Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm still here

Hi!  I'm still here post-nano.  I'm feeling very glad that I reached 50k, and that NaNoWriMo doesnt' happen in December.  Whew!  I've been up to my eyeballs in busy-ness!  I feel like Shari, the busiest girl in the world, right now. 

So I'm still planning to have the end of my novel written and at least something in draft form by the end of January.  But looking at the calendar, I'm not going to get started before 2011 does...  It's in the back of my mind though.  I'm pretty sure I know what happens next... and maybe last....unless it changes. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Check this out!


I couldn't make it work at work.  But I WANT to....  Leave a comment if it works for you!

Final Countdown NaNoWriMo 2010

This says it all about today's Nano!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We did it!!

We did it!!  The three of us finished our 50k last night!  Honestly, I was beginning to wonder it I was going to make it.  I was running out of steam and there seemed to be so many other things that I needed to do.  You know those important things, like laundry, dishes, Thanksgiving, and putting up a Christmas tree.  (none of which I have finished yet, except Thanksgiving).  Thank goodness for Allen and Shari.  Allen came over with his lap top yesterday.  We both sat at the kitchen table and had word war after word war until it was finished.  We skyped Shari in a few times to battle and then to toast. 

Shari's fingers flew over the keyboard and she smoked us to the finish line.  Allen was close behind her and beat me by a full 2000 words, then they patiently waited for me to catch up while challenging me and adding to their own word counts. 

I love the feeling of finishing a NaNoWriMo.  I'm a finisher.  A winner!  My story isn't finished yet.  I have some work to do still.  The third island is taking more than I planned and I think when editing comes around I'm going to find that I will need to add to the first two islands and trim from the third.  I thought that I was going to take December off from writing, but when I woke up this morning I was anxious to get behind the keyboard again.  So maybe I'll keep writing through December.  I think it will be wisest if I do.  I don't want to forget where I'm going with the story and I'm not to far off.  My goal is to have it all written by the end of January.  That gives me 60 days to finish up.  I know I can do that.  I just did 50,000 words in 30 days!!

Thanks for everything guys!!  This was amazing!  We only have 11 months until we start it all over.  Start outlining now!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day.  A day to spend with your family and be thankful for all we have.  Our health, our family, our friends, and in this economy our jobs.  This year I am also thankful for Nano.  Without it I may not have found the courage and the focus to write my story for many more years, if ever.  Without the Nano challenge I may not have the support from my friends and family to be able to work on the story.  I do have that support this November, and I'm thankful for it.

Tomorrow is also the first day that the Nano website opens up the word count validater.  That feels like a deadline.  The validater is only open for 5 days.  From November 25 through the 30th.  I still have 8000 words to type up in order to reach the goal, and now the pressure is back on.  I'm afraid that if I get the words in at the last minute the website will be overwhelmed with other Wrimo's who finished at the last possible moment and it could crash.  What if it can't get to me and I don't win?  I know that I will "win" whether the site counts my words or not.  I will finish.  But I really want the purple bar. 

That's right.  The blue bars on the nano site that track your word count progress turn green when you have reached the 50,000 word count.  Then they turn purple when the site validates it.  Tomorrow we will see green bars turning purple as those who have reached 50K already get their rewards.   I'm looking forward to seeing my bar turn those colors.  It's like getting a gold star!  (which I also really like)  

It's the little things for me.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I'm thankful for you as well.

EDIT:  Someone in Australia already has the purple bar, I just saw it change....  *sigh*

Monday, November 22, 2010


I dreamed about the Travelling Shovel of Death last night.  It wasn't a scary dream and it was unrelated to my story, but I can't remember any of it now.  Only that I was surprised to be dreaming about the TSoD and trying to work in my story to make the dream make sense. 

November is catching up with me. 

I'm pushing for my 40,000 today (How did I get so behind? Oh, that's right, I did some fun things this weekend.  That was the trade off I guess.).  My buddies are both quite a bit ahead of me at the moment.  That is what is motivating me to keep going.  I hate being LAST.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Race time!!

Race to 40,000....

Shariware you are welcome to join us (I'm afraid we have a slight head start, but you have flying fingers, so I'm not sure who should be more worried actually).

Garnet Gal (Clementine) and RamblingAllen are racing to 40,000 words.  Allen beat me to 30,000 by the skin of his teeth!!!  I'm not planning to slack off this time, but I do have a lot on my plate the next 48 hours or so. 

Here is hoping Allen can't find the time to write any more easily than I can this weekend!! 

And we're off!!.......................

New Words and Old Words.

Each year Websters dictionary adds new words to its files.  (I say "files" because who had a current dictionary in their home these days?  If you want to look up a word where do you go?  Online.  hence - files.)  I don't know if they remove any.  Does the dictionary simply continue to get bigger each year as we make up new words?   

Here is a list of some of the words that were added in 2009.  I didn't find the 2010 list and assume that it hasn't been released yet. 
carbon footprint
green collar
fan fiction
flash mob
sock puppet
memory foam
zip line

I don't think many of those would be hard to add to our Nanovels.  Old words are trickier.

I found a website called Save The Words.  It's a cute site, you should check it out.  http://www.savethewords.org/

So when you're going about your blateration, I would be gnathonized if you used some of these floculations in your Nanovel.   It's a challenge. 
Happy writing!
PS.  Blogger spell check didn't like many of the news words and none of the old ones...

