First ROW80 check-in of the third quarter

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As I said in my goal-setting posts, my days off didn’t end up being as productive as planned. Not by a long shot.

Last time I checked in, the word count on EyeCU stood at 40,959 words. As of this writing, I am currently at… 43,088 words.

So, I’ve only written 2,129 words in the last ten days or so.

Well, I’ll just have to deal with it. This is a new ROW80, a fresh week, and a time to start over.

The goal, as always: about 6,000 words or more by the next mid-week check-in.

See you on Sunday for a mid-way check-in. We’ll see how I’m doing by then.


Setting Q3 Writing Goals

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ROW80 has started once again.

It’s time for me to set my goals for the third quarter of 2012, and I haven’t even been to see The Amazing Spider-Man yet. Though I plan to correct that on July 4.

I’ve missed the accountability the last ten days or so. I found myself stuck in a story black hole and with no one to stay accountable to, I let myself laze about in that hole for far too long.

So I’m not near 50K yet on EyeCU, but I am a couple days’ writing out of that black hole, so that’s a good thing.

But goals. We need to talk about goals. I want to keep ’em simple.

How about these:

1) Complete EyeCU. Minimum goal of 6,000 words per week.

2) Polish up EyeCU.

3) Submit EyeCU and hope for the best.

4) Start back up on EMBER.

That’s pretty simple, isn’t it?

Now some of you may be wondering about Goal 3. Why did I write “Submit” instead of “Publish”?

It’s a story for another day, one I can’t talk about right now.

But it could mean good things for EyeCU, and for me in general.

But for now? Shhhhh.


Final Round 2 Check-In

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Well, ROW80 is coming to a close with today’s post.

It’s a bit melancholy for me, since I’ve made such good progress this round. While I’m nowhere near done with EyeCU, that’s only because it’s turning into a much longer, richer novel than I’d anticipated. I’m probably not even half-done with it, yet, and that means it’s going to run at least 80,000 to 100,000 words. And that makes me happier than a Steve Jobs groupie with a brand new iPhone.

Last time I checked in, I stood at 32,178 words.

Today, about a week and a half later, I stand at… drum roll please… 40,959 words! I passed the 40K benchmark!

In all, that means I’ve written 8,781 words… right on pace for a week and a half.

From here on out, there will be a break before the next round of ROW80 kicks off, so I won’t be “checking in,” but I will be writing.

My hope is that by the time the third round of ROW80 2012 begins right around the beginning of July, I hope to be well into the 50K range and approaching 60K. That’s the plan, anyway.

But even without official check-ins, drop by between now and then; I expect I’ll be posting once in a while anyway. After all, reporting my progress is a good motivational tool.


Not as far as I wish…

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Hey all.

Well, here it is Wednesday night heading into Thursday and before I sit down to write, I wanted to check in. When last I did a check-in, my word count was at 30,238. Unfortunately, things in my life have been hectic and I’ve only reached 32,178 since then.

So, that’s only 1,940 words of new progress. Not quite as far as I wish I’d gotten.

Last Wednesday, I started at 27,689. That means in the last week, my total progress has been 4,489 words. That’s good, but not great. It’s about three-fourths of my 6,000 words a week goal.

Still, I’m happy that I achieved that much and now we start an all new week so I can skidsteer my way toward a better report next week. Plus, on Sunday I hope to check in at the halfway point and let you all know how it’s going.

Here’s the fun bit: I feel like “act one” of my novel is coming to a close soon, and that was the hardest part of the novel to write, filled as it is with legal drama and medical drama and some bleeding-edge, almost-real-but-still-fiction medical science stuff that sets up everything that’s to come in the rest of the novel.

Folks who get through act one will feel like they’ve been reading one novel; but the action is about to take a severe left turn in act two and readers should get plenty of thrills and surprises out of it.

Plus there will be less medical and legal content, and more pure thriller/horror content. In other words… things are about to get fun! I’m really enjoying the journey with EyeCU at this point.


