Monday, November 27, 2006

Had Too Much Fun Sunday to Post

Daughter and I did some power shopping - we were out all day at the mall. It wasn't too bad - I think a combination of weather (rainy) and holiday exhaustion may have kept a lot of folk home on their sofas. Whatever the reason, it was good for the daughter and me.

She had a 6:00 a.m. flight this morning so we got up at 4. Nobody should have to get up at 4. At least there wasn't a line at the baggage kiosk or security. She sent me a text once she arrived home so I'd know she got there safely.

I've got the day off - I was going to take care of some stuff relating to my recent nuptuals - getting my name officially changed on my documents is going to be a pain in the rear. I have to start with my social security card. Next will be DMV. I really dread the lines. Eventually I'll get my passport changed, too.

This has nothing to do with my WIP...tonight I'll get back to it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Just Because

I know I missed a post day for NaBloPoMo and I could just throw up my hands and say "forget it" but I've decided to go ahead and finish up the month anyway. Yesterday was a weird day - I was on line quite a bit, but I also slept in 'til 10 and then around 3 took a very long nap. I was a bit befuddled for the rest of the evening. Really couldn't have told you where my head had gone. I found myself completely absorbed in Laurell Hamilton's Obsidian Butterfly and by the time I finshed, it was well after 1 a.m.

I enjoy reading the Anita Blake series - not sure why. I don't normally like first person writing but it works for these books.

I need to get back to my NaNo WIP soon or all the effort of pushing myself to write thousands of words a night will have been just for NaNo instead of establishing a habitual BIC time. And my 50k words aren't the whole story - it needs to get where it was going - it's not even half way there!

That said, my daughter is in town for just one more day - I may not write 'til Monday - it's not her fault that I don't write or post, she goes out with her friends (like tonight) and I could use that time (like I am now) but I guess I'm just in 'vacation mode' because she's here.

I had a brief panic attack earlier - I loaded my WIP into the "official" word verifier and it came up at 45k and change. I could see it maybe being a couple hundred off - but 5k?? So I went back and re-saved my final Word doc into a text doc (which I thought I had done already) and re-loaded - that worked, I was sent to the official winner's page, got my new icons, etc. It's cute, too how they put the little banner on the profile page, too.

I'm very glad I did NaNoWriMo this year. I look forward to doing it again next year.


I forgot to post yesterday. That blows my chances at the NaBloPoMo prize. *sigh* It's not like I was doing anything important - I was on line quite a bit, too.


Oh well - maybe next year!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a brief post - hoping you had a happy Thanksgiving if you celebrated it today. We've had our meal and are just lounging around. I'm not planning on writing any tonight, perhaps tomorrow. Going forward after Nov 30th I may come back to occasionally ponder or whine about my work in progress.

I think it's time for another whipped cream laden slice of pumpkin pie.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Day 22 - Uh, I Did It!

yep - with less than 15 minutes to spare this evening, I passed the 50k mark.

I have so much more to write and I'm sure as heck not resting on my laurels - but I actually wrote 50,000 words in 22 - no, I didn't write on 4 or 5 of those days - let's say 4, 18 days!


Along the way I've figured out a plot, headed in a new direction as far as who my main plot protagonists are, created a bad guy and the rationale for him and introduced a Viking with a reindeer companion. I've also had so much fun doing it!

Now I can start plugging some gaps - some nights I didn't write from where I'd left off the night before, because I had a new idea. I'm thinking I can start tieing up the chapters now when before I didn't want to go back and re-read anything for fear I'd spend time editing and re-writing instead of going forward.

I'll have to be careful not to fall into that trap...ok, gotta post this before midnight to stay in the NaBloPoMo game! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Day 21 - Totems and Food

So today I did 2560 which brought me to within 282 words of 45k. I'm going to get right back to it in a minute, so I will get over the mark - but it's after 11 pm and I didn't want to get too wrapped up in it that I forgot my NaBloPoMo for tonite!

The plot has taken my characters to a place where they're going to be influenced by Native American mysticism. And eat a dang good lunch. There's a lot of food in this story. The characters like to talk over meals. Works for me.

