Monthly Archives: November 2014

Winning Doesn’t Mean I’m Done

Winner-2014-Facebook-ProfileI am delighted to announce that I am a second-time NaNoWriMo winner! Woo hoo! My final word tally for November for Patterns in the Void is 51,470.

Okay, so maybe you noticed that I said it was the final count for November. Nope, the novel isn’t done. In fact, the next scene I have to write is the midpoint. I’m halfway there.

Today I also finished up the essay I’m writing, that will be shared with my women’s spirituality group on Tuesday. I’m pleased with how it came out, and I plan to publish or share it in some way after the gathering.

I’ve been really slacking on the blogging, this past week. I’ve posted here, but I’ve been neglecting my Starcat’s Corner blog, and I need to write a newsletter post for Feline Dreamers, too. I also need to get caught up with the final few episodes of The Conquer Summit. And of course, holiday preparations are beginning in earnest now, and I’ve been plotting and planning what gifts to give to my family and friends. Some things we make, and other things we shop for, and of course there’s the decorating and baking and all the other fun holiday traditions. I made holiday cards with my Mom, my Aunt, my daughter ElvenTiger, BlackLion, and a good friend and her son on Saturday, which was both fun and productive.

I’m trying not to let my admittedly huge to-do list overwhelm me.

Luckily, I have tools and techniques to help me relax and calm down when I feel like there’s too much going on. It helps that a lot of the projects I have on my plate are things that I consider fun. I’m so thankful that I’ve been creating my life that way over the past few years. It’s a nice thing to do for myself, and I think it makes me a better person to be around, too.

Lest this all sound too self-congratulatory, I know I still have a lot to learn, in many areas of my life. I’m blessed that I’m here now and that I have the support and love of my family, so that I can focus on turning my dream career of writer (as well as artist and musician) into a reality.

Many blessings to you on your creative work and all your passions!


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Snowy Writing Day

snowdayThis is the view outside my front door just moments ago. It’s a good day to stay indoors, warm and cozy, and do some writing. And cooking.

My NaNoWriMo novel is on track. I’m at 46,449 words as of right now. I’m also working on a personal essay I’ll be sharing at an upcoming gathering of my women’s group. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the piece afterwards, but if I can find someplace to submit it, like maybe a magazine, I might do that. Or I’ll use it as a guest blog post, or something. The working title is “A Tale of Loss and Belonging.” I’m pleased with how it’s coming along so far.

I’m also making butternut squash and pumpkin pie in preparation for tomorrow’s festivities. Our extended family will be gathering next door at my Aunt’s house for a delicious meal. I’ll plan to do a longer update on Sunday, but this is where I’m at for now. Watching the snow fall outside, knowing I don’t have to go anywhere today, and enjoying my creative time with words and foods.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with those you love!

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A Deeper Commitment

I’m cranking along on my NaNoWriMo novel, Patterns in the Void, which makes me a happy kitty. I’m now at 42,459 words. I’d been sort of pondering what to do about the novel post-November, as it definitely won’t be finished. I’m aiming for more like 100K words, which is average length for my genre (urban fantasy).

After talking with Quester about it, I decided to just keep working on my novel every day, even when we reach the busy month of December. Furthermore, I’ll continue to write for at least a couple hours every day, beyond my daily journaling and regular blog posting, on into the foreseeable future. It’s the obvious next step, truly.

These days I feel more than ever like a real writer, with a real career. Sure, I’m not selling enough books to make a living, not even close – yet. But I’m confident in my abilities, and that includes my capability to learn how to successfully publish, market, and sell what I write. Especially when I devote more time to it.

So, it’s time for this deeper commitment to myself, my passion for the writing life, and my Muses. I’m really thankful to ROW 80 and NaNoWriMo for helping me get to this point. It’s exciting, and a bit scary. But I’m ready.

I can do this.


