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

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Goodbye Camp!

Dear Diary,

I had a really good time at camp this year, but I didn't hit my goal. I didn't even come close. I'm kind of disappointed that I couldn't pull it together at the last minute, but life got in the way. Still, I guess I should be proud of how much I actually got written, right? Here are my end of the month stats:

Goal: 50,000
April total: 36,747
Words remaining: 13,253

36K isn't anything to sneeze at. That's a crazy amount of words for someone who only wrote 15 days out of the entire month while also working three part-time jobs (sort of - it's hard to explain) and taking care of my family. Because for some reason those little people expect me to feed them three times a day. haha

So, with that, I bid goodbye to Camp Nanowrimo. Don't worry though. I had so much fun this past month, I'll be back in July! And I already know what I'm going to work on. In the meantime, I guess I have a few months to finish my April project, right?



Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 21

Dear Diary,

It's been almost a week since I've been able to get any writing done. I think I got a little distracted by some of my offshoots in my story, and it kind of bogged me down. But, I think I'm back on track finally. Here are my stats:

Goal: 50,000
Day 21 total: 1,578
Day 21 running total: 35,068
Words remaining: 14,932

Wait, what? Did the goal change? Why yes, yes it did. I thought I'd have way more from my first draft that I could use for this rewrite, so I made my goal HUGE for Camp this month. 70,000 words doesn't seem so bad when you're pulling over at least 25,000 words from a previous version, does it? Except that I decided to go in a completely different way this time around, and I'm really liking it a lot more. So, the 70,000 word goal had to go away as well. I'm practically writing this all from the start. It shouldn't even be called a rewrite, except that the basic plot and characters were all written previously.

I didn't write a ton tonight, but I did make some progress in the whole Rob-Jamie Lynn plot. And, since it's kind of important, I took my time on it. So, without further ado, here is a little excerpt from what I did tonight:

“We’re being followed,” she said quietly. Her hands went down to her sides and clutched the seat cushion.
“I know.”
“You know?” Her eyes widened with alarm. He should be more concerned, shouldn’t he? She took a deep breath as she consciously relaxed her hands, releasing her grip on the leather piping outlining the seat. “Aren’t you worried?”
Rob shook his head. “Nope. Your dad told me your security team would most likely be hanging around.”
“Most likely?” She swallowed the lump of fear in her throat and took a deep breath. It was her security team. It had to be. “What do you mean, most likely? You mean it could be someone other than my security team?”
Rob shrugged. “But who knows you’re here? Everyone thinks you’re in Columbus, right?”
He didn’t even look to her as he asked, but his tone was cool and biting. Her stomach flopped.
He knew.
“Listen, Rob, I was going to tell you, but –”
“Huh?” His question took her by surprise.
“When were you going to tell me?” he asked, his eyes glued to the road ahead of him.
“Monday, when you went back to State,” she whispered.
“So you were going to wait for me to leave, thinking you were going back to Columbus, and then what? Call me up on the phone and tell me, just kidding, you’re staying in Rushton?”
He was hurt. She bit her lower lip, unsure of what exactly to say. She hadn’t planned on having that conversation in person. She had planned to have it on the phone, exactly as he described. She stared down at her hands as they fidgeted with the hem of her sweater in her lap.
“I’m sorry,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion. “I didn’t know how to tell you." be continued......

{Sorry, no SPOILERS!} ;)

As always, thanks for reading!



Monday, April 14, 2014

Day 14

Dear Diary,

It's Day 14 of Camp, and I'm finally almost halfway finished with my novel! I hit a good stride tonight with my writing - despite the call of awesome TV on my DVR - and I got over 5,000 words written. Here are the stats:

Goal: 70,000
Day 14 total: 5,501
Day 14 running total: 32,080
Words remaining: 37,920

Not too shabby, eh?

