Saturday, October 29, 2011

My NaNoWriMo 2011 Tips

Two years ago, in October, I was midway through a twelve week challenge to lose weight. My Twitter feed became flooded (well almost) with #NaNoWriMo tweets. I asked ‘What is NaNoWriMo’? I checked out the site I got excited. 
So I ditched my weight loss challenge (I was in the running to win $1000) and signed up to write a novel in a November. I didn’t have time to turn up to all of the weigh-ins and write 50000 words.
That was 2009 … I won NaNoWriMo. The winner of the weight loss challenge lost approximately the same amount of weight I’d lost in the first 6 weeks, but writing a novel was my dream. I knew I’d made the right decision.
Previously, I had started several novels but seemed to always get stuck going back to edit and rewrite parts.
Last year, I bounced back to the challenge and signed up again for NaNoWriMo 2010. And then we were invited to a wedding in New Zealand. I knew I had to get most of my 50000 words written before we left Australia.
I did it. I won Nano again in 2010. I love the adrenalin rush of forcing myself to write without looking back.

So with two wins under my belt I bring you some NaNo tips…

  1. Never look back.
From the 1st November to the 30th November the page that stares back at you beckons you forward. Keep a note pad beside you to make notes of where and what you need to adjust or make amendments to. Write in bold highlighted letters in the middle of your manuscript if you know you need to fix something in the earlier pages, but November is not the month to revisit what you’ve already written.

  1. Word Wars
Word wars or writing races help me write super fast. There are days in November where I simply don’t have the time to dwell over my storyline or find the right words. Write or die is a race against time where you can get as many words as you can down in 5, 10 or 15 mins (you choose) There are also loads of people willing to race you, check out the NaNo forums or your local write-ins.

  1. The house can wait
"Women with clean houses do not have finished books." ~  Joy Held
I love this quote. I’m not good at housework.. but in November it can wait.. or hire some help. What is 'writing a novel' really worth to you.

    4. Check out my PiBoIdMo tips. They apply to NaNoWriMo as well. Yes I'm doing both PiBoIdMo and NaNoWriMo - I find they complement each other. 

Are you game to have a go? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

PiBoIdMo 2011

It's on again! And it's sign up week!

Are you filled with ideas but never seem to quite get them all down?

The challenge is to write down a picture book idea each day in the month of November. It doesn't have to be a complete picture book, it's just an idea. It could be a word, a phrase or the whole text.

Pop on over to Writing for Kids While Raising Them and say hi to Tara Lazar the brains behind this amazing adventure.

PiBoIdMo tips...

1. Get out!
I find so much inspiration while out and about. Ideas come from my kids and other kids. Public areas and noises that I hear.

2. Not every day.
Some days you may find you are filled with ideas I think the most I came up with on one day last year was 6. If ideas are flowing one day it allows you to take days off when other commitments require your time.

3. Jot it down.
Pop your ideas straight into your iPhone, iPad, other electronic device or go retro and write them into a notebook while you're out of the house. Some ideas are lost forever if not written down straight away.

4. Enjoy life.
Laugh a lot, sing more than you have in a while, play the craziest game you own. Release those happy endorphins to help you be more creative.

Are you game to join in? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mary's Guardian by Carol Preston

~ An Aussie Review ~ 

MARY’S GUARDIAN follows William and Mary, through the struggles and turmoil of life in early Australia. They are separated and jailed in England before travelling with the first fleet of convicts to Sydney Cove. When they arrive, they are reunited and work hard to find their place in this harsh new country. Mary and Williams struggles go beyond setting up house and a farm. Starting a family for them is anything but a natural progression. Their love holds strong through many losses and their faith helps them to continue pushing forward.
Some convicts didn’t survive the extreme conditions of the journey by sea to Australia, but many did. They served their time and then many of them were rewarded with a patch of land to work for themselves.
The characters in ‘Mary’s Guardian’ have endless courage and strength. Just like the convicts that settled here first, they fought against the odds and left a legacy for generations to reap.
Carol Preston has thoroughly researched the convict years and used real characters to enhance her fictional story. While reading this novel, I wished I was from convict blood and I am thankful for their hard work and their discoveries which make Australia what it is today. From floods to droughts to fires, this country I love to call home was settled by some mighty pioneers.
Mary's Guardian has a touching ending and is well worth the read. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Day I Quit Writing

~ raw emotion ~
 Overcoming Feelings Of Inadequacy
Rejection after rejection,
honest critiques,
harsh blunt critiques,
negative feedback.
I don’t have thick skin.
I’m wounded.
I quit.

Could I ever write?
Perhaps my high school English teachers were right.

