December 3, 2016

Did ya miss me?

I'm baaaaaaccckkk.!

NaNoWriMo is over!

December is upon us!
this is the perfect example of what the change from November to December feels like

Everyone, exciting news: I survived National Novel Writing Month....and WON! 50,000 words!!!
Let me outline the month a little for you...

This was the beginning

This was the middle

This was the end

-brushes hands off- Well, that was easy. Suppose that's all you need or want to know, right?

Okay, okay, I'll go into a little more detail...

Well, it was quite an adventure, I'll tell you that. I'm happy I did it. I feel as if I learned a lot, especially about discipline when it concerns writing. ;) It took me over a year to write my first novel, and here I wrote 50,000 words in approximately 21 days. TWENTY ONE DAYS. Which is actually surprising considering I was behind for a couple weeks. I wrote pretty much every day, except for Sundays and a few "life happens" the weekend we had to put one of our dogs down. :(
I didn't write at allll that weekend....

All that being said, I didn't finish my book. Yup. I still have more writing to do. I'm actually rather okay with that....I don't have to say goodbye to my characters! I feel as if the last two weeks I was getting the most insight into them and their story....I'm looking forward to jumping back into their world. ;)

I officially "won" on the 29th. Well, I thought I did. Story time!

Around 5:00 pm,  I wrote out a particular (very sad) scene that I had been dreading. I've gone back and forth over whether This Plot Device should happen, but I finally decided the story wouldn't be the same if I changed it. So I made myself write it. And cried.

 Wiping away tears, I checked my word count, found myself at 50,000, sent an excited email to my NaNo buddy, Miss March, and promptly plugged my novel into the NaNo validator. Well, it turns out Google Docs word count is different from NaNo's, and I was about 70 words short. (how...?) 

I couldn't make up the deficiency at that moment because I had to go with my mom on some errands. Word of advice, friends. Don't drive when you just destroyed your heroine's heart. I mean, we were fine, but....ahem. I had to constantly make sure I was keeping my attention on the road and not mulling over my fictional problems. :P

That night, we came back and I whipped out a little scene I might not even use in the final draft of the novel, just so I could validate the novel and declare myself a winner. :D (And so my email to Miss March wasn't a lie, after all! Yay!)

...The End. That's my story. *takes a bow*

I want to talk about the romance in my novel. Maaahh worrrd. <3 My main character and her romantic interest make me smile so much; I just sit there like Rob with his ducklings.

It's actually been a little difficult to write, however. One character is not a Christian, and crafting how the relationship can progress without the other "throwing away" her standards (because, you know, 2 Corinthians 6:14) can be a tricky. I want the romance to be believable and sweet, not ridiculous and sappy. :P Here's a (rather long) snippet:

As I searched the shelves, I heard the back door open and Isaac stomp his feet. “The sleigh’s hooked up," he said.
“That’s fine, Isaac, thanks,” replied Daddy.
I found the twine I was looking for and went back into the kitchen. “Here you go, mother.” 
I set the twine on the counter next to Mother, and glanced up at Isaac as I passed him. He was gazing at me in a way that made my heart stop, and I suddenly wished more than anything that he was coming to the dance.
As I went to gather my and Mother’s coats, I noticed Daddy glaring at Isaac in such a way that told me he had seen Isaac’s admiration of me. Isaac, for once, was unaware of Daddy’s gaze. He was leaning against the wall, eyes down, except for the moments every few minutes when he’d glance up to look at me again.
I smiled secretly to myself. Nothing quite made a girl feel giddy than knowing a man was finding her attractive. I was twenty-four years old—I suppose I shouldn’t feel so silly and immature about it—but I couldn’t help the tingle it sent down to my toes.
Pete came in, sniffing the air, following by Grandpa, who was fussing with his tie. “This durned thing doesn’t want to work with me,” he said. I laughed and stepped over to do it for him.
Pete hovered close to Mother. “It sure smells good, Mom.”
“Thank you,” she said, distractedly wrapping the twine around the pot.
“Can we eat first thing there?” he asked.
“Pete, you know we don’t eat till after the dancing,” I said.
“I’m sure there’ll be something you can snack on, Son,” said Daddy, pulling his suit jacket on.
“Thanks, Rosie,” Grandpa said as I finished. “You know, you sure do look pretty, Rosie. Don’t you think so, Isaac?” He looked expectantly at him.
Isaac tore his eyes off me to meet Grandpa’s gaze, but he glanced nervously at Daddy, who was watching Isaac as he buttoned his jacket.
“Yeah, she looks very nice,” he said, bowing his head.
It wasn’t exactly the compliment of the century, but I understood the difficulty he had in even saying that much under my Daddy’s sharp gaze.  ~Rose and Isaac (working title)

