Category Archives: nanowrimo

Tend Your Garden

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mbm2011through the curtainswtmk

I have thoroughly enjoyed my patio garden this summer. It is much bigger than the garden I tried last year and I have loved every aspect of it. The actual planting was magical. I had dirt under my nails for days, but being in the dirt felt so grounding. I loved shaking the plant free of it small pot and securing it with new soil, hoping that it would thrive in its new home.

I cherished watching the small plants grow and flower. Carrot tops shooting out of the soil. Lettuce leaves and basil. Delicate yellow flowers that would soon be green tomatoes. Crisp bell peppers and sherbet colored zucchini blossoms. Every day, I enjoy sitting on the patio, drinking coffee or tea, taking in the beauty of growing, living things.

A garden, no matter how big or small takes daily maintenance and thought. I have to adjust my watering based on how much rain we got the day before. I pull off dead bits and leaves, making room for new blossoms and growth. I also discovered recently that one of my tomato plants is lacking calcium so it has blossom end rot. I had to research emergency fixes and try to remedy the problem. There is work to be done everyday, but the work also leaves me grounded and in awe of the creative process at work in front of me, in these pots.

mbm2011flower basket augwtmk

It occurs to me that writing is like gardening. Writing daily is a grounding creative practice. Once in the habit of tending a writing practice on a daily basis, you can weed out the dead bits and things that are starting to rot. You can research new methods to try or use a new point of view to bring new life to something. A daily writing practice has been difficult for me to maintain the last couple of years. I finished a novel I’d been working on for almost ten years and got it out into the world. I was excited to start new projects, but I missed the familiarity of my last piece and the world I knew how to tend. New life felt untrustworthy, but I never gave it a shot and my daily practice withered and died.

Because I tend to the garden a little bit everyday, it is flourishing. There is definitely difference in opinion about what a daily writing practice should entail. I’ve learned that setting up lots of rules and routines boxes me in and I rebel by not working at all. I do better with loose rules and it might change per work in progress or change every couple of days. That said, even five minutes of writing a day – blogging, journaling or fiction writing helps me to be more grounded and flourish.

mbm2011basil and tomatowtmk

I sometimes want my daily practice to be more. I’ve tried NANOWRIMO multiple times, but inevitably the large daily word count gets the best of me and I can’t keep up. In reality, a smaller dose is easier for me to handle and as I am learning with my garden, still produces great results. I might have to wait longer for my wip’s to mature and produce, but the harvest will be potent and memorable just like my basil.

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I love you, Fall!

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I have been waiting patiently for fall, but to no avail. For weeks, the leaves held their green ground and the temperature stayed up in the high 80’s, reminiscent of early summer. I went to California for one of my best friend’s wedding and came back to Denver to find fall had decided to come after all. The temperature finally dropped a bit this week and the world around me takes my breath away.  I’ve always wanted to see New York in autumn, but I’d reckon Colorado’s fall display would rival most.

Even though fall represents dying, I’ve never felt it to be a negative season. On the contrary, I find autumn to be a time of renewal and transformation. There’s a bite to the air tonight and it’s so close to Halloween – fall will be out and winter will be in before I know it. In the meantime, I’m reveling in the wonder of my favorite time of year.

I’m also planning and plotting for another Nanowrimo month. I feel bad adding a new story when I’m still plugging away at The Lost, but it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the Nanorwrimo fun. I am, however, making a daily work count committment to The Lost to help prove my devotion  – even if I am already starting to feel like a cheater…

Snow Dogs and Hot Tea

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I’m starting snow day two with a steaming cup of hot tea and sourdough toast. I stayed at my mom and dad’s and got snowed in with them. Their black lab, Lilly is thoroughly enjoying all the snow. The drifts are almost as big as she is, but that hasn’t slowed her down one bit!

