Writing in November

dream timeLife is weird. Life is also busy. It is now November. I have two sick kids who are on the mend and I really just want to take a nap right now. I slept well last night, aside from strange dreams, but I feel like I need an extra thirty-minute nap or something to reach fully recharged. I think these days that is a permanent feeling. I am always a nap away from not being tired but I never actually get the nap.

November is National Novel Writing Month. Three days ago NanoWriMo kicked off and thousands of people out there are furiously writing away at what will hopefully be a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. My friend Lori is giving it a shot. I have competed against time and life to write that 50,000-word novel in a month before too. I am considering doing it again. Only this time I think I will give myself a break. I mean I did just finish a book. Not quite a 50,000-word novel, but a book none the less.

I think I will write a book of short stories. There are hundreds of writing prompts you_fail_only_if_you_stop_writingfloating around out there so I can just pick one or two a day and write a bunch of short fictional narrations that will eventually add up to the necessary word count.  That is the tentative plan. I also have another book idea but I have so many writing irons in the fire I really don’t want to chase after another long project right now.

If anyone out there wants to hop on board the National Novel Writing Month train, I have provided links to the website. It is fun and challenging, especially if you have never done it before. I am just giving it a shot for fun. I know I can write a novel in a month if I need to so I am not as worried about if  I can. I am just writing to support my friend in her endeavors as she runs the race and to enjoy writing just for writing’s sake. Who knows, maybe I can churn out something useful by the end.

Advertisements

Thursday Is Not Monday, but here is a post

whats-your-storyIt is currently 6 a.m. on a November Thursday morning. I missed Monday’s post again. It is getting more and more difficult to post on my work week.

I may have to go down to two posts a month rather than one every week. That is something I will have to consider later. Right now it is November so that means it is Nation Novel Writing Month.

Truthfully, I did not plan on participating this year. I have so much going on I did not intend to add one more thing. That was before vampire slaying hobos happened though. (Long story.)

So now a friend of mine and I are writing novels about the same characters hoping that by the end of the month, between the two of us, we will have an actual readable book or at least a few short stories. We only have working titles right now but look for our finished project sometime in January.

Right now I have some writing to get done. Since both kids are home sick I need to get to it while they are still asleep. Have a great day everybody and happy writing!

I’m Back

white rabbit 2I’m a little late. We are well into the first week of December, and I said I would only be gone for the rest of November, but  I have been struggling with writing lately.  I don’t know if it is post NaNoWriMo depression or what, but putting words down has been difficult.  Even a facebook status update or a tweet seems to take too much effort.

I did not win NaNoWriMo this year.  I only made it to around 43,000 words.  I could nanohave won. I could have forced myself to spew forth those other 7,000 words. But I didn’t.

bobross  You see, I really like the story I wrote this year. I got all the wide sketch strokes down. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  But it deserves more time.

I like this one enough that I refused to force it. Sounds like an excuse right?  Maybe it is and maybe it’s not.

Last year I really liked my story too but I forced it and…well it’s not quite right. Therebox are bits missing that didn’t get time to develop and I am not sure it can be made better. Time will tell with that one. It currently gets to live in that box under my bed.  Maybe one day I will take it out and rebuild it, who knows.

I did not want that to happen to this story.  So for the first time in four years, I did not win NaNoWriMo.  In a sense I threw the fight.  But in doing so I may have saved the life of this book.  At least that is what I am hoping anyway.

I will be MIA for the rest of November…probably

nanoThere are eight days left in National Novel Writing Month, and I am around 10,000 words behind where I should be. This is why I did not post this past Monday.  (I honestly lost track of the days of the week again.)  Between kids, work, and writing I’ve been juggling quite a bit.  pooh-and-pigletThanksgiving is next week.  They had activities to celebrate the holiday at my children’s school on Thursday.  Next week I will be joining my family at the dinner table, happy to have good food to share but happier still for the people I will share it with.  I may do a quick post closer to the day, but just in case, I would like to let all who read this know I am thankful for you as well.

magic-book Writers write in private. Without readers our words would never be more than just print on a page.  Writers may sprinkle magic down in the form of words but it takes someone reading it to bring that magic fully to life.  So thank you for taking the time to read my blog and may you all have a blessed November, no matter if you celebrate it with turkey or not.  😉Thanksgiving-Charlie-Brown-Snoopy

 

Starving on a plate too full

cat-peeking-out-from-under-beddingI didn’t post on Monday.  I meant to.  I even had the whole thing written out on paper.  I just never got the chance to transfer it from the paper to my computer.  I could come up with a dozen excuse as to why not, but to be honest I chose sleep over writing.  Sometimes that happens.  (It has to or at some point you become a danger to yourself and others.)

Working third shift, as a single parent, with two elementary school aged children, and trying to give a writing career a go is hard.  Doing all of that with two sick elementary school aged children, plus fighting off a cold/allergies-of-doom is nigh impossible.  Thank God for my mom or I don’t think I would have survived this past week.

