Getting ready for NaNoWriMo


I only heard about NaNoWriMo, the big writer challenge where authors attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, about two years ago when a friend of mine did it.  Then over the summer,  during one of the writing classes I took, the subject came up again.  While talking about it, I began mulling over the idea of joining in this November.  NaNoWriMo is a condensed form of National November Writers Month and is a widely spread campaign to encourage writing.

For the most part, I don’t produce a lot of words a day.  If I did, that novel would be getting completed much sooner than it is.  I am also not a consistent writer, so I thought that maybe, just maybe, this challenge might lead me to form a better writing habit.  And if I succeed, the next novel I have in mind will be completed in first draft form.

If you do the math on this, the challenge is to write an average of 1,667 words a day, give or take.  It really doesn’t sound like much until you sit down to write and those words take a while to add up.  One of my biggest hurdles is turning off the self-editor when I write.  I can spend more time deciding which word I want to use than actually writing a paragraph of story.  Those word choices, action changes and other items that take a good story to a great (or at least better) story can wait until the editing phase, but it’s hard to tell myself that when I’m writing.  And re-reading what is already written will also trigger the self-editor and waste more time plus stifle the creativity somewhat.  At least, it does with me.

So I am gathering information and tips, and  I have an online seminar on the subject coming up later this month, to help me form a battle plan to achieve my goal.  A terrific resource, I think, is our local NaNoWriMo group that is scheduling group writes where we can meet with other writers, chat a bit and write like crazy for three hours.  We’ll see how that goes.  And I’ll report back here on my activities leading up to the write-a-thon as well the various writing events that occur during the month.

Of course, in the middle of all of this writing in November is the Reno Comic Con, so I’ll have to come up with a strategy to get the writing in on those three days of convention-going.  Sleep?  Who needs sleep?!

A “Legacy” Grows

I have been working on the new novel, O’Ceagan’s Legacy,  and it is coming along pretty well.  Not as fast as I’d like, but at least progressing.  It took its first deviation from my original plan yesterday, which is a good thing.  It means the characters are becoming real in my mind and making choices that I didn’t expect.  This is what makes writing fun!

What exactly is a legacy?  The Merriam Webster Dictionary gives two definitions for  it:

1) a gift by will especially of money or other personal property: bequest.

2) something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past: Example: the legacy of the ancient philosophers

In my novel, the “legacy” is acting on more than one level.  It also stretches those definitions to something more than what they might seem.  But, as food for thought, a legacy can consist of more than money that is inherited.  It can be a house or land or family jewelry.  The value may be intrinsic or for the history.   It can be practically worthless monetarily, yet worth a fortune in knowledge or sentimental value.  How will this play into O’Ceagan’s Legacy?  Quite interestingly, I believe.

So working on chapter 7 now and lots to go yet, but feeling that this tale will be a pretty good read down the road.  Not quite ready to put up a blurb about it, but it will be coming soon along with an excerpt from the prologue.   I will tell you that it has roots in Celtic mythology and it is set in the far future.  And there is a space freighter involved called “Mo Croidhe”, which is Irish for “my heart”.
Until next time…

About My Blog

My thoughts often flow with varied shades and nuances, much like the colors of the seasons flow in the breezes, or winds, that lift the leaves, the papers, the flower petals and other debris that litter the streets or the yards.  So it seems fitting that my blog should be called this and this is where those thoughts will flow.  I hope you will l enjoy reading some of them and will comment or ask questions; otherwise, they will simply blow away like the rest of the treasures – or debris –  in the wind.

Lily – May 8, 2014

So Easily Sidetracked…

It’s been months since my last post and I have to confess that I have been waylaid along the route. I started to tell you some about a new novel that I was starting to write in my last post. And that novel is still in the works, but it also is waylaid by a new project.

Sometimes an idea that you’ve been mulling around suddenly forms more completely in your mind and the whole story line begins to write itself. This is what has happened with the book I am now working on. It’s called O’Ceagan’s Legacy and it is a science fiction fantasy novel. So for the time being, the YA I was starting has been set aside so I can concentrate on this particular story. I think it’s going to be an entertaining read and I will be posting bits from it soon. (I promise!) This one is kind of flowing now and what will keep it flowing is some feedback from my readers, so you can have a part in helping me get this book done in record time.

Finally, back to writing…

Time flows faster than a river…

Part of it is that the new book is the first in a series and I’m trying to get the full picture in my brain before I get into full swing.  I know, it sounds like a great excuse.  But these characters are setting up housekeeping in my mind and they are kind of slow moving in and not as chatty as I would like, but I think they are starting to open up a little.  Let me introduce a couple of them to you.

First, there’s Darcy O’Hara, the plucky teenage heroine in this “finding your light” story.  Darcy has grown up under the dubious influence of “Bewitched” and “Charmed” and believes with all her heart that she’s a witch, but so far that magic has just not come through for her.

Then, there’s her younger brother Ryan, a fifteen year old soccer enthusiast, who scoffs unabashedly at his older sister’s “weird” notions.  Ryan is clever and very grounded, but mostly he enjoys teasing his sister.  In short, a typical smart-arse younger brother.

Our story begins when these two youngsters have been shipped off for the summer to visit their father’s brother and his family in Ireland.  For Darcy, it’s the opportunity to find her gifts in a place that surely has to be magical.  While basically a young adult novel, I like to think of it as a “young at heart” novel because it will appeal to all who enjoy a good fantasy story set in the heart of enchantment.  The book is titled “Dew Dropping Hour” and it’s the first in the Isles of Magic series.  I hope you’ll keep coming back for progress reports and little snippets.

We who are old, old and gay, O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told:

Give to these children, new from the world,
Silence and love;
And the long dew-dropping hours of the night,
And the stars above:

Give to these children, new from the world,
Rest far from men.
Is anything better, anything better?
Tell us it then:

Us who are old, old and gay, O so old!
Thousands of years, thousands of years,
If all were told.

A Faery Song
William Butler Yeats