Monday, April 1, 2013

Chance favors only the prepared mind. Louis Pasteur ** Chance favors only the prepared author. Mary Connealy

Think of this day as
Do you ever want to be on Survivor? 
Me? I'm pretty sure I'd be gone the first day. 
I'd be all, "But I want to check my email!"
and... "Where's my recliner?"
and... "Is there a thermostat...I want the air conditioner turned on...on this desert island!"
However...SURVIVOR-SPEEDBO! is another story
Now you're in my wheelhouse.
THIS I can survive. Not saying I won...not with Carol Moncado in the house.
But I made it in my own way.
Which brings me to the title of today's blog. 
(Yes, I do have a point here.)
 "dans les champs de l'observation, le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés
Translation...In the field of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind...Louis Pasteur
Well, here's my spin. 
"In the field of writing, chance favors only the prepared author!"
Louis Pasteur, he was a real big deal right? 
What was it? 
That it.
Also Pasturization...aptly named, huh?
(thnx wikipedia)
Louis Pasteur studied. He had degrees. He worked as a professor. He also had three of his five children die of typhoid.  This was an learned man who had powerful personal motivation to find the cause of and cure for disease. He worked hard and he studied hard. He became the director of an elite French college and he began to reform it to rigid scientific standards so the research they did was dependable and provable.
This man was prepared. And when little breakthroughs would come...he would be there, documenting it. Through his studies his MIND was prepared when an experiment would reveal some new bit of information.

Which brings me to AUTHORS

Chance favors ONLY the prepared author

I'd like to pitch a little idea here that we don't talk about much.
We talk about hard work.
We stay motivated.
We study.
Think of this...
Seekerville...professional classes...
All the things we all do to be's like college.
We are studying and it takes a while usually, but so does a bachelor's degree.
So does a master's degree.
So does a Ph.D. 
You are studying, working, PREPARING FOR YOUR CHANCE.


Chance favors ONLY the prepared author.

Seekerville and SPEEBO are part of your advanced degree, your college level study.

Now, I'd like to show you some screenshots I took of my computer files.
I use the word Screenshots because I've heard the term, but honestly, I have no idea how to do that, so I used a camera and snapped a picture of my computer screen.

Note the file that says More Books...fifth on the right

 I don't know how well you can see it but those are files of my books. If you look close you can see 'a Trouble in Texas'. I label it 'a Trouble...' to keep it at the top of the file list. 
Anthology Thomas Nelson, that's a book called 'A Bride for All Seasons'. A novella collection that is coming in June with co-authors Robin Lee Hatcher, Margaret Brownley and Debra Clopton.
But the third one in the list is Countdown, that's a book that's yet to sell. A contemporary romantic action/adventure novel, below that is Devil's Nest. A gothic romance that is just about the most fun I've ever 
had writing a book. These books have their own folder because I've worked on them, done revisions, I still am working on those books. Now look on the right side, can you see the 
folder that says MORE BOOKS?
When I click that, the window below opens.

Here's what's inside
Some of these are in here mainly because they're long published and I rarely open them but want to save them. Petticoat Series, Montana Marriages, Of Mice...and Murder.
Not all of them are published though.
A Soft's got it's own folder which means revisions, attention has been paid. Probably there are proposal and blurb files in there...and a couple more finished books that could be made into a series. Two more down, Safe Series. That's a series of sweet romances starring fraternity brothers, one of them was plucked out and became Clueless Cowboy but the other two books remain and there is
(No editor has agreed with me unfortunately.)
Scent of Heaven, a contemporary HP length romance set in the summer in the Ozarks, became The Christmas Candle, an ebook novella from last Christmas. I cut a 50k book to 20k, changed it to historical and set it at Christmastime....with two weeks notice.
This is no more than a person would do with a term paper, right?
Or a doctoral thesis? 
See How They Run, a borderline sci-fi spy action romance. It's not really sci-fi but they're dealing with a drug that doesn't exist. A super steroid. Two spies with no connection to each other, find out they've been made guinea pigs....when someone decides it's time to HARVEST THEM.
Down below the folders are files, some of these have been worked on and copied into other folders. Hostage is a book I love and I've teamed it with Countdown and See How They Run and A Soft Answer, see, that's now a four book series.
An editor can have them together or as stand alone books.
Anyway, my point to all this is...
Chance favors ONLY the prepared author.
The harder I work the luckier I get.
Success is one part inspiration and ninety-nine parts perspiration.
Writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration...
which is why authors always smell so bad
So, time to report. How'd SPEEDBO go for you? Are you now a much more PREPARED author.
I hope so. I hope you're in this to work hard, to earn your degree, to graduate into publication!
To be PREPARED when your chance comes...because
Chance favors ONLY the prepared author.
Tell me how it went or leave any comment to get your name in a drawing for a $25 gift card.
And I'm involved in a giveaway called Novel Lovers. 
Find details on my facebook page.
You must find the entry form and like all the authors, even if you already 'like' them, just click on the buttons to confirm it.
Facebook Novel Lovers Giveaway


CatMom said...

