Camp NaNoWriMo Begins

It has begun! Camp NaNoWriMo begins! I am working on my new novel, We Witches Three, with a goal of 20,000.

I have not entered in all my data for last month for my various blogs and such so I won’t be sharing total word count for June until tomorrow.

I am off to great start for camp with 1000 words though, so yay!

I have new fantastic writing music: The Light of the Seven.

Dear me, it is glorious. If any of you watch Game of Thrones you probably know what I am talking about. And let me say, the finale for Season Six was amazing. And this song. Oh this song.

So it’s my new jam.

Night folks!

A Letter to George RR Martin

To George RR Martin,

I just watched the season finale of Game of Thrones. I am in awe, and in love, and possibly hate you with a tiny piece of my heart. I am everything that a fan of such a fandom can be.  You have created this world, this amazing place, and you have shared it with us. And for that, I am thankful.  They always say that many read as an escape. Escaping to your world, while dangerous if real, is truly wonderful.

I recently read several posts about you asking Stephen King about how on earth he manages to write so many books.  Facing backlash from not being able to finish “The Winds of Winter” on time, I know that you have dealt with your fair share of crazy, upset fans.  Who knows what people have said to you.  Lord knows we aspiring writers have often heard the advice of “Writers write. Pick a time. Sit down. Write words, rather they be good or bad.”  I’ve lived on the quote that for us writing is breathing.  And it’s often true.

And other times writing is not as easy as breathing. It can be hard, and painful, and I just plain stop.  I have an unfinished novel. I’ve been working on it for four years.  It is probably not even half way done, as I rewrote the whole dadgum thing after changing the viewpoint. Then I realized it had a fatal flaw, and just completely stopped early this year. Recently I dreamed up another novel, actually fully plotted this one out, wrote about 5000 words and hit a brick wall. I feel as if I need more research. I am unsure if my characters have enough “voice.” I remember the B’s and C’s I received in creative writing classes in college, and the times I did not win contests.  All of that overshadows everything good thing I have heard about my writing.  And that does not even matter, as much.  My self-doubt wins for the day.  And the writing waits.

You asked Stephen King if he never had a bad day, a day where he felt he had no talent, and thought maybe you screwed up and should have been a plumber or something.  All I can say is, I am so glad you did not.  You have given your readers (and/or watchers) an amazing gift in this world you have created.  Whatever demons you have battled to get this far, thank you for winning those fights.  Thank you for the rewrites, for the tweaks, and the words and the hours you have spent writing.

But more than anything else, thank you for showing me that you can be successful without writing every day.  I have tried to do this. I have tried to push myself through bad days and just get words on paper.  It is not how I function, apparently. I lay here, trying to sleep before getting up early to go to work, and I failed. Because I was thinking of that episode. I was thinking of your books.  I remembered that conversation.  And I finally realized that maybe I do not have to push myself the way I have been over the past year. Oh yes, it would be wonderful if every day I could sit down at a certain time and just write.  I am not, however, financially able to be a full time writer. I have nothing published.  I must work. I actually love my work. I have a husband and a toddler.  Life happens.  I’m tired of feeling guilty because I just could not write that day.  Or that I chose snuggling with my son over writing on my laptop. That I may not have the talent necessary to call myself a “writer” or an “author.”

I am tired of feeling like I must not be a writer because I cannot write every day.  You, sir, are an aspiring writer of unfinished novel’s dream come true.  Thank you for writing when you can. Thank you for pushing past your fears, and giving us this world that you dreamed, that you created, that you labor over.  Spend the days enjoying your fame, and talking to fans. Ignore the haters.  Write when you can, and as a reader of your books I do hope as often and quick as you can.

But as writer who finds it often times hard to write, Thank You for being honest about your process.  Thank you for not bowing down to deadlines and standards and common practice and churning books out like butter. I feel that they would not be what we wanted, anyways.  As you say, they would not be the best you could make them.  It may have been easier for you as a writer, and me as a reader, to be able to write every day and get them published.

Good luck writing,

A Writer Who Knows Nothing

Writing Prompt Wednesday

So, I am going to try to start doing a Writing Prompt post every Wednesday. Wish me luck.

This week’s prompt:

We all have trouble writing villains.  The one thing I have heard authors say the most often, and readers, about their favorite villains, or how they write them is that they must understand their villains motives – and that the villain cannot be purely evil.  They have shades of grey – sometimes they think what they are doing is the right thing. Or they think that it is an ends to a greater means, etc. etc.

