In case you're wondering where I've run off to during the month of November, the little one and I are both participating in (National Novel Writing Month.) Are you writing too? (For new posts, see below...)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 8 1/2 - Pacing Myself

Quick note to say we're soldiering on. The writing has been slow on some days, faster on others. Some days the writing is pure genius, most days its pure funk but its all good. Just the act of writing gets you thinking. That's what matters. The act of writing. You may never look at this piece of work again. Or it may spark a whole new love of writing in you. You never know.

So far I'm about a third of the way through my writing at 16,624. tTe weekend was heinous. I wrote only about 800 words total. But I spent the wee hours of last night writing during sprint after sprint with other people online. There is something about the challenge of seeing how many words you can fit into a 15 minute time frame. It challenges me more than just sitting and writing. I tend to overthink too much when I have too much time on my hands.

My story has taken a side road. Not sure how to get back, not sure which way we're headed now. It could all come full circle but so far, no end in sight. Having fun though. 

My daughter is up to about 550 words. She was feeling completely uninspired the other day and I offered a cookie from Borders for 200 words of writing. I haven't seen her write that fast in like, ever. And it was good funny writing too! She just doesn't see the talent yet in herself, but I do.

I'll keep encouraging her, as each day of continued writing does for me...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2 Almost a Wipeout

So, as much as day one was fabulous and the ideas and words flowed from my fingertips like milk and honey, so today was the exact opposite. I don't know if I was tired, sick, fed up, crowded, bothered or what but by 3 pm I only had 700 words.  The best part of my writing was when I did a Word Sprint with NaNoWordSprints on Twitter. My 11 year old dd accomplished it with me. She is enjoying writing her book and is up to about 310 words. Very impressive for her, who usually gets bored with something right away.

The evening proved to be better after I acted like a grouch telling people I couldn't write with them near me. My husband chose to ignore me and play his video game so I propped the laptop up on my lap to block the TV, plugged in my headphones and listened to music while typing another 2400 words. Ahhh, what we can do if only we put our minds to it.

Last night I went to a Write-In at the local Barnes & Noble. Okay, we can't technically say I 'went' because I didn't identify myself to anyone there as a 'NaNoWriMo participant.' I just typed away in the corner all by myself. A bit shy I found myself. I did however, manage to do alot of typing being out and about without people chatting in my ear. I go tomorrow to another Write In, this one mom will be joining me. Who knows how much we will get done. We're not the best at being quiet. We like to talk and laugh. But it will be a good time nonetheless. 

Now to think up some more dialogue and events to happen in my book. It's already getting a one note feeling. Well, that will not do at all!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1 - NaNoWriMo Begins...

So, NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month. I thought of joining the throngs of writing crazed people last year but didn't make it. I let the lack of a plot keep me from my destiny. Yea, what destiny? lol But it is panning out to be a lot of fun at the moment. Who am I kidding, it's only the first day!! Just hoping the ideas keep flowing.

I started out this year with no ideas, no plots, no characters, no nothing. Just a hope to sit and write and complete 50,000 words. Mom has decided to join me in this effort. For her I bet it will be effortless since she has written short stories, devotionals and the like for years.  I'm just hoping to finish. I told DH I may never edit the book, I may never pick it up again to look at it. I'm just shooting for the accomplishment of completing 50,000 words in the month of November without boring myself to death. Lofty goal, don't you think? But first coming up with a plot was a headache and then keeping said plot was difficult. I went through a few...

Plot #1: Super smart kids use time travel to solve the world's greatest mysteries. I couldn't even come up with characters for this idea and started to panic. I was pacing around the kitchen when the next desperate idea hit me. (I will still keep this idea around for a middle school type book. Just don't want to stray too far into a Cyberchase type series. Too similar).

Plot #2: All the letters of the world are real living entities and they unite and rebel against all the authors of the world. They start pulling themselves from all written material and panic ensues. There would be a cross over from human land to letterland and vice versa, in some such time travel/portal way. This plot seemed feasible albeit a little farfetched and on the implausible side. I brainstormed with DH on Sunday and he gave me some ideas for altering this plot into something people might be able to wrap their brains around (he couldn't understand the alphabet letters. What did they look like, big A's sticking out of their heads? How did they talk? Walk? lol It is still in the back of my head for a children's book. Children are more apt to believe breathing A-B-C's... :))  

Current Plot: Last I typed, my protagonist, Soliloquy,  is being chased by an angry mob, her brain is filled with things she doesn't understand and to top it all off, random tattoos she didn't get are appearing on her body. It's going to be a busy fall for her.

So, onward and upward! It's a start...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rain Ramblings...

(Written recently during a storm. Not modified or cleaned up yet.)

