Friday, December 11, 2009

The NaNoWriMo stats are in

The NaNoWriMo official stats are impressive. Take a look:

* This year, we had 167,150 participants, up 40% from 2008's total of 119,301.
* We wrote a total of 2,427,190,537 words, up 48% from 2008's collective word count of 1,643,343,993.
* This averaged out to 14,531 words per person.
* We had 32,173 winners, up 48% from 2008's total of 21,683.
* This gave us a 19.2% win rate, the highest in modern NaNoWriMo history. (Last year we had an 18.2% win rate; in 2007 it was 15.1%).

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Trouble Redefining my Stride

I haven't written anything for the new Book WRAPS since my last entry. I have written a couple of articles for the newsletter I'm helping put together and I have worked with my husband on creating text for a brochure for our ministry. Maybe the fact that we are working on this big ministry project is getting in the way of all the writing projects I've got in the works. If you'd like to find out more about our ministry, check out Jeff's blog called Seeking the Kingdom

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Did I mention it seems strange that the NaNoWriMo is over for this year? I have new projects starting but I'm having a difficult time getting started. Maybe its because the days are so short and maybe there's a little bit of seasonal affective disorder going on. Maybe its just the adrenalin rush from that last surge to get those last few thousand words out so that I could qualify as a winner in the NaNoWriMo isn't there. I'm not sure but I do know that I just don't seem to have the energy I would like to have and I have only written about 500 words for the past two days. I guess that is better than most people but it is definitely not what I've become accustomed to writing during the past month.

WRAPS is started and I've also got a deadline on a newsletter and a brochure that I need to get out so I'd better get my butt in gear if I'm going to make that January first deadline for WRAPS.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Day After

Today I didn't have to work on my novel and it seemed strange. I'm actually feeling guilty for no reason. I did start the outline for my nonfiction book today however. It's a short simple but powerful little book. I hope to have it written, edited and published by the first of the year. So far it's only 415 words long.

Yesterday I cleaned the house then today I did a couple of projects I avoided during November. Today I cleaned the refrigerator and reorganized my files. Then I started working on adding names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses to the computer address book. I'm trying to get things organized before the first of the year.

Monday, November 30, 2009

We have a Winner in the 2009 NaNoWriMo!

That's right folk! This morning at about 9:30 CST it became official. I am one of the winners of the NaNoWriMo for 2009. I took the time to read a little of what I've written and even though it's still quite rough. (I think that's why they call it a rough draft). My official word count is 50063.

I really enjoyed writing this book. It truly is amazing how much you can get done in a month when you've got a goal and a deadline. They say that the hardest part of the process is during week two and even though I was pressed during that time, I think the hardest part for me was those last 1000 words. I thought I'd never get done. (The truth is, it really didn't take me any longer to write those 1000 words that it did to write any other 1000 words. It just seemed like it.)

This afternoon I straightened up the house and tomorrow I begin another project but this one won't be as strenuous. Tomorrow I start working on my nonfiction book--WRAPS. It's going to be a much shorter book (75 pages)and the process won't be as intense.(I only plan to work at it for a hour per day.) My deadline for this book is the beginning of the year. This one I will self publish and self promote. I'm going to spend January reworking a lot of When God Turned his Head. By setting goals and deadlines, I am finding that I can do amazing things.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 28 of the 2009 NaNoWriMo

The book is coming along quite well, I've less than 4000 words to write and two days to write them in. I'm just coming up for air long enough to write this blog to show that I am indeed working and that I really haven't dropped off the planet. I've missed a few days of writing here and there for various reasons throughout the month but for the most part I have written every day. I've learned so much. I can't wait to finish and bring myself into the 2009 NaNoWriMo Winners circle.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 26 of the 2009 NaNoWriMo

we are in the last week of the 2009 NaNoWriMo. I have written over 43,000 words so far. I've just got 7000 words to finish. I must confess, writing pages for my book has been taking most of my writing time so I haven't been working on my blog or on my other writing projects. I've also rediscovered a bad habit that I know is an addictive habit. Freecell. Freecell is one of those things that taught me to never get involved with those game applications on facebook.I can waste two hours easily just playing freecell. I'm not sure why I've suddenly started doing freecell again. Maybe it's because I'm some how stressed out and freecell relieves that stress. I'm not sure.

Yesterday I was able to get extra done on the book and I almost killed of my favorite character. She was one of my supporting characters in this book and one of the main characters in Soldiers Don't Cry. I'm not going to tell you how but I will tell you that she survived the writing session and will go on and probably be part of the next book in the series. I'm not sure if killing of some of my favorite characters is a pathology but it certainly makes for interesting fiction.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 12 0f 2009 NaNoWriMo

I was doing so well last week. I was well ahead of schedule when Sunday came and I couldn't write all that day. Monday came and I caught up with most of what I didn't get written on Sunday and finally did get caught up on Tuesday. Today I only need to write about 1000 words to break 20,000 words! Whoo-who almost half way done! Thought I'd better get out here and let everyone know that I'm still plugging away at this novel and that everything is going well. I'm already thinking about the first rewrite. The first draft of any novel is a mess compared to what it ends up. Mostly what I'm writing is the actions of the main characters and the scene setups. Next month I'll begin what I call second draft and that's where I add details. It's still a long way from being ready to publish. I'm not ready to rewrite yet and there is a word count of 1667 still staring me in the face this morning. I love it when the word count is finished by ten o' clock in the morning. That didn't happen yesterday but if I get to work, It could happen today. My husband should be proud of me though, the writing is getting done and so is the housework.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day six of 2009 NaNoWriMo

The word count continues to go up. This time in record time. I finished my 1667 words before 9:30 am. I've been careful to pace myself this first week. I've been very careful not to burn myself out by doing too much too soon. I'm thinking though that maybe I'll try to pick up the pace a bit next week so that hopefully I can finish the book by Thanksgiving. Wouldn't that be nice. 50,000 words finished by Thanksgiving. Even at the rate I'm going I might be able to come close Today my word count is 10,732. Over 700 words ahead of schedule.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fifth Day of the 2009 NaNoWriMo

I have been successfully been able to write my entire 1667 quota before 10 am every morning so far. I'm really happy with my progress so far. I've been learning a lot about how to write this first draft efficiently. I am mostly concentrating on creating action and dialogue and I'm not too worried about descriptions and other details right now. today I had to do a little research for the chapter I'm going to be working on tomorrow. There's a ceremony that I wanted to find out. I took a couple of wrong turns and couple of dead ends when researching on the internet but within half an hour I had the information I was looking for. I started taking notes on a piece of paper what I thought I'd need but then changed my mind and just copied and pasted the information right into my chapter for tomorrow. Tomorrow I'll edit the material to fit the story, add in personal details about how my character dealt with the ceremony, what is thoughts were etc. The chapter shouldn't take long to write. It'll be easy to rework the information in such a way that I won't be plagiarizing.

My word count is 9009.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day Four of 2009 NaNoWriMo

Today I was again done writing the 1667 words by 10 o' clock in the morning. I'm starting to develop a routine that works well for me. I'm hoping that I can continue this pace, not just through the month but beyond as well. I'm finding that writing 1667 a day isn't difficult. Because the book is actually in two parts right now, (Three if you count Elizabeth's diary entries), I actually have to plan what is happening the following two chapters rather than just one chapter. It's almost like writing two different books although later they will merge and hopefully in such a way that you didn't really expect would happen. There are hints in this book in several places but I hope that everyone that reads it will be shocked when they find out what who Head of Stone is.

I would have written in here earlier in the day but I had to catch up on a backlog of emails because my daughter had her dentist appointment yesterday. (no cavities, maybe braces but I doubt it. She just got her front teeth in and they haven't entered their final position yet. Her brother's teeth when they came in were in a worse position but they straightened out just fine.)

I'm glad I've read about how even famous authors had a lack of confidence concerning their writing. Stephen King had thrown Carrie in the trash. Ray Bradbury thought his writing was crap. Puts my own self-confidence or lack of it in context.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day three of 2009 NaNoWriMo

Today I've completed my third day of working on the first draft of my novel and have completed the third chapter. I have already written 5324 words of my new novel. Over 1/10th of the way to finishing 50k! There's a lot more drama than I expected this early in the book. I'm not having any trouble writing 1667 words a day and today has taken the longest of about 3 hours. My daughter has a dentist appointment this afternoon so I'll be taking her to the dentist.
I was going to write in my blog yesterday but I couldn't because I messed up the password on the internet so I couldn't get on and I had to wait until my husband got home before anyone could get back on. (I don't know the password, can you believe that?) But I did write yesterday and I did get the housework done yesterday and I even took the time to make two loaves of banana bread. The house is clean, there's fresh baking in the house to snack on, and I'm right on target with my book. Life is good.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The 2009 NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

Good morning today begins the 2009 NaNoWriMo. I am happy to inform you that I have already written my quota of 1667 today and it was done before 9:30 this morning CDST. In all the excitement, I forgot to set the clock back so it was actually 8:30 CST. Did I tell you that I'm writing a chapter a day? Each day is a separate chapter of 1667 words. I know they are short chapters but they are just the first draft after all. The best part I think is that I didn't utilize my outline in the word count so I've got a fantastic start to finishing my novel all 50,000 words this month!

