Weekend Coffee Share, Processing as I Go

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclecti Ali.

My online course is winding down!  Work keeps me busy as ever, but I missed a day and a half this last week due to sinus/allergy problems or a cold.  I needed the rest, but it seems many of my students missed me, which makes me feel good!

My son is becoming an adult, working steadily and learning new things, and I have no one to take care of but…myself.  Last night, he said, “I sometimes wish I was on my own, but you all (his grandma and I) keep me out of trouble.”  What a wonderful acknowledgment!  So I am taking care of myself now, per the request of my brain and body.  I’m going to pilates this morning and having a massage this afternoon.  It takes a village to keep my mind/body straight and work out my knots.  I am willing to accept help and have sought it. I also have a friend meeting me at pilates, so there may be a coffee chat for us afterward as well, since I only had half of a half-caff (can you do the Math? 🙂

I finally finished editing and processing my physical therapy journey and what I’ve learned and still am learning on pain’s connection to the brain.  You can read it here:    Pain, Growth, and Making a Truce with My Brain  Let me know if you are not able to read it all.  It is a different blogging site for me, as I am branching out.  However, hardly anyone knows me there.

I am also considering a new post in a series I used to do called “My Exercise Evolution.” I may be able to get a post out this coming week.  Then, within two weeks, I will be a novelist again, editing and proofing the Malachi manuscript!  Woohoo!  it is like a mother who misses her grown child.  At least I see the light at the end of the tunnel…

I hope the weather is nice where you are; I know I have enjoyed having dog snuggles the last few nights, as it was in the thirties last night.  *shivers*

Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have a great weekend!

My First Ever WP Blog Post Repurposed, “Nikki Giovanni, You Inspire Me!”

I have recently been reminded that I’ve reached my three year anniversary of blogging with WordPress.  I have not regretted a moment, except maybe the times when I didn’t feel like I could post more than one a week.  This first post was quite fitting, as it documents a turning point of inspiration, and why I bought that little notebook that helped me become confident enough to remember fleeting thoughts and piece them together.  I was lucky to win tickets to a rare speaking engagement!  Without further ado:

Reflections From July 16, 2015 (that I wrote in my little notebook):  My inspiration comes from many people and places, but one that is quite memorable is the poet, Nikki Giovanni.  I am fired up right now, because I got to hear her read at a luncheon today!

I love her smile here, and her lack of make-up or artifice.  She is herself, at home and comfortable in her own skin.  The first day I heard of her, I was not any of those things.  I was 20 years old, unsure of myself, finding myself the only one of my peer group in college, and how I got in I wasn’t always sure; I certainly assumed for several years I would not be going.  My self-esteem was hinging on some “boy” I was having some “sort of” relationship with while in college.  I thought about it, and him,  entirely too much.  Should I keep it going?  Should I forget it, tell him it wasn’t what I wanted or fulfilling me spiritually?  Geesh.  What a waste of time, mulling over such a wishy-washy situation.  Had he wanted more, I probably wouldn’t have, so why wasn’t it that simple for me?

Fact is, I was in college, being challenged, and enjoying that greatly.  I was working part-time, not always enjoying it, but I was paying bills, albeit barely.  I was going home to an apartment that was partly mine and a roommate who, it turns out, was not as great a friend as I thought.  I didn’t even always want to hang out with her.  I was not a drunk or a partier, (maybe twice a month), but I was somehow just at an emotional low.  Maybe I was short-changing myself? I wanted more emotional fulfillment.  So, I had read something by Giovanni and then saw this quote from her, that somehow just really clicked with me; I even copied it down and put it somewhere safe to look at again and again.   Here it is:

      “There is always something to do.  There      are  hungry people to feed, naked people to  clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”

