ROW80 Check-In

Things are coming along nicely. Very nicely. I have found great places to write away from the hustle and bustle of television and Phillies Games. Now, I love my Philadelphia Phillies, but sometimes I gotta put the boys on the back burner and concentrate. Ya feel me?

So.. book is coming along. I am working on the outline as well.

Today Andy and I drove down to Kelly Drive with the bicycles and I got some great ideas for location and a potential subplot. We did a six-mile loop on the bikes. There were so many people! People on bicycles, runners, walkers, rollerbladers, walkers, parents pushing kids in strollers. It was amazing.

I also came up with a another plot idea for another book. Andy said I am demented for coming up with such a wicked idea, but I can only thank the public bathroom and the dirt trail that led off to the right of it.

Dirt Trail.

We looped around the Art Museum, passing a line of people waiting to have their pictures taken with the Rocky Statue. I found this interesting. All the history in Philadelphia and people come from all over to have their picture taken with a fictional character. I smiled at the line of tourists as I passed.

Rocky stands for the underdog, the working class, the loser, so to speak. Rocky had heart and did not give up. I needed to see that Rocky statue today.

Goals for this week:

Write! Write at least 400 words a day on at least five days.
Read! Read blogs and comment.
Research! I have to do a little more investigation into the areas of Philadelphia in my book.

Happy writing my fellow writer peeps! Stay strong, keep it real and remember…. taking a break to regroup is an important part of the process.

See ya on the flip-side! (I just always wanted to say that). 😀

Dear Me: A Kick In The Pants

Dear Me,

Well, here we go again! Last year was a disaster wrapped in awful. Maybe this year we can get some of those goals accomplished we set out for last year? The things we think we want to do with our life! Yikes!

It seems the cat farm didn’t turn out so well. We now know first hand that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’m sure the neighbors won’t forget that cat incident for a long time.

Let us try some more tangible goals that can help us reach our dreams, shall we?

The catch 22 of getting published is frustrating I know. But hard work always pays off and so we must stick first to the task of writing for at least a half hour each day.

Our first goal is to get at least two articles published on an e-zine. You have one article published on an e-zine, but come on. Writing Prompts? Really? We both know you are far more creative than that.

This achieved small goal will most likely lead to our next slightly larger goal of getting an article published in a print magazine (cross fingers).

And now for the big one. You have the whole rest of the year to work on your novel and I suspect with my help and your charm, we will be able to pull that one off! The final revision should be complete by the end of the fall. Therefore, we should be looking at publishers by November.

Oh, and in between all of this, you really should lay off the brownie bites and get a little more cardio in. I’m just saying is all.

So, let’s get cracking!

Love, Me.

ROW#80 Check-In.. Getting To The Meat

Eeewwww… what the hell does that mean, Darlene?
Well, I’ll tell you.

I am on my second scene in my novel draft. I have written close to 2000 words which doesn’t seem like much. However, for me it is. Two jobs, chauffeuring my daughter back and forth, blogging and reading are all tasks that must be completed. Oh yeah, and laundry, food shopping, dishes, paying bills.. yadda yadda.

I finished Nikki Sixx’s “The Heroin Diaries” and put it down feeling a little different then I had when I first picked it up. Normally, books do not affect me in such ways. But being that I went through something similar in 2006 I could relate in a few spots. True, I do not have unlimited funds. Had I had unlimited funds, I may have wound up dead. Everything does and doesn’t happen for a reason.

I have not been very steadfast in blog commenting and I apologize for that. It seems I should take a moment tomorrow and write out a schedule of sorts to better manage my tasks since I am taking this book thing seriously (and myself seriously) for once in my life.

So my goals for this week are simple.
Write, write, write.
Get my ass to an AA meeting.
Finish my eighth and ninth step.
Get my hands on a camera and take some pictures.

Ok, that is all for now. Good luck in your writing and non-writing quests friends!

The Write Stuff!

Ok, multitasking is bad. It is bad when I try to unsuccessfully drive, drink my coffee and smoke my cigarette all while trying to find a kick ass song on my radio. It is worse when I try to write chapter two in my WIP and my boyfriend is flipping back and forth between the Phillies game, L.A. Ink and Dr. Phil.

L.A. Ink is my fault because it is one of the episodes with Nikki Sixx on the show and I made him turn it on. Okay, I didn’t make him. He turned it on because he loves me so! *gush*

My writing is coming along nicely. I posted the first scene of my book to the Writer’s Digest forum for critiquing and I got some really good feedback.

Something I noticed: when I sit outside on the front step surrounded by chirping birds and the sounds from the near by street and neighbors, I write better. My head is not so clogged and concentration becomes doable. I also noticed that when I go to the Dunkin’ Donuts in Richboro down the street from my day job, I tend to focus more. Plus, when I go there I can get ideas for character traits and descriptions.

So, on that note… I am going to try to find quieter places to write if the opportunity should present itself.

My new book idea is super exciting! Once I find out a bit more about where it is going I may share some details. Or I may not. I am such a superstitious turd at times.

See, my writing process goes like this when I am in the living room:

Open WIP.
Get a bottle of water.
Sit back down; stare at screen.
Check Facebook.
Like a bunch of stuff on Facebook.
Check email.
Go back to word document. Read what I have already written. Twice.
Check Facebook again.
Go outside and smoke a cigarette.
Get a cup of coffee.
Sit back down.
Stare at word document which looks exactly the same the last time I looked.

It goes like this when I am out front:

Sit in chair.
Put cup of coffee on the little table.
Finish my cigarette.
Open the laptop.
Write for a half hour.
After the half hour, go back in the house.

