Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Night Before NaNoWriMo

‘Twas the night before NaNo, and all ‘round  the Earth
The plot lines were forming, awaiting their birth
The writers were ready, all poised with their pens
While visions of victory erased four week-ends.

The MCs were sketched and ready to speak
As villains burst forth with havoc to wreak;
And friends in support roles and we with our plan
Had finished our outlines, took a moment to scan...

And there on the ‘net there rose such distraction
We logged on, checked email and sprung into action
Away to our Facebook we flew like a fiend
Checked Twitter and newsfeeds—we thought we were weaned!

Now Pinterest, Instagram, Ask and Yahoo
Google, and eBay, Groupon and Squidoo
To the top of the rankings! to the top of the stats!
Now sign out, sign out, before we go bats!

As inspiration before the dawn comes
When it meets pure resolve, that about sums
up the challenge to us as we bravely commit
to one thousand six hundred plus words to spit

daily, and just when the clocks sound cukoos
Then lights! Camera! Action! yon comes the muse
who turns our story fair on its ear,
destroys the outline we held close and dear.

And then, in a twinkling, we know it’s no spoof
Each day we must churn out the words as the proof
That we know in our gut we’ve got something to say,
Something profound that must see light of day.

Our eyes, oh how bleary, our hair is a wreck
Our cheeks are inflamed; dirt rings our neck
A bundle of laundry lies on the floor
We feel like fungus! Our muscles are sore.

But wait—this is brilliant! Our MC takes wings!
Look here, she is saying the cleverest things!
Her speech is engaging, her actions enthrall,
Did we really write this? We cannot recall!

The end is in sight now, our joy feels no bounds
Despite the sad truth that we’ve gained twenty pounds
Rewarding ourselves when we’ve felt just plain dandy
With coffee and doughnuts and Halloween candy

Tomorrow it is we’ll go straight to our work
Filled with a fire that drives others beserk
 But now, lay your heads down, close your eyes and sleep tight,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

NaNoWriMo, Carbs and the Giants

A woman adopts an alternative lifestyle and walks into a Denny’s in joke, it’s NaNoWriMo time and this go ‘round I’m writing in my den of creativity in Arizona instead of my bat cave in the Sierra Nevada’s. Thought it would be fun to get to know some writer types in the desert at the regional NaNoWriMo kick off, and it was. Here’s what I learned.

Writers aren’t healthy. Most identified their brain food of choice from the carbs and caffeine section of the abandoned food pyramid (guess they also retro). My favorite was fruit leather wrapped around a pickle (hmmm, is this writer planning to give birth to more than a novel?). The snack I aspire to is green peppers and crisp cherry tomatoes – the crack and pop is energizing, according to one of my new writer friends. I believe it.

Writers are overachievers. When asked what their biggest challenge was this year many trotted out new jobs, multiple children involved in activities such as competitive gymnastics and scouting, and college classes they are enrolled in  on top of their commitment to produce 1,667 words per day for 30 days toward a plot not fully fleshed out. My biggest challenge is to decide what point of view (POV) will work best for the sequel to The Sheep Walker and whether to write in first person again or switch to third person.

What I’ve learned from my 2010 participation. I’m going into this session with a full chapter by chapter outline and some experience with Scrivener, a content generation software program (I supply the content, it organizes my outline, character sketches and scenes and spits out a manuscript when I’m ready to push the button.) I have twice as many characters to get to know; we’re already living together.

I keep a 5-year diary. I checked my entry two years ago. On November 1, 2010  I wrote, “2, 409 words and the Giants won the series!” Hoping history will repeat itself.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Dialing the muse
Dialing up the muse
Holy muse, mother of imagination, I have neglected my blog (apologies to my Catholic friends for the inference). It’s not that my creativity has dried up, it’s been redirected. The Sheep Walker is in the capable hands of Writer’s Relief and an agent in New York is taking a look; time to start the sequel. That’s right, it’s NaNoWriMo time again!

I was surfing my blog for pithy quotes when I came across this entry Imade two years ago:

The point of this exercise is to beat my internal editor into submission; banish her to some netherworld in my brain; tame her insatiability for my words which she likes to chew on like a cow on cud.

Well that was then, this is now. I’m no longer too concerned with my internal editor. Today the point is to produce a second novel. What concerned me then was how my life would change when I bumped writing up on the priority list. What concerns me now is that The Sheep Walker spawned new generations and I have more characters to develop in the sequel, The Lyre and the Lambs.

This go ‘round I am in my new office in our desert retreat in Arizona and my guy is well trained from the last go ‘round. He knows when to disappear and when to reappear with tempting offers to dissuade me from spending too much time writing when the muse is tired.

I smell Polish sausage on the barbie and red cabbage and apples on the stove. The Giants are heading into the seventh for a shot at the series.
I’m ready.

Do not despise these small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zech 4:10