Ready. Set. WRITE! is a summer writing intensive that encourages goal-setting and accountability, and provides an opportunity for us to cheer each other on wherever we’re at with our writing projects—planning, drafting, revising, or polishing. This year, your RSW hosts are Alison Miller, Jaime Morrow, Erin Funk, Elodie Nowodazkij, and myself.
*** Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for RSW this year. It’s been an incredible summer, and I’ve had so much fun following along with your progress and celebrating your successes. Thanks to my fellow hosts, too, who’ve been a constant source of support and encouragement. ❤ ***
How I did on this summer’s goals…
Draft at least 30K words in my new WiP by summer’s end.
Success! My new WiP’s sitting pretty at 30,619. I plan to finish the first draft during the next few months. (Hopefully.)
Revise The Road So Far.
Success! The Road So Far is currently with my agent.
Read 12 books by summer’s end.
Success! I actually read 14: Something Real, The Wrath & the Dawn, Devoted, Emmy & Oliver, The Devil You Know, Saint Anything, A Summer Like No Other, More Happy Than Not, All We Have Is Now, Pretty Baby, Play On, Lord of the Flies, Truth & Temptation, and Jesse’s Girl.
Success! I kept up with my exercise goals all summer. Hoping to do the same through autumn.
Explore a new place each week.
Success! Guys, we’ve been all over the place, and seen so many cool things! Highlights: swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, a walk through Savannah, a ghost tour in Charleston, putt-putt golfing in Hilton Head, a tour of downtown DC, a journey around Antietam Battlefield, kayaking in the Occoquan River, a trip to Mount Vernon, a visit to the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and National Museum of the American Indian, shopping at the American Girl store, Taylor Swift and Toby Keith concerts, The Beach at the National Building Museum, a visit to the site of the Battle of Bull Run, and most recently, a tour of downtown Philadelphia and a day riding coasters at Hersheypark. So fun!
Cross at least two items off my Thirty Before 35 list.
Success! I planted my herb garden and completed my 500 piece puzzle.
And now… Manuscripts and Manicures
I’ve chosen to focus on The Road So Far for Manuscripts and Manicures, first because it’s done, and second because it’s my favorite. It’s about Tucker, an eighteen-year-old who embarks on a west coast road trip with his girlfriend and two best friends in search of his mother, who’s been missing his whole life.
Here’s the story’s Pinterest board, if you’re curious.
And here’s an excerpt…
We fall back onto the highway. Callie pulls the pastries we ordered from their paper bag, tucks a leg under to twist in her seat, then feeds me pieces of croissant and coffee cake.
“You’re the best travel buddy ever,” I tell her between bites.
She smiles. “No, you are.”
I snag her hand and kiss her palm. “Seriously, Cal. You’re my compass.”
We drive on, through flat colorless terrain. The sky’s unobstructed and endless, an electric blue that’s incongruous with the scrubby, monochrome landscape. Puffy clouds drift by. Callie points out shapes: a dragon, an angel, a dolphin, an arrow pointing west, backward.
Not an omen, I tell myself. Not. An. Omen.
It isn’t long before we’re approaching the Colorado River, marked by a sign with Arizona’s state flag, a golden star surrounded by rays of red and yellow. The Grand Canyon State Welcomes You, it declares. Callie squeezes my hand as we cross the bridge. She looks as anxious as I feel. If ever we’ve had a there’s no going back moment, this is it. We’re driving blind now, into a state none of us has visited, searching for a person who might’ve left years ago. We’re setting ourselves up for disappointment, for failure, and I’m leading the charge with my dumbass flag flapping proudly in the breeze.
And… my manicure!
Dashed lines like the middle of a road, bright red like stop signs, silver sparkles like snow, and a heart, because romance (of course).
Did you participate in RSW this summer?
Don’t forget to link to your wrap-up below!