Saturday, November 24, 2012

Down to the Wire

Well, we're moving into the last week of November, and for many like myself, that means the final week of NaNoWriMo. One thing this past month has shown me is just how much I can accomplish even when my life goes totally topsy-turfy for a week or so in the middle of something like this.

A good chunk of the second full week resulted in very little being written. Thankfully, I anticipated that those days would be hectic with little, if any, time to write, so I powered ahead during the first 12 days to get as far ahead as possible. I managed to hit 50K on the 13th. Woohoo! But I wasn't done there.

My actual goal for November is to write the entire book, not just 50K of it. As of last night, I had reached nearly 80,000 words and counting for the month. I've got just the epilogue left to write and this project is done. Then I have the next project ready to start.

I knew from past experience than I can, indeed, write an entire novel in a month.  I've done it twice (and one of those months, I wrote a novel AND a novella and really shocked myself).  I just need the hours to sit in front of the computer and make myself do it!

Photo courtesy of wax115

I'm closing in on my goal. How are you doing with yours?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for God's Provision

The things I’m thankful for are numerous. My cup truly runneth over. But the top 5?
  1. For God’s love and faithfulness, even when I fail at both. He never gives up, even when I’m a total screw-up. And He loves me enough to offer correction and not leave me floundering on the wrong path.
  2. My husband of 19.5 years. We’ve been through a great deal together over the years, and our relationship grows in strength and love each year. It doesn’t get any better than that.
  3. For a small but faithful group of true friends and a wonderful family who love me enough to help me walk the narrow path. They’ll even give me a good strong nudge if I wander off it rather than “spare her feelings” and not be honest with me. Thank you for them, Lord.
  4. For the gift of writing. With my physical issues, it not only saves my sanity and provides wonderful therapy, it has given me a ministry I probably never would have chosen for myself had I been fit and physically active.
  5. For answers to so many prayers over the years, and God’s faithfulness in answering prayers, even when I ask the wrong questions.
 Lord, I thank you for the many blessings You continue to bestow.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Miss Writing

This past week has been completely nuts! I haven't been able to sit down for long, much less had the time and energy to write like I normally do. My word counts for Monday through Saturday of this past week certainly reflect that, as does the fact I completely spaced my blog for the first time in a while.

I've been amazed by just how much I've missed it. (My body isn't real happy about the lack of down time either.)  I hadn't realized just how much I thrive on my ability to spend two or more hours a day at the keyboard if I want and pour out the ideas that seem to constantly stream through my head. I've been so tired that ideas have been in rather short supply though, so even if I had time to write as much as I usually do, the mental energy hasn't been there.

Thankfully, I made my 50K goal for NaNoWriMo earlier in the week, thanks to a tremendous push to get it done since I knew life was about to get like this.  However, I'd really like to get that book completely written this month.  Probably not going to happen unless I really get moving once I have the hours and mental energy again.  We'll see how that goes.

I know what comes next in my book, but the words just aren't there right now even if the hours were. HOPEFULLY that will change in a couple more days.  I really want to get back to writing.

What about you?  Do you miss writing when life pulls you in different directions?
Photo courtesy of pdell @

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Push... Push... Push...

Photo courtesy of Melodi2
No, I'm not giving birth. Though in some ways, it feels similar. The creative process can be a matter of push, push, push to get the words out, to meet those deadlines or goals. (Thankfully without the pain of childbirth.)

We're now the second weekend into NaNoWriMo. I'm thrilled with how I'm doing so far. I've bypassed my early self-set goal, and I'm rapidly closing in on the 50K win. After that comes the push toward my REAL goal for the month - finish the entire book. If I go true to form, that means a total this month of 80-90K. Will I make it? Only the Lord knows! But I'm sure gonna shoot for it.

And when all else fails, I'm gonna

How are you doing with reaching your goal for November, whether self-set or for NaNoWriMo? Are you happy with the progress you're making? If not, and you haven't given up, what are you doing to try to fix that?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Favorite NaNoWriMo "Game"

Photo courtesy of JessicaCooper1321 on
Word Prompts. I only this year discovered them, but man, are they ever fun! Many WriMos know exactly what I'm talking about. But for those of you who don't, let me explain.

Each day someone posts a "Word Prompt" in the NaNo forums - i.e. they post a word you're to use in writing that day. You write a scene, or a piece of a scene, using that word then share on the forums how many words you wrote and how long it took. You can also share what you wrote if you feel so inclined. Many of us do.

This generally starts at the beginning of October. Since NaNoWriMo doesn't officially start until November 1st, I decided to try the October WPs and use them to write parts of other unfinished projects. (I don't start working on my November project until November 1st.)

I wrote nearly 9,800 words in the month of October. And that's just writing 21 bits and pieces (okay, some of them are more like CHUNKS) of 8 different projects. 4 fantasy and 4 inspirational contemporary romance. The smallest bit was only 59 words long, written in 2 minutes. The biggest chunk was 1,002 words, written in 30 minutes. Progress is progress, so I couldn't be more happy.

