March 2018 : Goals

Ugh, February. It’s such a short, difficult month. I’m glad to see it go, but sad that I did not perform very well on my goals. The good news is I got a puppy, which always makes everything better.

Shadow the border collie mix is a loyal, curious, utterly devoted little sweetheart. He is currently sitting in my lap as I write this blog post. He has good balance and a particular ability to insert himself into laps unexpectedly.


Last month I over ambitiously thought I could do all this despite the distraction of that adorable puppy face:

  • DAUGHTER of FORTUNE REWRITE- HALF-CHECK? I got about halfway through this revision. I’ll plod on through it next month.
  • FORMATTING PROJECT- QUARTER-CHECK? It’s coming in slowly, in bits and pieces. It will also roll over into next month.
  • ALASKA ESSAYS-CHECK! The draft is now out for review with the principle players. The deadline for final revisions is March 20th, which means the project really should be drawing to a close by the end of March!
  • LIGHT AND SHADOW TWEAKS-HALF-CHECK: I got about halfway through this one, too.

I DID do a revision with Tamara on one of our Eden Reign projects (The Eighth Octave) and we prepped for publication for River Running. If you’d like to read more about that, head over to Eden Reign’s March goals blog.

Next month I’ll be playing catch up on everything that I did not finish this month.

March Goals:



Eden Reign’s River Running comes out March 6th. You can still pre-order!

RRfinalMASTER11.23.18 ebook




Goals: February 2018

Well, last month was one of those months when all my plans went through a huge re-organization about a week into the month. The main reason is that two of my projects, River Running and The Eighth Octave, officially became projects written under a pseudonym I share with my co-writer. We have decided to publish these co-writes under the name Eden Reign, and the first Eden Reign book, River Running, will be coming out on March 6th!

If you’d like to stay up to date on those projects, please become a follower of Eden Reign over at:

From now on, my updates and goals about those projects will appear on Eden’s site.

So, last month I set theses goals:

  1. WIND WINGING or THE EIGHTH OCTAVE REVISION with Tamara- I don’t think we’ve decided which co-written book we’ll focus on next. NO CHECK: we started this, and only lasted about an hour before we realized what we really wanted to do was clean-up and finalize River Running for publishing. So that’s what we did instead.
  2. DAUGHTER of FORTUNE REVISION-CHECK. I read through this and made a big master list of what to do on my big rewrite next month.
  3. FORMATTING PROJECT- I have a formatting project booked for this month that I’ll need to fit around other activities. NO CHECK–the author wasn’t ready. Instead I formatted River Running for publication, and it’s quite beautiful.
  4. ALASKA ESSAYS-CHECK. I have a master formatted document in hand, now I just need to deal with formatting and inserting the images, which is a big job.
  5. NOTE: My editor was able to get me the line edits for Light & Shadow back throughout January, so in addition to the work above, I managed to swim through line edits for Light & Shadow in January–which is great, since I had planned that for a February goal.

February Goals:

  • DAUGHTER of FORTUNE REWRITE-I plan to make my way through the list of changes I made last month.
  • FORMATTING PROJECT- I expect the formatting project from last month will come in sometime this month.
  • ALASKA ESSAYS-My goal is to have them all finished with a master draft ready for review by the end of this month.
  • LIGHT AND SHADOW TWEAKS- I have a list of about eight bigger fixes that I need to address from the lines edits. Then I’ll grind out the ebook version and upload for a “flow read” on my kindle!


Here’s the final River Running cover, plus a link where you can pre-order the kindle version!

RRfinalMASTER11.23.18 ebook

Goals: January 2018

There’s nothing like ringing in the new year with some writing goals.

Last month I hoped to accomplish:

  1. RIVER RUNNING REVISION with Tamara- CHECK  We are nearly through, just a few more comments and issues to resolve.
  2. LIGHT & SHADOW REVISION- CHECK Finished this in good time and I’ve sent it to some readers.
  3. WRITE NEW BOOK IDEA- CHECK As expected, I didn’t get very far, but I did make some progress.
  4. ALASKA ESSAYS- CHECK This project is coming along, and I hope to be nearly finished by the end of next month.

In January, I plan to do the following:

  1. WIND WINGING or THE EIGHTH OCTAVE REVISION with Tamara- I don’t think we’ve decided which co-written book we’ll focus on next.
  2. DAUGHTER of FORTUNE REVISION- I figure I may as well get a head start on the  rewrite for Tales of Blood & Light Book Six while I await comments from readers of Light & Shadow.
  3. FORMATTING PROJECT- I have a formatting project booked for this month that I’ll need to fit around other activities.
  4. ALASKA ESSAYS- I’m going to make a big push on the organizational edit for the Alaska Essays volume, and hopefully get it into it’s final, ready-for-formatting state.

Cover Treat of the month. Another Eighth Octave idea:



Goals: December 2017

November Nanowrimo went really well. Tamara and I finished our draft (81K) of The Seventh Symphony in two weeks, making a new record for us. With all these drafts in my hands, it looks like December and January will be months of revisions, my favorite part of writing.

In November my goals were:

  1. WRITE THE SEVENTH SYMPHONY first draft with Tamara-CHECK! We did it easily. Now the draft will stew while we revise the earlier book, The Eighth Octave, to match any changes needed due to the new branch of the story.
  2. WRITE NEW BOOK IDEA, possibly titled Myra Justice-CHECK! I managed to get in about 8000 words on this, two chapters or so.
  3. Odds & Ends-CHECK! I got through a big push on the Alaska Essays editing project, getting through line edits. Now I’m heading into the photo editing part of the project, a whole new kind of problem solving for me.