I have tomorrow off and hope to get a bit ahead of the word count since my daughter will be in town for Thanksgiving day and through the weekend. Thursday is the last "planned" day off - but I may try to do a few words anyway. OK, I wanna break that 45k mark - gonna get back to it now. See ya tomorrow. I hope your writing is going well!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Day 20 - It's Getting A Bit Paranormal

Day 20. I did 2423 words - wanted to do more but the day was full of distractions and I worked late, too. Add to it that today is also my daughter's birthday (and I had a lovely chat with her NaNo or no NaNo a birthday comes first). I'm looking forward to her visit over Thanksgiving. We'll have a dual celebration. Pumpkin pie with candles? Maybe I'll spring for a cake.

My story has taken me into the antagonist's character tonight. It's dark and magical and I'm having a blast. Eventually the good guys will win...I think. But I'm going to let him have the reins for awhile and see what happens.

Tired now, gotta rest. See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Day 19 - Where I Sure As Heck Have Never Gone Before!

Gonna keep it really brief tonight. Wrote 4,454 words, up to 39,735 tonight. The amazing thing is that it's really coming together. Going in a completely different direction than I thought a the start. I've got everyone under a threatening situation and I think I know how it's going to resolve but I'm going to relax and let things take me along. The couple I thought were the main characters are moving back, becoming more secondary. I think there's a lot of weaving of plots and subplots to do, so I'm not concerned - the 50 k I finish in November is just the half way point, there's a lot more writing to do before =the end=

I'm pretty excited, sorry - this may all seem like old hat to a lot of folk, but it's uncharted territory for me and I'm feeling like I'm going to discover a new continent or something.

It's quite late and I'm nowhere ready to go to bed...guess I'll get back to it!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Day 18 - Things Are Taking an Interesting Turn

I need to be at 33,333.332 words tonight to be on pace. Last night I didn't write at all so I thought I was gonna be in trouble. However it wasn't as bad as I thought to catch up. So I'm at 33,385 right now and I'm not quite ready to stop. I've gone ahead and loaded it into the word verification tool just in case I get so into my writing that I forget the time.

The interesting turn things are taking is that one of my secondary characters has gone and gotten my attention and I've spent this evenings writing time following through on some thoughts about her. It's also taken the story into a bit of a paranormal/fantasy direction. Which is not completely out of synch with the rest of the story - it was heading that direction anyway. It is going to be so interesting to piece this whole thing together and re-write. I still have no idea what's going on with these people although there are a couple directions I'm leaning towards settling on to follow as the main and sub-plots.

I'm going to really need those Learn Writing With Uncle Jim lessons when I finish my first draft...and I don't think I'll be finished at 50k words either. This looks to be a much longer work the way I'm writing. It's probably a good thing - easier to cut down than pad up.

I want to thank my two commenters from yesterday's post. It's fun to see that someone is reading!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wrimo's Beware!

We aspiring novelists are trying to finish 50,000 words of deathless prose fiction this November. I hope we all reach the goal or are happy with the effort we've made should that magic number not be attained by 11:59::59 on Nov. 30.

Either way, there lurks out there beyond December 1st, a grave hazard to the novice writer - scammers.

The sad fact is, scammy agents, "traditional publishers", and a number of literary parasites, might just start contacting us - they'll have seen our blogs and used our contact info or maybe it's just lucky spam mailers. Possibly we'll see a key word ad somewhere and think, "maybe I could get this published, what could it hurt?" and click through.

Many people just starting to write are unaware of the signs to look for and will fall prey to the scams - I know this from reading hundreds of posts by people who thought they were going to be legitmately represented or published. Two years ago I wouldn't have known - I'd never heard of Absolute Write or Writer Beware.

The fact is, if we do succumb, it will eventually leave us sadder and out of pocket a significant sum, for no hope of return on our investment.

A. C. Crispin of Writer Beware has posted on the At Last! Writer Beware Blogs! site an important warning. Please read. And make your NaNoWriMo colleagues aware as well. I've also gone to Digg and posted the article - a vote on Digg for it gives it even more visibility. Please go vote. It doesn't draw any attention here to this blog - it points folks right over to the Writer Beware blog.

