Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Speedbo 2016 Mid-Month Assessment

Myra Johnson
It’s March 15, and we’re halfway through Speedbo.

Okay, yes, great minds think alike and Ruthy already posted her version of a Speedbo pep talk last Thursday. Well, by the time I found out what she’d chosen for her topic, my post was three-fourths written.

So you’re stuck with another pep talk, plus more suggestions on meeting your Speedbo goals.

So . . . did Ruthy’s kick in the pants help? Are you staying on track with your goals for the month, or were you expecting to be further along by now? 

If you’re a Ruthy-type Energizer Bunny and are knocking out your writing goals faster than a speeding bullet—wait, that was a mixed metaphor, wasn’t it?—yay for you. Now stop gloating and get back to work.

For the rest of us, let’s take a timeout (just a quick one—March is flying by) to assess our progress and see if there are ways we could do better.

Did you set a word count or editing goal for the month? If you’re falling behind, take a look at what might have held you back.
  • Family or pet emergency?
  • Children’s schedules went crazy?
  • Down with a bug for a few days?
  • Unexpected houseguests?
  • Day job stressing you out?
  • Hanging around Seekerville too much? (wait, that’s okay—within reason!)
  • Helping hubby paint the living room/dining room because you promised in a weak moment? (wait—that’s MY excuse for last week!)
Things happen—that’s life. So we just have to roll with it and do the best we can. 

If you need a little help getting back in the groove, begin by taking a realistic look at how much you’ve accomplished since March 1. 
  • Tally your total word or page count (or whatever criteria you’re using to track your goals).
  • Now divide that figure by the approximate number of hours you actually spent working on those goals. That will tell you what you can expect to produce on average per hour of writing time. 
  • Does your average hourly work output look like something you could reasonably maintain over the next couple of weeks in the writing time you have available? 
The odds of more schedule interruptions are probably higher than any of us want to believe! But if we’re mentally prepared for the unexpected, it doesn’t have to completely derail us. Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog has been mentioned several times in Seekerville, and here’s what he says about dealing with interruptions:   


Next, take out your calendar and look at what’s coming up between now and the end of the month. Mark blocks of time when you are 99% sure you can carve out some quality writing time. An hour on Saturday morning, thirty minutes over lunch on Tuesday, a couple of hours in the evening after the kids are in bed? Get it on paper! These are appointments you make with yourself.

Prepare for those appointments by making sure all the writing tools you will need are kept right next to where you’ll be working. Computer, legal pad, pens and pencils, reference books, research notes—don’t waste precious time hunting for things when you should be writing! If you don’t have a designated work area that’s yours alone, keep your supplies in a plastic crate that’s easy to grab when it’s time to start writing. (You did plan out many of these organizational details before Speedbo began, didn’t you???) 


Okay, tomorrow is a new day, and you still have a little over two weeks to forge ahead toward your Speedbo goals. You know what you need to do to stay on track:
  • Assess your average hourly work output.
  • Analyze availability of writing time over next two weeks.
  • Adjust goals as necessary.
  • Keep all necessary supplies at hand.
  • Set writing appointments with yourself and KEEP THEM!
  • Don’t sweat the interruptions—that’s just life, NOT the end of the world.
 If you need even more tips, review Mary’s Speedbo kickoff post from March 1.

How would you rate your Speedbo progress to date? Share your personal strategies for reaching your goals. What works for you? What doesn’t? What changes do you need to make to finish strong?

Join the discussion for a chance to win one of two giveaways! Let me know in the comments whether you’d like to be entered for a copy of The Sweetest Rain or a 10-page critique of your novel-in-progress (must be submitted between April 1 and July 1, 2016).

~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~

The Sweetest Rain. As the drought of 1930 burns crops to a crisp, Bryony Linwood dreams of cooling winter snows and the life she would have had if Daddy hadn’t been killed in the Great War and Mama hadn’t moved Bryony and her sisters to their grandfather’s struggling tenant farm in tiny Eden, Arkansas. Now Mama’s gone, too, and as times grow tougher, Bryony will do whatever it takes to ensure her family’s survival.

Michael Heath barely survived the war, and twelve years later all he wants to do is forget. A virtual recluse, his one passion is botanical illustration. Lost in the diversity of nature’s beauty, he finds escape from a troubled past and from his wealthy father’s continual pressure to take an interest in the family plantation.

When Bryony accepts employment at the Heath mansion, it’s just a job at first, a means to ward off destitution until the drought ends and Grandpa’s farm is prosperous again. But Bryony’s forced optimism and dogged determination disguise a heart as dry and despairing as the scorched earth . . . until she discovers Michael Heath and his beautiful botanical illustrations. As their relationship deepens, friendship soon blossoms into healing for wounded souls and a love that can’t be denied.

Award-winning author Myra Johnson writes emotionally gripping stories about love, life, and faith. Myra is a two-time finalist for the prestigious ACFW Carol Awards, and her Heartsong Presents romance Autumn Rains (November 2009) won RWA’s 2005 Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript.  Myra and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters who, along with their godly husbands, have huge hearts for ministry. Seven grandchildren take up another big chunk of Myra’s heart. Originally from Texas, the Johnsons moved to the Carolinas in 2011. They love the climate and scenery, but they may never get used to the pulled pork Carolinians call “barbecue”! The Johnsons share their home with two very pampered doggies who don’t always understand the meaning of “Mom’s trying to write.”

145 comments :

  1. Be still my heart! Myra! Another Brian Tracy fanatic..er..fan!!!

    Favorite Brian Tracy quotes:

    Develop the habit of starting and finishing important jobs. Eventually it will become easier to complete important tasks than NOT to complete them.

