Final Check-In for 2015

Hey, Merry Christmas!

I hope you’ve been enjoying a beautiful season. <3

Christmasy Harrods
Christmasy Harrods

This post is both a #WIPMarathon Check-in — the last for 2015 — and my declaration of New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve been the set-and-and-forget-it type when it comes to New Year’s resolutions in the past, but with the best of intentions. Usually it’s a few things I already really want to be doing but just lack the willpower. But I hope that stops here (a resolution in itself!)

Things I’m Glad I Did In 2015: Continue reading “Final Check-In for 2015”

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What I Did in 2014: WIP Marathon Edition

This isn’t technically late since today’s my first day back at my desk. The Scotsman and I had a relaxing 2-week holiday in Scotland over Christmas and New Year’s, despite the fact I had a chest infection the entire time. But I survived, and was well enough to ring in the New Year at Edinburgh’s amazing Hogmanay festivities.

The Scotsman had never been before (despite being a Scotsman), and I’ve always wanted to check it out. We picked the best year to go as it was in the 40s and *dry*. We wandered my favourite city during the day, had dinner at an old favourite (La Lanterna on Hanover, though it seems to have been taken over by new owners and may no longer be my favourite, but was still nice), then attended the Candlelit Concert at St. Giles’ Cathedral.


We then explored the street party, vendors, food & drink (mulled wine & crepes, mmmmm), and spent most of the evening at the Ceilidh, which was good fun if a bit crowded for some of the more complicated dances 😉

I hope 2014 was full of blessings for you, and here’s a toast to 2015 being more joyful, more celebratory (of big AND small moments), more peaceful, and your best year yet!! <3

On to the year’s writing round-up…

Things I’m Glad I Did In 2014:

  1. Through my frustrating mystery illness (a very fiddly case of acid reflux), I learned and re-learned a LOT. The illness caused 6+ months of panic, stress, anxiety, and soul searching, but I am so glad for what I learned and am still learning through it, the biggest lesson of which is that worry & fear don’t prevent death; they prevent life. I’ve got to trust in what I have faith in, breathe deep often, and relax as much as possible, even when I’m working.
  2. All the fun events I planned that turned out to be the highlights of a very difficult year: in February I saw Taylor Swift live in London, in March we went on holiday in Cyprus, in May we hiked in the Highlands for our anniversary, in June we saw Monty Python live in London, in July we visited my family in New York, in October we attended Destination Star Trek in London and I met every main ST: TNG cast member (except Jonathan Frakes, who sadly had to cancel) — which was a mega-dream-come-true. My year was full of amazing experiences, and I’m grateful.
  3. Joined the WIP Marathon crew and was introduced to some very dedicated, encouraging, talented, and friendly writers, with special thanks to Ifeoma Dennis, who continually encourages and inspires me! I’m so grateful for you all!
  4. NaNoWriMo. It was my 4th time, but the first time I really saw what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it. It was a huge boost, to my WIP and my confidence.

In 2015, I’d love to:

  1. Release the worry, fear, and anxiety. Let peace & joy define my life, instead of negative thoughts. Meditate on the lessons I’ve learned until they “drop from my head into my heart”.
  2. Complete a total of 2 books.
  3. Expect and look for good things, instead of expecting, fearing, and dreading bad.
  4. Draw closer to my writing buddies, whether online or in person, and continue supporting each other!


Last report wordcount:


Current report WC + CC/ SC:

80,936. Pretty good considering CHRISTMAS.

WIP Issues This Month:

Zip, but reminding myself that first drafts are for me. subsequent drafts will reach others’ eyes, so many changes to come.

Four things I learned in 2014 while writing:

  1. Time to refresh and rejuvenate, read and play games, and explore other peoples’ worlds is an absolute must for creating and populating my own.
  2. Jot down or Evernote all the little ideas, photos, articles, names, words — anything that pops into my head. You never know when something seemingly insignificant can prompt an entire character — or entire world. One single writing prompt posted on Google+ in the Write Motivation group last year sparked my current WIP.
  3. I can’t work effectively by strict schedules; I seem to do better by daily goals, i.e. aim for 1k a day, gym/workout 3x a week, etc. Rather than, “Between 9 and 9:30 I shall be doing this!” I’ve tried that over and over. Just doesn’t cut it for me!
  4. From a CP/friend: you don’t need them all. You just need one. And everything can change in a day.

What distracted me this month while writing:

Christmas, chest infection, Scotland. In that order. And absolutely none of this:


Goal for next month:

1k a day. And hopefully, this WIP first draft will be finished!

