Tag: NaNoWriMo

Friday Five: Songs I’m Embarrassed to Admit I Like and Update

Hey guys!  This week on the Friday Five the topic is songs ‘I’m Embarrassed to Admit I Like’.  In truth, I’m not really embarrassed by any of these songs.  They are all silly but I like a fun pop song on occasion.  They put me in a good mood.

What pop songs do you like?  Are there any songs you are embarrassed to admit you like?  Any bubblegum songs that are silly but you like them anyway?

As far as NaNoWriMo things are going really well.  I just passed the 25k mark so that means I am half way through and it isn’t half way through the month.  It isn’t quite as speedy as last couple of years but I’ve had a lot more going on, so that makes sense.  How are you guys doing on your word counts?

nanowrimo11-13This week was really fun.  I went and saw Home Alone on the big screen for the 25th Anniversary!  Home Alone has a special place in my heart because it is the first movie that really made me laugh my head off in the theater.  I saw it when I was 9 years old and on a special trip with my Grandparents to Disneyland.  I was a really independent kid so the story of Kevin McCalister defending his house and providing for himself was right up my ally.  I watched in a crowded theater and it was so neat to hear kids laughing their heads off just like I had 25 years previous.  It brought so many great memories.

Here’s my youtube review I think you will all get a kick out of.

 

Friday Five: Instrumentals and Nanowrimo Update

Hi guys!  I hope you are all having a great start of Fall (or at least that’s what it feels like here in Utah with things getting very crisp and cold this week).  I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo so that’s why I haven’t posted on this blog this week.  My apologies for that but doing best I can.  My  novel is coming along pretty well.  I am ahead of the game as far as word count which makes me feel good because I don’t know how much I will be able to write this weekend with stuff going on.

wpid-snapchat-100529400831000105.jpgSo far I feel like the book has done a lot of describing things and not quite enough character development so that is something I need to work on but I am able to get my daily word count in and sometimes more which is what is most important to me. I really like the lead character I’ve created and feel a little bad for the mess that is about to happen in her life.  Poor fictional characters and their hard life! 😉

How are you guys doing with NaNoWriMo?  How are your novels coming along?

FRIDAY FIVE

This is Friday so it also means it is time for the Friday Five!  This weeks topic is all about instrumentals and being a movie fan of course I had to include mostly scores as my choices but I love the 5 songs I picked.

What are instrumentals that you like?  What scores from movies are your favorite?  Put in the comments section and if you like the video I would love if you gave it a thumbs up.  Thanks!

NaNoWriMo Tag and My Writing Process

So NaNoWriMo is coming and I feel a little unprepared but am excited!  I filmed this video about NaNoWriMo video today and it included a tag.  In the video I go into my process for writing and has little segments of all 3 of my books (this will be my 4th year doing NaNoWriMo).

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?  What are you writing about?  What strategies do you use to finish the challenge?  I would love to discuss it in the comments.  It is going to be a challenge for me this year with everything else I have going on but luckily I am a pretty fast writer so it should be ok.  I will certainly do my best.

If you are doing NaNoWriMo please follow me on the NaNoWriMo website and let’s support each other!

http://nanowrimo.org/participants/smilingldsgirl

Happy writing!!

I Have an Idea for Nanowrimo

nanowrimo2013Hey guys!  Well I am very excited to tell you I finally have an idea for this years Nanowrimo challenge!  This is the National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  This will be my 4th year participating and honestly it kind of crept up on me. The previous years I had an idea ready to go I had been thinking about all year but this year with my job, 2 blogs, and youtube channel I kind of forgot about Nanowrimo.  There was a side of me wondering if I should even try to do it this year, but a friend of mine encouraged me to give it a go so I figured why not!  But I still couldn’t think of a good idea…

Then last week I was watching the show American Greed about ponzi schemes and swindlers and I got the elusive idea.  The show was profiling a man who ran a ponzi scheme and got kind of exposed throwing a lavish party for his daughter on the show My Super Sweet 16 on MTV.  While watching the thought occurred to me ‘what must it be like to be that girl?’.  To go from your father throwing you this insane party with rockstars performing and Mercedes to drive to not long after it aired your father getting arrested and convicted for fraud.  In addition, many people saw her throwing away their money they had invested with her father.  I’m sure there must have been a lot of anger and outraged at the daughter since she was the one the show focused on.  It struck me as an interesting character to write a story about.

Again I asked the question “what must it be like to be that girl?”.  I wonder if she hates her father or maybe she always hated her father and he made her go on the show?  Maybe she just went on the show to spend time with him since he was always at the office?  Maybe she got caught up in it and had a change of heart after seeing the suffering?  Maybe she lost friends. a boyfriend, over the whole thing?  I just feel like there is something to talk about and will make for a good book.

