goal crushedIt’s a Sunday, which means I’m down at Gibson’s Bookstore, writing. It’s a habit we (by we, I mean the other crazies writers that meet with me) started during NaNoWriMo this past November, and we’ve continued to meet every Sunday since then. We started with four of us – now we’re up to eight, and have our own barista. And it’s been a real force in what I’ve been able to get done since then: another book done, a Patreon site launched with the start of the StarChild book, and seven chapters done on a book that I’m hoping to get finished and shopping to an agent by the end of the year. Not to mention that I’m writing regularly, and it’s helped me get through the loss of my mother. Oh yeah, and there’s a book coming in May.


It’s the schedule that has allowed me to do this. One of the only pieces of writing advice that has always stuck with me is BICFOK – Butt In Chair, Fingers On Keyboard. You can’t write if you don’t make the time to write. You can’t. It’s just a given. And having a regular schedule is what helps you do this.


Even when my week has been shit, and I cannot for the life put words down after staring at a screen of emails for 10+ hours, I know that I’ll have Sunday morning to salvage my writing. And I can always count on the tea and the company to keep me going.


So now, it’s time for me close this blog post, and get the writing open. I leave you with this bit of advice: Make yourself a schedule, and stick to it.

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



With a day to spare, I validated Advent #5 (which really needs a title) at 50,081 words. And it’s done! So starting December 1, come back here to see what Schrodinger, Molly, Drew, and the rest of the Carter’s Cove crew are up to for THIS December!


However, this is only one goal. After I take tomorrow off, I get back to work on Resonant Frequencies. My self-imposed deadline for that is January 1, and I’ve got to get my butt in gear.

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

Maple leaves in Autumn.

I can’t believe it’s nearly November. This year has flown by. You know what else I can’t believe?

I’m going to try and write two novels in November. Yes, I’m probably insane. But, well, what are goals for if not to inspire us, right?

I’ve started going to the studio first thing in the morning (6:30 am is an EVIL, EVIL time) and writing before work. I have a blessed studio mate who makes sure I’m fed and not bumping into walls, and so far, it seems to be working. I’ve got the first outline for Nano done (the Advent story, which is going to be awesome, you guys), and this week, I’m working on the second one (for Resonant Frequencies). I’ve got the edits back for Winter’s Secrets as well, and although I won’t make a December 1 deadline for getting that published, I do promise you it will be coming. I just want it to be perfect, and it’s not yet.

I’m hoping this helps combat some of the SAD that I know is coming. As the days get shorter, and the air gets crisp and cold, I can feel it creeping in at the edges of my mind, sinking icy fingers into my heart and turning everything pale and cold. I don’t like feeling that way, and in the past, writing has helped me stave it off. I’m hoping to repeat that success. Wish me luck.

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

It’s getting colder. I have my first cold of the fall (joy. It didn’t even wait for September 23 to come in, and it’s really overstaying its welcome. But I digress.) and the leaves are changing. And you all know what that means:

It’s NaNoWriMo time again!

I’m on the site as captain_hobbes, if you want to add me. I’m going to do the next Advent story (imaginatively titled “Advent #5, Pavel takes us traveling”) and so I’ll be working on both my playlist (which will be on Spotify) and my outline for the next month. I’m determined to have everything ready to go for November 1. Despite everything, I’m going to win NaNo this year.

I’m still working on Resonant Frequencies as well, but I don’t know if I’ll finish it before NaNo. If I don’t, I’m not worried – I’ll come back to it in December.

I’m also still battling depression. It gets worse in the winter, and it’s not being helped by circumstances here in my life right now. But I’m hoping to get through it. After all, my average so far is 100% for making it through.

Hopefully, I’ll have some more blog posts for you guys as well. The website needs an overhaul and I want to get some more stuff out. But all in good time. Right now, you can also catch me blogging Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at Dark Knight Paranormal’s blog, the TAPS affiliate that I’m a part of.

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

I’m sorry, folks.  I’ve been neglecting the blog this month, because I’m knee-deep in the Advent story for next month, and it’s NaNo, and yeah, that’s not an excuse, but there it is.  However, I have some goodies coming up, and I wanted to let you know!


First, I’ll be on Mitchell Plested’s Get Published  on Sunday, November 24, talking all things serial stories and Carter’s Cove.  So listen!  No spoilers.  I promise.


