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The Bad Girlz Blitz Halftime Report

Okay.  Time for raw honesty, here.  I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I’ve never been one to sugar coat shit — it’s still shit.  So here it is.

It doesn’t look good for the home team, folks.

I started out with such high hopes, a kickass game plan, and the stamina to make it through a three month journey to writing a manuscript.  And here I am at halftime with a big fat goose egg on the scoreboard.

Yeah.  I suck.

So what went wrong in the first half?  What didn’t I account for in my brilliant plan?  If I’m going to make any adjustments to my defensive line, it’s now or never.  Right?  We can still turn this thing around.

Only…there’s a slight problem.  My opponent is fierce and relentless, and smiles at my measly attempts to take him down.  What I need to adjust is the one thing I CAN’T.


Sure, I thought about it.  I cut down to 3 days a week and planned on using some vacation time here and there to make up the difference.  Seemed like an okay plan, until I got hit with an impossible deadline and watched my 2 days off get pried from my cold, bleeding hands. *cue violins*

I tried to fight through it, but after doing math for twelve hours straight there’s just not a lot of room left for creativity.  I am exhausted, busy, and I am flustered.  So exhausted that I don’t feel like doing anything but lay around re-cooping on my days off.  So busy that I can’t even manage to read and comment on my fellow badgirlz blogs.  So flustered that I’ve been having my seven year old daughter make my to-do list, because I can’t seem to remember to pick up the Combos I promised her from the convenience store.

So, not only do I suck at blitzing – an idea I came up with – but now I’m a disgruntled employee, lazy wife, horrible friend, and even worse mother (how did I forget the Combos??)

See where I’m going with this?  It’s like a freaking snowball, getting exponentially bigger as the days go on.  How can I write with all this crap going on?  Where would I find the time if I could?

I always hear people say you need to find a way to write through it all, but how?  HOW, when there aren’t enough hours in the day?  HOW, when you’re creative mojo is being sucked away by deadlines that your bills depend on?  HOW, when you’re trying to write a family saga but feel like the world’s worst mother?

I’m all ears, folks.  I don’t want pity, I just want some ideas.  Help me get back in the game!!

Hope you’re blitzing better than I am!

Jenna P.


McGovy’s #BGBlitz Goal & Playbook

It’s great to see all the posts for #BGBlitz. Mine is a little late, but that’s okay because now I can give you a goal and an update.

My #BGBlitz goal is to finish Book 2 of my contemporary series. I’m almost a month in and I have ~15,000 words. That’s not the 30k I’d like it to be, but it’s because I’ve also been editing Bk 1 to make it shiny and bright. I think it’s mostly shiny now. Maybe.

So, from here on out, I’d like to write Book 2 in 8 consecutive weeks and have a completed rough draft very close to Labor Day. I’ve written books in two months before, but with month long gaps in the middle to promote this release or pause for the entire month of December due to holidays and birthdays. Caveat: My rough drafts are normally about 65k words. I do A LOT of beefing up with round 1 edits. It’s just how I write.

McGovy #BGBlitz Goal: Finish the rough draft of Book 2 by Labor Day.

McGovy #BGBlitz Playbook: Write at least 1,500 words a day with a stretch goal of 2,000 per day.

I find personal accountability helps me a lot when it comes to keeping to my daily writer time. If you see me tweet about a #1k1hr, it’s because I need to hold myself to it that day. Sometimes I text a writer confidante and say, “I’m going in.” An hour or so later, I report out with what I’ve accomplished. This ‘play’ keeps me from getting side tracked with emails or internet fun times.

Lori mentioned Book in a Week last week and it sounds like an effective tool. Do you have any tips or tricks to help reach your daily word goal? How do you stay focused and write every day?

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It Takes All the X’s and O’s

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m what you might call a “pieces” person. I see things broken down into their tiny parts, all turning together to make a monstrous machine work its best. It’s how things make sense to me, in all aspects of my life. If I didn’t break everything down, I would surely get overwhelmed by the mountain of To Do’s I have. So when I sat down to write my #BGBlitz Game Plan, I approached it in the same piece by piece method.  All the X’s know what O they’re going after, and that QB is going down!

Jenna P.’s #BGBlitz objective:  To write my next manuscript in ten weeks.

X1. Perception, perception, perception.

I’m not gonna lie; this seems like a hopeless feat.  Ten weeks?  It took ten months… times two…to write my last manuscript.  How the hell am I going to pump out 95,000 words in ten weeks?

