Good Sunday to everyone. Hope your weekend was a blast. Monday is coming soon enough, so go enjoy what weekend you have left.
I’m just doing a quick update on my NaNo progress. Did great this past week. Lots and lots of words written. Just hope they make some sort of sense in the end. So far I have a total of 24,636 words. The biggest chunk of that was done this past week. Hoping this coming week is a good one, but I’m definitely slowing down. Wish me luck to keep my pace up.
As I did last week on this blog I’m going to be having some guest posts. I sent out a call for help in things to post and I’ve had some great responses. A big thank you goes out to all who have helped or are going to. Starting tomorrow I’ll have Michelle from Michelle at Play , she’s going to give you a great list for this coming holiday season.
Then later in the week look for another great post by Mandy from Mandyevebarnett’s Blog, and Liz from BigBodyBeautiful will be here with some more of her wonderful poetry. I’m sure you won’t want to miss that!
Also, maybe, I’ll have another snippet from my NaNo project for you this week. So lots of good things to look forward to!
Happy Monday everyone. Well at least as happy as a Monday can be. Got to make the best of things.
Thought I would give you a quick update on my NaNo writing and maybe a small, tiny little piece of what I’m doing. Won’t give you the genre just yet. Got to keep some mystery right?
Anyway Friday was Nov 1st and the start of NaNo. I got off to a terrible start due to some software glitches and other stuff I had to finish. So didn’t do too well word wise. Only 1374 the first day, although I did that in a little over an hour, so not too shabby. But I wasn’t happy.
Nov 2nd came and it was the weekend. I sat down and the words just would not come! My mind was a blank. Now quite often my mind is a blank but this was not good when I need to write 1667 words a day! That’s just to keep on target! So I’m a bit upset with myself, but go do a few other things and settle myself down. Come back to the computer and just write. Finally managed 1288 words before company showed up and blew me out of the water. Ugh.
I let the first few days go, figure I still have all month I will just have to be more disciplined. So Sunday I take my coffee in my office with Sam and close the door. I need quiet when I write so closed the door because the husband has to have the tv on full blast. Settle in my chair with my Tim’s coffee and just start writing. Didn’t stop till I had nothing left in me. Managed to do 2522 words! Yehaw!! Go me! With that my word count in back on track for the month and I am up to 4 chapters. Doing good so far.
So I did a bit of cruising the old web and found a pretty cool calendar you can print out for NaNo. It keeps track of your word count in easy chunks. So it doesn’t seem too overwhelming and quite doable. It’s at DavidSeah.com, David has a pretty cool blog also you might want to check out.
I have a huge cork board on my office wall and I pinned it up there. Looks nice and cheerful. Go take a look and print one out for yourself. You’re Welcome.
Anyway, I haven’t done my writing yet today for NaNo so I need to get moving. I’m doing good though, not yet noon here. Below is a tiny bit of what I wrote yesterday. Let me know what you think. See you all later!
All of us kids were terrified of my dad. He had a bad temper and he was the one we got the worse beatings from. He didn’t shy away from using his fists or his feet. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my father very much. It was just he had a really short triggered temper. When I became older him and I had a few shouting matches. I believe I was the only one of his kids that ever did that. I was never punished for it either. I think in his way he respected me for standing up for myself. I suppose I will never know now that he’s dead. But I often think that is how it was.
I remember so vividly the first time he and I had a shouting match. I think I was about 14, maybe younger. It was summertime and I was trying to help my dad pack a small flatbed trailer for our two-week vacation. By then OB was well out of the picture. My other older brother S* was married and out of the house. It was just me, my sister and younger brother. We always spent summer vacations in upper Wisconsin. We rented a cabin from a family friend for two weeks that was right on a beautiful lake. Still, packing for a two-week vacation for five people generated a lot of stuff! We had to take our own bedding, towels, clothes and of course lots of other stuff Mom thought was important.
So I was helping him try to fit everything in this small trailer. My dad was never the most patient of men. His fuse was short and quick. Things were not fitting like he wanted. Too many boxes and not enough room. He lost his temper and just started yelling at me.
