Monday, April 2, 2012

Seekervillagers Report!

(updated at the end to talk about cozy mysteries release)

[vik-tuh-ree, vik-tree] noun, plural -ries.
1. an engagement ending in triumph: Seekervillagers declare victory over writer's block, hungry children, lame excuses and dust (which will STILL BE THERE IN APRIL) to win the race to THE END.

Now we want a report.

How’d you do? Did anyone FINISH something?

[fin-ish] verb (used with object)
1. to bring (something) to an end or to completion; complete: to finish a novel; to finish breakfast.
(HAH! How cool is that? I copied this definition off  and I didn't make up the 'novel' example! I also finished breakfast but let's move on with the writing focus)

If you didn't finish, did you make serious forward progress?

prog·ress [n. prog-res, -ruhs or, especially Brit., proh-gres; v. pruh-gres] noun
1. a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage: the progress of a writer who, using all the possible words in the known universe, selects and re-arranges 50,000 to 100,000 of them into a gripping, edge of the seat bestseller (like THAT'S not hard!).

Today we’re going to talk about the month that just passed. YOU CAN CRITIQUE SPEEDBO.

cri·tique [kri-teek] noun, verb, -tiqued, -ti·quing.

1. a criticism or critical comment on some problem, subject, etc. which, when applied to a book, on in a review for example, can be used to keep a writer humble. Nothing worse than someone who thinks they're any good at this writing gig.

Did you like SPEEDBO?
Did you feel left out if you couldn't join in?
Do you want to do it again?
Is there a better month than March? Unlike Nano which is firmly ensconced in November, we can be flexible here at Seekerville, since we’re just makin’ this stuff up as we go along.

March seemed like a quiet little month and so a fun writing challenge was a good idea. But maybe February would be better. There were a lot of Spring Break interruptions in March and heaven knows Valentine’s Day doesn’t take long….at least not at my house!

Valentine Day  noun
February 14, observed in honor of St. Valentine as a day for the exchange of valentines and other tokens of affection unless you've been married forever and your husband apparently has qualified for a license to ignore the whole thing. And I don't mind one speck, not at all, I'm not even paying attention to being forgotten and ignored!
Ahem......never mind. Back to my blog post!

So sound off. And to get in the spirit of spring (please note the festive pastels sprinkled Easter-Egg-Like through out this blog post)...and shake off the stress (without the use of controlled substances) of this speed writing exercise.
Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a $25 gift card from

You may have read them before so be aware! These books released in the Heartsong Presents Mysteries book club and in the 3 in 1 collection Nosy in Nebraska. Now we're doing them with new titles and selling them for $2.99 each....CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS


  1. I liked the Speedbo concept. I didn't do as well as I would have liked, though. March is a good month. I have often thought that January would be a good month for it as well.


  2. I also liked the concept and would keep it in March as Seekerville's own version of March Madness.

    My goal was to finish the edits on my WIP. I was a day but I'm done.


  3. March is a good month, though it would be cool if it also coincided with Novel Track: Writing, but not a big deal at all. Unless I had some... thing going on, I'd likely participate whenever, though I'd set a smaller goal if I knew it was a busy month or whatever.

    FYI - December is probably bad.

    Spring Break helps me because I'm off work that week [at least this year because it was a different week than my kids' break].

    So my stats:
    Started: 3/02
    Starting word count for this MS: 0
    Goal: 70000
    Word count 3/31: 69085
    Word count 4/1: 70017
    Reached: THE END

    Sad I didn't quite make it Saturday, but was sick the last couple days and did take a total of 7 days off in there for different reasons [including wrapping up something else on 3/1].

    Exceptionally happy with the book I wrote. The overall plotline etc didn't end up nearly where I thought it would, but so much better I think. It still needs A LOT of work, but I reached the end so it's all good ;).

  4. Since I'm now on a deadline (oh, my!) I didn't use speedbo to write on my new manuscript. I used it to finish up revisions and polish the manuscript due back to my editor, and I got it done with time to spare. Yeah! (Now we'll see what she thinks about it.)

    Congratulations to everyone who spent the month pushing their limits and accomplishing their goals. It's been fun to watch your word counts add up. Will we get a grand total of what Seekervillagers accomplished in Speedbo?

  5. I liked Speedbo. I didn't finish, but I did make progress. I normally do a chapter a week, and I achieved an extra one this month.

    Do it again. For me personally Feb. would probably work better, though. March, in addition to the spring breaks, usually includes revival services. (Like this past week.)

    Now I'm off to get the coffee pot ready.


  6. I think March was a good month to choose for Speedbo. I wasn't very successful but I will have some time off from my job the next two weeks and will continue "plodding" away. I never know when I might have time off, it could have been March, then it would have been perfect but it was still a good choice.

  7. I signed on for both Speedbo and another March Madness effort, thinking the accountability to more people would be a bigger incentive. I don't know if it really was, but I loved checking in here. You were all so encouraging, and FUN to be with!

    And I'm not saying that just because I won a prize. Noooo! That doesn't bias my response at all. I'd participate even if there were no prizes. Honestly!

    March worked for me, but so would February. I almost made all of my goals, reviewing and revising 24 chapters of one ms, submitting five queries for the children's book I'm repping for a friend, and writing a synopsis (instead of a NF article). My shortfall was in new words on my current WIP. I hoped for 10,000 but only made 9330. That's close enough for me to count the month as a success and celebrate a little by treating myself to a new book and a few days of reading this week.

    Thanks again to all the Seekers for hosting Speedbo and offering so much encouragement throughout the month.

  8. Hahaha! Let's see, I didn't finish anything. I scrapped 20K. Does that count?? And then I wrote another 20K in the RIGHT direction. I consider that a win. I'm not big on cempetition so I loved Speedbo's awesome group dynamic.

    Me: I thought about writing. I sat down and wrote a sentence. Then I got interrupted. I vow to try again

    Seekerville and SPEEDBO peeps: YES! YOU CAN DO IT!

    See? The whole month made me smile. And which month- doesn't matter to me. It's all chaos here, all the time.

    Thanks again for everything you guys do, every day.

