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hello world… I’m still here…

For those of you who haven’t read my post about my writer blog, or who are new to my blog, I do most of my blogging on https://mburgesstaylor.wordpress.com now. Once NaNoWriMo is over with I’ll try to post on this blog at least once a month but with preparations for NaNo in October and then NaNo in November I’ll be really busy. 😀

Thank you for reading…

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Posted by on October 1, 2015 in around here, NaNoWriMo, writing

 

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What I’m currently working on

So NaNoWriMo is coming soon. On my other blog, my “writer” blog so I can brand myself as an author, I’ve been talking about NaNo. This is my personal blog (and I’ll catch things up on this blog soon). I thought I’d give you a few clues as to what I’m working on…

Novel; Character Outline for NaNo 2013

Novel; Character Outline for NaNo 2013

 

When I first begin a novel I work on the character outlines first. I google pics of famous actors, actresses, sports people, band members, etc to find a pic to use as a visual for my character (same hair color, eye color, hair type, body type, etc), sometimes it’s more about the personality of the character, sometimes it’s more about a look or an attitude, but it’s always for me to use as inspiration while I’m writing the character sketch, and then the outline of the novel, and then novel itself.

 

Last NaNo I pretty much pantsed through it (a pantser is someone who writes a novel “by the seat of their pants,” and all I had was a few basic ideas, a few names for characters, and a place. This time I’m using an Outline for my novel based on “Save the Cat” structure.

Outline template used for novel for NaNo 2013

Outline template used for novel for NaNo 2013

I’d like to think that I could outline a novel without using a structure like this one, but this made it so much easier.

There are several outline templates, several novel writing templates, that I could use, but I found this one I think it might work best for me. While creating the project I needed to go in and change character names, etc. and I found that these names suited my characters much better than the one’s I was using. Though I’m creating a series based on my made up town called Meridian Lake, and I just might use the other project I’d started with that set of character names–at least some of them–for my next novel in the series. I’ve even made a map (hard work and I’m not sure it’s finished, and I’d need to learn a lot more about using Paint, Gimp, etc before I even attempt to create a better map).

Map of Meridian Lake for NaNo Novel 2013

Map of Meridian Lake for NaNo Novel 2013

 

I’ve been thinking about changing the title to fit the series. Maybe The Meridian Lake series. And have book 1 be called Revelation, or maybe something completely different, something to do with Fate, which is what is in the title now, though I do not like it.

So now you know what I’ve been working on the month of October (and part of September).

My husband, Mr. Rockstar, got a new job and has been in TN all week for orientation. He’ll be flying back home Friday and I can’t wait to see him. I’ve missed him so much I’ve had trouble sleeping. This is the first time we’ve been separated for more than a night since we got serious and moved in together over 2 years ago. We’ve only been married 13 1/2 months so I’m not happy about the separation but I am so happy he found a better job. And I’m so proud of him.

 

 

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I’m a Winner!!!

Camp winnerI won Camp NaNoWriMo 😀  YAY!!!! Lissa won!!!  I have not, however, finished my novel. Camp NaNoWriMo taught me a great deal though. I realized how important it is to write every day. If you want to be a writer you have to write. And I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. It seemed like for a little while there I was physically attached to my keyboard. I also learned that you have to take breaks. Sitting at a desk or even sitting or lying down with a laptop wears on you after a while and you need breaks. You need to get up and stretch, at the very least. You also need refreshments. For me it was coffee, cold or hot, though I prefer hot but there were many times when my coffee got cold because I hit the zone, so I just put it in a glass and added ice to it and made it a cold coffee. Or I had a Starbuck’s Mocha DoubleShot energy drink when I really needed a boost. I also drank a lot of sweet tea (with ice, not the hot kind of tea, which I do like but I like it on cold nights). I did manage to drink water on and off during the day, though not nearly as much as I should have. If I had an unlimited budget and a Starbuck’s nearby I’d have splurged and that would not have been good.

