Day 2 of NaNoWriMo

I had to deal with business matters first thing this morning. This meant that I didn’t get much done before 7am, and then I had a coaching session with an internal ICA student until 8 am.

So…as of end of yesterday…4,736 words already in existence.

There was also Storytime at the library and lunch prep and then we voted. Emily’s got a movie, so now it’s 2pm and I’m at 5,788. Fuckin’ A, I’ve managed over 1,000 words so far! Pretty damned cool!

Back to work, back to work!

7:30 pm – current word count: 6,056

So…less than 700 words to go to make goal for day.

I had to go out and give a cleaning consult to a guy in Shawnee – 35 miles away, that’s a hell of a drive. Also took E to eat Chinese food. All alone in the house with a 4-year-old. I might make goal tonight, and I might not.

What THIS Is All About

I probably mentioned it before, at the beginning, but I think it merits saying again, in detail.

This blog is not about the Chronicles of Liv Rowan per se. It is a view of the writing process. From the beginning (well, close enough to the beginning) to hopefully, the eventual completion, editing and publication of Book 1, and many more.

With that in mind, I turned my focus this afternoon to writing contests. In most cases, especially in the more vetted ones, I will retain my rights to my stories if they are winners. I’ve spent the last half hour reading over the advice of several different writers on what to look for, expected maximum fees to pay to enter, and possible benefits and drawbacks. I’ve also got a list of ‘the bad ones’ which I will avoid like the plague.

I am painfully aware of my ‘newbie’ status and lack of publication in the writing world. And it is frustrating, kind of a dog chasing its tail sort of thing. How do I get published without already being published? Few people want unpublished authors. How do I get better at my craft without serious attention by the experts? Which I can’t get unless I’ve given them good writing!

So anyway, I’m going to try and put together a couple of short stories for the Writer’s Digest and others. I hate to carve up the stories I already have, but I know I can get something together that will work…really well. So I may take a slight break from CLR to discover, hone and send off an entry or two.

Consider it akin to building a foundation. You don’t walk up to a site, all grassy and new, and build a house on it. You lay the foundation first, so that the surface is even and can hold the weight of the house, keep it steady and ensure that it lasts. If the house is my writing career, then contests, connections with the right people in the writing industry are the concrete and beams. You can’t have one without the other.

The Next Day and a Half

Status Update: Book 1 – 30,703 words (no change since last night) and CLR Book Summaries – 1,121 words (813 words written)

Okay, I’ve finished putting in the summaries of all that I’ve written. And part of me says, “Now what?”

I’m STILL worrying over total word count because, as far as I can tell, I’m about 2/3 or maybe even 3/4 of the way done with the book. However, I’m only 1/2 of absolute minimum goal on word count! 60k is a novel length, anything less is a novella. I know, I know, I worry about stupid stuff. Better to just write than worry about filler and shit like that, but still, I do.

I ended up skipping forward and writing a kissing scene. I couldn’t help it. The poor girl saves the day (even if it was with plenty of help from others) she deserves a little love! And besides, it’s a doomed love, he knows it and eventually she will come to an understanding of it as well. It serves one of the longer subplots well to give her a little bit of smooching and angst until the real thing comes along.

So in doing the kissing scene I set up a couple of ‘goals’ I will need to achieve. Basically I wrote in bruising and broken arms and other injuries – apparently acquired in the battle to destroy the Glass Eye. Ooh, I just thought of another chapter I need to write! A fever dream! Cool, I’m on it. Gotta go!

p.s. Cleaning tomorrow was canceled so now I have today and the first half of tomorrow to write. Woohoo!

Progress in Bumps and Starts

Status Update:

Book 1 – 31,746 (1,043 words written)

Summaries –  1,611 (490 words added)

Notes – 20,380 (1,400 words added)

Characters – added to

Every day I wake up with the same fear. Do you want to know what it is?

That I won’t have the answer.

“What answer?” you might ask.

The answer to…what happens next?

The funny thing is that when I put my mind to it, each day, and ignore the fear – I come up with the answer. I think I worry about word counts because that’s somehow easier than the deep-rooted primal fear that I won’t have an answer and I won’t be able to progress. Oh lord, the horror of it, the horror of an unfinished tale!

Which really, if you think about it, is quite reasonable. I have just recently (in the past few months) actually FINISHED a fictional writing project. And it took how long to get done? Thirteen years of on again, off again (mostly OFF) writing?

No wonder I am consumed with the fear.

But along the way, and I’m still early on in the path, believe me – I have learned something very important.

