Saturday, January 31, 2009

5,138.... my total word count for the month of January. I met my goal of writing at least 100 words a day. Some days the creativity was flowing fast and furious. Others felt like I pulling chewing gum out of my hair - I felt like I was never going to finish. 

My highest daily word count was 663 on January 4th.  The lowest was 100 on January 18th. I tried not to look at the word count as I wrote. It seemed when I did look, and saw that I had met the quota, my muse said bye-bye and I had to stop.  

February's goal is 200 words a day. I should have at least 5,600 words by the end of the month. Planning will be needed. On some nights I would wait until 11:50 to write. Deadlines are great for me. Spurs the creativity. But the more I plan to write each month, the earlier I will need to start.

I wrote my words over three different stories. Two of them look promising for the short story contest in The Writer. I need 2000 words for that project.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I finished rereading Twilight (by Stephenie Meyer) this evening. I started the novel again on January 1st and I've tried to read a little bit each evening. Oh, I'm reading other books, like the knitting mystery series by Maggie Sefton, but Twilight was read before I went to sleep almost each night. 

Right now I'm waiting on FedEx to deliver the USGS topographical maps of the Forks, WA area. I'm that obsessed with the series. I usually buy topographic maps as souvenirs of places I've been - Harper's Ferry, Blennerhasset Island, Cass (all in WV) along with Cape Hatteras, NC and Asheville, NC to name a few others. As soon as these new maps get here, I'll be ordering the ones for the Port Angeles, WA area. 

I'll admit I'm not someone who has been a fan of the series from the beginning. I only just discovered the series last summer. I was so engrossed, that after I read Twilight the first time, I immediately ordered New Moon and Eclipse and pre-ordered Breaking Dawn.

New Moon and Eclipse were set to be delivered on June 20th, which is a state holiday in WV where I live. State workers had the day off, a three day weekend. I still had to work, since this is one of the holidays taken during Christmas at the university where I work. I checked the delivery schedule. I was planning to hunt down the books as soon as I saw they had been delivered. 

I was outraged to discover that UPS wasn't going be delivering them. The comment on the tracking page said closed! I immediately called the local UPS office and asked if I could pick up the books from them, that my university was not closed that day, just regular state offices. I had an entire weekend to read these two books and I wasn't going home without them. They said fine, so I dragged a co-worker, Amy, with me and went and picked up my books. She laughed at me for being so eager to get them. She has now read them and understands my need to get them ASAP. 

So now I'm trying to wait patiently until March 21st when the movie is released on DVD. I'm biding my time by rereading all the books. And looking at my maps, as soon as they get here.

Golden Ticket

I have a Golden Ticket in my office. No, I'm not going to see Willy Wonka. What I have is a ticket to get technical questions answered by one of my friends. Maybe.

If you can't read the fine print, it says: "Not valid on PC or PC-related equipment. Offer good only in even numbered years only. Not applicable on days ending with the letter 'Y'."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Birthday greetings

I would like to thank G and everyone for their birthday greetings. Today was great. Time spent with family and friends is never wasted. 

I've started on a new decade that I hope will bring good things to my life. 

Thanks to L for the super funny e-card she sent me. Luckily my cake real cake didn't have any candles on it this year so there was no need to call the fire department. LOL

Also a special thanks to my friend Cliff for this card. I forgot to get the mail on Saturday so I actually "received" this card on my birthday. You can read the inside here. But remember, Cliff, your birthday is only a few days away. Muhahaha

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Short story contest at The Writer magazine

The Writer is sponsoring a short story contest. The deadline is May 31, 2009 to enter. You can click here for more information.

Let's see if I can get something ready to submit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

new year's writing resolutions NOT

Officially, I didn't make any resolutions this year. But one thing I have tried to do is write at least 100 words a day. So far I have kept to that. For me, this is what I needed to do all along - write every day. I needed to turn the writing into a habit.

I try not to think about what I am going to write. I either open up a document I've been working on, like the vintage resale shop idea, or I start something new, like I did last night. Here is part of what I wrote:

The park was silent this time of night. Mothers and their children were safely tucked inside their homes, safe from the monsters. I watched one particular child sitting in her bedroom, reading a book. She thought of me as her protector. Was I? Or was I one of the monsters I kept warning her about?

