Monday, December 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Winner

I did it! I wrote 50,000 words on a new novel. Writing 50,000 words in a month was not easy. A lot of things got pushed to the back burner in order to make time to write. And, I don't think I would have made it through the month without a lot of help from the Lord and my husband, Jason, who also did NaNoWriMo. I offered many prayers when I felt stuck, unfocused, or discouraged. Jason doing NaNoWriMo helped me to keep going as did his encouragement.

Throughout the month, we found ways to reward ourselves for reaching our daily goals, often in the form of yummy goodies like Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes. I also started doing a reward system of five peanut M-n-Ms for every 500 words I wrote, some days that kept me going. NaNoWriMo suggests a target average daily word count goal of 1,667 words. We set our daily goal (for most days) at 2,000, since we didn't work on our novels on Sundays and since we wanted to finish by Thanksgiving (which we did). Here is a chart showing what my daily word counts looked like, with the line showing what would be on par for the day to finish by the end of the month.

So, while I had days of discouragement, days where I didn't get much written, I did do it, and I learned a number things. One thing I learned is how to tone down my internal editor. I knew what I was writing was certainly not the best ever written. I knew I was ignoring tons of writing advice that I have received of the years. But, I also knew I would not get the 50,000 words written if I kept listening to my internal editor. So, I told my internal editor to go away. Sometimes I had to do it repeatedly, but I got easier as the month went on. I focused on writing, often whatever came to mind, rather than worrying about whether or not it was good writing. If I thought to write something, I wrote it, even if it took me on a tangent I hadn't planned on. This is likely why I didn't finish the novel in the 50, 000 words, as I expected to do at the beginning of the month. So, even though I haven't finished the novel yet, my goal is to finish it by the end of the year.

Which leads me to something else I learned from doing NaNoWriMo: I can write more words in a day than I thought possible. Earlier this year I was working on a goal to write out my Sleeping Beauty Spin-off. I would work on writing a couple days a week and often only write a couple hundred words each time. But now, my goal is to write 500 words per day. I am going to finish the Cinderella Spin-off I did for NaNoWriMo first, but then I am going to go back to my Sleeping Beauty Spin-off and see if I can finish writing it too. I know I can, I just have to put in the effort. It will be a little harder with the Sleeping Beauty spin-off, since I was working so hard to craft it. But it is better to get it written and then rework it than to never finish it.

Another thing I learned from NaNoWriMo is how helpful music, especially the right type of music, can be while writing. I often listen to music while I write, but sometimes I don't. Often I pick a nice movie soundtrack. I did this during NaNoWriMo, but one day I was just stuck. I was writing a ball scene and nothing I chose to listen to seemed to help. Then Jason suggested I listen to Strauss. It was perfect! It was exactly what I needed and helped get the idea flowing. So, taking a few minutes to try to find the right mood music is definitely a worthwhile use of time when writing a novel.

I know there are more things I learned over this past month, but I think I'll leave it at this.

Yay for NaNoWriMo!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Being Brave

So, I've decided to do NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you who might not know what it is, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It occurs every year in November and the goal is to write a full novel (50,000 words) in that month. It is not necessarily meant to be good. But it is meant to get you writing. I've wanted to participate since I learned about it, but have always found one reason or another why it wouldn't work that year. But I've decided to put my fears and excuses aside and just do it. And Jason's thinking of joining in too, so that will be fun.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series

I read about these books from a couple blogs I follow. They look really good. The authors are trying to earn some money to help them in the publishing process. A worthy cause. Take a look and see what you think. I know they are not everyone's cup of tea, but I would like to read them. 

The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series 
Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors.

"Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love."

Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford
Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin
Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson
Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White
Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver
Book 6: Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Home Matters by Julie N. Ford

According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can't even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She's confident that her destiny is finally within reach.

When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.

Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin

Drew Westfall wants nothing more than to forget what he had to do in the name of "smart" business. Cutting off all ties with his parents—including handing over the entire contents of his trust fund to a charity—he takes off for Bridger, Colorado where his best friend has an extra room for him. It doesn't take long for him to realize that his business degree won’t do him much good in a town as small as Bridger, but he's broke and has nowhere else to go.

