I have been beating the crap out of my main character on a regular basis — she has a dangerous and very weird job, and she’s pissed off some seriously WRONG folks.

Over the last few writing days, I’ve been clobbering her.

Today, while recovering, she started looking at herself through a different lens. And because she’s starting to change the way she sees the world…

She’s started asking better questions.

Today’s scene was a LOT of fun to write, and I discovered (right along with my main character) something that I didn’t realize was going on, hadn’t planned, and didn’t expect.

But what my MC and I discovered today fits perfectly, and it moves the series in a direction it needs to go.

Today, she asked the first of many RIGHT questions she’ll need to answer to get to the eventual truth. 

On Monday when I get back to the book, she’s going to come to the wrong conclusion (the book I’m writing now is, after all, only the second book in the series). But this is most definitely going to improve the directions in which she’s looking for the correct answers she will eventually uncover.

I’m truly happy with the way this series is building.

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Writing today was a delight — I made myself laugh several times while my MC dealt with being in ICU as a patient, and dealing with the staff, the discomforts of being stuck in ICU… and getting the first hint that even the hospital might not be as safe for her as she had hoped.

I used to be an RN, and while my preferred specialty was ER, I worked both as an ICU nurse and covered in the ICU the year I was a nursing supervisor (supervising was my LEAST favorite job ever. I much preferred being staff).

In any case, my main character discovered that one of the folks wearing scrubs might not be… well, folks as we define them on this planet.

Considering how she ended up in the ICU in the first place, this could end up being a big, bad problem for her. For other staffers.

Or it might be something entirely unexpected — even by me.

I know where the scene has to end up, but what happens between here and there is still up for grabs.

And as you can see, I’m now 66,866 words into the novel.


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I had to do it last of the things on my list, but after writing and sending out a couple of emails today, I set down with the words, fell right into the story, and got 1215. As shown by the picture above, more than I need to hit my deadline, if slightly fewer than the 1250 I generally shoot for.

I love the words I got. My main character is in such big trouble, and her new best friend is about to be involved (next chapter), and this guy I loathed when he showed up in the first book is turning out to be a pretty decent human being underneath it all.

A lot of my old life as an RN is sneaking into this book in tiny bits and pieces. 

Which is to say — my main character is having a helluva time. Because she isn’t the nurse.

She’s the patient.

<insert evil laugh here>


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Excellent Monday! And how often does anyone get to say that?

I rolled into work this morning (a few hours ago) with my Conflict Sentence in the right corner of Scrivener. 

That’s Protagonist Versus Antagonist in Setting with Twist in 30 words or less. Today’s chapter sentence was twenty-nine words, and was the aftermath of her going out for a run to see if she could get herself hurt. 


There was surgery. Projectile vomiting. More surgery. Pain, confusion, fear, and danger… and some wry and kind of snarky commentary from the subject of all this awfulness, my main character — it was funny as hell, fun to write, and I went over my daily word limit again.

I love this book.

I love this world.

And I’m in the final third, hitting deadlines and even getting a bit ahead on them, with three more books to write after this one. And I can’t wait.

Well, I can. I have to. But today is what, if you’re a writer, you wish all days were like.

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Friday… got the words but no more time.

So I started with 1128, finished with 61,864 words, and got my minimum word count to stay on deadline — 62,992.

It’s Friday, and I still have a list of stuff to finish, so I’ll just say, I LOVE where yesterday’s scene ended up.

Awesome stuff to come back to next Monday.

Hope you have a great weekend.

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You think you know who your main character is by the time you get her more than halfway through Book 2.

More than that, you KNOW she knows who she is.

So today, my MC discovered that an event in her life that she thought had gone down one way did not. And she discovered something about herself, who she was as a kid, and what she did as a kid, that shocked the crap out of her — and me.

