NaNo Day 29

I. Am. So. Tired.

I have reached 41k. This month is hard. I’m tired. I can’t wait until December 1st. I think I may actually cry… *sniff*

As I prepared to do NaNoWriMo this year I felt like I had truly done some serious growth as a writer. I had to. I lost a job I enjoyed and didn’t have many options. So I did the only thing I had access to at the time. I dove head first into writing.

I have always loved the written word. You can effect people so deeply by just putting words in print. It is an amazing idea. You can whisk someone away to an awesome place with just some black and white type. It really is a cool idea.

And I began by emailing an author I admired. I thought ‘what the hey, the worst she could do is not respond.’ Then to my evident shock she did! And not only did she respond, she also gave me loads of great advice! Advice that I took and followed. I read every blog post and book I could find through the resources she had shown me. I became like a sponge absorbing each and every detail I read.

And though I have since gotten another job I still feel like writing has taken up enough space to be a part time job. I felt so strongly about it that at thanksgiving I wanted to tell someone that I wasn’t just a hairdresser, I was a writer too! And that, right there, showed me that I truly am a writer.

I may not be published, yet. I may not have any book deals, yet. I may not have an editor on demand, yet. But that’s only a part of it. I write because I love it. I do it because it is an art. If I don’t write I feel incomplete.

I always used to tell people that I loved doing three things: reading, writing, and drawing. I just felt that those three, along with some tunes, made for a great combo.

This month has challenged all of that. It has taken it to a whole new level. Writing takes a lot of time, thought, effort, study, and heart. It makes you push those mental limits. Stretch your imagination. Even look through another person’s eyes. And through it all I have only come to love writing even more.

These trenches are deep. They are dirty. They are not always fun. But I feel like with National Novel Writing Month you learn to push through all adversity and test yourself. You find out if you have what it takes to finish.

Tomorrow I want to hit that 50k mark. I can see that light at the end of this long tunnel. And while I’m not really sure where I’ll be tomorrow night, I will know I did the very best I could have.

I’ve read posts on the NaNo site that show some people with over 75k words, and that’s freaking awesome!!! Some of you are working just as hard to hit 25k. And you know what? That’s awesome too!!! I don’t know what your goal was. Like I’ve said before I was glad to report 8 thousand last year. Look at how much you’ve grown this month!

I will continue to press toward that goal. I do know that my novel will have to be more than 50k. And that is so exciting!! To know that my story won’t be complete stopping at that mark is so neat! It means that I’ve built something that wasn’t easy, but was worth the time.

So don’t give up now! You’ve got 25 hours left to go! Give it your all and your best! You’re almost there!

NaNoWriMo!NaNoWriMo!NaNoWriMo!!!

NaNo Day 27!

It’s thanksgiving here in the states and heading into what is commonly known as ‘Black Friday’. For those of you who are taking a few precious moments with your family I hope you enjoy. For those of you going shopping be safe!

So today I have taken a quick break, mainly because I was cooking my first turkey ever. (And let me just say it turned out great!) And since I am only hitting one store in the morning I have big writing plans. I am ashamed to admit my number, but they say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I am currently at ~36k right now. So, I’m not far but not as close as I’d like to be. I will be dedicating as much time over the next 24 hours to my novel as I possibly can.

I want to wish everyone luck over the next three days. Squeeze out those words and scribble them down. Good Luck!

A Mad Post

So, I often feel like I repeat this phrase to myself and those around me. It’s the words from the king in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

I feel like when I’m reading series they tend to end one of two ways. They either end with a slap-bang or peter out so badly that you almost wish it was never written to begin with.

When you are writing you may feel like you can’t keep it to one book, or may be asked to do a series. In all, that’s fine. It’s important to pick up and tie off your lose ends in a way that works.

My hubs plays loads of games. While playing those games a specific phrase has arisen when a game’s story line or trouble spot is solved in an abrupt, easy manner they call it a “Deus Ex Machina” or rather “the god machine”. When you play off your ending too easily people feel gypped. What if Twilight had ended with Edward just changing her? “Oh vampires are after us? Oh, okay. Let’s just turn you too!”…. And roll credits!

Not as much fun.

Also, don’t drag it out forever. I’m sure every avid reader has found that one series we just. Can’t. Stand. The one that just didn’t end in time. See an awesome ending, like The Parasol Protectorate, ties off the story line perfectly and lets the sleeping dog lie. A terrible one…. (just think of that one book for me) drags it out so much that you begin to lose the story’s integrity. Characters, plots, ideas…. they lose all that you’ve worked so hard to build. All that studying, all that fleshing out, all that arc gone.

