NaNoWriMo ’16–final day @ 68,362 words

I officially reached over 50,000 words on November 23rd and have continued writing. Since I finished on the same day last year, it seems that’s how long it takes me to write that much with everything else going on.

I have seen people’s avatars on the NaNo forums who reached 100,000 words before I even finished. -__- Sorrow and jealousy. But regardless, the goal I set for myself last year is 70,000 words. In a few hours, I will reach that goal.

Its been a challenge. There’s always some mess or other going on in the background and distracting me. The good news is I did it. The even better news is I only have about five major scenes left in Oracle before I’m finished writing the novel. (The first draft or whatever you prefer to call it.) This is the first time I’ve ever written a full-length novel in six months. The bad and good news is I’m not done yet and the story is getting too big and too long for my head so I’ve decided to write it in three books. Originally, I had intended for it to be a much shorter project than it is. I’ll let the muse continue to carry me until I reach the intended and anticipated end of Oracle.

I’m going to finish Nation Novel Writing Month 2016…then I’m going to take a long nap. *sigh*

I’m in the Top 25 Authors of the Jukepop and 1888 Summer Writing Project!

I entered my serialized and ongoing novella Oracle in the 2016 Summer Writing Project on JukePop with only the intention of publishing something for my birthday. I’m surprised and proud to announce that I ended up getting selected as one of the Top 25 Authors. On August 1st, one author will be picked for publishing with professional cover art by Irvin Rodriguez.

This is my podcast interview with Dean Moses about Oracle and my month-long writing experience. I don’t care how much public speaking I’ve done, I still get rattled and nervous every single time I do things like this! But Dean, one of three winners of the last year’s Summer Writing Project, was really nice and I got through to the other side of the interview, probably because he was so kind and cool about it. I  was so nervous and yet I get so excited when I’m talking to other writers! Feel free to listen to the podcasts from the other Top 25 as well, I know I will be!

Speaking of winners from last year, there are three of them. This year, they’re only picking ONE. I won’t lie, I want to win. I feel the pressure. Three issues that I foresee:

  1. My novella isn’t a novella anymore. I wrote 22 out of 30 days last month. Each chapter is 800 to about 2000 words. My book way over 35,000-40,000 words now. The rules use the word novella constantly. Even I did get the right reader analytics according to JukePop,, that might count against me.
  2. Outreach, marketability–I don’t know how any of those things will turn out for me.
  3. Most importantly, I have made a commitment to staying true to the integrity, heart, and pacing of Oracle. I’ll hate myself if I betray that for a competition. My desire, underneath it is all, and the right thing to do is keep writing until the end.

When I started writing and talking about Oracle nearly two weeks before my birthday, I vaguely imagined how nice it would be to be picked as one of the Top 25 Authors but I didn’t expect any recognition. Even if I don’t come out as the author that receives this wonderful opportunity from 1888, I got so much more out of entering the Summer Writing Project than I imagined and I’m writing a story that I love.

Please follow and read Oracle on JukePop. Enjoy. Vote. Tell me what you think!

What next?

Coming down with it. I feel an overwhelming pressure to publish something this year.

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My plan is to run a short story/novella on JukePop. ^This is what I’m working on, ORACLE–fantasy fiction all the way!! I did these e-book covers on Canva.

Welcome to Oracle–a sprawling school of magic overlooked by a crystal mountain, surrounded by fields and forests beneath whipped clouds and endless blue skies. But you know what they say: If something is too good to be true…it usually is. Caprice Bilberry is a witch who suddenly arrives at Oracle’s extraordinary campus and is informed that as a student here, her greatest wish will be granted: She will be freed from generational enslavement and have the right to go to school and practice her magic. Why leave the only life she’s ever known, risking death and the murder of her family? Why say no and return to life as a slave in a colonial village where using magic is an offense punishable by mutilation and death? Caprice, Nezzle, and Bossa become friends, soon unraveling a terrifying secret: The school is more than what it seems, demanding a price more sinister than its lofty goals reveal or make up for. Its the ultimate fine print. For one does not simply enter and become a student at Oracle school….

And I just got an email that JukePop is doing the 2016 Summer Writing Project with 1888. Perfect, I’ll just do that.

