Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nano Guest: Stephanie Burkhart

Nano-part2010Welcome to Stephanie Burkhart! Steph’s here to talk both about Nanowrimo and her Christmas release.

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I'd like to thank Loraine for having me on her blog today. Loraine's artistic spirit inspires and motivates me and I'm delighted to visit.

Just a little about me: I was born and raised in Manchester, NH. When I was 18, this New England Patriot fan joined the US Army for a great adventure and spent 7 years overseas in Germany. I met a fair-haired California boy and we were married in Denmark in 1991. fulda89-5Little odd fact: I went to Berlin in 1988, before the fall of the wall. Now, the adventure over, I work for LAPD as a 911 Operator.

Loraine asked me to tie in my topic to NaNoWriMo. A challenge to say the least, since I wanted to talk about my Christmas story in the Victory Tales Press, Stimulating anthology. Talk about creativity.

Let's start here: What do Loraine and I have in common? We're both doing NaNoWriMo, we were both in the Germany in the late 1980's and early 1990's, and we are both self-published.

I met Loraine through our self-publishing endeavors on Writing.com. She was so organized back then and I was just finding my way. Writing is a passion for us which leads me to… (drum roll please)


This is my second year doing NaNoWriMo. (National Novel Writing Month) The goal? Write 50,000 word novel in a month. An ambitious goal indeed.

For me, I must prepare. In October, I put together my maps, charts, pictures of my setting and characters, draft character bios and do a rough outline. For this year's project I researched the myths of werewolves, witches, flowers, herbs, and roots. If I don't do the prep work, I'm not ready to write on day one.

I usually write 1700 words a day. However, I'm at work so I have to handwrite it. By the time I get to the computer, I have 5-8K to type up! As I write this, I am 28K into my NaNoWriMo project. The official website says at this rate, I'll make my goal on 25 NOV. J

This year's project is kinda' new and kinda' not. It's a rewrite of an earlier paranormal story, "The Wolf's Torment." I intended to take away some of the horror elements and add more romantic ones. I made several changes to the story. The biggest: Sonia was no longer a maid, but Mihai's half-sister. Mihai is a witch, a concept I did not develop earlier, but am exploring this time around. Just about everything I've written so far is new material. The story is taking new, exciting twists and turns. It's set in Romania and Romania is in Europe so I'm using this to transition into talking about my Christmas story, "Christmas in Bayeux," which is in a Christmas Collection, Stimulating, published through Victory Tales Press.

christmascollection"Christmas in Bayeux" takes place in France, which is in Europe. Ingenious, aren't I?

My hero is Aiden Seward. Aiden was in the Army serving in Iraq when he learns his parents have died. His parents only son, the Army releases him from active duty. Aiden seeks out the World War II beaches of Normandy hoping to heal his aching heart and finds Noel, a woman he knew 9 years ago when she was a foreign exchange student in his home. Can they find love?

Here's an excerpt:

Aiden smiled as she approached. Since he'd last seen her nine years ago, she had gotten taller. Her brown hair peeked out from her cap, flecked with copper highlights. Her cobalt eyes pierced his defenses now, just as they had before. He took a long breath. Despite the winter clothes, she was stunning.

Her eyes swept over him and then sparked with recognition. "Aiden!"

"Bonjour, Noel!"

She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a quick hug. "Bonjour!"

Her warm glow infused him with hope, cracking his battlements even further. Her genuine embrace was what he needed, but he wasn't here for her. He needed to set his heart and his mind straight and she would be a big part of that. Taking a step back, Aiden feathered his eyes over her. "It's good to see you again, Noel. You've changed…"

"Oh, I was just a girl when I was an exchange student in your house."

"You were sixteen."

Her cheeks reddened. "Oui – now I am a woman. How are your parents?"

"They passed away while I was in Iraq."

"Oh, I am sorry to hear it. They had such kind hearts. I adored them."

"That's part of the reason I'm here."

