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Glaring isn’t it? It makes it look like I am slacking already but REALLY, it’s a reminder of last night’s NaNoNightmare.

As I said, I want to use this NaNo to really focus on getting in the habit of writing every day, which really means every night, for me. I can get in the flow and write a lot better when I do not have juvenile distractions and other duties to perform. I have eagerly looked forward to 9pm (aka: bedtime) every night. Last night, I was somehow waylaid and it was closer to 10 when I got back online. So, I used Write or Die which helps me do fast sprints. 2000 words in 90 mins was my goal and I made it, passed it with time to spare and was typing along when everything disappeared.

The whole computer was off. The screen was black, my headset was silent. I almost passed out. It was raining, and we do tend to get the power blown out sometimes, but no, the rest of the house was still electrified. So, trying not to panic (i.e. “cry”) I got on my hands and knees and checked every freaking plug and wire and yes, the main cord to the tower was wedged loose. But, I still thought all was lost. I  felt like a loser who had just lost over 2000 words and I was mentally kicking myself while watching the computer reboot.

I knew that if I had been on Scrivener, like I was supposed to be, the Autosave function would have saved me (*maybe). And that if I was already a more dedicated writer, writing daily would not be such an issue. I also knew that  it was not an enormous problem; I am still on track and can easily finish at this pace. I was going to chalk it up to Lesson Learned and just take the red mark. I restarted Firefox, planning to just post a sob story about the words that got away. So, I was truly grateful to see Dr. Wicked’s tab open with *My Words* still in that wicked box. 🙂 Oh joy! I thanked the gods, declared my love for Dr. Wicked, and opened Scrivener. I Cut and Paste and Saved and Saved As and checked my word count and…

Seriously, then I could not find the chapters I had written the night before. Now, I was pissed. I like teh way I can organize and split up the document with Scrivener, but I thought somehow when I Split the entire text up, the new pages had been eaten.  I had seen them the night before, neatly filed, but they were gone. So I had the first chapter and what I had written on Write or Die. Fortunately, I did make backup copies, saving it in Rich Text and on open source software, on a flash drive, so I pieced it all back together and finally…

I made it back to the NaNOWriMo site to put in my update, waited…this week is definitely kicking their servers around…and the update saved– at 12:01 am! Seriously. And now, that red box just stares at me, taunting, mocking me. Let it stare. I know that I wrote, and I know that all of those obstacles were just tests, minor setbacks and that I met them all, kept trying, did not lose my shizzle, and I wrote. Tonight I will break 10K and I should be at 15K by Monday. I hope everyone else is having fun and remembering to BACK UP YOUR WORK!

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Day One! Hope everyone is having fun so far. If you are participating in NaNoWriMo you are keenly aware of what today signifies. Of course, we are still coming down from a national sugar buzz (actually, I think today is National Eat Candy Day) but for many of us crazy folk, this past weekend/week/month has been all about preparing for “30 Days of Literary Abandon.” Last night, I was watching the time zones count down and I realized that I was somehow set to Pacific time. I wouldn’t have been able to update for 3 hours. Glad I caught it, though I still was on when the West Coast hit midnight. It was like NaNoNewYear’s! So we are all in now, and the fun is only beginning.

So, the good news is, I read over last night’s (this morn’s?) 2000 words and I still like them. I know that a lot of NaNoDieHards say I should not read back or proofread, but um, sorry. If I don’t feed the Inner Editor, she gets mean. I have set myself a daily 2000 word/day goal and I am determined to use NaNo to get into the very good habit of writing every day. I am still writing today, so I will already be ahead. We have to drive to Ohio for Thanksgiving and it would be very nice if I was past 50K by the 25th. Though I do love the rush of the final two day catch up. 🙂

I liked Nicole Humphrey’s idea to taper down the writing so you can end on Day 30 with only 1 Word. When we start NaNo we often have been holding back the writing flow, so it all comes out in a rush. Then we hit Week 2… Some folks write towards 100,000 words which is closer to an actual novel length. [BTW: 50K is pretty short for a novel unless it is middle-grade or some genre paperbacks.] I am not that ambitious this year. But I will win! 😀

I am participating in the NaNoBlogger blog hop and will be visiting every single one of those blogs, at least once! My favorite part of NaNo is the connections we make. I can write alone anytime. So, I welcome visitors, writing buddies and cheerleaders! I am going to blog about NaNo, but not every day. I will be on Twitter for word sprints and pep chats.

