Happy NaNoWriMo Day!!

Happy NaNoWriMo day!! Welcome to November folks. I have debated for a while about doing NaNoWriMo and thought I had decided to forego this year and focus on writing I’ve already been working on. Laughable, right? We all know me a bit better than that. I mostly gave up because I just couldn’t settle on a story or plot no matter how hard I tried because I wanted something different. Then, enter a few days ago. A friend posted a really cool picture on FB with a caption “there’s a story here, and I wish I knew what it was”. Of course, this occurred at 11pm and my mind immediately screamed “IF THAT’S NOT A STORY PROMPT I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS!”  and couldn’t sleep until I started the bones of one. Here’s the photo:

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There is obviously an orphan sitting next to it who can go invisible, right? The lenses in her glass would give her away so she had to yank them off while she’s hiding, right? Clearly. What I found most amazing is that as I started this story, it was coming out in 1st person. Other than here, I NEVER write in 1st person. Frankly, it scares me a little. The more I thought about that picture’s story, the more I thought to myself “you know what, just go for it. Who cares if you don’t get all 50k because you know you don’t have time to this year but shoot for the moon and all that?” So, here goes! I have a lot going on in November and it is highly doubtful that I can actually finish NaNoWriMo successfully, but now I want to flex my fingers with some 1st person and just see where it goes.

Instead of daily updates like last year, I’ll probably just do a Friday recap with struggles for the week and word counts, etc. That way I have a least a little accountability reporting but it’s not an everyday thing.

Wish me luck, and to my fellow NaNoWriMo crazies out there: YOU GOT THIS!!

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Story sample and Women who do what they want

Since we last met, I’ve bumped up to 512 total and 66 on the year. Shew! Some good, some bad, and some just so-so. Being sick in the summertime sucks, but it also means no one bothers your extended reading time. One of the books I read actually inspired me to rewrite a character in one of my stories. If you’ve been following along, I have a fully written novel draft in revision, and 2 others that are in various stages of writing at any given time. I find it difficult to focus on just one, so when inspiration hits, I pick up any of them. The main character I chose to re-write started out as college student, then a fresh college grad. I mapped out the story (which I never do), but I was really struggling with how to fit her in. Enter: last night. I decided to age her up to 30, give her an actual career/life in crisis before I sent her on the road. Magic. 6 pages poured out and I think it now makes much more sense why she’s there. I want to use a good bit of what I already had, so I just need to update the tone in parts of it to finally be able to continue. What do we think of this sample?

Emily Lang’s life used to be perfect. Ok, maybe not perfect, but it was perfect to her. She had a best-selling book on her resume by the time she was thirty, a very handsome and successful fiancé, and a big, fat advance on her next book. She was living out her every dream. The problem was, apparently someone else was living her dream too. Someone else who was younger, blonder, and now sleeping with her ex-fiancé for the past six months. Everyone had warned her not to get involved with her publicist, mixing work with pleasure was only going to come back and bite her. For two years she had been blissfully happy, and then the bite came. It snuck up on her one day when she ran home to grab lunch. The red pumps in the hallway really sunk their teeth in. 

Who doesn’t love a good cliché breakup? At least now she has a better reason to be stand-offish and snarky. My favorite dialogue to write. We’ll also be saving a library y’all. So yes,  I’m quite happy with this one at the moment. So stay tuned if happy endings are your thing.

Here’s some info on a few other stories I’ve been diving into. A trio of women making their own way:

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

I’ve been dying to reading this for awhile because I loved Rebecca! It wasn’t widely available, but now Rachel Weisz is bringing her to the big screen so I was able to snag a copy at BAM! I believe it was Book Riot that published the article (ok yes, I’m a bit obsessed with Book Riot. You should be too) about if you’ve seen Wonder Woman, you need to read My Cousin Rachel if you want a strong central female. The main characters are Rachel and Philip. Philip was raised by his uncle Ambrose, who takes a trip one day and never makes it back because he dies. While he was away, he met and married this mysterious ‘Cousin Rachel’. There are questions about whether his death was natural or not. Rachel is a fascinating character because you never quite figure her out. She does what she wants, when she wants. Is she impulsive, or is she just that brilliantly calculating? Philip gets caught up in her ‘charm’ and must battle his own feelings and paranoia. In true du Maurier fashion, you will really be questioning what you’re seeing. I usually refuse to see a movie of a book I enjoyed, but I’m interested to see how they play out the subtleties here because their entire point is to be open to interpretation. Besides, who doesn’t love Rachel Weisz?

