Inbetween: Chapter One

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Here it is! Welcome to Inbetween, my second serial novel and my 2016 NaNoWriMo novel. I’m so excited to start sharing this with you. I hope this novel will be as well received as The Dreams.

With this chapter, like every chapter of The Dreams, I owe a huge thank you to my fantastic supporters. If you want to support my writing and help my creations go from first draft to maybe someday a real book you can hold in your hands, head over to my Patreon.

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What I Read in March

If February flew by, March was the month that wouldn’t end. The world was in chaos. I was distracted, scared and upset in varying levels every day. Reading was a good way to escape, but I found it difficult to focus unless I was already at least mostly calm.

Books I finished reading in March:

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Books I’m currently reading:

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What books did you read in March? Are you struggling to read because of worry and stress or has it served as a way to escape?

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a few hours!

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In just a few hours my timezone will kick off April CampNaNoWriMo.

I’m adding 20,000 words to my 3rd draft for Camp.

Writing has been hard lately. There’s a lot going on in the world and I can’t help worrying. When I worry, I stop sleeping. When I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t think well enough to write.

If I’m going to reach my goal for April, I’m going to have to take care of myself. I need the extra push these days.

I’m ready for the challenge. What about you?

Add me as a buddy over on NaNoWriMo if you haven’t already. If you’re looking for a group to join for Camp NaNoWriMo, tell me your NaNoWriMo handle and I’ll invite you to my group.

Writing Progress March 23–29, 2020

daily writing progress

March 23

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,503
  • Today’s word count: 275
  • Thoughts: I pecked at my writing off and on all day. Then it was late and I felt like I hadn’t put in a serious, focused writing session. So I changed that at the last minute. It worked pretty well. I finished writing a scene and went to bed feeling accomplished.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I think I’ve broken out of whatever funk I was in. I’m able to write more than a few sentences. Now I feel like I have to keep it going or I’m going to lose it and spend weeks trying to get it back. We don’t want that right before Camp NaNoWriMo.

March 24

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,628
  • Today’s word count: 125
  • Thoughts: This wasn’t my day. I didn’t feel great. It was hard to focus. I tried anyway and ended up making myself miserable. I shouldn’t have done that. I need to remember it’s okay not to write.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Feel better. Write words. It’ll happen eventually. If I’m not feeling great, I shouldn’t push myself. I’ll only make things worse for myself in the long term if I try to do more than I’m ready to handle.

March 25

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,764
  • Today’s word count: 136
  • Thoughts: I couldn’t turn things around today. I just wasn’t feeling my best and it made it impossible to get much of anything done. Going into today I was so optimistic. It just wasn’t meant to be. I tried to be kind to myself, but it is so hard to resist pushing myself because I want to be productive. I peer pressure myself.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Write if I feel better. If I don’t, I need to give myself permission to rest. I just hope I feel better because I don’t want to end up fighting myself again.

March 26

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,851
  • Today’s word count: 87
  • Thoughts: I had another bad day. It seems like this is turning into a bad week, but I know there’s still time for things to turn around! I’m not sure which started it but my mind and body are both in a bad place right now. Instead of writing, I just want to curl up with a book or wrap myself in a million blankets and watch TV. I don’t have the energy to create, but I have a need for escapism.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: We’re back to Friday and it should be as close to my usual Friday routine as things can be these days. I need to go out for groceries. After that, who knows what will happen. I’m going to try to write, but I won’t pressure myself.

March 27

No writing progress made. Today wasn’t my day. I had a terrible night’s sleep followed by errands I had no choice about doing. I was drained and exhausted. Maybe I could have pushed myself to write, but I didn’t have the energy to even attempt it. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day?

