Friday, February 19, 2016

Celebrate: Writing Again & Giveaways

I wrapped up another week on the plus side! 

I'm celebrating:
1)  With the ever-patient help of my CPs, I finally found a poll app that works! It's from SurveyMonkey, and although it's a "survey" not a "poll" and won't show the voters the results (boo!) it works internationally and has a special link so people can use mobile devices (yay!), plus it's affiliated with MailChimp---a very reputable email marketing service---so I expect no problems when I do the cover poll at the end of the month!
2) At long last, this week I started my new WIP, Coldest Night (the one set in Alaska). I'm trying really hard to write 1000 words-a-day and have done it for 4 days now. Crossing my fingers I can keep it up.

Do word count goals or deadlines work for you? Or do you just work when you have time?

Though I hated to do it, it was time to cull the list of those people who haven’t posted for the Celebrate hop in over three months.
Removed From the Celebrate Linky---Update Your Blog Rolls
The Beveled Edge (
Entertaining Interests (
Writing By Marilyn/On Becoming a Writer (
Desiree Yearning (
DandiLyonFluff (
Peace, Love and Books (

My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Celebrate The Small Things Linky:

Grab the Linky html-code here:

** To see who’s posted for the hop look at my Celebrate The Small Things Blog Roll, left sidebar bottom **

 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)

Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Friday Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors

Here are Foxy's suggestions for Feb 19, 2016:

Free Sci-Fi/Fantasy Anthology Hardback – The SFFWorld site, featuring Sci-FI authors and books, is giving away Ecotones, an anthology (a $24.95 value), to 5 winners. Enter HERE. (ends Feb 29)

Free Romantic Suspense Hardback – Win The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl, about a newly divorced woman getting her dream job as reporter on a NYC TV channel but who wonders if someone is engineering the disaster that see to follow her around. Enter to win by following the blog and leaving a comment on the Stuff and Nonsense blog. (US only; ends Feb 21)

Free YA Historical Romance – Win Midnight in St. Petersburg by Vanora Bennett, about young woman living in Russia in 1911, where she meets Bohemians, revolutionaries, a Faberge Egg artisan—and Rasputin! Enter via rafflecopter on the YA Books Central blog. (US only; ends Feb 21)

Free Kindle Fire, $50 Amazon Card, & 4 Romance-novel Omnibus – To celebrate the release of Burning Rivalry (romance) by Aubrey Parker, she’s giving away a Kindle Fire device, a $50 Amazon card and 4 copies of the Trevor’s Harem series (books 1-4). Enter via rafflecopter on the Romance Novel Giveaway blog. Hurry! Ends Saturday! (ends Feb 20)

For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)


Suzanne Furness said...

Hi Lexa, good news that the progress is continuing. I have heard of and seen the SurveyMonkey in action, I'm sure it will be good for you.

I tend to write when I can around day job and other commitments. I'm not the best evening writer as a rule, all sense seems to have left by then!

Happy weekend.

Cathy Keaton said...

Good luck with getting your 1,000 words written a day! I would love to be able to that every day, but I can do it some days. Maybe we can both get used to it!

Kate Larkindale said...

Whoo hoo! Can't wait to read your new story. And 1000 words a day isn't that much. You can do it! And maybe you can kick my ass to work harder too. I have been completely useless this week. Okay, this month...

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Lexa, 1000 words a day is a good word count. I am also planning to start striking for a thousand words a day. Fingers crossed for you.

JeffO said...

I've used Survey Monkey for work and it's pretty good. Congrats on starting a new WiP! By and large, I don't use word count goals. I just write 'til I'm done for the day.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So awesome you're working on a new project. Good luck with your word count.

T Drecker said...

Great work on the new WIP! Here's to keeping up the pace :)

Linda Kay said...

I have so many distractions lately, it's really hard to set aside any time to write, so I'm a little bummed.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Hurray for finding an app that works for your cover survey! Looking forward to seeing the covers.

Word count goals have never worked for me in the past, but recently I've been so unfocused, I'm giving it another try. 1000 words didn't work in the past. It was pushing me to write the story faster than I knew it. So I've been trying 500 new words a day, plus polishing old words. I'm a very recursive writer. I need to go over old parts of the story to make new words. It works, weird as it is.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Sounds like things are working out for you! YAY!! I like to set word goals, when I can. 1k a day is good for me too. Good Luck and have a nice weekend.

