Thursday, November 17, 2011


I’m still working on my NaNo project, which is why I haven't had any new posts. I'm totally enjoying this story. The best validation I've received for it is from my whip cracking daughter who doesn’t let me slack off.

She eagerly awaits each chapter, to the point where I have to fend her off so I can edit it before she reads it. It’s a wonderful feeling since I decided to have some fun with it by playing around with a different style, genre, tense, and pov’s.

In case anyone missed the earlier post, this is Middle Grade, and is written in present tense with dual points of views. Not a very popular style and difficult to pull off, I hear. I can't deny it's been a challenge.

I think it’s finally becoming second nature to write in the present tense without constantly slipping into past. The POV's are male and female. They are very different kids. Malik is rough and tumble, but emotionally needy and selfish at the moment. Nevan is sweet and shy, but also has a core of steel underneath her frills. They're view of the adventure they're on is completely different, yet also the same.

Now, for my project goal.

I started the project a week early. On November 1st I had 9781 words written, so I'm deducting those from my total. So while the word count is now at 35,286, I'm only at 25505 for NaNo. I hope to be able to make this up over the holidays, except Black Friday when I'll be shopping, ha ha!

So that's where I am at the halfway point.

Please, wish me luck.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Last night my son ran into the living room, yelling, "Mom, come quick, Kiwi needs help!"

I panicked, thinking she had blood gushing from an injury or something equally horrible. I ran to their bedroom and paused in the doorway. Kiwi had her nose pressed against the aquarium, then she looked at me with tears filling her eyes.

My heart lurched as a flashback to the death of our hamster, Fredrick, filled my mind, "What's wrong?"

Her lip trembled, "I think Theo's dead. Touch him."

I looked in the bowl, and see he's curled up with his face pressed into the dirt. He's a mossy greenish color, unlike his usual gray. I don't want to touch him with my finger, so I brushed a stick lightly across his back. He flinched.

My son, expressing his usual stoicism and impatience with his sister's sentimentality in the face of possbile tragedy said, “He’s not dead, why are you crying?”

I distracted Kiwi before she could get a grip on her baby brother. Otherwise, the night might've still ended with blood gushing.

She started researching toad illnesses on the internet, but the more she searched the more frustrated she became. “There’s nothing here,” she cried, slamming her fist onto the desk. “What do we do?”

As the mom, I’m supposed to have an answer.

But, I didn’t.

I had a horrible vision of us waking up the next morning with a death to deal with before school. Not cool, especially since the kids are so sensitive. Kiwi was already struggling to stay strong and not fall apart.

“Maybe he’s dehydrated,” Kiwi said. She filled up a bowl with water, then squeezed a few drops onto his back.

Then we went to bed.

Before I left for work this morning, I asked by husband to check on the toad before kids woke up. I wanted him to dispose to the tiny body if Theo had passed in the night. I felt horrible putting such a chore on him, but I'd dealt with the burial arrangements for Fredrick last year. Then I went to work.

I got a phone call from Kiwi an hour later. “Hi Mom,” Kiwi said, voice low.

“What’s going on?” Stupid question, I already knew the answer.

“It’s about Theo,” she paused, and took a breath.

I wait for the bad news.

“He’s fine. He’s sitting in the bowl of water.”

Yes, I cried at the news that he was okay. I had to accept my softy status a long time ago. Greeting cards, commercials—especially the one where the little boy thinks the soldier is Santa Claus gets me every time.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

So it begins!!

I decided to go with the The Quest for the Golden Apple, my middle grade project. Last week, I was so excited about this story that I caved in. My inner plotter cracked its knuckles and pounded out 9,000 words (which I'll deduct from my total word count at the end of the month). The story flowed onto the paper without much effort. It felt absolutely lovely.

It turns out that I will have two pov characters--Malik Ross and Nevan Newquist. They're very dissimilar and have unique voices. It will be written in past tense, 3rd person limited. Although, I'm still toying with the idea of trying out present tense. I've never written a ms in this tense, so it would be a challenge.

Which is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for in my NaNo experience.

So, yeah. Why not. Present tense it is (weird how I tend to make split second decisions while writing my blog, thereby setting myself up for failure). So instead, I'll say that I'll try out present tense and if it doesn't work for the story, I won't force it.

What about you? Are any of you participating in NaNo? What type of story are you working on? Are you trying something new and different? Is this a story you've been wanting to write for a while, but had gotten too busy with other projects to work on it? Have you participated in NaNo before? Or is this your first time?

May the muse be with you.
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