NaNo Finished & Stuff

This November, I’ve been a good little girl. I have NaNoWriMo’ed myself into shape. The 50K word mark was met on Saturday (two entire working days early) and I’m liking the story. It’s off-beat, whacky, a bit nonsensical but damn, it was fun writing it. It’s so out there, I’m thinking it’s my only hope to published stardom.

Now I need to keep the momentum going. I am the first to admit of my lazy, easily distracted personality.

As for other news, the kids did not come home. MiniD spent the holiday at Mr. Demonic Jr.’s house. They also did not ask for any money, which was a first. The older one is a bona fide adult, although I’m not sure how he’s making money. All I know is that he doesn’t ask for any and hasn’t dipped into the remainder of the college fund. Ms. MiniD, I believe – hope – pray, is learning to live within her means. She also found a team sport that keeps her out of trouble. (YAY! *doing happy dance*)

We spent a quiet Thanksgiving with our manager. Turkey, homemade pie, crab cakes for an appetizer. Yes, indeed. I have exploded into another pants size and it’s only been a few days.

I hurt my left thumb. I smacked it with a mallet during my jewelry class, but that’s not what’s wrong. I have De Quervain syndrome which is probably related to jewelry and the prolonged typing I’ve been doing lately. I have a brace, and plenty of drugs. Except for the pain, I am in bliss.

Business sucks, but that’s the breaks.

I will go into all of this in some detail at some future point. Right now, I want to remain in the NaNo zone and will write a few thousand words today. I will also visit blog friends who probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth.

Writes, Rites and Re-Writes

I haven’t been here much, because as some know, I went to the writers’ conference in San Francisco, and that pumped me up but good. My head is full of ideas and strategies, and I’m as juiced up as Ms. MiniD on her ADD meds. When I’m not working the day job, I’m writing.

In fact, I’m writing so much, I’m beginning to neglect the house.  I used to clean our bathroom and the dog’s area every couple of weeks, but it’s now been three weeks and neither has been done. Gracie’s bed is starting to smell like dog, and although I took out the rugs and swept the bath, I haven’t done much else.

The other thing suffering is my exercise routine and my violin practice. The middle of me is getting back to post-holiday spread, so I suppose I’d better make time for that. As for violin, thankfully the teacher has given me a break and I’m doing easy pieces, plus scales.

Thank goodness it’s not nice out yet, or my yard would be knee length in grass.

Why exercise, clean or play the violin when you can write?

The blame goes to NaNoWriMo. Thanks to November writing month, I have established a routine, which is quite amazing when you consider what kind of world-class procrastinator I am. Without fail, I go home in the afternoon and pound out a couple thousand words on my new book. It’s a relief in a way, because this one is light and hopefully humorous, whereas the first one was dark. There’s a happy ending in the first one, but no hook up. There’s a happy ending in the second one, and a hook up.

I know I have to go back to the first one and rewrite, but I’m letting that one marinate for a while, at least another week or two. I have an online friend looking at it first, then I’ll go in, then send it on for the “real” editing. My first baby is going to have to undergo massive surgery, and I’m not quite up for the challenge yet. But, I know I will be, once I get the bones going on the second one.

So, if anyone wants to volunteer to come and clean my house, I’m game. I’m sorry I can’t pay with money, but I can always whip up a good meal.

November in a Nutshell Part Deux

A funny thing happened on the way from October to December.


(I always wanted to write something like that. 🙂 )

As many might remember the dim recollection of the US presidential campaign coming to a screeching halt around November 4, so do I. By November 1st, I was way past my tolerance for any more news coverage on Barack Obama and Sarah Palin, and purposefully tuned in to Turner Classic Movies to avoid the news. (Let’s face it, the race was all about them, not the other two guys. Who are they now?)

Election Day turned out a nice day, warm and sunny. In fact, later that week, I picked the last of my tomatoes, and the last one is finally red on my windowsill today. On Election Day, I had to drive my husband, the Dear Mr. Demonic, to the airport at 5:30 a.m. (He did the absentee ballot thing, a very smart move.) He was outbound on a plane to Las Vegas for his annual convention. By the time I returned to my little, soon-to-be frozen city, it was a quarter to seven, and the polls opened at 7. I thought to myself, who the hell would be up this early? And, I’m up and about anyway, might as well vote.

The polls for our precinct is located in a nearby community college. It’s the same college we threatened to send our daughter to, because she could walk to it and it’s a lot cheaper than the private, Catholic college in California that she is attending. The college is basically a courtyard building, where the hallways make a large square and in the middle is some greenery. The hallways are connected. When I entered the building, there looked to be about 25 people in line, which seemed promising. In and out, that’s what I wanted. Still, I knew a record turnout was expected, so I brought the book “How to Get a Literary Agent” by Michael Larsen. (Excellent reference, by the way. I strongly urge all writers to read it.)

My estimate as to the line was wrong. Way wrong. The people in front of me were the first 25, who had already been cleared and were waiting for ballots. Behind them was the rest of my precinct. No joke. I wandered down the first hallway of a hundred or so people, hoping to find the end of the line. When I made the turn to the second hallway, there were another hundred or so people lined up. At the end of that hall, I made another turn, and there was another line, then turned into the final hall, where I finally found the end. There had to be 500 people in line ahead of me.

