Saturday, October 31, 2009


That's the number of words a person needs to write a day, in order to complete a 50,000 word novel in November. And why would a person want to do this? Why because it's National Novel Writing Month, of course. NaNoWriMo for those in the know. NaNo for short.

Last year was the first time I participated in NaNoWriMo and surprised myself by writing a 50,000 word story in two weeks. That story still needs editing (pretty much anything written that quickly is going to need editing.) So I'm going to try NaNoWriMo again this year. I don't know if I'll be able to keep up the pace, but I'll use this blog to keep track of how I'm doing.

Let's get ready to WRITE!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I spent the day revising.

I wish I had a good tried-and-true method for revising.

Today's adventure involved moving scenes from various places in book to other places. And then trying to keep track of what I'd moved and to where and what no longer fit in because of it. It's really not surprising I have a headache now.

Most of the way through I thought - hey, maybe I should have used index cards for this. Or I suppose I could have printed out the scenes and then done some literal cutting and pasting. Instead I had multiple files and things highlighted (and I ended up just highlighting things random colors - so it didn't even mean anything specific if it was highlighted in a certain color).

And I just realized that I'm now admitting how disorganized my revising process is. Maybe I should stop now (leave some mystery.)

Anyone have any really good revising techniques they use?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blogtoberfest over at Jeri's Place

This month Jeri Smith-Ready is celebrating her blog birthday with Halloween themed guest posts and book give-aways all month.

Today is my day. So go over and see what I had to offer in the way of a ghost story and comment for a chance to win a signed copy of When Mike Kissed Emma.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Writing a Scene

It's funny, when I write the first draft of a scene I find it often seems more like a radio play than anything else. It will be virtually all dialogue with a few essential movements thrown in. But when reading it back it's almost as if it's all taking place in a giant white room with nothing around the main characters.

That, of course, will never do. But yet, I need to know what happens in the scene before I can go back and add the finer details. So I let my first draft read like a radio play and then later I go back and throw in the color.

How do other people do this? Do you have all the details to start with or do you just write the dialogue you hear in your head (okay, I don't really hear voices or anything) and then go from there?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Writing and Reviews

There are days when I get a lot of writing done, when the words flow and the scenes add up and there are pages and pages to show for it at the end of the day.

And then there are days like I've had this week.

Yesterday involved not one but two trips to the E.R. (One to drop off a friend who was in severe pain and then later in the day so my son could have a more intense breathing treatment than he could get at the doctor's office, so his oxygen levels would go up.) Two trips to the ER in one day is two trips too many. It also meant that I got nothing else done. It was just that kind of a day.

Today, my son was back in school. I optimistically opened my word document early this morning - probably around seven. I haven't added a word to it yet. You see, besides getting the kids off to school there was the grocery shopping to do (since that had been put off when my son was home sick) and critiques to do - oh and of course I started reading a new book, so I had to finish that. Yeah and here we are at 9 pm and I might have time now, but I'm not sure how much brain power I have left.

So it goes.

On a positive note my friend Liz B, who I've been friends with for a very long time, reviewed When Mike Kissed Emma today over at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy. Liz actually played an integral part in the writing of this story. She's the one who pointed out to me that the subplot in another story I was writing could actually serve as a stand alone story. She pulled all the scenes out and put them in one document and named it Triangle and sent it to me as proof. And that was the very beginning of When Mike Kissed Emma (although at the time the characters all had different names.)

My favorite part of the review:
There is no way I can give this book an impartial review, both because of my friendship with Chris and because I know this book, I've seen it grow, like a niece or nephew. I love this book -- but I think it's only fair for you to know that connection.
Thanks Liz!

And in the craziness that is normal life around here I don't think I ever got around to mentioning another review I got recently.

Last week, Trisha Pearson wrote about When Mike Kissed Emma over at Trisha's Tablet.

My favorite parts of that review:
Even though When Mike Kissed Emma is set against the backdrop of the production of The Sound of Music and I'm not into theatre or musicals, I really enjoyed this book.

It has a great cast of characters from dreamy Biker Mike, to the boyfriend who seems perfect but really isn't, to a jealous best friend and a difficult sister.Blockquote

All in all, I really wish this book had been published when I was a young teenager. I would have loved it!

Thanks Trisha!

The "review" that really brought a smile to my face though wasn't on a blog or anywhere for the public to see it (except my facebook friends). It was from my cousin. He's not a book reviewer and as a Dad of three teenagers and an engineer he probably doesn't read a whole lot of YA lit, read it and this is what he had to say:

I finished your book today. Nice read! It brings back all of those feelings that you have back in the school days. All of that uncertainty with yourself, the feeling of crushes, and first kisses. I think any young reader will be able easily relate to it. Even as an adult I can feel that "rush." And I think it gives the reader the message that it's okay to mess stuff up--normal really, and even expected. Things will work out. If somehow you can convince young people that the mess ups are a learning experience, and they will be stronger after the pain subsides, then there would be less stress and anxiety and maybe even less suicides. Your book shows this to the reader in a covert way while it is a fun, enjoyable read. I honestly think this book can have a real impact on young people. Congratulations on such a nice job. -Steve

Thanks Steve!

That's it for tonight. Maybe I'll even get some writing done - because I have this awesome idea for a ghost story tickling around in the back of my mind, and I'd like to get to it!