Writing

NaNoWriMo 2015!

So, it’s November again. And while most folks instantly think of Thanksgiving and beginning their Christmas shopping, for me, November is significant because of NaNoWriMo. In case you’ve never heard of it, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel, beginning at 12:00am November 1 and ending at 11:59pm on November 30.

Some may ask, is 50,000 words really how long a novel is? Well, yes and no. There are some really good stories that are just over 50,000 words. But for a lot of people, when they hit that 50,000 word mark, they’re not finished with their story, and that’s totally fine. But they have a darn good start.

I signed into my NaNoWriMo account today and decided I needed to update my info. I first joined back in 2003, under a different account with a pretty fandom-related email address, which shall remain nameless and buried henceforth. Ahem. I remember plotting my novel during an episode of Smallville. It was Season 3, episode 3, the one where Clark gets shot with a Kryptonite bullet. Yes, I remember that, and no, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday morning. My mind is a scary, scary place.

Anyway, you can plot, plan, outline, character sketch, whatever to your heart’s content *before* November 1, but you can’t actually make the words until then. Is this tracked? Not at all. It’s all on the honor system.

At the end of the month, or earlier, if you hit 50,000 words sooner, you upload your document into NaNo’s fancy schmancy word counter to be validated. Again, this is on the honor system. You could have the same word repeating 50,000 times, and the word counter would tell you you’ve won. But where’s the fun in that?

The fun, the stress, the sleepless nights, caffeine and sugar induced frenzies and hard crashes comes from trying to get in your 1667 words a day to meet that goal. I swear, that number will haunt me forever. I’ll be old and gray, rocking back and forth in a corner every November muttering One Six Six Seven. One Six Six Seven!!

Last year I couldn’t get into my old account, so I created a new one. This time, out of some miraculous moment of DUH, I was able to get into my old account, and I pulled all my stats from that one and updated my new one. I saw that I’ve participated every year since 2003, except for 2011, and I’ve “won” 4 times. There were a couple of years I came in far behind, 25,000 words or less, but I still gave it a shot. I think I completely missed the month of November in 2011, because I was chasing after a 14 month old.

I buy the merch, (oh the merch!) because it looks cool, and I’m a nerd like that. I’ve got my sweatshirt, coffee mug, tumbler, book, stickers, pens, etc. I alternate between writing out my pages by hand and typing on my laptop, but at the end, all of the words need to be in a document to be uploaded for validation.

I’ve signed up this year, but I’m breaking the rules a bit. I already have 36,000 words of a novel written. Granted, they’re probably all crap, but I want another 50,000 to complete the story. I want to see if I can do it. I don’t need to be validated, but knowing there are thousands of others out there doing the same thing gives me that little extra kick in the pants I need to stay motivated and on track.

So…here we go!! 🙂

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Writing

First Author Event

My first author event is this coming Friday night, and I’m super excited and super nervous. Others may say differently, but I’m not much of a people person. I’m an introvert, and activities like this are such a drain on my energy. Not to say I don’t have fun when out and about, but I can only be “on” for so long before I just want to crawl under my blankets and hide out.

I think that’s what makes writing so interesting to me. Through my characters, I can be anyone and do anything I want, and I try and flip this around to my advantage as well. In situations where I am out of my comfort zone, I think about how this character would handle it, or what that character would say, and then I do my best to be like that person. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, it sure makes for some good research material, lol!!

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Elementals, Writing

Elementals: Book 3

I tried to set aside the characters of the Elementals series for a little while to focus on a different story bouncing around in my head, but wow. They would not leave me alone. Of course, I got a fantastic idea for a plot point, and I had to jot that down. And then I got another idea, and another, and before I knew it, I was mapping out a third book.

This is what I love about writing. Sometimes there are pieces of it that are beyond the writer’s control. When the characters speak to you, it’s best to shut up and listen. And take copious notes!

So what I’m saying is…Book Three is officially in the works! 🙂

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Elementals, Writing

Release Date

Elementals: Focus will be released in paperback, Kindle, and Nook formats on Jaunary 1, 2015! I’m very excited to start the new year by sharing my latest work with you all. And I promise, there is more to come. 2015 is going to be a great year!!

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Writing

I’m still here!

I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last update. How time flies when you’re perpetually busy!

Book 2 is still coming along, going through final edits. In the meantime, I’m also gearing up for this year’s NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know what that is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year, during the month of November, people from all over the world pledge to write 50,000 words in just 30 days. The idea is to get the words out. No editing. Just writing. I love the challenge of it, and I also hate the time commitment. November is a busy month! I’ve completed NaNoWriMo a few times, and it can be stressful, but it’s also really exciting to see that rough first draft after a month.

I do have thoughts for another Elementals novel, but I’m going to switch gears and set those characters aside for a little while to focus on some new ones. We’ll see how it goes!

