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Monday, March 28, 2011

MARCH MADNESS Check-In Day 28!

Whew! We're in the last week, folks! Is it just me, or did that go by crazy-fast?

I've read on a Twitter that a couple of your have already met or surpassed your goals!!! Huge congratulations to you and I hope you are celebrating really, really well!!

I think one of the main themes of this year's MARCH MADNESS has been changing goals. I seem to read about that several times at each check in. And because I like jumping on bandwagons...I guess I'm changing my goals too! I think the important thing is to realize when your goals NEED changing. And mine definitely do.

Even though we're only three days away from the end, I know I won't reach my original goals, even if I pulled all-nighters. And I would imagine my writing would be much poorer if I did that! So I've reset goals as far as restructuring and outlining and I plan to be ready to launch into revision mode by April the first. So those of you who were asking if we can continue? You bet! Right here each Monday!

My other goal was to complete a revision of a different work in progress, but that went by the wayside when I got some agent feedback and realized I needed to revamp my outline. For now, by the end of the month, I'm hoping to have my synopsis and first three chapters ready on that one.

I'm so glad we're continuing, because otherwise I would totally miss you guys!!! It's been wonderful hanging out with you through the month of March.

Whether or not you continue on with us into April, if you've been involved with MARCH MADNESS, you'll want to stop by here on April 1st. I promise I won't play any April Fools Day tricks on you, but there will be other fun stuff to talk about, including some great prizes and how we're planning to give them away. I'm trying to work it out so people get their choice of prizes and aren't stuck with something they don't want.

Speaking of's one last winner from My Bookshelf Giveaway! And the winner is...


Congratulations! Pick a book from one of the below two pictures, (and yes, I snuck a copy of LOSING FAITH in there this week), send me your choice along with your mailing address to d (at) denisejaden (dot) com and I'll get it out to you as soon as I can!!

So I don't have much else inspiring for you today, except GO GO GO!!! We're in the last stretch! Push yourself and see how much you can accomplish in the next three days! Sprint to the finish line, everybody!

And don't forget to stop by Shana's blog tomorrow!


  1. Thanks so much, Denise, for running this challenge, and giving us that perfect balance of accountability and cheer! :-)

    I am thrilled that we'll still be checking in here on your blog through April. I also revised my goals and have much more work to do in April.

    I'm continuing to outline like made these last days of March, and I'm hoping to be ready to jump into revisions on another WIP when April begins.

    But I have to admit I took Friday and Saturday off after meeting my March Madness goal, and that felt pretty good too!

    Good luck to everyone heading toward the finish line!!


  2. Yes, the month flew by and hurray for continuing! I'm already thinking about goals for April - probably a lot of revising on a WIP.

    Sorry if my spelling is all funky in this comment, I just woke up and not 100% coherent yet.

    So...I've sent out my first batch of queries, but I'm crazy superstitious, so I'm making the zipping motion across my mouth and throwing away the key like I'm a kid. It's like that whole don't tell what you wished for on your bday cake candles thing.

    I started book 8/8 last night! so I should be close to finishing by Thursday.

    Here's to a good week for everyone!

  3. Denise - this has been awesome, I feel like I've made virtual friends and written a lot too. I reached my goal on Sunday morning - Yay! And have a new goal. I'd like to finish this first draft by May 15th, so I'll definitely be continuing our twitter hashtag and checking in here with y'all.

    Summer will be for revisions. This will give me my 3rd ms and I can't start something new till I get one of these puppies in shape to query (tried too early with the first 2 - got depressed - quit - but now I'm ready to reapproach both ms's.) I will NOT query this new ms too early. You heard it here first folks.

    Thanks again everyone! I'm officially 1.5k words over goal with 3 mornings left to write. I'll report on my final tally on Thursday.

  4. Thank you so much, Denise. March Madness was just what I needed and you bet I'll be back for April!

    Last week was good, and Friday I even made my target 1000 words on the WIP. The weekend, however, had some rough spots.

    First, our upstairs bathroom flooded (faulty toilet!) and the water seeped down to the master bedroom, ran along the ductwork and soaked our bed. Still have the dehumidifier running. SW GA is a haven for mold, and of course I'm manically allergic.

