Blog Stuff, Publish, Social Media, Writing

A pinch of this and drop of that

I’m taking a short break from blogging about the publishing dilemma, but since I’m in for a penny I might as well spend the whole pound, so I’ll return to that topic in my next post. Today’s post is just a potpourri of little bits floating around my mind.

NaHoCleMo: In case you hadn’t noticed, today is the first day of December. For some of you that’s the end of NaNoWriMo, but for me and a few, it’s the end of NaHoCleMo. I’m declaring myself a winner even though I only made it to 92%. I was sick with a cold for over a week, and though I tried valiantly to catch up, I barely limped along after mid-month. But for a virus, I would have made it.

I don’t know if Barbara ever tackled those bookcases. Kasie seemed to have given up toward the end … or maybe she had a cold too. Kayla did the ultimate cleaning, by packing everything into boxes and calling a moving truck. For those of you who were on a mad dash to write 50,000 words, how did you fare?

Facebook: In my sidebar (temporarily at the top) you’ll see a new widget. I now have a Facebook author page … well, actually, only a writer page, but as soon as I publish, it will be an author page. If you click the widget, it will take you there. If you want to keep up on my exciting life as a writer, click again on the LIKE button at the top. My wee little writer’s page is pretty bare now, but it’s been live for less than 24 hours. Give me some time, and I’m sure I’ll amaze and enthrall you. 🙂

Claustrophobia: Occasionally, I’m a bit claustrophobic. Sometimes it takes a weird form, like when I broke my hand and freaked out the first night with the cast—my hand was being smothered! Lately, I’m feeling that way when I view my blog; it feels too crowded in here. I’m giving you a heads up. If you come here one day and notice sections have disappeared from my sidebar, look to the top of this blog and you’ll see they’ve only moved to a new page.

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Blog Stuff, Fiction, Novel, Writing

Brain dead, pressed, interviewed, and cleaning up … it’s all here, folks!

I have suddenly gone brain dead. I’m blaming it on allergies. I should have put a new post up yesterday, but I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I played about a thousand games of Peggle instead. And, obviously, my brain is not functioning any better today because I’ve just written over fifty words of nothing. That’s no way to get a blog post selected for Freshly Pressed, now is it?

For those of you unfortunate enough to have a Blogspot blog, you may not know that when a blog post is Freshly Pressed it means WordPress highlights your blog on their front page for a day. You get hundreds of visitors. I have not yet been honored, but some of my friends have. Christi Craig hit the jackpot twice this month. Twice! Do you think if I talked her into doing a guest post here, I would get Pressed too?

A.M. Kuska has created a writers blog directory at The Written Connection. She’s included my blog and also interviewed me—scary thought, huh? You can read it here, if you’re interested. Check the directory for your favorite writing blog. If it’s not there, nominate it.

It’s almost that time of year again! No. I don’t mean National Novel Writing Month. November is NaHoCleMo—National House Cleaning Month for those of us whose housekeeping suffers because we’re writing junkies. You can read all the whys and wherefores here. And, if you’d like to clean along, you can get a counter, like the one to the right of this post here, for your blog or website. In 2009, I set my goal far too high. Seriously, you can’t go from 0 to 5,000 in one month without hurting someone, so this year I’m setting my goal at 2,700 minutes. I think I can reach that and still make progress on my new novel.

One last thing: I’ve giving you fair warning. There’s a theme change coming as soon as I can find the time to make sure things don’t go wonky. So don’t freak if you come here one day soon and nothing looks familiar. It will be the same pig, just in a new dress.

Have a lovely weekend.

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Advice, Editing, Fiction, Motivation, My Books, Novel, Poetry, Query, Read, Revision, Tips, Writing

Wrapping up November

Please excuse that my last post has been up for almost four full days. I’ve been busy. Congratulations to those of you who met your NaNoWriMo goals. It’s no surprise that I did not make my NaHoCleMo goal. As I soon realized that 5,000 minutes was akin to setting happycleanthe NaNoWriMo goal to 100,000 words, I knew I wouldn’t. But I did clean and organize three major storage closets and my garage, so I feel pretty good about that. And I’ve reluctantly admitted that my husband was right: I wouldn’t have to sacrifice all that many minutes of my daily writing time  to keep on top of the housework. What can I say? I’ve been a spoiled obsessive.

Besides, it’s true that sometimes the best thing you can do to become inspired is step away from the keyboard now and then. This past month, I sketched out five new story ideas; edited one completed story and worked on another; wrote, or started, three new poems; wrote a brief synopsis and have almost finished a longer one; and tweaked the opening paragraphs of The Brevity of Roses to set the tone better. And speaking of that novel—you know, the one I’ve declared finished three times already—well, it’s getting another facial. That’s indirectly connected to NaHoCleMo too.

When I took my lunch and tea breaks from cleaning, I read insthfclmead of getting online. I read about equal amounts of non-fiction and short stories. I’m slowly making my way through Alice Munro’s Hateship,  Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage right now. Before that I had tried to read a novel, which I will not name, and proclaimed myself a better writer than that published author. Then I started Munro’s book, which had me lamenting that my writing is indeed garbage and I might as well just face the fact that I’ll never be published. But last week I opened a file of an early draft of my novel and realized how far it’s come since then. So, I pulled out a printed copy of my manuscript and started working my way through it, strengthening, clarifying, and enhancing my prose.

I admit that two writing tips I’ve been reluctant to follow, I now find invaluable:

  • Let your work sit for a while before you edit.
  • Edit on a printed copy.

By the way, if you’re good at punctuation, I have a sticky passage I could use some help on. Any takers?





Now, your turn. Tell me, what are you working on? How’s it going?

Important stuff: I’m using new software to publish this post, so I’d like to know if anyone has trouble with the display.

Fiction, Fun Fridays, Humor, Novel, Writing

NO to NaNoWriMo

NoSignI do feel left out of the rising excitement for the start of NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) but I’ll have to pass. I confess, I’ve never tried it, and maybe I’m missing out on the true benefit, but I think the intent is to encourage you to write every day, without editing.

First, I don’t need encouragement to write every day. I need encouragement to step away from this keyboard and clean my house.

Second, if your goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, that’s 1,666 words per day. Ignoring the fact that some might say the 666 in there means this is a diabolical plot, why does that mean I can’t edit? I write my allotted words and then stay up well past my bedtime to edit. I mean, how could I sleep knowing I might have a misplaced modifier, or pronoun confusion, or passive phrasing?

Seriously, you can do that?!

I think maybe I’m too competitive for NaNo. I’d see your meters rise and I’d be obsessed with making mine rise faster. You can write 50,000? Then, I’d have to shoot for 60,000. And if you made your goal and I didn’t … well, I’d just have to Tweet nasty things about you. So, it’s just better for all that I sit this one out.

Seriously, really, for those of you participating, may your words flow like the Mississippi.