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Who Knew?

24 Nov

I went to my very first Thanksgiving Sale on Thursday evening.  It was crazy.  It also turned out to be a great place to work on my NaNoWriMo suspense novel.

My brave companion needed a new computer; while silly me just needed a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup.  Yeah, I’m that much of a procrastinator.  So we found the line he needed stand in and wait for his computer.  I, on the other hand, went to the in-store Subway and got a sandwich (this writer is not much fun when her blood sugar is on the down swing).

While munching away on a club sandwich I pulled a notepad out of my purse.  Not really anything else I could do, since my chaperone was going to be in line for over an hour.  However, he’s the same person who, while on the drive to the store, had recommended a couple of poisons for my main character to use on her in-laws.  So, in a rare burst of temporal frugality I took that time to write out what we had discussed.

Before I knew it several pages were filled, and I had more or less figured out most of the rest of my plot.  I now know who all she’s going to frame for what, who else goes down with them when they blab about what they’re really into, a pale outline of the main fall-out from the domino effect, and how the city will react and recover.

I even have a twisted happily-ever-after; since I’m not happy unless my favorite character is, too.  She’s going to get some unexpected attention from a good man.  This really didn’t start out as a romance, but really, how long did I honestly think I could hold out before it turned a little bit toward that genre.

Who knew that a Subway restaurant, during an insane shopping extravaganza, would be the perfect place to put together the last major threads of a plot?

Perhaps I really am such an astonishingly talented writer that I can write anywhere, anytime?

Uh…

More like all the bustle and noise gave me the perfect incentive to delve inside myself and forget the boggling world outside.

All I’m really sure of is that when finally home I could barely contain my need to get all those fresh thoughts into the computer.

*          *          *

NaNoWriMo word count is up to a whopping: 11,305.  Not going nearly as fast as I want to, but I have rearranged my schedule some so that I can spend more time typing way.

*          *          *

Until Next Time…

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever worked on a writing project?

And

How did you handle your first crazy holiday shopping experience?

Was it almost like a regular shopping trip?  Or more like the movie Jingle All The Way?

Here’s To Our Thanksgivings!

21 Nov

Gobble, gobble has a whole new meaning…

 

Here’s hoping our Thanksgivings are full of love, laughter, and quality time with loved ones.

Here’s a little prayer sent up to help us mind our tongues when someone’s opinion rubs us the wrong way.

Here’s to that gentle tap on the shin that most husbands will receive when their wife hears the opening line to a personal viewpoint that would be sure to set the room on fire (and to his interpreting this ‘love tap’ correctly).

Here’s to the careful negotiations over the last piece of Aunt Grace’s famed pumpkin pie.

Let us all remember that this is a season where we take a little time out of our busy schedules to look around and be appreciative of the things we have.

Whether we are with relatives, good friends, or a room of relative strangers, may we all be surrounded by happiness and positive thoughts.

This is me wishing everyone a safe and fun Thanksgiving!

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NaNoWriMo Word Count is now – 10,214 

My fingers are tired.

The white noise ended after the first hour. After checking my word count I decided to add another 150 words to push me over 10, 000.  This is the number I ended up at after I’d finished writing out a couple more of the main character’s diary entries.  No where near the normal 50,000 word goal, but getting closer to my more realistic goal of using this month to map out the main story line.

Loving the plot so far.

*          *          *

What are some of your family’s Thanksgiving traditions that you love? 

Have you made some new ones in your own home? 

What are things you are particularly thankful for this year?

Tell me, tell me!  My curiosity knows no bounds.

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Word Count And Excerpt

12 Nov

Today I decided that I was going to get more writing done for my NaNoWriMo project.  So, after putting my MP3 player earbuds in, and finding my hour-long thunderstorm, scooting the bag of almonds closer to my computer, checking that the cats didn’t have a legitimate reason to nag me, and finally pressing play on the MP3, I began to type.  Very quickly I found myself engrossed by the story my main character is putting down in her diary.  Before I knew it I had introduced a new character, and found a new victim for my murder spree.  Only once did I have to stop myself from going back and deleting a sentence. Other than that, it was very easy to just write and let the story find its own path.

I was a little surprised when the sound of rain ebbed away, signalling the end of an hour.

So, with a proud smile on my face, here is my new word count: 6,405.  With 1,240 of those written today.

Not bad for having sat down to write this thing only three or four times.