  9. I finished my MS, almost exactly one day late, LOL. Here is my report:
    Speedbo Goal:
    30,000 words (which I thought would take me to the end)
    March 26th: hit my goal and set a revised goal to finish the MS by 3/31.
    Then my brother in law went in the hospital and I ended up having to go in to work yesterday, the LAST DAY of Speedbo, so I just finished the MS less than an hour ago.
    Unseen Love is 100,269 words, 49K of them written in Speedbo.

    Speedbo was great for me. SO much advice and encouragement, some gentle, some not so much, haha. March was a good month, and please do it again. The seekers were right. You can do anything for a month. Knowing "The End" was in sight for both the novel, and the "get 'er done" stress of such a writing intensive helped me to push on, even when I struggled through some days to make a few hundred words. And having the tracker on my blog really encouraged me too, seeing the meter move, even a little bit, helped me see more what I had done, than what I still had to go. Which was good, because back on 3/1 I would have said there was no way I could do a full 50K this month. But I did, and it feels awesome. =)

    Congratulations to everyone who participated, with finishes or progress.

    P.S. Writing "The End" was not as totally awesome as it was the first time, but it still felt really, really good. So for those of you still working toward your first "The End", savor every second of it and know I'm cheering you on. =)

  10. While I didn't participate in Speedbo (trust me it was for the best!) I love the concept and I think March is a great month for it with the beginning of spring and the beginning of new stories!!!

  11. Really wanted to write THE ENTIRE book in Speedbo, which I thought would be 70k, but it is not.

    Wrote: 70408 words in 29 days

    I would have liked some more progress reporting accountability for Speedbo, but when I saw there wasn't much we had to "do" on that account, my crit partner Glenn and I decided to email each other our word count for the day, that helped a bit, coupled with #1k1h and admitting to it publicly on my facebook page, I got enough potential shame to keep me from slacking too badly.

    Whether I'd do it again? Just depends on if I'm ready to write a new MS at the time.

    I should have done better, I could have gotten the 90k, but I piddled--granted, less than normal.

  12. March was pretty much a bust for me due to unexpected family obligations that were near all-consuming. I did write a little and I sketched a brief outline for a short story series, but no real progress on wip.

    March may have been okay this year because holidays fall in April. Since Easter moves, there might be some years when it doesn't work as well. But generally, any month except Nov, Dec and Jan sounds good to me.

    Congrats to all who were productive during this year's Speedbo!

  13. My March was jiggled for a number of reasons...

    New word count, just over 40K... And I'm happy with that.

    I'm thrilled by these reports! Truly awesome stats, Peeps!!! :) And even if your stats weren't awe-inspiring (I bow to the faster writers!!!!) every word you wrote (or in Virginia's case, re-wrote, LOL!) makes your goal more attainable.

    And if Speedbo doesn't gain you speed, but helps you focus on daily writing strategies, that rocks. Huge lesson learned.

    Helen, thank you for the coffee!! And I'm dropping off Frittatta because it's Holy Week and good, plain food will make a Resurrection feast seem even better. Right????


    Congrats to our winners... and to everyone who gave it a shot. You rock!

  14. I set a goal of 20K for Speedbo. It had taken me a year to write the first 18K of my manuscript, and I added 22K during Speedbo. So I'm thrilled that Speedbo gave me the motivation and encouragement because I am soooo much closer to writing my first THE END. And I got such a buzz of knowing I COULD write consistently and produce a high word count.

    March has worked for me this year, but I guess that will always depend on where Easter falls.

  15. I like the way you phrased the report, Mary.

    March was not going to be a good month for me. I knew that going in.

    There were too many demands at the job that pays the bills.

    The first half I managed to write at least 1k every day, but fighting for that time while trying to keep up with teaching, tutoring, report cards, parent conferences, state test prep, Science Fair, etc., took its toll and the second half was a spectacular disaster.

    So. despite my April Fool's day joke, my output wasn't 120,000 but more like that minus the 1 in the hundred thousands place. ;) (Ah the joys of 4th grade math).

    April will be better because I have 8 days off. I'm looking forward to diving back into my work with enthusiasm rather than guilt.

  16. Love the Speedbo concept. I needed a deadline, inspiration and companionship. I got all three.

    Speedbo has removed "only" and "if only" from my category. 25K but I am now up to writing 2hours and about 2500 a day. I have a schedule for April and 1K1Hr to keep me going.

    February might be good because folks schedules are still reeling from the holidays and the weather stinks. March worked for me. I like it being at the opposite end of the calendar from November!

    Peace, Julie

    Will see folks on 1K1Hr. I need the accountability.

  17. February, people? There are fewer days in February!!!!! If you're going to change the Speedbo month please make sure it's a 31 day one. :-)

    March break was great for me because I work in elementary schools so I got a week off. Without that my Speedbo would have been a bust. I made most of my progress that week.

    I don't have a word count because I wrote the old fashioned way but that was almost more freeing. I think I might have fixated on the number and panicked every day. LOL.

    I filled 3 195 page books (8 1/2 x 11 pages) and 2 smaller notebooks (200 pages) with notes, character sketches, changes, additions etc. I'm hoping I created a doable system for when it comes time to merge things together!

    I didn't get to The End, but I've extended my SpeedBo through to next Monday because I have some extra days off here and there so I'll let you know if I reach it then.

    This is the first time I've been part of a writing endeavour like this and I loved it. Loved the encouragement y'all gave and just knowing that I was part of a group made me feel more accountable. I definitely pushed to write on days when without SpeedBo I would have just given up. That was a huge learning curve. It actually is possible to write something every day no matter what! Even when I thought it was gibberish, I always found some merit when I read over it the next day.

    So thanks Seerville! You're the Hostessess with the Mostesses!!!!!

  18. Okay, sadly, I only completed one chapter on my Speedbo project, which is just over 4500 words....but not getting my goal really had nothing to do with the month of March.

    So March is a good month. However, I do well with writing in June and July too because I'm in the minority...I'm not a heat/humidity lover. I like to stay inside the aircondtioned house!

    I do think a way to report our progress is a good idea...maybe not on a daily basis but a weekly basis.

  19. I liked SpeedBo and working toward a goal with Seekers and Seeker friends. I finished at 75,000 words in a little less than three weeks and started editing the manuscript. Turned out to be my favorite story and characters, so far.


  20. I loved Speedbo. I like March, but any month would do besides. Nov. Dec or any summer month.

    And yes please let the month have 31 days.