March 28

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,889
  • Today’s word count: 38
  • Thoughts: After having an unplanned day off yesterday, I’m not surprised I struggled to get back into my writing today. I was still exhausted and my focus just wasn’t there. I’m hoping to recover and get back to business as usual with my writing soon.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I should have a decently long stretch of time to focus on my writing. If I plan properly, there shouldn’t be much standing in my way. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

March 29

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,975
  • Today’s word count: 86
  • Thoughts: Today was exhausting. I haven’t been sleeping well and I had a busy day before I had a chance to sit down and write. For a while I honestly thought I would fall asleep before I even made it to bed. Then I felt better. Not great, but I felt better and wrote a bit.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Hopefully I’ll get a ton of sleep and I can start the week in a good position. Camp NaNoWriMo will be starting on Wednesday. There’s plenty to be excited about this coming week!

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

Help others find my work! Vote for The Dreams and Inbetween on Top Web Fiction to help my serials climb the ranks and reach more readers. Voting is free and there’s no log in required.

Writing Progress March 16–22, 2020

daily writing progress

March 16

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,055
  • Today’s word count: 109
  • Thoughts: My anxiety was through the roof today. It was terrible. Things are not getting better or simpler. There’s so much uncertainty. My writing should be an escape, but I’m struggling to get to the point of being able to focus on it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Ignore the world, get cozy and write!

March 17

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,273
  • Today’s word count: 218
  • Thoughts: Not great, but better. I’m improving my “ignore the world” skills somewhat. I still get sucked into the news and feel my anxiety growing, but I also managed to step away and take a break. That’s progress. I can’t expect myself to be perfect on the first day of trying. Of all the steps, I think I struggled with getting cozy the most. Staying warm on days when it’s just not quite cold enough to run the heat is hard! I can only drink so much tea and coffee, after all.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More of the same. Maybe I’ll find a way to make tea warm me up for more than a few minutes. Maybe I need to figure out a way to make my fingerless gloves even warmer?

March 18

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,395
  • Today’s word count: 122
  • Thoughts: I’m still struggling. There’s too much bad news in the world and I keep getting sucked into it because it feels too urgent to ignore. I know I should be taking breaks for my mental health, but I just end up worrying more. Writing should be an escape from that. It works pretty well until I pause for any reason. Once I stop, it’s so hard to start again.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Don’t be discouraged. The more I write, the better I feel. I have to keep trying to write.

March 19

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,459
  • Today’s word count: 64
  • Thoughts: This was just a bad day. I couldn’t get started. Then I finally felt like I could settle down and write and I got a headache. The derailed all my plans. It’s unfortunate, but it happens sometimes.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: It’s going to be a bit of an unusual Friday for me. I’m not running errands which might make it easier to get some work done. I’m looking forward to trying to write as many words as possible. Maybe a change in my weekly routine is what I’ve needed?

March 20

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,544
  • Today’s word count: 85
  • Thoughts: My writing goals got pushed to the side today. I went into the day intending to write plenty of words. Then I ended up playing a game. I wrote a bit while playing the game. Later I watched my boyfriend play a game. I meant to write while I watched him play, but I barely wrote anything. It was a fun day, but not a particularly productive one.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’m hoping I’ll be able to write more. I have errands to run in the morning (not looking forward to that with the way things have been lately) but after that I should have plenty of time to focus on writing more words.

March 21

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 154,651
  • Today’s word count: 113
  • Thoughts: I managed to write more today. Somehow. Honestly, I felt like I didn’t have the emotional or physical energy to write at all. I sat down and thought I’d write a couple words to be able to say I wrote something today. I wrote a bit more and I’m not complaining.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. It’s hard to stay focused these days, but I have to keep going. I’d feel so much worse if I stopped writing.

March 22

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 155,228
  • Today’s word count: 577
  • Thoughts: Wow! I struggled today. First it was general internet distractions. Then it was my cats demanding my full attention. Somehow I managed to write more than any other day this week. It was surprising. I’m thrilled with my productivity. I want to do it again, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t manage it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. I’m sure I’ll write something. Maybe I’ll have another great day.

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

Help others find my work! Vote for The Dreams and Inbetween on Top Web Fiction to help my serials climb the ranks and reach more readers. Voting is free and there’s no log in required.

