NaNoWriMo Prep 2

 

 

 

 

Last week was horrible. Between kid activities and the hurricane, I’ve accomplished next to nothing. I’m still working on Origins. I had hoped to have this round of edits finished before NaNo, but I’m not so sure that will happen. I’m 3/4 of the way through, but I have to change POV. I’m going from 3rd person to 1st. It’s tedious to say the least. But it works much better this way. A quick shout out to K. Nebity, she recommended I read The Phantom Tollbooth. I did. I enjoyed it but not as much as I would have if I had read it as a kid. Thanks for the recommendation.

NaNoWriMo 2017

October is Perptober. I didn’t know it had an actual name:)

I have the main idea of the story (spark) and the two main characters. I still need to finish fleshing these characters out and finish with the ghost rules.

This week goals:

  • complete character inventory sheet/back story- I like to delve deep into my main characters. So this is a must this week.
  • Sign up on NaNo website- I need to do this. I did buy this year’s t-shirt. And it’s already arrived 😉
  • Work harder on finishing Origins.
  • Think about the major plot points for NaNo. It’s a ghost/mystery story. I want this started soon because I will need to do a little research at the library later.
  • Finish setting out Ghost rules (from last week)

If you are going to participate in NaNo this year, Click here to read more information and sign up. There are also Twitter sprints that take place once NaNo starts. I love those. Sprints really make you write. There are also other groups on different social media sites.

A few sites with NaNoWriMo Prep ideas:

Boho Berry has printables and links. She has a beautiful NaNo bullet journal. Yes, I’m jealous.

Storyist has an in-depth page on NaNo prep. It would work for starting a novel at any time.

Better Novel Project has an outline.

Here is an October schedule for NaNo.

There you go. A few resaurces to help you along.

How is your planning going?

-CK

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NaNoWriMo Prep 1

I know it kind of slipped up on me too. But November is just around the corner, like 29 days away. That’s right. It’s time to get your little monsters in a row.

I sat down this morning with my calendar and came up with a weekly goal to help me prepare for NaNo. I know from experience, the more prepared I am the better chance I have of winning. Meaning completing a 50,000 word novel.  Along with the regular prep work, I have a novella I am halfway through editing. I need to finish that. It’s hard to concentrate on NaNo with other projects looming. I still hear the aching call of last years unfinished NaNo novel. Poor thing.

Week 1 Tasks:

  1. Find that spark– The idea that is big enough to spark your creative juices to write a full length novel. I have mine. One that has been itching on the edge of my brain for months. But an idea is not a story. Nor is it a plot. It’s just an idea.
  2. Decide on main characters– I have two characters already. I’ve started fleshing them out, learning about their back story. I hope from this I will know where to go with the story. I’m not too concerned with the minor characters at the moment. Those can come later. Is it novel worth or just a short story idea, the characters will tell me.
  3. Location– This is the hard part. I know where the story takes place but I think it will be in two time periods. Possibly now and the 40s.
  4. Rules– It’s a ghost story. So I need to cement the “rules” for ghosts. What they can and can’t do. Who becomes a ghost? Things like that. I’ve got it started and once I get to work on the plot I’ll make addictions or changes.

Those are the 4 things I need to accomplish this week. Anything else will be brownie points.

Are joining NaNoWriMo?

-CK

 

 

Writing Rituals

While recovering from wrist surgery this summer I accomplished very little. No writing. Lots of reading and TV. I watched YouTube more than I should admit. Not all cat videos I promise. I discovered several writers. One, Kristen Martin had a recent video on #WritingRituals . I think it was created by Kim Chance. I’ve since watched several, then decided to try my hand at it. Sans Youtube.

Writing Ritual Tag

  1. When do you write- time/day?

I haven’t written much of anything all summer. It’s hard to type in a cast. I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. Because I live in a tiny house with loud teenagers I write while they are at school. It’s very hard for me to get anything accomplished on the weekends. So 8:30 am weekdays I try to write/edit for a couple of hours.  I can do research, readings, and light critiques in the evenings and weekends. But real writing is when the kids are away.