If you're just checking this blog out for the first time, and you don't know what NaNoWriMo is, check out my first entry in the blog and check out my eHow article How to Write a Novel in a Month to see what I'm talking about.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day -1 and Coutning

Twis the night before NaNoWriMo
My daughter's out trick or treating with my spouse.

I'm not a poet so I won't do the poetic fingernails on the chalk board to irritate you all this fine Halloween Day.

Today I worked at trying to get some last minute work done before the big kick off. I sorted through the papers on my desk. (Found some important papers I've been trying to find and I dressed my daughter for trick or treating.

My daughter and husband love going out trick or treating together. Both of them love scary things and both love candy so it's a perfect fit for them. I on the other hand prefer getting caught up and ready for tomorrows event.

Here's my plans to try to get the 1667 words per day. I'm going to try a little experiment. I timed myself not too long ago on how many words I could mentally create and type in 5 minutes. I was able to type 187 words in five minutes. I tried it two more times and I was able to write about 162 the second time and about 150 the third time. So in fifteen minutes straight I was able to write 1996 words four 15 minute sessions or in one hour of actual writing time per day or only 30 hours during the whole month. It looks reasonable in theory but can I do it in reality?
We'll see.

I'm going to try to keep daily tallies on facebook and twitter as well as try to write something in here on a daily basis. I won't be writing in here until I've completed my word count for the day. and don't be surprised if I'm not very wordy. Please be sure to leave comments either here or facebook or whatever. I love the feedback.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day -2 and counting

Less than 48 hours until the beginning of the 2009 NaNoWriMo! Hard to believe that it's really here already.

This morning my husband and I woke to the phone ringing. He answered it and it was the school telling him that there was no school. (He's a bus driver so that was why the principal called him personally.) It has been raining off and on for the past several weeks so the deluge we had last night caused the local rivers to overflow their banks. I hear that the bridge just down the road from us is washed out. It's a concern not because we are in any danger from flood waters here because we live on a hill. It's just that if that bridge is out, we have to go way out of our way to get to the school because that's our only access without going miles and miles our of our way and it's still raining.

My daughter when she awoke this morning was really upset that she couldn't go to school today. Since tomorrow is Halloween they planned a party this afternoon but since school was canceled, no party. We had to reassure her that tomorrow there will be trick or treating. (Sun was promised for tomorrow).

Since my husband and daughter are home today I have to share the computer with my husband. (No wifi--bad dialup connection at that)Not much time for me to write today so I'm going to be doing some baking--bread and sweet potato pie. If you like sweet potato pie, go to my recipe for Sweet Potato Pie Yummy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day -3 and counting

It is raining again. It's getting to be an old story. Yesterday was a bright sunny day. I should have been doing laundry but I was working on the computer instead. Today I did a must do load. My daughter needs the costume she wore to a party last Saturday for her Halloween party at school and then for trick or treating this Saturday. It's done done so I can continue doing what I do best. (I hope you can figure that out on your own without me telling you because if you can't, let me know.)

Today I have a project or two I need to finish then tomorrow I'm going to do my monthly cleaning for next month as well as making some headway into having next week's housework caught up and ahead a little so that I can concentrate next week on getting my novel's first draft started. I have determined that it is priority one. That's not to say I won't be doing other things. I still need to care for my family's needs and I may even write an article or two but only after I've written at least my quota for the day of 1667 words on the novel. I believe that I'm fully up to the challenge.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day -4 and counting

The 2009 NaNoWriMo is just four days away. The official NaNoWriMo site is abuzz with activity. There's a get together at Wendy's not to far from here today in West Plains, Missouri but I won't be able to attend because our car is still not running. Maybe to- day it will be fixed but I don't know but I'm sure that I won't be able to attend even if it is. Maybe I can attend via chat or something? It's a thought. I'll have to check the possibility.

Today I had someone ask me how to get published. I didn't have the heart to tell them that I'm still an unpublished author myself but I did tell them what I did know. I DO KNOW the steps you have to go through to get published with a traditional publishing house. It really hasn't changed in a long time. You write your story, you edit it, you send it to an agent, once you find an agent that will represent you, the agent finds a publisher who will buy it, the agent helps you negotiate the contract with the publisher, You work with an editor to get your book polished for publishing, Then once it's published, you help market the book.

I also didn't mention to this person the rejections along the way. I've been rejected by agents and publishers alike but I'm still peddling my wares! I do hate the word rejection. Rejection says YOU FAILED when in truth, you simply haven't found the right people to work with you or your book isn't quite yet what it needs to be yet. Rejection simply says 'not this one.' or 'not yet ready.' Instead of saying quit, it really is saying 'keep trying.'

Success will never come if we give up. We are guaranteed the risk of rejection every time we try to do anything that is worthwhile. It's a given. Rejection leads to success only if we are able to face the rejection honestly and humbly and brush ourselves off and put ourselves out there again. If we didn't have rejection to face and overcome, we can't grow and any success that doesn't allow us to grow, isn't really success now, is it?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day -5 and counting

Today it is raining here in the Ozarks. It's a warm rain for this time of the year. The trees are just past their peak autumn color and have taken great strides toward shedding those colors. The ground is littered with leaves.

Change is in the air not just for the season but also in our lives. We are in the process of making plans to change a number of things in our lives. I don't know how long we'll be living here in this rural setting but I feel that our time here is extremely limited.

Last night my husband gave away most of our chickens. He got paid for them such a small amount that I say they were given away. Not only did he give away the chickens but he gave away their pens as well. We have one chicken wandering around the yard. It feels good in one sense to be rid of that ravenous hoard but in another sense it's sad. We raised those chickens from eggs laid by chickens that we raised from day old chicks. That lot of chickens represented 3 generations and now they belong to someone else.

We still have too many cats around here. Nine at last count. My brother who lives with us has two dogs. Just two of the cats are ours. We'll probably be giving away those cats too.

I guess since this is the last week in October and in just five days the NaNoWriMo begins, I'm getting very in tune with the fact that something new is about to happen. Next month, I'll be giving birth to a new book and right now it's like the last month of a pregnancy. Change is in the air.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day -6 and counting

Just this week and I'll be starting A Coward's Solace. Wow! I'm so excited! I can hardly wait to get started.

We spent yesterday setting the ground work for a project that my husband and I are getting ready to begin a major project in our lives. I would talk about it now but it's not time. When it is, I'll let everyone know.

Because I was busy with that yesterday I didn't get much else done. Today fortunately I'm home by myself but I was behind on a lot of every day things including keeping up with my email so today I've been working at catching up with those things. I should be writing today finishing another of those two articles but I've got other things I have to get done first. Mondays are that kind of day and after having the family around all last week, well, I've got to get caught up with every day things.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day -8 and counting

Hard to believe that a week from tomorrow begins the 2009 NaNoWriMo. I'm getting ready to change gears and in a flurry of activity I'm going to get my house ready this next week and finish those two articles that I've been putting off. It's really strange but I've written several eHow articles lately and it really didn't take me long to write any of those. I guess it's because I was working within a formula so it made it easy for me. Introduction, then step by step instructions, then tips and warnings. Easy stuff. Especially the recipes. All I have to do with them is look in my recipe files and there they are. Add a little bit of an interesting opening and the article practically writes itself.

I still haven't had a chance to work on my minor characters yet. Maybe tonight I'll take the time to get some polish on them. (Or dirt on them depending on how you want to look at it.)

I baked sweet potatoes today. We had some for supper, the rest I'm going to use to make a sweet potato pie. My family can hardly wait.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day -9 and counting

I went to town today for the first time in almost 3 weeks. I've only been away from the house one other time. I went with my daughter and my husband to town to get groceries and to take care of a few other errands. I'll bet my carbon foot print is near zero.

Yesterday I finished one of those three articles I said that I needed to finish before the end of this month. Now there's only two left. My work this week hasn't moved very quickly even though I did finish three article in eHow about kids games.

I haven't had much time yesterday or today for thinking about the new book except for the fact that I'm going to try to write the story five minutes at a time. I figure that if I can write 167 words in five minutes, I'll be able to write the whole 1667 words in under one hour. (Not at one sitting but over the course of the day. Writing 167 words in five minutes is less than 34 words per minute. More about this and how it works, after the first of the month.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day -10 and counting

Yesterday was a beautiful autumn day. My husband, daughter and I did yard work. We got quite a bit accomplished. Today it is raining which means that It's going to keep us in the house. After I finish my writing this morning I'm going to work on a couple of household projects I have on my list to finish before November First.

I wrote three articles yesterday and today about children's running games. I wouldn't have thought about it myself but yesterday my daughter was asking me about the games because she wants to have a Halloween party next Friday evening and would like to play Witch in the well. I remembered how much fun I had as a kid and it was fun teaching them to her so I thought if we liked the games so much, I thought I'd share it with my friends. Use the link of my eHow site. The articles are How to play different types of tag, How to play witch in the well and How to play Mr. McGregor's garden. Anyone who has children or cares for children should check these out.

I'm psyched up about the NaNoWriMo. I can't wait to get started.It's probably good that I'm as prepared as I am and that I can get even more prepared before I actually start writing. I still need to work on those minor characters.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day -11 and counting

Yesterday was a busy day but it wasn't necessarily the most productive day for me. For one thing I didn't get a single article completed. I did however work on editing two and I worked on editing WGTHH and worked on getting to know my character Martha more for Coward's.

