Saturday, July 11, 2009

1k-a-day Day 11

The weekend is upon us! WOOT! Make sure to have fun, but don't forget to keep on writing. These are the days to make up for lost words that didn't get written during the week.

Tami's day 10 word count:
Tami's July word count: 10,912
Overall word count: 4,256 (for Worst Days)
Cups of coffee drank: 2
Music: John Mayer...I haven't listened to him in awhile and I always forget how much I love his music.
Mindset: Today was tough for me. I had left the story at a point where the scene had wrapped up and I didn't know where to take it. I also tried to crank it out before leaving work (which I did...YAY) but it seems like I spent the whole time staring at the word count, waiting to hit 1,000. Some days work, others don't. Tomorrow shouldn't be too hard as I'm in the middle of a conversation and will be able to pick it back up easily.

How'd writing go for you, Tracy? Did you do your usual Friday night movie, pizza and beer last night?


Ha! I really am instead of renting a DVD, we went our for dinner and a movie last night. Saw Public Enemies - was slow to start, but once it got going...what a shoot'em up flick!

Tracy's day 10 word count: LI: 284, WS: 1076
Tracy's July word count: 15 843
Overall word count: LI now: 36 447, WS now: 15 437
Cups of coffee drank: 4 and with out creme because we ran out. Ick.
Music: True Blood soundtrack
Mindset: I had a hard time writing for Losing It yesterday. I was writing an emotional scene and kept pushing too got melodramatic, ya know? So I spent most of my time on Witch's Shadow. I hope to return to Losing It today with some distance - here's to making readers feel the emotion - without making my characters sob, weep, gasp, cry. ;)

How's the rest of the 1k-a-day crew holding up?

Friday, July 10, 2009

1k-a-day Day 10

Day 10 already! Wow, we're moving fast, 1/3 the way there. Just think, if you keep up the pace you had in week 1, you could have a first draft done by the end of the month! Keep it up, girls!

Tami's day 9 word count:
Tami's July word count: 9,858
Overall word count: 3,200 (for Worst Days)
Cups of coffee drank: 2
Music: Vampire Weekend ( I don't have a playlist for this new book yet, so I've been all over the place as far as music is concerned.)
Mindset: Today is an odd writing day for me. I actually had a lot going on at work so I didn't think I would get writing time. Between that and surfing the web :::ducks from the guilt::: I thought it would be another late night writing. At the end, I pulled it off before leaving work. Of course, I'm at work later (it's now 7:11pm) but I can go home guilt free to read two days in a row! What a concept!

Hope you weren't up too late writing, Tracy! I will say, I prefer this new writing schedule I'm on, thanks for switching with me. ;)

OMG - so we got up early today and took the dogs for a swim on the beach before the crowds showed up - and I totally forgot to post my day 9 info - oops, sorry it's a bit late. :)

Tracy's day 9 word count: LI: 540, WS: 1452
Tracy's July word count: 14 483
Overall word count: LI now: 36 163, WS now: 14 361
Cups of coffee drank:
Music: Silence - but not the silence of the lambs. ;)
Mindset: Yesterday was a hurry, blurry kind of writing day. I wrote a ton in the morning (back to my old self!) and then in spirts throughout the day. Spreading it out was kind of fun - I'd watch a movie with the hubbie and then "go dark" and hide in my office to write.

Hope we all have a productive weekend!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

1k-a-day Week 1 Winners!

We're ready to announce the winners of week 1!

The top word count for week 1 goes to:

Leona with an INCREDIBLE 8,479 words!!!!

AND, because you all were awesome, the second free book of the week goes to:

Lori May with an awesome 8,297 words!!!

As a reminder, here are the great books to choose from this week.

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Undone by Brooke Taylor (hardback)
The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven
You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn (hardback)
Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

If both of you could email us at: YAedge at (w/o the spaces and replace the at w/ @) with your name, address and your book choice before this weekend, I will send out your prizes this Saturday. If you both request the same book, it will go to first come, first serve.

Congrats! Remember, keep track of your word counts for week 2 to win free books! There will be books added to the list for the new week, so check back soon!

1k-a-day Day 9

I hope Day 1 of week 2 treated you all as kindly as it treated me. Don't forget, we announce the two winners for week 1 tomorrow!

Tami's day 8 word count:
Tami's July word count: 8,794
Overall word count: 2,136 (this is for my new, new WIP. working title right now is Worst Days.)
Cups of coffee drank: 2
Music: Rent soundtrack and a little MJ (what can I say..I'm nostalgic)
Mindset: Not only am I so happy to have cold food in my house again (the fridge came today at 8am! WOOT!) but I got my word count done before leaving work. You see, I'm writing this at 6:45 on Day 8, not midnight like I have been the past few nights. That means I have a FREE night ahead of me (after I go to the market and replace all my food). I don't know what to do with myself!

