You’re not imagining things, it’s really me!

Hello Writerverse, it’s been a while! A lot has happened in the seven–wow, seven?!–months since I last posted here on my blog. I had no idea it had been that long, and I need to make up for that. So I’ll take this time to get y’all caught up on what’s been going on. Beware, this is gonna be a long one. :)

the endFirst and foremost, the big news: I. Finished. Writing. My. First. Novel! Yes, you read that correctly. Last November 30th at the end of NaNoWriMo, I wrote the words “The End” on the last page of my manuscript for Curse of Camelot! I was with my bestie, and the second after typing those words, I clapped my hands over my mouth to keep from screaming out loud. Meagan, of course, knew instantly what I’d accomplished, and she grinned at me. A moment later, we were boogieing like idiot teenagers.

I took the next four months off until I half-heartedly attempted to participate in April’s Camp NaNoWriMo to edit the rest of COC. I failed miserably, and the manuscript sat another month and a half until Meagan and I went on our second annual Belletristes writing retreat in Fredericksburg. Having already spent nearly three weeks without air conditioning due to a busted compressor, I was more than ready for time away from home and getting back to writing.

Two momentous events happened that week, the first being my second big accomplishment with Camelot: I completed the copy edits of the full manuscript on 7 June. Another boogie session ensued with my bestie, and I celebrated by tossing the original first draft pages into the air for one of my Instagram posts. Then we each plowed through a pint of our favorite ice cream while watching my favorite movie, Ladyhawke. Meagan went to bed early (she was being a good mom and heading back home at the crack of dawn to attend my oldest nephew’s fifth grade graduation) and I stayed up to watch my new favorite dance movie, High Strung, then I too went to bed.

Little did I know my world was about to blow up into smithereens the next day.

I got up Friday morning, smiled at the note Meagan had left, and ate my breakfast bagel before getting down to work at 7:30. I started transcribing my edits into Word, and broke for lunch around noon. My bestie called to say she’d be on her way back shortly, and I got back to transcribing. When my cell rang again, I picked it up and automatically glanced at the caller ID, and stopped breathing.

It was the animal hospital where I was boarding my Molly calling, and I knew  they wouldn’t be contacting me if she was okay. As the conversation continued, my heart ached, the tears I cried (okay, sobbed) made me almost incoherent as I tried to comprehend the details being relayed by the on-call vet. The entire time, I sat in the chair in front of the window staring out of it and waiting for my sister-bestie to get back so I wouldn’t be alone in a rental cottage without transportation 78 miles away.

Molly
Molly Maru (1998-2018)

You see, my kitty had developed fluid in her chest from her heart murmur or her kidney disease or possibly cancer, and it was hard for her to breathe and she would most likely not get better. So I had to make The Decision all pet owners avoid as long as possible, and I had to do it long distance. I knew what was best for her, and to do anything else would have been horribly selfish. Fortunately, my very good friend works a receptionist at WLAH, and loved my kitty almost as much as me. Caryn was with Molly for me as my baby girl left this world to join Tink in Kitty Heaven, and also agreed to keep her until I could see her one last time on Monday.

As you can imagine, my emotions have been on a roller-coaster ride the last three weeks. Some days, I’m the Walking Dead as I shuffle around the house desperately missing my cat. Others, I’m inspired to work on this or that for my novels, and her being gone hurts a little less. Part of why I continued with FMS’s Instagram June Photo A Day challenge was to have something different I could focus on. My July is shaping up to be enormously busy too, what with taking on three challenges simultaneously: 25,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo, Kara’s bullet journal #bohoberrychallenge, and NaNoWriMo’s #InstaWrimo challenge from April.

Here’s to getting back to normal and reconnecting with my shapeshifters. I’ve been away from them too long, and I could use some old friends to talk to instead of a few empty rooms.

Good luck in July, fellow Campers. I’ll be back around the campfire starting Sunday, so see you there!

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NaNoWriMo Day 13: Checking In

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a few days since I’ve checked in, and I thought the start of a new week, and the Monday after a long holiday weekend, would be a good time for it. Well, I’ve just finished writing for the day, and although I didn’t quite make the NaNo recommended minimum, I’m still a little ahead of the game. I’d like to have a bigger word count cushion, and more days like I did on the 10th when I cranked out 3,500 words in three hours.

