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My Supernatural Spreadsheet says I’m on track to meet my goal for April. :) It tracks your daily word count average and your goals based on what you have entered, and it will tell you how you’re doing. Like after I keyed in my progress for Jan-Mar, it said in each month “This month is over. Better luck next month”. Since I want my spreadsheet to be proud of me, I must meet my April goal. Hey, it’s Sam and Dean, ya know?

I’m still working on Fire Wizard, although I would like to set aside a little time for my cozy mystery. We’ll see how that goes. I’m working on a proofreading job for an author, too, and that’s always fun because I get to READ. I just have to read more carefully and slowly. And make red marks. I’m thinking of changing to purple…. :)

I’m also preparing for a trip to Asheville, NC for a work trip. I think I’ll enjoy that one.

Busy, busy. How about the rest of you?

Is is REALLY time for Round 2? Seriously? It seems like just yesterday….

Anyway, I’ve tried to find a doable word count goal. I’ve done those in the past, and I’ve done time goals. Daily goals, weekly goals, on and on. It’s so hard to find a good fit. Then I saw these spreadsheets. Word Count Spreadsheets. How can you not love a spreadsheet with Sam and Dean? I have my own word count spreadsheet, but these spreadsheets are full of awesome! And if you’re more into fantasy, check out THESE. It got me thinking about a MONTHLY word count. That way, if I have a bad week, I can still make up for it with a good week. I’m going to give that a shot and try for 15,000 words per month. The spreadsheets have all kinds of bells and whistles, letting you know how you’ve done, what you still need to do, percentages, etc. This website is also where I got my word count meter.

Now on to another thing. I have an idea for a…hmmm, what shall we call it? Cozy mystery? Romantic mystery? There will be a romance and a murder mystery. There will be food involved. And it will be okay, because it’s part of what the shero does, so no one can say I’m talking about food too much. I’m looking at you, Pink Hammer. Bwa ha ha. And this is where I have to decide if I’m going to use Lauralynn or my real name or another pen name. I’ve been seriously thinking about creating a publishing company so I can publish under that imprint for two different names. The only drawback to doing this is that I would need to buy my own ISBN numbers instead of letting Smashwords (for ebooks) and CreateSpace (for print books) assign the ISBN, which would show those two entities as publishers. I would like some opinions and feedback on this. If I understand the process correctly, you have to have one ISBN for print and another for ebooks. But I THINK you can use the same ISBN number for the ebooks at all retailers. You just can’t use the same one for e and for print. Is this correct?

So that’s all for now. I would love to hear your comments!

After my super “heavy” post last time, I need to keep this light. LOL

I’ve been with ROW80 since the very beginning. I’ve had good rounds and bad rounds. But I’ve been here EVERY round. The ROW80 community is awesome!

How did I do? Not so well. Not terrible, but not up to expectations. For this round, I wrote 19,534 words. I could have done much better than that. It averages out to about 227 words per day. I actually only wrote 14 days this round. So if I only use THOSE days, then my daily average is 1395 per day. See how you can look at something in different ways?

I will say, a lot of the reasons I had for not writing were legitimate. I’ve been doing some proofing, which actually makes me more money that my writing does. And then Susan, Kait, and I started The Forge: Affordable Book Finishing. So I have been a little busy. Writing is my passion, but I need to do what is going to put food on the table, right? So I plan to do both. :)

Here’s to a great Round Two! There’s something about spring that makes me more energetic.

God is Good

For my friends who do not like to read posts about God, religion, or Christianity, you might want to stop here.

Most of you know my husband has been dealing with health problems off and on for a few years. He’s had two mini strokes, a broken ankle, a serious blood clot in his lung, and heart problems. This is a man who takes care of himself and stays fit. The heart problems are hereditary. Today, he is having a defibrillator implanted. He’s been wearing an external one for three months because the insurance company won’t pay for an implanted one until they determine after three months that the medicine won’t take care of the problem. So, of course, we have to pay about $1600 for that life vest. But we’re hoping the defibrillator will take care of his problems.

