Not only did I survive November, my month of writing for NaNoWriMo, where one commits to writing 50,000 words of a novel… in 30 days…, but I’ve ‘Won’, or successfully completed the requirements!
Photo we took in July 2013 of Clifton Flats, Utah. One of the last remaining portions of the Pony Express Trail in Utah which still resembles it “back in the day”. It’s the fine line running toward you to the right on the photo. Thanks Patrick Hearty, for showing it to us!
now has a sequel:
A Sea of Green Unfolding
Just received an email from NaNo… with the following excerpt:
‘You did it! You reached the rarefied summit of 50,000 words, so it’s time to start celebrating your achievement.
Winning NaNoWriMo is no easy feat: more than 300,000 people signed up for NaNo, but you’re one of just 41,940 writers who had the creative chutzpah, derring-do, and outright stamina to cross the finish line. Pat yourself on the back profusely, do a jig or two, and make sure to visit the Winner Page for all sorts of celebratory whoops and hollers. And, just to remind you, we’ll send out details about collecting your winner’s prizes on December 5.
We hope you’ll keep your fantastic creative energy alive…’
… then I did the maths… I was one of only 13%! Made me feel good!
Now to continue this spate of writing!
On the final day, I wrote 5,600 words… which just proves to me that 2500-2900/day is a quite reasonable writing rate.
My new goal.
I thank those of you who have supported me in my goal, Elliot, Dave, the wild ladies of my NaNo 2013 FB group and all those others who have kicked me back to my computer!
Time to get back to writing…
Good thing it’s pouring outside today. Already been out in it working in the yard for two and a half hours…
Well, first day, I didn’t make my goal of 1700 words on the new novel I began on 1 November,
A Sea of Green Unfolding,
the sequel to Express Desired, wherein
Aleksandra and Xavier are still reeling from the death of their first newborn child when they discover that they have lost Rancho de las Pulgas, their old Spanish land grant held by Xavier’s family for generations. An invitation from von Tempsky in New Zealand offers the escape they desire and draws the young couple to start a new life in the Coromandel goldfields. Challenges separate the pair as they journey to their destination, but they are finally reunited again in the turbulent wilderness of 1862 New Zealand—only to become immersed in the land wars between the European settlers and the local Maori, which have only just begun.
Yesterday, however, I nearly caught up. Today I will be caught up and pass day 3′s goal of 6100 words.
My favourite part of the writing so far (it’s the first draft, so please be kind…) :
She felt her heart could sink no further. Pushing aside the bedroll tied over her saddlebags, she pulled out a locket on a fine silver chain and clutched it to her heart before clasping it round her neck and letting it drop inside her neckline between her still-engorged breasts, the tears again falling swiftly as she looked west, up into the hills. A memory of her mother’s voice came unbidden…
‘I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help…’
She resolutely set her jaw and turned back to face the masts in the distance before her, one hand gripping the locket through her buckskin shirt and the other on the reins. The wharf at Redwood Creek was full of ships, she could see, even from this far away. The houses and buildings of Redwood City, the county seat of San Mateo County, clustered near the road leading to the embarcadero. Rough workers huts near the water’s edge emptied as the men trudged towards the wharves on the deepwater channel, nodding their heads to her as they headed for a day shifting timber, shingles, hay and wheat from laden wagons onto rafts, ships and barges headed for San Francisco and beyond. The smell of the tanneries turned her stomach as she rode past them and she put a hand over her mouth and nose, as if she could stop the smell. From the alley between the blacksmith shop and the shipbuilding yard, several men turned to stare at her and one whistled low under his breath, but she never glanced their way. The courthouse loomed on her left, the newly begun fire station beside it, but she barely saw them, her goal Dr.Tripp and Mr. Parkhurst’s road west into the mountains, heading for Arroyo Honda, and the coast. She’d never seen the ocean. Under the circumstances, it seemed like the thing to do.
Back to it. Just wanted to send out an update!
Have a great day, and to those of you doing NaNoWriMo,
GO FOR IT! SEE YOU AT THE FINISH!
PS, to those of you who have asked, Express Desired is with an agent in New Jersey. I hope to hear from her any day now whether or not she’s keen to run with it!