There are also vanity presses who will offer to print (they may say "publish" but let's be real - a publisher would put your books in bookstores where books like ours need to be to sell to the public - not These presses will print you a copy of your book and maybe list it on the bookselling websites but at the end of the day you get no editing, no distribution, no marketing and you're on your own with a crate full of books to sell.

There is another "publisher" who claims to be a "traditional royalty and advance paying" publisher called PublishAmerica. Please don't be tempted to place your NaNo work with them. There's a long list of reasons why in my sidebar...scroll down to the "Don't Be Scammed by Publish America" list. Some of the links are dead now - I will go clean that up eventually...

So, whatever you do, please - before you send your manuscript off somewhere - read A. C. Crispin's message.

Help spread the word. Link to the Writer Beware blog. Post about it. Please visit and vote: Digg the Writer Beware article

For more on scams and scammers, here are two good books to get your hands on: The Street Smart Writer: Self Defense Against Sharks and Scams in the Writing World and Ten Percent of Nothing: The Case of the Literary Agent from Hell

Use a Technorati Tag:

P.S. I managed to push another 423 words into last night's writing to bring my count up to over 30k. I haven't started writing tonight - totally procrastinating.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day 16 - Back on track!

A shaky start (seems to be my usual issue, is this common?) but like the proverbial snowflake that sets off an avalanche I ended up with 2606 words tonight.

I've introduced some more complexity to a main character and brought in a new one. I did look up two things on the 'net. One definition and then a Wikipedia article. I try to limit my "research" to bare minimums. I can go back during the re-write and look stuff up then.

My husband asked me the other night if I had a plot yet. I told him "it's rather nebulous but it seems to be coming together". Tonight he offered to correct my spelling and punctuation when I was done. That might not be good for the marriage...*sigh*

I would have liked to hit 30k tonight. I might have another 356 words in me before midnight...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day 15 - Ooops!

Writing is going very slowly tonight (as in I'm at 1k words and it's nearly 11pm) due to a number of unavoidable interruptions tonite. I may not even hit 1k words before 11:59 pm

Oh well. At least I'm doing my post here.

Short as it is...but I gotta get back to my writing!

I'm back - it's nearly midnight but I managed to do 2001 words total tonight. *whew* I'm still on track!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Day 14 - A "Designated" Day Off

Today is my husband's birthday so I dedicated the evening to him and didn't write. It was one of the planned 3 days off. I'm still a bit ahead so I'm not too worried about catching up but I am worried about how taking time off makes getting started again more difficult.

I am using some prompts each night to get the words moving along and so far that's helped. I'd share the prompts but they're quite specific to the characters and plot of my story and I know they wouldn't help anyone else.

I'll share a little about that - it's not a deep dark mystery. Quite some time ago on the Absolute Write Water Cooler (forums) there was a move from one hosting service to another. Jenna Glatzer announced it and a number of us started posting in the thread "are we there yet?" and I started treating the thread as if it were a road trip and I was a youngster keeping a travel journal. I was very silly and the folks there were as well. I've been using some of the posts as prompts and all of the posters are characters - at least their names if not the tone or persona they were using in the thread.

Of course I'm taking a lot of liberties and the story isn't directly about the thread - but the inspiration was.

If you want to go to Absolute Write and look a the thread it's called New Host Coming!


Monday, November 13, 2006

Day 13 - I've Passed the Half Way Mark!

Yep, 25,037 is tonight's verified word count. I would like to get a little more ahead because even though I've hit the half way point two days early I'm going to lose another three days this month. Tomorrow is my husband's birthday so I'm taking that off to spend with him. Thanksgiving Day and probably the day after I'll be busy with family so I don't count on writing on those days either.

That said, I hope to get further ahead this coming weekend and I did take the Monday after Thanksgiving off so I might have to do some extra writing then, as well. Of course by the 27th I should be getting pretty close to the big goal and with the finish line beckoning there should be plenty of incentive.

I'm still challenged with not enough forward momentum in the flimsy plot I've been loosely constructing as I go. I'm getting more dialog written, however. It doesn't seem as daunting as it did at first. I think it's because I'm getting familiar and comfortable with the characters - I can "hear" how they talk and the dialog just seems to be right when it happens.

