Monthly Archives: November 2010

Writing and the Working Mom

So NaNoWriMo… after several years of failing to “win” NaNo, you’d think I’d learn, but I don’t. However, I think I have decided that NaNo is no longer for me.

I still love it. I love the don’t-look-down writing, the camaraderie of going nuts with other writers, and I owe NaNo a lot, since both Let’s Dish and Another Time Around both started as NaNo novels.  But then my kids started growing up.

November is a wonderful month. It starts out slowly as fall creeps in. Everything is getting crisp and there’s nothing better than sitting at the coffee house at night and writing. This year the book is even going well, and I got in about 10K before life got interesting.

One of the other things that happen in November is the State Special Olympics Bowling Tournament. Not only do I want to see my kid participate, but since it’s in town, I volunteer at the dinner. So no writing got done that weekend.

The other two seem to be getting involved in more, too. My lovely geek squad are busy with Math Counts, Scouts, National History Day… the list seems endless. Mom, being the main taxi driver, doesn’t get a lot done when I need to be shuttling the young-uns.

Then this year I thought I needed a little more Christmas spirit, and decided to “Tree”. And I love it! I haven’t been able to really sing in years, and it feels so good to stand up there and really belt it out. But it takes time. After taking the laptop to rehearsal a couple of times, I realized it wasn’t the best environment for writing.

And it’s November in the States, which means Thanksgiving and decorating for Christmas. And we’re not even discussing trying to maintain a full-time job in all this.

Yes, I’d love some cheese with my whine.  I’m partial to the really stinky strong ones.

So this weekend, I am planning to work on the book. I have scenes in my head, I know what my characters are doing, but I need to carve out the time to let them do it. Will I hit 50K before the end of November? Don’t hold your breath. Will I finish the book? Heck, yeah.

But NaNo and me? We’re just not working out anymore. So I think it’s time I broke it off, take the pressure off, and write when I can write. I thank you for everything, but it’s over. At least until the kids get older.

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The Word Count Keeps Marching Along. Slowly.

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Crushing on a Character

When I started my NaNo project this year, I had a picture of my hero. Dr. Simon Oliver was a a goofy professor type – a man who studies the paranormal, but was kind of funny and doing prat falls while he rode in on his white horse to save the day. My placeholder? Nathan Fillion. I mean, who doesn’t live Captain Mal/Rick Castle? So I had a plan and a starting point.

But then one day I was driving in the car and there was nothing worth listening to on the radio. Little did I know what an impact crappy radio would have on my current work in progress. I popped in the first CD I could find, which happened to be a mix I recorded eons ago. I’d forgotten what was even on the thing, but soon found out I had a lot of Billy Joel, some Beatles (Blackbird always makes me cry), Blondie, Concrete Blond – my normal eclectic mix of everything from soup to nuts. And then a song came on I hadn’t heard in years. I’d forgotten about it, but the second it came on, I was transfixed.  The singer’s voice was smooth as velvet and his face came to me the moment I heard him sing.

Hal Ketchum.

Half of you are wondering who the hell I’m talking about, half of you are questioning my sanity, and the third half of you (heh) are swooning as hard as I am.

Suddenly  had a new hero.  He wasn’t goofy at all, but this completely implacable guy who could take anything my heroine (the crazy writer Evelyn Grayson – and she’s full of writer crazy) could throw at him with a grin and, eventually, affection.

I hesitate to share my placeholder images with you, because I like the reader to come up with their own picture for my characters. Heck, normally by chapter three, the character has changed in my mind’s eye, anyway. But not this guy. This guy is staying Hal in my head. Not that I know anything about the real Hal; heck, I don’t even own one of his albums. But the face, the voice – it’s all sticking. And the character who formed around him… all I can say is wow.

I like my male characters, don’t get me wrong. Kevin always makes me grin, Max made me want to hug him, David makes me want to go out and watch NewsRadio and Kids In the Hall (I mean who besides me bases a hero off Dave Foley?), but Hal makes me want to fall in love. I am obsessed with this guy, to the point when I think of him, I get a silly grin. Really. Me? An almost 40-something mother of three has totally got a crush. On a fictional character.

So Dr. Simon Oliver/Nathan is no more. As of this morning, my hero has a new name, a new background – hell, he’s a whole new guy. And his name? Hal, of course. Hal Buchanan. For now, anyway. He might change. But his character won’t. He’s as clear as day in my mind’s eye, and good God he’s a sexy Southern gentleman who just happens to chase ghosts for a living.

Oh, and the picture above? My new desktop picture. And yes, I grin silly every time I turn on my computer.

So tell me – ever had a crush on a fictional character?

 

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Cursed Again

Well, Cursed is actually going pretty well. I’m behind, but I’m always behind on NaNo.

At the moment, I’ve decided I need a sex scene. A no-strings-attached kind of sex scene, which breaks the rules, so to speak. But since they hero and heroine will get their HEA, is it really cheating? And since I probably won’t actually let them do it…

I don’t know why I like ripping the rug out from under my characters just when they’re about to get busy. And since I use that phrase, a lot of people are suggesting I actually use a rug. Huh. We’ll have to see how that works its way in.

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It’s That Time of Year Again!

So far I’m on page 18, and I’ve killed a window washer, injured a bike messenger, put an office building in computer crash chaos, and have an editor in ICU. Not sure I can keep up this pace!

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