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Finishing the Week Strong and Fast

What an intense week this has been!

The shortest workday this whole week was twelve hours. Other days have stretched into sixteen and eighteen hours, and one was twenty. That’s probably part of the reason I may be struggling to get over this secondary infection.

But it has been worth it.

This week has been full of law firm work, writing, proofing, editing, and preparation. The New Year kicked off big.

I’ve got to admit, I do feel the need to return to some of my quieter habits. I don’t like the way that deadlines come around and I lean into them, dropping the more refreshing parts of my routine. Some of that had to be set aside because I needed to build back up to my exercise after strep. So I was only planning to do light workouts throughout the week, and sometimes even with that, I only managed about five or ten minutes at different points throughout the day.

Now technically something is better than nothing. However, I always feel the lack of physical exercise. I miss my runs.

So since I will be done with the most important proofs and the documents mostly sent off, I should be able to spend more time in focused activities. A little more time spent cleaning and completing organizing tasks.

It is settled, unfortunately, that the print books are not going to go live on January 11 because I have not yet gotten those final alterations sent in. Which is all right. I’ve never done a full design with Ingram Spark before, and these have just needed some additional tweaks to get them just right.

The bright side of this is that the print books will be able to come out about the time of the book launch party. But I still get my special date for the ebook release. And it is going to be such a day of celebration.

True, I could probably go ahead and risk the print release. I mean multiple issues have already been worked out. But I want this to be the absolute best product I can. Besides, some of my writing friends have sent me some fascinating info on soft openings.

But this next week is going to be better. I completed most of my goals, most of which had to be done by the end of this week, so not much flex room there. However, this following week I’m going to continue to pursue my goals and do better on the little things that make me feel better and respond in a stronger way.

So what about you? How did your week go? Was it good or challenging or somewhere in between? And what do you hope to do this upcoming week?

A Non Ideal Start to the New Year But Hope Remains

This new year’s start may be one of the more frustrating starts that I have had in quite a long while. It will get better. No doubt.

But what all has happened?

Well, I am leading into a book release, one that I have been excited and preparing for a long time. I have been working on a version of Identity Revealed (Tue-Rah Chronicles) for approximately twenty-six years. It’s been a long journey with so much learning. But our finances took a hit and required shrinking the budgeting plan significantly (in all seriousness, this is not a big deal because, as I am publishing independently, I can build on the marketing, and this will strongly encourage me to explore free options and create my own solutions).

Then on Christmas Eve’s Eve, my poor dear husband fell sick. We weren’t sure whether it was tonsillitis or strep throat. I joked that we would find out which it was based on whether I got it. It was strep. I got it. I also found out firsthand that nausea and vomiting can accompany a robust case of strep. On the bright side, at least now, once I get over this secondary infection, I will be through with being sick for awhile. I hope.

Follow that up with two key clients deciding they were not going to pay us, and the season got a little tighter.  (More opportunities for creative solutions.) Then we found out that paperwork we had filed four years ago was not perfectly accepted. It was mostly accepted. There was enough of a holdover with the government to trigger additional fees.

Heater problems, leaks, and an unfortunate incident with cats and an overdry Christmas tree later, and the Internet also decided to stop working. Intermittently. During business hours and at night. Which put plans and work further behind but gave us some stories that will hopefully, in retrospect, be amusing.

This and so much more has made the start of the year and the past few days rather frustrating. But I still believe it’s going to be a good year. Partially because I plan to try to make each day better if I can.

There are lots of rough points that show up. And feeling frustrated isn’t the problem. I know that a lot of you are also going through rough times. I think half my friends are sick between strep and flu and some upper respiratory, not to mention chronic illnesses, and some have had tragedies that will take quite some time to recover from.

But each day is a new opportunity. Each moment is a new opportunity. No matter how hard it is, if you can pick yourself up and keep trying, you are winning more than you stopped. And if you need to stop for a bit, regroup and regain your strength, that’s all right too. Not everything has to be done today (thank goodness!). So do what you can. Look for and celebrate the good. And rest.

May your year get better and better from here on out, regardless of how it started.

My Nanowrimo Declaration and Challenge Goals

This is the first day of Nanowrimo November 2016. I’ve been participating in Nanowrimo officially for about ten years (maybe one or two years unofficially in between). It’s one of my favorite times of year, and I love the energy that comes from so many writers striking out to reach their new writing goals.

And this year, I will be participating again. I am so excited.

