29 January 2012

A Return Of Sorts

  Fundraiser Success Frees Up This Writer's Time Once Again...

Thanks to all my fellow ROW80's for the well-wishes.  Our annual Night @ The Races was a fun and profitable night.  Heaving a sigh of relief after I roused myself from the bed at nearly 11:30 am...(yes!  11:30 am!) I schlepped to my kitchen and brewed a pot of hot tea.  Today is for lounging, visiting around on the blogs, reading for enjoyment, and re-cooperating!  Tomorrow....well, tomorrow marks my return to serious writing.  I've got a novella to publish.


*  Nearly nil to report...heh heh.  But I did hustle to sell scads of horses, glean sponsorships,  wheedle food donations, entice revelers, and lure prospective Tri-Fecta gamblers...ha! 

*  Haven't received anything yet on the cover design...which has me on pins and needles!  I'm bursting with excitement.

*  Managed to engage in a great CrossFit workout at least three days this week. 

*  Sophomore son wrestled, quite possibly, his best match of the year thus far to defeat local team Coughlin's stud wrestler...Frank Mahmoud. 

*  I cooked two trays of beef stroganoff...a half-tray of scalloped potatoes...Does that count for anything goal related?  Ha.

These make me smile....;}

I'm off to enjoy some much needed R & R...  Happy Writing ! ~ Nadja

25 January 2012

January Winding Down

Hello, ROW80's!  Hope you're having a happy Wednesday...

As I relayed in my last check-in, this week is possibly the busiest week of my calendar year - excepting districts/regional/district duals/ and...(fingers crossed for junior or senior year) states...(We have big dreams in this household) 

Saturday is our annual fundraiser, Night At The Races!  We're on track so far, giving me encouragement that our boys will have a nice banquet.  We're also hoping to be able to send them to another week long wrestling camp at one of the local universities. 

Schools are short on money, and many wrestling clubs are taking over the financial burden so that programs can continue.  My son won a district title in 2010 - junior high...That's not an option anymore, as district wrestling is no longer available for junior high students in PA.  It's sad, really.  But schools cannot afford these extras when they cannot even meet a budget to purchase books for students.  Basics first.

ROW80 Goals...

*  Waiting for my cover design has me antsy!  Waiting is not my strong suit...

*  I've edited through my manuscript once.  Tomorrow (or at least by the weekend) I will begin my second read-through. 

*  The ending has yet to be written.  I've continued to be torn between two ideas, but it's time to make a decision.  Next week I will have nailed down the direction and begin writing.

*  My understanding is that anything under 50K is considered a novella.  I believe I'll end up around 40+k.  This has raised thoughts of whether to remain a novella or to add to the story, publishing a novel.  Sigh.  I'm favoring novella...

*  I've plotted out the basic storyline for my next WIP and researched a fair amount.  I've much to learn about Outremer, the knights who remained, and the consequences for those choices.  I was interested to learn that some families relocated with their  husbands to the Holy Land. 

*  The Blogger Girlz reviewed Her Dark Baron!  It was a great start to the day. 

*  Social goals have been side-lined until after Saturday.  I'm swamped with wrestling, wrestling, wrestling....food donations, horses bought, sponsorships, counting monies, following up with local businesses, and keeping my records straight.  On top of that, keeping up with meeting minutes, forms needed, and remembering all those little details...(who will pick up ice...do we have enough coolers to keep it all frozen, how many extension cords do we have, who will pick up start monies, we need envelopes, reams of paper for printing the booklets, Sterno fuel counts, ....ACK!)  Please forgive me.  Ha! 
I'll be around next week again. 

 Here's to a successful season!  ~ Nadja

18 January 2012

Quick Check-In and Update...

Happy Wednesday...

Today is short and sweet for this chickie!  My sophmore has a wrestling meet tonight - and I've got lots of wrestling related work going on as our biggest fundraiser for the year is less than two weeks away.  This event, called Night At The Races, is run by volunteer parents and earns the monies used to purchase our team's warm-ups, end of the year banquet, trophies and awards, and a list of other, smaller things.
Invader Wrestling is building strong bodied and minded young men! 

