Thursday, November 20, 2014

Places to Kill Time

I really hate my NaNo novel this year and once again, I've been cruising  writing sites instead of working on the project. I think it paid off in one way. By wasting time I ran across another great post by The Write Life. You know, they have some really great stuff on that site. The one I found today is The 100 Best Websites for Writers.

It has something for every aspect of writing. I've posted the link as one of my Necessary Places, on the left sidebar. It will take a bit to peruse all of this stuff. If you're doing NaNoWriMo, wait until December 1st to visit. .

Have you found any great writing sites? Share them below! I'm always looking for ways to kill time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Real Gift of Love

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Most of my family know I'm a writer. They'd have to be pretty stupid not to know. I've been writing since I was 11. They accept my little hobby. They compliment my talent. They read my blogs and they keep nagging  me with "Well, when are you going to get something published?" It is a valid question. Never mind the blogs they read are published.

Before my health problems I wrote more frequently and a lot more prolifically but I wasn't driven to get something of real interest to the public in print. I just loved to write. Now, my thoughts are moving more in that direction. Publish a real book? Why not. Of course, at the same time, two diseases attacked me. Ah well, what doesn't kill you..... Actually, it can make you pretty miserable.

My friends, both off and online friends, know I write and they too encourage me to finish something and publish. They've all read some of my works so I guess it must be entertaining to some degree.

Today I was cruising around online and ran across a post about gifts for writers, 22 Gifts for Writers. It occurred to me that no one has ever bought me a gift specifically for a writer. Really. I've bought writer things for myself, like Scrivener writing software, but no one else has. My late husband and I mostly bought for our children because money was tight. So, despite being a writer I never received a writer themed gift.

I have friends who are writers and I decided that I could do a great service to other writers, maybe even my friends. If you are a friend or the family of a writer and are trying to decide what to get them for Christmas, try getting them writer themed items. Believe me, they'll love them and they'll actually use them or display them in prominent places, like mantles their desks, or coffee table. When asked they'll  say, "Oh yes, my sweet aunt Betty gave me that for Christmas!" Or "You know, that uncle Joe is actually a great guy. He gave me this for Christmas. Isn't that the most awesome thing."  It won't matter if cost less that $20, like that Writer's Remedy stuff. Really, they'll be thrilled. While perusing the page I saw several things that look nifty.

A gift designed for the writers in your life... wow, now that's a gift of love.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Reason to Keep Writing


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at
Freedigitalphotos.net

I'm in a funk, a writing funk. I don't know why and I'm perturbed. The story was flowing along fine and I hit this wall that forced me to write backward. No, not that kind of backward. I had to go back and write a new beginning so I could move forward at the spot where I hit the wall.

It is all very confusing so I won't bore you with long explanations. Just think of painting a room and finding yourself in a corner with no door or window. In addition, across the room you realize you missed a spot next to the door. You have to walk across the room, painting over your footsteps on the way out, and then repaint the section next to the door. That's as close as I can get.

So, I did that and it helped a bit. But honestly, I don't want to do this. Really. Isn't that the darnedest thing? I want to just toss it out and forget the whole thing. I want to take a long winter's nap and wake up in the spring and go for a walk in the cemetery. I want to feel warm, awake, and alive. {sigh} I put that there because you simply can't write a sigh. I know. I've tried.

Now, here I am on Sunday, the 16th and I'm supposed to be at 26,667, more than halfway through my NaNo novel but I am 23,858. It is a widening gap if you stop writing. I would have caught up yesterday but I was really very tired after the library write-in, where I'd managed to get caught up to Friday's goal. Now, I've missed yesterday's goal and if the trend continues, I'll miss today's.

I don't really know what the problem is and I'm not inclined to delve into it to any great degree. I just want to stop.

Here's the thing. NaNo isn't one to die easily. It goads you and twist your mind inside and out. It calls you in the night, wakes you in the morning, and stares at you across the table, any table. It becomes this siren luring you to your destruction. If you don't write, you'll never escape the memory of it. You'll have another blue dot in your row of purple dots. You'll have a missing year in your certificates. People, NaNo'ers, will shake their heads in pity. "Oh, you didn't win that year? Wow."

Then, if you happen to be the Municipal Liaison... not only do you not win but you face public humiliation as the leader of the group. "OH, YOU didn't win? OH NO!" Yeah, sort of like that. But much worse in person.

