Sorry for being MIA – Have a Fabulous Turkey Day!!

thanks

Just wanted to drop a line or two or a few…

Sorry for being MIA. I have been working on NaNoWriMo and updating more on Instagram (@carolblakesessums) than anywhere else lately.

I will be more present and updating more regularly to the blog come January. December will be even crazier than November with Christmas and revising/polishing my book, so if I don’t see y’all on the blog, hopefully I’ll catch you on Instagram or I’ll see you back here in January. I haven’t forgotten you or the blog, so just know you are loved and special and thought about and I hope you have a fabulous, fun, filling Thanksgiving with all your favorite foods, family and friends! That’s a lot of F-words! The good kind! Believe it or not, I did not actually plan it that way. Ha! Just one o’ them things…

Go out there and make some memories. Don’t forget to take pictures!

*smooch*

Love ya,

Carol

Light It Up!

fire-spitting-dragon

Ignite the world with your words.  Spitfire!

– Carol Blake

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How would you put your spin on it?

Sorry I haven’t posted an update lately.  Been swamped.  Didn’t get to 25,000 words in Camp Nanowrimo, but I did reach 21,638.  I will continue to find ways of carving out some writing time each day, even if it means I have to get up at 2am.  Still trying to work in time to write out my lesson plans for a class – not even halfway done, yet.  Working 47 hours per week, which is good.  I’m not complaining.  Will probably continue like this another week or two and then, I’ll shorten my hours closer to 40.  Looking forward to vacation at the end of May for sure!  No social life to speak of right now.  Just working and chasing my kid around like a crazy woman.  She’s doing so much!  Not complaining about that either.  Hanging out with her and Mama on the weekends.  Love my girls!

What’s going on in your world?  Drop me a line.  I know I am really missing you guys!  Planning on doing better with catching up with all of you very, very soon.   I wish you well and only good things!

Love, hugs and smooches!!  Go out there and spit fire!

– Carol

 

Oh, and om, let us all make time for getting down our words and get to the point of sharing them with the world.  I’ll leave you with this…

So light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
Light ’em up, up, up
I’m on fire

Gonna be singin’ that all day, now, aren’t ya?  You’re welcome.

(image courtesy of mrwallpaper.com)

Magic is Born

When I begin to write

It’s as if a sleeping curse has lifted

Wonder and passion breed

Currents of electricity flow

And magic is born.

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Do you feel this way?

 

A Stake to the Heart

david“If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin, and say, ‘When you’re ready’.”

— David Mitchell, Black Swan Green
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So, what about Beta Readers?  When you write something, how many do you employ to get their opinion?  Do you have close relatives read it?  Perhaps close personal friends?  Strangers?  Members of your writing group?  Or do you read it, reread it, read it yet again, proof and polish and then simply send out your queries?  In your opinion, how many Betas should you have read your precious baby?  And who should they be?

Camp-2015-Newsletter-Header

On another note, how many out there are participating in Camp Nanowrimo, starting April 1st?

Happy Spring, dingaling!  😉  Oh, and happy Solar Eclipse and SuperMoon!  😀

 

Write Your Feared Emotions

laurie“Write about the emotions you fear the most.”
Laurie Halse Anderson

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That ought to get your heart pumping, eh?

 

Well, best laid plans…  I was all gung ho about this new project and I still am, it’s just that I’ve had no free time.  I’m taking 5 minutes just to post to my blog.  I apologize again for not blogging regularly.  I miss y’all.  I miss reading your blogs.  I miss writing.  I miss learning how to edit video.  I had taken about an hour to learn editing and then work start piling up.  Now, I have work to keep me busy every day at least through Monday (yes, including the weekend).  Gotta pay the bills.  I only accept enough work to reach a certain monetary gain to pay what bills I have to pay.  I have to carve out time to carve that pumpkin with Hallie today and get groceries but free time other than that looks pretty bleak.  However, if things pick up with one of my certain contracts (the better paying one), I will not have to work as many hours with this other one and will have some free time to devote to learn video editing and then go talk to some peeps, and maybe read some blogs and maybe participate in Nano!  Yes!  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  I just hope it’s not a train.  Hey, at least I got more sleep.  About 9 to 5.  Wow!  8 hours!  Now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Ready for Nano?