― Nikki Giovanni

I was wasting all this time with some college boy who didn’t even care if I thought about him, living in an apartment with a friend that was no longer a friend, and feeling unfulfilled.  The only thing that fulfilled me at that time was diving into the Literature and texts I was assigned.  Oh, and some of them really saddened me.  There was Gothic Literature such as Mary Shelley.  Existentialism.  I really felt it all.   But I survived.  I moved back home with Mom for the remainder of college, continued working, and paid for a lot of my own college.  I made time for other friends, and my college relationship pretty much ended when he went away to an out of town school.  But Nikki’s words stuck with me.  There is a world out there in need,  why should I stay in here in my own head worrying about things, when I can go out there and make my world better?  And look at all the energy we sometimes spend on an unhealthy or one-sided relationship, or even friendships that no longer serve us, when there is so much more to do?
You could say I live her advice.  I suppose the last part of her quote is what I put to use back then, regarding who you should engage among you, and who you should remove.  Lord knows, I had to practice it many times repeatedly over the course of my life.  I also took a good amount of advice from the Bible, but how confusing that can be to a young person.  Nikki’s quote on sick people, hungry people, those needing clothes, is also a reminder to someone like me who had all that I needed.  I was getting an education, but it wasn’t making me happy and I felt so alone.  I can say that got better.  It is also true that I struggled with depression at times.  I had to sometimes just do something good for another person in need.  Sometimes I had to just get busy and get out of my head.  Analyzing existentialism or the deeper meaning of Gothic Literature can be a gloomy subject.  But it was very deeply satisfying when I could take a break and do a good thing, or have fun in the sunshine for a while.  One day, I would like to be able to consider myself a successful writer.  There is no amount of money or number of books I will assign to that.  Giovanni herself said something like that today, about how money won’t fulfill you.  You just need to have some of it to stay alive.  It thrills me to say that Nikki Giovanni has influenced me.  I’d like to put that on the back of a book one day!
And as for teaching,  yes, like Nikki said, we need more black children to grow up, get educated, and go into space!  We need them to become scientists, like  Neil deGrasse Tyson. (Who, by the way, is really cool!)   It is much needed for the equality of the races.   Imagine, if I could turn the right student on to a book about space or time travel, and in turn, encourage him to explore space!  Such an honor it would be.  It gives me something to remember when I look at that sea of faces every August.  They all have the potential.
Nikki also mentioned how our language is changing.  (Look at the definition of marriage.  Just recently it was decided by the Supreme Court that two women or two men can now marry).  Think of the definition of equality; she mentioned how a black man and white woman could not have married 60 years ago.  The world is changing and so is our language.  We need to observe and we need to write about it.  So I am writing right now.  She said, “Everyone go out and buy a notebook to write in today.”  I already have one.  I thought it was lost, but it has turned up again!  And I also have this space here for writing.  So I am inspired again!   Indeed, there is so much to do.    Life is good!

Weekend Coffee Share. “What a Long, Great Trip it’s Been!”

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Allison at Eclectic Alli every Saturday morning! I love this coffee photo from Pixabay, as it is very reminiscent of Kerouac, although now I can add Ginsburg to that thought; I’m making my way through Allen Ginsburg’s poetry book, “Television Crawled Like a Baby toward that Death Chamber,” and what an appropriate title! I read maybe two poems a week, as I don’t want to speed through it. I also have another book on the side, I must confess. Poetry books work better for me when I keep a certain poem with me for a week. I’m going to perhaps surprise you and exude total positivity today. 🙂 Maybe I feel like I have my job and work well under control, or I just feel I can focus on me this weekend? At any rate, I’m celebrating a few things today.

I received this notice yesterday from WordPress about my third anniversary with WP blogging. It has been the best experience and has fueled my writing and my author platform! I’ve also become part of a community of bloggers from Africa, Ireland, Britain, Dubai, and many other far away places who share unique perspectives and yet, have a lot in common with me. I had blogged with Google Blogspot for about 5-6 years and never got the feel of community as much as I do now. Besides discussing the writing journey or creating short fiction here, some of my posts have been very personal and based on some struggles I had in my family in the last 4-5 years; all I have received is supportive responses, and I never regretted sharing. I’m truly thankful I started that first post, which was either about seeing NIkki Giovanni speak in 2015 or a cool fact I’d learned about our galaxy while at home sick. I may re-post it soon in memory!