Her eyes softened. "I was surprised to get your call. Bayeux is such a small town. I knew there must have been a reason. Come inside and talk to me." Her voice was low, silvery, full of concern.

Noel took his hand and led him into the church. It was as cold as it was outside, but he could feel Noel's refreshing heat through her gloves. It lit a vague, sensual spark inside him.

Check out the Story Teaser on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-muZ0dhOvSE

Buy Links:

Amazon: (print) http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Collection-Anthology-Stimulating/dp/1456304410/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1289273692&sr=8-1

Ebook, Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/29148

Create Space, Print book: https://www.createspace.com/3494425

Victory Tales Press: http://victorytalespress.yolasite.com/online-store.php

Goodie Time: Leave me a post and I'll pick out two winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Tell me your favorite Christmas story and I'll pick a winner to receive a print copy of the Anthology. I'll come back on 01 DEC to pick the winners.

Find me on the web at:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nano Guest: Ami Hawkins

Nano-part2010Welcome to Ami Hawkins, my youngest Nanowrimo guest this year! Ami is also the writer and performer of the beautiful acoustic guitar music in my Rehearsal trailer.


NaNoWriMo = Total Craziness

The two things people ask me when I tell them that I’m trying to write a novel are ‘What is NaNoWriMo?’ and ‘Are you freaking crazy?’. Crazy? Maybe a little. I thought I was crazy the first time I tried it in 2005, but people don’t understand it until they try it. I mean, trying to write fifty thousand words in thirty days is enough to warrant the ‘crazy’ comment, but when you finally reach that ‘unreachable’ goal it makes everything worth it.

The first time I tried to write a ‘novel’, if that is even what you’d call it, I typed maybe 15,000 words and only barely finished six badly written chapters. The next year I vowed I would do better. Looking back at that attempt now, it makes me both cringe and laugh. What else could you do but laugh when you realize that in order to get the 15,000 words, you spaced out compound words to make them into two separate words, and tossed a couple of essays you had written in English class that semester into the story pretending that it was the main character that had written them herself. Sad. Just sad.

I have been a participant in NaNoWriMo since then, each year getting closer and closer to that seemingly unreachable goal, and each year bettering myself as a writer. Now, I don’t write to sell books or to get famous or anything like that. I write for my own enjoyment, because I feel like I have a story to tell. I don’t want to be one of these people that writes a half thought out book just to try to make a name for myself. I want to make sure that what I write is reader-worthy, which is why I keep editing the novel I’m working on now. Although mostly it’s because I’m afraid my characters will climb out of my head at night and strangle me if I don’t continue working to make a good storyline…

To those who call us NaNo-er’s crazy, I say give it a chance. You’d be surprised at how quickly you become bitten by the bug. I was. Now I can’t imagine going a year without the caffeine headaches and late nights scrambling at the last minute trying to finish my goal. This is the third time I’ve reached that unreachable goal, this time ahead of schedule, and I think that this is the best thing I’ve written yet. I still revisit those old characters with their choppy sentences and wrecked plot lines from time to time. It pushes me forward, not to mention gives me a good laugh now and then.

Thank you, Ami! (She's out working today but will be back later to come find your comments.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nano Guest: Andra Marquardt

Nano-part2010Welcome to A.L. Marquardt, author of A Reason For Hope, as my next guest blogger, here to talk about her experiences with Nanowrimo!


A few weeks ago Loraine kindly asked me to write a guest post on her blog about Nanowrimo. Honestly, I've been so busy writing and thinking about my novel I've been having a difficult time coming up with something to write about Nanowrimo that was somewhat interesting.

But here goes anyway. Using the same technique I use for writing novels, I'm gonna wing it and see what happens.

2005 was the first year I tackled Nanowrimo, and to my utter surprise I not only won, but ended up with the start of a novel I like to this day. In fact after a few more rounds of editing, I plan on submitting it to some literary agents.