It’s MY story. And it is MY ideas. And it is MY answers.

Not what you want or the girl down the street. Or the lady across the hall. It’s not about what my parents expect or what will please the majority of the reading audience. I’ll leave that for the edits and editors thank you very much.

It’s my fucking story. When I understand that, embrace it, and believe in myself…the rest follows.

And when it doesn’t? Well, that would be because I’m busy running away from myself. A very annoying, non-productive, and limiting thing to do.

Just keeping it real, folks.

Getting Revved Here

Status Update: No Progress on CLR, but I did write 1,000 words on my non-fiction book “An Old Wives Tale” – this brings it up to 60,153 words

It is 10:37 and time to get cracking on CLR. I think I will work first on the bulleted summary – this will help me form the rest of the book. And honestly, if I’m that worried about word count, there is one other solution, one I mentioned early on – I could put two books into one.

I could write Part 1 – The Glass Forrest and then write Part II – The See of Payne. Also, I just thought of this…

If I write the Glass Forrest and then start on the See of Payne, I may find that I need more set up or prequel to happen in the first story, and add it then. Thus making it a full novel after the fact.

I’m also excited because I just heard back from the publisher that has “War’s End” and it sounds like, with edits and tightening, it might be a go! I’ll know more next week. When I do, it will also mean that I will probably need to stop working on CLR for a while and deal with edits on “War’s End.” So now I REALLY need to stop writing here and get to work on CLR!

p.s. The publisher I’m working with for WE might really be interested in “An Old Wives Tale” as well. The guy is a tough investigative reporter – he might love the opportunity to take a crack at the drug war!


Status Update: Book 1 – 28,313 words (nearly 1,000 words written today) and new file ‘CLR Series – Book Summaries’ created, currently @ 381 words.

I’m having difficulty. Part of it is fear that I don’t have enough of a word count, which is silly, I know it is. But part of it is also a lack of clarity. I have a main theme, but I really want to make this story complete, with plenty of subplots that will weave their way into the following books. So here I am, at less than 30% of goal, and already halfway through the story I’ve plotted out. Or am I?

In any case, this was the reason for the new file, which summarizes each book’s twists and turns in bullet format. So far, I’ve summarized 2/3 of the book written to date. I’m hoping it will help me gain clarity once I reach the uncharted (read unwritten) part of the book.

See…I know where the book is going and how it ends, but I’m concerned I don’t have enough for it to be a full-fledged book. My goal is that each book is approximately 100,000 words. I’ll be more than satisfied with 90,000 or even 80,000…hell, I might even be cool with 70,000. But here I am, at just under 30,000 and worried the book will wrap up at 50,000 words. It really needs to be novel-length.

All morning, as I stopped and started on the writing path, I found myself worrying over word counts. Which is stupid. It makes for bad storytelling when all you can think of is of how to thicken the soup. Eventually you’ll have a nice thick soup, without taste or substance.

In any case, I will just have to get back to it, although it will most likely be tomorrow. the princess will be off and away to my mom’s for a few days and I will get at least two days free to write in her absence. That will just have to do.

Early Start to a Writing Weekend

Status Update: Book 1 – 27,348 words

So I managed to write on the plane out to California and then a couple of paragraphs in the week that followed after that. So 3,991 words isn’t bad when you consider it was the vacation from hell. I lost my id on the first plane (it slipped out of my purse) and unleashed a catastrophe of events, including losing my cool at the Avis rental counter, accidentally breaking my eldest daughter’s toes just hours before her birthday, running out of money, drinking waaaay too many margaritas, and crying my eyes out about five times in less than three days.

And I still had four days to go!

Then it was up to SF to stay in a 110 year old house with one bathroom, and deal with a toilet that has to be flushed with a bucket of water and prepping and eating meals in a kitchen that hasn’t had a stove in over 20 years. Don’t ask, it’s a long story.

Every time I even thought of writing, my father-in-law would begin to tell me stories. His personal experience in the Gulf of Tonkin took just under three hours…

So here I am. It’s Friday morning, just a few minutes before 9 am. Dave and the princess are off to get the van serviced and I have at least a few hours to myself. After that, they will be back. Tomorrow morning Dave will take the princess up to Mom’s and drop her off bright and early before going to teach his Chi Gung class in North Kansas City. And there the little princess will stay until I pick her up on Monday afternoon after a morning cleaning. So I’ll have all of Saturday and Sunday to write!

Finally, the world is returning to normal and I’ve got a great opportunity to write for a while. Life is good.