What do you think of this idea for a story?  Do you have any suggestions for the story?  I would love to hear them.  Are you guys doing Nanowrimo? What are you writing about? If any of you are in Utah I would love to a do a write in or meet up.

Last year my book ended up being very intense and it was kind of tough to write but I learned a lot as well.  Hopefully this story is more inspirational but we will see where the words take me!

This is the girl on the Super Sweet 16.

Here’s a little thing about the Dad

 

Nanowrimo, Christmas Music in November and Other Silly Rules

First I just wanted to announce to all of you I have finished the Nanowrimo challenge.  It was a tougher book for me to write than any of my other 3 and I’m proud of the basic story I was able to develop.  The prose is rough but the story I really like.

1508173_10152619833772239_8048249337604887857_nIt ended up being a story about a woman who has never fallen in love who loses her job which leads her into the path of an ever-growing group of people including a girl who ends up pregnant in a domestic abuse situation.  The more people she allows into her life the more she grows as a person.  It went darker places than I expected and I really enjoyed writing it.

I hope you are all having a blast with your writing and your projects! I look forward to having a bit of my life back after being kind of obsessed with nanowrimo.  I’m that way.  I get focused on one thing and shut other things out.  I would like to change that but it seems to just be part of me, so I work around it.

I’ve been thinking a little bit about the silly rules we set for ourselves that seem important at first but when you really think about it they are kind of dumb.  For example, for a long time I said ‘no Christmas music before Thanksgiving’.  This year I kept turning on Christmas music on the radio and enjoying it and then turning it off because of my rule.  It finally occurred to me ‘why?’.  If it is making me happy than why not listen to Christmas music?

Most people set such a rule because they don’t want to tire of the Christmas music.  Well, I do not tire of things like that.  If it is something I like I like it on listen 1 and listen 1000.  I just don’t grow weary of music, movies, food the way other people do.  Not sure why but it’s true.  So the rule may be helpful for other people but for me it was silly.  It was denying me of joy for no reason but to obey some rule.

It’s made me wonder what other silly rules I have that are unnecessary? Do you have any?

Well, I am exhausted so I will sign out.  Let me know how you are doing on nanowrimo.  Finish strong my friends!

Nanowrimo Update and First Drafts

Hi guys!  I just wanted to give you a little update on how things are going here in Nanowrimo land.  Well, as you can see from this photo I am happily engaged in the project.

rachelMy story ended up taking a darker turn than I expected with my character who has never fallen in love meeting a girl at school who is in an abusive relationship.  It was my first time writing an intense scene like that and it was quite draining!

Even with the intensity I’m really enjoying my story.  It is a combination of About a Boy, Erin Brokovich, 40 Year Old Virgin and a bunch of other stories.  It’s a good mixture of comedy, drama, friendship and family and characters that really aren’t much like me which is new.  Branching out I guess!

Some people question the value in all this writing.  I mean shouldn’t you edit as you go to produce something good?  The surprising answer is No.  We are creating a first draft of your story and stopping can be anti-productive in developing the first version of said story.  That’s what makes Nanowrimo so effective it gets you to get the story out on the paper and then the multiple versions and rewrites that inevitably come with publishing a novel would come next.  That’s the tough part.  The fun part is the power of creation.

Chris Baty the founder of Nanowrimo started it with 20 of his friends who just thought writing would be fun to do together and it grew, and grew to 500,000 worldwide participants in 2014.  He was recently interviewed on NPR and I really enjoyed the whole broadcast and his comments about first drafts.

A Washington Post article says about Baty and the program ”

“We wanted to write novels for the same dumb reasons twentysomethings start bands,” Baty writes on the event’s Web site. “Because we wanted to make noise. Because we didn’t have anything better to do. And because we thought that, as novelists, we would have an easier time getting dates than we did as non-novelists.”

But a funny thing happened on the way to 50,000 words. They discovered the writing process was fun, something they hadn’t expected. It was like watching TV. “You get a bunch of friends together, load up on caffeine and junk food, and stare at a glowing screen for a couple of hours,” Baty writes. “And a story spins itself out in front of you.”

I can really relate to that (except for the date part!) but the excitement of creating something and helping others get involved.  This year I’ve enjoyed encouraging a number of friends in their stories and that is so rewarding.  I keep telling them it’s not about the publishibility or a section being good, it’s just keeping the story going.  I tell them ‘don’t edit.  That’s for December’. What a freeing thing!

wordsSo I’m loving the process and hope you are too.  Let me know how it is going for you.  And Happy writing!!!

 

Nanowrimo Coming Up

nanowrimo1Hey guys!  So Nanowrimo is coming up on Saturday! I have come up with what I think will be a solid concept for my story about a woman who has never fallen in love.  I’m really excited to get writing!