“Why the hell is there so much shit?!” He yelled.
“How is so much shit needed for two freakin’ weeks!? It won’t all fit in this freakin’ damn trailer!” Dad screams at me as he throws a small box toward me.
I think I was so stunned that he would throw something at me when all I was trying to do is help that I just lost all common sense for a minute.
“What are you yelling at me for?!” I screamed right back.
“I didn’t pack the darn stuff! All I am trying to do is help!” I yelled, then promptly started crying and stomped toward the back door of the house.
I was so mad and so scared at the same time because I yelled back at him, I just wanted to go to my room and have a good cry. As I went through the back door into the kitchen, my mom asked what all the yelling was about.
“Dad just lost it because he says there is too much stuff to pack on the trailer and it won’t fit. So he started yelling at me and it’s not my fault!” I told her then went to my bedroom and sat on my bed.
I remember thinking, ‘I’ll be damned if I’ll help him anymore. He can just yell and scream at someone else. I’ve had enough! Mom packed the boxes not me! Yell at her why don’t you’! I of course never said these things out loud, I figured I was already in enough trouble just by yelling back at him. No one yelled back at my dad, except mom. Not any of us kids that was for sure. Unless you wanted a good beating. I really thought that was what I was going to get once he came back into the house. I was in for a surprise though.
I was sitting on my bed trying really hard not to cry and scared to death. I felt for sure I was in for a beating. Okay, not a beating since Dad stopped hitting us girls when we turned teenagers. He told us we were young ladies then and ladies didn’t get hit by men. But believe me his yelling was enough to scare the crap out of you. So I felt even IF he didn’t hit me I was in for a some classic Dad yelling. I heard him come in the house and say something to my mom. They talked for a few minutes and then I heard him walking toward my room. Oh shit, here it comes. I braced myself.
“You okay?” Dad asked from the doorway of my room.
“I’m sorry I yelled at you. Come help me finish so we can get going.” My dad said as he held out his hand.
I hesitated for a moment. I couldn’t believe my ears. Dad apologized? To me? For yelling? Wow! He never apologized! Not even to mom that I have ever heard. I had a witness too! My sister was in the room sitting on her bed, her eyes were big and she was as quiet as a mouse. We both felt for sure I was going to be punished for daring to yell at dad. And he came and apologized!
That was a moment in my history I will never forget. I dared to stand up for myself for the first time and I won! It wasn’t the last time me and dad shouted at each other. But each time I did it was justified. It must have been because I was never punished for it. It also was not the first time he apologized to me either. It didn’t happen often, but it did happen.
The rest of the packing went fairly smoothly and we set off for our vacation. But I was looked at kind of in awe for a few days from my siblings. I yelled back at dad and came out of it the victor. It didn’t last long, but hey I lived through it.
Well, we got our first snow yesterday and this morning. Suppose to only get a few cm and came away with more than that. Probably a good 6 inches (15 cm). And I don’t have a shovel!
We left our shovel at the old house by mistake. Now we need to go get another one. Maybe after the snow melts. 😉 Because man it’s cold out there! It’s -9c (16F) and I don’t wanna go out. I am NOT ready for this yet!
(c) JLPhillips 2013
(c) JLPhillips 2013,
First snow of the season, Oct 28, 13 (c) JLPhillips
Sam out in the snow (c) JLPhillips 2013
Other news, I’m still working on the final segment of my serial story “On The Run”. I’m so sorry it’s been taking me so long to finish, but I will get it done this week! My characters have taken over the story and instead of butting heads with them like I had the last week, I’m letting them run with it! (Pun intended 😉 )
I haven’t been posting much lately, but I have been busy writing! I just finished my paid job ( I do like getting paid). It was a 12 page newsletter for a big business. Got it done with a few days to spare. Whew!
I’m also working on some posts for this week. Some are going to be about ghosts and goblins and things that go bump in the night! Because, well it is coming up on Halloween and that just yells ghost stories! One is a real ghost story! It’s about a poltergeist that lived with us when I was a kid. Stay tuned for that one!
