Monthly Archives: October 2015

Attempting NaNoWriMo

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November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing) Month. An almost insane frenzy takes over writers’ lives everywhere on the planet during this time of word counts and writing attempts.

If you’ve never been part of the frenzy, now’s your chance to pick up the gauntlet and leap in with both feet. There’s still plenty of time to get ready for the onslaught. You will see posting everywhere online about the event.

Here’s some advice for the newbie to the party.

  1. Check with your library about NaNoWriMo. Most libraries are aware of it and help writers participate in it.
  2. If possible, contact a local writing group in your area that are having small write-ins or monitoring activity get-togethers. Join in. Such groups usually leap at the chance in initiate the newbie. If there are no such groups in your area, find one online. You can go to nanowrimo.org/ and register to participate. Read the information available there about groups, buddies, etc. You’d be surprised who might be registered from your area who might want a writing buddy. Make their acquaintance and gain a new friend in your locale.
  3. Decide what you want to write. You don’t have to write a novel. You can be a rebel like me, who only does a novel every couple of years. If you want to revise something you’ve already written, go for it. The real purpose here is motivation for writing.
  4. Okay, so you don’t already have a novel or anything else to revise, but you have a germ of an idea. Great.
  5. Your problem is finding enough dedicated writing time to pull it off. Don’t sweat it. This isn’t really a competition, regardless of what some people say. If you only have fifteen minutes in the morning, half an hour at lunch, and an hour after dinner, that’s good enough. Remember, you aren’t counting minutes. You’re counting words.
  6. Your word count is not supposed to be anything more than rough draft, the rougher the better. 50,000 words looks huge as a goal. You don’t believe you’ll ever make it that high. That number equates to 200 pages. That’s roughly six and a half pages a day. That’s a much smaller number, isn’t it? That looks much more doable.
  7. Post your day’s tally either at the end of the day or just before beginning your writing the next day. The NaNoWriMo site will keep a running tally for you with words and pages.
  8. And that’s it. Try to write each day. If something happens and you can’t, don’t panic. Write when you can, as much as you can, and be proud that you achieved so much. No one will fault you. No one will kick sand in your face.
  9. Above all, enjoy the process. Feel the mental burn of creativity and watch those writing muscles grow and flex their new strength.

Well, that’s my spiel on the coming November challenge. I’m still going to do a weekly post on here during the month. I’m hoping that all the writers out there will challenge themselves in some way, whether through NaNo or some other device.

Have a fantastic week, folks. Me? I’ve got a critique group meeting on Thursday evening and a NaNo kick-off pot luck dinner on Friday night. We’ve got a terrific library that creates its own activities for the challenge. We’ve got some of the best librarians around, let me tell you.

Anyway, have fun and I’ll be back on Sunday, after I’ve written my flash fiction story for the day. And if you are doing NaNo this year, drop a comment below and tell me what your project is going to be. I’d really like to know.

Ramping Up for NaNoWriMo

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Whew. Got Wisher’s World Launched and now it’s time to think NaNoWriMo.

October leaped out of the gate in a whirlwind of editing and formatting the first volume of Wisher’s World, which came out on Cot. 10th. Afterwards, I wrote two articles and  submitted them for columns on Working Writers Club. Wishers World CoverNext, I set up my editorial calendar for the next three months.

Now, I can take a deep breath and begin prepping for NaNoWirMo 2016.

If you’ve never tried NaNo, you might want to challenge yourself to do it this year. Be a rebel if you can’t think of an idea for a novel. What’s a rebel? Well, you’re reading from one of them at the moment. I seldom do a novel. I did one last year for the first time in several years. It’s in revision now.

You see, I’m a rebel. I work NaNo for other purposes than writing a new novel idea. I use the exercise to revise an already-written novel or something else. Trust me. That really does use your time well during the challenge month. I’ve done a book of poetry for the challenge, too.

Book Cover 02This year, though, I’m writing a collection of Flash Fiction stories for the event—one story per day, every day, including Thanksgiving. If you don’t think that’s challenge enough, consider this.

Each day I’ll be plotting, writing, and doing a light revision on a single story. The stories can run from 500 to 1000 words. Each story will be inspired from a single writing prompt. And some of those prompts are normally used for novel ideas.

I won’t be declared a winner at the end of the month. I know that going in. My nimble fingers won’t have churned out 50K words to snag a winner’s badge like I did last year. Instead, I’ll have written a collection of stories that will need little revision or editing for release before the end of the year on Kindle.