I settled down to reading my book (standing up) and waited as we slowly proceeded. It took about an hour before I got to the short line, but that was okay, because I managed to almost finish the book. Then it took another fifteen minutes before I got to vote. My ballot was at first rejected by the counting machine, and I had to go back and clean it up. It wasn’t messy. In fact, I am a master at FOSDIC circles, and being a former art major, can color within in the lines with my eyes closed. (Well, at least with my glasses off.) I think that perhaps the machine did not like my choices, so it spit my ballot out. Nevertheless, I returned to my little stand and darkened the circles as prominently as I could. They were so black that they glistened like onyx jewels.

Then I went home and turned off the TV. I avoided newsstands, and refused to talk to anyone. It was obvious who was going to win, and I hadn’t voted for him. (If you must know, I voted my conscience.) If you know me, you know I hate news anyway. Journalism has taken the mucky path down sensationalism and is of the yellow kind these days. Luckily, with my husband off for a week in Vegas, I used the opportunity to make a huge dent in my NaNo efforts. In fact, that week is where I made the most progress.

Hmm… I wonder what that means???

November in a Nutshell Part I

I’ve had to chop this up, since November was such a huge month. So expect my life in nutshell installments over the next couple of days.

NaNoWriMo = a success. I told myself that I was going to use the month of November to get the lead out of my shorts and write a substantial amount of words for the novel that has been gathering dust in my brain. It took me a year and a half to write 70K words. It took me 29 days to write 50K. Yes, I am lazy. But that’s progress. If you’re a fledgling author, I would highly recommend the NaNo route for you next year. If you are highly motivated, as I was, you will automatically reserve a certain amount of time each day to write. I am hoping to continue with the regimen, but it’s hard to say. I have some personal issues that I must address shortly. (More on that later.) Plus, I’m lazy.

I used my real work time to play, so that I wouldn’t have to play once I started writing. This means I was on Facebook during the morning playing Scramble. For those who don’t know, Scramble is very addicting. If you like words, don’t go there; it will be hard to extricate yourself. Depending on the day, I would either leave the office at 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. and go home and write. Silence works best for me. Weekends, I wrote in the morning. Most of the sessions were at least three hours long, but I did have a few days where I marathoned about six hours.

The thing about NaNo-ing is that you have a lot of cheerleaders in your corner. Not only did I have trusted friends online urging me on to victory (like the Little Fluffy Cat, Rochester, Dr. B, Corina and others), I also had some real people giving me some good advice. I reached out and did some research, which got the people I spoke to excited for me. They actually want to read the story now, even though my novel is quite chicky and these are old guys. (Well, a little older than I am.) I needed to know how much a guy like this would make if he had an office and agency of a certain size, and they were very helpful. These two guys were actually very funny. I told them that my protagonist had a son who went to school in San Francisco. I told them about the no-good husband, and warned that he wasn’t my real husband, the dear Mr. Demonic. Then they asked me where the family lived, and I said “in my house.” They thought that was hilarious. Research is a good thing, especially if you’re clueless like me. Well, I knew about the story lines, the emotions. Being a mom, being a daughter. But the technical jazz, yes, I needed help. The NaNo people also send you emails to cheer you on. This was beneficial.

I think I have about ten chapters to go before I can wrap this puppy up. Yeah! My character is making a cross-country trek to California. She’s in Colorado now. She must go deep inside herself to find herself, after trauma. It turns out her son has to do the same thing. All ends well in San Francisco, which is where all should end well.

While thinking about the mom-son relationship, I got to thinking about the mom-daughter relationship. So, guess what? As soon as this book is put to bed (and the crazy novella I’ve been working on that just needs an ending), I’m starting another book. It will have a grandma, mom and teenage daughter, set in my northern Tundra town.

Oh. I’m so excited about that.

NaNo Update

Just passing by to let everyone and anyone who wants to know: 41K words +! Woo hoo! That means I’m about two chapters away from the goal.

The other good news is that I’m turning into the downhill portion of the book, meaning the end is in sight! I’m thinking of typing the words “The End” right about the end of December, especially if I keep going at this rate.

There IS a god! and it’s a writing god, too!


PS Blogging will resume on Monday. Have a nice holiday!

Introducing Grace the Dog

I recently adopted a Boston Terrier from their rescue. Here is Grace, the Dog:


She’s really a sweetheart. Maxx the cat is not impressed, but then again, I didn’t expect him to be.

OK, I’m going to the hospital, then back to the writing mines. See you in a few.

NaNoWriMo Update Day 7

Over 12,000 words so far!

I’m not really a machine, but I’m trying to get the bulk of the writing done before Mr. Demonic comes back to town tomorrow night. Then it will be payroll, holiday, limited Christmas shopping and playing with the new dog. (I forgot to tell you, I got a dog! Will post photos next week!)

Here’s another photo in the meantime. It’s Maxx. I’m reading all y’all, just not commenting all the time.