I’m going to trick myself into thinking it’s not that bad.  Write an entire manuscript in 10 weeks? Highly impossible. Write 10,000 words a week? Unlikely. Write 1,500 words a day? Definitely doable.  I got this!

X2. Stick to the schedule.

Some people can’t survive without their to do lists, and I can’t survive without my schedule. I think this is another perception, really. If I can show myself that there are, in fact, enough hours in the day, then I have no excuse to fail. So, I’ve charted out the hours, figured out my summer work schedule, planned for the summer gymnastics hours, asked my family to make a few sacrifices, and I’ve got something I think will work!  I won’t bore you with the details….but it’s a work of art.

X3. Accept that the bed might not get made.

I’ve made myself a promise: For ten weeks, I’m not going to feel guilty about the house not being perfect. I’m going to set a few chores for my kids, talk to my family about expectations, and called in a few favors to get by. We will survive.  Dust bunny’s, defeated.

X4. Sacrifice a personal day or two.

As doable as 1500 words a day sounds, I know how easy it is to fall behind. If that happens (and I’m sure it will), I’ve given myself permission to take a “me” day to get caught up. I have plenty of time banked, and am fortunate enough to work in a career that allows me some flexibility.  Now is as good a time as any to use it!  Besides, writing is kinda like a vacation anyway.

X5. Limit my querying/internet/twitter stalking to two days a week.

I once spent fifteen minutes zooming in on a picture an agent had uploaded to Twitter that happened to have her computer screen in the background JUST to see if they manuscript she was reading was mine.

Admit it…you’ve done it too.

Besides the glaring fact that this is borderline obsessive, it’s a waste of time! What would I have done if it would have been my manuscript?  Nothing!  So as hard as it is for me to “turn off the porn,” (A little FRIENDS reference for you all there) I gotta do it. It’s a heavy distraction.

So there’s my game plan!  Not glamorous by any means, but like I said – I need to see the pieces.  All my X’s and O’s are gunning toward the QB.  Let’s DO this thing!

What’s your #BGBlitz game plan look like?

Keep Writing! – Jenna P.


I’m All In! #BGBlitz

“Don’t let anyone walk through your mind with dirty feet.” – Dabo Sweeney – Head Football Coach at Clemson University

Bad Girlz, here it is. I’ve been in a writer funk. I’m not even sure what triggered this funk, maybe it was the exhaustion of releasing books so close together, the anxiety of waiting to hear about a submission, or the endless holding of my breath while reviews come out for my next release. Whatever the cause, I’ve been sitting in still waters waiting for a whisper of a breeze so that I can move forward for over a week.

On Friday my mother-in-law finally took pity on me. “You need some time to write.” Quiet time, was that the answer? Did I just need uninterrupted time to write? Mr. Alpha Male had plans to go hike for 3 days with the local Boy Scout Troup he helps occasionally, so thanks to my mother-in-law’s offer of assistance with the Little Monkey, I had the weekend to myself. But, instead of doing what I would normally do and forcing myself to at least try to write words during the precious hours of quiet, I put my laptop down and I walked away. I needed a break. I cleaned my house. I curled up on the sofa and watched a Hallmark movie marathon. I went for a walk. I read a book. I watched Oprah interview successful people. And, at the end of it, this is what I learned:

The problem with my manuscript was a problem with my motivation, not my character’s motivation.

With the excitement of publication, I’d lost sight of why I write. And now, after a weekend of made-for-TV movies and Oprah interviews, I remember why.

I write because I love stories. I write because I love the characters. I don’t write for the glory of the blog tour or the thrill of signing copies for readers. I don’t write to sell more books. I don’t write for the reviews. I write because I love to write. I want to meet readers and sign books. I want to have more books on the shelves. I want to get good reviews. Those are all positive ambitions. But, that is not why I write.

The advice I’m known to give my critique partners at every hiccup on the path to writing a book is, “Just tell the story.” And, it seems I needed to listen to my own advice. I have a story that is begging to be told and I’ve been ignoring it to wallow in the quicksand that is the phrase, “what if.”

Well, no more, Bad Girlz! I’m blitzing with you!


I hope you’ll join me as we drive downfield toward our goals. My goal is to finish this book by the end of August. I’ll be posting updates to Twitter and I hope you will too.