(Notice to any internet plagiarists: Please do not steal, this is my original work. :P)

Grandpa is one of my favorite characters. HE IS SO FUN. He's friendly and outspoken but a really good judge of character and absolutely adorable. He kind of "ships" my heroine and the hero (he shipped couples before it was cool), and it's just so darn cute. 

One more thing. My novel is set during Christmastime, and it was SO fun to write the Christmas scenes. I can't wait to write more. Because guess what? IT'S CHRISTMASTIME!
Aristocrator [food | breakfast | coffee | foodporn | foodgasm | tasty | yummy | cakes | cafe]:

-throws snowflakes into the air-

Ahh, my favorite holiday ever. I have no words to express how I love this magical time of the year. :)

You probably noticed my new design for the holidays. What thinks you? It's quite different from anything I've ever done, but I love the Christmas-y feel and the professional look....something's still not QUITE right to me, but I'm not messing with it anymore. ;) (It was HARD to make)

(And oh, Naomi, though I tried very hard not to copy your blog's new style, I must say I was greatly inspired by your new design. Hope you don't mind. ;)) (Everyone, check it out, because it's stunning.)

I actually have a bunch of Christmas cards I should be working on mailing out to people. -sigh- I suppose this post is long enough. But never fear. Now that I've returned I hope to stay. I've really missed blogging. It feels so great to be back. :)

Merry December, everyone!! 
Decorate your trees, listen to your favorite Christmas music, and enjoy the season. 
It only comes around once a year. :) *hugs*

PS. If you'd like to know my new favorite song and have your heart broken, watch this gorgeous Robin+Marian video.....sob.

PPS. Yes, that is my real face on the sidebar there. GASP. I'm not sure if I'll be putting my face on the internet regularly, but for now you can kind of see what I look like. :P (Unless you're a creepy internet stalker. If so, please go away and never return.)
(And no, I don't dress like that everyday. I've actually only worn that hat one time, though I like it a lot.)

November 19, 2016

Jane Eyre Giveaway at Hamlette's blog!

This is why I always dance when I hear a favorite song playing in the grocery store or Old Navy. :: print by Emily McDowell:
Hey friends! This is just a quick announcement (and shameless way of gaining three more entries. Hush.) that Hamlette over at The Edge of the Precipice is holding a Jane Eyre giveaway, and it ends today! Don't miss out; she's got some really great prizes lined up. :)

Here's the link. Good luck!!

November 7, 2016

NaNo Week 1 (with story snippets)

Heeeeyyyy all! *group hug* I haven't been gone long at all, have I? I mean, considering I've been participating in NaNoWriMo and I didn't think I'd blog till December. :P
Day 1 of NaNo. I was all ready to go with my cup of tea, pumpkin spice candle, and writing buddy, Keenan, a little purple bunny. :P
Well, NaNo is still happening and so I should be writing rather than working on this blog post! But, as I've been writing Rose and Isaac (working title) this past week, I knew I was going to want to share some snippets with you all. I've been having a LOT of fun writing this book. It's the first story in a long time that I've written in first person POV, and I'm so glad I am. I had toyed with the idea of third-person POV, but I now I shudder at the thought. This particular story needs first person POV. "Being" my character, for a change, has been such fun and I feel as if it's stretching my writing abilities.

But enough about all that. You're here for snippets, right? Well, here you go. (I trust all of my blogging friends, of course, but for any of you random internet plagiarists out there, please do not share or steal my work. Write something yourself. :P)

~We lived on a quiet road. Most people in our small town of  {town's name}, {state} (I haven't yet decided where they live. :P), lived somewhere scattered on the outskirts of town. Well, our house was on the outskirts of the outskirts. I didn't mind. We weren't bothered by salesmen, or vehicles determined to break the speed limit. I liked nothing better than to step out onto our front porch in summer, take a deep breath of the warm air, and gaze about at our trees and fields and land—and see nothing but beauty for miles about.

