Back and Happy to be Here!

Hi, Friends! I’m later in rejoining the blogging world than I had hoped, but I’m baaack!!

I survived NaNoWriMo, hitting 50,022 words on November 23rd. My project, however, is a complete disaster. It isn’t just in need of shaping up and editing, it’s in need of a complete overhaul—plus an additional 30K to make it into a book. Although I can say I “won” NaNo (YAY!), I’m not sure “Belladonna Cottage” will ever see the light of day.

NaNoWriMo 2019 winner banner

On the plus side, I came away with three strong characters and a setting I hope to reuse in a different story. The basic premise I developed for Belladonna didn’t work, but there’s enough bare-bones material to build from. And as a winner, I got to purchase Scriverner for half price. Now I just have to take the time to work through the tutorial and learn how to use the program.

Thanksgiving followed by a mini vacation kept me mostly offline, and when I returned to my day job, I was swamped. Isn’t that always the case when you go away? I had hoped to be back to blogging by the beginning of December. I know I’ve missed a lot of your blog posts, but I’m glad to be back and looking forward to engaging.

For those of you who did NaNo—whether you came out a winner or didn’t quite manage to hit that 50K goal—I hope you had a lot of fun participating. And word count of any kind is never wasted (even the hot mess I ended up with)!

I may actually do Camp NaNo in April. And did you know that the NaNoWriMo website, is now open for projects any time? That means you can create your own word goal any time you wish and track your project. I like that idea. 🙂

For those of you in the U.S., I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving. Hubby and I enjoyed time with family, then took a mini beach vacation to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We put our Christmas tree up when we got back, and I have been listening to Christmas music on Sirius Radio daily. I just love this time of year!

A collection of Christmas bulbs in white, gold and silver on a blue background. Also, small gold Christmas tree and silver bells

Even with NaNo in November, I managed to read a few books, and hope to share some of the reviews tomorrow. Wednesday Weirdness will be back in full swing on the eleventh, and by then I should be settled in again. Thanks for bearing with me during my hiatus. I would never have hit 50K in November otherwise. I’ve missed you all!

Let me know what you’ve been up to. Have you started a new writing project? Are you finishing one up? And—most important of all—can you believe Christmas is almost here?I’m scrambling to finish up my holiday shopping. What about you?

Happy Halloween and a Brief Hiatus

Happy Halloween! Sometimes, October feels like one long festive party. We get thirty-one days of shivery movies and books, pumpkin carving activities, hayrides, jack-o-lanterns, hot cider, ghost stories, and spooky decorations.

Illuminated home garden path patio lights with halloween pumpkin lanterns

Trick-or-treat takes place in my neighborhood tonight, so I will be passing out candy to the little ghosts and ghouls who knock on my door. Maybe I’ll pop in a spooky movie or crack open a Halloween novel. Or maybe I’ll be doing my final round of NaNoWriMo prep. Tomorrow—November 1—kicks off the big event.

I’ve plotted as much as possible. I have my character sketches, my setting details and a number of scenes mapped out, but NaNo is still going to be a challenge. Especially because I work thirty hours a week. That’s less than many people, but still enough to limit the hours I can devote to writing.

As a result, I’m going to take a one month hiatus from blogging. I won’t be online much, if at all, which means I’m going to miss your November blog posts. I hope you’ll bear with me while I tackle NaNo. I’ll pop in, if and when I can, but for the most part I don’t expect to be visible. Wish me luck! 🙂

In the meantime, I cobbled together some Halloween superstitions and folklore for your enjoyment.

Did you know:

Leafless barren tree in front of oversized full moon iat nightYou should turn your pockets inside out when passing a graveyard on Halloween. That way,  you won’t inadvertently bring a ghost home in your pocket.

To ward off evil spirits, walk counterclockwise around your house backward, three times before sunset on Halloween.

If you hear footsteps behind you on Halloween, do not turn around. It could be Death or the dead following you.

If, however, you spy a spider on Halloween, consider yourself lucky. It means a departed loved one is watching over you.

If you happen to see a bull lying down on Halloween night, the wind will blow most of the winter from the direction he’s facing.

Finally, if you were born on Halloween, you can see spirits, chat with faeries, and interpret dreams!

Happy Halloween, and good luck to everyone who is participating in NaNo!

Mae Clair Presents: Common Writing Mistakes

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? I’m disappointed I couldn’t work it in this year, but from past experience, I can say it’s a huge motivator. I wrote most of A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS during NaNo two years ago, and that book is now under contract, scheduled to release in April of 2016. I’m presently knee deep in book two, A COLD TOMORROW, which is why I opted out of NaNo this time around.

I know many of my friends are participating and I’m cheering on each of you! Rah-Rah!
I thought as the month winds down, you might find these writing tips from Grammarly helpful. They’ve put together a snazzy infographic in honor of November’s writing fest. Check it out:

Five Mistakes To Avoid in Your NaNoWriMo Novel Infographic
What do you think? Do these five common mistakes trip you up now and again? The bane of my existence is the dreaded comma. I’m always misplacing those buggers or skipping them altogether. Fortunately, I have a great editor who keeps me in line. Hopefully, I’m gaining a better grasp on the pesky things.

Which mistake trips you up the most?

*Infographic provided courtesy of Grammarly