Thankful Thursday

This should be Writing Wednesday but I forgot my computer yesterday so here we are, yet another week with a wonky schedule and no discernible organization. *Sigh* welcome to my life.

So here we are, a chilly Thursday in November wherein I should be writing feverishly. Instead, I am kind of sort of writing during the ten minute journaling sprints my students do in each class each day (5 days of 4 5-10 minute journaling times a day..but my students are not independent enough to allow me to just WRITE). My two stories are coming together nicely, which is pretty awesome since there are details in the second that I haven’t found out yet because of the first. *Another Sigh*

And reading, did I mention reading yet? No, well here it is. Our school principal has challenged the elementary as a whole to read a combined 45,000,000 pages. If we reach that goal by December 18th, she will kiss a pig. We are all excited about this prospect! To further their chances of seeing this happen, we are about to start reading in class again. I am planning on reading aloud Tim Tingle’s “How I Became a Ghost.” If you haven’t read any of his stuff…DO IT! He is an amazing author and wonderful man…did I mention that its National Native American Month and he writes about Choctaw Folk Tales? Yeah Buddy!

That’s my little slice of the pie for the moment…tell me about yours! I look forward to hearing about NaNo word counts, plot bunnies, new reading experiences, and the random ice cream headaches.

Have A Blessed and WARM day!

Birthday Trees

I bought my Dad a tree for his birthday. When most people hear that, they look at me like I’m insane. A tree? Really? Yes, a crape mysrtle Red Rocket sapling that is gorgeous and will provide much shade and beautiful flowers for us over the next several years. However, in the process of an impromptu day trip to visit my aunt (finally got our Christmas presents!), taking care of the toddler, and helping Dad plant…I haven’t written much over the past few days. My camp word count so far is stuck just below 2,000 and is not wavering as of yet.

If I look at the stark numbers of this, I become depressive and wonder why in the world I would want to do Camp NaNo when I’m already doing NaNoWriMo in November. But if I think of it as a tree, who’s leaves fall to the ground and who’s branches dry and wither and yet still comes back the next year, bigger, stronger, and prettier than ever before…if I think of it like that, then I look forward to my spare few minutes of writing time that I know I will steal away tomorrow. And I watch for those red flowers slowly coming into bloom.

 

NaNo Sickness…

Now that NaNoWriMo is ‘over’ for another year, I am beginning to find other little notes and ideas that I jotted down but didn’t do anything with because it was, wait for it, NOVEMBER. Here is a little blog I started write about halfway through the month, and then conveniently lost until this morning. Enjoy!

 

NaNo Sick:

 

I hate being sick! My head gets all fuzzy and I know that I’m not up to par and by the time I get back to my writing I won’t remember anything that’s supposed to be going on…which might actually be a good thing at this point.  So why then, when I KNOW that I’m either sick or will be within the month, do I continuously do this to myself, year in and year out?

Late nights, interrupted sleep, and added stress, all for what? A virtual badge of honor that doesn’t really do much for you once you’ve got it, and that very few of my friends and family understand the importance of while I’m working towards it.

So then, WHY? So I just like a challenge…yes. Do thrive under pressure…sometimes. Do I get a thrill from pushing myself this way…of course! But I think that the real reason I do this, that we all do this, is prove a point to ourselves. Our characters are real, they  must be or they wouldn’t be driving us to this point of total immersion. If the story isn’t important, if the characters aren’t real to you, and if the voices are silent…then why write at all? No! I do this, I write, I NANO because they are and because those voices are darn LOUD!

Every day, every week, every month of every year, there is a character straining to be brought to the world, a new voice shouting to be heard and it is your words, my words, OUR WORDS that bring them the attention they so desire. Pass the cold meds kid, I’m going in!

May your words flow freely, may the editing be short, and may you have a Blessed day!

Dragons on the Sea: Excerpt from Chapter 1

Here is a little excerpt from the beginning of chapter one in Dragons on the Sea, the fourth book in my Stone Dragon Saga, and this year’s NaNoWrimo effort. I am doing things differently with this storyline, and I’ve added several new characters to help me along (well..they added themselves, I just wrote what they told me!) I hope that you enjoy it and have a Blessed Day.

 

“We better shove off soon or Old Man Janxon will have our hides,” Flynn idly tossed playing cards toward his brother’s hat, which lay abandoned on a sturdy wooden table nearby.

“Aye, and it’s his own fault it is for making us wait on this mystery navigator of his,” Flynn’s twin brother, Garron O’Mager paced the deck, as nervous as Flynn was relaxed. “The rest of the crew is already aboard, squared, and restless to be on the go. Whoever it is coming, he had better hurry ot I’ll set out without him!”

 

“Easy there big boy,” A voice as deep and smooth as dark oak slid across the cabin, interrupting Garron in mid-rant. “My flight was delayed this morning so the car hit rush hour traffic in San Antonio. Didn’t Grandpa George call to let you know I’d be late? He PROMISED he would.”

 

“Grandpa George?” Flynn finally found his voice, “Do you mean George Janxson? Why would he tell us anything about your flight? Who are you anyway? Little girl, I think you have the wrong ship.”

 

Even Flynn’s Irish brogue, normally buried under years of living on the Texas coastline, came out in thick, affronted waves when confronted with a quandary, which this situation DEFINITELY was.

Smiling at the obviously befuddled looks on the two handsome faces in front of her, the smoky voiced sailor slid into an unoccupied chair. “I guess that means he didn’t tell you so….SURPRISE!” She threw her hands up in the air with a sarcastic mock smile twisting her features. “My name is Nickel Janxson and I will be your navigator for this little endeavor.”

 

“Nickel??” Garron raised an eyebrow at her name, inviting an explanation which, with a long suffering sigh, she provided quickly, on one large draw of breath.