I'm really pleased with the work I've done on Coward's already. I think I've laid the ground work with the plot and the main characters very well. I guess the next thing that I can work on is some of the minor characters. If I can get say Head of Stone's Wife and father-in-law and get Victor Bruce fleshed out by the launch of the 2009 NaNoWriMo, the book will practically write itself. All I'm going to need to do is sit down and start typing.

I received some unpleasant news yesterday when my daughter came home. She told me that there wasn't going to be any school for the rest of the week because of all the illnesses. The school claims there are no confirmed cases of H1N1 but that only means that the ones who are ill are not going to the doctor to have it verified. They are simply staying home and suffering through whatever virus it is. Fortunately none of us are sick at our house but the problem for me is that not only will I have my daughter home from school but because my husband is a bus driver, he will be home also. To top it off, because our car is not running, I won't be getting any reprieve. I will have the family under-foot all the rest of the week.

My husband has a gentleman coming by tonight to look at the car and see if he can figure out what the problem is. If it's a timing problem, we can get it fixed, other wise if it's a computer problem, we'll be getting a different car. Either way, we should have a car running soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day -13 and counting

Monday, Monday, what a day Monday is. Mondays I catch up from the weekend and today not only do I have the weekend to catch up from but I've also been given another chore. Because cold weather has set in, I now have the wood stove to tend. Not that I keeping the fire going during the day. When I think about the alternatives--paying high prices for propane or electricity, I much prefer heating with wood.

Today has been quite productive even though I haven't done much writing yet today. I worked on an article that needs to be sent out within the next couple of days and that's about it. But I have finished most of the housework and all of the laundry is on the clothesline so I won't have to do laundry for at least a couple of days. (Takes that long to get a full load. About all I've got left to do with the house is the vacuuming and putting away the laundry. Not too shabby for a Monday.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day -14 and counting

Last night we had our first frost here in this part of the Ozarks and today we finally put in our wood stove and started a fire for the first time this season. Also my husband finally decided it was time to take out the air conditioners. (Something I wanted to do weeks ago). We also did some more of the weatherization that needed to be done around here. There are still a few projects that need to be done but we ticked a bunch of them off our list today.

There's only three writing smaller projects that I need to get done within the next two weeks. Can you believe that there are only two more weeks until 2 the 2009 NaNoWriMo?

I think I'll have my character Elizabeth write diary entries throughout the story then have action in the third person with Head of Stone and Martha as the POV characters during the various scenes. I can write the diary entries from beginning to the end of the story, telling what is happening in the war and providing transitional material from one local to another and to transition from one time period to the next. This way I'll be able to focus on the action scenes involving either Martha or Head of Stone without getting side tracked. Using diary entries also make use of the fact that I am most familiar with Elizabeth's character. In rewrites, I may get rid of Elizabeth's diary but maybe I won't because a lot of information was recorded via diaries during the Revolutionary War period.

I'm trying to write each of the novels in my saga differently. None of them are the typical Romantic Historical Novel. WGTHH is a mystery of sorts, Soldiers is an action/adventure and Coward is well, I don't know exactly what I'd call it. There are definitely psychological aspects of each of these books that relate to the modern world in some respect. I don't think any of them are being written using any type of formula. Whatever I write, I write what I like to read. If I don't find it interesting, why would anyone else?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day -15 and counting

Yesterday I sent to the publishing contact that rejected my manuscript a thank you for showing me some of what they thought was wrong with my manuscript for WGTHH. He wrote back to say that he didn't see anything wrong with the story line and that I really did understand what they editors wanted to convey. He also made a suggestion for the foreword to let readers know that there is some racially sensitive content and that I included it for realism of the culture I presented in my story. Rather than being discouraging, the correspondence has been very encouraging. I need to spend probably a couple of months editing the book even further and then put it back out there.

I worked on getting to know Martha better yesterday. I'm beginning to understand more of her motivations, why she is going to do what she is going to do. Because I understand more of her motivation, I also understand more of Elizabeth and Phillip's motives for moving from Cambridge, Mass to Philadelphia to Valley Forge. I also am figuring out why Martha traveled with them to all the way to Valley Forge instead of eventually going back to Cambridge. It's really fun.

During the next several days there are a number of projects both around the house and in my writing that I need finish and get out of the way so that I'm able to concentrate more of my energy on Coward's Solace.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day -16 and counting

Writing letters to the main characters yesterday was an interesting experience. I first wrote to a character with a supporting role. Usually I wouldn't do that but I was most familiar with her because she is the main character of my second book Soldiers Don't Cry. (Soldiers is probably my favorite so far in the series but I haven't been able to work much on it beyond first draft because I'm trying to get WGTHH published first.)Elizabeth, that character, helped a little but not as much as I had hoped so I went to Head of Stone and discovered that he had some issues that I didn't know he had and then I went to Martha who was the character I knew least about to begin with and learned quite a bit about how she thinks. I also learned more about her history, like how she and Elizabeth became friends.(Martha plays a small role in Soldiers.)

I know it sounds weird talking about characters that I make up myself like people that I am getting to know but I think, it's a lot like an actor getting to know a character. The only difference is that the character is a product of my own mind, rather than a product of someone else's mind. I guess another difference is that I'm not just getting to know one character but a whole repertoire of characters and the more intimately I know them and can make them each unique, the better my story and actually the easier it is to write the story. I'll know how each person in a scene will react to a given problem in the plot. Each of my characters has his or her own filters which they process an event. Elizabeth will jump right in and make it happen. Phillip is usually more calculated in his actions. Head of Stone filters his actions from the fact that he's been in the Native American culture most of his life and that he's seeking revenge on his wife's murder. Martha's filters have to do with the fact that her fiance died of smallpox and she couldn't view him after his death so she doesn't have the closure she would have liked. There's more I still have to discover about her filters and why she does things. But you get the idea.

Sometimes when I do a scene, I like to write the scene from the POV of each person in the scene. This helps me learn more about each character and why they react the way they do and it also gives me information about the scene so that when I write the scene from the POV character's point of view, we can see what the characters are thinking simply by their body language. (Like Martha when she's anxious will play with her hair. Phillip will rub his beard when he's pondering a puzzle.) Things like that add character to the story but you've got to know what they are thinking and how they are feeling before you can get their reaction to events in the plot.

I'm going to work on Martha again today. I am realizing that I need to get to know her better before I begin the book on November first. I realize that I need to know more about why she does what she does. It still isn't making sense to me why she leaves her home in Concord, Mass to go with Phillip and Elizabeth when they go to Philadelphia.

I'll ponder this quandary today and work more on Martha's character sketch and see if I can't discover what her reasons might be.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day -17 and counting

Today could have been a heartbreaking day for me. Another rejection for my book When God Turned His Head.This time it wasn't just with an agent, it was with a publisher. But they were kind and they gave me some very valuable feedback into why they didn't like the book. Fortunately the critism had nothing to do with the subject matter or the story line but the problems were things like--run-on sentences and not showing but simply telling the story. Because of what I am able to glean from this rejection, I can now go through my book and fix a lot of what (at least this publisher) found as problems with my story. I appreciate what they said because I've been too close to this book for so long that I'm not as objective as I would like to be. It's great that I'm able to see it now through a fresh set of eyes.

I learned in another place to day about writing letters between me and my characters to help develop my relationship with them. Since I'm currently working on this new book A Coward's Solace I'm going to begin today working on those letters so that I can get to know at least the main characters better.

Another place I was reminded to use my senses when describing a scene. Take a scene, a picture and view it using each of my senses--seeing the scene in detail, hearing it, tasting it, smelling it, feeling it. By sensing a the scene with each of my senses, the scene becomes more real to me and I am better able to translate the scene to my readers in such a way that they won't be obvious with what I'm doing.

Have you ever contrasted the characters in a poorly written television show with the characters of a well written movie script? That's the difference that I can create in my writing if I delve into my work and really become those characters. (Something totally different from having all my characters be like me). By knowing my characters as well as I'm able, I will be able to produce the kind of characters who can carry a story and make it interesting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day -18 and counting

It's out! A must have for all of us writer's. I've ordered mine, have you ordered yours?

Jeff Herman's 2010 Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents is a must have for every writer who is thinking about publishing their book within the next year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day -19 and counting

Under twenty days until the 2009 NaNoWriMo! Today it is raining again here in the middle of the country. I couldn't believe how much I completed yesterday and how little I've done so far today. My house is clean (mostly) and I wrote an article for eHow. My daughter wasn't feeling well last night. She complained of a headache but after a nap she was okay enough to eat some cheesecake and she's at school today. She probably had a headache because she was tired so the nap was enough to revive her.

Today I listened to a video and handled email and that's all I've done. I should be writing my next article for and for the newsletter up in Pennsylvania.

Yesterday because our car isn't running I had to postpone an appointment for my daughter for the dentist until November 3. That's not something I really wanted to do but it's something I really had to do. I've got a few other tasks like that I have to finish today that I would have done yesterday but since it was a National Holiday, I had to wait until the offices were opened so as soon as I get done with this post, that's what I'll be doing. It's just an admin kind of day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day -20 and counting

Today is Columbus Day! Happy Columbus Day! I just read an article wondering why it is that there aren't any Columbus Day celebrations? The article was telling about a Columbus Day parade that was a ruse. About the only thing that happens on Columbus Day is that it is a national holiday and so the mail doesn't run and State and federal offices are closed.

