How is every one this month? I hope you all are doing great. I am super busy.
In exciting news, I have finished editing my fourth novel!!! Now, I am finalizing some other things (synopsis and query letter) before I start querying next week. I’m super excited and nervous! Wish me luck!
In other news, I am prepping and doing all the things I try to get done before NANOWRIMO starts. I don’t write extensive outlines, but I write out a very rough outline of the book from start to finish. I try to create the names for the main characters too (otherwise I get hung up on naming people and can’t seem to write).
As you can see, once again, I am participating in NANO, and this means next month is basically all booked for me.
I am a little behind at this point in the year as far as writing and some other personal goals go but I should be able to get caught up soon. Gotta keep trying, right?
Anyway, if you are participating in NANO, good luck!
My eyes have finally healed enough for me to work on writing again. The last two weeks I’ve been outlining a new novel.
This is a new step for me. I don’t normally outline before I start writing. What I like to do is write and then make mini outlines of what I want the next three or four events to be. Generally when I start writing a novel, I have an end point in mind. Then, I work to get my characters there by preventing them from getting it too soon. (At least that’s how I think of it in my mind).
So at this point, the next step should be drafting, but…
There are two other stories that I want to write. Both are in different stages.
My three projects are:
1. Mages of the Lake (already wrote about 50,000 words during Nanowrimo last year) This one could be worked on. At first when I wrote it, I didn’t really want to do more with it, but now that some time has passed, I can see what needs worked on and what I’d like to change.
2. A New Novel Set in the Magical Realms Universe. This one would focus on Zak before he met Jamie. This is the one I’ve been outlining.
3. A BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW novel about magic that’s been hidden and then found in our time.
So… my brain can’t seem to focus because I keep thinking about all three. I’m honestly not sure which one to work on now. I would like to pick one and get it to a final draft.
I’m going to work on the outline for the second one until I decide. By April, I am going to decide and focus and buckle down!
Anyway, happy reading and writing today and every day!
I swear September was yesterday… This month is flying by for me.
It might have something to do with the fact that I spent all last week in pain and finally went to see a doctor yesterday. He thinks I hurt my rotator cuff. I was folding laundry and BAM, instant pain that has not gone away. Who gets hurt folding laundry? Seriously. This is a sign of two things. One, I’m getting old. Two, folding laundry is dumb.
Anyway, I am working on getting things done now that I have real pain meds on board. So, here is the prompt for October’s short story of the month:
She was the new girl. The one who sat in the cafeteria at lunch alone. Maybe she was from the next state over. Maybe she was from another country. I wanted to know everything about her: her mother’s name, her favorite movie, if she had brothers, sisters, what she…
Hope everyone is having a better month than me! Happy reading and writing this month!
Even after a long day at work, my mother’s hands worked tirelessly: chopping vegetables for dinner, stitching our clothes, whatever needed doing. I loved her hands and admired them. I wanted to be strong like her. But at the time, I couldn’t be. I would have, and gladly, if I weren’t so wrapped up in my own world — a world she would never understand.
I was sitting at the table when she came in from cleaning houses. She gave me a withering look out of the corner of her eye. She thought I didn’t see those looks, but I did.
I knew I should be better but there was a large part of me that wouldn’t care. I couldn’t make myself. The pills kept me from caring about almost everything. I liked being checked out. It was easier. The longer I stayed checked out, the longer I wouldn’t have to acknowledge what happened to me.
Two Years Ago
“Have a great day at work,” my mother said as I was walking out the door. I nodded over my shoulder but kept walking. My partner was waiting for me in a navy sedan bobbing his head to whatever was on the radio.
“Let’s roll,” I said shutting the door.
The first few hours of our shift were uneventful. We broke up a fight between two men arguing over the price of fish, and we were called out to a domestic disturbance. We ended up putting bracelets on the husband, the wife, and the mistress.
The next call was the call that would change my whole life, but I didn’t know that at the time.
The Next Morning
I woke up in the hospital. The pain was excrutiating. I couldn’t even sit up. I couldn’t feel anything other than the pain. I screamed or thought I was. Then, I saw the nurse just standing there, so maybe I wasn’t screaming.
She leaned over me. “Are you awake?” She asked.
“Yes,” my voice sounded scratchy and hoarse.
The doctor was brought in and talked to me a lot, but I couldn’t focus on him or really process what he said.
Then my mother came into view. She was talking to the doctor and there were tears coming down her face.
I didn’t care and I didn’t want to talk about it. I’d lost my job and everything that day, but there was no way I was going to tell the department appointed therapist about it.
We did our usual stare off for my required weekly hour and then I left. She knew what had happened, and she knew I was taking pills. She didn’t talk about it, and I didn’t either. But I still went because if I didn’t my mom would be really disappointed in me.
At this point, it was no longer about getting better; it was about keeping the looks to a minimum.
The soldiers were tense, waiting for something to happen — like it was a matter of when, not if. For our part, we did our best to steer clear of them, avoiding the main square, where a group of protestors…
If you want to write a story using this prompt, I will feature it on my blog! I post my story on the last day of the month, but you can write one and submit it sooner! I would love to see what someone besides me comes up with for these prompts!