 

“I was born two weeks early and my father had dental work done less than an hour before he had to rush mother to the hospital. When the nurse asked him what my name was, he was still so swollen that Nichole sounded like Nickel. When he and Mom saw the birth certificate later, they thought it was a beautifully unique name and stuck me with it so that I would have to tell this story to every new person I met for the rest of my life.”

 

“Interesting,” Garron inclined his head in a tense sort of acknowledgement and greeting, “I am Garron and that great lazy buffoon is Flynn, and we are the O’Mager brothers, for whom you will be working.”

Nickel turned bright grey eyes to stare harshly at Garron, “Let us get one tiny thing straight right now gentlemen. George Janxson is funding this little voyage of yours and, as he hired me, I work FOR him. I will, however, me more than happy to work with you two.”

“Feisty,” Flynn murmured approvingly, earning himself a head slap from his twin, “Good, you’ll need that attitude to survive on board with the lot of no account men we have on right now! It will be three days before we get to the keys, and around three weeks before we pick up anyone else, so the other female you’ve got on board will be Cacia, our cat.”

Day One Update

Are you participating in NaNoWrimo or one of its offshoot programs? Leave me a message and tell me about your first day(s)!

Today was my first day of this year’s NaNo and I am JAZZED at my progress. Yes, there were several people who blew past my word count today, but I blew past what I thought I would be able to manage today.

You see, I was ready to give myself all sorts of excuses…I have a 14 month old who refuses to nap, a severe head cold and chronic bronchitis, and we move in two weeks so I have to pack. All of those things are good reasons that I could pull out if need be, if only to assure myself that a few hundred words wasn’t too bad. Instead, I wrote 2,977 words on the fourth book in my Stone Dragon Saga series, packed several boxes, and managed to NOT cough on my daughter while I spent over an hour trying to coax her into a nap. I’m feeling pretty good about this over all…and I am SUPER PROUD of the nano-ers this year, no matter what your word YOU, my friend, are a beast!

 

I wish you all Good Luck, Good Month, and Good (amounts of) Words. Have a Blessed Time of it!

FINISHED! Just in time to begin again…

I am FINISHED! Dragon on the Green: Stone Dragon Sage Book 3 Is DONE! This book was my NANOWRIMO last year and, after finishing it two weeks late, I was in the process of my second pass at editing and preparing the story for print when I got about a third of the way through the story and….NOTHING! Somewhere around 30-35 THOUSAND words, MY WORDS, were just gone.

I always e-mail myself a copy, my mother a copy, and my dropbox a copy PLUS backing up on a usb port or two…but we could not find a finished copy of the story anywhere at all, even though my other editors had both read the completed manuscript already. So now, almost a full year after its first completion and one hundred words shorter than the original, I have FINISHED the rewrite and first pass at editing. Tomorrow will be a push and, hopefully, I can have this sent to be published by Halloween (I promised some fans the book would be out by the end of October…foolish me!) But HEY! I’m finished!! YAY…oh wait, I finished just in time to start all over again on book 4 for NANOWRIMO! Wooooo…Those dragons had better appreciate how hard I work for them, and how much I love them to go to all this trouble without giving up on telling their story!

The voices are knocking at my inner door (I imagine it as one of those large, wooden castle doors with the little point at top, like you can see in the fairy tale movies!), I must go see if they will let me sleep tonight! Until next time, GO WRITE SOMETHING! Have a Blessed Day!

Scheduling Your Writing:

According to the ‘countdown’ app on my phone, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is currently 10 ½ days away. With this, somewhat terrifying, news in mind, I would like to take some time today and discuss the idea of scheduling your writing.

Some people swear by their schedules and lists, every detail of their days plotted down to the second, including their writing time.  Other people prefer to fly by the seat of their pants, no schedules, no lists, and no chains binding them into anything. I tend to fall somewhere in the middle, so let me ask you do you, either as a rule or merely around the month of November, schedule a certain block of time for your writing?

I have three friends who do a schedule, but go about it in a way uniquely theirs. The first uses her lunch and coffee breaks at work to write out whatever idea have been floating around her brain whilst she does paperwork, this way she is able to write while the ideas are still reasonably fresh and has a little more free time in the evenings during NaNo.

Friend number two enjoys late night writing after her four children are asleep. I’m never sure how she keeps her ideas and inspirations straight and sensible in her mind, but she somehow pulls it all together.

Finally, my father (a minister) schedules part of his work day for writing. As a minister, the research and writings that he does help him with his sermons and campus ministries, and leaves time for his family when he comes home. I, on the other hand, have a daily ‘to-do’ list that includes three items which rarely change. 1) Dance with the Monkey (my daughter), 2) Work on Dragons (my book series), and 3) Work on a Blog.

Sadly, there is almost no semblance of a schedule in my life because it seems to always happen that as soon as I plan it out, something happens to disrupt that part of my day. As long as I get my writing done at some point each day, I’m happy. (Although the disruptive nature of my schedule will probably be much more frustrating in 11 days!)

However you write, whenever you write, I encourage you to keep it up! If your busy schedule is an issue, try penciling yourself in for even as little as ten minutes a day, set a timer and let yourself burst out with whatever story has been lurking behind your eyes.  Hire a babysitter or use naptimes to write, then teach the kids to clean when they wake up so that you don’t feel guilty about spacing out on chores.

Carry a tape recorder or use the app on your phone to quickly get out ideas and lines that pop into your head, you can always listen, transcribe, and edit them later.

Most of all, just make sure to take the time to WRITE. Not because of NaNo, deadlines, school, friends, or family, but because YOU want and need to write.

Good luck Authors! Have a Blessed day and, as my friends at writing.com would say, Write ON!!