Monday, July 20, 2015

Ready. Set. WRITE! Check in!

Welcome back to another Ready. Set. WRITE! check-in! So sorry I missed checking in with you guys last week. The husband and I are celebrating twenty years of marriage (this Wednesday J) and so we took a little anniversary getaway to Saint Augustine last week. It’s a super cool place full of so much history: the Fountain of Youth, the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, Mission of Nombre de Dios,… yeah, I really wouldn’t know. We spent our three days there at the beach, touring a distillery, and barhopping. J
Anyway, I’m back and so glad you are too. J Before I update, I want to announce the winner of Elodie’s amazing writerly care package.
Liz Parker!

 We want you keep the writerly groove going, so we have three more packages of awesome you could win in August. Thanks again for joining us!
And now it’s update time. J
How I did on my previous goal(s):

PLEASE NOTE that this is TWO weeks’ worth of work.  

1)      Write 5000 words total on one or both of my stories. CHECK! In the past two weeks I wrote 15,325 words. I know. I was shocked too. But don’t get too excited because a) it’s about 70% crap (30% possible diamonds though!) and b) I skipped ahead a bit to write a scene that hit me on the beach and then I couldn’t stop and c) it’s mostly crap. 

Okay, it’s not all mostly crap. And the scene that hit me on the beach is one I am ridiculously proud of. And well, I’m mostly okay with crappy first drafts. Because then at least there’s something written to EDIT. J  

2)      Read one book. CHECK! I finished UNDER A PAINTED SKY (Stacey Lee) which was an exceptional historical fiction. I also read Amy Poehler’s autobiography YES PLEASE and it was as hilarious and awesome as she is. I also read FINDING AUDREY (Sophie Kinsella) and THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY (Jenny Han). I flew through both books and mostly enjoyed them. And then because I can’t get enough of Parks and Recreation stars’ books, I “treated myself” to Aziz Ansari’s MODERN ROMANCE. Okay, so the library treated me to it, but still. It’s Tom Haverford and I love him and his book and yeah. You should totally “treat yoself” to his book too.  

3)      Exercise at least five times this week. CHECK! I don’t know if I made it five times each week, but I did at least three and I walked a crap ton in Saint Augustine so… 

STRETCH GOAL: Spend at least an hour a day, five days this week, on EACH story (CM rewrite and soccer WiP).   

Um . . . doubtful. I spent hours on the soccer story. My CM rewrite, not so much. 

My goal(s) for this week 

1)      Write 5K total on one or both my stories.

2)      Read one book.

3)      Exercise at least five times this week.

4)      Do something fun with my kiddos

5)      Work on and complete at least one project around the house 

STRETCH GOAL: Work on the CM rewrite for at least TWO hours this week.  

A favorite line from my story OR a word or phrase that sums up what I wrote/revised: 

This is from the soccer WiP. It’s between my MC Lexi and this guy Brasil who’s about to become a big factor in the story. Won’t say anymore, just enjoy my 70% crap/30%diamonds excerpt. J 

“Lex Luthor!” Brasil takes my arm and leads me back behind one of the pickups. “Meus amigos and I were about to get a game going. Join us?”

            Brasil’s amigos are two of the three guys he was playing soccer with earlier. They’re in the back of the truck, along with another very curvaceous girl in a tank dress, different than the one Brasil kicked the ball to earlier. Jeez.

            “No thanks,” I say and walk away. No way I’m about to be this guy’s hat trick tonight.

The biggest challenge I faced this week (ie finding time to write, getting sick, having writer’s block, etc)

Prioritizing. My writing time generally has to occur in the mornings and when I can finally drag myself out of bed I usually have two maybe three hours before I start tutoring or the kids get up or the day just basically gets going and I’m taking the kids to the pool or something. But then I also want to get my exercise in before it gets too hot. And I want to eat. And shower. So, I either get up earlier or I either don’t write or I don’t exercise or . . .


I know. Rough life.  

Something I love about my WIP 

Tattoos. I love tattoos. I have four (and dying for another) and I am always fascinated by people who have them and why they have them. I’ve tried to work them into my story before, but tattoos never really, um . . . worked in one of my stories. Until this soccer one. One of my characters has a few (my MC describes him as having more tattoos than David Beckham - she might be a little hyperbolic in her description) and it’s just been fun to incorporate (so far) and I get to research people that actually have them. Like these lovely gentlemen…

Dani Alves

USMNT and MLS star Jermaine Jones
and of course
I hope you had a wonderful writing week! I can’t wait to bounce around and see how you’re doing! Don’t forget to sign up on the linky!



  1. Those pictures make me want to read your MS even more and maybe start googling soccer players with tattoos ;P So glad you had a great time with your hubby annnnd you're rocking your word count. You're so right about needing the words so you can edit you might get your percentages backwards, maybe you have 70% gem and 30% crap. You'll only know when it's time to revise :) :) :)
    Cheering you on, Alison!

  2. Four tattoos, huh? You're even wilder than I though, lady! I love tattoos too, especially on hot athletes... :-) And, um, 15+K words? Well done! Even if you really do use only 30% of that, you made major progress. So glad you had a nice time in St. Augustine. It's so pretty there! Best of luck with your goals this week, and have a good one!

