NaNoWriMo has arrived!

…and we shall surrender to the fire that runs through our veins. We shall abandon it all for the upmost desire, the one that will allow the adrenaline to run, the words to entangle and the body to stop breathing…

Oops! I had not seen you there! I’m just getting ready for tomorrow…well tonight. NaNoWriMo starts right at 12:00am and I’ll be ready. I did my last trip to the store to stock on goodies for the month.

By now, some of you have gone to your kick off parties and have received tons of tips and advise from experienced Wrimos, but just in case let me do for you a virtual Nano Prep-Kit:

Icy Hot is your friend- I discovered that during my second Nano. When you are going to many write-ins and having many word wars your wrist become unhappy, but you need to continue writing to get through that word count. It works like magic…it does smell, but it’ll wake you up to make you write some more.

Fill your pantry with hot pockets and ramen noodles- it’s not because of budget reasons. You don’t have too much cooking time. Save your grocery money for your write-ins and take that opportunity for a good meal, but unless you have someone else cooking at home… you need to do something quick. You have writing to do! Remember to buy frozen meals for your family if you’re the one in charge of meals…it’s against the law to cook in November for Wrimos…I tried to warn you!

Coffee– This is vital, you don’t need sleep. You can sleep in December. November is for writing. We will allow you a quick nap here and there so you don’t hallucinate…although that may help your story.

The rules for Thanksgiving– I use to host Thanksgiving every year at my home. Nano broke me out of that bad habit really quick. Now I allow others the opportunity to cook for three days and have their houses to clean afterwards and I offer to bring dessert; which will be carefully made by a local supermarket. Lessons to be learned.

Treats- buy your favorite treats and reward yourself after different milestones in your word count. Also buy your kids, dog, cat or all of the above new toys and treats so that they have something to do while you’re writing.

SAVE YOUR WORK!-Omg! You have no idea how many times we have lost thousands of words, full pages and some have lost their whole work because someone accidentally clicked on the wrong button, the cat decided to crawl over the keyboard, the baby thought the keys looked appealing, the computer decided to die…the thought alone gives me a panic attack. But do not fret. The other thing I’ve learned is about dropbox.com It’s a free storage place for your documents and pictures. You can access it from any computer as long as you have internet access. You can even access it from your Ipad and IPhone. So if the computer dies your novel doesn’t go to the grave with it…but not even dropbox can save the novel for you. Do not trust auto save…every 15 minutes or so hit the save button, it takes 1 second and it will save you from a heart attack or pulling your hairs out.

I finally want to say that I’m very excited as this year I’ll be hosting some 111030-161919write-ins for NaNoWriMo. YAY! Look in the nanowrimo.org site and go to the forums to find out when there will be a write-in close to you. It’s a great experience. For those Pandas in the Atlanta Area that will be going to the write-ins hosted by ‘therisingmuse” look out for these two cute faces.

Happy Noveling!

Growth Lessons for e-readers

I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting for the must read Christian Living book “Growth Lesson” to be published. Although the print version will have to wait a few more weeks, the e-readers will be able to get it right now!

Yes, Growth Lessons is already available through Smashwords and will be available in Amazon Kindle by the end of this week. However Smashwords have a Kindle version, so you may not have to wait after all.

The book is only $2.99, but as a token of gratitude to all my faithful readers, the new release is on sale for the promotional price of: $2.69 using the Coupon Code: PN34W

Get it soon as this offer expires on November 19, 2011

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/97235

 Many blessings!

Reviews and Endorsements

There comes a time in the process of publishing a book where the newbie writers need to find someone with credibility to endorse their book. The popular notion is to find a celebrity that would say something about your book and that will draw people to buy it. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I’m sure that part of it is because when I look at my contact list there are no celebrities listed in there. But more than that I place myself in the buyer’s shoes and I don’t know how much a celebrity endorsement would sway me either way to a purchase.

I found this blog yesterday, and yes I would agree that if Oprah was promoting sack potato dresses they would fly off the shelves, I just don’t see the translation to books. I would probably be more incline to by a celebrity book than a celebrity endorsed book.

I’m a twihard (Twilight series fan) and I’m honestly not into vampires and werewolves, but my friends wouldn’t shut up about the books, so I went bought the first one and got hooked. I admit that I’ve read them all, seen all the movies and I’m secretly in love with Edward, (and hate Bella… Even after her redemption I couldn’t get over her nonsense) On the other hand if I see a book endorsed by Stephanie Meyer it would not move me to buy it just for the fact that she’s endorsing it. The topic of the book needs to capture my interest and the first few pages need to lock my attention in order for me to buy the book.