6-BigKahunaI am still writing. I took a break from the computer and from writing altogether for 24 hours. I needed that break. Towards the end of Camp I ended up with a sinus infection, not to mention I was already in pain, so it was chaotic there at the end. Technically I won late Friday night, early Saturday morning, so I had a little time to spare, and I took advantage of that and rested. I slept on and off all day Saturday and Sunday. The majority of my weekend was spent sleeping, taking medication, drinking fluids, and taking naps. I did manage to watch a bit of television and read a chapter in the book I’ve been trying to finish for over a month, but I started reading it before Camp. I read three Writing books during Camp, but nothing for fun. Writing is fun for me, but I really should have taken the time to read more for pleasure during Camp.  Another thing I’ll make sure that I do when I participate in July’s Camp is outline in more detail. I made a basic outline, and when I say basic I mean basic, which means I began to flounder after the first few chapters. I’ve been reading “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler and it’s awesome and amazing. I’ve learned so much in just the few days I’ve been reading it. I’d recommend it to anyone who is a writer. Reading his book has been pleasurable–Wish I had known about it before camp. I really need to get out more. I feel a field trip to the library coming soon.

Now that I’m done with Camp I’ll be posting more. Sorry I’ve been MIA (for those who have been wondering). Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow’s Daily Prompt is.

 

 

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Day 16 of Camp NaNoWriMo; Writing; Inner Editor

writing a novel is a terrible experienceI’ve caught up on my word count, written my first love scene, though it was more of a first kiss scene, and I’ve finished Chapter 10, as well as put my inner editor to bed, at least for now. YAY! ME!  This has been a difficult week so far, and it is only Tuesday! Why? Well, writing has become my job 😀 since I started this and I have been taking it rather seriously, maybe too seriously, but isn’t that what I’m supposed to do my inner writer says. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still washing dishes (though there are days when I’m a slacker), and cooking dinner (slacker on one or two days there as well), and I still bath regularly (not slacking on that), but I’m drinking coffee on and off all day with breaks from it during the middle of the day when I drink water, and then for dinner I usually have at least one glass of sweetened iced tea. In the mornings I do drink at least 8 oz of orange juice and most of the time I remember to take my vitamin (but that has nothing to do with writing, I just forget about it sometimes). Having ADHD means I make lists or I forget things. I often forget to make my list so…

If you can quit then quit if you can't quit then you're a writerI’ve hidden my inner editor in the closet, or somewhere–I don’t remember where. I wrote this morning and now that it’s midnight (of course it is now 38 minutes into day 17 for me) I’m about to start writing again. Which means I’ll have a head start on tomorrow’s writing. I won’t stay up long, I’m really tired but there’s this small scene that’s been in my head all day and I need to get at least part of it in the story so I won’t forget or it will drive me crazy and I won’t be able to go to sleep. I used to write a lot of poetry and I’d get a line in my head and it would bug me all day long until I wrote it down. If I ignored the urge and the line finally quit bugging me then I’d completely forget about it–damn, if it wouldn’t have been just the best line. But that’s how it goes. So now I don’t ignore that feeling of “I must get this written…”

Good writing evokes sensationI was a bit blocked when I first began writing the MC’s first love scene (it was a first kiss scene actually, though the kiss was some kind of passionate) and I didn’t want it to sound like a Harlequin Romance but I didn’t want it to sound technical either. So I just finally began writing and I started with a hug, then it grew from there…and as I wrote it I had the memory of what I felt when I kissed my husband for the first time way back when we first started seeing each other. Part of writing is imagination, which I used, and since I was determined to at least get the scene written down, even if it needs to be completely edited later on I will at least have it in there. I also know that later on I’ll have to write a real love/sex scene (though it will be sexy not slutty) and I need to go ahead and prepare myself for that. I’ve got at least 2 more chapters (maybe) to write before that happens though. Plenty of time to do some research.

It's impossible to discourage the real writersWell, writing this post took a little longer than I thought it would so I’m going to call it a night and start fresh in the morning. I’ve bulleted my main ideas for Chapter 11 on the note card in Scrivener, which I absolutely love and will be buying once I win Camp NaNoWriMo.

