Who’s Doing NaNoWriMo?

For all you writers out there, who is thinking about or fully committed to participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) or just who should be fully committed?  🙂

Some might think those of us who join in the chaos of writing 50,000 words in 30 days need to be in the loony bin but I, for one, am totally psyched about it and counting down the days till the writing frenzy begins.

Those of you who are going for it, let me know and I will help to get you prepared beforehand, will cheer you on during the madness and have a throw down dance party extravaganza in your honor when you reach that finish line before the deadline.  I’m making my list of one handed snacks needed, will be fully stocked on caffeine for the mornings and late nights, as well as a nice sweet red and extra sharp cheddar when I feel the need for a little liquid courage or a celebration for reaching my daily word count goals.

So, who’s with me?!  We are gonna rock the clock!  Deadlines?  No problem.  Daily word count goals?  No problem.  Missing sleep?  I’ll be right there with you.  Bloodshot eyes?  Got Visine on hand to help you out.

33 days, baby!

To Camp or Not to Camp

Camp Nano, that is.  Camp Nanowrimo to be exact.  Contemplating my final decision on this and jotting down my thoughts as I decide.

Have I signed up, yet?  Yes.  Some of you may know me well enough by now that I like to bite off a bit more than I can chew.  I come from this kind of stock.  My mother is the same way.  Stubborn.  Hard-headed.  Doesn’t listen.  Goes off in 20 directions at once, full throttle, no stopping until your body or brain stop functioning properly, or both.  We always have too much on our To-do lists, although I take the lead with the list making, as I’m a diehard-write-it-all-down in a planner or small note pad/ledger list maker.  I even do the sticky notes.  All over the place.  Partly, because I’m senile and I’ll forget 10 seconds after I thought of it.  Anyway, I digress.

I signed up with the best of intentions.  Yes, I know where the road of good intentions lead.  Thing is, I get so super-duper uber excited when I think about the 31 days of juicy and delicious chaotic manic creative insane hair-pulling sleep-depriving writing frenzy.  As if I don’t have enough on my plate right now causing sleep deprivation.

I worked from home for a year.  I needed more money fast so I got a law office job from hell.  Worked with Satan’s minions for what, 1.5 months?  And really, that was too long.  I was desperate.  What can I say.  Turned up my work-at-home contracts and got my rear in gear and got myself out of hell.  Sort of a long story but I can save that for another day.  So now, one contract here.  One contract there.  Another to begin today or tomorrow maybe.  A fourth to start Monday and I’m working my fingers to the bone.  I have an option for a 5th contract but I really do need to get some sleep at some point.  Even my laptop can’t handle the pressure.  It’s falling apart and it’s only a year old but then my kiddo did step on it, so that might have something to do with it.

As you can see, my conundrum is too much work and not enough play nor sleep nor sunshine makes Carol a dull girl and exhausted.  So, my goal for the following  7 days will be to decide which contracts to keep and which to maybe set aside and put on hold until I need them again.  I will establish my work hours for 8-10 hours per day M-F instead of 12 or 18 hrs and I will make (yes, I said make) the time for my creative outlet.  When I don’t make time to write, I become this sad, angry, tired, feeling old sort of person who’s all about work-work-work.  I mean, I make time for family, just no time for me.  I know when I do the Camp Nano thing, I still feel tired and feel a little old and honestly, dragging around like a zombie sort of person but there’s more excitement and fun and wonder in the midst of my bedraggledness (yeah, I just made that a word).

So, okay, I’ll do it.  I will make a plan.  And hopefully stick to it.  And I will participate every day during Camp Nano in July and try to find 5 minutes to hang out with my cabin mates, but not gonna promise on that one.  Not enough hours in the day.  Know what I mean?  And I’ll try to make more time for my blog.  Remember when I posted every day?  I need to get back to posting at least once a week.  We’ll see what happens.

Oh, and I found out a few days ago that you can request some of your previous bunk mates and/or camping friends from other bunks to join you in your cabin this go-round.

If you happen to be carvin’ out time to do the Camp, as well, shoot me a message here or at camp.

http://campnanowrimo.org/campers/carol-blake

And good luck to you in all your endeavors whether you join us at camp or not.

Lata!