~Freddie had smiled. He had dropped his napkin onto the table, and his strong arms hung at his sides, swinging back and forth a little from his nervous energy. I suppose I should have known what was coming. We had always been able to read each other's minds. We hadn't had secrets from each other.
Notice I use the past tense, "had."

"Mother....Dad," he had said, "I know this is going to be hard, but...." His blue eyes had traveled around the table, meeting each of our expectant gazes and apologetically pleading to be understood. He let his gaze fall to the tabletop before he said his next words. I suppose men brave enough to go to war couldn't be expected to have enough to courage to meet their family's gaze while telling them, too. "I've decided I want to sign up."

The words had been simple. Vague, even. Someone could easily ask, "sign up for what, Freddie, dear?" But no one did. Even eleven-year-old Pete knew what he meant, and Pete was notorious for not understanding the simplest things sometimes like, wipe your boots on the rug when you come inside. 
~Taking a deep breath, I unlocked the door and opened it a crack. Cold air whistled in, but the man didn't move. I stepped out into the ankle deep snow. Pete would be shoveling the porch tomorrow.
Snow whipped around me like shooting stars in the darkness. There were indeed dark splotches in the snow. The reality of the moment hit me. This man was bleeding. Bleeding to death, probably.  I didn't know what was the worse, the thought of a strange man in the house, or a dead one on the porch.

Scratch that. I knew.

Search results for: country living - Fresh Farmhouse:

~The light was on under the boys’ door. Late as it was, they wouldn’t go to bed till someone told them. I cracked open the door. Pete looked up with a guilty expression. He was building some sort of ridiculous tent with his sheets and pillows. Archie was sprawled on his bed, reading a comic book. Probably a new one, since they went into town.
I arched a brow at Pete. “Did you brush your teeth yet?”
He visibly shrunk into his pillow fort. “No.”
“Well, you’d better get to it,” I sighed. What was it with boys and teeth brushing? I liked having a mouth that felt clean. Didn’t boys have taste buds, too?

~Pete’s anxious face above mine was the first thing that woke me that morning. “Rose, Rose, wake up, wake up!”
I shoved his little hands off my shoulder and rolled over. Goodness, it was freezing, even in bed. “What is it?” I mumbled.
“There’s a burglar sleeping in the pantry!”
Isaac. I rolled out of bed, wide awake now that I remembered the events of last night. The room was a dim, dark gray. If I hadn’t seen the time on my clock, I’d swear it was still the middle of the night. My feet hit the floor and even though I had a pair of socks on—not the ones from last night—my feet cringed at the impact. I pulled them back into the bed.
“Pete, grab my slippers, please.”
Pete grabbed them and flung them before me. He moved to leave the room, but I lunged for his sleeve. “Wait a minute.”
“But the man—”
“I know about the man,” I said. “His name is Isaac and he’s not a burglar.”
“How do you know about him?” Pete seemed personally offended that I met this intruder before he did, rather than being thankful he wasn’t a burglar.


~Grandpa was coming up the stairs now. I continued my climb and waited for him at the top.
He smiled at me when he reached the last step. “You sure had an exciting night, Rose.”
I rubbed my arms. It was chilly upstairs. “I confess it was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced.”
He touched my arm sympathetically. “You handled it well. He seems like a nice boy.”
“You think so?” My tone held more happiness than I meant to reveal.
Grandpa chuckled. “Surrre.” He drew the word out slowly, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I’m not in the habit of misjudgin’ a person, now, am I?”
“No...not usually,” I teased.
He put on an offended look. “Rosie, you gotta learn to accept the judgment of your elders.”
I smiled and kissed his cheek. “I never argue with you, Grandpa. You always know best.”



(Of course, all of that was rough draft, so I apologize for any mistakes. )

I'd love to talk more about my story, but it's four in the afternoon, and I haven't touched my novel all day. I better go. -sigh- Those 50,000 words aren't going to write themselves, you know. ;)