GREAT post, Mary! I love how you encourage unpubbed writers to keep writing and have those stories ready. ~ As for SPEEDBO....I made my goal!! YAY for Seekerville and SpeedBo!! (sorry about all the exclamation marks--I'm excited and have had lots of Easter candy, LOL). ~ To help celebrate the end of SpeedBo, I baked some goodies to share: Pound cake with Peach glaze; Pecan Praline coffee cake; and Georgia Peach Pancakes. Enjoy! Hugs, Patti Jo :)

CatMom said...

p.s. Just realized I'm the first commenter in April....that doesn't make me an "April Fool" does it?! ;) PJ

Carol Moncado said...


Thanks for the shout out, Mary! It's totally going in my sunshine file ;).

I'm trying to be prepared. I have ten manuscript completed. Some are being polished. Some will never see the light of day.

My files are organized differently, but I have oodles of them. Lots of other ideas.

And I'm entering contests [the Laurie announcements should be made this week... not that I'm holding my breath or anything...] with judges appropriate for the MS [and this week I shall, sadly, lose my tiara :(].

But, I guess it boils down to "we'll see" when the time comes, I suppose.

Happy April, everyone :)!

It's supposed to snow today [one model has us getting 4"] and that's not an April Fool's joke...

Neither is making my kids clean today ;).

Jenny Blake said...

I was cheering from the sidelines. (not clapping still not quite up to that but cheering).

CatMom Here april fools day is half over but I am sure you are no fool.

one month til I hit America.

Carol Moncado said...

[And if you ever want to know how to do "real" screencaps, holler. But your way worked just fine :).]

Melissa Jagears said...

I didn't make my speedbo goal...something to do with a tiny human being sucking the life out of me from within that I hadn't counted on being there!

I don't even have an idea what I did word-count wise. I'll just have to keep truckin'.

Melanie Pike said...

I just finished an hour of writing (finishing up March, but...oops, went 25 minutes into April...) and came back to FB to find that a new post had come up for Seekerville. Came on and read this, Mary--thank you!

My original Speedbo goal was to write 5 out of 7 days. I ended up writing 23 days, with 8 days skipped, which I believe works out to the goal (it's easier to look at the calendar to figure it out). I didn't want to give myself a word count goal since this was my first time writing in who-knows-how-long (and that was also my reason for reworking an old ms). Now to keep it up! Hoping that maybe getting on Seekerville more will help to keep me motivated (not to mention an occasional elbow poke from Ruthy on one of my FB statuses, ahem).

I have our traditional Easter apple cake to share, if anyone would like some. :) Sorry, but the lemon meringue pie is gone, and the other piece of coconut cream pie belongs to d-i-law (her grandma joined us for dinner this afternoon and brought 3 pies--she's quite the baker!). There's some ice cream in the freezer though...

I want to be prepared and ready. I have a ton of ideas, plus 2 other old novels I want to rewrite for LI (one was one I'd submitted to Harlequin Intrigue waaay back in '88 and received a 4-page letter from an asst. editor on). But once I finish the first draft of the WIP now, I will revise, edit, trash the daylights out of it and hopefully have something worth submitting. It's been a dream of mine since 1971, when I was in 7th grade, so it's time to stop wishing and start doing. I need to exercise my self-discipline gene (which is very weak).

Thank you again for your wonderful post, Mary!


Helen Gray said...

I made my goal.

I now have 14 manuscripts on my hard drive. Two of them were started and completed since Dallas conference.

Now I'm going to do a couple of editing/revising projects, the kind of which you have spoken.

Thanks for keeping us on our toes, Mary.

The coffee pot is up and running.


Christina Rich said...

I graduated high school way back when, started having children and forgot about college. In 2006 I decided to go back. In 2006 I started writing seriously. I learned a lot more from writing organizations and other writers about writing than any college course.

As for Speedbo, I did not achieve my goals and they were totally doable. And I don't really have an excuse. I hit a wall and didn't know how to get over it.

Congratulations to everyone who did make it!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I needed a spew alert for this.."Writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration...
which is why authors always smell so bad."

Lyndee H said...

Whew...Just finished SpeedBo at midnight central time.

Word count - 63,765.

I am short of my 70,000 intention and short of The End, but should be able to finish it this week or next. Feeling good as my goal was 50,000.

AND I LOST WEIGHT instead of gaining it! Whoohoo. Frankly, that might be the biggest victory that God gave me this month! It used to be that I gained 30 pounds with every manuscript. Seriously. I mean that! It was a joke at my house. But I planned and God provided me the courage to keep the goodies at bay when the words were giving me fits.

Mary, thanks for the great post. I will write again when I have a chance to really read it closely. Gotta go to bed. Been a long but fantastic Easter.

Congrats to ALL who dared to take the Speedbo challenge.

And THANK YOU SEEKERVILLE! You gals are the greatest!

Tina Radcliffe said...

First, Lyndee. No worries. I have your thirty pounds. Anytime you want it back you know where it is.

Congratulations. OMG. You rocked that manuscript. Congratulations.

Jenny Blake said...

Lyndee congrats on the weight loss.
I finally lost a little too (I think the med that made me so sick also stopped me losing) I was going through clothes to get rid of and decided to try on a few things, when from fitting not so bad to being to big! Same happened yesterday needing a sweater for church and didn't want dull and the one I use to wear to church is to big now! Most of my sweaters are on the large side now. I guess I will be buy new clothes in America. I still have a ways to go but when tops are getting big I know I am on the right track. (My comfort shirt is now so big! it was always roomy but now its really roomy).