In my genre, I’ve bought several books from Joyce Meyer, but once again I’m not sure that her endorsement of a new author would automatically make me purchase the book. Yes, it may make me take a look at it, but not necessarily get my debit card out of the wallet.

Now good reviews on a book, and like with Twilight, having friends talk about it will probably get my wallet out of my purse a little quicker.

As always I want to hear your thoughts. My writer readers, how important do you think endorsements are for your books? My reader fans, would a celebrity endorsement influence you in any way towards buying a book?

Looking forward to your comments

Blessings

At this moment…

With the day to day of life, sometimes we don’t see the forest from the trees. I try to make a stop at least twice a year to evaluate my course. I see where I’ve been, what I’ve done and where I’m headed. I usually do those things on my birthday and at the end of the year. Fortunately for me they are six months apart giving me exactly a review within the same time frames

The last few months have been kind of slow in every sense. I’ve had low energy to do much, no major events have happened and I sit here grateful for that. My life has had enough rollercoaster episodes for what a quiet sense of peace, as strange as it feels, it’s been very welcome.

This time has allowed me to finally slow down and look at my projects in a different light. I needed to give some first steps but now it has been time to build the foundation, physically, emotionally and spiritually and without even noticing that’s what these last six months have been about. It has been about the journey of finding me and being newly defined in Christ instead of the world. It has been about being comfortable in my own skin and around others.

It has also been a push to come out of my shell. With fear and trembling I placed my name on this blog, it was about time you guys knew who was behind all the rambling. I even placed my picture for all to see. That’s Kristen Lamb’s fault, but I love her for it. I’ve joined a crazy world of writers in twitter called #myWANA, which stands for “We Are Not Alone”. It’s been an amazing experience to share the struggles and the victories of the journey.

I joined a grammar class that I didn’t finish. I plan to enroll in it again. I’m reading books in writing craft. I even found out there’s a manual for Christian writers. I want to be better, for God, for you and for me.

So as the candles dwindle in my cake, I don’t think I have a wish this year, because I’m happy with where I am, with who I am and with the things God is making happen in my life.

Blessings

Behind the name

WordPress gave us a  prompt some time this weekend, Where did your name come from? (or something to that effect). My full name is Natividad. People tend to think that I was born around Christmas as it sounds very close to the word Navidad, which is Christmas in Spanish. Ironically my birthday is in July. I’ve been sang “Feliz Navidad” many times at the sound of my name.

I can’t deny that I didn’t like much of my name growing up. It has so many letters that it usually didn’t fit in any form with squares provided to enter your name. Since I moved to the continental US it has been funnier because people struggle to pronounce it and some make it a personal challenge to say it well. At this point I’m used to it and when I’m in a public place and hear someone with their tongue tied trying to say out a name, I know they were calling my turn. I have not been mistaken once.

The fact is I received my name after my paternal grandmother. My father who had six daughters told my mother that he had always wanted to give one of his daughters his mother’s name and had never had the chance, so my mom agreed. I never met my grandmother as she had passed away when I was born. I think I’ve seen some old pictures of her.

Now as a writer working on branding my name I’m actually grateful for the name I have. I like the meaning of my name. It means being born and I’ve been in life situations when I’ve been given the opportunity of being born again and start life all over.  Also I’m glad that I have a different name that way people will recognize my name when they are looking for my books.

The shortest story

I’ve been reading a few blogs from other writers in the past couple of weeks and I’ve met a lot of interesting people. My fellow blogger Sonia posted this on her blog, about a story in 50 words.

Fifty words I said! It takes me more than that to say hello to somebody. Anyone who knows me has noticed that I’m a talker and my writing goes pretty much with who I am. However, I always like a challenge, so here’s my first attempt at a 50 words story. I admit that Sonia’s is a lot better, but here we go.

The morning from my dog’s point of view

She was curled up under the bed. Suddenly she heard it, that horrible sound from every morning. She jumped on the bed thinking, “If I could only find that thing!”

Her owner was still asleep.

“Please get up” She thought.

” The sooner you leave the house will be mine!”

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I thought this picture would compliment the story, LOL!!

Having a bad writing day, week, season… you get the idea!

Some women experience bad hair days, I think I’m having a bad writing day (or season) not all days are inspired in a writer’s mind. Some days words flow and some days it’s really hard work. Even I’ve had great revelations when I’ve been tired or sick, but lately it’s like my brain has ran out of steam and finding the ways to express myself has been nothing less than challenging.

