NaNoWriMo and So You Think You Can Write!

I've got a couple of non-fiction interviews and articles that I'll be working on this week, but... I'm excited about two of the fiction things coming up! 

I'm at NaNoWriMo and hoping to finish this year!!  I've only attempted it once, in '08, and didn't finish.  So I'm pumped about this year... this is the year I WILL win it!!!!

Additionally, I found out a week or so ago that Harlequin is also having a workshop So You Think You Can Write from November 1st - 5th.  So while I'm trying to focus on NaNoWriMo, I'm also going to try to participate in a couple of sessions over there. 

If you're participating in either one, let me know.  I'd love to have some "buddies" over there!!!

I'm so pumped to dive into my fiction!!!  Have you read any of it?  Check out a few of my blog posts, and tell me what you think.

NaNoWriMo anyone?

Is anyone participating in NaNoWriMo?  I'd love to have writing buddies, so if you are, please leave me a comment below with your username!  :D

I had started my first novel in a series (just for clarification, not the first novel I started at NaNoWriMo back in 2008, that one was no good... LOL) a while back.  I had a good portion of it written, and realized I'd veered way off from where I wanted it to go, and as I was reading a lot of erotic romance back then, it was more appropriate for that genre, rather than the supernatural romance that I had originally envisioned for the series.  So... I scrapped the 30K+ words that I had.  I've spent the last week going back to my original characters, fleshing them out a bit, and re-doing my outline.  I think there's a much bigger story waiting to be told.  Now I'm chomping at the bit and waiting for Monday to get here so I can get started!!!  :D  I know some people think it's crazy to not write when you're ready to, but I really want to participate in NaNoWriMo, and I really don't like cheating, so... Monday, Monday, Monday... :D

So, tell me if you're participating.  I'd love to see you there!

One of my favorite quotes...

I'm learning to pursue my passions, and that's why I've been attending an online writer's conference this week, to help me gain the confidence to believe in myself and my writing.  Every time I've tried to follow my dream of being an author, self-doubt has stopped me.  So when I saw this again today, it reminded me to just bite the bullet and try...  :)

A friend posted this on her FB today, and it made me stop and think... again.  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Carli & Reed

In this exercise, we were required to write at least a 400 word scene with the character we'd created for the workshop.  Do you know how hard it is to convey everything your characters are feeling without adding "she sighed"?  LOL.  Here's my submission:

"Who are you?"
"What the hell did you think you were doing?"
"I was trying a small spell, as if it's any of your business."
"Lady, when you nearly create a twister in my woods, I make it my business."
"Oh, they're your woods, are they? Funny, because I own this area."
"Yes, but I own this area."
"Oh. So you're... Well, the only tree I damaged is on my land, so-"
"True, but that twister could have damn well made it on my land."
“But it didn't, did it? And it wasn't a twister, damn it. Just a little wind. I knew what I was doing. And I handled it.”
“Didn't look like you knew what you were doing from where I was standing.”
“Well, I did. And I'll say it again. I handled it.”
“Barely. If I hadn't sent some of my energy your way, you wouldn't have.”
“Of all the arrogant...”
“The truth is the truth.”
“You know, you could say thank you. For helping you put out your near disaster there.”
“By the gods!!! You are so arrogant. I didn't.... I wasn't... it wasn't... Oh, you're right!!! Why can't I do spells?”
“Oh, lady, don't cry. I didn't mean to make you cry. I'm sorry. I know, I'm hot-headed sometimes. Here, here, take this.”
“A towel? You carry a towel out in the woods with you?”
“Well, um, I kinda ran when I sensed the energy going awry.”
“You know what? Let's try this again. We're obviously neighbors, and will be for some time. I'm sorry if I came off like an asshole. That's better. I much prefer laughter to tears, even if it's directed at me. OK, ok, so I am sorry I was an asshole. Can we start over?”
“Ummmm... what do you mean?”
“Hi. I'm Reed Cunningham. I'm you're new neighbor.”
“Oh. Um, I'm Carli Jacobs. Nice to meet you Reed. I think.”
“Uh oh. I'm even more of an asshole than I realized. You're one of the developers of Eostara?”
“Well, at least that made you smile. That's better, too. So, will you give me a chance to make it up to you? Care to have dinner tonight?”
“That's really not necessary, Reed. But thanks for the offer.”
“Please, I insist. Then you'll see that I'm not always a jerk.”
“What time?”
“If you're sure...”
“I'm positive. And maybe we could talk a little about the little... um... problem you've been having.”

I've come to really like these guys.  How about you?

Another scene with Carli

Susan was Carli's mentor. They'd lived in the hills of Colorado, just outside of Denver. Susan's home was a ten minute walk from Carli's cabin. Carli had only been eight when she stumbled across Susan's cabin the first time. Carli smiled as she remembered it.