How'd week 2, day 1 go for you Tracy? Get a chance to read any of your new books?

OMG, Tami! It's like we pulled a Freaky Friday - our writing days have been reversed! Bizarre.

Tracy's day 8 word count: LI: 1026, WS: 1213
Tracy's July word count: 12 491
Overall word count: LI now: 35 623, WS now: 12 909
Cups of coffee drank: Lots. My cups runeth over (unfortunately, not ALL my cups do. Ha!)
Music: None. It was late when I actually sat down to write last night and I was being super strict with myself - no music distractions for me (sometimes I burst into song and forget to write).
Mindset: Yesterday was a day of planning and plotting. I started writing after 9pm - which is completely against type, since I usually go to bed at 9:07pm (That's right. 9. 0. 7. I'm a morning person and a creature of habbit - I usually get up to write at 5am). The house was quiet, the dogs had crashed, my hubbie was busy watching season 4 of Entourage (despite the T&A - that's one witty show) - and I managed to meet my goal! Took me until after midnight, but I did it. Now, did I sleep in this morning? Nope. Me and the dogs were up at 5 as usual. Sigh, I'm predictable, eh?

Okay, my friends, I know your own writing dogs are barking at your heals - spurring you ever write, write, write!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

1k-a-day Day 8

Okay everyone, it's a start of a new 1k-a-day week! Make sure to post your daily word counts for a chance at week 2's books. I know we can keep up the great week we've put in for week 1.

I checked out the few great word counts for week 1 that have been posted. You guys rock! I was blown away. If you haven't posted your final week 1 word count, be sure to do so before tonight. We will be announcing the winners Thursday, July 9. For the two winners, all you have to do is email us at (there's a link on the side bar to your right) and list your name, address and the book you'd like us to send to you. I'll do the rest! WOOHOO!

Have a great Day 8!

Tami's day 7 word count:
Tami's July word count: 7,679
Overall word count: I finished Lost and Found's revisions today. The final word count for the book is 66,396
Cups of coffee drank: 2
Music: Eels and Michael Jackson
Mindset: Happy. That's all I can say. I finished Lost and Found (this time I feel amazing about the end product.). I know if/when I get an agent, there will be another round of edits/revisions, as well as if it ever sells, but as of now it's complete. I've been working on it since April of '08 (and this is draft 7 I think, maybe 6 1/2). Now I just need to send it out to the few agents who requested fulls. :)

Did you get any writing done despite your trip, Tracy? How was Edmonton?


You finished, Tami! Whoot!! Congrats!

Tracy's day 7 word count: I hang my head in shame. Zero again.
Tracy's July word count:
Overall word count:
Cups of coffee drank: A few Starbucks caramel confections loaded with cream and calories - my treadmill will love me this week.
Music: My husband's '80s music mix CDs - for SIX hours in the car.....okay, so I like them, too - I'll admit it. ;)
Mindset: Scattered, tired, shopped out, and sick of all the traffic/extra bodies in the city. Now that I'm back in my small town - I'm much more settled and ready to write. We didn't get home until late and by then my brain was mush from all the driving in the rain. However, I bought a ton of great books on the trip, went to a few wicca shops and goth clothing stores, and ended up with lots of notes for my paranormal WIP. So the non-writing time wasn't a total loss. Back to the grind today though!

Well, my friends - we're into week two!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Keeping the Pace

I wrote this back in November '08 when we did our first 1k-a-day, but since we have a lot of new people join the challenge, I thought I would post it again. Enjoy!


As we all fight our way to the monthly goal, it’s important not only to have the 1,000 a day, 30,000, or 50,000 words in sight but to keep the pace of your story and writing. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my writing the past 1k-a-day and the 2nd time is no exception. For all of you who are new to word count challenges, or even just keeping a healthy pace the rest of the year, I thought I would share a few things I’ve found helpful.

  1. I know it’s hard to do, but try not to focus on your word count. If you just let your fingers fly over the keys, you’ll find your mind will just get into the story. The more focused on the story, and not the words, you’ll be surprised how fast the word count climbs.
  2. If you’re still having trouble, put on some music. I find headphones are better than speakers because it feels like I’m in my own little world.
  3. If you must concentrate on word count, I suggest word wars. You can do word wars over email, IM or even Twitter. Find a friend, set a time to start writing and duration. I’ve written amazing amounts of words in a mere 5-10 minutes. You’re forced to just have a word purge.
  4. Don’t focus on editing. I’m finding this is my main problem this year. Since I started this book when I wasn’t worried about word count, but about each little word, I’ve found it’s been hard to break that habit. It’s resulted in low word counts, but also stiff writing. I never seem to get move, get into the flow. Editing is what next month is for.
  5. If you have a few extra minutes waiting at the car wash, bank, etc. think about your next scene. Try to write it out in your head, or better yet jot it down in a notepad you keep with you. (You keep a pad of paper and pen handy, right? RIGHT?) I find that if I have pictured my character going through my next scene, when it comes down to writing it I just have to focus on the actual typing NOT what my characters are doing next.
  6. This might be the most important rule. COMFORT. Comfort not only in what your character do or who they are, but the outcome of you story. You need to feel comfortable with the direction you’re taking your story. There will be bumps in the road, there will be unexpected characters and scenes, but you must feel comfortable with taking those directions. If you don’t feel comfortable with the story, your characters and readers won’t either.
  7. Comfort again, but this time in your surroundings. Make sure you desk is clean, your seat is adjusted and your fingers/wrists feel comfortable while typing. Sitting in a chair in front of a computer is not healthy. Make sure you get up and take a break at least once an hour. Get a drink, play with a pet, read a chapter of your favorite book! Just make sure you find time to fit them in. Trust me, you will feel more refreshed when you get back and will help your overall word count. By the end of July, you won’t want to sit in your chair for weeks.

I hope this list helps you accomplish your goals this July!

1k-a-day Day 7

Okay everyone! Today is the big day. Don't forget to post your weekly word count by 11:59PM PDT TOMORROW NIGHT, July 8 to be entered into this week's free books contest. We'll be giving a book to the top TWO word counts this week because YOU GUYS ROCK. Here are the books up for grabs this week. Winners get to choose!

Have a great day everyone! I look forward to seeing the amazing counts for week 1!

Tami's day 6 word count:
Tami's July word count: 6,521
Overall word count: Lost and Found has been all over the place in word count. Especially today. It was torn down and rebuilt (or the ending was). It's current word count is at 65,256 but I had it down to almost 62,000 something at one point today. Lots of cutting and pasting.
Cups of coffee drank: 2 and a ton of pink lemonade. Trying to drink it before it goes bad in our non-existent fridge. Man I can't wait until the new one is here on Wednesday!
Music: Eels Electric Shock Blues album on repeat for about 7 hours today.
Mindset: Today I had no choice but to dive in on cuts/edits/revisions. These were based on my husband's notes from this weekend. He finished Lost and Found and I want to finish it early this week. I felt like I was putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle but couldn't see all the pieces at the same time. I think I finally have it set. Writing new stuff for this book is easy. I've been working on it for over a year now and the character's voices just speak to me. I just need to write a few quick scenes and then read the ending over to make sure it all fits in place. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

How'd it go up in your neck of the woods, Tracy?


Tracy's day 6 word count: Big fat zero
Tracy's July word count:
Overall word count:
Cups of coffee drank:
Mindset/Excuse: We decided to do a trip into the city for some power shopping, then dinner with my sister and her hubbie - and I didn't write a blessed thing. We should be back home later this afternoon though and I HOPE I can make up for lost time. I did purchase a few YA titles that look promising: Ghost Girl (adore the presentation and was surprised to be hooked when I read the first page, Hottie (love the trailer for this - and while the cover is a bit hoaky - I decided to give it a shot) and Audrey, Wait. (Tami, you read Audrey, Wait - right?)

Okay, people - we've got to keep this thing going. Good luck today!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Week 1's Free Books List!

Okay everyone! Here's the fun part! FREE BOOKS!!!!!!! Tracy and I have decided to give away TWO free books this week! All the word counts were SO impressive, we couldn't just give a book to the leader. We will be giving away a book to the top TWO word counts for week 1.

Make sure to post your week end word count by the end of the day Wednesday, July 8 to be entered.

Here's the list of free books the winners have to choose from. Click on the titles to find out more about each book:

A Mango Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Undone by Brooke Taylor (hardback)
The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven
You Know Where to Find Me by Rachel Cohn (hardback)
Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

Good luck everyone!

1k-a-day Day 6

The week is winding down. Don't forget to post your week ending word counts by Wednesday night for a chance at our book giveaway.

