WWPR: MS7 Revision Notes & Pass 1 (Week 1)

It's been a whirlwind of a week! But I'm so excited to sit down and get into this WWPR, because it feels like a celebration. For one, I am fully functional now, and the cold I had is becoming more like a distant memory as each day passes. With the increase in energy levels, I gathered all my notes, scene cards, and my running list of problems in my MS, and focused this week on finding solutions!

Here's my week in writing:

THURSDAY: Reviewing the macro problems first (plot, character, setting), I placed all of my scene cards on the floor to rearrange them and placed my solutions onto the notecard with stickies. I'll save you the long spiel on how I did this by referring you to Marissa Meyer and Susan Dennard's websites. My method is basically a combination of their revision process, and they provide a lot of info on how to go about revisions if you want to read up on it.

I worked from 4-8 p.m. (make sure to follow my instagram @michelletranwrites to see my insta stories), but it was so worth it because by the end of the night I knew where I wanted to take this MS, and most importantly, how.


FRIDAY: I began my first pass of revisions by making the changes I wanted directly on the printed manuscript. My goal is to finish this relatively quickly (2-2.5 weeks) and then type in the changes on my computer while concurrently doing a second pass of the manuscript afterward.

Pass one will focus on getting the plot nailed down with all the scenes in the correct order and roughly putting the character arcs in place to compliment the plot.

Pass two will be to get the character arcs fully fleshed out while also fixing the flow/transitions of the story since I had to move a lot of scenes around.

Depending on where I'm at with pass 2, I anticipate a pass 3 and 4 to focus on setting, dialogue, and prose. Maybe then I'll feel confident enough to ship out my MS to some CP's.

SATURDAY: I flew back to Sac to celebrate my nieces birthday! It was a quick trip, but I still brought my manuscript, just in case. I was able to get one chapter done on the flight there.

SUNDAY: Since my niece was just too cute and wanted to play, I didn't get any revising done. I ended up having quality time with her and the family. I built her new birthday gift I had chipped in to buy. It took me about 4-5 hours, but her excitement for her play kitchen was worth it.

MONDAY: Since I didn't get much done during my weekend in Sac, I had to turn it up a notch and make up time for it. I ended up getting through 5 chapters!

TUESDAY: Pass one continues. I've made it to one third through of the write-in portion of the revision. To make things even better, I got some surprise holiday mail from 2 of my great CP's Mic & Krystal!!! THANK YOU!!!

WEDNESDAY: ALMOST HALFWAY DONE. Cue celebration with this WWPR post!

All of this planning and organizing during the revision process has really inspired me to keep myself on track--not just now, but for 2018. To do so, I'm using a planner instead of my typical spreadsheet or notebook so I can jot down my progress. Hopefully by the end of 2018, I'll have a full planner focusing on making 2018 my best writing year. Here's what the planner looks like reflecting this week! For the month portion, I quickly jot down my progress and what week I'm on. For the week portion, I also jot down how I'm currently feeling about the process to help me reflect.

Hopefully by next week, I'll be done with the write in part. Wish me luck, and happy writing!

What are your ways to stay on track? Comment below!

TIU LA Trip: Day 1

As I write this, I am so filled with thanks and gratitude. The past week has been amazing! My sister and I traveled to LA for a TIU/Birthday trip, and when I returned to Seattle, I had the pleasure of attending the TIU tour! I'm still coming off from the high of this week, so be warned, the next 4 posts will basically be me fangirling about Tone It Up ;)!

On Thursday, my sister and I met up at LAX to begin our trip! After grabbing the car and checking into our hotel, we headed out to lunch at The Source Café. For all our foodie needs, we basically followed the LA TIU City Guide for suggestions on where to go and eat for some delicious, healthy, and instagram worthy places and they did not disappoint! We ended up splitting a green smoothie and paleo salmon toasts.

Afterward we ended up in Venice to go mural hunting to find the 'Look For Love' hearts that K&K used for the challenge and basically had a blast snapping photos and walking around. For dinner we went to The Butcher's Daughter to split a pizza (which was sooooo good--and that's saying something since I'm not a big pan of pizza).

Slightly tired from the travels, we headed back to the beach right outside our room to enjoy the sunset, then had some snacks and sparkling rose on our balcony to end the night.


The Big 30.

Last month, Michael hit a milestone. The big three-oh! And over the past couple of months leading up to it, I was hard at work planning a surprise party for him! But man, oh man, was it difficult keeping it all a secret when I usually tell him everything. Thankfully, I was able to keep my big mouth shut and pull it off.

To start off the special day, I had 30 little blue envelopes for him to open throughout the day filled with surprises, destinations, and presents, ultimately leading to the surprise party.

