I didn’t make my Camp NaNoWriMo Month goal but I did pretty well if I do say so myself. I am now playing with the idea of making the story a novella instead of a full-length novel. I have ideas but I just don’t feel like Inara and Mark have a novel in them yet. Time will tell.
I have joined a few writing groups lately. Hopefully, that will give me some writing friends and some accountability to make things move a little faster. Life is crazy but writing is one of my end goals so I just have to figure out how to make it work. I gots this!
One of my groups has an accountability spreadsheet that we should fill out daily. I’m more concerned about remembering to do that than actually writing. I’ve committed to 20 hours this month. That’s a little less than an hour a day. I should be able to do that on my lunch break or even in chunks during the weekend. I just have to remember, writing is like yoga for my mind. I have never left a yoga class regretting how I feel when I leave and I have never sat down to write and regretted having written. In fact, both activities make me feel better.
Writing is like yoga for my mind, I have never regretted doing either. I always feel better when I'm done.
In one of my other groups, there was an entire thread about getting new notebooks. Yall, I’ve found my people. Like the picture says, happiness is a blank notebook. The possibilities are endless there. Those blank pages can become anything, all I need is a good pen and some good music. Soon words fill the pages and no matter if it’s just a grocery list, those words, once written, become real.
This month may be a scheduling nightmare, I may spend the next year running in a thousand directions but I want to have a story finished by Christmas. I want to be working on the final draft come new years so that I can begin with the next story because I am loving the world I have made up inside my head and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. Finding these groups may be the life saver I need when things get overwhelming and I want to curl up and read a good book. They offer a link to encouragement, friendship, ideas, and advice. All invaluable in their own way.
I love starting things. The ideas flying out of my head like little fireflies. I love the planning and the setup. I love it all. I have so many things swirling around in my mind, it’s nice to come up with some wild idea and run with it for a while.
I have always wanted to be a writer.
So, I did what I always do, I dove right in and got my feet wet. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. At a terrible time, I should add, I’m a full-time student, mother, and worker too. I signed up again, this time for Camp NaNoWriMo. During that first camp, this summer I put together most of a rough draft of a horrible book. I lost its plot and got overwhelmed in building my world. So, I put it aside to stew.
I wrote a second rough draft, better than the first but still a mess. I signed up for the July Camp NaNoWriMo, chose a pen name, created a website and Facebook Page. I wrote a short story that I want to figure out how to tie into my book and make it part of that world. I’m trying to write another short story but it’s not working. It may have to stew as well.
All this to say, I dove in and now I’m here and I’m learning. The process will be slow and more than a little painful. I will want to give up. I may even try to do so. But I will be back because, at the end of the day, I am a writer.
While I work on getting everything together for my new little online home enjoy a story my Grandmother tells of picking blackberries in her youth. It is in her own words and not edited for flow. Sometimes it’s better to just let the story be itself.
“Sometimes in late spring or early summer blackberries begin to ripen in South Ga. When I was growing up my family felt they had to get their share. They grew wild everywhere. At first, we would pick right around the house, along the garden fence, behind the barn. We could get enough for a pie easily. Granny was always close by cautioning us about snakes and at some point she would get serious about the berry business. She and I would ramble all over the countryside, dressed and armed for the occasion. I in a pair of overalls my cousin had handed down. She in her sunbonnet and long sleeved dress that reached her ankles. Besides the buckets, she carried a hoe and I carried a long sturdy stick. This I used to poke around in the bushes good before I got close enough to pick the berries. If I heard something that sounded like dried peas rattling in the pod I was to run to her, she would kill with her hoe (the snake I mean). I was to remember that unlike rattlesnakes, moccasins didn’t give a warning, they just struck. As we picked she would tell me horror stories about people that had been bitten by a poisonous snake and what had been done for it. The one I remember most vividly was someone had been bitten on the leg and a hole was dug and he sat with his leg buried in the hole. The soil drew the poison out. If a snake bit me I just hope it wouldn’t be on my face. If we had more than we could carry with two hands we would thread them on the pole, Granny took one end and I the other. When we arrived home, Mama and Granny set to work. Canning and making jam and jelly. Sometimes, but not often, the jelly didn’t jell properly and they would have to cook it over. If it still did not work it was considered a loss until Dad, one day poured some oh his plate and decided he liked blackberry syrup better than the jelly. Once when I had the occasion to eat breakfast at IHOP to my surprised blackberry syrup was on the menu. I had some and it was good, but I wondered if it had started out to be jelly and didn’t quite make it. By the way, on these blackberry adventures, we never ran into a poisonous snake. Maybe they heard us coming and hid, or we just didn’t see them.”