During NaNoWriMo I will typically follow a word count calendar. It helps me stay on track. Word count is approximately 2K per day for 30 days. Normally, I would search the web or Pinterest for someone else’s calendar. This year, I decided to put one together. I used the NaNo calendar and added the word count per day to it.
If you’d like to use the original calendar, you can download it off the NaNo site here: NaNo Prep 101 Course. It’s a PDF file and will be on page 50.
I’ve been slacking off prep so I need to really kick it up. Instead, I’m brainstorming ideas for a couple of short stories and novelettes I hope to publish before the end of the year and early 2020. One of them being Shaman 2.
I’ve been working on a few projects. Aeva is still being edited at the moment. I’m also working on a winter romance novella and brainstorming a Valentine’s romance. My biggest project right now is a novel I’ll be writing next month for National Novel Writing Month. I’m currently prepping and outlining the details.
The story I’ll be writing for Nano is a paranormal romance. I’ve shared a short excerpt from this story a few months back. I never got the chance to finish it so I’ll be using Nano to finish it. I basically have a few paragraphs of the beginning and a dialogue between the two main characters but that’s about it. Here’s the blurb for the story:
Tolan came to the mortal world to do the job of one of his angels. It was supposed to be a quick and simple job—and it was—except for the accidental encounter with Hailey. The encounter left him speechless and he can’t stop thinking about her.
Hailey Quinn works at Caraway Bakery and makes enough money to get by. One morning, she helps Tolan from a freak accident and from there she must make the decision to protect him or endanger him.
Included in my prep is a list of music that I’ll be listening to while I write. There’s not too many yet. I tend to have about 10 to 20 songs that I rotate through. Right now, I have about three that I really like. Here’s one that’s called, “Fallen Angel.”
The contract with the Writer’s Unite! Anthology ended in August of this year. I decided to go ahead and publish my short story on Amazon. It’s free on Kindle Unlimited.
This story is powerful. I did some re-editing and got pretty emotional reading it again. It’s about trust and taking chances. It’s about people’s hearts and emotions. And, it’s about love…but not the kind you’d think.
Last Thursday, I went to a TEDx event at MSU Denver. The theme was, “Reimagining Possibilities.” It was about new ideas and going above and beyond what’s familiar.
There were a lot of good topics and a lot of things to digest and think deep on. A few of the speakers brought up “imposter syndrome,” and that really made me think. I’ve hardly spent time thinking about those words and never really thought of myself as having imposter syndrome, but somehow the speakers got me thinking. Yes, I am guilty of this imposter syndrome. I do feel out of place sometimes and I do wonder if being a writer/author/entrepreneur is the right path for me. Not because I don’t think I’m qualified, but because the recognition isn’t there, and not by others, but by my own thoughts.
In the Business Harvard Review (2008), in the article, Overcoming Imposter Syndrome, Gill Corkindale says:
Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. ‘Imposters’ suffer from chronic self-doubt and a sense of intellectual fraudulence that override any feelings of success or external proof of their competence. They seem unable to internalize their accomplishments, however successful they are in their field. High achieving, highly successful people often suffer, so imposter syndrome doesn’t equate with low self-esteem or a lack of self-confidence. In fact, some researchers have linked it with perfectionism, especially in women and among academics.
I have to admit, I’ve had imposter syndrome before with other endeavors I attempted. This path is no different. However, I’m older and I’d like to think I’m a little wiser and just maybe the choices I’m making now are choices I’m going to stick with. I have more time on my hands and that means more time to really think things through.
Back to the event. It was split into three one-hour sessions. After the first session, they served us lunch. It was nicely set up under a large tent on the lawn north of the building where the talk took place.
They served three or four different types of sandwiches and drinks (water, tea, lemonade). I had the Dutch Gobbler which was basically a turkey sandwich. I met a family whose grandmother said her daughter was a speaker and would be the first speaker after lunch. She was backstage rehearsing so she wasn’t able to have lunch with everyone.
After the second session, I left. I wanted to stay for the full event but I had other business to tend to. This was my first TEDx event and I’m happy to say, the experience was worth it.
I really enjoyed April’s Camp Nano. I was able to get Aeva through a first edit. Now going through the second edit. I still haven’t finished the ending (the last chapter) but I’m getting there. I’ve learned a lot about writing from a protagonist of the opposite sex, and that is, I get too attached to them. Somehow I don’t mind torturing and hurting my female MC’s but when it comes to male MC’s, I have a hard time.
For July’s Camp Nano, I’m going to finish my first edit on my fantasy novel, TLS. TLS stands for The Last Silvers.
