Monday, August 27, 2012

"The 60 Second Update"

Good afternoon, I'm Gina's Brain. Welcome to the 60 Second Update. *spotlight on*

Photo by Mattox
The Brain reports:

>Writing book. Last week CampNaNoWriMo Challenge. Much time working; progress-yes, quantity-minimal.

>True Blood Finale - missed - satellite out due to storm. Watch rerun tonight.

>Watched movie "The Moth Diaries". Awesome.

>Does Dish or Direct offer wireless dvr receivers in, NO wires running through house? Hubby curious.

>Shape shifters in book I'm writing...crazy trying to decide how/when/where they should make use of power. Clothes are the issue :) Either take them off before shifting (& put back on after) or explode through clothes - thus, ruining a lot of clothes. *sigh*

And that concludes the 60 Second Update. *lights out*

Photo by annabelle

Monday, August 20, 2012

Third Week of Writing Challenge - Ahhh!

I'm still at it. The Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) writing challenge:  to write 50,000 words in the month of August.
The light at the end of the tunnel.
jainaj / Free Photos

I had upped the ante, though. I wanted to finish an entire book in one month. For me, my books tend to be around 82,000 - 90,000 words.

It's not going to happen, my lovelies.

Definitely there is no way I can finish this book in what remains of this month: less than two weeks to go. It is possible I could complete the 50,000 word challenge, but I'm not making bets on that either way. So, YES, I am continuing to write my brains out, as much as I can.

But, in this month, I've written more than I have in some time. That in itself is awesome. I'm getting something done. I'm excited about the story, toss ideas around with my husband, and find myself saying, "ooohh...but what if ___ or ___?" as I'm working on the story line.

I don't know how some writers can write so fast and whip out an entire book in a month. The fastest I've written a book was in 2 - 1/2 months. They must write 12-18 hours a day, every day, and only take time out for potty breaks, eating, and occasionally showering. They must not need to pause, think over something they've previously written or are about to write, sit and stare at the screen and re-read paragraphs to make sure they make sense. They must have someone else they can rely on to take care of household chores, cook, clean, wash, run errands, take care of pets, pay bills, cut grass, do dishes, and about 20 other things that come up in life.
For me as I write, there are simply too many "things" to think about in the story, figure out, research,  and my dreaded need to edit/revise AS I type. I've gotten much better at stopping my urge to do instant revising as I go, though. And life happens around me. Responsibilities and chores I either have to take care of or can only put off doing for so long (see the previous paragraph).

So, some of you may say I'm whining...that we all have the same 24 hours in a day...that I'm making excuses. I don't think I am. I'm stating facts. And I don't have someone I can delegate chores to. And I don't have money to pay someone else to do some of those chores. And I do choose to hold off doing or eliminate certain chores.

And here comes my POSITIVE outtake on this:  Even if I can't complete the monthly challenge, I feel I have won something anyway. My "win" or reward or accomplishment will be: I AM WRITING CONSISTENTLY. I DON'T WANT TO STOP. I'M NOT GIVING UP ON MY GOAL TO FINISH THIS BOOK IN A TIMELY MANNER. Also, I've learned quite a bit about realistic writing goals.  I like creating quality work and great stories and sometimes that cannot be rushed and completed in a such a short span of time (one month)...or at least I am not able to write that freaking fast.

"The Break Free Tree" - Awesome Image for Creativity
Eddi van W. / Free Photos

So here's to my work-in-progress, titled Rocked - A Chelsie Valdar Saga - 1, a rapid but not slapped together completion ;) Hang in there, my Chosen Sidekicks! (did you read my posting a few months ago about readers/fans having their own name? Thanks to Braelyn for reminding me!)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Special for Amazon Prime Members; Writing Challenge Update

UPDATE FORUnknown Touch-Werewolf Series-Book 1. My publisher just finished a weekend giveaway (FREE ebook) for this novel for the Amazon Kindle (KEEP READING FOR ANOTHER SPECIAL).  Oops! -- Sorry if you missed out on Saturday and Sunday! I blasted the social networking sites with the info to let people know, but everyone doesn't LIVE on the internet and it's impossible to read and catch all posts! I am aware of this impossibility to read everything…the number of connections I'd LIKE to keep up with…ain't gonna happen! BUT another special runs until November 5, 2012 --  The ebook format for Unknown Touch will be available for FREE for Amazon Prime members. 

Reminder:  I am still fully involved in the Camp NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. How many thought I'd drop out by now, huh?!  *screeching record sound!* Nope, I am still trying to complete it. I am having a hard time cranking out the number of words needed per day in order to get this baby done by the end of the month. I won't lie. It's tough and LIFE still must be attended to, at some point, as it takes place around me.  So, perhaps I won't have a completed manuscript by August 31, 2012, but I should definitely be able to meet the challenge of writing 50,000 words by the deadline. *cheering*

Therefore, this blog post MUST be brief. It is imperative I use my time wisely and to WRITE, WRITE, WRITE the actual book!