-Carol

*squishy hug*

Camp Nano – Stick a Fork In Me, I’m Done

2014-Winner-Facebook-Cover

It was fun

Now I’m done

Yea me

I had a blast

Writing as fast

As can be

What comes next

Is anybody’s guess

Rewrite

After 30 days

Fingers ablaze

Good night

Okay, I just wanna say I am excited even if I don’t sound like it.  I did spit out over 10,000 words, which was my goal (10,587 to be exact), so I’m pretty stoked about that.  What comes next is the arduous task of reorganizing everything, cutting and pasting into chapters, as the first 37,000 words were in some semblance of organization, the last 20,000+ are pretty much straight up (as my friend Winter says) “just say stuff word vomit.”  Actually, I had a pretty good flow going, but being hurried, I just typed it and figured I’d reorganize everything later, so I get May to “play.”

Just a heads up, I’m not as finished with this book as I thought I was.  However, reorganizing and revising will help to show me what pieces need finishing and I’m setting May 31 as my big finish book deadline.  Reorg, revise, rewrite, proof, polish, print, enlist Betas, work queries, possible revisions, polish yet again and yes, the big “P.”  Publish.  I’ll keep ya posted.

I do hope all you Wrimos out there in Camp NanoLand are finished or just about finished as the deadline is fast approaching.  What, two more hours to go before we leave camp?  It was fun sharing stories by the camp fire and getting fat roasting and eating s’mores.  Ok, maybe not the fat part.  I hope y’all enjoyed the wine and cheese I brought.  I know I did with my giddy self.  hehe!  It sure helped my fingers fly!  I was workin’ like a maniac.  And I was just a singin’, too.  She’s a maniac, maniac on the … laptop.  Anywho, now it’s over for me and I’ll be sad to see some of you go back to your regular lives, no more quiet chit chatter over early morning coffee and watching the sun come up.  It was fun and I enjoyed going through this little adventure with you guys.  Who knows, maybe some of us can get together again for the July camp.  Might be working again on the Cursed Series.  But for now, I’m off to wrap up this work of nonfiction.  I hope all of you reached your word count goals.

Love ya!  Lata!

C

Killin’ It

Well, yea, I’ve finally reached an end with these online work contracts so now I can more fully focus on Camp Nano! Yippee! 6 days left in this challenge and I’ve barely begun. Got a bit typed this morning and by the end of my lunch break, I’d reached 2,809 (my goal is 10,000, as I already have over 30K). So, I’m well on my way to my 10,000. I think I can do this. It’s so great to have my creative outlet back. Funny how when it comes to work, getting up early is like pulling a wisdom tooth with a piece of thread but when it comes to writing creatively on something I’m passionate about, I can jump outta bed like a piece of popping corn. I have created my writing schedule for the last few days of April, then I scheduled my revisions, reorg, proofing, polishing, Beta readers, possibly revising again, blah, blah, blah, then queries and then publication.

So, c’mon 7,191, throw it at me. I can handle it. Bring it. And prepare for annihilation. I’m bringin’ ya down, baby.

As far as Bible study and reading the Bible in 365 days, I’m still planning on getting back on task with this, but not today – probably in May.

So how are all you wrimos doing with yours? Keeping up with your writing? Have a daily writing schedule? Are you planning or pantsing it? I’m usually very big on planning but this go ’round, I’m flyin’ high by the seat of my britches! Wooohooo! Catch ya on the flip side. ‘scuse me if I’m a leeetle silly. Maybe a little too much vodka in my vanilla vodka and oj. Hey, it is Friday and it was a long, stressful week, so I’m lettin’ my hair down a little. Well, if you consider lettin’ your hair down coming home from work, mowing the front yards of mine and Mama’s homes, then in to clean up, eat a smidgen of supper, finish watching Once Upon a Time (Yea, Regina!!!! It’s about time, girl.) and chill with my dreamsicle in a glass. Vera nize. Vera nize, indeed. The kiddo is spending the night at her dad’s, so now, it’s just me and my sweet little ole laptop. I love that kiddo. I love candlelit quiet alone time with just me and my handsome laptop, too. 😉 Gonna go get my word on. Lata!

NaNoWriMo Day 4

Usually, I tend to write in silence as I have to pay close attention to the voices in my head in order to write down what they’re saying.  Besides, there’s usually mood music playing throughout the duration of the scenes, low enough to still hear the voices, watch the action, yet still hear the faint whispers of the score playing in the background.  Most of the time, my stories, songs and poetry play in my head like a movie.