Think of someone whom you dislike. And write a story from what you think is their point of view. Shoot for 500 words and see where you wind up! Something to write about the villain doing may be someone completely opposite decision wise from what you would do.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think.

Writing – Keeping up with goals

Hello guys!

I think I was a bit exhausted after the A-Z challenge. I’ve barely blogged this month, so sorry about that. I shall now go back to at least once a week. Also, I should have about five book reviews to post soon.

I’d really like feedback: What would you like to see on here? What would you like to be different? I’m thinking of doing Wednesday Word Prompts.

In other news, and on to the title of this blog post, sometimes in writing it is hard to keep up with goals. I know I talked about this off and on, and in my last post. However, it is very relevant to what is going on with my writing.

Have you ever had a moment where you question whether you can call yourself a writer?  If its been a bit since you’ve written anything, if you cannot seem to finish something, or if you just write in spurts, and then stop, then pick it back up?  When you look at others, people writing thousands of words a day, or people with finished unpublished novels or published novels, it may be hard to look at what you do and think you are the same.

Here’s my logic.  I am a writer.  I write, and whether or not I measure up to some crazy goal (even if I set it myself) does not change that.  I have a couple of friends who write thousands of words a day. But everyone’s life is different, and I think that can be important to note.  I have a toddler, I get migraines, I have a husband, and a house and yard to take care of, cleaning to do, a full time job, and I’m job hunting.  Oh, and I also write book reviews for two newspapers, this blog and do other work such as tutoring. To say I have a busy schedule is sometimes an understatement.

Don’t get me wrong. I have time to write, at least most days.  I have time to write when I choose not to write. I’m trying to change that.  As you know I’m working on a new novel, and its going well. I have not actually written words on the novel in the past few days. I stopped. Why? Because, I stopped.  I made the choice to stop and work on my characters a bit. I felt that I needed to develop them a bit more in my head, so that I could really get their personalities onto paper.  I’m working on character descriptions and things like that.  I hope to be back to writing on the novel, at least a little, tonight. So I’m still working on something, even if I’m not getting two thousand words onto the story a day. Quality is important to me too, not just quantity. I don’t want to force the words onto the paper, if I think taking a make is more beneficial (just like my current long planned break for my other novel).

I think sometimes its important to stop and look at what you need. What do you think your story needs? Are you overstressed? Take a break.  Does the messiness of your house make you so stressed you want to hide in a corner? Clean.  Spend some time with your loved ones. That story inside of you is important.  It is important to your soul to breathe those words onto paper and help it come to live. And of course, we all hope to be the next new author making their debut. But you cannot get there at all without self-care.

So remember you. As I said last time – you know what works for you. Pushing yourself is fine. Burning yourself out is not.

So good luck and fair fortunes, and till next time, happy writing!

Writing: When To Know Yourself

For all of us, word count goals are important.  For writers who have deadlines, they mean something different.  To a struggling writer, trying to get back to writing everyday, they mean quite a lot.  We all have goals we wish to met, whether it be on a blog, writing a novel, or over several different projects.

I’ve heard many different types of advice from successful writers, bloggers, and people working their way to do so.  Hosting panels for SOKY Bookfest, this is often a common question.  Usually the answer is to writer every day.  I support that.

The past few years, I’ve been trying to write more.  It’s been a struggle. I wrote nonstop in high school (and before). It was usually short stories/poems/papers.  In college I was a creative writing major.  I changed my last year to a literature major. Due to certain issues, I was just kind of … burnt out on my writing.

I had a short story I had written for my advanced fiction class that my classmates loved. I still have their reviewed copies. One friend in the class even drew a dragon and other things on it to go along with it. She was a wonderful artist.  I still never was given an A on it, and it kind of upset me.  However, a year out, I decided I really wanted to work on it. I started turning it into a novel. The problem was, I realize now, that to go from short story to novel, you really have to plan. I did not do that. I just started writing all crazy like.

When I came to nano, I worked on the plot a bit. Realized it would sound much better in first person, and rewrote the entire thing, adding in a bit here and there.  I kept trying to write on it, but at this point I had a tiny child, was in grad school full time, and working and dealing with lots of life craziness/sadness.  Writing came to a halt.  Then, going back over the story with my friend Nick, he told me I was missing a real … evil I suppose you could say. I had this looming war but nothing concrete. And it was true. That was my problem. I had no idea where I wanted to go. We worked something out, largely thanks to his idea. However, I really need to go almost back to the start and rework quite a bit of things.