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It’s Going Well

I’m trucking right along with NaNoWriMo, and I’m on track to win, with 34,093 words written thus far. This week I’m working on Edmund the Magnificent’s back-story. I’m sure I’ll make the 50,000 words by the end of the month, but I’m trying not to worry about my actual target of 100,000 words. December is a busy month for me, but I don’t want to lose momentum on the novel. I guess I’ll just make a new plan when the time comes.

I don’t have much to say other than that. I’ve been getting in some drum practice, and mostly keeping up with blogging. There are quite a few things on my list that I haven’t gotten to, but NaNoWriMo is my big project right now.

And since that’s going well, I’m content.



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A Minor Writing Crisis and Its Resolution

I think the best way to do today’s update is in chronological order. It’s been an interesting few days since the last ROW 80 check-in.

Thursday was a busy day, as always – it’s when we attend our weekly homeschool co-op. Afterwards, though, I had the evening free for writing. I came home and BlackLion and I cleaned the house, and then I sat down to write. Later, we made dinner and ate, then we put together the newsletter for our business, Feline Dreamers.

On Friday I got a lot done on the business, and got to a bunch of other little tasks that I’d been meaning to finish. It was a productive day, and I passed the 25,000 mark for my NaNo novel – a day early! So, that was really good.


I realized that I had to add some kind of major sub-plot or something to the book. You see, the target for NaNoWriMo is 50,000 words in a month. But the target for this book, based on a bit of research into average work counts for the genre, is 95,000 words. And given where I was, about one-quarter of the way through the book, and the quick timeline for my main character until the big midpoint plot twist…well, I didn’t know what to write about in all that big open space.

It was proving to be a problem. I felt like I was blocked, but I didn’t want to freak out. It was a minor writing crisis. Been there, done that.

So, I took Saturday off from writing, and used it for some more plotting and planning. I relaxed and got in a creative space, brainstorming and bouncing some of my ideas off Quester, seeking his advice. I’m lucky to be surrounded by fellow creative story-loving family members. I love them.

Anyway, I came up with a great solution. I decided to include the back-story of my antagonist, telling his life story and weaving it in with the present-moment events of the novel. I can totally make it work, and I’m satisfied with the solution.

But that meant I had to figure out how to weave it into the part of the tale that I’ve already written.

So, starting today and for the next five days after this, I’ll be writing the story of Edmund the Magnificent. Today I went to rehearsal – we’re learning some cool new “bucket drumming” for an upcoming gig – and afterwards I started writing the first of the flashback scenes. I’m pretty pleased with how it’s coming along.

Tonight we went to a fun show – it’s an improv comedy troupe based in Portsmouth, NH, whose shows are centered around role-playing games like D&D. They’re called Dorks in Dungeons, and they’re hilarious! We just got home, and that’s why my update is so late.

I hope you enjoyed my somewhat strange tale. It was an unusual weekend, but everything turned out well. This week my intentions are to stay on track with NaNo, practice my drumming every day, promote the hard copies of Cultivating Self-Love, and catch up on the Conquer Summit videos and homework. Among other things. May the rest of your month be productive and fun!

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Writing, Plotting, and Planning

I’m having a good writing week. I did some plotting on my NaNoWriMo novel on Sunday evening, and since then I’ve been fleshing out the scenes I planned. I guess I’m a “plottser” – I plan out the major plot points, but then kind of do the seat-of-the-pants thing as I fill in the other action. It’s fun.

My next guest blog post on SoulFire Om has been published.  I’m keeping up on most of my other projects, though my main focus has been on the novel. It’s November, so I expected that would be the case.

This evening BlackLion and I had some free time together, so we went and got dinner at Panera and had a Feline Dreamers summit. We went over our 2014 business plans to see what we’d accomplished so far, what we still want to do in the next couple months, and what our plans for 2015 might look like. It was a whole lot of fun! We shared ideas, consolidated some things, and did some blue-sky brainstorming. One of the strengths of our partnership is that we have lots of creative ideas, and we’re constantly learning more about how to manifest them.

I think 2015 will be amazing! Keep an eye out for Feline Dreamers; we’re going places!