Anonymous said...

That's great about SurveyMonkey. I'm looking forward to seeing those covers. Good luck with your new WIP! I can't set that tight a goal. I can do longer term goals like finishing something by the end of the month. I work around everything else going on. Have a good weekend!

Birgit said...

Glad the monkey will work for you and is safe:) You are doing so well! I think, even if you would only write 500, you have still accomplished so much. Sometimes deadlines of any sort work well for me because that pushes my lard butt to move

Sue Bursztynski said...

We use Surveymonkey at my school(yes! We have to run surveys with our kids to ask if we're doing a good job!) It's really there for the surveyor, not the surveyed, but it works and it's free for up to ten questions. I hope it works for you.

Word counts don't really work for me, though I know they do for others. Like Suzanne, I find the day job gets in the way. But when I can get even 500 words done I rejoice! I write on the train to and from work.

stephen Hayes said...

When it comes to writing something other than posts for my blog, I wait until I'm inspired and then I write nonstop.

mshatch said...

Glad you making good progress! I've been keeping track with my current WIP and it seems I'm averaging between 2000-5000 words a week.

Yolanda Renée said...

Congrats on your work going your way. Good luck with the Alaska story!
Love the freebies!

messymimi said...

SurveyMonkey works, and i hope you can continue your daily word count!

SENCO Cat Herder said...

Survey Monkey is a good one and great news on your ability to write 1000 words a day - keep up the good work and have a great weekend :) Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Yay, for your new WIP. It's so exciting to start something new. And you're doing great. Also, glad you found a poll that will work.
I just write each day until I'm tired or frustrated or lost. I've tried word goals and other things, but they don't work for me.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Congratulations on starting your new WIP. That's always so exciting.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Deadline definitely work for me. I wouldn't get anything done without them.

Congrats on your WIP! I've set a novel in Alaska as well. It's a great setting.

T.F. Walsh said...

You're done an amazing job in getting the poll working as close as you possible to perfection:) Can't wait to see the overall results:) And huge congrats on your writing progress. Well done. I tend to aim for 1000-1500 words a day, though I only write 4-5 days a week. You'll be done with your story in no time. Well done.

DMS said...

Congrats on finding a way to do the poll for the covers. I use Survey Monkey for my newsletter. :) I can't wait to vote!

Awesome job writing 1000 words a day. Good luck keeping it up. I do work well on a deadline, but not always the ones I put on myself. ;)

Ravyne said...

Good luck with the new survey thingie and congrats on getting some work done on your WIP! Have a great week ~Lori~ said...

Yay for figuring out that poll. I hope you get a lot of helpful feedback.

I have time limits because of my schedule, so I work within those time limits. When school is out for breaks, I'm very happy to get longer time frames for work. But, I still give myself time periods versus word counts because I typically will have very unproductive thinking days that I cannot always predict. I'd hate to stress myself out about those days, though, because I find some of my best writing follows them.

Patricia said...

I am terrible at setting goals. I just go with the flow or whatever. Seems you are good at keeping to schedules and plans and goals. Good for you! Good to see I wasn't culled from the "Celebrate" list though I have been awol some weeks. Trying to get back into the swing of things.

cleemckenzie said...

You're a good moderator, Lexa. You have to put your foot down when it's necessary. I'm already chilled by your next story. Alaska? That's one cold country.

Can I have your hamster? Does he come with the pink glasses?

Julie Flanders said...

Hooray for the WIP success. Coldest Night sounds like a story that will be right up my all. Good luck and I hope your writing streak continues. :)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I was writing with a word count goal and it helped. Then I got all writer-insecure and melancholy and nothing helped. LOL

Keep up the good words!

Julia Thorley said...

I've used mailchimp for newsletters, and found it really easy to work with. Not done a survey, though.
That's a good target you've set yourself. I tend to write until I run out of coherent words or time, whichever comes first.

Michelle Wallace said...

Hey Lexa!
1000 words per day is fantastic!
Keep going!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Gads, I hope I can remember this when it comes to me looking for this particular app. Glad it worked, Lexa.

Crystal Collier said...

I'm glad you found a good survey app! I've actually used surveymonkey before, but I can't remember what for. Oh wait, yes I do. It was for a music video--or voting on which song to turn into a music video. That was forever ago!

Mark Murata said...

Thank you for letting us know about the SFFWorld giveaway.
Also, I tend to look at how many pages I get done in a day.

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