    For the first week and a half of March I did final edits for one MS. Entered 1 contest and sent out two queries. One of which resulting in a proposal request. Yay! Took off two days to send it in.

    Starting new WIP on the 11th.

    Total new word count. 20,633. Only half of my 40K goal.

    Oh yeah, I opened a resale shop at the end of February. So my writing time got cut in half. But with 1K1hr I've learned to utilize free time for writing.

    Thanks seekers. Regardless of the month you choose...Please do Speedbo again.

  21. Oh and for next time. I'd like more accountabiltiy.

    Maybe posting weekly word counts on the weekend editions.

  22. Congratulations to all of you who've made such fantastic progress toward your goal or reached it! I didn't come close. I had some unexpected interruptions, but those are really more excuses than solid reasons.

    I think February or March are good months for SpeedBo.

  23. I thought that my total word count was pretty good, coming in at just over 12,000 words for the month. That sure sounds low compared to everybody else. But since March is a bad month for me, between going out of town for a week and trying to spend extra time on devotion since it is Lent, I still am content with my numbers.

  24. I loved Speedbo. I didn’t really “start” until Mid/Late March, so I obviously didn’t get as much done as I should have. I’ll make no excuses. I am working hard now, and that’s what matters. I did reach a tiny goal I’ve had last night, though. Keep moving forward, that’s what!

    I like March for Speedbo. I believe it’s going to be a sentimental thing for those who participated in the first annual one. The holidays are over, spring is peeking about outside, and inspiration is everywhere.

    I like March. : )

    CONGRATS TO YOU WRITING SOLDIERS! The rest of us are forced to join Mary Connealy’s boot camp for the month of April. ; )

    Love CBD. Throw my name in the hat.


  25. I liked Speedbo. Even though I didn't finish my book, I made big strides.
    If it hadn't been for Speedbo, my story would have slipped to the side because this year March was crazy for us.
    I think March is a good month. There has been a lot of good basketball on TV that has been tempting to watch, and of course I always had to take time to watch my Wildcats. My second choice would be January. (I realize not many people are still interested in basketball in March.)
    Looking at Walt's comments, having Speedbo in March makes it Double March Madness.
    That's a lot of rambling. Bottom line, Speedbo was good for me.
    Thanks so much for the encouraging pep talks and ideas you gave us to prepare and participate.
    You all are amazing!
    Jackie L.

  26. So exciting to read the word counts here! I didn't do Speedbo this year, because I WAS almost done with my ms, and planned to go onto editing. Figured out my ms needed lots of work, so I'm planning my personal Speedbo in a month or so. :)

    Love the concept of Speedbo. March seems like a good month, because it has 31 days. :) Of course the month that my kids have Spring Break will be a little harder than one where they don't. :)

    I hope to participate in a future Speedbo! Great job, all!

  27. Great opportunity but no excuse! Sprint writing can start today. Next time, maybe we'll all have a better idea of what goal to make.

    I can't say enough about the #1k#1hr group. It really does make a difference, like Speedbo, to push yourself (there's nothing like public statements) and to feel like you are not alone. Competitiveness probably helps, too.

    Congratulations to all the participants! When you get a contract for that book someday, be sure you mention Speedbo2012!

  28. I joined Speedbo with certain goals in mind and here's how it went - finish my 1st novella - DONE except I overshot my target by 141%. That was a lot of extra writing and it took 10 days to do.

    I completed my 2nd goal out of 4 and was about to start the next when my wonderful new agent and I virtually sat down to discuss our game plan. Suddenly, I found myself on a different track. I had a proposal to work on which included all kinds of marketing and comparative titles which took another 10 days to complete because I wanted to be thorough and accurate in this my first offical proposal.

    And those talks with my agent showed me where my priorities should lay and it wasn't with the goals I'd chosen. Ugh!

    So I went deep in my cave to sort things through.

    I loved the Speedbo concept and if we started NOW I would join again because I now have 1 goal which my agent and I have decided on.

    It's a great concept. Count me in next time, please.

  29. Speedbo was great. I didn't quite reach my goal but moved forward and accomplished more than I would have had I not participated.

    March is a good month for me but I'm flexible. Spring break actually gave me more writing time.

    Now to make some sense out it so I can send a portion for JANET DEAN to critique. How cool is that?!

    Seekerville rocks!

  30. I think you guys did a fantastic job of NOT making us feel left out if we weren't a part of Speedbo. So thank you for that. Coming to Seekerville was still a pleasure all month long.

  31. Morning Mary,

    I didn't reach my goal but that is no surprise to anyone. LOL

    But we all learned so much about setting goals.

    About writing habits.

    About staying positive.

    Love it.

    I'm with Rose about summer being a better time for me to write. But that is my schedule. The thing we learned though is that the speedbo concept can be applied any time.

    I like that Melissa set an accountability thing with her crit partner. That helps me a lot.

    So even though speedbo is over. KEEP ON WRITING.

    ANd can we go back to junk food now?

    I bringing some breakfast burritos with everything in them. And platters of tater tots.

  32. I like March because I seriously think of it as a dead month. February is too though. Snow and no sign of life in Colorado.

    Did I mention 84 degrees yesterday and it's supposed to snow today.

    Going into Speedbo is always with the knowledge the day job isn't going away. So I am resigned to being a weekend warrior.

    I spent the first two weeks doing requested proposal revisions.

    The second two..I discovered the blessed reality of #1k1hr.

    In 7 sessions I wrote close to 10 thousand words. That's just skeleton writing, so now I get to layer in and turn those 10 thousand words into 20 thousand.

    Which added to the proposal puts me over halfway done with my book.

    Unfortunately you can't just 1k1hr forever, you have to edit...but I love editing.

    I also love 1k1hr.

    It's huge!!!

  33. I liked the Speedbo concept.

    My goal was a first, rough, short draft of an entire story. And with 22,000 on March 28 I hit it. Without a little prodding - the idea of submitting progress each week is appealing) I'd still be mired and muttering that I started off not knowing my characters well enough.

    Now it's back to the expansion of a different draft finished in early March - my first week was enough to give a girl a headache - finishing one draft and starting a new story - and getting pitch polished on a different manuscript for Spring Fling.