Speaking of women who do what they want: check out The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Nina is a librarian that has been made redundant when her small library closes and is blended into a new multi-media center. Not able to give up her love of book recommendations, she takes life by the horns and buys a van. Her plan is to sell used books from her new roaming bookstore. Because she can’t park the van in her hometown of Birmingham, she makes the move to Scotland where the van originated and the community is in need of books. There is love, there is heartache, there is redemption and of course there is the love of books! What could be better? I’m a sucker for a book about books, what can I say? The best part of this read, was the audiobook syncing so I could hear the voice-actor’s lovely scottish accent, and still read when I couldn’t use headphones.

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë brings up the rear as the least favorite of our trio. I love the Brontë sisters, truly, but Agnes just fell a little flat for me. Although, if you really enjoyed Mansfield Park, then you should check this one out. It’s along the same lines of our long suffering heroine who inexplicably finds love in the end. These are classics so I don’t think that counts as a spoiler alert. It just never really got there for me, though Mansfield was also my least favorite Austen so it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

When “harry” met “sally”

So I haven’t finished any books yet to leave you with my brilliant reflection. I am almost done with the book club selection of As You Wish (Inconceivable Tales of the Making of The Princess Bride) by Cary Elwes with Joe Layden. I have always loved The Princess Bride so I am thoroughly enjoying the anecdotes about the actors during filming.

So. To tide you over, I thought I’d give you a bit of writing to nibble on. My brother makes fun of me for being so ADD in my writing because I’m always moving around between projects instead of focusing on one to finish. To be fair I did finish one draft that he is now reading to point out room for improvement that was a 2012 NaNoWriMo contribution. You’ve heard all about the 2016 NaNo project, but I still have a bit from 2015. I didn’t get very far with it at all but I have felt compelled to revisit it lately.  I do like the characters so I thought I’d introduce you to them a little. Here is a scene where our protagonist meets whom she believes to be her antagonist. (Yes, I see the pattern in my characters. You go with what works for you.) Read more

Shut up and dance with me!

It’s day 22 ya’ll and I will admit I wrote 0 words yesterday. Zilch. Nada. None. Ok, I take that back. I typed 0 words for my story. I actually wrote words. A lot of words. On birthday invitations. Yeah, yeah. I know there were easier ways to do invites but these were going in kindergarten backpacks and they were free from the space holding the party so handwritten it is!

Since I  was a bit ahead, I knew I could catch up this week but I threw on some music to jam to and busted. it. out. Yes my friends and avid readers. I am caught up! AND With 45 words to spare. Thea saw some serious time in a practice room getting to know her gifts, Avery (mr. schmarm himself) got put in his place, we finally met my favorite character we’ll all love to hate and started a little intrigue. I don’t know about you but that wore me out! I love that when I finally decided to stop and check the word count a final time, “Shut Up and Dance” was playing. I’m terrible at lyrics so as I read those beautiful numbers that confirmed I had made it for the night, I heard  “This moment is my destiny! Oh, Oh Oh, Shut up and Dance with me”. (I’ve since figured out it says this women is my destiny but equally true. My main character is a girl. So there!)

Power music tonight was some amazing acapella. Started out with some Pentatonix (to which I really wanted to belt along with “If I ever Fall in Love” but alas, two sick kids so I just mimed it in my chair) before finishing out with Straight No Chaser’s “The New Old Fasioned” album. Some really good stuff there and even some laughs from “All About That Bass (No Tenors)” Count down to Friday when I switch to all Christmas, all the time. Hubby loves it. Just ask him.

And on that note I’m off to bed. Family arrives tomorrow for turkey day and loads to do still.

