Wednesday, October 17, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

Ahhh, fall! Football, cooler temperatures, World Series, fairs and festivals, Halloween, Thanksgiving and NaNoWriMo. What?! YES! It is NaNoWriMo time of year! National Novel Writing Month is the time when writers will lock themselves into their writing spaces and for one month, November 1st to November 30th, and attempt to write a novel of 50,000 words or more emerging only for a brief period to gnaw on a turkey leg and say hello to Uncle Joe and Aunt Fanny.

This is a great opportunity for writers to practice writing. It's like practicing scales in music. NaNoWriMo is not about proofreading or editing. It is not about using a dictionary or thesaurus. It is just writing. What you get, if you finish, is a rough, very rough, 1st draft. And in theory it is realistic to meet. After all, 50,000 words is only 1667 words per day.

The website for more information and lots of goodies is You will see a whole list of published novels that sprang from this. Water for Elephants is one that comes to mind. Also, the rules are listed there but as a synopsis I borrowed this bullet list from Christine Powell Gomez on the Write Now Facebook page (a great group of writers and very supportive). Here is Christine's list:

•Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
•Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people’s works).
•Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you’re writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
•Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
•Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
•Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.

You have 14 days to go buy you candy for Halloween, plan your menu for Thanksgiving, and get your outline and character sketches done!

I participated last year and have 30,000 words into an untitled novel that I will continue to work on until it is finished. This year I'm focused on completing Murder at the Primrose Inn so I will not be participating. However, for those of you who need encouragement, a cheering squad, a butt kicker, I'm here for you! Good luck!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Novel update

So, I thought I'd take a break from, well, everything and touch base on my blog. Aside from the typical insanity of my life - a two-year-old, two BIG yellow dogs, a "fixer" house, church knitting group and needlepoint group, book club, writer's group, my "projects", housework and trying to find a blood pressure medication that won't make me dizzy or make my legs swell up - I have been diligently working on my novel. The working title is Murder at the Primrose Inn. I'm not good with titles so I don't know if it sucks or not. We'll see. Anyway, I'm just over 10,000 words. I know it doesn't sound like much, but I've rewritten my novel from the beginning and I've edited at least three times 8000 of those words. I promise I will finish it.

Something I discovered, thanks to Kyle Martin a member of my Wordmongers writer's group and a talented writer himself, was that the reason my first draft of my novel sucked, was because I didn't know my introductory character. What could I do? I scrapped what I had written (which means I moved it to a different folder) and I took an afternoon to get to know Walter Martin. See, when characters come to me with their story, I assume that they are the main character. In this case, that was not so. Oh, the character who came to me is interesting and fantastic, but she plays only a small part in this tapestry of intrigue. Walter, I came to realize, is truly a dynamic, three-dimensional man with depths that we will only begin to see in Murder at the Primrose Inn. In fact, I discovered that the "problem" I'm having with my other novel is that I'm trying to write a character that doesn't really fit. Why? I asked myself. The reason is that Walter is the character that needs to cross into my other novel. As an added bonus, Walter has such a tremendous back story, that it could be a novel in and of itself! So thank you, Kyle, for telling me my story sucked!! Please check out Kyle's site at

Amanda, another member of the Wordmongers group, shared with me an ebook by Kristen Lamb Are You There Blog, It's Me, Writer. Very helpful in kicking me in the butt to write something everyday even if you don't feel like it. Amanda is another amazing writer working on her YA novel titled Paragon. A big frowny face here because Amanda recently relocated and left us Wordmongers to monger without her. I am in awe of her. She has multiple off-spring and manages to spend more time writing than I do with only one! Please check out her blog at I've had the pleasure and honor to critique her first chapters of Paragon and it will be a smash hit when it is finished!

Anyway, it is time to pack the diaper bag and wake the Little Man from his morning nap. It is church needlepoint group time and the babysitter bailed due to illness so he has to come with me this time. I'm sure everyone will be delighted that he came and brought his fire engine complete with siren!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The Next Big Thing!


This is part of an author’s blog tour. Each author who is tagged has the privilege of answering 10 questions about their current work-in-progress. I am honored to have been tagged by Amanda Harms. You can see the link to Amanda’s blog at the end of this post. I’ve included links to other writers blogs you might enjoy. After reading about my “Next Big Thing” be sure to check out the other authors to see what their NEXT BIG THING is!

 What is the working title of your book?

The working title of the book is Murder at the Primrose Inn. I’m sure it will change; I just don’t know what to yet. I seem to struggle with titles.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

It came from one of the characters in my book. That’s how most of my stories come to me; they are presented by characters who need their story told. Sometimes they come to me in dreams, sometimes they come to me while I’m doing something mundane like washing dishes. Ironically, this character is not turning out to be the main character. They usually are.

 What genre does your book fall under?

My book is a murder mystery suspense novel. I love reading them and so, naturally, I’m comfortable writing in that vein.

 What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

That’s a difficult question to answer. To me, each of my characters has a very specific look and personality. They are very real. Trying to put someone else into their place is difficult.

 What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Retired cop, and private detective, Walter Martin is hired by the innkeeper of the Primrose Inn when one of his guests, the wealthy Baron Nigel van Rojin, is found dead in his bed.

 Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

 I would LOVE to be traditionally published so I will submit it to agencies for representation. If no one picks it up then I will likely self-publish. I am reminded by a member of my writer’s group that J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected a number of times before it was picked up by a publisher. I’m not that patient.

 How long did it take you to write the first-draft of your manuscript?

 I am still working on the first-draft. It germinated for a while and then I started writing it but had to put it down. It was stuck. Recently, I pulled it back out to work on it some more but had to toss out most of what I had written and started over again. I’ve been working on it, off and on, for about a year. I hope to get a first draft done by the end of the year.

 What other books would you compare to this story to within the genre?

Definitely Agatha Christie’s works are a good comparison to what I want to write. I just hope I can live up to that!

 Who or what inspired you to write this book?

 I’ve always had the writing bug, ever since I was a little girl. My father and my husband have been very encouraging in my writing. They would like to see me fulfill my life-long dream.

 What else about your book might pique your readers’ interest?

I like puzzles and patterns – sudoku, jumbles, jigsaw, challenging knitting patterns, needlepoint and embroidery. I also like cooking – layering herbs and spices, mixing and matching flavors, and bringing everything out with perfect timing. I write like that. My book is a puzzle that can be solved by looking at the patterns and hopefully the words and language make a wonderful meal.


I was tagged by Amanda Harms

Tag Kyle Martin! Your next!

 Check out Angel Zapata


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

So, I'm supposed to be writing but I'm having a hard time finding time. Does anyone else have this problem? Baby up from 11:30 pm to 2:00 am last night. We, my husband and I, get up at 5:30 am. My husband leaves for work at 6:45 am which is supposed to start my writing time. Baby up at 7:00 am wanting breakfast, but not feeling well.

Tuesdays and Thursdays the Little Man goes to Play School for four hours, which is writing time. Not today. Today he went to the doctor only to discover his crankiness was due to an ear infection. The doctor's visit (that took 2 hours) was followed by a trip to the pharmacy (half an hour) for antibiotic and the grocery store (45 minutes) for sick baby foods.

Finally it was nap time (possible writing time) but was struck with a migraine. I ended up napping with the Little Man until my husband got home. Then it's cooking dinner, eating dinner, cooking a second dinner for the Little Man who did not like the first dinner, cleaning up after dinner.

So, what happens now that it is between dinner time and bedtime? Writer's block! So, I'm throwing this out there to anyone else who has challenges (or a two-year-old) during the day that delay your writing time and how do you overcome your writer's block?