    An author's work is never done.

  34. Loved Speedbo, loved the accountability, loved the fun and there anything else?

    Oh yeah, word counts :). I had two goals - an impossibly huge word count goal and to write "the end" on my WIP. Once I reached the "the end" goal, my word counts plummeted as I dove into editing.

    But I'm ecstatic with my results for the month!

  35. Congrats to all who made progress. Love reading the reports. Thanks for the wrap-up day to report, too, Mary.

    I wrote 14 words short of 30,000 on WIP and got the The End. Then, after a few days of edits, it occurred to me that I should try out writing a second WIP and see how I do juggling two manuscripts. I passed 11,000 words on the second WIP. So total word count for Speedbo was 41,000.

    I like March for this exercise and am thinking I might try an unofficial SpeedBo in Sept, even though the month only has 30 days, lol. Except for the party at Labor Day, I can't think of a better month for me. With the kids return to school, I've always felt it was the month to 'get back to work.'

    This is really out there, but would a year round SpeedBo be possible, like is being done on FB for 1k1hr? People would fall in and fall out on the months that work for them. It might not make SpeedBo here as special, though. It's sorta aggressive to run it year round. Don't want to take the joy out of writing. It's a conundrum.

    I intend to have my own Speedbos and see if I can get two or three books done this year. What a thought...

  36. I’m going to start by responding to Kath Eberly and by extension many of you by saying I didn’t do as well as I would have liked either.

    I have excuses and they’re good ones. I had a book due April 1st and I knew I’d have to go through it one more time and revise. And it needed to be done right no matter how long it took. So that happened. And ended up sucking two weeks out of the month.

    I also got galleys of Over the Edge, releasing August 1st. Book #3 in the Kincaid Brides Series … the crazy brother Seth finally meets a woman who scares him sane.

    So those had to be my priority. But I also made forward progress in my work in progress and got to (it isn’t real impressive) 15000 words.
    So I fell far short of my goal which was 40000 words. So……

    Once Vince said I should be (am I remembering this right?) the pace car for SPEEDBO. In a way I am. I’m the pace car for continuing forward. Whether fast or slow, whether tortoise or hare, forward.

    And I'm going to declare that OKAY. For all of us.

  37. Walt votes for March
    And, you FINISHED! YAY WALT!!!!!!!!!

    A day late. Look at you bein’ all humble. GOOD FOR YOU WALT

  38. CAROL! Wow, you wrote 70017 words in 32 days?

    Rage on, girl. Good for you! A very impressive accomplishment.

    I’d love to go to Panera and write. I can smell the aroma of the freshly baked goods right now.

    Panera…the closest is over an hour away!

    Self Pity Takes Over The Comment Section of Seekerville.

  39. CDees…you need to change your name in the comment section to promote your book.

    I can’t read your comment without smiling. I’m so excited for you. What a great development, huh?

  40. Helen -- A vote for February. Yes it’s a shorter month but that only means WE CAN QUIT SOONER.

    Surely I’m not the only slacker in this crowd! Forward progress was made, Helen and I trust you to carry on.

  41. Mary Cline You call it plodding, I call it steady forward progress.

    That’s how all books are written…by writing on to the end. Fast or slow, the important thing is to at some point FINISH THE BOOK!

  42. Wow, Carol Garvin, great work. Yes your word count may not have been as high as you want but you got a LOT done.

    When you say ‘sending out a children’s book you’re repping for a friend’, tell me about that.

  43. Virginia, that is so tough to cut like that but it always makes the story better.

    That was a brave act. You could be a heroine in your own book for such an act of courage!

    I'm glad Seekerville makes you smile. It was a fun month, wasn't it?

  44. Nancy GOOD FOR YOU!!! 50,000 in one month is fantastic and YOU FINISHED YOUR BOOK!!!!!!!!!!


    I’m proud of ALL OF US AT SEEKERVILLE!

  45. Abbi, we trust you. Not everyone could take this month to do a speed writing exercise.

    I totally get that.

    I’ve told Ruthy to put down her whip and just LET YOU ALL DECIDE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

  46. MARY SAID: "There were a lot of Spring Break interruptions in March and heaven knows Valentine’s Day doesn’t take long….at least not at my house!"

    LOL ... mine either, Mare!! But February IS a shorter month, so less time to Speedbo. I'm actually shooting for April for my own personal Speedhalfbo since I had to put writing aside a while to work on revisions in March, so we'll see how good I'll be. :)


  47. AND MELISSA, SPEAKING OF WHIPS. I'm sorry we weren't a bit more fierce with all of you. :)

    What would you suggest by way of accountability? We are wide open to suggestions.....not that we'll probably take any of them.

    Some shiny object will probably distract us and we'll forget. But you can go ahead and tell us your ideas.

  48. Patricia, things get back to normal after today. So no more SPEEDBO MARCH MADNESS for this year at least.

    We'll go back to the usual Seekerville madness now.

  49. HELEN W, GOOD FOR YOU! You wrote more in ONE MONTH than you did all last year? That is really impressive, woman! YAY!!!

    (picture Kermit the Frog, hands waving in the air as he yells YAY!)

  50. Mary, thanks for the suggestion. Introverts need all the help they can get when it comes to remembering to promote themselves. (Ack!)

    I think I have it fixed now. :-)

  51. MaryC, I don’t think spectacular disaster is fair. You did a lot of living and working in that month and got some writing done, too.

    Let’s just declare victory and throw a ticker tape parade for everyone who got through it alive!

  52. JULIE HILTON STEELE mentions 1k1h and if anyone wants to know what that is, go to Facebook and join. Search for 1k1h and you’ll find a lot of writers who do a burst of speed writing together with a goal of writing one thousand words in one hour.

    I joined when the started then I ran into a nasty computer glitch that was sending out spam trying to sell something and I quit all my yahoo groups (with a couple of exceptions) I went in and found out I belonged to NINETY GROUPS. I know I didn’t join most of them. I few were just weird, like written in foreign languages. I did NOT join them, but I guess you can be ‘joined’ without permission.

    Anyway, I rejoined 1k1h and if I start asking you to buy weird stuff on that group page, please tell me. And I’m sorry.

  53. Kav, you really write your books like...with a pen and paper?


    I am impressed. If it works for you, go for it.

