Sunday, March 04, 2018

Winter To-Do List Wrap-Up

March blew in like a lion this week, and my daffodils are blooming (although, thanks to the violent winds this weekend, they no longer look this pretty), so I'd say spring has arrived and winter is over.  Which means it's time to report in on what I did and did not get checked off my Winter To-Do List.

~ Be done with the first draft of Dancing and Doughnuts, my "Twelve Dancing Princesses" retelling, and into revisions  Check!  I got revision notes back from my editor last month, and am now working out my ideas for the additions and changes I'll be making.  I posted this to Instagram a couple days ago, but here's a picture of what I did the other night:

I need to add a whole new character and a new side plot, and I've been struggling to figure out how to wrap my head around how they'll get woven into the story.  So I made index cards for every chapter, based on an idea my best friend mentioned she was doing.  Then I used different index cards for the new chapters I'd need, and a different color pen for the things I'd be adding to or changing in the existing chapters.  It really helped me figure out where I need to put things, and tonight I'll start the actual writing of new stuff!

~ Start a mailing list so people can easily get updates about what I'm writing and publishing  Check!  You can sign up at my author website, or with the widget in my sidebar here.  I've sent out two monthly newsletters already :-)  If you want to keep up on the various books and articles I write, definitely sign up!

~ Read 3 books from my TBR shelves  Check!  I read SIX.  Which is kind of astonishing to me, considering I also read twenty Snow White retellings for the Five Poisoned Apples contest, and they were between 5,000 and 20,000 words each.  Anyway, I read The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay, Skipping Christmas by John Grisham, The Story People by Heather Kaufman, The Brass Compass by Ellen Butler, Torrents of Spring by Ernest Hemingway, and Rapunzel's Guide to All Things Brave, Creative, and Fun by Suzanne Francis.

~ Read 2 books from the library  Check!  I read four:  No Middle Name by Lee Child, Jane of Lantern Hill by L. M. Montgomery, Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George, and The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood.

~ Watch 3 movies from my TBW shelves  Check!  I watched Enchanted (2007), Drum Beat (1954), and Memento (2000).  I also finished off season one of Leverage and watched all of the Michael Palin documentary Around the World in 80 Days (1989).

~ Make owl Christmas ornaments with my kids, who are obsessed with owls right now.  Check!  I don't have any pictures, but we made them with plastic Christmas ornament balls and paint and glitter glue and buttons.  Good times.

~ Go see Murder on the Orient Express quick before it leaves theaters  Fail.

~ Go see Star Wars: The Last Jedi Check.

~ Go see The Man Who Invented Christmas  Fail. 

~ Go see The Greatest Showman Check!  I loved it so, so much.  I took my kids to see it, and my daughters loved it so much themselves that I took just them to see it again.  So I saw it three times in theaters.  I could have seen it twice that often.  Cannot wait for it to come to DVD!  Meanwhile, I've got the whole soundtrack memorized, and so do my kids (though my son is tired of it now).  I got myself this shirt and got my daughters this poster and this one from RedBubble.

~ Go see Black Panther Check!  I really enjoyed it too.  It hit a lot of sweet spots for me and worked on so many levels.  I want to go see it again, though not sure if I'm going to manage it.

~ Finish the skirts and cape I'm supposed to be sewing for my kids  Check!  Sooooooooooo happy to be done with them, as I bought the fabric almost a year ago :-o

~ Repair/update the "mouse house"  Check!  Here's a picture:

I fixed a bunch of rips and drew on log-cabin walls.

~ Make "polar bear" marshmallows for our hot chocolate  Fail.

~ Make lavender hot chocolate  Fail.

~ Order photo prints  Fail.

~ Host an "I Love Superheroes Week" blog party in February  Check!  It was great fun, though I still haven't managed to read everyone's entries.  I'm getting to them, slowly but surely.  You can find links to them here.

Well, that was my to-do list.  Lots of checks, a few fails, but overall I'm pleased with how many goals I reached.  I'm working on new goals for this spring and will post about them soon.

How did your winter go?  Are you starting to feel spring in the air where you live?  Or maybe just in your heart?


  1. You finally saw Enchanted! It is a little strange, but it's okay.

    Lucky! While I did get to see MotOE and SWTLJ in theater, I completely missed The Greatest Showman. I also wanted to see TMWIC, but it didn't even come to ANY theaters near me!

    1. MC, I did! I liked it enough to keep it. Going to pull it out and show it to my kids one of these days.

      TMWIC wasn't near me either -- I mean, it was at the theater like 45 mins from me that I'm going to later this week to see Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet, but I only drive way up there on very special occasions, you know?

      But oh wow, I wish you'd gotten to see TGS. It is splendid.

  2. I really love your Greatest Showman shirt! It's purple and pretty :)

    Definitely looking forward to Dancing and Doughnuts :D

    1. Jessica, me too! Sadly, the one I got ended up being like weirdly big for me even tho RedBubble shirts tend to run small. So either I have to wear it over a longsleeve shirt or cami, or I have to get a smaller one.

      :-D I'm glad you're looking forward to it! My cover artist just let me know she's working out some preliminary ideas for the cover, and now I'm just super excited to see what she comes up with.

    2. Ohhhhhhhh yay!!! Is this the same lady who did your covers for Cloaked and No Match for a Good Story? I really love those :D

    3. Jessica, indeed it is! So they will all look like they're part of a series :-) She specifically asked me for some info on women's dresses back then, so I suspect they will figure in somehow.

  3. Oh, I hope you enjoyed Enchanted! One of my very favorites. I often sing "Happy Working Song" when cleaning right before dorm inspections. :-)

    Memento has been on my TBW list for AGES. It's the only Nolan film I haven't seen! One of these days I'll get to it.

    What a cool organizational writing system you have! I love the idea of using different pen and index card colors to sort out a story. How much time will revising "Dancing and Doughnuts" take, do you think?

    1. Claire, I did like Enchanted! It was a little wacky, but cute.

      Memento was verrrrrrrrrrrrrry strange. But worth the watch, if you're into Nolan's films.

      Thanks! I am not always this organized, but sometimes I am :-) Other times, I write things down on giant pieces of paper. I also generally end up making maps of towns, floor plans of houses, and so on.

      I think revisions will take me 2 or 3 months. I finished off the new first chapter this morning, so that's a good start!

  4. Ooh, what did you think of Enchanted?

    1. Eva, I thought it was very cute :-) I think repeat viewings will make me like it even better.


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