Excited for Camp NaNoWriMo (again)

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I’ll admit, I lost my excitement for Camp NaNoWriMo for a while this month. The state of the world made looking forward to a month of writing nearly impossible. I don’t go out much, but many of my loved ones have to go out every day to work. They’re jobs are considered essential so they’re not likely to be ordered to stay home where they can properly isolate.

Today has actually been the worst day so far for me. This was supposed to be my grandparents’ joint birthday party. This coming week my grandfather will be 92 and the following week will be my grandmother’s 90th birthday. It’s become a tradition to rent out the community room in their retirement community and invite the entire family as well as all their friends to celebrate with an overabundance of cupcakes. My mom and aunts all bake so they always end up making close to a dozen different kinds of cupcakes.

Obviously, it was cancelled.

I haven’t seen my grandparents in weeks and I have no idea when I’ll see them again. My mom and her siblings have taken turns bringing them groceries, but visits aren’t a necessity so I’m staying away.

Maybe feeling down about this was what finally pushed my mind back toward thinking about Camp NaNoWriMo. There isn’t much else for me to feel excited about these days.

I woke up today feeling ready to be part of a community of frenetic, goal-driven writers again. Even if I’m just continuing the project I’m currently working on, it’s going to make all the difference to feel a bit more connected.

I’ve never felt like I needed a NaNoWriMo event before. It was always something nice to give myself an extra boost. Now it’s nearly a necessity. I need the distraction. I need a little space dedicated to something creative and sequestered away from the news of the world at large. It’s too easy to hop on social media to reach out to fellow writers and get bombarded by worrying news. Once I start thinking about that, I struggle to feel creative. I’m hoping my Camp NaNoWriMo cabin can be a place to chat about writing without the risk of running into other topics.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? Add me as a buddy!

I also have a cabin for next month! If you’d like to join, tell me your NaNoWriMo username and I’ll send you an invite. There’s plenty of room.

Writing Progress March 9–15, 2020

daily writing progress

March 9

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,439
  • Today’s word count: 143
  • Thoughts: I thought today was going to end up being a disaster. For a long time my attempts to write were going terribly. I seriously considered giving up and going to bed. However, close to bedtime I managed to buckle down and write a handful of decent sentences. I’m not complaining.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. The optimist in me believes I can keep the momentum from late tonight going tomorrow. It’s not impossible, but past experience tells me it isn’t too likely. We’ll see what happens! I’m going to stay positive.

March 10

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,527
  • Today’s word count: 88
  • Thoughts: I picked at the story today, but I couldn’t get into the process of writing. My enthusiasm was at a low point. There’s too much else going on in the world. I try to avoid news until after I’ve made some progress with my writing for the day but I failed at that today.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Avoid the news. Write all the words. Let’s get this thing done. I know I’m getting close to the end of the draft. I want to finish it so I can move on to the next step with The Dreams and start my next project as well!

March 11

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,585
  • Today’s word count: 58
  • Thoughts: I was struggling again. This time I allowed myself to get distracted and once I was distracted I couldn’t get back to work. It’s my own fault. Fortunately, I was distracted by reading so I was at least surrounded by words.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Be less distracted. Write more. Maybe still find time to read. I know when I get into these moods I struggle to stop reading something I’ve already started. I’ll at least try to pace myself and write during breaks from reading.

March 12

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,673
  • Today’s word count: 88
  • Thoughts: I think I pinpointed why I’m having trouble writing lately. I’m anxious. There’s a lot to be anxious about these days and it’s pretty hard to get away from the constant bombardment of increasingly distressing news. I’m not happy with the way it is affecting my writing, but I’m trying to accept that I can only do so much about it. I’ll just keep hoping tomorrow will be less stressful.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Friday is back again. I’m not sure how things are going to go. I still have to go to the store and I have a feeling it will be an even more anxiety inducing experience than usual. I don’t know if I will have the mental energy to write after that. Maybe I will need to write to escape?

March 13

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,683
  • Today’s word count: 10
  • Thoughts: Today was everything I feared. I experienced absolute chaos when I went to the grocery store. It left me completely drained. I tried to write. That didn’t go very well. Then I changed gears and cleaned up a scene to post on Patreon. That worked out better. At least I was somewhat productive.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Maybe I’ll manage to write. I hope so. I’m just going to do my best. There’s not much else I can do.

