NaNoWriMo 2016: Days 4-6

309. Thankful for relationships

309. Thankful for relationships

Period brain chewed me up on Friday and spit me back out on Saturday (good to get that over with early in the month, though) so I didn’t write at all on Friday. Instead we went to Target and looked at Christmas stuff (I’m 100% there already this year) and had an India Palace date night. Indian food is the best of everything.

310. Thankful for memories

310. Thankful for memories

Saturday I was feeling a little bit better, still felt like my head was full of cotton, but pretty functional in all ways but the creative. I did a lot of thinking, brainstorming and plotting but I only got 323 words added to my novel. Better that than nothing, though. Always good to at least keep the novel in mind when you’re having an off day during NaNoWriMo. I felt good about the fact that I wasn’t beating myself up about it. I also donated on Saturday, which always gives me a kick in the pants. Plus I discovered YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR USERNAME now! Check it out. I literally hugged my laptop.. We ended the day with a quality Luke Cage binge watch. SO GOOD.


Need to post the rest of my Halloween photoshoots here so you can have some context on that.

Sunday was much better. I started the day with some quality procrastination. I made a book cover and changed my avatar on the NaNoWriMo site. Eventually I jumped into some sprints and wrote 2,816 words total. I also talked some plans out with Shaun and got lots of new ideas. I’m still about a day behind in terms of word count, but I’m going to try to catch that up today, get on track, get back ahead, finish early per usual. Fingers crossed. Here’s a favorite line from yesterday to end things on:

“I told you. I can make any kind of canned soup, too. Haven’t met a canned soup that I wasn’t equal to.”

8486 / 50000 words. 17% done!


NaNoWrimo 2016: Day 3

308. Thankful for a favorite place... home

#cy365: Thankful for a favorite place… home.

Yesterday I kept “Just one more thing, and then I’ll write!”ing. I’m caught up on all the internet things I haven’t looked at in months, let me tell you.

Anyway, my main character needs to figure out what she wants to do with her life. I made her cousin a graphic designer and one of her potential love interests is a writer. On that note, I’m not married to there actually being a love interest, but I also thought it would be fun if I went all out soap opera here in a minute. So indecisive! The other potential love interest seems like a hooligan. My book is drifting into Gilmore Girls and Murder She Wrote and away from Twin Peaks. I want it all. Probably Gilmore Girls least of all, though.

Oooh, doesn’t Murder She Wrote/Twin Peaks sound like the most perfect mashup ever? Imagine Jessica Fletcher and Agent Cooper teaming up to solve Laura Palmer’s murder. Of course, JB would have had it sorted in a single episode. /fanfic

I digress, what should my main character do? She’s job hunting. It’s her current crux

Eventually I ran out of other things to look at and I did a few sprints, not enough to get 1667 words, but enough that I still had a teensy lead on the official daily goal. I wrote 1,571 words yesterday.

5347 / 50000 words. 11% done!

After I finished writing, I did this new Yoga with Adriene video and let me tell you it was the Perfect followup to several hours of procrastination and 45 minutes of writing.

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day 2

307. Thankful for the view

I have trouble getting started when things are unfinished. Last year I didn’t even start my NaNoWriMo until November 2 because I wanted to clean up all of the Halloween messes and give myself a fresh house to maybe… kind of… ignore for a month.

I got up, opened all the curtains and the front door (opening the front door makes me feel less alone when I’m… alone, I don’t know why, I can hear people talking outside sometimes, watch people walking their dogs, it’s pleasant, I guess.) There was Halloween vomited all over the porch, saying, “Are you going to have time to take me down the next few days? Are you going to feel up to it?” My uterus is a ticking time bomb and my porch and front yard were absolutely covered in string lights and plastic bones. I felt like yesterday morning might be my last chance to take Halloween down for a week, so after a failed attempt to start writing I pulled the tubs out of the garage, fired up some Murder She Wrote on my ipad and patiently untangled all the lights and spooky fabric. It only took about an hour, which is amazing because it took four to get it all put up. Untitled
I really feel so much calmer if I do some kind of chore before I start writing, but I also love to get writing out of the way first thing in the morning. Writing this blog post every day is definitely like a warm-up writing session for me, though, kind of like a chore that helps me get going. Outside of November, I do yoga before I do anything else, but I would love to start doing yoga right after I write. I’m not quite there yet. Yesterday I managed to go do a few stretches after I finished my longest writing session, but it wasn’t enough. I didn’t feel that post-writing yoga relief I was going for. Something to work on.

