New theme to welcome Camp NaNoWriMo

Hello everyone! How do you like my blog’s new look? After my last post went live, I was looking at my site and realized I’d had the same theme for quite a few years and decided perhaps it was time for something different. So I previewed and played and this style spoke to me. I like the notebook header image (very appropriate), and the colors are great; anything green makes me happy. Even my BFF approved, and we all know how important that is.

Once the new theme was in place, I felt a review of my novel pages was also in order. That task resulted in a makeover for them as well. I renamed a few pages, added Details and Reference sections (some of the word counts are astounding, especially considering the books aren’t finished yet!) and added Frankie’s someday novel to the main page. I’ll work on tweaking the other story pages too so stay tuned.

As for Camp NaNoWriMo itself, I’ve got a few days until it’s time to hightail it to my cabin, say howdy to my bunk mates and start writing. I’ll start Saturday, April 1st with my morning ceramics class — totally an approved camp activity, right? — and then meet M for dinner and a writing work session. By then I’ll need to have finished the last little bits of prep work so I know where I left off in November and where I need to go from there. Thankfully I found my outline, but now the question is: how will I end the novel, should I be fortunate enough to get that far? After reading what I jotted down, there’s a part of me that isn’t sure it’s the best way to go. I know how I’m going to resolve that last big story arc (aka casting the counter-curse) and yes, it’s a given that my two MCs will get together in the end, but what that really means is now a big ol’ question mark.

I guess I’ll keep brainstorming until I come up with an ending I like or the characters have their say and tell me how they think it should end. I should probably listen to them; it’s their story, after all. =]

April Camping I Will Go, NaNo-style

KALOTS
Charlie Hunnam as Arthur in the upcoming movie “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

Well hello there, old friends! I would love to tell you I’ve been so busy writing that I just haven’t had the time to blog, but alas ’tis not the case. After November, I took a short break as is my norm, and then things went KABOOM. My long-time boss retired, the annual year end processing project seemed to develop quirk after quirk thus driving all of us to the edge of insanity, and to top it off my best friend left the company, leaving a huge hole in my world. Not to mention a hellish allergy season, worrying about my cat (she’s got kidney disease) and a wicked bout of winter blues. So things have been off for a while and I just couldn’t find the motivation to write.

Then I saw the email that NaNoWriMo sends out at the beginning of March announcing Camp once again. My first thought was (and yes, it was John Hurt’s voice I heard in my head from that scene in Spaceballs), “Oh no, not again!” Yet the more I thought about it, the more it appealed to me. I’ve been thinking a lot about my book–I always do in the off-season–and even more so after seeing the trailer for the new King Arthur movie that’s coming soon. It’s as if the universe is saying, “Hey, Nik – pay attention! There’s a reason they call it a legend. People are still interested. So finish your freaking novel!”

I took the hint.

My current Camp NaNoWriMo bullet journal page (click to enlarge); banner courtesy of NaNoWriMo and bookshelf courtesy of Boho Berry aka Kara Benz.

I pinged my bestie M on Facebook and asked her if we were going to Camp, and she (a little too readily for my waffling heart) agreed. I really like her flash fiction plan, and of course I’m returning to Reese’s world. So between now and April 1, I’ve got lots to do:

  • finish up my bullet journal Camp page(s)–as you see from the snapshot, I’ve already added the official Camp plot bunny banner (so awesome) and Kara’s bookshelf that I’ll use to track my word count (1,000 words/book). I still have a couple of things to add like title banners, additional tasks and the like.
  • review where I left off in the story;
  • find November’s outline so I know where I’m going;
  • make any necessary edits in Scrivener; and
  • celebrate my birthday!

I do hope to keep you guys up to date with letters home from camp this April, which I neglected to do last summer, so stay tuned. I’ve also tweaked the Curse of Camlann synopsis page, and here’s hoping last year’s COC playlist remains inspiring as it has in the past. I thought you might be curious about the story, so I’ve created a new COC excerpt page and shared a scene written at the end of NaNo.

Happy reading and writing, everyone!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Comes To An End

Well, hello, beauties. I’m going to keep this short and sweet, because the following image says it all:

nnwm2016win

I managed to fit it two writing sessions today, one this morning and one tonight. Sometimes, I found myself doing a little editing (and telling myself out loud to stop it), but I soldiered on. I didn’t stop even when I knew I’d hit the 50,000 goal but finished the scene. That’s when I did my happy Kermit dance, texted Meagan and sent out the tweet.

There’s still work to do on this novel before it’s finished, as I think I’m now about 75% done with it. I’m also hoping some of the habits I started during November will continue on into December and the new year.

So for all of you still plugging along, I wish you speedy fingers and vivid imaginations so that you too can join us in the winners circle!

