2015: Retrospective

2015: Retrospective

2015 turned out to be a big year for me. Going into it, I don’t think I could have predicted what the year would bring.


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Don’t Quit! (unless you need to)

We’re already halfway through the second week of NaNoWriMo everybody!

Last night at a write-in, a few of the other writers and I discussed how the second week is often the hardest. The excitement and newness of the first week has worn off. The end of the month is far enough away that we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. And many of us have reached the point in our novel where we’ve set everything up, introduced all our main characters, and now we have to figure out what’s next.

It’s also far enough in that if your behind on your word count it could seem impossible to catch up. You might think you’re too far behind to finish and it’s best giving up now.

Stop!Don’t give up on yourself! Continue reading “Don’t Quit! (unless you need to)”

The Pressure of the Word Count

This is the first year I’ve stayed on top of NaNoWriMo. The first week I’ve consistently been either ahead or within sight of the daily goals. But I know not everyone participating is keeping up.

While it can be motivating to check in with your writing buddies. See that their 2,000 word ahead of you, and get spurred on to write to catch up. For some people they don’t see a goal, they see failure. They see that they are falling behind or not “as good” at writing as their fellow wrimos.

If you’re that kind of person, don’t check your buddy list. Focus on what you need for writing.

I spend most of my work day writing, I get plenty of practice when it comes to sitting down in front of a blank page and knowing I need to knock out 2 solid pages in the next hour.

Writing is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. The more you do it, the easier it will probably come.

Now there are people who it will just come naturally. The person who can sit down, write their first novel and have it become a best seller. We all secretly hate that person.

But for most of us, our first attempts aren’t going to be that great. We might only be able to knock out a few hundred words in a day if we’re lucky instead of 1,667. As long as you keep at it, you’ll get better. The words will come easier and faster. Sure you’ll still stumble from time to time and find yourself staring at a blinking curser for half an hour before giving up and closing your laptop. Even professionals stumble.

So if you’re someone whose stressing about not making at 50,000 and considering quitting. Don’t. Set a smaller goal for yourself. Something that will still be a challenge, but not so big that it seems hopeless.

Just keep writing. We all have a story to tell.


It’s already the 5th day of November, and so far I’ve been keeping up with writing.

Over the last few years I have tried to do NaNo but always had something else in the way. One year it was work, another it was stage managing a show. But this year I’ve cleared my schedule and promised myself that I am going to stick with it.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo and want to add me as your writing buddy I’m right here http://nanowrimo.org/participants/hiddenoffstage

I’ll probably post a few excerpts from the novel over the month, so stay tuned!

Decades Lost – Excert 2

In just a few minutes we’ll be climbing into our hibernation pods to start the trip to Io.  If everything goes as planned Kendall, the engineer, will be the only one to wake up during the trip.  Just so that he can check all of the systems and if needed he’ll wake the rest of the crew.  I’ve double-checked my pod and it’s all set for the four month trip to Io.  The pods are not that glamorous.  Besides the window around the head the rest is scuffed plastic.  At least I was able to trade out the old cushions for brand new ones.  Even if I’m unconscious I do think they will make a difference.

Initially I was concerned about having to hibernate in the pods.  An anxiety attack while going into or coming out of hibernation would be very bad.  A few months ago, while poking around the storeroom holding all the extra parts to The Decade Lost, I found a few spare pods.  Not much has changed with hibernation technology in the last 8 years.  So I took a few naps in the pods to give it a test run.  Other than terrifying one security officer who missed the memo that I was in the storeroom, everything went swimmingly.

I do have a bottle of pills tucked into my jumpsuit.  Just in case.

Until we get the all clear from the captain there isn’t much to do but stare at the five identical pods, and two very strange looking pods.

Continue reading “Decades Lost – Excert 2”