Camp Nano Washed Out

Well, technically, Camp didn’t wash out.  I did.  It’s not for a lack of trying, mind you.  I’ve had much on my plate with work, with running after Hallie and helping her (post-surgery), running after the animals, mowing and working in the yard, cooking, cleaning, washing, going to and fro physical therapy and the list goes on.

I did manage to scribble roughly 5,000 words, not quite reaching the goal I’d set for myself of 10,000.  BUT!  I am still squeezing in time to write, even if it’s for a measly 15-30 minutes a day.  Hey, something is better than nothing, right?  Right.

I sort of messed myself up a bit to be honest.  I started back on my work of non-fiction that I started in October of last year and it’s like I had to force myself and found it to be more of a chore than fun.  I cannot write like that.  It has to be fun.  Don’t misunderstand.  Sometimes you have to glue your butt to the chair or couch or bed or porch swing or wherever it is you want to write and actually put in the time to write.  Something.  Anything.  Just to get yourself started.

Write the voices that are talking (screaming) in your head

But to sit there in angst with 100 other thoughts running through your head of what you need or want to be doing rather than having the want to sit there and write.  Well…  I cannot write like that.  It has to be fun.  After you sit there and force yourself to write, if the imagination and words are not flowing by the end of the first 30 minutes, it’s not worth it.  So I pulled away and thought to myself, “Self, while I realize finishing this book is important, you have all these voices in your head screaming at you to work on their story.  How can you focus on something completely opposite when you have your fantastical characters screaming at you to write their story?  Writing is writing.  As long as you are writing, you’re getting the job done.  But you need to listen to those voices in your head.  Listen to them.  Write their story.”

Then, I had a dream, woke up at 0:dark:30 after the dream, couldn’t go back to sleep, got up out of bed and wrote.  It was an epiphany.  I have started books 1 and 2 in a series and this dream was the story before book 1.  A new twist!  Sort of like The Hobbit movie coming out after all the Lord of the Rings movies.  It’s the back story before the story.  So, I have to say, I was a bit psyched to get up oh so early to write out everything I could remember from the dream.  And it’s funny.  The more time I spent writing it, the more details sprang up and I started remembering more of the dream, the colors, the sounds in the background, the smells, the rooms and changing environments, the action, the drama, what the characters where saying and how they were saying them.  Writing is such a wonderful trip!!  Hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling the story in your mind and writing it out is like biting into a juicy sweet peach, breathing in that heavenly fresh summery fragrance, and having the nectar drip and run down your chin and arm while savoring every last delicious bite.

If you write at all, then be proud

If you did not reach your goal for Camp Nano, don’t beat yourself up about it.  If it got you started writing and you continue every day to write, then be proud.  The real goal here is to write, to create, to spill your soul or imagination or dreams onto paper or laptop or whatever the tool is of your choosing.  But to write.  That is the goal.  So do that.  And be pleased with yourself.  Someone said once, ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.’  And that is a very true statement.  The journey is the fun part, the adventure and, sometimes, the distraction from real every day life.  It’s my means of escape, though I don’t escape for long, as I love my life and the people in it.  Still, a little mini-mental-vacation is always welcome.  To imagine worlds and stories in your mind — those are some of the best vacation adventures.

So, maybe I didn’t wash out.  I started.  I wrote.  I’m writing daily.  And I will finish it eventually.  And so will you.

And if you did reach your goal for Camp, I applaud you!!  And if you didn’t reach your goal, and, still, you wrote, I applaud you, as well!  Wooooo-hooooo!!!  *clap*clap*clap*clap*wolf whistle*  Whoop!  Whoop!!

As a Writer, Are You Crazy?

youre-a-writerYou know you’ve always been a bit different.  But then normal is highly overrated, right?  You’ve been a writer since the beginning of time.  Even before you could write, you were a writer, bursting with stories you’d tell your dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, or the air, just to get them out there.

You’ve questioned yourself over the years as to what has made you a writer.  You’ve questioned yourself if you really wanted to be a writer.  Did you choose it?  Or did it choose you?  You don’t know who you are without writing.

Are you a writer, because you have a tortured soul?  Do you have so many voices talking inside your head that you just have to get them out before you lose your mind?  Or were you already crazy?  Does being a writer make you crazy or were you crazy all along?

