All of the work presented on this blog is © Joanna Peterson.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I did it!

At 11:49 PM, July 29, 2015, I verified my word count with a total of 25,393 words.

I did it!

And now I can keep writing because I've uncovered a bit of a mystery in my story. And I know where it's all going to go, and it's really exciting.

Thanks for all your support this month!



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tragedy + Writing

It's been a while since I've written. I started the month off so great, just under 11K words written, that I almost didn't feel like I had to write until I caught up to my word count goal.

And then tragedy struck. We went for a nice family drive up the canyon. I was getting all sorts of inspiration. It was great. Nature is awesome that way. It's kind of like when we went camping and I stayed up a few extra hours that one night to write, and ended up writing a couple thousand words. By hand. In a lined notebook.

Anyway, there we were, driving through the canyon. Out of cell service. We stopped to speak to a camp host about their beautiful campground facility. When we went to drive on, we had no clutch. At all.

The camp host drove my husband down the canyon, leaving me with the tired, cranky kids at the campsite for two hours. Luckily, my amazing sister-in-law, her husband, and my nephew came to save us. They were going to tow us out if we couldn't get the car to start in first gear. Luckily, it did. My husband trucker shifted (I didn't even know this was a thing until Sunday!) all the way home - over 40 miles, if I remember correctly. We thought we could fix the hydraulic clutch ourselves, but alas, we couldn't. It was done for. We had to find a shop to take it in to get fixed. Sadly, everyone wanted as much as we paid for the car to rebuild the transmission. Except for one shop who was willing to do it for about half what we'd previously been quoted, if we picked the parts up for him. Sure thing! So now my car is in the shop, and I'm not nearly as stressed out about it. (I'm supposed to be getting it back tomorrow. Yay!)

So, since I'm no longer as stressed out about the car, I decided to see if I could actually write. I turned on Pandora Classical Radio and set to work. About 4K words later, I was actually caught up to where I needed to be today! And now I'm still going strong. It's looking like I might actually hit my word count goal if I push hard and keep writing tonight.

So, into the writing cave I go! Wish me luck!



Sunday, July 5, 2015



I just got back from 4 days of camping.

Yep, actual, quite literal camping.

It was fun. We were out in nature. With the bugs and the rain and the freaking hot, humid weather.

But it was fun.

I loved it.

The thing I think I love most about it is that it gave me some really great ideas for the project I'm working on for Camp Nano this month.

I'm not sure what it is about actual camping that does that, but it does. For example, I wrote the first half of the first draft of The Sector on a camping trip several years ago. Look where that got me! It's published! You can even get it in my local public library (which is pretty awesome).

So who knows? Maybe this current project will work out just as well for me? Maybe, just maybe, it will actually make it to publication. Or, at the very least, get written and out of my brain. Because believe me when I tell you there are a lot of stories taking up space up there, with more joining the ranks every day. I wish there were enough hours in the day to write, work, and take care of the family, but the truth is: there just aren't. So, until we find a way to make a 48 hour day and I only have to sleep for 6-8 hours of it, I'm going to have to take every second I can to write. And let's just say, I definitely took advantage of my time while we were out in nature.

I can't wait to be able to share some of what I've been writing. Be patient, my friends. It will be worth the wait.

Until then, wish me luck! I've crested 10,000 words, leaving just under 15,000 left to write by the end of the month.



Monday, June 29, 2015

Switching Cabins

OMG! I am totally that camper.

The one who complains that her bunkmates suck and asks to be moved to a different cabin.

Yep, I did.

They were really quiet. So very quiet.

Like, I'd been in the cabin for a week and no one had said anything.




I'm sorry, but I can't stand quiet cabins.

So I asked to be moved. And, because it's Camp Nano and they're awesome, they obliged.

And now I'm in a new cabin.

They all have similar writing goals (remember, mine is 25K), and we appear to be a diverse group of people. Some of the story synopses even sound like books I'd enjoy reading (not so big on Fantasy when reading, but they made it sound enjoyable and interesting).

But they're quiet too.