I’m curious for your suggestions about how I can best use the blog while writing? Would you guys like to read little sections?  Would you like if I posted about writing and the process of Nanowrimo?  I only have so much time so I’m not promising anything but I am sure I can pump out a few posts?

I could do different exercises or character sketches to give you an idea of wha tI am writing about (and help me while I’m at it).  Would that be fun for you? Or should I just occasionally post about other things not related to Nanowrimo during November (like Thanksgiving and other events going on).  Maybe you guys don’t have any interest in Nanowrimo and my progress. Let me know!

I’d be curious to know how many of my readers are participating.  Please share.  I’d love to hear about your concepts and genres you will be working in.

Thanks in advance for the support and if anyone is interested in guest posting on either of my blogs I’d love it! Happy Nanowrimo!

Nanowrimo Snowflake Technique

snowflake

STEP 1 ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY

A woman who has never fallen in love finally looses it when watching her twin sister get divorced for the 2nd time and helping her last single best friend plan her wedding.

STEP 2 ONE PARAGRAPH PLOT 

Julie is 40. In fact, she had celebrated the big 40 with her best friend Claire just last Friday.  Today she is standing in front of Claire at ‘Gowns by Tracie’ and looking at her 40 year old face in the mirror beside the most hideous fuchsia number she’d ever seen.  You think being single and bridesmaid as many times as Clair had she would have some mercy on her friend but it seemed more revenge than mercy, and Julie was asked to pay the price.  Sigh…It seemed to be Julie’s role in life cheering on her friends while their lives got interesting and she had the same old, same old. Right now Julie’s sister Lisa was going through her second divorce and she called her at all hours of the day.  Why anyone would call her for advice she would never know.  The truth is she has a secret. Julie is 40 and has never fallen in love.  Never even been kissed.  She hasn’t been twitterpated or excited over a guy.  She hasn’t had her heart broken.  She hasn’t even held hands with a guy.  Why? She has no idea except it seems to be her calling to watch others from the sidelines.

STEP 3 DEVELOP CHARACTERS

Julie- 40 year old woman, never fallen in love, hard worker, perhaps even workaholic, likes control which means romance drives her nuts, practical but also a dreamer.  She has a twin sister who is very demanding, critical and a mess with her life.  Wants to support everyone but having a hard time.

Claire- Julie’s best friend and the last of their group to get married except Julie.  She’s lost in wedding plans as it is finally her dream come true.  She worries about Julie but everything has happened very fast. She’s scared of all the change but feels like she can’t talk to Julie about her worries.

Lisa- Julie’s sister and twin. A mess with relationships.  Can’t keep a job and her kids are a challenge.  Jealous of her sister always having things together. Feels Julie judges her.

Mom and Dad- Supportive parents but tend to forget Julie and give all the attention to their kids with grandkids.

Other siblings?

Boss? Coworkers?

Julie and Claire’s group of married girlfriends

Love interest? New friend like in My Best Friends Wedding she doesn’t end up with anyone.

STEP 4 PLOT SUMMARY

The story will kind of be as if Julie is a pot of water and as the pressure and heat increase Julie will get more stressed until it boils over.  Eventually she will have to reconcile her life and the expectations she had for it.  Meanwhile there will be Claire’s wedding and all that goes into putting that together.  Julie and Lisa have to deal with their envy of each other. Don’t want everything to end with a tidy bow.  Should be still challenges, unknowns but some peace and comfort for the future.

There are other steps but I will wait to do those another day.

So that’s a start.  Would love your thoughts and suggestions.  Cant’ say I will take all of them but I know it will be helpful as I put it all together.

Those are some initial thoughts at least!

Brainstorming Techniques?

BRAINSTORMING_METHODS-283x300I need some help you guys!  I am getting ready for Nanowrimo and I have the idea for a character but I’m not sure what I want to happen to her.  I want to write a book about a woman who never falls in love and how she deals with that.  I don’t want her to fall in love because I feel like that would be a cop out.  I want it to be a unique story.

But what would be a good story?  I’ve thought she could lose her job.  She could have a group of ‘lonely hearts club’ or other group of friends.  I saw a thing on food network about these widows that meant ever week and made perogies.  I thought I could tell that story but I don’t think I would do an old lady very well so it would be 30’s or 40’s.

Anyway, I’m just curious for your suggestions and what you do when you need to brainstorm for ideas? Fellow writers help!

This Nanowrimo is going to be different because I don’t have a concrete plan like I’ve had the last 2 years.  We will see how it goes.  I have a back up idea if this doesn’t work.

So help!  Need ideas.  What could happen to her that wouldn’t be a cliche but would be interesting to read about?

