Tag Archives: November

Writing challenges over for now, fun news

It’s snowing on my blog again!  :)

A quick note tonight ..

So quickly the month of November is gone and some of us are into Christmas planning mode. With November done so are that month’s writing challenges. My report is: I made the hard decision and dropped out of NaNoWriMo; I blogged 28 out of 30 days for NaBloPoMo; for PiBoIdMo I met and surpassed the 30 ideas in 30 days having accomplished 40 ideas. Yay! Some of those ideas are only titles, some are names for possible characters, others are ideas for stories. One idea in particular I feel quite good about and have a rough draft begun. That will be the one I start working on first.

piboidmo2013-lightbulb-laugh-200x254Especially exciting news for me in another vein is the day all those things finished another challenge began for me.  I found what I was looking for!  I will tell you more about that in a later post, but do you know what a Schnoodle is? (hint hint) Adorable is what! :)

This is my caregiving week and ‘the household’ has just retired for the night so I am off here to get some sleep myself.

Talk to you all later!  Blessings.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

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Good-bye NaNoWriMo ’13

I made a hard decision yesterday.

I dropped NaNoWriMo for this year. It just was not working out for me to write in that challenge. Perhaps it was because I took on three writing challenges for November and it was too much with all else going on, perhaps it was because I am simply having difficulty writing through to the end of my novel’s story, maybe it was because I am weary or preoccupied, or …. all of the above!

Whatever the reason, I gave up. That is something I hated to do, but it was better than reaching the end of November and hardly having anything added to my novel when I had a 50k goal or completion of my novel. My NaNo update page for 2013 has been revised to accommodate my decision. So, good-bye NaNoWriMo 2013; I’m disappointed to not have finished the story, and likely my sister will be, too, since she wants to know how it ends. (So do I!)

The good thing is I have been working away at PiBoIdMo and already have over the requirement for completion. Yay!piboidmo2013-lightbulb-happy-200x254I will update more later. And I may have some very exciting news soon!

Do you give up when it looks like failure, or as if you cannot complete what you set out to do?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

NaBloPoMo – I am participating for the first time!

NaBloPoMo?  what is that?

NaBloPoMo_November_badges_small

National Blog Posting Month. It was started in November 2006 as a counterpart to NaNoWriMo. Each day in the month of November bloggers post something new on their blog. (They actually keep going for the whole year if wanted, but it seems November is a busier month because of NaNoWriMo.) It can be as simple as a photo or a quote, or as lengthy as they want to take the time to write.

Do I have enough to do this month? One would think so, but here I am adding another challenge to my already quite full list. I decided since I will likely be posting here every day, anyway, keeping updates of my NaNoWriMo progress, I could attempt to add a little to each post for this challenge, too.  So, crazy or over-extended — or both! — here I am. By the time my blog appeared on the long list this morning, it is number 1258 with over two hundred after it!

To console those who don’t like tons of posts from me, I seriously doubt I will continue every day after this challenge ends. And I will try to make it interesting for the next 28 days.

If you love to blog and would enjoy this challenge, go here for information, then sign in and sign up! Or simply cheer me on.  :)  That would be great, too.

Are you doing this challenge, have you ever, or would you like to another month? How often do you usually blog?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo 2013!

November is again a busy writing month for me. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month for my fourth year, and Picture Book Idea Month for my third year – having passed on it in 2012. I am going to make an honest attempt to do both again even though my life situation (caregiving) has not changed.

3886950-fountain-pen-writing-paper-with-black-inkAfter midnight last night a thought came into my mind, then an idea was taking shape, then the thought became the title, and before I went to bed I had a rough ‘rough draft’ of a story for a picture book. Day one accomplished for PiBoIdMo!

Not so for NaNoWriMo, I regret to say, as I have not written a word there yet. I am still writing the novel I began in NaNo 2010, since I’ve worked on it only during the last three Novembers. My word count is a combined total of 123,900 – give or take a few words. When I stopped near midnight of November 30’12 it was at a place one would call a “cliffhanger”, and was a bit exasperating to my sister who read it all after NaNo had ended last year. ;)  She was not happy with where I stopped and told me emphatically I had to finish the story! Even I am not sure what is going to happen next, but my characters will gradually let me know when I get into it again … which should have been today, but that’s not happening!