December Goals:

  1. RIVER RUNNING REVISION with Tamara- We wrote Book Two in our Indigo Elements series in October. Now we need to revise Book One to mesh with it. We have a list of 26 items to fix or change, ranging from smaller, one sentence matters to larger, stickier ones such as magic system clarifications.
  2. LIGHT & SHADOW REVISION- I plan to take the second half of the month to work on Light & Shadow. I have not read it or looked at it in a few months, after doing a big revision and rewrite.
  3. WRITE NEW BOOK IDEA- I’m going to continue drafting this new idea, though again, I don’t expect to get very far.
  4. ALASKA ESSAYS- I’m going to make a big push on the organizational edit for the Alaska Essays volume I am “producing.” It’s a diverse project that involves co-ordinating various writers, editors, and contributors. I’m glad for my work with Flashdogs that helped prepare me for this kind of project!

Another cover treat. Here’s a sample cover I made for The Eighth Octave (just for fun):



Goals : November 2017

October proved to be an excellent writing month, as Tamara and I plunged into a Nanowrimo-before-Nano in order to draft the sequel to River Running in one month. After an early rocky patch, we pulled it off, and happily we now hold an 82,000-word draft of Wind Winging in our blistered hands.

Up next, we face the real National Novel Writing Month, during which we intend to write the sequel to The Eighth Octave. This book is titled The Seventh Symphony, and we are well prepared with an epic 19-page outline.

In other news, we have had some bites for River Running and The Eighth Octave from small presses. We are still deliberating about what the best direction will be for these two book-babies and their associated sequels, but expect some news someday in the near-ish future.

My October goals were:

  1. FINISH LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- CHECK! This was easy, as expected. Light & Shadow is now marinating until December, when it will come back into the line up for read-through and revision before being sent out for line edits.
  2. WRITE STONE SPEAKING first draft with Tamara. CHECK! We ended up renaming the book Wind Winging during the drafting process. 

My November goals will be:

  1. WRITE THE SEVENTH SYMPHONY first draft with Tamara- We plan to have a draft by Thanksgiving Day, ambitious women that we are.
  2. WRITE NEW BOOK IDEA, possibly titled Myra Justice- I don’t expect to have much time for this, but I’d like to at least get down a chapter or two. I have an outline, a few images, and an idea vaguely based on a (female) Thomas Cromwell-like character.
  3. Odds & Ends- I’m working on two related non-fiction editing projects having to do with rural life in Alaska, and Tamara and I are hoping to make some forward progress with the submissions for RR and TEO. Wish us luck!

And here’s a little treat for you–an attempt at a cover for River Running. This was just for fun. Eden Reign is a nom de plume Tamara and I made up to possibly use on our co-writes.

I’m always looking for ways to learn about photo-compositing in Photoshop. Can you guess what I worked on here?


Goals: October 2017

September was a strong and consistent month of writing for me. I’m nearly finished with my Light & Shadow rewrite and Tamara and I managed yet another small revision on The Eighth Octave after a revise & resubmit opportunity from one of the agents we pitched in New York.

In October Tamara and I have big plans to get a jump start on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, usually November) by writing our sequel to River Running, tentatively titled Stone Speaking. Can we write a whole book in a month, and then turn around and write a whole other book, the sequel to The Eighth Octave, tentatively titled The Seventh Symphony, in November? Two drafts in two months? Why not?

Last month my goals were:

  1. FINISH River Running AND The Eighth Octave REVISIONS and submit to requesting agents- CHECK. We are eagerly awaiting replies. We’ve had a few partial requests get bumped up to full MS requests, and we actually turned down an offer for publication that did not suit us last week. We hope for more news on our submissions this month.
  2. CONTINUE LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- CHECK I have only 2 chapters and an epilogue to go! I’ll finish the draft in October for sure.


October Goals:

  1. FINISH LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- Nearly there, this should be manageable.
  2. WRITE STONE SPEAKING first draft with Tamara. This will take up the bulk of my writing hours in October, but I look forward to the madness.



Goals : September 2017

Whew! What a whirlwind of a month August was. I experienced a highlight of my writing life when I went to NYC to meet my co-writer Tamara Shoemaker for the first but not last time, and we pitched our two co-written books to agents (with a cheering amount of interest!). The pitching was nerve-wracking, the conference was good, but the best thing was getting to meet Tamara face to face and enjoy four days in her company. It was a creative supercharge, and Tamara and I, after living like the (g)literati for four days, taking in Broadway shows and sipping prosecco at rooftop lounges, came home to a mad revision cycle on our books which have kept us occupied for hours a day since.

Needless to say, such excitement has befouled my August goals.

  1. FINISH LIGHT AND SHADOW REVISION- Nope, not even close. After the conference I had to shift my entire focus and all my time onto the books we needed to review for submission to our interested agents.
  2. FINISH MIDNIGHT OIL REVIEW/REVISION- Nope, see note to goal #1
  3. ATTEND WRITER’S DIGEST CONFERENCE AND PITCH THE EIGHTH OCTAVE!! CHECK! It was a blast and very successful, too.
  4. VARIOUS EDITING AND FORMATTING PROJECTS. CHECKI did keep on top of these. My favorite thing is formatting on an airplane. It’s  good activity to throw on the headphones and pass the time.


In September I shall:

  1. FINISH River Running AND The Eighth Octave REVISIONS and submit to requesting agents- This is sure to occupy most of my writing time.
  2. CONTINUE LIGHT & SHADOW rewrite/revision- I probably won’t finish, but I want to at least make some progress.
  3. And that’s it! Back to just a few goals so I don’t keep missing my CHECKS.