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NaNoWriMo 2016 – Juggling Work, School, and Writing

 

It’s November. The month of cooking turkeys and baking pies and crazy holiday shopping. Then there is NaNoWriMo. That crazy writing challenge where a person sits down to write 1,667 words a day to complete a 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

Do you NaNo?

I have taken part in NaNoWriMo since 2010. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Thousands upon thousands or maybe millions upon millions of writers sit down to write a novel in hopes of winning the writing challenge. The final prize being a manuscript that can be edited and maybe a few sponsor prizes as well along with blog badges and a printable certificate saying you won NaNoWriMo. That’s it.

Isn’t it enough?

Just being able to finish a novel in 30 days is a top prize. Once you give it a try, you might have more appreciation for your favorite author who pumps out story after story. Writing a novel is not as easy as one might think.

I completed NaNo last year but never published the book. That story will need a major reconstruction before I even think about editing it. Since then I have started four stories and haven’t finished a one. They seem to fall apart in the middle.

This year I’m trying to write by using scenes and sequels. A process that may help me plot the story. Right now I can’t decide how my lovers meet. Well, I do know how they become acquainted with each other. The date line will stay. The problem I have is how to get the two of them together by the end of the story. They can’t just say let’s date and get married.

In the meantime, I will continue to use the writing sprints that is featured by NaNoWriMo on Twitter and YouTube. I like the videos the best. I can stream them to my television by using my Roku and watch episode after episode while focusing on writing.

My writing group is also participating in word wars with other writing groups. I hope to increase my word count in the coming week. If only I can write 5k words a day. I’m way behind. Between work and school, there isn’t much time left to write. Is sleep really overrated?

Wish me luck  🙂

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Posted in Blogging

My Place to Write

Every night I go to my little cubby hole, I call my office. There I will attempt to write, surf the internet looking for ideas, check emails, social media, and possible play a computer game of some sort. The dogs keep me company. The little dog, Keelaa, makes sure I take my breaks from writing. I think she has an egg timer hiding somewhere that only she knows about it. We have to stop to play a game of tug. Then there is the receiving of a chew toy of some type. She prefers rawhide chews.

[media-credit id=1 align=”aligncenter” width=”300″]keelaa[/media-credit]In my office, I use a desktop. I do have a laptop, but I stopped using that so much ever since Keelaa came along a year ago. I used to use it in the living room, but I’m afraid the pup will use it for a launch or landing pad as she catapults herself across the couch. Now, I save the laptop for travel, especially when I go to a writing function and have to stay overnight.

[media-credit id=1 align=”aligncenter” width=”300″]DSCF0330[/media-credit]Sometimes I’m productive. I’ve learned how to put the dogs to sleep. That happens when I put Celtic music on to help me get into the zone for writing fantasy. They don’t sleep so well when I put Today’s Top Hits on, for writing Young Adult Contemporary. I always have to have some sort of background noise when I write. It can’t be perfectly quiet. Even when I was in school, I couldn’t do my homework or study without having either the radio or the tv on.

Most times, it’s night time when I go and work in my office, Monday through Friday. On the weekend, I tend to start writing by 7 am. The reason I don’t start writing at that point in the morning during the weekdays is because I have a regular 7-3 job. Yup, I work in a factory making things.  Sometimes I will either weave fabric, sew fabric, or put parts together. I like my day job. I like the people I work with. I think I would be hard pressed ever to give it up, because of them.

I don’t just use a computer to write. Many times I will jot things down on scrap pieces of paper, even when I’m at work. If an idea comes to me, I have to capture it before it is lost in the abyss of the mind. That is where the pens and pencils come in. I make my own notebooks up with blank cardstock that I can print a cover design on. This I fill with lined paper and use brass fasteners to hold it all together.

My ideal space would have everything I need in a day, right there in my office. Unfortunately, I lack the room. A small refrigerator for cold drinks would be nice.  Room for exercise equipment would be nice too. Then there needs to be storage space for all the manuscript files and don’t forget bookshelves for all those books I need to read.

Someday, I’ll be able to have an office like that. For now, I’m happy the way things are.


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Updates – lots of updates!

After months of looking and looking at book covers, I’ve finally come across new ones for Aaron & Keja and Witch Book. These books are going through their updates while I write this post. Very eye appealing.

Also, a new title for Friends of Choice. Ever since I wrote and published this book, the title had an odd sound to it. I can’t blame readers for not liking it. I thought and thought about what else I could call the story and nothing until now came to mind. I’ve finally settled on changing the title to What Karla Wants. It’s what the story is all about anyways. Throughout the story, the only thing she cares about is what she wants. Teens can be so selfish in their early years. They think they know everything when they know nothing at all. Just as is said in Game of Thrones to Jon Snow… “Jon Snow, you know nothing at all.”

I will slowly roll out these updates over the coming weeks. Then I will feel free to move on with my new works in progress, which I’ve been plinking at over the past couple of weeks. It’s just that these covers and a title have been troubling me for quite some time. I had to do something about them so I could move on to bigger and better things.

I’m thinking that my NaNo this year maybe the next book in my Orgarlan Saga. The next book is long overdue.

Today, I’m visiting the local bookstore. A friend of mine, Linda Kepner is having a book signing. She’s the one responsible for introducing me to RWA. I’m so glad she did. I’ve learned so much since joining, and I’m not done learning yet, either. There is so much to learn about writing and publishing and everything changes so fast.

Summer is in mid-swing. I’m feeling better than a couple of months ago. There’s so much to do and not enough time to get it done. I don’t mind. It will all get done in the end.

How’s your summer going? I’d love to hear.

How’s the writing? Are you having trouble with writer’s block? It happens. Keeping a writing journal to jot down daily 15-minute free writing sessions helps. Try using those ideas to form your story. That’s what I’ve been doing lately.