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Posts tagged with: Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival

It’s Check-In Monday #1 for the Winter Writing Festival!!

The Sixth Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is really rocking, with the Ruby Sisters and dozens of their always-talented friends writing their hearts out!

Today we complete our FIRST FULL WEEK, and it’s time to officially check in!

If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), jump on over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog ( the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) and leave a quick comment about your experience with the Festival and your progress so far.

(See info on SWAG you could win, below!!)

A few bits of business before we move on:

1.  CHAT ROOM SPRINTS ARE FABULOUS!

A reminder to those who haven’t jumped in with the writing sprints yet: our Chat Room http://www.rsswwf.com/ichat/  is open over at the rsswwf.com site. The sprints have helped MANY Festival participants make amazing progress! You don’t have to be in first-draft mode either: the sprints work just as well if you’re in the planning or revision stages too. It’s just a great way to get butt-in-chair and stay focused for whatever chunk of time you want to stay for!

If you’re still unsure, or feeling a little shy, check out Kim Law’s really helpful post about how the sprints work right here.

2. We’re at EIGHT POINTS! (That’s where you should be at the end of the day today if you earned all the points you were supposed to this week. You should have nine points if you got the bonus for signing in on the first day! And some of you have been heaping up extra points–so if you’re ahead of that already, good for you!)

If you earned all your points for the week, please add a line in your comment in all caps saying I MADE MY GOAL!!! You will hear us cheering loudly!!!

If you’re a bit behind, NO WORRIES!! You can  always double up on later dates, OR revise your point-earning system if your original was a tad too ambitious. Really, seriously, it’s 100% okay to say, “I need to change my goals” or “I need to add in a less-hefty way to earn a point for my toughest days.”

The point is to KEEP WORKING and MAKE PROGRESS!! We can’t say it enough: the Festival is designed for YOU!

3. Git yer red-hot Festival Participant Badge right here:

If you didn’t get your badge up on your personal website yet, you can grab a copy right now.  Just right-click on the badge below, choose “SAVE IMAGE AS” and save it to your computer. You can then upload it to your own website as you please!

rss_winterfestival-participant-badge 2016

 

 

 

4. Is it too late to join??? NEVER TOO LATE!!!

If you’re just discovering us, or if you’ve got friends burning with jealousy because they’ve heard of all of the progress you’ve made in the Writing Sprints, tell them to jump right in!! They can give themselves Super Bonus Golden Sunshine Points (or some less embarrassing name, if they prefer) to make up for any days they’ve missed so far, and move forward from there.

AND NOW FOR THE SWAG:

Anyone who checks in at the Ruby blog today will be entered in a random drawing to win one of the following prizes (just because we love you!):

 

Now it’s YOUR turn, Festival-goers!! How did the week go? Did you stay on target??

Opening Ceremonies: 2016 Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival!

***To anyone checking in January 12 or later, YES!!! YOU CAN STILL JOIN THE FESTIVAL!! Just declare your commitment (and your personal point-earning system) below and jump right in!!***

Oh, how we adore saying these words:

roaring-fire_657x600We now declare the Sixth Annual Winter Writing Festival OPEN!
Let the Games begin!!

To get your BONUS point for today, Monday January 11,  add a comment on the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) in which you:

1) define how *you personally* will earn your Festival “points”

and

2) declare your commitment to earning 50 points by Feb 29, 2016. (Further details on goal-setting follow below).

 Leaving a comment today on the regular Ruby blog also puts you in the running for some cool prizes–the first round of our fabled Festival Swag, which includes lots of gift cards, awesome Ruby books, delicious goodies, and the ever-popular WRITING CRITIQUES, which we’ll continue giving out in random drawings every Monday from now until the end of the Festival on Monday, Feb 29!!)

_________________________

WHAT IS THE WINTER WRITING FESTIVAL???

For those who haven’t been with us for the WWF before, it’s an online writing festival, kind of like NaNoWriMo, but designed by busy, hard-working women: i.e., we schedule it for AFTER the chaos of the holidays, and we let you DESIGN YOUR OWN approach to “winning” so it actually fits in with your real life!!

