Tag Archives: NaNoWriMo

Groggy Bye-Bye to 2015

I’ve been wanting to write an appropriate post for the end of 2015. Nothing has come to me. Partly due to the fact of being in the throes of a big cold/flu episode. Partly due to the fact of just not being able to face the blank page. I keep trying to get something written to post before this self-important/imposed deadline, but most of what is started is blithery and blathery…yet the urge is insistent: tie up loose ends!

Where to start? Continue reading

A Walk in the Swamp with Joe

Over these past three years of Thanksgivings, a tradition of sorts has evolved.  It seems our son Joe’s holiday of choice is Thanksgiving. Each Thanksgiving since landing here in South Carolina after our between homes journey, he has flown in to join us at the family feasting table. This fourth year was no different. He spent 10 days with us, kind of a combination re-group after his 2.5 month vacay in the DR and holiday time with the fam. This year we three took our walk in the Swamp the Saturday after Thanksgiving as usual only at a new-to-us spot: Woods Hole. To date, that is hands down our fav Swamp-place. But this post is about last year’s Swamp walk…

The Saturday after Thanksgiving 2014, I took a walk in the swamp with my son.

My Jo-Jo at the Lynches River Swamp, SC (2014)

My Jo-Jo at the Lynches River Swamp, SC (2014)

Turns out, he has become more of a walker since his youthful accident a few years back which requires him to keep his ankle supple and stretched.  Because my hubby was in the throes of knee problems, we took our walk without him.  It made for a long-overdue Mother-Son time together.  Yes, we communicate via texting, phoning and e-mailing, but there’s nothing like actually spending physical time with those you are in relationship with.  There may not be much spoken, but just the living, breathing and, in this case, walking presence of another produces a deep communication that can only be transmitted in such a manner.

Me finding a prime stump at the Lynches River Swamp (2014)

Me finding a prime stump at the Lynches River Swamp (2014)

Getting into each other’s head and space, without pretense is very freeing.  It also helps me to sort through stuff.

That November, I was blessed to be able to focus on my Musical Non-fiction project, via my Nano Rebellion. It progressed nicely and I was pleased with my output as well as organization of said output.  It also served to re-connect me with myself.  A self that has by circumstances of ‘place’ not been easily allowed to come out and play.

South Carolina Swamp Cypress Trees

South Carolina Swamp Cypress Trees

The Monday following our Swamp walk I took Joe with me to be a part of my regular Wounded Warrior Horse Therapy volunteer time. I was excited to show him off to the gang as most of those there have family nearby 24/7 – warriors, therapists and volunteers alike. He got along with most everyone as he always seems to do wherever he goes, especially with Jason.  Funny, that, since they remind me of each other. Joe’s interest in the horses wasn’t all that much, but he did like seeing his Ma doing her horse thing anyway.

What happened there was something I didn’t expect. Doing what he always does, talk music with me comparing notes on gigging and crazy audiences; drawing others into our conversation cuz you know, everyone loves music. Between talking up his own bands and the Denver music scene, somehow it came out about my being a working musician, my dad being a pro-jazzman and that that was how he was brought up – surrounded by rehearsing musicians, learning to help set up gear for Ma’s gigs/concerts… No one there knew of my status as a musician prior to moving to South Carolina. I was just one of the horse handlers.  Mostly due to the fact it wasn’t something relevant to horse handling chores or in bonding with the warriors.  And also due in part to my own healing process related to the last months of our between homes experience…But that day, that ordinary Monday during horse handling chores and bonding with the warriors around the picnic table after therapy sessions, my son bridged the real me with the current me.

Lion King Quote

Remember Who You Are – Lion King

No2NaNo4Me

It’s that time of year again, folks. At the stroke of midnight, October 31st, 2015 (or is it technically November 1st at the stroke of midnight?) I will not embark upon my fourth NaNoWriMo.

I removed that cool NaNo word counter widget from the sidebar just today, thus making my announcement official.

Bottom line: I am in the midst of a few grant deadlines which require reducing word count rather than inflating it.

All the best to you crazies as you scribble the days and nights away during this month of November.

50k is a big deal…

My NaNoWriMo Signature Quotes

One of the fun things about doing NaNoWriMo (besides being a month devoted to writing and a great excuse to down gallons of coffee) is all the geeky stuff that’s available for use during the event.  There are word count widgets (yep, got that!), banners and badge buttons (done those, too) to install on one’s website/blog.  On-site, there’s even push-button access to upload images for use as one’s novel cover (pretty cool, but haven’t done that yet; maybe this year) … just to name a few techie toys.

Then there’s the personalization of one’s NaNo presence.  Along with the usual profile set up, there are numerous ways one can do this.  Over these three years of participating in this creative endeavor, I’ve pretty much kept my moniker (desertmountain) and gravatar (a photo of me and Leggy Lady on the compound, sized-down real teeny tiny) the same.  Mostly just to maintain a sense of continuity within and between each year’s NaNoWriMo.

However, each year’s signature quote has been different.

Interestingly, they reveal something about that year’s novel/project while not specifically chosen as such…a sort of foreshadowing of whatever wanted to be written/worked on during that year’s NaNo.

For NaNo 2012 I pulled a favorite quote from a snippet of Carl Sandburg’s poem, Lesson. peaches in tree 

“Come clean with a child heart.  Laugh as peaches in the summer wind.  Let rain on a house roof be a song.  Let the writing on your face be a smell of apple orchards in late June.”  – Carl Sandburg

Little did I realize my novel for that premier year would revolve around the lessons and seasons of life within The Peach Orchard Project or My Life as a Peach.

My second NaNoWriMo,  I found a quote revealing the effectiveness of fiction as a form of literary social commentary from a favorite author.

