Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nanowrimo In Two Hours

I want to know how weird it is for the time change to happen on the eve of Nanowrimo. Technically, if you're one of the midnight writers, that means you get an extra hour of nanowriting. For me, it just means I get an extra hour of sleep, for which I am thankful.

Here we are on the countdown, and for all the planning I did, it was for nothing.

Why, you may ask?

Because I've dumped the whole idea of Eleanor for a thriller/mystery called Deep Secret. I'll run an excerpt every now and then.

Happy Nano's Eve.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Subliminal Message Alert

You'll all be glad to know (if you read The Last Draft and heard about the chunk I carved out of my finger with a steak knife while cutting frozen blueberries) that my finger is healing nicely. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO. I'm down to one or two bandaids, and the nerves don't send painful impulses to my brain anymore when I'm typing. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO. This is very good news, because here at almost the eleventh hour, I am planning to change my entire story and go with a new inspiration that I captured on the back of an envelope a couple days ago. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO TODAY!

So Eleanor will just have to go on having a secret life that none of us (including me) know anything about. For the next year, she will dream on of being a secret agent who uses her super-klutz powers for good SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO while I explore the suspenseful betrayal in Deep Calls to Deep. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO AND GET A PROOF COPY OF YOUR BOOK IF YOU FINISH. The only problem is that I have to come up with a totally new cover, because the pink and silhouettes just don't go with this new idea at all.

I really liked Susan's cover the best of the ones that I did. Some of the kids did their own, and they were very nice too. YOU NEED TO SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO. Carissa is doing a story on The Robot Chicken and drew her cover. I thought this was quite creative for her to come up with. Dwight is still waiting for a cover, but he's being difficult since he wants me to actually do (gasp! do people do this anymore?!) original artwork. SIGN UP FOR NANOWRIMO BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. Since it's highly unlikely that I will have time for that, he'll just have to settle for something digital like the rest of us.

You know, I suddenly have this strange feeling that I should write a book next month. I don't know what's come over me. Do you feel it too?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fuzzies Are Not Nutritious, and Allowed Only in November

Today A.J. spit out her pacifier on the blanket she was sitting on. I fished it up and prepared to return it to it's previous location, but pulled it back just in time. It had (ewww!) fuzzies stuck to it. I explained the delay to A.J. by stating that fuzzies are not nutritious, and therefore must be removed so they are not ingested.

A.J. was not impressed.

A.J. wanted the pacifier.

She wanted it NOW.

Conclusion: Babies are only interested in results. The journey means nothing to them. They will take the pacifier even if it is one big ball of fuzz.

You may be wondering what this has to do with anything. I wondered that myself, for awhile. Then I got it. It has to do with Nanowrimo, of course. The journey doesn't mean anything in November. It's all about word count at the end.

• It doesn't matter if you can't even spell "cat."
• It doesn't matter if you use the word "ain't" in polite conversation.
• It doesn't matter if you write lousy poetry that has too many feet and doesn't rhyme.

All that matters is 50,000 words by midnight November 30th.

Don't you feel better now? See, anybody with fingers or agile toes can do this. So lay in a good supply of your favorite snacks before November 1st and prepare to become a full-fledged novelist. But while you're typing, watch out for your internal editor going after those fuzzies. It's not allowed until December 1st.

Special Nano perk: Create Space is giving the "winning" authors who finish their word count, and this includes kids who have shorter word counts, a free proof copy of their own book. Details below:

How cool is that?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Journal of a Private Eye: A Dark and Stormy Night

The night was dark. Very dark. Rain gushed down the windows like my nephews nose when he gets a nosebleed. But when you're a private eye, you learn to deal with whatever life sends you.

As I sat at my desk, I heard footsteps on the stairs. They stopped outside my door, so I knew what was coming. There was a knock.

"It's open!"

A blond head craned around the door. This character wasn't taking any chances as he scuttled in and sat down, glancing warily over his shoulder. I leaned back in my chair and planted my feet on the desk. My air of confidence always had a way of putting clients at ease.

"What's eating you, son?"

"Mom, I can't find my dictionary. You know, it's the little one you got me that everyone else always wants to use. Somebody took it and lost it!"

I stroked my chin, staring up at the ceiling. This was definitely going to be a tough one. I hadn't seen that dictionary around for weeks, much less days.

I fixed a stern eye on the client. "Did you look in your homework pile?"

He squirmed. "Yeah. Sort of. But I'm sure it's not there."

Tough character. He wasn't going to make this easy.

"How about under your desk."

"Not there."

"Your bed?"

He shook his head. "There's no way it would be under my bed."

"Did you look."

He hung his head. "Well, no. But there's no way it's there."

"I can't help you if you won't let me."

"Oh, all right." He jumped up and ducked out the door. "But I'm just wasting my time."

"Yeah," I responded. "We'll just see."

The call came later that day. Dictionary located. It was under the bed all the time. I stared out the window at the still pouring rain. Yeah, sometimes life threw you a curve, but you had to step up to the plate anyway. It was a good feeling to help one's fellow man. To put him on the path to...

...finding his dictionary.

