Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 40

You Won!

50,038 words.  40 days.  Writing a novel isn't glamorous.  Let me just tell you now.  My house is a wreck, I haven't showered today, I'm sick and should be in bed, but I did this.  I know how my story ends, I know what Carolyn's motivations are and writing a novel is HARD!!
J and A my hat is off to you both for all you have accomplished.  I wish I could tell you it was all magic and light and truly a lot of it is, especially when the characters start writing the story for you, but a lot of it is just hard and if you are a perfectionist like me than the number of words mean infinitely less than the power of those words.

As this is my writing journey for a year, this isn't the end and I even have about 12,000 more words to go to really beef this story up, but I reached my NaNoWriMo goal and it feels fine.

It feels more than fine.  Now I'm off to take a nap and shake this cold.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 39

708 words.  Tomorrow is the day I have to have 50,000 words.  It's late.  I spent the evening watching Remains of the Day with C and J.  Sad movie, tragic really.  Is duty more important than love?

No.  It also reminded me that sometimes lost moments can never be recaptured and some consequences are not able to rectified in this life.  Sad movie.  Beautifully filmed and acted though.  Midnight is here and I'm about to turn into a pumpkin.  C, if you have any lovely words of the remains of my day being eaten away, please dazzle in the comments.

Good night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 38

I just wrote a paragraph in my journal today.  I loved watching the snow fall today and reading The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan.  It was just a magical day with the family.
C is gearing up for the Geography Bee tomorrow.  If you could see all the questions and how hard they are.  I don't know most of the answers, but he flew through the study guide like he was blinking his eyes.
Little C is still sick.  I worry this winter we will be living in a little bubble shielding her respiratory system from the world.
T is wearing the shirt he wore when he was KISS and I like it. I promised a picture.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 37

747 words.  I just received the loveliest handwritten anonymous letter on my door. It was from one of the young women from the ward telling me how much she loves me.  It totally made my whole month!!  I love the youth!

This weekend has been one of my favorites this year.  I consistently forgot what day it was (which is normal actually), but in this case it was just because we hung out as a family and we weren't running around like chickens.  I love Thanksgiving.  It's one of my favorite holidays and one I think that gets overlooked by the world.

I will use this Thanksgiving season to let you guys know how much it means to me that you're actually reading this blog.  I love you all!  Thanks for coming here and cheering me on.  After 37 days it sometimes is really hard to take a few minutes to write, but I know that I have really awesome support and cheerleaders out there.  Thank you!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 36

46,899 words in all so far.  I think I'm going to make my goal of 50,000 by Tuesday.

That's all.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 35

1,446 words.  I am 44,039 so far and the goal is 50,000 by Tuesday.  If I just write a little over 1,000 words a day by then I will reach my goal.

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with parents and siblings.  My parents are starting to downsize.  It is just the two of them rattling around in an immense red barn house nestled in horse property.  My dad no longer owns horses, but still boards them for his friends.  It used to be a huge part of his life, but he fell off one of the horse a few years back and really hurt himself.  I am reminded that my parents are getting older.  I love them very much.  My father is a cowboy poet.  He is where any writing talent I have comes from, though I think my dramatic mother is more the writer than she thinks.  She is an avid journal writer and I think if she let herself she could weave a mighty story.

Anyway, they are splitting items up between the four siblings.  I brought home a small vase that had belonged to my father's mother.  I don't know what I will do with it, other than I remember she kept her pencils in it to do her crossword puzzles.  We would do them together.  I could never let it go to the D.I.  It was as powerful as if she was in the room, when I touched it.  I had to keep it.  I think I will give it to C, to keep his pens in on his own desk when he does his homework.  Funny how simple objects remind us so powerfully of people we have loved so deeply.

I miss her.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 34

57 words.  Do you know why?  I sat up late into the night reading the book Olive Kitteridge.  I can't fault the writing.  It is tight.  It is good.

