Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Category Archives: Row80

#Row80 Checkin

I haven’t done a check-in for ROW for so long I couldn’t even recall when the dates where going up or down.

I have been struggling with getting an idea past the planning stage. I start planning it and it looks good, I’m excited about my characters and the premise. Then I get to the plot and I realize I have no idea how to get from point A, beginning of the book, to Point B, my perceived end of the book. Just  wholesale, no ideas for decent conflict or knowledge about how the narrative will work. I suppose I could just fudge everything, but that makes for really bad books.

Anyway, well, here is the State of Asrai’s writing career.

Did my edits on When Love Knocks, finally have a title and I owe my best friend and beta reader 0.1% of royalties for this book or something. at least a nice gift certificate for a massage or a night out. SOMETHING. I hate titles.

Anyway, I nearly threw up when I opened the edits. But then it turned out they were wonderful and I am happier with the book than before. And Now I’m chomping at the bit to get Second Chance Romance edited.  After the next paycheck comes in probably. We’ll see. I want the story to remain the same, but the typos and bad spelling, grammar and missing commas to be fixed.

I brainstormed on promotion vs. writing the next book. And the general consensus is: write the next book.

Happy birthday to my Husband. Love you sweetheart. The best thing was we ate out Friday night because we never know if he’ll be home for supper or not, and my fortune cookie read “This evening will bring romance” or something like that. It’s a good thing when a fortune cookie tells you about your romantic prospects. (He doesn’t read this blog so he won’t get the message anyway).

We went to my cousin’s wedding dance, which was supposed to start at 8 PM. We got there at 8:30 and they were still doing speeches. We found my brother (my dad had to leave because he forget his pain pills at home, he had back surgery at Christmas) and found out they had the wedding ceremony almost 1.5 hours late because the bride got lost (well actually her limo couldn’t get to where it needed to be so they had to around). That needs to be in a novel somewhere. The groom freaking out because the bride hasn’t arrived, did she get cold feet? Someone can steal it if they want, I have no wedding scenes planned … yet. But I want a thank you!

And last but not least, I think I finally have another round of Amy and Scott planned out. Originally Amy was Mac and Scott was Corey Porter. I wrote the entire novel only to toss it, thankfully, Corey’s story, Complications over Coffee, is better for it. But I have written Amy’s story three more times since then, and it never turns out the way I want it to. I think I figured it all out. Again. Try it once more.

Okay, hope everyone out there had a good week, month, few months.

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Abandoned all hope #Row80 Checkin

I’ve fallen off the wagon. sort of.

In doing this How to think Sideways, I’ve had to stop my work in progress stuff, because I want to apply all my lessons to what I”m writing. So for the time being, I’m just letting it go, taking the stuff I was working on that wasn’t working and applying lessons to it.

So I”m letting go of my word count goal. As long as I’m doing something creative and writerly every day, that’s the important thing right now.

Blogging twice a week. Doing it. Pondering niche vs not, at least for Mondays. It was motivation, but that’s not really the thing I love. what I love to ponder is money. How to save, how to spend, how to invest, how to budget. I would love to be a money coach, something like Gail Vaz-Oxlade does on Til Debt Do Us Part and Princess. It’s in the back of my mind right now.

And my last goal was to get outside. Spent the entire day yesterday and will do it again today outside. We pulled the old deck off yesterday and now will spend the next two days rebuilding. Has to be done by Monday evening as hubby returns to work on Tuesday. My shoulder and back are sore this morning.

But, we’ve been walking to school and then Sunshine Boy, our 2 year old, and I go play for a while outside. Sometimes in the yard, sometimes at a park. The other day we found a hill. We’ve also been going to the playground while my Big Girl is at Karate. Except the wind here is so freaking brutal All The Time.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, because Everyone deserves love no matter what your situation. I get to eat out tonight. But today will be semi-brutal. Trying to keep track of children and help build a deck. And other things.

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#Row80 checkin for this date

1) Write 750 words 5 days a week.

I have written in some form everyday, but a few days it was work on How to Think Sideways course by Holly Lisle, which is totally awesome. I’m loving it.

Had to abandon my WIP, the one referenced in my Lucky 7 meme. I made it a special world, but then did no world building, so I have to fix that somehow, I really love the characters and plot. A shiny new idea came to mind.

But again, not tracking word count. Blah.