I tried again in 2006, this time giving fantasy a try (my first was science fiction). Although I won again, I ended up hating the story. However, I did end up with some really good characters, so it wasn't a total loss. I plan on giving that one another go eventually by keeping the same characters but changing the setting and some of the secondary plot lines.

2007 was the year I was seven months pregnant with my son. Suffering from what a friend calls "prego-brain," I managed a mere 12k words before I realized I didn't have the mental power to continue. Again, not a total loss, because I managed 12k more words than I would have had.

I skipped 2008 & 2009 because taking care of a little boy takes a lot of time and energy.

With my son close to three and not needing as much constant attention, I decided to give it one more go. I also tackled it a bit differently. I planned ahead with my storyline, and decided I would not write more than 2000 words a day. I also scheduled my writing time from 9:30 - 11pm every day. If I had more time say during the day during weekends, I still didn't write even though my novel was calling me.

The great thing about keeping myself reigned in is not only have I managed my time better, but I'm not so far ahead I'm tempted to skip a day or two. I know me, if I allowed myself to skip once, I will easily find other excuses to skip more, whether I was ahead or behind in my word count.

So far it's worked. Even during the few days when I absolutely couldn't continue, I continued anyway. Ironically, during those tough days, I ended up writing more than I originally intended. I've heard said that it takes about twenty minutes for a writer to really get into a groove of writing. I found that number to be fairly accurate.

Once Nanowrimo ends on November 30, I plan to continue to write until the novel is done. It's close to a true habit now. I will then let it sit for a few months. I already know it needs a lot of work.

Another benefit to Nanowrimo is it forces me to ignore my internal editor. Oh, she screams at me constantly, but she's no more annoying than a fly buzzing around the room. It's too bad no one has invented an "internal editor fly swatter."

On December 1st, I will again listen to my editor and rewrite my first Nano-novel I mentioned above.

If you haven't tried Nanowrimo, yet desire to write a full-length novel (or even a series of short stories), I suggest you give it a try. You aren't competing with anyone (unless you want to), but with a calendar. There really isn't such a thing as failure or success, because by giving it a try and writing maybe 2000 words that month, it's 2000 more words than you would have had.

If you want to know more about my own books and writing journey, be sure to check out my website at

Thank you for reading, and to Loraine for letting me steal her blog for a day.

I hope you all had a grand Thanksgiving and that you didn't eat yourself into too deep a stupor

Thank you, Andra! Interesting method, and so glad it works well for you. Smile

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nano Guest: Ann Arbaugh

Nano-part2010Welcome to Ann Arbaugh, my third guest here to talk about her Nanowrimo experience! Ann is a first year Wrimo.

Welcome Ann!
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Several years ago, a friend told me about NaNoWriMo. I wasn’t ready for the challenge. I almost joined last year. There was a story that kept resurfacing in my consciousness. Again, I didn’t feel I was ready to work on a novel. Never mind that I already had a full-time job.

I’m new to novels, but not to writing. I’ve worked with one state writers group for years and I’m serving as a Board member on two groups this year. Most of my writing is poetry at the University, business writing, or features writing for a local community organization.

A friend told me about an online novel course she was teaching this past February. I decided to take it and see what would happen with the novel. By mid-April, I’d written 9,500 words of the story. I averaged 250-500 words a day, writing in 15-30 minute sessions during lunch. Although it wasn’t much, I was happy that I’d started on the project.

The next week, a close friend had a health scare and the wind went out of my sails. I couldn’t write. The next month, while traveling in Western Maryland, another idea came to me. I sat down and filled four regular sheets of paper in a very short time. The muse was not a steady worker.

Then everything changed. In July, I had a heart attack. At 48 years old. Once home, I was off for two months before I returned to work. I had all this time but the creative spark wasn’t there. I sat at the computer and tried to write. There was nothing. Yet, I could write emails to friends and family to share updates about my recuperation. In one night, through several messages, I wrote 3500 words to one person. Why? I was upset about something.

