Well, its July 31st. The last day of Camp Nanowrimo for this year.
How did I do?
I won, but barely. It was by the absolute skin of my teeth, let me tell you.
July was hard, you guys. I really struggled from the first week on. The holiday at the beginning of the month tripped me up, and I had multiple weekends where I ended up traveling or out of town, dealing with personal things. And last weekend, I even missed posting up a blog post because my husband surprised me with a weekend getaway. So when I tell you that this win was hard-freaking-fought, it really was. There were plenty of times when I was up late into the night, pounding away on my keyboard and trying to keep everything moving.
That being said, I really love how my word tracker turned out! Look how pretty she looks, all filled in and colorful. Just absolutely gorgeous, through and through. I've already started brainstorming what I want to draw and fill in for November when Nanowrimo rolls around again. For something as simple as coloring in flower petals, it really was a nice motivator.
For what I was writing, I have been dividing my time between working on episodes for my Kindle Vella serial, 11 Rules for Dating Your Mortal Enemy, and the third book in the Thistlewood Witches series (title coming soon!). And when I haven't been writing, I have been working on the line edits for To Cross a Dark Witch. I am so excited about the work I have been doing lately. 11 Rules is starting to get really good, hot and heavy, and my third Thistlewood book has started to ramp up with a little bit of a mystery woven in with the romance.
And now, we're on the last day of July and let me tell you, I am so tired. This was a hard month for me personally, and I am glad to see the back of it. August has so many new possibilities opening up for me, and with the normalcy of the school year gearing up, I'll have more time to put my nose to the grindstone and get some real, serious work in. I have a lot of plans for novels, with many of them being in the Thistlewood Witches series, and I think I am ready to start dabbling in projects like Tiktok and audio books!
Camp is over, friends! Let's take a breather and start fresh tomorrow!
August is upon us!
It's July 17th and we are a little over 2 weeks into Camp Nano! July is over halfway over, and how am I doing?
I am slowly but surely catching up to where I need to be. I've had some really high highs, with one day ending with 2.7k+ words, and low lows, where I ended one day with a paltry 706 words for the day. But either way, I've kept on and ended up at 23,653!
Not too bad. I'm slowly chipping away at the deficit and I am hoping to be back on track to win Camp next week.
So, I guess you are wondering where my time went this week...
Well, when I wasn't writing, I was working on a new story that's hit Kindle Vella this week!
If you're new here, 11 Rules for Dating my Mortal Enemy has been a side project that I have been working on for a few months now. I originally intended for it to be a trilogy of magical novels, something outside of the world I am building in Thistlewood. But when I heard about Kindle Vella, the brand new program for serials, I figured that 11 Rules would be a GREAT starter story! I love serials and have always wanted to toy around with one, and now I have my chance.
You can find my story here.
New chapters/episodes will hit every Friday, but you can read the first three episodes for free right now!
Wanna know what 11 Rules is about?
The story is about a princess named Lailah who is from a magical town called Soland, a town that is always at odds with Veilside, its magical brethren to the south. When the good people of Soland hear about a coming eclipse, the Kings of both cities agree to a magical marriage between Lailah and the prince of Veilside, a young man named Mikhal. This marriage will solidify a peace treaty between the cities and usher in a new era of unity.
The only problem is... Lailah hated Mikhal! Loathes! Despises! He's not too fond of her, either, if he was to be honest.
The pair have to work together to make this bond work, or they risk all out war breaking out between their beloved towns.
So, while I've been lagging behind in Camp Nanowrimo, it was for a very good cause! I am excited about where Kindle Vella could take readers and authors, and with Lailah and Mikhal's journey just beginning, a whole new world awaits us all!
And now, we can get back to the writing!
With week 3 beginning, I am ready to set my nose to the grindstone and get this story back on track!
Its July 10th and week one of Camp Nanowrimo is behind us!
And let me tell you, it was a week of struggles for me!
I was a very busy bee for most of the first 10 days of July. I spent two days driving 6+ hours, one was spent during a holiday with lots of family, and one of them was spent celebrating my wedding anniversary! Add in a couple of yucky-feeling days and you've got me clocked in at 12,779 words out of my goal of 50,000.
