Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Have You Done Since NaNoWriMo?

Have you finished your NaNoWriMo novel yet? Have you started editing its content yet? Have you done any writing on other projects?

Or have you, like me, started working on other, non-writing, projects that were neglected while you feverishly wrote during NaNoWriMo?

I have had the best intentions. Although I surpassed the National Novel Writing Month challenge of 50,000 words, my novel was far from finished. I was so thrilled with how the story was going and so involved with the characters that I just knew I would keep writing, if less than the 1,667 words a day required for National Novel Writing Month.

But I was wrong. I had so many othe projects that I had set on the backburner while I wrote for National Novel Writing Month that I still haven't caught up with them, and as a result, my novel writing has fallen way behind where I would have liked to have been with it by now.

I am still thinking about my novel, and I am still excited about it. And I will definitely start writing again after the Christmas craziness has subsided.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Okay everyone! The totals are in! How did you do for NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo Winner1 2009

Here is the status update for the finish of NaNoWriMo.

moonduster: 51,822/50,000
MrsEvilGenius: 51,718/50,000
BodogSivana: 50,020/50,000
lyricalb: 31,254/50,000
Ghostlove: 0/50,000
tangledeutopia: 0/50,000
Kryptique: 0/50,000
wheezeybouncer: 0/50,000

These are some pretty good totals! NaNoWriMo is reporting that they have made a 19% win rate this year, which is a record for them. We managed a 37.5% win rate all by ourselves! And we almost had a 50% win rate! With three people making it to 50,000 and one person making it more than half-way there, I think we all did brilliantly!!!!

Congratulations to NaNoWriMo winners and everyone who participated!

Yes, some of you will have some small prizes sent to you, but not until January because I'm broke right now. Oh, and I need you to e-mail me your mailing address if I don't already have it. As long as you participated (i.e. had some sort of word count total uploaded to NaNoWriMo and joined us on this blog), you will get something in the mail.

We even had some NaNoWriMo Young Writer's Program winners!

AmericanWriterGirl: 11,752/10,000
WritingSpider: 3,605/3,000 words
gabbykitten: 610/1,000 words
tinkerbella: 293/1,000 words

Please take a moment to tell these kids in the comments section what a great achievement they have managed to accomplish! AmericanWriterGirl is 15 years old, WritingSpider is 7 years old, gabbykitten is 7 years old, and tinkerbella is 4 years old.

Anyone want to share something they've learned from participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Hit us up in the comments!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNoWriMo Status Update - Week 4

This is week four of National Novel Writing Month.

How do you think you're doing for National Novel Writing Month?

Here is the status update for our fourth week of NaNoWriMo.

moonduster: 50,011/50,000
MrsEvilGenius: 47,663/50,000
BodogSivana: 43,338/50,000
lyricalb: 31,254/50,000
Ghostlove: 0/50,000
tangledeutopia: 0/50,000
Kryptique: 0/50,000
wheezeybouncer: 0/50,000

I know some of you are writing but haven't uploaded your word counts yet. If you get them in quickly enough, I'll come in and edit your numbers here.

TWO DAYS LEFT! Hurry up and get that writing done!

I'm so excited! This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo, and I've won! I already reached 50,000 words TWO DAYS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!!!! WOOHOO!!!

NaNoWriMo Winner1 2009

I am so happy that I committed myself to doing this and I did it! Some days, I really didn't feel like writing, especially because the only time I could find to write was after the kids were in bed, and by then I was tired and just wanted to sit on the computer and play or watch tv. I really didn't want to have to think.

But I've really enjoyed this! My story has taken me in directions I never expected to go, and my characters have grown and changed over the course of writing this novel.

50,011 words is not my complete novel by a long shot. There is still a lot that needs to happen in my characters' lives before my novel is complete. And it's going to take me quite some time to edit my novel and make it presentable. But I have come so much further with it than I ever have before! It's really a great feeling!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Been Writing

Sorry I haven't posted much here this month. I've been busy writing my novel for NaNoWriMo. Monday is the final day to get the 50,000 words verified, and I am now at 45,083 words. Almost there!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

NaNoWriMo Status Update - Week 3

This is week three of National Novel Writing Month.

How do you think you're doing for National Novel Writing Month?

Here is the status update for our third week of NaNoWriMo.

moonduster: 38,011/50,000
MrsEvilGenius: 31,827/50,000
lyricalb: 31,254/50,000
BodogSivana: 18,713/50,000
Ghostlove: 0/50,000
tangledeutopia: 0/50,000
Kryptique: 0/50,000
wheezeybouncer: 0/50,000

I know some of you are writing but haven't uploaded your word counts yet. If you get them in quickly enough, I'll come in and edit your numbers here.

