Post-Nanowrimo Update: Last three chapters online

That's me! :)

That’s me! 🙂

Now that Nanowrimo is over, I can do useless things like watch TV and do laundry (actually, I managed to do both of these things while I was doing my Nanowriting). It also means I can start my Christmas Movie Bonanza–the annual event when Tord and I overload on our favorite Christmas movies like Elf, the Holiday, Surviving Christmas, the Preacher’s Wife and Love, Actually. And we drink glögg (Swedish for mulled wine).

Now, for those of you who’ve been following Laney, Mads & Niklas’s story, you can now read the last three chapters of Maybe Baby. Please remember it’s still really, really rough. And there are still plot holes–already thinking of ways to correct them. Hope you enjoy the rest of the story. It’ll  be online until the end of the month. After that, I’ll start a new page to keep you updated on the revision status of Maybe Baby and when I hope to make it available.

Also, this month, I’m trying to raise money to donate to Stockholms Stadsmision, an organization here in Stockholm that helps women and children in need, the homeless, and substance abusers who are trying to recover. If you buy a copy of  The Melanie Chronicles (ebook or print version) or Linger: a short story (Kindle-only), all the profits for the month of December will be donated to the mission.

Happy First Advent! 🙂

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 25: 41.5K words and Chapter 8 online now

Last night while making a turkey for my belated Thanksgiving dinner, I worked on Maybe Baby. After we finished eating and then watching an episode of Big Bang Theory, I continued working on my NaNoNovel. And now, I have crossed into the home stretch: I have written 41,500 of the 50,000 words necessary to complete Nanowrimo. If I can stay on track, I will finish on 28 November. That is my goal this year–to finish slightly ahead of schedule.

I am pleased that I’ve managed to be so disciplined. I am usually a lazy writer in that I write in fits and spurts. I force myself to get up at 6 AM every weekday morning and sometimes I manage to write, other mornings I edit or try to revise. There are those mornings when I am just too tired and I end up reading celebrity gossip on or I stare at the screen as I try to read Huffington Post through sandy eyes. I don’t get much done. Some mornings only 200 words emerge. On a good morning I will have written close to 1000 words before it’s time to take a shower and head to work. But then it’s time for Nanowrimo and I always get at least 500 words written before it’s time to go to work. And then I come home after work and write (and don’t stop writing) until I reach my daily goal of 1600+ words.

And…before I forget…Chapter Eight is now online! Go to my Nanowrimo 2012 page and you can continue following Laney’s story.

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)!


I am a NaNoWinner

That's me!

At 6:48AM this morning, something magical happened: I wrote the last sentence of my NaNoWriMo novel. I was so focused on writing that I forgot to eat breakfast. My fingers danced over the keyboard and so many ideas sprang into my head that I could barely keep up with them. Then I looked up at my Project Targets window in Scrivener and realized that I had written more than 50,000 words. I was done. For a few minutes, I was completely stunned–this was the first time I’d finished Nanowrimo on time–in fact, I finished it a day early.

But my joy was short-lived–when I tried to validate, the Official Nanowrimo Validator claimed I hadn’t written 50,000+ words. According to the validator, I was shy of the official target by 367 words. I wanted to scream. I checked Scrivener.  The Project Target window still showed 50,067 words. I tried again. Nope, the NaNoValidator still claimed I was short of words. So what was I to do? I wanted to validate my novel so I wrote exactly 367 more words just so it would be “official”.

But the most important thing is that I did it–I managed to write the first draft of a novel that I can revise and either submit to agents or publish myself and I did it in 29 days. I am proud of myself for actually writing so quickly and ignoring my inner editor and my evil inner critic and wrote without worrying if every sentence was perfect or if I forgot to bring in some plot points until I was nearly finished the book. I can fix all those problems when I revise and I don’t have to feel like I can’t finish Nanowrimo on time anymore. I know I can. Because I did. 🙂

Nano Update, Week 3 redux — Chugging to 30K and new excerpt online

So now I’ve crossed the 28000K threshold–yay me! And the story is rolling along mighty nicely. As of now, I have 28500 words written. I think I could make it to 30K tonight.