2.  How do you seclude yourself from the outside world when writing?

Social media is a huge distraction for me. I don’t turn wi-fi off because then I wouldn’t beable to look things up online. We’ve all had instances when our brain fails and can’t figure out the proper spelling for ‘dynamite’ or how to use a comma. So what I do is: close the curtains, turn on some music, and turn notifications off. I can still use the internet but no text messages or calls get through or thousands of app notifications I have yet to learn how to block. I will take short breaks and check the calls to make sure nothing urgent was missed.

3. How do you review what you wrote the day before?

I will briefly read over what I wrote. Not to edit. That’s important. If I jump down the editing road I will never finish. I may add to what I wrote, but I mainly want to review the events, tone, and voice so that I pick up in the proper spot.

4. What song is your go to song when feeling uninspired?

I don’t have a certain song. Instead, as I plan and start writing a new project, I create a playlist for my story. For instance, my current project has a playlist called Superhero Mix. It includes movie theme songs and songs played in movies or inspired by super heroes. Yes, I’m a nerd. Guess what the new project is about…

5. What do you do when you feel writer’s block?

I’ve never really had writer’s block. Right now I lack motivation. I’ve been out of the habit for months and it’s hard picking it back up. Watching YouTube videos and reading writing magazines helps get the spark back. Also writing little things, like this blog post, helps with igniting the feeling of writing. There are times I’m unsure of where to go with a project or I’m uninspired about what I’m writing. I find it useful to change activities. Trying another creative hobby (drawing, photography, etc) or even a physical activity will help. I just need to step away and do something different.

6. What tools do you use when you are writing?

I now write/plan using Scrivener. I love the note card feature and having a place to keep research and character info close at hand as I write. I will print all of this out and keep it in a binder because well…I’m still old school. I don’t entirely trust the computer not to crash and lose everything I’ve worked on. Most of my older writing (unfinished) is in Word. For those projects, I still work in word. I also have a huge stack of writing/reference books I keep close at hand. Here are a few of them.

The emotion thesaurus series is very helpful. I know I tend to reuse the same expressions and phrases. These books help me break that cycle. If you write mystery/suspense or anything where a character may get injured I highly recommend a book on trauma and anatomy. Trust me on that. Also if you write about a real life location. Even if it has a fictional name, it is useful to know about the natural world. It adds a layer of believability. Trust me. The locals know when you don’t do your research.

7. The one thing you can’t live without while writing?

Music. I can not write without music. And Tea. I must have hot tea. And chocolate. Lots of tea and chocolate.

8. How do you fuel yourself while writing?

Again, hot tea. Sometimes coffee. I need something warm and caffeinated. I usually have something small to snack on. Clean finger food. Small pieces of chocolate, pretzels, or cookies. Shortbreads are my favorite. It’s not particularly healthy but it’s what I like.

9. How do you know when you are done writing?

I try to finish the scene. That’s a must. When my mind starts wandering to chores or errands I need to

What ya writing?

do I know I’m finished for the day. Sometimes I can pick back up after lunch but that’s rare. Once I walk away from the computer I am done.

 

And let’s not forget my writing buddy. She keeps me company as I type away.

There you go. My #writingrituals.

What are yours?

-CK

 

Row80 Round 2 week 6

The countdown clock for summer is in full swing. I am so ready, maybe even more ready than my girls…no on second thought. Even though it is the end of school, I’m starting to prep for fall. My girls go to a small private school which means I have to buy books and uniforms. Bummer. But so worth it, we love our school. This week I had to locate pictures of Daughter #1 for the 8th-grade recognition slide show. Pictures of her over the last 14 years 😉 No I did not include that embarrassing one of her chewing on her toenails. Although I thought about it. I found one of my favorites.

Look at that hair! You can see the bayou behind her as she flies by on my daddy’s boat. She was a cotton-top when she was little. Her hair still has the corkscrew curls, but not as blond. Sigh.

I also received the book list and uniform policy for next year. Thankfully, she can still wear the uniform she has unless she outgrew it. She probably did, she’s at least two inches taller than me. Yes. She’s tall, thin, and blond. I’m so doomed. The book list is insane. I went ahead and ordered her summer reading books, both deal with the Holocaust. That should bring up insightful conversations this summer.

If that’s not enough trauma for me, Baby Doll has her swim team party this week and the last band concert next week. She’s only 17 months younger than her sister. She’s so excited for next year. This will be the first time they are on different campuses 🙂 Time to spread some wings.  Baby Doll has been swimming since she was 4ish. At first, water was the only thing she feared. Now, we don’t even have that! I’m pretty sure she is part fish. Hence our slight obsession with mermaids.

