Sunday, November 27, 2016

NaNoWriMo update – week 4

Week 4 people!  And only 3 more days to go with the month-long challenge I’ve committed myself to. NaNoWriMo is something you can love, hate or be indifferent to, but to take part and succeed is a feeling hard to compete with.

I haven’t reached the finish line yet…I’m still short of my 50,000 goal, but I’m close.

I’ll admit I expected to be closer to my word count by today, but the past few days were tough for me and made it hard for me to stay completely focused on writing. Thanksgiving was an obvious day of retreat from the computer – to spend time in the kitchen preparing a big meal before spending the rest of the day with family.

But it was the two days after Thanksgiving that were rough for me.  For those who follow me, you must know I’m an animal lover. My pets are like kids to me. And my furry kids, especially my cats, live a very long time so that when I finally have to say goodbye, it seems even that much harder.

I’ve had four cats that have reached the ages of 18 to 20 years old. One of them I had since he was born when I was just a kid, so he passed away when I was in my early 30’s, but the other three cats I’ve had since my mid-to-late 20’s. Two of them were males; one was with us until a few years ago, the other until last year, and the last of the three, Misty and the only female, was 19 ½ years old. We had to say goodbye to her yesterday. It was difficult for me, but when a cat lives that long, you know they’ve had a good long life.

So I was a bit distracted and didn’t stick with my writing the way I had hoped for most of the weekend but I did a great job making up for it today, adding over 6,700 words just today! Based on my word count, I need just over 2,200 words per day to complete my goal. 

I can see the finish line.

The challenge is almost complete – I haven’t quite decided how I’m going to treat myself once I reach my goal and earn my certificate of completion, but I have a few days to think about it.

For anyone else competing in the challenge, I hope it’s been fun, or even if it’s been a real challenge, I hope it’s taught you something about yourself.  

I know it’s taught me something…never stop believing in yourself and what you can accomplish!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

NaNoWriMo update – week 3

Are you getting tired of hearing about the month-long writing challenge yet?  

It will be over soon enough, but thankfully not for another week and a half because there’s still a lot I can get done.

I’m still managing my time pretty well, getting my word count in at a decent rate and I’m seriously having a lot of fun with my characters.  I’m looking forward to going back through what I’ve put together at the end of the month so that I can add in more detail and tie the chapters together for a smoother ride.  But that has to happen later – until then, to get through this challenge, you have to tell your inner critic to shut the heck up and leave you alone.  To feel real movement, I’m focusing on major scenes, new characters and key points that will move the story forward as they relate to each plot or subplot – it’s later that I’ll plug in the little details and fill in the blanks or plot holes. 

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming 4-day weekend.  Of course, I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving, a delicious turkey dinner and time spent with family.  But after that?  I’m really looking forward to having three whole days to spend on writing.  Those three days should easily net me at least another 15,000 words, if not more.

Since I’m already over 32,000 words, any writing I make time for after this next weekend will likely be a bonus.

I’m ready to start the fourth week of this challenge, I’m super excited about a work week that’s going to be shorter than the weekend, I look forward to time with family (and leftover turkey sandwiches), and I can’t wait to see how far I’m able to get with my story and with my word count by the end of the week.

There’s a lot to look forward to – I hope you also have a great week!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

NaNoWriMo update - week 2

I believe there are two different mindsets when it comes to NaNoWriMo right now.  The first is that we’re only in the second week, with technically two and a half weeks to go, so it feels like there’s still plenty of time left. The other is that we’re actually almost halfway through November, which would mean halfway through the challenge, so I’m sure it’s fair to say that many writers out there are already questioning whether they will reach their word count or not.

I guess it’s either a glass half full or a glass half empty mentality. Either way, no matter where anyone is in this challenge, there is still time to finish what’s been started. For anyone who is behind on their word count, it just means finding the time to work that much harder for the next few weeks.

My glass is half full, when it comes to my mindset. I’m glad to say my second week was better than my first. This second week resulted in a higher word count and was minus the flu I had to get through the first week. On top of that, Friday was a holiday which meant staying home all day with very few distractions so that I made good on catching up on my word count. I’m just about where I need to be at this point in the challenge.

Gotta love those 3-day weekends!

I’m really enjoying my writing time and I’m very happy to have made the decision to join NaNoWriMo this year. It’s keeping my butt in the chair and moving my story along in a wonderful way. I’m also really thankful to have something else to focus my time on other than what’s been going on in the news or on social media. To be honest, it’s all just too distracting, sometimes disturbing and very depressing. Getting into my story, having fun with my characters and playing with the plot surrounding a mystery is so much more entertaining. Things are moving along with Jorja and the other characters, along with a cold case mystery and another new mystery to solve. It’s just all so much fun and I can’t wait to share.

For now, I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday weekend.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hi everyone - happy Friday and happy Veteran's Day!

Just a quick post on 11/11 to talk about 11:11 - If you haven't already, check out my short story, "11:11, Anna's Awakening," available in paperback and as an eBook on Amazon or in paperback through my eStore.

Here's a short blurb:

Everyone deals with grief in their own way. Death can bring families closer together; sometimes it can tear them apart. Only time can heal the wounds to build stronger relationships and while some relationships survive, sadly, others do not. This is the story of two parents who suffer a great loss and attempt to build a new relationship with the memory of their loved one between them. But as they both work through their grief, their relationship is threatened by many things…fear, anger, selfishness, even greed. As husband and wife tend to their needs to survive the numbing loss, one of them must become acutely aware of these threats in order to change their fate.

It's a quick read, and for anyone who takes the time to check it out, I'd really like to hear your feedback.

Thanks and have a great day!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

NaNoWriMo update – week 1

We are one week down in this massive writing challenge called NaNoWriMo, and I’m sure there are many writers out there who are wondering just what the heck they got themselves in to now that things are finally underway.

So how am I doing so far?

I’m admittedly doing so-so. 

I am supposed to average 1,667 words per day in order to reach my goal of 50,000 by the end of the month. But my first week for this challenge left me…challenged, and I wasn’t able to complete my daily word count goal. The main excuse was that I became very ill half way through the week, leaving me incapacitated for two days where I wasn’t able to complete anything that involved thought-process, sitting in a chair in front of a computer for any length of time, or anything that wouldn’t let me nap when the mood struck me.

I would be much closer or at my goal of just over 10,000 words today if it weren’t for my illness earlier this week, so instead I am currently at 6,565.  However, when I review what I was able to accomplish this week, based on what I was up against, I will say I’m pleased. Given where I am right now, my daily word count goal jumps from 1,667 words to just 1,738 words per day. That is a relatively manageable expectation.

I feel good so far with the challenge. I am pleased with the progress I’ve made with my story and with the new characters in my story. The characters are talking and I’m having fun.  For me, that’s what really counts. 

Now off to week number two!