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.