Campnano Day 29: The end

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April has been crazy. In the middle of my day to day family obligations, I have been deciphering items for stats class, dealing with things breaking down in my home, buying a new car, and oh yeah – writing a picture book series!

Tomorrow marks the last day of campnanowrimo. There is special place in my heart for camp because although I had participated in nanowrimo for five years, I had yet to officially meet my goal. That all changed when I participated in Campnano June 2012. Full of focus and encouragement from my cabin mates, I finished my first book. From there I knew I could do this – I could actually focus and write a book.

I am 1482 words away from my goal. By the end of this month I should have 10 picture books complete in my series. I am excited! This was new territory for me and writing a children’s picture book is HARD!

For everyone still trying to make there goal by midnight tomorrow: do not be discouraged. If you do not make your goal, it does not make you a failure. You have already won by committing to step outside the box and write a book – how many people can say that.

For those close to the finish line, don’t stop. Push forward until you reach the end, you’ll be glad you did.

Are you reaching your novel goals? Comment below:)

***Also, I participate in the “I don’t like Monday’s” blog hop. Check out the other awesome writers!*******

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Liebster Award

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After a whirlwind Tuesday, I recieved awesome news: I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Rebecca McKeown. Check out her awesome blog here: http://rebeccamckeownwrites.com/

According to internet reports:
Once tagged, if you want to participate, create a post in which you will share the instructions, link back to the blog who nominated you, and nominate your own set of 3-5 nominees, keeping in mind the goal of the award! Then be sure to let them know on their blog that you have nominated them.

A cool factoid is that I am to nominate blogs I enjoy: especially the new ones. Take it from me, doing a weekly blog is a lot of work. I feel its my duty to spread the love to some of my fellow hard working bloggers!

My nominations are:

One of the most informative writing blogs:
Carissa Taylor http://carissa-taylor.blogspot.com/

A Funny Parenting Blog (note the word Funny)
Diary of a Reluctant Mother (Deni Lynn Miller) http://denimiller.com/

A good blog on varied toppings (compassion, biracial parenting, EVERYTHING!)
Rochelle Fritsch http://thelatearrival.blogspot.com/

Campnano Day 22: Perserverance

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We all have those days. It’s like you are a running – the finish line is in sight but you begin to get tired. Your energy becomes sapped, you want a little water, and all you can think about is stopping.

As you slow down, preparing to drop to the ground in defeat, you look at the finish line again. There were people that told you that you would not finish. Heck, you didn’t even think you would make it this far! Now when you focus on the finish line again there is a rush of oxygen to your head, your legs feel stronger, and you feel yourself rushing towards the finish – you are going to make it!

When you write, especially during campnano, your are running a race. You have a goal to meet by the end of the month to put words on the page. Many things will happen to deter you. This month kids spray painted vulgar words on my sidewalk, the kids have ALWAYS had something to do, and the Stats monster has come to claim me. Halfway through the month I wanted to throw in the towel but I perserved. I saw the finish line and got a second win. I am 3000 words away from meeting my 10 story goal for my picture book series. This is a major accomplishment for me.

If you are finding yourself on the verge on quitting, please push forward. The end is near and the world truly needs you to finish your story. We want to hear it.

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Campnano Day 19: Passion (or what Fantasia taught me)

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To be honest, I really have not watched American Idol in a long time.

Last night, I was doing homework and flipping channels and decided to stop. I am sort of familiar with the girls in the top five so I figured I would see who was voted off. I am so happy I tuned in. Last night Fantasia sang a song that showed me with passion and artistry is all about. Is you have not seen it, please watch this performance of Fantasia “Lose to Win” on American Idol Thursday night:

Wow. I hit rewind several times just to take in the words to the song and note how she conveyed the emotion behind each and every one. In that moment it hit me – this is what we do as writers – convey passion.

Whenever I read something, I am looking to be moved. I want to laugh, I want to cry – I want to feel SOMETHING. I believe that was the greatest lesson I learned from writing when I first started as a journalist – that my words had power. People would stop me while I was on assignment or when I was in stores to tell me that my pieces encouraged them, enraged them, or gave them hope. There was power in my words. There was power in what I had written.