Your Average Per Day
1,669
Words Written Today
2,776
Total Words Written
36,719
Words Remaining
13,281
Current Day
22
Days Remaining
9
At This Rate You Will Finish On
November 30, 2016
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
1,476

Rogue Characters

If you’ve never written fiction, then you’re going to think I’m crazy. BUT. Characters have a mind of their own. You think you’re the one creating them but really they choose their own fates and personalities in the long run. I have this character who is supposed to be this perfect girl, brilliant smile, long silky blonde hair, bubbly personality (I know, trust me, I hate her already too) except she really is just nice. She’s basically a token character right now but right smack dab in the middle of her introductory scene, she says “Toodles” and waggles her fingers as she leaves the room and I wanted to throw up in my own mouth. Who actually says Toodles? Terrible, right? It’s suddenly there and I can’t take it out because it works for her. I’ll tough it out through her saccharine laced lines and move on. I find solace only in the fact that she’s about to have a sister that we will all love to hate. I have briefly written this character in the initial draft scenes and I love her! She’s deliciously nasty and self-obsessed so much fun to explore. Snarky dialogue is my jam guys.

[On a side note. Ya’ll. Really. What did I tell you about the Panthers? I even slept through part of the 2nd quarter and I thought they would pull it off and I’d be safe. But no. Should have stayed asleep. I’m looking at you Riverboat Ron.]

Ok, tomorrow is day 14. The end of 2 wks. Tuesday night we will be halfway through. Now THAT is truly crazy. I will reward you all with an actual insight for sticking it out this long.

Your Average Per Day
1,716
Words Written Today
1,903
Total Words Written
22,308
Words Remaining
27,692
Current Day
13
Days Remaining
18
At This Rate You Will Finish On
November 30, 2016
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
1,539

It’s not them, it’s me.

Day 12 is coming to a close and we’re almost at 2 whole weeks. Amazing. Who would have thought we’d come this far? Kiddos finally finished out their bitty soccer seasons in the freezing cold this morning. They both got medals for playing and while I’m not a huge fan of the participation trophy era, they’re 3 and 5 so I’ll let it slide this time. They’re not keeping score in the games yet. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve yelled “open your eyes!” or “the ball is over there!” or “please stop hugging the goal” I could buy a new car. But hey, the pics came out super cute! Brunch then straight to naps so I was actually able to get my writing done early today and I could relax tonight and add to it a little if I feel like it. Then it was off to the Auburn v UGA game watching party that lasted a whole first half before I had bring the little monsters, I mean angels home before they spilled another beer all over the couch (Party foul, I know) or jumped off the retaining wall. It’s cool though because Auburn didn’t actually come back out for the second half and they lost to UGA. This was only made tolerable by the fact that CLEMSON LOST TO PITTSBURGH. Or as a dear friend called it, Kmart Auburn deserved it. I’m not sure I’m up for watching the Panthers choke it away too tomorrow. Who am I kidding. I’m a glutton apparently so I’ll be watching. Moaning and gnashing my teeth but I’ll be watching. I’m sensing a pattern here. Maybe it’s me. I just need to stop watching.

Also finished reading a really bad book today. Full of typos and just clunky. I won’t tell you what it is because kudos to the author for putting it out there. No, really. That’s awesome. I hate rating books on sites and writing reviews. I actually know the hard work and pure guts it takes to actually put it out there so I feel awful for coming out and saying “yeah, I didn’t really like that”. Every once in a while I do and I always regret it. I actually had an author respond to me once and kind of berate me for a review when all I said was she used way too many pop culture references and it make it feel desperate. I liked the story but she just needed to tone it down. I may have said there were so many they eventually made me cringe which is apparently where she took offense. I went back and edited because I do think she misinterpreted a part of it, but I most certainly did not change the sentiment. Bad writing (to me at least) actually inspires me to write more because if it made its way to me, then there is hope for even the crap I turn out from time to time. So kudos for putting yourself out, just don’t make me choose a star level. I’m also finding that even no one else is actually reading this, I’ve enjoyed writing it. I think I’m witty and that’s what counts right?

Wins: settled on the overarching legend finally and picked a temp name for the good guys

Struggles: I suck at describing a scene. Like this one:

Aria led Thea up a staircase at the end of the hallway and past a row of doors to their right. When they reached the fifth door, Aria opened it and ushered Thea inside. They were standing in a large common room on a lush carpet. There was a roaring fire set into the wall on the left with comfy looking chairs on either side. Across the room were four more doors. (See what I mean? Awful. blah blah blah)

Your Average Per Day
1,700
Words Written Today
1,828
Total Words Written
20,405
Words Remaining
29,595
Current Day
12
Days Remaining
19
At This Rate You Will Finish On
November 30, 2016
Words Per Day To Finish On Time
1,558