A few updates! I hope you’ve been well, and I’d always love to hear what sort of numbers are interesting in your life.
- 9,628, words into the sequel to Take One at Mulholland High. (Working title, to surprise no one, Take Two at Mulholland High). this makes me feel good, because crossing the 10K mark always makes me think ‘now you’re on the way to an actual novel.’
- 6,194, words into the sequel of Confessions of a Teenage Band Geek. I’ve started this because, maybe (?) there might be some progress with the original. Let’s see — I’ve got a call on the 20th. It’s secondary, but fun and a little less organized than the first manuscript.
- 1, video I made about learning how to saber champagne.
- ??, day of quarantine it is.
- 25, total reviews on Twenty Year Reunion. It’s official, Hidden Gems really is the ONLY review service to use.
- 10, kilos of vegetables I received last weekend from Emirates Bio Farm. I was able to give a lot to a neighbor, but it certainly made for some creative cooking this week. Including…
- First, time we made stuffed jalapeño poppers for lunch on Wednesday.
- ALL, the cheese I bought at the store yesterday.
- 1, alcoholic beverage consumed this week so far (yay me!).
- 1,000 pieces of the current super difficult puzzle we’re working on.
Hi there, me again!
Some numbers, you ask?
- 4,000, words(ish), I’ve cut from my most recent manuscript. I started with 81K (hey, there’s two protagonists), and would love to get to 70K, but I think I’m going to be closer to 75K.
- 1, book published. In case you’ve somehow missed all my chat about Twenty Year Reunion, I’d love for you to download a copy (link here).
- 15-20, minutes a day, Hubs and I are trying to get of sun. Given we’re restricted to our house, we put on some tunes and lay out in the backyard. Given how pale I was, I’m hoping to come out at the end of the month with something approaching a tan. That, and some Vitamin D is necessary (since I’m not allowed to walk outside).
- 3, number of video sessions we’re averaging per week, with friends.
- under 1,000, steps I’m taking (as compared to over 9,000 the weeks before). It’s very sad to see my health app drop from nearly 10K to 500 in a week, but I know it’s for the greater good. I’m never going to take going for a walk again for granted.
- 2, articles I was quoted in this week.
- 1, foreword of a cookbook that should also be published this week. This is not the writing I usually do, but it’s always fun to try different things.
- 2, alcoholic beverages I’ve had this week. Given this time of year would be peak PR season, and my weekly average would be WAY over this. As much as I want to open a bottle of Prosecco every night, or make a G&T every afternoon, I’m going to try and keep this number in check.
- 2,000, photos deleted from iCloud. Yes, I still have a ways to go, but I’m hoping to get closer to 18K, rather than the 20K I was at!
- 6, days since I’ve worn a real bra or make up (it was for my virtual wine tasting class). I’m also pretty flaky when it comes to deodorant these days.
- 3.5, hours, daily screen time – which actually shocked me! I thought I was definitely over four hours.
Any significant numbers in your life these days?
As usual, weeks have passed… And I offer no excuses. So, here is a humble offering of some important-to-me numbers. Given my inconsistencies this year, I’ve decided to take more of an annual approach with this post.
- 1, book I’ve finished editing! Of course, it’s just the hand edit, so the actual first draft will take a bit more time. I expect to add about 10,000 words (hopefully?), but overall ’20 Year Reunion’ is a lot of easy fun (even if I still can’t write a sex scene to save my life). This is also my 2019 novel, so it feels good to get back to this one at the end of the year.
- 54, page I’m currently up to on the first draft.
- 1, foster cat we have for the holidays (hello, Lulu!).
- 3, legs (and other tragic backstory notes).
- 5, foster pets we’ve had this year (Phoebe, Lola, Lulu, Smudge, and Teddy Pee Pants).
- 4, press trips/trips where other people paid. Up one, from 2018.
- 2, radio ads completed. Up one, from a web ad I did in 2018. (Any improvement is something, right?)
- Lots, more getting paid for my writing. Which sort of brings me to a resolution of sorts for 2020. As brutal as I’ve been about going out in 2019, I needed to up the ante next year, and really focus only on leaving the house for when I’m getting paid. Otherwise, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- 1, new magazine I’m writing for (paid).
- 1, new website I’m writing for (paid).
- 1, foreword written for a cookbook (my first!). I’ve got another one coming in 2020.
- Silver, status achieved on Emirates (from a lot of flying).
- 1, book club going strong! Founded in January, we’re a motley crew, but a fun one.
- 6,974, average number of steps per day.
- 34,552,083, views on my contributions to Google Maps. (No, I still haven’t figured out how to monetize this).
- 16, episodes of CSR of One, the podcast I launched this year.
- 7, countries visited (I don’t think I’m forgetting anywhere).
Of course, next year includes a rather significant number — 40! March is coming up fast, and my weight goals to get there aren’t really falling in line. Oh well, age is just a number, right?
So… Uh, yeah? November has literally come and gone, but I have plenty to show for it. Let’s get going!
