Tag Archive | Writing

NaNoWriMo 2023 – Count Me In!

It’s been a while since I shared anything writing related. If you read my first post since I started blogging again, you already know that the end of 2019 through early this year, I’ve been in a real writing rut. Between US politics, the pandemic, and my own personal health issues (only related in part to the pandemic!) I just haven’t had the mental capacity to create via writing.

That’s not to say my characters haven’t been screaming at me, believe me, they have!

I’ve recently gotten my feet wet by pulling up the WIP I abandoned in 2019 and working on that again. I’m feeling good about where it’s going, and I’m hoping to have it ready to publish sometime in 2024. (No promises!)

But let’s talk NaNoWriMo. My first NaNoWriMo was 2009, I lost. In fact, I’ve lost 5 of my 6 attempts at NaNoWriMo! I don’t know about you guys, but November winds up being a very busy month!

The last (and only) time I “won” NaNo was 2013, with my YA vampire/witch novel that I never published. (Someday I hope to heavily rewrite/revise the book and bring it into the world as the first in a series. I even wrote a prequel, which I liked way better! So if nothing else, I’ll release that as a book on its own someday!)

Even with my many losses, I’ve used NaNo as an excuse to make progress on Peace in Flames (2016) and Something I’m Good At (2017), both of which have been published. Just because you don’t hit the 50k target, doesn’t mean you’re a loser, it just means you need more time to let the creativity out.

Which brings us to 2023. This is the year of Sol del Mar High book 2. The working title is You Belong With Me (because I’m a Swiftie and that song fits) but I know that sounds super possessive and I’m working on a new title, promise. 😉 This will be Mark’s book. If you read SIGA (my loving nickname for Something I’m Good At), you might remember Mark as Kane’s quiet but loyal BFF. I’m soooo excited to share Mark’s story with the world. This book will pick up soon after SIGA ended, so be prepared for love, surfing, and drama! And don’t worry, Kane, Summer, and Abigail will all be returning to help tell Mark’s story. (I’ll do my best to not let Kane steal the show!) You’ll also get to know Hannah, the quiet girl with more baggage than any high school student should have to endure.

It’s only October, which means I’m doing something I’m very bad at. I’m plotting! I normally go into my writing with a general idea of what will happen and a few big scenes, but that’s it. And then I get lost and jump to another project. (This is actually how I wrote Peace in Flames and Summer of Peace! I got lost in PiF so I jumped over to SoP, then I got stuck again and jumped back! In the end I had two novellas to release back to back, so that was good!)

I’ve dedicated at least an hour every Tuesday this month (while my daughter is in her dance class and I’m sitting in my car) to storyboarding scenes in Scrivener. I love that I can move the virtual notecards around if I decide that a scene should happen sooner or later. This is my first time using it in this way, and so far, I’m loving it! I currently have 23 scenes planned. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to pre-plot all of the scenes I need, but I have a solid foundation to get started.

So why start a new book for NaNo instead of continuing that previously mentioned WIP? Well, my WIP (tentatively called Windego Summer) is sitting at a little over 20k words and I don’t know that I have another 50k left of this story to tell! I may hop back over to this one if I hit a wall on Mark’s story though, only time will tell!

If you’re planning on participating in NaNo this year, leave a message below. And/Or I’d love to connect with you on NaNoWriMo.com – my user name is FaerieTears.

Here’s to a fruitful NaNoWriMo and for me finally releasing another book baby into the world sometime in 2024!

Sunday Scribbles: Are You Afraid of the Dark

Each week I read a writing prompt and write the first thing that pops into my head.


You, a grown adult, are afraid of the dark.

Explain why this is a legitimate concern, so your friends won’t laugh at you.


Look, I know what you’re thinking. Someone in their thirties shouldn’t be afraid of the dark. But I am, and you should be too. This is no laughing matter. You know what’s out there in the dark? Neither do I. It’s dark.

Have you ever tried to find your way to the bathroom in the dark? I bet you ran into a door, a wall, or the corner of a dresser. That wouldn’t happen in the light.

You know what the darkness hides? Shadows. I’ve seen Doctor Who. I know to count the shadows. If the shadows get me, I’m a goner. No thank you.

Just about every scary movie I’ve seen has any number of reasons to be terrified of the dark. Monsters, demons, psychopathic killers with knives or chainsaws. If it were light, we would have seen them coming.

I read an article recently. It talked about how like, these rats were forced to smell something, then they were given a shock of electricity. They soon learned to associate that smell with pain, and they were afraid. They were then bred, and you know what? Their offspring would smell the scent that their parent was trained to fear, and they were afraid. That’s right, having never been shocked themselves, their DNA they inherited from their parent was changed so that they were afraid of that smell. I’m pretty sure everyone is actually afraid of the dark. It’s a primal fear. From when we lived in caves. Or ran from dinosaurs. Or whatever. Sabertooth Tigers probably hid in the dark. And they’re scary as hell.

So if you say you’re not afraid of the dark, you’re probably lying.

Because you should be.

Sunday Scribbles: The Dying Houseplant

For Christmas my mother-in-law bought me a book of writing prompts. Yay!

I’m going to try something new in 2017.
I’m going to attempt to do at least one writing prompt per week, then share it here in a little segment I’m calling Sunday Scribbles.

I say attempt, because I work EVERY Sunday and actually don’t even get to look at my computer all weekend, so I’ll have to be good about setting these posts up earlier in the week. Like today. It’s Wednesday as I get this post ready, and it was Tuesday (my birthday!) when I wrote this little ditty.

Are you a fan of writing prompts?
Share your favorites in the comments!

Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com

A houseplant is dying.

Tell it why it needs to live.

You can’t die.

I stare at the miserable looking orchid in the pot before me.

Where once there were a plethora of little pink petals, all lined up in a row, as if begging to be first in line for attention, there are now only two pathetic, slightly brown, silky, misshapen circles.

I watch as one petal gives up, falling feather soft into the soil at its base.

Make that one petal, still clinging for life.

I carefully pour just a little more water onto the soil, hoping a little moisture is all that will be needed to miraculously bring the once glorious houseplant to life.

I remember when the orchid first came into my possession. It was a gift from the love of my life. But like the plant, that love has also withered, as if his presence had been the only thing keeping it alive.

I absently wipe a stray tear that has found its way down my cheek.

I will not cry.

I will not give up.

I will the plant to live. If you survive, maybe he will to.

Two weeks. That’s how long it’s been since the plant began dying. Two weeks since the accident that left him at the edge of deaths door.

The plant grows weaker every day in the pot in my small apartment, while he grows weaker in a bed in the ICU.

Live, I will the plant. If you live, so will he.

I stare at the nearly empty stem, as if daring it to do something.

The last petal falls, and then the phone rings.