Who Am I? Why Do You Care?

I am a woman on a journey. Where I'll end up is yet to be discovered.

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Writing Novels and Being Inspired

I’m just about 10,000 words in to my NaNoWriMo novel plus pages of character sketches, notes and scene ideas and other random stuff I need to remember about my plot and such. I’m not really a planner – I don’t have a detailed outline I just have my beginning, I know how it all ends and I have notes and ideas for the middles. I do make lists of plot points that can’t get mixed up, but other than that I guess for the first draft I let the characters tell me their story however it unfolds and then I go back and make sense of it all later on. Works for me. When it ceases to work I will try something else.

Anyway, the story I’m writing is pretty fun to write. I have an ADHD main character and this is the first time I’ve attempted to do such a thing. I have to say, I LOVE HER!! I am so excited to tell her story. I’ve not been this excited about a story in a while. Although I have ADHD, I have little in common with my heroine, (except maybe a penchant for metal music,) although I do see a little of my daughter in her. I didn’t set out to do that, it just sort of happened. Also probably because of my own ADHD and Anxiety Disorder, I am beyond excited to be writing this story. My heroine impresses me with her determination and tenacity. She makes me laugh quite a bit, and she’s just plain fun to write. Her mind is a shimmering whirlwind and I can barely keep up.

I hope that sharing stories like this one – bringing heroes and heroines to the forefront that may have different abilities, can help to inspire, educate and end some of the stigma floating around out there.

I wondered if I would be able to switch gears between the editing of Finding Home and be able to dive in to this new, and very different novel. So far so good. I think this is a story that has been clamoring to get out for quite some time.

My main character doesn’t get everything right. She’s quirky, chaotic and nervous. She’s witty and smart. She’s someone I would love to be friends with. And for a while at least, I am…

I’m about to to fall asleep at the keyboard here, so I hope this post makes at least a little bit of sense. I’m calling it a night, but I’ll be back at it tomorrow and with any luck the hyperfocus will kick in and I’ll get in a good day of writing!!



November is for First Drafts

Some of you may know that I’m a fan of NaNoWriMo. I know people who love it and people who think it’s absurd – but personally I was hooked from the time I heard there was such a thing.

The first year I participated I had no idea if I could finish or not. I wasn’t used to putting out that many words in a month. Writing had always taken a back burner to everything else going on around me. I wrote whenever I found some time. Doing NaNo that first year taught me something. It taught me that if I wanted to be a writer, I had to stop treating it like a hobby. I had to make time. It’s not always easy to do and sometimes I don’t succeed. But now, for the most part, there is writing time carved into each and every day. I learned that first November that I was more than capable of writing at least 50,000 words in a month.

I’m smart enough to know those words written with wild abandon in November are just a first draft. There’s lots of work to be done in the months following November if I really want to turn those words into something, but getting that first draft out is monumental. It’s vital. You can’t rewrite or edit words you have yet to write.

I was grateful to NaNoWriMo for helping me see I could do it. So it just naturally happens now that I think November is the month I have to write a first draft. Maybe it’s the ADHD in me, or the slight OCD, but as October winds down, I find myself giddily anticipating the new draft I will write in November. It’s a ritual now.

I’ve been at work on Finding Home. I’ve been re-writing and changing, editing and polishing. It’s not quite there yet. BUT – come November first, Finding Home will be put aside as I write my next first draft. I’m okay with this. I still have time on Finding Home.

I’m excited about this new draft. It’s a quirky story with an ADHD heroine. Something I’ve been wanting to write for quite some time. It’s going to be loads of fun to get inside her head.

This evening I’m getting ready to sit down with Finding Home and work on those edits. But come Tuesday, I’ll be joining the masses for NaNoWriMo. The fall air is screaming that it’s time to write a new book!

The best part about being a writer, or any other creative pursuit, is that I get to do so on my own terms. We all have our own ideas about how it should be done. We all find our own writing rituals, quirks, schedules, and philosophies. It’s a craft we get to bend to our own needs and desires. I love that about writing.

So good luck to any of you that are doing NaNoWriMo this year -especially any first timers! I hope you meet (and exceed!) your goals. I hope you have fun, and I hope you learn something about yourself along the way.

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NaNoWriMo Wins

Excuse me for one moment while I jump up and down. I DID IT I DID IT I DID IT!! I finished NaNoWriMo with days to spare. I actually finished day before yesterday, which I was quite happy about, given my false start and my re-do. While I had originally made it my personal goal to write 70,000 words, I was happy when I hit just over the 50k mark.

As far as first drafts go, it is as horrific, messy, disconnected, redundant and awful as they come. However, it has a beginning, middle and an end, so when I wrote the last scene and came in at 50,136 words, I went ahead and claimed my “win.”