I was planning on working at the bookstore today, but it’s still too bad. I’ll work on web stuff at home and help my mom bake oatmeal cookies. And I need to work on outlining for nanowrimo. I decided what I’m going to do, but I want to do some character sketches and an outline before I start writing on Sunday. I’m on the fence about POV for this story. I envision it as a series and I was heading in the multiple POV direction, but now I’m not so sure. I love the immediacy and intimacy of multiple POV’s, but I don’t want to lose the reader either. Third person omni might be a better option. I’m not sure.

50,000 words in a month feels crazy, but it is really helpful for me to get that first draft out fast. It helps my internal editor to have a deadline to work with too. I’ve tried Nanowrimo twice and didn’t finish, but it’s never a loss. I still had almost 25,000 into a new story.

Actually time

For breakfast today

Eggs and hot tea, yum!

Snowy Sunday Evening

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Today has been a good day. I worked on writing, skyped with Lisa and Sam, did my laundry, ate mac and cheese and did a dress run for my Halloween makeup. It was grey and cold today in Denver, but I didn’t mind. I wore a comfy sweater and curled up with a fuzzy blanket while I wrote so my feet would stay warm.

I’m feeling better and that is nice as well. Not coughing as much and now I sound like Kathleen Turner instead of Marge Simpson. My undead makeup looks pretty awesome with my new red hair, I’m excited to take it out on the town next weekend for Halloween.

I’m still trying to decide what to write for Nanowrimo. I better make a decision soon!

Haiku of the day:

My feet are so cold

Definitely slipper time

Some hot cocoa too

New look and Nanowrimo

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I’m a redhead! Kind of, my hair is now a deep auburn and I love, love, love it! I had been toying with the idea for about a year and yesterday I made the leap. It took my parents by surprise, my hair has never been so dark. I really like it and I feel very sassy and fun. It’s always good to change things up. Except, I don’t look anything like my headshot now…oh well.

I also decided that I’m going to do Nanowrimo again this year (National Novel Writing Month). It starts on November 1st and I have no idea what I’m going to write! I have a handful of new novel ideas and this might be the best way to knock out that first draft.

If you haven’t heard about Nanowrimo, check it out here www.nannowriomo.org!

I’ve also decided that I want to write poetry again, daily if I can. I’m still working on developing a writing practice, like daily meditation. I’ve never done much haiku, so I think I’m going to give that a try.

When my seasons changed

Fall swallowed summer again

Mirror different

Wichita Lineman

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I haven’t blogged in forever. It has been busy – some good, some bad. I start a second job tomorrow and won’t have much time, so I thought I better blog tonight. My ballot is in, and I am ready to get to it! I will be at work on Tuesday night and won’t know what happened until the end, which in all honesty might be better.

I decided to try Nanowrimo again (National Novel Writing Month) – how I am going to do it, I have no idea, but I am going to try.

I had the most remarkable time in the mountains with my favorite writer chicks, Sam and Lisa. It was just what I needed on so many levels. Amazingly, the universe has sent all three of us miracles since we parted, like it was recognizing what we experienced together and urging us to keep working.

I have been very emotional today, in a beautiful way. Just touched by things and then the water comes flooding to my eyes. My mom bought the new James Taylor CD called “Covers”. There is a song called “Wichita Lineman” and it is the best version of it I have ever heard. I have always loved that song, but I have a new appreciation for it tonight.

As it was playing, she told us that it has always reminded her of my dad. He said it reminded him of her as well. Before I was born my dad used to travel all the time for his job with the airport. He wasn’t a “lineman” per say, but that song is definitely a reflection of what his life was like at the time.

One line, in a masterfully written song, will now forever bring tears to my eyes because it isn’t just a beautiful line anymore – it is my parents and one sentence makes sense of their life together and their love.

“I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time.”

Now, my parents have had their share of hard times and heartache, but their love for each other is a rare and romantic thing that we usually only see in the movies.

They are my Johnny and June, and I worry that when one passes, the other won’t be far behind. Their love story is one of my best stories and I am asked to tell it often. It is a lot to live up to, but it has shaped me in that I know love like that is real.

I am not sure what my life’s love will look like or even what his name is, but that song lyric describes how I will feel.