I am also using the Beta version of Scrivener for Windows, so I need time to learn that program.  I studied their tutorial and demo last week, but did not write in it until last night. Before midnight, I made an outline, using their cool corkboard feature, and laid out the chapters as I envision them. Then I was ready for Chapter One. So far, I like the program. I have been hearing praises of Scrivener from writers who are Mac people for a while now. I was very excited when I heard they were going to have a Windows version available next year. If you want to test it out during NaNo they have a Beta download. All winners of NaNoWriMo will get 50% off the final version in January, which makes writing 50K worth it, imo. But using the Beta version is fun. I am fastidious about backing up, ever since a nasty incident with a college thesis paper. They want us to report bugs and I will be sending a note about the ‘spelling’ feature they have which is very quirky. I know, I know, I am not supposed to be editing…. It’s a sickness, really.

I leave you with a musical interlude. I love the many other creative projects WriMos produce and this was one of my favorite things last year. Write on, y’all!

I just had to share this link, a guest post on Adventures in Children’s Publishing, because I think it is exactly what all writers need to read. I know I did. I don’t feel much like a writer today, but the way I reacted to this brilliant pep-post tells a different story 🙂 Go on, click it. It’s worth it 🙂

I also want to point out my nifty NaNoWriMo badges over yonder, especially the NaNoBloggers one. I will not be blogging every day, though I am determined to write every day (practice good habits and all that jazz). I will be using this linky thing, though, to connect any posts I make in November to the “Blog Hop” which has a huge list of other NaNoBloggers. It should be fun to check out others’ experiences, and as far as I am concerned that is the main point of NaNo: having fun. The writing too, of course.

I’m actually struggling with what to write this year. I have one of those problems that some people may roll their eyes at: too many ideas. I originally planned on using NaNo this year to try writing a new genre for me…Romance. Don’t snicker, because Romance is one of the greatest traditional forms of literature we have. In fact, most books seem to have some element of romance in them. The popular romances today sell more than any other form of book in our culture. I am not a fan of most formulaic romances, but I love a good historical fiction read (many of which are of course Romance), and have several favorite books which would be considered romance by definition. Besides, if it was good enough for Jane Austen, its good enough for me 🙂

So, I had this idea and it keeps growing in my head. I think it will be fun to write, and I want to expand my skills. I think that trying new genres is a great use of NaNoWriMo. Though I already have some dramatic points sneaking into my outline, I wanted to veer away from moody literary eco-novels and YA drama. I do have some of those on the list though 🙂 I haven’t officially decided yet, and could end up sitting down on November 1st and flying through another story by the seat of my pants.

Now, don’t think that I am suggesting writing romance novels is any easier than writing any other form of book. In fact, I probably will suck at it (this will not  be erotica in any form. That would be embarrassing and stilted). Like I said, I want to practice, so I was thrilled to find out that Harlequin Books (which has romance written all over it-lol) is sponsoring “So You Think You Can Write” a week of writing workshops, blogs, critiques, etc to begin the month of NaNovember. I guess there is also chance at publication involved, but I won’t be going that far. However, I am sure to learn a thing or two which will improve my MC’s love life, as well as my own writing life. There’s also a hashtag for Twitter of course 🙂  #SYTYCW

Yes, November will be busy (along with all of the other life activities, natch!). I am excited about it though. Anyone else who is participating in NaNo is welcome to add me as a writing buddy. I think I can be a good one. And follow me @janflora on Twitter, because I will need chat breaks and love the word sprints. I wonder if anyone else is trying a whole new genre this year? Or has any advice on writing a cool-and-not-too-cheesy romance novel?