Let's say though that we decided that we wanted to celebrate Columbus Day. How would we celebrate it? Well, having an outdoor picnic or barbecue is out because in most of the country. Getting together for a big indoor celebration isn't very appealing either. It's too close to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We could have a parade. I mean they have St Patrick's Day parades why not a Columbus Day parade? We could extend the Christmas shopping season back to Columbus Day. After all, there are Columbus Day sales going on. We could also begin our Christmas gift crafts on Columbus Day too or how about beginning our stocking up on holiday baking needs?

For me Columbus Day has a special meaning. Twenty-four years ago on an observed Columbus Day (It was the 14th rather than the 12th that year) my first child-my son Jeremy was born. He was born at 7:05 am was 21 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces. He now owns his own logging business. He's overcome some challenges in life that I've never had to face and it would be more than motherly pride to say that I'm proud of him.

Today though, I'm personally going to do what I do every Monday. I'm going to clean house and I'm writing a little bit too if I can find the time and again I'd like to say: Happy Columbus Day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day-21 and Counting

Yesterday I spent much of my day working to connect my new article in my new assignment as St Louis Sustainable agriculture with my first article What is sustainable agriculture?

If you get a chance, take a look at it and give me a comment here on here or on my site what you think of the article. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

Can you believe that there's only 3 weeks until the NaNoWriMo begins? Time is flying now and I've so much to accomplish. I really feel like I'm on a roll though.

I mentioned last Monday that our car wouldn't start. We still can't get it started. My husband is currently working on the car. Pray they figure out what's wrong with it so that it will start! Boni has a dental appointment on Tuesday and I'd like to be able to get her to the appointment that is forty miles away. There are other things we've put off simply because we don't have a car running.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day -23 and counting

The days are zipping right by summer has definitely given up and fall weather is dominating. Last night we had quite the rain storm and today it's still cloudy. The NaNoWriMo crew is starting to show up in the forums on the official NaNoWriMo site. Did yo know that NaNoWriMo is a not for profit site and they don't accept advertising? They do accept donations though and if you'd like to donate, you can do so through their website. Don't put up your nose to this being a not for profit site. You never know when this site might actually be fostering the next Steinbeck. Another thing, as a not for profit they could also be eligible for endowment of the arts money but they don't take that either. Like I said, they work strictly through donations.

I don't know who might have looked at my site about author: Darlene Sabella but I think it's awesome and so does Darlene. If you have a child between the ages of 6-12 who loves to read fantasy chapter books,he/she will love this book. My daughter just got her copy of the book (she's eight) and she loves her new book. Especially since this book was autographed by the author herself.

Despite the rocky start I had at the beginning of the week, I've actually had a very fruitful week. I wrote 2 eHow articles, 4 infobarrel articles and I finally got the one for the St Louis article published and it is being reviewed by them right now. I met a really nice lady who let me use one of her pictures on the examiner article her name is CarolAnn Sayles and she has an article in Maggie Jochild's site called Meta Water shed. You can view that article by going to Be sure to comment and let them know I sent you when you do write.

I'm beginning to feel like a real promoter of other people's stuff as well as my own. I really do like helping people. I just hope that it really does turn out that I am helping others. I'd hate to think I'm doing all of this in vain.

Day -23 and counting

The days are zipping right by summer has definitely given up and fall weather is dominating. Last night we had quite the rain storm and today it's still cloudy. The NaNoWriMo crew is starting to show up in the forums on the official NaNoWriMo site.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day -24 and counting

Just 24 more days until the beginning of the 2009 NaNoWriMo. Today is a cold rainy day. Today is the kind of day for beef stew and biscuits and that's just what we're having for supper. I wrote so much yesterday and the day before that today I woke up and couldn't think of much to do except edit my first novel some more. I know they say that there's always things that can be written and rewritten in a novel and each time you look at it, there's always something that can be done. It's a lot like when you own a home. It may look good to everyone else but there's always something that you know needs fixed or replaced or added to. I haven't done much though. Of all things to start changing, I started on the first page. I can't tell you why, but it doesn't have the look I'd want the first page of my novel to have. It seems sparse and barren. Maybe it's because my writing skills have been used so much since I wrote it that I'm actually a better, more critical writer than I was when I first wrote it. Maybe I need to really sit down with it and give it a good going over.

One of the issues I have with the book is that there doesn't seem to be enough detail. They say that historical novels need to have a lot of details to indicate that they are in an earlier time period. Maybe that's why I haven't had the success with the agents that I'd like to have. If I'm not satisfied with what I've written, who else is going to?

Last night our daughter was reading the Little House on the Prairie series and then she got on the computer and watched some of the videos about the television show. I had read the books when I was a couple of years older than she is and then I watched the original series. Plus because we live close to Mansfield,Mo where Laura wrote the books, I'm really familiar with the true story. It kind of makes me a Little House Expert, you know? Anyway, I was watching the videos and she was asking me questions about the show, the books, and what really happened. The television show takes from both the books and what really happened and then adds it's own creation to the stories.As I was telling my daughter about what I knew, my husband commented that I knew too much about the show. I was a fan. Little House was one of the motivating factors of why I like to write historical fiction.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day -25 and counting

Just 25 more days until the 2009 NaNoWriMo. I am so looking forward to this I'll be able to work on my beloved fiction and devote my time to it. I realize now that although my main concentration will be on the book, I know that I will have to write some nonfiction during that time as well. I'll just work on the book first, do what I need to get done for the day on the book then I'll work on the nonfiction. It's strange but even though I've never written 1667 words in fiction in a day, I have no doubts that I can do it. It's a truly freeing thought to know that I won't have to edit anything in the book until I finish writing it. Not that I won't do any editing. I know me. As soon as I see that word underlined, I know that I'll have to fix that spelling or I won't be able to move on. I just won't be reworking entire passages before moving onto the next part of the story. Writing articles has shown me a few tips too that I think will help with the fiction. I know that I often don't know how to start at the beginning. We don't have to write chronologically. We can write in the way our mind thinks then fill in the blanks and rearrange what we've written so that it makes sense chronologically. I know that I often have a scene or whatever further on in the story and if I just go with what I know, I will get stuff written. Once I've got what's next written, I can usually figure out how to get there and if not right then, then soon so I don't worry about how to get from A to D. I just write A then I write D and somehow I always figure out B and C. That's the great thing about writing on the computer. It allows you to write that way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day -26 and counting

Today I'm on my own again. It's been pouring rain all day and I've been just merrily typing away at my computer, finally getting some work done. I added to and hopefully have completed my book for my author friend Darlene Sabella at Check it out if you'd like to. The book she's written is a charming children's book. I look forward to helping her promote it.

I also started writing for the St. Louis today and I turned my first article in to be viewed and approved. I'll let you know when I get it officially published.

There seems to be a pattern with not getting much written on Mondays and I'm thinking that maybe I should learn to go with the flow more instead of trying to fight against what always seems to be going on Mondays. Stressing about the events of the day doesn't change them. It just makes them harder. I need to realize that I'm not going to get much written on Mondays and I need to be happy with what I've written that day, no matter how little it seems I've written. Eventually I do get what I want to written.

I am happy to report that I have checked off a couple more things from my big list of things I wanted to get done before the 2009 NaNoWriMo. I've also been meeting a lot of new friends in preparation for the event. One thing I've noticed is that I'm a lot older than most of the other participants. I'm over fifty and most of the participants I've come across are in their early twenties. (Take that to mean they are around the same age as my middle son and step daughter who are in college.)Another thing I've noticed is that most of them are writing fantasy or science fiction. I write historical fiction. I guess that most people who write historical fiction either can't write that fast or they just don't get into writing in NaNoWriMo. Another possibility is that the Nano-er's in my age group and genre are just not in my regional group. Not that I mind,I really do enjoy the idea of being unique.I like the idea of being one of a kind.

I've got to tell you something funny. Today my husband signed up for eHow basically because he was looking for some information about how to change a fuel pump in our car. He just joined to find out information and I'm not sure that he intends to write any articles. (He's actually a better writer than I am) but last I knew he already had 20 friends. He told me that he was just there to check out the chicks. I'm happy to know that eHow doesn't allow pornography or the like so I'm sure I'm safe there.

I've heard a lot of bad press lately about eHow and I've even complained myself but I've learned a lot on eHow. I probably have improved my writing skills 100% and I've met a lot of wonderful people there too. It was from eHow that the web started opening up for me. Even though I've started expanding my territory on the web, I still make more money on eHow than I do anywhere else. That may change in the near future but it is still true.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day -27 and counting

I look back on all the things that I was supposed to get done today and it's just not going to get done, at least most of it isn't. Today is not a good day for writing. It's just not a good day for me at all. It started out bad when I dumped my coffee all over our livingroom carpet. Then things got even worse when next the toilet over flowed. But the worst thing that could happened when my husband couldn't get the car started this morning. He never did get it started. The car is dead. It's something really major that is wrong with it and we don't have the money nor the credit to get it replaced or fixed. It's either the fuel pump or it's a module or it's a computer problem. It wouldn't be so bad if we lived anywhere close to anyone but we don't. We live twelve miles from the school and at least as many miles from anyone we know that could take us any where. To make matters worse, my daughter and husband are still at home. My daughter was supposed to go to a Meet the Author event today and she's really bummed. My husband is handling the whole thing pretty well except for the fact that no matter what happens, he always brings up the fact that I'm not bringing in a real wage which is really hard to handle.

