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Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s the Fourth of July weekend, I’ve just returned from a cruise and land tour to Alaska, my endocrinologist has started me on a new medication with adverse side effects, Camp NaNoWriMo has just begun, and—naturally—it’s my turn for a blog post.

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska

No, I don’t expect any sympathy. I don’t work so I should have plenty of time to write. Right?

Rrriiiggghhhttt.  Time isn’t the problem. What do I have to say that is worth reading???

Since this isn’t a cooking or entertaining blog, I won’t bore anyone with my plans for celebrating Independence Day.

Since this isn’t a travel blog, I doubt if anyone wants to hear about my trip to Alaska. (I did have good intentions of keeping a journal. That lasted a day.)

Since this isn’t a medical blog, I’ll save you from a description of how the .05 mg of fludrocortisone is affecting me.

Guess that leaves Camp NaNoWriMo, the July session of the traditional NaNoWriMo held in November, which you may or may not know that I have “won” two times. (Winning entails submitting an original novel of at least 50,000 words written during the month.)

For July, I’ve committed to writing an additional 50,000 words of my already started “Claire” novel. Submitting a work in progress is legal during Camp NaNoWriMo but not in November. My brilliant idea for “Camp” was first to outline how I am going to connect the three novels that I have based in the town of Woodbury: “Anne,” “Claire,” and “It Takes a Village Store,” (all evidently working titles) and then write “Claire,” the first book in my trilogy.It made sense a few months ago….

Now that I am attempting to commit to paper how to connect the three books as well as write the first book all during July, I’m starting to rethink my plan. If the idea is to write 50,000 words in 31 days (note that November only has 30!) and it’s already the 3rd, maybe I’ll forgo working on the links among the three books and instead devote my efforts to “Claire.”

I already have 11,000 words written for this book, as well as a ton of backstory, and I even know the ending—at least the ending as of today—so it makes sense to just whip out the rest of the book. I might even be done before the end of the month….

Happy Fourth of July to all of our followers!!

Perfect wrinkles

I just finished ironing some of the clothes I am about to pack to take on our cruise and land tour of Alaska. One of my daughters was aghast that I would bother to iron before the clothes were stuffed into our suitcases, where they will certainly grow new wrinkles no matter how carefully I roll and fold them.

It goes against my grain to perform anything less than to perfection. Just the thought of packing a pair of unironed pants with wrinkles sends waves of revulsion through me. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. (But as a writer I am entitled–no, encouraged–to hone my exaggeration skills.)

The need for perfection is a known cause of procrastination for writers. “Perfectionist paralysis” is defined by Urban Dictionary as “the inability to start on…any creative task due to the fear of not getting it perfectly right.” Yup, that’s me. And it’s not limited to starting a project, I’ve found. Revision is also included in that category.

But I’m working on it. I’d love to finish that novel I started in 1986.

Four of us from my writing group have committed to join the July Camp NaNoWriMo, similar to the November NaNoWriMo (a 50,000 word novel in 30 days), except in July we have more flexibility with our projects. We are going to use our weekly “pinky swears” as our projects. For the past week, as I’ve been trying to return to sleep after my early morning jaunt to the bathroom, I’ve been laying in bed pondering my project. I think that’s a good start. After all, I still have two weeks to prepare.

One of my writing group members asked if I would get much writing done on my trip. I plan to keep a journal. But beyond that I know without a doubt that my fiction will flounder. I expect to be too enamored by glaciers and fjords, hopefully even some whales and grizzlies, to focus on Claire, Anne, Olivia, and Emily.

And it’s very likely that I’ll be too busy to notice the wrinkles.

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