Sunday, November 20, 2011

What I'm Doing Instead of Writing My Novel

I've had a great big dose of self-realization lately about how undisciplined I have become. Remember that I took the NaNiWriMo challenge, to write 50,000 words of my novel during the month of November? Well, it's not going so well. Here's what I've been up to instead of writing.

Jigsaw Puzzle: Scott and I bought a great puzzle at the gift shop at Mammoth Cave during our October RV adventure. It shows a collage of post cards from many of the country's national parks. Here is the poster that came with the puzzle.

Even though it was a 1000 pieces, we thought, "This shouldn't be too bad; look at all the words and small images. They will be easy." So we started off on a quiet Sunday morning. Scott put the pieces on the spare poker table, which made a really good puzzle venue. You could lean on the padded railing and contemplate without having stray pieces stick to your arm and fall on the floor and get chewed up by the dog. We quickly put the border together, congratulating each other on our prowess.

Then came the word pieces, like "Hot Springs," some of which really were easy to find. 

Lucy sat nearby, fascinated by all the activity.
Seven hours later it looked like this. Not as much progress as we had hoped for almost a whole day. 

Little did we know that we had done the easiest part. The middle of the puzzle was a killer, which we worked on for at least three more days over the next two weeks. Those big letters that said, "America's National Parks?" Those were the worst and had to be assembled using puzzle shape alone, which is not my forte. I'm better at color. Scottie saved the day and got them done. Ta dah!

Another RV Adventure: Around the second week of November, we discovered the moon would be full and the temperature cool after a cold front had blown in, so, like all normal people, we headed for the beach. Seriously, Scott and I love to go to the beach in the fall and decided, since we still had Maureen's RV, to drive down to Mustang Island for a couple of days. There were a few people at the campground, but the beach was almost deserted. As promised, the moon was full. Here it is, just beginning to rise in the east ...

 ... while behind me, the sun is setting in the west. 

 I spotted these tracks and found the little guy not far away.

He did not cooperate by staying still for his photo. After many attempts, this is the least blurred one I got.

We spent most of the next day walking on the beach and reading. I went in the water for a little while, but it was too cold for Scott. The dogs would have nothing to do with it either.

We kept them tethered at the campsite, but they still had a good time. Lucy may be sitting on a pillow outside, but she's still on guard duty!

Grandparent's Day: Last week my girl's school sponsored Grandparent's Day and a Thanksgiving lunch. Her grandparents were not able to come until lunch time, so she asked me to come spend the morning at her school and attend the music program as well as the lunch. I jumped at the chance and had a wonderful day.

Did I wish I were home, writing that novel? Not for a minute. It will get done someday, when there aren't any more days like this one. I've learned to grab those moments of joy and hold on as long as I can, for they are few and fleeting. 

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I have taken the Nanowrimo challenge. Each November is National Novel Writing Month and the organization challenges you to write 50,000 words of your novel in 30 days. They have a great website ( which is full of forums with other participants, pep talks from experienced writers and fun stuff to keep you motivated. It's all free, though they do ask for a donation if you can afford one.

50,000 words in 30 days. That breaks down to about 1667 words per day. Yesterday I wrote 1050 words, so I'm already behind, but I feel really good about what I've accomplished. It was a crazy day, full of interruptions, people in and out of the house, phone calls and life in general, but I still managed to write 1050 words. That taught me an important lesson. I can write when things are busy; I don't have to wait for one of those quiet days when I can shut myself away like a hermit.

So today as I do several loads of laundry, head off for yoga class, run by and make reservations at a local restaurant for a Literacy Volunteers event later this month and address invitations for my son's wedding reception, I can still take some time to write a bit. I just have to make sure that I don't get overwhelmed and defeated by that 1667 goal. It's just a number; it's the writing that is important. Still, this is 239 words. I wonder if they count toward my goal. 

I'll keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for stopping by.