The literary world has fallen over themselves rewarding it with the highest honor, the Pulitzer.

 I am writing now purely on emotions and it is very late, but these are my thoughts.  This book was Godless, soulless, without beauty or moral and everyone in it was not just flawed, they all killed themselves or wanted to kill others or beat others or cheated on others and the whole time it was written as if that was completely normal and it must be because of the former President who the author obviously detests.

The main character was Jezebel herself and yet we are supposed to hold her up as some model because sometimes she slips and accidentally says something profound after beating her child and treating her husband like dog doo.

Really?  I can't stop thinking about the ONE and only writer's conference I went too.  They didn't want anything pure or lovely.  They only wanted edgy.  They took themselves seriously.  They had nothing to do with God.  I don't want to be a "serious" author if that's how that world is.

After I got my Bachelor's Degree in English, I ultimately wanted to get my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.   I have changed my mind.  Yes, I would be taken more seriously, but it is obvious I would have to compromise who and what I am in order to do it.

I'll pass, thanks.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 33

85 words today.  I picked up a pen and a notebook and tonight I'm hashing out all of the character's secrets.  I have to make sure I know what the point of this story is.  I know, I know I should have already had all that worked out, but my style is one word at a time.  In this case though I need all the help I can get.  We will see if this works.  I only have until next Tuesday to write around 7,200 words in order to reach 50,000 by the National Novel Writing Month deadline. 

Tonight I am huddling together with the fam watching the BLIZZARD.  That and watching Barbie Fashion Fairytale for the upteenth time.  Is it wrong to admit that I like the movie...music, fashion, "Hey C, let's watch it again!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 32

1147 words.  All Caroline.  Writing early today, so I can go to bed early tonight.  That's all I've got today.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 31

The only words I am writing today are the words on this blog.  Tender mercy:  the change in pressure isn't causing me pain.  I'm stoked...I'm also grumpy.  Sorry, T.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 30

947 words.

I am at a loss.  I am just writing words to write them.  T says I need to sit down and interview Caroline.  She is strong, she does what needs to be done, and her scenes are dull.  I wouldn't even use her POV, but I think if I can figure it out it will be pivotal to the story.

A says I'm just afraid to write the ending and what happens to Q and she's probably right.  Sorry, I'm not meaning to whine and say poor me.  I know I've already written about being afraid to fail at this.  I used to write when days were dark and I had no voice, no outlet.  I used to write because the words on the page were addressed to the only friend I had, my Savior.

I was 16 and I had to leave a place I loved.  I had to leave someone I had finally found again, me.  I fit, I was somebody.  And I entered a world where I was nobody, where I had to be someone I wasn't to fit in and I couldn't do it.  I was living someone else's life and there was nothing I could do about it.

I cried everyday until the tears were long gone and then I just did what I was supposed to.  I got up, I walked to the bus, I went to school, I came home, I haunted the mailbox living for letters, and I went to bed.  I didn't eat.  I don't remember smiling.  My mother gave permission for me to live with a family in CA I had babysat for.  I fled and I didn't look back.  I went back to where I had started even knowing that it wasn't God's will for my life.  It didn't take long for me to realize that things weren't the same.  Things could never be the same.  And as much as I fought to admit it, I wasn't the same.  My friends hadn't changed, their circumstances hadn't changed, but I had.  Tragedy had marked me, my sorrow and my journey in accepting and overcoming made me different from the crowd.

I remember the night I knew I had to go home to my family.  Pride choked me and I couldn't call my parents.  I called the only person I could think of, my Grandma.  I told her I needed help.  I was all alone and I needed to go home.  Within days I was on the plane.  My parents greeted me at the airport.  We didn't speak much on the way home.  My siblings were waiting for me at home.  We were little more than strangers at that time, since my world hadn't been inside the walls of my own home for quite a while.