Word Counts and Dedications


Have you been following the forums?  Have you seen how many people have already crossed the 50,000 word mark?  Let me tell you, it's a lot.  And people started crossing the path last week (several in the first week, even).  I've seen people posting of the forums who have over 100,000 words. 

My first instinct is to be jealous of these authors.  My second is to be skeptical.

When I click on the authors information I see that, more often than not, these are people who live and breathe writing.  They are prolific writers and have serious hobbies.  So I'm jealous of the time they have available to write.  This is a generalization here:  I haven't looked at every single profile, but of the ones that I have clicked on; it does turn out that they often have nothing else to do.  No job to go to, no family to cook for or tuck into bed, and sometimes no lover to warm the sheets for them.  I have all of those things which takes up time which I could be writing.  But I wouldn't be happy without them (well, maybe without the job, but who wouldn't be?).

I'm skeptical of their word counts.  Maybe not necessarily the count itself, though early on in the month I certainly was.  I find I'm skeptical of the quality.  Could this really be great writing done so fast.  The answer is yes.  It could absolutely be fantastic writing that I would enjoy reading.  But the chances are it's not.  However, that's true of the novels that are only 15,000 words in as well.  These are still only rough drafts.  And for some of us, these are simply practice.  As Randy Ingermanson said "you get good at writing fiction by writing fiction".   It takes practice.  Going slow or fast does not ensure quality, only quantity. 

So, I guess I have to just learn to ignore those bars that turned green when the author hit 50,000.  There will be more and more of those as the month goes on.  I've just got concentrate on my own writing to make sure it's something I'd read and to hit the 50,000 mark.  This is great practice. 


Are you thinking about putting a dedication in your Nanovel?  I saw the question posed in a forum and was surprised that I hadn't thought of it.  I like to read them in novels.  I love it when they are funny and not just a list of thank yous.  I like to see them in codes that only the recipients of the thank you would understand.  It feels like reading a secret love letter when it's coded. 

The forum had Wrimo's posting their dedications.  Many went to deceased parents and grandparents.  Many went to best friends who had put up with Wrimo's during the month of November craziness.  And some went to spouses and boyfriends/girlfriends who helped with the daily to do list in November. 

I haven't written one (and won't for this month unless I need a short burst of word count to finish, which I don't anticipate).  I know who to thank in the dedication.  I know who my true supporters are.  And I hope that they all already know that I love them and thank them for their valuable time and effort this month and every month.  But the dedication isn't for thanking people for their help on the published book  It is supposed to be a meaningful tribute for someone important.  So I think I'll thank my friends and family personally, and I'll dedicate the book to Mr. Ian Woon.

Monday, November 15, 2010

NaNo made it to The Snowflake Guy's E-zine.

I get a monthly E-Zine from an author named Randy Ingermanson.  Almost every month there is something in there that teaches me to think about my writing differently, even for just a second.  This month he talks about cliff hangars and how to keep the reader on the hook...  It's quite interesting and I will be using some of his tips in the next few chapters.  He started this months e-zine talking about his feelings on NaNoWriMo.  And it makes sense to me!   I've added it here.   I'd be happy to forward the email to you if you want it.  Let me know.  :) 

National Novel Writing Month

The biggest mistake fiction writers make is failing to spend enough hours actually writing fiction.  That seems odd, doesn't it? A tennis player gets good by playing tennis. A pilot gets good by flying. Seems like a fiction writer would know that you get good at writing fiction by writing fiction.

The trouble is that it's easy to sit down and start a novel. That hard part is staying seated and continuing to write. The excitement of doing the exact same thing as Stephen King and Nora Roberts lasts about twenty

After that, reality sets in. A typical novel is 60000 to 120000 words. Even if you could type 100 words per
minute, it would take ten to twenty hours to type it all in.

But very few writers can write fiction at 100 words per minute. A novelist who puts out 1000 words per hour is considered pretty fast. That amounts to fewer than 17 words per minute.

So now the job amounts to 60 to 120 hours -- if you're fast.

If you can only squeeze out 100 words per hour, it's going to run you 600 to 1200 hours to get that first draft done. And yes, some writers have trouble managing that pace. It's slower than two words per minute, or
about one letter every six seconds.

Writing a novel is a boatload of work.

What this means is that a lot of novelists never finish their novel. They'll get rolling, type out a chapter or two, take it to a critique group, and then realize that this writing game is a whole harder than it looks.

It's easy to fill up your time doing all the other good things that a novelist needs to do. Reading excellent fiction. Studying the craft. Getting critiqued. Planning the novel.

But never actually writing the darned thing.

That's why I like National Novel Writing Month. The goal of NaNoWriMo is simple: Write 50000 words in 30 days. That's 1666 words per day -- a challenging goal, but doable.
There are critics who'll tell you that, oh sure, you can drill out a crappy novel in 30 days, but it's impossible to write a good one in that length of time.

Sure, it's impossible if you believe it's impossible. But I know a fair number of published novelists who've
written a novel in 30 days or less. Good novels --ready to go to the publisher for editing. Some of these
folks are New York Times best-selling authors. Others have won major awards.

If you can write a novel at all, you can write one in 30 days. If your skills aren't up to snuff yet, then no, you can't write a good novel in 30 days. But if you have good craft, then yes, you can write an excellent novel in 30 days.

Either way, fire breeds fire, and fiction writing breeds fiction writing. If you take the NaNoWriMo challenge and meet your goal, you're going to stretch yourself as a writer. You'll come out of it a better and more confident writer.

