Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Finished My 50,000 Pages, Thus I Won

I just downloaded my complete novel of 50209 pages to the NaNoWriMo website. I'm finished with my book, Hitler's Promise and it feels so good. Now I can enjoy the rest of the Month of November. But come January I will have some major revisions to do on the novel. As all those who have ever participated in this brain stimulating, disiplinary writing exercise will atest, the manuscript can't help but suck at the moment. But I am not regretful. I think this contest helped me get my ideas out, on to paper, and on the road of completing the finished product much faster than if I had left it up to my regular way of writing. Because this novel is targeted to middle grade, whose books usually range around 40,000 to 50,000 pages, I ended up having to put an epilog in the novel to make my word count. The story was done in 48,500 words.

In any case, I'm excited to be finished and to have accomplished writing a novel in a month. To all of you other authors who reached you goal--CONGRATULATIONS!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hitler's Promise

Hitler promised to make Germany better. "Give me ten years and you will not recognize Germany," he had said. It was probably the only promise that he made good on--no one certainly could recognize Germany after he got through with it. We are all familiar with the ravaging effects of World War II on his own country, not to mention the world.

This is the basis for my new Middle Grade historical fiction book that I am currently working on as my NaNoWriMo project. The main source of my information is a former Nazi soldier who was drafted into Hitler's army at age 16 near the end of the war. He remember's Hitler's speech when he made the above mentioned promise. Having lived through the war, seeing his home town of Saarbruecken bombed, evactuated twice, and being separated from his parents while in his youth to fight for a man he knew was evil, he saw first hand that Hitler was nothing but a liar--except for that one statement: "You won't recognize Germany . . " From this and his stories I gained the inspriation for my book. It is based very closely on the amazing experiences of this young German boy, now an old man in his eighties.

The picture I have attached is not that of my main character of course, but I think it expresses a poignant depiction of how many Germans felt (including Max, the story's MC) about having to salute Hitler and his Nazi reign of terror.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

SCBWI Fall Workshop, SLC

Yesterday I attened my local chapter of SCBWI's fall workshop. They held it in the Salt Lake City main library. We met in a window filled room on the fourth floor. The view was inspirational and quite fitting for writers. On the west we looked out over the historic county building. On the East we had rows and rows of books to motivate us on the other side of a large glass partion.

My most rewarding part of the workshop was my one on one session with Elizabeth Law of Egmont Publishing. She liked my story idea and had little critisizm of my manusript, EXCEPT, she would like to see the story changed from a high school setting to a jr. high setting. She commented on my energy and enthusiasm. Hopefully that impression can stay alive within her memory, at least until I make the necessary changes in my manuscript and get it sent off to her.

That can't happen until December at the earliest. I'm still plugging away at my NaNoWriMo novel. I'm barely keeping on track. That's okay. I think my Hitler's Promis novel has some real promise. I'm determined to finish the rough draft by the end of November.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Dang Dandy Day to Dig Dahlias

I went outside today to hang out my "No UPS" sign to let my driver know I had nothing to ship (from my two internet businesses). It was such a beautiful day I found myself looking for a reason to stay wrapped in the warm breeze and sunshine. There sat my dahlias, foliage shrieveled from the previous frost, begging to be put to sleep for the winter in the garage. So I whipped and my shovel and pruners and went to work, savouring the last remnants of Indian summer, shedding my sweatshirt halfway through.

There were a host of other shriveled plants begging to be cleared from my flower bed. But being utterly dead and no chance of a spring resurrection, I ignored their ugliness, knowing a cover of white would soon hide them from my eyes, and went back into the house. I've got a novel to write this month. I had let myself wear my gardener hat long enough. Now its time to put on my writing cap and get back to work.

My novel, entitled Hitler's Promise is coming along nicely. It's about a young boy growing up in Nazi Germany with handicapped brother. He loses his brother to Hitler's push for the master race and gains a fear of having to fight for a man he knows is evil. I'll tell you more at the end of November. But right now, I've got to go write.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo and Toilet Paper; They are Connected

I've got a new book I have just barely started. I really wanted to finish it by the end of the year because I have another idea that has surfaced in my brain, and it's itching to be written. So when other members of A.I., a chat group of fellow LDS writers, were all jumping on board to do NaNoWriMo, I decided to join them.

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a challange to anyone who would like participate in trying to write an entire novel in one month (It's always in November, but personally I wish they would pick January because there are no holidays to cook, shop and decorate for, and quite frankly, January is boring--a perfect month to challange oneself to the challange of writing a 50,000 word book in 30 days).

This will take a lot of disipline and time. I've been wanting to do this for the past 2 years but have always been in the middle of some other project. But this year I'm excited for the challange. Yesterday I experienced something akin to the nesting instinct that kicks in right before you give birth to a child. I deep cleaned our computer room and my sewing/writing room. (Tasks that had been long neglected). I also fixed broken toilet paper roller holders in two bathrooms. (You know how after 10 years in a house those molly bolts give way and tear out of the wall leaving the holders dangling and useless, forcing you to sit the toilet paper on the back of the toilet becaus after all, who wants to take the time to fix something so boring and unnecessary?)

So even if I don't accomplish my goal of 50,000 words, and get my name on a computer screen somewhere (the only reward for completing the task--besides the sense of accomplishment), at least my creative space got a good cleaning and my trips to the bathroom will be facilitated by easy toliet tissue dispensement!