That's not to say that I am not enjoying myself! Those 12k words came pretty easy when I was able to sit down and put fingers to keys. The rough draft of my third novel is flowing wonderfully. I'm three chapters into the work in progress and I am completely, totally enjoying myself. Savannah has always been a character that I find myself completely in tune with, and being in her head is just lovely. And I've even introduced her love interest, she just doesn't know it yet!
My word tracker is looking gorgeous!
I love how my flower is looking so far! I've got each row of petals assigned with 2-4 different colors, using one color a day to fill in my progress. There will be no clear pattern, no rhyme or reason in the end, and I think it is going to be beautiful!!
You know, I have really grown to love these monthly word count trackers. I got the idea from watching folks who make bullet journal videos on YouTube, and it's been a blast to fill out with each camp. Next year, I am considering using a bullet journal instead of a yearly planner, and if I do, you better believe that I will be drawing one of these a month!
For now, I'm focused on July's camp and getting as far into my work in progress as possible. Week 2 may be a little bit of a struggle, but I get a big break from life during week 3, which is very exciting! Either way, as long as I am writing a little bit each day, I am incredibly happy.
Fellow writers, how was week one of Camp for you? Are you still on track?
Have a wonderful week and let's catch up again next Saturday!
July brings about a lot of things for me! Not only is it time for CampNanowrimo... Not only is it time for me to start the rough draft of the next novel in the Thistlewood series... But it is also time to reset my Kanban board!
We are currently 2 days into Camp Nanowrimo, with this blog post going live on day 3. I started off strong on day one, racking in over 2,000 words, which was well above my daily goal of 1,613. Day 2 saw some of the same successes, leaving me to start Day 3 off with a word count of 4,282 of 50,000.
As much as I would like to say that I am knee deep in the rough draft of Green Witch, these first few days have been dedicated to my old WIP, finishing up the last few chapters before moving on. The piece, which is tentatively titled Novella #5, is a quick read about a young witch in training who falls for a master wizard, and the only way that they can be together is if she finally passes her magical test in front of the Assembly. I've been working on it off and on for some time, and I really would like to get it finished and put to bed before starting in on Savannah. With the rate I am going, I should be done by the end of week one, which gives me the rest of the month to enjoy my time with Savannah Inola.
And let me tell you, I am dying to get into that story! I have pages and pages of notes about Savannah, her family, and the strange man that she finds injured at the edge of her cottage's clearing. While Sydney's story was spent learning about magical craft and overcoming outsiders, and Alexis's story was filled with a demon learning how to live life on earth, this one is going in a very different direction. It's going to be full of love, intrigue, a secret society, family mysteries unravelled, and an outside force who's threatening to strip the forest of its most precious resource: life.
See? It's going to be AMAZING.
But before I could do all of that, I spent two full days working on my Kanban board.
At the end of Q2, I was kind of shocked to see how much I had accomplished in just a little bit of time. It also showed me how much I needed the Kanban board. I was able to keep myself on track, releasing multiple Novellas and my first novel during Q2, and seeing all of the tasks move to the bottom box filled me with a lit of pride. Pulling down every sticky note at the end of June was cathartic, and holding those little papers in my hand and feeling their weight made me realize just how much I had accomplished.
And then, I got to spend the rest of my time putting up NEW tasks!
Look at all of that work!
I learned from my mistakes with my old set up, but I dont know if you can tell. I've started using small sticky notes exclusively, giving myself much more room to work with. And on top of that, each project is color coded, marked, and they are all set in rows going down. When I finished and stepped back to get a good look for the first time, the amount of work sent a little ripple of fear into me. But that was gone quick. I like work. I like seeing the progress I make and I enjoy the rewards from working hard and being determined.
Q3 is going to be a great one!
Well, I am off to get my words in! Happy Camp and happy writing!
It's that time again! Time to prep for another grueling month of writing, editing, and creating! It's time for Camp NaNoWriMo, July edition!
I had an absolute blast back in April during that Camp month. I felt like I worked my fingers to the bone, but it was so worth it to complete the month and see the progress that I made. I was able to crush April with a whopping 50,081 words, and I cannot wait for July 1st to roll around so we can do it all again!
My project is already set up on the website! Take a peek at what I am going to be working on...
