HELLO DECEMBER

Hello DecemberI did it!  I made it through and “won” NaNoWriMo.  I’ll admit the idea of writing an entire novel within a month was a little scary, but exciting at the same time.  Having never participated before, I wasn’t sure what to expect and hadn’t given it much consideration, but I’d been dwaddling around in a couple of projects with nothing really keeping my attention and then this new story kept screaming at me.  Determined not to start anything new until I finished one of the other’s up, I kept putting it off and then everyone kept talking about NaNo and I said, what the heck.  I jumped on the idea at the last moment.  Literally, I signed up on October 31st.  NaNo began November 1.  But even then I ended up a few days behind.  I didn’t write anything the first two days.  I can’t now remember what was going on, but I knew going into it that writing every day wasn’t going to be an option. Like everyone else, I have work and family obligations that keep me from it, but I was hopeful that I could do it.  Okay, I was determined!

Starting off, things went very well.  I made a few contacts and my word count was always more than needed.  I was excited and thought, man this is easy.  Then week three rolled around and my oldest child got sick.  And not with a twenty-four hour bug or a little cold.  He had a terrible case of bronchitis.  In fact, today was his first day back to school in more than two weeks.  I’m not sure if that’s what threw me off or if it was a combination of missing  and playing catch up at work, running to doctors visits, and planning the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Whatever it was, my writing suffered.  I don’t think I made my word count any of those days and what I did tapd out, was pretty rough.  Basically I was throwing out lines just to meet a count and it wasn’t very good.  As week four rolled around, I wasn’t all that hopeful.  I hosted Thanksgiving this year, so I knew I’d need to spend Wednesday evening baking and Thursday was gone.  But again, I was willing to give it my all.

There are things I both love and loathed about NaNo.  I love the community and support you receive.  Frustrated? Tweet it, tagging #NaNoWriMo and you’re sure to get a little support or advice (some followers too). Make it to a certain goal, shout that out.  You’ll have all sorts of congrats coming your way.  Those little things help, they do, and they were very much appreciated.  The awesome E.L. Wicker, who also participated and won, was very supportive (Her debut novel, Fractured Immortal releases December 21st and can be pre-ordered now, by the way :).  Our good friend Bill, checked in regularly with words of encouragement.  Julie Stock, gave us a little push at the end, and when I was really having a bad day, DJPM was there cheering me on.  These are just a few of the wonderful people who kept me motivated and made my first NaNo experience something to remember.  I also met Laurajay.  Who I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of her work.  She didn’t quite make her goal, but she’s close and let me tell you, the girl is talented.  I’ll seriously cry if she bums out on me and doesn’t finish her story.  She’s a copy editor, mostly non-fiction, and has generously offered to take a peek at my current work, even if it’s for proofreading purposes.  Hello!  Um, have I ever mentioned that I think comma’s are the anti-Christ?  I know that’s where my weakness lies and her offer is truly invaluable. Besides, I’m already in love with her post-apocalyptic romance.

But with the good, also comes the bad.  I pretty much ignored most forms of social media for the month of November.  I skipped reading blogs and didn’t scan my twitter feed except for checking in with those listed above.  I stopped reading and quit listening to music.  I didn’t even catch a full Kentucky basketball game the entire month.  When I wasn’t tending to family stuff, I was writing, even when it wasn’t always easy.  By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, my body let me know that it wasn’t very happy with me.  My back, shoulders, legs, elbows, hands, basically everything hurt.  I was tired and antsy and yet I trooped on.  Honestly, had I not had those few days surrounding Thanksgiving off from work it probably wouldn’t have happened and had I not hosted Thanksgiving and had all those leftovers, I probably would have been more stressed with the idea of having to cook for the family. While my guys lounged around and watched movies Friday and Saturday, I camped out on the couch and typed my fingers off.  I gave up with about fifteen hundred words to go around midnight on Saturday.  To the point of exhaustion, I just couldn’t do it anymore.  Four o’clock Sunday morning, I apparently felt differently, because I was up in full force, with renewed energy and ideas.  Those fifteen hundred words flew out effortlessly and with my word count validated, I shut my laptop and said that I was taking a break.  A week, maybe two.  No writing or editing, just some time to refocus for the edits and catch up on things I’ve neglected.

Yesterday, I laid on the couch and watched TV.  I didn’t go to my sisters like I normally do.  I helped my big guy start working on some of his make-up work.  I caught a basketball game, listened to music while I took a walk, I took a nap and I read.  Not one, but two books (okay, they were very short novellas) and by the end of the day, my fingers were itching to open my laptop back up.  Yep, I’m all ready to dive back in.  I haven’t-yet anyways. I’m still holding out and hoping that a few days away will jump start my gusto when I do begin.  I’ve been promising two friends that I was going to read their books and I still have some feedback that I’d like to send Laurajay.  So, yeah, I’m trying to give it at least a week.  We’ll see 🙂

Overall, NaNoWriMo was good for me.  I needed the little push and drive to make me maintain focus and finish up my second novel.  It’s still rough in places and needs some thorough editing, but I have something to work with.  Will I do it again?  Maybe, but I’m not going to commit just yet.  It takes a lot to write an entire novel within thirty days, so I will have to see where I am next year before I decide.

