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#ROW80 ~ Round 3 in the Rearview Mirror

I had one set of plans what were usurped a few weeks ago by a totally new plan. And that’s been totally fine! For me, rejoining ROW80 has been about trying to settle back into good writing habits. Part of that ended up being open to a writing project that I’m really excited about.

So, what happened this round?


newbackProject #1: David Abbott in the Open Court – This was the nonfiction project I was working on at the beginning of the round. It’s a collection of articles written by magician David P. Abbott for The Open Court magazine in the early 1900s. I finished the front and back matter, gave it a final edit, formatted it, and even did a couple covers.  I ended up not publishing it because I decided to release it in conjunction with some of the One Ahead stories…

Project #2: One Ahead series – This is a series of stories about a fictional version of David P. Abbott solving mysteries as a magician and spiritualist debunker.  Coming in to the round, I had one story of 20K done and one drafted and in need of rewrite. The plan was to rewrite story #2 and get a draft of #3 going (I have vague ideas). I really didn’t want to start releasing these stories until I had a few done. I did get some organizational stuff done and worked on the rewrite but then…

Project #3: Wicked Witch, Retired – While I love the concept of the David Abbott stories and have been tinkering with ways to tell these stories for a while (years), it’s been like pulling teeth. I know that writing isn’t always easy, but man. I really wasn’t looking for a new project, but, well, Eric and I started riffing on an old idea and finally something really caught on. I haven’t gotten as much as I wanted done and I haven’t hit the hard middle, but it’s going well. As of right now, the manuscript is at 12K. (It’s been a rough week…)

Other Stuff

Got a good ways through my website improvements and did few online classes. Now that writing is taking more of a center stage, this stuff is taking a backseat.


I’m going to continue on with Wicked Witch, Retired and hopefully have a set of refined focused goals by the beginning of Round 4!]


ROW80 ~ Out like a dying fish…

Isn’t that a saying? “The round comes in like a lion, goes out like a dying fish?” No? Just me then…

Update Round 3, Week 11

It’s been a sucky week. And after such a good week last week! I’ve been dealing with a flare-up since last Sunday night. I got some writing done early in the week and stubbornly played some ultimate frisbee (which maybe I shouldn’t have). Everything else has been “late” or not done at all. I’ve been taking a lot of naps.


Added 1600 to the manuscript and got about a third of the way through a rewrite. I also set up a notebook stack in Evernote to help with organizing. I really wanted a tool that can link info, kind of in the form of a wiki, rather than just a spreadsheet. Poking around the internet, I found that you can link to notes in Evernote. It’s quite handy.

By the end of the round? Gosh, I’d like to finish this rewrite and maybe come out on the positive side word-count-wise.

Please, check out how other Round of Words participants are doing with their goals!

ROW80 ~ Back to Basics

Week 10 Update

Here I am in the last 1.5 weeks of the round finally hitting my stride and totally changing things up. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

For the past week, writing has been nearly the first thing I do behind starting coffee and making sure the internet hasn’t exploded. And even if the internet *has* exploded, I’ve started writing by about 8am. My  writing goal has been a small 500 words daily  (six days a week). I ended up writing 5,332 for the past week, bringing the manuscript to 10,039 words.

And, while I’m hesitant to say it, it’s felt good.

Goals for Week 11

Wicked Witch, Retired

  • First draft – 500 words daily. Shooting for 5000 for the week.
  • A quick clean-up/rewrite/note-taking session. I’ve been doing a bit of world-building within the narrative. I should probably nail down details and fix continuity.

Please, check out how other Round of Words participants are doing with their goals!

#ROW80 ~ Sunday Update, 9/4

Week 9 Update

So, last Sunday night I admitted to Eric that I had no good idea what the “quest” portion of Wicked Witch, Retired should be. I knew there should be a rescue of some sort, but none of my ideas seemed interesting enough. Eric is very good at plot. Over the course of several laps around our neighborhood park, we hashed out character details, some world-building, and most importantly a quest appropriate for a witch who really doesn’t want to be involved. Of course, this meant that not all of the 3672 words in my manuscript still worked. Queue a rewrite. Ultimately, I didn’t really get as much done as I wanted. After the rewrite, I only managed to add about 1000 words. The manuscript is now at 4707.