I remember that same night getting on my knees.  I told the Lord that I was sorry and I would do His will.  I would change my attitude and do the best I could with all that I had.  That's when I wrote.  I filled notebooks; triumphs, sorrows, prayers, longings, gratitude.  My heart changed, my life changed.  There were angel friends almost immediately.  I begin to fit even though I was a somewhat bent puzzle piece, the other pieces moved around until I worked my way in and found my place.  I wrote to live, I wrote to breathe, I wrote to give thanks.

I want my writing to make a difference.  I want my writing to help someone, touch someone, teach someone.
But I don't want to fail on the thing that saved me, turned my life around.  I feel like if I fail at this, I somehow won't fit. 

 I tell this story because it has every thing to do with the novel I am writing.  I gave this part of my life wings and let it fly away a long time ago, but that's the beauty of writing, you can weave the story in your heart and give it life and learn from it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 29

Tomorrow marks one month that I've been doing this!  Word count tonight 1,029.  I'm writing a new scene.  It takes place in this amazing park I used to go to when I was a tween.  I haven't been there since 8th grade.

I need to take a trip before all this is done.  I need to go back to this town and see it, smell it, breathe it in.  I need to do this to really give it authenticity.  I can see so much of it in my memory, but just the electricity of experiencing it again will impact this story.  I have no idea if and when this would  be possible, but I need to do it.

Went vintage shopping today.  I am giddy.  The deals were incredible and the clothes...aww yah.  Slowly, I am going to replace all the stuff in my closet with pieces like this.  I'm still on a journey to go to that one downtown with the mean guy and his cat.  That's my next adventure.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 28

22 words and tons of revising.  Do you know what those 22 words mean?  They mean I am stalling.  I am putting chapters together, bundling up all my scenes and yet the inevitable writing of an ending that had better be pretty cool and all make sense is looming like JAWS outside my literary boat.

I have no idea what is going to happen.  J reminded me tonight that it has always worked out for me with the short stories, but ending a novel?  Ugh...

It's Carolyn's part.  The part that is blocked and that's the key.  I know it. 

How long can I put this off?  I still need to write 22,000 words and they aren't all the ending.  I had better get going.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 27

Tons of revising today.  Total word count: 39,385.  Either all of my scenes need to be longer, or I need a lot more scenes.  The humdrum is hard for me to write.  I can do the chilling scenes, the scenes that snap, crackle and pop, but oh the mundane.  That is by far the toughest part for me.

After Enrichment stayed up until almost 1 AM chatting with M.  Missed that, it was nice, though I was tired this morning.  R and L you both did a fantastic job with your presentations by the way.   I hope you like the camp story, T.  Trying to be more comfortable sharing all of my writing.

I want to thank ALL of you for being so supportive of this venture.  I feel so blessed.  Thank you. 

Here's to a good night's sleep.  Thursday is my busiest day of the week and tomorrow is no exception. :)

PS-I thank you, C, for the John Doe epiphany.  I'm running with it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 26

Only 227 words today on the novel.  262 words on something else I'm working on.  I am supposed to give a small presentation tonight at Enrichment Night and so admittedly most of my thoughts are on that today.    I've been getting to bed too late, so somehow I need to manage my time better.  All I do is dream of naps during the day and it used to be that I napped when my daughter did, but now she's having quiet time and I'm writing just to get it all done.  I used to sleep in on Saturdays a little bit, but now I do my file job for about three hours on Sat. mornings to try and offset some of the Pilates' costs.  I like doing it when it's quiet at the office.  I can get more done and have the place to myself. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 25

997 words.  I think I could write more, but the 5 DOZEN cookies I'm supposed to bake for a school party for tomorrow are screaming my name.   I slept today.  I mean practically the whole day.  Who does that?  It's like I work and play so hard all weekend that I need Monday to rest up.  When I woke up, my poor little daughter had eaten an entire box of Wheat Thins in protest.
Have I mentioned she is blending one vowel families?  Oz, ib et, am, ut, and the like.  I have a future wordsmith on my hands...ok a second one. :) 

