Nanowrimo Day 28 Update: Closing in on the end & Chapter 9 online

So this is it–I have until Friday night to complete Nanowrimo and I am nearly done. I only have to write 2700 more words.  I could probably finish tonight if I have the energy, but I don’t want to stress myself.  I’ll just let the words come out in their usual fits and starts until they flow more easily.

I won’t say this has been an easy Nanowrimo experience. There have been mornings when I wake up and I am still too tired to write (and it definitely shows) but I force myself to do it anyway. And then I wonder why I can’t keep this same momentum all year. I used to be a more disciplined writer. When I was working on my MFA, I always made sure I had an hour or two to write. When I first moved to Sweden, I made sure I wrote everyday. I think I went through a period of trying to adjust to a new culture, a new language and the crazy winter darkness here–takes some getting used, I assure you–and the next thing I knew months had gone by and I hadn’t written a single word on the first novel I tried to write. I joined a writers group, started 3 novels, finished one. Still felt like I wasn’t getting anything done.

And then Rebecca Foreman told me about Nanowrimo. The first year, I finished one day late. The second year, I faltered. Ditto all the other years I tried…until 2011, when I finished a day ahead of schedule. Now it’s 2012, and it looks like I’ll be a day ahead of schedule again.

By the way, Chapter 9 is online in all its unedited glory.

Happy reading (and writing)!

Nanowrimo Update Day 23: I passed the 38K mark and Chapter 7 is now online.

Yesterday turned out to be a good day, despite starting off with not feeling well. Sometime around midday I was beginning to feel like my old self again and that’s when I began answering work emails and writing. I took a break at around 2 PM and had a very late lunch and forced myself outside (and out of my pajamas) to get some fresh air. I took my MacBook Air (it goes by the name of Zuzu, just like George Bailey’s daughter in It’s a Wonderful Life), went to a local café and wrote a bit more. When I came home, I wrote while cooking dinner. I wrote while watching True Blood and New Girl. And then it happened–by 9:30PM I’d finally crossed into the land of 38K. By 10PM, I’d written 38,416 words. I am now less than 12,000 words away from completing Nanowrimo.

So, with that in mind, I bring you Chapter 7–the one with the clunky beginning. Heck, maybe the entire chapter is clunky. As I reread all of the chapters, I see the things I need to fix. It’s the same with this one, but I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

To my American readers, belated Thanksgiving tidings! Hope you stuffed yourselves with plenty of turkey, candied sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. I will enjoy my turkey tomorrow and Sunday. 🙂 And don’t get pulled into the Black Friday hype unless you really think you’re getting an exceptional deal. Usually, those very same items are on sale again in a few days at roughly the same price. Trust me, I know. I used to work in retail in the US.

Happy reading (and writing)!


First draft done…now what to do…?

On Sunday night I finished the first draft of the novel I started for Nanowrimo 2009–(working title: The Time Is Now…) the one that should have taken me 30 days to write but instead took over a year–and it feels both wonderful to have finished it and sad to be without my main characters, Kyra & Christian.

Now my writing buddy, Kim K., is reading my first draft so she can give me comments that will help me revise. Sometimes I think revising harder than actually writing the first draft. At least when you’re writing the first draft, it all feels new and you’re still in love with your story. When you are revising, your love affair with your story sometimes goes from the mushy honeymoon period to the bickering and nagging stage when you aren’t sure why you loved the story in the first place.

Hopefully, I will not begin to hate my characters or my story as I revise. Hopefully, I will be able to remain in love with their story and give them the attention they deserve. I am simply happy that I finished it before I head off at the end of the month for a writers retreat in Matera, Italy. While there, I hope to work on an outline for another book. I am not sure what the new one will be about, but I know at least one character will be called Milo.


The guilty pleasure that is Duran Duran…

John Taylor back in the day...

This week’s post will be short. I have had the week from hell and I need to finish the first draft of my novel, which my writing buddy has been patiently waiting to receive. She’s read the first 145 pages. Now I need to give her the remaining pages and I am still stuck trying to tie up loose ends.

But…I just wanted to take a moment to share an interview with Rob Sheffield, the author of Love Is a Mix Tape and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran. I haven’t read either book yet. However, now that I’ve read this interview, I am intrigued and have ordered both books.

The titles alone caught my attention. I was a teenager in the 1980s so I remember the guilty pleasure of liking Duran Duran. On the one hand, I loved their music and I had crushes on Simon Le Bon and John Taylor–just like those pink-clad Duranies who roamed the corridors of my elementary school and high school. But I also liked Echo & the Bunnymen, the Cure, Depeche Mode and Tears for Fear–so I was convinced I was somehow more “intellectual”. In hindsight, I was hardly intellectual back then–I wouldn’t even call myself intellectual now. But when you are a teenager and you are trying to define yourself, you don’t want to be associated with girls whose giggly frothiness is just too much to bear. Even when you like the same music and you secretly harbor the same pubescent lust for a gangly yet gorgeous British bassist.

So now I will patiently await the arrival of Rob Sheffield’s books and return to my first draft, which features scenes that have been written while listening to Duran Duran’s “Waiting for the Sound of Thunder”, “Planet Earth” and “New Religion”. Maybe listening to Duran Duran today will push me even closer to finally finishing this draft.