over the week. I also posted my first ever book review of Lindsey Kelk's 'I Heart Vegas' just before posting this and any comment swould be very very welcome! I really enjoyed looking at the book with a review in mind although I think it is a skill I do need to develop.

Writing on my WIP is going well and I am coming up with plot bunnies and ideas for scenes all over the place which feels great!

Hope everyone has had a great week and hope week 3 treats you well!

Book review: I Heart Vegas by Lindsey Kelk

I first picked up a Lindsey Kelk book when I was looking for a light-hearted beach read to take on holiday with me. 'I Heart New York' looked like it fit the bill and since then I have read and enjoyed all the other 'I Heart' books; I Heart Paris, I Heart Hollywood and most recently I Heart Vegas. Kelk is an English writer who lives in New York and she also recently released 'The Single Girl's To-Do List' which is separate from the 'I Heart series' and is also a great read. The 'I Heart' series follows the life and loves of Angela Clark starting when she discovers her fiance cheating on her at her best friend's wedding. Her gut instinct is to get away immediately and away she goes to New York. From this point her life is never the same again. I Heart Vegas is the fourth installment of her story and sees Angela settled in New York but facing a whole new set of problems....

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...

Angela Clark loves her life as a Brit in New York. Unfortunately, she's also a Brit who's lost her job. And when the immigration department gets wind of this just before Christmas, Angela needs to find a new job urgently. Or a husband. And she doesn't think her boyfriend Alex will be keen.

A girl's weekend in Vegas with her best friend Jenny seems the perfect way to forget her troubles. From the minute their arrive Angela is swept up in a whirl of cocktails, outrageous outfits, late nights and brushes with the chapel of love. But soon, rather than escaping trouble, Angela is up to her neck in it...

I read this book in a day. Honestly. I read it on the 1st of January when I was having a lazy day and as this is the fourth book of the series I really enjoyed finding out what was happening to Angela. She is a great main character who is flawed like all of us but in a funny, endearing way. She drives me crazy one minute (usually when she is not communicating with her amazing boyfriend) and has me sighing in empathy the next. I think it takes great skill to make a likeable character that people care about and can identify with after four books about their life but I for one always wants to know what happens next. Kelk is really good at leaving a book not necessarily on a cliffhanger but just after something amazing has happened so you are hungry to know more. I won't reveal the ending of this book so I don't spoil it but it ended with me wishing there were more pages for me to read. I follow @LindseyKelk on twitter and from her tweets I know she is busy writing 'I Heart London' so Angela's story is not finished yet! 

The 'I Heart' books are great chick-lit books and I find the writing quick and witty and often chuckle or grimace as I read the situations Angela gets herself into. I would recommend you read the books in order so you see Angela's life chronologically as each book builds on the one before but you could pick this book up and enjoy it as a stand alone story. I can't wait for 'I Heart London' to be released so I can find out what happens next.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 10th January 2012

The start of the week has gone well this end. I tried (kind of!) to join in with a sprint on twitter on the good old ROW80 hashtag on Monday but as I was in a bit of a funny place in terms of what I was doing it didn't work so well! But I was there and I tried.

Here is what I have been up to:

15 minutes reading the rest of my old WIP which I have now finished reading.
7 minutes spent doing my test mile of 254 words towards my WIP.
12 minutes spent outlining the next steps in my WIP - I have done this loosely to the end of the book.
34 minutes in total.

20 minute brisk walk by the river listening to Adele. Was brilliant!
40 minutes writing 1,333 words in my WIP
20 minutes looking at reviews online to get an idea about how I want to do my book reviews.
An hour in total spent on writing activities.

1 hour dance class
10 minutes 333 words to WIP
20 minutes towards book review
30 minutes total spent on writing activities.

I have decided to put my shiny new idea to one side for now and focus on my chick-lit WIP. That reminds me, I really must think of a title for it. My shiny new idea since Nadja asked involves a girl who enjoys matchmaking all her friends. It will be chick-lit and set in current times. I am not sure of the location. I can't really say more than that at the moment as it is not all square in my head and I need to put it to one side as I am really enjoying my WIP at the moment and since reading it I am able to carry on writing (now I have a loose outline) and will go back and edit at the end. What a task that will be!

I have already managed to exercise twice this week and the dance class is a great addition to my quest to get fit. As soon as it started I got that panic of 'I am not fit enough for this' but I did most of the class and really enjoyed it! I have signed up for the next 9 weeks and paid in advance so I am hoping that in itself with motivate me to go! I am sure I will ache tomorrow but it was great fun and I am looking forward to getting better at all the moves and seeing my fitness level improve.

I did extra writing time on Tuesday as I am out on Thursday and away at the weekend so may not have a chance to do much on those days. I love being busy but at the moment I feel I am juggling everything and I am trying so hard to keep all my balls in the air!!

I hope everyone is having great weeks!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 8th January


To recap, my goals were:
1) Do 30 minutes of something writing related each day.
2) Test mile - 250 words a day
3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge.

4) Review one book a month. (This on is no done yet but as it is one a month it is ok!!)
5) Exercise twice a week.
Most of my 'writing related' time has been reading through my old WIP to reacquaint myself to what I had written. Found lots of bits I am not sure about but also some parts I really really like and don't remember writing. Kait said to me on twitter 'It's like the prose fairies came to visit while you slept' and I am adopting this as my new phrase for when this happens!

