NaNoWriMo: World-Wide Writing Challenge – Part 1

NaNoWriMo: World-Wide Writing Challenge – Part 1

Every October and November the writing world loses its mind! NaNoWriMo, the largest writing competition, starts in November. Thousands of people have achieved their dreams by writing a book in one month. That’s just one of the exciting writing updates this month.

During October and November, I’m providing my tips to help you write your book too. This is the first time that I’ll be having a private writers group dedicated to providing tips to help you succeed. Writing can be fun if you know how to play.

NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, is a world-wide writing challenge that keeps writers encouraged, accountable, and writing 50,000 words by the end of November.

It’s not just novel writers that do this challenge. There are thousands of writers, screenwriters, poets, memoirists, and more who participate each year.

This is a FREE challenge. I’m hosting the “Fun & Focused First Draft” group where you’ll get tips to keep you motivated throughout the challenge. NaNoWriMo tracks your word count and at the end you receive an award for winning (completing your 50,000 words).

To participate, download the Preptober BFF Planner! The planner provides the steps to signing up for NaNoWriMo and accessing my private writers’ group. (Space is limited to the first 20 writers that sign up.)

Chasing the Water: Whitewater Mermaids

Chasing the Water: Whitewater Mermaids

We’re chasing the water again, this time in Salida, Colorado. During a girls weekend, where I’d known most of the people there since I was 5-years-old, we went river rafting and looking for water sprites. The mermaids had fun with us that day!

We glided through the water while I was enjoying the scenery, peacefulness of the cliffs and national park forest. It gave me a lot of serenity and inspiration for Iona Fay & The Sea Sirens, book three. It didn’t last long.

Some of my friends got a little too spirited and decided to do some unexpected underwater exploration to help me out. Right after Meghan with an “M,” our river guide, told us we were the best group she’s taken down the river, we hit “Hemorrhoid” rock, and half of the people in our boat toppled into the water. Fortunately, we quickly rallied, dunking and hauling everyone safely back in the boat within minutes. Upon which, Meghan with an “M” informed us that no one has ever fallen out at hemorrhoid rock.

We were the first.

On the bright side, at least we didn’t lose people in the “Toilet Bowl.”

Georgia O’Keeffe & Ghost Ranch

Georgia O’Keeffe & Ghost Ranch

What an Adventure!

It’s no wonder Georgia O’Keeffe came to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico for over 50 years to paint, eventually making it her permanent residence. I was so inspired by the awe-inspiring topography, on a whim I submitted an article to Trailer Life about the timeless enchantment that reigns in  New Mexico’s 150 to 200-million-year-old cliffs and canyons. (Look for the article in Trailer Life this November, 2017.)

(PHOTO COURTESY OF GHOST RANCH)

New Mexico feels ancient. It feels like a place out of time, as if New Mexico was present when time was created. For hours, I sat in a rocking chair on a perfectly positioned terrace at Ghost Ranch, talking with Daniel, a Native American, whose grandmother was a healer in his tribe. If you’ve ever been to Ghost Ranch, then you know the exact terrace of which I’m speaking — you can’t mistake it. There I rocked, staring off into the distance at the mountain ahead, talking with Daniel about how old New Mexico feels. The closest feeling I’d had before was traveling through Savannah; it feels like people of the past are walking around in the present — you can easily imagine Civil War soldiers and ghosts at every turn. New Mexico is close in it’s unique vibe, but it’s different than Savannah. New Mexico feels ancient, as if the land still resides in the time of its birth, millions of years ago.

We rock, much of the time in silence. It’s the same view that besotted O’Keeffe for half a century. She was enamored by the mountain; it held her heart. In Georgia O’Keeffe a Life in Art, she mentions in the film that God told her that if she painted the mountain enough times that he’d give it to her. I imagine that if someone artistically meditates a lifetime on thing of such serene beauty,  the subject can’t help but somehow become a part of the artist.

(above: the mountain God gave O’Keeffe)

God definitely gave her gifts—her paintings, life and residence. When visiting Ghost Ranch in person, it’s easy to see why O’Keeffe was captivated. With it’s mythological, checkered history, transforming from Ranch of the Witches, a hide out for cattle rustlers, a dude ranch, location for films such as City Slickers and dinosaur stomping grounds, one has only to sit rocking on the terrace at Ghost Ranch to know that we are only a small part of something bigger than ourselves.

Book Fairy: Special Deliver #1

Book Fairy: Special Deliver #1

There is a wonderful phenomena happening around the world…Book Fairies!

If you’re fortunate enough to stumble along the magical path of one of these inspiring, sublime creatures, you’ll get to relish in reading a book gifted to you by the fairy. I know! Cool, huh?

I think so too. That’s why I got together with some of my magical friends, and while we were on our book tour, we decided to help the fairies out.

This little library in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas was the first place that our book fairy waved her magic wand and deposited a autographed copy of Iona Fay: An Irish Fairy Tale.

If you’re in the area, you may be able to read the signed first edition copy.

Hint: Don’t idle with a large Airstream in front of the library, it seems that it makes the locals jumpy. But not the librarians. Nice as can be, and welcoming to anyone who wants to come in and read!

Traveling with a Teen: Waffles to the Rescue

Traveling with a Teen: Waffles to the Rescue

Waffles were calling our name! We knew that it would be impossible to travel more than 10 minutes from our starting point — we needed food. In truth, my hungry teen who claims that he has a “hollow leg” needed food. Since it was his left leg that was feeling lighter, we both knew that he was extra hungry today.

What does a hungry teen eat at breakfast? Two large chocolate chip waffles, orange juice and three orders of hash browns.

I ordered hash browns, and looked down to see that he ate those too!