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First and foremost, I have to show off my newly completed custom bookshelves that my hubby built for me. As a kid, Belle was always my favorite Disney princess, not because of her clothes or that she got to live in a magical castle, but because of her books! I dreamed of being surrounded by all my favorite titles. I couldn't be happier with how this turned out. And the best part? There is room to spare, Amazon, watch out!
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is in full swing! I was working on a new project (a thriller for adults) in October, but wanted to set aside NaNo this year for delving back into Esotera and finishing a first draft of the last book in the trilogy, One Earth. I've been making good progress so far. I wrote about 14,000 words last year (after canalizing a few thousand for book two) and as of tonight am sitting at 34,000. 20,000 words in only 8 days! Shows what you can do when you set your mind to something. 
I am really enjoying where the story is going, though it is bitter-sweet for me. I've spent the last 6 years of my life creating this world. To think of it ending is a strange feeling. I wrote the last chapter months ago and find myself re-reading it from time to time. I'm so happy with how it turned out, now I just need to get there!
First drafts can be a bit of a mystery. I have a VERY loose plot and guide, mainly who the star of every chapter is, and roughly where I want everyone to be at a given time, but my cast of characters has swelled from book two and I've added even more. My poor desk looks like a stack of post-its exploded on it. It's a lot to keep track of and I have times of varying success. For instance, I just started chapter 34 and realized I completely left out a character from the first two books. D'oh. He will have to wait til edits. I'm not going to worry about it yet.
That is also my advice to you if you are considering doing NaNo, or just buckling down to work hard on a writing project. Don't worry about making it perfect. Ernest Hemingway said "Write drunk. Edit sober." Not saying that you need a drink in your hand, but if you worry too much about polishing, you run the risk of limiting yourself.
First drafts are messy. Mine don't see the light of day. I do several drafts before I feel OK enough to subject someone to the hot mess I've created. Through each run-through it is polished even more until you, dear reader, get to hold a bright shiny piece in your hands.
But there's no way to do that if you don't get your hands a little dirty first. Keep digging.
Happy reading, and writing.

 
 
It feels like something hijacked this year, somehow we are already into December. NaNoWriMo is over, and while I did not "finish", I got a really solid start on book three. I wasn't necessarily expecting to hit the 50,000 word mark (ended up with a bit over 16,000), but I am grateful that it gave me the motivation to get back in the world of the Four Corners and start giving some closure to my characters and myself.

If I've learned nothing else through what I will call the trilogy writing process it is this: it's hard, time consuming, and draining (I guess a trilogy within a trilogy). It also gives me a much greater respect and sympathy for authors who write each in sections instead of all at once and break it up. While I can't imagine writing 150,000 or so word at once, I see the appeal in getting the whole story out and then editing and chopping it into three pieces. I find it difficult not only to keep the voice and momentum going, but to simply not forget characters. This is something I realized I did in book two (sorry Omire!) and have to go back and add him in.

I used to get frustrated with authors who take 1-2 years between books. Now I am scared if I am even going to be able to do each installment of mine that quickly! It is a fine line between getting your product in the hands of your eager readers before they forget all about you and giving them a quality thing to have. I am in awe of those out there that time it all perfectly.

So as the first book in the Four Corners series is fast approaching release (one reason I'm anxious for 2015 to start!), I hope you can all bear with me and stay with me as we take this journey together. Don't give up on us, I promise you, it will be worth it.
 
 
So after a month of basically not writing or reading anything of my own (damn life getting in the way...), I decided I needed a bit of motivation. Luckily this revelation came just as November was starting. Why November? You may have seen some confusing hashtag usage scattered around social media the last week, #NaNoWriMo, known in writing circles as National Novel Writing Month.

It's an awesome month that encourages anyone who has a story to tell to start telling it. If you are interested in getting involved, its not too late! Information can be found at http://nanowrimo.org/

The goal is to complete a novel (50,000 word count) by the end of November. I've been struggling with motivation on starting book three of Four Corners, so decided to make it the perfect excuse to get started. I may not hit my goal of 50k (oh responsibilities getting in the way), but it has made me at least get a move on in coming back into the world of Levi, Aura, and my cast of characters. Just like signing up for a race motivates me to get out the door and run, I am hoping NaNoWriMo will motivate me to get as close to a first draft done as I can.

And really, that is the main goal. Are you going to have a polished, pretty, ready for the world book at the end of 30 days? If you are, more power to you, and please drop me a line on how you do it, but for the rest of us "mortal" writers, the first draft is often the hardest, and just getting it down is a huge accomplishment. Something I read the other day that really stuck with me in reading different posts about the month was : You can't edit a blank page. It's true, no matter how terrible something I may have written is, it's better than having nothing down at all. Terrible I can work it, nothing is daunting.

In running there is a phrase "Did not finish is greater than did not start". Even if you are unable to complete the race, you are better off for trying than others that let that doubt keep them from the start line. I don't know where I'll be when December 1st rolls around, but I'm sure no matter what, I'll be trucking along, picking off the chapters and getting closer and closer to my story's finish line.

Good luck to you and all your writing endeavors! Now off to write some of my own!