It also became obvious this week that I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do. Since the Macroeconomics class doesn’t have a near future deadline, I’m going to do half a section a week until I finish the SQL class. That should help. This week frisbee league starts! Which means Tuesday nights are shot. Which means I need to shift to getting important things done (like writing) to earlier in the day.

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ROW80 ~ Sunday Update, 8/28

Week 8 Update

So, in TweetDeck, I have a column for “nabity.” It ends up containing Tweets in Czech*, news about Nebraska running back Graham Nabity**, occasional sales retweets when I promo books, and tweets by actual people named Nabity***. This morning, one of those from the last category was a horoscope:

Sunday, August 28, 2016 – The secret to your success is setting your specific goals down on paper now. … Don’t take your eyes off the distant horizon, but you must simultaneously reassess your plans for the next few weeks. The more you can accomplish now, the easier it will be later on. Literary giant Samuel Johnson wrote, “The future is purchased by the present.” (Source: Twittascope)

I don’t believe in horoscopes****, but this is good advice and coincidentally timely for me. I’m probably past due in setting a solid goal for this new project. For the rest of this round (the next three weeks, I guess?), I’m going to add 3000 words per week to Wicked Witch, Retired. I’ve been trying to move away from word counts, but I think I need to use them while drafting. This is kind of a low-ball goal—500 words per day—but I’m still feeling my way through things. I should be able to use that excuse for the next three weeks at least.

“Playlist” for the past week: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), Ghost Story (1981), and A Knight’s Tale (2001).

*Presumably, since my last name is also a Czech word. The Google translation is “loaded.”
**I am quite excited that football starts up again next week. Football means fall. It means we’re that much closer to basketball, which means winter.
***All Nabitys are related though the family is much too big to know them all.
****I don’t believe in fortune cookies either, but… We’ve been eating a lot of General Tso’s chicken from Panda Express and one of my fortunes was: Forge Ahead With Your New Ideas. I kept that one and threw out the non-applicable ones.

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ROW80 ~ Sunday, 8/21

Update – Week 7

My bulleted list is getting pretty long so I created a page with my original goals for this round. It has everything I’ve added as well as the stuff I’m not currently working on.

This week was spent on my new project. It’s based on a flash fiction piece I wrote called “Wicked Witch for Hire.” The obvious title for it, which wasn’t all that obvious since Eric didn’t think of it until Friday, is Wicked Witch, Retired. That title might be too frivolous, but it’ll do for now. I have a few pages of notes and the manuscript is at 2500-ish words. My writing soundtrack has been the Star Trek movies, II – IV. Goal this week? Finish the scene I’m on (part II of the first scene), move on to the next. I know that’s not a solid goal, but I’m still leery of going back to word counts.

Coming up this week: Tonight is the draft for VOTS‘s big coed fall frisbee league. Games won’t start for another two weeks, but I’ll be updating the web with teams this week. Also the Bout of Books readathon starts Monday. I’ll be reading and doing a few challenges for that.

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ROW80 ~ Wednesday Update, 8/17


Ever since I wrote “Wicked Witch for Hire,” Eric has entertained the notion that it is the most quintessentially Katherine thing that I’ve written. Every once in a while, Eric will riff on the idea of this witch and longer stories I might write with her at the center. Nothing has ever caught with me until something he said on Monday. And so, my nicely organized list is all upended.

I am cautiously excited to start a brand new project (well, 95% new), but I’m also aware that I am not finishing One Ahead stories. On the other hand, maybe this will get me out of my doldrums, both my recent summer ones and the ones that have been plaguing me for the last few years. I’m going to try a more structured outlining process, mainly because this is going to be more of a quest novel—something I haven’t really written.

I also started the next SQL section at Code Academy and realized the first one hadn’t prepared me well enough. So, I’ve added an additional class on MySQL from Coursera. (Yes, on top of the Macroeconomics class I just added.)

Well, I guess if I’m going to upend my list, the halfway-ish point is the place to do it. This list is getting long…

Changes/progress from last update are in blue.

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