Thursday, November 30, 2006

Day 29 & 30: Finished at 50,379

Well, Day 29 just slipped through my fingers somehow. But I did finish with 23 and a half hours to spare on Day 30. ;o) My final count? According to the NaNoWriMo Word Count Verifier: 50,379

And once again, I managed to finish the story as well as the make the word count by the deadline. Double hoorays!

If you're interested, here are my final stats from the fancy, shamancy Excel spreadsheet that I have been using to track my progress all month:

Word Count Reached 50379
Total Hours Spent Writing 27.75
Avg Words Per Hour 1815
Avg Words Per Day 1679
Avg Hours Writing Per Day 0.93
Words Remaining To Goal 0
Days Remaining In November 0
Avg Time Per Writing Session 0.35 hours

Yay me! Here's to my second NaNo win, the completion of my third novel ever, all my fellow Wrimos, and all the friends who showed up to support me. *tips a glass of sparkling cider and salutes all her supporters* Thank you!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Day 28: The last chapters + encouragement

I could probably finish tonight, but I'm not going to. It's 1:15 a.m. and my husband just announced he's going to bed. That's sure a good idea!

All that's left tomorrow is the last chapter and 1,200-odd words. I'm confident that I can get that written tomorrow easily. One more chapter, and I'm done!

Words to date: 48,722
Words to go: 1,278

In other news, I prepared and edited an excerpt of my novel to take to the Thank Goodness It's Over Party this weekend. It took me about an hour and a half to edit a mere eleven pages. I'm astonished. Well, actually I'm not. When you're trying to write so fast and so much, junk is bound to get spilled on the page. Let's just say that the eleven pages got whittled down to nine by time I got done with it. My inner editor was so happy. LOL :oD

Anyway, I took the slashed version to my critique group tonight to get some impressions and final edits. The response was surprisingly good. They had very few edits and gave compliments all around. My good friend who has published many books already encouraged me that Tag would make a great novella. Hm... So maybe all this will actually be worth something in the end.

It was good to hear that though because I'd been thinking lately how much I didn't want anyone to ever lay eyes on this monstrosity. But I guess that's what NaNoWriMo tends to create. It gives us a big old, ugly chunk of clay on the wheel and allows us to shape and form it into something beautiful. Without that first draft, there would be no clay at all.

You can read my edited excerpt on my profile page. Just click "turn" to get to page two, then click on the right-hand page to load the text. Enjoy!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Day 27: Still going!

It's a good thing that I got those writing sessions in during the wee hours on Day 26 because by time I got home, unpacked, organized life, and ate dinner, all I wanted to do was go to sleep...and I did.

Today, I managed to get in four 10-minute writing sessions which amounted to 1,885 words. Doing okay. Slow and steady. I should be done in the next day or two--definitely before Nov. 30!

Words to date: 46,420
Words to go: 3,580

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Day 25 & 26: Slogging on

I'm so close now, but my momentum is slowing. Not sure why. I guess I'm tired from the five day vacation. Anyway, I managed to write during naptime Saturday afternoon, but that was all the writing I could do before midnight.

I did get four 10-minute writing sessions in here after midnight, which will be reflected in my counts below.

Words to date: 44,535
Words to go: 5,465

If I want to finish before Nov. 27, that would be Nov. 26 which is technically today. That leaves me a goal of 5,465 words before midnight today. Hm...

I'm going to sleep.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Day 24: Slow & Steady

I've been able to write a couple thousand words for the last two days using two writing sessions of two 10-minute timed writings. If only I could find a way to put in a couple more of those per day, I would be golden to finish before the 27th. As it is, at this rate, I'll finish a day later than my personal goal--but at least still before Nov. 30.

I do have time for another one or two writing sessions this evening as it's only 11:40 p.m., but my daughter has been begging me to get to bed, and we DO have to wake up early tomorrow. So I'm off. Here's hoping for more writing opps tomorrow.

Words to date: 41,113
Words to go: 8887 (huzzah!)

It's so awesome to see the "to go" number below 10,000. There's no stopping me now. And there is absolutely NO quitting either.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Day 23: Closing Figures

Hope your Thanksgiving was all that it could be! Ours was great--great food, good times with family, laughs. All nice stuff indeed.

