Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Suck It, Trump!

I did it! I did it! I did it!

I made it a goal to finish a 50K word novel in a month. If I failed, I vowed to give $50.00 to the "Make America Great Again" campaign. The rules:
1. It must be a new project 2. I must tell the story from start to finish.



Ended up with 50,005 words, to be exact. And I made it juuuuust under the wire. My deadline was tonight at 12:00AM.

But noooone of that matters...I made it! That means I can tear up the stupid check I wrote to that stupid man to support his stupid campaign. BOOYAH!

Oh man, I've not felt this good in a long time. It was a rough month with a lot of trials and I very nearly gave up a dozen times. But NO...I made it.

Let's celebrate!!!

*Please be kind. My hair is awful, but I had a marathon writing session today in order to make the deadline. 7,694 words, to be exact. :) Could I BE any happier about this??

The answer is no, I couldn't.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Saying Goodbye

Today Bailey and I took a long hike together. It was a perfect Colorado day -- sunny, big poofy white clouds in the sky, a slight chill in the air that just makes you want to be out of doors.

We were nearly derailed a couple of times. I couldn't find my watch, I left my phone behind, and the trail we'd planned on hiking was hosting a mountain bike race. All of it told me to turn around and head back to the condo. But I couldn't do that. I searched and searched and still couldn't find my watch so I gave up that particular hunt. I did drive back to get my phone, though. Heaven forbid we get lost out there without the ever-handy use of GPS. Instead of the trail we'd planned on walking, we opted for another parallel trail, a shorter one that took us off into the woods to...well, destination unknown.

We set out and made our way through the woods. Bailey splashed into every pool of water we came across, peed on all of the good rocks, and generally had a great time. Me...I was looking for the perfect spot. It was hard to know what that would be, and I just kept telling myself this place wasn't right...over there isn't quite what I wanted. I had no idea if I would ever find IT.

Eventually we hit a road. Luckily, it wasn't quite game over. I spotted another trail heading down into the trees below. We decided to give it a shot. We made it to the bottom and I just knew...this was it.

We'd crossed a bridge over some falls earlier and in front of us lay a pool of water created by them. Calm enough for Bailey to wade into, but moving enough that I didn't have to worry about her drinking the water. In the background, the sounds of the falls, loud but not too loud. It was a peaceful respite where we could rest in the shade, the mossy smell of the woods surrounding us. It was the sort of place both dogs loved. And for me, there was a nice tree stump to sit upon. It's where we would've stopped had we all been out there together. So, it's where we stopped now.

I sat there for a few minutes, not sure if I was ready to do this. Not sure what I should do. I had brought along the card the vet hospital gave to me, so I pulled that out along with a clay paw print one of the hospital staff had given me. It seemed right, so I read the words on the back of the card.

In tears, I ran my fingertips over the impression of Chloe's paw print and said one last goodbye to my baby. Then, with Bailey splashing around in the water beside me, I sprinkled some of Chloe's ashes into the water. I said goodbye, knowing there was no better place for me to do this. Now she would always be a part of the mountains she so dearly loved.

There are so many things I'm going to miss about her that I don't even know where to begin. Mostly I think I will just miss her comforting presence--her sprawled out across my bed, hogging it to the point I had to cling to the edge; her snoring that was like a little Mack truck; the BAM BAM BAM of her tail when I walked by while she was asleep on the floor; her good natured bark that boomed like the big dogs, scaring the wits out of anyone who came to our front door (when they actually saw her, it was always a laugh); her sitting under her tree in the backyard, looking out over her domain; her--in all of the best ways possible--mischievous nature. She was my little sidekick from the day I adopted her. I will miss her beyond words.

Rest in peace, sweet baby.

And because I couldn't think of my own words, this is what I read:

The Story of Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals that had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face, your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...

Author Unknown

Ack...more tears. Do me a favor? If you have a fur baby, give them an extra hug and kiss for me tonight. Thanks. :)

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Chloe:

In my mind's eye, this is what I saw today on our hike. Chloe always looked ahead to see what was around the next corner.

Mischievous in all the right ways. Her tail literally never stopped wagging.

See what I mean by SPRAWL? :)

My little sidekick. Thought bubble above her head: Where we going, mom?

Wherever Chloe went, her little sister Bailey followed. Happy times, happy smiles.

You were the best dog I could've asked for. Sleep well, Chloe. Someday we'll cross that bridge together.

Monday, August 1, 2016

NaNo Progress

As of today, I am 33% of the way to 50K!

YEAH YEAH!! (CanIgetta..WHOO WHOO?!)

