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.

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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!

Thanksgiving 2018

I was really hoping to make some headway in my writing, but alas, I got sick with the cold post travel. So no WWPR this week, but here's a quick slideshow of my Thanksgiving trip where I was healthy, happy, and eating delicious food all week long! It's the one time out of the year that my family and I get together, so it's always a blast and goes by much too quickly.

TIU LA Trip: Day 3

Like all things, the trip came to an end, but we made it an eventful one to celebrate my sister's birthday. We woke up and started at Two Guns Espresso which was absolutely delicious. Best coffee during my trip was had here, and they make a killer garlic toast, so try it if you ever go.

After fueling up, we went for a 4-5 mile hike to check out the coastal views. It was so peaceful and tranquil that I had to strike a yoga pose or two. It has been a while since I delved into my practice though, so I'm gonna make it a point to get back into it.

After the hike, we walked along the Santa Monica Pier then headed to Venice to replenish at Café Gratitude. I loved this café so much, I really hope they come to Seattle. I loved the vibe and the positive affirmations. Not to mention the delicious and good-for-you food.

We rested at the beach for a bit before getting ready for the birthday dinner at The Strand House then celebrated the night at Elevate Lounge to ring in the birthday at midnight. The next day was a travel day, and though I had an amazing trip, it also feels good to be back home with the hubby and kitty.

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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.

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Santa Barbara Wine Trip

This past week I've been literally throwing myself a pity party. I've had my 5th oral surgery in the past two years. I won't get into the nitty gritty details, but you'd think after the 5th one I'd be a pro at dealing with it, but alas, I'm not. In addition to mouth pain, a soft-foods diet, and no exercise regime, I've found myself really fatigued, unmotivated, breaking out in rashes, dealing with back pain, and in general dealing with suckish-vibes.

My poor husband has had to deal with all my whining and complaining (I'm the hugest baby when it comes to ailments or being sick), but keeps reminding me that this is temporary. It'll pass, I'll be back to normal, and I'll be able to put this whole ordeal behind me.

So, today, I've decided to blog about Santa Barbara to give me a boost of positivity and to remind myself what life was like prior to surgery. And plus, it was long overdue post. Am I right?

Santa Barbara was perhaps one of the last major wine areas on the west coast we had yet to explore. It's up and coming, but still fairly new. We were able to find some gems though and had a blast.

If you ever find yourself exploring the area, here are my top recommendations:

Place to stay: Fess Parker in Los Olivos

Best Winery: Dragonette Cellars

Best dinner/meal: First & Oak in Solvang

Best tour: Sustainable wine tours

Best Wine Bar: Les Marchands in Santa Barbara

Napa, A Wedding, & The Rest of My Trip

Day 3. We left Sonoma and crossed over to Napa. Michael and I had a wedding to attend in Santa Rosa where we would finally get to meet up with my family. We still had time to kill though, so we headed over to Napa to do more tasting!

Our first stop was Caymus. It was always on Michael's list to try, and we missed it the last time we were in Napa, so it was nice to finally go. The outdoor seating was lovely in the nice weather. Next, we went to the futuristic Palmaz, where they showed us their new tech and how they used gravity instead of pumping to give their wine some smoothness. It felt like a James Bond movie, and the wine was amazing. I totally recommend. To end, we did a tasting at Wine Country Connection where we got to chat with a Master Somm which was a neat first for us!

Afterwards, we met up with my family in Santa Rosa for a wedding! It was the first time I met my niece, who is absolutely adorable. No wonder my mom says I've been replaced!

Of course, my family proceeded to take a zillion selfies since it's a rarity for all of us to be together (unless it's Thanksgiving). Who do you think I look the most alike?

I also just realized that I wear the same dress to almost every wedding. I need a wardrobe update asap!

When the wedding was over, Michael and I hitched a ride back to Sacramento to spend our remaining days of vacation with my family. There, I got to hang out with my cousins, eat amazing home-cooked meals of all my favorites, spent time with friends, and I even fit in some reading time (I'll save my thoughts of BLOOD FOR BLOOD for a 'Bookish Feels' post).

Getting back from vacation is always rough for me. Heck, it took me almost two weeks to even blog about it and for Blaire to warm back up to us. For me, I took a few days to adjust, and then even a couple of more days to get the motivation to work off my vacation weight (the food and wine, was all worth it though ;)).

Currently, I've been obsessed with 'Poldark' (thanks to Michella), which has helped with my book hangover and vacation withdrawals. I loved it so much, I spent the last week reading the first two books of the series it's based off of. But with June almost over, and my next vacation around the corner, I know I need to get back to my WIP and revise, research, and read!

Sonoma Wine Trip: Carneros & Valette

Before I get into my trip, I just want to say, LOVE IS LOVE IS  LOVE IS LOVE IS  LOVE IS LOVE<3. Let us not forget that.

As for my trip, it's been almost a week since I landed in Oakland, California, and drove up to the Sonoma/Carneros area with Michael. Our yearly summer wine trips are my favorite, and I was especially excited to do the Sonoma area! Deep down I have this dream of Michael and I with our little own vineyard and a small home on a hill with a wraparound porch. I'd pen my latest novel and he'd cycle the rolling hills. We'd make delicious local food and great wine. I can dream,right? Not to mention the location would be perfect; about an hour and a half from my family, the coast, and the bay area.

But alas, I should snap out of my day dream and get on with my post! We started at Gloria Ferrer to taste some sparkling wines. I loved it so much, I became a member of their wine club.

For lunch, we went to OSO Sonoma to fuel up before heading for our wine taste/tour at Domaine Carneros.

After, we went to Arrowood for our last taste, but when we got there I was like, whoa! Dream home right here ;)

For dinner, we went to Valette and did the chef's tasting menu. It was AMAZING. A must-go if you're in the area and want a fancy/romantic/date night, or if you just want some delicious food.

By the end of the day, I was totally wiped. We got up at 4 a.m. that day to head out to the airport and did a full day of tasting. You bet I crashed by the time 9 p.m. rolled around.