Posts Tagged ‘NaNoWriMo’

Oh my! Just 1/3 of the way through November, not even getting to the Thanksgiving holiday and it’s been such a busy time.


Of course, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month again. This will be novel number SIX! I wasn’t going to write another one until I edited a previous one, but my writing group friends talked me into it. And I’m glad they did. I’m trying something new, still working at finding what I like to write the most. So, this one is in the Young Adult/Action/Adventure genre. And I’m trying something else new. I’m revealing a bit of what I write. That’s kind of a big deal for me. Because there are two camps of thought about that. One says, “No way, don’t do it.” The other says, “Yes, it’s good.” So, I’m trying it. And I’m thinking about adding snippets here and there to generate interest. I don’t know. We’ll see.

Here’s the premise:

It is November 15, 2016, and America is at war, with itself. During events just before the presidential election in the United States, all hell has broken loose. Republican and Democratic rivalries sunk to new all-time lows and factions of militant organizations across the country were organized well enough to take matters into their own hands. They began shooting, bombing, and burning anything that didn’t fit their ideal of the red, white, and blue. The election didn’t even take place, because armed militia men proclaimed The Second Great Civil War of the United States. Civil War. Again. Only this time, citizens had access to Uzis and hand grenades and all kinds of crazy explosives and war “toys” that didn’t exist in the era of the first Civil War. But it didn’t matter what the weapons were. Yeah, the technology could reach a larger portion of the population and that was part of the problem. But the real problem was the unbridled passion of militants with a skewed perspective who turned that into a cause. Weapons destroyed. Weapons killed, especially in the hands of the power hungry and misguided. It’s the undefined “Us” against “Them” scenario and who can win with that? No matter which era a war was in, people died. And this time, it wasn’t just something 14-year-old Harper Bridges read about in a history book, it had happened right here, right now, and it had happened to her family.

Harper remembered her mother and grandmother having a conversation. If there was ever anything disastrous to occur, they all loosely agreed to meet at the family land in Oklahoma. Loosely. Very loosely. Harper could only remember snippets of the conversation and wasn’t even sure it was real. But she had in her mind to set out to try to reach Oklahoma. And she hoped to God that when she got there, her family would be there. She had a sinking feeling in her gut. A deep-seated knot that nagged and created pain. She was afraid. So afraid.

(Timely, huh?)

And here’s the first paragraph:

Harper hated death. She hated the thought of so much of it surrounding her and she hated the stench of it. She bent, placing her hands on both knees and held the hem of her shirt over her face, wishing it would filter the death stink. She tried not to cough, tried not to breathe, really, but had to regain her composure somehow. She had run for so long in the dark, once she had come to the wide-open spaces. But here she was again, running through the remains of a small, charred town. How many of them were there between Texas and Oklahoma? She wished she had paid more attention on the many trips between the two when–well, before all of this had erupted. She was completely out of breath and mentally chastised herself for not being in better physical shape. The occasional evening jog in the neighborhood with the dog had not been enough. Now, she was running for her life. Someone had shot at her twice and was on her trail again. With all of the burned towns and cities and all of the dead people, why in God’s name would someone care if she lived or died? The answer had eluded her for days and she did not have time to sort it out.

(Whew!) (We’ll see what happens. I usually don’t like to write on the dark side. But you have to have the dark side to have the light, right? So it can illuminate the darkness. Yeah. That.)  (I’m at 20,000 words, with the goal being 50,000 by the end of November.)

And here are some of the other things that have been going on:


Lunch outside on a busy fall day. Don’t the organic veggies look so good? They are. From my friends at Better Together Farm.

Beautiful fall days! So, if I possibly can, I get outside on the weekends and work, because oh my goodness, my yard needs attention. So, I’ve been pruning and clipping and raking and shoveling … and about that–oh, dear. Last weekend I worked so hard, I could barely move. But it’s looking better out there.

One day, I made a vegetarian lasagna in the crockpot and I ate lunch outside. (Like my work gloves in the above photo? I needed leather gloves because I was trimming rose bushes and wanted to avoid the thorns. So, I found one thick, rubber work glove and one glove that I use for the kitchen. Not effective for rosebush thorns. I’ll guarantee.) (I don’t have time to go buy leather gloves.) (I need toooooo!)