That comes out to 16,715 words in 8 days. A little over 2,000 a day, which has been my goal. I want to get a little ahead in case I fall on a rough patch (more on this later), and because I'm heading to Breckenridge next week for at least 7 days of fun-filled Colorado time. While I plan to write while I'm there, you just never know. The mountains know my siren song, and will beg me to do nothing but hike and spend time outside. I am more than willing to oblige. Plus I'll have the pups with me, and I've vowed to make Chloe's trip to Breckenridge this year extra, extra special. :)

This week has been fun. It's quite lovely trying my hand at a new story. It's going in some unexpected directions, but I'm loving the process. I've had to fight my internal editor tooth and nail when it comes to reading back through and fixing things I know I want to change. I've bonked her on the head for now, and onward I go. I just keep telling myself this doesn't need to be perfect. It DOESN'T need to be perfect! A TOUGH thing for me to reconcile, believe you me.

That said, I've struggled to get my butt in chair the past 2-3 days. I'm not even finding the writing all that hard. I just want to do...other. things. It's hard because right now I have family staying with me while they wait to move into their new home. Being as they're here from California, none of them are currently working. That means they're spending their days playing cards....watching TV....dozing. I LOVE all of those things!! lol And me? I'm spending as much time as I can writing...then heading off to work in the evenings. It can be quite tiring all around.

Ah well, I must do everything to keep my hard-earned cash out of that meglomaniac's hands. See HERE if you don't know what I'm talking about.

As I said before, I'm trying to keep this one a little quiet until finished. That said, here are some hints about this book:

1. I'm writing in multiple POVs. (Yeah, WOW, right? But this is big for me.) One is...Omni. Whaaaaaat?? I know.

2. It's a dark fairytale. (Hence the Omni.)

3. It's an historical setting, though I'm not quite settled on when yet.

4. Given the fairytale motif, there is maaaaaagic involved. YEAH.

Okay, enough hints for now. LOL.

Just for fun, I'm basing my heroine's character on the below picture of Lily Collins. So pretty!!

That I all for now. Hope y'all are doing well!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Ultimate Form of Motivation

(What's this picture for, Jen? Hmmmmm. :) See below)

Okay, so I know it's not November, but I'm needing a little extra motivation to get my butt in chair these days. I've been working on the same book for, well, forever, and I'm just hitting a creative brick wall over and over. I need something fresh. Something new. Something to get me back into a regular writing routine.

Therefore, I'm going to NaNo, starting today.

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, every November there's a thing called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), during which participants agree to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

I'm just tweaking the thing a little and doing it, starting today...July 25, 2016... and ending it on August 24th, 2016. That actually gives me 31 days, but I figured a bonus day wouldn't hurt should I run into any roadblocks along the way. You'll understand in a bit why it is Very. Important. for me to finish this novel.

Anyway, there are several basic rules: It has to be a completed novel and it must be a NEW story.

Ah, can you see the appeal it has for me? Something NEW. SHINY. YAY. (As an aside, I'm attending the Surrey International Writers Conference for the first time this year and well, I just need something new to talk about. No more same old, same old. UGH. :))

Alrighty, the contract:

Find the verbiage/copy of the contract HERE.

I've made a very important addition to mine, however. And it reads as follows:

Edited: Should I fail to achieve my goal, I vow to set aside all dislike and downright loathing of Donald J. Trump, and donate $50.00 of my hard earned cash to the “Make America Great Again” campaign. As many can attest, this will kill my soul—leaving it a shattered piece of dead garbage that no longer holds any joy for this world. A post-dated check, which I have already signed will be mailed by my sister, Sherry Hendren, should I fail in this endeavor. May God speed my words and may God Bless our poor souls should I lose and/or that Oompah Loompah win this election.

Now do you see why it's so important that I win???

Ugh. Just writing the check out gave me a case of the hives. You can ask my sister. I was quite visibly distressed throughout the entire process.

Donald J Trump President, Inc???? Seriously?? Did you know you could incorporate a presidency?? I think I threw up in my mouth a little when I read where to send my check.

My one consolation in this process is that on the Memo line of the check I wrote:

I hate you, but I lost a bet.

If on August 24th I fail to produce a completed novel of at least 50K words, my sister has vowed to mail this stupid check. It's even hanging on my weekly bulletin board as a constant reminder.

So, my NaNo journey begins. I had the idea for this story some time ago (apparently), as I found notes for it in a drawer I was cleaning out. I don't remember writing the notes or how/when I came up with the idea but to say the least, I was intrigued by what I wrote. The top picture is something I've hung above my computer for motivation and inspiration. That's all I'm saying about this new project for now. I'm keeping this one close until I have a finished--and likely very flawed--novel at the end of this. I'm sure it will be a rather large steaming pile of poo, but honestly, I'm sort of okay with that. I will write with abandon and see which way this ride takes me. :) If it turns out to be any good...FABULOUS.

Okay, off I go. I'll be keeping a word counter in the sidebar somewhere. Feel free to stop by and cheerlead to your heart's desire. :) And if anyone wants to have a "writing date", please let me know and we'll set something up.

Words for today: 2,007