Monday, November 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Winner 2009

I am so excited, I had to share the news. On the last day (today) I got my final 2,000 words in to complete NaNoWriMo. I did it! I did it!

And for any of you out there still chuging away to complete your 50K - go! go! go! You can do it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a quick post today to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! And for the rest of you fellow NaNoWriMo'ers out there, I wish you a creative flow of words to get you that much closer to 50K.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon

I saw New Moon on Saturday and loved it! At this point last year, I had never heard of Twilight or Stephenie Meyer, and I'm so glad I stumbled upon it. The first book in the series is what helped me realize that my novel, The Hidden Force, is a YA novel instead of an adult novel, and helped me see that the YA genre is where my current focus should be.

Anyone that can write a book that keeps you engaged from start to finish has a skill, no matter what genre or label you want to put on that book. Writing a book like that is challenging.

So kudos to Stephenie Meyer and her writing. May my novels be as engaging as yours.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cool Video Promotion - watch this!

This is a super cool video promotion! I saw it on Janet Reid's blog.

Check it out:

And here's the link:

Friday, November 20, 2009

NaNoWriMo - 30,876 words and counting...

I've tried to spare you all from daily NaNoWriMo word counts this week, but seeing as it's Friday and there's only 11 days remaining...

NaNoWriMo word count (drum roll please)...30,876! Woo-hoo! Only 19,124 words remaining.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Support the Creativity of Youth

As I've written about in the past, I think it's super important to encourage our young people to express themselves through the arts. Whether its writing, dance, photography, music, or whatever their creative venue of choice.

For me, writing was an important part of my youth. It allowed me to explore my emotions and bolstered my creative confidence. If fact it was probably the one thing that helped me get through the awkwardness of growing up.

So when I hear about great programs that support the creativity of youth, I think it's important to share. I just learned about The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. If you know a young person who is artistically inclined, you should direct them to the website. You can also support their efforts by becoming a member or making a donation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Event Alert - Bookfest Hackensack 2009

For those of you in the NJ area, here's an event worth checking out. Who can resist an event that has free books - not me!

11:00am (C) Bookfest Hackensack 2009
When: Sat, November 21, 11am – 2pm

Description: Free book giveaway for kids of all ages (and even adults) at the Johnson Public Library on Saturday, November 21, from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. Come join the fun, courtesy of “Read Now!,” an organization founded for the purpose of promoting literacy for young children, predominantly preschoolers, in the Paterson, Passaic, Hackensack, Englewood, and Teaneck areas. With the goal of helping these children be better prepared when they start school, Read Now! provides books for children to keep. They also provide trained volunteers to read to children and encourage parental involvement in promoting reading and literacy in their homes and communities. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Urge to Read Won Out

I couldn't resist the urge to read. I know I had vowed to give up reading during the month of November so as not to be tempted away from writing for NaNoWriMo, but I coudn't even last two weeks. And now I've picked up a new book that sits on my bedside table, calling to me to open the pages and read through the words that make up the story.

So what is my newest book? Well, I was in Barnes & Noble on Saturday, and I was looking in the YA section (have to keep you with the books of my genre, you know) and I spied a book that I have heard a lot about and decided to take the plunge.

So I'm now reading, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Very interesting concept, and a refreshing change. I'll let you know what I think when I'm done.

Monday, November 16, 2009

5,000 Words Seemed Insurmountable

I could have woken up today feeling self-pity and doubt, because that's how I was feeling last night. I had put my son to bed and fallen asleep in the process. When I woke up it was late, and I had missed my final writing session in which I had planned to get caught up in my NaNoWriMo word count. I had started the weekend having to makeup 5,000 words by Sunday night, and I'd only written 2,000 so far. I was tired, unmotivated, and feeling like the 3,000 words hanging over my head was insurmountable. I just wanted to go to bed.

And yet, something inside me said, "Just go to the computer and try to crank out 500 words, because that's 500 words less that you'll have to make up. Then you can go to bed." So I went to my computer, checked email, checked facebook, and finally made my way to the NaNoWriMo website. Going to the site gave me a small boost in motivation, not much, but enough that I opened my writing document and starting adding to the story. I hit 500 words, and somehow I had a flow going. I knew what I wanted to write, and the story was ready to unfold before me. I started to get excited about where it was going. Those 500 words turned into 1,000 words, and then into 2,000. It was now midnight. And I debated whether I should just close down the laptop and pick it up Monday. But a voice in my head said to keep going. Another 1,000 words, now that things were flowing so nicely, would come at a quick clip. At 12:45 I had my last 1,000 words completed. I had made it, 25,000 words completed, half way through my 50,000 word novel. Wow, it felt good going to sleep knowing I'd accomplished that goal.

So this morning, I awoke tired, but excited. I didn't wake up with a huge deficiency in words that I had to make up. I was caught up and ready to proceed with my 1667 daily word goal. In past years I would have succumb to the desperation and given up thinking the task was too big. This marks a turning point in my writing process. Before this I was lucky to crank out 1,000 words in one sitting, and here I am shattering my own ceiling. It's just another layer of growth, and I thank NaNoWriMo for helping me learn that a writer is always a work in progress.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNoWriMo - 18,014 words and counting...

