Well, I did it! I finished the novel I was writing for National Novel Writing Month! I did it with three days to spare, and a few words over the requirement at 51,945. What a sense of accomplishment!
This is a book that has been ratting around inside my heart for quite a long time. Participating in NaNoWriMo forced me to sit down and let it out, and I have to admit I'm very pleased with the results. Don't get me wrong, the book has a LOT of work left to do on it, but the story is one I'm quite happy with. I plan on spending the next year working on it and hope to be able to publish it next fall. Since it is set at Christmas time, I would like to have it out so people can enjoy it througout the holidays next year.
I blogged at the beginning of the month how this is a book that is based on some of the experiences my grandfather had when he was a child in Denmark in the early 1900s. Using both his autobiography as well as doing extensive research on the internet, I was able to gain an appreciation and a deeper love for Grandpa. He is someone I have always loved and respected, but this experience has given me an insight that goes beyond what I have had so far.
To support NaNoWriMo and their Young Writers Program, I will be offering THE CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER on the Smashwords website for a limited time. It will sell for 99 cents, and all proceeds will go to the Young Writers Program. If you choose to read it now, please remember that it is in a very rough draft stage. I know it needs editing, so please don't send me tons of emails about what is wrong with the book. I am making it available to help raise a little money for NaNoWriMo. Just try to enjoy the story.
THE CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER will be available at http://www.smashwords.com/ from December 1st through January 5th. I hope you take a look, support a worthy cause, and enjoy a fun story for Christmas.
Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. -- Groucho Marx, 1890-1977
Had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my three crazy guys. Love them all SOOOO much. We had a great turkey (24 pounds) and all the trimmings. And I mean all! I didn't get too many pictures cuz my batteries died, but here's a brief glimpse of our day! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too!
Stan making his famous gravy. YUMMMMM!
Who are these crazy guys??
Hey, I recognize them now! They're mine! Yay!
This turkey is HUGE! But we were able to handle him just fine!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. When my kids were little they couldn't understand why Christmas wasn't at the top of my holiday list but I think they get it now. It's the only holiday that doesn't have an extra agenda to it, like buying candy (although you can do that) or give gifts, or shoot fireworks. We just have a wonderful meal with those who mean the most to us to take stock of all we have rather than what we lack. That makes me so happy! Here are some things I am grateful for this year.
I am grateful for a family (of men) who support and love me no matter what. They give me space to write, they hug me when I'm tired, they cook dinner when I'm too pooped to move. I feel like a queen much of the time, and it's a dandy thing!
I'm grateful to be able to walk. I sometimes curse the arthritis that plagues me, but I can still walk and get around pretty well, and that means a lot to me.
I'm grateful for my little razor that keeps my chin from making me look like that train guy on Polar Express. Believe me, I sometimes think my chin hairs grow faster than my husbands! But I gots the jump on the little suckers with that thing.
I'm grateful for chocolate. There are many things in this world that testify to me of a Heavenly Father's love, and chocolate is one of them! It's a lovely treat that makes me feel good when I need it. One of His best inventions!
Dogs. I love dogs. I am not a cat person. I am thankful for dogs in a world where there seems to be so much conditional love and to have a creature that will love you simply because you are there is a blessing.
I am grateful for music. To have a way to express yourself when you don't have the right words is so cool! That you can tell your friend, "Listen to this song," and they can get what you're feeling is so fabulous! Or when something inside you is too big to keep in, you can burst into song and let it out in the best way possible, although I suggest you don't do this in Safeway.
I am thankful for AJ who has such empathy in his being. He is someone I never have to explain anything to, he just understands. What an amazing gift to be his mother.
I'm grateful for Kevin who makes me laugh. He has such a good sense of humor and comes up with these things that just crack me up. So fun to have him for my son!
I am thankful for Stan who is always there for me. He has changed my life in ways I cannot explain, even to him. It scares me to think where I might be if not for him.