- 6, flights this month — a mix of domestic and international. Yup, I’m over flying for awhile. While I was happy with all my seat choices, I would’ve been much happier in business class. That said, I am Emirates Silver (finally).
- 3, of the flights which were a red eye. 😦
- 3, countries in total.
- 1, new niece I got to meet (spoiler alert: she’s actually the cutest).
- 20, degrees Fahrenheit, in the city she was located (which I was not adequately prepared for).
- 5, Michelin stars at restaurants I margined to dine in (not including a Bib Gourmand).
- Approximately 0, editing or writing I did. Which is okay, because tomorrow I’ll start editing a new book, and another project which is out to a few friends.
- A lot, of pastry I ate while in Paris, with the French dairy board.
- A lot, of words I wrote leading up to and during my travels for various clients.
- 7, days I saw Hubs this month.
- 1, cold, that refuses to quit itself.
- 1, stop at my favorite museum in the world, the Musee D’Orsay.
- Lots, of friends I got to catch up with around the world (and plenty of new ones acquired at Google Local Guides Connect).
- 0, amount of Black Friday shopping I did this year (I’m quite proud of myself).
- 7, restaurants I need to visit in the next few weeks.
- 17,384, the most steps in a day this month. There were A LOT of highs and lows in November.
- 3, holiday films we’ve watched already.
- 2, which we had to fast forward through.
- 1, fictional character I’m obsessed with (see below).
As usual, it’s been awhile.
- 60,315. Yes, that’s the new word count of The Heist. I cut close to 20,000 words, including almost everyone’s back stories. I still don’t like the book. I’m going to try ‘reading’ it, and incorporating all my notes and then sending it to friends.
- As I read through it for the 900th time, I’m sure some additional scenes will need to be written, and probably additional scenes cut. Honestly, chopping so much was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
- 15,000+ average number of steps per day, during our visit to the Czech Republic last week. I highly recommend Prague and Brno – it was a perfect escape from Dubai.
- 1, new niece! Welcome to the world, Kallan!!! I can’t wait to meet you in November.
- 1, invitation to speak at PechaKucha Night Dubai. I’m still mostly unsure of the direction of my speech under ‘Food For Thought’ is going to be, but I’m sure I’ll get there. I’m about halfway in coming up with 20 slides (with no words…send help).
- 1, hopeful trip I have upcoming to Bangkok.
- 26, million views I have on Google Maps.
- 0, kilograms lost. Given my current schedule of halfway decent eating and exercising for two weeks at a time, then a week of travel with tons of eating and drinking, I haven’t completely given up.
- 4, weeks of Couch to 5K, which I’m hoping will have some sort of impact on the above number in the near future.
- 1, podcast I’ve been a guest on.
- 2nd, season of CSR of One starting soon. Please subscribe!
How has your week been?
Where I have been? Probably at the gym. I finally reached my point of ‘girl, no’ and joined our local gym, which I’ve been fairly successful on going to on a daily basis.
- 45,054, finished novella for 2019! I’ll be interested to see if this turns into a book in later drafts. I had a lot of fun with it.
- 69,516, current length of The Heist project, and I assume the number count will drop further.
- ~10,000 words cut yesterday (after editing them for a week). I know it’s for the betterment of the book, but damn if it didn’t hurt.
- ~20,000 words cut today. The back stories I enjoyed really keep cluttering up my main storyline, so for now, they are out. This brings the manuscript closer to novella length, instead of thriller – so I know some new scenes will need to be written. Le sigh.
- 1, foster kitten in the house.
- 3.5 legs Smudge is in possession of.
- All, the energy.
- xx.x, kilograms for my weight (courtesy of our fancy new scale). As mentioned above, I’ve reached ‘ATF’ (that’s all time fattest) and the change starts now. Damn getting older and a slower metabolism. Also, damn my life as a food writer…
- 1, application to the TED Fellows 2020 program, submitted. Trying my best to figure out how to get CSR of One more into the world.
- 1, production I’m going to be a part of, filming at a very fancy location for a British show about luxury properties. Lifestyles of the rich and famous…
- 1, niece I can’t wait to meet!
How have you been?
It’s been a week somewhere, right? My apologies for the radio silence. I’ve been fairly terrible at adulting, or, at least being an adult where my books are concerned. I’m hoping that changes this week, as I have a conversation with my editor about my poor little Heist novel which has been in purgatory basically since I finished it.
- 23,001, words on 20 Year Reunion. This poor forgotten manuscript… I keep trying to work on it, then am constantly am interrupted. I’m giving my characters some blue balls by keeping them in check.
- 1, podcast launched! I’d love for you to subscribe and listen.
- 3, episodes available.
- 1, upcoming talk about it (that I need to finish preparing for)!
- 1, car that needs to be sold. Selling a car in the UAE is an extra special kind of hell, and I will be sad to say goodbye to the Yarari.
- 1, upcoming trip booked to the States!