I decided to write only 250 words a day. 1000, a common goal for many, was just often to much for me many nights. Half the time I fall asleep with my toddler at 10.  The goal itself was stressing me out. Amanda suggested the 250. It was a good start.  I also did the alphabet series on my blog, and determined to post once a week on it. I’ve been pretty good about this (and thanks to all you guys reading!).

Back to work count, and the point of all this explanation.  As a writer, you will be bombarded with advice.  Everyone has something different works for them.  For instance, in my last panel the six authors talked about pantsing or plotting.  Some of them did a mixture of both, one did a general outline and went with what came, and one guy literally laid out the entire timeline of several books in a giant timeline on his wall. I mean, a super detailed one. We all started in amazement at him.  Many of us mentioned that we are not capable of that.

You really have to know you, as a writer, and what you are capable of. Set goals for yourself. If they are not working, lower them. If it feels like too much pressure, change them. When you find that you are meeting them consistently, raise them.  This way you are still challenging yourself, but you are not feeling so pressure from the get go that you are sabotaging yourself.

Finally, realize that sometimes you just are not going to meet those goals.  Or that something else may be more important.  Don’t go too long without trying to jump back into it however, because that’s just as bad.

What inspired this is that I started a new novel last Saturday. On time of outlining the entire thing, knowing several characters, and my main story-line/opposition, I wrote 1000 that first night, and the next two. Three nights in a row I wrote 1000 words. I had decided that as my goal every day.  Last night, it didn’t happen. I didn’t feel good. I was exhausted.  I tried to write, and I hated what I was putting on paper. I wrote about 400 words, and called it quits. I needed to work on my characters, I decided before I kept writing, and I did not have the energy left to devote to it then (also I’m directing a play that is this Thursday. It’s zapping a lot from me). I wrote, and that was important. But I didn’t push myself too far past my limits, because that can be just as bad as not writing at all.

We all have to take nights off. Don’t be afraid to admit it.

Good night guys, I’m going to go work on my characters.  Happy writing!

Word Count for the Month of April

Hello everything!

So, I’m hoping April showers will bring May Flowers… but for now, it’s the last day of April, and I’m looking at my writing totals.

I’m ecstatic. I wrote 14,348 words this month. I have no idea when the last time I wrote that much was.  Probably in undergrad with all my papers.

The best part? I’ve started a new novel. One of my goals is still to finish my novel-in-the-works, Fated Destiny. However, I need to sit and study that and possibly rewrite much after finally figuring out some points that had me stuck.  I think I’m saving that for NaNoWriMo.

The other day I had an idea about witches.. and started working on it. I shared it with my friend Nick who is most awesome at helping me plot. He has wonderful ideas. And he ran with it. Gave me super ideas. Then I went and used a plotting worksheet and wrote and wrote. An entire plot. I was so super happy.

Then I pinned all the pins on witchcraft.

And then I started to write. Wrote over 1000 words before collapsing into sleep, and I just wrote over 1000 more tonight.

Wish me all the luck. Maybe if you guys want I’ll share snippets as I go. I also plan to blog weekly on my word count and where I’m at plot point wise.  I plan 1000 words a night. Maybe if I can do this, I can have a whole novel in three months.

Wish me luck!

Boom, Boom, Boom

Yesterday was a bad day. The thing is, it was a bad day following one excellent weekend. My mom finally came down from VA for our Christmas (snow has delayed it quite a bit), and then she was snowed in here. I wound up getting to spend two extra days with her, which was utterly fantastic.  I was given many wonderful presents that shows just how well my family knows me (including Starbucks gift card, a Doctor Who water bottle, Eiffel tower wine glasses, and a Spell book wallet).  It was great.

But then yesterday, after hours of looking up information about phone interviews, I found out that my interview today was canceled as all their searches for new positions have been put on hold because of the new budget cuts from the government in KY. Woot. It just added levels of stress. And so this morning I woke up with a migraine from hell.

The thing is, yesterday was not all bad. My mom made it home safe, which is wonderful. I also found out that Mary Weber (Author of the Siren trilogy of which I have reviewed the previous two books) was sending me an early copy of Siren’s Song the third and final book. I was so happy about that! I got the message when I woke up and was getting ready to work. Excellent start to the day. Then after the rather sucky news at work, I worked with my students, and came home. I played with my son, I finished reading As You Wish by Cary Elwes (Westley) and watched The Princess Bride again.  My son crawled up and passed out cuddling me.

There were great moments yesterday. It is so easy to be lost in the horrible ones and dwell only on those.  What happens will happen, and I am trying to remember that.

