So Far So Good

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Here’s a quick blurb/update on my progress after losing my entire manuscript:

I wrote 10,019 words today on my new draft of my Camp NaNoWriMo novel Detective Florence (Book 2). It’s only a little after 2 PM in the afternoon and I have to say that I am proud to have written that much in such a short amount of time.

I am now 30,060 words into the novel.

I have 20k words left and two more days.

I wish I always had this energy to write so much in so many days. Honestly, if school didn’t end this past weekend and if I had homework this week…I think I would have been screwed.

Lost And (Hopefully) Found

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Does anyone remember when my flash drive died about a year and a half or so ago? I lost just about everything. All my manuscripts and ideas. There were a few novels I didn’t lose because they were all ready printed out, but I lost about 85% of my writing. Yeah, that was not a fun time…and I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m bringing that up again.

So…Camp NaNoWriMo ends in about three days. I have been writing my novel Detective Florence (Book 2). I wrote a little over 3k words yesterday bringing my to about 44k. After that, I decided to write my Short Story Sunday because it was getting late in the day and it needed to be done.

Well, I have been working so much on Detective Florence that I have been in the habit of clicking on that document when I hit the “save” button. So when I was working on my Short Story Sunday and I hit save…

Yes, I saved over my entire 150-page-44k-words-so-close-to-being-completed-for-Camp-NaNo-and-the-entire-story-line manuscript. The worst part of it is that I did not do this once, but three times. Yes, three. When my flash drive died, I had no back-ups so I got Dropbox and fairly recently got Google Drive. Every time I work on something–writing, homework, anything–I save it to all three. Therefore, when I did my Short Story Sunday, I saved it to…all three.

However, I have overcome the initial shock and sadness of this tragedy. I have been taking notes and writing the scenes as I write them on sticky notes so I have all the ideas. Plus, the story wasn’t going where I originally wanted it to go. So today I moved around some sticky notes, got rid of a few, and added new ones. The story (hopefully) will make much better sense.

Kris was good enough to get back the very first draft from when I saved it the first time, so she got me back the first 5,012 words of my story. This means I have about 45k left to write in order to validate for NaNo. With five days left (including yesterday and today), I decided I’m going to rewrite the entire novel. That’s about 10,000 words a day.

Since I all ready had the 5k I just needed to write 5k yesterday and then 10k for the rest of the month. Except I was too discouraged yesterday so I decided to start fresh today.

It took me from 8 in the morning until a little after 7 tonight, but I wrote 15,029 words. My novel is now back up to 20,041 words. I can only hope I can keep up this pace for the next three days (seriously, pray for me!).

Short Story Sunday #18

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Start With: The ship’s sail…

 

The ship’s sail was a bright pink in honor of the new baby girl the queen had just birthed. Of course, no one expected the king’s brothers to come over seas from their own kingdoms with a vivid magenta sail. If they ran into any pirates on their journey, the people of the kingdom were sure they were not only laughed at, but probably assumed to be an easy target. Yet, the king’s seven brothers seemed to be all on board and all in one piece.

When the ship came to shore, all the citizens crowded the docks. The king’s guards trotted down on their horses ordering a clear path to be made so the kings of their allying kingdoms could make it off their ship and up to the castle without being bombarded by the entire population of the kingdom.

Well, not the entire population.

“The king’s brothers are here! We must hurry!” an older woman shouted at her daughter, who stood in the doorway of their small wooden house.

“I can see just fine from here, thank you.” The daughter responded with a dry tone.

“Don’t be absurd, Wendy!” her mother growled. “This is an important day for the king, for the entire kingdom. A new princess has been born!”

“You mean the fifth princess has been born,” Wendy corrected, “and there are also three princes in the mix, as well.”

“There’s going to be a great feast tonight with music and dancing and…” the old woman’s voice trailed off as she frowned.

“Boys?” Wendy finished the sentence with a smirk.

