Winter Writing Festival Week 5 check in

And it’s Valentine’s Day! And it’s Ash Wednesday!

First order of business. Do NOT give up chocolate for Lent this year. Not with all that wonderful Valentine’s Day chocolate out there waiting for us. And do NOT give up writing for Lent. If you’re a writer in your DNA and your marrow, you can’t give up writing any more than you can give up breathing.

Second order of business. How is it going? We only have two weeks left in the Winter Writing Festival. Are you meeting your goals? Hitting speed bumps? Zooming along? Planted head first in a snowbank? Can’t believe time can move this fast?

Let us know how it’s going, and if you’ve MADE YOUR GOAL, put it in caps at the beginning of your comment.

We have some Valentine’s Day prizes for those of you who leave comments.

Darynda Jones will critique 5,000 words in any genre

Katie Graykowski will give a $20.00 Amazon gift card

Gwynlyn MacKenzie has a PRIZE BUNDLE – a cute writer’s mug and a $10.00 Amazon gift card

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!


Kate Parker’s new Deadly book, Deadly Fashion, came out in January. She plans to have The Killing at Kaldaire House, the first Edwardian mystery featuring picturesque hats and antique cars, debut in April.

71 responses to “Winter Writing Festival Week 5 check in”


    But it was hard going. I was away on a work trip last week which was jam packed from start to finish. But I made sure to take a little time to do some editing or writing every day. Even if it was no where near enough as I would have liked it to be!!

    Hoping to get into some sprints this weekend to help my boost my efforts.

    Feb 14th is known as friendship day here in Finland so ‘Happy Friendship Day!’ everyone!! Happy writing!!


  2. Rebekah Simmers says:


    Great writing week – got a lot done and looking forward to rocking my goals this week. Wooooohoooooooo! ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Geena Gallardo says:

    I made my goal!! In fact I annihilated my goal this week!!! I got to sprint hardcore and have been talking regularly with some sprinters!! It had been wonderful!! It has been a great week for revisions!!! And then of course for writing.


  4. Alyssa Henderson says:

    I made my goal and even made up for not meeting mine a few weeks ago. Woot!!


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  5. Lille says:


    I got a LOT done this week now that my first draft is done. Pressing on to the finish!


  6. This is the first time I’ve remembered to check in – I don’t get home until 10 on Wednesdays. I always mean to comment and instead just fall in to bed.

    I’m almost there! Currently at 42 points – I got side tracked this week by an out of town guest and am struggling to get myself back in to the routine I set in the first half of the festival, but I’m trying hard to get back in !! I’ve written 46,000 words so far and am hoping to eek out another 30,000 by the end of the month.


    • Kate Parker says:

      Wow, you write fast. A good week for me might be 5000 – 7000 words. What’s the secret of your productivity?


      • I guess 10-15 minute sprints, where no thought is allowed other than what’s happening in the scene. No word-smithing, no remembering names – just write it how you see it, mark details or words that aren’t exactly what you want with a * or something that you can search for later, and focus on getting the scene out! It makes editing a process, but I haven’t decided yet if it’s better to have a solid draft or a messy draft that you can play around with. What’s worked for you?


        • Kate Parker says:

          I end up with a solid draft, but it requires a lot of editing while I’m going. In the final analysis, it depends on what works for you. Solid or messy? It’s whatever gets you on to the next step in telling your story.


  7. I MADE MY GOAL! Thanks so much for encouraging us to make progress every day and build up our writing habits. I know I’ll come out of this with a stronger writing practice!


  8. Rachel Kolodziej says:

    I made my goal! I didn’t do as many sprints as I would have liked but I did finish several contest entries and started reading a new book on the craft of writing. It was a productive week!


  9. Debbie says:

    I made my goal! Some days it felt like sitting in the chair and rearranging words was all I was doing – then some days felt fantastic. I never know which day is going to show up, but I had a good week overall. Happy writing everyone!


  10. PennyH says:

    I made my goal, but it was only because I busted out so much extra work at the beginning. Being out sick for a week and a half had me finishing poorly. I still have a lot of work to do, but thank-you Rubies for getting my butt moving again! ๐Ÿ˜€ Cheers!


  11. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    I didn’t make all my goals this week…specifically my word count goal. I’ve been subtracting and not adding. Darn that editing!

    However, loosing words did spark what direction I need to go in:)

    Great job, everyone whether or not you made your goal…you’re here & you’re working!


  12. So this week I met my writing goal, didn’t do so well on the exercise goal (do I ever?), and met one career goal I’ve been striving for for quite some time–I signed with an agent. Woot!