I've tried to stay light on description but I know that it's important not to neglect it all together. If I don't do much now I can always go back on the re-write and put more in - a good thing when the goal is 50k and that's not quite up to novel legnth. I'll need at least another 40k to be at minimum standards from various submissions guidelines out there. Not that I'm already thinking about that - I read a lot of writing related sites - kind of my self-devised job description for my moderator job at Absolute Write.

Speaking of which - I'm going to head over there now. See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Day 12 - Last Day Off!

I'm home but I got here late enough that I didn't get any writing done tonite. I'll pick things up fresh tomorrow and get back on track.

My weekend was wonderful. My daughter's performance in her college musical was fabulous. I enjoy her company so much and have missed her enormously this year. I support that she wants to be on her own as a young adult, I did too at her age. That said, I wish she were here instead of there!! Oh well.

Will talk about NaNoWriMo tomorrow. Time for bed now.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Day 11 - Still on Hiatus

Slept in, shopped for hours and in a little while I go see my daughter sing and dance in her college's production of Grease.

It has been a lovely day here - the clouds came in late afternoon and it's cooled off considerably but still only sweater weather.

Happy writing to the rest of the Wrimos out there.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Day 10 - On Hiatus

I'm at my daughter's house for the weekend and did not do any NaNo writing today. I feel mildly unsettled about it. Especially since I'm taking time to write this! But it's easier to post a quick post for this in the short amount of time I have left this evening than write for two hours.

Anyone else have scheduled in non-writing days this month? I hope it's not a struggle to get back to it when I get home!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Day 9 and My Novel Writing Kit Arrived!

I made a contribution to the NaNoWriMo cause and my thank you gifts have started to arrive. I got a cool poster a couple days ago and today I got a box with my Novel Writing Kit and a few other nifty goodies.

I procrastinated by going over my treasures (and having about half a pint of dulce de leche icecream) past my usual BIC time of 7 and didn't start writing until about 8. Once I got going though, I seemed to get "in the zone" and did 2,524 words tonight.

I talked a little about plot on the Absolute Write forum tonight and James D. Macdonaldreminded me about the wonderful site The Evil Overlord Devises a Plot which is a very fun and handy site to keep in your bookmarks.

The AW NaNoWriMo folk are a wonderful and unflaggingly encouraging group of folk. If you find this blog and aren't familiar with AW come visit your fellow Wrimoers there OR (shameless plug) the Blogging forum which I moderate.

Membership is free but what you get out of belonging is priceless.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dawno Gets Week Two Off to a Good Start

Slightly over 2500 words tonight. Plot is starting to click in my head - it's firming up in the flow of the writing as well. Will mean major re-writes at some point but I'm not even considering it until Nov. is a memory.

I'm ahead by 4876 words today. That's 2.6 days cushion in my 27 day plan. I'm hoping that I don't have to use it this weekend, but I'm glad to have it!

Did I mention that one of the cats has decided that 'the' place to be during my scheduled Wrimo time is on my lap with paws on my laptop computer? She has finally gotten comfortable enough with me to get in my lap (it's been almost a month she's been here) and of course the main time she wants up is exactly when I can't have her there!

chaostitan on Absolute Write asked "I wonder if you put your cat on the keyboard for one month....could that count as a NaNo novel?"

Only if you let the cat take full credit, ok?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay 7!

One week of NaNoWriMo down. Three more + 2 days to go.

I don't know if you have to be signed up/registered to view this post on the NaNoWriMo site, but I hope's very funny. One of my fellow Wrimo's is writing in the window of the Waldenbooks store in the Cortana Mall in Baton Rouge dressed in a chicken suit. What fun!

Tonight was fun but a struggle. I'm slowly getting some action and plot into this thing and it's challenging not to fiddle with it but just keep writing. That and Jello (the grandkittie that my son thinks is named Kiki)has finally gotten comfortable enough with me to want to get up in my lap and head-butt my hands away from the keys so I'll pet her.

I hated to put her outside the room and close the door.

I hope everyone took time to vote today or, as in my case, earlier by absentee ballot or early voting options.