So, when you decide to tell a story – tell it! Beginning, middle, end. Not beginning, muddle, end. Gail Carriger the other day said that she feels like one of her series is finished and her character would like to be left in peace. At some point we all have to let our characters be and stop. It can be an amazing story and should be! But when it’s done, it’s done.

I hope you all enjoy telling your stories! It’s the last week of NaNoWriMo. Good luck!

NaNo Day 21!

Wow, it’s already the 21st…

If you’re anything like me you’ve had quite a hectic week. Mine has had all kinds of emotional ups and downs and different new adventures. And while all this isn’t exactly bad I find myself looking at my laptop and not really wanting to write today…

Now to be honest, I did write some and the day isn’t over yet. But right now I’m kind of floating.

But it’s almost the final hour!!! I know! I’m getting to it!

So while I’ve been browsing the web and feeling like I’ll never finish this book in a million years I stumbled on something from someone I admire. She’s another kind of writer, you may have even heard of her. Hayley Williams. In her recent blog post covering the past year I feel like we can all relate, especially my fellow writers. Here’s a snippit of what she wrote:

“The reason I’m saying all this is to show you that even when things look simple or wonderful on the surface, there’s always a battle to be fought. Don’t let it stop you from getting where you want to be. It’s not about where you think you should be, or even where you think you deserve to be. Where do you want to be?”

So, it’s at this moment that I pose the same question to myself and you. Where do you want to be? In one week where do you want to be? Do you want to be at 6k, 10k, 30k, 49.5k? I want to be at 50,000 words. That’s my goal. It’s not easy, if it was then everyone could do it. 50,000 words is hard! It takes discipline, avoidance of editing, speed writing, and TONS of coffee! But when you’ve made it to your goal, that place you’ve been looking to over the past month, you will be so proud to have reached it.

I was recently invited to send in questions to one of my favorite authors, Gail Carriager. She answered not only mine but many, many others. And one of her inqueries was this:

“Which did/are you enjoy(ing) writing more? Finishing School or Parasol Protectorate?

Gail Carriger: I always love the novel I just finished the most (because I finished it) and the one I am working on the least (because it seems like i will never be done. So right now I love Prudence and hate Manners & Mutiny.”

So even as you are staring dead-eyed at your screen dreading this novel just press on until it is finished. It is totally worth the work and sense of accomplishment.

I hope this helps you as much as it did me! Have a great one!

Good morning!

This post, as you will see, is not about novel writing. Instead I thought I’d bring you a bit of creativity and inspiration.

Last night I had the privilege of attending one of the most dazzling shows I have ever seen. I was invited to attend Amaluna preformed by Cirque Du Soleil.

Amaluna is the coming of age story about a young woman on an island of goddesses. She soon meets a young man and is taken with him, and he her. Together they face many struggles and magnificent challenges.

This show was filled with many different performances and acrobatics. It begins with creatures venturing through the crowds to gather the audience’s attention. Soon the lights are out and a very vibrant character filled with laughter takes the stage. She welcomes you in a jovial fashion to the show and becomes a part of it herself. A celebration blooms before your eyes filling the stage with colors varying from pink to emerald green to a peacock blue.

But of course it would be peacock blue, for there are peacocks!The creature’s feathers fan out on hydraulic constructs displaying their brilliant plumage that shimmers in the lights. They prance about with noble struts eyeballing the crowd below. They are followed by talented pink acrobats with swirling lights. They flip and twirl around spinning their lights and tossing them all around. And then you see their warriors. Red and tough gymnasts stomp as if wild beasts with their manes and high tails.

After the celebration you learn that some men have washed ashore their sacred island. They are afraid and disoriented. Until, that is, our greeter returns to check things out. In her busy-body way she shoos them away and around the island. One particular sailor catching her eye.

The show unfolds before you with a beautiful white peacock dance, a woman with amazing hula-hoop skills, a balancing act that causes you to hold your breath the entire time, and many more! Your eyes dance as you follow a reptilian creature and our infatuated couple through their challenges and encounters. The lady from your intro falling in love and their silly journey pops in at just the right moments to keep those spirits high.

All music is performed live. Guitarists, a drummer, singers, a cellist – all of these work their musical magic in sync with the performers bringing their already amazing show to life! (I secretly wanted to be one of those guitarists with their awesome Mohawks!)

Personally I enjoyed every minute of this experience. From arriving at the tents and fueling up on snacks to leaving with a super awesome jacket to remember the event. You will never see anything quite like it anywhere else, nor will you stop talking about it! If you get the opportunity to see it I insist you take advantage of it. The show does not disappoint.

NaNo Day 19!!!

Woah! 30,000 words bro!

I’m super thrilled to have made it over halfway there! This is mega accomplishment zone here folks!

