2012 is here.  2011 has left.  While it wasn’t as bad a year for me as it was for some of my friends, I’m not sorry to see it go.  It’s a new year, and that means a chance to look at what I’ve done in the past year, and what will be happening in the future.

Looking back at my livejournal, I see I didn’t have any goals set for 2011 (or if I did, I can’t find them).  But I did accomplish a few things:

1. Finished and turned in Last Rites (Dark Horseman #3)

2. Put together Spells and Swashbucklers (the sequel to Rum and Runestones, which is getting turned in very soon)

3. Self-published Snow (a Dark Horseman Novella) at the end of December

4. Won NaNoWriMo for the first time!

Not a bad year.  I didn’t really track my number of words, but it was pretty impressive for me.

Now, to 2012.  I have goals.  And this year, this is what I will accomplish.  First, the writing goals:

1. Finish the untitled Dark Horseman Christmas story (which may become a novella, not sure).

2. Finish and sub the first Sapph novella.

3. Write the rough draft of my Secret Project Novel.

4. Finish the six-episode arc of Tales of the Scorned Lady.

5. Write the rough draft of The Strange Disappearance of Santa Claus.

6. Write 250 words of fiction every day.

7. Morning pages (over at 750words.com) every day.

Then, the health goals:

1. I will exercise 30 minutes every day, whether it be on the Wii or at the gym.  No excuses.

2. I will modify my lifestyle and the food I eat, without giving up all the foods I love.

3. I will walk/run to Rivendell by the end of the year.

Finally, the life goals:

1. I will declutter my house by December 31st, 2012.

2. I will get my finances under control by June 30th, 2012.

3. I will enjoy life more in 2012.

The last one is really important to me.  I don’t want to be just another drone – I want to live life, even if I live it on a budget.  Walks in the park cost nothing.  Reading in the sunshine costs nothing.  Sitting by a stream with a fishing pole and breathing in clean air costs nothing (don’t need a license if you don’t have hooks on your line!).

I’ll be keeping track of my books read over at Goodreads (I’m captain_hobbes over there, if you want to add me), and I’ve got a spiffy new word count spreadsheet (thank you, DC!).  No word count goals this year.  I just want to see what I can do.

I write slowly, but I will write.  Because that’s what I do.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

Starting Count: 0
Ending Count: 637
New Words: 637

Opening Line:
How did I get myself into these situations?

Ending Line:
We ended up in the middle of the road, sideways, like a cop car doing a roadblock.

Andrew, with his lopsided smile and short dark curls, longer than his father the head of the law firm approved of, just long enough to tangle my fingers in. Andrew, whose long fingers teased the softest notes from his violin, but who couldn’t sing to save his life. Andrew, who refused to let me keep him at arm’s length, dammit.

Unnamed novella. Ghosthunters. Sort of.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. Please leave any comments there.

Starting Count: 320
Ending Count: 862
Net Gain: + 542
Current Word MTD count: 542

Starting line:
“You ask me this after you give me a blanket?” I grumbled, but I knew he was right. If our eyes weren’t playing tricks on us, then something was out there, and I needed to find out what.

Ending line:
Which argues that maybe this isn’t a place memory, David said. You aren’t an empath, and yet you can feel it. Place memories simply don’t have the power to keep up this level of emotion.

Ice flooded my veins as I changed, my mortal flesh melting away, leaving only the spirit behind. The air acquired a bite, colder than winter, with a dusty, faintly stale smell that filled my nostrils with the scent of death. I steeled myself and opened my eyes.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

Sigh. It’s a sad, sad day, the last day of vacation.

But I’ve had a wonderful vacation. I finished the plot summary for the Sapph novella (which needs a title) and started writing the first draft. I went to Pennsic and relaxed with friends and my wonderful hubby. Now, I’m home, dealing with my CSA haul (and what a haul it is this week!) and cooking for the week, since I dive back into work with a vengeance tomorrow. OT on my first Monday back FTW! (Not.)

I’m not really too worried about tomorrow – we get to wear jeans, and they’re feeding us. So today is cleaning and cooking, getting back into the feel of things, and tonight, some editing and writing. I’m thinking that next Sunday, I’m going to start actually working through The Artist’s Way. I’ve read the book several times, but I’ve never actually done more than morning pages. I think I’m ready to start doing the actual coursework.

But not today. Today is cooking and cleaning:
- Clean kitchen
- Put away CSA haul
- Make shephard’s pie for the week
- Do meal plan for the week
- Set up daily calendar for the week (yes, I’m trying to get more organized)
- Get mail together for tomorrow
- Paint fingernails
- Clean dining room table off
- Make zucchini bread? This is a no right now. I’m getting tired.
- Update Port Strangeways and send out the menu for Harpers
- Ball game at 3 pm

There may be more, but we’ll see. I might not get that all done. :D

Now, more tea and cleaning the kitchen.