And, as per tradition, a little tidbit for you to read until my next post:

“Where’d she go?”
“She said she had to pee,” Trey shrugged. “Said she had a friend lived in one of the houses. I told her to hurry. She should be back soon.”
“You are an idiot!”
The silver-haired man threw a wrench across the back of the tow truck, hitting Trey squarely in the chest.
“Damn! That hurt. What was that for, boss?”
“You let her get away, you moron.”
“Look, I am not cut out for field work. I told you that when I signed on for this gig. I’m a tech guy. I’m comfortable inside, under fluorescent lights – or in the dark – with my computers surrounding me. This whole dressing-up-as-a-tow-truck-guy thing? Yeah, it isn’t for me,” Trey complained. He leaned back against the truck and stared up at the house.
“She’s not coming back.”
“Sure she is,” Trey nodded. “She said she needed to pee and her –”
“That’s the Turner house, you imbecile,” the older man threw another wrench at him, but this time, Trey ducked, narrowly avoiding it. “Now we have to go search the woods for her.”
“But it’s getting dark,” Trey whined.
“What? You afraid of the dark?” the man chuckled.
“Outdoors, in the woods, in the mountains I am.”
“What are you afraid of?”
“Mountain lions? Bears? Skunks?” Trey ticked the animals off on his fingers. “You name it, it’ll probably eat me. Sasquatch. There’ve been sightings out here, you know. It’s not normal for him to come so far south, but he’s been known to hang out here sometimes. What if I get eaten by a Sasquatch?”
“You’re delusional,” the older man shook his head as he reached out and grabbed Trey by the collar, dragging him toward the woods behind him. “Come on, we’ve got to go get her.”

“Fine,” Trey shrugged away from his grasp. “But I can walk myself, thank you.”

What do you think? I kind of love Trey. He's really stupid, but smart at the same time. You'll see.



Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 11, or I Want to Watch TV Instead

Dear Diary,

Tonight I almost didn't write at all. I've been catching up on Once Upon a Time (I'm halfway through season 2) and it got so good I didn't want to stop watching to write.

But, this weekend is the halfway point for camp, and I have a ton of work to do to get me to my halfway goal of 35,000 words. So, without further ado, here are my daily stats:

Goal: 70,000
Day 11 total: 2,514
Day 11 running total: 26,579
Words remaining: 43,421

And here's a small, but intriguing, excerpt for you tonight.

“Is it done?” the low, sinister voice snarled into the phone.
“Yes, just like you asked.”
“Thank you,” the voice sounded pleased. “You’ve proven your worth. Now, I have a mission for you.”
“A mission, sir?”
“Yes, a very important mission. Come to the house and I’ll fill you in on all the details.”

“Yes, sir.”

Ooh, interesting, right? Who's the girl? What is this secret mission she has? And who is giving her the orders? Answers will be revealed (or will they?) at the end of the book.

As always, thanks for reading!



Day 10, or the 2nd Week Slump

Dear Diary,

I've been stuck in a slump of sorts this week. I call it Spring Break and the kids are home. All. Day. Long. I honestly think this is the first time in my life I have ever looked forward to a Monday morning. That being said, is it Monday yet? My other problem is that I wrote a ton of great stuff on Day 7, but ever since then it's just been okay. And I guess I should be okay with that. At least I'm writing.

I sat in the tire shop yesterday getting new tires on my car, and I maybe wrote 465 words. In an hour and a half. It was pathetic. I did better tonight. I kind of think I got a little derailed for a minute there, but now I'm starting to get back on track. I've got a clear, definite end to this novel, so that's a bonus.

Actually, this story - the sequel to Escaped - has been through several rewrites. I think this is version 4 or 5. Each time everything changes. Characters, events, timelines. But the ending has always been the same. I always know exactly how this book needs to end.

So, here are today's stats. They aren't the best, but like I said earlier, writing is writing:

Goal: 70,000
Day 11 total: 2,751
Day 11 running total: 24,065
Words remaining: 45,935

I am almost to only 45K words left! This is kind of a milestone. My other big milestone for this week is my goal to be halfway finished. End of week 2, halfway to 70,000 words. Makes sense, right? Well I have just over 10,000 more words to write - closer to 11,000 - in order to hit my goal by Saturday night. Think I can do it? I have my fingers crossed.

