Good Luck NaNoers!

November, National Novel Writing Month is almost upon us!

I however, will not be joining the fun and frenzy as such. My plan is a different sort of challenge. I’ve noticed that whenever I do NaNoWriMo I really burn myself out and spend the next several months not writing at all. So! My plan is to write at least 10,000 words in November, and then 10,000 in December, and so on for the whole next year and beyond. I’m warming up my engines already by writing at least 400 words a day through the end of October.

But to my NaNo-ing friends and colleages–I salute you!

Happy Yarning!


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.

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!

Camp NaNoWriMo: The Home Stretch

Only a few days left in the month. It’s been great to get words out on the page with Featherfolk, and I’ve had fun and giggles with a flash fiction piece for a contest as well.

While I came out of the gate with a burst and stayed ahead of schedule most of the month, I’m stalling out. I’m agonizing over a pivotal scene. It’s so important that I get it right.

I think I need to give myself permission to tell it wrong. At least in this draft.

Here we go: “Julia, you can mess up. It’s okay. Just write something.”

Perhaps I should put a sticker with those words on my computer…

Because it’s time to gear up for the home stretch. I’ve promised myself some sweet Camp swag if I meet my goal.

I’m going to think of this last bit as a literal stretch. Yes, I’m running out of steam and my apartment is a sty and I’m moving in a month, and my baby just woke up again, but I can reach this goal!

Happy Yarning.

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!

Let It Go

squirrely plot diagram

While Raven is stepping out on submission, I’ve decided to turn my efforts to his sequel, Gwenolwyn and the Crystal Vault. This was my NaNoWriMo project last November, and while I “won” NaNo by hitting 50,000 words, I have not finished the first draft of Gwen’s story.

In addition, I sort of went off the rails around 30,000 words and most of what followed will need to be scrapped.

So where to start?

I’m starting by stepping back and deciding what story I want to tell.

I’m brainstorming. I’m letting go of what the manuscript is and looking at what it could be. Once I figure that out, I’ll pick up roughly where I left off, but tell the story as it should have been. When I reach the end, I’ll go back and retell the beginning until I meet myself in the middle. (Hey, it worked for Raven.)

I’m not worrying about how much work it will take to incorporate some of the ideas I’ve come up with. After all, watering a live plant is much more productive than watering a dead one.

Gwen’s story is more complicated than Raven’s. It gets darker. It gets more dangerous. But I want to tell it.

I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Yarning!

P.S. Happy Independence Day! Our country is far from perfect, but it’s the only United States of America we’ve got.

Why Sundays are important during NaNoWriMo

I don’t write on Sundays.

Not even during NaNoWriMo.

Mostly this is because of my belief in the sacredness of the Sabbath. I try to avoid any work outside of service to others, cooking meals, or necessary housecleaning. But last November I discovered something magical about not writing on Sundays.

It sounds like it would make NaNoWriMo harder, because it means writing 50,000 words in 26 days, not 30. But that’s where the magical thing happens. It makes it easier.

Once a week, I got a guilt-free day off. It didn’t matter how many thousands of words behind I was, I didn’t have to catch up that day. The weekly break allowed me freedom to renew my spiritual and creative juices. Yes, I had to plan on writing 1,923 words a day 6 days a week, instead of the usual 1,667, but it was a small price to pay to keep one day free from work and stress.

Whether or not you’re religious, this is my tip for making it through NaNoWriMo: pick a day and make it your “Sunday.”


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.