Thank you, WordPress!

Really, it’s fun to think back on the things I have discovered. I’ve also discovered authors I would not have otherwise and read books I might not have heard of had I not read my WordPress post feed, books like “Echo” (dystopian sci-fi) or “Damp Dogs and Rabbit Wee,” a humorous memoir written by a dog-walker in Scotland. I truly hope their writing keeps flourishing. I’ve found a way to tell others about my writing as well, and I’m thankful to those who have read about my book(s) and got their own copy to read and some who left a review for it! Now for the next celebratory item:

Bixby and me.

Sorry for the tired eyes. It was a cold Friday night, end of work-week unwind.

This dog of mine is the best friend a girl could ask for. He loves my whole family. We’ve had him for four years now, after adopting him from the shelter.  Wed finally decided to spend the money and time on a dog-training course. Let me tell you, it does pay off! Half of the goal is training us humans to be consistent in our requests and rewarding behaviors and not to be negative in our responses to behavior. He will now sit for a treat, wait for a treat, leave it when asked, and lie down for a treat when asked. He is getting better at walking on a leash with us as well. My mom and I are his main walkers, and we can’t have an over-enthusiastic dog yanking our arms our pulling a shoulder out of socket. He has gotten so much better, what a canine angel! Today was class six, and he graduated. Hooray for Bixby!

Anything for a treat, but the hat only stayed on for a few seconds! 🙂

Thank you for having coffee with me and listening to my wonderful news!  Thanks also to those of you who stop by even on the weekends when I am feeling overwhelmed and sharing when you can empathize.  Have a great week, everyone!

#WeekendCoffeeShare. Summer’s Falling Action…

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Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Diana at parttimemonsterblog.com.  Here we are, right at the end of the summer’s plot, getting ready to tie loose ends up.  *sigh*  If we were having coffee today on the 29th of July, I’d tell you:

I’m on the fence about summer’s ending.  It’s almost over.  I took two extra work days next week for extra pay.  Yikes!  I did get my haircut today, so I beat the back-to-school rush.  I also plan to have a full beach day with my son next week.  Yay for the beach!  Yay for family time! I’m so proud of him.  He’s doing really well at his job.

I do feel a little relieved about summer’s end though, because that means we’ll get closer to cooler weather!  Yes!  It also means I’ll get into a routine again once work starts.  I sort of had a writing, yoga, walk-the- dog routine all summer, but it’s too easy to get off schedule lately.  I get distracted.  My focus is way off!  Well, maybe this is just my way of relaxing for the summer?  Maybe I just deserve this!  Considering, we had a family crisis in May, my mother broke her arm, and I developed laryngitis that lasted two weeks.  I won’t be too hard on myself, then.  That, and, I realize it’s easier to write when the weather’s cooler and the sun is not so bright in my window.  I’m the sort who will write when the spirit moves me.  And it will!  I still get ideas constantly, and I write them down, one sentence at a time.  I’d promised myself to do cardio in addition to yoga this summer, and that didn’t pan out so well.  It’s just too darn hot!  I need an indoor hammock for reading.  Doesn’t that sound nice?  Oh, I suppose an indoor bike would be great too…

At least I have been blogging regularly.  This Weekend Coffee Share is a great way for me to catch up with fellow writers, bloggers, and readers.  I’ve been sticking to that, and I’ve done a few flash fiction challenges.  This week, I wrote “My Friend” for the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.  You can see it here:   https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/flash-fiction-for-aspiring-writers-my-friend/   I’ve also changed the presentation on my blog page, so that there is a category cloud.  If you want to see my poetry, you click on the word “poetry.”  I have 22 entries so far.  If you click “reflections,”  you’ll get more personal, biographical type writing about family, life, growing up, all that good stuff.  “Writing” is where the stories and flash fiction are housed, and “Publishing/Indie marketing” is where I discuss book progress, updates, and Visual Promo Graphics or character introductions.  Have a look!  I also gave a mention the other day of a chance to win a Kindle copy of my latest book, Detours in Time.  You can visit and enter the giveaway at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9b75bf71/