Most importantly, you'll have done something that only a small fraction of people on this planet have ever done. You'll have written a complete novel.

Whether the quality is good or not, quantity matters. Having done it the first time is the best indicator that you'll do it again.

You may be wondering if I eat my own dog food. Have I ever written a novel in 30 days? The answer is yes. I did it once, under a tight deadline. But it wasn't a mere 50000 words. It was 90000 words. It was hard work, 3000 words per day, and for most of those days I thought I was going to die.

But I didn't die. I wrote the thing in a white fury. The faster I wrote, the easier it came. I finished the book a day early. It was my best piece of work.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?

If so, carry on. Don't stop now. Losers quit. Winners can't.

If you're not doing it this year, think about next year. What have you got to lose by trying? You grow by
challenging yourself and then executing the challenge.

You can check out National Novel Writing Month here: http://www.NaNoWriMo.org

Distasteful legal babble that Randy Ingermanson asks to be added if someone uses his e-zine in a personal blog:  Award-winning novelist Randy Ingermanson, "the Snowflake Guy," publishes the Advanced Fiction Writing
E-zine, with more than 23,000 readers, every month. If you want to learn the craft and marketing of fiction,
AND make your writing more valuable to editors, AND have FUN doing it, visit http://www.AdvancedFictionWriting.com.
Download your free Special Report on Tiger Marketing and get a free 5-Day Course in How To Publish a Novel.

The Third Week!!

According to the forums, which I haunt regularly these days as if I have nothing else to do, say that week 2 is the hardest one.  They way I understand it the first week is like a honeymoon; your are all set to write and can't wait to see what the future holds, everything is rosy.  Week 2 is when you figure out that being married is hard work; your writing has become harder to schedule and your story has gone where you didn't expect it to and it worries you. Week 3 is when you get yourself back on track and it starts to feel better and kind of normal, like you meant for it to happen like that. Week 4 is the sprint to the finish line.

Today we are exactly halfway through the month.  If you aren't halfway done writing by the days end, you are running behind.  It's one of those days where you can measure your progress.  Some people can also say that they are halfway through with their novel.  I thought that I was going to be one of those people.  They way I had it planned in my head (because I never got it fully written out on paper) I would be turning a corner into the third section of my story.  Surprisingly, I can see the corner from here, but I'm not close enough to it to make the turn yet, without running into an obstacle.  And I'm fine with that.  

50,000 words is simply the target for November.  It doesnt' have to define my novel and put it in a box that is only 50,000 words big.  I'm hopeful that the words will tumble over the top of the box.  Many of them will be edited out and thrown away anyway. 

Allen and I challenged each other to race from 25,000 to 30,000 by midnight (last night).  The last to reach the deadline owed the other coffee one morning this week.  This is a typical tortoise and the hare story.  I chugged along all day (and talked smack to Allen during the coarse of it).  At 29,500 words, I have family obligations that I was glad to stop writing for.  In hindsight, I could have asked my husband for a few more minutes.  I was on a roll and only had 2 paragraphs more to write (more or less) to win.  I didn't though.  I thought about the finish line at midnight and knew that Allen had things to do during the day as well.  And I assumed I would be able to plunk out those last few words after dinner and still cross the finish line first.   Guess what...  he beat me.  And I'm glad!!!  I'm excited to have coffee with my friend this week.  We have seen very little of each other this month.  I'm happy that his word count pushed to 30k (and mine is so close).  I'm glad that I was able to tangent off for a whole day on a character whose back story turned out to be sort of important.  Almost 5000 words have been written, just to get me to the bridge so I can go to the next island.

I'm thankful for the writing time I got this weekend.  I won't have that next weekend and I'm already mourning that.  Now, I'll just concentrate on keeping my word count up each day and I'll finish well ahead of time.  Week 3!!  It's too late to turn back now. I'm 3/5 of the way there!!! 

Happy writing!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Plot Devices and Word Padding

     There are two plot devices that float around the Nano universe.  Well, there are more than two, I'm sure, but these two are annually reoccurring and specific to Nano only.  Mr. Ian Woon and the Travelling Shovel of Death (TSoD). 

     Mr. Ian Woon is an anagram for NaNoWriMo.  The trick is simply to work him into your novel somewhere.  I think this one can be fairly simple.  "The grocers name tag said Mr. Ian Woon, though I knew his name was Fred." "The science teacher was a very tall, very dark skinned, man whose name was Mr. Ian Woon.  MC thought that was not a fitting name for a man who more resembled a star basketball player rather than a geeky oriental physicist".  (lots of stereotyping in that last one, sorry).   It could be the name of the cab driver, a high school boyfriend, the boy who sat next to you in first grade.  There are a lot of possible ways to mention him in passing.   
    I had considered making him a prison guard in my story.  But I think then his title would have had to change to Sergeant, or... officer(?), and the Mr. is pretty important.  I'm planning to put him in somewhere.  I think it is a very fun Easter Egg to place in the story.  Imagine reading a book that you picked up at your favorite Bookseller and finding Mr. Ian Woon flit through the pages.  You would certainly know that the author went through the same brain damage that you've gone through this November!

