Tag Archives: writing

NaNoWriMo is coming and announcing a new course

October 1st! You know what that means? That there’s only 1 more month before National Novel Writing Month begins!

Are you planning to participate this year? I will be. This will be NaNo number 8 for me. I have completed the 50,000 words to win every year since 2010, and I expect this year to be no different.

Maybe you would like to win NaNo, too!

My online course just launched, How to Win NaNoWriMo. These are my strategies that I use to make sure I fit my 50,000 words into 30 days. I do things differently now than I did when I was a NaNo fledgling back in 2010.

Maybe these tips will help you, too!

I wanted to be an author for years and years. I wrote drafts and partial drafts and outlines and overviews but never turned anything into a completed draft of a book.

And then I found National Novel Writing Month.

It turned out that structure is my friend! The NaNo structure helped me get it done. The first drafts of both of my novels came from National Novel Writing Month.

All the details are here: How to Win NaNoWriMo.

Whether you want to take the course or not, I would still love to know if you are a NaNoWriMo-er. Comment below if you are! What year(s) did  you win?

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The BRAVE Interview #14 September 2017: Sylvia Wesley

Here is this month’s BRAVE Interview with Sylvia Wesley! Enjoy!

  1. WHO are you? I’m a 61-year-old white woman—wife, mother, nurse, and pseudo-bon vivant!
  2. WHAT is your One Brave Thing? Sometimes I feel like just living every day is a Brave Thing and it is difficult to choose a single event!  As a nurse, it seems like so many of my ‘brave things’ encompass caring for people—my dad and my brother, who both died of cancer; my mom with multiple surgeries; friends with HIV/AIDS.  As a mom I gave birth to twins who were 10 weeks premature and their first 6 months of life was pretty hectic, to put it mildly.  As a wife, still being married after 38 years could be considered brave—but probably the bravest aspect there is that I married a black man in 1979, only 12 years after the Supreme Court ruled interracial marriage was not illegal, and our early years involved some struggles in a very white New England. So, after all that, I decided to choose a joyous adventure as my One Brave Thing—I went to Burning Man!
  3. WHEN did you do it? 8/28-9/1, 2006
  4. WHERE did it occur? Black Rock Desert, NV
  5. HOW did you make it happen? Mostly my daughter made the initial experience happen.  She had been going to Burning Man for a few years and always marveled at how awesome it was and she was sure I would love it.  So for my 50th birthday, I was given a ticket to TTITD (aka ‘that thing in the desert’).  Which meant I would be sharing camping space with 38,000+ other adventuring nomads for a week in rather hostile environmental conditions, and only knowing one other person.  A little scary having to be self-reliant in an unknown situation, camping with my daughter’s friends who only had her assurances that I was ‘fun, non-judgmental, fully capable of taking care of myself, and would not act like everybody’s mother.’  So I packed my bags and flew to LA.  We readied all our camping equipment, some party outfits, food and water for a week, and did a 12 hour ride/drive-share to the event with a heretofore unknown person.  After 12+ hours, in a very small mini-van, we were all fast friends.  Getting to and from is just as much of an adventure as being there!
  6. WHY did you do it? For the adventure!  It was one of the best experiences of my life—the bigger-than-life art, the music, the people, the sense of oneness—all magnificent.  I came away with a whole new sense of self.  And as my daughter predicted, I would want to go every year after that, and did so for the next 7 years.  ‘Life’ has since interrupted my annual trek, and I have not been for the past 3 years, but look forward to resuming visits to my personal Mecca in the near future.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sylvia!

If anybody wants to learn more about the culture that is Burning Man, go to https://burningman.org/

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

The BRAVE Interview #12 July 2017: Amanda Moore

Please enjoy this month’s interview with Amanda Moore!

I am Amanda Moore and I live in Southern Maine. I am raising three children, ranging from second grade to college. I was raised to be brave and encouraged by my grandfather early on to think creatively.

My recent “Brave Thing” is part of my continued focus to balance life and participate again in the creative parts. Writing , drawing, painting, along with reading, cooking, and gardening!

Three years ago, I began by using technology to connect with my talented group of friends. Day Dreamers Book Group opened up to me what others are creating: artists, musicians, writers, deep thinkers!

The focus of my current project is a gift to my friend that recently passed away. With the creative input of a friend of his, I hope we can write his story. Karen is a great inspiration to me and everyone who knows her.

Be Brave.

Here is the link to join Day Dreamers Book Group on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/318995978286930/

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amanda!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

BOOK REVIEW: YOUR NEXT SHIFT by ELIZABETH SCALA

I first heard of Elizabeth Scala when she joined RN FM Radio. I didn’t know how much I was missing a female voice on the show until she arrived (yay!). I didn’t know she was an author right away. I started following her on social media and that’s when I became aware of the breadth of her nursing activities.