“Oh, never mind.” Wendy’s mother shook her head waving her hand. She turned around and ran down the cobblestone pathway to the docks as fast as her short, stubby legs were able to carry her.

Wendy chuckled to herself as she watched her mother shrink in the distance. She stood on her tip-toes trying to get a better look at who was coming off of the ship, but even though she said she could see fine, she really couldn’t. Her house was too far away from the shore, but she was able to hear just fine.

A guard from the king’s castle was announcing each king off the ship, a round of applause following each name. Wendy stood still to hear every name being called.

King Jonathan of Bermington, where Wendy lived, was the eldest of eight brothers; each one of his brothers having their own kingdom across the vast sea. Each and every one of them married a princess to become king; King Jonathan was the only one who inherited his own kingdom as he was the first male in line.

“And lastly, King Harold of Merryport with his queen, Queen Anita!”

Wendy stood taller when she heard the guard announcing King Harold. She held her breath as she gazed upon the tall, blonde king in his red and purple robes, the colors of Merryport. His arm was linked with his wife’s, Queen Anita. She was beautiful; long, flowing brown hair with sparkling emerald eyes. Her curves showed through her purple dress as she smiled and waved to all the citizens of Bermington. King Harold dipped his head in greeting to people he passed showing off his pearly white teeth.

Wendy looked down at herself and straightened out her dull, gray skirt, hay from the horses and dust clinging on tight. She was no one but a peasant of Bermington while King Harold belonged to another kingdom and had a queen of his own. They hadn’t seen each other since King Jonathan’s last child.

Both King Harold and Wendy knew it was wrong, but when their eyes met at such a great distance, they both froze for a moment and the crowd seemed to disappear. King Harold smiled with his lips pressed tightly together and dipped his head before winking to Wendy. Wendy pulled out her skirt and bowed her head in return with a smile.

Neither Wendy nor King Harold knew how long he was staying for this time, but maybe there was a way they could pick up where they left off.

 

Words: 688

Tipping Over

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Balance

Life is hard. Can I just throw that out there? Of course, no one told me life was going to be easy and I never expected it to be… I mean, why would I?

It’s not that life in general is hard, it’s all the little bits and pieces that go with it. You just need to work your way through each one, but the trick is that you need to deal with it all at the same time. I can’t say, “I’ll go to work this week and then stay home and write the following week. After that I think I’ll go on vacation!” Sadly, life does not work like that.

So how does life work? I certainly don’t know and I’m pretty sure no one else really understands it, either. What I do know is that I need to have some sort of balance between everything that goes on in my life. That’s one piece of the puzzle solved, but how do I find that balance and implement it? Let me know when you figure it out because every time I find my balance–even if it’s just for a short while–life throws another lemon at me giving me a black eye.

For the past few days I’ve been writing “to do” lists for myself. So far it’s been working, but probably only for a little while. I’ve done this before and soon enough I get out of the routine whether I get sick, something unexpected happens, or I just get lazy.

We all know Kris and I have conversations about life and the future every so often, but with both of us getting older those conversations have been happening more frequently. We’re in no rush to leave our parents, but we want to move out for the experience. We don’t have the money to do it. Plus, I’m still in school so I have a lot less money than my sister does.

I’m going to be 21 in about a month. My friend who is three months younger than me got married and moved across the country. My other friend who is a year older than me (and also the sister of the other one) is pregnant. I feel as though I’m “behind schedule” even though I’m really not. I should be focusing on work and school and that’s what I prefer to work towards. Yet, it’s hard to work towards something when everything else is about money.

I want to be a writer and I’ve written many things, yet none of them pay as they’ve never been published. This is okay, but I’m wondering about when September hits. I will be taking five courses, one is accelerated (which will be kind of nice in a way because then the last month of the semester I’ll only have to worry about four courses), but one of the courses is going to make it feel as though I’m taking seven courses–not five. This course, by the way, is Selected Authors: Tolkien & Rowling; the class I’m super excited for. I don’t think I’m going to be so excited for the homework, though. Not to mention homework from four other classes, one being accelerated.

should also be working full-time. I say “should” because I don’t know if I officially have the job, yet. If not, I’ll still be a substitute which won’t be so bad with all the school work. Money-wise, it won’t be so good, but I have to take what I can get.