Add to all this that my writing has been held up this morning because our computer is connected to our only phone line and my husband had to keep it open so he could talk to someone at the school. So I wasn't able to get started working until after ten thirty. Getting started that late really cuts into my day because I've completely blown my prime writing time today. Not only that but both of them are sitting right in the same room that I'm writing in and call it a writer's idiosyncrasy but I don't write well with the noise. Top it off, the dog is barking at something under the house and it's driving me crazy.

I mentioned that the toilet overflowed, right? Well, I did get a large share of my housework that I'd planned for this week done. I cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the refrigerator (Including defrosting) and I cleaned the oven. (Okay, so it's a self-cleaning oven but I did have to wipe out the ashes this morning.) Oh, yes and I did three loads of laundry which I hung out. Thank God it stopped raining.

So I"m not getting done what I wanted to today. I may not be able to get done what I want to get done but I'm getting done what I can get done. Some days, that's about all you can do.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day-29 and Counting

Today I was actually working toward preparations for November although I don't know if my husband and daughter are aware of that fact yet. Today I make five apple pies, baked one and put the other four into the freezer. (I will bake those so they are fresh when we plan to eat them. I also froze 11 batches of refrigerator cookies. (They are made like the Pillsbury cut and bake cookies except without the little doughboy and with a lower price tag.)

I've got a lot going on this next week concerning my writing. I've started a blog to help a friend of mine sell her Children's book. I've just got it started. I've got the book on there and her avatar. I've started an interview with her and I've still got to read her book and write a review for that. I've also got to talk on Monday to an associate of mine about a newsletter we're working on and I've got to write my first article for the on Monday. Not only that but I also have got to do housework on Monday.

On top of that, next week I've got to write my newsletter for the Children's Bible Quiz and I promised to help a local church ministry writing for them. Add to that, I've got soup to can and blackberry juice in the freezer that I want to make into jam soon. (I might put off making the jam until January.) Oh, yes, there's still stuff to do with winterization on the house and a few other household projects that my husband and I need to finish before winter sets in. This whole thing is really started to snowball as far as the work is concerned. I sure hope that I'm going to be able to bring a lot of it to a screeching halt come November because I'm not letting anything get in the way of my writing that novel in November.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day -30 and counting

Time is buzzing right along. Yesterday the official NaNoWriMo site reset for the 2009 event. I signed up for the Springfield Missouri region as my home region because it's the closest to my home though I have a friend who is talking about heading up a region which is closer to where I live so if she does establish the new region, I'll be able to sign up there as my home region.

I was thinking yesterday about how I'm going to begin the novel. I had the ending determined about a month and a half ago but I just figured out exactly where to begin the book yesterday evening laying on my bed after a busy day at the computer.

Although I have an rough outline of my book, I'm familiar with my characters and setting, know the beginning of my book and where the book will end as well as having done a lot of research for the book.(It his a historical novel--there's a lot of research that goes into a historical novel.) I still say that I'm a technical virgin with this book because I haven't actually put any actual words of the story itself onto paper. That is where I draw the line. My husband suggested that I begin writing the novel on my word processing program then when November rolls around, that I transfer what I've already written onto the Nano page. I told him that I couldn't do that because that would be cheating.

'Oh, come on, Cyg, who would you really be cheating? Afterall, it's not like you're REALLY winning anything."

That's exactly why I'm not starting to write the book until November first. My true competition isn't with someone out there. My true competition is between me and the clock. My aim is to push my word count up to close to 2000 words every day for the entire month. I intend to write a chapter every day throughout the month. This process will instill in me the habit of writing close to 2000 words per day. Talk about a milestone in my writing career. I have a writing habit of writing most days including writing in this blog most every day. So writing close to 2000 words in a novel every day will enhance my writing by giving me a high word count to aim for which builds on those other habits thus making me even more prolific.

I challenge everyone reading this who has a desire to write a novel to give NaNoWriMo a serious effort even if you don't actually sign up at the website. Work on writing your novel during the entire month of November. Set yourself a word count that is higher than you normally do each day. Don't quit until you meet your quota. DO NOT EDIT. Just Write it. Do your editing in December and beyond.

This is what I actually did last year. This year is my first official NaNoWriMo. Lat year I worked on my book When God Turned his Head for the entire month. It was actually a project I had started before but hadn't pressed through to completion. National Novel Writing Month gave me that push to get it done. For several months after that I worked on editing and polishing and then in April I began to send it out to agents. The point is, I used NaNoWriMo unofficially as a catalyst toward catapulting my writing career.

I have read that an activity takes whatever time you give to it. It is possible to clean a house in 30 minutes and do a fairly good job or if you give the entire day to cleaning your house, it will take you all day. Your novel can take you a lifetime to create or it can take just a month. Which would you choose? I'd rather get it written in a month.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Day -31 and counting

Can you believe that it's the First of October already? Only 31 days until the NaNoWriMo begins. This networking stuff is really boggling my mind. I never expected when I started writing this blog that I'd be doing all that I'm doing. I thought I'd be finishing what I'd started writing and then clear my writing plate for November first but that hasn't been the case. I've actually more writing projects lined up and have got a whole lot more going on than I'd ever thought possible. I am still going to close down the rest of my writing projects during that month so that I can concentrate on the new novel. Writing the novel is priority; it always has been.

I wrote a short article for to see if they'd take me as their national sustainable agriculture writer. We'll see. Today has otherwise been a great writing day in the social sense. I've been catching up on writing to some of my friends here on the net and talking to friends and family on facebook.

Last night I taught the children in my Wednesday night Bible school class. I had just 4 children in the class all girls. The youngest was four years old. Her name is Shelby. Shelby is really smart. She knew the Bible Quiz questions better than everyone except for maybe the eldest-- Amber who is 9. She's even better than my daughter. I guess Boni was still wrapped up in her pageantry winning dreaming.

I am surprised that Boni hasn't let winning the pageant go to her head any more than it has. She's actually doing better in school since the pageant and has been getting her homework done at school which makes it easier for her because she doesn't even have to bring her books home anymore so it saves the hassle of looking for her school books and papers in the morning. I think really winning the pageant has built up her confidence so she can do better in school. Not that she wasn't doing well, she was just breezing through. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we tell her that she's not only pretty but she's also smart. We're not putting down her talents for good personal presentation but we also are reminding her that she's more than her looks. Another thing that I'm trying to keep alive in her is her imagination. (Why would I do that? It's not like I value an imagination or anything.) Being a parent is a full time job, no, I don't want to think of parenting as a job. It's a privilege and I enjoy every minute of it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day -32 and counting

Autumn is definitely here. We haven't started the woodstove yet and it's really cool this morning so I'm wearing a sweatshirt while I'm working. I've gotten caught up from the weekend and I wrote four articles yesterday which is a really big deal for me. One in and one in as well as here in this blog and Simply Living. I've committed to writing another book after A Coward's Solace. This other book is a nonfiction book called: Wraps--Coming Full Circle in Weight Control. I'm planning to make this a self published book. I want to market it myself and I'd like to assist others with an affiliate program where we can help each other sell our books by writing reviews for each other and placing them all over the internet. If it works with a nonfiction book, I'm going to try it with my novels as well. If anyone is willing to work with me on this project. (I'll start this after the NaNoWriMo with Coward's and after I finish writing WRAPS which should be around the first of the year. ) If anyone is interested in working with me on this project where not only you help me sell my book but I'll help you sell yours, contact me at my email address: and I'll get back to you with more information when January rolls around. If you're writing a novel for NaNoWriMo, maybe we can market that book. Maybe this will give YOU the incentive you need to get your book written so you too can get it published. If you already have a book published and need help marketing it on the web, Let me know that too. Maybe we could make an arrangement where I can begin helping you sell your book online even before the first of the year. We writers don't have to work alone. If we learn to work together and pool our resources and skills, we can make more money than we would have going the traditional route of going through an agent and then publishing through a traditional publishing house and do it in less time. With some of these self-publishing companies, you can have an ebook out in less than 24 hours. Sure beats the 12-24 months it usually takes to get a book published. Most of the online marketing success with books has been in writing nonfiction books. I think the novel has been overlooked as a source of online book sales because it's still in its infancy. I think there's a big potential for marketing novels online without being ripped off if we writers learn to work together. I'm here right now just open for dialogue with other writers who want to keep more of the money that their booksales and sell more books than they might otherwise have sold EVEN THROUGH A TRADITIONAL PUBLISHER. The potential is there if we'd just birth it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day -33 and counting

I just wrote a blog on my other blog: that tells about Myrtle Yester-daze and what it's like living here in this area. I'd be honored if you'd check it out.

It's been a bit of a let down for my daughter now that her BIG event is over. Although she's still a princess to her family, the kids at school are reminding her that she's still just Boni Brown their classmate.