Ok...I's been a couple days since I last posted. I've been burning the brain cells as I race to keep pace for NaNoWriMo. I'm up to 18,014 words and still going strong. I've got about 2,000 words that I need get caught-up with over the weekend, but other than that the words are still flowing.

And I'm actually having fun doing this! It has pushed me to make huge strides in just writing, no excuses, no waiting for inspiration, but pure blood, sweat, tears, and creativity. And I'm actually REALLY happy with the content that is coming out.

I posted a novel synopsis and an excerpt on NaNoWriMo if you're interested in seeing what I'm up to: novel synopsis.

I'll catch-up with you on the other side of the weekend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How To Write A Great Novel - article

The Wall Street Journal had a great article last week and I was finally able to read it over the weekend, "How To Write a Great Novel". As I was reading it, I pictured myself as a writer highlighted in a similiar article and imagined what might be said about my writing process. I was comforted in knowing that not only is the writing process as long as multi-layered for other authors as it is for me, but also that many authors have some quirky habits.

I have printed a copy of the article and have pinned it up in my office to remind me that although the writing process is a lonely process, writers from different genres have similiar experiences.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Writing Priorities This Week

"Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do." – Kathleen Winsor*

What a great quote to start off another important week in my writing.
Today is Monday, and everyone needs a swift kick in the butt for the first day of the week and I am no exception. It's the day that I review my schedule for the upcoming week, determine prioritites, and set a plan for what I want to accomplish. So, it's pertinent to remember that some tasks have real importance and others are just hiding behind a guise of importance. So what are my writing priorities this week?
1. It's week 2 of NaNoWriMo, and I have a goal of another 13,089 words. I held a steady pace last week, and only missed one day of writing (and was able to make up some of it over the weekend).
2. In continuing with my plan of submitting my work, I've got 3 contests I plan to enter this week (2 poetry contests & 1 photography contest).
And finally...
3. It's time to resume submitting to literary agents, so I need to finish a final revision of "Petunia Wiggles, Giggles, and Hops". Then it's time to send out my baby to the first group of agents I want to target.
It feels good to put the things "I want to do" before other things that only pretend to be priority.
*"About Kathleen Winsor: American author Kathleen Winsor is best known for the racy historical novel, Forever Amber, which made a huge splash when it was first published in 1944, selling 100,000 copies the first week. It was banned in 14 states for its sexual content. The ensuing debate contributed to the loosening of restrictions that allowed works by D. H. Lawrence and Henry Miller to be published in the US. Winsor wrote a number of other novels, none as successful. She was born in 1919 and died in 2003." - quoted from Today's Inspiration newsletter, Waterfront Media, Inc.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I Couldn't Resist A Few Edits

Ok, I vowed not to do any revisions while I'm doing NaNoWriMo, but I couldn't resist last night. I had to tweak, and revise, and edit the story I'm working on...and luckily I was still able to make my word count.

And while I'm sitting here, I've been debating whether I should take the story in another direction as I'm not feeling like the plot turn I added last night is the exact way to go. So I may just do some revisions today too, but I still vow to get my word count where it needs to be.

My gut feeling is it's a needed direction otherwise I'm might get myself stuck too far into a plot that I'm suddenly not happy with...and then would come writers block...and disaster for completing my goal! So a little tweaking now, could help me make it all the way.

NaNoWriMo word count: 8419

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

No Reading for One Month

There's nothing like opening the covers of a new book and preparing for the journey into the world that the writer has created. So it pains my heart to go cold turkey on reading. Yep, I've quit books - for one month. In an effort to focus all my writing energy to completing NaNoWriMo this month, I've decided that I won't pick up a new book until December 1st (or until I complete the 50,000 words needed to finish NaNoWriMo). Yikes - 1 month without my favorite characters.

It's going to be tough, but I need to do it so I won't be tempted to curl up with a book instead of curling up with my laptop.

I'll let you know when I start having withdrawals.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It's Tuesday and a Big 3...

It's a big day: voting in NJ, "V" premiers on tv tonight, and it's day 3 of NaNoWriMo.

Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I'm up to 3473 words and that's before adding today's count. And now I'm headed to the keyboards for another 1667 I go...because if I don't hit my mark I'm not allowed to watch "V" (and for those of you who know me, you know I'm a die-hard fan of the series from the 80's).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo...and here's a quick quote for the day:

"Believe that you can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will. That belief just keeps you searching for the answers, then pretty soon you get it." – Wally "Famous" Amos

As you probably guessed, my blog posts between now and November 30th may be a bit shorter than usual as I focus on my word counts for NaNoWriMo.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy First Day of NaNoWriMo!

Good morning fellow NaNoWriMo buddies! It's 6:40 am and I'm at my computer to put the first words down on paper...just wanted to wish you guys good luck and a productive first day!