I guess it’s because I’m trying to force myself to write in a certain way, my head is not going in the direction that I’m trying to steer it. So it basically has come to a halt. I’ve been having somewhat of what I have called writer’s ADD. Multiple ideas, stories and sentences are all popping into my head not enough to do anything with them or that would make any sense and by the time I sit down to write, they are gone. Having lost the routine of walking around with my netbook, which has been in ICU for a while, giving me only glimpses of available usage every now and again; I have missed plenty of opportunities of random usable muses that have crossed this brain of mine. (My netbook has been crashing and freezing and now that finally I can get a new one, I’m emotionally attached to the dysfunctional one and can’t part from it. You don’t have to say it, I know!!)

I went to the website of writer Lisa Scottoline. I recently read one of her latest non-fiction books; she’s funny and real and I wanted to gain some perspective from a professional writer. On her website,  She was talking about the everyday of a writer. She has a word count goal everyday. I started thinking that I write most days, but not everyday. Not because I don’t want to, I just don’t do it. Ironically, the day I don’t write I spend the day agonizing about the fact that I have not written a thing.

 Then I started feeling insecure about my writing. I think most writers would agree that there are days when you write exceptional things and some days you just write junk. I think that’s part of why there are some days where I don’t do the commanded “butt and chair” exercise of writing is because I already know in my head that whatever is coming out is junk and I don’t like to write junk. So I get discourage before even sitting to write trying to achieve perfectionism, where do you even find such thing?

I had read about writing everyday before, I want to come up with a reasonable word count goal, as I’m not yet (calling it in faith) a full time writer and I hold a normal 8-5 job and a life, (well something like a life…hahaha!) I don’t consider writing a hobby. Writing is a part of me; it’s my way of expression, so even when today I think that my writing sucks, I don’t think I could stop doing it. The times that I did, I felt dead and I’m not going backwards. Writing like anything in life takes practice, so the more I write, the better it would get.

I decide today to start writing everyday, (not necessarily a blog post). I’ll think of my reasonable word count after a few more hours of sleep, right now I couldn’t decide between chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I promise to start browsing for a new laptop, and pray that I fall in love again with one that will follow me for a few more years in this journey.  I chose to just abandon myself in the words and allow them to flow instead of trying to control them…that’s why they don’t want to come out…LOL! …and look, who knew? I had tons to say from someone who didn’t know what to write about! (All 650 words and all 🙂 )

Let the writing begin!

Factura Electrónica 2011
Image via Wikipedia

To all my readers:

I’m dropping just a little note to let you know what’s going on in my writing world. The short story “Loud Silence”, yes the same one on the e-reads will be submitted today for the “Snag Today” magazine writing contest.

My two new short stories, “Hope” and “George” were already submitted this morning for “Nurturing Paws” the new anthology by Whispering Angel Books….

 If any of my fellow writers would like to enter their stories, the information is in my upcoming calendar on the Publications and Achievements page. There’s still time.

 So, cross your fingers and say a prayer, 2011 here I come!

Process of writing this blog

I was asked how long it usually takes me to write a blog post. The answer, it depends. I try to write often because it usually means that I’m connected to the source of my inspiration, God.  Also through the process of writing I can learn and understand the spiritual impact of my surroundings and compare it with what the Word says regarding my experiences. There are days were I can be sleeping, and I’m awaken and I just turn on my laptop and start writing and the words flow. Sometimes just a scripture or a situation triggers me to be inspired and write.  If I’m connected and inspired I can even write two or more postings in one day and save the extra ones for rainy days (days where I can’t even remember my name).

On days when I’m not inspired or not connected with God and I’m trying to write just to make sure that all my readers don’t think that I’ve fallen from the face of the earth, a post is like pulling teeth. Nothing makes me flow, nothing makes sense and I end up writing ramblings that I end up not publishing.  This is an inspirational blog, so if I have nothing to say that can enrich my reader’s lives, it’s better for me to shut and see why I don’t have anything enriching my own life that day to share.

After I write the content, I look for the specific scriptures that will exemplify what I’m talking about. I know the words in the bible but not the biblical references and that’s when biblegateway.com becomes my friend.  For example I know that the Word of God says he will renew our strength and that we will be able to fly like eagles, but I have to look up where it says that. (It’s on Isaiah 40:31 by the way)

The last part of the process is the visual additions. Looking for the perfect picture or the perfect song to add can take some time, especially when Google is not cooperative or when our internal WordPress Zemanta (an image system) thinks that we’re talking about dogs when we’re talking about burgers  and it gives you all the wrong images.

Back to the original question, how long does it take me to create and publish a post? On a good day, thirty minutes. On a hard day, which is a day when I can’t find the right or perfect images or sounds, then it can take me up to two hours in any given day.

So now you know the secret behind this blog’s writing.

Have a great day and enjoy this song!