So, an excerpt. You've come to expect it in my Dear Diary progress reports, haven't you? I'm not sure how many people are actually reading this, but if you are, thanks for reading! I hope you like the excerpts. I hope they make you look forward to the book. And also, if you want (but really, please do), leave a comment at the bottom for me. My word count will thank you for it next week, I'm sure.

She walked to the center of the parking lot, further from her car than she would have preferred, and waited. Her phone vibrated again.
Turn around.
She turned around in a circle, arms outstretched.
Drop your purse and slide it over.
She complied.
It was the same routine every time. Turn in a circle, hand over her purse, and then wait for the search. She didn’t know who the man she met with was – he always wore a hat and sunglasses – but he never strayed from routine, and he always made sure their business was conducted within five minutes or less.
“You lied to me,” his whisper echoed off the cement structure.
“About what?” Samantha’s breath caught in her chest.
“You told me our mutual friend was out of state,” he growled, stepping closer to her.
“She is,” Samantha whispered. Her heart pounded furiously as he stepped closer again. If he knew she had lied, then his boss probably knew she had lied. And if his boss knew she had lied – She swallowed the lump forming in her throat and wiped her sweaty palms on the sides of her chocolate colored suit pants.
“No, she isn’t.”
He shook his head as he drew nearer still. He reminded himself to be careful. She’d never seen his face, and he didn’t want to slip up. If she could identify him, it would be bad for both of them. His career would be in jeopardy, and so would her life. His boss had been very clear about that. He pulled his sunglasses down, just enough that he could see over the tops of them, and stared at her.
“Really? You’re going to lie to my face now?” His laugh echoed through the empty lot. “I saw her today. I know she’s still here.”
Samantha’s face blanched. She grasped at her chest with her hand, desperate to feel her heartbeat under her palm. Her heart skipped a beat and then began beating even faster. She took a small step backwards.
“Nope, you’re not going anywhere until you explain,” he pulled a gun out from the waistband of his pants. “Start talking, now.”

Thanks for reading! Here's to hitting 35,000 words by Saturday!



Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 7

Dear Diary,

Things are finally starting to pick up around here. This morning, in the shower, I had a brilliant idea of how I want the rest of this novel to go. It took me forever to type it into my phone - stupid autocorrect. This is very exciting for me because usually when I write, I just kind of write. I let it go and fix all the problems and issues and add in all the little extra subplot stuff later. But this time, for whatever reason, it's all working out nicely. And I have an outline. VICTORY!

So, here are my stats:

Goal: 70,000
Day 7 total: 2,418
Day 7 running total: 20,234
Words remaining: 49,766

Under 50,000 words to go! Usually I don't even start writing until week 2 of Camp Nano, and then I hit the 50,000 mark the night before camp ends. Hopefully I'll be well over 70,000 by the end of camp this year. That would be awesome.

So, as is my habit, here is a tidbit from tonight's writing. I hope you enjoy. Also, feel free to leave comments below. :)

“I recognize that slam,” he chuckled. “Wasn’t that the same girl who was in here the other day?”
“Yeah, Crosland,” Turturro sighed with a nod. “It was.”
“So what’s her story?”
“I shelved her case. She’s grasping at straws, inventing imaginary assailants in other states,” Turturro shook his head. “She’s desperate to keep the case open. And, honestly, I don’t blame her. What she went through? I’d be doing the same thing if it had been one of my girls.”
“Who is she?” Crosland asked.
“You didn’t recognize her?” Turturro chuckled. “What? Don’t you ever watch the news?”
“Don’t own a TV,” Crosland chuckled. “Only news I get is what’s on the bar TV after my shift.”
Turturro shook his head and turned back toward his desk. Crosland followed.
“So? Who is she?” he pried.
“That was Jamie Lynn Turner.”
Crosland stopped dead in his tracks and turned back toward the door, his mouth agape.
“Right?” Turturro chuckled. “That’s what I thought when I caught the case last year.”
“I just realized I’m late for a testimony review,” Crosland mumbled, glancing down at his watch. “Catch you later, boss.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Turturro waved him off, paying no attention to Crosland as he rushed from the building.
Outside, Crosland reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. His fingers flew across the on-screen keyboard as he sent off a text message.

