What To Do at Camp

I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo hoping it would spark some creative thing in the depths of my brain and getting me writing something new. But the more I hashtag game my current WIP (which was last year’s NaNoWriMo WIP), the more I think it’s worthy of my full attention.

I’m so close to the end! I spent a small chunk of time outlining that B over the weekend and making a list of the things I knew still needed to happen to actually complete the story in a sensical way. I have an idea of how to move forward. I just need to get myself to do it.

And it’s getting a little easier. The kiddo is napping right this second (and I wrote half a page before jumping onto this blog post) and not only am I able to eat actual food in the mornings now, not only can I get myself off the couch and unfurl my tired body, throwing off the cocoon of blankets and oversized sweaters, but I can actually handle coffee again. Well, fake-flavored cappuccino K-cups with foam packets, but it’s caffeine nonetheless and I am starting to feel like a real live person again!

So perhaps instead of jumping into something new, I can spend my Camptime finishing up this WIP and starting on editing. Now seems like the best time anyway while it’s still cold out and before we make any attempt to move houses. I’m also very well aware of the hole I will fall into after the baby is born and survival mode will cut out any writing time.

That’s it, then. FinishThisWIP is where I’m at this Camping season. I’ve already been invited to a cabin full of fiesties who seem like a good time. I’m hoping that interacting with them will help keep me motivated too.

Guess it’s time to change my Camp project, then, eh?



Can I Call This Post “I Climaxed Too Soon”?

I mentioned in my last post the SheShouldRun.org Incubator which, by the way, I’m finding to be enormously helpful in finding my own strengths and ways for me to take on more of a leadership role in my work and life RIGHT NOW, even without running for office. I also mentioned how it’s helping me discover more about the character of my main WIP, a story I am having all sorts of trouble finishing.

Thank you writing prompts, I’ve found the reason why:

8342270705d0e6ce4441738ddcf2c0e3Almost all of the 56,000 words I’ve written so far have been Rising Action. I thought I had written a climax but it only addresses half of the conflict, the personal portion. It doesn’t address the social part of the conflict at all!

And here I am trying to END the story. Silly.

So now I’m in this weird place where I know there’s a ton more to be written and I have a bit of an idea of what’s going to happen but I haven’t really set up an adequate amount of foreshadowing, so there’s also a whole bunch of editing I’ll have to do, and now that NaNoWriMo is over, I don’t have quite the motivation to keep up with my word count.

Also, my son is transitioning to afternoon naps so writing time is now dubious and not entirely guaranteed every day.

Meanwhile, I’ve got this completed first draft on hold from October which I’d rather be working on.

So… maybe… it wouldn’t hurt if I took a break from my Nano WIP and went back to the completed story? NaNoWriMo isn’t even looking for a “revision promise” until January. And I’m the boss of me.

Friends, fellow writers, people who have expressed interest in reading this WIP, here is my official notice of project switching. I’m going back to my campground/coming of age story. Starting………. NOW.



Some Context for That Tweet

Excerpt from my as yet untitled (and unfinished) NaNoWriMo WIP:

“How is this still the way things are?” Daya said, defeated. She shrugged and stared out the window.

Catori was thoughtful for a moment. She thought about all the women who had sacrificed their own lives and safety to get them what they did have. Why more women didn’t make such huge sacrifices. Why she didn’t.

“Because most of us are too busy trying not to drown to save each other?” she asked and in her mind, she tried to take responsibility for her own part. She tried to justify that she was making a difference as a professional women in a field originally dominated by men. Then she remembered Enid’s description of her interactions with her male coworkers. “Fluttery and coy” couldn’t possibly be working in the favor of women’s rights. She was too embarrassed by this new realization to comment further.

“Because we’re too busy second-guessing ourselves to ask for what we need,” Daya answered with conviction. “Not a day goes by that I don’t doubt I’m doing my best to care for my son. I know I am. How could I not be? But I still doubt myself. Every time one of my male coworkers questions my knowledge, I stop and check myself. ‘Do I really know that to be true? I think so. But I could be wrong,’ and then whatever I say sounds unsure and my credibility is gone.”