So in case you're wondering why I've been so MIA in July, now you know why! I've been too busy celebrating old hubby ;)

A huge thanks to Michael's sister and mom for helping me pull it off, Bottlehouse for the awesome food, wine, and event space, and also our family and friends who came from near and far to celebrate!

Oregone Wine Country

This past weekend was a special one indeed! Michael and I explored the Oregon wine region with Winemaker Tours for Michael's birthday. Our guide Amy planned an amazing itinerary for us filled with amazing wine, delicious food, beautiful sights and great people.

At Bergstrom we tasted different Pinots in different AVA's. It was interesting doing side by side comparisons because each wine had different characteristics despite being the same grape.

On our way to Walter-Scott, Amy told us all about the geography of the area and different families that have come over to start their own vineyards here. Before we knew it we were at our destination. Interestingly, Walter-Scott were sold out of their current releases, so Michael and I got the chance to do barrel tastings for the first time and buy future wines.

Oregon wasn't just Pinot Land. We got to try some neat whites at Brooks and Eyrie.

By the time we got back to our room, we had more than a few bottles and we ravenous for dinner. We ended up going to Bistro Maison in McMinnville. Classic French food that I highly recommend!

Swan Lake

This past weekend was seriously one for the books. I've always wanted to see a ballet. Something about music, dance, and story all wrapped up into one just sounds so... magical! Michael made my dream come true by getting us tickets to see Swan Lake for my birthday gift. It was about three hours long with two intermissions, but I could have seriously watched forever. The music from the orchestra, the costumes, and the athleticism of the dancers blew me away. If you haven't seem a ballet, I recommend you put it on your bucket list!

Note that photography is not allowed during the show because it can be potentially dangerous for the dancers, so I waited until the encore and turned off flash and snapped this shot. I know, such a rebel I am :P

After the ballet we went to Bottlehouse for some wine and met up with Michael's family to celebrate belated birthdays. It was just the right way to end the perfect day. 24 is definitely growing on me.

Tavern Hall, FLO Sushi, and Sunday Dinner

As you all know. I LOVE food. So this weekend was like an eat-fest of deliciousness.

After cooking all week,  Michael and I decided to grab a meal out on Friday. We tried a new place called Tavern Hall in Bellevue. Tavern Hall is a pub-style bar with an Irish décor vibe to it. Known for their Moscow Mule on tap, Michael and I both had one.

For our dinner, Michael had the Tavern Burger and I had the Chicken Sando. If you ever go, get the Chicken Sando. It is by far the best chicken sandwich I've ever had. So crispy, served on a rustic bun, with a crisp coleslaw, and spicy aioli, you'll think you're in chicken sandwich heaven after a bite.

On Saturday, I got a surprise gift from one of my sisters. Tea! Oh I do love tea.

Then that night we did a prebirthday celebration with Michael's sister (our birthdays are three days apart) and her husband at FLO sushi. We exchanged gifts and it was such a strange coincidence that we both got each other Kate Spade gifts!


Sunday was very rainy (as I write this, it's still raining), so Michael and I kept it low key. I spent the morning reading SPEAK (book review to come!) while Michael organized the garage and basement. For dinner, we realized we wanted to do something special because we'd be missing each other the next two weekends due to travel. Alas we did a team effort and made steak with onions and a green bean casserole. We opened a Maurice's estate Syrah from 2009 (my fave!) and had some dark chocolate for dessert.

A very good weekend of deliciousness indeed!

The Imitation Game, 80th Birthday, & the Super Bowl

So Michael and I finally went to the see The Imitation Game on Friday. We've been wanting to go for a while, but the first time we tried, we missed the showing. The second time, we got too caught up in the season finale of The Taste. Now the third time, after a mad dash of a dinner, we finally ended up making it.

And let me just say, I was blown away! It was such an awesome movie, well-paced, poignant dialogue, a note of humor with some intense emotional scenes, and just well done cinematic and music-wise. I really hope this movie, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Kiera Knightley all get an oscar!

On Saturday we celebrated Michael's grandmother's 80th Birthday. It was definitely a great time hanging out with Michael's whole family from his father's side. I can't imagine what the world will be like if I ever get the chance to live that long. I asked the Birthday girl if time seemed to go by quick or if it seemed like a long journey to get to this point. She answered, "Quick, too quick."

The grandchildren plus Tim & I (PC: Cristine Peters)

Delicious red velvet cake! (PC: Cristine Peters)

Michael & I (PC: Cristine Peters)

The next day was the super bowl. This year I wasn't stuck in a hotel in the suburbs of Boston, thank goodness! So I got to watch the Super bowl with Michael's family. All in all, it was a great time: the food, the company, the fluffy dogs.

PC: @benlowy

The only downside was that last play (let me just say, the city has never been so quiet, grey, and rainy like it is today).

Alas, there's always next year, right?