These are just the top 10 reasons (out of maybe 100) why, as a writer, I think you (and I) might be crazy.

1.  You have a dream.  Or maybe more of a dark and colorful, exhilarating, brilliant nightmare.  Oh, you thought I meant a dream of being a writer?  No, I mean, in the literal sense.  You have this dream and you have to get up immediately to write out the voices and movie playing inside your head.

2.  Movies that you’ve never seen play inside your head.

3.  You get up at 2am to write.  Yes.  I said two o’clock.  After having said dream, your heart is beating fast, and no matter how much you would love to go back to sleep, you’re wide awake and have to get up right then and write.  Sometimes you’re happy to skip the sleep and are just oh so eager to jump up and write it all down.

4.  You hear voices.  You listen to the voices.  You have to write everything down immediately that the voices are saying.  Sometimes they are talking to you, screaming at you to write their story, and other times the voices are conversing with other voices.

5.  You talk to the voices.  And sometimes the voices talk back.

6. You talk to yourself.  You question yourself.  You answer yourself.  You have long drawn out conversations.  With.  Your.  Self.  And sometimes, you laugh at/with yourself.  Could this be schizophrenia?

7.  You talk to ghosts.  You have (or think you have) conversations with J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and H. G. Wells.  Could this be delirium?

8.  You channel spirits.  Or you think you have after having said dream that’s something remarkably similar to something out of Tolkien.

9.  You write 4 books simultaneously.  You are working on Book 1 and 2 of a fantasy/sci-fi series, a work of non-fiction, and this dream you just had is the new Book 1 of the series you thought you were writing, as a twist just occurred that gives it a whole ‘nother back story, sort of like The Hobbit before Lord of the Rings.  What particular manuscript you may be working on in any given 30 minutes or 2 hours is whatever the muse/inspiration/voices tells you to work on.

10.  You are silent.  If the voices aren’t talking, neither are you.  You’re depressed.  You’re lonely.  You miss the voices.  Call this writer’s block.  Call this laziness.  Call this depression.  You wait around for the voices to return as if you’re some high school chick with a silly crush waiting by the phone for that cute guy to call you.  He said he’d call.  And you wait.  And you wait.  And wait.

So, I ask you, being a writer, are you crazy?  Or is it just me?

 

 

 

____________________
“My child has taught me more about living, forgiving and loving than I could ever teach her.” – Carol Blake Sessums

“The most important thing you can ever do in this life, your most profound purpose, is to make a positive difference in the life of someone else.” –Carol Blake Sessums

Second Week of Nano

It’s into the second week of Camp Nanowrimo and what do I have to show for it?  Zilch.  But.  I have a plan.  It’s the “easy button” plan.  The “stupid easy” plan.  I have the beginning and parts of the middle of the book from previous Nov Nano and April Camp Nano so I’m trying to figure out my Nano schedule to be this:

July 14 thru 21 –Print what I have written thus far, read thru, pen & ink reorg/revise, comp reorg/revise — This will give me a better jumping off point

July 22 thru 31 — Write 1,000+ words per day

July 31 —  Submit my 10,000+ words by 11:59pm

Cutting it close, eh?  I like it like that.  But see, I have a plan.  If I can clear 2 hours per day to write, I can score 2,000 wpd so that would be awesome.  Yeah, I think maybe I can do that if I get up at 3am on those days.

3-5 write

5-9 work on Contract 1

9-1 work on Contract 2

We’ll see how this goes.  A monkey wrench is about to be thrown into the plan on July 17, so I’m not sure how things will hold up after this.  The following days and weeks will be complete insanity.  Pray for me?  Pray for my baby more?  She is scared to death.  One knee surgery last Dec 26.  The other knee surgery on Thursday.  Ugh.  I can’t even imagine…  :'(

I wish all of you Wrimos out there the best of luck with your writing goals!  We got this!

Let’s Play 20 Questions

Okay, I’ve had several thoughts about this blog lately and wanted to get your opinion.  I don’t want to overwhelm my readers, so I wanted your input.

I have many interests and I wouldn’t mind blogging about them.  Which of the following would you be interested in reading?