For fifty days through what’s otherwise the dullest part of winter, we cheer each other on to make serious progress in our writing, with regular check-ins, celebratory prizes, and (for those who want more direct support) lots of friendly, online Writing Sprints!! (More details on all these things below.) 

The WWF is open to writers in ALL GENRES (not just romance), and it’s 100% free to join!

TO REGISTER:

You don’t really have to register officially if you don’t want to, but if you like having a formal spot to chart your progress, leave your comment today on the regular Ruby site (rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) stating how you’ll earn your Festival points, then jump over to our special Festival site, rsswwf.com, and officially register. Click on the “Member” snowflake near the upper right of that page, then click on “Register for the site.” When you log back in throughout the Festival, you can add points to your progress bar and see how far you’ve come. (Should there be any technical problems, don’t worry! Just leave your comment here–we’ll consider you part of the Festival no matter what!)

WRITING SPRINTS:

The very BEST thing about the rsswwf.com site is the CHAT ROOM, which we use for writing sprints. Those of you who’ve participated in the Festival before can testify that writing sprints are pretty darned miraculous at helping writers be super-turbo-powered productive–even if the chaos of life normally makes it hard for you to get much written.

You just click on the Chat Room link in the box near the upper left of the rsswwf.com site (right under “Sprint Schedule), and you’ll jump to a screen where you can type in the name or nickname you want to use during the chat. Hit enter, and you’ll find yourself in a virtual space with other writers also eager to get work done. A Sprint Hostess will be there to greet you and show you the ropes. Sprint Czaress Kim Law has some great instructions here.

Typically, we chat (via typing) for a few minutes between sprints, then write like crazy for 20 minutes (or 45 minutes at some sessions), then come back and chat some more. Just knowing other people are writing while you are–and waiting to hear your new word count when you chat again–will keep you in your seat and cranking out those words. You can get inspiration, great advice, and (in half the chats I’ve been in) just laugh yourself silly. DON’T BE SHY!!!! It’s fun and easy…and practically magic!

Also note a new feature this year: the wonderful Hope Ramsay, plot-builder extraordinaire, is hosting a special PLOT BRAINSTORMING SESSION every Wednesday morning from 9 AM – 11 AM!!  Get in on that if you can!

Writing sprints start TODAY and happen at various times daily. Jump in anytime!!! And if we don’t have a sprint scheduled at a time that works for you, feel free to find a buddy and come in on your own. Here’s the schedule so far (all times are EST):

Week of January 11:

Monday:

5 AM – 7AM with Liz Bemis

9AM – 11AM with Heather McCollum

1PM – 3PM with Vivi Andrews

7PM – 9PM with Darynda Jones

10PM – midnight with Addison Fox

Tuesday: 

5AM – 7AM with Liz Bemis

7AM – 9AM with Liz Talley

Noon – 2PM with Autumn Jordon

10PM – midnight with Elisa Beatty

Wednesday: 

5AM – 7AM with Liz Bemis

8AM – 11AM Brainstorming session with Hope Ramsay

2PM – 4PM with Laurie Kellogg

7PM – 9PM with Darynda Jones

10PM – midnight with Addison Fox

Thursday:

5AM – 7AM with Liz Bemis

12PM – 2PM with Autumn Jordon

10PM – midnight with Elisa Beatty

Friday:

5AM – 7AM with Liz Bemis

9AM – 11AM with Heather McCollum

Saturday:

11AM – 2PM with Elisa Beatty

Sunday:

Noon – 2PM with Autumn Jordon

 

PARTICIPANT BADGE:

To help keep you inspired between writing sprints, grab yourself a Participant badge (right-click on the one below and then click on “save image as”) to upload to your personal website.  

rss_winterfestival-participant-badge 2016

 

 

 

 

You can also check in daily at the Brag Blog on the rsswwf.com site, where you can report on how your writing day has gone, get a quick pep talk if you need it, or celebrate whenever you earn a point! You’ll also find inspirational daily quotes and links to Ruby posts on craft to pull you through when you’re feeling a little stuck.

