Scribblings and Musings

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New Year’s Resolutions

Sorry I haven’t posted an update in a while, it seems the holidays — from Thanksgiving forward came up too fast for me. Add in school and being sick to the chaos … it was, well, a chaotic 6 weeks. I did have an 8 day break from school, however that was not nearly enough. I almost forgot how nice it was to have breaks in between classes.

Overall, I did enjoy the Christmas holiday.

Among some of the Christmas gifts I got were the Rory’s Story Cubes and Rory’s Story Cubes–Actions, and I can’t wait to try them out with a few new ideas I have swirling about. Ok, that is an understatement. I have no less than 40-50 active projects, which I need to sort out. Of course all that takes time, and sadly I don’t “have all the time in the world”. There are only 24 hours in the day and I need to work within those hours as much as possible.

As far as my novel, I haven’t written on “Finding Faith” since winning NaNoWriMo at the end of November, however that is another one of my New Year’s resolutions–to finish and publish it.  It’s hard to focus on one project at a time when the others want some attention too. So, I am trying to spend January reorganizing my hours and time to suit my writer’s mind and get some work in on ALL the projects I have open. I will also have to fit crocheting, reading and some “movie” watching into the schedule as well. Believe it or not, crocheting while watching a movie helps develop my mind and the creativity. Reading as a similar affect as well. By reading a book, I can see how other authors put their words and stories together and have a “frame” to outline my own stories by.

This is going to be a long, tedious and likely time-consuming process, but I am hoping it will be well worth it. I know there are some things I likely won’t have time for, and some I will have to give up entirely.  I might not be able to blog as much as I have been, and I might have to limit tweeting … but I have come to appreciate my “gift” and I am tired of making excuses as to why I can’t get something done. Also, after spending the New Year watching some movies I hadn’t taken time to appreciate when I was younger, and love them now as an adult, I have been “inspired” to write more.

And yes, my photography is still an essential part of my life, as well as my writing. There are stories everywhere, I just need to take the time to tell them 🙂

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NaNoWriMo 2011 Winner!!

Today has been the best day of my life. I didn’t think I would get here to be honest. There were times I was behind in writing this wonderful story, which needs some SERIOUS work, even at the half-way mark, lol. But, I met the goal of getting to 50,000 words in one month. I can now breathe a sigh of relief, and fully concentrate on my last week of Criminal Law as well as my writing, and be relaxed.

There was a lot of stuff I had to give up to make it happen. It wasn’t easy. I lost a lot of sleep, missed a few meals (quite literally), I gave up fun stuff (Pogo, I sometimes miss you, Farmville I hardly miss and Island Paradise is no Jamaica), and I hardly left my computer. Sometimes when I needed a break, I would crochet, then write, then crochet, then write some more. I also read at night before going to bed (well, the nights I could sleep).

In the end, to meet the goal and realize I have a legitimate shot of being a writer was all the encouragement I needed … well, it helped to have my mom cheering me on, as well as family and friends (yes, those of you on Twitter, Google + and Facebook are my friends). Reading all your tweets, messages, and comments was encouraging and inspiring.

To those people I am following: I follow you because you inspire me. You help me learn, grow and breach boundaries I wouldn’t have the courage to do.

To those people who follow me: I don’t know what I did to earn you as a follower. I hope you enjoy reading my tweets (good or bad). I thank you for being a part of my life, and allowing me to be a part of yours if even in a small way.

I’m sure everyone though I was nuts for doing this. To tell you all the truth, I thought I was nuts for doing it 😛 but I have to say it was worth it.

The next step is finishing the story, editing, revising and editing … then …. publishing. I might be a few months away from that. Does that mean I can resume those endless nights of playing games? Not at all! 😛 I’d rather be writing 🙂 (or crocheting or reading).

So, now a new goal in me life — finish the story.

‎”Count it all joy when you fall into trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” James 1:2

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Less Than 10K To Go …

Well, here it is  …. 4 more days left and I am less than 10,000 words to go (counting down to less than 6k actually, was up in the 5 digits when I started this blog).

Being sick over Thanksgiving night and Friday morning did not help at all. Sleeping most of Friday away also hindered me. But, it also gave me the drive to make this happen. I didn’t sacrifice most of October to prep and worry, just to miss out.

I am making a special effort to get through this goal, while also trying to write a paper for my Criminal Law class. Thankfully, I am in week 4, and only have three more assignments left. And, I have managed a nearly perfect grade. Currently I have a 98% with all assignments graded.

My story is now coming along better than it was. I am in Chapter 7, which could be a halfway point. Now, my “antagonist” has shown up and clearly this is going to be a great story to tell. I’m in the downward slide, despite the fact the story isn’t even finished. It’s hitting the goal that counts as winning.