    The Travelling Shovel of Death is harder to work in.  The point here is to kill off a character in an unexpected fashion.  That might be hard to work in for some novels.  How often is your character carrying around a shovel?  Probably not often, unless he is a gardener or works at a graveyard or a mine (not a lot of mining done with shovels these days either).  But you can work it into a newspaper article that has your heroine running to her lovers arms from the gruesomeness of the murder that was commit with, of all things, a shovel, or the hero was injured and was crawling to safety when the Fairy attacked again.  The hero reached out to find something to defend himself with and his hand came upon the handle of a carelessly mislaid shovel.  He waved the shovel blindly in the air and came into contact with something.  The iron shovel sliced through the fairy like butter killing him instantly (Fairy's are allergic to iron and lemon juice.  I read OK?).
    I'm struggling with working this one in.  There *may* be a point to incorporate it.  But it may be a stretch for the story that I am doing.  Oh wait... I might have another opportunity.  I just thought of something new.  I guess at the very least I can use it to build my word count if I get to a point where I'm stuck.  In the meantime it's there in the back of my mind.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I don't get it

I read a lot of junk on the internet.  I can waste more time than I care to consider while surfing.  Sometimes I have been known to laugh out loud at my desk and quickly think up a reason when someone walks by and asks me "what's funny".  I can't very well tell them I was reading about a 6 year old girl, who I don't know, asking for ice for her hand because she was practicing Kung Fu on the chair, and was surprised that they chair "has skills!".  Nope, I couldn't say that so I made something up about the time. 

Anyway....ever since I read Harry Potter and discovered that there are web site run by fans specifically for those book I have been fascinated with the idea of  "fan fiction" .  There are fan fic writers for everything! All the book series that I enjoy as well as many that I don't.  From HP and Outlander to Star Trek and Twilight.  I haven't read any fan fiction other than a few blurbs that show up on some of those websites.  I see some forum posts from people who are writing it as their Nano this year.

I don't get it.  I'm the first to admit that I can be so attached to good characters and stories that I dream about them and long for the next story.  But I'm not about to write that story.  That isn't my place.  Those stories were shared by the authors not given to us to manipulate. The story and the characters still belong to those authors.  We are fortunate enough to have a chance to enjoy those stories, but it isn't our place to write them.   I've heard that some fan fiction is fantastic.  It is written in the same tone as the original author and feels like an extension of the story (I can't believe it all is though).  So my question is this:  If these people are talented enough to write wonderful fan fiction, why can't they write their own stories? 

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I suppose some authors are flattered by the fan fic written about their own stories.  But I think I'd be offended.  That might not be where I want my character to go.  I may want certain couples to stay broken up, no matter how good readers thought they were together.  I might want the spaceship to crash into the moon and kill everyone but the antagonist, and not have the white mice survive and save the day.  I certainly don't want to see my innocent characters doing dirty things to each other, while the racy characters watch from the background.  I'm with DG of Outlander fame on this one.   The author of the Outlander series has asked her fans NOT to write fan fic, or at least not post it online.  I say "don't write it".  Write your own story.  You're talented and creative and you want to write. 

Go write!  Make it YOURS!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One week down!

One week of Nanowrimo is under our belts and three weeks remain!!!  Congrats to those who have stuck it through so far.  I know I couldn't do it without the support of my friends and family!  And what support I have this year. Friends text me encouraging words.  A family member asks about my word count each night.  My husband sends me off to type while he cooks. 

And I'm on schedule.  In fact, I'm a few hundred words ahead of schedule.  Not enough to be cocky and take a day off, but enough to keep me feeling comfortable with my own pace.  I can take a day off of writing if I need to.  So far I do not need to.  Word wars keep me caught up and in my free time I type up a paragraph or add in a detail I thought of. 

I've divided my novel into three parts (not including wrap up and conclusion).  I consider them "islands" and they need "bridges" to connect to each other (thanks RamblingAllen for that analogy).  On each island are a few "areas". And those need connectors as well, "trails" maybe?  These areas may become the chapters as the novel gets revised.  So far each day I've been working on a different "area" on the first island.  These are all mapped out in my outline (but I did find I needed a few connectors to get from one to the other and wrote more than a few "trails" as well).  Now I find that I am finished with my first "island". 

I'm finished with the first 1/3 of the book!!  First off: How did that happen?  Secondly: Now what??  I feel just as anxious to start the next part tonight as I did to kick off Nano 2010.  If I keep on this track, which I hope to do, I will finish the second island this week and move onto the 3rd.  The last week can be reserved for both concluding the book and/or tying up loose ends.  That being said, I think the 2nd and 3rd parts will be more difficult to write and may need more time.  As long as I keep up the word count, I don't think there are any rules about actually finishing your rough draft in one month.  The goal is to write 50,000 words, not a complete book. 

So maybe I shouldn't be too concerned with the schedule.  Maybe I should simply concentrate on writing the story and let the areas, trails, bridges, and islands work themselves out as I go along. 

Whatever happens next I know that I'm looking forward to it.  My characters seem to be introducing themselves to me and I learn more about them each day and I look forward to letting them talk each evening. 

Great job catching up on your word count this weekend shariware!!!  I look forward to whomping you in the next word war!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick word war fun!

I have spent more time in the Nano forums than any other year.  I think this might be part of the key to me staying motivated.  It's been fun interacting with people who are in the same boat as I am.  In addition to Shariware and Ramblingallen, of coarse!!

I found Write or Die last week.  I blogged about that already here.  Today I found a random number generator.  You just click on the link then it gives you a number between 1 and 1000.  It's fun to click then make yourself write that number ASAP.  I got 793.  Crud.... I'd better get busy writing, I couldn't get off easy and only get 100.  