Secondly, Schrodinger has both a Facebook page and a Twitter feed that you can follow him on. He’s going to have some fun goodies, and he’s sending Christmas cards again this year!  Want to get a Christmas card from Schrodinger?  Leave him a private message on Facebook, or send him a message on Twitter, and he and Molly will send you a Christmas card!


Thirdly, the first day of this year’s Advent story is November 30th!!! Yes, it’s a prologue!  So don’t forget!

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

This week has not been good to most of my life, I’ll be honest.  I’m in the last week before my Remicade treatment, the weather is playing havoc with my allergies, and it seems like every one around me is sick at work.  The upshot?  A migraine.  Yeah, a migraine.


But despite that, I’m here, at the computer.  My words are nonfiction tonight (yep, I count blog posts as words, because dammit, I had to show up), but they are words, and this will be my 145th day in a row of writing.  Which is pretty damn cool.  Not sure what I’m going to do when I hit 150.  Maybe color my hair?  Something cool.


I’m almost done with Into Thin Air; I rewrote the ending to the last chapter last night, and now all I need to do is the epilogue.  Then it goes out to beta readers, and I start work on the next project.  Nope, not taking any time off.  Let’s be honest – I don’t want to break my streak.  And NaNo is fast approaching.


Something to keep your eyes open for – if you are heading to CapClave in October, I’ll be there!  Right now, I’m on 4 panels on Saturday and Sunday, but I’ll be around on Friday if anyone wants to meet up.  My schedule now is:

4 pm Saturday – Quoth the Raven

Panelists: Val Griswold-FordJames MaxeyTee MorrisJames Morrow (M), Steven H. Wilson
Forbidden Planet shows some strong similarities to Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Honor Harrington’s historical borrowings are easy to spot. But what if your influences and references are not as well known? How do you connect it for readers? Should you spell it out or hope someone catches your subtle references? What authors do this well?


5 pm Saturday – The Evolution of Fantasy

Panelists: Scott H. AndrewsVal Griswold-FordKathryn Morrow (M), Michelle D. SonnierLawrence Watt-Evans
Dark fantasy, Urban fantasy, and Tolkien fantasy are just a few examples of modern genre writing. Trends and tastes change over time. A Song of Ice and Fire brought gritty fantasy to the forefront. Is the reading public ready to move on? And to what?


12 pm Sunday – Magic’s Price

Panelists: Iver CooperVal Griswold-FordMichelle D. Sonnier (M), Jim StrattonAllen Wold
How do magic users tap mystical powers, and since there are no free lunches what is the price? What authors create the most interesting magical systems? What do authors do when the magic user becomes too powerful?


1 pm Sunday – Devourer of Books

Panelists: Judi FlemingVal Griswold-FordRahul KanakiaLeona Wisoker (M)
The speed reader gets to the end faster and as a reader they can outread every author they follow. They need new books, or old books to explore. Where do they get and keep their choices? General discussion of being a fast reader.


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

I’m still writing.  As of today, I’ll have written for 138 days in a row.  I haven’t missed a day, not even through Harper’s Retreat, or the ick that I was sick with, or anything else.  I still wrote, even if it was only 250 words


I still wrote.  I showed up to the page.


I was thinking about this last night – showing up, I mean.  I stayed late at work, because I was at the end of the first Inspector Lynley mystery (yes, I’m addicted to British murder mysteries.  No, I have no idea [MOM] why.) and I had to read to the end.  By the time I was done, it was 8:45 pm.


I had fully intended to go to the gym to swim, but the gym was a good 10 minutes away, and the pool was only open until 9:30 pm.  Was it really worth it?  I almost didn’t go.


But then I realized that I needed to show up.  I’d made that commitment, and I wasn’t going to just blow it off, the way I had before.  So I went to the gym.  By the time I got changed and made it into the pool, I only had about 10 minutes to swim.


I swam for that full ten minutes, folks.  I showed up to the page, because even though I only had ten minutes, it was more than I would have done if I’d gone home.


That’s why now, when people tell me “I have no time to write,” what I realize they’re saying is “I don’t have time to write 1000 words, or four chapters, or whatever.”  250 words takes me about 15 minutes.  Everyone has 15 minutes, 20 minutes.  So what if you only get 100 words, or 50 words.  It’s more words than you had before, right?