Now, I need to get ready for my acceptance speech, champion’s dinner, and that big check …. wait, there is no check right? 😦 darn …

Well, I will be meeting a goal. So here I come checkered flag!

(Let’s hope it’s not a green-white-checkered dash to victory lane)

😉

 

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Two-Thirds …

I haven’t been very good at updating this blog (or my others). I apologize for that.

I will say studying Criminal Law, attempting to write a novel (in a month’s time), having a life (well, keeping up with family and friends on Facebook as well as Twitter; which I love), trying to read a book, crochet and sleeping is challenging. There are only 24 hours in a day, and we sleep 1/3 (or should) of them away. With hobbies, housework, and errands, time gets away from me. If it were possible, I’d love to “borrow” time to get everything done.

While I am one of the lucky students enrolled in online classes, there is a certain amount of participation required.  Here is an example of what I need to do during each week (or module as they are called):

You must participate in, at a minimum, one academic-related activity on two separate days of a week to meet positive attendance for the week. An academic-related activity is defined as: A post, a journal entry, a Dropbox submission, or a completed My Lab activity. 

Not to mention I have to write and do research for one paper per week, and respond to two classmates on the “discussion” board.

I should spend about 45-90 hours of the 5 weeks studying, reading, researching and preparing assignments “outside” of class. While that translates to 3 hours per day, that is a minimum. So, there is a LOT of work there. I’m learning to manage, and of course there are some concessions I HAVE to make. It’s been tedious, but so rewarding to see the grades and progress I am making in my class.

But, that isn’t why I am writing this blog…it’s about my “novel”.

So, you’re wondering…how is my novel going?

It’s going 🙂 (better than I thought, not as well as I like).

I am just starting day 21, with 9 more to go. I should be at 35,000 words, but I am currently at 31,259. That puts me three days behind. Not to worry though, I have a few days to spend catching up. I might even get ahead as well, something I have been HOPING to do.  Since the holidays are coming up and my school has extended the due date by 2 days for one assignment, I would like to get the story to the 50k word mark. That is only 18,741 words to write, or type. I figure if I give my self all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to write, there is no reason I can’t make this happen.

There is an interesting part though… I am not even at the half-way point for the story. When I was outlining this in October, I thought I didn’t have enough material for a novel, now I think I have too much. Sometimes I have wondered what I got myself into. But, I am no quitter. Sometimes I think I’ve forgotten how to quit–which is a good thing.

I wouldn’t change it for the world though. It’s been rough on my nerves, but I’ve been given a wonderful blessing, I won’t say I regret signing up for it…because I don’t. Now, if you don’t hear from me again, it’s likely I have climbed back into the story and I won’t give up until I hit 50,000 words. Then I have another 6 months to finish, edit, revise, edit and publish it.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.  I certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year 🙂

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Almost a Week …

It’s been about a week since I started this project. I got ahead, then way behind, then I got ahead. Thankfully as of this post, I am ahead. It’s taken some time and I’ve had to neglect a few things. But what I have neglected doesn’t really matter.

I am so grateful to have this opportunity. I feel truly blessed. Seeing my progress and what I am accomplishing is worth every emotion I have been feeling. The best feeling is “pride”. How could I not have a little pride in myself? I am doing something I have ALWAYS wanted to do. Seeing these stats makes me want to keep going, keep pushing and reach the goal:

Your Average Per Day: 1,946

Words Written Today: 1,403

Target Word Count: 50,000

Target Average Words Per Day: 1,667

Total Words Written: 11,678

Words Remaining: 38,322

Current Day:  6

Days Remaining: 25

At This Rate You Will Finish On: November 25, 2011

Words Per Day To Finish On Time: 1,533

While it might not seem that much to someone else, it means the world to me. If I can make this goal, my next step will be editing…then publishing…then?? Who knows? 🙂

Right now, I am over 1/5th of the way to the goal.

Another part of keeping that said goal is sleeping, and being on a sleep schedule. So far, it’s working. Not to mention, I have been reading one of the “Prey” novels which helps relax my mind and get my own creativity going.

Week 1 has had ups, downs and ups. Am hoping week 2 will be a little bit better 🙂

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Day 4 …

It’s just barely day 4 of NaNoWriMo and for some reason I feel behind, even though I’m actually on par.

I’ve written one full chapter and over 5700 words. This is not near where I want to be, but sadly I have been distracted. As one “friend” put it when I complained I only had 4000 words, she said “that is 4000 more than what you had”.  I guess she’s right 🙂

With my current word count of 5762, divided over three days that puts me at over 1920 words per day. At that rate I will complete the goal 4 days ahead of schedule. Of course my goal is sooner. That won’t mean the novel is finished. Far from it indeed. It just means I will have made the goal.

