Camp NaNo Check In

Howdy! It’s a little over half way through April. So, I thought it was time to do a check in.

My goal for April Camp NaNo was 20,000 words on my novel from November. I have written a grand total of 707 words so far.

I just haven’t had the motivation to write on that story. I’m kind of at the part where things need to be set up, and it’s just UGH. I want to get to the good bits. Heck, the 707 words I did write are not even the part I was working on. It’s in the middle-end part of the book! But, it is something so small victory.

And I have written other things- like this blog for instance. The words just don’t count towards the goal I set. Also, I started playing Starfinder with a few members of my family which is basically writing without writing (I do take notes though).

It’s been hard to find the energy to write. Working from home has ended up being more hours than I was working before the quarantine started, and by the time I am logged off from my computer, my brain is tired. I don’t want to look at a laptop anymore.

But, the good new is there is still over a week to go in April. I can write 19,300 words in a week. I hope.

Create Stories

My career is in accounting. It took me four years to get my CPA license after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. The first year of that I was also getting my master’s degree while working full time. Accounting students that may be reading this: I do not recommend doing all three at once. Pick two. I used to be a tax accountant- did five tax seasons- and now I am a cast member. I create a story with numbers.

However, that is not the type of story I want to create. I started college as a creative writing major. I wrote a lot of fanfiction and a trilogy in high school. I want to be published. I want to write stories.

My goal this year is to create the stories I want to tell. But I’m treating it more seriously. I am reading books on writing. I am watching Brandon Sanderson’s lectures on YouTube. I even have a planner separate from my normal one to keep track of how much time I put into my writing. This blog included. It’s practice.

While my main goal is to finish the NaNoWriMo project I started in November, I also want to start creating more short stories. Ones that I can share here. I haven’t done that in some time, but I think it would be good for me. Exercise my brain and all that jazz. It should hopefully help with writer’s block as well when my main stories get to be difficult.

Speaking of NaNo, Camp NaNoWriMo starts next week! I have a modest goal of 20,000 words as it is a slightly busy time at work. I will be working on that 2019 NaNo project, and I hope you guys will join me! The people at NaNoWriMo are also doing a “Stay Home Wri Mo” right now. They are posting daily challenges and prompts on the Facebook page if anyone is interested.

Add me as a NaNo buddy: https://nanowrimo.org/participants/destinydalma. DestinyDalma is also my author name if you feel like reading cringey fanfiction on fanfiction.net that was written a decade or so ago. Tell me about your writing projects! We’re a large community, and I am excited to be a part of it.

Happy NaNo!

Go start yours!

National Novel Writing Month is here! 20 days. 50,000 words. Roughly 1,667 words a day. Time to ration the discount Halloween candy to get through the challenge.

My project this year is Golden Soul. I am also using the software Schrivener for the first time. So far I really like it. Go start your project by going to NaNoWriMo.org and announcing your novel! Then add me as a buddy: DestinyDalma.

Well, I have writing to get to. Good luck to all the novelists out there!

NaNoWriMo 2019 Planning Update

I finally have a title! Golden Soul

One of my main characters’ name means empty light and I think that is the coolest.

While filling out a character sheet on Scrivener:

That’s right. The devil’s occupation is…. DEVILLING.
I cracked myself up with this one.

Right now the story is going to be set in Victorian era with a steampunk feel, but I may make it set in the future just so my MC has to have a music off in Hell with Elton John (I love Elton. It’s just a thing in my story that all musicians and script writers are in hell. ESPECIALLY the anyone who creates a musical. My devil is super into theatre.)

Just over a week before NaNoWriMo starts! If you are also taking the challenge, add me as a buddy: Destinydalma.

Everything is Finally Settling Down

Hey everyone!

I know it has been way too long, but I should be able to get back on a once a week (at minimum) posting schedule soon. The house is good. The furniture is delivered and set up. Random decor is being put in places. I’m more comfortable at my job. All is good.

The only threat now to being consistent is NaNoWriMo. It starts in like 5 weeks. I’m working on story ideas and rough planning now, but we’ll see if I stick with whatever I choose come November. For those who don’t know- NaNo is a challenge to write 50k words in 30 days. This will be my 9th or 10th year attempting it, and I only succeeded in 2013.

Want to join me? Sign up at NaNoWriMo.org! It’s free. You can add me as a buddy: DestinyDalma is my author name (look I set up my account in 2009 as a sophomore in high school. Everything was DestinyDalma then- see my fanfiction.net account for reference).

I’m keeping this short and sweet as I had no plan for this post and I don’t want to start rambling. Next time will be more structured- I have a lot to catch y’all up on like my Alaskan cruise, health goals, and 2019 reading list!

One Week In!