  3. That is a TON of work last week. Go you! 4 tattoos cool beans I have considered getting one many times but I'm a wimp and more than that I'm indecisive and wouldn't want to get anything so permanent that I might change my mind about 10 minutes later.

  4. Ooh, pretty boys with tattoos. I'm right there with you. So great that you found a way to include them in the soccer book! We need to meet up in Wilmington one day and just watch the tattoos all over the place. :) And nice job on your goals this week. I'm impressed by all of your words!

  5. Fantastic stuff! My first drafts are awful, but as long as the words are there, you'll have something to work with! :)

    I'd love a tattoo, but I keep changing my mind about it and I don't want to commit if I'm not sure! :P

  6. Hey, I think a 70/30 ratio of crap to diamonds is pretty darn good in a first draft. Mine is probably more like 95/5. I also know what you mean about incorporating tattoos into stories. Sometimes it just feels too forced or cheesy or something. Like it's not cool to talk about the fact that tattoos are cool. Idk! But I think you've got the perfect excuse to bring them in because soccer players with tats ruuuule! Good luck with the writing goals this week!

  7. Love the "hat trick" bit in your excerpt. :-) You did pretty darn great these past couple of weeks with the words! Even if it isn't all diamonds, that's still awesome! I'm totally into the tattoos on guys thing. Very pretty. Hope this is another great week!

  8. Congratulations on all your writing progress! A few of my near-contemporary characters have tattoos; one character has a jellyfish on her back and Shiva dancing on her stomach, and her younger cousin has Ganesh on her back. (They're Western Hindus.) I think I've reconciled the traditional prohibition against tattoos with the modern Responsa allowing them, though I'd still have to get a tattoo where my Orthodox friends couldn't see it, like my upper arm or thigh. I already know one tattoo will be the words "all things must pass," in George Harrison's own handwriting (from a book with handwritten copies of his lyrics).

  9. I'll try to stop drooling over those tattoos long enough to comment on your awesome post. ;)

    15k no matter what the percentage of crap/diamonds is fantastic! Getting those words down and having something to work with is the toughest part, so great job on that! I especially enjoyed the last sentence of your excerpt. That definitely falls into the diamond category!

    I'm glad you enjoyed your trip, and I love that you've been spending time reading books by Parks & Rec actors lately. Just started watching it this summer and I'm so addicted to it. Now if only Shomi would put up the last two seasons. Boo. Have a super week, Alison, and I hope time to write in the mornings is easy to come by in the next while!

  10. First of all, I'm in awe of the 15k! Second of all, that excerpt didn't look like 70% crap to me! Great scene. And thanks for reminding me of the existence of Under the Painted Sky--definitely bumping that up on my TBR list! :)

  11. Tattoos FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have 6 and want more!!!!!!!!!! I'm very interested in a big huge thigh piece! And shoulder. DREAMS! Okay....I'll drool over those photos later.... ;)
    Congrats on meeting your goals. And OMG The Summer I Turned Pretty. Such an amazing series.

  12. Under a Painted Sky and Yes Please are two of my favorites I've read over the past 6 months. I bought the audio book of Yes Please so I could share with my husband (he listened multiple times). I'd like to read the Aziz book. From the library, I borrowed NIck what's-his-name's book who plays Ron Swanson. It's not great, honestly. The more interesting stuff is 2/3 of the way in about his acting.

    I also like tattooed guys. I like them on women too and yet I don't have any!

  13. Happy anniversary to you and your hubby. And congrats on your goals. A few of my characters have tats and I'm working on getting my second. I'm waiting for the design to come to me. Good luck this week!

  14. Great job on your goals. Is that spanish in you excerpt? I wish I had tattoos, have some ideas but haven't had the guts to go to a shop. Good luck this week!

  15. Happy Anniversary and congratulations on all those words!
    Great excerpt, I really enjoyed reading it, I'd definitely like to know more about those characters :)
    Good luck this week

  16. Happy Anniversary and congratulations on all those words!
    Great excerpt, I really enjoyed reading it, I'd definitely like to know more about those characters :)
    Good luck this week

  17. Killer last line, although if he looks like David Beckham.... ;) If you don't follow him on Instagram, you totally should!
    Have a great week Alison! I missed reading your post last week!

  18. LOVE the hat trick line! Great voice and I could picture a kick ass girl giving the guy a look of total disdain and walking away :) Nice work on your goals!! That word count is awesome. I am right there with you when it comes to prioritizing - there is just too much to do in those precious few hours before total mom and work life kicks in. Hope you have a fabulous week!

  19. I have only ever had a fake tattoo, heh! But I do like reading about characters with them. Sounds like you're right in the middle of a busy summertime! Good luck this week!

  20. Happy anniversary to you and your husband! Your trip sounds fabulous. :) And wow, 15K in two weeks? That's AMAZING, and I'm sure there are plenty of diamonds in there.

    Hope you have a great writing week, Alison!

  21. Oh no...look at all of that torturous, strenuous research you have to do! That seems like a real chore. I mean, if you need someone to take it off your hands, I'm sure I could sum up the strength to help out...

    Haha, but seriously! Hot guys with tattoos is my number one weakness. Like Wes from THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen. One of my very favourite book boys!

    Good luck this week, Alison :)


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