It’s my birthday.

And Liz Blocker has me doing a 777. That means I go to my WIP (which is Changers, if you didn’t already know), go to the 7th page, find the 7th line, and share the next 7 lines or so.

Here goes:

Sutter reached out and gave one of Marcus’s dark curls a tug. “Getting long again, Doyle.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Don’t let it get past your collar.”

“No, sir, I won’t.”

Cee watched the coach move away, maroon polo shirt tucked into khaki trousers, which looked somewhat ridiculous but gave more than a hint of the man’s muscular physique. “He teaches your Gender Studies class, doesn’t he?” Cee asked.

Abruptly, Marcus stood and grabbed his tray. He mumbled something that Cee took to be, “I’m not hungry,” and hurried away, leaving Cee aghast—she had never in ten years of knowing him seen Marcus Doyle blush.

Please keep in mind this is a first draft, unedited.

And I did also get in a short walk this morning:

1. “The Road and the Sky” by Jackson Browne
2. “The Energy Never Dies” by The Script
3. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” by Elton John
4. “Heaven” by O.A.R.
5. “Counterclockwise” by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers
6. “Our Song” by Matchbox Twenty

I think my iPod started with Jackson Browne to remind me that I’m old.

And I have to say, I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by the latest Script album, but I do really like “The Energy Never Dies.”

Now I’m off to do . . . birthday things . . . Don’t wait up.

Expectations, Great and Otherwise

Okay, so today I’ve only written 240 words. I could make excuses, but . . . I may yet do a bit more writing later, but my brain feels fried right now.

It’s been a busy day. Two of my three children received awards at school, and then there is the pool we’re putting in (saw the first designs today and really like them). And I stumbled onto #PitchMAS and, not having planned to participate, threw my hat in the ring anyway and was excited to get several favorites from literary agents. Funny how that works. I had planned for #pitmad and only ended up with one request. Today, doing it on the fly, my results were much better. Is it that my pitches were more natural and less stilted when taken off the top of my head? Or is it more that, with few to no expectations, I am more easily pleased by even a few indications of interest in my manuscript? Probably a combination of the two.

But seriously, think about it: When you go to a movie with high expectations, the movie has to work that much harder—be that much more magnificent—to please you. (Unless you’re one of those blind, slobbering fan people who eat up anything and everything in your fandom. Sorry, but blech.) But if you go to a movie with low to no expectations, you’re way more likely to walk out going, “That was better than I thought it would be.” The movie only has to be mediocre to gain your good word.

Keep in mind I have a psychology minor. I love this kind of thing.

Anyway, a fair start to the weekend. And I promise to put in more writing time and make up my word count.

WIP Stats

Yesterday: 449 words
Today: 566 words

It’s not much, but I’m on track for my 27 February finish. I now have 22,405 words in my WIP.

Big storm kept me from my walk today, but I did get a short one in yesterday:

1. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston
2. “Alison Road” by Gin Blossoms
3. “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” by Fall Out Boy
4. “Runaway” by Maroon 5
5. “Meet Virginia” by Train
6. “That’s What Living Is to Me” by Jimmy Buffett

That last one always spoke to me and my experience. Buffett may be best known for his party tunes, but he does have some lovely others that are easily overlooked.

Maths

The Goal: To finish Changers by 27 February.

I don’t know why I picked that date. It just feels right and doable and whatever.

I’d like the book to have at least 55k words, but really I’ll just need to write ’til it’s done.

Right now I have 21,263 words.

That leaves 33,737 words to go (if not more).

There are 80 days until 27 February. I’m not counting today, which is nearly over, but I am counting the 27th itself because I could still write that day and finish.

This means, if I write every day from tomorrow through 27 February, I need to do about 422 words per day to make my minimum word count.

This doesn’t necessarily mean I’d finish the book. I’d merely reach the number of words. (And, honestly, it’s the kind of book that may be a bit longer, more like 65k. Difficult to tell yet.)

So let’s call it 500 words per day. I can do that, right? I’ve done about 300 today, could probably put in a bit more, though I’m having difficulty focusing. But I feel like if I have this per day minimum, that will help me focus. Because it won’t seem like some huge thing. It will seem like a task I can complete.

I can do this.

I will do this.

A Glass Half Full

I woke up feeling optimistic and then found a request for my manuscript in my inbox, so . . . Sometimes it pays to get out of bed.

Thinking ahead to the coming new year—it will be here sooner than you think!—my goals are to get an agent for Peter (or, failing that, publish it myself) and finish Changers, hopefully so that it will be in querying shape by this time next year. I have faith in Peter, and I’m already playing with ideas for more in the series, but Changers is probably more commercial. And there’s a chance it could be a series, too.

I’d also like to start shopping my TV pilot. I’m going to fix it up a bit per the feedback I’ve received and then see where it goes.

That seems like plenty enough to be getting on with for 2015. I really am feeling quite hopeful about my prospects on all fronts. Chin up, eyes forward, and . . . March!