This Friday is November 1st and I’m getting geared up for NaNoWriMo again this year. Am I crazy or what? Okay, don’t answer that. For those of you that weren’t around here last November, NaNo is a month-long event where you write 50,000 words. It can be for a new story, poems, a bunch of short stories, anything really. The goal is to have a great start on a book after the month is over with. It’s a thrill ride all month!
Last year I did it and won. I’m still in editing mode on the book I worked on last year called “The Key”.
This year I am going off in a new direction for NaNo. I’ll keep you informed with updates all month. Maybe with some excerpts too! I’m also going to be doing other posts here and there. I won’t abandon you, I promise! Of course I will be doing Friday Fictioneers also! I love doing that and I’m not giving it up.
So, that’s what I have planned for your reading enjoyment. I’m going to be busy, busy, busy, but I’m loving it!
Hello dear readers! Just wanted to shout out that I have new headers for my blog here at To Breathe Is To Write courtesy of Nicole Belanger of the wonderful blog The Middlest Sister. She did an awesome job on the header! Thank you again Nicole. (I won a contest on her great blog and won a header designed by Nicole) Please go over and take a look at The Middlest Sister blog, I guarantee you will be smiling afterward!
The dog looks just like my Sam!
I have decided after doing the month of November as NaNoWriMo, that I’m going to take a little time off. Never fear though! I am just taking a break from writing on The Key, not from blogging. I will be posting some short stories. Many will probably be holiday themed. After all it is December! Whew, how time flies!
This morning I got up and felt a little lost because of no more NaNo. Sad isn’t it. But it was such an intense month. I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. Then I took a good look around my house and……..Yikes!!!! I have let the housework go for way to long!! Guess I know what I’ll be doing for the weekend. 😦
I also wanted to thank all of YOU for cheering me on last month! Let me assure you, if it wasn’t for all that cheering I’m not sure I could have gotten through week 3 of NaNo. It was a tough one!
A special thanks goes out to my BFF Peaches. Even though she is going through some personal issues, she never once stopped cheering me on. She also volunteered to do some editing on The Key! She is my hero!! Love ya Sistah!
Thank you again kind, sweet readers! You are the best!
It was hard going, but I managed to get my 50,000 words in today! I am now an official NaNoWriMo winner! Yeah me! Now maybe things will get back to my normal. I can only hope.
I haven’t finished my novel of course. A novel is usually more then 50,000 words. I am actually between half and two-thirds done writing it. Also there will be a whole lot of editing to do! But I’m going to take it easy for a little while and concentrate on my blogs that I have neglected this past month!
I thought I might include in today’s post a another little snippet of my book. Hope you enjoy! Please remember it’s in very rough first draft!
Phillis ran towards Pal’s barking. She heard Malcolm a few steps behind her. The thought briefly went through her mind the for an old man Malcolm was pretty quick. She heard a man yelling and Pal barking and wondered what she would find.
It was dark, but there was enough light from the few garden lights to see Pal had a strange man cornered up a tree. Phillis slowed to a walk when she got close. She didn’t think the man was armed or he would have taken a shot at Pal.
“Pal! Come!” Phillis yelled. A few seconds later a panting and proud Pal came trotting up to her. She patted his head and looked up the tree. What she saw almost made her laugh out loud. There was a strangely dressed man sitting on a limb and hanging on the truck of a large Oak tree with both arms.
To Phillis he almost looked like a leprechaun. Except he wasn’t dressed in green. But he had on a brown coat with wide lapels, with a white shirt peeping out the top around his throat. His pants looked like tweed and were the same brown as his coat. On top of his head he had on a small bowler hat the was sitting crooked at the moment. He had a worn leather satchel hooked over one shoulder and laying against his side.
The man’s black booted feet were hanging in mid air just out of reach. He peered down at Phillis and Pal with wide brown eyes. He had a wrinkled face like the bark of the oak tree that he was hugging. Phillis smiled and thought he looked like a small wizened brown leprechaun.