Susan had been hanging her sheets on a clothesline, humming to herself, lost in the music of the forest, when Carli had spied her while walking through the trees. She had looked at this lady with alabaster skin, red hair and green eyes, and thought she was the most beautiful lady she'd ever seen. The sun was behind her, so she glowed like an angel. The lady was about her momma's age, but much prettier. She didn't have the mad look in her eyes like Momma always did, and her eyes smiled at the same time her lips did.

“My momma has a clothes dryer,” were the first words out of the ten-year-old's mouth as she walked directly up to her.

Laughing gently, with a lilt in her voice, Susan had replied, “So do I, my dear. But the day is beautiful, is it not? When the sun shines down and the breeze is gentle, sure an' I'd rather hang my clothes out on a day like this.”

Carli had considered her words, and nodded. She'd always rather play outside than inside, so she could understand that. She blurted out, “You sound funny when you talk.”

With a laugh, Susan had replied, “My parents are from Ireland, and I was raised there. It's the sound of my country that you hear.”

“I think it's pretty. I think you're pretty, too.”

“Well, and I'll be thanking you for that. What's your name, then?”

“Carli. What's yours?”

“Carli, I'm Susan Scott, and pleased to make your acquaintance, I am.”

Carli had been very serious when she stepped forward and shook hands with Miss Susan, just like her Momma taught her. From that moment, Susan's house became a second home to Carli. Susan never shooed her away like Momma did, and she was never too busy for her. In the beginning, Carli didn't care what Susan talked about, as long as she could listen to her voice.

As time went on, she realized that Susan had taught her more than she'd learned from her Momma or from school. Susan taught her to garden both flowers and food, to cook, how to use herbs purposefully, in both food and in life. She'd taught Carli how to swim, asked about her first date, and consoled her when her heart was broken. She'd taught her about the world around her, and her responsibilities in it and to it.

Shaking her head, Carli brought herself out of the past. She'd call Susan as soon as she got back home, tell her about her latest debacle. And the man she'd met. Definitely about the man she'd met.

Book trailer for conference

This is my book trailer for my novel (first attempt).  Below is the instructor's comment.

My book is nowhere near finished (I'm actually just restarting it for a different genre). :) But here goes. First draft:

Thirteen friends have a dream           (photo of a witch's coven)
of a place where they can just BE       (photo of meadow/forest)
who they are                                (photo of friends laughing, talking OR another shot of a coven)
Eostara... A New Beginning               (photo of a monument/entrance with the name)
Becca begins construction                 (photo of excavators, etc.)
Her contractor, Levi, at her side       (photo of a man and a woman looking at blueprints)
Strange things begin to happen         (photo evoking confusion)
Vandalism                                        (broken windows)
Threats                                           (threatening letter)
An attraction neither expected          (desire-filled look)
Can Levi help Becca protect herself    (photo of a man stepping in front of a woman)
While protecting his heart?                (?)
Eostara - A New Beginning                 (photo of book cover for remainder of trailer)
By Moira Ivy
From (publisher's name)
Available in bookstores on xx/xx/xx

Good job. Well thought out, and the images you're looking for fit well.

My favorite characters are witches...

This short scene was done for a writing conference.  We were asked to basically do a character sketch that we thought of, spur-of-the-moment.  This is what I wrote:

Carli stopped for a moment to breathe deep and clear her mind. Her spell was NOT going to go awry this time. Gods, please? She entreated silently. The night was balmy and still, a perfect night to try a gentle stirring of the air. Feeling centered, she opened her eyes and stepped forward. Taking up her athame and sea salt, she cast the circle just as she'd read. She began to chant, 

"Gently now, I wish to stir the air
Isis, create a gentle breeze, quiet and fair
I entreat your help to train my power
Now in this magickal hour
By the power of three times three
Let the air stir and not harm me or thee"

A smile appeared on her face as she felt the air begin to stir, leaves gently rustling in the trees. Her excitement was short-lived, though, as the trees began to sway harder, and her long black hair lashed her face. The wind continued to build as she searched for the words to end it.

"Isis please, I entreat thee
Quiet the air that I have stirred
ummmm... Let it be gone, and the world be undisturbed
Put back to rights that which I have changed
And bring no harm upon anyone by my name.
Ummm... By the power of three times three, as I will, so mote it be"

The air slowly stilled as she was continued to try to write new words in her head. Her head bowed, tears dripping to the earth, she steeled herself with another deep breath, then slowly raised her eyes to survey the damage. One large limb was broken, her salt scattered to the winds, and her clothing and hair in disarray. She continued to weep quietly as she took a coin and buried it shallowly at the base of the tree, as an offering and an apology for her meddling.

"Why can't I work spells?" she asked aloud in frustration, staring into the now calm and star bright skies.

She jumped as a baritone voice came from the shadows. "I don't know, but I sure wouldn't recommend you try it again until you figure it out."

So, what do you think?  Would you like to learn more about Carli?  :)  I think I might... please, tell me what you think.