Eden Torresi has every reason to wallow. Not only did she lose her mother, but she had to drop out of nursing school and is in a relationship with a guy unwilling to commit. But Eden isn't the wallowing type. Instead, she chooses to spend most of her time taking care of the seniors at Silver Linings Nursing home. When she learns that her boyfriend's new roommate is down on his luck, her caring nature makes her want to reach out to him and offer what help she can. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated things get, especially when the seniors of Silver Linings decide to play matchmaker.

Righting a Wrong by Rachael Anderson

Seven years ago, Cambri Blaine fled her small hometown of Bridger, Colorado after her senior year ended in a fiasco. Only Jace Sutton knew the real reason why—that she was a spineless coward. Now, seven years later, her father's been in an accident and needs help, and Cambr has no choice but to return home. So with trepidation, she takes a leave of absence from the landscape architecture firm where she works and boards a plane, hoping against hope that Jace is no longer around and that the past can stay where it belongs—in the past.

If only life worked that way.

Jace never expected to see Cambri again. After she’d led him on, bruised his heart, and left town without a backward glance, he was forced to pick up the pieces and try not to hate her for it. Eventually, he put it behind him and moved on, creating a life for himself in his beloved hometown. But now that Cambri is back and looking more beautiful and sophisticated than ever, some of those old feelings resurface, and Jake instinctively knows, for the sake of his heart, that he needs to avoid her at all costs.

If only it were that easy.

Lost and Found by Karey White

Lydia was supposed to have an adventurous and exciting summer. Instead she's done nothing more than read and eat takeout. Now it's time to go home, and what does she have to show for it? A big fat nothing. Unless, of course, her trip to the airport somehow turns into something more than just a flight home.

Blake feels like he's been sent on a wild goose chase. While work is piling up back in Denver, he's on the other side of the country, hunting for some mysterious box that his grandfather left him. Well, no more. Nothing inside that box could possibly be more important than the opportunity to make it as the youngest partner at his firm. So he's going home, and that's that. But that's before he discovers his flight has been cancelled.

When these two strangers meet at the airport, they make a split-second decision to search for the box together. Maybe with both of them on the hunt, Lydia can have her adventure and Blake can find the box. And maybe, if they’re lucky, they’ll even find some romance.

Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver

Thirty seven year old Francie Davis, a recent widow and empty nester, gets to attend college at last. She’s sure her luck has changed when she also lands a job on campus that will pay her tuition, as administrative assistant to a history professor. When her handsome new boss yells at her on the first day of work, Francie worries she will never be good enough.

For Professor Alex Diederik, life is going downhill fast. Not only is his bitter ex-wife trying to poison their only daughter against him, but now his one place of solace—his work environment—is being complicated by his attractive new administrative assistant. She drives home his feelings of failure as a husband and father, and Alex wonders if hiring her was the right thing to do.

Francie will have to put aside her hurt and insecurities or risk her dreams, while Alex must look outside himself if he’s to mend the breach with his daughter. And, perhaps, find someone who can help heal his pain.

Immersed in Love by Jennifer Griffith

Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever.

But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.It works like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest.

Until… Erik.

Erik Gunnarsson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Even though he seems to have a secret and she swore she'd never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—even if it means jeopardizing her career.

Giveaway Details
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 10/31/13

Bloggers who put up a spotlight post about these books on their blog can enter to win an additional $25 gift card or paypal cash.  See details in the Rafflecopter.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Life is busy right now. Busy and a bit exhausting. So what is going on in my life, you might ask. Well...

In July I made my Etsy store live. You can see it here. That was one of my New Year Resolutions. And I did it! Now to maintain and update it. I have a number of jewelry items already made that I want to add to it, but that I need to photograph and create listings for. I am also working on some Christmas items to add to it, hopefully sometime in September. I am also considering starting a blog to chronicle my adventures in this exciting endeavor. Stay tuned to see if it actually happens, and if I can keep it updated once I've created it.