Also with the threat of NaNoWriMo on the horizon, I have been striving to reorganize a few things.  If I am having trouble just getting through the day with all of my obligations now, then writing a 50,000 word book in 30 days will not happen. (And giving up NaNo is not an option.  As crazy as it sounds, it’s something I really look forward to.  I can write a book, just for me, and it doesn’t have to be good.  Think of it as the literary equivalent of screaming into a pillow.)

I’ve needed to take a look at my plate and push a few things around for awhile now but I im-najera-froissartam one of those people that say “no, I can do it” even when it is obvious that I am trying to fight an fully armored charging army, by myself with a toothpick.  (My friends have called me on this many many times.) I think it is a family trait.  My brother and my parents do the same thing.

I was on a friend’s street team.  (Which is a group of people that work together to help an author promote their books.)  I still respect her.  I still greatly enjoy her books and will throw it a plug here or there when I can, but it isn’t something I can really focus on at the moment.  Not with everything else.  I suffer guilt for giving it up, but at the same time I know it was the right thing to do. (And fortunately she is one of those gracious people that understands.)

Also with cold and flu season starting up, work has gotten a lot more hectic.  Saturday, tissuesjudging from the people at our pharmacy at 2am, you would have thought the ER had a two for one special going on.

I probably will still have to do some more shifting of all my obligations, but right now the portions on my plate look a lot better than they did.  During November, if blog post dwindle back to twice a month, don’t worry it is only temporary.  My Monday schedule of posting will remain the same, it just may not be every week.

“Our Heart’s there to conquer the world, but we’re only human beings.” -Aaron Rudolph Flinchum

21 days until November

0autumn_wallpapers_EA54095We only have 21 days until November.  For some this means Holidays and Christmas shopping.  For others it signals the beginning of a massive creative endeavor, National Novel Writing Month.

Every year thousands of people attempt to write 50,000 words in just 30 days during one of the busiest months of the year.  If you have never attempted NaNoWriMo, I highly nanoencourage it.  It is a lot of fun, which is the whole reason I do it. For fun.  Not to produce a critically acclaimed book that will win hundreds of awards.

There are writers out there who frown and boo National Novel Writing Month simply because when novices take up a pen and produce a large quantity of words, they often think it is the most wonderful thing ever written and must be shared with the world.   50,000 words in 30 days is quite the necronomiconaccomplishment.  It should be celebrated.  But no one really wants to see your baby covered in the after birth…and honestly there are some books written during NaNo that should never be allowed out in the daylight.  (I have written a couple of those myself.  In fact often my NaNo ideas are completely silly things that I wouldn’t normally attempt.)

So while I greatly encourage all to come NaNo with me during the month of November, I ask that you let the word count high settle during December and then re-read what you have written before sharing it with the world.  Sometimes NaNoWriMo produces gems that are usable sometimes it doesn’t.  But always remember that first drafts are diamonddiamonds in the rough.  They need to be cleaned, cut, and polished before they truly can shine.  And for the love of ink slingers everywhere, please please let someone else read your book before sharing it with the rest of the world.  It will save you and the world a lot of heart ache. Trust me on this one.  (As mildly dyslexic and a natural bad speller I am speaking from experience.)   I will probably be posting more on the Pros and Cons of NaNoWriMo as the month passes.  Though if anyone wants to register early (its free btw) don’t forget to add me as a writing buddy.  I am thecoffeefox.coffeefox

Motivation

After nanowrimo I am a little burned out with writing.  That doesn’t mean I am going to catbooksstop, but it is a good excuse to kick back with a stack of books…which I just so happen to have.

I know myself well enough to know that I am a major procrastinator.   As a result, I write like mad under the pressure of a quickly approaching deadline.
tornado However, sometimes I need a little bit more motivation.  This November I needed a lot of motivation because life didn’t even give me a chance to procrastinate.  I was tossed around in a tornado of stress and grief which left little energy for writing my nano novel.

I managed to pull it off, but only because I had been smart enough at the very beginning of the month to buy two new books by two of my favorite authors.  I then gave those books to my sister and told her I was not allowed to have them back until I had my word count caught up.
She took the books home with her and guaranteed that I would never see the books again Nick_Fury_Avengersif I didn’t manage my word count.  It was sort of a hostage situation. (It would have been easier to get them back from Nick Fury than Sarah. Trust me.  Fury at least lacks depth perception.)

129161051317775306I had paid full price at the local book store for those two shiny brand new books.  I hadn’t even read the first page on either one.  It was awful to think that I might never get to read them.  So I got caught up.  It took until November 30th, but I did it.

Sometimes you have to give yourself that extra little bit of motivation.  It can be a reward or a threat.  It can be both.  Whatever works to keep the words coming.

Gaiman-motivational-poster-sm