Monday, November 30, 2009

Writers Contest at Bookshelf Muse

The Bookshelf Muse is having an awesome contest for writers!

Check it out HERE!

Here's what you can win:

-- A FULL NOVEL Critique (WC Max 85,000) I will read your complete novel and offer wide-angle feedback that will help you build a stronger product, including a focus on Characters, Description, Character Arc, Plot, Dialogue, Proportion, Style, Stakes, Resolution & Voice. You'll get 100% honesty from me on how to strengthen your book. Please note that this prize is not for first draft novels. Your work must be at the point where Grammar/Spelling/structure issues do not detract from the read. The more polished it is, the more you will benefit from my critique. All genres welcome except for Erotica.

--A Copy of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

-- A Writer's Gift Box Enjoy a fun box of goodies just in time for the holidays, filled with things a writer will enjoy!

-- A First Chapter Inline Critique A line edit of your first chapter, with emphasis on your hook and building a strong compelling start to your book. All genres welcome except for Erotica. (I'll give out 2 of these)

NaNoWriMo is OVER for 2009!

NaNo Day 30
Lisa - 51,433 (Goal 50K - WINNER!)

David - 30,000 (Goal 9K - WINNER!)

Emily - 7001 (Goal 7K - WINNER!)

James - 4075 (Goal 4K - WINNER!)

Suzy - 2129 (Goal 2K - WINNER!)

NaNoWriMo ends tonight and all five of us have met our goals!!

I am so proud of my kids!

We will set the stories aside for now (at least that's my plan) and edit them beginning in January. NaNo has partnered with CreateSpace to provide each NaNo winner a free proof copy. (This benefit was hugely motivating to several of my kids!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NaNo Day Twenty-nine

NaNo Day 29
Lisa - 51,433 (or 50,069 if you are the NaNo word count validator)
David - 28,000 (or maybe more)
Emily - 6,300 (So she says!)
James - 3689
Suzy - 2129

Simple Woman's Daybook - November 29

For Today... November 29, 2009

Outside my window... Overcast and November-ish. Bleh and Brrrr.

I am thinking... about no-cost or low-cost gifts. Ideas are welcomed!

From the learning rooms... The last day of NaNoWriMo is tomorrow. Then we'll start "Christmas School" although I don't know quite what we'll do yet.

I am thankful for... getting healthy! Losing weight!

From the kitchen... Getting geared up for lots of Christmas cookie baking and candy making! (How that fits with the previous answer, I've not yet figured out.) Love getting the house all warm from the oven and smelling like Christmas baking.

I am wearing... My favorite jeans, a long-sleeved grey tee, and a grey Pistons hoodie. I just did my roots this morning and my hair isn't dry yet. No makeup.

I am reading... ECHO IN THE BONE (finally!!!) by Diana Gabaldon! Also A Midsummer Night's Dream, yes, by the Bard of Avon, and also still plugging away slowly at unChristian (a book best digested in bits).

I've been watching... Next, Matrix:Reloaded, Hancock, Men in Black

I am hoping... that I can remember how I created my writing website. I'd like to edit it but I am at a loss! ARGH!

I am creating... a suspenseful and satisfying ending to my novel. Hopefully.

I am hearing... Christmas music! (I avoid it until Thanksgiving, but begin listening to it that day and keep it up until Epiphany.)

Around the house... Bob is making some kind of an antenna booster for the TV

One of my favorite things... Winning NaNoWriMo!

A few plans for the rest of the week... my younger son turns TEN this week! Also David is going to a Star Wars viewing party and I get to go to a women's Christmas party. And our church is having a Living Nativity that we are helping with in some way. That all in addition to our normal stuff.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.
David's varsity letter for soccer (Faith Falcons)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

NaNo Day Twenty-eight

NaNo Day 28
Lisa - 47,581
David - 27,000
Emily - 4,439
James - 3303
Suzy - 2004

It's almost over! Two more days and the NaNoInsanity will be over for another year. I am re-energized for writing, even though I don't particularly find my story enthralling this year. I hope my kids will like it and have some suggestions for me.