On the subject of my book, Detours in Time, which I can’t stop talking about as if it were a healthy, 9 lb. baby I just recently birthed,  let me take a moment of gratitude!  A fellow author saw a Facebook post and bought my book in paperback on Amazon.  I asked him to e-mail a photo of himself with the book for my Facebook album, and he did!  He even told me he was enjoying the book. Someone has been reading it on Kindle Unlimited this week, and there were two recent reviews.  Thank you to those who have purchased, read, or reviewed the book, and to whoever is currently reading it!  It’s my beautiful baby, and I am a proud mamma! Having said that, if someone gives me a less than 4 or 5 star review, my thought is to thank them for a review. 🙂

I’ve also been reading like crazy this summer, since I have the time.  I read on Kindle on my phone until the battery’s almost dead, then plug it up and go get another book, preferably non-fiction so it doesn’t interfere much with the story-line in my head.   I’m reading a YA fantasy story for a review group, and then interchanging it with the non-fiction when my battery dies.  I got these from the library.  Aren’t they beautiful?

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That, and I started the fifth Outlander book over a week ago, but it will take me quite a while to get through that book.  I am 15% of the way through, because it has quite slow exposition with a few lovable moments with the characters I’ve gotten to know.  However, my life is going to amp up soon with full-time work, on-the-side writing/ book promo, family stuff and generally trying to be a human.  So, I may open that one on holiday weekends, maybe at Thanksgiving time or Christmas I will finish?  Either way will work.  I just can’t chain myself to the couch in order to finish that one anytime soon.

That’s my week.  How was yours?  **You can join this week’s Coffee Share on Diana’s blog or by clicking on the “InLinkz Linkup“ in her most recent entry.  I encourage you to click on the linkup button to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and join in, even if you haven’t before!

 

A is for Arthritis. #AtoZChallenge

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A is for arthritis.

It will not stop me,

Only delay me

I will not bow to it,

Yet I know it’s there;

It sidetracked me long enough.

It won’t be easy,

But I have my Army,

And I won’t cave in.

 

  • “Army” could also be read as “Advil.” 🙂

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***Note:  I wasn’t going to do this.  Because of my arthritis.  Therefore, in rebellion, I’ll start my challenge by writing about arthritis.  Take that!  I also wasn’t going to do this because of my many other writing projects; because of my busy full-time job, my family requirements, volunteer commitments, blah, blah, blah.  Let’s face it.  I am a writer.  My students have been asking me about that a lot as the word seems to be going around.   I want to inspire them to do an alphabet journal and I will share some of my A-Z entries to inspire them.  Can anyone think of a better reason to rebel against my aches and my fatigue? I was sure I could not follow the rules and may not keep up with responding to others’ blogs.  We will see; one can only try, right?  I might as well let my mind take the helm!

The theme for my blog is “Who I am.” Yes, it’s wide open.  It will include little tidbits about me, poems I’ll share, and stories.  I hope you don’t think I’m a cheat.  I am a little bit of a rebel, though.  Just ask my yoga instructors. 🙂  As I said, one can only try, right?  Let’s do this!

Interested in doing the A-Z blog challenge?  Visit http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

#weekendcoffeeshare Do the Hustle!

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Welcome to the #weekendcoffeeshare, created by parttimemonsterblog.com.  If we were having coffee this morning of February 18, I’d tell you:

I’m really hustling to get my work and my name in the public “reader’s sphere.”  I recently joined a new website called Niume which is a blogging and social media site that will start paying when I reach a certain number of views.  See my post about it here:  https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/use-niume-to-promote-your-writing/  It includes a referral link if you want to sign up there, publish some posts, and give me credit.  That’s how I got signed up, by reading about a fellow WordPress blogger’s experience!