As the air starts to tease me with an early autumnal breeze, I find myself looking forward to all things Fall, including the writing blitz known as NaNoWriMo. Technically, it is still summer though and I know that we can expect at least two more stifling heat waves here in south-eastern Virginia before November arrives. Labor Day weekend is here, which many consider the unofficial end of the summer season and an excuse for one more mini-vaca. Personally, I will actually be laboring on Monday, but if you have a free weekend (and 50 bucks) you may want to try your hand at the 3-Day Novel Contest which essentially makes NaNo’s challenge look simple. The premise is the same, but there is no word count, only a restriction to three days of fast-paced, no editing writing. It is a contest too and the winner does get publication, so it may be worth the investment (and exhaustion). You must register by Friday, but this is the 32nd year, so you can always plan for 2010.

Experiencing a bit of post NaNo blues after staying up to celebrate on the forums and then could not sleep well. I am proud of and happy for everyone who made it through November. I can hardly wait to set up my winner icon! i cannot decide between cool viking ship or chalice of java [though it looks good enough to drink].

Now, today, to me begins the real Xmas season, though I did open some decor over the weekend AFTER Santa ended the parade. NOW we can begin the season of giving, after we have given thanks for what we do have. I have some major issues with the shopping frenzy that accompanies this time of year, especially when there is so much economic and political turmoil these days. I think it is a good time to think about what we really want to share with our families, friends and the world around us.

Today is World AIDS Day and coincidentally, it is also the launching date for Mocha.org. I wrote about this new campaign/site last week, but they have officially opened. The link I had before may not have worked. They asked some bloggers to respond to the statement “I need Africa more than Africa needs me” and they have answered with their own response which I will share with you now.

I NEED AFRICA MORE THAN AFRICA NEEDS ME

When I think of Africa, the following images immediately come to mind: Starvation.  AIDS.  Child soldiers.  Genocide.  Sex slaves.  Orphans.  From there, my thoughts naturally turn to how I can help, how I can make a difference. “I am needed here,” I think. “They have so little, and I have so much.” It’s true, there are great tragedies playing out in Africa everyday.  There is often a level of suffering here that is unimaginable until you have seen it, and even then it is difficult to believe.  But what is even harder is reconciling the challenges that many Africans face with the joy I see in the people. It’s a joy that comes from somewhere I cannot fathom, not within the framework that has been my life to this day. [read more]



I am sipping a [homemade] mocha right now and counting my December 1st blessings. Happy Twelfth Month!!

I just hit 50,000 words. Literally, I hit update on my writing program’s tracker and it says five zero, zerozerozero. Exactly. And of course, I am not done but I had to share this moment with you and well, just mark it for posterity’s sake.

Wow! What a wonderful month! And thank zeus it is over! [lol 😀 ]…Honestly, I feel like this is the proverbial “beginning of the end” or “first day of the rest of my life” because I have come so far and yet have so far to go still. I think we are all probably better now just for having entered into this crazy little thing called NaNo. I know that I have a better sense of my ability, and yes, my limits. Plus, as an added bonus, I have written half of a novel which I have been thinking about in my head for many years. Just like me, the story changed over the years but never more than in the last month. Not only did crazy changes occur like entire plot points, but it went from an idea to a reality.

My son asked me if I was going to get my book published or let him read it. I told him when it was done, which will hopefully be before next November, after I have reread it and revised it and probably changed 42 more things, then it may be ready. But, he will probably think it is boring anyway. {at age 12 he reads on a college level. I do not write novels on that level yet.}

I am not ready to let anyone read it yet and am resisting all temptation to go back and start revising now, because I want to complete it. I am going to set some lower goals for myself, but I think that now that I have come this far there is no stopping me now!