It’s only day 4 and I have an unusual amount of depression/stress/anxiety beating out of my heart, coursing through my veins and pounding in my head, which is making it increasingly difficult to hear the voices and the background music as this pounding in my head is drowning out the sounds.  I write anyway.  I just keep rereading the last 2-3 paragraphs and perhaps skip ahead 2-3 paragraphs.  I know something must be inserted here but I cannot settle down enough to concentrate.

Today, during the moments I should be writing, I pause for reflection, to seek out inspiration and allow colorful imagery to envelope my mind and senses while listening to these magical tunes for a moment. Perhaps these melodies will help me to engage better with the voices, settle my mind, be still and listen.  And then, I will attempt to write again.

I’m listening to this tune I heard on the last episode of Reign.  It’s by London Grammar and the song is Wasting My Young Years.  I love it so much, I have to listen again, and then play another song by them that’s lovely – Strong.  I feel both of these songs play in to particular scenes in my story with perfection and brings me great relief, as I know this will help me when I start writing again in a few minutes, while I go work on those scenes with the tunes playing faintly in the background, struggling to be heard as if they are quietly playing inside my head, which also helps me.  For now, I’ll listen to the beauty and allow it to inspire me.  I play Clocks by Coldplay.  Ah, another great one.

These are songs that could sooo be playing in the movie in my head, so perhaps they will play in the movie as I write the story, all the while being sucked in by the characters, the mood, the action, the flow as the music takes me down the stream, carefully avoiding each bump and hopefully not crashing into any more rocks along the way.

I am writing a fantasy/adventure/sci-fi novel (which is my favorite to read and watch as well as write) and I must fight the resistance and seek to destroy all that opposes me, namely the stress of writer’s block.  I get so angry that I allow all that depression to take over how my mind operates!!!

Sometimes, pressing the pause button on the writing to listen and be inspired by beautiful music is just the ticket.  Find music that inspires you, that plays into your story – the movie playing in your own head.  I played one of my all time favorites – an oldie but a goodie, Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd, although I clicked on 0:37, because the beginning is a bit annoying.

Next is the original soundtrack to Harry Potter.  Yes, I’m a Harry Potter nerd.  My daughter and I both are.  Can’t help it.  Another good one for a specific scene in my story is by one of my all time favorites – Switchfoot as they play I Dare You To Move.  Then, I can’t help myself but to listen to their This Is Your Life.

I recommend, if you cannot concentrate and you need to add some vibrancy to your imagination, seek out some music that can help you along your way.  Pay attention to the songs played in your favorite shows.  Remember what bands they announce at the end of the show.  Think of your favorite bands, sounds, movies and look up that music online.  Youtube is awesome!  Bookmark the songs on your internet browser so you can access them anytime and let them play in the background while you write or else just take a break and listen to them.  Then, by all means, get back to your writing.  As that is the whole point.

I’m at 6,970 words, so all is not lost.  The goal is 50,000 by Nov 30, so I am hopeful I can meet that finish line proudly.  I have a higher goal set for myself, though, so we’ll see if I meet that one, as well.  Rock on, Writers!  We got this!

😉

Carol

Another Day, Another Nano Second

NaNoWriMo!!!  Updating as to my progress, dear peeps, on my Nano novel for day 1 would be 1,717.  And for day 2 is 1,789.  My goal was actually 2,000 for each day, but I suppose if I want to reach 50,000 by the end of day 30, I’m good with 1,667 per day.  So, it’s all good.  I’m slick.

And as for more fun leeetle badges I’ve earned: – I feel like I’m in Kindergarten and I’ve gotten some gold stars  😉

forums_earned-e3863af9f4596de78c97ff64d21cc334Earned by posting in the forums

Earned by adding a writing buddy                     buddy_earned-da0801a58ce490354527765c1227e27d

Earned by updating my word count                          word_count_earned-41b6c14606d42e35148a66e52f0a017d

Yea!  So far, so good.  I will do my utmost to plant my butt in the chair every morning, apply fingertips to keyboard, allow my mind to take flight and soar with the wind on the wings of imagination and type till I can no longer feel my fingers, and reach for at least 1,667 words per day but try to go for the gold of 2,000.  If I don’t make it, I’ll settle by at least reaching that finish line, no matter what place I come in.  The main objective here is to work on it daily and actually reach 50,000 by November 30.  But ya know, if I can do the hardest part, I can certainly do the rest.  Ya know?  Planting that bootie in the chair?

