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weekendcoffeeshare

If we were having coffee, I’m sure none of us would be able to keep from discussing yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. It is heartbreaking to think of innocent people being caught up in political terrorism. I can only imagine the shock, anger, sorrow, and frustration in France right now. Things like this should never happen and instead, we hear of it more and more. I don’t know what the answer is but there has to be a way for people to live in peace, without fear of being attacked by terrorists. I pray that one day soon, we will find a way.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my heart just isn’t in it today. It has been a sad week, although I’ve tried to concentrate on my grandsons and on writing and visiting blogs. I’ve tried. The boys bring me great joy and I truly enjoy visiting blogs and getting to know other bloggers. That part of the week has been good. Busy but good.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I don’t have a lot of time today. I’m way behind in my NaNoWriMo word count and I have been asked to host one of the official write-ins today. The person that was supposed to host has to work so I will be doing it. I’ve spent the evening on Friday, putting together little prizes and sticker grab bags, plot bunnies, and a bag of candy for the participants and winners of our word sprints. I have a list of prizes…most words, least words, longest sentence, most characters, most dialog, etc. It’s a long write-in (4.5 hours) and I’m hoping to get a lot of writing done, even though I’ll be in charge of the word sprints and other fun. It has given me something to focus on as it just came up Friday morning. Hopefully it will be productive AND fun!

I also noticed a couple of days ago that I am really close to hitting my 1000th blog post. I’m kind of wanting to get to it by the end of December so you might see me posting more than once a day on some days so I can get to that milestone and move on to the next one right when the new year starts. So if you see me increase my posting schedule, that’s why!

Well, it’s now 2:15 am and I have the alarm set for 7 am so I should try to sleep. I still have some prep work for the write-in and I also have Anderson here overnight. He’ll want me to sit with him in the morning so I can’t doze while he is up.

I hope you all have a good day and a productive week.

And if you find it in your heart to do so, please say a little prayer for our friends in Paris. Send them some virtual hugs and shoulders to lean on.

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#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Go take a look then grab a cup of coffee and join us!

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Today I have nothing to write about.

I have a cup of coffee and a warm bed. I have writing to do but I don’t seem to be able to do any writing until the evening these days. I used to get up and put in the first couple of hours of the day to NaNoWriMo during November but this year it seems like I don’t have my writer’s cap on until the evening.

I have a meowing cat that wants attention. She has been fed and watered and her box has been cleaned but she is still meowing at me from down the hall so it must be attention that she wants. I’m not sure if I want to give it.

I have a cold and gray sky outside, not very inviting. No long walks today. No hikes. Not an outside day. And they say we’re in for about five days of rain…heavy rain. So I guess I need to get myself to the store before it starts on Saturday so I can stock up on any food or drink I might need when it begins to pour.

I have one big thing to look forward to. I’m taking Spencer to eat today. Just the two of us. We’re going when he’s fresh from sleep so he should be fine and we’re going to a café that has a kids’ play area and is usually not too busy. I think he’ll enjoy that and I’m not taking any electronics with me. It’s a Nana and Spencer outing. It may only last an hour but that’s okay. It will be just the two of us. Usually it’s Anderson with me but Spencer is getting to the age where I can take him out, just the two of us. He’s 2 1/2.

So although it seems like I have a lot of nothing, I actually have a gold mine in Spencer time and then when Anderson comes home from school he may come over. He likes to come over after school. So I have a gold mine in those two.  I’ll worry about the writing later.

What do you have? Do you have a lot of nothing too? Do you have a gold mine? What’s your gold mine?

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Well, it rained. And then it rained some more. And then it poured. And it gusted. And it was Halloween.

A couple of things saved the day. First, the shopping center was having trick-or-treating in the afternoon. We were not going to take them but we figured they might not get to go later if the rain forecast proved to be true and it didn’t look crazy so we took them trick-or-treating there in the afternoon. We got to about the last four or five stores when it began to pour buckets on us. There was some shelter and they went to the last of the stores and we ran into Target to wait for my daughter to go to the other end of the shopping center and bring the car.

We had dinner at Anderson’s favorite restaurant, Olive Garden, which was in the same shopping center. When we got out of the restaurant, it was pretty clear that the rain was not going to let up and the boys would not get to go trick-or-treating when it got dark. So we asked Anderson what would make the rest of the day special. He said he wanted to go home and have a party. We went to the grocery store and he picked out chocolate chip cookies. We stopped by my house and I ran through and grabbed all of my skeletons, spider webs, bats, witches, and skulls off of the walls and from the porch and headed to my daughter’s house. I ran around her house putting the decorations up all over while she cleaned up and vacuumed because Anderson wanted to dance. They had a great time dancing to Monster Mash, Purple People Eater, Witch Doctor and some other songs. Spencer played with plastic rats that I had as part of the decorations when he was not dancing. Fun. Fun. Fun! So the night was salvaged and they didn’t feel cheated!