I am also rather proud of myself for making it through National Blog Posting Month, but do not know if I will attempt that again for awhile. Maybe in February 😉 {btw: It is year-round and they do a different theme every month} I am looking forward to blogging more regularly though, and especially getting into some other topics. I really appreciate the encouragement and camaraderie which I have found through this experience. I hope that you all will continue to join me here and I look forward to hearing more from you, too. I love my WriMo buddies and wish you all well! Write on!

[**going to verify soon but hope to add more before midnight! If you need a post NaNo laugh i hope you saw this thru the Procrastination Station…try to take his cynicism with a grain of salt because we know better**]

So as I sit down to post for NaBloPoMo, I still have nearly 5000 words to write for NaNoWriMo. So it really is turning out to be like the cramming sessions of my yesteryears. I am going to do it though, because at thi spoint I just have to. I have warned the big boys and hope the little ones understand or forget eventually how testy mommy will be tomorrow.

My novel is nowhere near done, but it had reached a pivotal point and I am pretty pleased with how it is actually coming together. I have also started including some poetry as part of the novel [one of the character’s pov’s] It was a nice little break to turn back to a more familiar form. And btw, i checked and poetry counts in the word count, as does chapter titles, introductions, and dedications. So I have expanded my one word working title to eight and am including transitional intros for each “Part” much like those great summaries which Mark Twain would open his chapters with. Every word counts.

Hope everyone is happy and well and ready for December. Now, excuse me, my coffee is brewed and I have to go write a great dedication. Write on!

See? I have my priorities straight. Just returned from the in-laws’ and I am fighting a food coma. I met the challenge to hit 40K by bedtime last night and I met it, though i had to push bedtime up to 4:30 a.m…. I did get to sleep in until about 8 though b/c of the glorious lack of alarm clocks this morn. The thrill was bruised a bit when I checked my nifty word count calendar wallpaper which claims I should be at 45,009…somehow i logged in exactly 5000 less than that. I do not have it in me to do another 5K tonight, but I am definitely going to make it by Sunday. Somehow getting past that 40K mark is exhilarating. I figured out that I have definitely written OVER 50K words already, but I have a small problem with the backspace button sometimes. I may have to get a check on that compulsion if I plan to do NaNo again next year. And I already do plan to try again, so I guess i have had a great experience 🙂 I give thanks for NaNo this year for motivating me to attempt a novel and for my WriMo friends. I want to send more congrats out to the folks who have already received their winner badge! **High 5s all around**

I plan to have another marathon writing session tomorrow during the day instead of participating in the Great American Shopping Spree. I am using NaNo as yet another reason to participate in Buy Nothing Day. Then I should be reasonably well ahead so I can spend the evening with some of my old girlfriends and enjoy a well-deserved margarita night. OK…must go…AHHH! 3 days!!!

Time is catching up with me and I am at a stand still. I have made barely any progress since Monday. I should be way past 40K by now. I am setting out to make 45K by Friday night as Chris Baty suggested in his pep talk. I am considering breaking a friend’s heart and not going to celebrate her b-day Friday night even though I really NEED a girl’s night. I am also wondering if I can lock my family  out of the house at any point this w-end. I hope all you other WriMos still crawling along have a wonderful w-end and do not lose precious writing time in a tryptophan induced coma. Give thanks and write on!

causewiredAfter yesterday’s action blog I was pleased to find about this book, Causewired by Tom Watson, who also has a WordPress blog of the same name. It is about using the net and blogging for social action. Haven’t read it yet, so this not a review, just a share. Apparently it is both history and “how to” so it could be an interesting read on a few levels.

I astounded myself on Sunday and wrote over 5000 words, then barely 500 yesterday. Fortunately [?!] my 4 yo woke me up at 3am so i could write more this morn [well, he just wanted a drink]. I may make it yet… hope all is well in NaNoLand with you all.

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