It was ironic. I couldn’t create, but I could write my story. I posted this on the Classic Romance Revival loop. I asked my e-friends to explain this to me. I said it was like trying to ride and rein in a wild horse. They all agreed that I should write whatever wanted to come out.

In mid-October, I was walking in the neighborhood and my muse whispered a “what if” about a car that drove by. I was thrilled. My spark was starting to flicker. I noticed a couple sparks in the days to follow. My writer friends on Facebook started asking each other if they were doing NaNo this year. This time, I went to the website and checked it out. After an hour of reading, I made my decision. Why not?

Why not try NaNo? I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I signed up on October 23 and waited. The muse decided to start early. Two days early. I woke up with a story in my head. By 9:15 that morning, I’d written 1,800 words on a new story. I was ecstatic. I decided that nobody would fault me for the early start.

I found that I have “writer’s A.D.D.”, at least that’s what I’m calling it. The muse is sending me ideas faster than I can get them written. I decided not to worry about working on a single story. It was more important to keep writing. On November 15, the halfway point, I’d hit the halfway mark – 25,000 words before I’d retired for the night. I was amazed.

Last week, I needed to concentrate on a personal project and didn’t spend much time writing. I was playing catch-up this weekend. As I write this, my total word count has reached 30,470. My total for the day – 4,464. It’s all because my muse and I are taking this ride together. Thanks to her cooperation, I have eleven stories and one non-fiction piece. The non-fiction piece is a Heart journal, addressing all the problems and changes the heart attack brought to my life. The fact that I’ve written this much, and have daily totals like this, is astounding to me. It’s a personal best.

What am I writing? Most of it is Romance. Some are Christian, some are dramatic. I was writing on Sunday and got caught up in one of the stories. Our heroine rescues a young girl and a handsome man from a car wreck caused by a drive-by shooting on a highway. They’ve been taken to the hospital. While there, the heroine finds out that the cop that’s questioning her isn’t a real cop. She has to protect herself and the child. If I told you the rest of the story, I’d have to shoot you.

How has this helped me? Aside from realizing that I can produce, I’ve learned to squeeze time for writing into my day. I bring my laptop to work, arriving early enough to write and using my lunch break to add more words. I take breaks from writing, not coffee breaks. I’ve taken a 90-minute hike at a local park, a two hour horseback trail ride, and attended a day-long writer’s conference. I’ll celebrate the holiday and watch a friend get married. After NaNo, I’ll set up a monthly word count that’s a little easier to manage.

I’m on vacation all this week and I’ll catch up to the daily cumulative count. I will finish with 50,000 words before November 30. Why? Why Not!

My NaNo page: http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/690256

I’ll be setting up a blog by the end of the year.

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Thank you, Ann! Best of luck with the rest of November and your future ventures!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Nano Guest: Kara Hartz

Nano-part2010Please welcome Kara Hartz, today’s featured Nanowrimo participant!

Kara is one of the newer Nano writers who hasn't always been so enamored of the task. This goes out to those of you who wonder why...

Welcome, Kara!
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I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2007, and every year I’m never really sure why I’m doing it. I tell myself that I’m a short story writer, not a novelist. In 2009, I didn’t even sign up as an official participant because I had failed so miserably the two prior years. I decided that instead of writing a single novel, I’d just try to write 50,000 words of. . .whatever instead: short stories, blogs, anything really. Even with that less strict standard set for myself, I only logged about 25,000 words for the month. Yet year after failing year, I kept coming back.

While I adore writing in general, novel writing intimidates me. I took up writing as a serious hobby again when I turned thirty and I focused on short stories. The shorter the better. Flash fiction was my favorite, around 300 to 500 words long. When I got critiques of my work, I got a lot of comments that told me they liked the story, but they wanted to know what happened next, that they wanted more. I’d look at my story and think, “What more is there?”