So, you keep writing, even if you hate the story. Even if it goes in circles, at least it's moving. By the 30th you hope you've got 50k words and the draft of a good story.  A good story is much harder to come by. Failing that, you hope you have at least 50k words because that Winner's Certificate is more than a piece of paper with pretty designs. It's proof of a lot of gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, wringing of hands, loss of sleep and hours of writing, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone in the dark.

By November 30th, if you pull it off, you'll know what you're made of and you'll wake up on December 1st feeling a bit like a lottery winner, but without the money.

Unless... you know... if I edit this thing, tweak it there, maybe cut this... yeah... you know, maybe... just maybe there's a best seller in this thing.




Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Day 12 of NaNoWriMo

What a long week and a half this has been. I was lagging behind on word count most of the first week of NaNo but managed to catch up yesterday. If it were not for our write-ins I'd be further behind. My Co-ML had a write-in Friday night at Panera Bread and I went to that. We had 11 people attending. That's the largest we've had in a while.

I've been doing virtual write-ins online with several members of the group and we've combined them so that if there is wifi where we're hosting a live write-in we also do a virtual write-in. Saturday we were at the library and last night I did a write-in at Panera Bread on the east side of town while Tammy was at the library on the west side of town. I'm actually ahead slightly today and don't have as far to go to hit the day's goal of 20,000 words.

I woke to heavy, grey skies and a horrendous headache and pain in a variety of places. Went for blood work and everyone who saw me said, "You're not feeling well today, are you?" I wonder how they knew? I wasn't moaning and groaning or writhing in pain. I carried my Kindle and tried to read while I waited, answered check-in questions, got my blood work. I didn't even have to argue with the lab tech about getting the blood from the back of my hand and what gauge of needle to use! She just agreed and got the butterfly.

It is cold. It is a painful cold. Despite the Prednisone I'm in pain in my hands, neck, shoulder, and feet. Small bones. Not good. Once I start decreasing the dosage of Prednisone the pain escalates in proportion. If I could take it all the time, I would.

I see the doctor in three weeks. I wish I could see her sooner and get it over with and maybe, just maybe find something that works. Nothing is working.

Back to NaNo. I don't care for the story. It isn't that I hate it. There just isn't a story there. I wish I'd gone rebel and worked on one of the other stories I have in progress. I'll get my 50K, more than likely but it will be 50K of boring prose with no purpose. I think this is the first time I've had that happen. I usually know when there is a story. Generally, the problems I face is painting myself in a corner and having no idea of where to go from there. This is different. I don't feel any interest in it.

Of course, you should pay no attention to this any of that because we are in the middle of the 2nd week slump and this happens every year. We'll see how things look next Monday. By Saturday, the 15th, we need to be at 25,000 words. After that, things tend to move pretty fast.  I'll keep pounding away at the keys.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NaNoWriMo Day 2

We've reached day 2 of NaNoWriMo. I got off to a good start and am just shy of 4K. I don't know how long the story will keep the momentum but I'll ride until it stops.

I did the first virtual write-in this afternoon for several hours. Roughly 10 people in and out during that time. Really an easy way to write and have fun with the group. And on a cold day, must more enticing than a trip somewhere.

If you're doing NaNoWriMo and want to join our virtual write-ins, join our S. Indiana region and get the instructions there. Or if you're in another region already, check with your ML about online write-in, particularly you folks in places where the snow gets deep and the temps even deeper.

For now, I'm going off-line. I had a terrible night last night. The weather is causing unbearable pain. I kept waking up crying out every time I tried to turn over. My hands and feet were in pretty painful shape this morning and I could hardly walk. I still went to church but I'm exhausted today.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Evansville NaNoWriMo Begins!


Today was the NaNoWriMo Kick-Off for my region. We had a nice turn out. Fifteen people all total. That's a little more than half I planned for. I had a lot of fun seeing everyone, a few for the first time.

I took photos this year. I don't know why I never have done that before but I always forget. The fact that I have a camera on my phone, albeit not a great one, made it easy this year. I intended to get more but simply got busy writing.

We had the kick off combined with a write-in this year and I liked doing it that way. One of the local libraries hosted us. Eleanor, our contact there, set it up and it is a nice big room. She also provided us with coffee and chips. We've got Saturday write-ins scheduled there all month. 

Now the hard part begins...