Friday, July 29, 2011

Just Because I'm Not On Track

...doesn't mean you can't be! I'm still on vacation, and therefore, behind in getting last week's Tour de Writing standings posted.

But in the meantime, while I update this post to dress you all up in your proper jerseys, let me know how writing went for you last week.

Let me know:

1. How many words you wrote (or revised).
2. Number of times you wrote in the Practice Room
3. Number of times you were a part of a challenge on twitter.
4. Are you drafting new words or revising?

As I figure out LAST WEEK's standings (I know, I am SO far behind!), I will post them below!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I love traveling the blogosphere and connecting with other writers. I love coming to a new writer’s blog and finding out that they have written a book, a book which is published.

What I don’t like is then trying to figure out how that book was published.

I’m not wondering this in order to judge anyone. I legitimately want to know about their journey, how they got where they are, why they took a certain route, and how it’s going.

See ------------------------------------------------------------------>
I even have a blog series devoted to journeys.
(The arrow should be further down my blog, but you get the point)

And, I love to support fellow writers, and there are certain forms of publication which leave the writers largely to their own devices as far as selling and marketing the book.

Is it brazen that I want to know as soon as I arrive on someone’s blog if that someone self-pubbed, has an agent, e-pubbed, has a large publisher, has an indie publisher, or wrote the book on papyrus paper?

Is that rude?

I kinda think it is. So, I don’t generally ask, as a stranger, about that journey. But I really want to know.

And a part of it is that I don’t just do blogs anymore as social media--I twitter, and google+, and (very) occasionally facebook.

So, if I can see the salient info up front, I can take that into all the social realms that I use. And, it’s not that I don’t want to go the extra mile to form a writing friendship. Ask the people whom I knock into around here. I love the extra mile. I just want to know what that mile might be.

What about you? Do you have your stats on the “cover” of your blog? Do you put it all into the “about me” paragraph? How transparent are you? How much transparency do you expect?

Haven't seen me for a while on twitter? It's because I'm on the roller coasters with Super Grover here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Clumsy Kitten, Monday Meeting

Jelly looking healthy again.
In celebration of my sick kitty Jelly's return to health, I thought I might talk a little more about our other kitten, Pip (yes, another cat--I'm feeling that sufficient evidence of my cat-lady nature might be out of the bag...).

Pip is a cuddly kitten, always in my lap and by my side. However, she is also a freak of nature, in that she is a clumsy cat. Every time she walks on the side of our bed, she falls right off. Sometimes she gets stuck in between the bed and the bed frame, shoulders wedged tight, legs squirreling madly to gain some sort of hold in order to climb out.

She then sits at the top of the stairs, and meows, as if to say, "Please carry me, I can't handle the embarrassment today." I have seen her tumble down a couple of stairs after tripping over her paws. 
Pip getting much love.

It makes me think about quirky characters. Is Pip more lovable because she is clumsy? You bet. It's endearing, if odd. She seems more real since she is supposed to be graceful, and is everything but. 

How do you make your characters three dimensional? Do you have any characters who are oxymorons? Clumsy cat? Gentle lion? Whatever the human equivalent of these might be? How do you keep your characters believable?

While you think about my clumsy kitten, tell us--how are you doing in your writing life--what are your goals for the week? If you are doing the Tour, what are your wordcount goals? Are you trying to steal the jersey off of anyone? Who do you most want to take down in a wordcount challenge?

I am just hoping to write something while on vacation. I'd be happy with 100 words. :)   

For those who might be popping over for the first time, it’s never too late to join the Tour de Writing. We’ll be keeping track of wordcount until August 12th, right before WriteOnCon begins. Please feel free to say hello, get to know some of your competition (their blogs are listed in the left side blogroll) and introduce yourself in the comments.

Last week was a rip-roaring time! I can't wait to see what this week brings for the TdW. I'll get the standings up as soon as possible--I'm shooting for Wednesday or Friday. If you don't see me in the comments, it's because I'm hanging out with wild horses, here.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

TdW Check-in and Standings

I should have known she was sick when she was curled up at the foot of the baby doll's bed, instead of mine.
I am sitting on the floor, trying to get my sick kitty to eat a tuna popsicle. (Thanks, Nandini, for the recipe!)

