Friday, July 22, 2011


I laughed out loud when I read the most recent blog post by Joe Konrath - Are You Writing? He was absolutely talking to me:
Right now, you're reading one of the most relevant, controversial, popular, and opinionated blogs about the world of publishing, and it is an epic fail on your part.
He's right. I need to be writing, not reading. I need to be editing, not blogging.

I spent an abnormally large amount of time reading online this week. And not just reading about writing. I read news articles about recent events, old stories, dog training, and even the weather. I learned many things, but I was not writing.

So thanks again, Joe. Your advice is timely, and I plan to take it starting right now.

Happy weekend to everyone, especially my new followers. Thanks for visiting -

Friday, July 15, 2011

1K and Counting

I have 999 Twitter followers right now, and I truly can't believe it! I'm so excited -- I love the new friendships that have started because of our similar interests, whether it's writing or Pittsburgh or anything else. So thanks to everyone who has followed me! I hope we can have many more conversations together.

BREAKING NEWS - I hit 1,001 before I could publish this post! So thanks to Soren Olesen @AuthorOlesen from Denmark who became my 1,000th follower!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wall Calendar Translated

I've always been a calendar girl. Not in the pinup sense, but in the milestone tracking sense. Even mundane tracking appeals to me. I actually still have the calendars I used all four years in college listing daily homework assignments. Back then, I tracked which parties I went to on the weekends as well. There's a novel hiding in those date books, just waiting to be written someday...

If you've read some of my recent posts, you know I follow Austin Kleon, an artist from Austin, TX. He had a recent post about Jerry Seinfeld's plan for productivity that tied my calendar obsession to my writing, and I'm loving it, so I thought I'd share.

Briefly, Seinfeld used a wall calendar and tracked the days he wrote with a big red X. Then he saw his progress and hated to break the writing chain. It helped him reach his goals, and I knew right away that it would help me stay on track this summer.

I created a Google doc spreadsheet for the remaining months of the year. Using Conditional Formatting (under Format menu) I added color coding for word counts for new books on one sheet and hours of editing for revisions on another.

  • 0-500 words or 15 mins. = RED
  • 501-1000 words or 30 mins. = ORANGE
  • 1001-1500 words or 45 mins. = YELLOW
  • 1501-2000 words or 60 mins. = GREEN
  • 2001-2500 words or 75 mins. = BLUE
  • 2501-3000+ words or 76+ mins. = PURPLE

Now the document automatically shows me good days and bad days by color. I'm working towards all purple days because purple is Lucie's favorite color. My editing minutes are low, but I found that I needed more incentive to work on the edits than new writing. This way, even on a busy day I know I'll search harder for time to edit. Slow and steady wins the race.

Not much purple yet, but I'm hoping for a big day today. And once I start a purple chain, I'll work even harder not to break it. If you're interested, at the end of July I'll post my updated spreadsheet to show my progress.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I should know better than to make writing plans in the summer. During the school year, my writing is often derailed because of a volunteer or child activity. But in the summer, it's much worse! Sunny days and blue skies are enough to throw me completely off track. So this morning I decided to schedule time to edit. I even put it on my calendar.

I woke up early and got my emails/Twitter/Facebook out of the way. Then I took my daughter to a birthday party. I planned one solid hour of edits and NOTHING ELSE while she played mini-golf. Ha.

I came home and tried to avoid Twitter. I really did. But my phone buzzed about a DM, so I checked. A quick peek. Nothing more.

Then I slipped into the #YASaves discussion. One hour and seventeen minutes later, I emerged. Number of edits - zero. But it was the best hour I spent not-editing because of the amazing discussion of darkness in YA books. (I mentioned the beginning of the debate in my latest newsletter, and the discussion is far from over.)

Today NPR dedicated an hour to the question Is Young Adult Fiction Too Dark? On the show, they had the author of the original WSJ article and a follow-up, Meghan Cox Gurdon. In the other corner, they had Maureen Johnson, YA author and amazing twitter presence. (Seriously, if you don't follow her on twitter @maureenjohnson, you should!)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Robopocalypse

RobopocalypseRobopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I made the mistake of reading reviews for this book while I was still in the first chapters. I was surprised by some of the very negative reviews because I was drawn to the story and wanted to keep reading, but I understood some of the comments as I continued.

Was I entertained? Yes. Would it be a cool movie? Sure. But I wasn't in love with the way the story was told. I wanted more time with each character instead of brief visits. I guess that's what it comes down to - I wanted more.

View all my reviews