My daughter is getting ready for a yard sale, so she’s taken over my carport. :^D  (But I will be glad to have that chore out of the way, believe me.)

This morning there was frost on my car windshield! Frost. That means I’d better get prepared for winter.

And on the drive to work I saw two deer in a chase and managed to honk the car horn before they crossed the road. And the doe listened. Good girl. She stopped. The buck didn’t want to. (He was enormous.) He only stopped because she did. (I’m thankful.) But she turned and went back the other way and he was soon in swift pursuit. Autumn in rural America. Fun times.

Hope you’re all having lovely days and can sit outside and enjoy the weather with a cup of hot tea or cocoa. (And avoid the deer on the roads.)

Okay, too much stuff to do. More soon. ❤


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Camp NaNoWriMo Winner!

If you have ever said, “I’m going to write a novel,” may I suggest that you use NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as your platform?  It is a wonderful tool to provide the motivation and encouragement from other writers that you may need to propel you from zero to one-hundred in thirty days!

Two years ago I participated in National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November of every year.  The goal is to write 50,000 words in thirty days.  That year, I was still in college classes, but it was a great way to put some fire behind one of my novel ideas.  I accomplished writing about 20,000 words that year.   The NaNo website, nanowrimo.org, acknowledges even your well-best intentions, but the “winners” achieve the 50,000 word mark.

I had it in my mind to achieve that, some day, but after graduation, I sort of crashed.  I gave myself a month to recuperate from college, then I was going to get back on the bandwagon and get writing.  But life got in the way and six months passed.  Horrors!

Thank goodness  I had the sense to “like” NaNoWriMo on facebook.  Every so often I would see their posts and the idea of finishing my novel that I wrote while in college continued to nag.

In July, the site hosts Camp NaNoWriMo, with the same goal as in November:  write 50,000 words in a month.  (There is also a level for rebels.  You set your own parameters and just participate and achieve success at your own rate.)  I considered this, but I really wanted to prove to myself that I have what it takes to be a writer who can really make it — and by that I mean:  work at writing, each and every day, in the midst of life.  That was the Camp slogan.  “Writing in the midst of your crazy life.”  Yep.  That fit.


I signed up.

They assign campers to an online “cabin.”  Like-minded writers, within a genre, age-group, or other criteria are assigned randomly, or you can choose your cabin mates.  I went for random and I could not have ended up happier with the situation.  The writers in my cabin were encouraging.  Each was at a different level in their writing, from “I wish I could write,” to “I write professionally.”    We were able to communicate on the assigned cabin message forum.  Each one of us achieved a level of success and one other camper besides me, made it over the 50,000 word goal.

I found that I was more competitive than I had ever imagined.  I wanted to meet my word goal each day, which was over 1600.  Some days I surpassed 3000 or 5000.  Once, I was side-lined for five days with zero words.  But I didn’t give up!  I came back at it determined to finish.  On day twenty-two when I knocked out the final word in 50,000, I was elated.  I did it!  Life and all.  Crazy life and all.  I ended up with a prequel to my first novel.

It was not my best writing, by any stretch of the imagination, but I got those words down in black and white.  Some of my ideas were great.  I can see what they will blossom into with some hard work.  It was just the doing, the discipline, the commitment, the promise to myself within the view of others that seemed to work for me.

Camp NaNoWriMo awards the winners with cool virtual badges and a certificate that can be printed out, as well as several online purchase discounts.  That was nice, but the best part was that I just did it.  I surpassed my goal.


I think that I will continue to participate in NaNoWriMo.  It was a great way to set a goal and achieve it, with daily markers right before my eyes.  I’ve committed to my goal and signed up for November 1!

I have also found a NaNoEdMo site.  (National Novel Editing Month takes place in March.)  It is setting aside about two hours per day for a month to edit a previously written novel.  Perfect again!  Just what I need, because I have two novels to edit and a third on the way!

I encourage you to check out the websites and set some goals.  November is just around the corner.  You can do this!  I did, I know you can.

Have you ever wanted to write a novel?  Do you think you might participate in NaNoWriMo?  Let me know. . . .

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