Things are about to get good

I’m so excited about the chapter I’m writing tonight, I had to take a blog break. I’m almost nervous about it.

Things have been building up to this point and the reader knows a lot more than the characters know so far, but by the end of this chapter, some of the characters are going to be clued in to something pretty big. I’m just glad that it’s not even 7pm yet (and I don’t have to work until 9:30am tomorrow for Black Friday), so hopefully I’ll be able to get most of it done tonight. Six pages a day might cut it for Stephen King, but I’m on a roll here, and I don’t think I can stop for sleep in the middle of this momentum.

As far as NaNoWriMo, I’m really pretty sure I’m not going to finish the book in November. It’s possible I’ll finish 50,000 words, but there’s more story to tell than that. Not a big deal. I’ve still gotten lots of writing done because of it, so this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for NaNoWriMo.

I’m also thankful for my Laffy Taffy “humongous lip balm,” which, I’d venture to say, is more humongous than your lip balm.

Holy moly

I never thought working a part-time retail job could leave me feeling so run-down.

The day after I got back from the Tony Robbins event in South Florida, I started my cashier gig at TJMaxx. I’m getting about 25 hours a week (except this week, with Black Friday coming up, when I’ll be getting more). Because the shifts are all at different times of day, I’m never quite sure what time it is, and when I’m supposed to be tired. Yesterday behind the register, I started sneezing and couldn’t stop. Of course, today I woke up on my day off and it had turned into a full-blown cold. So I’ve taken my NyQuil and am ready to lie down with my box of Kleenex beside me.

The bad part is, I’m pretty behind on my writing. Behind enough that I’m relatively sure I won’t be able to complete 50,000 words within November like I’d planned. I’m only slightly disappointed by this, and really only because I’d bought my NaNoWriMo “winner” shirt before the month had even begun. I’m not worried about finishing quickly. It has been a fun motivator, but it’s not my only motivator.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my NyQuil is kicking in.


(Fitting that my anthem, Drive by Incubus, should be playing as I’m trying to think of what to title this post. )

I had my first day at my new job, and I feel like wahwahwhining that now I’ll have no time to write, when the truth is, I’ll have gobs of time to write. Except that at the end of this 5 hour shift (I’m a cashier at TJMaxx!), I’m weary. And my motivation write is nowhere to be found. I even bought a notebook at work tonight identical to the one I use for outlining my book, but larger, and I can’t even make myself write longhand.

So yeah, at the moment, Ravel/Unravel exists digitally–on my iPad and elsewhere– and is outlined in the pink book–with character sketches and a few pages of notes on inconsistencies after a read-through of the damn thing I did on the flight back from Tony Robbins. (Maybe that wasn’t in the NaNo spirit but I’m not here to do it someone else’s way, I’m here to write a book.) I love the big blue notebook, I’m just not sure what purpose it can serve. I’m sure it will come to me.

(If you care, for speed of writing, from fastest to slowest, mine are thumbs, then keyboard, then pen-and-paper. I just asked Adam, and his are exactly opposite.)

Tomorrow night my local WriMos are hosting an all night writeathon they’re calling Write the Night (I sorta offered up the name, because, being aware of Light the Night, and being a former TV writer/pun machine, how could I not?). That’ll be a good opportunity to get some good progress on the word count, since even typing this is pretty rough.

I just need to make some sound decisions to keep me from crashing and burning in the second half of November. Getting good sleep, maintaining routines, scheduling writing time and following through. I’m behind but I’m not worried. This book is already alive inside me. A few marathon sessions will push me toward the goal.

I’m a slacker

My writing schedule has been hurting. Somehow I can’t focus at home (a combination of feeling bad about ignoring Vinnie, and a dumb feeling of obligation to answer every text and phone call I get–except calls from unknown numbers, which get sent straight to voicemail, always), so I’ve been going to the library daily.

On Sunday, since my library branch is closed that day, I went to Starbucks. I got there, got my chai latte, got my table, got everything arranged just so… and my keyboard wouldn’t work. I write on Word on my iPad Mini with a Bluetooth keyboard. I assumed it had somehow not been plugged in properly when I charged it, and was dead, so I brought it home and plugged it in again.

Today, I went to the library in the morning. After a little less than 1k words, I packed up and came home. I showered, ate, put a load of laundry in (and did my nails, because #priorities), and decided to try Starbucks again for the rest of my writing this afternoon.

Damned if my keyboard didn’t fail me again.

It’s fully charged. It worked in the car in the Starbucks parking lot before and after my latte/table/setup ordeal. But when I’m actually seated there, it won’t work.

So off I went back to the library. After about half an hour, during which time I double-backed-up my work and wrote about a page, some noisy kids and a woman who seemed to be encouraging them to be noisy came in. (“Wow, you can run really fast!”) Despite admonishments from the reference librarian, the noisy kids and the enabling adult, who was pretty loud herself, kept being disruptive, until–after attempting and failing to drown them out with music on my headset–I eventually just left. Now it’s 5pm, and I have very little work to show for the day.

But I did put away all the laundry, and I’m already packed to leave on my trip.

I’m determined to find a way to write at home. If that means putting Vinnie in his room, I’ll have to do it. People have written in much less comfortable places than my house.

