I haven’t given up on NaNo

As this is the 17th of November and I only have a little over 12000 words written, you might be rolling your eyes at that statement.  You might be thinking I should just give it up to write again another day.  Why put myself through the stress and struggle of trying to hit 50,000 words by the end of the month?  And maybe you’re right, but I just can’t find it within myself to give up.

Sad but true...average of 722 words per day.

Sad but true…average of 722 words per day.

I had to chuckle (a little ruefully, I admit) when I saw my stats after updating my word count today.  It said that, at this rate, I would finish my 50,000 words on January 10.  How about that?  But I’m going to write more than my 712 words per day average.  In order to hit 50,000 I’ll have to write a little under 3000 words a day.  Wow!  That’s a lot, I know.  But still very doable.  I just have to force myself to sit down at the computer a few times a day and actually write something.

Today, when I sat down to write (after we had tornadoes sweep through the area and after watching Indiana win another game), I’ll admit it was a struggle to get back into it at first.  But it got easier as I went on.  I’m still going to do another session yet tonight.  And I have tomorrow off work.  With Clara in school, I shouldn’t have to worry about any little intrusions until 5 pm or so.  The plan is to sit down to at least three long writing sessions tomorrow…more if I feel like it and can keep going.  I’m not giving up.

With almost two full weeks left in the month, I believe I can do it.  I believe.

27 Hours and 52 minutes until NaNo time

Nanowrimo logo

Nanowrimo logo (Photo credit: wyn ♥ lok)

Of course, that countdown will change often.  With every passing minute.  I haven’t been writing much at all this month.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe I’ve been conserving my finger strength.  Or my brain power.  Or maybe I’ve just been lazy and am trying to spin it so I don’t actually look lazy to all of you.  Whatever the reason, I’m excited to get this version of NaNo underway.  The characters are warming up, ready to approach the starting gate and charge out running full-tilt.

For those of you who will be joining me, let’s make sure we get off to a fast start.  It’s so difficult to play catch-up as the month of November winds down.  If you haven’t already become my buddy, don’t hesitate to do so.  I nag extremely well (just ask anyone I work with, they’ll agree).  Anyhow, just drop by and buddy up.


November is also my busy time at work…yea for retail!  But I’ve got a plan.  I’m going to get up 30-60 minutes earlier on the days I have to work so I can get some writing in before I head out to my paying gig.  Then I’ll do another round in the evening after I come home.  Clara may not be happy with me, our visits may be a little shorter, but I’ve got some goodies to bribe her with.  She’ll like that.  And I’ve printed out some work sheets to keep her busy.  Tonight we were practicing math skills using M & M’s…if you have four green M & M’s and you eat one, how many do you have left?  Not sure if she likes the learning or the candy.  I’ll have to make time for her, but probably not quite as much as I’ve had lately.  Do you think she’d understand it if I told her I was writing a book?  Probably not…

It’s almost time…ready, set…we’ll get going at midnight November 1st!  Let’s do it!

Twas the Saturday before Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving Day Greetings

Thanksgiving Day Greetings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…and day 17 of NaNoWriMo.  And what a wild day it was.  We went in to work at 6 this morning.  Yes, that was kind of like sleeping in for me.  We got quite a bit done before opening, then it was nuts from the get-go (now where does that phrase come from?  Guess I’ll have to google that one.).  The good news is, I didn’t fall off of any ladders today!

After not writing at all yesterday, I knew I was going to have to spend a little time at it tonight.  I’m not sure I managed to write anything worthwhile…no, let me change that.  I’m pretty sure everything I wrote tonight was crap (that one’s for you, Simone).  Seemed like I was just going through the motions to add to my word count…and that’s not cool.

I’m so glad I had those few days of intense writing when I was able to get ahead on the word count, because I know, for the next week, it’s going to be difficult to find much time to devote to it.  But hey, that’s why I tried to jump out fast.  I knew what the month would be like.  I mean, after all, this isn’t my first rodeo.

Too tired to think

Dervish Sufi Order

Dervish Sufi Order (Photo credit: pmorgan)

Holy moly, I am one exhausted chick tonight.  Worked almost 12 hours again after getting way too little sleep last night.  I’m seriously going to bed early tonight…like really soon.  I don’t care what it says on the clock.  Don’t tell me it’s too early to go to bed.  I need sleep.

So, in that oh so tired vein, I haven’t written anything for NaNo today…not one single word. And I can’t even make myself feel bad about it.  This is exactly why I wrote like a whirling dervish over the weekend, knew there would be days like this.  See, every once in a while I come up with a good plan…

And, as a special little treat…my district manager is going to be visiting my store tomorrow.  Yes!!