That's right! Its book 3 in the Thistlewood Witches series! This novel will follow Savannah, our green witch/kitchen witch as she learns about the secrets and mysteries behind her heritage, finding love with someone that she could never have imagined, and fights against those who are willing to steal the forest around her.
I am so excited to start working on this story. Savannah's story was one that slowly came to me over time, weaving its way into a perfect little romance that's just waiting to blossom. Savannah's story goes in a bit of a different direction from both Sydney and Alexis, so we shall see where the writing takes me!
One thing that I did back in April was make a word tracker to color in as I wrote. Filling in that page with all the different colors of leaves gave me a lot of joy, and this time, I wanted to do something very similar.
It took me a bit to sketch it out at first, but here's my pretty petal word tracker! Each petal represents a thousand words, and as July progresses, the flower will get fuller and fuller until it explodes with color! I am so excited to see this thing filled out at the end of the month, and it has really given me a lot of motivation for pushing forward. If I ever start bullet journaling (which I am going to try in 2022), then I'll be making word trackers like this for every month of the year! There's just something about them that inspires me to push forward and see the month through.
With my story plotted and ready to go, I am just counting down the days until July 1st hits. I want to write Savannah's story so bad, and its going to be a great treat to spend a month in her head and heart, watching her love story unfold!
We did it!! We finished Camp Nanowrimo! Us writers powered through and May 1st is here!
So, after a full 30 days of writing, how did I fare in the end?
I won Camp Nanowrimo!
Let me tell you, April 2021 was a hard Camp to win. At the start of the month, my husband was ill and we spent days running between different doctor offices. In the middle of the month, I was down for 2 days with a fever from my Covid vaccine. And at the end of the month, most of my time was spent talking to specialists about my husband's condition. But still, I managed to pull through and write 50,000 words in 30 days!
Now, all of those words were not in my current WIP. I spent a lot of my time in April working on my next two releases. Editing down and finalizing the final copies of In The Realm of the Emerald Court and To Love A Tea Witch took up massive chunks of my time, but I am proud to say that they helped get me through humps and slumps this month. I even wrote a small bonus story for Tea Witch, which I will be talking about in a few months time. Keep your eyes peeled for that!
So, what helped keep me going all this month?
One thing that I did as a way to motivate myself was this tracker! Just before NaNo started, I sat down and doodled out some leaves, 49 to be exact, with a flower at the end for number 50! Each leaf represented 1,000 words written, and as I worked, I would go through and color in a new leaf! It was really inspiring to flip through my notebook and see my progress laid out like that! I will absolutely be doing another doodle tracker for Camp Nano in July... I am thinking citrus wedges may be fun... or maybe little cat heads... or maybe a berry theme!
For as much fun as I had during Camp, I am ready for a long weekend of resting and NOT writing! I'm taking a long weekend for me, first to celebrate Beltane, but also to rest and come back refreshed on Monday morning! My stories need me!
And with that said... I cannot wait for July's Camp to start!
Three down and one to go!
How has camp been for my other writing friends? Mine has been stellar!
So far, my writing for the month of April has been steady! As of this writing, I am at 35,808 words, which is absolutely amazing! I don’t think I have ever done this well at camp before! I think I have been inspired by my works in progress, which has actually grown!
Not only have I been working on 11 Rules, but I have also been writing a fun, quick short story to serve as a follow up for "To Love A Tea Witch!" The novel, which will be dropping in late May (more about that soon!) will have this little companion story dropping along with it for free! I will be announcing more as time goes on, but its safe to say that this off shoot story has given me some great insight to my characters.
Today, I get to put my attention fully back on "11 Rules," which makes me almost giddy. I've been itching to get back to that tale because I have got a lot to say about Lailah and Mikhal. The story will be nowhere close to being finished by the time April and Camp NaNo ends, but I always thought that the first draft was going to be too big to finish in one month's time. I'm still incredibly proud of the progress I've made, even though the book is going to be a monster of a story!
And so ends week 3. Still trudging along day after day, and I am so happy with what I have accomplished! I'm ready to blow this last week out of the water!
Well, it’s time for the week two update on my slog into Camp Nanowrimo and whew, this one has been a bit rougher than I was planning on!
I feel like April started off strong for me. I had a few 3k+ days where my story and me vibbed so hard that I couldn't stop working on it.
