Weekly Update: October 22nd

A Week in Review: October 22nd - Jessica Cauthon http://www.jccauthon.com #writing #reading #planningI will speak honestly here. It has been a long week. We had another quick attack of the stomach bug swoop through here on Monday and Tuesday. My girl was sent home from school on Monday, and then she was home all day on Tuesday. I finally got her back up and into her daily routine just to have my youngest boy start showing symptoms on Thursday. So, even though I finished a lot of work every day, I still got off schedule a lot. I probably didn’t complete as much as I could have this week, but any progress is some progress.

Writing

This week was all book formatting, as fun as that sounds. I did simplify the process of setting up all the different books for The Daily Prompt series that comes out this year. Instead of setting up one full year and working backwards to create the monthly editions like I did in 2017, I went month by month for 2018. I finished all the formatting on Friday. It’s done. I pulled all the e-book versions yesterday—all the monthly editions, the box sets, and the full yearly collection that I release.

They are all done.

This coming week, I am going to start laying out the monthly workbooks. If everything goes according to plan on those, I will have them all finished and ready to hit “Publish” on by Saturday afternoon. But I know that it’s Halloween week here for our county, and I have two birthdays to deal with (one in the family and one for a friend’s kid), and I will probably have to spend a few hours in town at some point this week, filling in the groceries for school lunches and such. I may have to push two or three of those workbooks into next week, but that’s fine.

I just want to get the whole year finished up before the actual year begins so that I can focus on my fiction work for 2018.

Reading

I didn’t finish any of my books for this week, and since I have kept a constant headache for three days now, I am going to forgo reading this week. Stressing my eyes on the computer screen then doing the same to read a book on a tablet probably isn’t helping this headache at all, so I will just take a week off and jump back into my books next week.

Etsy Shop

I finished listing all of my Halloween stationery in the shop last week, and I will begin to list all of the Thanksgiving and other holiday sets this week. I have also been working on some new products, including a set of monthly planners, some monogrammed stationery sets, and a variety of bullet journal page spreads.

That has been my entire week. It really doesn’t sound like a lot when I write it out like this, but I was busy all week. Let’s hope that I continue to make progress this coming week.

Weekly Update: October 15th

A Week in Review: October 15th - Jessica Cauthon #writing #reading #etsyWhen I started my weekly updates at the beginning of the year, I never looked forward to Sundays. I always felt like I had failed. I never managed to finish as much as I wanted to, and that always made me feel horrible. It took me a long time to realize that I was an “over-scheduler.” I wasn’t realistic. With four kids and all the daily household chores I have to do, there was simply no way I could write eight thousand words in a single day, read four or more chapters of a book, and finish anything.

It was quite disheartening. Especially since I knew. I knew that before the end of the year, I would be on my own—just me and the four kids.

I had to get to the point where I was finishing things every week.

And this week, I finally did it.

With the exception of my one hour spot on Friday for creating new products for my Etsy shop, I accomplished every single task I had planned this week. All of them. So, without much further ado, let’s go over what I did this week and what I have planned for this upcoming week.

Reading

A Week in Review: October 15th - Jessica Cauthon #writing #reading #etsyLast week, I picked out two Dragonlance novels to read this week. Brothers Majere was the first book that I chose this week. It is the third book of the Preludes series, and it was written by Kevin Stein. I had actually read this one before, so I knew what to expect, and I found this book to be a quick light read, at least compared to Brother in Arms.

Brother in Arms is Book 2 in the Raistlin Chronicles, and it was co-written by Margaret Weis and Don Perrin. Most readers won’t find this book as heavy as I found it to be, but I’m also an older audience than is intended for theA Week in Review: October 15th - Jessica Cauthon #writing #reading #etsy book, and I was able to see more of what each outcome meant for the twins and for their half-sister. I love reading about the Majere twins, and it never mattered to me that Raistlin turned into a twisted beast of a person—I still loved them both. For the most part, however, I found that most of this novel felt like a forced plot, and a lot of the secondary characters felt like cardboard cut-outs. I am happy to have gotten a glimpse into more of the twins’ histories, but I will not be revisiting this book like I have so many other Dragonlance novels.

A Week in Review: October 15th - Jessica Cauthon #writing #reading #etsyThis week, I am reading one book from Dragonlance and another fantasy novel that I apparently forgot I purchased. I dug through my Kindle e-book purchases this week, and I found many books that I purchased almost four years ago that I still haven’t read, so I picked one of them as A Week in Review: October 15th - Jessica Cauthon #writing #reading #etsymy second book for this week. Call of the Herald is by Brian Rathbone, and it is the first book in The Dawning of Power Trilogy. I purchased this one back in 2013, and it’s high-time I read it. I will also be reading Chosen of the Gods by Chris Pierson. It is Book 1 of The Kingpriest Trilogy. I have never read this Dragonlance novel, but I am hoping that since it is by an author I have never read that it will be a good read.