Election day and NaNo, day 6

A polling place at a recreation center in New ...

A polling place at a recreation center in New Jersey’s 2008 general election (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, did you vote?  I was there at a little after 6 this morning, thinking I’d get in and out quickly then head out to work.  My polling place was the neighborhood grade school, very close to where I live.  As I was driving up the street toward the school, I glanced over at the parking lot and thought, “Holy moly!  That’s a lot of cars.”   I parked and got out of my car and walked toward the lighted doors.  When I opened the door, I looked up and saw the line running the full length of the hallway where it disappeared around a corner.  Actually the line had snaked down one side of the hall and the end of the line was curved around along the opposite wall.  One of the poll workers was talking about what everyone needed as far as ID was concerned and that there was a map on the wall that listed the 3 precincts voting at this location.  He then lifted his hands over his head and excitedly exclaimed, “I’ve never seen anything like this.  This is so cool!”  That brought more than a few chuckles from the crowd.

As the line inched its way forward, I eventually made it to the corner.  Imagine my surprise when I saw the line continue down another hall!  Wow!  Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like that.  There have been many elections when I walked into the polling place and saw only the volunteers, sometimes one or two voters.

I finally got to cast my vote (surprisingly on paper ballots rather than a voting machine) then made my way back out.  The line was just as long as it was when I had arrived.  Pretty cool.

I posted this on Facebook earlier this evening and thought I’d share it here too.  While I was still waiting in line, a young girl (she looked like she was young enough that this was her first election) and her mother came out after casting their votes.  The girl handed her phone to a guy waiting in line and asked if he would take a picture of them.  They both put on their “I voted” stickers and posed for that special picture.  To see how excited that girl was to have cast her ballot, that, to me, is a big part of what is right with our system (yes, there is a lot that is wrong, for sure), that we have the right to vote and that our votes really do count.  (Well..there is that pesky thing called the electoral college…boo)  Anyhow, as I looked around at the people waiting in line with me, we weren’t thinking of each other as enemies, we weren’t being hateful or nasty, we were all just there to peacefully cast our votes…to exercise our rights and to live up to our responsibilities.  And that’s a pretty cool thing!

Now on to NaNo…I did manage to write a little over 1650 words tonight…unfortunately, pretty much all of them were crap.  Even as I was writing them, I was thinking how terrible it was.  But I did sit down and write…probably nothing that will ever see the light of day…oh, is this my inner editor giving me a hard time?  Could be…

But I am over 18,000 words, so that’s something.  Now, do I dare go to bed and wait until tomorrow to hear the election results?  Oh, what am I talking about, they probably won’t know the results for who knows how long.

NaNo, day 4. Really? Only 4 days so far?

Somehow it seems like so many more days than a measly little four days.  But I did manage to hit my goal of a word count total of over 15,000 before the end of the day today.  I didn’t beat it by much, but that’s not the point.  The point is, I set a goal and worked toward it…and worked….and worked.

Where yesterday’s writing was quick and easy, today’s was more of a struggle.  At least the first writing session of the day was a struggle.  When I sat down for the second session, something clicked.  I kind of changed the narrator’s tone and was off and running.  I was able to stop in a good place…a place that will be easy to pick up and head off from tomorrow…you know, after an exhausting 12 hour workday.

For all of you who are participating in NaNoWriMo this month, I hope you have at least a few of those quick and easy days, when the words flow through your fingertips, and your characters take over the story…at least for a while.

nanowrimo, day 13 goal

nanowrimo, day 13 goal (Photo credit: paloetic)


NaNo, day 1, the fun begins


nanowrimo (Photo credit: evilnick)

Whew…long day at work today…eleven and a half hours of non-stop action and fun (ahem).  I even forced myself to stop at PetSmart after work…figured I wouldn’t want to do it tomorrow any more than I did tonight, and the crazy little felines were out of treats (am I the only person who gives their cats treats daily?  I don’t think so…).

Did the usual after I got home, threw a load of laundry in, fixed a little dinner, checked in on Facebook, then remembered that IU had an exhibition game, had to watch that.  At half-time, I decided I’d start my writing for NaNoWriMo.  I ended up writing 1788 words and still made it back to see the last half of the second half (not a particularly exciting game, IU way up so I knew I wasn’t missing much).

I’m trying to quiet that inner critic who is telling me that my start isn’t all that good…you know, should I make it more like this, should I change the voice, should I have started somewhere else?  But, I started where I started and now I’m going to see where it leads me.  Seems like there are times when your characters kind of take over the telling of your story and take it where they want it to go…let’s see if that happens here.