“I know the feeling,” Catori said.

“We all do.”


NaNoooooo, it won’t end!

Yeah… writing 50,000 words and completing a novel are two totally different things. I can’t seem to finish this bad boy. Call it a consequence of pantsing it, but I don’t really know what the point of this story is. I don’t know what the logical conclusion is. But I super duper want it to end so I can move on with my life and my projects.

Total word count so far is 53,182.



Winning Feels Nice

Smack dab in the middle of a climactic scene, I hit my NaNoWriMo winning word count and forced myself to pause and reflect and celebrate. Maybe order of o’ them winner t-shirts while I’m out here in the real world. Brag a little. Scroll through Facebook and then realize that was a mistake. But then it’s right back to writing, kids. WIPs don’t finish themselves, ya know.

I would like to thank my husband for giving me some kid-free time, the Sleep Sounds app on my phone for covering the obnoxious sound of neighbors with glorious white noise, and Sundays at work where no one bothers me and both actual work and writing get done with relatively little disruption. Thanks as well to all the #amwriting and hashtag games participants and moderators for keeping me motivated. And above all, thanks be to coffee. You always help me keep it real, little beans, and I love you for it.



I am a woman of small acts consistently performed

I’m researching for my NaNo WIP and I came across this quote:

I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good. Maya Angelou

That’s exactly where I’m at in the world right now and I think I needed to hear that that’s ok. I’m not a protester. I’m not a yell down the haters kind of person. I’m not a social media crusader.

I am a woman of small acts, consistently performed.

And Maya Angelou says that’s enough.


NaNo Got Me Working HARD

I’ll tell you what I should be doing: I should be writing 700ish more words to get over 30,000 of my NaNo WIP. I’ll tell you what I AM doing: eating my son’s goldfish and taking a damn break.

I’ve come to the point where I need to decide what the hell this story is about, what the climax will involve, and how I can possibly end it. I think 50,000 words is a good goal but that being the goal, I keep thinking I have to end the story near that amount instead of continuing on to the logical conclusion.

“Oh, only 20,000 words left? Well, let’s build up quick to the let down so we can get this nonsense over with, eh?”

No, that’s not how it’s supposed to work! But that’s the game and I’ve committed to the game and once 50,000 are written and November ends, I can play my own game. I can add on or take off or edit the bajesus out of it and make something new.

As excited as I am to finish this challenge and find out how this story ends, I really liked the WIP I finished last month (the coming of age story) and would love to start editing that. Also, I’d like to take off some of the pressure of having to write EVERY day. It’s nice to take breaks once in a while and bingewatch some TV instead.

But we’re almost there. So don’t give up! Just keep swimming, Mr Grumpy Gills.


Writing Myself Right Out of Reality

I’m over 20,000 words and feeling pretty good about my NaNoWriMo WIP.

There’s ghosts and scifi technology and converted mill apartments and drunken spats with exes in womb-like lounges; everything you could want in something I am totally making up as I go along.


It’s what’s keeping me sane, to be honest.


Turn the Other Cheek so I may slap it

I’ve been in self-preservation mode since the election, focusing on my son, my daily tasks, my job, my NaNoWriMo WIP and avoiding Facebook at all costs. But I took a look this morning and saw outrage and protests and bitterness and LOTS of hypocrisy from both sides. I saw people preaching love and acceptance and moving on with love in your hearts for all and I saw people committing to hate, vowing to avenge the wrongs done to their families and communities.

And what I thought was this:

Choosing love doesn’t necessarily mean Turning the Other Cheek. It can also mean fighting the power out of love instead of hate. Love burns bright and endures. Hate burns out and leaves nothing behind. Choose love because love will sustain your fight.

The mountain doesn’t move from one big push. It takes slow steady effort to get over, around or through.