Then there’s babysitting on the side and…oh, yeah writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close and I am at 41k words or something around there. I’m also done and I will win. I was actually hoping to be done by today, but I started reading Harry Potter to get a head start on my class in the Fall and I got so into the series that I’ve just been reading nearly non-stop.

(To throw a lame excuse as to why I haven’t been blogging a lot is because of Harry Potter, trying to win Camp NaNo, and also homework…but the school semester ends tomorrow, yay!)

So with that in mind I have about six days left. I plan on going overboard (but let’s get real–I probably won’t) and come August I hope to edit the first book (I’m writing the sequel now). I edited the first draft in June, but obviously still needs a bit of work.

Good luck in the last few days of Camp, people! I can’t believe the end is near…but at the same time, I feel as though the month of July dragged on. Maybe that’s just me. ;)

Short Story Sunday #17

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Prompt: Send a person you dislike somewhere and have them send you a post card.

Start With: The post card arrived…

            The post card arrived in the mail today. I didn’t expect her to write anything to me. She was so far away, both mentally and physically. I figured I would be the last thing on her mind; I always was.

So when I noticed a postcard sitting surrounded by bills in my mailbox, I thought it strange. The card had six stamps on it—that’s how far away she was vacationing. Six stamps for one piece of card stock; ridiculous.

I turned the card over and rolled my eyes at all the scribbles on the back. She always had a tendency to ramble, even when she was writing. Without even reading it, I assumed she was writing to me to gloat. She was on vacation and I wasn’t. It was as simple as that. But no, that wasn’t the case. She was writing to me because she was having a miserable time.

Now she had my attention.

I sat down at the kitchen table with the post card in one hand and a cup of iced coffee in the other. I sipped my caffeine wondering why she would feel the need to complain to me. She was always trying to get ahead of me in life, always trying to be better. I would think she would have lied about her vacation just to make it seem as though she was having a better week than I was.

This place is terrible! Awful! Horrific!

Oh, aside from the rambling, did I mention that she was a total drama queen?

The view from my hotel room is a brick wall! A brick wall, can you believe that? Why on Earth would they offer with a room without a nice view? And that’s not even the worst part—there are bugs everywhere! You should have seen the spider I sent spiraling down the shower drain this morning. Then there were more spiders and other bugs all over the place. I didn’t get one wink of sleep last nice because I was so itchy. I’m praying I’m itchy because of fear of the bugs and not because some bugs bit me and gave me a disease.

            I found myself grinning at the end of the paragraph. She should have done her research before booking the hotel. That was nobody’s fault but her own. Plus, I knew she was probably itchy out of fear. She always blew everything out of proportion.

The hotel doesn’t even accept my credit card. I had to pay with cash. I didn’t have enough so I had to write the rest of the bill out on a check. Now my bank account is broke. How am I going to get home? How am I going to be able to afford a plane ticket? I was going to come straight home, but now I can’t. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

            I chuckled at her being stuck there. Again, if she had done her research the she would have been fine. Besides, she seemed to have enough money to buy a post card and six stamps at least.

This is entirely your fault! I can’t believe you suggested this place to me. You probably knew it was awful here. You owe me some money after this one!

And there it was: the reason she wrote to me. It wasn’t because she thought I would actually be interested in hearing about her vacation. It wasn’t because she was having a great time and wanted to rub it in my face. It was because she was blaming her life’s woes on me.

I ripped up the post card and tossed it in the trash. What else was new?

Words: 617

Halfway Done

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I always tell myself l’m going to blog everyday during NaNo and then l never do.