Now GO!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Two Full Days In

Two days of making my minimum word count and beyond!  Two days of Nano down!  Two days of typing furiously at the computer and being astonished at what comes out.  This is going pretty well so far!

Last night I did my first "Word War" with my writing buddy.  We were both behind on daily word count going into it and ahead when we came out!  It was great.  We simply set a goal of typing the most words we could manage in an hour.  Amazing what happens when you just give yourself permission to just brain dump.  I did learn that it will take me more than an hour each day to make the minimum daily word count.  Which means I simply can NOT let myself get behind.  Catching up might be nearly impossible for me.  I'm having trouble carving out the time as it is.  But I'm up for more word wars anytime!
I discovered (I'm probably late in the game discovering this) a Word War program online.  It's called Write or Die.  It's only $10 to have an at home version.  I did a quick 10 minute free online Word war and thought it was hilarious.  I put 350 words down to.  :)  I haven't purchased it yet, but I think I probably will as a reward for keeping my word count up the first week!!

I have learned that writing conversations is difficult for me.  I never considered that much because I have conversations with myself going on in my head all the time. :)  But it's a different thing putting that to paper.  In my head I can differentiate the voices and I know who is talking.  On paper I have to tell the reader who is talking and how they sound, what emotions they are trying to portray in their voices. 
As a side note, I have a character who does talk to himself out loud, it isn't supposed to make a lot of sense most of the time and he rambles and mumbles.  That is fun to write so far.

I'm learning to sort of let go.  Wrimo's online call is turning off your inner editor.  There is a tendency to read what was written and revise it.  November is not the time to do that.  I have given myself permission to suck.  This is a draft and drafts are not meant to be works of art.  I don't rewrite anything, but I have gone back when I got an idea (not to far back) to strike through what I wrote and add new.  Those words are words I earned and I don't want to loose them.  The word counter still counts them, but I don't need to keep them later on.  As a matter of fact, I haven't gone back to read the last 2 days writing.  I'm sure it is terrible, but it's a base for me.  I'll read it all in December.  I'm sure some of it will be just like new to me by then!!

I have been blessed to have supportive family and friends on this adventure.  On Monday morning I had text messages from both a great friend and my mother-in-law cheering me on and encouraging me on the Nano kick off!!  My husband has put the kids to bed two nights in a row, closed the door to the computer room, and brought me drinks while I typed away.  I also have several friends who are writing with me this year, one of whom decided on October 31 to write and had no clue what she story she wanted to tell (check out the word war bar on the side of this blog!).  This is the year we WIN!!

Oh!  One more note:  Nano changed the stats page that I complained about in the last blog posting.  It did say that the day was an "unsuccessful day" unless you had typed 1667 words that day.  I thought that was very negative, and apparently so did a lot of other people.  I saw a forum topic on it with a lot of unhappy wrimo's.  Now it says that you are "behind schedule".  Still not ideal to me, but heaps better than "unsuccessful".

Happy writing!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Knife in the BACK!!!

WOW!!!  I just logged into my Nano site and checked out the stats page.  I've written a quick 100+ words just so I can say that I've started.  The stats page is a knife in the back!!  Holy moses!!  I'm sure it's meant to be motivating, but it is already calling today "unsuccessful" because I haven't logged in 1667 words!!  The day isn't even half over. 

Well, I guess I have to be the optimist here and say that it is motivating and I just need to log those words in (or more) to get the counter to tell me I am ahead of schedule and that today is a "success". 

Jeese Nano!!  I'm sure there is a more positive way to portray that!  It's the first day for crying out loud.  :)

It's November!!

It's November!!  I was tempted to stay up late last night and begin typing.  But I resisted.  Partially because my sugar buzz wore off (thank you Halloween candy!), and partly because I know I have a TON of work to do (at work and at home) and I wanted to be rested to be able to accomplish everything I need to this week, including 1667 words a day.  And still I had to drag myself and my kids out of bed.  I look forward to the time change next week so I get some light back in my life... Oh wait, "fall BACK", it's going to be dark LONGER....  <>

In other news... I have another supporter!!  In fact a dear dear friend decided (without me even prompting her!!) to join in the Nano crazies at the last minute.  I haven't had the chance to chat about it with her at all.  I just got a message from her that she signed up and needs support!!  I CAN DO THAT!!  I'm good at supporting roles.  I'm just anxious about my lead in this years writing marathon (fun run?).  I have added her to the wordwar widget <-----  That should be motivating!!

Happy writing!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nano starts on Monday

Nano starts on Monday.  There is a forum topic full of people who are sad that November starts on a Monday this year.  I *guess* I can see their point.  If the month started on a weekend, a person could sit and type all weekend long, and get a good chunk of their 50,000 on paper while their enthusiasm is still at a peak.  I get it.  I don't agree.  I find it fine and dandy that the month starts on a Monday.  That gives me one whole weekend to work around the house, get everything all cleaned up and get some more of my outline in my head onto paper (which I probably won't do, but I CAN).  I can sleep in these 2 last days without feeling like I need to pad my word count. I can start the month/week fresh and ready to hit those 1,667 first words of the month. 

(Two posts in one day and four in a week?  I know, right?!)

I am the Very Model of a Wrimo Individual

This song was posted on the All Ages Coffee House Forum.  There is a YouTube video attached as well but I had trouble getting it onto this post.  One more thing I have to learn, I guess.  The post is under [music vid] I am the very model of a wrimo individual, in case you want to see it.  I LOVE this!! 


