Friday, October 31, 2014

FRIDAY STIR FRY - Missing For The Next 30 Days

Yep, it's almost here. November or as I like to call it Insaneber. Because anyone who thinks they can write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days has to be insane right?

Believe it or not it is possible but it takes a lot of energy, courage and caffeine. Here are a few tricks and treats I've learned over the last 6 years I've participated. (notice how I referenced Halloween there?) Happy Halloween/Samhain! Now to my tips.

  • Absolutely no editing. This is the first rule of NaNo. Lock that editor in the basement. You have no time for his nonsense this month. 
  • Do not use contractions. Don't is one word - do not is two. You can fix it later with find and replace. 
  • Everyone has at least two, three or more names. And they repeat their names a lot. Not only does this up your word count but it helps your brain remember all your characters. Again, you can fix later. 
  • Have a music play list. This not only sets the mood for your story, but, at least in my case, the words flow easier if there is music in the background. 
  • Lots of caffeine and chocolate. Self explanatory. 
  • Set a timer for 10, 15 or 30 minutes. Write non-stop until that sucker goes off. You'll be surprised how many words you will get.
  • Finally - and this is very important. BACK UP YOUR NOVEL AT LEAST EVERY DAY. I can't tell you how many horror stories I've heard of people losing all their hard work. Don't be that person.
I hope you join in, but if not please understand if you don't see or hear from me, I'm probably okay, just busy trying to wrestle a novel out of my brain. You can track my progress by coming by and checking the word count widget to the right.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Do you dress up for Halloween? Here I am a few years ago at what was then my favorite watering hole. Our city has a Halloween Pub Crawl in the downtown area and you can see all kinds of costumes. It's make believe for adults. For a few hours we get to pretend to be somebody else. It's kind of like when I lose myself writing. I become a different person for a while and escape to another world where I can leave my problems behind and just have fun pretending.

Here are a few of my favorite costumes from past years.

Green Acres
Roaring Twenties

Tigger and Dog

Ho, Ho, Ho Jolly Green Giant



These are all very creative and cute. I don't see much of these people anymore since I changed watering holes, but I'm sure this Saturday there will be plenty of other cool costumes and memories to be made. 
             Let me know if you enjoy Halloween.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Yep, I'm going to do this again. Just shoot me now.

You may be asking yourself why I put myself through this if I would prefer to be shot? The answer is complicated but, I'll do my best to explain with a list. Who doesn't like lists?

  • This is how I finally wrote my first novel. Without NaNo, I might still be saying "I want to write a novel someday".
  • They are such a supportive group and they provide some terrific pep talks from famous authors.
  • The forums are both hilarious and supportive. I've actually connected with a few people on Facebook during the rest of the year. 
  • It's free, although donations are greatly appreciated and I always donate $10.00. What a deal!
  • It's a challenge and what is life without a few challenges along the way? Boring.
  • I'm part of something bigger than myself. People from all over the world participate. 
  • NaNo is a not for profit and they promote writing in schools with their Young Writer's Program.
There you have it. Reason's why I'll be a little dazed and confused this November. Just pat me on the shoulder and hand me some coffee and I promise not to kill you in my novel. Maybe.

Friday, October 10, 2014


So, I'm going to be grand-dog sitting again. Isn't he cute! Kodi is his name. He's a Heinz 57. I think there is part Chow in there because of his hair and color. I've heard Chows can be mean and/or possessive. He is neither. The only person he barks at is the mail man. Most of the time you can find him like this:  Just being lazy.

         He's a good dog and I really don't mind watching him for my son and daughter-in-law, but it does take some adjustment on my part. Like getting up before I want to because he needs to go out. Or going home right after work to let him out. He also likes to be petted - a lot. And I can't eat in front of him because of his sad, begging to feed him eyes. He is good company though. And I do feel a little safer with him around.

People often ask me why I don't get a dog or cat. See above paragraph. Too much work. I like my freedom. Besides I can't keep plants alive. What kind of chance would a living, breathing creature have? I'm always relieved when the kids come get him and I've managed to keep him alive.

One good thing - because I spend more time at home while he's with me, I usually get more writing done. So here's to a productive week!

Friday, October 3, 2014


I'm going to deviate from my usual writing related posts because -

The St Louis Cardinals are in the post season again! 

And they are my team.

But, wait just one minute.

I live in Missouri and we have another team in post season play. Congrats to the Royals. Although I'm a Cards fan, I'll cheer for the boys in blue. Until, that is, we should happen to meet again in an I-70 World Series. Then I'll be all red. And this time we'll win.

I've been a Cardinal fan all my life. One of my earliest memories are of dad and me listening to the games on his transistor radio on sweltering summer evenings. And one of our first family vacations was to Busch Stadium to watch a game in the early 60's. Perhaps that's why they are my team; those precious memories from childhood.

Springfield is my hometown and although we are closer in distance to KC, our town is predominately red. It helps that we have a Double A Cardinal team here, but the history of the Cards and Springfield goes way back. You can see more here:

There was a survey last week that stated the Cardinals and their fans are the most hated in baseball right now. Mainly because we are so good and the fans are so loyal. Well, excuse us. But, that's exactly the ingredients which make a solid franchise. So while you haters are sitting at home waiting for winter, Cardinal Nation will be savoring every bit of October. Because that's what we do.

Go Cards!