Year: 2011

All I can say is NaNo was a total blast this year. 

And that fun isn’t just about success.  It’s also a lot about sharing a process with you fellow writers–struggling, failing, digging deeper, carrying on, making it work, facing the beast–and being a part of something bigger than myself that made it so fun.

I still have another 50k or so words to write to complete this year’s NaNo MS, but I’m already thinking about next year–and all the fun I’m going to have in the interim, making this story shine, seeing how far I can push it.

I think it’s totally appropriate that Thanksgiving comes in November, the same month as NaNo, because I am again reminded how thankful and grateful I am to be a part of this community of writers.  Life is short, and sometimes we need to stop, take a look around, and realize how good things really are.  This is one of those days. 

So thanks to each one of you!  It’s no exaggeration to say I couldn’t have done it alone, so let’s celebrate this perfect day.  Truly.   😀

How was your NaNo experience this year?  For those not doing NaNo, are you making progress on your own work? 

For me, the NaNo dust is beginning to settle.  The excitement and pressure of getting to 50k is gone, replaced now by the warm afterglow of success–although I keep pinching myself as I strive to remember that I still have another half a novel to complete.

And along with that excitement, other things have fled too.  Confidence, for one.  Some reflection and review has shown there is much work yet to be done on what I’ve already written, and that of course becomes and easy cause for pause. 

I suppose, though I spend most of my days with my head in the clouds, both literally and figuratively, I’ve never really been great at pressing the ‘I believe’ button.  I don’t know if it’s my upbringing or 20 years of military service which has made my outlook so pragmatic and unyielding, but I find I must see some shred of evidence–even proof sometimes–before the tenor of my outlook softens from the hardcore skeptic I am most of the time.

But boundless optimism is a prerequisite in this business, don’t you think?  How can one stick it out, month after month, year after year, writing in a quiet room, all alone (or mostly so), hoping one day someone will read your book and like it, if you aren’t optimistic?  It can’t be done.  So I’m learning to look on the bright side and–yet another tool in my toolbox!–to believe!  Yep, and it feels pretty good.

Less than 48 hours ’til this thing is over.  How you feeling?

P. S.  The Golden Eagle has added his voice to our Songfest.  Go check out his selection here!  Thanks Eagle!  😀

Judging by the lack activity here over the last few days, I bet most of you are either stuffed to the gills with turkey and/or stuffing, or out braving the crowds, taking advantage of the varied and fruitful Black Monday deals.

No matter.  Life continues on here, as you might expect.  Of course the other shoe to fall from NaNo is that once you cross that 50k finish line, you have in fact completed only half a novel (unless your piece is very short).  So perhaps it should be called NaHaNoWriMo instead.  I’ll let you translate.  😀

But the good news is I continue on.  I expect (or perhaps hope is a better word) to complete my first draft by year’s end.  I’ve set aside the actual writing until Monday.  A much needed break, you know.

But the cogitation continues, and just this afternoon while I was giving my daughter a bubble bath (aren’t these sparks of inspiration the craziest things?!), I realized something profound and earth-shattering and completely cool about my MC.  Helps me better understand how to construct my opening scenes, and I am armed with anticipation to go back and make all those wild first draft faux pas right.

But I am sensitive to the fact that some of you are not yet complete on the NaNo front.  How’s things?  Well, I hope.  Keep on keeping on, is what I say.  And good luck!  😀

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!  HAVE A GREAT AND GROOVY DAY!!!

I wasn’t much of an athlete in high school.  In fact, my athletic endeavors were pretty much limited to hanging out with friends, playing various coach-assigned sports, in gym class.

As I’ve gotten older, that lack of athletic activity–and interest–has changed.  Since then, I’ve gotten into running as a pastime, a love that started several years after high school, no doubt a throwback to early mornings when I was ten and eleven, when my step father came to my bedroom door at five in the morning, asking if I was running today.  Most days I said no.  But on that rare day I said yes, I was in for a thrill.

Since then, I’ve run a few races.  And there’s always a very special moment in the race, whether you’re running a 5k or a marathon: the moment when the finish line comes into view.  I don’t know if you’ve experienced it, but that feeling is breathtaking in it’s reality, so visceral and real that I can still conjure it sitting at my desk.

I think that moment is so pivotal because seeing the finish line is a very real example of a payoff.  Here’s you’ve been running some long distance, slugging along, wondering how you decided to embark upon such a misplaced, out-of-sorts endeavor, when validation, in the form of a physical end to your troubles comes into view.  It’s truly a motivator, if there ever was one.  And I’d say the fastest parts of the few races I’ve done have been between that point and the finish line.

A similar thing happened to me today, on the writing front.  When I woke up this morning, I realized 50k was within spitting distance, and I happened to have a few hours free this afternoon.  A gander over to the right shows the result: I’m done with NaNo 2011.

And really happy about it too!  I even bought a bottle of champagne for me and the wife to celebrate. 

How goes it with you?  Take a look, out there and the horizon, and I think you’ll see the finish line too!  Here’s to hoping you get across quickly, and I’m raising a glass to your success!  Cheers!  😀