Edited to add: Oh yes, there will be writing tonight as well. Just not right now.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

So, I haven’t really been posting much. Part of it is because I managed to lock myself out of my WordPress account for a week or so, and I couldn’t grab enough time to reset it. (That has been sorted out, and I even managed to update to the latest edition without issue! I’m convinced WordPress is softening me up for something, but hey, I’ll take it.) Another part of it, though, is health issues.

I don’t know if writers are just more sickly than most folks, or if we’re just more open about it. What I know is that since March, I’ve been dealing with hideous migraines that have managed to knock me flat, and since then, my writing has pretty much been hung out to dry. I’ve finished a few things that were in progress, but nothing really huge. All my energy has been funneled into getting through life and trying to figure out what the heck is going wrong with my body.

I’m finally, finally thinking that we might have a handle on what it is. I’m still working through some things with my doctors, specifically my PC, my allergist and my nutritionist, but it looks like what I might be allergic to is food additives. Lovely, huh? Our bodies are genetically very similar to what our ancient ancestors’ were, and mine apparently wants to return back to that simpler time. So, while we wait to see if my insurance company will cover the test that we think will uncover a lot of these intolerances (not allergies, per se, but foods/substances that my body just can’t handle exposure to), I have gone back to a whole food diet. As in, if I can’t pronounce the ingredients in the list (for a lot of them, if there IS a list), I don’t eat it. No more fast food (I’ve been clean on that since Friday last week, and I can already fit easily into a smaller pair of jeans), and no more artificially-sweetened/flavored drinks (the same). It’s been a bit of a change, but I’m hopeful that this is going to finally get me into a healthier weight and just a healthier LIFE. And my hubby is enjoying all the real food. I’m also looking forward to an end to the cravings that come sweeping through sometimes – apparently once you stop eating the foods that your body is intolerant to, the cravings end.

All I can say is, it’s about damn time. I’m tired. I’m tired of being tired. Of being sick, and yet having NOTHING WRONG. Of having my head pounding and my mouth full of cotton wool, and yet having nothing show up on any tests. I mean, they put straight histamine on my arm as part of my allergy testing, and I didn’t even react. But I know something’s wrong.

During the summer, this is easy. There’s so much fresh, local produce that I can glory in it, and I don’t miss it. Now that I know there are issues with preservatives, my canning just became a much larger priority, because anything I can, I know I can eat. So I’ll be getting that cranked up, so I have options this winter. I’m also freezing a bunch of stuff. (Making pesto this weekend, with the tons of garlic scapes I have. NUMMY!) I’ve borrowed a dehydrator from my dad too, and I’ll be drying fruit and things like that as well. The peaches are coming. Winter, well, I have a local co-op and I’ll hopefully have a freezer full of stuff. I need to get filling it.

It also means that I’m expanding my cooking horizons again. It’s shocking to realize how many sauces/spice blends/side dishes that I took for granted have preservatives in them. Even the organic ones. They’re all verboten right now for me.

On the upside, now that my head is starting to clear, I’m also starting to write again. And edit. I went through a brief funk in which I was reading Elizabeth Bear and despairing of ever, ever being a real writer who could write like that. However, I now realize that I won’t ever write like her. I’m not her. I can admire her stuff, but write it? No. That’s not my style.

So, writing. I took the first splat draft of the beginning to Advent Murders to my writing group and they cheerfully ripped it apart, which it desperately needed. They pointed out the logical flaws and issues, and I’ve got some good directions to go in. In addition to cleaning my house this weekend, I’ll also be cleaning up everything on Spells and Swashbucklers, and sending that out to the folks who need to finish some things for it before it goes to bed in August. And I’m still noodling on a novella for my Dreams universe.

So that’s what’s been happening in this corner of the world. I’ve also been gearing up for Pennsic, where I’ll be in August. If you’re going to be at the greatest war on earth, drop me a comment and let me know – I’m thinking we need a writer’s meet-up.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

I know, I know. Trust me – I’m pagan, raised Jewish/Christian. I’m one of the ones who KNOWS the Rapture will pass me by. I’m hoping it makes the world a better place if it does, by taking all the rigid thinkers away. Mean, maybe, but I’m being honest.

But, I’m not going to worry about it. Balticon is NEXT WEEK! EEK! I’m so not ready. :p

So today, we work on stuff.

- Morning Pages
- Fold laundry in living room and put it away
- Dinner with [livejournal.com profile] ln_dragonsong
- Zucchini tea breads
- Lemon Thyme tea breads
- Apple tea breads
- English scones
- Make food plan for Balticon
- Edits to last two S&S stories and send
- Finish edits on Ep. 2 and send to Jeff

I want to write a bit more on the novella and/or Molly too, but this is good for right now. I’m crocheting at 7 pm, when the game comes on.