Okay, enough lecturing.  On to the updates.


I’m still working on Into Thin Air – I’m in the final chapter (not counting the epilogue).  This chapter is the one that needs the most work, because I wussed out the ending, to be perfectly honest, and my crit group called me on it.  I am still planning on having this done by the end of September, and then I can start working on the third Advent story.  That’s my Nano project.


Also, I’m going to be doing two events in October!  I’ll be in Gardner, Mass on October 2nd, at the library, doing a NaNo Prep lecture at 7 pm.  And the weekend of October 10th, I’ll be at CapClave in DC.  I can’t wait!

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

This weekend, with the exception of Sunday, when I have Curia and then my Dad’s birthday, all I am doing is writing.  I’m up to 12k on NaNo, but I’m so far behind, and I have to catch up!

I’m having issues this year, because I’m writing without an outline.  I know where I want to go, sort of, but I also want the story to grow the way the other one did.  It’s an odd sort of way to write, but hey, it worked the last time!

More tomorrow.  I promise.

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

Passed 11k on the new Schrodinger story today, and I hope it continues to be as fun as I think it is!  I’m now officially out of outline (eek!) so we’ll see.  I have nothing planned for Saturday but hanging out with Kate and Brian and writing.  So hopefully I can crank out oh, I don’t know, 15k so I can catch up.  (It’s possible!  Not probable, but possible!)

My favorite line from tonight’s writing is the header.  That, and “He owes me a Christmas tree.”

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

vg_ford: (Default)
( Nov. 13th, 2012 11:53 pm)

I am still doing NaNo, and I’m going to be doing daily updates from now on.  Today, my total stands at 8363 words – I’m about 14k behind, but I’m trying to catch up.  I refuse to give up!

I also received my edits for Last Rites this past weekend, so I have to start working on those.  But I really, really need to get my NaNo done, as it’s the Advent Story I’m going to begin posting on December 1st.  Yes, Schrodinger and Molly are coming back for another season!

Also, I’ve been asked about their first adventure.  I think I will be collecting the first Advent Story into ebook form (and possibly offering it on Lulu as well, for those who want a hard copy) and putting it up for sale for a small amount.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it done for December 1st, but I’ll try to have it available before Christmas.

So many things are happening right now.  I’m overwhelmed, and excited, and exhausted.  It’s a great time.

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

And writing.  And laundry.  And cooking.  It’s one of those days.

I need to write today – I’ve got two blog posts I need to write, as well as the outline for NaNoWriMo.  I also need to answer email, and make food for what is going to be a busy week.  And there’s almost no clean laundry in my house.  It’s a scary thing.

So, on with the list!

- 2 batches of Chex Mix

- 1 batch of Egg Muffins

- Make dinner plans for the week

- Grocery list for Monday

- NaNoWriMo outline

- Laundry!

- Pack lunch for Monday

- Blog Post #1 (why do you write?)

- Blog Post #2 (Them Damn Hamiltons)

- Writing/Exercise Schedule for the week

I think that’s it. I’ll be cooking too – I don’t know what, but I’ll be cooking.

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

The investigation was…interesting.  Enough said.  Today, it’s a grey, cold day, but thanks to the Cooks’ Guild, my house smells like baking bread.  They made rolls.  It smells lovely.  I might have to make bread later this week.

Today, however, I need to write.  I have just opened a new Scrivener file for the Advent 2012 blog story.  Schrodinger will be back!  The Christmas carols are on the computer as well, and I am going to start outlining.  I’m doing the Advent Story as my NaNo novel as well, so I need to make sure that I’m doing everything I want to.  Also, I REALLY need to get this outline done.

First, I need to do my daily pages.  Then, set up the outline questions and set my timer.  I’m going in – cover my back!

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

vg_ford: (Default)
( Oct. 9th, 2012 01:34 pm)

I hate colds.  I hate colds with a fiery, cottony passion that matches the gunk in my head.  Bleah.

Other than that, life is progressing.  I passed “Convoy” in and am starting work today on the new Advent story outline.  That’s my NaNo project, so I want to get it done (the outline, that is).  I suspect the rest of the year will be finishing things and starting outlines for new stuff for next year.