I made this tweet (and feel free to comment prompts here,  too, I’ll share how I used them in my next post!) and got started with a prompt from @nanowordsprints. A few years ago I wrote a NaNoWriMo novel called Pleasing The Stranger where I used lots of prompts every day and let my novel go wherever they led it. Eventually the novel did that thing it always does where it takes off in some direction and you really can’t control it anymore, but I tried to use as many prompts as possible and it was a fun way to do it. Since I really have nothing this year (no plot has presented itself yet) I’m casually seeing where prompts take me again.

Over four 5-30 minute writing sessions yesterday I got 1,686 words.


3776 / 50000 words. 8% done!

NaNoWriMo 2016: Day 1

UntitledIt’s that time again. Jumping into it feels weird. I lost a lot of my regular routines over the last several months, including writing on this blog. I hurt my neck, Shaun went back to school, we’ve had to really adjust our budget, but everything is good. I feel like I’m constantly saying, “I’m getting back on top of things!” and I’m not sure if it’s ever really true. I do more than ever, really, I can tell because I have been bullet journaling and I have pages full of doing, I’m actually on top of a lot of things, but I have been feeling… more overwhelmed.

So of course, it’s time to add another to do to my everyday. But this one actually helps me feel less overwhelmed, most of the time! One of my favorite side effects of NaNoWriMo is that I turn my inner editor off and it seeps into every part of my life. I wish I could leave it off forever. Could I? I actually take more days just for myself, without guilt, during NaNoWriMo than any other month of the year. It gives me permission to ignore a sink full of dishes for a while. I wish I didn’t have to get permission to relax, though! I really need to work on that, because, at the end of the day, the sink full of dishes is still there, and then I clean it anyway and I didn’t spend any time fretting about it. I get SO MUCH done in November. Nothing actually suffers. Anxiety and worry are so useless. I can just skip them and everything works out.  How can I get this attitude into the rest of my life? Hmm!

Anyway, yesterday I had no ideas or plans for NaNoWriMo, but I didn’t sweat it. I looked at Behind the Name and wrote a list of names to grab when I’m in the middle of something and need to name a new character, I got a beginning scene location from this random plot generator and then I started writing. I have no idea what’s going to happen. I’m using prompts a lot, especially ones handed out during sprints by the @nanowordsprints twitter. It’s just happening. Only real decision I have made about it so far is to have a contemporary setting but really embrace those 60s gothic tropes, which I’ve never really done before. Contemporary, I mean. I’m all about 60s gothic tropes. The characters don’t feel very contemporary as a result, but I’m enjoying it. It’s got a vibe. Twin Peaksy.

I finished day 1 with a pretty bad backache from procrastinating on my laptop all day and 2090 words.

Here’s my last sentence of the day:

“She threw her coal black curls up into a loose ponytail and did not stand in front of the mirror looking critically at her features, as is so common in novels.”


2090 / 50000 words. 4% done!

My first Bullet Journal, flip-through

I started using the bullet journal system in January. It has really helped me keep track of all the things, and helped me feel a lot less anxious on a day to day basis. I made a video where I flip through it and talk too much. If you’re curious, watch it below!

Stuff I mentioned:

Official Bullet Journal info

Capture Your 365 project

Bullet Journal inspiration!
Boho Berry
Joeli Creates




Remember NaNoWriMo?

Day 64. I won #NaNoWriMo ! Before Thanksgiving, which is always my goal! #100HappyDays
I am pretty bummed that I didn’t make a post about this earlier. I finished NaNoWriMo on November 25th. I think it was my worst yet, but I think that every year! It’s fine!


You know what is super great? Coming back to an older NaNoWriMo with enough distance that it feels like you’re reading a book that someone else wrote JUST FOR YOU, but you can change all the things you don’t like about it, and then announce really quietly that you are self publishing it and it will be available through Amazon soon.