Well, now that I have patted myself on the back in full view of my adoring public (*looks around at a cluttered bedroom with two cats sprawled on the bed; oblivious to the self-congratulation*), I will now copy and paste a small piece of I Killed Them, Mama into this post.

*          *          *

Dear Mama,

I found my partner, it took a week, but she’s perfect.  It’s Ms. Love, my father-in-law’s secretary.  According to her, she was his lover 35 years ago, until his father decided it was time for him to get married and create the next generation.  Ms. Love had always figured he would marry her, but his father already had an innocent lamb of a woman picked out for the job.  My father-in-law gave her a job in his office as a parting gift, married the woman who became my husbands mother, and proceeded to get himself a brand new mistress.  He’s such a slime ball.  From the sounds of it his first wife died honestly thinking him he and his family were in the insurance business.  Poor fool.

Ms. Love is perfect not only because of her obvious reason to hate him, but because his Office Manager is actually his current slut, and doesn’t know a darn thing about what’s really going on with The Business (Italics later).  This should work out nicely.

*

Dear Mama,

We have started.

I invited my in-laws over for dinner last night.  Little do they know that all three of them are on the slow road to death.  I’ve never been a sadistic type of person, but this should be fun to watch.  Seeing their health slowly deteriorate as the first poison does its job of making them look like they’re developing heart issues.  Pale, clammy skin, difficulty taking a deep breath, exhaustion, dizziness.  Just a little at a time, and we’ll get to the interesting part soon enough.

I just have to be careful to time everything just right.  That will be the key to not being caught and subsequently being sent to prison.  I can’t be sent to prison.  Then there would be no one to take care of Lissie while she’s home for Christmas and Summer Vacation.  No one to move you to your Real burial plot.  No one to make sure that The Others pay, too, in their own ways.

*          *          *

Well, that’s all for me tonight.  I’ll keep you posted on my word count, beta-readers, and book reviewing as progress is made.  I found a few more useful blogs.  Hopefully they will end up on my Blogs I Like page, soon.

Until Next Time…

What are your writing rituals?  What does it take for you to zone out and just write?  Do you need music, munchies, and a vague plot?  Or do you need perfect silence, no distractions and a meticulously detailed story roadmap?  Is it helpful to talk with your significant other about where the story is going? (my husband frequently lets me use him as a sounding board for new ideas. He’s awesome like that) Or do you need to keep the whole thing to yourself?  Probably somewhere in-between, huh?

Let the world know your weird little tricks.  Someone may find them helpful.  At the very least it may help others know they’re not odd.  Well, not any odder than the rest of us writers.

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Latest NaNoWriMo Word Count, and a Synopsis

10 Nov

 

I’m up to 5,165 words as of this evening.  So far it’s not much more than a very original outline. That will change, however when I am done plotting out the big stuff and go back to flesh things out more.

This is my first attempt at writing a contemporary suspense novel, and I must admit to enjoying myself immensely.  The idea for I Killed Them, Mama just hit me a couple days into November.  It was so irresistible.

*          *          *

A young woman is forced into marriage just weeks after her mother’s death.  Sold, essentially, to either pay off her father’s gambling debts, or to secure a small political position.  I haven’t decided yet. A few weeks after her wedding, she comes to the conclusion that the four people responsible for her unhappiness must be punished.  Not only for her sake, but for the sake of her younger sister, who will most likely meet a similar fate if big sister does not change the circumstances.

After finding an ally in a seemingly innocent little old lady, who also has a couple scores to settle, our young wife steps forth to deal out her own brand of justice.

*          *          *

The whole thing is diary entries, which are written as though they were letters to her mother.  She does not have ‘she’s not really dead’ issues.  She just is using this as a way to help her grieve, and to make sure she keeps her mother’s memory close so as not to go too far with the revenge (i.e., poisoning the punch bowl at a family wedding and watching all of them die).

If you haven’t yet noticed, my main character does not have a name yet.  Neither do her father, mother, husband, father-in-law, or mother-in-law.  The little sister does have a name.  It’s Lissie.  I don’t know whether they will get names or not.

My husband is going to help me decide why her father forced her to marry into this particular family, other than the fact that they run the town.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m not allowed to edit (I have a terrible habit of editing as I write, sometimes to the point of creative paralysis), the fact that I’m working within a structured time limit, or the knowing there are thousands of people attempting the same feat with me, I don’t know, but it’s fun.