I'm so excited! This is my first year doing NaNoWriMo, and I'm actually heading into the fourth and final week ahead of schedule! I might actually succeed at this!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo Status Update - Week 2

This is week two of National Novel Writing Month. I meant to update our word count numbers yesterday, but I'm a day late.

How do you think you're doing for National Novel Writing Month?

Here is the status update for our second week of NaNoWriMo.

moonduster: 27,013/50,000
MrsEvilGenius: 21,279/50,000
lyricalb: 20,070/50,000
BodogSivana: 17,993/50,000
Ghostlove: 0/50,000
tangledeutopia: 0/50,000
Kryptique: 0/50,000
wheezeybouncer: 0/50,000

I know some of you are writing but haven't uploaded your word counts yet. If you get them in quickly enough, I'll come in and edit your numbers here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Week 1 - What I've Learned So Far

This is my first year joining NaNoWriMo. In just the first week, I've already learned quite a few things!

1 - I can write more than I thought. I didn't think I would be able to manage the time necessary to write 1,667 words a day, but on most days so far, I've written even more than that.

2 - If I want to do something, I have to make it a priority in my life. After years of "wanting" to write but saying that I couldn't find the time, I am finally writing! All it took was for me to decide that I was going to spend a certain amount of time writing every day and then sticking to it.

3 - I can write well. I often lack confidence in my writing, and I have let that lack of confidence hold me back for a long time now. But in reading over what I've written so far, I can see that I do have a bit of a gift. Don't get me wrong; most of what I've written is rubbish. But there are enough gems of writing there to make the story workable if I decide to go back and edit it later. And the story itself is interesting and captivating.

4 - If I stop making excuses, I get more done. Before NaNoWriMo,I was always making excuses for not writing. The thing about NaNoWriMo is that there are no excuses. Either I finish it or I don't. And without the excuses, I'm getting a lot of writing done.

5 - Competition is a great motivator. This is true even if the competition is only with myself. But it's even better when I'm competing against others. I have a buddy list at NaNoWriMo, and while I want everyone on my list to succeed and I am ever-so-happy when they achieve their targeted word counts, I find myself checking their total word counts to see how I am faring against them. If they are ahead, it gives me a little push to write more.

So let's hear it. What have you learned from National Novel Writing Month so far?

NaNoWriMo Status Update - Week 1

Well, the first week of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. Those of us who are participating have probably learned a bit and expanded our story ideas since beginning this writing journey. (I know I have!)

How do you think you're doing for National Novel Writing Month?

Here is the status update for our first week of NaNoWriMo.

moonduster: 13,141/50,000
MrsEvilGenius: 11,010/50,000
BodogSivana: 6,200/50,000
lyricalb: 0/50,000
Ghostlove: 0/50,000
tangledeutopia: 0/50,000
Kryptique: 0/50,000
wheezeybouncer: 0/50,000

Now, I happen to know that some of those above who are tallied at zero words so far have actually been writing, so I'm assuming they just haven't updated their word count at NaNoWriMo yet. I will update their numbers here when they do (and I'll re-tally these numbers later tonight anyway), and next week we will have a new tally to see how we are all doing for the second week.

If you'd like to join us for next week's progress report, just comment below with your NaNoWriMo user name. I'll add you to my buddy list there.

If my finances allow, there may even be prizes awarded to some after the final tally on December 1st!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

First Day of NaNoWriMo!

50,000 words in 30 days means I have to write about 1,667 words a day. I have accomplished 1,788 words today! Yay me!

I honestly wasn't sure I could do it, but I am so pleased that I did! And it's shown me that I CAN do this! Yes, what I've written so far is probably rubbish. But it's written.

And it's more writing than I've done on my novels in a long time.

How are you doing on Day 1?

National Novel Writing Month Begins!

NaNoWriMo starts today!

I have eight of you added as "My Buddy's" at NaNoWriMo so far.

As we go along, I will post a weekly tally of our efforts at writing our novels.

Goodluck everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ready For NaNowriMo?

National Novel Writing Month begins the day after tomorrow. Are you ready for NaNoWriMo? Have you signed up to join me in my quest to complete it?

This will be my first year joining NaNoWriMo, and I'm excited about it! I have no idea if I'll be able to complete that much writing in 30 days, but I'm looking forward to trying!

What about you? Are you ready to give it your best shot?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Finding Time To Write

Quit looking for time to write. Just pick up your laptop (or notebook) or sit at your desk and START!

Here's what happened when my husband Robert tried to plan time to write. Our 3 year old daughter wanted to play in the bath. He got the bath ready for her and then brought the laptop with him to type whle she bathed and still be able to keep an eye on her safety.