So this summer is a season of changes. New school, new adventures.

On with the goals:

  • Write 200,000 words.
    I wrote 989 words this week, bringing the total to 11,903. Not much but it is something. I have difficulty writing and editing at the same time. It’s like my brain can’t switch gears.
  • Edit 600 pages.
    I edited 11 pages, bringing the total to 312 pages. I am over halfway to my goal.
  • Walk 2,600,000 steps. I’m sorry, but this is not happening. I give up. Dropped.
  • Read 80 books. I finished Caravan of Thieves by David Rich. Not my favorite book. It was okay.  I needed a book by an author with my first or last name for the Mother-daughter reading challenge. I didn’t finish Hunter by Mercedes Lackey. I got bored with it and put it aside. I am currently reading The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I love it! The writing is beautiful. 29/80 books read.
  • Find the shipwreck at Ft. Morgan. Summer goal.
  • Complete devotional. I am now two lessons behind.

There you go. I’m inching forward. I am disappointed about dropping my walking goal but I didn’t see the point in pretending it’s going to happen.

How did your week go?

-ck

Three Weeks Until Summer

That’s right folks, three weeks until the kids are home… all day, every day. Pass the coffee. The end of school tends to be just as busy as the beginning of school. Everything comes to an end with dinners, parties, and programs. My calendar is screaming for relief. This past weekend we drove to Montgomery for the State Bible Drill, my youngest was in it for the first time 🙂 She did well. If you’ve never seen a Bible drill it’s hard to explain. In a nutshell, the students memorize huge amounts of scripture and then have 8 seconds to locate it in the Bible and recite it from memory. She did well, only missed 4 but that was enough to keep her out of the finals. Better luck next year.

On the downside, I am now the proud owner of a moving violation citation (running a stop sign) ;( Really! Okay maybe it was a rolling stop but the road was empty. My hubby had the joy of driving the rest of the day to and from Montgomery!

Let’s get on with this sad goal check.

  • Write 200,000 words. Still at 10,914 words. No new progress.
  • Edit 600 pages.  The total is still 301 pages. To finish Camouflage by June I need to edit roughly 5,000 words a week.
  • Walk 2,600,000 steps.  Yeah, I don’t think this thing is working all that well.My new pedometer says I am at 34,370 steps. I walked over a mile on Saturday and a mile on Monday.  Along with my regular walking. That means I only walked around 14,000 steps this week. Something’s not right here. My previous step count was 474,725. I think I will add the totals together at the end. I’m thinking I may need to ditch steps and change it to timed sessions.
  • Read 80 books.
    I am still reading Caravan of Thieves by David Rich and Hunter by Mercedes Lackey. I have mixed feelings for both of these which is why it’s taking me so long to read them.
  • Find the shipwreck at Ft. Morgan. (summer)
  • Complete devotional. I’m back on track.
  • Deep Cleaning. We have the yard sale coming up this Saturday. I’ve cleaned out both hall closets, laundry room, bedroom closet, and the massive lego horde. This is where most of my energy has been spent.
  • Submissions. Nope. I’ve barely had the computer on this week.

When I do my goal check-in’s I flip open my calendar. May’s is totally blank. That is not a good thing!

Excuse me I have writing to accomplish.

How did your week go?

-CK

 

Weekly Goal Check-in

Goal Check-in April

This week has been chaotic. Mostly my fault but still. I have felt lethargic and tired all week. I know it’s my allergies. It rained last night and this morning, I’m hoping it washes away some of the pollen before my head explodes. If I keep moving all day, just stay busy, I have a better chance of accomplishing something. But the moment I sit down to rest, it’s all over.

Baby girl turns 13 on Saturday ;( Please ignore the tears. It’s hard to believe that my baby is officially a teenager. I don’t know why she acts like one! If that’s not enough emotional stress, my oldest is in the 8th grade. I received an email about the 8th-grade reception– they need pictures of each student at various ages. I’m not ready for high school. I’m not a clingy mother. I never cried after dropping them off at school at the start of the year. I was always there early and had plans for lunch to celebrate being kid free again. I blame hormones for the sudden trepidation in life changes.