We need to talk. Now.

So many questions, right? Who is Crosland? Why is he so interested in Jamie Lynn? And who the crap is he texting? Stay tuned, and maybe I'll answer some of those questions as the month goes on.



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Day 6

Dear Diary,

Normally I would skip a day, you know, take a break on this whole journal thing. But today I hit a milestone! I did the math Day 1, and figured that each week I needed to write at least 17,500 words. And I did it! Okay, so it's a little more towards Sunday, Week 2, than Saturday, Week 1, but I did it!

So, here are the stats:

Goal: 70,000
Day 6 total: 6,453
Day 6 running total: 17,816
Words remaining: 52,184

I'm getting more excited about this the more I write. There are some unexpected things going on. I can't wait for you all to get to read it. But, since that isn't going to happen just yet, because NO SPOILERS! You're going to have to stay content with a little (unedited) excerpt again.

She let out a groan. “You aren’t sending me to stupid Dr. Porter’s office for today’s appointment, are you?”
“No, no, of course not,” Todd recovered. “No, you’re going over to Lacey’s. The Martins thought it would be nice to see you, but since they have guests, they can’t leave. They invited you to join them for lunch today, and your mother and I thought that sounded like a good idea.”
Jamie Lynn’s eyebrows rose quizzically. “You never let me leave the house.”
“Dr. Porter says it might be a good idea to start loosening the reins a little,” he shrugged, making it up as he went. Inwardly, he rolled his eyes. Dr. Porter would probably kill him if – no, when – she found out what he’d said to Jamie Lynn. “So we thought we’d start small when the invitation came in from the Martins.”
Jamie Lynn smiled genuinely for the first time since she’d been home. “Seriously?” her voice was shrill as she tried to contain her excitement. “I actually get to go see my friends?” She rushed forward and hugged her father. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
“Yes, well –” he set her gently aside and motioned toward the front door. “Your car has been waiting for almost forty minutes.”
“Right, sorry,” she nodded. She rushed to the door, pausing with her hand on the knob. “Thank you so much, Dad. You really don’t know what this means to me.”
She pulled the door open, and, still smiling at her father, stepped outside and into something tall, solid, and muscular. The tall, solid, muscular person hadn’t been paying attention – and hadn’t expected to be bowled over by a nineteen-year-old girl – and stumbled backwards, bringing Jamie Lynn with him.
“Oh crap!” she scrambled to her feet, dusting herself off. “I am so sorry! I wasn’t paying attention. Are you okay? I normally don’t knock –”
She stopped brushing herself off to glance down at the man on the pavement. She gasped, her hand flying to cover her mouth. With a quick little nod, he communicated everything to her. She pasted her smile back on her face and picked up without missing more than a half a breath.
“I normally don’t knock people over when I walk out of doors,” she laughed casually. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” he smiled and nodded as he stood and brushed some dust from his jeans. “It appears I caught you as you were leaving?”
“Yeah, just going to a friend’s house,” she smiled. Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Why are you here?”
“Not now,” he growled under his breath. “Well, I’m late for an appointment with your father, so I guess I’d better hurry in.”
He stepped into the house where a nervous Todd Turner waited for him, eyes wide with concern.
“Todd! So good to see you again!” He stepped forward, offering his hand.
Jamie Lynn watched as her father exchanged pleasantries with him.

“Justin, I’m so glad you could come on such short notice,” her father smiled at his guest as he shooed her politely away and shut the front door in her face.

Who is this Justin character? Stay tuned and maybe I'll tell you. ;)



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 5

Dear Diary,

So it's day 5 at Camp NaNo and I haven't written very much. It's almost like I've been in a kind of a slump. I know where I want this to go, but it's getting there that I'm having trouble with.

Until tonight, that is.