FABULOUS SWAG:

Also, check out the fantabulous Winter Writing Festival swag you have a chance to win during Monday Check-Ins if you meet your goals each week. (You can also purchase some cool Winter Writing Festival swag yourself–including coffee mugs, tees, sweats, and totes with the Festival logo–at our Cafe Press store.)

The Swag you can win today just for leaving a comment on the regular Ruby site includes (print books available USA only):

Critique of first 5 pages by Autumn Jordon (contemporary romance or romantic suspense)

$20 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner’s choice) from Addison Fox

A bag of “Turtle Island” Chocolate Turtles from Kim Law

E-copy of Marriage: Impossible by Ava Blackstone (now available for pre-order at Amazon, iBooks and Kobo!) and a $20 Amazon e-gift card

Set of three signed print books in the Highlands Hearts series by Heather McCollum

Print or e-copy of Bared to the Viscount by Lara Archer and a $20 Amazon e-gift card

marriageImpossible-200x30051BBsTLnkDL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Lara_Bared

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s not to love? (Our thanks to mega-talented Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of bemispromotions.com for designing and maintaining both sites!!)

BTW: You can easily jump over to the rsswwf.com site by clicking the blue participant badge in the upper right-hand corner of the regular Ruby site.

If for any reason you have technical problems registering today: don’t panic!! Just leave us a message here in the comment trail, and get started earning points for the Festival. 

Be sure to visit the Chat Room: you don’t want to miss out on those sprints!!

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A QUICK REVIEW OF THE GOAL-SETTING AND POINT-SCORING RULES:

Everybody gets one BONUS point TODAY for coming to the Ruby blog and leaving a comment that makes a public declaration of your commitment to take part in the Festival and a public announcement of your goals. Then, for each of the 50 days of the Festival (including today), you work to earn an additional point—and you define what it takes to earn that point.

Here are some examples of the sorts of things you might define as worth one point (you fill in the variables with the amounts that work for you):

-writing X number of words or pages
-deep revising Y number of pages
-polishing Z number of pages
-freewriting / brainstorming for Q number of minutes/hours
-doing R number of 20-minute writing sprints
-keeping butt in chair and hands on keyboard for S number of minutes or hours

For instance, one person might commit to earning points according to the following terms:

-writing 500 words per day OR
-deep revising for one hour per day OR
-doing a final polish on 25 pages per day

Any day that person meets ANY of those goals, she gets a point.

YOU set the goals that meet your personal writing style and writing needs. (For more advice on how to set up your goals, see here).

If you can’t meet your goal on any particular day, you can certainly double or triple or quadruple your goal on another day to catch up.

And if you know ahead of time that you can never work on certain days (say, Saturdays) feel free to add something like “keep balance in my life by taking Saturday off” to your personal list of ‘ways to earn a point.’ Really. You can earn a point by taking a planned day off!! Don’t be shy.

We also highly recommend having a “emergency / bad day goal” for when life gets in the way–like just 50 new words, or 5 minutes looking at your manuscript, or something really, really manageable–so you don’t let a bout of flu or late day at the office throw you off completely. Just promise yourself you’ll only use those for the unexpected bumps in the road. That way you’ll feel like you’re still on board, and won’t just drop by the wayside.

And if setting your goals by the week works better for you than setting them by the day, go for it!!! Same with setting goals by the month, or just having one big 50-day overall goal!!

Remember, we all have different life commitments and different approaches to our writing lives, so we all need to set our own goals. All goals are equally worthy. This isn’t a competition, it’s a supportive process for MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR WRITING.

We want the Festival to work for YOU!

Check in at the Ruby blog every Monday during the Festival to report your progress (and be entered in random drawings for more Festival Swag.)

If you reach Feb 29 with a nice round 50 points (or more), YOU WIN!!