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You needed a visual interruption, right?  This is from back in the day when I took ballroom and contemporary dance lessons and was practicing at home.  One of the dances was the hustle, though I can’t guarantee that’s what I was doing here!  Alas, dance lessons are not as important these days as stretch and yoga to undo all the typing and stressing I do lately.

Speaking of social media and doing new things, I’ve been trying to share my work and even the work of others to Reddit.com.  Evidently, they are not too keen on sharing.  Is anyone here using Reddit to promote your work or just to write in general?  If so, please tell me what is working for you and I will give it a shot.  It just doesn’t work the way I’ve been using it lately.  They tell me I don’t have enough karma, so evidently, karma means more than just upvoting other people’s posts.  I do share their posts occasionally on Facebook, but do they have to all be from the subreddit where I want to post?  I mainly want to post short stories there, and I don’t want to re-write them on Reddit if I publish them in a blog already.  If you’re successful there, please let me know how!  I’d appreciate it.

I have been writing, of course, to tame my brain and to share and get my name “out there.”  I’ve been pretty reclusive and introverted lately, yet I’ll share my thoughts anywhere.  This is because I’ve grown comfortable with them.  I also like to stay close to home.  Too much has happened in my family, as I’ve posted previously.  I’ve had some dark thoughts and posted one story titled, “Her Beef with Death.”  Read it at  https://niume.com/post/256429. You don’t have to subscribe to read it.  I did post it on WordPress, but I don’t get the way a shared post shows words all scrunched together as if I don’t know how to type.  So, I shortened it and tidied up the sample you see on WordPress.  No big deal.  What shows on WordPress is about half of the story.  It is not dreadfully long but is longer than a flash fiction piece.

My last Flash fiction offering was on 2-11, “Upon Her Throne She Waits.”  It, too, was dark and mysterious.  Read it at https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/fridayfictioneers-on-her-throne-she-waits/  I love participating in the Flash Fiction challenges, because sometimes I get the best ideas in quick spurts.  I may add to “A Date to Remember” (posted here over a week ago) on my other blog in installments.  I hear writers do it all the time.  Why not?

In the meantime, there are works in progress.  One is going through editing; much like a good steak should not be served raw, it will truly be done when I publish it.  I am also handwriting a story with an animal character.  Yes, that’s different for me, but I’m enjoying it and will start typing soon.

What else is new?  My family situation is about the same.  My work life is about the same.  I stress over them both.   There is not much drama in my family right now; the dust has settled since the accident on Jan. 1, however, it’s hard, when you want what is best for someone but can’t force them to go out and reclaim their life.  Work is hard because it is a constant pressure-cooker full of drama.  Pre-teens and middle-schoolers surround me all day, and they don’t always pay attention.  One of the first and foremost reasons I write is to escape these things.  Therefore, be glad if most of my post is centered around writing.  🙂

After perusing my post, one of my short-term goals is to learn how to create hyperlinks behind a title.  The post with instructions by a fellow blogger is saved to my desktop.  I’ll review it and practice, one of these days.

The Weekend Coffee Share was created by Part Time Monster .   This week for the first time it will be hosted by Nerd in the Brain).  Thank you Emily!  You can join this week’s Coffee Share on her blog or by clicking on the “Linkup Linky“.  In fact, I encourage you to click on the “linky” to see what’s been going on in the lives of other bloggers and even join us if you haven’t before. 

 

 

Happy WordPress Blogger Anniversary to Me!

wordpress-com-anniversary-2xThursday, 1/26/17, is my one year anniversary with WordPress!

