When art imitates life

I’m not doing so well at Camp. I’ve not been editing or writing as long as I should, or even any time at all during the day. Too much on my mind, really. Housework, being the agony aunt for both the in-laws and the parents, trying to get some estimates on fixing up the house (and daydreaming about how my kitchen might look). There’s a lot swirling around me and writing has been put on the back burner.

However, I’ve been rereading a lot of my previous works-in-progress to see where I might pick up and finish the stories. So far Moonstrike! is the favorite; I have a lot of that written already and I even got a chapter edited and posted at fanfiction.net. (I have it here; I just need to format it.) But I picked up a previous story, one I have mostly done but not published anywhere. It’s called Brainstorm and in the second chapter, I found I’d written in a situation that’s part of my real life right now. One of our family members is determined that their spouse is going to pass at home and has asked for home hospice. I can’t believe I was writing about such a situation back in 2011 (which is when I first wrote this story), but there it is. A very surprising situation and one that took my breath away.

That’s all I want to say for now. Just have to find the quiet time to maybe edit and finish some of these stories.

Here I am at day four.

I’m going along pretty well so far. I’m over halfway to day five’s goal and hopefully tomorrow I can write enough to put me a day ahead. The story itself is moving along, too., with a sizeable bit of world-building coming into focus. Our write-ins have been okay in terms of attendance, though the bookstore which waived the fee for us to use their community room told us we couldn’t have any chairs (as they have to rent them, apparently, and charge what they do to cover costs). There were padded benches and folding tables so those who attended did have places to sit, but I don’t think we’ll be using the bookstore again next year. Sad, really, considering that we’re literally writing the books they have on their shelves. (My co-ML, Tyffani Clark Kemp, is a published author whose books are on their shelves. So ‘literally’ is the word.)

I don’t have the wheelchair yet; the Girl and I waited for three hours at the dealership to get new tires for the truck. I miss driving, but I always have when something like this happens.  My favorite sister-in-law has agreed to take me down to get it Tuesday. (Which is really poor timing because the write-in that night is in the same town where I’ll be getting the wheelchair…)

Gearing up for NaNoWriMo!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I tried Camp NaNoWriMo again in July and failed miserably at it. Wrote hardly anything, possibly because a series of health-related issues among the parental units kept me on edge. In August, my husband and I went to visit those same parental units during a two-week long trip to points north. (We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary the first week.) I came back sick with a cold that hung on for a couple of weeks. Since then, I’ve tried to catch up with the housework and gear up for … yes, it’s NaNo season again!

This year’s theme is superheroes and it got me thinking about my writing. I realized, no matter whether I was writing fantasy or fan fiction, I was always writing about superheroes. Whether they used magic or technology, it was always superheroes! (A possible exception would be The Door to Anywhere.) So, before I even knew what the theme was, I had planned on actually writing about superheroes–comic book style heroes with colorful outfits, capes, masks, the works!

I’ve also decided to be a “plantser” this year. Normally, I’m a “pantser”, someone who writes by the seat of their pants, as opposed to a “planner”, someone who plans everything out. This time, I’m going to do some prior planning–character sheets, a bare-bones plot outline, and a bit of world-building as well. Maybe then I can make it to the actual end of my story and finish draft zero!

This is my 10th year as an ML for Greenville. I have a new co-ML in Tyffani Clark Kemp, a writer with her own publishing company. The library system has filled our month with write-ins; seven branches in all are participating. Tomorrow I have a table waiting for me at the Main library’s Southern Author Festival. It means I have to get up early to make sure all my ducks are in a row. So, until later days, y’all!

A little incentive…

Well, in my last installment, I talked about the book of short stories my mother-in-law had written and how I’d edited and had them printed up in an amazing quality book for her. (It really is amazing! Thanks, Blurb!) She was ever so happy about it and encouraged me to do the same for one of my own stories.

So, yesterday I got a letter in the mail from my father-in-law. Inside was a generous check and a cryptic line, “For services rendered”. Now, I hadn’t done what I did for money; I was all about the book being a labor of love. I didn’t know if my MIL knew what my FIL had done so when she called later, I mentioned it. Turns out she did and they want the money to go towards printing my own book.

To that end, I’ll be working on one of my older NaNo novels. Camp NaNoWriMo starts this week and I want to use that time to rewrite the story where needed. Someone said rewriting a draft from scratch is a really good way to iron out the bumps, so I may try it and see where it goes. I plan on posting excerpts along the way and I hope anyone interested in leaving feedback will register either here, with WordPress.com, or with Disqus. (If you already have a WordPress.com or Disqus account, I believe you can post replies to my site already.)

Now that this is up, I have even more incentive to get ‘er done!

It’s here!

My mother-in-law’s book has arrived, a full week and a half ahead of schedule! I think it looks great and I’m so excited, almost as excited as if I’d written it myself! Now I have even more impetus to write my own book! The 14-point type is really readable, even for those with vision issues. The cover is pretty simple, black and white with a light gray background. (I found the picture at freeimages.com and I give credit to the photographer on my acknowledgements page.) I’m really pleased with the quality of the printing! What looks like a smudge on that one page is actually the shadow of a wire.

Soooo excited to send it off to her!


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Back in the saddle, so to speak.

