JuNoWriMo and Beyond

10386293_659876230762898_4937453897515353660_nSomeone asked me “Why do you have to do this JuNoWriMo thing?” Have to was the phrase that stuck with me. I have to because I want to. Because I need to. Because I have a story that I want to tell that’s bursting out of me. And because if I don’t set deadlines for myself, it never gets done. Without deadlines, it joins an endless stream of “somedays” and “shoulds” and “ought tos” that never reach fruition. I don’t want to look back on my life and feel like I’m disappointed that I didn’t put in the effort to reach for my goals. I might not achieve what I hope for, but working at it is going to get me a whole lot closer than if I waited for a more convenient someday that may never arrive.

Therefore, I’m telling myself this:





That was written at the beginning of June. Obviously, this summer has been too busy for me to blog since that time, so I never finished that post. I accomplished what I set out to do, and by the end of June I was at 40,000 words. I’ve sent that section off (about 150 pages printed out) to my editor in preparation for The Stanley Hotel Writer’s Retreat in October where he and I will sit down to talk about it.

I’m continuing on with the next section of the book, but July and August have been so busy, I haven’t had time to bury myself in it once more. However, today I start back with my night schedule at my regular job, and that will give me more time to make forward motion again. My goal is to reach 60,000 words by August 31 (two weeks from now), and by the end of September I want to be finished with the manuscript.

Some other things that are upcoming include a trip to Scotland in December (exciting!) and traveling to the Tucson Festival of Books in March for a Writer’s Retreat and attendance at the festival with one of my closest Facebook friends. That’s a lot of travel in a short amount of time, and I’m thrilled about all of it.

Writing-Related Notes:

Book One was sent to an agent at the end of June, and she was intrigued enough to ask to see the first fifty pages. I hope to have some news from her soon. Fingers crossed!

Book Two is going extremely well, I think. I have a working title, Blood Alone Remains, and a working cover. BloodAloneRemainsCoverI can promise more action, more suspense, more chills, and more romance. It’s strange how I start with a brief outline, but as I work, the characters often have their own ideas of how to get to those plot points I had in mind. What I thought would be one chapter might turn into three or even five before they’re happy with themselves. They really are fully formed in my imagination and full of their own opinions and stubborn plans. Every time they lead me down another road, it’s better and more complex than my original idea.

I also have an idea for a story (not sure if it’s a book yet or something shorter) that I plan to begin work on during the October retreat. This story is still in the beginning stages. I’ll be working on it in November for NaNoWriMo and plan to hand fifty pages of it off to my editor for the March workshop in Tuscon. It’s something completely different from my series, and though I want to finish what I’ve started before I begin work on it, I am champing at the bit to get it going. I’ve done the research to prepare. In October, I’ll do some outlining and prewriting, and then the real work can begin in November.

Personal Notes from the summer:

  • My best friend moved, and I’ve visited him there twice.
  • My niece got married, and I gained a wonderful nephew in the process.
  • My nephew moved to Los Angeles to start a new career. I’m very proud of and happy for him.
  • We had concrete work done at my house, resulting in new sidewalks and steps that are safer and easier to clear in winter.
  • I had a vacation in Eureka Springs and got to see some family while we were there.
  • Work has been very busy, and we’ve started training the new student workers for the fall.
  • Classes start tomorrow.
  • Today my seven-year-old iMac is in it’s death throes, and I’m in the process of backing up my files and replacing it as I type this.

It’s been busy, but I’m ready to get back to my regular routine at last.

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