Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dream BIG!

: Talent develops in quiet, alone; character is sharpened in the torrent of the world. - Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Every November the writing world buzzes with a contest, well, more of a challenge, called NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a novel in 30 days. Here is the link to their website. And here is a link to another online writer buddy, Lia Mack, who blogs about NaNoWriMo, too.

A 50,000 word novel.

From scratch.

In 30 days.

And while I would love to take on this challenge, my current situation doesn't fit the criteria. I am already working on a novel, and am 15,000 words into it. I don't want to stop that creative flow to get another one going for the challenge. So why don't I take the challenge and just add 50,000 to my current work in progress? Well, that's what I said. But the NaNoWriMo rules state this is not acceptable. The piece you submit must not be started prior to November 1. So I am challenging myself to NaNoCoMo. National Novel Completion Month. I will add 50,000 words to my current novel by November 30. Eek. Did I just say that?

I am excited to get started, scared that I won't complete it and terrified that I just might. Could I actually have the first draft of my new novel completed before Christmas? ABSOLUTELY!

So, there you have it. You've all heard the challenge first. Although I am not able to be a part of the official contest, I am challenging myself to my own kind of contest.

I figure even if I don't succeed, I'm closer to the goal than I would have been otherwise. And that is a positive thing. Always set your goals. And then buckle down and get focused!

I'll keep you posted on the word count!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Get Focused!

Quote for the day: In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: hit the line hard. - Theodore Roosevelt

How fitting a quote is that for Football Sunday, eh?

So, my critique groupie pal, Tim is a runner. He writes non-fiction and is currently writing pieces about running. He is an avid runner, bordering on obsessed and addicted if you ask me (just kidding Tim!) but it's what he does, what he teaches and who he is: he is dedicated and passionate about it.

The work he brings to the group for critique is inspirational, uplifting and motivating. To the point that the non-runners of the group (i.e. the rest of us) almost feel like getting up and running laps around the room. I said ALMOST.

Tim writes about the focus it takes to stay dedicated and determined on your goal. And as I read his words, I realize I can apply them to all aspects of life. To writing, raising children or household chores. His words apply to life. Yours, his, mine.

Here are links to Tim's blogs:

Tim Catalano's Uncommon Sense
Run the Edge

So tell me, how do you stay focused? What keeps you dedicated or motivated to complete the task at hand? Please leave comments! I would love to hear from you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tap into J.K. Rowling's working mind

Quote of the day: Do what you love. The rest will come.

I am attaching a link today for J.K. Rowling's map of her plot spreadsheet for Harry Potter's Order of the Phoenix. Amazing to see how her mind worked and how she visualized her story.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Battle Lost

I am posting this blog today in honor of Brandy. I've never met her. I only know her brother. He is my boss. And because I know him, and his wife, and the kind of people they are, I can only imagine the type of person Brandy was. Brandy died today. At the absurdly young age of 33. How? Two words.

Breast Cancer.

She was officially diagnosed in April. Cancer stole her life in six short months. And she fought the good fight. To the very end. She would have kept fighting too, if the doctors had any further treatments to offer. Brandy was truly fearless in her battle.

Brandy has two children, ages 7 and 4. How on earth do you cope with telling your children you are dying and going to Heaven? That you will not be able to watch their football games or help them get ready for school dances, or watch them get married? That's what we all want to do with our children, isn't it? To have that life cut short is unspeakable. I can not imagine how you deal with that. Except that, you just do. You get through one day, and then the next. Because you don't have a choice. And the best way to honor their mother is to remind those children every day of who their mother was. What she stood for. How much she loved them. And how much they loved her. I have no doubt those children will be told daily.

Her son sat on her lap, simply lifted the oxygen mask and kissed her goodbye on her cracked, dry lips, said he loved her and he would miss her. No tears. No questions. He knows she will be better cared for in Heaven than she every could be here on Earth.

So thank you Brandy, for teaching me, a woman you have never met, to fight the good fight. To never, ever give up. No matter how hard or painful or scary the battle is, to give it everything you've got and fight with courage.

I'm honored to know your story.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tough Love

Quote of the Day: Laughter is a glimpse into the human soul.

Janet Reid is another favorite agent I've come across. I love her blog. She scares the hell out of me, but I think she is a phenomenal agent. She is blunt and too the point. Janet reminds me of Simon Cowell. She will tell you what you need to hear, and not sugar coat it to spare your feelings. She wants to help you improve your writing. Its up to you to take her advice and apply it. I have to respect that.

Here is a link to her blog.

You can bet I'll be checking out the book she refers to. Because whether she is my agent or not, she is still trying to make me a better writer. I have to value that and I will take her advice.

Have a fantastic week!