My goal for the week it finish a book. been on this one 10 days now but loving it just been so tired. but the past 3 days I haven't had a nana nap in the day which is a real improvement. still tiring but not exhausted like I was just tired now.

Amber S. said...

Ah, Mary, you are amazing!! Can't believe how much you've written - you are definitely one prepared author! And it's certainly paid off. :) Keep on keeping on!!

I made my Speedbo goal of finishing my WIP, even though my "technical" goal was to add 30K to 40K words to the 30K-ish I already had, and I only added about 20K... But it's a first draft, and I can move forward from there! :)

That makes 2 first drafts I've completed, and I'm hoping to get everything together to self-publish this latest one. I'm thinking with the shorter length and the direction the plot takes (etc.), that it might be nice to do my own thing with it and not try to fit it into a traditional publisher's mold. Plus, I'm just eager to get it out there and embrace the self-publishing route. :) I've loved learning about running my own business, and I kind of see self-publishing as an extension of that independence, where I can oversee cover design and prices and what-have-you. :) Hoping this all works out, Lord willing! But either way, I've had some more writing experience and got another story under my belt, right? ;)

I would LOVE a chance to win that gift card - I LOVE shopping for books! :) Thanks, Mary!

And yay for a new month! I always love new beginnings. :)


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Jenny, I'm so glad to hear you're feeling better!!!

My Speedbo goal was to finish the WIP... Well I did that mid-way and it got bumped up into the Christmas schedule, so that was AWESOME. And that comes right back to being prepared.

Do you think Connealy was a Girl Scout????


When I'm prepared I feel in control and I don't kill people.


Patti Jo, pecan praline???? LOVE!!!!

Helen, thanks for coffee.... and look where you ARE NOW compared to where you were!!! So proud of you.

Christina, I hear you. The creative writer tends to do better on their own resolve of write/rewrite/revise and write some more than under a professor's tutelage... because the professor ain't signin' no checks.


I do, however, appreciate my doctors being well educated!!!!

Time to work now, I'm doing new proposal for book.... And lovin' it.

Jenny Blake said...

Thanks Ruthy am feeling better than I did. I ring the dr in the morning to let her know I stopped the tablets. The wrist has been sore the past few days so Im hoping it will be injection next (now those are words I never thought I would say) but am so over it and miss using my left wrist. (my right wrist misses it too as its getting over worked.)

Bridgett Henson said...

I try to keep my personal life and my writing life separate. But on the 25th my world stopped turning. I haven't written a word since we lost my stepson. Thanks for all the prayers and comments.

Melissa, your good news brings a little joy to my heart.

Mary, your post encourages me to get back to writing. I need 15K to finish book 3 in the series.

I plan to dedicate the books to Charles's memory. I can't do that unless I write them.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Mary, thanks for your post. I realized reading it that Speedbo was as much about what we start next as what we finished.

Thanks to everyone who helped me reach my goal. I finished my historical I have been working on for a year. I couldn't believe how good it felt to reach THE END. Now I get to write a synopsis for it to give to Missy to critique!

But I also have two more books in my head to follow the first.

And I have a contemporary I started a while back....

I have already planned to continue writing in the mornings on new projects and save the afternoons for revisions. I have more goals!

To all those who did not meet their goal because life intruded, it is not the end of the world. My goal didn't get met last year but it did this year in spite of screened porch construction, Man O getting food poisoning, and days when the chocolate ran out.

Bridgett, prayers for your family.

Peace, Julie

Rose said...

Good Morning, Mary!

I organize very similiar.

I met my Speedbo goal and then some. My WIP is just shy of 46K. It's in bad need of revisions but I'm letting it 'stew' for two weeks while I finish a rough draft of a proposal package.

Now, pass the 'Right Guard' so I can get back to work!

Debra E. Marvin said...

I finished my Speedbo. Goal 20k, finished with 21341 and finished early (okay, yes it was only 21k...) but I appreciate the shove to get it done.

Being a plotter, I would never have gotten anywhere staring at a blank screen, so I had a fair chapter by chapter synopsis figured out. ( I know... pantsters are cringing - but believe me the story deviates as my characters always manage to surprise me and improve the original idea)

Thanks Mary and Speedbo Partners!

Debra E. Marvin said...

Bridgett, in all your family's grief, I hope you know your "other family" is thinking of you and praying for you. I was so sorry to hear of your loss.

Mary Curry said...

Good morning, Seekerville.

The first day of a new month. I'm making April my personal Speeddbo. That was because the real Speedbo was pretty much a bust for me.

I knew going in that March was the wrong month - a new computerized report card system, report cards due, parent-teacher conferences, Science Fair, state test prep (which involves me reading a lot of other people's work) - all that = the paid job and all that = an exhausted, stressed person.

So, I knew going in that it was a disaster, but I decided to participate anyway on the theory that anything I accomplished was an improvement over nothing. That was true because the first week was GOOD!
However, after that was when everything kicked in.

However, looking upwards - April begins with me having an entire week off and the house to myself (well shared with cat and dog), the weather is definitely improving, chocolate is no longer banned due to Lent (although I am weaning myself off sweets).