But then, my husband caught the flu. Yes, he had the flu in April, in the middle of a pandemic, after getting the flu shot, AND while following all of the Covid guidelines. I don't know what to tell you, he's just that talented! :oD With some early intervention, he was able to get over it in just a few days, which was wonderful. And just as he was recovering, I received my second dose of the Moderna vaccine, which knocked me off my feet for two days. The first shot did not affect me at all other than needing a small nap in the middle of the day, but the second one? I ran a fever that bordered on 102 F, had chills and aches, and pretty much had to stay in bed the entire time. It's much better than actually catching the Coronavirus, but whew, it was a rough patch for sure. I'm doing loads better today, and would do it again in a heartbeat. It was just bad timing for Camp NaNoWriMo.
My story is progressing wonderfully, which I am so happy about! Even with all of the sickness at home, I was finally able to force my main characters, Lailah and Mikhal, into their betrothal! And man, they hate it. Which is exactly what I want. Mwahaha! This has actually been a lot of fun to write, pushing two opposites together in a way that neither can get out of. Mikhal is a blast to write about because he reminds me of a lot of my friends. Lots of inspiration to draw from when it comes to him. I cannot wait for him to try and loosen up our tightly-wound heroine as the story progresses. Maybe he will be successful, but with how stubborn Lailah can be, I highly doubt it!
Week two of Camp NaNoWriMo is officially behind us, and it can only go up from here! Week three is bound to be better, as the weather is clearing and my little family is getting healthier by the day. I have high hopes for the rest of the month and the work that I can accomplish between here and now.
Happy writing, everyone!
The first week of Camp NaNoWriMo April 2021 is in the books, and what a wild week it has been!
The first week of camp has had its ups and downs, but I am pretty pleased with where I am standing now.
The first day of April was a great one for me, starting off the month with 1,486 words! And even though it snowed where I lived, I ended up hunkering down and getting things done. I had a few days of travel where may numbers were not the greatest, and I had one day where I literally wrote a single word, but other than that, the work has been steady! (Also, I have had my Covid vaccine, and the family I visited are all vaccinated, so no worries on traveling!)
My story has really surprised me so far. If you’ve read any of my work, you know that I tend to write stories that are a bit on the short side. My rough draft for Tea Witch has been the only exception, coming in at 69k words before edits began. But this one? Man, this one is going to be an epic! And the best part is that I’d have this story planned as a trilogy... whew! 11 Rules is shaping up to be my magnum opus.
I am really enjoying the story so far. I kind of love Lailah, my main character, and I adore the personality that is coming through with her. This whole week, I have been immersed in her thoughts and feelings, and she is so different from every other character I’ve written. She is not meek like Sydney, but not a firebrand like Victoria. Lailah really feels like she has her head firmly on her shoulders, and I am enjoying that. It’s going to be fun when I introduce her love interest, who couldn’t be more of an opposite to her.
So, week one (and some change) are in the books and is am feeling great! Here’s to a wonderful rest of camp and a great rest to the month of April!
Oh, boy, here we go!
It's CampNaNoWriMo time!
Man, I love the NaNo months. April, July, and November get me so hyped every time they roll around. April, especially! The first NaNoWriMo that I ever started AND completed was April 2015, just a few months before my daughter was born, and I was so proud of myself that I couldn't sit still! Since then, I've participated in every Camp month and every NaNo-November. I really find them to be inspiring in a way that keeps me motivated and pushing through to the very end.
This time around is no exception. I am so pumped for this April's Camp! I have already planned, plotted, and am patiently waiting to start my new project. I'm going full-on novel length with this one, tentatively titled "11 rules." I've laid out a monster plot, and I think that this book is going to be my biggest yet, leaving Tea Witch's 69k words in the dust. I filly expect this story to grow legs of its own and take off without me. But it's such a good, twisty, entertaining story that I think I'll let it.
I plan on doing weekly blog posts on my Camp progress, just like I did during November 2020 (you can read those here!). I'm all about documenting things, and Camp gives me the perfect excuse to check out my progress. Expect posts to come out on 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, and a wrap-up post on May 1st!
Man, April needs to hurry up and get here, because my fingers are absolutely itching to dig into my new story!
Just me, a paranormal romance author with big dreams and even bigger crushes!