Wkly Brief – Gratitude

Snow In NY

Snow In NY

Today, I am grateful for my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings, in-laws, friends, nieces, nephews, husband, and children. Today I am praying for those who first taught me about Thanksgiving and who are not here to celebrate the day with us: for those who have paved the path to heaven and for those who are sharing the day with others.

With or without electric power, I am grateful to be spending the day with some of the many whom I love.

 God bless you all.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Reaching the NaNoWriMo Summit

DSC_3326Something very unexpected has happened during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  It started last week, when in the throes of illness I dragged myself to my keyboard and lived vicariously through my characters.  My word count climbed, perhaps not as vigorously as earlier in the month, but nevertheless it climbed, until on November 20th, gasping for breath and begging me to take a break, it hefted itself over the 50,000 word mark.DragonExhausted and humbled, I stood at the summit and looked at what I had achieved.

And then it happened.
It wasn't enough.
I wanted more. I wanted to finish this story.
I have to finish this story.
I owe it to my characters
to let them find closure and of course,
being the optimist I am,

I kept writing, and writing, and writing. Today with 60,735 words on the page (10,950 of which I already know I am going to cut), I am two-thirds done with the story. I have every intention of finishing my first novel in December. And I’m actually looking forward to working on the second draft. Can’t wait really. Luckily I get a little over a week off during the holidays.

Maybe we’ll have a tree this year. Maybe not. We’ll see.

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Wkly Brief – Elevator Music

It’s hard enough to give yourself NaNoWriMo pep talks when you healthy, but add a dose of illness and it is easy to succumb to fears and negative reinforcement. That is exactly what has been happening during the past five days of writing.  Then, (cue harps and angels singing), this post about entrepreneur’s worst enemy: fear came into my email.  If you have to combat your inner critic, hopefully it will help you too.

I’m signing off tonight. I’m tired. I’m still sick. And I miss writing my novel, so I’m going to write in Scrivener for thirty minutes.  I hope you will forgive this short post, but to get you through the next few days, here’s my version of elevator music.

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Ten Priority Shifts to Meet NaNoWriMo Goals

FYI for artists:  if you want to donate art for a cover design, key word being donate, please let me know by sending me an email. Let’s see if we can work something out.

Week three of National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo) started today, and I’m back in business after a rocky week two.

The past week was going great right through Wednesday, when I hit 33, 410 words. Then my week fell apart.  Thursday started with an interesting conference about support services metrics  hosted by EDUCAUSE-NERCOMP.  But, as I concentrated on slides and speakers, cuddled in my heavy sweater, scarf. and winter coat, I was incubating a down-for-the-count illness.

Luckily, my friends took care of me, I didn’t have to drive in the Boston traffic, and I arrived home in time to go to the walk-in clinic where my fever was kind enough to spike up to a hefty 102.9. A course of antibiotics prescribed and ibuprofen at my fingertips got me through the next 24 hours. But ultimately I missed three days of writing and my daily word average plummeted. Continue reading

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Wkly Brief – Day 12 and Throttling Back

It’s nearing midnight on the ninth day of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have joined hundreds of zillions of people throughout the world by pledging to write 50,000 words in November, with the hopeful side benefit of having a first draft of a novel.


And oh, I am so tired and bummed out. For tomorrow I have to be out the door by 5:30 AM to go into Boston for a conference. There will be no writing tomorrow . That means no stolen kisses, no intrigue, no misunderstandings. Just a conference to learn about customer service metrics. Ah well.

Tonight though, I hit 33,410 words. For fellow WriMo’s here’s the two tips that have kept me going:

  1. It’s okay to stop for a day and regroup, replot, meet and greet your characters.
  2. I still struggle with self-editing. I have to continuously remind myself to get the concept down. STOP EDITING. JUST WRITE.  Sketch, sketch, sketch.  I can contour and color later.

Other NaNoWriMo moments:

  • Scrivener saves the day.  On Monday, I used my two hours before my real job to rework my whole plot.  That night I typed all of my notes into scenes in Scrivener and my word count jumped by 4,000. One of my best days, and now my plot is tighter and my characters are doing all the right (and of course, all the wrong) things.
  • But real life is starting to get in the way. Evening meetings, social life, veterinary appointments demand attention and are welcome distractions. It makes it difficult to maintain the 2,700+ words per day average. But my goals is to hit 50,000 before Thanksgiving so that the rest of my writing is gravy (and Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes).
  • Best of all, I really think I’m going to finish this story. And then I’m going to clean it up until the sentences sing.

I’m even starting to think about rounding up some Beta readers.

But that could be my exhaustion speaking.

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