So full steam ahead on the Curry car of the Conneally express. Destination: Prepared Authorville.

Thanks, Mary for starting my week with such inspiration.

And HUGE shoutouts to all the people who did make (or surpass) their Speedbo goals. I'm looking at YOU, Ms. Julie H.S. So proud of you!!!!!

Mary Curry said...

Bridgett, I'm so sorry for your loss. I will keep all of you and Charles in my prayers.

What a loving tribute to dedicate your books to him.

Mary Curry said...

SO from what I can see so far, SPEEDBO congrats to:

CatMom (who is nobody's April Fool),

Carol Moncado (aka Speed Queen)

Melanie (Congrats for going right up to the last minute!)

Melissa Jagears (for the exciting news and the little one)

Helen (for her Conneally like 14 manuscripts!)

Christina (for admitting about that wall! Want to join me for April?)

Jenny (for her awesome cheerleading!)

Lyndee (because just this!!! Word count - 63,765 WOW! and congrats on the negative weight gain).

Amber (for finishing YEAH!!!)

Ruthy (for being the prepared author which means another Christmas with a Ruthy book for us!! Woo Hoo)

Rose (for finishing the WIP!!)

Debra (for meeting and surpassing a goal. Go you!)

And a huge THANK YOU to all the Seekers for running Speedbo and for all you do each day to support each other and all of us. (((((((SEEKERS))))))

Onward to April!

Connie Queen said...

Bridgett, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Thinking of you.

I didn't meet my SpeedBo goal, but I did make progress. I planned to add 30K to my already 38K wip. Being at the midway point, I didn't really know where to go, so I jumped to the end and wrote 17,743 words--just over half of my goal. Wait, that sounds negative. Almost 2/3 of my goal.

This month I should be hearing back on a LIH proposal, and it still needed some revising so I'll work in it. (First book in a series.) My SpeedBo project was 2nd book in the series and will continue writing/revising it until I fill in all the holes.

So in the next few weeks, I will have two long-time-in-the-works-projects completed and revised.

Mary I like the way your books earn a folder by revised and complete.

kaybee said...

I missed my goal by two chapters, but I'm pleased with what God allowed me to accomplish. I learned a lot about craft this month. I would like to be as prepared as Mary and plan to rework some of my earlier stories as soon as I'm finished with my current project. I'm doing a final line edit on my Oregon Trail novel and also doing a quick edit on its sequel, before I put it away to gel. My goal for April is to edit one chapter of each book every day. God has been good to me, I can see Him working in my life in so many ways. Easter was really special this year.
I need to clean my house and put food in the freezer before I have my operation and my friends come over to cook and clean. Does anyone see the irony in this?
Mary, I would love to be entered in the drawing.
Your prepared friend,
Kathy Bailey

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI MARY, Great post and soooooo true. I know editors look to see what you keep on submitting. They want to know you are serious about your work as an author.

CONGRATS to all those who hung in there with Speedbo. Even if you didn't quite make the goal, you hung in there. That is huge. And those who did make their goal, you are on your way to being prepared as Miss MARY want us to be. smile

BRIDGETT so sorry for your loss.

Congrats JENNY and LYNDEE for the weight loss. Always a healthy plus.

Mary Connealy said...

Patti Jo, GOOD FOR YOU!!!! And it's not you with the exclamation marks. I think Seekerville turns them on and uses them indiscrimantly!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(like just there!)

Mary Connealy said...


Mary Connealy said...

Also, I woke up to snow this morning...and it's suppose to get down to twenty tonight. Grrrrr...

Mary Connealy said...

Jenny, thanks so much for hanging around with us and joining in the fun. Your clapping helps us all!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Melissa, WHAT? Excuse me? What? Is this news? Am I supposed to know this?

I have air pockets in my brain. Please expand on that comment!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Melanie...and everyone who says they have an old manuscript that will (quoting Carol) Never See the Light of Day....I think we need to be really careful to give up on a manuscript.
If the writing would be much better NOW because you've improved, then maybe you need to throw out the whole book, but what about the STORY. Do you still like the story you were trying to tell.
Maybe you just need to bring your shiny, advanced author skills to it and tell it better.

Mary Connealy said...

Wow, Helen, that is so fantastic and impressive. YOU GO GIRL.

Mary Connealy said...

Christina, not making your goal doesn't mean you aren't still making forward progress and tangling with ideas and learning and PREPARING.
I had about a 25 year gap in my life called MOTHERHOOD where I did no writing.

Mary Connealy said...

Lyndee H, 63,000 words is fantastic.
Wow, that is a really productive month.

Mary Connealy said...

Amber way to embrace a brave new world.
A might want to at least pitch this to editors before you self-publish. You never know what will happen. A least give it a chance.

Mary Connealy said...

Ruthy, I lived too far out in the country to be a Girl Scout. Out here we had real scouts, like I'd get sent out on horseback looking for restless natives and water holes and mountain passes that weren't filled with snow.

Mary 'Donner Party' Connealy

Mary Connealy said...

Bridgett, life and children and family have to come first. You know you're doing it right when you stop with the book while you care for your loved ones.

God bless you. I'm so sorry for your loss!

CatMom said...

P.P.S. Bridgett, I am so very sorry for your loss, and I am praying for you and your family.