Congratulations to everyone who participated and thank you NaNo, I now have another completed manuscript ready for editing.

Winner-2014-Web-Banner

What do I do now?

I can officially say Drive Me Sane is a finished novel. Yep, it’s a completed project. No more editing, no more pondering whether everything runs smoothly or if my editor is going to like my changes. I received an ARC copy last night and got the high resolution copy of the cover today. It’s even listed as an upcoming release on Crimson Romance’s website (July 28th).  All I’m left with, is one final chance to look at it in egalley form before it’s sent off.  And so, the hard part now starts. Getting it out there for people to see and hopefully read (and enjoy!).

I keep saying that I’m going to write a post on things I’ve learned (because I’ve learned a lot), and I will. At some point when all the hoopla wears off. But I will go ahead and throw this out there. I’m a loner. When I say that, I mean, no one other than my husband and one close friend knew I was writing a book. I think my mom and sister knew I was playing around with it, but really didn’t grasp that I was taking it serious until I got the request to send in my manuscript (that’s a whole other story that I’d like to tell). Co-workers were shocked and I think I really threw my boss for a loop when I took my contract in for him to review.  So essentially, no one has read my novel, except the editors I’ve worked with and that is one of my biggest regrets. I do wish I had shared it with at least one person. Because there is a lot of personal information you need to give about yourself through this process and also points you need to make about your book and it would have greatly helped if I’d had another set of eyes that could have given me some input. Now I’m on the brink of it being released and I’m a nervous wreck about how it’s going to be perceived. So I broke down and sent my ARC copy to my mom. She’s not a reader and she loves me, so I’m not all that hopeful that I’ll get an honest review. And to be honest, I ‘m a little nervous about her reading it (not sure how she’s going to like some of the language and sexy scenes).  So learning to share and making some contacts that are willing to give me early reviews are two of the things I’ve learned that I need to do differently next time.  Again, it’s been an experience and I know a little about what to expect.

But what do I do now? Now, I finish up one of my other WIP and hope I get lucky enough again to have someone interested in it.

DriveMeSane Cover

MY BRAIN HAS TOO MANY TABS OPEN

Unfortunately it’s true! But I’m not complaining. It’s the way I work. When I have something on my mind, it goes in a hundred different directions until I sort it all out. Right now, I’m sorting a lot out. Working full-time, the end of the school year for my boys, race season for my husband, vacation at the end of the month and putting the final touches on Drive Me Sane.

I turned in the requested edits last Saturday. It’s now in the hands of a copy editor, who will go over it with a fine tooth comb. I’m always a little nervous when I know someone else is looking at it. I have the compulsion to read it over again to see if I can spot any mistakes and as hard as it is, I don’t. The desire is still there though, which I guess is a good thing. In an editing workshop I took, the instructor said “you must love your story.” That’s the truth, because you’ll be reading it a lot. Last week alone, I read it five times. It was many late nights, quick dinners and days were my husband really stepped up to the plate. I’m roughly seven weeks out from the release date. I got a peek at the cover today and while I can’t share it just yet, I’m pleased with how it looks. The hard part starts now. Getting the word out. This more than anything makes my stomach knot. My husband keeps saying “Writing the book was the hard part.” No! No! That was easy. All I had to do was satisfy myself. Now I’m hoping that I can satisfy and bring enjoyment to others. This has been a learning experience for sure (A post on that to come later.) Some good, some bad. However, seeing my name on the bottom of the cover today, made it all worth while. I wrote a book. A book that’s going to be published and that’s something to be proud of.

DREAMS DO COME TRUE

 “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The past week and a half has been a wirlwind for me.  I got the best Mothers Day news.  Well it was a day late, but I’m still counting it as a gift; because anytime one of your dreams come true, it is a gift.  I haven’t shared much of my personal life.  Among many other things, I write.  I’ve never used the term author (it feels funny), but I’m happy to say that I can now add that to my list of titles.  My first novel, Drive Me Sane, was acquired by Crimson Romance and already has a tentative eBook release date of July 28th.  So yeah, it’s been a week of contracts and edits and updating profiles.  This has come at me a little quicker than I anticipated. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time.   I’m still  living on cloud nine- actually hope to come down soon so that I can accomplish some much needed work 🙂

So to celebrate my new adventure and the support that I’ve already received from friends and family on my new author facebook page, I’ve doing a little giveaway.  Check out the page for rules and details. www.facebook.com/denarogerswrites 

And for any of my author friends that may be interested, Crimson Romance is currently accepting submissions.  They’re looking for talented authors with fresh voices and engaging stories.  Check out thieir submission guidelines: http://www.crimsonromance.com/submissions/