So I’m past 30K

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So, I’m past 30,000 words on EyeCU, my latest WIP.

When last you heard from me, my word count was at 27,689. Now it stands at 30,238. That’s 2,549 words since last check-in, which isn’t bad. Next goal, of course, it 35,000. Hopefully I reach that soon.

I’m just under halfway to my goal for the week, coming into the part of my week where I am typically more prolific.

Hope to catch you on Wednesday or thereabouts to let you all know.


Latest check-in on EyeCU progress

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Hey all.

I was busy Sunday, so I didn’t check in.

Well, that’s not fully true. It’s not so much that I was busy; I was observing Shavuot. So, that’s why.

Anyway, last time I checked in, my word count on EyeCU stood at 23,745. Now, one week later, my word count stands at 27,689. That means in the past week, I’ve made 3,944 words of progress. Is that great? Well, it’s not 6,000, but it’s two-thirds of the way, and since I didn’t write Friday night through Sunday evening, that’s not too bad.

So, that’s where we stand now. I haven’t spent time writing tonight, so we’ll start fresh from 27,689 and see where things are by the next time I check in. If I have a huge, monster, 10,000 word week, I wouldn’t turn down flowers online from anyone silly enough to send them to me, though.

Lisa Nowak

Author Interview: Lisa Nowak

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In the spirit of a tradition I started a few years ago, I occasionally invite writers whose work I enjoy to appear here on for an interview. Past interviewees include Charlaine Harris, L.J. Sellers, Amanda Hocking, T.L. Haddix, and Cidney Swanson.

Now, add to that roll call Lisa Nowak.

About Lisa Nowak

Lisa Nowak

Lisa Nowak, Author, DRIVEN

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron.

Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.

SS: Where did you get the idea for a book about a girl mechanic?

LN: Well, for many years, I was a girl mechanic. I wanted to communicate the passion I felt for this non-traditional career choice. I was also inspired by the Beach Boys’ song Car Crazy Cutie, which tells the story of a girl at the drag strip who’s more interested in tuning up a car than getting some lovin.’

SS: I understand this is the first book you wrote, even though it’s the third in the series. Why didn’t you publish this one first?

LN: Chronologically in the character’s lives, Driven comes third. When I originally started this series, back in the early ’90s, I wrote Running Wide Open, which was a mainstream adult novel from Race’s POV. Then I came up with the idea of combining a second book about Race, Kasey, and Cody (the boy Jess falls for) with a story I’d been mulling over about a hot-rodding girl mechanic. I tried selling both books, but didn’t get anywhere, so I stuck them in the attic until 2005. At that point, I saw that Driven was more marketable and needed less work, so I re-wrote it first and approached agents with it. In fact, Driven was the book that landed me an agent. But my traditional journey was long and arduous, and by the time I decided to go indie, I had four books in the series written, so I published them chronologically.

SS: What were you trying to accomplish with Driven? What do you want your reader to come away with?

LN: Two things. I wanted to show how a tough, resilient teen would survive a terrible home life and achieve her dreams in spite of it. I also hoped to realistically capture the emotions of a first romance. Not just the excitement and giddiness, but also the fear and doubt that so many of us experienced. I didn’t intend this to just be another “oh-he’s-so-hawt” love story. I wanted it to be more layered and realistic than that.

SS: I understand you normally write boy books. What made you change to a girl’s perspective?

LN: I love writing boy books, but they’re a hard sell. I’m hoping people will read Driven, fall in love with my characters, and go back to buy Running Wide Open and Getting Sideways. The difficult marketplace was not the reason I wrote a girl book, though. In fact, when I started the series, I didn’t think about marketing at all. I just wrote the sort of books I wanted to read. I see so many books for girly girls, and as a teen I enjoyed stories about kids who were like me. Tomboys with diverse interests who had more important things to do than get all angsty over some boy. I figured if I liked that kind of character, there must be other girls out there who would, too.