This is a photo we took in July 2013 of Clifton Flats, Utah. It’s one of the last remaining portions of the Pony Express Trail in Utah which still resembles it “back in the day”. It’s the fine line running toward you to the right on the photo. Thanks Patrick Hearty, for showing it to us!
A new signature, thanks to my son Elliot and his awesome skills with Photoshop!
The new short synopsis…
This sequel to Express Desired is about a young couple’s journey to adventure in the turbulent wilderness of 1861 New Zealand.
Tragedy strikes in Aleksandra and Xavier’s newly found paradise on their California Rancho and Von Tempsky’s invitation draws them to a new life in New Zealand—where the land wars between the European settlers and the local Maori have only just begun.
Plotting today, tomorrow and getting ready for 01 November 2013 USA date to start!
Have you wanted to write your own novel, but were waiting “until you had the time”? Well, the time is November, the year is 2013! Juniors can select a word count they will be happy with, and set a goal, put in the time and make it happen! You can get your teachers involved!
Join me! Check out the site, it costs nothing but your time! (Although NaNoWriMo will accept tax deductible donations!)
I sent my submissions off to an agent (Jessica Faust of Bookends, NJ) who heard the first three pages in a Cold Read session at conference two years ago (when there was a total of three pages written…) and said she wanted to see it when it was done… now! Also sent to three editors to who requested it at the Wellington conference last month (Harlequin Australia, Harlequin Canada and Entangled USA)…. One more agent, who wants the whole MS, soon.
Thanks for your patience, all of you… you know who you are!
Time to relax for a few hours (sleep, maybe???) before getting stuck into the next book!
I am very pleased to announce that the manuscript for Express Desired is done!
Hmmm… Let’s just say it it nice to see that I’m making progress in my writing skills… and finally implementing my new skills…. especially incorporating ’showing’ vs ‘telling’, (and my critique partner will be so PLEASED) .
It’s good to see the improvement since I began writing, but it is a two-edged sword… it sure makes for a lot of editing and rewriting in the first half of the story.
Planning to send the first three chapters and synopsis to the editors and agents who requested it THIS WEEK!
Thanks for your comments, all.
P.S. I’ve included in this post a little teaser for the story… Hope you enjoy it!
Vladimir is the baddie in the story… you horsy-people might appreciate this one!
* * *
The colt didn’t seem to know the way home to the Krzysztof’s cabin this time, so Vladimir’s return trip to the cabin, en route to the trading post, took much longer than expected. Probably more likely, the bay colt didn’t particularly care about getting home, in light of the fact that since they turned around and headed back west towards the cabin, Vladimir’s mare had come fully on heat. He’d wondered if she was starting up over the previous few days, but there was no longer any doubt, the Russian’s mouth drew tight across gritted teeth.
He now understood why he’d been able to purchase this stunning, sound mare so cheaply at the end of last summer. Doubtless, the chestnut’s previous owner knew what she was like for the half of the year her reproductive cycle was active. Their little jaunt had become a trial. The young stallion was beside himself, travelling next to this winking, squealing and squirting hussy. It was much safer to ride the colt, as green and horny as he was, and be on top, rather than underneath him as he tried to breed the mare.
Vladimir found the shortcut to the cabin… just after he rode the bay past the half-hidden trailhead. Catching the Russian unawares, the colt looked back toward the track, then jerked the reins from Vladimir’s hand, spun on a dime and nearly dropped him as he dived into the trees, headed for home. The mare meanwhile threw up her head and reared, ripping her lead rope from his grip as the colt bolted.
‘You obviously knew that part of the way home,’ Vladimir growled and swore roundly at the beast in Russian, got him under control again and thanked whoever would listen that both horses had not left him stranded. It would be a long walk to anywhere and he didn’t particularly wish to be found at the cabin with all the graves and none of the former occupants.
He needn’t have worried he’d lose the mare. She couldn’t get close enough to the horse as they made their way down the narrow trail. She twice smashed his knee between her and the plunging colt, but Vladimir eventually managed to grab her trailing lead. A quick look around Krzysztof’s yard gave no evidence of habitation, so he refilled two bags with hay, slung them over the mare’s saddle horn and headed off down the larger track to find the trading post.