I have written 250 words a day (I did more on Wednesday as I knew I wouldn't be able to write on Saturday) so I have just short of 2000 words towards my new WIP. I can safely say without the test mile I would probably not have written a thing so I am grateful to Kait for the suggestion of doing a test mile.

Since the 1st January I have read 3 books so I am ahead of my reading schedule which is good. I haven't reviewed a book yet and must make time to read some reviews that some of you have done to get an idea on how to go about it!

I have been for two brisk 20 minute walks by the river near my house. It was dark, drizzling and cold but it was great. Again I know that if I hadn't made exercise a goal it would not have happened so I am grateful I included it. I hope to start swimming soon with a friend and on Wednesday I am starting a dance class which looks like fun with another friend. I am so much more likely to exercise if I have someone to be accountable and I will pay for the dancing in advance so I will go!

As I said above I have been writing towards my new shiny idea but I haven't plotted it properly or made character descriptions or anything so I have been simply writing bits and pieces I have thought of. I think though I am going to read the rest of my old WIP and finish that before I start properly writing my new idea. I was wondering whether I should edit what I have or carry on writing to the end and edit the whole first draft and this seems to make more sense to me. I have always loved the premise to the story so I am looking forward to seeing how it all ends!

I apologise for my absence at people's midweek check-ins but the day job got very intense and time consuming. Rubbish reason but it is the truth. I aim to be much better from now on. I hope everyoen ahs had a great week and here is to another good one!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

ROW80 Check-in 4th January

So far so good everyone! But let's face it, we are only a few days in!

I have managed to spend atleast 30 minutes on something writing related on Monday, Tuesday and today and I have done an extra 15 minutes today as I have a busy weekend ahead. I also wrote 500 words today instead of 250 as I know I won't have a chance to write at all on Saturday.

I have spent most of my time reading through my chick lit WIP and I am happy to say there are bits and pieces I like and I feel it has potential. When I sat down to do my 250 word 'test mile' I wasn't sure what to write as I am re-reading my wip so I picked prompts from the Write Anything website and wrote them with my new idea and main character in mind.

I am on book 3 of the year which is not bad going but I did lots of reading on the bank holiday which helped!!

I am also fresh back from a brisk 20 minute walk in chilly drizzle that I have to say I really enjoyed so have started to exercise, slowly slowly!

Hope everyone is having great weeks!

Monday, 2 January 2012

ROW 80 2012 Round One goals!

I am so excited for this first round of 2012! I feel like I know what I want to achieve and am all ready to go!

Here are my goals:

 1) Do 30 minutes of something writing related each day.
I was toying with the idea of an hour a day but half an hour seems a good baseline....if I do more then great but hopefully this is achievable! As always I want 30 minutes equivalent a day so if I miss a day I will try my best to make it up on another day. In a week I want 3 and a half hours of writing related work. I will mainly be outlining and writing.

My old chick-lit WIP is being resurrected and I want to have a careful look at the outline and also re-write alot of what I have written. I know the tone is not quite is too serious and I want to make it more upbeat in places. I also had a shiny new idea seduTestce me the other day. It just popped up and wouldn't go away so I will make notes on that and let it brew while I write my other piece. I don't think I can write two things at once....I might try it but I think I would get muddled. My NaNo murder mystery is going to stay on the backburner for a while as I am really excited about both my chick-lit ideas and want to get my teeth sunk into them.

2) Test mile - 250 words
I had my post about goals all written and ready but after reading Kait's post over at the ROW HQ I decided to include a test mile. A tiny test mile mind but I will aim to write 250 words every day even if my focus is planning or outlining. I have set this at such a small amount as I know lots of outlining etc. needs to be done but I should still manage 250 words. If I manage it everyday then in a week I will have 1,750. Not too shabby.

3) Read two books a week for 100+ reading challenge.
I have signed up for the 100+ book in a year challenge over at bookchickcity and it breaks down to 2 books a week which will be a challenge but one I am really looking forward to! I have made a page which you can see at the top of my blog where I will record the books I have read. I have already read one I started in the early hours of the 1st of January so have got off to a good start.

4) Review one book a month.
newtowritinggirl asked me if I would be reviewing any of the 100 (hopefully) books I would be reading and I like the idea of this. It is not something I have ever done before but I will look at the reviews some of my fellow ROW80ers have written for tips and feel one a month is do-able amongst all the reading and writing I will be doing! Watch this space!

5) Exercise twice a week.
I included this once before on my ROW goals and then removed it as I wasn't doing it. I know if I declare things here then they happen. I hate telling you all I have failed! Please please please hold me accountable on this one! With the events of the end of last year and Christmas I have had a great time eating and curling up by the fire with books so at the moment I am feeling sloth like. Twice a week seems do-able and I am going to watch what I eat too. Writing does not necessarily need to be accompanied with biscuits! I need to write this on a sign above my desk!

So there we have them. Five lovely goals and a fresh start. I hope everyone has settled on goals they are happy with and I look forward to seeing everyones progress over the coming weeks!

Happy New Year everyone!

Ps. I managed to reach my goal of reading 70 books before the year was out! :)