About Driven

DRIVEN by Lisa NowakThe last thing on 16-year-old Jess DeLand’s wish list is a boyfriend. She’d have to be crazy to think any guy would look twice at her. Besides, there are more important things to hope for, like a job working on cars and an end to her mom’s drinking. Foster care is a constant threat, and Jess is willing to sacrifice anything to stay out of the system. When luck hands her the chance to work on a race car, she finds herself rushing full throttle into a world of opportunities—including a boy who doesn’t mind the grease under her fingernails. The question is, can a girl who keeps herself locked up tighter than Richard Petty’s racing secrets open up enough to risk friendship and her first romance?

“The first romance is captured beautifully—just the right combination of natural and awkward, of eager and scared.”
~ Bob Martin, writing professor, Pacific Northwest College of Art


Rolling on and on

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Well, break out the color guard flags, I’ve had another good first-half of the week. Progress on my next novel, EyeCU, is going along steadily.

When I checked in on Sunday, my word could stood at 20,639. Now, my word could stands at 23,745. That’s 3,106 words in the first half of the week, which is roughly on schedule for another 6,000 words by Sunday. So that’s some happy news to report.

I’m hoping I’ll soon start having some super-productivity days, as well; days when I get a big 5,000-word or more burst in a single day. That’d be cool. And it happens every once in a while. Hopefully it happens on this project soon.


Terrific week of writing

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I had a strong second half of the week. My word count on EyeCU stands, according to FocusWriter, at 20,639 words. So I blew by 20,000 by over 600 words. As of midweek, I was at 18,133 words, meaning I’ve written 2,506 words since Wednesday.

Take into account that I began the week at 12,225, that means in this past week alone, I wrote 8,414, well above my weekly goal of 6,000 words. So am I happy? Yes, for the most part.

But now the counter for this new week sets back to zero. Time to do it all over again. That’s the job.


Great first half of the week

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Prior to Sunday, due to the time I put into releasing Under Contract, I was still at my previously reported word count of 12,225 words. I made decent progress Sunday and since then. So where is EyeCU now?

Calling up the manuscript in FocusWriter, I can tell you that the estimated word count now stands at 18,133 words. That’s a rock-solid 5,883 words, or a mere 117 words short of my weekly goal. Whoo!

Can I make it to 20,000 or beyond by Sunday? I should be able to. The story’s finally at that point where it’s rolling along.

By the way: I spent one evening this week compiling a long-delayed task of coming up with a roll call of all the characters in the novel so far, for reference. It was getting to the point where it was needed just to keep things straight. But that’s sort of how I roll; minimal pre-planning and taking care of tasks like this in the course of things.

However, the point is this: had I not done that, I’d probably be even further. Yay!


UNDER CONTRACT out and free, back on track with EyeCU

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Well, folks, here we are at the weekend and the good news is, Under Contact is available on and if you are reading this no later than Sunday, May 13, it’s also free! So, click through, get it while it’s free, and if you like it, spread the word.

And I’ve been able to get back on track with EyeCU, even though it took much longer to get Under Contract out than I anticipated. I’ve passed the 15,000-word benchmark and I have Sunday ahead of me as I write this. Next benchmark is 20,000 words and with some discipline, I’ll get there by the mid-week report.


New eBook out, back to EyeCU

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Well, here we are on a Sunday update/check-in for ROW80, and I can finally, proudly, announce that my latest release, Under Contract: A Tale of Horror and Satire, has been officially released on Yes, really, at last.

For at least the first three months, it will be an eBook. As a work of short fiction (around 5,800 words or roughly 17 pages), I doubt Under Contract would make many waves on or Smashwords anyway. But it can help me a lot on Amazon as part of KDP Select. So that’s what I’m doing.

It took longer to prep than I anticipated; not only did I run the book past a couple of beta readers and my human editor, but I also ran it several times through my new toy, Serenity Software’s Editor 3.8 program, which helped me strengthen some of the writing just prior to release.

But now it’s out there; Under Contract is, for better or worse, released. As of today.

Now it’s back to EyeCU.