Here's a cute image that I desperately need to live by (at least for August):

Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 11 and 12, 2012 - Get Unknown Touch FREE

My first book, Unknown Touch-Werewolf Series-Book One,  will be available for FREE to EVERYONE on the Amazon Kindle on August 11-12, 2012. FREE, I said!! So here's the direct link, below the book cover. Now go get it!! Then if you like it, look for Unknown Scent-Werewolf Series-Book 2 !! (Gee, no suggestive selling there, huh?!)


Back to writing my brains out on Rocked-A Chelsie Valdar Saga-1.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Writing Challenge Update

I'm fully involved in the Camp NaNoWriMo virtual writing challenge. This will be short. If it is too long, you should crack the whip and yell at me and say, "Bad Gina! Get back to writing. August is only so long and you need to work on that book!"

Fast fingers!
KatieKrueger / Free Photos

It's been rough. I won't lie. I tend to write and edit at the same time. Which can be good and bad. Good in that once it's finished, little editing needs done, which feels awesome! Bad in that editing (which I call revising, too) as I write the book (paragraphs and scenes, etc.) sucks up an incredible amount of time. That is time I desperately need to write and FINISH the book (or at least the 50,000 words per month challenge with Camp NaNoWriMo) by the end of August.

I'm still psyched. I am writing and I am getting something accomplished. Which is better than the dry spell I've had of late. So I'm not trying to beat myself up...too much. :)

I have word and chapter and page goals as a guide. It hangs 4 feet in front of me right now. I do not have writer's block, thankfully, but am so critical with trying to make everything "sound right" and make it the best I can. I realize I cannot work this way if I'm attempting an actual writing challenge and am trying to just let it flow - let the words fly out of my brain and on the page and don't worry about mistakes or picking a "better" word or improving the sentence structure, etc.

It's difficult. But that's why this IS a challenge, right?! It's not supposed to be easy!

Ian BC North / Free Photos

Some info about Rocked - A Chelsie Valdar Saga - 1:
>It's written in first person, like my other books.
>A difference - it's written in present tense, not past tense. You are living the experience with Chelsie.
>It's present day, not 20 years in the past or future.
>The short synopsis: A modern-day Viking warrior chick, fighting for her best chance at survival with The Apocalypse approaching and a Bigfoot stalking her.

Writing in present tense has been very difficult for me. Another challenge...but getting easier the more I write.

And I bumped into a reader fan the other day at Walmart. She asked when the next book is coming out! She wrote notes on the first two to help her keep track of things (Unknown Touch-Werewolf Series-Book 1 & Scent-2). And is waiting to find out what happens next to Kara, Daniel, Dominic and the rest of the gang. I explained I'm actually writing a different series at the moment but will hop back to the Werewolf Series next. That pumped me up - reader loyalty and anticipation. Nice.

So, enough ranting and rambling. Back to typing many, many WORDS for the next novel!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm at Camp for August-Writing My Heart Out

Dear Fans, Friends, Family, and Righteous Supporters:

This summer, I'm going to camp. It's a virtual writers' retreat where novelists (or aspiring novelists) from around the world gather to bash out 50,000 words of fiction in a month.

It starts today. The virtual creative writing camp is called Camp NaNoWriMo. BTW, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. While I'm there, my goal is to finish an entire novel during this one month.

That's right! I've committed to the Camp NaNoWriMo goal of writing 50,000 words in a month plus MORE since my novels average 80,000 - 90,000 words! And that would be for this month of August... *throat clearing* ...of THIS year!! Not by next year! So, stop chuckling! (You can follow my progress on any of my social network sites. Here's my Twitter link. And on my site you can see the Twitter feed.)

And to reach my goal, I am going to need all the encouragement I can get!

So take that, "normal" summer camp and your archery classes, any fishing lessons, pottery or painting or other craft classes, tree identification, swimming, insect collecting, playing sports, sweating buckets doing chores, hiking nature trails...wait - that last one sounds okay! As long as my laptop is charged and in my backpack so I can plunk down on a tree log in the shade and type scenes to my new novel!!

Camp NaNoWriMo is free. But I'm also raising money to help the nonprofit that puts it on every year to keep the virtual campfire glowing and keep the inspiration flowing for me and thousands of my fellow campers all around the world.
Every dollar I raise will keep my spirits high as I write my way towards the realization of my creative goals. More importantly, your contribution will help the Office of Letters and Light, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that hosts Camp NaNoWriMo, build a more engaged and inspiring world.  I'll receive some truly nifty prizes for my fundraising efforts on behalf of The Office of Letters and Light. Your donation will help provide free writing resources for even more kids, teens, and adults around the world! 

Or, there are a number of inspirational items in the online Camp Store that will help get me through the month. You could send me a Camp NaNoWriMo Care Package full of campy encouragement, a Camp NaNoWriMo T-shirt declaring my goal for the month, a Campfire Mug to fill with writer fuel, or a poster for my writing nook.

Here's my Camp NaNoWriMo Sponsor Link for anyone who'd like to sponsor me.


I will post brief updates throughout the month on my progress, like the number of words written and how I'm doing. I will partially go into hiding while working on this project but will occasionally visit all my social network sites to pop in a few one-liners and say that I'm alive. Feel free to give me a shout out...give me a few days to respond. 

Thank you so much for your support as I write my novel. Wish me luck! I need the encouragement to survive this month at "camp"!

Gina Marie Long