    Do you then transcribe it all onto your computer? How do you handle that?

  54. You can also find the link to #1k1Hr on the front page of on the right hand side.

  55. That Valentine's image is so funny. I admire y'all for being able to write such awesome books!
    Please enter me. I LOVE getting new books. Clp1777(at)aol(dot)com

  56. Rose, I know you well enough to trust you to finish a book at whatever speed is necessary. You think we should have some … chart of something somewhere to report in?
    That’s interesting.
    I have no idea how we’d do that. I will defer this project to someone who’s got a clue………TINA???

  57. ps
    Rose and I have a library event next week together in Hawarden, IOWA.

    Did you all know next week is National Library Week?

    I've never heard of it before and I've at this writing gig for a while now.

    I've got an event in Hawarden on April 10 at 7 p.m. at the Hawarden, Iowa Library.

    I'm at the Bancroft, NE library on April 12th at 6:30 (alone! so very, very alone!)

    I'm at the Sac City Library on Friday, April 13th--which is my lucky day btw, I had a child born on Friday, April 13th.
    One of the best days of my life....not counting the labor.

    The Sac City event is shared with Lorna Seilstad and Judy Miller. This is a ROAD TRIP! We'll have fun.
    And on Saturday, April 14th Lorna, Judy and I have a book signing in Omaha together at Parables.

    What a week! GO LIBRARIES!!!!

  58. Final Speedbo Report

    Project 1: write first draft of nonfiction book: Rewards per page. Completed.

    Project 2: edit 50,561 word “Stranded” romance. Edited 32,495 words. Words left to edit, 35,348. Words added while editing, 15,213. Amount left to edit: 35%.

    Lessons learned:

    *Editing is writing.
    *A first draft is only 5% of the writing process.
    *Even in speed writing add body language.
    *Do more of the right things by habit the first time.
    *Adding body language changes the story.
    *Body language tells the truth while dialogue may mean anything.
    *Adding body language can cause ‘writer’s burst’ – that’s an outpouring of sudden inspiration. (Talk yourself into ‘writer’s burst.’)
    *Make the ‘slow parts’ interesting or cut them out on the second draft.
    *Make the really good parts of the story happen sooner.
    *Waiting longer for the good parts to arrive in the narrative does not make them better. (The longer it takes to tell a joke, the better the punch line has to be and the less likely you’ll ever want to hear that joke again. Go for one-liner satisfaction in rewarding the reader.)
    *Rewarding the reader often makes editing more rewarding as well.
    *Characters try to take over when the author fails to understand them.

    Answer to question:

    March is a perfect month for Speedbo. It’s just long enough from November to reenergize for another sprint. It’s ideal for editing NaNo books. I like the time of year and the added day means a lot in meeting deadlines.


    P.S. “The Bossy Bridegroom” is now available for the Kindle on Amazon. I’m going to get to read it at last! Also, some of Mary’s cozy mysteries are, at long last, available for Kindle.

    P.P.S. Janet’s novella is available for Kindle as of the first of April and it continues the story of the heroine who turned her old house into a home for unwed mothers. (A great story.) Brides of the West: Josie's Wedding Dress\Last Minute Bride\ Her Ideal Husband (Love Inspired Historical).

    P.P.S. Mary: I promised to write at least 50% of the words you wrote. I wrote a total of 70,348 words. How did I do?

    P.P.P.S. Mary could you put up the links to your new eBooks? This is very important to fans who cannot read small type.

  59. I got more done this month than I would have without Speedbo--so I call that a success if not a victory.

    March is a good month and will be even better next year because all my kids will be in school. :)

    I finished one short story and pulled my YA Fantasy within ~10K of being finished. That's a huge improvement!

    Thanks for all the great posts.

  60. Kirsten, you wrote 75,000 words and finished a book! We need a poster child for SPEEDBO and I think a LOT of you qualify!

  61. Bridgett, good for you and a PROPOSAL REQUEST!!!!!! DOUBLE GOOD FOR YOU!!!
    Wow, what a month you’ve had. More accountability, got it. Ruthy and her whip are definitely lining up to take care of that.

  62. Chris Loehmer Kincaid….great name, Kincaid btw, the names of my current heroes! Enjoy your 12,000 words. Good for you!

  63. Whitney, already there is a sentiment attached to SPEEDBO? Wow, we may have created a monster.

  64. Jackie I’m glad you made progress. Now DON’T LET UP! You may not need to go at it with such speed but be RELENTLESS. FINISH THE BOOK!!!

  65. Jeanne T All that revision work is writing even if the pages don’t add up as fast. Keep going!

  66. Hi, Debra. Another #1k#1h fan. Those little number symbols…are they important?

  67. Anita Mae, you over shot by 141%? Your book is no longer a novella, it’s now a novel. And that’s a GOOD THING….unless you’re contracted for a novella, then that’s BAD!

    All that talk of agents and proposals and a new focus sound great.

  68. JAMIE ADAMS, be afraid. Janet Dean critiques with a ruler in her hand to smack you. You get used to it.

  69. Jan Drexler, you finished, too. YAY AGAIN!

    Yes, not we must face the revisions but that’s fun, too, at least for me.

  70. Lyndee, you should work on this idea, maybe in conjuction with #1k1h?

    I don’t know how that would work—maybe you could start a SPEEDBO facebook page and engineer the whole thing. Think of the PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!!!

    (suddenly this is the movie Alladin)

  71. VINCE!!!!!!!
    You blew me away! 70,000 words! I wrote 15,000.
    I did, however, heavily revise at 90,000 word book and read through the galleys of another one that same length with only minimal revisions.

    So how do we count that...especially if editing is writing?

    No matter how you count it YOU ARE A WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  72. Mary - you are so funny :D.

    Just in case you didn't know - you make me laugh. This is a good thing given how my day is going so far. With cleaning, more cleaning, laundry and 3 sick kids and more cleaning to do.

    Plus I need to /cry/ balance my checkbook.

    I also sent out 4 queries [one rejection, but a nice one] and 3 [or 4?] contest entries...

    Have I mentioned how much I hate editing? Too bad it's the only thing calling my name this month... :p

  73. Mary? What gives... last night there were five comments.

    Thank you for those definitions. It is most important to remember them and their spelling as well.

