Posted in Writing

Woo Hoo, I’m A Winner!

Winner-180x180I did it!  I just finished the NaNoWriMo writing challenge.  I wrote over 50,000 words in the month of November.  And I finished with time to spare.  There is still an hour left in the challenge.

So if anyone was wondering why I wasn’t posting as frequently, I actually have two reasons: the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word challenge and the WordPress App for Android.

I have been writing my posts every day for this blog, documenting my daily personal challenge to try something new.  But I have been having trouble with the WordPress App on my Android.  I take pictures to go with my posts and the App seems to struggle with adding photos into posts.  I try to add them all at once and the app freezes.  So I have to add them one at a time, saving it each time I add a new photo otherwise it won’t work.  And when you take as many photos as I do, this is a very time consuming process.  And when you are teacher, participating in a 50,000  written word challenge while trying to keep up with a daily personal challenge to try something new every day as well as working hard on planning a big school event, well, let;s just say that you tend to fall behind on things.  But I do plan to catch up now that NaNoWriMo is finished.  So expect a whole bunch of posts in the next few days.

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Posted in Writing

It’s Time For Camp NaNoWriMo!

Well, yesterday, June 1st, was the first official day of Camp NaNoWriMo, a month long challenge to write a novel in a month.  I managed to accomplish the 50,000 word goal in the official NaNoWriMo contest back in November and then I reached the 100 page goal with the Script Frenzy contest in April.  So I am ready to challenge myself once again.

So to my fellow writers out there, I invite you to join me in Camp NaNoWriMo.  It is free to join and is a great place to meet fellow writers in your area.  You would be surprised at how many people are involved with the NaNoWriMo activites.  But the best part of the whole NaNoWriMo experience is that feeling you get when you accomplish your goal.

You can join the contest at the Camp NaNoWriMo website.  And if you would like to be in my “writing cabin” I am signed up as PARTINATOR.  (old college nickname).

Happy Writing!

Posted in Life, Writing

Let the Creativity Rain Down On Me

Last night, the clouds rolled into Southern California and along with it, my creativity.  Maybe my Midwestern upbringing is the culprit behind my sudden bursts of creativity every time it rains.  I’m not quite sure.  But what I do know is that whenever it rains, I have this sudden urge to write while listening to the sounds of the rain pounding against the windows and roof.

Some may think it would be wonderful to live in a place where the sun is always shining and the temperatures rarely dip below sixty degrees during the day.  But for me, I get cranky and depressed if there is too much sun.  I love the rain.  I grew up in Michigan where thunderstorms (and other severe weather) signified the end of the winter season and the beginning of spring and summer. 

I have always found thunderstorms to be relaxing.  I even listen to a sound machine at night.  And I realize that I have always been able to sit down and focus on a project, a book, or writing when it is overcast and rainy.  When the sun is out, I will find so many other things to do, like hiking, and procrastinate on the things I really need to do.

So last night, when the rain hit, I pulled out my Netbook and started working on my script for Script Frenzy, a challenge to write a 100 page script in one month.

As the rain fell so did the ideas from my brain.   I was a writing machine.  Then this morning, I awoke to the rain.  Again, the creativity started to flow.  I started writing before I even had my first cup of coffee (and if you know me, you know that is unusual).  By the time the rain stopped, I had written 44 pages of my 100 page script.

And thankfully there is more rain in the forecast.  Tomorrow is supposed to be in the low 60s (cold weather for Los Angeles) and then the rain will roll back into town on Friday.  So hopefully with this welcomed change in weather, I will be able to finish my script before the end of the month.

So to all the other writers out there, I hope you find your own creative rainstorms.  And if you are stuck with writer’s block, check out NaNoWriMo, a website dedicated to helping writers complete a novel in a month.  They also have other programs such as Script Frenzy, Camp NaNoWriMo and some youth programs.  They have so many resources for someone interested in being a writer.

And I would also recommend the writing software program, Scrivener.  I used it for National Novel Writing Month in November and I am using it now for Script Frenzy.  I have the program downloaded on my Netbook and on my iMac.  It is a great resource for any writer and fairly inexpensive ($40 for the Windows version and $45 for the Mac Version).

And let me just state for the record that I have to affiliation with NaNoWriMo or Scrivener.  I am just a proud member and user of their programs.

So Happy Writing . . . and rain, rain, please don’t go away.  I have 56 more pages to create today.

Posted in Writing

Software for Writers

For months, I have been working on getting back to writing.  I looked to the NaNoWriMo website for inspiration and ideas.  That is when I found an advertisement for Scrivener, software for writers.  This software is available to purchase for Macs but there is a trial version for PCs (that will hopefully be available for purchase soon).

I downloaded the PC trial version of Scrivener for my netbook and I love it.  I like to go to the different gardens in my area to write.  Using a word processing program for Word worked just fine but Scrivener is a thousand times better.  First off, you can transfer what you have already written in Word into Scrivener.  Then you can organize your writing into chapters.  Scrivener has a little bulletin board feature that you can use to organize your chapters or sections.  It can even format your writing for publishing in all different formats.

What I really like about this program is that it can be used for more than just writing a novel.  It has templates for Scripts, Research Papers, Business Plans, and other technical writing formats. 

I highly recommend Scrivener to anyone who is interested in any aspect of writing (or a student who struggles to organize their research papers)!

Posted in Writing

I’m off to Camp

It’s July 1st!  Aside from it being payday (yay!), it is the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo, a challenge to write a novel in a month.  This event was founded by the same people who run NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month that takes place in November.  Again, the goal is to write a novel in one month.  They measure the writing by word counts–50,000 words is the goal.

I attempted this back in November but I learned the hard way that it doesn’t save your word count when you validate and then go back to revise.  I should have saved everything in Word but I didn’t so I didn’t get very far with the word count.  This time will be different.  It is summertime and I have plenty of time on my hands to write.  So I plan on making the 50,000 word goal this time.  I am even helping fundraise for the Office of Letters and Light, the organization that runs NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy and the youth writing programs.  (You can sponsor me here).

So let the writing begin!!!