#ROW80 – 2020 – Round 1 – Check-in 4

ROW80 2020 – Round 1 – Fourth check-in

Hi everyone!

So, I officially went back to work this week (not full time though). This means my weekly goals changed: from a daily chapter in LBRH, I will now aim at 3 chapters a week. I’m confident about the weeks to come since I’m working only about half time. I might readjust later.

It’s funny because I’m objectively a long way through the first draft (75%) but at the same time I have the feeling that there is so much more to write. And I’m not talking about the saga, just this first volume. I guess it’s because I need to lay bases for many things that I will develop later. Plus fantasy requires much more attention than realistic writing in terms of being coherent.

I know I have many things to revise already. Like how I made the magic and world evolve, or even how I decided to call some professions.

For that reason, I’m glad I ended up writing a novel set in our reality first. It gave me at least one good habit: write for now, revise later! Before completing De Surprise en surprise, I think I rewrote the beginning of Little Black Riding Hood at least four times. Then I tended to get discouraged by the tantalizing task of completing the novel, especially as I did work on it but made no visible progress in terms of word or chapter count.

I still see myself as a « young » writer. Because, even though I’ve been writing since I was 7 or 8, I actually started doing it with a professional approach quite recently. So I know my style and the way I work can still evolve, but I think I found a way to organize myself that really works in the sense that I can see the progress (and ROW80 has helped a lot too, by bringing some sense of accountability).

Recently, I’ve been thinking of some milestones in my writing, probably because I reread the first short story I ever submitted. Funny thing, it was around 2000 but I can’t tell exactly when. All I know for sure is that I was an undergrad student. The short story itself was hastily written, in a genre I absolutely did not master (and still haven’t — detective story), but for the first time, I shared what I wrote with the jury of the contest and people around me. Needless to say, I never heard from the publisher, but it was not so much about being published as being read. Before submitting that story, I mostly wrote very personal poetry and dark short stories. I had also started planning a novel in high school and I had done my research, but it all stayed a nice little project for later. Sending that faulty short story was the first step because I stopped writing for myself only.

After that, I joined some forums on writing and started joining challenges. That’s when I wrote a lot of short stories, some of which are still unpublished to this day (that might change in the coming years, after dusting them a bit). I also created a blog where I posted both short stories and poetry. That’s where and when I started Dark Black Eyes. I was not as organized as now, so I let this story develop with the flow, as I posted chapters more or less regularly. I can never be grateful enough for the few readers who patiently waited for chapter after chapter at an uneven pace. And commented! Those comments made my days and pushed me through. They gave me the confidence, a few years later, to self-publish the novella, which was the first of quite a few books now.

Other milestones were my joining ROW80 and setting goals rather than writing whenever I had the time and urge, creating this website and blog rather than sticking to my old one (I really should take care of deleting it properly one day…), and starting working on the marketing aspects of the job too, on social media, but not only. At some point too, I made it clear to Hubby that this was not a hobby, but something I wanted to do seriously and ever since I did, he has been a tremendous support.

It’s been a long journey for me who have always wanted to be a writer, but I’m glad I did things this way because now I’m in a good place both in writing, life, health and family. I think being able to finally complete a novel last year, when I was working on getting rid of the sources of stress that remained (my health problem mostly) after cutting toxic relationships off and reorganizing my lifestyle after the girls was born to have a better work/life balance is a tell-tale sign. I would not have it any other way now.

How about you? Do you consider yourself experienced or young as a writer?  I hope you’re well, wherever you are. ^^

Color code
Over 60%, I use various shades of green, 100% being this flashy green.
Purple is for projects that are currently on hiatus: dark purple means there’s still a lot to do while mauve is for projects that are well advanced.
Finally royal blue is for comments on my progress since I last checked in. And sky blue is for stating my objective for the round within each goal at the beginning of each Round, then to assess my overall progress at the end.
Also, by the end of each round, I’ll give myself a PASS or a FAIL for each goal.
I hope you’ll enjoy these rainbow posts. 😉

Writing goals (fiction & poetry)

