The Time Has Come Today

I made it through another Nanowrimo. What they need is a category for people who start one project and end up working on something else. I did that.

I started writing my super planned out novel but I wasn’t feeling it. I felt like I was overdoing everything. I went with a side project I’d been thinking about for awhile and destroyed! It started out small and blossomed to about 35K words. I need to check, but I’m touching on novella status.

Nevertheless, I need a break. Hence The Chambers Brothers quote…the time has come today. (Which is a loooong song. I remember my dad joking that midway through the song it sounds like someone gags.)

Well, today my glands are swollen and I am home. I am excited and dreading the new year. I need a fresh start. And after the bizarre day at work yesterday, I need a break. (It was like a cloud was over us and the sky kept dropping out more and more bizarre things and challenges. We should all get a day off for that. But, as the holidays near, shit is going to get crazy.)

I talked to a cool friend of mine. She invited me axe throwing, which was cool. It was the “DW Stress Relieving Sessions” (DW-Disgruntled Woman) I’ll try to add a few pics before my next big adventure begins…

The place…

The Axe

Me winding up…

The pitch!

My graceful follow thru

One of the good hits I got! Yay!

And that’s it for me. I’ve gotta get knee deep into something I’ll share next month. It’s also gonna be really big and I’ll be kicking off 2020 with some awesome news!

From famine to feast…

Are You Okay?

Who knew three words could have such significance?

My kid is genetically enhanced and she and I do a daily check in. I learned that at her former school-Junior High-they had this note on their desks/work areas. It looked like several index cards put together. It was laminated and big enough to see on all the work spaces from anywhere. Three words:

Are you okay?

Once a day, she will sense something and ask me, “Are you okay?” Somehow, her little voice brings perspective to everything I’m doing. I take a moment to stop and self evaluate. I come into the moment.

“Mom’s okay. Are you okay?”

A few years ago, my sister and I went to our youngest sister’s midnight party. It was out of state and my kid stayed with my brother in law and his two kids (with my sister). He was having a rough time with someone following directions (house full of kids under 13 at the time…yeah). So, my kid waits until he’s alone and sitting down. (He said he was tired). She walked over and asked him, “Are you okay?”

He said that one little expression…one small question really helped him in that moment.

While you are doing Nanowrimo, here’s the secret-lean back in your chair, once in awhile and ask yourself, “Are you okay?” You can even call up someone or ask a stranger across the table at a write in, “Hey, are you okay?”

You’d be surprised at how it works wonders.

The infamous “Are you okay?” from my kids desk.
It is now on my fridge with my magnet from Italy.

Dress for Success and other tips

You’ve started Nanowrimo. Here’s a few tips from everywhere to keep you going-at least to keep my head in the game, anyway:

1. Dress for success – for one day or two, dress like the writer you want to be. At least this is what they said on Write Minded. Interesting enough but how about…

2. Dress like your character-seems like more fun, right? Just become fully engulfed in your character all day. Be that person. Writing a male protagonist or MC? Act like your dude would act.

I would straight up purge every damned day during Nanowrimo if I could…

3. Don’t get hung up on numbers- I use Scrivener. It drops a number count every time I do or type anything. Sure, we are all trying to reach 50K but don’t force it. If you say to yourself that you are going to write exactly 1667 words every time you sit down…nah. When you don’t reach the goal, you will be upset with yourself. Do what you can, it will all fall in place, trust me.

4. Go to a write in-In DC, there are so many places to go for write ins. Try to go somewhere you’ve never been or a part of the city you e wanted to go to but never had the time. The bus or car ride over should inspire you even more. Seeing different people, immersing yourself in different places will be inspiration enough.

5. If you go to a public place-take headphones. For real, there’s nothing like being in the middle of a scene and a baby starts crying or there’s a tantrum being thrown. Be vigilant of your surroundings, but be sure you can also work.

6. Get proper rest and eat-However many hours of sleep you need a day, get it. Be sure you have enough food in your belly to write and always take snacks. There is nothing worse than being in a sprint and your stomach growls because all you’ve had was a cup of coffee and a Madeline and it’s three in the afternoon.

7. Your mental health matters-I get it. You entered this thing to write 50,000 words. You’ve made announcements on Twitter, Facebook and wherever that you will be back in December. Yet, you start falling short. Don’t stress. Nanowrimo has several other events during the year where you can shine. Just because you didn’t make it this time, doesn’t mean you won’t ever make it. I think I didn’t make it the first to Nano’s I did.

That’s all I got. Hope you are getting it in and I hope this helps.

Yeah…gotta love November

Take care…

Go With Your Gut

I decided to write a novel for my Nanowrimo.  I wanted to incorporate witches and magic into my novel. A few of my friends said that I needed to have a magic system. Not just magic but an entire, functioning magic system.  I freaked out fully. I decided to abandon my project. All the work and planning will be flushed down the toilet.

Then, I went to the Folger to see “I Put A Spell on You”. While I was there, I spoke to a practicing witch. Her name is Annie Finch. She was there to read from her book called, “Spells”. So, after an introduction, I pulled her aside and asked her if I could talk to her about “witch stuff”. Considering my sister introduced us (as it was my sister’s program), she didn’t have a problem.

a subtle nod to Deborah Harkness (book is from 1647)

I explained to her that I was writing a book…blah blah…magic system…is it really necessary.  She looked at me. Like, really stared at me. I explained, “You know, like if you are a water elemental and you pull water from somewhere, then there has to be an after effect, no or yes?”

She was confused. She laughed and said, “No. you don’t need any type of system. None of the witches I know have this entire ‘magic system’. It’s usually a dab of this here and a dab of that there but no system.”

I felt a weight lifted. I was relieved. She saw the look on my face and laughed. We made small talk and I voluteered to send her some of the stuff I was working on…I mean I have an actual practicing witch willing to look at my stuff. (This goes to the credence that you need to do your damned research people!)

me in straight up stalker mode with the super cool Annie Finch

The next day, at the bus stop, one of the women I chat with-when we see each other-told me her roommate was a practicing witch. Just for shits and giggles, I bounced the magic system off her and she said the same thing, “Uh, no. There’s no need for all that.”

All the research, all the Pinterest pages and all that stress was for naught. I talked to a voracious reader and he told me that Jim Butcher has a wizard in his books that simply says simple spells. He also has “Laws of Magic”.  It’s not all that complicated.

Next time, as my sister says, “Go with that inner  critic, the inner frustrated teacher and make your edits and corrections there.”