What activities steal you away from the computer/notebooks? 

The Historical Romance Critic reviewed Her Dark Baron! I'm all smiles today. 


*  First read-through/edit for The Third Fate is at page 132, leaving about 45 pages to go!  Of course, then I'll begin read-through number two...but it's progress.  I'm on track to hit the goals I set at the beginning of the Round! 

*  Information and images are now in the hands of my cover designer, Elaina Lee at For The Muse Design....I cannot wait to see what she comes up with ;}

I've gotta run!  Hope to see you all on Sunday... ~ Nadja

15 January 2012

Back To The Land Of The Living...

Another week begun...

Sundays are such great days.  That may sound a bit corny, but it's true.  It's a chance for a fresh start that comes around once every seven days.  After last week's bout ...I'm extra appreciative this Sunday!

Renewed commitment to honor the Sabbath is also producing unexpected rewards!  Refreshed, rejuvenated, and (dare I say it) expectant... for the new week is a terrific way to begin.  For any of you, who like me, struggle to take time to rest and recharge, taking a day of rest is satisfying in ways I did not imagine.  Now if I can only continue with my good habits...ha!  I'm infamous for convincing myself that I can sneak in work here or there and 'cheat'.  

How do you recharge/prepare for the new week?

Goals, Goals, Goals...

*  I have a folder with approximately 10 images dedicated to the cover for my next book, The Third Fate.  I'll be sending all to my cover designer, at For The Muse Design

*  I have edited and revised through page 60!  Re-arranging, tweaking, adding, removing...it's all going on in my edits of The Third Fate.  I printed a copy of my entire novel, which has enabled me to curl up and edit without being glued to the computer screen!  I normally write long-hand, but because of the NaNo time crunch I wrote on the computer.  It was different, and I enjoyed pouring the story out so quickly, but I'll be back to my notebooks for the next novel!

*  Visiting was slow for me this week since I was down for the count a few days.  I still met my goals three of the five days.  Not too shabby ;}

*  CrossFit continues to be a fascination and has quite possibly become an addiction! 

*  New story idea is taking shape!  Just this morning, I was brainstorming/daydreaming when a firm plot drifted through my imagination, prompting me to cry, "Eureka!  That's it!"  That never makes me sad. 

Here's to a great week, ROW80's! ~ Nadja 
This is my CrossFit group over the summer.

13 January 2012

Dreaming Of Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my giveaway for the Dreaming Of Books Giveaway Hop!
The giveaway will run from 13 January, 2012, through 18 January, 2012.  A special thank you to our hosts, I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Martha's Bookshelf

With over 200 participating authors and readers, there's sure to be a giveaway for everyone. 
Do you dream of books?  I sure do!  I love just about all books.  So when I saw this hop, I immediately signed up to participate.  My favorite genre to curl up with for relaxation is romance, and I'm offering my latest historical romance, Her Dark Baron, to three lucky winners.  Thank you for stopping by and good luck.  Visit around and enter the many giveaways in Dreaming Of Books, too.   

Here's how to enter...

*  Follow my blog, or sign up via email. 

*  Leave a comment with your name and email in this format -
nadja (dot) notariani (at) gmail (dot) com - so I can contact you if you are a winner!

*  For an additional entry, become a fan on Goodreads.  Make sure you let me know in your comment.  

I will be giving away a Kindle (or other reader/e-pub) book of my latest novella, Her Dark Baron and a $10.00 Amazon gift card to one grand prize winner.  In addition, two more readers will win Her Dark Baron to add to their Kindle (or other reader). 

11 January 2012

Checking In After A Screeching Halt...

What's the quickest way to throw a monkey wrench into my goal achievement? 

