Monthly Archives: September 2014

2 days into my writing challenge…


For those of you who read my last post, I have challenged myself to spend 30 minutes on writing, editing, revising, whatever, of my book that is 2/3 of the way complete.  I missed Monday night because, well, Big Bang Theory was an hour long.  Tuesday I did, and Wednesday I did.

I read a short story from a co-worker, and she has a gift for descriptive detail that I envy a little.  My gift is in my characters conversations and actions.  I need to work on the descriptive more.  I guess I need another challenge for that, but really, I was going to focus on that a little more in the next revision.  I am going to take each scene and write down separately all the little details I want to add to it, and then find a way to place them.  Anyway, here’s my list of the order I need to work on stuff:

1.  Finish re-reading the story with taking notes.

2.  Write some descriptions of my 4 main characters and the 4 antagonists.  Detailed histories that I can weave into my novel as I fill out the back stories of my characters.

3.  Fix my time line.  I’m noting some errors as I go through.

After I fix those things, I can start the next revision.  I’m looking forward to it!

Also, I think I’m going to skip NaNoWriMo this year and just stay focused on this one project.

30 minutes at a time.  Hopefully I’ll start to have some good days as I force myself to work.  I do enjoy it, but I’ve been such a couch potato that it’s difficult to shift gears.

Ugh.  Time to get ready for work.




Writing a Novel is Hard Work


I enjoy writing them.  I may have a post in the past about my novels I’ve partially written (it’ll probably show up as a related link?  But I’m too lazy to search for it right now), but this one I’ve been working on for 2 years is probably the one that might get completely finished first.  The first draft was your typical rough draft, full of holes, full of junk.  It was written in the first person (I was trying to channel Janet Evanovich, I think, and failed).  The second draft (30 pages from being complete still) was written in the 3rd person, but limited to one perspective.  I’m not talented enough (or maybe the story is just too weird) to get the detail I need about the antagonists from one limited perspective, so I think I’m going to open it up to different perspectives from the views of the secondary characters, and from the viewpoint of the antagonist as well.

Actually, I tried that in the second draft.  It didn’t work.  But I think I can make it work.   I actually made a list of all the stuff that was wrong with my book, things to focus on in the next rewrite:

1. Setting

2.  Back story for all characters

3.  I felt my MC lost her “voice” and became more generic as the story progressed.  She changes in the story, but I want her to keep her edge, so I have to work on her.

4.  The demons are just kind of there, inhabiting random people.  They need some sort of back story.  (which is why I think I need their viewpoint)

5.  Adriana.  She’s a character who runs away from the main climatic scene, and just sort of drops out of the book.  If I don’t intend to write a sequel, then I need some sort of closure there.

Like I said, writing a novel is hard work.

I started re-reading the book over the weekend, and I already have three pages of notes on what I need to research, who’s back stories are most problematic, and where I can insert new scenes.  I also have a character list that I’m going to expand into full details and back stories about all the main character and maybe a few minor characters.

Oh, found a new problem.

6.  The ghost scene, while interesting and pivotal to the story, feels strange and forced to get to.  I have to find a way to turn John’s dream into a way for Carleton and Charissa to take a midnight jaunt through the woods to find a ghost.  Or maybe it’s because I’m being too judgey of my own work.

Most novels I read have some sort of weird coincidences (especially teen novels, I just read Divergent and that sort of thing happened over and over again.  I enjoyed the book, but found the first sequel rather annoying and, I don’t know, it felt rushed, like the last book of The Hunger Games.  I felt like the author was on some sort of time table to GET IT DONE to hit his or her deadline, and one more draft or revision would have nailed it.

Hey, that’s kind of how my book feels now.  Like stuff is tacked on and discordant.  I don’t want to be too fussy about everything, so perfectionist that I can’t accomplish anything, and I don’t necessarily think I need to do a full rewrite at this point.  I think if I can solve my six problems and weave them into the story, and then do an awesome editing job, it might be ready to go.

