The November Plan


After some careful thought and consideration, I think I’ve come up with a plan for the month of November. Both novelists and poets look forward to November as a month that both inspires and challenges thanks to NaNoWriMo and the Poem A Day Challenge on Poetic Asides (via Writer’s Digest). I’ve participated in both in various forms, but as I posted last week, I found myself in a quandary about what to do this year, (see This Writer’s November Debate).

To satisfy both the call of the novel and my muse’s obsession with haiku, I’m going to attempt an interesting compromise of both November challenges.

I’ve decided to attempt a modified run at NaNoWriMo. I like the idea of having a kick in the pants to start writing another novel.

The sequel for The Muse has been haunting me for a while. My characters are getting very chatty and the story is reasonably sketched out. I started writing The Muse with less than what I have for Lineage (see, I even have a title), so I feel pretty confident moving forward.

The goal is to write 500 words a day. Despite a heavy workload at the day job, I think this is plausible given my average writing speed. If all goes well I’ll have 15,000 words by the end of November.

As for the PAD Challenge, I’m going to approach this in a different way. In years past, I diligently posted a poem a day in the Poetic Asides comment section. My current haiku writing schedule will not allow for this, so I’m going to modify the poem-a-day framework to match what I’m already doing.

Saturday is haiku writing day – I punch out anywhere from 7-10 haikus every week. All I need to do is reference the PAD challenge prompts each Saturday and write haikus to match those prompts.

The haikus I write will not be posted here, but instead will be posted on what until now has been my secret haiku blog. For the last year and a half, I’ve posted a haiku every single day on Haiku Tree. This is the home for the haikus I write on Saturdays. I figure the PAD Challenge will simply direct haikus I’m already going to write rather than add another task to my schedule.

I hope my muse is ready to write, write, and write some more.

– – –

c.b.w. 2016

This Writer’s November Debate


With November just around the corner, this writer finds herself at a crossroads. I’m not talking about the horrific election, but rather the opportunities November affords to writers of poetry and fiction. There are two big options on the table, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Option #1: Poetic Asides (via Writer’s Digest) November Poem A Day Challenge

Pros: I’ve participated in the PAD challenge for the last three years. The prompts are challenging, original, and always push my poetry to a new level. In addition, the camaraderie among poets is amazing and very uplifting.

Cons: I’m already writing a poem a day for National Haiku Writing Month. While February is technically the official Haiku Writing Month, prompts are posted for every day of every month. While haikus are short poems, they do take time to piece together. I’m not sure about adding a second set of prompts to an already full haiku writing schedule.

Possible Solution: I could give up NaHaiWriMo for a month and just focus on the PAD Challenge.

Option #2: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Pros: I’ve been itching to start writing another novel. In particular, I want to get moving on the sequel to The Muse. I’ve got the basic story outlined, (although there are some pretty big holes to fill in), and my characters are getting chatty in my head. I already know where the story will start, I have a prologue in play, and I know how it ends. I just need a nudge to get this going.

Cons: This is a huge commitment! 1,667 words a day is a tall order for me as I continue to work full-time, manage blogs, take care of home and family, and craft (I refuse to give up my handicraft time as it is therapeutic stress relief!). This year my day job is more overwhelming than usual as I am now teaching three Advance Placement level courses, one of which is new to me (and therefore requires significant out of classroom planning). I don’t know that there are enough hours in the day to pull this off! Never mind, that I’m still trying to find an agent for The Muse. Do I really want to start a sequel for a novel still sitting unpublished, much less unrepresented?

Possible Solution: NaNoWriMo challenges writers to complete a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. Maybe I can adjust the goal to meet my personal needs. Instead of 1,667 words, I can challenge myself to write 500 words a day. I may not end up with a completed novel, but I’d have a great start.

I still have a couple of weeks to decide exactly what challenge I’ll take on. However, if the day job gets any busier, I may have to let both challenges go. As hard as that is to do, I have my sanity to consider and I think my muse would agree!

Regardless, my usual writing practice will continue. Poetry and whatever my muse inspires will show up at least three times a week, right here! Stay tuned!

– – –

c.b.w. 2016


NaNoWriMo: I Did It!!


As I mentioned in my previous post, November Status Report: 2012 Goals, it was a rough month, but I am still jumping up and down in excitement.  With two days to spare, I reached my goal of revising 15,000 words!!!