At least I’m not gazing at a blank white screen.  I have something to work with, even if my eyes are glazed over wondering what comes next.  I have my coffee freshly brewed, I can smell that fantastic rich earthy goodness, and I can always pour in a bit of liquid courage if I feel the need to add a little more color to my imagination.  😉  I haven’t tried that yet.  Hmmm.  That might be a tad interesting.  Usually, it’s just coffee or hot tea, but I’m thinkin’ a little sumpm sumpm might just be the ticket.  Whatcha thank?

So, here’s to us, to you, to me, to all the Nanos out there that are typing their little hearts out – we can do it!  We will do it!  We got this!  Let me know how you’re doing.  Leave a comment, add me as a writing buddy, message me on Nano (carol blake) and we can cheer each other on!  Go Gerry!  Go Lynn!  Go Anya!  Go wordtender!  Go Kritter!  Y’all are ALL that AND a bag o’ chips!  With a side o’ slaw!

😉

Nanoo Nanoo to NaNoWriMo

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If you ever watched the television sci-fi sitcom Mork & Mindy, you’ll know where that phrase originated, which was a greeting and farewell by the much loved alien from planet Ork.

For those unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is held Nov 1-30 every year.  They also offer Camp NaNoWriMo, held in April and July of each year, I believe.  NaNoWriMo challenges writers of all genres to participate in this 30 days of complete frenzy, chaos, frazzled nerves, sleepy eyes and fingers to come up with 50,000 words.

2013-Participant-Facebook-Cover

They ask for quantity over quality, meaning you think and type as fast as you can in the amount of time you are given to come up with a novel.  When you reach the 50,000 scrambled and scribbled words, you submit no later than 11:59:59 pm Nov 30.

You can then choose to edit, reorganize, rewrite, find an agent and a publisher and become a beloved published author of your new book.  This is how some famous authors actually got their start.  Did you read the book Water for Elephants?  Or watch the movie?  That book was conceived as a result of the author shakin’ it up with NaNoWriMo!

Well, I’m willing to give it the ole college try and participate in this, write at 0’dark:30 every morning, as well as work a full time job (although it’s at home, but still busy busy), take care of my child, manage to cook once in a while, attempt cooking for Thanksgiving, try to start getting ready for Christmas and let my house fall into ruin for these next 30 days.

Not only am I working on a bit of fiction that I started back in April (even tho, technically, the rules ask for you to start a new book), I also have a work of non-fiction/self-help/Christian in process for which I started this month.  Yes, go ahead and call me crazy.  I will be working on these books simultaneously, although the only one I will submit to Nano will be my fiction work.

I will do my utmost to post on my progress as well as update with the badges I’ve earned during the month.  If I fail for lack of time in my schedule, then I will surely update toward or at the end of November.  Gonna be insane around here.

One day, I’ll even make the time to go update my 101 things list.  😉  But, for now, I’ll post the badges I’ve earned so far.

profile_earned-4f671c12ad364d699c3070d46f896d0d[1](I earned this by filling out my profile in Nano)

region_earned-90fa06f68977400424beeca2abdb4fdc[1](I earned this by choosing a home region)

novel_earned-56af087fbf57e3beee4b034211d4e5f0[1](I earned this by creating my novel)

Do you write?  Do you love it?  Why not join us?  Putting it off to a day in the future when you will have time?  Well … when you think like that, the time never arrives.  Do it now.  Write the book.  As Nike says, “just do it.”  Then, at the end of November, you can look back on your accomplishment with pride and joy and say, “I did it!” or “I wrote a novel!” or “I started my novel!” or “I’m nearly finished with my novel!”  Then, take it from there.

I’m determined to actually finish this fiction work (rewriting, revising, editing, polishing, proofing, employing my Beta readers, taking their suggestions and thoughts into consideration, polishing and proofing yet again, and then send queries to agents & publishers) all by the middle of January 2014.  Hopefully, the non-fiction will be finished by the middle of December or January, as it is considerably shorter.

And to all of you participating, I will cheer you on.  Let me know so I can cheer you on personally.  Go GERRY!!!!  Go LYNN!!!!  Y’all rock!  We gonna rock it togetha!!!!  And if y’all want to cheer me on during the month of November and onward, as well, I’m up for it, as we all need encouragement, support and cheerleaders in our lives, don’t we?