For me, the weekend was a practice of living in the moment. One of the things I have a habit of doing is to live in the future even when what is going on is a big event. So this weekend I decided I was going to not think about writing (much) and concentrate on making the memory with my daughter. I find it amazing that not only did my relationship with my daughter improve but it gave me more prospective on my writing. I've got several things to draw on to write about that I didn't have Friday.

Yesterday I didn't get much writing done. Because we were out all weekend, I didn't keep up with the housework so I needed to get the house whipped back into shape before I threw myself back into writing. It took me most of the day yesterday to finish that. My husband is enough of a male chauvinist that getting the house back in order benefited our relationship. So now that my relationships with my husband and daughter have been reinforced, I can selfishly return, unashamedly back to my writing.

It's hard to believe that in just 33 days, the 2009 NaNoWriMo begins.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Check out my New Book Store

I'm so excited about my new bookstore. Follow the links to my new online bookstore affectionately known as Cygnet's Bookstore!

Day -34 and counting

Wow! It's been a busy weekend. You wouldn't know it by the fact that I haven't written in here, but maybe you would. I think I mentioned in my last blog that my daughter was to be a participant in a beauty pageant that night (Friday). I really didn't think she'd win. Those things are usually rigged right? The judges get bought off by wealthier families or well known families in the community who can afford to give a lot toward a cause. A seemingly noble gesture but one with a price. Their darling daughter must win the pageant. Well guess what? That didn't happen in this pageant. My daughter won in the 5-9 year old age division and there were ten other girls competing. The largest number of girls in any of the categories. She was so happy.

I was talking to the school's art teacher after the event and we were discussing our views on pageants in general. Though neither one of us, would have considered participating in this type of event ourselves, we didn't fault those who enjoyed this type of competition.

Don't think that there isn't skill involved in pageant competition because there is. If you'd have seen the difference between the skill of the winners and a lot of the once who didn't place, you'd see that there truly is skill involved. A pageant contestant has to think in a lot of the same ways that a writer has to think. Not only do they have to think about what feels good and natural to them, but they also have to think about and cater to their audience. Not only does a contestant have to do her moves flawlessly but she also has to relate to her audience (which includes the judges) in a way that draws the audience in. In the same token, a writer has to not only get into the flow and feel good about what she's doing while she is writing but she also has to (at least in the editing stages) has to reel in her audience--the reader.

The other day I read two different articles on the same topic and the first one was okay. I enjoyed it but the second was much better. That article had an undercurrent that sucked me in and wouldn't let me go. Most of my articles I would say are more like the first. It's alright but it doesn't draw you into the current. I need to consider my reader more. As a writer, I want to be more like the winners and less like those who didn't place.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day -37 and counting

Today I didn't do much in the way of writing. Instead I opened a bookstore. That's right. I opened a book store on my website There's still construction Cygnet's Writer Approach but you should be able to find the link to the bookstore. The bookstore looks great. I'm selling bestsellers, Christian books, Bibles and makeup--Avon and Bare essentials. I also started writing on hubpages today. I got in trouble there though because I copied off of my blog from yesterday and pasted it in my hubpage. I won't be doing that again. But I will be writing about authors there. I'm taking the idea I had two days ago and running with it. I'm learning a little bit about how to get information and how to get it out on the web. It's a great learning experience and the best part of it is that I'm not spending any of my husband's hard earned cash to do what I'm doing. There's so many things I probably could be doing with my writing on line but I'm really still trying to get my footprints all over the web. My head is buzzing with all the new information I'm accumulating. I just hope that it adds up to something in the pocket book and soon. I'd like to be able to discover at the end of November that not only did I finish my newest novel but I also made more money than I'd thought possible during that month.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day -37 and counting

I read a quote today made my Ursula K LeGuin that made me go look her up. The quote was this:
"The creative adult is the child who has survived."

I think this is part of my deal lately and why I've been whining. I haven't been allowing my inner child out to play much lately. There were a couple of days there where I let it go and let my inner child just say what she wanted to but then the editor in me had to go to work and put the child away to play quietly in the shadows while the adult editor got to work. This whole thought process got me to wondering more about this woman.

I googled her. I found that she is an author of more than 3 dozen books. She was awarded the Newbery Honor for the second Volume of Earthsea Cycle, The Tombs of Atuan. Among her many other distinctions are the Margaret A Edwards Award, a National Book Award and five Nebula Awards.

Her work includes six volumes of poetry, twenty novels, over 100 short stories, four collections of essays, eleven books for children and four volumes of translation. She calls Portland, Oregon--home.

I read an interview about her at where she was describing her views on writing and the part of the interview that really impressed me was when she said:

"I have never heard a dancer asking for advice about how to stay focused on her footwork, or a painter complaining about the dull day-to-day task of painting. What task worth doing isn't worth daily effort? Do you think Michelangelo was having fun the whole time he was on his back painting the Sistine Chapel's ceiling?

What is it with writers, anyhow? If you've done it long enough to have some skill, the making of any art or craft gives you continuous satisfaction. But the satisfaction is seldom a thrilling or instant reward. There is rarely a moment of "Ooh wow, look, I just created a masterpiece!"

I am going to be rather hard-nosed and say that if you have to find devices to coax yourself to stay focused on writing, perhaps you should not be writing what you're writing. And, if this lack of motivation is a constant problem, perhaps writing is not your forte. I mean, what is the problem? If writing bores you, that is pretty fatal. If that is not the case, but you find that it is hard going and it just doesn't flow, well, what did you expect? It is work; art is work. Nobody ever said it was easy. What they said is: "Life is short, art is long.""

I read this and I know that writing is what I need to be doing and I realize too that it's not for everyone. I've seen people who've written here on the internet and couldn't put two coherent words together. I've read others who when they didn't make instant big money on the articles that they wrote, they left whining blaming the site for their inadequacies. The truth is writing is work and we owe ourselves and our writing the time it takes to pay our dues.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day -38 and counting

Time seems to be flying by. Do you realize that there is only 100 days left in 2009? Wow! Where has the time gone. I looked over my New Year's Resolutions for this year and although I've made progress since the beginning of the year in the areas that I resolved to change, I don't think I've met one of those goals yet. In writing, I've written quite a lot buy I haven't got much to show for my work monetarily. I'm also disappointed that no one has picked up on my book When God Turned His Head. I'm thinking seriously about self-publishing. It's not necessarily what I really want to be doing. I'd rather be writing but I've got to do something to get my writing before the public. In times past, a starving artist was considered a noble thing. Now, it's considered stupid. If I don't have someone willing to publish my book by the time A Coward's Solace has been written then I know I'll have to do my own self publishing. My mind keeps going back to The Shack. Because of the kind of novels I've written, my books could be self published and self marketed and the market could grow over time. I could get affiliates to read the book as an ebook then review my novels in press releases all over the internet. Maybe I could develop a system where I could take one step further for novels and become an online agent to help others promote their books both on the net and in the real world. It seems like a wonderful idea but I think I'd better finish A Coward's Solace first. Then I'll have the trilogy finished so that I will be able to focus my time at marketing the trilogy. (Of course, I'll just put out one book in the triliogy at a time that way I'll build readership over time) I'm thinking though, if I get the book polished and ready by the first of the year, this whole idea could be a reality within the first quarter of next year. Anybody want to join me and help me promote my books and have me help you promote your book?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day -39 and counting

Just 39 more days until 2009 NaNoWriMo. It's a lot like waiting for Christmas. A couple of times I asked for books for Christmas when I was growing up. So the idea of getting into this new novel of mine reminds me of that. It also reminds me of Michelangelo who when asked about his statues said that what he planned to carve was already in the stone. All he needed to do was remove what wasn't part of the statue. I guess it's not quite like that. But when I start writing, the characters take control of the story and they make it happen. All I've got to do is write down what I see them doing. Sometimes I've been known to get stuck and not see what happens next so I throw a scenario at them to solve. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but when it does work and the characters make the story their own, magic happens. I can't wait. It's like an addictive rush. It's like reading a story with my fingers. I see the scenes played out in my mind and all I have to do is write what I see. A fascinating road of discovery. Maybe that's why I'm antsy about writing this articles and why I'm stuck because I have the book in my brain and I can't let it out. It's taking too much space in my brain for me to function properly. But I'm so ready to write the book. So ready to see how much different the actual story is from the plotting that I've done for the book. But I must wait. I must wait.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day -40 and counting

I didn't write anything yesterday. Didn't have anything to say. Today I don't seem to have much to say either. The temperature is hot and muggy. I baked garlic bread and I baked sweet rolls today and I worked on house cleaning. How boring. I've got writing projects to finish but no motivation to get much done. I did write on article for infobarrel though. I'm not getting down on myself for the lack of motivation. Even famous writers had their lulls. My mind is so full of the projects that I'm working on that I don't have a lot of space left to be creative for this blog but since I promised myself that I'd write in here almost daily, I'm writing. See, I'm writing.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day -42 and counting

That wonderful sunshine that we had yesterday is hid behind the clouds again. I've worked on writing four articles that I want to finish before November first. I think I'm looking forward to burying myself into the fiction world soon. I'm getting tired of the real world issues that I've been dealing with and writing about.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day -43 and counting

