Tag Archives: Work in Progress

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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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.

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.

Catabook

Image courtesy of ipkitten.blogspot.com via Creative Commons Bing Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There comes a time when you sit down to write but the need to read overcomes you.”

Reading – Game of Thrones – Clash of Kings – book #2

I know I need to get to work on the next book. Orgarlan has been waiting for me to return for some time. I haven’t forgotten it. There’s been other stories craving for my attention. The Game of Thrones has remained at the top of my list. It would be so easy to just buy the series on Amazon and watch the video of it, but I really wanted to read the books instead. I’m glad I chose the later route. George Martin is a fantastic story teller. I love his style, it fits well with my own style.

Fire and Blood (Game of Thrones)

Fire and Blood (Game of Thrones) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each time I sit and open up a file to work on, I always wind up reading on the Kindle app on my desktop. This book, for me, is more addictive than facebook.

I know there’s nothing wrong with that. GM is a master, and while I’m reading his work, I’m studying it. His story is written in multi characters. Everyone has a tale to tell about the common events taking place. He makes character building look easy, though I’m sure there is more to it than there seems.

Have you ever come across an author that has struck a chord with you in their style and language to the point you need to read each book there after because you can’t get enough of them?

Tell me about them. I’d love to hear which authors hooked you with a hook, line and sinker.

Turkeys Left Uncooked

Keelaa's selfie

Keelaa’s selfie

I’m so thankful that we were exempt from the Thanksgiving Snow Storm power outage of 2014. With the exception of a few power flickers, ours remained on the whole entire time. The only thing we lost was the internet and our phone. The cable was also out for a few hours on Thanksgiving Day, but I’m sure that was only so that they could repair the downed lines elsewhere.
Many people in NH didn’t get to eat their cooked Turkey on Thanksgiving Day. Some won’t be getting their power back on until Monday.
You never realize how dependent you become on the technology of our times. If it weren’t for cell phones, we wouldn’t have been able to call out for help had we needed to do so.
It was bad enough that we were lost without our internet. (Which should have been a blessing for me. It’s funny how I was able to avoid working on that work in progress. No matter what, we do learn to make excuses.)
Then when the TV went off, I should have dragged out a board game instead of leaning back on the sofa and taking that nap.
Keelaa, our new pup, who’s now almost 6 months old, didn’t enjoy the snow. She hated the fact that it was too hard for her to walk in and had to resort to hopping around when she occasionally would become stuck in the snow. Being able to eat the snow is the only benefit she found. Being like a little kid, she did take her sweater off after it filled up with snow.

Julie, on the other hand, our older dog, still loves the snow.

Julie's selfie

Julie’s selfie

She would stay out for hours if we let her. I think it is funny how black dogs like to turn white by using the snow and white dogs find every muddy puddle available.
ROW80 Check In:
First off – I didn’t finish NaNo. I’m not surprised. I’ve never finished a NaNo project on time.
I did manage to clean off my desk that I’ve said I would do for the past 6 months.
I haven’t given up on Sleeping on the Beach. I did manage to give that file another 1k words.
Two weeks ago I began working on another title. It too will be published under my pseudonym of Lydia Clark. She writes my hot & sexy titles. I had so much fun writing that last one I had to come up with another one that is sort of like it. Visit Lydia Clark’s website for more information.

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Black Friday Shopping:
Most of my shopping is done – yea! I hate doing last minute shopping.
The first item I bought showed up the other day when Santa came early. It turned out to be an early present. We wasted no time hooking it up. An Amazon Fire TV with the game controller. Oh – My – God – The system is excellent. It’s nothing more than a little black box that does WiFi and plays games with outstanding graphics. It is neat as can be.
All I can do is rave about the thing. Needless to say – I did join Amazon Prime.

How did your turkey carving day go? Lots of leftovers? Did you lose your power? How did you fair?

No Rain for our Home Turf – #ROW80 Check In

Snow!

That’s what we found when we woke up this morning – more snow. Just when I thought maybe, just maybe our winter was going to turn out to be a bit milder than in the past years the snow came back. Now we are looking toward the cold returning too.

I don’t know why all of a sudden the weather forecasters have to keep calling the cold as the Polar Vortex. Have they been watching the sci-fi channel too much? Just call it what it is – cold weather. Why not, isn’t it winter?

One thing about living in New England, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute, and it will change. New Englanders learn at an early age to dress in layers due to this fact.

I know I shouldn’t complain. At least we didn’t get the cold that they saw in North Dakota. That would have been downright miserable.

It’s just that, I’m waiting impatiently for February, maple syrup season. After that comes spring with the blossoms on the Apple trees and the planting of the garden. We will also be welcoming a new flock of chicks.

There were a few casualties to our laying flock this past fall. Chickens tend to have a short life span especially when they are expected to be layers. Surprisingly we still have one original hen. She must be going on six years.

Now I will be thinking about Spring for the next four months.

– I should have made a Snow man today –

This was last year’s Snowman. He did come out kind of cute.

ROW80 Check In:

It has been a slow week. I don’t think I worked on the wip since Wednesday. My focus is off, and I don’t want to force the story. It will come in due time as one of those ah ha moments.

Have you ever had an ah ha moment?

I think they are pretty cool, especially when you realize what they are when they happen.

I had one of those when I was writing Along Came Neil. I still can’t believe I wrote that book.

How’s your writing week going?

Are you staying warm this winter?

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First Post of Round One: #ROW80

ROW80 will be starting up again this week. I have yet to post my goals for this round. Kait also asked if we would try to find things were grateful for during this round. So I will start off by stating what I’m grateful for this weekend.

I’m grateful for being able to spend the holidays with my son. This is a tremendous deal. Addiction is a big deal, and the child addict is not always able to spend a peaceful holiday with their parent(s). Peaceful is not a common word amongst addicts and their families. But it was for mine this year. Quiet and Peaceful.

While I feel as though I have cornered the market on the Peaceful Holiday season, I know of the many parents who have lost their child during this season to the illness of addiction. My heart goes out to them, and I hope that they may find the strength to carry on.

 

 

 

 

ROW80 Update:

I’m still working on that same #wip I was working on for NaNo. I was going to put it aside and work on something else, but the story kept calling out to me. With the first 19k words done on it, I couldn’t write anymore on it even though I wanted to. I was stumped.

I kept thinking and thinking about why, then it dawned on me. I needed to change up a couple of chapters. They weren’t working. So this morning, I deleted – that’s right – I deleted 2k words. I would never have considered do this had I not sat a year ago before my RWA group for a critique and they cut over 1k from Along Came Neil, and it did wonders.

So I cut, and I may have to cut more too.

I did manage to replace most of the word count afterwards, and the characters are behaving more realistic. Or as realistic as one can get in a fantasy – lol.

This leads me to another grateful mention – I’m grateful for those gals teaching me it is okay to cut a chapter here and there to make the story structure sounder.

How’s your ROW80 panning out for the week? Are you cutting and adding? Just cutting or only adding?

I’d love to hear from you.