    To top it all off, my sweet daughter's pet bunny unexpectedly died. We had had her for a month and the beautiful little bunny was hardly alone the whole time. My girl had her in her lap or on a chair next to her most of the time. She was happy and well-loved. It broke my heart to see my girl go through it, but she has been amazing. We held a funeral yesterday and make a memory stone for her.

    Lots of words. But I will forge ahead today and keep that WIP rolling. Thanks to everyone for sharing their journeys and leading the cheers!

  5. Although this is not the official end, I want to say thanks for doing this. It's got me to do more planning and plotting than I've ever done for any of my novel length projects and that's a big step for me. :D

  6. Congrats all you goal-reachers and hugs to Mary Ann. The rest of us will press on to the end!

    Yes, had to readjust goals this month. Before I fell asleep last night I asked for a solution to my story problem. Woke up with the answer at 2:30 am and then dreamt about that answer for the rest of the morning. So I'm up and back to work. Hope to have this revision done by the end of the day.

    Thanks for the cheers!

  7. Denise,

    This has been such an AWESOME month! It has been wonderfully inspiring and encouraging to have worked and met everyone here. I am also excited that we will continue the check in here on Mondays. I have lots to do, and I need to keep the momentum going.

    I'm still working on a way to conveniently link this all together. I am still at a loss, but I'm getting somewhere I think. I would love to continue to connect with everyone. Thank you Denise for the opportunity!

    I am into draft #9 of my thesis, I started March on #4. This draft is coming along nicely so I'm off to tackle that script! Have a great day everyone!

  8. Thanks a bunch for rounding us all up, Denise! Your post today really hit the mark, and not just because I won a book :).

    Last week, I was ahead of schedule in getting my March Madness ms in shape for my agent. But that all got put aside when I got a request that had to be responded to ASAP. Not complaining at all since those kinds of requests are the whole point of working hard on our stuff!

    Now that I'm back in waiting mode, I'll return to my March Madness ms, and figuring out new goals for April. I just started Twitter, so I'll see you guys there too.


  9. i'll add my voice to the chorus of thanks to Denise and all the hosts of March Madness. it's been fun getting to (virtually) know some more writers.

    i have reached my goal - at least as far as it was within my control. i usually try to make goals that only depend on me - ie, get an agent is not a good goal, but submit to 50 agents is a good goal. but this time my goal was be ready to submit to agents by April 1. and i'm as ready as i can be - query and synopsis polished, agent research done, manuscript as done as i can get it. but i didn't count on a couple really important readers taking a tremendously long time to get back to me with their comments. so i might not be able to submit right away on the 1st.

    oh well; i still got a lot done this month, and i'd love to keep checking in!

  10. Yeah, Serenissima! And yeah to everyone who has already reached their goals!

    I chose lunchtime to write today, focusing on a scene that really captures all that the main character yearns for, and I've had a lot of fun with it. I still think early morning writing works best for me on workdays, but this was a nice treat. One foot in front of the other...

    Cheering for each of you!

  11. You guys make me feel like an adult. :) Most of my days are dictated by snack time and diapers so this has been great.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to connect with other writers and will definitely be coming back next month.

    It surprised me how helpful the accountability was in forging ahead, no matter how small. And I appreciate everyone being realistic and encouraging. What a great group!

  12. I miss snack time. Adults need snack time.

    So far except for the whole pesky write a chapter in my current WIP I'm doing okay, goal wise.

    Sleep wise is a whole other issue, although apparently my characters from other stories think that's prime time to demand my attention. Trying to write by the glow of my cell phone screen was fun. (Halfway through I realized it was probably easier just to type the notes on to the phone itself, but what's the fun in that. Oh, sleep deprivation, how you fuel my weirdness.)

    As I head into April and Script Frenzy, I think the hardest thing will to be balance SF with my WIP as well as blogging, but I welcome the challenge.

    This going to be one awesome April.