Anyway, if you have noticed that I haven't been around this week, that is mostly why. I rushed her to the vet with a 105 degree temp, and she hasn't been bouncing back as quickly as I had hoped. So, I'm planning on packing up both kittens to come with us on vacation this weekend.

So, you are probably wondering--who is out in front of the Tour de Writing? What are the other two prizes? (I unveiled two already, and you'll have to wait for the other two. Yes, there are FOUR winners of the Tour every year!)

So, here are the standings:


In first place, with a big lead out of the gate, the overall front runner is:

 Marisa Hopkins with a whopping 9,112 revision points!! Congrats Marisa--you look awesome in yellow. Fight hard to keep that yellow jersey on your back this week!


King of the Mountain this week, sporting the polka-dotted red jersey in the REVISION category is:
 Tina Laurel Lee with 6500 revision points. Congrats on being Queen of the Mountain this week! Watch out, Marisa, Tina is on your tail!
 LynNerd is coming in fast behind Tina and Marisa, with 1080 revising points. Woo-hoo!


Jonathon Arntson with 6,100 points is wearing the green, sprint, drafting jersey.

Coming up quickly behind Jon are:

 Kristine Asselin with 2639 drafting points
 Anita with 1400 drafting* points

 Fida I with 186 drafting points and
 Kelly with 0 drafting* points

*Anita and Kelly, I wasn't sure which category your guys were in, so I threw you into drafting. Let me know if you are drafting, revising, or both, and I'll change the standings.


Wearing the white, revision and drafting jersey is:
  Taffy with 1691 revising and drafting words

 me with 0 revising and drafting words--better look out, Taffy, I have you in my sights!


If I have made mistakes, please let me know. I had to adjust some scores, due to very strict Tour de Writing rules (LOL). For instance, as much as I love it when people tweet about the Tour, you only get points when you use twitter to organize a writing Party. Confusing, I know. Sigh. But you can compete as many times on twitter, and even if no one answers your call, if you wrote, you win the bonus points. :)

Things can change quickly in the Tour de Writing. And, even though I was delinquent in getting last week's standings posted, already, it is time to chime in with 2nd week standings. Gasp! Already!!

2nd Week Tally

Let me know your word count for the past week, in this fashion:

1. First week's points total (this is what your standing is up above, in this blog post, unless my math was bad.
2. This week's total word count.
3. Number of times in TPR
4. Number of times that you wrote, party style on twitter, inviting others to join you
5. Whether you are drafting, revising, or both

I know this is convoluted. :)

Mine looks like this:
1. 0
2. 1201
3. 3 x 500
4. 0
5. still both

If you are new to the Tour, it is not too late to join in! Email me at hegkelly at gmail dot com, if you are confused. A good week of writing could blast anyone to the front of the pack!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Party Time, and Check in: Tour de Writing

I'm still putting together the standings for the Tour de Writing--so bear with me, and look for a post tomorrow. In the meantime, I wanted to give everyone a chance to post goals for the week.

But first, let's talk about Party Writing. 

You know, hanging out, eating Crab Rangoons, and talking writing? Oh, wait, that's more of a writing meet and greet. 

Party writing is actually when you get together in a virtual social venue, make a plan to go and write for a specified time, write for that specified time, and then come back, and check in. It is effective, because someone is holding you accountable for writing, and because you pledge to do it unplugged from the internet (except for necessary research--and no, twitter almost never qualifies as research).  

Party writing is an excellent way to promote community, and get writing done. Do you exercise more when you do it with a friend? Well, I write more when I do it with a friend. 

The two social venues which we are giving bonuses for party writing for the Tour de Writing are:

1. The Practice Room. Check out the times on posted on my left blogroll, check in at TPR by commenting on the blog post before the unplug, go write for an hour, and when the hour is up, sign in to the chat room to talk about the writing session. It's easy, welcoming, and a there is a writer-in-residence guaranteed to be there to talk with about writing frustrations. Or writing awesomeness. 