What else is keeping me busy? I now have two part-time jobs. That keeps me busy, and I end up plenty tired at the end of the day. I enjoy both jobs.

I also for the past month went and swam laps three mornings a week. I thoroughly enjoyed that despite the fact that it meant I had to wake up early to do so. But now that is over, and I need to find some other way of getting exercise in (something I struggle with).

Because I have been so busy, my writing has really taken a hit. I have only written 27 words in my Sleeping Beauty Spin-off in the past month. For awhile I was making really good progress. I even wrote a blog post about it, but that unfortunately got lost in the ether before I could post it - sad day. My stated New Year Resolution was to finish the first draft of this book this year. My mental goal, which felt more reasonable, was to get through chapter 10 by the end of the year - something that is still attainable since I am currently at the beginning of chapter 8. I just need to take time and work on it, at least once in awhile.

While I am not getting much creative writing done, I am getting book reviews written. I've started writing book reviews for I Am A Reader Not A Writer. You can see a post introducing me as a reviewer here. I would definitely recommend following her blog. She has lots of awesome author interviews, book giveaways, and of course book reviews. I am enjoying reviewing books for her blog. It's fun. :)

I also keep busy helping out in the Nursery at church, attempting to keep up with housework, spending time with family and friends, and spending as much time as I can with my husband before the semester starts and he gets busier. And that is my busy life in a nutshell.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


While working on writing in my Sleeping Beauty Spin-off today, I mused that it is likely that a good portion of what I am currently writing will never make it to the final draft. I can't help but thinking that the current pace of the novel may be too slow. But, I will not let that deter me. I shall continue writing, continue discovering the story.

Speaking of discovering the story, I have enjoyed seeing Jason work on the novel he is writing. Seeing him write and discover encourages me to write and feeds the sparks of desire to write that resides within me. He tends to get more written than I do, but that is okay by me. I will just keep plodding along at my slow pace and just keep trying to improve. My goal for this week is to write at least twice, even if it is only a 100 words each time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A New Year Resolution

It is a new year, and with it comes New Year Resolutions. My family has a tradition where we make a gingerbread house. We go around the room stating New Years Resolutions. After we say a resolution we get to break off and eat a piece of the gingerbread house. This is one of my favorite family traditions and one that gets me to New Years Resolutions.

Now, one of my goals for 2013 is to finish the first draft of the Sleeping Beauty spin-off that I am working on. When I set the goal I honestly had reservations about my ability to complete this goal, thinking that perhaps reaching chapter 10 of the draft would be a more reasonable goal (I'm working on chapter 3 right now), but I set the lofty goal all the same. The following Monday for Family Home Evening Jason, my husband, decided we should plan out how we were going to accomplish our goals for the year.

I was a bit daunted and overwhelmed by how to figure out how to accomplish this goal. In the past I have tried setting an amount of time to write. That didn't work too well and was difficult to track. I just wasn't sure how to do it. Then Jason showed me how he'd set up his goals. He'd split them up into steps. Do this in the first quarter of the year, expand on in second and so forth. That idea caught hold and my plan was born - start in the first quarter writing once a week, and then increasing the days of writing per week each quarter. I think this might work. At this point, writing at least once a week can be challenging with my busy schedule, but the two times I have sat down and written have been rewarding.

Today I wrote 500 words, bringing me up to 5,000 words for the manuscript. I also reread through what I had already written and made some edits. Surprisingly, I feel it is decently good. It's not perfect, but the idea and story feels solid to me. It is a story I've have bouncing around inside of me since high school and I guess now is its time to get released. I've never finished a manuscript for a novel before, but hopefully this will be the time. I've done a lot of thinking over the years, but not as much doing. To see my goals come to fruition will require work. Work I want to put in. I hope my commitment and desire will remain strong. This is definitely not a goal I want to fall by the wayside (though that is true of all my goals for this year).

Happy New Year!


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