Thanksgiving was a little different for us this year, but in a good way. We had some friends who found themselves for one reason or another without a “home” for Thanksgiving, so we invited them to celebrate with us. Thanksgiving and Christmas were never big affairs for us, because we don’t have a large family. We typically ate with people we saw all year anyway. After my grandma passed away, it was even more small. So this year it turned out to be a real party. I cooked two turkeys, wild rice and cranberry dressing, sweet potatoes and a neapolitan cake. My friend brought caramel apple puffs, french silk pie and made green beans and a carrot casserole. Another friend brought pumpkin pie and pecan pie. My mother made potato salad, mashed potatoes, brought rolls and two pumpkin rolls.
Needless to say, no one went hungry. Since we were having so many people, I thought it was a good time to introduce everyone to Bunco, which is a dice game. Our friends also thought it was time to introduce us to a game they have gotten addicted to — Texas Hold’em. So the first entertainment for the evening was a Texas Hold’em tournament. Surprisingly my son won the game. I think he benefitted from the fact that there were two people in the game bent on putting the other under and they ended up bringing each other down, which then left my son and my brother in the game, with my brother holding very few chips. My brother went all in a couple of times trying to end the game and it kept going so he folded. We then went on to Bunco. I don’t think the Texas Hold’em crew thought it would be very exciting, but in the end it turned out to be, especially since there were prizes to be had at the end. The funny thing was that all our scores were very close.
So, fun was had by all, and I’ve heard that the guy who was shoving Texas Hold’em down our throats (he showed up with so many chips I thought Las Vegas had come to town….) was still talking about BUNCO the next day. Hee hee. So we are all looking forward to Christmas, which kicks off with a slumber party on Christmas Eve (wonder if anyone will mind a group of people high on hot chocolate out caroling at midnight??) and will probably end with marathon runs of Texas Hold’em and Bunco the next day….
Well, I’ve shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears. I’ve made it to 44,000 words. I hope to reach 50,000 by Wednesday so I will have the challenge over by Thanksgiving and I won’t be thinking about it. The story will not be completed by that time, and I will continue working on it until it is finished, especially since one of my NaNo friends told me that one of the prizes for completing NaNo was a free proof of your book from a self-publishing company and if you publish through them the book will be available on Amazon.com. The offer ends in March, so that means I have to have the story finished and revised and polished before March. I thought NaNo was a challenge!!
But I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving. We are celebrating a bit non-traditionally this year. We’ve invited friends who don’t have anywhere better to go (hee hee) and we are going to have a big party. I’m cooking the turkeys. Two other girlfriends are bringing veggies and desserts. We have movies lined up and a bunco tournament with prizes planned. What gathering would be complete without a game of Phase 10 too? I may have to buy another deck…. But I am really looking forward to it, especially having NaNo behind me!
Well, I’ve made it over the hump. I am past 25,000 words, but only by a little bit. I’ve hit a couple snags. My trial version of Microsoft Word Home and Student 2007 that came on my netbook has reached it’s limit and I can’t add to it nor can I copy it and put it into word pad. DB is trying to work his magic. First he has to find out why my netbook will now download anything from the internet. Once we have that figured out I may be able to buy Word so I can finish. I do like this version because it has the word count at the bottom of the page running a tally. I will try to take up where I ended in that file in a new file in another program and hopefully keep moving along.
The other snag is that I’ve reached a lull in my plot and not sure how to move forward from this point. I’m taking a day off and hopefully something will materialize. One method is to just keep writing until something jumps out at ya. At least it will add to my word count, whether it adds the story or not.
As I started off on my NaNoWriMo preparations I picked up a copy of Chris Baty’s “No Plot No Problem” on half.com as well as the NaNoWriMo Writer’s Kit. There is a certain chapter in the book to read each week for pep talks and pointers. In the kit there are cards numbered for each day of the month that give writing tips and prompts. According to the book week two is the killer. This is the week that makes or breaks many participants. Evidently week two is where the plot kind of hits the wall. Week one seems to be easy because you are introducing and developing characters and they kind of take on a life of their own. I have to admit that the warnings about week two seemed exaggerated, because my story was moving along fine. Then this morning hits. My plot brought me naturally to a point that presents me with a conundrum. What my character finds could reveal everything to her too quickly. So how do I get out of this spot? I’m taking a break to think things through. So welcome to week two.
