November 2009


At the beginning of November, I set a personal NaNoWriMo goal of writing the 40,000 words that it would take to finish “Blind Date Bride.”

Well, it’s now the end of the month, and I haven’t written 40K words. I haven’t even written 30K.

However, I’m still considering it a victory. I have more than 25,000 words that I did not have at the beginning of the month, and I’m now just that much closer to having the first draft of “Blind Date Bride” finished.

In fact, I just did the math, and I have just 11,500 words left to get my 90K to make it contemporary single title length. Woo-hoo!

I don’t know how you all write, but my first drafts are mostly pretty good. Some things change, but the bulk of the first draft — from conversations to the action — remains intact. So once I hit that 90K mark, I’m practically golden!

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I just checked my delivery confirmation via the U.S. Postal Service and nearly had a heart attack: No record of that number on file.

It turned out, I incorrectly entered the tracking number from my receipt. When I typed in the correct number, the computer told me my GH entry was received. Woo-hoo! That’s a load off my mind.

We had a great, inspirational NARWA meeting Saturday — and for once I didn’t have to come home and go to work. I was off all weekend, so I got to come home from the meeting all inspired to write … and actually do it! I wish that’d happen more often.

With the GH entry off my plate, I devoted the weekend to catching up on the NaNo. I didn’t succeed, but I did write about 6,000 words on Saturday and Sunday, bringing my NaNo count up to 20,000+.

Pathetic compared to most people’s, I’m sure … but it’s still 20,000 more words than I had at the end of October. And I realized I don’t have quite as far to go to finish as I thought … Only about 16,500 to get my MS to 90,000 words.

So … I finally let Kari and Damien get busy. Figured they needed a couple of happy sex scenes before I break them apart and get them back together.

I was sick last night, so the word count didn’t grow much Monday. And today it was back to work. I’m going to try to do a little writing when I get home from work, but I’m still pretty wiped out from my bout with the 36-hour bug. About the time I finish this blog and my other one, I’ll probably be ready for bed.

Post office says it's been delivered!

This time, I mean my Golden Heart entry — all 246 pages of it, plus the disk with  my full MS on it. I dropped it off at the post office sometime between 11 a.m. and noon.

It felt like such a momentous occasion. I was so darn proud of myself I had to call the Boyfriend right away and tell him it was done.

It wasn’t until I drove back across town that I had a moment of panic. Did I really put the disk with my full MS on it in the box? I know I did … because if I didn’t, where is it? Not in the car … So I’m sure it’s right where it’s supposed to be — on its merry way to RWA HQ.

I had some credit on my Picazzo’s loyalty card, so I treated myself to one of my favorite lunches — a slice of pizza and caesar side salad. Delicious! And the momentous occasion of entering my first Golden Heart competition deserved to be celebrated.

So celebrate I did. Now, on to the next project: Trying to catch up on my NaNo word count. I should be able to make good headway this weekend, because I’m not working. Not only am I not working, but I also have a NARWA meeting — and I always get fired up to write when I go to those.

My problem is that I usually have to head back home and go to work … and by the time I get home after a long day/night at work, I’m too tired and/or have lost that motivation. Not this time. A weekend stretches before me with just two commitments: the meeting Saturday morning and Boyfriend time Sunday evening.

20,000 words, here I come!

That’s how much my Golden Heart entry weighs. It’s 36 pages of 6-page synopsis and 210 pages of the first 42 pages of my MS.

How do I know how much it weighs? Easy — I put it on my trusty kitchen scale. (I knew there had to be a use for it besides weighing food!)

I have decided it’s time to let my entry go. I can’t read through it one more time without going absolutely bonkers. Besides, If I hang onto it much longer, I’ll be paying extra for express shipping — and since the Boyfriend is fronting me the money to pay for the mailing, he’d appreciate it if I didn’t have to do that.

I felt an enormous sense of accomplishment after printing out those six copies. I called one of my NARWA friends and told her that it was done. She’s still working on her entry (in a different category).

As an aside, my Brother laser printer works great. I bought it a couple of years ago, fairly cheap. At the time, I had an iMac still running on OS9, and it was one of the few printers that was OS9 compatible. I’m glad, because my pages look beautiful — much better than they would on an inkjet printer.

I plan to head to the Post Office either Thursday or Friday, depending on when the Boyfriend gets me that money. My next NARWA meeting is Saturday, and I have the weekend off.

Now, instead of devoting it to finishing the GH entry, I can concentrate on upping my NaNo word count. I managed to break 14.5K today, but that’s still low compared to everyone else.

Today I thought I was ready to print my full MS for the GH entry.  Unfortunately, it was the first time I’d noticed that all my pages were 1.5-spaced instead of double-spaced.

That’s ALL the pages — in the full MS and what I thought was getting close to a perfect GH entry.

When I put my 45 pages into double-spaced format, they suddenly grew to 57 pages — and that’s much too long. (With a six-page synopsis, I can only have 49 pages in my entry — and I can’t cut down the synopsis any more.)

Of course, I now have to find a new hook to end my entry on. I think it’s on the new Page 47, but I’m not sure. I don’t like it nearly as much as the old hook, but I don’t want to end on Page 49, because that’s even less of a hook … and I can’t end it much before Page 47 without cutting out a crucial scene.

This is a problem I can overcome. And I’m glad I noticed now instead of AFTER I sent it off. That would be a crappy way to get disqualified!

On the NaNo front, I wrote about a thousand more words today. That gives me 64 more pages than I had last month. Not too shabby!

That’s what my blog is doing … I haven’t been giving it as much attention as I should, I guess.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been giving the NaNo the attention it needs, either. After a great write-in with friends Wednesday morning (at which the MS topped 10,400 words), I was woefully lazy on Thursday and Friday. This morning, I managed to write another couple hundred words …

The good news is I realized this morning (as I lamented my lack of progress over the last few days) that I have 55 more pages of Blind Date Bride than I did before I started the NaNo on Nov. 1.

So I might not be where I should be word-count wise, but I’m much better off than I’d be had I not signed up for NaNo.

As for the GH entry, I spent some time last night making the edits from my last read-through. It looks like I’m going to be shipping off 500+ pages, though (6 copies of the 45-page entry, 6 copies of a 6-page synopsis and a 216-page full MS).

Wow! That’s a lot of pages. Wonder how much that’ll cost me?

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth … even if it might seem like I did. I’ve been busy, busy, busy trying to balance my writing life with the day job and my attempt to hit my goal weight (which I’m still 15 pounds away from, darn it).

I still wonder if I might have bitten off more than I can chew this month, but I’m trying my darnedest.

A quick update:

• The NaNo MS is up to nearly 10,500 words (and that’s 10,500 more words than I had at the beginning of November!).

• I’ve printed out another paper copy of the GH entry (pages and synopsis) to read through tonight. I plan to make any final changes and hit the post office tomorrow. It’s payday, and I need to pay for the mailing while I have the money to do it!

That’s what I’ve been up to. How about you?

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