As to my writing… well it’s taken a hit. I don’t know the exact numbers but I haven’t written since last Friday. Though I am behind a couple of book reviews I need to write, and I’m writing this blog.  I’m technically ahead quite a bit on my word count because I tend to write more than 250 words a night. So it won’t hurt, as much. But it still hurts. I was snowed in without my laptop Sunday though, and spending all the time I could with my mom was more important 🙂

Some times, writing just has to be put on pause for life. I don’t regret it. Now on to write an article about college, and finish a form for my students.

I hope all of your writing endeavors are going well!

Planning For Camp Nano

Hello everyone!

Time just marches on by does it not?  I am happy to say that I have met my writing goal every day this month. It hasn’t always been on my novel. A few days it was for book reviews. I wrote an article one day and didn’t even count those words. So I have been doing quite well, and I am super happy with myself. Maybe if I can keep this up, I can increase my word goal in a few months. For now though, I am happy with the progress I am making, and satisfied with the fact that I am WRITING on my novel weekly, whereas for the past year that has not been the case at all.

Maybe this is the year!

So, on to Camp Nano! Feel free to add me, and maybe we could start a group. I am still hoping to be finished with Fated Destiny by November, so that I can work on my Pirate Novel (which I will outline plot for in October).  Camp Nano in April and July are two of my major projects I’m hoping to help me with that. As I already have outlines, and I’m just continuing what I have been doing I do not have a lot of prep to do for Camp Nano. However, much of the same guidelines exist for it as do for Nano, and I will begin posting those tips come March 🙂

I think, sometimes, we writers lose ourselves and our writing because we feel like failures. We have friends who manage to write thousands of words a day, or we know professors who are publishing a book a year.  Or we had professors who tried to push us to better ourselves, but in the end it just made us feel as if our writing was not good enough. Okay, so maybe that’s just me, but I am sure some of you have felt the same way. It can be difficult (in EVERYTHING) to look at what others have accomplished or done, and not be doing the same.

Yet, we do not know what is different in their world from ours. They may have much more time to write. They probably don’t have a crazy toddler to watch who is OBSESSED with their laptop. They may have made writing their career, and good for them. As much as I love writing, I also love what I do. I think I would continue doing what I do even if one day I become a successful crazy novelist (haha).  We need to remember to be realistic for our goals, and what WE can do for ourselves.  Lowering my word count goal, and having a GOAL has helped me so much.  I feel a million times better a day, because I am writing every day. I’m being creative. It’s great.

Also, Operation Declutter is slow going, but its going. I have emptied my closet of an entire playpen’s worth of clothing that I am going to sell/donate.  I even got rid of a ton of socks (I had like three drawers worth…).  I’m going through my books. I separated out the book I have not read yet, and am now making that a priority before I am allowed to get random books (okay, Morning Star did not count). I want less crap laying around, and I’m working toward that. It feels super. I even just received a book about decluttering for a review. So woot!

I am hoping to have a couple of book giveaways at the end of this month, so stay tuned for me figuring that out 🙂

Peace!

Writing Update

So, per an idea from Amanda McCormick, I decided to lower my daily writing goal to 250 words a day. With my crazy insane life, I have more motivation to spend 10 minutes writing, than stressing over getting 1000 words. And I have to say, it seems to be working.

I have written every day this month.  I have already done my words for today, as our training let out two hours early. I have 1320 words for the month, and I’m 320 words over day-to-day goal count. Which is awesome. It’s not much, and its certainly not near the 1000 a day, but I’m just excited that I’m writing. I’ve over 34,000 words on my novel.

I have written more in the past two months that I have in the past year. On that note, I found my Nano shirt from 2014 which made me very happy. I think it was lost in my hubby’s clothing.

I am currently in Lexington, KY for training for my KCC program.  It is a nice town, but really busy around campus which is to be expected. I am currently reading Divergent, and have an article for our newspaper to write, and a couple of book reviews to write (Including one for I Am Malala).

Anyways, that is all for today. I have lots to do (and maybe a nap) before our dinner at 6.

Attack by Fairy: Behind on Nano

Hello guys,

I have been mostly absent for the past week, and for that I apologize. However, last Monday my mother-in-law passed away and it has been a tough week.

I wrote 2022 words for Nano last week. To say I am behind is an understatement but I decided not pushing myself last week was better in the long run.  My “writing fairy” has been fussing at me so today I will let her push me back on track.

I knew, and rediscovered, that I now deal with things by cleaning. My house is rather pretty.

More later, have a great day.

Fallon