Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Off and writing ..and now to bed!

I stayed up ... to midnight, to get started. I just had to do it that way!

I was SO touched by my husband's show of support! He went to bed, a very exhausted man after having started back up at therapy today. 2 hours of physical & respiratory therapy! 3 hours if you include travel time! He went to bed at 10 pm, and set the alarm for midnight to get up and give me a good luck kiss!! How lucky am I?


My word count is only 486 ...but's 486 to the start.

I've put the exerpt on my page on Nano ...

So, anyway to bed for me ... tomorrow we go pay some bills and are going antique shopping to buy some blue willow china for a muse for me.

The adrenaline rush!

Hi everyone... and thank you to Mary for being so patient with my whacked-out giddy self that I asked to join this blog yet forgot to send her my email addy. *hangs head in shame*

Just a quick hello since Fate has decided that the start of my very first NaNo adventure wouldn't be complete without inflicting not one, but TWO sick kids on me - heh. So inbetween administering cough suppressant and cold compressed to feverish foreheads, I wrote me about 2000 words tonight. *beams*

Good luck to my fellow WriMos, and may your Muses work overtime for no extra pay, and leave you a few cookies too.


PS My NaNo name is MadyV, but it's showing my blogger name as momsie564 since I already have a blog here.

Here I am...

...stuck in the middle with you. All of you. And I'm glad to be here.

I'm already feeling overwhelmed by the month and it hasn't even started yet. Yikes. I'm sure I'll get over it though - I have a huge desire to be a NaNo winner this time instead of just an 'also ran' if you know what I mean.

So, best of luck to everyone. I know we're all winners!!


Day One

Hi NaNo Writers

I made the decision to do this only yesterday - have been surprised by what came out in my first morning of writing - obviously a very, very rough draft but I've enjoyed the freedom of that - and it has opened up a triangle of characters and a rough structure that I feel excited about pursuing. Looking forward to tomorrow and the next 1700 words...

Happy writing...


Housekeeping: Sidebar Stuff

Since I don't have enough to do, I went ahead and added some links to our roster on the sidebar. For those with more than one blog (in addition to this one), please either
  1. Let me know via comments or email which blog you want linked to, or
  2. Go to the setup page and do it yourself, if you're HTML gifted (or have read HTML for Dummies, which is all I've done.)
I also added "2007" before NaNoWriMo in the header. Like I said, I need a life. Then again, as of tomorrow I don't think I'll have the time. Then yet again, I might very well find myself doing it instead of writing. This stuff is addictive.

Day 1 Check In

Num Words: 1646
Total Num Words: 1646
Comment: Just shy I the minimum daily workcount. Maybe it will take me less time tomorrow.


Character Help

This may sound silly, but out of curiosity I downloaded the High School workbook for the Young Writer's program on NaNo. It's a very complete workbook that asks you to fill in questions about your characters, plot, etc. I've just sat down to fill some of it out and have discovered that it's been extremely useful in filling in some of the gaps I've been missing. For instance, I now know why my MC is at her job (instead of "just because"), what her pet peeves are, etc. - all fodder for more words toward the final word count.

If you're interested in checking it out, go here :

Right, back to the workbook...

1 Day left...

Thanks so much to #1 Dinosaur for inviting me to join. I feel so special now.

As an introduction, this is my second year doing Nano. I "won" last year with a silly little chick lit novel called Crash Test Dummy of Love that I immensely enjoyed creating. This year I'm going to try my hand at a mystery novel written in the silly little chick lit style. (sorry folks, I can't help it).

Premise of the novel: The MC is an art director at a crappy little local magazine. She begins to notice odd words and letters appearing randomly throughout ads she's placing and investigates. Through her sleuthing, she discovers a conspiracy that leads all the way up to the Governor. Mafia thugs, casinos, a hunky FBI agent, a motorcycle named Greta and tiny little bog turtles will all play a part by the time I'm done. I'd tell you more, but I don't even know how it will go. I suppose I should outline this thing to keep it on track, but where's the adventure in that?

Last year I tried to loosely outline my story but by the time I hit mid-November, the story had suddenly taken on a life of it's own. It ended up writing itself. Many times I'd sit down not knowing where it would go and my MC would take me there. Kind-of freaky, but a nice freaky all the same.

I have a few things left to work out - The name of the MC, the name of the FBI guy and just how many people are involved in this conspiracy - y'know, minor things. I do have to say though with all that's missing from my story, my MC is almost flushed out completely including the fact that she has a weakness for Mai Tais and men who live dangerously. Well, who doesn't? *wink*

I'm excited for the month to begin and I'm very pleased to be a part of this group. Looking forward to spending NaNo with you!