And mostly, I am grateful for a Father in Heaven and a Savior who give me more than chocolate and dogs, a husband and sons. They have given me me a heart to feel gratitude, faith to guide me, love to fill me, music to bring me joy and my family to make it all worthwhile.
This is a big day in our house. My youngest, Kevin, is now 19 years old. This will be the last year we have a teenager in the house! Aack! I'm not sure what to do....
It's been such a blessing to be his mother. It was a loooong pregnancy. I was on bedrest the entire nine months, with an eighteen-month-old boy to take care of. With the help of family and friends we made it through, and moved from our condo into a house in the process as well. Whew!
And to be perfectly honest, as difficult as that pregnancy was, it was worth every minute of it! All the monitors, tests, checkups. Must have had a dozen ultra sounds too ... plus gestatianal diabetes so I had to take injections three times a day .... yup. When I look at him I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could get Kevin as my reward.
Here are some pictures. We went to Empire Asian Buffet for dinner (his favorite), saw the movie "Mega Mind," and then came home to homemade tres leches cake and A&W rootbeer. What a celebration.
I'm giving away a free copy of my ebook WHAT WOULD NANCY DO? to one of my commentors!
Christmas is coming and you can give yourself an early present! Just leave a comment on this post and check back at the end of the week to see if you've won!
Here's a brief synopsis of the book:
WHAT WOULD NANCY DO? is the story of childhood friends Maeve Haile and Kate Hanson, who are now in their fifties. As young girls they shared a love for the Nancy Drew mystery books often looking for mysteries of their own to solve.
When a woman in their small town is killed they take on the case asking "what would Nancy do?" Kate as a therapist and Maeve a stay-at-home mother and volunteer at the library, they pull in all their resources and friends to help them solve the case. They learn they can rely on each other in ways their friendship has never been tested before as they race to find the killer before he strikes again.
It is a novel filled with intrigue, humor, love and an interesting set of characters that tell how life can lead you down interesting paths and sometimes starts at fifty.
We're almost at the halfway mark for National Novel Writing Month. I've been reading a healthy amount of criticism for the project, but as a writer I'm finding it not only challenging, but quite the learning experience.
The thing is, it's not supposed to be this wonderful, complete, ready to publish novel when you get done. Instead I believe the point of it all is to just get people writing, being creative and seeing what the possibilities are if you put your shoulder to the wheel.
My grandfather Neal Jacobsen, came to America from Denmark when he was 11. His mother, who was very poor, had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the city of Aalborg in the early 1900s. The church offered a program where they would take children and send them to America where they would live with families from the church. It offered the children an opportunity for a better life, and Neal's mother chose to send Neal, along with his sisters Mary and Ove to America.
My grandpa was given to a family named Hillyard who lived halfway between Smithfield and Richmond in Cache Valley, Utah.
It is from his personal history that I am basing my novel. It is not about him, but I have taken some of his experiences and given them to my main character. It's a wonderful, and fun, experience for me to write this book. I am looking forward to November 30th!
Today is the start of National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo, as it is called, was set up to promote the written word. It is not supposed to be a competition but to be a situation wherein you can challenge yourself to write. In this case, a novel in 30 days!
Sounds exciting,doesn't it? I've started, have a little over 800 words into my first attempt at NaNoWriMo. I have about a dozen writing buddies over there. We encourage, nag and support each other so that we can finish.
Everyone who actually finishes their novel is considered a winner of NaNoWriMo. I am confident and hopeful, and when I do finish at the end of the month I'll receive a logo that I can display on my blog.
I'll be posting here everyone once in awhile how it's going, and when it's completed, I will edit it and publish it on Smashwords.com where it'll be available to read if you're interested.
So, back to the WIP. I'll probably be low profile during November. See you around!
When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? To surrender dreams--this may be madness; to seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness! But maddest of all--to see life as it is and not as it should be.
I have been married for over 27 years to my husband Stan. We have two sons, AJ (26) and Kevin (24). We have two crazy dogs named Jasper and Riley. I love my life, my family and have a strong faith that directs me.
Feel free to comment on my postings and let me know how you feel. I always like making new friends!