Shake it Up

Photo by Aishwarya Rivonker on

A few things. I’m not going through the hassle of converting from whatever photos is saving pictures to now or how WordPress is doing it now to jpeg anymore. That takes longer than writing a blog post. I am back to writing my novel daily and so I’m just using Pexels which comes with WordPress. I had a picture for today, too. My own, I mean. I’m so stubborn but finally I have caved into corporate blogging. It’s been twenty years and mostly the changes have been good. No more coding. I would code an image but I forgot how to do it <i/>. I could google it, but I’m trying to save time to write the book. Googling leads to trouble. Hours of it.

Yes back at the book for real. It’s been two weeks. Every morning first thing. I have a new writing partner who was having same stuck problem as me. We are in a mystery novel critique group together. She’s the reason I’m writing again and loving it again. Most of the time. I’ve never had a writing partner. It’s working for both of us. Before her, I was writing five pages a month, mostly spurred on by my group. Accountability.

Yes, the moving to Florida forever took a lot. But that’s done.

So from 1500 words a month, or 750 words in two weeks, I have progressed to 7000 words in two weeks. Maybe 14,000 by the end of the month?! After all my new writer energy burned out at about book 7 or 8, I learned this butt in the chair habit from NaNoWriMo. I learned it was possible to show up with a blank mind and build something. I built a Bat Cave 2020 today. (My book is set right before Covid). Didn’t know the spy house was coming. I knew Jane was going to visit Jesse’s house for the first time. I had no picture in my mind of what it would be like. The words and images showed up. I really like when that happens. So fun living in my head and following Jane around.

Now I’m learning the power of a partner. We do not stay in contact through the week with pep talks or anything, too busy writing. We are both determined self-starters. I keep a running tally like I used to do with NaNo. We just connect on Sunday, share what we’ve done and how we feel (we were both down and uninspired when we started this). She’s benefited as much from the partnership as I have. Writers are jealous of their writing time. They don’t want to share. But a minimal share like this (or a group!) can have maximum effect.

How did we find each other? Our group. She said “I’m struggling,” and I might have said “Me, too.” Then I got the idea to check in with each other once a week and texted her and she said she was in. I had no idea if she’d go for it. But she did. The thing is, if you want a partner, look around and then ask. If she’d said no, I would have understood. Writing is such a private thing (until you’re published and then it isn’t). Showing your word count feels like showing your bank statement. But nope, it’s motivation. And it works.

The other thing is I’m going to blogging every two weeks. One week I will post a pic of my own on twitter and write a blogette. The next week I’ll do this. For awhile. See how I like it. The older you get, the more you are willing to try things and then give them up if they don’t fit your life. Writers need to be careful what they let in. Speaking of, my dad and family are coming over today to see the house for the first time!

1000 words a day

Nine pages this morning. Not that I’m counting. Every time I make a plan, something happens to disrupt it, so I’m just going with the flow. I know my story, and so far I know what happens next, so I’m just writing until I come to the end of ideas for the day.

My plan is still to have this draft done by mid-August. I’m at 15,000 words and I need 55,000. That breaks down to 40,000 more words in six weeks, or about a thousand words a day. Hmmm. Guess I am counting.

200 pages

Just passed page 200. Without even thinking about it, I did the whole part where the hero is thwarted big time and feels he’s come to a dead end. Now I’ve made things even more mysterious to him. He can’t find his way back to the trail of the murderer. What helped me do all this was knowing what was going on off the page with the murderer. Writing out the murderer’s current mindset and goal even helped me finish the section and point to what has to happen next. It was so obvious once I saw it. But it’s all off the page, so I hope the reader doesn’t see it as clearly as I do!

I’m going to have fun and things get to be light for a few chapters before they turn dark again. I am suddenly remembering why I never really wanted to write a mystery. Because you have to get into the heads of horrible people and that is not a happy place to be. Still, I’m determined to finish this thing.

I ran out of outline so I should do that for the the next section to see where it things need to move. Frey has this thing called a step outline. It had all the scenes summarized and also all the off-page action. I did it for this last section and I should do it again. It feels like a lot of work, but I think it will be worth it. The whole mystery thing is too complex to go completely without a net.

Mission Accomplished

A national goal met! And a personal one!

Yesterday was a highly emotional day, but I still managed to write. I voted early, only waiting a little over an hour to cast my historical ballot. Obama was not my first choice, but I believe he is a good man, a man of superior intellect and compassion, and I have forgiven him for not being Hillary;-)

I went to bed at 10, with Obama ahead and woke at 2 a.m. wanting to run to the computer. I resisted until 4 a.m. when I got up and made a pot of tea while watching Obama’s acceptance speech on C-SPAN. It made me cry. I have so much hope for our country now. Things are bad in Detroit, and everyone says we haven’t hit bottom yet. But I think that with this new president, we will be fine. We matter to him. You can see it in his face. 

And I love it that I met my goal of 70,000 words plus this morning, right after I watched history being made. It’s a good day.


The real motivator I remember from the one time I participated in National Novel Writing Month (starts today! good luck to y’all!) was that I kept a daily word count. I’ve been doing that again with my revision sessions and just seeing the new words pile up inspires me to keep going for another chapter, even if I feel like stopping for the day.

Today I got another 1000 new words into just under 20 pages of revision. At this rate, I will have the words I need in three more days. However, I’ll still need at least all of next week and possibly the weekend to revise and then reread the whole ms. again before I send it off.

I still have my superstition about sending mss. out in December (crazy-busy month for everyone including editors) so if my luck holds I’ll be three weeks ahead of the holiday frenzy.