But the good thing? I can't wait to get back to my other projects. FORGET-ME-NOT needs a little tweaking and then more querying. A friend gave me some written suggestions to consider and another friend has read it recently and wants to chat with me about it. So hopefully I can polish that up more. MYSTERY VALLEY RANCH is in the last stages of editing, but I lost my momentum there. So maybe I can get back to that. And GOD-KING'S BRIDE, my Egyptian novella, needs to be expanded into a full-length romance. So, I will get back to those projects and on to my goal of publication.

Friday, November 27, 2009

NaNo Day Twenty-seven

NaNo Day 27
Lisa - 45,015
David - 26,000
Emily - 3624
James - 2809
Suzy - 1994

Hah! I'm back on schedule, thanks to yet ANOTHER 5K day.. At the end of today, Nano says I should have 45,009 words. And I have six more words than that! Woo-hoo! Now I can finish NO PROBLEM. The story probably won't be done at 50K, and I don't even know if I'll bother finishing it. But I'll make it!

I will be reading the story to my kids, so hopefully they'll have some good ideas for me. I did put up an excerpt on my NaNo profile page. Click on over there if you are interested - choose the tab marked Novel Info. The title isn't really what I want, but it's what came to me.

David says his story won't be done at 30K. So, he'll probably keep on writing too. I must say it is very gratifying to see how much he is interested in writing.

Emily will have to write 1100 words for the next 3 days to finish at her goal. She is motivated because of the reward that awaits her, and it IS a do-able goal since we don't have much else to do.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

NaNo Day Twenty-six

NaNo Day 26
Lisa - 40,500
David - 23,000 (approx)
Emily - 2,800
James - 2402
Suzy - 1778

Another 5000 word day! I have 9500 to write by Monday night. 2375 per day. I am going to aim for 5000 again tomorrow and then I should be able to finish Saturday or maybe Sunday. Well, 'finish' is a relative term. But in this case, I mean achieve 50K.

James has to write 400 words each day to make his goal. I think he can do it, as long as he's dictating most of it to me.

Emily has been typing away, but she types very slow. I don't know if she'll make her goal, but she is giving it a good try!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NaNo Day Twenty-five

NaNo Day 25
Lisa - 35,482
David - 22,000?
Emily - 2,000?
James - 2002
Suzy - 1778

James is halfway! And excited about finishing!

I'm wondering if I'll make it. 14,518 words to go. 5 days. 2903 per day.

Good thing we're not going anywhere for Thanksgiving, eh?

And I don't 'do' Black Friday, either.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - November 22

For Today... November 22, 2009

Outside my window... Overcast.

I am thinking... about when I should go out and see New Moon

From the learning rooms... Trying to think about "Christmas School" for this year - maybe a Jesse tree again this year?

I am thankful for... warranties and techie teenage sons (ok, just one of those)

From the kitchen... a pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling. Well, I bought it, but it's in the kitchen and it's calling me.

I am wearing... Jeans, black top, hair in barrette

I am reading... listening to A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Disc 44 of 48) by Diana Gabaldon (#6 in Outlander series). Reading unChristian again. Hoping to finish soon. Read two or three other books this week.

I've been watching... Holes, National Treasure, Rollicking Movie Night Selections: The Accidental Husband, The Proposal, Much Ado About Nothing

I am hoping... to get caught up on my writing today. Or tomorrow.

I am creating... An amazingly lame adventure novel

I am hearing... previews on the DVD the kids are watching: Barbie and the Three Musketeers

Around the house... some big rotten pumpkins that need to be tossed in tomorrow's trash

One of my favorite things... NOT shopping on Black Friday. Anyone want to see New Moon then? Matinee?

A few plans for the rest of the week... Writing. Writing. And Thanksgiving.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.

NaNo Day Twenty-two

End of Day 22
Lisa - 32, 201
David - 20,410
Emily - over 1000 typed
James - 1503
Suzy - 1578

I didn't write anything for several days. I've been very good at wasting time. I was bound and determined to get a lot done today though. I wrote over 5500 so that does a lot toward getting me back on track. I should be at 36,673, so I'm not quite there.