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Procrastination Through De-Cluttering: An Overall Win

The title above might be a little misleading – it’s really only today that I’ve been procrastinating. Otherwise, this week has been very productive in terms of writing. I’m at 15,554 words on my NaNo novel, and I hope to add more words this evening. I’ve been keeping up with my personal blogging. I submitted another guest post this weekend, which makes two weeks in a row for the SoulFire Om website. The new one’s not out yet, but if you’re curious about what I’ve been writing for them, here’s one about community.

I’ve been studying subjects that relate to my writing projects, sometimes only tangentially, but still. I’m all caught up on watching the Conquer Summit videos, and I printed out all the “actionables” (worksheets) so I can get caught up on those. There’s some really good stuff there that I think will help with my marketing. I’ve actually been journaling, too (sometimes when I’m writing on the laptop a lot, my journal gathers a little dust).

To harken back to a goal from last Round, my Cultivating Self-Love book is now available as a paperback through CreateSpace! I originally published it as an e-book, and now it can finally be purchased as an actual book, too. Yay!

As for the procrastination… I went to rehearsal this morning, which went really well. My intention had been to come home and work on my novel. However, it didn’t work out that way. A friend gave me some lovely clothes on Friday that she no longer wants, and I went through those with my daughter. Then I got on a de-cluttering kick and reorganized and sorted through most of my clothing! I have 3 big bags of things to donate, and all my new clothes are tidily integrated into my drawers and shelves.

It’s something I’d been meaning to do anyway, and even though I haven’t done my NaNo writing for the day (yet), I still think it was a productive afternoon. I also cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry, and made spaghetti sauce for dinner.

I have to count the week as a win.



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Patterns in the Void

That’s the working title of my NaNoWriMo novel, Patterns in the Void. The word “patterns” will definitely stay, though I’m not sure about the rest of it. It’s a draft, though, so it’s okay with me if the title is in draft form, too. It’s an urban fantasy, with sort of a mystery twist. Here’s the premise:

Cassie lives for the stage, but the mysterious disappearance of her performance troupe’s leader on the eve of their big tour soon leads her down dark pathways.


I’m having a lot of fun with it so far, and I’m at 10,554 words as of this moment. Woo hoo!

Blogging is still proceeding according to plan.

Some of my other goals, though, are on hold a bit as I focus on getting into the NaNo groove. Overall, I’m feeling good, and feeding my creative fires is having a positive ripple effect on the rest of my life. We’ll see where it all goes.

This afternoon, my main task is to make food for tonight’s homeschool group and for Dryst’s soccer banquet tomorrow evening. Shepherd’s pie and homemade mac & cheese, to be specific (hungry now? You’re welcome). I guess even in November, life goes on and the teens need to eat!


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Off To A Terrific Start

It’s the second day of November, and I’ve put in 4,059 words on my NaNoWriMo novel (working title: Patterns in the Void). More importantly, I’m having a blast writing it.

I kind of get a kick out of how excited I am about this. I was looking forward to the first day of November much like a kid anticipating Christmas!

My other projects are bubbling along nicely, too. I’ve actually been doing my novel writing at my desk upstairs, on my newly-repaired laptop! The laptop is working great. The decluttering project is moving along in baby steps. I know progress is being made, because I have room to work there, now. Woo hoo!

Here are some photos of my progress thus far.

Here's where I started, back in April. Plenty of clutter! Desk decluttering project, phase 1.

Here’s where I started, back in April. Plenty of clutter! Desk decluttering project, phase 1.

Desk decluttering project, phase 2. One week ago.

Desk decluttering project, phase 2. One week ago.

Desk decluttering project, phase 3. A usable space!

Desk decluttering project, phase 3. A usable space!

What else? Blogging is going well, on my own websites as well as guest posts for others. I’ve finished two zentangling pages in my art journal. I’m a bit behind on the Conquer Summit videos, but I hope to get caught up today. It’s snowing here in Maine. Yep, snow. So staying in with a cup of tea and my laptop has been just the thing.

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