WOOO-HOOO: It’s the Winter Writing Festival’s Week One Check-In!!!!!

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The Third 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 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:


A reminder to those who haven’t jumped in with the writing sprints yet: our Chat Room  is open over at the 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 a couple hours!

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 if you made your goals all 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 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’re a bit behind, NO WORRIES!! You can  always double up on later dates, OR revise your goals is your original ones were a tad too ambitious. 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!

writing-fest-2012-template copy


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.


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 make your goals??

148 Responses to “WOOO-HOOO: It’s the Winter Writing Festival’s Week One Check-In!!!!!”

  1. Roxanne Kade says:

    Checking in!! :)

    Unfortunately, I had a week from hell :( but I’m still on 5 points which I’m pretty excited about because I hardly had time to breathe.

    Will work extra hard next week!!

    • Kim Law says:

      5 points is TERRIFIC with a week from hell! Great job. And just keep pushing forward. No doubt you’ll catch up in no time. Good luck on a more calm week next week!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      That sounds good to me, Roxanne, if you made progress despite the week from hell!!

      Remember, the Writing Festival is seven weeks long, so there’s plenty of time to catch up!

      And if you DO decide your original goals were too ambitious, you really, truly can revise them midway. The point is just to KEEP MAKING PROGRESS!!!

      At the end of the 50 days, you’ll have good stuff to show for it!

  2. Raven Raye says:

    Checking in!

    Yeah, week from hell here, too. I’m only 1 point in, but hoping to get a lot done next week.

  3. Wendy says:

    I 100% forgot about writing yesterday (got distracted and then fell asleep early), so I’m a point short. I totally got started a day early though, so I’m going to say it balances out :-)

  4. Eve says:


    The writing part is pleasurable, and the editing is a bit tough but fun.

  5. delia says:


    The sprints have helped me up my word counts. Can’t wait to sprint some more :)

  6. I’m behind. I’m stuck in writer’s block hell. I’m hoping when I break through it, I am going to not be able to stop writing and will catch right up! I do love the sprints, even if I haven’t been very productive so far in them.

    • Kim Law says:

      Ah, I’m sorry about the writer’s block! Maybe write something else for a day? Even if it’s nothing more than thoughts on a past experience? Write about your favorite childhood memory or something. Maybe the act of writing will free your mind and let you work through where you’re stuck!

      Good luck. Hope to see you in more sprints!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      You’ll catch up.

      Sometimes just when you feel the most stuck, a sudden revelation comes to you that makes it all come together.

      I highly recommend asking yourself, “What’s the worst possible thing that could happen to my character at this moment,” then try making it happen…..

  7. Tamara Hogan says:

    8 points, baby. I love revising, just love it. I’m 100% serious. It’s been a great writing week. ;-)

  8. I’m checking here. The sprints are great. 20 or 30 minutes is a nice length of time, but not so long that I start to get antsy. And thanks to all those great sprints,



  9. Jean Willett says:

    I’m behind. Started late, family issues, but I have at least five points, so I’m plodding along. Going to join sprints to stay focused.

  10. Cia Paul says:

    Waaay behind. I’m stuck in the doldrums with no wind in sight. I’ll have to double up to catch up. Off to record my 1 point – the free one for signing up on day 1. :-)

    Good luck on your goals for week 2, WWFers.

  11. Kathy Hills says:


    The Winter Writing Festival has put me back on track!

    Thank you!

  12. Liz Talley says:


    Woot! I even surpassed my goal of 10K and got 12.5K. The sprints really do it for me. Love being there with such talented, supportive, commiserate women. And we’ve been playing “Can you beat Darynda?” which doesn’t happen often but gives us good word count (those who are writing new words).

    Off to Starbucks to work some more on my goals…and a latte!

  13. Lisa Olech says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! (PLUS!!!!)

    This was the ruby-slippered kick in the tookas I needed! Thank you. My future editor thanks you, too!! *S*


  14. KnitTurtle says:

    I’m waaaay behind, but I’m going to start doing the sprints when I can so I can catch up!

  15. Pintip says:

    (Even though I had to tweak my goals a teeny, tiny bit. That’s allowed, isn’t it? I realized they were a tad ambitious. But I’ve been working hard all week and meeting my tweaked goals!)
    And yes — the chat room sprints are super mega fabulous!!!!

  16. Heidi Luchterhand says:

    I made my goal.

    (Mops brow.)

  17. Kristina Mathews says:

    I MADE MY GOAL- all days but one. But through a combination of new words, polishing submission package and submitting to an agent, I’m at 8 points.

    After getting a very speedy rejection, I was able to meet my goals yesterday ONLY because of the WWF. And chocolate covered potato chips.

  18. Hellion says:

    I made my goal–I did write 5000 words last week on my WIP (which is 500 words a day for 10 days…so hey, slightly exceeded maybe.) I’m at least very happy with my writing, whether I qualify for anything else on this contest or not. *LOL* I also cooked enough food to last all week, technically, but have yet to want to eat it and have been cooking other things instead–so I’m going to have to tweak that goal a bit.