Spread the word to all your writer friends–all genres are welcome!!!

Good luck all, and GET WRITING!!

Winter Writing Festival CHECK-IN (Week 5)

Here it is—already WEEK 5 !!!

If you’ve made your goals so far, you should have earned 36 POINTS! (The day one sign-up gave you a bonus point for the first day!) Don’t despair. You can always make up points. If you’ve fallen behind, just work on catching up over the next few weeks. Even writing nonsense is better than a blank page!

Here are a few suggestions on how to increase your chance of succeeding in making your goals.

Make your writing a top priority! Write SOMETHING every day, even if it’s just a chapter heading.

Set your goals to an achievable level to avoid discouraging yourself. You can always exceed your target. For example, I set my daily goal at 1,000 words a day, and I’ve been consistently writing over 1,500. So I have a surplus for the days I wake up feeling lousy or my electricity goes out.

Lose the all or nothing mindset. If you fall behind, don’t worry, just jump right back in and keep going!

Take advantage of our chat room http://www.rsswwf.com/ichat/. It’s open at rsswwf.com site. Check the times posted on the RSSWWF site (blue site) for your sprint hostesses and come join us. If there are no sprints scheduled, come hang out. Other writers frequently drop by hoping to find sprinting buddies. If you haven’t had a chance to try sprinting yet or if you’re not sure how it all works, Kim Law did a great post on how the sprints work right here.

The writers who sprint are usually more successful at making their goals and sticking with it to the end. I’ve gotten to know a lot of you in the chat room, and sprinting has been an invaluable tool to help me achieve my goals. Not to mention it’s LOTS OF FUN!

Now, share with us how you did this week and 5 lucky commenters will receive one of the five fabulous prizes below (1st winner gets first choice, 2nd winner gets second choice, etc.). So be sure to comment on this week’s progress, whether good, bad, or ugly. We want to cheer you on or commiserate. And remember—you can’t win the GRAND PRIZE at the end of the festival ($250 online gift certificate) if you don’t check-in every week.

Here’s the SWAG that’s up for grabs for Week 5

1) An e-copy of Her Hard To Resist Husband by Tina Beckett

2) An e-book Only in Vegas or Operation: Date Escape by Lindsey Brookes

3) A $20.00 Amazon gift certificate from Bev Pettersen.

4) Kindle version of Hotter in Atlanta by Liz Talley

5) A first chapter critique (contemporary romance-25 pages) by yours truly, Laurie Kellogg, and an e-copy of one of my books. RubyWeek 5 Checkin

*NOTE: If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), make sure you jump over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) before leaving your comment!

Here’s hoping you make lots of progress this week as we sprint toward the finish line! Happy writing! We can do it!

 

Winter Writing Festival: Check-In #4

 

Wow, are we at the halfway point already?! As Elisa’s post on Tuesday pointed out, we’ve crossed the halfway point in this marathon.

You may be chugging right along, pacing yourself perfectly to cross that finish line on time and with your goals met. Or you may have tripped over a loose stone, run smack into a boulder, splashed through a puddle, fallen and skinned your knee, or gotten stuck in a poppy field.

I’m here to tell you that finish line is still reachable. (*adopts drill instructor tone*) Get yourself up, dust yourself off, and push, push, push. You can accomplish amazing things. I know you can.

Tell us how you did this week and 5 lucky commenters will receive one of the five fabulous prizes below (1st winner gets first choice, 2nd winner gets second choice, etc.). So be sure to comment on this week’s progress, whether good, bad, or ugly. We want to cheer you on or commiserate. And remember – you can’t win the GRAND PRIZE at the end of the festival ($250 online gift certificate) if you don’t check-in every week.

Here are the prizes up for grabs this week:

1) Tamara Hogan: Tempt Me in winner’s choice of format.  (Print USA only)

2) His Forever Girl (winner’s choice of format) by Liz Talley (Print USA only)

3) An autographed copy of Last Chance Knit & Stitch by Hope Ramsay (US ONLY)

4) A $20.00 Amazon gift certificate from Vanessa Barneveld.

