I’m back… and just in time for NaNo

Yes, it’s true. You’re actually reading a new blog post by little old me. I’m really back! The last time you heard from me back in June, I was preparing for July’s Camp NaNoWriMo and my first-ever homemade writers retreat with my bestie. Well, Camp itself was a bit of a bust, but what did go splendidly well was our retreat.

For me, it was a chance to see what life would be like as a full-time writer instead of an only-in-November one. I had a schedule, and I stuck with it: have some breakfast, write for four hours, have some lunch, then back to writing for another five hours.

It was, quite honestly, amazing.

I really, really liked the feel of those three days. Quite often I wrote past my stop alarm because I was that close to the end of the scene and wanted to get it done. I clocked in a word count of over 18,000 words in three days, but that last Sunday afternoon I struggled to add words to the count. It took me a good hour of only kinda sorta necessary research to figure out I was procrastinating. I also realized I’d reached the three-quarters done mark of my book.

Which meant I was almost done writing the first draft of a novel.

Which meant I was at the same place I’d been with Boyfriend Experiment the last time I stalled out and didn’t finish.

Which means I haven’t written a word since July 23rd.

Fast-forward to this month’s Preptober discussions with my bestie about what we’re going to work on for NaNoWriMo. I know I should pick up COC and finish it. I know this. Maybe it’s the excuse-maker in me, but I’m pretty sure part of why I procrastinated was I have no idea how to end the book. There are too many ways it could go, and I’m not sure which is the right one.

Prep_tober
Is your NaNoWriMo prep complete?

I don’t care what you say, endings are fracking scary.

Thus I took the path of least resistance and decided on traditional romance for November. I’m going back to the basics–no prophecies, no magic and no trying to remember where I put a certain plot point or added an important detail so that I don’t screw up the semi-complex story line. It’s set in my fictional Texas city of Kilcavan, and will include a boy and a girl, horses and a hurricane, and a little jealousy thrown in for kicks.

I’m sure this will be another good NaNoWriMo. I’ve set up numerous writing sessions with work and non-work friends. I’ve got a new bullet journal layout with a nifty grid of milestones to earn toward rewards at the end of each of its six levels that will track my progress along with my usual word count bookcase.

This year I also have Lois Lane of Daily Planet fame watching over me and inspiring me when I’m at home (click here to see my Instagram fangirl geekout over her arrival). When I’m elsewhere, I’ll have my ever-present companion Snoopy along with his new buddy Mars, a small toy statue that looks exactly like Cal’s mustang.

I’m off to binge as many episodes of Smallville as I can between now and November 1 when writing begins, because once NaNoWriMo starts, no more TV until the day’s word count is met. :)

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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!

NaNoWriMo 2016 Day 10

typewriterladyGood evening, my fellow writers and wrimos! It’s November 10th, and we’re one third of the way through this crazy adventure we call National Novel Writing Month. It’s been a pretty awesome day on my end. Although I had to go to work today, I knew it was going to be a short day due to the early release our organization usually has the day before a company holiday. I arrived to find the perfect parking spot waiting for me, one on the front row next to the stairs so that one side of my Bullitt Mustang would be protected. Okay, yes, I had to repark a couple of times until I was satisfied with my positioning in the spot, but that’s old news, LOL.

I also had a planned lunch write-in with my friend and fellow NaNo-er Kelly, and when the hour was done, I’d clocked in 1,182 words when I hadn’t had any idea where I was going to start going in. Not to mention my meal itself was a tasty one — leftover ‘boom-boom’ enchiladas from my favorite Tex-Mex place with a bit of green chile rice and refried beans on the side.

For a moment I thought my day of good karma would be derailed by absolutely awful traffic at 2:30 p.m.; it took me way too long to get where I was going and I started to get frustrated. All was forgiven, however, when I got to the store and found not one but both things I’d been hoping to find, and both were on a major sale to boot.

With another errand to run, I headed back into traffic and once again the congestion that is Austin reared its head and I puttered along. Exasperated, I finally reached my exit and left the highway, and a closing store sign caught my eye. Never one to pass up a sale, especially at an OfficeMax where magical things like notebooks and pens and other goodies lived, I stopped in. After an hour wheeling around the rapidly shrinking store, I came away with at least one thing I truly needed: a nifty bluetooth mouse (aka no USB that would take up a spot I might need later) for my spiffy new laptop upon which I am writing this very blog post.

Friends, I can tell you that was the best impulse buy to date. This little mouse is slick and smooth and even though the online reviews said I couldn’t turn off my laptop’s touch pad when using an external mouse, guess what? I can! So as I began this evening’s writing session, I was in such a good place I added another 2,270 words to my count.

lunareclipseoctober2014What a day!

I also really enjoyed what I was writing today, especially the bits about eclipses and comets and astral events. You see, each of these are needed in order to break my character’s curse, and it was fun seeing how his lady reacted when learning of all the pertinent details. When I started writing this story way back in 2014, the lunar eclipse in question hadn’t yet occurred so I couldn’t include a nifty picture of it like the one here. Now, though, there’s all kinds of info on it that I can use in my story to add those details that just make it a much richer story.

So I leave you tonight a happy gal for many reasons. I’m further ahead in my word count that I’ve ever been in all my years of doing NaNo. Because I didn’t quit with my lunch session due to being already ahead in the word count, I now get to watch my Blu-ray of “Star Trek: Beyond” I picked up at Target as my reward. On top of that, tomorrow’s Veterans Day and a holiday for us, which means I get to sleep in late before picking up Mom for some breakfast and then an extra day of pottery class.

Not a bad place to be, huh?


Speaking of Veterans Day, thank you to all those who are currently serving or have served in our armed forced, including my grandfather. GO NAVY!