Malcolm came up to Phillis and looked up the tree also. In his hand he carried a serious looking gun. Phillis frowned at him, “Put that thing away Malcolm.”
“We don’t know if he’s friendly or not. Not after the other night, we shouldn’t take any chances” Malcolm said firmly. But he deposited the gun in his pocket.
Phillis raised one eyebrow and looked at the little man up the tree, “Do you really think he’s a threat?”
“Anyone can carry a gun my dear” Malcolm stated while looking up the tree. He had to admit though, the small man certainly didn’t look dangerous. But then, Malcolm knew that looks can be deceiving.
“Gun? Gun? Now why would ya be thinkin I be carryin’ a gun?” Cried the little man. “I hate the damn things! Why one could hurt themselves with the nasty things! Now would ya be so kind as to be lettin me down?”
Phillis smiled again. He talked just like he looked, except for one thing. His voice was deep. Really deep. Like when you find a old fashion well and call into it deep. She shook her head. This had been a really strange day, why should the night not be stranger.
“You can climb down. Pal won’t eat you, he’s all ready had his supper” Phillis called up to the little man. Pal barked and ran to the tree.
“Ya I can see the beastie looks well fed. But I’m not wantin him to have old Rags as a dessert!” the little man cried.
“Come here Pal!” Phillis called her furry friend over to her again. She was smiling. She couldn’t help it. Who would believe she found a brown leprechaun in her garden? Pal ran over to Phillis again and barked. He almost looked like he wanted to play with his newly treed friend. Phillis smothered a laugh and looked upwards once more.
“Come on down!” Malcolm yelled up. He was curious why this oddly dressed man was here. He wasn’t sure he trusted the little man. He looked too old to be up a tree anyway.
“Yes, yes. I’ll be a comin down now. You just keep that beastie with ya till I can get me feet on solid ground again” the little man called as he started his ascension down to the ground.
Phillis held Pal by his collar till the man could get down. She didn’t think Pal would hurt him, but she wasn’t going to take any chances. For a little old man he sure could move Phillis thought to herself as the man jumped the last few feet and tugged his hat back firmly on his head.
The man must have been a few inches under five feet. He cautiously walked up to Phillis. “You keep a hold of the beastie will ya please” he said. Then he stuck out his hand to Phillis, “I be Mánus Ó Raghallaigh. I was an old, old friend of your Great Grandmothers. You must be Phillis Dragomir, you be a spittin image of dear Edith.”
Phillis put her hand in his small one. He had a firm handshake. He held her hand as he said “I be so sorry for your loss. Edith was a fine woman. None better. I wanted to be here for her funeral, but, ahem, got delayed a wee bit.”
Phillis looked down into the man’s brown eyes and saw the sadness in them. Strange that she had never met him before, if he was such a good friend to Edith as he claims. She felt her hand warm up, almost as if there was a kind of energy coming from the man. She pulled her hand away and as soon the contact was broken the warmth dissipated.
Malcolm and Pal watch the interplay between Phillis and the little man. Malcolm frowned. Pal sat with ears alert and eyes watchful, but he didn’t leave Phillis’s side. Malcolm wasn’t sure what to make of the man. He was suspicious since Edith never mentioned this strange fellow to him. He could see from Phillis’s expression that she had never heard of the man either. This little elf, Malcolm thought needed careful watching.
The little man smiled up at them, a twinkle in his brown eyes. “Just call me Rags, all my friends do.”
“Never heard of you and I was friends, good friends with Edith for years” Malcolm stated.
“Ah, ye was Edith’s companion were you not? Malcolm Gerroud the name is then?” Rags said in his deep sing song voice. “My good friend Edith mentioned you to me she did. Said you were a suspicious type ye be.”
Malcolm looked surprised Phillis noticed, but also even more suspicious. Phillis watched in interest. Rags turned to Phillis and stepped forward. Pal ever alert put his big body between Phillis and the strange man. He didn’t growl, or go after the man, he just stood in between the two.