March 14

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,807
  • Today’s word count: 124
  • Thoughts: Another day full of stress. I managed to write a bit more today, but it was really hard to focus on something productive. Every time I had an opportunity to sit down and write I found myself sucked into worrying about the state of the world. However, I tried and had a little bit of success. I’ll take it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. It’s going to be hard to keep my mind off the state of the world, but I think it is more than worth the effort. I don’t want to spend all my time worrying.

March 15

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,946
  • Today’s word count: 139
  • Thoughts: Today looked like it was going to be a total failure for the longest time. Then I just felt a small burst of motivation. I jumped on it and got a bit of work done before life caught up with me again. If I could just get the hang of blocking out the world for a while each day I know I could get so much more done.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. Less worrying. It’s easier said than done, but I have to keep trying. It’s good for me. I can’t live my life if I’m constantly stressed about things outside of my control.

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

Help others find my work! Vote for The Dreams and Inbetween on Top Web Fiction to help my serials climb the ranks and reach more readers. Voting is free and there’s no log in required.

Writing Progress March 2 – 8, 2020

daily writing progress

March 2

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,327
  • Today’s word count: 121
  • Thoughts: The words didn’t want to come out today. I sat and stared at the blinking cursor. I pleaded with the words to vacate my brain and join their brethren on the screen. The words scoffed at my pleas and refused to budge multiple times. I needed a different strategy. I wait hours for the words to get sleepy and drop their guard. Then I pounced and dragged a couple handful of those words out into the story.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, easier writing. Will it be possible? I honestly have no idea. Luck will have to be on my side if I’m suddenly going to have a spectacular day of writing.

March 3

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,721
  • Today’s word count: 394
  • Thoughts: What happened? What made this day so much more productive than other days? I wish I knew! Writing is so hard sometimes. Other times, it comes so easily. I wouldn’t say today was an easy writing day, but it was easier than most days lately.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Can I have another day like today? I hope so! Is it possible it will be even better than today? I don’t know, but I’m going to try to make it happen!

March 4

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,850
  • Today’s word count: 129
  • Thoughts: I hoped for another day like yesterday. It just didn’t happen. Today was a painfully ordinary day of writing. I want to get away from this ordinary and make yesterday’s productivity more ordinary. We’re getting there, but I’m not there yet. I’ll keep working on it.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing. I shouldn’t have too much distracting me. If I can keep my own mind on task, it could be a great day of writing. I can’t wait to report back with the results of my effort.

March 5

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 152,999
  • Today’s word count: 149
  • Thoughts: I thought today was going to end up being a disaster for my writing. I tried and failed to write so many times. Then, just as I was getting ready for bed, the floodgates opened. I was able to write. If I wasn’t about to fall asleep at my keyboard, I could have written so much more. I only stopped because I knew I was too tired to go on. Why can’t these things happen at a reasonable hour?
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I just want to write something. My day is going to be chaotic. It’s the way Fridays always are for me. If I can just get some words down, I’ll be so happy.

March 6

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,016
  • Today’s word count: 17
  • Thoughts: Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I surprised? Of course not. Today ended up being everything I’m afraid of on Fridays. I was busy in the morning. Then I was emotionally drained from being so busy. It took me ages to recover. Once I did, I was too tired to do much writing.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: I’m going to try to write more. It shouldn’t be too hard, but I’m still worried whether or not it will work out.

March 7

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,146
  • Today’s word count: 130
  • Thoughts: I had no idea what to expect from today. I wanted to write, of course. The bar was set pretty low. Writing more than I did yesterday wouldn’t take long. I succeeded. That part didn’t take long. However, the writing I did was broken up into almost single sentence burst throughout the day. That’s not normal for me. It didn’t end horribly so I won’t say it shouldn’t happen again.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: More writing, I hope. I have obligations that will take me away from my writing for at least part of the day, but the evening/night should be all mine. We’ll see what I can make with it.