The Last Silvers is a fairy story about a type of fairy with silver tipped ears. They have the ability to heal and shape shift. The story follows a female lead named, Nora. Here’s the synopsis:
Nora Anera, a Tagartha soldier, is given the duty of guarding Prince Davin Rainer of Storm Gate to the northern kingdom, Rawstone, to marry the princess and unite the two kingdoms against a powerful enemy. She thinks it will be a quick and easy job until she learns there is more at stake than she thought.
Here’s the temporary “generic” cover I’m using for Camp Nano.
I had no intentions to do Camp NaNo next week. NaNoWriMo last November was supposed to be the only challenging project I was supposed to do each year moving forward. As I pondered away on finishing my novella, Aeva (my current wip), it occurred to me that Camp NaNo can help me finish the story. My goal for the Camp is to revise, to go through the story from the beginning and make sure everything connects and makes sense, to take care of loose plots or unnecessary scenes, and to create a cleaner and tighter storyline. And, as crazy as this might sound, I’m super excited.
Marlowe update. I loved writing this story. It’s still strong in my mind and my heart. Sometimes I will listen to the soundtrack I’ve created for this story and just get immersed in that world. I wish I could begin to revise it, but no-can-do yet. I need a little more distance and a little more time to think on the plot. What I have done is rewrite pieces that have popped into my head begging to be edited. Here’s an excerpt from one of those pieces. This is when Marlowe secretly meets with her friend, Sam:
I enter the dome. The lights are off so it’s darker than the last time I was here. The ceiling lets a soft light in casting a glow into the room. I thought Sam would be here waiting for me, but I’m the first one here. I walk to the center of the room and stand directly under the ceiling. I look up at the curved intricate design of the ceiling which resembles a spider’s web, a web that is both delicate and strong. The design stirs a mixture of emotions in me. It’s beautiful yet imposes power and fear. I take off my helmet. It will record my conversation with Sam if I leave it on and that’s not what I want. A clanging sound by the cyborg door grabs my attention and I turn toward it. The door slides open and there stands a cyborg—tall, tough-looking, all shiny metal, and strangely beautiful. It comes over to me. I’m about to put my helmet on so if it attacks me I’ll be ready, but the cyborg says, “Mareesa,” and I lower my helmet. The cyborg comes and stands in front of me leaving three feet of space between us as though by some rule it was trained not to get too close. The cyborg’s half-face visor slides away and reveals the same face I saw the other day that resembled Sam’s. “I am Sam, Cyborg-M30,” it says. He’s being funny so I laugh. “Stop the joke, Sam. Is this your way of telling me you got a big promotion? Must be nice to work in the Cyborg Unit.” “You are Mareesa Lowenstein,” the cyborg said. “You have access to my real name too, huh?” “That is the only name I have for you.” “I’m fine with you calling me Marlowe.” A few seconds of silence passes, and he says, “I do not register…Marlowe.” “Don’t mess with me, Sam. Where are you hiding?” I look around the room for hidden cameras. I’m expecting a door to open with Sam coming through. “I’m standing in front of you.” I look at the cyborg. “No. No. No.” I shake my head side to side. I don’t want to believe it. He’s playing me. He’ll stop. He always does. That’s Sam. “It’s me, your friend, Sam.” There is a long silence while I look into his brown eyes. They are his eyes. I look at his full face. How did I not recognize him before? I must have been fooled by all the robotic parts. I step closer to him and reach my hand up to his cheek. He leans his head down so I could touch the human part of him. “Sam,” I whisper, “who did this to you?”
I finished my NaNoWriMo story. Not only did I reach the goal of 50K words, I also ended the story. What I’ve learned from this experience is that I’m capable of cranking out a full novel within less than a month. It’s not perfect and it’s basically a super rough and dirty draft but the story is done.
Goals going forward:
Take a break from Marlowe and work on finishing Aeva.
Write new story I’ve been itching to start.
Continue with first edit of TLS fantasy novel.
Return to Marlowe and clean it up.
First edit of Marlowe.
Here is a cut-and-paste from my Nano page with the updated “Marlowe” synopsis (still somewhat rough) and an excerpt. The excerpt is the scene just after Marlowe fights a cyborg that detonated.
I’ve been working along on my “Marlowe” novel for NaNoWriMo and had an inspiration to make a concept art piece for one of the chapters. In this chapter, Marlowe meets her roommate’s boyfriend who has a robotic arm. He is essentially a cyborg but in their world, a cyborg is not a human with a robotic part or two. Cyborgs are more than that.
I made this piece using CS6 and the following images: