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Things Yet to Come

I found this picture this week of the Antares rocket launch taking supplies to the ISS. It is a powerful picture and it made me wonder when we will land and live on another planet?

The possibilities are only limited by our imaginations to create the next generation spacecraft to get us there. Pretty lofty goals for sure.

But, we are powerfully creative creatures and we are only limited by ourselves. This image and listening to Joanna Penn’s 10th anniversary podcast this week helped me to realize many things. One of which you are never too old to create, to learn to start something new. To strike out on a new adventure. We are often conditioned to do these things when we are young. That the world is what you make of it and that when you are older you are sort of expected to just sit back, relax and reflect on your youth. I say, forget that! Who better to create that people who have already traveled, had the time to read more, experience more, learn more. I didn’t publish my first book until I was fifty, despite having written many stories and poems. I was always too busy doing other things, going to school, having a career some (not all) of the things you are often expected to do. But, I ask you regardless of your age, why wait? Do it now! Who cares how old you are, who cares what you have or haven’t done, there is nothing that says you might do this thing before you can do the next. If you’re retired, don’t sit back and think, ‘if I was younger I would learn to do <insert the thing you wish you had done>. go do it. Go do it. No told me ‘oh you are too old to publish a book’ but if they had I would have told them to bugger off.

I think people of a certain age should be publishing more books, they are the people with the experience and the stories to share. People over a certain age have already had many experiences just by sheer time spent on this earth. Can you imagine the stories a grandmother could write? Imagine, the stories a person of a certain age who has seen so many changes during their lifetime could share with the world? These experiences are a goldmine for fictional stories and even non-fiction.

So those of you who may be reading this who aren’t in their 20’s 30 or maybe even 40’s share your story in whatever form that takes. You’ve got one in there, let it out! The world will be a richer place having read or heard your story.

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NaNoWriMo Thoughts and Wrap-Up

Dear Reader,

Thank you for following along with as I participated in NaNoWriMo this year. I am an official winner with 50,218 words total. I was in danger of not being able to finish on time as of the morning of November 29th. But, in the final two days, I wrote over 10,000 words. I was determined to finish successfully, and I do work better under pressure. So, mission complete and I have a draft for my fourth book. At my moment I envision it will be book one in a new series.

What I learned from NaNoWriMo.  First, Scrivener works better on a mac. I have both an Apple laptop and an HP laptop, a surface pro. Don’t even try using Scrivener on a Surface. I also have tried not using Scrivener and just using Word. And being a pantser (writing without outlining or other pre-writing organization) Scriven helps me at least some semblance of pre-planning my story which does help. I can put character profiles with pictures in the same place that can be easily accessed for reference. I can make note cards rather than an outline, write scenes as they come to me and easily reorder them later. So I have switched back to using my MacBook full time. I also, enjoy using iMovie for making book trailers but that is outside of my NaNoWriMo experience.

Second I learned, or rather had re-enforced is that I work better and looming deadline. Tell me I have 30 days to do something and it will take me all 30 days, so I need to set shorter goals for myself. I managed 10,110 in two days, 8,000 of those words were written on the 30th. So I had to sit back and think. Wow, I worked my day job both days and still managed to write 8,000 words in one day. Plus, still, have family time and dinner etc. Why don’t I do that all the time? If I can even boost it to 10,000 words a day imagine how much my productivity will increase. So lesson learned “get it done.” Now, admittedly I didn’t blog on the 29th because I was writing so, need to have a more set schedule for doing social media tasks like blogging. My facebook, twitter and Instagram book-related posts are prescheduled. I set them usually on Sundays for the upcoming week. I do post other items as they come up during the week on those platforms. I use Buffer to pre-schedule my social media posts. I do not pre-schedule my blot posts those I write and post in real time.

Third,  I learned is Scrivener has a voice to text feature. I need to try that and see how accurate that is going to be. My first test of it was not that successful, but I wasn’t using a dedicated microphone. And I was at work so I was talking quietly so no one would hear me. I want to try it again in a more private setting to see if the speech recognition is any better. I hope so because that could potentially allow me to get more words in a day.

Fourth, I learned was even though you may be writing to a deadline or in crunch time. You need to take time for yourself. Go to a museum or otherwise walk away from your work. It is healthy for your body but also your mind. Seemingly unrelated activities can help spark creative ideas. One of my favorite places to go for inspiration is the Mariner’s Museum. Where I live we have a motto of ‘From the Sea to the Stars’ and that couldn’t be truer at the Mariner’s Museum. Seeing the restoration of the Monitor and related artifacts, the history of cruise liners like the Titanic and various sailing vessels both old and recent high-tech like the Oracle sailing team boat and America’s Cup provides me with a ton of inspiration.

The take-away from the November challenge is to challenge myself every day to improve my writing and productivity. My next challenge is to write 3,000 a day this week. If I can meet that challenge I will increase my personal goal the following week.

I hope you have enjoyed following along and if you haven’t already sign-up for my monthly newsletter for freebies and advance notice and access to my work.

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Day 30th

Dear Reader,

Success, it took me the entire month but, I did it. I wrote 50, 000 words in 30 days. It will serve as a rough draft for a book to start a new series. I am working book three in the Maggie Gray Trilogy.

I thank you all for following along with me on this journey and I hope it was insightful in some way. I will write a summary of the month this weekend.

For now, I am going to relax and watch a holiday movie.

NaNo-2018-Winner-Certificate

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Day 28

We’re getting down to the wire dear Reader,

It’s the final two days of NaNoWriMo. I work better under pressure. Today I typed over 4,000 words. and I have 10,110 words to go to complete my goal of 50,000 in 30 days. So there are going to be some marathon sessions for the next couple of days. Stay tuned because you don’t want to miss it! It’s going to be a nail better.

In the meantime, I am working on the audio files for Gray’s Requiem to be available on audible and putting together the final November newsletter which is going to have a book trailer sneak peek so if you haven’t signed up yet, make sure do so you can get all sorts of cool stuff before everyone else! Newsletter.

Hang on we are almost there.

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Day 14 It Feels Like Winter

Dear Reader,

We are being hit with rain again. I am all for rainy days, I’m not even opposed to overcast days it sort of puts me in the mood for writing. But, when it turns cold like this, well there just isn’t much I dislike more than cold, wet, chilled to the bone weather. To be honest anything below 70 degrees and I’m grabbing a sweater. This weather we are having tonight is just a mess. Torrential downpours 40mph winds. And tomorrow it will be 64 degrees again. I grew up here so you would think I would be used to it by now, I should be damp proof, but I’m not. I think it skipped a generation or something.

But, what else is there to do but stay inside where it is warm and write. Which is what I am doing tonight. It is half past eight, so I will probably be writing into the night. The day job was just completely crazy today. And it started with me trying to arrange a tow truck for my car that wouldn’t start yesterday morning when I was trying to get to work. I didn’t have time to deal with it and luckily I had access to another way to work, so today I had to get to work, then call and make arrangments to get the car into the shop.

Then there was work itself. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the planning department in your local government, but it can be a challenge some days. Citizens have concerns about a project and you want to help them out as much as possible but that requires research and collecting of information to share with them. Then you have someone with an idea for a project and they are looking for advice and help (actually, I get those calls multiple times a day. So again, it takes some time to do some research and get them the best answer. Then you have all the little things that pop up, someone needs something signed in a hurry, well you get the idea. So some days eating lunch is not really an option. You, do what you can in between phone calls. So days like that I don’t take a “lunch break” which is when I do most of my writing during the week. I can usually manage about 1500 to 2000 words in 45 minutes or so. But, not today. I will work on it tonight and have an updated word count for you tomorrow.  And because I have been without my car, I haven’t been keeping up with my podcasts like I normally do, so no writing related tech news to share with you today. But, I did hear on the radio that Keurig is coming out with mixed drink pods? How is that going to work?

Have you heard of this? Has anyone tried this? If you have let me now. I am curious. As a former bartender and one that still dabbles on the side, I find this fascinating.