July Camp–NaNoWriMo

KPOQ8333July is here, and I’m so excited about summer camp. Well, a different kind of camp. I’m participating  in the NaNoWriMo Camp where I join other authors on a vigorous journey through the writing world, the highs and lows, the ravines and hills, and hopefully a mountain or two. Each camper has his/her own goal. Mine is a rigorous 50,000 words–new words.

National Novel Writing Month is one of my favorite things to do. I will admit I’ve only done this twice before with success. Why? This is a place I can be held accountable for my goal and my words. That might seem silly because it’s a completely online environment. There are other “people” lurking just like me who need a place to record their words and progress. Each region has a cheering squad where we encourage each other to push forward.

IMG_5960I will post my progress occasionally. As of this moment, I’ve written 2210 words! Woo Hoo! But it is a start, right?

My goal is to complete Whispers of Wisdom (#3 in Gardens in Time) and begin a fun new series yet to be announced. I have my items of inspiration: books, pictures, maps, and vision board. I love the destination, Château de Chenonceau in France. Set in 1747 with the beautiful gardens and the River Cher as the background, my characters are experiencing some interesting scenarios with scheming and intrigue within the grounds they tend.

As I enjoy camp each day, I hope you have some of your own goals and projects for this month. Please share!!!

 

NaNoWriMo recap

IMG_4729I want to give a little shout out for an awesome group: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Before COVID19 attacked, I had signed up to participate in the April Writing Camp. I set my goal at 30,000 words on my new work in progress, Whispers of Wisdom. I didn’t know if I could meet my goal, since normally I teach full time. I will add that I did meet the November NaNoWriMo 50,000 goal for 2019. Yet, I knew I’d have to adjust to add new words every day in the spring.

IMG_4437Then, I had a lot of help. No more full time teaching for the school year. I treated my writing as a job. I researched in March finding resources in French and English to support my plot. The topic: 1747 France, Chenonceau Château, Enlightenment, Salons, Rousseau, gardening, Madame Dupin, Madame Pompadour, King Louis XV.  I’m still researching even though I have written 30,000 words of the novel.

IMG_4756On April 1, I began the first chapter of Book Three in Gardens in Time: Whispers of Wisdom. I’ve finished six chapters and will keep writing another 60,000 words until The End.

The times are difficult for the nation, the state, the individuals, the family but hopefully you can find the extra time to do something you thought you’d not have time for in the normal day.

For the month of May, I will be sharing about the little things I’ve added to my day during these simpler times.

What is something you’ve had time to do?IMG_4757

Juggling

IMG_2533Have you ever tried to juggle? I tried to juggle three balls at once when I was a child, but I believe I quickly gave up the trick finding something else to master. Now, as an adult, I feel I juggle all the time. How I wish it were only three harmless balls. If a ball happens to fly out of my control, it bounces away causing no harm or significance. Well, who knows what will happen if one of my juggling pieces falls. Sometimes it crashes and leaves many pieces to put back together.

IMG_2531We have many areas of life that we all have to juggle. They fit into our schedules and we do the best we can allotting time, money, and energy to each one. Some area I give attention to are family, job, meals, meetings, projects, and church. But lately, the juggling act has become a challenge when certain items are competing for a limited amount of time. Something has to give. What do you do when all the balls in the air cannot keep momentum?

I’ll give an example of my last week. One area that demands my attention is my writing (which is not my paying job). I need to write, to edit, to review, and to read. I desire to do all four in any given week. It seems my juggling skills are not capable of doing all those items right now. I was so excited to begin writing my next novel and made progress to the count of 15,000 words. At the same time I began to edit another novel that needs to be returned to the publisher. Then, another ball was thrown into the circle–a second round edit for my novel to be released in February. Suddenly, my priority had to shift. A ball had to drop with as little damage as possible. I didn’t want anything to break of be damaged. So I accessed my situation and much to my chagrin I had to put aside my writing and my edit of a future publication. Sad face!

IMG_2534Yet, in a week I will have finished my edit and can pick up my writing again. The cycle can be broken without harm, at least in my situation. I don’t want anyone in my life to suffer because of my clumsy or mismanaged juggling skills. Family, meals, job, and spiritual need to run as smoothly as possible. The other items have their time and place.

What is it that you juggle? Do you ever drop the ball? I sure do… but usually I can pick it up later.

 

Research for the soul…

IMG_0186Well, maybe not for every soul. But for me, research is a thrill. It always has been even way back in junior and senior high. I even went back to school for graduate work and concentrated on the areas of research. I thought about getting another masters degree in order to research some more. But, I stopped with my MA in English. After all, I can research on my own…whatever topic I want.

IMG_2093I’ve found many ways and places to satisfy my deep desire to learn something new or to delve into a topic whether for a new novel I’m writing or a new interest. The library is always a top choice–the smell of old books and the feel of aged paper as well as the thickness of the volume or the well-used softness of the paper. The internet offers many resources too. I’ve found recently that archives in state libraries and museums are an awesome source of information.

On my recent trip to Charleston, SC for research, I bought four new books–South Carolina and the American Revolution by John Gordon, The Life of General Francis Marion by P. Horry, Crescent Moon over Carolina by C.L. Bragg, and A Gallant Defense by Carl Borick. I take these books and a highlighter and read and read letting ideas form for a plot. My focus now is on 1777-1782 American Revolution in Charles Town. Whether nerdy or not, I must admit I love this part of writing. Even though I’m not finished with the research, I couldn’t wait to write the first paragraph. So, the novel writing process has commenced.

What are your feelings on research?