David also is working hard to stay on his track of 1000 wpd.

Emily is back typing again, uncowed by the loss of her typed work. Good thing she kept her handwritten copy.

James dictated quite a bit to me today, as well as typing some himself. Suzy also dictated some to me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NaNo Day Eighteen

End of Day 18
Lisa - 26,755
David - 18,100
Emily - ????
James - 955
Suzy - 1304

I wrote Tuesday, at the library while I was waiting for James at Young Marines. I think that's all the writing I did Tuesday. Tonight I did two 1000 word sprints. I am not caught up to where I should be, but I should be able to get 2000 words each on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sunday will be my catch up day.

The story is getting better, I think.

David continues to churn out 1000 words a day, even though he has passed his goal. He's caught the writing spirit! It's quite something to see. Tonight I found him frantically rummaging through some stuff and asked him what was wrong. He said that one of his characters was doing something frantically and he wanted to see what it felt like so he could write about it!

Emily typed some of her own story today. She types painfully slow. I have offered to type it but she will not let me. By Monday, I'll have her figured out one way or another.

James also typed some of his own story today. He is enjoying writing too, but it is a slow process. I am proud of him for sticking to it. I will make an effort tomorrow to help him, either by typing while he dictates or by offering some plot development ideas. He needs a burst of word count happiness!

Suzy has also reached her goal! Her story is not quite done, but I don't know how much longer it will go. Probably not much.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The question is.....

Here are the answers. Can you guess the question?
  • Painted the dining room
  • Scrubbed the linoleum on my hands and knees
  • Painted a cabinet
  • Painted the picnic table
  • Rearranged the entire living room
  • Ironed 3 valances and 7 shirts
  • Sorted through all the VHS tapes
  • Started reading two books
  • Watched two movies
  • Played countless rounds of Word Twist
So, what's the question? Did you guess it?

The question is:
What has Lisa done lately INSTEAD of writing?

Yep, I haven't done any writing today. Or yesterday. Or most of Saturday.

Back to it Tuesday. Really.

Unless there are more shirts to iron.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook - November 15

For Today... November 15, 2009

Outside my window... Overcast. Amazing how that dampens my spirits. Hoping for sun later on.

I am thinking... that I need a part-time job or some money from all this time writing/blogging/thinking

From the learning rooms... More writing. Math, science and history continue.

I am thankful for... James feeling better and everyone else being healthy!

From the kitchen... snacks for one of my Spanish classes - it's their last week of the semester. Also the girls are making Snickerdoodles right now.

I am wearing... Jeans, black v-neck top and pink hoodie

I am reading... listening to A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Disc 39 of 48) by Diana Gabaldon (#6 in Outlander series). Reading The Murder of King Tut: The plot to kill the child king (A non-fiction thriller) by James Patterson

I've been watching... Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Be Kind Rewind, The Core

I am hoping... that preparing my Spanish lessons doesn't take too long today.

I am creating... A heartbreakingly-mediocre epic saga of ho-hum-ness

I am hearing... The Jonas Brothers?! A Camp Rock song came up in my Pandora station. Not a huge surprise since it's a High School Musical station and both are Disney productions. :-D Uh-oh, now it's Miley. How long can I stand it?

Around the house... Yesterday, we painted the dining room a sunny yellow and decluttered it when putting it back together. Also set up the "new" TV on a cabinet that we painted badly. lol

One of my favorite things... foamy soap in a pump

A few plans for the rest of the week... Writing. Writing. And maybe some more writing. Oh, yeah, life does go on - normal stuff like lessons and Spanish, too. Last week of one of my Spanish classes - at least until January.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NaNo Day Fourteen

End of Day 14
Lisa - 23, 493
David - 16,190
Emily - ????
James - 708
Suzy - 964

I'm back on track, exactly where I should be according to NaNo's daily word count. Yay! Today was busy and tiring, but word-sprinting with Jennifer gave me the motivation to get my word count back up where it should be. The story is a little more interesting too.

David was the only kid who wrote today. And he passed the goal he set for himself this month. His original goal (set by me) was 9000. However, he decided he would be able to write 1000 for every day of lessons during this month. There were 16 lesson days so 16,000 words. It's Day 14 and he's already arrived! WOO HOO, DAVID!!!

