Hey so it just occurred to me that I haven’t even told you about the project I started for NaNoWriMo.
(If you haven’t heard me blabber on about NaNoWriMo yet and you don’t know what it is. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. All of these authors around the world commit to writing 50k words in the month of November. It’s a fun challenge. And I do it every year that I can.)
So let me introduce you to the new book I’ve been working on. Ready?
Dun Dun dun DUN!
It’s an adult paranormal thriller called, “The Glass Box Town”. (working title but we’ll see). Here’s the cover I made for it once upon a time:
Having just stolen her father’s car, Hallie finds herself lost on a desert road. Then the unthinkable happens, a strange woman from nowhere hurls herself in front of the moving vehicle. When Hallie goes to an eerie small town for help, they accuse her of the woman’s murder and force her to stay. The longer she stays the more the town’s diabolical motives begin to unravel.
If you follow my work, you know I’ve been writing Rom Coms for the past… forever. So switching to this one was definitely intimidating. A bit out of the comfort zone, but in a good way.
I won NaNoWriMo even though I felt like I was losing my mind almost every day. I also made a short video on my NaNo journey if you haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet!
Stay tuned for more updates on this novel. And thanks for checkin’ in!
So I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Woot woot!!!! So excited for it too. I didn’t participate last year because ya know… newborns will do that to you. But back at it again with the lofty writing goals.
REAL QUICK If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is… It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Authors from all over the globe attempt to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I’ve already been working on it for several days now.
Last time I did it I FREAKING CRUSHED IT. Finished my whole novel in THREE WEEKS. But I’m kind of a freak when it comes to writing soooo… Do I anticipate to do that again? Abso-freaking-lutely NOT. haha. For some reason (a reasonable reason) adding the second kid really slowed me down when it comes to drafting.
But I DID do 10k in a single day with both kids so… I could just do five of those and then… ugh. That makes me feel so tired I can’t even finish that sentence.
I’m doing a couple of things differently this year and I’m *intrigued* to see how they go.
One of the biggest differences is that I’m not going in sequential order. This is the 4th novel I’ve started and I’ve always strictly gone in order. Chapter One, Two, Three… But yeah, I’ve decided I’m not doing that this year. This time if there is a scene I’m really excited “to get to”, I’m just going to straight-up write it!
I’m also going to dabble in dictation. I’ve used it a little with outlining and blogging but never drafting. I think it would help with speed or situations where I can’t sit down and write, but I dunnnnoooo… my speech to text on both my phone and laptop are hilariously inaccurate. So if I do too much of it, I’m going to be rewriting my whole book in the editing room.
I also am going to vlog a little each day. *Try to* that is, so don’t hold me to it.
If the NaNo site fixed their links, you can see how I’m doing here:
Hey, so here’s an accomplishment. I took the “10 K in One Day” writing challenge, drafting ten thousand words of my novel in a single day. It was (rightfully) more difficult than I thought it was going to be. BUT I DID IT! I can’t run a marathon, but I CAN DO THIS THO!
If you’re not a writing nerd, here are some general word counts for reference:
The average paragraph is 200 words
The average American term paper is 2,000 words
“The Great Gatsby” is a little less than 50,000 words.
Here’s a vlog of it, if you like those kinds of things or would rather hear my gross rambly voice. (Apologies beforehand: the sound is all over the place, I do not know how to work my new editing software.)
After the announcement of all my doings and goings on in the writing world, I’ve been hearing a lot of the same thing: I would love to do something like that, if I had that kind of motivation.
Motivation is an interesting thing. I think first and foremost the best motivation for something is having a sincere love for that thing. What is important to you? How do you prioritize your time? I write because I feel absolutely uncontrollably COMPELLED to do it. If I don’t write for a long period of time, I get really irritable. No joke. It’s a part of me that I fully embraced a couple of years ago and haven’t been able to let go.
But I will let you in on another secret motivational tool that I use… like a practical non-metaphoric one. It’s what got me to write a novel in twenty days. It’s the reason I’m producing short stories almost daily. In fact, it’s what is motivating me to write this blog post right now. Do you want to know what it is?
I buy a package of really good-looking brownies from my local grocery store. I set in on the counter where I have to see it all the time. And then I DO NOT LET MYSELF have one until I have written 1,000 words.
I’ll put Jack down for a nap and be COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED… and yet, I cannot stop thinking about those freaking brownies. So I very quickly write a whole bunch of words until I’ve hit the goal. And then I can finally have one.
And then you know what happens? After I eat one… I want a FREAKING ‘NOTHER ONE.
So I end up writing another thousand words, because my pregnancy cravings are too strong for me to even handle.
And that’s how I do it. And that’s why I’m even writing this post right now. I write like a steam engine trying to get a DeLorean back to 1985… and then later I go back and edit that mess… for which I reward myself more chocolate.
It’s worked SOOOO well that I’ve actually started doing housework for small bottles of Coke. You should SEE my house right now.
Utilize your vices. Make your weaknesses work for you. Are you a fatty like me? Dude. Set goals for baked goods and you’ll be SHOCKED at the results.
In reality, dreams are really hard work. Even your passion can flicker out every once in while and that’s okay. Dangle a carrot in front of your face and KEEP AT IT!
ALSO PS. If you didn’t catch last week’s blog post. I have a short story being published in an anthology that comes out next month. I made some promotional artwork for it because it was really late at night and apparently I hate sleeping.