  1. #52haikus2020 challenge and #chaïku: I will continue to post one haiku a week on social networks for each of these challenges. To save myself some time, I will also compile the haikus weekly rather than wait till the end of the year to do so. I will evaluate weekly in terms of check or cross ( or X) for each subgoal.
    #52haikus2020 (on Wednesdays)
    – compile the above.
    #chaïku (on Saturdays)
    – compile the « chaïkus ».
  2. New novella Ophelia’s Boudoir: I will edit and revise, probably in Round 2. 
  3. Little Black Riding Hood (LBRH) and ensuing saga: I will aim at finishing the first draft during this Round. Then I will reread and make the first revisions during Round 2 or 3. Finally I will move on to planning the second volume in more details, and hopefully start writing it. (I might plan the beta-reading but the final revisions will have to wait until I’m finished writing the whole saga).
    Finish first draft: 75/101 chapters (74%)
    Reread and edit (1st revisions: coherence check): 0/103 chapters (0%)
    Find beta-readers for the long run.
    – Plan the second volume in detail.
  4. À tâtons (Feeling the Way), an erotic novel: After completing LBRH, I will start writing the first draft, so normally during Round 2. During Round 1, I will check the plan and enrich it.
    Finalize the plan. 80%
  5. Malice au Pays des Merveilles / Miss Chief in Wonderland, an erotica sci-fi series (of short stories or novella): After completing À tâtons, I will go back to this series, hopefully during Round 3.

Writing Goals (work-related courses)

    1. Online courses: I will aim at completing the uploading of Hanashimashou module 1 and starting the beta-testing process during this Round or at the beginning of the next. 
      Make a MOOC about self-publishing (on Amazon) for this site. (20%)
      Make a welcoming MOOC on how to learn languages. (3%)
      Make a MOOC on writing in Japanese.
      Convert my placement tests for English and French into online tests.
      Make the English online course for beginners.
      Upload/convert Hanashimashou – Module 1 for beta-testing: Starting this weekend, I will try a new organization where I input the text and create the corresponding content Saturdays through Tuesdays and voice over Wednesdays through Fridays (that’s when the girls aren’t home so less risk of being interrupted). Editing and uploading can be done any day, so I think I’ll fit it whenever I have enough to work with.
      ~ Input the text content in the sections:
      18/18 parts in section 3
      (lesson 2) 100% – completed Jan, 17
      4/18 parts in section 4
      (lesson 3) 17%
      3.11/32 sections (9%)

      ~ Add the audio/video/interactive content:
      16/18 parts in section 3 (lesson 2) 89%
      3/18 parts in section 4
      (lesson 3) 6%
      2.95/31 sections (9%)

      ~ NEW GOAL: Add content map visuals to each section to make the structure clearer to students. I recently realized I had forgotten that bit but I decided to keep moving on as this is not too time-consuming and can be done at any point, even while the course is being tested. 0/32 sections (0%)
      ~ Email LMS developers with pre-purchase questions before launching the course.
      ~ Find beta-testers: 1/??
      Upload/convert RWBY – Season 1 for beta-testing: ON HOLD until I’m done with Hanashimashou – Module 1.
      ~ Input the text content in the sections. 0/24 sections (0%)
      ~ Add the audio/video content: 0/24 sections (0%)
    2. Story Time series (teaching guides): I will wrap-up Bat and Friends this Round and hopefully get back to Goldilocks too. Then I will move on to planning other Story Times, probably for Round 3. RWBY (module 1) will have to wait since I don’t have students for that level at the moment and am really keen on re-testing the guide in class before publishing; on the other hand, I might start working on module 2. I will also draft the French version in Round 1.
      * Goldilocks: on hiatus till I’m done with Bat & Friends.
      – review and edit the guide:  6/15 parts (27%)
      – compile the worksheets separately:  40/71 (56%)
      – compile the games separately: 6/20 (30%)
      – publish the flashcards, games (2 collections) and worksheets : 0/4 (0%)
      – publish the guide on Amazon
      – send a copy to BNF
      * Bat and Friends:
      – write the lesson plans. 11/72 episodes (15%)
      – write the teaching guide. 0/74 sections (0%)
      – publish the teaching guide on Amazon. (0%)
      – send a copy of the teaching guide to BNF
      * RWBY:
      – Translate the guide into French: 7/24 sections (29%)
      – Revise the teaching guide (phase 2: in use in my class). 0/24 sections (0%)
      – Publish the teaching guide on Amazon (French and English).

