Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo
Video

I May Ask My Husband To Hide My Phone

9 Nov

Here it is more than a week into NaNoWriMo and I have yet to put down a single word.

(Yes. You read that correctly.)

This is one of the reasons why I am seriously thinking of becoming a world class hermit for a few days. I just have to find a time in my schedule when I have three days in a row when no one expects anything of me.

Actually, now that I am really thinking about it, this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday could work.

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Huh. I think I’m going to have Lonnie take my phone away from me for those days and I will concentrate on only two things:

  1. Getting a great start on my NaNoWriMo novel
  2. Putting the last few things together so I can publish My Ignored Hamper and other Bathroom Poetry

I have told far too many people that it will be out by the end of this month for it to not happen. (grrr Why do I have to talk to people?)

This is happening people! If you see me hanging out on Twitter this Sunday, Monday or Tuesday please yell at me. I’m serious here. Yell at me and tell me to get these things finished. Remind me that these are important to my life’s goals and if I don’t get them finished I will always regret it. Tell me that the last thing I want is to be lying in my nursing home bed thinking of all the cool things I could have done with my life if only I had actually pursued that whole author thing.

You have my permission.

Do it.    😉

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I want to be like this chick!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khkOmZG36Rk

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As of the end of this video she has finished 7 NaNo novels. Seven. That’s crazy!

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Sooo…how are you doing with NaNoWriMo?

or — Do you have goals that you are shuffling your feet about completing?

and — Why do I really want chocolate ice cream right now?

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P.S. I will of course schedule things like #MondayBlogs and #MirthMusicMon posts to come out automatically. Can’t shirk my plans for total Twitter domination.  😉 

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Outlining I Killed Them, Mama

8 Apr

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I have gotten tired of floundering around in the plot, so I have taken a couple of days and been working on the outline.

The book has changed quite a bit over the last two days.

For example, when I was lamenting that it might not be long enough to be an actual novel a sister suggested that I use the diary entries as intros into each new development. From there I could slip into third party perspective and show, rather than tell, what was going on.  

Here is the first bit of my outline for I Killed Them, Mama:

  1. Amelia May Green is now Mrs. Lawrence.
    1. Describe the wedding a little bit.
    2. Say how she doesn’t understand why her mother was so concerned about her future if she followed family tradition and allowed her father to select her husband.
    3. Also explain that she is starting this diary “Since you left a journal of your life for me to read, I have started one for my future children.”
  2. Back from the honeymoon.
    1. Describe the trip in a paragraph or two.
    2. Then moving into the house.
    3. They decide to wait a few months before trying for kids.
  3. He’s starting to get rude and a bit verbally abusive. She thinks it’s just about something going on at work, and tries to keep him happy at home by making extra yummy dinners.
  4. He hits her.
    1. She is confused.
    2. When she goes shopping no one seems to notice the bruise and split lip.
  5. It’s been two weeks and he’s hit her a couple more times, also over stupid little things.
    1. She is not lying down and taking this.
    2. She tries to talk to her father about the abuse, but he just asks her what she did to provoke him.
    3. She tells her father-in-law (from now on it’s FIL), and he just treats it like it’s part of marriage.
    4. She goes to the family attorney and he says that it’s typical to the first few months of every marriage.
    5. She’s not convinced.
  6. It’s been another week and he’s hit her twice more.
    1. She goes to the police, and the sergeant won’t even look her in the eye when he tells her there’s nothing they can do.
    2. She’s starting to realize that the rumors of her new ‘family’ having the town under its thumb are not without merit.
    3. She decides that the people involved in getting her into this situation must die. It’s just a matter of how.
    4. FIL must have talked with hubby because now he’s hitting her in places that don’t easily show.

    *        *        *

How many of you have written a story or book off an outline?

Was it easier or harder than flying by the seat of your pants?

*        &        *

If you would like to see the other posts about this book you can peruse through these:

My First NaNoWriMo Word Count

Latest NaNoWriMo Word Count, And A Synopsis

Word Count And Excerpt

Who Knew?

A Second Excerpt from I Killed Them, Mama

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A Second Excerpt from I Killed Them, Mama

7 Jan

Title  I Killed Them Mama in yellow on purple - croppedI got another 1,103 words done today.  It took me a slightly demoralizing two hours.  I am, however, consoled by the fact that those thousand words were in several different places in the book.

I have decided to post another excerpt.  This part was written during the mad dash that was November and NaNoWriMo.  It has not really been edited, and it most likely will change at least a bit before everything is said and done.

Without further ado, an excerpt from my romantic/suspense work-in-progress: I Killed Them, Mama…

Dear Mama,

Your granddaughter is growing well.  My doctor congratulated me on taking such good care of my pregnant self through such a tragic time.  It was so hard not to laugh right in her face.  The longer I have to put up with this, the more I think I should move away from here.  Can’t yet, though.  Hubby still isn’t in the ground.  That’s tomorrow. 