    VISUALIZE YOURSELF AS THE PERSON YOU INTEND TO BE!! (SPEEDBO WRITER!)


    Your success is based on your ability to determine what's important.


    YOU WILL NEVER CAUGHT UP! (DEAL WITH IT -per Tina Radcliffe) All you can hope for is to be on top of your most important responsibilities.

    Identify what's holding you back.
    Determine how many minutes or hours you will require to get the job done.
    Organize your time calendar to create segments where you work exclusively on these tasks.

    GO GO SPEEDBO!!!!

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  2. Who noticed Myra's face in the little Speedbo circle on the badge? Very clever!

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  3. Hey Myra, I can totally use your list to work with my reading/reviewing schedule! I do have a ton right now, it seems all the books I must review come out at the same time. So I've had to prioritize my time & which book or books come first. So far, I've done a remarkable job of keeping up. I've written down which books by what author and came up with a tentative time line. I have had to change it a couple of times, but it seems to be working out just fine. It's not set in stone, so that helps. Sometimes I've had to carve out a few minutes or hours here and there to stay ahead & ignore some housework or some such thing too! And it helps that the bulk of books don't come out for another month or so, therefore freeing up my time for other books that come out sooner. Gosh when I think of it, I can get overwhelmed! But I'm plugging along one book at a time :-)

    Keep up the great work authors, if I can do it as a reader....you can do it as a writer!!

    I have a copy of "The Sweetest Rain" & since I'm not a writer, I won't need the critique. Blessings on the draw everyone entering :-)

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  4. I'd love to read THE SWEETEST RAIN thank you.

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  5. Great post Myra! Since I am not SpeedBoing I would love to win a copy of The Sweetest Rain.

    Everyone have a blessed week!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

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  6. Speedboing is my new favorite word!
    I'd love a crit, thank you.

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  7. Throw my name in the hat for either prize. Thanks for the pep talk...had spring break company last week and need to get back on track this week.

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  8. I have always loved the "Eat That Frog" mindset, it's part of what goads me daily.

    I don't get sad when life sends challenges. I consider them a dare from Tina to keep going, no matter what!

    And then I'm energized.

    It's amazing what little things will do to you, if you take them and (think Monsters Inc here and make the screams your source of POWER!!!!! A good ol' scream thrusts you forward and lights up the city. We are the Champions!!!) plug them into your "I'll show them"-ometer.

    I keep my "I'll-show-them-o-meter" close by at all times, because no one... but no one... charts our destiny but us and God.

    We might get S-L-O-W-E-D down.

    But the only one that hits the brakes is us.

    Myra, I love how you slipped in the "mine was 3/4's done" tag, LOL! Because we know mine wasn't, oh my stars! That's so funny.... and I think during Speedbo a pep talk/week is not only good, it's expected.

    So go get 'em. SIXTEEN DAYS LEFT. A lot can happen in sixteen days!

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  9. Hi Myra,

    The way my month is going, I can't get too many pep talks. I haven't accomplished as much as I intended, but it could be worse. Thank goodness there are 31 days in March. So let's continue to march toward our Speedbo goals.

    I'd love to have my name in the 10 page critique drawing. Thanks!

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  10. Hi Myra! I'm still trying to get Ruthy to divulge her secrets when it comes to her high energy.
    It's hard to believe it's already the middle of the month. As for my progress, I'm on track with my goals. I've been writing everything I need to accomplish the next day, in my calendar...even doing laundry. At the end of the day, it's satisfying to sit down and check everything off.
    As much as I'd love a critique, I don't think I can pass up that beautiful cover of The Sweetest Rain.

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  11. Your book looks fantastic. I love the cover. Please enter me in the contest for a copy of your beautiful book!

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  12. Hopefully when I get out of the hospital I can go back to writing
    . I have diverticulitis. I was noticing things I could put in stories like a squeaky door. I would love to be in the drawing for a critique.

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  13. Hi Myra,

    I feel a little behind. I didn't set a word count goal, but a project goal which is a completed rough draft of a synopsis and first three chapters. I'm still in the chapter/scene planning stage, but I am 3/4's of the way done. Then I'll write, write, write!

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  14. HALF WAY SPEEDBO participants! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! WRITE ON!!!!

    Have a terrific Tuesday!

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  15. Good morning, MYRA! Half the month has gone by already!? YIKES!

    But I'm looking forward to major productivity in the remaining 2 weeks -- that is, if edits and AAs don't arrive on my doorstep as they do EVERY year during Speedbo-- but I'm so happy to be a published writer and to have those obligations that I just always shift my personal Speedbo month to April. :)

    I've been a Brian Tracy fan for AGES, too!

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  16. Oh Myra I love the looks of your new novel. It sounds so touching and I know you do write touching stories. smile
    Great pep talk. As you know last week was a big deterrent to anything involved with writing. sigh. But I'm back to it now as we do have 16 more days. And last week was expected so I planned around it. yay

    Love the quotes. And those from you also Tina

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  17. Hope you'll be out of the hospital soon, Wilani! Praying for your recovery. Thank you for stopping by Seekerville from the confines of a hospital room -- now THAT is dedication!

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  18. Praying for you Wilani Hang in there. At least while you're stuck in the hospital, you can daydream up your next plot lines for your stories. I did a lot of that while sitting in hospitals with the folks. Great way to escape the yukkiness of a hospital.

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  19. Waving at Glynna We are on at the same time. Miss you. I'll be up your way in May. Hope to get together. Hugs

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  20. Myra Tell Grammar Queen she would have loved one of the workshops I attended at the Tucson Book Festival. It was really amazing. And fun. I think I might be able to correct my own comma mistakes now. Well... some of them.