      – Send a copy of the teaching guide to BNF.
      – Plan module 2 (seasons 2 & 3)

      * Wizard and Cat: I had a couple of exams to administer so it gave me time to work on this while the students were working.
      – Watch and list vocabulary and grammar: 48/72 episodes (67%)
      – Check if the contemplated module organization works. Done. (100%) – completed Jan, 16
      – Make flashcards.
      – Make lesson plans: 0/72
      – Make worksheets (3 or 4 per episode, to be decided upon viewing).
      – Make tests. 0/19
      – Write the teaching guide.
      – Revise the teaching guide (phase 1: reading and checking)

      – Revise the teaching guide (phase 2: in use in class)
      – Publish the teaching guide (French & English).
      – Send a copy to BNF.
      * Mrs Kelly’s Class
      * The Big Green Forest

      * Spellbinder
    3. Japanese coursebooks: I will keep working on at least one lesson a week and complete Module 2 during the Round. At this pace, Module 3 should be completed during Round 3.
      – correct and revise lessons.  (54/90) 60%
      – make vocabulary sheets (53/90) 59%
      – make review sessions: (6.3/12) 52.5%
      – make oral evaluations: (6.3/12) 52.5%
      – create content maps for each lesson in module 2 : 24/30 (80%)
      – create content maps for each lesson in module 3 : 0/30 (0%)
      – make ppt for the classes (basis for videos) (53/90) 59%
      – make grammar and communication worksheets (53/90) 59%
      – add extra university-oriented activities for students: 0/48 (0%)
      – add extra workplace-oriented activities: 0/50 (0%)
      – add extra video activities: 0/100 (0%)
      – upload plans and homework packs to classroom folders:  43/90 (48%)

Publishing Goals

  1. Impolite Pleasures ~ Erotic Haikus (French-English): I will release on Valentine’s Day. Most preparations are done, so I will stick to my marketing plan.
    ~ Share excerpts on social media.
    0/3 (0%)
    ~ Share the book teaser. It is online and will automatically become public on February, 12.

    ~ Make a press release in English.

    ~ Contact potential reviewers.
     0/7 (0%)
    ~ Send a copy to BNF after the release on February, 14
  2. Drop by Drop (#52haikus2019 collection) (French-English): I’ll stick to a release on the first day of Spring like I did for With the Flow. I will complete all the preparations.
    ~ Make a book trailer: for now all I’ve decided it to use a piano BGM… 5%
    ~ Share the book trailer.
    ~ Share illustrated extracts (in February and early March). 
    0/4 (0%)
    ~ Find at least a reviewer in French.
    ~ Find at least a reviewer in English.
    ~ Make a press release (French and English)
    ~ Send the press release to haiku associations.
    ~ Send a copy to BNF
  3. Rumples: To be published on May 1st. I will make all the necessary preparations.
    ~ Build the ebook.
    ~ Build the paperback.
    ~ Make a book trailer (English and French)
    ~ Make sneak-peeks with excerpts for each story. 0/8
    ~ Find potential reviewers on Book Sirens.
    ~ Contact potential reviewers.
  4. De surprise en surprise (my first novel, French only; English title: Curiouser and Curiouser): I’m hoping to release in the summer, which is adequate as it’s an important season for the story and it’s also when most of it was written. Plus that would allow me to join Amazon’s « Plumes Francophones » contest. To be released on June, 23 (probably). In this Round, I’ll make sure every beta-reader has started the book.
    – get feedback from beta-readers:  1/4 (25%)
    edit revised draft
    improve the summary for the backcover: 75%
    Plan the marketing
    ~ Build the ebook.
    ~ Build the paperback.
    ~ Make a book trailer.
    ~ Make an e-press release
    ~ Invite bloggers to review the book with the e-press release
    ~ Make a press release
    ~ Select a number of media to send the press release to (LGBT & local)
    ~ Send the press release
  5. Red Hot Spring: To be published on August, 23. I will try and start making preparations.
    ~ Change the cover (new title)
    ~ Update the page (new title& new cover)
    ~ Build the ebook.

    ~ Build the paperback.
    ~ Translate the book trailer to English.
    ~ Make the illustrated excerpts. 0/6
  6. Rotten, 2nd edition (French only for now): I will release on October, 11 2020. In this Round, I’ll try to type the story I’ve hand-written.
    ~ Improve backcover text.
    ~ Update dedicated page.

