Looking Ahead

NanoWrimo is over. Do not get hung up on whether you “won” but instead take the time to celebrate the effort.

For me, November’s event was about adding fresh words and perspective to an existing work. It was also about shaking off my non-writing funk and jumping back on the writing/editing horse. Like school, writing is one of those things, that can be kind of hard to focus on when dealing with the daily hustle and bustle of work and family life. NanoWrimo provided the opportunity for me to reinvigorate my passion for writing words.

I hope this same passion was reawakened in you.

Looking ahead, my new goal is to have revision for this book done by January 1st. Yes, I am solidifying a date in hopes it will help me from dragging along.

Things I learned from NanoWrimo this year included:
1. Revisions done in different locations can offer a needed boost.
2. Writing partners are key to my motivation.
3. I have so many ideas and stories to share, that I really want to develop a better way to manage all the crazy in my head:)

What did you learn from Nano?

NanoWrimo: 2014 Inspiration

So I, like many of my writing friends, am taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NanoWrimo) this year. I have participated since 2008 and actually won in 2012.

This year, I am revising, rewriting, and rebuilding a novel that I started in February 2013. I have a had an interesting journey with this novel. It’s a NASciFi piece that I finished as part of a Nano-like competition. It was the first book I fast drafted and completed in a month. It has been through several revisions, was the first book I outlined, and is a book with a series already outlined:)

My big goal with getting involved with NanoWrimo this year was about latching on to inspiration. I really want to latch on to this book, retool it and push it out in the world because I think it ROCKS!

So when seeking inspiration to getting my writing juices flowing, I look to the author of The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer.

Marissa Meyer began my favorite book series as a nano book! Read about her excellent Nanowrimo journey here.

My biggest take away from her story is that most of what she wrote for The Lunar Chronicles had to be scrapped but that writing all those words served as a great road map.

As I am working on yet another set of revisions for Cycles, I am encouraged thinking of the long journeys writers take. It takes many revisions to get to publication and I am excited to be on this journey.

December Goals

I originally posted this on the Dec-Oct Livejournal:

It has been a while since I posted, and I desperately need to post and get these goals out there. This quarter of grad school ended this past Sunday and gives me a 2 week break (1 of which is a vacation week from work!). So I feel the following goals should be obtainable:

1. Finish edits to Cycles. I sent this novel off to an editor for review because I need a little more than what my CPs were offering and she sent me 4 pages of great stuff! I love this novel – so much that I couldn’t get vested in my Nano project. I want to finish this book – need to finish this book:)
2. Write four blog posts for January. I really have to start building a little blog bank for myself because school and work are now draining my energy.

What are your December goals?

Nanowrimo: After November

You wrote your heart out and now you have something shiny and new. Well, I will be honest – I did not win (in the tradition 50K words nano winning!). However, I did start on a new book and shelved it to do edits on a book I started on in February (via a nano like event!).

My goal in December is to finalize my February book. I do not want to send anything out in the world that is not perfect and that I feel is not conveying the story that I want to tell. In regards to my Nanowrimo story – it is shelved. It will not be forgotten because as soon as these edits are done, the November book will see light again.

What are your post nano plans? Share in the comments below:


Nanowrimo Day 11: Momentum

There are many mornings, especially this morning, that I question why I am still doing this.

Don’t get me wrong, I am doing cartwheels because we have made it to week 2 and I have words on the page. Considering I changed books, this is awesome!

But I am extremely busy with work, the kids, and grad school –  why am I trying to finish a 50K novel in 30 days?

I am trying to finish 50K in 30 days because I have a story inside of me that is bursting to come out. I have built an awesome world filled with drugs, action, and fighting. I want to make this story perfect and share it with the world.

This makes me want to  push forward because at the end of November I will have a novel. At the end of November, I will be steps closer to sharing my words with the world.

That makes all the stress worth it:)

How are you progressing on your novel? Share in the comments below:


Nanowrimo Day 7: Changing the Game

Well, I tried!

I outlined, wrote character summaries, and got a few days into Nanowrimo – but I couldn’t make this story stick. I could not stop thinking about the book I had out with the editor and subsequently the detailed summary of changes needed to be made. When I went to work, drove through town, and even set the dinner table, I thought of Cycles and not my nano work.

Thus, a change has to be made.  I am now putting the nano work on the shelf and going back to Cycles. I really have to tell this story! I love this world and the editing process has just re-energized me. I will still participate in nano (heck I may even add another 50K to Cycles!). I love nano and the kick in the pants it gives authors in November to WRITE!

How is your novel coming? Share in the comments below:

Nanowrimo Prep: Get to know your characters

After you complete you decide on an idea and outline how you see your novel break down, it is time to introduce yourself to your characters.

For my stories, I start with my main characters. I ask myself the following questions:

1. Who is this person (where was she born, does she have an accent, what is her nationality)?

2. What is her motivation in this novel (revenge, love, greed)?

3. Where do I WANT her character to end up. (I highlight the word want because as a writer I recognize this may change once the story unfolds and the character truly presents his/her true self)?

I then take this information and write a little snippet. It is like a scene that introduces me to character via the questions above. Sometimes these items get implemented into the story but many times I just use these stories as a reference point when trying to flesh out the character.

How do you get to know your characters? Share in the comments below:


Nanowrimo Prep: Outlining

After you have decided on an idea, the best step is to outline. I used to be a pantser, but never succeeded in my National Novel Writing Month goes. I would find myself stuck at mid-month, get frustrated, and then shelve the project. However this changed with Campnano.

During this summer version of Nanowrimo, I finished my first novel and it was because I sketched out what I wanted to do with my novel. I learned that I needed a shell – and this has served me well (unintentional rhyme!). I usually shoot for a 12 chapter outline. This is not set in stone! I started with a 12 chapter outline for my last book and ended up with a 26 chapter book once the novel was done.

For my current Nano project, I wrote a little blurb (summary) of what the story will be. Then I outline 10 chapters. I have a clear introduction to the character, a defining action for each chapter, and the ending. For me, I have to know the ending even though this may change as I write.
Outlining this story has really made me eager to begin this project. I can see the story taking shape and ideas just keep flowing in.

Do you outline for nano? Share your strategy in the comments below:




Campnano Day 15: Inspiration


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*********

Letting Go


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.