Caught in a Whirlwind

So, it’s official. Hubby and I are homeowners. We moved into our new place last Wednesday, and the past week has been a flurry of unpacking, cleaning, painting, and endless trips to Lowe’s. We are slowly but surely getting settled in, and we’re excited—tired, but excited.

Of course, that means that basically no writing has been getting done. I have been doing some prep work for the course I’ll be teaching this fall, and have been making decent progress.

But there is some wonderful news on the writing front: I finished the second draft of “Called by Magic” in a little over a week. I’ve never revised anything that quickly—and the revision included some substantial rewrites. It’s a novella of about 20K, so not novel-length, but that was still a fast turnaround. I wish every story could flow so smoothly.

In previous posts I’ve mentioned that I’ve decided to focus on The Cabot Sisters, a series of six novellas following sister-witches Laurel and Brigit and their adventures in the faerie realm. So up next is plotting the third book in the series, “Chosen by Magic,” and getting started on it. But right now class prep comes first.

I’ve really shifted my focus for this round, so here are my new goals for the third round of ROW80:

  • Finish a second draft of “Called by Magic.” (check!)
  • Finish a first draft of “Chosen by Magic.”
  • Finish a second draft of “Beckoned by Magic.”
  • Read two or three books on the craft/business of writing.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop!

What about you? What projects are you working on? Any home improvement projects this summer? What are you currently writing?

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22 thoughts on “Caught in a Whirlwind

  1. To be honest, since about Friday or Saturday I’ve been working on nothing. And I really need to change that! (And yet, here I am reading blogs.) I should be working on a short story (scifi) and filling in world building holes for my novel. No home improvement, but there has been some sorting/organizing of kid closets in preparation for the school year.

    Hope you’re feeling cozy and settled in! Enjoy the new place!

    • Gloria, I think it’s okay to go through periods of downtime. Those times remind me how much I need writing–to feel fulfilled, to get all of these words and characters out of my head and onto the page, etc. So don’t feel too bad if you have a few off days. If I’m trying to get back into my writing routine I start slowly–maybe aim for 300 words, and then work my way back to my usual word-count goals.

      Well, I’m still surrounded by boxes, but last night I started unpacking some of my books, so it feels more like home. Excited to be in the new place, but ready for the unpacking to be finished. 🙂 Thanks!

      • I wish it was downtime, but it is time being stolen by back to school preparations and schedule adjustments for my husband’s medical stuff. I know eventually I’ll get everything squared away (even if it is 24th/first day of school when it finally happens). Just got to keep trying in the meanwhile, so it is sooner rather than later. 🙂

        Books make everything better!

  2. I think property is an excellent excuse to have to put aside the writing for a while. 🙂 Big changes like that require a lot of time and energy. Writing is best done when things are on the boring side.

    But that’s great news about the quick second draft. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks, Ruth. The words were really flowing. Let’s hope the third book in the series goes as smoothly, although it’s a first draft, and they rarely do.

      Yeah, moving takes up a ton of energy, and I start teaching in a few weeks, and that requires a lot of preparation, especially since it’s a course I haven’t taught before. But I love teaching, so I’m looking forward to it. Any major writing will have to wait until things are more settled on the home front and I finish my lesson plan for the semester.

  3. Hooray for the happy whirlwind! Sounds like whatever you choose to focus on, you’ll be making solid and substantial progress.

    Your new goals seem simple and attainable, while at the same time, well-designed to carry you forward. Have fun with the sisters, the homeowning, and the teaching! =)

    • Thanks, Shan Jeniah! I’m looking forward to writing this series, to teaching, and to getting settled into the new place. I put away most of my books last night and it already feels more like home. Now if I could just get my clothes put away…

      • Books always have that effect on me, as well. Clothes are necessary, but certainly not as important to me, as far as feeling at home goes…

        But good luck with getting yours properly homed! =)

      • Yeah, having those books and a few cherished knickknacks out and in place–my grandmother’s hourglass, my gargoyle bookends, etc.–makes the place feel like home sweet home. Clothes don’t lend the same homey quality–it’s more of a convenience thing. 🙂

    • Thanks, Katherine. Yeah, moving has to be a priority. We have a blind kitty and he is not too happy about living amongst all of these boxes–it’s too hard for him to navigate, and we keep moving things around, so he can’t run anywhere the way he likes to. For his sake, at least, we need to get things settled and unpacked. 🙂

  4. First of all, congratulations on being homeowners. It must be very exciting.

    As far as my writing goes, I haven’t done much this week. I’m doing some editing while I’m reading a book I read in my World Literature class in college. I hope this will spur me to write better.

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s exciting. And exhausting. But mostly exciting.

      World Literature sounds like fun. I’m not sure I ever took a course with that title, but I think I would’ve enjoyed it. What are you reading?

      Yes, anytime I read a book I’m really into, I get inspired to work on my own stories. Let’s hope the same happens for you!

      • It’s called “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” I read it for a Caribbean Literature course, not World Literature. Truth be told, I don’t remember what class it was for.

        But I am hoping this will inspire me to write more adult fiction. There are so many good classic and contemporary novels out there. It’s finding them that’s a challenge.

        When I got back into writing, I told myself I would write more adult-grounded novels; try to avoid the YA crowd, not that there’s anything wrong with YA, but I feel like my writing needed to grow up as I have. I know that comes with practice and reading a lot, including YA. so, that’s what I’ll do.

  5. It’s been and interesting summer to say the least.

    I have 3 NaNoWriMo novels (2011, 13, 14), all in rough draft stage. They have been sitting for a while in my study, so I finally FINALLY started revising/editing the one from 2014. It’s not my strongest but I am partial it and the one from 2011. Planning on finishing a read thru, note taking, plotting, editing round, done by end of August. September will be revising the actual novel and re-writing of course. I want a finished 1st/2nd draft to bring to my CP (i have one now) in October.

    Also, writing two new stories and planning to do the 2011 NaNoWriMo novel next year. The one from 2013, might not be good enough, but maybe later. Finding what pieces are strong enough to continue working on is a challenge in itself.

    There’s also the regular goals and such. Been a good summer overall with writing, editing, and fun stuff.

    Congrats on becoming a homeowner! Been one since 2009. It has its ups and downs. 🙂

    • Thanks, Cindy. Good luck with your revisions! They can be fun, in their own way–paring away what’s not essential to the story, making scenes clean and shiny, that sort of thing. But when you hit a plot problem you can’t figure out how to solve, that’s when things get tricky! I hope you enjoy the process.

      Any advice for a new homeowner?

  6. So glad to hear that you’re getting settle in Denise. Moving is a huge undertaking. And exhausting. But once you get past the initial work, it’s a get feeling. So happy for you and hubby. 🙂

  7. When we first bought our house, we didn’t stop to just enjoy it for… well, it’s been over 10 years now. We’re always trying to fix something, adjust something, deal with something. You’re doing what needs to be done now… even if the writing needs to be done too.

    Six short novellas…. And then the stories that follow? (not that you HAVE to write more about them, but… well… :-D)

    For now though, rest and relax, Denise. You deserve it. House hunting is hard and emotionally taxing work.

    • Thanks, Eden. We’re trying to just stop and enjoy it, but the semester starts Monday–I’m teaching and hubby is taking a graduate class–so it’s going to be back to craziness soon.

      The plan is for a series of six novellas–although if any of those novellas wanted to be novels, I wouldn’t say no. 🙂

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