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.

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7.7.7 CHALLENGE- A Peek At My WIP

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No big surprise here … I was included in a 7.7.7 challenge by my good friend, Bill.  He’s mentioned so often on my blog, that I’m not sure an introduction is necessary.  But for anyone that doesn’t know Bill or hasn’t already check out his blog, you can do so now by clicking here.  Really, you should, because he posts some interesting things and is just a neat guy to know.  Besides, he’s working on his first thriller and I can guarantee you’ll want to grab a copy the minute that baby is released!

The 7.7.7 challenge is for the author to go to page 7 of their current WIP (work in progress), skip down to line 7 and then, share the next 7 lines of their manuscript with you.  Okay, I have to admit, I have several WIP …  all in various stages of completion.  I recently updated this blog to include the three that are somewhat, mildly, part of the way finished.  The upside to that?  At least I had choices of what to use in this challenge.  Oddly, I didn’t choose something from any of the three works that I have listed and sadly, I don’t have a name for this piece.

The following scene takes place at an airport baggage claim after two strangers meet on a plane and find out they are staying at the same Mexican Resort.

He stood, admiring her curves as she bent, tossing a layer of blonde hair over her shoulder while checking the nametag on the luggage. He hadn’t realized how pretty she was at first. His only intention had been to try and calm her from the knuckle clutch she had on the armrest. It wasn’t until she turned, the fear completely masking her face, that he noticed the cute indention on her chin. So taken with the beauty mark, he didn’t see the light dusting of freckles across the bridge of her nose or the matching caramel color of her eyes. But once he did, it was hard to look away and hard to hide the smile that kept creeping up.  Finally, he gave in and let it have its way.

Exactly at 7.7.7   What did you expect from a romance?

Since I’m terrible at nominating these things, I’m just going to link you to a couple friends whom have also done the challenge.  Make sure you check out their work, because they are truly some talented folks!

WC Cunningham, Writes – Just in case you didn’t click up on top, here it is again!

E.L. Wicker- A writers journey- E.L. just finished the final edits on her first novel.  This will be another one you wont want to miss.

Paige Randall, Finding the write way– You can’t go wrong with a girl who loves bourbon and has a wicked sense of humor.

7 Facts- One Lovely Blog Award

There seems to be a trend of these going around.  So far I’ve been nominated to  participate in four different kinds of blog tags/tours and while some may find them bothersome or annoying, I quite love reading everyone’s answers and finding out a little more about my writer friends. This nomination came from my friend Bill.  When Bill started following me on twitter, I saw one thing on his profile that caught my attention.  Whataburger.  Now if you’ve never had this southern delicacy, I’m sorry.  You are truly missing out on one of the best fast food hamburger joints around.  However, Bill and I have more in common other than our taste in food.  Both from the south, we migrated north and live in small-town communities where we share in our loathing of satellite internet.  Bill is currently working on his first thriller and if you’re not following his blog, you should be, because he’s an all around great guy to know.  W.C.Cunningham

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The rules of this blog hop type award are that I share 7 facts about myself, and links to 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. I’ll be honest, I’m terrible at nominating other blogs, because I never want anyone to feel pressured to participate.  However that doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue the trend.  So please, anyone that would like to join in the fun, do so.  I’d love to see your answers and would gladly link your post back to this blog.  I’d also appreciate a link back to mine.  Now what to do?  Share 7 facts about you that we don’t know, and nominate 15 blogs you like (we’ve already discussed this, you choose how you want to handle it.)

Here we go with 7 lovely facts about me:

1. I’ll probably have a few gasp here, but I don’t like chocolate.  Nope, not a fan.  Unless we are talking about Whoppers, which I can eat my own weight in.  No chocolate cake, pie, or ice cream for me.  It’s just never something that I acquired a taste for.  I’m a plain ol’ vanilla kind of girl.

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2. I find some of the most inappropriate things funny sometimes.  I should be ashamed, but I’m not.  I think it comes from the built up tension and stress from my day job.  I see, hear and deal with things and people that never seem to amaze me.  Just when I think I’ve heard every story imaginable, somehow someone still surprises me.  So no, nothing I come across ever really sends me into to shock and I’ve learned to take all the ill-humored things in life and laugh at them.  I don’t however embarrass my family and friends by sharing them all on Facebook.  I do put the claim on Pinterest though, so if you follow me there, it’s fair game and I can’t promise that it’s always going to be PG rated.

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3. I decorate cakes.  I’m no cake boss, but it’s something that I like to do.  During college, I worked nights in a bakery.  My duties were to get the production ready for the next day, however I was usually there by myself and had to learn to write on cakes for those that came in last minute and purchased one out of the ready made case.  Eventually the decorators began showing me other things and I found it was something that I enjoyed.

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4. I love traveling and taking road trips with my family. As I mentioned earlier, we live in a very small community.  At times the greater population can be a little judgmental and narrow minded (two traits I have little tolerance for). So, it’s important to me that my children know there is a whole big world full of different cultures, religions, thoughts and beliefs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love where I live.  Small-town life definitely has it’s perks and our area is absolutely beautiful.  I’d love nothing more for my boys to take root and raise their own families here, but I also want them to experience the bigger picture.

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   5. My husband and my paths weirdly crossed before we ever met.  Once upon a time in a small town in Kentucky, there was a brother and a sister who became doctors.  One went on to practice locally and delivered my husbands two brothers.  While the other somehow ended up in Texas and delivered me 🙂  Yep, before we ever knew each other, we had a connection.  We came about this bit of information after we were married and moved back to Kentucky, when the doctor in Texas passed away and my mom noticed that his obituary named a sister living in a neighboring Kentucky town of ours.  I asked my mother in law and she confirmed that the sister had delivered her two eldest sons.  I think it’s pretty neat.

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6. I always cry at weddings, funerals and any time I hear The Star Spangled Banner.  I can’t help it, trust me, I try not to tear up and it never works.  It doesn’t matter who the people are or what type of event I’m at, a few tears will fall.  It’s kind of funny and amusing because I’m normally quite the opposite, especially at work, but those three things get me every time.

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7.  I have a wide variety of taste in books and music.  I’ll read just about anything.  I love any variation of romance from the clean and sweet to the more dark and erotic tales.  I easily get lost in a good thriller and true crime stories and I very much enjoy memoirs.  My taste in music is the same.  My phone is cluttered with an array of styles and genres. One moment I may be listening to Hank Jr. or Keith Whitley and the next Eminem.  I was introduced to Olivia Newton John, The Oak Ridge Boys, Donna Fargo, and Elvis at an early age.  I listened to a lot of Alabama while in grade school until the big hair bands took off and then I went on a binge of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, White Snake, and Poison.  Around middle school I was introduced to R&B and I am still a huge fan of Jodeci.  These days I listen to a lot of the newer country. Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr, Brantley Gilbert, Colt Ford and Cole Swindell are all on my playlist.  Some of my other loves, Bruno Mars, Jeremih, Nickelback, Pink, Phil Collins, Rihanna, and Staind.  I’ll even venture off to southern rock, classical, and even some Celtic stuff on occasion.

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That concludes my contribution to The One Lovely Blog Award. Below you’ll find some great folks that have contributed as well.  I hope you’ll take a look because they are some amazing and talented people.

W.C. Cunningham, Writes

E.L. Wicker, A Writers Journey

Aether House, Writing and Life By Michelle Iannantuono

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