The ending of my story is still a complete mystery.  The mom walks through her daughter's door and...that's all I got.  What is she going to find?  I can do this...I can do this...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 24

Wrote more on my Grandmother piece.  Had a great talk with my friend T and her hubby made us a mean rouge vit d'etemps. (who knows on that spelling?)  It essentially mean pumpkin soup in francais.  Delish.  We talked about some of our favorite authors and how they were able to write what they've written.  I felt a little overwhelmed.  We talked about Suzanne Collins having a dream and it influencing her writing Hunger Games and that she can write as opposed to that other dreamer Stephanie Meyers.  Maybe the key is I need to dream more...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 23

True story.  I just went to our garage door silently telling myself that a creature wasn't going to pop out at me after seeing the single worst movie in history.  As I laughed at myself for being jittery, the said door burst open and I screamed bloody murder.   It was just T who had forgotten the grocery list for his weekly Sat. night grocery shopping.  We just got back from seeing the movie Skyline with our super cool buds J and B.

Seriously, it is the worst movie I have seen since...ever really.  I'm afraid it's affecting my writing tonight.  My brain literally feels softer.  Dude, I need to watch Gone With the Wind or Little Women or Anne of Green Gables or read them since they are also among my fave books.  Something beautiful again.

Only 179 words on my story, but another 680 on a piece I'm writing about the Grandmother I adore and miss terribly. 

I miss her every day of my life. I carry a piece of her with me I think. I can feel her with me, she's not far off.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 22

16 words, only two sentences.  I overdid it yesterday and am now way tired.  Don't worry, I haven't lost the will to do this, I just am running a little faster than I have strength.  Will catch an early night's sleep and back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day 21

Only 39 words and down to the wire too.  Today included Physical Therapy, an hour of Pilates with my trainer, a little while filing at work, spending time with my daughter, the temple, writing group, and hanging out with C.  It is only a few minutes until this day is officially over. To be honest, I was lucky to get those 39 words on paper.  Oh, and I could count the words in the poem I wrote for our writer's prompt, but I won't.

I watched the movie Julie/Julia last night and it reminded me again that her cooking every day for a year is what prompted me to write every day for a year.  I first wanted to name this blog A Novel Idea or The Novel Idea, but both those sites were taken.  As I looked them up, both of them have never had anything done with them and I thought what a waste.  I don't want This Novel Idea to have the same fate and I am determined that it won't. 

Good Night.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 20

Only 45 words today.  My dear friend C brought me a writer's magazine from the library and it inspired me to put all my scenes in order and focus on my HCMs or Heart Clutching Moments and put them in order.  Trust me, in this story there are a lot of those.  I finally feel that by doing this, I have a lot more control over my story and that's it not 125 pages worth of scenes all hodgepodged together.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 19

697 words.  This feels like exercising.  Isn't it thirty days until something becomes a habit?  I barely blog on my other blog and doing this daily is tough.  I feel like anything I write on this blog is super boring. 

Wrote again today.  This many words.  Blah, blah, blah.  But then I guess I am doing this to stay motivated, to stay focused on the end goal which is to finish a novel, learn how to write, achieve something I felt prompted to do.  Still, every day blogging from the random thoughts of my own brain?  Yawn fest.

I wish I had some great words of wisdom.  So I will say this.  I have found in making my goals and the ones I have stuck to: diet 2 years on Thanksgiving, temple over a year, Pilates 4 1/2 months, and writing 19 days is just a choice.  I plow my way through.  It isn't always pretty or polished, but I just keep picking one foot up and then the other. 

Wish I could do that with everything in my life.  I am trying.

The End

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day 18

946 words today.  38,649 thus far.