I think I need a little more discipline!

Happy Writing Friends! One step at a time, one brick at a time, one word at a time.

ROW #80 Check-In Moving Right Along

Ya know, I sat and almost beat my head against the brick wall outside last week because I could not figure out what the hell to write about.

Then suddenly, as if the clouds parted and little word covered butterflies fell gently from the sky… I got an idea.

And now I am running with it!

I have been reading a lot more. I am reading Nikki Sixx’s “The Heroin Diaries” which is eye-opening. As an alcoholic/addict, clean and sober for 5+ years, I can relate to a lot of what he writes and can slightly identify with what I cannot relate to (does that even make sense?).

I also just purchased Stephen King’s “Under The Dome” which is awesome so far. I am only up to the groundhog part… but King is one of my influences and I can already tell it will be difficult to put this book down. Damn you Stephen King, damn you.

Goals accomplished for the week so far:
Finished outline for first part of novel
First draft of character outline
Reading books!

Goals not very accomplished:
commenting on blogs! – – I have been reading a lot of blogs, and have commented on a few. Will try to comment more.
Riding motorcycle – it has been very hot. When it hasn’t been hot, it has been raining.

Goals to strive for this week:
Research Philadelphia (yeah I grew up there, but still) particularly South Street, Olde City, Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street.
People watch at the park for character trait ideas. (not like a creeper!)
Write two parts of Chapter One.
AA meeting tonight.

Ok, that’s all for now. Happy writing friends! 🙂

ROW#80 7-24-2011 – Finally, A Break In The Clouds

I once heard the more you read the better you write. This is so true. The more I read, the more ideas I get for plot, character description, scene lay outs, etc.

It is so interesting to me how I have been working on one thing for a few weeks now, which was really going nowhere, and then I was watching Death Proof and reading “The Heroin Diaries: A Year In The Life of a Shattered Rock Star” by Nikki Sixx and BAM! An idea unrelated to either just jumped in my lap.

I am super excited with my new goals and am finally using my Book In A Month spiral book to get the details, characters and ideas down.

Goals for the week:
Do a budget layout for my money (this = less stress)
Finish outline for new novel idea.
Do the character section of “week one” in the BIAM book.
AA meeting Wednesday.
Ride motorcycle to work once this week (hopefully it will be less than 100 degrees at some point!).
80’s blog entry.
Continue to read blogs and comment on blogs.

Ok friends, that is it for now. Good luck with your goals.. all of you! I’ll be in touch soon.


#ROW Goals Are Good!

Okay.. I have been doing well with my walking, meetings and blogging. The writing part I took someone’s advice on and decided to cut down my word count goal a few hundred. I have been doing about 150 words a day and I am not freaking out over not meeting a bigger goal.

Goals met this week:
Writing word count
Walking meditation in the park (I keep seeing the same deer every day!)
Blog entries

Goals for the coming week:

Increase to 200 words every other day.
Increase walk time to 20 minutes a day.
Ride my motorcycle to work at some point this week! It has been so hot there have been thundershower threats each day… I am not riding in the rain!
Continue to read my writing buddies blogs! Your blogs rule… I learn so much from reading them!

ROW Check-In #3

AAAAIIIIEEEEE!!!!!! OMG – life is crazy! But if it wasn’t.. it would be brutally boring! Let’s see.. my progress for this week so far has been super lame. I honestly do not know where the hours go. Honestly.

Goals achieved this week:

AA meeting
Read blogs
Commented on blogs
walked in Tyler State Park (saw the same deer family again – aww!)
Submitted blog entry for the Kawasaki Ninja.

Goals not achieved this week:

Blog entry for 80’s blog
Blog entry for Darlene Steelman blog (I don’t think this entry counts!)
1500 words on work in progress

Goals (modified) for this week:

I am going to see Poison/Motley Crue on Saturday. I will blog about that on the 80’s blog Sunday.
I am riding the motorcycle to work on Friday. I will blog about that Saturday.
1,000 words on work in progress.
Read lots of blogs (way too many to count!)
Comment on at least ten.

ROW#80 Check In Number Two

Ok, so I am finally getting the hang of this I think.

I managed 1,500 words on my work in progress.

I did a few walking meditations which were quite lovely.

I am following so many blogs now that I am starting to get a little nervous if I can keep up with them all!

I commented on a few blogs.

I wrote a short review of Kristen Lamb’s awesome book “Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer”. By the way for all you bloggers out there, if you haven’t read it yet, it is definitely worth checking out.

Goals for the coming week:


2) Drink lots of water.

3) 2,000 words this week on work in progress.

4) Post to 80’s blog twice this week.

5) Post to other blogs one time each.

6) AA meeting on Wednesday.

Well, that’s it for now. Hopefully I can keep up with this!

ROW#80 The First Check In

Okay, so I had high hopes of bashing out goals like I bash mosquitoes, however, today was a day run rampant with chaos and I was only able to get in my walking meditation. It’s all good. If life were perfect all the time, what would we write about?

So tonight I am going to read a few blogs so I can get that under my belt. There is no time (nor energy) to do even a lick of writing or editing. It is 10 pm and I am super pooped.

My fifteen year old daughter is bee bopping in her room, hanging posters and listening to music. If only I could somehow bottle some of her energy and spike my water with it!

I did get to an AA meeting tonight. That was definitely something I needed. I don’t get to many meetings, but when I do I always come away with a feeling of contentment. I should probably revise my goal list and put “attend at least one AA meeting a week.”

Happy writing everyone – and you can only do your best… 🙂