Why I’m Not Participating in NaNo 2016

A long time ago, I felt that I had to participate in every writing marathon that existed to prove I “really was a writer.” I suppose I’m not really any closer to answering that question than I was in 2005 but I started toying with the idea of sitting this one out when I opened my word pricessor app and saw the long, overwhelming pile of unfinished manuscripts alongside finished manuscripts in dire need of editing before I could ever dream of doing anything productive or public with any of them. I asked a writer friend if it would be too weird for me to skip this year, even perhaps extending the no marathon time until JuNoWriMo 2017 if I haven’t cleaned up my mess by then. (Even if my mess is still looming by JuNo, I’ll do June anyway because thus particular marathon has my heart and I’ll always do it, just because it’s that special…) Because she’s sensible and efficient, the kind of person who wisely manages her time and uses common sense where many of us (and by us, I’m referring to myself) do not. After our conversation, I felt a lot clearer and determined regarding my decision. I will dedicate the time that I would normally use to create just one more unfinished project that will languish in my word processor to finishing and editing the pieces I have already started. I’m definitely cheering for everyone who does undertake the challenge, though. It is a beautiful, frustrating and transformative month. Once you start, you will amaze yourself and never be the same kind of writer. Best wishes to all!

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One Thing Leads To A Sequel

I started my summer writing journey in June with the fabulous JuNoWriMo and introduced my character, Corinna, to the world of Juno. It was so much fun to explore seemingly disjointed dream stories, much like I post here, within a broader arc. Corinna is a character who is genetically different from her peers, a fact which causes much misery in her life and carries nearly fatal consequences. But once she receives a visit from one of her DNA donors across nearly a century, things begin to change as Corinna’s dreams have healing power both for her and for those whom she meets in her nightly adventures. 

For July CampNaNoWriMo, I’ve decided to extend Corinna’s story through the eyes of one of her newfound friends, a young woman named Charlotte. Like Corinna, Charlotte is also different and is hiding her true identity from everyone except Corinna. What is meant to be a fun weekend turns more than challenging as a third person who shares Charlotte and Corinna’s differences, a young child with a gift for writing, shows up on Charlotte’s doorstep, having run away from home. What follows is what keeps me writing about these characters every day! 
I think my characters are all looking for a sense of home, belonging and family. All three of them have lacked each of these things in the traditional way but try to find it with each other. The July project has a different kind of energy than the June introduction because Corinna was battling life and death and finding the meaning in an existence which most people had told her was futile. This month, she’s empowered and ready to allow others to benefit from her journey even more than was possible in the first installment. 

The next step

Here’s a little character prep work I’m doing for JuNoWriMo, which starts in a few days. I’m happy to be in the process of getting to know a character called Corrine. Part of her lives inside of me and part of her is yet to be defined. My next step and hers are what follow. 

What do you see in defeat? Victory? Strength? When does the curtain part and one is allowed to see the next step?
Some lie in their memories and do not create a momentum for going onward, but a precious few will transform tears into laughter, day into night, storms into sunshine. 

A few receive a little help as they make a decision. Sometimes we see an outstretched hand, a friendly voice telling us to take it, and we take our pride in our hearts and flung it out the window, never too immovable to say yes. 

Corrine was such a person, learning slowly how to overcome with each new person she met on her journey. Some had hands of flesh which she could hold and some did not. Often it seemed that the ones who did not were able to affect her the most. 

One Year Of…

Completed wrimos! I’ve reached my goal of winning twelve wrimos in a row, creating an entire year of my life that I’ve dedicated to writing months, aka wrimos. For some reason, this month seemed to go very slowly and I was a little concerned about not finishing on time. But I approached it one writing session at a time and it worked out. 

Next vines JuNoWriMo and I’m so happy and humbled to be on the crew this year. I’ll be handling social media for the group, so when you see more about JuNo on Twitter and Facebook, that’s me! 

I wish every writer would try Juno because it’s truly unlike any other wrimo I have ever joined. Because it’s still a small group, there’s a level of intimacy and community that one simply does not find during NaNoWriMo. It’s great that it’s huge, that’s what makes it what it is. But I craved a closer relationship with my fellow writers and JuNoWriMo provides exactly that. If you would like to join me three in roughly five weeks, please go to the JuNoWriMo site and also visit JuNoWriMo’s Facebook page to learn more. 

Happy 2016! 

Okay, so it’s a couple of days since New Year’s, but since I’ve not blogged since 2015, I still want to wish you all a very happy 2016! I hope this is the year you find all the happiness and joy in the world! 

I’ve started editing my November 2015 NaNoWriMo novella, still undecided if I should keep its original title of Freedom. That, as some of you may know, is the title of the flash fiction series I wrote here on my blog in August that became the inspiration from the novella. Maybe one of my resolutions should be to learn how to title novels better. It’s never come naturally to me to find a title very early in the process. Only after spending some time with the characters and plot does something evolve in my imagination. My favorite part of the novella is the couple at the center of the action, once married spies Aidan and Tasha. I love to write about them, so I wouldn’t rule out any additional projects involving them. 

I like to let my goals develop as the year progresses, so I don’t have a list of ten resolutions, but one thing I do plan to do in 2016 is finish the mystery novel I started last June at JuNoWriMo. I had to put it aside, unfinished for other things, and I miss it. Once again, the characters are calling!

Today is a special day here in the U.S. because it’s the Masterpiece Theatre premiere of Downton Abbey! My favorite show is in its last season, but I’ll just say I know things about the finale that make parting much easier. Thanks to overseas friends, I know what an international feed is, but I won’t give any spoilers all season long! The best part about the domestic airing is my season pass to iTunes, which will allow me to download each weekly episode the following day and enjoy on my iPad. It makes me very grateful to the person who gave me an iTunes card for Christmas! 

I wish everyone a great day!