Now, to the kitchen!

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

597 words on Advent Murders plotting, and the murder itself is plotted. Now, I need to start plotting the book, so I know how to weave the murder and the clues in.

1049 words on the plot summary for the yet-unnamed Dreams novella. It’s going to be fun.

And now, dinner and then driving back.

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

I’m up in Maine with the family, and it’s grey and raining, but I have tea, I have family playing games and knitting around me, and I have MiniPinkPirate, which is really all I need to be happy.

I was talking to [livejournal.com profile] irysangel on Friday, and I really, really need to get some more words. I have very, very little content that isn’t contracted, which is both good and bad. It’s good, because contracted means money. It’s not good, because it means I have nothing to query.

So today, since I forgot the bag with the edits back in NH, I’ll be working on plotting. First plotting on Advent Murders, and then plotting on a new novella in the Dreams universe. The Dreams universe is my Ghost Hunters-esque storyline. I think novellas might be the way to go for that universe right now. Until I figure out what the plot of the novel is. And who knows, maybe I’ll just do novellas for it.

Oh, and now that I’m able to update this website, I’ll be recording soon too. So

Hope you all have a good day too!

Originally published at The words of Valerie Griswold-Ford. You can comment here or there.

I'm up to page 58. Going steadily - I'm combining the four ghosts into one, which isn't too hard, and fixing the formatting errors (gotta love that). No real rewriting until Sapph starts getting hurt - that's when Scottie will come up (when she hits the hospital) and I'll have more actual rewriting to do then, but nothing major.

I should have this done inside of a week, barring major life interference. Which means, if all goes well, I could sub it as early as next week. The synopsis and query letter is ready to go. I just want to make sure the complete book is ready, should anyone request it.

Now time to pack up dinner and head to bed. Good night, all.
vg_ford: (Default)
( Mar. 1st, 2009 08:11 pm)
I've been slacking, lately - the weather has been crappy, and after Mexico, well, anything less than 70 degrees and sunny would be crappy, but I'm getting better. Getting back to eating well, and getting back to writing.

So I have some goals for March. Here they are:

1. Finish Dreams polishing and send it out to agents.
2. Start the outline for Last Rites.
3. More worldbuilding/plotting on Mirrors.

So, Dreams. Starting count at this point (with first 3 chapters polished to a shine) is 85,199 words. I'd like to keep it under 100k.

It's March 1. Time to get to work.
Something about snow days, maybe???

starting count: 20243
ending count: 21748
change: +1505

starting line:
But she didn’t get the chance to; her cell phone earpiece flashed once, and Maggie pressed the button. “Sapphire Pendragon’s phone, how can I help you?”

ending line:
“What...?” I stopped, the air around me suddenly crackling with electric fear. As one, we turned to look up at the farmhouse.

David was still standing at the edge of the forest, looking down the path. I wondered what he was so intently staring at; it wasn’t an “oh, look, trees” expression, but one of intense concentration, as if he were trying to spy out something that was mostly hidden. Intrigued, I walked over to him, following his gaze.


I'll post more about SnowCon and the weekend tomorrow. Now, I need to curl up with this kitteh and go to bed.
starting count: 0
ending count: 702
change: +702

starting line:
In the end, it was all Vinnie's fault.

ending line:
Twenty-one-year-old Dalwhinnie scotch burned its way down my throat, taking the panic with it.

Blue eyes. Eyes with horror dancing like black flames in them. Eyes that had been dead for four years.
I backed up my LJ today. It showed me my very first post.

I started writing this damn book in February 2005. In a month, it will be 4 years old. And I do not have a finished draft.

This is unacceptable.

*Yes, I've written other things. I don't care. The book will be finished. It will be.*
vg_ford: (haunted)
( Jan. 3rd, 2009 07:27 pm)
Since I need music to write, and Sapph is telling me "It needs to be kick-ass!" - I give you the current Dreams soundtrack, in no particular order: (If you don't like country, just go to the next entry.)

Teardrops on My Guitar - Taylor Swift
Leader of the Band - Dan Fogelberg
Gunpowder & Lead - Miranda Lambert
She Only Smokes When She Drinks - Joe Nichols
Findin' a Good Man - Danielle Peck
Whiskey Girl - Toby Keith
Stealing Cinderella - Chuck Wicks
My Give A Damn's Busted - Jo Dee Messina
Picture to Burn - Taylor Swift
Our Song - Taylor Swift
Fields of Gold - Sting
Nothin' to Lose - Josh Gracin
Celebrity - Brad Paisley
What Was I Thinkin' - Dierks Bentley
Before He Cheats - Carrie Underwood
Bitch - Meredith Brooks
Big Deal - LeAnn Rimes
Start a Band - Brad Paisley and Keith Urban

Now back to sketches
Today, I am writing. The P&E nomination (I'm at #6 right now, btw!!!) has fired me up again, so I'm pulling out Belladonna Dreams and I'm going to get words today. I need to get this book out. I need to sub it. I need to know that I can make a sale like that.

