Gearing up For NaNoWriMo

Yes, I know that NaNoWriMo is still two months away from starting, However, since I’m a co-municipal liaison, we start thinking about it, and working on it, way early. Why? So we can do things like will start in just two days in my region (Yuma, AZ) NaNo Prep Workshops. What are they? A series of workshops, open to the public and sponsored by our local library system (so, FREE) to help people get ready for, plan, plot, create characters and worlds, so they can be ready to start with their NaNo novel in November.

Why are the workshops so early? Yes there will be a whole entire month between the end of the workshops and when NaNo starts. The answer is simple. We wanted to give our participants time in October to put what they learn to use. It takes time to create worlds, get to know characters, decide where you want to go with your story, etc. I could say it takes time to plot and outline but I don’t do that. I start my stories with characters, a situation and a goal, and let my characters tell me what happens from there.

Are you getting excited about NaNoWriMo?


Home from Camping and Hard at Work

I managed to farm out 2 of my remaining kids (my niece is visiting her sister) for the next week and all I’m left with is the one that drives. This frees me up for a lot of work time. I can send her to the store and make her do most of my shopping.

The other plus side is, I don’t have to leave the house in the extreme heat we’re having! YAY! I am getting a bit of work done, not as much as I managed in  Vegas but a good deal.

I’m seriously considering doing Camp NaNo next month so I can finish this draft. I’m getting there, I’m roughly 3/4 finished… and I’d love to get it done by the time the niece gets home mid-July. Yes, I have something else in the works for once this gets done!


Busy busy and still writing.

So much going on! I foresee lots of multi tasking in my future.  I had to catch up with my friends and Facebook this morning while I ate, even now I’m writing this while soaking my sore legs and feet in hot water to help the soreness.
On the plus side though, Camp NaNo is going well, I’m not as ahead as I would like to be, but I’m not behind either. Things are cruising along for my soon to be graduate. The shoes she ordered for prom fit, and look as great as she hoped, her jewelry will be here in a couple days, all is good.

I have just one request though,  can I get more hours in the day to get it all done?


Camp NaNo and other news.

Tomorrow is the start of Camp NaNo, and yes, I plan on participating. I’ve not yet set my goal, but I’m going to add to the book I worked on in November. I love the flexibility of camp. The ability to work on an already started project, to edit and rewrite instead of write, to go for short stories, and the ability to set your own goal really work for me.

In other news, I’m working on getting ready for Romance Novel Convention and my trip to Vegas in June. I’m also teaching a class on how to publish eBooks at one of our local libraries next month. Have I mentioned that last week Kid 1, who is 16, decided she was going to graduate high school in May? (We knew she would be eligible to graduate but the plan had been to stay in HS and use the dual enrollment to get a discount at the community college. Other things have come up that changed that.) I’m working on getting all the normal stuff you do all of senior year to get ready for graduation, in two months. Oh, have I also started a new part time job this week, and it’s spring break.

Busy? That’s an understatement.


NaNoWriMo ‘15 Week 1

Nearly a week into NaNoWriMo ‘15 I’m not doing great. My back has been giving me fits for three weeks now, and I’ve been going to the chiropractor since early this week. I am finally getting better but I’m still pretty sore and not sleeping all that well. Earlier this week I was doing my best to function on only 3 hours sleep. Now I’m doing better but it’s a slow climb. My story is good, I’m just having a hard tuning into my characters. I’m sure it’s more than a little bit due to the lack of sleep and the crazy busy schedule we’ve had over the last week. I’m hoping that some good rest and a calmer schedule will help me get some extra work done over the weekend and into next week.

How is your NaNo going?


That part where it just clicks

and the story starts writing itself? I love that part. When the characters take over and things start appearing on the screen before you’re even aware of thinking them.

Or when it’s bedtime and you’re lying in bed and can’t sleep for the ideas and details that just jump into your brain. That’s the stage I’m in with this WIP. I’m loving it and hoping it lasts because I’d love to finish this by the 15th so I can move on to plotting out my NaNo book.


NaNoWriMo 2013, a week in.

Here we are, a week into NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for those of us who’re veterans of the insanity. There may be a few of you out there asking NaNoWHATMo? After spending two years as my area’s Municipal Liaison (local official representative), I’ve heard this a lot. It’s short for National Novel Writing Month, but the name is a little misleading in that it’s not limited to the US or to any one country, it’s a world wide challenge. To do exactly what the name says, write a novel in a month. Sound crazy? Sound impossible? While it is a little crazy, I assure you, it’s entirely possible.

In setting up the system the creators had to come up with a definition of a novel, what they ended up with was 50,000 words. That will give you about 200 pages a standard mass marketed paperback size book. Not too bad huh? My personal best is just under 70,000 words in November, but I’ve seen people who’ve done over 100,000. Another question I’ve been asked is ‘Is it a contest, and how/what do you win?’ Well, it’s not really a contest, it’s a challenge. The only person you are competing with is yourself. All you have to do to ‘win’ is achieve 50,000 words. As for what you win, mainly it’s bragging rights. The ability to say you did it! (You also get that first draft, and let me tell you, that is priceless! If you stick with it, revise it and edit it, it could be gold!)

So, once again, here we are, a week into NaNo, how are you doing? Are you ahead? Behind? Thrown in the towel? Even if you have, I know from experience, it’s not to late to pick it back up and keep going. My first NaNo was in 2009. I’d never written much more than for communication, or to vent frustrations and feelings but I jumped in with both feet and started writing. I only had a vague idea of what I was doing, but that didn’t stop me. I wrote and wrote and wrote and still had no where near the 50k word count. I gave up, but a few days later an idea occurred to me and I went back and started writing again. I managed to (barely) win that year! The important part was that I did it.

After that I rewrote, revised, edited and rewrote again, then started submitting my manuscript to publishers. I received back rejection after rejection, but finally one of them came back with a comment, one that has really helped the way I write. You see, I’d written that first book in First person, present tense. I’d done it on purpose, but what I didn’t know at the time is that first person, present tense is very hard to do well (especially for a beginning writer) and is even harder to sell. By this time I had another manuscript from NaNo 2010 and I was hard at work on revising/finishing that one. I knew I could save that first book, but it would take an extensive rewrite and changing the entire book from present tense to past tense. It wasn’t something I felt up to at the time. I continued what I was doing and in the end I opted to self-publish in lieu of hunting down a publishing house to take control, and a huge chunk of the income. (Yeah, I admit, I have control issues.) I did NaNo in 2011, and won. (Note to self, I really need to go back and look at that, I have very little memory of what I wrote that year, it may be another book that needs a little polishing and can be published.)

In January 2012 I published Change, it’s the first book in my Kitsune series and my NaNo 2010 project. In the time since I’ve published four more books, the most recent, Robin’s Nest, was my first project, that one I wrote in 2009. I finally sat down and took the time to rewrite it, to fix the problems and the tense. It’s not the same as most of my books but it’s good, I’ve had some people tell me it’s their favorite of all my books.

My point is, even if you think it’s too late to start, it isn’t. Jump in, get your feet wet and start writing. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t even have to be good, you just have to get the ideas and thoughts down. You can fix crappy, you can’t fix non-existent.

Now, go get open your book and write on!