It's raining.
I can hear as it drips on the leaves.
The leaves hold the weight of water as long as they can and then let it drop to waiting leaves below.
A cascade of soft wet comfort.
Thunder hits some power source nearby.
We are plunged into darkness without warning.
We live on a slight hill...
When it rains we are treated to the view of a newborn river.
Fast and furious.
Pouring into gutters and driveways and licking car tires.
Nothing in its path is free of water touching it.
There is something magical about rain.
When I know I am safe, no thread of impending tornadoes, I enjoy the rain.
When the power is out, we are able to employ our stock pile of candles.
The house beams with flickering rays casting soft shadows on the walls and ceiling.
The children wander around at first.
Wondering what to do without electronics or light.
We should do this more often.
All is quiet now.
Windows are open to hear the rain and feel the breeze.
The kids have gathered in the living room to be close to us.
Sleeping in various contortionist ways on the couches and floor.
I enjoy the quiet.
I think I crave quiet sometimes.
The rain reminds me of what I'm missing.
It is a soothing sound. Reminiscent of childhood days.
Days spent marching around in the flowing street gutters. Playing the pots and pans for our watery band.
Now I'm trying to ignore the thunder.
Have you ever thought of noise as colors? I think thunder is white yellow. Rain is a soft blue-purple.
Maybe I'm the only one who thinks this way.
Pitter patter.
Rain dripping into the gutter.
Streetlights glimmer off the rushing road.
All is peaceful.
I am at rest.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Ideas... Yet!

The only way to learn to write is to write. - Peggy Teeters

I found an article about people who want to start writing and how they always want to start with a book. The article recommended starting with magazine articles. I've thought of doing this. My mother has written several things for bible curriculum publishers. I think articles sound less daunting than a HUGE novel. I may need to research who takes articles, what they pay, what they want material about, who takes articles written by authors who have no idea what they're doing (that would be me.)

The article recommended visiting this site:
Right-Writing on Magazines
I will have to read through that.

I really don't know where to begin. I saw something once that said to write about what you know. That's the problem. I don't think I know tons about any one subject. I know little pieces of lots of things. I homeschool the girls so we study new subjects everyday. I know a bit about homeschooling but am always asking questions myself so I don't see how that would be a viable topic. I'm an artist, and am always learning new things but not an expert in any. What is that saying, Something something something, master of none? Jack of all trades, master of none. That's me. The bright side of this is, I can pick a topic that interests me, that I know a bit about and then research it. Learn more. This is one of my lifelong goals. To be learning all the time. I'm what I like to call a perpetual learner. I would love to go back to school. I don't know what for, probably art classes. But with a teen already with her foot in the college door as she finishes up her senior HS year, I can see where our money is starting to head and its not for MY college education right now. Maybe starting with something I'm passionate about. Is there anything I'm passionate about? Gotta think on that as well.

Hmmm, knowing a little about a lot of things. Maybe the book could be called 'Master of None' and be little entertaining snippets about everything in my head. Have you ever read that book, 'The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World' by A. J. Jacobs. It's all about a guy who read his way through the Encyclopedia in a year. I brought this book home from the library one time and it sat around until DH picked it up to see what it was. He started reading it and telling me all these funny things in it so then I had to read it too. We fought over who got to read it at a certain time. Usually it worked out though because I go to bed much later than he and could read well into the wee hours. I can't remember if I finished it but it sure was enlightening.

Why do I want to write? That would be a good question. I've always felt like writing could be a passion. Not that I'm good at it, maybe I just love to talk. I've blogged for years, rambling on about this and that, with no set plan in mind. You would think after all those years of blog-writing, I'd be an expert in grammar, topic, etc... But blogs don't judge you, neither do the people who read them for the most part. They don't drop that they're doing to comment with 'Nah-ah-ah! You used THEIR instead of THERE and spelled vacuum wrong.' I've never had anyone correct my grammar and spelling. I'm obsessed with that myself I do enough correcting on my own. Sometimes it just feels like there's all this information in my head, all these things i want to say. Not necessarily plots and how-tos, just words, thoughts and ideas. What kind of book would that be? I wonder...

Off to research magazine article writing. Instead of doing dishes...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Every novel should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. - Peter De Vries
I swear I used to be an intelligent, semi-well read individual who could form comprehensive enjoyable sentences that didn't suffer from a plethora of likes and so's. I used to know grammar backward and forward, that you don't end sentences with that thingie, what do you call it? Prepositional phrase? No, that's not it. It will come to me. Somewhere along the way I've picked up the bad habit of saying 'thingie' and whatchamacallits' and putting everything I want to accent in CAPITALS and 'apostrophes'. Then I sit and worry about if the period should be inside or outside the parentheses and if my spellcheck is really telling me all that is wrong or if it has joined the bandwagon of bad speech to include words that are social acceptable but really spelled incorrectly. I believe I'm digressing. Is that even possible?

I've always wanted to write a novel or mystery. My mother and I have thought up book titles many times when we find something funny that we feel should be shared with the world. I wish I had kept a list of all those ideas. Edgar Rice Burroughs says:
"If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor."
I bet I had a best seller among all the ideas I've come up with over the years and didn't even know it!

There is never a perfect time to start writing. I have many excuses of why to wait:
until I have more time
the kids have moved out
I turn 40, 50, 60
I retire
I had a novel idea

My fears tend to be:
what if I fail
what if I suck
what if I get writer's block
what if I can't write everyday
what if I can't finish
what if I finish but can't get it published
what if people don't think I have it in me
what if I don't think I have it in me
what if...

I'm also worried that I will lose interest. I have always wanted to write, books, articles, newspaper columns, etc... but have never pursued that dream with any effort. What is it going to take to go for it?