Jenny, praying for complete healing for you, and THANKS for being a cheerleader supreme!

Mary Curry, you are so sweet to recognize us in your post--Seekerville is such an amazing place to hang out!

Now back to writing (and the occasional litter-box cleanings *sigh*). But first, I need some Pecan Praline coffee cake with a BIG cup of Helen's coffee.
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Mary Connealy said...

JULIE, honestly, that you've found a time daily to set aside for writing may end up being the BEST thank that comes out of SPEEDBO. Good for you.

Mary Connealy said...

ROSE, LOL It sounds like you're working hard and staying organized as always. I am so impressed.

Mary Connealy said...

Debra, good for you! 20k on a 20k novella was my goal too. I mostly made it, it'll need another day or two, but it's by no means DONE!

Mary Connealy said...

Mary Curry, I think picking your own month to set goals and really hit the writing hard is brilliant. Maybe we all need to do that.
Have a SPEEDBO month once in a while all on our own when life is giving us some BREATHING ROOM

Mary Connealy said...

Connie you sound like you've got a PLAN. GOOD FOR YOU.

Jackie said...

Great post, Mary.

I wrote 25,004 words on my new story. I discovered I needed some new secondary characters and created them. I changed the plot...I wasn't as prepared as I thought.

But, with all the travel and family drama, I wouldn't be as far along as I am if it weren't for Speedbo.

My original goal was 25,000 words. So I made my goal.

Thanks, Mary, for all the encouragement.
Seekerville is a good part of my life. I'm so blessed to come here every day.

Jackie L.

Cara Lynn James said...

I got your point, Mary, loud and clear! Now I think I'll go and prepare.

Today's my grandson's 2nd birthday. Someday he might think this is a 'foolish' day to be born, but right now he doesn't care. His parents think it's great.

Jackie said...


I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your step-son.

I can only imagine how devastating and numbing that was.

I pray for healing for you and your family. I know he'll always be in your heart.

Carol Moncado said...

Bridgett -

I am so sorry, sweetie :(. I missed that news somehow... Definitely the right thing to stop and be with family.

Congratulations to everyone else who rocked it - even if you didn't meet your goal - you had more than you had this time last month.

Mary - the problem with reworking that one is that it's RS. And if someone published it, they MIGHT WANT ME TO WRITE ANOTHER ONE!

And yeah. Notsomuch.

But I did really like the characters. Especially that little boy. I might reuse them ;).

Snow is supposed to come tonight.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Bridgett, we all try to keep things separate but sometimes life doesn't allow that easily...

Please know that you're covered in prayers and thoughts of good folks who ache for your pain... God bless you and your family.

ellenparkerwrites said...

Accomplished my Speedbo goal!

A very ugly, short (36K) first draft is now sitting, waiting for me to begin fixing plot holes and the editing/expansion process later this month.

Have two that I considered polished completed. No takers on the editor or agent front. But nice feedback from contests.


Jan Drexler said...

Be prepared.

I think Boy Scouts apply here more than Girl Scouts.

I've always been a virtual Boy Scout.

But am I prepared? Getting there.

Made progress in Speed-bo, and have one more week to build on it before taking a week off to visit aged parents in the east, including a family meeting to plan my mom's funeral. (My dad's idea - he knows when the time comes it will take us two frazzled days to get there, so why not do the planning first?)

BUT, I have one book on an editor's desk, another - hopefully destined for another publisher - adding words, and one percolating on the back burner.

We could say writers are addicted to chocolate, but I think we're addicted to the thrill of the next story...that one that's just a gleam in our eye...and the one that doesn't require any sweat and tears yet....

So sorry for your loss, Bridgett. I can't even imagine the heartbreak.

Mary Connealy said...

KAYBEE, I loved what I saw of your Oregon Trail idea. You set it so perfectly in such a fascinating place.


Mary Connealy said...

Wow, Jan, tough time. But then life is usually tough in some way. I always say PRAY FOR A BORING LIFE. Anyone who is bored is usually lacking in drama and drama is almost always BAD!!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...


I will take an ugly first draft over a blank page ANY DAY!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, Jackie L. You done good and with a day job too. Pat yourself on the back!

Mary Connealy said...

CAROL, so you're afraid you'll get it published and be forever branded as a romantic suspense author?
Scary! Unless of course it turns out you're GREAT at it, which is why it would sell, Hmmmmmm

Mary Connealy said...

Ellen Parker, good for you. My books always grow on revisions and I have to force myself to wrap them up early.

Myra Johnson said...

Wow, Mary, I had no idea you knew so much about Louis Pasteur! I don't think he's ever come up in one of our conversations before. ;-D

Being prepared--so important. I have a ton of unpublished manuscript files on my computer, dating back as far as 1984. Some I've reworked and still may have hope for, others will languish forever in their current state. But each and every one has been a learning experience, if for no other reason than teaching me to deal gracefully with rejections.

Okay, I STILL haven't learned that lesson!

Anyway . . . Speedbo. My final tally is . . .

28,949 words!!!


Mary Curry said...

Mary, the reason I'd never do Survivor is because I couldn't go that long without washing my hair. Seriously!!!
I get really cranky when my hair feels unclean. I remember watching one of the early Survivor seasons and they all had such stingy, dirty hair. *shudder* I think someone won a prize of shampoo. That's when I realized I was not meant for Survivor (among other reasons ;) )

Mary Connealy said...