Like I’m not even sure what is going on. I wrote the entire first draft in twenty freaking days. And I guess that wasn’t over-achiever enough for me because I revised and rewrote the entire second draft the following month. So that means, that from the 1st of November to the 28th of December, I wrote, redrafted and rewrote a 200 page novel.
While also designing covers. While also being a mom of a toddler. While also holidays and stuff. Whaaaaaat even happened? Like maybe I’m actually a cyborg or something? Because I don’t even know how that could have actually been a thing.
But yeah! That happened. Will that happen again in my life? I doubt it. But right now my little book is pushing right along. Only three people have read it so far, but the numbers are adding up quickly. Right now, I have two critique partners scrutinizing their way through it, as well as an editor lined up. Even though this process is going quick for me (NOT NORMAL) I’m still trying to be thorough and am planning on a few more drafts (Started draft three today WHAT EVEN). Depending on what the editor says I’ll likely be sending it off to agents in the summer. (AAAAAAAAAAAAH!)
So that’s crazy.
Also a while back I posted a survey asking what I should do with the blog in 2018. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF YOU requested that I please keep the embarrassing stories segment… which I have tons of material for so that’s not a problem. I was glad to see that the “story time format” was so well loved, because I have soooo many stories outside of the embarrassing realm. Which brings me to this…
I am adding a second monthly story time called “The Craziest Things That Have Ever Happened to Me”
You can expect the first installment of that next Thursday, where I tell you something that happened to me just last week. Very exciting. Subscribe so that you don’t miss a single ridiculous story.
Here’s a visual representation of the 2018 schedule:
Week 1: Mommy Post / Family Things
Week 2: Embarrassing Stories
Week 3: Writing Updates / Samples / Various Essays
Week 4: The Craziest Things That Have Ever Happened
NaNoWriMo went fantastic! I finished the challenge and my book in only twenty days. Wow. I don’t know how that was humanly possible.
Now, I’m trying to edit the beast. And I won’t lie to you, it is puh-retty tedious at best. I have 30K of my second draft officially done… but still so SO long left to go.
So to keep sanity, I adopted a second creative outlet.
At first it started out just for myself. I started to make book covers for other novels that I have rattling around in my mind. But after the first couple, I realized that DESIGNING COVERS WAS SO MUCH FUN!
So I opened it up to other authors and then others AND THEN OTHERS.
Finally, I am fully extending my services and opening it up to anyone. (Low-key and fairly cheap.) It’s a hobby really and I liked my brief getaways from the monotony of edits. If you want to see my lovely covers that I’ve done already, you can VISIT THIS PAGE. Or if you need a cover done for you VISIT THIS PAGE.
If you had told me this was how my new project announcement was going to go, I would’ve told you NO. That is NOT my plan. But you know what? When you’re a creative person, sometimes you don’t have a choice. And I know that sounds completely psychotic… and it totally is. But it’s almost like your own heart holds you hostage and you cannot freaking help yourself.
I finished writing the final episode of my TV show last month. It took a full year and a LOT of work. Really. A lot. FOR MONTHS I had been so excited to finally be able to move on to this other project (more on this in a sec). But the very day that I finished the show, my mind ran away with the idea… that “Identity Crisis” needs to be turned into a novel.
Almost 100% of my beta readers have asked me about making a novel out of it. And I mildly toyed with the idea. I knew if I did, it would have to be a TOTAL re-write. The completed series follows my life almost exactly, but for a book version I would prefer it to be cover to cover fictional. Mostly, because hey man… if I’m going to put in the work to write a dang novel, I’m going to put in the work to dang publish it, that’s what! And I ain’t about to publish an autobiography yet.
I was not able to turn off the creative faucet with this idea. I mean it was the kind of idea that keeps you up at night. So I caved and sat down to do a complete brain dump. And you know what happened? The entire outline erupted out onto the page.
That coupled with an outpouring of positive feedback from a Facebook post about the series… I was like, okay… This is what needs to be worked on right now.
So, with that unnecessarily long backstory out of the way!
Yes. I will be re-writing Identity Crisis as a YA Contemporary novel! Woo hoo! The title of the novel will be “The Other Five Percent”. It’s about a girl who has her heart broken and rebels by trying to ruin her reputation in a predominantly conservative high school. (Sorta like “Freaks and Geeks” if it were set in suburban Utah…)
My plan for this book is to try for the traditional publishing route. Personally for me, that’s a dream that I want to see realized at some point in my life.
I’m also doing this book for NaNoWriMo, because I’m a crazy person.
What’s NaNoWriMo? Oh, National Novel Writing Month? Don’t worry, it’s just this little thing where you write a 50,000 word novel in a 30 FREAKING DAYS. This is my first time trying it out. I don’t even know what to expect, but it’s a good way to puke out the first draft of my book.
I’m still not giving up on the project that I was planning on announcing today.
Here and there and in between (but don’t ask me when) I will also be working on a collection of horror stories that together I’m referring to as “The Doubting Shadow”.
Six different women are forced to face their social insecurities by increasingly bizarre and eerie circumstances. Eventually, they come to realize that their greatest fears are only a shadow of something worse.
Although, I feel that the stories would do well in a collection together, I’ll most likely be breaking them up and selling them out individually. It’s just a lot easier to market that way. Maybe one day I’ll be able to put out “The Doubting Shadow”, but right now I want to focus on a novel that I can debut with.
No worries, you can still expect these weird little stories to trickle out over the next couple of years.
Keep tuning in for more development on these projects! And you can always peruse my “projects page” if you feel like it.