Late Monday afternoon I happily thought over my day's progress, smiling like a Cheshire cat...until...I felt a mite 'queasy'.  Hmmm, thought I.  Perhaps I should have a cup of tea.  Nothing doing!  Within the hour, I could no longer deny the facts.  The stomach-flu-fairy had touched me at some point along my travels.  Nooooooooooo...
They look like something out of 'The Matrix'...(shudders)
But alas, yes.  ...Disgusting...heh heh...Bet you're so glad you visited today!
Today I feel human again, well, for the most part.  It's back to work today - even if it is slow moving work.  My husband and sons (the fifteen year old joined me in my sickness...he was out for the count also) did a great job of cooking and fending for themselves; however, they left a disaster area in my kitchen.  FEMA would have been appalled!  I handled that first thing this morning - now, it's little jobs and writing work.  Oldest son has a wrestling match tonight, but I'm not sure I'm up to the hour long drive to get there.  We'll have to see as the day progresses.  

Hope your week had a much more pleasant kick-off... Ha! 

In my travels, I gained an introduction to Amy Kennedy, who has a wonderful tab at the top of her page which links to My Daguerreotype Boyfriend!  Thanks, Amy!  This site is a great find for me.  Here's a sample of what you'll find when you visit...But there's much more information on the site.
Mirsaid Sultan Galiev, c. 1919. Communist, warrior, and wouldn’t you know it, a poet. Executed by Stalin in 1940 for promoting Muslim ideology within communism, he remained a passionate Bolshevik:

Not much visiting around to report....hopefully I'll have more on Sunday's check-in.
Hey, ROW80...What has your week held so far?
~ Nadja

08 January 2012

A Round Of Words Check-In and Wisdom...

  A Few Words Of Wisdom From An Internet Photo...

A word that induces love, loathing, pleasure, dread - and all in the same person within the same week!  It happens.  There are moments when I struggle to get my story to translate from my mind's eye to the page.  But as I'm sure you've read from Kait Nolan, KEEP WRITING!  Talk a walk before you return to your project.  Set up with a nice hot coffee, tea, insert your fav beverage here - go to a cafe - light a candle....Treat yourself.  It will pass....believe it. 

I logged into my email account on Wednesday morning to view any comments and do some visiting around my reader/writer friends' blogs when I spotted a comment by Aaron from the Blogger Girlz.  I met Aaron during the Platform Building Campaign and immediately knew that Blogger Girlz was a blog I would continue to frequent since they (Aaron and Ella) love books as much as I do.  During NaNo, then publishing my next novella, the 12 Days project, and then with holiday madness, that glorious frenzy of fun and excitement,  I've not been able to spend as much time with books as I'd like. Thankfully, readers are... well....reading!
Aaron commented that she's posted a review of Claiming The Prize!  Read it HERE.  What a great way to begin the day!

Goal Updates...

The first week of ROW80 is complete.  Here's how I've fared...

*  The first 100 pages of my WIP, The Third Fate, have been read, and I've managed to edit 20 pages.

*  Two novels read, lessening that old TBR pile!

*  Social media goals (which carried over from previous rounds) met.  I've visited roughly five blogs per weekday, keeping in contact with fellow ROW80 writers and other blogs I follow.

*  Shiny new idea for next book - check!  Another historical will be in the works, I believe.  I'll be researching, researching, researching...

*  Fitness continues to play in the forefront of my life.  CrossFit is a challenge that I enjoy four days a week.  I'm growing stronger each week.  Strengthening my body is doing more than tightening my thighs...ha!  It is sharpening my mind and building my confidence in ways I never expected.

What accomplishment has you standing tall this week?

03 January 2012

A Conclusion, A Holiday, And An Interview....

Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group for January, 2012.

Don't forget ***  to check-in for ROW80!