Also is anyone interested in guest blogging for me as I work on my book on either of my blogs?

Nanowrimo Winner and My First Poem

2013-Winner-Facebook-Cover

So I did it!  I finished my second year in Nanowrimo.  I’m not saying the book is great.  It’s not as good as my book from last year but that came from my heart so its hard to compare.  Still, I learned something from thinking about my characters and their lives.  Little details like how they manage their time or a scene that was captured in a satisfying way.

It may be that I take side characters and flesh them out more.  There may be more to say with them than on the 2 main characters.  I think it would be fun to right a children’s book from the perspective of the little girl Callie who reads and can’t quite decide what she believes in including Santa.  I think there is a story there.

Anyway, I enjoyed writing it and I learned a lot.  It has also motivated me to work even harder on my book from last year because I know it is better.  I know it has more potential.  It’s energizing!

One of my goals for this story was to do a bunch of writing firsts.  I had never written complete fiction before and I have never really written poetry before.  I had a couplet that I wrote in college and it just about killed me.  Very difficult.

So, I did my best and wrote a Christmas poem to share with all of you.  It’s not really here for critique.  Just a first stab at a medium I love (which reminds me I need to do a poetry post soon).  Here goes!:

lonely_bear_christmas_by_kilroyart-d4jny1u

The Lonely Christmas

The tree and lights, the hot cocoa and marshmallows

The presents and bows, the mistletoe and couples

It was Christmas time and all seemed to be matched

But for me and my ring finger had yet to be catched.

I tried to be cheerful and ignore the stares of pity

But alas I was cold and couldn’t be witty.

Leaving the party I grabbed my coat and hat

And went for a walk to try and find some merriment.

I looked at the snow and it seemed icy and alone

The wind whistled and let out a deep moan.

Out to the street I walked a block or two

Until I came to a church with an empty pew

The stained glass shined on the alter of white

And I asked God ‘why did I have such a plight?’

Why couldn’t I be a mother, wife and friend?

Why did everyone’s life start when mine seemed to end?

No answers came and I couldn’t help but cry

When a man with an old gray coat caught my eye

Even inside he was cold and looked awfully weary

I gave him a smile and said ‘I hope your Christmas is merry’

He shrugged and said with a sigh ‘life had been hard’

Then he showed me an old battered Christmas card.

‘Merry Christmas my dear’ said the writer with a flourish

And then she added ‘our love I will always cherish’

“She left me on Christmas and it hasn’t been the same”

In fact, for years Christmas took the blame”

“I’m sorry” I said “How did you make it through with hope?”

He smiled, laughed “I certainly did sit around and mope

But one day I prayed for God to help me find Christmas again

And He said to me ‘get down to the church and watch who comes in”

So I went and watched for the a spot in the pew to be filled

And each year there appears someone who needs a rebuild”

Then he looked at my eyes and placed his hand over mine

With a pat and a look sincere we went up to the shrine.

Next we lit a candle and the alter seemed ablaze.

Wishes  were scattered on papers amidst light rays.

“Take the cancer away” one said, “keep Tom here” another.

“Free Sally from drugs” and “be with my baby, love mother”

“Now look up” the man said. In the glass I saw the Lord on the wall

Feeble and tired, lonely and scared he suffered to overcome our fall

“Look at His face on the cross.  His Christmas day was full of pain

So how can we be called Christians if our days are not the same?

He loves us but on Christmas Day He wants us to know

why He and all His followers must have an occasional blow.”

I looked at his face and then at Lord “but how do I pretend to be full of glee?”

The man looked at me and said “You don’t and neither did He”

“But He does know our wishes and He does listen to our pleas.

If that reason alone we should remember He always calms the seas.

Christmas is a time to be merry for sure but its also much more.

It’s to remember why we are happy and sad and then to share.

Transfer our love of the Lord and His great day as our present to all.

And only then will we have a true reason to stand tall.

“You are right” I replied “He is my greatest companion and friend

His gift is for all and brings us Christmas till the end.”

A tear comes out of my eye and the old man gives me a hug.

“Merry Christmas” he says with a wink “There is still time to love”

I look at the old man’s eyes and I think of a girl who is often weary

“I’ll find her and make sure that her Christmas is merry”

I get up to leave the chapel and look back at the old man in pew.

But to my surprise the room is empty and my curiosity grew.

Searching the pews and alter I noticed something new among the wishes

A Christmas card and written on inside said ‘now go find your missions”

As I went back into cold I smiled at the snow and looked at North Star

Christmas wasn’t about what I don’t have but how I could spread joy far

One thing was for sure. If I knew Jesus lived I must make it clear.

“Whether young, old, single or married, Merry Christmas to all everywhere”

——————————————-

Hurray a winner and my first poem!  So exciting!