1) Bible study/God/Jesus/Prayer/Miracles (I will be doing this one anyway.  I made a deal with God.);

2) Creative writing & Nanowrimo/Camp Nano (this would include challenges as well); By the way, Camp Nanoers, I’m interested in engaging in some word sprints.  Who’s game?;

3) Quotes;

4) Cooking/recipes/experimenting in the kitchen;

5) Working from home/companies to work for and who not to work for/every day life;

6) Being a divorced/single mom with a teenager;

7) Health/fitness/diet/losing weight/daily working out/super foods and what helps what and what foods hurt you/improving energy, eyesight, and well, health overall;

8) Depression, anxiety, anger issues, frustration, suicidal thoughts, grief (dealing with it & how to take action to improve);

9) Cleaning/organizing (tips, techniques, checklists) re home, schedules, life in general

10) Life in general as I sometimes talk about (with my teen, my mom next door, my crazy furballs, my insane work-from-home schedule, life in the country, Mississippi, road trips, etc.)

Okay, so it’s only 10 questions, which, in my opinion, trumps 20 (unless you just love answering long lists of questions).  So, give me a shout out.  Let me know which items you are interested in.  What are you interested in reading that’s not covered here?  I am great at biting off more than I can chew but I am determined to get back to daily blogging and creative living (writing, cooking, finishing my books) and I’m just curious what your thoughts are.  Comment me below.

And I’ll eventually incorporate photography again, but that will be added back to the blog perhaps in a couple months.

Lata babes!

- Carol

Genesis 48

Joseph is told his father is ill, so he takes his sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him to see Jacob.  Once there, Jacob explains to Joseph that God had appeared to him and blessed him, saying, “I’m going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers.  I will make you a community of peoples, and will give this land forever to your descendants after you.”  Jacob further explains that Ephraim and Manasseh will become his sons rather than Joseph’s.  Any children born to Joseph after them will be Joseph’s.  (Confusing, right?)  In the territory they inherit, they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.

As Jacob/Israel was returning from Paddan, Rachel died in Canaan, a little distance from Ephrath.  So he buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).  When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?” “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said.  Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”  Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see.  So Joseph brought his sons close to him.  But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.  Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May God bless these boys.  May they increase greatly upon the earth.”

When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he moved his father’s hand from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.  Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”  But his father refused and said, “I know.  He will also become a people, and he will become great.  However, his younger brother will be greater, and his descendants will become a group of nations.”  He blessed them that day and put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.  Then Israel said to Joseph, “I’m about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers.  And to you, as one who is over your brothers, I give the ridge of land I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

That’s it today.  I don’t quite get the different peeps in the Bible claiming children as their own when they are not.  I don’t get the names changing from one to the other and back again.  Just a few of the items that perplex me, but then we aren’t supposed to understand it all, right?  Well, I’m trying to anyway.  If anyone out there has a theory, please share.

Aside from the Bible study, still working too much to find time to do Camp Nanowrimo, but it’s still early in the game and I will possibly integrate some Nano time in the upcoming week.  Good luck all you Campers!!  I might show up late but hey, save me some s’mores.  Oh, well, I’m abstaining from extra sugar, so maybe just save me a cracker?  *sniff*

Oh, and if you are interested in a great type of prayer that TOTALLY worked fast for me, holla (comment me below), and I’ll share.

Lata!  *smooch*

-Carol

To Camp or Not to Camp

Camp Nano, that is.  Camp Nanowrimo to be exact.  Contemplating my final decision on this and jotting down my thoughts as I decide.

Have I signed up, yet?  Yes.  Some of you may know me well enough by now that I like to bite off a bit more than I can chew.  I come from this kind of stock.  My mother is the same way.  Stubborn.  Hard-headed.  Doesn’t listen.  Goes off in 20 directions at once, full throttle, no stopping until your body or brain stop functioning properly, or both.  We always have too much on our To-do lists, although I take the lead with the list making, as I’m a diehard-write-it-all-down in a planner or small note pad/ledger list maker.  I even do the sticky notes.  All over the place.  Partly, because I’m senile and I’ll forget 10 seconds after I thought of it.  Anyway, I digress.

I signed up with the best of intentions.  Yes, I know where the road of good intentions lead.  Thing is, I get so super-duper uber excited when I think about the 31 days of juicy and delicious chaotic manic creative insane hair-pulling sleep-depriving writing frenzy.  As if I don’t have enough on my plate right now causing sleep deprivation.