    I need to get over to the link and check out the sprint stuff. :) I think those will be very beneficial to me.

  19. elliemurasaki says:

    Made my goal. In the ‘time with hands on keyboard’ sense. Which, since the point of this exercise for me is to actually get some words down and I ain’t done that yet…

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Have you tried MacFreedom or one of the other programs that temporarily blocks your internet to force you to write?

      Or check out the website Write or Die….that can be fabulous.

      Have you been in the sprints? Come join one!!!! Having other people waiting on you to produce some words in 20 minutes is a great motivator. (I’m still waiting on the answer to your technical question….)

      • elliemurasaki says:

        That seems a recipe for frustration. If I need to check something and I have no Internet, writing stops. I cannot do [insert food here] when I need the characters eating something I can’t think of offhand. I have to look it up and have it right before I can keep going.

  20. Kate Parker says:


    Some days blood has dripped onto the keyboard, but I did it. Now to get going on my life, so I can get to the keyboard this afternoon and make today’s goal.

  21. Kim Law says:

    Me? Uh…didn’t quite meet my goal. But that’s ok. I knew I wouldn’t this week. But ask me where I stand after Sunday! :D Me and a whole lot of writing are about to happen over the next few days!

    Great job, everyone! I love sprinting with so many people!

  22. I MADE MY GOAL…and then some!That isn’t to say that there will not be extensive re-writes involved at a later date…but I am getting the words on paper and ideas are flowing again thanks to the WWF! This was just the kick in the butt I needed :)

  23. I made my goal. Not in terms of word count (still behind there), but in terms of the amount of hours I spent in front of the WIP. This week is for trying to catch up on the word count!

  24. I Made My Goal! Worked hard to bank extra points because I’m going away this weekend to celebrate my anniversary. Will take the computer, but don’t expect to get too much done aside from spa appointments and lolling around. Am very sad I haven’t joined a sprint yet – that is my goal for next week!


    The chats I’ve attended have been fun. There was whip cracking, we named a city in a YA novel, helped fix a plot problem and so many other things! I have 8 points (are we counting today to get the 9?) Formatting is moving along, ordered the proof copy of my print book and working on setting up guest blogs posts to herald the release [trumpets blaring].

    Good luck everyone in Week 2! Hope to see you in the sprints! :)


  26. Terri Osburn says:

    No idea if I made my goal as the word counts are written on the calendar over my desk at home. I meant to add those up last night, but forgot. Will check in again this evening when I get home.

    I do know I’m THIS close to the end. 3 scenes, maybe 4 left. Then it’s on to revisions. Enjoying (and feeding off of) all the enthusiasm around here!


    I’m at 9 points, and loving every minute of the sprints!

    I’ve been pulling and tugging my chaptermates to join me as well. (And I love seeing all the Firebirds from the GH’12 taking part, too!)


  28. I KIND OF MADE MY GOAL. I’m very involved with finishing up my next release, so I didn’t get as many words in on my new WIP, but I expect to make it up this weekend. Are we allowed to slide one week and make it up the next and still get the points? My time has to be split so much between writing and editing, but I can’t always do both an equal amount all the time.

  29. Julie Opdyke says:


    While 100 words a day (usually 200-300!) isn’t a lot, the fact that I’m actually doing it is huge.

    • Every word gets you closer to done! My motto has become “I am the tortoise who wins the race.” Don’t look at how fast others are–look at how consistent you are. And gradually 100 will become 300 will become 500 and you’ll have a finished product–but more importantly, you’ll have a habit you can keep.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      It is indeed huge!!!!!! Go, you!! Go, go, go!!

  30. Karen McCoy says:

    Checking in! 13 points so far, and averaging around 2000 words per write-in. Loving the chat room!

  31. I *pretty much* made my goals! LOL

    I got everything done except the last thing on my list – but that’s only because some other writing-related things came up and I had to re-prioritize. I’m entirely okay with that, and feel good about what I did get done (which is the most important part, IMO). I hope to get that last thing done by Sunday. WOOHOO!

    Congrats to everyone on their hard work and persistence!!

  32. Tiana says:


    and I survived week one of the semester fairly unscathed, and didn’t do anything naughty in the chemistry lab, so all in all I’d say it’s been a great week. I keep missing the sprints though, I need to work on that.

    Here’s to keeping up the hard work everyone, and investing in more coffee than should be consumed in a weekly basis for the next eight weeks… :-X this will teach me not to take mini-semester classes at the beginning of spring.

    Good Luck and Congrats to everyone whether they made the points or not, you committed and stuck to it.


  33. I have seven points, woohoo! :-) Pretty close to where I “should” be and I’ve revised every day since Monday. So I am very happy. The extra accountability seems to work for me, so thanks Ruby Sisters and friends! :-)

    Hope my fellow WWF writers are also having a good week. If not, get back on the horse and try again. We’re pulling for you.