The great thing about NaNo is that it reminds me of what is possible when I am determined. I actually hadn’t been writing very religiously lately. I have a few projects started, but I wasn’t giving my writing the attention I need to. I was in a rut of sorts…a non-action kind of thing where I thought about writing an awful lot, I just wasn’t doing any.

I have no idea if I will be able to turn this story into something viable or not. I’m not sure that it is that good. I’ll let it sit a week or two, then go back and see what I can do as far as a second draft goes…add more depth, flesh out my characters, clean it up and see if it looks like it’ll make the cut. I don’t know yet. For right now, I’m honestly a bit tired of the characters and their story. I think my main character whined a bit too much. That will have to go in the second draft.

But I did it. Right now, that’s good enough for me.

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November is for Writing!!

To be completely honest, I have just been absolutely exhausted lately. No idea why, truly. Maybe some of it has to do with the “let down” of the launch of Blessed Light Cleansing Rain being over. When I have a project going, I can hyperfocus like nobody’s business. Once it’s over, I’m just a bit lost. Still, I’m sleeping pretty well, and by afternoon I can barely hold my eyes open. I have no get up and go, and even though I was on top of things like laundry and clean bathrooms, it’s starting to pile up a bit in the past week. I just don’t feel like doing anything. At all. Nothing much holds my interest for more than a few minutes. I’m hoping whatever this is passes quickly! Headaches are still a problem, and the dizziness comes and goes, but those things are from a bigger neck problem that I hope to be able to address pretty soon. Anyway, I’ve just been tired and kinda disinterested in everything. It’ll pass.

It’s hard to believe that we are in the last few days of October. The month really flew by. Of course that means that NaNoWriMo is right around the corner. Yikes! A few months ago, I told myself I wasn’t going to participate this year. I was going to take a break. Then, the last book is finished and I’m crashing from the hyperfocus and I start to think, maybe, just maybe I should do NaNo and THEN take my break. Sounds good, right? I couldn’t decide which way to go, when my daughter asked about it and told me she wanted to try it this year. Well, now I sure can’t not participate!

I signed up with mixed feelings. I want to do it, but I decided to try a project that is slightly out of my comfort zone, and one that is still pretty vague. I’ve always been a “pantzer” type of writer – I don’t do detailed outlining or planning before a story – but I DO usually have a pretty good idea of what the major conflict is going to be, who the characters are (basically, anyway, they always reveal themselves to me as I write), and what direction I want the story to take. (that can always change too, but it at least gives me direction until my characters take over and tell me where they need to go.) I feel like I’m behind on my preparation this year. The freezer is empty, there are unfolded clothes piled on a bedroom chair, the dog needs a bath..you get the idea. I haven’t taken care of the “housekeeping” items that would make me feel better about beginning National Novel Writing Month. Still, I think once I get started, all will be well.

I’m looking forward to participating with my daughter. I try not to push her to write. She’s exceptionally good at it, much better than I was at her age, but she usually lacks the focus to finish a story. She begins project after project, but rarely sees one through. (and yes, I’ve been known to steal an awesome line or two from her!) I don’t want her to ever feel like I want her to write just because I do, and I’m smart enough to realize that just because she is good at something doesn’t mean she loves to do it. It’s really HARD not to try to nurture that part of her, though, because I see soooo much potential!! She is so creative, and has a way with snarky satire that I’m envious of! When she asked me about NaNo, and told me she wanted to do it, I was pretty excited. Then I felt her interest wane, so I didn’t ask her about it. A couple nights ago she asked me when she could sign up. She even tried to get a friend of hers to join in, but he was a no go. She worked out a few details of the project she wanted to work on, we set a word count goal for her, and she appears to be good to go! She even tried to convince me that if she was going to participate in NaNo, keep up with her schoolwork AND practice her clarinet, that I was going to have to do away with her bedtime. Ummm…nice try, but no. It’ll be fun to do NaNo alongside a 12 yo chatterbox that constantly makes me laugh. (maybe I won’t hit the word count this year…) It will be an experience, that’s for sure, and one I mean to enjoy as I also know how fast time is slipping away from me and soon she will be grown. 😦 She’s changing again; not just in looks, but I also see her steadily morphing from a child to a teen. I’m so used to her sharing everything with me, and her wanting to be close, that it will be really hard for me to back away and let her be as she needs more independence. It’s a GOOD thing, don’t get me wrong…I just know the time will come when she won’t want to talk to me about EVERYTHING the way she does now. She knows she can always come to me, but I’m fairly certain that teenage girls will still have their secrets. While nothing has ever been too personal for her to discuss with me (and believe me we have had some INTERESTING conversations), I know that soon, some things will be just a bit too embarrassing to discuss with your mother. It’s all good. (who am I kidding, I’m nervous just thinking about it!)

So, here it is, a few days left of October to get ready for November and a month of writing. We’ll see what happens!!