5) A first chapter critique (25 page max) contemporary or romantic suspense by Autumn Jordon

 

TamaraHogan_TemptMe_100pxHisForeverGirl_300-142x225Last Chance Knit & Stitch coveramazongiftcardperfectsml

*If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), make sure you jump over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) before leaving your comment!

Wishing you forward progress and happy writing vibes in the coming week! You can do it!

Winter Writing Festival: Check-In #5

The Third Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is coming to the end of its fifth week. It’s hard to believe we’re on Day 36 of the festival – people have been doing an outstanding job meeting their goals and it’s time to celebrate!

Today we complete our 5th full week, and it’s time to officially check in!

If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), jump on over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) and leave a quick comment about your experience with the Festival and your progress so far.

A few odds -n- ends before we get to the goodies.

1.  THE WWF CHAT ROOM – COME JOIN US!

Our Chat Room http://www.rsswwf.com/ichat/  is open over at the rsswwf.com site. You can check the times that are posted on the RSSWWF site (blue site) for your sprint hostesses and come join us.

If you haven’t had a chance to drop in yet or if you’re not sure how it all works, Kim Law put together a great post on how the sprints work right here.

2. If you’ve made your goals so far, you should be at 36 POINTS! (The day one sign up got you a bonus point for the first day!) Don’t forget, you can always make up points so if you’ve fallen behind, just work on catching up over the next few weeks. All writing is good writing!

If you made your goals, please add a line in your comment in all caps saying I MADE MY GOAL!!! You will hear us cheering loudly!!!

If you’ve fallen a bit behind, don’t worry, just jump right back on and keep going!

3. There’s still time to download your Festival Participant Badge right here:

If you’d like to post the badge to your personal site, you can grab it here.  Just right-click on the badge below, choose “SAVE IMAGE AS” and save it to your computer. You can then upload it to your own website as you please!

writing-fest-2012-template copy

 

AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK’S SWAG:

Anyone who checks in at the Ruby blog today will be entered in a random drawing to win one of the following prizes – don’t miss out!:

  • Synopsis critique (Amanda Brice)
  • A Breath of Scandal (print) by Elizabeth Essex
  • Edge of Light and 2-book set of Remnants series (eBook) by Cynthia Justlin: Her own Best Enemy and Intrusion
  • Ruby-slipper ring holder (Gwynlyn MacKenzie)
  • $20 Amazon Card (Diana Layne)

So come join us and let us know how you’re doing! How did Week #5 go? Did you make your goals?

Get Your Heels in the Starting Blocks! Goal-Setting Advice for the Winter Writing Festival

The Festival starts tomorrow! The Festival starts tomorrow!!

I’m so darned excited, I could spit. Not very ladylike, but true.

One of my favorite parts of the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival is the fact that you can set your own goals (see details here). But of course that means you need to think carefully about what your goals should be to make best use of the Festival’s awesome productivity-boosting power.

Some thoughts on setting effective Festival goals:

If you look at me now, you might not believe this, but back in junior high and high school, I ran track competitively. (I’ll pause for a moment here for a brief peal of laughter from those who know me today. Really, I used to be a skinny little muscle-ball. Seriously. I have pictures somewhere….probably buried in a pile of candy-bar wrappers. Sigh.)

Anyhow, as I think about my goals for the Writing Festival, I think about my track days. The wisdom I learned back then applies now.

1. Know which race you’re running.

Apparently, I have some weird combination of “short-twitch” and “long-twitch” muscles, so when I ran track, my coaches assigned me a wide range of races–everything from the manic kangaroo-style dash of 100-meter hurdles to the marshall-your-energy-for-the-very-long-run mind-game of cross-country.

If you went into a hurdles race with a cross-country mind-set, the other racers would cross the finish line before you made your first leap.

