Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

First of all, drum roll please. I am thankful for making a grand total of 51,066 words five days before deadline. NaNoWriMo is said and done. No, the novel is not done yet. No, it will not be published next month. Remember there is six levels of editing yet to be done. A few reviews by alpha readers and then the beta readers have their turn to review.

Indian Springs Condo View
Now, I am grateful that I can focus on the break Tim and I are taking in Sun Valley, Idaho. The weather has been lovely. The area has changed dramatically since we last visited one of our favorite places.

We decided we needed to retreat and regroup.  Our entire family is coming home for Christmas. We are so excited it has been a year since that has happened. We are using this time to relax and plan. (Okay, I wanted to get NaNoWriMo completed, also.) There is merit to going some place that is different from your regular routine.

It took us three days to learn our way around an area we thought we use to know. It was amazing to see what overbuilt really looks like. We sat down today and congratulated ourselves for coming to visit at this in between season, after the summer rush,  and before the skiers arrive.

Swans at Sun Valley Lodge
I love Thanksgiving. I love the preparation of the meal, setting of the table, conversation, and of course being with family and friends who share common experiences. It is strange not to be in checklist mode:
  • menu
  • shopping
  • cleaning
  •  meal preparation
  • cooking time lines
These days of leisurely breakfast anytime we want in our condo. Eating and drinking where and whenever we want is intoxicating when I think of what the alternative could have been for us.

I know it will be a new experience eating a Thanksgiving Dinner in a restaurant, but I'll have a year to think about it and report about it.

Till then have a wonderful holiday, enjoy the day with somebody you care about, and remember you
don't have to eat turkey to be thankful.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 2-NaNoWriMo 2014-Pushing Through

This second week has been tough. Many outside distractions and personal hits attacking my focus. Family issues: a sweet person who had experienced some terrible demons died this week. I still see her big smile, hear her laugh, and I'll never forget her big brown eyes that twinkled when she talked to me. I've known for more than forty years. She is at peace. I pray her family is at peace also.

Last week I had workmen finishing up on the updating of our furnace, air conditioner, and hot water heater. This week the painter has arrived. There have been color decisions, lighting decisions, the elimination of more "stuff," and the moving about of furniture in two small rooms to get this paint job  done.

Then there is the writing, oh what a story is being woven.  I think I like being a "pantser." I find it is a process that suits me for NaNoWriMo. I like rereading what I wrote the day before and then just picking up the story.

Yes, my novel has characters, conflict, and a conclusion. There are surprises and "pithy" dialogue, but the best part is that I am really having a great time. Hey! if you aren't having fun, why are you doing it in the first place?

Write on "WriMos!"

Friday, November 8, 2013

NaNoWriMo-Week 1:Characters Takeover Story

This is my second year participating in the worldwide writing event known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This event dares participants to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This year I vowed I would be prepared. I would have an outline, storyline, and characters flushed out. I diligently read all the advice leading up to November 1 on the website.

When the clock struck 12:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on November 1, my computer was opened on a "new blank page."  I took a minute to visualize the story: the beginning, middle, and the end. I began typing.

Three sentences into the story and three new characters showed up. Yes, you heard me. They appeared on the page. By the time I had keyed more than 250 words two more new characters showed up. Once again, my original idea was hijacked my story.

This is a relatively new phenomenon for a veteran non-fiction writer like me.  I like organization when I write. I like to know where  my writing is going, who is the expert, and why am I writing about it.

Each November an alter ego of myself appears when I take on the NaNoWriMo Challenge. I've become a "pantser" ( a term used by writers who claim to write by the seat of their pants).  I begin the story and before I know it what I thought I was going to write becomes something else, something much better.

This feeling of characters appearing out of nowhere is the combination of spending time really thinking about what you are going to write and the act of writing without stopping to correct spelling, typos, punctuation, etc. Writing until you can't write any longer is the genius of the NaNoWriMo challenge. Writing for the sheer bliss of getting your ideas down on paper.

Once your ideas know they can trumble out on paper unincumbered, they flow. So, for all who write, this is a challenge that unleashes the creative muses within you. It's not too late to dive in. Join me and the more than 250,000 people worldwide "writing with wild abandonment."