Chasing Inspiration

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

NaNo update

I had 5 uninterrupted days to write. And I did write. But when I went back and looked at my word count, my total was just shy of 5,000 words. Which totally bites.

I want to say I suck and that I'm just throwing in the towel. But I promised myself I would get to 50 thousand words. I would finish. I wouldn't just walk away, no matter how bad the story was or how things turned out.

So, I'm plugging forward. I may not make my goal by midnight on Friday, but I will make it. And you never know, I may get a huge boost of inspiration and hit 50,000 words by midnight on Friday. Anything is possible.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Paranormal Inspirational What?

I was talking to author Patti O'Shea a few months ago and as I was asking her questions about paranormal romance, I blurted out that this story is an inspirational paranormal. She didn't bat an eye but it made me pause and think for a moment. Can paranormal stories and inspirational stories share real-estate in the same book? The answer may surprise you.

According to, paranormal means:
of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.
Supernatural phenomena. Without scientific explanation. Interesting, is it not? Most people attribute paranormal story lines with ghosts, psychics, shapeshifters (were-creatures), vampires, witches, and the like. But if I take the definition of paranormal at face value, it includes anything that can't be explained scientifically. Which means, when  my heroine senses things about characters around her through the spiritual gift of discernment, that makes my inspirational type novel have paranormal overtones. Right?

Well, not if you talk to anyone in the inspirational markets. You don't want to go there. However, I can talk about my book being an inspirational with strong supernatural elements.

It's all in how you present the story. The story itself doesn't change if I call it a paranormal romance or an inspirational romance with supernatural elements. It's still the same story. But how it's presented will cause people to think of the story in a certain way. And depending on the slice of the market I'm after will depend on how I want editors, agents, even readers to think of it.

I'm not ready to go after anyone with the story yet, so once NaNo is over, I'm going to jump back into this story and finish it. But as I write, it's not a bad idea to be thinking about who might be attracted to such a story. Be it a paranormal with spiritual elements or an inspirational with supernatural elements. *grin*

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm alone for Thanksgiving this year. The boy's family decided to visit his sister in the mountains of Colorado. I was going to go but a couple of weeks ago we decided the dog was in no condition to travel and we don't kennel him so I got to stay home. This is not a bad thing. Aside from the fact that I can eat pancakes for dinner if I want to, it's nice to have some solitude once in a while. Around here, I don't get it often enough.

I actually got together with friends for Thanksgiving dinner at noon and a viewing of Ratatouille. I love that movie! I love almost anything Pixar comes up with. It was a good time with good food (I bought and brought the smoked turkey, yum!) good wine and great company. Then I came home and shoveled off the deck and the driveway because no sooner does the boy go out of town and the weather decides to turn to snow. Makes for nice ambiance, but a nervous dog who wants to be carried on and off the deck. Um, he's 60 pounds so no way am I carrying him anywhere.

All in all, a good day. I'm settling in with some leftover pumpkin pie, CSI will be on in a little bit and I think spiked hot chocolate will go well with murder and mayhem.

How are you spending your Thanksgiving? I hope it is with the ones you love!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NaNo...Losing Track

I have no clue how far into NaNo I am. I lost count of days a while ago. I do know that I'm halfway through the word count. And I'm losing steam. I have no desire to write. Some of that may be because I'm all alone for Thanksgiving (the family went to Colorado to visit the boy's sister). Could also be because my dog has cancer and almost debilitating arthritis and there's not much we can do but keep him comfy until he tells us his time is over. Could be because I have written long and hard for over two weeks and my head is numb.

No matter what the reason, I have decided to take a few days off. I haven't written a word since Sunday. Tomorrow I'm going to pick it up again and plug along. I want to make my goal. I want to hit 50,000 words. Since I'm off until next Monday, I have given myself only three things to accomplish - aside from basic home maintenance. *grin*

I am going to update and balance the cheque book.

I am going to clean the home office.