I'm really glad that I wrote this morning and accrued about 1580 words because I only got one more chance to write today, and it was just not long ago around 11:30 p.m. I did a 10-minute writing session and got 539 words written, which helps get me over the minimum hump.

My daughter will be taking a nap here in the hotel room tomorrow, so I'm hoping that I can get more noveling done then.

Words to date: 39,032 (so close to 40K, but I'm too wiped out to keep going tonight.)
Words to go: 10,968

Day 23: Happy Turkey Day!

I plan for today to be a monster noveling day. Sure, it's only 12:48 a.m., but I have a big plans! I've already written almost 1600 words in the last 30 minutes, and I'm confident that I'll be able to write more later on, after the festivities of Thanksgiving, so that will add to my count.

It's the beginning of week 4 and I really only have seven more days to make it to my mark. Gotta get hustling! Especially if I want to beat my Nov. 27 finish date of 2005.

Here's to breaking 50K and before the long weekend is through! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Days 20, 21, & 22: Close to nil

I had two zero days in a row and nearly dared myself to have a third. But I with 10 minutes left in the day, I wrote 508 words, so technically, only Days 20 and 21 were without words. :oP

Words to date: 36,913
Words to go: 13,087

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Day 19: Getting closer

I had a pretty good writing day today, though it wasn't all that I was hoping. My dream would have been to hit 6,000 yesterday and today, but it turned out to be a cumulative for the entire weekend. I'm not down hearted however, because I still managed to write 3,021 words today using an hour's worth of timed writings at Einstein's and then some.

Words to date: 36,405
Words to go: 13,595

I can't wait to see the "Words to go" read 10,000 or less. :oD

In other news: Two of my teen writers on CleanPlace finished their NaNo novels today! Congrats to Eowyn of Rohan and Telpenen! Funny, neither of them kept up with blogs over this month. Could this be the reason they had more time to write in their novels? LOL

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Day 18: Lazy Saturday

I guess I could call it that. But I did get an early start. Somehow I was tricked into getting up at 7:15 this morning.

My husband was borrowing my alarm clock, so I asked him to reset the alarm for 8:00 for me. In his tiredness this morning, he set the TIME ahead instead of the alarm. So when I checked my clock, it said 9:15, and I thought, "How weird. I didn't even hear the alarm."

I then mustered up enough energy to get up and start the day. Well, as I washed my face in the bathroom, I noticed that the clock in there said 7:15. So I checked another couple clocks, and sure enough, I was early! What were my first thoughts then? Time to get noveling!

So I got in a couple 10-minute sessions this morning before my fingers went numb. (Typing and writing in the morning don't go well together for me.) Wrote some more tonight at Panera Bread, and my daily count has come in at 2,250.

Words to date: 33,384
Words to go: 16,616 (How sweet that is!)

Day 17 comes to a close

Day 17: Final, final
Just got in a 10-minute writing session to push my daily count over 6,000 words. I only needed about 50 and I wrote and even 444 for that session. So the final tally for the day was 6,391. I don't think I've written that many words in one day since last year's NaNoWriMo!

Words to date: 30,834
Words to go: 19,166

It's so satisfying and highly refreshing to see that 19K there at the "to go" entry. I realized as I drove home from Panera this evening that I have 13 days left to write 20,000 words. At first, it sounded liked a lot. But really, it isn't much considering I have been able to write around 5,000 words for each good day of writing. Just 4-5 more of those and I should actually be done. Imagine that!

I finished on Nov. 27 last year. Maybe I can beat that in 2006.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Day 17: Panera Update

Just finished three 10-minute sessions here at Panera and I'm about to head out, but I thought I would post this just in case I don't get another session in tonight. I'm about 50 words away from having done 6,000 today though, so I'm pretty sure I'll be writing at least a little more this evening after my husband goes to bed.

