What Twins, Who Inhabit My Brain, and NaNoWriMo Taught Me

boy and girl fighting 2

When I decided to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, I had no idea if I could. You see, a five-year-old child inhabits my brain and can throw quite the tantrum. If I don’t want to do something, she sends waves through the entire length of my spine which becomes rigid. Then she starts chanting, “I don’t want to. I don’t want to! I DON’T WANT TO!” This screaming fit is usually accompanied by the stomping of feet and the transformation of ordinary household objects into projectile missiles. Continue reading

I Crushed It. Now What Will I Do? I’m Addicted.

I wrote 50,000 words in 23 days to win NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month.

Nanowrimo2014 Yeah baby!

NaNoWriMo2014 1

I happy danced and then cried a little when the NaNoWriMo Team sent a YouTube Video with their congratulations.

nanowrimo 2014 2

Every day in November, I woke up and felt driven. Writing in the morning worked the best for me, but oftentimes I started up again around four O’clockish.  I had to make time for it no matter what was going on. Yesterday, I was less than 2000 words away from my 50,000 word goal, but I went skiing with my husband, Danny, our niece and her boyfriend.

First day at Breck

I wrote on the way down the mountain, (in my car, of course, and no, I wasn’t driving), but I was 800 words shy of the 50,000 word total when we rolled up in Boulder. After writing an average of 2179 words per day, it killed me to be so close, but I had to go to sleep.

Because skiing.

After cranking out a rough draft and working my hiney off every day in November, what will it feel like tomorrow? Continue reading

Hitting the Halfway Point

Boulder Polar Plunge 2013 1

When I wrote my 25, 000th word for National Novel Writing Month, it reminded me of swimming through the Boulder Reservoir to touch the ice during the Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day. They’re both a sink or swim venture.  It got tough when I could barely touch the bottom. My legs and arms grew heavy with the cold and they moved in slow motion. In place of the silly grin I wore while splashing into the frigid water was sheer determination and a painful wince. One of the lifeguards standing on the pier shouted, “Do you need help?” It was hard to breathe, but I yelled back, “I can do it!”

I don’t know how many have dropped out of NaNoWriMo already, but the numbers have got to be high. I think writing 50,000 words in a month takes a certain kind of endurance. Crazy endurance. It’s for crazy people who have the time to commit, or in my case should be committed, but also have a lot of nerve and stamina. I love taking on new challenges and always have.

Not everyone can sit down and write on command. It can be intimidating to stare at a blank page. I’ve never had writer’s block. Maybe it’s all those Thursdays I found myself on a deadline and would crank out a Friday flash fiction or the stream-of-conscious writing exercises from a year ago when I woke up every morning for a month and wrote one word at time in a notebook until I filled a page. In both, I wrote the first thing that popped into my head. Continue reading

Why I Joined the Madness

I’m an obsessed idea freak, by that I mean, once I get an idea in my head I have to accomplish my goal. It drives me nuts until I do. After talking about it, visualizing, and then calculating the best route, I keep my eye on the prize gleaming at the finish line. I’m sure it has something to do with the challenge and enjoying the creative aspect of the work, but I believe it has a lot more to do with achieving sparkly goals.

door with stained glass

In the past, I visualized a stained glass window, and then took a class and constructed five. I visualized angels or birds flitting and floating on my ceilings. Then one snowy Sunday afternoon, I pulled a ladder from the garage and painted them. It gave me enormous satisfaction to create something out of nothing.

ceiling with angels

Since this has always worked with art projects, I wondered if it would work with writing. Continue reading

Happy Haunted Blog Party

crypts 1

Happy Halloween! It’s time to Use Me and Abuse Me by digging up ONE link from your own blog and burying it in my comment section. Click on a few of them and maybe they’ll stalk you back at your haunt.

Make sure to bring a link to a particular story. Otherwise, they may arrive and not know where to look. You don’t want them to go INTO THE BASEMENT! or INTO THE ATTIC! I doubt they would take a shower, but DON’T GO IN THERE!

BEWARE! Only bring ONE link or you’ll end up in the Chamber of Spam. The vile smell of rot alone could make you ill. You don’t want your headstone to read, “I told you I was sick.”

IF YOU LEAVE A LINK, CLICK ON A FEW! No one likes a witch (or warlock), who fills her cape with goodies and then flies away on her broom.

Tell them, “Susie sent me,” and they should click back to your crypt.

I made some witch’s brew, (my Aunt Helga’s favorite recipe), and the eye of newt stew is bubbling. Help yourself to the deep-fried crow’s feet. The warty toad dip is especially tasty.

on my grave

The crypt keeper 5

 Tell your Facebook and Twitter friends. The more, the SCARIER!

HEADS UP! Wild Halloween Party Ahead.

The crypt keeper 3Hey, all you Wild Riders! I’m having a Halloween blog hop on Wednesday. Come with a link from ONE of your blog posts and click on a few. This party should haunt you for days and nights…

It will start at 6:00 AM Mountain Time. Please come and Use Me and Abuse Me! Meet my ghoulish friends. Maybe they’ll follow you home…

Spine-tingling yours,the crypt keeper 4

See you Wednesday…

Seven Ways to Thrill Me!

thrillers

How long has it been since you read a real page-turner? A while? Yeah. Me too. I think that’s why I love watching thrillers. They are the ultimate in creating and sustaining suspense. Talk about tight writing. They race ahead with twisted turns in a world where you’re hooked into finding out what happens to the characters or who survives.

My heart simultaneously leaps with the evil guy who comes into view behind his latest victim in the dreary, deserted park. “Turn around. Turn Around! TURN AROU… Oh, never mind. Too late.” I slump down in my seat, heart hammering in my chest like I ran a 100 yard dash.

I’m not a slasher or horror movie watcher although they can be thrillers too. I couldn’t get through Nick Cage’s Drive Angry, although I loved the creepy, alien-like quality of the accountant played by William Fitchner. It was too violent for me. Silence of the Lambs haunted my nightmares for years.

I love the white knuckle-busting, heart-tapping, “Oh my God, He’s in the house!” terror. Continue reading