Besides this little sticky wicket I’ve encountered it’s been going pretty well. I hope to be a day ahead of the word count by this evening and hope to get at least another day ahead during the upcoming write-ins this weekend. It will be great to catch up with some other writers and catch a fresh wind to carry me into week three.
Well, I signed up for the challenge. National Novel Writing Month. Write 50,000 words in one month. It sounds like a lot, but after I read the book the guy wrote who started this challenge and learned that it was only about 175 pages, I was like — that’s hardly a book at all! Shoot, in high school I was just getting started at 175 pages. However, it’s been a long time since high school and my writing is very rusty. I didn’t really start thinking about what I wanted to write until about a week before. I went through three different ideas. I even spent time detailing five characters for one story line, and November 1st when I started writing went in a completely different direction. It was a rough start too. I really struggled getting the first words out. I continued to plod along for about four pages and finally changed perspective. It’s flowing easier now. I’ve always liked writing in third perspective, because I like the omniscience you have, but this character wanted to take control and use her own voice. I’m interested to see how the story goes. I already know where I want to end it, but I have no idea how it’s getting there. That is the fun of writing – kind of like raising children. You give birth to it, name it, and then it takes on a mind of it’s own and pretty soon you are just along for the ride.
This past weekend was our first write-ins. We are meeting at the community center on Fridays from 6-10pm, and Saturdays from 5-9 (I don’t like being out late on Saturdays since we usually have church the next morning). Hubby came along begrudgingly last night. My mom and brother were also there as we were having a fair committee meeting AND the computer administrator was there trying to decide why we didn’t have internet. Needless to say, I got very little writing done that evening, and all those people were camped out eating my goodies. I told hubby he had to be writing in order to get the chocolate and the spiced cider. By the end of the night I was quite frustrated as I hadn’t made any accomplishments toward adding to my word count and hubby was in a foul mood for “wasting” time there.
Last night a bonafide writer showed up. Again, hubby was there under protest, and again I told hubby he had to be writing in order to have goodies. I could enforce it because we were the only ones there 😉 He did start working on something, but he had been playing with figures and stuff so I assumed he was working on some wood craft project. When we got home he told me he wanted me to read his story. All he had was this tiny notebook, but he had started a story, and it was very good. Of course the subject was going to be trapping, a boy becoming a mountain man. But that idea interests me and it was a very good beginning. I can’t get him into the concept of just write and go back and edit later. He was in bed last night reading and rereading, making changes. Unfortunately the internal editor/critic can be contagious. I’ll need to keep my distance….
Hopefully today I can break 10k and get caught up to where I should be. I made a little bookmark with all the word count goals for each day on it and can tick them off as I accomplish them. I handed them out last night. Actually two writers showed up — my Mom came in with her laptop for about an hour and got about 1200 words done. Don’t know if she’s actually going to take a stab at the challenge or not. But after last night I’m stoked and I think I’ve got the momentum to keep going. At least till next weekend when I can meet up with some more fellow writers and catch my second wind 🙂
Jaunt on over to my NaNoWriMo profile to read the first paragraph of my story 😉
Well, I’ve signed on for National Novel Writing Month madness. I’m way behind on my word count but hope to catch up this weekend. I’ll share my opening paragraph to whet your appetite.
The Wetherell Heir
The sound of crunching gravel echoed in her ears as she slowly walked down the pebbled path. Everything was a greyish hue as mist hung heavily in the air. She looked around her, confused. Where was she? How had she gotten here? But she continued moving forward, as if drawn against her will. There was a dark canopy of trees above her and overgrowth on both sides of the path. Brambles pulled at her skirts. Startled, she realized she was wearing a pale grey old-style dress with long flowing skirts, a fitted bodice with puffed sleeves at the shoulders which became fitted at her wrists. There were pearl buttons at her wrists. She felt to the back of her neck and found more pearl buttons. Her hand wandered up the back of her head to find her hair captured in a severe bun. She glanced behind her, but only saw complete darkness swallowing up the path she had come from. She turned her attention ahead again, and could see the beginning of an opening. It continued to open up before her to reveal overgrown gardens and the path leading to a large Victorian gingerbread mansion on a knoll. Mist swirled around the mansion and a moanful whisper seemed to surround her on the breeze.
“Welcome home,” the moanful whisper whipped around her. Suddenly she felt as if she was being sucked toward the house, her feet hovering over the ground.
“No!” she screamed.