Phillis looked at the Rags and waited. Rags smiled at Pal and slowly raised a hand toward him. Phillis tensed because she wasn’t sure what Pal would do. So far he hadn’t let any one touch him except her and Damon’s sister. He wouldn’t even let Malcolm touch him. But Rags didn’t hesitate, he let the big dog sniff his outstretched hand, then whispered something to him that to Phillis sounded like Gaelic.
Pal stood still, his ears perked and listening. His eyes never left the small man in front of him. Rags kept talking to Pal in the strange language and stepped closer to the dog. He laid one small brown hand on his head and continued talking.
Malcolm and Phillis watched as Rags then took his other hand and laid it on Pal’s back. All the time his soft deep voice spoke the language of ancients. Phillis watched as the dog accepted Rags.
Rags dropped both hands to his side and smiled at Pal. Pal shifted his body and sat next to Phillis no longer blocking the man. Phillis somehow wasn’t surprised at the developments. This small brown man with the deep Gaelic voice was different. Very different. Time would tell whether that was good or bad for Phillis.
Rags next stepped closer to Phillis, now that the beastie was out of the way. He could see Edith in the girl’s face, even in some mannerisms. She didn’t trust him, which was natural. But she would. He would make sure of it. He needed her trust or doing what he came to do would be impossible.
Well it was a strange week last week. I didn’t update for most of it. My schedule was shot and that got me all crazy. This last week of NaNo should be better as I can get back to my schedule of writing in the mornings.
The last day I did an update was the 19th where I was at 31768 words. Today was a pretty good writing day even though the day sucked personally. Guess I’m one of those writers that do better when their personal life is in the toilet. Ah well, such is my life.
Anyway, today I am up to 40018 words. That added a total of 8250 more words since Monday. Just got 10,000 more words to go! Yea me!! I have six days to do them in, but I’m hoping to get done a day or two early. Keeping fingers crossed.
Hope all those that celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful one! Also, those of you who shopped on Black Friday I want to say……ARE YOU NUTS???? hahah!
This week is going to be a bit topsy-turvy for me. My schedule is going to hell in a hand basket (old saying but still true). I usually write on NaNo in the late morning to early afternoon. But this week due to circumstances out of my control I will be writing late afternoons and late nights.
Not because of Thanksgiving. Here in Canada we all ready had our Thanksgiving. It just what it is this week. I don’t like it, because I like writing in mornings. But it will be impossible for me to this week. I’ll survive, it’s only one week. But I needed a good whine session. 😉
I have so far today managed 1125 words. I’m hoping to add on to those later tonight. If I do, tomorrows count will be high. I hope. I have a total of 31768 words done. I’m still on track, but just barely. Feeling sorry for me yet? haha!
I just now found this out people! I am so super excited!!!!! I won! I won!!! NaNoWriMo and The Office of Letters and Light are doing the 30 covers, 30 days 2012 book covers event. I’m sure every one who is doing NaNo knows about this. Those that don’t here is what it is.
People from NaNoWriMo pick books and synopsis that they feel are interesting. The wonderful Ari from NaNo sent me an email several weeks ago saying I was in the running to win a book cover designed by a professional designer. I just found out that I did indeed win!!!
Today I got a late start, but managed to write more words. Go figure. I finished Chapter fourteen and had my protagonist go off in a different direction. She went willingly too for a change. I actually think she approved of where I went with the story. Sometimes I think I’m just there to type the words my characters tell me to. It’s okay though.
I got 1838 words done today for a total of 28465. I am still on track. By Sunday night we are supposed to have slightly over 30,000 words done. I believe I can do that. Here’s to characters that are smarter than writers!
Well it’s Friday, my thoughts are still scattered to the four winds. I will get it together at some point I’m sure. I managed another 1321 words today for a total of 26627. I’m really hoping this weekend goes better.
Here is a snippet of chapter 12, one of the chapters that was giving me hell. It’s a conversation between Phillis (the protagonist) and Malcolm the elderly friend who is helping her find what the key opens. It’s in rough draft and so not as good as I would like. But it is what it is for now.
Phillis felt Malcolm’s eyes on her but continued to toss pieces of bacon to Pal. She wasn’t sure what to say to him, so she waited for him to speak. Which he did when he finished his first cup of coffee and stood to get his second.