Perhaps I need the delicious scent of chili bubbling away in a crock pot to inspire me. Who knows. Thing is, I’m not quite sure if it’s the characters giving me a hard time, or the scenarios I’m putting them in, or some other outside unseen factor. I know that yesterday during the first library writing session I’d scheduled with M, I had a hell of a time writing the first scene where my guy and girl meet. I knew they weren’t going to get along at first–you know, fine line between hate and love and all that–but I really had a problem with the confrontation.

I eventually got past it, but I have to tell you, this thing isn’t moving as quickly onto the page as I’d hoped. Maybe it’s because I’m starting something new instead of sticking with the familiar. Maybe I’m hearing the voices of Novels Unfinished calling to me and I’m having trouble tuning them out. Maybe this romance isn’t as “simple” as I thought it would be. Whichever of these is the answer, I’m hoping it’ll all work itself out.

I can tell you that once again I will be nowhere near finished with this novel by the time I hit that 50,000 mark at the end of the month. But every word written today is more than I had yesterday, right?

NaNoWriMo Day 3: Not Too Shabby

Hi everyone! How was your writing today? For me, it was my second day of double writing sessions, one during lunch and then one after work. I’m once again ahead of the daily minimum count, although I didn’t quite write enough to surpass my bestie. (Yes, we’re that competitive when it comes to word count, LOL.) I can live with that, considering I’ll still have a big chunk of Saturday after ceramics class to put words on the page, not to mention the marathon writing session M and I have planned for Sunday.

If you can believe it, we’re going to head out for breakfast at 8 AM, then write as much as we can until it’s time for a late lunch. Sound familiar? It should. It’s very reminiscent of our retreat schedule. I’m hoping it means I can crank out some serious word count and put myself ahead by a lot. A lot, a lot.

Next week is also a holiday week with the observance of Veterans Day, so I might get to sneak in an extra session of writing even as Mom and I take advantage of my day off and add an extra ceramics class as well. Ooh, I just realized that my heroine’s best friend herself is a veteran, so I’ll have to give her a shout out next week.

As it is, with my evening writing, I finished chapter three. I like it when I can end the day in such a nice fashion. I don’t know about you, but it bugs me when I’m so completely tired and over the day that I have no choice but to quit in mid-scene. That also happens at work when I’m on a time limit and I really want to keep going but the Powers That Be require me to get back to work.

I suppose that’s just another reason for me to get one of these novels finished so that writing can be my permanent day job! =]

Happy writing, friends, and until next time!

Camp NaNoWriMo Results

Okay so I realize it’s been over a week since I’ve checked in with you guys, and there’s a perfectly logical explanation for that. You see, after hitting my word count goal of 15,000 at lunch on Friday, April 21st–yay me!–I was all ready to tell you guys about it. But Meagan and I had another writing session scheduled for Tuesday, so I thought I’d wait until then to see what my final final word count would be.

Unfortunately, pain in the form of migraines and back aches had me feeling awful so I had to cancel my meetup with my BFF, and no blogging occurred. Fortunately, I’m feeling a lot better now. In fact, I have officially validated my word count and I am excited to share this with you:

CampWinnerBadge

That is the official winner badge for Camp NaNoWriMo 2017, and I’m very proud of it. Especially since I’ve participated in Camp before but never reached my goal, it’s a nifty little keepsake. I’ll be checking out the store to see what other goodies I can get to celebrate; you know me, gotta have the swag. *grin*

Since it’s still frelling early on Sunday morning (my cat decided I was not about to sleep past 6:55 AM this morning), I’m going to continue to celebrate by binging some more Chuck (I’m on Season 2, disc 4) and just enjoying the rest of my weekend. Stay tuned, however. I’ll be keeping you guys in the know on my upcoming retreat with Meagan and on any further writing adventures between now and then.

Happy writing to you all, and congratulations to everyone who also reached their goals for Camp NaNoWriMo 2017!