First 10 minutes, 538 words
Second 10 minutes, 653 words
Third 10 minutes, 519 words

Total for 30 minutes was 1,711. Over the daily quota! And it helped me break 30K. Hooray! There's nothing like breaking those 10,000 marks. :oP

Words so far today: 5,947
Words to date: 30,390

Days 15, 16, & 17: Number crunching

Days 15 & 16
Midnight came around on those days and both became big, fat zeros. But you know what? That's okay. I was super tired on Wednesday night and had other things to do before midnight, and Thursday, I was settled in on a mean game of Scrabble with my good friend MightiMidget. So I regret nothing! ;o)

Day 17
Is proving itself to be all that I wanted it to be. I spent a couple hours at Einstein's and did a total of nine 10-minute writing sessions. My stats came out thusly:

First 10 minutes, 369 words (Off to a slow start)
Second 10 minutes, 521 words
Third 10 minutes, 472 words
Fourth 10 minutes, 425 words
Fifth 10 minutes, 420 words
Sixth 10 minutes, 463 words
Seventh 10 minutes, 460 words
Eighth 10 minutes, 457 words
Ninth 10 minutes, 646 words (Whoa! Keep in mind, this was after probably five refills of Coke. LOL)

All this, for a total of 4,233 words in about 1.5 hours. Not too bad, I'd say. See why I'm not stressing? I have total faith in my make up days. :oD

It's funny how November brings out the number cruncher in me. Suddenly Excel is a friendly program, and I'm all about the daily figures. Still, it's all in relation to writing, and that's what makes it okay. One month out of the year is not bad to keep in touch with my left brain for the rest of the year, we pretty much try to avoid one another.

Now I'm at Panera Bread for a few more writing sessions before picking up a House Latte for my husband and heading out for dinner with the family. (We have to connect some time today, don't you know.) My husband works early tomorrow, so he's planning on going to bed early. I plan to take full advantage of that and write a bit more tonight.

Words to date: 28,751 (more than halfway now!)
Words to go: 21,249

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Lucky Day 13 & Day 14

Day 13 turned out to be my third zero day already this month.
But strangely enough, I wasn't stressed out about the loss at all. I was simply too tired to care. And this morning, I made a pact with myself to at least make the normal count today.

Day 14 gave up the goods generously.
Though still completely exhausted from the busyness of the day, I set myself up on the couch downstairs with pillows behind me and a blanket and laptop in place. Then I set the timer and did five 10-minute sessions to get the most out of my short writing time. My stats are thus:

First 10 minutes, 464 words
Second 10 minutes, 402 words
Third 10 minutes, 447 words
Fourth 10 minutes, 478 words
Fifth 10 minutes, 385 words (Can you tell I was getting tired?)
Total: 2,176 words in 50 minutes

Combined with my checking in on other areas of the novel, my total word boost was 2,335 today. Not too shabby for about an hour's worth of work. I'm a tad over 500 words from being halfway done.

Words to date: 24,443
Words to go: 25,557

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Day 12 Final: I'm a believer!

I am SO a believer in the timed writing segments. I had three more writing sessions today during which I did 10 minute blocks of writing at each venue. Here are my stats:

Einstein Bros Bagels
First 10 minutes, 472 words
Second 10 minutes, 451 words
Third 10 minutes, 497 words
Total: 1,420 words in 30 minutes

Panera Bread
First 10 minutes, 452 words
Second 10 minutes, 535 words
Third 10 minutes, 478 words
Total: 1,465 words in 30 minutes

When I added up my total, including this morning, I realized I was a mere 50 words away from having accomplished 5,000 for the day. So I sat down and had another 10 minute session at home which produced 445 words. I'm shouting from the rooftops here! What a revelation! The kitchen timer is now my best friend in November, and it ain't for timing the turkey in the oven.

Words to date: 22,108
Words to go: 27,892

And with this end to the weekend and a new plan of attack, I'm closing the gap to being halfway done. Hooray!

Day 11 & 12 Weekend

I had high hopes for this weekend, but Saturday didn't pan out so well. Looks like today, Sunday, is going to be my best bet. I'm already off to a pretty good start. They say it only takes one good weekend to get ahead. Man oh man, am I going to need to take advantage of every single one.

This morning, I got up about 7:15 a.m. and forced myself to brush up and come downstairs to write. I did timed writings like we did at the write in. I was able to get 400+ words written in 10 minutes during those timed writings. Something about that ticking clock just keeps me going.