Ready... Set... Go!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

fried brains anyone?

ok ... I tried ... I tried to get a couple of counters that would give us information that we needed to know. My favorite ... I've used my limit on and they wouldn't let me put another free blog on. BLEH.

So, I went to another couple of them. First one ...looked great ... then as more people started to join ... I realized ...unless they know sign language, as I do, they probably can't read the numbers and have no clue when a 3 is a 3 or a 6 or a 9 ... woops.

So, I added a couple of more ...

Then, I added the names with the intention of adding links back to their own blogs ... but alas, I'm not that technical saavy and my brain has been fried beyond all repair ... and if someone knows how to use it ...more power to ya!


3, 2,1 ...

I've decided to spend the last day (its October 31 here) teasing out some of the story ideas. More importantly, I think, I need to start thinking about the conflict. I've got the overarching theme covered, and the essential problem that drives the story, but what I learnt from my first novel attempt is that each scene needs to have the point-of-view character in conflict against something or someone. I need to start finding the answers to the questions:

What are they trying to get?
What is stopping them from getting it?

The answers to these questions propels the protagonist toward the climax.

My characters have to spend a lot of time in chose proximity to each other and rely on each other for companionship and getting through the day in camping situation over an extended period of time. This tends to magnify any problems in the relationship that can normally be swept away by getting busy somewhere else in their lives while at home.

Over the course of the trip, the main character implodes and all the frustrations and bitterness pushed down over the past 45 years propel her to the climax of the story. And it ain't pretty.

So, today I need to start thinking about what each of those events is and exactly what happens at the end of them that unfolds the conclusion.

Looks like a big day.


Here I am

This is a big step for me. I've been toying with the idea of *actually* writing down some of the ideas that I've had for some time; I actually started a writing class (then took a multi-year leave of absence, finally restarting this year) in an effort to learn some discipline in the world of writing.

I hope that the potential humiliation of not finishing will spur me to the end!

Best of luck to everyone over the next month.

Moral Dilemma

My day is off to a good start, I had a dilemma in not being able to figure out for the life of me how to spell dilemma. I need coffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Ok, here is my dilemma: My main character is going to be a young girl with an eating disorder. I was trying to decide if she was flirting with behaviors, or if she really HAD one or not. The more I work on her character, and family dynamics ...etc... the more I know; she has a full blown eating disorder.

The question is ... how much of the eating disordered behavior do I let slip into the book? Ya know, IF it goes to publishing, I don't want to give anyone any idea's (which is ...quite frankly how I started purging) but I also want to make it clear the extent of her eating disorder?

Should I put it in during NaNo while going for the 50,000 and as part of developing the story ... and then edit out what is extreme and likely to trigger those with a disorder? Or do I just leave the behaviors beyond the least obvious ones (playing with food on the plate, etc) in the character development stuff that never makes it to the novel?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Physical descriptions of characters

Believe it or not, I don't read very many fictional novels, maybe 1 per year, if that. I'm not used to reading how long works of fiction play out.

One thing I never liked when writing is the early-in-the-story physical descriptions of characters and locations. Just plain old "here is what so-and-so looks like and here is how old she is and she lives in Minnesota, which looks like this in the Spring" stuff.

How important is it to just describe what a character looks like physically early in the book? I usually let little bits and pieces of it come out throughout the story, which means I get to avoid lengthy descriptions, but leave my readers with no one to really picture early on.

I'm Here

Thanks a gazillion for the invitation, folks. I'm truly honored.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to post in generalities, because I signed up for NaNo under my real name (because I was a NaNo'er before I was a blogger) so if I'm too specific, you could find me on the NaNo site and then I'm out of the closet. Not that I wouldn't tell you anything you wanted to know anyway, but only privately in an email. To the blogosphere at large, I'm #1 Dinosaur.

As it is, I can't post my title on NaNo because I already posted it on my blog. I'm going with "The Phlebotomist," the "take this job and shove it" fantasy love story.

Status: Remembering that I've been cogitating about this story for months, if not years, I actually started "outlining." This "outline" looks *so* nothing like the format we all learned in 5th grade; no Roman numerals; no nested lists; none of that. It's sort of stream of consciousness, "pre-writing", so I know what comes in what order, and so I don't leave out any specific detail that needs to be there. It looks like a solid block of handwritten text on the page. Yes, I handwrote it. Although I won't do this for NaNo, I've found that I prefer to write longhand. That way I'm not trapped in front of the computer, but can do it on the couch, upstairs in the easy chair in the bedroom, at work; wherever. Then when I actually type it in, that constitutes the first editorial pass, as I'm always making changes.

