Monday, November 30, 2009

Memoir Monday ~ Thanksgiving


With Thanksgiving weekend fading into the past, now's a good time to capture a few memories. Write (or paint, or draw, or sew) about your family's traditions at Thanksgiving.

Was your family a good china and fancy dress type meal? Do you have photos of the table decor?

Or were you guys paper plates and football games?

What foods scream Thanksgiving to you?

Any heirloom recipes that you still make?

Where (Who) did they come from?

Any funny stories, train wrecks, or terrible incidents you recall?

Did you gather at Grandma's or some other house?

Which relative did you long to see most?

Which relative did you not want to see?

How has your current family traditions evolved from your growing up family traditions?

Have a wonderful time capturing some memories this week. If you post them on your blog, let us know. (Thanks, Beth!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fiction Fast Finished


During NaNoWriMo I don't read other people's fiction. By the end of the project, I'm hungry to relax into someone else's creative adventure. Coupled with a Thanksgiving trip, I've been over 30 days without reading a story.

As a reward for writing like a freight train AND for putting up with a six hour one way drive to the relatives, I picked up Nora Roberts new romance, Bed of Roses, about a florist in the wedding biz. At first, I wallowed in the delight of story. By chapter four, with my own turn of phrase and plot line fresh in my head, I was feeling intimidated. Sheesh, Nora Roberts has a way with words.

Then, in chapter five, a minor character, an author, had a few words for me. Maybe they'll encourage you, too.

"How's the book going?" she asked him.
She laughed. "So you always say."
"Because it's always true at this stage." He wrapped an arm around her waist as they walked. 'But family dinners and digging in the dirt help me put the crap aside awhile. Then it's never quite as bad as I thought when I get back to it."

Let the revisions begin. lol

Friday, November 27, 2009



50,124 words!

Addy and Mac have sailed into the sunset...

Thursday, November 26, 2009



This was my preferred writing view for a few days in November. Yeah, its a rough life....I know.

I got to join the Pilot Guy in Phoenix for a litte extra fall sun. Part of the time I was there, he was flying so I had the hotel all to myself. Wow, what a way to write. I see why writers love retreats. For three full days I had the advantage of a hotel buffet breakfast and a manager's social hour every evening. No cooking or kitchen clean up. The only food I had to rustle up was a salad each day for lunch. Not hard.

I'd write a couple of thousand words in a morning session in my room -- with the windows open to fresh air. Then an afternoon session out beside the pool for another couple thousand words. After a workout or a walk, I'd have supper downstairs and come back to relax with a movie and or get in a few hundred more words on my manuscript. In the six days I was in Phoenix, I doubled my word count, writing four and five thousand words a day. What a huge difference not to have the distractions of daily life interfering with the creative process. No phone calls, no laundry, no pets or offspring to deal with. No grocery shopping, no cooking, no clean up.

The only thing I had to think about was my story.

What an indulgent, wonderful way to write! Just the small taste of this life has me hooked. I so want to create enough income from the writing to have this kind of creative flexibility on a regular basis.

Big goal. Big.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Living the Fantasy

I got a taste of the dream the other day. I hopped on board a commercial jet to join the Pilot Guy in Phoenix. Needing to keep my NaNo word count rolling, I pulled out my laptop at 40,000 feet and started typing.


This is part of the fantasy of being a best selling author, right? An author so busy flying to book signings, so in demand as a speaker, and so wealthy she can hop a jet any time to research a gorgeous island retreat that she has to write in any bits and pieces of time.

Yes, for a few minutes I was Jodi Thomas and Nora Roberts happily typing away on my next bestseller.

To get to the fantasy part of any career, you got to do the work. I've spent some time with Jodi Thomas. She treats writing like a job...she gets her work done even if it means writing late into the night in a hotel room after speaking at a writer's conference. Rumor has it that Nora Roberts can be seen typing away at poolside during conferences.

Deadlines and doing the work. There is no substitute.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Perfect Fall Day

Japanese Gardens in the Fall







Thursday, November 12, 2009

Words, Words, and More Words


NaNoWriMo has not completely taken over my life, but, boy, howdy, it certainly directs big hunks of my day.

I'm loving it!

Here's a couple of observations....

1. Writing is best done in as big a time chunks as I can manage. I find it easier to hold on to the thread and tone of the story if I concentrate on it for a couple of thousand words at a time. One afternoon, I managed 3,300 words while nursing a mocha at Starbucks. Fun. On the other hand, I'm also content to drop a quick 500 words into the mix if I don't have time to do more.

2. Writing can be accomplished any where and any time of day. So far this month, I'm writing here at home in my two favorite writing spaces, out on the porch swing, in the lounge chair in the back yard, at Starbucks, in a parking lot, and in the car. I've written early in the morning, all afternoon, and just before bed. I still believe setting up a regular schedule is most productive, but I'm fitting writing into my life in amazing ways. No excuses.

3. Some of the choices I've made about this story cause me to scratch my head. After all, I've been to 16 different countries...what ever made me choose to set the majority of this romance in a country I've never visited? Or when I'm married to a pilot and have spent a lot of time in the air, did I house one of my main characters in a sailboat. It's not only write what you know, but write what you want to know.

4. Doing NaNo and Weight Watchers in the same month is counterproductive.

5. Long walks are productive.

6. Peach Pleasure Jamba Juice smoothies are good rewards for slaving over a hot laptop.

7. Happy support and a wee bit of competition from all my NaNoing friends is a very, very good thing.

8. Writing every day is important. Writing is a muscle that gets stronger as it is worked and used.

If all goes well, I'll be sitting on top of 20,000 words by tonight...and a stack of luggage for a trip tomorrow. Writing on the road is fun, too.

Happy Creating!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ready, Set.....WRITE!

At the stroke of midnight last, NaNoWriMo began. I had sort of planned to be up then and get a few hundred words in, but when I crashed early (as usual for me.) Since the Pilot Guy needed to be at church early for Praise Team practice I ran over to Starbucks for a quick shot of caffeine and words. The rest of my words for the day came after lunch. Even though I had an opening scene in mind, it was exciting to finally get to lay it down on the page. It was much more detailed than when I doodled some notes about it the other day. I love how my mind keeps on working on a book even when I'm doing something else.

2,088 words for today. It was fun to meet Addy and Mac, my heroine and hero. From the start they have, I predict true love will not run smoothly. And I sincerely hope not. I need conflict and issues to get through the required 50,000 words and into the 60,000 words I want to write.

NaNoing is fun!!!!!!!!!