The music drifted out of the club like a vibrating pulse. I could feel it in my bones. The night was alive with possibility. I could even imagine myself finally moving out. I’d been planning it for so long. My parents probably wouldn’t even notice if I left.
Besides, it’s what people my age were supposed to do. You grow up, get out of high school, and move on. Some go to college, others get jobs. Not me, I’d stayed home. My parents honestly didn’t seem to care one way or another. They continued to give me an allowance like nothing had changed.
It wasn’t healthy
for someone who was 21 to still live at home and not work, or do anything
really. I think no one pushed the issue with me because of the accident. It’d
been 5 years, but no one talked about it. I didn’t even talk about it with my
therapist. We all knew it happened, but we didn’t discuss it.
a few years ago that I was using it as an excuse to do nothing. When I’d admitted
it to myself, I felt like a coward. My brother would be disappointed in me. We’d
always talked about what we would be when we grew up. He never got the chance,
and I was just wasting mine.
outside the club and let the pulsing vibrations of the music bombard me. Enough
was enough. I needed to do something, anything.
Not tomorrow. Today. It didn’t matter that it was the middle of the night. Now was the time.
How is October going for everyone else? I feel like it has FLOWN by. I have been using some of my free time this month to prep for Nanowrimo. Most of you who are reading this probably know what that is, but for the few who don’t, I will explain briefly.
NANOWRIMO = National Novel Writing Month.
During November, people from all over the world dedicate themselves to writing 50,000 words in one month. Most people try to write a fiction novel of some sort, though there are certainly others who write non-fiction, short story collections, and other things.
The idea behind this is simply that the hardest part about writing something is getting the first draft done. For me, this is definitely true… I get easily distracted.
For my novel, I am continuing one that I started as a short story on this very blog from earlier this year – UNICORNS ARE REALLY VAMPIRES. So, you may be wondering, what have I been doing to prepare for writing an entire novel in a month?
Some things that have helped me prepare:
In particular, the book Ready Set Novel
Worksheets from other writers that I found on Pinterest. Here is my pinterest board with some of the writing links I’ve found helpful: https://pin.it/d6dn4e73z666vm.
I attended two of the prep season get togethers, which are called write-ins. I didn’t do much writing at either, but I met some of the people who run things in my region. Plus, I was able to ask questions about the process from real life people. (Some of them have been participating in NANOWRIMO for more than a decade!)
I have already started this project, but I haven’t worked on it since July, so I dusted it off and reread what I’ve already written. It’s surprising after time has passed that I didn’t remember writing some of the scenes. I am actually funny on occasion.
I looked through for small errors and large plot holes so I have a pretty good idea of where I want to start in November.
Now after all that prep, I feel ready. I can’t wait for November 1st.
Short story of the month club continues, and without further ado, here is this month’s prompt:
It flashed through the sky and then was gone. Lucy was sure she had seen a UFO and was equally sure aliens were here to secretly make contact with a human being. Maybe they would choose her. Maybe she would get to visit their ship. Maybe…
I think this is a great prompt. As you know if you have read any of my stories, I do tend to have sci-fi bent in many of my stories.
So, this month I am actually trying and succeeding at getting things done when I mean to. Starting with getting my short story prompt posted early. Without further ado, here is July’s prompt:
“The yellow lines on the highway sped by in a blur, and we flew through the night, and we felt free. But we weren’t, and we knew it. We were running away from something, and running away was never the path to freedom. I thought about telling John to turn back. I thought about suggesting…”
I can’t wait to get into this one. I feel like it has the potential for some sort of paranormal or sci-fi element. If you haven’t read any of my previous stories of the month, my stories do have a tendency to have a sci-fi or fantasy bent to them. Last month’s story “Crime Scene” didn’t start that way, but it eventually got there.
In addition to my story of the month, I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo’s month long writing challenge. I am using one of my previously posted stories as a jumping off point for a novel — “Unicorns Are Really Vampires.” If you are participating too, good luck with your project!
Today is February (you probably know that by now). What that means is it is time for a new writing prompt. Again, I am taking my prompt from a book that one of my lovely sisters bought me titled Complete the Story.
This month’s prompt is:
Perhaps it was a dream, she thought. Perhaps if she pinched herself, she would wake up. But she didn’t want to wake up. She wanted to stay in this dream world where….
I am looking forward to this month because the prompt is very vague, which leaves a lot of room to create. Looking back at January’s prompt, I felt like it was too narrow. The prompt made me feel stuck in one story. I actually had a hard time finding a direction to take it other than the one provided in the prompt.
And although I am looking forward to this month and trying to write, as always, personal struggles are already effecting my writing. In particular this month, I have decided to give up soda. I went cold turkey and cut it out of my diet. I feel sluggish today, but I am surviving.
I am not trying to lose weight. I just need to stop drinking it. I drink A LOT of soda. I have a feeling this might effect my writing. Right now I just feel like I am missing my usual “get up and go.”
However, we will survive (even without soda). Happy reading and writing this month! And good luck with your personal goals and struggles!