The most important lesson I've learned from NaNo, though, is just to get it down. With my current WIP I have successfully resisted the temptation to go back and edit or re-work, even where I know it's going to need it. Job one is to get the draft done.

NaNo itself is a little different. I'll be keyboarding from the git-go, mainly for time but also because it lets me keep constant tabs on my word count. But as long as I have the "outline" by my side, I know where I'm going and a general idea of how I'm getting there. Plot-wise, this one is pretty straightforward; quite a change from my WIP, which is twisty as hell. But WTF, it's only NaNo.

Now all that's left (after finishing the outline; I'm only about 75% done with it) is hoping (praying; begging; wishing) that I can squeeze 50,000 words out of it. Nothing to do but try.

Awaiting 11/1. Tally ho!

Details, Details

Ever since I signed up and sent off my donation, I haven't been able to contain the story ideas. Getting them down without slipping into novel writing mode remains a problem, so I've decided to focus on how I can keep the momentum going once the first burst of NaNo enthusiasm begins to fizzle.

As I have already mentioned, the setting of my story is based on a road trip I took last year. There are so many details about the setting, or I should say settings, of the novel it will be difficult for me to remember them all off the top of my head. I know, its fiction, but I like authors who make the effort to get details such as the weather patterns for the season in which the novel is set correct, and buds bursting into flowers in the right place at the right time.

In this novel, the changes in the colour of the soil plays an important part. As you drive across the Nullarbor and up through Western Australia, the soil changes from white to pale yellow, through all the variations of orange and red until it reaches a deep rich burgundy.

My favourite moment of the whole trip was when I drove around a corner and saw the sun shine striking the the burgundy sand covering a mount making it glow fluorescent. I was so taken with the sight of it that I had returned to the state of a child who chases a ball across the road without looking and in my moment of inattentiveness drove off the road. I would like to put a variation of this in my novel, but was it at Mount Gibson or Mount Singleton? I have to dig through my travel diary to find out. And just how many hundreds of miles is it between one metropolis and another on the Great Northern Highway. I'll need to check.

I guess I'm lucky because being a bibliophile, I bought a number of books while in WA on the geology of the area, campsites, rest areas and national parks, and what WA is most famous for as a tourist destination, a guide to the wildflowers. These combined with my notebooks, should give me the type of details that will enrich the sense of place I hope to create.

I still have the map I used with the route I took highlighted and I've displayed it on a huge pin board covering the width of one of the walls in my office. Over the next couple of days, I'm going to flick through my books, diary and my NaNo novel notebook and start adding addendum's to the map with information like the geology of the area, flowers in season, natural catastrophe's like the bush fire the burnt out the camping ground we were going to stay at at Hopetoun and the major events in the story that I can turn into scenes like the one that happens at Bunda Cliffs at one of the lookout points along the Great Australian Bight.

For me, thinking about details like these inspire new story ideas. The trick is to have the general details on hand in a visual format so you don't get lost in hunting them down and lose your momentum.

I don't now which details will find their way into my novel, but it's comforting knowing they are there like a security blanket just in case I need them.



I spent an hour fleshing out my various characters ... and personality types. Why they do what they do ... and ... and I went to hit save ...and I hit the x instead ...

I lost it ... it's gone ..gone ... gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Welcome everyone!

We are off to a good start!

I hope everyone is getting ready ...and has enjoyed their weekend!

I've not only added everyone that's been invited that's accepted the invitation, but, changed you to administration. So, you all can go to the invite page and send your own invitations to get people (ahem DR.DINO we're WAITING FOR YOU! to join!)

I am anxious to get started. I've got a few decisions to make about my characters, not sure where the mentor character is going to come from ... and will my main character HAVE an eating disorder ...or just flirt with one. I guess, that will unfold as the story unfolds.

I've got the character names. My son says that the older sister's name sounds like a stripper ... I've tried to change her name, and no matter what, her name is Camille. I just can't seem to get her to be named anything but. Who knows, maybe she gives into her perfection and throws it all in before she finishes college and starts stripping?


Heya, Nurse K, new contributor to this blog, is ALLLLL up in the house. I killed my blog at least temporarily, and I have decided to use this time productively to write and finish my first novel.

I think my writing talent is (1) finding humor in mundane things (2) witty repartee (3) sarcasm/cynicism (4) dark humor and (5) political and societal commentary, so I hope there will be an interesting mix of all of these and a little touch of human emotion to go with it. Note how my writing talents do not include "plot development".