Hey, I'm over 1/3 the way to 50k! Cool. See ya tomorrow!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Day 6 - A Glimmer of a Plot Appears

Did a bit over 2300 words tonite - I'm over 7k ahead of the 30 day daily pace. 4,061 ahead of my 27 day minimum daily pace.

I had an idea for a more active scene, introduced a new character who may not be vitally important but we'll see. There's a developing conflict now with one of the secondary characters and the main ones; it's the set up for a/the? conflict between the two main protags.

I'm loosely aiming for a romance with a happy ever after - it's got a bit of a fantasy element, maybe...and it might just be a fantasy with a strong romantic streak, I'll know when I know.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day 5 - Slogging Through the Words

It was challenging tonight. Took me a lot longer to get out the words. I'm still searching for a story as I write. I'm sure it's in there somewhere. I'm about two days up on my goal. Since I'll be at my daughter's this coming weekend I wanted to get ahead just in case I couldn't find time to write while I'm there. But I also think I need to take time to wrestle with the story itself. I will try to do that and my daily writing - seems to me that will be part of the ongoing process anyway so I better get used to it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Day 4 of my WriMo Experience

Yeah, trying to do something different with the title today. This was a tough go. I took more and longer breaks but I managed over 2k words. I was more pleased with the output tonight - I felt like I was capturing some good emotions and setting up the conflict for the protags.

I've been reading a lot over the past few days as well. Finished King's Lisey's Story then Pratchett's Wintersmith and am now reading Stirling's A Meeting at Cornwallis. I've also dipped into Rober Crais' Two Minute Rule, but will put it off for a bit longer while I finish the Stirling. I'm starting to notice some things in the works I'm reading. I'm not entirely happy with that - I read for the pure joy of it. I want to get lost in the story, not critique it. However, if I do learn something that I can use to improve my own writing, I suppose it's not all bad.

Friday, November 03, 2006

NaNo Day 3 (don'cha love the original post titles?)

I've pounded out just over 2100 words so far tonight. It's Friday so I may keep at it until I can't see anymore. Or feel my fingers, maybe. I think I need to get some padding on my laptop where the "heels" of my hands rest. They're getting a bit sore.

Anybody know if these daily posts have to be substantive for NaBloPoMo?

Anyway, I still don't really have a plot. I'm just writing about characters. They go places, do things, talk. I'm starting to get a feeling for who they are and what they might do...but as far as a real novel with a plot - not there yet. Well, maybe a glimmer.

I keep tippy toeing up to a conflict between my two main characters, but things aren't serious enough yet for a real crisis. Maybe soon. In a "real" novel nobody would possibly read this far without a damn good reason to keep turning the pages and I still haven't come up with it. But what are re-writes for anyway? When I figure out what the conflict and crisis are then it's cut n paste time!

Before I go, I'd like to just plug the Learn Writing With Uncle Jim thread at Absolute Write. It's going to be my guide to the re-write on this thing. But right now I'm taking this advice:
"One way to find your beginning is this: first, write your book. Now go through it to find its start.

Here's how to recognize the start: it's the point where you can no longer summarize everything that went before in a single sentence"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nano Day 2

Whoo hoo! Started about 7:30 and just finished another 3166 words. The dang story still isn't going anywhere - I'm getting into my characters and their relationships but so far no conflict is coming up. I have to just give myself a break, I guess. I think the characters are going to reveal something to me soon. After all, when I have a first draft I can go back and ruthlessly edit and re-write. The point of all this NaNo stuff is to actually *do* a first draft - something I've never accomplished.

I'm jazzed!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day One!

Got off to a rocky start - sat at the computer totally uninspired. Worked on the wiki for the review site I am a submissions coordinator for, PODPeople, browsed the AW forums...then my husband peeked in my office and asked "Why aren't you writing?" and that pretty much kicked me into gear.

I did 2,514 words. I can hardly believe it. And I'm not totally unpleased with the result, either. I didn't spend a lot of time agonizing over it - just wrote. No edits, minimal 'research' (I wanted to include a bit about the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot so I did Google a bit on that). Took me just over 2 hours (with a longish break at the 1 hr mark and a couple short breaks for snacking and smoking).

I sure hope I can keep this enthusiasm up!