Tomorrow marks the halfway point for NaNoWriMo. I am considering a write-in with my NaNo Writer's Group, but am not sure I want to drive to Flint. I maybe would get a lot of writing done though. Or maybe not. I'm talking myself out of it.

Virtual Owl Pellets

Do you remember when we did our owl pellet dissection? Very cool, but pretty messy and some would even say gross. Not everyone is willing or able to do a hands-on owl pellet dissection.

But how about a virtual dissection? If you have a computer and internet access, you can do this easily. And you may just learn something AND have fun.

The website is Kids Wings. Awesome awesome place!

What can you do at Kids Wings?
  • Learn about owl pellets and complete a Virtual owl pellet dissection - click HERE
  • Be sure to stay with it until the very end (all those little bones can be tedious!) for a top-notch animation!
  • When you are on that page, be sure to click "MORE PELLETS" at the very top. (Although don't miss the main attraction - the virtual dissection.) You'll get a drop-down menu of ELEVEN different pellets you can dissect online.
  • One is the Barred Owl's pellet. You will get photos of REAL pellets being dissected as you work. Only NO MESS for you, just coolness!
  • Be sure to check out the Teacher Resources, like downloadable charts, owl pellet dissection video to download, Birdwatching Bingo game, and more more more!
But that's not all! You can learn about
  • bird skulls
  • bird nests
  • feathers
  • bird calls
  • and more!
If you found Kids Wings to be a useful site, you can consider a donation to the author. There is a paypal donation link on the home page. I know hosting a website costs a lot, especially one as cool as this one, so show her your appreciation for making it available at no charge.

And from their site, I linked to Owl Brand Dissection Kits. You can get 10% off with a code you will find on that page. But here also is a cool page of freebie coloring sheets and activity pages at Owl Brand. More awesomeness!

But I'm not done yet! From Owl Brand, I linked to this very clear and helpful guide to owl pellet dissection. Much information on where to find pellets, how to identify the owl that made the pellet, safety tips, dissection information, and bone diagrams so you can identify the remains you salvage.

Lots more resources on Owl Brand's RESOURCE page. I ran out of time and couldn't go through it all, but you'll find lots of cool things.

Friday, November 13, 2009

NaNo Day Thirteen

End of Day 13

Lisa - 20,729
David - 15,167
Emily - ????
James - 708
Suzy - 964

We're not even halfway through the month! Wow, seems like these first thirteen days have lasted a long time!

I didn't write today. Bob was home today, other than running a few errands. I did some lessons with the kids, went to the library and the post office, helped James and Suzy paint a piece of furniture we are going to use to put the "new" TV on, made a Mexican casserole for dinner, worked on the bills, and then started on my insane new project. So, no words for me today.

Plus, my book is BO-RING.

Emily still hasn't brought me her writing, but not for lack of me asking or lack of her having some.

James wanted to write today, but things never coalesced for him. So no new words for him either. He's a little behind, but he was sick this week, after all.

David is the writing MACHINE. Right now his characters are driving cross-country.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaNo Day Twelve

End of Day 12

Lisa - 20,729
David - 14,009
Emily - 720 + U.H.A.
James - 708
Suzy - 863

Suzy wrote (dictated) about 100 words today. She loves loves loves her book! LOL

James wrote a page long hand and then LOST it somewhere. Oh, the agony! Why hadn't someone told him to put it in his NaNo folder? What's that you say? Someone DID tell him? It was his mom??? Go figure.

Anyway, then he asked if he could write on the computer. So he did. He asked me how to spell a few words, but other than that he just typed a bunch - about 150 words!

Emily remains an enigma.

David is sticking to his goal of 1000 words per day. He is totally self-motivated this year.

I did about 1100 words first thing this morning, as I had planned to do yesterday and was unable to do. That was a good thing! I felt a huge sense of accomplishment all day because I had gotten that done. The rest of the writing was between 11:25pm and midnight!

Jen asked about the cartoons. Check out Inky Girl for more.