  13. Janet Walden-West says:


    The revision map is done and re-plotting is done (all largely thanks to the Chat room sprints and cheerleading).
    *Send emergency chocolate*


  14. Panthera says:


    Finally fought through the cold and the pain in time to land not one but two editing jobs. At that point, I set up a schedule where I worked on rewriting my stuff during the day and worked on the editing during the evening into the early morning.

    By doing this, I was able to not just meet my goal but catch up what I was behind AND have almost completed one of the two rewrites I have to do.

    My animals haven’t been neglected. They have received extra attention in this schedule which they relished.


    • Kate Parker says:

      Congrats on making your goal and setting up a killer schedule. Fitting everything in is a skill I’d like to have.


      • Panthera says:

        I have no choice. I ended 2017 going into debt doing everything I could to get my service dog well. Including borrowing from two different places to get her treated five times and pay for her medication. She pulled out of it. Now I am struggling to repay the loans as quickly as possible.

        Then last month I was told I would loose food assistance from the food bank and the Senior food assistance by March 15th because of the small raise I received from SSDI this year. It seems I now get too much.

        All of this together has put a lot of stress on me and I a not supposed to have stress. So I had no other option but to find a way to bring in more money to help out.

        Getting hired as an editor again has relieved my mind greatly allowing me to concentrate once more on what I want to achieve.


  15. Stephanie Baassler says:


    So happy to say that again! Have gotten so much planning/outlining done and a fair few words too. Even managed a couple sprints last night. Only wish there were some late night ones for the nightowls like me. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Kate Parker says:

      Congrats on making your goal. I hear so many good things about the sprints. Never tried it myself. I have to be in my hermit cave to write.


      • Stephanie Baassler says:

        I live in my hermit cave. ๐Ÿ˜› Except for the kids’ soccer practices, I don’t get much adult interaction, so sprints are fun for that. Plus, I like the motivation it gives me to hear people say “good job” when you have a good sprint.


    Back on track after several missed days. Writing new words now, which is my favorite part. Now to work ahead for the travel/conference days next week.


  17. Hywela Lyn says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day all! Well I did a lot better today and yesterday than I did at the beginning of the week, and a couple of days last week, between getting over the tail-end of a bad cold, and a couple of doctor’s appointments, and being overwhelmed with Emails. Today I knuckled down and got a lot done, and finally worked out how to organise my day, animals etc better, so that I make time for writing. Not sure what my point score is – is there supposed to be a graph or summary of some sort? If so I can’ seem to find it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I even managed a couple of sprints, thanks for the support ladies.


  18. Happy Valentines! I’ve been a hot mess writing-wise every since the Olympics started (which unfortunately coincided with revisions, which are my least favorite part). I made my goal only because I got so far ahead before this week. Now I’m trying to buckle down and defeat this book. One point for every 20 pages revised and… ugh. Those points are HARD.

    Happy writing, everyone! Hope your writing progress is better than mine!


  19. Jennifer Jung says:

    I havenโ€™t hit my goal yet, but Iโ€™m chugging along! Iโ€™m loving the sprints and am so glad I found the Rubies and these posts ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Valentineโ€™s Day/ Ash Wednesday/ Friendship Day/ Wednesday ๐Ÿ™‚


  20. delia says:


    I haven’t written as many new words as I had planned for the WWF. However, I’ve taken my WIP and made it tighter and more focused so I’m happy with that.


  21. Elisa Beatty says:


    Again, it was almost all on the weekends, but it still counts!


  22. Meghan Bennett says:

    I MADE MY GOAL this week. It’s crazy to think we only have 2 weeks left.


  23. Phyllis Mohn says:

    I MADE MY GOAL! I am still staying on track and writing at least 100 words a day.


  24. Jennifer Brodie says:


    Despite 12 hour shifts and a manuscript that has more plot holes than a Tetley tea bag has perforations.

    I made my goal.


  25. Patricia Mohn says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! I have been able to write everyday, which is something I have not done consistently more then 30 days before now.


  26. Paula Huffman says:

    I MADE MY GOAL. Although… not with the new words I had intended. I’ve worked on the manuscript every day and I judged contest entries, so I’ve decided to let that count. Making progress. Not fast progress, but progress.


  27. Jolie Mohn says:

    I made my goal again this week! I can’t believe there are only two weeks left. The time just flew by. I’ve written every single day since the writing festival began, which is probably the most continuous writing streak I’ve ever had, which is pretty awesome!


  28. Kathy Crouch says:

    I missed this post yesterday somewhere. I said the same thing, that this was not the year to give up chocolate for Lent.
    I’ve made my goal of 500 words per day every day with some days exceeding that goal. It’s a nice round number. ๐Ÿ˜€


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