Then I came home to wait for midnight to start my NaNoWriMo project. I’m still sick and staying up til midnight was tough last night but I managed to get in a little over 800 words in 20 minutes then I went to bed because I had agreed to meet another woman at a coffee house for a write-in at 10 this morning. I did that and got to 2600 words.  Now I am trying to set up my blog with the NaNoWriMo widget, which looks like it is working. However, the widget for NanoPoblano (posting on this blog every day in November) hosted by Rarasaur doesn’t seem to work. I’ve really had a tough time setting up widgets this calendar year. I am ready to give up for awhile. Maybe I can delete it all and start from scratch later.

In any case, that’s my day so far and it is only a bit after 1 in the afternoon. I need a nap. I need to read some blogs. I need to do a little research for my NaNoWriMo project. I need to set up tomorrow’s post so I can get it out of the way early because I am meeting people to write at a coffee shop early tomorrow morning and won’t have time to do it before I leave for that.

That’s it for this post, I think. If you get a chance to do so, click here to find the others that are participating in NanoPoblano 2015. I’m sure you’ll find some interesting blogs there!

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Well, I’m doing it again for the eighth year.  I think just about everyone that drops by here knows what NaNoWriMo is by now so I won’t repeat.  I’m also doing NaBloPoMo this month…that’s a lesser known Nano…it’s National Blog Posting Month in which bloggers commit to posting every day of the month.  I’ve done them concurrently in previous years but haven’t for awhile so we’ll see how it goes.

Stumbling Blocks.  There are always those and this year is no different, or perhaps it’s different in the type of stumbling blocks.  This year I found myself with laptop problems and took it to my daughter’s boyfriend to take a look at it as he knows computers.  It really wasn’t bad.  It was just horribly slow and there is a lot of memory left on it, over two thirds of the 500 GB hard drive, so that isn’t the problem.  I found that a lot of icons didn’t show up, either, especially on WordPress.  I should have waited because now, a week later, the month has begun and he hasn’t looked at it yet.   So I thought I would be writing on my tablet, using a bluetooth keyboard but that is horribly uncomfortable for me at the moment so I went in search of something else.  I found an old netbook that I haven’t used in three years.  There’s nothing wrong with it.  I just stopped using it, when it was almost new, because I got my laptop and I like that so much better.  So I turned it on and I’m using that.  However, before I can do just about anything on it, I have to update it because there are about 233 updates needed and it keeps bugging me to update it so I gave in and started the update process.  It has been three hours now and I finally finished the updates.  Whew!  Then I had to remember passwords for the different sites I use and in most cases I ended up having to reset passwords because there was no way I could remember the password.  So I did that and now I know that as soon as I get my laptop back I’ll have to go through and update the passwords on that.  And now I also have to do it on my phone and tablet.  What at mess.  Then there is the fact that I really don’t like this netbook.  It has a strange keyboard.  It’s a standard one, and almost full size so that’s not the issue.  The problem is that the keys are completely flat and right next to each other, touching each other.  That means that when I type, I end up hitting the key next to the one I am trying to hit, or above or below.  So I end up having to make a lot of corrections which is time consuming and frustrating.

Well, I guess this too shall pass.  I know I’ll conquer/deal with the technology problems eventually so I will keep trying and keep writing.  You may see a lot of NaNoWriMo related posts this month.  It’s one way to fulfill the NaBloPoMo commitment and also tag my posts with NaNoWriMo so that other participants can maybe find some help and/or tips.  I’m toying with the idea of creating a NaNoWriMo page for this blog and putting all my prompts and tips and some samples there.  I might but we’ll see.  Not committing to that one yet.

Happy November.  May you succeed in fulfilling any of your commitments, NaNo, NaBlo, or otherwise.

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Inner Debate

November is approaching very quickly which means that so is Nanowrimo.  I have participated since 2005 and November has become synonymous with Nanowrimo to me.  But I haven’t been writing this year.  In fact, I haven’t written anything longer than maybe 500 words since last year’s Nanowrimo.  No blogging to speak of.  Not even emails to friends.  I seem to have gotten some kind of block.  When I think of writing I really want to do it but then when I sit down to do it, it doesn’t happen.  This is a strange thing for me.  It used to be that as soon as I sat down to write, it would overtake me and I would have to fight with my Writer Self to stop writing when I had to do something else.

So now I am wondering if I should even undertake Nanowrimo.  If I begin it and am not able to stick to writing, will I be worse off than I am now.  Will it be a big hit to my Writer Self?  Will it keep me from even trying to write anything?   I could start it and even if I don’t make it to the 50,000 words, I think I would be happy if I could get to write 1,000 words a day.  That would be so much better than I have been doing this year.

I don’t want to set myself up to fail.  I don’t want to fail by not even trying.  I don’t know.  I have a week and a half to figure it out.

