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Monday Updates

I’m still chipping away at Camp NaNoWriMo, though I’m several hundred words behind after a busy weekend. Saturday, we went to the zoo for our 4-year-old’s birthday. Then Sunday was our anniversary. We ran errands that afternoon, then after the kids were in bed, we (finally!) watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I enjoyed it overall, though parts of it seemed too forced. It felt like they were trying too hard to reference the original trilogy, and re-used too many old lines. It was good, though, and something I’ll watch again. I’m looking forward to the next one.

I’m slowly working on my Christmas novella, though I think I need to plan it out more. I’m going to keep working on it until April and Camp NaNoWriMo are over, then probably take a break from the writing and work more on plotting and structure before finishing up the first draft. Hopefully I can also have my next novella well planned out before July’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Here’s my current one-line summary of the Christmas novella: “A man dressed up as Santa hears a Christmas wish he can’t refuse.” I don’t think it’s the best representation of the story, but it’s what I’m working off of for now. I’m really liking my character Isaac. He’s the son of the main female character, Lauren. Right now, he’s trying to convince his mom she needs a sweater with jingle bells all over it. He seems like a fun kid. I’m hoping to make some good progress on this story over the summer, and hopefully have it ready this fall.

Tomorrow is the release date for Chautona Havig’s new book, Sweet on You. I’ll be posting my review tomorrow, as well as links to information for her bonus short story!


Camp NaNoWriMo Updates

Winning begins today for Camp NaNoWriMo! I’m not there yet, but hopefully I’ll finish up early. I got a few days behind, but finished catching up yesterday. I want to be a day or two ahead going into the weekend, so I’m working on that today. Thankfully I kept my word count goal low. It’s working out to be a manageable amount for me this month.

I came into Camp working on a few different projects, but I think that was hurting my progress. It was harder to just go ahead and write when I felt torn between multiple projects, none of which were very planned out. I’m still working a bit here and there on a few, but now I’m mostly concentrating my efforts on a Christmas novella I’ve been thinking over for several months. I initially thought it would be a short story. However, it seems to need more words than that, to better tell Andrew and Lauren’s story. I had the idea yesterday to make it the first in a series of Christmas novellas, revolving around secret Santas. Those should be fun to write! I’m looking forward to getting this first one finished and polished, and plan on releasing it for free later this year. I’m hung up on the title right now. I’ve had a few ideas, but they all feel too generic. Hopefully soon I can hit on one that feels right.


Newfangled – Book Review

Today is the release day for the book Newfangled! I read an advanced reader copy of the book in exchange for my review. It was written by an online acquaintance of mine I know through another advanced reader group.

Newfangled is a sweet, slow-paced story, following the day-to-day life and struggles of a Christian girl trying to figure out how she fits into life. The characters grow and develop well, and Olive has to face some predicaments that are typical, but difficult issues. It was refreshing to read because it’s different from most books in that it’s dealing with more everyday problems, rather than out of the ordinary, unrealistic events that most people would never face. However, despite the ordinariness of her life, the story held my interest and I found myself invested in Olive and wanting to get to know her better. I felt her pain and uncertainty, and appreciated how she grew through her obstacles. I would love to read more about her.

Newfangled is free for Kindle through Tuesday. Get a copy from Amazon here!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


April Camp Day 1

Camp NaNoWriMo starts today! I went into not knowing what I was going to write. I have a long list of project ideas, but I didn’t really have anything planned other than some very general story ideas and writing prompts. I was trying to figure out what to work on when I remembered an idea that’s been simmering for a while. A friend of mine wrote a blog series on trying something new every day for a month, which gave me the idea to write a journal-type story from the point of view of a character doing something similar. I decided this afternoon that would be the perfect project for this month! It gives me something to write about every day, it doesn’t need an over-arching plot right now, and the entries can vary in length. I looked over my current list of name ideas and the perfect name for the character jumped out at me. Things are starting to fall into place, and I have a long list of ideas for new things for her to try. Depending on how it turns out, I might do some revisions over the next couple of months and post it when I’m done. I think I’ll continue it as a series as well, with her and her best friend doing various challenges together and learning and growing through the journey. I’m excited about where it will go!

This blog post brings me to 518 words for the day, which is great, because I need to average 334 a day to reach my goal for the month!


Updates and Challenges!

I'm afraid I've slacked off on my writing this year, due to life and health and now preparing for another (mostly local) move. But it's almost April, which means…
I haven't done much planning yet. For Camp, you get to set your own word count, from 10,000 words up, and you can write whatever you want, not just a novel. I'm going with 10,000 because of everything else going on next month, and I'm splitting the word count between multiple projects. I want to work on a novel, a short story or novella, blog posts, book reviews, maybe some flash fiction, and some other projects I have going. Hopefully that will make it easier to achieve my word count, because I can work on whatever project sounds good at the time. Or maybe it will make it harder to be focused enough to write that much. I'll find out soon!

Even if my writing hasn't gotten much attention, I haven't been slacking on reading! I'm still working on K.M. Weiland's 100 Books in 2016 challenge, plus I'm doing a reading challenge from our library district. I've read 34 books so far, so I'm well ahead of schedule! I'm assuming my reading will take a hit in the midst of packing and moving, so hopefully I'll get enough ahead to make up for that.

At least one book review should be coming next week, and hopefully more soon. I have plenty of spots in my Camp NaNoWriMo cabin if anyone wants to be added. Just create your Camp project and give me your screen name and I can add you!


100 Books in 2016

I joined K.M. Weiland's challenge to read 100 books in 2016! She's giving away a free copy of one of her e-books to everyone who completes the challenge. I've never kept up with how many books I read, and I'm looking forward to it! I'm using Goodreads to keep track of what I read as well as keep a list of what I want to read this year. My first full book to read this year was an advanced reader copy of Jack, by Chautona Havig, which comes out in a couple of weeks. I'll be sharing more about that one later, but it was a fun read!

If you're interested in joining the challenge, there's a Goodreads group for it. Any suggestions on what to read this year?


Mission accomplished!

I did it! Last night, I finished my novel! The rough draft, anyway. After writing over 5,000 words yesterday, I ended last night with 50,335 words. My first novel, and finished with a day to spare! That's very exciting.

I'm going to take December to work on some short stories, work more on my fictional town, and fix up the website. I'd like to have a Christmas story written and posted here before Christmas, but I haven't even started writing it yet, so I don't know if that's really feasible or not. Hopefully there will be some stories coming soon though! Then in January, I'll start revising my novel. It's going to need some pretty heavy revising, but at least the first draft is done!