I was just reminded that today is my 1 year anniversary with WordPress! Not a paying job, but a hobby, a compulsion, and a social act, blogging has been one of the tools of my self-care. They say to make writing a habit, do it every day. I’m close to it. As I’ve gone from crisis to crisis at home, blogging has been my go to for a quick smile when I write a cryptic flash fiction piece, or when I pour out my heart about the things I don’t understand in my life and my family and putting it into words relieves me. You know I’m not the type to sit on the phone for an hour moping. I don’t want to be the rain cloud in someone’s day. I’ll write it, and if you don’t like it, look away. Someone else will like it or at least identify.
Using the keyboard for expression, imagination, or simply venting has strengthened me as mental health issues have struck one family member, and anxiety wracks my nerves. There are times I cannot talk to anyone at home, as my mom is there sometimes but also has her own life. We all have some sort of issues. Swallowing them constantly makes a person ill. I am going to deal with the crap that has been thrown at me, and hopefully be an example to my son who is also dealing with it, my students who need healthy ways to vent, and anyone else who will listen. I’m so grateful for the chain of events that led me to discover that I could blog on WordPress as it led me to other writing avenues, too. I am encouraged and buoyed up by this blogging community where members express faith, humor, world facts, ideas of horror or fantastic visualization. I just love the way WordPress works.  It suggests reading to me and suggests my blog posts to others.  Never did I figure that out on the prior blogging site I used.  Now I’m a member of a blogging faith community, sci-fi community, writer’s community, poets, dog lovers, readers. It’s all here, and my year has been brightened because of it!

#weekendcoffeeshare. November’s Over, and Now….

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Welcome to the weekend coffee share, hosted by parttimemonsterblog.com.  I so enjoy being a part of this blogging community!  If we were having coffee, you’d get to know a bit of who I am.  I’d tell you-

Now that November’s over, I am giving myself a writing break until the Christmas holiday.  November was such a writing crunch!  There was not enough time for reading.  So, the start of December is giving me time to continue reading a novel, The Step, about a woman who was part of the Apollo space program, and to watch my favorite new Netflix show called “Glitch.”  It’s mysterious and weird, and involves a lot of the history of a town come back to haunt them (almost literally); that’s why I love it.  There are sure to be many plot holes, but it does get me to thinking.  Considering, I am an avid fan of The X-Files and The Twilight Zone.  🙂

With an inspired thought process, I’ve had some wild dreams lately.  Maybe these are story ideas in a disguised form, and I should take heed.  I’m still mulling it over.  But I know it arose from a picture a student drew yesterday of birds with dead fish laying at their feet.  She left it under the desk.  Another child found it later and said it was very dark, but I said, “Well, birds eat fish.  I guess you could say that’s just life and survival.  I suppose survival could be considered dark.”  I honestly wasn’t grossed out by it.  Maybe my answer wasn’t the best; I didn’t bring up survival of the fittest because I really prefer to promote peace in the classroom!  I also don’t mind kids being creative in their down time.  Nonetheless, I believe this innocent drawing inspired my survival dream of the Jurassic Park variety.  Survival of the fittest, indeed!

Anyway, I’ll take inspiration anywhere I can get it.  I finished out November with 45,000 words written of a new novel, but I still need to finish it.  Yes, it’s just below the goal, but I still feel I have come away a champion.  This is more than I’ve written in one month, ever!  For more reflections on my NANOWRIMO process and experience, click here: https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/a-november-to-remember-on-losing-graciously-yet-victoriously-in-nanowrimo-amwriting/

Work has been full of testing.  There are mid-year tests in a few of the subjects, and I am a teacher who would prefer to teach and read with my students, but we have made it through the first week and it wasn’t all that difficult.

That’s my week in a nutshell.  I tried not to overwhelm you with talk about my writing, as I know I’ve talked about it so much all month!  Yet, it is still a big part of this post.  I am remembering myself two years ago, wondering when I’d actually live out my dream of being a writer, if I’d have to wait until retirement, cursing myself anytime I’d forget to write down a story idea.  Then again, my son was so much more of my responsibility back then, and he’s much more grown up now, though I still need to help him find another car…

How was your week?  What has inspired you?  I appreciate you stopping by and letting me share about my week!  I encourage you to visit our host of the Weekend Coffee share at parttimemonsterblog.com!