I stayed up way past lights out (it's 1:30 AM!!) to write, and I got a decent amount of words written. I'm really happy with where this is going.

Here's today's stats:

Goal: 70,000
Day 5 total: 1602
Day 5 running total: 11,363
Words remaining: 58,637

I'm well on my way. According to the Camp Nano dashboard, I will finish on May 1st at this rate. So, all I have to do is step it up a little bit and I'll totally hit my goal by the end of the month.

And, because I love to torment anyone who reads my diary, here's another excerpt from today's writing. Again, keep in mind this is totally unedited.

Jamie Lynn opened the laptop again. She needed to email Detective Turturro the photos. She opened the folder and stared at the man on the screen. She’d never seen him before. His hair was dark – almost black – but with white streaks down the sides, and peppered with a little bit of gray. His nose was long and pointed, and he had a sharp chin. But his eyes were what really disturbed her. They were black and glared into the screen like he knew who he was looking at, even if he couldn’t see her. Jamie Lynn shivered as she pressed the send button on her email, the photos attached. Now she just had to sit back, wait, and hope Turturro could do something with it. Because if he couldn’t, she was in trouble. Someone knew she wasn’t in Columbus. They’d sent that man to find her, and she hadn’t been there. But a girl on a Skype call in the middle of class had been. And that girl knew where she was. She knew how to contact her. And, if they got her, Jamie Lynn would be next.
She grabbed her phone and dialed Detective Turturro’s number. It rang straight to voicemail.

“Detective,” she said breathlessly into the phone. “I need to talk to you. It’s urgent. I think Wellington is about to have someone kidnapped.”

I don't know what it is about writing at night, but I always tend to pick the intense parts of my day's writing. I finally have a clear-ish idea of what is going to happen in the next few middle chapters, and I cannot wait to see how it all plays out toward my ending. Hopefully I can find some time tomorrow to get some writing done. I'd really like to be at 15,000 by the end of the day.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Welcome to Camp Nano

Dear Diary,

Today was the first day of Camp. I'm pretty excited. I've got a fairly good idea where I'm going with this story. Now to just get there!

My cabin isn't as active as last year, but maybe it's just opening day jitters? I'm one of the oldest in the cabin - I think - and I have one of the highest word count goals. Guess it's up to me to be the example and show these teenagers how it's done, eh?

Here's today's stats:

Goal: 70,000
Day 1 total: 8,111
Words remaining: 61,889

That's totally doable, right? I think so. I hope so.

And, to wrap things up, here's an excerpt from today's writing. Keep in mind this is totally raw, unedited. Sorry for any mistakes/typos!

“We aren’t crazy, are we?” Julie Turner slipped into her husband’s office and leaned against the wall by the door.
“What are you talking about?” Todd asked, not even looking up at her from the papers scattered across his desk.
“Jamie Lynn,” she sighed. “Part of me wants to believe she’s fine. That she’ll be okay if we let her out of our sight –” Her voice caught and she leaned her forehead against her palm.
“Julie, she’s going to be fine once she gets done with therapy,” Todd’s smile was condescending as he finally glanced up from his work. “She’ll get through this eventually.”
“But what if it doesn’t ever work? What if therapy is just repressing everything? What if she never really comes back to us?” Tears trickled down Julie’s face and she slid to the floor, hanging her head in her hands. “What have we done to our baby, Todd? What have we done?”
Todd set his jaw and pushed back from his desk, walking across the room to her side. He knelt beside her and drew her into his arms.
“We didn’t do anything wrong,” he whispered. “Nothing that has happened has been our fault, Julie.”
“How can you say that?” she hissed, pulling away from him. “After everything that happened? You know who Wellington is, don’t you?”
Todd refused to look at her, staring instead at the intricately patterned Persian rug that covered most of the hardwood floor in his study.
“Todd,” she prodded. “Todd, who is Wellington?”
“I’m not sure,” he said softly, shaking his head from side to side.
“I am.”
Todd raised his head, his eyes meeting hers and holding them fast with his gaze. “No, you aren’t. You don’t know it’s him. We’ll never know for sure until he’s caught, but I have my doubts. I don’t think you’re right.”
Julie pushed up from the floor and stalked out of the room, pausing in the doorway for a moment. “When you change your mind, when you realize I was right, I’ll try not to gloat. I warned you back then, and I’m going to warn you now: we need to go public. We need to tell everyone what happened. We need –”
“Enough!” Todd shouted, stopping her mid-sentence. Julie’s eyes widened in fear, and he softened his tone. “We don’t need to do anything. Not yet. Not until we’re certain it’s him. Do I make myself clear?”

