Posts Tagged ‘NaNo’

November 2, 2014


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Keep up with my NaNoWriMo progress in this blog post. I think it’ll work.

April 22, 2013


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The Boston Marathon bombing was a horrendous tragedy, and plenty of folks more eloquent than I am have expressed their thoughts much better than I ever could.

Why’s that? I write romantic comedy. I don’t do well with dark moments, tears and a heavy heart. My whole family’s like that. There’s a reason we sat around cracking jokes before and after my dad’s funeral.

My predisposition to avoiding sadness is why, after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, I stopped writing. Months — maybe even a year — passed before I shook the funk and continued with the story I’d been working on (“Blind Date Bride”). I didn’t feel like being funny when the world as we knew it had changed forever.

But that was more than a decade ago, and if I’m going to be published before I’m too old to enjoy the victory, I don’t have the luxury of taking another six months to a year off. Besides, I signed up for the NaRoNoWriMo (National Romance Novel Writing Month) challenge to write 40K in April. I’m woefully behind — and was even before Monday’s attack. A couple of new rejections have waylaid me more than I’d like to admit. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but my skin apparently isn’t as tough as it needs to be.

In keeping with the spirit of trying to get back in the swing of things, I made myself a note:

 The sentiment is from my fellow NARWAns, Karen and Anne Marie. We were gathered for some writing time at Starbucks Thursday, and when I confessed I was struggling, they gave me a gentle shove in the right direction.

I will write — not only for myself, but also for anyone who needs to boost their mood … who wants a good laugh … who, like me, uses humor to cope with their deepest, darkest doubts.

I will write because if we stop doing what we want — if we don’t continue to follow our dreams — the terrorists win.

Uh-uh. Not on my watch.

Had you asked me last week whether I was going to win NaNoWriMo this year, I’d have laughed — most likely right in your face.

With two entries for the 2012 Golden Heart competition to polish, I’d pretty much written off finishing NaNo. When I popped my last GH entry in the mail on Monday, I had 15,000 words left to write and three days in which to do it.

And here’s where that old power of persistence kicked in. I didn’t want to fail. I had Monday off, so I spent most of it at Starbucks, writing away — and then did some late-night word sprints with the Power Writing Hour Facebook group I belong to. On Tuesday, I did as much writing as I could until it was time to go to work … And on Wednesday, after working until 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and then sprinting until 12:30 a.m. or so, I hauled myself out of bed at 8 a.m. so I could put in a full day at Starbucks before heading to work.

The persistence paid off. At about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, I crossed the finish line with 50,094 words. (Yeah, I was supposed to be at work by 3 p.m. — but I was too close to give up. Lucky for me, my hours are somewhat flexible.) The NaNo validator came in slightly lower, at 50,016 … but still enough to declare me a winner.

Finishing something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do felt great. I have to give shout-outs to Jamie Raintree and Anne Marie Becker, my writing buddies who wouldn’t let me give up. (They both hit 50K, too.) My new Power Writing Hour friends helped, too.

Another shout-out to the new CPs who helped me whip those GH entries into shape. I received confirmation just this morning that the second of two was received — so all that’s left is to wait …

And to keep writing, of course. I already have a new challenge in my sights: Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. Its mid-December deadline is creeping up fast.

October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo 11


I’m pretty sure pre-planning was the reason I powered through 53,000 words in 30 days in 2010.

So as much as I hate to sit down and “plot,” I spent part of the weekend doing exactly that.

I’ve had the idea for this story for a while, ever since reading a story about a state legislature (I think it was in Oregon) that passed a law saying health care facilities needed to hire an interpreter for any language a patient spoke — including Klingon.

My first thought was: Wouldn’t it be funny for an uptight health care administrator to be forced to hire a Klingon interpreter? Melissa and Donovan were born. (Except I had to change her name to Allyson because I just finished writing a heroine named Melinda and didn’t want to get the two confused.)

Allyson — don’t dare call her Ally — is the uptight health care administrator; Donovan “Van” is the laid-back, happy-go-lucky guy who taught himself Klingon one long, boring summer. While she tries to get him to follow the rules, he makes it his project to get her to loosen up.

I’ll be trying something new with this MS — Scrivener. I downloaded the free trial Saturday and started playing around with it. Looks like it’ll be interesting.

I’d like to be able to say that won’t be around as much this next month while I immerse myself in the craziness that is NaNoWriMo. But considering how little blogging I’ve been doing lately, I don’t need to say it. Once or twice a month is already “not around much.”

So I’ll just say “sayonara” for now. After a month of writing dangerously, I’ll see you on the flip side — with a brand-new manuscript for editing/submission.