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Monday, March 7, 2011


We've made it through our first week, friends! Have some chocolate, some wine, some stuffed jalapeno peppers!!!

Okay, maybe you don't LOVE stuffed jalapeno peppers like I do, but seriously, it's important to celebrate milestones, even small ones. If you've gotten more accomplished in the last week than you would have without March Madness, I want you to take five minutes to do something a little special for yourself today.

And, okay, maybe that's not you at all. Maybe you feel like you've failed miserably. You've barely looked at your work in progress, and maybe you haven't even set any goals yet. That's totally okay! I'm celebrating that you're here right now! We're only seven days in. You still have twenty-four days left this month to make a difference. So do that. Make a difference. Let March be the month that you look back on and say, wow, I got a LOT done that month!

As for my progress, I'm neither ecstatic nor discouraged. I've been getting bits and pieces done each day, but no extravagant jumps so far. SO FAR, I say, because I still have hope! I've faced some obstacles and been able to climb over them. But climbing, of course, takes time. So all in all, I'm feeling good. I've been continuing to get up early in the mornings and keeping my Internet off for the first half hour of the day (that's still the most I can handle!) That's up until Friday, of course. The weekend, sigh, was the weekend, and I'll admit, I fell a little off the wagon.

How about you? Did you work through the weekend, or spend it watching all six Star Wars movies like I did? Come on fess up! Or inspire us. You must do one or the other...

And don't forget to head over to Shana Silver's blog for check-in tomorrow!

ETA: Oops, I almost forgot to award a book from my shelves to one lucky Goal-Setter! So...the choice of books this week goes to...


Pick a book from below and email me the name along with your mailing address to d(at)denisejaden(dot)com  Congratulations!!


  1. I wrote a good deal yesterday, but I missed Saturday--we'd traveled 3 1/2 hours to my mother-in-law's home the day before, and had my youngest daughter's 2nd birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese on Saturday. I was pooped afterward. Took a nap, and had a date with my husband for the first time in a long time, both of which were lovely. I'm disappointed about missing Saturday, but excited about the progress I made yesterday, and excited to get back to work today.

    Cheers to each of you!

  2. Ooooooh.... Stuffed jalapeno peppers *drool* Are you crazy? You don't know what you just did to me. And here it's all 10:30 at night and I'm gonna have to go to bed with visions of wing-ed cheesy jalapenos dancing in my head. And hey, sci-fi kick! I'm not that big a SW fan beyond the first one (i.e., the 4th one), but I did finally finish watching the last three episodes of Galactica this weekend, and it was saucy.

    As for me, I'm pretty happy. I wrote Saturday and Sunday, more than my minimum, so while I'm still slightly behind due to this and that early last week, I'm just about where I want to be, sans the peppers.

  3. I admit, I did a whole lot of nothing this weekend. I finished a book Friday evening and then watched a bunch of movies on Saturday. Sunday was tax time - after a few hours of digging through receipts and forms, I was ready for more nothing. But now it's Monday and back to work

  4. Jeni and Craig - your progress has effectively made me feel behind. LOL. Just kidding, but I'm glad you got some work done this weekend.

    Jennifer - glad I wasn't alone! But we'll both get back to it today and have awesome things to report for tomorrow!

  5. Checking in. Made some progress, fell behind a little. I'm having a bit of a Sylvia Plath sort of day. Thankful that I cook with electric... Where's that chocolate?

  6. I have done a little research... But not like I should be! I need to finish my research to start on my 10,000 words. I will try to have my outline done by the end of this week. Thanks for the support.

  7. Let's see, progress...

    * I did a lot of blogging and am on track to get 1000 hits this month for the first time.
    * Edited one chapter and started re-writing another for the Formative Assessment book.
    * Corrected the proofs of 2nd edition of Lost in Lexicon
    * Held a successful Lexicon Villages event at Acton Discovery Museum
    * And real new fiction writing? NONE.

    Still, I'm pleased.

  8. I fell behind last week due to having a cold. Some people can write with colds, but, alas, I'm not one of them. My eyes burn, I get dizzy, and I wind up doing little more than lying in bed with a box of tissues. At least I did a good bit of *thinking* about my novel rewrite! That's always helpful.

    I was able to write 750 words on Sunday evening, and have done about 400 so far today. A total of 2000 / 20,000 words for the month so far.

  9. Thanks for the encouragement, Denise. Or is that Princess Leia now?

    I finished my taxes on Saturday and then got some words down on the page. For the past six months, Sundays are "tech free", so I enjoyed reading, napping, and hanging out with my DH.

    Mondays are PJ day in our house, so today I'm able to write at a relaxed pace and enjoy the process. The rest of the week will be crazy, so I hope to get ahead on the WIP!

    Happy Monday everyone and don't forget to have your five minute celebration!

  10. Okay so macaronipants is the best handle ever!

    March Madness is going pretty darn well despite the flu. I've managed to churn out just a little everyday between maps and am at 5.7K out of my 20K goal for the month. The next few days will see very little writing as I'm going out of town to celebrate a student's big art win, but hopefully I'll have a big push the following week. If I have 10K by the 15th I should be okay, right?

    Best of luck to all as you push yourself to meet your goals.

  11. To all who wrote over the weekend, I'm super impressed. And to Debbie, who may get 1,000 hits, I'm Incredibly impressed!! I get excited over 10. =) Great job!

    I have a short story idea to add to my two book ideas, but it requires much less research. I blogged on Friday and am mid blog today. One outline this week is my shorter goal.

    -- Lori

  12. I am making slow but steady progress. Did some longhand writing over the weekend, so I'm not sure how much it ended up being... Gonna go home and type it now. :)

  13. No writing on the weekend -- the kidlits just climb me and I don't even *try* to write. I would swear I had lots of writing ideas, but when I got to my desk this morning they were all gone.

    I wrote something like 900 words anyway, but I'm not sure any of them were any good. *Sigh*

    March Madness in general has been a success. I've taken my YA in progress from about 7,000 words to about 11,500. I even sent the first three chapters off to my agent. WHICH SCARES ME SO WISH ME LUCK.

  14. I have to agree that macaronipants is the best name EVER.

    It's so interesting to see who is a weekend writer and who isn't. I definitely am through necessity. I'm a SAHM and so I get a teeny bit more time when my husband is home on the weekends.

    As of today's naptime (girls, not me, hee hee), I got 940 new words today and I just crossed 6500 for the WIP total, so I'm currently on track for my 20K.

    Good luck to all the afternoon/evening writers!

    PS Those jalapeƱos look AWESOME.

  15. It is interesting about who writes on the weekend. I'm a SAHM mommy too but I have the absolutely decadent luxury of an out-of-the-house writing office. I rarely do first drafts anywhere else. (Blog entries, copy editing, stuff like that: anywhere I can squeeze it in.) I feel lucky that this is possible for me.

  16. Day 7 isn't marking the quarter point of my goal-reaching achievements, but it hasn't been a bad week. I used weekend moments to get ahead with writing blog posts, AND I sent off a contest entry that I hadn't planned on, so I've started this new week feeling optimistic. My five-minute celebration (actually, more like fifteen minutes) was enjoying a cinnamon bun from Tim Hortons. :)

    Hope everyone has a good writing day.

  17. I'm so pleased to hear of all the great progress going on! I admit, I'm more of a weekday writer than a weekend writer at the best of times. Family comes first on weekends.

    All of your progress did inspire me and I got busy and revised two chapters today. They weren't fun or easy, but I got through them, and better yet, I left off in a place I'm excited to work on tomorrow!

  18. I had to work nights all weekend, so I knew I wouldn't get any writing done. But Friday I finished my outline-ish thing for the project I was psyched to start drafting in March... and then I dumped the project. Gah! I still really like the idea, but there's just not enough fire in the belly for this one. So today, assuming my four hrs sleep this morning will tide me over, I have to pull together a plan for a different project. I'm going to be so behind with my word count!

  19. Sounds like there's a lot of "meh" this Monday. Great job all of you who are keeping the rest of us motivated!

    Despite thoughts of grandiose thoughts of an inflated word count, I barely met my goal for the day. Now I'm crashed on the couch reading in front of the fire. ((yawns)). Today I am reminded that writing is hard.

    See y'all tomorrow!

  20. Pleased that I've managed to get my writing in this afternoon with kids + school friend afoot. Normally I write at night but I won't be home tonight.

    I'm so impressed with the power writers among us. I'm definitely the tortoise rather than the hare but hopefully I'll still get to the finish line.

  21. I did a goal update on my blog today. I've been happy with my progress. I need to edit 6 chapters this week, but I think I can do it!

  22. Thanks for the encouragement Denise! I keep thinking I am falling behinder and behinder with the writing, but the blogging daily goals are going along really well and that's a really important thing for me. Like you said, we have 24 days.

    Happy writing, revising, reading and blogging this week to everyone.

    Cheers and congrats to macaronipants (I want that name, lol!

  23. Um, I'll pass on the stuffed peppers, but happily partake of the chocolate and wine!

    I've not been getting in long writing sessions, but I've been doing brief sessions everyday. I'm pleased with that, considering my busy schedule.

  24. I normally write a lot over the weekend, but only had Sunday because I was busy almost all of Saturday. Yesterday and today I whipped my synopsis into fighting shape and am waiting to hear back from my critique group, did several rounds of revision on a picture book and am loving the results (and am about to send it off to another crit group tonight), and revised 15 pages of my MG.

  25. Weekends are pretty much the same as weekdays for me, writing-wise.

    Last week I wrote 4,500 words. Not even HALF of my weekly goal of 10,000. I blame this on the fact that last week was emotional and angsty and not in a good way. (Hahah, good angst? I make me laugh.)

    However, today I started the week strong... 2,000 words. So glad. Hopefully this week I'll make the goal. :)

  26. I spent the weekend painting. It was a good break from writing. I got 1000 words in this afternoon, and I'm hoping to get in a few hundred more tonight.

  27. * Well, my progress was fair today, having gone over some hurdles with a chapter revision. Nothing sterling but the few pages I accomplished made me see the rest of the story in a better light.

  28. The weekend was approached with high hopes and low productivity. But it was the weekend, and I had an RMT appointment to go to, a birthday party to attend, a movie to see (Rango: totally funny, totally not for kids, theatre marketers should really pay attention to this stuff before deciding what their featured kids combos are), and packing to do. I managed to write my 750 words at the .com of the same name, where I'm trying to keep a streak for the month and where I use the site mostly as a way to talk things out with myself about exactly where I should be taking the story.

    Yesterday, my husband and I got up early-ish (for a Sunday) and hopped on the bus for Whistler, a trip that we managed to exploit so many discounts and coupons and Air Miles to pay for. We'll be here until Wednesday. I did manage to get some writing done on the bus, and I also got some done last night.

    The mountain grows quiet after dark. At least, it does if you don't like Apres-Ski.

    Alas, the free wireless that comes with our hotel is fickle at best, and since DH can't get a reliable connection on his iPhone, reason dictated that I must share. So after struggling through a few scenes today (yay, I did make some progress between today and yesterday), I took out my special writing notebook, the one that has been blessed by famous writers and Internet personalities, and I started writing by hand.

    Wow. That was a surprise. A good one. But I found myself *not* hesitating about writing, and writing by hand actually turned out faster than writing on my computer. I only got a half scene before we decided to go for a walk, but it reminds me that I've done this before. And I should do it more, especially on car trips. Lugging my laptop around can get to be a bit much sometimes.

    So yeah, all things considered, this was a productive day. :D

  29. A bit late again cause I use net this early in the morning (uk time) and then away for my offline life haha.
    I'm not that pleased as you guys above although I'm always a bit harsh on me. I'm doing well with blogposts and my planned outline is half ready with a lot of research having done so that's good news. But! I didn't add one word to my novel and I fear it'll end up as a draft idea just like many others... I have the utter dislike to actually finish stuff, mainly because I always fall in love with my next idea. So I'm not happy with my first week.

  30. L.S. - I've been thinking more and more of writing in a notebook again. It definitely has its advantages

    wordliving - I have this same problem too, and actually I think I'm going to talk more about it during check-in next week, as I think it's more common than we realize!

  31. I'm glad I'm not the only one who had a tough writing weekend. It all just slid away from me...but I managed a small bit. My Monday goal was basically survival. I made some progress, despite the dizzying fumes the cabinet guy was spreading through my house as he re-laminated my counter. Still a little buzzed...Hey! Isn't that how the Romantics did it? LOL.

    Onward ho!

  32. Those poppers look delectable!

    I'm feeling good with my progress. On track to get my ms ready for my agent by the end of the month. My internet block-out time could be better, but it's better than before.

  33. (Denise, that stuffed jalepeno pepper looks divine. Do you have a recipe to share? ;-))

    Um... I know I'm a day late but wanted to write here for the record. *I forgot to check in!* HOWEVER, I did some cool stuff over the weekend like go to a very SF artsy place called the *Audium* which is basically a dark, little auditorium equipped with fancy speakers that bathe you in "sound sculpture." It was an interesting experience... perhaps worthy of a blog post. I also sketched out ideas for an illo. Lastly, on Monday, I reviewed some of my research for a PB I'm writing. :-)
    Hang in there, everyone!

  34. I'm still thinking about those pepper poppers...I'd have to stuff mine with goat cheese...MMMMMM!

  35. shows what happens when you put your nose to the grindstone and don't go on the internet when you're writing. I totally missed this! Thanks again so much for doing this. I'm right on track, if forgetting to log my progress each day.