I am going to write every day and hope to get at least 10,000 words in. Minimum.

Think I can do it? Let me know. I need all the support I can get. LOL!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

NaNo Day 8

Today was hard. The story didn't flow. The characters weren't as vivid and alive as they have been all week. And I really didn't like the direction the story was heading. It feels contrived.

I reminded myself that this is a rough first draft and once it's completed I get to slice it and dice it any way I want to make the story really work and be truly mine. So if the characters are going off in a direction that I'm not happy with, that's okay. Let them get it it out of their system. And who knows. Maybe they know something I don't.

My total word count for today was 1,657. Which brings my 8 day total to 13,467.

I wrote for about an hour. Damn, I'm getting fast! LOL

Happy writing!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NaNo Day 7 Update!

I'm done for the day and I manged to write 3,274 words today. Phew! I don't know if I can keep this pace for long, but it's nice to be able to get so much in!

My total word count so far is 11,810.

NaNo Day 7

Well, yesterday was a bust. I was sick, so no writing. I feel like I'm in a constant state of catch up. I'm still sick today, but feeling like I can concentrate so I'm going to write some at some point. First, I really want a DQ Blizzard. Popular opinion is that you save the treats for after the writing as a reward. That's never really worked for me. The reward for writing is seeing the words on the page and the story form so I can believe that I'm getting that much closer to actually having a book that I can query the hell out of, lol! I'm still dreaming of that day when I can quit the day job and make my living from writing and perhaps teaching/coaching writing. Or other things.

I was reminded this last month that I'm a damn fine teacher/trainer and that I love getting up and helping people improve some facet of their lives. I'm good at it. I enjoy it. I really should get off my butt and look for jobs in this area. I've had some ideas floating around for a while. I need to shake off the fear and just see what happens when I submit my proposals.

How this relates to NaNoWriMo or writing in general? It's easier to write when life is in a positive place. When something in your life isn't positive, you owe it to yourself to understand why and then figure out what to do about it. November isn't just going to be my novel writing month, it's going to be my "Figure out what to do with your career" month. Or, at the very least, the start of it.

Happy writing!

Monday, November 05, 2007

NaNo Day 5

So far, so good. I didn't write this weekend. I know, I know. What was I thinking? I was thinking that it was really nice to enjoy the last warm days of the season and that it was really wet giving the dog a bath.

Not to worry. Today I was on a role and able to write about 20 pages. Yes, 20 lovely pages, each containing roughly 250 words. Which brings my page count to 8020 words in the last 5 days! And it didn't take me forever. I wrote for about 3 hours. Well, I instant messaged, did some online research and wrote for 3 hours.

This means I can write faster than I think I can. Which is amazing! If I can write for an hour a day and make 5 pages consistently, I could potentially write more than one book a year. Whoop!

Of course, I'm trying to not get ahead of myself and to just keep writing this book. No clear plot yet, but I'm really enjoying the two main characters. We'll see where the month takes me.

Happy writing!

ETA: Well, I got caught up in the story and am now up to a 5 day total of 8535 words! The last 500 words written in the last 30 minutes. Phew!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

NaNoWriMo - 2007 Style

There is this phenomenon that strikes writers - from the novice to the published - that strikes every November. This phenomenon is called National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. And to do so with a story idea that you haven't plotted or outlined or researched to death.

I've done this in past years and have always become side tracked with life. In other words, I wasn't really committed and didn't truly believe that this great idea would work for me. It was a nice thought, but more fantasy than reality.

Well, this year is different. On November 1st I picked a story idea out of my "ideas" folder, sat down at the computer for about 90 minutes and the result was 1800 words. I wrote for another 90 minutes yesterday which equaled just over 1600 words. Not too shabby.

My goal - to write every day a word count of about 1600 words. Or about 6 -1/2 pages. I'm going to try to blog daily this month as well. If nothing else, it will be to publicly declare where I'm at with the NaNoWriMo challenge. Wish me luck!