2) blogging at least twice a week, not including Row updates and my interspiration link mashups for Saturdays.

my monday serious post and Friday Fun are working. I don’t have a backlog built up yet, but I’ll get to that. I’ve been reading too much about niche and panicking about whether or not I need a niche.

3) go for a walk once a week and go to the park with child(ren??) once a week.

went to the park last night with sunshine boy  and sunshine girl was at Karate

4) get the yard cleaned up. nuff said, the paining done.

It snowed on the weekend so cleaning the yard was put off.

Funny story with the painting. We did the floors in the living room sometime ago and on Sunday, while sunshine boy named, the girl and I decided to paint. I told her if she got paint on the floor I’d be ticked. She painted a while, we wiped up numerous splatters and found that it was easy. She got tired and quit and I was nearly finished and I ran out of paint. She went and grabbed the paint bucket and all of a sudden I heard “I didn’t mean to.” (DUH!) I turn and she’s on her hands and knees and half the leftover paint is in a pool on the floor and she’s crying.

Poor kid, she’s 9. I scooped up what I could, we used all the rags in the house scooping the rest. And I laughed hysterically. It was either that or cry.

5) Connect with others by using the @USERNAME when I tweet links to people’s blogs.

I tweeted a whole bunch yesterday, but last night and this morning, I haven’t checked my RSS feeds so maybe later today. I schedule my tweets for afternoon to early evening. Getting good responses from people I’ve tweeted links for, and I’m finding that I’m following a lot people’s blogs whom I’m not following on Twitter, so that is getting fixed up.

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#row80 check in, more sadness

Today sucked. Last Saturday we took our awesome, but indoor-outdoor cat to the vet because she seemed in pain and I had found a small wound that was pus filled. They cleaned it, gave her an anti-biotic and sent her home. She got out of the house unbeknownst to us Monday and I found her in the afternoon. I grabbed her and popped a huge abscess on her side and brought her in to clean it. It was huge and gaping. I called the vet, they booked me in first thing Tuesday (this morning even though this won’t post until Wednesday).  Hubby took her in, (Thank god because I’m sure I’d still be there) and she was torn open worse on the other side. Some sort of big animal got her and shook her around. There was nothing they could do but ease her pain.

RIP Snuffalupagus, Snuffi. You will be missed. She really was an awesome cat.

But it brings me back to loss, which seems to be the theme of this year.

So row80 goals.

Write 750 words 5 days a week. Right now I am at a bit of a loss on how to proceed with my novel. I got the heroine into a pickle and I don’t know how to get her back out. The pickle was something I envisioned from the beginning (though in a different point in the story) and now I’m stuck. So I’m concentrating on How to Think Sideways Course from Holly Lisle.

Blog twice a week. I have to refill my Friday posts, as what I had scheduled are at an end. And Mondays I write as I think of things that interest me.

Go for a walk or to the park or something. We hung out outside in the yard for a while today and yesterday we went for two walks. Tomorrow is supposed to be nicer so we’ll probably head for the park for a bit.

Clean up the yard.  Working on it. Tomorrow I have plans to clean the house, because I’ve been slacking off.

Tweet blogs with mentions. Did a few today. Tuesdays are a difficult day to find good posts. I’m also trying to steer clear of posting too many writing focused blogs, which is difficult because the bulk of my focus is writing, the publishing industry, and social media related to writing and publishing. I don’t want to get niched into writing about writing and Tweeting about writing.

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#Row80 Check in

My first Row80 check in. Goals have not been on the top of my mind this week.

Let’s see.

Goal #1 750 words, 5 days a week. I wrote 7 days this week, no idea on my word count as I forgot to keep track. It’s not a habit of mine, as long as I write I’m generally happy.

Goal #2 blog twice a week. Going well, been doing random life posts on Mondays and Fun on Fridays and the occasional writerly thing scheduled for the middle of the week.

Goal #3 Go to the park and for a walk. Went to the park on Thursday with Boy, while Girl was at Karate, even though it was freezing with wind.

Goal #4. yard clean up in progress. Our new place has an enormous amount of trees and thus a great big deal of leaves.  We did 6 bags of leaves in the fall before the snow fell, the rest got shoved in a pile, we did 13 this spring and I have probably 3-5 more to do. Although some are going in my new compost bin, as soon as there is time to build that. And y’know lack of wind. (Okay there is never lack of wind, it’s the prairies).