Don't ask me to describe what happened to my eye. It's gross.

Don’t ask me to describe what happened to my eye. It’s gross.

The more I work on this story the more excited I get about Amanda and Ian’s journey. As I revisit the beginning, it makes me realize just how much they’ve grown as characters and how their story has really turned into something special. While under the heading of urban fantasy, Amanda and Ian’s story is steeped in the spirit of humanity and the inner workings of compassion and love.

As I mentioned in my November Status Report, I plan on sharing more tidbits and teasers for Novel #2 as I continue to work through revisions. I won’t spoil anything, but I will give clues to who these characters are and some insight into the narrative they inhabit.

To get things started, I though I’d share a new band that is now on my playlist for Novel #2. Of Monsters and Men has that indie vibe that Amanda loves, while also encompassing a very spiritual (almost tribal feel) that digs into the mythical elements of the novel. Click on the link below to hear samples from their most recent album:

My Head Is An Animal by Of Monsters and Men

I’m working on a condensed soundtrack that includes songs for Amanda, Ian, and the novel as a whole. I hope to post it within the next month, so stay tuned!

– – –

Congratulations to all NaNoWriMo participants who survived the challenge!  You are all amazing and should be so proud of your accomplishment!

– – –

c.b.w. 2012

NaNoWriMo: Pushing Forward


As I move into the final week of NaNoWriMo, I can’t believe how far I’ve come since November 1st. Even after a few bumps in the road, revisions for Novel #2 are moving along beautifully! I’m right on schedule with 13,301 words revised, which means my goal of 15,000 words is well within reach.

Despite taking a couple of days off to enjoy Thanksgiving and indulge in a little Black Friday shopping, I didn’t fall behind on my word count thanks to working ahead and planning for a longer writing session on Saturday.

The zeros must be forgiven as there was much fun to be had.

So far, I’m ahead of the game!

Good planning aside, I think revisions went so well this week because I genuinely love the sections I’m working on. Emotions are crackling between my characters and scenes are getting rearranged in more powerful ways. It’s so much fun! I hope the momentum stays with me until the end of the week.

I’ll update this post later this evening with today’s word count.

– – –

How are you doing with NaNoWriMo?

– – –

c.b.w. 2012

NaNoWriMo: Down But Not Out


Last week had its fair share of good days and bad. While my muse if focused entirely on revising Novel #2, Life had other ideas and interfered on a number of occasions. As a result, I was a little bit behind in my word count total until yesterday.

Ugh. That’s a lot of zeros!

The word count total makes up for the zeros!

I am proud of how much I accomplished in the first half of the week. Every writing session yielded fantastic word counts and I had a lot of fun in the process. I’m at a point in the story that is so much fun to work with and I can finally make some changes I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Unfortunately, my chart is quite empty for the second half of the week. I don’t like all those zeros, but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

On Thursday, my husband made a wonderful dinner and we watched our favorite TV shows together. I was having such a good time it was eleven o’clock in a snap! With work in the morning, I had to at least try and sleep so my laptop was never switched on.

I planned for Friday to be a no-write day because I knew I’d be totally engrossed in all things Twilight, (and I was right). It was worth it as Breaking Dawn: Part 2 exceeded all of my expectations.

However, I did not plan on Saturday to be devoid of progress. Just as I sat down in my favorite spot at the bookstore to write, my phone rang with news that my father-in-law was in the emergency room.  I packed up all my stuff and left immediately.  He is okay, but we all got quite a scare.

Yesterday, I woke up with a migraine. It’s the first one I’ve had in more than a year, so I was not prepared to deal with it all. Most of the day was gone before the pain stopped. Surprisingly, my muse and I got some work done. Migraines usually leave a trail of dizziness and lack of focus behind them, but my stubborn nature fought past the brain fog. I can’t begin to say how happy I am to break the string of zeros that plagued the tail end of the week.

Despite a few rough days, I am still on track with my word count goal. It’s going to take more than a few bumps in the road and a migraine to stop me!

I’ll update this post with today’s word count later this evening. I’m hoping for another big word count day!

UPDATE: Today’s revised word count is 618. I had to re-work a scene with some additions, while also considering some cuts. It took a little work, but once the necessary changes were made, everything fell into place!

How are you doing with NaNoWriMo?

– – –

c.b.w. 2012