Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘NaNoWriMo’ Category

Like I explained last week, plot ninjas are meant to give you a way out when you are stuck. They spark your imagination so that you can keep writing. It may end up giving you a scene, a chapter, or a whole sub plot!

Here are a few more:

–One of your characters says “It never happened.”

–Give your character(s) a favorite beverage. Tell the background of why it’s a favorite. (Maybe over a drink at a bar; at a party?)

–The door bell rings. Who is it? What do they want? What bearing does it have on your story?

–Your main character admits something. What?

Bonus

Use one or more of these words in your story:

catapult

election

exuberant

calliope

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

If we were having coffee today, we would definitely be indoors. It is cold and wet outside.  I guess you might call it a typical November day in the Pacific Northwest. A bit of a brrrr day but not too much yet.

It seems that my weeks get busier and busier. This week it was once again busy with the daughters. I’ve been going over to my youngest daughter’s house twice a day to feed her cats. She’s on a business trip. It’s not far, her house that is, but with traffic, a round trip is about 50 minutes plus I have to spend some time there waiting for the kitties to eat. I can’t leave food out when I leave so I really need to sit and make sure they all eat and put away any food they didn’t eat. So that trip ends up being a minimum of and hour and a half.

Then there was yesterday. Last week I told you she was borrowing my car because hers went out and it is not cost effective to put in the money for a new transmission. So she had several possibilities this week. One in Seattle, 3.5 hours away. Another was in Los Angeles which would have been tough because she can’t take time off from work to get over there and back with the  car. It’s a two day trip in each direction. That was the one her dad and step mom wanted her to get (they are paying for it) but in the end it fell through because the woman who owned it was elderly and died without signing the title over to her son and her son found out that he can’t sell it until it all goes through probate and is officially his car so no deal. The latest deal is across the river from Oregon, in Washington. It’s across the river from Hood River. My older daughter, the boys, and I went out there yesterday to see the car and leave a deposit. Now we wait for the cashier’s check to arrive by Fed Ex so we can go pay the remainder and get the car back to Portland.

The trip, while long (about 170 miles round trip which took us forever with the boys) was actually quite nice. Yesterday was a beautiful day, dry, sunny, a tiny bit of briskness in the air but nice. We stopped at an apple orchard to pick apples. It is their last weekend of apple picking for the season so all varieties were 59 cents a pound. We picked and bought 47 pounds of apples for about $27. We’ll be eating apples for a couple of months!

Here are some pictures from the trip yesterday:

So what is new in your neck of the woods? Weather? Travel? Local color? Please tell.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog linkup hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. Come take a look and see what’s happening!

nanopoblano1

Read Full Post »

I love participating in NaNoWriMo. We all do or we wouldn’t do it. However, each year it gets harder and harder for me. It’s not just the age. It’s the Mama Factor that seems to get increasingly bigger and bigger.

The Mama Factor? All the things that the mamas have to do to get through the day to write a the 1667 words a day that will get them to goal on November 30. When I first started doing NaNoWriMo, my two oldest kids were out of the house. The youngest was in high school but was home schooled so she was constantly home and we took a lot of day trips and excursions to keep her busy and learning new things. (That was when she developed her love of photography. She’s now a photographer. So those were important days.) It gave me time to write. Yes, it put a damper on my writing time but I got it done. It was possible. I used to wonder about the moms that had little ones at home. How could they write? It would have been a problem for me, although when my kids were little, I lived in a community where I had a lot of support. I’m pretty sure I would have been able to leave the kids for play dates with a number of people so that I could have writing time. It would have been done.