Maybe in a few days I’ll post some of what I have written.

 

Until Next Time…

What is your NaNoWriMo progress, so far?

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The Little Things

9 Nov

My Mother has always instilled into my sisters and I the importance of having an eclectic taste in entertainment.  When I was a teenager, and we had moved yet again, the four of us (yes, I have three younger sisters) discovered our parents’ record collection.  I remember washing dishes in the kitchen while Perry Como, Robert Goulet, Michael Jackson, Joan Sutherland, C. W. McCall, or Johnny Horton sang away in the background.

(We also liked to put the record player on the setting for smaller discs and listen to the singers as they sang away, sounding like Munchkins, but that’s beside the point.)

We also learned her love of BBC, and it’s made for T.V. movies, among other things.  A few days ago she sent me home with the first season of Lark Rise To Candleford.  I watched the first episode this evening, sitting cross-legged on my bed.  This series is adapted from Flora Thompson’s memoir of her childhood in rural 19th Century England.  The main character, Laura Timmins, was sent from her home to work for a relative, Dorcas   Lane, who ran the post office in the next town.  When she was shown to her bedroom, silly me expected Laura to turn on the light.  “Duh”, I told myself.  “They don’t have electricity yet.”

It struck me how lightly we take such things.

It was only a few generations ago, in my own family, that they got a house with electricity and other modern perks.  My Mother’s Mother was raised in a house with no toilet inside.  They used an outhouse.  Grandma was married and moved away before Great-Grandma got a job at a local factory because she was determined to buy a manufactured home…with a toilet inside the house.

We so often take the little things, conveniences, pleasures, for granted.  Perhaps, every once in a while, we should look up from our laptops, e-readers, and cell phones, and remember that there is other life out there.

There is that small piece of Good dark chocolate you allow yourself when you’ve been especially stressed, the hug from a friend who knows you’re struggling with something just by looking at you, or that book that made you cry, out of happiness, for your favorite character.

When’s the last time you attended a ‘physical’ book club, met a friend for ice cream, or just stayed in with your family, spending time doing silly things, like watching an old movie or playing a board game.  When’s the last time you thanked God, or your lucky stars, or fate, for allowing you to pay for the book you read for the club?  Did you remember to thank your friend for taking the time to enjoy a sweet treat with you?  Would you be willing to lay aside your stress, and worry, to play with your family?  To laugh honestly?  To really look at them, and truly enjoy the moment?

Every once in a while, I think, it is important to look around ourselves and see what we do have, rather than what we don’t.  There are so many times when we are so busy getting to the next thing, working toward a particular goal, that we forget to watch our lives as they happen.

If I live long enough to know my grandchildren, I want to be able to tell them that I actually lived.  The last thing I want is to look back at my life and wonder how it went by so quickly.  So, with that in mind, I am going to take a couple days to be mindful of what I do have; what I do like; who I do love.

I hope you will at least take a few moments to see all that you have.

*          *          *

On a less reflective note, I must ashamedly report that I have no progress to boast about on my NaNoWriMo novel.  *Sob*

Also, I have only read the first chapter of Lies, Love, and High Heels.  *Sigh*

But, as my husband says, “Every day above ground is a good one”.  Perhaps I can get some more of those projects done tomorrow.

*          *          *

Until next time…

What are your favorite ‘little’ things?

Getting To Know You

8 Nov

I love to read.

That didn’t come out right.

I Love to Read.

It seems, however, that I am rather persnickety about what I am willing to pick up.

I will read certain types of fantasy, almost all romance (unless it’s too sappy), some action/adventure, as long as it’s not too bloody, satire, humor, fun, cute, light, or girly.

What I can not stand, is an ill-written book.  I can look past typos, and even a tired cliché or two; just please don’t base your entire plot on a watery character who is supposed to fall for a guy who’s English is way too correct to be a believable person.

My favorite genre to read: Is Terry Pratchett’s work a genre? ( http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/ )

My favorite Genre to write: I thought it was romance, but I started a suspense for NaNoWriMo and I am really enjoying myself.

If I could hang out with a book character: It would have to be Captain Carrot of the Ank-Morpork City Watch, from Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series.  Because if I stuck beside him for an entire shift I would get to meet the rest of the officers, and get a good tour through the city.

Alright, my precious Audience, I am curious about a few things.

1.)    What is your favorite genre to read?

2.)    What is your favorite genre to write?