I worked from home for a year.  I needed more money fast so I got a law office job from hell.  Worked with Satan’s minions for what, 1.5 months?  And really, that was too long.  I was desperate.  What can I say.  Turned up my work-at-home contracts and got my rear in gear and got myself out of hell.  Sort of a long story but I can save that for another day.  So now, one contract here.  One contract there.  Another to begin today or tomorrow maybe.  A fourth to start Monday and I’m working my fingers to the bone.  I have an option for a 5th contract but I really do need to get some sleep at some point.  Even my laptop can’t handle the pressure.  It’s falling apart and it’s only a year old but then my kiddo did step on it, so that might have something to do with it.

As you can see, my conundrum is too much work and not enough play nor sleep nor sunshine makes Carol a dull girl and exhausted.  So, my goal for the following  7 days will be to decide which contracts to keep and which to maybe set aside and put on hold until I need them again.  I will establish my work hours for 8-10 hours per day M-F instead of 12 or 18 hrs and I will make (yes, I said make) the time for my creative outlet.  When I don’t make time to write, I become this sad, angry, tired, feeling old sort of person who’s all about work-work-work.  I mean, I make time for family, just no time for me.  I know when I do the Camp Nano thing, I still feel tired and feel a little old and honestly, dragging around like a zombie sort of person but there’s more excitement and fun and wonder in the midst of my bedraggledness (yeah, I just made that a word).

So, okay, I’ll do it.  I will make a plan.  And hopefully stick to it.  And I will participate every day during Camp Nano in July and try to find 5 minutes to hang out with my cabin mates, but not gonna promise on that one.  Not enough hours in the day.  Know what I mean?  And I’ll try to make more time for my blog.  Remember when I posted every day?  I need to get back to posting at least once a week.  We’ll see what happens.

Oh, and I found out a few days ago that you can request some of your previous bunk mates and/or camping friends from other bunks to join you in your cabin this go-round.

If you happen to be carvin’ out time to do the Camp, as well, shoot me a message here or at camp.

http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/carol-blake

And good luck to you in all your endeavors whether you join us at camp or not.

Lata!

-Carol

*squishy hug*

Camp Nano – Stick a Fork In Me, I’m Done

2014-Winner-Facebook-Cover

It was fun

Now I’m done

Yea me

I had a blast

Writing as fast

As can be

What comes next

Is anybody’s guess

Rewrite

After 30 days

Fingers ablaze

Good night

Okay, I just wanna say I am excited even if I don’t sound like it.  I did spit out over 10,000 words, which was my goal (10,587 to be exact), so I’m pretty stoked about that.  What comes next is the arduous task of reorganizing everything, cutting and pasting into chapters, as the first 37,000 words were in some semblance of organization, the last 20,000+ are pretty much straight up (as my friend Winter says) “just say stuff word vomit.”  Actually, I had a pretty good flow going, but being hurried, I just typed it and figured I’d reorganize everything later, so I get May to “play.”

Just a heads up, I’m not as finished with this book as I thought I was.  However, reorganizing and revising will help to show me what pieces need finishing and I’m setting May 31 as my big finish book deadline.  Reorg, revise, rewrite, proof, polish, print, enlist Betas, work queries, possible revisions, polish yet again and yes, the big “P.”  Publish.  I’ll keep ya posted.

I do hope all you Wrimos out there in Camp NanoLand are finished or just about finished as the deadline is fast approaching.  What, two more hours to go before we leave camp?  It was fun sharing stories by the camp fire and getting fat roasting and eating s’mores.  Ok, maybe not the fat part.  I hope y’all enjoyed the wine and cheese I brought.  I know I did with my giddy self.  hehe!  It sure helped my fingers fly!  I was workin’ like a maniac.  And I was just a singin’, too.  She’s a maniac, maniac on the … laptop.  Anywho, now it’s over for me and I’ll be sad to see some of you go back to your regular lives, no more quiet chit chatter over early morning coffee and watching the sun come up.  It was fun and I enjoyed going through this little adventure with you guys.  Who knows, maybe some of us can get together again for the July camp.  Might be working again on the Cursed Series.  But for now, I’m off to wrap up this work of nonfiction.  I hope all of you reached your word count goals.

Love ya!  Lata!

C