    March was tougher for me with Springbreak and other things, like having to do edits on another book for release. being sick that got me too.

    I figure whatever month Speedbo falls in I will probably try to get involved.

    I gave my wee bit of word count ( 20,000) the other day.

    That still stands give or take away 10,000. LOL.

    Some of ya'll did a few more words than me. Yay.

    But here's a full Right on fit pump for everyone who gave it a go.

    And of course thank you to the Seekervilleans who knew where to plant those feet.

    In everyone else's backside cause you know I bruise easily.


    Tina P

  74. I can't say enough good things about #1k1hr. I am meeting a lot of folks I have met here over there.

    Sadly, I am an early bird and a lot of them are night owls. But then, I love owls.

    Thank goodness I now have a way to keep the motivation.

    Have typed for two hours, edited and added over 750 words this morning. The writing continues.

    Peace, Julie

  75. Wow -- I'm so impressed after reading all these comments. We really have been a productive group, haven't we? Thanks for being the inspiration, Seekerville!

    Mary -- I'm not writing by hand by choice. It's a health issue that keeps me from sitting long stretches at the computer so I don't know how transcribing it all is going to work. I'm kind of worried about that part. LOL. I had this wicked infection in my lower leg two years ago which wasn't treated properly and now I have a permanently swollen foot and wonky nerve endings that don't like it when I sit, stand or walk. I've started physio recently and it seems to be helping a bit and I'm hoping they might have a solution for me re: working at the computer. Until then I'll continue to lounge upon my writing couch and scribble to my hearts content. :-)

  76. Mary, last night I had a dream that our house burned down but nothing inside was damaged. That is almost as strange as the idea of Janet critiquing with ruler in hand. The smile on her face is too kind to make me afraid.

    she really is nice... right?

    right?! ;)

  77. CAROL M, you've got to dig deep on the editing. Learn to love it. The editing is where are the....what word works me, the CHARM comes in the editing. The richness. The first draft is your story and that's fundamental but the editing is when you cut out what's not compelling, add the senses, set the scene in short but vivid words.
    The comedy and action come alive in least for me.

    Good luck, girl. Soldier on!

  78. Tina P, 20000 words is better than I did. I'm not going to give you much grief for it!

  79. So I'm not the only one who wants to win a $25 gift card!!! LOL

    Mary, I love stuff like Speedbo. It's very motivating and fun. I did write about 10,000 words to finish my WIP, but March really didn't work out too well for me, partly because of spring break and a couple of other things that happened, and partly because I was just finishing up a WIP and needed to do some editing. That's just how it worked out. Traditionally, January and February are really slow months for me and I get a lot of writing done in those months. Yeah, Valentine's Day isn't very big at my house, and neither is my birthday, which is also in February, so yeah, slow month.

    And January is when everybody is recovering from Christmas and just kind of ... slow. But I get lots of writing done.

    I have one teeny suggestion, and I could be totally missing something that's already in place, but I think it's really motivating to have a place where we report in every night or morning and tell how many words we wrote the previous day. Even if you have to report zero, it's still motivating, I think, to be accountable and know that everybody is going to see just how many words you wrote. It isn't a competition, since everybody has a different goal. It's accountability. I think that would make it more REAL to me, for lack of a better word.

    Just a little suggestion. :-)

  80. I loved Speedbo! I made great progress in my writing.

    I too am flexible so just let me know when the next one is.

    Thanks Seekers & God Bless!

  81. Maybe an accountability site might work for Speedbo. Because some folks don't want to have to check in daily. That way those that want to can.

    Good ideas gals.

  82. I like Speedbo in March, and I think an accountability system would be nice. I wasn't able to participate this time, but I am looking forward to getting involved next year.


  83. Woohoo! I LOVED Speedbo! The energy, the encouragement, the (shoot, I can't think of another word that starts with e...) the FUN!

    I finished my WIP and got it edited and polished and turned in to my editor!

    Thank you, Seekerville!

  84. Uh... what about...


    Does that work, Erica?

  85. I like the idea of an accountability system... I hesitate to fully endorse it because I have no idea how to do that. Which means TINA will end up doing it which means more work for her. Which, if she doesn't mind doing more work then I'M ALL FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  86. The energy, the enthusiam, the enducement (or is that inducement).
    I'm not going to check because I fear the answer will ruin Erica's alliteration.

    Also I'm lazy

  87. What a great wrap-up for Speedbo--so many success (or at least "progress") stories!!!

    And really, Mary, you are a Speedbo lifer. NOBODY can keep up!

    BTW, congrats on the e-book releases!

  88. I like how Speedbo is in a month where not a lot of other things are going on. That's why I choose not to participate in Nano. I'd like to, but I have to be realistic with myself concerning writing a novel in November, with holidays looming. (That sounds so bad, holidays looming. You know what I mean, lol)

    March is good because it has 31 days.

  89. I had two goals in mind. 1) My 'at least goal which was 20K. 2) My 'would love to reach' goal was 40 K. I didn't reach my big goal, but I exceeded my 'at least' goal!

    My total SpeedBo word count is (drum roll please):


  90. I joined and failed miserably. BUT when my agent emailed and asked for edits before sending out queries, I was a good girl and got to work. And finished that. (wish I had an Easter egg color for that word finished! LoL.) Also broke through the ugly brain block I had going on with my current wip.

    So, although I failed at SpeedBo this time around, I'm still counting March as a plus in the overall scheme of things. =]

    I love the concept of SpeedBo--just wish I could've participated more with this wip. Next time. =]

  91. For me, the word is PROGRESS!!! :D

    I loved SpeedBo! I think February, March, or April would be good months - though we usually have spring break in April and February a lot of authors are preparing their Carol and Genesis entries.

    This was a huge boost for me, even though many unforeseen things came up. I would definitely do this again!!! Thanks, Seekerville! :D

  92. I like the concept of Speedbo, though March turned out to be a difficult month for me. While I didn't meet my goal, I learned alot...about ME. I should have realized with my personality I would need a more detailed map for my ms. I floundered big time, trying a new genre, a new voice, without a map. Yeah, I learned alot.

    Personally, I think Feb or June would be a great month, though March would have been awesome had I had a free Spring Break...and no construction workers.