If there is one thing NaNoWriMo is good for, it’s for focusing on writing – MORE. That may be all it’s really about. It isn’t about writing better, that’s very clearly stated all over the NaNoWriMo website. No, it’s just about writing more. And I guess that’s really why I keep coming back. Every year so far, I’ve failed NaNo. Yet every time I signed up, I’ve written much more than I would have without it. In fact there were some hectic years when it’s possible that I wrote more in November than I did in the rest of the year all put together.

Even better, there are all these other people out there telling me it’s okay to spend time writing. It’s okay to take some precious time and spend it on something I love, even if the dishes sit unwashed overnight. NaNoWriMo has helped me learn the difference between taking the time follow a dream, and making the time.

I’m proud to say that so far this year, I’ve already written more than I have in any other of my NaNo attempts. I’m behind the suggested word count, but I’m closing the gap every night. This may be my year to cross the finish line. It’s been both much harder and much easier than I’d imagined. I won’t try to explain why. Those who have done it will understand, and those who haven’t will learn best by doing. I encourage everyone to give it a try. I’ve failed for three years, and am better for it. So there’s nothing to lose.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Find Kara on her Nanowrimo page, and
on her Blog!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Nano Guest: Cheri Nordstrom

Nano-part2010This month I’ll be hosting several Nanowrimo participants as they chat about their experiences, struggles, elations, and stories.

Today’s guest is Cheri Nordstrom, an ML (municipal liaison) in Illinois. MLs help organize writing events and do what they can to motivate others to push for their goals.

Welcome Cheri!

How Not To Melt

In 2003 I learned about a crazy little contest called NaNoWriMo. A good writer friend of mine signed up and tried very hard to goad me into it too. I just didn't have the time, I explained to her. I was working seventy hours a week, homeschooling our daughter who was in a million different activities and I had two important business trips with my husband that November. We actually had to hire our daughter's former babysitter as a part-time nanny.

Truthfully, when 2004 rolled around, I was just as busy. I was still working more than full time, still homeschooling our busy teenage daughter, still traveling, and still working on revisions from a book I'd been working on for years.

My writer friend signed up for a second NaNoWriMo. Between her nagging and my muses--who wouldn't even let me sleep at night--I decided on October 30, 2004 to throw down the gauntlet too. I was never going to become less busy, and 2004 was just as good of a year as any to jump into National Novel Writing Month.

November was rife with technical, time and health issues. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was several days behind to make the 50,000 word challenge by month's end. My story was going well though. I started the month with no outline, but solid character sketches and a very good idea of where I wanted to go and how I wanted my book to end. I didn't want to give up. My muses wouldn't let me give up.

With only about four days left and fifteen thousand words left to go, I dug in my heels and wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. Suddenly, the entire story was pulling itself together, and the brilliant ending I had in mind flew out the window, because an even better ending presented itself. I was becoming increasingly excited about my novel, and I knew I was going to make 50,000 words before midnight on November 30th.

I think I rode Cloud #9 for months. I put the novel away until late January 2005. When I pulled it out, I expected it to be really horrible. To my utter shock and amazement, it was much cleaner than the novel I spent four and a half years writing. I think it was at the moment I realized I had much less revision work from my NaNoWriMo novel, that I became hooked.

Every year brings different challenges and issues. I'm on my seventh NaNoWriMo novel and I have completed every one of them--even pitched a couple to agents, so I have some experience with the highs and lows of writing novels kamikaze style. This year, I'm struggling to keep my interest and focus on my novel. It isn't my main characters' fault. They're great, actually, and a lot of fun to write.

Sapphire is a superheroine who emits electricity through her fingertips and toes to fight off the bad guys who are abusing or hurting the children she counsels. An ambitious newspaper reporter is telling us her story, and he's an interesting guy on his own. The story isn't the problem. Sapphire is a school counselor by day, and Electric Blue by night. The monsters she zaps deserve to sizzle. The fight scenes are even fun to write. (She blows out a lot of really cute boots before she learns to control the electricity coming from her feet.) So why am I struggling this year?

