You’re a Stah!

star smiles

What a cool thing to say to the one you love, be it significant other, child, parent, best friend.

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Sorry I haven’t been on here much lately.  A post here.  A post there.  I’m slackin’!  I need to get crack-a-lackin’!  I have had soooo many contracts come in (thank You, Lord!), so I’m working around 46+ hours this week.  For those of you that don’t know, I work from home.  I’m a single/divorced parent of a busy, hungry teen, so I have to work, work, work.  But I love my work, my clients and wouldn’t be doing anything else, except perhaps writing books full-time if I had the opportunity.  Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to be independently wealthy so you could follow your heart’s desire.  I would write books, stories, songs, poetry.  I would garden.  I would landscape.  I would volunteer my time and money.  I would clean more.  Yeah, don’t look at my house.  I’ve been slackin’ on that, too.

I’ve also been trying to squeeze in time for Camp Nanowrimo.  I’m a bit behind but I try to write some every day.  Didn’t get a chance to yesterday.  I hope I get a chance to make time for writing today.  How are you doing?  Drop me a line and let me know what’s going on in your life.  Let me know if you have any prayer needs, because although my faith may be weak at times, I know the Big Dude Upstairs listens and answers prayers.  If you don’t believe, ah, tell me your needs anyway, because I believe in Him and He believes in all of us.

Have a wonderful and wacky (in a good way) Wednesday and may none of us run into any wack-a-doos (weirdos), unless you count me, of course.  ;)

You make me smile!  You’re a stah!

Love ya!  *smooch*

-C

As a Writer, Are You a Fool?

roald“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”

–  Roald Dahl

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It can be a rather lonely profession at times.  I don’t know about you, but most of the time, I like my alone time, especially if it means I get to have time to write creatively.  Oh, sure, at times, even for work it’s quite enjoyable granted the contract is writing something you’re interested in.  Sometimes, you’re writing technical mumbo-jumbo you couldn’t care less about but it helps pay the bills, huh?  So it’s not all bad.  When you’re actually writing something you love and you’re getting paid for it, aw yeah, that’s the good stuff.  And when you can score a free couple of hours to write creatively for yourself?  Man, that’s gold.  And working from home doing all of that stuff, and fitting it in around family time.  That’s priceless.

Do I sound like a credit card commercial?

_____

Sorry I’ve been out for a bit.  Too much going on – trying to figure out how to do lesson plans for a class, trying to fit in Camp Nano, working on contracts, looking for more contracts, writing for work, writing for fun, family time, cooking, cleaning, walking the dogs, the list is endless.  I’ve not forgotten about my blog and all you cool peeps.  Just running out of time to do everything.  All work and no play makes Carol a dull girl.  Chocolate and wine helps!  ;)

So how are all of you?  What’s going on in your world?  Tell me everything.  Gimme the skinny.

Who all is participating in Camp Nanowrimo?

What Rhymes with Camp Nano?

Camp-Participant-2015-Web-Banner

If you’re thinkin’ of takin’ part in Camp Nano
Do ya gotta have some sort of planno?
Do you write first to last?
Do you skip and advance?
Do you even want to open that canno?

Do you write science fiction with flair?
Your comedy cause giggle or glare?
Are you a pantser or planner?
Do you call yourself camper?
Or too busy with to-do lists to go there?

Me? I’m gonna give it another go
Will I make it? I simply don’t know.
But I’ll give it my best
Put my muse to the test
And hope and try to come out a hero

I have so many things to write
I pray none of it sounds trite
Have two books in mind
On both I’m behind
So both till the end I will fight

Can I work on two at the same time?
Are you sick and tired of this rhyme?
It’s just about done
Just havin’ a little fun
Before starting and possibly lose my mind
__________

Just a silly little Nano poem.

Are you participating? Camp Nanowrimo is a “Mini Me” compared to the regular Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). Regular Nano is held in November every year, starting Nov 1 at midnight, ending on November 30 at 11:59pm and is traditionally 50,000 words written within those days as a new novel.

Camp Nano is usually held in the months of April and July from the first of the month till the end and can be any amount of words 10,000 to 1,000,000, can be a novel or script or poetry or whatever, new or revision, and you can have bunk mates, I believe up to 12 in a cabin these days. You can choose a private cabin of personally selected mates, choose mates with specific criteria or leave yourself open to let them surprise you with new friends.

You can also opt out of the bunk mates as many of us prefer to focus on our writing and not socializing. I do a bit of both. I’ve met some great people in the cabins with whom I’m still connected today. Some days, I’ll chat it up over s’mores or wine and cheese at the campfire. Other days, I’m quiet and fully focused on pumping out that word count.

What about you? Are you open to apply yourself more to your writing? Dedicate yourself to a certain word count run per day in the hopes of reaching the finish line and being treated to some nice wins and refreshment for yourself? There are many perks that come with winning the race. Interested?

If nothing else, you can make plans to plant your butt in the seat in front of that laptop, desktop, pen/pencil and pad, antique typewriter, whatever your tool is to record your precious gold, and pump out your daily word count and get that sucker down. You can go on to publish, as many Wrimos have and have even gone on to have their gold not only turn out best sellers but movies, as well. Whatcha think? You ready to share your God-given treasure with the rest of the world? ’cause I know we’d love to read it!

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!!