The best thing that we can do for our stories and for our characters is to let our passion bleed through. Let the readers feel what we feel. Move them. Your stories will be better for it.

Campnano Day 15: Inspiration

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I thought my head would explode this Saturday. I had hoped to write most of the day on my Campnano novels but life, in the form of allergies, got the best of me. I sat at my computer staring blankly waiting for something to happen – other than my sneezing. When I was on the verge of giving up, my five year old daughter runs in to a room with a Minnie Mouse dress on and a sticker over her right eye saying “I’m a pirate – prepare to walk the plank!”

Inspiration hit!

For me, this created another short story for the picture book series I’m writing. I have five more stories to go to reach my 10 book goal. Through the simple act of playing with my child and really getting to know her, she has inspired so much greatness to happen.

I know many people are writing children’s books and my question to you is where are you pulling your inspiration from – your childhood, your children, kids in the neighborhood. What inspires you as you write?

******I’m part of the I don’t like Monday’s Blog Hop. Check it out*********
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Grafitti

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I totally want a do over for my weekend. It was filled with things that drained my energy and gave me the blues.

1. I possibly sprained my finger and had to buddy band it.
2. I did not understand anything related to my stats homework.
3. Bored kids wrote foul language on several driveways on my street with hard to remove liquid chalk (and you know my house was one of the houses).

Between all the scrubbing and popping Tylenol for pain, writing this weekend – especially Sunday was a no go for me. I tried my hardest to think of the little girl on adventures with her blanket and a talking fish but I could not focus.

What I could think about was an evil witch who catches to trouble making teens and wooshes them to another dimension where they have to fight colorful squiggly line creature that are incapable of dying. See how I just created a story plot from my life!

So that is my writing lesson for today – sometimes life will hand you crazy things. A good writer knows how to shape these things into something amazing. Don’t fear the graffiti; recognize the art.

How was your weekend?

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Letting Go

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In June of 2012 I wrote a book that was very close to my heart.

It was a story that was outlined the previous year and worked on via Nanowrimo 2011 but the story had been brewing for many years. I knew these characters. They spoke to me and I spoke to them. When I finished the book I was ecstatic and began the process of revisions and letting others read it.

And then I discovered it was a typical first book. Full of mistakes and the story just needed something more. I put it aside in February and began to write something fun while still trying to revise book number one. I would constantly make weekly goals and then monthly goals and then no goals.

Yes, as of April 1st I have officially tabled this project.

What does this mean? Does it mean I don’t love this book anymore. Does it mean that it will wither and day. Quite the contrary. It hit me last month that to make this story better – I need to let it go. I had held on to this story for so long that I never truly let it breathe. And I really need to find a way to give it a new life – thus I am taking a break from it.

I look forward to possibly coming back to my first book during the summer or during the fall. As for now, I have a Science Fiction book that has flowed together perfectly. I also have a picture book idea I’m working on during Campnanowrimo as well as multiple stickies full of book series ideas and outlines on my computer.

I have plenty to do – I just needed to learn what I had to let go of.

Are you ready for camp?

2013-Participant-Campfire-Circle-BadgeA little girl, a unicorn, and a pink blanket comprise my latest project.

This month, I along with many others will embark on Campnanowrimo. Unlike Nanowrimo, which is held in November, you can work on whatever – group of short stories, novellas, scripts. Also, this year you set your own word count.

For the aforementioned children’s book, I am aiming for 30K this month. I feel that should yield some decent Picture Books.

I’m pretty excited. This was an idea that I’ve had since January and put in the idea file. Of course, its something I’ve never done before but I think it’s going to be loads of fun.

I have a soft spot for Campnanowrimo because it’s where I finished my first novel. After participating in Nano for 4 years I never completed anything. Yet, I participated in Campnanowrimo the summer of 2012 and struck gold!

For more info on camp, visit: http://www.campnanowrimo.org

What are you working on for Campnanowrimo? How did you prepare?

 

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