3.)    If you could hang out with a character from a book, who would you pick?  Why?

P.S.  Agnus and The Hitman is not just a book for girls.  My husband laughed his butt off when I read it aloud in the car on the way to and from work.

Preparing To Add Another Page

6 Nov

Well, Did You? 😉

Late last night I came up with an idea for a new page on my site.

So, if you all don’t mind I am going to start reviewing random books that are offered for free on Amazon.  You might think that is a cheap thing to do.

Well, it is.

You see, I am broker than broke.  I am doing all this work (writing, editing my work, not nagging my beta-readers, building a social network) so that I can eventually make money, buy a house, make babies, and not have to worry about money (too much).

I am in no way saying that money is the only reason I am doing all this.  I have been working on my first book for over three years, just finished writing 32 poems for a book of bathroom poetry, got a late start on NaNoWriMo, and have many other projects that are slowly cooking in the back of my mind – Because I Love To Write.

I have also always loved to read (although my mother would tell you that it wasn’t exactly a breeze to teach me how).  So it’s a natural progression to go from reading good books to hopefully writing good books.

With my love of reading in mind, I have downloaded a copy of Love, Lies and High Heels, by Debby Conrad.

Thank you, Ms. Conrad for offering your book for free.  If I hadn’t seen the blurb about it on Twitter and been intrigued by the title, I might not have come up with this idea for quite some time.

Hopefully I can get it read by this time next week.  No guarantees though.  I may be broke, but I’m also busy.

*          *          *

NaNoWriMo Word Count Update

As of my latest writing session I am up to: 3379 words

The plot thickens, the ideas boil,…hmm, now I’m hungry.

*          *          *

One thing you will learn soon enough, is that I am a terribly, horribly, chronic night owl.  This disorder is further compacted by the fact that the only person in the household who has a normal job is on swing-shift.  Therefore if the rest of us want to have any real socialization time with him, we have to be on a schedule close to his.

So, if you post a funny, witty, or urgent message, please do not be offended that I don’t respond by noon.  I will get back with you.  Just on a different schedule than most other Americans.

Until Next Time…

My First NaNoWriMo Word Count

5 Nov

As of very early this morning, I am the proud owner of an official NaNoWriMo word count.  Last night I decided that I was just going to have to start, ready or not.  So after an hour and a half of so of typing I did my 12th word count and discovered that I had finally written 1,709 words.

Now, since I am brand new at this, you are going to have to tell me if this is a crappy first amount or not.  But as far as I am concerned, things are going well.  I may have a tiny hope of actually winning this at the back of my brain, but for the most part, the realistic side of me says that the chances of my completing the set word count are pretty slim.

Especially since only a couple weeks ago I started a Facebook page for my writing adventures (as well as any other way I think of to make money. It’s entitled Rose’s Road To Riches.), and a little while later started a Twitter account strictly for the purpose of helping my writing career.  These, I have discovered, take up just a little bit of your time.  I am having a lot of fun.  Twitter seems to be full of so many other writers also trying to get ahead in their careers, and it’s fun to watch their successes and follow their blogs, and read their hard earned lessons.

My Facebook page is not doing quite so well.  I am thinking that if I up my Twitters to at least one an hour, and link back to my Facebook page half a dozen times a day, that may help increase traffic, and perhaps assist in the very slow rise of page Likes.  All in all, it’s just a wait and see, learn as you go, sort of game.

Thankfully, my wonderful husband continually reminds me that it really hasn’t been that long since I began this campaign of learning and pre-book launch set-up.  He also congratulates me on every little success.  I asked him last night if he was getting tired of me bouncing up to him to share my latest progress.  He looked straight at me and said that he didn’t mind hearing all my updates, and if it ever got annoying he would let me know.

I am so glad I didn’t let myself settle until I found the right man for me.

Until Next Time…

What were your expectations when you first tried NaNoWriMo?

What was the outcome?

It may be the newbie jitters, but I would feel better hearing some other experiences.

And yes, I do know that they most likely have a discussion forum for this on their website, but whenever I get on an interesting forum it can take me hours to get back off, and I don’t have the time for that right now.  Perhaps I’ll take an afternoon in a couple weeks to do a good amount of exploring.  Right now, though, I need some reassurances that I’m not alone in my worries, hopes, and excitement.

All signed up for NaNoWriMo!

4 Nov

All signed up for NaNoWriMo, now I have to actually start working on the book. We’ll see how well that goes.