    I don't have to wear an orange jumpsuit and have my picture taken with a number across my chest, do I?

  94. Linnette 29,463 sounds really great to me. Good for you. That's a LOT of writing.

  95. Sherrinda that sounds pretty good to me, all that you've learned. Enjoy it and count it as forward progress on this writing journey.

  96. Patty you had to choose responding to your agent's request and make it a priority. You have nothing to apologize for..............



    and I'm sorry you feel you need to.

  97. I did more editing than writing this past month, I think. But I did make progress! I wrote about 8k new words. And probably edited over a hundred pages. Not much compared to some of you, though.

    You are all so amazing!

  98. Hi Mary!

    I love the IDEA of SpeedBo, and I loved reading all the great tips, and all the support here, and March is a GREAT month for it...but it didn't really work for me, this time. Too many unexpected happenings (four job interviews, two coworkers quitting, one coworker died, sickness, lots of extra meetings outside of my regular work schedule, etc.).

    Progress on a new WIP: 4,006.
    Progress on editing old MS: 14,235.

    I will have to say that while it's very freeing to just get the story on the page, I had a hard time doing that. I guess I really like to be descriptive the first time around, and I kept wanting to go into more detail in scenes. Maybe that helps me know the characters and the story better, but I found myself getting lost in my WIP, because things were just happening too fast!

  99. Stephanie if it helps you to be descriptive then do it. There is no right or wrong way to be an author. You've got to do whatever works for you.
    Yes, in SPEEDBO you're supposed to turn off your internal editor.

    But I don't. That's just my way.

  100. Speedbo was great! I got half a book finished and reached my goal of 40,000 words!

    Congrats to everyone who participated! I think Carol wins for most words written! Any challengers?

    I'd love to be entered in the draw.


  101. I really enjoyed doing SPEEDBO!! For me personally, March is a good month...well, a normal March that is. Sadly with the death of my dear FiL I had to finally stop SPEEDBO but felt very pleased with what I DID accomplish. I did completely finish a ms. I'd been working on AND submitted it (although the postal service has lost it and my ms. is now somewhere in Oklahoma rather than New York *sigh*). Then I was planning on polishing a previously-written ms. but since SPEEDBO is all about WRITING, I decided to completely rewrite the story, and made a lot of progress before having to stop (due to the death in my family). Thank you Seekers for having SPEEDBO and for ALL you do!! Hugs, Patti Jo

  102. Mary, BTW, I plan to come to your booksigning at Parables, and hopefully the Heartland RWA meeting beforehand to hear you speak on "The Moral Premise." I promise to not throw tomatoes, only cupcakes.

    On second thought, let's just eat the cupcakes to celebrate how awesome you'll do!

    That ended up being the same day as a Nebraska Writer's Guild meeting at Mahoney Park so our group is going to that. When I get rescheduled I'll let you know.

  104. I didn't accomplish everything I wanted, but I did make progress. I wrote some on my wip, plus revised several chapters of another (the one I bring to my critique group), and then wrote a synopsis.

    Spring break slowed be down a bit but really I could've written 1K/day during that week. I didn't, but could have. A lot of things going on in my life that are extremely stressful so I'm not going to beat myself up.

    I'll just continue to write this week, and next week, and the next week...

    Congratulations to all who met their goals. SpeedBo is a great inspiration.


  105. OK, Mary, I'll just the eat the cupcakes all by my lonesome then. :(

    But I should probably save a few for you, Lorna, and Judith.


  106. LOVE LOVE LOOOOVED SpeedBo! It's all I talked about this past month. I liked having it in March. It was a breakthrough for me.

    Mary, you crack me up! Besides the great blog post, the comment about Aladdin drug a toothy grin outta me. The last time I heard that random quote it was at a church meal--the speaker, one of our brave Marines. LOL, so you're in good company. ;)

    Met my goal for Speedbo--30,000 and "The End."

    I was glad to hear we have 8 weeks to claim a prize. I've got to rewrite those first ten pages, so I can send it in for one of your lovely critiques. :) The rewrites are next on my "to do" list. (insert Luke Skywallker's infamous "NOOOOO!")

    Thank you to all of you Seeker ladies who are giving of yourselves and providing the prizes of page critiques, synopsis critiques, and chats. That is so helpful and encouraging. Wish I could express how much I (and I'm sure many others) appreciate that.

  107. Oh dear.
    Mary, I didn't feel I needed to apologize, I was bummed out. I was really, really wanting to make tracks last month on this wip but I knew I had to take care of those edits. Those were priority and I did that. Then ran into a major brain block in the little time I had left in the month. I happy danced when I busted through that brain block!! =]

    Nope, didn't feel I needed to apologize but I was wanting to ride the band wagon and join the party. ;-) I made progress and that's the important thing. This month's goal: great strides on my wip!! =] =]

  108. Mary, I suggest you stay away from orange. Blue is more your color.

    And you should probably get a number to wear on your chest that continually updates itself:

    Mary has written 72 books.
    Mary has written 935 books.
    Mary has written 2,568 books.
    Mary has written 100,483 books.
    Mary has written 4,392,634 books.

  109. OH, and the books...the ebooks I talk about at the end of my post...they are $2.99. I had that wrong.

    I've fixed it now.

  110. NATALIE!!!!!! Good for you for finishing!!!!!!!!
    I await with breathless anticipation, your pages.

  111. Patty, there is a running joke in my family.

    "I'm a chronic apologizer, and I'm really sorry about that."

    So that's about ME not your. You're fine. Way to bust through the brain wait, that's when you eat ice cream too fast.
    Brain block. Got it.

  112. Mary Connealy said...
    Think of the PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!!! (suddenly this is the movie Alladin)

    I'll let you know when I can fit into Jasmine's outfit, ;)

    But, really? Do you think that would be of interest? Anyone? A SpeedBo-like FB group that concentrats on a monthly WIP goal with morning or evening ck in points for accountability? This wouldn't replace 1K1HR, but work in conjunction - at least, that's how I see it.

    But wouldn't want to step on Seekerville's toes on this...Tell me no if it is...It won't hurt my feelings.