Mary Curry, LOL. I think the utter abandonment of all interest in personal appearance is JOB ONE for a Survivor contestant.

Pepper said...

Thanks for this, Mary. WOW!! Great encouragement and challenge.
WTG, Carol!! No surprise.

I'm super excited about my results from Speedbo. Finished final revisions on my Contemp Romance for my agent and then started rewriting my historical romance for my agent.
ALMOST 43K in 3 weeks!!! So, I'm less than 10K from the end of novel #5!!

Prepared? I haven't made it to the other novels in these two series, however I do have 5 books outlined for the contemp romance, and 2 for the historical, with a few chapters written for each.

(plus a few other 'future' books in a file just waiting for the day when I can write them)
I LOVE creating stories, I just need to work on filling up my files on my computer with finished ms.

WTG, Lyndee!!! Awesome, wordcount!!

Helen! 14 completed manuscripts!! WOW! That's fantastic!!

Pepper said...

Besides my usual 'family' stuff during the month of March, can I brag just a minute on two things BESIDES writing?

I created a Sabertooth Tiger project for a 1rst graders first oral presentation at school. Coolest Sabertooth made from a shoebox I've ever seen ;-)

My 11 year old daughter won the Speech Meet at school by reading one of my CHILDREN's POEMS in front of the whole school!!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

ROOTS. The only thing standing between me and Survivor.

I could go without personal hygiene forever. I give you my stint in the US Army. But not touching up my natural brown hair. Well that will never happen on national television.

Mary Connealy said...


I knew it was coming but I didn't realize it was today.

Petticoat Ranch, my first released novel and long unavailable new, you could find it used, in a 3 in 1 collection and as an ebook so it hadn't really exactly VANISHED.

Well, it's being re-released today.
Now to try and create a Live Link.

(Tina, hey, I probably should have told you this for the weekend edition, huh???)

slinking away

Carol Moncado said...

LOL! I HATED writing it and while I think I might write well enough/know enough now to fix the words and maybe even the plot a bit, I wouldn't want to do that again.

Not ever.

If it was that or nothing, I'd find a way. But I really don't want to.

/remembers she needs to add X Plagues to her TBR stack for a sunny day/

Pepper said...

LOVED Petticoat Ranch, Mary!!! One of my FAVORITE Connealy Classics!

Amy C said...

Great post, Mary! Entertaining as always! :)

Myra Johnson said...

PEPPER--you made a saber-tooth tiger out of a shoebox??? Amazing!

And how sweet about your daughter reading your poem and WINNING!!! YAY!

Mary Connealy said...

PEPPER wtg on the writing and the little speech champ AND the sabertooth tiger. It sounds like you're a woman who's doing it all. :) Most of us are whether we want to or not!!!

Pepper said...

Thanks Myra and Mary,
I'm not sure I've been the best speech-language pathologist this month. I usually come in with blurry eyes from a late night writing.

The kids at work didn't' seem to mind. ;-)

Marianne Barkman said...

I had a WONDERFUL time last month with Speedbo ..though I didn't participate with any goals. Seekervilles ROCK!!!!!!!!!I had so much fun!!!!!!! And meeting Jan and Sandra was definitely a highlight. And Tina in Glendale? You are my neighbour. I would be awesome to meet for coffee, to!!!!!!!!

And thankfully, Seekerville is here after Speedbo is done, so I'll still be here. Praying for you and your family, Bridget


lizzie starr said...

Only 1% inspiration? So that's why. LOL Love the post. I have filed named A something, too. Otherwise it's such a pain to go searching. Ha!

I wasn't kind to Speedbo or my writing in March, although I did get a number of other writing related things done.

I haven't yet given up on a story--but there is a bunch of 'em I don't know exactly what to do with yet. Their times will come.

Thanks for the morning chuckle and reality check!

Gina Welborn said...

I didn't make my word count goal, but I did write. And clean house. And find at least half my receipts for taxes.

And I made sure that all the chapter affiliation paperwork for Faith Hope & Love was submitted to RWA. Yay!

Mary Vee said...

Hey, Mary
I clocked in my highest monthly count thanks to Speedbo. I wrote 52,394 words in the month of March. Finished the first draft of my book. Thank you all so much for the needed :)

Jeanne T said...

Mary--I love this! I always come away from your posts thinking, "I CAN DOOOO THIS!" Thanks for the inspiration and the challenge to be prepared and to write more books. :)

CONGRATULATIONS to all Speedbo-ers who met/beat their goal! Way to go! Maybe I'll be organized enough to be among your ranks next year. :)

Kav said...

Great Speedbo wrap-up, Mary! Encouraging to me because I didn't meet my goal. :-( Trying to look at what I did accomplish though -- close to 40,000 words (my goal was 70,00). Don't have an exact number because there are 6 pages of snippet future scenes at the end of my word document so I know they take up a few hundred or so words,

The biggest thing I learned from Speedbo this time round is that it is possible for me to plot a bit if I'm put under pressure.

Now I'm putting myself on a deadline to write a synopsis (ugh) because I won one here (yay). Then I'll make up those 30,000 words I'm shy of.

Mary Connealy said...

