NaNo Update – Week 2 (A Little Late)

on November 18, 2009

Who’d a thunk when I agreed to this endeavor that I’d be able to claim Mother Nature got in the way of my NaNo production? Well, it’s true. In case you haven’t heard, the great November Nor’easter tore up the central east coast last week. And I just happen to live right where it landed. Lots of rain, high winds, and extreme high tides wreaked havoc on the area. And knocked out the power in my house for about 18 hours.

Now, I wish I could say this is the sole reason for being about 15K words behind. But we both know I’d be lying. So, some self-doubt mixed with a television addiction, and plain old procrastination would be the real culprits. And a persistent cold. My head feels like it wants to roll off and out the door. And I’m considering letting it go.

There will be some traveling on the agenda for the next couple of weekends, but I’ll be home alone all next week, and that includes the holiday. That means writing my little heart out and though I’ve no delusions of hitting 50K before month end, I’d really like to at least double my current number to finish the month with a minimum of 30K.

If I pull out a miracle, closer to 40K would be a dream.

How is everyone else doing? Still liking the story? Ready to throw the comp out the window? Eaten your weight in chocolate? (Raised hand!) Vent or celebrate here and we’ll all support each other.

Quick First Week Update – NaNomania

on November 7, 2009

The first week isn’t technically over until after tomorrow, but my weekend is looking busy so I’m throwing this up now. The bad news is, I’m a tad bit behind. The threat of a head cold required a night of cold medicine intake which resulted in sleeping the night away. All of it. So, one slow night and one zero night means writing like a fiend tonight and tomorrow. I’d really like to at least be caught up before week two starts.

The good news is, I’m having a blast. Turns out, being able to tell yourself you don’t have time to second guess, and meaning it, works wonders. Can’t remember a minor name you used 12 pages ago? Put [look back for name] and move on. Know that you need to add some info to the first two scenes to make the motivations clear? Make a mental note and keep those fingers going.

Talk about freedom!

I’m seeing parts of the story I’ve never been able to see before. Thinking of goals and motivation without wanting to jump out a window. And looking forward to having something substantial to revise. Crazy. I also wrote the most words in one night that I’ve ever done when 2000 words flowed onto the paper last night. I’m still wondering where all those words came from.

Would love to hear how everyone’s first week is going. Is the story writing itself? Are the characters running amuck? Anyone brought in an alien abduction just to spice things up? Fellow NaNoers want to know!


on October 24, 2009

I know this title is confusing, but it’ll make sense in a minute. And for the record, this is a POSITIVE blog.

I received feedback on the first three chapters of my WIP this week, and the information was encouraging and enlightening. There were observations I’ve never heard before, which was great. And much of it confirmed issues I’ve been feeling but couldn’t pin down.

Imagine the opportunity to climb into the mind of a top editor, read their thought processes, understand what they’re looking for, and receive tips on how to achieve what it is you want to create. So many authors write in a bubble then submit, get rejected, and never really know why. I’ve been fortunate to learn now why I would be rejected and what I need that I’m missing.

What I’ve also figured out is that LETTING GO as it is now, the plot and conflict I’ve created, is not a viable story. At least not to be a Single Title Contemporary, which is what I want to write.

I’m not completely giving up on Bryan and Celi and I already have some ideas to transform the story. But for now, I’m moving on. I’ve had several story ideas pop into my head in the last couple years, all of which I’ve pushed to the back until I could finish this first WIP. It’s time to give those stories a chance.

I’m now plotting and developing a new story in preparation for NaNo. It’s set in a small town high school in Ohio (no resemblance to Glee) and comes ready-made with great built-in conflict. I’m excited about starting something new and look forward to making it shine.

Thank you to everyone who visits this blog and cheers me on in this crazy endeavor. And thank you for loving my characters and always having something sweet to say about my writing. As I always say, you can never have too much sunshine shot up your…tookus.

Your turn to share. Anything you’ve given up that you realized you should have let go of a long time ago? Ever have that liberating feeling? Anyone jumping into something new and exciting?

Honors and E-Readers and Company, Oh My!

on October 15, 2009

I interrupt the progress report nature of this blog to throw a little life update into the mix.

This Saturday, I will don my black, tent-like cap & gown and join hundreds of other crazy adults to attend my college graduation ceremony. It has been nineteen years since I sported this get up, though the last time was bright yellow so this is exponentially better, and I’m still a little dazed. To add to my surreal state, I learned I’m graduating Magna Cum Laude. Upon reading those words on this little name card of mine, my first response was “What does that mean?!” I knew it was good, but I didn’t know specifics.

My next response, upon learning the details, was “No freaking way.” I have since progressed to “Ha!” And I’m ignoring the annoying inner critic in my head who keeps saying, “You know, if you’d tried a bit harder and not waited until the last minute to do everything, you could have reached Summa Cum Laude.”


To mark this momentous occasion, my family is coming to visit. My ENTIRE family. None of them have ever seen my apartment. Neither of my brothers have ever even been to this city as long as I’ve lived here. My dad hasn’t been here in over four years. This is a big deal. And I’m excited, but I’m also a little trepidatious. You see, these are not the happiest people on the planet. In fact, they’re downright miserable and tend to bicker. And fight. A lot. It’s not pretty.

But I’m looking forward to having them visit (partially because I’ve rented them an apartment for the weekend – cheaper than it sounds! – and I can still sleep in my own bed.) We’re also celebrating Christmas while they’re here, since I never sent presents home last December and I want this stuff out of my storage room. Presents always reduce cranky-pants behavior, right? Anyone?

In other awesome news, one of my bosses and another co-worker went in together and bought me a Sony Reader (that’s exactly it to the left). Can you believe that? It’s the touch screen one that reads to you. Seriously! I can plug in my headphones and relax to the robotically soothing sounds of a monotone love scene. Okay, I don’t really know what it’s going to sound like, but it’s still cool. Now, to figure out a) how it works and b) where to find digital books that aren’t priced stupidly high.

To tie in some writing news with this, I’m still waiting on the feedback from the writing coach, though she did say at first glance that it looked “hilarious”. Her word. Can you believe it? Me neither. I mean, I kind of go for funny, but hilarious? That’s just cool.

I also posted my first paragraph in Nathan Bransford’s 3rd Sort-of-Annual Stupendously Ultimate First Paragraph Challenge. Coolest title for a contest ever. But then, I expect nothing less from the coolest man in the writing industry blogosphere. (I can’t believe my Word did not mark blogosphere as misspelled. It didn’t recognize trepidatious but got blogosphere?) While I’m writing this there are well over 2000 entries and still nearly five hours left to enter. I’m not holding my breath at all.

I am participating in NaNoWriMo though not in the traditional sense. I’m not about to start a book from scratch just to appease the rules over there, nor am I willing to figure out how to navigate that site. But I have made a deal with Hellion and we’ll be doing it together. She hits the 50K mark, she’ll finish the first draft. (Freaking show-off) If I hit the 50K mark, I’ll be right around the black moment and that works for me.

So there you have it, what is going on in the life of aspiring-writer, slacker-extraordinaire Terri Osburn. If you think this is boring, you should have read the original post that included my new matching coffee table and end tables, and the exploits of my cat who in less than 24 hours managed to crawl inside my fridge and to the highest point in my closet, which is nearly seven feet off the ground. No idea how he accomplished either feat.

Anyone else doing NaNo?