For the last several years I have submitted to the annual Las Positas College anthology. Submissions are open to all writers and artists in the Tri-Valley area. Two of my poems, “Get Off the Road” and “Dreams” were published in the 2013 All That Remains. In the 2015 Impressions, my photo “Fairy Glen” made the publication. This year, in Sparks, I have three photos: “Kissed by Rain,” “Water Under the Bridge,” and “Get Off The Road.” I also have my coming of age prose piece, “Flights of Fancy.”
Tri-Valley Writers published its third anthology, Voices of the Valley: Word for Word, at the end of 2015. I have three pieces in this collection of TVW members’ writings. The first is an excerpt titled “A Faerie in the Glen” from my work-in-progress second novel, The Keepers of Caledonia. The second is “Rescue”, a short story about a brother’s love for his twin, and the sacrifice he will endure to not only rescue his brother, but also himself. And the last is is poem, “The Soul of a Writer.”
Voices of the Valley: Word for Word contains 82 written pieces: essay, memoir, poetry, and short stories. The variety showcases the talents of TVW’s diverse writing community.
I am honored to have my pieces included. Voices of the Valley: Word for Word may be purchased at Amazon.
What is NaNoWriMo TGIO you ask? For me that is today, December 1, because on this day Nationonal Novel Writing Month Thank God It’s Over is officially here. My goal this year participating in NaNo wasn’t to write 50,000 words (I knew that would be nearly impossible with me still recovering from elbow surgery—and believe me there were days I just wanted to quit—but also because of writer club duties as president). My goal was to get back to writing consistently, get the words, the story flowing in my mind. I may have started NaNo as the proverbial turtle, but in the end I was hopping and running like the rabbit.
I worked on a middle-grade story that has a ten-year-old boy, Niall, the grandson of the Tuatha Dragon Clan healer/caretaker dealing with leaving his home in Dublin, Ireland and staying with a grandfather he never knew about, getting mixed up with a school bully, and finding out about Ireland’s greatest secret—dragons!
At TGIO day, I have just over 37,500 words written. I am probably half-way through telling this story. Of course, then I’ll need to edit, but Hurray!! For those of you who have read The Keepers of Éire, Niall is mentioned in one sentence—when his grandfather, Timothy, tells the dragon clan leader, Sean he’ll have Niall help care for the injured Grayson. That one sentence—and Jake R. and his class of fourth graders in Dublin, CA, inspired this story.
So, for December, I’ll be writing, and writing, and writing.
I’m terrible at consistently updating my blog, but that’s mostly because I want to have something of interest to write about, not the some ol’ boring “I’m writing today”, or “I haven’t had a chance to write today”.
But just over two weeks ago, I once again took the NaNoWriMo challenge. NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, is where writers from around the globe challenge themselves to write 50,000 words (in some coherent sense) in the month of November. That’s 1,667 words per day, every day—come rain or come shine. La, la, la, la, la. I hear music playing.
Anyway, I’m not as concerned with writing the 50,000 words, so much as I am getting back to writing everyday (or most days). I am still battling with elbow tendon repair surgery and being the president of Tri-Valley Writers (which takes some time away from my writing). But enough of the whining.
More than halfway through the month, and I have written just over 12,000 words (nowhere near where I should be). But those 12,000 words are solid. What I mean is: they are the first seven chapters of the middle-grade novel I’m writing. Of course, they will need to be edited, but not completely rewritten. Hurrah!
And, more importantly, the story is flowing well and I’m writing most days (still not everyday as I am having some major pain in my arm).
So there you have it, my writing update. I’m off to see what Niall is up to. He should be making Grayson’s (my wingless dragon from The Keepers of Éire) acquaintance in the next day or so. (check out Grayson atop Lia Fail, hanging with me in Ireland).
Yes, I have signed up to take the challenge again this year. I’ll do my best to cross the finish line of 50,000 words, but mostly I wanted to get myself back on track writing every day. While I’m into my 3rd month of a year-long left elbow surgery recovery, the word count isn’t as important as the consistency of writing every day. I know that some days may be better than others.
This year I’ll be working on my middle-grade novel that I promised to Jake R. I’m working from a synopsis and a scene list, much better (for me anyway) than writing by the seat of my pants. While I don’t plot out everything, I do like to follow an outline (not detailed, mind you). I still let my characters go where they feel they need to go—I’ll rein them in during the editing process.
Wish me encouragement! And any other writer that is up for the NaNoWriMo challenge.
So, what does a dragon writer do with an injured wing?
1) Have surgery to repair it
2) Begin the recovery process
3) Let my imagination take flight
For me, the answer is: All of the above. Last week I underwent a lateral epicondylitis repair of my left elbow extensor tendon (imagine the stretched tendon and tattered mainsail of the dragon wing above) in the hope that I will regain the use of my hand and fingers without burning, searing pain. Fingers crossed—I’ll have you all do this as I still can’t move without significant pain—wrenched finger tip. Physical Therapy should begin soon.
I have been letting my imagination take over, just allowing ideas for my second novel, The Keepers of Caledonia, flood my mind. Soon I’ll need to jot these ideas down, but it is gratifying to let my imagination take flight where my injured wing cannot.