NaNoWriMo 2015, Days 1 – 5

Day 41. I didn't start my #NaNoWriMo until yesterday, but when I did I got 2,455 words out of absolutely nothing so! #100HappyDaysNormally I have written an update on my NaNoWriMo progress before now. It’s part of my routine that works so well for me.  Last year, I had pretty free mornings, because I was doing the bulk of my writing in the afternoons, word warring, with Shaun tapping away at his novel across the room.  The next day I would pop something in the slow cooker, do some yoga and write something here and it helped me organize my NaNoWriMo feelings.

Shaun is taking this year off. He does sometimes. When he comes home from work, I want to hang out with him, not plug along on my novel alone, so I’m writing in the mornings. This has generally worked out for me in the past, before I got a slow cooker, whether Shaun and I were both working on NaNoWriMo or not, I would write in the morning and he would write while I was cooking dinner.  It’s not that it feels wrong to do it like this.

I have just had such a weird head, so far, this month. November 1st is the hardest for me, writing alone, if it’s a weekend, because it’s the day after Halloween, which I worked very hard on (this year we had 160 trick or treaters!) and I just want to spend the day with Shaun, relaxing and recovering.

So this year, for the first time ever, I didn’t write a single word on November 1st. It’s not really a problem. I usually finish NaNoWriMo on the 25th.  I also usually have some inkling of what I’m going to write about.

This year I had absolutely nothing.

On November 1st I decided to do some prep work. I made a couple of lists while we sat on the couch watching Kill Bill #1. I’ve made these lists before, they’re recommended in No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty, which I reread every year.  List 1 is the things that you like to read in a novel and list 2 is the things you hate to read about. I actually made a third list of general favorite things, thinking if I get stuck maybe something will pop out at me. Here’s that list, for fun!

  • photography
  • love
  • snow
  • halloween
  • christmas
  • coffee
  • spooky art
  • dark hair
  • green eyes
  • orange
  • cooking
  • cold weather
  • theme parks
  • gardens
  • cats
  • art
  • writing
  • astrology
  • tarot cards
  • gothic novels
  • dollhouses
  • keys

Then I went to Behind the Name and skimmed through most of the English names. I wrote down a list of female names, male names, and surnames so I would never find myself writing “Blanky McBlankerson” in the heat of @NaNoWordSprints

It was not a complete waste of my first day of NaNoWriMo, even though it was spent doing things I was allowed to do in October.

On Monday, November 2 I got a decent start, somehow, and I didn’t even start writing until the afternoon. I felt inexplicably awful, just sad for no reason, but I churned out 2,455 words and some kind of story started to present itself.

Tuesday and Wednesday were less productive, and I’m still behind on the recommended word count, though on Wednesday my general mental health seemed to improve and I wrote cheerfully in the morning.

5748 / 50000 words. 11% done!

My biggest problem today, day five, is that I have sat here writing almost 600 words for this post instead of my novel.

But I’m hoping to get some word warring in with a friend this afternoon, or soon, anyway, so that will help!


Here’s my working title, synopsis and an excerpt from yesterday:novelexcerpt

NaNoWriMo 2014: Days 17 – 24


I very briefly left the house a few days ago. It’s pretty outside, and bright!

Week three was harder for me than it usually is, I guess. I kept on top of my word count through almost all of it, though, just dipping 500 words behind on Sunday when I was assailed by menstrual cramps of doom. I don’t know that I have ever been so consistently on track before.

I have had some of those slogging writing sessions where I feel like I am just putting one word after another to connect scenes into some semblance of a story, ignoring my inner editor as much as possible (example: Carolyn hoped that it had been a ruse. Georgette was pale and smelled of burnt sage. Carolyn only hoped Brent didn’t notice.) and then I have these chapters that are pure delight. I ran off with some side characters and they’re a lot more fun. Here’s a bit where they visited a wonderful witch to try and break a spell that has been placed on my super-boring main character:

A little woman stood just inside. She was very old. Perhaps the oldest woman Georgette had ever seen. Her face was just a pile of folds and lines, her nose had large black hairs emerging from it, and her eyes were small and cloudy. She was wearing layers and layers of clothes, at least three shawls of varying colors and cleanliness and she shivered even though it wasn’t a particularly cold day.


I got behind posting here, and behind on a lot of other little projects, but my twitter has been full of gems.



41017 / 50000 words. 82% done!