40,000 words is great production, KAV. Good for you. And having snippets as reminders of what you need to accomplish in futures scenes is a great idea.

Christina Rich said...

Lyndee, YAY on the weight loss. I gained 5 pounds just from yesterday and I didn't eat dinner! Go figure. My mother's gluten free party potatoes, somehow I just can't say no.

Marry, I'm with you! This first week is going to be crazy between prepping for writer's conference, a funeral and the conference and I have three entries that need to be turned in before the 8th (hope to knock those out today). I'm going to up the ante for April, I would love to have the first draft finished of bk 3 this month.

Mary Connealy said...

Marianne, I'm glad you had fun and I hope even if any of you weren't speedbo participants, you still were energized and inspired by our speedy writing month.

Mary Connealy said...

*lizzie, thanks for stopping in. *lizzie is the president of our local RWA chapter and she works so hard for us. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

GINA there is no better excuse for not getting something done than THE IRS!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

52k in a month is absolutely fantastic, Mary Vee! It really is a LOT of writing. You are now a more prepared author!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

JEANNE, Of COURSE you can do this. And thanks for coming along on the wild ride with us, even if you didn't sign up for SPEEDBO!!!

Mary Connealy said...

CHRISTINA those are such great concrete goals. Very good.
What writer's conference?

Donna said...

Thank you, Mary for this encouraging post. Just knowing it's humanly possible to accomplish this much makes me feel better!

I started reading this early this morning. And where you wrote Louis Pasteur, my mind was thinking Louis Lamour. Why?? I guess because he writes westerns and it was early...

Congrats to everyone who made their Speedbo goal!

Donna said...

Bridgett, I am so sorry for your loss and will be praying for you and your family.

Mary Connealy said...

Well, honestly Donna, I did write for TEN YEARS before i got my first book published.
The fact that I got a lot done is possibly almost more of a sign of how long it took, that a WHOOPEE Accomplishment!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ellen, I agree with Tina.... Getting that draft DONE...


Polishing can happen anytime but countless writers sit with multiple 10K projects...

It's always fun to start a new project...

But you can't produce a book with no middle.

Gotta get us some middles!

Good for you!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, Mary! I didn't meet my 40,000 word goal for SpeedBo. I have a couple of excuses why I only wrote 15,000 words, but they're not important. I'll just be happy I got 15,000 words. :-) I did stop a week early to work on edits for the book that's due May 1st, because I hate to wait till the last minute to get things done!!! I like to be prepared for the unexpected!!!

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said here. I only wish I wrote books as fast you, Mary. And I must say, I can hardly believe you have any books that haven't sold yet!!! I'm sure you will sell them!

Virginia Carmichael Munoz said...

Bridgett, I'm so sorry to hear that.

Prayers for your peace and comfort!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Gina, the clean house part. We can do an intervention for that. So no worries.

We come to your house and take away all your cleaning supplies. Then we duct tape you to a chair.

Very simple.

Debby Giusti said...

Love Pasteur! And Mary Connealy!

Great blog, but do authors really smell? Hmmm?

Also, how did you get RED text?

You are so ahead of the game. Always. Which is where we all should be.

Thanks for showing us how to be a successful author, Mary! Fantastic inspiration in Seekerville today.

Georgia is in full Spring mode, with everything blooming and lots of pollen in the air. But it looks gorgeous outside and is the perfect day to celebrate Easter Monday and the end of Speedbo!

Everyone who took part is that much farther along. Lots of well-deserved back patting today. Congrats to all!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Debby, seriously there's a line of formatting tools along the top of the compose window. One of them is color just like one if them is bold, italics, font, etc. I think it's a big capital 'A'.

This is a beautiful moment, I know something someone else doesn't!!! I'm usually LAST!

Debby Giusti said...

I'm so sorry about your stepson. Such a hard time for all of you. Sending love and hugs and lots of sympathy, along with prayers for healing and peace.

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks, Mary, for sharing the secret of color. My next blog will be written in RED!

But only if I can follow your excellent directions.

kaybee said...

Mary, thanks for the encouragement. Again. I am almost ready to Do Something with it.

Debby Giusti said...

I had a Eureka moment (and not the vacuum cleaner type Eureka!) today concerning my WIP.

Don't you love those times when you GET IT about your story, plot, characters, GMC, whatever?

Perhaps inspiration came as a result of all the chocolate I ate yesterday. Ya think?

Jeanne T said...

MARY--Actually, I did sign up for Speedbo. But I learned I'm definitely a plotter, and I hadn't had enough time to plot out my story well enough to just write. So, I'm going to do what someone suggested (Mary Curry?) and do my plotting and then write like the wind.

BRIGETT--I'm continuing to pray for your family as you work through the loss of Charles. I am truly sorry for you.

PEPPER--Can I just call you Super Woman? You're amazing in all that you manage to do creatively. Sigh. Turning away the green monster now. ;)

Sherida Stewart said...

Congratulations to everyone on their Speedbo progress--big or little!

Thanks to all here in Seekerville, in fb's #1K1HR and in FHL's BIAW, I'm a better prepared author. I met my goal of 21K words!!! I learned I can do 1K/weekday fairly easily, I'm mainly in the plotter camp and I love to write. Now I need to learn to love rewriting...because I have a mess, but an interesting mess. Thank you, Mary, for keeping me focused on "Being prepared!"