Now, I don't know how long the rest of them have been together. I just know that I just got assigned. So I decided to strike up a conversation and get us started. 

We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, I'm really excited about my project for Camp Nano! Except that I'm going out of town for the 4th of July, and I won't be within internet - or electricity - range at all. 

(We're going camping, in case you couldn't figure it out.)

Maybe I'll buy some lined notebooks and take them with me. After all, that is how The Sector got its start: camping Labor Day weekend forever ago. I wrote it by the light of the moon, the stars, and my tiny little battery-powered lantern that attracted the giantest moths you've ever seen. No lie.

And look how that turned out!

In the meantime, I'm working on something different. It's definitely going to be more sci-fi-y than The Sector was. And I'm excited about that. I even have a sequel novella planned (but mostly because part of it is going to be incorporated into part of what I'm working on. Confused? Yeah, me too!).

I'll try and blog before I go. If not, watch for my farewell to tech post on the Facebook page, and I'll see you all next week!

Thanks for reading! (and commenting! *hint hint*)



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Camp Nano

I got my cabin assignment for camp earlier this week! I totally forgot about it until the other day when I looked at the calendar and realized how close to July it really is. I'm not sure exactly how active my cabin is going to be. As of right now, we've been cabin mates for the better part of a week and no one has said anything in chat. They mostly have really low word count goals too. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you stick to the planned schedule Nano provides of 1,667 words/day, you're more than likely to hit 10,000 words in a little over a week.

My goal is 25,000 words. July is going to be a little crazy. I can tell already! There's a ton of stuff going on in my real life that I won't get into right now (maybe later), so I'm going to make it so I can actually succeed this time around. In April I made it to just under 25,000 words, so I figure I can easily hit that in July.



I'll need all your help and support to keep me buoyed up, okay?

And maybe, just maybe, if I hit my goal at the end of July we'll have a giveaway of some sort.

How does that sound? Pretty sweet, right?

Here's the catch though: You have to actually participate here on the blog and over on the Facebook page. I know, I know, posting comments takes time and it's way easier to just like something. But if I'm going to hit this goal of 25K, I'm going to need some actual verbal support.

In exchange, I'll post little sneak peeks of what I'm working on. Sound like a good enough deal?

Yeah, that's what I thought! ;)

Well, I have 7 days left to plan - even though I'm not really the planning type - so I guess I'd better get started on that outline, huh?

Until next time!



Thursday, June 18, 2015

Please Don't Die!

I posted on Facebook earlier this week that our writing prompt for today was going to come from 642 Things to Write About (Buy it Here), and was going to involve telling a dying houseplant why it needs to live.

So, here goes! Please feel free to share your versions on the Facebook page or in the comments here on the blog.

Thanks for reading!



Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you click through and purchase the items. This helps me fund my writing. Thanks! :)

(As always, all original work posted by me is copyright Joanna Peterson 2015. Thanks!)

I stared at the wilted leaves, wondering why, after I'd cared so diligently for it, it had decided to die anyway. I watered it when the soil dried out. I kept it near the window so it would get enough sunlight. Heck, I even bought the expensive plant food at the nursery and followed the directions to the letter.

And yet, there it sat in front of me, dying. I knelt on the floor next to the little side table I'd set the basket on and clasped my hands before it. 

"Please, little plant," I begged. "Please, oh please, don't die on me. Not now. He already thinks I have the Black Thumb of Death. If you die now, despite my best efforts to care for you, he'll blame me forever."

I stared intently at the little plant my boyfriend had given me just a few weeks before, as if I was waiting for it to respond. Like it would explain to me why, after all my hard work and loving care, it was deciding to leave this world. Naturally, it didn't say anything. It was just a plant, after all. 

"Come on!" I shouted, slamming my fist down on the table. "Really? You're really going to die on me?"

Now I was starting to feel silly. I was shouting at a plant. A houseplant. A freaking peace lily!

I pushed myself off the floor and started toward the kitchen where I kept the plant food and the watering can. I wasn't going to let it just drop dead on my watch. I would nurture the crap out of that little plant until it either gave in and perked up and continued to live, or decided to go all in and die on me.

