Candid Karina

{November 1, 2011}   NaNoBloWho??

It’s November.  Which means it is NaNoWriMo or, National Novel Writing Month.  Also known as the crazy month when writers everywhere commit to writing 50,000 words in one month.

It is also NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, the month when bloggers everywhere commit to writing a post every single day for a month…

I’ve done both in the past.  In fact, quite a few years back I did BOTH at the same time.

In recent years, I have attempted NaNoWriMo, but have not quite made it to the 50k mark.

I abandoned NaBloPoMo ages ago…I’m barely a blogger at this point, let’s be honest…so, a post every day for a month?  Not likely.

November, especially, is a tough month…I help put together a youth retreat on Thanksgiving weekend, which requires MONTHS of preparation, and the month of November is crunch time.  Also, I am away on said youth retreat the entirety of Thanksgiving weekend.  As in, away from all technology.  Which takes away at the very least three days of writing, right up against the deadline at the end of the month.

Plus, due to the completely unprecedented  and unexpected snowstorm this past weekend, I spent the last 48 hours without power…and today, which should have been the first day of NaNo, I was too busy doing things like cleaning out a fridge full of spoiled food.

So, any sane person would tell you, there is no way I’m doing NaNoWriMo this year, and no, I’m also NOT going to do NaBloPoMo…

But, I’ve never been accused of being sane…

SO…don’t count me out just yet…I’ll make up my mind by the end of the week… 😉

I have participated in National Novel Writing Month every year for the last 3 years. Not only have I participated, but I’ve finished, writing 50,000 plus words in the month of November. It is no small feat, and one I am extremely proud of having accomplished. It is fun, it is stressful, it is challenging, it is CRAZY, but it is pretty great.

Today marks the beginning of yet another NaNoWriMo, and this year, after much thought and hard self-evaluation, I have opted not to participate.

I wish I could. I will miss being a part of this crazy community this year, trying to keep up with the daily word count requirements, struggling with writer’s block, commiserating and celebrating with my fellow writers…

But I simply cannot.

My top ten reasons why I’m not joining you crazy NaNoers this year:

1. The novel I started at last year’s NaNoWriMo? The one I KNOW is fabulous and sure to get me published? Yeah, I haven’t touched it since November 30, 2009.

2. The novel I started the year before that? The one I KNOW is fabulous and sure to get me published? Yeah, I haven’t touched that one either.

3. Until those two novels are complete, I REFUSE to start a new one. Nope, NOT going to do it.

4. I realize I could use NaNoWriMo and bend the rules a little, and focus on finishing one of those 2 novels instead of starting a new one, but then it wouldn’t really be “NaNoWriMo” the way it’s meant to be, would it?

5. I need a netbook, because my new laptop is really a HUGE desktop replacement and I’m not taking that with me ANYWHERE outside my house, and writing in my house never happens…and I don’t have a net book.

6. I have made a commitment to work on a youth retreat on Thanksgiving weekend, and the preparation for this retreat is ALL ENCOMPASSING this month, and requires my undivided attention.

7. As part of this youth retreat, I have committed to doing a witness talk, which needs to be written this week, taking priority over NaNoWriMo.

8. I work 40 hours a week, and unlike previous years, I’m actually busy at work now, lessening my available writing time during the day.

9. My social calendar, with church events, friend events, family events, and work events is insanely busy this month, and for once, I’m choosing my social life over holing up and writing.

10. I might actually be dating again…

And a bonus and perhaps the biggest reason:

11. I’m just not inspired this year.

So, although I won’t be officially signing up, unofficially, I am hoping to dedicate a little more time to writing each day. Maybe not a novel, maybe not even work on my two Works In Progress, but on my witness talk, on my blog posts, journaling, whatever it may be…that’s my commitment this month…to WRITE a little each day.

That’s the best I’ve got at this moment…

Have fun NaNoers!!! I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines this year.

{December 1, 2009}   NaNoWriMo – DONE

I did it. Wait, let me say that again… I. Did. It. Did what? Completed NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Wrote 50,000 words in 30 days! Actually, it was 50,592 words in more like (less like?) 20 days or so. Because there were at the very least 10 days when I wrote not ONE WORD. And today? I wrote over 8,000 of them in order to finish on time.