My one other big problem?  The one that is the kicker?

I’m lazy, and after I work 8-10 hours a day, sitting my butt down and working on my novel, even in the form of research, is not the first thing I want to do.  Plus, I’m recovering from my Netflix addiction (just finished watching Once Upon a Time) and I refuse to get sucked into any more series.  I’ll allow a movie, but something that can suck my soul for 200 episodes?  Nope, I’m done with that.  I’m just going to DVR Once Upon a Time and The Big Bang Theory (which are really the only current shows that I watch), and be done with TV for awhile.

I need to force myself to work on my novel.  I’m going to start with a half hour a night, and set a timer.  If it’s going well, then I’ll keep on, if not, I at least accomplished SOMETHING.

Also, I need to blog in the mornings so it doesn’t interfere.

Have a great Monday!



So, about the bills….


We’re catching up with them.  My husband and I are going to do the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover, and we’re in the process of the first step, which is gathering $1000 of emergency money.  I’m just going to state that might take awhile, but it’s basically a person’s way of 1. having emergency money, and 2. stating that money, just because it is in the hand, doesn’t need to be spent.

And that is difficult for me, because there is always something that needs to have money spent on it.  I’ve been trying to get my dogs to the vet, pay for my daughter’s college, car repairs, the list goes on; like laundry, it never ends.

So, my financial blessing of the day is that my gas bill for October is $20.88.  This makes me happy.  My husband is also going to pawn off some scrap metal, so that might start us towards our goal of $1000 saved.  For the first time since last November when I got laid off, the bills are caught up.  Except the house payment, but that is under control and we are not in danger of being foreclosed or anything.

I haven’t read any more of the book just yet.  We have to get a budget in order, and add other expenses to it, such as Christmas and saving for band camp next year.  And save $1000.  That’s basically step one.  I’ll have one credit card paid off very soon as well which will free up a little money each month.

I’ve been stressing about money.  I’ve been worrying.  Jesus said, “Don’t worry.”  Many times.  He said God would provide for us.  Well, I haven’t been homeless yet, so Thank you God for providing even when times are hard and finances are short and we are living paycheck to paycheck (which I’ve been doing since I left home at age 22, I’m now 41), and I believe that God will see us through this time as well, and that we’ll get through this.  And if we don’t, then I have to believe it’s because God wants us somewhere else.  For right now, things are all right.

I just have to find a couple more spots to cut back on spending, though.  And probably give up hopes on a vacation in favor of a STAY-cation (since I will have a week paid off next year, or take 3 long weekends or something).  I’m still hoping to go to Mackinaw City next year for Labor Day to walk over the bridge, but all the hotels are booked up already.  I don’t know how far out of town we’ll have to go to find lodging that weekend.

Anyway, today is going to be a good day!


Day 5 of the thirty day plank challenge.


One of my co workers reminded me of my plank challenge and today is the day to do 40 seconds. I grab the timer and set it and lay down on one of the tables at work. I work in a physical therapy clinic, one of the few jobs where one can get away with doing this on the clock. I get into plank position, and glanced up to see the three techs lying on the floor, ready to plank with me! Next time I’m getting a picture, because I spent the whole 40 seconds laughing and the one girl is like, “Ow! Stop laughing, that’s making it harder!” Which made us laugh even harder. Tomorrow, Day 6, 45 seconds.


Better today


I had myself a good cry last night and, while I’m still sad, I’m feeling better.  I just really miss my daughter is what it comes down to.  She’ll never understand how much I love her.  Those are the stakes I guess when you have a good kid that you’re close to.

Anyway, I started re-reading my novel this morning and taking notes on all the changes that need to occur before I will deem this a work worthy of publication.  It’s exciting to get excited a little about writing again.  That’s a stupid sentence but I’m leaving it because I know any other writers that read this will understand that it’s challenging to be excited 24/7 about writing and that it doesn’t always go well.