So here is an update on Day 16:

How many words did you write today?  22.277so far but I’m not done yet.
How long did it take you to write them?  Three hours but I was also doing research for the novel
How many Facebook breaks did you take?  Two
How many characters have you killed off to date?  One.
How many NaNoWriMo Angels have you murdered? Two.
Have you stopped using contractions yet? Nope.
What was today’s reward for finishing word count? A Starbuck’s DoubleShot Energy Mocha
Cups of Coffee: 3 1/2  5
How any pieces of chocolate were consumed? One chocolate chip muffin.
Total NaNoWriMo Word Count So Far: 28,471
Words to Goal: 21,529
Days Remaining: 15

 
 

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Napping, writing, and real life stuff

Snoopy Monday BleahSo I bypassed posting about Camp NaNoWriMo for quite a few days…I was busy napping, writing, and doing real life stuff like writing and napping, no we cleaned, organized, cooked, watched movies, and I wrote and napped. Seriously, pretty much all I did ALL day Saturday was write then nap, nap then write, and repeat. Saturday was CampNaNoWriMo’s Writing Marathon and I wrote in spurts. Sitting at the computer for 5-8 hours non-stop is not conducive to having uterine fibroids so I broke it up into increments. My husband stayed in pajamas all day and he and I napped together for a while, and then we napped separately. While I was napping he was applying for jobs on the computer and while I was writing he was napping. Then we just hung out and ate a late dinner and watched a movie. I did change out of my pajamas but it wasn’t until later in the day and then by early evening I was right back in those wonderfully comfortable clothes called pajamas, along with my fuzzy penguin bedroom slippers and my terry cloth bathrobe.

Photo Credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=q5Zfwv3rksWaeM&tbnid=iyuq6AsPBW0uoM:&ved=&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcolourmefemale.blogspot.com%2F2010%2F10%2Fits-mondaywoo-hoo.html&ei=kqxrUeaaM5Hi8gTTkoCgCw&psig=AFQjCNH0tLx_47ETWmuXOfaXJu_CHXGTAQ&ust=1366097427174793

colourmefemale.blogspot.com

So how has Camp NaNoWriMo been? I’m at around 25,600+ words right now. And I’m about to start writing again. So I’m right on target, or just a little over. I’m not running out of steam, but the people around me, except for my husband don’t take it serious. My husband is proud of me, believes in me, and supports me, but even he doesn’t see it the way I see it, but then again I’m a little obsessive about it so he keeps me grounded, which is a good thing. I needed that sleep over the weekend. I’d been staying up late every night, until the wee hours of the morning writing, and I was sleep deprived and beginning to get grumpy. I feel much better now.

Yes, it is a little after 3 AM my time and I am up, but I just woke up. I went to sleep around 9:30 or 10 PM, and I  woke up 15 minutes ago. Put on coffee, and began responding to some comments on my blog, once I’m finished with this post I’ll respond to a few emails, then FB, then I’ll begin writing the rest of Chapter 9. I’m supposed to babysit Mr. Rockstar’s niece and nephew around 9:30 this morning so that my sister-in-law can go to her oldest daughter’s 2nd grade spelling B. I remember spelling B’s. I was in quite a few. I loved them. So I’ll be busy during my peak hours of either writing or sleeping, thus I’m up early and went to sleep early. My sleep schedule is back on track for the most part.

Snoopy MondayOne of the main reason’s I joined Camp NaNoWriMo was so that I could get inspiration, so that I could finish a novel (I’ve started several but have never finished one), and so that I could get back into the swing of things as a writer. I put my writing on the back burner for years and I used to write something, whether it was poetry or a short story or whatever every day. So instead of just dreaming about writing a book one day I decided to make it happen. I’m so glad I did. Like I’ve said before, I don’t care if the book is crap. I don’t care if it needs a bulldozer to edit it, I’ll have finished a book and that’s an obstacle to overcome–it automatically makes me  a winner.

So sorry my posts have been few and far between lately. I’ve been busy writing my novel in 30 days, busy researching things for it, and I’ve been keeping up with my reader (for the most part) so I’ve read a few posts from blogs I follow I just haven’t really been able to write my own. I’ll try to do better. 😀

Hope all of you have a great day!

