Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp-Winner-2015-Web-Banner

Ahhhhh. It feels SO GOOD to be able to post this little banner. Some writing friends and I challenged each other to participate in the spring camp session and we all completed our goal word counts. Go us!

I appreciated the low-key atmosphere of camp. I participated in and won my last full NaNo back in 2012 (with my YA contemporary WIP), but life got a little busier when my son arrived the next year, so a goal of 10,000 words on a current project was much more doable. I put Man Cub down for his nap or bedtime and booked it to my laptop for thirty minutes, or even an hour or two at a time if I was lucky, before clocking out and reporting back for mom duty the rest of the day. I’ve come to appreciate loose outlining and comments to myself in the margins of my writing, because without those two things I would be lost without longer chunks of time in which to write. I still pants the heck out of some individual scenes, but always with character goals and the overall outline in mind.

The little over 10,000 words I added to my current WIP, a near-future YA book (working title: The Echelon Project) has taken me well past the halfway point in projected word count, although I’m not sure if it is past halfway according to the plot or not. The more I spend time in my main character’s world, the more twists and turns have presented themselves and as a result some of my earlier writing will need to be evaluated to see if it still belongs in the story or not.

That being said, I am feeling good about my progress and hope to realize my goal of finishing the first draft and starting revisions by summer.

Still here

ORGANIZING - Remember back in September, when I was getting my house in order? I’m still in the middle of that. It is a never-ending process, I guess. Right  now I’m participating in a Lenten decluttering project started by Ann Marie of White House Black Shutters. It is called 40 Bags in 40 Days, and I’m about 25 bags into the process. Five years of marriage, three moves, and one baby later, and I think Daniel and I have finally combined and pared-down our belongings. Yikes.

SLEEPING - Sleep was also an issue in September. It still is, I guess. Just a better issue. Toddlerhood has not changed our son’s night waking schedule, but it has vastly improved his naps and bedtime, so I can’t complain. Much. In fact, I can pretty consistently depend on naps and bedtime for uninterrupted writing time, if I take the opportunity. (Sometimes you just have to veg after chasing a one-year-old all day.)

WRITING - I’m still working on my science fiction project. I tweeted the other day that my story seems to be coming together from the outside-in. I’ve figured out the ending, and have a beginning that matches it. Now I just need the middle, and I am filling in scenes in my tentative outline in Scrivener as they come to me. The science-y aspects still are my nemesis, but I will not give up! Which brings me to my last little update …

March is halfway over. April is coming quickly, and with it Camp NaNoWriMo. This year I’m going to keep working on my current project. I don’t have any concrete goals this time around, but I am excited to be bunking with some local writer friends (hi Amy, and Cassie!). It is nice to be out of the baby haze and getting my creativity back, and even nicer to have like-minded people coming alongside to keep me honest and cheer me on in my progress.

Happy New Year!

Birthday! 190 Birthday! 193 Birthday! 194 Birthday! 196 joy31

So, 2014 was kind of a big year. This little guy came home from the hospital with us at the very beginning of it.

And now,  we just celebrated the beginning of 2015 with a brand-new one-year-old boy who happens to call me momma (sometimes, when he feels like it and is prompted. We’ll get there.)

I can’t wait to see what comes next!

{photo credit for the last picture: my friend, Joy}

NoNaNoWriMo

Sadness. I simply cannot add another writing project to my plate write–er, RIGHT–now.

So, for me, it is NO National Novel Writing Month.

But to those of you who are tackling it this year, go you!

I’ll be over here, in my little corner, chewing on the end of my pencil and trying to get the last bits of my first draft’s plot hashed out on paper. So I can actually write the durn thing.

Through a plot dimly

mist

This is my plot. Fuzzy, uncertain, shrouded in mist.

I’m working on that.

Right now, I’m brainstorming as my antagonist. Setting her up for success, so that my protagonist has something to truly fight against.

But her motives are unclear. Her actions hazy.

It is a challenge. But that’s okay. I’m up for a challenge. Not to mention, my leading lady is kinda kick-butt, in a nerdy, matter-of-fact kind of way. She can handle it.

 

Image credit: Alice Popkorn, via Flickr

Just Checking In

Well, I am a week into my “downtime” and while I wish I could say the entire house is now spotless and I am spending hours at a time serenely playing with my kiddo, I can’t exactly say that. I can say both bathrooms have been scrubbed recently (trust me, this is, indeed, an accomplishment) and I restocked the baby food supply before I ran out. Barely.

Also, I threw out a bathroom trashcan’s worth of expired health and beauty products I had been storing in my linen closet. I can now, you know, store linens in the linen closet again. This is a good feeling.

I have a feeling this whole get-the-house-in-order-so-I-can-focus-on-my-writing thing is going to take longer than expected at the current rate of one surface or cupboard being tackled per nap.

BUT! I wrote the rough draft of a picture book idea this week. That was unexpected. See what crazy things your brain might do when you give it orders to rest? Yeah. Weird how that works.

Downtime (And a Projected Project Timeline)

I’m giving myself permission to rest. Well, not really REST rest, but rest from writing for a little bit. Don’t worry. Just a little bit. I’ve been feeling guilty about the two drafts I have that are 50% and 90% written and yet are still 50% and 10% UNWRITTEN. I need to stop with the guilt. I’m at a point with both projects where I need to stew for a week, or two, or three. And when a plot point comes into focus, I can make a note and then, when I am ready again, pursue it.

My family and I will be taking a vacation in the coming months, and when that happens, I’m going to really set aside everything and just enjoy the moments I have with my husband and son and just unplug, unwind, and relax. But, until then, I need a bit of time to reboot other areas of my life.

For instance, finally organizing those last couple cupboards in my kitchen that are lingering bastions of clutter. The ones I have been studiously ignoring in favor of napping.

Or, you know, I could also just keep napping. The sleep war continues in this household and the struggle is real, y’all. Nobody can fight sleep like a teething eight-month-old boy.

So, I’m going to focus on me, and my little family, for a couple of weeks. If writing or plotting happens, that will be wonderful, but I am not planning on it. Then, when the time is up and I can’t hold back the urge to write again (it never takes long!), I’ll dive right back in. I have a crazy goal to have both manuscripts ready for submission by this time next year. And, who knows, probably be at work on my next one once they are nearing completion.

Here’s how that projected timeline looks:

September: Tackle the pesky household and personal matters I’ve been ignoring since our son was born. Kind of like a back-to-school (but for grown-ups) thing, baby-proofing for our almost-crawler, and spring cleaning, all rolled into one. Or, maybe this is that infamous “nesting” instinct finally kicking in that I was supposed to get back when I was pregnant?

After that:

  • Autumn months - Plot and write.
  • Winter months - Finish drafts.
  • Spring months - Get feedback (beta reads, critiques, etc.) and revise.
  • Summer months - Final feedback and revisions, copy and line edits.

and then …. submit!

Am I crazy? Maybe. Could others do it more quickly? Definitely. But, for me, that’s an aggressive timeline. It’s worth trying, though!