 

A November to Remember. On Losing Graciously, yet Victoriously, in NANOWRIMO. #amwriting

snapshot_20160528_2 My NANOWRIMO bio photo.  I think it reflects a serious writing face, and it appropriately features my favorite coffee cup. 🙂

As the goal of NANOWRIMO is to write a 50,000 word novel, I’ve done a little writing this month.  🙂  I also have:  worked full-time, encountered two car accidents in my family, one of which has me now driving my son to work at the other end of town, but let me say I’m thankful, since no one is hurt.    I made a visit to southern Florida to spend a short weekend with a high school friend, attended church, attended yoga (though not enough, it helps undo the tension from typing and laptop use), I blogged more than I should have while trying to write a book, but I love the friendly community of blogging and I couldn’t stop. I voted and watched the world unravel over the election’s results, I processed the election results, spent a little time with my boyfriend, hung out with his family and my son for Thanksgiving, I walked my dog countless times and got sudden glimpses of inspirations, and….that’s about it. Unless I forgot something.   Yes, that’s one heck of a run-on, but in November, you don’t edit!  Never mind that it’s December now. 🙂 I’ll edit in January!

So, considering all that is my life, I feel victorious when I say I wrote 45,000 words in November!  I’ve been in forums to get support and also heard the naysayers, “Quality means more than quantity.” But I truly think the beauty of NANOWRIMO is the deadline, and perhaps, the competition.  You know others are doing it, you know many of them will succeed, so, why not you?  I gave it my best effort.  I decided halfway in that I was only competing with myself.  Last year, I wrote 30,000 words of a novel.  It was finished in January.  This year, I wrote 45,000.  I think I’ve won.  After all, you only have yourself to compete with, right?  Still, when you know so many of your peers in the writing world are doing it, you want to join.   In the words of my NANOWRIMO bio,  “I might as well write as much as I can, while I still have the mental faculties and stamina.   Victorious, I march on with my pen!”

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So, let me end with some of my survival strategies for this November, that, if employed correctly, will have me at 50K for the next NANOWRIMO:

  1.  Notepad and pen handy when traveling in the car
  2. Dog walks are short as that’s when inspiration hits, especially at night
  3. Read Chris Baty’s “No Plot, No Problem.”  Next year, I’ll read all of it. 🙂
  4. Limit reading to very short books, like the one I finished while getting a pedicure.
  5. Get at least one massage during the month
  6. Make a book outline.  I’ll be more detailed with my next outline.  DO this BEFORE November.
  7. Don’t stare at the laptop/typewriter.  Get a notebook and map out your setting or make a timeline of events.
  8. Pop in to forums to get inspiration.  A helpful post I saw recommended deciding your character’s Zodiac sign and reading up on it.
  9. Next year I’ll try pure dialogue sprints between characters and see what is revealed.
  10. NANOWRIMO sprints.  They’re on Twitter.  I participated in just one. It seems I didn’t really get the concept and got up to pee then got distracted during the twenty minutes.  It’s okay, I am new to NANOWRIMO.  I’ll give them a better try next time!
  11. The Night of Writing Dangerously.  I was so tired lately, I didn’t consider this, but it is a grand idea!  An all-nighter, when people all around the globe are having a writing marathon?  Call in sick the next day! Yes, It does sound interesting.  I may try it in the future!  Stress just got me this year, and bedtime was always so inviting.
  12. I didn’t try this, but I hope to next time:  A local write-in!  How I’d love to meet with local writers.  If you tried this, how did it go?

undertow-sea-710297_960_720Photo from Pixabay.

Well, as I said, I love blogging, so here I am processing the month of November, while my main character is still treading water.  I will have to leave her that way until my two weeks off at Christmas time.  Right now, I need a much-deserved break!