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  21. Great post, Myra. Being completely honest? I've failed miserably, for a number of reasons, to meet my Speedbo goals this month. I won't give excuses as to why. I'm going to make up what time I can toward achieving my goals.

    I'm so impressed by everyone who is making great progress toward their goals. Keep pressing on toward the finish line!

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  22. I would love a critique but realistically I know I won't have anything finished by the deadline so the novel would be great. I am enjoying writing again but I think I'm "thinking" too much as I write instead of letting it flow. I tend to edit/rewrite as I go.

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  23. Good morning, Seekerville! I think DST is finally catching up with me. I was doing really well with adjusting until this morning. So slower start than usual.

    Plus it's Election Day in NC so I'll be stepping out later to vote.

    Give me a few more minutes to get my act together and I'll be back to chat!

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  24. Myra, thanks for the strategies to finish strong! Can't believe how fast March is marching by. Must not let it leave me behind. Off to make appointments with myself.

    The Sweetest Rain is clothed with a beautiful cover and a tantalizing blurb. Looking forward to reading this book!

    Janet

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  25. Okay, I'm back! Oh my, I was so proud of myself last week for setting our clocks forward on Friday to give ourselves an extra day to adjust. This morning, though, my head feels like I've jetted across six time zones!

    Yes, TINA, thanks to your enthusiasm for Eat that Frog, I downloaded and read it a couple of weeks ago and now it is Kindle-highlighted all over the place! Now . . . if I can just get better about putting some of that advice into practice!!!

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  26. TRIXI, great job on organizing your reviewing schedule! I can see how keeping all the books prioritized could turn into a huge job. Thanks for being such a great supporter of Christian fiction!

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  27. Hi, MARY PRESTON! Thanks for popping in!

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  28. CINDY W, Speedbo-ing or not, it's great to see you here! We need all the support we can get!

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  29. Hey, Myra, a second pep talk (kick in the butt) after Ruthy's is just fine by me, my friend -- especially since it's a wee bit softer "kick in the butt" as I'm still sore from the last one ... ;)

    Seriously, I appreciate both yours and Ruthy's suggestions for making tracks during Speedbo, and I have to say that I am right on target. Not that I haven't had those family/other distractions that have wreaked havoc with my daily goal, but I have just doubled up the next day, so all is well.

    Thanks for the gentle kick in the butt, my friend! Out-of-town company for the next eight days, then we go out of town, so I'm gonna need all the kicks I can get to get 'er done!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  30. Hi, DEBRA! "Speedboing" does have a bouncy feel, doesn't it? I just hope we aren't all crazy from bouncing off the walls by the time March is over!

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  31. I've been writing and editing a proposal during Speedbo, so even though my original goal was words per day, in my head I've switched to hours of work per day. I've exceeded those goals so far, and best of all, I'm working every day, and I'll be able to submit this proposal by the beginning of next week! Thanks for Speedbo! :-)

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  32. BETTIE, the good thing about Speedbo is that we always have the chance to get things back on track. No matter how many interruptions we have, the real benefit is the extra focus we've given our writing for this one month, hopefully propelling us toward even more progress throughout the rest of the year.

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  33. TINA QUOTED:

    VISUALIZE YOURSELF AS THE PERSON YOU INTEND TO BE!! (SPEEDBO WRITER!)

    Ooooo ... I LOVE this!! I was just telling Keith yesterday about areas where I fall short, so that's what I'm going to do -- visualize (and pray!) myself to be the person I want to be! :)

    YOU WILL NEVER CAUGHT UP! (DEAL WITH IT -per Tina Radcliffe) All you can hope for is to be on top of your most important responsibilities.

    This is sooooooooo encouraging, Tina, because I am one of those anal people who feel the need to be "caught up" before I tackle what I really want to do -- WRITE!! So I do my best to get rid of the emails, paperwork, promotion, etc. before I even touch my WIP each day, which obviously steals great amounts of writing time. So now I put God first, then writing, then emails et al for the most part, and it really has made a difference!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  34. RUTHY, I wish I had half your energy and drive! And I totally get the "I'll show 'em" mentality. Been there, done that, more than a few times in my writing career. Success is the best revenge!

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  35. Hi, JACKIE! I hear you on not getting as much accomplished by now as I'd hoped. First the edits on my next book in Flowers of Eden, then helping Project Guy paint the living room and dining room--good grief!!!

    But yesterday I plunged into my next Love Inspired romance again and wrote over 1700 words! If I can just keep it up with no more interruptions . . .

    What are the odds???

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  36. JILL, I know what you mean! RUTHY just blows us all away with her high energy and productivity! You'd think she'd quit hoarding and spread it around a bit, wouldn't you? :-/

    Yay for being on track with your goals--even the laundry!

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  37. Thanks, KATE! Glad you could stop by!

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  38. Oh, WILANI, so sorry for your discomfort and hospitalization. At least you're picking up on little things you can work into your story, though. Hope you feel better soon and can get back in the writing groove!

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  39. Hi, ROSE! Sounds like you are progressing toward your goals! Getting the planning part done should give you a big boost toward writing your chapters--and you have two weeks to go!

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  40. CARYL KANE, official Speedbo cheerleader! Thank you!!!

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  41. Good morning, GLYNNA! Glad you can be flexible and do your own Speedbo after those other deadlines are behind you. Seems no matter how much planning we do, somebody somewhere will find a way to insert a different agenda. So flexibility is the name of the game!

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  42. Hi, SANDRA! When we know the interruptions we can plan on, it does help. Like, I knew I had those edits coming, and I knew Project Guy was expecting to paint this month. I told him that's it--no more painting for a while. Besides, these last two stints have given me "tennis elbow" from holding my little paint bucket. Ugh!