I knew from watching her on Instagram that Elizabeth made fun a priority in her life (I do, too!). I started reading her book yesterday afternoon, and if I hadn’t had an evening commitment, I would have finished it last night. Anyway, it was less than twenty-four hours later that I turned the last page. This book resonated with me on so many levels. The ‘Just for today’ philosophy that I first learned to practice after my Reiki attunements was one of the first moments that I knew I was in the right place reading this book. I love that Elizabeth is so honest in her description of her experience travelling the path of refining and expanding her own nursing practice to help the rest of us know that hey, we aren’t alone! Other nurses feel under-confident and under-brave and under-decisive, too! And this: “Maybe you’re just not that happy being a nurse anymore because you actually feel like your job doesn’t let you be one!” Hello? That was one of my first “Aha!” moments after transitioning from nursing practice in school and nursing practice in real life.

For years, I have been working on integrating my spiritual practices into my nursing practice and in this book, I feel like I have found a kindred spirit, another nurse who really gets it. Another nurse who is doing this, too.

I also love the quotes that were scattered throughout the book, including Susan Jeffers’ “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” a phrase that I find myself saying over and over these days, mostly to myself.

While I was reading Your Next Shift, I felt like I was having coffee with my nurse-BFF.

One note to the author: as a former waitress, I found a LOT of similarities between waitressing and nursing! Just sayin’.

After I finished reading it, I decided to draw an oracle card for the book, and I drew the 3 of Earth from Colette Baron-Reid’s new card deck, The Good Tarot.  Here is a quick line about this card from the guidebook that accompanies the deck: “Teachers and students, we are all learning, growing, and building collaboratively.”

I know, right?! 🙂

I highly recommend Your Next Shift for anyone. Read it.

Where did it go?

UPDATE! The paperback edition is once again available at amazon.com! Thank you for your patience!

So, due to an editing glitch, the paperback version of my new novel, What if Bebe Stays with Steven? is temporarily unavailable in paperback on Amazon.com. It is available on Kindle right now. Within the next 24 hours or so it should be available on Amazon.com in paperback again.

This is one of those exercises in patience and letting go of what I cannot control.

You can purchase the paperback locally at the following locations:

  1. The Wells IGA
  2. Elemental Energies with Chris Ann and Jeff
  3. FOUND in Kennebunk
  4. Zen and Company in Kennebunk
  5. The Shops at Cape Neddick in (you guessed it) Cape Neddick

You can also find me doing book sales and signings most weekends.

Good things come to those who wait.

🙂

 

Doing the thing

I have been working feverishly, madly, to design the cover of my new novel. My publication date is 3/21 (as in: 3-2-1 liftoff! 🙂 ) and I am determined to make it.
frontcoverbolder-2-7-17I originally planned to use my own photos for the cover, but then I started looking around on Canva, you know, just for fun, and one image caught my eye. What drew me about her is that she looks like she’s trying to go forward, but is letting herself be pulled back.
Like Bebe. In the new book, What if Bebe Stays with Steven?, Bebe is thinking, should I stay or should I go? I also like the little bit of backpack showing, since she is a student. This one image captured all that for me.

Here’s the most important part of this story. Right after I saved and downloaded the image, one of my favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt popped up on the computer screen!

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

I took this as a sign that this was exactly the right image for my cover. Of course, that was at midnight last week, and the next day, after I smacked my head into the corner of the huge mirror over my couch and hematoma’d my head, I started second-guessing it all.

 But I am going forward anyway. Like Nikki Groom said in her recent podcast (with Jodi Flynn on Women Taking the Lead), “Just start.”

BOOK REVIEW: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

I have heard of Ann Patchett before, of course, but I had never read any of her work. Full disclosure: I did try to read Bel Canto once. I have no idea why I didn’t actually finish it. Or start it. I forget.

happymarriageAnyway, my friend and yoga teacher, Kristen, mentioned a book casually in conversation a couple of weeks ago. “Um, I think it’s called A Happy Marriage,” she said. Sometime later that day, because the title was still with me, I decided to look it up. I found This is the Story of a Happy Marriage on audiobook and requested it from the library. Shockingly, it came right away.

I didn’t know what to expect. I knew nothing about the book other than that my friend, whose taste in books is usually a 180 from my own, liked it (e.g.: my expectations were low). But surprise! I loved it right away! I love when authors who are good at it read their own work. Ann (as she tells us in her book), is good at it. The next happy surprise was that she talks about writing and being an author (among other things) in this book. She describes how, early in her career, she used to think ahead to all those rows of empty chairs waiting at her upcoming book talks, knowing that there was a good chance none of them would be filled.

I could, you know, relate.

As I listened to parts of this book, I realized that Ann got it. She gets it. She knows exactly how it feels to be me right now, with my first book that quite possibly ‘no one wants to talk about’ when they come to the book signings. But I go anyway. I get up early. Sometimes, I drive for hours. I am ‘really nice’ to the staff. I remember to drink gallons of water to avoid dehydration. These are all rules that Ann follows at her own book signing events.

So thank you, Ann Patchett, for reminding me that everyone has to start somewhere and at one time in your career as an author, you were exactly where I am right now.