So now that I’ve quit writing… who am I?
My life is full without writing. I might actually be able to function better if I never wrote another word.
But here I am – writing down my thoughts, pretending not to be a writer… because I quit writing today.

I’m a mum. A wife. A home educator.  A friend. A playgroup co-ordinator. A church volunteer. A business owner. A charity auction co-ordinator. A reader.  A Compassion advocate. A student ... and the list goes on.
My life is full, I don’t need to write. I don’t need any more rejection. I …

About now I can hear all of the successful authors screaming at me … don’t post such negative thoughts.
But I know I’m not alone.
It’s tough.
I can go from cloud nine to rock bottom and back to cloud nine in a day.
I didn’t get back to cloud nine today.
And please know I’m not after your pity or sympathy.

Just remember when you read a book – especially the first book published by an author – there has often been a whole lot of unseen emotion, even a lot of rejection and questioning. And also, a ridiculous amount of time has gone into that which you hold in your hands, which translates into a couple of minutes or hours of reading pleasure.

Yes, I quit today.
[And I’m very aware that the day I quit I’m still here pumping out more words on my computer.]
And I’m thankful that tomorrow is a new day.
I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo again this year – with the goal to write 50000 words in a month
If I don’t quit in November, that will give me three novels to work on or shelve.
I’m also planning on joining in with PiBoIdMo – a picture book idea each day for a month – I have ideas all the time – this discipline helps me to write them down.  I’m enrolled in an intensive writing workshop day in November during a writer’s fair.
So for me to continue and join in with The Word Writers Fair, NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo … I just have to remember not to quit tomorrow or hope that a very good friend comes along and tells me to stop beating a dead horse.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Grandparents and Family

Earlier this year I noticed how my parents and other family members make an effort to get to ‘school’ events. I looked back to when our children were enrolled in a traditional school and how their grandparents would all make the effort to be present Grandparents Day. Then I noticed that since we’d been home schooling, our kids' grandparents had stopped taking an interest in our children’s schooling.

So I announced that we’d have a Grandparents and Family week. My parents, hubby’s parents, our elderly neighbour (almost family) and one of hubby’s brothers all made the effort to visit, share some food and enjoy seeing what the kids have been doing this year.

The kids read stories, poetry, danced and played music. They cooked morning or afternoon tea and they showed off their artwork, and where they work each day.  They gave a gift to each visitor (drawings and artwork) and then offered their artwork to be purchased (at very reasonable prices)

It really was a wonderful week.
And I'm sure our guests enjoyed it too.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Good Wagon & Follow Me...

~ An Aussie Review~ 

Below are two new books in the Car Park Parables Series. These books make a great gift and a lovely addition to your bookshelf. 

The Good Wagon
The Good Wagonby Paul Clark 
Illustrated by Graham Preston

When Hot-headed Harry parks beside Frieda the family car, an argument breaks out. Old Mr T speaks with a calming tone and tells the cars a new version of the Good Samaritan. They listen intently and find themselves challenged by the story. Then quietly, without blowing his own horn, Hot-head Harry has the opportunity to put what he’s learnt into practise. 

Follow Me

Follow Me...

by Paul Clark 
Illustrated by Graham Preston

Tony Tractor usually spends time in worship on a Sunday morning, but on this particular morning, he is led on a very long journey. Old Mr T encourages Tony Tractor and the other car park friends to ‘Come, follow me.’ They journey together, not knowing where Old Mr T is taking them until they reach their final destination where the view is magical. The cars learn what Jesus really meant when he said, ‘Follow me.’

To win a set of the Car Park Parables please pop over to Auctions for Dignity and Hope and like the facebook page. Then place your bid in the last week of October. 

I received these books free from Even Before Publishing to read and review

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Road Trip

Last week we took a road trip
To visit some friends afar
We stopped and ate
And stopped to play
And enjoy ourselves
All the way

We could only find one place
That could contain a family of six
A two bedroom deluxe villa
With room only to swing a cat
(there was no cat swinging involved)

We invited our friends around
A bestie, her hubby and their seven kids
And hosted them for dinner
In our deluxe little shed

It was such a blessing for them and us
With seven kids invitations aren’t flowing
And they all played so happily together
We had plenty of time to chat

The next day we left our
Paper walled temporary house
And hung out all day with our friends
Red dirt ground through everything
Including hair and faces
Proved that everyone had fun

When we left late in the afternoon
My heart was full
My friendship tank overflowing
And my creative side had been filled with visuals

Dotted all over the countryside
Were rusty sheds
And falling down shacks
The kind that inspires me no end

When and where was your last road trip? Have you been out and about lately? What inspires you?