  13. Woohoo! Bandwagon! Grab my hand, I'll pull you up. Now if we can just keep from falling off, all will be good.

    As for my goals, I'm doing okay. I've researched lots of possible places to move to in the States, did a whole bunch of online job forms, and sent out 40 resumes in the last week, so I'm making progress. Don't know if we'll go or not, but I want to keep my option open.

  14. * Too bad March couldn't go on a little longer. I met my daily writing goals at 75% of the time since I slacked off a few days. But, thanks to everybody's support and company here, I've made progress with my YA revisions. Thanks, Denise, for hosting today and your supportive words. Glad to hear that you've been hanging in there too with your work. Good luck to everyone for the rest of March!

  15. I'm so excited for everyone who met their goals!

    My goals crashed and burned, but I'm still plugging away. Not going to give up, even if I don't meet my original goal.

  16. YAYYY, thank you so much for continuing this through April. I really need it!

    I'm trying to get this story (26,000 words -- it's half of my novel) revised by the first. WHAT A CHALLENGE.

    As of right now I have the first four chapters revised, which SEEMS like half since there are eight chapters total, but the other four might be the longest four. I don't really know.

    Revising is hard.

  17. Thanks Denise!
    I feel like my progress is due to all the encouragement and sharing of ups and downs and changes of plans.

    So, after I meet my goal (only four more pages of pencils) I'm feeling ready to get a short 12 page script written to submit to a local comix anthology. That's the shiny new idea I've kept shoving back in the box to stew a little longer. Can't wait to get it out and play.

    April will be busy, but I will check in here and there. Thanks for building a virtual community.

  18. UM, ok so Sky is really Jean, and one of my obstacles has been (and clearly continues to be) sharing my computer with an eleven-year-old!

  19. Hi Denise,

    You're so right--the month has just flown! While I've not checked in consistently (due to my spaciness or my being too busy), I've made steady progress with my 3 PB MSS which was Goal #1. Yay!

    I let go of Goal #2 bc I can't sub the mag anymore since it's gone out of business :( (Crow Toes Quarterly for middle grade readers. Sad about that :(...) and Goal #3 is on hold bc I'm super busy w/ work. So, that's my check-in!

    Everyone's progress inspires me :-). So, what's this about an April challenge? Looks like it was announced on a day I missed checking in. Oops.

  20. I'm admitting semi-defeat. I was busy at four dog shows this past Thursday through Sunday (finished our Lab's championship... woohoo!!) and did no writing except for journalling and blog posts, and only a little reading. :( But I had already reached one of my original goals, and then revamped the other, so I don't feel like a complete loser.

    I'm impressed with everyone's progress despite various setbacks this month. I'll hope to make some decent progress in these last few days so that I'm on a roll and ready to slide right into April. There's going to be a lot of company here during April, though, so I doubt that it will be realistic for me to continue with the challenge then.

    I'm not worrying about that yet. I'm off to get a good night's sleep now... the first in several nights... and then plan to write like fury tomorrow.

  21. I hit the wall on the weekend. Badly.

    Because I committed to these goals, and because I was so successful with NaNo, I thought I'd be able to pull off March Madness without a hitch. But I approached it by trying to do nothing but writing. Even when I was on vacation, I still put in some writing time.

    On Saturday, after struggling way too much to make *any* progress (it slowed to a crawl by Friday night), I realized what was keeping me from achieving my goals. In a moment of supreme obviousness, I realized that I was focused too much on those goals and *only* those goals, and that left me stalling.

    So I read a book and I did some shopping. And I went out partying with a friend. And I just let myself relax, period.

    Which meant that today I was able to make some sense of the scenes on which I'd been stalling. I will continue to untangle them tomorrow, and hopefully be ready to move onto the next (final?) ones by Wednesday.

    I could theoretically reach my goal this week, but it's apropos that I end this month attending a hockey game. So we'll see what happens. I would like to be finished, simply because I am so close, but either way I'll be happy with the amount of progress I made. I am already ... but I just want to be done the @#$%!!!ing thing. *bleary-eyed pout*

    I would love to keep up with the check-ins! Even after I'm done this rewrite, I need to get edits done, too. And motivation is always great.

    - Laura