Writing

I made a lot of progress with my writing over the last week. I chose one project, and I stuck with it, which is a rarity for me. Since the first monthly edition of The Daily Prompt 2018 series will be coming out in December, I knew I had to get that whole series finished up and ready to go as soon as I could. I did not finish it this week, but I made a lot of progress. All of my prompts are written, proofread, and they have all been assigned to their day of the year. I also set up all the title pages, copyright pages, front and back matter, and covers for the monthly, quarterly, and yearly e-book collections. I can’t start on the monthly workbook editions or the yearly paperback edition until I have finished setting up all the daily entries.

For The Words

I held off on posting new items to my shop this week. I wanted to focus more on creating the new items instead of feeling like I was constantly rushed to get one item all set up and posted by the end of the day.

This week, I will begin posting items again. All items this week will be stationery items, but if my creation time goes according to plan this week, I should have some planner-type projects to list and perhaps a NaNoWriMo word tracker.

Goals for the Upcoming Week

So, I’m looking forward to this week. How about you? I have a lot of goals that I am hoping to reach.

I want to read Call of the Herald and Chosen of the Gods by Saturday evening.
I want to finish setting up and proofreading the daily entries for The Daily Prompt 2018.
I want to pull the digital versions of the monthly editions, quarterly editions, and the yearly edition of The Daily Prompt 2018 by Friday afternoon.
I want to create at least two new planner spreads and nine new stationery sets for the shop by Friday afternoon.
And I want to list five items in the shop this week.

I better get cracking.

Weekly Update: October 8th

Weekly Update: October 8thAnother week has come and gone, and here I am, once again, delivering my weekly update. This week has been snowballing productivity, even with everyone in the house having the same stomach virus at varying stages. Although I have gotten very little sleep and I have spent many of my days monitoring fluid intake and fevers, I have still managed to tick off a considerable amount of tasks.

Writing

This week and the rest of this month will be all about finishing up The Daily Prompt 2018 to prepare it for publication throughout the year. My goal is to have it all edited, formatted, and pulled into its various e-book forms by the 31st of the month. I finished the proofreading and editing last night, so this week will involve the formatting and laying out of the book itself. I am including links within the prompt collections this year to aid in the creation of various things needed to build a world. And though those links will be to posts that have yet to be published, they will be scheduled, and all of them will be live before the first monthly collection goes live in stores.

At the moment, no other writing projects are scheduled for this month, since the completion of The Daily Prompt 2018 is time-sensitive. As soon as it is completed, however, I will announce my next writing project. Since it has been so long since I have completed anything on the fiction side of writing, I will probably start with a short story and work my way up from there.

Reading

I finished reading Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System to Writing a Novel in 30 Days and Brother of the Dragon yesterday afternoon, and I will be picking up Brother in Arms and Brothers Majere this week, starting tomorrow once all the kids are back in school. I am trying to schedule more reading time for my day, so I may start adding a third book to my week soon, if I find that I am finishing my two books early in the week. If I find that juggling housework, reading, writing, and other business-related work is a bit too much, I may save those extra reading hours for catching up.

Business

As I said above, it has been a very productive week.

I opened my brand new Etsy shop on Monday. For the Words is a shop for writers and planners, just like myself, and it caters to a wide variety of writers. From those who like to journal, to writers who love to world-build, all the way over to writers who love to send old-fashioned snail mail to their friends around the world—there is something there for all of us. So far, only one item is listed—a beautiful White Marguerite Stationary Set that you can download and print as often as you like. I will be adding more items this week, and possibly another shop section. I am still tinkering with layouts on planner pages for those of us who like to build their own planners instead of making-do with store-bought versions.

I also finished writing up the prompts for The Daily Prompt 2018 series that will be coming out starting at the end of December. I will be working on formatting and book layouts this week. I have introduced a couple of new prompt styles this year, and I do hope that you will like them. I am also debating on the continuation of the paperback workbooks that I published this year. They have only been coming out for six months now, but other than myself purchasing proof copies, I have not sold a single copy.

And last, but not least, I have been lining up a new series for my blog. The first post for it will arrive Thursday morning, and a new post for the series will be added every Thursday until the end of November. This series will be for writers who find themselves literally having to build worlds to tell their stories. I will be walking everyone through the process that I follow every time I work on a science fiction, fantasy, or urban fantasy story, and I hope that these posts will help you create your own worlds.

How was your week?

What Are You Reading?: October 7th

What Are You Reading?: October 7thGood morning, everyone! I hope that your weekend is starting off wonderfully. For me, it’s my time of the week to choose two new books to read.

Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System to Writing a Novel in 30 Days was a quick read, and it was quite informative. I will be implementing some of the exercises that Victoria Schmidt used in the book in my next novel writing attempt. I still have a few more pages of Brother of the Dragon to finish reading, but I will have it done by the end of today’s reading session. I read the first book in this series a little over a month ago, and though I loved that one, this one hasn’t been quite as enjoyable for me. I would go into why I am not enjoying this one, but I can’t pinpoint exactly why it isn’t sitting well with me. I may come back to this book in a later post if I can figure out why.

This week, I am continuing my Dragonlance quest with two more books from the epic saga. Brother in Arms is the second book of the Raistlin Chronicles, and it was co-written by Margaret Weis and Don Perrin. I read the first book years ago, so I’m hoping that I will remember enough of it that I can continue the story with this one. I will go back and re-read the first one if I get lost. I will also be reading Brothers Majere from the Preludes series, Book 3. This one was written by Kevin Stein. As I love Dragonlance and Krynn, I am really looking forward to my reading this week.

In other news, I may be merging this post in with my weekly update. I’m finding that most of the time, I am not finished with my weekly allotment of books by the time I have to write this post for Saturday morning, and this post also tends to be a bit on the short side. Sometime in the near future, I may be changing up the blog schedule to merge this page with my Sunday Weekly Update post, and I will use Saturday for something new. I haven’t figured out what that “new” thing will be, so my schedule will remain the same until I figure out what that will be.

I hope that everyone has a great weekend, and if you are having a rainy day like me, remember to read.

Weekly Update: October 1st

Weekly Update: October 1st - Jessica CauthonGood morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a better day than I am. One of my sick kittens that I have been nursing for almost a month died this morning, so it has been a rough start to the day. But, although it has been a rough day already, I do have appointments to keep, which is why I am here, writing this post. This week saw a large amount of progress on a few fronts, which makes me very happy. So, without dwelling on today’s sadness, let me update you on what happened here in the home office this week.

Writing

Writing began! I was amazed, myself. I actually found a writing group on Writing.com that does an October NaNoWriMo prep activity. Thirty-one days of questions to help you flesh out your writing project for NaNoWriMo in November. It has been an ongoing project for the members of that group for several years now, and I had bookmarked it, but I never really looked at it again. Then, in a fit of frustration because I knew NaNo was in a month and I have been participating in it since 1999, I looked up how to prepare for the month-long event. I found that list of questions.

I printed them off and stuck them in the workbook I have set up for The Road to Prosperity. I started working on them yesterday and wow, the ideas are flowing now. The Road to Prosperity is not my NaNo project, though. It will be nowhere near the 50,000 word goal for the event once it is complete, but it’s a place to start.

Hopefully, once I have gone through this list of questions once, I will be able to focus on a novel-length project at least long enough to punch out 50,000 words for NaNo. I have never skipped a year, and I don’t plan to do it this year. Even if I have to spend the whole month simply fleshing an idea out, it will be a project goal to work towards.

Reading

Reading was a bit of a hit and miss this week, but I did finish both of the books that I had assigned myself to read for the week. I assigned myself to read Brother of the Dragon and Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System to Writing a Novel in 30 Days this week. I am hoping that Book in a Month will get me moving towards actually finishing any one of my many novels. I don’t even care which pen name it is for at the moment. I just want to finish any of the novel projects I have begun over the years.

Art

I drew a few concept pieces this week. My current focus is on designing stationary for the shop I want to open on Etsy for all type of writing. I worked on lettering for a long time this week, outlining and coloring/shading calligraphy and other fancy letter types. As soon as I can get my scanner and computer to agree to work together, I will scan those in, clean them up, and begin to convert them to stationary-style PDFs.

I also went on the hunt for my older artwork. I have moved three times since the last time I drew a picture, so I am fairly certain that my sketchbooks and art supplies are crammed down in a storage tub somewhere, but I have not found them yet. Art supplies I can replace eventually, but my sketchbooks are irreplaceable. I don’t know how I will feel if I never find them. I still have a few more tubs and storage closets to go through, so hopefully, I will find them.

Business

This section has been carrying the largest amount of my focus this week. My goal is to get my Etsy shop up and running by the end of November, but I have hit a roadblock. I can’t think of a name for the shop. I know that the shop will only ever contain writing-related items, but those items do span several different types of writing. I will have bullet journal template pages eventually, stationary, and I am thinking about setting up a NaNoWriMo word tracker and a few products that pertain to writing novels and world-building. It’s a lot of ground to cover with one name, but I know I want it to be writing related.

Any name suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

So, that was my work week in a handbag. I am planning for this week to be even more productive. Hope everyone has a great week!