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  43. Wilani, Diverticulitis is no fun!! Hope you're feeling better soon. Applauding that you're still thinking about your story.

    Hugs,
    Janet

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  44. SANDRA, dearest, congratulations on attending a grammar workshop. I'm so very, very proud of you! A gold star, my dear!

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  45. JEANNE, we just have to do the best we can and let the guilt go. Some things just can't be helped, and we'll be challenged at every turn, but we press on!

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  46. NAOMI, I typically edit as I write, too. I've tried to just forge ahead and not overthink every word, phrase, and sentence, but if I don't get it at least close to right the first time, I have a terrible time moving forward with the story.

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  47. Sweetest Rain is my choice because I'm chicken, but a good old Myra kick in the pants critique is what I need. I guess I'm doing ok with my Speedbo goals but I've also got a "life=happens" excuse I bet you've never heard before. I got a Fitbit and now all I want to do is walk. Add up those steps. Walking and writing cannot be done at the same time - unless...anybody have one of those things where you can put your computer on a pedestal thing in front of your treadmill? Does it work? I'm all about multi-tasking if it can be done.

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  48. JANET, yes, March is flying! I can't believe Easter is less than two weeks away!

    I have an "appointment" to go vote with Project Guy later this morning, and then hopefully back at the writing this afternoon (with frequent visits to Seekerville, naturally).

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  49. Hi, JULIE! Yes, I am not nearly the butt-kicker that RUTHY is. I usually subscribe to the Mary Poppins theory--a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!

    Sounds like you have a lot going on through the rest of the month. No guilt trips and no comparisons, okay? We're all in this together, and we can only do our personal best.

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  50. ANNA, you are definitely doing Speedbo right! Sometimes it's hard to quantify our work, so we just have to keep planting our rears in our chairs and our fingers on the keyboard and stick to our work schedule. Good for you!

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  51. JULIE, I always need to get my "busy work" done in the morning before I feel caught up enough to work on my wip. But noon is ALWAYS my cut-off. If I can get started on the wip earlier than noon, great. But if not, everything else gets put on the back burner after lunch, and then the afternoon is dedicated to writing.

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  52. So, CINDY R, was that a yes for the book drawing and a no for the critique??? Just checking, sweetie! :)

    Actually, I do have a treadmill desk. Project Guy made one for me a few years ago out of a board. I attach it with zip ties and an old dog leash--only the classiest arrangement for me!!!!

    However, I have never been able to write while on the treadmill. I use the desk sometimes for checking email but mostly for reading RWR or a craft book while I walk.

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  53. Okay, Seekerville, I'll be out for a while--for as long as it takes us to stand in line at the polls. Keep chatting--and keep Speedbo-ing!!!!

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  54. I would like to be enter for the critique. I discovered Speedbo during the second week of March, but during those first two weeks I was working on research and plotting. So it was perfect timing. I'm writing my draft of chapter 4 today. By the way I'm using Scrivener for the first time and I'm loving it.

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  55. Yeah, that wasn't very clear. Sorry Myra. Critique please. (Gulp!)

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  56. Myra, we can never have too many pep talks, especially here.
    I already have the book but I am always open to a 10-page critique, especially from here.
    Kathy B

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  57. WILANI, that's how you know you're a true writer. When your mind doesn't quit, even when your body is screaming for a "time out." When you're mining every experience, even unpleasant ones like the hospital.
    Kathy B.

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  58. JULIE, I am anal too and like to get everything under control before I write. Otherwise it's nagging at me. I like everything signed, sealed, delivered and lined up so I don't have to think about it. DOES NOT always work.
    KB

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  59. MYRA, I'm not familiar with Eat That Frog but it sounds good. I'm a Seven Habits girl, have been for years, whether it's the original version or the one for writers. My daughter was in Getting Things Done for a couple of years but has slacked off.
    I don't have a Project Guy, I'm the one who has to remind HIM, hey, the paint is getting a little tacky, but the result is the same because then I have to do it with him. But I'm happy to own a home, so there you have it.
    I'm a little short of halfway through to my goal. I'm doing a 10-chapter Christmas novella and it was going well for a while because I was using a setting, time period and minor characters from another piece. Then I ran up against a research roadblock, so I have to do a bit of that -- early sawmills, anybody? -- before I proceed. But I have four chapters and a good idea where I'm going with the fifth, so I'll be okay. This is fun! I'm pantsing and I don't usually work that way, so we'll see...
    Back to day job. Hope to visit later.
    KB

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  60. Some great reminders, Myra! My daughter came home last week from college for spring break, and I didn't want to miss a minute with her since I don't get to see her often. So I did what I could in the mornings and anytime she was out with friends. Now I'm having to jump in big time this week to make up for it.

    You're right about setting those writing appointments!

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  61. Thank you, MYRA! This is just what I needed. My original Speedbo goal was 1,000 words per day on a new book, but then I had a brilliant idea (less-than-brilliant in hindsight)for a rewrite on my first book and tore into that. So, while I won't have a 31,000 start on a second book at month's end, I'm still pretty excited about the fact that I've been writing every day. The daily word-count is off, but I should be back on track by the end of the week. I also like what you said about interruptions: "Don’t sweat the interruptions—that’s just life, NOT the end of the world." So true, and so difficult to remember at times.

    Please enter me in the drawing for the 10-page critique - thank you

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  62. Jill, I'm with you: I want to get some of Ruthy's energy! I feel like a slug compared to her.

    Ruthy, you're right. We can use a weekly pep talk! :)

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  63. Mildred, I'm so glad you found us! And glad the timing was perfect for your writing. I use Scrivener's cork board, but I really should learn to use it more fully.