Now, however, my kids are all grown. I live alone. There is no husband to demand my time. Yet, it gets harder and harder every year. Let me tell you about my day on this year’s Day Two. I had to get up and out of the house early to drive Susie (daughter number 2) to the airport where she was flying to Colorado Springs for a business trip. I got to her house and she wasn’t ready. It seems she figured over night that we didn’t have to leave so early so she slept in a bit. I didn’t. I didn’t know about the intentional delay. I finally got her to the airport and then had to drive home to watch the two grandboys so their mom could go do a volunteer shift for Gleaners. I got there and they were still asleep so I waited and eventually came home for about an hour while they woke up and got ready to go do errands. I had to play catch up on a few things so I didn’t get to write my 1667. In fact, I didn’t write a single word for my NaNo project. Then off we went for the day (now a half day) of errands. On our very last stop, I got the kids out of the store while their mom was in line because they were starting to misbehave. I got them to the car and strapped into their car seats. When I was getting myself in, I misjudged the distance and smacked my head on the side of the car roof. I hit so hard that I almost passed out. Instant headache of astronomical proportions. My jaw felt like I had dislocated it. There were stars. There was almost blackness. Eventually, we got home but I had to wait at their house because my daughter was going to use my car for another errand and I was going to stay with the boys. About an hour later, she decided not to go out on that errand and I came home. Headache in tact. Jaw pain diminishing. But I’m pretty sure I have a concussion. I ended up sleeping for the entire time from about 5:30 until 10:30. Now I’m writing this and I’m falling asleep again so there will be no writing tonight. I guess maybe I should start counting my blog posts to my word count. Nah. I don’t think I will go that route.

How does this fit into the Mama Factor? Well, it seems that there are certain mamas who just don’t have the time to write. They have obligations that keep growing as their family grows. As much as they try, there is no time for their needs and wants; only for those of their family. Those moms are the ones that perform a miracle every November when they are able to validate their 50,000 words by midnight on November 30th.

No 1667 for me on Day Two. We’ll see if Day Three allows me to write but I will say that while Daughter Number Two is on that business trip, I will be driving to her house to feed her cats. And they have an ant problem so I can’t just fill the dishes and leave. I have to stay while the cats eat and make sure they all eat. This will involve about an hour and a half twice a day, including drive time. I might get a few words written while I wait for los gatos to eat. Might. Might not. Hopefully 1667 will happen tomorrow so I will only have to get caught up by one day over the weekend. If I fall too far behind, I won’t catch up.

So if you know a Mama doing NaNoWriMo, be kind. Offer to help her out or if you can’t help her out, at least don’t be an additional burden to her. Don’t feed the Mama Factor.

nanopoblano1

Read Full Post »

One of the things I learned in my fourth go round at  NaNoWriMo was about plot ninjas and plot bunnies. What are they? Basically, they are a kind of prompt to include someone or something in your writing. It can give you a fresh idea when you are stuck. When you go to the NaNoWriMo kick-off, you get one or two plot bunnies or plot ninjas sealed in an envelope. The idea is that you keep them until you are stuck. Then you open them up and use the idea to keep you writing.

I know most of my readers are not participating in NaNoWriMo but I figured I would include some plot ninjas (my preferred term) here from time to time, just in case someone can use them. So here’s the first edition of plot ninjas.

–A new character enters your story. They are fond of sparkles and bangles.

–Put a hula hoop in your novel.

–Put a backpack in your novel. What is inside of it? Who does it belong to?

–Your main character approaches a closet. What will he/she find in there? Or maybe it is who will she/he find in there?

I’ll do this again from time to time during the month.

 

nanopoblano1

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I mentioned that I am going to be participating in NaNoWriMo once again. I also said that I am at the very beginning in terms of planning and thought some of my readers here and on Facebook might be able to help me out.  So what can you do?

The premise I will be starting with is a person going to a coffee shop every day at the same time and staying all day. She goes with a laptop and sits and listens to what is going on. She has nowhere else to go. She kinda pretends that she is doing work on the computer but she’s just sitting and eavesdropping on conversations. Over time, she gets to know the background stories and the gossip of not only the people who work there but also of the other customers. She gets to know their secrets, all by just showing up and being there all day.

What I would like from you is suggestions of names for characters and any tidbits of customer stories/gossip or of work place scenarios at the coffee shop. Anything that I can take off and create something out of.

A couple of years ago, I did something similar and one of the suggestions I loved but didn’t use is one I will, most likely, be using this year. The name was Jessica and her back story was “she will take anyone’s man so you gotta watch her!” Doesn’t that sound like fun? I could build entire chapters around Jessica and her escapades!

It doesn’t take much. Just a few words to suggest a story to be built. Or you can even just send me a physical description of someone or of the coffee shop. Sound like fun? I think it is. Please give me a hand. I may be sharing some of what I write here on the blog in November as I also committed to doing NaBloPoMo once again.