“A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle

I plunged deep into the realm of my characters.  They cried out for justice in an unjust world while I grieved the passing of the ugliest and hardest of my street people characters who died a hero, defending The Woman Who Didn’t Belong.

This year’s signature quote jumped out at me while reading, When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams.  It gives me hope that the creation of (he)art as truth is an important endeavor; one which compels me to soldier-on in doing.

“To withhold words is power.  But to share our words with others openly and honestly is also power.” – Terry Tempest Williams

Me & Leggy Lady on the compound ~November 2010

Me & Leggy Lady on the compound ~November 2010

Honesty is an undeniable foil, it flashes whether bidden or not.  In order to be true to myself, I have to speak.  I must share my words, my music, my (he)art, my Musical Non-Fiction, regardless of whether or not it is seen, heard or read.

 

On Rewards, Reaching 25K and Mr. T

Note: this entry was written last year, but never posted.  I thought it appropriate to send it out On Day 12 during NaNoWriMo 2014.  Heck, it was fun to write; so it should be fun to read.  Enjoy! (ahem, notice my current word count in the sidebar!)

Day 12 (NaNoWriMo 2013)

Today as I took a short procrastination break after reaching a little over the halfway mark on my noveling, I opened an e-mail sent to me within a few minutes of my landmark word count victory.  My middle child, Michelle, had inadvertently sent on an appropriate reward for having reached 25K.  Sent as an encouragement and motivation in lieu of our normal lengthy conversations, her timing was impeccable.nanowrimo

Milestone indeed, but I’m not really one to bribe myself with rewards in order to reach personal or business goals. Continue reading

My NaNo Rebellion in 5 Bullet Points

NaNoWriMo participant 2014 buttonSo here it is, Day 4 of NaNoWriMo 2014.  I thought I’d send on an update about this year’s writing focus and progress.

I already mentioned that I decided to use November’s NaNo time for a specific project I had in mind to work on and hopefully finish.  If not finish, then at the very least bring it forward and closer to completion.

In NaNoWriMo terminology, anything written in the non-fic genre, editing of previous mss drafts, poetry, scripts, blog entries and a myriad of other categories, is considered being a Rebel.  When one declares such a status, one’s project is called their NaNo Rebellion.

My NaNo Rebellion in 5 Bullet Points: Continue reading

It’s that time of year: NaNoWriMo’s just around the corner

NaNoWriMo participant 2014 bannerAt the stroke of midnight, October 31st, 2014, I will embark upon my third NaNoWriMo.  This year, I’ll be doing what I wanted to do my first NaNo: focusing on completing my non-fiction WIP (Swimming with Swans) for submission in this month long challenge.

In NaNoWriMo lingo this means, I am being a rebel. Continue reading

Everything’s Coming Up…Daisies?

Contrary to popular belief, I am a snapdragon.

Come join me in a Daisy Dance

Let the Daisy Dance begin…

I never thought of myself in flower terms before, but even if I had, I’m not sure I would have associated a snapdragon with my personality before taking this little quiz.  Interestingly, I took it 8 times in a row and came up as a snapdragon each time.

But hey, I love giant purple irises, deep red orange poppies, daisies and…

Milkweed

Fractal Milkweed & beetle

Fractal Milkweed & beetle

Milkweed is one of my favorite plants. Such beauty in several stages of its life cycle: The fragrance of emerging flowers is intoxicating, the flowers themselves a gorgeous purple, and the resultant seed pods other-worldly. My family knows that I want milkweed to be planted on my grave when the time comes.  :-)

These past few months I have been preparing blog entries for a serious series I hope to launch before the end of the year; perhaps even before the November craziness that is NaNoWriMo!  Coming across this little flower quiz, I realized it could be used as a sort of relief for you (my readers) once I begin the process of posting those entries.  As a point of reference and contact with the little flower quiz as a  ‘respite’ (just a click away), a snapdragon badge will be displayed in the sidebar through out the duration of that series of posts.

I am still in a quandary as to what to name this forthcoming serious series.  Until that gets figured out, I will wait on presenting it.

In the meantime, take the little quiz and declare your flower identity in the comments section of this post!

I am a snapdragon.  How about you?snapdragons

Ecco là – Coffee Beans – è Finito!

Thought I’d spice this up a bit with some of my good ole Italian…besides, a picture is worth a thousand words, so if there’s any question of what that title means, just take a gander at this:

Coffee Beans Means Love to Me, back & quilt label

Partial view of quilt back with label signed and dated

Yep, Coffee Beans Means Love to Me is no longer a WIP, but a completed project.

Last seen on the table ready to be basted a few posts ago, I experimented with using large quilter safety pins.  In general, I liked the way they held the 3-layered sandwich together while I machine quilted.  However, the holes they left in the fabric after being removed left me wondering why I didn’t just do it the way I’ve always done it.

Basting together pieces of (he)art

Basting together pieces of (he)art*

Live and learn.

Perfectionist that I am, I feared I’d wrecked the whole thing.  Then I remembered: part of our between homes experience was embracing the ‘strange life path’ He had for us.  So what’s a few microscopic pin pricks?

Still living.  Still learning.

 

Finishing Coffee Beans has been freeing.  A sort-of final transition stage where our between homes past has been pieced together into something beautiful to be seen in the ‘now’ as a reminder while we proceed into the ‘next’…

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

The road between homes has ended for now, but the creative journey has not.

*creative confluence: Coffee Beans Means Love to Me (2014), my NaNo Novel, ‘The Woman Who Didn’t Belong’ (2013), my hand scored original arrangement of ‘Mo Giolla Mear’ written while I was ‘Swimming with Swans’ in IN (2010), favorite guitar strings and an old photo of me with an anonymous horse in Montana during Spring Break (circa 1977).