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A Welcomed Sight

A welcomed sight!

I validated my word count this morning.  The current count is 51,581.  I’m going to try to up that a bit by midnight on the 30th but at least I’m officially finished.  Whew!  This was probably the most stressful run at NaNoWriMo for me.  The biggest part of that is that I end up doing something with my daughter about 6 days a week.  That “something” usually takes all day long and by the time I get home in the evening, there’s little writing time.  But I got through it.  Next year there will be a baby to spend time with during November!

Thus ends my fifth try at NaNoWriMo and my fourth win!

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Off And Running

NaNoWriMo is under way once again.  Over the next 29 days, I will be trying to write a 50,000 word novel.  I’ve done it before.  It’s usually fun and challenging.  I’ll also be trying to post here every day.  That’s more of a challenge.  However, this year I have all of my Australia pictures to fall back on so you’ll be seeing some of those.

Last night I attended a write-in for NaNoWriMo and started off writing 1,679 words in one hour.  I promptly left the group and came home where it was much quieter than the rowdy group writing at the restaurant.  Today I added a few more words so I am currently at 1,918 words.

See you during the month.

 

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The other day I posted a prompt/challenge.  I have been working on the story but somehow it has become a much longer project than I had meant for it to be.  I think this is what I will be working on for Nanowrimo this year…or at least something with the character I’ve created for the Wedding Dress prompt.

I don’t usually pick out a story this far in advance.  I usually wait until a month or so before November first then I sort of decide what I will write about.  This time though, I think I’ve got my main character.  I’m not sure where she’ll take me but I see some possibilities.  As for my challenge, I think I may end up writing something new to complete the challenge and keep the character I created this week for November.

And speaking of Nanowrimo, if anyone knows any “Young Writers” that are participating in Nanowrimo this year, there is a download page where you (or they) can download, for free, a Nanowrimo novel writing workbook with some neat exercises to help create character, plot, and other elements.  In fact, some of you adults may find it helpful, too.  The workbook is available for elementary, middle, and high school levels.  There are also a lot of fun and helpful things on the Young Writers site (accessible through the main nanowrimo.org page).

Happy Writing!

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One Down And One To Go

youwon

One down and one to go.

I just submitted my Nanowrimo novel for word count validation (50,202). Yay for me! I must say that although this is not my first Nanowrimo win, it feels wonderful to have finished. Of course the novel isn’t finished. It requires an awful lot of work but I reached the word count (50,000). I did finish the story. I will go back and edit this one. I have a lot of cleaning up to do and I imagine that it will end up some place around 60,000 words by the time I complete a final draft.

I was determined to not have a happy ending. I don’t really like novels when they tie everything up and basically say “they all lived happily ever after.” So I ended my novel with the possibility of a happy ending but there were several things left unresolved. I’m happy with the overall story but I sure wouldn’t want to show this first draft to anyone.

One goal reached for November and one to go. I have one more blog entry to complete NaBloPoMo, besides this one. Now I have to think of a good post for tomorrow and with luck and determination, I will be able to continue posting on an almost daily basis on this blog.

Thanks for reading my words and coming back for more. I know my writing is not always reader worthy but I appreciate my readers more than I can say.

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Yesterday’s post told about the annoyances of attending the all-state Nanowrimo write-in.  After sleeping on it, I’ve come up with some of the positive things from yesterday.

I took my iPod and listened to John Williams soundtracks and some Santana for a while so I would drown out the noise but I took ear buds instead of headphones and the buds just aren’t comfortable for me so I had to take them out.  Next time, I will fit my headphones in.

I did end up writing at least 3,051 words (in a total writing time of less than two hours). I also wrote my blog post and Twittered a bit and kept an eye on the news of the fire in Sylmar. (I used to live near there for many years so I was more than interested in it.)

I managed to turn the most annoying of the teen boys into a minor character in my novel; one who was as annoying in the novel as the actual model!

One of the leaders had some prompts for us that were fun to try to incorporate into our novels.  The prize?  Charms Blow Pops.  I got several of them and I think having that thing in my mouth kept me from shouting “Shut Up” at the kids!  From the suggested prompts, I actually wrote some things I would not have that turned out to fit nicely into the novel.  One prompt was to incorporate a person that we had just met at the write-in into a character in our novel, however minor.  So I was writing a party scene in which my MC was stuck at a table where one woman was talking about her daughter-in-law’s pregnancy in detail.  I had met a woman at the lunch just before the write-in that did exactly this during the two hours we were there.  It fit into my novel very nicely and gave it a little bit of authenticity.

I also drove a woman from Portland to the write-in and on the drive over and back, we talked an awful lot and discovered some commonalities.  She just moved here from California in May.  She has no car.  I’m picking her up in a while so we can go to a coffee shop and write!

So not all was lost!

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