Tami's day 5 word count:
0 (but I have good reason!)
Tami's July word count: 4,079
Overall word count: I promise I'll post this tomorrow
Cups of coffee drank: 1 cup of coffee, a gallon of lemonade
Music: No music since I didn't write unless the sounds of the San Diego County Fair count.
Mindset: Okay, so here's my excuse- I didn't write, but I thought a LOT about my book, Lost and Found today. My husband finished reading it this morning so we sat on the couch for a good hour and a half plus talking about how to rearrange the ending for maximum impact. Spending another hour figuring that out, jotting down notes and getting it all set in my head has to count for something, right? Okay, another reason I didn't write...we went to the County Fair and it was insane. After fresh fried chips, a frozen banana, too much lemonade and a new bonsai tree, I was officially exhausted. I didn't have anything super fried (they seriously had a hot dog inside of a zucchini and then battered and fried--talk about a heart attack waiting to happen), but I feel like my skin absorbed all the crap around me. Today I plan to put forth my changes and finally finish Lost and Found for the 7th time (yes, this is draft SEVEN). Keep your fingers crossed for me!

How'd Sunday go for you, Tracy? Any fun in the sun? And yes, I am insane and starting ANOTHER WIP. When they speak to you, it just has to happen. You know?


Sounds like you had an awesome day, Tami. We get one of those tiny, mall parking lot carnivals, usually in August. I only go for the little cinnamon donuts. I luvs those. ;)

Tracy's day 5 word count: LI: 861, WS: 424
Tracy's July word count: 10 252
Overall word count: LI now 35 623, WS now 11 696
Cups of coffee drank: 0 - I ran out of coffee and we didn't leave the house at all yesterday. But chai tea, yes, lots of chai tea.
Music: I recently purchased Dido's CD, Safe Trip Home, and upon first listen (a month or so ago) I couldn't get into it. Yesterday I listened to that CD (and the bonus CD) ALLLLL day, and, yeah, it's grown on me.
Mindset: I was a bit scattered on Day 5, flipped through a bunch of the edgy YA titles I have on my desk, reading for different ways to handle dialogue beats. I've identified a phrase I've milked dry "shot me a dark look" - that rotten thing is everywhere. My writing is the Wild West of dark looks, they're shooting willy-nilly all over my pages. And I know why. It's my go-to beat when I'm banging out the story and don't want to take the time to be creative. Unfortunately, that means that while the story progresses, I then have to back track and nix 95% of those little suckers. Sigh. I didn't meet my personal 2k goal, but I did eliminate a few DLs.

Great job on the word counts this weekend, folks! Let's keep at it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

1k-a-day Day 5

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th and for those of you outside of the US, a great Saturday!

Tomorrow I will post a list of books available to the winner(s) of week one. Be sure to check back later today!

Tami's day 4 word count:
Tami's July word count: 4,079
Overall word count: I'm all over the place this 1k-a-day. Today I had a great idea and had to start it, so for that WIP, I'm 1,022 words in. I'll have to decide which I want to focus on, the new one (which doesn't even have a working title right now) or Parlor.
Cups of coffee drank: 1 cup of coffee, a large kiwi and watermelon shaved ice, white wine with dinner and a little bit of almond champagne for dessert. MMmmm
Music: Just the sound of fireworks and my husband watching the Twilight Zone marathon on TV.
Mindset: Like I said above, I started something new. It came to me today, part of it is actually something that happened to me and I think I'm now far enough from the situation that I can write about it. The words flew out of me, landing on the page with purity. Awesome, no other word to describe it. The story is writing itself.

Did you get a great day of writing in, Trace?


A new WIP, Tami? Wowza, you're on fire, girl. ;) I still love Parlor's concept though, so you gotta finish that one at some point. Okay, here's how yesterday went down for me:

Tracy's day 4 word count: LI: 1027, WS: 1003
Tracy's July word count: 8967
Overall word count: LI now at 34 762, WS now at 11 272
Cups of coffee drank: I tell you I was jittery I drank so much coffee - gotta love that shaky, queazy feeling at about 9 pm, eh? my innards may not love you, but I do.
Music: Yesterday I went old school, listened to The Who, Queen, The Jackson 5, The Beatles and many more rock icons.
Mindset: Like the music I listened to, the writing I did alternated between happy little beats to whoa, where'd that psychedelic stuff come from? I'm guessing there will be lots to hack from Day 4's quota, but meet it I did. ;) As a reward, I relaxed in the yard with my two crazy labs and let them splash around in their plastic kiddy pool.

We're almost into week two, my friends! We can do this. Remember, carpal tunnel only hurts if you cry.