Row 80 Check-In Nov 26th

best nachos

Yep, I went there. Best nachos ever!!! These are Jae’s Famous Nachos, and they’re ridiculously delicious. How to make them? Well that’s easy. First you need some good tortilla chips, then refried and black beans. Clump those on top of the chips, then grated cheddar on top and pop it in the microwave until the cheese is mostly melted. On top goes guacamole (I recommend Wholly Guacamole), plain yogurt (I know, some of you are skeptical, but I promise this is waaaaaay better than sour cream, healthier too), olives and pico de gallo. Our local grocery makes this amazing pico salsa, we love it! You can climb this mountain and it’ll be worth it, I promise. You’ll probably need a few extra chips on the side for good measure.

Now wipe the drool off your face, here come the goals:

  • Write at least 3 short stories intended for publication.  I’ll probably try my hand at several more than three, but the hope is to find three gemstones among the rocks.
    On hiatus.
  • Read the helpful books to prepare me for the editing fest that will be late November early December on SHADE.
    I’m more than 3/4 through Story and I’ve pulled some great exercises from it for later with SHADE. Hopefully I can finish it up this week.
  • Have read all 201 available Anton Chekhov’s short stories, sprinkled with Hemingway and Bradbury.
    I’ve read 50 of 201 Chekhov short stories. I haven’t switched to anyone else yet. This last week was comprised mostly of trying to read my other books and work on SHADE for Pitch Wars
  • Polish SHADE to pure awesomeness.  I turned in my first 250 words for that YA contest with Gotham Writers. We find out the results in February, so no updates on that until then. Now I’m prepping for Pitch Wars. I went through the first 3 chapters again, doing the editing backward and in a different font AND reading it out loud, all of which I thought was very helpful. To edit backward you start with the last page of a chapter, edit that page, then move to the next page in backward order. It really jars you out of the story so you don’t get sucked in and can see if things are working.I’m also trying to rework my query letter. Seriously, Brian, thanks for talking me through it with your encouraging words. I still have a crap query, but I’m reading some short e-books on it and trying to pull all the information together. Query letters are the hardest part of this biz, but I know hard work pays off, and with all the hard work I’ve been putting in I’m certain something decent will come out of all this—or at least it had better. 😉
  • No Treat November. Of course Thanksgiving was… no comment, but I actually did lose nearly 2 pounds since a week or two ago. I’m back on MFP today and trying desperately to be good. There’s still a cinnamon pie in the house, but I plan to work those calories in with exercise so it doesn’t put me over the limit. I’ve done all this before, I can do it again.
  • The Holiday Book Read! I’m 99% finished with Abandon. I didn’t really like it per se, but I don’t regret reading it. It’s oddly similar to Twilight. Maybe that’s why it’s been so successful? More on this tomorrow I think.

I’m on track with my goals, I’m just in a knock-down-drag-out brawl with my query letter. But I’m a martial artist, so I know some sneaky moves.

How about you? Have any advice on query letter techniques or links to sites with helpful info? How are you doing on your goals? Are you participating in Pitch Wars or any contests? Let me know below.