The month of September is slipping away into October quite quickly. Today is already the 18th and I've still got a lot of projects on my writing and household chores list that I hope to have done by November first. The sun is out today but there is a nip in the morning air. I worked on more research for my book yesterday and I've agreed to write an article for a new magazine that is being put out this fall. Again I don't know if I've bitten off more than I can chew. (Don't you love the cliche?) But I'm doing what I love so I'm okay with it. I really don't have much to write today and I hate boring people with nothing so even though this post is short, I hope it doesn't bore anyone too much.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day -44 and counting

The rain appears to have stopped but there is still an overcast to the sky. I'm looking forward to the sun returning so that I can hang clothes out on the line again. I wrote one article today and I was going to put it in eHow but decided to go ahead and write it for infobarrel instead. I haven't seemed to have gotten much done today except read a lot of emails. One does look hopeful. I'm discussing with a magazine the possibility of writing for them.
I haven't worked on a lot of the projects this week that I listed that I want to get done before I begin the NaNoWriMo in 44 days. I know this doesn't sound good, but it is the truth. I just don't feel like doing it. I'm not so interested in doing that right now. Maybe it is because it has been raining and the weather is depressing. Maybe tomorrow the sun will be out. Reminds me of a song from the musical Annie "The Sun will come out tomorrow! Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun!"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day -45 and counting

Today is a dark dreary day. The clouds are heavy and rain is pouring down.I haven't gotten much done today, I did listen to a teleseminar that was very helpful but I haven't written anything yet.

I've been thinking about my new novel that I'm starting in 45 days and I have been looking at the title. I've decided that the coward that the book is about isn't the man in the book who thinks he is the coward. Actually the coward could be one of three men. I've got my main characters pretty much identified and have a pretty good idea of who they are. It's the minor characters that I still need to flesh out and help appear real. Maybe fleshed out isn't the right word because no character is fleshed out until they are put into action within the realm of their setting. It's like of like the difference between the character in a script and the actor acting out the scene. The actor brings life to the character and makes them real. They put their own interpretation on the character sort of like happens when a writer takes the character in the character sketch and puts them in their situations. That is when the character is truly fleshed out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day -46 and counting

What's really strange when you start writing is when your own family falls for your BS and starts asking you advice on various subjects. Today my own sister who was raised in the same home that I was raised asked me how to store onions and how to store carrots for the winter. I have some ideas, but I'm not going to depend totally on my own knowledge of the subject. I'm going to be looking the information up in books, I'm going to be researching on the internet. I'll use information that follows my own philosophy that is basically about doing things as organically as possible. Then I'll write articles on the subject and I'll send my sister the link and she might be really impressed about what I know about storing onions and carrots for the winter. In the meantime, I'll be learning about it myself through my research.

I did some more research for my new book A Coward's Solace yesterday. I'm really enjoying what I'm learning. Remember when I said that Andrew Lewis was an interesting character but I thought I had the wrong person? Well, as it turns out, I really did have the right person and it's really amazing the connections he and his brother Thomas had with George Washington who plays a big role in part of this book. It's like I'm really putting my main characters into a real situation, where the characters really did know one another where they actually had history and the lives are interrelated. The best part of this is that it really could have happened this way. My characters could have been involved with the situations as they are played out. I love it.

I'm starting to get really involved with wanting to begin working on the actual writing of this book but I'm holding back, trying to get these other projects completed before November. The other projects are starting to seem like work. It seems harder now. It's like blackberry picking. I'm in the middle and the work is going show. I don't see the beginning of the projects any more but neither do I see the end. To use another metaphor, I'm in the middle of a long tunnel and I can no longer see where I came from but neither can I see the light at the other end. If I keep walking and putting one step in front of the other, I will see the end. But it sure is dark right here, where I am now.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day -47 and counting
Above is a link to some pictures of when the Beatles stayed at the Pigman Ranch 45 years ago this month. I can see the Pigman Ranch from my house Which is just across Y highway from the Ranch. John, George and Ringo flew in a small plane owned by Reed Pigman from Walnut Ridge Arkansas to the ranch while the more conservative Paul drove to the ranch. The Beatles stayed at the ranch for 36 hours for a mini vacation between engagements on their first US tour in 1964. In the biography of George Harrison, I, Me, Mine he recalled that they didn't get much rest. During the day they went horseback riding and at night they played cards instead of resting. The Pigman Ranch is currently being made over into a Baptist Christian Retreat.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Day -48 and counting

We don't have a television in our our home so we have to find other ways to entertain ourselves. Our daughter fancies herself to be an artist and she does a lot of artsy stuff. She started a club called the Sparklie Girls' club which is a girls' club (of course) where the girls work together to clean up the environment and learn about not littering. My daughter has written a cute little book called The New Sparkle which is the magazine for the Sparklie Girls' club. I think it's pretty impressive for an eight year old girl but I wish she'd apply some of her enthusiasm toward cleaning the environment toward her bedroom.

My husband and I share the computer and when one is on the computer, the other is reading or doing housework. (You can guess which one in doing the housework. I'll give you a hint, it isn't my husband.) What's really funny is that he used to make fun of me for reading all the time now he's doing as much if not more than I am.

Our chickens and cats are quite entertaining too. Quite often I'm sitting in my corner office. (My computer desk is in the corner of the livingroom) and I will sit and watch our kittens playingor one of the cats confronting one of the chickens. Yesterday one of the kittens (about 8 weeks old) came nose to nose with a young rooster. It was the rooster that backed away. It's not always the chickens that back away though. Usually at breakfast time the chickens are a ravenous hoard and they think that everything that I put out there is for them and if I didn't stand out there and protect the cats food while the cats ate, the chickens would eat the cats' food as well as their own. I can imagine what it must be like for anyone driving by seeing a woman shooing chickens away from the house with a broom. They probably think I'm crazy. (I may well be, but that isn't the point.) A lot of people may also think that life here in a little house in the middle of a field is boring too but we enjoy it. Especially when the little house is within eyesight of a place where the Beatles once stayed but that is another story for another time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day -49 and counting

Wow just 49 days until the beginning of the 2009 NaNoWriMo! Today my husband, daughter and I went grocery shopping and for the first time I used coupons. I saved eleven dollars! Ten percent of my total bill! Today I also wrote out my basic menu for November. No, I haven't written one out for October yet nor did I make one for September but I really like what I did to enable myself to do it. It's kind of hard to make a menu for an entire month at one sitting unless you've got a strategy. My strategy started with the fact that we eat basically three types of meat around here. chicken, beef and pork (others might eat fish instead of pork but the idea would still be the same). Then I considered the fact that we eat primarily three types of complex carbohydrates--potatoes, rice and pasta. I took the three different kinds of meats and matched them with the three different kinds of complex carbs, I had nine combinations. Next I thought of a meal that had chicken and rice, I wrote it down, I thought of one with chicken and pasta, I wrote it down. I continued down the list until I had at least one meal for each combination. I thought of some meals that don't fit into those catagories, I wrote them down too. For instance, pizza doesn't fit in those categories and neither really does ham and beans and corn bread, nor does chili. those are all meals we enjoy eating in November. By the time I finished adding up all the meals I could make, I came up with 40 different meals that our family would enjoy during the Autumn season and November only has 30 days! It wasn't hard to take that list and figure out 30 suppers for the 30 days of November. And now that I have the list of different meals, I'll be able to buy my groceries ahead and precook some of the components of the meals in October for November so that I won't have to take the time when I'm writing my novel to think about what I'm going to feed my family. I'm so proud of myself. I think I'll pat myself on the back.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day -50 and counting

There are days when life hits an ebb where everything that seemed okay yesterday seems really irritating today. When you don't feel like doing anything. When you wish you could just stay in bed but that just isn't possible.

Today is one of those days for me. I feel like I have to force myself to simply move. This happens to me on a regular basis. (I should mark my calendar if you know what I mean) so I don't worry about what's going on, I've just simply got to deal with the inconvenience of the next couple of days. I'm not going to worry or force myself to do anything. I'm simply going to do what I know I must. I'm not going to berate myself for my frustrations, it will only make matters worse. Instead, I am accepting what is going on in my life today and know that in a few days I'll have the energy that I need to continue working in the way that I want. I will be patient with who I am today.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day -51 and counting

In the Musical The Sound of Music, Maria was not a very good nun so the Reverend Mother at the Abbey sent her to be a governess to the Von Trapp children. One of the things that Marie said when this was beginning to transpire, was that whenever a door closes, a window opens or something to that affect. In my case, I'm having to go through open windows quite a bit lately and it's interesting what I'm finding on the outside of those windows. I'm glad that last week I discovered that taking the easy route often the better idea. Why is it that young boys who would rather be outside in the real world, where they'd rather be, are forced to sit in a class room at the age of 6-8 when they have no desire to be there where all learning is a struggle when if they can just wait a couple more years, the same material will be easier for them?. Then these same boys are diagnosed with ADHD and labeled for the rest of their lives simply because they weren't ready to learn what teachers wanted to teach them? As adults we too are stuck in this same rut. We are told to work on our weaknesses rather than accentuating our strengths. All that does is lead to feeling like a failure and we don't have to be failures. We are not failures. We are just putting our attention on things that aren't working for us. Already, since my resolve to walk around stumbling blocks rather than being tripped up by them, I'm making progress. I'm doing what I really want to do first and amazingly, I'm not procrastinating and I'm even getting things that I wouldn't necessarily want to do done too. I wonder why that is? Maybe it's because when the focus is taken off of the idea that it is not something that I want to do, I actually do want to do it because I know that by doing it I will be benefitted. Or maybe like the little boy, I am just ready to do it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day -52 and counting