“I’m going to stick close to you from now on my dear girl” Malcolm told her.
Phillis looked up in surprise, she didn’t feel like she needed a baby sitter. “No need Malcolm.”
“Obviously last night proved there is a need” Malcolm said pouring his cup of coffee. He headed back to the table and noticed the frown on Phillis’s pretty face. “Someone is either out to harm you, or out to steal the key.”
“If they wanted me dead, I would be dead. They want something else, maybe the key. All though I don’t see what good the key will do them without the book.” Phillis stated in a reasonable tone.
“Maybe they have the book” Malcolm stated.
Phillis stopped throwing bacon to Pal and stared at Malcolm. She had never thought of that. It seemed far fetched to her though. “If they had the book why are we searching for this same mythical book then? Would not all of our queries have revealed this damn thing even exists?”
Malcolm calmly sipped his second cup of coffee. “It was just a thought” he said.
“Well it doesn’t make any sense. I mean Edith never found traces of this book except for a long distant relative who might have information, or not.” Phillis stated. No she thought to herself. They don’t have the book. Not yet anyway. She was sure that who ever attacked her wanted the key, her, or both. Whether these same people had the book was doubtful. She frowned.
“Maybe these people, who ever they are think WE have the book” Phillis said to Malcolm. She watched Malcolm lower his coffee cup to the table. He stared at her, thinking.
“They must know we have the key” Phillis went on to explain her reasoning. “It is documented that my family held the key for generations. It’s not something that would be hard to find out. What if they also think we have found the book?”
“That might explain why your attacker didn’t just kill you.” Malcolm said thoughtfully. He didn’t notice the grimace on Phillis’s face at the easy statement of her death.
“He could have easily taken the key off you. Or subdued you enough to make you tell him where the key was. But, what if they wanted to kidnap you instead? They would have the key and they would try to find out where the book was through you” Malcolm was thinking out loud now.
Phillis stood and put the plate from the bacon in the sink. She noticed the dishes piling up and thought it was good that the housekeeper and other staff was coming back tomorrow. A housekeeper she was not. She thought Malcolm could be right in his thoughts. All the better to brush up on her self defence courses. She refused to carry a gun. At least around here. Once they got to Europe, that might change, but for now she will put her trust in herself and Pal.
She washed her hands and dried them on a kitchen towel. Facing Malcolm she said, “Well what ever they wanted they didn’t get. They might try again, but I don’t think so. If they do it will probably be over in Europe.”
“Maybe” Malcolm was not convinced.
“In any event, I will be more alert now. The house will have the alarm set. Also, I will have Pal with where ever I go.” Phillis said.
“Go? What do you mean go?” Malcolm asked. “You aren’t going anywhere till we leave for Europe!”
Phillis smiled. “I’ll be fine Malcolm. You can’t expect me to stay in the house cowering at every noise.”
“I don’t think you should cower, but stay close to home, yes most definitely” Malcolm stated firmly. He watched Phillis’s face change. He knew that look well. It was her stubborn look. He remembered she would get it every time something was denied her that she thought she should have. Edith got that same look when she was determined to do something that was frowned on. Malcolm sighed quietly. He couldn’t stop Phillis from doing what ever she wanted to do. She was of age and he wasn’t her guardian.
Phillis put her hands on her hips and frowned at Malcolm. “I have an appointment in town. I will have Pal with me at all times. I will not stop living my life because of some damn family fairy tale!”
All right, I managed to get over the 25,ooo mark! Half way there! Whew! It was hard, this week has been hell. My mind is NOT on the story, my characters refuse to do what I tell them to. They are stubborn and insist on having things their way. I’m the writer I tell them! I know whats best! But do they listen?? Noooooooo!
I managed 1238 today before I got so frustrated I told my characters to write it themselves! Huh! That’ll teach them! I’m up to 25306 and am projected to finish Nov 29th. So I am on track.
I think I’m going to go sit in a corner and pout for a while. Just been one of those kind of weeks.