I hope you are doing well in your endeavor. If you’ve become like me you’ve had to find a hidey-hole to retreat to in order to get any words down at all. Maybe it’s a closet or an office. Maybe it’s your kitchen table or your desk. Or maybe it’s a bunker with walls built out of books and a huge KEEP OUT sign glued to the outside.

Where ever it is don’t forget to bring in refreshments and leave on occasion to use the loo.

I wish everyone luck on hitting that 40k mark by the end of the week. With next week being Thanksgiving here in the states you may feel the need to double up on your goals to reach the end on the 30th.

Don’t give up now! You’ve made it more than halfway! Don’t loose hope!

Just remember there are loads of novelists in the same place you are right now! Everyone from the well known to the unknown, we are all with you. Whether you are behind, on schedule, or ahead keep writing!

Have a great one!

Off Beat

Okay, I just had to post this…

I honestly believe there is a book for everyone. Usually quite a few, actually. Occasionally I still stumble upon a genre or sub-genre I’ve never really understood. So allow me to address one specific sub-genre that bugs me. (Sorry, but I have to.)

The ‘Cozy Mystery’ sub-genre. On a cold winter’s day I love curling up with a “quieter” book. Usually one that is a couple hours read. Not too creepy, odd, or difficult to read. Not even a classic. Something easy. But honestly, I cannot understand this whole cozy mystery thing.

As a bookworm I will devour books one after the other. But for some reason I have always closed myself off to the whole “mystery” genre.

But you LOVE books that have mysteries! Soulless, Jane True, etc.

I know. Trust me.

But allow me to explain. When I think of mystery I think of the old Sherlock stories. I love them for what they are, don’t get me wrong. But each day I hear on the news about some murder, some crazy, some depressing fodder. When I’m reading I don’t want to continue in the same toil I’m already existing in. I want a new, and usually impossible world to discover. Something with a bit of fantasy or abnormal circumstance. I just feel like most of these “cozy mysteries” are boring.

I mean when a crime is committed the wounds are big clues, the sex is usually motive, and no town is that close. It’s like a dream world.

To me, if you want to read something cozy pick up Nancy Drew. Not only are they iconic but they also have enough suspense to keep you hooked.

I’m not saying every mystery has to be worldly or obscene. I’m also not saying they have to be explicit or profane. I’m just saying not to be so mundane. I believe what you read says a little about you. If you enjoy a dull story then you certainly have more patience than I do.

Sorry if this bugged you, but the idea bugged me. And I know people make big bucks off of cozy mysteries, but then again… McDonald’s. That is all I have to say.

Have a good one!

NaNo Day 18!

Good morning writers! According to my NaNo email we should be half way through by this point. Have you made it to the 25k mark yet?

For me this week will be the biggest challenge. What with all the doctor appointments, hair appointments, and Cirque du Solile I’m going to be speed writing. Did you see that blur?

(On your left.)

So as we move into the third week I want everyone to do one thing: go refuel on coffee! Unless you’re doing a steam punk novel then brew some Earl Grey.

If you’ve made it half way CONGRATS!! Especially if it’s your first time. NaNoWriMo is hard! I only managed 8k last year on my first NaNo.
If you are behind you are not alone. The second week was rough on us all. Don’t let a set back stop you from your goals. Pick up that pen and press on!

Good luck on the last half! You’ve made it so far!

What point are you at in your story? Have you noticed it taking a different turn? Do you see it being more than 50k? Or have you reached your marks too early? Right now just keep writing. We can edit later. Fast draft people!

NaNo Day 12!

Good afternoon!

I’ve made it up to 23,000 words! Going for 30,000 by the end of the week!

I wanted to encourage you today with something that happens when I least expect it.

Once again my subconscious has decided to show me its plans! I love those little surprises.
As I was writing I’ve been getting a little nervous about my plot points. As I’ve said before I dread connecting those dots. And when I’ve been using bits from what I’ve written before I become a bit brain dead.

I was looking back at my index cards and felt like I had never seen them before. I truly believed I had lost my perspective. I was afraid I was going to have to reread Plot & Structure to remember my own plot!

But I kept writing!!!

And as I typed down something that I was sure was insignificant my mind was secretly working behind the scenes. (Because that’s the only way it accomplishes anything apparently.) Not only did it connect the dots flawlessly, it also enhanced my story line. It threw in an extra feature I hadn’t expected. It also allowed me to flesh out a couple of characters a bit better.

So guys, when you are feeling the writing drags and believe you are doing nothing but running towards a wall (say it with me) keep writing!

If you’ve got your ending set then all you have to do is get there.

Think of it like a mental GPS. You may go seemingly around the world to get there but once you’ve arrived you’ll have had an amazing adventure. Not to mention a great story to tell!

So I implore you to press on! You’ve made it 12 days so far!
Have a great one!