NaNoWriMo Day 25 – Back in Action

Merlin's Cave, Tintagel
Merlin’s Cave, Tintagel

After time away from the blog, I’m back to let you know I’m THIS close to winning this thing we call National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been writing off and on this week while on my Thanksgiving vacation, all the while navigating my holiday duties. There have been choir rehearsals and games of Scrabble with Mom where words related to the holiday get triple the points. My bestie and I also had two back-to-back writing days, which helped catapult my word count much further that it might have been otherwise.

She’s managed to win already, by the way, while spending a couple of days at her in-laws to boot. So yay for Meagan!

Not to be outdone, I booted up the laptop, got out my lap desk and outline, and got to work. Okay, yes, perhaps I got a little distracted by the movies playing on the free preview weekend premium channels in the background. I still managed to crank out 3,168 words during today’s session, which was more than half of what I had left to write.

So I leave you with an image of Merlin’s Cave where my characters went adventuring today, and words of encouragement for any of you who aren’t quite as far along. Don’t give up! I know I’m not going to, especially when I can see that winner’s circle so close in the distance. Even if you’re a little farther away from reaching that elusive 50,000 mark than I, each and every word you write is one step closer to getting there.

Trust me. Even if you haven’t finished your book, and it’s looking like this will be the third year in a row on this one with “the end” still a ways off, keep writing. We’ll get there I promise!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 18

penrhyncastle
Penrhyn Castle, Wales

I’m sure you’ve been wondering what happened since it’s been a couple of days since you’ve heard from me. Well, since Tuesday, I’ve had two lunch writing sessions with my friend at work, a lot of busy work and the usual choir practice. I’ve also had another evening session at my diner, which is quickly becoming my favorite non-home place to write. It’s hard to beat a place with good burgers, great BLTs and the bestest french fries you can get.

You’d be amazed how much writing you can get done with a nice big pile of warm and crispy fries at your elbow. *wink*

They also have a decent hot chocolate for when the cold front blows into Texas and drops the temps from the 80s to the 60s in a matter of hours. All in all, I managed to get my word count back up, although I am now only two days ahead instead of three because I took a couple of nights off in a row this week. Never fear, fellow wrimos, I’ve officially started my Thanksgiving vacation, and I don’t have to be back to work until Monday the 28th. Not to mention having back-to-back writing sessions with my bestie that will (hopefully) make my word counts skyrocket by this coming Monday evening.

All in all, I’m pretty excited to see when I finish this year. Probably not as excited as my female main character Rowena, who’s found herself unexpectedly sharing a hotel room with my novel’s hero due to a booking snafu, but then we can’t all be shacked up with a hot, handsome knight of Camelot, now can we? :)

 

NaNoWriMo 2016, Day 15

dcbobmshellsww_shecandoitHello from my local diner, where I’ve just finished today’s writing session with my bestie. I’m trying to get this written before my battery gives out on me, so this might be short and sweet once again.

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve gotten behind the keyboard. After managing to type almost 1600 words Sunday morning, whatever bug has been going around not only my office but my community college had finally caught up with me. I was down for the count for a day and a half, and no writing was to be had.

Fortunately, I was still a couple days ahead so I didn’t have to worry that I’d fall behind. In fact, with today’s word count, I’m back to being three days ahead, and that’s a nifty feeling. So is hitting that 29,000 mark as well. I think it’s very fitting that when I flipped over my DC Bombshells calendar that it was Wonder Woman (my most favorite superhero of all time) who was this month’s pinup girl, and that her motto of “She can do it!” was boldly written as well.

What better motto is there for a month of 50,000 words in 30 days than that?

 

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 12

whiteguy_goalGood evening! I think this post is going to be short and sweet tonight because I’ve been running at full speed since oh, Thursday morning and I hit some significant goals today. Considering I didn’t write Wednesday or Thursday, although yesterday I did manage to flesh out the remainder of my novel’s outline and add it to my nifty new writing journal, reaching those goals to stay ahead are even better. What are they? Well, I’m so glad you asked!

  1. Reached 25,000 words on day 12 (that’s today, in case you’ve forgotten), which is 3 days early.
  2. Attaining goal #1 also means it’s the earliest I’ve ever had that many words in the bank in all my years of participating in NaNoWriMo.
  3. Because of goal #1, I get to color in the remaining books on Page 1 of my word count tracker in my bullet journal, something I didn’t even come close to doing this summer at Camp.
  4. Goal #1 allowed me to surpass my prior highest single day word count, clocking in a total of 3,829 in a little under four hours.

All in all, I’d say I had a pretty good day. Since it started out with a morning playing in clay at ceramics class with my mom, ’twas a great day all around.

I’m off to bed, my wrimos. Catch up with you all tomorrow!