Okay, this Camp thing is kinda fun

Happy MinionsHappy Saturday, my fellow campers! I come to you from another successful writing work session with my BFF. We’ve spent a productive couple of hours in the camp’s cafeteria, and although M finished up her writing before me, I beat her on overall word count. I admit, I’m getting a significant amount of pleasure out of that! On most days, she wallops me on such things, while I am still the Queen of overall project words written.

It’s actually kind of amazing how much I’ve written on this project, and I’m still learning where the story goes. It’s true I’m working from an outline–c’mon folks, I’m a planner extraordinaire–but it always fascinated me to see what ends up on the page from my notes. What might be a sentence fragment in my writer’s notebook often ends up as almost 1,500 words typed into Scrivener. Kind of like tonight.

Anyhoo, I’ll keep this short because a) I’ve got a yummy grilled cheese and fries for dinner that’s calling my name, and b) it’s Saturday night so I think I’ll end the day streaming some Netflix as I relax into my evening.

Happy writing, all!

Camp Stats

Days written: 5
Daily word count/goal: 1,383/500
Word count to date/target: 6,143/15,000

Just Another Day at Camp

SnoopyWoodstockCampingHello again, my friends. I’ve emerged from my cabin for another day of writing after having hidden myself away for a couple of days. Sunday was a little more traumatic than expected as I ended up spending time hiding under my bunk bed during the the tornado warning and thread of damaging winds that blew through Austin that morning. Once the threat had passed, I decided an afternoon binge marathon was in order and immersed myself in catching up with the episodes of “The Flash” including the awesome “Duet” that I’ve seen at least four times now since it aired.

Monday was a work day, and a busy one. It ended with the last of my birthday dinners at Maggiano’s (mmm, calamari) and sorting all the lovely new Prismacolor colored pencils I’d gotten as a gift from the parents. My new owl Oliver kept me company, as did Molly.

Fortunately, I’d already planned to meet up with my BFF for a camp writing work session tonight, and I wrote much better than I did on Saturday. I even managed to play catch up and get ahead of the game. You know, it’s so much easier to have a word count goal of 500 words a day instead of the 1,667 in November. It’s also so easy to get ahead that I’ll have to be careful that I don’t slack of in the interim.

Here’s hoping I’ll keep my momentum going into tomorrow, even if I’m likely to get distracted for the rest of the evening with my pretty new colored pencils. ;]

Camp Stats

Days written: 2
Daily word count goal: 500
Word count to date: 2, 575/15,000

NaNoWriMo Day 3: Iffy

changeresistantHello writers everywhere! Today’s post is going to be shorter than yesterday’s, and in the stolen (with her permission) format of one of my new friends and fellow newbie Wrimos. (Hi, Kate!)

After a quick dinner, I tossed in a movie, booted up the laptop, reviewed my plot notes and began typing. Fortunately, because I was ahead of the game yesterday, I wasn’t too worried if I wasn’t as productive as my awesome day two. So here’s how it went:

Today’s Word Count: 1,856

Total Word Count: 6,928

Writing Time: Too long for the number of words put to page.

Feeling: Relaxed, toasty warm and satisfied.

Motivation: Staying ahead in the word count, and my donation to NaNoWriMo earlier in the day that earned me my halo. See:

Inspiration: Watching movies with knights and heroes in them (Ladyhawke and Crossworlds, both starring the totally awesome Rutger Hauer).

Biggest Triumph: Sticking with it and adding another day’s worth of words into the tally instead of giving in.

Biggest Setback: Losing my momentum when distractions such as a nosy kitty walking across my lap or having to rework my “lapdesk” setup because it was not comfortable and therefore not conducive to writing.

Helpful Insights: I really should only listen to music when writing. It’s just too easy for me to get distracted by a movie or TV show, even if I’ve seen it a hundred times before. Case in point: knowing by the music alone when my two favorite scenes from Ladyhawke were on, and pausing to watch them (and yes, tear up) before trying to get back to work.

So that’s it for November 3rd. Tomorrow is another chance to keep racking up those words before I have a long day/night on Wednesday, so I’ll see you tomorrow!