I’m Ready for NaNoWriMo.

It’s all Hallow’s e’en; my altar’s candle is lit; the aroma of incense mixes oddly with aroma of dinner in the oven and wafts through the apartment and out to the warm Fall evening air.

There’s a moonless night beyond my aerie’s window, and I’ve written the title of my Book on P1000799page one of my notebook. That’s all I’m allowed to write before midnight by the rules for my NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writering Month).

Yes, I write all my first drafts stream-of-consciousness by hand on a 5×8 black spiral notebook (the same kind I journal on). I have refills ready for my favorite gold PC pen.  Each notebook can hold roughly 28,000 words, so two should be sufficient (I have 4).

I may actually begin writing tonight at midnight:01, then again I may begin early tomorrow after my 5 a.m. walk.

I usually write early when the muse is fresh.  I transcribe later in the day IMG_2330[1]into msword. I find this process adds an extra hundred words or so to my daily word count and effortlessly produces a better second draft.

For now, the kitchen timer is telling me my dinner is ready. I’ll pour a glass of Cabernet and eat my dinner as I watch a rerun of Downton Abbey to get in an English mood for my NaNo Novel based in England.

More tomorrow as I’m also doing the odd spin off called NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and I’ll be posting a Blog a day.  Yep, glutton for punishment here.

Night y’all.



How do you stay motivated?

I’ve been obsessed with finally finishing my first ever e-book.  I’ve been ‘going to do this’ for some time and seriously started working on it late last year.

Alas, while Procrastion walks beside me, Persistent beckons in the distance.  I needed motivation to step up my pace, leave Procrastination in the dust and grab hold of Persistence or I was never going to finish this project.  Here are three things I did to help me out.

  1. I dusted off an old motivational quote that always served me in the past and posted it on my vision board above my desk where I do most of my work.  I read it everyday and it worked.
  2. I started blogging about it, so I’d have to follow through.
  3. I called a writer friend of mine (thank you Joyce Norman), who was glad to call or message me for progress reports 2 sometimes 3 times a week.

I finished my book and uploaded it to Amazon’s Kindle platform earlier this month.   Yay. Moving on to next project.

Question: How do you avoid procrastination, and keep motivated to finish your projects?


How to Get Published from Your Journal

Well, I’ve hit the home stretch on my first eBook: How to Journal and How to publish from your journal.

Aside from my corporate writing, I’ve been publishing my personal writing since cover 7 -2journalaround 1990 in newspapers and magazines: Book reviews, Essays, Personal Remembrances, Poetry.

Last year at a writers group I joined for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.org), I was asked how I got published.

I explained that most of what I’ve published comes straight from the pages of my Journal.  I proceeded to explain how I journal everything and one day noticed that one of those journal entries had the makings of a personal essay/memoir.

I transcribed it into Word, edited it, polished it, rewrote it and submitted it to the Birmingham Arts Journal.  It was accepted and published.  Yay, found a goldmine of publishable ideas.  I went back to my journals to look for more buried treasure, and I started journaling with an eye to what I was putting on the page.

After explaining this, I thought maybe others would like to know how to make then mine their journal for publishable material.

So here it is again, November looms and I find myself again at this year’s NaNoWriMo group.  The same question came up about how to get published.  This time I could not only tell them how, but that my eBook on the subject would be coming out on Amazon October 11, 2013.

NaNoWriMo – Can I Write a Novel in 30 days?

November is National Novel Writing Month, and this year I’m determined not only to finish which I always do, but to follow through to publication.

I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo and writing my 50,000 plus words every year since 2004, but most of what I’ve written languishes variously in dark Yanks At Wadenhoe Housedrawers or an old back up file or most recently my skydrive.

So here goes. Novel Title:   The Yanks of Wadenhoe House


We arrived late by cab.  I felt like we were in a scary movie.  This huge castle loomed in the night and the fog rolled along the ground all around us as we got out of the cab.  Daddy, ever the practical joker, pointed at the carving above the entrance and said, “That is the ghost of Wadenhoe.”  Mother told him to cut it out, but I had to pee too bad to be scared.

A maid opened the door and welcomed us; showed us to our flat (English for apartment); told us what time breakfast was served in the kitchen and left. 

There were some white bread sandwiches on the coffee table.  They were butter with cucumber and butter with ham; cut into fours with the crusts neatly trimmed away; and neatly stacked on a beautiful old plate. 

We devoured them all, and Mom put us too bed.  I could hardly sleep, and when she left the room, I crept to the window to look out.  As I look back, I know now why I liked that shot in the first Harry Potter film so much. The one where he sits looking out the frosted window of his new home high in the castle.

The next morning I was ready to go before anyone and waiting impatiently at the door.  We went down the rickety stairs to the better stairs and found our way to the kitchen, where the maids were scurrying around the long table delivering breakfast to our house mates.

At that time Wadenhoe House was managed by Mrs. Boothroyd (Mrs. B) and with two exceptions, all the rooms and suites were let out to Air Force families.  The exceptions were a two men, one from Scotland, one from Poland. They were always referred to as Scot and the Pole – I never knew their names.  The Scot, when in his cups, would change into kilts and serenade the whole house with his bagpipes whether they liked it or not. The Pole was quiet and always had a book in his hand.

Mrs. B introduced us around the table, and asked how we liked our eggs.  I watched as the cook cracked these huge eggs into a bowl, added milk and beat them with a fork.  She put them into the large iron pan on the old wood stove that occupied half the wall at then end of the kitchen. 

Later when Mom found out they were goose eggs, she never ate them again…