Leaving Wednesday for Palm Beach. Hope I can cram in some words before then.

If not, maybe I’ll just take a break to read. I picked up a Dave Ramsey book, More Than Enough, at my book swap meetup on Saturday, and I’d like to finish it in time to hand it off to my dad while we’re in Florida.

I need more tiiiiiiiiiime.

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions…”

…Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain

So far since I’ve begun my novel writing journey, I’ve encountered very few who weren’t instant cheerleaders. The same goes for my deciding to take the SMART recovery facilitator training course so I can start a meeting in Charleston. Most people have been super-supportive of both endeavors. I’ve tried not to have much to do with those who found it necessary to be critical of my decisions to better myself and help others through these goals.

It’s day 4 of NaNoWriMo, and I’m ahead of schedule with my writing in general. Considering the week I’ll be losing starting Wednesday for the Tony Robbins event in South Florida, though, I’m pretty much running right on pace to finish with 50k. I made goal trackers on the NaNo website for “Before Tony” and “After Tony,” and I need to be producing a little more than 2k words a day to hit my “Before Tony” goal. Yesterday I barely hit 1,100, despite an hour and a half at the library.

Today I have a fun event: a Meetup I started on for book swapping! We’re meeting this afternoon at my library branch. I have some books I’ll never read pulled from my shelves, and I’m excited to see what others bring. Meanwhile, I’ll arrive at the library an hour and a half early so I can get some writing done. Writing at my house is hard, y’all. Too many distractions. (I don’t want to blame Vinnie, but…)

Email him your support or complaints. He’ll read them from his new pillow on the chair on the balcony.

Quick NaNoWriMo update

Today was the first day of NaNoWriMo. I worked a little at home during the day, but only about 45 minutes. I couldn’t really focus, and I had stuff to do. I took a bag of clothing castoffs to Goodwill and went grocery shopping before settling in to write at about 10:30am. Vinnie, of course, was walking all over my keyboard, so I took a break after about 1,000 words and ate lunch. Then, of course, I had to put away last night’s laundry, and found myself texting and talking on the phone for a while before taking a 2-hour nap.

I didn’t get productive until I went to the library to meet up with other WriMos for a “write-in.” There were just a handful of us there, but we were all quiet and focused, and periodically over the course of two hours, we’d have “word sprints” as a friendly competition with a few other writers in our area who were doing the same thing, but in a chat room. I finished a pretty good scene–half of a chapter–and edited it when they kicked us out of the library and I got home. My word total for the day ended up at 2783.

I’m pleased with that. I’ve set up goal trackers on the website to account for the days I’ll be in South Florida for the Tony Robbins conference, so it seems like if I maintain this pace or even slightly less, I’ll be fine to finish 50,000 by the end of the month, even if I don’t write a word on the trip. So that’s helpful to know.

Now I’m ready for bed. Tomorrow, I know I have to get out of the house to write. I’ll head back to the library in the middle of the day and get some solid work done.

Rock & roll! 🤘🏻

It’s a win/win

My friend Nicole’s daughter Lyla is a Girl Scout, and she’s doing a fundraiser–nope, not cookies; wrong time of year! She’s selling nuts and candies, along with magazines (paper and digital) and even some ebooks.

Her deadline for both fundraisers is tomorrow night (11:59pm EDT, 11/1/17), so if you want to support a scout’s troop and get something fun out of the deal, now is the time. Here’s the link for the magazines, and here’s the link for the nuts and candy. Me: I found just what I wanted. I picked out a subscription to this magazine, Poets & Writers, and maybe some of you could use one, too.

In a few months, we’ll talk cookies. 😉

Memories for sale

I suppose I’m not an especially sentimental person—or maybe I am, but not in the typical way.

I’m selling my wedding dress on poshmark. It’s not a big poofy cake of a dress. It’s a stretchy little tube with a mermaid hemline that was perfect for me to get Maui’ed in. Our wedding was so oddly spur-of-the-moment. We had been engaged for more than two years by the time we planned our trip to Hawaii, so when, a month before we were scheduled to leave, it occurred to us that we could just call it an elopement trip and kill two birds with one stone, we thought we were brilliant.

Our families didn’t think we were quite so brilliant; we invited them along, but they couldn’t exactly drop everything and hop a plane to Maui with a month’s notice. My oldest brother, Seth, still hasn’t quite forgiven me, and it’s been nine years.

Our pictures were beautiful. Our photographer, Amity Mason, made the day look magical. Well, it pretty much was magical, but she certainly captured the feel of it. I’m using a couple of her photos in the listing on poshmark to sell the dress.

But why sell it? Well, I say, why not sell it? It’s been in a plastic bag in my nightstand since October of 2008. I’m certainly not going to wear it again. I don’t plan to have a daughter to pass it down to. Why not sell it and let someone else enjoy it? I have the memories. I have the pictures. And I have the shoes.

I’m keeping the shoes, after all. They sit on one of our bookcases of memories in the living room, near the shelf that holds my grandmother’s wedding shoes.

I’m reasonably sentimental, after all. Just not about clothes. (My younger brother Garth will tell you about my policy of getting rid of an item of clothing after I’ve been photographed in it, but that may be another post altogether.)