"Fine!" I shouted at it as I filled the watering can in the kitchen sink. "See if I care if you die or not! I won't give up on you though, little plant. And if you do crap out on me, he'll understand. He's seen the care I've given you. He won't blame me. Your little plan to screw with our relationship won't work."

I shoved the watering spout down toward the roots of the little, dying peace lily and poured water on its dry roots. I'd show it. I'd show it I wasn't giving up. I'd die before I let that stupid little plant die.

Okay, maybe not, I thought to myself as I returned to the kitchen and placed the watering can back beneath the sink. I was just being dramatic. But that plant meant so much to me. It was the first real thing he'd given me. And if it died, well, I was afraid it was a sign of how our relationship would end. I glanced back over my shoulder, sizing up the wilted leaves. 

I blinked. Were they that wilted before? Or did they seem a little perkier now that they'd been watered. I sat on the couch, staring directly at the plant. I was going to sit there and wait until I knew for sure. I'd sit there all night if I had to. Luckily, I didn't. Three hours later, the leaves definitely looked perkier than before. I smiled as I brushed past the peace lily to draw the curtains closed.

"That's a good plant," I said, patting its leaves softly as I walked past toward my bedroom. "That's a good plant indeed."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Between Drafts

I've been reading the books I bought over the last few years about writing. Writing a book in a month, outlining your book, blogging about your book, even story generators. It's been fun, and I've gotten a lot of ideas. In fact, I think that's why I've been blogging so much lately.

Anyway, I thumbed through one of the books the other night called Novel Blogging (Buy it here) and found several great ideas for things to write about here on the blog. One of which is the topic we're going to cover today.

I know a lot of people wonder why it takes so long (at least, for me) to write a novel. Escaped and The Sector each took years to complete before they were ready for publishing. It's been several years since I've published them, and I know I've promised sequels. Believe me, I'm working on them!

But why does it take so long?

For me, I have to let the story sit and stew for a while. Sometimes it's as short as a few weeks or months, and sometimes it's as long as several years. It really just depends on how bad the draft is, how much work the story needs, and how I'm feeling about where everything went.

See, I've got everything all planned out in my head, and most of the time I can manage to get from where Book 1 left off to where Book 2 needs to end. Sometimes, as is the case in the two sequels I'm currently working on, characters go crazy and do totally unexpected things and throw the whole plan away. It really makes it hard to work in Book 3 or 4 (no promises here!) when my characters do that. And it's really frustrating and makes me wonder if the new plan is the right thing, or if the old plan needs to come back. You see where I'm going with this?

So what happens in between drafts?

Well, Draft 1 gets finished and I let it sit for a good while. Usually at least a month (lately a little longer). Then, I mull over the things I want to happen vs what actually happened in the story, and try to decide if it's going to be easy or difficult to insert said ideas into the existing draft.

If I decide it's going to be difficult, usually I'll scrap about 75% of what I've written and start fresh, keeping only the bits that I really, really liked that worked well with the new version of the draft.

Then I finish Draft 2. It's usually about this point where I send it off to my Beta Reader (love her, she's the BEST!) and then she rips it to pieces. :) After I get it back from her, I let it stew for a few weeks before diving in with fresh eyes, making changes, and adding or subtracting things. Then I send it back to my Beta Reader. This process goes on until the manuscript is finally in a good place.

Then I let it sit for a few more weeks before I begin editing.

Once editing starts, I power through the whole thing multiple times in about two or three weeks. Then I work on the cover, the description, and I send it out for a final proofread. And then, once it finally passes muster, I hit the publish button in Amazon and Barnes & Noble, cross my fingers, and hope for the best. :)

Hopefully this explains a lot to all of you, and kind of sheds some light on why I've taken so long in producing sequels.

I promise, I'm working on them. I promise, I'm on Draft 2 on both. It's just taking some time to get it Beta Reader ready. But, soon, hopefully very soon, they will be on their way to my Beta Reader, and then we can get the ball rolling toward publishing again.



Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you click through and purchase the items. This helps me fund my writing. Thanks! :)