Goal #5. Retweet by using mentions. I think more than half my tweet this week were with mentions of users, many people thanked me. I read this post. I read this post yesterday, titled The Twitter Thanking Crisis. Basically a lot of people tweet messages that seem like thank-yous, but are actually self-promotion. Some good tips and some ranting in the post.  Any thoughts on the topic? Do you engage in some of the activities she writes about? (I do, but they aren’t the only things I tweet, so I think I’m okay).

Happy Easter. My children got a bit of candy and Just Dance 3, which the boy is less than thrilled about; he loves the first one, but this one has songs he’s unfamiliar at this moment, a month from now will be a different story.  I will say it’s way more complicated than the first one, they don’t always show you the next move, relying on you to remember.

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The #Row80 Check in that wasn’t

I will be writing in the quiet moments of life the rest of this week, but I hope that much of it will be spent with family.

“The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The name is being with held pending family notification.”

I’ve read that on many news articles. I’ve never been on the receiving end. I, truthfully, wasn’t this time, but it was my cousin on that page, a sweet strawberry-blonde teen, just starting out, so full of life and joy.

Now, there is a hole where her joy used to be. Where I’d look forward to seeing her at family events. I will still look for her, remember her, but she won’t respond to my please.

She will rest in peace, I believe. But those who knew and loved her will always hurt from the loss.

I know I will always wonder why, even though I know there is no answer coming for my questions.

I wonder what was lost with her. What were her secrets that she never told? What were her experiences with life? With love? What did she long to let someone know? What were her secret dreams?

Everything goes in a circle. I hear the news, I wonder why and I cry. And I wish there were a way to get her back.

Eventually the sadness subsides as I realize there is no why, or no answer to my question. So I get quiet and numb and I distract myself. But the news comes around again from an outer or inner reminder.

I know it won’t always feel so raw. I wish there were more I could do for those who are hurting much more than I am. I wish I could take some of their pain.

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Check in day, check in Day. #Row80 goals and shinies

I’m feeling whimsical and giddy tonight, thus my post title. IT works best if you say it in a sing-song voice.

Okay, I’m going to try to focus right now. See it’s working. I’m recalling my goals.

Editing: i’m still on the fence with the editor thing, if I do hire one I need to wait until I get my writing money in. Or do I? I’m nervous. I need to send some stuff off for quotes. Tomorrow: I will suck it up and do this.

Writing: eh, I’ve spent too much time with this fantasy so I’m writing it. It’s *gasp* Fan Fic. I just need to get it out of my head so I can move on.

Exercise: trying for a Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday work out schedule.

House: going very nicely. I have some projects I’ve done in the past week or so that shall be up on House Tuesday, but due to the total lack of much to say about anything, I’m only doing House Tuesday every other week, to stretch it out a bit.

Blog: I am still working out a change in my voice, my writing style for this blog. Just the topics are not coming to me very fast, so it’s a work in progress. I understand the high concept, but I have not been putting it into practice the past two-three weeks now. Stats are down.

Rethinking my Pinterest deletion. Just have to be careful about Pinning and visit the site and see if they encourage repinning, then I can pin. Everything else will be bookmarked via Delicious. There are lots of people who are seeing huge increases in traffic from Pinterest. which means, note to self, must find a way to make pictures more frequent and fit into the high concept mode, because pictures are central on Pinterest and becoming more important in social media period.

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#Row80 checkin

I have missed the last two to four checkins because  i’ve been WRITING. I am in love with my characters, the plot, everything. i am especially loving just writing. If I get stuck, i just ask “How could I make this situation worse?” and keep going. i’m getting at least a thousand words per day in the hour or so between the kids bedtime and mine. So I’m pretty excited.

My goals were to edit my hockey novels. i had beta readers read them with some mixed comments and then I wasn’t sure if I should scrap the story or what. I decided I like the story as is. A few minor changes, a read aloud through and then edit for typos as best i can and a cover. It shall be released mid-March as planned.

Blog goals. I’ve floundered this week. Pinterest has me so excited to do house projects during the day and then i’m trying to sty on my routines so daytime i haven’t been blogging much. Then evening rolls around and i want to write, so little blogging. And my stats are reflecting that. I’ve also realized I am not writhing from my heart. I want to do that more, but it is a work in progress. I am working on it.