  113. LoL. I'm sorry to hear you're a chronic apologizer, Mary.


  114. Lady DragonKeeperApril 2, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    I didn't participate, since I'm not an author and I had school and I was out of town for spring break, but I think this is a great idea. As a lifelong reader, I've pondered writing ... MaybeI'll try my hand at some small fanfiction stuff next year ... Would that be allowed? Great job to the participants!


  115. friends in Seekerville,
    You came and you conquered
    Paula O

  116. I loved Speedobo! It got my butt in the chair without the concern over word count!

    Did I finish what I started?


    Did I make great progress on a couple of projects and reevaluate my goals?


    Thanks for everything!

  117. Wow and double wow. Look at all the progress!

    I'm not by nature a word-counter. I belong to a group where we log our work into a database, and I go with hours rather than word count -- because I tend to reread what I wrote the day before, edit, and then go into new writing.
    Plus, with this current WIP I have now ditched a bit more than 20,000 words.

    Virginia, there are two of us :-)

    Now I'm into new writing and pasting in scenes from the previous version of the WIP. All of that said, I tallied up 13,810 *new* words during Speedbo.

    I will definitely do Speedbo again. February is better because I don't judge any contests then -- but I am totally cool with March, too. I'm not sure it will ever be about starting and finishing a new manuscript for me but more about keeping on keeping on.

    Everyone here has been great with enthusiasm and understanding. Cheers for all those who cheered writers onward, too.

    And Mary -- that line under the Valentine heart "Because love isn't complicated enough as it is" is GREAT.

    Nancy C

  118. Congratulations to all those who finished their manuscripts - or made progress! :) I fit in the latter category... I didn't make a whole lot of progress (about 7,500-ish words). I started out much stronger than I finished... School life and spring break sidetracked me, I suppose. ;) March didn't work as well for me this year because of school, but I'm graduating in May, so who knows what will work best for me in the future?? :) I think it's good to challenge myself to write more anytime!

    I definitely enjoyed the extra motivation at the beginning, and it was helpful/fun to get a progress meter and to spend a bit of this last Saturday reorganizing my WIP. :)

    Hope ya'll have a great week! I think I should lock myself in my room and/or the library until all my homework and papers get done... Hope I can finish everything before graduation!! Just one month to go!


  119. I'm not a writer, but want to congratulate all you writers who worked so hard during Speedbo.
    I'd love to win the Amazon gift card!


  120. I really like the Speedbo concept...I like the making progress aspect versus the only option being finish the book.

    I also think March is a great month for it...springs beginning and beauty coming forth. :)

    I did not make as much progress as I would have liked because March was a rough month but I did enjoy knowing others were working on their dreams too! And that helped spur me on.

  121. I'm in the "progress" category too. I loved Speedbo! If it were up to me, I'd suggest every other month! :-)

    Seriously, I think it might be nice to have it in the early spring (Feb or March) and perhaps again in the fall - after school starts and before the mad holiday rush begins.

    Speedbo was a great motivator, the articles were pertinent and very helpful, and the comments were awesome. Some of you are crazy - I love it! Made me feel right at home!

    I'll definitely be back for the next round!

  122. I so appreciated this Speedbo opportunity. It was a wonderful motivator. I liked that it was in March, but I did have a week for Spring Break which helped with my progress.

    I wrote a work that sas 68K+ and I look forward to editing it and sending it on to Audra to see what she thinks. I like the idea of an accountability board here as well, maybe even one that is ongoing if people want to do their own Speedbo during a month that is more suitable for them. Thanks again!


  123. :D Thanks, Mary! Now to keep up the pace. Of course, I have some queries/proposals to get together and send out this month. We'll see how things go.

  124. What a cool idea! I missed it! I was writing however. Next time I'm going to sign up to do it.

  125. I loved Speedbo. It kept the motivation humming. I actually finished my manuscript on Saturday--yea! So it came down to the last minute of the last day of the month for me, but it's done. Until revisions, that is :)

    Thanks for this wonderful month of inspiration!

  126. I find it highly amusing that my iPhone now offers 'speedbo' as a suggestion/autocorrect option.

    Even though it still says it's spelled wrong ;).

  127. Hi all,
    Thanks Mary.
    I've been traveling 23 hours straight. Just got home.
    Only perused the post today, but liked what I saw.
    Haven't read any comments though.

    LOVED SpeedBo idea.
    No - didn't do nearly as well as I'd wanted but then, I did make serious forward progress on my WIP, so that's all good.

    I'd say I had 3 really in the zone great SpeedBo days. I MUST turn off the editor ("But," she whines, "I LOVE to edit!")

    Many got a lot more done than me no doubt, but I'd say it is all good.

    Hope we'll do it next year - and yeah... February might be better. Plus, it gives us a shorter deadline - ha!

    Alrighty - time for a nap!

  128. Mary, I'm so glad you SPELLED out what Speedbo was all about, LOL!

    I'm hoping lots of Seeker friends got lots of words down so they can arrange and rearrange all those words lots of times during revisions : ) The important thing was getting the words out of your head onto the page!!!!!!!!

    Great Speedbo guys. So many of you had wonderful discoveries to share...and some not so wonderful, but which ever happened to crop up, I hope everyone surged forward.

    Since I'm coming in late to the party, I'm going to scroll back up to the top and catch up on how everyone did.

    Good job everyone!

  129. Wow! What a Speedbo month! I can't believe how productive some of you were!

    Carol, you wrote a 70000 word book in a month. You go, girlfriend!

    Anita Mae, you OVERSHOT a novella by 141%? Boggles the mind.

    Melanie and lots of others want acountability either daily, weekly or at will. I have to agree. I seem to push harder too when I know I have state concrete figures.

    I wrote 20K. Much less than I wanted to write, but hey, it's still 20K more than I had : )

    Congrats everyone!! Great job!!

  130. Thanks you for SpeedBo Seekerville.
    Although I didn't finish my MS I certainly worked hard!


  131. I started out well but then things beyond my control happened and I was shifted off course to the point I'm still being tossed about at sea. But I fear not as land is sighted in the distance and the sea should calm soon.

    March would normally be a great month for me...but not 2012.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  132. My goal was to finish my wip and I was able to write THE END in the middle of April.

  133. I didn't get the chance to take part in SpeedBo, but I know the push and the excitement from the other contestants was awesome! No excuses.

    Sounds like The Biggest Loser theme this season. ;-)