    ~ Make sneak-peeks with short excerpts for each story.
    ~ Unpublish first edition.
    ~ Build the ebook.
    ~ Build the paperback.
    ~ Send an ebook copy of the new edition to the reviewer who bought the first edition in September 2019 and wrote about it without me knowing she would.
    ~ Send a copy to BNF
  7. We Missed Each OtherI will publish this on December, 6 2020.
    ~ Build the ebook.
    ~ Build the paperback.
    ~ Translate the book trailer to English.
    ~ Make the illustrated excerpts. 0/3
  8. Book trailers for my older books: I will try and make book trailers for the first two books I released in 2014 in the course of the year.
    – Dark Black Eyes : I’ve got a plan for the storyboard. 10%
    – Geiko Monogatari: I’ve got a plan for the storyboard and the music. 15%

Translating goals

My general goal here is to wrap up the translations I did in 2019 then move on to new translations during the second semester.

  1. The Dragon’s Secret (English to French): I will revise my translation this year, aiming at publishing it next year (and also use it as a model for my MOOC on self-publishing).
    – Revised translation: 0/19 chapters (0%)
    – Final translation: 0/19 chapters (0%)
  2. Red Hot Springs: I will complete the revisions during this round.
    – Final translation: 0/26 pages (0%)
  3. We Missed Each Other: I will complete the revisions during this round or the next.
    – Final translation: 0/10 chapters (0%)
  4. Cruel Fairy Tales: I will start translating during the summer.
    – First draft translation 0/14 sections (0%)
    – Revised translation 0/14 sections (0%)
    – Final translation 0/14 sections (0%)
  5. Curiouser and Curiouser: I will start translating at the latest during Round 4.
    – First draft translation 0/28 chapters (0%)
    – Revised translation 0/28 chapters (0%)
    – Final translation 0/28 chapters (0%)
  6. Rotten (once the 2nd edition is ready only): I will try and start translating after the French version is released.
    – First draft translation
    – Revised translation
    – Final translation

Personal goals

  1. House renovation & redesign: We will work to improve our finances then focus on insulation and finishing what’s been started. 
    x Keep working on the parental suite upstairs
    (ceiling, walls, floor). We will finish the bathroom in January or February. 
    x Take care of the leak problem.
    We will ask the roofer for the paper until we get it, then get the insurance to do their job.
    x Add walls and a door to the new toilets.
    x Insulate the wall in the family room where a fireplace used to be.

    x Insulate the unused fireplace in the office.

    x Rebuild the wall between the family room and the garage.
    It’s basically threatening to collapse and it’s making the room colder than it should be so we’re going to replace that ASAP.
    x Bury the water evacuation pipe that’s in the yard.
    x Finish the electricity in the garage and annex.
    x Expand the laundry room into the garage we don’t really use and make a gaming and working out room in there.
  2. Unpacking & decluttering: I will just try and unpack things as other rooms get ready. We will also sell or donate baby stuff and other things we don’t use anymore. But this will have to wait until my full recovery.
    Here my short-term goals are:
    x Decide what to sell, donate or keep in the storage room.
    x Put what we’re selling on the French equivalent of Craigslist.
    x Donate the rest ASAP.
    x Reorganize the storing room (so far it’s been « as is »: we arrive and put things where we can…)
    x Clean the entrance porch (because that’s where we’d like to put coats and stuff for sale):
  3. Health quest: I will give myself a cooler month in January and rest as much as I can, then I will set my goals according to how things go. Since I can’t really work out for 3 months after the operation, I will go back to fitness and yoga during the second Round. I will evaluate weekly in terms of check or cross ( or X) for each subgoal; a check means over 50%.
    Get some rest:
    ~ meditate at least 3 minutes on workdays (Wed through Sat). X
    ~ nap when the girls do (Sat through Tues). 
    Take care of myself:
    ~ hair: brush twice a day for luster.
    ~ skin: moisturize daily.
    ~ skin: use lotion before bed.
    Be active:
    ~ walk in the neighborhood at least once between two check-ins.
  4. Mental health quest: I’ll just record things for further reference.
    Week 1-2: NTR so far.

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