Participant-2014-Web-BannerGet ready!  It’s 14 days away, and counting.  Here’s the quick list for how you can get yourself ready within the next 2 weeks:

1) Figure out what you are going to write about.  You must have some idea.

2) If you are going to continue a work in progress (against the rules but who cares), it might be good to revise what you already have and if you feel that may take too much time, just at least read over what you already have so you’ll know from where you need to start on Nov 1.

3) Make a grocery list of one-handed foods and snacks so you can write while you eat.  We live on granola bars around here.  Any kind of snack bar, nabs/crackers are good, nuts, any sort of quickie snacks that can aid the rumbly in your tumbly without having to really get up and go fix something.  Keep a ziplog bag or shoebox full of these snacks at your desk or wherever it is that you write.  If you are a coffee drinker, or tea, or wine, or whatever, make sure you are stocked up.  I am all three plus maybe a glass of chocolate milk on the side sometimes.  😉  Make casseroles on Halloween.  Make stew or big batches of hearty soup.  Put servings of these in containers for your family, so they can heat up themselves and eat and you can do the same.  Put some of these servings in the freezer so there’s plenty of food for the next 30 days.  This way, you can spend your time working and writing, rather than cooking and cleaning.

4) Put your loving, caring family members to work cleaning the kitchen.  There’s nothing wrong with enlisting the help of your family members to take on more responsibility during the month of November.  Granted, Thanksgiving may be a bit different.  Ugh!

5) Make a writing schedule.  So much to do in November!  Trying out different recipes so you’ll know for sure what you want to fix on the big day, cooking for the big day, cleaning for the big day, NaNoWriMo, work for pay, all the extra groceries you need to buy for Nano and for Thanksgiving, buying a fresh Christmas tree, decorating said tree, prepping for Christmas decor, digging out all those decorations and music and movies, etc. for the Christmas season, and all of the other 101 projects we each have going on in our lives.  Make a small snippet of time to actually do your writing.  Whether it be carving out 2 hours (or however long it takes you to write 2,000 words in a day) from 2 to 4am or from midnight till 2am, get it done.  If it’s important to you, you’ll make the time.

6) If you know what you’re writing, go ahead and sketch out some idea of an outline, characters, plotting, twists, turns, chaos, all the ins and outs of what you want to go into your story.  Or, if you are a pantser (I’m a little bit of both but mostly a pantser when it comes to writing), just fly by the seat of your pants.  Soar on the wings that carry you through.  It’s pretty fun and free to write like this.

7) Finally, and most importantly, get ready to free your imagination.  Set your imagination on the breeze and let it carry you to wherever it may go.

8) Just be sure to write roughly 2,000 words per day from Nov 1 through Nov 30.  That way, you’ll finish a little bit ahead of time and you don’t have to stress about the deadline.

Did I leave anything out?  I’ll be checking in from time to time between work, Nano and my new Meaning of Lifers project.  Gotta check in and see how y’all are doing!  Not sure when writing mates is open.  I know at camp, they have cabins and you can add friends to your cabin and chat about writing and just chat about anything.  Great way to make new friends!!!  I still talk to a couple of those friends on Facebook.  Anywho, if anyone has anything to add or wants to share their lists for getting ready for Nano, give me a shout out and I’ll link you and/or just comment me below.

Y’all have a groovilicious day, have a fun and productive weekend or just chill and I’ll talk to you soon.  Love ya!  Be well!  *smooch*

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!

As a Writer, Are You Crazy?

youre-a-writerYou know you’ve always been a bit different.  But then normal is highly overrated, right?  You’ve been a writer since the beginning of time.  Even before you could write, you were a writer, bursting with stories you’d tell your dolls, stuffed animals, action figures, or the air, just to get them out there.

You’ve questioned yourself over the years as to what has made you a writer.  You’ve questioned yourself if you really wanted to be a writer.  Did you choose it?  Or did it choose you?  You don’t know who you are without writing.