March 8

  • Project: The Dreams
  • Total word count: 153,296
  • Today’s word count: 150
  • Thoughts: I was busy today and I still managed to write. I’m impressed. Usually I would consider today to be a loss and go to bed. Somehow I turned today around. I’m pretty happy with how I did.
  • Tomorrow’s goal: Write. I don’t want to bother with anything else. I probably won’t be able to achieve this, but I can at least put writing at the top of my priority list.

Enjoy my content? Want to be one of the first to see the new version of The Dreams? Pledge $1 on Patreon to gain early access to my work, bonus content and our Discord server!

Help others find my work! Vote for The Dreams and Inbetween on Top Web Fiction to help my serials climb the ranks and reach more readers. Voting is free and there’s no log in required.

I made a Camp NaNoWriMo group

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I did it! I made a group for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Right now it’s only myself and a few friends invited to the group. We’ve done cabins for Camp NaNoWriMo together before. Most of us write fantasy and we tend to be more supportive than competitive.

There’s plenty of room left in the group so I’d like to opening it up to you. Are you looking for a place to hang out during the month of April? Do you want to witness me (most likely) continue my Camp NaNoWriMo losing streak?

Let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an invite. Don’t forget to add me as a buddy too!

It’s Officially Camp NaNoWriMo Season!

For official information on Camp NaNoWriMo check here.

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The Camp NaNoWriMo updates to the NaNoWriMo website are now live! I’m looking forward to checking out the new features.

I set up my project for next month. My goal is to continue my third draft of The Dreams with a goal of writing 20,000 words during the month of April. Keep in mind, I’ve never won a Camp event, regardless of what goal I set. With the change from a separate site to the main site, I’m hoping that the energy surrounding Camp NaNoWriMo will change and I’ll get a motivation boost.

For now, we only have word count goals for Camp. This is unfortunate for people that have come to use the Camp months to work on time-related writing efforts like editing and outlining. I’m sure people can find word-equivalencies for increments of time if they want, but I imagine more people will just write something to keep everything simple.

Cabins are gone. Now we have groups.

Screenshot_2020-03-05 NaNoWriMo

I’m waiting to hear from friends before I endeavor to set up my own group, but I’m looking forward to figuring out what this feature has to offer. Groups need between 3 and 20 members so I won’t bother trying to set it up until I know at least two more people want to form a group.

Screenshot_2020-03-05 NaNoWriMo(1)

Are you planning to participate in CampNaNoWriMo next month? Would you like to join my group for next month once I make it?

April Camp NaNoWriMo is less than a month away

April 1st marks the start of Camp NaNoWriMo. It will be the first time Camp NaNo takes place on the main NaNoWriMo site.

In the past, Camp NaNoWrimo had its own site with a cabin system as a way to make the April and July events stand apart from the main event in November. For me, the cabin system was always great in theory but terrible in practice. I’d join up with some friends and form a cabin and everything would be great for during the first week or so. Then people would get busy, distracted, or discouraged. The the cabin became a ghost town.

How will things be different this year? How will the system replacing the cabins work?

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I don’t know yet. The groups feature on the main website is currently being beta tested. The feature is supposed to be released on March 5, but it might be pushed back to March 10 if things aren’t ready to go this Thursday.

After the rocky launch of the new site last fall, there’s plenty of reasons to be concerned about Camp. Some people rely on the NaNoWriMo site for social support during the events. When the whole site changed, they had to learn a new forum structure and entirely rebuilt their buddy lists.

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For me, the social benefits of the NaNoWriMo site is a nice bonus, but I’m perfectly content getting by socializing on Twitter and Discord. When the site has growing pains, I’m fine with stepping back and waiting. I’m not particularly worried about features getting out of beta this month. However, I don’t want my writing friends that rely on the site for connections to feel discouraged.

Hopefully the groups feature will be ready to go on Thursday so we all have plenty of time to get used to it before the writing frenzy begins.

If you’re like me and already getting wound up for Camp, you can add me as a buddy over on NaNoWriMo.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in April? What are your thoughts on the Camp events moving over to the main site?