If you are asking, ” What is she talking about?!” I will briefly explain.

NaNoWriMo – or National Novel Writing Month – is the worldwide challenge to write a novel (really a novella) of 50,000 words in 30 days. You have to start with a fresh idea to ‘win’, but there are many who are NaNo Rebels, which is perfectly fine, too. I won (reached the goal of 50k) the first year but the next two years I participated as a Rebel in order to add to the novel I had begun and want to finish. This year I am doing the same.

If you are interested in checking out NaNoWriMo, click here. If you are taking part in it this year, let me know if you want a buddy.

PiBoIdMo – or Picture Book Idea Month – is the brainchild of Tara Lazar which she started in 2009. It is quickly becoming the widely known challenge to write a picture book idea a day during the 30 days of November. It’s for those writers who don’t want to take on creating a novel but would enjoy participating in a book writing challenge. Some of us do both. :) Each day you write something … anything … a title, the name of a character, an idea for a story, or even a whole draft if it works out for you, so at the end you should have at least 30 ideas for picture books! Cool, huh? I think so! Oh, and there are super guest posts, lots of writing genius shared, and even prizes! I love that I end up with so many ideas for PB’s, even if I ‘win’ nothing. It is sort of like a conference but with so much added.

If you are interested in signing up for – or checking out – PiBoIdMo, click here. Registration closes SOON, so hurry!

Now I must create a new page for my NaNo updates so if you want to keep track of what I am managing to do you can read it there. Click on the NaNoWriMo updates (2013) link at the top of the page. Besides, if you want to cheer me on, Heaven knows I need it! :) It may be crazy for me to be taking this on since I am behind in reading, reviewing, interviewing, but sometimes I need a change of pace to get refreshed and inspired anew. At least, I hope that’s what will happen! :)

Are you participating in either of the above challenges?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

NaNoWriMo is over. Did I win? You tell me

Wow! Here it is December 1 which means National Novel Writing Month has just ended for another year. After this month I believe myself – even more – to be a writer. Why?

The goal for the challenge is 50,000 words in the month of November. My personal goal was to finish my novel – the novel I have written only during NaNoWriMo. I started it in 2010, added to it in 2011, and planned to finish it this time. (You can check my progress, if you are interested, through each one of my pages called NaNoWriMo Updates 2010, 2011, 2012)

I have an accumulated word total of over 123,000 words through those three Novembers, every word written by hand. No editing has been done yet so there are whole sections which will be taken out or changed or added to in some way. Someday.

The cold truth is … I did not make the 50K mark. I tried hard to do it. My hand is so sore and was getting cramped by the time the clock reached 11:59 and I had to stop writing to post my final word count — of 41487 — before the stroke of midnight. (I managed to write 9750 words today.) Once midnight arrived the clock stopped in the NaNoWriMo stats chart. It now reads: Event Finished, where all through the month it had shown the number of words written that day, which day it was in the event, and how many writing days were remaining in the challenge.

polilla-lynn stats

Another thing is that my first goal was to finish my novel this time, second was to reach 50K. I did neither, although I wrote 82% of the 50K, and I am so close to the end of this story.

polilla-lynn,wc,pc,days

Am I disappointed? A little. I believe that if I had been able to ignore things, such as normal life stuff and responsibilities (although I tried to), I could have finished this novel.  ;)  Now maybe I can cook a decent meal for my dear husband, although I usually don’t have writing to blame for my not-so-great results in the kitchen. Oh, and my internet connection dropped today, so the repairman came by to fix that for me. It is working fine now, yay!, but that was another time stealer – although I am not complaining about that. I am truly grateful for my Internet service.