The year 2011 was a whirlwind for me.  I published my first novel, Claiming The Prize, in September. (Click here to read a review by The Blogger Girlz

Then in early December, I published my second, Her Dark Baron. (Read a review by Komal at In Which I Write Nonsensically)

This was overwhelming - in a good way.  I had claimed (secretly to myself and to my husband) that 'one-day', I would write a novel.  One day never seemed to come, however.  Five children, a few re-locations for my husband's career, buying a home, football, cheer-leading, track and field, soccer, wrestling, boy scouts, and maintaining a home took over the next twenty years!  At 39 years old, I began writing.  At 40, I published.  It's been one splendid, inspiring, year.  I even finished out 2011 with a record (for me) sales month of 100+ books!

But old habits die hard.

Successes like the one I mentioned delight me.  However, they will become a burden if I don't keep my focus where it needs to be.  I can allow myself to simply enjoy success and keep forging ahead...'letting go of all that is behind and pressing ahead toward my goal' - or I can allow that success to become a taunting entity that paralyzes my future work. 
'What if I don't see such success next month?'
'What if my next book isn't as good as this one?'
'What if I can't come up with another story idea?'

You see the danger?

This is a new year, with 2012 arriving much sooner than I expected it...Ha!  Seriously, in the 1980's and 1990's, 2012 seemed light-years away, yet here it is.  I am gearing up to complete my next novel, The Third Fate.  Edits will begin in earnest by the end of January - mid-February.  I plan to publish by the end of March, 2012.  

Keeping my eyes on the goal, which is to continue writing and publishing, I need to glean what's valuable, efficient, and enjoyable from past experiences and take these with me into what shines ahead, simultaneously letting go to allow my new books/ideas/methods to take me where they will.  

It's going to be another wild and wonderful year.  Let's ask ourselves...
'What if I achieve higher than I did last year?'      

An Interview

The lovely Komal has invited me over to chat at her blog!  Click HERE to visit..

Here was another first for me this year.  Interviews.  To be quite honest, I felt like a fraud in my first interview!  Really.  Sure, I had written a novel.  Sure, I had published it.  But did that mean I was an author?  Ha!  It took awhile for that truth to set into my brain.  How did you feel in your first author interview?

02 January 2012

A New Year ~ 2012

My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose – somehow we win out
Ronald Reagan

New Year, New Chances, New Opportunities, New Ideas...

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau

Hello to you all!  It's been a week or so since my last post - I wholly partook of the festive holiday season with my family - but it's time to get back in the saddle.  Today marks the start of a new Round for A Round Of Words In 80 Days - as a matter of fact, it's the first round of the new year!  2012...
2012...I Said!!!!
Is anyone else staring, gaping, astonished at it?  I'm still shaking my head, unable to figure out where 2011 went, never mind digest that 2012 is already ticking off its days unabashedly.  So...it's the perfect time to join in another round and set some goals.  Productivity and achievement need encouragement in my world.

Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

How will you challenge yourself this year?  What goals are you setting? 

Here's what I'll be working on...

* Read through my current WIP, The Third Fate, in a week's time. 

*  Write the missing ending, tie up some loose ends, work in some ideas to polish.  I will allot three weeks to accomplish this.  Also during this time period, I will select the images I'd like to see on my cover and submit to my cover designer, Elaina Lee. 

*  Begin serious editing.  Read through 2x to scan for errors.  I think 2 weeks will be more than enough time for this.

*  Send to beta readers by February 20, 2012, with feedback requested by March 1, 2012.

*  Two weeks to scan edits and make any adjustments.  Also read through 2x again to scan for any missed errors.

*  Select next WIP storyline and begin outlining.  When I begin, I will set a deadline for completion. 

*  Begin character profiles on each of my major characters for the new WIP.  I will allot myself one week for each character, which I believe is ample time.  However, this will be the first time I will be using this method from the very beginning, and may need to adjust my goals accordingly.

*  Begin writing my new WIP once The Third Fate is sent off to beta readers.

*  Publish The Third Fate by the end of March, 2012.

There you have it!  It's going to be a challenging start to the new year, but I'm aiming high. 

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.
Denis Watley