Hitting 50,000 words in a month isn’t as much of a challenge for me as it used to be. So I have decided to focus on an aspect of writing that is quite difficult for me in addition to writing the 50,000 words. I’m going to have to post to my blog or on Youtube 30 times over the next month. It might not be every day because I am going to be doing some traveling around Thanksgiving, but 30 times should be a good challenge.

With that in mind, I may not just be posting new content. I have a bad habit of writing blog posts and then never posting them. So, while I will be writing lots of new content and stories this month, I will not necessarily be posting all of it here.

For the writing portion of this, I have a number of short stories that need to get done. Quite a few anthologies with submissions due either at the end of the month or the start of December, and if this December is like any of the others, I will need to make sure that those stories are done as fast as possible.

And, of course, I’ll be continuing to work on Tue-Rah. That just goes without saying until it’s done. I sometimes wonder what I’ll do when this series is fully done. Probably write more novellas. I suspect that it is a world I will never fully leave.

Anyway, what about you? Are you writing for Nanowrimo? Remember that it doesn’t have to be fiction. You can write poems, plays, scripts, stories, blog posts, even greeting cards. Your goal is just to reach 50,000 words to officially win, but you can set the goal for yourself to whatever you need it to be.

If you are participating in Nanowrimo, feel free to share the title of your book. And if you are sharing it on Wattpad or some place similar, feel free to share a link.

Nanowrimo 2015 Day 01

Today is the first day of Nanowrimo as well as the first of a new month. New beginnings always excite me. They hold so much potential. November 1 is a particular favorite because of Nanowrimo.

I’ve been doing Nanowrimo since I was 11 though my parents didn’t give me permission to sign up on the official site till I was a fair bit older. It was a great experience with lots of fun along the way, and it stretched me. That first book was less than ideal, of course. It had so many holes and tons of problems. (I think one character’s name even changed halfway through, and many other details spontaneously changed or became contradictory, lol.) But I was glad that I did it.

I’d encourage all writers to give it a shot. While it is a great challenge to complete 50,000 words during one of the busiest months of the year, that isn’t the only reason to do it. There’s a spirit of camaraderie throughout this month as thousands of writers support one another in this endeavor. It’s about shutting off that inner critic, dig into the stories that you have inside you, and start exploring them. You can’t fail in this. You won’t do it perfectly. In fact, you’re going to miss some days. You’re going to fall behind. But that’s okay. The point is to get as far as you can and get as much of the story down as you can. Every year I have found material that I can use.

Now some of my tutees, students, and friends have asked me to consider doing an additional challenge this year: write my Nanowrimo novel live. I’ve received a lot of questions about my process as well as what it looks like when I write. And since I’m not comfortable with people sitting next to me and watching what I write, recording it through a screen capture along with commentary on what I’m doing and how I’m doing it seems like a better choice.

I finished conducting some tests, and it looks like I can do this. I’m a little concerned about the upload speeds because the Internet is often slow. It can take an hour to upload 15 minutes. So there may be some delays. My other concern is how long a video with an actual writing session is going to run. After all, writing a novel takes a lot of time. (Not really sure how long, but I guess we’ll find out.)

What I’ll do to offset this is doing a brief recap that details what I did, how it’s going, and what tools I used. That way if you don’t want to slog through the whole video, you can get the highlights.

To help facilitate this, I’ve come up with some rules for myself.

  • All the writing will take place in front of the camera. This is going to be the hardest thing for me. But when I’m not writing on the screen capture, I won’t be working on the story.
  • I’m starting entirely from scratch, and I will document the whole process.
  • If I use a notebook while on camera, I’ll be sure to show you what I’m writing if I can.
  • I will be doing minimal editing before uploading to Wattpad. I’ll include that as well.

Since I’m trying to document the whole process, I’m starting with a fresh story. I’ve had this title and cover rattling around for awhile, potentially going to one or four stories. But I’m not going to use a story that I have already started. The story will be based in part off a dream I had, but that’s more for the general premise. I don’t even have character names yet or the Scrivener files prepped.

Frankly, I’m rather nervous, but I’m also excited. This is going to be a great month. I hope that I don’t fall flat on my face. I imagine there will be a fair bit of dead space and staring at the screen because that camera is going to add loads of pressure, lol.

So what about you? Are you doing Nanowrimo this year? Feel free to let me know what your project is and leave a link if you like either here or on the Youtube video. Have a wonderful night!

 

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