So I got myself a glass of OJ and set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes. I did that four times. Here are my word counts per session:

First 10 minutes, 432 words
Second 10 minutes, 414 words
Third 10 minutes, 469 words
Fourth 10 minutes, 499 words

My average for this morning so far is 2,697 words per hour, which is way above what my usual is (about 1,000 words per hour). Total came out to 2,023 words total for these sessions, adding in an additional 5 minutes worth of writing between the timed ones.

Words to date: 18,737
Words to go: 31,263

I'm writing again this afternoon. If I can take a timer, then I should be able to knock out a LOT of words doing timed writings for a couple of hours. Looking forward to it!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Day 8 & 9, plus Day 10

Day 8
We had a terribly busy day last Wednesday, and I just couldn't bring myself to write a word. I collapsed into bed early and called it my first zero day. Oh well. I did accomplish something major for work--namely launching our new church website, a 150+ page site that's been in the works for the last few months. That made me feel much better. Still, a weak start for Week Two.

Day 9
Another reason why I let Day 8 go was because I knew that I would be going to my first regional Write-In here in town. I wasn't able to make any of the others because the days, times or locations didn't work out. But this time, I made it!

We did actually do a lot more writing than one would think. We had writing challenges in which we would have a timer set for ten minutes, then all would write furiously. At the end of the time, each person would shout out their word count for the time period. No prizes were given, but a lot of oohs and aahs made it worth it. :oP

I racked up 2,719 words in just under two hours. Woot!

Day 10
Today, I'm at Einstein's until they close. It's almost 2:00 p.m., so I've got about two hours left. Here I go to refill my Coke and dive into the world that belongs to Enchanted A. Smitten. I've been very excited to write in her POV for awhile. She's an interesting character. Her father is a TV evangelist and her mother is mystic. Needless to say, she grew up with some built-in issues. Mangy, meet Enchanted. Let's walk together for awhile...

Words to date: 14,369
Words to go: 35,631

EDIT: Finished writing here. Wrote 2,345 words in about two hours. I'm caught up again! My goal for the weekend is dip below 30,000 words to go. If all goes well, I should be able to get way under that by the end of my writing date Sunday.

Words to date: 16,714
Words to go: 33,286

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Day 7: Tired, tired, tired

Okay, maybe my husband was right in his thinking that this would be hard for someone who is ultimately going to feel fatigue with or without extra sleep. I am so tired now that I was typing with my eyes closed. Unfortunately, one wrong move and your writing looks like this:

O'ts stranlkge hjow you want to make thi;gs 'ppls [s [erfe;t spo,metim,es.

Oh well. I nearly stopped at 950 words, but when I saw that I only had 50 more to go before I got to 1,000, I pushed my mind and story through. The problem I had tonight is that the story was flowing well, but my mind just wasn't there to get it down.

I have high hopes for catching up on the weekends. Here's to the end of Week 1...

Words to date: 11,650
Words to go: 38,350

Monday, November 6, 2006

Day 6: Deflated Ego

The day was relentless and busy, but at least all that busyness will pay off in that I'll have more free time later this week. I hadn't gotten one word in yet today and almost quit for the day. But I sat down for a half hour and wrote almost 500 words. At least that's something.

Looks like it may be a roller coaster ride rather than a steady climb this year. *le sigh*

Words to date: 10,618
Words to go: 39,382

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Day 5: Wrimo Rockstar

What a day of writing! Morale is high today. Last night, I did manage to write up 1,738 words, going over my daily quota by a goodish amount in a little over one hour.

Today, I had my master writing plan in effect. The morning went smoothly, and I was writing by 11:30 a.m. over at Einstein's Bros., my favorite place to write. I pounded out a few thousand words until they closed at 3:00. I even had time for a chat with my mother-in-law who happened to be stop in to pick up some lunch.

I was just a 1,000 words short of reaching 5,000, so I headed over to Panera Bread and got in that last bit so I could say I'd written 5,007 words for the day.

However, I saw that my total count was a mere 300 from 10,000. I couldn't very well leave myself dangling so close to a milestone, so I sat down at 11:00 tonight and got in my final bits to push me over the mark.

I feel like a Wrimo rockstar today with what I've accomplished. I wrote 5,520 words here on Day 5. May this feeling stay with me through week two!

Words to date: 10,120
Words to go: 39,880 (Yeah! Under 40,000!)

