Let’s Say We Are Going to Camp NaNoWriMo

I am the queen of unfinished drafts.

Like every good writer, I start stories, novels, blog posts with every intent to finish them. But sometimes, I get bored…okay, a lot of times I get bored after I begin always in the middle. That part of the writing process when it begins to feel like work and there I go off to something else new and shiny.

But this July, I decided to try Camp NaNoWriMo…again. CNW_Participant_Square

Last November, I started working on a novel project, and I didn’t finish it (like I said I am the queen). I found myself trudging through the motions of writing before giving up mid-way through NaNoWriMo. Since last November, I keep thinking about this one project. This one idea that I started, characters who won’t let me move on to the next project.

Even if nothing comes from the novel, I need to write out.

This is why I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. If I could explain that writing this novel isn’t about publishing; it isn’t about signing an agent to market my work (I am open to both scenarios should anyone be interested); and it isn’t about writing an insane about of words in one month.

For me, it is about getting into a daily writing habit. It is about not feeling guilty that I can’t keep my damn butt in the chair long enough to write something. It is about breaking free from the endless cycle of “should haves” and “what if’s.”

Sure, I may not finish this month, but if nothing else, I will be a few words closer to finishing.

That’s why I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo again.

 

Signs of the Weary

Weariness marks its territory all over my desk.

Paper piled up, a few stray candy wrappers, a soda half-consumed. This is weary, my weary. Long work days and nights squeezed out the life force, the vibrance. Also, the will to clean. Spread out all over the corner desk, I leaf through school work, junk mail fliers, coupons to spend at stores I don’t shop. Behind my eyes, my head aches, but I continue plodding along. Stiff muscles and hands throb reminding me of my long work day tomorrow too.  Over and over, my mind races through my schedule and where I need to be and when every one else in this family needs something or go somewhere. As if a giant calendar lived inside my mind, I berate myself with all the must do’s, the needs, the events.

Weary, no longer abstract, looks like me.

I try to write, but even then, weary creeps in and becomes my muse. Sitting at my desk, I type out words and conversations for my novel only to get my word count up for #NaNoWrimo. But weary isn’t the kind of muse I want. It sits on my shoulder and reiterates how the words I am writing break every rule touted by established writers. More importantly, writer published with books lining shelves. My muse weary points out my plot flaws, dialogue errors while whispering how my idea isn’t original or even that creative. Why not quit? Weary suggests. No one will ever read this anyways, and the muse goes on to delineate how difficult the publishing industry can be. Ruthless and hard, I should just go read someone’s else words.

Weary doesn’t show us much grace.

Some days, I buy into the lies whispered my weariness. Those graceless thoughts fester inside my head, and I allow it. Doubts follow, and soon, I sit in front of my computer about to delete all of my words–novel, blogs, all of them. Who wants to read this? But even in these moments, weary doesn’t have the loudest voice. My other muse, grace calls over weary’s brazen words. Grace doesn’t gloss over the difficulties of my craft, the industry, but Grace gives hope.

Hope replaces our weary.

Some days, I cling to hope despite weary. But I must work. To spend my time honing the craft, to write words no one will ever see, to push against all of my feelings of inadequacy–I choose which muse I will listen to. Even on those weary days, I choose to hope that tomorrow’s writing will be inspired. I choose to believe Grace’s words that I have worth, that I have a voice to speak.

Which muse are you listening to today?

 

Novel Beginnings

Greetings from the almost mid-point of #NaNoWriMo!

Just to give everyone a bit of an update, I’m currently over 20,000 words into my novel and working my way slowly toward the 50,000 mark.

 

Here is a brief beginning to my novel:

 

Between Lake and Tent Stakes

 

The pool chlorine covered the odor of the dead body as bright red leaves fell into the campground’s large rectangle pool. The water level in the deep end when full was eight feet, but with winter approaching, it had been drained from its normal depth to about half. Four feet of water and a sloping ledge meant the poor floater didn’t die here. Deep purple bruises around the base of the head, the duct tape around the wrists, and no tinge of blood in the putrid pool water would be suspect. The body must be moved and quickly.

Standing in the shadows of the bathroom area, a tall figure evaluated the  scene. The vast woods and lake offered enough of a refuge for the decaying corpse. Indeed, the campground could easily close for a week for maintenance, and the body could be burned. Ashes mixed well in the soil. A flick of his wrist gave the command for the two other figures to crawl out from the shadows. They sat underneath the open umbrella at one of the flimsy green and white patio sets. The plastic chairs frozen cold with dew didn’t offer much comfort. But comfort was the last thing any of the three thought of while looking downward into that pool.

“Don’t tell, Lula,” whispered the tall man to his two accomplices.

Slowly, the younger man slipped down in to the pool, lugging the water logged body up through the shallow end. He whispered the rosary’s Hail, Mary.

“Can’t carry him , no more, sir,” said the soaked young man. His arms straining to lift up the weight of the body and soaked through winter gear.

“Grab the wheelbarrow,” said the taller man. He brought a large tarp just in case. While waiting for the wheelbarrow, the man rolled the corpse onto the tarp, laced parachute cord through the metal grommets, and tied the body up. In the morning, he would pressure wash the pool deck. Fortunately, the concrete gave up its secrets without much coaxing.

Question: How’s your novel coming? Any tips for finishing well?

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Hello from the Chaos

Tomorrow, I will have been in the #NaNoWriMo trenches for a week.

Already, I’m over 10,000 words into my first novel. While it is simply a first draft(not even at the rough draft stage), I still really like my characters that I developed and the few who showed up. Right now, I have one character in a back office who has yet to open the door and introduce himself or herself. Not sure, yet, but I’m hoping said person will come out soon.

As I plow through my novel, here are a few things I learned this first week.

  1. I waste a lot of time. At first, I looked at my schedule and thought I wouldn’t have enough time. But when I cut down the good things, the distractions, I am always amazed. I have hours to devote to my art, my writing.
  2. Deadlines are not the enemy. For some writers, word counts and deadlines stifle their art. My art thrives under pressure.
  3. Writing brings me joy. Even in the midst of the chaos, writing this novel makes me feel creative joy. It’s not a perfect process, but it is far better to have a work in progress than simply an idea stuck in my head.
How is you art coming this week? How was the first week of #NaNoWriMo?

 

5 Reasons to Be Nice to Me

Happy All Saints Day!

Or….

Happy Old Hallows Day!

Doesn’t matter which moniker you prefer, or perhaps, I should say…

HAPPY NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH!

For the entire month of November, I will be participating in NaNoWriMo(short for National Novel Writing Month, yes, it sound likes adults communicating with a newborn. I didn’t call it that, so don’t blame me). Within the next 30 days, I will be writing my novel, and for those interested, about 50,000 or 1667 words per day.

That’s a LOT of words…Hope the dictionary has enough in it.

So, I have but one smallish request….please be kind to this poor coffee chugging, sleep deprived writer. Why? I can give you 5 good reasons….

5 Reasons to be nice to me during NaNoWriMo

  1. Mean people end up as characters in my novel who may or may not be eaten by zombies. Are you willing to risk that?
  2. I’m switching decades from my 20s to my 30s. You wouldn’t be mean to an old lady, right?
  3. Writers don’t keep secrets well. So, unless you want that thing you did to be in a plot line , then be kind.
  4. “Vengeance cometh from the tip of a pen” is in the Bible. Well, I can’t give you a chapter and verse, but the “th” totally makes it KJV worthy.
  5. Be Thankful I’m writing the 50,000 words and not you!