Last 200 words:

(X-ing out some words since this is the start of a rather pivotal secret-revealing scene)

Luma paced the room, having re-read the yellowed letter half a dozen times before stuffing it in her jeans pocket. She needed to return to Cornwall, but she’d only just arrived and had all but depleted her student loan for the month. She had a credit card which she hated to use, but if now wasn’t an emergency, what was?

She hadn’t ever worn the necklace to sleep before, despite her penchant for napping whenever a spare moment presented itself. Her sister used to say Luma would sleep through life if she could get away with it, but that was unfair; she’d always believed time was precious, even as a child. Sleeping had simply seemed the best remedy when her vision disturbances got to be too much.

Maybe she was making it all up, the images in her dream and—no they were more than dreams, more like an awareness beyond sight. She knew it, in her heart, the way you know before you open the curtains that a new snow has fallen in the night, pockmarked now with footprints of early morning dog-walkers and creatures that stirred while the city slept. She could sense its truth. And the truth was this: XXXXXXXXXXX. Gildas had been on to something, after all. She had XXXX, just like Nelwenna Carbis. She had seen her parents, XXXXX, and this was their story.

– – –

On to an amazing 2015!


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Happy New Year! #WIPMarathon Check-In #5 -and- #WriteMotivation Update

Two birds, one stone!

Since #WIPMarathon and this January #WriteMotivation overlap, I’m hitting these babies at once. Because I can 🙂

WIPMarathon Check-In #5 (NEW YEAR UPDATE)

Things I’m Glad I did in 2013: 2013 was a very busy year for writing and personal stuff. A quick roundup!

Writing: I could spend pages telling you how much I learned this year. Suffice it to say I am implementing it all with my WIP, and hopefully this helps me cut WAY back on self-doubt, endless revisions, endlessing sending to CPs and betas and then saying, “No, wait, I just changed 10 things!” I want more thoroughness at the start so there are less doubts and no need for 15 different revisions. Also, I placed in a few writing contests online, which boosted my confidence in a big way.

Personal: 2013 was my first full year of marriage, a year in which:

  • My husband and I bought our first house.
  • After being trapped in the UK for a year and a half thanks to the UKBA, I was able to visit the U.S. FOUR TIMES.
  • My husband and I visited California and I played tour guide, showing him all my old hang-outs. We visited Napa, explored the Bay area, and I had the best time I’ve ever had in California.
  • I finally visited the home of one of my best friends ever and meet her dogs 🙂
  • I snowboarded for the first time — and actually made some turns! One of my biggest fears conquered (I won’t say I conquered snowboarding because it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I will do it again :).
  • I visited Disney World for the first time, for the belated second-half of our honeymoon. It was AWESOME.
  • I took numerous Writer’s Digest and LitReactor classes and attended my first writers’ conference, at Bloomsbury in London.
  • I genuinely began believing I AM a writer. Still working on learning that everyone has opinions, but that I don’t need to give time to the negative ones. It’s not for someone else to tell me what work I “should” be doing with my life, and I’m more grateful than ever for the family, friends, and fellow writers who have shared their encouragement and own work with me. Thank you!! I couldn’t do it alone, because writing is NOT solitary <3

In 2014, I’d Love to Do/Be:  2014 is the year things start to take off. I can FEEL IT! Professionally, but also personally — health-wise, making time for hobbies long ignored, trying more new things, and learning to just let it go (cue Idina). Let go of negativity, let go of caring what other people think, let go of anxiety and fear, let go of being in my own way when it comes to success. I really want that more than anything.

Current WC + CC (or SC): Still working on an older project, but I have my chapters outlined for my WIP, so I plan to start drafting scenes for it this week.

WIP Issues this week: None yet!

What I learnt this week in writing: It takes longer to do the admin-type stuff than the actual writing.

What distracted me this week while writing: Back from Scotland and lots of little things to catch up on.

And now, for #WriteMotivation:

I’m keeping it simple for January. I want 50k on my WIP. Shouldn’t be impossible because I’ve outlined the entire MS. And with Rachel Aaron’s awesome 2k to 10k tactics in mind, I know I can accomplish this. See you all on Twitter! 🙂

Some photos from Christmas holidays in Scotland:


I love the Royal Mile for things like this.


Broomhall Castle, Clackmannanshire — where we were married in 2012, and where we spent New Year’s Eve and day. It was great to be back 🙂


Edinburgh pre-Hogmanay


Glasgow <3

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