Stay tuned, folks!

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Elementals, Writing

Book 2 – Update!

The first draft of Book 2 of the Elementals series is completed! The title is Elementals: Focus, and it picks up after the end of Elementals: Discovery.

Next up is editing and polishing, and getting the cover art in place. However, due to real life deciding to interfere, there will be a delay before it is ready for purchase. I don’t even want to put a timeframe on it, because I just don’t know at this point. But I will keep you updated as I go along!

Thank you! 🙂

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Writing

Writing Utensils

So, confession time. I have a thing for hotel pens. I’m one of those people who is very particular about what I use to write with. It has to be a good pen. Not a gel pen, or a roller ball, or a felt tip pen. Not for longhand writing. I need a good ballpoint pen with a slim body and blue or black ink. I’ve found that hotel pens are the best!

On a trip out to CA a few years ago, I took home 3 pens from a resort in Temecula. Those are, by far, my favorites. I used the last of them just recently, and I was sad. I’ve also got a few from a Westin hotel and several from a JW Marriott. I love those too!

I’m headed for an overnight in Chicago this coming weekend, and we’re staying at a hotel we haven’t stayed at before. I hope they have good pens!!

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Writing

Dreaming of Storylines

My new office space is working out splendidly! But I need a different chair. *cracks back*

Book two in the Elementals series is coming along, but for the first time, I’m worried it won’t be ready for release by the middle of May. I don’t like that. I seem to be stuck on one point, and it may seem like a little thing, yet, it’s killing me because I can’t get past it. So I’m going to set it aside for a few days, let it simmer, and work on something else. That usually helps. I’m super annoyed right now though, because I had a dream last night that I remember feeling very excited about. Like it was the answer to my problem, and I remember kind of nodding and thinking, “Yes, this is brilliant!” And of course, when I woke up, it disappeared. Bah. I wish I could record my dreams and play them back the next day. I think I’ve lost a lot of great ideas in my sleep!

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Writing

Office Space

I’m embarking on a new adventure in my writing. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be using office space, not located inside my house. This will be a first for me, and I will gleefully admit to being super excited about it! For the past year, I’ve been using our home office. It currently contains my enormous bookshelves that my husband never thought I would fill, (haha!) a desk that holds the computer, another desk that holds random stuff on top of it and under it, and boxes that cover the floor, either filled with books or more random stuff. Actually, a lot of it is my crafting supplies. What I wouldn’t give for a separate craft room!

But anyway, I now have office space elsewhere, and I think it’ll be a huge help. So far, I’ve only been able to dedicate one full day a week to writing, and then an hour or two here and there after I put the little one to bed at night. Except, oh, sometimes on my writing days I do the grocery shopping, or I hang out with my sister, or I meet up with a friend for lunch, yadda, yadda, yadda. You know the drill. Suddenly, before I know it, the day is done, I’m picking up my daughter, and I’ve written maybe 200 words. Those evenings after she goes to bed, I’m paying bills, doing research, and let’s be honest, trying to unwind by wasting time on the internet. Sometimes I’m so tired, I just go to bed. Except I can’t sleep. So then I toss and turn, lamenting the lost words that I’m not getting down, but I’m afraid if I get going, I’ll be up all night, and that’s not good when I have a 3 year old yelling for me at the crack of dawn. And I usually don’t write at all on the weekends.

So on the days she’s in preschool, I’ll be going to my office to write. (Oooh! It sounds so fancy!!) This summer, we’ll mix up the schedule so we can still enjoy the beautiful weather, that I pray Mother Nature decides to send our way after this dreadful winter!! This fall, she’ll be at preschool everyday until after lunch. It’ll be dedicated writing time for me. Just for me. No laundry to throw in, or vacuuming to do, or dishes to wash.

Just writing. Happy sigh. 🙂

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Writing

A Writer’s Work

Who ever thought the easiest part about publishing a book would be the writing? Certainly not me! Difficult plot points, uncooperative characters with attitudes, and settings that just don’t work, used to be the worst that I dealt with while writing.

The ebook version of Elementals: Discovery is available for both the Kindle and the Nook. But since not everyone has an e-reader, and some people have also asked for a print version, I’ve been busy trying to get that finished. Different formatting. Different file requirements. It’s enough to make a person scream and inhale a chocolate bar, and I may have. Several times.

But you know what? After all is said and done, I’m very proud of my work. Not in the, “Hey, look at me, I wrote a book, wahoo, I am awesome!” way. But in the, “Hey, I wrote a book, and I learned about cover design, ebook and print formatting, website building, marketing, and I’m still going!” way.

Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. And if writing is the easy part, well then. This truly is my dream job!

So I’m going to unwrap yet another bar of chocolate, crack my knuckles, (sorry, Mom!) and get back to work. Happy Friday, everyone!

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