If you went into a cross-country race with a hurdles mind-set, you’d leave the others in the dust…for the first five minutes, and then they’d all have to jump over your prone and twitching body once you’d burned out your muscle’s short-term glycogen stores.

The RSSWWF isn’t a sprint, but it’s not a marathon either. At 50 days, it requires a bit more stamina than the month-long NaNoWriMo, but it’s still a fairly short-term and intensive commitment.

The toughest race I used to run was the 800: half a mile.  It was not-quite-a-sprint, not-quite-a-distance-race. You really had to think carefully about just how fast you could go out of the blocks, and you had to sustain that speed for two full rounds of the track.

 

My advice for the Festival: push yourself, but don’t kill yourself. If NaNo’s 1667 words a day is do-able but kinda exhausting for you, maybe pull back to 1200, or even 1000.  If you prefer setting an amount of time to write per day, pick a time that will pinch a little, but not make your other commitments impossible to meet. Your family / boss / pets / dirty laundry can be pushed down the priority ladder for NaNo’s 30 days, but 50 days is harder.  Would an hour a day be reasonable? Can you cut out some internet playtime or a couple of TV shows to make that possible? Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you can hang with for seven full weeks.

If you pace yourself right, you might find that your Festival goals can be sustained long after February 29 is gone!

 

 

 

3. Build in some breathers!

Lots of studies have shown that the best way to build aerobic endurance is not by running constantly–it’s by running for awhile, then walking for awhile, then running again. (My track coaches built our lungs with a crueler version of this: “wind sprints,” in which you ran 50 yards at top speed, paused for about ten seconds, then ran back just as fast and kept repeating the process until your coaches felt merciful enough to let you stop. It worked, but it hurt like hell. I like the alternate running / walking thing MUCH better.)

Lots of Festival participants are including goals like “Take Saturdays off to be with family,” or “Take Tuesday and Thursday evenings off.” This isn’t cheating–it’s sound training advice! Some of you may want to write seven days a week regardless, but don’t kill yourself. A little rejuvenation can help you power up and get more done on your “on” days.

 

4. Depend on your teammates.

Sisterhood is powerful! The best thing about the Festival is we’re doing it as a group.

Announce your goals loud and clear on the Ruby blog tomorrow. Check in regularly on Wednesdays and let us know how you’re doing. Accountability = big motivation!

Use the writing sprints! Many participants last year found the writing sprints (held in the chat room over at rsswwf.com) to be almost magical in their power to make the words flow. We’ll have regular sprints scheduled at all sorts of times, so keep an eye out for the schedule on the Writing Festival homepage!  (You might want to make “participate in a writing sprint” one of the ways you can earn a Festival point!)

Also, check out the “Brag Blog” on the rsswwf.com site. It’s a way you can get a little inspiration and check in on a daily basis! Of course, the more the merrier, so spread the word!! Everyone is welcome to participate!

 

 Get your muscles warmed up, friends! This is gonna be great!!

 

Get Ready for the RSS Winter Writing Festival!!!

The Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Second Annual Winter Writing Festival begins in JUST ONE WEEK!!!

 

Through the bleakest part of winter—January 11, 2012 thru the end of February—the Second Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival will be here to keep your creative fires burning, with support, advice, inspiration, frequent writing sprints in our chat room, fun prizes for participants, and as much virtual hot-chocolate (and virtual cookies!!) as you please.

Unlike NaNoWriMo and other writing challenges that (much as we love them!!) have a one-size-fits-all approach, the Ruby Winter Writing Festival is designed for you.

The Latest Comments

  • Nicole Hohmann: I’m in! I’m still all starry eyed and missing the characters in my last book I just...
  • Laura Henson: I need this. Thanks.
  • Liz Talley: Is that his newest? I love his books and I’ve been pretty good at keeping up with them but over the...
  • Anne Marie Becker: Oh, I remember reading The Guernsey book for book club years ago and loving it. I just started...
  • Elisa Beatty: Yay!! I added you to the Facebook check-in group! Looking forward to September 1!!!

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