Thankful Thoughts

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Whale shark and friends by E.A. Schneider

Happy Thanksgiving, dear pond readers! Today I find myself counting my blessings. I’m thankful for my spouse, my family, my friends, my faith, my work, my words, my readers, and this incredibly beautiful world. This post is filled with pictures of some of our magical wild neighbors which I hope you enjoy. Despite multiple setbacks, I’m thankful that I’m still plugging away at NaNoWriMo, slowly but surely (2574 words and counting!), as well as my reading goal of 52 books (43 books and counting!) this November.

This Thanksgiving may be extra stressful for many in the USA because we’re dreading the P-word (P-O-L-I-T-I-C-S) rearing its head over the turkey and sweet potatoes while grappling with the usual stresses of travel, family, distance, and cooking things we only cook once or twice a year. Fingers crossed for no food poisoning or flu! Look on the bright side, given the statistics on political opinion in the USA, odds are high that we’re all stressed out together. If misery loves company, then surely anxiety enjoys a crowd.

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Jellies in the deep by E.A. Schneider

No matter how tough it is or how divided your dining room might be, it is more important than ever to hang on to those we love and find the strength to keep talking to each other. Count your blessings together, I guarantee that you will find many in common if you try. The future may be uncertain with lots of things to be afraid of, but, cultivating a grateful, loving heart can only be an asset. Especially when coupled with yummy food in the company of dear ones.

What are you grateful for, dear readers? Are you in the final sprint of your own NaNoWriMo experience? Are you cramming in some reading time? Or cramming in a new tasty recipe? Please, leave a comment below while you have a safe, happy, and tasty holiday filled with love. Thanks for stopping by the pond today.

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Tanuki in Autumn by E.A. Schneider

 

One Word At A Time

Blueberry flowers by E.A. Schneider

Blueberry flowers by E.A. Schneider

I am making steady progress on my WIP based on this piece of flash fiction.  As of tonight, I am up to page 60 and 16,670 words. My momentum on this novella, which I’ve written about before, has been fantastic. I am so excited to be making progress, and I feel like I’m learning a lot as I go. Working on this project it has struck me anew how much work is involved with writing. I realize this might sound facile, but, I think the work of writing is something that gets overlooked all too often. For me, I am locked in daily combat with my schedule to get in a minimum of 10 minutes of power writing a day on this project. Then, if I manage to achieve the time, I find myself plugging away, word after word, to get through a scene so that I can eventually get to the big moments. Those ten minutes of laying down words like so much track for a train are an effort that leaves me pleasantly tired in that way you feel tired after climbing that last steep bit of hill. Part of me is bored by the basics of someone going across a hallway or opening a door and I’m tempted to skip ahead, but, then I remember, if I do that, I risk missing nifty moments and losing logical continuity that will make revising an unholy headache. So I have to force myself to be disciplined, stick with the story, follow the logic, and see what happens next. This is tough stuff, but when I look at where I am on my page count and my outline, I find myself grinning like mad, just itching to write more. I’m getting there, dear pond readers, one word at a time.

How are you doing on your WIPs? Please, leave a comment below and thanks for joining me here at the pond, dear readers.

Spring Iris by E.A. Schneider

Spring Iris by E.A. Schneider

Word Count Update

Since writing my NaNoWriMo Season is Here post, I have written 1,684 more words on my novella. I’m up to page 39 and 11,050 words in total.  Considering how much traveling I’ve been doing in the last two weeks I think this is decent progress. Slowly but surely, I am building up this story’s first draft. I have been pleasantly surprised by a new character I introduced. I think he might have the potential to hijack my carefully outlined narrative a little and that is always a fun feeling. What about you, dear readers? How is your drafting going? Are you encountering any narrative surprises? Thanks for stopping by the pond!

 

Ducks under the willow by E.A. Schneider

Ducks under the willow by E.A. Schneider

NaNoWriMo Season is here!

NaNoWriMo Season is here!

 

Liftoff over the Fox river by E.A. Schneider

Liftoff over the Fox river by E.A. Schneider

Happy novel writing, NaNoWriMo scriveners! May your fingers be as nimble as your ideas are fast and may you reach your word count before the month is out. This year, I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo. Instead, I’m doing more of a NaWriMo in that I want to enjoy the positive energy and social writing atmosphere of the month to write more on a project I already have rather than start a new novel from scratch. All too often as an artist in general and a writer in particular I feel like I get just so far on a project before I get distracted by another idea which I chase down instead until such time as I get distracted again like a small child in a field of so many different colored butterflies. This time, I am resolved to stay the course and persevere on a project I already have rather than chase another fluttering idea.

Long time visitors here at the pond might recall that I wrote a piece of paranormal flash fiction called Cinderella’s Ghost. For the last two years I’ve been pecking away at continuing the story as a novella. I’ve planned it out. I’ve picked it up and put it down in favor of other projects but I have always circled back to it again. For the last few weeks I’ve been making real headway on the story and I’m keen to keep the momentum going. Over the last two years I wrote 33 pages,  9,372 words, by hand in a journal using my baggie of fountain pens on the story. One major achievement today is that I finally have the whole draft computerized. Yaaaaay! The fear of sweaty hands or a spilled cup of tea obliterating my words is now defeated. Huzzah!

With this story I changed my style a little. Rather than blindly blazing an inky trail of words across the terrifying blankness of my journal’s pages, I carefully planned out all the major beats of this novella. Two years ago, I made a 21 beat outline of each major scene/event from beginning to end and I have been methodically checking off each one. So far, I’m at beat 14 so I’m a little more than halfway through. I have had to add some scenes that I hadn’t originally planned out as the story has developed but making that kind of addition is a lot easier knowing pretty much where I am aiming to end up. Having the plan also has made it a lot easier to put down and pick up the story as needed over this time. I don’t know if I’ll be able to use this technique again, I think that will depend on the story and the characters, but it’s nice to know that at least so far it can work for me.

A buddy of mine is doing NaNoWriMo in earnest and I aim to keep them company as they progress through the month. I also hope to put some word count updates here at the pond as I type away, just to keep me honest.

What about you, dear readers? Are any of you attempting to write a novel this November? Are you just trying to, like me, write away at a current project? Please comment below thanks, as always, for stopping by the pond.

 

Soaring over the Fox river in a near-perfect V by E.A. Schneider

Soaring over the Fox river in a near-perfect V by E.A. Schneider