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  64. Back from voting--went much quicker than I thought! I think we got there in the lull between early-morning and lunchtime voters.

    MILDRED, welcome to Seekerville and so glad you discovered Speedbo! I'm a Scrivener fan and have been using it for a few years now. I love the way it helps me keep all the manuscript details organized and also tracks my daily word count!

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  65. Anna Adams, I'm so glad to see you!! I'm glad you're joining Speedbo. Great work!!

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  66. Naomi, I tend to edit as I go as well. It's tough to just let go. But it is fun once you get going! :)

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  67. Wilani, I hope you feel better and get to go home soon! That's so painful.

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  68. Good morning, KAYBEE! TINA got me interested in Eat that Frog. I read 7 Habits many years ago. How did I miss that there's a version for writers???

    My Project Guy has no problem coming up with his own projects . . . but somehow he manages to involve me, either as a consultant or as slave labor. I think he might be a distant cousin of Energizer Bunny RUTHY!

    Early sawmills? Hope you find your answers!!!

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  69. MISSY, time with your daughter should always be a priority! Hope y'all had a great spring break!

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  70. Hi, LAURA! Writing every day is always progress. You're doing great! And sometimes you have to strike before those "brilliant ideas" start to fade, because we always write better when we're excited about the story.

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  71. Thanks for the peptalk. Meeting my goals so far and feeling much better about the project than I was during the first peptalk. Not sure I'll have my current to WIP ready to my satisfaction by the deadline because I like to have a story finished completely before I share any part of it. But I do have another finished novel that could use a 10 page critique even though the idea is a bit intimidating. Your book looks wonderful, too, but I can always get that on my own. (Putting it on my good reads reading list now.) So, in the spirit of speedbo, I guess I'm going to step out of my comfort zone and opt for the critique. Best of luck to all the speedbo writers!

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  72. I'm a little over halfway to my goal! So long as I have scenes to write, it goes well, but when I'm out of ideas things get sticky. A more thorough outline would come in handy, but given time constraints, I've had to decide on 1,000 words a day or work on the outline. And since this is speedbo . . . at least ideas come when I'm writing too!

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  73. That's the spirit, LARA! Bravely step out of your comfort zone!

    I do understand about not wanting to share your work until it's complete. I'm that way, too.

    And thank you for putting my book on your to-read list!

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  74. RACHAEL, I hear you! I'm just no good at outlining, though. How am I supposed to know what my characters are going to do a hundred pages from now when I haven't seen how they'll act in the current scene?

    Yes, I'm a confirmed pantser. I always have a very general idea about the direction of the story and how everything should wrap up, but getting there is a journey of discovery, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way!

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  75. I am happy to say I am on target. Sometimes I am writing in the car or at breaks when subbing at school in which case I am writing longhand in a notebook. Spring break is next week which will make it easier.

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  76. Good for you, SANDY! You're finding ways to make the most of the time you have! Hope you have a wonderful spring break!

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  77. So far, so good. On track and reaping the benefits--finished my first project and now I get to start in on project two! Both your giveaways sound awesome. :) Back to work now...though that consists on cleaning the kids's room, sadly, and not writing.

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  78. Ah, the joys of cleaning up after kids! But we do what we must, right, ANGELA? I'm at the grandkids stage of life, though, which is one reason we really needed to do that painting! One of our little granddaughters thinks walls are for drawing on. :-/ Imagine that!

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  79. Thanks for the encouraging words Myra!

    It's beautiful weather here and I'm so ready to get caught up on my writing.

    BTW, love EAT That Frog!

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  80. Hi Myra!

    Thanks for the pep talk. I checked my word count, and I'm close to halfway to my Speedbo goal - so right on target.

    My sights are set on my June 1 deadline, though, so I'd really love to exceed my Speedbo goal. I'm working on ramping up the daily word count. My slogan for this week is "2K a day or bust!"

    One thing I have trouble with is making an appointment with myself to write. I'm at home full time, and alone for a big chunk of the day, so I find myself putting off my writing time. But I think I need to schedule appointments with myself so that it gets done!

    Thanks again, Myra!

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  81. Hi, CONNIE! Lovely day here, too, after a thunderstorm last night. I am SO loving this spring weather and watching the leaves pop out on the trees! Lots of spring flowering trees in bloom, too!

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  82. JAN, I'm at home all day most days, too. For a few years now, I've marked off afternoons as designated writing time, so from 1:00 to around 6:00 p.m., I try to pound out the words. I would be thrilled to log 2K a day, though! I know I take too much time agonizing over phrasing and word choices.

    Yay for being right on target with your goals for the month!

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  83. Hi, Myra. Of course I'm not writing, but love how you inspire my authors to get their novels done! My tbr pile is down to, oh, about 50. I MEED MORE BOOKS,

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  84. "The Sweetest Rain is not that which brings forth May flowers but rather that which washes away the salt from life's tears of sorrow."

    To the procrastinator an interruption is but an oasis. (One need not plan against finding an oasis.)

    To the doer an interruption is but an opportunity to recharge one's creative energy. (Much can still be done during an interruption.)

    Rather than preparing to write, write!

    To the motivated writer, on her way to the Promised Land, even the Red Sea will part. :)

    Vince

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  85. LOL, MARIANNE! Just when I think my TBR pile is getting low, I come up with several more to add to it!

    Seekervillagers will do our part in keeping yours stocked! :)

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  86. Our philosopher is back--yay, VINCE!!!

    Oasis or recharging opportunity--sounds about the same to me. :)

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  87. Good afternoon! I need to read that book. I''m always on the lookout for better time management techniques. I purposefully kept my Speedbo goals low because my husband and children were on spring break last week. I did get some writing done but not enough. So, I'm keeping my fingers to the keyboard for the next couple of weeks, hoping to go well above and beyond my goal. Thanks for the pep talk!

