The hits just keep on coming!

That’s right. About 30 minutes ago, I put the finishing touches on the expanded draft of Bree & Mike’s story. It’s 56,000 words (on the shorter side of category romance, but still within the bounds) and will probably grow as I edit.

Of course, with Bree and Mike somewhat settled, I’m back to being at loose ends. What shall I do next?

The task that looms large is synopsis writing … but I think I’ll hold off on that until after our next NARWA meeting on May 15. That’s the topic our guest speaker, Cathy McDavid, will be covering.

Maybe I should go back to editing Kari & Damien’s story, “Blind Date Bride.” It’s my only single-title novel, and my writer friend Pat (who has read both it and Brad & Erin’s story) thinks it’s by far and away the better one.

Since Brad & Erin has been getting agent rejections left and right, I’m starting to think Pat may be right.

Query letter, here I come! Ugh. That sucks nearly as much as a synopsis.

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I figure there’s one sure way to beat Golden Heart anxiety: By keeping myself too busy to think about the elusive Call that I could get sometime Thursday.

That’s at least one of the reasons I’ve set down not one, not two, but THREE goals to accomplish before our next NARWA meeting. (Our chapter has a “goal book,” in which we write goals. The entry fee is $1 per goal, and if we accomplish our goals, we’re entered in a drawing for the goal book cash at the next meeting.)

The goals I chose are fairly straightforward:

  1. To finish the first draft of Meg and Matt’s story. (I’m so close it’s not funny. I figure the only way this won’t happen is if I get the Call and am too distracted by GH festivities to focus.)
  2. Send queries on Brad & Erin’s story to at least two more publishers.
  3. Write a synopsis for Kari & Damien’s story, “Blind Date Bride.

If that sounds overly ambitious, it’s because it probably is … but on its own, not one of those goals is too terribly difficult to reach.

I have less than 10K to write to finish Meg & Matt’s rough draft.

The query is written — all I need to do is find a few  more agents I want to query (and maybe re-do my synopsis. Those contest judges said there wasn’t enough conflict. Maybe I just didn’t emphasize the conflict that’s there enough in my synopsis).

The toughest will be to write Kari & Damien’s synopsis. They were the reason I signed up for the RWA Online synopsis writing class, though. I might as well do the work and get my money’s worth.

All these projects should keep me busy until our May meeting. If I hear from RWA on Thursday, great — maybe I’ll only get two of the three accomplished. But if not, at least I’ll have something to do besides sobbing into a vat of Ben & Jerry’s.

After all, a girl’s gotta have goals, right? 😉

I love attending my NARWA meetings because I always come back inspired. Today, as a carpool of one, I even got to plot out a couple of scenes in my head. I missed the conversation and companionship on the drive, but the thinking time was great — and it made the 90-minute drive fly by.

This is just a quick check-in, because I want to head home and write. Now that I’m done working for the evening, I’m free to try to recapture the conversations my characters had in my head.

Hmm. Perhaps I need to think about buying a tape recorder for occasions like this. 😉

P.S. Look for another meeting-related post soon. I’ll be listing the goals I set for myself before our next meeting, in May. It’s an ambitious three-goal list!

Again, I went to my NARWA meeting … and again I was inspired by a great speaker. Jennifer Ashley talked about how to finish that manuscript and get it published. And as usual, I had to come back to Flagstaff and head straight to work when I wanted to go home and write.

Agents and the business of writing were on the table, but the most important take-home point for me was this:

Treat writing like it’s your day job and it will become your day job.

It sounds like such a simple concept … yet I’ve been guilty of writing only when “I feel like it” or when I’m inspired.

What I need to do is get in the habit of writing every day, whether I feel like it or not.

Hmm. Now that I think about it, discipline is a big problem in other areas of my life, too. I’m trying to lose weight, but I don’t always stick to my Weight Watchers plan — I do it when I feel like it. (That’s probably why I’m having trouble taking off the last few, eh?) …  All too often, I feel like eating something I shouldn’t, like gooey, cheesy Italian or Mexican food.

But that’s another blog! 😀

Now, let’s get back to the subject at hand: writing. For the next week, I’m going to try something different. Every day, I’m going to spend at least an hour writing — preferably before I do anything else. (That includes hopping online, one of my biggest distractions. Darn that Bejeweled on Facebook! I pull up the screen to play one game and end up playing for an hour …)

I’m also going to finally finish my query letter for “Operation Snag Mike Brad” and start looking for the agent of my dreams. I got some great feedback from out chapter president and will be using it to polish up my query.

It’s time for me to make writing my day job.

I’ll be logging in nightly to report how many minutes I spent writing, so please keep checking in to keep me honest.

The next meeting of my RWA chapter, Northern Arizona Romance Writers of America, is on Saturday, and I can’t wait.

We’re going to have a guest speaker, Linda Style, talk to us about layering stories and subplots.

It should be interesting. It will pose a challenge for my diet, because restaurant meals always do. But I think I’m up for it.

Not much progress to report on the GH entry today. I shipped off my first 15 pages for the critique I won, and am now waiting for it.

I’m beginning to wonder if I get straight to the action quickly enough, though. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.