The Writing To-Do list for the end of the year:

1. Finish writing Tales of the Scorned Lady, season 1and then record it (more on that in a bit)

2. Revise novella for early next year

3. Write Advent 2 and get it up on the blog

At some point, I’ll get the edits for Last Rites and have to turn those in – we’re aiming for a spring 2013 release, and I have to check with the studio, but I think we’re going to try to do a combination release party/gallery showing with a friend of mine who did some amazing art based on the first novel up here in NH.  I think we’re also going to try for a spring Con launch – I just have to look at finances and see where I can afford to go.  More on that later as well, but things are moving forward!

I’m trying to blog every day.  We’ll see how it goes (I already missed yesterday!).  I’m writing every day too – really.

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

It IS good!

I’m thinking I should start inserting some graphics or something into these posts, so they aren’t all text, but sadly, I’m a writer, not a graphic designer.  We’ll see.

I got 1k written last night!  I never get 1k written in a night!  I’m so excited!  Today’s goal is a NaNo day: 1667.  (actually, it’s more than that, it’s the 5k I need to finish the story to turn in, but I’m trying for NaNo days now, so I can be in the groove for November)  I’m really enjoying the book The Busy Writer’s One-Hour Plot by Marg McAlister – it took me more than an hour (because I didn’t set a timer – bad me!) but I got the plot hammered out for Convoy and then wrote the first 1k in about 90 minutes.  For a slow writer like me, that’s amazing!  I’m so using this system from now on!

Once I finish Convoy and turn it in, I have to start working on prepping for NaNo.  The NaNo project this year is the 2nd Advent story (yay, more Schrodinger!) and I have to get it plotted out very soon, because I have to get the outline to the other folks who are helping me!  Yes, there will be OTHER STORIES!!!  (Sorry for the exclamation points.  I’m very excited this morning!)

Now, though, I have finished my morning pages, so it’s time to take the laptop into the kitchen and start catching up on podcasts while I make breakfast, do dishes, clean up and cook for the week.


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

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.

Okay, last NaNo post, I promise. :) But I learned a few things about my writing style this time around (I learn things every time, honestly) and I thought I’d share them with you guys. So here are the lessons I’m taking away from this year.

1. Planning: I am not a pantser. This NaNo really drove that point home. I need to plan things out. Once I started sitting down and planning what I was writing that day, I started getting the higher word counts. That being said, I may be overplanning some things, and underplanning others. Outlining, like writing, is an art, not a science, and I’m still perfecting my art. I probably always will.

2. Time: I CAN write 4k in a day, if I have an idea of what I need to write and I make the time to write. Most of my 4k days, I did very little but write. This is not healthy – I gained about 10 lbs over the course of November, a combination of stress eating and not moving around enough. In addition, my long-suffering husband barely saw me. Not good. However, I now know that if I need to, I can write 50k in a month.

3. Kittens are your friend: OMG, it seems so stupid, but seriously, Written?Kitten! got me through NaNo. I have no doubt that I wouldn’t have made it without the kittens. For those not familiar with the site, it gives you a new kitten (or sunrise or puppy or whathaveyou) picture for every certain number of words you type. I went with the default 100 words, but you can do up to 1000, I believe. Seriously, it works. No, I have no idea why, but it does.

4. Friends help, too: Without my friends on Twitter, Facebook and Forward Motion, writing along with me and cheering me on, I wouldn’t have finished. The community of writers is simply amazing. That said, turning off Twitter/Facebook helped me write too.

So there you go. Thus ends NaNoWriMo 2011. Next year, I’ll win earlier than the last day.

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

I’m always in awe of authors like John Scalzi or Jay Lake who blog every day. I totally want to be like them, except I’m realizing two things (besides the fact that they’re way more popular and successful than I am – I know that already):

1. I don’t know that I have something to say every day.
2. I’m not sure I want to blog every day, if it takes away from my time to write.

Which is okay. I don’t have to blog every day. There’s no rule saying so (and even if there was, who is going to enforce it?). I do, however, want to continue to blog on a regular basis. So from now on, I’ll be blogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And I’m actually plotting out blogs, so they’ll be more substantive and more coherent than my posts lately have been. If there is anything you’d LIKE to see me blog about, feel free to drop me a line at val@vg-ford.com. I’m actually *gasp* almost caught up on emails (I know, right?), and I’m settling into a new schedule at work, so I should be able to STAY caught up. I’m certainly going to try.