 

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Day 7 Not a good writing day but a good IRL day

It is one of life'sSo Sunday, Day 7 of Camp NaNoWriMo was a bust for writing. I think I wrote maybe 200 words, but I did help Mr. Rockstar babysit his niece and nephew (ages 3 and almost 2) while his sister and brother-in-law went a friend’s funeral (sad). Then we went to the grocery store. Then we went to a friend’s house for dinner and watched the Hunger Games. I didn’t want to watch the movie until after I’d read the book, but it’s going to be a while before I get to that set of books (there are all of these other books that are higher on my To Read list, plus I’m writing a novel in 30 days so I’m not reading as much as I usually do..

It's all about the love

It’s all about the love

I realized today while we were at our friend’s house eating dinner (and it was a fabulous dinner) that Chris Baty was right–you have to take some real life time, some time for inspiration, because while we were over there I listened to the various conversations, and I watched the movie and looked for plots and themes and characterization, as well as any cliches, which only made me want to read the book even more, but alas I have to wait.

Mr. Rockstar and I went out to eat on Day 5 (which is when this picture was taken). It was really nice to get out. And Sunday after we got home from having a wonderful dinner at our friend’s house I realized I really needed to just go to bed, get some much needed sleep, but the pain was overwhelming (yet another week and weekend of doing entirely too much) and I couldn’t sleep.

So in all actuality it is day 8, but I’m still in the mindset of day 7.

IMG_1076I miss the daily prompts, but I really just do not have time to do them every day, but I am trying to post every day…However, I really don’t want this month’s posts to be just about Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m going to have to come up with something else…So here I am at my computer with my headphones on listening to classic 70’s rock while I go through my email, etc and try to get in the mindset of chapter 4 of my novel. I have coffee and I’m going to need a whole lot more before today is over with…That or a much needed nap sooner or later.

Oh, and I am loving my new chair 😀

 

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On Writing

I write because there is a voiceI remember when I was in elementary school I was playing school teacher but what I was actually doing was pretending I was teaching kids how to read and write. I read books aloud to my imaginary students. I had them participate in writing hour, which meant we sat quietly and wrote for one hour and then people shared their stories. I never taught my imaginary students math or geography or science–just reading and writing. As I got older I stopped teaching my imaginary students and started helping my friends with their papers, I became the official editor for many of my friends. I had talent. I loved reading and writing. Those were my passions, along with photography.

3 simple rules in lifeSomewhere between not having the funds or the self confidence to use my partial scholarship for journalism and go to college and going out into the real world and getting a job as a bank teller I stopped believing in my dream. Then when I was in my early 30’s I decided to go to college. I enrolled at a 2 year college and was on the Dean’s List, and part of Phi Thetta Kappa and I was rolling right along. I’d decided to major in journalism (written communications)/Creative Writing/English (depending on the 4 year college, and then for several reasons over the course of the 10 years I tried to get my bachelor’s degree I had to drop out, then I’d go back, drop out, go back, until finally I just gave up. I gave up on college, I gave up on writing, I gave up on my dream. Part of it had to do with the toxic relationship I was in during that time, (like college it was on again off again, mostly because it was toxic)…When I finally left that relationship I tried one more time to go to college but ended up losing my job, and unemployment doesn’t cover nearly enough for internet and computer repair, so once again I dropped out.

554926_430264573724038_714035132_nOn the in-between, after walking away from the toxic relationship and meeting Mr. Rockstar, I bought myself a digital camera. I began taking pictures of everything, everyone, so much so that people began to think of me as the unofficial photographer of various places and events. When I met Mr. Rockstar, the night we met but didn’t officially meet since we didn’t actually talk to each other and weren’t introduced but were sitting at the same table with mutual friends (what rude people, right? LOL!) I happened to take a picture of the people sitting at the table and he was one of them. He calls it my stalker photo–laughs and says he’d never had a stalker before. I realized over that first six months that we were together that I longed to write and that photography was also one of my passions. For my birthday last July he bought me a much nicer camera (a Canon PowerShot) and I love it. It’s great for when you’re on the go. We’ve looked at more expensive cameras for later down the road, but right now we’re working on a few other things that are more important. Not to mention that I would rather wait until after I’ve started photography school and know more about them so I can get the one that’s best for the kind of photography that I want to do.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo

Last November was a busy month for us. We’d been married for almost 2 months when November started, I was working at his family’s business, we were playing catch up after the wedding (weddings are expensive no matter how much you plan and save and DIY) so we didn’t have internet access and my laptop when kaput (I could use it for NaNoWriMo at work but one week into November it crashed). So no NaNoWriMo for me.

I began writing on my desktop. No internet means no distractions. And I began and stopped at least 3 novels. I got to chapter 3 or 4 and felt like it was utter shit and said OH WELL and began a new one. Then in January my desktop crashed. I got that dreaded blue screen with the error message (something about a kernel) and it had to be fixed. Now both my computers are working (my son uses my laptop for school) and I have my desktop set up in the dining room for now. Then in February I found out about Camp NaNoWriMo and I got super excited. I told Mr. Rockstar about it. I told my son and my daughter about it. I told one of Mr. Rockstar’s sister’s about it. And a nephew, and my brother, and my mom and dad. And here I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. Day 3 just ended and my total word count is at around 10,169 words. I’m in Chapter 3 and I know I’ll have to do a LOT of editing and revising. I know I’ll need to kill off at least one character. I know I need to practice, practice, practice so that one day I’ll be published. But I believe in myself. I am going after my dream. I am WRITING! I’m a writer.

snoopy inspirationMaybe there are parts of the whole NaNoWriMo thing that are a little cheesy, or maybe they’re just fun, or maybe it just depends on how you look at it. I’m having fun. The only drawback to this thing is that I’ve already been in 2 cabins and neither of them were very active, at least 2 hadn’t even showed up, and one of the one’s that did show up and say something still hasn’t bothered to post anything in the wordcount. Maybe they’re late starters. I don’t know, but I specifically requested an active cabin with people who were on daily. If I’m going to be in a quiet cabin then I’m going to be in that cabin all by myself. For me it’s either complete and utter quiet so I can concentrate or it’s fun and interesting so I am motivated.

Tomorrow I’ll find out about my new cabin. We’ll see. I’m not holding my breath though.

Stephen-King-quoteNow that I’ve written a  blog post, I’m trying my hardest not to become a slacker when it comes to this blog, and I’ve taken a nice long hot bubble bath with candles and wine and a book to read while I soaked in those wonderful bubbles and that amazing hot water, I’m about to go back to chapter 3 and see if I can’t figure out a way for my main character and her potential love interest to connect and want to get to know each other better. Otherwise, she’ll be falling for him when he saves her from the assassin who is going to try to kill her while she’s at her grandparent’s funeral, and I’d really rather her not fall for him because he saved her.  I like this character, and I love writing, and I’m having fun writing the book and fun with the character. For the first time in a very long time I am motivated, Mr. Rockstar supports me (he’s my biggest fan…Which is what I tell him in regard to his music (he sings and plays guitar) and he’s actually quiet talented. A friend of ours, a female, told me when we first began seeing each other “He could sing the panties off a woman…” and all I could do was laugh.)

You can tell how serious a writer you arePart of being supportive means you take the good with the bad. I’m busy writing right now, so he’s not getting to spend as much time with me, but I’ve made it a point to spend some quality time with him. It’s conducive to my happiness as well. He believes I’m talented enough to one day be published. He believes in me and that makes such a huge difference. So as I begin to write the scene for my main character and her potential love interest knowing the difference between real love and momentary passion or obsession or lust or friendship or being comfortable or whatever will certainly help. I think I’ll begin with interest and maybe a little subtle flirting or maybe I’ll just let her fall for him when he saves her and until then he’s just a nice guy with REALLY ROUGH edges, who is sarcastic and aloof and angry and a bit self destructive right now because….Well, I’ll save all that for the book. LOL!

Achievement badge for writing over 10K

Achievement badge for writing over 10K

 

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