Here's a sample of what I did in October. This was for the Oct. 14th Word Prompt. The word to use was "collapse". 463 words written in 18 minutes. This scene is from a fantasy project I have in the works called "The Curse of the Kalamar". The excerpt below is exactly how it's shared on the NaNo forum, unedited and a bit rough. I've since edited it.
        Alaina turned over and reached for Jarn, but the other side of the bed was vacant and cold. She pushed up onto her elbows and looked around. He stood at the foot of the bed with a secretive smile on his face barely revealed by the fire’s light.
        “Come on. I want to show you something,” he whispered. “But be quiet. We don’t want to wake the others.”
        She pulled her shift over her head then reached for her cloak.
        He stilled her hand. “You won’t need that. It’s warm outside.”
        “But I thought it was snowing.”
        “It’s passed. That’s what I want to show you.” He gave a light tug on her fingers. “Come on.”
        Alaina smiled and followed him on bare feet, her hand tucked in his. She glanced back at the others as Jarn opened the cabin door. They slept on undisturbed. She smiled then followed Jarn outside. She drew up short in surprise as he closed the door behind them.
        Not only had the snow stopped, it had melted away. Green grass stood almost knee high around the cabin. The leaves had already returned to the trees, green, rich, rustling faintly in a warm breeze that delicately touched her face. She closed her eyes and relished the feel of it.
        “Come on.”
        “There’s more?”
        “You’ll see.” He grinned boyishly. Something she’d never seen him do.
        A shiver of trepidation rippled to the surface. She hesitated as he stepped into the grass. He glanced back, freezing mid-stride.
        “What is it?”
        “I’m not sure.” She shook her head. “Maybe nothing.”
        “Well, come on then.” His grip tightened around her hand, but he didn’t pull. His smile remained warm.
        She nodded and stepped off the small porch. The grass felt warm and soft under her feet.
        He led her through the trees to a clearing before stepping to one side to unblock her view of the meadow. Her breath caught. Flowers of every color imaginable pointed their blooms toward the sun. The breeze created gentle waves like gentle ripples on a pond.
        “It’s beautiful,” she whispered.
        He smiled, looked pleased with her response.
        Biting cold worked outward from her bones. The sun fell dark. Warmth faded. Colors disappeared, becoming various shades of gray. Alaina watched flowers give way to a floor of deep snow. Grass became snow drifts.
        He had vanished like a puff of smoke. She turned in place, shivering. No trace. Only one set of footprints led through the snow to the point where she stood. Hers.
        “Jarn?” She cried out and started back the way they had come. She couldn’t feel her feet. In fact, she realized with alarm that she couldn’t feel any of her extremities.
        She stumbled over something buried under the snow and collapsed.
I ended up writing the scene that immediately follows this one for the next day's prompt - 15th, word "prostrate". It worked perfectly. Both scenes have been edited and added to the book's file. What could be better than a game that's actually constructive?!?!  ;-)

Then there's this excerpt from one of my inspirational contemporary romances, with a working title of "Marrying Mr. Wright". 518 words in 12 minutes, written in response to the Word Prompt for Oct. 3rd - word was "art". Again, this is unedited and in rough draft form:

Ben watched Amber’s blue gaze travel the room. He mentally stepped back and looked at it, trying to see it through her eyes. It looked downright shabby actually. Paint had faded and was even peeling off the wall and trim in places. The furnishings were scarred and worn. Wood surfaces needed stripping, sanding and re-staining. Upholstery was unsalvageable, and he wasn’t even sure the furniture itself was worth keeping. Dust coated every surface. Dirt streaked the floors from doorway to doorway, marring carpet older than him.
He winced. Why hadn’t he noticed how bad the place looked? He wasn’t sure he even wanted to take a look at the outside of the house come morning light. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d even paid attention to the condition of things out there.
“I’m sorry about the house,” he said after a long silence.
“Why?” She stepped further into the room, her gaze on the mantle with peeling paint. Then she turned to him with a warm smile. “You said it needed work. This place looks to have great bones. All it needs is some TLC, and it could be a really nice place.”
Really? He looked around then shook his head. He had no idea what she was talking about. “You’re serious.”
“Of course, I am.”
Carrie and Heather came through the front door then stopped dead in their tracks, their gazes widening as they took in the room. He waited for the horror to manifest. Instead, they both grinned.
“Oh, boy, project!” A gleeful smile accompanied Carrie’s declaration.
“This place sure has a lot of potential,” Heather said, her gaze reflecting the same eagerness as those of her friends.
What was with these women? Any normal woman would take one look and run so far, so fast, she’d be at the Lodge in Yellowstone before a car could drive her there.
“Ben, there’s something you should know.” Amber crossed the room to stand in front of him. She waved a hand toward her friends with a grin. “What you see before you is a three-woman remodeling crew. We love to take rooms and buildings with good bones and bring out the potential in them. That’s how we’ve kept a roof over our heads all the way through college. I can’t tell you how many places we’ve remodeled over the last four years.”
“The last one made ten,” Carrie supplied.
“Really?” Ben’s eyebrows shot up.
“Yep. I do the art-related stuff such as paint choices, tile colors, carpet and the like. Carrie is our carpenter and tile worker. Heather is gifted with furnishings and spatial planning. And all three of us make one unbelievable demolition squad.” Her grin turned mischievous.
He wasn’t sure that was something to brag about, but he’d have to trust them on it. He couldn’t exactly rescind the offer to remodel his house. He’d have to back out of the engagement to do that. And he most definitely couldn’t do that. He wasn’t sure what consequences God would allow for such an act of disobedience, but he’d just as soon not find out.
There's no time limit on Word Prompts. You can take as little or as much time as you want. You can write as little or as much as you want, as long as you use the prompt in question. I haven't written them in order either. I didn't finally decide to try the Word Prompt games until the 16th of October. I've kept a running list of them and just mark them off as I do them.

So, WriMos, have you checked out the NaNo games? If so, what's YOUR favorite NaNo game?  If not, what's holding you back from giving them a shot?

BTW, as an unrelated aside, for those of you who liked my Introvert-related post, check out this video - The Value of Introverts and Extroverts.