My reward? Reading! I'm loving Tina's doctors (Thx, Tina!), heading to the store to get Missy's Georgia Sweethearts and going to read my first Mary Connealy book, Doctor in Petticoats, found at our library. Plenty of rewarding it's research. :)

Bridgett, we'll keep you and your family in our prayers--and all those who are facing difficulties this month.

Mary Connealy said...

Sherida, I hope you enjoy Doctor in Petticoats. If you like my work I can keep you enterained for a long, long time.
Swept Away is my 26th book.

Bridgett Henson said...

Thank you so much for your prayers. They are greatly desired and appreciated. Only God can help us pick up the pieces and survive such loss.

Despite life's tragedies and interruptions we writers did pretty good for speedbo.

Tina, I'm wondering if we have a total word count? I've got 45757

Tina Radcliffe said...

Sherida! Thanks for the kind words.

And congratulations on Speedbo.

Pepper said...

I'm really not very amazing. Haggard. Crazy. MUCH TOO laid back sometimes. But not super-woman.

Although, I'd really love to fly, when I'm awake.
I'd say there are a WHOLE lot of writer here who go at high-speeds, as Mary said. With a lot going on.

And I've realized, I work a lot better when I have a lot going on at once.

Christina Rich said...

Mary, it's a smaller conference in Pittsburg, Ks called, Called to Write. I'm attending with Tammy Trail and Susan Hollaway (they stop by Seekerville from time to time). And on the way there Tammy and I are going to stop by Fort Scott so I can do a bit of research for an upcoming story. :)

Christina Rich said...

Melissa!!!!!!!!!!! Somehow I missed that comment. Congratulations!!!!

Playground Monitor said...

How funny you'd mention Survivor. I did a blog post about that today.

I did good in SpeedBo. I finished the novella and then I took the weekend off. Today I began revisions. And when I get sick of the novella, I switch over to a short piece I'm re-writing from first person to third. I have plenty to do.

But tonight is a new episode of Bones AND Castle. So I'm going to watch those and relax my brain.

Ooooooooh! Pound cake with peach glaze! I claim the last piece!


Piper Huguley said...

Congrats to all for your SPEEDBO success! I, like Myra, am extending it into April--which has turned into boot camp for me so that I keep moving!

Please know that I am praying for your family Bridgett.


Julie Lessman said...

MARY SAID: "Writing is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration... which is why authors always smell so bad ...

LOL ... and for the writers who spend 99% inspiration and only 1% perspiration, their work smells bad ...

GREAT POST, Mare, and NOBODY can teach it better than you, my friend.


Jessica Nelson said...

Can only say...YEP.

Katy Lee said...

Great post, aaaaannd I MADE my goal!

I set a goal for 20,000 words in March. I closed the month at 21,660!

Just 39,000 more and I can send this off to my editor. It's not do until June, so I think I am prepared. :)


Jackie Smith said...

Mary, please put me in the Stetson hat for the gift card! Thanks!

Bridgett, prayers going up for you and your family!

Tina, received your book today...THANKS!


PatriciaW said...

I wrote.

I'm celebrating!

I wouldn't have done nearly as much--and I have no idea what I have since I'm handwriting--without Speedbo. The biggest thing I got was a return of my motivation and a sense of deliberation, snatching opportunities and making writing a priority. I will work hard to hang on to that as I continue writing my story.

Mary Connealy said...

Katy Lee!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

You're in the drawing Jackie!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Patricia, yay on the motivation. I'm so glad that happened for you through SPEEDBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chill N said...

Twenty-six books, Mary?? How is a reader supposed to keep up with you?

As to being prepared, I am more prepared today than I was a month ago ... and have rediscovered the joy that writing first held for me. Yippy!

Twenty-six books ... mercy ...

Nancy C

Walt Mussell said...

I averaged about 4,000 words per week during SpeedBo. I finished a rough draft on one manuscript and started another. It was slow, but it was progress.

Missy Tippens said...

Mary, I'm late! But I promise I did stop by earlier. I just got pulled away in the middle of reading.

Great post! You're so right. I love seeing your files! Amazing. Plus, I don't feel like my filing system is so crazy after all. :)

Happy April Fools everyone! (for 30 more minutes).

Melissa Jagears said...

Yes, I'm pregnant, my reason for not going to be at ACFW this year, instead I'll be chillaxin' in the hospital eating pudding and overdone pancakes.

Gail Kittleson said...

SUNSHINE FILE - I like that, Carol!!

This came at just the right time for me, Mary, b/c I'm praying about what to plunge into next. (I don't do well between projects...) Anyway, I'm thinking, should I re-re-re revise a book I've completed, but not sure there's a market for it? Or HOW should I quadruple revise it THIS time....hum....can you discuss how you decide what changes to make so a place develops for a ms, or is it that you hear about a niche and then re-invent?
good to see your files!!!


Gail Kittleson

Cindy Regnier said...

But college is exhausting? When is graduation? OK, I don't really getting tired of learning new things and improving but sometimes it does seem like a never ending road. Thanks for the encouragement Mary

Michelle Fidler said...

I like your mouse mystery series featuring the giant mouse because I love cozies. The gothic one sounds like it would be good.