His family, being actually useful for once, has stepped in and are taking care of all the arrangements.  They don’t know about the life insurance money that I’ll be getting in a few days, so they’ve also footed the bill.  His female relatives are taking care of the food, and decorating his Aunt Alvera’s house for the reception after the grave side service.  And I won’t even have to do any driving.  They have hired a car and driver for me for the entire day.  One of the few good things about a family who’s more concerned with how they appear than with how they actually act.  But, at least I will be able to leave the reception early, pleading tiredness and a headache.

Heaven forbid anything happen to their little bun in my oven.  They are already talking about which five-year-old boy she should marry.  This family is nuts. 

 

 

Dear Mama,

It was difficult, but I survived the funeral and reception.  So many people came!  That grave side felt like a flash mob had attacked.  The house was full to bursting.  I didn’t have to pretend to have a headache, I got a migraine.  What really did me is was all the different smells.  Everyone, it seemed had on the most obnoxious perfumes and aftershaves imaginable.  The personal care scents mixed with aroma of too many people, then met so many food smells I thought I was going to hurl. 

What sealed the deal is when His cousin Len tried to cop a feel.  The stench of tequila on his breath turned my stomach so fast I didn’t have time to go anywhere.  So he got it.  All down his front.  Oh, the luxuries of being pregnant.

The scream he let out is what really got us the attention of the entire room.  I haven’t heard a shriek like that since the last time I watched The Blob. 

He got hustled out of the room by his father, I got gently led to the nearest bathroom, and some random female relative cleaned up the mess.  By the time I was tenderly re-seated in the large drawing room it didn’t even smell like puke anymore.  It smelled like cigar.  One whiff of that on top of all the others and I asked for my coat.

For other info, and another excerpt from I Killed Them, Mama, please read this post, and then this post.

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Until Next Time…

If you were forced to write a suspense novel (assuming you don’t have one bursting to be written) what do you think you would make it about?

Do you enjoy reading light suspense (with a touch of humor, some romance in the second half, and a happy ending, ah-hehm)?  Do you know of any authors who have written books like this?  I would love to read them.

Who’s your favorite suspense novelist?

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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.

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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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November Thankfulness

18 Nov

Tonight I have been thinking of all the little things for which I am thankful.  Do you want to read my list?

Too bad.  Here it is anyway.

My parents: They raised a wonderfully neurotic young woman who can’t seem to go a single day without wondering what would have happened if (insert historically Huge event) had happened slightly differently.  They taught me to love books, singing, my sisters, my country, cars, driving, and target practice.
My sisters: Without them I would not be the fiercely protective person I am today. While I was growing up, if you said anything mean about me, ya I would cry.  If you said anything about my sisters, or worse yet actually pushed one of them around? Duck!

They are now my best friends, my support group, and some of my loudest cheerleaders.

My husband: An amazing man. So glad we got introduced. Yes, he is a couple decades older than me. Don’t let that fool you. He is my rock, my muse, and my constant encourager. I don’t think I would have started writing without his prompting, nudging, nagging, and praise.

My extended family: Wow. They taught me that you don’t have to agree in order to get along (for the most part). We may wander around in our own little worlds for the most part, but when the crap hits the fan they’re your best bet.

My first car: Thank you Daddy, and Aunt Dawn! Aunt Dawn told my father that if we could get the car running, I could have it.  Daddy knew what was wrong with it and sent his daughter off to earn the money to fix it.  I wouldn’t trade that summer of learning for anything.  Those memories of working in the garage are precious.

Back when gas was an inconvenience (not a line item of its self on the budget!) I used to have my sisters pile in the adorable clunker and we would go to the nearest gas station. After exhausting a $20 on gas and junk food we would cruise around the countryside.  Good times.

My first boyfriend: Yes, an odd thing to be thankful for, but hear me out. He taught me that being up on that shining pedestal is a scary place to be. I learned at an early age that you never want to seek a man who will think you’re perfect. You can never truly love someone unless you acknowledge and accept their flaws, as well as their virtues.

Small towns: They are wonderful. If you get one small enough you can walk into the library and check out a book even though you forgot your card. Half the residents know you, the other half know of you, even when you were home-schooled and hadn’t attended a day of school with them.  On summer break the town is small enough you can walk over to the library, the burger joint, and the park. I miss that place.

Amazing authors: Without your books, TV shows, movies and plays to take me to strange and wonderful places I might have turned out to be a very different person. Thank you for writing!

NaNoWriMo: Without the challenge of writing without going back and editing, getting this far in a first draft would have been torture. I have not written nearly as much as I had hoped, but it has been painless. I had thought it was impossible to write without my inner editor demanding that I go back and change things, thus interrupting my creative flow. Now I know that not only can I do it, but I can enjoy doing it.

Well, that’s my short list.

What are you thankful for?  Is there someone in your life who pushes you toward being a better version of yourself?  Was there a strange twist of fate that shaped your future?  Did your second grade teacher illuminate your mind to life’s possibilities?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.