I'm melting. Or having a melt-down. I'm not sure which. I'm not the only one in my region this year who is struggling with burn out, melt-downs and lack of focus though. We've talked about it quite a lot during our write-ins. So, I devised a list of helpful ways to avoid melting during NaNoWriMo:

1.    Don’t let little girls named Dorothy throw water on you.
2.    Eat a lot of chocolate or <insert snack of choice>.
3.    Drink a lot of coffee or <insert beverage of choice>.
4.    Take some time out to think about all the things that are going RIGHT in your novel instead of focusing on the negatives. Maybe your main characters have done something surprising, an awesome plot twist appeared like magic, secondary characters are stepping up to the plate to help push your story to its conclusion, your characters are actually interacting with each other, etc.
5.    Celebrate your successes, even if they seem small. Any progress is GOOD progress.
6.    Do something nice for yourself and your muse(s) that doesn’t involve writing. Take them on a field trip to see a movie or a concert, do something else creative, take a bubble bath, buy a NaNoWriMo t-shirt or hoodie. The muses have been working hard for you this month…it’s time to show them a little appreciation!
7.    Take a day or two off from writing if you need to. A good writing session on the weekend should make up for lost time. No NaNo police will come knocking on your door if you haven’t updated your word count, and sometimes the intensity of what you’re writing warrants a mental break away from your characters and storyline.
8.    When intensity is not the factor, but you’ve stalled somehow, keep writing-- even on the days you’re “not feeling it” like you’d like to be. It’s always fascinating to me to see how a bunch of senseless babbling can lead to some powerful dialogue between characters, or a pivotal point that changes everything for the good in your story. Sure, you’re likely to cut a lot of the babbling out in the revision phase, but there will always be a diamond or two in the rough, and it could be the key to get your story flowing again.
9.    Write in different locations. If you usually write in your office or at your dining room table, take your laptop out to your car and write in your driveway! Drive somewhere scenic for inspiration. Take advantage of the nice days and write outside. Find a local write-in, and share the kamikaze spirit with others. Shake it up a little!

Most of all, have fun with your novel. First drafts are all about the creative process and allowing your muses to play. Write on, fair ladies and gentlemen of the pen, write on!

Thanks so much, Cheri! Best of luck with the rest of November and with your submissions!

You can find Cheri and watch her progress on her
Nanowrimo page.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Nano Soul-delving

Remember Our Heroes ¬©LKHunsakerLast November, I started my Nano novel with only a bare idea of what I would write. I wanted to do a home front novel, old-fashioned, sweet, simple. A couple of days before Nanowrimo was to start, I came up with two characters, Abraham and Maura, and thought about them a bit as I went through my daily activities. I decided Abraham would volunteer for war duty and I’d start the story as he was leaving. He would be quiet, hard-working, responsible, and able. He would also be an artist of some kind, since the arts feature in all of my books.

Maura was harder to pin down. In fact, I wasn’t sure who she was going to be when I started writing on the 1st. I did know she would stay home and would have to take care of things, mainly on her own.

That was how I started last year’s quest to write a new novel in one month. Never before had I actually finished a first draft during November. I tend to write long. But I was determined to do that, to make it a quick story, first draft complete during November, and then go back to rewrite and edit in March when I join in a related challenge, to either do another 50K words of writing, or to choose how much of a project you want to rewrite. I rewrote the whole thing that month. All that was left was edits. Funny, several of my readers have said that quick novel is their favorite so far. It’s called Protect The Heart.

This year’s novel I’ve been planning for a while. I’ve had a lot of comments about the main supporting character in Off The Moon (which released during Nanowrimo last year and included every other day guest blogging in support at the same time I was writing the new one). Daws is a no-nonsense, highly intelligent, very capable, burly bodyguard for Ryan, my pop star hero. He nearly stole the story at times, so I decided he should have his own book, another quick write, mostly for my fans who wanted more of him. Thirty days to bring out his background and show how he met the love of his life? No problem. I’ve done a couple of Off The Moon related short stories about Daws and Deanna and figured I’d grab the scenes from those and then tie them up into a full novella. An easy Nano project I could do at the same time I keep working on the third book of the Rehearsal series.

