Ready for Nano?

Participant-2014-Web-BannerGet ready!  It’s 14 days away, and counting.  Here’s the quick list for how you can get yourself ready within the next 2 weeks:

1) Figure out what you are going to write about.  You must have some idea.

2) If you are going to continue a work in progress (against the rules but who cares), it might be good to revise what you already have and if you feel that may take too much time, just at least read over what you already have so you’ll know from where you need to start on Nov 1.

3) Make a grocery list of one-handed foods and snacks so you can write while you eat.  We live on granola bars around here.  Any kind of snack bar, nabs/crackers are good, nuts, any sort of quickie snacks that can aid the rumbly in your tumbly without having to really get up and go fix something.  Keep a ziplog bag or shoebox full of these snacks at your desk or wherever it is that you write.  If you are a coffee drinker, or tea, or wine, or whatever, make sure you are stocked up.  I am all three plus maybe a glass of chocolate milk on the side sometimes.  ;)  Make casseroles on Halloween.  Make stew or big batches of hearty soup.  Put servings of these in containers for your family, so they can heat up themselves and eat and you can do the same.  Put some of these servings in the freezer so there’s plenty of food for the next 30 days.  This way, you can spend your time working and writing, rather than cooking and cleaning.

4) Put your loving, caring family members to work cleaning the kitchen.  There’s nothing wrong with enlisting the help of your family members to take on more responsibility during the month of November.  Granted, Thanksgiving may be a bit different.  Ugh!

5) Make a writing schedule.  So much to do in November!  Trying out different recipes so you’ll know for sure what you want to fix on the big day, cooking for the big day, cleaning for the big day, NaNoWriMo, work for pay, all the extra groceries you need to buy for Nano and for Thanksgiving, buying a fresh Christmas tree, decorating said tree, prepping for Christmas decor, digging out all those decorations and music and movies, etc. for the Christmas season, and all of the other 101 projects we each have going on in our lives.  Make a small snippet of time to actually do your writing.  Whether it be carving out 2 hours (or however long it takes you to write 2,000 words in a day) from 2 to 4am or from midnight till 2am, get it done.  If it’s important to you, you’ll make the time.

6) If you know what you’re writing, go ahead and sketch out some idea of an outline, characters, plotting, twists, turns, chaos, all the ins and outs of what you want to go into your story.  Or, if you are a pantser (I’m a little bit of both but mostly a pantser when it comes to writing), just fly by the seat of your pants.  Soar on the wings that carry you through.  It’s pretty fun and free to write like this.

7) Finally, and most importantly, get ready to free your imagination.  Set your imagination on the breeze and let it carry you to wherever it may go.

8) Just be sure to write roughly 2,000 words per day from Nov 1 through Nov 30.  That way, you’ll finish a little bit ahead of time and you don’t have to stress about the deadline.

Did I leave anything out?  I’ll be checking in from time to time between work, Nano and my new Meaning of Lifers project.  Gotta check in and see how y’all are doing!  Not sure when writing mates is open.  I know at camp, they have cabins and you can add friends to your cabin and chat about writing and just chat about anything.  Great way to make new friends!!!  I still talk to a couple of those friends on Facebook.  Anywho, if anyone has anything to add or wants to share their lists for getting ready for Nano, give me a shout out and I’ll link you and/or just comment me below.

Y’all have a groovilicious day, have a fun and productive weekend or just chill and I’ll talk to you soon.  Love ya!  Be well!  *smooch*

Who’s Doing NaNoWriMo?

For all you writers out there, who is thinking about or fully committed to participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or just who should be fully committed?  :)

Some might think those of us who join in the chaos of writing 50,000 words in 30 days need to be in the loony bin but I, for one, am totally psyched about it and counting down the days till the writing frenzy begins.

Those of you who are going for it, let me know and I will help to get you prepared beforehand, will cheer you on during the madness and have a throw down dance party extravaganza in your honor when you reach that finish line before the deadline.  I’m making my list of one handed snacks needed, will be fully stocked on caffeine for the mornings and late nights, as well as a nice sweet red and extra sharp cheddar when I feel the need for a little liquid courage or a celebration for reaching my daily word count goals.

So, who’s with me?!  We are gonna rock the clock!  Deadlines?  No problem.  Daily word count goals?  No problem.  Missing sleep?  I’ll be right there with you.  Bloodshot eyes?  Got Visine on hand to help you out.

33 days, baby!

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