Tomorrow’s going to be another early, long day…so I’m thinking I’m going to have to hit the sack and try to settle my thoughts so I can get some rest…you know, so I can do it all again!!

NaNo Eve

My polling place

My polling place (Photo credit: tychay)

When I got home from my 11 hour workday this evening, I made up a grilled turkey and cheese sandwich (yummy, btw), put a load of laundry in, then sat down in front of the computer.  Checked out Facebook, skipped all of the political crap, clicked a few likes, left a few messages, then gave serious thought to starting my writing for NaNo.

“What?!”, you say?  NaNo doesn’t start for another, oh I don’t know, five hours and ten minutes here in Indiana.  Who would dare start early?  And isn’t that cheating?  And you would be correct in questioning me in that manner.  Thank goodness I was able to control myself.  After all of my complaining about the lying, cheating politicians, I don’t want to do something that would bring me down to their level.

They may not be able to hold their heads high in the morning (although truth be told, they probably don’t even notice the lies that come out of their mouths…anything to win, right?), but I will!  As excited as I am to commence writing my next novel, I’m not going to jump the gun.  I’ll follow the rules and come out a winner anyhow.  How many of those blasted politicians can (truthfully) make that claim?

Speaking of politics and politicians, have you voted yet?  I thought about voting early, but I’ll just stop by the polling place on election day like I do every election…get my little sticker and wear it to work.  I don’t care who you vote for (well, I kind of do because I’d like to see my guys and gals win)…just get out there and exercise your rights!  Over the years there have been a lot of people who’ve given their lives to protect our right to vote, the least we can do is show up and pull a few levers…

Writing…back in the swing of things

nano tip 2

nano tip 2 (Photo credit: nuanc)

What is it about having a deadline that gets me back on track?  Why can’t I be one of those folks who just manage to carve out time each day to sit down and write…who don’t allow the distractions to…well…to distract them?

With the start of National Novel Writing Month fast approaching, I’ve become more consistent with my writing.  That’s what I was hoping to accomplish in the month  of October in preparation for NaNo.  I think I’m pretty well there. I’ll soon have more blog posts in the month of October than in the previous three months combined…yow!

After finishing my first Camp NaNo this summer, I thought I’d be able to sit down and write another 50,000 words the next month…didn’t happen.  I didn’t have that deadline staring at me, taunting me, ready to laugh at me should I fail.  What’s up with that?  Why couldn’t I impose and adhere to my own deadline?  I need to figure this out at some point in time…just not right now when I’m ready to embark on another month of frantic writing.  Finish that, then try to decipher the nuttiness rattling around in my head.  Try to figure out how to consistently motivate myself in my writing as well as my weight loss (yes, yes…I’m still trying to lose weight…blah!).

But…and this is huge…right now I’m going to stay focused on writing.  Pound those words out and get a rough draft of my next novel completed.  Then work on revision, don’t just set it aside and let it gather dust.  Can’t begin to tell you how much I want to be able to say I’m a published author…like  all the rest of you writers out there don’t understand what I’m saying.  I know you do!

Sick day…kind of…

I couldn’t sleep last night, felt sick to my stomach and kind of dizzy every time I crawled out of bed.  I ended up calling my boss this morning and switching my day off from tomorrow to today.  (He’s good that way…I’m lucky, I know.)  After I got off the phone, I climbed back into bed and stayed there almost all day.  I hate days like that, but what can you do?  But I think Spooky enjoyed an entire day snuggling in bed…as long as we kept Scout locked out of the bedroom…poor little Scout.

I woke up an hour or so ago and decided I should probably try to get a little done this evening so I don’t have an entirely wasted day in the books.  So…here I am…after feeding the cats, I’m writing a little…hey, I’ve got my priorities in line…cats, writing, housework…well, truthfully, the housework is probably a lot further down the list after eavesdropping on the neighbors (they’re moving…woohoo!!).

So I’ll be working tomorrow then have Wednesday off…all after he was good enough to give me two days off together through the week…oh well…I did manage to get some prep work done for NaNo, I read No Plot, No Problem…well, I stopped at the chapters to read at the beginning of each week, figured I could wait another week to read that.  Interesting reading about how NaNoWriMo started and how it’s grown so quickly in such a short period of time.  It includes good tips for “winning” NaNo too.  I was already doing a lot of the things Baty suggests, but there were a couple of things that I’ve added and a few things that I’m not going to do.  What works for one person, might or might not work for someone else.  I guess we all have to figure that out for ourselves, right?