I am the Very Model of a Wrimo Individual
My writings they have varied from historical to fictional
To write a novel in a month some find it quite deplorable
I talk about my novel but my friends they find it borable.

When writing I prepare myself in matters that are practical
From scoping out locations, doing research on the factuals
And stocking up my room with snacks and food and sources of caffeine
My cellphone is turned off. I'm now in nanowrimo quarantine.

His cellphone is turned off. He's now in nanowrimo quarantine. (x4)

This year will be the year when my book wins me praises accolades
I'll travel all the stores my novel forefront on the book displays.
In short, my writings vary from historical to fictional
I am the Very Model of a Wrimo Individual

In short, his writings vary from historical to fictional
He is the Very Model of a Wrimo Individual

My mind a brim with metaphors my tongue can spit out similes
But when I put my pen to page my brain locks up and hand will freeze
The more I think, the more I'm stuck, the more and more I get upset
And then I go online cuz I cannot turn off the internet.

I search the forums to keep up on all the nanowrimo news
I find I'm stuck for hours. ^ Why am I so readily amused?
I go on chat in hopes that I can find someone to word war with
But they're absorbed with talking 'bout their drama and relationships.

But they're absorbed with talking 'bout their drama and relationships. (x4)

In fact, when I know what is meant by "Word War", "ML", "Plot bunnies"
And when it comes to writer's block there's none can beat my expertise
In short, my writings vary from historical to fictional
I am the Very Model of a Wrimo Individual

In short, his writings vary from historical to fictional
He is the Very Model of a Wrimo Individual

Technology's my weak point and I spend too much I must admit
I think I lost my outline, doesn't matter wasn't using it
I'll photoshop a calendar with writing goals I can achieve
And think of awesome book covers with bios for the inner sleeve.

I go to meetings, socials, writing sessions, any chance I get
We talk about our stress and all the words we haven't written yet
In short, I can imagine myself sitting, typing furiously
And one day I'll attend that fearful night of Writing Dangerously!

And one day he'll attend that fearful night of Writing Dangerously! (x4)

I'm very good with words, I know so many to regurgitate
But people think my only skill is how I can procrastinate
In short, my writings vary from historical to fictional
I am the Very Model of a Wrimo Individual

In short, his writings vary from historical to fictional
He is the Very Model of a Wrimo individual!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

3 Days

OK.  I won't panic...  Take a deep breath.  Only 3 days left.  I've done some outlining.  I would have liked to have done more, but I'm too lazy...

Now I just have to decide where to start.  Should I start on a scene I have in mind?  Or should I just start from the beginning?  I have several scenes written out already (I'm not using them in my word count).  I have to decide how to tie them into the rest of it as my story has evolved a bit.  Or maybe I should leave them out all together and just rewrite those ideas.  I know those scenes will change a lot in editing later anyway.

No panicking... deep breaths.... only 3 days left....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


There is a countdown ticker on the Nano page!!  Can it only be 4 days away???!!  I'm not ready!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I've been stressing about outlining my story for months now.   A lot of that stress is because I have bits of this story already written, but I didn't know where the rest of the story was headed.  I have notes in several note book and printed outline attempts all over the place.  Some at work, some by the computer at home, and some in a note book I have set aside just for my story. 

Yesterday my Nano buddy and I sat down at my kitchen table and we each started outlining our stories.  I needed the company for that.  We didn't talk a lot.  There were long, wonderful, silences.  But there were times when we each used to talk out an idea.  And some of the time it wasn't asking for advice about where the other thought the story line should go.  Some of the time it was just talking a plot point out to the end with someone there to listen to it.   I NEEDED that.  

I still have some nagging questions about motivation (mainly), but I can see the conflict in the story.  My characters evolved a bit yesterday and I see where they should end up.  I wrote down my major story lines that need to be told. 

I hope the Allen had the same success that I did.  I learned a lot about his story and I think maybe he did too.  It may be headed a different direction that he originally anticipated. 

The differences in our writing styles was very apparent yesterday.  One of us had a computer with a detailed out line.  The other (guess who) had a note book covered in sticky notes and arrows. 

I hope we are able to do that once more before November.  I could use another brainstorm I think. 

Thanks Allen!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Am I crazy?

I guess I must be a little crazy just for entering Nanowrimo, again.  Especially with all the other stuff I'm trying to accomplish in the next few months.   But that isn't what I am refering to. 

I was at a friends house this weekend, working on a crafty project together.  She knows that I plan to write during the month of November, and she asked about my story.  I have quite a bit of the plot worked out already so I told her a little bit about it.  I didn't even go into great detail, there was a lot I left out because I'm not sure how it's going to fit, and I wasn't sure how serious my friend was in hearing about the story.  She may have just been being polite.   She looked at me like I had grown horns!!  That made me feel quite foolish.  She asked a couple questions, but the conversation pretty much ended when kids interupted.  The last thing she said was "It makes me wonder what your life was like at that age" (the age of my character).

I'm not going to say that I can't identify with Piper (my character), but she isn't modeled after me!!  I think there has to be some of me in her (afterall, I know me better than anyone else, it's easy to know what I might do in a certain situation, and therefore Piper).  But she isn't me.  She is just someone who talks to me in my head.... (Yep, I'm crazy)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Merit Badges

Nanowrimo has merit badges!  I don't know if they are new this year or were there in past years.  I found them very very funny!    There are 10 "badges" you can earn (you have to purchase them in either sticker, button, or patch form).  I think we can come up with some different ones.  I'm not going to buy them this year, but I may next year as a reward for doing it again.

