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2019…New Year…New Thinking

New Year…New Thinking



This is a year of transition for me. My thinking is changing…slowly. Adjusting to “what is” rather than “what I wish it was,” has involved surrendering my thought patterns. Not easy for me. Even after my husband passed I continued to think in terms of “we,” of the way “we” did things. “Our” dreams, “our” plans for the future, “our” way of handling issues that sprouted. I clung to carrying on in “our” tradition. I was frightened of changing what “we” had established.


My sweet neighbor who’s been a widow for over ten years said to me one day, “That was the way the two of you handled it, but you can make a different decision.” What a concept. Such thinking had not entered my mind. After all, we’d been “we” for over forty-nine years.


Perculating for months, this thought, began to take hold, but not without severe bouts of tears and wrestling and wondering and fear. I’m still processing and considering and allowing myself the freedom to imagine life as “me,” not as “we.” Without a partner, alone and solely responsible for my life’s decisions. So when the word transition came to mind, I knew at once it was My Word for 2019.


How about you? What is your One Word for 2019? I’d love to hear if you have one and how you came to choose it.



Can You Write a Novel in 30 Days? 5 Tips to Prepare for NaNoWriMo

November is almost here! That means it’s almost time for National Novel Writing Month…or NaNoWriMo!


Every year thousands of people–nationwide and internationally–sign up on the NaNoWriMo website to accept the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month! That’s a novel in some circles!

Have you ever tried to write a book in only one month? I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo three different times…never quite reached 50,000 words, but I always had more words at the end of the month than when I started…so I consider this a productive challenge!

Since we’re halfway through October, NOW is the time to prepare to write your complete story in the month of November.



Tip #1

Sign Up!

Just go there…and sign up! Here’s the link again: https://nanowrimo.org

Okay…that was easy, right?


Tip #2


Some writers are pansters. That’s a literary term for “those who jot a few notes and start writing!” In the other camp are those who are often referred to as plotters–“those who plan each step before they write.” I’m an in-betweener! I start with a basic outline…beginning, middle and end. And add to it as I write. Some novelist map out their stories or use the snowflake method. You can Google all these terms if you want to know more.

I make notes and do research before I begin a story. For the new idea that came to me the other day, I’ve begun to investigate certain types of human behavior. Another great prep idea is to create a secret Pinterest board! What could be more fun! Character look-a-likes, landscape, settings, even events or celebrations that might take place in your manuscript…all can be pinned for later reference.

Character lists and sketches are really helpful in the beginning. Remembering what color eyes your hero or heroine has is easily solved if you’ve made your personnel list with each one’s attributes.


Tip #3


If your computer needs updating, take care of it before you start.

Keep a pen and notebook handy!

   I keep a pen and journal on my nightstand. Sometimes I wake up with thoughts or ideas about a story and if I don’t write it down, I guarantee I won’t’ remember it in the morning!

It’s best to schedule a definite time to write…like every morning from 6 am to 7 am or something that works with your lifestyle.

If music helps you write, get your playlist set up before November 1st.



Tip #4


If you want to finish  50,000 words in one month you’d have to write about 1,666.66 words per day!

I usually set a 1,000 daily word count goal…I know that will only be 30,000 words, but it will be more than I had on November 1st. Hopefully, I can squeeze in more words on weekends or early, early in the morning. It’s more difficult to count on making a word count when you’re writing on the fly. Not saying it can’t be done, just that it’s problematic.

Now…once you’ve established a word count goal and a time to write…all you have to do is WRITE, WRITE, WRITE!!

Don’t stop to edit. No editing allowed right now! (LOL) Editing is for LATER! When you’ve finished the month…go back and do your edits.


Tip #5


Last Tip…find a few writing buddies! At NaNoWriMo   you can search for friends or writing buddies writing in the same genre. A buddy helps you stay accountable! Also, there is a place to check out who else from your area is participating in NaNoWriMo. Looks like this year we have a few participants from Redding, so we might all get together and write or have a social to encourage one another…or who knows!


Get your tea or coffee and some snacks and Let’s Get Ready To Write!!









Author’s Challenge….a fun game for writers….

My Chiweenie, Duke, loves to help me write!

There’s a writer’s game being played on Facebook….and one of my author friends invited me to participate! I was thrilled since I haven’t an agent, or a published book yet. Here’s the game and my contribution. Thanks for stopping by my Author Page!

Author friends! My contribution to the 7-7-7 challenge, a writers’ game where you go to page 7 (or 77) of your latest book or work in progress. Count down 7 lines. Then copy and paste the next 7 lines in your status. Then you tag 7 more writers… My friend writer Author Cindy Martinusen Coloma tagged me in this game and I tag it on to you.

This is from my just-finished manuscript-a Sweet Tea Mystery. After revision’s I’ll be sending my proposal to an agent.


“Come to complain to my Grandfather? Does he know you’re here? Guess, you just couldn’t forget it, could you? What? Do you think you’ll get something out of my Grandpa for damages?” Emmy smacked her hands on her hips, jerking Duke’s leash, causing him to spring forward and upward.

“Whoa…lady! Slow down. You ask more questions in one second than a hound has ticks, but you don’t give a fellow a chance to answer.” He frowned.

Grandpa pushed open the screen, carrying two glasses of iced tea. “Well, Wyatt, I see you’ve met my granddaughter Emmy.” Grandpa handed him a glass.


I’ve enjoyed reading all my author friend’s 7 lines…I’m so intrigued and can’t wait to read their books! Hope you’re excited with this little taste of what’s coming!



“Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.”
Hannah Arendt

Hayley on Mac

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