Hi, 2017!

2017

Our gift from 2017 is snow.

Deep SnowLots and lots of snow. And cold. Yeah, we got some cold here. Both the weather cold and the virus cold. Not fun together. But, we’re getting past the virus cold.

I’ve cleared the drive and sidewalk on an almost daily basis. The back yard is about knee-deep in the white stuff. There are days I sit in the sun room and look out over the snow and see the beauty. Especially when there is a sun break and it glistens. As I’m writing this (Monday, Jan. 9, 2017), it is snowing again–okay, it was. it stopped again. But, I’ve already cleared the drive and walk twice. We got about four to five inches overnight, and a couple more during the day. The forecast calls for a bit more snow this afternoon and into tomorrow.

The picture on the right shows that our Santa and Baby Jesus decoration is about buried. I shot this photo a few days ago. This morning, the snow completely buried Baby Jesus and you can just see Santa’s hands.

If you followed this blog through the fall, you know I completed a first draft of the third novel in the Spirit Missions series during November. Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers are doing well. I’ll dive into this first draft now and do some rewriting. I know I left some things out in the mad rush of NaNoWriMo to hit the 50,000 word mark, and I know I need to work more on the main character’s internal dialog. So, I have my work cut out for me for the next month or so.

Then there is the ending. That’s the part I need to clean up between where I left off at the end of November, and the Epilogue I wrote to kind of wrap up the series. If you read Amy’s Lesson or The Gift, the related short stories I posted here, you’ll get some hints about some of the things that happen in this third installment.

So, here’s hoping for a productive 2017. Let’s all stay healthy, happy, and warm.

Keep writing.

(PS: Yeah, it snowed last night. Two more inches. I gotta have faith that it will stop sometime soon. 😉

Day Twenty-Two

Home Stretch

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200This is Day Twenty-two. My word count is at 39,707 words. I wrote 3,047 words today, and I’m averaging 1,804 word per day now.

By this time next week, I should have passed the 50,000 word mark for NaNoWriMo-2016 and be well on the way to my personal goal of 60,000. Or, I’ll be done with the first draft.

Things are going along very well. I’ve done my best to lay waste to much of North Carolina (the setting), and develop my main character, Amy. I’m pretty excited about how this is working out.

Some of my writing friends on Twitter are doing well, too. I do my best to encourage and support them as we make our way through this month of writing.

It isn’t as hard as folks might think. And it is. The key is getting started. Once you start, it isn’t hard to keep going. There is the struggle each day to pull up the application and open the document and pick up where you left off. But, that just takes about a half-cup of coffee.

The other day I had this great idea for an epilogue. Yesterday I wrote the epilogue as part of my work. It gave me a finishing framework within which I’ll work the rest of the novel.

So, things are going well, even with a little travel and some interruptions. I’m on track and making progress, and within about 15,000 words of a finish.

Keep writing!

 

Day Fifteen

Halfway

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200This is Day Fifteen. The word count for today is 3,470. I’m averaging 2,019 words per day. My total as of today is: 30,299. This is half way through the month and half way to the end of NaNoWriMo 2016.

If my goal was 50,000 words–which is the goal for NaNoWriMo–I would be three-fifths the way to the word count goal. But, my personal goal is about 60,000 words, so I’m halfway there.

I’m cheerleading friends on Twitter and Facebook. Some even cheer me back, and that is a wonderful thing. I like seeing friends succeed at this as much as I like succeeding at it.

Both Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers, the first two books in the Spirit Missions series, were the result of first drafts done during NaNoWriMo. No, they didn’t go from that to published right away. They went through numerous rewrites, edits, revisions, and more edits. That’s what got them the “Spirit Filled” awards and the great ratings and reviews on Amazon.

So, this project, working title of Alien Alliance, will have a similar process. Edits, rewrites, more edits, revisions, all that. Of course, my wife will be my first reader because … well, she IS my wife. And she deserves a reward for her patience.

The main character, Amy, appeared in the first two books. She was the secondary character to Paul in those, but this time, she’s the main character. There are reasons for that. But, I’m not spilling any beans here. You’ll have to wait for the book to come out.

Can you tell, yet, that I’m having a great time putting this one together? Well, I am. Yeah, there are days when it is hard to sit down and hammer out the story. But, I try to push through. The last two days I’ve logged more than 3,000 words each. That helps. Holidays are coming. I’ll need the buffer.

Keep writing.

 

Day Eight

Day Eight

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200I just finished writing on day eight of NaNoWriMo 2016. So far, I’m averaging a little over 2,000 words per day. Today’s count was 2,150 words. I’m kind of hitting it as a chapter each day. Tomorrow, I’ll start with a fresh chapter. That seems to work pretty well.

So far, the total word count on NaNoWriMo is 16,179. the NaNoWriMo November target is 50,000 words. My personal target is 60,000 words. I should hit that with no problem. I include about 2,000 words in the personal target from some effort prior to NaNoWriMo.

This story uses Amy Grossman’s point of view. She has a bit more internal dialogue than if it was from a male point of view and I’m having a lot of fun with it. The hard part is getting it right when things get tough. And things are getting tough. I’m already thinking of what I have to rewrite tomorrow to do a better job of expressing Amy’s …

Whoops, don’t want to give anything away.

The working title is Alien Alliance. I have a feeling this title won’t work well and a couple of ideas have come up since I started the book.

Those of you who’ve been waiting for this, know that it is in progress. After November, I’ll let it “cool” for a few weeks, then get into the editing, rewriting, and polishing phases. This is a lot of work. I’m hoping to hire my editor again and she’ll help get this story in it’s best shape.

For now, though, I’m hitting it hard every day and increasing the word count. Lots of action. Interesting characters. Can’t wait until we can get this finished and out to the public.

It’s amazing how much fun this can be.

Keep writing.

 

First Day

First Daynanowrimo_2016_webbadge_participant-200

Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo 2016. That’s National Novel Writing Month to those of you not paying attention.

I started at midnight. I joined fellow writers at Denny’s on North Division in Spokane just a little before midnight on Halloween, set up the laptop and got ready.

Apple crisp and coffee. Check.

Scrivener up with new document. Check.

Power. Check.

Our municipal liaison got everyone ready and counted down. At 12:00 midnight, we all started.

I wrote for about an hour and got a little more than 600 words into the new first draft. Then I packed it up and drove home. Had I not just spent the day getting ready for Halloween, spending the evening wondering if we would get any trick-or-treaters and playing with the grandkids that did show up, I might have stayed longer.

As it is, I had an early errand. Once done, we got home and I got busy again. So, I got a total of 1,883 words. Nice start for the first day.

If you do the math, you realize you can average about 1,667 words per day for 30 days you’ll have 50,000 words. But, November has holidays and other interruptions that will tear into your word count quickly if you don’t put a little more on your daily word count. In the past, I tried to stick to 2,200 words. That helps cover those days where you just have too much to do with the family.

Like Thanksgiving.

Black Friday.

Football.

You get the idea.

If you stumble one or two days and fall behind, know that with some determination and grit, you can get back in the race. Try to keep your goals sustainable. Write on!

Keep writing.

P.S. By the way, today, November 1, is National Author’s Day. Yipee!