It’s November. Did you join National Writing Novel Month (NaNoWriMo)?

Fellow blogger JoHawk encouraged me to give NaNoWriMo a try, so I joined today. That is the good news. The bad news is that I am already 5,000 words behind schedule!

NaNoWriMo is a free online creative writing program that you join in the month of November to basically push yourself to write your novel. Everyone who joins is attempting to write 50,000 words for a novel. That means 1,666 words a day.

The reason NaNoWriMo is popular is because they have forums where you meet fellow writers. You can connect with buddies, so you encourage each other on a daily basis. They also give advice on character development, plots, endings and more.

It is a bit of a competition. I don’t know much about this as I just joined, but I’ve read that you can upload your novel on a daily basis and/or at the end. Then the novels are judged  and they reveal a winner.

NaNoWriMo has been offering this program for 20 years. There is definitely excitement in trying to push ourselves to a new level. Reach goals, finally finish our novels and make dreams come true.

Ok, I’ve got to go, I am already behind on my word count.

Here is my first sentence, “Isabella’s fiancé proposed. She should have been happy, but the ring was a fake.”

To be continued…

Writing inspiration from a storm…

LightningLast night I heard thunder and saw lightening. As a child, when a storm came over Lake Michigan, we rushed outside the house to clear the leaves out of the drains, so there wouldn’t be a flood.

For a writer, a storm brings creativeness in a different way.  If you write, you know what I mean. We feel the need to hunker down, stay indoors and write whatever comes to mind. A storm allows deep emotions to come out in our characters.

I’m off to write. HOW will my character make it out of the…

You see, there are so many possibilities!

Comedy, as writing inspiration, get rid of writer’s block…

As a writer, we get “writer’s block.” Life becomes overwhelming, ideas are not flowing freely. We need to find a way to open the channels of our creativity.

Comedy – I decided I needed to laugh.

By chance, I found a TV show called, “Miracle Workers,” I gave the first episode a shot, it was SO FUNNY! It just came out 2019. I laughed, because they show God in a corporate office in Heaven, sitting on a sofa switching through TV Channels to see what is happening on Earth. He’s so disappointed with what he sees… like us, God is tired of his job and decides he will just blow up Earth and start a new project.

I laughed AGAIN, because in Heaven there is a department called, “Unanswered Prayers.” They show only two people in charge of that department with piles and piles of requests, they can’t possibly help everyone.

So, that explains it, my “unanswered prayer” has been sitting in God’s slush pile for 7 years collecting dust.

If you take a look at this Youtube trailer for the show, you’ll understand why this comedy is so hilarious. Silly sure, but just what a writer needs to laugh a little and be reminded that God gets tired too and that sometimes we just have to do it ourselves!

Basically, this is a humorous way of comparing Heaven to normal life in a corporation.

Show is based on the novel What’s in God’s Name by Simon Rich.

Cover letters, how creative can you get?

student studyingWrite. Stop, Think. Write again. I’ve been writing cover letters. It’s exhausting. I wonder how creative I can get. I’m at a point where I need to start new tactics, change things up, see what happens. Maybe use a bit of humor.

For example, how about this:

Dear Joe, While this isn’t the exact job I am looking for, if it pays well, I’m interested.

OR

Dear Sally, When you say I need to be able to lift 50 lbs, what exactly would I be lifting. I thought this was a desk job.

When I was working for a manufacturing company, they put me in charge of reading cover letters and gathering resumes. I was shocked at how many people sent resumes without cover letters. If they wrote a cover letter, it was 3 sentences at the most saying, “Here is my resume,” and others that had typos.

I have to keep that in mind when I am sending my resume out. It’s all about “timing” too. If there is one job and 150 resumes, we know that HR does not read all of the resumes. We didn’t. We would read them down the line until we found 5-10 good resumes. Call to see if applicant could come in for an interview, if not, back to the resume list.