Anyway, the plan for now is to re-read, and ask myself questions about the characters and the setting and filling in all the blanks I have before I do another re-write.  The story itself is done, and it has a beginning, an inciting incident, all that wonderful and tedious middle ground working up to that climatic moment; it’s all in the details at this point.

And with all my sadness and angst, I need something to look forward to.

Have a blessed day, everyone!


Still feeling sad.


Maybe most of my angst is coming from missing my daughter.  She’s loving college and I am not really feeling wanted around here.  I’m trying to bond with my younger daughter, but most times she’s resistant.  My sadness is making me feel lonely in all areas.  I’m struggling to feel wanted.  I know I have friends that care about me.  I know I have family that cares about me.  On the surface, in my brain, I know these things.   But I also feel second best.  Everyone else has someone else they’d rather be with.  I have great friends, but they all have better friends or they live a thousand miles away.  I’m not anyone’s first choice.  I’m not the one that gets called in a crisis.  I’m not the first to know about anything, good or bad, and in fact, I hear about most everything through the grapevine.  I feel completely disconnected from just about everyone except my husband (which is the most important relationship I have  on this plain of existence).

In turn, I’m disconnecting from my writing, which is important to me.  I’m not counting my blessings.  I’m not praying the way I should.  I’m broke all the time and right now feel like I’m working to exist.  Pay bills.  If I don’t accrue any more debt and we can pay stuff on time and pray that nothing else breaks down, in two years we’ll be feeling better about everything.  That means being responsible, paying off debt, and probably not having a vacation next year either.

I’m trying to focus on my writing, and I think I’m just about to start the third draft of my novel.  It will need a fourth revision as well, I think, and then it might be ready for editing and moving on from there.  I’m certainly not going to get rich off this novel, but I’d like to have written something that is complete, and is done to the best of my ability.  I can’t go back to college right now.  I can’t have another baby (please don’t tell my husband the thought crosses my mind every now and again, not that it matters, we’re all fixed up so that won’t happen anyway).  I feel stuck.  Dieting is not going well either, but that’s a post for another day.

I need to shake off my gloom.  It’s not good for my friendships or my mental health.  She’s been gone a month now.  I need to move on.  Someday my other daughter will be gone and away and if I don’t have anything to focus on, I’ll go crazy.

I’m going to start by working on my book again.  Moving forward, even in a small way.  Plus, it makes me feel better when I write something and use my creativity.  I feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose when the words roll onto the screen or paper or whatever.  I don’t want to be small and purposeless.  At 5 feet tall, I don’t need to feel smaller than I actually am.   Plus, I’ll see her on Saturday for awhile.


The rain today in Michigan.


Today my walk was cloudy.  I’d heard on the TV, on the radio, on my phone weather app, that the storms were going to be fierce, with winds blowing down branches, power outages, hail.  It was calm on my walk, calm before the storm, and quiet as well.  No birds were chirping, but a few squirrels scampered about foraging for the winter.  The clouds, high in the sky, hovered unmoving, a harbinger of rain.

The rains began a few hours later.  I watched through the large windows at work as it started slowly, and then began to pour as the heavens opened up.  The winds never really picked up too badly, and there was no lightning, no thunder (there’s a flood warning as I type this, though, as we’ve had 1-2 or more inches of rain each week for the past 3-4 weeks, and the ground is pretty saturated).

Now the rains have stopped; the birds are chirping.  The wind is picking up now though, bringing through the colder weather that will transform our leaves into the golds and reds of autumn.  There are traffic accidents out there; I hear the warble of sirens occur periodically between the gusts of wind.  I love the sound of the wind in the trees, rustling the leaves in part of Nature’s symphony.

We’ll have to wait and see if the rest of the storm comes later, but it looks like it might pass south of us.

I’m waiting for the crack and snap of my imagination to take over, and will just keep trying until it does.  I may not want to write right now, but I’m going to force it, shake out the words, until they start to turn into the next book I want to write.  For today, that starts with a pre-storm walk to work.  There are some pretty words, but no story to tell today.