I am what is known as a grotesque, or sometimes called a gargoyle. Since I do not funnel water away from a building I am not a “real” gargoyle. Whatever you call me, I am a monster. Children should run screaming from me, yet this one doesn’t. She is happy to be around me. Does she see me differently than adults do? Does she believe I am some sort of magical creature who will save her?

Her name was Anna. She had two older sisters, Daphne and Valentina, who knew of me also, but they stayed away. They were getting older, and as older children do, they tended to not believe in the same things as the younger children do. Which was fine with me. I had Anna all to myself

The resale shop has kinda hit a a brick wall. I know what I need to change, but I need to think about it some more. I hate to delete whole sections, but I seem to have written myself into a hole and I desperately need a way out so I can continue the story. I have no clue where I'm going with the story, but I know I want to work on it badly enough to keep thinking about it and making notes on scenes to eventually add.

I am also finding myself writing in first person. I HATE to read first person stories, though I loved reading Stephenie Meyers' Twilight series. I think from reading the four novels of the series (Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn) from Bella's point of view has somehow changed how I write, at least for these 100 word exercises. I just discovered her last summer. 

Another series I've been reading in the first person is the Alex Cooper books by Linda Fairstein. If you like Law & Order: SVU you will love these books. Her books are an automatic pre-order from Amazon when I find the book available to order.

A note to fans of L&O:SVU - Stephanie March is returning for six episodes, beginning February 17th. I loved her character, Alex Cabot. I haven't been watching lately, but I will definitely be turning in for these new episodes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Vintage clothing resale shop

I picked this item from my first list of what I call story starters at my (new) other blog, Beat the Block. I've been collecting lists of things for some time, and decided to start posting them in order to help other writers get over writer's block. I can't say for sure if I've ever had the block before. I'm just a lazy writer.

Here's the first paragraph of the new story:

I saw the sign out of the corner of my eye. I looped around the block and came back, catching a black Mini Cooper pulling out from directly in front of the store. I pulled in and turned the bike’s engine off. Amanda’s Vintage Clothing Resale Shop was the place I had been looking for for the last ten minutes. I needed a one more piece to complete my costume for the Halloween masquerade in two weeks. I stepped onto the sidewalk and took the helmet off. I hate how the stupid thing messes with my hair, but I wore mine every single time. I wanted to live to ride another day.

My goal, since the first of the year, has been to write at least 100 words a day. Now that doesn't sound like a lot, but to someone who doesn't write REGULARLY, this seems like a huge amount. So far I have 1,186 words, all based on the phrase "vintage clothing resale shop." Should I follow my own advise, I may not need NaNoWriMo anymore to be able to say I've written a novel.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A new modem

Originally uploaded by mysterywriter
I didn't realize how much time I actually spent online until I couldn't. I had to have my old modem replaced as well as part of my line (water inside - don't ask me how) so I can now surf from the comfort of my chair.

Now back to researching how to commit murder. Just kidding.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New blog for beating writer's block

I created a new blog to help others beat writer's block. It's called Beat the Block and you can reach it here or view my blog roll.

Monday through Friday I will post a list of items to start new writings with. Saturday and Sunday I will post pics of my post card collection to inspire new writings.


I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!

In the words of Mr. Spock: LIVE LONG AND PROSPER.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 quote book title winner

The winner for the title of the 2009 quote book:


I will admit this is the favorite I mentioned earlier. A couple of them I marked off because they didn't quite fit in with the others. I like to think of the titles as a a way to look at the upcoming year. 

In the literal sense, there are many places I would love to visit, both here at home and abroad. But there is also so much yet to see with my writing, as well. I feel that I am at that stage in life where I have lived enough to write a much richer story. I can't wait to see what ideas I come up with or how I rework older ideas into new ones that now have a different slant to them. 

To accomplish these new ideas I know I will have to set obtainable writing goals. One hundred words a day doesn't sound like a lot, but to someone who isn't used to writing on a daily schedule, this will be hard at first. I'm the kind of writer who writes when inspiration hits. Doesn't make for a lot of writing, since my real life sometimes leaves me exhausted and too overwhelmed to even think about writing when I get home in the evening. 

By the end of 2009 I hope to have more writings on file than I do now, and not just because of NaNoWriMo, though I will be writing for it again.

By the way, Happy New Year. I hope this year is great for everyone.