A Successful July Camp

I’m on track to finish camp today! 10,000 words doesn’t seem like very much when I glance back across the scenes I wrote this month, but it’s a big accomplishment for me. Really, any amount I write gets me closer to that sweet “The End” summit up ahead.

If you’re staring at a word count goal you know you can no longer reach this month, remember:






So, how did you succeed this month?

Edit: I won!


Happy Yarning, everyone!


So, How’s Camp Going?

Where did the week go? Friday snuck up on me.

This morning I went looking for some pre-Incan ruins on Google images to fuel my next scene in Featherfolk. Maybe it was a mistake to fill my head with all that right before checking out the sale at my local toy store? Maybe not.

I came home with this little herd of alpacas and this sand castle mold.


Baby also approves!


I’m a few hundred words behind in Camp NaNoWriMo, but I’m determined to catch up by the end of the month. So far, some awesome scenes have taken shape. Here’s hoping for some more.

See you at the finish line!

Happy Yarning.

WIFYR Notebook: “Unputdownable”

I’d like to share a few things I learned from Ilima Todd’s “Writing the Unputdownable Story” lecture from WIFYR last month.

An unputdownable story will have a character you want to follow. He or she doesn’t have to be likeable, but s/he should be relatable, have a complex personality, have faults, and go through some kind of growth.

S/he needs to have a need. A concrete need. As the author you have to make sure s/he doesn’t get it and make it more and more difficult to get as the story progresses. At the end, s/he either gets it or learns that s/he doesn’t need it anymore.

Another element to keep readers reading is tension. Each scene should have conflict, internal or external or both. Let things go wrong for your character. Have characters with conflicting goals, where both can’t win. Or give your characters’ actions unintended consequences.

Stakes. This is an area I was falling short in with my recent drafts. What happens if your character doesn’t acheive his or her goals? There need to be stakes, which should rise throughout the story and series.

These were the big things I took from her lecture. I hope they’re helpful to you.

I’m putting my fingers where my mouth is (yum?) and doing another 10,000 word Camp Nanowrimo this month.

Happy Yarning!

Success! and a Short Short

I reached my goal of 10,000 words last month for Camp NaNoWriMo! That got Featherfolk draft III off to a good start. I also wrote a flash fiction piece for the Mormon Lit Blitz competition. Here’s hoping I make it as a finalist!

This month has been hard, but not as crazy as a November NaNo. Still, I’m looking forward to kicking back a little and getting some crocheting done.

Happy Yarning!

This Is Not Knitted


While my Hufflepuff scarf gradually grows, I’ve been practicing with color. I can now keep two separate strands tensioned on my left fingers while I crochet. Yes, the above swatch is crocheted! Tunisian knit stitch makes for a bulkier textile than I usually like, but it looks very neat. Rather than the “k”s of Tunisian simple stitch, it makes “v”s!

And Camp NaNoWriMo is going swimmingly. I’m even a bit ahead of schedule and having bunches of fun with my lovely cabin mates.

Let the Frenzy Commence

Remember what I said last week about NaNoWriMo-induced frenzies?
I decided last-minute to pack up my metaphorical gear and head out to camp.

Camp NaNoWriMo, that is!

My goal for April Camp is a modest 10,000 words. Minus Sundays, that means just under 400 words a day.

I’m all cozied up with writing buddies in a cabin, and we’re typing away.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Yarning!

Which Project to Pursue?


Which manuscript copy

At the end of Camp NaNoWriMo, I had a conundrum. My Camp project was 50,000 words long, but several chapters shy of “The End.” Meanwhile, I had a mostly-finished fourth draft of another story to finish up, which I’d set aside for the month of April. And upon picking that up once more, I realized it was going to need more than a quick read-through to finalize the draft.

What to work on?

Raven’s story was begging to be finished so I could start querying agents and trying to get it published, yet if I were to put Lia’s story away, losing all my excitement and momentum, I knew I might not get back to it for a long, long time.

Working on both simultaneously also wasn’t looking good. I have to turn on super-editing-mode at this point with Raven, and getting the editor to shut up when I want to pump out a first draft was causing Lia’s story to stall out.

(Not to mention they take place in different universes, with different cultures and magic systems. Lia’s story alone contains three distinct magic systems and three different narrators.)

After whining about it to my writing buddy Whitney, I came to a decision. I’ll let Raven sit and stew a little longer. After all, it didn’t hurt him during April. I’m going to stop being lazy and sprint for the end of Lia’s story with NaNoWriMo-esque speed.

Happy Yarning! (<–my battle cry)

What creative conundrums have you faced and vanquished lately?


A Plug for NaNoWriMo

Nanowrimo 2013

The first time I heard about National Novel Writing Month, I thought my friend was insane. 50,000 words in 30 days?! I made a half-hearted attempt the next year, just because a few of my friends were going for it. Needless to say, I didn’t get far.

A few years later in November 2011 I gave it another shot. There’d been a story rattling around in my brain called Genie and the Trinketeers, and I wanted to write it. I didn’t believe I could do it in one month, and guess what? I ended the month at around 23,000 words.

November 2013 rolled around. I’d graduated college, my husband had found a well-paying job, and I was unemployed. This time I bet on myself. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I thought I should do it, at least once in my life. And I won.

My prizes: a 50,000-word partial first draft of the sequel to Raven and the Trinketeers, 50% off Scrivener (I’m never going back to OpenOffice), and the knowledge that I could push myself to write. Every day. All day, if I had to.

That’s why I’m doing it again. Today marks the start of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I’m probably typing furiously away as you read this. I don’t think NaNoWriMo is for everyone, but for me it seems to be the most efficient way to get a story out of my head and into a file where I can do something with it.

Here’s to a new first draft!


Happy Yarning.