  34. I MADE MY GOAL!!!

    I’m at 10 points & didn’t use my days off this week so I’m feeling pretty darn awesome. I added 11,500 words to my WIP. I love the sprints–thank you, thank you, thank you to the lovely ladies who host.


  35. Jena Lang says:


    It’s been a very good writing week. =)

  36. The festival is definitely helping me keep my butt in the chair as I work on two end-of-January publishing deadlines, so thanks for that. I haven’t explored any of the sprints yet but am considering trying a few of them out in the next couple of days.

    Good week so far!

    Thanks again!

  37. This has been a productive revision week thanks to the Sisterhood’s inspiration and I was glad to fit in a few sprints. More to come!

    I MADE MY GOAL on 6 of 7 days.

    Many thanks to the organizers, sprint-leaders, and wintertime writing companions!

  38. Elizabeth Langston says:

    I earned my points this week. And the hardest one was the day I had to take off. It felt so naked, not sitting at some point with the laptop draped across me. But I persevered and it felt good.

  39. Colleen says:

    Checking in and happy to report that I MADE MY GOAL! It was a tough one because it was a crazy busy week in the day-job, but managed to carve out a little time each day to get at least my goal of 500 words or a blog written or revise.

    Also managed to sneak in a couple of sprints this week. Hoping that this coming week will be a lot more calm so that I have more time to enjoy the process!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Yay, Colleen!!

      It’s so fabulous to make progress like that even when the day job gets greedy with your time!

      It’s a model for a good way to move forward NO MATTER WHAT!

  40. Anita Hayes says:

    Checking in..well slacked a little last few days because I have had to deal with extra life crap and not feeling well either. But I can do a few sprints and catch up quick. Thanks all and have fun.

  41. Patti Macdonald says:

    Checking in to report I’m on schedule for reaching my 50 points by the end of the WWF.

    One of the best experiences I’ve had from the WWF is the sustained sense of camaraderie amongst the participants. And I can’t forget all the friends I’ve made here during the first two festivals – and the new ones this year.


    Patti :)

  42. Page Pennington says:

    I’m at 7 points so almost completed my goals. I’m shooting for consistent effort. So far so good.

  43. Debbie Hancock says:

    I made my goals and have acquired 12 points, but only 2,217 new words. Giving myself goals and participating in the sprints have given me direction and encouragement to kick start my new year. I’m like a camel in the desert. I can go a long way as long as I know where I am going at that there is an oasis here and there to replenish my drive!

  44. OMG I love the sprints!!!!! I have three whole points! Woot!!!

    Way to go everyone! ~D~

  45. I’m behind at 5 points, but I’m determined to catch up! Seeing everyone’s progress is inspiring me to get to work. Yay!!

  46. Kathy aka C. K. Crouch says:

    I’m in the middle of the road. I’ve been working on revisons and pulling my hair out and sometimes shedding tears at others over what I thought I was doing.

  47. Kelley Bowen says:

    Well…I’m a bit behind, but I’ve still got 5 points. Looking forward to more sprints and more revision, revision, revision…and more revision. ;)
    Hope to catch everyone at a sprint…tomorrow night?

  48. Cheril Vernon says:

    I MADE MY GOAL! It helped that I have been on vacation this week.

  49. Caro Kinkead says:

    It has been the week from hell — and it’s not over yet — but I MADE MY GOAL! The manuscript is zipping along and I’ve got notes on the other projects that are simmering on the back burner. Made the sprints only once — see week from hell comment — but hopefully I can make more this week.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Hoorah!!! I love seeing all these people making their goals even during hell weeks!!!

      Little increments here and there really do add up as long as you keep making time for them.

  50. Sarah Andre says:

    I made my goal, but it wasn’t because of new writing, so–although I’m pleased at the OTHER writing-related work I completed I need to get my a** in gear next week!

  51. I did well, although I need to do more actual writing.

  52. Lyn says:

    Just checking in (a bit late, I thought I’d already done so, but can’t find it.)

    Loving the sprints as always, thanks to everyone who hosts these. I made 7 points as of yesterday, but it’s been a busy week and I do hope to catch up.

  53. I MADE MY GOAL!!!! In fact on most days this week, I quadrupled or quintupled my word goal. In addition to a word goal, I have a chapter/wk goal which I need to do to finish my draft by the 28th and… I met that goal on Weds! So I’m feeling extra good, like I’m ahead, which is a good thing to keep in mind in case I fall behind later. Haven’t tried sprints yet because the key to my success is freedom software booting me offline :)

  54. MADE MY GOAL….=) most of it in writing, but a bit more in revising….rock ‘n roll baby!


  55. Lyn says:

    Thanks Elisa – I made the most progress of the Festival so far today, I finished rewriting two rather difficult scenes and completed revising two chapters so I can now speed ahead with the rest of the revisions, those chapters have really been holding me back. Thanks to the Sisterhood and the sprints, I’m a happy bunny! :)

  56. Elisa Beatty says:

    And the Swag winners for this week are (in the order they were chosen via

    Christi Barth
    Cheril Vernon
    Raven Raye

    Watch for an email from me!

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