My goal for Camp is the standard 50,000 words, but instead of writing 1,613 words a day l try to write 2,000 words a day. This helps me get ahead quicker if l skip a day or two. Plus, it’s an even number. Honestly, that was the main reason l decided to write 2k a day.

I skipped writing pretty much all week. Between homework and lack of motivation, l just didn’t feel like it. But, like every other NaNo session, l thought l could afford to skip a few days because l was all ready “so much ahead.” Well, l ended up getting myself a lot behind and it took me three days to catch up.

According to NaNo l should be at 24,000-something. I think the number is closer to 25k. According to my 2k a day, l’m supposed to be at 30k.

Today l sat my butt in my chair and wrote from 8AM up until 7PM. I had a few breaks here and there (the longest being a Dick Van Dyke episode). Then my cousins came over and wanted to play Clue. That game took about two hours…no lie.

So l should have hit 30k way sooner than 11-ish hours of writing. But l did it. I hit 30k.

I’m at the top of page 101 on my novel, too. I love breaking 100 pages.

Good luck to those particpating in Camp! We’re halfway through the month…we can do it!

Short Story Sunday #16

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Start With: New Year’s resolutions make me…

            New Year’s resolutions make me want change. They make me want to better myself. I don’t always give myself a new resolution each New Year and when I do, I never follow through with it. For the month of January (and maybe February) I will bring my resolution into action, but it never lasts long. I always say I’m going to be more active and more social, but instead I find myself on the couch in front of my favorite TV show.

Ever since I dropped out of high school I haven’t been able to keep in touch with my friends. I never saw them during the day (as they were all in school) and now that they’ve graduated, they’ve all gone off to college and I’m still sitting on my couch. I thought about going to college, I really did. Yet, the time, effort, and money I had to put into it just didn’t seem realistic to me. It was sort of the reason I dropped out of high school when I was 16. It was a waste of my time. College would not only waste my time, but I would have to pay for it as well. Nope, that wasn’t going to happen.

Some of my friends stayed local and went to college here while a few went away to new states. And I only know this because of Facebook. Those friends I do not stay in touch with at all. My local friends are always busy with homework or they have a job. I kind of gave up on trying to get them to come over or go out somewhere because of this. One friend has the morning shift at her work and the other has the night shift. Yet, on Facebook, there are plenty of pictures of them hanging out together. How do they find the time?

Sure, I’ve been invited to go out with them a few times here or there, but they were always doing something I didn’t want to do. For example, they would be heading to the movies to see a film that looked stupid. Or maybe they were just going to a coffee shop just to talk. One time, I actually caved in and went to a coffee shop with them and you know what one of my friends said to me?

“Joan, look! There’s a sign that says they’re hiring. Why don’t you put in an application?”

What, did my mother put her up to that one? That was the last time I saw and spoke to that friend. She never did figure out why, either. She called me a few times here and there trying to get in touch, but I never responded. Eventually the calls stopped and now I only know what’s going on in her life because of social media. I guess she gave up on me.

Another friend I don’t really talk to anymore actually told me I needed to “grow up.” Seriously? Just because she graduated from high school and was getting some fancy degree at a university and that she had a well-paying job in some field she absolutely loved, didn’t mean she was an adult and I was still a child. Yes, I sleep in until noon on an almost daily basis, but I wake up super early on Saturdays! …Well, sure it’s because cartoons are on, but what’s it to her?

I looked to the TV and the news was counting down until the New Year. Five seconds left.

I looked at the vacant seats on either side of me in my living room. I sighed.

Four seconds left.

I slouched down on the couch. I was alone, but that was nothing new.

Three seconds.

I wondered what my friends were doing for the New Year.

Two seconds.

I bet they were doing something stupid. Something I wouldn’t be interested in, anyway.

On second thought, New Year’s resolutions make me want to gag.

Words: 662

*Prompt from The Write-Brain Workbook by Bonnie Neubauer*

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