Miserable weather, but still, a good day.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Laundry Attack!

Do you realize the kind of laundry a family of six can generate? Single people just can't fathom it. Future mothers and dads (mostly mothers because we know they're the real laundry engineers), don't say you weren't warned.

We were gone for four days plus a day of travel. That's five. For a family of six, that means we generated in the sock department alone, 60 dirty socks. If you consider all the other items of clothing, it's a veritable wonder we don't need a periscope to take in the world at large by the time we got home. And since this is cold weather, there are jackets and coats, some of which were closely associated with horses and cats (and even a dead raccoon) in various barns and pastures.

(But let's look at the bright side. None of us hunt. Otherwise, I'd be doing an orange load like half of the mothers in Wisconsin.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another possible for NaNoWriMo

I hope the peer pressure is having a positive affect on all of you out there and you feel yourselves crazily crumbling as you succumb to the need to write a novel in November. (You know, it's really hard to exert much peer pressure when you're only one person unless you have a multiple personality disorder of some kind, but I'm doing my best.)

Not to make your decisions harder, but here's another possible for the Nano book:

The Sad Tale of Horace VonFinkle, Villain Very-Not-Extraordinaire

I really don't identify with Horace much. After all, he is a villain. He just can't seem to do villainy effectively. Every time he tries, things turn out well. Sort of an opposite of Eleanor Blunt. She's still the front-runner (those two votes really turned the tide) since I have been thinking about her journey for awhile. Richard Peck says you need to decide on a journey, and then decide which character will benefit the most from it. Eleanor's journey is to discover that one's worth is not determined by one's perfection.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Call to Arms (or Fingers, Rather)

As we're going forward with this NaNoWriMo thing, I need to say a few words to the relatives who occasionally check out this blog.

You need to participate.

See, it was a painless four words for you this week. No "I'm too busies" will be accepted. I home school, babysit six days a week, give piano lessons, teach art, coordinate a Preschool department at church, and write meet regularly with my writer's group. Once in awhile, I get to sleep and eat, but unfortunately, bedtime is regularly way too close to midnight. I understand busy. Everyone is busy. But November is a chance to do something special. This event is largely controlled by non-Christians, so we need to get involved and make an impact. Make it a family event and do it with your kids. (There are tons of kids involved in the Young Writer's Program.) You have a voice, so use it!

Don't be sticks-in-the-mud!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Captain's Blog—Mission Draws Near

Stardate: Thursday

As the mission to the outer quadrant draws near, nerves are taut. There are bags to pack. There is the ship to load. Questions arise. Will we get a signal on our cell phone in the outer reaches? Most importantly, will we make it to our secret destination, code name, Grandma's House? We hope so.

There is lefsa at stake.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vote Early, Vote Often

Two votes for Eleanor right now, but I'm thinking of changing her name to Theodora because it has more scope for the imagination as well as the fact that you can use Theo as a sort of cool nickname. (If someone calls Eleanor El, she might think they're talking about the elevated train in Chicago.)

And speaking of the great Chicago tradition we have here that enables even dead people to participate in the political selection process, vote early and vote often for your choice for my NaNo novel. Only two votes in so far, and Eleanor is way out in front with...two votes. Need I say more? You're probably hoping not, so I'll let you all get back to the real world.

P.S. For those of you wondering what's happening to the Admiral, the Captain, and the rest of the crew, they're still making applesauce, because you simply cannot have too much applesauce. But we are working on the engine systems of our ship to get it ready for a dangerous mission in the outer reaches of the quadrant. You've probably heard of it: Wisconsin.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's coming!

I've taken a little time away from the blogs (except the Last Draft) to catch up on life. I read a book about how to complete NaNoWriMo and had to catch up with Physics and some design projects this weekend. But I just thought I'd do a little poll here to see what you all (I am assuming there is a you all out there) think would be my best bet for the NaNoWriMo challenge of a 50,000 word novel in a month. I'm not too concerned about making it good. It just has to be 50,000 words, even if they're all the wrong words.

Here are my ideas so far:

• The Girl From Left Foot Lake

This will sound familiar to my writer's group, because I've been bantering this title around in my head for some time. Yesterday I had an idea to go with the title (always good) and it would be a WWI historical fiction. (Like, WAY fiction, so don't even bother to check up on my historical facts. This is for NaNoWriMo, after all.)

• The Secret Life of Eleanor Blunt

Klutz extraordinaire, the young mild-mannered librarian Eleanor is caught up in the world of spies and espionage. And no matter what she does...well, you know. It doesn't turn out exactly as expected. This one is a good choice because if I get stuck, I can always have her knocked out, kidnapped, and waking up in some exotic location like Tahiti or North Dakota.

• What You Make It

A story about two people, one with an easy life where everything starts out right, and one with a not easy life where everything starts out wrong. And of course, life is what they choose to make it. I like the title more than the story idea right now, but lots of room for 50,000 words.

But decisions are my hardest thing! Comments?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A new use for blogs: The string around the finger

I just don't want to misplace or forget this web site. This is a meaningless post. Hope you all had a great day.