Rock on wit yo bad self!  😉

BTW, if you are looking for a writing buddy, look me up on Nano as Carol Blake.

Camp NaNoWriMo is Closed

my cert

April was a treacherous month, wading through the waist deep virtual muck and mud in my hip waders, trying to find my way through the murky water, watching out for quick sand, having been warned beforehand.

Making it to camp was the easy part.  All I had to do was register and show up for the full 30 days.  Camp was so welcoming with my cabin mates’ happy faces to say hello and offer friendship (although 2 or 3 of them were rather quiet and shy – I totally get that, by the way), late nights with camp fire songs, ghost stories, s’mores, wine and cheese, the whole bit.  I even made some friends from other cabins.

Early mornings, starting usually at 230 and 3am, consisted of gallons of hot coffee, heavy cream and sugar, and handheld breakfasts such as granola bars and peanuts, since we ate on the hiking trail, and needed quick and easily accessible energy.

Many of those days, I made it through long hours of hiking uphill, through rocks, brush, the murky water I told you about (careful to avoid the quick sand of writer’s block).  And a few of those hiking days, I reached a point where I had to rock climb, and since I didn’t bring my climbing nor repelling gear, I scrambled, which is how I prefer to rock climb anyway, plus I had my handy dandy hiking boots and my trusty gloves, so I didn’t have too much of a problem.  The biggest threat was the height of a few of those rocks.  We are talking mountains, people!  I became exhausted at how far I had to go just to get back to camp and thank heavens I brought my flashlight, since some of those days, I didn’t get back till after dark, but then I left in the wee hours, so I had my flashlight at the beginning of the trek anyway.

30 days of hiking, climbing, wading, guzzling wine, sipping hot cocoa, living on cheese, peanuts, granola bars, s’mores, canned beans and the like, I was ready to be done and get home.  Some of that might sound good to you, but when you are hungry for a real meal, and sleep deprived, ya ain’t happy!  I counted on my friends to get me through.  I had friends and family back home cheering me on, new found friends at camp, and a friend of mine that joined me there at camp, who lives across the pond.  We encouraged and supported one another.  We shared.  We laughed.  We cried.  We drank heavily (coffee in the a.m., wine in the p.m.), and we retired when we could not keep our eyes open one minute longer, try as we might.   Our slumber was our most treasured restful activity, as we did not have much rest during these crazy days.

And together, we made it through to the end.  Some of our cabin mates decided to skip out early and go home.  I’m guessing the pressure got to be too much.  I feel sad for them, since even after all the sweat, blisters, hunger, bug bites, spotting bears and mountain lions, bruises, exhaustion and sleep deprivation, we made it successfully through to the end.  We saw each other through.  Maybe not as long-lasting as Survivor, I’m tellin’ ya, Camp NaNoWriMo ain’t no joke.  It ain’t for the wimpy, but if you ever need a lesson in follow-through, which I did, since I usually suck at it, Camp NaNoWriMo or the regular NaNoWriMo is definitely for you, if you are a writer at heart.

Goal:  50,000 words.  Finish Line:  50,229 words.  We did it!  And congrats to my beloved friends, Gerry (went with me to camp), and Lynn (one of my cabin mates), whom I joined at that finish line!  Ready to go again in July?  Om, yeah, I may have to think on that one.  Maybe November.  Maybe.

As far as everything else going on, A LOT!  Sorry to always be late about posting and totally slacking in the month of April with hardly posting at all.  At least I’m updating this, but I still need to update my 101 list, prayer requests, other goings on, and I’ll try to get to all that this weekend.  Only so many hours in a day, and a lot is going on, so hang tight.

I hope and trust all of you are well.  I’ve really been missin’ y’all.  How ’bout we make plans to have coffee or I can put on a kettle for tea and we can sit a spell and catch up, maybe this weekend?  Sunday perhaps?  Come on over.  We can sit in the porch swing or rockin’ chairs and talk all about it.  Whatcha say?

Love ya!  Catcha Sunday!  😉

-Carol

Oh, and that is one my newest pseudonyms, ‘C. S. Blake’.  And om, in case I wasn’t clear, this was a virtual camp.  Camping through the computer.