"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing." ~ Dame Agatha Christie

Monday, November 30, 2009

National Novel Writing Month--I Won!

I have been proud of several accomplishments in my life, but this one is major for me!  One of my dreams since childhood has been to write a novel, but challenges of life have somehow always taken center stage over writing.

As in any dream however, once a plan is put into action, things begin to happen.  This year, I dusted off a novel outline begun while living in New Orleans.  With some emotional distance from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, I thought I could start writing again more seriously.  Then I found NaNoWriMo.  Voila, a kick in the seat of the pants! Simply get the words on paper and then edit later.  Write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Others have done it for years; why not me? 

I signed up and on November 1, 2009, I was ready to start.  All kinds of situations tried to get in the way, but at approximately 11:15 PM Central time on November 29, 2009 (a bit over 24 hours before deadline) I scrambled my novel-in-progress and downloaded it into the official word count validator.

Within moments, my badge of honor appeared on the official site.  I had validated 51,848 words! 

The novel is only about 1/3 finished and the storyline has grown to the point of needing a trilogy, but that is fine.  Now I have begun a new facet of my life and am loving every minute of this journey.  Thank you to everyone who has cheered me on each step of the way (you all know who you are) and thank you for letting me neglect you in favor of my writing. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Abundant Blessings

Just a quick post as I am still 20K away from winning NaNoWriMo.  I just need to publicly express gratitude for friends who are supportive of my writing, family who allow me to be true to myself and my dreams, customers who support my Stampin'Up! business, co-workers who help make my telecommuting a success...the list of wonderful people in my life goes on and on.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

A quick update on a few things: 

First, NaNo is rocking along, especially now that I have a name for the mule (Jack, short for jackass--not original but it quite suits his personality).  The novel's title is now officially "Don't Trust the Rain" and the story outline has grown from one book to a trilogy (or more):  "Rain" is 1862, followed by "Thunder" in 1863 and "Lightning" in 1864...

Second, Stampin' Up! has a great beginning planned for 2010.  Some fantastic new products in the Occasions Mini Catalog and of course, the annual Sale-A-Bration event.  I hope to post links to the mini catalogs shortly after December 1 (obviously after NaNo).  Until then, various holiday specials are all featured on my website (the link above or to the right) and what's easier than shopping from home in your pajamas and having your order delivered to your door?

Third, a quick note about Operation Write Home.  Their next big push is for Valentines for the troops to send home, especially to their children.  Visit their site; the Valentine mailing deadline is January 5 and they could use all the support we can give.

Again, I am so very Blessed to have the life and friends I have; all of you are loved and cherished.  As we continue the holiday season, please take time to list the blessings in your own life--and may there be many!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Technology and Turmoil

I should be working.  I want to be working.  Instead, I am posting on my blog, cooking soup, semi-watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and when this post is finished, I'll go back to my NaNo novel.

Why?  Why am I not answering customer calls?  Because my work PC is sick and I'm far down on the triage line today.  We had major software issues on the job last week that affect the entire company and that are still being ironed out.  In the grand scheme of things, that of course means a single sick PC has to wait.  I feel a bit like I am sitting in the emergency room with a sprained ankle while all around me are victims of gunshots, stabbings, and beatings.

They hope to be able to remotely work on the issue later this afternoon.  Then, depending on the results, I may have to travel into the job.  Although it is only across the county from me, public transportation schedules mean it takes three crosstown busses and right at four hours one way.  Not a pleasant prospect.

The very thing that allows me the freedom to work from home is the very thing that has my emotions bent out of shape.  My brain feels as fried as I am afraid the hard drive is.  One lesson from it though--I am backing up all my files on my home PCs (especially my NaNo novel) to ensure no data loss if something like this should ever happen to either personal machine.  Here's to technology LOL!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

KERA mentions NaNoWriMo

I love KERA but never knew they had a blog--go figure LOL!  Here's a cool local write up on National Novel Writer's Month from someone who is participating with those of us insane enough to attempt this feat!

The word count widgets aren't available yet so you won't see one on my sidebar (maybe this weekend), but I have written 5687 through the first four days of the month--only 44,313 to go LOL!

(Hi, Ho, Hi, Ho, and back to writing I go...)

PS:  check out the rest of the KERA Art & Seek Blog...it's totally cool!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009

50,000 words to go! National Novel Writing Month has begun!  The goal is 50,000 words from November 1st to 30th (approximately 1,667 words/day) which equates to around 170-175 pages of text.  My novel research has been coming along, my characters have taken on a life of their own, and now the story begins.  The working title?  TGAN, aka "The Great American Novel", what else?  I am nothing if not a wishful thinker LOL!

I had planned to have some blog posts set up in draft mode to publish throughout this month so that this space would not go dormant. That did not happen. When the word count widgets are available from the NaNo site, I'll add that here and I may stop in from time to time, but if I don't post a lot, it is because my writing time here has been taken up by writing time there.

I've bought the extra coffee beans; the gourmet trail mix (actually got my favorite flavor--Archer Farms Dark Chocolate Espresso--on sale at Target!); the soup mixes (I can start it on a work break and let it cook without a lot of time consuming preparation); the extra printer ink/paper (and yes, the paper is from sustainable forests and has a 30% post-consumer recycled content.  Check out Georgia-Pacific for more details; I get mine at WalMart for $3.97/ream and it is wonderful paper for everyday printing.  It even stands up to duplexing in my HP without bleed-thru).  Oops, back to my "supply list"...I also got an 8GB thumb drive and earphones for my laptop.  I put my PaperBack Swap account on vacation and have a friend coming over today to help me clean up/reorganize my studio for maximum creativity.  I'd really be set if I had Star Wars soundtracks to write by but they'll have to wait a bit (like until next payday).

Now for the words and inspiration...