It isn’t working out that way.

There’s something amazing that happens when you write a novel and simply let it go where it wants to go. You find so many things hidden deep within yourself that are just bursting to come out.

The story of Daws and Deanna is far from a quick, simple write. It’s becoming emotionally purging. I knew part way through Off The Moon that Daws was ex military, although Ryan doesn’t know he is or that he has a connection with Ryan’s father. I didn’t know until planning this year’s Nano novel that he’s also a Desert Storm vet with a history of being on his own and fending for himself while looking out for those around him. I knew Deanna was a feisty, independent NYC girl who had a lot of misadventures with men she’d trusted. I didn’t know she would end up finding out what it’s like to be the main emotional support for a soldier and have to figure out how to survive in that world.

This is much harder to write than I expected. So many experiences of my past as an Army spouse are making their way into this book. Last year’s quick tribute to the military and those who stay home to take care of everything else didn’t go deep enough to purge all of those events and struggles. This one is diving too far down. It’s becoming rough water.

I do think, if I can keep wading through it, it could become one of my most worthy writes, though, even if it’s only as personal therapy.

Even if you have no plan to become an author or even tell anyone you write anything, give noveling a shot just once. You’ll be amazed at what you find out about yourself.

On this Veteran’s Day, I’d like to thank all service members past, present, and future. I will keep up the fight to support you during your service and after.
God Bless and Hooah!

My Nanowrimo page is HERE if you’re there, also, and would like to become a buddy, or if you want to track my progress. (I haven’t updated every day.) There’s also a counter on the sidebar of my blog that shows my current word count.

My current Nano novel is available in its first draft form, separated into each day’s work
HERE.  (Never mind typos and such. Editing isn’t allowed during November!)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

You Can Nano, Too!

“Maybe you should skip Nano this year.”

That was some advice from a friend last month, and probably very good advice, considering I have 4 novels deeply in progress and finding time for them is already an issue.

However, I’m  a Nano addict. I confess.

Nano, being Nanowrimo – National Novel Writing Month – is the quest to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel during the 30 days of November. That adds up to 1,667 words a day. Of course you can binge and purge on words and do 3,200 one day and skip the next day and so forth, as long as you end up with 50,000 words, previously unwritten, by midnight US Eastern time November 30th. The name is a bit of a misnomer, since it is no longer national, but international. People everywhere are doing it!

I guess the question would be why are they doing it?

Because they can. And because it’s a great nudge to get that spark of a story idea out of the back corner of your mind and in print (or pixels). And because it pushes you to release your nasty, overly critical inner editor and helps you focus on simply getting it down. Editing can come later if you so choose (and if you plan to do anything with it more than see if you can, then that does need to come later, as first drafts are never publishable other than for your friends and family).

This is year number seven for me. If I had known about it when it began in 2002, it would be year number nine. Yes, I’m that addicted. And another admission: the first year I tried, I didn’t make it to 50.

I could blame my 30 hour per week job and my then-young and more demanding kids, but the truth is, if felt overwhelming. So it was. The next year, I went in thinking I darn well could, and would. So I did. It is a large part state of mind.

Of course, we all have our trials going on that do have to be dealt with, and for some of us, reaching 20,000 is the same as others reaching 50. The point isn’t the winning; it’s the trying.

Other Nanowrimists will be visiting my blog this month to talk about their experiences and share a bit about their stories. And I’ll be back now and then to share more of mine.

Everyone has a book inside. Choose one November (maybe even this one – it’s not too late!) and join us in the craziness. You never know what you’ll discover about yourself.

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Starts Today!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Protect The Heart (Paperback) by LK Hunsaker

Protect The Heart

by LK Hunsaker

Giveaway ends November 30, 2010.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win