Our 6 year old daughter realized a bath was being had and quickly joined her sister. Fighting, playing and splashing ensued. Robert got no actual writing done and instead had to cut their bath short and get them ready for bed.

He read them their bedtime story and then opened up the laptop again. He made a crucial mistake; he was on the bed when he opened the laptop. A while later, when I brought a coffee up to him, I found him fast asleep. No writing had been done during the two hours he'd spent upstairs.

I know that finding time to write when you have family and other obligations can be really difficult. But don't we all owe it to ourselves to try? (At least Robert TRIED!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo begins on November 1st. In the spirit of my new theme for this year, and my more recent post about getting rid of the chains I place on myself, I have decided to sign up for it.

NaNoWriMo is about writing. There is no real prize at the end of it other than your own sense of accomplishment. You are supposed to start writing on the 1st of November, and by the end of the month, hopefully in time to submit your pages, you will have 175 pages written. You don't need to edit your pages. You don't even need to make sure your writing is GOOD. You just have to write. It's about the quantity of your writing, not the quality of your writing.

I think this is ideal for me because I never seem to finish any of my novels. Not one. I'm always so worried that my writing will be rubbish that I don't even start, let alone finish. But NaNoWriMo takes that fear away. My writing will be rubbish. And that's okay. I just have to get the writing done.

With 30 days in November, I will need to write about 6 pages a day (5.8 pages) for each day in the month of November.

So who is brave enough to sign up to do this with me? Just go here and sign up. Then post a comment below and let me know what your user name is at NaNoWriMo. In November, I will post a weekly tally of everyone's progress.

So, who's brave enough to take the NaNoWriMo challenge?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I posted this in my weight loss blog, but it is also appropriate to writing so I decided to post it here to.

Lyn over at Escape From Obesity recently wrote these words,
"It is in our power to conceive and generate the life we want."

What an amazing quote! It is so true and it speaks to the heart of so many things, including but not limited to weight loss and fitness.

Recently, I've heard so many people complain about wanting to lose weight but not being able to find the motivation. I just want to say to them, "The only thing getting in your way is you!" but I hold my tongue lest I offend. Why does everyone think they have to wait for this elusive motivation?

When I started this weight loss journey, it was because I knew I was not living the life I wanted. I was unhealthy and unhappy with my weight, and I knew that it was in my power to change it. So I did. Seriously. We all have the power to live our dreams. All we have to do is start stepping towards them.

Lyn also wrote,
"I am not chained to THIS life. You are not chained to yours."

Again, this is so true and such a simple concept that people seem to often forget. We have CHOICES, and it is our choices that lead us either in the direction we want or further away from what we want.

And this is true in every area of our lives. For instance, I keep making up excuses for not writing my stories. Sometimes, I blame my fear of failure. (What if my writing isn't good enough?) Sometimes, I blame my family. (It's never quiet enough to write,and the kids need my attention too much.) Sometimes I just blame my state of mind. (I'm too tired to write.) And sometimes I even blame my own personality.(I've always had a problem with procrastination. It's just who I am.)

But the truth is that I am not happy with this state of affairs. I have always wanted to be a writer, to work towards publication, to take the stories I have in my head and get them out there for the world to read. The only shackles keeping me from doing this are of my own making. The phrase I want to say to others who complain about lack of motivation also applies to me. The only person getting in my way is me!

So no more chains. The chains keeping me from living my dreams are completely of my own making, so it is up to me to remove the chains. And I'm going to, even if I have to do it one link at a time.

The one thing I have learned from losing over 100 pounds is that I am capable of achieving anything and everything.

I can make my dreams a reality, and I will. What about you?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Creating Worlds & A Writer’s Procrastination

Every story you write is a new world, a new reality created for others to share. But what happens when those worlds are only imaginings of your mind and never make the move from your mind to the paper? Doesn’t this mean that entire realities will never see the light of day? Whole worlds will never be viewed by anyone but you?
What will it take to get you to sit down and do the work of writing down the stories that live inside you? Imagine, for a moment, that each of these stories is a world, or a reality, that does not, as yet, exist. All of the characters, animals, places and things that you manage to get down on paper will suddenly be given life, a life lived in the pages of your story.
Would you deny them their existence?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

50 Reasons No One Wants To Publish Your First Book

50 Reasons No One Wants To Publish Your First Book

This list had me laughing! If you want to look at the funnier side of the publishing business, I recommend reading this.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Having The Confidence To Write

I found this article on called "How To Write With Confidence."

This article struck a cord with me because I often neglect my writing through fear of failure. I will read some really great writing by another author and think, I could never write like that! Or I will read something I wrote earlier and think, That's awful! I'm a terrible writer! I let these thoughts of not being good enough keep me from trying, keep me from writing.