Are you a writer, because you have a tortured soul?  Do you have so many voices talking inside your head that you just have to get them out before you lose your mind?  Or were you already crazy?  Does being a writer make you crazy or were you crazy all along?

These are just the top 10 reasons (out of maybe 100) why, as a writer, I think you (and I) might be crazy.

1.  You have a dream.  Or maybe more of a dark and colorful, exhilarating, brilliant nightmare.  Oh, you thought I meant a dream of being a writer?  No, I mean, in the literal sense.  You have this dream and you have to get up immediately to write out the voices and movie playing inside your head.

2.  Movies that you’ve never seen play inside your head.

3.  You get up at 2am to write.  Yes.  I said two o’clock.  After having said dream, your heart is beating fast, and no matter how much you would love to go back to sleep, you’re wide awake and have to get up right then and write.  Sometimes you’re happy to skip the sleep and are just oh so eager to jump up and write it all down.

4.  You hear voices.  You listen to the voices.  You have to write everything down immediately that the voices are saying.  Sometimes they are talking to you, screaming at you to write their story, and other times the voices are conversing with other voices.

5.  You talk to the voices.  And sometimes the voices talk back.

6. You talk to yourself.  You question yourself.  You answer yourself.  You have long drawn out conversations.  With.  Your.  Self.  And sometimes, you laugh at/with yourself.  Could this be schizophrenia?

7.  You talk to ghosts.  You have (or think you have) conversations with J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and H. G. Wells.  Could this be delirium?

8.  You channel spirits.  Or you think you have after having said dream that’s something remarkably similar to something out of Tolkien.

9.  You write 4 books simultaneously.  You are working on Book 1 and 2 of a fantasy/sci-fi series, a work of non-fiction, and this dream you just had is the new Book 1 of the series you thought you were writing, as a twist just occurred that gives it a whole ‘nother back story, sort of like The Hobbit before Lord of the Rings.  What particular manuscript you may be working on in any given 30 minutes or 2 hours is whatever the muse/inspiration/voices tells you to work on.

10.  You are silent.  If the voices aren’t talking, neither are you.  You’re depressed.  You’re lonely.  You miss the voices.  Call this writer’s block.  Call this laziness.  Call this depression.  You wait around for the voices to return as if you’re some high school chick with a silly crush waiting by the phone for that cute guy to call you.  He said he’d call.  And you wait.  And you wait.  And wait.

So, I ask you, being a writer, are you crazy?  Or is it just me?

 

 

 

____________________
“My child has taught me more about living, forgiving and loving than I could ever teach her.” – Carol Blake Sessums

“The most important thing you can ever do in this life, your most profound purpose, is to make a positive difference in the life of someone else.” –Carol Blake Sessums

Second Week of Nano

It’s into the second week of Camp Nanowrimo and what do I have to show for it?  Zilch.  But.  I have a plan.  It’s the “easy button” plan.  The “stupid easy” plan.  I have the beginning and parts of the middle of the book from previous Nov Nano and April Camp Nano so I’m trying to figure out my Nano schedule to be this:

July 14 thru 21 –Print what I have written thus far, read thru, pen & ink reorg/revise, comp reorg/revise — This will give me a better jumping off point

July 22 thru 31 — Write 1,000+ words per day

July 31 —  Submit my 10,000+ words by 11:59pm

Cutting it close, eh?  I like it like that.  But see, I have a plan.  If I can clear 2 hours per day to write, I can score 2,000 wpd so that would be awesome.  Yeah, I think maybe I can do that if I get up at 3am on those days.

3-5 write

5-9 work on Contract 1

9-1 work on Contract 2

We’ll see how this goes.  A monkey wrench is about to be thrown into the plan on July 17, so I’m not sure how things will hold up after this.  The following days and weeks will be complete insanity.  Pray for me?  Pray for my baby more?  She is scared to death.  One knee surgery last Dec 26.  The other knee surgery on Thursday.  Ugh.  I can’t even imagine…  :'(

I wish all of you Wrimos out there the best of luck with your writing goals!  We got this!

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*