“Crystal,” Julie bit out, her voice taking on an icy tone.

Hehehehehe! I'm so evil! Secrets! So many secrets in this book!! OMG! I cannot wait to finish this!

Okay, diary. They're calling for lights out. A little early tonight. It's only 11. *shrugs* Oh well, I did a good job. I'm happy with it. Onwards and upwards in word count tomorrow! Hope to hit 15,000! Wish me luck!



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Projects, Edits, and Rewrites

I have been insanely busy. The real world (aka my kids and my real-life job) have kept me so incredibly busy that I honestly haven't even been on Twitter that much lately. Seriously, I'm kind of going through withdrawls. I miss my Twitter friends. Really. I mostly only have had time for a few updates on Facebook, and quickly posting photos on Instagram.

But I have been writing. Promise!

I just finished the first round of rewrites on my July Camp Nano project from last year, The Choice. It's currently in the hands of my very capable beta readers, and I can't wait to get all their notes back!

I also started something new while I was on vacation (I know, I know, vacations are for relaxing, not working!), and I'm really excited about it.

But what I think everyone is going to be the most excited about is that I am currently working on the first round of rewrites on the sequel to Escaped! Seriously, I announced on Facebook that I might work on it for April's Camp Nano, and I was shocked to see how many people were excited about the news. Thanks guys! It really made my day.

Those of you wondering when in the heck I'm going to get around to telling you what happens next in The Sector series, well, you're going to have to wait just a bit longer. I'm sorry. I'm still trying to work out part of the timeline for what happens next, but it's going to be (hopefully) epic! I've already written the sequel, but it needs some major editing, which will happen later this summer, if everything goes as planned. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

And then, of course, because I've got so many things swirling around my head already, I have several new ideas ready to make their way out of my head and onto paper. Soon. I hope. Maybe for November's Nanowrimo? We'll see.

Speaking of Nanowrimo -

Camp Nano starts in April. 10 days ya'all. Cabin assignments happen in 4. Who's with me? I love Camp because it doesn't have to be a 50,000 word commitment. If you think you can only write 15,000 then that's your goal. And if you write more than that? Celebrate! Have a party, get a manicure, buy a new book to read. But most importantly, keep writing.

So, who's with me for camp this April? Want to request me in your cabin? Feel free! My username is laurajo06. And as for my goal? I'm setting it for 70,000 - but only because I'm already almost 20,000 words into my rewrite, and that would make it so I have to write about 50,000 words in April. I can totally do this.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm Back...sort of

I've been neglecting my blog. Sorry about that. It's just that I've been working a lot lately. My real-life job (yes, I have a job that isn't just writing) has kind of taken over for a while. And then, after work, I've been working on my newest book, The Choice. It's currently in beta and I'm really excited about where it's going.

It's kind of taken over my brain. I know I'm supposed to be working on Escaped #2 and The Sector #2, but this one just had to come out first. But, I have made some really good progress on rewrites and edits on the other two. They're in my mind, so they don't really count, but I know what I want to change, and that's progress. Right?

In other news, I actually know exactly what I want for the cover for The Choice. This is huge, because usually the book is written, edited, and ready to publish weeks before I settle on a cover design. I'm really excited about it. (Can you tell? It's totally taken over. There is no room currently for anything else.)

I post little sneaky peeks on Facebook sometimes, so make sure you head over there and like my page so you don't miss out on any of the good bits!