I am now an official NaNoWriMo rebel! Chances are if you are a writer, you know about NaNoWriMo . It’s all about commitment – writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I wasn’t going to participate this year. I didn’t want it to interfere with my memoir writing process. But, I discovered a way around that. I can be a REBEL! Some may say this is cheating but the bottom line is this – there is a NaNo Rebels forum buried in NaNo Groups. That’s the place to confess that you might not be writing the crappy NaNo novel. It is there that I have revealed my quest for this year – I will be revising my memoir. Every hour I spend doing revisions, or writing new chapters, will count as 1,000 words. It’s okay. It’s been approved by the powers that be per the FAQs.

Now I feel the need to make another confession. I have completed NaNoWriMo three times. My 2012 novel, Mayleen, is fiction based on how I wished certain things had worked out in my life. The other two were based on my autobiography. The interesting thing about that is the titles of these previous attempts: Always 49 (2004 – I’ll never grow old) and You Don’t Want to Know (2009 – stuff that probably won’t end up in my final memoir). My current working title is Never Let Them See Your Tears. This is the one that is meant to be published someday. Notice I said “working title.” It’s likely to change again once it is done.

Now that things are a bit more serious, and my current goal is to finish my first draft by the end of the year, I’m taking this opportunity to cheat my way through NaNoWriMo for the month of November. Challenges work for me. So, call me a cheater if you must but it’s much more enticing to be considered a rebel.


Oh Dear or Is It Oh Deer?


Morning greetings from my hillside as we left for the commute to JJ’s school today. I’m almost embarrassed to say this but I need to be accountable – I was sitting in my car checking for Pokémon, waiting for JJ, and didn’t even notice the deer. He pointed them out as he jumped in the car. It shows how preoccupied I am being with things not so productive. Ignoring nature in search of the virtual. Pokémon has to vanish.

I promised I’d have the first draft of my memoir finished by the end of summer. Then I changed to goal to when my writers group gathers again on Sept 16th. If I’m going to make that goal, I’ll need to keep my butt in chair and write 739 words a day, make sense of  the entire 90,000 words, and edit out about 10,000 words. Maybe that seems doable but the rate I’ve been writing the past month leaves me not so optimistic.  Heck, I haven’t even kept up this blog.

Meanwhile, tomorrow night I will attend a writing workshop. Some of my writing group will probably be there. My memoir teacher might ask how mine is coming along. Maybe it’s the push I need to get on with it. Or, maybe it’s another excuse to not spend the evening at the keyboard.

Accountability for August: Zero – stagnant at 73,000 words.


As The Shoe Drops


I always say never get too comfortable when things are going well. It’s a recipe for disaster. With that kind of intro you might suspect that I’m going to tell a tale of woe but I’ll spare that for now. Let’s just say I got comfortable. My expectations went into overdrive. I should know better.

Face it, “sheep happens” says a dear friend. I’m not even sure where I am going with all of this. Another chapter in my memoir perhaps? A way to keep everyone guessing what comes next? A ploy to keep my readers asking? A plot to sell the book?

Whatever the motive is, life goes on. I seem to have a higher power who thinks I haven’t learned my lesson yet. Just one more adversity, and maybe she’ll get it?

The point is, I am still writing, I still plan to have my first draft done by September, and I probably have a new chapter. But wait – at some point we need to decide when the project is complete. Now I know why many people write more than one memoir. Another shoe drops and another story is born.

How many times have you re-written your story? How do you decide when it’s done?

Accountability: memoir word count is now 71312





ZOne thousand three hundred forty-eight bloggers in the A to Z challenge have captured the zeitgest of April 2016. Check out the list. With a googler’s paradise of topics, there is something for everyone – fact, fantasy, fiction, memoir, poetry – all in the spirit of this particular period of time. I hope to see your blog on the list next April.

Next up: finish the memoir before the 2017 AtoZ.


Ominous Sky
Ominous Sky

I should have known better. I should have taken my umbrella with me. But, as I entered Panera Bread, the sun was still shining through that tiny slip between the clouds. “Looking pretty ominous out there,” the waiter pointed out. As he turned to walk away, the clouds burst forth. My phone chirped a reminder for our appointment 10 minutes away. No choice but to dodge the wind blown sideways downfall. Got in the car soaked to the skin, started the engine, the rain ceased as abruptly as it had begun.

What does this have to do with writing? Not much other than if I had been home writing like I was supposed to be doing, I would be further along than 61,075 words. I must give my self some credit today. I signed up for an advanced memoir class beginning in March. Now I’ll be counting my pennies along with my words, a big incentive to keep up the word count.