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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!!

 

 

 

HAVE FUN with NANOWRIMO!!

Kate

 

 

 

“The Way You Smell”

My sweet cousin came to Redding to spend a day and evening with me. After catching up with the latest family news we took a little jaunt to downtown Redding.

First, we stopped for a fabulous late lunch at Woody’s Brewing Company.

Next, we popped over to the Oregon Street Antique Mall. 

Strolling the aisles upstairs and down we giggled and pointed to objects recalling favorite childhood memories triggered by all the wonderful vintage treasures in every booth.  

 

My kids had moved into their new home. I texted my daughter asking if I could bring my cousin to visit.

With a “sure, come on over” we headed to Palo Cedro and were greeted by my young grandson, daughter and son-in-law and their sweet little puppy, Oakley. 

 

Touring the house, my grandson, Hudson, happily trotted ahead giving us a running commentary on each room.

When we got to their guest room my grandson said, “This room smells like you, Nammer.”

I gasped.

Yikes. A room smelled like me.

I held my breath. Oh, no I thought. It’s happened.

Old people passed through my mind…faces flashed with their identifying smells. I remember my cousins joking about having to sleep in the same bed with their “stinky” grandma.

Egads…I was now part of the smelly generation.

My heart thumped frantically…my cousin had just heard my sweet darling grandson declare I carried a fragrance that lingered.

I had spent five days in their very lovely guest room after being evacuated from my neighborhood because of the Carr Fire.  But, that had been weeks ago. Wow, I must be an odorous old person, I lamented.

“It smells pretty, like you,” he said with a big grin.

Startled, I repeated his words. “Pretty, like me?”

My daughter smiled…”It smells like your perfume.”

My heart melted.

Whew.

I felt a twirl coming on! I wanted to shout and dance! I rejoiced!

A reprieve…a relief…a respite. Not yet. I’m not yet relegated to the dreaded stinky elderly category.

(All I could think about was…Thank goodness for Chanel Number 5.)

 

May your days be full of rejoicing…

Rejoice always… 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Kate

(Photos of the puppy and Hudson playing with Oakley in the house are my daughter’s…I borrowed them from her.)

One Word…for 2017

Be GONE Resolutions…Hello, ONE WORD!

Why only One Word?

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With a long line of resolutions, the crowd factor numbs the focus on change, and soon each idea merges with all the others and next thing you know, they all become one overwhelming list to be stuck in a drawer and forgotten until the New Year rolls around again.

This year, encouraged by several blog posts I decided to embrace the One Word concept. Choosing my Word took several days as I pondered various choices, “tried them on,” and prayed for wisdom.

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Last year had its moments….sometimes I felt I was soaring….img_1789

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

only to find myself overturned and upside down….

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wondering how the heck I was gonna get right-side up again.

Of course, always and forever, I was rescued by the Steadfast Love of the Lord…leading, comforting, embracing, waiting, encouraging and speaking into the deep places of my spirit I thought paralyzed in anguish.

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And so, I believe My One Word for this year is FORWARD! I am choosing to move and to focus on a forward direction…onward…trusting the Lord to be by my side…always and forever…and no matter what 2017 brings…I’ll be able to cross that bridge with assurance!!

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I pray each one of you finds your ONE WORD this year that will bring you peace of mind and joy in your heart! I’d love to hear what you choose! Let me know either in the comment section of this blog or on Facebook!!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

With love and faith,

Kate

 

 

 

Customer First…Now, A FaceBook Friend and More!

How many times have we met people and then become Facebook friends? Lots!!

But once in awhile you meet someone you connect with because you share so many of the same passions!

Julie June Stewart wandered into our shop almost a year ago to the date…in August 2014.

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She found this gorgeous purple hat…said she wanted to wear it to the races. She’s crazy about horse racing!! Me too!! And I’m very fond of  hats also! I’ve tucked my Kentucky Derby hat in a closet, ready for the day I finally get on a plane for Churchill Downs.

 

We hit it off right away. As she wandered around the store we visited about our love for antiques, horses, hats, animals, and writing.  She’s an accomplished writer. One of her latest articles features animals on the backside (of the track) who live with the horses. Her delightful essays always include adorable photos.