The worst culprit for stealing time is ME, though. The times I could have been writing, but other things took priority; the times I had nothing coming to me at all; the times I just didn’t feel like writing. So now I still have an unfinished novel. But you know, that is okay too, because I can work away at it at my own pace now without a clock. That might not work in my favour, but that is something I will have to find out.

As I said at the beginning, now I believe myself to be a writer even more than I did before. One big reason is because when I am writing in the NaNo challenge the story practically tells itself to me. Sometimes things I write I wonder about, but later it all ties together; it makes sense as I go along. I find it to be an amazing process. And I enjoy it!

Thank you for your interest in following along as I attempted the National Novel Writing Month challenge again. I appreciate your support.

NaNoWriMo is over. Did I win? You tell me.  :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

 

 

 

 

 

PiBoIdMo is over, but for me it has just begun

PiBoIdMo is the other challenge I took on for the whole month of November. I learned about it in 2010 and first took part in it then … but let me explain …

PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month – is the brain child of Tara Lazar. Check her out here: http://taralazar.wordpress.com/about/

The challenge is to write an idea a day during the 30 days of November.  The idea can be as simple as the name of a character, or the title for a story, or as complete as the whole outline for a story, or something in between. Thirty ideas in thirty days. Sound daunting? I thought so.

In 2010 I did both NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo, and succeeded in both. It was exhilarating, exciting, tiring, fun. This year, I tried both again, and if you read my last post you will know that I didn’t get a win in NaNo, but I’m pleased to say that I did again meet the goal for PiBoIdMo. Yay! I got 40 ideas, maybe more depending on how you count them up.

I didn’t think I could do it. Some days the idea well ran dry, but on some other days I got more than one idea for a story so that by the end I had passed the target. whew!

Again, if you have been following my blog, you will know that life has changed a lot for me. Because of that I really wasn’t sure I could dredge up enough creativity, but I very much wanted to try. And I am so glad I did.

Tara Lazar, if you are reading this … Thank you (again) for a fantastic 2011 PiBoIdMo! 2010 was great, but I don’t know if this one was better or if I was more open to seeing more, but … wowsers!!

Last year I took the pledge, read all the daily posts, commented on some, gleaned a little here and there, completed the challenge, and then I put it all aside. I didn’t even get one story pulled together, so I guess in all actuality I broke the pledge. :(  Sorry, Tara. (Really I should be apologizing to myself as it is not hurting Tara that I did not follow through, it is my own loss.)

This year I took the pledge, read all the daily posts (and was moved to tears a few times – what was that about??), commented on most, absorbed more this year, completed the challenge, and then … then?  Then wow! I had a personal revelation, an awakening in my hopeful heart.

I don’t know ‘where I was’ last year in all of this, but this year… this year! … I realized Tara is making the way for me to move forward as a writer of children’s books. She is giving me all the tools to draw out what I need and what I need to do, and THEN .. after the 30 days were over she didn’t stop there. Just as she had guest bloggers write pre-PiBoIdMo posts this year, she had a few more guest bloggers post for several days afterward. wow!  And somewhere in there I got it. I see now.

I took on PiBoIdMo in 2010 for the challenge and fun of it. I learned things, I worked at it, I succeeded in meeting the goal, and I was delighted that I had some nice story ideas that were worth developing … some day. This year, all of the same things but with one major exception. I have to complete by honouring the pledge. And I think I should do it twice .. to include last year, too.

I realized that this is not just fun and games. If I really want to write children’s books then Tara Lazar has handed to me all I need to do just that! duhhh!

This year, I got it, Tara. I understand.  That is what the tears were about. That is what PiBoIdMo did for me this year. I am learning how to be the writer I want to become. Thank you.

And one of these days I may just say, “Hello, my name is Lynn, and I am a writer.”  One of these days ..  :)

How about you? Have you had any personal revelations or awakenings lately that have had an impact on you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)

How does a NaNoWriMo novel come to be? (and PiBoIdMo update)

If someone were to judge by my word count, one could conclude that all is lost for me.