I think the editing process is what's going to be hard for me.  I've got a great scene and then I will write what I think is another great scene and then I realize that there are some redundancies.  The writing is fun, the editing seems like a chore.  But I know both are vital.  Luckily, I have friends who are brilliant editors...hint...hint...

I'm tired.  I've run around today.  On a good note, I've found brown boots.  My world is right.  I am having a hard time holding my neck on top of my head.  That is a sure indication that I am way over tired.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 17

59 written words, but bore my testimony of the Savior in Sacrament Meeting.  I spoke my words today. :)  Happy Sabbath.  Back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day 16

Word count: 2,220

I wrote a scene and ten pages just poured out of me.  A long scene.  Having said that, I am extremely worried.  What if I crash and burn?  I have no idea what I'm doing.  This is a huge undertaking.  What if I finish it and it's awful?  I'm such a novice.  The characters come to life for me, but all my flaws as a writer haunt me as I try to pull this all together.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 15

2,408 words today.

Oh, and the story took an unexpected turn.  Gotta like that.  I pretty much have the arc of the story, just working on the climatic scene and the ending.  Other than that, just need to elongate some of my scenes.  There are a couple more scenes that I need to write, but the scene today just wrote itself. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 14

Word count: 1880

Want to keep going, but too tired.  102 pages down.  I'm worried.  The first pages are great, the characters are sharp and now they seem different.  It's like doing a paint treatment in a room and stopping one day and starting the next day.  There's going to be an uneven line or at least you are going to see where you ended off and then where you started again.  I learned at my writing conference to leave bread crumbs so I remembered what I had been writing the day before, but my characters seem so different to me now than they did at the beginning.

I write scene by scene but not necessarily in order.  Editing this is going to be tough.  I don't know what I'm doing.   The bad guy in this story is so multifaceted.  He is capable of great evil, but I am not convinced he's evil.  I know that sounds strange.  I hope the ending surprises me like in my short stories.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 13

Word Count: 1,120 plus tons of revising.

I have 31,195 words.  My goal is 62,000 so I am a tiny bit over half of my goal.  I can't wait to keep writing, but I need to do Pilates and go to bed.  It's a good thing when I don't want to stop writing, right?  I've got to pace myself.  I only allow myself to write after the kids go to bed.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 12

Word count: 2,100

I'm in scary territory.  I have no idea what's going to happen.  I am 93 pages in and I am writing the scene, the one in which the action, the suspense all culminates and I'm not sure how it's going to end.  One word at a time, yikes.  The motivation of one of the character's is obvious to me now and another character is still a mystery.  I haven't felt this excited about writing since I was a finalist for the ghost story.  In that one I could hear the voices of my characters.  I don't with this story and it makes it harder. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 11

Word count: 3,898

I received a beautiful email from my lovely friend A this morning.  Through her profound and tender words, I was reminded of something that I already knew, instinctively as part of my own soul.  That in this quest of writing everyday of the year that the Sabbath day will be something different, something sacred.  That I will still set aside time for writing, but it will be of a nature in which I am writing of Christ, that I am writing of my testimony.  She reminded me of the opportunities of writing an article for a church magazine or in my journal.  I know that I will have to put forth that much more effort the other six days, but I was reminded of something else too, that I know that Lord will bless me in my efforts.  I remembered that I can pray each day before I sit down to write that He will help my words get from my heart to the page and that He will lead me in this journey.  I also realized that it’s not about the end result, ie, getting published, but about what this exercise will do in making me a writer.

As a thank you for being a part of the road show, the sweet YM/YW gave us a Doctrine and Covenants series of maps, charts, quotes, and movies including the new Joseph Smith movie that is still at the JS memorial building.  I liken what JS said as they were building the Kirtland temple. “We are not just building a temple for the Lord.  The Lord is also building us.”  This experience will build me, regardless of what happens if I let it, if I let Him be a part of it.

Have 89 pages so far of this novel.  Total word count 25,967.  Final goal around 62,000 so over a third of the way there.