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NaNo WriMo #MFRWauthor


Interesting that NaNoWriMo is the prompt for this week as I was just telling someone I need to go over my notes for the manuscript I plan to write.


For those who don’t know NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every November writers strive for 50k in 30 days. I The few times I’ve done this it has been an exhilarating feat.


Nano is all about getting the writing process started and keeping it going. There are two books I actually finished during NANo. The first was ‘Micah’s Blessing’ and the second, Blue Jean Flame. The latter has not seen the light of day and the former is all pretty and shiny in its cover on Amazon.


NaNo is a challenge that is productive, stressful, and fun. If you’re registered with the site, there are daily emails to encourage you to reach your goal. There’s even a word count monitor, and if you make 50k they give you a nifty little bag to place on your blog or website.


You don’t have to start a manuscript from scratch, you can complete an existing one. The one rule is no editing. NaNo is all about getting words on the page, allow those creative juices to flow and just get the story down.


There will be days where you sit in front of the computer and wonder what to type ad then there will be days where the words flow like a tidal wave. Some of the prose will be magnificent and some will truly be horrific, but the point is to write, write, write.


I’m accepting the challenge of 50k in 30 days. Just make sure I have my caffeine and fruit okay?


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Writing Rituals #MFRWauthor


Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening and sugar at supper time. Oh yes. That was my daily ritual with writing. And don’t forget the caffeine. Did I mention music or some other background noise was needed? Without these, I couldn’t seem to write. Kids playing video games in the living room or entertaining themselves in the garage with guitars and drums. Bring it. The muses loved the noise. As a matter of fact they thrived on it and I was able to churn out some really good, if not great scenes.


There was also something to writing into the wee hours of the morning. The silence de-cluttered the mind and the muses loved that too. There were no phone calls to interrupt a lovely string of dialogue. No husband or children to ask what was for dinner or help with homework. No chores, just me and the keyboard.


That was my writing ritual until four years ago.


The truth behind that ritual was unhealthy. Not just from the poor eating habits. Seriously who eats candy corn for breakfast? *raises hand with smug smile* And it also hid something far more dangerous.




I’m not talking about the little bit sad that a pint of cherry Garciacan cure, but the oppressive, let me sleep, not interested in life, and I can’t write anymore depression. The type that requires counseling and/or medication. The type that no one wants to talk about for fear of being labeled crazy or worst a pariah. The type where the muses leave and you’re afraid they will never come back.


The writing ritual has changed to include exercise.  Some of the better ideas on a plot point come from sweating on an elliptical or the treadmill. Other ideas are tossed outbound while getting a pedicure and nails done. (go see my girl Christina at CJ Nails) And then there’s writing in the day time. The fan on my desk and the AC unit outside my office window provide background  noise, as well as the voice on the voiceover feature on my computer.


I still like writing at night for the same reasons as before. Less distractions and it declutters the mind, but it’s equally satisfying to write when the four year old is not around.



If you think you’re suffering from depression or other mental illness, you are not alone and there is help. All you have to do is ask. Writing and reading are solitary acts., finding your normal doesn’t have to be.


If you need someone to talk to:

800-273-TALK (8255) National Crisis Hotline

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I Love Romance Writing Research #MFRWauthor


Research, oh how I love research. This wasn’t always the case. In school they taught us how to research various topics, many of which I didn’t care for, but it helped prepare me for what I now do. Writing. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘write what you know’ well what if you don’t know what you’re talking about? Research can be your best friend. What better excuse to meet a handsome firefighter, or police officer than research? Want to know how to bake a cake? I mean why particular ingredients are in a chocolate cake, but not a yellow or white cake? And what is the real difference between a white cake and a yellow cake? Or maybe you just want to know why a spark plug takes a particular gap on a Chevy, but not on a Ford. Unless you’re a genius it takes research.


Just like you spend time developing your character, research helps give the story body. DON’T GET BOGGED DOWN IN ALL THE LITTLE DETAILS OF RESEARCH. Most times you’re not going to even use it in the story but writing from a place of knowledge lends credibility to the character; but I was limiting myself.


I’ll admit I’ve had some lazy moments and those stories didn’t get written. Research opens a whole new world of possibilities. Some research is easy. It could be something small like verifying a fact. Or it could be more arduous, especially when it deals with history, anything technical, medical or whatever it may be That’s when the writer needs to become a mini expert in a subject and  network with other who live and breathe the subject they’re researching.


One of the fun things I got to research was the world of gaming. Did you know you can make a substantial amount of money playing video games? And win prizes too. I‘ve met a few of the top players in the region, thanks again to my children.


The best part of research is learning something I didn’t know before and sharing it with my readers in a story. After all, truth is stranger than fiction.


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