I am planning a book that uses some of the stuff from my blog and other life experiences. Chapter 1 takes place at the main character's redundant HIPAA training in the hospital, and the reader is regaled with the intrigue of the main character going through astounding and complicated lengths to smoke a cigarette in the face of the hospital's campus-wide smoking ban (the rules of which are the same rules found at my hospital). A little interesting dialogue occurs between the main character (Martha), the smokers, and her friend from the ER (Fawn) once they reach the smoking area.

Martha will go on to get involved personally with an unsavory, frequent-flyer patient (not sexually, but as a "friend") and try to do some behind-the-scenes work to help him repair his life [think Amelie] without disclosing information about another patient who she thinks would be the primo solution to his problems with drugs and alcohol. When she finally decides to be borderline unethical and hook these two patients up, major problems ensue. Meanwhile, throughout the story, Martha's dad is lonely, apathetic, and dying of liver and kidney problems [but still funny]. In the end, all of the characters who are good at heart are happy and at peace.

I think that's what will happen anyway.

kick-off party

The party was fun. We all met at a coffee shop, Nina's Cafe, here in St Paul, Minnesota. The back room, which was decent-sized, was full of people and people had to stand and mingle. I enjoyed some nice hot apple cider and blackberry fizzy water along with some pumpkin bread, met up with one of my writing buddies, and met some interesting people, many who had "won" NaNo. The atmosphere was very inspiring. All in all, I think it was a successful kick-off.


I'm Emily. This is my first year doing NaNo, so I'm kind of nervous about it. My book this year is to be a memoir (please don't go flaming me about that). It's entitled Deep In The Dark and is about my life with mental illnesses. I'm only 22, but I've got a ton of material, and am confident I can make it to 50,000 words. I'm going to a kick-off party for NaNo tonight; I'll post about how it goes. ~Emily

Story Ideas Flowing Thick and Fast

This is a test so we will see how it goes.

Ever since I signed up to the Nano month yesterday, the story ideas have been flowing so fast I can't get them onto the page fast enough.

I spent a number of hours yesterday sitting under my pear tree (no pears as yet) writing them into my lime green Nano note book, and all of today worry about the story ideas I couldn't get down fast enough.

I'm really excited about this years Nano. Last year, I did it with a group of 5 in March. I think about three of us finished. I've been trying to craft my brain dump into a Novel ever since. It's a difficult topic and I have to take long breaks from the content. I wonder if I'll ever get it finished. Maybe one day. (you can take a look at the topic at

So for this year I've decided to start on something new. And something with a little more humour.

I won't go too much into what it's about at this stage. Suffice to say it's based to the ups and downs experienced in 15 year relationship and the two month road trip I took across the Nullarbor and around Western Australia last year.

Hopefully, I'll get this one finished a little more quickly and a lot less traumatised.

Anyway, that's me and what I hope to achieve from this Nano. I am looking forward to the next month and having some fun with all you fellow Nanoites.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

My NaNo Novel ...

My NaNo info ... On NaNo ... I'm Pearls And Dreams (surprise surprise surprise!)

I've named my Novel
Willow's Bridge

And it will most likely go into the young adult genre ..we'll see.

My fingers are itching for November 1st to get here brain is panicking that it will actually coming.

My 'plot bunny' is growing ... and desires to be fed.

I have names of the main characters, basic temperments. I have not figured out what the mentor of THE main character is going to be, however. The idea's are endless.

One that is popping around my brain is ... her father is a doctor ... and part of me wonders if maybe, her mentor, might could be one of his female partners in his practice who takes a shine to her.

????? hmmmm

AHA! Thanks to yakking to a friend on IM I've got the mentor's character nailed down. She will be a neighbor, but not sure how close by. She will be a homeschooler with several children. Their home functions in a loud but rhythmic almost orchestrated purposeful organized chaos. Yet, everything gets done, when it's supposed to and no ball gets dropped, although, every ball seems like there is no way it could possibly land where it should. Cassandra will some how get caught up with this family that is so vastly different from hers .... and the mother will take her on as a mentoring project.

This mother will help her to find the path of the bridge away to safety within her own heart matter what chaos is errupting around her.

OOOOOOOOOOO I can't wait !!!

I'm not sure of mentor's name
I have a couple ..all classics
or Elaine ... Elaine is the one I'm leaning for.

first post

Ok, so I have no idea if this will go over or not.

Just thought, since the message boards are so slow, I like the support system, cheerleader type mentality of the built in support ... I'd make my own (hopefully 'our' own) NaNo blog!

So, I've invited DP ... and I would have invited Dr. Dino, but didn't have his email address. Not sure what other of my regular blog friends are participating ..but ... We can use this blog to cheer each other on, ask for support, get help with plot lines (or in my case ... grammar *grin*) or in general ... screaming about being behind.

Join the fun!!!!!!!

If you want someone specific to join ...let me know!