My favorite quote from my excessive television watching this weekend:

“People will judge it. And, people will like it or not like it. But, you can’t be responsible for that. You’re not meant to do what is easy. You’re meant to challenge yourself…continue to do the thing you maybe cannot do.” –Justin Timberlake

Are you ready to just tell the story? What’s your #BGBlitz goal?

~ E. Michels


Getting My Game Face On!

woman-helmetI’m so excited to be gearing up for the Badgirlz Summer Blitz! My challenge is going to be to expand a novella I’ve recently written and get it ready for submission by August 1st. I’m enthusiastic! I have a plan! Bring it on! But in the middle of night last night, I came to a realization: this summer, my writing isn’t the only thing that needs a blitz. I’ve got a lot of things I want to kill with awesomeness this summer, and none of them are going to happen on their own! Of course, abject failure at potty training the Sunshine Boy doesn’t count. That’s coming along just fine, thank you very much.


The sleepless night that followed my realization led me to an unfamiliar conclusion: I have got to get organized. Seriously. If I want to kick ass in the Blitz AND de-clutter, de-stress, be an awesome mama, eat more veggies, get more sleep, and all the other great summer possibilities, I need a plan.


So, I bought a planner. A big one, with daily, weekly, and monthly pages, plus a whole bunch of room for notes and a lot of corporate-slash-new-age goals pages, too. I’m going to use this to plot my manuscript changes and plan my writing time, and keep track of the rest of my life, too. I’m going to write down my next day’s to-do list so I can get it out of my mind and get some damn sleep. Plan healthy meals. All that stuff–and it’s all going to be in one place.


For some people, angst and stress can fuel their craft, but I’m the opposite. For the most part, I write happy, so it’s hard for me to get in a creative frame of mind when I’m feeling jumbled up–and I’m not the most organized person in the world, so you can imagine where that leaves my writing at the end of a hectic day. Already, knowing that I have a system in place is helping the plotting wheels turn more smoothly.


When the official kickoff begins, I’ll be checking in with my progress and details of what I’m working on. In the meantime, I’d like to know your tips and tricks to help get you focused and stay organized in your writing and other endeavors.


As always, Happy writing!


Oh, it’s On! It’s On Like Donkey Kong!

I don’t know about you, but the school year is a busy time for me.  The added tasks of being an elementary school parent nowadays can cause quite a lot of stress in my household.  In addition to my day job as an engineer, evening job as a gymnastics mom, and whenever I can find time job as a writer, the school year makes me a Homework Helper/School Lunch Fixer/Reading Listener/Assignment Tracker.

And I have a feeling I’m not alone in this.  Am I?

So, what do you say we make this summer count?  I mean, big time.  What if we pick that one goal that we seem to keep putting off and make it the focus of that freed up time?  Think we could do it?


The Bad Girlz Summer Blitz

For those of you that aren’t into football, a blitz is defensive strategy in which extra players are sent in to rush the quarterback at the same time.  Basically, the defense throws everything they can spare to try to sac the quarterback or disrupt his pass.  That’s what we’re going to do.

Over the next few weeks, I challenge you to define your quarterback.  What task do you want to tackle?  What goal can you never seem to put to rest?  It can be anything.  Maybe you just need to get a manuscript pumped out.  Maybe you want to get a new book plotted, or perhaps develop a new method for plotting.  Maybe you’ve just finished editing your manuscript and your goal is to write and send out 100 queries.  Maybe you really need to establish or increase your online presence.  Maybe you just need to clean out a room in your basement to have some place to write undistracted.  We really don’t care what the goal is, as long as you need to get it done.

After you’ve got your eyes set on the target, develop a game plan.  Does it have phases?  Deadlines?  What is your plan of attack to make sure it gets done?  Then MEMORIZE it.  I mean, write it down, put a sticky note on your mirror, pin in on your dashboard, whatever it takes.  Live, eat, and breathe your target in much the same way that a defensive end carries around their playbook wherever they go.  Keep it in your face so you can’t ignore it.  No excuses.




Then starting June 1st, it’s GAME ON.


Over the next couple weeks, some of the bad girlz will be sharing their goals and game plans.  We will also keep you up to date on how we’re doing through June, July, up until the very end of August when it’s GAME OVER.  We hope you’ll share your game as well and let us be your cheerleaders (we promise not to drag you around by the helmet)!  Comment on the blogs, post to our facebook page, and follow/tweet the hashtag #BGBlitz.

Let’s do this!  Let’s make this summer count!

Jenna P.











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