Last year, after she returned home, we became FaceBook friends, and we’ve stayed connected.

When Julie messaged me she was in town and wanted to come by our shop, I was overjoyed! She’s an Airspace Program Manager for Disasters and has been extremely busy with all our fires here in Northern California. I knew her time was limited, but feel privileged she took an hour or so to visit…and shop with us!

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I’ll miss her, but know we’ll stay in touch via FaceBook…and of course, I’ll be able to read all her wonderful columns! Thanks Julie for stopping by!

 

You can follow Julie June Stewart on Twitter and read her essays in America’s Best Racing.

4 Tips for Keeping it “Cool” in the Bleachers at Youth Sporting Events

4 Tips for Keeping It Cool in the Bleachers at Youth Sporting Events

 

Up to bat….

 

 

We’re well into the baseball and softball season, but the year is filled with seasonal youth sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, roller hockey, ice hockey, football, Lacrosse, tennis, golf…and so many more!

 

We’ve all heard the horror stories about parents being verbally and sometimes physically abusive at youth football or baseball games.

 

What is it about sporting events, more than other organized youth performances or competitions that brings out the worst from the adults sitting in the bleachers? You won’t hear someone shout sarcastically, “What do you call that?” during a musical or dance recital.

 

I don’t have any answers for “why,” only four heartfelt requests for parents and friends in the bleachers:

 

1.  Please, please remember these are kids…they are not a professional team!  Keep your comments positive, even comments about the opposing team players!

 

Making a great effort!

 

2.  Think before you make comments about the umpire. Respect the decision made by the umpire. Most often they are volunteers, doing the best job they can. Be a good example for your child.

 

Respect the Umpire

 

3.  Let the coach be the coach. Don’t instruct your child from the stands or point out his/her mistakes. 

 

Let the coach be the coach

 

4.  Praise a good effort, despite the score.

 

A good effort…

 

 

Learning to play fair, developing new skills, perfecting talents, and doing their best are only a few advantages for youngsters participating in team sports.  One of the most important lessons is practicing facing “big feelings” and overcoming fears.

 

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot.”

 

Here’s to strength and courage and confidence for all our children!

 

Kate

 

Amish Snickerdoodles…Just right with a cuppa tea

Buttery Amish Snickerdoodles and tea…

 

I’m so lonesome for my Ozark cousins and friends!

I miss that refreshing Southern Hospitality! Those big bear hugs and the exclamations, “I’m jus’ so glad to see ya! Y’all come on in now and have some tea.” And tea will be served with a little something…cookies, pie or a slice of cake.

Growing up, my Momma always had a stash of cookies somewhere.  Just in case somebody dropped by. Good manners…good Southern manners dictate you offer food with an iced or hot beverage.

Well, I can’t make a trip to Missouri…but I did bake some cookies. I love these buttery Amish Snickerdoodles. Hope you’ll try them and let me know what you think!

 

Amish Snickerdoodles

1 cup butter
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
2-3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the following:
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

* Cream the butter and sugar thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring in between.
* Sift together the flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt. Add to the first mixture.
* Form the cookie dough into balls (walnut size). Roll into mixture of sugar and cinnamon.
* Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Cookies will flatten into circles as they cook.

Serve with tea!!

* **These store well in sealed container***

 

 

May everyday be your cup of tea!

Kate

Happy 1st Birthday Duke….Celebrate National Love Your Pet Day….

Do you have a favorite book with a dog as one of the minor characters? In my current manuscript, the heroine has a delightful bouncing Chiweenie named Duke….

 

I know, I know….for those of you who’ve met me, or follow my Facebook page or Twitter page…you know my choice of a “dog persona” isn’t very original…because….I have a Chiweenie named Duke…

 

This little guy has been adorable since the day we got him.

My grandson holding Duke the day we got him.

 

Our grandson is babysitting Duke.

 

 

Duke had been raised with children and other dogs and loved people from day one.

Our granddaughter giving Duke leash lessons with her own dog Spots…..

 

Because we have a pool in our backyard, we thought it best to teach Duke to swim….he loves the water….