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  88. hi Myra
    Love the pep talk. Am in agreement that a weekly pep talk is a good thing. (and yes, yours doesn't quite have the Ruthy "keister-kick" but it's still good).

    I have not done well with Speedbo, but I do happen to know exactly how I've been derailed. Must fix the rail and get back on track, right now I'm just attempting baby steps to keep from feeling like an abject failure.

    May I be selfish and put my name in the draw for either of the offered prizes? I cannot choose between, especially since that book cover is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

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  89. Myra,
    thanks for the post.
    Honestly, I haven't accomplished as much as I wanted to. Although I have done a lot of writing and editing, it's been on the wrong book. I've spent most of my time doing head banging, repetitive editing on our Repair Station and Training Manuals for the FAA. Government paperwork is so fun and along with our main inspector, they are training two people on our manual, so I get to redo and redo and redo, because they all want different things. Or should I say, they all want me to keep saying the same thing over and over again in different sections. If it was said it was said twice in paragraph two on the page, it still has to be repeated in paragraph three and four and… well…
    Perhaps I have procrastinated some, but I did manage to get some research done and look at some of the pages I've done for my story, Trail of the Sandpiper Book 3- Avenged. And I did put together a promotional for the second in the Trail of the Sandpiper Series - Rescued, that came out last month. I am hoping to sit down and get more accomplished.

    Tina P.

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  90. MEGHAN, the book is just full of common-sense good advice for staying productive. Hope the rest of your month goes really well and you can get in some quality writing time!

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  91. Of course, DEB H, I'll drop your name into both baskets!

    Baby steps are a good thing because EVERY step is progress! Where we get into trouble is when we let one setback derail the entire train. Like going on a diet, eating one giant chocolate chip cookie, and then thinking it's too late, we never should have tried dieting in the first place. Tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day, a new chance to reach for our goals.

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  92. TINA P, I am banging my head right along with you! Government publications--oh my!!!

    Glad you are at least getting some research and other things done for your series. Make those writing appointments when you can and stick with it! If nothing else, it'll give you a break from training manual head-banging!!!

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  93. Taking a moment from writing to thank you, Myra, for the wonderful encouragement and suggestions for "how to" accomplish our goals!! I've missed being part of Seekerville for the last couple of weeks, but glad I stopped by this morning!

    My Speedbo goals changed! I entered the Manuscript Matchmakers sponsored by Harlequin Love Inspired Historical and have moved on to the second phase! I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed!!

    Wishing you all great writing success in the homestretch!!

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  94. KATHRYN, we are thrilled for you!!! Yes, overwhelming, but such a huge accomplishment! Hoping you make it all the way!

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  95. Myra, I read your list of things that derail us and checked off at least half of them. It's not things that I don't want to do (well, mostly...except for helping delivering a calf at 1 am...), but it is things that take up time unexpectedly.

    And... even DST starting in the middle of March is a wake-up call (pun intended) for our well-set plans. It's just and hour, on that ONE day, but somehow it sets the tone for this entire week. Crazy, I know, but our brains are fickle things.

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  96. PAM, there's always something, isn't there? Although I'm really glad I wasn't called upon to deliver a calf at 1 a.m.!!!!

    I never, ever like losing that hour in March, but I do very much like longer daylight in the evenings.

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  97. Myra, thank you for the reminders to plan my writing time, allowing space for the unexpected....like moving on in the LIH Manuscript Matchmaker opportunity. For me, the need to be FLEXIBLE is critical.

    I'll ditto what Kathryn said....my Speedbo goals changed....and I'm overwhelmed. My Speedbo goal was to spend one hour sitting in front of my computer on weekdays......hopefully typing amazing words. With the Manuscript Matchmaker advancement, I really needed to be writing more than one hour a day. I'm pleased that I have been able to make more time to write......I found I can even write or plot while moving on the elliptical machine at the rec center....and not fall off! While I'm moving, better plot ideas and words seem to appear. Interesting!

    Please add my name to the dish for a critique. Thanks for all you do to encourage us! Go Speedbo!

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  98. Hi, SHERIDA, and congrats again on the Manuscript Match advancement! So exciting!

    And yes, flexibility is crucial, especially for unpredictable opportunities like MM and for deadlines that suddenly (but gladly!!!) have to be worked into the schedule.

    I find myself plotting on the treadmill, too--only I typically only walk for five minutes at a time during regular breaks from sitting on my you-know-what. Those short breaks every half-hour or so are great for getting the brain unstuck.

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  99. Myra, great advice. I need the FROG book!!!

    Waving to my wonderful cp, Anna Adams! Thanks for stopping by today, Anna. Congrats on your progress.

    I'm blaming the beautiful weather for taking me off task, although not for long. :) Flowers are blooming in Georgia! And we haven't been hit with the terrible yellow pine pollen...yet!

    Vince, so great to see you today! Sending hugs to you and Linda!

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  100. Tina, since I'm blogging tomorrow, I did notice Myra's picture in the center of the Speedbo icon. Haven't figured out how she did it.

    Are you sharing secrets, Myra?

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  101. DEBBY, the Frog book is great!

    Yes, beautiful day in the South! I'm watching my dogwood tree practically burst forth before my eyes! Three days ago there was nothing. Now it's covered with little green leaf tips and tiny white buds.

    Pine pollen--oh my! Two weeks out of the year when it doesn't pay to wipe down the porch furniture because it'll be covered again in ten minutes.

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  102. LOL, DEBBY, I won't admit how long I struggled with that image in PhotoShop! I don't use the program often enough to be proficient, so every time I want to do something, I have to relearn the steps.

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  103. Myra, Tina sent me that message years ago. "Success is the best revenge"...

    and it's funny how apt that is, and not like it's revenge... but it's nice to know that you weren't tilting at windmills the whole while, that you had what it takes and eventually you wore down enough folks (laughing! persistence pays off!!!) and got your way.

    Because that might be the untold secret!

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  104. Sherida Stewart I am so stinkin' proud of you!!!!! You know I'm a carpe diem kind of person, and I love that this is working out for you! Impetus.... Forward thrust...

    The laws of physics abound!

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  105. Exactly, RUTHY! Persistence pays . . . eventually. We just have to be strong enough and determined enough to stay the course.

    While also listening to the Holy Spirit's guidance, naturally. We should all be praying for God to direct our writing careers and trusting Him for the results of our work.

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  106. Set writing appointments with yourself -- I like that, MYRA! Thanks for the tip.

    I had to look back at my Speedbo goals to remind myself what they were. One of them was to plug a gaping plot hole in last year's Speedbo novella. As it turns out, that's the one I entered in Manuscript Matchmakers, so I'm even more motivated than before. And another opportunity popped up. So even though the other two goals are side-tracked for now, I'm not beating myself up ... a skill I didn't have a few years ago :-)

    Best wishes for all the Speedbo-ers!!!

    Nancy C

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  107. Thank you to all the Speedbo Cheerleaders!!

    Nancy C

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  108. Lara!

    Proof that peptalks rock the big kahuna and help the author!

    GO US!!! GO US!!!! GO US!!!!!!! :)

    I'm delighted that you're happier with the second week results. It's amazing how things add up once you have the time and opportunity to kind of jump in and get to it!

    Sometimes I think if we can climb those initial foothills of adversity, we can learn to scale the mountains life sends us.

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  109. NANCY C, making writing appointments is the only way I can stay on track. It's a habit now--after lunch I sit down with the wip--so the brain knows what I'm asking of it. Not that it always cooperates, mind you!

    Nothing like an unexpected opportunity to get you motivated! So thrilled about Manuscript Match!!!

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  110. Oh my! RUTHY has waxed philosophical! Hanging around with VINCE much??? :)

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  111. My personal favorite from Myra:

    Helping hubby paint the living room/dining room because you promised in a weak moment? (wait—that’s MY excuse for last week!)

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  112. Kaybee, I'm a Seven Habits AND Eat That Frog devotee. I highly recommend both. Eat that Frog in print is best and The Seven Habit on Audio.

    I have listened and read them so many times, and I have notebooks with notes from them.

    Am I slow or what?

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  113. TINA, I wish I'd followed up on your recommendation of Eat That Frog a long time ago. I should probably pull out my 7 Habits book again, too. Except I should be writing!!!

    And yes, it was a VERY weak moment when I agreed to painting this month. I'm glad it's done, though. We really, really need to do our bedroom next, but I'm going to put it off as long as possible.

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  114. I'd love to win your book, Myra....thanks for the giveaway! Beginning to see a little pollen here in NE GA....achoo!

    Prayers for Wilani!

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  115. Hi, JACKIE S! I think I noticed a light yellow film on our porch chairs this afternoon. Oh boy. . . . It begins!

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  116. Myra - thank you for encouragement. I love to hear how every is progressing.

    I chose to finish the first rewrite of my wip for Speedbo but since I didn't choose numbers I can only appreciate that I'm halfway through. But when I say first rewrite I really mean first time rewriting and I never expected this thing to grow. There's got to be some math equation that will tell me if it keeps growing at the rate of X I'll be finished by Y – numbers will be in my Speedbo 2017 future.

    More worrisome than the last day of Speedbo is this beautiful early spring that is turning the world green and will soon be beckoning me to mow something. . .

    Oh method- I've had to cut out reading lots of email and having leisurely strolls through Facebook, less time on the internet - and most reading except for Ruth's wonderful Back in the Saddle. Staying up a bit later too.

    I'd like to be added for a potential summer critique

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  117. Thank you, Myra - - needed this today! Am moving forward with my SPEEDBO goal, but not quite where I'd like to be, so your post at this time was perfect. :)
    Ditto what Debby Giusti said about our Georgia weather in this area (although I suspect any day now we'll get that "yellow dust" - ugh).
    Hmmmm....I think I need the FROG book too - - it's just that title....mentioning "eating"....yuk, LOL. ;)
    Since it's warmer here today I've made a big pitcher of peach tea - - enjoy!
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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  118. Hi, BARBARA FOX! Oh, yes, manuscripts do have a way of expanding during rewrites! We think of all kinds of things to flesh out the plot and characters. Do you have a target length you're aiming for? In Scrivener I can enter my target word count for the project, and then it tells me how many words I have to write each workday to get there by my deadline. I usually set the word count a couple thousand less than my end goal so I have room to grow.

    Sounds like you are doing (or not doing--LOL!) all the right things to stay on track! Keep up the great work!

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  119. Oh, PATTI JO, peach tea sounds wonderful--thanks! (Goes well with frog, right?)

    Yes, I kind of skipped over all the times Brian Tracy says "Eat that frog!" in his book! The concept is great, but the image is just . . . yuck.

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  120. Ruth,

    Yes, much happier with the second week's results. Feeling like I'm finally getting into the flow of the story. This always seems to happen for me with stories ... they pick up momentum as the story grows. I have often likened writing to the completion of a 1,000-piece puzzle while sorting through pieces from 1,000 different 1,000-piece puzzles. You start out with that one piece, sometimes just the fragment of an idea, which builds and builds as you start to put more pieces in place. And of course there are all the plot possibilities (pieces) you have to reject to find that one perfect story you are trying to write. Naturally, the more pieces you place the easier it goes. I think that's why I was in a slump for so long. Perfectionist that I am, I was having trouble sticking with a story long enough to get past the slow beginning. (So thanks, Speedbo hostesses ... for helping me to get over myself!!)

