Summer preparation

I’m overwhelmed by the reviews for To Have.

I can’t even come up with the words to tell you how much I dreaded people reading my book … because I’m hypercritical of my own work. Three of my beta readers were the first fresh eyes on the book, and I worried so much that it could have been a full-time job. That’s why I started writing the second book when I did. I was afraid I would drive myself mad waiting for comments.

Imagine my surprise when they loved it.

Now that it’s out there and people I don’t know are reading and reviewing the book, I’m surprised I haven’t formed an ulcer. This insanity is only temporary, though, and getting better because I’m learning to learn from the experience, which is something I haven’t had to do in a handful of years. Part of that is because I have some amazing people who have sent me messages or posted on my author page loving the story as much as I hoped they would.

The best part is they’re people I don’t know. It’s amazing and wonderful and I am so happy this book has found a home in their hearts. Seeing reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Goodreads are great and all, but it’s nothing like getting an email from someone saying how much they connected with the characters I created. I said in one of my first posts that if even one person felt that connection then I would know I did my job. Almost daily I am reminded that I was able to achieve that.

With summer officially in full swing and my brand new 5-year-old (she had a birthday last week so it’s still strange to say she’s 5 instead of 4) finishing up her last day of Pre-K today, I’ve mapped out the number of words I need to be writing every week between now and Dec. 31 in order to finish To Hold. I’m projecting an 80,000 word novel, but this is me we’re talking about. I love words. I love writing words. WORDS! Brian and Stella’s story was also an 80,000-word novel, and it ended at more than 93,000. In order to get Steph’s book to 80,000 by the end of the year, though, I need to have my ass planted in my office (read: anywhere my computer is) and writing 2,356 words a week.

Cake. Simple. Not even a number worth blinking at. I could write that in my sleep.

Until we figure in that school is about to be out for the summer and my kids like to drag me out of the dungeon in the middle of a creative moment.

Essentially what I’m saying is, if you see me playing on Facebook after 9 p.m. New York time and it’s not to post something about writing or that I’m thinking about writing or that I’m brainstorming with my critique partner … you are welcome to poke me in the ribs and tell me to get back to work.

Now I need to go be a mom because the little one has decided to sort a jar of seashells … on my desk. I think one just landed in my coffee.

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