Personal goals: I stopped working out. It made my son whiny and that was making me grumpy. So I’m changing the 4 day to 3 day a week work outs. my son will suck it up, but i will also keep workouts under 30 minutes.  My body is so stiff and sore today, every joint hurts, which I thought I’d gotten past (for about 4 years from 16-20, my body ached all the time. And then I did some inner healing and it disappeared).

I updated my 50/50 list. Its difficult for me to do the movies. My husband watches a movie a day, usually the same 6 repeatedly and randomly, but he also watches movies on TV when he’s home and I catch 45 minutes here or there because the children are pulling me or  housework has to get done in another room (we used to have this lovely open kitchen/dining room/living room flow now the living  room is cut-off), so I don’t catch a whole movie very often. i’ll get there, i’m not as behind as I thought. I’ve also been struggling with reading because I have borrowed a few books I had no interest in finishing Age of Miracles by Marianne Williamson turned out to be for women in midlife, Defy Gravity by Caroline Myss turned out to be about healing experiences and a bit dry.

Can i count fan fiction in my book if it’s book length? I can’t help myself when it comes Alternate Universe Dragon Age where The female Warden romances Bann Teagen. That is so not the best picture of him, but it’s the best I could find.

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#Row80 Checkin For Sunday. Perfectionsim sucks

Writing: I`m not sticking to a word count, but I am writing. Mostly, everyone who commented last Wednesday was right, it was a combination ADD and (mostly) perfectionism. I was trying to plot and it turns out:

I don`t plot. I am a pantser.

That is the way it is and I will not fight my nature. I plot after I write and then fill in any holes, it works, it`s worked for several books so far.

Blogging: so far so good. Writing things in advance, blogging several times a week.

Exercise: totally fallen off the wagon. Will have to reset this now that I`m back in the writing saddle.

House: I cleaned the bathroom, the laundry area, my son`s room (he co-sleeps so his room became a dumping ground) and the playroom this week. And still managed to spend far too much time on Pinterest. Maker I love that site. So much pretty.

I also only played a few hours of Dragon Ages II. Sadly my plan to romance (seduce) everyone on the game possible did not go as planned. I made rivals out of Merril and Fenris so they would not sleep with me. I got Isabella (she`ll sleep with anything) and Anders (who moved 2 minutes after he got out of my bed).

I`m missing Alistair so I`ll be back to Origins soon I`m sure and scouring the web for FanFic and the release date of DA3.

How was your week?

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#Row80Checkin- Writer`s block and money purposes

Writing goals: down the tube. None of the ideas I’ve come up with have turned out plottable. I can’t find character motivation, I can’t find turning points or plots that make things worse. I’m at a dead end. I didn’t want to admit to  having writer’s block, but I think it is.

My plan for this: freewriting (like morning pages, but not in the morning because I am not a morning person and if I do get out of bed for something like this, my son would be awake 2 minutes later), following my other creative interests, such as home decor, sewing and crocheting and to carry on blogging.

I also want to start meditating (more on this next Monday) and also maybe a spiritual practice. Been a long time since I did anything spiritual or religious. I long to be a practicing Wiccan again.

Blogging goals: I have tons of ideas for Friday Fun posts. So those are queued up from  now until June. (Not quite). My Monday Motivation are more difficult, since I’m trying to be more high concept (reaching more people then just writers).

Exercise: I’ve fallen off the wagon. Monkey Boy is so whiny it’s hard to get 40 minutes where he isn’t demanding my attention the entire time. I am a bit bored of EA interactive, so i need a change anyway. Maybe I’ll go back to the exercise videos. I love me some exercise videos. The music and dancing should keep him entertained long enough to raise my heart rate and break a sweat.

Danielle La Porte’s burning question for this week is: What is the purpose for your money?

And mine is ….


More fully: to support my lifestyle so I can create more. More everything. More love, more crafts, more words, more fun, more learning, more time.

Somewhere late last year, I found a blog that asked you to set a goal for the amount of money you would make, but also to allocate that to various areas of your life or to  have a plan for your money.



other bills and life=27%
personal husband and I=4%

The housing and bills are based on my estimates of our costs. For the past 8 years we have managed to keep our housing costs far below the 30% of our income. By looking at this our vehicles would cost far more (if we paid for them outright, these numbers are based on my ideal income, not present income), but the vehicles are total cost, whereas the  housing is only a one year payment schedule, not the whole thing. Plus we also plan to spend a bunch of money doing some fixing up.

What is the purpose of your money? How did your week go?

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