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. Back then, in those childhood days, it was a dream I knew I would someday achieve. I believed in the dream and in myself with the innocent confidence that only children seem to possess. And because of this confidence, I wrote story after story after story. I was only a child and because of this, those stories were not very good. But at least I was writing them!

Somewhere along this road I've traveled called Life, I have lost the confidence to write. I've lost confidence in myself and in my ability to tell stories. I need to remember that it's okay for a lot of my writing to not be perfect. It's normal to write a lot of so-so text before getting to greatness. Mixed in with all the sand, there will be a few pearls. And once I find the pearls, I need to build on them and let them grow. But I'll never even find the pearls if I don't start writing.

Query Fail

The Chico Writer's Group took a bunch of tweets posted by agents and editors about what makes a query fail and put them together in one blog post. The post is full of useful tips, and in places it even made me laugh out loud.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goals & Inspiration

Feeling in a slump with you writing? Can't find the motivation to pick up your pen? I found this quote recently, and I think it helps with motivation.

There is a way to reach the goal. You just have to decide you’re going to do it.
There are challenges, to be sure. Yet you’ve overcome challenges before and you can do it again.
Decide to do it, and make the commitment. Take the necessary actions, over and over again.
If you realize your approach isn’t working, adjust it and improve it until you begin to make some progress. Then be grateful for what you’ve learned, and use it to move more quickly ahead.
Be sure to choose a goal that is truly yours. Making the goal meaningful is what makes it reachable.
Creating anything of value takes a lot of good, hard, solid work. Enjoy the journey and delight in reaching the destination.

— Ralph Marston

Just believe that you can do this! There is nothing stopping you from writing your novel, children's book or other type of story, except for YOU! Let's stop getting in our own way and get to work!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Blogging and the Writer

One thing writers need to do is write. It doesn't always matter what a writer writes so much as that they continue to write. Even just writing in a journal not meant for anyone else to see helps to keep a writer's creative juices flowing and his or her mind in the right place for serious writing.

Blogging is a terrific tool for keeping up with writing and keeping a writer's mind sharp and focused on writing. Blogging is journaling for others to read. You can blog about a variety of subjects and write about whatever sparks your fancy on any given day. Or you can choose to blog on a particular subject and choose a specific theme for your blog.

Another benefit to blogging is that, for some bloggers, a writer with a lot of followers can become noticed by publishers. Examples of this are diet bloggers Pasta Queen and Diet Girl who have both published books that came about through their blogs.

So start blogging!

Monday, February 2, 2009

National Children's Authors & Illustrators Week

This first week in February is Children's Authors & Illustrators Week in America.

I have no idea what is supposed to be done for it though, so I propose that we all go out and buy a children's book by our favorite children's book author as a way of showing our appreciation for them.

Don't have any money? Then post who your favorite children's author or illustrator is in the comments below.

My favorite children's book is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Websites For Hopeful Authors

There's a new way for writers to get noticed and it's on-line and free. Random House's website is a place where writers can post their writing, the whole book or just a few chapters, and as they get positive comments and constructive criticism from readers, their work can move up the list. The goal is to have your work become one of the top ten in its category. The publishing company Random House reviews the top ten each month.

This is not the only publishing company doing this. Penguin Books has set up Spinebreakers, a similar site geared towards teenagers. And the Arts Council in England has set up

The publishing world is opening up to wannabe authors.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Not Doing As Well

I missed my hour of novel-writing last week. I need to try and get in more than an hour this week to make up for it.

Robert is doing pretty good in keeping up with his commitment to write each week.

I also need to get to work putting my daughter Gabby's "Dreams Of Five" book together. I should have been done with it last November. Lately, she's been doing a lot of reading in her "Dreams Of Four" book. She's even choosing it for me to read to her and her younger sister Isabella before bedtime.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Did It!

I got past my awe-inspiring ability to procrastinate and spent an hour writing last week. I only wrote two pages, but that's two pages less I have left to write. And I am determined to do the same this week as well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Update On My Writing

Remember my post about committing to writing for at least an hour each week? Well, I have done 30 minutes this week so far and today is my last day of this first week to get the other 30 minutes done.

I don't count writing in my blogs as part of my time spent writing. If I did, I would have already surpassed my 60 minutes a week of writing.

One of my novels has taken a new twist (in my head), and I will have to write the idea I had for a new direction for it so that I don't forget.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

My husband and I have made the commitment this year to each of us writing/working on our novels for at least one hour a week this year. We have seven children, a dog and a cat, and our time is largely taken up with caring for them. We have not been getting much writing done lately, so we have made this commitment to set aside a small amount of time every week.

Robert has already spent his hour writing this week. I have spent only thirty minutes writing and still have another thirty minutes to go.

How much time are you going to set aside for your writing endeavors this year?