2. Twitter. Okay, so I denounced twitter as a research tool, but it can be fun to challenge someone to a word-off on twitter. Here's an example:

"#TourdeWriting challenge on the :30. How many words can you write/revise in 30mins?"
"#1k1hr #TourdeWriting challenge at 12. Who's with me?"

I love the #1k1hr people on twitter. They are so much fun to write with! Can you write 1000 words in an hour?

If you have questions about either of these community writing forums, please email me (hegkelly at gmail dot com) or DM me on twitter. There are Tour de Writing bonus points for using these venues to write well with others. :)

So, this week, keep your eyes and ears open to do some party writing, or create an opportunity yourself. It's fun!

And, tell me in the comments what your goals are for the week, or your general goals for the Tour de Writing. And if you are joining us, welcome! 

My goals--to make some serious headway this week. I'm going for 10,000 words. Think you can beat me?

Oh, and feel free to grab a Tour de Writing badge from my left blogroll! Thanks, J, for creating that!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tour de Libraries, Tour de Writing

I'm sitting in the beautiful Narragansett RI library, watching my kids play bingo. Thank goodness for libraries! We'll make this short and sweet today.

Let me know how you've done in your writing week.

If you are competing in the Tour de Writing, for awesome PRIZES, let me know (in the comments) the following:

1. Your wordcount for the week.

2. Number of times in The Practice Room.

3. Number of times you challenged people to write on twitter, hashtag #TourdeWriting

4. Your category--whether you are drafting new words, revising, or doing both.

So, MY totals look like this:

1. 0
2. 0 x 500
3. 0 x 250
4. Both

My total? A big zero. Don't judge me, I've been on vacation. :)

What are your totals? Clearly, it’s not too late to sign up, even if you have a big fat donut, like me. J

I’ll tally the totals, and put everyone in jerseys for Monday’s post.

And, even if you aren’t competing, feel free to check in and let me know how are doing!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tour de Writing PRIZES

Happy Birthday to ME!

What am I doing for my birthday? Giving PRIZES to you, Tour de Writers!

It is NEVER to late to join in.

So keep track of every single word you write, keep track of the word count in every section that you revise, and visit The Practice Room (for 500 extra points at a pop), or write with #TourdeWriting folks on twitter (for a bonus 250 points).

Read this post, and this post and then if you are still confused--I can just about guarantee it--well, DM me on twitter, or e-mail me at hegkelly at gmail dot com.

Tour de Writing Prizes:

You know you want to win-- and all you have to do is write or revise the most words by August 12th.

I will unveil the other two prizes next week. :)

Tanstaafl. I make you work for your prizes here.

Tell me in the comments, if you would like to sign up, so I can get your blog on my blogroll on the left hand side. Visit other Tour de Writers from said blogroll.

Make sure to stop by here on Friday to give me your word counts for this first week! We'll see who gets to wear a jersey come Monday!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Second Annual Tour de Writing!!!

It's always good to set goals. My goal this summer was to re-organize, re-vamp, and rejuvenate. To return in the fall well rested, and ready to write.

Well, smack me upside the head--I had forgotten about the TOUR de WRITING.

You might ask, how could you possibly forget the ultra fun and ultra convoluted competition that you, Heather, created last year in order to squeeze as much writing as possible out of the month of July?

Well, I just don't know. :)

But it's here, it's July, it's a month before WriteOnCon, time to launch the Tour de Writing.

Competitive writing's not just for NaNo anymore!!

Can I get a *Woo-Hoo* from everyone who knows what the heck I'm talking about?

For everyone else, here's the run-down:

1. I love the Tour de France. Could watch it all day long. Have, in fact. I also love motivated writing. Writing with others. Competitively. Last year, I merged the two, and voila, The Tour de Writing.

2. All you need to do is write. And keep track of your word count from this day forward. If you are drafting, then every word counts. If you are revising, then every word in that section counts. If you are confused, join the club. :)

3. ANYONE can join in, AT ANY TIME. All are welcome.

4. You get bonus points for writing well with others.

Utilize Tina's The Practice Room, and get 500 bonus points every single time.