The badges you can earn are:
- Socializing
- Word count padding
- Procrastination
- Caffeine abuse
- Secret novelling (writing while at work or school)
- Creative non-fiction
- Rally day
- the Eureka Moment
- Random ending
- The victory!

They have the new 2010 web badges up now!  I downloaded my favorite and now I can't figure out how to add it to my blog.  I'm sure I'll figure it out, but I may have to ask for bloggy advice from my cuz to do it.  I also tried to add the word count widget (and the race widget, so I can "race" Allen) to the blog but I can't make that work either and need advice from someone techier (techy-er? techyer?) more techy than I am. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Countdown is ON!!!

Only 30 days left until we begin the NANOWRIMO circus!! I actually turned down an invitation to Scrapbooking Camp (which would have been a blast and I would have gotten soooo much done). I turned it down because it happens on a weekend in November. I don't have time to waste a whole weekend this time... I'm going to write 50,000 fabulous words of fiction!

Ummm. I think my blood pressure just went up and heart palpitations began. How can I be nervous about this? I've been looking forward to it for some time.

I'd better check out Nanowrimo.org and make sure my profile is still set up correctly (from last years fail). I'm hoping they have the new 2010 web banners out now as well. I'll add it to my blog. Might be encouraging.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


OK. I've been stressing about not working on my outline and my character development. There are only 38 days left until November 1 and I'm not prepared!!

Well... It turns out I'm more prepared than I thought. It's a by-product of being disorganized. (Can you be both ADD and OCD at the same time? I think I have some symptoms of each). Once in a while, when I have a brilliant idea, I send myself an email with the details. A few months ago I dumped all those emails together into one place. Yesterday I read through it and there is a story there! It's all simple ideas that need development, but it is a very basic outline! WAHOO!!! I have a couple other ideas/scenes/character flaws that are rattling around in my head. If I put fingers to keyboard and send myself a note now maybe I won't forget them later!!

November usually turns out busier than I think it will. Thanksgiving is a time eater. And I have a kids birthday party to squeeze in there. Now that my outline stress is lessened, I still have to figure out when the heck I'm going to make the time to write! Sending yourself notes from work is one thing... banging out 1667 words a day when you should be working on your projects at work is quite another... So closing the door while the kids are doing their homework and setting the DVR to record the shows I can't miss is looking like the only option. I'm fairly certain I won't be able to get up any earlier to work on it before the family awakens, but I may become desperate!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

45 Days (less than that now!)

Only 43 days until November 1. I still haven't outlined my story. What is wrong with me? I've simply been very busy. It's been a crazy summer. Have summers always been like that and I just have enough time in the 9 months between them to recover and forget (kind of like labor)? I don't think so. I think this was just a delightfully busy summer.

I've been getting up early several days a week now to walk with a friend (eventually jog, when my back is less achy). I get to bed late after a full day of work and kids functions. What am I going to have to give up to squeeze in some time to write? I'm not yet sure when I'll squeeze it in. But I would really like to win Nanowrimo this year. It will be a simple personal victory.

I'm so glad I have cheerleaders this year. I always wondered what Nano participants were thinking when they all go out for pizza together, or go to the library for an all nighter with company. I think maybe that is important just to be together and know you have support. Maybe it's someone to bounce your ideas off of. Sometimes when your stuck all it takes is talking out a scene to someone who will listen and you become "unstuck". And usually,when you get unstuck the words can flow like water. I'm looking forward to that part as much as the writing part now...

I'm back to 4 people writing with me! Wahoo!! Bring on November!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Creeping closer!

Nano is creeping closer!! I'm still failing. I haven't done much in the way of planning. The summer has been so busy and I haven't taken the time to draw it out.

Maybe the way I'll win it this year is simply with cheerleaders??? I'm crossing my fingers that September routines settle in and I can make the time to outline and I won't have to rely on cheerleaders/pressure alone.

Anyone else on board yet??

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One more

I have one more person who is considering writing NaNo with me this year. She isn't dropping any hints on what she plans to write though.

I was up to 2 friends/family writing with me, then one decided not to for creative reasons. And now I am back up to 2. So 3 of us will be spending November over the keyboard! I'm looking forward to it, and dreading it all at once.

Monday, July 26, 2010

98 Days?!?!

I just received a facebook message from NaNoWriMo, letting me know that it is only 98 days left until NaNo begins!! 98 days?! We are down to double digits? How can that be? I still haven't done my outline... still procrastinating. What's the phrase? Failing to plan is planning to fail. I had better snap out of it or I won't be participating this year. And I feel as though I MUST participate. I talked people into doing it with me!

On the other hand.... I went to a lovely quiet dinner with my husband early this week (no kids). I told him the story as I have it outlined already. He was shocked at how thought out the story is already. I'm sort of stuck on a path though. I know where it starts, and I know where I want it to end. I have several dotted lines that connect them, but the big black line, the reason for the story, the direction, is still pretty grey. DH did give me some good ideas though and when I have a quiet minute to myself I'll try to figure out what to do with those ideas. Sometime when I don't have kids who want something, or chores and a job to do (usually the only time like this I have is in the shower or the car, but this last week has been so hectic that I can't even say that time was used wisely).