Letter to Wrimo Radio

Wrimo Radio has begun! I loved their podcasts last year, so I'm looking forward to the silliness and seriousness and utter inspiration that will ensue from this year's episodes. I was reading Chris Baty's news column about it and saw that they were looking for stories for Wrimo Radio. I sent them an email with my story about being an "almost quitter."

The Almost-Quitter: Stories of people who almost dropped out, then didn't, and what it meant for their life.

On day 8 of NaNoWriMo 2005, my first attempt at the challenge, I got the the news that the 6-year old daughter of a dear friend of mine died suddenly. There was no warning or notice, she just died of a rare medical condition no one knew she had. I'd been a part of her life since she was four months old, so the tragedy understandably put me into utter shock. Here's an excerpt from my NaNo blog two days after it happened:

The thought of quitting NaNo crossed my mind a few times today as I have been grieving through the loss of my friend's child, and grieving for her loss as well. But a fellow NaNo writer, NarniaPrincess, and a friend in real life, encouraged me to try to stick out. She said that perhaps writing would be the one thing that kept me grounded and helped me though this. She was right. Writing this evening helped a lot.

My story involves angels, and though my head said, no don't even think it, my heart said, YES, just do it! So I wrote Savannah into the story. She appeared behind a receptionist in a white dress with a fluffy white tutu. She carried a magic wand with a star on the end and was as happy as she could be. That's how I see her--as happy as can be.

It did help to write about her. I don't know why. Maybe there's some therapeutic nature to writing for me. Well, yes, I know there is. But who'd have thought it would come out in my NaNo novel?


Doing NaNoWriMo that month helped me get through my grief over the loss of that little girl. I'll always remember her whenever I do NaNoWriMo. It's something I can't possibly forget. The contest is forever tagged with its incredible ability to heal my heart last November.

Who knows if they'll use it, but when I read the different kinds of stories they were looking for, this one was laid on my heart to share. If they do use it, maybe it'll help someone out there.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Day 2, 3, & 4: Gah!

Day Two: We had out Kick Off party (finally), but much to my chargrin, we didn't really have any set writing time. I did win another "I write books" pin which was cool, but I wrote a measley 886 words in about an hour. After which point, a friend came over to talk to me, and that was the end of that. (Not that I minded! She's moving to Africa on Sunday for goodness' sake. I did want to talk to her.)

Day Three: I barely got in any words yesterday. We drove up to Leadville to visit my father-in-law last night after a super busy day, and I tell you--if I hadn't taken my laptop and written during the car ride up there, making myself completely sick and naseous from staring at a bright white screen in the dark, I wouldn't have even gotten in that 893 words. I was so exhausted by time we arrived, that writing seemed quite far from my mind. At least I finished Chapter 1.

Day Four: I woke up around 5:45 a.m. with this persistent and annoying urge to get writing on my NaNo because surely the day would be too busy to do any noveling. So I thought to myself, "Okay, I'll think of something to write first." Eeeengk! Mistake #1. Then I decided to lay down in bed while I was thinking. Eeeengk! Mistake #2. I woke up around 8:15 a.m., the same time my daughter awoke, and that was the end of that.

So we drove home this evening (yes, the visit was very short), and I was completely wiped out from a day of walking around main street Leadville and going from this place to that. My husband was ready to shove me out the door to write, but I said, "I've decided my plan!" Doesn't that sound so official and important and like I have a clue?

My plan was to let tonight ride as a zero day and get up early tomorrow to write. Then I would take an extended writing date in the afternoon and make up for the utter measliess which is my word count.

I layed down in bed and picked up No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, and silly me, I started reading the pep talk about Week 1. So now here I am at the computer, having been kicked in the mental butt to at least make an attempt at my word count though I'm tired and uninspired and feel I have absolutely nothing to say.

Then again...Maybe I do have something to say. This was quite the long blog entry, now wasn't it? Off to work I go.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Day 1: Squeaked In

I had such a busy day today. I didn't know if I would get any noveling in at all. But with 45 minutes left on the clock for the day, I sat down and rammed out 1,083 words. Not exactly the best way to start off NaNoWriMo--short of the daily goal-- but I'm optimistic about catching up tomorrow at the Kick Off Party.

Now to download and fill out a new, clean NaNo report card.

Words to date: 1,083
Words to go: 48,917