Thursday, September 3, 2015

September 2015 Check In

Hello, hello!

Wow--I can't believe this summer is completely over. It started in such a strange space for me. I left my job in advertising to concentrate on writing. I was really frazzled and scared and completely freaked out to take such a huge risk. Now I feel much more settled and am really proud to have a lot of new accomplishments under my belt. 

My writing is going well. I finished a manuscript that I'm really proud of and started a new one last month. I took an entire month to outline and brainstorm--something I don't typically do. Usually, I start a new WIP by diving in headfirst and not really worrying about things like PLOT or STRUCTURE. This time, though, I put in the time and have something really, really solid. If I can manage to write 1-2 chapters a day, I can finish a first draft in 3 weeks. I have no idea if that's actually going to happen, but it's a really great position to be in.

I've been chronicalling some fun stories this summer. You can find them here:
The Birthday When I Almost Died
How I Got Stranded In The VA Mountains

And there was also Pitch Wars! Stephanie Scott and I picked an awesome contemporary YA written by Jenn Kompos. I'm so excited to sink my editing teeth into this MS and help make it awesome for the agent round.

I've been reading everything and anything I could get my hands on. In May I started a Summer Reading Challenge and picked 11 books that had been collecting dust on my shelf for way too long. I ended up reading 29 books total this summer. A few ARCs popped up for review and I strayed a bit from my list at times. 

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Valerie has read 63 books toward her goal of 100 books.

I'm still going to yoga about 2-3 times a week and I absolutely love how it helps me clear my head. I've always been a hater of all things exercise and have been anti-movement of any kind. Yoga helps me feel strong and centered. I wish I'd found it a long time ago.

And, of course, I'm still super into Big Brother. I'm completely Team Johnny Mac and absolutely hate almost everybody else left in the house. This season has been really fun and the cast members have been really vicious and brutal. Can Vanessa just leave already? She's such a villain and her crazy switch makes me super nervous. I miss Meg and James and Jason--all the good ones got voted out. *sigh*

Fall is going to be double awesome. I can't wait to get my basic on and start picking apples and wearing Uggs again. See you in October!


  1. So many things! I am of your same mind with plotting, but I have to say, the more pre-work I do, in whatever form, the better my writing experience. I am not a traditional outliner, but I've taken bits from all sorts of writing advice and cobble together as much foresight as I can. If anything, KNOW YOUR ENDING. That is huge for me. I still only sort of know mine and it's causing some roadblocks.

    I am 100% stealing your reading challenge for myself for this last chunk of the year. I did YABuccaneer's challenge, but they were all YA and I departed to read some non-YA which set me back. I have a TBR shelf already, now on to the list.

    And yay for yoga! Yoga and pilates both do so much more for you than you think. I need to work both of them back into my schedule more. I'm glad you found something that works for you.

    1. Are you going to do another similiar reading challenge? We could do this together :)


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