Personally, I’m a little selfish and I don’t want to share my work for free but that’s my vanity talking. Most people advise against doing this though some argue that giving away some work for free helps build an audience. Writing is my calling and art should be freely shared, yet some part of me still wants to write for a living despite what that actually means in my society. Its a working class/poor people thing I guess, that dream of getting paid for doing what you love. I’ve had multiple people tell me I should be paid for my work and I decided to believe them.

I didn’t publish anything last year. Even if I do publish, I’d have to do book covers, editing, proofreading, and back matter/synopsis–all on my own. Not to mention promoting it. Or attempting to rather. I guess I’m already part of the way there: books covers done, synopsis okay, and first four chapters finished.  I wonder if its enough to go, “I wrote this thing” and shove it out there. Wanting a little bit more than that is a lot of work. (If I’m wondering then maybe its not….)

Current Word Count: 52,338, as of yesterday

I haven’t done my hair or practically anything else for the past twenty-three days. I did however write over 50,000 words in short stories and novels, over 8,000 words in notes, emails, and journaling, and more for National Novel Writing Month 2015. If anybody calls my writing a hobby again, I can’t even say what….

Officially, I “finished” early (by meeting the 50k word goal) yesterday. I would’ve finished the day before and came up short by 194 words due to falling asleep and a series of distractions.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2009 (minus 2010). This year was much easier for me though I only count words that go towards the story/novel, not notes or journaling.

I organized and wrote everything between Scrivener and Evernote on my laptop and tablet. But because my book is not finished, I still have a few days left, and there’s so much more to write, I will be writing on until midnight on November 30th. I will validate my word count then.

And then, because I still won’t be done with all my works in progress, I’m fine write some more.

I was going to write a NaNoWriMo ’15 post earlier this month but I never finished it. This is what’s in my notes, I had two sentences slated:

I love writing and writing is what I’m going to do every day this month. So far I’ve finished drafts for two short stories.

Really, that’s all. And I never finished that draft.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. Now I have to go finish my 1667 word goal minimum for today. So relieved I updated my blog now! ^__^

Editing the first draft of Love Little

I wanted to publish something before the end of the year, namely the second half of Path of the Righteous. Looks like I may not be publishing anything at all. What’s more important, publishing or writing?

I have finished the initial draft of my short story, Love Little. It’s about a mousey boy in an “out-crowd-of-one” named Love Little whose disappointed parents send him to summer camp where he meets an unexpected friend and kindred spirit.  I wanted my #1 fan and beta reader to read it for me but it has so many typos and other assorted rough patches, that I asked her to hold off even though I’ve already eye emailed it to her.

After I lost two to three months worth of work on my stolen Kindle’s hard drive in August, I was devastated and disoriented. I still can’t quite get my head straight and start writing again. Rushing into editing Love Little the moment I was done with it was a bad idea and I’ve slowed the process even if I haven’t stopped completely.

Isn’t there a rule or guideline somewhere that says writers shouldn’t work on editing or rewriting stories immediately after the first draft?

I don’t have an exact framework or timeline for editing and sharing. The only rules I do have for my work is read it once before sharing and don’t share until you’re sure you want people to read it.

Coming Soon: Realm of the Heart, my online crafts store

The end of Spring is approaching and with it the opening of my Etsy crafts store, Realm of the Heart!

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Recently, I have been busy stocking for Realm of the Heart, trying to create items that represent me as a textile artist and that people might like. Crocheting, bedazzling, and cross stitching my heart out.

I was working on one of my projects while waiting for the bus and I think the bus driver thought I was hugging the stuffed animal. When I got on the bus (hurriedly because I was trying to get the stuffed animal back into my bag), he asked me, “Aren’t you a little too old to be playing with toys like that?”

I told him, “No, I’m working on this for my store”. Maybe he was teasing me, maybe he was irritated that I held up the bus a little–who can say. When I thought of it while on the way to the craft store for supplies, I realized my answer to his question was really just No.

No I don’t think I’m too old for stuffed animals or dolls. Especially since I’m making them and my work as an artist/writer has led me to the belief that what I do deals with issues of the heart, imagination, and the power of creation. I have adults and parents asking me to make things for them and their children all the time. I don’t see anything wrong with that. This is a part of what Realm of the Heart is about: providing handmade artwork that comforts and makes people happy.

Yo!

Yo!