How’s your NaNoWriMo projects going? I am currently sitting at less than 3k words, but I have only had one day where I did not write anything. I also had my story idea change on Monday, so that has also had a factor in my word count. Actually, it almost feels like I’m writing this one backwards- starting at the end and going back through to see how the characters got there.

But, the main goal for me this year is just to write something. To have a habit of jotting anything story related down every day in between study sessions. I’m trending around 66% on my CPA exam with 3 weeks to go to get me to a 75%. It’s going to take some hard dedication, but I got this.

It’s not too late to start your project, even if you don’t want to get the 50K word goal like me. Just sign up at nanowrimo.org and start writing!

It’s Go Time

It’s November first, which means I have 29 days until my last CPA exam AND NaNoWriMo has started.

Because of said final exam, I am not expecting to hit the 50,000 word mark this year. I will be happy if I manage to write anything at all. If you want to join me, sign up at nanowrimo.org and add DestinyDalma as a writing buddy.

I’m going to double down on my study habits this month as much as possible. That means I will be studying while the turkey is frying in 3 weeks. I want to be done with this exam, especially before all the new tax laws become testable. To everyone thinking about taking the exam- take REG now. It’s only going to get harder next year.

I’m still going to try to post two times a week to keep y’all updated on what’s going on. They may be short posts, but I promise I won’t forget about you.

NaNoWriMo Prep

I know it’s not even October yet, and I most likely will not be able to do much writing in NaNoWriMo this year because of finishing up the CPA exam, but I did a thing I don’t usually do. I outlined my story idea before starting to write it.

Okay, so it’s a rewrite of a story I wrote in high school. A lot of the stuff is changing though- I’m just keeping the basic story line idea. But it is outlined (very roughly) from start to finish. That is huge for me.

I’m a write on the fly type of girl. Which usually means my plot lines are not organized (shocking coming from the one with three planners) and my characters do not have a clear path. It’s one of the things I am trying to focus on when it comes to my writing.

I hope to have some time to do character sheets next, but, to be honest, this is probably as much prep I will get done before November first. This CPA thing has got to come first right now. Next year I’ll be more focused on hitting that 50,000 words target.

Anyone else preparing for NaNoWriMo? Add me as a buddy! My author name is DestinyDalma (I joined NaNoWriMo the same time I joined fanfiction.net, so most of my usernames around that time are the same). Fun fact: Destiny actually gets a role in my story this year! I’m excited to make the changes to make her less of a fanfiction character and more of a Disney won’t come after me if I use her character.

Planner Things

Quick disclaimer: I am listening to Josh Groban’s new album Bridges as I write this and it is so freaking beautiful. If this post seems random, it’s because I am distracted by his angelic vocals.

I am doing something I almost never do today: planning the next two weeks at once in my Plum Paper Planner. I usually do the upcoming week on the weekends as one of my relaxing routines, but since I am going on vacation the first week of October, I am breaking that habit and doing that week as well (and the October monthly pages).

I technically have three planners including the one LA Fitness gave me for my personal training. My main day to day one is a Plum Paper horizontal planner, and then I have the Happy Planner mini fitness to keep track of steps, exercise, meals, etc. They make up my life, and I really could not function without them.

And when I said decorate earlier, I meant it. My planners are full of stickers from Etsy shops. Checklists, boxes for events, savings trackers, non-functional decorating stickers… You name it, I have a sticker for it. It’s wonderful.

While it is mainly relaxing for me, I use planning to stay focused during the week. I can keep track of goals I have and what I still need to do at work and at home. Checking things off a list makes me feel like I’m on track, like I’m accomplishing something. It may sound weird, but that’s just who I am.

Anyone else a planner? What do you use?

A Blurb from a Work in Progress

November 2, 1982

Victoria skipped through the front door and immediately ran upstairs to get her new Barbie. It was her favorite gift from her birthday, but her parents would not let her take it to school to show her friends. Humming John Cougar’s “Jack and Diane,” she made her doll dance in the air all the way back to the kitchen. She took a cookie from the jar and looked around, “Mommy! I’m home!” There was no answer.

She took a bite of the sugar cookie and wandered into the living room. Looking around, she noticed her mother lying on the couch, her eyes closed, “Oh, Mommy is just tired and taking a nap. I’m going to wake her up and give her a kiss!” Victoria sat on the edge of cushion and gently shook her mother’s shoulder, “Mommy, it’s time to wake up. What do you want me to make for dinner?” When she did not move, Victoria shook her again, “Mom?”

It was then that she began to worry. She shook her mom harder for a moment before placing her head on her chest to try to hear a heartbeat, but the sweater Abrielle was wearing made it difficult to tell. Crying, Victoria ran to the kitchen to grab the house phone from the wall. She quickly dialed 9-1-1 and twirled the wire while she waited.

“9-1-1 emergency.” The woman’s voice sounded slightly bored.