But, the important part? I did it!!!!

And even more important? I wrote good stuff. Really good stuff. This novel, which has been rolling around in my head, on paper, on disk drives, etc., for the last decade plus, has finally taken shape.

At the start of this month, I decided that instead of starting yet another novel that would never be finished, I was going back to my original “work in progress” to try to breath new life into. I was in love with my two main characters, but decided the story itself just wasn’t working for me. So, I scrapped the entire thing and started from scratch with everything but the main characters…them I kept.

And the most amazing thing happened, it took about 35,000 words, and suddenly, the new story began to take shape, to have direction, to make perfect sense. Suddenly, it was all there in front of me.

Now, at 50,592 words, I know exactly where my characters are taking me. I probably have another 20,000 words or so before I’m done, and then, it’ll be time to go back and edit, tweak, add some stuff…really make it work.

I am excited to keep working on it and see where I end up.

But, pssst…I DID IT!!

{November 16, 2009}   NaNoWriMo – Half-Way There

This weekend marked the Half-way point for NaNoWriMo. At this point, if you haven’t already quit, you’ve probably threatened to do so at least a handful of times. I know I have. I’ve threatened to not only quit, but delete my entire manuscript and forget it ever existed.

Never mind this is a story that I’ve been carrying in my brain for the better part of the last 10 years. There is no “deleting” this story, it has haunted me, creeping up in the most unexpected ways, at the most inappropriate times. My two main characters are like old friends who live far away, but stop by for a visit every few years.

I miss them when they are not here, but when they are here, they tend to overstay their welcome, and drive me crazy.

But I love them dearly, and would never even dream of telling them to leave before they are ready to go. And when they do decide they’ve had enough…I miss them immediately after they’ve gone.

Their story, however, has evolved over the years. And as I tackle this new version of it with NaNoWriMo I find myself completely unsure of where it is going, and what they are trying to tell me.

One thing is for certain however, they are still completely and utterly in love with each other, and I am in turn, still madly and deeply in love with them and the driving force behind this story I must tell.

And that is all I know. I cannot tell you what genre my book will end up being, for I do not know. True, it is a love story, but it is something else as well, and they are just know, at the half way point, beginning to let me in on their secret.

So, you ask me, what is your book about exactly, and I laugh. Don’t ask me, ask them…but don’t expect an answer, for they will only tell you when they are good and ready.

And I? I’ll just keep writing away, reaching for the 50 thousand words, and beyond, and hoping they’ll trust me enough somewhere along the journey to clue me in to the destination.

And then, I’ll tell you all their secrets, I promise.

{November 6, 2009}   Here we NaNoWriMo Again…

For those unfamiliar with it, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, also known as November, also known as a bunch of crazy people sign up to write 50,000 words in one month and then pull their hair out of their head trying to make their daily and weekly word counts, but if it all goes well, at the end of it, they have a novel. Or the beginning of a novel. Or something like that.


So, NaNoWriMo.

It’s a pretty lofty goal for just about anyone. 50,000 words in a month average out to a little over 1600 words per day. That may not sound like a lot, but look at it this way, this post? 560words. Yeah…1,600 words is a lot. Especially because writing a novel requires a story, characters, and it requires you to be able to keep that story going…writer’s block has a tendency to set in when you’re facing a deadline. At least it does for me. Add to that the fact that I work a 9-5 job, and have about 18 million other commitments coming up for the month of November and…well, yes, I’m absolutely insane for signing up for NaNoWriMo.

And yet, the challenge adds to it an element of urgency which forces me to focus and actually sit down and write daily. I’ve done it for at least two years now, completing the 50,000 word goal last year for the first time.

Truth be told, the novel I began last year has sat pretty much untouched since December 1st, but I have high aspirations of returning to it one day.

In the meantime, this year, I decided to bend the rules a WEEE little bit and pick up my eternal work in progress. The novel I began writing well over a decade ago and have yet to finish. Technically, this is a no-no for NaNo, as you are supposed to start from scratch. However, I believe the true spirit of NaNo is to get writers to WRITE, and the rest of the rules are more like “suggestions” for me.

Also, I really love the characters in that novel, and they have been begging me to finish their story for ages. I feel now is the time to do so. And, in all fairness to the rest of the NaNoWriMo participants, it is “almost” as if I’m writing a brand new novel, because, you see…besides the fact that I love my two main characters, and have previously rewritten the prologue to the novel…I’ve scrapped pretty much the entirety of the remainder of it. I decided that as much as I love the character, I hated the existing story. In the last decade of so, I have grown, I have changed, and so have they.

They have matured, they have formed new attitudes and created new lives for themselves, and the old story line just wasn’t working anymore. So I tossed it.

I can’t even tell you where this one is going, because I haven’t the slightest idea. I just know that my two characters, who I have loved and known for over a decade now, have a story to tell, and I am merely the medium. I’ll type the words, but they’ll be guiding them.

I can’t wait to see what they have to show me.

So off we go then…

Okay folks, here it is, April 1st. I was going to be all clever and give you some big April Fool’s Joke, you know, tell you I was quitting blogging, or I had gotten married on my cruise, or some such silly thing, but…well…I’m just not that good of a liar, so I’ll spare you, and instead get serious about my big project for April.

My Twitter friend Lisa and I had a discussion recently about the fact that our NaNo novels have pretty much laid untouched since November 30th or so. All this hard work put into reaching the 50k words, and then, as soon as the month ended, they were pushed aside like all of our other unfinished works in progress. One more to add to the list of started, but never completed manuscripts.

So, we decided that it was time to focus on those novels once again, and the month of April was to be the month in which we would do so.

And then we thought “There must be others out there in the same boat, others who’s NaNo novels are just sitting, waiting for encouragement to be picked up again”. And also, what about those New Year’s Resolutions? The promise to lose 10 lbs. The goal to hit the gym 3 times a week? The decision to quit smoking? The plan to declutter your house one room at a time? How many of those resolutions have been forgotten and pushed aside?

It is not too late to take them up, and THIS is the time my friends, April has just become the month in which you will be held accountable for those projects.

So, we invite you to join us for Accountability April, a month long challenge to get back to those projects we have let slide.

Lisa and I are both going to be working on our NaNo Novels. But you don’t have to be a writer to join us, any of those resolutions, or any other task you’ve been meaning to tackle will do.

Join us in being productive this month, won’t you?

Here’s what we’ll do. Every Wednesday I’ll post an Accountability April update. I’ll let you know how I’m doing on my novel, how many words I’ve written that week, or what kind of time I’ve spent on edits, and I’ll share other mini-projects I’m working on each week.

You will post on your own blog your very own Accountability April post, giving your readers an update on your own progress with whatever your project may be.

Then, stop on by and leave me (and/or Lisa) a comment letting us know your post is up, with a link.

If you don’t have a blog, but would like to participate, just leave a comment with an update on how you are doing.

What do you think? Are you in? If you ‘d like to join us and think you can get a post up this week with your own project plan, go ahead and do so, and link back here to let us know. Even if you can’t get your post up this week, start working on your project, and post next Wednesday and stop by with your update then.

Also, we’ll be pushing each other along, and encouraging, and keeping tabs, and checking in daily through Twitter, so you’ll want to be sure to follow us, and let us know you’re participating, so we can follow you in return. Here’s me on Twitter: CandidK and Lisa.

Looking forward to getting accountable with you!

Well, as you can probably see by the fact that it’s been almost a week since my last post, I threw in the towell on NaBloPoMo. Life has been a little hectic these last few weeks in November, and I made a decision to let this one go.

HOWEVER, just today my bloggy friends I uploaded my manuscript for the official word counter at NaNoWriMo. And yours truly? A WINNER:

I’m so excited to have been able to participate and win this year. The best part is that my novel is actually nowhere near finished, there’s still so much story left to tell, that I can hardly wait to get back to it and continue to develop and expand on what I started this month. I’ll be taking a break from it (and from all technology) this weekend, but have great hopes for this little novel of mine.

This coming weekend I will be working a youth retreat and will be disconnected entirely from the interwebs…leaving the blackberry at home and all. I’m looking forward to the spiritual retreat and a weekend that I know will be good for my soul and my heart. The prep work for this retreat has been tremendous and is on going even today, on Turkey Day, but will all be worth it in the end.

I ask that if you pray, you keep us, the team putting this thing together, and the teens attending the retreat, in your prayers.

I’ll be logging off shortly, to return on Monday and jump into the Christmas season with all of you…I’m so excited about the holidays this year, I can’t wait to fully delve into them.

For today, I leave you with this:

Happy Thanksgiving Bloggy Friends!!!

It’s Friday once again, which means it is time for ONLY THE GOOD Friday, the “feel good” meme started by my buddy Shelly over at “This Eclectic Life“.

Today I want to focus on good, clean, writing fun. Call it a bit of shameless self-promotion along with a bit of inspiration to get you out there to do some WRITING!!!

It seems the whole of the blogosphere (and non-bloggers as well through out the interwebs) are in a writing frenzy this month.

You see, it is NaNoWriMo, which, for the uninitiated (or perhaps, UN-Insane), stands for National Novel Writing Month. a month in which those of us who happen to be slightly insane, sign up to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. Yours truly, OF COURSE, signed up. You can find me here if you want to be my “buddy” at the NaNo site, by the way. Also, if you’d like to take a sneak peek at what I’m writing, here’s a tiny excerpt.

I’m happy to tell you that this year (unlike the great fiasco last year), I’m having much success with inspiration, and as of last night my word counter read 13,280 words.

November also happens to be NaBloPoMo, which is National Blog Posting Month. Or a month when those of us doubly insane commit to posting a blog entry every single day of the month. I say doubly insane because I’m speaking of myself, of course, but some folks are only doing one or the other. I am un-officially doing both. By this I mean that I officially signed up for NaNoWriMo, but have not officially signed up for NaBloPoMo. Still, I am attempting to write a post daily, and so far, so good.

As if all that wasn’t enough, today also happens to be the day for you lovely folks out there to post your second entry to Karina’s Alphabet Soup, the new writing/photography meme I started over at Creative Karina. Mine is up, and I hope you’ll join me.

AND even more writing fun, today is also the day for Pensieve’s Poetic License. My post is up here as well.

So, you see, lot’s of good clean writing fun on this GOOD FRIDAY.

Go visit Shelly to join in on the fun!

So, in case you haven’t heard, I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I say again, because I signed up to do it last year as well. However, after a bit of technical difficulties (as in, a computer crash that cost me 2 weeks of writing time), I never finished.

This year, however, I’m determined to hit that finish line running. So far, so good. Of course, we’re only 5 days in. But hey, word count before I even write today is over 7,000 words. Only 43,000 to go. uh….YIKES.

Anyway, I promissed I’d share some excerpts here, so let me tell you a bit about my novel this year. As yet untitled, it is very loosely based on my life. VERY LOOSELY folks, keep that in mind. It is the story of a 30something woman hitting the dating scene after years away, and starting a new career with an eclectic and interesting group of clients. Told in the form of a diary/journal/blog. For now anyway. Her story of all the characters she meets both in her new job, and as she starts dating.

With that…I give you a peak (please note that in keeping with NaNoWriMo’s rules and policies, there has been little to no editing as of yet, that comes later):

Monday, April 17thDay 1 of the Dating Manifesto.

Today I begin my new life. I woke up on Saturday and realized that it had been 9 months, 1 week, 3 days and about 10 hours since my last date. I mean, seriously folks, I could have had a baby in that time. However, since you need to actually have physical contact with the opposite sex in order to create said baby, and a REALLY BAD kiss does not, no matter how you spin it, count, there is no child to show for all that time.

I have, however, in that period of time, managed to shed enough weight that it looks like I might have given birth, and regained my “pre-baby body”, so it hasn’t all been a waste of time.

But here we are. Monday morning, no baby, no baby weight, and no dates.

And then I have this fabulous new career as a personal stylist to the stars.