NaNoWriMo 2014: Days 12 – 16

320.Got a bit behind updating here, as I usually do during the glumpy week twos. I took a couple of days off last week, but only when I had the word count to spare. I’ve kept about a bit ahead of daily requirements and even with some intense desires to quit, for both Shaun and I myself, we stuck it out and I feel pretty good about what I have going on right now. Events have taken place. Things are happening. Marriage, kidnapping, intrigue!

My self portrait theme this week is yoga, just to make sure I do it in the midst of NaNoWriMo and I feel pretty great. It snowed yesterday! I took a bubble bath today. I smell like geraniums. I have no idea what I’m going to cook for dinner because we decided not to go to the grocery store yesterday while it was snowing. Shaun is going to get the stuff on my list on his way home from work, but all my planned dinners this week were for the slow cooker, so it doesn’t do a lot of good to get ingredients around 4pm. But I’ll rustle something together. We have lentils for days and days, after all.

It’s getting harder and harder to share bits of my novel. This happens every year too. But whatever! Here we find our heroine experiencing her own bout of the week twos:

Thinking about her novel sent her on another spiral. Her stupid, terrible novel. She should go downstairs right now and thrust it into the fire, but no, here’s Georgette standing in the open door and she can see what a waste of space you are.

Here’s a peek at my spreadsheet wordcounts so far this month: nano111614



27841 / 50000 words. 56% done!

NaNoWriMo, the first four days!

305.It’s kind of a weird thing. For my husband, Shaun, November 1 falling on a Saturday is ideal. A nice weekend start to NaNoWriMo. This is probably true for most people. But for me, it means I put off cleaning piles of Halloween messes. Or I don’t put it off, perhaps, and I do everything and I feel completely overwhelmed.

Shaun and I took down all of the exterior decor on Saturday after we both got over 2k plugged into our novels. On Sunday I packed away the interior stuff, after getting just enough words in for the day. But I didn’t do the dishes, I let them go. Sometimes dishes are my own personal demon, I guess, and that’s not the worst demon to have. I feel silly about my feelings sometimes, but that’s not being fair to myself. I get overwhelmed about the dishes, it’s just my thing. It’s okay.

I did the dishes, twice, on Monday, as well as 6 other items on my to do list, including my best single writing session so far this NaNoWriMo (1,017 in 30 minutes), slow cooking a giant Indian feast (in two slow cookers!), intensely fabulous yoga, and cleaning the floors. Everything is going to be fine. Writing that here makes me believe it most of all.

I had plans, and they’re not completely abandoned, to really use prompts with this novel. My novel and characters have all been named somewhat randomly and I initially used some prompts from the NaNoWordSprints twitter. Then I realized I didn’t give a fig about my novel. It’s not something I would be interested in reading. Why would I write something like that? It’s guaranteed to come back and bite me in week 2. So I reassessed. What’s my favorite-favorite to write and read? Gothic novels. The ones with damsels in nightdresses fleeing foreboding castles on the cover. A touch of Northanger Abbey style parody and a mix of Dickens & Wodehouse humor and you have me, no matter what that quiz said about my writing style most resembling H.P. Lovecraft. It must come from my tendency towards unnameable horrors. Luckily I caught this on Sunday before I had invested much of anything into the novel. I started over and found that thread of horror and humor I was so desperately lacking in my first attempt. Bring on those painfully ridiculous run-on sentences, brain, I have much need of them.

Speaking of paragraph long sentences, my trademark, here’s the last line I wrote yesterday. Sharing my last lines of each session was a custom I quite enjoyed a few years ago that somehow fell off. Fingers crossed I continue to enjoy this novel enough to keep it up!

The whole afternoon had been a bust, in regards to Georgette, but Emilia felt inspired to pick up her pen that evening nonetheless, writing several humorous descriptive passages about Bundle, Markle and Ballywag, and one paragraph about her dark stranger that heated her cheeks even as she crumpled it up and threw it into the fire.

Today we went and voted as soon as Shaun got home. I started another slow cooked meal this morning so I was free to write twice with him through my usual dinner cooking time. This has really freed up my days for faffing about on the internet. Joy! Anyway, I wrote 2,151 words today. The last line of my last session was:

She sipped a glass of mulled wine and let her cheeks get pleasantly warm as Muriel mentioned some embarrassing detail of their youth that greatly amused everyone.



7569 / 50000 words. 15% done!