“I need help. I don’t think my mom is breathing and Daddy and Nolan aren’t home.” The words came out jumbled, “I need you to come help me.”

The tone immediately changed, “Calm down, sweetie. Where are you?”

She took a deep breath, “1949 Pearl Way. Please, hurry!”

“Help is on the way, sweetie. Stay where you are until they arrive.”

Victoria hung up the phone and went back to sit next to her mother, hugging her Barbie close to her chest. She stared at her mom, but she did not see her. Instead, her mind was far away from the house, “I need to call Daddy. Daddy needs to help me. Maybe Miss Blake will help, but I don’t know her phone number. Should I call grandma to come pick me up? The lady on the phone told me to stay here. How long is the help going to take? I hope she sent everybody- the police, firemen, doctors, and anyone else who is supposed to help us. I don’t think the army would come, but they might. That would be good. They know how to keep me safe. I wish Mommy would just wake up and she was playing a joke on me. That would be mean. It’s not April Fools’ Day. My birthday was two days ago; maybe Mommy is still really tired from the celebration. She is sick after all.”

She stayed by her mother’s side even when she could hear the sirens approaching her house. She refused to move as the ambulance and police cars pulled into the driveway. Six men entered through the unlocked front door and rushed to the living room. The emergency medical team began to examine Abrielle as a police man pulled Victoria away, “How old are you, sweetheart?”

“I turned eleven two days ago. Is Mommy okay?” She looked at the man with big teary blue green eyes, “She’s been sick for a long time. Something called cancer.”

His kind eyes grew sad, “Cancer is a bad disease, sweetheart. The doctors will let us know how your mommy is in a minute. What’s your name?”

“Victoria, and my mommy is Abrielle. Abrielle Williams.”

“I am Officer Owens. Where is your father, Victoria?”

“He’s probably at work or about to leave work. I don’t know if he’s coming home yet. His name is Louis, and he works two jobs. One is at an electricity place and the other is Winn Dixie. He comes home with free cookies sometimes, but he didn’t work there until Mommy got sick.” She kept babbling, “My brother should be home soon.  His name is Nolan, and he tutors kids after his high school is over. He’s fourteen.”

“Was your mom like this when you got off the bus?”

“Yeah. I thought she was taking a nap. Her medicine makes her really tired, so she sleeps a lot. Daddy said that’s normal for her kind of sickness.” She glanced over at the couch where the medics were transferring Abrielle to a stretcher, “What are the doctors doing? Mommy is probably more comfortable on the couch.”

“They are taking her to the ambulance so they can try to wake her up.” Officer Owens looked at his partner who shook her head. He sighed, “Victoria, do you know when your brother usually gets home?”

“Around four, I think. I don’t pay much attention to time. Why does the police lady look sad?”

“Why don’t you ask her yourself while I try to find your dad.” He waved her over, “Victoria, this is Officer Stiles.”

“You can call me Lauren.” She knelt down as Officer Owen walked away, “That’s a pretty doll you have.”

“It was my birthday present from my mom.” Victoria studied her, “Will you please tell me what’s going on, Officer Lauren? I called you because my mom wasn’t breathing. Is she dead?”

Lauren blinked at her straightforwardness, and then took Victoria’s hand in hers, “Yes. Her sickness killed her. You did the right thing by calling us. She is in Heaven now, and she is no longer sick or tired or in any pain.” She hugged the crying girl close to her chest, “Everything will be okay, Victoria. We are going to take you to the station with us until your father can come and get you. I will stay with you the whole time.”

“W-what about Nolan? He can’t come home to an empty house.” She hiccupped, trying to be a big girl and talk through her tears.

“My friend, Officer Wayne, is going to wait for him. He will let your brother know what happened and take him to you. You both will be together and in my care until your father comes.” She paused, “He will probably want to visit your mother first.”

“I understand. He will want to say goodbye.” She sniffed, “I thought she was sleeping, Lauren. I didn’t say goodbye, and now she’s gone. I should have given her a kiss.”

“She knows that you love her, and she is still watching over you as a guardian angel. God is keeping her safe now.”

“God was the one to make her sick in the first place.”

Lauren didn’t know what to say. This was a distraught and confused girl who would be traumatized by this moment for the rest of her life. Wiping away the tears running down Victoria’s cheeks, she finally said, “Why don’t you take your doll outside for some fresh air? We will be leaving soon.”

“Can I take my book with me?”

“Of course.”

Victoria trudged up to her room, tears streaming down her face. The pain she was feeling was almost too much to bear, but she did not truly realize how this day would affect her future. She looked at the cross hanging on the wall above her bed and stared at it for a few moments. Then, with a strangled cry of rage, she climbed onto the mattress and tore it from the wall, throwing it across the room. She grabbed The Hobbit from where she had left it on her dresser and ran from the room, not looking back to see the shattered pieces that were now scattered on the carpet.