Here’s the thing. Because he’s been out of work for so long, our money situation should be dire. At this point it isn’t. And I truly believe it’s because God is taking care of us. I believe he’s doing that through other good, kind people. We are promised in the Bible that if we are faithful to Him, he will see to our needs for food, clothing, etc. I don’t say a lot about my Christianity on this blog or Facebook, but I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t force my beliefs on others because each person chooses for themselves, but I will tell you what I believe if you ask. Anyway, I’m rambling.

One instance of true love among Christians is when we found an envelope on the pew where we usually sit at church. There was $1,000 in it. The card wasn’t signed, so the people who did it wanted no credit for it. Another instance of true love is two lovely ladies who made it possible for me to go to Azizona Dreamin’, which I couldn’t afford. I don’t think these ladies would want their names mentioned, so I won’t do that. But I truly believe God uses these “angels” to help those in need. I remember back when my husband was in the hospital and out of work once before, Kait Nolan set up a fund raiser for me. Many fellow authors, readers, etc. contributed to it. I was able to pay some of that forward to someone else later when we were doing better, but not much at the time. When we are back on our feet financially, I hope I can be an angel to someone else someday. I firmly believe in paying it forward when it’s possible.

So now I’m waiting for my husband to get out of surgery. And I believe things will be fine. Because God is good. And we’ve been through enough, right?

Forge

This new book finishing service started out because of a conversation between my friends, Kait Nolan and Susan Bischoff. They were talking about the need to earn a little extra money. Let’s be honest here…it’s a hard time for authors right now. Although, it’s great that everyone is able to publish a book now, it DOES lead to more and more books being available to readers. It takes awhile to build a big enough platform to get yourself well-known among readers. In the meantime, money gets tight.

There are three services offered at The Forge. Susan Bischoff is the best content editor I know. Also known as “The Pink Hammer”, she has a wonderful eye for what is missing, what needs to be added, when something doesn’t flow right, etc.

Kait Nolan is one of the most organized, computer savvy people I know, and she knows a LOT about formatting ebooks for publication. She’s one of those people who has to have everything just so wants things done right. :)

They still needed a proofreader, and that’s where I came in. I know most grammar rules, and when I’m in doubt, I look it up. I’m good at spelling, and I’m a comma Nazi. I am FAR from perfect, but I strive to do my very best to proof manuscripts to the best of my ability. When people put their trust in me, I want to deliver.

When I was asked to be a part of this, there was a slight hesitation on my part. The reason is, I have a couple of VERY good friends who are proofreaders, and my first thought was “Will they see me as competition?” But, as another friend pointed out, these days, there’s enough work for everyone. And we probably wouldn’t even be exposed to the same potential customers, especially when we all have so many other circles of friends and acquaintances. I’ve been told I always worry too much about these kinds of things, but that’s just me. I can’t help it. LOL.

Anyway, if you are looking for a content editor, proofreader, and/or formatter, check us out at The Forge. You might need one, two, or all three services. We are all independent contractors, so you would contact us separately for whatever service you need.

This has been a great writing week. Although I only wrote three days, I still managed to churn out 5,837 words! Yesterday, I wrote almost 2,400. Hubby was gone, so the TV in the living room was off and I was at my desk in my office, the sun shining through the windows beside me. Coffee was on the desk beside my computer. A couple of pieces of sugar-free chocolate. The conditions couldn’t have been better! :)

I really think it makes a big difference WHERE you write. If you have your own writing place, I think your mind says, “Okay, this is where I’m supposed to write”. I’m so glad I was able to fix up my son’s old bedroom and make it into an office.

I told my husband last night that I would love to be able to sit down and write 2,000 words. Guess what? I DID it. Yep, I think it was 2,026. It was funny, I was in my office and the sun was shining, and I had the windows open. The birds were chirping. Then my husband yells, “Are you working in the dark?” I looked around, and it WAS dark. And getting a little chilly. I had been in there for an hour and a half. I always thought I wrote about 1,000 words per hour, but apparently it’s more like 1,000 words in 45 minutes. :)

I hope this momentum continues. When things slow down at work, things will be easier, I think.

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