- 1, week of a keto diet plan I’m going on next week. Y’all, sometimes I pitch and never expect responses, and then I get responses and it’s weird. It’s not that I’ve not done keto in the past, it’s just… Well, I hope some weight loss occurs!
- A lot, of pitches sent in the past week. Let’s hope some of them go somewhere!
- 1, Pug named Lola we had for a few days last week. Even though she was absolutely infatuated with me (and a sweetheart in general, minus the lack of house training), it made me realize I’m still not ready to adopt (or maybe, really, I’ll never be ready for a dog). It’s not all sad, I think we would definitely continue to foster!
Guess who’s back, back again?
So, I’ve been a wee bit busy since we last checked in.
- 2nd, draft of Under the Rain of Light. In it I went from 77,727 words to 77,361. This sounds so unbelievably minor, but I changed the order of chapters, added and removed plot lines and made countless other changes.
- Spoiler alert, I still hate the book, which is why…
- I’m going to work with a developmental editor. This is a first for me, but I know it’s the right decision. I’ll be sending the book to her in the next week or two.
- ALL, the procrastination. (See, Courtney’s anxiety about submitting articles.)
- My procrastination usually presents itself in the form of cleaning/organizing, hence why I’ve deleted 1,500 photos from my iCloud.
- 0, articles submitted from our recent trip. 😦
- 1, private island visited. Hubs and I had the opportunity to stay the Four Seasons at Desroches Island (simply incredible).
- 3, private beaches we encountered during our stay.
- 1, bottle Takamaka consumed.
- 1, amazing bike ride.
- 1, new website started (I’m working on a new social experiment of sorts — announcement soon).
- 6, episodes we’ve recorded for the podcast accompanying this.
- 1, walk on the beach this morning – a great start to the weekend!
- 2 friends, we saw in the process.
- 7, kitties we saw.
- 18,781, words into the 2019 book (working title, 20 Year Reunion). It’s a bit of a late start for me, but the Heist has taken up more time than I thought it would. Ready to get back into original writing – it’s been awhile!
- 1, article I wrote May of last year that’s finally come out (don’t worry, I already received payment for it).
What have you been up to?
Hello again. Some numbers, yes?
- 1, spayed dog. Our little foster was finally cleared to be fixed and is recovering in her little wee shirt.
- 2, janky teeth pulled while she was under.
- 2, times she got out in the past week (causing near heart attacks for me- thank goodness our neighbors are amazing).
- 77,502, words. I’m back to finish up the final second draft of the Louvre. After a month hiatus, I’m straight up reading the book and cutting quite a bit (let’s not get started on some of the bigger edits that still might need to occur.
- 18,186, words on 2019’s novel. While I thought I was going to pick up A.U. (now titled Counterfactual), instead I’ve decided to work on a total chick lit/rom com book, with the working title, 20 Year Reunion.
- 1, massive flu that refuses to die. That will teach me for not getting the flu shot.
- 1, agency I (think?) I’ve signed with. Yes, we discussed Persian translations of my work…
- 1, school visit I have scheduled for next week, in conjunction with EAFOL.
- 2, podcasts I’ve recorded for an upcoming 2019 project.
- 0, dirhams we managed to negotiate from our jerk landlord of this year’s rent.
- 2, collaboration dinners I’ll be attending in the next week.
- 1, deprivation tank I soaked in.
- 0, travel plans for the year so far… Signs are pointing to Seychelles and Zanzibar.
- 1, article placed with Curiosity Magazine (let’s hope it actually gets printed).
Hope your February is off to a great start!
Coming down to the end of 2019, and a few last numbers to report.
- 76,859, draft 1.5 of Under the Rain of Light is rocking in at. Given I want to toss a few chapters, and write a few more, I still think 80K is a realistic place for the second draft (i.e. the one I want people to read).
- 1,000, conservative guess of how many times I used the word ‘just’ in this draft. One of my ‘clean up activities’ is going through a manuscript and seeking out words I use too often, or are weak. Cut to me cringing when I see ‘just’ 4 times on one page.
- 50, minutes, my current average daily amount of time on Instagram. I am sad.
- 3 hours, 25 minutes, my average daily screen time on my phone. That’s another number I’d really like to change next year.
- 8,178, steps, on average for December. Can you tell we started fostering a dog this month? And I don’t always bring my phone with me on our walkies, so the number could be higher.
- Too much, (TMI), blood. The former owners of Phoebe the foster pup never had her fixed, and the littlest dachshund went on heat last week. If you’ve ever experienced this particular moment in nature, my best to you. We’re hoping it’s over soon.
- 1, pair of designer Italian shoes chewed up by Phoebe (my fault entirely for leaving them out).
- 1, pair of designer shoes found at a great price today on consignment.
- 1, house party we’ll be attending this evening.
- 2, seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel we binged over the holidays.
- ALL, the pasta we’re making as our contribution to said house party.
- ALL, the food I’m seem to be eating recently as part of A to Za’atar.
- 0, trips currently planned for 2019.
Overall, 2018 delivered some interesting elements, and I’m cautiously optimistic to see what 2019 will be like.