I currently blame hormones for everything. On that note. Has anyone written a cozy mystery series surround a woman with hot flashes? I see a gold mine there. Just imagine the possible titles: Hot Flash of Death, The Insomnia Defense, & Spontaneous Flash of Murder… you get the idea. On with the goals.

  • Write 200,000 words. Still at 10,914 words. No new progress.
  • Edit 600 pages. I edited 19 pages of Camouflage this week. Brings the total to  301 pages. I want this finished before summer starts.
  • Walk 2,600,000 steps.  I finally bought a new pedometer. This one is also a wrist watch. I don’t think it’s terribly accurate. It says 20,615 steps. Hmmm. I know I moved more than that. My previous step count was 474,725. I think I will add the totals together at the end. I did 15 minutes of calisthenics yesterday as well. I’m trying it on my ankle today. I want to lose 10 pounds before Mother’s Day. I don’t know how doable that is. My cute swimsuit is too tight and I’m going to the beach 🙂
  • Read 80 books.
    I read: Michelangelo’s Ghost By Gigi Pandian and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Michelangelo’s Ghost was one of the books I won in March. I loved it, it’s book 4 in the series and totally fed my archeologist fantasy that started with Indiana Jones. I’ll have to read the first 3 in the series. I don’t usually reread books. I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve reread. Like Water for Chocolate is one of those. I loved it more this time than when I read it 20ish years ago. I don’t own this book, but I need to. Highly recommend it. I own the movie and I’m watching it with my honey Friday night. He dosen’t know that yet. I’ve started reading 2 books but I don’t expect to finish either before the end of the week, so I’ll save it for May. 28/80 books read.
  • Find the shipwreck at Ft. Morgan. (summer)
  • Complete devotional. I’m back on track.
  • Deep Cleaning. I’ve started to clean out the laundry room and under the sofa. We hide our massive hoard of Legos under the sofa 🙂 I’m going through each set, putting them together to make sure we have all the pieces. Then I will decide if it’s a set we should keep or sale. Yes, I worked on this goal. On another positive note, the other people in my house have finally gotten on the yard sale bandwagon!
  • Submissions. I submitted to 2 publishers this week and received one rejection.

There you go. It’s been a busy week and will stay that way until school is out.

How did your week go?

-CK

Silver Springs

Silver Springs State Park

If you’ve never visited Silver Springs State Park, you may not be aware of all it has to offer. Click here. Most are familiar with the glass bottom boat ride and that’s it. But there is much more to it than that. I  remember visiting the park when I was about 10. The glass bottom boat sticks out most in my mind– that and the monkeys. Yes, I said monkeys;) I apologize for all the photos.

 

Silver Springs is a park with multiple fresh water springs. The water is crystal clear to bright, clear blue. The blue areas seem to

be deeper. In some areas it is 85 feet deep, it only looks about 25 ft deep. Remember that if you decide to go kayaking. Swimming isn’t allowed where we were. And really, it’s covered with gators! This little guy was sleeping on the bank. A much larger gator decided to swim around us later on on the kayak trip. My youngest daughter was scared he would knock her off the boat. He didn’t. He was more concerned with swimming to the other side of the river.  

We also had a chance to spot the elusive Rhesus monkeys that live in forests surrounding the river.  Ages ago, Tarzan was filmed at Silver Springs. The old black and white shows. After filming they just turned them loose. They also filmed parts of the old Creature from the Black Lagoon and the James Bond film Moonraker.

There are a few hiking/walking trails surrounding the park. They give you the opportunity to see the natural surroundings. We came across turtles, birds, bunnies, and snakes. Watch where you step.

The big draw to the park is the glass bottom boat. Out pilot has been leading boat tours since 1955! He was awesome. He showed us where some of the springs bubbled through cracks in the river and pointed out wildlife that might have slipped by us. One of the most interesting things, only visible by glass bottom boat, is a sunken Spanish ship/boat. Most of the boat has rotted away but enough is left to make out it was a boat.

So how clear is the water? I’m glad you asked. This photo was taken from an overlook on the walkway next to one of the deepest sections of the river. Near where you board the boats. I think it is 85 feet deep here. It was gorgeous. I will leave you with one more photo. My oldest fell in love with all the Spanish moss. We have dozens of photos of just moss 😉

 

Happy Travels,

-CK