How is your Sunday going? It’s a bit gloomy here in Oregon. I’m kinda out of it today. I had a bad day on Facebook yesterday. Much drama. And it cost me a couple of friends. It’s okay though as they have been borderline for some years. Yesterday, the camel’s back broke and I had to disconnect from them. It makes me sad because I am one of those people that likes to keep everyone happy. I hate to have any kind of argument or disagreement but what I hate more is to be attacked about my opinions. So “poof!” They’re gone. And I am left shaken.

In any case, take a stab at helping me out with my NaNoWriMo project. And this stays up so you can help out any time during the month! Thanks in advance. Ciao!

Read Full Post »

Goodbye to NaNoWriMo for another year!  Yay. This was a really tough November.

At the beginning of the month, my attention was captured by a few Facebook posts in the various NaNoWriMo groups. Some were really funny and some were sad. Most were humorous. Some just “uniquely ordinary.” I thought I might make a few posts highlighting each variety. Then stuff started to happen and I was sick and I pretty much bowed out of the FB NaNoWriMo groups til the end of the month.  So those posts never happened. So…fresh fodder!

The first was sad and made me think a lot:

“I’m withdrawing from this year’s NaNoWriMo to work on my marriage.” It made me think about the individual (whom I don’t know) and their life and I figured they had their priorities straight and silently wished them luck.

This next one falls in the category of “excuses, excuses,” not to mention just plain stupidity:

“I was just about to start my NaNoWriMo project when I spilled my coffee all over my laptop. My keyboard is now fried.”

Then came the winner. I read it late at night when I was still up trying to get some writing done because my daughter had needed me for most of the day and night and I had not done any writing. I guess you could say it hit the spot. It had me laughing and depositing Sprite Zero all over my screen (thank goodness not on the keyboard!). It’s written by a great grandmother participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time, Annie Aronson (she said I could use her name and her words):

“Am I the only NaNo writer with rude, insensitive family members who don’t give a rip about the importance of this month? I have two, in particular, that don’t care a fig if I’m successful at this or not, and I’m ready to end the ongoing emotional abuse. Just because they’re younger than I am–hell, who isn’t?–and related to me, they think they can steal my word writing time. I’m going to set them both straight today, just as soon as they wake up from their naps. I don’t care if they bat their big blue eyes or pucker their little pouty lips! Grandma isn’t going to give in this time! I’m going to go and have a stiff drink and prepare myself to put a 3 year old and a 4 year old in their places. I’m gonna kick butt and take no prisoners.”

And with that I bid November 2015 a not so fond farewell! And to NaNoWriMo, same time next year!

 

 

Read Full Post »

weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, it would have to be decaf for most of us as it’s after 7:30 pm. We’ve just stopped for the night on our way home from a week of traveling. This will be the last night before we get home as we are half way home.  Yay!

If we were having coffee, I would probably bore you with a lot of stuff you don’t want to hear about the grand kids.  I’ll try not to.

It has been tough with the two little ones. Spencer has trouble being in the car for more than about two hours so a two day trip home becomes three! If we can get him to nap then we hustle and get as far as we can before he wakes up. Anderson, on the contrary is and always has been a good traveler. No stops for him although he is in the “How many more minutes?” phase…every two minutes he asks!

Tough as it has been, I’m glad we made the trip. I needed to be at the funeral for me as much as for them. As I sat in that church, in the last pew by the exit (that’s where I put myself even though there was lots of room), I realized that some of what I was feeling was because there was no religious kind of observance of my father’s passing last May. I felt like the mass was as much for Abuela as for my dad. And no, she wasn’t my grandmother but she was grandmother to everyone that came her way. Everyone at the mass knew her as Abuela! I’m glad it’s over and we’re almost home…and I’m glad we got to go.

I’ll cut it short. I’m way behind on NaNoWriMo and even though I may not make it to 50k this year, I’m not giving up. I’m going to try. If I can get a little time tonight after everyone goes to sleep, I can write a couple of thousand words which is not much in the scheme of things but it keeps me from getting one more day behind. Then I should be able to write at least 5k Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I head for Seattle but might try to get some words in before I leave. With luck I can get maybe another 3 to 5 thousand done in Seattle. That still leaves me behind but I’ll be in catch up range.  It might get right down to midnight this year!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, a wonderful week, and for those who celebrate Thanksgiving, a very peaceful and inspiring holiday. I should be home late Sunday and with luck, I’ll get back to normal posting.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Go take a peek and maybe join us!

wpid-wp-1445330906378.jpeg

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »