Goals and Good Reads

This week I started reading The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff. These three Young Adult authors and critique partners (known as the Merry Sisters of Fate) committed to writing short stories and posting them on their blog. The posts made their way to publication in this awesome collection, along with handwritten notes, doodles, and commentary on the creative process. It’s been an inspiring and entertaining read–especially with Maggie Stiefvater’s awesome freehand drawings. I find writing short stories and flash fiction a really challenging but beneficial exercise in learning to get to the heart of a story in as few words as possible.

On the ROWing side of things, it’s been *meh* week. I hit most of my goals, but just barely.


  • Blog for ROW80. Check.
  • Encourage other ROWers. No check.


  • Finish my work-in-progress. Closer, but probably not going to happen this round of ROWing. 23k words in now and nearing my midpoint.
  • Write ~3 scenes per week. Check. These were short scenes, but kept the momentum going.


  • Characters, Emotion and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress. Almost finished.
  • The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life! It’s also a blog roll. Click Here to read other participants’ entries.


keatonMy biggest struggle last week was maintaining a consistent tone as I switched between multiple points of view. My WIP involves transforming a tragic myth for adults into a middle grade comedy. A big leap, I know, and sometimes I trip up along the way. Some of my characters are humorous, but some are tragic beings who demand to be taken seriously. I’ve been trying to take a step back after I write each scene, and comparing how it supports/distorts the overall tone.

I have a habit as a writer (not just with this WIP) of setting a story up as a comedy, then getting bogged down in the weighty middle, and then leaping back into funny-land in the end. It leaves readers (and my characters) with emotional whiplash. So I’m working at establishing an even tone, playing it straight and funny consistently enough to ground my readers in a reliable world with consistent characters.


A Round of Words in 80 Days is the “writing challenge that knows you have a life.” You can join or visit other participants here:


  • Blog  for ROW80. A day late, but complete!
  • Encourage other ROWers. If I can’t remember, then I’m guessing it’s a fail…


  • Write ~3 scenes per week to make this work. Finished this goal early this week, but only because of the retreat. I’m gonna have to step it up to keep my momentum going.


  • Critiques for my crit. buddies!