It's a good thing no one reads this blog. I might have to squeeze out more time to get myself motivated!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Preparation and Snowflake

Even with all this time to prepare for NaNo and start getting my outline in order I find myself procrastinating. What the heck? I have already failed at this challenge twice, am I trying to set myself up to fail again? Sort of feels like it.

I sat myself down to work on an outline several times now. I either get distracted (oh! Shiny!!), or flustered (it doesn't have to be in order right now!). Distracted is easy to understand. I have a houseful of kids, pets, and friends. I have a full time job and a full time hobby (not writing). There is a lot to do and many places to go. Flustered is less understandable to me. This is MY story. I can write whatever I want to.

Anyway, I think right now I am just going to do some scene mapping. I have scenes written and named in my head. My current goal, which will take some effort, is to name ALL the scenes, and get them in order. That should suffice as a basic outline.


I signed up for an e-newsletter more than a year ago. It's about writing/publishing (more publishing than writing I'm afraid, but that must be what most of his readers are looking for) and I enjoy reading it each month. The author, Randy Ingernamson, invented a tool to help writers. He also wrote the book Writing Fiction for Dummies (I wonder if it is for Dummies writing fiction, or for someone to write fiction specifically for dummies to read). The software is called Snowflake Pro. From what I can gather he says that writing is like building all the little triangles that go together to form a snowflake. His program helps you to define your characters and to put together your scene list (which is where I got the idea). There is a lot more to his program than just that, but the website show those specific examples. He gives tips on basic structure as well (3 Act Structure, etc). I'd really like to buy the program, but I'm not ready to spend $100 on this little adventure. I think that might be the reward I work for. If I actually *WIN* NaNoWriMo this year, I'll splurge on the program. I know it sounds back asswards to write the book and then buy software to help me write a book. But if I actually finish, I'm going to want to write another one.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Breaking the Rules

I've been trying to decide if rewriting something I have already started is breaking the rules of NaNo. I have decided that as long as I am rewriting it, it doesn't matter if the basic idea is an old one... I'm not planning to use any old material. Not only that, I wonder how many people haven't had the idea for their NaNo story for years and years, and *finally* saw it develop on paper in November?

I feel good knowing in advance what I want to write about. I have started Nano twice before without knowing *exactly* what I want to write about. I had a general idea and hoped that it would propel me. It didn't. I got bogged down in 10 days and quit. So more preparation is needed!

And this year I have a support team. My husband has told people that I am writing. I'm not convinced he is being supportive, rather than making fun of me, but I'm an optimist and choose to see it as helpfulness. And I have a friend and a family member writing with me this year. I'm thinking gold stars are in order for us all!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I have 2 people convinced to do NaNoWriMo with me!! So I'm not alone in this process. Yahoo!!! I'm very excited about it. The story I am planning is one that I have already started and already scrapped. It was too young adult. I would prefer to appeal to a somewhat larger audience. So I'm going a tad bit edgier (even if my mother might read it. Maybe I'll simply aim to embarrass her. That might make it easier to write some of the scenes).

I say all that as if I expect my story to published and actually marketed. I might as well pick the actors for the film while I'm at it....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Writing about sex

I have always wondered how a person can write great sex scenes. I have some great (in my opinion) scenes in my head, but I can't imagine writing them down. I don't think it's because I think I lack the skills to do so, it's more that I wonder who might read it!! I'm sure if I ever wrote a book that I was proud of, I'd have my mother read it. Can I write scenes I'd want my mother to read?

I wonder even more sometimes when I picture the author writing them.... Some of my favorite scenes are written by a woman who I can't imagine knowing those things!!

Good Author

I'm reading a great series of books, by an author that I really like. If you have talked to me at all, recently, I will have already told you about it. The characters speak just to me and I participate in their adventure.
I don't think I can write like that. This series has a cult following. I have "liked" it on Facebook myself. I have read the authors blog and various excerpts from her books that I haven't made it to yet. However, Stephanie Meyers has the same type of following and I don't consider her a *good* author at all. But that's not fair. She *did* write 4 books that have people in a twitter. Someone wanted to read the books again and again. And the stories are being told and shared in movie form now.

So, what defines a good author? Is it their use of words in classic form? Or is it the mood that a person can create with those words? Or a combination of the two?

I suppose I shouldn't stress out about it too much. I just want to write. I hope, someday, someone will want to read what I wrote. But that is basically a dream that I have to work toward still. The aforementioned author wrote her first book as a "practice novel". It's my favorite of the ones I have read so far. She claims no intention of having it published.

Dreaming? Possibly, but you have to start somewhere.


I've decided to attempt NaNoWriMo one more time. This time I am going in prepared though. I plan to have my novel outlined, and possibly have my characters developed beforehand. And because it is only June, I have plenty of time to do all of that before the November writing crunch begins.
For those who don't know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. The rules are simple. You can't use anything you have already written in your word count. Your novel must be new, but you can have it outlined in advance if it helps. They say that it doesn't usually help. Most of the time a writer may start with an outline, but the story changes and the characters take over as November goes on and the word count gets higher. I'm OK with that. If my story evolves it was meant to be (and I might be able to use some of the outline in a different story ?). I just want to make it to 50,000 words this time. This year will be the 3rd attempt at NaNoWriMo. November seems to be a very busy month for me.

So now, the characters in my head need to be named and defined, and the point and purpose of the novel has to develop. It isn't enough that I have always wanted to write a book. It has to be more than that. This is all about ME.