On the other hand, I also need to focus on my school work. So I will be spending the weekend writing and working on the stuff for school. That means I’ll be extra busy. I’m almost tempted to set both laptops up side by side and work like that, though it seems overkill, lol 😀 … I do want to succeed though.

I know I need to sedate the inner perfectionist, editor and critic. They are slowing me down. There is so much I want to say and I am watching how I saw it. I am also trying not to ramble and be perfect. There is simply no time for that, so I will need to be more vigilant and patient with myself.

I think I am winning the battle though.

For now, I need some sleep. As always, after a refreshing night’s rest, I’ll be able to tackle the day 🙂

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It Begins….

It has begun!

Yes, today is the first day of my “Introduction to Criminal Law” class as well as National Novel Writing Month.

That means for the next 29 days, I will be like a ghost, lol. So far, as of this blog, I have my first assignment done, as well as the story outline completely done. I’ve also written the first 454 words of my story. I am hoping to get as much done as I can.

Trying to put it together is a little difficult at this point. I am treading somewhere I haven’t been.

I also have a paper (11/3) and PowerPoint presentation (11/7) due as well.

I know I signed on for this, so I have no one to blame but myself. However, if I am not as social as I usually am, you’ll all know why.

I can tell you that my novel “Finding Faith“,  is based LOOSELY on a journey I went through in August after the death of my aunt. Though I only wish the events that happen in the story would have happened in real life (well, a few of them anyway), that incredible  journey led me to where I am, and I hope I can eventually share it with all of you. In the few short days I spent in 29 Palms, California, I  found an inner peace I needed, and the courage to take this remarkable step.

A step that I hope will lead me to write more, and perhaps make a career out of it.

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And …. the plot thickens …

Here it is, 2 days before I start NaNoWriMo 2011 and the plot thickens. As I am re-reading my outline for the 4th time (so I can print it and work from it), I want to change a few things now I that I have the main idea down. That should be good, it would make it interesting, right?

Not with this story at least.

The direction my creative muse is going, is not where I want to go. I wanted to try something new, write outside my “comfort” zone for a change. My comfort zone is usually writing about police officers, FBI agents, NCIS agents; or writing my own “tie-in” stories about characters from TV shows. And yet, I am tempted to create an interesting “arc” for one of my characters by turning the main “male” character into a law enforcement officer to get my “law enforcement” fix in there.

That is not what this story needs right now.  I think this story would come across better as a “romance” rather than involving a crime in it to justify making the “main male” a law enforcement officer. Why have a law enforcement officer if there is no crime as part of the story? I can’t rationalize it. I will admit, there is a Marine Corps base in the town, and we know what is on a Marine Corps base. I don’t want to go that route though.

Despite reading something about sticking to one genre of writing, if I want to write a novel about “crime with a little romance”, I will do that later, or try to.

After all, right now, the main thing to do is to just WRITE.

Perhaps now might be a good time to try out that new Rory’s Story Cubes iPad app 🙂

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4 days to go …

I know I haven’t been very good at updating this blog. My “Post a Day” goal went awry, but I am back at it, again. Turns out my last few school assignments were a little tougher than I anticipated, but I do enjoy a challenge.

Not to mention, I have been writing here or there, working on other ideas as the “creativity” strikes. So I have been a tad busy.

Here it is, 4 days to go before NaNoWriMo 2011 begins — I’ve profiled my characters, and what characters they are 🙂 I am so proud of them already, even the bad one. Each story has to have an antagonist, so they might as well excel at being bad.

I’ve outlined the story and am currently making the last few revisions to the outline to make sure it isn’t too long, but long enough to tell the story. Since this is my first story, I am not hoping for much. It should prove to be amusing as well as inspiring. I haven’t even written the story and I feel as though I have already taken an incredible journey.

I can’t wait until I can begin writing this story.

November 1st will challenge me as I start my Introduction to Criminal Law class in addition to the writing challenge. I took the step to get my degree, now I need to take the step to become a writer.

 

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Completed Outline

I never thought this day would get here.  There were times I didn’t think I would have gotten as far as I have in my attempt to write a novel, especially “on-the-spot”. For me, the hardest part isn’t wanting to tell a story, or even telling the story…it is outlining and beginning the story

Today I completed the outline. Of course that means I will have to edit, revise, edit revisions…but the main thing is, it is done. I can take satisfaction in knowing I completed my first “non-TV” story outline. And, that is quite a challenge in itself.

I don’t really outline, so much as “free” write when I get an idea. I take my “excerpts”, piece them together and go from there. But I was excited to take this new turn and try something “out of the box”.

Now, to edit and revise….but first….some sleep 🙂

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