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  121. Myra, Thanks for asking for Speedbo updates. The good news is I've entered a contest, sent the manuscript back, and finished the latest draft. The bad news is the paper edit is going a lot slower because I'm much better at catching word repetition on paper than I am on the screen (and I have to lose 2777 words). The other good news is I have the germs of an idea for my next book in my head and Missy's post yesterday helped provide another layer of outlining. So overall, my Speedbo progress is consistent and I'm looking forward to doing more tomorrow.

    Happy Speedbo everyone!

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  122. LARA, I love your analogy of a jigsaw puzzle! Yes, this is exactly what it's like to put the pieces of a story together!

    Glad you had a good week!

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  123. TANYA, good news about entering a contest! It can be a challenge to cut when you need to, but tightening the story almost always makes it stronger. Hope it goes well, and congrats on your Speedbo progress! Have fun with your new book idea!

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  124. Stopping back late, but wanted to comment about the trees in bloom. Sunday the Bradford pears burst into bloom. So gorgeous. I don't care for the smell, but love how they look.

    Our dogwoods have small buds. They'll be in full bloom soon!

    Oh Happy Spring!

    We should have baby goslings and ducks at the lake before long. Watching them grow is always fun.

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  125. Oooooo, MYRA, that's a good way to do it -- the noon cutoff!!

    KAYBEE SAID: " I like everything signed, sealed, delivered and lined up so I don't have to think about it. DOES NOT always work."

    No, Kathy, it doesn't, does it! And we should know, both being the anal types. Sigh. But one thing's for sure -- if we're getting all those other things done first, most likely our house is clean, the laundry's done, and all emails are answered, right??? ;)

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  126. Timely post! Since I'm heading to off to write, I'll have to come back to read more comments later. But I wanted to say it was cool you mentioned Eat That Frog because it was an auto-suggested item to check out at my library...so I've been on hold for it several weeks. Also - Tina cool quotes on that first comment...thank you for sharing your favs. :) I really liked: "Your success is based on your ability to determine what's important." Value seeking God's direction...and stay the course for what He shares with you. Sound advice. :)

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  127. I am battling a Kind!e to post today. Thanks Myra for a word in due season. From the 23 to the 30th I have 4 days to write without grandchild. That includes taking Easter Sunday as a special day of thanks and we are going out to dinner. Spent the day in Verde Canyon enjoying a train ride. Beautiful! Please put my name in the drawing for the critique.

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  128. I never tire of pep talks! Thanks! Speedbo is exactly what I needed to keep me motivated. 😍

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  129. Oh! I forgot to pick for the giveaway. Please sign me up for the first option, The Sweetest Rain book. While the second option sounds fun, I am still trying to solve plot issues. :)

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  130. DEBBY, I just love this time of year (except for the sneezes) and watching all the leaves pop out! Another reason we love to travel to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a late-spring vacation whenever we can arrange it--seeing all the baby geese and ducks waddling around the lake next to our condo!

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  131. LOL, JULIE & KAYBEE!!! My morning routine of "busy work" RARELY includes dusting, vacuuming, cleaning toilets, etc. Strictly emails, marketing, blogs, and social media.

    Although occasionally I will toss a load of laundry in the washer and then hope Project Guy is around when it's done and will throw it in the dryer. Because by then I have completely forgotten about it!!!

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  132. Thanks for stopping in, MEGS! I hope you can pick up Eat That Frog soon. It's a good one!

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  133. Hi, OLIVIA! Your Verde Canyon train ride sounds delightful! Yes, you do need to plan around Easter Sunday and all the worship and family activities. Such a beautiful time!

    Now, just prepare to make the most of those four days you DO have! You can do it!

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  134. You go, JESS!!!! Thanks for stopping in!

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  135. Thanks, Myra! Speedbo has reminded me that getting my fingers on the keys and starting some words makes more of them come. It's just getting there that hurts! :-) Hey, Missy! Thanks for the welcome! I should post more when I stop by Seekerville, where you all give the best advice! And, my beloved CP, Debby, you just made me laugh out loud with today's post! :-)

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  136. Thank you kindly :) I'd like to be entered for a copy of "The Sweetest Rain."

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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  137. Not where I would like to be. Life with hubby and his Vietnam Veteran issues and grandkids with spring break plus allergy headaches finding it hard to get to the computer. I also am fighting my ingrained desire to edit as I go. As a retired teacher it is hard to break😁
    I love to read, but would love a critique of my first 10 pages.

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  138. We're so glad to have you as a Seekervillager, ANNA! As you can tell, we are a chatty bunch!

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  139. You're welcome, PHYLLIS! Thanks for visiting Seekerville!

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  140. MARY LAWSON, I can't help editing as I go, either. Sorry about your hubby's issues but thankful for his service. Hope you can carve out a little time to write between grandkids and allergy problems. :( Hang in there!

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  141. My goal for the month was write 300 words everyday and I've only missed two days! And most other days I wrote at least 400 words :)

    (If I win I'd like the 10 pages critique!)

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  142. Well, I haven't accomplished as much as I hoped, but I've been plugging along. I've edited about 150 pages so far, written approximately 5,000 words, revised about 20 scenes. GO SPEEDBO!

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  143. SIERRA, congratulations on making your daily goal! I'd say your percentages are pretty high, so keep up the great work!

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  144. LEOLA, sounds like you're making great progress! Thanks for stopping by!

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