So, there is some LUCK involved in this job hunting stuff.

Where’s a lucky penny when I need it?

Writing: Is your brain on overload?

Some days, we are write (I mean right.) on target with our writing goals and other days, it seems we will never find the last piece to the puzzle.

Brain is confusedI’m writing my children’s book and my brain is on overload. Too many wires out there and they are not connecting. If you are a writer or a student working on a term paper or thesis, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

We’re trying to focus, so that our writing path is clear, but our mind cannot quiet down and concentrate!

I know this is when we are told to “meditate.” I’ve tried that. My brain does quiet down for 5 minutes, then it is back to brain chaos.

This made me think of inventors. Can you imagine the patience they have to have when they keep reaching a dead end! I’m sure Thomas Edison banged his fist on the table many times when he was inventing the light bulb!

The key is visualizing the end result. Keeping our mind on the prize!

So, TODAY is about finding a break through!

Walk 5 miles… listen to NPR’s TED Radio Hour: The Hero’s Journey

Man on mountainThis weekend I wanted to get back into my weekly walking routine. I realized I hadn’t done much exercise in September. So, I dusted off my gym shoes and headed out.

My goal was a 5 mile walk. I scanned my NPR TED Radio Hour podcasts and found one called, “A Hero’s Journey.” This was an outstanding podcast, where I forgot I was exercising. The show started out talking about “Star Wars.” They were discussing how “a hero’s journey” is written. They said there was a 3 ACT formula for writing hero books. First, the hero has a departure (leaves home), then there is an initiation (hero goes on a quest), and then the hero returns (comes back home). Sounds like my life! (grin)

After “Star Wars,” the podcast continued with other stories focused on “a hero’s journey” theme. A woman who wanted to sail around the world and how she did it, a man who became an author/illustrator (his mother was a drug addict, he talks about this), and George Takia from “Star Trek,” talks about his childhood imprisonment in an internment camp during WWII, because he was Japanese.

This leads me to “How To Addict,” a fellow Blogger who writes motivational posts. This week his post, “Shift your focus – fulfillment through work,” was a good one. Like my “hero’s journey” podcast, Doc was sending the message that we should challenge ourselves, not be lazy, instead persevere and feel fulfilled in our work – have a goal.

So, this week is about being on “a hero’s journey!”

Remember: a hero departs, initiates (starts and fulfills his quest) and then returns home.

What QUEST are you on this week?

The Red Quill Pen

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With my red quill pen in hand, I can officially say, “it is time to write.”

My daughter recently asked me how my children’s book was coming along. I told her I was at the cliff hanger part… “You know, where you think the character is doomed and won’t make it out alive, so you sit at the edge of your seat, KNOWING there is ALWAYS a way out, but HOW?! This is a James Bond situation.”

So, I made a joke with her that it was the computer that was holding me back from being creative. If I “just had” a red quill pen, I could think like a Pirate!

I was missing the days of the old typewriter where you had to really THINK of every word you typed; otherwise, you would be yanking the page out of the typewriter constantly, crumpling it up and throwing it in the waste basket only to start again.

So… I was pleasantly surprised when my daughter gave me a red quill pen for Mother’s Day!

NOW, you can write, she said. I really laughed, but where was the ink well and the thick paper that makes a scratching noise when the Pirate writes? Can’t have everything at once, right.

THE UNIVERSE IS AT WORK!

Another interesting thing happened last week. I was laid off work, so it would appear that the Universe is setting me up to write the end of my children’s story “in between job searching,” of course. No excuses now!

I’m following a few good writing Blogs. Visit “A Writer’s Path,” and this weekend on “Live to Write – Write to Live,” there was a wonderful Blog about facing our inner critic for any topic in our lives called, “Weekend Edition – Battling the Writer’s Inner Critic,” by Suddenly Jamie.  You’ll read that and be inspired!

So, with quill in hand I write… “You dare to touch the nose of a sleeping tiger!?”