Okay, fine, so technically my clients aren’t exactly stars, but they could be. In their own little worlds, the ones they inhabit inside their heads, they are superstars. And you know what? Even if they aren’t famous, they sure as hell are wealthy, and as long as they have the money to pay me outrageous sums to go shopping for them, well, they can believe whatever they want to believe in their little heads.

I mean, can you stand it? I get paid to go shopping. I get paid extremely WELL to go shopping in stores I could only DREAM of walking into six months ago.

How did I get to this point? Six months ago I was unemployed and crazily searching the want ads for a real estate position that would pay enough for me to meet my mortgage payments.

And then I have one conversation with a rich lady in a clothing store, about how I think she should try the green dress instead of the black one, because it’ll bring out her skin tone and hello, new career.

Now I work for her and about 8 of her wealthy friends, helping them dress for everything, from a jaunt to the market (as if they would ever shop for themselves) to a Fundraising Gala Dinner Event.

On any given day I’m running around designer boutiques picking out outfits that cost more than my mortgage payments. It all still seems a bit surreal to me, to be honest. I can’t believe people actually get paid to do what I do. I’m making a living (a very good living) doing this? Who knew?

I love my clients though. I mean, for a bunch of spoiled rich wives, they’re a pretty fantastic group with some of the most colorful personalities I’ve ever come across. And they adore me, which makes my job all that much easier.

It was one of my clients, actually, that made me realize that maybe it was time for me to get back out on the dating scene. Jenie, my 70 year old divorce. This woman? Oh man, the stories I could tell you about her. She’s simply amazing and wonderful and inspiring. And she told me last week that she had decided that she’s been single long enough, having gotten divorced about 15 years ago, and was going to join a dating website for seniors. What a hoot.

Copyright 2008 – Karina

That’s it, that’s all you get today. I have to get back to my actual writing now.

{October 22, 2008}   It’s Just a Novel!!

Yes, I may have entirely lost my mind. Let’s be honest here, I don’t exactly have a whole lot of free time on my hands. Between working a full time job, running a youth group practically on my own, teaching ccd classes every few weeks, preparing for an upcoming retreat, trying to keep a household running, figuring out how to work in an exercise routine, having a serious television addiction and attempting to have a social life…it’s no wonder I barely have time to blog lately. Notice I didn’t even mention shoe shopping? Who has time for shoe shopping?

WAIT…WHAT? Scratch that, there’s always time for shoe shopping.

But I digress.

I’m well aware that my blogging has suffered the last several months. I have neglected all three of my blogs, not to mention the various other blogs I make “guest” appearances on here and there, and even worse, I have seriously neglected the blogs I love to visit and read. But, not only have I been entirely too busy, but this new job, as much as I love it, makes blogging a bit difficult. What with all the firewalls and other things, I’m weary of spending too much time online on my work computer.

This is not actually a bad thing, as we’re supposed to WORK at work, right? So, that only leaves my evenings for blog stuff and well…my evenings are pretty crowded lately.

The thing is, that in this new job, I actually have quite a bit of free time. I have my busy moments, but then I do have other times when I literally search for busy work.
It is actually during those times that blog posts such as this one are created, then copy pasted into my blog when I am at home. SHHH…don’t tell.

So then, I decided I would do something productive with my downtimes.

I signed up for NaNoWriMo again this year. Writing a 50,000 word Novel in the month of November.

Again, yes, I may have entirely lost my mind. But I’m doing it anyway.

Last year I signed up, and I was all gung-ho and excited about it. That is until the big “meltdown” happened and I lost precious hours…nay…days trying to recover my manuscript. By the time I managed to do so, I had lost my momentum, my motivation and my muse. So, I quit.

I also broke rule #1 of NaNoWriMo last year anyway, because I tried to revive an old manuscript, instead of starting from scratch, which is the entire point behind NaNoWriMo.

So, I’m doing things right this year, and I’m starting from scratch, with a brand new story. One I have yet to dream up, but there are ideas floating around in my head already, pumping themselves up to compete to be the winning entry.

And heck, why not, I’m going to give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t reach 50,000 words? Well, at least I’ll have a great start to what could be the next great American novel. Or…whatever.

So, are you doing it? Do you NaNoWriMo?? If so, BUDDY me, let’s keep each other motivated.

et cetera