Yesterday after writing my blog, I decided to work on research of the book that I'm writing in November. I finished the outline of the book last week and since it's a historical novel, I've got to be sure that all of my information about the actual event is true. Also I want the real people who actually present at the event to be as genuine as possible. The event is the signing of the first peace treaty between the Native Americans and the newly formed United States government. Finding research material on the internet is so easy. I quickly was able to find the actual document on the internet with the names of all the signers as well as the persons of interest who attended. (of course, my characters were also there, a point of interest in the story but not to the document.). In the possess I found information about the Delaware chief that was there and I thought I'd found information about one of the States signers but as it turned out there was more than one Andrew Lewis in history and the one I found was a different Andrew Lewis. This Andrew Lewis had such an interesting life however that I'm thinking that I might just use him anyway, unless of course the Andrew Lewis at the signing was even more interesting. During the next month or so I'll be learning more about the historical figures who are portrayed in this book. The more I know about the actual historical events and the people who participated, the more depth my story will have when I get started and the easier it will be to write.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day -53 and counting

Just 53 more days until the 2009 NaNoWriMo. It happened again today. eHow wouldn't let me post another article so I went and started an account on This means that I'll be needing to do more work on yet another site to try to get it going. I rewrote the article that I was going to put on eHow so it wouldn't have the same content exactly so I'll still have the article for eHow. I'm beginning to wonder if I'm not planning to bite off more than I can chew with everything that I want to do. My husband and I got several home projects done yesterday. I won't however let too many things get in the way so I'm not able to do the NaNoWriMo like I plan. That's still a go.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day -54 and counting

Today was Labor Day.
They say that Labor Day is second only to New Years for making and creating goals. I'm not sure why that is. Part of it might be that a lot of people are going back to school. Part of it might have to do with the fact that people are starting to think about fall and the coming major holidays and they are realizing that the year is quickly coming to a close so they decide that they really need to do something quick before another year has gone by. Part of it might just be the changing of the seasons.
Another think they say about Labor Day I learned from a friend. He used to work at a home improvement center and he said that Labor Day and Memorial Day were the busiest days for home improvement. Those two three day weekends are the weekends that people are either starting or finishing home improvement projects. Maybe that's why Labor Day is second only to New Years in Goal setting. Today I kept my husband busy with a honey-do list and his goal is to never let me con him into doing another home improvement project.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Day -55 and counting

Just 55 more days until the 2009 NaNoWriMo begins. I was thinking this morning about how I chose the name Cygnet and I thought I'd share. It's really quite easy to understand when you know the facts. A cygnet is a young swan. My maiden name was Swanson so you see, it's quite understandable how I chose that name.

I've always enjoyed the story of the ugly duckling. There are actually three possible endings to this story. The first one is the ending when he sees the older beautiful swan early on then sees his reflection in the lake. The second is when he sees another Swan and his owner tells him that he too is a swan. The third one is when the cygnet sees the older Swan, and wants to be like the older swan and then begins to copy the older swan. He then realizes that all along he always was a swan.

What I really like about the third ending is that the younger swan always was a swan. He stopped listening to the crowd (ducks) and started living his life on his own terms. When he emulated what he admired, he was simply developing who he really was. I think that's what I'm doing too. I stopped listening to the crowds and started emulating the person that I want to be. Am I the swan that I want to be? Not yet, I am Cygnet and I'm emulating the swan.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day -56 and counting

It rained last night but it did more than rain last night. It was the beginning of the passage from one season to the next. I feel the changes in the weather and there are the changes in the daily patterns as well. My husband and daughter are already back at school and my husband is talking about setting up the wood heating stove and bringing in firewood. This morning I woke up and made blueberry pancakes and bacon and the family sat down to eat breakfast together. The first time we'd done that since the hot weather settled in. This afternoon I'll be baking a German Chocolate cake and making blueberry muffins for tomorrow. I don't think it's quite cool enough to bake bread just yet but soon stoking the fire and baking bread will be part of my routine again.

It's just 56 more days until the 2009NaNoWriMo I am making my way down my list of projects I want to get done before then and I'm happy with my progress. It's amazing how much more easily things move when I have a plan and I work the plan using the paths of least resistance. There's something to be said about taking the easier path, the path that the fewest obstacles are in the path. At least I think it is for the creative side of me anyway. I associate this side of me with my inner child and a child doesn't work, a child plays but in the process the child is always learning, always growing. A child is always growing and learning faster than adults ever could no matter how hard they work at it. Maybe that's why we adults don't learn as fast, because we are trying to make things too hard, too complicated. Maybe we should lighten up and stop trying to fight the changes but accept them and flow with them, learn and grow with them. Maybe then we like children can learn and grow faster than we ever dreamed possible.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Day -57 and counting

Yesterday again I had a very productive day and today I plan to have an equally profitable day. Yesterday I wrote a lot on the projects I plan to have done by the end of October and I've got several things crossed off my house cleaning schedule. Today I've got dreaded monthly refrigerator to clean. Because our refrigerator is old, we have to defrost it at least on a monthly basis. The problem is that it takes all day to thaw out so I've got to start it early in the morning which is what I did this morning. I started by unplugging the refrigerator and taking all the freezer stuff out and putting it into our deep freeze. Then I took the milk out of the refrigerator and put it in the freezer compartment so that the milk would stay cold and actually the milk because it's a liquid that's warmer than the freezer will promote the thawing process. At least that's my theory. I'll then progress throughout the day by doing something else for a while then clean part of the refrigerator then go back to doing something else for a while. This way I can get the refrigerator done as well as other projects that I have pending. It's one of the percs if you can call it that of working from home. I can do housework like that that needs to be done over the course of the day and still keep up with my business.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day -58 and counting

I had a great day yesterday. I got a lot of projects on my list completed yes, that' right, completed. I also listened to a recorded teleconference about organizing your time. It's amazing what we find when we align our goals with our own value system and style. Information comes to you like someone is feeding you this information. I was listening to the information saying yes, that's me yes! That's what I needed to know. Yes, I'm going to do that.

One of the things the speaker said that really was great information was that every billionaire that she knows (she says she knows 4 personally) does this every day. They have what is called focused time. Every day they schedule time to work on projects that will accomplish their goals. They take their to do list for the day and prioritize the projects 1, 2, 3 etc and do them in that order. The most important things they allot to special times called focus time. this is time that they refuse to be disturbed. They don't accept conversation, they don't take phone called, nothing but an absolute emergency (Of the the building is on fire variety) will keep them from their focus project. I tried that Tuesday before I knew about doing that and I found that I had gotten a lot done then and then yesterday when I worked on getting things done, I got it all done so quickly that I had plenty of time to listen to that teleconference.

I got information this morning from an editor of the magazine that I send an article to that she couldn't use the article as is, that I needed more current information. She took the time to edit the material before she sent it back to me. This in my opinion though a rejection is a good sign. I'm going to keep trying to work something out but I'm not exactly sure of the direction I need to go with this right now. I'll put this on a backburner to simmer for a while and see what happens. The idea of taking the road of least resistance seems to be working for me right now so I'm going to follow my current path.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day -59 and counting

Day minus 59 and counting. Here it is the second day in September and less than two months until the 2009 NaNoWriMo begins. There are so many directions I can go in right now that it's really hard to focus on getting things done and not trying to start new projects. If there is one lesson I want to learn before the November project starts is that I want to be able to focus and get the job done. I have this habit of loving starting the new project, the excitement of this new idea keeps me focused for a while. Often though I'm focused for just a few days and then I'm ready to start something new. It reminds me of blackberry picking. It seems like I fill up the bottom of the bucket I'm using very quickly but then when berries get up to the middle of the bucket the going goes slow. It feels like the bucket will never get full. I just keep picking and then suddenly I'm near the top and the bucket starts to fill seemingly faster. Any project that takes more than a few minutes is like that. In the beginning it seems we get quick results but then when we get to the middle the project bogs down and it isn't fun for a while but what keeps us going and what must keep us going is that there is a prize at the end of the project. A job well done and a finished product we can be proud of.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Day -60 and counting

Yesterday was such a bad day for me that I decided to make today a day of least resistance. For me a day of least resistance is a day that if I come against something that leads to difficulties I stopped and decided to do something else. This worked well for me because I got a lot more than I thought I would done. I actually finished projects and started a couple that I had on my list of things to do. I also decided to use a timer to help me focus on the project I was working on. I used the timer for a number of my household chores. I set my timer for fifteen minutes and them focused on that one thing until I was done or until the timer went off. I got caught up with a lot of the chores I didn't do yesterday. I also used a timer in some of my writing. I timed myself for five minutes of writing time and found that I was writing 184 words in five minutes. That's about 35 words a minute which doesn't sound like much but I was creating while I was typing. The second and third times I timed myself I didn't do as well but I think whenever I'm going to try to write new material I'm going to try to use this technique. I think it will probably help me in November when I'm writing my NaNoWriMo.