If you want to read any of it, go to the Nanowrimo 2011 tab here on the blog and you can read a new excerpt, this one is from Chapter Six.

So what’s happening now? Well, Jake and Mia return home and find Mia’s married ex, Evan, shivering in the driveway. He thinks he can talk Mia into continuing their affair. Little does he know that and Jake have already admitted their attraction to one another. A storm’s blowing in and the winds have picked up. Will they be able to get Evan back on the road or will they be stuck with him for the night…?

Just to get you in a Vermont mood, here’s a view of West Windsor, Vermont blanketed in snow.

Nano Update: Week 3

Well, this week has been a week marked by sluggishness. Not because I am losing steam. This is sluggishness caused by having the cold from Hell. I should be closing in on 30,000 words by now. Actually, today I should be at the 26,666-word mark. I am nowhere near there. I am at 21,899 words. Why? Well, on Friday, I began feeling under the weather. It started with a bit of brain fog, the telltale sign of upcoming sinus problems and cold. I ignored it. I thought it was just that I was hungry and my blood-sugar levels were low from not having a mid-day snack. Then I woke up on Saturday and the back of my nose and throat burned. I still thought it was no big deal. Took my multivitamin, went for a walk, came home and did some writing. And then the sneezing started. And then the fever came. And then the runny nose made its appearance. By Sunday, my nose was sore, congested and runny. My sinuses throbbed. By Monday, I was running a fever of 100.2°F (37.9°C). I have been trying to stay on track but writing with a fever has proved impossible. I didn’t manage to get any writing done on Monday. I was feeling a bit better on Tuesday and managed to write 2000 words. If I am lucky, I will manage 2000 words today. At least the fever is gone. The main thing plaguing me now is inner-ear pain caused by pressure from my congested sinuses. I will probably go back to work tomorrow since the fever is now gone. I will need to bust my ass the rest of the week and this weekend to get back on track.

So what’s happening now? Not much. A long, meandering chapter in which Jake and Mia go to a tree farm to pick out a Christmas tree. And Jake realizes he’s attracted to Mia. And since my story is set in Vermont, I figured we could enjoy a view of the Northeast Kingdom region in Vermont I found on Yankee Magazine‘s website. It was a reader-submitted photograph for their 2011 Autumn Photo contest but I couldn’t find the name of the photographer.

Nano Update: End of Week 2

I am coming to what many say is the hardest part of Nanowrimo–getting past the 20,000-word threshold. I am pretty close. I should have crossed it yesterday but I had a translation to work on and I wasn’t feeling well (and I went out after work on Thursday and Friday). My plan was to spend all Saturday writing. For the most part, I did. But, since I fell behind already on Thursday, I had a lot of writing to do. Still, I think today I will be able to pass 20000 words and be on par for the Sunday goal.

So what’s happening in my story now? Well, Mia goes into the guest house attic when Jake isn’t at home to look for her grandmother’s Christmas decorations. While searching, she finds Jake’s trunks full of his camera equipment and notebooks. Snoopy girl that she is, she reads part of one of his journals and learns that Jake was in Afghanistan, working for Reuters, when he saw a woman killed by a sniper. She’s stunned by the flood of emotions in his writing and wonders if this is what has indirectly led him to Vermont.

That’s it for now. Time to get dressed, take a walk and then head to Thelins Konditori for some java, lunch and writing.

Nano Update Week 2, midweek

Just a quickie to let you know that I have now crossed the 15k word count threshold. I’m pretty proud of myself. This time last year I’d already run out of interest and steam. Of course, I was also trying to write while doing the work of three people and working way too much overtime. But this year life feels relatively normal and I feel like I have my writing mojo again.

So where are we so far in the story? Mia’s met the hot South African who’s renting her deceased grandmother’s guest cottage, they’ve already had their “don’t really like you” moment and now her godmother has arrived with the perfect plan to distract Mia from her broken heart–singing Christmas carols on the village green…that’s it for now! 🙂