Work In Progress Sign Held By Construction WorkerI can pick up my own trophy if, and only if, I put in the back-end work to get the collection ready for a late December release.  That deadline is also a goal. I already have plenty of novels to work on. I don’t need to write another one for a long while.

And there you have it—my personal NaNo challenge. These are the kinds of things that NaNo Rebels do with their time in November and July. It’s not that we’re anti-establishment protesters. It’s that we have other goals and quirks.

I’m fortunate. I have a NaNo group year-round. Our group has expanded and contracted around a core of people for several years now. We write together a couple of times a month, nearly every month of the year. We support each other and even have a critique group of members, which meets regularly. Most of all, we have fun.

004-stock-photo-nRight now, I’m doing prep work to keep me focused on the goals ahead. I’ve chosen my writing prompts for the stories, including a few extra in case one of them doesn’t appeal after all.

I’ve set up my editorial calendar with article deadline dates, topics and titles for my regular column articles for WWC, as well as all the other deadlines that will come between now and the end of the year. Some of those include context deadlines,too.

And this weekend, I’ll put in the time to get my office lined up for the coming frenzy of activity. With more organization, I’ll be better able to make all of my obligations and still have time left over to do those other tasks required for a personal life.

Yep, it’s that time of year when preparation helps keep you sane.

That’s all for now, peeps. I’ll be back again in a few days with something more interesting. I think I may talk about a newsletter idea I’ve been rolling around in my mind. Think about what you might want to see in a regular monthly newsletter and drop your idea in a comment below.

Until then, adios, amigos.

 

Wisher’s World Goes Live

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My fantasy series on Kindle has emerged in the first volume. Today Wisher’s World, Vol. 1 Composing an Apprentice launched successfully and is available to readers everywhere.

Satisfaction fills me right now. It’s taken many months to get this novel ready for public display. The final hurdle came along when my computer system corrupted my final revision copy and I had to start all over again from a beta reader’s copy. The debacle added more than a month to its writing time.

But that’s all behind me. Here’s a brief excerpt from the book.

Wisher’s World, Vol. 1 Composing an Apprentice

“Strap in, Reibe.” He complied without comment. “Get your gloves on. You’re going to need them. And wrap your scarf around your mouth and nose.” Again he did as he was told. More cheers went up.

Waiting for their turn nearly undid him. And then, before he was ready, Cleone pulled the line to bring the sail taut, as she jerked another line to swing it slightly to the left. The wind caught it.

The boat leaped forward like a wild thing with a wolf on its trail. It picked up speed with every yard gained. The faces of cheering villagers passed in a blur. Reibe kept his eyes closed for a while as they left the compound. The swift turn onto the main road caused his eyes to pop open and, as swiftly, close again, against the swirling landscape of the maneuver. The three leagues to Reston had always seemed to him a lengthy distance. Now, he wasn’t sure.

Cleone held a line in each gloved hand, constantly pulling or slackening on one or the other. He’d finally resolved his trepidation to traveling like this when he heard Cleone’s muffled voice. “Macai’s family farm is coming up on your right.”

By the time he opened his eyes and focused, they’d already passed it. He raised a hand to wave just as Cleone swung the sail to make the gentle curve in the road a few yards beyond the farmstead. He grabbed for the right-hand rail. The tracks made by previous land-boats drew them too far to the left, but their speed didn’t slow.

“Hang on.”

Cleone yanked on a line, forcing them to make a quick turn back to the right. In the process, the boat’s left runner lifted from the snow. They hung suspended and listing to the right at a steep angle and raced forward.

Reibe tried to swallow the gulp he felt as his stomach lurched. His eyes lost focus on the rushing ground. He couldn’t swallow. His tongue got in the way.

Clamping his eyes shut again, Reibe missed seeing the finale. The boat suddenly righted itself with a jar; all three runners on the ground, snow flying in every direction. He peeked to see if they were still on the road. They were.

The eye protectors did their job. They caked with flying snow on occasion, but they kept his eyes safe and intact. His fingers were warm and his feet remained on the ends of his legs. If he could get his heart under control, he might be able to count this as an adventure. …

I hope all of you will get a Kindle copy. The paperback won’t be out for a few months yet. When you finish reading the book, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or any other review site of your choice and send a copy to me, if you’d like. I’m always interested in what you think and how well my writing suited the reader.

Also, be sure to stop in my author’s page on Facebook and say hello. Click the like button while you’re there, too. Would love to see you more often.

Thanks again for stopping in. I hope to see you again in a couple of days with a regular post.