Participate in (or organize) a hashtag #TourdeWriting challenge on Twitter, and earn another bonus 250 points. Every time. (For example, you might tweet "writing for an hour on the 30, who's with me? #TourdeWriting" and then write for an hour, then see who wrote the most...)

5. Sign in on Mondays, sign out on Fridays. Mondays you talk about your goals for the week, Fridays, you tell me how many words you've written or revised, and how many times you wrote using The Practice Room and Twitter. I spend the weekend tallying, and then hand out jerseys and updates on Monday. This goes on for five weeks.

6. Writers with the most points at the end win PRIZES. :)

If you are still confused (let's be honest--how could you not be?) take a look at last year's initial post.

The Jersey Breakdown:

In the Tour de France, riders earn jerseys, and wear them until another rider bests them.

I will give out these same jerseys each week, and we'll see who is still wearing them at the finish line on Friday, August 12th.

Green Jersey: Awarded to the writer with the most sprint points. These are drafters. Sprinters. Writers who are writing new words down the line.

Polka-dot Jersey: King of the Mountain! For revising, of course. If you are dedicating your time to revising, then you are definitely riding up that mountain. Count up each word in each section you revise, and that is your word count for the week.

White Jersey: Combination of drafting and revising. If you are one of those who draft a bit, and revise a bit as you go, or if you are drafting a project, and revising another project, then this is your jersey.

Yellow Jersey: The maillot jaune. The jersey of all jerseys. This is the BIG WINNER. The front writer. The writer with the most words, period end.

Let's take a look at the winners from last year. The reigning champions. The writers to beat:

The GRAND PRIZE 2010 WINNER of the YELLOW JERSEY was TOM with 61,844 points!

Krystey Belle won the GREEN JERSEY for most DRAFTED words, with a total of 57,053 points.

Patricia won the 2010 POLKA DOT Jersey, with a total of 56,353 points!

And the winner of the 2010 WHITE JERSEY, signifying highest points in revising and drafting was Taffy, with 46,606!!

Congrats to last years winners, and to all who competed. I know that I wrote more last July than I would have without this race to the finish.

Everyone who wants to enter, please tell me, in the comments of this post, whether you are drafting or revising, and what your goals are, for the week, or for the whole Tour de Writing. Also, please leave me your blog link, so I can add a blog roll dedicated to the Tour.

My goals:

I am going after the White Jersey. I am drafting and revising a YA dystopia. My goal is to get to... 50,000 points by the end of the Tour. Ouch. That seems like a ton. :) Especially since I will be on the road for two whole weeks of the Tour. Well, I'll just have to bring my laptop. :) No excuses.

Everybody ready? 

On your mark...

Get set...


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Under Construction and The TOUR DE WRITING

Please be patient as I re-format the blog and add some much needed organization here.

I am trying to find ways to continue to make connections between writers, and to organize those connections. I've lost track of a few blogs that I really wanted to follow, and don't want that to continue to happen.

So, I have two favors to ask:

1. If your blog falls into one of the new categories on the left blog roll, and you don't see it there, please let me know in the comments. I have so much in my brain right now, that I forget my own name (and blog name). I'm hoping that I can at least simplify my blogging life by putting you all in your proper places, and would love help with the endeavor. :)

2. Tell me--how do you organize your blogging life, and all the connections you've made? Do you use google reader to stay on track of blogs? Do you go through times when you can't keep up with it all? What methods do you use to simplify blogging?

On another note, once I finish organizing the blog this weekend,

the Second Annual TOUR DE WRITING starts Monday!! 

Fans of last July's hit game, the TOUR DE WRITING, fasten your seat belts! And a hearty Edited to Within an Inch welcome to all the new fans! The second annual TdW starts here Monday!! Oh, yes, there will be PRIZES. Who's going to win the sprint jersey? The yellow jersey? Do we have any previous winners trying to defend their title? Competitive writing's not just for NANO anymore!! Curious? Show up and check it out!