By setting up a schedule, I’ll also be able to write blog posts in advance, so I’ll always be on time (in theory). I’ve got the next few in mind: next Tuesday will be my “Lessons This Past NaNo has taught me,” and I’m sure I’ll have a post about Snow when I get it up.

The first post of the month will always include my goals for the upcoming month, and the recap of goals from the last month. My goal for November was simply to win NaNoWriMo, which I did! Goals for December are modest, because I’m still recovering from November, it’s the holidays, and I’m settling into a new schedule and new job.

So here are December’s goals:
1. Write every day. (I’m using 750words to get my morning pages/brain dump in)
2. Get Snow out on the various epub platforms. (For those who don’t remember, Snow is the Christmas novella set in the Dark Horseman universe I wrote for Lilley Press, which has since folded, so I’m re-releasing it myself.)
3. Outline the first Sapph Novella
4. Get Spells and Swashbucklers turned in

I’m also looking at next year and goals, but those plans aren’t finalized yet, so I’ll discuss them later. For the first time in six years, I am not under contract to write anything. It’s a very cool but slightly scary place, and the stories in my head are clamoring for their chance in the sun. I’ll be feeling my way through the noise, one step at a time.

So, in short, changes coming. Lots of changes. Good changes, I hope. I’m glad you’re all along with me for the ride.

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

Look what I have!!!

I did it! I did it! 50,000 words in one month!!!!

Now that the insanity of NaNoWriMo is over, I can actually like, do things other than writing again. What a weird feeling.

I will NOT be doing an Advent story this year – sorry. This story was supposed to be the Advent story, but it needs work. A LOT of work. As in, I now have 50k that I have to go back through and figure out where the story went. Because dude, I have no idea where some of this stuff came from. And yes, that includes the pirates. (Seriously. There were not supposed to be in there!) So I need to sit down, read through and, for one thing, decide what story I’m actually telling. And then how to tell it.

There’s now also time to work on other projects. Like, this blog. And the Dreams novella. And getting Snow out in the world again. And finishing up the last little bits of Spells and Swashbucklers. And knit. And bead. And sew.

I’m going to be blogging regularly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from now on. (Barring this post, obviously.) If there’s something you’d like to see me blog about, let me know. I’m also going to be changing some things around here, but more about that later.

I did it! I did it!

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

Well, in the sense that I’m not going to Williamsfaire. I feel like I SHOULD, but you know what? I need to do laundry, I need to cook for the week, and I need to keep writing. And I wasn’t going to really do anything at Williamsfaire anyways, other than write. So I feel better about staying home to get the other stuff done.

I’m only 7.5K behind on NaNoWriMo! If I get my butt in gear today, I can totally catch up! Not all today, of course, but I’m finally feeling like I know where the story is going. Sort of. :)

To-Do list for today:
- Put away laundry in living room
- Fold laundry from dryer and put away

- 2 more loads of laundry washed, dried, put away
- Dishes
- 2k on Strange
- Make egg quiches
- Make chicken-apple burgers
- Roast veggies for mac and cheese tomorrow
- Make mac and cheese? Possibly.

I need to do some editing too today, and maybe some other stuff. We’ll see. These are the major things to do.

Now, off to put away laundry!!!

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

It was weird, working this Thursday. Sigh, guess I’ll have to get used to it! I’m enjoying being home to eat with hubby, though, even if it IS hard to get up at 6:30 am every morning.

Today is a writing/cooking/cleaning day. I’ve already gotten 12 kittens’ worth of words (1200 words, for those not familiar with my new measurement system), so now I’m concentrating on some other things. I will keep writing, though. Gotta catch up! I’m only 8.5k behind!

Tomorrow is the Inn at Knottyng Cross, so I’ll be bringing my computer and getting even more words. I am a writing machine! The thing is, the more words I write, the more story ideas I have. That’s a good thing. A very, very good thing.

Okay, today’s to-do list:
- Make meal plan for the week, including lunches
- Make banana bread

- Make roasted veggie mac and cheese – making this on Monday
- Make breakfast egg quiches
- Make maple-apple chicken burgers and french fries (dinner tonight!)
- Fold laundry in living room and put away
- 2k more on Strange

I’m sure there’s more I should be doing, but that’s a lot right there. Time to get moving.

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



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