Camp Nano and Other Updates

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It’s nearing the end of April and that means the end of National Novel Writing Month’s first Camp Nano of the year is coming to an end. With my birthday and Easter both landing in April this year, as well as coming into the month way behind on the house work, I opted out of the challenge this month. To all the crazy Nanoers out there who are attempting, best of luck on the home stretch!

In other news, I’ve been absent from my blog for two reasons: I don’t have home internet, I have to use my grandmother’s connection, but that should be fixed this spring. Second, I was hired by a publisher to put out a series of romance novels under the pen name Megan Faust and part of the contract was blogging five times each week on Megan’s blog. That kept me too busy to update my own blog (unfortunately).

I can’t promise how often I’ll be able to update but I’m hoping for once each week. I have plans for several blog entries, and series, on the craft of writing, the challenges of writing, and creating in general, when you have preschool aged children, and the minefield of freelance writing that I’ve been attempting to navigate this past year.

The Home Stretch

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Okay, it’s July 23rd, coming into the last week of camp, and some things have happened to partially derail my progress. First of all, I hit two zero-word-count days, in a row, and several low word count days. Various things, including procuring house insurance and a mailing address, and visiting relatives, sort of took priority. But that’s cool because I’ve already topped 50k and in Camp you can alter your word count goal.

So today I dropped my goal to 70k instead of 80k which puts my remaining daily goal at 1300 words per day. That’s less intimidating that 2700 words per day. So, what am I even working on at this point?

Well, Pants on Fire (working title was Liar, Liar) was successfully finished and published (and apparently hit the Top 61 list for free titles on Amazon over the weekend – according to my publisher). It’s available for about a dollar.

I finished Nightmare of Eden (at just under the 4k mark) and sent it away to Horrified Press for their Nightmare Walkers and Dream Stalkers anthology. I’m waiting to hear back. I hate waiting.

I finished We Will Not Go Quietly (at just over 8k) and printed it off for major editing. My dad is currently reading it because I needed a second set of eyes. It’s being sent off to Fox Spirit Press in the UK for their Girl at the End of the World anthology.

I have started my next novella, Race to Redemption, and it’s sitting at just over 4k. I have to have it completed by September 15th, or earlier. I need another 12k to finish Camp so that should put the novella around 20k – halfway. Since I have some long, intense, racing scenes and some intense sex scenes to write I think hitting 40-50k total should be easy.

So, why September 15 when I wrote Pants on Fire in 8 days? For one thing, I just got back from a three day trip out of province for my great uncle’s 80th birthday (travelling 10 hours with two children, ages 1.5 years and 3 years, was interesting and exhausting). For another, I move into my first house on the first of August which means a lot of packing, cleaning, and unpacking in the next two weeks. Then there’s the one week trip to the Royal Tyrell Museum so my son can see dinosaurs and the one year anniversary of my mother’s passing, and a house warming party. With all that (oh and a pair of mittens to knit for my friend’s mom and a baby blanket to crochet for my sister’s little one, due in November), my plate is heaping!

But, writing is my love and my livelihood so write I must and write I will.

You can find Off the Market, and Pants on Fire at Amazon.com/ca/uk for a dollar each. Race to Redemption will be available late in September and will be the first in the Turbo Charged Series (followed by Race to Recovery and Race to Romance).

PS – I’m looking for more titles in the theme of Race to …. if you have any ideas please comment. They don’t have to start with an ‘R’ but it would be cute if they did!

Signing off …

Camp Nanowrimo Check In

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Halfway through the month now and time for my second check in. In the last week I wrote two short stories – no where near as impressive as the 30k novella I wrote in the first week but still, I’m happy with it.

The first short was a 4k story about a dream demon. I submitted it to an anthology being put out by Horrified Press (you can find them here on Word Press). I’m still waiting on a reply. I’m nervous, I hate waiting, but the way I figure it is this: it’s been a week and still no rejection so they’re at least considering it, right?

The second short finished at just over 8k (well below the 10k cut off) and was written for an anthology being released by Fox Spirit Books, a small UK press. This is the apocalyptic story I had in mind. Once camp is over I’ll be doing an overview post on that post apocalyptic future I have in mind. The story is written and I’ve edited it and handed it over to my father who has a sharp eye for grammar and general narrative flow. I’m hoping to have it submitted before the end of the month.