It was a beautiful writing day, I LOVE the words I got, and what happened today fits in perfectly with her rocky past, and events that happened in the first book — stuff I didn’t even realize I was setting up until all of a sudden it was on the page.

There are times when you go in a direction like this, trusting your gut, and it doesn’t work out, and you hate every piece of what you write that day.

This … Not one of those times.



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Rough morning… some of it just with the content of this particular scene, which was a pretty dark event from my main character’s childhood.

I like what I got, and I got 1,577 words doing it, which continues to move me closer to finishing the first draft of this book early.

I suspect, though, that I might have to soften a bit of what I got during revision.

Not tomorrow. I have to get the FIRST DRAFT words done.

But I’ll need to keep in mind during the writing of tomorrow’s scene the fact that I might have to build in a bit of flexibility regarding what I got today.

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So here’s where I started this morning.Screen Shot 2021 01 12 at 9 08 03 AM

I began with a negative word count because when I read through what I wrote yesterday, some stuff had to go.

Some days the destruction is a LOT worse than this, but I did want to show that when I start in, my negative word counts do show up, I can see them, and I am aware of the price that cutting what I’ve written can have on hitting my deadlines. Some days the visible negative counts are in the thousands… and the next time I have one of those, I’ll try to remember to get a picture.

Just hoping that won’t happen again in this book.

And the positive word count does NOT include in my final tally the words I deleted. If it did that, it  would give me a false positive — would allow me to think I was closer to my target that I truly am.

But anyway, NAILED the scene today, and came up with a word count well above my objective of 1250. The 1786 net words I got today were fun, and the way the scene ended wasn’t something I’d planned.

By the time I hit the end of the scene, however, my wicked Muse had figured out something cool, and it whispered, “How about this?”

It was a true and final solution to the problem of that scene… though I have no doubt the solution is going to send some wicked repercussions through my story would.

However, it was… perfect.

And I was so happy with its little surprise that I damn near squeaked.

GOOOOOD writing day today.

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First, the headache, because it was the biggest obstacle I faced this morning.

Over the holidays, we did an intentional, planned drift away from keto so that we could have some fun foods. Pies, you know, and cookies, and stuff like baked potatoes and stuffing. We hadn’t done this before, but we hadn’t dealt with last year, before, either, which sucked… and just for the holidays, we agreed to be a little flexible where food was concerned.

We all three had fun eating. We all three also gained a little weight. Not a lot — we were still doing intermittent fasting — which for us is generally one meal a day, or, if you’re figuring in ratios, 1:23. One hour in which we eat, twenty-three in which we don’t.

We also widened our ratios, to about 6:18, which is still about as wide as we care to go.

Back to the headache. When you return to keto, you get a headache. I’m going to be able to count on this one for a good week before my body readjusts and it goes away.

Was it worth it?

Dunno. Ask me in a week, by which time the headache should wear off.

But throbbing, banging head pain aside, I did get 1278 words today that I really like, while cleaning up and adding to the scene I started last Friday.

I’ve met some new bad guys. My main character finds the smaller one adorable and truly compelling, and is not having the easiest time in the world seeing him as a “not someone I should love”. There are reasons for this beyond the fact that that my delightful villain is someone most human beings would want to take home and be friends with forever.

The bigger bad guy is NOT anything like the little one. But might have some good surprises for me as I keep writing.

Writing the conflict in the scene today, and figuring out what was truly going on as I wrote it, was a blast.

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So… this morning I got my favorite line so far in the Ohio #2 novel.

It’s subject to change during revision, of course, or outright deletion if I come up with something better, but right now it’s this.

If you can catch them, you can eat them.

Can’t throw in the context, except to note that an attempt at nasty negotiations by the bad guys did not work out as well as they’d hoped.

And I got a full start-to-finish scene I love, words I’m very happy with, I went over my stay-on-deadline wordcount of 1191 words by 479 words — and I still have time left over to get the rest of today’s work done.

It has so far been pretty much the perfect Friday.

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