Mischief is his middle name…

Adored at the Rehab Center…by everyone except…

Duke loves to entertain the residents at the Rehab Center

the Rehab Resident Cat…uh…trying to friend her was a no go…

Duke tries to “friend’ the resident Rehab Cat…

The babies in our family LOVE Duke…and he loves them!!

My little grandson and Duke…

Duke is especially fond of trying new cuisine…a restaurant in St. Helens, Oregon offers a special “Doggie Spaghetti and Meatballs” during the summertime…

A dish of “Doggie Spaghetti and Meatballs” from the Dockside in St. Helens, Oregon

He loves adventure…whether it’s exploring a garden….

Exploring a garden….

….watching a sporting event….

 

Watching a sporting event….

….or sneaking back under the fence…..

Sneakin’ back into the yard…ohhhhh….somebody’s in trouble!

 

Our Duke is always ready to load up and go….

Riding Shotgun…

 

Happy is the day this little bundle came into our lives. We celebrated his first birthday….

The Birthday Boy

…he licked his plate clean.

Eating his “birthday cake”…..

 

This next year there’s a new baby to meet…..

Newest grandson with a ‘stash….

 

In the meantime…Duke has his two Boxers…to keep him entertained!

Two Boxers and a Chiweenie…

 

Today, February 20th is NATIONAL LOVE YOUR PET DAY…..How will you celebrate?

Happy Valentine’s Day…..Love Never Fails….

Love Never Fails….1 Corinthians 13:8

The Road to Vernonia…home of the Ax Men, Ring of Fire, and a charming little town!

One Sunday we  took a leisurely drive from our St. Helens home near the Columbia River to the historic town of Vernonia. Winding our way from the flat lands up towards the gossamer clouds it would be easy to pretend we were entering  Misty Mountain territory from Lord of the Rings.

It takes about an hour to travel the twisting thirty-one miles into tall-tree country. (That is if you don’t stop for pictures)

Vernonia’s history is rooted in the timber industry. Magnificent giant trees dwell on hillsides like skyscrapers dominate downtown San Francisco.

Vernonia’s famous Big Gun Logging team is part of the History Channel Ax Men series.

And the 1961 film Ring of Fire, starring David Janssen and Frank Gorshin, was partially filmed in Vernonia.

 

 

Arriving in this charming town, with a population of a little over 2,200, we were greeted by a winsome old hip-roofed barn.

 

I am crazy about bridges, and could not resist getting a photo of this stalwart structure…..

 

 

Imagine this gallant framework resisting the menacing floodwater of the Nehalem river….

 

The Nehalem River did jump it’s banks and flooded this quaint little town in December of 2007. 

 

We found parking next to a grocery store that is definitely “parent friendly!” I’ve NEVER seen this before. I’m impressed.  How accommodating…how touching….how thoughtful!

 

We strolled down the sidewalk to the Black Bear Coffee Company on Bridge Street.

 

Our delicious hamburger was only outdone by my fantastic Bloody Mary…and it was true, as one of my friends noted, “there’s a salad on top of your drink.”

The service was terrific and the atmosphere delightful. We’ll be returning to the Black Bear Coffee Company.

 

Leaving the carpets of ferns….

 

….and the moss covered tree trunks….( Was that an elf darting into that opening?)

 

….felt like we were leaving a fairy-tale world….

….but I know that the road leading out of Vernonia, can take me back anytime I want!

 

 

A Few…..A Lot

We’ve been staying at our St. Helens, Oregon home for about a month. Waiting for the birth of our fourth grandchild!

Snow in St. Helens

It snowed.

We’ve had lots of rain, some foggy mornings.

Some foggy days.

And more rain.

A little sunshine….

….and more rain.

I needed a mood-lifter.

Just a little something to cheer up the day.

Not chocolate and not wine…not food or drink.

Something to look at…

I asked My Sweet Husband to pick up a few fresh flowers at the local grocery store.

Now, we’ve been married 45 years (on January 28th) and we’re still struggling with definitions.

He calls this a few:

Is this a few or a lot?

I call this a lot!

But, we have several vases filled with lovely flowers.

An uplifting gift of cheery colors and aromas…..

And we had a good laugh!

 

 

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