I need to see what prompt I want for [livejournal.com profile] musemuggers too. I'm having a bit noodle around in my head, but I'm not sure what yet. A White Knight...possible.

More later. I'm in FM and DII - and getting a little sun on the side. ;)
So, as the icon denotes, tonight I am working on Belladonna Dreams. I'm having to go back and fix stuff, as all my crits have come back with one major point, which I will now share with you.

"So, if Sapph is so rich and famous, why is she waltzing around with only one bodyguard?"

The snarky answer is, because the author didn't want to write more than one bodyguard. However, this is not the right answer for the story. She WOULD have more than one, and seriously, Maggie doesn't act like a bodyguard. So we rewrite.

I need to come up with four bodyguards, and some annoying "friends" that Sapph can snark at. And Maggie morphs to a personal assistant. And then I have to fix the outline, because this adds another level to it.

Will it make the book better? Yes.

Is it more work for the author? Yes.

Day of Happiness 2 - Geek day! I got my Hunter to level 40!!!! And started a Paladin who's almost level 12. (I want a secondary who can tank, and Hunters aren't the best tanks) I know, I'm hopeless.

I also need a WoW icon. Must get on that.


More tea reviews will be forthcoming - I plan on drinking a LOT of tea today.


For the rest of the year, I need to work on Belladonna Dreams. I'd like to get the entire thing done so I can start querying it. I've been saying that for the past few years, and I need to get it out. Just do it, you know? And I have no real excuses - I have a year to work on Last Rites. I'll be posting a goal list in a few days. And I need to start totalling up words for the year. I wonder how many I got this year?


It's still snowing. Bah. I have to shovel again soon.


To dos for today:

1. CLEAN KITCHEN!!!! I'm so sick of the mess that is my kitchen. Cleaning and reorging today. No excuses.

2. Gingerbread cookies. I need to use the rest of the dough I made.

3. Crits for DII.

4. Christmas cards.

5. Wrap Christmas presents.

Then we'll see.

Off to shovel now.
starting count: 17236
ending count: 19722
change: +2486

starting line:
Maybe it was me. I didn’t know anymore.

ending line:
Well, no, but...I couldn’t think of a good retort, so I turned away.

Moving forward just a bit to where the evergreens reached out to embrace me, I peered into the gloom, hoping to pierce the glow and see the features of the ghost within.
But I needed it. Shake the last of the work-related stress and all that.

This week, it's back up on the horse (or the cat, as the case may be). I got my first mount last night in WoW - yay! Now I can stop trying to level like crazy and pick up Dreams again. I need to try and get at least double-digits in my NaNo before I give up entirely *looks guilty*.

Tonight, I'm dropping off a book, going home to make dinner, and then off to class. In between, I'm proofing Snow and hoping I don't miss anything. I hate proofing my own work - I ALWAYS miss something.

Puck arrives Wednesday - I have to call tomorrow and ask if they can hold him at the UPS center so I can pick him up. Yay for new Neo!

In sad news, Heracles (my desktop) has been increasingly grumpy. He's shutting down randomly (not even blue screen of death - he goes straight to black) and is starting to reject my mouse. He's also rejecting all attempts at a USB mouse. *sigh* But he's nearly 7 years old, and has seen hard use. I'm thinking of getting an Acer - there's a nice one on sale at Office Depot this Friday....

More later. Back to training now.
starting count: 16230
ending count: 17236
change: +1006

starting line:
Shit. A decision. Time to grovel. “I’m sorry, Danielle. I got distracted by something.” I turned my back on both James and Alis and leaned against the kitchen wall. “Start again.”

ending line:
Alis had sighed and reminded me that not everyone was born wealthy, which had stung a bit, but she’d made her point.

It was deathly quiet, other than my breathing; the room ran the entire length and breadth of the house. The broken remnants of life littered the floor: a child’s rocking horse, the shredded contents of a hope chest, shards of what might have been either dishes or vases crunching under my boots as I walked across the mess. A dresser with tattered pieces of clothing hanging from its open drawers sagged against the back wall as if it were too tired to stand on its own anymore. A spinning wheel ghosted in the corner, the cobwebs of ages draped over its spindle like fine aged white thread. It was cold, but only the cold of the Ghostlands. I turned slowly, catching David’s eye. He shook his head. No Ellen.


vg_ford: (Default)


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