My NaNoWriMo total does not look good in light of a remainder of four days in which to write 38155 words.  Even so, I can’t say that I agree with that doubt one hundred per cent, because there is still a chance, albeit a slim one. (Does that sound convoluted and writerly enough?)

Have I given up yet? No! Not yet, and I probably won’t until that last stroke of time on November 30. I will keep writing to see how far I can get in those four days.

It isn’t as if I have not been writing, it’s just not down on paper yet. You writers know what I mean. :)

This year I have a sketchy outline .. if it can be called an outline – more a list of ideas – a rough plan of where my story is going. I didn’t even have that until 7000 words in – page 24 of my notes – written in long hand, not on computer. My characters have become more complicated, my plot has thickened, and the loose ends are starting to have some meaning to them. Starting, you ask? Well, yes. How do I explain? …

When I began writing this novel for NaNo 2010, I started with nothing. Truly nothing. I prayed. The first line of my story is: I’m not even sure what I’m doing, but here I go anyway. So began my novel, with the main character adopting that line as her beginnings in my evolving story. (I use the word ‘novel’ rather loosely as I have never written one before and that is the goal of NaNo .. to write a 50000 word novel, or the beginnings of a longer one.)

With that first line the character took over, fleshed out as we went along, became a real person in my creative mind. She has a mother, a best friend, a boyfriend, a mystery person to learn about, a ‘treasure’ to research and find, and a whole set of emotions, fears, desires, irritations, and challenges to keep her going. Plus, there is a little humour woven in which makes it more real. (What is life without humour?)  And did I mention? .. there is an undercurrent of the paranormal in the mix.

When I stopped writing at just before midnight on November 30, 2010, my characters (the list had grown by three more essential ones) had complicated the plot considerably. It had become exciting to write this story. In fact, whenever one particular character appeared in a scene I would get chills right down my spine every time!  What’s with that? And the personalities were developing so that I had quite an assortment interacting with one another. It was amazing to me!

When I stopped writing … I set them all aside. I had three different conflicts to resolve. I had a vague idea of where the story was going, but no clear direction of how to get there.

I left the story untouched, read it through months later and was amazed – not because I thought it was genius (which I didn’t), but because it came out of my imagination. With a pen and a large binder full of paper this whole adventure appeared. That is amazing to me.

I put it away.

Then entered NaNoWriMo 2011. Another large binder full of paper, the desire to finish what I had started last year, but …

I found it was so difficult to pick up and keep going with this story. I chose to do that, though, because I really want to see how this story will turn out before I start creating a new one. Only this time it is not flowing the way it did last year. This time it is a struggle. But .. more has come to light, my main character has a summer job now, the intensity is growing, the twists and turns add depth and drama. I seem to be going deeper into conflict, which means it will be more challenging to find my way out .. to help my characters find satisfactory resolutions.

But, you know .. I love it! Is this what it means to be a writer?

Learning as I go, I know that I have to work out my time line so that things connect and not remain disjointed. Therein lies the biggest challenge for me, equal to sorting out the small details to make it all work. Hopefully, that will all come together in the editing.

I know this novel may never go anywhere, but I can dream, can’t I? Maybe it will be of interest to someone. Maybe it has to wait its time before being picked up. But .. I digress ..

I have a story to complete in four days! I have mysteries to solve, people’s lives to sort out, justice to be served.  Yes, and a treasure to find. Even I don’t yet know for sure where it is. I have to write!

This is a fitting place to end this post, but I want to add that I am also participating in PiBoIdMo this year, as I did last year. I have been trying to come up with an idea a day for picture books. That is another challenge, and a fun one. I haven’t found one every day, but almost, and on some days I came up with more than one. By the end of this month my total should be 30 ideas, one for each of the 30 days of November. Right now I stand at 37 ideas .. so really, I have already won! :) I am learning even more this year about writing for children, and I love it. Thanks to Tara Lazar, a creative spirit and author of children’s books. ( http://taralazar.wordpress.com/ )

I have much do to, but .. first I must write!

Any comments?  If you are a writer, what do you most love about the process?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! :)