So, what’s next? Well, Overhauled and From the Ground Up were nixed by the publisher so I had to find a new project: A 30k romance novella about dirt track race car drivers. I’m about 3k in and I have it all outlined. There were a few slow days there but since I’m at 52k I think I should be able to hit 80k by the end of the month. This novella will probably take me until the 28th to write, and then I’ll have three days to pack before moving into my first house.

I’ll check in one last time when my word count is met. To my fellow campers: KEEP WRITING!!

Signing off …

(PS, has anyone ever counted how many words ALL Nano campers wrote in a single month? I’d love to see how many millions of words were put to paper in a month by a lot of crazy novelists)

The Way the Muse Turns

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Okay, July 8th, just a day over the first week of Nano and what a start to the month it’s been. My original goal was to write 50,000 words in 31 days. The first 30k were to be a romance novella, then a 10k short story, then two 4k shorts (48k) and then 2k on my next romance novella.

Well, my muse has run away with me. I’ve completely abandoned the 4k shorts. I’ve decided they aren’t suitable for the contest I wanted to put them in and I’m not interested in writing them right now. I’ve put the 10k story on the backburner and replaced it with a different 10k short. And I’ve upped my word goal to 80,000 words in 31 days.

So where am I going to make up those last 60k? I’m going to write two more romance novellas. I wrote one back in May. (Off the Market is available on Amazon for about a dollar) and I had planned to write two more, following the MC’s two younger siblings. The publisher didn’t need anything in that sub-genre so I wrote my camp project, Liar Liar, which has just been sent off.

Yeah, you’re reading that right. 30k in 8 days. A new record and the reason I’m upping my word goal to match. With that out of the way I plan to write those two proposed romance novellas and store them until the publisher wants them. Then I’m going to write my short story.

Instead of a short story about a girl in an apocalyptic situation I’m writing one about a dream demon at the beginning of the world. Very excited and looking forward to entering it for consideration in an anthology.

But it’s getting close to bed time for my two little distractions, and I’m rewarding myself with junk food and a movie tonight. Tomorrow my husband is giving me 8 hours to sit at the library and write. And I plan to write 5k on a romance novella and 5k on my short.

I’ll check in at the next milestone!

Signing off…

Camp Nano Schedule

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Well, it’s officially July and I’m participating in Camp Nano. Check out www.nanowrimo.org for details on the event.

I will be doing 4 separate projects this month for a total word count of 50,000 words in 31 days. My first project is a romance novella I was contracted to write. It is titled Liar, Liar and the contract requires 30,000 words. When that’s done I have a short story I want to write for a possible anthology about women in “end of the world” scenarios. 5-10k word limit, I’ll be luck to keep it under 10k. The last 10k will be two short stories for another possible anthology. These are titled “Through the Open Door” and “No Place Like Home”. Technically they have to max out at 4k each leaving me 2k short for the month so the last 2k will be jumpstarting my next romance novella – Overhauled.

That’s 1667 words per day with 1667 extra words up for grabs with the extra day (since Nano is only 30 days).

Then, on August 1st I take possession of my new house while trying to maintain a grueling writing schedule, but more on that in August.

Liar, Liar should be complete by July 18th. My end of the world story should be done by the 24th. The two short stories I’ll work on whenever my muse abandons me and I should have them done by the 28th. That leaves 3 days to start Overhauled or catch up whatever isn’t yet finished.

How does a mother of two accomplish something like this? My birthday happens to be in April and for my birthday this year I asked for 1 day a month where I could go to the library for 8 hours to get caught up on my writing. Since I was house hunting in May, and since June was full of Real Estate paperwork and family visits I missed 2 of those work days. So I will be claiming 3 library shifts this month. Three Tuesdays of peace and quiet and no internet connection. I should fly through this.

Also, I work by hand a lot. I keep a 6×9 notebook by my side and as long as my kids aren’t trying to kill each other I write. I can type an average of 40 WPM and max out at 90 WPM so if I’m copying my WPM is higher than if I’m trying to create while I write. That always speeds up the process.

I’m an avid outliner so by July 1st I’ll have all 4 pieces outlined, scene-by-scene which will cut down on the stop and think time and increase available writing time.

Lastly, I won’t be on here as often. Actually, it’s the 27th of June as I type this and schedule it for July 1st release. I’ll try to check in upon the completion of each mini goal and at the end of the month.

Signing off for at least a week …

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