Over the past few weeks, as a gift to my lovely mother-in-law, I’ve been proofreading and gently editing some of her completed short stories. At first, it was supposed to be a surprise for her, but someone in the know inadvertently spilled the beans, so she knows all about it. Last night, I uploaded the seven stories I had to Blurb, where I have a gift certificate for $20. Turns out, I really didn’t need to use it. The softcover trade books came in at $5.01 apiece and Blurb sent me a 40% discount code. I ordered one for her and one for each of her children’s families. However, I don’t intend to set the book up for general sale and distribution. This is for her, and her alone.

This wasn’t something she would have asked for as she’s keenly aware of her own literary shortcomings. She’s dyslexic, which affects her writing in many interesting ways. She also writes the kind of stories she likes to read, mostly Westerns with a goodly dollop of romance added in. Her stories are light on description and heavy on dialog. As a Christian, she adds in elements of faith and prayer–just so the reader knows just why good triumphs over evil, which it does, every time. She writes them for an audience of one: herself. But, having seen how my brother reacted to the printed copies of two novels he completed during NaNoWriMo, I thought she should have that same experience. He was excited to see his work in print. I hope she is, too.

Since I haven’t used my gift certificate yet, my family is pushing me to do the same to one of my own stories. My husband says I should just whack off a part of something unfinished and print it up–after all, that’s what happened to Douglas Adams (who had massive trouble meeting deadlines). I wouldn’t do that, but I do have a story I could finish and edit. The gift certificate has no expiration date (though the 40% sale does). I guess I’ll try for it. I’ll also post some snippets as I go along if only to whet your appetites. More to come, I promise.

Second test down…

And a happy Father’s day for all the dads I know… including my own, my FIL, and my beloved Hubby!

As the title states, the Girl took the second of her College Board tests – the ACT – yesterday. She said it wasn’t quite as hard as the SAT and she was glad she didn’t have to write an essay. Hubby had Friday and Saturday off as his regular days off, and spent much of yesterday digging post holes for the fence, then repairing the spigot at the side of the house. Friday he went grocery shopping with me, which was nice.

Today we gave him cards and a gift: another Dr. Pepper t-shirt! It’s getting to be a household joke – don’t know what to get Dad? Get him a Dr. Pepper shirt! I think he has four or five of them now, including the long sleeved thermal one, and not including his sweatshirt style jacket. At least the one we got him today was different; it’s two shades of gray instead of the sort of murky red that the others ones are. Next up: Dr. Pepper sleep pants…

Dinner was great! Boy #1 gets into cooking, and did the 5-cup salad for me yesterday, then heated the green beans (his choice of veggie). He also set up the skewers for our first try at grilled seafood: shrimp and scallop kabobs. Hubby did the actual grilling, but Boy #1 set everything up for him. Man, that was good! We used this seafood seasoning shaker stuff on the kabobs. Marvelous flavor addition. And since we thawed out ALL of the seafood, we get to do it again either today or tomorrow! Yum!

Now it’s time for me to call my dad and wish him a Happy Father’s Day. I don’t know why, but both Mother’s and Father’s Days have just sort of crept up on me and caught me unawares. At least this time it was close enough to payday that I could get cards and gifts – and I put a little something in the packages for the moms, too. They probably should arrive by Tuesday.

Six Days!

It has taken six days for Chapter 5 of Overtures to be completed and posted. I can’t believe that it’s taken that long! But my brain isn’t as focused on it as it was on Masquerade. I have gotten some of chapter 12 of The White Winds written, but not a lot. I did come up with an interesting solution to the problem; I hope it passes muster.
Payday was yesterday and I did go shopping for groceries. I still have stuff to get, but it shouldn’t be too much more. Bought a bathroom scale and found out it didn’t work. The weight it gave me was flattering, but not accurate and I want accuracy.
My SIL gave me an ABBA Greatest hits album. I’ve been listening to it all week. Talk about a walk down memory lane! Whew!
Time for bed, really. I’ll post more as the muse moves.

Finally finished a chapter!

It’s taken so long it seems, but I’ve finally finished chapter 4 of Overtures. My muse has been really stingy on my fanfiction but very giving on my RP stuff. Maybe it’s because the RP stuff is short and the chapters are long, and part of a longer arc, I’m not sure. Now I need to work on The White Winds, which has over 6000 hits.
The Girl is at her cousin’s for the long weekend and I’m happy to have my husband home for two days instead of just one. Don’t know if he’s scheduled for Tuesday, which is his “day off”. Who knows? We might get a three day weekend after all.
More as the muse moves.

Chapter 35 is ready…

but I’m not putting it up until I get some reviews on Chapter 34! I’ve been putting these things up so quickly and it’s time to slow down just a bit. I won’t have a lot of time tomorrow for Chapter 36 with IR:TNP brainstorming and all, but I’ll do what I can. There may be an extra chapter in here somewhere. It depends on how much material I have left.
The AC keeps spitting water out at me. Makes me think it’s raining indoors.
Talked to my folks today. Told Dad about the diabetic advances. Talked to Rick’s new wife, Alison, yesterday for the first time. She seems real sweet. I was really happy that he remarried. He needed a new helpmeet and a mother for those kids. Looks like my  ILs are going to move back to MI eventually. They bought a mobile home near Rick and Bernie. My FIL has glaucoma in one eye and my MIL realizes that she’ll be doing a lot more driving. She’s not fond of driving in traffic, and we live in a city with traffic, so that really was a factor in their decision. (Plus my FIL wants to be there and not here, where his DIL stands up to him.)
More as my muse moves.